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Good Foundations

Hello Dear Friends,

Growing up, my family never had a lot of money, we had enough to get by on, sure, but not a lot of excess, so anytime we had projects around the yard or house that were either needed or wanted they were always “do-it-ourselves” kind of things.

These types of projects would always begin the very same way. My dad would ask around if it was something he didn’t know how to do and he’d figure out the “right” way to do something. For example, if we were building a patio in the yard, he would learn that he’d need to get sand to put down first, which would make the bricks that were placed on top of it more stable and keep the seams between them nice and tight over time. Without the sand, he was told, the bricks would crack and become uneven over time.

Once he’d learned the correct way to build our patio, he and I would go to the site we were going to build it. My dad and I would measure it out, and talk out the plan. Then we would proceed to go to the hardware store. We would buy the bricks we would need and bags and bags of sand. Dad would be all fired-up about this project and what it would be like once we’d completed it.

We’d drive home, get out the shovels and other tools we might need and then we’d begin. We’d start by shaving off some of the sod so that the patio would be more even with the ground. This process would take a few hours, and always (without fail) by the time we would finish with this part, our plan would be modified to exclude the sand. I would point out that if we didn’t use sand, our amazing patio would degrade and become uneven and we would have to spend more time ripping it out and redoing it then it would take us now to build the patio with the sand.

Inevitably, he would veto the sand option and we would build our patio. It would look really good that first summer, but by the next year, when the winter snows melted and we cleaned off the patio, sure enough the bricks would have settled every which direction and maybe even one or two of them would have cracked.

As you might imagine, I never told my dad when, after a few years, we would have to rip up the patio and lay it back down again (without sand) that I had been right, it was just one of those situations when it’s best not to point out that you had been right all along.

Sometimes we learn from our mistakes and sometimes we don’t,  it’s just a fact of life.

until next time,

Jim

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A Little on Philosophy

Hello Dear Readers,

I hope that you are well.

I’ve been reading an essay on Postmodernism lately, and it’s really gotten me thinking. One of the essays that most people point to as being a a major work of postmodern thought is by a French Philosopher named Jean Baudrillard called “The Precession of Simulacra” in which he proceeds to argue that nothing “real” can exist as itself anymore. As soon as other people notice something, they project on whatever it is everything of their own existence, meaning that actual object loses whatever “real” things it had.  He goes on to use the example of the christian god – namely that because there exists a belief structure about this god, this god is essence doesn’t exist. His existence to his believers is that which they project onto him, and regardless of his true existence, nothing can change that.

The god-thing aside, this line of thinking had really got me to thinking. On the face of things, I tend to agree with Baudrillard that we all force things to be what we want them to be rather than what they actually are, and it would follow then that perhaps nothing is “authentic” after-all. We bring our own experiences to bear on anything we interact with and in doing so we change whatever that symbol/object/etc is to each of us.

Just some beginning-of-the-week musings.

until next time,

Jim

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Constant communication? Constantly too much.

Dear Readers,

In our modern age of text-messaging, emails sent to our phones and smart phones that allow us all the convenience of a moderately well-equipped computer, it’s disconcerting to realize that sometimes being constantly in touch with everyone in the world is simply too much. Employers are expecting their salaried employees to be basically answer emails 24/7 365 days a year. I know many people who cannot go an hour without looking at their phones (myself included), and it seems that we have finally progressed too far and there’s no turning back.

This trend is even more troublesome, at least to me, when it comes to dating. It seems potential partners often start texting one another early in the morning and keep a constant stream going throughout the entire day. This can, I think, mean that when it comes time for an actual date or spending real time with each other, no one really knows how to act or what to say. When you’ve been in constant communication with each other all day, what more is there that you could possibly talk about? There should be some kind of etiquette involved, I think, something like no more than 4 texts a day for potential partners during the day. This would allow for a very short conversation during the day, enough to show that someone is interested, but would still allow for the possibility of actual communication later on.

Just some thoughts.

until next time,

Jim

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. . .

Dearest Readers,

I would once again like to re-affirm my belief that there is no god.

That is all.

Until next time,

Jim

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Happiness with Self is Key

Dear Readers,

Sometimes I find it is necessary to step back and take stock of where I am in life and who I’ve become. There’s always been this certain image of myself that I wanted to be, and whenever I find myself in a rut, I find it’s helpful to take some time to reflect on where I am in relation to that ideal person. While it’s true that my ideal self has changed from time to time, the basic foundations, if you will, have remained the same.

The question then becomes, how far away from my ideal have gotten? And even further, is where I am now a better place than my ideal? What reasons do I have for being where I am now versus where I wanted to be in my ideal? Perhaps I took a wrong turn at a crucial juncture and I need to steer myself back on course. Or maybe I can decide that despite what I thought before, I’m headed mostly in the right direction still, so there isn’t many changes needed.

After all, isn’t happiness with self the key in our modern life these days? We strive for self-attainment above all other things, something that has rarely happened throughout human history; as our ancestors had to devote most of their time to simply surviving. Now that the fight to simply survive has mostly been won (though not throughout the entire world, unfortunately), the fight must then turn it’s direction inward and becomes the fight for self-happiness. A battle I’m not so sure is as easily won.

But enough of that crazy and disjointed post, eh?

Until next time,

Jim

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The B*tch is Back!

Dearest Friends,

Welcome back to me! After such a long hiatus, it’s almost as if we must start again! I hope, as always, that this post finds you doing the very best that circumstances can provide.

I must confess that there are two reasons for my sabbatical, if you will. The first is that I am still unable to get internet access at my new apartment, which sucks. I’ve tried several different companies and the have all refused to service my apartment. It’s a headache, for sure!

The other part is that I simply haven’t had much to write about. I’ve been going through one of the longest writing droughts I’ve ever been through – I haven’t written anything substantial in nearly a year now. I’ve been waiting for inspiration to hit, assuming that at some time I would finally feel like I had something to write about again.

That, obviously, worked like crap! So I decided that really what I needed to do was climb back on the horse and force myself to write through it. So here I am. Writing through it.

That being said, this post is almost 200 words long, so I think that’s about good for a first-try, don’t you? (See there, that put us over 200!)

And so dear readers…

until next time,

Jim

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Change

Hello Dear Readers,

Recently I’ve been musing over the idea of change, both required and not-required that we go through in our various relationships (platonic and romantic).  It has me wondering, should we really expect other people to change in order to sustain any kind of relationship?

On one hand I’m of the opinion that no one should ever really have to change in order to sustain any kind of relationship. We are who we are and we shouldn’t have to alter that to make ourselves jive better with someone else.

On the other hand, of course, I’m of the opinion that all relationships must involve compromise from both parties and that compromise most generally will include some sort of change. It can be as simple as recognizing one’s pet peeves and trying one’s best not to cause those to flare up with the other person.

But then again, relationships are always voluntary, so if a relationship would cause someone to change the way that he or she is and they do not want to, maybe that should be the deciding factor? We all know that nothing in this world will ever last, certainly relationships of any kind are ridiculously fleeting in the grand scheme of things. Mayhap both people in any kind of relationship should realize when the relationship can no longer be sustained and should just move on.

until next time

Jim

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