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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Smarty Pants

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I’m pretty smart.  There, I said it.  Not trying to toot my own horn or feel some sort of superiority but compared to the general population, I know a hell of a lot.  I’m probably the smartest and most educated among my close relatives.

I’ve always wondered why.  I don’t come from that type of family.  Most of my family was in the blue collar realm when I was growing up.  I was never pushed to do well in school.  It just came naturally.  I can say the one thing I know about myself that I don’t often see in others is an innate curiosity about everything.

I ask questions all the time.  I must have been quite the handful for my parents.  The best thing my father said to me once when I had exhausted the limits of his knowledge was, “I don’t know.  Go look it up.”

And thankfully, at some point early in my childhood, my parents had decided to invest in a set of encyclopedias, The World Book Encyclopedia.  This set was omnipresent in my youth.  If I came across something while reading or watching TV that I didn’t understand or know about, I would head straight to the bookshelf.  Sometimes, I would just pick a letter and read through it at random.  Nerd!

In addition to the general set, there was a set just for kids called Childcraft.  In this set, there were volumes dedicated to specific topics like animals or space or the human body.

Perhaps it was always having so much information at my fingertips that kept me asking questions or maybe just that sense of accomplishment that came with finding the right answer.

I imagine it’s something similar for an athletic kid who discovers how good he or she is at physical activities.  Once you find that thing that sets you apart, it often becomes a part of your identity.

I still have a voracious appetite for new things, new experiences and new information.  The internet now feeds me the answers to my never-ending questions but every once in a while, I think back to my beloved encyclopedias.

Today was one of those days, and I ended up buying the above set on eBay.  I hope they are as much fun as I remember them to be.

Happy 420 Day!

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For those of you who don’t know what 420 means, it’s a reference to marijuana.  Oh my.

It’s April 20, 2012 and marijuana is still essentially illegal in the United States.  Why?

My personal opinion, garnered from much observation into the way our political-socioeconomic system operates, is that marijuana remains illegal because it would compete and probably win over customers from many other industries that fight to keep it illegal — pharmaceutical, chemical and privatized prisons, are the most obvious.

These groups spend millions lobbying to keep it illegal.  And that’s because they stand to make billions as long as it remains illegal.

Look at it this way, if marijuana was a better and safer (and probably cheaper) pain killer than what the pharmaceutical companies produced, which would you choose?

If we legalized marijuana consumption and growing, how many people would that let out of prison?  The number of people in prison for victimless, drug-related crimes is staggering.

And the idea that the government has made a plant illegal that has been grown and consumed by the human species for at least 12,000 years is absolutely ridiculous.  Are we gonna make peanuts illegal because more people are developing life threatening allergies to them?  Peanuts have killed far more people than marijuana!

If you’re having that knee-jerk reaction you always have about drugs, stop and think.  Why do you have that reaction?  Who trained you to?  The “Just Say No” campaign of your childhood, perhaps?  Have you actually done any research into the pros and cons of marijuana?

I am an adult and I should be able to choose what to do with my life.  If what I choose to do harms someone else, then the government may need to step in and protect others.  However, if there is no harm done to anyone else, then it’s my personal responsibility to determine what is in my best interest.

It’s my responsibility to choose to eat well even though the crappy food is more readily available, cheaper, and designed to be tastier and possibly even addictive.  And I’ve had to educate myself about the harm it can do to my health.  I have to choose to consume it responsibly.  Same goes for alcohol or cigarettes.  Why is marijuana not in the same category as these things???

If you are serious about wanting to reduce the size of government and to generate more funds for programs without raising taxes, Legalize it!  There is no simpler and better answer.

Enjoy your 420 today!

Pain in the Neck

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I’ve been wanting to write a blog for some time now but I’ve been stopped.  One thing stopping me has been physical and another has been mental.  They are both pains in their own rights.

Physically, I’ve been having a lot of pain and discomfort in my neck and shoulders.  I’ve been seeing a chiropractor so it’s being worked on but it hasn’t gone away yet.  I’m so tired of it.  Sometimes sitting in front of the computer aggravates it, which is what I would have to do to create a blog entry.

Mentally, I’ve had a lot of big ideas turning over in my mind and I’m having trouble expressing them in the blog medium.  They’re more like theses and long form articles.

Once I get my physical self in check, I’m going to look at how I can break down my big ideas into blog sized chunks.  I could take one of these big ideas I have and create a series.  One of them will probably have something to do with health because that’s a very important subject to me.

More to come on this soon.  I’m gonna try this in the meantime.  (You may have to copy & paste as I haven’t figure out how to make links work yet.)

http://365painfreedays.blogspot.com/2010/08/232-tuck-in-your-chin.html#links

If you happen to be a regular reader and you’ve read this far, I should give you something to make it worth your while.  How about a funny cat video?

A Frenzy of Writing

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Every year, the online site ScriptFrenzy.org hosts a writing experiment to encourage writers to stop procrastinating and put words on paper.  The game is to write 100 pages in 30 days (the month of April).

Last year, I managed to get to around 35 pages before my idea and my will petered out.  This year, I’m bound and determined to write 100 pages.  My idea is better, more complete and I’m more excited to see it through.

If you ever find yourself getting stuck, the best advice I have is to write whatever shit pops into your head until something good finally trickles out.  The worst thing you as a writer can do is to get stopped by that blank fucking page.

Write about what the room you’re sitting in looks like.  Tell a funny anecdote.  Hell, make up a dirty limerick but just write something.  Just like with exercise, you will get stronger if you actually do the action you want to improve at.

You will suck at first.  Everyone does.  Even Hemingway admits, “The first draft of anything is shit.”  But then, with a little time and a lot of practice, you will get the hang of it.

As for the Script Frenzy, there are no prizes, it’s basically the honor system as to page accounting and there’s nothing to gain but bragging rights.  No, I take that back.  What you gain is 100 pages of something that you can then get down to the business of rewriting.  That’s where all the magic happens.

I’m off to a great start with 4 and a quarter pages on the first day.  I’m ready to see this through to the end.