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Archive for February 2011

A new week, a weeks’ worth of topics

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Since I tend to write about some rather dull subject matter, I have opted for a change this week. For the next five days I am going to write about something that I feel affects us all and in a negative way. We run into it every day of our lives, or allow it into our private existence only to be burned later on by them. I am referring to toxic people and the toxic manner that they thing or go about their daily activities. Why am I writing on this series of people? Well it occurred to be recently just how easily it is to be deceived or be made a fool of or taken advantage of by these particular sets of people or manners of thinking and I wanted to write about it. So for the next few days I am going to pick one type of personality or attitude and write about it for a short bit.

So here goes:

DAY 1 – The Liar

ram-a-liar-16 When I refer to the liar or to lies in general, I am not talking about the little white lies that we tell to each other or to our children, like the existence of Santa or the Easter Bunny. What I am referring to is the type of person who lives in their lie or lies, and lies as a natural everyday part of their world. They believe the lie, they create a fantasy world by spinning a web of deceit in order to get what they want out of life. They have no respect for the feelings of others or they will often feign interest/sympathy/remorse in order to complete their goals. There are a few types of liars that we run across everyday and depending on their severity, will exhibit different symptoms, the two most damaging are the sociopath and the compulsive liar.

The sociopath is the type of liar that we normally associate as genuinely evil. He/she is lying out of a necessity to get their goals done. You meet them daily and with enough experience they can be spotted easily by the format they use. Usually a sociopath will end up developing a fixed pattern of lies and methods that work for them as their means to achieve their desires. You can see this in the manners that politicians run for office, in how womanizers and cougars work the bars (by offering a lending ear or flat out lying about marital status). Other forms of sociopathic behavior can be seen in the category of friends and friendships that appear and last only on sunny days or in easy times. These friends will abandon you or toss you out when they need to do work to maintain the relationship. They will only be your friends if you offer then something, be it entertainment value, drinks, a place to congregate, your college papers/notes. These are the passing friends that people describe when they talk about having lots of ‘friends’ and then later on, none. These friendships are toxic and one sided and if you look closely you can see examples in your life, and in the lives of everyone you know. The reason why is because their circumstances change and these persons have no concern for your feelings even if they appear to exhibit some forms of emotion. To a sociopath, everyone is a tool to be used and discarded when their utility is taken. Their world is a zero sum game that aims to succeed at the cost of another.  The sociopath and a sociopathic relationship is in general, incurable.

Check out the video below to see an example of a sociopathic liar:

liar The compulsive liar is a person who lies out of habit. These people are actually, more dangerous and the sadder of the two types of liars. A compulsive liar usually begins the lying habit from childhood, either out a need for attention or as a means of self preservation or desire to fit in. This type of liar is usually able to lie about anything and everything great and trivial because something in them gives them pain to speak truthfully about anything. This category of liar isn’t cunning or devious in many respects. More often then not, you’d find these to be people with very low self esteem and/or relationship loyalty issues. The compulsive liar usually requires another person to make themselves feel better about themselves and end up in codependent relationships where there is the victimized (in their own minds) liar, and the superman/woman who out of habit and genuine desire to help others, takes them on in a subconscious project. The compulsive liar in some ways can be cured or made aware of the lying habit. However anyone in a relationship with them will not be able to do the repair as they are the crutch and the liar is willing to lie just to maintain the crutch. It is only after the compulsive liar loses everything because of the lies, feels pain and shame from it (which they don’t when they lie) and desires to change themselves, that change can happen.

For an example of compulsive liars, visit this skit:

http://www.zappinternet.com/video/racPruXjaD/Compulsive-liar–Mentirosa-Compulsiva

In both of these cases, the liar develops or is naturally able to lie. The best response is usually out and out confrontation followed by elimination from your life, or at least safe distancing. If you are (and I was one) a liar like those above, the only thing you can do to improve is to suffer majorly before you begin to heal and change as the habit is probably harder then smoking.

Written by Josecito

February 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm

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If I had the money..

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So this will be a very, very short post. I am heading out to celebrate my older sister’s graduation from Nursing school and before I go I was looking at this weapon, and if any of you have around $1500 – $2000 to spare or gift me, it would be my choice of weapon as I feel it is indeed the rightful inheritor of the M-16’s spot for a useful rifle. Check it out, and have a great weekend!

 

Written by Josecito

February 25, 2011 at 10:26 pm

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Relativity

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42-15208908 time-warp I am reminded today of just how much time and lifespan is a matter of perspective. I blink and the day is gone. I am asked to help so and so with such and such and when I look back at the clock, time has passed quicker then I imagined. It is a one way trip, and the older we get, the quicker time moves, incrementally to our inevitable end: a stopped watch that can’t be rewound. What we do with out limited time is further slicked and diced by our need to engage in the mundane and ordinary just to make ends meet: a meeting here, a pointless email there and filling out forms that help up accomplish almost nothing extra in our lives. At the end of the day, or here in the States: at the end of the middle of the day we are left exhausted from running around trying to complete busywork and have nothing to show for our efforts. So we fall back, flick on television ‘for a little while’ and start to eat our meals devoid of nutrition and flavor. The food, long bereft of nourishment, now serves as habit, a filler of whole deeper then the void in our stomachs and emptier then the fabric of space itself.

babybaby

maria-kozlova-inclusion-exclusion-child-at-play-copy Time, human time, is less comparable to a wind up clock then it is a kid riding a luge down a steep mountain with a wall at the end and with no means of braking. We start off moving slowly, learning everything as we go, in wonderment at our situation and excited at the prospects of new things. The time lasts forever and the sun never seems to set when we play outside. Homework takes forever and so does the time we spend goofing off to avoid it. As we age, the homework is done faster, the sun moves across the sky at a blistering pace and we are no longer trying to get a whole day to play but merely “an hour or two” for entertainment and enjoyment from our busy lives.

 

dp1770678 The moment we get past puberty, we no longer measure time in relative grandness of ‘forever and ever’ but in ‘5 more minutes’ and ‘ 10 minutes till lunch’. We hope and seemingly try to negotiate with our being for the ability to grasp at smaller and smaller segments of time, in a vain believe that if we can make 1 more minute last and be measured, that we’d have more of them. Time allows us to measure it but at a cost. Those segments of ‘4 hours before lunch’, ‘30 minutes to get back’ and ‘15 minutes till closing’ add up to more then their fare share as it slips past us. An 8 hour workday takes 12 or more as we need time to prepare in the mornings, eat midday, come home and unwind. In no short amount of time we see ourselves go from our classroom days to nearly child rearing age with nary a productive year to show for it, nor memories deemed worthy of a wasted decade. Then we raise the next batch and live through them, for our time is not our own anymore. We become part of another group oddly familiar, one which we rebelled against as a youth and vowed never to be like, only to find ourselves back in that chaos: this time as the cause and not as the recipient.

angry-old-person We blink, those offspring are all grown and if we’re lucky enough to survive the journey, we are back to our own devices, listless and restless. Bored from an apparent eternity of putting things off in favor of other things, and now with nothing to use as a reason to put off our hope and dreams. We sit and stare blankly at our walls, littered with pictures of a life we apparently spent doing things we can not recall. We remember all those things that we wanted to do and how we would have done them differently if we had that second chance. But there is no going back so we try to tell the next litter and their litter on the ways of the world and what they should do to better themselves and enjoy the ride. They ignore the advice, just as you did when you were young. After all they say ; “ this is a new generation, we have a clean slate to start from scratch and do it right this time, and our way will be the right way as long as we don’t take your wisdom!” You smile and laugh at the impetuousness of your seed, confident that one day they’ll understand and they’ll remember the advice they should have taken, just as you remember it now, only that it will be too late to turn back.

 

luge_141 For the luge is nearing the wall at the bottom of the mountain, the street rolling faster then can be seen, the objects now a blur and unknown. The memories and ability to drive were long ago lost in a fog somewhere higher up that mountain. There is no going back, there is no braking now, there is only that brick wall ahead, ready to stop you and time itself. You couldn’t drive around it if you wanted to, but you don’t want to continue going faster down another mountain. You’ve had it with driving, with holding on, with remembering and doing the pointless things. For one short moment you start to enjoy the feeling of being so fast, of still not crashing. You think of all those who crashed before they reached this part of the road and you thank your lucky stars you had those few extra miles and better steering and well, plain old luck. 1294072365a9WFCN

The you arrive at the wall. Well you really don’t know if you’ve arrived. It happened so fast you couldn’t really experience it, nor would you want to. Some things are better left a mystery. But you know one thing before you go: time will make fools of us all.

Written by Josecito

February 24, 2011 at 8:11 am

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Springtime 2011

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Since my last posting was on the snow and how much I am sick of dealing with winter, I have decided to write another short post on this year’s spring and my plans. Why am I doing this you ask? Well ok so you didn’t really ask that. I just imagine that you’d be asking that since most of my posts are not very optimistic or hopeful. I am writing this post as a means of staying positive and of thinking of the things I want to do during the spring season. Granted I don’t have much money but the list of things here isn’t about affordability, merely desire and a means of keeping my mind off the horribleness that is winter. Since spring begins officially March 20th and ends May 3rd.

1. Take a Beekeeping Course

british_beekeeping_html_m69061e56 Before you start heading for the hills (or for this part, indoors), hear me out. Bees and beekeeping have always interested me and ever since my salad days in Delaware Valley College while managing a farm and learning Plant Science and Biotechnology (as well a side hobby of Brewing) I have grown more interested in early human industry. One of the symbols of industry during the middle ages was beekeeping and I thought it would be a good skill to learn about in the event that I get my own land and/or want some extra income and/or wish to get some free honey/wax. There are courses being offered by the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild www.phillybeekeepers.org and sadly the next one on March 12th is full. I have confidence that another one will be open something after March 20th (the official start of Spring) and that I’ll have the money ($60) to pay for a class. Here’s to hoping that I do not have an allergy to stings as it has been years since I last received a bee sting!

 

2. Hot Air Balloon Ride

crazy-hot-air-balloon14 This one might end up taking place during the summer as it is more expensive and a Springtime trip through the air might be a little too chilly for my tastes. The costs for a ride are fairly pricey but since I have never had the experience of being in one before, I think merit the cost. A quick check at www.air-ventures.com is showing me that I can get a ride at $189 per person for a one hour flight including a toast of Champagne. Another even neater idea (possible neat short honeymoon idea) is that they have a weekend getaway about $600 per couple. Includes balloon ride, weekend at the inn (Fri-Sat-Sun) and a Champagne Dinner.  My guess is that the next two nights either you would go out to eat or pay for your other meals. The idea intrigues me.

 

3. Take in a Show

globeinside Since my budget conscious mind is always looking for a deal, I might check out www.lanterntheather.org/2011/midsummer.html  for their showing of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fairly cheap seats of $20-$26 will get me a few hours of diversion and place me in center city next to Chinatown and only a few blocks from the Independence Mall area. Perfect placement if I want to combine it with a cheap lunch, early tour of a museum that I might have missed. I have never seen this play and because seeking more cultural enrichment, I will have to make this or something like it, a priority. Shakespeare look out or I might just bite my thumb at thee!

 

 

4. Visit the Fed

For my career rebuilding, I think it is time that I used my membership in the Philadelphia Council for Business Economics www.pcbe.org and take in a presentation offered by the society. I see that on May 4th they are hosting Richard Yamarone of Bloomberg to speak on “what we’re watching now” at lunchtime. Tickets are $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers. It includes a lunch and is also within the Center city limits, offering me another chance at meandering through the streets to take some pictures of beautiful colonial buildings and see some missed things.

 

5. Taste some more Wine!

20060923_wine_tasting_900x600 Apparently I am getting a taste for local wine producers and want to continue a wine tour of the area. Cost would vary but I would surely not spend more then $50 and visit no less then 3 wineries. Special consideration would go to the places that offer in depth tours and complimentary glasses (to take). Naturally since my twin is growing in her knowledge of local wine makers, I’d be using her expertise in planning this. A variable in the tour might be a stop at a brewery for a tour or something historical.

 

6. Planning a bike ride

c8d600c3c85601cfce446987e9b0da6c380c989f Ok so I really miss using my bike like I did when I was a wee lad. A plan must be made to ride the locks and canals that run along the Greater Philadelphia area. Even if it is for only an hour or so, I need to do it for experience and memory. Photos to be taken, preference given to relevant areas of biking.

Written by Josecito

February 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm

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ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH More Snow?! WTF?!!!!!

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Ok so it wasn’t that bad, all we received was about three inches of snow. Seriously last night at midnight I was with Bella looking outside and started to see the flakes falling. I almost freaked out at the insanity. It’s almost March! Can someone, preferably one of those religious nuts who claims to communicate with God, please send him a damned memo letting him know that spring is coming and make with the warmer, nicer weather for once?! Why is it that in Philly we have 2 seasons and not 4 like I recall learning in my grade school years? It seems like we only have winter, and summer. As if to magnify and clarify the dichotomy of this city’s inhabitants: Frigid Bastards/Bitches or Fuming Mad Morons.

Somewhere I am certain the town passed a law forbidding Spring and Fall weather. Remember those? Those were the 3 months between winter and summer and another 3 months between summer and winter. Those were the days when a spring jacket or a football style Letterman’s jacket could be worn without feeling too hot or cold. Those were the times when people had picnics and enjoyed the weather.

Sorry about that, I had to rant. Really, I am tired of winter. It’s a nice season to visit, just nothing worth living in. God I miss the tropics.

Written by Josecito

February 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm

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President’s Day

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george-washington-picture 16_lincoln_1 So today marks the annual celebration of the Presidents of the United States here…erm… in the United States of America. So what do we do to celebrate? We close government institutions, banks, schools, and a random number of other places and try to celebrate, by shopping for discounted crap in our stores. Why do we do this? Because we really don’t have anything left that is considered a true holiday, merely more excuses to buy stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have from a job we’re about to lose.

This holiday was originally meant to be a celebration of George Washington’s birthday. However as we realized (and quite stupidly) that we have more then one President and that many of them were rather useful when they were in office, we split the holiday into two separate dates: one for every Commander-in-Chief and the other for Mister Woodenteeth! Sure you might find every now and again a calendar with Lincoln’s Birthday (but really President’s Day is inclusive) on it, but really who cares enough to celebrate it. This is the USA and here, we have lots of days worth celebrating and we do the dumbest thing imaginable: we merge them into one holiday instead of having three or four! Yep, fat lot of good we did for ourselves by combining days.

So what did the great (ha!) city of Philadelphia do on this holiday? Nothing spectacular.

What did I do? Again, nothing spectacular as most of the places I needed to visit were closed!

What did you do? Again, probably shopped, cleaned, watched TV, or sat around bored because of the asininity of it all!

Happy Holiday to you! For those of you outside the nation or haven’t seen an example of what I mean by the commercialism of all that was once patriotic or remotely meaningful, check out the video below. This is what our nation has become, a sad spectacle of shopping addiction. What angers me most of all is the unspoken message of it, that it is ok to run your enemies over, even if they have weapons that might not hurt you (when you’re in the carapace). Come to think of it, most of our modern cars are aluminum and fiberglass, so a few musket shots and those infernal machines would have been destroyed!

Tally Ho’

Written by Josecito

February 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm

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TGIF ?

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Well today is Friday and as everyone who is apparently anyone would say: "TGIF". Why on earth people would be happy to stop working is beyond my understanding. The logic would seem to indicate that you TGIF because you want to stop working at a job or employer, which would be a sad barometer of your true hatred of where you work or what you chose as a career. Perhaps a better statement to make is this : "If you must TGIF, then you dislike your job enough to prefer leisure and job avoidance, thus you are in the wrong occupation or employer or are not doing what you truly want to do." Either way I wouldn’t know nor care to know why one would do this if they had the means of addressing their present situation correctly. Enough about this rant, let us post a blog about something that I actually did for a change instead of my usual postings!

Simple-Flat-Roof-Leak Today I woke up and went to my aunt’s home to do a roof repair. "What on earth does he know about roof repair?" A good deal since I had prior experience working in construction and maintenance of real estate holdings (and wanting to start my own real estate empire encouraged me to learn as much on the job info as possible). So I head over to her house and get out on the roof to do a preliminary inspection of the problems. According to her home warranty company she had five holes that needed to be repaired/filled (on a flat roof) and the flashing on the edging came open, leading to rainwater/snowmelt entering her walls and pooling in her kitchen. I step out onto the roof and proceed to check the roofing material but can not find much of what the warranty company states she needs as far as flat top repairs. There were a few minor wear and tear pieces that could have been repaired, but none of it would have been responsible for the her main issue: the roof leak due to the open flashing.

chimney2 I move over to the edge of the roof, while laying on my stomach so as not to fall off and lean out over the side of the building to check the flashing. Yes the man was correct that this flashing did need to be repaired. The problem was that I could not do the repairs from the angle that I was at, and I did not have a 15 foot ladder that could get me up to the repair from below (nor the truck needed to transport it). So I make a note of it and proceed to check the remainder of her roof for other problems that I might be able to repair. A few of the yes, but not enough to justify charging my aunt for the job. So I head back in, tell her the bad news of my inability to take the job, and that she will need to hire a roofer who will have to end up charging her much more money then I, but at least she can get a warranty and sleep better knowing that it is finished. In the end it is my opinion that she needs on fairly large section cut out of the roof (it is warping but still sealed and will cause issues if left unrepaired). All in all a $250 repair job lost and another reminder of why I can’t earn a good living here contracting: no truck not enough tools. Oh well, I am certain that another project will come up that I can help her with (she is my aunt and I always want to look out for her since she looks out for me and is family).

So I  leave her place and continue with my backup plan. Yes I made a backup plan and I recommend that you do as well. Nothing quite spells lame like having one plan blowup and then having to scurry around looking for something else to do. I head out for the Quaker Friends’ House with my mom in order to help her photograph tombstones for a friend of hers who lives in Seattle, WA. Apparently this woman’s family history includes notable family names like Mather and Hallowell and even Cottman. So we get to this place, start tying to decode burial markers from the 17th and 18th centuries while standing on slippery ice and mud, being real careful to not knock down them nor fall to our muddy doom.

IMG_1468 We spend a few hours there, and took a total of 135 photos, and of those, maybe 110 were unique grave markers (some had to be photographed twice, once on the tops and once on the front). We head home, and spend the next three hours trying to manipulate the pictures to enhance the image enough to get the letters to show up on the stones. Many were achieved with enough detail to get part of the first name and last name (enough to know that a person like Thomas Hallowell would appear as homas Hallowel). Thankfully this cemetery places the family markers in the same areas so that you know these people are more then likely related or intermarried. Afterward, I load them up to my mother’s Skydrive account on hotmail and we call her friend to tell her the surprise. She was happy and shocked that we managed to get so many markers recorded. We let her know how to access it, and that if there are others or some we missed, to let us know as we might be able to request mapping help from the caretaker (we suspect that many stones are broken, unreadable, and are no longer there, thus some names may never show up without the caretaker’s records..which may require a donation).

All in all a fruitful day. The remainder of my time was spent wasted watching the boob tube, the internet, and thinking of ways I might be able to earn some money since I still have trouble finding gainful employment, be it self employed or via a company.

Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the holiday if you can (President’s Day being Monday!)

Written by Josecito

February 19, 2011 at 12:41 am

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