dal niente

Month: May, 2006

The theme for today is: ACTION!

It is not enough for us to be philosophers.  Thinking came up with some great ideas, but it’s actions that got some great stuff done.

..come with me, bring your own weapons.  Your survival is not guaranteed.

I got food poisoned or something last friday night, probably from the sushi or something. Spent the morning (between 1 am and 4am) with alternating bouts of diahrhea and vomiting.  Not pleasant at all. 

Then woke up at 5:30 to go to work.

The clear disadvantage of being the last administrative line of deffense at my job (I replace the replacments when the replacements can’t be scheduled) is that there’s no one to take my place.  Who watches the watchers, right?  So I had to go in to at least make sure that the morning replacements were done, since my supervisor (whom i called up at 5:30 and said, M’am, I’ve got stomach cancer, I can’t come to work today!) wasn’t picking up her phone (probably with good reason, it was 5 am after all) I had to make the assumption that there would be no backup.

Finally when i got to work an hour later, got the initial tasks done.  I bought a can of gingerale from the vending machine for a ludicrous $1.25, or at least, tried, and the !@$*!@ machine ate my change.

A half hour later though, as I lay in my office spread across two chairs and began to think how much the ceiling fan looked like circling vultures if I squinted my eyes,  I got a call back from my super who said she was on her way. Yay!

Not only did she replace me at 7 in the morning but she made a note to have the kitchen department refund me $1.25, and she had the hospital pay for my taxi to take me home (an hour away by metro/bus).  Her reasoning was “I think this is the first time you call in sick.  Whatever it takes to get you sick, we don’t want it.”

Aww. And here I was thinking I could contribute to the next generation hospital super bug.

As a consequence of getting no sleep and not being able to hold down any food, RsM on saturday was a pretty miserable experience where I spent most of the afternoon sleeping in the adjacent gym on a bunch of trampoline crash mats.  That was kind comfy.  But it’s such a bother to be in a room where you can hear the sounds of activity in the next.  Not that it was disturbing in itself– it’s just that I wanted to be a part of those sounds, and not just a spectator.

I was feeling a lot better yesterday (Monday) finally, and went to the YBA Badminton party.  It was a pretty decent event for the time that I spent there… it was really unfortunate that the attendance wasn’t higher though.  I mean, who can beat 2$ for about 6 hours of play? I guess advertising the event was a bit of an issue.

Playing on monday was fun because it had just the right amount of lower level players for me to kick around given my condition.  That sounds terrible, but you’ve got to remember– monday’s breakfast was the first solid food I’d been able to take in over 48 hours.  I was not in good condition.  If I’d played games any tougher I would very likely have hurt myself trying to get back in gear.  But the whole experience was a nice re-primer.  I do so like the Marianopolis gym, the visibility is decent and it’s one of the first wood floor gyms that I can play in without feeling the skiddiness of the floor.

I haven’t been on the internet since almost friday, and Thunderbird tells me that I have over 43 messages (non-spam) pending.  Please be patient.  I’m lazy.

The Misunderstood Devil’s Advocate.

Has it ever happened to you that there was an issue where you really probably couldn’t care less either way, but then someone starts arguing a particular extremist angle on it, so you’re forced to deffend the opposite side just for the sake of promoting some understanding? And then before you know it, the only way you can fight extremism is with extremism, and then suddenly WHAM!  You’re no longer a neutral because they’ve forced you to fight them, you’ve been handed the torch of a camp you don’t even beleive in.

That kinda stuff happening is silly.

Randomly, from the Pet Professional:

I really think it’s kind of pointless to ever say to someone that they’re on a moral high horse.

The thing about most things is it’s not just about the black and whites… it’s about the lefts and rights.  You can go further left, you’d just be more left.  Some people think of greyshades and things… I like to think of things like a number line.  Its linear, like the way you had to put numbers in front of every command line in BASIC.  But no matter how you numbered things, you could always put in a decimal to squeeze something in somewhere.

That’s what reality is like.  Reality is the numberline.  There’s infinite space for things that you wish to assign numbers, and they can be scaled from left to right in terms of whatever polars you want.

So, do you want to talk about good and evil? About moral highgrounds?  About altruism and selfishness?

I was shocked the other day because I was talking to people who I considered to be pretty selfless.  I was having second thoughts about RsM really, as per usual.  I don’t pretend to have all the answers, which is why this xanga and all my previous blogs exist– because I have no way of knowing for sure.  And what things I do beleive in blindly, well, frankly, i could just be wrong.

But the question came down to this.

Suppose you have the choice.  You can potentially suffer, but in exchange, you will accomplish a great good.  Or, you can not suffer anything beyond your mundane standars– and in exchange, you will accomplish nothing, society’s current trends will continue.  Which do you chose?

And the answers I got, most of the time, were you not do anything.  Don’t martyr yourself.  Don’t suffer for others.  Because in the end, nothing matters.

I will make up a fictitious analogy based on what Ian Malcom says.  What is science, really?  It’s inherited knowledge.  It is not wisdom.  It is accumulation, it is materialism that can and is most often abused.  Why?

Because you didn’t invent the light bulb, you didn’t invent domestic avaiable electricity.  So you don’t understand brownouts, you don’t understand a loss of power or the risk of electrocution.  Or all the trouble it took to make that light bulb, or to generate that electricity.

So, no one cares about turning off the lights.

A karateka learns how to fight empty handed.  On the road to gaining that proficiency, he gets beaten up a great deal.  He suffers for that knowledge, so that he can have the ability to maim and kill.

But what happens when he gets that good?  He doesn’t.  Why?

Because the skills he has, he didn’t inherit them… he worked for them.  He thus respects them and won’t abuse them.

It is not the karateka who gets drunk and beats up his wife.  But what science does it make it possible to skip the involvement– so you don’t need to feel pain to understand what it means to deal pain.

You can just buy a gun.

For the record, I am of the opinion that people *should* suffer to help others.  I’m not about to nail myself to a cross mind you… I’m not at that stage.  But left and right. Number line.  I’m saying that wherever I am now on the line, I can still go further… and so can you.

Why?  Why do something for others?

That’s the bottom line.  Something I cannot give an answer to.

Think of the children maybe? Your own children to be?  Maybe that’s not good enough– after all, realistically, who cares about anyone else but ourselves.  Once I’m dead, what will I care about the next generation?

People seem to be so sure that it’s all about them.

And I don’t blame them. After all, I can’t give any evidence that says that we need to help people.

……But you know, I think a lot of you are missing the point.  People are so content to live in created systems– even our day to day suffering, we’re so used to it that we don’t think of it.  We put up with pollution, we put up with bad health, we put up with diminished family togetherness or with increased reliance on material goods to fill the voids in our souls, and why?

Because don’t notice.  After all, we’re contemporary with our generation.  If you’re born in Florida, you don’t notice it’s hot.  I mean, you know.  But it’s not a big deal.

Similarly all the bad things about society are too close to us for us to notice, and we’re so unable to think out of the box that we may even die without ever considering that it could have been different, that it could have been better.

Why help someone else?  And why care, if I’m mortal, and will die, and then my existence will end, and everything I’ve accomplished will have been in vain?

There will be many people who read this post who will have nothing to say.  I am targetting *you*.  How can you go on living with the idea that you live only for yourself?  All the things that you hold dear and important.  How does it relate to your humanity?  What is the difference between you being dead or alive?

I cannot say with certainty that life is in The Matrix, but it’s sort of like that.  People are living in a dream world, where they attribute importance to things that might not be really important.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this.  Trying to complete this post would be like trying to upload my brain.

What I’m trying to say is that if you cannot find a reason to live for others, then what?  Live for yourself?  Does that make you truly happy?

Maybe you think it does.

Just rememer that the mechanisms for the freedoms you have were the sufferings of other people. And, when you suffer in life, most of the time it is because you yourself are being exploited for something, to provide someone else with some sort of luxury.

It might be enough to say “do onto others as you would have them do onto you”.  Go out there, save a person– maybe someday when you need it, someone will save you.

How unrealistic is that?  NO one really beleives that.  And so the prisoner’s dilema of status quo continues, and you, the silent readers who have read what I thought but don’t care to admit that you are implicated, you won’t say anything because you just think i’m on a moral high horse.

But who cares whether or not you implicated your self?  It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re guilty of helping this planet become a terrible place.  It just matters if, armed with that knowledge, you intend to do something about it.

My girlfriend told me about this saying… how do you cure cancer?  Put a bunch of doctors in a room, and give them cancer.

Society has learned too much from credit cards.  We like to push the payments down, pay it later with interest maybe.  After all, I won’t reap the consequences of a disinformed life– my grandchildren will! And what do I care, I’ll be long gone anyway.

What is your reason for doing good? Do you even have one? Or are you the minimally-decent Smaratin?

…its late,and I need to sleep.

Humanity is two faced.  There are good things that happen… and for these good things, peple become complacent and don’t think twice.

But few people have ever seen bad things.

I think, perhaps, if people saw more bad things firsthand… maybe then, they’d see a reason to care about humanity.

9:50 am, at work.  I need something to unwind.  Behind closed doors, I’d like to break something. Headache is back.

I spent a few moments thinking about my future and wonder how I’ll ever find a job that I can stick with.  The prospect of joining Red Cross and just shipping out to the middle of nowhere where nobody knows me and it’s only me versus the disaster feels romantic and appealing.  Ah, if only real life were as easy as novel writing.

I’d like to think there is a society desparate enough for goodwill where the Smaratin Law is good enough– meaning, if you do your best with the best of intentions, it doesn’t matter what goes wrong, so as long as you tried.

North American society is too damned spoiled in that sense.  They don’t just want your blood and sweat, they also want it to be done right everytime, with a nice ribbon on top and for minimum wage.

Don’t try to tell me where my place is– I know where I am better than you may think.

The only reason I don’t *put* you in your place is because you wouldn’t be able to handle that.

While it’s true that rock bottom is the best way to start looking up, I don’t have the time to be the bad guy.

Yesterday, badminton was pretty lousy for me.  I lost most of my games.  Body was too tired, reflexes too slow… tracking was off. It was generally a very sad performance of unforced errors.

Yesterday, I played badminton wearing shorts. Usually, I wear pants.  It’s been a while since I wore shorts.  No less than 6 people that I can remember asked me if I had injured myself (on account of my knee braces) but the truth is that the knee braces are nothing new– it’s just that I’d always worn them under my pants, so no one ever noticed that I’d been wearing them for… what? Longer than I can remember.  Funny how that is.

I found it interesting how people have a habit of getting into the visuals of physical appearances really easy.  I mean, if i see someone wearing a brace that I didn’t see last time, I’d likely ask too “what happened?”  It’s an easy way in.

It seems, in contrast, socially inappropriate to say something like “so how is your life?” and expect any real answer except from the closest of your friends.

Thoughts on Protocol.

Protocol at work is what keeps you from getting too tied into things.  It’s a way of blaming the system instead of the person. That *might* be a bad thing.  But that can also be a good thing.

Yes, beureucracy like that does complicate even the simplest procedures… but on a sunday morning, where it’s my job to find replacements for one nurse and two PABs, what do you want me to do?  Normally, we get one sick call and that’s enough.  Two? That’s already a crisis. Three, well that’s the finger of God.

A patient had a code called on them at work today.  Understaffing may have contributed, is what I’m thinking.  But I couldn’t find anyone to replace the missing peopole.  The protocol says it’s not my fault, I did everything in the book, as well as the tricks I picked up of playing schedule sudoku that aren’t in the book.  And the staff on those floors did their best to juggle their tasks.

And so that patient gets another lease. But it was a close call.

What is protocol?

In situations that are bad, it’s a way of reminding you that everyday is another day.  It’s not the last.  There will be others.

Protocol is a way of saying that you have to think long term.  You can’t just go around playing hero, sacrificing yourself for that one moment.  Because then what? Who will pick you up, after you’ve given it your all and are added to the list of casualties?

I am not saying to take life forgranted.

But what I am saying, as I always do, and I get oh so tired of saying, is there’s more to life than partying, there is more to life than having fun.  Having fun is not seizing the only way of seizing the moment– and if that’s what you think it is all about then you know nothing about life.

There are vastly varrying interpretations of ‘seizing the day’.  To some people, it is that one day unlike the others that just shines.

To others, it’s just their constant routine– their best, at that pace that they can handle.


You know that story about the hare and the tortoise and that race?  That’s like the two versions of seizing the day.

Today, a resident doctor was spit on by a patient with T.B. when he asked her for her cigarettes.  She then told him to basically screw off, made more than one rude gesture.  She may as well have been a fecees throwing monkey, considering all the hostility she was showing everyone.

So here are people who aren’t worried about being in a hospital.  In fact, this kind of patient is fighting the doctors and nurses until they die.  Why do they bother coming to us?  That’d be like going to the garage and then slashing your tires once the job is done. What the hell are you doing?  What is wrong with you?

And it’s not that they’re scared.  Sometimes, when someone is really, really angry, you can see in their eyes that there’s fear back there somewhere.  But sometimes, it’s not fear at all.  It’s something else, something terrible and unstoppable.

Don’t let anyone tell you that studying in psychology is a joke.  This may be where the only answers lie.  When it seems that the situation isn’t logical, perhaps the reason is that their reason itself is based on beleifs that we don’t know about, something deep in their heads that we don’t understand because we haven’t seen it.

I digress.

That poor resident came back a while ago with a new shirt.  It’s not that a tuberculosis spitball is instantly fatal or anything– but he was just so disgusted he couldn’t do anything but throw it out and get a new one.


For those of you who hadn’t heard, http://www.skype.com/ is offering free calls in Canada and the US until the end of the year. Go call up your buddies far away, don’t be a stranger.


I’m using dial-up at the moment, which is quite the difference compared to the high speed setup i’m used to using.

It feels so 90s.


My grandfather was hospitalized a few days ago.  He was out in the rain at 9:30 at night, digging up worms so he could go fishing.  Bending over for long periods of time isn’t good for him, it puts a strain on his heart which, for the past few years, has been operating at about 25% the power of a normal heart.  His heart got tired, started pumping less, and as a result, he lost pressure in his lungs and they began to fill with water, and he began to drown.

He was taken to the hospital in time, and he will be alright. It’ll just take some time.


There was something I read in a book recently that really says it well.  The idea is that “though there is no set destination, there are nonetheless some paths that are less preferable than others”.

I think from now on I’ll end up talking about something that a lot of books refer to as the Way.

It is true– we should not be so goal focussed that we lose consideration of the journey.  But the Way doesn’t just mean, literally, the choices, or the path.  It also means the method.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about some of the strange facts of life that can be so unsettling.  


The last time I was in the Montreal General hosptial to visit someone, it was a while back, perhaps a year or two, and it was also for my grandfather.  I remember feeling opressed.  Unable to operate.  Claustrophobia? I don’t have it, but if I had to guess, that’s what it feels like.  Every breath, labored, every sense focused straight in front of you as if you’re blind except for what’s right in front of you.  It’s like a paranoia.  Nothing in a hospital seems breakable, the place has a lot of similarities to prison in that sense.  No walls are made out of gyprock, it’s all cold concrete that echos the sounds of monitors and footsteps in a particular way.

I remember feeling that for every moment that I was in the hopsital I’d have to put on a strong face.  My clansmen, that is, the aunts and uncles and my dad, they’re not very good at handling the hospital.  They choke up a lot.  Red eyes.  Quivering lips.  They get edgy at eachother, and fingerpointing, unintended words get exchanged.  It’s a big mess.

I remember thinking at the time that I’d have to set an example, and god, was it hard.  It’s kind of unfortunate, the way this cycle is I mean… one acts badly in a hospital because they’re not used to it.

Now that I work in a hospital of my own I’ve gotten very used to it.  And it’s not desensitization, really.  Coping in a hospital situation has nothing to do with numbness, I’ve realized– it has to do with transcendance.  To minimize over-reactions. To understand the situation.  To realize that your symptoms– denial, anger, regret, weakness– don’t have anything to do with the person in the bed.

I mean, they do.  But they’re irrelevant to what’s importnat– that is, that person’s recovery.

People radiate energy wherever they go.  Positivity.  Negativity.  A sense of opressiveness, of agression, of docility, of tranquility– or neutrality.  There’s all sorts of energies that people are giving off at all times, if you pay attention.  And it’s not just moods.  Someone’s mood is dependant on a situation, and their expectations.  Someone’s energy though usually follows themes– you’ll find it underlying all their moods.

What people need to realize is the kind of energies that they themselves produce.  It’s a sort of self-awareness, i guess you can call it.


When someone goes to a hospital, it’s a lot like when someone out of the blue goes to church.

By going to church, I mean that kind of person who goes to get baptized, and maybe a confirmation, and then dissapear for twenty years and the next thing it’s for a wedding or a funeral.

People only go there when they want something.


Marx’s whole beef was with how a worker has become detached from the product of his work.

My beef with most people is similar– it’s that people are detached from themselves.

I have nothing against external gratifications– I’m not saying you should be able to sit under a bonsai tree, drink some chai tea to the sound of finger cymbals and then close your eyes with mudras on your lips and yoga in your bones.  I’m suggesting, however, that for you to interact with humankind, you need to understand some of the basic principles, the commonalities, the foundations of your own being.  That includes your philosophy of life.

And I don’t just meant what you *want* your philosophy of life to be.  I mean, what it really is.  You have to be honest with who you are before you can really hope to be honest with anyone else.


In some cases, it’s not a matter of people lying to themselves.  Sometimes people are just ignorant of who they are, because they don’t take the time to find out.


There are a lot of ‘bugs’ in the system.  Fear, anger, confusion, apathy, greed, uncertainty– all the things that Yoda talked about and more.  The problems of the world are largely symptoms of these roots.


My dad is a very strong man.  He’s in his mid fifties, and he’s planning to run a full marathon (43 km) this summer.  He’s already run a few half marathons already.

I think his weakness is that he has no understanding of weakness.

When he goes to the hospital, it’s the same today as it was back then when my grandfather was lying in the same unit, the same hospital– my father is not encouraging.  He is confused– he doesn’t understand why my grandfather doesn’t fight harder, or why this happened in the first place. Take the day one hour later, and the scenario changes to “I told you so”, because certain things that he’d been telling my grandfather to do– lower the salt intake, eat more vegtables, etc– he’s certain that they would have prevented everything.

But what’s the point of a hospital stay?

Is it to punish someone for not listening to the doctor’s orders?

Or is it to get someone better?


I mention this all because now, when I’m there by my grandfather’s bed, I have the privledge– and I really do mean privledge– of being able to do so with a relative calmness.  That sounds odd. But what I mean is that I can carry myself the same way I do in that hospital as I do in his own home on his better health days.  Sure, I’m more attentive– everytime he grimaces, I can’t help but watch.  But the things that used to be there, the fear, the uncertainty, all those other things that used to bother me when I was younger, they’re all gone now.


For a sick person, your presence isn’t always enough.  As much as it is nice for a sick person to see their family and friends, who can say it’s nice to meet at a funeral?  You know what I mean?  People gather for good reasons and bad.  But no matter the situation, no matter how dire the circumstance, negative energy doesn’t produce anything positive.

In many cases, showing up to see a sick person and looking totally scared out of your wits is doing to do more harm than good for the patient.

The person ain’t dead. Try to carry yourself, therefore, with a little more optimism than as if they were.

Willpower has a lot to do with the recovery process– but there’s only so much of it that they can waste ignoring the sad faces of visitors.


I’ve actually found it easier to go and see my grandfather alone.  In a way this has sorta made me closer to my mom, who is a nurse at the cardiac intensive care unit that my grandfather is at.  Last time I was there a while back, I used to feel so shocked that she was being so casual about everything… I thought that the worry I felt festering in my gut was what everyone around me should be feeling too.

But worrying isn’t a building block.

It is not my place to tell my relatives not to show up, because you can see on the readings that when they argue or get on eachothers’ nerves, they are causing more stress to the patient than he needs.  But I do so wish they could understand.

It took me months of working at my hospital though to develop this, and it makes me feel isolated… the only people I can talk to are the nurses. When my aunt and uncles talk to me, they can barely say sentances straight, they shiver.

… the point is not for me to pat myself on the back and say that I’m stronger than them.  That’d be missing the point.

I’m saying that i realize now that some emothions just miss the point.  If a situation needs work… the work can be done, and it can likely be done better without the setbacks of negative energies.  In fact, negativity just escalates.

My beef with materialism has never been in the stupidity of the materials itself.  It’s been in the misunderstanding of it’s use.  Materialism is not meant to be a substitute for inner foundations.  Materialism is aesthetics and extensions.

So what you have are people who try to accumulate things and status, because understanding these things which come packaged with instructions are easy. Definately easier than understanding ourselves.  They make a person feel in control, because things we can buy with money will behave the way we want to operate them.

And that’s true. But they’re missing something important.

At the core of your being is a random set of beliefs that you may not even know about.  It’s a set of prejudices. Reactions to actions.  Reflexes.

I once posed you all the question: can you change?  I mean, is it in you to change, really, or are you really the subject of determinism?  Are your actions just exacerbated, exponentially degreed results of that same, unchangable core?

I’d like to think that some things may be permanant if only because of the time restraints on our life, but given the amount of time we do have we still have the ability to make some big changes.

And that includes being able to trascend particular reflexes.

We know that the scenario is a difficult one.  But you have to do your best– you have to fight to keep yourself in check, to give them that familiar surrounding.

I am not saying that we should be Vulcan 24/7.  Not all emotions need to be reasoned out. But what I am saying is that when the going gets tough, you should cut down on emotional responses, because they make fixing the situation tougher.


Someone’s gonna bitch about the length of this post, as per usual. So i conclude with a VG Cats comic, which i feel sympathy for.

Halo 301: How to take on a tank with a Warthog

seems that I didn’t waste days of my life playing Halo on campaign mode
on the “Legendary” difficulty setting for nothing.  When you’ve
learned to fight the alien hoardes, basically with your pathetic terran
rifle, a pistol, a quad pack of grenades and your wits, you realize
pretty early on that your opponents outnumber your ammo and that you’ll
have to survive somehow.

Online play in some ways impressed me, and in other ways dissapointed me.

the moment, in the past 2-3 days, I’ve been playing almost exclusively
capture the flag games.  The way it works is that your team has a
base, your opponents have a base, and in each of these bases there’s a
flag.  Your objective is to go steal your opponent’s flag and
bring it back to your base. If you do this, you score a point.

a lot like football, really.  If you get killed while running
around with the flag (you can’t hold a weapon while doing so, so
really, all you can do is run) then the flag is still live– if the
opponent touches their flag, it gets instantly ‘returned’ to their
base.  If one of your boys gets it, then he starts running.

Well, that is, until he gets shot too.

specialty, it seems, is as a driver, a counter-sniper, an anti-tank
man, or the flag getter.  I actually suck pretty bad at close
combat.  I know some people who will kill you with grenades, I
mean, grenades with a timed fuse, and they time it as if they were
shooting at you with a rocket launcher or something.


to a counter-sniper or an anti-tank man, that’s something I don’t see a
lot of people doing right in Halo.  See, the thing is, whenever
you’re killed in Capture the Flag, you respawn back in  your base.
Kills don’t count towards the score (only the Flag scores count) so no
one really really cares about getting killed, not too much anyway.

when people are being sniped at, or being fired upon by a tank, what do
they do? They go charging in from a mile away with a rifle. Um… Yes.
There’s a slight flaw in this plan, of course. It *sucks*. 


not even math really. At a distance of a few miles, a man on foot is
just moving too slow.  As slow as you think a tank is, it takes it
a second for it to turn it’s turret enough to track you having run
laterally for like 50 yards. I don’t know about you, but I can’t walk
50 yards in a second.

people seem to try the “Chinese Attack”… which is basically,
overwealm them with numbers.  That’s right!  Who cares if
they’re firing 50mm shells at us! If we keep the pressure up,
eventually we’ll beat their reload time!


Want to know how I beat a tank?

people stay away from vehicles when it comes to trying to fight a
tank… with good reason. Because they’re shitty drivers.  A
shitty driver drives right at the tank.  And a vehicle, like
the atv Warthog (like a humvee on crack) just makes them that much
bigger of a turkey shoot.

When you get in a car, you don’t go straight line.  You first try
to put more distance between you and the tank.  That means you go
cirlces around them.  Use the landscape to shield you… go behind
natural hills so they don’t have line of sight.  If he’s not on
your radar, that means  you’re not on his– so he’s aiming purely
by vision. That also means that wherever the rest of your teammates
are, all 4-5 of your buddies on foot doing the “Chinese Attack”, if
your buddies are going right, you go *left*.  It’s that
simple.  Stay out of sight.

course, when you get close that’s where things get tricky.  One
shot from a tank will kill you. The trick is in the timing. 
There’s about a 4 second reload delay between shots that the tank can
make.  So… when you’re in the critical range (where a tank is
sure to be able to kill you, since you have no cover) you better be
sure that you’re ready to go all out and you   What you do is
let the tank take a shot at someone else first (your stupid allies who
are still trying to overwealm the tank with sheer numbers) and then you
have roughly three and a half seconds to get within range.  If
you’re in a vechicle, this is a lot easier.

i’m in the Warthog, this is when I go on a straight line on the
tank.  You only really have about 2.5 seconds to do this.  At
3 seconds, I’m making a powerslide to bring my passenger side
door  slamming in the direction of the tank, and simultaneously
jumping out of the driver side door.  At 3.5 seconds, my feet are
on the ground, and I’m running at my jeep.  At 4 seconds, the tank
has shot my jeep and it’s flying right at me.

You have to duck.

But if you time it just right, that buys you a wholenew 4 seconds or so to stick as many grenades on tank as you want.

course*, this is considered a high risk maneuver.  It doesn’t work
against expert tank driver using conservative tactics, because an
expert tank driver won’t be caught alone facing a warthog anyway–
their advantage is the range and power of their gun, so they want to
stay back where they can shell the ennemy from afar. The frontline tank
man needs support units to keep away small arms or to help bust ennemy
tanks and bunkers. But that’s another story.

Not bad for a first day online.

Been busy driving around my warthog.  I’ve had Halo for a little over a year now but I’ve only now started playing it online… and it’s damned fun.  Especially when you get teammates who know how to play.  You get behind the wheel, your buddies jump on, and you drive right through the front door of the ennemy bunker.  Passenger man gets out, grabs the flag, while you and the gunner do a loop around the bunker– just enough time to do a pickup.  Passenger gets back in with the flag, tucks it nicely in the glove box compartment, and blam.  You’re ready to roll back out.

If you’re online, and someone named “Jin” frags you in the Blood Gulch in Capture the Flag games, that’s me.

God DAMMIT!  it’s 2:30 am and I’m still writing, trying to get a damn idea across because it’s so damned elusive.

I’ve arrived at the conclusion that writing is necessarily circular because someone’s existence is continuous– a person never just has an idea, he has several ideas which are all linked to one another.  In a lucky situation, that one idea is distinct and you can start talking about it.  You can go on and on about it until someone has to cut you off.

Passing on ideas isn’t about giving someone something.  It’s about using your idea– your magnet– to try and polarize someone elses’.  There’s resistance.  There’s moments of attraction and repulsion.

If you asked me, on my death bed, what’s the one thing I wanted to teach everyone with my last breath I’d say “What, are you kidding?”

And then I’d pass on, never having said anything useful.

Nothing singularly useful anyway.

The thing about ideas is that they’re not singular– they’re always tied to others.  Maybe this is what links humanity– the bonds of ideas themselves.

Each person is made up of ideas, when you think about it.  Their personality reflects their personal philosophies.  Their existences represent the application of those ideas in reality.


When I was in martial arts, I realized there was a difference between those who had done martial arts and those who hadn’t.  Oh, don’t give me that look.  I’m not talking about meditation and inner strength and all that.  I’m just talking about simple things.  Very primal things.

Like an understanding of physical pain.

Badminton is sort of an extension of some of the things I’ve learned from matial arts… some of those ideas.  The physical limitations of the human body.  The mental limitations of human willpower.

The practical aspects that you feel right there with you.

You know, i wonder how many people sitting on yoga mats really feel nothing, and are just faking it when they say to their friends that they’ve got inner peace.  Yeah, sure– next thing you know they’re slamming on the horn with one fist and dubbing words to match with the bird they’re flipping.

Anyway. Martial arts– it gave me a connection between what I was thinking and what I was doing.

There are a lot of times when you can sit somewhere, and imagine something.

You’ll have to forgive me, but I find that that kind of approach is possibly bullshit.

I say bullshit because you can find a person who spends a whole lot of time philosophizing, meditating, practicing inner calm and whatnot– but they can only do it in controled environments.  Setups.  Artificial setups.

I’m saying, I’m not impressed by someone who displays ‘harmony’ only when they’re in a quiet room.

See, what I’m saying is that people often have this detachment between the idea and the real world.

Sorta like what Marx was saying about how all workers suffer because they don’t associate their work with the idea of the final project. I’m digressing.

Someone can talk about doing good… and think about it… and observe it… but so few people do anything abou t it.

The great thing about martial arts is that the ideas you come up with have to be applied. Or you get punched in the face.  THe analogy is as simple as that.  It either can be applied, or it can’t.

Now, I’m not saying martial arts is the only way to get some sorta appreciation between ideas and application.  There are many others.  The obvious example from what you know of me of course is working in the public sector.  There are others.

But anyway. I think what people need to do to be happy in life might be to find some way to link their ideas to what they’re doing.  People need to find a way to exercise their philosophies.

“Never offend people with style when
you can offend them with substance.”

–Sam Brown

This post is mostly for my own refernce, do don’t bother reading it. It’s not particularly meant to make sense, it’s sorta stream of thought as I usually write thing once through without looking back.

It is not good because God says it is.  God does it because it is good.

And if this isn’t true– then I don’t beleive in God.

To elaborate on my last post– I asked the question “What’s the difference between being a gear in a machine, and being the transmission?”

You can’t have a machine without those gears.  But you can survive without transmission– it’s just that the energy is inefficiently used, or it’s not well directed.

We have so many people that don’t get the respect that they deserve.  Nimbus mentioned nurses. It’s nurses week, ironically.

Kadongis mentioned McDonalds folks. Them too, they get no respect.

I didn’t mean disrespect in the last post– actually i meant to point out that people are often identified with the stigmas of their jobs.  Plumbers are seen as rip off artists– fat guys whose ass cracks show when they crouch under youR sink for example.  Construction workers who are lazy and standing at the side of the road taking breaks all the time.

While it is true that sometimes people, god forbid, take breaks… who says they’re not entitled to it? Don’t you take breaks at your job?  And if you’re some sort of monster who doesn’t, shouldn’t you?

I *sleep* at work sometimes, and I jokingly mention this in posts.  But the truth of the matter is that I don’t do so just because I’m a bastard– I do it because I need it, and it counters the moments of sheer madness at the workplace.

But enough about me.

My point is.

Gears in a machine… or transmission.

See, there’s a little ironic thing about life– once you know, you can’t ‘un-know’ something.  You may forget, if you really avoid it.  But once you’ve stumbled upon a bit of truth, you can’t get rid of it intentionally.

And some people, when they find themselves doing just another job, something as part of the oh so scariness of the big capitalist war machine, then they start to panic.

There are two kinds of people.  The people who worry too much.  And those who don’t worry enough.

Okay, there’s a third type… those who are just right. But these people are few and far apart.

Those who don’t worry enough are the literal gears in the machine.  They don’t know what’s going on– they never take a moment to introspect, or extrospect.  THey don’t know what they’re doing, where they’re going, or how they fit into the big world.

But it doesn’t bother them. Cause they’re ignorant.

Those of us who are lucky *stay* ignorant– because ignorance is a shield, they’re the beautiful blinders of bliss, the rose colored glasses.  You die and you don’t even know why, or without wondering.  And isn’t that great? Uncertainty is what leads, after all, to fear– to anger– to the Dark Side and all that.  Why ask questions if all they are is a demonstration of uncertainty?  Ignorance is that much more blissful.

SUppose you do start thinking.  Well, when you start thinking, that’s when all shit breaks loose.  Then you start worrying. THen you wonder what the heck you’re doing with your life, then you start wondering if everything you learned in school was wrong.  There was a time that you thought your parents were all wrong.  But now, maybe maybe their cynicism about the world is all real.

Or worse still– you realize that your parents were and are helpless in the world, and you don’t want to admit that you can fall into that same slot someday.

THese are the people who may likely be worrying too much.


The thing is, once you start questioning, there’s no stopping.

And so people ask themselves things like… am i doing the right thing.

People ask questions and find out more and more about how the world is going so bad and how they’re a part of it.

Well, the real thing is that people forget that they’re human.

There are a billion things that you can do wrong in the world, and only so many things that you can do right.  THe wrongs outnumber the rights a million to one in many cases.


The solution, I think, is that if you ask a question– if you find something ‘wrong’ about yourself– then you have to work on it to the best of your abilities.

In some cases, this means accepting that you can do nothing about it.

You’ve got, say 100000 points of time and energy to spread over your lifetime.  As long as you spend that time and energy doing mostly forward movements… then you’re fine.  But part of forward movements means accepting that when you reach a wall, sometimes you can’t break through– sometimes you just have to sidestep a few kilometers and find some other way to pass it.

The problem with activisits is that they want you to align themselves with their particular cause.  That’s what’s annoying about them really– because they’re so focused on a problem that they don’t see the big picture.

But that’s not really a problem in itself– it’s just annoying to us because we don’t attribute the same amount of priority to it as them.

Doing right in the world– there’s many, many paths to it.  Never let anyone tell you that if your path is wrong– only you can do that.

You only have so much energy and time on this planet– you can’t jump on every bandwagon, every cause– you have to chose a few that mean something to you.

In a world with so many people and so many possibilities– there can be no real judgements from anyone but ourselves.

And thus, the only sin is hypocrisy.

I wrote a rather large text called “The Perfect Human” a long time ago– it was an anlysis of my friends.  I don’t have it anymore, the text is long gone, I gave it away to someone– that’s another story.

One of the central concepts was the idea of ‘personal treason’.

That refering to the idea that everyone has their own best interests.  That best interest is, in most cases, trueness.

You can lie to anyone.

But you can’t lie to yourself.

The day you beleive your own lies is when you become a true gear in the machine– to be manipulated by others, for their own goals.

But who am I to tell you just what is a lie and what isn’t? No one can do it for you– because truth is something for yourself.


Everyone is a multitasker.

That’s why the approach of activists is a bit too extreme in most cases.  Someone might make you think that saving the rainforest is the biggest concern in the world.  Others might say it’s preventing violence against women.  Others might say it’s the fight against cancer, or the war on drugs.

There’s any number of righteous crowds for a particular torch.

But wouldn’t it really be a day when the diehard vegan says to you “It’s okay if you don’t become  a vegan– I know it’s the right path, but I understand that you have limited time on this planet, and so I can only trust you to do your best!”

WOuldn’t that be the day!

What I’m saying is that just as there are at least a billion ways to go wrong, there are also at least a  million ways got go right.

If you can’t fix world poverty– that’s too bad.  If you can’t find more time to be more compasionate for the handicapped– that’s too bad.

What I’m saying is that you *do what you can* and give yourself credit for what you do manage to get done.

Have you ever played Contra?

The basis of the game is to run and gun.

You do what you can.


ANd this is the basis of humanity.  You see, while I’m doing my thing, I’m not out there fighting forest fires; disarming mine fields; rehabilitating troubled juveniles– whatever! If we are to judge a man based on the wrongs he does in comparison to the rights– there’s a billion things i’m doing ‘wrong’ but not paying attention to him.  So if that logic is self destructive, I say it isn’t logical at all.

As long as I’m doing my part.

This is what humanity is about.

You do your best– I do mine.  You have your specialty.  I have mine. And the magic of this kind of faith is that at the end of the line– we all find that better tomorrow.


What’s important in life though?

While there are people out there lucky enough to land a job in healthcare, education, or community work… not everyone is.

And so what happens to me if I’m the janitor at a mega mall?  What if I work on an oil rig?  How am I making the world a better place?

Or am I part of something encouraging a worse place?

Being a better person isn’t about creatively rationalizing your situation and your impact on the world– it’s accepting responsability and actually acting.


There was a man I knew who passed away, he played piano.  It was his passion.

But what’s a piano?  He didn’t play in concerts.  He played in his department… for himself mostly.  Those who heard his music were touched of course– but he didn’t do anything ‘grand’ with it.  He didn’t play at benefit concerts for world peace– he didn’t volunteer to teach infants.

He beleived that what he was doing– just playing– was important though.  He found some reason to do it.  He was passionate about it.

And so if you were to dare to tell me that he was selfish– I’d have to slap you.  If you dared tell me he was useless to the world, I’d knock your lights out.

Because he was a man who knew what he wanted… he had reasoned out to himself what was ‘good’ and he did it.

The whole proceeding of the world is a complex system. You know that saying “God works in mysterious ways” that’s all so often used whenever something bad happens?  Well, even if you’re an atheist or an agnostic– whatever.  Lets just say that ‘stuff happens’… it’s all part of a complex system that none of us is able to judge.  A step forward, a step backwards… but isn’t life just a two-step anyway?


If you go through life thinking “how can I do better” or trying to figure out what you should be doing instead of what you’re doing… or why you feel this detachment.  Then you’ll get lost in the indescision.


It is not enough for us to be philosophers of the human condition… we must act on what we beleive in.  And if we can avoid personal treason– then we have done good.