instant gramming

February 24, 2009

Nature Life

The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.
Zeno, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosopher
Greek philosopher (335 BC - 264 BC)
At first I was satisfied by the perfect simplicity of this quote. The more I think about it as a literal, absolute truth, the more hopeless it seems for humans to attain such a goal. For probably as long as humans have been able to do more than just survive (i.e. be productive, be thoughtful, do work, profit, and be leisurely), the direction has been away from nature, or at least to capitalize on it, which to me seems to be in direct conflict, not agreement. Unless it is to agree to disagree.

Sure, like any other species, we choose to be efficient and productive and as long as we survive, we are selected and make offspring. But if we would like to credit nature with inspiring industrialism, it would be the opposite of what Zeno was thinking: sterile environments, box houses, automobiles, mass production--things that make our lives easier and more un-natural. What this has done is put us at the top of the food chain for now--which is evolutionary success, maybe. Unless we find out all our anti-bacterial soap really is creating a resistant super-bacteria that ends up extinguishing the prolific human species! Daaaaaag.

Maybe Zeno is being more hopeful though (and not so literal): the goal of a human's life should be living to maximize harmony with nature. The goal of life is to be a part of it. Get connected.

February 15, 2009


new bike!
trip to the pet store! c is beautiful even when she's sick
cleaning broken glass on the bike path! this is one of a bunch of broken bottles on the bike path within a quarter mile of each other. punk kids need to get schooled

February 11, 2009

"Your Burpee Order has shipped"

Here are the items that were partially or fully shipped:

Item Id Item name Original Qty Delivered Qty Remaining Qty
53439A TOMATO VIVA ITALIA HYBRID 1.00 1.00 0.00
63726A TOMATO FRESH SALSA 1.00 1.00 0.00
54833A SQUASH SUNRAY HYBRID 1.00 1.00 0.00
67017A SPINACH SALAD FRESH 1.00 1.00 0.00
54734A SWISS CHARD BRIGHT LIGHTS 1.00 1.00 0.00
63655A PEPPER MARIACHI HYBRID 1.00 1.00 0.00
63750A LETTUCE EZ SERVE 1.00 1.00 0.00
54916A HERB THYME CREEPING 1.00 1.00 0.00
54858A SQUASH BORN FREE HYBRID 1.00 1.00 0.00
53397A SQUASH WALTHAM BUTTERNUT 1.00 1.00 0.00
99004 SEA MAGIC 1.00 1.00 0.00
41310A ZINNIA PURPLE PRINCE 1.00 1.00 0.00

February 10, 2009

Only One Manda: The Best Things In Life Are Free [David's abridged version: the remix: volume 1]

Amanda (Only One Manda):
...First of all, we're (and by "we," I mean middle class students in the United States) made to believe that having a degree is a good and useful thing. It is when the economy is good, but when the economy is looking like Germany right around the time when people were using deutschmarks as wallpaper, it's not quite so useful. Knowing a trade is useful. Because there's a market for it.

I'm pretty sure that there isn't a job market for 20 somethings with BA's in religion and MA's in Theological Studies and no experience doing anything. I'm not sure what I thought would happen, but I'm pretty sure I thought that any kind of a Master's Degree would at least ensure that I wasn't going to be living well UNDER the poverty level. That's weird, isn't it?...

I've been working my little ass off in Maryland, here. Two jobs. The usual. Then, poof, one of the jobs couldn't afford me anymore. They felt really bad about it, but I had to go. That's fine...

Some people aren't as lucky as I am, though. I wonder what's going to happen to them as we lose more jobs. I wonder what's going to happen to us as more and more qualified and eager workers can't find work because there simply isn't any to be found? I wonder what's going to happen to families with children to feed. To people who don't have the familial resources needed in times like these.

I have to hope that we'll be able to pull ourselves out of this awfulness as a country. As a collective of human souls who have each other's best interests at heart.

I hope we're going to be willing to take a cut in hours or forego a raise so that we can ALL keep our jobs. Not just some of us. Not just the lucky ones. ALL of us. A-L-L.

Think about that in the upcoming years. What are you doing to take care of your fellow human beings? What are you doing to usher in a time of concern for each other? Of common human decency?

Even though it might seem like it, now is not the best time to have an "every-man-for-himself" mentality. That's the kind of thing that kills us.

The empowering potential of the human spirit, I might argue, is the very BEST thing in life...

Last night I was watching the news and the report was about how a bunch of police recruits who have just completed all their training were being blocked from the police force due to city budget cuts. The report went on to say that a dozen recreational centers around the city are closing due to budget cuts. Here is my first thought: kids from homes or families that will potentially be broken by the economy are losing places to go play, socialize, and be safe, and instead are turned to the streets that have no police force to offer safety. Now, my cynical side argues that a police force could be corrupt or useless or whatever, that citizens should band together to protect themselves, and that the streets should fundamentally be just as safe. Is that the case? I don't know, but doubt it. Then again, I'm pretty insulated in a middle-class suburb that is likely going to keep its Rec Center.

I hope city budgets get fixed so that we're putting money into education and recreation--but where does that money come from? I have no clue... Maybe people should start paying for their trash services around here...

February 5, 2009

Saves the Day - Through Being Cool

Great GREAT album.
"Best song?" you ask.
"You Vandal" I reply without hesitation.
(Crap, then I remember "Do You Know What I Love The Most")
If anyone has this album, please send me a copy. I lost mine a long time ago

Through Being Cool on IMEEM

You Vandal:
Last night I dreamt you called from Costa Rica
The place you've been for the last two weeks
You said, "I miss you, oh sweet boy," and "Will you come on down?"
I woke up to my cold sheets and the smell of New Jersey
When do I get to wake up to you?
Today I can't forget that I've got these open wounds
It's such a drag
I can't forget you've gone
My ribs have parted ways
They said, "We're not going to protect this heart you have."
Oh no, what can I do?
My lungs are breathing open air
And my spleen is dripping from my pants
You've left me here in the cold
And I miss you
You never told me it would be this hard
I think my body's saying so
When you're not here, it's leaving me
But I hope that you're o.k.
Even though I'm dying
I hope that you're still trying to have a killer time
Go see the volcanoes
Go see the rainforests
I'll be fine by myself
I'll be fine without these bones.

February 3, 2009

Too Fixed, Too Furious: fixed gear is the new drift car

Checking out the "bike photo thread" over at Trick Track online forums I confirmed an earlier suspicion: many people getting into fixed gears were (or still are) into race cars, drift cars, car kits, and the like. Check out this link (LINK!) and follow the conversation down toward the bottom of the page to see what I mean.

"Pimping" a bike (to steal a term from MTV's "Pimp My Ride") with expensive, shiny, anodized parts and riding it in a cautiously reckless manner around a parking lot is hardly different than car club culture. I mean, "drifting" and "skidding" are literally the same thing. What might be a fortunate outcome is that this new coolness could hasten the extinction of car-envy by providing a similarly testosterone-filled, but less-polluting substitute. But I guess what the forum above proves is that drift cars are no less cool to this faction of track-tricksters despite the prevailing stereotype that all cyclists are anti-automobile.

February 2, 2009

Reflections on Success/ The kids are alright

Over the weekend, I was speculating on whether I suffer from a fatal case of poor work ethic or just a temporary lack of inspiration by the options for work I see available to me. C, Amanda, Andy, and I had a discussion about "success" and, if I recall correctly, we had basically narrowed the definition down to making money by over-working. So, by being on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can be "a success," I guess, says the guy on-call 24 hours a day. This indicates that success comes in direct conflict with building or strengthening relationships. Granted, there are trade-offs and compromise with everything. I can only be so dedicated to skateboarding or tattoos or bikes, because I have time I want to give time to C and Alden and the rest of my family and--uggh--work. C and I have been reflecting on the importance of money lately. I just can't find enjoyment in working a job that is not relevant to my life--spending 8 hours each day of the work week away from home, not doing a thing for myself or my family, except making money. What if I was devoting some of that (day-) time to a large garden, keeping it fertilized, well-watered, properly trimmed and harvested, free of weeds, AND producing year round?!

Even still, accumulating money seems to promise an indefinite (but probably unattainable) amount of satisfaction and the alternative seems very precarious--with happiness no more certain. I'm trying to figure out how to raise a family and give a kid everything I had and more: a daunting task.

[UPDATE: After receiving a few responses about the post above I realize I need to clear one (major) thing up that is less clear than I intended. The definition of success I referred to is not OUR personal vision of success, but it is our perspective of mainstream society's vision of success--which is coming at us from many different angles, including one guy Andy met who was constantly on his phone and who said something about being on it 24 hours a day to get where he was. I don't envy that type of "hard work." The whole post had come about because I don't know how to define success--will it be money I make or save? Will it be maximizing time spent at home, with family, and doing great things for my home and family? Probably the latter, or something similar to it. But more and more I am feeling like I need to solidify my definition of it so I can move in a new direction perhaps. I understand about balancing, compromise, and sacrifice--but I know there has to be a better way where we redefine success, place more value in home & family over careers. I guess I'm literally talking about "doing" versus "spending". You can work a job to make money to buy food (= spending)...or you can grow food (= doing). Then you don't need that amount of money, right?]