Sometime later I was happier

So, I’m not writing every week – you caught me. But Christmas was busy, and catching up after Christmas was even busier.

What matters is that I’m here now. Well, I’m writing now.

I thought I’d write a deeply reflective post this time, about happiness and satisfaction. It shall be inspirational, uplifting, and most likely highly boring. As most things happy and  inspirational tend to be.

Also, I hate reflection. It is a self centred, ridiculous act that was forced upon me at university. And probably makes me a better person, or would if I did it half as often as I was taught to do.

Recently, there were a series of events that made me see something in myself. Helped me to see that I was losing my patience. I have been getting upset over mundane things, and getting grumpy about most everything else. None of which was good evidence that I am in fact happy and actually really love my work.

I had gotten myself into the habit of comparing what I do with others. Comparing what I had with others. Despite doing lots of work out of my own interest and want. I started to worry about how much I perceived myself to be doing, and how much others were doing. I wanted more free time, money, space, etc. Basically whatever else other people had (or rather what I thought they had).

I lost sight that I actually enjoy what I do. I may not want to do it forever, but that is besides the point. I was quick becoming a covetess old fool who was dissatisfied with what I wanted.

I was trying to base my happiness on others, which really doesn’t work. I tried to play by rules that don’t exist. The world is not fair (I should end my happy tale here). It also is not unfair, it just is. Other people’s lives are not how I should be judging myself.  I learned this lesson long ago, that the world was not fair and I cannot make it fair. Somehow I forgot that simple truth by investing to much attention on what others have.

I somehow forgot that my happiness has nothing to do with you, or anyone else.

And that’s it.  I feel strangely much happier now. And all I did was stop carrying so much about others. Well… You get the point, I’m happy, regardless of how little or much I have. I’m better off than some, worse off then others and actually happier than most. And the trick is to recognise what I have, not what you have.

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The meal that almost was

This is a story of redemption, of the little restaurant that failed and promised to make it better.

Last year we had an office Christmas meal at our local pub/restaurant, and I wrote a blog about it, suffice to say, it sucked. The food was bad, like really bad, and the service was slow, painfully slow, and all in all it was pretty awful. This year they promised us it would be better if we brought our business back to them.

As I prepared for round two, a funny thing happened, I couldn’t go. Short staffed due to unforeseen circumstances, I looked on as my comrades took their life into a nearly complete lack of danger. Truth be told I was a bit put out. I wanted to see if they actually got better (it actually sounds like they did from what my colleagues tell me).

So I was near writing a blog about nothing, but realised I said I was going to do this once a week. So here I am, doing my best despite the lack of occasion. Which is so utterly untrue, something quite exciting happened today, me and my wife’s wedding rings arrived. See, it’s a funny story, and one that comes with way to long of an intro.

Me and my wife got married…

So it’s not really funny, but we kept it the best kept secret to ever be. My wife and I live in a Camphill Community, if you want to know what that is, click this link. Basically, keeping secrets is hard enough in any work environment, but doubly in a place like this. So keeping this secret was actually a big deal. Both of our families live far away, and you can’t invite some people and not others. So we invited no one except our two witnesses. One of the witnesses made us wooden rings for the ceremony (which was pretty ace), and we did the dirty deed in the beginning of Dec. It was all very cloak and dagger with a baby style, and really quite nice. We had ordered some rings, but because we were so lazy-faire (yes it is purposefully spelled wrong), we didn’t order ourselves proper rings until just before the wedding, but they arrived today, and that is my big exciting news.

I tried to do this once

So, I tried to write a blog once…..

I realise now that meant I had to do it more than once. Even though I sit here wondering why no one ever read my clever and witty words, I actually know that this might be my own fault.

See, I suffer from an all too common problem these days, I want the glory without the work.  I just thought I would plaster a few words up here once in a while and I would be sorted.

I also realised how hard it is to actually do something productive when Game of Thrones is on, or Masterchef, or Man Vs Food.  It’s shamefully easier when that really good documentary about Nelson Mandela is on BBC that I like to tell people I watched (which I did, really.)

So here is attempt 2 to make this work, I want to write a post once a week, and I really don’t want to write about Gun Control or anything overtly political, because inevitably my leftist libertarian eco warrior side will come out and offend someone from somewhere.

Sooo, next week I hope to once again go to my favourite restaurant, so if you happen to have read my blog before (I can count you on one finger), this would be the infamously terrible Christmas meal that I went to last year with work. We are going back again, this time with assurances from the owners that things might have improved.  I am tense with anticipation for round 2.  So I will write another review of The Bielder next Thursday.

Gun Control

Gun control is a tricky problem, tricky in the sense that it has been taken over by extremes. On the one hand you have those who believe the government should take away all guns, or cover this argument weakly by saying hunting guns are allowed, but not any other guns.

On the other hand you have NRA zealots who think we should be able to buy any weapon imaginable, because a fully automatic assault weapon is essential for your personal safety.

Somewhere in the middle there is a healthy balance. Like all things in life, balance is necessary, and the whole argument that this will start a slippery slope to gun abolishment is asinine. That is like saying requiring a drivers license was the first step to outlawing driving, or limiting the speed on cars is the first step to increase our reliance on government sponsored public transportation.

I agree that laws need to be made carefully, but we as citizens need to inform ourselves of whats going on and not solely rely on left wing or right wing media to inform our choices. This only helps to further the polarisation that has crippled our nation.

So lets start with step one, more guns does not mean less crime. Less guns does not mean more crime. Everyone likes to point to such and such country, state, city, etc. and claim that because they have more/less guns on the street there is more/less crime. There are too many examples of both to reasonably determine that it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. The only truly definitive statistic to increased crime rates seem to be in areas that are poverty stricken. So if we really want to fight crime, lets focus on that.

Next, a handgun is a reasonable means of self protection. It can be concealed, or be easily accessible in your home when you need it. You don’t need a high capacity magazine, or be able to shoot 3 round taps. So lets not restrict handguns. I may never buy one, but I can understand and sympathise for the desire/need to have one for self protection. And for that I think handguns and hunting rifles are all perfectly acceptable.

A semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle, is complete overkill for everything. Who needs one of these? How is it useful for self-protection? You’re not going to walk around with one over your shoulder. Its not like your going to sleep with it under your pillow, why do you need a high powered, large magazine gun designed for killing. How many times have you ever heard of someone successfully protecting their home or otherwise with an AR-15.

Lets just look at the basics of it. An AR-15 is a big weapon, not what you want when you are looking for self defence during a home invasion when you are possibly walking through tight spaces. Also, the AR-15 is a high powered weapon, if you fire it in your home you are going to blow holes through all the walls, possibly hurting people you never intended to hurt, and because it is a semi-automatic it will be very easy to riddle your home with bullet holes.

It also sucks as a hunting weapon, using ammunition that doesn’t have enough stopping power for anything other than small game. And the type of person that goes hunting with an AR-15 is one of those idiots who sees a deer and sprays thirty bullets in under a minute taking out everything in site, instead of just shooting the deer.

It also sucks as a militia weapon. The right to bear arms to fight our own government, right. Because a semi-automatic will do a hell of a lot of good against drones and tanks.

The only thing it is really good for is what it was initially designed for in the 1950’s. Shooting a lot of bullets that can pierce armour in a short amount of time without having to reload too often. This was a weapon designed for war, not anything else, and as such it has no business being used for anything else. There was a reason it was banned until 2004. Will it reduce gun crime in the states, probably not, but will it make it harder to take part in mass shootings, damn right it will.

Meal at the Bieldside Inn

So I went out for a company meal on Friday, for Christmas. We ordered our food three days ahead of time, because the meal was in the middle of the day, and we would need to get back to work, we thought this would speed up the process.

No, in fact one of the stand out features of the service at the Bielder is that they take their time. I heard the excuse from the wait staff that they were busy, but there were only two tables, granted our table had 10 people and so did the other table, but the place was far from packed. Plus we had ordered our food days in advance.

We were seated at 12:30, the starters arrived at about ten to one. Now that in itself isn’t too bad, but remember they didn’t have to take anyone’s order, and only three of us ordered a started anyways. Personally I think it is not too much to eat a meal in an hour and a half, but maybe I am unreasonable.

Maybe it’s standard that lunch should take at least two hours, and three days to cook.

So the majority of us got our food at about 1:15, roughly 45 minutes after we sat down. Now I cannot speak for everyone that i sat with, most of their food looked fine. I ordered stovies, oxtail and bone marrow, and it looked as if someone had thrown up on my plate, and then proceeded to cover it with an undressed beetroot salad.

So first impressions were a little less than desired. I didn’t want to complain, because everyone else’s meals looked fine, and people were enjoying themselves. However what I ate was a travesty. Oxtail needs to be cooked for a long time, and it needs to be cooked slowly, you have to get all that cartilage to melt away and leave this wonderfully tender, flavourful meat. What I ate was tough and chewy, the marrow was like chewing on raw fat, it just never dissolved. It was as if I had a giant slimy booger that wouldn’t break down into something I could swallow. Now I’ve not had marrow very often, but this wasn’t right and made me feel a little queasy. So I ate the bits that were okay, which were mostly un-identifiable. Generally you would expect to find some potatoes, but I think they added left over mash, and if they didn’t I don’t want to know what I ate.

Either way, I finished eating by 1:30 and had a nice time chatting with my colleagues around the table. By 1:45 I was worried that I wasn’t going to get my sticky toffee pudding, something I love. I had to go at 2 sharp due to some appointments for work. I asked if it would be possible to get my pudding right away or get it in a box to go, after all I had ordered three days ago, and it was sticky toffee pudding, all you need to do is cut a piece out and put it in a box, it should take all of 45 seconds, tops.

The waitress didn’t seem to understand at first when I said I have to leave, so I told her to just cancel the order, but than she panicked and said she would talk to the chef. Not that this helped. Apparently it takes longer than 10 minutes to put a piece of sticky toffee pudding in a box.

So I left, and after sitting here for a day, I am shocked at just how bad the service and food are in the Bieldside Inn. It is a bit of a shame, it no longer has a pub, it’s a bar, like the kind that plays music too loud and people order fruity drinks instead of pints. It has a dining area as before, but the food is no better, it costs a good 20% more and you might die of old age waiting for your bill.

The one plus is that the bar staff is friendly. I just wish I could get a decent meal, in decent time and not need to remortgage my home. And I want a pub, a place that has a nice selection of lagers and ales and I can feel comfortable in. Why is that so hard?

Politically Misguided

So i’m thinking about the political race in the states, living in Britain my mother fills me in from time to time about how annoying all the ads are.  which i’m happy that i don’t have to listen to.

Here are my dilemmas  Obama didn’t make the cut, and Romney is a heartless tit.  I was pro Obama, though I must admit I didn’t vote last time, i know, shame on me.  But this time I don’t know if I want to vote.  I was part of the Ron Paul crowd, but I kinda knew from the beginning that Ron was a long shot.

But thats what makes America great, even the guy with the long shot……  nope, thats not what makes America great anymore.  in fact, America just isn’t a place where anyone can make it.  It use to be hard work, good character and money counted for something.  Now only money counts, and luck, lots of luck.  What makes America great is the illusion it still feeds to the American population.  That it is somehow better than the rest of the world.

Then again, I’m a terrible patriot.  I love my country, don’t get me wrong, and I wish it was a place worth bragging about, but it isn’t.  The political divide is polarising the country, the government is hell bent on scaring the public into submission and wasting time and money on monitoring its own citizens, and hell, the rest of the world too.  We have a military larger than most countries, our military costs more than Sweden’s GDP.  And yet we have unaffordable universities, unaffordable healthcare and the worst financial inequality since 1928.

So, let’s stop spending money on political campaigns, let’s reduce our military spending, let’s force corporations and wealthy individuals to actually pay the taxes they owe and cut out the tax loopholes, let us NOT raise taxes, invest in alternative energies, and stop picking fights with little middle eastern countries.

I love my country, but I feel like its doing everything wrong.  So here is a toast to Ron Paul, I’m sorry you didn’t make it, because I have no faith in Obama or Romney.

Sincerely,

An honest Liberal.

 

PS the cartoon can be found here: http://www.toonpool.com/cartoons/The%20Anatomy%20of%20US%20Politics_66293

I used to write spoken word

but now it feels forced, but i tried, and i’m sharing, i have one follower, you know who you are.  one day there might be more of you, and i’m going to write like their might one day be more of you.  so to all my friends who don’t know i have a blog, which is all of you, here is my first attempt to get back into writing, its short.

 

working through wording,

i’m trying to create.

 

no, i’m working to create,

I am forcing creativity.

 

i’m pushing through my fingers,

the will to write words.

 

no, to create words of art,

words that pull the world’s seam’s apart.

 

I am forcing truths,

unraveling preconceptions.

 

no, i’m uncovering misconceptions,

of underserved redemptions.

 

i force my fingers to write,

unsure of what to type.

 

no, i’m lost in my own thoughts,

my mind wanders… away.

 

creativity slipping away,

growing tired with age.

 

no, wasting away,

malnourished and unpracticed.

 

like the tools of a trade,

left out in the rain.