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francopoli  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In honor of Valentine's Day, tell everybody your tale of heartache and woe

I sat and though about this for a few while working. I'm not angry, not really. I'm pissed off at a lot of things: the direction of my country, the regression of politics, internet cultures, education, etc. But being pissed off is not the same as angry.

When and where I grew up, men did not display emotion. We were supposed to be Stoic rocks around which we build friendships and families. Emotions were for women and children. If you cried as a man there better someone in a casket, and once the box was in the ground you better stop that shit. If you got overly emotional you better be drunk, and we are all going to make fun of you in the morning.

This of course leads to the inevitable conversation:

    Kid: Gee, Mister, a lot of these older guys are alcoholics, and the younger ones are killing themselves. Why is that?

    Adult: Well, Billy, it is a great mystery, isn't it.

I got lucky. About the time my friends started on the path to having this shit eat them alive I discovered the online world and anonymity. With an anon account I could be angry, sad, etc and not have to deal with parents and family telling me to snap back into shape. Some people I grew up with were not so lucky. So I come off as an angry bitter cunt online sometimes (most times?) but that is not really what I am for the most part. 25ish years ago I was living in the void asking, legitimately, why bother keeping on. Then, yes I was angry. At the world, but mostly myself. Now I have a job I love with people I enjoy working with. I have a seven-figure net worth (at least on paper), a house I love living in, a car, money to do fun shit once in a while. I have a hobby that brings me joy with people who appreciate my contributions. I even use my hobby to better the community I live in and can say I'm doing my part to make the place suck just a bit less than when I found it.

I can honestly say that right now, I am content. But that is not really the word I am looking for. The word is Happy. I Am Happy. It's weird typing that out as there have not been many times in my life I could say that and mean it. But yes, now is one of those times. It takes getting used to somedays because I still have that Stoic anti-emotional mindset and appearance that was beaten into me from childhood. But, yea, happy.

goobster  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

Hey Pubs. Just a water for me, barkeep... I'm still not remembering to drink enough water every day.

Keto.

I can deny it no longer... I have actually lost more than 20 pounds now. That means that - for the first time in my life - I weigh less than I did before.

From a skinny 175lbs in 1987, to 269lbs at Christmas 2017, I have always gotten heavier. Amortized over time, that's only about 3lbs/year, but of course the weight did not gracefully grow over time. It grew rapidly, then leveled out for a few years at the "new normal" weight, until something happened and it went up again.

For the first time in my life, my weight is going the other direction.

I had to put several pairs of pants into storage. (Note: I wanted to get rid of them. But my wife insisted we keep them until we know whether I am going to keep the weight off or not.)

I am maybe 2 months away from departing the land of XL, and purchasing L shirts... for the first time since the 1990's.

I feel better.

I don't "crash" at 2:PM every day.

I no longer eat two antacid tablets every night.

I don't fart prolifically anymore.

My diet has changed significantly, and I now strongly identify with Michael Pollan's quip, "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much."

I haven't started working out or stretching regularly. Which I planned to do Feb 1. Not sure why I haven't started, but I need to get on that.

The road to "Fit and 50" is looking pretty good right now.

Food Perspective.

Mushroom hunters talk about "putting on their mushroom eyes" when they go mushroom hunting.

You go out to where the mushrooms should be, and you see nothing. Damn. Wrong place? Was someone already here? Am I at the wrong elevation?

Then they just go calm and stop moving for a few minutes. Scan the landscape. Be still.

POP! Oh! There's one! ... and another!... oh! there's another one!... woah... they are EVERYWHERE! Holy crap I am STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF SO MANY MUSHROOMS!!

With my new diet, which generally avoids most carbs and sugars, I have my "Carb Eyes" on.

Vending machine? Nothing in there edible.

Coffee shop? Nothing in there either, except black drip coffee, espresso shot, or an almond-milk latte.

Restaurant? Side dishes start to look REALLY tasty... and main courses look heavy and unpleasant. "Can I just get these two sides, and a steak?"

And now, I will post this message, and walk out into the lobby where my company is providing everyone with ... Valentine's Cupcakes. And I am going to enjoy the shit out one of those carbo-sugar bombs.

Because carbo-sugar bombs are AMAZING treats.

But that's what they should be: Treats. Not Food.

Quatrarius  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Dirty War Over Diversity Inside Google

There are two problems.

I like to call the first one (since right now, when I made it up) CONTROVERSY-AS-DISCUSSION. CONTROVERSY-AS-DISCUSSION (CAD) is what you do when you have no news, but you have to write about something otherwise you don't make any money. Here's how it works:

1. Take any divisive social issue (race)

2. Find someone who has an opinion about it (megawhitey)

3. Feed the opinion into the media ouroboros

4. KEEP FEEDING

5. Success!

You can write articles debunking the original opinion, articles debunking other articles, hot takes, thinkpieces about thinkpieces --- going on forever. Nobody would care about what this guy had to say if it wasn't used as ammunition by these people. They're pretending to report on something that they made up out of thin air. Internet journalists are the agents of controversy (megawhitey knows this too), so this story gets picked up by the right-wing sites instantly - but I'll get there.

Look at some of the titles these articles have around the time this started to take off:

Google employee's leaked anti-diversity memo sparks evaluation of tech culture

Google Employee's Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes 'Internally Viral'

Right away, it gets called a manifesto. This random guy's craziness is a manifesto? Is it that important? Fuck you.

SECOND PROBLEM: It's not really crazy. It's pretty mild. It's not really right, either, but that's not the point. When things like this get drawn into the culture war, they immediately get painted as extreme.

(here on hubski, we're smart, we're moderates, we don't buy into the system, man, we know that this guy isn't a nazi)

But now this guy is hanging out with a lot of wannabe nazis smart scientific gentlemen. Dangerously/occasionally reasonable-sounding gentlemen. I'm assuming this guy wasn't a crypto-fascist, but maybe just a regular (friendly) conservamoderate? You know - the kind that shakes his head at how dumb these kids can be about race and sex, but doesn't quite tip over the edge into being alt-right?

(he'd have to be alt-right because he's too young to be rightright)

Now he's been driven into the arms of these people. Because he probably thinks he's right, right? He probably thinks all he was doing was making a reasonable point, with !!science!! and !!analysis!!, and he's getting shouted at by ev-er-y-body with a blog/twatter/"journalistic position" on the internet. Except for the fine fellows at

The Daily Wire

Breitbart

Jordan Peterologist the Canadian Psychologist, INC

n'all that. Because they're taking him seriously, and not shouting at him, and calling his critics crazy liberals obsessed with political correctness. Which is what he was talking about in the first place.

SECRET THIRD PROBLEM:

Could we talk about diversity without sparks like this setting everything off, almost like we care?

I didn't use my CAD abbreviation at all after I defined it, too. That could be the fourth problem here. The fourth problem might be this comment as a whole.

Meh.

rthomas6  ·  43 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Musings on Cryptocurrency - an invitation to ruminate

There are five possible use cases for crypto that I see.

1. A black market currency

2. A low-fee, decentralized international payment system

3. An investment

4. A general-purpose currency

5. A secure, trustless information ledger

As A Black Market Currency

For use in the black market, we're going to want a way to hold the currency anonymously, and a way to send private transactions.

- BTC wallet anonymity is possible with a few hoop jumps, but private transactions are impossible. If address X has a transaction with a known black market address, this is public knowledge, and address X is forever associated with this shady exchange.

- XRP has the same problems as BTC, with the added risk of validators simply rejecting transactions with known shady addresses.

- ETH is currently no better than BTC, but they plan to implement technology borrowed from ZCash to allow private transactions, so ETH will be more private in the future.

Best alternatives right now for this use case: Monero, ZCash

As An International Money Transfer System

For this, any low-fee system will work. The lower the fees, the better. Right now this means everything but BTC, but what would the fees look like in the future, assuming widespread adoption?

- BTC "on-chain" transactions will only get worse, but they are working to implement Lightning Network. This will end up sort of like a "real" BTC wallet that you treat like a savings account, and a Lightning BTC wallet that you treat like a checking account that has low fees and fast transactions. The catch is that you have to pay the on-chain tx fee to transfer from your BTC wallet to your Lightning wallet.

- Same story for ETH, really. Widespread adoption of ETH will result in high transaction fees. Not as high as BTC, but high. Ethereum is working on several scaling strategies in parallel, but realistically they're a year or two away.

- XRP was built for this use case. It will scale, be low fee, and in the future, it may even be possible to use it through your bank. It's not super decentralized, but it's fast and low fee.

As An Investment

At this point I have no idea. I don't understand why the market caps on these coins are so high. Let's be honest, they don't do anything cool yet. As a general rule I'd say don't put in anything you can't afford to lose 100% of.

In the long term, I think any cryptocurrency that has a capped supply and a plan for scaling is a decent choice. I personally like the smart contract ones: Ethereum, Zilliqa, Eos, Cardano, RChain. Raiblocks is cool too. There are also some interesting ERC20 tokens. But those are all just opinions.

As A General Purpose Currency

For this use, we want widespread adoption, stable value, low transaction fees, and transaction verifiability. For this space, my favorite is USD.

Seriously though, a deflationary general purpose currency makes a bad currency, and so does a volatile one. Imagine buying something on credit and owing waaay more than you thought you would, or buying something when you could have bought two of it a month later. Deflation and volatility decrease the money velocity of a given cryptocurrency to the point that any economy based on it is much smaller that it would be otherwise. It makes the currency hard to spend and discourages its use. We already see the effects of this: Very very few businesses accept BTC directly because its value is so unstable. And it's a vicious cycle; less businesses accept it, so its utility is less, so less businesses accept it.

In the long term, I think something like Dai or OmiseGO has a chance of being useful. But it's not ready yet.

As A Secure, Trustless Information Ledger

This is the space that I think has been explored the least, and which I think has the post potential. It could disrupt a lot of industries, including certificate authorities, DNS, and, maybe someday, thinks like deeds, titles, stock ownership, and land registries. But all of this is years off.

- BTC and XRP cannot be used well for this purpose.

- ETH was built for this use case. Maybe in a few decades we'll see corruption in some countries being combated by registering things in an Ethereum or Ethereum-style blockchain.

tacocat  ·  49 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Putin, Trump, and political obsession: an observation from your resident russki

Umm.... I'd trade a lot of my good stories for not having to live through them.

veen  ·  50 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 3, 2018

Instead of creating a separate thingy, I'll use this Pubski as a chance to reflect on 2017.

John Green recently recommended writing two letters to your future self about what to take with you going into 2018, and what to leave in 2017. I think that's a great way to reflect and look forward simultaneously.

---LEAVE IT IN 2017---

The first thing to leave behind is my indecisiveness. If 2017 has taught me anything, it's that I need to make decisions and stick to them, not fret and worry and ponder forever on them if it doesn't make the result any better. At the end of 2016, I read something which took me most of 2017 to internalise: "doubt must come to an end." I haven't been able to find that quote's source ever again. The insight that phases of doubt are just that, phases, has been meaningful to me.

The second thing I want to leave is gliding. In a classic "it's not you, it's me" scenario, I've had a lot of fun gliding, but I don't have the free time to do it properly. Once or twice a month isn't gonna cut it for something as complex as learning to fly. It's been fun, but I gotta close that chapter for now.

I also want to leave calorie logging behind in 2017. I tried picking it up again last year, but it made me feel guilty for eating, which is the exact opposite of what I needed it for. It helped me figure out a healthier diet, which is good. Other than that it's just not for me.

Finally, I want 2017 to be the last year I would describe myself as reticent in unfamiliar social situations. I avoided small talk the first weeks of my internship as I've done many times before. It took a Sherry Turkle book to make me realise how embarrassingly unsocial that is and that it doesn't hurt, you fuckin' hermit, these people are nice if you just let them be nice.

---BRING IT IN 2018---

First some minor things I want to take with me from 2017. It was the year I went out of my comfort zone a bunch of times, which is always insightful. It was the year of less distractions: after reading Deep Work by Cal Newport, I realised I should do with much less distraction in my life. My phone is now almost always on silent and I'm all the happier for it.

2017 was also the year I started meditating. For me, it's valuable as a kind of mental defragmentation: if I have any stress, worry or emotions on my mind I've found meditation to clear that up, or to at least make me more aware of how I'm feeling. I have also noticed that that clarity of mind carries over to the rest of the day. Meditation, for me, is a kind of mental health upkeep I didn't know I needed.

I also started upping my reading game, and it's been one of the best things the year has brought me. A quick back of the envelope calculation puts me at more than 11,000 pages of nonfiction just in 2017, which is more than I have ever read in a single year.

After five years of following my interests and curiosity to the best of my abilities, I finally figured out what I want to do in life. Not in the "I have found my calling" sense, but more in the sense of finally being able to connect the dots:

    Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

That's from Steve Jobs' commencement speech in 2005. I remember watching it ten years ago, and those words have been etched into my soul in the form of hope ever since. The naive and dreamy kind of hope that everything will work out in the end. While I can't say that has happened or will happen, I feel like I'm headed in the right direction with the right tools and people around me, and I'm incredibly grateful for that. 2017 was the year I connected a whole bunch of dots and settled on a direction, and I look forward to see where that will take me.

Please don't go into debt to support Hubski. The best way to support Hubski is to continue to be here to provide your perspective. Leave the monetary supporting to those of us who are dumber but richer. Be you, and be you on here; no donation can hold a candle to that.

Edit: I just threw down $20 for you. Happy New Year :)

I'm trying very, very hard to be as positive as possible from here on out. So far, I think I'm doing alright but I know I can do better and I'm gonna work on it. That said, I'm gonna make an exception for Uber.

I, for some unknown reason, have a very deep, obsessive dislike against Uber. I don't know completely where it comes from, but I think a lot of it stems from the facts that A) They really don't seem to be for the working man and B) They think laws are nothing more than inconveniences that they can just ignore. The fact that A and B overlap somewhat and their attitude towards laws seems to influence their behavior in other ways just irks me even more.

If I came and posted every negative article that I come across that involves Uber, I'd probably post one a week, minimum. What's there isn't even all of their controversies. The fact that they seem to have a new stain on their character on a seemingly monthly basis doesn't even surprise me anymore. I really hope something comes of this, because I don't like them at all, and I hope its a government somewhere that ends up being their eventual downfall. The internet tends to be pretty socially conscious (or at least loves a good social controversy) and when I think about it I'm honestly surprised that a tech company such as them have survived in a socially conscious atmosphere.

PTR  ·  92 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 22, 2017

I think I'm probably drinking gin this afternoon. Gin gets me glum.

Warning: Rambling thoughts on an extended interaction with a far-right pundit below...

There was a guy in my wife's master's cohort at uni - the type of guy who's just really toxic politically. It's tough to characterize him; I'm not sure I've met many people like him, and I've definitely not interacted with them like I did with him.

So he's all up in far-right news cycles, consuming memes and half-truth news stories and re-hosting them on his Facebook page. He's been doing this for months maybe years. He's not the type to keep to himself, and his social media is an extension of the types of conversations he has in person. Nearly every person in his cohort tried reaching out to the guy to get him to tone it down, or at least get him listen to some even-keeled opposition - I think they figured if they were thoughtful and articulate, he'd come around to some type of rhetorical moderation.

And that's the thing too because this guy is approachable. He's pretty kind and at least a little polite in conversation, but his ideas are so fucking noxious that every person who tried talking to him eventually gave up.

And it's not just his ideas, it's his conversational style. He fact-checks nothing. He researches nothing. He doesn't believe in statistics. He doesn't trust academia. Conversations with him are pages and pages of vitriolic opinion-vomiting. It's tough to handle.

It's not just that he sources Breitbart and The Daily Caller for nearly every story (Fox News is moderate to him); it's primarily that he gets his ideology from memes. Not kidding. His Facebook history is full of fucking memes - and I've got to reference Dawkins here for the literal and original meaning of meme, because the sourced knowledge this guy has on politics is insidiously hard to pin down. His news feed is full ubiquitous, pint-sized ideas and fact-checking every meme he's ever come across and internalized is a herculean effort. Impossible, even for him - i.e. you can argue him into a corner, get him to agree, and 3 days later he's sharing the same exact shit again.

He dropped the program at the recommendation of the faculty and director for reasons unrelated to his politics and entirely related to his academic performance. He lost ties to all the cohort except my wife, who kept him added (but unfollowed) on Facebook because she loved the drama of seeing some Lib-missionary get offended, argue with him for hours, and bite the dust in frustration.

I'd never met him in person, only heard stories about him. I ended up friending him and starting a dialogue with the specific idea that I'd just try to figure out what he was about - not attempt to "convert" him politically, just see what his version of the far-right was.

The conversation was wide-ranging and long - months-long. I started talking to him in February this year, and I cut ties with him last week. That's what I want to talk about here (at "the bar"), and if you've made it this fucking far, "Congratulations!" because you've got every right to throw whatever you're drinking into my whiny, doom & gloom face.

This conversation with him took me to a dark place; if I'm being honest, I talked to him for too long for my mental health. He's representative of a massive demographic in America, and that started to weigh on me existentially. Point me to historical bipartisanship; point me to political indoctrination; point me to religiously-branded Conservatism; fuck, point me to the horrors of the Democratic party too. I've read almost all of it, and if I haven't then I'll read more gladly. But I'm convinced the American politico-intellectual rot will not heal.

For sure, nationally-speaking we'll keep on chugging along, I guess. That's what a nation-state does. But this guy has been failed. He's been ruined. What the fuck do we do about that?

  1. Do we drag him along, forcing healthcare down his throat, mandating tax reform in his interests, fighting the FCC for him, and offering his daughters birth control and prenatal options?

  2. Do we involve ourselves personally, talking to him for months, reasoning him through his own warped thought processes, educate him on how to research and fact-check?

  3. Do we let him rot?

tl;dr: To what extent is it our individual civic duty to try to reconcile with political opposition?

I started talking to him out of curiosity, and it ended with depressive horror. I wish there were a better way to explain my experience. I'm going to go actually drink now :)

b_b  ·  93 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The GOP's fractal incompetence problem

Not sure if you're being rhetorical, but asking if Trump is a cause or a symptom is akin to asking whether heroin addiction is a cause or a symptom. The answer is yes. Godry is correct that the GOP has basically been rotting since the end of the Cold War. They've tried to cram the square pegs that are "against terrorism" and "against taxes" into the round hole of "against communism" but it's just not fitting right. Lubricated by a thick layer of KFC grease, Trump has been able to squeeze himself into a hole he didn't have much to do with creating, but damn if he isn't splitting it wide open.

Did you see that viral video of Bernie Sanders eviscerating Steve Mnuchin? It's a thing to behold, because Mnuchin is left almost speechless, but he sits there with the smug look of someone who doesn't give a shit about being wrong because he knows that there isn't a logical rip in space-time big enough to make the GOP give a shit how bad his tax bill is. They've reached critical mass, and the light and heat from their bullshit can no longer escape orbit, and thus it's turning in on itself. Competence surely isn't an asset, because any attempts to compute 'A' and 'not A' simultaneously break logic machines. Only a guy who claims that the Constitution is Christian scripture can compute this logic. Thus the ascendancy of fictional hyperboles like Roy Moore makes sense.

"Terror Babies!" "Death Panels!" "Job Creators!" It's difficult to not sense that the mountains of horseshit that they've been shoveling for the past quarter century aren't beginning to decay. Hopefully it decays into fertilizer and doesn't cause a cholera epidemic. One of the upsides of Trump being elected is the awakening on sexual harassment. I don't think that without "grab 'em by the pussy" that we'd have people like Glenn Thrush and Charlie Rose being suspended. Harassment is no longer something creeps from the other side do; it took someone as disgusting as Trump to make us recognize that. I hope he'll have a similar effect in other areas (racism, classism, etc.).

Trump is a symptom and a disease, and he's finally convincing us to make that doctor's appointment we've been putting off for too long. If his tax bill keeps getting this level of criticism (even the most generous estimates say it costs $1 trillion), there's a good chance that will collapse, too. Maybe at that point Godry will start to be taken seriously by his fellow conservatives.

steve  ·  113 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 1, 2017

lil gave me the nudge... I better come clean.

The short version of a long story is that I got the job offer. I'm in the middle of negotiating the exit from my current employer... and if all goes well, I will have an even better story to tell after Thanksgiving.

veen  ·  134 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

DUDE I think I found it!?

It looks a lot like the Fontainemelon trademark that you see twice in this list, registered in 1880 for the region in Switzerland. Found this by Googling 'Schweiz uhrwerk apfel' and it was the first hit. It actually does lead back to that site of yours when you Google for Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon SA. Check that advert, it has the logo!

edit: hah, wasoxygen was slightly faster. Damn ninja!

wasoxygen  ·  134 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

That's a heck of a rabbit hole.

It appears to be something from Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon.

(Second GIS hit for "makers mark" arrow swiss from Pinterest, fourth related image)

BurnTheBarricade  ·  135 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Today's Writing Prompt: This Is What It's Like

"This is what it's like," said the recruiter, showing me the screenshot of a first-person shooter.

"This is what it's like," said the CO, as we stood drenched in sweat from head to toe.

"This is what it's like," said the EOD, defusing a mine that would have taken his knee.

"This is what it's like," said the veteran, as our unit rotated out for some rest again.

"This is what it's like," says the evening news, reminding me of things that I made myself do.

"This is what it's like," says my former spouse, with one last spiteful glance towards my house.

"This is what it's like," says the therapist, and puts me in pain that I didn't know could exist.

"This is what it's like," say people like myself, who can't know their pain and don't think to help.

Idunno, man, these grammar conversations are crazy to me.

I steal a descriptor from my friend, who is in linguistics, and describe myself as a Grammar punk. To quote them:

"Language is inherently based in communication- it is understanding in structure, not structure for structure's sake

If you understand what someone is saying and choose to be difficult about it for the sake of correctness, you're being a loathsome pedant."

The point of language is to be understood, and to me it doesn't matter what length of dash you use. Yes, the semicolons are incorrect, and they do prevent understanding. But dashes?

And like, I'm in a Historical Performance program. It is the subset of classical music for musical pedants. They have arguments about the correct amount of commas needed in their tuning, and where your 3rd and 6th intervals should be depending on time and location in Europe. Despite that level of daily pedantry, the concept of em vs en vs hyphen in a real world situation is still a bit mind blowing to me.

phloridaman  ·  147 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How much work is home ownership?

I bought a house when I was 18. Got it for 20k right after the housing crash. Paid for it with student loans since the bank wouldn't give me a mortgage. In hindsight this was probably a risky move but it worked out since I was able to sell it for 85k after graduating. They'll let you take out as much money as you want with student loans. I think they were disappointed that I was able to pay everything back right away, kept trying to tell me that it was a bad decision financially. Strictly speaking, it was. Maybe you can make more money if you let yourself float some debt, but money ain't worth your freedom (in my opinion).

Anyway, I spent the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college fixing the place up a bit. Sank another 15k of loan money into it there. Neighbor was a roofer, and I helped him replace the rotten rafters and reshingle at a discount. I got some concrete and patched the foundation where it needed it. Kitchen walls were basically mush thanks to leaky pipes, but my uncle's a plumber so we redid all the pipes and put in a second bathroom. Then it was just new cabinets and appliances for the kitchen after some drywall/spackle/paint where needed. When the summer ended I rented out the other rooms (3bed/2bath) to some friends to help with future expenses.

But the problems seemed to never end. One of my friend/tenants wanted to run an ethernet cable to his room a few months in. Prissy liberal northerner who don't think wifi is good enough. So we climb up into the attic with a drill to thread one through the wall. While crawling around, I get the fucking shit shocked out of me and ended up putting a dent in the drywall of the ceiling. There was a live wire just hanging out up there. At which point it became prudent to try and trace down any other electrical issues. Fortunately, we left enough access points in the walls where we were too lazy to drywall (behind the bathroom mirror, in the bedroom closets, basically the whole room with the air handler). It's way easier to just get some access plates and screw them into place instead of doing the full 9 yards of drywall repair. Also makes your life easier for future efforts.

One of the windows ended up getting a bit of a leak, too. Went to plug in my phone one night and my hand just went right through the wall to the outside. While repairing that, I found the beginnings of a termite infestation. Fortunately only the beginnings. Had to get the whole place treated. Thank god we made those access points in the walls.

Place also had a crawl space at one point, but a former owner buried the access point. Apparently the place flooded, and rather than pump out the water they just buried it and sealed the water down there. Concrete foundation was above the crawl space, and post-burial expansion is probably what had caused the original problems with that. House must've been moved at one point, foundation and all, and just put down on top of that hole. Found out about it when a gator dug out the old entrance and moved in. It just saw a nice, secluded pond across the street from the main waterway with a driveway right outside to sunbathe on. I never knew how loud a gator was until I had one living under my bed. Things fucking stink too. Tasted pretty good.

I could go on. I had that place for three years. Sometimes, it wouldn't need much work beyond mowing the lawn and cleaning and shit. But once or twice a year, that place ate up a few weeks to a month of my life. Was sad to hear the whole neighborhood pretty much came down during Irma. Old Florida neighborhood of wooden houses: only lasted that long by luck.

Crazy shit happens all the time in the world. If you own and are responsible for a part of it, it can take you on a fun and crazy ride. Make sure you're ready before claiming responsibility. If you want to own something, you've gotta make it a part of you and give it the care it needs. Don't just treat it as a way to make or save money, and don't leave shit as someone else's problems. Insurance companies are just there to let you pass the buck and not feel guilty or repair it yourself good and proper. Dive in and make that house and land a part of your being and it will be worth it. Otherwise, when the shit hits the fan you'll just see yourself as a victim and try to duck out.

If you don't want responsibility: rent. If you want to make a part of the world an extension of yourself: own. If you don't think you're ready to truly meld with a piece of the Earth, you have no business leading it on or playing make believe. Taking care of your place on this planet is a sacred duty that deserves no compromise. If y'all'r the kind of fucker that'll be fine with just letting others take care of your life for y'all, you ain't the kind of person that deserves to take care of this planet.

tl;dr: the Earth is a tender lover. This is a wonderful thing with the proper care and attention, but also easy to abuse and take advantage of. Be aware of this if you want join with a piece of her.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

elizabeth  ·  184 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 23, 2017

Had a great time yesterday watching the eclipse! And apparently the blog post featuring my photos and videos is beating all kinds of view records: http://blog.polycor.com/the-day-white-marble-turned-black-photos

It's been a really fun summer so far, and it's only gonna get better with burning man next week. I don't think I've ever been more exited.

Even had an unexpected bonding moment with this lady that works at the Georgia office yesterday that not only knew what burning man was (that I so far had to explain as going camping at an art festival in the desert to everyone else at the company) but has been at many festivals before and had some great tips to share.

Will be in LA the week after that (sept 4th to 12th at least). WHO'S IN TOWN? kleinbl00?

weewooweewoo  ·  194 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Flower Pot of Significant Personal Importance

I once had three mice. I named them Theodore, Buttercup, and The Holy Spirit. They were feeder mice meant to be fed to snakes. I had them for about 6 months and they helped with my depression. Mice are particularly hard to pet, and they started to hiss and bite at me whenever I went to feed them in the cage. This went on for awhile and on one particularly bad day I decided to kill them off. I rationalized that they were feeder mice that were going to die anyway. I took a half empty jar of peanut butter and put then waited awhile before I put the lid on it.

I woke up the next day feeling the absolute worst, and I was worried that my family would come in and notice that my mice were missing. I bought three more mice and pretended that everything was fine, but in the back of my mind I felt that there was an aura of fear left behind by the previous trio and these new mice knew that I was a mouse killer. I kept them until I left to find myself across the US and I couldn't find anyone to take care of them and I didn't have any friends with snakes so I decided to kill them in the same way, in a peanut butter jar.

I don't trust myself to take care of pets or plants right now. If you buy a succulent I'll buy a succulent.