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"I got more views in one hour than I got in a month." -Mariano
We are born a gift to two strangers, guardians to teach us. Then we leave them and wander, to grow and become. We adventure and we struggle, we determine and we question and then once we know who we are, we define ourselves against another, we blend ourselves with lives not ours. And then who are we? Forever we are who we choose, and we strive to compliment those choices by taking parts of other living beings and stitching them into the fabric of us. We create and make dark corners and bright skies, until we have something we feel is whole. Then we might become strangers again, awaiting a gift like the farmer awaits rain. And in this way the whole world becomes a tapestry, beautifully and brutally cut and sewn together.
I'm beginning to feel like somewhat of a car crash magnet. I've totaled three cars in three years, thankfully with no one seriously injured in any of the incidents. I was not at fault in the first two wrecks, but a couple days ago, I caused the third crash.
I was coming home with the kiddos from my grandma's house in Mt. Vernon. Traveling on Route 3 is quite the roller coaster ride. Lots of hills and twists. But I've traveled that road so often, it's become familiar. I was cresting a hill, and there were two cars waiting to turn left in front of me. I didn't notice that they were completely stopped until it was too late. I slammed on the brakes, and tried to slide into the large gravel driveway on the left (the one the two cars ahead of me were headed to), but the first car started turning as I was crossing the other lane and I hit the back left side of her car, most likely at about 50 mph.
My kids were taking their much needed nap in their car seats when we collided. They woke with wails and tears, not understanding what they had just been through. For about 10 seconds after the crash, my brain was kind of fuzzy and I tried to gather myself. Trying to take in the reality around me without becoming overwhelmed at the possibilities that may have been caused by it. Trying to decide what the next best step was. My arms were spotted with an orange dust from the air bag. I noticed the familiar tingle of a seat belt burn on the left side of my chest as I had the same feeling three years before in my first crash. I wiggled the key out of the ignition as I looked over the rest of my body with relief. I dug my phone out from under the rubble it had slid under at the foot of the passenger's seat, unclicked my seat belt, and rushed to check out my little ones.
I got the kids out of the car, hoping that being able to snuggle me would help calm them down. They didn't have any signs of injury except some red irritations where their harnesses had been. At this point, people from other cars were already out asking if they could help and if we were ok. We sat down on the bank in front of a farm house, the only house I could see. The rest of the scenery was fields and woods. I explained to Noah and Hope what had happened and asked them if they were hurting anywhere. Just as they were starting to calm down, a light breeze came through and Hope yelled, "I'm Coooold!", clambered onto my lap and sobbed into my neck. Noah was just staring at our broken car in front of us, trying to take it all in.
Today is web work day for me and I just got very glad cause while working I found something nice.
As some of you know I designed and built a park in Sweden (I fought for it and worked on it for 7-10 years so It's more like a baby I raised than a park to me). I did it together with some people I recruited, for example Simon Nilzen, I would consider him the parks nanny for two years, also working hard there.
Some years ago the park got the highest votes for good parks on a foreign skateboard directory called SkateMap that has hundreds of skateparks on it.
Still then our park was not on the top lists of most seen parks of the directory so it was hard to tell if it was few but high votes that put in on top or many and high votes.Sometimes through the years it would move down to spot 2-3-4 of the highest rated parks as well and then move back up.
Now I was googling my park as I am making a website about my design consulting and I found that it now is both in first place as highest voted park and for the first time also most viewed park on that directory.
Driving through downtown LA, there's a yoga studio on the left. A dozen people are carrying mats and wearing a variety of workout clothes. The laughter and chitchat float into our rolled down windows. They seem as though they are very relaxed, happy. It's nearly 10 at night. Shops on the left and right are closed, but their naked glass windows allow us to view the variety of treasures that lay within. As we stop at a traffic light, it is apparent that people are comfortable here. Bicyclist ride by and women dressed for a night out cross the street: it feels like any other Saturday night in any other city. The six of us are relatively silent as we continue down the bustling, beautiful, clean, tree-lined street.
Our leaders in the front ask us to take note of our surroundings and then return to hushed voices about directions. Our only male companion is sitting next to me. I am trying my best to see every detail and precisely explain to him what I see. His vision is extremely impaired, yet he absorbs smells, sounds, and even feelings incredibly well. Is it our vibe he is feeling, or that of the wanderers passing by? Either way, he understands. The girls in the back are quiet and will remain that way for most of the evening.
Before we turn the corner, I notice an extravagant hotel on our right. It's modern, yet classic with it's marble floors and huge chandelier. This hotel is the last thing we see before it all changes. The block we turn on to is barren. The street lights seem dim in comparison to the place we just left. A few people pass by; there is construction on our right. Nearing the next block, evidence of a different world begins to emerge; there are a couple tents on our left. Blue tents, tents you would take camping, but they aren't camping. The blue camping tents are their homes.
It's been two blocks since we turned away from the "pretty" street and I don't even recognize this place. I’m not from Los Angeles, but that's not what I mean. It no longer feels like America to me. Dozens of tents have popped up and people are everywhere in the street and on the sidewalks. The tents are smushed together, running parallel to the road, on either side of us. Some blue camping tents are here, but mostly there are tents that each tenant has designed and engineered. Plastic tarps, huge "Welcome to Los Angeles" signs, clothing, shopping carts, plywood, cardboard. The supplies for the makeshift homes are endless. The smell is different; dirty, stale, and just a little bit sour.
We are driving slowly, but the scene passes by incredibly quickly. Aside from the corner store, all businesses are closed. It’s impossible to determine what resides here, the shutters are drawn tight and many places have no signs. Trash is everywhere. The trash that is sometimes visible on the sides of freeways doesn't compare. The van cannot move forward without crushing debris beneath us. It's like land mines strewn everywhere, it's nearly impossible to avoid. Does it bother those that have made this street their home? Do they notice it? Do they take responsibility for it? Are they mad that this street isn't as cared for? A park is to our left. This is the first sign of vegetation since we’ve entered Skid Row. Yet, it is unenjoyable for the residents of this area because of the “No Crossing” tape that surrounds it.
What is it about me that enables our breastfeeding experience to continue so easily? I can tell you right off, its not that I love breastfeeding. It's not that simple. And to be perfectly honest, I haven't been fond of it much lately. But my desire to breastfeed and my feelings around the action of breastfeeding are different. Whether I happen to like it or not, I still do it. Why is that?
Breast Milk is a need
There are lots of needs we must attend to that we may not want to do. Chores come to mind. How many times have you thought "Oh, I can't WAIT to wash that pile of laundry. It's gonna be so awesome!" We don't love doing laundry. Perhaps some do. But those of us that don't, still do laundry. We recognize the need for clean clothes and find a way to get it done.
Breast milk is a need. No matter what age or development stage they are in, it is a need. During the course of a child's development, breast milk changes from nurturing their bodies to nurturing their soul. Well, it is more accurate to say that breast milk always nurtures their bodies but as kids grow they get nutrition from other sources. Breast milk becomes more about comfort, security, love, attention, reassurance, and less about satisfying hunger. My kids' need of breast milk constantly changes; sometimes they need more and sometimes less. But in the moment when they ask, they need it. Just like they need to drink water, eat food, be clean, play, etc. I can't deny them this need any more than I can deny them food or water.
As I mentioned in my first post, this blog is for those who leave home in search of adventure. A large chunk of the "adventure" category includes those who desire to escape the urban jungle for peace and quiet in the great outdoors.
I absolutely love to backpack. Give me a lightweight pack, throw in a warm sleeping bag, small tarp, and a few pounds of food, and I'm ready to test my metal against the unknown variables of Mother Nature. I've done weekend trips through Kentucky, a week long excursion in the Boundary Waters, and a week long trip through the Adirondacks. Every time I've "escaped", it's been difficult to come back.
But I digress. As much as I'd love to talk about all my adventures, it's much more practical to give some solid advice that YOU all can use immediately.
So without further ado, I present my Definitive Guide to Backpacking Nutrition:
So, I've been mostly single for some time now, and just recently I started seriously seeing a girl. This is relevant because up until we became serious I never really gave much thought to explaining or defending my nightly activities of playing EVE and being on comms with friends. It's just what I do, and I'll be honest that most of the time I'm a half naked lump sitting on my office chair whose seat pad is full to the brim of fart dust. Now I'm suddenly dating someone and I find myself wondering... "Is it OK if I play EVE right now?"
This self-questioning inevitably spirals onward because why would I ever deny myself something that I enjoy because of another person. I enjoy this person, so shouldn't they enjoy that I enjoy what I enjoy? Maybe there's something she enjoys that she's not enjoying because she's worried that I wont understand her joy. Clearly, this becomes exhausting and before long I'm too tired to do much else and we do other things.
I love this girl. She's a good one. We have fun, and I don't resent her at all for the obvious disruption in my EVE schedule that's taken place. Truth is I still play, but when she goes to sleep. Nothing is lost. But what's important to me is really just getting it out there that there's something else that I spend ample time with.
So, this is easy, right? Just tell her. But if I tell her, when do I tell her? During lunch? Dinner is for talking about your day, complaining about your job and talking about spaceships, right? No, that doesn't feel right. Lunch maybe sounds better. But we both work, so lunch wont work. Maybe in the morning when we wake up and we're laying in bed. That's perfect. She's comfortable, she's rested and at 6:30 in the morning there's not much sun light coming in through the blinds to cast distracting shadows on the wall while I'm talking about spaceships. But that just might be too early, I thought.
Then I had an idea to plan a date night completely revolving around the idea of just casually bringing up EVE to her at some perfect point. I'd set the kitchen counter all nice with our plastic cutlery and paper plates that do match. I'd put on some music. She'd absolutely love her favorite dish that I'd make for dinner. I'd wash and wear my one polo shirt that I own, and then nothing says I love you and want to share spaceships with you like picking fresh flowers from your neighbor's garden.
Well here we go. A Blog that will be anything I find interesting. This will be a wide topic blog about art, politics, covert operations, design, technology, etc. That's the trip. It's a general shot gun scatter blast thing.
One post a day, big or small. That's the game.
Ethics Statement Warning: I may plagiarize, abscond with ideas from others, misspell words, voice strong opinions, post strong sexual content on occasion...it's art, and many many many other transgressions. To quote Albert Camus, "A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world." I don't want any rules here. The same applies to you here. No Censorship. Say whatever you want in the comments. Well... I feel kind of liberated already.
free·domˈfrēdəm/nounnoun: freedom 1. 1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
The embed option wont work here so click through on here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpEzYEoV9qY
Press play and read on. It *might* just make what i'm doing a much more epic experience.
At the end first day of my little experiment, my foray into the world of retro gaming. I decided to start with the two of most recognisable titles of the 80's and probably of all time, too. As the music above will let on, one of those games is The Legend of Zelda and the other is Super Mario Bros. both for the NES.
This may strike some as an odd place to start in my mission to find games that I hadn't played in my younger days, but I feel it's probably the best place to start, as I had played Mario before, and not Zelda. I'll get to Zelda tomorrow as I'm actually on a break from playing it for an hour or so, i want to play it a bit more before I write about the game, my progress and include snapshots of my game.
So then, concerning that plumber..
I'm sitting on my back porch looking out over the snow-dusted Blue Ridge Mountains of NC... I've threatened to start writing for years. Now I've done it, and if you're reading this you're one of my first "customers." Please accept my congratulations... or condolences, depending on how you like it.
You should never begin any task without a goal, and I have one for this blog. I want to make you think, and in the process I hope to entertain you and inform you... and hopefully make you laugh now and then.
I'll write about lots of different topics. I was a political science / history major in college and still have a strong interest there. I spent over 30 years in a career that required face to face contact with the public every single day, and believe me, that has given me enough anecdotes to write several books. In fact, I think everyone should have to spend a year dealing with the public - it would make for a kinder, gentler world. Why don't we start right there?
I called my life insurance company this morning to ask a couple of questions. The phone was answered by a machine and gave me a couple of choices on the "menu." I was on hold for less than 20 seconds when the live representative answered and immediately began apologizing for the wait. My response? "I thought it was really quick." She seemed stunned but went on to answer my questions quickly and (I think) accurately. As we finished our conversation, she began to apologize again for taking my time but I interrupted her and said, "I can't imagine getting any better service than you gave me."
Silence on the other end... I asked "Did you pass out?" She began laughing and said, "No, it's just that not many people are nice to us." I explained that I had spend hundreds of hours dealing with people - some nice, some not so nice, some complete jerks - and that I had always promised myself I would never be rude to a customer service rep. We chatted for a couple of minutes and hung up laughing.