Tag Archives: Writing

Declutter of Meaningless Associations — There is Only Time For What is Important to You

I am not friends with 99.8% of the people I went to high school with and that is a subjective fact.  As a 31 year-old Millennial dad I find myself only having about three or four  real friends in my life at any one point in time, and I think that calculation is great! This understanding is kind of an amazing thing to consider; it’s beautiful, I love it.  I smile more.  Less of a crowd to impress, less to persuade or be a spectacle for, or to simply agree with to avoid conflict.  Gossip did that, so did a minimalist mindset. 

Moreover, I lost most of my “friends” about two years ago, around election time, around the time I realized that I didn’t necessary absolutely agree with being one of the progressive/regressive herd, or what was said on CNN or Facebook or Twitter et al. and on the mainstream news–which is everything and everywhere.  You could say I like diversity of thought.  At that time, I found myself realizing there is only time for what is important:  MY  individual  beliefs and goals.  I had to declutter my personal life of excess, so I made a plan and followed through.  It just involved being my true self and being able to walk away from things I did not need while amassing more of the essential things necessary to making my future better.  

One is aWOKEn quickly when there are mouths to feed that none of your so-called friends, the ones who don’t really do anything in a give-and-take relationship, will be putting lunch on the table or give you positive ideas and motivations or pay your credit card or student loan debt.  (Not only do they not do those things for you but YOU DO NOT NEED TO GET THEIR APPROVAL TO DO YOUR LIFE.)  I don’t expect them to, but they don’t expect you to either.  That lack of vision and support is stagnation, there needs to be positive diversity of thought in all situations.  Further, those friends may tell you big ideas and wallow, that is anitmotivational.  They may tell you they aspire but don’t have motivation or action to try, that is pro-sedentarism and takes you nowhere.  You could have mannequins around you giving thumbs up and they would do more for your self care purposes.

Realizing this is important: you make you.  Realizing it’s just you and what you make of life is key to the success you find in your life.  Friends I have lost have offered commiseration for a period of time and were necessary, approval that it is acceptable to be subpar.  Not anymore.  I declutter my basement and I declutter my friends.  I don’t need excuses or malarkey from people around me, I need action and awareness and planning, which are qualities some people my age may lack–especially the loudest ones with the biggest dreams and even bigger fingers to point at everyone but themselves.  However, I would agree some people do have these winning qualities and that is a HUGE positive, and they are close to me.  (The quiet ones with winning qualities get to work with their hands and their brains and not their mouths.)  I may be callus and I may be calculated, but only God can judge me perhaps. 

Accordingly, after reading and taking in much Brian Tracy and Dave Ramsey and documentaries on minimalism, I want role models around me, I want people who are flawed that come out better than when they started, human ones, empathetic: ones that make mistakes and come out better by experience.  I want quality not quantity.  I don’t need a bunch of virtue-signalists around me waiting for their big break.  I am flawed but I am striving for better for myself and my family and my future.  I am in debt but I have a plan to become a millionaire if I simply follow that plan. 

Everyone is flawed, so what?  I want to make tomorrow better for those I find around me and myself, so do I complain and blame or make change?  A better me means a better you for all of us.  In the past, perhaps that might have been not so, and I wondered who was around me at that point in time, what encouragement creates.  Which support systems and rules did I follow to get here or there?  Realizing that debt was controlling my life, my work, and my freedom at every moment was important to realizing I needed less of some things and more of others.  That was a great lesson but it would have never been learnt had I not been to the bottom or experienced hardships.  We find ourselves cleansing in times when we feel impure, we find ourselves taking a shower to wash clean our bodies and start new days.  I am cleansing of my student loans of credit card debt to be completely free, that is a part of this metamorphosis.  

We can think on the positive aspects of any negative situation and learn from them and and grow from them.  Every hardship or struggle or tragedy we face is a moment to learn, to come back stronger and better and more equipped to manage the world around you in the future.  We can do this with anything: friends, debt, ideology, religion, identity, etc.  Those are the times we live in; you can be a bobcat, a dinosaur, or an astronaut.

When I have a problem that I can’t solve I wait for a new day and think it over again, new thought may come my way.  This is a new day.  You have a new day now too.  Today I find myself marveling at quality not quantity.  I have friends I truly laugh with daily, truly care about constantly.  I have friends who are thoughtful and listen.  I have friends who hear my ideas and do not judge me for my honesty.  I see that with a plan and positive thinkers around me I can make it, or I can make it by myself with positive thought. 

I believe anyone can make it irregardless of everything.  I don’t have to believe that the world is ending because the television tells me so.  Or that we are going to hell because 100 % of half of the scientists in the smart part of town agree generally speaking on Headline News.  I can believe in the church but not believe in God.  I can believe that Texas Toast is made in Ohio.  I don’t have to hate a politician because everyone else does and says that I must too.  This is America!  I don’t have to show intolerance to those who I don’t agree with and then ask for tolerance from everyone around me so I can look good in my social circles, or on social media.  I can be kind all on my own, to all without being prompted.  Maybe my social circle is broken and that is tolerance.  Maybe forget social media.  Nothing is complete, except for death, probably. 

And if you agree with that and more, then that is perfectly fine, that is so.  You may just be my new friend, like at the beginning.  Perfect, right?  Well, I hope not.  Perfect is complete, ended, finished, dead.  This is just the beginning.  Maybe you will open up and cleanse yourself of the clutter you don’t need, tying you down.  You are all right with that and I am too.  Being all right is good, but it’s not the best.  You don’t have to and shouldn’t be perfect.  I am nowhere near perfect either.  Neither is this idea or this written piece, it’s fluid abstract and important and not and open to new ideas.  Though, I find myself closer to making change daily and seeing where that takes me, with or without every other individual around me who agrees or doesn’t and doesn’t change themselves or have to anyway because of it. 

There is an old saying about who needs friends, but ever better would be saying who needs you?  You NEED YOU.  Those you love NEED YOU.  They NEED YOU TO BE OPEN MINDED AND POSITIVE AND READY TO MAKE CHANGE not complaint.  I think YOU NEED YOU, too, the most because I know I need me the most too.  

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Wreckage of Doomed Nantucket Whaling Ship Pequod Discovered in Pacific Ocean, Likely Destroyed by Moby Dick–Russian hackers to blame

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Actual photo of the infamous Nantucket Whaler, The Pequod in her final resting place. -Google

The infamous long-lost Nantucket whaler, The Pequod, has been found in less than pristine condition at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Papua New Guinea,  just below the equator, researchers have said, in a discovery that challenges the accepted history behind one of whaling’s deepest and most revered mysteries.

 

The Pequod was destroyed in heavy seas in an epic historical battle with the tenacious and malevolent white whale, Moby Dick, in the 1850s, during Captain Ahab’s much storied doomed attempt to pay vengeance on the while for taking his leg.

 

All men on Ahab’s fateful expedition, except for Ishmael–by way of, ironically, a coffin, perished, in the worst disaster to hit Nantucket in its long history of whaling. Search parties continued to look for the ship for 11 years after it disappeared, but found no trace, except for Ishmael, and the fate of the missing men remained an enigma that tantalised generations of historians, archaeologists and adventurers for years to come.

 

Now that enigma appears to have been solved by a combination of intrepid exploration, literary sleuths – and an improbable tip from Team Zissou.  

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Team Zissou -Photo from Google

 

On Sunday, a team from the charitable Hennessey Research Foundation manoeuvred a small, remotely operated submarine from a dinghy through an open hatch and into the ship’s lumber to capture stunning images that give insight into life aboard the vessel close to 170 years ago.  “We found the food storage room with plates and one can on the shelves stove in.”

 

Alistair Hennessey Pacific Research Foundation

“We have successfully entered the captain’s quarters, we presume, worked our way into a few cabins, potentially, and found the spermaceti storage room with barrels and harpoons asunder,” Adrian S’moreschnapps, the foundation’s operations director, told the reporters by email from the research vessel Martin Bergmann.

 

“We spotted harpoons, a gold doubloon nailed to one of the ship’s masts, mixed with tables and empty shelving. We found a deck with curious peg holes and instruments for the purpose of whaling.”

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Not a picture of the Titanic, but a picture of The Pequod resting at the bottom of the ocean. -Photo from Google

 

The destroyed wreckage matches that of The Pequod in several key aspects, however it lies 60 miles (96km) south of where experts have long believed the ship was catastrophically done in by the hatefully-maligned white whale, and this discovery may force historians to rewrite a chapter in the history of whaling.

 

The 20-member Mountain Man crew found the absolutely obliterated shipwreck, with her three masts broken but still standing, one with a gold doubloon nailed to it, almost all hatches destroyed and everything stowed, in the middle of a vast underwater crag in the Pacific on 3 September.

 

After discovering little in an early morning search, the research vessel was leaving the bay when a grainy digital silhouette emerged from the depths on the sounder display on the bridge of the Bergmann.

 

“Most on board were up in the wheelhouse by that point in disbelief, obviously,” said Michael James Bond, 27, who was at the helm when the research vessel steamed straight over the sunken wreck.

 

Since, then, the discovery team has spent more than 5 weeks quietly gathering images of the vessel, re-reading Moby-Dick, and comparing the facts with the Pequod’s 17th century builders’ plans, descriptions, and peculiarities which match key elements of the sunken vessel.

 

At first, The Pequod seemed to be listing at about 45 degrees to starboard on the seabed. But on the third dive with a remotely operated submarine from a dinghy, “we noticed the wreck is sitting exploded to splinters on the ocean floor listed in a pile – which means the boat sank by being eviscerated by a spiteful white whale with a vendetta,” S’moreschnapps said Monday.

 

Approximately 200 metres (656.168ft) down, the wreck is in a horribly dismal condition, with American wood lumber that reinforced the hull against ocean currents clearly annihilated, visible amid swaying kelp, sharks, and giant squid.  

 

A long, heavy hemp rope line running through a hole in the ship’s deck suggests an anchor line definitely had not been deployed before the Pequod violently went down.  Which makes this event believable.

 

If fact, that sets up the tantalising possibility that Nantucket whalers sank with the vessel in an all-out impossible final battle with the notorious white whale, leaving only Ishmael to float to safety in a coffin on the vast Pacific.  

 

One crucial detail in the identification of the ship is it’s smashed in hull, damage sustained only by being smited in by a white sperm whale.  

 

“This is in the precise location where barrels stored oil in the Pequod’s belly to finance the ship’s whaling voyage, to fuel candlelight, and to squeeze coagulated spermaceti, through whaling perils and successes,” said S’moreschnapps in a phone interview.

 

The ship’s wood lies on the ocean floor, close to where the whaler on watch would have swung the clapper to mark time, and yell “There she blows!-there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!”

 

“The wreck is clearly in disrepair, the glass panes are blown out in three of four tall windows in the stern cabin where the ship’s commander, Captain Ahab, schemed and plotted his redeeming final battle,” S’moreschnapps added.

 

“She [The Pequod] looks like it was buttoned down tight for winter’s night and sank, after falling off mount Everest and then being hit by twenty trains,”– he then quickly added. “Everything was shut and decimated. Even the windows defenestrated by wood shards. If you could lift this boat out of the water, and pump the water out, it would definitely not float.”

 

Adrian S’moreschnapps, Pacific Research Foundation

The Pacific Research Foundation was set up by Jim Belushi and Alistair Hennessey, a naval tech tycoon and socialite philanthropist, who co-founded Research in the Ocean, creator of the loveable Furbies.

 

Belushi, who also played a key role in planning the expedition, proposed a theory to explain why it seems The Pequod sank far south of where they believed.

 

“This discovery changes history,” he told the Guardian. “Given the location of the find [in James Bond Bay] and the state of the wreck, it’s almost certain that The Pequod was not operationally closed down by the remaining crew who then did not re-boarded another vessel and sail south to safety where they would not have met their ultimate tragic fate.”

 

The 21st-century search for Ahab’s expedition was launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a broader plan to assert Russian sovereignty in the Pacific and promote development of its non-renewable resources – including vast reserves of sperm whale oil, ambergris harvests, and coral reef mines, which will be easier to exploit as the Pacific warms and sea ice disappears, naturally, this is attributed factually to global warming.  

 

Putin’s underwater archeologists have led the mission since it began in 2008. Now they must confirm the wreck is The Pequod, either by examining the foundation’s images or visiting the site themselves. With the first winter snow already falling in the South Pacific, James Bond Bay will soon be encased in thick sea ice.

 

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The Dramatic Sinking of The Pequod:  

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Artists accurate depiction of the sinking of The Pequod

“Only Ishmael [was] unable to return to the boat. He [was] left behind in the sea, and so [was] the only crewman of The Pequod to survive [its] final encounter. The whale [then] fatally attack[ed] the Pequod. Ahab [realizing] that the destroyed ship [was] the hearse made of American wood in Fedallah’s prophesy.

 

The whale (Moby Dick) return[ed] to Ahab, who stab[bed] at him again. The line loop[ed] around Ahab’s neck, and as the stricken whale sw[am] away, the captain [was] drawn with him out of sight.

Queequeg’s coffin c[a]me to the surface, the only thing to escape the vortex when Pequod sank. For an entire day, Ishmael float[ed] on it, and then the Rachel, still looking for its lost seamen, rescue[d] him.” -Wikipedia’s actual account of the last known sighting of the Pequod.

 

The latest discovery was made two years and a day after Canadian marine archeologists found the wreck of Erebus in the same area of eastern of the South Pacific where Inuit oral history had long said a large wooden ship sank.

 

The same stories described startled Inuit stumbling upon a large dead man in a dark room on a different vessel, with a big smile. Experts have suggested that may have been a rictus smile, or evidence that the man had suffered from scurvy.

 

Putin’s Russian archeologists found The Pequod standing in just 11 meters of ocean. Sea ice had taken a large bite out her stern, and more than a century of storm-driven waves had not scattered a trove of artifacts around the site.

 

So far, archaeologists have brought up nothing from Ahab’s flagship.

 

Inuit knowledge was also central to finding the James Bond Bay wreck, but in a more mysterious way. Crewman David Lee Roth, 49, of Gjoa Haven, had been on the Bergmann for only a day when, chatting with fon the bridge, he told a bizarre story.

 

About six years ago, Roth said, he and a hunting buddy were headed on snowmobiles to fish in a lake when they spotted a large piece of wood, near scrimshaw, which looked like a mast, sticking out of the sea ice covering James Bond Bay.

 

In a phone interview, Roth said he stopped that day to get a few snapshots of himself hugging the wooden object, only to discover when he got home that the camera had fallen out his pocket along with his selfie stick.

 

Roth resolved to keep the encounter secret, fearing the missing camera was an omen of bad spirits, which generations of Inuit have believed began to wander James Bond Bay after Ahab and his men perished.

 

When S’moreschnapps heard Roth’s story, he didn’t dismiss it, as Inuit testimony has been so often during the long search for Ahab’s ship.

 

Instead, the Team Zissou crew agreed to make a detour for James Bond Bay on their way to join the main search group aboard the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Shawinigan, at the north end of Victoria Strait.

That is where the only known record of The Pequod’s journey coordinates pointed for what experts now call the point of abandonment.

 

An indecipherable scrawled note dated sometime around that time, and concealed in a stone cairn at a secret point on northern James Bond Bay, said The Pequod had been obliterated three days earlier, smited by a hateful white whale.

 

Starbuck was in command of “the officers and crews, consisting of 105 souls”, because Ahab had gone to chase Moby Dick the note continued, “and now our captain has lead us to our demise, ignoring all foreshadowing and ominous tell… ”.

 

Stubb and First Mate Starbuck signed the note, which had what seemed a hurried postscript, scrawled upside down in the top right corner: “Listen here, ye men, we are going to die, maties!!!  The very end is nigh, in three horrible parts, Old Thunder has done us in, old boys, stove us with the mighty DICK… we drown now and go, no, no, no…  AHHHHH!!!!”.

 

Survivors apparently hoped to float to the river – now known as Henry David river – south to safety at a Jack Sparrow Bay Company fur trading outpost.

 

All perished, except the narrator, and for generations, the accepted historical narrative has described a brutal death march as the Nantucket whalers  tried to walk out of the South Pacific, dying along the way.

 

Now Moby Dick experts will have to debate whether at least some of the dying sailors instead mustered incredible strength, fighting off hunger, disease, frostbite, and a giant loathsome white whale, in a desperate attempt to sail home.

***

Mimic article from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/12/hms-terror-wreck-found-arctic-nearly-170-years-northwest-passage-attempt

Online Petitions (as Pennies in a Wishing Well)

“Everything that is beautiful and noble is a product of reason and calculation.” -Charles Baudelaire

St Paul, MN- In my opinion, petitioning everything we find disagreeable on the internet, that takes place in the United States of America, is like posting a new status on Facebook, or any other social media platform, it becomes useless.  To me, this action does very little, because those forums are monitored and controlled, like throwing a penny into a wishing well–it takes the intention out of the actor’s perception, it takes the accountability out of the petitioner’s (wisher’s) hands and puts the issue in a free fall of liquidity, placing the issue on something larger and misunderstood.  I guess I miss the reason, intention, and calculation of speaking to deaf ears.

Petitioning so visibly against matters on social media creates the same sort of sentiment that one sees when one throws a penny into a wishing well. The shiny object, the cent, goes away from our observation and into certain darkness.  The viewer of this spectacle finds that the actor in this setting has hope, has promise, has a wish with meaning. The penny falls and that is that. There is that nugget of hope left at the bottom of a wishing well. Accordingly, the petition is sent out, put forth, and left on the interwebs away from those with the ability to make change, and there it sits.  (I will attest that these petitions seem a spectacle for the mainstream media to make pennies off of as well, generating a story, while stoking a teasing interest.)

In relation to this metaphor, I aver we do something different for change, instead of a spectacle for others, we create a spectacle for ourselves.  Instead of casting a penny away, as an idea, or as a concern for a concept by writing or signing a petition, that may or may not get seen by eyes with authority and the ability to create change, one must, perhaps, write legislature, or run for office themselves; make the change they desire by becoming this change. Create the change you want by following your wishes or petitions to the top, to the office you aspire to. So often ideas become clouded by group-think and the initial principal becomes diluted, creating very little change.  With an individual seeing this principal through to fruition, those outside forces may be hampered.

The real matter at hand with petitions and pennies, perhaps, may be the level of accountability the person doing the signing, or throwing, or writing cares to do and be responsible for. We sign things all the time, this act is commonplace autonomous. I sign for coffee, I sign for sandwiches, I sign for others, I sign for packages, and I sign for beer. You do too!  How is this any different in a serious way, signing for something that is entirely important or unimportant to me? (Is changing the system important to you?  And how important?)  I find in order for change it must be a step above that kind of signing, a bit more convoluted, this giving up autonomy and comfort for belief.

Signing a petition on the internet for something you believe wholeheartedly may feel good.  You may feel you have done your part, but what part? Does this signing lack fervor though?  And how much will that well-meant signature do? To make change there must be the same amount of initiative or action or motivation as in the thought that caused it. Putting a status update on social media takes a few clicks, signing your signature is a swipe of the wrist–conditioning at this point–perhaps, neither of these actions are revolutionary (singularly alone). With them, there is only a wish and an idea thrown away, as the penny in the wishing well.  So how important is your status update or your signature for petitioning change in comparison to every other one placed in a universe of texts and signatures?

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On the video at the top of this essay, and the “Faithless Elector” movement (I didn’t watch it, the thumbnail was nice.  So I used it.) Further, we knew about the electoral college and how it worked many years ago, perhaps it is as old as the American republic.  I will cite, as John C. Dvorak of the No Agenda Podcast pointed out, where some of the inspiration for my piece comes, and I paraphrase–I hope I do justice, change the system, change the law!  Again, I paraphrase, but the gist is there.  Change the way we do things, the system, and change the law.  Hear more from him at No Agenda Podcast.  And if you perceive me wrong, I guess I am witnessing the forest for the trees, I am missing their timber.  Change may take more effort than an online trend, spectacle, or people holding well-made signs.

Life After Class – Episode I – Learn Something and Get Out!

U Libraries a priceless resource

MN Daily U Libraries editorial.JPGhttp://www.mndaily.com/opinion/letters-editor/2015/12/02/u-libraries-are-priceless-resource

The Fear of Writing – Derrida

“Elliot Smith on Freaks”, Blank on Blank, PBS Digital Studios