Tales and Thoughts

A house across the street recently had solar panels installed on the roof. The idea of it is pretty rad. Is there an impending apocalypse that I should be aware of? Whether it’s to save money or not it would be cool to have mostly because hardly anyone has it. I’m sure the owners of this house will be having the same conversation with everyone in the neighbourhood for the next 2 years. A bunch of people will talk like they’re interested in installing solar panels on their roof but really aren’t.

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When I see people working certain jobs or maybe any job, I picture myself doing it and think, no way. Maybe for a day but not full-time. Then I think what’s going on in their heads that’s not happening in mine. I remember a time when I would be ecstatic with working any type of job for any amount of hours as long as I thought it paid okay. I try to go back in my head during those times to capture the reasons why the hamster was running that wheel.

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In 2012 a salesman convinced me to buy a 4 year warranty for an aftermarket car stereo I purchased. The hook was that if I didn’t end up using the warranty I could use it towards another purchase. The sneaky part was that I would have to remember to register my unused warranty in 4 years and would only have 1 month to do so. I made a mental note of it and came out victorious. I held that memory better than a grudge. The other thing that these commissioned sales people don’t tell you is that you have to make a purchase double the amount of your warranty cost.

There’s not much in the form of electronics that interests me much these days. In the store the salesman kept firing off products until one connected.

“A new TV? Home theatre? TV mount?…….Home security cameras?”

Security cameras seemed kind of cool. Maybe I’ll catch someone not picking up their dog’s crap on my lawn or someone stealing parcels. I didn’t end up getting anything yet. I wish they sold underwear or socks.

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Live Post at the Pub.

My unemployed colleague has just left the pub leaving me alone with my half a pint. It’s almost 3 PM, eight people including myself are occupying the pub. 

Minus 2. The couple of cougars are leaving after spending an unknown amount on lottery tickets for the last 2 hours. 

A lone man calls for “another.” The guy 3 seats from him around the bar is a regular. I see him here every time I pass by. He’s on at least his 4th pint. He’s neatly groomed with clean, well-fitting clothes. He doesn’t look like a loser.

A table of 2 other men appear to have just finished their shift of laborious work. One of the guys is using a flip phone. They don’t look like winners. That could be my future.

Baseball playoffs on TV is the main attraction today. One could use that as the excuse to sit around and drink beer all day. 

I’m the only Asian guy here as usual. All the other Asians are working or studying. No one ever imagined their life to be where it is. It’s always worse or better.

Amazon World

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Every time I order a product from Amazon I feel as if I’m selling out or contributing to the demise of society. The way it’s looking, Amazon is trying to take over the world. I can support my local big-boxed store but the only reason why I would do so is if I believe I’m helping local people keep jobs or because I hate Amazon. Then again, why should anyone feel sorry for big-boxed retailers when they put mom and pop shops out of business. When you can get the same thing for cheaper there’s always that voice that tells you that you can get it for cheaper. One day you’ll find a reason to give in to those voices.

Resisting Amazon will probably only hurt me in the end. 50% of American households have an Amazon Prime membership. If you refuse to drive an automobile other people are still going to drive. All that will happen to you is that you’ll lose 2 hours of your day, have wet socks and no watermelon because you didn’t want to carry it home. With all your efforts that polar bear will still end up dead. With Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods you can now get watermelon delivered to your home.

They’re also hoping to get those delivery drones working one day but for now they have their own couriers. He freaked out when my dog weaseled her way through my legs and darted towards him. She has killed before.

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Friday Food Extravaganza

Instead of eating at a restaurant I went to hunt & gather at the supermarket. About-to-expire bacon was $2 instead of $5. I counted 16 slices that needed to be eaten within 3 days. Maybe I can do it, maybe not but if I can get through half then it will be okay.

3 eggs over easy, 3 slices of bacon, 2 slices of healthier bread & butter and 100 ml of french pressed coffee. Even a small amount of coffee can get me wired. I had the exact same meal 4 hours later and I’ll probably do it again tomorrow.

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In the evening I did some real hunting & gathering. There’s an abundance of prickly blackberry bushes nearby. I now know how those cave people integrated stretching in their daily lives. Combined with maneuvering yourself so that you don’t get pricked, it becomes a form of yoga. Those thorns are no joke. They’re a great defense system.

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A recent addition to the menu is berry salads with grated cheese.

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My breakfast would have probably costed me at least $8 plus tax and tip at a restaurant. There is a place I know of that charges $6 with no tax or tip but it’s the type of establishment where the ketchup bottles are greasy and walls are full of profanity.

12 eggs – $5
16 slices of bacon – $2
Loaf of bread – $5

I can make at least 4 meals for $12. Damn, it’s only a savings of half and I’m not even including the cost of butter and the water used to wash the dishes. I can live with greasy ketchup bottles and having a wall tell me who to call for a good time. In my old neighbourhood there is a place that does breakfast for $2.95 plus tax and tip. With no employees to layoff I have to cut the cost of food to compete. I’ll have to get non-free range eggs, expired bacon, bread made with 20 ingredients and recycled butter.

 

Post-substance Abuse Reflections

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The day after a substance binge I reflect on how I could have done things differently to lessen this sub-par condition I’m in right now. The easiest solution is to not ingest any mind altering chemicals but that’s like abstaining from ice cream for the rest of your life. The best route one can take is to never introduce themselves to devilish substances. Once you experience the feeling you don’t want to completely give it up.

If I had just taken the one capsule of MDMA and drank a couple of beers last night I would probably be fine today. That idea has only ever worked in theory for me. The only way that scenario would play out is if there was no more than one capsule of MDMA and a couple beers available.

Pre-substance intake had me saying that I had no interest in snorting ketamine. I also pushed away the marijuana joint that came my way. Post-substance intake had me pulling everything towards me. Everything seems like it could be a good idea when you’re high. It got to the point where I didn’t even know what I was feeling.

Life has a way of taking advantage of people who do stupid things. It seemed like a good idea to go for more drinks after the show. By the time we finished it was too late for me to take public transit home or maybe I just didn’t want to. So I got a cab which costed me $40.

I don’t want to do anything today. I don’t even want to do nothing.

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On the Way Home

Almost $6 for a small decaf Americano and a giant cookie. My new thing is going to this coffee place to read. At these prices I have to take up their space for at least an hour to get my money’s worth.

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During the walk home I saw a yard sale sign and checked it out. Ooooh…this is cool!

“How much?”

She quickly ran into the house to check the internet to see if it was “worth anything.” Once she was convinced it wasn’t going to get her 100 manic eBay bidders she offered it to me for $3. I gave her $4($2 coins) and she didn’t give me any change. I yelled profanities at her and sliced her throat open with the jagged record.

On the way home I decided to stop by an old lady’s home to say hi. She heard of Orson Welles but not of the radio broadcast. She asked if I wanted to play it. I asked if she wanted to listen to it. She said, “not really.” She told me an old person story like how old people usually do and then I left.

On the way home again I saw another yard sale sign and went to investigate. By the time I arrived they were packing up. A middle-aged man with an English accent said, “hey, is that the recording that scared the shit out of everybody?” He too thought the LP might be worth some money but I informed him that it probably wasn’t worth shit. His 3 friends had never heard of it. One of them tried to sell me on a free wooden entertainment center that he couldn’t give away during the entire day. People would rather accept a bag of dog shit because at least it’s easy to get rid of.

On the way home again I bumped into the an old guy that lives across the street from me. I’m not sure if he even recognized me. When he did recognize me in the past he would call me, Justin. My name isn’t Justin but I’m open to change. Sure, I can be Justin. He also never heard of this War of the Worlds. He took out his reading glasses and read aloud the synopsis. “People are gullible,” he said.

My conclusion is that this War of the Worlds is not as well-known as I thought.

 

Non-active Gym Membership

When doing the math, $4.99 plus tax every 2 weeks on a 1 year commitment could only be so bad. I suspect this gym had the same idea. A week after I signed up for the gym membership I crashed my car which resulted in a total loss. I walked to the gym a few times after but eventually gave it up. Now I’m the best type of customer that they have…one who pays but never goes. The bad customers take up space, stink up the place and contribute to wear and tear of the equipment. They should throw customer appreciation parties for customers like me.

It’s a classic case of human behaviour. Optimism is at its highest when an idea is just an idea. People often rationalize the high likelihood that they will commit. Everything works in theory. Once the idea requires physical effort it no longer seems like such a good idea. Now you rationalize ways on how it’s okay to stop going and how the money that will be wasted isn’t that much. You tell yourself that walking your dog is plenty of exercise and the money wasted is only half of what you received for Christmas. I’d like to see the stats of active memberships versus non-active. I’m sure it’s part of the business plan.

There’s a reason why businesses make you sign contracts. They know that people are losers and will often fall into the trap of convenience and laziness. When video stores were around they thrived on late fees. People would often put off returning videos until the last day and when that day came they forgot or their house burned down. With enough life experience you start to say “no” to every enticing offer not because it’s not a good deal but because you know your loser tendencies. Accepting offers are often a bet with yourself.

In the past I have made good use of my gym memberships but it just didn’t happen this time. It’s just been too inconvenient without a vehicle(excuse). I do mini-workouts by randomly dropping and giving myself 20 or doing pull-ups on the monkey bars when there’s no children around. I still have half a year to redeem myself with my gym membership so we’ll see what happens(rationalizing hope).