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Friday, October 10, 2008

A Friday Fenominon

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Am I A Hippie?

I wouldn't normally just randomly ask a question like this but latly I've had a few people either infer or downright accuse me of being a hippie. Let's do a little examination:

Hippie definition (noun) from Wikipedia-

  1. (in the 1950s) A teenager who imitated the Beatniks
  2. (in the 1960s; still widely used in reference to that era) One who chooses not to conform to prevailing social norms: especially one who ascribes to values or actions such as acceptance or self-practice of recreational drug use, liberal or radical sexual mores, advocacy of communal living, strong pacifism or anti-war sentiment, etc.
  3. Someone with long hair: specifically, of a hair length that is considered unconventionally long in relation to one’s gender, age, ethnicity, or land of origin.
  4. Someone who dresses in a hippie style.
  5. One who is hip.

Now let's examine whether or not I fall into each class.

1. I am not from the 50's and I've never imitated the Beatniks.

2. I am not one who would typically conform to prevailing social norms [although I do now have a Blogger, MySpace and Facebook account]. I do not ascribe to values or actions that affirm the use of recreational drugs; but I don't deny them either. It is just a personal choice of mine not to get mixed up in chemicals that I don't know what they could do to me. I also don't personally seek to advance any liberal or radical sexual mores. Sex is fun, but for me just my wife is enough. Whether or not others want to pursue options outside of the "traditional" bounds of "normal" sexuality is up to them and I don't necessarily need to know about it. While I am also not a direct advocate of communal living...I cannot deny some of the benefits that it can have for a certain number of like-minded individuals who can make it work. Individualism is the key. They are all special individuals....just like everyone else. When it comes to pacifism, I do lean toward that side; though I am also not completely anti-war. In my personal life I try to be as passive as possible, but if push comes to shove for me personally....Well, let's just say that I haven't used my fists since Jr. High, but I've made sure to at least keep them polished. Politically, I don't think that we need to be the world peace force. We spend way too much money on war...and when we do go to war we often do not demonstrate the power that we should; i.e. why is there even still an Iraq on the globe? Get in, do it, do it right....make the other guy whose willing to die for his cause do exactly that.

3. While my hair is getting longer than it has ever been in my life, I would not say that it is unconventionally long yet. But then again, in today's culture anything goes with less friction then it did when I was a this is possibly a moot point now.

4. Someone who dresses in a hippie style- while I have always seemed to lack a certain sense of "style" I don't really wear bell bottoms or dashiki's I don't think that they are all that bad. I do actually own a dashiki but it is too big for me so I don't wear it. I also got rid of my bell bottoms after college. 

5. One who is hip- we'll leave that up to my kids to decide in a couple of years but my guess is that they would deny the suggestion because that's what kids do.

So I think that it is safe to conclude that I am mostly not a hippie. Sometimes people make accusations without really thinking about what they are saying.

So in another future post we'll have to explore the other accusation that I used to receive from an old co-worker of mine who insisted that I looked and acted like I was from Boulder, Colorado.

Until then, enjoy this clip-

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

I feel the my eyes

Unfortunately these days I have become accustomed to the burning sensation that I usually feel in my eyes. Part of it comes from staring at a computer screen all day. The other part of it comes from wearing contacts for long periods of time and being up later every night than I should.

Today's economy is sucking me dry. 

It is unfortunate that my main job doesn't seem to cover all of the expenses that are in my life...and I like to think that we live pretty modestly. The only debts that we have are a mortgage and a van payment. In order to make up what is lacking I have not yet resorted to selling internal organs, but I do feel like in some ways I have sold my soul. 

I'm tired. I work 40 hours a week with my main job. The nights that I am able to come home at a reasonable time I try to be a good dad and husband. Other nights I can be gone late either working on computers or painting. Or I could bring the computers to my house, like last night, and be up till 2AM working on them. And the weekends can also be filled with work if it is there...and sometimes even when it is, the money can still be tight. 

I was just thinking the other day about all the people in the world out there that know what it is like to come home from work, kick their shoes off and just relax or do what they enjoy doing. I don't know how much debt they might have, but they aren't busting their humps working more than one job. 

If I didn't have the economic pressures that I have currently here's how I would spend my free time:

Weeknights- I would come home from work and have dinner with the family. After dinner I would either help my kids with their school work or play with them, read to them or whatever they wanted to do. After they went to bed I would help my wife with whatever chores around the house needed done so that we'd be finished with everything in time to maybe occasionally watch a movie, TV show, or read a book. Then I'd aim to be in bed by 11PM every night.

Weekends- I would get up and have breakfast, watch the news, and solidify plans for the day. When the dew had evaporated I would mow the lawn. I'd then take care of whatever household chores/projects needed to be done and then have the rest of the day to do whatever with whoever. 

I would really like the idea of going to bed earlier so that I could get up earlier. For me there is a great sense of "completeness" that goes with being able to have a long and fulfilling day of achievement of goals. It might help with my ongoing depression. 

I remember one of my favourite "cycles" of my life. It was a pretty short one but it was the best: We were on a vacation in Washington. It was in July and the sun would set around 9:45PM. Once it got dark where we were [on top of a mountain] it was dark. No street lights, only the moon and stars. I was usually in bed and asleep by 10:30. The sun would then rise, and I would rise with it, around 6AM. It was such a refreshing cycle.

My problem with all of that though is that by nature I tend to be a night owl. If the conditions are right, sometimes I could easily find myself up and busy until 4:30AM after getting up the previous morning as early as 7:30.  I've had to adapt though. I just can't do that very often anymore. Although, occasionally when I'm under a deadline for something I may go for several days on only 3 or 4 hours of sleep each night, and sometimes throw in an all nighter. 

Things might appear to be easier for us if my wife worked....but that also would then add another set of complications that we don't currently have. That would mean we'd also have to find childcare. Our daughter is Kindergarten age but we have chosen to homeschool our kids to keep them out of the ever shallowing mires of the public education system. Sure, we'd have my wife working, but then probably 3/4 of her paycheck would go toward paying someone else to raise our kids most of the time. Why? 

I would really like to see a return to a local economy system. All too often small town economies are overthrown by the big cities that attract more people to work there. The higher wages from the big cities then drive up the cost of everything else that comes in contact with it. Real estate goes up because incomes are higher and people can better "afford" the new cost structure. Increases in wages lends to an increase in money circulation which then also further inflates the cost of living. There's really no way for the middle class to ever get ahead of the cycle.

We're working on it though. From here on out we're committed to pouring almost every extra cent into paying off the debts and simplifying our lives so that one day I can come home from work and just sit down and watch TV if that's what I desire to do.

In the meantime.....I just wish I had time to take a nap once in a while.

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