does this look like a game to you?

in a continuing series of self-improvement schemes (see also 'dragon balls' below), i've been expermenting with getting up before 2 in the afternoon. i mean who knows, right?

"mixed results" is putting it mildly. i can (and have) got up in the early morning when i 'needed' to, however if the psyche that rules my body in the moments immediately after waking determines that waking up is of no concern, then back into lord morpheus' realm i go. with my newest push, i have been able to overthrow the power of dreaming-me, but it's chancey, and the circumstances have to be right. that guy loves his snoozing.

some of the challenge lays in the sort of chicken-and-egg problem of going to bed early vs waking up early. while i can very much survive on little sleep, it's a fools quest to continue that for long, and the same powers that insist on the waking up late do also insist that one stays up late. one (such as i) does not have much success going to bed say at 11p when one (such as i) has only woken at 1p. and visa verse around and round.

as is my way in facing a seemingly untentable situation, i try to come at it in a different directions. video games!

if in the waning light and glorious darkness of the night, yours truly was to, instead of say sketching out crazy projects, tinkering in the workshop, or watching hours of u-tube, instead of those activities that get my blood up, that exciting lesiure stuff that is really just a fancy waste of time, what if instead of all that, i play some fucking video games? is that anything vis-a-vis putting my mind into a lower gear to attempt to enter the strange yet sometimes elusive world of dreams?




two poems

she claims to know the shape of her dreams
the gentle curves that round out the seams
the nooks and coves and brooks and streams
the gentle the warm the safe and the free


what do you know of your destiny?
do you know that you hurled at the last grand prix?
which caused them to ship you overseas?
and how could the lobster bisque be tax free?
this has all turned out quite dreadfully



not yet

well well well, thought i forgot about you, didn't i?



art, explained

A quote from Robert A Heinlein's story "For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs" -

They proceeded along a wide corridor toward the street. The corridor was lined with brightly lighted little studio shops. Perry glanced at the displays as they walked. Most of the items seemed to be handcraft of various sorts, curios and beautiful things, some familiar in conception and use, some unintelligible.

In a few cases prices were marked. These seemed surprisingly high to him. He asked Diana about this.

“Why, naturally they cost a lot, Perry. These things are handmade. They are worth whatever the artist asks for them, if you want them enough to pay his price. A lot of them are queer ducks though. If you appreciate something they have made and you can’t afford to buy it, they may just give it to you.”

“But how can these hand workers compete with factory production?”

“They don’t compete. Their work is for people who appreciate individual creation. The value of the things they make has nothing to do with the cost of the materials or the usefulness of the article. They are aesthetic values, that can’t be standardized.”

“Suppose people won’t pay for an artist’s work?”

“In that case he can do as he likes—either go on creating and keep the results or give them away—or stop and do something else.”



vindication for the nocturnal

my partner and i went in halves on a beach house rental for a long weekend with our long time friends. wonderful times.

one of them admitted that they enjoyed knowing that someone was staying up long into the night in the house as they fell asleep. (that someone was me, the serial night owl.)

it made me a bit emotional because i too enjoy that feeling of sleeping while my loved ones are up and guarding me from the scary (morning) things.



what happened to you man

i write a well considered email describing a change to a program that i would like to implement, including all reasoning, logistics, cost and timetables involved, then email that motherfucker to the people whom i am cursed to call my superiors, entirely for the vestige of due-diligence and the apathetic token rubber stamp i have come to expect, and what do i get back?

"Let's discuss this."

well what's fucking stopping you? type that shit out and include it in your godsdamn reply, you silly do-nothing.

are you really implying that you want to "discuss" it by spraying your words (and bio-aerosol) directly into my face, like in the real flesh-and-bone world? what possible advantage could hearing your weaselly little voice add to your plan to ruining my carefully crafted project?

why not sit down and patiently record your bad ideas, giving you the opportunity to maximize the inefficiencies and really drive home your complete lack of practical knowledge on the subject. that way we all can properly absorb it, think about it and then curse your name in our own time.

email is a good idea, and that's why the management hates it.



it's just tiny little rocks

had some down time this past week with my loved one at the beach. relaxing is something i don't do well (not to be mistaken with wasting time, for which i excel), so a little change of venue is nice. get me away from my workshop full of tools, piles of unfinished projects (oh how they stare at me) and my many electronic eyeball-gluing devices. it is nice to just exist in a state of hedonistic uselessness for a few (tho i did disassembly a large sofa bed but whose counting).

this is actually my second vacation in the last two months, which may be some kind of personal record. should i fear some sort of rapid decline? a transformation into a worthless bum who is good for nothing more than lounging around and drinking mai tais? doesnt matter, i'll worry anyway.

my previous vacation was to the forest encrusted mountains of appalachia, for which i feel most contented. the lushness and beauty of the green spaces sparks me as the very font of beauty. all the space just brimming with life (and very little of it human) makes me want to renounce my claims in this civilivation and changed my name to a name the birds could pronounce, as the song goes.

but the beach? i don't know. a seeming endless stretch of inert minerals bordered by a boundless body of violently churning salt water. no trees to shade you from the sun. no life evident save humans making trash, and seagulls looking for trash. sand gets into everything and never really leaves. it heats up and radiates the sun's heat. it doesnt seem like a good place for humans at all, but oh boy, they are there! by the hundreds and thousands, and mostly during the hottest parts of the day! just laying there in the sand, absorbing the solar radiation, as if in a hurry to expire. the blocky skyrises they dwell (at extravagant rates) cutting off any view from green areas. the parking sucks, and the drinks are expensive.

by my metrics, that's not beauty.

but i readily admit that despite all that, i do like it. and so what is it about the beach that so allures humanity? the very vastness of the unending line of it? the mesmerizing beat of the waves, or the ceaseless scented breeze? the eerily stark image of the flat ocean horizon? truly a mystery to me. i'm glad i came.



fun for me

my beautiful wife asked me the other day if i would be upset if we had a party on my birthday and no one told me happy birthday. i responded that i would not be upset, indeed i would be delighted! everyone forgetting my birthday has always been a bit of a fanasty of mine. not that i have anything against the celebrating of birthdays you understand, it's an ancient human tradition and that pretty cool. it's just that personally i feel uncomfortable about undue attention, and celebrating a birthday seems like congratuating someone of merely staying alive for another year. though perhaps that is quite the accomplishment in the long run, in the short term it's not as though i've done anything expectionally noteworth for to celebrate.

personally, i've always thought that the hobbit's birthday tradition, where you are the gift-giver on your birthday, made more sense to me. giving presents as a thank you for all your loved ones for another year in your life seems like a great tradition of graditude, while expecting to receive gifts on your "day" seems a bit selfish. but whatever.

anyway, if people remember my birthday, that's kinda cool once a year. but if everyone were to forget my birthday, that would be really cool all year long. clandestineness trumps acknowledgment every time.



dragon balls

this meat machine for which i pilot from my skull cockpit will turn forty years old in just about a week. this is strangely not too alarming to me, indeed it makes sense. the figures add up. perhaps i'm due for some sort of crisis or introspective anomaly, but so far it's steady as she goes. my life is good and the idea of mortality has never given me much grief (rimshot?)

one thing i have been putting thought to as the years start coming and then don't stop coming is my physical health. 40 seems like a good time to shore up some of those glaring oversights in the homeostasis department. being a creative, personally and otherwise, i get far too much chair time and not nearly enough exercise, so i've decided to start there.

not too long ago i inherited an old exercise bike, and remarkably (such as i'm remarking) i've been able to keep up a pretty constant exercise routine for more than a month! i'm quite surprised because i've never been one for exercise for the sake of exercise, generally finding it boring, and that whole gym culture quite stale. but i just seemed to take to the fake cycling with only slight whining, and that feels good all on its own. perhaps forty is the age i grow up (unlikely).

what was my secret you ask? i'll tell you: it was the dragon balls.

that's right, a group of intrepid spunky adventurers and i quested for the legendary dragon balls, and after months of untold peril across the far flung lands of the world, making friends and foes in action packed daring escapades, were able to collect all seven and summoned the world dragon to grant me the patience to stop being such a fucking baby and to endure a half hour's worth of cardio a day.

well actually, i just started watching the old anime series on the t.v. while i cycled. ya see, each episode is about 20 minutes, and that seemed to be the right amount of time for me when I was at the 'zero' level on the standard 'zero-to-hero' progression. since then i've gradually increased the time, speed, and intensity of the exercise sessions, to the point where i'm starting to feel like i might be able to survive a zombie apocalypse, but it's still the dragon ball that brings me back. luckily there are like fifteen thousand episodes so i should be able to ride that into peak health.

perhaps this is some of that aforementioned mid-life crisis showing itself, because i watched this show when i was a kid, and now rewatching it many decades later has been super fun and nostalgic.

and quite interesting on a cultural level too. the pack of episodes i downlo- er, i mean bought all legal like, on government approved media watching devices and everything, came with the english dub, english subtitles, and the original japanese audio tracks. the english dub is of course what i remember from it's original syndication, or whatever reruns i watched back then, but the english subtitles seem to be a direct translation from the japanese audio. this has been endlessly fascinating to me because it allows me to compare the american script to the original script, and delve from that some tidbits about each culture.

and with the part of my mind that is most likely to derail such things preoccupied with that situation, the rest of me is free to exercise and possibly extend my lifespan. goku saves to day again.



Obituary - Pete 2013-2023

Fitzwilliam Smixham was born on Valentine's Day, a member of the ancient basal line of Nipponese Shiba Inu. Son of Easy Rider and Steel Magnolia, he was adopted into the house of Smixham in his first year...




more over

i lament the vibe on the socials these days. It seems that compliants, critiques and condemnations have become the spearhead of the content on the almighty scroll. to be frank, it seems like the web had become a bunch of gawkers enthusiastically pointing at things and shaking thine heads.

i am aware of the horrors and injustices of the world, at least those that are in my sphere of and will not myself put down those wishing to speak out about same. however i fear that a) such saturation of doom and gloom may lead to conclusions by some that the world is a gray evil place, for which is far from conclusive, b) the very frequency of such accusation and damnation may lead to tolerance of such declarations, which in turn may lead even higher rates of same - a sort of despair arms race, and critically c) that this act of broadcasting one's discontent habitatally may indeed be taking the place of actual actions that may more effectively a dress those problems.

i of course come from the school of do-what-you-want, but as a selfish plea, for the sake of the vibe, i would suppose that the encouragement of solutions, compliments of good actions, and promotion of instances of gratitude, instead of or in equal parts to the repetition of calamity and disaster, may make for better content, and thus be change in itself.



welcome to this thing

in pondering the current state of microblogging and social media, whatever that even means nowadays, i came to the conclusion that it had all lost it's flavor, at least in my mouth, and if i was going to yell into the void i might as well do it on my terms. so this is mostly for me, and completely rhetorical



Short Story - "Clothoclasm"

I was there when the great wizard cast his strange sorcery upon the land. A happenstance it was, for certainly I had no part in his cryptic plan. I was yet a journeyman, in town to pick up a hogshead of ale for my master. I had stopped for a hot pie in the square, when the light afternoon crowd seem to part, and through the people strode a tall dark figure in gray robes...