Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Sick and tired

I am not a person who is prone to sickness. This is not to say I never get sick, I just don't use a great deal of sick days.  For the past several years, the only time I've called in sick is to stay home with a sick child (who more often than not were just sick of school). But last week I missed two days of work because I was sicker than a proverbial dog. Not that I know why a dog is called out for being any sicker than any other animal.

But I digress...weakly...because I am still not feeling a 100 percent well.

I've made no secret that I was raised Christian Scientist and didn't go to doctors until I was in my early 20s. So for much of my formative years, being sick was severely frowned upon and met with very little sympathy and no OTC medicines.

I've gotten past not using OTC medicines (which are for the most part useless). But I haven't gotten over the guilt of being sick. And I avoid doctors like the plague.

Ironic statement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ghost stories

At dinner the other day, my son asked his sister whether she knew any ghost stories. She began reciting a number of stories she'd read in a book of ghost stories from her school library. It dawned on me as I sat their listening to her that I don't know any real ghost stories. I have never really experienced something that I could truly call an encounter with a ghost (though this is the second time I've pondered this in my blog...the first time was in a post called I ain't afraid of no ghosts back in 2005).

It isn't without trying. Before we were married, I used to take my wife on trips and stay at reportedly haunted hotels. We stayed at the Del Coronado in San Diego, the Queen Mary in Long Beach and Geiser Grand in Baker City, Oregon. We also stayed at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington. All reported to be haunted places. But I didn't see nary a ghost or ghoul.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Unoriginal thought

I was listening to a TED podcast (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) the other day on original thought. The basic premise was that there really was no such thing. All of our art, music, literature, movies and inventions are derivative of things that others had already thought of. We, as a species, don't create. We tinker and add on to things.

This fits with my posts about Googling great ideas I've had only to discover three million other people have already had them. Apparently, the Big Bang (not the television series) was the only original thing that has ever happened in the universe.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I'm the king of the world!

All my blather about Trump wanting to be king conjured up these memories of the good ol' days of my blog when I had themed weeks of Photoshopping my face onto famous people's images. It was 2006 and I was giddy about the newness of blogging. It was in a post called It would be good to be a king that I first considered making myself a king.

Friday, April 01, 2016

The man who would be king

I can think of no conceivable reason for anyone to want to be President of the United States. Yet all of these people pump millions of dollars into campaigns trying to get nominated for a job that lasts four to eight years and basically opens up you and your family to constant scrutiny and criticism. Okay the salary and benefits amounts to about $600,000 a year. And you do get a $200,000 pension for the rest of your life. But is it worth it?

I don't think Trump is wanting the job for the money. And he certainly doesn't strike me as someone who wants to make a positive change in the world. So I can only conclude that he wants to be king. And the revolting peasants are rallying around him caught up in the demigod's rhetoric of hate and fear.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I'm going to read a book

And what book, you may well ask: Infinite Jest, the 1996 novel by David Foster Wallace. It is a 1,079 page novel that is said to be the "defining work of the 1990s" by people who say such things.

And why am I going to read this book? Because I just watch the movie, The End of the Tour last night. It is based on writer David Lipsky's memoir, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself which is basically the story of Lipsky's experience going on a book tour with Wallace in 1996 to write a story for Rolling Stone.

It's a great film, BTW.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The unbearable lightness of bean

Aging brings with it these unexpected thoughts about identity. It goes beyond asking "Who am I?" It's just that I feel like I am in a time warp and the world around me has passed me by.

When you age, the world around you speeds up. All of your points of reference seem to be in the past. Communicating with someone 20 or more years younger than me requires a great deal of energy and explanation. I begin to understand why my parents would often stare at me with a confused look when I'd talk to them growing up.

For a person in his late 50s, I like to think I'm more savvy than most about technology and social media. Maybe it is because I've been exposed to computers from the beginning. Not like current generations who've always had them. I watched them evolve.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Prince of Ides

I survived the Ides of March without nary an attempted assassination by the Roman Senate. I toyed with ordering a Caesar salad at the local diner last night and saying, "Etu Flo," when it was served, but I decided not to tempt fate.

It is now March 16th, a day of no particular note other than it is one day before St. Patrick's Day. Yet I still feel the slight bit of anxiety I've alluded to that comes with every birthday. Part of it is likely due to the bulging spot that appeared on our basement ceiling on Sunday indicating something, somewhere was leaking. My wife poked it with a paint scrapper this morning and apparently a large chunk of the ceiling fell down.

So the Ides of March did bring a small disaster after all and Chicken Little has been vindicated. The sky...and my ceiling is falling.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Well Ides-ey Ho!

You can run, but you can't Ides.

Today is the Ides of March. Which is to say it is the middle of the month of March, the day Julius Ceasar was assassinated, two days before St. Patrick's Day and three days before my birthday.

I suppose that doesn't mean a lot to most people.  But if you follow the link above you'll see I've put a great deal of thought into it over the years. Because the hint of doom that the Ides of March carries with it taints my impending birthday like a worm hole on an apple you just bit into.

It's not like this is a milestone birthday (other than turning the same age as my year of birth minus one thousand years that I pointed out in a previous post). But 60 is on the horizon wagging it's wrinkled butt at me. Not a pretty picture I can tell you.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

To Kill a Mockingbird

“Atticus said to Jem one day, "I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird." That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. "Your father’s right," she said. "Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
 ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird is dead at 89. I watched the 1962 black and white movie based on the Pulizer Prize winning book the other night in her memory. It is a classic movie that I remember watching many times as a child. And it is still a great film.

Boo Radley is my favorite character. He is the mythical boogeyman of neighborhood children that lives in the run down spooky house and can only be seen in shadows and rumors. And then he turns out to be the hero and totally misunderstood.

He still has a few marbles missing from the game. But don't we all.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Lost music

Since I got my iPhone, I rediscovered iTunes and music I'd accumulated in the past there and then forgotten. I used iTunes a great deal when I bought my first iPod. I dutifully loaded all of my CD collection onto iTunes and then my iPod.

It was one of the first iPods and now is the equivalent to one of those early mobile phones that was the size of a toaster. At the time I was pretty impressed that I could load thousands of songs on it. But eventually the iPod became a dinosaur of technology and ended up in a drawer. The battery is pretty much shot anyway.

I had other mp3 players over the years. Some the size of a postage stamp. They all eventually became toast and I ended up listening to Spotify or Jango or Amazon Prime music. But music in the cloud is pretty limited to the vagarities of the Sprint network and my train goes through cell dead zones to and from work.  I have been frustrated on more than one occasion by have a three minute song take 20 minutes to play.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

You can't fix stupid

You have to take a test to get a license to drive a car, so why shouldn't you have to take a test to determine whether or not you are qualified to vote. At the very least it should be the same test they give people who are becoming citizens of the United States. Then you could at least say the person voting has some idea how our political system works.

But no, we allow anyone over the age of 18 to randomly cast a vote without any proof they know the consequences and the responsibility they have. It is why we end up with president's like Nixon, Reagan, George W. Bush and now horror of horrors, possibly Donald Trump. At least George W.  was just a buffoon with dangerous advisers. Trump just seems crazy in a "I shouldn't be trusted with my finger on the nuclear weapons" way.