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.

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