Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Spam. A Love Story.


Today’s Music: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere over the Rainbow asdf
*Note on Today’s Music: Song picked by NancyTex, who was suspiciously keen on me posting this.
*Note on today’s post: All the links are safe. Sort of.

I have never denied being a sappy romantic at heart. Sometimes, as I’m deleting my spam comments, I like to wonder, what if these people met? Would Ray Bans Wholesale enjoy the company of the Christian Dating Site? Could Webmaster SEO and Fancy Cat Pictures ever make a go of it? Do BabelFish and Google Translate ever find a common language (since neither of them seem to speak English)?
Let’s sit in on one of their dates, told in their native language and see what happens…

It's a spicy kind of love...

It’s a spicy kind of love…


Am I to be meeting him above the street upon which the light shines down. Noticeable at first is the way hair upon his eyes covers. The hand offered to me? I take it.
“Greetings”, spoke him his words. “The felicitations and announcements to joy upon our reconnaissance are truly of mine”.
I could not help but be swooned at the playerness of his strong welcome. The dapperity of his appearance did speak to me, from his Ray Ban Wholesale Online sunglasses to the Fine Italian Leather of his toe garments.
He did the speaking again “I am Tjhke90587fuyhn^*%jk, but you can call me &*8/”. Enrapturous as the encounter was, I knew this was to be more thereof.
“Acquaintanced of you, I am” was my cautionary reply. “Please to call me Sheila, as I am called Sheila.”
We were too strolling forwards near the restaurant of foods mouthwatering and good-smelling when at once, we were accosted by people from sales with finest delights!
Rolex Watches!
Laptop Cases!
Premium Electronics!
&*8/ was for the purchasing of these exquisitness one red rose that placed he fetchingly above the brow which is my forehead, and we sat the both of us for eating.

To wit of the many undertakings of conversationalisms, there was much of verbage to passing twixt us both, as though the speakage must continue. For job, of which he said there was a lots of pursuant to the makings of bucks, and the various things to selling, including
Adidas cheaper than wholesale!
Premier Spanish Handbags!
Women seeking mates in your area!
Though as concluding, I felt forced to remind him that as webmaster, his SEO usage was costing him page views, which I would dearly love to speak with him about to provide him much better placement within search engine results.
Worried need I have been not, for it was as though collaborations were with my own heart!
After all consumption had concluded and we returned insofar as going back to the place which in this country for many years my bed has been, he attempted the nicely to put kiss upon me. Truly, in lust of brightness, I did wrap arms under him and squeeze as though the first beginnings had started.

Together we have been of since, as for much time.

I hope sincerest my tale will be of inspirement to you, and to know that if you click now, all my story will be as though it were told by my cousin who only knows me as well as to relate this.

I don’t know where I’m going…


Today’s Music: AC/DC – Thunderstruck

…But I know where I am right now – over at Running On Sober with Michael from Good2BeGone doing Life In 6 Songs for Christy, CK Hope and Mama Mick.

Check it out, and you can even submit your own playlist!
(And comment over there too!)

Stepping Out Of The Box


Today’s Music: The Shook – Window
(Because how often do you hear a banjo on a wah-wah pedal?)
Days Til Spring: TWO!!!!!
And if you can, please help out Merbear.===========================>>>

Tomorrow I’m going to step way out of my comfort zone. I’m going to an orientation for Big Brothers Big Sisters. They are an organization that pairs mentors with children who, for whatever reason, could use one.
It’s not a tremendous time requirement – they ask for four hours every other weekend. They want the mentors (Bigs) to provide support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples.
(Fortunately, I have a whole bag of GOOD LORD, DON’T DO THIS!!! examples.)

Like this. But completely different.

Like this.
But completely different.


I don’t know if I can clearly articulate why I want to do this. I don’t see myself as particularly altruistic, or someone who thinks “I must give every last bit to help everyone else!!!”, and there are those who could probably put forth good arguments that I’m a dick.
I don’t know. I’ve always thought of myself as “just this guy”, and that’s enough for me.

I’ve had my struggles, but overall, my life hasn’t been overly difficult. As a Straight White Male, I live on what John Scalzi calls the easy setting. But I know that’s just because of luck. Spin the wheel in either direction, just a little, and either by birth or consequences of a myriad stupid decisions, my life could have been a lot harder. I don’t begrudge anyone else their success, and I’m not competitive enough to want to keep anyone else down so I can do well.
I think if you do well and I was there to help you out along the way, that’s enough for me. So why not lend a hand to a kid that needs one?

At the orientation, they’ll give us an idea of the kids we might be dealing with, of what we can do with them, and I probably what the boundaries are. They’ll pair me up with someone that shares my interests – hopefully the kid will like science fiction, (good) music, food. Maybe I’ll have something useful to the show the kid.
I have no idea.

But I know that however it goes, it will be worth the effort.
Who knows, maybe he’ll even have a thing for Hawaiian shirts!

Stir crazy. Possibly fried.


Today’s Music: Calexico – Two Silver Trees
Days Til Spring: NINE!!!

And if you can, please help out Merbear.===========================>>>

(*A note – Seasonal Affective Disorder is a serious malady that effects a lot of people. This isn’t intended to mock those that suffer from it, or to make light of a very real condition.)

The snow is still melting, but the real warm hasn’t shown up yet.
It’s grey outside, threats of rain and snow.
We went to Canada last month, and found an indoor Monster Mini Golf (glow in the dark!) this weekend.

Can you believe the dragon was only a par two???

Can you believe the dragon was only a par two???


And yet, as this interminable cold and gloom continues with no end in sight (except the ticking of the calendar into a new season), I find myself with the less serious version of Seasonal Affective Disorder: the dreaded Cabin Fever.
Soon... (Or else!)

Soon…
(Or else!)


It gets me towards the end of every winter – the knowledge that spring, sun and warmth are coming coupled with the fact that they aren’t here yet has me gnawing at myself for a way to escape.
So in the interest of preserving whatever sanity we still have, here are some (whatever the opposite is of) Sure Fire tips for beating SAD.
PILLOW FORTS!
Defend yourself from the invasion of this dreaded condition! Outside light (especially grey) looks much better when diffused through flannel sheets strung a few feet above the floor.
TELEVISION!
Immerse yourself in stories that take place somewhere else, preferably somewhere warm.
Your insurance may cover a Netflix subscription to stream the Complete Gilligans Island!
BLOG!!!
Look, you know you’re going to do it anyway. Why not use it to repair your mental condition? (That way you can also get a medical waiver to do it at work!
HAWAIIAN SHIRTS
Seriously. They exude spring, summer and warm weather climes. Plus, if it’s a good one, you’ll need to wear your beach sunglasses so you don’t blind yourself.
INDOOR PICNIC!
Who doesn’t love a picnic? Plus, fewer ants!
(If that’s not the case, I don’t want to know.)
(Nor do I want to come over.)
MAKE A LIST OF ALL THE FOOLISH THINGS YOU’LL DO IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER
My old ones are here and here.
My next one will be up next week.

If I last that long…

Save a house, Save a home.


Today’s Music: The Beatles – Obladi Oblada
Days Til Spring: 24

We don’t actually know each other. We read each others stories, tell each other tales. Sometimes our posts look like we rolled our faces across the keyboard, sometimes our eloquence and wit are astounding.
Something I’ve seen in the time I’ve spent knocking around here is that you people have never failed to come through and help someone when they need it.

This post is a little off for me. What I’m going to ask actually has nothing to do with me. I don’t have the issue described. The problem isn’t mine.

Hell, I don’t even know the person, except by reputation. (I would, except I can be incredibly slow to get around to reading blogs I know I should.) But I was asked by Zoe, a blogger who I know and who I enjoy, whether she’s posting on her site or razzing me in comments elsewhere, to help spread the word about this.
So here goes…

Many of you know Merbear. She blogs about her daily life, her family, living with depression and living with fibromyalgia. Along the way, she’s met a lot of great people online. People that she’s helped through some dark times, and ones that have helped her too.
Now, her condition has gotten worse. It’s gotten to the point where she is at risk of losing her home.
That would suck.

There are a lot of good and worthy causes out there. There are a lot of people asking for money. But if there’s any way you can scrape loose a couple of bucks, Merbear could really use the help and support now.

Like I said, I don’t actually know any of you, outside of three or four I’ve been lucky to meet in real life. But because of my online relationships with most of you, I’d be happy to give you a hand, as I could, if you needed it – maybe some tech guidance or research on something, maybe an ear or a couple of dollars for whatever cause it is that’s important to you.

Since I don’t really like doing “preachy”, and you don’t owe me anything, check out Merbear’s site.
And if you’re inclined, you can donate to help save her house.

If you can, thanks so much!
And if you can’t, thanks so much for listening!

A Life, Remembered


Today’s Music: Pete Seeger – Turn Turn Turn
Days Til Spring: 73

This is a remembrance of my father in law, who passed away a few days ago.

An ordinary man. There will be no epic novels written of him. His name won’t be remembered in the history books. But a man, nonetheless, who lived a full and happy life, and who enjoyed himself all along the way.

Dinosaurs caught the imagination of the man. The fossils, the movements, the history. He studied them and grew intimately familiar with them. As a result, for many years, he served once a week as a Docent (someone visitors could ask questions about dinosaurs of) at the Museum of Natural History.

Music caught the ear of the man. He was already familiar with music, especially all the great folkies of the 50s and 60s. He already knew how to play piano, but this time he picked up a guitar. He forced his hand into the shapes of chords, again and again. Then, pushing on, he learned the positions on the neck and began doing more intricate finger picking.
He discovered middle-age and medieval music. On any given night, you could find him puzzling over obscure music notations, trying to figure out how that translated into English, and to the guitar and lute, which he taught himself to play. He delighted in picking out a tune for the first time, then realizing how similar it was to something he already knew, by a completely different name.
The lyrics too were a doorway to a world long gone. The ballads of the bards told a stylized history of life back then – serfdom, the actions of nobles, the difficulties of daily life. All these discoveries enriched his own life.

The birds caught the eye of the man. They entranced him. He already knew what a camera was, but now he went out and got serious equipment – cameras, lenses, filters. A high end printer so the physical copies would do justice to his digital images. He studied composition, light, color, all to bring his pictures closer to what his eye and his imagination saw.
On the wall behind me are five ultra-close-up images of flowers, a riot of color and swirls, that he took.
The last car he bought, a beat up standard transmission Jeep, was so he could get out to the marshes and preserves and photograph the wildflowers and birds he loved.

The sun caught the eye of the man. In a room of his apartment, with floor to ceiling windows to let the best light in, is a drawing table festooned with pens and brushes and inks. There are dozens of drawings and paintings of birds, of the sun, of dinosaurs.

The man had once studied at seminary to enter the priesthood. It didn’t take, but it had a heavy influence on his spirituality. In the end, he came to Buddhism…perhaps because of the meditative aspects, perhaps because of the inward focus. In time, he led groups in the practices of Buddhism.

The man was concerned about the well-being of others. For many years, he worked as a social worker. In later years, after he retired, he worked in an outreach program for helping people learn English as a second language.
He was going to work in another program to encourage and help foster children to go to college.

Despite having a severe bad reaction to sugar, the man LOVED cookie, with CookieFest being a highlight of his year for several years. There was no one he wouldn’t approach and strike up a conversation with, and no one who wouldn’t engage with him.

He was married for several years. And he raised the most wonderful girl in the universe.

They say that when someone dies, they’re gone, and all we’re left with are the memories of who they were. But sometimes we’re left with an example, of how someone can live their lives, working every day, and still find time to enjoy every day – whether discussing arpeggios with his son in law, or sailing a styrofoam sailboat in the bay (and getting a wicked sunburn), or simply sitting quietly with a pad, trying to draw the reptile skull on the shelf

And we realize that someone who was just a man hasn’t only left us memories.
He’s left us an example we can follow of a life well lived – a life lived with the companionship of close friends, the security of high ideals, and the unabashed love of family.

And puns. Good lord, did that guy love puns.

And he will be missed.

An Adventure Philosophy Post: Being and Doing


Today’s Music: Cab Calloway – (Hep hep) The Jumpin Jive

I’m a skier. Put me in a pair of boots that fit, drop me on skis (rentals are fine), and I’m all set.

El Guapo surveying his domain...

El Guapo surveying his domain…


I’m a rock climber. despite being in terrible shape, I can belay with the best of them, and keep your tail from hitting the ground if you come off the cliff. At the same time, I can find some way up the face and warn you if I’m not going to make it.
I’m a scuba diver. despite a depressingly low overall amount of time spent underwater, I’m conscientious with checking and donning my gear. I know how to not panic (trust me, it’s a hard won skill), and I pay close attention to where I am underwater.

Sadly, I’m not a surfer. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love surfing. I’m planning on putting on my wetsuit, strapping my board to the roof and diving in on 1 Jan, unless the weather is just horrible.
But when I get on a board, I’m just awful. I have no idea what to look for when catching a wave, and no feel for when to stand up on the board. The majority of my rides end with the nose of the board plowing into the water, and me shooting over it like Wile E Coyote in too many cartoons.
That’s fine. It’s still fun.

The pros got nothin on me.

The pros got nothin on me.


But that line – the difference between just doing something, and being something – is an important one for me. It’s about going beyond being a random participant, and breathing in everything you can about whatever it is.

When I learned to scuba dive, I read everything I could get my hands on. I would go into shops and handle equipment, studying different mounting options, handling features, options and tools. I would play with my depth tables (because some things are too important to leave to a computer), and occasionally wander around the house in flippers (Oh, like I’m the only one who does that).
Under water, I’ve gotten into some odd situations, and remembered that as long as I could breathe, I was still ok. Then, calmly, I figured out how to get out of them.
Scuba diving is also one of the few sports I’ve done where the training actually is helpful.
And thank god for that.

But a new year is right around the corner. And I plan to be in the water on the first, on my board. Maybe I’ll even graduate from a guy who has a surfboard to a full fledged surfer!