I’ll Smile. That’s about it for now.

The new job seems to be going okay. I remember a lot, and I talk about the stuff I remember, and I’m able to ‘apply’ the stuff. The data stuff, I got a lock on that. Some of the procedure stuff – I need some work. I worry. Sometimes, somebody will ask me about something, and I won’t know the details off the top of my head. I don’t like not knowing something when they ask me. I might be over-thinking it. Probably, it’s going just fine. I’m not going to know everything after just two weeks. I am progressing at an acceptable pace probably.

I don’t want to do the following: put too much of myself out there. I have had a couple of job failures so far here, since I moved to Raleigh, since I left my last long-term job. I think back on those failures and it stings. The thing that adds even more sting to the sting is this: I gave personal information. I talked about my interests. I bragged a little. I confided, a little. I gave some of my history. It makes me feel even worse about the failure. It’s like I gave those people some pieces of meat to pick through – my meat. Chunks of meat, out of myself, left behind for people to scrutinize and trip about – stories.

Remember that dude that worked here? That dude that got fired after only a few… Remember that dude? Remember that goofy shit he talked about? Look: there’s that dopey action figure he left behind. Let’s break it.

I don’t know why I give a shit. It just seems like it would have been better if I had left it cold and sterile and anonymous somehow.

I worked at a company in Florida for eight years, and I remember this lady who got hired there. She only worked there for like…two or three days. She was in the next cubicle over. On her second day, she brought in all this shit to decorate her cubicle with. It was a bunch of stuff from Pier One or something. Candle holders, little decorative masks — that type of stuff. There was a lot of it. So she brings all this stuff into her cubicle on day two, and then on day three, she either quit or got fired. All that junk sat in that cubicle for days and days. I don’t know if they ever got that crap back to her or what. It just seemed like such a painful, embarrassing, depressing thing. She had such high hopes, I guess, she was trying to make a home at this place…and then she’s gone. And she left behind all of this stuff that served as material for other people around to joke about. Horrible. I don’t want to leave anything like that if I get canned. I never want to have to fill up a box with ridiculous items that will seem even more ridiculous boxed up and humped out of there as people look on with scorn. If I get canned, if I feel like I’m going to get canned, I want to get in and get out, like it was a trip to the DMV or something.

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River Dance? Weak. Check this out instead.

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Boards of Canada: The Videos

 

If you go to YouTube and search: Boards of Canada — you will come across masses and masses of amazing videos with strange music behind them. The music of Boards of Canada, for some reason, has inspired YouTubers everywhere to create videos to go along with their songs. I read in the comments of the following video that the members of Boards of Canada themselves judge the videos and announce winners.

 

 

I have heard their music in ambient music channels and others…but their music kind of defies categorization. It’s a crazy mix. There are beats to it, so it shouldn’t really fall into the ambient category. Wikipedia classifies them as Electronic, IDM, ambient, downtempo …whatever that means, for what it’s worth.

 

 

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Get outta that apartment man! Get outta your head!

I want to write about this friend of mine, and I am not worried about him reading what I write. I know he won’t ever read this because he doesn’t care about my blogs or blogging in general. I tried to get him into blogging, but he is just not into it. To any observer, it would seem like he is not really into much of anything. He’s my best friend from my Florida days, and he’s kind of a guru figure to me too. I will refer to him as Mike …because that is in fact his name …and he’ll never read this.

I worry about Mike. He sits in his apartment alone every night. When I talk to him on the phone, I worry that he’s getting too far into his own head. He doesn’t seem connected with my particular brand of reality or anybody’s I have ever heard of. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but he tends to isolate himself. He had a pretty bad back injury a while back, and so he’s not really into fitness stuff or outdoorsy active stuff. He does go for walks though, so that’s good.

I learned a lot from him. He’s a spiritual seeker big time. I learned the names of some good writers and orators and spiritual teachers. Mike is always sending me a link to a YouTube video and exclaiming about it. He would talk me to death about the ego and the ‘I’ and unity and non-duality and all kinds of stuff. He talked me to death, but a lot of it sank in. If I said I was worried, he would tell me to ask myself: Who is it that’s worried? Who is this ‘I’ that is worried? Who is the ‘I?” And when you start asking who am I? Who am I? Who am I – really? –The layers start to peel back. The layers of bullshit, I mean. I’m not this. I’m not that. You start figuring out a lot of stuff that you are not – you thought that you were that, but you’re not. You’re not this set of stories that you typically use to identify yourself. When you peel back all those layers, you get to the point where you don’t really give much of a shit…which is right up my alley, not giving a shit.

I lived an hour away from Mike when I lived in Florida. I would go stay at his place over the weekend, or he’d stay at mine. He lives in the freakin sticks. I mean – there ain’t much out there except orange groves and limestone quarries. He lives in a half-bankrupt golf and tennis resort. The tennis courts are all grown over with weeds. People still use the golf course though. Mike doesn’t golf because of his back. Sometimes though, we would go on these crazy walks in the middle of the night on the golf course. One time we were walking by these huge sprinklers, and those bitches kicked on and we had to haul ass. We were always having goofy non-dangerous adventures like that.

Anyway, nowadays, he doesn’t go out – except to go to work. He just sits at home and watches his spiritual videos. It reminds me a little of my mom, sitting in her room day and night, listening to religious radio…doing not much else.

I search google maps for stuff I can suggest to him to do, around where he lives.

Hey, did you know about this art museum 30 minutes from you?

Hey, there’s a UU Church 45 minutes away.

Hey, you ever go in this little bar around the corner from you?

I’ll have to check that out, he says. But, he doesn’t. He’s content just hanging at his apartment…watchin his videos. I guess he’s okay. Who knows?

Really: Who is it that knows?

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True Crime Shows

I watch too many true crime shows. My TV is usually tuned in to the Investigation Discovery channel, but I’ll also watch Forensic Files, Snapped, I Almost Got Away With It, The First 48, 48 Hours…all of them…any of them.

I guess I like these shows for the same reason that most people like dark stuff like this.

I also like to see the timeline of the degradation of the subject’s morals. These shows have a pretty common sequence, or format. The characterizations at the beginning of show portray the day to day routines of the people involved. They seem like regular people at first. The show portrays them at their job, in their home. The dark side of the perpetrator has not yet been revealed. The show will present the subject’s unraveling. The nefarious aspects of the perpetrator’s character begin to surface.

It’s almost as though you can see where the perpetrator went wrong…where they got too greedy…where they got to lusty…where their anger overcame them and drove them to take that next horrible step.

And then you look around at the people who live near you or work near you. You wonder: Are any of the people near me entering a critical phase like this? Do any of the people near me exhibit any of the characteristics of the perpetrators?

If we got better at recognizing this pattern, could we intervene?

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Freight hoppers think you’re a slave.

I have been watching a lot of videos of trains on YouTube lately, rail fan videos. It’s good meditation for me, and anyway, I have lots of time. I have also watched videos about freight hoppers, hobos. I have seen this in real life: dudes and chicks doing the freight hopping thing. One time I was sitting in my car at a railroad crossing. As I watched the train go by, I saw a guy lounging on the porch of a coal car, his legs crossed as he leaned back and took in the scenery. I remember thinking, Wow, I bet that guy isn’t worried about some of the dumb stuff I’m worried about: poorly entered data, grouchy coworkers, low pay in cubicle hell.

Another time I saw something like this was when I was in DC, riding the rapid transit Metrorail. We were going over a bridge, and below, there were a bunch of trains. I saw a young lady and a young man down there. They were lugging their gear around, peeking in this train car and that – looking for a good car to ride in, I guess. They had that anarchist look. Hair shaved up one side and braided down the other. Their clothes were a mishmash of black military-lookin garb/hippie/vintage/utility/backpacker/RumbleTumbleRagTag.

One person’s freedom is another person’s slavery …duh …it makes me want to burp, pointing out something so …duh. But what does this really mean? Well: the freight hoppers I’ve seen; the Rainbow People I’ve seen; the regulars at the DC protest and marches I’ve seen. .  .these people could make a very strong argument that they are free, very free, as free as birds. They can think their own thoughts 24/7, they can live their own thoughts. There is no ConstantBossMan. But there are cops and …money gotta come sometime/somehow – so they have to expose themselves to OccasionalBossMan (or at least the occasional disdainful sidewalk commuter). An OccasionalBossMan, or the occasional disdainful sidewalk commuter, can be much more cruel than a ConstantBossMan (who has to continue to look at my discontented mug day after day).

I have only jumped a train once. The train was in my way. I was on foot, and I was on my way to class. A train was transiting across my path. It was a coal train. So I ran up beside a train car. I jumped onto the ladder and climbed up. I climbed through the porch, and I climbed down the ladder on the other side of the car and I jumped off.

I like to think I’m free. The thought occurs to me, I like to think I’m free. But this is just another thought, like all my other thoughts. And these days, I like to apply the following remedy to 95% of my thinking: who cares. Freedom’s just another word that some lady with a weird voice once sang in the 60s, in a time that seemed much freer than today – it seemed that way using: THINKING.

Sometimes I’m free from all the thinking. This assessment was made with thinking though.

Freedom does indeed occupy my thinking, considerably. Anyone who ever scrutinized my work history would see that. (There’s actually a scrutiny happening to my work history right now. A job offer was made. Past sins might be being dug –these could work to null out the job offer. Who knows/who cares).

In closing, I’d like to say, I love ya …no matter how free you think I am -or you are -compared to me -or whomever.

Love: I care.

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Shane!

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I was just watching the movie Shane. I don’t want to spoil it, in case you are in the small segment of the population who, for some reason, has not seen it (how could you not have seen Shane?!?). I was thinking about the huge, open-ended question that the film leaves us with. I went online to read what people have written about this question. The thing I read at IMDB presented both sides of the argument pretty well, and it also pointed out a bigger point that hadn’t occurred to me.

I started thinking about online stores of information and how they’re maintained …stewarded …edited …vanguarded. I’ve read about Wikipedia a little, how their community works. I’ve read stuff that claims that Wikipedia is more accurate, in a lot of cases, than an actual encyclopedia. I am not ambitious enough to pull together examples arguing one way or the other on this.

I am also a little bit familiar with open-source software. I’ve read the argument that open-source is better, the audit process is better. The audit process for open-source is GLOBAL. It is not a limited audit process conducted within the confines of a single software company. Anyone in the world, who knows enough, and cares enough, can participate in the improvements to an open-source software. And that sounds great.

My question is: Are our apps and information being maintained by the people who care the most? Or by the people who are most qualified?

If I went to Wikipedia and made an edit, a foolish edit, somebody who cared would go and correct it. Even if I made a valid edit – even if I knew more on the subject, and I was ‘right’ – somebody who keeps a more vigilant watch over this material could go in and make it wrong again. Does this process work? Or is it the person with the strongest will, not the person who is right, who ends up being the final word and the law of the land (will to power, might makes right…like what was happening in Shane).

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