Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stick a fork in me

Well I got notice today that there was something wrong with my AdSense and they deactivated it. Good thing I just got my last check from them last week I suppose. There was something about being able to appeal it and maybe reinstating it, but quite frankly I hardly have anything worth saying on this blog anymore anyway so why bother. Trying to keep a little bit of money coming in from the ads was pretty much the only reason I bothered to keep posting stuff this year. A quick glance through the crap I've been posting and the frequency of it will tell you how well that has worked.

So this isn't necessarily the end of my blog, but I am even less likely to keep posting anything. Unless I have something major I really want to say I think I'll be done for now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Passing thoughts

Some thoughts on my mind of late:
What are the rights of a majority?
What are the purposes of national borders?
Does the political party of president really matter in the end?

There were more but I can't remember them right now.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Yes. No. Maybe?

I used to think I knew where I stood when it came to my political views, which really is a laugh considering how just 5 or 6 years ago it was almost the exact opposite. But this election year I have been trying to make myself more informed on how the candidates actually vote, not just what they spew in their ads.

Sadly the more I research the more confused I become. Because I look deeper into the issues I start to question what it is I really believe and which issues I find more important. All things considered who has the best economic plan will play a big part in my decision. But who is that really?

I mean once you dig through all the slogans and the mudslinging economic policies are pretty hard to understand since I was not an economics major in college. Both sides seem to have things that make sense and things that don't.

So I have two months left to figure this economic thing out. But what about the other issues? I am starting to think that maybe I will just trust the Supreme Court to catch any drastic social policy changes that I might not agree with on any particular candidate. Besides which it takes a majority of Congress to pass those laws and I imagine Congress is going to be close to an even split between the two parties.

The one thing I know is that I want a President that is a leader and is capable of getting Congress to do their jobs and work with each other instead of all this needless bickering that seems to be the case these last few years.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Unfinished Thoughts

Like a wedding ring in a pawn shop
We all have a sad story to tell
And no one to listen.

Twisting in the wind,
I fly the white flag
...

-------------

So I started to write this about a week ago. I can't seem to finish it. So I'll just post it as is.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Poll results


IF THE GOVERNMENT RAISED YOUR TAXES BY 15% BUT ALLOWED YOU TO PICK THE TOP 3 THINGS THE GOVERNMENT WOULD SPEND IT ON WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

So the poll is done. Fifteen people expressed their opinions. I have to say I am a little surprised by the results. 

I want to say first that I screwed up a few things when I made this poll. Firstly I forgot NASA so it was covered by Other. Secondly I meant this question to be which of these categories should get an increase in funds from this increase in taxes. The way I looked at it when I first came up with the idea was a fifteen percent increase in taxes split between three categories meant each vote was a five percent increase in funding. Sorry for not making that clear from the beginning. I'm not sure how that might have changed the results.

First up the losers, no surprise here. No one voted to have their increased taxes go to Congressional or Presidential salaries, or to Welfare. Next up are the one votes. 

Each of these got one vote, or six percent of the votes, in no particular order: Disaster preparedness and recovery, National parks, Foreign aid, Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and federal regulatory agencies. I am a bit surprised a couple of those got a vote I must say. 

Green energy and environmental concerns received two votes, or thirteen percent of the votes.

Next at three votes, or twenty percent, came Arts and science grants. I don't remember why I lumped those together and I heard at least one person say they wanted to vote for the science grants but not really the arts. Not sure what the results would have been had they been separate but I think it's clear some people at least think the government should be in the business of help out scientific research.

We have a few tied at twenty-six percent, or four votes. They are, in no particular order: Infrastructure, Health care, and Military. There was at least one person who expressed concern that there are people that think the military needs even more money then they already are getting. I view this as the point where people really care about where their money is going. Admittedly fifteen people is a small sample size, but when four or more people voted for the same thing I think that is a good indication of what the people of this country care about.

This next one was a bit of a surprise to me. Five people, or thirty-three percent, voted for Small business loans and grants. One third of the people I could get to take my poll thought the federal government needed to invest in small businesses more. An interesting insight into the upcoming elections I think.

In second place with seven votes, just shy of half at forty-six percent, came Other. Originally I just put that there as a catch all for anything I might of forgot. It wasn't long before I noticed that I had forgotten NASA and I think it is fair to say that these seven votes are for NASA. So listen up federal government, if you are going to increase our taxes about half the people out there want at least some of that money to go to NASA.

And the clear winner, it spent the majority of the time the poll was active at one hundred percent, was Education. It ended up with just seventy-three percent, or eleven votes. A clear sign that the people want to invest in our children's future. I dare say we want to educate them to the point where they see the folly of our ways and are smart enough to sort all this mess out.

So what was the point of this poll? Well there were a few. First just to see where people thought the tax dollars should go. But I also wanted to show people all the places tax dollars go. I know I left stuff out that I probably shouldn't have, but I couldn't think of everything at the time. I wanted people to see a huge long list of categories of government spending and feel a little lost has they had to pick just a few of them to get funding. I have no idea if I succeeded in that. I imagine it is much worse for which ever poor souls have to try to get an actual federal budget all sorted out and I do not envy them their job.

So what are your thoughts on the matter? Were you surprised by any of these results?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Last few days

Only a few days left to vote in my poll about the hypothetical situation in which the government raises your taxes by 15% but allows you to choose which three areas of government spending gets the money. I forgot to put NASA on there like I've said before, so it got dropped into the Other option, which has seen a few votes that I am assuming are all for NASA..

Anyway if you haven't yet taken part in the poll please do so now. And if you have spread the word to your friends. I'd really like a larger sampling group for this poll.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity has landed!

So if it is something you care about I'm sure you are already aware that the new NASA Mars Rover named Curiosity has landed safely on Mars. They used a new technique and it worked perfectly it seems. I watched the live stream of NASA TV coverage of it all. I have to say it was very exciting.

There is one thing I think NASA has screwed up on this and a few other major events like this in recent years, like LCROSS crashing into the moon in 2009. The thing is that the events always seem to happen in the middle of the night. That is fine for me, as I stay up all night routinely.

However, these could be prime teaching events that excite the younger generation to explore the possibilities of science and engineering. But the younger generation is always sleeping when these events happen. They can't see and feel the excitement of the live events.

It might seem like such a minor thing. And don't think that I'm any less excited about the new Mars rover landing safely. I can't wait for it to start up it's mission and see the results. I just think if NASA could schedule such events during the day, it could do so much more to get school kids interested and excited by science. Isn't that one of the founding principles of NASA, encouraging the next generation to take up the challenge of new scientific discoveries?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My thoughts in late July

I don't really have anything to say today. I've been trying to form a few different ideas for posts but nothing is 100% yet. I kind of want to talk about politics but I feel like right now all my political views are kind of in flux. Some of the stuff that I've believed in pretty firmly are starting to be questioned and I'm trying to figure out where I stand on the issues before I really talk about them. Namely right now due to events happening I'm trying to figure out how I feel about gun control and taxes.

Also I have some desire to write a short story. Specifically a short story about a half Orc cleric named Sark that I had the pleasure of playing in a couple of Dungeons & Dragons games years ago. He wasn't my favorite character I've ever played but for some reason his adventures stand out the most in my memory and I think a few of those adventures might translate well into short story form. The only problem is he died before anything really got resolved in the games, or in the case of his first game the game died after just one session or so. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dead Week

So I had this idea the other night. I want to put together a collection of short stories surrounding the theme of horror and supernatural events on college campus or happening to college students. I'd call it Dead Week. I did a Google search for the phrase dead week just to make sure it was well known and not just something I picked up during my college days and was surprised to find that the Wikipedia page for it lists Iowa State University first among the many schools they talk about. That was the college I dropped out of after spending to long and too much money to figure out that I really don't like large lecture hall style of teaching.

For those that don't know, and didn't click on the link above to read about it, dead week is the week before final exams at the end of the semester when students who didn't keep up on their studies through out the semester try to cram for finals.

In addition to wanting to write a couple short stories for my Dead Week collection I also want to add in stories other people wrote. First I'll have to see if any of my friends are writers and want to write a story or two for the collection. If I actually knew anything about publishing such a collection I would try reaching out to other writers and try to publish this as an anthology via Kickstarter.

When I first had the idea I also wanted to play in some modern horror roleplaying game based on the idea of strangeness happen on a college campus. Maybe I'd play some student that stumbled onto the weirdness, or as a paranormal investigator trying to make one of those cheesy reality TV shows. Or maybe I'd be an agent for some secret government agencies that hunts ghost and monsters and all things that go bump in the night. Sadly when I do get that rare chance to play roleplaying games with my friends we stick to pretty standard D&D fantasy worlds. And I don't think any of us have the books for a modern times horror RPG. I have D20 Modern but in all the years I've had it I've never actually used it sadly. That's the only modern setting RPG I have.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A new look

I decided it was time I updated the look of my blog some. I think I will also try to jazz it up a bit by adding pictures to it a bit more often. Let me know what you think of the new look. Also if you have any other suggestion on how I can change my blog for the better let me know that as well.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kickstarter projects

So recently I've been spending a lot of time on the Kickstarter website looking for various projects to help fund. For those who don't know the way Kickstarter works is some one starts a Kickstarter campaign with some funding goal in mind and they offer various rewards for different levels of donations to their project. If the project gets 100% or more of the funding goal it succeeds and everyone's donations are taken through Amazon. If the project doesn't reach the amount of the goal no donations are collected. It's an all or nothing deal. 

There are many kinds of projects on Kickstarter. Mostly I've been focusing on board games and music projects. But there is also art, ficiton, fashion, film, video games, and technology projects on there. Pretty much anything you can think of. Go have a look and see if there are any projects you are interested in. I sometimes find myself wishing there was a better way to browse through the various projects, but Kickstarter does have a decent system already. The Staff Picks are alwasy worth a look for example.

But this post isn't about the Kickstarter website. It's about some of the projects I've found that as of the time of me writing this have not yet completed their funding campaigns.

In the games catagory here are a couple I like:
Race to Adventure! A Spirit of the Century™ Board Game
The Lost Dutchman
Both these games seem interesting and look like they have plenty of replayablity. They have game mechanics I either haven't seen before or are used in different ways from what I've seen. You might not know this about me, but I love playing board games. Usually ones you only find in specialized gaming stores. But that is another post for another day.

In fiction:
FIREBIRD
This one is outside my usual reading comfort zone but looks interesting.
Annika Ash and the Lost Robot
Honorable mention to this one. It didn't reach its funding goal sadly, but I really thought it looked like a worthwhile book.

In film:
Space Command
This one reached it's funding goal early on but more funds means cooler stuff for it and it's sequels. I"m really excited about this film because it looks like it will be awesome. It has lined up some amazing actors that you may recognize if you watched Sci-Fi tv shows like Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Star Trek Voyager, or Babylon 5. And the visuals for this just look amazing so far.

In music:
Time and Space
Inland Traveler
Red Circle Underground
Full Brogue
Framework
This is just a sample of some of the music projects I've found that seem interesting to me.

These are just some examples of the kinds of projects on Kickstarter. These are all one's I've pledge some of my money to and hope are successful. If you don't find these to your liking, or are getting to this post after these have finished their funding campaigns, I urge to to look around Kickstarter and find some projects that are to your liking and help fund them if you can. Even if you can't afford to pledge money right now you can spread the word and help out that way.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The cowardly way

Sometimes I wonder which is actually more cowardly. To stay and suffer; or to cut my loses and run away.

Rationally I know there is no hope and the wiser course of action would be to simply walk away. But I can't do that. I won't do that. So instead I am left here in limbo. A beating heart and a catatonic soul waiting for eventual oblivion or damnation.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Yesterday's Pain

Here I sit,
Dawn of a new day.
So tell me why
Yesterday's pain hasn't gone away?

I give all that I have to give,
But my pleas fall on deaf ears.
So here I sit
Picking up the pieces of my shattered heart.

Puzzle pieces of my soul,
How many missing pieces are lost?
A new wound in my heart
to fester and decay.

A bitter old man you see,
Once was a happy child.
Decisions made
Now I must live with the consequence.
-------------
5/2/2012  NAO

I haven't wrote a poem where I actually know what it is I'm trying to say in a long time. I'm sure I failed to convey it properly as usually. Anyway I might clue you in on what it's all about in the future. I want to wait and see what next week brings.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Peace Love Relax Calm

So sometime last fall I decided I wanted to try to induce an out of body experience. I looked up some different ways in which people said you could do it. None of them worked for me. But I did find that what I was trying was having a very relaxing meditative effect on me so I just turned it into nightly meditation for myself before I go to sleep. And I've decided to share it all with you.

So here is what I do. I lay in bed on my back under the covers and try to relax as much as I can. I take about four deep breaths, and when I inhale I try to hold that air in my lungs for a couple of seconds. Then when I exhale I try to keep all the air pushed out for a couple of seconds. After those few deep breaths I just go back to normal breathing.

Meanwhile with every inhale or exhale I focus on one word of a mantra I created for myself. The words I use are Peace, Love, Relax, and Calm. I try to draw out mentally saying each word to last the full inhale or exhale. I don't try to block out any other random thoughts, but instead just try to focus on the word and ideas that the word invokes. I also try to direct peaceful, loving, relaxing thoughts towards those people in my life that I care about.

So on the first deep breath inhale I would in my head be saying "peeeaaaacccceeee." And then on the exhale "lllloooooovvvvveeee." The next deep breath would be the words/ideas relax and calm. I really do try to draw out the mental saying of the word to last the entire inhale or exhale. I think it helps slow my thoughts down and helps me relax.

A strange thing happens after the first few breaths. When I get to the exhale for the word love I start to smile and generally feel better about myself. And then when I inhale and say relax I feel some of the tension leave my shoulders and back and I sink into my bed a little more.

It used to be that I had so many thoughts running through my head at night it was hard for me to fall asleep. But once I started this meditation I was able to slow my thoughts down some and relax and would get sleepy. And like I said I don't try to stop any other random thoughts that pop up. I just focus my attention on the mantra and most of the other thoughts just fade away.

I have tried to explain this to a few of my friends before to varying degrees of success. If any of them tried it for themselves I don't think they had much success with it. I think it probably would work best if others chose their own mantras instead of using mine. I originally came up with mine while I was trying to induce an out of body experience, which I wanted to be a positive experience, so I chose positive ideas for my mantra. I have given up on the out of body thing, for now at least, but I kept the mantra and meditation because I felt it was having a positive effect on me.

If you try out this meditation, or anything like it, please let me know how it went for you. I have found that after all the peaceful relaxing meditation sessions that any time that I am feeling stressed about something I can just think my mantra once or twice and it has immediate effect on my mood and tension at that moment.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stop the hate

I have so many things I want to say lately but just never can seem to find the time to sort it all out and type it. But first and fore most I want to say this. STOP THE HATE!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?

I'm watching this lecture series on linguistics and learning all sorts of interesting things. It is bringing back memories of the many times throughout the years that I tried to create my own language. That is something I've been doing from time to time since high school.

I took a year of Spanish while I was freshman in high school. Never really liked that language, but I suppose, all things considered, I should have tried a little harder to learn that one. In college I took a semester of Latin. I really enjoyed learning Latin. I wish I wouldn't have withdrew from classes the second semester of my Latin, and that I would kept up my Latin practice, because now I can't remember any of it. I also started a semester of German, but withdrew and dropped out of college that semester.

So English is a Germanic language with lots of loan words borrowed from Latin, through French, thanks to William the Conqueror bringing the Normans into England. So my various studies should help me to understand English better right? Well not really, but I do understand why so much of it doesn't always seem to make sense.

So where does this leave me you might wonder. I have no idea. But I think I might take the time to come up with a simple language that I can use in some story some time, if I ever do get around to trying to write some epic adventure novel like I've always wanted. Chance of that are pretty slim, since I can never seem to come up with any ideas. And even if I did I can't seem to maintain any focus on the idea long enough to start writing anything.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A plethora of ideas

Ok, in the last ten minutes or so I came up with about 3 different ideas for blog posts, so before I forget them I'm going to post a little upcoming posts post to let you know what I plan to talk about in the near future as well as to remind me of these ideas in case I forget between now and then.
The first idea is sex is good, or more broadly that pleasure is not evil. The second idea is that the soul is god, or more closely that the soul, god, and the universe can never be fully understood. The third idea is already forgotten! See even trying to write things down right away I forget them. Oh wait, bringing up my labels reminded me what the third idea is. It is that reincarnation is like lock picking, keep trying a new key until you eventually unlock the gates of heaven.
Ok, now I just have to find the time to flesh out these ideas. Oh and I have a couple of home projects I might be working on in the near future that I will tell you about as I work on them.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Not important

OK just a quick note. I had to change my comment settings to block anonymous comment postings. I was getting way to many spam comments that I have to delete.

In other news I recently bought an electric guitar and am trying to teach myself how to play it. My fat fingers aren't agreeing with on this plan yet but I'm still working at it. And I have plans to try to make a stupid little song and music video. I want to use stop animation and green screen effects to make a video of Lego's doing something. Haven't decided on what just yet.

I plan on getting back to make regular postings soon. I've just been distracted lately and haven't had much to say. Or what I have to say isn't in any coherent organized form yet for it to make any sense. So I'm working on that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Now for something a little different

Isaiah 3
1 See now, the Lord,
the LORD Almighty,
is about to take from Washington D.C. and America
both supply and support:
all supplies of food and all supplies of water,
2 the hero and the warrior,
the judge and the prophet,
the diviner and the elder,
3 the captain of fifty and the man of rank,
the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.
4 “I will make mere youths their officials;
children will rule over them.”

5 People will oppress each other—
man against man, neighbor against neighbor.
The young will rise up against the old,
the nobody against the honored.

6 A man will seize one of his brothers
in his father’s house, and say,
“You have a cloak, you be our leader;
take charge of this heap of ruins!”
7 But in that day he will cry out,
“I have no remedy.
I have no food or clothing in my house;
do not make me the leader of the people.”

8 Washington staggers,
America is falling;
their words and deeds are against the LORD,
defying his glorious presence.
9 The look on their faces testifies against them;
they parade their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
They have brought disaster upon themselves.

10 Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked!
Disaster is upon them!
They will be paid back
for what their hands have done.
12 Youths oppress my people,
women rule over them.
My people, your guides lead you astray;
they turn you from the path.
13 The LORD takes his place in court;
he rises to judge the people.
14 The LORD enters into judgment
against the elders and leaders of his people:
“It is you who have ruined my vineyard;
the plunder from the poor is in your houses.
15 What do you mean by crushing my people
and grinding the faces of the poor?”
declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
All I did was change all references to Jerusalem with Washington, and all references to Judah with America. Now you tell me, does this sound like what is going on right now? Or is this about something that was happening 3,000 years ago and half a world away?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Resolutions revisited.

So last year my resolutions were to lose weight, write a novel, and travel to somewhere new. Let's see what I managed to accomplish. I weigh 295 lbs. for a net change of -5 lbs from last year. Nothing spectacular there. I wrote 0 pages for my novel. And I didn't travel anywhere new. Looks like last year was a failure. Let's try it again this year and see what happens. Oh and I have a secret resolution this year. Let's see how that one goes as well.