Monday, August 31, 2015

Nature's Way of Rebalancing

So, I have a few potted citrus trees on my patio belonging to one of the people I live with, and these citrus trees tend to attract butterflies and caterpillars. In case you didn't know, the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, and the butterfly lays eggs that become caterpillars. It's like the case of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which came first the caterpillar or the butterfly?

Anyway, these caterpillars are attracted to the citrus plants because they eat their leaves. So, in a sense you could call them pests, that some people perhaps would like to destroy with insecticides. I am not one of those people. As far as I'm concerned the tree will recover. These aren't fruit bearing trees, just purely ornamental. But uh, strangest thing happened last night, I witnessed something that I had never ever before seen. A caterpillar which had been seen crawling across the screened door of the patio, was moved by one of my housemates and placed back unto a branch of citrus earlier that day. Later that day a chrysalis was seen, newly formed in that spot. That's where the caterpillar starts to change into a shape that resembles in a way a seashell, a womb-like habitat suitable for transforming from a caterpillar into a butterfly.

Well, anyway, later that night, when I was out on the patio alone having a beer, I noticed that particular chrysalis, which is attached to the tree by what looks like a couple of threads of silk, is squirming back and forth, meaning that it hadn't fully solidified into the chrysalis shell, but was in that intermediary stage of transformation, and was covered with tiny flies of some kind, which appeared to be feeding off of it. And it was completely helpless, trapped, all tied up so to speak, and being eaten alive.

I did remove some of the flies, but the next morning the chrysalis had fallen into the potted plant, and the caterpillar was dead. I noticed that another had also befallen that fate. And I thought, what a gruesome way to die. It reminded  me of like being caught in a spider web and eaten alive. But I never saw this happen to a caterpillar before after it had actually started to change form, getting ready to form into a butterfly. It was like a stillbirth, abortion, or whatever. Just not meant to be, I guess. It was weird.

Well, just had to make a note of it, being a first. I felt a bit sorry for the caterpillar, but I guess the flies have to eat too. After all, we have had an excess of butterflies and caterpillars this season. I guess it's nature's way of re-balancing the population.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Trump Card

So, I've hit a bit of a snag, but all is well.

I would not call myself a materialist, all this craving for stuff, new shoes, new laptop, new cycling jersey, new bicycle lock, new this and that, I realize that it is all of minor importance. It's just another distraction.

Food, water, shelter. Bare minimum, you got that, things are not bad.

Ideally, the food should be healthy, good quality, nutritious, the water should be clean and pure, and the shelter should be free of noise and pollution, offering protection from sun and wind and rain and cold and insects and other wild infestations that eat away at our quality of life.

Peace of mind is of prime importance, without that, it doesn't really matter what you have, or have not, your state of mind has the final say, without peace of mind, you might as well be starving to death.

Starving to death, for lack of peace of mind, effects those with not enough, who are lacking the basic necessities of life, as well as those with too much, who are never satisfied with what they have, they always want more.

I'm not really what you would call a political person. But I've been following Trump, because frankly he's the most entertaining of all the candidates on all sides. But, he's a joke. I know it, you know it, we all know it. It's the merging of reality TV and politics, a circus freak show for responsible tax paying citizens. He's the trump card laughing at your expense. Of course he'll never be president, the president is a well polished, well groomed, machine slave. Trump is also a slave, but has different masters, and most certainly believes erroneously that he is free. His primary vice is GREED and VANITY. Probably a psychopath, probably a pedophile, probably has a dungeon somewhere in his basement, one of those euro hostel horror movie scenarios.

My best advice to Trump is to give away all of his money to charity (ideally giving a substantial sum to research and development, advancing technological innovations for improving the physical quality of life on earth, furthering our scientific understanding of the universe without regard to making a financial profit), and becoming a wandering penniless monk.

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Double Edged Sword of Being Honest

True story:

I found a lady's purse last week in a very busy parking lot. I opened it up to see the ID, and it was filled with credit cards and cash. I didn't count the cash, I didn't even thoroughly open up and inspect the purse, my immediate reaction was to turn the purse in, and I did.

Even though I dream about finding a suitcase full of money, it never occurred to me what I would do if I found money with identification cards connecting it to a real person. I always dreamed that I would find money anonymously, all cash, no ID, okay, but in this case, I found a purse with identification, and my first thought was to turn it in, with no thought for reward, it just felt like the right thing to do. After all it wasn't my money, and if I were in that situation I would hope that someone would turn in my wallet too.

So I turn it in, and later I thought, hmm, maybe I'll get a reward. At the time that I turned it in, I wasn't thinking about that. It was truly a random act of kindness, genuine charity given without any expectation of receiving anything in return. But after the fact, I thought about reward, but there turned out to be no reward, and I felt a bit bad about it, because I'm really broke, and hurting for money. I began having doubts. Maybe I should have kept the money. I never counted how much there was, but I'm pretty much borderline destitute, whatever it was would have helped, we're talking grocery money here, I could have used it.

So, I'm once again in a process of transition. Am unemployed, can't even cat-sit anymore, or run errands for my neighbor, that stream of easy money has ended. I've been seriously investigating online sources of income, making money at home, doing surveys, data entry, transcription, whatever. And as a result of my research I find a legit work at home opportunity, and I'm excited about it, signed up, and eager to work, but guess what, for tax purposes they can't confirm my identity, for whatever reason. Meanwhile, the fake profile I created for surveys, has been a good money maker, 100 dollars in two weeks, with less than a full days work, but the catch is, the payment is only in gift cards. How is it that I make money fast committing survey fraud, but when I give all my information, am totally honest, giving my full name, SSN, address, totally upfront and legit, I'm rejected?

Yep, it's the sort of thing that causes a person to turn to committing a crime, or committing suicide.

Trust me, I'll do neither, just saying, I can understand why our world is fucked up, why poor people become criminals because they are fucked over one too many times, and there is no support. Believe me, you find yourself all alone without family or friends, or people that know you. And you need money, you need food, you need a job, but guess what you've got no identification, and nobody will help you. It's all bureaucratic red tape, welcome to the machine. Ironically, despite being a loner, who doesn't really much like people, I think I hate machines even more. Imagine a world where you're shopping at a store, and there's no human cashiers, it's all automated. Guess what happens when there's a problem. Like let's say you go to pay, and even though you know you've got plenty of money in your account, the machine says you don't. Guess what, you're out of luck. Access denied. Access denied. Here's my information. Here's my proof of who I am, guess what, here's that ID you're looking for, oh the computer says I don't have an id, it's not in the system, guess what, you're out of luck.


You could say that forever, and it will make no difference, because guess what, in a machine world programmed for stupidity, there's no way to win, there's no way to reason, there's no way to live.

I'm just really pissed off. Thought I found a loophole, and I did for getting free stuff on amazon, and that won't last long, but in terms of real hard cash, being honest has gotten me nowhere. Ironically, I also realize that being dishonest get's you nowhere as well. Sure, there's the immediate gratification of instant success, but whatever success is gained is very short lived. It's got no longevity. Short term gain, long term failure.

Better to sever all ties to attachment, sever all ties to material gain.

That is the Taoist sage in me speaking. That's a topic for another post.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

First Kiss of Death

We're having a thunderstorm tonight, which is a great thing, being that we haven't had a good rain in weeks. Well, don't know why, but it triggered a memory of my first kiss. Or rather, the first time I was kissed by a boy my own age, who wasn't a family member. It wasn't mutual, just a peck on the cheek, but I would say it qualifies as a first.

I was in kindergarten, attending this school (here's a picture):

Yeah, that's where I went to kindergarten, but we moved, so I didn't continue on there for first grade, was transferred to a different school. Kind of an interesting looking building though, historic, probably from the late 1800s.

Anyway, as to the first kiss. I lived a few blocks away from school, and usually my mom picked me up, but a few times I walked home alone myself. One time, walking home, a fat boy in my class, not actually in my class, but around my age attending the same school, came up to me, and said he had a secret to tell me. So I come over to him, and lean in close, and he starts to whisper something in my ear, but doesn't say anything, only pretends to, and the next thing I know, he's kissing me on the cheek.

Apparently that was the secret. But here's the kicker, the next thing he does is punch me in the stomach. And then walks away. And it hurt, and I cried, and I couldn't understand why he did it. I had never seen this person before, certainly didn't do anything to justify it, it was just totally out of the blue and unexpected.

I go from being confused, to flattered, to being a victim of bullying, all within a matter of seconds, and all at the innocent age of five or six. Perhaps you could call it an early traumatic experience for an extremely sensitive child, born into the wrong world, amongst a plethora of ignorant fools, fat asses with way too much clout, bully's with way too much wealth and privilege. Yeah, I'm extremely annoyed with fat asses. And there's nothing worse than an arrogant fat ass, a fat ass without humility or respect. Nothing worse.

I watched the Republican debate yesterday, only because I was in a Jerry Springer Show watching type of mode, in the mood to be entertained by a freak show, with Trump taking the center stage. Yeah, I watched it only to see him, even though I would never vote for him, he was the most entertaining. The only thing missing from that circus freak show act was Caitlin Jenner HIMSELF (a self-avowed Republican, by the way).

What a pack of losers. I won't be voting for president this coming election. I want out. For the time being, I've decided to drop out, and perhaps go live on a mountain top somewhere far away from people. That is my secret wish. Though surely, a sweet kiss, followed by a sucker punch to the stomach.