4.27.2014

IRL

Technology has changed the landscape of our world, to be sure. The far reaches of the world are brought ever closer while we become more distant from those standing right next to us.

Remember as a kid we all wish we had force fields? Or maybe that was just me.

I just realized that we have them now.  In the 80's they started as Walk-mans ...That's right. Sony invented the first force field. People put their Bel Biv Devoe cassette in their bright yellow walkman and threw those headphones on and zhoooomp! Instant people repellent. A force-field against people, if you will.

This has evolved quite a bit. Later the Discman. And finally...the smart phone.

Think about it. What do you want to do if you're in a crowd of people and you don't want to be bothered. One of two things--put your phone to your ear and nod a bit..throw in a a few 'uh-huh's' and you're set. No one will interrupt you because..well...it's rude to interrupt someone on the phone now isn't it (forget the whole rudeness factor of talking on your phone in public and expecting everyone around you to be quiet for your call--we'll talk about that later).

And way number two is quite a bit less subtle. It's the head down, both hands on the phone. As though that level of Candy Crush you're trying to beat is more important than anything around you. In order for this to be fully effective, it's best to glance up at the person trying to enter your field with feigned disinterest and go right back to heads down fiddling with your phone. If they still approach after that, you'll have to employ the secondary defenses, hand up, with the 'wait a second' finger and put the phone to your ear.  Then hold the phone down and cup the mouth piece, "I have to take this..." and then right back to the call.

If they still come through, get the pepper spray or trying to stop being so friggin' self-absorbed and recognize that the person might actually have something important to say to you.

Hahaha....no, I'm just kidding. Don't talk to them. What are you, kidding me?

Most people are assholes in real life.

Not really, but it was the segue I needed to be able to rant about the whole 'in real life' thing.

I can remember growing up (*no story started that way will ever  make you sound young and hip). But I remember growing up and watching a movie or TV show and thinking "I wonder what they're like in real life?" I mean...I don't know...but I bet KITT was a pretty cool car in real life even though he had to be a bit of a worry wart on screen. To be fair, Michael Knight was ALWAYS thinking with is little knightrider, so KITT had his hands full.

But nowadays (Again an 'old guy segue')...the phrase in real life is used for everyone.

I've got a friend who is kind of an asshole on Facebook, but in real life, he's a wonderful man who would do anything for his family.

Does it bother anyone else that we've come to the point where no one thinks twice about the fact that they have an online persona and a real life persona?  It's just creepy. The real problem comes, as I'm sure it did for celebrities, when people cannot tell the difference.  Online many people are assholes. I'm firmly convinced it's because we don't have to see the expressions of the people on the other end. Yes, I'm including myself in that. I've been a dick online before and I'm sure I will again. Because, let's face it, people say some really stupid shit online. And they need to be called out on it (we all do). But how we call people out changes if we're hiding behind a keyboard.

Example: A friend posts the following.
I think the President is the next coming of the f**king whale killing seal clubbers and Jesus should just smite that arsehole right now.

Now granted, I toned this down from the kind of bullshit I normally see online. Point is, there are two responses to this.

Online (and stupidity breeds stupidity on a comment thread, remember that):
OMFG are you seriously that stupid?!?! EVERY President sucks and if you think this one is any different then it's clear that your mom and your dad are brother and sister and how does that actually work if they get divorced. I bet there so proud of you, you f****ing retard!!!

But if you and your friend were hanging out and he spouted this bullshit, the incredulous look on your face would be enough to get him thinking that maybe that wasn't the best conversation starter. And then you'd follow it up with.

Dude, that's not f***ing cool man. 

A backhanded smack on the bicep accentuates the point. And then someone would pick up the next round of scones and you could both move on to the truly important issues of the day (and yes I do think the waitress was hitting on you).

Point is...Online is...well, it's a myth. Isn't it? And if you buy in to it you're really just fueling the problem. It's fake. It's not real. The people on your friends list are not your friends just because they're on a list on a server somewhere in China with a big thumbs up next to your name.

No, dumbass, they're your friends because they like hanging out with you (or like to see you post stupid shit online, like blogs or something).  But social media is supposed to enhance your friendship in real life. Not replace it.

See. See what happens? You put a soapbox anywhere near me and I'll find something to spout about. Now seriously get your ass outside. All this shit will still be here online, but that good stuff....you know the stuff in real life...that's not always going to be around.

Peace Out
-A.T.

4.26.2014

Seriously Fa(s)t Food...WTF?

So...I apologize in advance. The f-bomb may make an appearance.
It happens. Typically when I'm around either people who don't care or feeling particularly self-loathing.
I'm in apartment alone tonight. I'll leave you to deduce which trigger it was in this instance.

I didn't feel like cooking tonight.  I had a long week at work. I had a long night last night. And I was in Dayton this morning for a business building seminar.

In short I was knackered.

So...I reached for the $20 in my wallet. And it wasn't there (memories of how many fireball shots I bought last night suddenly blanked in to place). Sooooooo....the two normal delivery places I would order from were out since I don't like reading my credit card # over the phone to the one...and I quite frankly was feeling too lazy to walk down to DoughBoys to pick up a pizza in person.

That left delivery.

Which means Jets, Dominos, or Pizza Hut.

I don't like Jets.

I used to work at Pizza Hut and really can't eat there any more.

That left Dominos. Now...don't get me wrong, I know they make their pizzas the same way as Pizza Hut. Logically I know this. But I never worked there. So I don't actually have proof of this.

So...I ordered one of their specials.  Pizza and a sandwhich. Or something like that.

And....dude. Their pizza just doesn't agree with me any more.

I'm finding that I'm saying that a lot lately. "I tried such and such for the first time in x number of months/ years, and WHOANELLYHOLYCRAPTHATDIDNTENDWELL!!"

And I figured it out.

It's fucking fast food, man.

FAST FOOD
Although, when you choose to think of the 's' as silent (thank you letter people), it really becomes
FA(s)T FOOD.

And there it is. In a nut shell.

I read this somewhere years and years ago and since then, I've held that in business (and even in some cases, life in general) there are 3 attributes you can have of any product or service.

  • Good
  • Fast
  • Cheap
But here's the rub--you can only pick TWO. 
  • If you pick Good and Fast, it won't be Cheap.
  • If you pick Good and Cheap, it won't be Fast.
  • If you pick Fast and Cheap, it won't be good.
And that's really where fa(s)t food comes in, isn't it? In most cases, it's fast and cheap.
And it's not good.

Oh sure...there are just enough flavorings and fatty thangs in there to make us 'think' it tastes good or at the very least enough to trigger a symbolic link to a memory of a food that we do remember as tasting good at one point in our life. So, in order to get around the idea that we just spent money on shitty food that our body knows is bad for us, we overlay the memory of the good tasting food on to this current situation and 'voila!' we wind up with something that more often than not we qualify as 'not that bad.'

I ordered Dominos last night.
Oh really? How was it?
It wasn't that bad.

Really? Not that bad. Meaning there was a degree of something bad in there. Meaning that instead of making something using fresher ingredients, we (we meaning me) settled for second rate food that someone else delivered.

So...now I feel bloated. Mad at myself for taking the lazy choice. And not so much that, but making the lazy food with shitty food. It'll take 2 days to get the processed crap from my body. 

Speaking of Crap. I think I'm gonna start the process soon...

And I've added Dominos to the no-fly list for my belly. I don't hate it. But it's not something that I choose to partake of right now.

Cheat days don't work for me. It implies denial. And that isn't what I 'm looking for. I'm making life changes. I'm working on eating better and getting back in to shape.  But part of that getting back in to shape is the understanding that I'm gonna drink beer. Occasionally I'm going to have wings. These aren't things on a 'cheat day.' They are things that are in my life. So they need to be incorporated or counted on for the duration. Because I'm not necessarily ready to give them up yet, nor am I going to trick myself in to think it's ok because they are on a cheat day. If that works for you--cool. I know lots of people that make that concept work. My brainbucket just isn't wired that way.

And with that I'm off. I think it's time to finally dust off the treadmill. Gotta sweat out the ill effects of this fa(s)t food.

Pizza Out....er  Peace Out!
-A.T.


4.21.2014

The Missing Magic Link

So...when I was a kid. 14 or 15 maybe...I got a toy. I could never solve the Rubik's cube (this was before the interwebs and java cube solvers)..but I thought sure I could solve the latest Rubik's puzzle.

I called it the Link (But I think that was something else (which I also had))...anyway...It was actually called the Rubik's Magic Puzzle.

Voila!



The premise is straightforward. There are graphics on 2 sides. It comes looking like this when you lay it flat:

Flip and fold and solve that beeyotch. Seems simple.  And if you're this guy it  is:
(You don't have to watch the whole thing...just the first 20 seconds are all you need to be annoyed).


Simple. Right? Of course.  So...I gave it my best shot. And took pix of my progress.  What follows is a progression of what can only be described as 'post-modern....euh..art'...

















Here's where it started to go horribly awry....


Annnnnnnd....we're done.







I can't be certain...but I'm pretty sure this is the same thing that happened to my original puzzle almost 20 years ago.  

The good news is...I know where there are still 2 more on the shelf. Add that to the list of things to get down in KY on the next trip.

Have an awesomesauce Monday my friends!!

-A.T.


4.20.2014

B%*#@ing About Facebook-You're Doing It Wrong

*NOTE* This is not an attack on anyone who finds certain social media sites quite useful. In fact it is merely the ranting of a dude somewhere in Ohio who just isn't sure if the pay off is quite worth it to him anymore. Also...this post has been in 'draft' mode for days. So...no telling how it's going to actually turn out.

To start, yes. I'm on my "I really am sick of the Facebonkers" phase again. For many reasons. The main one being that this past weekend, when I was 50miles from a cell signal that was reliable and didn't have instant access to my friends' "live" (or is it their "likes"), it was a really nice time.

The irony is that some would say I was disconnected for two days. They couldn't be more wrong. In those two days I got closer to my dad that I've ever been in my life. I got closer to the land that has been in my family for nearly 200 years. I got closer to...well...me.  And I did it all without a single fucking "LIKE" button or "Share This" click (sorry Jack, it seemed necessary).

And I realized something today as I was taking my daily morning constitutional. Bitching about Facebook in a Facebook post is like writing a book entitled "Man, I Really Hate Writing Books." The time and energy expended to and for the very medium you're bitching about in the first place is, well, quite simply-ridiculous.

The following is a list of the main things that bug me about the whole "social media" craze (targeting the facebonkers in particular since they have seemed to hit the magic formula and maintained market share the longest).


Like Me--Please?!?
It's called social media, but it's not really. People get duped in to thinking that because they have friends on social media sites, that they have friends. Make a list. This list is the people that you're going to call at 2AM when shit hits the fan. It doesn't matter what the shit is. You are going to call these people and they are not going to be upset. They are going to be there for you--no matter what.

THOSE are your friends. Your true friends. Everything else is icing. Truly.

It Is A Necessary Evil-But Not Really
The only reason people feel compelled to be on Facebook is because we are driven that way. Companies no longer put their web addresses on their ads, they put their Facebook links. Somehow they hit the magic formula of making people think that they've always been around and businesses think that they can't succeed without a Facebook presence.


It Feeds (our sometimes sick) Need for Instant Gratification
For me what made (makes) social meda sites truly addicting is the constant need for instant feedback. How may people think I'm witty, funny, whatever. The true irony (as though this post isn't already fraught with irony and near hypocrisy) is that I'll probably post a link to this blog post on my Facebook wall. How truly meta of me.


It Truly Is Nothing But A Datamine
The power that be over at the mighty FB have sworn that the site will always be free. And why not? They've made billions by passively feeding us ads for years. When you're watching TV, you can DVR and speed through commercials, but ad space on FB has grown over the years, invaded your wall, the games, friends posts. Your clicks give them demographic information to feed the next round of ads. It's the perfect marketing tool. I have mad-respect for it in that regard. From something that came about as a way for college kids to see what their friends were doing to a paradigm shift in marketing. Quite brilliant indeed.


It Is A Timesuck of Epic Proportions
Click...scroll...laugh...like....check the clock.
Shit. Really?
Yes. I personally have lost hours in that rabbit hole. No joke. I'm better about it now...mostly. But there was a time when I was clicking/posting/liking/scrolling every 20 minutes. Whether I was at work or not.
It was the perfect escape for someone who really didn't like their real-world life at the time. A way for me to craft this perfect persona. Of course I'd rather spend time in a world where hundreds of people love me and tell me so, instantly. Who wouldn't?!?


It's A Very Lazy Way To Be "Social"(but not as lazy as Google Hangouts)
The true problem with Social Media is that it's not social. having dinner with friends...all sitting across the table posting about what a great time they're having instead of actually living in the moment and having the great time...not cool. But more than that, it's the mean commenting. The fact that venom can be unleashed from behind the screen...buffered by electrons and data paths.

You can't see the effect your words are having on the person you're cutting with them. A kid insults another kid on the playground. That kid cries. Then, in many cases, the kid doing the taunting is upset too. Because they know what it's like to be sad. And they've just caused that in another. And that hurts everyone. And that's how we're wired.

When you can launch those missiles with no repercussions...that's when things just get mean. And very anti-social.


Only The Weird Don't Have Facebook Accounts (a shift from the "Facebook? No, I don't. 
What's that?" days of yore)
I have a few friends that don't have Facebook accounts. Either for job reasons. Or reasons of age. Or the occasional 'I don't have time for that' self-awareness.  And these days that just seems weird. But I can remember back in 2008 when I got my first FB account...not many had them. It was "Facebook? Huh. What's that? (explanation...) Oh...I don't think I'd be interested..."  Now it's (Incredulous look) "You don't have a Facebook?!? What's wrong with you?"

It was a weird shift to see. Kind of like when only some people had computers in their homes...now most people have a computer in their pocket--and it even makes phone calls.

Guilt Tripping At the Speed Of Light
You didn't click LIKE on my post. I guess you hate gay-liberal-whale-loving-chillas...you bastard.  Yeah..I don't know where I was going with this one. Other than..I'm guessing some moms are having a blast with this. "So...I saw on Facebook that you had a grand old time...and you can't even click like on your poor old mom's farmville status. I thought I raised better than that."


It doesn't cost money, but that doesn't make it Free
Time. How much is yours worth? How much are you giving to Mark Zuckerberg? And is he helping make your dreams come true? Hey...I'm just asking. I know for damn sure he's not helping mine...well..that's not entirely true. I'm a story teller. And I'm sharing my stories. So...yeah.


Egos: If you Stroke Them, They Will Stay
Heh. Yeah. Something like that.


The Hypocritical Oath (if you hate it so much, why are you still there?)
And here in lies the rub. I see how it's just not a key factor in my life. But the rub is...so many of my friends use it that I don't necessarily want to 'lose touch' with them. It is an incredibly powerful tool to find (cough stock cough) friends from all stages of your life. It is not without its merits.

And..some of the groups I'm involved with use it as their sole means of information dissemination. That makes it hard to just walk away cold turkey.

And there's also the
Fear of Loss
What would I do without it? Would my friends still stay in touch or would we drift for years again. At least now we have the semblance of 'keeping in touch.' People tend to say 'oh, let's keep in touch' and they never do. Well, very rarely. But facebook makes that easy. Truly. So, therein lies the double edged sword.


and the last and final point that we all seem to forget because we are constantly reminded how much we need Facebook in our lives.

There Is Nothing You Can Do On Facebook That You Could Not Do Before Facebook
This is quite honestly the hardest thing to really wrap my head around. I think...well gee...before Facebook I couldn't electronically organize events  (evite?)...or message people (text/SMS/email)...or see peoples vacation pics (Flickr, Picasa, blogs)...or share my thoughts on something (blog/BBS/LiveJournal/letters to the editor)...or play games....NONE of that!!! Jeesh. My life was so empty before Facebook.

The reason it has become such an integral part of our lives is because they have made it convenient to do all of those things from one interface. And the price of that convenience is having our viewing/clicking habits sold to ad companies. To have the 'commercials' and 'sponsored links' all over the site. For most it's a small price to pay.

So...now what Skaggers?

Good friggin' question. I'll probably scale it back. I plan on going back to my original goal. To use it as a place to be positive. To spread love and inspiration. And to attempt to do so without getting completely sucked back in to the rabbit hole. Because I have a hell of a time leaving Wonderland.


So...you gonna leave?
Namaste
-A.T.





4.15.2014

Self-Censoring

I was about to post the following on FaceBonkers:

"Sometimes I start to post something on here and think to myself "hmm...this could quite likely turn in to one of those things that was much funnier in my head."....so I don't post it.

Oh don't be sad. I still laugh. And those things usually make their way in to the blog or one of the 14 journals floating around my house.

In very rare occurrences, I still post them here. Only later to have my suspicions confirmed. "

What's funny about that is that there is so much noise on that site that it's very rare to actually come across an original thought or idea. The more the site 'evolves' the less in-touch I feel with my 'friends' on there. And that's kind of the sick joke about social media. Everyone says that they get on social media to 're-connect.' And cool. That's fine. But how much 'liking' can you do when this friend you reconnected with only re-posts other shit they 'like'??

If you want to know anything about me, for #$@( 's sake, don't read my FaceBonkers page. You really won't know anything about me before getting ambushed by the sidebar ads.

Come here. Read this blog.

Or better yet...call me. Email me. Text me. Let's get together for a beer and some wings.

To paraphrase and completely bastardize a quote by Plato, "you can learn more about a person in an hour of beers and wings than you can in a year of Facebooking."

I'm not sure where I was going with that. Other than to say, the elation and joy felt this weekend carried through the day at work.

Nothing made me happy today. Today I am happy. I approached everything with joy and laughter (and some sarcasm and some good ole fashioned 'whatthe--'). The day went quickly. I drove home singing.

I got home and filed my taxes.

And still happiness (and a teensie bit of incredulity) was present. Yes, happy filing my taxes. Why? Because for the first time in YEARS, I don't owe. I'm getting a refund. You could say that Uncle Sam is subsidizing my divorce. Woohoo.  That was, in fact, one of those status messages that seemed funnier in my head than it appeared on my Fb wall.

This is pre-bedtime rambling. Something to clear the cob-webs before Dreamland. I hate going in to my writing workshop in Dreamland with the remains of the day still fluttering about. I hope you don't mind.

The goal, of course, is to finally have some forward momentum on that novel...or whatever might spring forth from my brainbucket.

What really surprises me, if I'm being honest, is that others actually read this and find enjoyment and amusement from it.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE that. I love to make people smile....laugh...or even give me that single raised eyebrow of the 'he just wrote what?!?'-variety. I just can't believe people still come back here. But hey... I'm happy that you do.

By the way...don't get the habanero-mango wings from a certain national pizza chain named after a board game involving individual numbered tile pieces. They aren't very good at all. I took one bite and threw the rest away.

But Todd, you could call and complain and get free food.

You may think that, but I really can't. For 2 reasons. I know the people who run their Consumer Relations division, and I don't want to ruin their day. And secondly...the normal response to something like that is a BOG card (Be Our Guest) or gift certificate. For more of the same food I didn't like the first time around. Nah. That's ok.

In fact, I got PizzaHut the other night and they sent the wrong order. I ordered the Pepperoni P'zone. They sent me the '3 Meat P'Zone.'  I called them up and it went a little like this.

PH: Hello thanks for....blah blah blah...will this be for pick-up or delivery?

ME: Neither. I'm just calling about a previous order I just received.

PH: Yessir. How can I help?

ME: You just sent me the wrong order. I ordered a Pepperoni P'Zone and you sent me a 3-Meat P'Zone.

PH: Oh sir. I'm sorry about that, can we send you a new one out?

ME: No. That's OK. I just wanted you to know in case you mixed up my order with someone else's and they got a pepperoni P'Zone when they wanted a 3-Meat.

PH:um....oh. Well. OK. Thank you sir. Are you sure we can't-

ME: Nope. Just wanted to bring your attention to the error so it doesn't happen again.


I'm pretty sure he was not prepared for that. Having worked for that chain before, I can tell you that the number of calls scamming free food is high. I seldom want free product like that. I just want them to know they messed up so that they can not mess up for the next person (even if that next person is me down the road).

And...since I got an on-call work in the middle of this whole thing, I completely forgot where I was going with this or even if this post actually had a point.  I'm not sure now that it did.

Seems a good time for bed, actually.

G'night all!

-A.T.

4.14.2014

Thoughts from the land that time forgot...

Sitting on the front porch at the farm...

Dad and I came down yesterday. This place is magical to me. It always has been. Even from an early age this place has been a completely different world from my every day life. Growing up in ‘The Big City’ as Papaw would call it (Westerville wasn’t big when I was a kid--hell, it’s still not...and it sure as heck didn’t seem like a ‘city’ as a kid, more like a town). But it was still night and day from this place. Compared to the starkness and vastness out in rural (and I mean friggin’ rural) Eastern Kentucky, Westerville was like New York City.


My aunt and her significant other came out to the farm yesterday, too. It was good to see them and to be honest, quite a surprise. Dad and I really didn’t expect any of the ‘we’ll try to make it outs’ to actually show because...well, when we travel to the farm, it always seems like they never do.

The house has stood empty for a while so it was in a state of disrepair of sorts. The tornado a couple years ago didn’t help much either. But steps are being taken to make it inhabitable again. There’s a few fun stories of how things we take for granted (like toilets that flush) aren’t so assumed down here, but those may be stories for another time.

We felt them again yesterday evening. The ancestors. We know they were (are) here with us. I was framing a shot of the moon before the sun went down.  Dad called me over. As I was walking to him, I felt as though I passed through a warm bubble. I had felt that bubble a couple other times in my life. One was most notably when I was in the back of a pickup truck (my grandparents) that was going over the side of Adams Hill in a summertime rain (it was not nearly as fun as you may think, the ‘going over the hill’ part was made easier by the oil on the road and the absence of guard rails)..as I passed through the bubble on the way to Dad he pointed for a place to me to stand. In that place the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees. Instantly. It was a pocket of cool. We had felt this before too.

On another trip to the farm, Dad and I were driving the gravel road leading to the farm, windows down. Arms out. There was a spot in the road where he was telling me about Papaw and the snake. The temp dropped and all of the hair on our arms and back and neck stood straight up.

On this spot to the barn yesterday, the same thing. Temp drop. Hairs stood.

They were telling us...hello? Thank you? Welcome? We’re Here?

I don’t puport to translate their messages. At least not until my third eye opens a little bit more and it becomes easy for me to see these things without the prompt.

Yesterday was nothing short of magic.

I got my moon shot. Two of them actually. Neither was the one I was framing when Dad called me over.

And that’s as I should be, I suspect because had I waved him off in favor of the photo, I may not have felt them. And I may not have gotten the shot that I did.


Here’s a short list of the epicness of yesterday:

  • The Great Kitchen Cabinet Debate
  • Pissing Off The Side of the Porch (this was/is a recurring theme)
  • Doing Battle with 50+ Wasps (the big red angry kind)
  • Finding what might be the last store in America that had a shrink-wrapped blank BetaMax tape  on their shelves (it’s in my collection now)
  • Ordering a Pizza from said same store
  • Buying a blank shrink-wrapped 8-track cassette
  • Papaw’s Drink
  • Getting Closer To Dad



I just really can’t quite put in to words yet how amazing this place is to me. I know that it’s ‘scrub brush property’ and not some amazing post card vista.  But this place is truly magical to me.

I wonder, if my friends came down here, if what they would see is the magicness of the place because of the place itself or if they would ascribe some additional beauty to the place because of the magic and wonder that the place holds for me. It’s like how someone keeps telling you how beautiful something is and you just dont’ see it (some newborn babies are perfect examples of this) and when you can put yourself in their shoes...see that thing through their eyes, it becomes the beauty that they see.

As I’m typing this, a news bee lighted on the laptop display. Had I had my phone out, it would have been an amazing picture. It flew away as I reached in to my pocket. Maybe the point was not the pic,  but the gift. To have just seen that.


Time stands still down here. 9:30 last night felt like 2 AM. And if you make it to 11:30, fuhgeddaboutit.   I woke up this morning when the sunlight came in through the window of the back bedroom. I burrowed a little deeper under the comforter and went back to sleep.  I hadn’t checked the time then.

Thinking hours had passed when I rolled over, I checked my watch...7:46. Much too early to wake up on what is to be my getaway (get back to me) weekend. Rolled back in deep of the covers, Quilt in the mix this time. Quick dream about....oatmeal (WTF)....and then back up. Thinking it must surely be at least 10:30. Nope. Something like 8:19.

The regular rules of time just don’t work out here. When it’s night, it gets dark. Like really dark. And when it’s day, it’s bright. There is none of this day for night shit that happens in the city. The body knows when it needs to sleep and when it needs to wake and time seems to bend to that particular precept here.

Dad calls it the land that time forgot. I think of it as something more. I think of it as the land that remembers time. True Time. Nature’s time. Things happen down here as they are meant to happen. In their time.

I have a 4 minute recording of me sitting on the front porch, writing this piece. You can hear the tap tap tapping of the keys on the laptop. But you can hear nature. True nature. All around.

In the city, it seems like when you hear a bird...or some other sound of nature as she asserts herself, that seems odd because its out of place.

Down here it’s quite the opposite. Down here that’s ALL you hear. The occasional air plane or truck on a distant road--THOSE sounds are the intruders. It’s a whole different world.

And it’s truly what brings peace to my soul.

I am recharged.

Thank you Papaw.


4.06.2014

Temporal Shift

In every thing there is a season.

I read that in a book once. Funny thing about the book I read it in. As I read that book...as I continue to read that book, I feel that there is so much that is left out of that book. That it's very design and current iterations and continual 'translations' are designed to keep its readers from knowing the full story. Whether that is the intent of the book's inspirer or the intent of those who deliver the book to the masses, I cannot say--but I have my own theories on that.

Which leads me to the current thought. There is a time for things. And at this time in my life, yet again, I find myself very nearly fully disgusted with the 'social media.' I feel about is as I feel with the News Media. The News Media no longer actually deliver the news. And social media isn't really about being social. Not any more. Oh, sure, at first it was about reconnecting. But lately it seems as though it's about being classified in just the exact proper demographic. Facebonkers is really little more now than a well-oiled advertising machine. Have you seen the 'commercials' on your news feed? The 'Pages You Might Like.'  Do you think that it's accidental...random?  It's a well-collected set of data. The powers that be at that face bookers thing have vowed that it will always be free. Why do you suppose that is? It's a great service, certainly they could be paid for their innovation.

Fact is, they are paid. Paid by companies...by advertisers...by marketers...for your habits. When you click off of the site to external link, it's tracked. When you click in to the site from somewhere else, it's tracked. Every Like. Every Page you join. Every friend you add. Every celebrity or company your follow. Just another tick on a data sheet. And that data sheet is sold to big business so that you spend your money on their products. They'll never charge you. That would be like charging the chickens in the henhouse rent. It's not the chickens they care about. It's the eggs.

Welcome to the machine.

That's just a little background of why I'm stepping away for a while. There are more important things in my life currently that I prefer to devote my time to.  Plus there's a whole thing of how 'online worlds' are desensitizing us, but that's a post for another time.

It will be interesting to see how many views I get on this blog if I don't post on the bookieface that I've written a new entry. Will people check back here or will this blog fade in to obscurity? Will people share it on their own walls? Who can say? To be honest, I write as much for myself as for anyone else.

I wonder how much more honed my craft will become if I wind up writing a post over here every time I get the urge to hit facebonkers? That site feeds instant gratification. Flash frying. Microwave life. I feel I need to step back a bit...hit the crock-pot....let things simmer in the slow cooker, if you will.

And that's where we are.

And we're somewhere else, too. Have you every had something that you know in your heart and soul was true, even though all evidence exists to the contrary? Or worse yet, no evidence exists. Either to the contrary or to validate your position. It's a weird state to be in.

I wonder if this is what it was like to think the world was round when everyone around you is convinced, even on threat of death, that the world is flat. I suspect that to be the case. Not knowing who would believe you or why.

The bummer of it is...in order to prove that which I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, I have to prove the existence of something and then disprove the nature of that something.  IT's not gonna be easy.

Especially when what we know of this man was written in a book a couple thousand years ago.

Turn, turn, turn.

Peace,
-A.T.

4.02.2014

A Writer Writes

It's weird to me. I mean...well...yeah, I know. Not much isn't weird to me at one time or another. But more specifically this thing of being a writer. That's weird to me. As far back as I can remember, my image of adulthood culminated with being a writer.

What do you want to be when you grow up? was the popular question (And still is, I suppose).

Taller. was always my answer (true story).

It never made sense to me to say a writer. That was just a given. I have written most of my life. Journals, stories, songs, poems, screenplays. It didn't matter what I was writing, simply that I was writing. It's something as natural to me as breathing. It's going to really suck if I find out I'm no good at it (writing, that is, not breathing--pretty sure I've got that down by now).

So...here's the thing. I've always known I was a writer. I'm not making a living doing that, though. How do people reconcile that? Writing is one of those things that I suppose (for me) it's easy to do and not be all distrought that it's not my breadwinner. I have this blog. And the 10 or 15 regular readers that come over here and smile in amusement at my random thoughts are enough.

Or are they?

Some might see it as a failure that writing is not my actual job. But I'm not so sure it's supposed to be, to be perfectly honest. I write what I want and for the most part when I want. How it that not success? By your yardstick because I cannot honestly put 'writer' on my 1040, then maybe I've failed. But you're reading this. This thing that I've written. And you can hit the back arrow and read over 600 other things I've written. And that's just on this blog alone. I've got dozens of other stories and screen plays on a jump drive...on harddrives...on floppy disk. Things I've written. Because I'm a writer.

Do I need a publshing deal? Would that make you want to read me even more? Would that make what I've written more beneficial to you? Or are you able to glean nuggets of wisdom for your daily life as they stand right now? Buried in the clumps of blogdom. It's a fair question I suppose.

I picture the day when I wake up. Have breakfast. Take the dog for a walk in the hills that my family has walked for 200 years. Then coming back having a morning snack and sitting down at the Remington to pound out a few chapters before lunch. After lunch grabbing the camera and taking some pix before my afternoon snack. Followed by some music making.

These things will happen for me in this lifetime. I will posit that they have already happened or are currently happening for me in parallel timelines. Daydreaming is just peeking in to another plane of existence (and dreaming 'when you sleep' is not only peeking in on one of those other planes, but stopping to play around a while there).

Does the author imagine new worlds, or do we visit them and simply report back what we've seen? Fiction and non-fiction become arbitrary designations at that point. Truth and lies become different chapters in the same book.

I guess I'm very fortunate. I know what I am. I know my purpose.

I am a story teller.

My purpose is to explore all avenues of my creativity and through that creativity I am to inspire others to realize that they themselves, are creative beings and to foster creativity whereever I can.

Seems lofty, I suppose. But I know without a shadow of doubt that is my purpose for this iteration of this lifetime.

This Lifetime?

Yeah. This lifetime. My soul has lived many lifetimes, will live many lifetimes, and is currently living many lifetimes (as is yours), but I must save that story for another time.

For now, I will finish my lunch and get back to my job. The one that pays the bills. Secure in the knowledge that someone is reading this and getting the inspiration they need for this moment in their life. And that's the job that pays my soul.

Peace

-A.T.

 

 

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