The greater the change, the greater the likelihood it will stab directly into your heart like a stiletto and abscond with your life.
–Tom B. Taker
As some of you may already know, my wife and I recently made a big move. Excepting a trip to Mars (where I’m currently on file as a one-way volunteer) it ranks as pretty substantial as far as moves go. We went from the quiet rural lifestyle of a tiny goat farm in the Himalayas and a village of 42 souls to one of the most urbane existences possible in the heart of a big city: Portland, Oregon.
What follows are a few of our observations and experiences.
I hate people who think they are above the law. How rude! Such bad form! Like people who park in the fire lane to use the ATM rather than walking the 20 feet from a legitimate parking space. Or people who say they made charitable donations on their tax returns when they really didn’t. I loathe and despise that sort of thing.
People who park on the wrong side of the street also make that list.
Yet here, in Portland, there’s so much of it that it’s hard to imagine that it’s actually illegal. In fact, it almost seems like parking on the wrong side of the street is the norm and parking legally is the aberration. It’s that prevalent.
Continue reading →
The other night I went out to howl at a “super” moon. Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out how to unbuckle my belt. Opportunity missed!
Meanwhile, while flying high in my ballon chair, I spied the IKEA moon base where my wife and I had recently shopped. I decided to take a photograph and immortalize the moment for my friend Blogdramedy.
Curse my luck! Mount St. Helens photobombed the shot. What were the odds of that? Nothing ever goes right for me!
Laws, yes. M-O-O-N. That’s spells IKEA. And what a sight it was to behold. In fact, I’m going to do my best to document the experience from the perspective of all five senses. Yes, all five! It’s a lofty goal. Let’s see how I do.
After consulting the texts of ancient lore (Google) we determined that we’d have to drive through about 10 miles of urban jungle in areas we had never explored before. This was going to be something new. I packed my machete just in case we saw any urbane gorillas.
At first we worried we might get lost, but while still about 42 miles away, the shape of IKEA loomed large and glowed in the distance. There was no mistaking the mountain of yellow and blue which shined bigger and brighter than Mt. Everest as seen from a distance of 12 feet.
The only close call we had on the way over was when my wife reflexively knee-jerked the car and almost pulled into the parking lot of another garishly colored blue and yellow building. But that only turned out to be the IKEA warehouse. I hate to burst any bubbles but apparently the trendy product widgets contained in the IKEA store are not actually björn there.
Continue reading →
A very thought provoking post that makes some excellent points.
A quick post about this week’s flap about electronic spying. (Stay tuned for a review of Jaron Lanier’s new book, which is quite interesting in this context, as well.)
First—most of the information is deeply secret, so we really don’t know anything.
Second—the guys holding the secrets are very good at keeping secrets and at manipulating public opinion. Some “leaks” are deliberate misinformation, the best misinformation is plausible and partly true.
That said, there appears to be an amazing amount of hand-wringing about reports that the US security agencies are routinely obtaining all the phone records from telecom companies. Some of the reports seem “shocked” that this is happening, despite the fact that it has been happening for many years. Note that this is legal (under current laws), reported to Congress (per usual mechanisms), and routine. I.e., the US national security agencies should be assumed to have all phone…
View original post 813 more words
“Hey up there, brain!” the body likes to say. “You fucking idiot. Check it out. Shit is happening all over this place. Wake up!”
Well played, body. Well played. Subtle as always.
What are major life stressors? I think they fall into two major categories.
- Things You Do Not Want
- Things You Asked For
I’m not sure which category is worse.
This week I changed jobs. (More details on that coming soon.) My wife has also put in her notice to resign her position. We’re moving out of our house of four years and leaving the small town for the big city. As of Sunday I got rid of my car. Christmas exists.
These are all stressors. I know because I looked them up.
Continue reading →
I don’t have the economic data to back up the “banner” claim but who cares. I feel it in my gut. We just had a big jackpot which means were were subjected to all of the usual big-lotto-prize bullshit:
- Local news covering the “story” that people are buying more than the usual amount of lotto tickets.
- Chit chat from the UPS driver about $2 tickets and that no one from our state ever wins. (He was right.)
- Lots and lots of news articles on the internet about how winning can be bad. (Fuck you.)
- Blog posts up the ying-yang about how the ill-gotten booty would be spent.
- Nigeria and Facebook users teaming up to rock the scams like there’s no tomorrow.
- Excitement about who won and – do tell! – what are their plans?
I also see a lot of stories about all of the “good” that comes from government-sponsored gambling in the form of lotteries. “$X amount went to upgrade caskets for drowned puppies.” Well, la-dee-da! When I read that all I can see is: “Citizens in the great state of Iowa wasted $10x dollars by throwing their money in the nearest toilet.” That’s $10x not spend at local stores. That’s $10x not saved for retirement. That’s $10x not spent on their past due bills. That’s $10x not given to charity. That’s probably $10x money gone forever that most of the people who spent could ill afford to lose.
Wow. That is good.
They were talking about the lotto in the office. The boss made the mistake of asking me what I’d do if I won. “You’d never see me again,” I quipped. Sometimes I’m so damn proud of myself. Of course, I then immediately played it off like I was joking. It’s only a joke. Yeah. Right.
I thought about it for a moment and I said this. “I just read a story that says winning the lotto doesn’t necessary make people happier. I call bullshiats.”
This is what I’d do…
Continue reading →