I Bought A Kindle

For $130 Canadian dollars I felt it could be worth exploring. Wise men on the internet have said that they’ve never met a smart person who was not a voracious reader. My main goal isn’t necessarily to be a wealth of knowledge. I just want to establish a better knowledge bank to help me navigate life more successfully and to explore new ideas.

There’s a lot to like about the Kindle over traditional books. The screen is very versatile for different lighting situations including the complete absence of it. It’s lightweight and has many useful functions like you would expect a computerized gadget to have. One of my favourites is the dictionary function which shows you the definition of a word by simply pressing on it for a second. Highlighting desired passages and having them saved is also nice. Perhaps one of the best parts of reading from a Kindle is the ability to read lying down on your side while holding the Kindle with one hand or leaning it against something. It’s broken a barrier to entry to reading for lazy people. If they can get a Kindle to float where you want it to then maybe the whole world will become voracious readers like they are photographers and food critics.

Old people will always make a case for why what they’ve been used to all their lives is better but most of the time it’s not.

“I like a rotary telephone because you don’t need to charge the battery and it works in a power outage.”

“Vinyl records are better because you can hear the warmth.” Sure you can old man.

“I like to carry ten books everywhere in case I lose nine I’ll still have one to read.”

So someone is going to tell you that they like the feel of a real paper page, that they can lend the book to their friend or books displayed on their bookshelf is aesthetically pleasing(showing off trying to look smart). Well, screw lending books to your friends because you know they’re going to pick their nose while reading it and leave the remnants on your book. Also likely is that they’re going to sneeze right into it. Also likely is they’ll take it with them to take a dump in the bathroom. All of this goes on while they tell themselves, it’s okay, he’ll never know. By the time they’re done it’ll be more of a bacteria transfer agent than a book.

 

 

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The Bottom Catches Up

If I was at my most recent job I would be earning $27 and change per hour by now with 4 weeks vacation per year. In your tenth year you get 4 weeks vacation and if you’re obedient enough(woof woof) you will get 5 weeks when you hit 20 years of service. Ten years of 4 week vacations annually would equal 40 weeks of vacation. Not working at all for the last 4 years like I have will give you 208 weeks of vacation.

When I started my employment there in 2008 my wage was $15.50 an hour when minimum wage was $8. Minimum wage is now $13.85 an hour. To keep up with the increase of minimum wage the company boosted the hourly rate to $16.89 an hour. The position lower than the one I had started at $13.50 in 2008. Current job postings do not state the current wage of this position probably because it’s now minimum wage. Stating a job pays minimum wage puts that job in the category of a ‘shitty job.’ It’s now in the league of McDonald’s except it’s actually shittier because it’s probably more demanding. If you were earning around $13.85 before the increase of minimum wage this increase is basically a demotion for you. Sometimes it’s not about where you are in life as much as how many people are below you.

The lesson here might be that if you don’t have any bargaining power it means you don’t have any power. The delivery drivers there probably tell themselves that the delivery drones, self-driving delivery vehicles and delivery robots will never happen. When the human drivers are on their knees flashing pictures of their wife and kids and begging the robots not to take their job the robot will kick them in the balls and deliver them off the property. With any luck it will happen in your 19th year of service.

Parental Guidance

When I was a young adult I wanted a handout. Everyone I knew got something significant for free and I wanted to be part of this club. It was such a desire of mine that I schemed up a plan to purposely get terminated from my call centre job in hopes of collecting employment insurance. I guess you can say I succeeded but many would argue that success and employment insurance should not be in the same sentence.

By the time I received my first handout which I worked for, some of my friends were already on their second free automobile with all the trimmings of free insurance and maintenance. A few had received down payments for a home. No one paid for their own education. I was way behind when it came to free stuff.

When everyone around you is way ahead of you because they’re getting a free tow you might start to play the role of a victim. Some never even had to look for their own job/career. The hardest thing they had to do in life was show up and the second hardest was to stick their hand out.

There’s no free lunch though. Everything comes with a caveat. When your life is made to not be very difficult you will not have healthy self-esteem or self-confidence — you’re a fraud. You didn’t become anything you were just put there. The spoiled are secretly aware of this but live in denial that they might be a grown infant. They do what all humans do when faced with realities they dislike — they rationalize.

People like certainty and parents want certainty for their children. On paper it would seem as though babying your child until they have the means to support what was given to them would be the best path. Receiving handouts and choosing some safe career is a path that desires conformity. There’s no rite of passage when certainty is involved.

Something I’ve discovered recently is that in order to build self-esteem and self-confidence you have to make difficult but calculated decisions, walk in to a world full of uncertainty and have it work out. It has to work out though otherwise you’ll just feel like a schnook. When you’re given the easy path you never have to make difficult decisions. You don’t develop philosophical foundations for decision making because sticking your hand out never required any deep thought.

The Internet Saved My Life

Without the advent of the internet I’d probably be a grunt worker unwilling to expand his mind which would leave me hopeless and unaware. Because of the internet I can easily research and invest in the stock market, accumulate knowledge, publish my writing, search for other opportunities and a list of other things. Without the internet I would be too discouraged to explore the aforementioned. Technology tends to remove the barrier to entry.

Not everyone and maybe most people do not use the internet for anything but entertainment and convenience. They look up sports highlights, prank videos on YouTube, stuff to buy and of course porn. Someone’s internet habits tells you a lot about them. When all the information in the world becomes very accessible but you spend all of your time on the internet watching fart videos it means you’re not interested in knowing any more than you already know. People generally only attain as much knowledge as they need to fit in with their peer group. If you’re much smarter or dumber than your group you risk the possibility of being ousted. No one admires the dummy or the person who makes them feel like a dummy.

Before the internet the winner of an argument was the one who could convince more people in the room that they were right. If Mike, Bob and Herb say dog shit is high in protein then they win. “Bob’s always right. He graduated from university.”

When I’m having a hard time convincing someone of a fact or historical data I stop myself and tell them to look it up on the internet. A question that I sometimes find odd is, “how do you know this stuff?” That was a valid question pre-internet because no one knew anything unless if it was their profession or knowledge passed down from family. Often my question to people is, why don’t you know? It’s your affliction or problem and you know next to nothing about it? I’m convinced that sometimes people are too scared of what they might discover. Ensuring comfort in the present is the priority.

 

 

71 Year Olds

At the nearby park I saw an old guy walking around with his metal detector. He said he finds a few hundred dollars a year and his best year was about $1000. I forget how he segued into talking about his lady friend who is a pyschic and can read minds. Apparently she can also call on the spirits. My question to him was if he believed in her powers.

“Well, some of it seems far-fetched but I know she can read minds because she’s read mine before.”

I wouldn’t have discounted the possibility of her mind reading powers as much if he didn’t tell me the story of how she’s been divorced 3 times. Maybe those men had magnetic shields that blocked her powers.

At the supermarket I was eating my chicken pot pie when an old Asian guy sat by me. He said, “hi” and I asked him if he was on lunch. He wasn’t and said he works graveyards as a janitor. It’s very uncommon to be a 71-year-old Asian born in Canada and even more uncommon to have your even older Asian dad to also be born in Canada. “Your dad must have some stories,” I said. “Yep.”

He basically gave me his life story in the hour that we spoke. He said he’s still working because he’s a typical Western baby boomer who likes to live beyond his means. He also said working is one of his “interests.” I wanted to tell him to f-off. What 71-year-old likes working as a janitor on a graveyard shift? Who knows, maybe he does prefer it. Maybe it’s his way of getting away from his wife — work when she’s sleeping and sleep when she’s awake. He told me I should get a job. I wanted to tell him to f-off again.

“Don’t your folks and friends give you a hard time for not having a job?” he asked.

I don’t even remember what I replied. Surely, it was something cheeky.

He followed with, “yep, when your friends are married they all want you to get married. When they’re having kids they want you to have kids. And down the road if they regret it, it’s too late. They think about divorcing but then they’re reminded of having to divide assets.”

When I was in high school everyone wanted you to wear baggy jeans. After high school there was peer pressure to go to night clubs. When some were spending too much money modifying their cars it influenced everyone else to do the same. This list is endless. It was clearly a total waste of money, time and energy. There are no positive residuals from the foolishness of the past. People laugh and agree but don’t realize that nothing has changed. It just seems real when you’re under the influence. Many lives are a continuous series of acts to merely conform.

I indirectly told him that I thought Canadian baby boomers are assholes because they had it so easy in comparison. He didn’t disagree. They were born right after World War II, lived comfortably working menial jobs and now collect their undeserved pensions which are partly funded by the younger generation. They should be volunteering to help my generation do housework and babysit.

It was an enjoyable conversation. We shared some laughs and agreed on quite a bit. I hope to run in to him in the future.

Cole

In the late summer of 1990 some of us kids were at the park playing some kind of game. The sun had set and we were 11 years old so we all headed home. This white kid around our age I had never seen before was with us and apparently had no home to go to. The story was he ran away from the group home that was located just a few blocks away. He must have asked if he could stay at my place because I highly doubt I would have invited him. Every other summer I would be left alone for a month without supervision because Uncle Bill would leave town for a month and my mother would be working 12 hours a day.

There was no way this kid was going to stay under the same roof as us but the back of the house was kind of a junkyard. The back porch was a hoarding area that never saw light because of the enormous orange tarp sheltering it like a tent. I can’t remember any of the items on that porch except a very large rolled up carpet. It’s possible it’s the only thing I can recall because nothing else ever had any significance. I told him he could sleep on the rolled up carpet if he wanted to. He accepted. His name was Cole, I think.

The next morning I must have fed him something then Cole and I walked down to the railroad tracks. At that age I didn’t know that stories involving a strange kid and railroad tracks often had bad endings. Instead of me getting bashed over the head with a large rock though we found a pornographic magazine still mostly intact. The pages had been wearing out probably from several days or weeks of the effects of morning dew and sunshine. I think it was my first dirty magazine. Cole might have went back to his group home that day or not, I can’t remember.

Cole showed up another day. By this time Uncle Bill had come home. Cole wanted to sleep on the rolled up carpet again but he also asked for a pillow. I had to ask for permission this time. I can’t imagine that I asked Uncle Bill if some strange kid could sleep on our dirty, rolled up rug outside but I must have. I do remember asking though if I could give him a pillow because I remember his response was to give him the crappier pillow. Uncle Bill wasn’t very amused with what I brought home.

Some other day soon after he showed up on my doorstep again wanting to come in. We played a board game or a card game together. He would uncontrollably shake his head every minute or so. He told me his dad used to hit him in the head a lot. While we were playing our game he distracted me but I heard the sound of coins clanging together and then disappearing. I accused him of stealing my money. He put the coins back on the table and then I asked him to leave. Looking back now I should have just let him have the money.

He wasn’t a bad kid at all. It seemed as though he had morals and was easy to be around with. A few days later he came by again when it was pouring rain. He wanted to come in but I refused. That was the last time I ever saw him.

 

Productivity Monday

It was a great normal day. At breakfast I was wondering why my mood was above average. More than sufficient sleep will do that to a person. If I had to choose between good sleep every day with only McDonald’s meals versus poor sleep every day with healthy food I would choose the former. Since I don’t have to choose I went and had a Big Mac today.

I want to say I did laundry today too but how can I take credit for something the washing machine did. It was effortless to decide to go to the gym after. My gym pants are about 10 years out of style but I don’t like the ‘in’ ones. They’re all slim fit and tapered.

My piano teacher said I shouldn’t even try to practice for 1 hour every day. “Just try half an hour,” she said. So I did. Jordan Peterson said don’t even try to read for 2 hours a day, start with 20 minutes. I did that too. All of this sounds like it could have came out of a book titled, Improvement for Dummies. Chapter 1: Sleep.

If I could do all of this regularly I could be a somebody with clean underwear.

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Dog watching me take a shit today