Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Year of the dog


Okay, this is technically a photo of me as a wolf baying at the moon, but it's close enough to a dog. And my Chinese Zodiac sign is the dog. And this is the year of the dog.

In the grand scheme of things that means nothing at all.  I tried looking up what it means to be a dog in the Chinese Zodiac and everything I read was as vague as what it means to be a Pisces in the our western Zodiac. I am one of those people who believe you read what you want to into horoscopes.

In my younger days I studied Astrology. Well, I took a couple of classes in something called the Experimental College. I could draw up a person's chart. Then I would use astrology books to interpret the chart. I was sort of good at it. But I did attribute much of it to the power of suggestion. The people I did charts for honed in on the stuff they liked in their charts and poo-pooed the rest.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Talking on trains


I realize that not everyone commutes to work via train. So this post may not be relevant to everyone. Then again most of my posts aren't. But maybe people can relate to my annoyance at small talk in general.

If you use public transit, you are likely aware that there are two types of commuters -- introverts and extroverts. Introverts take their seats and tune out everything and everyone around them. They have headphones, books, tablets with them to help get over the fact that they are trapped in a small, confined space with strangers who don't always respect personal space requirements. Introverts also may curl up in a ball and pretend they are asleep (or dead) to prevent interaction on a train.

Extroverts, on the other hand, don't read, sleep or listen to music. They talk. They laugh loudly. They band together in noisy groups and bond for the 25 minutes to an hour they are on the train. And they are oblivious to the fact that they are torturing the introvert commuters who they occasionally trap in the seats around them.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hearts and flowers


I thought about writing a post about the history of Valentines Day, but all you have to do is Google it, it didn't seem worth the effort of regurgitating stuff from other websites. I actually just wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to Photoshop my face on a cupid anyway.

I do think the holiday (and I use that term loosely since we don't get the day off) is just another example of capitalism exploiting the masses with ritual traditions that require spending lots of money. If you are involved in any kind of relationship, it is pretty much expected that you better be sending cards, flowers, candy to your loved one and take them out to dinner.

I've taken to making my own cards these days, so I like to think I'm sticking it to the man. It's not so much the cost of the cards that gets me, it's insincerity of pawing through a rack of cards some schmuck copy writer has written and giving it to your loved one as a sign of your love. I prefer develop my own with Photoshop and a color printer. At least it demonstrates that I'm investing my time and talents to create the sentiment.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Screaming streets


I work in a colorful part of downtown Seattle, in a neighborhood that straddles the International District and Pioneer Square neighborhoods. It is generally an okay area to walk around during the day, especially if you make it to the more touristy parts of the International District and it's variety of foods and tourist shops. And Pioneer Square has been taken over by more trendy restaurants and condos.

But still the area has an edge. Our work campus has expanded over the years, so meetings can take you outside of your own building to run the gauntlet of street people, crack heads and Jehovah's Witnesses. I generally go out with my headphones on playing Spotify. It helps shut out some of the street noise.

It's an area where you pretty much always need to be aware of your surroundings. Today I was waiting at the crosswalk for the light to change and watched a very angry and agitated man across the street screaming and waving his arms. He had that erratic behavior either brought on by drugs, lack of drugs or voices in his head. I feel sorry for these people, but I still plot my path to avoid them as much as possible.

Fortunately the man just paced back and forth for awhile screaming at people passing by, threw what appeared to be an apple on the sidewalk and moved on down the street. I could still hear him as I scurried across the crosswalk and through the plaza over the International District bus and light rail tunnel station. I avoided eye contact of the Jehovah's Witnesses who stand there every day with their signs and literature racks. I have to admit that I prefer them standing passively on the sidewalk with their PR for god materials over them coming to my door trying to force me to take a Watchtower brochure.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Me and my shadows


It was rainy and gray here on Groundhogs Day, so no shadow to frighten the groundhogs. So maybe Punxsutawney Phil should move to the Pacific Northwest. If he lived here chances are he'd never see his shadow and we could get on with spring.

Though spring here just means more rain.

Being that it is cloudy and rainy here a great deal of the time, you don't see your shadow a lot. Though I suppose technically everything is in the shadow of the clouds, so we are walking around in a shadow all the time.

At least that's the way I feel at times.