Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fat Boy...

And I'm not talking about the Harley!! I mean me and others like me. I am a Fat Boy. Been a fat boy most of my life from the time I started school and the teacher made me sit still and be quiet. I got the "sit still" part down pretty good and rather quickly, but the "be quiet" part not so much!! LOL As a kid my parents and grandparents taught me to try things. Meaning food! "Don't turn your nose up before you try it!" they would chide. So I tried it. I tried everything that came in front of me until I got old enough to understand that there are some things I just ain't puttin' in my face!

Between my dad and my grandfather I developed some seriously bad-for-me tastes. Heavy cream on cereal ( especially oatmeal!) I love grilled meat, and baked goods, pies, cakes, cookies and breads. I like to eat junkfood like nobody's business, and I am paying the price now in my mid-life. I learned not only to eat the stuff that tasted good, but to eat it in great volume. It was the worst thing I could have learned. My grandfather used to tell us, "Take all you want, but eat all you take, don't waste food!" I'm sure that much of that comes from growing up in the 1930's during The Great Depression, but it also came from growing up poor in general. My parents and grandparents always made huge meals, pot roasts and pastas and stews and soups, in quantities big enough to feed a small army. When I was around my cousins and uncles it was a matter of pride who could get the biggest portion and finish it... Not the brightest bulbs on the tree, I guess.

Cut to my teen years, and I have a job and money in my pocket. Now I can get the stuff that mom didn't have money to buy very often. I could stop at McDonald's any time I wanted to, and I often did. Then I discovered the places in the city that served the stuff that truly clogged the arteries, Garbage Plates! From Nick's and Mark's and The Princess. I found the nectar of the gods! To me anyway, as well as the steak subs and the meatball subs and the long simmered sausage and sauce from the from the great Italian restaurants in Rochester. Pasta galore and pizza from every joint in the city. I am happy to say that I'm not now nor have I ever been a big fan of chicken wings, but I have many other vices!

Not only was I an eater, but I found out very young that I was a power eater! I could pound back the food like nobody's business. I was 6 years old when I won my first food related bet. I was at a restaurant with my parents for some celebration or other and some of their friends were there. I wanted Spaghetti & Meatballs for dinner, and when dad asked how big the child's portion was, the waitress indicated a size that seemed way too small for my normal intake, so we opted for the adult portion. When it arrived it was huge! A pile of pasta at least 4 inches deep on a plate the size of a serving platter, covered in red sauce and with 6 gigantic meatballs arranged around the plate. My eyes lit up like spotlights! As I reached for the Parmesan, one of dad's buddies commented that I wouldn't be able to eat half of that pile. Dad laughed and so did I, so he bet me a dessert that I couldn't eat more than half. I ate the whole damn thing! In less than 30 minutes I had that huge platter of pasta tucked away in my belly. And then I had dessert! In school it became a source of pride the quantities of food I could eat. I would save my allowance so that I could get doubles and sometimes triples of my favorite lunch items. Pizza, sloppy joes, ravioli, toasted cheese w/ tomato soup. ( what was it about those toasted cheese sammiches? MAN, they were tasty!!) Tuna boats!! Did you ever have a tuna boat? They are simply a tuna sammich made in a hot dog roll. Simple and tasty and easy to handle, one day I ate 18 of them. I ended up in the nurses office. It was some time before I tried eating tuna again, and from that day forward it always gives me indigestion for a few hours. The canned corn that the school served? Swimming in butter and salty!! I loved that stuff and I used to get soup bowls of it. My personal "best" was eating 15 slices of school pizza when I was in 8th grade. My friends even bought me some when I ran out of money to see how many I could eat. Eating contests at McDonald's? You bet. A Friday night after a football game, and a bet .... One week it was cheeseburgers. 29 of them. Big Macs? 16 was my limit on them. French fries? 10 large orders ( what is a "regular" now. ) Each week it was something different, and I would take on the champ from the school that we had played the football game against. What was the food? As long as it was made at Micky D's, BK or Pizza Hut I was in for the challenge. I never lost in 6 years. 12 Whoppers, 32 BK regular burgers, 18 Quarter Pounders with cheese, 2-1/2 large pepperoni pizzas. 12 personal pan pizzas, 8 pounds of lasagna, or fettuchini, or spaghetti. I was never cowed, but I ate like one to be sure!

Now I pay that price for these poor habits and practices. No, believe it or not, I don't have diabetes or high cholesterol. I have the great good fortune to have good genes. Somehow I have a nice normal cholesterol level. My "good" cholesterol isn't as high as it should be, but still and all, the doc say that my arteries aren't clogging with plaque like some people. Along with the terrible habits, my fore bearers also gave me some good ones. I like veggies. Broccoli, Brussel spouts and cauliflower, I love 'em. I like squash and carrots and beans, green beans, lima beans, butter beans, and kidney beans. Black-eyed peas and snow peas and sweet peas. Sweet corn, and tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet peppers, hot peppers, jalapenos and habenaros too. Black olives, greek olives, and figs. Apples, oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. Grapes! Concords and green grapes too. I like my meat lean. I can't stand a fatty cut of meat. My dad and my grandpa used to eat the fatty stuff, and grandpa was the giblets fiend in the family. I never developed a taste for that stuff thankfully. He could have all the gizzards he wanted, I didn't like them in the least.

Old habits die hard. I quit smoking, 4 times now. The last time was nearly 2 years ago, and I'm glad to be done with it. As long as it lasts. I still have the urge, but I keep on fighting it. Now I have to change my eating habits. This is harder by far because you don't need to smoke to live, but you do need to eat! I have tried many, many ways of changing my eating habits, but there are a few things that seem to foil me over and over.

I love food. I have no other love in my life right now. The cupcakes and ho-hos never turn me down! Lay's is right, you can't eat just one! When I am traveling I always seem to end up in a drive through. I hate to waste food, so I eat the whole thing. Have you ever ordered the nachos at Applebee's? HUGE. Slowly I am working on changing my habits. No more big bowls of cereal for breakfast. No more 3 egg ham & cheese omelets. No more 4 slices of toast with peanut butter. No more 3 potatoes worth of hash browns. No more dozen pancakes with butter and syrup. My average breakfast now is a piece of fruit, a grapefruit or an apple and a small glass of juice. orange juice, maybe pineapple or cranberry. That's it. 6 days a week that is my breakfast. One day, usually Sunday, I may have something different.

I have eliminated soda-pop. No more Coke, Mt. Dew or Dr. Pepper. Diet or otherwise. The diet is even worse than the regular! I drink tea. I know the caffeine may not be the best for me, but it's calorie free and sugar free. I don't add sugar so it's the best I can do. Green teas and black teas.
I have dropped snacking to a bare minimum. I have one cookie or cracker product sometime between Breakfast and Lunch. Then I have the same thing between Lunch and dinner. No snacking after dinner. No ice cream, no cookies, no nuts or fruit. Dinner is the last thing I eat. At least that it the goal. Doesn't always work out, but I try dang hard. I am keeping a running tally of my week, hour by hour I am charting my habits trying to break the cycle.

Lunch is one old fashioned "normal" serving of something. Maybe a tuna sammich, or a wrap. A bowl of soup or a can of Chef Boyardee. Maybe a few crackers and some peanut butter, or some fruit. Fresh fruit or canned fruit in juice. No heavy syrup, lite syrup, or Splenda syrup.

Dinner is one serving of whatever is good that day. I like veggies, sauteed in olive oil. Perhaps a veggie omelet. Lean meat, or perhaps a piece or 2 of chicken. Skinless, but I do like the breaded stuff. Desert is immediately following dinner and it is small and light. If not immediately following, it doesn't get eaten. No dessert some days. After dinner I take a walk. 1/4 mile up hill and down. As the weather gets better, I will be able to ride my bike more often. Right now I ride for a little bit in the afternoon up the driveway and the road.

2 weeks in tomorrow. One inch and 6 pounds gone. I will be working hard at keeping myself from eating when I am bored. When I am lonely, when I am frustrated, when I am pissed. I crave food, but I am working on it!!! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Some people thrive on it, and some people live for it, but then there are others who can live without it, and those who can take it or leave it. Then there are those of us who will actively avoid it. I'm one who will actively avoid it.

We all know "that couple," the ones who snipe at each other every chance they get, poking and prodding trying to provoke a fight or at least an argument. I guess it's the only way that they understand to get into each other. They think they are being honest, or at least open. I think it's a way to stay closed off, if you are always on the defensive ( or the offensive too) you don't have to open up and actually talk. Some people call it "passion", but I just don't buy it, how can a person be happy when they are constantly in a state of looking for a way to make someone mad or a way to defend themselves. I have seen many of these couples break up over the years. Some last longer than others, but they all end when one or the other gets tired of fighting.

There are the individuals who are always spoiling for a fight, whether it's a war of words or actual fisticuffs doesn't matter to them, they are just looking to try and best someone, these are bullies. They have to be louder, and tougher and they feel the need to bend everyone to their will. They will argue over a noise that somebody's chair makes, or the daily weather report. These people will be ready to throw punches over the smallest perceived slight, from a look to an accidental sniff. Never turn your back on a true bully, they have no sense of shame and will happily use any means necessary to cause you pain if they think that you have done them wrong in any way. Some people say they are the "alpha" types, I just think they are attention seeking jerks.

Some people will stand up for themselves or their friends and loved ones, but otherwise they are peaceable and easy going people. These are people who will have discussions about things when they disagree with someone, and they will remain calm for the most part. If somebody pushes them, they will push back, they will never escalate, but will always meet with at least equal aggression. Sometimes they win, and sometimes they lose. They don't live and die by the honor of besting someone in everything they do, and they learn from their mistakes and try to get along with people. These are people that make great friends and neighbors, they are great to have in the family and they are often good peace makers and "go-to guys" because they get the job done and generally avoid making enemies while doing it.

Then there are people like me. We go to great lengths to avoid conflict, arguments make us queasy, and just the thought of raised voices or disagreeing with someone can cause us stress. We are calm and agreeable and easy to talk to. We will smile and nod when you tell us the craziest things. You think that you can't surprise us because we remain so calm outwardly, but inside we may be screaming. Don't believe for one minute that we can't stand up for ourselves, because that's just not true, we can, and many of us have, but we wait for something really big, or until someone pushes just the right button one too many times. Sadly this is quite dangerous, because whomever gets the bull will be getting the bull that has been building up. It is the risk we run, sometimes we just lose our minds, but generally we have a great big blow up, and things get said and broken and sometimes there is violence.

What many people don't realize is that those of us who avoid conflict have some pretty good reasons. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but my reasons are pretty simple, the main one is that I know that I have a serious temper. I'm not a hair trigger by any means, but I do know that when I get pissed in a serious way that it is not safe for me to be around people. I never want to cause bodily harm to anybody, I may say I do, but in truth it is probably the last thing that I would ever actually want to do. I have spent many years learning how to control my temper and to stay out of trouble, but there are people in this world who will think this means that they can push me around, and in some cases they can. Only because I let them.

Another reason that I try to avoid conflict is because I used to see it in my own home when I was a kid. I watched my mom and dad fight. Plenty of arguments, and sometimes big, old, knock-down, drag-out fights. My dad was a great provider, but he was also a bully in the house. It was his way or the highway, and I knew it. Whenever I tried to stand up for myself I was beat down by the old man. A smart answer generally meant a fat lip or at least sore spot on the cheekbone for a couple days. I have flown through doors, and out of rooms. I have had bruises from on end of me to another and I am sure that on more than one occasion my scalp came off of my skull while I was being dragged around by my hair being shown the work I didn't do. I can spot anger in a person in a millisecond, and it always flips my stomach. Past is past, but it still affects me and my behavior. I try everyday to be the exact opposite of how I was raised. I never say never, but I truly prefer to calmly resolve problems. The second that a voice is raised in my direction, I go into defensive mode, and I scare myself. So yeah, you can often push me around, but please count yourself lucky that you aren't the one to throw the straw that breaks the camel's back.

There is some serious positivity that has come from this, I am polite to everybody that I meet, no matter how big an asshole they are. No matter how much I dislike you, I can be friendly and kind to you. I may be a little passive-aggressive on occasion, but in general I am polite and well behaved in public. Sadly this gives me plenty of people who insist on talking to me when I would just as soon they would find a new friend, but the positive side is that I can get things from people that give up nothing to anyone. I don't force my way up hierarchies, because I don't like to fight over crap, and I refuse to compete for attention. I do my job as best I can, and generally I do it quite well. I am a professional sidekick, because I don't want to be aggressive enough to get the top spot even though I probably deserve it.

If I can live a peaceful life, I will be happy, but occasionally I know that I will have to stand up for myself or for those close to me. I chose my battles very carefully. I also approach them with trepidation, but when I have to, I can fight with the best of them. I have been a bouncer, and a security guard. I can hold my own in a fight, I just prefer not to have to.

Too many people choose conflict, and not enough are willing to try a calmer way. It's too bad, because life is so much more pleasant when there is more calmness and less conflict.

Monday, April 20, 2009

some can and some can't : Mustache!

Hair... It's just hair, but it means so much to so many.

Ever notice that there are people in the world who look good with facial hair and others who never do? The same with long hair on the head, some people can pull it off and others can't. The bald guy with the ponytail? Nope, just looks dopey no matter who or where. When the bald guy wears a hat to cover the bald spot, and then takes it off an the ponytail is still there? Oye! I was a long hair for many years, and quite proud of the fact. I just thought that I looked better with long hair. That's what mattered to me, that I thought I looked good. The old guy down the street who would bitch about the long hair didn't bother me, and the boss bitching certainly didn't bother me. What ultimately bothered me enough to get me to cut my hair off was cleaning out the drain. It's not like I was going bald, but I hated cleaning out the drain of all that nasty hair coated with soap scum!

I found out that I have some follicle problems. Not enough!! I guess that my genetic heritage is such that I do not have the dense facial folicles to grow a decent mustache or beard. Heck I can't even grow a respectible goatee! I tried, for a long time, I bet it was nearly a decade that I had some sort of hair on my face. In fact one year for my Halloween costume I shaved my face clean and cut my hair short and went out without my glasses. Some of my closest friends didn't recognize me!! It was brilliant! In fact I nearly got a poke in the nose when I freaked out one of my female friends. LOL

So what is it about certain faces that make them look good with fur? Some guys look dumb without whickers, but put a mustache on them and bang! they look intelligent, distinguished, or even adult. Other guys look normal, with a clean shave, but then they grow a beard or a mustache and they look like a cast-off from a 70's porn flick. Scruffy barely covers the look. You see them and you expect them to grunt rather than talk! Never could figure it out. How does one know until they try life both ways? And who is the person who decides for them? Do they decide for themselves or do they wait for the compliments to come or not?

But then who cares! I

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why I take pictures...

I was recently asked what I get from a picture, why do I take them, and I thought about the answer for about 5 seconds, and this is what I said...

What are pictures for me? Many times it depends on the picture, and when I am taking it. Pictures to me are many things and a huge part of my life. I have aspired to be a "Photographer" for much of my life, along with so many other things, but pictures were always something that were simply a part of my life, whether I was working hard on them or simply snapping memories. Most of the time they are simply that, memories. A snapshot of an event or a day, or something that I simply wanted to be able to remember later. But in recent years, especially with a digital camera, where the cost of film and the associated processing are no longer a factor, I take pictures in a much different way.

When I got my first digital camera, I took it with me everywhere and took pictures of anything simply because I wanted to see how the camera captured images, what it did with light and what I could expect from it in various settings. I have never been the type to stage a picture, for me they have to be natural. If they can be easily recreated, I'm not very interested in taking the picture. I try to capture certain moments and moods. Many of my friends consider me to be a paparazzi because I love to take pictures of people especially when they are not expecting it. I try to capture the spirit of a person, to see them in the unguarded moment when the picture will show you their soul, when you can see what they desire, or regret, or what they truly love. I like to capture the moments of unbridled joy, when someone is so happy that they simply overflow with the emotion. Sometimes I can catch someone pondering some deep problem, and you can see the thoughtfulness or the worry, or the care that they are taking in a decision. I enjoy taking pictures of children playing. There is something special about children, there is a purity of emotion in them that adults try so hard to cover up. With children, there is no tact, or deception, you can see in their faces what they are feeling and to get those special pictures is always a joy to me.

When I am taking pictures of buildings or landscapes, I look to capture the mood of the subjects, a field of blooming flowers is a happy picture, and I try to find a way to make it look happy. A dead tree standing in a hedge is a sad subject, sometimes. Sometimes it is a subject that feels of grandeur, or an indomitable spirit. The lone sentinel holding its' place long after its' fellows have fallen. The lone tree standing in a field, in the summer time gives a feeling of hope, there is shade and respite in the stark world, under the spreading shade of the lone tree. In buildings I can see the past, walking along beside and among the present and the future. It is one of the things that I love about Odessa, the Old buildings being used for modern things. I enjoy walking into an ancient building, the facade rebuilt many times over the centuries and yet the interior is as modern as any building being erected today. The juxtaposition of new and old, to capture this in a picture shows that history can continue to exist, while being utilized by continuing generations.

Sometimes I see something that captures my attention and I simply enjoy the aesthetics of the colors or the textures. Today I took some photos of clouds. They were interesting to me in their formation and layers. Capturing a sunset is special, because no matter how you try, you will never, ever see two sunsets that are the same. Every day is different, and every location has it's special charms. Sometimes the sun is reflected from water, and sometimes blurred by snow. Sometimes there is a rainbow, or the evening star, the planets trailing the sun closely into the horizon.

Sometimes I look at pictures that I have taken many years ago and I can remember exactly what I was thinking when I took them. I am taken back to that exact moment in time and I can relive the feelings and the emotions.

This is what Pictures are for me, they are truly pieces of the fabric of my life and in some cases, extensions of my soul.

Friday, April 10, 2009

traffic, weather and guns....

The world is falling apart and everyone is blaming the other guy, nobody wants to look in the mirror and point at themselves. Bumper stickers abound talking trash about everything, and the pundits on the airwaves have it all figured out. The conservatives blame the liberals and visa-versa. I don't have all the answers, I will leave some of that to the people who are way smarter than me, but I know some things, and I feel that I need to say something. Here is what I see:

In my local city, (Rochester) they are getting government money to install red-light cameras at particularly troublesome intersections. These cameras are designed to snap pictures of the license plates and drivers of vehicles passing through intersections that have red lights. Duh! "The great Orwellian society is taking over." "It is the age of big brother." This is the cry of the public now. Um... Guess what? There are cameras everywhere you go these days waiting to catch you doing something wrong. In the parking lots, in the malls and the stores. In the gas stations, and in the restaurants. Anywhere that people congregate there are cameras watching. The biggest difference is that, MORE PEOPLE BREAK TRAFFIC LAW THAN ANY OTHER LAW. Sad sack sumbitches think that now they will get caught doing something that they shouldn't. Mostly because they have been doing it for so long that they figure that they will forget the cameras are there and get nailed. I'm sure they will. I don't like it, but people have proven for generations that they can't be trusted. When I was a child someone once said to me, " A lock will only keep an honest man honest." I think that is probably one of the truest things I have ever heard in my life. There is something in a human being that makes them wish to "get away" with something. Whether it is extra dessert when nobody else gets it, or finding an open door or slipping through a red light when no one is coming. Even the most Honest person in the world will eventually slip up and let nature goad them into something. Maybe they peek in a window and see a naked lady, or snitch the last donut. IT happens. It's human nature, like fighting and arguing. Sadly traffic cameras are more about generating income for a city than they are about traffic enforcement. It's a newer and sneakier tax. There is another things that the police are using now to catch scofflaws too called a traffic scanner. It's a highspeed camera attached to a computer that scans plates and stickers for validity and warrants. Lazy cops! Whatever happend to knowing your people? Get out and walk around the neighborhoods! Get off the bbicycles and out of the patrol cars and walk. Get to know the people again.

Guns are in the news and in a big way. People dieing and people killing. Whole families wiped out because of the despair factor. Insanity and instability making people go out with a bang. (pun intended) But there is another thing that I know the Pro-gun and the anti-gun crowd haven't considered as a contributing factor here. It was dramatically pointed out in the Pittsburgh Police officers deaths. The Pro-gun people have been harping constantly on how President Obama is going to take away our guns. The truth is that he has so much more to concentrate on, that it is highly unlikely that it is up at the top of his to-do list. Yet as long as the NRA and others keep pushing the buttons it will spur idiots to do stupid things, and this only adds fuel to the Anti-gun fires. Everytime a child dies or a family is torn apart or a maniac goes on a killing spree, the drums beat louder to take away our 2nd amendment rights. This will literally take a LOT of doing and no one president or congress will be able to do it. It will take most of a generation to get that kind of change enacted and it just isn't gonna happen yet. Sadly, the despair brought on by the economic situation in this country makes it more likely that people who were borderline stable to begin with will go off the deep end and do something to hurt themselves and those that they "love". Selfish bastards! Still, look at the overall statistics and you will see that more people die on Americas highways than at the end of a gun. And now here in Rochester we have a new problem...

Last Saturday morning (3 am) a man shot and killed a 17 year old kid who was breaking into cars. The basics of the story are this; A man heard noise and looked outside to see people moving from driveway to driveway. Being a leaglly licensed gun owner he grabbed his gun and told his girlfriend to call 911 and get the police coming. He went outside and yelled to the people to stop what they were doing, he warned them that he had a gun and he was calling the police. He found that it was three young men, and two of them took off running. The third one charged him despite his continued warnings. He fired two shots stopping the young man. He immediately ran back into his house and relayed to the police via the 911 operator that he had fired his gun and was afraid that he had killed the young man. He laid down his gun and put his permit with it as instructed by the police. He was arrested and put in jail and indicted by a grand jury. The young man's family has spoken out that their little angle could not have possibly been doing anything wrong. If he wasn't doing anything wrong, why was he out at 3 am? Why was he breaking into unlocked cars? Why did his cousins run and not look back? They are as culpable in his death as the man who pulled the trigger, and they should be charged as well. If they had stood still and kept their cousin from charging a man with a gun, they would all be alive and most likely on probation. Now a good man is going to stand trial and probably lose his job and half of what he has worked his whole life for, because he tried to do the right thing. To much to discuss here, but it's another example of neither side willing to see the middle ground where real life happens.

Scientists wish to put reflective particles into the atmosphere to cool the earth. Idiots!! I can't even believe that they are truly considering this act! The planet will fix itself if we give it the chance to come back into balance. Stuff in the atmosphere is the reason for our problems. I have watched enough of the History channel and Discovery to know that they are talking about Carbon Black. It's a very fine powder that when released in the atmosphere will cause cooling over large areas because it will block the suns rays and reflect them back into space. Uh huh. In small scale, earthbound, laboratory expriments it has proven to work, yet I truly fear putting this dust into the air. In 1980 when Mount St. Helens exploded, there was a decided cooling in the atmosphere and the summer was particularly mild. This was a natural phenomenon, and we had no control over it. The dust eventually settled and the atmosphere warmed back up the following year. Carbon black is FINE stuff and it could actually stay airborn in the atmosphere indefinitely. How long do we really want it up there and what would be the effect if it stayed there for a few years? How much crop loss would there be? How much crop loss could the world stand? We are near the edges of production capability on many things and even one year of significant crop loss could be plenty hurtful to many economies, but 2 or 3 years? That would be utter devastation and probably the beginning of the apocolypse. Screwing with the atmosphere in a deliberate way is worse than all the damgae that we have already done. We could easily bring the planet back into balance in a generation with some minor fixes. Messing with the atmosphere is too dangerous. It is the atmosphere that keeps us alive. We must have it to live. Without it we are done for. No question about it. The magnetosphere keeps out the excess solar ratiation and the atmosphere gives us life. Carbon is what got us into this mess and Carbon is NOT going to get us out, unless it is used as a way to gather solar energy and convert it into electricity. Solar power and wind power are the two things we need to develope in order to stave off the disaster that is looming in the future of humanity if we don't change our ways.

There I got that off of my chest! I feel BETTER, but still not very powerful!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sick of Advertising!!!

I love TV and Radio, and I Hate Commercials!!! It's not that I dislike the fact that people need to advertise, I understand the needs of business and the want for more traffic. What gets on my nerves is the Idiotic commercials that so many people find cute or funny. Once or twice they are cute or funny, but when you listen to the radio for the entire workday you hear these commercials 10 or 15 times in a day (depending on how much the advertiser spends)and they begin to sound extremely annoying. It wouldn't be so much of a problem if changing the station would change the commercials, but it doesn't.

Especially the national campaigns, like McDonald's, BK, or ( gods Help me!) Geico. I long for the day that that dumbass gekko gets run over by a car or made into a grease smear on a windshield! I have come to the conclusion that Micky D's is geared towards the biggest idiots in the country, and BK commercials are made by Biggest idiots in the country! As much as I enjoy my DirecTV, I wish that idot would kick his "friends" out of his house when they won't let him watch his game on cable, whether it is in HD or NOT!!! IT"S HIS GOD DAMN HOUSE!!!! Kick those Idiots out, it's not an intervention when your are not being harmed, and if they want to change your programming so bad, they can pay for it!!! If they are so offended at the lack of HD they can go watch the Game at their own house!!! Take away the chips and salsa and give them no beer!

The kid who won't keep his rollover minutes is another idiot!!! His mother is such an idiot that she should just take his phone away and make him pay for his own plan. Simple people!!! What other ones are getting on my nerves lately? Hmm, let me think.... I'm sure that something will come to mind. OH yes!! I remember now...

The Whopper Jr. commercials..... I would like to see someone come around to the drive through with a shotgun when that punk starts screaming about the buck. And when he is at the therapists office with his dad, that boy need a swift kick right in the nuts (sesame seeds?) to remind him that he is jr. and not the boss. I wouldn't buy a whopper jr. if they were ¢10 each, just because I hate the ad campaigns so much.

I am sure that there are millions of people who are led to the products that are being advertised by these insane, inane and decidedly stupid campaigns, but because they have gotten on my nerves so much I am sure to avoid the products no matter how great they are. Think with your dipstick Jimmy! Not this boy, I'm never gonna buy the product, EVER! That little Scotsman ever came up and whipped me on the back of the legs with a dipstick, you can guarantee that he will fall to the floor with brains leaking out of his ears and a 9mm bullet hole in his forehead. Entirely too much money is spent trying to get us to buy crap. If the stuff was really worth it, we would be buying it. Not because we saw the ad, but because everyone who had it was happy and talking about it. If that money was put into making the stuff better? We might actually want to buy it without the blitz krieg advertising.

You know that Americans are Sheeple and will follow any fad. If the neighbor is in love with it, then soon you will have to have it too!!! You know it's true!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Over Population

This is one of those issues that has so many sides that you will go insane thinking about it, but it is also a very important issue. The world is suffering from population pressure and I have noticed that it seems to be getting worse. In biology we learn that in nature, animals will control their populations based on availability of resources such as food and living space. In the wild, they will stop giving birth when there is a lack of food, or the population density gets too high. Pretty smart for critters who supposedly can't reason.

Humans on the other hand, are completely different. They will continue to breed and add to the population density to the point of disaster. Humanity is a cancer on the planet. If you don't believe me, think about it this way: Cancer is unregulated growth of cells that will eventually overwhelm and kill the host body. Humanity grows on the planet, apparently unregulated, and without some regard to the future, will soon overwhelm our host and kill it. We have been killing it slowly for some years now. Of course the planet will recover, it doesn't need us, we do however need it and we need to keep it healthy.

The human population is growing at an ever faster rate. In 1800, the worlds population was estimated to be 978 million, yes, Million. 100 years later this figure grew to 1.65 billion! That time it's a B as in One Thousand Million. Let us jump 1 more century, and now the population in the year 2000 is known to be 5.99 Billion! And 9 years later, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,

04/01/09 --- 6,770,332,394

Of course huge portions of these people are concentrated in certain parts of the world, India and China come to mind immediately, and these places show the extremes of life in a place where the population really exceeds the resources of the area. India is known for its' slums and the quick way that disease spreads in these areas. It was recently brought to the fore of the world consciousness in the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Children abandoned by their families, because the family can't feed them. They live from garbage cans and survive by the force of will. Too many of them die. In China it has been long known that the government tries to control the population growth by limiting families to one child. So the Families will often abort a healthy child or in even worse cases kill a healthy baby girl at birth so that they can try to have a boy child. Boys are more likely to be able to get a better job in the future and perhaps make a better living. This is the story we are told anyway. But what does this give us? A HUGELY disproportionate ratio of men to women in the general population. That's sure not a good thing. Men with no jobs and no women end up making an army, and armies make nothing but trouble.

This is not the only worry about this population pressure, what about energy? This many people will need energy resources, electrical, motor fuel, raw materials for building structures and products, as well as food and water. Where does all this energy needed come from? Ever expanding power grids and distribution channels. Sooner or later something will not stretch any farther and things will begin to cascade out of control. There are many ways to make electricity, but the most common are currently, coal fired steam, hydro, and nuclear. Coal is the worst for the environment, it puts so much carbon in the air and contributes to the problem of global warming. Not to mention it is also responsible for additional smog , resperatory problems and Beautiful sunsets. One good thing just doesn't outweigh the bad stuff there. Hydro power has the advantage of not needing to pollute the atmosphere, but it takes it's toll in other ways. It can destroy huge tracks of land as well as wildlife habitats. The Earth is made to have certain balances and losing one population of crittes can have a domino effect that may be unpredictable. Suddenly an invasive species may run out of control, or a preditory species will lose a food supply and begin hunting something else. When messing with wildlife habitats, you can never fully predict what will happen by losing a species. Nuclear power is generally considered to be safe overall, but the problem is what to do with the spent nuclear fuel. It's a radioactive substance that needs to be locked away for a thousand years or so. We all know that there has never been a country that lasted for 1000 years. Regions, and cities, have kept their names while regimes and ideologies change. I don't know how many crazy ideologies I would trust with Nuclear waste!!

What about food? As population increases so does the need for food. In South America the rainforests are disappearing so that they can be used as farmland for the ever growing populations. The rainforests are the lungs of the Planet, and by losing this lung tissue the planet breathes harder. The conversion capacity for processing the CO2 in the atmosphere back into oxygen is taking a huge hit. So while the increasing need of electricity pumps CO2 into the air, the razing of the Rainforests takes away the planets' ability to reclaim the Oxygen, and keep the planet balanced. But back to the food, populations grow and they spread out, the cities grow and the farms move ever farther from the population centers. Transportation needs increase. The tillable land areas shrink and the need to get ever greater yields from ever smaller plots increases the need for more tillable land. Forests are cleared, mountains are terraced, and technology gives us hydroponics and greenhouse abilities. Food is produced year round in places where it never could be before. Storage Technology learns to store food better and longer so that we may survive a bad season. But what about 2 or 3 in a row? Increased scale of global warming makes it much more likely that areas that have long been the bread baskets of the world will become untenable as farmland within the next 100 years, and if the population growth continues on the scale that it has been going, there will be some hard times ahead. When people are worried about where they are going to sleep and get something to eat, education takes a back seat.

Large under- and uneducated masses of people are good places to foment rebellion and plant the seeds of war and destruction. Hungry people are easy to anger, and uneducated people are easy to convince and guide. The smart and ruthless will use this knowledge to their advantage and it will be some big wars that end some of the population presure. I just hope that they stick to killng great numbers of each other with conventional weapons. If there really is a nuclear war, I doubt that there will be enough of the planet left usable to sustain any population for very long. I really fear for the future of the children, not only the ones already here, but also for the ones born in the next few decades. As I have gotten older I have found that I would like to raise a few rugrats of my own, but I can honestly say that it scares the hell out of me to add to the problems that the world already has. But then again, what if it turns out to be my child or my grandchild that saves humanity? Highly unlikely, but you never know do you?

I guess I need to have someone in my life to actually breed with, before I should worry about the decision, but there is still a lot there that affects me and that I wonder about!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

random thoughts and ramblings

The war on drugs is a fraud. There is no war on drugs, it is a war on American mindset. Americans have been the subject of intended brainwashing by their government for most of a century. The interesting thing about this, is that even as they have continued sending piles of money to the incinerator of "drug interdiction" they have done nothing to actually hurt the giant drug lords and traffickers. The drug business itself takes it's toll on the people who make the most money. It is a business of greed, and greed is the biggest motivator in it. When there is no longer huge profits to be made, it will begin to diminish. Drug lords are killed by their rivals. new drug lords take their place. They make tons of money and live like kings. They get killed in the next coup. The drug trade in America is the modern equivalent of slavery, and just like in Africa the black man enslaves his own race as does the white man and the yellow man and the brown man. Take what little money that your fellow man has, and get him addicted to your product. Then make him work for it when he can't afford it. Eventually he will never have a chance to have anything that is his own, and then he is no more than a slave, either to the dealer or to the product. The saddest part of the cycle is that eventually the user dies, or with a little bit of luck, kicks the habit, and then the dealers must find new clients or he will go out of business. What is the solution? I am not smart enough to say for certain, but one thing I do know is that drugs should be treated like alcohol, regulated and taxed. The United States government learned over the decade of the 1920's that prohibition is useless and only makes the criminals rich. The real change needs to be in the public perception, of course that won't happen over night, and the crazy conservatives will scream that "their money" will be supporting drug addicts. Guess what? It already does in a myriad of ways, but by ending the criminalization of most drugs and their users, the money being wasted now on the "war" can be funneled into education and rehabilitation. This is the only way to break the cycle. And eventually the need for less money to be spent in this field.

I recently read an article in the newspaper about the the loss of religion in the United States. This was followed a few days later by a flurry of letters to the editor from both sides of the coin. On the pro religion side was the general status quo, that without God in our lives we are destined to be worthless and useless people who will never amount to anything and at the same time will suffer for eternity because they have not been "saved". One writer even went so far as to blame all crime and discontent in the world on the lack of God in the lives of the perpetrators. How in the world do they make this connection? Keep drinking the Kool-Aid! I see it as quite the other way around. It continually fascinates me when these knuckleheads really believe this crap that they are fed. Just because I do not subscribe to the same belief system that these poor freaks do, I do live in the same society and live by the same rules of conduct as these religious nuts, but I have the decency to let them go about their business without continually thrusting my distaste for their life choices in their faces and I truly wish that they could quit doing it to me. I was raised in a manner that taught me to reason and think about the consequences of my actions. Every boater is taught that they are responsible for their wake. It is a great metaphor for life. We are all responsible for our wakes. In life we create a wake wherever we go and the things that we do all have consequences. Because I don't subscribe to a specific set of written down beliefs, I am able to take each action as it happens and apply the result to my next action. It is called reason and logic. The definition of insanity, in the popular saying, is to repeat an action over and over again expecting a different result. To me, this describes Religion. More and more it looks like the followers are insane, they repeat the actions that they have been repeating for the last millenia and still expect different results. A small sidebar of this same original article was a bit of research that showed that the more religious a person was, the more likely they were to be afraid of dying, or letting anyone near them die. These are the people who keep loved one on life support for years after their brains have died, on the hope of a "miracle". They keep pets alive while they suffer the pain and indignity of osteo-arthritis and incontinence, GI problems and the loss of their teeth. Animals can't tell us that they don't want to suffer this way, but because they are our pets and they love them they try extraordinary means to keep them with us long after they should have moved on. They deserve a dignified passing as much as a human does. Meanwhile those of us who consider themselves to be agnostic or atheist, we'll have no or little problem when our time comes, we are more curious than scared, because we haven't been living a hypocritical existence. We live as we feel life should be lived, we don't hate people for arbitrary reason and we don't believe that we know all the answers to the questions of life and death. I am sure that I will hit this subject again some day.

Again on the recent news front, there has been much about the drug toxin levels in fish. Anti-depressants getting into the water tables and being absorbed by the critters living in the water. SO now the fish are Happy!! Now I am not against the use of anti-depressants. I understand that there are people who truly need these beneficial drugs. It keeps them balanced and in many cases alive. I am however against the OVERUSE of these drugs. In far too many cases they are prescribed by doctors too lazy or inept to find the real cause of the depression. I do know that there are some cases where there is a chemical problem in a persons brain and they just don't make the right chemicals to find happiness. I don't believe that this is as prevalent as the doctors and drug companies would have us believe. I think that it is often much more inherent in the western lifestyle. The TV shows us people who are deliriously happy. We expect that we will be deliriously happy. When we aren't we think that there is something wrong with us. We worry. Then the TV shows us people who are depressed and they get deliriously happy with drugs. They are walking on the beach, laughing at parties and holding hands with their great looking, happy spouse. If we don't have the happy spouse, the beach vacation, and the party invitations, well there must be something wrong with us and we don't feel happy about it. Are we depressed or are we just chronically unhappy that we aren't the greatest people on the planet? Westerners spend their life wired and plugged into everything and wanting everything. In the last half of the last century, Americans especially, elevated their overall way of life above just about every other nation in the world, and in doing so they set standards of living that they expected their children and grandchildren to at least achieve and in many cases to exceed our parents standards. In most of the world parents expect that their children may be lucky to do the same that they do. The same job, in the same place and for the same pay.They will live in the same town, and maybe even in the same house. They don't expect so much out of life, but to live it the best that they can, the same as their parents. There is not the pressure to achieve. ( I said in MUCH of the world, now all we all know a few over-achieving Asians!) Even in the Asian countries it is mostly true, but the citified masses always have their educated elite, and they are expected to achieve just like western kids, and they show the same signs of stress that the western people show. They have their heart attacks, and their ulcers, and their suicide rates too. But the truth is that they are far fewer in those places per capita, because the pressured portions of society are much smaller than in America. Our own competitiveness is our biggest downfall, and the obsessive need to have all the same stuff that our friends and neighbors have is where our insane depression rates come from. If we lost TV and Madison Ave. for a generation I bet we would see a steady decline in them. Sure I want my MTV, but it's gonna kill me just like them Marlboros will too. There is a whole industry that is dedicated to making us want what we can't afford or don't need , but we are sure willing to try and do whatever it takes to get it. Then we instill this same mindset in our children and wonder why they aren't happy. Add to that the "everybody wins" method of child-rearing that has become so popular and it is like pouring battery acid on a paint job. It just eats away at the mind and happiness is the first thing to go.

That's all I got today. I am sure that I will have more soon. Enjoy your day and don't spend it all wishing for what you don't need. Live the life you have and don't worry about what everyone else has.