Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Happy Birthday, to Me

I’m in a weird spot today. I attribute it to a couple of things. The first being that, in my 31 years of life, the number of surprise birthday parties I’ve had thrown upon me grossly outweigh the number of years I haven’t. When every year you’re expecting someone jump out and throw a “surprise” wish at you, you start looking for ways to avoid it. Long story. The second, perhaps I saw the movie Defending Your Life at too young an age, but I took the part when Albert Brooks says, paraphrasing, “you come into this world alone, you should celebrate it alone,” a little too literally. Either way, my method of aging is something entirely my own. I’ve learned to regard my birthday as a moment of reflection. Every year, I like to sit back and drink a bottle of wine I’ve made, and look back on my life, where I’ve been, and in my own way give thanks for what I have.

Aging to me is something really weird. I’ve always felt much older than I actually am. Statistically, through my family history, I’m probably a little beyond my halfway point. I don’t have any animosity or reservations about this. A lot of people keep trying to convince me that I’ll live forever, and my forecast is a negative. I consider it prudent planning. Knowing that everything will end soon makes me thankful for what I have. Knowing that I won’t be here forever, and I can’t put things off for another day motivates me, because there is no tomorrow. I know I’m going out early, and there are things I need to get done before I do. I can’t keep waiting for stars to align to accomplish what I need to before I die. Some call it a negative, I see it as one hell of a reason to do what I need to, now. Moving on, this isn’t supposed to be a downer… This is supposed to be more uplifting.

Upon my ceremonious, celebratory, annual reflection, I was laying back with a glass of mead while watching Jeff Who Lives at Home, and as I was caught up in the film, I started to cry about how much beauty and truth there is in the movie. That’s what getting older means to me. I can admit that I like pop music, and I’m enough of a man that I can cry whenever I feel like crying. The funny thing is, while I was watching the movie, I wasn’t even entirely caught up in the character’s drama. I was more caught up in being thankful that my family isn’t as fucked up as theirs. That’s mostly what today is about for me. I’m a little older. I have more white hairs, but every relationship with friends and family I have isn’t fucked up, and that’s good enough for me. Thank you everyone for being there, and for making my life as awesome as it is.

“I’m feeling thankful for the small things today.”

Computers Raising Children

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I have a lot of friends who have young children. Almost all of them have access to some sort of a tablet, usually an iPad. It never fails, once the kid starts acting up, the iPad comes out. I’ve always questioned whether or not this is just reinforcing the child’s behavior. Isn’t it in essence rewarding them for acting up? Yell and scream in a restaurant, and we’ll give you some candy… Parental decisions aside, I’ve always wondered, what exactly is going to be the longterm outcome from children raised with easy access to tablet devices?

I was an anomaly. I grew up with tons of computers before I was even able to talk. The old school stuff that you had to punch in lines of code to get it to do anything. This was before most people had even heard of personal computers. Now computers and tablets are as accessible as televisions were in the 80s. What’s this going to do to a child? Is the old school analog way better? I’m not one to be able to offer an expert opinion. It’s just something I think about.

Yesterday, the New York Times did a piece questioning what tablets do to childhood development. Guess we’ll have wait to see what kids raised on iPads and Google Glass look like in 20 years. I’m thinking Borg.

The New York Times: The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind

Your Life as a Company

What would your life be like if you left decisions up to stock shareholders? If every action of your personal life were weighed as assets and liabilities, and voted upon? In 2008, Mike Merrill sold his personal life for $1.00 a share. Where is Hollywood on this one? I see a quirky romantic comedy in the future.

WIRED: Meet the Man Who Sold His Fate to Investors at $1 a Share

Dino DNA

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In a NBC Science article, scientists speculate as to how dinosaurs procreated. Apparently, 100 million years ago, “life found a way,” without the help of John Hammond and his fossilized amber insects. In the end, this is just a bunch of science nerds fantasizing how dinosaurs got it on, with the same highbrow rational as a 13 year old.

NBC NEWS: How did dinosaurs do it? Very carefully, of course

What 2000 Calories Looks Like

If you’ve ever wondered what a daily recommended 2,000 caloric intake looks like, this video will put it into perspective.