Defeating Defeatism: Defeatist Attitudes and The Defeatist Attitudes Required to Defeat Them

I’ve often been guilty of courting a defeatist attitude. At times I take pleasure in shooting down every suggesting I’m given that may solve my problems. Ask my poor, frustrated mother. I’m likely the reason her esophagus has stopped working. Either she’s spent too much time trying to talk sense into me or she’s swallowed back so much irritation at my defeatism that it’s killed her throat’s will to help her stay alive by allowing her to efficiently swallow food. Sorry mom.

Anyway, I just realized that everything my mom told me is a lie. Perhaps this is the real reason for her esophageal failure. Her throat just couldn’t stand to pronounce anymore falsehoods. She has uttered such gems as “Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do or die.” Great mom! Let’s all be blind sheep, following a shepherd whether or not he or she has our own best interests at heart! Let’s jump off a cliff with all the rest of the bison. Let’s follow the rest of the cattle docilely into the slaughter house. Let’s question nothing and do as we’ve been instructed. Or how about, “Just eat those mashed potatoes that I spilled beet juice in. It all gets mixed up in your stomach anyway.” My stomach has no taste buds. Plus if it tastes bad going down, my stomach is less likely to digest it peacefully.

I’ve known these were lies for a while. Now I realize that her derision of defeatist attitudes is also founded on a falsehood. Of course, a defeatist attitude can be detrimental. I know firsthand how many opportunities can be missed if you refuse to take advantage of them out of fear or doubt. But without a defeatist attitude, how can you hope to defeat a defeatist attitude? You must have it in your mind to defeat your attitude if you wish to defeat it. This is by definition a defeatist attitude. So, if you can’t defeat defeatism without defeating it, isn’t there something to be said for defeatism?

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…defeat your defeatism. With a defeatist attitude. I suppose once you’ve defeated it, you’ll have the practice you need to defeat other negative things. All thanks to a defeatist attitude.

A don’t…defeat your defeatism too soon. Without defeatism, we might as well be like my mother’s bison who fail to question why yet still do and, usually, still die.

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Perfection Mis-Realized

Human tendency seems to be to meddle with perfection. We find something great and we immediately begin to formulate plans to make it better. Take, for instance, my back yard. When we first moved in, it was perfect. My house sits on 3/4 of an acre, which isn’t massive, but it is fairly huge. The house is on a small hill that slopes away to a beautiful flat meadow of lush, green grass. A large pecan tree stands to the northwest of this, shading a bit of less lush grass which gives way to a stand of bamboo in the far corner. To the north of the meadow is a raised pond planted with waterlilies. Below this, at ground level, sits another pond with waterlilies and lotus flowers. It was beautiful.

And then I decided we should drain one and fill it with sand to make a dig pit for my son. We threw up a swing set and a trampoline for good measure and I cleared off some beautiful grass for a garden. The garden is now a weed patch with a fence around it and it somehow sprouted a few vegetables. It looks like crap.

We mess with perfection. We find something nice and think “Hey, I can spruce this up a little bit.” And it ends up being crap. Either we are too ambitious and do so much stuff that the result is a cluttered mess of half-completed projects or we have no idea what we are doing and we end up turning something beautiful into an eyesore. This is the case with me, at least.

And this is the case with a certain shall-remain-unnamed chocolate sandwich cookie with mysterious white creamesque filling. These cookies have been perfect ever since I ate my first one at some tender young age I cannot quite fully recall. But I remember the cookies. And now they’ve changed. They’ve been changing and I hadn’t even realized it because I discovered the single positive change this particular cookie has made, the one which has been stuffed twice as full of the mysterious creamesque filling. I was buying some of those the other day and my laser focus was distracted for a moment by an equally addicted child asking if it would be acceptable to open the package in the car. I turned to assure him excitedly that we would most definitely be exploring the benefits of his amazing idea when I spotted the absurd abomination.

The white creamesque mystery ambrosia wonderful what-not pictured on the package adjacent to the one I wanted was a garish orange color and proclaimed to be candy corn flavored.

Why?

We have candy corn for candy corn flavor. Remaining unnamed chocolate sandwich cookies with mysterious white creamesque filling are perfect. We buy those when that is what we want. When we want candy corn flavor, we buy candy corn.

There are other abominations in the cookie world, but I am too disgusted to talk about them. The cookies were perfect. Why mess with them?

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…enjoy what you enjoy, even if it is an abomination.

A don’t…mess with something perfect. It cannot be made better and alterations take away from the original. It would be like cookie flavored pickles. We have two separate food items to fulfill both of those cravings. Eat the one you want. Exceptions are made for pregnant women or the severely depressed.

About A Billion Tadpoles; The Neglectful Nature of Frog Forebears

There are about a billion tadpoles in my decorative pond. Last month, we heard frogs serenade us every night. It was loud. I was worried the neighbors would call us in as a nuisance. Either they didn’t or the cops don’t care if frogs are in your yard. Anyway, we were worried at first because we saw this string in the pond that looked like a strand of carpet. Very crinkly and colorful. I thought the frogs would get tangled in it and suffocate and almost pulled it from the pond before realizing it was a massive strand of eggs.

The neglectful frog parents have since moved on. They abandoned their young as they are apparently wont to do. Now every time we look at the pond, it is literally wriggling and squirming with aquatic life. I don’t know how I feel about this. It certainly makes for some nutritive water for my tomatoes, but some of these things have swum up onto the lily pads and dried and died. I blame their neglectful, abandon-minded amphibian, certain slang for the gluteus maximus parents. How dare you leave your babies to dry to death on my lily pads?

My oldest child is a girl of 10. She says we have to live here for five years to observe the growth of these tadpoles. She says it takes five years for a tadpole to become a frog. I freely admit she is smarter than I am, even though I am currently a college student with a 4.0 gpa, and because of this, I haven’t bothered to fact-check my child. It may take five years. But if it does, those poor tadpoles are doomed. They swim up onto lily pads they can’t get off of and dry to death! I’m more than happy to be some weird frog baby surrogate parent since I didn’t have to incubate them within my body, but I can’t be out at the pond 24/7. I have to parent my actual human young.

Who are these frogs to spray their offspring into my decorations and disappear? If I knew the number to frog 911, I’d have them arrested for neglect and abandonment. Its easy to identify them by their slimy green skin and loud, disrespectful, croaking nature.

Also, these billions of tadpoles will grow into billions of frogs that, without any frog-parent-figure guidance will simply continue the cycle of croaking in a loud, off-key and peace disturbing cacophony and the spraying and abandonment of young into unauthorized water sources. They’ll decimate the tranquility of my back yard with their inconsiderate caterwauling, should they survive to adulthood.

I’ll let them live, though. Despite their irritating qualities, they fascinate my children. I begrudgingly admit that they fascinate myself and my wife as well. Let ’em be, I suppose. If nothing else, they are a part of nature that I’ll simply have to tolerate and can perhaps learn to love.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…appreciate nature for all of its quirks. Nature cannot be helped.

A don’t…take my rant as a sign that I’m anti-frog. Frogs are fine, and cannot be held to human standards. I simply dislike the idea of a billion croaking frogs. I like sleep.

Nerd Rant: Wolverine; Forget The Geneva Convention, Let’s Talk About The Health Code

To paraphrase Julie Andrews, let’s start at the very beginning; a very good place to start. When you count you begin with 1, 2, 3; when some unknown individual violates the health code you begin with Wol-ver-ine.

If you are unfamiliar with Wolverine, the basic premise is that he has the ability to heal very quickly. This ability allowed him to survive a surgery that coated his skeleton with super-strong metal. My first point has nothing to do with the health code, but why on earth would you need a metal coated skeleton if your bones can immediately knit back together? Anyway, Wolverine has massive claws that somehow reside within his hands, if the movies are to be believed. These claws may or may not have been present before the skeleton augmentation surgery. They come out when he needs them, somehow, and are the source of his many health concerns.

Wolverine can be seen clawing through many substances you wouldn’t want in your body. Metal doors, asphalt, helicopters and their requisite fluids and fuels, and various beasts, creatures and common-folk. Wolverine cannot be seen scrubbing or even wiping down his claws before retracting them. This is concerning and there are a few options here. First is the idea that perhaps his skin makes such a tight seal around the claws that offending matter is wiped off as the claws retract. Ideally his skin would then heal closed before particulate could invade the skin leaving glops of gook or grit, depending upon what he has clawed, between the knuckles. If this is so, he is never shown wiping between his knuckles. The other option is that the stuff makes it into his system on the claws and if this is the case, it indicates that Wolverine has antiseptic blood. Unless they simply don’t bother to address it, Wolverine never suffers from infection after retracting his claws. He must have terrible hand-acne if this option is correct. If all that grit and particulate make it under his skin, his body must be constantly working to push bits of doors, poles and people back up through the surface of his flesh.

The most egregious violation that Wolverine commits is the disrespect he shows for the people and creatures he claws and the teammates fighting beside him. Even if he has antiseptic blood, it doesn’t mean that victims of his clawings know this. And let’s say it is a huge battle with many, many clawings. Does he pause between attacks to sanitize his claws so that he isn’t spreading potentially infected blood from victim to victim? And let’s also say that he is clawing to kill and isn’t concerned with infecting those he’s fighting. Does he just assume that everyone else has antiseptic blood? As he’s viciously slashing un-friendly folk, is he paying attention to the blood-borne pathogens he’s potentially flinging about in a manner that is much more intense than conventional war-time mayhem?

It has been said by some, and refuted by others, that Wolverine had bone claws before his skeleton surgery. Perhaps when he allegedly fought in the Civil War, this wasn’t an issue. Bone is porous to an extent. Perhaps the claws used to absorb the very blood they shed for neutralization by his internal organs. If this is the case my previous point is moot. He doesn’t realize the danger he is placing others in. HIV and tetanus may mean nothing to him, and he may not even realize he’s flinging these things about. Still, I’m sure those of us who actively avoid infections hope and pray that, one day soon, OSHA, EPA and maybe even PETA get together and educate Wolverine on modern health and safety concerns. Maybe even some sensitivity training is in order. He needs to consider that not everyone is a giant walking Germ-X factory and the true wolverines from which he derives his name may not wish to be besmirched by an inconsiderate maniac.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…enjoy the superheroes of your choice despite their downfalls. After all, they’re just as super-human as the next individual.

A don’t…follow in their footsteps. Unless you have money and are a Batman fan

 

The Flawed Wisdom of a Moldy, Over-ripe Alien Olive

The strange creature I refer to in the title is Yoda. If you are unfamiliar with the character, he resembles a moldy, over-ripe green olive. And he is from a planet other than Earth. He spouts sayings that, on the surface, seem wise. At the risk of incurring the wrath of other fans of the Star Wars universe, I intend to debunk a couple of these.

Some may wonder why I would bother to do this. Surely, my debunks can themselves be debunked. But don’t bother to ask why. There is no why. Let that suffice.

In one of Luke’s many mind-bending conversations with Yoda, the past-its-prime-piece-of-fruit explains that “there is no try.” He counsels Luke to “do or do not.” This is pointless advice. It is blindingly obvious that you either do or do not. A try is intangible because at the end of every try there is either a did or a did not. I suppose the crinkled up critter could be saying something about your mindset. If you go into something thinking that you will rather than that you’ll try, perhaps your chances of success will be greater. But his statements are unclear and open to interpretation. Where is the wisdom in that? If you are trying to teach a concept that will aid someone in saving the very universe is it not wise to avoid cloaking your lessons in ambiguity? Plain English, please! Perhaps I’m being silly. Perhaps English is his second language. Perhaps he is capable of plainer speech when he waggles his pimento and speaks whatever language it is that alien olives speak. I’m sure it sounds something like the squeaky sound slippery, rubbery Mediterranean fruits make as they’re ground by human teeth.

One of the very first lessons Yoda teaches Luke is that “wars not make one great.” We can ignore the very obvious grammatical errors since we’ve established that English is not Yoda’s native language. What  I’d like to focus on is the fact this is a response to Luke’s statement that he is looking for “a great Jedi warrior.” Luke never implied, inferred or otherwise construed that he thought war had made Yoda great. He plainly stated that Yoda was great at making war. He was a great warrior. Not “he was made great by war.” Granted, in order to be great at war, one must participate in war and much participation could make one great at waging war thereby implying that war made him great. However, if it is Yoda’s intent to convey this, he once again states it extremely vaguely. If Yoda’s intent is instead to engage in learned discourse with his student, who is obviously quite distressed and impatient, it might do him well to respond to the actual statement that was made and go into such confusing detail that thinking of the implications of what was said slows the students thought processes thereby calming the prospective Padawan.

At any rate, what can one honestly expect from a moldy old alien olive anyway?

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…peruse the Star Wars universe for more tidbits to be analyzed. Even if Yoda is one of your favorites it can be fun to philosophize about his philosophy.

A don’t…hack my wordpress account, find my address, hunt me down and force-choke me to death should you have taken some offense to this post. I may not be able to wield the force, but I had one day of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training and, though I don’t remember much of it, I’m really good at hiding.

Daylight Saving Time: Simple Plan to Help the Farmers or Plot to Decrease Population; A Ridiculous Conspiracy Theory That Holds a Bit of Water Despite The Lunacy of the Claim

I have heard, but not bothered to confirm, that Daylight Saving Time was instituted so that farmers would have more daylight hours to spend in their fields. That in itself seems ridiculous. Why should the government control something like that? And what, if farmers were actually the inspiration for the act, does it say about the government’s view of farmers? To me it says that Uncle Sam sees farmers as incapable of managing their time efficiently and in need of federal assistance.

This is ludicrous, but its implications pale in comparison to the ominous “secondary” effect of Daylight Saving Time I recently discovered.

My work is east of my home. I go to work at a reasonable hour; 8:00 a.m. This could be true of many people in our nation. I haven’t bothered to gather statistics, but I’d be willing to bet that a considerable percentage of people drive east at times approaching 8:00 a.m. Before the clocks were moved forward one hour, by government mandate mind you, my drive to work was fairly pleasant. At some moments, I could see a sliver of the sun rising over the horizon, and I found it beautiful. After the time change, however, this same route traversed an hour later is a direct route to the very center of a large celestial body so bright its light cancels out virtually everything in my field of vision. I found it disturbing, painful, irritating and deadly.

I drove 30 mph in a 50 mph zone for nearly a mile because driving directly toward the very sun overpowered other drivers’ brake lights. My eyes were squinted nearly shut because when I opened them everything around me was washed out by the sun’s impressively powerful glare. When the road finally curved a bit, I still couldn’t fully open my eyes because my lids and eyebrows were twitching from overuse, my eyes were watering and burned with intense afterimages.

The next day I wore sunglasses and found them only barely better than driving with my eyes denuded. At least I didn’t have to squint quite as hard.

I checked my facts to an extent. Some of my coworkers also experienced this blindness perpetrated upon us by our own government. Thankfully, we have recently had morning cloud cover and, so far, I haven’t been killed or killed anyone else due to governmental interference in my visual acuity as I drive to work.

In conclusion, it could only be a matter of time before the conspirators win and I rear end someone because they are rendered invisible by the act of driving directly into the sun. Even the aftereffects of a brief foray into the solar realm affect driving ability significantly. Even if that first mile doesn’t kill me, the following miles might as the afterimages continue to erase the traffic in front of me from my sight.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…wear sunglasses after you spring forward. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it helps.

A don’t…lose all faith in the government. Perhaps they were presented with false facts by groups concerned with global de-population. Perhaps the government takes the role of pawn rather than perpetrator in this instance.

 

A List Of Pet Peeves Whose Existence Will Likely End Up On The Pet Peeves Lists Of Others

Following are some of my most incredulous pet peeves. Though they sound silly, they irritate me greatly. Enjoy.

  • Cling wrap that doesn’t cling
  • Coffee that doesn’t cough
  • A banana that refuses to vociferously promote banning Ana
  • Hitting a knot in a piece of wood with screw
  • Wondering whether the plural of Bigfoot is Bigfoots or Bigfeet
  • Children that refuse to listen
  • The misuse of there, they’re, their or then, than
  • The phrase “I could care less.” to describe a situation about which one fails to care. If you could care less, it means you care and are not interested in lowering your level of caring. The proper phrase is “I couldn’t care less.” in these situations.
  • The process by which cheese is made; cheese itself is on my favorites list
  • The sticky feeling left in my mouth following the consumption of Skittles
  • Cat food that doesn’t taste like cats
  • The fable that walking under a ladder is bad luck. It isn’t bad luck. It’s simply unsafe.
  • Poor attempts to redesign the classic comedy sketch “Who’s On First” by Abbott and Costello
  • Wearing wet socks
  • The number 11

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…celebrate your pet peeves. Nurture your hatred of the ridiculous. It could keep you from hating other people by giving you a venue through which to vent.

A don’t…hate people.