Tweed and Metal

It plays, because it plays. The "because" withers away in the play. The play is without "why." -Martin Heidegger

    Today I spent most of the day meandering around and talking to my regulars at different spots. It was nice to be away from the patriotic barrage that everyone throws on facebook, or our lawn. I don’t argue it, one doesn’t do that, but I don’t partake. He was not a soldier that happened to be my brother He was my brother that happened to be a soldier.

    I didn’t spend the entire day remembering. Instead, I focused on what I  managed to accomplish in seven years. For instance, I would never have dreamed of sitting and having a beer by myself years ago. These days about the only thing that would make me uncomfortable is open gunfire…or bees.  I haven’t just grown up. I’ve blown up. 

    Tomorrow, I will wake up in the morning knowing that my work is not yet finished. On my shoulder there will be my brother whispering an infantryman’s wisdom into my ear “Forward”.

On April 16th this year I will look at the same front door at the same time, and head to the same job at the same time as exactly 7 years ago. That will make one quarter of my life thus far.

I guess you could say things feel a bit strange.

You know, the whole idea of Vladimir Putin just blows my mind. Really. A KGB Colonel, Judo blackbelt that Tranqs tigers in his spare time, has effectively taken over fucking RUSSIA.

  No Hollywood writer can make that up. It’s hilarious.

  …but also mortifying.

-At the end of June I will fly to Alaska for a wedding. I will stay 5 days, come home and enjoy a summer here. I’ll road-trip to Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

-Next April I’ll leave to teach English in a foreign country: Cambodia, Chile, or somewhere in Africa.

 Those are my goal posts.

Sometimes you gotta shoot. Sometimes you gotta do work.

Life in a nutshell.

A while back I watched this fascinating documentary on dog domestication. It centered around this Russian scientists experiments with domesticating foxes for the last fifty years. I thought the idea of having a domesticated fox would be awesome. The $8,000 price to import one from Siberia, we are talking true domestication not simply tame, is a bit steep.
 When I was on the trail in Denali, I stopped in the fog to take a nap and watch the clouds at my feet. I through my pack down, munched on some trail-mix and slept for a bit. I don’t know how long, since the sun is always up, but it wasn’t very long. When I woke up I rolled to my right and saw a black fox sitting still as stone watching me. We recognized each other, startled one another, and it ran off. As quick as a…I’ll stop.
 As long as we’ve had dogs, none have been Mine. Dog people know this sort of thing. Yes, dogs love everyone, but they do have a favorite. Bear, the Malamute has a preference for my little sister. Smidget, the Zen-master-Ewok-dog, is attached to my Step-dad. Samson, long gone now, adored Luke. The rest have always been attached to Mom, and we always thought it was who fed them or brought them home, until Smidget took to Rick. None of the dogs have ever chosen me.
  As soon as I left Mom rescued five mutts from Tennessee after their mother had been shot. She did all of that shit like give them milk when they were smaller than a dollar bill. Three were adopted. She kept two: Simon, and Mia. Simon, a languid happy fellow is all black like a shrunken Labrador. Mia, pictured above, is rambunctious nimble and light footed almost like a feline. The second I came home, Mia took to me in a way that one just can’t articulate. I walked in the door, and it was like…Pure Recognition.
     It reminds me of something I once told a friend, that I myself had forgotten. “The best, most profound things in your life are precisely those things that you did not set out to look for.”

A while back I watched this fascinating documentary on dog domestication. It centered around this Russian scientists experiments with domesticating foxes for the last fifty years. I thought the idea of having a domesticated fox would be awesome. The $8,000 price to import one from Siberia, we are talking true domestication not simply tame, is a bit steep.

 When I was on the trail in Denali, I stopped in the fog to take a nap and watch the clouds at my feet. I through my pack down, munched on some trail-mix and slept for a bit. I don’t know how long, since the sun is always up, but it wasn’t very long. When I woke up I rolled to my right and saw a black fox sitting still as stone watching me. We recognized each other, startled one another, and it ran off. As quick as a…I’ll stop.

 As long as we’ve had dogs, none have been Mine. Dog people know this sort of thing. Yes, dogs love everyone, but they do have a favorite. Bear, the Malamute has a preference for my little sister. Smidget, the Zen-master-Ewok-dog, is attached to my Step-dad. Samson, long gone now, adored Luke. The rest have always been attached to Mom, and we always thought it was who fed them or brought them home, until Smidget took to Rick. None of the dogs have ever chosen me.

  As soon as I left Mom rescued five mutts from Tennessee after their mother had been shot. She did all of that shit like give them milk when they were smaller than a dollar bill. Three were adopted. She kept two: Simon, and Mia. Simon, a languid happy fellow is all black like a shrunken Labrador. Mia, pictured above, is rambunctious nimble and light footed almost like a feline. The second I came home, Mia took to me in a way that one just can’t articulate. I walked in the door, and it was like…Pure Recognition.

     It reminds me of something I once told a friend, that I myself had forgotten. “The best, most profound things in your life are precisely those things that you did not set out to look for.”

Paths

A few things have happened in the last few days that have gotten me pretty amped:

- I went to a party for the UI neuroscience program, and had a great time. It was the first time in months I had gotten away, even from myself. Finally.

-Tomorrow I start back at Rockwell. Not excited, but health insurance and a nice paycheck are both welcome and necessary.

-This week I start tutoring ESL students at Parkland through the program Project Read.

Where does it go? No one knows.

I knew the man that cracked the Caligri floor. Watched him sprout wings, breathe fire as if he’d downed a pint of petrol before entering the room, but it was only whisky. Judas, the occasional battle-medic, no weapon. Lead mortician, because “what you create, you care for. Even corpses”. Worth more than most kings, but preferring to sleep on a pile of sand. The Autarch, however, was the exception. Judas had as much mercy towards him as a famished fucking hyena.

—"The" Madam Caroline, Sapa Inka; Inti Fleet.

The gym.

If you ever want to feel like a complete idiot, shadow-box a mirror. If you want to feel kind of cool, keep shadowboxing that goddamn mirror for months on end.

  I’ve been thinking about the mats a lot, lately. About how it was cool to get my face mashed into a cold puddle of sweat, because Phil H. seats like some disgusting savage. How doing pull-ups on old muddy tires strung up with rope to Notorious B.I.G was so much more fun than any session of video-games ever could be. How nothing, well almost nothing, is as satisfying as your focus-mitt partner ungloving and shaking out his hand with a grimace.

   For my birthday I bought a pack of cigarettes and smoked exactly one. Jesus it was gross. I took the pack to work, and handed it to a guy I know smokes Reds. I think I’m over it.

   My birthday always brings optimism, because I know Spring is coming. I’ve been down for awhile now, but I can feel a certain vigor starting to re-emerge. It’s an open canvas now, but I have every intention of bringing my best and spilling some blood on that canvas.

   When I was at BJJ one night, a fellow student asked the instructor if there was blood on his uniform. He just looked at him with a bit of a smirk and quipped “No. That’s someone’s courage.”

   God that greases my gears so fucking hard. But you know, I’m starting to realize that courage isn’t in doing just big grand things. It’s really just doing what we fear, and that might just be going back to a job you left when altering your entire life. When you swore you wouldn’t be back until hell froze over (it’s pretty close here this year). Because, sure you were terrified at 21 to get stuck their forever, but times are different. The math adds up, and is undeniable. Am I disappointed? Sure. That’s nothing new.

    Champions work through that shit, and keep hustling.

The ordinary pen you use every day seems very simple but it probably took 100 different technologies to make this pen technology, technologies of plastic, ink, ball bearing, metal, and each of those different technologies probably themselves required another 100 sub-technologies to support it and, of course, there’s kind of a circular way in which pens might be necessary to make a ball bearing in the same way that electricity is necessary to make a generator, and a generator may be necessary to make the wires of an electrical system. A hammer requires a handle and a head, and the saw requires the hammer to make the saw that cuts the handle, so there is a sense in which all of this is very recursive and that there is a network of different supporting technologies, and that the whole web of all these things I call the technium. The technium is that largest network of all the technologies working together to support each other, and while this pen is definitely not alive, there is a sense in which the technium as a whole exhibits life-like behaviors in the same way that your neuron doesn’t really think, but the network of neurons in your brain can make an idea.

Kevin Kelly (via azspot)

  While I like what Kevin Kelly is saying, he’s short-sighted and the thinking stops short of the “point”. He never stops to ask what the guiding principle of all of these objects are. Furthermore, he never steps out of the material realm to analyze whether that guiding principle is behind other developments that one would not ordinarily describe as “technology”.

 In fact, Kevin does not even hint that somehow Krav Maga, Mountain Top mining, and the Internet could in any theoretical sense be linked. They are. They are the most efficient methods derived to achieve a specific goal. The goals are just different, but the mindset is exactly the same.

  It would only make sense to ol’ Heidegger, that the operating principle guiding our technological environment is so thoroughly obvious that most miss it. Efficiency.

  But good luck convincing anyone on earth that there could be any other way.

(via azspot)