Thursday, April 30, 2009

Posting Just to Post

Man, it's crazy how worried people are about the swine flu. Yeah, it's a little scary how quickly it's spreading, but I think people are looking at this from the wrong angle. Let's say that this strain of flu really is widespread and fatal. Well, there will be an increased demand for doctors and gravediggers, and if there are fewer people, the unemployment rate will drop. In short, the swine flu is good for our economy.

Speaking of crazy, I love my mom, but she's fucking bonkers.

You may recall that I moved my blog from the old location to here because I was being stalked by a former co-worker. He's still going to my old location from time to time... maybe he's gay and has a secret crush on me.

It turns out that I'm pretty good at do-it-yourself home repairs. I had a copper plumbing pipe burst last week. It was the pipe that leads to the outside... the one that I would use to water the lawn, wash my car and so forth, so it was no big deal. I just shut off the water to that specific pipe and fixed the problem at my leisure. But I must admit that I'm kind of proud that I was able to unsolder the broken pipe, buy the replacement parts for less than $20, and solder the whole thing back together in less than an hour.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Answer to Sunny...

My take on today's post by Sunny. (Thanks for the idea!) I'm not going to re-hash the original article, because most of my (three or four) regular readers also frequent Sunny's blog. (It's kind of nice having a small, tight-knit reading community.)

Her commentary got me thinking though... wow, I too have been blogging for a long time, (passing thought) and my writing path isn't horribly dissimilar from hers. It used to be simple to find a story on the internet, and then twist it into something worthy of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. At one time, it was child's play to construct a diatribe against my perceived grievances against society. Now, I'm lucky if I can post something weekly, and even that's usually about as interesting as "I went to the store and bought some milk today." The part of Sunny's post that I really want to address though is her perception that she's changed. I have a few thoughts about changing...

I believe that it's human nature to change. I'm not the same person I was five years ago, and I'm even more dissimilar to the person I was a decade ago. We are the summary of our experiences, so the only way we can cease changing is to stop having new experiences. In other words, if you're not evolving, you're stagnating. Change may be painful at times, but that pain can serve as a reminder that you're alive... that you're growing... that you're evolving.

I also think that our moods tend to flatten out over time. Think back to when you were ten... fifteen... twenty... (and if you can't remember back that far, think about when your kids were that age) didn't everything seem to be either wonderful or terrible? As we get older, things aren't always black and white, there are shades of gray... and as we get older yet, I suspect that we'll find that a continually growing "shades of gray" mentality forces the "black and white" frame of mind to diminish to virtually zero. As a result, you don't express jubilation every day, but you don't feel despair as frequently either.

And your baseline mood can change. Think of the mood range as a scale of -10 to +10. The low end is the depth of despair... you can't sleep... you forget to eat... you want to die... The only thing that exists is the pain. The high end is bliss... you don't want to sleep... you can't stop laughing... colors are brighter... you don't want the moment to end... and you want to share it with everyone. At zero, you're neither happy nor sad. We all have our own baseline. Some people are usually a little unhappy... their baseline is -1, for example. For the sake of my point, we all have a baseline from -1 to +1, with most falling around zero. As we age, our baseline can -- and probably does -- change. It can be a single life-altering event, or a series of small things. And going back to my previous school of thought, I think that our baseline crystallizes as we age.

Sometimes though, external forces change our mood on a massive level. Think back to 9/11. Aside from the terrorists, the global mood was somber. It may be hard to remember, but for a brief period, virtually the entire world grieved with us. Think of the jubilation that many of us experienced with Obama's election to the White House. Look at our global economy now.

Here's my point to Sunny: I'm going to take your perception at face value. I'm not going to analyze whether or not you were happier a few years ago. But you're older... you've had a seriously life-altering experience... and the external mood is somber. You're not alone if your baseline is a little below zero, and it's not stuck there.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I was Trolled

I've got a couple of videos on YouTube. In fact, I've got about 20 videos... most of them are related to hobbies of mine. A couple of them are pretty popular... I have a couple of Harley exhaust videos that have over 15000 hits. Nothing spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, but reasonable popular.

So some troll decided to come by and talk shit... calling me a faggot and idiot for owning a Harley. I took the high road in my response... and he responded again. I figured I'd make one more high-road response before blocking him... thus proving him an idiot and getting the last word. But alas, I accidentally deleted his message. I guess that was God's way of telling me to just shut up, block him and delete his troll words.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reviewing the Norelco 7310 Rotary Razor

People who know me in the real world know that I hate shaving. It's just a hassle, and I've never really seen the necessity of hacking all of the hair off of my face with a sharp metal object. Thank God I was born after Don Johnson popularized the slightly unshaven look. But then again, I've tended to take that to an extreme... shaving approximately once or twice per month, whether I need it or not. And during the winter I tend to not shave at all.

I've had an electric razor in the past... it was a Braun, and I liked it well enough. I finally stopped using it because the foil got trashed and I couldn't find another one. That was several years ago; about a month ago, I came to the conclusion that it was time to try another electric razor.

When the foil on the Braun went, it blew in a spectacular fashion, and tore my face up pretty good, so I was inclined to try out a rotary razor this time. In the end, I settled on the Norelco 7310.

I'm going to start by saying that no electric razor will ever cut as close as a blade. That stated though, the 7310 is more than "good enough." Right out of the box, I put it to a test I never thought it would pass... I used it to shave two weeks worth of facial hair. It took a while, but the 7310 was up to the task, and it removed all of that stubble painlessly. That's right -- no pulling, just shaving. I was really impressed.

Based on my understanding, there's always an ajdustment period when you change shaving styles. My experience certainly echoes that conventional wisdom. I had a little bit of facial irritation for the first week or so... that combination of mild itching and burning that usually accompanies shaving with a slightly dull disposable blade. Again though, I tend to shave so infrequently that I get this with a brand new blade.

The adjustment period was over in about a week, and I can shave without irritation. For me the shave is quicker than a blade shave, but again it's not quite as close a blade shave. Some things I've noticed about the razor...

Pros: It's really quiet. Cleaning is quick and easy, because you can rinse it with water instead of having to use the brush to clean it.

Cons: The sideburn trimmer doesn't lock open, so it tends to snap shut while trimming the sideburns. And since it's a rotary razor, it's difficult to get that sharp sideburn trim. The power cord is really short. Not a major problem, because it's coiled, but I'd like it a bit longer. The box says something like "up to a month of shaving on a single charge," but that's certainly not the case for me. I get about a week and a half on a charge.

Overall review: My list of cons looks longer, but I'm happy with this razor. If you're considering an electric razor, consider this one. It works for me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sorry, He's not a Victim. He's a Fat Bastard

Today's post started with Paulius. Last Friday, he started a rant, which brought a comment from Kelly, which brought about another Paulius rant, and another Kelly comment. Now I've got enough fodder for my own complete post. Please bear in mind though, I never saw the original Oprah interview that Paulius is talking about, so I may be speaking a bit out of turn. This doesn't negate my overall opinion though.

Sorry Kelly. I agree with Paul. I think that one of the largest problems with American society is that we lack any sense of personal responsibility... we're all victims, and everything negative that happens to us is somebody else's fault.

Your comments on both of Paul's articles underscore my point. I will happily concede that mom contributes to fat bastard's problem, but at some point he's got to take responsibility for his own actions.

Saying that he doesn't know any better is a fallacy, because the media, schools and the government all spend countless dollars and hours preaching the benefits of a healthy diet... even going to the extent of recommending a general daily caloric intake (2000 calories) and the number of servings of specific types of foods for a healthy diet. I find it difficult to believe that this kid's never heard of or seen the food pyramid.

Again, I'm not absolving mom of her part in this... obviously any mother that would feed her kid ten fried chickens per day deserves to have her parental rights revoked. But I'll bet this kid thinks he's ready to drive a car. How can you be responsible enough to drive a car, but not be responsible enough to eat sensibly?

And since the double-standard was brought up, let's compare this to smoking. I started smoking when I was 17 years old. I've smoked off and on (mostly on) for over 20 years. I've quit so many times that I've lost count. I was raised with the knowledge that smoking is unhealthy, but I made a personal choice to try tobacco... and I got hooked. I knew the risk. I took the chance, and I will pay the price for the rest of my life. Assuming I'm lucky and my willpower is strong, my most recent quit will stick, and the only price I'll pay is that I'll have nicotine cravings for the rest of my life. If I'm not lucky strong enough, I'll fall back into my tobacco habit and I will actually purchase the carcinogen that gives me cancer, providing me with a slow, agonizing death.

That's right. I am an addict. If you follow the twelve-step mentality, I am a recovering tobacco addict... blah, blah, blah. Backing up to your "double standard" though. Yeah, people revile fat people and make jokes. Nobody's trying to outlaw being fat though. If you think that being fat is frowned upon, try being a smoker! I can't think of a more scorned group of people than smokers.

"Why don't you just quit?" Ummm... non-smokers don't get it. The addictive properties of tobacco are so strong that asking someone to "just quit" is like asking someone to "just not drink water." Yes. It's that powerful. Going back to my original point though... I made a choice to start smoking. And each successive cigar or cigarette that I smoke (or don't smoke) is a personal choice. Just like fat bastard's decision to stuff another chicken in his tubby little face is his decision. Yeah, mom may make the chicken, but ultimately, it's the kid's hands picking up the chicken. It's the kid's teeth chewing the food, and it's the kid's throat swallowing the shit.

It's easy to call overeating a disorder and think of the kid as a victim. It's also easy to say I'm addicted to tobacco, give up and smoke until I die. At some point though, personal responsibility and accountability has to kick in. If the kid's never held accountable, then we as a society are doing him a greater disservice than his enabling mother.