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Luggage Report

2012.May.21st | 04:50 pm
location: Hermosa

I took off up the east coast and then west for 6-7 weeks, brought possibly too much luggage along with me, because I am a terrible traveler. Or that's what I'm trying to figure out...

Packed 4 dress shirts, acquired 3 more shopping. 5 of 7 have been used considerably, 1 is ruined from hoirsing around, and the other two were used once or not at all. The flannel and cashmere shirt-jacket had considerable use. Only 2 of 4 t-shirts had light use. All undershirts (except for black tanks) were used to the point of needing to do laundry. Have used 1 of 3 suit jackets/blazers. Cardigan used considerably often, and I've been looking for another. Wool sweater also used heavily in chilly New England. Slacks were used regularly, though 2 of 5 were not used at all. Brown and black belts used daily. Ran out of underwear and socks; similar to undershirts. Brought two pairs of shoes, acquired two more (hell) and have worn 3 of the 4 regularly. Only two pairs may make the next leg of this trip. There was no use for scarf and gloves.

Books and journals are weight. The painful experience of reading The Little White Bird on my phone puts me on the fence about real media vs digital. Still, packed 3 physical books, acquired 2 more (5 books!), and have read one (Bonk), along with the digital book. There is room for improvement in the coming weeks, and will likely read 1-2 more of these books and leave one with a friend. I would have prefered an easy digital read for 3 of these. I oddly packed 2 notebooks, which accomplish the same task, except one is for work; go figure. The second was not used, nor was a lineless leather-bound diary. And the sketch pad was used once.

Electronics were an issue. My carry-on barely fits the notebook and charger, which is not gigantic, but is heavy. I acquired a small bluetooth keyboard, hardly used and should be sent home, along with the mouse. It turns out I've been using this particular notebook long enough that I'm more confortable with the trackpad. Still, [dated] electronics are heavy, and I need to consider a replacement for my notebook if I continue hopping about, as well as a different mobile device with a lasting battery. Starbucks loves my extended stays because my phone decided to hit 15% battery remaining, which accelerates the degrade apparently. 30% to 15% is 60-75 minutes, whereas 15% to 0% is a max 45 minutes.

Truly, this is about utilizinig resources without over-allocating. I've paid for baggage twice and am lugging an extra 50lbs, bordering the standard baggage limits. Going over my notes allows me to reflect on the versatility of my style; I didn't need the extra jackets and slacks, though they are light-weight. I didn't need the extra books for entertainment, and should get rid of them promptly. Six-year old technology is becoming a hassle, but so is acquiring more technology that goes unused, even if it is sleek and compact. The ultimate versitile technology would be a small tablet that allows me full terminal access, phone and messaging, as well as portability and connection to an external flat panel. But for my line of work, I'm afraid the notebook is irreplaceable.

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Breaking Even

2012.Apr.6th | 07:41 pm
mood: complacentcomplacent

Finished showering. Arrived at the realization that on this day (pay day) I have broke even.

A little over three months ago, I started organizing my income-dept expenditures in order to relieve myself in the near future; I was bored on a road trip, okay? I acquired a fair amount of debt paying for university, which took much longer than it should have and thus cost more as I ran out of funding. It could have been worse, and I had excellent timing in landing my current job. But unlike a career, this achievement leaves me with a sense of renewal; weightlessness.

It's been 18 months since I started working but only a few since I was able to become serious about killing debt. Dropped some money on an airline ticket this week, but accounting for the cash in my pocket and the bank account I need to close, I am at zero weighing all positives and negatives. Were anything to happen, I could at least cash out and become a hobo with a boss credit score. Yes, this is my thought process.

But this is renewal, and the plane ticket, a sign to fly away. The thing about what I achieved in the past few months wasn't merely paying off stuff. I shifted and organized in advantageous ways such that all debt is now free to linger; no cost. Considering how I halved my debt in Q1, there's room to breathe as I drink another between night & blue.

I'm trying to stay optimistic with this full moon tonight, but there is no earthshine in a full moon.

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Reading into Complexity

2012.Mar.29th | 12:37 am

Having trouble staying asleep.. commotion doesn't help. Anyway, I was thinking of an article I read about "alcohol women enjoy" and some associations with various drinks. And while I'm all for enriching one's knowledge of women and reading into female complexities, I'm not sure these kind of "perspective" articles are what guys should be reading. For one, it is easy to misread one woman writing about her perspectives, with accentuation on the fact she is a woman, as a generalization for all women. This idea relates to the article mentioned, because if memory serves me right, the author was in some way "speaking" for all women, but I feel the notion can be dangerous depending on the [unintended] audience.

Women are complex and, in my opinion, require active attention rather than some kind of fixed rule-set to navigate by. I feel men are generally "simpler" in a sense and tend to be casually static by nature. But rule-sets do not work for men either. Everyone should learn "the person" and learning lasts a lifetime; attention is crucial. I may be stating the obvious, but it goes back to the idea of making statements while waving a flag.

I am a man and we love beer.

I can make this statement, but it's terribly slanted as a "[truthful] generalization about men." We fail to leave a disclaimer: please evaluate for yourself, don't take my word simply because I am part of the group. What's a less dangerous way to state the above?

Men love beer.

Notice how I am not part of this statement, and it follows as opinion rather than a questionable "fact." There may be less danger in learning these kind of generalizations about men because men are "simple" (not really). But I do believe it is far more dangerous to learn such generalizations of women, from women, speaking as women, about women in general. Regardless of gender, I do not feel this kind of voice is wrong or purposely misleading, but I feel the audience must avoid pitfalls and learn how to better read into complexity.

And I hope I don't sound sexist here. It's really fucking late and I was trying to sleep, but I think maybe over-accentuating one's membership when discussing supposed attributes of social groups (gender, sexual orientation, whatever) comes off as some factual generalization that isn't necessarily fact for every individual.

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Cycle Change-up

2012.Mar.15th | 09:15 pm

Next week I get to restructure my daily weight-training, which is kind of exciting since I've been on a recovery stint for a while. Weight may not be helping my shoulder as much as expected, but rowing happens to be excellent for light recovery. The primary issue with recovery weight is that it becomes boring. The most entertaining (challenging) exercise is the chin-up (technically a calisthenic) and will be accompanied by dips. These things will actually function as super set between bench and clean-and-press. Of course my set timing is going to be off so I'll have to adjust. I think a 2-3-5 scheme will be sufficient with so few exercises, whatever that is. Multi-group exercises have an attractive efficiency.

Suppose I should be gearing up to get back to focus on pure cardio this year. Bike is clean, arms ready to swim, feet ready to run.

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14 Hands

2012.Mar.4th | 08:33 pm

I had a thought or two about paint stripper since I'm currently working on a steel project. And, I don't have much to say only that most chemical stripper is hit-or-miss for the application. The issue is not product failure but efficiency; multiple layers of durable latex paint are a bitch. Anyway, I opened a bottle of 14 Hands '09 Cabernet tonight and was impressed. I've been drinking Chateau St. Michelle and Clos du Bois merlots, which are great and easily found across the country, but this 14 Hands is delicious and extra casual. I was surprised. This is the third reasonably priced wine I've found this year that I'd love to keep on hand until autumn 2013. Maybe next year I'll share my secret selections.

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House Sitting

2012.Jan.3rd | 03:27 pm

My aunt and family decided to take the kids somewhere in the deep south. I'm guaranteed to house sit for a few days while they're gone due to some break-ins and ransacking which occurred in their neighborhood recently. Strange to need someone there since they have an alarm, but there's also the big massive midnight German Shepard to look after. He is about the size of a horse, but very sweet, so it's no bother.

I was able to relax quietly and watch some football and futbol on their nice home theater system. Yet I'm not one to enjoy house sitting due to the awkward feeling. It's not my house, everything is in confusing places, and I don't want to rearrange anything. Personally I'd rather check on the house and dog to make sure everything is safe instead of staying the night there. I slept on the couch, since I don't think either of my cousins are neat or hygienic at that age. The lacking item is familiarity, but sometimes I can find comfort when I'm unfamiliar with a place to rest. Does this even matter? Probably not, I'll only be there a few days. But I have to wonder what are the subconscious effects.

Whether or not I'm actively learning new territory (and it's not exactly 'new') I believe my mind is processing as much 'new' information it possibly can in order to adapt and ground. Distracting in a whole new way! Getting into the daily pattern with work and solutions takes effort, and it's something I noticed when I was out in North Carolina as well as when first going out-of-office. This is something I'll have to overcome if I want to roam around, or maybe I can restructure my technological dependencies. Hm, a thought to think about.

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