A case of the blahs

Hard to explain. Could it be…

  • Uncertainty about the future
  • Global warming (sort of related to the above)
  • General sense of flabbiness
  • Something intangible and unknowable
  • The fact that the Styx album Kilroy Was Here really got made

I’m listening to “Mr. Roboto” right now, and I’m leaning toward the last one. I loved this album when it came out in 1983. I was 19 years old at the time. I present this as my only defense. Well, that and being a sucker for concept albums, apparently even bad ones.

My mind is blank

Yep, it is. I am in one of those weird phases where the more I try to think of something to write, the more the thoughts find ways to squirm out of my head and fly away, never to be seen again. Or maybe they just splat against the nearest window.

So when in doubt, let’s list1I like lists!

The Five Best Colors in the World According to Me

  • Dark pink
  • Red
  • Dark blue
  • Verdant green
  • Black. It’s not a color, but it’s so handy. And black.

Three articles of clothing I will likely never wear

  • A speedo
  • A kilt
  • A burlap sack

Perks of working in IT Support

  • lol
  • lol
  • Seriously, lol

Ways to Make the World a Better Place

  • Ride your bike
  • Grow some veggies
  • Be nice to others. Not super stupid nice, just reasonably nice and pleasant.
  • Eliminate all management
  • Probably need to do something about capitalism, too
  • 1
    I like lists

Thus endeth the parade of anything I can think of, May 2021 edition

This is the 11th post I’ve made today, which may be a record. And with #11 I have officially hit 31 posts for the month, keeping to my “one post per day” rule intact, which is actually more like a “post the equivalent number of times to match one-post-per-day for the month in question” rule. Which has worked out so far, so why change now?

I could go for a Sausage and Egg McMuffin right now.

Random thoughts on random topics supplied by a bearded man on Discord

  • Speed writing: Every time I try this, I get arrested by the word police for crimes against spelling.
  • Blog vs. vlog: On a blog I don’t have to look beautiful. On a vlog I don’t have to worry about typos. Since I can always wear a wig and glasses and spell pretty good, I’ll call this a draw.
  • The shift to electric vehicles: Where will all those dead batteries go?
  • On the resurgence of board games: I have no one to play with, so they suck, all of them. Yeah. Or maybe I need new post-COVID friends. Time shall tell. (As kids, we totally used the Free Parking “dump all money here” rule in Monopoly. I preferred Mousetrap, though, as it better suited my aesthetic for the zany and impractical. Speaking of impractical, every attempt I ever made at RISK.)
  • Ice cream flavors: I prefer chocolate, with or without peanut butter. Some caramel is acceptable. Vanilla is actually pretty decent, if it’s good vanilla. Neapolitan is perfect for those nights of indecision. Strawberry is fine. Anything with licorice is the darkest evil. Ice cream in a bowl is better than in a cone, but ice cream in a sundae is best of all. A Dairy Queen Oreo cookie Blizzard is yummy and probably 5,000 calories.
  • Toad vs. frog deathmatch: I say toad, because they seem meaner than frogs, somehow. The smart frog will choose to not engage.

The strange sensation of having no ideas

Ideas are generally easy to come by, it’s the execution that’s hard. This is why you generally don’t pay someone for a good idea, because anyone can come up with something decent.

Usually.

But for the past month or so, when I have sat down to write something on this blog, without having something already in mind, I feel this strange sensation, almost like my brain is being slowly suffocated, as if any possible idea is squashed before it can escape.

This is why I often write nothing at all. Because the few feeble ideas–a haiku, for example, yield either nothing (that word again) or results that are so tepid I won’t post them just to spare the bots scraping the site.

I have no grand point here, but I do vaguely hope that articulating this will help. We shall see.

Bluh (with bonus thoughts on organization)

I was originally only going to repeat “bluh” here, but it occured to me that I am also disorganized, so I’ll record that here as well.

Bluh.

I am disorganized.

It’s not that I don’t try to be organized, it’s that I have no consistent method for it. I will sometimes write something down using old-fashioned pen and paper, others times I might use:

  • Drafts (iOS app)
  • OneNote
  • iA Writer
  • Notepad
  • Notepad++
  • This blog
  • Something else

So when I go to find something I vaguely recall writing down, I end up searching across multiple devices and drives, hoping I’ll get lucky on a keyword. And Windows is still pretty slow doing searches. So for 2021 I vow to come up with a better way to organize my ideas and junk. Or else. Or else I won’t.

UPDATE: I found the idea that prompted my thoughts on being disorganized–it was made through iA Writer, but was saved to iCloud, which doesn’t show up automatically on the PC version. So I blame myself and the software.

Finally, proof I am not crazy talking to myself

I’ve always felt that talking to myself helped me to clarify thoughts and ideas–not to mention for fiction writing, it’s a great way to sound out dialogue. And now I have scientific proof!

Talking out loud to yourself is a technology for thinking

Not only that, but walking around while talking to myself apparently enhances the effects:

You might have noticed, too, that self-talk is often intuitively performed while the person is moving or walking around. If you’ve ever paced back and forth in your room while trying to talk something out, you’ve used this technique intuitively. It’s no coincidence that we walk when we need to think: evidence shows that movement enhances thinking and learning, and both are activated in the same centre of motor control in the brain.

Now I need to go stretch my legs and loudly think of my next blog post.

What does this mean?

A story on the CBC News site about personal responsibility and how the Alberta government is handling the pandemic ends with the usual short bio on the author. Here it is:

This bit puzzles me: “Like almost every journalist working today, he’s won a few awards.” There are a few ways to interpret this:

  • A sarcastic jab suggesting that anyone who calls themselves a journalist is going to get some sort of award handed to them by someone, as a kind of participation prize. “Who wrote a good story? YOU wrote a good story!”
  • A non-sarcastic observation that most journalists today are such hard-working people that most of them end up winning awards.
  • Something else that got lost in translation.

Really, I’m leaning toward the third option, because the first seems too nakedly hostile to be plausible, and the second goes too far the other way, elevating journalists in an odd way that suggests a kind of superiority. “Don’t you wish you were a journalist? You’d have awards!”

The strange, random things you see.

Creole Ned is a web logger (or blogger). Like most bloggers posting today, he has won no awards at all. But his hair smells nice most of the time.

Only 135 days until summer

Yes, I am counting. The snow has stopped and the drizzly, cold rain has returned, which is actually an improvement.

It’s also a mere 42 days until the spring equinox, when we switch back to Daylight Saving Time and I no longer have to endure getting up in the dark to go to work and coming back home in the dark, with actual daylight reserved for when I’m working and mostly indoors. Tech support doesn’t require a lot of going outside.

I find myself utterly uninspired when it comes to writing on the blog lately, but I figure if I start writing I will hopefully get past the hump and start producing utter gems. Utter Gems is also the name of my Talking Heads cover band.

Is it time to officially lose lose?

Seriously, I think I can count the number of times someone used “loose” correctly (instead of “lose”) in the last 20 years on one hand.

“I’m afraid I will loose my keys.”

“If you loose something, go to the Lost & Found to find it.”

” I can’t risk loosing any e-mails or data.”

The last one I actually saw today. The battle is over and lose has lost. Loose is the new lose. Time to update, Oxford and Merriam-Webster!*

* at which point people will start using loose and lose correctly again

Touch a tree

When was the last time you touched a tree? I know, it seems weird. Why would you touch a tree? What if you put your finger smack in the middle of some sap? You can’t just wipe that stuff off on your pants. You’ll need to find somewhere to wash your hands. A bother.

But you should touch a tree anyway. Why? Because if you are touching a tree, you are in a tiny way communing with nature and more importantly, unlikely to be staring into the screen of your smartphone, because staring at that risks finger-in-sap.

Plus, touching a tree means you are outside, where most trees are, and enjoying the outdoors and maybe on the way to or from the tree you will see and experience other outdoor things that are pleasant or inspiring.

There are worse things you could do.

Touch a cactus, for example. If you are touching a cactus, you are likely in the desert and it’s hot and dry and cacti are very prickly, so why are you touching one, anyway?

Trees, though—find one, touch it. You won’t be sorry.