Black Friday Spending Spree

UN65FH6001FXZA I hadn’t really planned to do it but I ended up at Best Buy this Black Friday afternoon.

I went in to buy the new iPad Air which was on sale for $449.  Regular $499.  I can sell my iPad 3 for around $300 and only have paid a difference of $150.  It’s worth it for that.

I wandered by a bunch of 65 inch Samsung TVs priced at $999.  I had not done any research on the model and features but decided I would buy it anyway.  What’s $1000 when it comes to happy time entertainment.  It was too large to fit in my Prius obviously so I came back with the help of a neighbor’s truck to pick it up.

It turns out it is not a top-of-the-line TV but I didn’t expect it for that price.  Still it has all the basic features I need and with a little calibration has a quite nice picture.  I think I can live with it for another 5-10 years.  It isn’t a “smart tv” but then I would never use those features anyway.  My DVD player and WDTV Live have all that stuff already.

Now I have to figure out what to do with my old 60 inch Sony rear projection monster.  It’s almost too big for my mom or sister.  Maybe with a little rearrangement.  It’s still a great TV.

Get my calibration tips here.


Fifty Years of Doctor Who

Me as Peter Davison’s Doctor

I’m not being hipster-ish when I say, “I was a fan of Doctor Who before it was cool.”

Back in the early 80’s a high-school friend and I were heavy into Doctor Who.  I even went to a party dressed as Peter Davison.  I had the celery on my lapel and a sonic screwdriver.

The sad thing is that the wonderful awesomeness was cut short when the local PBS station, KLRN, decided that Doctor Who was too expensive.  Back in the days before the internet there were no alternative ways of getting it.  As a result we were plunged into decades of darkness despite numerous unanswered letters to the station pleading for its return.  We completely missed all of the new episodes of Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker.  It was the saddest thing in the world.  I have never forgiven KLRN for their crime.

We were without The Doctor from 1989 to 2005 when the new series started up.  I still need to catch up on those missed episodes.  I’ve seen a few but have many left. That’s kind of good thing.

Happy 50th Anniversary Doctor.

Dreamblog – Corpse Art

I was in my strange dilapidated dream mansion.  I went upstairs to the restroom.  There was a short bridge walkway across tall hallway at the top of the stairs.  The bridge had a moving sidewalk and no handrails.  It looked dangerous.  I pondered the reason for a moving walkway in this location.  There were many rooms in this mansion that I have yet to visit.  Who knows what waits in the other rooms.

I went downstairs to the basement.  There appeared to be a lot of people there.  I walked through the room and noticed that none of them was moving.  Upon closer examination I realized that they were dead corpses that had been set in various poses.  It was some kind of art display.  I wanted to talk to the artist but he was hiding above the ceiling tiles and I couldn’t speak to him.

I left the room and came back later.  The artist had come down from the ceiling and was turning off the lights.  I said, “Dude.  I like your art but you can’t keep them here.”  The sickly sweet smell of embalming fluid and dying flesh was making me sick.  Just as I finished my sentence, two FBI agents barged into the room holding their badges up.   They arrested the artist.

Hooked on Eating Out

rstrntI seem to have become hooked on eating out all the time.  It is standard practice for me to go out for lunch from work every weekday.  It’s  a great way to get away and is the highlight of the day.  It gives me a reason to get out of bed each morning and suffer through the boringness of work.

I usually only eat one meal a day and that is lunch so I don’t really mind spending the money.  Occasionally I might stop for a breakfast taco in the morning but usually don’t waste any time on breakfast.  Too much trouble when I’m half asleep.

In the evening I might make a sandwich or something simple and have a snack or two.

Lately I have had little interest in eating at home.  Home food is nasty and the thought of it grosses me out.  If I am going to eat I want real food.  It is, of course, because I am not a cook.  I have much interest in cooking but don’t have the ability to plan a meal.

When I am going to eat, I want it now.  I once bought a bag of beans thinking it was a good idea.  When I saw the instructions said,  “Soak in a bowl of water overnight.” I was like, “Yeah.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.”  I’m sure they would have been tasteless anyway because I don’t have anything to add flavor.

Also, cooking for one person is not only too much trouble, it actually costs more than eating out.   Once you buy all the ingredients you need you end up paying more because you have to buy larger quantities than one serving.  The rest goes to waste because I won’t want to make it again for a number of years.

What I need to do is find a system for “Cooking for One”.  I think I’ll do some Googling and maybe have to come up with something myself.  Surely this is not a new issue.  There has to be a resource.

If I can manage to cook for myself in a pleasing manner I might be able to eat a healthier diet.  I am relatively careful when I dine out to avoid things that are obviously bad for me but I don’t have full control.  I am fortunate to have a good metabolism and do not gain or lose weight easily though it is probably stretched to its limit.

I don’t know.  I will ponder this situation a little more.  I kind of like things the way they are.  Maybe I shouldn’t bother changing it.  Eating out is fun.  You get to be around people.  It’s kind of like having friends.


Thinking is the root of unhappiness

nothnkngIt is with great regret that I must submit the following conclusion to my 30 year study in unhappiness.  The cause of unhappiness is…Thinking.

When I was a young boy I was proud of my ability to think.  I had actually written back then that my favorite thing to do was to think.  I mostly pondered engineering problems.  Being an elementary school student, I obviously had no training in engineering yet I came up with some great ideas and projects.  Some, perhaps, not very realistic but still pretty good.

Thinking was awesome.  I was often amazed by the fact that all the people around me seemed incapable of thought.  I was sad for them.

As I grew through puberty my thoughts turned to new subjects.  Thoughts about my future.  About my present.  About the past.

As I grew into adulthood I became obsessed with thoughts about my past because it was a better time which was now long gone.  Living in the past will not get you anything but sadness.

My thoughts turned to the future.  Where was I going and why was my life not turning out like all the other people around me?  Why were the things I wanted most so simple yet so impossible?  Will I be spending all my livable life sitting in an office so that there will be nothing left by the time I retire?

These kind of thoughts were unavoidable and plunged me into a twenty year depression from which I am still trying very hard to claw my way out.

When I once again looked at all the people around me who were incapable of thought, I was jealous.

The Buddhists are on to something when they teach that you must control your thoughts and live in the present moment.  Thinking about the past and the future is futile.  The past is unchangeable and the future cannot be predicted by thinking and planning.

Not all thinking is bad.  It is still OK to work out your engineering in your head but try to avoid personal thoughts.  That’s why having a project is so therapeutic.   It is a means of giving your brain something to do so that it doesn’t run wild doing things that are bad for you.

This conclusion may sound pretty basic and it is.  But its validity is powerful and can not be refuted.

If you are suffering from depression and drugs aren’t working it is because drugs can’t control your thoughts.  Only you can do that.  Maybe some Thorazine can help but you can’t get that easily these days.   Recognize your thoughts and make them stop.  It is not an easy thing to do but if you can manage it, your life can begin to change.

I only wish it didn’t take me so many decades to figure it out.  It is not even a new concept.  It goes to show you that it is important to learn from other people’s mistakes and not have to learn it the hard way for yourself.   I hope this helps someone now before they lose a good chunk of their life as I did.

Cool weather is so magical

cllwthrIt has been quite cold in San Antonio for the past few days in the last week of November.  Overcast and temps in the upper 30s to low 40s.  It is very unusual to be so cold for so long so early in the year.  Winter doesn’t usually show its teeth until February and then suddenly goes away.

It is so weird to go outside and feel the cold.  Keeping cool in the long 100 degree summer days takes so much energy that it makes me think that this free cold must be costing somebody a fortune to create.

It is so wonderful and magical.  The leaves haven’t fallen off the trees yet but they are thinking about it.  I am really appreciating being able to wear warm clothing.  It feels like I have somebody to hug me.  I love it.  Too bad I will probably have to put the shorts back on next week.  Why can’t good things last just a little longer?

I just came in from a couple of hours of naked hot tubbing.  It was so awesome!  I wonder if we will finally get some snow this year?   I’ve been waiting since 1986 for another round.

Someone to talk to

lstnerYou know what I am most missing in my life?  Someone to talk to.  I mean really talk to.  Like a BFF with whom I can share my deepest secrets and darkest thoughts.

I have a few friends.  I have difficulty using the word Friend to describe them though.  More like good acquaintances.  I don’t feel I can open up to them though.  I know they will not understand.  I know they may react poorly to what I want to share.  I guess that’s why I can’t really call them “friends”.

I had a friend once, about 15 years ago.  He once told me openly that he was really glad that he had someone (me) with whom he could talk to.  I was unable to return the sentiment.  There was no way I could talk to him in that manner.  It was shortly after that we never saw each other again.  It was a good thing.

I am a great listener and am never openly judgmental about what someone may tell me.   I have an open mind and am great at keeping secrets for other people.  People can tell me anything and I will still love them.

I have a brother who is five years younger than me.  I cannot talk to him at all.  He is the dictionary definition of judgmental.   His closed mind is a brick wall with spikes.

I have sister who is 15 years older than me.  Geologically separated all my life I failed to develop a relationship to her.  She is very open-minded and intelligent but I could never feel comfortable talking to her.  In the event of an emergency, I believe she will be my only comfort.  It would have to be an emergency though.

My mom is a wonderful person.  I could possibly talk to her about a few things but I can’t stand the idea of her knowing the poor state of my mental health.  I don’t want to hurt her in any way or make her cry for me.

I have mulled around the idea of speaking to a psychologist.  A few times I came close to doing it.  I’m not sure that is really a good idea.  There are things that I would need to say that shouldn’t be said to anyone who has rules to follow.  Who knows what kind of future repercussions can follow from doing something so official.

The things I need to share can only be done with someone who is close.  A closeness that can only come from many years of great friendship.  That is not going to happen any time in the foreseeable future.  My best option right now is repression.  Keep my thoughts buried deep inside where they can fester as a mental illness.  Yes.  That’s that way it must be.  Get used to it and try not to think about it.