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This is Patrick.

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That’s okay, we can both be Batman.

We met just this once and had a laugh. While walking around Seattle We saw this wall mural of a jackass that was similar to the art of badass coffee company on state street in Salt Lake City.  We first saw it across the street en route to the space needle. Ruth pointed it out and asked if I wanted a picture of it. I said “Kind of, but not right now we will get it on the way back if we walk back this way.” as it turns out we did. Ruth recognized the business and as we get to the corner she points to the mural and says “Hey let’s get a picture of you with the jackass”.  An extremely short moment later a man with his hands outstretched with his mouth agape is standing precisely where Ruth is pointing.  

“Wow!” He says “We’ve never met and this is how you treat me?!”

Stunned silence comes across Myself Ruth and the kids. Ruth quickly corrects herself. “No, Not you, the wall painting.. thing. The donkey “. A Sly grin comes across his face as he pulls a drag off his cigarette.  “Sure sure I see how it is, just make fun of the yak-jawed local.” He walked to the sidewalk kind of laughing and I go to stand in front. Ruth mentioned that were traveling and we were doing the stupid tourist thing.  There was a brief exchange and I decided what the heck and told him to come up and take the picture with me. He kind of waved off at first and the relented and came up.  I shook his hand told him my name is Wayne   He said his name was Patrick, but my name is his middle name. “It’s okay. We can both be Batman “

That picture was taken after that last sentence.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that Social media is like alcohol.

When Alcohol is consumed in small amounts and in moderation it’s ultimately not harmful. But consumed in large amounts it will destroy your life.

Social media feeds the egotistic, hurts the lonely, and breeds mass insecurity. The news is proclaimed, propagated and maintained by fear-mongers and guerrilla advertisers.

Money isn’t everything. Success is subjective. We all come from the same place, yet we judge and hurt others because we’re lost. And yet everyone puts on their happy face, because If someone talks about how hard of a time they are having in this part of their life; most people ignore it.

When you judge a person by the quality of their content you are validating their reasons to continue down a path where they will hurt themselves and others.

Addiction to both “substances” is real, every like is a hit a dopamine that makes us feel good about ourselves, every streak shows that we are superior and screams “I’m worthy!” – and then further used to validate and justify that next post. That if it doesn’t do as well we self-flagellate about how bad we are. How no one likes us, how we should have known better.

Ultimately both “Substances” Causes Depression, social isolation, and anxiety, and both have caused people to seek suicide.

Neither is a solution to a problem that is propagated as expected and normal and pressured on you externally.

The next time you find yourself sad, lonely and depressed put the phone down, walk away from your computer and find someone to interact with. As much as you may want to curl up on your bed and cry, that is the last thing you should do.

There are real people who care and love you. Don’t shove them away because you’re not getting validation from pixels on a screen.

 

so LIVE

I apologize for the random-like ramble-like nature. But I think it needs to be said, for my sake – if someone else gets something out of this, then I am happy for it.

Sometimes Life is unfair. Healing takes time. It’s important that you allow yourself to grieve. It’s good to be strong, but it’s better to allow yourself to hurt so you can feel better and come to peace with it.

I recently watched life slip away from a loved one, and my own mortality struck me extremely hard. Tell the ones you love, that you do. Because one day, you may not be able to anymore. Life is fragile and precious, don’t waste yourself away.

Pain sucks, it is real, but if we can’t, and don’t allow ourselves to feel pain we’ll never know what happiness is. Maybe that’s a distorted viewpoint, but it’s how I’ve come to terms with it.

I have a Tattoo on my arm to remind me to live, every once in a while, it does. Not because I’m suicidal, but because it’s easy to get stagnant and stop growing, stop learning, stop doing, and worst of all stop living.

So Live.

ANGUG ANGUS ANGUS!

For the first time in a few weeks I was able to get out for lunch and go for a walk. I’m enjoy the cool breeze and the sunshine  and the quiet.
when suddenly I hear this guy coming up behind me, and he’s talking, loudly to himself. I look up and made the foolish mistake of making eye contact, he takes this as some sort of open conversation invitation. He rides up next to me in the gutter and says…
“Do you know what’s better than 100% Angus?”
Taken aback by the perplexing and shocking question, of which I’m sure there’s a philosophical debate here about what constitutes as “Better”. However, the “correct” answer that this guy wanted so he’d be on his way and leave me in peace was totally lost on me.  I did the only reasonable thing I could do, I  shook my head and shrugged.
“200% Angus!”
It was at this moment,  that for whatever reason, my mouth ran off without me.
“No Sir!” I said
“You would be wrong! it would be 300% Angus!”
It was then, where I wondered if I had just opened the cage to a ravenous beast, as he gets this wildly excited look in his eye, like he just found someone who understands him
“MY GOD Damn! You are correct! That would be much better!”
And he rides off, pumping his fist in the air chanting “Angus, Angus, Angus…”
Somewhat relieved that this encounter was brief and not threatening of any kind, But then it happened. This is where I had to stop a second, and wonder
“What the fuck just happened?!”

I’m sitting in a coffee shop listening to a couple of conspiracy nut-jobs shoot their mouth off. This is a q quick synopsis of their current discussion.

Apparently, trump is somehow related to Hitler, genetically – And he is working for Hillary, and Bernie was only there it make it look like our choices matter. The whole election process is nothing but smoke and mirrors, and we are lead to believe that we have the freedom we think we do, but we really don’t. He (the man talking) doesn’t own a phone line or a microwave, because they are actually intrusion devices. They are trying to mind control the populace. America is secretly a communist government.

And We are selling uranium to Pakistan, because they are the worlds leader in technology, NASA gets the leftovers that Pakistan doesn’t want, and they have already stated a mars colony.

Teddie Roosevelt is the best president that we’d ever have, and we will never have one like him again.

There’s a little bit more of Anti Everyone speech, not excluding our current president.

They leave, and I start laughing, Across from me is a lady studying a college course. On the way out the one guy tells her goodbye. she waves, and she looks up to see me laughing to myself.

“That’s quite some story.”

“oooooh” She says. “That’s nothing, this was one of their calmer days. ”

“Wow, Really? ” yeah, She says “This country is in trouble.” “Oh I won’t Argue” I started “there’s something wrong with where we’re going, but being a conspiracy theorist nut job doesn’t help anyone”.  She snorts. “Nope.”

She goes back to her books, and I return to my phone.

30 minutes later another man walks in.

He strolls up the counter, and before he orders, he starts to to tell the barista that Trump has under the table deals with the Russian oligarchy – and he’s been doing slave exchanges. the barista looks someone annoyed, this must be very common place. She presses him for his order, she takes his money and starts making his drink all the while he’s rambling on about how Trumps slaves think they are free. She hands him the cup and he sits down, and starts talking to the guy in the table next to him.  who just looks at him like he’s an annoying child who won’t shut up.

A few minutes later another man walks in, and this guy gets accosted by the Trump oligarchy specialist. The new guy just grabs onto this and just Runs with it. the next few minutes he informs everyone in the room by saying louder than necessary that Hilary is going to get the presidency because it was decided by China. Because that’s how we’re paying China off, With international favors.

The next few moments were very very still, you could hear people’s scowls being staring at them over their coffee as if we just interrupted a British afternoon Tea.

The guy turns around and see’s my Pedometer, and tells me I shouldn’t be using that, because They are being used  as tracking devices so the U.S. military can use a drone strike against us citizens. All of them, all of the pedometers, even the mechanical ones are tracking devices.  I didn’t really know what to say to this, and I really didn’t want to fan the fire. The lady across from me, who has now donned ear buds to get the insanity out of her brain, still has her head down but her eyes are staring at me.  as if she’s saying “Better you, than me.”

“Really? All of them. Interesting, I’ll be sure to get rid of it then.”

“That’s right! he says, That’s what you should do.” At this point I gathered my belongings, told the lady that it was a pleasure to meet her, and good luck with her test.

I don’t think that I’ve ever been so entertained in a coffee shop in my life.

I was outside playing Ingress, there’s a few portals near my office and its quick walk, so I’m out there every day.  There’s a guy out there who I’ve only started to see just recently, I know he’s playing Pokémon. I know those portals are also Pokestops.  The only interaction I’ve had with this guy has been once I said “Pardon me” to get past one him one time when he was oblivious to the fact that he was wandering the whole sidewalk, and I really didn’t want to run into him.

So today I was out there by myself doing my thing, when he walks up, he looks at me at the same time I happen to glance at him. He gestures to his phone, and then following interaction happened.

Him: Pokémon?

Me: *confused look* Ingress

Him: What’s ingress?

Me: What’s Pokémon?

Him: *Jaw drop* How can you not know what Pokémon is?

I just shrugged at him, at this point he goes into a detailed summary of what it is.

My Jaw drops intentionally as he mentions some of the characters.

Me: So let me get this straight, you’re coming to invasion points to capture fictional characters in groups of 10’s of millions of people, while I’m trying to save the world from a legitimate alien invasion?… They really are winning, you are all under alien mind control, we’re screwed.

I walked off, leaving him with his jaw hanging open, like he cannot believe what he just heard. I cannot help but wonder, what’s going through his head at this moment.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

More like weekend, weekend, weekend; and how eventful it was.

This marks Ruth’s 3rd year in Soromundi. Which is the lesbian (and allies) choir in Eugene. They had their end of season concert, which was wonderful as always. They always do something that kind of catches me off guard. There were a few unexpected props, unexpected not just for the crowd, but for the choir leaders as well. They had no idea what was going on until it was already in the middle of happening. The lady planned and executed the whole thing without anyone knowing about it. They did a cover of ‘Under the sea’ from little mermaid. About 10 seconds into the song, pool floats of Nemo, and a crab and various water life animals started bouncing around the stage. Of all of the photos that I took that night, I wish I had gotten one of that. It was hilarious. Additional things they did this year was a didgeridoo, some Youth Ballet dancers,  and an empty chair to signify for 2 members of the choir that had passed this last year.

This year however, was themed around the Youth. They did several current pop songs, namely, Brave, All about that bass, and Royals. As such, they invited the youth to join them, the only two that did was my daughter and her friend. They did 4-5 different numbers.

The after party was a great time, food, music and dancing in a way to embarrass my daughter. Because, let’s be honest, that’s a parents responsibility. Much to my daughters chagrin, her friend joined in with me and danced. If I don’t make my daughter bury her face in her hand at least once the whole night, I’m clearly not trying hard enough.

we slept like rocks that night, the stress from the concert came off of Ruth and she hit the pillow and barely stirred all night.

The next day we did our weekly Sunday date. We decided to go to coburg to go for a walk, and look at the city. It’s not far and honestly we’re not there very often. Her more than me. While we were out we passed a few people on a tandem bicycle. They were in the mist of repairs and made the comment of “Oh that looks unhappy.” They had broken a spoke. They had the back wheel ripped off and trying to figure out how to replace it, they had spare spokes but lacked the tools, they were discussing what to do and we walked on. On the way back past them a second time they had the bike all put together. I asked them if they got it taken care of and they said no, but they need to get to a repair shop. he was just hoping there was one in Coburg. Which, Coburg being as small as it is, there of course wasn’t. We offered to take them into Eugene. their names were Kathy and Roger, easily into their retirement ages but very active. Kathy stayed with the bike, Roger took the wheel off it, and came with us to Eugene. He was originally going to catch a cab back. Ruth and I decided that was an un-necessary expense that we can easily help them out with. We hung out waited for the repair , and returned him to Coburg to put the wheel back on his bike.

As it turns out, they have a goal, they are cycling 10,000 miles. They came from Redlands, CA they were half way through their second 1,000 miles when this happened. it’s probably the only repair they couldn’t do on the road, mostly because the tool to fix it was much heavier than they could legitimately take on them. They were coming up the coast towards Seattle then over to NYC. they average between 40 and 90 miles a day. Once in NYC they will cycle around through Texas, then back to CA.  We got a small mention on their blog for the assistance we lent them. I wish them well.

We’re people, not tools.

Working in IT is very similar to being a household appliance. You get shoved into a lightless, windowless closet, ignored, unappreciated and often treated poorly until needed. When your needs change, you expect us to do more work without the proper tools and get angry when it costs you money because you’re trying to use us to do something we cannot do.

Don’t treat IT people like household appliances, we’re people, not appliances.

Over the Christmas break my wife and I were in Utah. We stopped in at Walmart at 1:00 am to get some food, trying to live cheaply while we were in town. I took a quick bathroom break. On the way to the loo I ran across an old guy who looked tired, and resigned. I thought it was interesting to see him up and about at 1:00 am, but thought little else of it. I thought maybe he had a sleep disorder and he was lonely, maybe he goes out to find people to talk to. It didn’t seem that unlikely to me. I think I was closer than I knew.

I’m taking care of my business when I hear someone come in and occupy the stall next to me. When out of the blue I hear a voice, and I quickly realize it was the older man I saw outside.

him: Hey young man
Me: ….Hi
Him: How old are you.
Me: Uh.(Toss a saving throw) 47
Him: Well isn’t that funny.
Me: Why?
Him: I’m 74. (Pause) when you get to be my age things don’t come out as easily.
**Awkward Silence**
Me: Good to know…. What are you doing at Walmart at 1:00 am?
Him: Picking up chick’s.
*Stifled laugh*
Me: How is that working out for you?
Him: *exasperated sigh* Not very well in the last 20 years.
Me: Hrmm, Shame. Well, good luck with that.

I’m not really sure how to react to this. it was odd to say the least. I’m not one to converse with people I don’t know in the mens room. it’s like an unspoken rule that everyone sub-consciously just adheres too. Either way I hope he found someone to spend his time with. everyone deserves happiness.

My wife’s car is dirty….

So today we got a new car, It’s the wife’s car. so it’s one of those fancy cars where you can hook your phone up to it and make calls and receive text messages. It will also.. read your text messages to you while driving. I was fascinated by this and was cycling through her messages, when suddenly, I hear “I love the feel of my naked body in flannel sheets”

I turned looked at the wife and if it wasn’t dark I swear she’d be turning shades of a sunrise.

After a moment of silence she quickly says  “Okay.. that’s enough of that.”