Irrational Anger

There are some people that make me angry. I’m not sure why I harbor such anger for them. I can’t honestly say that it is justified. I generally like everyone so when an odd occurrence like this happens, I need to step back and try to figure out what the underlying issue is.

In the case of the female downstairs right now, I am pretty sure I know why she makes me angry. She constantly complains about her life and continuously asks for advice. Normally, you’d think that would be a good thing. The problem is that she never takes the advice. She knows how everything works. She knows her life is broken. She doesn’t know how to fix it. When you try to tell her how to fix it, well — see previous “She knows how everything works.”

I came to a point in my life where I knew that drinking beer every night and taking PMs to fall asleep was a serious problem. It is a problem I recognized and then corrected. I no longer drink beer and I no longer require PMs to put me to sleep. There are some other things I cut out but the point is that I acted. I took action to correct the problems. I took advice. I tried to make the appropriate changes.

Hyrum Smith (founder of the Franklin Planner system) once said that the difference between success and non-success is easily defined by “the successful person is willing to do that which the unsuccessful person is unwilling to do.” I love the lecture he gave where this comes from. Truly inspiring. Ok. Now, back to the anger.

I have friends that are constantly adjusting their lives to try and find that happy place. One of my friends even has a husband that thinks his happiness is based on buying a new pickup truck. If he could only have this one “thing” he just knows he’ll be happy. The problem is that is never happens. He is just left with emptiness and a need for self validation in many different forms. If I remember correctly, he also equates sex with love. If his wife doesn’t have sex with him, she doesn’t love him. Sometimes I think I should have been a head shrinker. I actually enjoy analyzing people. That isn’t the same as people watching.

People watching is finding amusement in the behavior of others. Analyzing is when you try to figure out their story. What drives them? Why don’t they look happy? Is the couple you are admiring having an affair or are they married to each other? Those are easy to figure out.

I may have to write another article about my opinions about marriage. I have no love for that institution and have solid reasons why not.

See? I feel better just writing this crap out. Now, if the female downstairs would just leave then everything will be just fine for the rest of the evening. Two words for her. Get. Out.

Update: The point of this post. The point of this post is that I am angry at the woman downstairs because she takes advantage of my friend. That is why she makes me angry.

Kindle Paperwhite

I have been using a Kindle for several years. The readability is outstanding and it almost feels like you have a book in your hand when you are using it.

There is one thing about the Kindle that I absolutely do not like— The interface. Finding a book to read can be extremely tedious. The touch screen is not what I am used to and at times it seems unresponsive. Finding a book using the Kindle app on my iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, or iPad is relatively easy compared to the product that Amazon created to just read books. I find that ironic.

If the Kindle lovers are lucky, perhaps Amazon will design and create something that addresses these issues. I have thought about getting an Oasis but lets be honest— why would I spend $299 on a device that doesn’t perform nearly as well as my phone? In addition to that, my phone can do other things. You can now buy a $300 iPhone that would outperform an Oasis in every measurable way.

Just my two cents about it. I am currently reading a David Weber book on my Kindle Paperwhite while reading Stephen King’s On Writing on my iPhone.

A New Way of Writing

I am writing this using Ulysses. The program has been around for a very long time but I’ve only just got around to trying it out. It is now a part of Setapp so I didn’t have to spend the money.

So far, I like the simplicity of it. I could write blog posts, stories, or whatever hits me and basically keep all of those things in the same place. The only exceptions to that would be Final Draft and Scrivener. Let’s face it, Final Draft is the standard for writing scripts. To me, Scrivener is the standard for writing short stories or novels.

This will probably be the perfect place to write all of those HDWGH stories. Of course, there are more of those on the way.

I’ll look forward to writing a detailed review in the days ahead.

Nudity in HDWGH Stories

I am often asked why my HDWGH (How Did We Get Here?) stories have so much nudity in them. Is it a direct reflection of my personality?

The short answer is no. Although I would consider myself a closet nudist which covers most people I believe, that isn’t the reason why I include a lot of nudity in my stories.

To me, the nudity is funny because of how other people in the United States view it. I watched a young woman change her top in Marseilles France in a McDonalds and nobody cared. Try doing that in the US. The United States has a weird view of nudity and it is always fun to exploit it.

I have a neighbor that has no problem letting her teenage daughter play violent video games where both sides are actively trying to kill each other but has a serious issue with her seeing nude people.

What is wrong with that? Everything.

You will continue to see stories involving nudity on my site and I will continue laughing every time I write them.

Bad Windows 10

Windows 10 is installing and rebooting without user consent for apps other than upgrades or security patches.

The apps take up no storage or other resources. Until now, though, installing Office web apps was optional. Windows isn’t asking for your permission, let alone informing you of what’s about to happen. Microsoft is potentially disrupting work or other important tasks to promote its online productivity suite.

I have Windows 10 in the form of a virtual machine that is made to behave because it resides in a computer sandbox. It is sad that I HAVE to do that.

Saving The Environment: Landfills

I’ve been actively working on this part of my life. If you think about it, we through a lot of shit away. That shit has to go somewhere. We have various methods of ways of doing this. Everything from throwing it in the ground, burning it, or if possible recycling it.

I read an article about a German law a while back that was outlawing certain type of plastics because the German government didn’t want to see it going into their landfills. Makes sense on the surface. This got me thinking about some of the things I’ve been doing. Using plastic forks and knives at work is a big one. Why? I have several sets of camping utensils that I barely use. So, I decided that from that moment on I was going to use the camping utensils instead of using plastic forks and knives and adding to the landfill problem.

That isn’t the only change. I also have been guilty of buying Kleenex tissues by the case. Again, I asked myself why I was doing that? This past weekend I bought a boatload of cheap bandanas. When I was a young boy my father always carried around a “hanky.” If you needed to blow your nose, you used the hanky. You can wash them and use them over and over again. Bandanas have tons of different uses including a makeshift face mask if you need one.

I’ve also stopped buying store bought water. We have a reverse osmosis system here at Castle Nerda so I can just fill up reusable bottles here at home. At the moment they are Smartwater bottles which are every campers dream. They are perfect for a lot of things and extremely durable. A little less ideal because they are still plastic and will need to be thrown away a lot sooner than I would have needed to throw away an aluminum container. I am working on it.

My ideals have changed in the last 20 years. I specifically remember not giving a shit about using disposable items if it meant that I didn’t need to do dishes. We grow and mature. Hopefully, I have grown enough to realize that I am not going to save the planet from anything but I can certainly be a lot kinder to it. Let’s face it, the earth can shrug us off it as though we were flies. Mother Earth doesn’t give a shit about what you care about or what you believe. The earth can explode beneath your feet at any time and no amount of tree hugging will save you. With that being said…

…that doesn’t mean you have to pee on her lawn.

HDWGH – Story 14 – Can’t Park There

From the How Did We Get Here Series —

Now: A modern SUV is upside down in the middle of a country road.

Before: Johnny Parks had some serious trouble on his hands. His mother just bought him a ferret and now he found himself chasing it through the house. The darn thing was fast! It wove under the dining room table into the kitchen and oh no! The cat door on the other side of the kitchen. Johnny ran as fast as he could but the ferret was faster. He didn’t even get a chance to name it yet. Before Johnny could get the door open he heard a loud screeching sound followed by a bump or two and then nothing. When he finally got the kitchen door open, the ferret was up on his hind legs looking at Johnny with a look of “what?” In the middle of the road, an SVU was still spinning on it’s roof. Little Johnny wondered over to the driver side door when the car stopped spinning and simply said, “You can’t park there mister.”

HDWGH – Story 13 – Fried Cat Anyone?

From the How Did We Get Here Series —

Now: A cat lies smoldering on the kitchen floor with what looks like an electrical cord hanging out of its mouth. The cat was dead a few amps ago.

Before: The small mouse couldn’t find a way out of the impossible maze that was the Peterson’s first floor wall. It had been trying for what seemed like an eternity. The mouse started feeling a bit heavier as its small rear leg caught on a cable. It didn’t stop. It pushed forward. The Peterson’s house cat Felix caught the motion out of the corner of his eye. It was a mouse! The mouse was also dragging something. Felix leap into action. As his sizable canines began to clamp down on the “string” the live electrical line found a path to ground. Poor Felix became the electrical kitty cat resistor bursting into flames shortly thereafter. The mouse broke loose from the hinderance on its leg and moments later, found a way out of the Peterson’s home.

HDWGH – Story 12 – Wait a Tick!

From the How Did We Get Here Series —

Now: Little Kyle Peterson sits on the sidewalk feeling a bit lightheaded with a stinging pain coming from the right side of his head. He has no idea why.

Before: Tammy Hess was doing what her friends expected her to do. Smile to the boys as she was walking down Chestnut Avenue on the way to the local 5 and dime. Her friends seemed so hollow and talking to boys seemed pointless but who was she to judge. Her friend Murt stopped just long enough to begin a dialogue with a boy named Kyle. Tammy immediately noticed a small facial tick every time Kyle would respond to Murt’s stupid questions.

Without knowing why, Tammy picked up a rock and walked over to Kyle. She stood in front of him and waited for the “tick” thing to happen again. When it did. She hit him in the head with the rock.

HDWGH – Story 11 – Just Hangin’

From the How Did We Get Here Series —

Now: Sutton awoke to find herself upside down, hanging from her feet, a crowd gathered around her, and a sense of dread that she had decided to simply wear just a sun dress today. With the dress pooled at her neck, she was fairly certain why there was a crowd.

Before: Sutton was enjoying some of the best sushi she had ever tasted. This little out of the way restaurant was a great find on her recent tour of Tokyo. It had none of the usual English lettering on the signs out front which meant that very few English speaking people visited this place. With only her and what looked like a small family on the other side of the restaurant, this day couldn’t be any more perfect.

Until she got a call from Steve, her ex-boyfriend who just happened to be on this tour because “he paid all of that money…blah…blah…blah.” It didn’t take long for an argument to ensue about things that really didn’t matter and could probably have waited.

They probably should have waited. Because…

The small family on the other side of the restaurant wasn’t really a “family” in the traditional sense. They were a form of Yakuza. What Americans might refer to as “mafia” and they were quite upset about having to listen to Sutton’s issues while trying to enjoy a break in their day. While walking out, one of the members slipped a little Rohypnol into her Saki.

They could have simply killed her and left her in a side alley but that was a bit too uncivilized for this particular crime.

Some rope from a car, a few school boy giggles at the nudity in front of them, and a ruined lunch time meeting turned out to be the meme that keeps on giving.

Moral of this story: Always carry some rope and Rohypnol with you. You never know when you’ll need it.

HDWGH – Story 10 – Fly Away Kitchen

From the How Did We Get Here Series —

Now: Chester Portnoy is standing in what is left of his kitchen with an official Elon Musk Boring Company Flame Thrower in his hands. Chester is the only thing standing in the remains. He is relatively unharmed. A fly is sitting on the barrel of the flame thrower.

Before: It had been at least 60 seconds and Chester had enough. He was minding his on business trying to get through the sports section of the morning paper when a fly decided to make an appearance. It was most certainly unwelcome as far as Chester was concerned. After many futile attempts to kill the fly with an old ESPN magazine, he decided to take things to the next level. Being 80 years old had its privileges after all and Chester knew how to kill a fly.

Chester makes his way outside to a small detached garage and brings out his trusty flame thrower. Overkill, perhaps. The fact was that Chester had simply had enough. He didn’t want to be bothered by anyone let alone a fly. The fly is sitting on the rim of his coffee cup when he reaches the kitchen. That was the last straw. Chester turned on the flamethrower and…boom. In a split second, Chester’s kitchen was a memory. If Chester has known about the small gas leak, perhaps he would have chosen another weapon. In any event, the fly survived and the kitchen and Chester’s ego did not.

Fly = 1 Chester = 0.

This story was based on a real event that recently took place in France. You can read the story here.

Apple Music Tidbit

I’ve been paying for an Apple Music subscription since it became a thing. I usually do this sort of thing with Apple services. I think it is really cool, so I buy it and may or may not ever actually use it.

Apple Music was one of those things that after I broke up with my girlfriend I lost interest in. Music lost all meaning for me so I stopped listening.

Recently, I’ve been re-examining my personal workflow and had an idea to bring up the Apple Music app and look for some kind of playlist that would suit the type of work I am doing. Music playing in the background tends to distract me. Meditation style music however, is different.

I’ve been listening to a playlist called Focus and it is perfect for what I am doing. It is a nice mix of background music that doesn’t get in the way of what I am trying to do.

If you are like me this may be the perfect way to bring a little music back into your life.

HDWGH – Story 9 – All That Glitters

From the How Did We Get Here Series —

Now: Two brothers are sitting in an office across from each other with glitter paint all over them and the rest of the office. A few women are looking down at their clothes in horror. A couple of them have obviously peed themselves.

Before: Tom and Troy wanted to pull off the perfect prank on their troublesome next door office neighbors. The plan was to shoot a few gallons of glitter paint through their open skylight panel and down onto the unsuspecting people in the nearby courtyard. Unfortunately, Tom and Troy were never really good at science so they made the spray port a few millimeters too small. When the “elephant paste” type contraption was initiated by the mixing of the appropriate chemicals, instead of shooting the glitter paint out of the top nozzle – the glitter paint blew apart the plywood base and covered the entire office along with all of the spectators. A few weeks after this event, the entire company was evicted from the building for destruction of private property.

HDWGH – Story 8 – Splat

From the How Did We Get Here Series —

Now: A crowd gathers around a dead man’s body in a NYC alley.

Before: Amy was at the end of her rope. Gary was lying to her about seeing another woman. She knew what the signs were. Change in routine, changes in appearance, etc. As Gary was on his way up to the 15th floor of their apartment building, Gary stepped on an inflated ball of some-kind. He lost his balance falling through the staircase window and 15 stories to his untimely death. The inflated toy went out the window with him but the forensics report will show no DNA connecting Gary to the toy. The only person who knew what actually happened is lying dead on the concrete below. What Amy will take away from this is that Gary must have committed suicide rather than admit his affair with a woman that Amy only suspected of existence but didn’t know for sure and based on her suspicions the police will rule it a suicide. Little Bobby McBride will be wondering where the hell his cheap soccer ball is and no one will be correct in their understanding of what has actually happened here.

HDWGH – Story 7 – Gravy Man

From the How Did We Get Here Series

Now: A middle aged man is standing next to his brand new BBQ grill with a look of shock on his face. A face that has warm brown gravy all over it.

Before: The plans had been set the night before according to Audrey’s memory of events. Jim would just have to wait an extra night before firing up his new grill. They had plans to visit her parents for dinner this evening. Jim knew it. She told him. Several times. Audrey arrives home from work to the smell of backyard BBQ wafting through the neighborhood. Without missing a beat, Audrey goes into her kitchen and pulls out a jar of Heinz Brown Gravy and because she’s not a total barbarian heats it up in the microwave for a minute or so. After walking out to the backyard and finding Jim cooking on his new grill she smiles and then proceeds to dump the gravy all over his head. No words. Just gravy. Man.

Personal Organization

I have been obsessing over personal development for the last several weeks.

I am working on a personal workflow and trying to figure out how to make writing to this blog a part of that. After all, writing to this blog is important to me. I realize that I may be the only one who reads this trash, but it’s my trash.

I’ll probably work on a solid post outlining all of the tools I am using to make my personal workflow actually flow better.

Once you can actually identify what is important to you, the process is much easier. This is an area in which I have consistently failed in. I suffer from the something shiny syndrome.

I’m looking forward to posting new content along with a couple of short stories real soon now.

I also just realized that I have a category called “Fonk Europe in the Face.” Yes. It is pretty funny.