VUILLARD

[SOC]

It is always scary to begin writing something when you don't really know what the fuck you are going to write about. These SOC posts are the scariest things I put out here at the C-blog as I write whatever comes into my head at that moment. The irony is that this unplanned writing is often the best shit I do. I don't know why, but inspiration always seems to find me while I am working. I think best while in motion. I don't like contemplation. I like action.

So, there is this new coffee maker that coffee elitists like to use. It is called a Chemex. Basically, it is a modified beaker, and you can tell it was created by a chemist down to the filters the thing uses. It looks like this:


Basically, it is the same thing as a Mister Coffee drip coffeemaker. The difference is that it is more deliberate and less convenient. Will it make a better tasting cup of coffee? I think it will. This is because the water spends more time in the grounds and can soak up more of the flavor. There is also no burner under the pot to scorch the final product.

I am a blue collar coffee drinker, so I will probably keep using the cheap shit from Walmart run through my Mister Coffee for my morning coffee. It doesn't have to taste good. It just has to work. I save the coffee elitism for evening coffee.

I think the best coffee in terms of flavor comes from a French press. The problem with the press method is that you have to use a coarse grind to keep the grounds behind the mesh. Even then, you are going to get some grit in your teeth. My answer to this problem is to use fine ground coffee in the press and use a Mister Coffee filter on the coffee that comes out of the press. You get the best of both worlds. The French press allows the boiling water to become thoroughly infused with coffee goodness. The filter removes the stray particles. Somewhere, some engineering type will make a coffee machine that combines these two approaches.

My favorite coffee comes from a moka pot. I've tried a lot of different brands and methods, but I come back to Bustelo and the moka. The only drawback is the inconvenience. You can't make a lot of coffee without additional pots. But the final product is nothing short of stimulating. It is strong coffee that will knock you into the floor.

I try not to get into food and drink elitism because it can quickly make a fool of you. This was demonstrated recently when a wine from New Jersey won top prize at a tasting. A few years ago, Old Milwaukee won for best tasting beer. We can go on and on with this shit. Penn and Teller famously fooled a bunch of foodies with food prepared by a guy in a wifebeater T-shirt armed only with a blow torch, a toaster oven, and food purchased from a convenience store.

Epicurus said that pleasure knows no increase only variety. I keep this in mind when it comes to things that I eat or drink. For instance, I can't tell you if Dunkin' Donuts or Krispy Kreme have better donuts. I like Dunkin's old fashioned donuts, but I would rather have Krispy's lemon glazed. They are simply different, and I like the variety. As for the coffee, I prefer Dunkin to KK, but I will drink both. There really isn't a coffee I won't drink.

The irony of all this good taste is that I find that the cheap and the simple are pretty damn good. The things we eat and drink come with a great deal of hype, marketing, and social importance. In the end, very little of it really matters. I look for quality which tends to be normative. Taste is relative.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE

Obama going to bat for Holder is mighty white of the guy. He is sticking his neck out for a loyal subordinate. Please. . .

The press can't tell the story until they have the story, but I can tell the story. Uncle O wanted to push an assault weapons ban, so he personally approved Fast and Furious. Everyone has been trying to protect his ass after it blew the fuck up. Now, the cover up is unraveling. Obama will try, but someone is going to leak the truth on this shit. It is just a matter of time. And it is all just in time for the November elections.

With a weak economy and his own Watergate, Obama is done. He can't win. There will be magic underwear in the White House.

2. ASSANGE ASYLUM

Julian books it to the Ecuadorian embassy. Amazing turn in the story. Meanwhile, the guy has yet to be charged with a crime. And why does Ecuador care? Because they get to jam a thumb in the eye of America. Assange is that thumb.

Eventually, they will get Assange. Julian clearly doesn't care to be a martyr, but he will see the inside of a US courtroom. As it stands, he is a prisoner in an embassy building. Things are going to get worse for Julian. His freedom is virtually gone except the one freedom he needs--internet access. The cat-and-mouse game will continue.

3. RAND PAUL

Rand Paul has been taking a giant shit on the Ron Paul Revolution. Rand is not Ron. If anyone doubted this, Rand's endorsement of Romney should have made that clear. The result is an existential crisis for the Ron Paul folks. Where do things go from here?

There are two strategies in conflict here. These two strategies are Principle vs. Pragmatism. Ron Paul follows the principle strategy. Rand Paul follows the pragmatic strategy. Which way is best?

On the pragmatic side, Milton Friedman exerted a huge influence that led to things like ending the draft and deregulation. On the principled side, Ron Paul has done more for the liberty movement than almost anyone before him by sticking to principle. We can make arguments on both sides. But I tend to side with principle. Here's why.

If you believe change is made in the government, you are going to favor pragmatism. You will be willing to trade and cut deals. You will want access and input. But if you believe that change is made in the hearts and minds of the people, you are going to favor principle. I believe true and lasting change is made in the hearts and minds of the people. Ron Paul merely used the pulpit of elected office and presidential debates to push his message.

I think Rand made a huge mistake in endorsing Romney. This is because pragmatism doesn't work in the long run. When Romney fucks us as hard as Obama did, the stench will stick to whoever was with him. This will be Rand Paul. That shit stain won't come out.

4. ODDS AND ENDS

--Google+ is a ghost town. Facebook wins.

--Never cast pearls before swine.

--Fuck Lebron James. Count me as a hater. Another reason to tune out the NBA.

--I am not voting. It only fosters the delusion that your actions really matter.

[SOC]

I notice that all my SOC posts start out with some cry about the need for my coffee. Coffee looms large in my thoughts when I haven't had any. Right now, I have had zero coffee. This is the C-man in the uncaffeinated state. Not pretty, is it? Fuck you. Oh, I'm sorry. That was rude of me. Fuck you again. FUCK. I need some motherfucking coffee. I will be nicer after the java. I promise. Off to the Mister Coffee for some java bean goodness.

Coffee is brewing now. It takes time to make that shit. I have no energy. My brain is not in the optimal state. It needs its stimulant. I will proceed with the SOC as much as I can as I try and exist without caffeine. Fuck fuck fuck.

I don't write about the one thing that is always on my mind because I prefer to keep this one thing to myself. I am selfish like that, but I feel that it is for the best. I am not alone anymore, and that is a good thing.

I recently received an email where the person expressed thanks for something I had written. Apparently, this person was having problems with family members, and I basically gave some liberation with my post about why your family is fucked up. The gist of my advice is that if your family makes you miserable and does bad things to you that you should disassociate yourself from them. This brings up the whole topic of forgiveness. It is something I have thought about considerably.

There is no love without forgiveness. This is because when you love someone you are going to have to overlook things about that person that may bother you. People make mistakes, and they are clumsy sometimes. They say the wrong things that offend you, or they have certain habits that annoy you. I call these things "misdemeanors." You should never end things over misdemeanors. This is petty and stupid.

Felonies are much more serious. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in personal relationships is intent. For instance, if your significant other accidentally dings the paint job on your car, this is way different than if that same SO took a screwdriver and gouged a gigantic scratch in the paint. One is accidental. The other is on purpose. We always forgive misdemeanors. Felonies are another matter.

You can't just let felonies go. Sweeping shit like that under the rug is not going to improve things. Instead, it just encourages more felonious behavior. Ultimately, you end up with what you put up with. Right now, if it is discovered that Bill Clinton had another extramarital affair, I am not going to feel sorry for Hillary Clinton.

I don't think you are obligated to forgive felonies. People who go out of their way to hurt you or destroy you are way fucked up. It would take one long redemptive path to ever overcome some of the things people do to others. Adultery is one of those things. This is why I am not too sympathetic to adulterers. Adultery is where you take a person's love for you and wipe your ass with it. I find that the people who commit adultery tend to be narcissistic, vain, and without conscience.

You can't paper over a felony. Felonies grow and fester like a putrefying sore. For instance, I don't see Bill being beloved by the Rodham clan. I might be wrong, but if you do a woman wrong, you shouldn't expect to be loved by her people.

But there is another class of actions that defy the misdemeanor/felony thing. This has to do with repeated behaviors. To go back to the car analogy, this would be the significant other that repeatedly dings your paint job. It is unintentional but habitual. This is where estrangement comes from. No one time act is enough to destroy a relationship. It is the accumulation of repeated events either misdemeanor or felony that result in a permanent break. As a friend of mine put it to me recently, "I wasn't mad at that person, and I am not mad now. But you can't keep putting up with it either."

Habits are what make or break you in this regard. For instance, a person who is a hoarder living with a person who isn't a hoarder will eventually lose that relationship. The same thing applies to a drinker, a lazy person, a belligerent asshole, and the like. This is why people who cut it off with someone seem petty like an episode of Seinfeld, but people don't see the habitual behaviors that led up to the break. For instance, the wife that leaves the husband after he glances at the delicious ass of some shapely female might seem petty, but we don't see the stacks of porn on his computer or his roving eye that is going 24/7. On the Polaroid basis, she is just a petty bitch. On the weighing scale basis, she has been very forbearing.

This comes to an important issue which is the judgment of other people. I know. Judge not lest ye be judged. The reality is that we all judge one another. We have to. The main thing isn't that we judge, but that we are consistent and fair in our judgments. For me, I do not judge people based on singular events. I weigh people over the course of time. Good people prefer this weighing approach. Bad people despise it. Bad people want Polaroids.

Polaroids can make anyone look good or bad. It all depends on timing and framing. This is why when you break with someone they pull out their Polaroids and keep the good ones while discarding the bad ones. Suddenly, they look awesome while you look like a piece of shit. The collective weight of years is ignored and forgotten. This is what we know as shallowness. Bad people are shallow. It is their nature. They are oblivious to all of it. They only see the edited collection of Polaroids.

The biggest trick I see from these people is the Selective Memory. Everyone has a bias when it comes to remembering things where we always look like the hero while everyone else resembles villains. I know I have this bias which is why I compensate with huge doses of self-deprecation. I would rather people think worse of me, so I can surprise them later rather than have them think well of me only to have me disappoint them later. But I digress. . .

Selective Memory types can never remember their bad actions, but they can always remember yours. They also tend to be whiny and claim persecution. "Everyone is out to get me. You just want to see me fail. Blah blah blah." This gets old very quickly. The best thing you can do in this situation is agree with the narcissist and let them be. Stop talking to them. This might make you feel some guilt, but it shouldn't. This is because the narcissist doesn't care about you. They can't. They don't have this ability. This is what makes them narcissists.

Families tend to be collections of narcissists and altruists. The Kennedy clan is a prime example of this as the menfolk tend to be narcissistic types who marry doormats they can step all over. I see this thing in a lot of families. As a former altruist and doormat, I can tell you that being a doormat to a narcissist is pure misery.

I don't believe in being either an altruist or a narcissist. This is a thing I picked up originally from Camus and expanded through Ayn Rand and libertarian writers. This is how I pull off the trick of being both a gun nut and an antiwar type. I don't want to be a master or a slave. Or as Camus put it, "Neither victims nor executioners."

When it comes to family, you don't want to be the asshole, but you don't want to be the doormat either. You teach people how you want to be treated. Ironically, it isn't the narcissists but the altruists who turn on you. This is how you find yourself disowned for refusing to be a doormat. This would be the dutiful wife who finds herself despised by her family for refusing to overlook her husband's infidelities. Yes, it gets that fucked up. Families are weird like that.

For me, the measuring stick is a simple one. Ask yourself this question. If this person was not related to me, would I be friends with them? On the friendship basis, few of our relations would pass the test. This is because family members are inherently shitty to one another. Knowing someone will put up with your shit has a way of making you shit on them. The liberation I give to people is to show them that they don't have to put up with that shit. You are better off alone than being with people who treat you badly.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. FAUX FASHION

I just got done reading an article about NBA players who wear glasses with either clear glass or no glass as a fashion statement. They have no vision problems. They just wear them for the look. This is fucking stupid.

I have the same reaction when I go by Abercrombie & Fitch or American Eagle and see jeans that are already torn and worn out on sale. We live in a time of fake worn jeans and fake eyeglasses. What the fuck?! Why are things like this?

I talk a lot about authenticity, and it is clear that the younger generation wants it. Unfortunately, authenticity is not something you can buy. We live in a time of fake college degrees, fake fashion, fake heroes, and fake money. There was once a Gilded Age. We now have the Faux Age.

2. WAFFLE HOUSE VS. HUDDLE HOUSE

I've been eating at both lately both alone and in company. Naturally, this has sparked a debate. Which is better--Huddle House or Waffle House? Normally, this would be a close tie, but I can declare a hands down winner. Huddle House beats the Waffle House.

I am a longtime fan of the Waffle House, and I will probably continue eating there. But it is primarily a breakfast place. The Huddle House also has breakfast, but it has a much more expanded dinner menu than the Waffle House. The Huddle House also has french fries which the Waffle House does not have. Finally, the Huddle House has way better waffles than the Waffle House which is a crying shame.

Others may disagree with me since this is a matter of taste. If you agree or disagree, please leave a comment.  I don't think this debate is settled, but I can say that HH has moved up a bit in my diner hierarchy.

3. ODDS AND ENDS

--NYC elected that busybody mayor. They can unelect him and should.

--Obama's backdoor amnesty is the right move for the wrong reasons. In a non-election year, he wouldn't have bothered. Somewhere, some campaign advisor did the math and decided to split the Hispanic vote.

--I still hold out hope that Lindsay Lohan will OD and remove herself from the gossip pages.

--Stick a fork in the EU. They are done.

--Nokia and RIM need to make Android smartphones or else go bankrupt. The market has spoken, and the customer is always right.

--One way or another, Lance Armstrong is going down.

Q & A

Q: What about Sweden?


A: When discussing government and how fucked up it is, I usually hear this refrain. What about Sweden? Isn't Sweden a socialist country? Doesn't socialism work there?

This article answers the question way better than I can. Essentially, Sweden is labeled a socialist country when it isn't. But they do offer welfare and socialized medicine. This video from Reason discusses that as well:




Sweden is not as rosy as you think on the socialist side of the equation. But there is one telling fact that sticks in my brain. It is the fact that most of the welfare is returned to the middle class who pays for it. This doesn't make it optimal or ideal, but it is like getting back your stolen wallet with a little bit of cash removed. One of the hallmarks of socialism is a redistribution of wealth, but this redistribution is not the case in Sweden.

Sweden is the national equivalent of Magic Johnson. Magic has HIV, but he has lived a healthy long life in spite of the diagnosis. Does this mean that getting HIV is a good idea? Fuck no. Likewise, Sweden has prospered in spite of socialist fucktards doing their best to fuck up a good thing in Sweden with some success in their tomfuckery. None of this recommends a socialist or mixed economy model for us to emulate.

[SOC]

I am intimately acquainted with sleep deprivation. Even as I write this, I am feeling the effects of another weekend adventure involving a long drive to the Washington, DC area. Why do I do this to myself? The answer to that one is simple. There are not enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to get done. My reach exceeds my grasp. Will I ever stop this? Not likely.

I have been looking over the past to see my battles with the sleep demons. I think my first encounter with them came when I was a kid and wanting to stay up to watch some movie or television show. My mom would put a stop to that. So, I would read in the bed with the lights out. I used a flashlight a couple of times, but I found that I was less likely to get caught if I let my eyes adjust to the darkness and use the ambient light that came from the living room as my folks watched TV. I could read until they went to bed. Then, it was safe to pull out the flashlight.

I would pay a price for my nocturnal reading the next day as I trudged through my school day in a zombie state of sleep deprivation. I thought this was a bad thing, but I see now that it was preparation for the rest of my life. The world belongs to those who burn the candle at both ends. Whether it is an entrepreneur working the equivalent of three jobs or a computer programmer coding all night fueled with Red Bull and Snicker’s bars, going without sleep is a regular feature of life for people who are trying to get shit done.

For me, college was the ultimate experiment in sleep demon battle. I took a full load of courses, worked a job, and spent a lot of time with friends. It was during this time I became acquainted with the awesome virtues of the Waffle House. It was the only place that was open after the pizza place I worked at was closed. Denny’s was also a favorite especially when I lived in Florida and my shift would end at midnight. Other people got drunk and went to these places when the bars closed. I went there after working binges.

Most people tend to live from 7 am to 10 pm, but I live during the entire 24 hour period. I don’t think anything of getting up at 2 am to do some laundry, go to Walmart, or write a blog post. I sleep, but it isn’t normal sleep. I wedge sleep in between activities, and I get in about four hours before I become restless again and want to do something. This can become irritating if you are in a relationship with someone with normal sleep patterns. You are awake when they are asleep or falling asleep when they are awake.

Another one of the annoying things I do is eat in a completely driven way. I usually finish my meal in half the time it takes a normal person to eat. The only time this isn’t the case is if I am talking during a meal and the convo is more interesting than the food. Then, people wait for me to finish eating. I don’t enjoy food so much as I tear through like a chore that needs to get done. Needless to say, this style of eating becomes very messy, and I have earned the nickname “Crummy.”

I have recently adopted a good habit. I eat in a less messy way. The secret is to eat your sandwiches with a fork. Shit works! I am particular fond of the grilled chicken melt sandwiches you can get from either the Waffle House or the Huddle House, but they are hard to eat because the cheese tends to burn your mouth while the chicken doesn’t always tear in two when you bite into it. Things get messy very quickly. Now, I eat those things with a fork, and the mess is history. Talk about a lifechanger!

Another recent lifechanger for me was the purchase of a used Toyota Tacoma pickup truck as my personal vehicle. This leaves me open to criticism about being wasteful in my spending because the truck burns more gas than my Camry that got destroyed after hitting a deer. But I needed a truck. I have a constant need to haul shit. I don’t have a constant need to haul people. Since buying the vehicle, I have used it at least five times over the last month to haul items that would have never fit in my car or would have required multiple gas guzzling trips to haul. I hesitate to say that it paid for itself since I am sure I could have used a rental truck and a well laid out plan to achieve the same result for less money. But when you own a truck, your items to haul increase as you now realize you have the option. It is like buying a hammer and seeing nails appear.

I have also adopted a personal uniform. This is a minimalist idea that I have seen others adopt, and I have decided to copy them. I have also been motivated by the present company that I keep to dress better. I needed to elevate my game a bit to match the game of my significant other who dresses like a grandmother, so I now dress like a grandfather.

My uniform is not like that of Steve Jobs who was famous for the black mock turtleneck, the jeans, and the New Balance running shoes. It isn’t Nick Gillespie with his total black wardrobe and black leather jacket. And it isn’t Leo Babauta with his minimalist wardrobe of dark colored T-shirts and pants. Instead, it is a cross between a minimalist wardrobe and something you would see from the Art of Manliness. Before I describe the uniform, I have to tell you about douchewear.

Douchewear is my old way of dressing. This would be cargo pants or shorts, a pair of sandals or Skechers, and some ratty T-shirt. Toss in a fleece jacket with foodstains for the colder months, and you have douchewear. The result was that I looked like a child all the time. Of course, most men regardless of age dress like this today, and the effect is to look like both a kid and a slob at the same time. I never felt self-conscious about this look until I began dating a woman with a much better sense of dress than me. She doesn’t aim to be a 10, but she doesn’t aim to be a 1 either. This is the scale of formal/informal wear with 10 being what you wear to a funeral and 1 being what you wear to a barbecue at the beach. She aims for 7 or 8 in her daily attire. I tend to be a 2.

I overhauled my wardrobe by tossing out all my cargo pants and shorts. I kept one pair of shorts and my Skechers sandals for that trip to the beach that may come along. My Skechers sneakers got tossed as well along with the fleece jackets, T-shirts with writing on them, polo shirts that I never wore, etc. Here is my uniform now:

--black or navy blue undershirt with no writing on it
--workpants in brown, khaki, or blue
--a button down shirt either short sleeve or long depending on temperature
--a pair of brown leather workboots with black socks
--sandstone work jacket

No one can accuse me of being a preppy, and I am not exactly minimalist except with a nod to Leo with the monochrome T-shirts. But I have tried to aim for the middle with a bent towards the blue collar and the functional. If I get hot from work, I lose the overshirt. If I need to step it up, I tuck that shirt in. Leather shoes always look more mature than sneakers, but I am too active to go with wingtips or those black oxfords with the white socks like my great uncle wore. I think I am now a solid 5. If I want to aim higher, I would get some penny loafers, some Dockers, and a sweater, but that shit makes me want to puke a bit in my mouth. I am too blue collar to pull that off.

It is a sign of the times that I now get complimented on the way I dress. I’m not actually dressing that well. It is that men are dressing that poorly that I look good in contrast. The effect on my psyche has been awesome as I now don’t feel embarrassed to be in public anymore. I see the douchewear on all the other guys especially at Walmart, and I laugh at it. The only thing that makes me laugh more is skankwear.

The skank uniform here in SC is standard. It is a tank top, a pair of cut off jeans or similar tight fitting shorts, and some flip flops. The women may or may not have the bodies to pull this off, but it doesn’t matter. They all look like fuckmeat trash. Walmart is where you can see this skin on display.

I don’t intend to preach at people over the way they dress, but I am going to provide the example of One Improved Unit. I think we have let shit slide as a culture such that we now go about in our underwear and sleepwear. I am as guilty as anyone else of being a total slacker in this regard. My mind changed the moment I packed my camouflage cargo shorts in the bag headed for Goodwill. As I said, I am no preppy. I just aim for the mean between deficiency and excess. Our culture today has become deficient in the dress and personal grooming departments.

VIDEO-Collapse



Collapse is a documentary of sorts where a guy sits in a room, smokes some cigarettes, and lays out a scenario for the future that will blow your fucking mind. The gist of it is simple. The world is running out of oil, and civilization as we know it is coming to an end.

Peak oil is the concept where oil production will reach a peak and begin to decline until it takes more energy to extract the oil reserves than you get back from the reserves. Michael Ruppert lays out the concept in this movie. Ruppert is an ex-cop turned reporter, and he has made accurate predictions about the current financial crisis. The guy seems like a nutter at the beginning until he starts to make sense as he outlines a Malthusian scenario. The problem is that Malthus was wrong, and I think Ruppert might be wrong as well. But he makes a hell of a case.

I recommend this one even if you disagree with Ruppert's doomsday scenario. It will make you think, and it is a prediction we should consider carefully.


Inspiration vs. Perspiration



Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
PABLO PICASSO

I find that creative types come in two flavors. The first flavor is the inspirational flavor. These are the types that wait for a flash of genius to strike them before they put on their work duds and get down to the labor of creating. The other flavor is the perspirational. These are the types who don't wait for inspiration but simply get to work usually on some sort of daily schedule. Flashes of genius come to them as they are busy in the process of creation. Which way is better? That is difficult to say.

Edison was definitely from the perspirational camp. That guy flat out worked and slept very little. Edison along with his helpers turned out a hell of a lot of inventions out of his shop. On the other hand, Nikola Tesla was a relatively lazy fucker compared to Edison, but the guy was a total fucking genius. But the results speak for themselves. Edison accumulated 1093 patents to Tesla's 112. Edison got a lot of shit done.

Pablo Picasso was another creative type with a tremendous work ethic. Over the course of his long life, Picasso created 50,000 works of art in various mediums. The guy was a creative machine. He never stopped making art. There was virtually no day that passed that Pablo wasn't making something. Another artist with a similar work ethic was Vincent Van Gogh. Though Van Gogh did not live as long as Picasso, he got up every day and went to work on his creations. Those two guys show that perspiration is not antithetical to inspiration. In fact, the work ethic applied to creative endeavors seems to inspire even greater productivity.

Writers have a similar experience. Ian Fleming was a gguy with a similar work ethic getting up each day to bang out his James Bond novels. Then, there was Anthony Trollope who kept a daily writing schedule and composed 45 novels during his life. Trollope never rested on his laurels starting the next novel often on the same day that he had completed his last novel. Trollope was a writing machine.

The popular idea is that having a creative work ethic or creating on a schedule is antithetical to inspiration. The belief is that inspiration comes to you almost as some quasi-mystical religious revelation or something. My personal belief is that this viewpoint is bullshit. One of the best things I have ever done as a writer is to keep a blog and essentially pledge to doing one post per day. I would like to say I have never missed a day, but this would be bullshit. I have a very busy life working a job, maintaining my household, reading, etc. But the practice of blogging daily has stirred more creative output from me than sitting in a room daydreaming about possible future projects.

I have learned a few things about the creative process by keeping a work schedule. Most of the time, inspiration comes just as Picasso says it does, but it happens during the process of work. I have learned not to plan or worry too much. I find that if you just begin the process that it is enough to get the juices flowing. Most of my best stuff comes out of nowhere as the words hit the screen. The other thing I have learned is that all fears can be banished with the delete key. If what you make turns out to be garbage, you can toss it and begin again. Finally, I never run out of ideas. I have yet to exhaust my writing To Do list.

The case for waiting inspiration is that it saves you from wasting time and energy on projects that suck. You save your effort for your absolute best ideas. The problem with that is that time is always ticking, so the only thing you are saving is effort. When you do nothing, the result is nothing. When you do something, you might make some garbage, but you also find some gold along the way. In the game of waiting versus doing, I am going to opt for doing. It feels better and less wasteful to me.

Perspiration is my path. I find inspiration along the way. I recommend doing creative work every single day. Just put your hard hat on and go to work. And don't worry about what will happen. Amazing things come to those who are always doing.

Q & A

Q: How do you keep something a secret?


A: The way to keep a secret is to not tell anyone. I know that sounds pretty fucking obvious, but I need to explain it further. The only way a secret can remain a secret is if only one person knows it. The moment it gets blabbed to a second person then it is over with. All my secrets have remained secret because I never told anyone. Every secret that I have ever told just one other person has been broadcast to the masses in virtually no time at all. So, I have learned to never tell anyone anything that I don't want the world to know. Telling just one other person is virtually the same as putting it on the front page of the New York Times.

This topic has been on my mind as someone confided in me a secret. I was sworn not to tell anyone which I took seriously. The secret was dumped on me. A short while later, someone else dumped on me the exact same "secret." Pretty soon, everyone knew the secret, and it wasn't because of me. Realizing the secret was no longer a secret, I discussed it with someone and immediately became a "blabbermouth." I had to laugh. It was like being called noisy in a flock of cackling geese.

Once two people know a secret, it isn't a secret anymore. The only hope that a secret can be shared by two people and remain secret is when there are social, legal, and financial repercussions for blabbing. This is why your doctor doesn't go around town telling everyone about your hemorrhoids. It is against the law but also bad for business. Similarly, husbands and wives are good at not dishing dirt on each other because they don't want to lose each other.

My personal philosophy on secrecy is that it is mostly a waste of time. The people who are big on secrecy are usually that way because they are up to no good. This would be government types and corporate management types. They have a vested interest in not having sunlight on their activities, but since their activities depend on more than one person knowing their business, they are always in some trouble or shit as the information comes out anyway. In the age of Wikileaks and the internet, it simply behooves those in charge to learn to live in the daylight instead of desperately trying to maintain a cult of secrecy. Be transparent.

On a sidenote, this inability of people to keep a secret is also why conspiracy theories usually turn out to be bunk. The more elaborate a conspiracy is the less likely it is to succeed because someone somewhere is going to spill the beans on it. Watergate is the most classic example of this. The inherently leaky nature of governments demonstrates that no conspiracy can last long. When they got Osama bin Laden, the really amazing thing was that people in government kept it a secret long enough to pull it off. The lesson in all of this is that if you have valuable info like that, you need to act fast and decisively. I give credit to Barack Obama for doing just that. He saw the opportunity and gave the green light.

If you want to keep a secret, don't tell anyone else. Your secrets are yours. If you tell one other person, it is over with. So, don't tell anyone anything you wouldn't be comfortable seeing on the front page of the New York Times.

[SOC]

I have been studying martial arts off and on over the past year, and I have reached one conclusion about it all. It is bullshit.

The point of learning martial arts for me is to learn methods for self-defense. The problem that I have found with Eastern martial arts is that the techniques are so complicated and unnatural that you can’t even remember the shit much less execute it. A criticism of my POV is that I don’t practice enough, but I literally can’t remember the moves in order to practice them. When I do practice them, they are always flawed and incorrect. Yet, I am supposed to remember this bullshit in an attack when my adrenaline is flowing, and I’m scared for my life and execute the moves perfectly. This shit is useless.

For me, a martial art needs to be simple, effective, real world, and without any flourish or bullshit about chi energy or any of that crap. The only martial art I know that fits this bill is krav maga, the martial art used by the Israeli Defense Forces. It is the one I have not studied, but that is going to change. I think it is the only one I should be spending my time on.

From what I know about Krav Maga so far, it is a self defense system for combat survival and streetfighting. The moves are instinctive and geared towards strikes to vulnerable areas like the eyes, throat, and balls. There is no honor in Krav Maga. This is because there is no honor in the street.

Traditional martial arts take years to master, and I respect the discipline and the devotion. But at the end of it, you don’t see any of these guys going into a UFC bout and making a ton of cash from what should be a relatively easy thing for them. For the most part, traditional martial arts doesn’t cut it in the cage, and I suspect that it doesn’t cut it in the street either. Even my instructor adopts very unconventional techniques to overcome these weaknesses.

My frustration reached the breaking point while sparring with one black belt while being castigated by another black belt over my technique. The advice conflicted with other advice I had received. In the end, it becomes more debate over style than actual fighting. This all came as I realized that all my instruction to that point amounted to zilch. In a real fight, I would cut, bite, kick, punch, and gouge with hands or weapons. I would never use any of the moves in my arsenal even if I could remember them.

The most effective method is the one that works. If you can achieve the same end with fewer moves and less effort, this is the way to go. This is what Krav Maga does. This is what the IDF needed in a system because they didn’t have the luxury of allowing their soldiers years to learn and master a martial art. I would be way more dangerous now if I had spent my time learning Krav Maga than wasting it learning more complicated but useless moves. The fact that many other police and military organizations have adopted Krav Maga and similar systems speaks volumes.

Penn and Teller did an episode on martial arts, and I pretty much agreed with most of what they say. Martial arts is mostly bullshit, but I do think there is value in learning some of the techniques for use in self-defense. Simplified, these techniques are effective, and you need something in those encounters where a firearm can’t be used. Krav Maga does this simplifying for you.

VUILLARD

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. THE END OF CASH

I never carry cash on me. I always use swipe cards. The whole world is headed in that direction. I can also safely predict that the currency of the future will be some sort of e-cash like Bitcoin. Conversely, I see people turning to physical possession of gold and silver as a store of value. Both of these seem to run side by side in much the same way that mp3 files and vinyl both enjoy massive popularity. WTF?!

The problem with cash is that it is produced by governments and central banks who have to fuck with the money supply for various reasons. Naturally, they don't let you use alternative currencies. They want the monopoly currency they produce to be the only legal tender. This allows them to inflate that shit at will and fuck everyone else in the process. Currency competition takes away this power. We don't need a gold standard. We need a free market currency. The market will decide.

2. BLOOMBERG

Nannystate Mayor Mike Bloomberg wants to end Big Gulp sodas unless they are diet. What a fucking piece of shit. And New Yorkers voted for this son of a bitch. It just blows the fucking mind. Do people really want this trivial sort of shit from their government? And does anyone actually obey these stupid laws?

3. VOUCHERS IN LOUISIANA

Bobby Jindal has pushed through school vouchers in Louisiana, but I am one of those rare libertarians who think the results of this will not be that good. The problem with vouchers will be the same problem you see with the higher ed bubble. You will see the cost of education going higher while the quality of that education declines. I am all for private education, but I believe it should also be paid for entirely with private money. Public money put into private hands is just as disastrous as public money in public hands. It warps the economics of it all.

4. ODDS AND ENDS

-John Edwards does not deserve jail, but he does deserve a nice case of herpes.

-I am not happy that Julian Assange is headed to Sweden to get fistfucked by the authorities there as they are certain to hand him over to the USA to be truly fistfucked. It is what it is. The First Amendment is dead.

-For some reason, eating another person's face is big fucking news.

-Low carb doesn't hurt your kidneys according to a study. Pass the dead animal flesh please.