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|Wednesday, February 11th, 2009|
Knowledge is Power - Knowledge = power
Time is Money - Time = Money
Power = Work / Time
Therefore, philosophers make less as knowledge increases.
|Monday, August 25th, 2008|
In just a few days I will be at DragonCon...
That about sums up my feelings on that.
|Thursday, July 17th, 2008|
|Thursday, May 22nd, 2008|
A very sad story. But a reminder to everyone- the nature of human existence is difficulty and an unending need to work to stave off suffering. No one has a perfect life. Everyone who ever has or ever will live on this rock we call Earth will have to struggle. So don't sit around bitching about what you don't have, or what others do have, or how if you had XYZ you would be happy and life would be perfect. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_news/epaper/2008/05/20/0520shoot.html
I take solace only in the fact that the dad has a previous criminal history, including, "burglary, battery, marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license," and that, after the same men "tried to rob him" earlier that night, he didn't report the first attempted robbery to the cops because "he didn't think he could describe the men well enough to help law enforcement catch them."
Translation: It was someone he knew and had pissed off, probably owed money to, and thus, MAYBE, had a little more assurance that they wouldn't hurt his child. Maybe. Regardless. Simply Pathetic. Current Mood: aggravated
|Tuesday, March 25th, 2008|
The wind was shimmering green and cold as it kissed his face. He closed his eyes and let it pass over and around him. The trees were rustling in the distance- the sounds of their rocking and creaking reaching out to him. He licked his lips, relishing the sensation. All his senses were alive and dancing, flittering bits of feeling and perception in and out of consciousness. The ground beneath his feet, the wind in his face, the sword in his hand- it all felt different somehow. Richer. Purer. It was as if he had never noticed all the things that were always there- touching him, calling to him, pulling him- just below the surface of his ordinary perception. Smiling, he sheathed the sword. Then he opened his eyes and looked down at the dead bandit at his feet- the benefactor of this whole revelation. He bowed deeply, and walked south.
|Friday, March 21st, 2008|
|Thursday, March 13th, 2008|
Work is good, life is good. Still getting up and running in the morning. By nature I hate getting up early (though I like BEING up early- go figure), I don’t quite care for running, and I certainly detest the idea of getting up early to go run. Yet, over the past couple of months I have come to love it. I feel better, I wake up easier, it gives me time to myself before work- thus preventing me from feeling hurried or trapped. So many good things. I’ve been reading a lot too. All in all, things are going pretty well.
|Friday, January 25th, 2008|
|This is Dimmesdale, in the closet with his bloody scourge...
I have started getting up early and going running. I hate getting up early. I hate getting out of bed in the morning at all, usually; it's so warm and nice. Add to that the prospect of doing something physically laborious, and in sub-20 degree temperature, and...you get the idea. Yet, I haven't had too much trouble getting up the past couple of days. I found a passage from 'Meditations" by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius that really fired my blood and has been helping me rise from my cozy bed and venture out to punish myself and steel my mind.
"At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: 'I
have to go to work--as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if
I'm going to do what I was born for--the things which I was brought
into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle
under the blankets and stay warm?'
--But it's nicer here...
So you were born to feel "nice?" Instead of doing things and
experiencing them? Why aren't you running to do what your nature
--But we have to sleep sometime...
Agreed. But nature set a limit on that--as it did on eating and
drinking. And you're over the limit. But not of working. There you're
still below your quota. You don't love yourself enough. Or you'd love
your nature too and what it demands of you. People who love what they
do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash and eat."
-- Marcus Aurelius
It is fun to read something written by another person, in another country, over 1800 years ago, and to see them having the same discussion with themselves that I have when I don't want to get up. And win.
|Tuesday, December 18th, 2007|
He lay back in the chair, his feet propped up on his desk disastrously close to a teetering stack of papers- intelligence reports and world news from think-tanks and private analysis companies. Nose deep in a book on feudal Japanese military tactics, he didn't look up when she entered the room. She stopped and sighed audibly, looking around the room.
He didn't respond. She glanced at the title of the book before walking to the other side of the room and plopping down on the sofa.
"You sure read alot."
"Life?" He reached over to the desk and grabbed a stack of papers, comparing back and forth between them and the book.
"I could understand if you were reading about something you could use to make money. How does learning about all this other stuff help you in life?" She eyed her nails with almost the same intensity he read the book.
"I was once told that the purpose of a liberal education is to 'make the mind a pleasant place in which to spend time.'" He reached out to a can of soda sitting on the desk, took a sip, and found it empty.
"Yeah, that definitely isn't my mind." Her voice carried a hint of reserve and secrecy. As she spoke she sighed and stared at the floor. He didn't seem to notice.
"Well then why don't you educate yourself and change it?"
"Yeah, I don't think doing some reading is going to help...some problems...run deeper."
He laughed, and shook his head. She sat up in the sofa, her eyes narrowing.
"What? What are you laughing at?"
He looked up for the first time, disgust registering on his face. "A sad attempt to substitute drama for character."
|Friday, December 7th, 2007|
|Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
If you desire peace, prepare for war.
The two conditions of human existence that most ensure peace:
Of course, a lot it has to do with how you define peace. If you define peace as the ability for people to live as they wish with minimal interferences from outside sources (actually the traditional definition of Freedom, a la Epictetus) nothing beats a democracy.
If you define "peace" as the absence of armed conflict with another nation, China during the Cultural Revolution was very peaceful.
People killed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution - 30,000,000+
Pre-WWII Russia was also very peaceful as communism took hold.
People killed in Russian (1932-39) - 23,000,000+
I am on a fucking tear today. Current Mood: aggravated
|Monday, December 3rd, 2007|
|Hate Christmas? You are probably an asshole.
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I tend to walk around in a good mood, full of holiday cheer. Yet, there is something that gets me blood up during these wonderful time- people who say they hate Christmas. I have learned, through extensive research, that most people who say they hate Christmas are assholes. Worse, they are all so boring and idiotically alike in their hatred, though they all believe their hating Christmas is special and unique- even compared to OTHERS who hate Christmas. This is so moronically false it is ridiculous. To take and modify a line from Anna Karenina, "People who hate Christmas are all alike, people who love Christmas each love it in their own special way."
Christmas-haters all give the same hackneyed explanation for why they hate Christmas:
"It's just a retail whore holiday!"
"It is too commercialized!"
"I don't like having to act nice to people I can't stand!"
And so on.
Ultimately, Anti-Christmas people can be broken into two camps:
1) Those who don't like Christmas because they don't like the idea of "acting nice and happy towards people you don't like, or when you don't feel it."
2) People who feel the Christmas spirit has been destroyed and co-opted by department stores for retail purposes, i.e. the dreaded "commercialization."
The first camp, those who don't like the idea of being nice to people they don't like or being nice out of compulsion due to the season- well, they are obviously assholes. For all their variables and excuses, what they are really saying is, "I don't *like* being nice. Except when I FEEL like being nice and to WHO I feel like being nice to." I've got news for you, jackass, that isn't being nice. It is being selective. Being nice is, by definition, treating someone better than they deserve. Not in some stupid, foolishly ignorant way- but with a hope and belief that by treating them better than they deserve, they may rise to the act in a way that warrants such treatment. It may not be the way to act year-round, but I think most everyone would benefit from spending a little time each year (say near the very end...) being nice. I don't think I need to explain further- these are obviously small, bitter little people who deserve no further recognition and infinite scorn and laughter.
The other group is those who say that they don't like the corruption of the Christmas Spirit- Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men- by commercialization and so forth. Here is the real irony: the people who say this stuff tend to be the people who aren't ever filled with anything but cynicism and anger towards these concept anyway! It is always the person who is a dick to most people ANYWAY who says they don't like Christmas because the happy, generous spirit we attribute to it has been "corrupted." Really, these people are no different than the first camp, except that they try to mask their anger and pettiness with false-virtue and indignation. In fact, these people are worse than the first camp because they don't have the mental honesty to admit their game. What is more, their explanation doesn't even hold water.
How can this be true? Think about it. Commercialization is WHY we, as a culture and a nation, accept Christmas as a time for being good to each other, believing in miracles, trying a little harder than usual. That concept of Christmas that you think commercialization is destroying? Commercialization MADE that concept. Commercialization is what transformed Christmas from a strictly non-secular holiday, celebrated by a particular religion and thus, by its nature, divisive, into a cultural and secular holiday in which everyone is welcome to partake. Jesus may have been the original reason for the season, but it was commercialization- tacky department store decorations, Christmas trees, TV specials, that MADE it something more than a religious holiday. Let's be honest- think back to Christmas as a child. What do you remember? Sitting in church? Pondering Jesus? At most you probably think back to a Nativity scene in terms of religious motif. Most of your memories probably involve non-religious things- decorating a tree with your family, caroling, watching cheezy Christmas specials, hot chocolate, etc. Once again, I am not trying to downplay the fact that Christmas started and took its original spirit from the birth of Jesus, but rather that, with the help of commercialization, it has transcended that relatively narrow scope and become something more.
So if you hate Christmas, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself an honest question. Why do you hate Christmas? Most likely, you will find the real answer within. You are an asshole. Current Mood: amused
|Monday, November 26th, 2007|
|Tuesday, November 13th, 2007|
|Friday, November 2nd, 2007|
The grey stone was rough and cold beneath his lips. He kissed it, eyes closed, and tried to remember what it had been like before. Once, when he was younger he had sailed for a few months on a merchant schooner- The Cheaux Belle. It disgusted him to serve on a ship christened with a French name, but it had been a wonderful time; beautiful, in its way. Mornings spent up in the crow’s nest, watching the black night turn blue and then crimson as the sun surfaced and rose out of the ocean into the sky, its rays streaking the waters gold. Afternoons found him, sweaty and dirty from work, resting with the other crewman while lunch was wolfed down and the boatswain- a grim and tired man with more scars on his face than whiskers- told stories of haunted vessels, luscious islands, and forgotten sea-gods. In the evening he would settle into his canvas hammock, drunk on rum and exhausted from sun and toil, and write bad poetry till ocean rocked him to sleep like a newfound mother. When he had finally reached Portugal and departed, amid many gruff slaps on the back and vulgar accusations of land-lubbery, he had stood on the wharf and watched the ship shrink into the horizon until the ocean swallowed it up entirely. With its disappearance, the ship, and his time on it, almost instantly departed reality and became like a short dream from which he had woken. A story he knew to be rich and fat with adventure and meaning, but which he had to struggle to recall. It was a terrible sensation. And it was exactly this sensation that assailed him now as he rocked forward on his knees and kissed the tombstone again. Current Mood: nostalgic
|Monday, October 29th, 2007|
|Friday, October 26th, 2007|
Tony slammed his left fist into the goon’s chest, all the force of his legs and hips behind it, and felt the sternum crumble and break beneath his knuckles. The goon’s legs buckled beneath him and he hit the floor, propped up with his back against the wall. He drove a straight right directly between the goon’s hazy eyes, opening a massive gash that spewed blood as the goon’s head snapped back to smash against the wall. Stepping back, Tony kicked out, stomping his heel into the goon’s throat. There was no pop or crack- just a low squishing sound as the goon slumped over and died. A low growl escaped Tony’s throat and he turned to face the rest of them. The tall one, with the jagged scar running from his forehead down to his left eye, looked at him, his face contorted in rage. Yelling, he ran directly at Tony with his right fist cocked back next to his ear. Tony only stood still, waiting. Just as he was within range, Scar hauled off and threw his punch straight to Tony’s face. With one deft move Tony sidestepped to the outside of the punch, allowing the goon’s arm to miss by a mile and spin its owner past him, and grabbed the long florescent light from the table. Swiveling to face his opponent, he smashed the bulb down onto Scar's head. The light shattered on impact with a loud pop and Tony turned his face away from the flying glass. He was left holding a jagged piece of bulb about 6 inches long. Scar turned, streams of blood dripping from his head from a dozen chunks of glass embedded in it, and dropped to his knees. Tony looked at him for a moment, and then stabbed the sharp edge of the light directly into the side of Scar’s neck. Blood spraying from his jugular, the goon pitched over onto the floor, an ever-widening crimson lake forming on the cold tile beneath his face. Once more Tony turned to the group. They were huddled together against the back wall, like cubs seeking protection in their numbers, now that they were faced with an animal more ferocious than them. The faces were gaunt and pale- no trace of menace or challenge on them. Quivering lips and wide eyes had spread contagiously, and a low moan from one of them permeated the room for a few seconds before dying out- its echo still reverberating in the air. Tony stared at them. His eyes were clear and solid and his voice had no quiver when it slithered out into the wilds between he and the goons.
“Where are they?”
The image of someone standing alone in a field is an image that comes up all the time in my mind and writing- a psychoanalyst would probably have a field day with that- pardon the pun.
The field was wild and unkempt. Spreading out for several hundred yards in any direction, rotting witchgrass, its tips brown and dry with death, covered the area. It was barren of all other life and vegetation. The grey sky, filthy with storm clouds, loomed above, butting up with the field in the far horizon. At times it seemed in danger of swallowing the field up; other times the field quixotically repelled the encroaching ceiling. A full breeze stroked the grass gently, the blades undulating to rub one another in a dim frolic.
|Monday, October 22nd, 2007|
More dialogue practice.
“I want to talk about it. It helps. I know it helps,” she said.
“I’m not your priest,” he answered, “I don’t take confessions.”
She glared across the room at him, her face curled in anger. He continued to undress, his back turned to her, either not noticing or not caring.
“So that’s it? You just want to cap the relationship? Keep this about the sex and nothing more?”
He turned to her slightly, paused for a moment, and scratched the back of his head. “It was never just about the sex. I’ve made that clear enough times. If you haven’t figured that out by now, that is your problem. Just let me know- because I’m not going to have any sort of relationship with someone who feels used.”
Scowling, she unhooked her bra, intentionally fumbling with the back for a few moments. She threw it on the floor next to his feet. He ignored the gesture and took off his shirt. The dirty yellow lights of the room stuck to her naked torso, tinting it a dull orange as she plopped down onto the middle of the bed.
“I just don’t see why we can’t talk like regular people,” she said
“We aren’t regular people. And we can talk- we DO talk. I just don’t want you unloading all your problems on me. That’s not what this is.” He looked down at the silver pendant he had taken off and laid down on the dresser. It was getting tarnished from wear and needed to be cleaned. He could do that tomorrow.
She frowned. “That’s ok,” her voice was icy and mocking, “I know what this is.” As she spoke she spread her legs, smiling at him. “I know what it is you want. Why you keep coming back.” She ran a finger down her stomach, stopping just shy of her panties then slid it back up to her breasts.
The lamp on the bedside table had begun to hum, low and annoying. He looked around at the walls of the room and suddenly felt very disgusted. He looked at her and the feeling intensified.
Grinning like a shark, she lounged back on the bed, her arms above her head. “Come and get it. You know you want to.”
Now it was his turn to scowl. Turning, he put his keys back in his pocket, grabbed his belt, and started to put on his shirt.
She bolted up. “What are you doing?”
He picked up the pendant. He turned it over in his hand, looking at it with soft eyes.
“This is over.”