A new life, for an old man.

Month: June, 2012

Did You Say Atheist?

If this could only be my breakfast, I would become superman.

I am one to rant, I really am. In the normal day-to-day myself, I am constantly on the verge of being fired because that is what it is like to have a true opinion in ‘merica. I am one to speak their mind on the current level of corruption and the misguided ideals of the propaganda filled sheep, walking around in absolute abject disgust at all the stupidity I see all around me, not to mention the hurry up, don’t bother me, don’t even smile or look my way attitude that has taken over this country. I mean honestly, the only reason I brighten up at any future in this travesty of stomping poor people’s nuts into the ground with giant steel toed combat boots, is because I know some folks are not wasted, misled, or in denial with their heads up their asses. But there are two main issues I have stayed out of, and maybe, for both my readers and my friends who read this, I want to state why.

Atheism and the fundamentalists. It is a travesty of stupidity to ignore what people have been learning for thousands of years. It is also a travesty of stupidity to constantly argue with fools for the sake of proving them wrong. I always give my christian friends three warnings to lay off of the witnessing to me. I grew up in a bible belt city, and I already know all the tricks, traps, pamphlets and self congratulating arguments you can employ. If they insist on going past those three times, I will sigh belatedly, then laugh myself into oblivion at their behest. It is rude, yes, but I basically begged them to not do it, at that point, I am quite glad to rid those who desist in our friendship, because it was nothing but shallow empty shell of a friend, who had no respect for what I think. I will love you, my friends, no matter the religion you have decided to brainwash yourself with, but not to the point of dishonoring my tenants and understandings. Can you enjoy a game of League of Legends with me? Can we discourse the wild wanton attraction of space, science and computers? Can we enjoy a nice day, with quiet conversation at the park about how it is terrible what Steve is doing to his boy/girlfriend? I have no problems with anyone’s beliefs, until it approaches stupidity and disrespect. I am human, and having conversation and drama is part of living. I will not, however, abide by stupidity. On the other side of that argument, I will also not stand by constantly arguing with fools. I learned a long time ago, a foolish argument is one where only the fool will win. Facts mean nothing to a fool, they are foolish, and as such, have a wide disregard for anything like logic, reason, or education. A fool will count five apples (three sir!) when there are only two, because he has a foolish mind to allow him to. I have found there are many foolish arguments in the world, and many people take belief on their side, at least in ‘merica, as a reasonable approach to winning. To argue a belief is to invite the fool to win, because you have allowed their unjustified view to come to bear, and it is a ridiculous and tragic end of the argument, before you even begin. So as a flip off to all you black t-shirt wearing dipsticks of an atheist movement, why are you arguing with the fool? Use your damn intellect to solve the homeless problem, ffs.

That being said, there is much we do not understand. There are many questions in the universe, not everything in my life revolves around science and logic. I am a lover, a romantic, a heart on my sleeve kind of person, but I am well scarred by life in ‘merica. I only wear my heart around those I know who can handle it, and to this date, in my 43 years, it has been two people. I am not very open about the things I really love and love to share, because it only invites smirks and disbelief in those who do not understand. My empathy is very high, to high I believe, but it is what it is, so I am usually not arguing for myself, but rather the human race as a whole. An open mind, an honest opinion that knows it is just an opinion, those things are highly valued by me, and I find them rare, to the point of only one person I know that shares that same point of view, and that is my lovely Lady. We do not see eye to eye on everything, I tend to be more bleeding heart than she is, she tends to more positive than I, but she is smart, witty, and has her own store of knowledge that she shares with mine. We are in love, we are to be married, and we share everything, all our views, about everything together, and our relationship just grows stronger each day. I would like to see a world where people do the same thing on a much broader basis, and see how much love and information we could truly share.

And that is why I have no love for the bible thumping fanatic or the Hawkins slamming atheist. Both are idiots in their own way, because one of the first things a truly smart person learns to do is to communicate effectively with all people. In this era of imperialistic dogma and corporate politics, we need a lot more love and a lot less hate. It starts in your home, and your neighborhood, not in the cold rooms of marbled capitalism. We will never win over the earth to love and logic if we continue fighting about things that, honestly, do not matter. To be honest, the very first barrier is overcoming yourself, loving yourself, so you can learn to love others. I look in the mirror, and I only see myself, all my flaws and my decent bits, and I love it. I am who I am, and that is all I am saying, be yourself first, then when you love who you are, the world looks a lot better.


A Few Moments in the Park

I was on the opposite end of the park, I swear.

I stopped for munchies today and ordered a calzone with marinara sauce, made with mushrooms and capsicums. I would normally order the double or triple meat, with extra cheese, but it is the lifestyle choices I am learning to make.  It’s not like a calzone with or without meat makes all the difference in the world, but standing outside, I saw why I made the decision. I have a body again! It is so powerful to see, yes I am still fat, yes I am out of shape in many ways, and in a shallow, vapid town like Denver I get called fat ass as I ride my bike along the road.  I am still on a long road to recovery, I am proud to see the difference for the first time in a long time. The calzone place had some blacked out windows, and while smoking outside I was admiring my new profile in the window. I also have a neck again, so many thanks to my working out and making healthier choices. Anyways, this was before my ride, and the calzone was for lunch afterwards.

I geared up to ride today, and found the heat wave had broken with some thunderstorms coming in from the southeast. I took advantage of this and headed out to Cheesman Park. I had not been there in several years, and I thought this would be fun to see today. I had been worried about the heat, I didn’t want to stray to far from home, or push to hard, but since it was fine out, so was my plan. I took an alleyway that had this really steep hill on it, if you looked down the alley from about where I lived, the asphalt of the alley looks like the roof on a house obstructing the path. I don’t know how most people motivate themselves to tackle obstacles, but the hard push up the side of a hill followed by the easy, breezy, cool ride down is something I am really coming to like. It is the hills that make me glad I didn’t get a stationary exercise bike, because what fun it is to ride as fast as a car, the sweat cooling you off immediately, no matter how hot is. I don’t see how you can get that in a gym.  I hit the hill with a determined pump, only lowering the gear when it became to hard on my legs and I knew I would end up blowing out. I made it over the hill, and awwwww, no ride down except for the rest of the half block. I grinned though, picked up some speed on the slope and hit the road east towards the park. Which was pretty much all incline. I had to laugh, but it was going to be a challenge, since I kinda pushed up that two block hill behind me. I took it easy, and found inclines are not the problems they were, even two weeks ago. My leg muscles are responding well to bike riding! I know the park is around 2km all the way around, it is not a very big park, so I figured, 3 times around on a bike.

Two times around later, I was out of breath, but happy. It took 2 km to get here, and it will be 2km home, so in all honesty, I did do over 7 km today. I sat down and ate my calzone, and watched around me. Cheesman is a gay pride park, aside from the city people side, which is where the play ground and picnic tables are. I was sitting on one of the picnic tables when I noticed, about four tables away, a gay man with his little half shirt looking at every male in the park. I stopped looking before his eyes swung my way. Directly in front of me, about 100 meters away, a homeless man was sprawled out on the grass, fast asleep. At least I hope he was drunk and asleep, cause laying in the full sun on any summers day in long sleeve shirts and a jacket must be uncomfortable.  As I had rode up to the loneliest table, I had spied three to five children, sprinting as fast as they could through the grass to the playground. They now made enough noise for 5-7, and were rambunctious as young kids can only be. It provided a nice counterpoint to the continuous traffic that goes around the park. Lots of yuppies jogging, not one of the twenty or so I spied without the “I spent 45 dollars on my Apple Nano Headphones so I can have a bright neon color string.” headphones on. Kill me if I ever become one of those.

Out in the main park where the grass is, there were various couples and menses throwing frisbee. I was actually surprised, but then again, I was on the “straight” side of the park. I am terribly unhappy when someone is blasting gay disco at high volumes to play volleyball with. No instead, it was peaceful, aside from the toy like shrieks of the kids, and fairly quiet. Occasionally three yuppie moms would gossip by while power walking, but even that did not annoy me. The sky was cloudy with bits of blue here and there, the calzone was tasty if the marinara was bit bland, and I was pleasantly cooling off from a decent 4 km ride over hills and up inclines, as the park is essentially built on the half of a hill, east side being the highest. I had achieved 66% of my goal, I was outside, not inside stuck to this screen I am staring at now, and I got to be a part of humanity for a change. I can never return the inspiration and motivation my lovely lady has given me, and I find I am actually liking myself and the world a lot more now. The bored but sexually suggestive pose of the gay man, the sprawl of the sleeping dead homeless, the genuine relaxed throw of a half-hearted frisbee game, the easy buzz of traffic, and the carnival like shouts and squeaks of children at the playground, you could say it was a good day.

I’m Not an Elementary Mathematician

Here I show my monstrous ability to embarrass myself. Mathematically.

I am not an elementary mathematician, but is it just me or does the only thing about our mathematics that seems to fit is the magnitude of ten? And even then, though it is an easy one to grasp, it does not seem to fit the natural progression of the universe. To be honest, I am not sure if anything about out math that we use day-to-day is anything but pure rubbish. Base ten math is very easy for us to grasp for one very simple reason, our hands. Nothing I can see, other than our fingers and toes, really seems to match up well. I once read we have a huge problem with infinities, because our math does not deal well with them. There is nothing simple about dealing with an infinity, and if our math does not deal well with them, then there is a lot of hogwash being created using our mathematical system. I have often wondered, and I am sure to be yelled at somewhere down the line for this, but I have often wondered why not use binary math for the basics, and discard our math entirely, until we have binary explanations for everything. Now that computers are ubiquitous across the globe and in every math department, perhaps we could set about starting from scratch, so to speak, and work our binary knowledge up to our current knowledge.

I have another problem about our math. It is ten symbols, yes, but is not one of those symbols zero? And if that is true, then why are we using base nine math? I again, think it is very simple, you have 10 fingers, and if the concept of zero is fairly new, then why is there not eleven symbols for base ten math? Count your fingers using a unique symbol for every one, say letters. No fingers is not a symbol, we are just going to ride it out as if we knew nothing of zero. So, using the alphabet, you have fingers a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,and j as the last finger. Each one of these fingers is a numeric for how many fingers you are holding up, and no matter how you cut it, there is no ten.

  1.  a  b  c  d  e  f  g  h   i   j
  2. 1  2  3  4  5  6 7  8 9 0

The zero is a stand in for another number, that is two digits, a combination of 1 and zero, but the truth of the matter is, ten is not a combination of 1 and zero, but instead, it is ten 1’s.  so if you do it on a base ten system, and acknowledge that zero is zero, why are we confusing things with another zero? 10 is not ten ones and a zero, but instead, ten apples is ten apples, and zero apples is zero. It is confusing and difficult, and we haven’t even approached the one that really gets me going about our math.

Pi or π is an irrational number. It is a number that is so common throughout the universe, and yet, in our math, it is unconfirmed as to the size and breadth of it. We use it everyday, we use it for cosmology, number theory, statistics, fractals, thermodynamics, mechanics, and electromagnetism. Humans love to break records, and the use of supercomputers has had us exceed π to over 10 trillion (1013) digits. Yet, such an irrational number can be seen, just by creating a wheel and rolling it once. It is there, it is obvious, it is not irrational at all.

This bugs me to no end, it really began with the whole movie π thing, which I loved at the time like no other. The movie is a great way to get thinking about it, because it shows such superb irrational human behavior. I think it might be the juxtaposition of the humans in the movie and the supreme hold over spherical math that makes me think perhaps our interpretation of math is wrong at a fundamental level. π is used in Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, along with another interesting number that is prevalent all across the universe, Planck’s constant, h.

Let me reiterate, I am not a theoretical mathematician, I am just a high school drop out who likes to think, who likes to pose questions and see what happens with the answers. The answers have changed over time, and in my lifetime as well. I became educated about mathematics from building houses, where when nothing else seemed to work, we would use the 3, 4, 5 triangle when other measurements would not be efficient to use. Now I am talking about my step father here, a hot tempered hot rod greaser from the 50’s and 60’s, who was smart enough to run a lathe, but would never question the math behind anything we did.

I just get this sense that something is wrong, when you can take a wheel and show an irrational number. I somehow think we are missing something important, something that would explain why the universe produced 92 elements and how they eventually became life, something that would tie the electromagnetic and gravitational theories together, that would show the solution to the universal theory. It’s the same sense of excitement I get when I read about Tatiana Proskouriakoff, who broke the mayan code, or the fibonacci sequence, or the golden ratio. I do not know if I can do anything more than muse on it, to be truthful, I am more concerned with our false economy and our false pretenses of government than I am with our false math, but it does make one think at times, did we go down the wrong path the right way?

Feel free to denigrate this, or print it out and hit it with a stick, but maybe, we should start in binary and work our way around using the prodigious amount of knowledge we have gained, but using it to build a new mathematical system. I am not the first to say it, I will not be the last, but the inscrutable problems seem to be scrutable. I suggest machine language experts try it on, instead of learning the new Ivy bridge command codes.

Most Absolutely Inept Way Possible

Only thing missing is the needles and pins.

I wonder why everyone gives up on love. I am 43, I have had a hard life, and a long lonely life, until I found love. My life is harsh, chaotic and without form, without love that is. I never knew what I was doing or where I was going, why anything had ever happened to me. I do not know when I lost my parents love, but maybe I never had it, maybe the love I felt was just the protectiveness parents put in their life to deal with having a child. As I grew up and gained my own sense of voice and ideas, the feeling of love for me left, and I was actually just alone the whole time. I am old enough to know of a time when families would disown girls for being promiscuous, like my mother. After I was born, my step dad and mother told my grandfather he could be a part of my life, or he could go his own way, but the circumstances were far more varied than I ever knew, at least until grandpa made it known to me why things happened the way they did. I was born of wedlock, but my grandfather always treated me with honor, and always made me feel strong. His basic advice to me was, “Be strong, your family will try to push you down, but make your own path, and stay yourself.” Little did I know he was exactly right, once adulthood hit me, I was on my own, first from my own choice, then from trying to avoid more poisoning of my life by my family. Until I finally left, my mother and father would actually try to sabotage me, calling my work and telling my bosses I was, “hooked on drugs,” and other whispers like, “He has been traveling all over the US, like a carney.”

I eventually learned of such backstabbing, and left them forever, never to return. I would then return to my life and my friends, and have a great time in life. I loved my friends fiercely, but eventually, a romance would end my closeness I would always be trying to feel, and fulfill. I have been told what a great friend I was, how much difference in someone’s life I had made, but no one would ever return it to me. I knew I was doomed to be, “the friend,” forever, no matter what I would do, I would always be a safe option but never the loved one. Even so, in my heart, I never gave up. My mind, yeah, it was quite happily looking at alternative lifestyles, perhaps I could be the old drunk at the bar. I remember thinking I could possibly be the crummiest person on the block, or perhaps even the grumpiest person anyone ever met, but it would never pan out for me. Get me drunk, let my hair down, play some music, and boom, the loud, fun, silly, and unpredictable me would fall out and have a good time.

I am an incurable romantic, I have herpes of romance, no matter what I do it will flare up and take my heart on some great journey. I am one of the few men who has ever cried watching “Sense and Sensibility.” In “Fifth Element,” when Leloo first meets Korben, she has this sudden realization that she likes him out of all the people she had encountered up to that point, and her face lights up and her lips just start telling the story. I cry almost every time, because I wanted that to be me. I wanted that person, that love to come, and I would just be there for them forever, sharing and trusting in another love. I will cry when in “Rurouni Kenshin,” Miss Kaoru wants Kenshin to be her lover, and he has to go and do something to save the world. I have loved, and I had always lost. I lost to other boyfriends who were horrible, to other toys that girls will take on, I lost to money, to fame, to power. I would lose and lose and lose and I think I went insane for about ten years, after so much rejection and displacement, I began to doubt whether life was worth living. My heart, so to speak, gave up.

Love came back though, and rewired the broken pieces of my heart into one. First the love of friends, who saw I was not a crazy person, but genuinely honest and honorable. The love of music next took me, and I began to put the rewired pieces of my heart back together. You can not write even a simple bass line without being a whole person, because you must be able to hear the music as a whole with a whole heart, and a soothed mind. You have to be able to communicate with the drummer, and express the duo of timing and notes so the rest of the band can float with it. So my mind healed, my heart healed, and then, I began to work on my body and my spirit.

Right about this time, the fates must have decided I would not survive another forty years without any love, and placed in my path, my true love, my lover and best friend, my bride to be, my Queen. If I had truly given up on love, I would have never understood who I met. It took an astonishing three days for me to realize I was in love, maybe perhaps because we were half a planet apart and in a virtual reality when it all took place. I remember on the third day, I was absolutely scared, to the point of shaking, to lose contact with her, and in the most absolutely inept way possible, asked her to be my partner in game. This becomes my true life fairy tale from that point on, and life has become a wonderful place for me to be, finally.

I am on my way to a new career, a new body, a new spirit, though that bit is the roughest of all my parts perhaps, and a new world, literally half the globe from where I am now. I have actually left behind my hatred of the summer, and embrace warmth and sun with all true joy, very opposite of how I have been all my life. That is what is getting me today, how much I love the heat, the sun, the day and the clouds and the wind and the blue, blue sky. I am changing, I am growing up, and I am liking the way things are, instead of wanting to always change the way things have been done. Please, no matter how dark, please never give up on love, for I do think all those lonely years were better spent, and made me a better person, just because I wanted to love.

Pablo’s is Intense

The Beast within

Image courtesy of Pablo’s Coffee, all rights reserved.

My love for coffee started at an early age. I was always fascinated by my grandfathers, I was lucky to have two when I was young. One could drive a stake through the toughest ground and taught me to properly swing a sledgehammer, the other was a master welder for Southern Pacific’s Houston yard, and could weld any metal, anywhere, anytime, perfectly. The welder also did two things that fascinate me today with food, one was coffee, black and simple, the other was to eat jalapenos right out of a giant pickle jar, like they were chips. As a kid I would try to emulate him, but it wasn’t until I got a little older that I could handle the full flavor of coffee and the simple and earthy burn of a jalapeno. Coffee, I am absolutely certain, saved my life once. Living and growing up in Houston, well, the city is tremendously large, and it is nothing to be on one side of town and it take an hour to get somewhere, then take you two hours to get home. I had one of those trips, after a hard day’s work and  long night of party, when I was 16. It was 3 in the morning when I pulled up to a Whataburger and ordered two small coffees and one small milk, and a large glass. Gulped it down, and just barely made it home, but the milk seemed childlike to me, but that is how I drank it from then on until I was about twenty-five. I was a Muddy’s kid for a long time in the 90’s, hanging out in the back yard and drinking crowbars. Even in Houston back in the 80’s I would hang out at the Texas Artists Warehouse, and then there was the first Starbuck’s that was built in Boulder, and I had to give it try. A real barista gave me my first decent macciato, and from then on, it has been the drink for me. Now hold on coffeenistas, back then it was a real macciato, and she taught me the difference between a long and a short pull. The coffee sellout of the century had not happened yet, and the inclusion of syrups was pretty much just used for italian soda’s. Maybe circa 1993? Well now that I have forever doomed myself to be the guy who gave a good review of a Starbuck’s, let me tell you about the real deal.

Pablo’s is to coffee what Formula One is to racing. I have never had anything but an honest and straightforward answer, opinions and decent conversation about coffee at Pablo’s. There is no wifi here, you will not see fifteen people hogging table rights so they can tap away for hours at the computer. You will see people writing on paper, or people reading, and most people just engaged in conversation. In the land of please the damn sheeple of the united country of facebook, it is refreshing and lovely to find a place that values its coffee and its patrons to the point of doing something different and dynamic. Always, great local art that I will inspect for my ten minutes of peace when ordering my bimonthly macciato hangs upon the walls, and it is always decent art, not the sludge NYC is pushing this month. The selection of hand roasted and picked coffees is unparalleled in any other coffee-house. I currently have in my freezer three types of Pablo’s, the El Salvador, the Two Stroke Smoke, and the Blue Krishna Balinese.

The Two Stroke smoke I found at a coffee-house, now long gone, called Scooter’s. I worked across the street at a 7-11, and every other morning or so, as work ended, I would stop in and have a macciato before going home. The barista was a nice lady who would talk coffee with me for a few, since it was never busy, and she used to work with Pablo’s on roasting day, so she told me a story* behind Two Stroke Smoke.  Apparently, after finding time to have a smoke, of the medicinal kind, the roaster dropped a bag of Zapatista coffee and Tanzanian Peaberry into the roaster. Zapa has unique properties, and it is a bit of a hag when it comes to roasting, but the mistake was not noticed until the roasters smelled the smoke off the beans and noticed it smelled like his scooter after getting too much use.  Tasting it confirmed a new mix, and the long running favorite dark of Pablo’s was found. * DISCLAIMER- Its a story folks, a nice one told by a nice lady, and decent enough to share with you. I have never confirmed it, because I like it and it fits.

The Salvadoran is clean and honest, and the Blue Krishna is very subtle, and almost fruity. I tend towards the house coffee when ever I walk in, and I never really ask what is going in my macciato. Speaking of which, I absolutely must mention the new espresso machine. If you doubt the official stance of Pablo’s being the best of the best, you simply must come by and witness greatness in the form of a La Marzocco Strada EP. I had a long pull macciato and I can still taste it, the very essence of beauty in a cup with milk foam. I look forward to every visit I can make to the best coffeehouse with the best coffee in Denver. I have been a patron for more than a decade, and I have never, not once, been disappointed or had bad service. I have been when it is crowded and long lines, and still, there is a smile and a nod even when pushed to the limits of customer service. Do yourself a favor and find out why you liked coffee in the first place and go to Pablo’s.

In the Mirror I Am

How I feel when offered a drink, “Hey look I won’t touch it, but it sure looks good.” Stare, stare, stare….

Does it matter that I have decided to become better? I am  in a bit of a moral argument here, there is one side, then there is the other, as most moral arguments go, it is simple and easy, but a moral one where I am looking at myself through judgmental eyes. Simply enough, I could use a roommate. I am poor, and I need to do a lot of things to get to Oz. Being poor is not just disabling in america, it is pretty much devastating, everything must be put on a three times too slow schedule. Everything you want to do for fun has to be left completely alone, and fun must be found in normal everyday life. If you are tied to a crappy job to stay just poor and not become impoverished, this also makes for difficult times. You get money, you want to get stuff you need, and you want to get stuff done for the future, but then you go to the store and everything costs twice as much as it did five years ago, and you are back to having nothing for the future.  These are the reasons I want a roomie, so I can not get ahead, but actually just be able to break even and not have to worry about whether or not I want underwear this year. I had a friend ask me, actually, if I was looking for one, because he had a friend who was in need of shelter, and staying in hotel rooms. I met the person, and though we were not close, I did know him, and had never seen him fly off the handle or be too weird, in general, the perfect roommate.

Perfect roomies need a few characteristics, outside of which, nothing much matters. One, they need to be able to pay bills. Since this is an all bills paid apartment, they need to just be able to pay rent. At 300 US a month, done, pretty much even if they have a job at Mickey D’s. Two, respect your fellow roomie, and leave us alone. I didn’t take on a roomie to be friends, I took them on to save money and share a tiny space. Friends are nice, but please, do your own thing so I have space. Three, don’t lie or be obtuse, awkward moments will happen, but it is just two humans trying to live in a system trying to doom them, there are enough lies without extra BS on the home front. I thought my roommate was the perfect one, as he pretty much fit these categories.

I made things as easy as possible, saying ok, I paid rent, so, to make it cheap for you and easy on me, help me out at the end of the month and clean up the place, and we can have a tiny, but nice and clean space to live in. I am a bit messy on my own, but if others are involved I become very self-conscious of all my mess, and am very neat. I am also spartan and simple, so it is easy for me to stay neat, even for long periods of time, as soon as everything has a once over. Well, that should have been my first clue, he didn’t do anything for the first two days. I thought, maybe he just needs to communicate with me, and sure enough, he did the second day, but again, nothing got done. The third day, he finally flipped the mattress I had given him, but still, I should have known. But this is all hindsight, let me get to the meat of the matter.

My landlord approached me and said, nope, no go, dude is drunk on the street in the middle of the night. I had to think about what the middle of the night is, because I am up all the time at night, until I get to Oz, so once I got a time frame, I went to the roomie and said, “Welp, landlord says you gotta go, you were drunk and he won’t stand for it.”

Protests, but I have no monetary or legal power to fight my landlord, so I said to him, “Ok go fight for it, and see what he says.”

Time starts ticking, and he just sorta sits around and stares for an hour. Finally he tries and is like he is not there. I am not happy at this point, because five minutes before I came in and he was there, his car blocked in by a moving tenant, and now I am thinking, well, maybe landlord saved me some hassle.

I swallow my instinct though, because I hate to judge, so I approach landlord and fight a bit for the guy, to see what the real reasons are. The maintenance man is the one who found him I found out, and he was so drunk he would not move from the sidewalk. Now I am thinking well, damn, this is not a good show for the third day he lives with you. I shake hands with landlord, and say goodbye, just in time to see roomie coming up, finally to speak with the landlord. I bust a move out, and go to work early, because not only is the landlord kicking him out of my house, but the electricity is off for hours as well, so I could not speak with my wonderful woman. Suck ass monday, and I haven’t even gone to work yet.

Well here is the moral dilemma I have. I am an ex-drunk, with honors, mate. I can drink almost anyone under the table, at high altitude, and then walk on home like nothing ever happened. I know what altitude does to skinny people who drink a lot, and it really screws them up. I think he was just having a good time when the altitude set in and caught him off guard. I however, do not care, and it concerns me a little. My argument for not caring is this is not the time to be getting drunk, it is the time to be on the wagon and getting shit done. My argument for caring says he was just in a bad position at a bad time, or a bad position in a good time, actually, but bad position no less. He even came by and apologized, and said he felt he had let me down.

I have given him one week of my time, and he has to go, and it will not be all nice, it will be over and permanent. I will not offer further shelter or council, and I will be done, so I have made my decision.  I know everyone will support me, I know that people will say you did the right thing, even the ex-roomie will not harbor ill will for me, as his apology shows. He is not a bad sort, and I still must look in my mirror and know how I feel. Sad, wistful, and missing my youth, but determined to not undermine myself.

Just to let you know

Just a very pretty picture of Orion, because I love blue stars, they are like my gorgeous love, rare and beautiful.

I hate missing out on writing three days in a row, it is stifling and boring.  My main puter is back up, and I will be back to chucking out my daily writes, so I do hope none of you who are reading miss me to much. For the geek in you, it was the power supply, it ran for five years, and it was a Rosewill 350 watt, considering it was less than 30 US, I have to give it a 5 star rating. Also, the EVGA 9400 1/2 gig card is still churning away, I thought it was damaged as well, but I just finished a nice game of League of Legends and won doing solo mid, so the card didn’t get damaged at all.

A few thoughts in short:

  1. Hajime No Ippo is my favorite anime of all time, it is the tale of a young and very shy geek who gets beat up, but becomes a boxer. It inspired me to lose weight and get on my bike and become something stronger.
  2. I love watermelons!
  3. Having two monitors… how does anyone ever do with just one?
  4. I still hate laptops.
  5. I do really love puppy linux, its pretty powerful, and filled the stop-gap I had for ten days flawlessly.
  6. I love writing more now than when I started this blog, there will much more coming!

It was Weird


Image courtesy cc license

It was weird, growing up at the end of the industrial age. Everything was so simple, so easy to understand. Records, yeah I had them. I would still own records, but I am to cheesy to carry them anymore, such a hassle, when I can play anything I want from my computer. Speaking of computers, I have a history that goes back to 1980 and the school librarian asking me how to get programs loaded onto the Apple II. Looking back, it was also the beginning of the entertain me washout. People going to others houses to watch this new thing, cable. No commercials! I think what a laughing-stock that is today. Let’s grab 100 channels, all with commercials, and charge you for them. I saw the first broadcast of MTV, the whole video killed the radio star and all, and it was really neat, but still not what I wanted in music. We never had cable in our house, and all our phones were dial. I remember everyone singing Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” on the bus, on the way to fifth grade. I just think how easy it was for others, while my parents wanted to remain in the horrid old days. Even though we do not speak to each other, I would still like to be a fly on the wall for about a minute to hear my step dad snort, “Goddamn phones and everyone driving like a fucking idiot…” and my mothers reply, “Well honey, there are some good christians using them for good purposes.” Oh wait a minute, I have actually no desire to hear that shite, and it is weird to think that’s where a lot of the shite these days comes from, everyone having a voice but no power.

Where are we going with all this? Truth be known, thanks to the overt limitations of the current private ownership or totalitarianism that we call governments, we will probably not know for a long time. I do dream though, and being a dreamer, I know that eventually, we will be united against badly used power and imperialism, and the trappings that are left over from the days of yore to a new kind of world. I wonder, at the rate which things change, if those things will change in my life time, or if I am already to old to see the birth of a new dynamic, one of egalitarianism and resource sharing. Eventually, these tired old houses will fall, and we will have to replace them with something better. I swore off crying about the problems of the current world, because if you are smart you know the dire consequences of fiat system, and there are enough people yelling about it anyways. What intrigues me more, is what we will do when we get together and really actually evolve on the next step.

Absolutely my favorite thought is the idea of a world-wide establishment of peace and sharing. A world without war, without the suffering of the poor, with all people being fed and educated. I think within the span of 20 years, that future will produce more scientists, engineers, doctors, and researchers than ever before. I also think that populations will halt at about where ever they are, just like most populations have stabilized in first world countries. It is the uneducated poor who are driven, usually by a religion, to produce more and more children, consequences be damned, because they don’t even understand the concept of consequences. People will become educated in the basics, because the basics are now available to almost everyone. Not all poor people are impaired, by no means, the gardening movements in Africa and Cuba are exemplary examples of the beauty of an educated mind. Private ownership is really all that stands in the way of things changing. Education is there for everyone, just take a look at the massive and constantly updated Wikipedia, which I remember just a few short years ago was derided and ridiculed as a source of information, yet it is where I can learn about anything I want, even why General Lemonnier has an avenue named after him in Paris.

Which brings up the modern concerns we have now about information. I have only one recourse, only one argument, and it will never make sense in the crazy, crappy, backwards life we lead now, but I am going to state it firmly. ALL INFORMATION SHOULD BE FREE. Information is the method of control that all the powers that be use to keep us at bay… damn damn damn… damn damn and double damn… I almost ranted… Ok ok, deep breaths, deeeeep breaths. I don’t care who gathers what information, I like information, and we all liked to be informed, and once ALL information is freed to be used by all who want it, we will skyrocket to infinity… and beyond. Yes all this is cheese, pure cheese but imagine, anything, anything at all you want to know, it is probably somewhere on the web. I want to bake some cookies… recipe for all altitudes on the web. I want to learn how to write in Python and Java… all on the web. I want to… on the… I want… the web. Using basic cut up techniques, and the fun art of oversimplification, we can all see that we want the web, that we want to be informed, and that we want to live lives of giving and sharing, of learning and collaboration, to become greater, to raise our fellow man.

Yes, there are problems, but those problems can be worked on if we KNOW about them. The reason serial killers exist is because we don’t know about them. The reason lots of poor people are violent is because they have to struggle to get the basics, and do not KNOW about alternatives. I am egalitarian, anarchistic, and humanistic. I arrived at these ideas by research and understanding, not by arguing for more of a piece of it all. I am not rich, and I promise, I will never be rich, for any money I have will go to making the world the place I know it can be, just like Jacque did in Florida. No he was not complete nor did he cover what to do to change to such a vision, but damn it man, he built his vision!

The Feel Good Soreness

How I felt when I started riding again, not oh no, more like, heh, whatever, I am on a bike!

I am not a man of exercise, one might even say I am a lazy sod. I find this might run rampant among the writers I have so happily read lately, so I thought I might speak up about the importance of feeling sore. About two years ago, I gave up beer, my life long friend for almost forty years. I had my first beer when I was five, because my grandpa wanted to see me barf. He had a good time, I had a good time, and I learned, just a sip of his beer, not a whole one. He also bought me my first six-pack when I was a teen, and we had several beers together over the years. He’s passed on for many years now, so although it was hard, there was no real emotional attachment. I then stopped consuming so much garbage food in my life, and eventually, I have become an almost sober and clean kind of person. I no longer drink, and the whole stoner thing is certainly not going to help me write as I get older, so I gave that up as well. Being in my mid 40’s has given me a new look on life, a look like, well hell, I could actually kill myself with bad practices, so that led to me trying to find some sort of exercise that I could handle. I know I have said it, but so many people never do, I was morbidly obese from all the drinking and eating, and that has recently changed to me just being obese. Handling exercise is actually a hard thing when you are really out of shape, and I mean like, painfully, horribly out of shape. Just walking is like having knives stuck in your body after about a block, so the usual let’s just walk it off was not going to work. I also stand all day, as a cashier, so the back, the feet, damn, every time I wanted to exercise, I really just needed to rest. Two days off would just let me recover enough to work another five days, it is a trap, but I will not rant about crappy jobs here.

Eventually, I got this idea, after trying different things that I could not get motivated about, what about a stationary bike? I could work it off in a low impact sort of way, and I could get the cardiovascular I needed. Well, without spending 300 US on a bicycle that never moved, nothing worked in that category, and then, although it seems simple to most, it hit me. Just get a bike. Not some exercise machine, but a bike. Not a scooter, cause I wanted one as I got more active, but a bike that I had to ride to get to new places and parks. I have a rather generous friend, he is very nice to me, that helps me out from time to time. He brought me a gift one day, a beautiful black heavy framed click shift bike. It is a real bike, not cruiser, it has 21 gears for those tough hills in Denver, and I love it. I will return it to him when I move, and hope he finds another like me to continue the spirit.

Getting up on it was a dream. I had bought a bike from the clearance rack some seven years ago, and it was too small to ride. I gave it to my friend who had kids and never got back on one until this. At first, I could barely go ten blocks, but ten blocks in Denver is a long way for a guy who has lived on three for years. I was wobbly, all over, and had no conception of where to turn or how to get on and off, or even how to take off right. But soon, very soon, I found I could ride. I could go a mile, then two miles, now I can go about five miles, here and there, inclines and hills, and I am actually living in the center of the city, instead of living in the three block radius I have come to know as my stomping grounds. Now I know this is not the way to do things, but today I said ok, if I can go to these places, let’s go then, and reward myself for working so hard. I went to Denver Ted’s for cheese steak, Lik’s for an ice cream, and then came home stuffed with myself, and happy. Well, almost happy. I still felt it was to easy, so I did the hardest thing I have done yet.

Grocery shopping is not what you might think, from the ride above as an example. I can eat those things, because I do not eat them all the time, and it was a special day for me. Here is my grocery list:

  1. 5.28 lb oranges
  2. 3.41 lb bananas
  3. 3.10 lb onions
  4. 5 lb granny smith apples
  5. 5lb red potatoes
  6. 10lb mini watermelon
  7. 4 cans calorie free monster energies, about 1.5 lb each

Apologies to my EU and Aussie friends, I am quoting the receipt, and I am not doing the conversions for now. To be honest, growing up in the halfwit america, I can not do the computations immediately, like I can for Celsius or km, and I am just going to wait until I live there, and just get used to it by buying my produce at the shops.

So I left the grocery store, loaded down, with a 3000 cubic inch internal frame backpack that weighed alone another 5 pounds, making for a total of just under 40 lb (just under 20kg.) Pretty much the weight I have lost over the past year. It is just 1 km…oops, just under a half a mile from the shops, but the entire way is a small incline, so I was completely buggered by the time I got home. I found it hard to lift my bike, to climb up the 3 steps from the sidewalk, and then just stood there. I have five steps to my front door, and I needed oxygen. I panted for about a minute, then spoke with my neighbors on the porch for a few, then finally, clumsily lifted myself and the bike inside. But it was at that time that a curious and happy event unfolded. I dropped the bike and the backpack, and I felt light on my feet. I mean, really actually felt light! I could have danced if I had not been so wiped already.

Later that evening, in order to relieve my muscles of the crappy seat I write on, I took another walk around the block, to buy some water and apple juice. Those sore muscles were bought and paid for by me, and I want to take care of them. I can feel the differences now, I can walk easier than before, I can see the fat coming off of me, I feel like a human, not a fat tub of lard. I can stand without my weight pushing me off-balance, I can walk down stairs without fear of falling forward, I can get around mates, I can actually get around. Next time I go to eat with my buddy after work, lights and reflectors be damned, I am taking my bike and he can meet me there. These sore muscles feel good, even if they hurt.

Eat at Ted’s, not Joe’s.

I remember when it was Nico’s.

It is a holy place for some.

The good news today is about a little cheese steak place in Denver. I have been going to Denver Ted’s since it opened, and the past two years it has declined, seriously declined. The quality of the food has never stopped, but the shop, the hype, the coupons, everything just fell apart, and I have been sad. The biggest decline was in hours, not only did he chop hours off to us customers, but he also had to chop hours to workers. Ted’s can not be the end all be all for a job, and it is always young kids who have worked there, which usually means the wage is jack. Well, I have great news about the place, Ted’s is under new ownership!

I was a stupid teenager punker when I first encountered my addiction to cheese steaks. I ended up working with a delivery driver, and eventually, I ended up working the kitchen at a place in Houston called Rocky’s. Rocky’s has a tragedy behind it, Rocky himself moved from Philly to give Houston its first real cheese steak back in the 1980‘s, and was shot in a robbery not much after he had opened for two years. Peter, his 2NC, took over the biz, and never strayed from the perfection of great cheese steak, pizza, and the godlike stromboli’s. I learned the secrets to making a good hogie, and it made me, once again, pickier than hell about them. When I moved to Denver in the 90‘s, I grieved for the loss of great cheese steaks, it was hard on a beef lover like me. I have tried everyone in town, but when Ted’s opened up on Pearl and 13th, I had a heart attack. They don’t do anything but the sandwich, so no fooling around, it is a cheese steak place and not a salad bar pizzeria. Actually two heart attacks, one from getting the real deal in the party spot of Capitol Hill, and the second from my first pizza steak in years.

Jack is the new owner, and he got me all pumped up. My first question was about later hours, oh please, extend the hours for us. I get up at about 2-3 pm on a normal workday, and I am not ready to hork down a cheese steak the moment I get up. Give me about 4 hours though, and a juicy drippy cheesy delight filled with meat is just about what I am thinking of. He just took over, but one of the first possibilities is him staying open later. I also asked about late night Fridays and Saturdays, and it is also a possibility. The sign out front is coming inside for an art piece, and a new sign hopefully with lights on it is going outside, along with a fresh paint job. But please, lets cut to the chase.

A cheese steak with bacon. I know, I know, Philly probably has done this, but in Denver, well it is a thing of beauty who’s time has come. I haven’t changed my philly order in years, cheese steak with jalapeños and whiz, the all time classic favorite of any Texan who has ordered one. Today I think it might have been the sweet smell of bacon that made everything seem all right, so I ordered the 12 inch appetite destroyer right away. Nothing is precooked at Ted’s so I interviewed Jack a little more about the new changes. He is looking to grow the biz for one, so now is a great time to come by, show your support. The bread is great, the steak is great, and the dropped pepperoni steak is coming back too. He is adding a new italian with capicolo, it’s in the works, but not on the menu board yet. There is no web presence, but their Facebook is up and running. Most of you will probably see this in the Facebook anyways.

Then it came, the most gorgeous cheese steak in Denver, a Baconator. 6 Strips of bacon infused with mushrooms, cheese, and of course, loads of yummy steak. I got fries on the side, and could not finish them. The perfect mix of bread, salt, pork, beef and cheese, I have to totally give the new cheese steak a 5 star approval. There is a 9 inch version as well, and for those bird like hipsters, you may even have to split that! The fries were a perfect golden brown as well, not that flash fried crap we get everywhere else in Denver. Oh, and these are real fries, 1/4 inch cut, crispy and perfect with or without ketchup. I might have to add jalapeños to the bacon next time. I love the view too, people watching is perfect off the corner, and I actually had to run outside halfway through the meal to say hello to my friend Kristie and her perfect dog, Parson. Neighborhood food is always the best food.

I could not help myself, I just wandered around in a meat filled daze for ten minutes afterwards, standing outside and smoking a square. I went back in and shook hands with the men who can make the real deal. I unhooked my bike from the rack out front, and with a heavy sigh of fullness, I mounted up and cruised down Pearl. I then proceeded to go up the incline on 14th until my heart started beating and my breathing was harder to work off a little of that amazing sandwich. Go give Ted’s another shot, Jack has things well in hand, and though he has the starting man’s blues, his cheese steaks are already the polished perfection we have come to know and love.