dal niente

Month: October, 2005

Z sent me this article which is a bit of a long read, but interesting.

Not totally related, but some observations about stupid things I see:
At the moment, I’m thinking of baby strollers.  The Canyeneros of
the sidewalk.  As if big gas guzzling cars wasn’t bad enough, we
now have baby strollers that are adding more wheels, more babies and
more ‘armor’– and I’m not sure how this trend started out, but if
total integration between humans and technology ever happened, it would
begin with strollers that simulate a human womb that would respond to
the baby’s needs tele-fucking-patically. I shit you not that my fear is
that by 2010, we will have baby strollers which you take out of the
box, assemble in ten minutes with a screwdriver and some locknuts, and
you will have what will look like this:

Mira dogs are trained not to bark. But I don’t see any other way for a
dog to say “WTF” loud enough to get their master and themselves out of
a strollers path of destruction in time.

The problem I have with modern baby strollers isn’t the strollers
themselves, but the way that parents treat a baby stroller like a snow
blower or a lawn mower.  Just today I saw a woman trying to force
herself and her stoller through a crowd because the wind was picking
up, and she rammed a Mira dog.  Dog being a dog, and a trained dog
at that, didn’t take out the can of whoopas, but for a moment when the
dog’s eyes crossed the mom’s,  Rover was thinking “I could break you
lady, don’t you forget it”

Course, the baby stroller of 2010 might make that a whimsical memoir of my youth.

When I was young, my parents owned a baby stroller that we also used
for my younger sister when she was born.  The whole aparatus had
four wheels, like a crossing of a few metal bars with a hammock-minded
bucket seat.  The whole thing did the job really well. 
Responsive steering.  Good cornering.  Fuel economy. 
Environmentally friendly. You could actually fold it up and it would be
a bit smaller than the size of a golf club bag, which is a feature that
just isn’t there on the newer models.

Now you’ve got baby strollers with the difinitive SUV influences. 
They often have at least twice as many tires, which are inches larger
in radius.  I see one thing which I’ll never understand, and
that’s the strollers that don’t even have turning front wheels. 
That’s just stupid engineering.

Does all that extra plastic make you feel safe?  Cause anything
that hurts your baby isn’t going to stop at a baby stroller, or an
extra milimeter of see through plastic canvas.  So all that added
crap must be for you and not
the baby. It certainly doesn’t make your baby feel any safer, i’d
wager– if anything I’m guessing it’ll make the poor kid suffer

Top it off that the only thing worse than bad drivers and bad
pedestrians is bad parents– they figure that a kid in a stroller is
somehow less mobile than a kid with his feet on the ground.  Rover above was my example.

I can’t stand those idiots who have that forlorn look on their faces
when they’ve got a baby stroller twice their size and are trying to
work it down a metro staircase one step at a time.  Now, i’m not
trying to single out single mothers or something– but these are not
cheap strollers.  And there are smaller, more managable ones on
the market– you don’t NEED that much horsepower.  If a baby
stroller is bigger than an electric wheelchair for a grown adult
(including the motor) then you’ve got a problem.

You must admit– for me to come up with a color scheme like this for my
xanga that is so … ‘unwieldy’, that takes skill.  I mean, it
takes a certain amount of je ne sais quoi to be this bad with color coordination.

Chili says:

it could be explained by the drugs people were taking during the 70s and 80s
but the year 2000, it’s just an acceptable norm that mushrooms give you 1-ups
Jinryu says:

ah. so you eat mushrooms and then you become larger
how phallic
Chili says:

thank you for ruining all my childhood memories
I’ll go do my philosophy paper now
have a good night
Jinryu says:

they added eyes
you can write your paper about this
how the original mario was promoting drug abuse and the notion that you
can get power up penises that slide magically away from you
Chili says:

I have to talk about Justice Theory
Jinryu says:

so… everyone should get power penises
otherwise it’s not fair?
Chili says:

based on an incomprhensible text that some random bloke wrote years ago
go to bed
Jinryu says:

i’m afraid of dreaming of mushrooms

On another note, bad shoulder or not, I went to an arcade and tried
that new punching bag machine, where you pop in a quarter and hit the
bag as hard as you can and it guages your ‘power’.

It’s not enough to know what you want to do.  You have to figure
out the most efficient and effective way of doing it.  The
difference between winners and losers is in the fourth dimension–
time.  Indidividual events in life are small events– often
insignficiant on their own, but they add up to something important if
the timing is right.

The same goes for a punch.

There are a number of reasons why this game is flawed, but lets just say you want the highest score.

I see a lot of people running at the machine from ten feet away and
then plowing through the machine, and they score like 400s.  Looks
really violent.  Once they go through the bag (which is a little
speedbag, the size of one of those legs of ham) they’re practically
flying into the machine and the wall uncontrollably because they’ve got
so much momentum.

But, just to show off— without a running start, on spot, with a
shuffle of my feet, a rotation of my hips and a sharp exhale, I can hit
an easy 600 on my bad arm, even though these people outweigh me by a
good 30 pounds.

It’s about technique.  I’m not a big person.

For the record, I’m sure there are a lot of you can hit 600 or
more.  But my point is that somewhere along the line, you gotta
walk the walk.  And if you’re gonna talk, you best know what
you’re talking about.

On one hand– physical appearances denote possible potential.  But
the scope of ‘possible potential’ is almost infinite.  The best
you can do is know yourself, know how you handle yourself, and don’t
worry about the rest.  Don’t worry about lookin good.  Don’t
worry about impressing.  Just worry about the problems at hand–
spend more time gaining experience than campaigining for a better image
and you’ll do just fine in the world.

Sometimes I actually try my own advice on myself.

Regarding open-mindedness:

I’ve always been rather close-minded about ‘alternative
medicines’.  I beleive, for example, that doing physical activity
will increase your ciruculation, make your muscles more healthy, give
you a stronger metabolism and immune system, etc.  I don’t beleive
though that sticking needles in my meridians, having someone do ‘touch
therapy’ on me or some tai-chi guy transfer energy to me does jack all.

But then again, it’s quite possible i’m just ignorant and close minded.

When I see people who do beleive in these kinds of things, I say to
myself “man, why are they buying into that?  What about
conventional methods that have already been proven to work?”

Well, to give a bit of a story– I started playing volleyball when i
was in grade 7.  Between the time that I played volleyball and
switched to martial arts, I damaged the cartiledge in my knees so bad
that it was impossible form e to squat or sit cross legged without
excruciating pain.  I’d also sprained my fingers numerous times
from when I was blocking a spike, and the spiker smashed my fingers.

When i started martial arts, it was bad enough that we used to lowkick
eachother in the knees (not smart for training, though it turned out to
be useful in real life) but when I started grappling, injuries ranged
from hyperextended limbs to fractured ribs, a bleeding eye, a bone chip
in my elbow (which still floats around if you ever wanna touch it just
ask) , torn cartiledge and a spinal stretch (I was made 1 inch taller
for about 24 hours till i reverted).

You name it.

Badminton has taken out the impact wounds, but on the other hand I’m
getting a lot of repetitive motion stress syndrom– mostly my shoulder.

I’m serious when I tell you that at this point, my left arm is stronger
than my right because my right shoulder is so fucked up.  Only
reason why i still play and manage with my right is because muscle
memory lets me do a lot of things a lot more comfortably and
efficiently with my right– my left just doesn’t have the experience,
despite the health and relative youth.

So anyway, my point is.  Alternative medicine.  Theres this
stuff out on the market called Gluccoasime, which is rumored to be a
dietary supplement that’s supposed to help your body repair damaged

If you’d asked me a year ago i would have scoffed at it.  It is
considered an ‘alternative’ medicine right now, because studies on it’s
effectiveness have not yet arrived at conclusive results supporting or
dismissing their alleged effectiveness.

But my shoulder is bad.  I can feel it when i’m in bed lying
down.  Sometimes on colder nights, i’m woken up by pain in
it.  Not stabbing pain– but an uncomfortable, arthritic
pain.  And i can feel the remenants of my younger years also
acting up at times, like me knees and my ankles.

Glucossamine is supposed to help fix all that.  Or so they say.

It’s an alternative medicine that I scoffed at.  But the irony is
that now that the tables have turned, and I am desperate for a
solution, I am looking at these bottles and thinking if i should give
it a shot.

Doctors and physiotherapists are prescribers of moderation– don’t be
inactive, but don’t be too active.  But no one lives, no one
pioneers by being average– I play because it’s fun, I play because it
is a test for me to push my limits.  But unfortunately, my body
doesn’t seem to be keeping up with my willpower.

So alternative medicines come into the equation.

Will I try this stuff?  Am I not giving them a fair chance because
it was so easy to just sit on my high horse when i was still in perfect

New colors for a new day
and new thoughts.

“Jesus in a camper van

he says sorry to leave you but I done all i can

I suppose even son ‘o God gets it hard sometimes

‘specially when you’re singing

that i am the way

i am the way!”
-Robbie Williams, Jesus in a Camper Van

At the roots of everything we consider is us, are prejudices that we
may not be aware of.  I don’t mean racism.  I don’t mean
sexism.  But it can include these things– a prejudices is just
what the word implies– it is a pre-judgement.

Or is it?

A lot of the prejudices that we hold are no longer even judged– we
don’t have the time to do all the evaluation work, and that is how
things like ‘styles’ or ‘group mentalities’ come about.  Because
it’s a lot easier to just do what the next person is doing, and assume
that their reasoning is just.  It’s cumulative.

But just how right are our definitions?


Is a hero someone who selflessly acts for a greater good?  But
what about a terrible person, who because of some mental disease, is
compulsively helpful to others?  Can he still be a hero?

Or what if a person does everything in their power to do what is
right?  But turns out to be ‘wrong’, and was just doing what they
thought was right?

Does anyone consider Hitler a hero?  The question cannot be
answered with “are you crazy”.  And the answer is “yes”.  The
follow up question is “why”.

And maybe that is where you find the false roots– because at some
point, someone stopped asking why and just assumed something was
something… and one thing leads to the next.


Was the Great Leap Forward a good idea?

Is a cop right to arrest someone for a broken tail light?  Did we have to use tailights in automobiles?

Could a toothbrush have been invented as a toothcomb?  Or a toothsponge?  Or a tooth squeege?

Could the average chair have more or less than 4 legs?

Could a television screen have been invented to be square?

Do we have to read from
     right? Or vice versa?

Does everyone in the library have to be quiet?  Should cellphones be turned off?

Should cellphones ring?

Is a president who acts thinking he is deffending his country wrong to do so?

Is riding a large car, a car bigger than you’ll ever need power for, is it really bad if it protects you and your family?

Can everyone say what they want?

Should everyone carry a gun?

Should people be locked away?

My point is that every one of us has an answer to all questions– and
that may include that we don’t know the answer.  We all have
answers.  Some answers we can answer with prejudice and that would
be okay.  A ‘good prejudice’ is something that you’ve run into
before, and thus you already know how to do with it.  A good
prejudice might all this talk about eat healthy.  A bad one might
be to smoke.

But test yourself.

If life is to constantly degrade– if the world gets worse daily– why
not smoke?  Find a way to invest in a death closer so that you
don’t have to see the decay of the world when you’re too old enough to
fight back.

Why eat healthy?  It assumes we want to live a long time.  It
assumes that a shorter life may be more valuable than a long one.

I am not saying that our choices are wrong– but until we can honestly
put ourselves in a scenario where we can truly try something, including
that which we would never imagine ourselves doing, until we can put
ourselves in the frame of mind of the opposite case, the opposition,
opressed or the opressor– until then, how can we say that our choice
is just? 

We have judged without the experience to know it is true.  How is
a one track path in any way an exercise in judgement, if there are no
choices to be made?  One has to know what straying is to be able
to know what it means to stay on a right path.

I am not saying that if you have a prejudice that life is valuable,
that you should challenge yourself and shoot someone in the head. 
No.  But what I am saying is that, in some cases, it is possible
where just that kind of violence is the only solution.  THe
prejudice is that life should be preserved at all costs. Prima facie,
this is true– but there are always exceptions.

We have to be open to the possibility of exceptions to everything.

“The greater good” is the slipperiest slope known to man, and we can
fall down that faster than even the pull of a force like gravity–
because more bottomless than the deepest pit, with more magnitude, more
density, more attraction and darkness– is the human soul.  And
that spirit lets us know what’s the right thing, or the wrong thing, or
what we need help with.  We just have to ask.

It is the brain that is the overlay, the supressor of the soul, the one
that we can change– and the one that is subject to prejudices.

I am not a preacher– i’m not asking you to turn to god(s).  But i
am asking you to write your own gospel, i am asking you to be your own
savior.  You have to think outside the box, you have to fight for
every inch.  If you must take the prejudices of others, then think
foryourself first– have they judged well?

Do you ever feel knurd?


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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In Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld series, knurd is the opposite of drunk, as opposed to the median state of sobriety. It is a state achieved through excessive use of Klatchian coffee. When knurd, you see life as it really is, for the first time in your life. Few live through the experience without going insane.

Knurdness is the opposite of being drunk; it is as sober
as you can ever be. It strips away all the illusion, all the comforting
pink fog in which people normally spend their lives, and lets them see
and think clearly for the first time ever. This, needless to say, is a
very traumatic experience. Those seeking to treat drunkenness by having
the sufferer drink Klatchian coffee should take care, lest they send
him too far the other way – Through sobriety and out the other side.

“There the men in taverns drink coffee laced with desert orakh. This drink (made from cacti sap and scorpion venom) is one of the most virulent alcoholic beverages in the universe. But the nomads do not drink it for its intoxicating powers, but to mitigate the effect of Klatchian coffee. It made you knurd.”

We are very often prisoners of our own expectations.

I take a carrot, put it on a string, put that on a stick, and tie that to my tail so that it dangles in front of my own face.

This process is called “going through it all for the sake of principles”.

But this may not be a good thing.

In some ways it is.

In some ways it isn’t.

The reason why I put that carrot there is because idleness is the one
thing that I can’t stand to schedule into life.  I’m going to die
some day, and most likely, it’s going to be sooner than I want it to be.

Who is happier– the person who is content with what they have, or the
person who never feels they’ll get bored and has to keep looking

I’m a poor man when you think about it, because I crave that which I don’t have.

We can talk about drive, we can talk about ambition– but the man who has it all does turn out to be the man who needs less.

The carrot on the stick is sometimes your maturity telling you to
follow through with what you originally rationalized to be a good
idea.  When i was still doing martial arts, I used to train all
the time, intensively.  Sometimes as a few hours for six days a
week, at school, at the Senshido gym (which we used to pay for a
membership just so that we could use their boxing ring) and at the H2O
gym.  It was tiresome.

But every now and then i’d get discouraged for some reason or other–
I’d look at my peers, I’d look at myself.  (Will I ever be that
good?)  I’d do rounds with them (What am I doing wrong?  Why
aren’t I improoving?) and sometimes the weight of a thousand tons was
futility.  I would sometimes feel useless.  I’d sometimes
feel incapable, and without potential next to some people who could
just acheive things apparently naturally.

But then I’d dangle that carrot in front of my face.  Tell myself
to just shut the fuck up and keep training.  And even if i
convinced myself it was futile, in the end when my morale came back up,
i appreciated what I did do.  I appreciated that i had the
tenacity to plow through the times of indescision and finish what I
started.  So when I was back in the game, I wouldn’t, for one
thing, be two or three weeks out of practice, and I could pick up on my
journey exactly where i left off.

The carrot dangling is at once the frustration and the goal.  It
is what brings you through dark times– and it is what causes dark

Midterms are killing me.  I’m always tired, I’m always hungry, I’m
starting to develop headaches at random times.  I’ve also noted
that I’ve developed what may be like narcilepsy or something… I’ll be
in class, looking and listening to the teacher, close my eyes, and
then, suddenly, he’s a few feet away or on the other side of the
room.  I just lost a few seconds, right there, and i didn’t even
notice– I just blinked out then blinked back in.  It scares me.

But midterms are almost over.  Deliverance is near.

I am plowing.  I have set my carrot on a stick.  And though
the goal is proverbial, and unatainable in some sense, I must go in
that direction no matter what.  I mustn’t stop moving.

I played badminton today.  It was fun.  It’s the first time i
play in about a week and a half.  It did wonders for me.

My mind, body and soul function as a unit.  I cannot have any one
peice sorta lacking, otherwise it causes a disbalance.  When
something is out of balance, the other two parts sorta pull together
and help the lagger to pull through.  If not, then all three of
them share the burden.

I am not stressed at midterms.  I am physically tired, I am
intellectually drained.  I am bored at the redundancy.  But I
am not stressed… I just have to keep plowing through it, driving,
until i get through.

Whenever crises hit, you see all sorts of things going on– you see the
best in people and you see the worst in people.  A lot of the very
basic things we rely on, like rules, really come under the spotlight
when it seems that they’re not working for people.  Check Azriha’s latest, i thought that this was freaking hilarious and freaking sad at the same time.

So the problem with people is that okay, yes, they’ll sometimes follow
rules.  But like the problem with fundies, people are reacting to
the rules as holy writ rather than guidelines.  People are
basically looking for a mechanism to dictate EXACTLY how they should
act, and that may be good in situations that were taken into account
when the rules were made, but rules, being humanly made often don’t
take into account everything (because humans like me and you are not
all knowing, obviously).