When the Wind is in the West

There is always a feeling I get during the season changes: the transition from hot to cool, from cool to cold and back again. That’s how the seasons are here in central California – the weather is the same for eight weeks, then transitions for about one or two weeks to a new season. This year the heat has been slow in coming, and I’m not complaining. The feeling is something akin to nostalgia, but different – more like a memory of things that never were. My imagination always goes wild. Dreams get more intense. The sun shows at different…

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Going Stupid

As my Google Pixel XL (the original) continues its decline into non-functionality through hardware failure and obsolescence, I am seriously considering “going stupid” for my next phone. That is, I will “downgrade” to a flip-phone or the like. I have a lot of reasons for this, but there are also some big problems with trying to avoid smartphones in 2020. Reasons to go stupid: Headphone jacks are disappearing – This I decided was my line in the sand for smartphones. If I can no longer get one with a headphone jack, that means I won’t use one. I just cannot…

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Gen Y and Millenials – A Difference in Software

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about “Generation Y” (my cohort) and the strange nostalgic attachment to the franchises of the 80s and 90s. Here is another great one by JD Cowan (I recently did a narration of his “Gen Y Fragment”) The big difference between these two is nostalgia – Gen Y is obsessed with it, but the Millenials, who grew up in the grey 00s, seem to have no attachment to the past at all. Both of these cohorts have something in common, as Author Brian Niemeier has told me: they both grew up with failed…

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A world of comparisons and trade-offs

Following up from last night, I want to hammer home an important point: We live in a world of limitations. That means that the comparative value of your time spent doing certain activities is more important than an absolute value. Practicing scales will improve your guitar technique, but will it improve your technique as much as spending the same amount of time practicing actual musical pieces? The idea that students should practice music rather than scales isn’t exactly anathema to the orthodox music education practitioner; the traditionalist would say, “Practice both!” We don’t have unlimited time on this earth to…

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Jealousy among artists

At the age of 36 I’ve been involved for multiple years with several big artistic “scenes,” including authors of various genres, classical musicians (particularly guitarists), flamenco musicians, and peripherally visual arts scenes such as comic artists. In all of these, there is a character flaw that seems to occur at much higher levels than the background (and I have personal points of comparison – I’ve been lots of other things besides an artist). That flaw is jealousy. Artists are insanely jealous of one another. The worst is probably in the visual arts, but certain music scenes are simply intolerable once…

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Once you pay the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane

Remember that the virtual scalpers will NEVER let you be just because of your identity. Once you appease them, you are from then on a SOFT TARGET. This was true with Stefan Molyneux (who didn’t make the rubble bounce after getting booted from paypal), and its true of organizations that are either implicitly or explicitly part of the left. Case and point: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/fall_01_20/ The writer of the story was trans. It didn’t save her. The magazine is pro-trans. It did not save them. They explained that the story was pro-trans. It did nothing. They apologized. It did nothing. It will…

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Setting a trap for bike thieves

Is this wrong? https://ktla.com/2020/01/09/2-men-accused-of-luring-thieves-with-unattended-bikes-then-beating-them-with-baseball-bats-and-posting-attacks-on-youtube/amp/?__twitter_impression=true Serious question – this is basically what the police due with “sting operations” and “honeypots,” so how is it different when it is done by private individuals? If you have a right to protect your property with force, does that right extend to defending it when you have set up the violation of your property rights as a temptation to wrongdoers? It seems to be this crime is operating in the nebulous world of “intents” – those favorite devices of the slave morality. Had these people just left a bike in front of their house (which…

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Trapped in a Star Wars Nightmare

This is my “2 years later” look at The Last Jedi, a film made by a director dedicated to shitting on everything that was handed him, including a large number of set-ups by JJ Abrams. A second (less emotional) look made me see the whole thing as petty and spiteful. He didn’t just ignore these “mystery boxes,” he purposefully destroyed their capacity to provide an interesting plot twist. Did JJ band Rian’s wife or something? Or is it just that Star Wars as a whole offended Johnson? You can get my newest book, Eyes in the Walls, for 99 cents…

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Change Something Once a Year – Growth through change and stress

As we come up on the new year, it’s a good time to talk about MEANINGFUL growth and change. 1) Growth is a response to stress. Nobody expects their body to improve by sitting around on the couch avoiding the stress of exercise. Same with intellectual and spiritual growth. There are limits to this obviously, but seeking a carefree, stress-free life will make you stagnate. Worse, it will weaken you.Don’t avoid stressful things if they are part of you reaching your goals.  2) Change something MEANINGFUL about your life once a year. Change jobs. Move. Have another kid. Write a book. The bigger…

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The Force Awakens, 4 years later

It’s been 4 years since I watched and reviewed The Force Awakens, or “Star Wars Episode 7.” I did a few videos (below) to re-examine it absent my emotional reactions and with my gains in perspective over the last few years. I discovered some interesting things First, the movie still sucks. It actually sucks worse, since the visual impact is reduced (due to me having already seen it and watching it at home) and that just leaves the nonsensical story to focus on. Second, I realized that my original assessment of it as a fan film is right on point…

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