Now I’m 46

Another year has come and gone – this one seemed to go by very quickly for me. I had a lot going on, many changes began here and continued.

I left Alcoholics Anonymous

It was a while in the making. I finally saw the inner workings of the service side of AA, what I assumed would be the most spiritual was the most sick I guess. It seemed all anyone wanted was what they wanted, not what was best for AA as a whole. So to me I had lost a second part of the triangle, the one I believed in most – Service. Between that and the “fake it til you make it” dishonesty in an honesty program. I’m really an atheist and cannot swallow what others do in its entirety. Don’t miss it, gives me lots of free time and less to be resentful at. I did go to a meeting with Flo when I was in Albuquerque but that was for him, I was just along. No one from AA has really reached out to me asking me about it – some have said they want to leave too, so that’s interesting. Continue reading

Continuous Self-Improvement

I was talking to my boss the other day about motivation, self-improvement, staff and such. We’ve discussed these topics before – I think we both agree these are important goals.

He mentioned that he was reading the biography of Benjamin Franklin currently. Mr. Franklin didn’t finish school, he learned the hard way – because he wanted to. Benjamin would dedicate 5 hours each week to reading, not just anything either… he would read something different than what he was working on – so he didn’t just read about newspapers or how to discover electricity (they didn’t have “Discovering Electricity for Dummies back then) but things outside his regular wheelhouse.

It’s a good idea – I read a lot actually but mostly stuff I love and work in. Insurance magazines, accessibility information, comic books… but it’s much better to expand my horizons and expose myself to something new once in a while.

So I thought I’d start tonight to try some more continuous improvement – but not with books… I decided each day I’m going to watch at least one TED Talk.

The tag line on TED.com is “ideas worth sharing”and I’ve watched a few over the years…

  • Amanda Palmer – The Art of Asking (a while ago, her husband talked about it on his Tumblr so I checked it out) interesting, I liked it
  • Stanley McChrystal – Listen, Learn… then lead – not what I was expecting but good lessons about leading, failing and not becoming failures
  • Paola Antonelli – Why I brought Pac-Man to MoMA video games as art, if you’ve any doubts about the beauty of video games subscribe to World of Warcraft for 30 days and see some amazing stuff… I’m sure there are other games just as beautiful

I watched a few others that don’t stand out in my mind at the moment… but the bottom two were for tonight and I’m thinking I can watch at least one tomorrow too.. Let us see what these great minds can share with me.

I’ll also likely pick up the biography as it sounds interesting. I had just read an article on Mr. Franklin’s schedule not that long ago and now RBU mentions it… so I think that’s a good indicator of what I should read next. Many moons ago several people talked to me about the Kite Runner in the same week so I read that, well worth it too.

If I find some phenomenal TED talks I’ll share em here or on social media.

Can’t Teach An Old Dog…

During high school, well probably even as far back as elementary school – I had no desire to learn anything they wanted to teach me. It was boring. Time would have been better spent reading a comic book, watching tv or day dreaming about anything. I wasn’t engaged and didn’t see the purpose of learning. I loved reading stories though, loved my comics and the books I managed to get my hands on and thought deep down that someday I would be a writer.

When I graduated high school with the bare minimum requirements everyone said “You have to go to college”. As a poor foster child there were many grants and available loans for me to choose from. I managed to get into the local college and signed up for astronomy, philosophy and some kind of statistics class as I think it was a mandatory class and I wanted to get it out-of-the-way. I didn’t want to be there at all and barely went to class on sober days, rarely on days when booze was available. Needless to say, I didn’t do well in 1989 in college and soon I was academic probation – so I left, not worth my time.

Factory jobs for a few years and writing stories on an old Apple computer in my free time when I was stoned or drunk (made for some interesting plot holes). This was, I thought, what life was all about – a factory job, beer and not a care in the world. I was aiming pretty low at the time, but I would have been content at some level to just do that for the rest of my life – but alcoholism got in the way. Continue reading

Fire Hot

So I’m cooking things… well, I’ve always cooked things – soup from a can, tv dinners, pot pies, grilled cheese, pizza… that’s cooking right? There was also rarely a need to cook anything – my Mother cooked, my Ma cooked, my ex-roommate loved to cook – but I’m not the best person to cook for (picky eater) so they didn’t get to cook with the flare they all had really… But now I”m trying to cook other things.

My fire alarm in the apartment is extra sensitive and seems to go off on anything – I have the fan on the stove, the bathroom, two fans blowing out the window and both windows open and still that thing is going off… I swear its not really smokey… well maybe a little but come on… I’m learning here.

In the morning instead of some really great tasting cereal I’m making 2 eggs, sometimes i put em in a tortilla. I have difficulty with the yolks, I like it to be runny but not raw and I have issues flipping the eggs just right and sometimes I’ve not had them cooked where I like em… and if I break the yoke then I just try to scramble em… eggs are hard and I’m not a fan of hard eggs.

I’ve been cooking steaks for myself too. Between YouTube, Wikipedia and my old roommate Gary it’s been going ok. The first few steaks didn’t turn out quite right and I stuck em in the microwave cause they weren’t done… then they were too done… but I’ve gotten better, they’re very flavorful and not well done (which is how I used to like them 18 years ago or so… ). I’ve had frozen veggies with the steaks, mostly I love Green Giant Buttered Corn… omg so good (don’t look at the calories on the box or the sugar count, just eat it) but sometimes green beans, peas, and mixed veggies (no fuckin’ lima beans in my mixed veggies… those things are nasty).

Tonight I was cooking and it was a rather thick steak – I think that’s part of the problem, thinner steaks might be better to start with to get em how I like – and it wasn’t done quite right. I’m reluctant to do the microwave thing again after the last time. The pan I fry em in is safe in the oven up to 400 degrees so I thought that would be a good move. I placed the pan with the steak still in there in the oven after preheating it… great idea. But my mind saw that handle and decided to grab it… thus the title of this blog “Fire Hot” … ouch, burned my hand a little bit. On the bright side my reflexes are great… dropped that thing like a hot potato … which then splattered grease on my legs, my kitchen and my arm…. yeah… great cooking night tonight.

I think next I’m going to branch out to chicken… my ex-roommate used to make chicken breast all the time and I loved those.  I’m not a fan of sauces, so i’m not likely to branch out there or do anything that has nasty stuff in it (Nasty stuff includes but is not limited to: mushrooms, mayo, asparagus, dressings, soy sauce, cheeses that smell like feet, Chipotle… oh sorry, I was listing nasty things and that just came out).

Maybe I should take a cooking class, just for some basics… I don’t want to try out for Top Chef (love that show, couldn’t eat any of that stuff) but I’d like to have a better understanding of what I’m doing. A class isn’t likely to keep me from grabbing hot handles and at 44 if I’m still doing that it’s too late for me.

Anyway – Note to self: Fire hot

I Know Better

I always think I know better. It almost doesn’t matter what the case is – I have a better solution than the one you’re suggesting or using. Someone suggests something – I’ll think about it, but I probably already have a plan that’s better than that.

For example, going canoeing for the first time outside Washington DC back in 98 or 99 people suggested sunscreen, but I wasn’t a city boy, I could take a little sun and be fine. Didn’t matter how long we’d be outside I don’t need not stinking sunscreen… burned the hell out of the top of my thighs, they were almost purple and it hurt pretty bad for a few days. I thought I knew better but obviously I didn’t. Continue reading

Boolean Society

At the 100th Anniversary Convention of the Boolean Society, the worlds most secret organization, the biggest conspiracy of them all is finally revealed. The organizations members with the most clout, money, meet to discuss the history of math and how their vast plan has moved forward over the centuries.

It all started with two people in particular who hated everything to do with the art, music and theatre. They set out to slow down such frivolous nonsense by creating something that would slow the creative process and keep things more orderly and sane. In the beginning it was difficult, pressing the need to learn a few simple equations to mostly simple folk, but their idea won out—largely due to the complex circles in which the mathematician could talk. They would say, “x + y = y + x is the same as 1 + 2 = 2 + 1” and the common folk would respond, “so x is 1?” The Boolean would then explain that this was the case here, but in other situations the x could equal 252 or the y could equal the one as well. The common folk, immediately decide this is too much for them to decipher and hand over the reigns of all money handling to the Booleans. This goes on for years, the Booleans confusing the populace with x2 + 3y = 35 or x times itself is x2 and x + x is 2x.

Then a more enlightened person steps forward and proclaims this is nonsense, and starts to preach at the people, these Booleans are twisting the shape of numbers. The Booleans freeze all this persons assets, he becomes a penniless bum mumbling on the streets and considered by most to be insane.

Booleans find themselves in places of power within governments throughout the world. After years of the same formulas working they decide to change things up lest someone catches on and reveals their entire plot.

Unexpected help comes from a young woman in her 30s in college, an artist; forced by rules set up by the Booleans to take math courses that have her head spinning. She catches on to the formulas and the math/algebra starts to make sense, in a research paper to her Algebra Professor she creates a series of problems that stump even the top Boolean official. Her creativity, of course, is a death sentence they cannot allow the delicate balance to change even slightly so they kill her. Her ideas, if an answer doesn’t solve properly just cube it times itself is stolen and implemented into the plan immediately. This effect sends several Liberal Arts majors to seek ways to commit suicide.

The true celebration comes when the Booleans celebrate their greatest achievement ever: the number i. “The number i is such that i = √-1 (which is the same as saying i2 = -1).” The imaginary number. This concept, to further the confusion of the people, meant if an equation didn’t work out, just multiply it by i and it will all make sense. This i keeps all the money flowing into the hands of the Booleans, their vast fortunes shape the very political and socioeconomic landscape for all cultures.

Chances are, when this is published I’ll be murdered by Booleans quoting such equations as x2 – 6x + 9 = (x – 3) (x + 3) or √-64 is not real. The formulas themselves may be the death of me… pray for your average college student. And God save you from the Booleans.