words about things

What follows is my subtle attempt at honesty.


Back in the mid 90's I had some friends who got online and introduced me to the idea of "free content". Of course unwitting free content can be defined as "piracy" but this isn't the time or place to go into that.

Fast forward to 2018. The individual can create and distribute content relatively cheaply (depending on the specific content) and I am now a legitimate consumer of free content. Particularly, I consume lots of youtube videos and podcasts. So, I face the economic conundrum of how to place a value on and then pay for content that's otherwise free.

It's a tough problem for a pure capitalist. Normally the market sets the value of things but the market is the result of many people competing to buy things. What happens when there's no real store, no  visible customers, no price tags and no cashiers? Well, you do what I did.

#1 you decide what you can afford to pay in a given time period

#2 you deiced what you want in the time period

#3 you divide #1 by #2 and weight the result by how much you value each item you want.

It's not necessarily fair for the creators but they aren't here to defend themselves. I represent the consumers who want to be responsible and ethical and give something to the people who throw their creations into the air for me to catch.

So what do I do?

Well, for many of the creators there's patreon!

I recently reached a point where I sat down at my computer and looked up all the creators I frequent and assigned $2 - $5 per month to each of them.

I honestly wish I could contribute more but for now I can offer each of them a small monthly sum because each of them contributes to my monthly intake of interesting conversation and information.

The amount I donate doesn't reflect who has the best production value, who creates the things I like the most or who is the most aligned with my world view.  I am spreading out my disposable income to the people to whom I give my time. This makes sense to me because everyone has as opinion but only as long as they have time to have an opinion.

So, this is a quick thank you to the youtube and podcast content creators who make my life better and offer me things I wouldn't get to see or hear otherwise. I hope my few dollars help you keep creating.

The facebook conundrum

So I have reached a point where I need to connect with people on line but it turns out that many of them have abandoned the regular internet for facebook.....crap...

I have a product to sell. I've worked on it for years and I can never recoup my expenses but I'd like to get rid of what I do have and I want people to say "Oh! You want that thing? There's one guy to go to." Unfortunately that means connecting with other people and that's a problem for me.

Let's go back a ways. You know how people go out to eat now a days and instead of talking to the people at their table they are looking at their phones? That makes me sooooo happy. 30 years ago, I was the guy who went out in public with a sketchpad and instead of talking to people drew pics and wrote notes. I've always had problems with being gregarious. I've always preferred distractions to interactions. Fast forward to today.

Finally it's cool to be a nerd. You can be as geeky as you want and still get a date. You can be socially awkward and its OK to avoid interaction even at some hoity toity coffee shop but now the goody-two-shoes, self-improvement types want everyone to make socialization great again by pointing out that only weirdos and dweebs should put down their smart phones and interact with yet another generation of rando's we don't understand.

Hence my problem on social media. I got online in the mid 90's and rule #1 was don't tell anyone who you are. It was nirvana (the spiritual state, not the band). I could take as long as I needed to reply. No one asked for eye contact. If someone didn't understand your vocabulary they had to go look those words up. If they didn't know your literary or cinematic references it was on them to do the research. For a few brief years, we were kings. Now, we're the focus of hate filled stereotypes that can't be addressed without watching 16 hours per day of fox news or reading every liberal blog online. The parties hate each other. The generations hate each other. The religions hate each other. And when you speak openly, honestly online today you are lumped into one of those groups and attacked by the others.

I long for the days when it was all trolls and weirdos. Now I have to deal with you, your kids and your parents all on facebook and none of them seem to feel obligated to spend hours in a chat room talking to me to learn what I mean by last post.

OK. Enough venting. It's back to a world I don't understand, where everyone seems to judge or hate me after they use or abuse me, and where I cannot hope to find a pier group I can trust or relate to.

RIP : the internet : 1995-2005


haven't posted in a while let's see what's up

Well, I'm still at the same job, living in the same house, eating mostly meat with a few veggies and nothing much has changed. That's actually the point of this post. Tonight I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some salmon on sale and some steaks but at the check out the cashier lady pulls up[ a game board and a pamphlet of instructions and says "I'll explain this in a minute". I wanted to reply, "please don't" but I was still hoping to escape without major human interaction. Once she'd rung me up and I'd paid she had to put on her reading glasses to give me the "game pieces" and tried to explain how I collect the blah blah blah and all you have to do is and I said

"Please don't. I won't use them. It's one more thing I have to throw away."

She played it off as normal and let me go without further molestation but I want to use these few words to explain that it's horribly insulting to be a patron of a store and be forced into "just do blah blah blah for your reward for being our patron" Screw you, Brookshires. INfact, screw everyone whose business model says "you are important because you spend money here and we want to thank you and reward you for your loyalty....just do one more thing for us." Sure, I'll just go one step deeper into the melee of pseudo-gregarious human bullshit that everyone is OK with so what's wrong with me? Bastards. You already make me swipe a card so you can (presumably) know when I come to your store, what I buy and how I pay. Use that fucking info to offer me more of what I want at better prices. Stop trying to make me do more for you! I travel to where you are, chose from your wares and pay you for them. We're even.

It genuinely hurts my feelings to be asked to do one more thing for a company that I already support in a town where there's no competition. It's insulting to have to beg some poor person who's only doing their job to please leave me alone and know that they are judged by their employers by how hard they pressure me into playing their game, entering the promo code, clicking their link or swiping their card.

I don't know what to do about it but that's what's bothering me tonight.

The coachwhip

My job has me sitting at a desk way too much. I can't even get on my bicycle enough to get my exercise. So I try to run a couple times per week and the other evening after work I went running and about 1/4 mile down the trail I find an eastern coachwhip stalking a lizard. I managed to grab it up and get a few pics. The noteworthy part is that the good feeling I get after exercise appears to be very similar to the good feeling I get after finding a snake.

I am blessed

While I am complaining about things I cannot change, this one has been building up for a long time. I live in the hole closest to the buckle in the bible belt. People here have the strangest perspective when it comes to what is known and what is believed but all those dogmatic arguments aside the one that makes me wretch and heave the hardest is the the horrible misused of the phrase "it's a blessing". To my mind, this should mean that something which could have gone terribly wrong has actually worked out OK. But...instead its used to mean "I didn't even have to try". Maybe it's just the libertarian in me but I get sick when some fucktard whose rich daddy gave him everything says "I am blessed". I'll grant it that he's trying to show humility. I appreciate that he recognizes that he has some degree of privilege but fuck me, I've got some degree of privilege because I'm a white guy in the south born in the 20th century. You won't catch me telling every black person or woman I meet that I was "blessed". That's an insult to them AND me. You aren't "blessed" because there are things for which you did not have to work. You are not "blessed" because certain things are assumed about you. A blessing is when you work you ass off to be the very, very best and when everything could go wrong, some of them don't. So, for example. I have a friend who comes from a family of fat, unhealthy people. In his teens he decided not to be a fat unhealthy person. He has worked every single day for 2 decades to control his diet and exercise and, as a result, he's an impressive human specimen. That his hard work has paid off and the remaining random chance that could have turned him into a sickly, sad, obese wretch hasn't won out; that is a blessing. Several years ago he wanted to learn steel pistol shooting. He has worked daily for years; practiced and practiced and now he's a top 10 globally ranked pistol shooter when anything could have gone wrong and stolen that from him; that is what I'd call a blessing. A blessing is when the thing you cannot control does not fuck you. It's not when the thing you didn't even know about goes your way.  Try to succeed and when you succeed you'll realize all the reasons you shouldn't have succeeded and THEN........you can count your blessings.

dearest depression

I made a critical error the other day. I told a depressed person that they were depressed. This is on par with trying to reason with a drunk person. They are capable of hearing and understanding you; but they are incapable of acting on your advice. Now, I should point out that I am as deeply depressed as anyone you are likely to meet. I have, probably, suffered as much death, rejection and despair as any person you know but I am a tad too autistic to process it the same way as a normal, healthy person. So, I understand that I should keep my opinions to myself but I am physically incapable. I a working on that.

To the point I tried to explain to someone in the throws of depression that they would come out the other side and then have a new perspective. It didn't work. You can't reason with a drunk person and you can't encourage a depressed person. I'm sorry.