Could obsession by any other name smell as sweet?

It’s genuinely easy to look upon others with a sense of superiority, or at least a saccharine pity, when the subject of addiction is broached. We all have the black sheep in the family (and for some of us it’s the whole family), that has a drug or alcohol addiction, allowing it to ruin every thing that did or could make that person great. There are few things in life akin to the sorrow of disappointment in others with potential.

I dare say that these obsessions, these addictions, are just easy pickin’s. I for example drink very little. I do not smoke, nor do I engage in illicit substances abusively or recreationally, yet I am prone to my own obsession that both rob me of the life I could lead and the concentration, at times, even to dream.

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I need your help.

As I start to type this, Google offers about 1,540 results for the query “base unit of attention”.

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sketch book 01

Here is a sketch of a thing. I don’t see fleshing it out into anything, but it’s helpful to me to mess with an idea and see where it goes.

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(The Ice-Cream Story)

One night (I was living in Montucky at the time) I decided I would like a root beer float. Living alone at the time, I had to arrange the thing myself. Being too lazy to drive to the store at the time, I had to procure the ingredients from the gas station a block from my apartment. To wit: ice-cream (vanilla) and root beer (pref. Barq’s Famous Old Tyme).

I found the Barq’s straight away and then headed for the frozen goods bin. Lo and behold, there were several flavors of ice-cream… but no vanilla. This presented complications. Childhood experiments had taught me that chocolate was no good for floats so I extended that result to mint chocolate chip and strawberry and whatever the hell else was in there. Neapolitan was present, but I had no interest in all the trouble involved in gutting the vanilla out. Besides, those childhood gustatory experiments had also revealed that while neapolitan can be something of a treat, its component parts- the chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla- were never best in class.  So I was kind of stuck, faced with a deep yearning for a root beer float and only having half the ingredients on hand. That’s when I spotted the fix.

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I’m Looking Into It

I guess I first noticed the rash a few weeks ago.

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Let’s try this again.

I believe the matter is now laid to rest.

Now if you’ve got a few minutes, I’d like to relate how we got to this point.

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Yes on Infinity…

I don’t know if I’ll be doing something new each week on Futurama, but I do love that show. So this week I decided to make a little button on proposition infinity, and as a bonus I am putting it up in my newly created store!

If you want one for your very own, just follow this link.

Also I was toying with the vinyl cover again, this one is not quite where I want it to be though. If you have a better idea, let me know!

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To those responsible…

I’m not the most politically active guy in the room. Trust me. Neither do I claim a party as my own. If you simply must label me, let’s call me moderate. With ever increasing intensity from conservative extremists whom I will dub from here on out “the crazies”, I feel that something needs to be said for the democrats who are facing some of the most outrageous persecutions we’ve seen in civilized America.

Personally, I see the healthcare reform bill as a breath of fresh air; a penetration of the most unfortunate of our citizens into the same access to life and health that those with money and privilege have enjoyed for half a century. I understand that people are afraid. All change brings a certain level of fear, and rightly so; but change is the very foundation of America. We are here today living lives of unprecedented freedom due to the need for a change; the promise of a better life. Has it been all roses and unicorns? Of course not, but we have enjoyed some of the greatest prosperity in civilized history.

Which brings us to the bill that everyone loves to hate: the healthcare reform bill. This legislation is one of the most ambitious and sweeping reforms we’ve ever seen in our great democracy. The dire situation in the healthcare industry is one of our own design. We created this beast by putting private industry in the driver’s seat. Insurance should never have become our only gateway to decent healthcare, and because we gave the keys to our very survival to corporate interest, the system spiraled into the mess it is today. Hospitals and doctors bloated the cost of healthcare because they knew insurance would cover it and in turn the prices continued to rise steadily over the last few decades. Fees have ballooned to such an outrageous level that when I went to see a specialist (without insurance mind you) they charged me $300 for roughly 5 minutes of the doctor’s time. Could this have existed without insurance. If health insurance didn’t exist, do you think that doctor would really have the gall to look every patient in the face and demand these astronomical rates for mere moments of his day?

Access to insurance has become so vital to the common man that companies use it to control their workers. People are afraid to strike out on their own or take any time off or to switch companies because they are so afraid of losing their healthcare coverage. Add to that the fact that insurance companies are doing their absolute best to stop coverage for those who are in the greatest need. The lives of these people are quantified into dollars and cents, and those who are worse then the rest are dropped; their lives forfeit for the cost of their care. It is truly an abomination! I once overheard a pastor in a church reducing the weekly attendance to a dollar per head amount. I haven’t been back there in 5 years.

When I heard that healthcare reform had passed, I was elated. I was pleased that the American people had found it in their heart to stand up for the weak and alone. Their generosity inspiring me to something greater in myself. I was on the edge of my seat in the days leading up to this momentous vote and the american people came through!

In the wake of this decision, however, the crazies have made their voices heard, to the tune of racial slurs, threats of violence and murder, and even spitting on members of congress. As much as I would like to relegate these acts of insanity to the most remote and disconnected members of our society, it is becoming more evident that the the crazies are present even to the level of our Republican representatives. Yelling inflammatory slurs on the floor of the house at both other US congressmen and the president himself. In the face of this unprecedented behavior I have only one conclusion to make of our democratic congressmen as they push forward with this bill, they are true American heroes.

Though they are afraid of where this vote will put them; in the face of political suicide and even death threats, they stand up for something they believe is more important than even their careers. Voting for this bill has brought about mania in the conservative right, and the republicans are using every inch they can get to wrench control from the democrats in the upcoming elections. In spite of the danger to their future and their person they have come together and brought life to so many who desperately seek it. As this bill passes, I see relief on the face of a friend who was on the verge of ending her marriage to qualify for medicaid because until now she was uninsurable. For so many this means hope for life, and for so many more hope for a better life.

To those who supported this bill and brought it to us in the face of unnatural opposition, I salute you. The real American heroes. Thank you for all you have done for us.

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3D is a fucking gimmick!

I saw Avatar a couple of weeks ago. At a theater. In 3D. Let me tell you about my experience.

When I arrived at the box office I was prepared for my normal culture shock of a $8.00 matinee (don’t get me started on how overpriced I feel this is ANWAY). But instead, I was treated to a much more intrusive price tag to see Avatar, $11.00. For a matinee.

After paying, I handed my ticket to the ticket taking guy and he handed me the new Holy Grail of cinema, a pair of hideous 3D glasses in a plastic bag. I was not to be using these glasses as sunglasses mind you, the warning on the package was clear, honestly I don’t have enough hipster in me to actually attempt this. In order to make this glasses situation a bit more palatable, I wore my contacts that day so I wouldn’t have to deal with the double glasses situation. And let me say that I am very glad i did. These glasses were NOT designed for anyone that actually needs glasses to see.

So I tear open my plastic bag and toss it in the provided can, ready to see the highest grossing film of all time in the format that is lauded by every corner of mankind, foreign and domestic. And with great anticipation, the experience begins.

I have to say, Avatar is hands down the best presentation of 3D I have ever seen, and I have seen a few. I was definitely awed by the first 20 minutes. I say 20 minutes because by about minute 22 it was old news. The effect wore off and I was just watching a movie. You don’t continue to notice the 3D, as you shouldn’t. 3D is only an effect as long as it is distracting you from the movie, after that, I’m sorry to break it to you folks, you are just watching a movie.

On that note I would like to say that Avatar was mediocre movie at best, and I mean AT BEST! To add insult to injury I was put through a 3 hour romp in the forest that takes stabs at  military, business, and technology all for a message of conservation and eco freindliness. Did anyone else notice that they just opened a pair of throw away glasses from a plastic bag in order to watch a movie that could only have been paid for by HUGE business interests, only to throw the glasses in a big trash bin on exit.

The mechanics of this film’s presentation violate all of its axioms with one sided evil characters that you could only imagine tortured kittens to their glee as children. But this isn’t a movie review, if it were, it would be a scathing one.

After Avatar 3D I had to ask myself if my movie going experience had actually been enriched by a technique. There have been evolutions in film over the years, beginning with consistently timed motors, sound, and color film stock. Is this one of those steps for us in cinema history? Many would argue that it is, but I hope not. Movies are too expensive as they are, but we don’t need the cost of making them to actually increase not to mention projection and the waste created by those godawful glasses.

And a nomination for Best Picture by our Academy of Motion Picture Arts. Avatar wasn’t even the best sci-fi film of 2009. Sigh.

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