Thursday, August 17, 2017

Life is too short not too kayak

This weekend my wife and I are going kayaking.  There is a peace and tranquility in paddling around.
We go places that are big enough that you can always find a quiet spot, even though kayaking seems to be more popular than eating. And in the end that is what it is all about, escape. A chance to be in the middle of something and nowhere at all.

It is those times when you feel isolated, solitude, floating, drifting, that you see the truth. Even when you don't recognize it somehow you know you've seen it. Right there, it was right there, and for a moment you knew.

It has been a couple of weeks of chaos. There are uncertain times, and the nation seems intent on self immolation. We have no sense of unity, and are drifting farther apart daily. The news brings more of the same. It is not a happy time to be American.

But, on the water there is comfort, there is peace. It is empty, and that is the way it should be. The funny thing it took me 58 years to figure that out. And it took my wife 59 years but we figured it out.

I guess what I am trying to say is forget the hate once in while. It will still be there tomorrow. Live for a minute in a shining bright belief that things will be alright. Maybe they will and maybe they won't but you can worry about it later. The water is calling, the paddles are ready and the weather is wonderful. If you find the peace on a bike, on a dock fishing, reading a book so be it. Just find it, we need it right now.

And as long as we have such a happy Grateful Dead thing going here is one of my favorites.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Non-Social Media

I found myself being reasonably jealous of a friend who deleted their Facebook profile a couple of weeks ago. I mean I can comprehend the reasons to, or to not have a Facebook page, but when someone actually cuts that cord, I can see the freedom on the other side of the decision, and in turn end up a bit jealous.

I've said a few thousand times that Facebook had become too much. Too much information, too much invasive behavior, too much laziness from the people you expect laziness out of. Don't log into Facebook for a few days? Facebook will find every way that it still has access to, to bug the crap out of you until you log back in. Get rid of phone notifications and it will invade your e-mail, get rid of that and somehow it will give you windows notifications. Buzz the Hell off already will you? Most of the notifications are wholly unimportant.

The latest insanity was all the people who will only have contact with you on the Facebook Messenger. I would install it, just to get the messages, uninstall it, because it is a cancer on your cell phone. Pops up at all times, covers your screen with those stupid chat heads. I seriously start wondering about the people that use it, and definitely wonder about those that only use it. What about your relatives that treat your Facebook wall like it is a private e-mail? UGH!

I longingly would look at the freedom of being able to just say "I don't do Facebook" but there was always something that made it impossible to leave. There are at least a dozen family members I would never hear from again. There are several old school mates that would simply disappear for another 20 years. There is that one or two people who actually will find you offline if they don't see a status update from you once in a while. There are the few people who flirt with you on there, and are the only thing that makes you feel a bit younger than **coughcoughfortysomethingcoughcough** and worse yet, those celebrities that you like to stalk keep up on ....

Exactly one week after I finally deleted my Facebook account, I found out that I was right all along. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Now I can spend time paying attention to the people that actually are in front of me. I just have to remember some of them don't like being poked.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Happiness r' us.

Look, life is filled with challenges. We understand, we know, we sympathize. And  you know we want nothing more than your happiness. Everybody is different, we get that. What makes one person happy is torture for another, we realize that. One man's fruit is another man's candy, we see that. There are a few universal truths, though, a few things that almost anybody would say, "you know, that makes me happy."

Finding a couple of dollars makes everybody happy. So, we took the liberty of salting your path home tonight with a liberal amount of money. Since we are a non-profit, brother, we wrote the book on not being profitable, we would be grateful if you half of the money to us. You will still have the joy of finding the cash, and get to keep half. Kind of makes you feel warm inside just thinking about it. If you don't find any money on the way home somebody must have taken your prize. Probably Bob, from accounting. But, if you eat his lunch tomorrow that will make things even, right?

Compliments make everybody feel better, and you look great. Are those new glasses, you sure look smart. Have you lost weight? That haircut is spectacular, I just can't believe anybody alive would still know how to cut hair in that fashion. And that new deodorant is so much better than the stuff you were using, we all noticed. And those, shoes, my God, I know people who would kill for those shoes. Now, hand them over!

Well, that is all the time we have today. Don't forget to tune in tomorrow for our episode on the importance of open, honest relationships at work, and how to avoid them. We will have a masterclass on assembling an impressive resume using the accomplishments of co-workers.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Don't Be An Online Bitch

Many years backs, there was a fad of using certain browsers, or ad bars in the hopes of getting paid to be online. You would get a certain percentage of every referral's browsing money too. It was a wonderful system where you could simply install the browser, nag all your friend to install it too, and just watch all the money roll in every month. Almost everyone online in the 90s fell for this one (myself included) and in the end, nobody actually made anything. The scam continued for a while until the Bill Clinton "Pets.Com" bullshit economy finally went belly up (for those of you who think you pay attention this was before Bush became president) and all of the online browsing pyramid schemes were able to just disappear, while people were concentrating on all the TYCO, ENRON collapses going on.

Now having lived through all that, I happen to be a bit jaded when it comes to online schemes. My friends at Google Adsense, manage to give me a hundred bucks or so a month for website and blog advertising, and it is stable, steady and most of all completely real. That doesn't stop everyone from trying to get those ad spaces with tales of grandeur and preposterous prosperity from coming along every now and then. The moment I take one of them seriously, I go from a "hobby" to a "job" and worse than just a "job" but a "job" that takes up a lot more time, for a lot less money than a lucrative career at Dunkin Donuts. The trick is to know what you do, and what your visitors are there for. I assure you, they aren't there to be sold anything, or given a dream of striking it rich. This is why I don't do anything on commission, or revenue sharing. Used car salesmen do that.

Now don't get fooled by the names attached to something either. Just because Google or Microsoft have placed their names on something doesn't mean that it is completely up and up either. Google has a rewards program I tried once, where you take surveys for Google Play credit. Sounds easy enough right? Yeah, they send you surveys that don't give you credit in hopes that you "might" get surveys for credit afterwards. After a few of these you "definitely might" get some that give you credit, and after a few of those you get ones that "most certainly might" give you credit. In other words you are being Google's bitch for a unicorn and a basket full of rainbows. You might as well register Democrat, for all the same benefits. Microsoft has a rewards program too which at least gives you a 5$ Dunkin Donuts gift card every 3 or 4 months for using their browser.

Do what you like, try what you want, but always ask yourself before it gets out of hand, "Am I being an online bitch?" The term is blunt and offensive, but it will hit you a lot harder than, "I wonder if I am being taken advantage of?" The answer to the latter is "Well of course not, I am not spending money!" (for the love of God don't spend any money btw) when the answer to the first one is "Damn, I am wasting time for a fantasy, and that makes me look like ... oh damn ...." If you are sitting in front of a computer convinced that you have nothing better to do remember something I learned years ago, someone does pay me for my time. My place of employment pays me a certain dollar value for every hour I am in there. If I am not doing something I enjoy and it doesn't give me some sort of benefit, then I should be at work, and getting paid. That is the value of my time, and I an't nobody's bitch.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Resilient War.

"They are coming." The scared child said. His eyes reflecting the fear of his past.

"It's okay if they'll come. We are ready.

It's okay if they'll come again. Don't be scared, my boy.
They'll throw stones to break our homes; but we'll stay together. And we will fight. We'll fight back to win.
Let them come.
We are prepared; for the worst to come-it can't ruin our lives more.
We have no thing to loose; but the world to win.
Don't be scared, children.Your fearful past will be your weapon.

That pain will ruin them now. They can't climb up our walls. They will find no ladder to this place, ever.
The Almighty is w/ us. The war is here and soon the dawn will be too. We'll win-sooner or later, but we'll."
said the Queen, with fire to burn the evils ahead and the warmth to fight and stand on the victory mountain.
She knew they'll win, despite of the oblations.

She knew they'll reach there, though in pieces but yeah, they'll reach and she knew it.

~Varia xoxo

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Beloved Acid Assailant. I Varia

You said you love me. But I didn't deserve your touch. I refused to. Your love was so strong that it burnt my face. My beauty could never please your nasty deeds.

I was your dream; but you thought me to be worthless for anything. A green piece of paper bought you my end, which is still sold open in those streets.

I cared, and this is how you rewarded me.
I was lying in the middle of the crosswalk-



covering my face 'cuz ik it was no more a thing to look at.

Somehow in the hospital, they saved me, but I lost my life.

I turned ugly for the world.
The flawless face that once walked proudly on the roads, is now hiding behind curtains.
Glancing on the mirror with the only eye I was left with, even the mirror yelled my pain.

But darling, you burnt my face, but somewhere my dreams were still breathing.
I still stand with the same courage, now even stronger, to face the world with my distorted face your love gifted me.
You thought that 15 acid bottle will ruin me; you were as wrong as your deeds; rather they built me fireproof.

And now I am ready; to fight and defeat you all.
You said am worthless, now you'll see that your 'worth' can't buy my death.
Just look 'round and see my dear, the girl on whom you threw acid is on the top of the world and you, hah! you're still between those nasty streets looking to greet your end.

 Karma's a bitch, baby,
and it stood so true when you saw me succeeding on the T.V. and the guilt surmounted your heart that your soul wanted to leave your nasty frame.

                           Now say,
                                      who won?!

Saluting the Brave Hearts ♥

~Varia xoxo

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This Time It Will Be Different

As a child you are taught the importance of the accurate measurement of time. The big hand, the little hand, the fast moving, long, skinny hand that they seemed reluctant  to explain, all described in detail. Time was everything, and if you didn’t believe that try showing up late for 1st grade class. Time was a measurement to provide the gauge of just how awful you were.

Time, it was said, was a constant, unchanging motion, or fixture, or state of decay, despite being absolutely distinct from any method used to measure its passage. Sixty seconds would always be one minute, and 3,600 of them are always an hour. And they didn’t want to answer a lot of questions about it. And they hated the really difficult questions; “why is this taking so long?”  “When will this be over?” Those were the kind of things that got you sent to the Principal’s office, where time took forever.

But, you never really understood time until you got a job. Once you are trading it for money things start to make sense. Once that “commodification” takes place then the true value of time becomes apparent.  “Love to come to your pre-sentence hearing, mom, but I have to work.” Time is money, you know?

Once you sit there counting down the days until vacation, or the weekend, the minutes, or seconds
until lunch, or quitting time (which is kind of mislabeled, it isn’t when you quit, I won’t make that mistake again) then you understand the measurement of time. Newton’s first law be damned. The last five minutes of a day can be an eternity. The last day before vacation is a black hole. Slowing time to the a crawl. And if you are lucky enough to make it to the last five minutes on the last day before vacation you might want to bring some extra lunch.

Really, it is no wonder people have been fascinated with time since a long, long time ago. It is the thing that gets us through the day. Watching the clock, counting down the seconds, cursing the dragging, crawling seconds, because you just know the minute hand never changes. Never!

And you wonder “what bastard invented the digital clock, anyway?” At least with an analog clock you see the destination. Five o clock, target acquired, assume attack formation. With a digital clock it is only the present, only just now, and as soon as it is gone there it is again. Damnit!

Really, they should teach you more about time in elementary school. When you are forced to pick it up on the streets the whole thing gets a little weird. But, it is time for me to go to work. See you next time. Have a good time, and last but certainly not least, the always appropriate Bob Dylan “And you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, cause the times, they are a changing’”