Wrote This Two Years Ago. Never pushed Publish.

•18 March 2014 • Leave a Comment

For some, changes in the calendar are seen as a means for renewal, regrouping, or otherwise regeneration of spirit, hope, faith, etc. For me, I have (as a general rule) rejected these passages of time as arbitrary measures, placed upon us by the powers that be, in an attempt to control our spirit, hope, faith, etc. This New Year, however, I have had a change of heart. In reality, this change has been coming for some time. Over the last 12 months or so, I have been making a conscious effort to reel in my protestant mentality in an attempt to better assimilate to this little mundane microcosm of which we are all a part. It’s not been easy, as I tend to be a bit abrupt in manner and defiant in belief.

I do not categorically reject all that is mainstream, as I am not that much a radical. I have, however, tended to reject what I considered to be the manipulation of humanity. Again, not an active, practical rejection; but more a passive, philosophical rejection. I argue, debate, push the metaphysical envelope, all while trying to maintain a viable existence in the mundane. At my apex, I had a mortgage, car payment, life insurance, 401(k), wife, two kids, a dog, and a cat, etc., all the while arguing against such a prosaic existence. Our lives are dictated by means beyond our control; they pull the strings, we simply act in accordance to their tugs; etc. I was religious about it. I believed to my core there was a better way to live. I believed to my core there are better ways to go through our existence on this planet. I believed there is more out there than what they say there is.

I believe there is more out there than what they say there is. I do believe they pull the strings and we simply act in accordance. However, I wonder if I can continue to believe one way, and attempt to act another. Can I continue to reject what is? Can I seek to live the life of our society while arguing, not only it’s merits, but it’s existence? I think perhaps not.

I was once given a piece of advice by a collegiate mentor, Dr. James Cid Seidelman. I was speaking with him about this very topic in 1997. He was the Dean of the Gore School of Business, at Westminster College. I told him I was confused as to how I could live my life with such discord. He told me I can do whatever I want in this life. I can believe what I want. I can act how I want. However, in order for my beliefs of the system to not get in the way of this life, I, “. . .cannot get religious about it.” That was the crux – maintain your beliefs, because if you do not, then you may lose yourself. However, do not allow your beliefs to overpower reality. Do not become religious about them. Do not become so devout in beliefs, they get in the way of what should be done to survive in this world.

I did not heed his advice. I tried. I’ve tried for the last 15 years. I’ve failed. I have been religious about my beliefs. I have been devout in my antagonism. I have been unable to reconcile my beliefs with the reality of the mundane. I wonder if I can continue to act in such discord and expect to be successful on this plane. I wonder if my beliefs can work for me, not against me. I wonder.

What happened?

•9 February 2013 • 1 Comment

Originally posted 15 November 2009

Pappy: Hey boy, where have you been?
Me: Hey pappy, um, what do you mean where have I been? Where the hell have you been?

Pappy: You know where I have been. . .
Me: Yeah – I’m still bitter about that, you know?

Pappy: Yeah, I know. But, you can’t change that, right?
Me: Right.

Pappy: Son, the world awaits you. Don’t let them down.
Me: Pardon me?

Pappy: The world, son. A lot of people out there are waiting on you. Kind of interesting, isn’t it?
Me: What’s that?

Pappy: Knowing there are people out there who are actually interested in what you have to say.
Me: I don’t know.

Pappy: Well, I do. The world awaits you. What do you have to say for yourself?
Me: I’m a wuss.

Pappy: A wuss? Why would you say that?
Me: Because that is how I feel. Actually, I have recently had a few more revelations into my ways of seeing the world. It is quite fascinating, in fact.

Pappy: Revelation? Such as . . .?
Me: My locus.

Pappy: Locus . . .?
Me: Yes, Locus. My locus.

Pappy: What locus, kiddo?
Me: My locus of control. Would you care to hear about it?

Pappy: Hear about your locus of control? Absolutely. Nothing would interest me more.
Me: Being facetious will get you nowhere.

Pappy: That was not me being facetious. I am very interested in what you have to say. Hence the beginning of this conversation. Or hell – the existence of this conversation for that matter.
Me: If you say so. Well, the situation is thus: You know how I speak, often, of the way my life used to be? I was in control. Things always worked out for me, etc. . . And now – I do not like how my life works. . .

Pappy: Yes, continue.
Me: Well, a few weeks ago, the Mrs. made mention of how I need to take responsibility for my life and not continue to blame my problems on situations, and/or people outside my control. My initial reaction was, as has been the case a lot recently, that she was full of shit and really, just probably being mean.

Pappy: OK. . .
Me: Well, after a few days of subconscious processing, I had yet another epiphany, or revelation, about my life. I do, in fact, look to the outside world as the source of my problems and my issues. My locus of control is almost entirely external. I took the Rotter questionnaire just for shits and giggles and scored 15/23. That means (very loosely) that I look to the outside world 65% of the time in terms of why my life is the way it is. Conversely – I believe only 35% of my life is the way it is because of me, my actions, my decisions, etc. . .

Pappy: Yeah, I can see that about you. You are quite the conspiracy buff. And you think the world is all a stage, right? Humans are just puppets, with no real control over how things work. That is the kind of thing you believe, isn’t it? I can see how that can get in the way.
Me: Right – it is what I believe. And as long as I continue to think this way, I will never be what I want to be. I will never be the way I want to be. Thus, I need to stop being a wuss. Yes, I believe those things about the world, but that does not mean I am still not in control of my own life. . . This is going to take some work, but I know I can do it.

Pappy: That is the right way to approach it. If you go in knowing you can make the changes in yourself you want, then you are one step ahead of the next guy.
Me: You really think so?

Pappy: I do really think so, sure. So – what does this have to do with how you used to be that is different than it is now? Has there been a shift in your locus of control? You used to believe in yourself? You had an internal locus of control?
Me: That is absolutely right. I once had faith in myself. I once had a belief system based on my own strengths. I used to believe in me. I need that back. Without it, I will never recover. It’s OK, though. I can get it back. Like I said, I just need to work on me a little harder.

Pappy: OK kid, I need to go – and I wish you the best of luck on your new journey of self discovery. I know how daunting something like this could be.
Me: I bet you do. Well, Pappy, thanks for listening. I need that, sometimes. I miss you.

Pappy: I miss you, too, son. Don’t be a stranger, OK?
Me: I won’t, dad. I love you.

Let’s be honest. . .

•7 February 2013 • Leave a Comment

No, really. Let’s be honest, shall we?

I have no motivation. I don’t know why. It’s not new. I just suck. I am a slacker, I guess. The excuse of, “I don’t have enough time to complete x, y, or z,” is just simply not true. I need help. Therefore, I am creating a bucket list. Here goes:

01. Be debt free (again.)
02. Own a Toyota Tacoma.
03. Own a cabin.
04. Got to Hawaii.
05. Go back to Japan.
06. California. . .
07. Become an expert in something. (This one needs refining.)
08. Let go of attachment.
09. Own a coffee shop.
10. Have no more fear.

I have a lot of work to do. But, I will do it.

How often do you blog?

•31 January 2013 • Leave a Comment

I received my first punitive write-up at work, today. And when I say first, I mean first. Like, ever. I’ve never been written up, at any job, for any reason. Yeah, there have been times when a boss has brought me into an office to speak, or has sat down to chat for one reason or another, but never have I been formally written up. It’s kind of weird. It is much more complex a matter than one would think, who has not actually gone through the process. . .

The emotions I feel are very confusing to me. I am obviously upset by it, like actually pissed. But, I am not sure at whom I should be mad. Well, the first person at whom I am angry is me. You see, what happened was . . .

As a Department Manager at Walmart, one of our tasks is to make sure all of our merchandise is priced correctly. Every day, people from Home Office [(HO) the place in Bentonville, Arkansas] send pricing changes into the SMART system. Then, at some point, we, as Associates, go into our little machine and actually print out a physical label for each item whose price had changed that day. Well, apparently, there was one day a couple weeks ago I printed out a whole bunch of price change labels and then failed to put them on the shelves. It was noticed today (not by me) and I was then coached. Coaching is Walmartese for an official talking to by the boss. I got that talking to, today. By the boss. And another boss. It was not pleasant.

Now, to the issue at hand – I am not even sure how this labeling issue happened. I say that because when we see the price change, protocol says we print a new label immediately before moving on to the next SKU. If we don’t, then we can miss price changes (duh). . . It’s quite simple, really. I have no recollection of ever just going through these prices changes without changing the labels. THAT pisses me off. I am better than that. I make mistakes, but not like this. Not now. So. . . there you have it. I am a fallible human. One who knows better.

Good night.

Time really is relative.

•13 December 2012 • 1 Comment

If you were born on 14 December 2007, and were to turn 5 years old tomorrow, then you would be 1826 days old, today. A summer vacation, which would run somewhere near 85 days, would, therefore account for nearly 4.65% of your current life. 5% may not seem like a lot, but say you were born 14 December 1975. That would make you 38 years old tomorrow. Or in another perspective – 13,514 days old. 4.65% of that lifetime is 629 days. 629 days is 1.72 years. Do you see the issue, here?

For a 5 year old, one season accounts for over 5% of his entire life, while for a 38 year old – to feel that same amount of time passage would take nearly one year and nine months. Or, one day in the life of a grown up feels like over two weeks for that 5 year old child.

People often talk about how life seems to speed up as we get older. Well, that is because it is. By the time we reach 65 years old – 23,741 days, one day accounts for 1/23,741 of our days – that is absolutely a minuscule fraction of our existence. 1/1826, on the other hand, is still a significant amount of time.

Tonight, we are celebrating the life of my dear friend’s grandmother. 09 April 1910. She was 102 years old when she passed away. 37,501 days passed while she graced this Earth. Every day that passed for Grandma Bea was the blink of an eye relative to all she had seen, witnessed, experienced, and lived. She got married in 1937. She was married for four years before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. When she was born, Ford had not yet started mass producing automobiles. That was still 3 years away. President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. 45 years has passed between his assassination and her birth. President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Grandma Bea was 53 years old when he was assassinated. Lincoln’s assassination was 8 years closer to her birth than was Kennedy’s. That is how long this woman was alive. Most people reading this are not yet 53 years old. She lives 49 years AFTER Kennedy’s assassination.

Is time relative? Einstein wrote “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” in 1905. Even HE did not talk about the relativity of time until 5 years before Grandma Bea was born. That is a long life, young lady. Congratulations to you.

Oh, and for the record, in order for Grandma Bea to feel that same amount of time as a 5 year old’s Summer Break, she would have to experience almost a full five more years. Good night, Grandma.

So, what exactly happens in a year when a blogger disappears?

•24 July 2012 • 1 Comment

A lot. . .  That’s what.

All sorrows are less with bread.

•25 December 2011 • Leave a Comment

All sorrows are less with bread.

 
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