Snarking at Something or Other Rantings from my brainbox.

21Jun/130

My Vices Part I: Vaping like a maniac.

I admit it. I'm an addict. My three favorite molecules in the world are, in the following order:

  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Ethanol

Today I'm going to talk about Nicotine, side note, I'm not really an Ethanol addict, I just like my Scotch and Spanish wines. :D

I was a life-long smoker, my mom smoked when she was pregnant with me, both my parents smoked in the house and I grew up inhaling second-hand smoke. It was no surprise when I became a 3-pack a day smoker, unfiltered Lucky's, filters are for pansies.

I was always able to quit cold-turkey but sooner or later something would draw me back in. I'd start back with just a few a day, but always before long I was back to 3+ packs.  Later I switched to pipe-smoking, which I truly loved, the plethora of pipe shapes and the endless blends of tobacco each with it's own flavor and "flow" depending on the pipe shape. Still, I knew that this shit would kill me.

Then one day I watched a movie called "The Tourist" and low and behold there's  Johnny Depp puffing on something that looks like a cig but obviously wasn't.  I went straight to the Google and 15 minutes later I was buying one of these from the Sev.

That device was a piece of garbage–but it's the entry point for most people going off analogs (goofy name for traditional tobacco cigarettes.)  But they do give you the idea, they let you feel the SENSATION of smoking by inhaling flavored water-vapor and delivering the godly nectar of nicotine, which is synthetic by the way. There's actually no tobacco derived ingredients.

I dived head-long into the "vaping sub-culture." Now two years on and many  hundreds of dollars later I have a habit/hobby/obsession with the damn things.  I couldn't be more happy.

I get my nic-fix and nearly a limitless choice of flavors and delivery methods.

Today my PV (Personal Vaporizer) is literally my "binky," my pacifier as my old roommate called it.  I fall asleep with this thing next to me and use it in the middle of the night in my sleep, often waking to find it impaling my spine.

Here's a look at my current setup:

image

From left to right. My PV's Ovale eVicInnokin iTaste MVPProvape Provari. On-top and standing in front are a mix of Vapeonly BCC Mega's and Kanger Protanks. The juices are a mix of juices from Hi-CaliberVermillion River E-juiceFuzion Vapors  and Alien Visions Ejuice.

And yes, I typically will walk around with all of the above on my person. Yes I'm a dork, but you knew that already.

I also make it a point to vape wherever I feel like it, I'm not smoking, I will not go stand outside next to the smokers. The vapor is odorless and harmless it isn't bothering anyone.  I do this to educate people about e-cigs and to draw the distinction between what I'm doing and smoking. I've yet to have anyone complain.

Are they safe? Fuck if I know, but I do know that since I started using them I breath better and feel healthier.

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."

–Abraham Lincoln

21Apr/133

I Am a Porn Addict.

So lets just put it out there. I'm a porn addict.

I suppose, yeah, it's a bit embarrassing  telling the whole world I look at a lot of porn and admitting I have a problem, but I'm not the type to feel much  in terms of shame, the Buddha taught me to be honest about such things and how can I be honest with myself if I'm not honest with everyone else?

Previously I didn't think porn addiction was a real thing, Living in Utah I assumed whenever I heard about "porn addiction," it was some Mormon guilt thing.  All the porn-addiction information I'd ever heard was couched in anti-porn moralizing. So I ignored it, I assumed that looking at naked people having sex was a normal thing that guys did--it is for some--and basically harmless, an honest expression of human sexuality.

So what happened to change my mind? A TED talk. Given by genuine clinician and scientist Gary Wilson (see his great website yourbrianonporn.com.)

Here's the video:

Basically we have a brain that's hard-wired for a hundred thousand year ago when humans were hunter-gatherers with short life-spans, scarcity of food and limited chances to mate. Evolution has given our brains  a reward-circuit designed to give us a shot of the feel-good chemical Dopamine whenever we are presented with the chance to eat or mate. How does this translate to a modern technologically advanced society?

Males have a biological imperative to reproduce and most importantly to spread their DNA as far and wide as possible, for that reason male physiology drives us to seeks out new or "novel" partners.

Problem is, evolution hasn't caught up with technology. What happens to our hunter-gatherer brains when we encounter something like the internet? What we get is a non-stop stream of what our Limbic brains tell us are novel partners and rewards us each time with a shot of dopamine.  In other words, it makes us feel good, or at least is supposed to make us feel good.

What has porn done to my hunter-gather Limbic brain?

My perception of women has been altered at a seemingly "below sub-conscious level" and for me I realized it was coloring almost all of my interactions with women. My Limbic-brain told me anyone who could be sexually available was sexually  available.

As a result I wasn't seeing women as just generic "people" I was seeing them as sexual objects, that should behave as sexual objects. Rationally I knew this wasn't true but it didn't stop my Limbic-brain from bringing those thoughts to the conscious level and producing disappointment and displeasure when those assumptions were unmet.

I realize now that this had to have colored my entire outlook on humanity and more personally my body language, and how I carried myself.  I'm pretty sure consciously trying not to look like a lust-filled creeper, makes you look like a lust-filled creeper.

After two-weeks of not looking at porn, I suddenly started to view women as people whom I could interact with without any expectations or ulterior motives on my part. The result? I was having completely nonchalant engaging conversations with women, I actually noticed myself being noticed and even checked out once or twice. This is an amazing feeling and one I can honestly say is completely new to me.

But it's true, I'm an addict. I relapse, but each time I come out of it with the resolve of knowing that it's part of the healing process, each time with a greater resolve to push forward, and I have to push forward because I feel like I've wasted the majority of my adult life missing out on loving and being loved.

Life isn't much worth living without love.

 

Further reading: Rebooting your brain, Reddit /r/pornfree, The Ten Steps to Porn Addiction, Psychology Today, Porn Addiction sfgate.com

5Apr/120

Girlfriend Application.

I'm going to just jump straight in and start accepting applications.  Due to the expected high volume do not despair if you do not hear from me immediately.  I will get to you as fast as I can.

 

-Are you female?

-If you aren't, do you look good in hose?

-If you are, can I have your address & phone number?

-Do you mind if I play with my hard drive? My floppy drive? How do you feel about large capacity storage devices with large transfer rates? (BLU-RAY Writers)

-Does computer dorkishness bother you?

-Will you psychoanalyze me?

-If you do, will you please leave me alone?

-Do you have a kleenex, a fishing bobber, a mathematic book & a purple pen on your desk too? (Yes, its a desperate attempt at a pickup line.)

-Do pocket protectors excite you?

-How about checkered hunting pants and taped glasses?

-Do you know how to program in more than one language?

-Do you know how to program in more than two languages?

-Can you program in Swahili?

-Will you hit me very much?

-Are you available Friday night?

-How about next Saturday?

-How about Sunday?

-Ok, the Friday after that?

-k, any time soon?

-What brand of pocket calculator do you prefer?

-Do you have more hair on your upper lip than I do?

-Can you add more than two numbers simultaneously?

-Do you drink?

-Do you drink a lot?

-Don't you think you should drink a lot in order to avoid dehydration?

-Do you find drooling on pillow attractive?

-I don't really drool on my pillow, but isn't it a good way to meet people?

-Do you have a better computer than I do? Can I play on it?

- Will I have more fun with
a) going on a date with you
b) gnawing my arm off rather than risk waking you up by moving it
c) run for a political office in a remote third world country

-Can you come up with long lists at random seemingly out of thin air?

-How about at sea level where the air is thicker?

-Do you feel that PV=nRT is an appropriate equation when we really don't have an ideal gas that it can model?

-If you only have one M&M is it just a M? Or is it M&M/2?

-What's the fastest land mammal?

- How do you feel about premarital holding hands? kissing? sex? wild passionate orgies involving lime green jello and rice krispies coupons?

-With Cheerios coupons?

-How much do I have to pay you to go out with me?

-Do you know the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

-Is that an African or a European swallow? (Bonus Points) Can you quote Monty Python from heart?

-Do you brush your teeth with denture cream?

-Do you find hemmerhoid commercials that air during dinner appetizing?

-Do you have more than one computer?

-Do you wear glasses?

-Are they bifocals?

-Do they get in the way of kissing?

-Do you have your own protective case for them?

-Do you tape them?

-Do you clean them with spit & your shirt tails?

- Do you mind if I clean my glasses with your shirt tails?

-What exactly is a shirt tail? Where's the head?

-Do you think that it should be termed a head or a restroom?

(1) If its a restroom, why don't people rest there?

(2) Do people get lots of rest when they die?

(3) If you die, does that mean you can't go to McDonald's any more?

(4) Why did McDonald's stop using animal fat on their fries?

(5) Do you like ketchup? (On your fries)

(6) How about other condiments?

(7) How about mint flavored condoms?

(8) Who came up with that idea for the stealth condom anyway?

(9) Doesn't the Stealth Bomber carry nuclear bombs?

(10) Did you know that nuclear bombs cause lower SAT scores from low level radiation fallout that invades cow's milk? They also cause nuclear war, which as every good debater knows, restrooms cause nuclear war!

-You are in college aren't you?

-Ok, past junior high?

-Do you shoot people for having bad puns?

-Will you laugh at my bad puns in order to make me think that I might stand a chance at going out with you again?

-Will you hold past relationships over my head? Can I hold past relationships over your head?

-Are you a bigger nerd than I am?

-Close to the same?

-Actually normal?

-Popular enough not to be seen in the same time zone with me?

-Can you tie cherry stems in knots with your tongue? Can you tie a bowline with it?

-Do you like Meatloaf as a musical group?

-Do you like meatloaf as a dinner dish?

-Do you think that both Meatloaf and meatloaf could use a little seasoning and that both are pretty much despised by the civilized world.

-Please explain in 1000 words or more, with the advent of the medium, fine, and thick point ball point pens, how will this impact reindeer trade in Scandinavia?

-Is 42 really an appropriate answer to Life the Universe and Everything? Don't you think 34 would have been better?

-Do you ever find people staring over your shoulder? Does it bother you when they get drool on your sweater?

-Asphinctersayswhat? Was it better in the first movie or the second?

-I think that Saturday night live was much better in the past. That's a statement, not a question. Just thought I might share that.

-Would it bother you if I told you that I really was a fish in the ocean that was a toaster imagining it was god? Would you send me for psychiatric evaluation, or just tell me that a rose by any other name would still be called Ray Charles?

-Did you know that 9^9^9 is the biggest number you can represent with only three digits?

-Did you know that $0.32 is about the biggest number I can represent with my check book?

-Hi, I'm Rob. What's your name?

That's it. If you scored over 3245.678*10^32, chances are you'll be perfect. Write me E-Mail.
If you scored around 100, write me E-Mail
If you scored around 50, write me E-mail
If you scored around 10, write me E-mail
if you didn't answer a single question, write me E-mail
if you got them all wrong to the point of getting the federal deficit as a score, but you still think I'm more attractive than Alan Greenspan, write me E-mail.

Or, if you like, you could write me E-mail. phundle at gmail.com

-R

*Shameless stolen and modified from whoever this guy is.

 

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5Mar/120

Great and Humors Argument for the Social Contract

Without realizing it—or maybe he does—David Wong has written an OUTSTANDING argument for social contract theory. Actually not so much an argument but a statement of fact. 

6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying

All of a sudden, it's like you can't make huge amounts of money without people getting all pissed off about it. And it's only going to get worse -- with the election coming up and the weather getting warmer, this whole "Occupy" movement is probably going to come back strong. The 1 percent will feel even more besieged than before.

"What the hell?" you're probably thinking, if you're somehow both rich and reading an article with this title, "I didn't crash the economy!" You might even be tempted to take to a microphone, to defend yourself and your wealthy friends. But before you do, I want you to stop and ask yourself, "Will this make me sound like an out-of-touch douchebag?"

Simple points of fact, like how we all benefit from quasi-public goods and services— paved roads, police departments, fire departments, an electrical grid—simply demolishes Right-wing and Libertarian bullshit.

Read the article and laugh, then pass it along to your Libertarian friends.

-R

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18Feb/122

Foreclosure abuse rampant across U.S., experts say | Reuters

A foreclosed home is shown in Stockton, California May 13, 2008.  Home foreclosure filings in the U.S. jumped 23 percent in the first quarter from the prior quarter, and more than doubled from a year earlier. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

By Tim Reid

LOS ANGELES | Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:34pm EST

(Reuters) - A report this week showing rampant foreclosure abuse in San Francisco reflects similar levels of lender fraud and faulty documentation across the United States, say experts and officials who have done studies in other parts of the country.

via Foreclosure abuse rampant across U.S., experts say | Reuters.

 

"It is expected that the $25 billion settlement will include no admission of wrongdoing by the banks."

 

Totally normal, totally natural.   Does anyone still doubt that we live in a Plutocracy?

-Rob

20Jan/120

Kucinich proposes public financing to overturn Citizens United ruling

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, January 19, 2012

 

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). Photo: AFP.

 

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced a constitutional amendment to the U.S. House on Thursday that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission.

“Because of the decision by the Supreme Court majority in the Citizens United case, more money was spent on campaigns in the 2010 election than has ever been spent in a mid-term election,” Kucinich said.  “Because of the Citizens United case, more money will be spent ithe 2012 elections than has ever been spent in an election in the history of our country. Because of the Citizens United case, American democracy has been put up on the auction block.”

Let me just say, I *like* Dennis Kucinich, he fights the good fight. But he makes the same mistake *EVERY* liberal makes, and that is not recognizing that the United States Empire is a Plutocracy. It was founded as such and has always been such.

Our nation was founded by a group of racist power-elites for the sole purpose of exploiting the new worlds wealth potential without having to pay a foreign power for the privilege.

Nothing will change until the entire system is dismantled and every Oligarch is shot dead in the street.

 

-Rob

17Jan/120

\’Sherlock\’ to return for third season – UPI.com

\'Sherlock\' to return for third seasonPublished: Jan. 16, 2012 at 1:39 PMComments (0)EmailPrintListen British actor Benedicte Cumberbatch attends the premiere of \

via \'Sherlock\' to return for third season - UPI.com.

Ohh ohhhooooohhh YES!!!!

 

-R

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31Dec/110

Everybody panic!! | WHO deeply concerned by mutated birdflu research | Reuters

Health workers carry culled poultry for disposal at Gandhigram village, about 35 km (22 miles) west of Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura, March 7, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

The United Nations health body said it was "deeply concerned about the potential negative consequences" of work by two leading flu research teams who this month said they had found ways to make H5N1 into a easily transmissable form capable of causing lethal human pandemics.(Editing by Alistair Lyon)

Oh we decided to weaponize Bird-Flu, nothing to see here move along.

 

-Rob

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23Dec/110

Anti-Union NLRB gives the working class a break, a very very small one | Labor board gives U.S. unions a rare victory | Reuters.com

"This rule is about giving all employees who have petitioned for an election the right to vote in a timely manner and without the impediment of needless litigation," said NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce, a Democratic appointee of President Barack Obama.

What this effectively means is that union-busting law firms wont have as much time to crush organizing efforts. And of course they’re pissed about it.

Lawyers for the largest business lobbying group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed a lawsuit in Washington to try to block the rule, which is scheduled to take effect on April 30. They say election periods could become so short that they could "ambush" employers and violate their free-speech rights.

Why and how the fuck do Corporations have “free-speech” rights?

Oh right America is a plutocracy, I almost forgot for a minute.

Even though this is a half measure, closer to a quarter measure, in todays political climate of a pansy Democrat in the White House and a congress that enjoys bending over being buggered by Tea-Party endorsed candidates, we still have to count this as a victory.

-Rob

20Dec/110

Big-Oil raping the earth, business-as-usual. Spill reported at Shell Gulf of Mexico drill site | Reuters

(Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard was investigating a 13,000-gallon spill from an oil rig leased to Shell, operating about 26 miles southeast of last year's BP Plc Macondo oil well disaster, a Coast Guard spokesman said on Monday.

via Spill reported at Shell Gulf of Mexico drill site | Reuters.

 

Nope, nothing to see here, no need for regulation, carry on.

-Rob

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