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June 2007 - Posts

Small Victories

 Rabbit in the Moon - Lets Dance

Last Friday I did something kind of unusual for me, I went out to a concert! I went to see Rabbit in the Moon, a really cool trance group probably most famous for their tune "Out of Body Experience". I had a freakin' blast there! Danced for about 3 hours and was sweaty as hell, haha. The freaks and geeks scene is definitely one I enjoy.

The thing I'm most happy about though is actually going at all. When I saw they were going to be playing near me something inside me said I have to go see them. I had actually seen an ad for another event that I really wanted to go to but bailed on it because of my usual fears. But not Rabbit in the Moon I thought! It's interesting now recollecting my thoughts and feelings leading up to that Friday night. I went from being really apprehensive about it to comfortable leadership. Leadership in the sense of taking charge of things, even if it was only myself and someone else going. Still, I did genuinely lose my fear and I'm most proud of that.

In another post I mentioned about accepting being afraid, not trying to hide from it or fight it or anything. Ever since that post I've been feeling a kind of gathering of power within myself. Not too long after the post I had a visualization in my head of looking down on a person from a bird's-eye perspective as they were standing up. It's like once I really accepted that I was afraid I gathered to myself...myself. Really, when you deny any part of yourself you expend energy doing so and the more you deny in some fashion the more energy you expend. If at some point you come to a place where you accept that which you formerly resisted you, quite literally, draw that part of you to yourself; you become more whole, less fragmented. Another nice bonus is that you suddenly seem to have more energy since you no longer need to direct it towards denial of self.

I think true happiness is possible, I really do, but I'm thinking it comes more from acceptance of yourself. And I mean true acceptance, not just paying lip service to the concept, or saying you understand the concept. It's not easy work to do, to truly accept yourself, although it might seem so. If it really were so easy why aren't you always happy? You can attempt to fool others if you want, but never ever fool yourself. Hmm, much to learn have I.

Posted: Wed, Jun 27 2007 1:16 AM by Humpty
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Mmm, yogurt

I started eating yogurt a few weeks ago after I read something in Men's Health magazine about it containing protein. Before then I had always associated yogurt with dieting females, since dieting was the only context I had heard of people eating yogurt. I decided to buy one cup and try it out before I went skating.

NASTY!!!

OMG, that had to be one of the nastiest things I've ever eaten before in my life! I seriously thought about spitting it out, but since I was at work and other people were in the office I decided to swallow. Yuck. It was actually the fruit on the bottom kind and I had taken a spoonful before mixing it up, so I had plain yogurt. After mixing it up it was better but still kind of nasty.

I read up more on yogurt though and discovered it's a very healthful food to eat. The main thing I learned though is that it's basically fermented milk; I knew so little about yogurt I didn't even know what it was. Aside from that it has probiotic bacteria. Now that is really cool! The brand I've only ever eaten is Stonyfield Farms. Aside from being organic it has 6 live active cultures of bacteria. One of which, L. Reuteri, kills E. Coli and Salmonella. How cool is that, instead of waiting to get sick from these things you can eat something to maintain a defense against them!

After trying many different flavors of yogurt I've settled on key lime and french vanilla as my favorites, I mean they really taste good! And because yogurt is so good for you, and has a good amount of calories, I've replaced the chips in my lunch with yogurt so I can eat it close to every day.

Posted: Sat, Jun 16 2007 5:40 PM by Humpty | with 1 comment(s)
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Rainy Days / Stages of Life

I love days like today, nice 'n rainy! Even better, it's a warm summer rain, even though it's technically still spring. I get into an even more introspective mood during these kinds of days. There's something magical about them when the rain stops and it's warm, and a bit muggy out, cloudy skies that are brightly lit in spots, and the calm of everyone being inside. It's like every thing takes a break from whatever it was doing, it's nice. Really puts me in a contemplative mood as I stare at nature.

Today was interesting because I saw someone I went to college with pregnant while I shopped for groceries, coupled with the rainy day I just started thinking about life and time. So very many possibilities in living a life. The "child" I saw many days at college is going to be a mommy real soon. Me? I've yet to really settle down with anyone else even though I have the desire to. I like my solitude a lot of times though, which puts me a bit at odds with my shacking up desire. I've turned down a lot of opportunities so I must prefer solitude to companionship.

When I was a kid, around 8 or so, I thought up the 7 stages of life people go through. (I threw away the list at some point so I just think it's 7, but I did have a list.) I framed it according to the seeming plan for my life so it revolves around school.

1. Child (birth - 6): This is the time when you're new to the world and largely getting accustomed to it.

2. Elementary school (7 - 12): Still growing up, you have the basics of this thing called life pretty much down. Making friends, going to school, you have an awareness about yourself such that you can actually remember life events more. Not too many responsibilities placed upon you, you can largely just enjoy life.

3. High school (13 - 17): Puberty's hit and it's a whole new life from here on out. Relationships start dominating more, whether it's romantic / sexual, cliques, or friends. You never really stop growing up but you start looking back on your life more, changing or challenging pre-existing patterns. Said another way: teenage rebellion.

4. Young adult (18 - 25): You're an adult, you can live on your own and be your own person! Time to explore life and live it with you in charge instead of parents. You start acquiring adult responsibilities. Maybe you start a family, maybe you already have, maybe you'll wait, who knows.

5. Adult (26 - 46): Full-fledged adult human with all that goes with it. Probably you'll start a family because you've explored life as you would choose to live it, you're pretty much your own person now. In many ways the rest of your life has been preparation for this point.

6. Mid-life (47 - 52): Cripes, you're old, when did that happen! Death's door isn't as far away as you always thought it was, time to make some changes. That youthful teenage rebellion period where you looked back on your life and made changes strikes again. All the procrastinations, all the things you said you'd do later, now is when you realize you can't do that forever.

7. Old-age (53 - death): Lived a full life, done a lot, seen a lot, changed a lot. Your body's changing on you, letting you know in no uncertain terms it's almost time for you to depart this life. In many ways can be a freeing time since you're largely passed life and have come to terms with dying; lets you approach your life in a different way than before.

The age ranges above are, of course, approximate and it's really up to each person to decide where they're at, but the classifications themselves seem as valid to me now as when I first thought it up.

You know, my absolute favorite kind of weather is the strong wind that precedes a thunderstorm. The wind is blowing strong and feels really nice, lots of excitement for what's to come, dark skies charged with intermittent lightning, it's perfect. But I can only experience it for a while because the nature of it is such that it's destined to end, eventually the rain comes and the moment's gone.

Windows Vista sucks!

I think I'm going to switch to using Linux on my home computer, seriously. I have Windows XP now like the majority of people, but I've been using Windows Vista at work since December. Maybe it just needs a service pack release but as it stands now it sucks. I couldn't imagine spending $200 for it. It has some cool eye candy like the translucent window frames, but the windows have to not be maximized to get this effect and since my windows are almost always maximized I hardly ever get to see this eye candy. The sidebar it has is nifty, but again I never get to use it since my windows are always maximized so they cover it up. User Access Control needs some tweaking, especially if you're a developer like me who regularly edits files in directories outside your home directory. My biggest gripe here is when I double-click a file from Windows Explorer and open it in Notepad and try to save my edits. Whoops, you don't have permission! For Crist sakes, I'm the administrator and I don't have permission!! See when you login to Vista you get two user tokens if you're an admin, one an admin token and the other a regular user token, the Explorer shell is created with the regular user token which means nearly every program you launch has regular user credentials, including double-clicking a file to open in Notepad. You can create a Notepad shortcut that opens with admin credentials, but double-clicking a file doesn't use that, of course, so Notepad still has regular user permissions. Crud, what a mess.

So since Vista sucks so bad I'm not really inclined to switch to it at home; and I need to wipe my hard drive. See I got a virus on one of them last year, a root kit no less, so even though I thought I cleaned it up I decided to pop in another drive and use that one as my main drive. Bad bad bad. My 120 GB drive is a SATA drive and my other drive is a 20 GB PATA drive. For some reason Maxthon freezes a lot while I'm browsing and it's because my hard drive is constantly spinning. I never had this problem until I started using this PATA drive as my system drive so I'm going to get rid of it. But, since my SATA drive is suspect I need to wipe it first before I switch to it.

So I have about 50 GB of data, give or take, to backup! Ha, I haven't done a backup in ages, I've just been moving data between drives over the years. But it's time I bite the bullet. I've decided to finally clean up my mp3 collection so that when I do backup everything I'll have a permanent collection of my mp3s. This is taking me a while actually because I have a lot of stuff. Pain in the ass to look up all this artist info... MediaMonkey makes it easier since I can lookup data from Amazon and get cover art and other info really fast.

So I was thinking if I'm going to wipe my hard drive why not try Linux. I've tried it every now and then over the years and it didn't seem too bad, but the user interface always put me off for some reason. Recently a friend of mine has been showing me Sabayon and Ubuntu Linux distros and they look really cool! Sabayon had this nifty 3D cube desktop whereby if you dragged a window to the edge of the screen it would flip to another desktop. Also, dragging a window at all makes it jiggle. It's all eye candy; but hey, it's what I like. :) Overall I just like the fact that I'll be using an OS that encourages modification, gets bugs fixed fast, etc. And it's just something new to play with. It's probably more secure than Windows but I don't really care about that since honestly my Windows system isn't that insecure. (I did get a virus, yes, but it was my fault for messing around with questionable programs from questionable sources. ;) )

Posted: Sun, Jun 10 2007 3:03 PM by Humpty
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