Some of my earliest memories are of playing with my food, usually something I did not like. That was after making a face about having to eat it.
These days I do something similar, especially when pondering serious questions. Some people meditate, but I take this:
. . . and make this:
I am capable of doing a better job of drawing, but not when I’m thinking deep thoughts.
What am I thinking about, you ask?
. . .
Well? Are you gonna ask?
“Sorry; what are you thinking about?”
Well, Bob, I’ll tell you . . . no, wait. Whenever I write my opinions about stuff people just roll their eyes and ignore me. How about I give you a few links?
First up, I give you advice about life from THIS GUY. He swears a bit but is otherwise surprisingly close to my thoughts on many things. He provides material and advice for personal growth. I don’t know that I would buy his books and stuff because everything of his I’ve read, I already know.
Like, for instance, THIS piece listing five things they should teach in school.
If you click on the first link, you will notice links at the bottom of his ‘About’ page; his opinions on other topics.
You should click and read all of them. They appear, on occasion, bordering on offering contradictory advice, but not really; within the context of the topic, it’s pretty good advice.
If you are short on time, these three are the one I recommend reading:
The most important question of your life
Stop trying to be happy
Shut up and be grateful
Blueberry muffins are a surprisingly fertile ground for food faces. Here is another:
Heck, we’re almost there already . . . but I can add to it. I wanted to go for a Hannibal Lecter-type effects, but I failed miserably.
Here is the same muffin shot in a different light. I worked on it as I jumped into my next topic of contemplation.
By the way, as usual, these kind of images come from my phone, a Samsung Note II; I use Snapseed to adjust the image and I process the effects through Pixlr Express.
The Congressional Research Service recently released a REPORT on mass shootings in the US.
Reason.com has an ARTICLE on the report that is an easier read than the report itself.
As someone who is interested in issues involving guns, the report held no surprises. But, the topic of contemplation is the way people process information. In these days of near-instantaneous communication, news items are absorbed very quickly and personally.
For example, earlier this week I heard a story about a bomb disposal soldier being reunited with the dog he served with in the Middle East. It was a touching story, and also interesting and heartwarming. But the logical part of my brain was asking for my attention . . . the story was from Australia. In case people don’t know, I live in Colorado.
Is there really no more pertinent and useful news near where I live? Why the Foxtrot should I care about this piece of news? Somehow, I think the media is failing me.
Same with many of these shooting . . . we are drawn into the victims lives, the loss of their dreams and hopes, the tragedy of wasted lives. In doing so, it makes it seem as if the event is very close and personal, and it makes it seem as if it’s something that could happen to us. Yes, we should care, and care deeply, but it’s how that kind of reporting affects us that I want to focus on.
It can, of course, happen to us, but the odds are very, very small; about the same as being hit by lightning. That is no consolation if it does, in fact, happen to you, but in making decisions about how we live our own life we need to take a more informed approach than being yanked around by the media. First, you have to realize the media has an agenda of its own; it’s in it for the money. Second, you need to realize there are secondary agendas.
Say you are peripherally worried about bee stings, and the news constantly reports about people getting stung by bees all over the country. You might get the idea we have a bee stinging epidemic, and support calls for bee-keepers to regulate their bees.
Sure, you say that’s far-fetched, but is it? If I fear bees, I would not be happy learning my neighbor keeps two or three beehives in his back yard, loaded with thousands of bees, especially as if I see kids, elderly, pregnant women from around the country having allergic reactions to bee stings.
“Breaking news! Another bee sting incident in Albuquerque! A young mother and her two out-of-wedlock children were attacked by a swarm of bees. The mother was two days away from getting married, but now she may not fit into her see-through white dress and the wedding may have to be postponed until the birth of her third child.”
Why, I might be moved to petition the county, asking them to ban beehives within two hundred yards of any human-inhabited building. Never mind that bees range can be a few miles . . . out of sight, out of mind.
Now, think back some years back . . . do African Killer Bees ring a bell?
By the way, I did not like that particular version of Blueberry Muffin Enhancement, so I had worked on another from the same blueberry muffin.
That one reminds me of a certain North Korean Dicktator.
Now, people are probably tired of me writing about guns, about shootings, about criminals, about self-defense . . . but there is a reason why I come back to it.
One of the reasons is me reading an article like THIS.
For those too lazy to move the mouse and click on the link, it’s a piece calling for Police Departments to be run like Fire Departments. Cops should not be out there enforcing laws; they should only come when they are called.
Now, there are some interesting things in that piece. For instance, the author almost, almost, seems to be endorsing people taking charge of their own safety and protection. That’s something most people not only don’t think about but actively resist.
Anyway, the impetus of the article is that certain recent victims of police action would be alive today if cops were not out there on the street.
I will now let you in on one of my secrets . . . ever since I had my life threatened and was told by the cops that I should take steps to ensure my safety (essentially, exercise caution, be aware, and buy a gun), I’ve tried to keep up with the sentiment of cops in relation to current events, especially as it relates to crime and guns.
I read articles like
THIS and THIS. I also follow other sites run by LEOs that deal with defense strategies, concealed carry, and anything to do with staying alive in case the unthinkable happens. Except for one major difference, the strategies are surprisingly the same for both civilians and cops. The major difference? Civilians should always run away from trouble whereas cops have to get involved. (Edited To Add: Some of the sites tend to also carry political views that seldom reflect my views. My main interest is in the articles dealing with personal defense and police sentiment.)
Those two links will take you to two very interesting articles somewhat related to the Huffington’s article. Stuff you will not read in the news. Heck, I’ll give you a bonus . . . read what cops think of the Waze app HERE.
Nothing is ever simple, is it? Can we all say “unintended consequences”?
Anyway, I know only a few people will have reached to this point in the post, and of those, I’d be surprised if even one of you clicked on any of those links.
That’s fine; my job is not to shove things down people’s throats. In fact, I don’t even have a job when it comes to other people. I just volunteer information people will usually ignore.
By the way, these two . . .
. . . will also appear on future posts, but for now, here is a quick rendition . . .
The reason they will appear in future posts is that I can usually do multiple things with the same base photo.
For example, this toasted bagel . . .
. . . is the same as this one . . .
. . . just rotated to give a different perspective.
From that one piece of toasted bagel I can get all of these . . .
Wait! . . . I forgot the teeth . . .
So, we can see that, much like people, one individual piece can and does present different versions.
Which is the true one? Which is the genuine piece of toasted bagel slice?
Well, in this case, all of them . . . but people are not like that.
Would you like some pointers for spotting Genuine People? Would you like to use those same tools to yourself be a Genuine Person?
I wish I could say I meet all the criteria. FSM knows I try. I think I get closer every day that passes, and I like to think that my failures are small and inconsequential. Then again, I know a lot of people who take a serious dislike to me. Maybe I’m a big failure, and just don’t know it. I do like myself, so I’m not going to worry about it a whole lot.
One parting rendition . . .
No, that’s not me; I don’t wear earrings, I’m not blonde, and it’s been years since I’ve worn a tie or carried pens in my shirt pocket. These days, it’s reading glasses.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.