Food and Acidic Thoughts

In the recent past, Monday would have me stroll to the Vietnamese restaurant for 10% off Mondays. Also recently, they’ve raised their prices 10% after raising them 10% not too long ago before that. Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. For $14.95 I would rather eat somewhere else that was nowhere near economical when compared to Vietnamese food 10 years ago. It has reached the point where I’m seriously considering making my own pho. Also, ever since COVID began, every restaurant wants a tip for nothing. “We don’t have cockroaches. 15% tip please.” A tip is another way of saying, “give me free money for nothing.” The world eventually removes uneconomical gigs such as overpaid union jobs and hopefully tipping jobs. At some point someone says, “okay that’s enough” and sends the $60/hour toilet paper forklift driver on his way home.

On Friday I tried some of that LSD that the young guy gave me. I took half the tab of acid and I think next time I’ll only do a tenth of a tab. Like mushrooms, I find it more interesting than enjoyable. During my trip I came to the conclusion that intentionally filling your life with misery is not the way to be. Unintentional misery is not much better either. Many young people don’t know what they want to do with their life but they figure anything miserable with a potential reward is better than nothing even if nothing is only temporary. “I’ll do this just for now until I find something better.” The issue with that thinking is that the path of misery does not lead you to something better, it just leads you to more misery. The crux of the matter is that people don’t want to do nothing but they also don’t want to try something that is seemingly risky. They want something in the middle which I call a miserable medium. As Elon Musk said, when you’re young you have nothing to risk so just go for it. Common folk who have never had ambitions to build space rockets don’t seem to see it this way. The biggest risk to them in their minds is if they don’t take the traditional miserable path they will potentially become left out from their group of friends and society. They won’t admit it because it sounds pathetic but it’s the truth. When the smoke clears they will use their kids as an excuse as to why they didn’t take any meaningful risks in life.

“The more neatly you fit into society, the less free you actually are.”

-Naval Ravikant

This has no relation to the rest of the post. I just find it amusing enough that I feel compelled to share it.

For Fun Is Reality Without The Reward

Back in Oct 2020 I made use of my practice investment account for fun. My selection of stocks were based on the companies that I regularly use and were all purchased the same day. They are all well-known large market capitalization companies. It is much more comfortable to invest $100,000 in one sitting when it is not real money. To date, the portfolio has appreciated 19% since inception. When my investing journey ends, it’s entirely possible that my practice account will exceed the gains of my real investing account. Often when investors attempt to achieve superior gains, the result ends unfavourably. I don’t care, I’m still going to try. To the moon!

Accumulation of wealth favours rich people because they are more likely to be willing to throw money around. “Sure, why not.” To them real money is like practice money for most people. Sometimes all you have to do is to just do it instead of agonizing how it will not work out. One thing I learned is that pessimists don’t make money. Pessimists don’t make anything except pessimism.

Most people mistake risk for uncertainty. Someone that I know says he doesn’t invest in the stock market because he doesn’t know anything about it. He rides a motorcycle, smokes cigarettes and engages in illegal activity. The stock market is too risky for him though. It might be another example of how when you know enough people doing something then it becomes more comfortable to do it. Also, if everyone else is doing it then you have to as well. Otherwise you risk being left out.

Many people are comfortable with investing in property, driving automobiles, signing their life away to a job that they hate, having children and even borrowing from the bank to start a business. This is all considered “normal.” If you can’t see the multiple risks involved from these activities then you’re not using your brain.

People get married knowing that the divorce rate is half or close enough to it that they should be seeking a marriage counsellor before even getting married. But the stock market is too risky because their parents, grandparents and friends didn’t grow up thinking they were going to one day grow up, buy stocks and have their stocks create little dividends of joy. People tend to only have confidence in math, science and conformity. When you combine room for doubt with thoughts of financial ruin, you will get major resistance.

Many people know someone or heard of someone who lost their investment in a stock but that person more than likely bought a penny stock or a very speculative company. This would be the equivalent to marrying a seasoned prostitute with a meth problem and hoping for long-term success. For the last 90 years the S&P 500(500 of America’s largest companies. You may be familiar with many of them) has continually made new highs including this week. Will it one day go to ruin? I can’t say it won’t. But for now and for the foreseeable future, this stock market thing needs to continue to exist just like our sanitation system and electrical grid. Historically, not investing in the stock market in a prudent manner has been the equivalent to dedicating all of your resources to doomsday prepping in case the world ends.

I view the progress of a stock market as progress of human evolution and innovation. As long as humans continue to progress as we have then the stock market should continue in a similar trend. It is the slightly abstract design of the stock market that dissuades people from accepting it as a working apparatus. Uncomfortable perceived risk will have people automatically searching for an acceptable reason to not participate.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is more of an insight on human behaviour and social conditioning than it is information on investing in the stock market which seems to not be suited for some people’s temperament. If you’re a Vulcan though, the decision to invest is an easy one.

Filossophy

There was a piece of dental floss stuck between my molars for 2 days that found its way out today. Of course I had to smell it and I guess of course it freaking reeked. It had been marinating in bacteria with the help of acidic saliva. It stunk so badly that I had to smell it multiple times. I suppose it’s similar to having a cotton ball stuck up your ass for 2 days — it’s going to stink really bad. The first thing I did after was brush my teeth and then rinsed with mouthwash. The second thing I did was walk to the supermarket to buy another bottle of mouthwash as I intend to use it regularly again.

The manager at the volunteer office emailed me today to inform me that I have reached 1000 hours of community service. Let’s see Jesus deny me entry through the pearly gates once I show him my credentials. I don’t think he can.

My recent behaviour is leading me to believe that I might give up on life sooner rather than later. There’s been an increase in consumption of microwavable frozen meals. At least with fast food I would have to make a trip and expend calories each time I wanted food. With MFMs I can stockpile them until the zombies come home and never have to venture out into the dangerous world for fuel for weeks. To add to this trend I have been contemplating supplementing with meal replacement drinks which don’t even need to be microwaved or chewed. What’s stopping me is that I don’t like the price for a 6-pack of Boost or Ensure. I believe it would be much cheaper if I just drink a glass of milk with a multi-vitamin.

Lately, I’ve been working but not working hard, on trying to not be such an ungrateful son of a bitch. People typically believe that they will be happy forever once they get what they think they want. In many unfortunate cases, people achieve their ‘dream’ by unknowingly signing their life away to a temporary high. Nothing will make you happy forever but many things can make you miserable forever. Hopefully, you like some of what you have, and if you don’t, hopefully you have a way out.

I like the following comment from a YouTube video:

I’m near their age. I’m 81 years old. One thing that brings you happiness in old age that is hard for a young person to understand, is however my life has played out, I got the chance. By the time you’re 81, you know dozens of people that died much younger, in their 30’s and 40’s and 50’s from accidents, suicide, rare diseases, you name it. So just by being alive still, my heart fills with gratefulness that I got at least 81 years to experience life. When I was young, I would have thought that sounded pathetic, to be so easily made happy that waking up and having chats, or reading the paper, or walking outside would fill me with joy. When you’re young, that’s never enough. You feel like you need to leave your mark and make a big name for yourself. But a funny thing happens as you age. You live long enough to see some people you know become big shots, became rich or famous in some way, but most aren’t made much happier by it, and some become lost when the notoriety fades. And then loving life for the small things starts to shift from feeling pathetic and small, to feeling wise and full. In fact, if life has taught me anything, it’s that the reason we’re here is to be present with the priviledge of each moment, as much as possible. Thinking about your goals tomorrow matter of course, and cherishing yesterday’s memories. But more than anything, I think what has kept me healthy and happy is appreciating the priviledge of each moment. When you’re a little kid, that’s how you think. You appreciate recess at school, or going down a sliding board, or a walk through the woods. DON’T LOSE THAT. That, whatever that is, is the reason we’re here. Being connected to small moments so strongly that they feel large. If you can do that well, you can enjoy being 80 as much as 40 or 20.

So, if there is an absence of a good reason to hate your life then don’t hate your life. If your life could easily be much worse then be thankful. Today may be as good as it gets. Something to remember when your mind starts spiraling towards negativity for no useful reason.

Pies, Birds, LSD, Life

On Friday I typed a letter to my neighbourhood supermarket.

“Up until some point in the year 2020, this store prepared their ready-to-eat chicken pot pies with a crust all around the filling. This does not appear to be the case now as there is only a crust on the top of the pie. I believe with a crust only on the top should disqualify this item as being labelled a pie. This is now like a sandwich with only one slice of bread. How disappointing would that be? You would have to eat your one-breaded sandwich like a pizza. Also, the pies are now 10% more expensive. I’m paying more money for a lower quality item. I highly doubt that I’m the only person who is disappointed with your crustless-bottomed pies. Is there any chance that you will revert to the previous recipe?”

Today I received an unhelpful canned response but I didn’t expect anything more. Will I have a talk with the store manager about my disappointment? I don’t know. If I do, my actions will resemble that of a typical public protester who is protesting mostly because they have no life and nothing to lose. I believe though, if a group of us make a big enough stink about the pot pies then they will to something.

Two years ago I bought a hummingbird feeder which I did not put to use until last week. My best reason for procrastinating is that I had no sugar in the home. There was a tweet I came across recently:

“When you procrastinate you pass the buck to your future self. The problem is your future self tends to act a lot like you.”

To my delight, I have seen a hummingbird stop by to have a drink.

Procurement of a tab of LSD was successful. The last time I did LSD was in 1995. I highly doubt it will be a similar experience since I’m not the ignorant and oblivious teenager I used to be. Someone well into their adult years can carry a substantial load of anxiety and melancholy. I’ll probably do half the tab and see how it goes.

The oddity of life on an individual basis is that the most important aspect is how we feel. Everyone can view our life as relatively or absolutely good but we have a natural ability to complicate how we feel with our perceived unique experiences which may not have satisfied us in the manner in which we would have liked. The ego may be to blame for this as well as the knowledge of our finite existence. Within our limited time there are finite stages which we believe should be lived accordingly to our beliefs. The feeling of failure in any stage often results in negative feelings that can carry on to the next one. Failure in consecutive stages is often devastating. Your movie thus far is a tragic comedy at best made for other people’s pleasure. It would appear that some people are able to alter their feelings to align with a rosier preferred view but in all likelihood they too are suffering but on a different path. Whether or not people resolve their issues before the lights go out is debatable since a method of measurement does not exist. Regardless of how one feels in the end; life does not care. Life will say, “thank you for your service” or “good riddance.” If you can feel good no matter the circumstances then you have successfully stuck it to life.

Growth

Some guy at the park mentioned that he wanted to grow a marijuana plant which inspired me to want to grow a marijuana plant. I went and bought a 4-pack of seeds, potting mix and then while I put it all together I decided that I might as well start some tomato and cilantro plants. This experience is another lesson in how things can happen if you just start. I don’t have much of a clue on how to grow cannabis plants but I have a feeling that some people make it sound more difficult than it really has to be. I had cilantro plants grow on my lawn by literally throwing seeds there and allowing nature to do the rest.

This guy at the park is 54 years old and is likely getting an early retirement package from his boomer job due to the ramifications of COVID. He’s at that age now where he’s been with the company for an eternity which has resulted in him being old and overpaid. Before COVID, he was planning on working a few more years but since having a year off of work he has come to realize he was on a treadmill. Humans have a tendency to remain in their routine if the idea of changing it brings fear. The treadmill you know is better than the devil you don’t. Again, that might have been Confucius who said that or maybe his understudy.

As for me, I have a tendency to put myself in precarious situations with stocks when I do not necessarily have to. Two months ago I had ample supplies and was on a hill high enough so that any flood would not even touch my feet. I’m still sitting on top of the hill but I have eaten all of my food and the water has been rising. I’m safe but I don’t like wet feet and especially do not like wet underwear. Wet clothing dries but you’re limited with what you want to do when wearing wet socks undies. If things get bad I may have to eat my own regurgitation for awhile.

My young friend at the liquor store will be working his last day there this week. Last time I met with him I discovered that he’s very into psychedelics. My first pressing question to him was, “so can you get me some LSD?” He believes psychedelics are responsible for positively changing his life. I’m going to really miss having him so nearby because I truly enjoyed dropping by to talk to him. The conversations I would have with my former high school friends who are almost twice his age aren’t even half as stimulating. I suppose it’s because he’s curious about life and not closed off to new ideas. The general population does not want to explore ideas that do not align with their comfort zone. They’re afraid everything they believe which frames their lives might collapse under the slightest pressure.

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.”

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

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.

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.