The Idiots Guide to the Universe It's a big weird world, best to be snarky!

16Jul/14Off

The Idiocy of Argue-tainment

Photo on 7-16-14 at 6.32 PMI have been distancing myself from social media a lot more often recently. I have also found myself happier because of it. Why? The largest form of entertainment available via social media, on sites like Facebook and on news article comments, is arguing. Look at many articles on the Internet, it could be about puppies and there is some idiot conservative muppet who starts complaining about Obama, on the other side you have some idiot liberal muppet who starts complaining about guns. People really like to be right, I am no exception. But I have really tried to control my desire to argue, or point out when others are wrong. It is far more difficult than I thought it would be. Frankly, I have some friends that believe some pretty bizarre stuff. I also have friends that post at least on anti-Obama something EVERY - SINGLE - DAY. Now that's not to say I don't have liberal friends that don't post their own slanted drivel that is just as ridiculous and foolish, that certainly happens as well.

In general we as a society are becoming so simple minded. We only think in catchphrases, talking points, and memes. Trying to explore an issue to it's depth with someone and you are met with their political party platitudes and presumptions before you can even get started. At this point I am fairly convinced that if Barrack Obama cured cancer, the conservatives on the Internet would say that it is so he can take profits away from the hard working healthcare industry. If Speaker of the House, John Boehner, were to cure cancer , the liberals would accuse him of trying to subvert the Affordable Healthcare Act and protect the corporate profits of the healthcare industry. Why? Because they are on the other side, and for some reason, that little D, or R next to their name demonizes them in the eyes of many to the point of savage disavowel that they have any redeeming qualities. Once someone is from THEM, then surely you can't agree with anything they say. The argument begins. The thing that is always lost, is love for your fellow man. People always seem to forget that it is people that ultimately are effected. Maybe, just maybe if we stopped arguing long enough we could look at an issue and say "What happens to the people? Whose lives will be effected, and how? "

It's not just politics, it's religion, sports, science, literature, film, and much more. Look at the arguments over whether Twilight or Harry Potter is better, Star Trek or Star Wars, Conan or Kimmel, even kittens or puppies will be argued about. What have we accomplished through all of this? It has made us more divisive as a society, more inclined to react quickly than to think something through, more likely to be wrong, and far less likely to have a civil conversation.

The odds of you and I agreeing on every point in this life is pretty slim, if not impossible. I still get irritated when I see things. In many cases I might even type out and delete a response I get so frustrated or angered by it. I don't like this reaction, it's not healthy. It can be little things about religion or politics, or even big things where people are just flat out wrong. One of the biggest things that get my goat is strongly held beliefs in conspiracies, and things that are not based on fact. I just need to let it go. We all should let it go, but I can only control one person and that is me.

There is no reason that we, as a society, should carry on with this argue-tainment any longer. If we all just start to ignore it, it will go away. I don't know what will replace it. I would love to say meaningful discussion on a deep and philosophic level. But I am a realist, I know that that would just devolve into arguing again. But it would at least be interesting to see what happened. So next time, don't post the sarcastic comment. Don't share the disparaging meme. Don't share something that is clearly partisan and meant to belittle others. How often does someone really change their mind because of a Facebook post, a Facebook comment, a meme, or a comment on an Internet article. Quite simply, 99.9% of the time, it is narcissistic mental masturbation. The only person that gets anything out of it is you. Sure someone might argue back, and you may post another quip, but in the end, neither of you changed your mind and neither of you has come to any clearer revelation.

So later this week, I am going to purge my friends list on Facebook. If I unfriend you, it's not because I don't value you as a human being. It is for the simple reason that I find many of the things that you post frustrate me to the point of wanting to argue. It is a personality flaw with me where I want to argue. It doesn't mean that I no longer value your personal friendship. It just means that I don't need the added stress and blood pressure that comes with me wanting to argue the points with you. The best part of Facebook is the meaningful connections I have managed to maintain with many people, and I would surely not want to lose that. I have already unsubscribed from several community groups because I find myself thinking less of my local community because of them.

The other side of this is that I am trying to be cognitive of what I post as well. I have been making an effort to not post things that are disparaging about specific beliefs, or ideologies. I am trying not to troll for arguments. I try to speak more in generalities. The World Cup certainly helped since it gave me something fairly benign to discuss. But I definitely have some strong opinions about things, some of these are things that people base their lives on. So it isn't always easy.

If this little experiment of purging my friends list doesn't work, and I still feel myself frustrated or wanting to argue, I will just simply walk away from Facebook and social media all together. What would I do with all of that time? What are your thoughts? Comment below.

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16May/14Off

The Idiocy of Tom Wheeler and What Net Neutrality Means to You

FCC Chairperson and Former Lobbyist Tom Wheeler

FCC Chairperson and Former Lobbyist Tom Wheeler

Tom Wheeler is the Chairman of the FCC. Prior to that he spent time as President of the National Cable Television Association, a lobby group for cable service providers such as Time-Warner and Comcast. This is important because he is one of the key people responsible for ensuring something called Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is essentially ensuring that all data that traverses the Internet is given the same fair priority. The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are the companies that provide your home and business Internet connections, such as AT&T, Verizon, Time-Warner, Comcast and many others. ISPs would very much like to change the way you receive your Internet service, and they want YOU to pay more for it. The method they want to use is called rate limiting or prioritization.

Data traverses the Internet in packets of data. Now if you view these packets as boxes, you can view the Internet backbone as the trucks that will carry these boxes. Right now every box gets the same priority and they are loaded on the trucks and delivered to you as quickly as possible. This is Net Neutrality, every packet is given the same priority, so whether you are streaming a movie, updating your Facebook status or commenting on my blog, your packets get delivered equally and fairly. Seems simple right? It is.

What Tom Wheeler is deciding on is the creation of "Internet Fast Lanes" where companies are forced to pay a higher rate to receive a higher priority. So returning to our analogy, your box gets delayed so that higher priority boxes get delivered faster. What this does is create an Internet of haves and have nots. If you pay for the fast lane, you get a higher priority. Everyone else fights over the scraps of bandwidth that are left over. Keep in mind that this does not change the actual physical properties of the backbone. The lines aren't going to be increased for these "Internet Fast Lanes." They are just going to take away existing lanes from everyone else so that those that pay get a higher priority. So the question is, who supports the creation of Internet Fast Lanes and who opposes them. Companies like AT&T, Verizon, Time-Warner and Comcast support the creation of these fast lanes while companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon oppose them. There is also a very large growing contingent of Internet users that oppose these 'Internet Fast Lanes' because of how unfair they are to the consumer.

Right now Tom Wheeler is trying to push through these Internet Fast Lanes as the FCC Chairman. Interesting since he used to lobby for the very companies that want this unfair practice in place. How would this effect you? Let's use Netflix as an example. If Netflix doesn't pay extra to use the Fast Lanes, your movie watching experience will suffer greatly. So of course they will pay. As a result your Netflix rate goes up. Want fast access to your free Facebook account, you have to pay for premium to cover the extra fees that Facebook pays to get on the Internet Fast Lane. Want to get in the Internet Fast Lane yourself as an end user. Oh sorry, that's not available to you. It is only available to big companies.

So now that you see the inherent unfairness of these "Internet Fast Lanes" and you need to do something about it. First you should tell FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that you support keeping the Internet fair, you support 'Net Neutrality.' You can do this by emailing him at Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov. The next thing you can do is tell your representative and Senators that you support Net Neutrality. You can reach your house representative at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and your senator can be found at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

It's your Internet. Don't let it be taken over by corporations and corrupt politicians.

23Feb/14Off

Which Indiana Jones Character Are You!

indiana-jones-snakeReally? Does it really give your life any value at all to know which Indiana Jones character you are? You're just wasting time. Those quizzes at buzzfeed and other similar sites don't actually have any merit. You are NOT going to be Iron Man or the Hulk. You aren't really Darth Vader or Bart Simpson, or even a Hot Dog. Those things have about as much in common with you as cheese does with asphalt.

Just imagine for a minute all that time you have wasted on those stupid quizzes. Now imagine that time channeled into something that really matters to you. Like Writing a book, a story or a poem. Perhaps building a table or knitting a scarf. The point is, you would be well on your way. Instead you know that the Simpsons character you are most like is Moe, and frankly, that is useless information.

So PLEASE. Let's stop clicking on those quizzes, and if you must click on the quiz, at least spare us all the results. Please don't post it, because we all already knew that the Indiana Jones character you are most like is Short Round. You spend too much of your damn time on those stupid quizzes to be anyone cool like Indiana Jones. He doesn't bother with the quizzes, he gets shit done.

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21May/13Off

The Idiocy I Hear About Teachers

As I write this President Obama is spewing his platitudes about the horrific disaster in Oklahoma City. Meanwhile the under story goes completely unnoticed. The under story is teachers. In many cases we hear about our brave first responders, law enforcement and fire fighters rushing in to help. My intention is not to take anything away from these brave souls whose fortitude greatly outweighs that of most of us. But my thoughts go to the true first responders at those elementary schools, teachers. This image to the left; in looking at it you see two parents escorting their kids away from the horrors that happened just a short time ago at their elementary school. The father clutching a daughter to his chest, the injured mother holding on to her daughter's hand as if she'd never let go. But look again, that is two teachers, holding on to the children as if they were their own. Moments later, once these children were safe, they would rush back in to help others, because they have other children that need saving.

In another scene, a car that has been dropped by the tornado is lifted. Under that car is a teacher. Under the teacher, students. This teacher was putting her body between this destructive force of nature, and her students. In Connecticut a teacher was found shot to death with her body draped over her students. In Columbine a teacher was shot to death as put himself in harms way to close and lock a door to protect dozens of students inside. In countless other horrifying situations we hear of teachers making the ultimate sacrifice in an attempt to protect their kids. That's right their kids. Ask any teacher about their students, and you will hear the words 'my kids' come out of their mouth countless times.

So why is it that these teachers would feel such a protective bond for these students. It's simple, they have no other way of looking at those students. The students aren't a product that they are building, they aren't groceries or sundries being stocked on shelves, or scanned for check out. They are each individual human beings with hopes, dreams, hurts and potential. Every single one of these kids develops special place in the heart of that teacher.

In a situation like this, it is the teachers that provide comfort to the students until a family member comes to retrieve them. It is the teacher's that will see to their basic needs, warmth, clothing, water and food until that last student is with their family. During this entire time, the teacher will wonder about the fate of their own son, daughter, spouse and any other family. While other families rush to reunite, the teacher remains, tending to his or her students until the last one is with his or her family. If the family never comes because tragedy has occurred, it is the teacher that takes those first tears into his or her chest. All the while, wondering about the fate of his or her own family.

On top of all of that, disaster aside, it is the teacher that spends 5%-20% of their own income on supplies for their own classroom. In many states, these costs are not tax deductible, or are not deductible until certain thresholds are met, at which point the deduction is only available for expenditures above and beyond that of the threshold.

So of course many of the parents meet this level of dedication with comments like, "Oh he's (or she's) just a teacher. Guess he couldn't hack it in 'real world.' Yes, you muppet, the teachers chose to put the kids before their own self absorbed chase of consumerism. How dare they not make the same choices you did. How dare they become better educated than you, and choose to put the kids first.

How about this one "teacher's are over paid." Really? Teacher's spend the entire day educating your kids, then they go home, grade their papers and prepare materials for the following day. On the weekend they plan the following week to make sure that there are engaging activities planned that will keep the interest of the students, because here's a hint: your child can't sit still in class because you sent him to school with a Rock Star energy drink and two doughnuts. In all seriousness, kids don't want to come to school and be lectured all day. They want to learn by doing. So a science teacher will go out and spend a couple hundred dollars of their own money to buy flowers so the students can dissect these flowers and see the various parts of the flower like the pollen and the stigma. But hey, I hope you enjoyed that backyard BBQ.

But the most galling thing of all is the way the students and teachers are used as political pawns by our politicians. This usually ends up turning many conservatives against the teachers. Teacher's are turned into "educators" in political speeches since polling data suggests that when a politician says teacher, you will immediately think of your kids teachers, or teachers from your past. Politicians can't have you thinking about people, personalizing it makes it harder for them to do their political maneuvering. So instead they will say "Educators are taking up a large portion of the budget." But then they will flip the script on you. Politicians know that there are a few political hot buttons that work on the genreal public, kids, police, fire and roads. They will typically use the term teacher when they want to increase funding by saying things like "If we do not get this tax increase through, it is the teachers and children who will suffer."

What the politicians are doing is using teachers, and student education as a political pawn. The politicians know that you would never vote to fund a tax increase to subsidize business growth for the businesses that funded their campaign, so they lock that part of the budget in early, along with their own salaries. But then when the money is coming up short because they funded their own special interests, they turn to the public and say we need more, it's for the teachers, kids, fire, police, and the roads you drive to work. The teachers are then held as a political hostage, many of them getting the dreaded 'pink slip' telling them that they may be laid off for the following school year because the budget is coming up short. Imagine for a moment, going months, not knowing if you would have a job the next year. Now imagine doing it 5 years in a row. That is the life of a teacher.

So how about instead of saying degrading things about your kids teachers, you treat them with the respect they deserve. Tell your politicians to stop using our public servants as political pawns. Next time you get that big bonus, how about an email to the teacher asking what you can buy for the classroom. How about at the next back to school night, instead of cornering the teacher to discuss your child and how special you think he or she is, you just say 'Thank you.' You can schedule an after school meeting to discuss your little darling. How about as school winds down, you send in a thank you card. You don't have to send anything else (though I'm sure a gift certificate for school supplies would be welcome,) a thank you card would mean the world to most teachers.

So to all those teacher's that educated, and put up with my snark. To all those teacher's that have dealt with whatever idiosyncrasies I have passed on to my children, to the teachers in Oklahoma and to all the teachers counting down the days this Spring.... THANK YOU!

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11Apr/13Off

The Idiocy of Being ‘Preachy’

20130411-232747.jpg

I have had people mention my fervent defense of atheism and of a barring of religion from all things in the public sector. I even had one person say "You sure are preachy for an atheist." (Edit to add This is the cause for the title, I am the preachy Idiot.) It all comes down to my daughter, and something she said.

My move from Christianity to atheism was, in some ways, a slow one, and in many ways a fast one. I spent most of my youth calling myself a Christian, but even then I had my doubts. But I was happy to call myself a Christian since that what my friends were, that's what my family called themselves. I participated in Christian youth groups, I went to Christian concerts, though I also went to, what I then called secular concerts. I hung out with mostly Christian friends. I even converted several people, including my cousin who remains very Christian to this day, to Christianity. In a lot of ways I wanted to be as firm in my belief as so many other people around me seemed, so it made sense to get more people around me to believe. But I struggled daily with reconciling what I said I believed with what I really believed based on my understanding of the world around me, history, and the two sided nature of what religion did to me and other people. It just felt wrong.

The arrogance of saying "I know there is a God" felt wrong to me. I didn't know then, and I still don't know to this day. Sure, I have read the Bible, cover to cover, as well as in a daily devotional sense. To me, the best way to put doubt in me was to read the Bible. It didn't gel, the center did not hold. I went on to studying the history surrounding Christianity, more holes. When it came down to it, it just didn't make sense. Then I got on to reading Hitchens and other Atheist writers. Now things were starting to make sense. Basically, I didn't believe, I was trying to believe something and going through the motions, while the whole time I was full of doubt.

I took to calling myself a deist for a while. If it was good enough for Thomas Jefferson, it was surely good enough for me. But even that was wrong, when it came down to it, I didn't actually believe a God existed. So I started calling myself agnostic, but even that was bullshit. Being agnostic doesn't answer the question of whether or not I believed in God. That is a yes or no question. You can be unsure about whether or not God exists. But when it really comes down to it, you either believe in God or you don't. This is the one place there is no wiggle room. In my case, I don't believe there is a God. Does he or she exist, I honestly do not know, but I don't think so. That is as honest as I can get. I wasn't able to word it that way until I'd heard Penn Jillette word it that way. That crystallized what I felt.

When it came to raising the kids, I have let them go their own way. I didn't want to steer them any direction. I have even been overly careful not to steer them in any direction. So long as they weren't running of to join some suicide, or sex cult, or worse Scientology. Belief in God was something they had to come to on their own. They certainly had their exposure. They have a Mother who while never truly Catholic went through the motions. After a childhood of having it funneled into her, she still does some little thing that shows she still has the mournfully depressing trappings of a Catholic childhood. They have had Christian friends, Muslim friends, Jewish friends and even some I am missing I'm sure. They had Christian family members and a wonderful young Christian woman as their nanny for a few years. They went to some church functions with that nanny, and my daughter went to church with a friend once.

My daughter being the oldest is facing a lot of this head on. She is in that uncomfortable, unsure part of her life where she is finding her way as a young adult, and still trying to be a kid. She is 14, and she is wickedly intelligent. Sometimes her incites into life are very well above her years. Somewhat frightening when you are her father. Overall, she isn't just a good kid, she is a fantastic kid. She genuinely cares about people. She started to speak openly with me about her beliefs. She doesn't call herself any athiest, but she doesn't believe there is a God. She mentioned her frustration about the fact that she has seen several people at her high school (a school she no longer goes to for other reasons) ridiculed, harassed, and even physically threatened and in some cases assaulted because they openly said they didn't believe in God. There were groups of kids that called themselves Christians that were doing this. She said that she couldn't believe the arrogance of their belief. This hit me like a ton of bricks.

Usually I am called the arrogant one, but my daughter's statement made me realize how absolutely wrong that is. "You're so sure of your beliefs, that you are willing to go to hell for it, that's arrogant!" Really, it's not. All I am saying is that I don't think there is a God, and I certainly don't believe there is a God. That's not arrogant, it's honest. "So you are so sure that science has it all figured out, that's arrogant!" Woah!! Slow down! I certainly don't believe that science has it all figured out. But when I apply the logic in my brain, and I look at the narrative that science provides for how we got here, and then I look at the many narratives that religion provides. I know which one makes sense, and I know which one has evidence I can not only read about, but I can go into nature, or a museum, or a classroom and touch the proof. I can physically hold the fossil of a creature that looks at the religious narrative, sticks out it's tongue, makes a raspberry sound, and says, "explain the carbon dating that predates your first human, and while you're at it explain how one of the sons of the first man and woman was banished to a populated place," but I digress. Science doesn't have all the answers, but at least it is open to trying to find them and more importantly, prove them. Science isn't shackled to seeing things from one perspective without question, because questioning is against the will of God. Science can approach things from multiple angles, and it is wrong more often that it is right. But it is honest if you approach it with the correct doubt. So no, I don't think it is arrogant to believe that science provides a better explanation for the world around me. I don't think it is arrogant to believe that all I need in this life is my beautiful wife, my wonderful kids, my loving family, my friends, a good soccer match, beautiful nature, good food, and an occasional shot of whiskey while I shoot the shit with my Dad to make my life enjoyable. It is not arrogant to think I want to be as nice as I can because the people I care about are worth it.

But my daughter had a point. It is arrogant to believe that there is a being that exists outside of time, space, human understanding and this being cares about me, cares about who I marry, who I sleep with and when, and how much money I am putting in the basket at church. That is far more arrogant than simply saying, I don't know if there is a God. This arrogance clearly has carried through in these students at my daughter's school to giving them a sense of entitlement to belittling others that don't believe as they do.

My daughter has thus been reluctant to publicly identify herself as an atheist. She's young, she may end up going through a Hare Krishna stage for all I know. But right now she is afraid to say in a class discussion, that she feels someone's argument is missing the point that not everyone is Christian, and laws and rules can't be made in a free society that are based on a religious philosophy. That is not freedom, it is Theocracy. Looking down through history, the darkest times in this world came about because of Theocracy. Millions of pieces of art, literature, scientific discovery, mathematical theory have been lost to the world forever because it didn't answer the "Do you believe in my God question right." It's a shame that my daughter doesn't feel comfortable expressing what is in her, and it pisses me off.

So yes, I am going to become even more fervent in my pushing of having personal freedom of AND from religion. By my life, and my love of it, I will not stand by and watch any religion be used to destroy personal freedoms, or as a basis for law in this country, even if the majority of people support it. Sometimes the majority is wrong, just ask those that supported slavery, or segregation. I am going to do it so that my kids, and my grand kids, and every American can feel comfortable stating that they don't believe in God without that being some kind of wild ass statement, or a reason for that person to be ridiculed. So I am sorry if this makes you uncomfortable, or offends you, but it's real, and it is happening. If you are religious I am going to say that I believe you are wrong, and the basis for most of your decision making is a fairy tail in my eyes. If you have to defriend me, or unfollow me on Twitter, or uncircle me that's okay, I understand, really I do. I can be a bit of an asshole in how I word things sometimes. Just don't do so quietly. That's cowardly. Send me a message, or a tweet or a post letting me know. I seriously want to know when I have offended someone enough that they feel they can no longer tolerate it. I want to judge what it was I did and consider if I could have worded it better.

But by the same token, that also means that I support your ability to believe what ever the hell you want. So long as your belief is not imposing on the personal freedoms of others, or being propagated or supported through law, or tax money, knock yourself out. Sometimes this will feel unfair, "so it's okay to kick the Christian message out of public schools, keep 'Intelligent Design' out but still teach evolution" Yes it is. Evolution is a theory based upon observable facts found in a nature and in the fossil record. Yes it is a theory because we can't go back in time and observe each stage of what we believe happened. But gravity is a theory too and my ass is staying in my chair. If this world were 'Intelligently Designed' by a loving God, bacon would have the nutritional and caloric properties of kale. So no I don't think it reasonable that a tax funded classroom full of kids from many beliefs should be force fed some drivel just because what happens to be the repeatable scientific evidence doesn't jive with what a lot of people believe. Not on my tax dollar. Prayer in schools, he'll yes, so long as no tax funds go to it and it is not done in an organized manner. If Sally Sue wants to give a verbal high five to Jesus, Mary and and anyone else before she takes a test, or starts her school day. I will defend her right to do so to the death. To have a special time set aside in a school run with tax money, thus making those that don't want to pray feel ostracized, hell no. Now if you want to open the discussion on taking the public out of schools, that's an entirely different topic, but a good one.

So my stance is believe what you want, even Scientology. But seriously, if you're a Scientologist please reconsider, that is some loony toons crazy shit right there.

18Apr/110

The Idiocy of Excercise

Excercise is Boring.

I am overweight. There is no way of avoiding it. As I have gotten older, the beer and burgers have caught up with me. There is a really good reason for this. I hate exercise, period.  I own, or have owned treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines, punching bags, excercise video games, store bought workout videos, and workout videos purchased online due to infomercials. I have enjoyed none of them. Cardio, no thanks. Weightlifting, meh. Muscle confusion, why bother? Running, I just can't shut my brain off for that long.

I can do the exercise, I just can't do it for a long period of time and find any enjoyment out of it. It is a form of torture for me.

I enjoy refereeing and playing soccer both activities that require a lot of running. But the key thing is, I enjoy these activities, immensely. According to GPS data I cover over 5 miles while center refereeing, and over 2 miles while being an assistant referee. Neither distance is anything to sneeze at. On a Saturday I will referee 2 to 4 matches. When possible I will play soccer anytime that I can find a pickup match to play in, usually with friends or co-workers, which usually ends up being 2 to 3 times per month. The point is, not enough to constitute a workout program.

I enjoy hiking a lot as well. Getting outside and getting away from people, cars, cellphones, and the rat race to enjoy nature. There is very little that is more enjoyable. A bike ride, another thing that is enjoyable, so long as it is on a bike trail away from traffic. Due to the amount of prep involved, the amount of time these activities take, and the amount of time spent commuting to and from work, work itself (a desk job), the amount of time spent on family activities (not complaining, but these activities take a lot of time), and  the less than 8 hours of sleep I get a night, finding time for a hike or a bike ride is not easy to do, much less a daily soccer game.

So why not go for a run? I enjoy soccer, and that is running, right? No! Running is putting one foot in front of the other until the pain sets in. Whether it is on the street, sidewalk or a treadmill, it just flat sucks. First it is boring as hell. Second my brain needs something to do, so it focuses on the pain, the discomfort and the absolute futility of the fact that I am just running for no other reason than to run. I will finish the time I set out for running, but I am miserably focused on the pain and discomfort the entire time. Conversely, when I am on the soccer field I can easily cover several miles without a second thought given to the pain that I am feeling. Later on that day after finishing several matches, I will feel the pain. But during the match I feel nothing because my mind is so steadfastly focused on the match. So running is torture, largely due to the fact that I just cannot run without being constantly focused on the futility of the pain I am putting myself through.

Yard work, small construction or household projects, or moving a friend is something that requires lifting, pulling, hoisting and other activities that are simulated by lifting weights. These are all things that I don't particularly enjoy, but that I can do for a day, or over an entire weekend if necessary. However, put me in a gym lifting weights and I am miserable. Once again I am fighting my brain. While lifting weights I focus, once again, on the idiocy of performing this act and the pain it causes. So I can do 200 reps of lifting a heavy item up the stairs, but getting through 3-5 sets of lifting a weight, is a herculean effort for me. It is literally a fight between what I know is good for me and the logical part of my brain that is pointing out the idiocy of what I am doing.

I hear about runners that have found a 'high' from running. I have never experienced this. I have felt the very mild euphoria after some activities, but it hardly outweighs the pain of the activity. Now with the activities I enjoy, the exercise is not the focus the focus is on the activity. Whether it is the game, or the scenery, that is what I am enjoying. The exercise level of activity is just means to an end, the end being the game or the scenery.

This has been the crux of my problem. If I had friends for a pick-up basketball game, I would enjoy the activity. Doing runs from baseline to baseline, not so much. Refereeing a soccer match, hell yes. A 5 mile run, hell no!

This is a fight that will wage within me for the rest of my life I presume. It's 9:30PM, I have to go torture myself on the treadmill.

Filed under: life, Rant No Comments
30Mar/110

Acknowledge Your Limits

There is nothing more frustrating than encountering someone who holds a job/title/position that is outside of their capabilities, and then doesn't acknowledge their limitations.

Listen, I get it, good for you, you are making the big bucks, or at least bigger bucks than you would be. But when you have to work with other people that are relying on you to be able to do your job, just come clean and tell them that you are struggling or that you don't know how to handle the situation.

By shrouding the fact that you are limited, you are doing 3 things

  • You are making everyone's job harder
  • You are losing credibility with the people you are working with
  • You are missing out on an excellent opportunity to learn

That last one is really the key point isn't it. No one is going to bother to teach you the stuff you need to learn if you never acknowledge the fact that you need help. In most cases it is simply a case of saying "Hey I am a little confused on what I should be doing here, it's a litle outside my expertise. Can you help me with it?"

 

Filed under: life, Rant, work No Comments