Monday, February 28, 2005

I Love You!!!...Maybe…Kinda…Well it Depends on…

Love… Sometimes it seems like just another four letter word or a slap in the face more then a life saving, world changing idea. It is such an over used word now days. Just in case you forget to tell someone all year, there is a holiday to remind you. I’ve seen people that say they love each other act like people that hate each other. I’ve seen people use each other in the name of love. I even know people that confuse the site of a beautiful person with love. So what is love?...

I am just 23 years old; I am no expert on what love is or how to love. I am maybe writing this more for input and reflection then anything else. I realize most people like the idea of love more then the act of love. It is a glorious and popular idea, just look how many streamlined love stories are found in chick flicks. Believe me people don't watch these movies for their plotlines. People watch these movies for how they make you feel. They are like emotional crack. The idea of love is highly addictive but an act of love seems rare.

Love is a funny thing, it is not fickle like approval, it is not based on you. It is ultimately based on the lover not the loved. If the lover truly loves you unconditionally, if they are hopelessly in love with you, it is like that song, “you can do no wrong”.

Real love is to love someone whether they love you or not. It is to love them the way they always needed to be loved. Real love sets aside the idea that you have rights in a relationship. No wonder it is so rare to see real love. I think everyone likes the idea of sacrifice a whole lot more then the act.

What can fill your life with purpose and life one week; can leave you feeling empty and lifeless the next. Why is that? Have we become users rather then lovers? Have we traded a passion filled, unselfish action for an idea?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Who Thinks This Stuff Up?

I was watching a commercial for a certain unnamed fast food restaurant and a Chicken Select Strip was talking to me. It was saying something about how great it was to be a Select Strip. Does anybody else feel like their intelligence is being insulted by some of the commercials out there? If you haven’t seen that one, all I have to say is, "Money Tree" as another example and you will know what I mean.

I went to a certain sub sandwich restaurant and got a medium drink. Then I got a lid, at least I tried to get a lid. Their medium lids don’t fit their medium cups. They are like 1 mm too small. They have them clearly labled and set up, easy to get to they just dont actually go on. So a cup company sold them cups and lids that don’t match… How does this happen?

Last of all, I called Tech support for a friend, to fix his cable internet. The guy on the line had a real thick accent and immediately tried to hose me.

Me: Yah Hi, my Cable doesn’t work there is a problem with the modem.

Tech: Have you registered the modem online…

Me: Uh... No, I can’t get online, that’s the problem.

Tech: Sir, If you register the modem online it will make the call go a lot faster.

Me: Yah, see that’s the problem... I can’t get online…

Tech: Sir, Please register the modem first and then call back.

Me: Ok, I don’t think you understand, if I could get online and register it I wouldn’t be talking to you.

Tech: Sir, I need you to call back…

Me: I am not going to call back, you register modem! You should be able to do it over the phone, I am not hanging up or calling back until this works!

After that we got somewhere. I don’t get it; I don’t get how they can’t get it. Does this just happen to me?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Imagine If Lawyers Knew About This…

Every year around the Super Bowl, some friends and I get together and play flag football. We use the words ‘Flag Football’ in the loosest way possible. Last year I broke my leg and another friend broke his collarbone. Those where the bigger injuries, there were a few minor ones as well. This year was a little different, I rolled my ankle real bad, two people needed stitches on their face, one person separated some ribs, and my roommate broke his wrist. This is Flag Football mind you, imagine if we had played tackle?

Despite the apparent risks involved in the game my friends continue to show up for the three hour beating every other week (We always have a healing week in between). Some of you will say this is stupidity, and your probably right. However, I know men that have as much haircare products as most women, I know men that get pedicures, I know men that don’t know how to put oil in their own car. Is it possible that maybe men are forgeting what it means to be a man? I think men need the chance to go out and act like men. Play some football and run into each other. Get a little beat up, go climb a mountain, God forbid… beat a guy up that is mistreating a lady. We need to do something to remind ourselves of who and what we are. It may be bad for your health to be a man, your wife may not understand why you care if you can throw a snowball farther then all the other guys, Lawyers may even try to sue you if you accidentally break somebody’s leg, but does that mean you should stop being a man? Once again, never in my life have I heard of someone on their deathbed bragging about never breaking a bone or taking a risk.

I am not encouraging violence, I am encouraging life, I am telling you to take risks and be courageous. You don't have to play football to be a man, the point is to not forget you are a man. Don’t accept what the world is giving you, it's boring… and you know it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Is There Life After The American Dream?

Have you ever overworked so you could go on vacation? How about this, ever wanted kids of your own to raise but now you find them being raised by others? If you could take a large cut in pay to do a job you loved, a job that mattered, would you do it?

In my Mission Statement I said the American Dream is a let down. It is the never-ending pursuit of more stuff, pursuing things we think will make us happy but don’t. Why is it so hard for us to buy a smaller house that doesn’t stress our budget? Is a 300 hp car really necessary? These are the things that make us a slave to our jobs. They keep us from our families and keep us from having real friendships. Remember when you were a kid and you told your friends everything? What happened to real friends? Most people I know have no time for real friends, or they won’t take the risk.

"He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
Jim Elliot. Shadow of the Almighty

This quote is an inspiration to me. Simplicity seems like it could be such a huge step toward a meaningful life. I am not saying to sell everything you own. I am saying give up the things that you cannot keep, the things that really don’t matter for the things you can't loose. Give up money for friendships, fast cars and big houses for time home from work. It has to be worth it; I am convinced that it must be. We are always trying to ‘get ahead’ but once we do, we find ourselves behind again. We have to stop getting ahead and start living.

I want you to know I am not just writing this stuff. I believe this stuff. See I am the person mentioned above with the 300 hp car. I have a 2005 Subaru WRX STi, it is a $40,000 car and can do 0 – 60 in 4.6 sec stock. I bought it a year ago and am now trying to get ride of it. I want to get my bills down to a manageable level so I can work at a job that means something to me even if they cannot pay me as much as my current job. To live life with risks you have to sacrifice some things that you love. I would rather sacrifice my car and my important job then sacrifice my friends and family and ultimately my life. After all, who on their deathbed wishes they could have spent more time at work?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Pills For Everyone!

"America is the country where you buy a lifetime supply of aspirin for one dollar, and use it up in two weeks."

-John Barrymore (1882-1942), American actor

Stop the insanity!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Have You Done This Checklist?

It is a simple question yet has a difficult answer, it is your life. Why are you doing what you're doing? Is it because you love it? Is it because it pays the bills? Is it because society has told you it is the next thing to do? The simple decisions we make ultimately become our life. Wouldn't it be a good idea to stop every once in a while and try to figure out why you are doing what you're doing.

I know so many college students that if you ask them why they are going to school they say they don't know. They're just going because it was the next thing on the checklist. The checklist of life, go to school, go to college, get a good job, get married, have kids, survive, retire and then die. There is nothing wrong with the checklist, but the checklist is not life. Just because you made it from step 2 to step 3 doesn't mean you are living. I feel so bad for the college students that commit there life to making it through school and working and sacrificing and when they get out they think they are going to have life. Life is now... Not when you get out of school, not when you get married. The choices you make now determine the life you will live. If you don't determine to live in the moment, if there is not purpose and life in what you are doing now, what makes you think there will be later?

Vision, it is so hard to find now days. Someone that has vision for their life. Someone that wants to serve a purpose bigger then themselves. Someone that is not content with the checklist. I know that I'm being idealistic but who wants to be the statues quo? To live a life of vision is to live the great adventure. To take risks, the risk of real relationships and friendships, the risk of doing your own thing rather then follow the footsteps of your family, the risk of committing your life to something greater then yourself. These risks are necessary, they don't always work out, that is why they are called risks. Sometimes your friends will hurt you, sometimes you die when you fight for something greater then yourself, but those that do are always remembered as heroes, people who truly lived, people who truly believed in what they were doing. What are you living for?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Cure For The Common Blogspot Awards

I hope this posting is appreciated, it took a vast (and by vast I mean lots of clicking the next button) amount of research. I’m new to the blogging world so I thought I would take a look at what is out there.

After reading far too many blogs (and yes I leave comments) I have realized that the blogging community is missing a few things. More specifically, they are missing awards for the truly different blogs. You know the ones that stand out. I understand there are tons of ‘Best of Blog’ awards but we are missing awards for the blogs that scream, “Look at Me I’m Different’ (Different does not always mean good… just different)

In order to remedy this grave injustice I have initiated the first ever Cure for the Common Blogspot Awards. There are currently only five categories and a few nominations but the comments section will be open for further nominations and categories based on the approval of the Cure (This is not a Democracy). So without further ado I present to you the belated Cure for the Common Blogspot Awards of 2004, categories and nominations.

Blogs I Don’t Get Award
1. Multiple Languages, Gas Masks, and Guitars… You won’t forget it! Pimme.
2. Would you call yourself a ‘She weevil’? She Weevil.
3. A Crazy Wife, a Cow… Is this a Gateway Commercial? I Have a Crazy Wife.

Blogs That Scare Me Award
1. She says it is Ok because it is Art? Something About Noodles.
2. The name says it all… Bitchalicious.
3. Perfect blend of crazy… then why am I so scared? Perfect Blend of Crazy.

Craziest Title Picture Award
1. Did a steak ever look so unappetizing? Daves Big Beef.
2. Mom Says Dad taught him that… Jersey Humor.
3. With a picture like that you have to get nominated for more then one award Perfect Blend of Crazy.

Most Unnecessary Blog Award
1. Reality TV should never actually make it to reality… The Apprentice Boardroom.
2. Why, all I can say is Why? They're just donuts! Dunkin Doughnuts.

Most Out of Date Blog award
1. Our country is at war…they got that right…just a little behind the times CW Chronicles.

Disclaimer: Please remember this is all in good fun. If you have any nominations or catagories of your own please leave a comment. If there is one you would vote for let me know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

If You Think You’re Smart Don’t Read This

Why do smart people talk like Harvard educated robots? Ok, so not all smart people, not even the majority, but some people do. They have their own words, sometimes I even think language. It always seems like they are just saying these words to prove their intelligence. If they’re so smart, why do they need to prove anything to us dumb people?
I had this guy (computer guy) ask me what my Telnet was today. I was like, Telnet? Come on! Who says Telnet? It’s called a phone number. Telnet… Phone Number... it really isn’t that much harder to say. If you’re a regular person, it's ‘Phone Number’ if you’re 14 and in school covered with zits and hitting on a girl, it's ‘Digits’. I want to know who really thought it was necessary to come up with another term so computer geeks could sound geekier… (Geekier? I’m not sure that's a word).

You will notice a lot of this wordiness/self-promotion happening at staff meeting when the boss asks ‘What are you guys working on this week?’ Sure enough some guy stands up and says ‘Well I have been working on the latest drops of the Firmware and Software to make sure they can cohabitate and compile correctly, and by that, I mean I have been conducting various studies and comparisons and historical observations of our Developers and Engineers as they strive for unprecedented excellence in the latest deadlines and goals.’ He then sits down and everyone claps but nobody knows why. See, if you paid attention, you realize he just told you he did nothing all week but watch others work.

Last note… I went to Fast Food today (I know, I know… it’s really bad, like eating asbestos or something, but I'm a starving Bachelor). The lady at the counter, in her best monotone robot voice, says, “will that complete your purchase?” Lady, I’m not buying stock, I’m buying a Western Bacon Cheese Burger. It was like when you call Tech support and sit on hold for an hour and then realize the hold recording is actually a person trying to talk to you. I have a dream… lets all stop trying to sound so automated.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Fastest Sub Maker in the Known World - A Tribute to Hurricane Sally

Hurricane Sally can make a sub sandwich faster then you can say pickles, mayonnaise, and hold the mustard. I don’t know how this is possible since she has to actually hear what you want, to make the sandwich. Yes, she defiantly has skills… that is, if making a disaster of a sandwich faster than anyone is a skill. I always cringe when I get her. Like the time I ordered a BLT and had no B, that is bacon, or the time I ordered a toasted sub and she forgot it in the toaster. Everyone else cuts the bread, but no, Sally rips the bread. If you’re on a diet don’t worry, if you ask for mayo you get a dot. If you ask for extra mayo you get two dots and a rushed dirty look. She is really stingy with the olives… she gives you 7, but then when she is wrapping the sub 4 always fall out. Even wrapping doesn’t quite work out. Have you ever noticed that no matter how you unwrap a sub it always ends up upside-down? Maybe it’s just Sally. The amazing thing about Sally is she has one speed and one speed only Too FAST! Even if there is nobody in line she is buzzing. I know I am complaining but it is hard when you unwrap your sub sandwich and it resembles scrambled eggs more than a sandwich. I know what you're thinking… why don’t I complain to the manager. I honestly don’t have the heart. See Sally is probably 50 years old, on caffeine pills and 6 shots of Starbucks blast off blend. I heard a rumor she just got her Pacemaker replaced… I’m not joking, maybe they should turn that thing down…

My Mission Statement says the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing expecting different results. I have accepted Sally is not going to change and I thought to avoid insanity I would write a tribute to a truly fast sandwich maker. So this is to you Sally… May your days be filled with speediness and may you get into the Guinness Book of World Records. Cheers.

Monday, February 14, 2005

A Very (Valentines) Bad Advice Column

Valentines Day...

The day everyone tries to tell me to "enjoy it while you’re single". Trouble is they didn't enjoy it when they were single.

That is the trouble with advice. Everyone knows lots of it except when they needed it.

Here is some absolutely unqualified advice for all you lovers since I have nothing better to do.

If you are just now realizing today is Valentines Day then go for Spontaneous. Some girls have not yet realized that Spontaneous is just a code word for ‘I didn’t plan anything special’.

If you have been planning for a while please, Please, do something romantic and unexpected, If you are lucky enough to have a girl, knock her socks off!, surprise her, skip the chocolate and roses and do something creative (ok, maybe not the chocolate).

Last piece of advice… If you are a girl and you’re reading this and your guy decides to do something Spontaneous… Give Him a break, and don't tell him I rat-ed him out.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Step Away From the Computer

Have you ever done something so stupid you almost thought you could feel your brain shrinking? There are times in all of our lives where we need to realize we are not going to 'make the team' and just toss in the towel.

A lady called tech support for help with her printer. The Technician had to gather some basic info about her PC and told her to Right click on 'My Computer'. This took an ungodly amount of time, finally a simple click and they continue. He then tells her to click on 'properties'. Once again it takes a few minutes. By now our tech has figured out that something is drastically wrong.

Tech: Um... I noticed you are having problems with your mouse...

Lady: Yah, they're real hard to use when they are on the floor like that...

Tech: On the floor? Why is it on the floor?

Lady: Aren't you supposed to use it like a sewing peddle?...

Needless to say it was a long call and a genuine encounter with a Technotard.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Technotard – A sub par thinker with no grasp of modern technology

I have decided to create my own term or classification; I am going to call it Technotard. You know, they are those unfortunate souls that have all the Techy sense in the world yet not the brain to apply it.

If you are reading this and you are a Technotard rest assured we are not trying to make fun of you… we are… um… well… trying to help you. Yes, that’s it. See we are not saying you are retarded or dumb we are saying you simply are application deficient.

For all you non-Technotards… you know exactly what I am talking about.

Experiences with Technotards to follow shortly…

If You Think You're a Good Person Don't Read This (Random Thoughts on Ethics and Morals) Part I

Why is everyone so obsessed with being a good person? Let me explain, I was helping a friend with her ethics homework on a discussion board. Everyone on the board is talking about what is ethical and what is not, like they actually know. The majority of these people, if you talk to them, hold out that they are a ‘good person’(Surprise!). Good based on what? For once, I want to meet someone that knows they are a bad person but wants to change. Whenever I ask people why they are a good person they never seem to know. ‘Well I am a moral person’ they will say or like the little kid I talked to the other day, ‘I don’t hit’. Since everyone seems to think they are a good ethical and moral person I decided I would do some research to find out why… How can a person do whatever they want to do and still say the are a good person?

More to follow...

If You Think Your'e a Good Person Don't Read This Part II

Morality and Ethics seem to be utopian ideas for a non-utopian world. To decide whether someone acted ethically is ultimately to decide what is right and what is wrong. Ethics is the philosophical study of moral values and rules. To have moral values one must have right or good conduct. To be moral one must choose right over wrong despite environmental pressures. There are several dilemmas in the fight for an ethical and moral world. One dilemma would be the ability to distinguish right from wrong in all instances another would be the ability to do what is known to be right in all instances.

Aristotle pondered the first dilemma in length. He said in order to be ethical one must have virtue. In his writings on the nature of virtue, he concluded that virtues are found in a balanced response to ones environment. He decided it was a fight between excess and deficiency and that somwhere in the mean was virtue. However, it is not as easy as just a balanced response. Aristotle used the example of an athelets diet, two pounds of food is to little while ten is to much. Six pounds of food would be the mean yet could still be to much. How is humanity to decifer the mean correctly in all instances? How are we to decide what is right and what is wrong, correctly? What happens when we do not agree?

The second dilemma, doing what is known to be right, has been debated as well. Socrates believed that knowing what was right would result in doing what is right. Aristotle acknowledged the weekness of the will and concluded that one could act against knowledge of what is right. I would submit that people act according to reward. If they see a greater reward in one action as oppossed to another they will do it. Take a smoker that wants to quit as an example. He may want to quit yet still choose to smoke. The reward of a temporary nicotine fix is enough to persuade him to abandone what he thinks is good. We are all motivated by reward so the issues of morality and ethics ultimatly come down to desire.

Desire, what can be done about desire? It can be accussed of starting every war yet complimented for every romance. Many think the absence of desire would create a perfect world while others claim the absence of desire would create an absence of life in its truest sense. Moral education is our answer to the “problem” of desire. Moral education tries to teach people rightly-ordered desires or to desire what is actually good for them. Aristotle agreed with the modern world that the State should set up a form of moral education. The State, the government, our laws, are supposed to teach rightly- ordered desires, to teach us what is actually good for us.

The State is obvioulsy faced with a crucial task. They are to decide right from wrong. They are to define the highest standards of morality and display unsurpassed ethics. This would be hard for a good person to do yet many people debate whether or not politicians should be held to the same ethics as the public. Many people would say that a politicians private life (extramarital affairs, drug use, spouse abuse, lieing) has no bearing on his political life. I would have to conclude that politicians should be held to an even higher standard due to their high calling and far reaching influence, whether that be through passed laws or conduct. Despite the standard we hold politicians to I would submit that they will all fail to be perfectly moral and ethical at all times. I would also submit that collectivly even with the current checks and balances they will all fail to teach and exemplify perfect moral education. One mistake will be built on by further mistakes and ultimatly you can have a country fall, by underminning its moral values. To see this you need to look no further then History. Rome the most powerful nation in the world, at the time, fell due to this and so did WWI and WWII era Germany. So what must be done? What can be done to get people to do what is ultimatly best for them? How can human desires be brought into subjection?

In a utopian world everyone would have right desires. Therefore, everyone would have right morals and right ethics. Yet we find the world around us far from perfect. What is right and what is wrong is changed on a daily basis. How can we be moral if it is left to mere men to decide what is right and what is wrong, more importantly what is to be desired. The Founding Fathers recognized this problem at the formation of our country. They addressed it by accepting a creator who decide right from wrong and instilled in us unalienable rights. The Pledge of Allegiance echos this thought where it states that we are “one nation under God”.Their answer was that we are a nation subject to God, he defines what is right and wrong. He has the ability to change our desires. This idea along with other religious answers have been widley rejected.

I am left with my original thought but with a scary twist, Morality and Ethics seem to be utopian ideas for a non-utopian world. If no one else can truly define right and wrong or rightly-ordered desires then I am left to define them myself. If this argument is true, then I can do ethically and morally whatever my heart desires.

No wonder everyone thinks they are a good person...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Someone Else Named Churchill Fighting For What He Believes

The name Churchill hasn’t been seen in newspapers this much since WWII. Prof. Ward Churchill is creating quite a stir in the media. I read his essay, his defense of his essay and his speech. It is amazing to see how much I can both disagree and agree with someone.

I strongly agree with his right to say what he said. In fact, I think he is a minor hero of mine for not backing down when they cancelled his speech. Filing a lawsuit to be able to say your opinion takes dedication and guts. You can tell he has a lot of conviction in what he is saying. The fact that a person no matter what he believes will stand against opposition, in this case a lot of opposition, and do what he believes seems to be rare now days. I think this is exactly the kind of thing America believes in and was founded on and that anybody trying to undermine his right to say this is a fool and merely practices circumstantial or convenient Americanism.

On the subject of his content, I agree with some but not most of what he has to say. It is hard to accept the writings of someone that claims we will be judged for all the deaths of the wars that America has been involved in. There has to be a time when killing is not undermining the moral fiber of our country, but instead actually living out our morals. It is a far stretch to condemn the killing of Germans and Japanese in WWI and WWII.

I agree with him that we were in a war long before 9/11 and that we have been very fortunate thus far. I reserve judgment on whether invading Iraq was the act of a 'warmonger' apparently obsessed with ‘killing the children’. I do not deny there has been a lot of death… but you cannot judge an event until you know the eventual outcome. My hope and belief is that the war in Iraq will bring them freedom from oppression (yes, they were oppressed) and that in the long run lives will have been saved and the quality of life improved. I am no professor and this is not a utopian world but I believe progress is possible.

'Tech Support' Such a Lofty Name for What You Get

I had to call tech support about my Netgear wireless router that died, needless to say it was a nightmare. I wanted to offer some Insider Tech Support Tips for the ‘Dazed and Confused’. C’mon you know who you are. The poor souls that call Tech support actually expecting some help, yet are left feeling dazed and confused asking yourself questions like, “What did he say or how does that help me?” or “Did he say please hold or please hang up?”

See, I was once a sinner and worked for Tech Support. There are a few things every caller (victim) needs to know. First, the ‘Technician’ you’re talking to was in high school last week, flunked his Computer class the week before, and will probably flunk his urine test next week. You want to hate him but it’s not his fault because he is only doing what he was trained to do. Training consists of two major points. You must keep your call time down and know how to say, “We Don’t Support That”. As long as you know these two things you are bound for upper level management in cubicle land. Last of all every victim must know how to recognize a ‘Hoser’. This is an abbreviated tech support term for a ‘Hose and closer’. You can’t blame these people either; they have no soul and therefore can’t be held responsible for their crimes against humanity. They believe their job is to get you off their phone in .0013 seconds. They have no intention of helping you. They can easily be recognized by the way they blend their greeting into one long unintelligible word or immediately after the greeting before you even talk they tell you that your product is not supported. If you get a ‘Hoser’ just hang up and call back until you get someone you can understand. It sounds crazy but even if you have to do this 6 times to get a real Technician you will walk away a happier saner person. If all else fails just keep asking for managers until they give you something cool for free.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Mission Statement

The American Dream is a let down! A Leave it to Beaver Childhood, a College education, a Career, A wife that resents you for working to much, 2 1\2 children that you hardly know, nice friends you don’t know, and a nice house full of toys… just what I always wanted! Or is it?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t claim to know all (or any) of the answers. The point of this blog is simply to help facilitate the search. I want to know the cure for the common life. The mission, the goal of this is to simply explore the things we buy into that cause us to live the common life. This may sound like a lame attempt at inspiration. That is not what I am going for. I simply want to explore the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and yes even political things we as people do that don’t work. The definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. If your life is common and you want it to change…Well… maybe do something different.