Archive for the Category Self Indulgence

 
 

New Site, New Direction

It has been a long time since I posted, and not without reason. I am changing my editorial tack with this site, and that change is reflected in the new layout. If you’re using a feed reader, click through.

As you can see, things are simpler and I removed a lot of crap from the site. And I also turned off comments.

New Direction

I had been struggling to post new content because I was trying to write about topics for which I had no definitive answers and publishing articles–even on a personal blog–with no conclusion bothered me. I was liberated from this self-imposed editorial tyranny when I realized that this was not in keeping with the intellectual curiosity that was driving me to blog

Like every human, I believe I am right nearly all the time and have made my mind up about a good many things. However, there are many issues so complicated, deep, and mysterious that I can never hope to fully understand. Demanding that I have answers before blogging means I could never write a word about them.

So I am giving myself permission to explore these topics here in the same way I do in my private thoughts: questioning. You will increasingly read here articles that are inconclusive, frustrated, confused and confusing; rather than having conclusions for everything I write, I will have mostly questions.

New Tumblr

I signed up for a Tumblog Tumbleblog Tumbr. The thinking here is that short (and funny, sarcastic, mean) thoughts will go on twitter, fuller thoughts will go on Tumblr and longer thoughts will go here. If you want to follow everything I think that is fit to post, follow all three. If you just want to laugh, follow me on twitter.

New Commentlessness

I first enabled comments on my blog because I figured I had to and certainly, since I had, legions of readers would leave pithy comments on my blog. This didn’t work out, and while wondering what to do about it, I heard Merlin Mann say that whether you have comments or not, you need to know why. Which I knew deep down I but didn’t have the cojones to step up to the plate. Why did I turn off comments right when I’m going to start writing articles that are mostly questions? And tackling more difficult topics in more detail? Wouldn’t people be more apt to comment?

Who cares? Seriously.

I do hope that people read what I write here, and I do value ideas and discussion, but posting a paragraph on a webpage is pretty meaningless when you think about it.

If the topics I choose, or what I write about them is interesting, compelling or thought-provoking, then I don’t want you to fill out a web form. I want you to get together with friends, open some Gin, or Wine, or Beer, or Water, and talk about the things that captured your attention. Comments don’t change anything. People do.

How to Plan a Snack

Since no one asked…

[click for big version]

How to Plan a Snack

Morro Rock at Twilight

Morro Rock at Dusk

Taken in Morro Bay, Ca. This photo is so good that it has already lost me a photo contest. But I like it. Click for a little better view.

Who Am I? What Do I Want?

I have been in a (blog related?) existential conundrum for the last few weeks brought on by the election and financial crisis and amplified by some reading/viewing/thinking I have been doing. I never intended this blog to be (or become) a personal historical zeitgeist. I have been troubled since beginning my blog that it had no editorial vision, as my twitter feed clearly does.

The trouble is that I currently am not, and do not wish to become, a pundit, commentator, or advisor on political, economic, or similar issues. I do not have the degree of education (formal or informal) on any of these subjects that I feel is necessary to be a responsible writer on the subjects. This isn’t to say I have no thoughts on the subjects as they stand, or that it takes a degree and a “mainstream” opinion to make a valuable contribution, far from it.

The question I pose to myself every time I attempt and fail to write a coherent post about a topic like the presidential “debates” is “What the hell am I doing?” As a cynic, it goes without saying that I doubt my tiny, paranoid rants will be effective in making a difference. I’m not writing for kudos or to change the world, I’m writing because I’m a frustrated, overly-critical cynic and if I don’t vent that steam somewhere: kaboom. If I can make a difference in the thinking of a few readers, great.

But that still leaves my question unanswered. I could write this all in a obscenely titled text file found only after my death as my children sort through my affects trying to make sense of my life, but that isn’t what i am doing. So why?

I don’t have an answer to that question yet. I am a little closer to an answer to the how/what questions for this blog, which is the opposite of how I like to work, but at least it’s something.

Aside: For those of you interested in a post on the “debate,” it is coming.

Because You Never Know…

Here’s a little known fact about me that you’re all dying to hear.

When seated in public places (coffeeshops, restaurants, offices, etc.) I have to sit with my back immediately to a wall. If I’m working (on a computer) I also have to be positioned so people can’t see my screen.

Clearly I’m not a spy, but if I can’t sit as described I become very self-conscious and a piece of my brain remains focused on my surrounds and keeping my radar up. Consequently I can’t focus, I get all twitchy and irritable, and I’ll want to leave as soon as possible. So I guess if you want my undivided attention, sit me at a wall.

Rational Mastermind

Because Flo took a M-B test via Alice, she made me post my well-established M-B/Keirsey results:

INTJ – The Rational Mastermind

Some excerpts from INTJ profiles:

To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of “definiteness”, of self-confidence. Sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, this confidence is very specific rather than general in nature; its grows out of the specialized knowledge systems that INTJs start building at an early age.

INTJs are known as the “Systems Builders,” perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Anyone considered to be “slacking,” including superiors, will lose their respect — and will generally be made aware of this. On the other hand, they do tend to be scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project, and have a gift for seizing opportunities which others might not even notice.

Contingency planning and entailment organizing reaches its highest level of development in the Rational Mastermind. It is not an informative activity for them, but a directive one in which the planner tells others what to do and the order in which to do it. As the organizing capabilities the Mastermind increases so does his or her inclination to take charge of whatever is going on.

While they are capable of caring deeply for others (usually a select few), and are willing to spend a great deal of time and effort on a relationship, the knowledge and self-confidence that make them so successful in other areas can suddenly abandon or mislead them in interpersonal situations.

And some “rules” for dealing with INTJs:

  • Be willing to back up your statements with facts or sound reasoning.
  • Don’t expect an INTJ to respect you or your opinion without reason: respect must be earned.
  • Expect debate. INTJs like to tear ideas apart to discern their worthiness. They will argue a point they don’t support just for the sake of argument.
  • Do not confuse the strength of your conviction with that of your argument. INTJs do not need to believe in a position to argue it well.
  • Do not be surprised when you encounter sarcasm.
  • The ultimate insult to an idea is to ignore it. This means it isn’t even interesting enough to deconstruct.
  • INTJs believe in workable solutions. They are extremely open-minded to possibilities, but they will quickly discard any idea that is unfeasible.
  • INTJs do not care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Restating the obvious is a waste of time.

And, last but not least, a few alleged and actual INTJs:

  • Augustus Caesar
  • Mr. Burns
  • Ayn Rand
  • Niels Bohr
  • George Lucas
  • Colin Powell
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Professor Moriarty
  • Gandalf the Grey

Where Rivers Flow

tiny planets, two hydrogen/one oxygen at a time
counted easily as stars
forge in this one
a chasm that leads eventually to one grander

tiny planets, two sorrow/one suffering at a time
counted slowly as stars
forge in every one
a chasm that leads to one greater

between stone or hearts or both
between the me i know i am and wish i was
between the you that you are and the you that i remember
between the love of what was and the pain of what will be

or maybe they are all the same chasm
are all one
themselves and their like
across three days of darkness to the moon
and the further silence to the great planets
and phobos and deimos
cutting a chasm of all hearts
across the freezing hot black between
my world and yours

All Hail Google

Google is great, yes.  I know, and I have for a long time. I have been using their search for a long long long long long time, I’ve used Gmail (but don’t currently), I’ve used their domain tools, I’ve used Google Earth, which is an incredible feat of technology, I use Blogger for some projects, and so the list goes.  I am not unfamiliar with Google.

I haven’t however, gone all the way yet. I have always thought the Google tools were great, but the didn’t all specifically fit my needs, so I used other solutions.

I have come into a situation where my work and personal computer are no longer one and the same, and I cannot use my personal laptop at any time throughout the work day. Consequently, I have had a good deal of trouble keeping my information life in sync between two computers.  Over the past two weeks, I have been experimenting with tools and methods of reducing and managing my traveling data and Google is it.

Between my new trinity of iGoogle Home Page, Google Reader, and Google Documents, and the High Priest of FireWire Hard Drive, I can move my personal projects anywhere and still be productive. Plus, when Google takes over the world, I will already by one of the fold.

Dew the Weight Loss

I left California on December 29th. That was the last I’ve had any Mountain Dew. Yes, comrades, that’s right, I’ve given up The Dew cold turkey. It’s actually been pretty easy, being on the road and camping helped. Since then I’ve only had soda a few times – pretty much only happens on our monthly trip to the Costco food court for kosher hot dogs.

I had also implemented a Snacks and Candy program at MSS which made junk food easily available, I have significantly reduced such foods as well. I don’t think I have had any candy since leaving Cali, and my junk food consumption has been reduced to heathly tortilla chips every other week or so.

We haven’t had a functional bathroom scale for a long time, but I weighed myself at Mimi’s before leaving Cali and found I had made it up to 255lbs.

We just picked up a scale last week and I weighed myself for the first time since giving up soda and candy, and found I’m down to 233lbs. That’s 22 pounds of HFCS I didn’t bring to TN with me.

Congrats to me.