Showing posts from 2019

Future Jobs: Youtuber v Astronaut

Poll says American Kids want to be Youtubers more than Astronauts... This is not that surprising to me. As a kid, I was inundated by space stuff in TV shows, comics, books, movies, and everything else. The Space shuttle first launched in 1982 and going to space became a tangible routine. The possibility of going to work every day in space was a concept that was not out of this world anymore. Today we live in a world of unfulfilled promises as corporations take everything and turn it into advertising. We have become a society of advertisements that really sell nothing but your data to other companies to use to advertise to you more. Youtube is just an extension of the way society has moved. Being a Youtuber is a tangible job now, whereas to be an astronaut you need a ton of training still and college is pretty much out of reach for most people who want to go to the stars.

Mr.Rogers and Our Neighborhood

[I was on a bad blog site for a year and hardly anyone saw my stuff, so occasionally I will be reposting old posts that are not necessarily topical or relevant, but still interesting to me.] Like many children of the late '70s and early '80s, I watched Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. And spend quite a bit of time in my own neighborhood of make-believe. There is quite a lot written about Fred Rogers and the show. Recently my interest was rekindled by a video by the YouTube Channel, Mental Floss. Which, if you do not watch, you should, plain and simple. They cover a wide variety of topics that are well researched and very informative and usually also amusing. They Also have a web presence.  Here is the video from their channel. Fred Rodgers saw on television a void. He saw children watching the same shows as adults, which is who they were geared to. And he saw that children did not have a show that was really about and for them. He saw that children did not have to be ente

The Boy Scouts and My New Thoughts on a Younger Me.

A little bit ago I got into a discussion with a friend of mine on the Boy Scouts. This has been a tireless argument for me as I am an Eagle Scout from a fairly liberal troop. And As my father left when I was young and was pretty much a useless POS for years afterward, I liked having a father figure I could look up to, which I found in my BSA Troop. But over time, after having these arguments over the BSA vs the microcosm that was my troop, I started to think back fondly over those events, and it appears that I may have been a little jaded. The troop was special. That is for sure. I joined Boy Scout Troop 301 of San Carlos/Belmont Ca, after successfully crossing the bridge from Webelos. Kind of like junior high school. Between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. I was going to join one of two Boy Scout Troops. They were both going on the same campout at Point Reyes lighthouse. The forecast called for heavy rain, and one troop canceled. I went with the one that did not. I was so prou

Sticks & Stones

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."  Remember that? How many grew up hearing that and still to this day, words hurt? There was a time when I was young that the advice about bullies was to ignore them because their words could not hurt you. And if they hit you, then you could tattle on them. But for me and many others, I know who were bullied in their lives, the bruises healed, the cuts and scabs healed, even broken bones healed. And I can tell you for certain, that the words of many of those in my youth, still sting. I might be a different kind of person. I am highly empathetic. I feel the word of others pointed at me as well as pointed at others. I feel things very strongly. When I was young this was called being an emotional basketcase or an emotional cripple. I hear things and they trigger memories for me. They say that the nose is the greatest memory trigger, but for me, it is my ears. I have difficulty watching movies and te

That's a Damn Shame

 Some time Ago I came upon this wonderful Webcomic called Fowl Language, it is a parenting comic mostly, but I find it very philosophical at the same time. It was different from many other webcomics I had read in its use of language, and comedy and anger. The artist is Brian Gordon, and it can be found at Fowl Language Comics . A few years ago I had found another comic that had the same style and irreverence. Sadly it did not stay long and it is difficult to find a true repository of the comics online.  I found out today why that is. It seems that the artist of this comic also worked for Hallmark greeting cards and the characters were created for them. There was a bit of overlap between the use in the cards and their life online, but when the artist was laid off from Hallmark, I guess the rights kind of drifted. I am not sure who owns them, but they are all over the internet in various formats.  The comic was called Chuck and Beans, and it depicted the life of an anthropo

The Man Cave and Male Empowerment

[I was on a bad blog site for a year and hardly anyone saw my stuff, so occasionally I will be reposting old posts that are not necessarily topical or relevant, but still interesting to me.] The concept of the Man Cave is not new. There was "The Study",  "The Den".  "The Garage",  "The Shed", and many more euphemisms that simply described a way to remove oneself from the "prying eyes" of the family.  But in this time in history, it has taken a new meaning. A place to escape the "feminine" world. Which I think is Bullshit. And not for reasons of feminism. Since there are many ways in which women use a similar method to escape the pressures of family life. "The Spa", "The Parlor", "The Kitchen" (which has become a male refuge in recent years as well.) or even "The Night Out". Which has also been used by both sides for centuries. Going to "The Pub", "The Bar&qu

Photography and Me

When I was in High school I was not that interested in school. Surprise. But I was lucky because when I went to high school they still offered shop classes, art classes, and courses that allowed you to learn without getting too complicated. When I was 16 I could not fathom algebra. And I failed it twice. But you need a math of that level at least to graduate. So for kids like me, they offered "Business Math" It had to do with interest rates, probabilities, using a 10 key, and such and so forth. I passed it easily. It really might have been the teachers. ;) When I went on to a junior college, which by the way is a terrific option if you are not sure what you want to do yet, and I took an algebra class that was divided into 2 semesters. So one, single semester class, divided into 2 semesters. I got it, I nailed it. I passed with flying colors and later in life after using a tape measure almost every day, algebra has become second hand to me. But I digress. They had simi

The Illusion of Time?

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." said Ford Prefect "Very deep," said Arthur, "you should send that into the Reader's Digest. They've got a page for people like you." Time is a creation of humans and also a constant in the universe. It has been used in some way or another since before recorded history. The sun comes up, the sun goes down. We count our "age" by relative comparison to how many times we orbit the sun. Constant, but completely arbitrary. Constant to us on this planet, but arbitrary to the scope of the universe. A year on earth means nothing on any other planet that we have discovered. That caveat is because, in an infinite universe, there may well be another planet exactly like ours out there. So why did we even start to keep time? Maybe just to pass the time...  I have only ever cared about time in the present concept. I do not like being late to anything. I have always lived by the credo of "Half an


[I was on a bad blog site for a year and hardly anyone saw my stuff, so occasionally I will be reposting old posts that are not necessarily topical or relevant, but still interesting to me.] men·tor ˈmenˌtôr,ˈmenˌtər/ noun 1. an experienced and trusted adviser. synonyms: adviser, guide, guru, counselor, consultant; confidant(e) I have spoken about this slightly before in my education timeline. But this will go into a bit more detail. Having a mentor is something that I think everyone needs. Those fortunate enough to have or a had a mentor in their lives will completely understand this. If you have never had one, think about getting one. Although the finding of one is more organic than a web search, the looking is important. Most often they come about when you are already doing something that you enjoy. They are a person of knowledge that sees in you, potential and then takes the time to work with you and be there for you to further your education. I myself have been lucky


The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. If you have not read the book , or at least seen the movie/tv Series , by the BBC, I pity you greatly. Seriously, it tells a story, yes, but the philosophical implications on the human animal's belief system are staggering. My wife and I include in our list of movies to watch during the holidays. In fact, it has sat at the top, Christmas Eve for so long it made us rethink our holiday celebrations entirely. The book centers around the Holiday of Hogswatch on a world shaped like a disc. Discworld, a place of magic and mystery and enormous puns and wordplay. Hogswatch takes place at the end of the solar year on Discworld, which would be the Winter Solstice here on Roundworld. And oh go read the books already. There are like 40 of them. For the most part, Hogswatch follows similar rules and traditions as "Roundworld" Christmas, but with a fascinating history and the fact that the Hogfather is real makes it all very chilling. The book i

Competitive Eating vs Hunger in America

I have nothing good to say here... There are about 100 or more events in the united states every year having to do with competitive eating. The MLE(Major League Eating) Hosts about 80. I had to look that up. Why? There around 17.5 million households in the united states that are food insecure. That means they are not sure where their next meal is coming from. Why? We pay farmers to not grow because it is cheaper than having the government buy all the extra food and then have it rot in warehouses. It also helps stabilize prices. Why? The effects of childhood hunger have a direct correlation to their development and will have a negative impact on their health later in life and ultimately limits potential in life. Why? Every year my wife and I donate to food kitchens around u


Image  By Dave Kellett I am a big fan of webcomics and I think quite a few people of my generation relate to them for similar reasons. I really became interested in comics in general in 1985. Calvin & Hobbes. Bill Watterson changed my life. C&H had more than just yucks and slapstick. It had depth and warmth and heart. Something that was missing from many other comics of the time. After some huge fights with newspapers and publishers over the way his art was presented, Bill won, no earned the right to draw Calvin & Hobbes however he wanted and they would publish it. They really had to. The fan base was rabid. And then in 1995, Bill ended Calvin & Hobbes. I cried that day. I still cry today missing him. I have all the books and have read them many times and will never part with them. After he was gone, many artists tried to fill the hole in our collective hearts, but nothing at the time really achieved the same impact. And after a time, the whole f

Comic Books Movie Reboots: How to Stop Caring and Love the Stories. Or Not.

[I was on a bad blog site for a year and hardly anyone saw my stuff, so occasionally I will be reposting old posts that are not necessarily topical or relevant, but still interesting to me.] It is no secret that I have been a life-long comic book fan.  I am by no means though, a fanatic. I love comics so much that I don't care about good and bad. I Love the art, the stories, the characters, and most of all the people that create them. But what I don't understand is the venom groups of people have against when they are made into movies. For good or bad I have watched them all. I never thought that the stories I read as a kid and now as an "adult?"  would ever be made into big screen movies. I actually own a bootlegged VHS copy of Dolph Lungren's "The Punisher" that I bought at a comic book convention way back. They never thought it would be released. It has cool music and firecracker sound effects for gunshots. And the story is, well I was going to

Appreciation vs. Entitlement (Old Post from Bad Blog Site)

[I was on a bad blog site for a year and hardly anyone saw my stuff, so occasionally I will be reposting old posts that are not necessarily topical or relevant, but still interesting to me.] There is no whitewashing this. This is going to be a preachy post. But first a little backstory. I was raised, fairly well off. Not rich by any means, but we had a nice home in a nice part of a suburb. We never seemingly wanted for anything. My mother was divorced when she expected to be a stay at home mom and was thrust into the workforce. Turning my sister and me into "latchkey kids" We rode the bus or our bikes or grabbed carpools. But our mother was always struggling to give us everything she could. And we were aware of this. Many kids who lived like us had no cares at all. They fought with their parents and siblings. Begged for what they wanted and usually got it. We begged also. But we got hand me downs and some things we wanted. I think my mother knew instinctually that we woul

Homemade Pickle Relish

 A few months ago we were at the supermarket and there was a sale on pickling cucumbers. We had wanted to try this out for some time, so we bought a few pounds, as well as a bunch of other vegetables, and a Horchata jug to do the pickling in. I mean, if you are going to experiment with something in our house, you might as well throw in anything you want and see what sticks. We did a quick pickle and then let sit(pickle) for a few weeks (ahem, maybe a couple months), and then transferred them into jars using a cold canning technique. Basically, we filled the jars with the pickled vegetables. then poured the brine into the very top of the jar and sealed it airtight. Then we let them sit until we figured out what to do with 8 large mason jars of pickled veggies, besides eating them.  We stored them in our beer fridge in the garage and promptly forgot about them. A few months later and I am putting together a sandwich spread for my wife's lunch(it is delicious) and the recipe