Wonky73

Wonky's Land of Nonsensical Musings

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Photo of the day: rain

Guest Post: Jobu the cat

jobu putting holes in my new sheets
Hello computer people. My human name is Jobu.  I won’t tell you my secret cat name. My daddy wants me to tell you some stuff about me and how we met.  So here I am at the computer thing.  I hate the computer thing. Daddy spends too much time on it not paying attention to me.  I like to jump up and sit on the keyboard and try and help him but he doesn’t like it.

I don’t remember my mommy or if I had any brothers or sisters.  I was found all alone as a small kitteh.  It was probably scary but I don’t remember.  The people who found me took me to a place that has a whole bunch of animals, not just cats but also doggies and other things.

The people there were really nice. They took care of me and made me healthy and well fed.  I was there for a long time.  Luckily the nice people let me stay for several months.  It wasn’t all bad. I had a nice roommate in my cage and many friends.  Sometimes my friends would pick some person out.  That person would take them to a forever home.  But nobody would take me.  I’ve heard that people don’t like to adopt black cats and dogs.  That’s racist.

So one day I was sitting in my cage kinda sad and hoping that someday I could have a real home of my own. That’s when my daddy walked in.  I like him instantly.  He was really nice to all the cats.  When he got to me I started licking his hand to mark him as mine. He petted me and I purred like crazy.  He had a nice lady get me out of the cage and we went into a room with lots of toys.  I ignored the toys and just loved all over him. I was not gonna let this one go.  My Daddy then put me back in the cage and went away.  I wasn’t sad.  I expected him to come back.

My daddy came back the next day.  He took me out of the cage and put me in a cat carrier.  I was so excited I couldn’t stop meowing. I got a little scared on the car ride home but before I knew it he took me out of the car.  He let me out of the carrier.  I went from room to room excitedly sniffing everything.  It was my new home.  It was way bigger than my cage. I was so happy I couldn’t stop purring.  I haven’t stopped purring in the 8 years since. 

Well I have been awake for almost fifteen minutes so am getting tired. Time for me to go do my favorite thing.
even while sick he cheers me up
Oh and contrary to what you may see on the internet, cats can spell, my daddy not so much.

Photo[s]of the day: taken during a walk

Being here now

This one sounded way better in my head.  Had trouble finding the right words.

The sky hung low with gray clouds and a soft drizzle soaked the earth below. The weather fit my mood. My heart was heavy with the thoughts of someone I love lying in a hospital.

 Most people who know me know I love walking the rain.  Give me a nice all day shower and I’ll walk for miles. Usually when I walk I listen to podcasts with headphones stuffed in my ears.

I walk out into the soft rain with my ears filled with talk of the latest tech news.  As I get to the corner where the path starts, I pause and take out my headphones.  Why don’t I just be here now, I think.

I walk along listening to the rain gently falling.  The birds don’t seem to mind the rain as a symphony of bird songs fill my ears.

I come across these petals that only days ago hung with life to the trees.
spring flowers

They are now strewn across the path.
petals on the path

I am reminded of a line from the movie The Last Samurai. “Like these blossoms, we are all dying.” It was not a lament. It was spoken more in wonder. The realization of death was the realization of life. If we are aware that are days are numbered we should live them more fully.

Watch the clip it makes more sense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQooui1eRhw

With my new found philosophical insights I returned home and played a video game.  Somebody has to stop the ice men.

Photo o the day: Illinois

Food Friday: Pasta Salad

home made pasta salad

My style of cooking is more art than science. I view recipes as starting points.  I like to substitute things and just add in whatever is handy or in season. So I appreciate dishes that make it easy to add ingredients. Pasta salad is one of those dishes.

Ingredients:

  • Some pasta(I used the traditional tri color rontini) 
  • Good Olive Oil
  • vinegar 
  • garlic
  • Thyme, basil, oregano
  • add ons
Cook the pasta according to the instructions.
While that cooks we are going to make a standard vinagrette dressing.  I make this a lot.  It is my go to dressing for almost any salad.  A three to one ratio lies at the heart of the vinagrette. You use one part vinegar for each three parts of olive oil.  For this I used six tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of vinegar.  I add one crushed or finely diced garlic clove per three tablespoons olive oil.  So I used two.  Then add the thyme, basil, and oregano to taste.  I sometimes add the optional step of a quarter teaspoon of sugar per three tablespoons of olive oil.  Give it a good whisk to combine everything.
Just dump the done pasta into the bowl with the vinagrette. Now for the add-ons.  I went with sun dried tomatoes and sliced black olives because that is what I had in my pantry.  All sorts of things work in this though. I’ve used feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, celery, and even some ham.  Just use this as an easy way to deal with some old stuff lying around your kitchen.
Enjoy!
Wonky out.

Why corporate controlled social media is teh debil

Oh blogging I love you so.  Not really my own blogging attempts because those have been sporadic and unsatisfying.  I love blogging because in my mind it is one of the only true social medias.  Early entrants into the category of true social media are chat channels, mostly thinking of irc here, and message boards.
This is a post I’ve actually started many times.  I have had trouble putting it into words. To be blunt I hate corporate controlled “social media”. In the past whenever someone would mention Facebook my standard comment was “Facebook is teh debil”.  Hey I was chatting in irc.  Twitter started off nicely but has recently taken a wrong turn.

So what is real social media.  It can be directly related to the old irc and message board concept.  It’s the internet version of a group of people with a common interest getting together.  Imagine having some people over to you house for a get together.  You talk about your life, share pictures of the kids, get everyone caught up on what is going on your life.  Maybe you sit around the tv and watch a show. There is inherently no difference between that and what is happening on facebook or in the comment section of a blog.
So along comes a man. Let us call  him Mack Zinkerburg. So Mr. Zinkerburg builds his own living room.  It rather poorly built and kinda confusing, but he invites everybody over to carry on their conversations.  For reasons inexplicable to me, loads of people stop by.  No Mr. Zinkerburg has not done this out of the goodness of his heart. He wants money. As much money as he can possibly get and he isn’t to scrupulous about how he gets it.

So in this poorly living room he has placed a billion microphones and cameras to capture every piece of information about you he can.  He learns every single thing he can about you and all your friends.  He then sells that information to someone how then uses that information to try and sell you things. Oh but Mach doesn’t stop there.  He lets some people pay him money so they can force their way into your conversation.  There you are discussing the latest episode of The Walking Dead and up pops some random stranger trying to sell their walking dead fan fiction.  They get to do this because they’ve paid Mack a shiny dollar per person they wish to interrupt.

Surely Mack is done being greedy and controlling.  Nope there is more. He decides you don’t really need to hear all that your friends are saying.  He starts filtering out your communication.  Only half of what you are saying is getting to your friends.

To be serious as a wrap up.  I find for profit social media to be offensive and completely unnecessary. I find it offensive because fundamentally I don’t see them as having the right to profit off of information about me. I’ve long thought that personal information(phone number, online searches, etc) should be considered the property of that person. For every dollar google makes of the info they have about me I should get 95 cents.  Secondly it is unnecessary.  The internet is filled with open free alternatives that foster communication and community without the profit motive or incursions into private information. At its best the internet fosters openness and sharing. It contains the promise to be the democratizer of information and culture, but greed is turning it into a series of the closed gardens were people spend all day trying to figure out how to shove the maximum amount of adds in your face. I guess you can say I am a kinda techno hippie.

Spring has sprung

A Life Worth Blogging

I sit on my couch with my netbook in my lap.  My cat keeps trying to sit in my lap and seems confused by this plastic thing in the way. I have tried to think of something to blog about so I am resorting to the worst sort of blog post, a post about blogging.

I think there are four main types of blog. You have the corporate blog. These exist for the synergising of brand awareness… or something else made up.  I avoid these like the plague. There is the pro bloggers. People who are an expert in a field and tend to write on that subject.  A couple of examples from my own blog feeds, a blog on woodworking by a professional woodworker, and a blog by a tech writer about laptops.  Thirdly are the theme blogs. Blogs about politics or discussing a specific type of news story. Think of blogs with an agenda. And finally my favorite type of blog, the personal blog.  I read a lot of personal blogs. Most of them are about expats living outside their home country.  This provides them with a nice exciting hook.

As I have returned to blogging I often wonder if my life is worthy of being written about. Seeing as I spend most of my time at a sports bar, probably not :).  Don’t worry I plan to keep blogging. It’s not really that I don’t have topics to blog.  Mostly I need to find the will to do it.  I can easily find the time. And perhaps the desire to blog will help me do something more interesting than just watching every single Blackhawks game.

The Bar – a flash fiction

I slowly pull the sticker off my bottle. It slips off the wet surface easily. The bartender had just pulled it out of a large bucket of ice.I lined the sticker up below the previous one. I’ve done this for years. I always have told myself that I do this so I can keep track of how many beers I should be charged for. You see my buddy owns this bar and would often only charge me for half what I drank. In truth I did it to keep track of how many I had drunk in any night. Once the number reaches upward of eight to ten I found it easy to lose track.

I am sitting in the farthest corner of the cramped bar with my back to a wall. I glance around the dimly lit room and my distaste grows. Like usual on a Friday, the drunks have packed the place. A sneer crosses my lips. A bunch of thirty something drunks trying to party like they are still twenty-five. The music is too loud. The DJ calls up the latest victim to attempt to sign karaoke. Two drunken women stumble forward and and begin bellowing off key. Several couples slobber over each other awkwardly.

My buddy next to me, even older than I am, tries in desperation to impress the almost passed out twenty year old college student next to him. She leans into him and stumbles through a slurred sentence. He looks at me with a big smile on his face. I just shake my head sadly. The place smells of desperation and sad dreams.

The bartender, Al, walks over with a shot glass in his hand. Depending on the day Al looks between fifty and eighty years old. Tonight he looks eighty. It’s been a long busy day of helping to drown out these peoples regrets.

He puts the glass filled with an unknown liquid in front of me. Without a word he points across bar to an old drinking buddy of mine. He raises his glass and I waggle my bottle back at him.

I hand the shot glass to my friend next to me. He passes it on to the drunk girl. I can’t help but think I am facilitating a future crime.

My head pounds as there is a break in the karaoke. I squeeze the bridge of my nose hoping to push away the pain. I drink the last of what is in my bottle and place it on the counter.

Al reaches into the cooler asking me with his eyes if I want another. I shake my head no and make a gesture to indicate my bill. He shakes his head and waves me away. I place a twenty on the bar under the bottle and stand up. I look down at the three labels that are on the counter in front of me. Non alcoholic, non alcoholic, non alcoholic, they all say. Al still doesn’t understand the reason I come here is to support him.

I weave my way through the mass of sweating bodies trying not to touch them. The heat is oppressive. Near the door I pass by a couple making out like teenagers. I shake my head again and walk out. The cool air hits me and begins to clear my headache up. They say no one hates smokers as much as an ex smoker. I guess no one hates drunks as much as an ex drunk.

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