On Time Travel, Murder and Suicide; A Bemusement

I bid you welcome. Consider with me, if you please, the following hypothetical scenario.

Let us imagine, and it likely isn’t much of a stretch, that you have a deep dark secret. It could be any of a multitude of things. A vice. A lie. A recurring unsavory activity or even a one time event like a murder or killing a pet by accidentally running it over with a lawn mower. You may pick for yourself. Whatever it is, it is very personal and if another human ever learned of it you’d be humiliated and ashamed. Perhaps you’ve hidden it so well from others that you’ve forgotten it yourself or it lurks in a cobwebbed corner of your psyche that you rarely visit.

Now we imagine that, wonder of wonders, time travel has been perfected and one day you are visited by future you. You know what future you knows and you know that he/she (depending) knows that you know that he/she (depending) knows. The question I put forth is this; does this constitute an awkward moment? An independent poll shows that one out of one of my co-workers feels it wouldn’t be awkward at all.

I think I disagree. Future me is a separate entity. He knows more than I know and has had more life experience. Perhaps he has moved on from whatever it is that shames me. I already judge myself rather harshly. How much more would an older and wiser me judge the current me? Would I lecture myself? Perhaps this is pointless because future me, assuming he’s moved on, knows that I will move on, the knowledge of which renders a lecture quite moot. Maybe he thinks he can help me move past it sooner than he did so he lectures me anyway. Or maybe this visit from the future is the very first in my timeline and therefore future me doesn’t yet know that the lecture is moot.

How would I react to a lecture from myself? Would it be like wrestling with something inside my own head with the only difference being that the voice of my conscience is now coming from outside of me? Would I heed my own advice or would I think that I am smarter than me? These questions drive me crazy.

Imagine that whatever is being hidden will soon cause disastrous
consequences and future me chose this exact moment to visit in order to avoid much pain and strife. Is this a smart choice for future me to make? How does he know that altering his past and my present won’t cause even more dire circumstances? Or maybe this isn’t his first trip back to my present. Maybe he’s seen what happens both ways and in his present he notices that something isn’t right and this tips him off to the fact that I haven’t followed his advice and he’s come to make another attempt.

What if he’s suicidal and he’s experienced so much pain between his then and my to be that he’s decided that it would be better to go back in time and off himself/myself before we have to go through all that. Would I defend myself from myself? And if so, how would I do it. What if I killed him? Would I, in his past, disappear? Or would I simply know how and sort of when I die in the future? I could judge by my future appearance my approximate age at the time I decided to come kill myself. Would I be able to kill him and then decide not to kill my past self when my present self gets to that point in the future?

If he killed me, he’d have to die also, but if I killed him would I be a murderer? Would it still be a suicide if I killed myself and lived to tell of it? Would I have a guilty conscience? And which of my selves would possess my soul? Could he continue to go back to different points in our timeline killing ourselves and populating the afterlife with many iterations of us/me? Or would all of our souls converge on one single death point as my finality? If that’s the case the only way he could end us would be to kill us in his own current timeline, however, that may not end us because current me could choose to kill myself at any time. I suppose that if I did that it would erase him. Is he living now or is he nonexistent until current me gets to his time point?

This is confusing. How do we know if we are at the very leading edge of our timelines or if we are simply past versions of the future we haven’t lived yet? Is future me already living? Am I ruining his future? If so, is he cross with me?

Now I have a headache. I’m going to bed. I bid you Adieu and a don’t

Adieu…make careful decisions. You could be causing your future self undue stress.

A don’t…walk on egg shells for fear of offending your future self. It seems highly unlikely he/she (depending) will ever come to visit.

An Environmental Fallacy

I’ve had an epiphany about ranting and raving. It’s a hobby of mine and one that I feel I’ve very nearly perfected. I used to worry that my rants were nonsensical and usually they are. I went through a period of trying to rationalize my rants but today I realized I’ve been doing it all wrong. The whole purpose of ranting and raving is to relieve stress and it doesn’t make a bit of difference whether or not the thoughts you’re having make sense or even if they are fair. It’s all about going on at length, making illogical and ludicrous arguments against whatever has upset or enraged you until you feel better. Now let’s get to it before I suck all the magic out of this wondrous pastime.

Before I begin, allow me to set the mood. I’d like you to picture something for me and I’ll give you two options. Option one is to imagine me in a clear dome on top of my house wandering aimlessly while I shake my fist at the heavens and mutter incoherently. If you don’t understand the reference or would prefer not to imagine that, you may instead envision a man in front of a computer with streamers of slobber slung haphazardly from the corners of his mouth. His lips are frothy with a rabid foam and he snarls randomly as he types, occasionally hitting a key much harder than is really necessary.

If you don’t care for either of those, please stop reading now. Those are the only two images I authorize you to imagine while reading this. Anything else is a violation of blogger – blogee trust and while this cannot be prosecuted criminally, if I ever learn of anyone offending this boundary it may well prompt another rant. So basically what I’m saying is that the entire paragraph preceding this sentence is supremely pointless and I needn’t have wasted my time writing it. But I did.

On to the ranting and raving. The topic for this rant is reclaimed wood wall art. It may not seem like anything that could ever upset anyone to the point that they’d need to express anything to anyone on the subject. In time I hope you’ll come to understand my frustration.

Before we get to the issues underlying the folly of reclaimed wood wall art, allow me to define reclaimed wood wall art as I understand it. Essentially is it scrap wood that has been painted on and hung on a wall. There’s nothing wrong with that that I can see. Certainly there is nothing there to cause any sort of angst or strong negative feelings in a human being. The problem I see is in the way that reclaimed wood wall art is sold. I saw some in a catalog and the caption said, and I paraphrase, buy this and save the environment. Ok. Surely I am not the only one that sees the fallacy of that advertising technique. It should be obvious to all but the most air-headed of environmentalists that such a transaction does nothing for the environment and may even do Mother Earth a slight deal of harm. Let’s break this down.

First of all wood is a natural organic substance. It is part of nature. If it is abandoned in nature, nature will take care of its disposal. Nature has all kinds of means with which to do this. Bugs eat it and that’s a big one. If you really love nature you’ll leave the wood where it is. By painting it and hanging it on your wall you’re robbing bugs of food and that is just cruel. Also, why on earth would you want bug food hanging on your wall? Rotting wood is also a nursery. Grubs and termites and many other species of pest raise their young in beautiful chunks of tree that have been softened by a mixture of water, sun and the bacteria found in healthy soil. If you aren’t concerned that you’re starving bugs, maybe the thought that you are depriving little bug babies of a comfortable home in which they may grow into strong, irritating pest as nature intended,will tug at your heartstrings a little.

Perhaps you’re a pragmatist. Perhaps there is no room in your heart for the plight of the pests. Perhaps the preceding arguments haven’t persuaded you. If you see yourself in the preceding sentences, the following points may benefit you. I’ll start by pragmatically pointing out that wood is renewable. Or how about the fact that as the wood breaks down, it returns to the soil the nutrients young trees need to thrive and grow and become the next generation of wood that may one day be reclaimed to be used as wall art. So we see that not only does reclaiming the wood harm the bug community, it also harms the wood community in that for every piece of reclaimed wood art on someone’s wall, there’s one less piece of nutrition for the trees that still live. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but trees can’t walk. They can’t drive down to their favorite garden center for a nice steaming bag of fertilizer. THE LIVING TREES RELY ON SCRAP WOOD AND OTHER SUCH ORGANIC MATERIALS IN ORDER TO BE HEALTHY! QUIT ROBBING THEM OF LIFE BY HANGING THEIR GROCERIES ON YOUR WALL! AND IF YOU FEEL YOU MUST HANG RECLAIMED WOOD WALL ART ON YOUR WALL AT LEAST DON’T DELUDE YOURSELF BY THINKING YOU’RE DOING ANYONE OR ANYTHING ANY GOOD EXCEPT FOR THE GUY WHO SOLD IT TO YOU! Ok. I’m calm. I know that some of the reclaimed wood may perhaps have been destined for a landfill. Some may argue that reclaiming it for art saves space in the landfills. To this I say PURE BALDERDASH! Yes, it does save space. However, perhaps it is a fact that no place needs organic components more than a landfill. If we are worried about the amounts of waste in our landfills, perhaps we should focus on the manmade junk that is constantly replacing natural materials and simply won’t break down. As I’ve mentioned before, wood will rot. As it does it will encourage the rotting of other organic materials. Scrap wood in our landfills reduces the amount of detritus in our neighborhood dumps! Reclaimed wood wall art is the antithesis of environmental responsibility!

I hereby bid you Adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…buy reclaimed wood wall art if you find a piece that speaks to you. There is no shame in enjoying art.

A don’t…allow yourself to be drawn into the corporate money making scheme that would like you to believe that it is something other than detrimental to the environment to purchase reclaimed wood wall art. It is one succubus of a scam that steals the lives of trees and bugs and denies landfills the material they need to promote space saving rot. Save Mother Earth! Let reclaimed wood wall art remain unreclaimed!

Of Keychains and Pocket Holes

Once again my plans have met befuddlement. The thought I mentioned two posts ago was slated for this evening’s post, however, I had an experience this morning that bumped that thought yet again. It’s still floating in my brain and provided that the next few days are fairly mundane it will be the topic of my next entry. But on to today’s dilly-o.

My key chain made me late for work. This aggravated a pet peeve. It’s the one where you get angry when things don’t work well for their intended purpose. I’m sure I’m not alone in this one. I don’t get mad about much, but little things like this enrage me.

It’s a small metal piece shaped like the batwing. It has many sharp metal points that neither give nor forgive. Kneeling with it in my pocket is a horrid experience. And when you have a hole in your pocket this keychain acts similarly to a fish hook that’s stuck through your clothes. The thing simply wouldn’t come out. It felt like I was doing one of those weird puzzles you find at the old timey general store type places. Anyway, I only had two minutes or so to get in the car before I’d have to do that driving five miles an hour over the speed limit thing to get there about on time. I don’t like doing that because it means I’ll get to work sooner which means that my drive will be shorter which makes no sense because getting to work sooner is the whole goal of driving five miles an hour over the limit.

So, as my mind wrestled this puzzle my fingers wrestled the puzzle in my pocket. I had my pocket turned out and my keys were just hanging there and I was fiddling back and forth between trying to get my keys without damaging my pants and just yanking the thing through the hole. Both options were fraught with hardship. Or at least my panic stricken brain thought so. If I made the hole bigger maybe my keychain wouldn’t get stuck in it anymore. Maybe it would just hang through and scratch my bare leg with its ridiculous-on-a-thing-that-lives-in-your-pocket sharp pointy edges. But if I took the time to work it out easily I’d have to do the driving thing. Decisions, decisions…

I ended up deciding to avoid making the hole bigger and go ahead and drive the speed limit even though it would mean being a few minutes late. In situations such as that I’ve found honesty is the best policy. When I told my boss that I was late because of my keychain he looked, at best, mildly enraged and horribly appalled. Taking his silence as an invitation to continue speaking I began to relate to him the tale of my early morning hardship. I had only just enough time to finish before he rolled his eyes and walked away. There was another time at another job that I forgot to put my work shirt on. I went to work in my regular, around the house T-shirt. When my boss asked me about it I stated simply “I forgot to put it on.” This entertained a co-worker of mine. He said “At least he’s honest. Most people would say something like it’s in the dryer. This man forgot to get dressed!” I just didn’t feel like an excuse like that would be sufficient. As a manager my response to such a statement would be something along the lines of “Be more responsible with your time.” Or “Why did you leave it in there? You knew you had to work.” How do you argue with someone who forgot to dress for work? I don’t know and apparently my manager didn’t either because she rolled her eyes and went to the office to get me a new work shirt. This worked in my favor because I had to wear it home so I could wash it. I never took it back unless I was wearing it to work, so basically I then had three work shirts which cut down ever so slightly on my laundry bill and the time it took to do laundry. I never did much with those accumulated moments and cents but still, I had them and that’s what counts.

I notice I have seriously digressed. I have run off topic. Mainly the point I’m making is that things should do what they’re designed to do and do it well. This keychain didn’t. My keys are coming off of it and maybe I’ll get a nice squeaking rubber chicken key chain instead. But I doubt it. I don’t like those ludicrous things. Anyway, Adieu and a don’t.

Adieu…let me know if you run across a keychain that is stylish and performs well.

A don’t…strain yourself, it isn’t that big a deal.

Zombies and Their Functions; Finally, an Exploration.

I consider zombies quite often. Even more so now that I’ve started watching a certain zombie-based drama whose title I won’t mention due to my ignorance of the intricacies of copyright law. Anyway, I realize that zombies are somewhat overdone. The idea of reanimated carrion feeding on the living has been the basis for horror, drama, comedy…even romance. They’ve been anthropomorphized. Their plight has been explored in various shows, books and movies. Find the human behind the monster. There are zombie stories to play to any sort of mood or rationale a human might have. The idea of shooting humans with no repercussions is tantalizing to some, I’m sure. As is the idea that society crumbles due to mankind’s stupidity. As overdone as zombies are, I’d like to sort a few things out in my own head regarding the “living dead”. Seeing as how you can just stop reading if you’d like, I’ll proceed without begging your leave.

Fant’sying myself a storyteller, I’m intrigued by what I see as the “evolution” of the zombie story. When I was younger my father regaled me with a tale of witch doctors in some far off place. I can’t remember where he said it was anymore. Somewhere that voodoo is practiced regularly, I remember he said that much at least. His statement was that the voodoo priest would pronounce a curse on someone. Then he’d bide his time. When the moment was right he’d place a bit of some special powder somewhere in the Cursed’s home and again, bide his time. Eventually the victim would touch the powder, which would be transmitted to the blood by way of the skin, and appear to die. The person would be buried for a time and then, when the priest finished a third bout of biding his time, he’d order an exhumation. The victim would, according to dad, be alive but basically brain dead, capable of carrying out simple tasks but not much else. I imagine that at some point someone ordered one of these “zombies” to gnaw on someone and tear out his guts and the story made it around the world and now people fantasize about such an horrid occurrence. I suppose many surmise the premise is a way to make a lot of money. This seems to be true. No matter how many iterations emerge, the same basic tale is told to audiences who could themselves be deemed zombies. Only these moan the word “chaaaaoooosss” instead of “braaaaiiinnnsss”.

Don’t misunderstand. I do not deride or ridicule these people without deriding and ridiculing myself. I spent a year in a combat zone and it was the closest I’ve come to a “zombie apocalypse” in my life. Surprisingly, despite the ever-present threat of death that came from all directions in all types of ways, I wasn’t ever stressed. Scared, perhaps, on occasion, and I suppose that’s a type of stress, but the solution was always simple. If things are exploding, hide. If someone shoots at us, shoot back. Follow the truck in front of you and trust the man behind you. There was never a thought about paying the electric bill or where the grocery money would come from. I didn’t have to mow the lawn. I just had to survive. And for some reason this was less stressful to me than are the daily social interactions required in the peaceful world. This, I think, is why the zombie apocalypse appeals to me so much. The stress of being chased by monsters is less to me than the stress of paying the bills or having the car fixed or finding a suitable civilian barber that understands that a military style “high and tight” haircut doesn’t include a bit of spikeable fluff just above the forehead. I yearn for zombies because their arrival signals the return of the peace of just surviving. Plus all that looting…I’d find a fortress and stock it with the most amazing things I could find, all free for the taking. So. I’m ready. Bring on the zombies.

And now we come to the problems of zombies. Just a couple of things I’ve noticed and so far I’ve never come across an explanation in book, TV or movie form. Neither have I ever discussed this with anyone. We all know zombies eat. They have to for some reason. They must fuel their rotting stomachs which somehow have the capability to process whatever they ingest and burn the calories contained within. I can accept this. If a virus can reanimate dead brains I suppose it can cause stomachs to contract. But, the human body, so I hear, is mostly water. This water must be replenished regularly to keep the blood flowing and the body moving. I’ve never seen a zombie drink. I’ve seen zombies walk through water. Maybe those drank a bit. They probably did. I’ll give them that. Maybe nobody cares enough to address the issue. And they really don’t have to. Zombies drinking isn’t dramatic enough to be any sort of movie scene. I’ll leave that one alone. What I can’t ignore, however, is the defecation problem. Unless the virus is so efficient that it uses every bit of detritus zombies consume, we must conclude that defecation is a fact of life (or death?) even for the recently reanimated. Where do they do this? Why have I never seen a zombie story character complaining because he just stepped in undead doo doo? Why have I never seen a zombie stop mid shuffle, drop his drawers and drop a deuce? Logically, they probably don’t go to that much trouble. They’re already rotting and filthy. They probably have every bloodborne disease known to man due to their lack of discrimination in dining. They haven’t, to my knowledge, formed an undead FDA. The living wouldn’t submit to any sort of fitness for zombie consumption testing and stamping even if they did. So most likely, if they defecate (which I maintain they must), they do it like cattle. They go when they have to go. This doesn’t provide a problem with the urination question. Their clothes are as nasty as their rotting flesh. Any stain could be a urine stain. The defecation, however, presents a more pressing dilemma. If they don’t drop their pants to do it, if they have to do it as often as a living person (I admit that I don’t have any theory about how often they poop, but let’s just say they have to “go” at least once a day), then within a week there should be a sizeable clumpy stain on the seat and legs of at least some of their pants. Granted it would be ever changing. Clumps would dry in stages and fall off. Some would be jolted loose by their shambling walk. But these facts just contribute to the problem. Where there are zombies, there should be piles of poop. Some day someone should address this idea in much more detail than I really care to.

And so, while this is fresh in your mind, I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…consider whether reading this was really worth the time it took you.

A don’t…dwell on the time you’ve wasted. You’ll never get it back. No sense wasting more.

An Intro, Why Not?

I begin my first blog post with a giggle in my throat. This involuntary expression of mirth (which has now vacated my mouth and is one with the life-sustaining gaseousness of which we all must involuntarily partake) comes not from any giddiness on my part due to the fact that, for the first time in my life, I’m “blogging”; rather it stems from the word blog itself. I now participate in an activity whose nominative noun brings to mind some sort of gooey, fantastical creature native to low budget science fiction films or unimaginative novels of the same genre.

That being said and this being my blogging debut, perhaps I should set the stage for whatever readership I may be fortunate enough to enjoy.

Firstly, I refuse to refer to myself as a blogger. This term makes me think of coffee shops, laptops (keep an eye out for future posts about how a laptop makes a good potpal {certainly in no way a drug reference}) and “hipsters”; a label to which I have no particular affinity or aversion, just so we’re clear. However I do not intend to use this blog as a soapbox from which to tout my own personal propaganda or plug my favorite bit of theater (Be warned, however, that if the day ever comes I may use it as a platform from which to plug a novel or perhaps even an internet video fraught, if I do say so myself, with hilarity) or to blast the most abominable politician or political action. This blog is a whimsy meant primarily to help my own (alleged by those close to me) oddly wired brain sort out the thoughts that cause me sudden fits of anger, cynicism or uncontrollable laughter. There may not be another human being in the universe that will find my thoughts, rantings or ramblings the least bit helpful or entertaining. For these reasons I dub my self a “bloggist”. A term that, to me, lends a more technical appearance to what I’ve decided to do. I suppose “blognician” would also be acceptable nomenclature.

Secondly, be forewarned, and this goes for myself as well, if you intend to be a faithful, or even just occasional, reader of my blog; you’ll most likely be offended by something at some point. Bear in mind I hold no one’s ideas against them, so long as they don’t act upon the evil ones. I simply ask that you, as a reader, will afford me the same consideration. I’m as docile as a blind, deaf, mute quadruple amputee even if some of my posts may make me sound as psychotic as a psychopath. But sometimes my own ideas very nearly offend me. For an example of this, check back periodically for a post concerning my assertion that it is improper to ever refer to a male as a virgin. Your brain will implode from the thinking of it and your sensibilities will be offended even after structural integrity has abandoned your gray matter. I don’t condone most of the things I will eventually blog about.

Thirdly, I have fairly thick skin and will not take personally any comment anyone may wish to post (especially untaken personally will be those comments I sense are meant to be taken personally) although if a comment is particularly hair-raising I may find myself enticed to keyboard as withering a reply as I can muster.

Fourthly, by way of introducing myself to you more personally, I say simply this; I enjoy many things, dislike equally as many, and my likes and dislikes flip flop on a regular basis for barely any reason at all. Therefore, if you and I have nothing in common at the moment, it is nearly a certainty that at some point we will agree on something. We may as well say we are and always shall be potential friends. If we can interact on that basis, I say “Welcome to my blog” For an example of how my likes and dislikes swap status and how easily said swap is accomplished, keep an eye out for a future post regarding the professional baseball team that made me laugh derisively shortly before stealing my heart. Figuratively, of course. Never in the past or present have I blogged from beyond the grave, although if I ever can I certainly will. And when that glorious day arrives, as I am now convinced it will, I demand you refer to me as a “blogghost”. Now I’m excited to die! But that is another post entirely.

And now, person with perpetual friend potential, I say in closing; Be this statement our sign of parting, Reader Potential Friend, I type upstarting:

“Thanks for reading. I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…check back on a weekly basis if you feel you’d enjoy trying to swallow whatever tripe I may happen to heave towards you.

A don’t…bother checking back if you’ve been bored to tears by my rambling so far. Although if such is the case I belittle you for sticking around as long as you have. You might as well check back next week anyway.