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.

March 11, 2019: Zero day

I’m still kind of impressed when the site reports no hits at all, like it did yesterday, March 11, 2019. Sometimes, in a remote and distant way, it bothers me that it can happen, that absolutely no one, not even by accident, will happen upon the site.

But then I remember there’s nothing specific to draw people to the site, there’s no hook, no “omg this site has the best listicles/photos/articles/kitten pics ever” and I’m okay with that, because I never intended for this site to have a big audience. In fact, having virtually no audience is kind of nice in a way. Traffic is low, expectations are similar, it’s more a place for me to exercise my writing discipline (certainly not the quality of my writing) without worry. A journal of miscellany mostly relevant to only me.

Or am I actually crying tears of anguish as I type these words, crushed at being left all alone on the web, which is now 30 years old. Also, how do people put so many links in their posts and articles? That stuff takes serious time.

I am way too lazy to have a good website.

But I’m still posting something every day.

And a random list to complete this post:

  • Apparently bananas are in danger of going extinct again. This makes me sad, as I like bananas.
  • I still think it’s weird no one has gone to the moon in 40+ years. It’s right there!
  • The amount of plastic in the ocean is gross. I had a soda at a restaurant the other day and it came with a paper straw. I could have eaten it, if I’d wanted to, a small step to saving our world.
  • Even weirder than not going to the moon: I’m actually starting to kind of like the horribly flat keyboard on my MacBook Pro. This would be about the point that it starts failing, so that I may hate it again.
  • Speaking of Apple, its March 25th event, presumably to reveal its streaming service, excites me in the same way as putting on my socks. To clarify, I find minimal excitement in donning socks.
  • I hope my efforts to reduce the soreness and discomfort in my knees work, because I can’t afford bionic replacements. Also, I don’t think they exist.

Important preferences

Here they are. All very important.

  • Salt over pepper
  • Chocolate over vanilla
  • Strawberry over vanilla
  • Vanilla over maple
  • Pie over cake
  • Cake over bad pie
  • Bigfoot over Loch Ness Monster
  • Blue over red
  • Red over yellow
  • Green over red
  • Pizza over anything else
  • Fudge over not-fudge
  • UFOs over cryptids
  • Playing over working
  • Working over starving
  • Good shoes over cheap shoes
  • Underwear that’s fun to wear over other underwear. That can be read two different ways, figure it out.
  • Hot tub over steam room
  • Kiddie pool over diving board
  • Running over elliptical
  • Sun over moon
  • Stories over poems
  • Pencils over pens
  • Life over death

Random thoughts, February 2019 edition

  • After three days of non-use, my AirPods have died a mysterious death and will not charge, pair or play. This has forced me to go back to wired earbuds and it makes me realize how nice it was to not have to untangle the spaghetti of wires every time I listened to music. I will probably look for an alternative for now, rather than paying what would likely be a ludicrous repair bill from Apple.
  • We had a more traditional Vancouver snow this week. It started out like recent years, with it staying cold and several days of snow piling up. Then it warmed up past freezing and started raining. Fortunately there was a gap between the snow and rain, so we have not seen a slushpocalypse. Also, the rain stopped and the snow is just melting on its own. Yay.
  • The Lego Movie 2 was all right, but not as good as the original. Several of the new songs are catchy, but “Everything is Awesome” is still the one that got stuck in my head after.
  • Nic did not want to watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind, despite never having seen it. He is now DEAD to me. Or mostly dead.
  • It seems like people have mostly and finally stopped quoting from Monty Python now. I’ve watched some of the original episodes on Netflix recently (Nic will watch those) and it’s very stream of conscious, clever, funny, but also uneven, with some sketches not really going anywhere.
  • Speaking of watching things on Netflix with Nic, the Star Trek animated series is not bad at all, but the animation is terrible. Too bad there isn’t money in redoing the episodes with modern (good) animation, while keeping the original voice work and music.
  • Let’s keep talking about Netflix. Jaws just turned up and I must watch it again. Nic also won’t watch this because he doesn’t like movies about sharks eating people or something. I loved sharks as a kid (after seeing Jaws). I would draw sharks all the time. And dinosaurs. And roller coasters. But never all three at once (which I would totally do now).
  • I broke my rule of not snacking in the evening tonight and feel bad. And full.
  • I have been weirdly and correctly predicting little things lately, like I’m a low wattage psychic.
  • I have actually started working on Road Closed again. One might say Road Opened, ho ho.
  • Somehow my iTunes folder has bloated to around 50 GB. That is a lot of “onion on the belt” (old guy) pop music.
  • As always, I like lists

Things I may or may not believe in, 2019 edition

Who really knows?

  • God: Maybe?
  • Bigfoot: Seems plausible, but probably not
  • Loch Ness Monster: Got to say no here. We’d have found some tangible evidence by now.
  • UFOs: By definition, these exist, because people do see objects flying in the sky that can’t be identified. I’ve seen them, though they were probably meteors or distant planes, rather than spaceships piloted by grey-skinned aliens.
  • The innate goodness of people: Sometimes
  • The soul: Yes, I think there is some part of us that exists outside of the physical body. There is some scientific evidence to suggest this. Think of it as being a kind of energy that persists after the body has kicked off.
  • Ghosts: Although I can’t say they’d exist as the traditional ghosts we think of in the western world, I can see them being some form of the soul (see above). So…maybe!
  • Aliens: Absolutely. It seems silly (and arrogant) to think the only life in the universe could exist on one planet. Ancient Aliens? Not so much.
  • Alien abductions: Maybe? There is some physical evidence and I believe a lot of alleged victims are sincere, but the mind is a strange place and isn’t always trustworthy.
  • Reincarnation: Maybe. Again, this has some evidence behind it.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: No. Ships and planes crash or vanish in equal numbers all over the world’s oceans.
  • Fate or destiny: No.
  • Global warming: I’m not a right wing politician who rejects science and logic, so yes.
  • World peace: Maybe, eventually. Odds seem low right now, but the optimist in me hasn’t been completely snuffed out.

Once more into the late night

Well, it’s late again and I was so tired after work (for seemingly mysterious reasons) that I ended up taking a nap at 9 p.m. for an hour or so. Now I am thinking less about writing and more about how nice that nap was.

Speaking of sleeping, I remember–to a degree–a sequence of dreams I’ve had over the last few nights. One was neat. I could fly. This happens rarely in dreams. In this particular flying dream it seemed not only could I fly, but that it was almost mundane to do so, no different really than flying.

But I was still the only one that could do it.

Flying would be very convenient. I could fly to work way faster than the SkyTrain gets me there, and I’d never have to be delayed by medical emergencies (which happened today–I even saw the person trundled into the ambulance on a stretcher. He looked young, appeared to be either sleeping or resting peacefully [but presumably not resting in peace] and had a blanket pulled up to his chest. I couldn’t determine what had happened, and details of such things never get released, so it will be a mystery for the ages). I would be at possible risk of lightning strikes during storms, though. And I’d always be paranoid about flying into power lines. Still, I’d accept the risks in exchange for never having a fare gate refuse to accept the tap of my Compass card.

The other series of dreams included me thinking about or looking over computers, including NUCs. I also did other everyday-type things. When I woke up, I wondered why my unconscious mind would construct a bunch of utterly banal activities for my dreams. If I want to sweep the floor or plan a grocery list, I can do that when I’m awake. Dreaming is for flying and other super powers. Take note, brain!

And now to see what said brain has in store for tonight.

In before midnight

I kind of forgot to write something today, so here it is with minutes to spare.

Look both ways before crossing the street.

And…uh…impeach Trump!

Things I miss, Part 27

  • My beard. I sort of have a stubbly version going right now, because when it’s really short the white doesn’t stand out. The reason I don’t have a full beard is because it would be white and I don’t fancy the “distinguished gentleman” look. Yes, I’ve thought of growing a beard and dying it. I think it would be weird, but I’m more open to weird these days.
  • 10 cent candy bars. This is the lowest price I can remember, circa 1970 when I was six or seven years old. This is not a bad thing, though, because if they were still 10 cents apiece, I would weigh 300 pounds.
  • A full head of hair. I shaved my head seven years ago, and I’ve made peace with never having a proper head of hair again, but I still kind of miss having hair on my head.
  • That section of my National Novel Writing Month novel that got eaten when Scrivener didn’t sync properly. My fault, I’m sure, but I’ve never experienced that “afraid to lose stuff” with software before and it is always in the back of my mind now when I use Scrivener.
  • My original copy of The Ever-continuing Saga of the Round Balls comic I wrote back around 1984 or so. I did 11 issues of varying length and at some point tragically lost them, probably left in a box under the stairs of a townhouse I used to live in.
  • Not completing my swimming lessons in 2007. Technically I can swim, but it’s more accurate to describe it as “not drowning.” Living on the coast it always seemed like a good skill to have. But water kind of terrifies me. Probably because I can’t swim.
  • That childhood sense of time, where the summer stretched on forever. Now it goes by in a blink. There’s actual science behind this.
  • World peace.

Still technically writing every day

I have not found my groove yet early in this new year when it comes to writing, but I am writing something every day, as I had vowed to do. So yay for sticking to it for nearly a whole week so far! Only 51 more to go.

Part of the problem is my mind feels cluttered by negative thingamabobs, mainly but not exclusively related to a growing professional dissatisfaction. Maybe all those years of not working in a field I am passionate about is finally having an effect. I’m not saying there is something I am passionate about–clearly I struggle with writing, no matter how many books I read on the subject, and how diligently I follow all the little tricks and things to keep you going–but I can’t help but think there might be something I’d be generally more satisfied in doing in my work life.

But every time I take one of those “This is the work you SHOULD be doing!” tests, the results are always somewhat dubious. So I’m not sure how to go about investigating a possible career side-step. I’m also aware that I’m not exactly a 20-something that can freely experiment with a bunch of different jobs to see what sticks (or maybe I could, who knows?)

Anyway, the important thing is I wrote something today and maybe I’ll hit the treadmill again tomorrow. Also, only two more months until we are back on Daylight Saving Time, hooray. All right, this concluding paragraph was a little random. Maybe I accidentally lapsed into free writing. There are worse things that could happen. Like scurvy or the return of parachute pants.

Rain today

It rained today, the first rain we’ve had this month during daylight hours (we had one other brief shower overnight). It took 25 days to arrive, which is impressive, but in a somewhat depressing way, less impressive than it once was because dry summers are no longer uncommon.

The rain is good because it helps reduce the likelihood of the tinder-dry forests instantly going up in flames, it helps to douse the smoke drifting down from all the current forest fires already raging due to the tinder-dry aforementioned, and it may slightly revive the very very brown grass seen everywhere.

As I am the lucky recipient of a return of the cold I had a few weeks ago, I probably wouldn’t have run, anyway, but even that turned out to be okay–I enjoyed the indulgence of a true day off, where I shrugged off not completing my activity rings, enjoyed some comfort food, and bought a couple of Frisbees. Er, flying discs.

The weather appear much the same tomorrow, but if I’m up to it, I may try a short, soggy run. And like it!