Noise of the World


As I sat there with the headphones pressed into my ear holes and the mist of the waterfall drifting over my face, thoughts passing through my head.  These hikes to someplace have become quite regular for me.  Pack the dog up with some food and ensure my camera and phone batteries are charged.

And.

Headphones.

That’s my topic.  Or at least the springboard to my topic.

When I was a kid, we had to get those ones with the foam covers and that little wire shaped to hold them over our head.  They are, as most things, much better today.  Much more flexible.  Much better sound.  Much more prevalent.

Let’s face it.  Nobody has to lug around a Walkman.  Nobody has to create mix tapes.  Nobody has to haul around all this equipment.  Or a boombox on their shoulder.

Go to the store.  Walk around and notice how many people of various ages have headphones in.  Connected with wires or Bluetooth, all these people are walking around listening to music or books or news or podcasts or probably nothing at all.  Depends on their reason for having the headphones in.

Thoughts lead me to believe there are two reasons for headphones.

I figure that there’s a good chunk of people who are trying to let the noise in.

I’m guessing there’s a bigger percentage of people who are trying to keep the noise out.  They want to be oblivious to everything and everybody.

Is that guy in line at the grocery store really captivated by his Facebook feed?  Or is it simply his way of avoiding having to create small talk or be friendly to the cashier?  Does he think it makes him look important?

We see it everywhere.  People trying to avoid the noise of the world.  Sucking themselves into their own little shell.

I’ve known people who told me they do not actually have any music on when they wear headphones.  They do not receive any calls.  They just want to be left alone.

I’m not going to lie.  I keep my headphones in when I go the store.  If I’m already wearing them.  If I’m already out on a walk.  But I’m letting the noise in.  Nothing brings me greater piece.

But there is a part of me that realizes me doing this is also to keep the noise out.  I know this.

I hate all the noise.

Static.

White noise.

Ear hole clutter.

We live in a world where the neighbor no longer has to look through the kitchen blinds in order to find out what is going on.  Bewitched would have a whole new set of plots these days.

Your neighbor is announcing everything.  Your neighbor is blasting it on every social media and your neighbor does not care who reads or hears it.

We all have leashes electronically tied to us.  Everybody thinks they should be able to get a hold of you at anytime.  For any reason.  All the time.

I don’t need that noise.

All that static.

That constant invasion of gossip and garbage.

This isn’t progress.

I changed my phone number over a year ago.  Didn’t give it to many people.

No static at all.

I stepped back and simplified.  And I didn’t care who it offended.  I didn’t care who got upset.

I’ve been happy about it.

I finished my walk this afternoon.  Me and the dog.  Headphones in.  I’ve been finding so much new music lately.  My drug of choice.

I took pictures of the landscape around me.  I tried to change the settings for a fluid waterfall.  I guess I need I need a stabilizer.  Add it to my list.

I never heard when somebody walked behind me on the trail.

It’s okay.

I was at peace.

And I’m not sacrificing any of this peace.

No matter how upset somebody may get.

fluidfall

What is the Deal with February?


I woke up this morning in a way that I often do.

Thinking about shit that doesn’t really matter.  At all.

But that’s the way the brain is designed.  I use the word “designed” loosely.  As if there is a designer.

If I truly believed there were a designer of the brain, I’d probably wake up trying to determine why such an engineering flaw was pushed through.  I mean, there had to be a a series of approvals and designs and redesigns which landed us with the model we are working with today.

Had a car been developed with all the flaws the human mind carries, a better model would have been introduced by now.  One with more safety features and more economical and with tinted windows.

Engineers can be an odd breed.

When I was quite young, I would query the meaning behind the calendar.  The Gregorian Calendar.  Why?  A word too many children dispose of as they get older.  We could use a few more why questions and far less blind acceptance, but we get beaten down.

It is what it is- the cop out of our time.

I had real issues with the calendar when I was a child.

Why are some months 31 days and some 30 and what is the deal with February?

As I got older I applied some math.  There are 365 days and if we divide seven into that, we learn that there are 52 weeks in a year.  And one day.

I never could understand why we could not do anything with that day.  Should be able to hide that day somewhere.  Or make it up at a later time.

Using deck of cards math, we know that there should be 13 months of four weeks each.  There should be 13 weeks of four seasons.  Start the year of with the season of spades and end with hearts.

And then do something with that one day.  We’ll call it a sandbag.

I looked up the calendar before I started writing this.  I decided not to learn anything.  Some people have really put some effort into their wikipedia entries.

I applaud them for this.  But it’s a slow clap that ends quickly.  We all have our things.

Here’s what I got:  Pope Gregory was finding a way to accommodate when Easter falls and on and on.

I’m guessing 13 was an unlucky number.

I’m guessing they all were trying to find a way to keep the number to the highly overrated number 12.  The Bible is full of magic 12 and seven stories.

History loves those numbers.  Even if we have to fit those numbers into the story.

History is full of so many superstitions.

Yet another design flaw had there ever been engineers.

And that’s what I woke up thinking about.  Not just some cheesy story about how I was curious why the calendar was designed as it was or how the foot was poorly designed or other engineering defects.

I was considering how one of the human mind’s greatest flaws is how we try to fit our expectations into the world we experience.

This is also the engineering flaw of religion.  There was expectation that humans are the center of the universe.  There is an expectation that there is something more for humans that there is for the common animal.  There was expectation that good things will come thanks to karma.  There was an expectation that we need to justify the events which happen to us- the book subtitled everything happens for a reason.

Engineering without analysis.

Also the design flaw of most governments.

Watch as every single politician does a little dance to create an argument which supports ideas which fit their little world and avoid walking out of their comfort zone.  They support ideas which are selfish and actually bad for the rest of society.  We demonize everything which we don’t understand.

Stories of Newton and how he struggled with his own observations of the world because they didn’t fit well with his Catholic raising.

Why wouldn’t we simply start each month with the full moon?

Why wouldn’t we measure it out in easy to understand concepts?

We does it bother me?

Our people and their ability to be apathetic is insanely frustrating.

By the way, another giant engineering flaw had I ever believed in an engineer.

After lying there in bed for a while on my day off, I took in very little Sunday morning programming.  A show and a half.  All I can take.  Each show filled with politicians and panelists all doing the same thing.  Waltzing their words in time and rhythm with a Billboard Top Twenty feel.  They’ve convinced themselves they are right even if they cannot possibly be.  Playing the hits of the day and trying to cash in on all the latest talking point trends.

And, meanwhile, nobody cares.  And everybody cares.  So the whole world distracts itself.  And convinces itself it’s correct.

Another engineering flaw.  The brain is so easily influenced.  So easily infiltrated.  So easily affected and corrupted.  The human brain is vulnerable.  And we are all so stubbornly rigid.

Because we grew too old to ask why.

It’s currently June.  Somebody decided to make June a 30 day month.  Once upon a time we needed a 12 month year.  Based on this 24 hour cycle, we knew that there were 365 days most years.  The seven days of the week named after the seven things we could see in the sky.  Named after the gods we named the sky after.

 

Because we engineered it all into a neat little package.  We had to.

It’s about the expectation and how well we can fit our needs toward them.

The thing is that it works.  It’s a successful strategy which will continue as long as these poorly engineered vehicles of life house the poorly engineered motors trying to justify the navigation of life.

We displaced the gods.  Not the days of the week.

Be good.

It’s a music and nature day.

Leadership- Yesterday vs. Today


When I was a kid, there was probably little I wanted to do more than play football.  I fully enjoyed the sport.

We didn’t have much money as a family, so I waited until I was entering Junior High School and was ready.

I remember my dad took me for the required physical.  The doctor had to sign off on my health and didn’t really want to.  He told me I was healthy, but I was small.  He suggested I wrestle instead so I could play with kids my own size.

I have never been interested in wearing a unitard which fails to cover one’s nipples.

I insisted that I wanted to play football.  Basketball in the winter.  Baseball in the spring.

The doctor tried one more time and signed what he needed to sign and my dad signed the waiver and I was ready to play.

One thing I knew was that I was fast.  I wanted to play receiver and defensive back.  We all went out on that first season and ran and ran.  For two solid weeks.  The amount of kids who were running around the football field probably dropped in half after ten workouts.

It was real work.

The people on the television make it look easy.

But I won the job of starting receiver and safety that season.

It was in my second season that I really started to learn about myself.  I was upset that I showed up on that first day of practice and was somehow not the starting receiver.  But I worked for it, got the attention of the coach, and earned the job.

The coach of that team ran the ball almost exclusively.  In fact, I remember him attempting only one pass and he had only one passing play in the playbook.  Similarly, he put seven people on the defensive line.  He was taking advantage of the fact that we were all too young to really throw the ball effectively.  This coach was in his 60’s and this was back in the mid-80’s.  I’ve always understood that he came from another generation.

He wasn’t of the high flying San Diego philosophy of the time.

So much had changed in the time that television started broadcasting football.

So I had to take a position on the defensive line.  Something I wasn’t all that interested in.  Yes, I wanted to play, but I wasn’t all that big, as discussed above, and wasn’t interested in the struggle at the line.

Here’s where I’m pretty much ready to shift.

We were practicing one afternoon.  I was on the defensive line.  The coach told the offense to go on one.  As the ball was snapped, I felt his foot hit my ass.

He didn’t know who Red Foreman would be, but apparently that was his thinking

I got the point.  Get off the line faster.  I think he could have delivered that message better.  But this is back when teachers beat children rather regularly.

In a different point I may make another time, I didn’t finish a third season.  That’s financial and I believe it’s a timely discussion.

Fast forward to about a month ago.  I’m watching a Spring Training baseball game.

I’ve written often how much I enjoy baseball and how much the beginning of the season means to me.  This is also how long I’ve been thinking of writing on this topic.

The announcers were discussing the stark contrast of the current management and the managers from when they played 20 plus years ago.

Baseball managers have long been known for having a temper.  There’s videos of many managers red faced, kicking dirt, throwing bases, and on and on.  Such great comedy.  These old school managers were foot in your ass managers.

The announcers were saying that the current management was more interested in staying calm, analyzing statistics and trends, and creating a comfortable atmosphere for the players.

The announcer continued, with the amount of money these players make, if a manager pushes players too hard, they’ll just go somewhere else.

Over 600 words.  I want to get to my point.

I’ve had many different kinds of bosses.  People learn from those whom they responded best.  Some people like to get kicked in the ass.  There’s a whole bunch of people who enlist into the military.

The military was never for me.  Neither was getting kicked in the ass.

I’ve been a leader for many years.  I believe in analysis.  I believe in measurements and metrics.  I believe that people need to go to work, be on time, and do their part to achieve the goals of the group.  Can’t start a game late.

But, much like the announcers on the game were saying, I’ve always believed if I treat those who report to me well, they will perform better for me and come back.

Unlike the argument about baseball players making so much money they can just refuse to play, wages are so low in this world that there is simply too much competition at the minimum wage level.

The minimum wage in my state is $11/hour.  One may be able to get up to $12.50 or $13 someplace.   While an extra couple of dollars can be a couple months’ rent and certainly helped with bills, there’s another job around and it’s not worth getting your ass kicked on a daily basis.  The young change jobs so often.  This wasn’t always the case.

Think about that minimum wage.  $440/week.  $1,760/month.  One can’t even find an apartment in this area for less than $1,000/month.  And there will be taxes taken out of that wage.  Gas.  Food.  Life.

Even at the extra $320/month at the high end of the scale, you better not need anything extra in your life.  Better not get sick.  It’s definitely not going to give anybody a great quality of life.

In fact, management really should take into consideration that the people reporting to work these days are already getting their ass kicked in life.

But this about management style.  This is about old school “kick you in the ass” because good luck getting a better job than this one vs I take care of my people and give goals so they will work for me tomorrow.

There’s been too much change over the last forty years.  The distribution of wealth has changed the landscape.  And, furthermore, the need for a more robust working class has changed the landscape of the workplace.  People have to be more sensitive.  They have to take others into account.

Mad Men and All in the Family is the past.

Our leaders should all evolve.

Bigly.

A Passenger


It is what it is.

Quote of the decade.  And I really hate it.

The shoulder shrug of words.

I don’t care what your worship.  It doesn’t matter.

You could worship Trump or Clinton or Obama or Rand Paul.

You could worship any of the gods that are available to you.

You could worship corporations.  You could worship Wal-Mart or you could prefer small business.

You could worship the Kardashians.

You could worship Susan Sarandon or Bernie Sanders or Sean Hannity.

We are all simply passengers on this train going the exact opposite direction it needs to go.

You could worship pain killers or alcohol or opiates.

Everything above is a distraction.  Everything makes you a passenger.  You are on a train.  You are not controlling the direction.  We have given up control of everything.

It is what it is.

And we all let it be.

By idolizing the crazy.

This train is a service train.  Let’s be realistic about that.  Really a conversation I had with my daughter moments ago.  We live in a service economy.

The jobs that are available are jobs that serve.

Fast food.

Logistics.

Sales.

There is no climbing the corporate ladder.  That was the 80’s.  Everything is different now.

My mom had a skill.  She could type really fast.  She still can.  That put her foot in the door for a better career.  Nearly 40 years ago.

I find it hard to communicate the struggles of the average worker these days.  The mentality has changed.  If you got in, congratulations.

Here’s the thing.  I hate the phrase “it is what it is” because it’s not.  We have merely accepted “it” and we are not willing to fight.  And now my children have to struggle with “it” and not push forward.

It’s a strange time to have adult children.  To try and encourage them to be their best.  To push for the their future.

Let’s face it.  We have been passengers allowing those in charge to take us the wrong direction for way to long.  We didn’t even fight.

Democrat and Republican.  They both did us in.

My kids struggle to find hope.  And I understand, because hope is the crack cocaine of the mind.  But we need hope.  We need to feel there is a future.

All of us.

We’ve been passengers for all too long.  We are not making America great again.  We are torturing the impoverished.  Blatantly.  We are actually going backwards in this socioeconomic world we live in.

We are all just passengers watching the elite and wealthy taking us on a torturous journey.  Exporting jobs and taking tax breaks.

Trickle down is not real.  It’s a disguise.  It’s blatant welfare which helps the wealthy.

This is the beginning of “what do I tell my kids?”

How do I encourage them?

Late night talk show hosts like to make light of millennials, but I see a different issue. This is not about being lazy.  This is about hope.

So let’s name the train “Hope” and believe the directions is correct.  Because it’s been going the wrong direction for way too many years.  And there aren’t too many people trying to right the ship.

It is what it is.

And it is going the wrong direction.

But this train won’t be turned around anytime soon.  Because we are all just passengers watching the Kardashian scenery instead of participating.

We are all just looking out the window.

Somebody needs to overthrow the engineer.

Benevolent Dictator- Bait and Switch


I promise this will come together, so bear with the pieces of information in the beginning.

We are the product of everything that has happened to us.  This is the truth.  I refuse to believe anything else because I’ve witnessed this over and over.  It starts with the genes that were given to us, it moves on to how we were raised, it’s influenced by the people and events we’ve witnessed and interacted with, and it ends with death.

There are random events between genes and death which will influence us all with some coefficient.  Yes, I believe it’s math.

When I write, I often find inspiration from those in which I can have honest discussions.

I have a problem:  I cannot back down from any conversations regardless of topic.

It’s a flaw I’ve learned to live with.

I currently have a boss who goes to great lengths to restrict honest discussion regarding anything.  I received an email once.

Years ago I had weekly interactions with a person from the other side of this country.  He picked up product every Tuesday.  That was it.  And he would come in to my office and wait for his paperwork.

He hated Obama.  Told me that Obama would take away all our guns.  He told me that he lived in Illinois and knew best what Obama really wanted to do.

I wish Joe was alive now for me to show him how many guns everybody has.

Joe also discussed with me one night that what the United States really needs is a benevolent dictator.  He thought we needed a person who would step in, do what’s right for everybody, and things would just fix itself.

Because, let’s face it, the reason we can’t have good things is because Congress is too easily influenced to do the wrong thing.  At all cost.

Greed ruins everything.

We’ve all seen it repeatedly.

But I don’t think Joe was alone, because while half the country sat at home on election night, the rest voted for a man who they seemingly thought could be that benevolent dictator.

The key was that the country needs to move away from politics as usual.  Step away from the normal that we’ve experienced over the last forty years.

I think if Joe were alive today, we’d revisit this benevolent dictator discussion from eight years ago.  We’d revisit whether or not the man who ran to be the benevolent dictator has changed adjectives.  Spoiler alert:  Trump is not benevolent.  At least not to the average person.

He’s really just dictator.

No, corporate dictator.

Were he to be a benevolent dictator, his executive orders would be very different.

His cabinet would be completely different.

I recently read that the word “very” should never be used because there is a better word to describe what you are saying.  I’m not sure I have one for very different, but I’m going to think on that.

A benevolent dictator would not ban people from a certain region.

A benevolent dictator would not hire only men to decide what women would be legally allowed to do regarding their bodies.

A benevolent dictator would not sign only billionaires on to help run the government as if it was a fraternity of the wealthy.  One cannot really run the government like a business.

A benevolent dictator would never use religion.

A benevolent dictator would not deregulate.

A benevolent dictator would not be so upset about his daughter losing business with Nordstrom’s.  Or Macy’s.  Or Ross.

So I have some executive orders that a benevolent dictator may sign.  Because, let’s face it, a benevolent dictator is making rules to help people.  Not business.  If people have money, then business will do well.

Those were the laws of the past.

We have conned people into thinking that businesses need continued growth on our backs.  We have convinced the people that they need less than they’ve ever had before so that the Trump family can have more each and every year.

And so that the Koch Brother finally feel like people because of Citizen’s United.

It’s like what happened to Pinocchio.

So here are a few executive orders I would sign.  Things that would really help people.

  1.  I’m calling this the Vonnegut Amendment- Every person who wants a job deserves to get a job at a living wage.  Basically, we need to encourage the growth of this country not through golf courses and credit and Wall Street, but through middle class growth.  We need to get people in a position where they can spend money readily and stimulate the economy.  We need to help people raise families.
  2. No corporation is human.  They just aren’t.  They have people who work for them.  They cannot donate anymore than they could the lowest earning human.  They cannot spend company money influencing the government.  Stop giving more influence to the wealthy.  It does nobody any good.
  3. Churches start paying taxes.  If a barista is responsible for paying taxes on her tips, then a pastor should have to pay taxes on his tips.  When I see churches larger and better built than the neighborhoods they live near, we have an issue.  You may say this is ultimate socialism.  I say the wealth of a church should exist only in the words that are said.
  4. On top of that, a clear separation of church and state.  It needs to happen.  There should not be a PAC for every major religion so that they get to influence politicians.  There should not be anybody who tells me what his or her religion says in regards to a certain law.  I call this the Reason Amendment.
  5. A Fighting Chance Amendment- All people have a right to education, health care, and time off work.  We need to rebuild the family and the mental state of those within the family.  We should privatize education nor health care.  We shouldn’t profit off those wanting to do better for themselves.  We need to develop a country to be prosperous, and the best way to achieve that is to guarantee all people have a chance and opportunity.  I find it laughable that wealthy, corporate Republicans talk about family while unwilling to help even the poorest earning families.
  6. Congress can only give themselves raises if the people get more money each year.  I’m not looking at median wages.  I’m talking minimum wage.  If the demand for the average employee raises 3%, Congress can take a 3% raise.  Congress only gets health care for life if they offer people health care for life.  There needs to be a fair representation of the people in Congress.

There’s my benevolent dictator orders for day one.

Maybe I’ll come back with day two soon.

Regardless, we need to build up the working class again.

Yeast and Sugar


My kids were heading off to go to watch some YouTube star speak yesterday.  I don’t understand YouTube.  Maybe I am sounding old after tapping those words out, but you’re telling me that any old yahoo with a camera can become famous?

I was in the very beginning phases of making a couple loaves of bread.  It’s something I enjoy.

My youngest comes into the kitchen and delivers her generic and emotionless “hello” because I’m pretty sure she thinks that’s funny.  To which I reply with the same lack of emotion.

Then I reply with, “this is the world in a bowl.”

She looks over and sees the yeast and sugar interacting in hot water.  It likely only looked murky to her.

“See, the sugar doesn’t like the yeast so it attacks it.  The yeast reacts by getting active faster and growing.”

I’m not sure if anything I’m saying is what is really going on, but it’s what I see.

“So, sugar and yeast hate each other?”

“Sugar hates yeast and attacks it.  The yeast reacts by growing faster.”

“Oh.”

“So don’t be a sugar.  Be a yeast.”

“You turned that into something philosophical?”

“I told you it was the world in a bowl.”

“Oh.  Yeah.”

“Now I’m about ready to pour a bunch of flour in there and cover it up.  Nobody will ever know what happened.”

She picked up her keys and left with those words.

When I was in high school, I read both 1984 and Brave New World and was assigned the task of a compare and contrast essay.  Honestly this didn’t seem fair.  When you think about it.

Teenagers cannot really comprehend what is happening in the world.

And the groundwork that created what both of those novels were warning was just starting to get underway when I was going to high school in the 1980’s.

Much of Orwell’s future has become a reality, but instead of the government forcing us to be watched, we have volunteered our every move to the corporations that want to sell us goods.  We allow Facebook and Google and our devices to monitor everything we are doing.  To report on every place we go.  To tell them everything we are interested in purchasing and to report all the searches we have done.

Yahoo! recently admitted they wrote a program that searched email and reported certain words and phrases to the government.

Both books use propaganda and censorship as a tool in their future societies.  It always has been a tool.  Rewriting history is a constant.

Here’s the beauty of propaganda in today’s world.  The news organizations now censor themselves.  They sift through the news and determine what to report on and what not to.  They decide for you.  And much of the news is merely opinion delivered as if it’s news.

We are addicted to sensationalism.  But real journalism?

Amy Goodman faces charges of trespassing for reporting on DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) which nearly exactly the same pipeline that was stopped a year ago.  Here’s the trick on this pipeline- nobody reported on it.  Nobody discussed it.  And those who did were charged.

Huxley’s future shows a government which acts as a benevolent dictator as opposed to a harsh government presented by Orwell.  As I was reminding myself of some of the major themes since it has been a few years, I found this quote.  A note from Huxley to Orwell.

Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.

Huxley, instead, wrote a future in which people were controlled with distractions and drugs.  They were completely satisfied with their lives because they didn’t know not to be.  They were conditioned to consume so that they would have jobs to go to.

And while Huxley was right on many levels (we do love distractions and to consume), we are a country that loves prison.  We absolutely love destroying people’s one life by putting them away for petty crimes.

Both novels had a caste system.  You were either wealthy and had control or you were a worker.  This isn’t surprising as this has always existed.  Why do you think karma was invented?  But this breakdown?

  • (I) the upper-class Inner Party, the elite ruling minority, who make up 2% of the population.
  • (II) the middle-class Outer Party, who make up 13% of the population.
  • (III) the lower-class Proles (from proletariat), who make up 85% of the population and represent the uneducated working class.

That is becoming increasingly more a reality.

But here’s the thing.  The reason I’m writing this, because I’m not merely making up for lack of understanding or lack of internet from my high school days.  Both novels are a warning of what may happen if Socialism is allowed to rear its ugly head on our society.

But really, both novels are a warning of what happens when the government gives too much control to a small amount of people and dismisses the people’s needs.  Which is where we are today.

War is the answer to everything.  Consumption and distraction.  Propaganda and censorship.  And, yes, Big Brother is watching you and you actually paid good money to let him into your life.

We were warned.

When the sugar attacked, we had a chance.

But we allowed the flour to cover it all up.

Because the bread tastes too good.

There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

— Part III, Chapter III, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Focus on the Good Things


Today is Sunday.  I get Sunday and Monday off.  Just about every week.

The other five days of the week my alarm starts making noise at 3:09 AM.  That’s what time I chose.  It was 3:22 when I first started, but now I’m going in earlier.

Even though I’m the boss, my job is physically demanding.  I get tired by the time Saturday comes.

I’m not looking for any sympathy, that’s just the way it is.

I keep up on the world when I can during the week.  But find I don’t care as much when I’m tired or when I’ve had a tough day.

My wake up time makes it very difficult to watch much more than the first inning or so of the local Major League Baseball games.  I do enjoy baseball.

I wake up in the morning and check the scores.  If my wife is still awake, and sometimes she is or the alarm wakes her, she tells me about the previous night’s game.

We watch any (and there are not many) prime time shows we are interested in a day or more later.  Not a big deal to me, and I often don’t care anyway so I convince my wife to watch them on her time.

I used to watch The Daily Show, but it’s not that interesting right now.

Sunday is catch up day.  My dog chills with me almost the entire two days I have off.  He knows.  We sit down and watch the news and watch anything only I might be interested in.  I catch up on any social media trends and see what’s going on in the world.

I generally try to write something.

I don’t care about the Olympics.  Haven’t for years.

The fact is that it took me a year to get a job.  I’m not sure why.  I’ve thought about analyzing what it is that caused people to pass me over, but I’m not sure there’s anything a middle aged man can change.

But when I was not working, I was caught up on everything every day.  I watched all the political coverage and took in the news and on and on.

But now I’m tired.

And I’m not just tired because of the job, I’m tired because of the climate we are living in.

I stumbled upon this story on the world leader in news, The Onion, called, I Can’t Do This Anymore Think 320 Million Americans Quietly Going About Their Day.

My original thinking was they couldn’t care about two disingenuous politicians running for more control over America.  I was intrigued.

The piece was not funny at all.  Somebody was seriously just having a tough day.  We all do.  I had a few of those last week.  The article was about how mundane life can be.  It ended like this.

At press time, reports indicated every single person in the country had gritted their teeth and forced their mouth into a resigned smile before moving on with their day.

Because that’s what humans do.

And that’s what life is.

Life is suffering.  We were taught this from Siddhartha.

I continue to flip through the channels.  Jill Stein was on ABC.  Clinton sent Mook on just about every show.  Trump sent his campaign manager of the month around to talk about how Trump is different.  Again.

I was just waiting for a baseball game to come on.

As my dog slept on my lap.  He’s letting me know he likes when I’m home and I appreciate this.

I read all the tweets on how bad the other candidate is.

I read about the horrible devastation in Louisiana.

I read about the bombing at a wedding in Turkey.

I see this article about an LGBT rights activist in Iran who was raped and torched to death.  She was 23.

I read about how Clinton says she will stop taking corporate and foreign money if we merely elect her president.

And Trump says, what the hell have you got to lose?

This whole thing about Lochte.

What’s next?

So I sit here and tap this out because I’m so ready to tap out.  It’s exhausting.

And I don’t mean from life.

I write this and feed my dog chips.  He loves them.  He should.  They are good.

For the love of potato chips

I sit on a chair which has no cover anymore.  At least not much of one.  This guy tore the it off.  Piece by piece.

That’s it, we are going to the park.  I’m pushing some music deep into my sound holes.

I get another day off tomorrow.

By Tuesday, I’m going to be good.