Eventual Dullness

My WordPress “reader” has become a barren screen of blog posts where the most recent ones are days old. For several years, WordPress was the first app I opened in the morning but now it ranks behind Twitter, my stock market app and probably even CNBC.

Bloggers usually end their blogging life somewhere between 3 days and a few years. I get nostalgic when thinking about the connections that I had with bloggers even if it was only a few interactions. Often, the interactions were more meaningful than real life ones. But, people move on and I’m at best just a digital memory from the past. It makes me quite sad that I’ll probably never hear from any of them again. If I have to be rational, I would have to bet that one day you will also be gone.

It’s my belief that WordPress has made finding connections more difficult by removing the Daily Prompt and Hot Tags from their site. Is there much effectiveness in tagging your posts anymore?How do people even search for blogs to read now? And how does WordPress decide what to present to you? Commenting on other people’s blogs was also a good way to connect with other bloggers but I haven’t been doing much of that.

After 8 years I’m still here writing regularly enough which makes me wonder why that is. Perhaps I don’t have enough of a life? Perhaps I would have more to write if I had more of a life? The reasons longtime bloggers quit blogging are probably many. My guess is that they no longer want to share their life online, found something better to do or just don’t want to do it anymore.

As a kid when I lived with Uncle Bill, I thought nothing of the mundaneness 5 days a week that he walked out of the door at 7 AM to go to his job, came home at 5:30 PM, ate dinner and sat in his recliner watching TV from 6-11 PM. Weekends weren’t exciting either when he would look for something to fix around the house and then sat in his recliner for just as long as the weeknights. I didn’t think of his life as bad or good. I just thought of it as life and when I grew up I was going to do something similar minus the 3 packs of cigarettes a day and not wearing underwear.

Why do I have a problem with the idea of spending the rest of my life watching TV/screens? Every adult that I knew when I was growing up did just that. They went to work, came home, ate something and watched TV. In the summer they might have watered the plants or grass and viewed it as their version of going out. Going out for Uncle Bill was driving 10 minutes to a restaurant where him and 2 or 3 other single men sat around, smoked cigarettes, drank coffee and talked shit. I’m not sure what single guys in their 50s have to talk about every week. I guess having a beard and a hairy chest does not exclude you from the loneliness all humans feel.

“There is a time when one must decide either to risk everything to fulfill one’s dreams or sit for the rest of one’s life in the backyard.” 

Life, Sleep, Generation of Pussies

My recent purchases of a stationary exercise bike, running/walking shoes and a book, signifies that I’m nowhere close to being suicidal which is positive. Even more encouraging is that I have been using them for their intended uses except the book which is still in the box. I also purchased a pair of training shoes which are supposed to be used in a gym where I don’t yet have a membership to but believe I will one day again after this coronarona shit is mostly done with.

I’ve recently been made aware that my old friends think that I’m “weird.” They “think” this because I no longer wanted to associate with them. If you walk into a church and say, “Jesus isn’t real,” everyone in there will think that you’re weird. My old friends need to re-evaluate the rationality of their perceived normal life decisions.

All of this proclivity towards exercising isn’t for weight loss but instead for sleep gain. Some expert on TV today said that exercising in the morning and then sitting at your desk all day isn’t sufficient for a healthy lifestyle. From experience, I’ll add that it also isn’t enough to give you good sleep. At my former job when I was out all day delivering parcels and moving boxes like it was wartime I had no issues with quality sleep. If I went out for dinner after a day of work I would be at the table and think to myself, “holy crap I’m tired.” How am I supposed replicate so much effort when I’m not forced to? I might have to hang out at the playground all day and do calisthenics.

Our current civilization’s lack of need for physical effort might be a testament to the inevitable obsolescence of humans. So much of what humans need to be happy and healthy has become a challenge to attain compared to most of history. Vitamin D, exercise and probiotics are lacking in the lives of many who are supposedly living in the most advanced time in history. Excitement, purpose, health, has been sacrificed for safety and comfort. Perhaps the risk is just in our minds.

My younger cousin would like a new career path, but like many, he doesn’t know what to pick.

“How about a plumber?”

“Ewww gross,” he says. Understandable. I only suggested being a plumber because I know I’ll need one in the future.

“Firefighter?”

“Ummm, I don’t want to risk my life.”

Also understandable. I knew he wouldn’t go for it. I just wanted to hear what he would say.

Basically, he wants to get paid well for being entertained by his phone while taking a shit but only if he’s promised a heated toilet seat. Also basically, like many people from the boomer generation and beyond, most of us don’t want to pick an occupation that brings discomfort to the mind which are all occupations that are potentially rewarding. There’s this little thing in our head that whispers to us, “maybe I can get by through life without unnecessary discomfort and still be happy.” There’s no real urgency to decide on a path in life so people often do nothing and let life decide for them. Deciding early on and picking wrong doesn’t seem to be much better either. I suspect that our avoidance of discomfort stems from never having developed to be comfortable with discomfort.

“It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.”

Elisa Lam Case: Conspiracy Put to Rest

Years ago I wrote a post on the Elisa Lam case where at the end I was left to believe something was fishy. After watching the new docuseries on Netflix, Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel,” my questions were answered.

SPOILER ALERT

Elisa Lam was a young tourist whose naked body was found floating in a water tank on the roof of the hotel she was staying at. There was no trauma to the body but I still found it odd that it was ruled an accidental death. When a young woman is found dead, naked and with her clothes in the water tank, you can’t help but suspect foul play especially when the setting is a hotel infamous for crime. I had also read that the lid of the water tank was found to be secured in the closed position. I found it strange that she would make herself up on to the roof, climb on top of the water tank, remove her clothing and jump in to the tank.

The truth comes out

Well, don’t believe everything you read on the internet even if it’s from supposed credible sources. One of the police officers involved had also provided incorrect information to the media. On top of that there were a few eerie coincidences that I won’t get into here but they solidified to the internet detectives that there was a conspiracy.

It sounds odd that someone would climb on to a hotel roof and jump in to a water tank naked. It sounds less odd if that person has a severe bipolar disorder and was not properly taking her medication. What was unsettling to me most was the naked body and open lid.

Apparently, in a severe hypothermic state, out of confusion a person may remove their clothing. Sounds weird but I Googled it and it’s true.

The hotel maintenance worker who found the body had originally reported that the lid was secured over the tank opening when he discovered the body which is why the police officer reported the same thing. It turns out that the maintenance worker made an error and the lid was not secured when he found the body. Conspiracy theorists may say he was coerced into changing his story.

The family of the deceased had reported that Elisa had behaved very strangely in the past when off of her medication and had been hospitalized for it in the past.

So, it all makes sense, but still very sad.

Wise Tweets Part II

No Persons are more frequently wrong than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-Francois de La Rochefoucauld

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
-Plato

Teach thy tongue to say, “I don’t know,” and thous shalt progress.
-Maimonides

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
-Lao Tzu

I don’t care how rich you are. I don’t care whether you’re a top Wall Street banker. If somebody has to tell you when to be at work, what to wear and how to behave, you’re not a free person. You’re not actually rich.
-Naval

Truth never penetrates an unwilling mind.
-Jorge Luis Borges

Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave.
-Thucydides

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
-Oscar Wilde

Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution.
-Aristotle

Most people don’t want freedom. They want security.
They don’t want choices. They want directions.
-Ed Latimore

Lower your expectations of others. Raise the expectations of yourself.
-Shane Parrish

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
-Albert Einstein

The world will ask you who you are, and if you don’t know, the world will tell you.
-Carl Jung

If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.
-Voltaire

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
-MLK

Recent Used Purchases

This assortment of photos of Robert will hang on a wall in my home as a tribute to someone I do not know. There was no price tag on this used good at the thrift store so I had to bargain with myself ahead of time. The clerk said, “ummmm…$3?” Good, because $5 was the maximum I would pay. Robert probably isn’t his name but from my estimation, Robert is probably dead. He was 50 years old in 1993 so that would make him 77 today but Robert doesn’t strike me as a healthy guy. His generation was still on the fence of whether or not smoking cigarettes was bad for you. You boomers lived such a blessed ignorant life.

People may visit my home and ask, “Who is this old white guy?”

I’ll respond, “I don’t know.”

They’ll say, “what do you mean you don’t know?”

I’ll say, “Don’t you fucking understand English? I said I don’t know who the fuck he is.”

I’ll sound so pissed off that they’ll think Robert is someone I don’t want to talk about rather than some stranger on my wall. Because who would hang a bunch of photos of someone they don’t know?

Exercise equipment has been harder to come by since the pandemic began. I think I overpaid for this piece of used equipment but I don’t mind as long as it doesn’t break on me prematurely. When gathering information from the seller of used goods, you have to assume they are full of shit. You have to decipher what is probably a lie and which of those lies you can live with. The only thing that mattered to me was if it was functioning correctly. I had no reason to believe it wasn’t. That’s the risk you take with buying used goods; you just have to hope it will be okay.

He tried to help me with putting it into my economy sized vehicle but I kept telling him it wouldn’t fit in the way he wanted it to. “It won’t fit like that,” I said.

“Yes it will.”

“It can’t,” I tell him.

I almost had to physically pull him away. He had the attributes of a con man. He’d be the type to make you feel good about going into battle until you find out there’s no way you can win. At that point you realize your savior is actually just a confident retard. If I was conned into buying his exercise bike, what does that make me? Don’t answer that.

Hairy Problems

The 23-year-old liquor store clerk who seemed open to my mentoring has been giving me the vibe that he’s done with my life lessons. It appears that he’s in the stage again of wanting to believe what is more comfortable instead of the probable truth. Well, I can’t fault him since that is how a typical young person’s mindset is. Many/most adults are no different.

When you’re young you tend to have the mindset of ‘anything can happen,’ which often translates into aligning your life with the improbable. Currently, he’s of the belief that he doesn’t need anything to get him through life besides gratitude. The influence responsible for his philosophy is that guy who wrote the book, ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” Gratitude as a life enhancer works better for people who can afford a Ferrari.

The difference between an adult and a teenager is that an adult should be capable of making decisions much more effectively. Also, as an adult you’re supposed to be able to do something useful that a teenager cannot learn in 5 days. Otherwise you’re just a hairier version of a child. No one wants to be lost at any age but when you’re young enough there’s this belief in your head that ‘something will happen.’ Not just something but something good and you won’t have to endure any sacrifice for it to happen. For lost souls the game plan is often the path of least resistance.

As for a life that resolves around practicing gratitude, having no money and all that other hippie-dippie stuff, my belief is that it works better in theory than in reality. Whatever works right now won’t necessarily work in the future.

Some of you will say, “But he’s only 23.” That’s true but right now that’s all he has going for him. He’s using his youth as a crutch for delaying the transition from being a hairy child. When people don’t want to accept suffering they look for a painless way out to ride the wave. I suppose it’s one better than suffering just to suffer later.

Free Money

The province of BC has been handing out a “recovery benefit” to people who qualify, and I qualified. They sent my $500 welfare cheque by direct deposit into my bank.

From Wikipedia:

Welfare is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet basic human needs such as food and shelter.”

I’m pretty sure than welfare is just free money that does not ensure anything.

What seems to separate welfare from other forms of government assistance is the reasoning for collecting the funds. If there is a reason other than nothing then it is not considered welfare. If your free money is due to a disability, layoff or a pandemic then there will be a nice title associated for your welfare such as “assistance,” “insurance” or “subsidy.” In my case it’s a “recovery benefit.”

If your parents provide you with funds as an adult then it is often referred to as “help from parents.” You would not have to fill out a form. You just have to say, “give me.” Sometimes parents just offer it and all that you have to do is nod your head. I will probably never hear someone say, “my parents gave me a welfare down payment for my home.” Receiving a monthly government welfare payment of $500 a month is considered disgraceful while receiving in excess of $100,000 from parents is normal.

For most of life I hoped for some kind of small windfall by any means. As a youngster I knew some people who received insurance payouts from car accidents. I would be resentful that I was not the guy who was in the car that flipped over.

My first brush with free money was from when I successfully got myself terminated from a job. I spent 6 months purposely under performing which led to numerous meetings with management trying their hardest to convince me to quit. I wouldn’t do it. Since they changed my job description from when I was first hired, I was able to claim employment insurance. As great of a feat I thought this was, when I openly recited this tale to people I had met for the first time, they were not very impressed. How could they not be impressed, I thought…I’m getting free money! I had a great plan to get fired, collect employment insurance, and I executed it perfectly. If I had been receiving parental welfare then maybe I would not have to work so hard to get free money.

There are stages that we have to go through in life to reach the next level. I believe free money is a rite of passage.

Expiring Crutch

It’s interesting how early on a person’s given advantages and disadvantages forms their future life. An article I read a while ago will enter my consciousness now and again about a woman who was found to be intellectually gifted at a young age, cruised through grade school but became fairly mediocre as an adult. She said her downfall was expecting life to be as easy for her as it was in grade school as well as a fear of failure partly due to never having to leave her comfort zone of being smart.

Many people, maybe most, rely on the one or two advantages that come easy to them to get by in life. The motivation seems to be to get by with the least discomfort as possible. The pain hits you when those advantages that helped you at one period turn out to have a best before date without you realizing it until expiry is just around the corner. The corded telephone was great for decades until it wasn’t.

“My rotary phone doesn’t run out of battery.”

“I don’t want people trying to reach me when I’m not home.”

When life is working out for you at a young age, you tend to believe that it will always be that way. What you won’t believe is that you will go from hero to zero. The 16-year-old guy who all the girls like is not thinking that one day he will have a hard time finding one attractive female to fancy him. There’s also the other side of the coin where the teenage boy who received zero female attention ends up falling foolishly for the first woman who is willing to abuse him. The lesson is that no matter what life hands you in the beginning you will probably live a disappointing life because you’re probably not hardworking or courageous enough. At some point you’ll likely rationalize a mental crutch to hold you up.

Thursday Randomness

I had just written a post but I decided not to publish it. Instead you get this one when my battery is low and I have no real idea what to write. A few months ago I just decided to stop drinking alcohol on a regular basis. Well, it’s been working out. I may have one beer a week or not even. Sometimes you know when you’re bullshitting yourself and other times you’re convinced you’re for real. Also, I have started jogging. My goal is to have everyone in the neighbourhood see me jogging so that they feel bad about their lethargic lives. Life is about being better than others so that you feel a superiority over them. I’ve also started my prison style workout by randomly doing push-ups throughout the day. When you feel that you are better than someone it boosts your serotonin.

Like many others I’ve been entertaining the idea of travelling when this whole Chinese virus is done with. The one issue I see is TWA(Travelling While Asian). I’m afraid that I’ll be treated like a middle eastern person after the 9/11 attacks. Get ready for a decade of TV shows and movies with Chinese virus plot lines.

Twitter limited my account activities because one of my tweets included the words, “killing yourself.” It wasn’t even in the context of suicide but bots and whiny millennials don’t discriminate. These days it’s easier to publish the words, “go fuck yourself.” I’ll try that tomorrow.

Oldie but Goodie

It was probably around 20 years ago when I first watched the movie, The Fabulous Baker Boys, starring the Bridges brothers and Michelle Pfeiffer. I watched it again today from a recording on my PVR. Media today is like clean running water — you can get a lot if it and from almost anywhere. We defecate on such an important resource because we can which is why it’s hard to get excited about an abundance of TV shows and movies at your disposal.

I believe what I enjoyed about the 1989 film was that it was centered around the lives of losers who did nothing but lose during the entire movie but in an enjoyable, sad realistic manner. Jeff Bridges is the good looking loser who gets lucky with women but is the most unkind and pissed off out of the trio of stars. Beau Bridges is your conventional unhappy loser who tries hard to pretend he’s not. Michelle Pfieffer’s character could be compared to the good looking woman with a crappy life who could easily have a better life if she did what most good looking women do but she refuses. They’re all losers at this point in life though for the same reasons why most people are losers. They don’t dream big enough, aren’t good enough or they don’t try hard enough. They fall into the category of life of ‘life sucks but it has its moments.’ Some people don’t even have those moments.

In the end, the 3 of them get what was probably always coming to them. The miserable guy is left with no one. The normal guy has his family to support with his miserable existence. The good looking woman who may be attracted to losers continues to roll the dice hoping to make it before her looks go. The ending leaves you with a glimmer of hope for these miserable souls. None of them are in a good place but they give you hope that there’s still some good puffs left in the cigar.

This blog post was brought to you by the need to feel I did something productive today before the day ends.