Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust


Here lies two souls no longer among us in their physical form as we once new them. Here's my cat, at around 15 years old, approximately one month before he died, and about a month after my grandma died. And here's my grandma, 89 years old, her cremains in a box within the purple bag behind my cat.

My cat gravitated to that spot, don't know if he sensed her remains were there, or not, but they were good buddies, and he'd often sit beside her behind the sofa, her head behind him just like this in a similar position to the purple bag that contains her ashes.

I think her death, and the trauma of moving abruptly to unfamiliar surroundings, twice within a couple of weeks, helped to do him in. I thought he'd live to be 30, just as I thought my grandma would live to be 100, but it was not to be.

What did I learn from the whole ordeal? Well, I'm definitely still processing it. It wounded me to a significant extent, and it will probably be quite some time before I'm fully healed, if ever. It was definitely a life changing experience, and will most likely never be the same.

I learned a lot about the devastating effects of stroke, that some people don't get better, they get progressively worse,  and that when a person loses the ability to swallow, their not going to be around much longer.

I also learned that having high blood sugar and high blood pressure make you more likely to have a stroke. I learned to pay closer attention to the sodium content of foods. Like for instance, before when reading the nutrition labels of food, I focused mostly on calories and fat and sugar, and totally overlooked the sodium content.

I knew that canned foods, ramen noodles and microwave dinners are notorious for being high sodium, but I didn't realize that there are many foods that are high in sodium that I never would have suspected. For instance, two staples of my diet turned out to be sort of high sodium, which is burritos and pasta sauce. But at the same time, even though flour tortillas and pasta sauce are typically high sodium items, there is a big difference between brands, some being a couple hundred milligrams of sodium less than the other, so it pays to compare labels.

You've got to watch out for those hidden sources of sodium, because a lot of products advertise that they are low calorie, low fat, low sugar, but if you don't read the fine print you might miss the fact that the sodium content may be actually extremely high. Making it not as healthy of a choice than you originally may have been lead to believe.

I also learned that stress can be a major contributor to high blood pressure.

I saw and experienced first hand how being extremely stressed out, angry and upset, crying, worrying, raises blood pressure. I believe that was a significant factor in my grandmothers decline. And I could see that if I don't get a handle on managing my stress better I too will surely develop problems in spite of doing most everything else right. I could be extremely fit, living a very active lifestyle, eating healthfully, getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine, but if I'm stressed out more often than not, I too could have a stroke.

I learned something about what causes death, but I still am processing the meaning of death. The way I see it, death is the greatest mystery. I've seen it up close and personal this time, more personal than I've ever experienced it before, and I still don't understand it any better. If anything, the mystery is even more mysterious, to see someone I cared for immensely completely disappear off of the face of the earth. To be here one day, and then gone the next, and never to be seen again as long as I walk this earth.

Though I do believe in reincarnation, I am not absolutely certain I will see my grandmother again, or anyone I know in this present life once they or I die. I'm just trying to wrap my mind around it, the more I think about it it doesn't really make any sense, it's like an unsolvable cosmic riddle, and I suppose that is something I will spend the rest of my life trying to figure out.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tribal Mask Inspiration


I found this beetle walking around outside the front door of my new apartment in late June during the monsoon season. Haven't seen anything like it since, but it sure caught my eye. It still does.

The pattern on its body reminds me of some kind of tribal mask, from either Polynesia or Africa. I'm seeing a little bit of a Tiki head sculpture in it too. I'm thinking their tribal masks were probably inspired by something like this.

It's pretty cool. If you happen to know the name of this beetle please add it in the comments, I'd sure appreciate it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Update

It's the last day of the month, and it's been over two months since my last update. Things have been hard. I lost my grandmother and never fully realized just how much she meant to me until she was gone. I experienced extreme sadness and anger, went from crying nearly everyday, sometimes spontaneously out in public when I saw someone who reminded me of her, to completely disowning and wishing certain family members dead who I feel played a major role in her demise.

But life goes on, I lost my grandmother three months ago, and also my beautiful black cat of 15 years died last month, exactly two months and one day to the day after my grandma, and that was very sad as well, but after all the chaos and uncertainty, once again I have finally reached a period of stability in my life.

I am no longer crying, no longer feeling angry with my relatives, and am no longer facing homelessness. I found a good paying job. I have an apartment in my own name. It's true I don't have any substantial savings, but I'm making enough to fully support myself, and my long-term career prospects are looking good. The only thing is I don't yet have internet service at home, but hope to get that set up within the next couple of months, maybe in time for Halloween. So I won't have much of an opportunity to post here until then. But just wanted to give this update to let you all know that I'm still alive and still planning on blogging here and hope to resume posting regularly again just as soon as time permits.

That is all. Thank you for reading. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Life in Limbo

This is where I lived for two weeks, downtown with the wicked witch of the Southwest.




All three pictures were taken from the balcony, this was the view I saw everyday from the seventh floor. Those are government buildings. And the one in the back is the tallest building in the city, at I think 27 stories.



I thought I would be here longer, but as fate had it, it was not to be. Just as I was rushed out of my previous residence, being told one day that I had at least a month to clear everything out, and then finding out I only had five days, I thought I had two months with my aunt, but that two months turned into two weeks because "I was interfering with her creativity". Well, that's okay because during those two weeks all I heard was constant bragging of her own and her children's accomplishments, and nothing but criticism of my own, of my supposed lack of intelligence and insight, and worst of all my own lack of a clear plan, of not having a more substantial savings to see me through this type of emergency, something she was sure to make clear that her own children would never be guilty of.

I never realized what a snob my aunt was, and not just that but her almost pathological obsession with her own self-perceived superiority and that of her children, never before have I been witness to a person bragging so much, and how she appeared to take delight in assassinating people's characters, including my own and my parents and even my grandmother (her own mother) of pointing out every flaw, which is basically anything that doesn't match her own specific way of seeing and doing things, basically it's her way or the wrong way.

Yeah, pretty much I strongly suspect that my aunt may be a psychopath, possibly bipolar, maybe both, because she sure changed her mind quick, she'd say one thing one day, and the next completely contradict it. I pointed this out to her, that she should say what she means and mean what she says, and she completely destroyed that too, saying there just words, don't be so firm, they are not final, nothing was in writing, and the spoken word has no finality, a person has a right to change there mind.

Anyway, I did not enjoy my time downtown, would never want to live there, is just too noisy, too hectic and busy. Even though T-cson is not that large of a city - it's no Chicago, which is even crazier with it's dark menacing skyscrapers and overwhelming sense of being alone and forsaken amidst a sea of concrete and hoodlum thugs and criminals and street people and trash, as downtown's goes, even though on somewhat of a smaller scale, it definitely had that busy downtown flow going for it that I realize I don't much care for. Strangely enough I always considered myself more of a city person than a small towner, but after my brief experience living downtown I found that I actually missed that rural slow pace that I had living on the edge of town, and realized I would have to return to it.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Unfinished Puzzle


I bought this puzzle for my grandmother, because she was having some minor memory problems, and I hoped it would have a positive influence on her, that it would rejuvenate her brain power, stimulate her senses, and help her regain her memory...but a week later she had a stroke.

I wondered if she was overstimulated, but I'm told it must have just been a coincidence, that the puzzle did not trigger the stroke, that unbeknownst to all, because she hadn't had a doctors check up in a few years, her blood pressure and blood sugar levels were out of control, both major risk factors in having a stroke, that I guess she was a ticking time bomb, who looked perfectly well on the outside, easily 10 or 15 years younger than her age, but underneath the facade of youth death was rapidly eating her away.

She went from one day simply not remembering how to play bingo, to not knowing how to speak, not knowing how to read, write, or recognize faces, and eventually unable to move and unable to swallow. It was a very rapid decline, apparently a succession of strokes, each worse than the last, which destroyed her over a period of two months.

There are many other factors that I believe lead to her demise, particularly no one willing to foot the bill for specialized care, speech pathologist, etc., and also not getting to the hospital in time, because the early warning signs were missed, to receive medication that must be administered within a very narrow window of time to reverse the damage caused by the stroke, medication she never received because it was too late.

This is the puzzle she never finished, the puzzle I helped her with, a scene somewhere in the Italian Riviera, which I thought I'd finish for her if need be, but because of everything that has happened I was too distraught, and so the puzzle was dismantled and discarded along with most of our belongings, and this picture is the only record of it, because after she died I too in a way died and became homeless, completely at the mercy of family members that I soon realized couldn't care less about me, and blame me for not being prepared for this completely unforeseen event, for not having enough money saved or full-time employment to see me through this misfortune without needing help. Even though I provided hospice care, and saw every aspect of her decline up close, I changed diapers, I bathed a body that looked like a corpse, seeing the black tar blood in stools, hearing the death rattle, experiencing first hand all those ugly stages of dying, and will probably be traumatized by it for many years to come, and yet to them it's as if I did nothing.

People will thank you, act all appreciative for what you did, but the moment the issue of money comes up, of providing financial assistance to someone who provided end of life care for someone important to them, well suddenly what you did isn't so valuable after all and it's my own fault for not having more money saved. I suppose their right, but I never thought she was going to die, not yet, I really was thoroughly convinced that she was going to live to be 100, and that's what makes it so hard, I thought she was getting better, I thought she was going to recover. I was reading all about elderly people, people even older than her in their nineties, who recover from strokes, that it's not necessarily a death sentence, but in her case it was. No medication in time, no specialized care, family members that didn't want to get into debt over it, that they figure it was better to just let her go. And that's just what they did.

Now they got what they wanted, her out of the way interfering with their plans for her brothers inheritance, something I know they are finagling a way to cheat my mother and I out of. Once I get back on my feet I will be hiring a lawyer of my own to look into my crooked lawyer cousin and her wicked mothers mishandling of the estate, and believe me they will pay for what they did. You see my grandmother cried all the time about it, how her lawyer was ignoring her, not answering her questions, and her daughter, her lawyer's mother, had other plans for the property that conflicted with what my grandmother wanted, that I know that the stress she endured this past year from that alone was absolutely instrumental in her decline.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Update

My grief is beyond words. I may never fully recover from this tragedy.

How alone I feel even among people I know. How disappointed I feel with my family, how I expected them to be there for me, after suffering the shock of personally caring for and seeing a person I care for immensely deteriorate before my eyes, personally witnessing the process of dying when I thought there was hope for recovery, and now I find myself completely alone and in despair and hating the people I'm related to.

I'm just completely crushed. I could die. I cry and cry. Tears pour out of my eyes at all times of the day, thinking about it, what I could have done differently, what I could have done to save her. I'll never be the same. This is truly the beginning of the end.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cycling as therapy for troubled times

I've got a huge amount of stress in my life right now, big changes have been forced on me, and everything is happening so fast that I feel extremely overwhelmed by it. It's important that I relax, but for me it's not enough to just sit still and breath in and breath out, I need to be on the move, and the best form of therapy I know of to still my over stressed mind is to ride my bike and to go hiking. In other words, to bike and hike.

That's what I did yesterday. It was about a 16 mile round trip ride, plus a couple miles of hiking, which isn't that far, but I road up into the foothills near Canyon Ranch, with a huge amount of elevation gain so steep that I had to get off my bike and walk it a few times. It felt like I was in the tour de France, and I was woefully unprepared.

I took an unfamiliar route, what I believed to be a short-cut, crossing over a wash, but it turned into more of a long-cut, I walked through mud, and must have entered at the wrong spot, because when I got to the other side, there was no easy access to the road, I had to lift my bike above my head and climb up a rocky embankment, only to get stuck in a bunch of tiny spindly burrs at the top of it, all covered over my cycling gloves, shoes and socks, which felt like sharp needles poking my skin. It took about half an hour removing all of them.

At this point I was already exhausted, and had no idea that I still had to climb a long winding road with virtually no shoulder, with a steep wall of rocks on one side, and a highway guardrail and drop off cliff on the other. The view was great though. No regrets!




Interesting artistic landmark. This was a nice little rest stop halfway up the hill. Because there was little shoulder, and traffic passing me by, most of my breaks were in front of peoples driveways, such as this, that wind up and down the side of the hill.

This was the view a few miles down the road when I locked up my bike and went on a short hike. It had become almost completely cloudy at this point, very windy, with light rain on and off, and was getting too late to walk any further, so this is the last picture before I went home.

It took almost an hour to get back, taking the main roads, it's a little bit longer distance wise than my short-cut, but without any steep hills, or having to carry my bike through mud and burs, it was actually much quicker. It's still hilly, it's the foothills after all, but not so bad that I had to get off my bike and walk. All and all it was a pretty good day. I'm planning to do it again sometime soon, but hopefully getting an earlier start and make a whole day of it, maybe fit in a 10 mile hike on top of my 15+ mile bike ride.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mind/Body Fitness Update April 2016

Things have not been good. I've had a series of major stresses in my life. A person I live with has had a medical emergency, and is presently rehabilitating. And although I hope they fully recover and live for many years to come the end could come at anytime.

This is a reality I face everyday now. And although I am working, if I had to move out today I would be homeless. This too is a reality I face everyday.

So I've been drinking more and have experienced health problems as a result of it. Shortness of breath. Rapid heartbeat. Just a general state of not feeling quite right. This is something I've been experiencing for a few months now, but in the last week it's gotten to the point that it feels like it's become a serious problem.

Well today I tested my blood pressure for the first time in a couple of years, and it turns out I have high blood pressure, well, technically pre-hypertension. My reading was 118/90 with a pulse of 93. I do eat a healthy diet and exercise a huge amount, am an avid cyclist, but I drink more than two drinks of alcohol everyday, sometimes more than three, and I've been under a huge amount of stress, not just with the living arrangement, the stress of someone close to me almost dying, the stress that I may be homeless in the near future, and the stress of maybe having to move again, to look for a better job that I could fully support myself on before the worst happens, while at the same time acting as somewhat of a caregiver, and trying to make some progress with my newly found source of online income, with my eventual goal of making a full-time income working online as a freelancer, that I may have to completely abandon or put on hold if the worst happens, which will eventually happen, it's just a matter of time.

I have to learn to relax because despite all this I've been very stressed and anxious about a lot of things. I've been stressed out by some of my neighbors, people not picking up their dog poop, people parking in other peoples reserved spots, the knucklehead landscapers, ruining the landscaping, over blowing, over trimming, over spraying, and just generally ruining the landscape. All this has gotten to me. All the morons and assholes and unenlightened people have gotten to me. I need a break. I need to relax. I also have to cut down my alcohol consumption. I know its got to go down to no more than one drink a day, but I'm starting tonight at just two, something I can do, because frankly I've only got two beers left. But yeah, I have to do it, because I've got to get my blood pressure down, and I know that if I don't, I'm going to die.

So, that's the update for this month. Maybe I'll start posting again more frequently once I've gotten better.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Of Cults and Crazies and the People of Walgreens

I went on my bicycle yesterday to run a few errands. Went down to the old shopping center down the street from where I used to live, which despite being somewhat of a more affluent area, has a much more noticeable transient population, with panhandlers at all the major intersections. Remember those People of Walgreen's posts, like the old Mexican bandito who after asking me for the time in slurred broken English, ended up urinating on the sidewalk in front of the main entrance after I went in. Well that's the same shopping center.

Anyway, I pull into this shopping center, which I've only been to about three times in the past five years, after being a regular there for most of the years I've lived in this city. It's a little public square with outdoor seating for the variety of restaurants which share its space. I lock my bike up at the only bike rack in the shopping center, which is right outside a bagel shop.

There are several people sitting around chatting, but one man sitting alone caught my attention, because he had a long gray Moses beard, dressed somewhat shabbily, and looked to be in his sixties and homeless, but also sending off somewhat of a Plato philosopher vibe. That's what I thought when I saw him, I thought of Plato. Though be careful with that, as appearances are not always what they seem, a long beard and few possessions is no accurate indication of wisdom, but usually is just some dude that is too lazy to shave, or who maybe enjoys the quasi guru vibe, leveraging that to his advantage against less discerning minds who equate beards with wisdom.

Anyway, I lock up my bike and do my shopping without event, but it's when I return to my bike, packing up, getting ready to go, is when he makes contact.

"Do you know what time it is?" he says.

I tell him.

He then says, "You from out East?" Apparently detecting the accent in my voice simply from me telling him the time.

"I'm from Wisconsin" I say, like an idiot, realizing I already gave out too much information.

"Oh, you sound like you're from New York."

"Nope, Wisconsin".

And this is where it gets weird.

He then proceeds to say, "You've got to be careful around here, out in New Mexico and here in Arizona, pretty much the entire western United States, they've got a lot of cults out here. Do you know what a cult is?"

I reply, "Of course I do. You mean like Charles Manson?"

He says, "No, not not like Charles Manson or Jim Jones. I mean Christian cults. The end times. I used to belong to a cult, wasted my life in it. Now look at me. Now, I am a Christian. I believe in the Bible. It's the oldest book in the world, but these cults manipulate the teachings and exploit the gullibility of their members for their own personal gain."

Okay, I'm thinking to myself, this is kind of interesting, but why is this guy talking to a complete stranger about this? Why does he feel compelled to approach a complete stranger who is getting ready to leave, to warn them about a major cult presence in the Southwest, as if I would ever join a Christian cult, or any cult for that matter, someone who isn't a Christian, isn't even religious, and isn't even much of a joiner, but more of a lone wolf, independent to the core.

Does this guy think I'm a sucker? An easy mark? Do I look like a tourist? I've been here for almost twenty years. At this point I'm realizing that I've got to get out of here, actually I have a legitimate reason to make a quick exit, as I have a quart of ice creme in my pack, and it's eighty degrees outside.

So, I quickly hop on my bike, thank the man for his warning, wish him the best of luck, and get the hell out of there.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Power of Myth

It never fails, I post about having some problem, for instance, being unable to concentrate on reading, and like magic, soon after the fact, I'm finding I'm able to read again. That's one verifiably repeatable instance of this blogs therapeutic value to myself. I'm starting slow. Not reading my once-upon-a-time goal of 100 pages a day, but just a few, but I'm sticking with it, and that's what counts. And even more importantly, it's not about how many pages or books you read, but the quality of the read that matters most.

I found this book randomly, the one I'm reading now, browsing the shelves at the library. I usually browse the same area fairly regularly, the philosophy, psychology, sociology, technology areas of the library, so I'm pretty quick to notice anything new almost immediately. I'm pretty sure I read it many years ago, in the teenage years, when I used to read many complex books that I didn't entirely understand, absorbing just bits and pieces here and there, but I was inspired intuitively I think, like an inner mantra.

The book is The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell.

I think this is my favorite format for a book, the question and answer format, being a dialogue between two or more people. In this case, it's a dialogue between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers on the meaning and relevancy of mythology in modern times.

I want to share a quote, I really liked. Here it is:

"Heaven and hell are within us, and all the gods are within us. This is the great realization of the Upanishads of India in the ninth century B.C. All the gods, all the heavens, all the worlds, are within us. They are magnified dreams, and dreams are manifestations in image form of the energies of the body in conflict with each other. That is what myth is. Myth is a manifestation in symbolic images, in metaphorical images, of the energies of the organs of the body in conflict with each other."

It's like as above, so below, as within, so without.

At some level, everything that happens, from a thought, to a deed, on all levels of life, individually, socially, human, plant, animal, mineral, earth, sun, outer space, everything occurs and is mirrored on multiple levels, both the inner and the outer, the physical and the non-physical. It's parallel realities on a cosmic, possibly infinite scale, never ending. And mythology offers a glimpse of those parallel realities in terms that human beings can understand.

Anyway, really enjoying this book. Need to read more mythology, more Joseph Campbell, and more dialogues between great thinkers, people who are not just highly educated and intelligent, but supremely wise.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Regaining my Sight

I have become unable to write. I have become unable to read, without extreme difficulty.

And yet, I still go to the library with regularity, searching for something, something to stir me back to life.

I keep thinking that the next inter-library loan library book I request will be Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandra David-Neel. You see, I've got this lifelong mystical fascination with all things related to Tibet, Ancient Egypt, and Sumeria. It's an obsession I was born with. Anyway, that was like the first inter-library loan I ever requested, way back in the 90s, but I read it at such a young age, still a teenager, that I think now, being much older, would probably benefit me more greatly from reading it again.

I'm only holding off, because I want to make sure that I'm able to give it my undivided attention, reading it slowly, and thoughtfully from beginning to end, something I've been unable to do with any book for over three months.

I've been under such a great deal of stress, being unable to concentrate, being unable to read, that I've even thought about starting up smoking again, though maybe this time, trying out the e cigarettes, and the only thing stopping me from doing that is this incessant need I have to become a runner, something I've started and stopped one too many times, but am not yet willing to give up, until probably I run a marathon.

I don't know if it's the smartphone, this being the first year I ever acquired one, that has interfered with my concentration, being unable to read an entire book, or if it's this work at home shit I'm doing, which in my case, is basically a digital sweatshop, but anyway, coming from reading an average of 40 to 50 books a year, that including a couple of thousand pagers, to barely reading maybe 3 books a year, there has definitely been a change in my life, and can't say that it is for the better.

There has been so much going on my life, major sources of stress, a person I'm living with almost dying, wondering almost everyday if this person is going to die, and me realizing that my situation is very precarious, that I myself could end up in a very bad place, homeless, or dependent on the mercy of family members I don't like.

I've got a new Chromebook, happy about that. Got a new smartphone right around Christmas, a present to myself, was happy about that too, now doesn't really matter, the novelty has worn off. Meanwhile, meditation for me has become non-existent. Got to get back into it, because meditation is basically a way of centering yourself, of regaining your balance, helping to redirect your focus toward the things that matter most to you, things that can often become overlooked and forgotten when you are in a state of extreme stress and anxiety.

When you are in a state of distress, you're like a blind person gasping for air, unable to see the oxygen tank within your grasp.

Anyway, just checking in, at this point anything I post, is probably better than nothing, as it's a way of keeping the blog alive.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My First Chromebook


Image: The old Netbook is on the left, and new Chromebook is on the right.


Yep, after talking about it on and off for over a year now, I finally bought myself a Chromebook. I went with the Dell Chromebook 11, the new 2015 model with dual core 2.16 gigahertz Celeron Processor and 4 gigs of ram.

I originally intended to get the one with the faster Pentium i3 processor, and although you can still find them online from different vendors, Dell itself no longer sells it. Yeah, apparently the 2015 model ships with a slower processor than the 2014, but with improvements in other areas such as greater durability. So, considering I intended to order from Dell directly, it was somewhat of a disappointment, and was at first reluctant to buy the new model, but because of a huge price reduction a couple weeks ago of nearly a hundred dollars cheaper than what it was a few months ago, I decided to go for it, thinking that they are probably going to sell out, and even if they release a new and improved model for 2016, it's probably going to be much more expensive.

Well anyway, I've had it now for four days, and it is surprisingly much faster than I was lead to believe. Maybe it will seem slow to you if you're coming from a super fast high end model, but for me, compared to my old computer, a six year old Dell mini Inspiron Netbook, with 10 inch screen, one gig of ram and single core 1.6 GHz processor, it is lightning fast. And the screen quality is good too, despite many reviews stating otherwise. The only negative thing about it, so far, I would say is the track pad is a bit weird, and takes some getting used to, mostly with there being no traditional right click, but instead you click with two fingers on the lower center region of the pad. It's a bit tricky, and am finding that for simple copy pasting, I prefer the keyboard shortcut of control c and control v, it's much faster.

Anyway, other than that minor annoyance, which also could easily be solved by plugging in a mouse, I pretty much love everything about it, and am little by little learning the tricks of the Chrome universe.

Basically the biggest gamble of buying a Chromebook without trying it out first, was whether or not I would still be able to use it to make money online.

I do supplemental freelance work online, pretty much surveys and micro tasks, some of which requires Windows, Internet Explorer, and Firefox, things that Chromebooks don't have, but I found myself a workaround which has enabled my Chromebook to be able to do everything I need it to, at a much faster and more productive level than my old computer.

If you have a Chromebook or are planning on getting one, I would call this the most essential can't live without it browser extension you absolutely must install as soon as possible:

User-Agent Switcher for Google Chrome

What it does is make your web browser or operating system appear as if it were a different web browser or operating system, and can also make it appear as if it were a different type of device, such as a smartphone or tablet, whichever you select. In other words, I can make my Chromebook appear as if it were a Windows computer running Firefox or Internet explorer, which is what I needed.

Basically if you have problems accessing a site or running an application using Chrome operating system, just use the user agent switcher, and there is a good chance that your problem will be solved.

Two other workarounds that I can think of, but which I haven't tried yet, would be to remotely connect your Chromebook to a Windows computer, where you do all your work on the other computer remotely via your Chromebook. Or you install Linux operating system, which will not only allow you to run additional web browsers, but will give you greater freedom in downloading a more extensive array of software applications not available to Chrome.

Anyway, I'm very happy with my purchase, it's a really nice little computer, at a very affordable price, and I will hopefully get many years of use out of it.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Power of Will

In a rare moment such as this, I shall quote myself:

"The more people who believe in something and are told it is true, the more powerful and the more real this something becomes."

That my friends is the power of consensus reality. In our world, the TV is that most powerful medium of mind control, of swaying peoples thinking into this or that direction, but of course this monster has grown into a humongous multimedia monster, mostly via the internet, of computers and smartphones, but still, I would say the TV reigns supreme.

Anyway, reading through some of my old posts, and realizing not all of it is bad, that some of it is actually pretty good, in my humble, uneducated opinion, I decided to highlight some of it which may have been overlooked by Google's zombified search engine web optimization indexing program.

So, tonight, what we shall revisit is The Power of Will, a spontaneous insight, buried under the title "Gemini Dreams and Insights", which is basically three posts bundled into one, but in retrospect each probably could have stood on their own, and in this case, the power of will was and still is the deciding factor.

I wrote it nearly four years ago, but I could have easily written it tonight, and is just as relevant now as it was then.

"The Power of Will"

This other insight I had shortly before going to bed a few nights ago after having had a couple of beers. I was holding this almost empty bottle of beer in my hand and thinking about what was stopping me from throwing this bottle of beer against the wall. I had no intention of doing so, but just as a sort of thought experiment, the idea entered my mind. Well, of course, thinking about the consequences of it is what stopped me. The broken glass. The spilled beer. The mess. The noise. The anger it would cause my housemates. It would be a totally senseless act, with absolutely no good reason for doing so. But what was really stopping me? The power of the will, that's what.

The power of the will is extremely strong. It's like a superglue. Once an idea sticks, it's very difficult to get it unstuck. Thinking about this beer bottle and the choice not to throw it against the wall, got me thinking about the greater role Will plays in the physical laws of the universe, and to what extent Will is a defining ingredient in determining whether something is possible or impossible.

What role does will play in things like gravity, and not being able to walk through walls? What role does will play in the aging process, in what is considered to be the natural lifespan of the human being? Perhaps it is possible to change reality and to redefine the limits of what is possible and impossible, by changing and refocusing the power of the will. To walk through walls. To astral project your consciousness thousands of miles away without "physically" leaving the room you are in. The ability to see with microscopic vision, with telescopic vision, to see into the future and the past, and to do these things without the use of external technological devices like telephones and computers, but purely through the conscious manipulation of your mind and the power of your will.

The power of the will is not just a matter of thinking differently or trying to convince yourself of something, but is actually a matter of really believing it with all of your being on both a conscious and a much deeper subconscious level. You have to really actually believe it. As long as you "know" that it's impossible to walk through walls, either through personal experience or because all the scientific studies say so, your will shall reflect that impossibility. But as soon as a scientific breakthrough is made in that area to enable that to happen, it will revise your entire thinking on the matter, and what was previously considered impossible, becomes possible, because the information needed to support that idea, to confirm it in your will, has been modified.

Because the power of will is not just an individual matter, but is shaped in great part by the power of consensus, or collective agreement, reinforced by way of authority, popular culture, science, religion, and the law. The more people who believe in something and are told it is true, the more powerful and the more real this something becomes.

Addendum (added a few hours later): The point of this insight, concerning the power of will, is that physical laws operate according to a similar principle, and that by observing the power and influence of your own will power in action, you can gain a better understanding of how the universe works. Or something like that. Just thinking out loud here, trying to retrace the line of thought going through my mind a few days ago, and writing about it here after the fact.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Constipation

This is a spontaneous insight I had last night, didn't post it then, because it was already really late, and didn't want to dilute the waters, having already posted my post for the night.

Okay, so apparently there currently is an epidemic of heroin addiction in the U.S. I thought of this because I saw something on the news about it yesterday, saying just that, but also mentioning the fact that heroin causes major constipation, where the addicts may go weeks without a bowel movement.

I myself have never tried heroin, and based on what I know about it, probably wouldn't if given the opportunity, but I've known a couple addicts in my life, and I remember them saying that that first hit of heroin was the best moment of their lives. We're talking religious ecstasy, in their words better than sexual orgasm, the most blissful moment ever, but never again reproduced. They get the best high of their life, but it's only a one time thing, each time they use they try to reproduce that original moment, but to no avail, and from this point forward the more physically dependent they become on the drug, they need it just to feel normal, but never again feeling super normal.

My spontaneous insight is that perhaps the reason why heroin causes constipation is because at some level it is a mental/emotional laxative, which fools the body into thinking that it has already let go of the biggest BM of their lives, but in actuality it was only in their own mind.

They are constipated because the drug fools them into thinking that they already emptied their bowels, when in actuality they merely descended into the bowels of hell, masquerading as heaven. They let go mentally and emotionally, but physically, not so much, making the letting go no more real than an illusory dream. Which is why in this sense most drugs, perhaps all drugs, don't have the power to make you enlightened, when the enlightenment gained is at a dream level, which rarely, if ever carries over to actual physical space.

That's deep, huh? Do you follow, or am I too drunk to make sense?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Oddity

This is a little late coming, but in case you haven't heard, David Bowie has died.

I would say that probably my favorite song of his is Space Oddity.

Here it is:



How old was I when I first heard this?

Probably between the ages of 14 and 16. I may have heard it playing in the background when I was younger but not really paying attention, but yeah, between the age of 14 and 16, that's when I intentionally sought it out on my own and remember really listening to it.

I'm getting a clear memory right now of being 15 years old, and being completely obsessed with Jim Morrison and the Doors. I've got this memory of it being winter, probably January, maybe even this same day perhaps, but more than twenty years ago. It was nighttime, but not late, maybe 6:30 PM, and sitting in my dad's car waiting, smoking a Camel cigarette, lit by my Zippo lighter, which I was so proud to own, and listening to the Doors. My dad was buying guns, at his redneck neighborhood gun dealer who ran a basement gun shop in his own home. I remember meeting the guy, probably in his sixties, retired from the military, and being a big game hunter, who regularly went hunting elephants and lions in Africa.

He thought I was a boy, I remember that. My dad brought me in to give me a tour of the place, and ended up buying me a military surplus sleeping bag.

I owned it up until the year that I moved here, which is basically ancient history, which is pretty much a long time ago, yet here I am, seemingly trapped, or rather preserved, in suspended animation, while the years roll by, am getting older, and yet holding on, staying strong, retaining my youth, my energy, feeling very much like an earth oddity, in which this song mirrors, if not in words, then in spirit.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Trepidation

Six months ago I thought maybe I'd buy a Chromebook. The pros are: it's lightweight, durable, and has a superior battery life. The cons, well, not having Windows operating system, if Windows you need. Which apparently I do, as I'm working on making a living online, and unfortunately having a Windows operating system is part of that picture.

Anyway, another reason I can think of being a con against buying a Chromebook, is based on my recent experience of buying my first Android Smartphone. 

Okay, it's my first smartphone ever, and it happens be an Android, which is a Google based operating system.

To use the phone, you must have a Google account, which, among other things, includes a Gmail account. You've got a Gmail account, which becomes your user identity, your log-in info, so that every time you turn on your phone,  you're basically logging into your Google account. Therefore, everything you do on your phone is logged, tracked, and recorded onto your account. Unless you create a fake profile, meaning, using a fake identity, everything you do on your phone, including, where you live, and where you travel, is being recorded. Yes the fake accounts are recorded too, but being fake, perhaps you have less to lose, Anyway, even if you don't have a data plan, through a combination of WiFi and GPS tracking, everything you do on your phone, as long as the phone is turned on, is being tracked. 

So apparently the same is true of Chromebooks. The fact that you have to log into a Google account just to use, it makes you entirely part of that system of everything you do being tracked. 

I'm not entirely ruling it out, the merits of buying a Chromebook, as the one thing that keeps me motivated to give it a chance is the fact that I can install Linux on it. But just wanted to point out a potential con, being the mandatory Google log-in just to use it, which people who don't already own Chromebooks may not already be aware of. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Sunshine


Two songs to accompany the photo, before I destroy the blog...

Everybody loves the sunshine...


Let the sunshine...


Lyrics:

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius!
Aquarius!
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

[Instrumental and tempo shift]

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in

[Continue to end with concurrent scat]

Oh, let it shine, c'mon
Now everybody just sing along
Let the sun shine in
Open up your heart and let it shine on in
When you are lonely, let it shine on
Got to open up your heart and let it shine on in
And when you feel like you've been mistreated
And your friends turn away
Just open your heart, and shine it on in

Just another late night ramble...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Getting Back in Touch

Getting back in touch with my gangsta rap roots. Okay, explanation. Back in the mid to late eighties and early nineties I listened to rap music. Public Enemy, yes, but also N.W.A, Easy E, Ice Cube, Dr Dre.

I realize now that I really enjoy the harmony of Tupac and Snoop Dog, wasn't really listening to them back then, but are now my favorite rappers of that era, I like the sound of them, are lyrical masters, but the subject matter, not so much. Booty calls, getting high, making money, basically materialism 101, not at all appealing to me.

It is also blatantly obvious the correlation between millionaire gangsta rappers and dictators in Africa. What do they call them, the term evades me? You know, they live in lavish luxury, while most of their country is dying in poverty. People lack access to clean drinking water, while their president is spending a hundred million dollars on personal entertainment.

Anyway, a video throwback to the past, gangsta rap 101, Ice Cube, one of the best of that genre:

Song: You Know How We Do it
Album: Lethal Injection
Artist: Ice Cube
Year: 1993