Yearly Archives: 2004

Owner’s mentality

I was reading my aggregated feeds the other day, when what do I come across?  A post by Paul Murphy that quoted one of my posts… I have to admit that it was a little weird coming across something like that.  Generally, I have always gone into this blogging thing as though no one reads my ramblings… Apparently there are some listeners, though.  I honestly have no clue who reads this, and I think I’m better off not knowing. 

Anyway, so it was pretty cool to read Paul’s take on what I had written.  I think he meant to call me a closet owner, rather than a closest owner, but maybe I’m mistaken.  How he summed up what I was trying to say, was pretty close to what I’ve been thinking.  I’ve always felt in one way or another that I’m not really cut out for the regimented daily routine.  I’m not saying that I can’t work for 12+ hours a day (length of time doesn’t really matter), but I wouldn’t be doing that on an assembly line.  I can definitely see pouring my heart and soul into something that I truly believe in.  At the same time, each day that passes is another that I’m not completely owning my environment.

I have sort of been lying low with the idea of becoming self dependent, with the hopes that I will come up with an idea that I know will work.  As I read more, though, it seems as though there are different ways to go about that.  Rather than trying to come up with a specific nitch or product, I like Paul’s recommendation with coming up with a direction.  I’m not a big fan of using the term goal – I think that they limit you to some degree. 

I do like the points Paul brought up relating to owners mentality:

  • Owners’ mentality says, "I can get someone else to do it for me."
  • Owners’ mentality says, "I can find a better way."
  • Owners’ mentality says, "I’m right even when I’m wrong, because I KNOW so. (flat-earthers were ‘right’ in their day)"
  • Owners’ mentality says, "I can do whatever I put my mind to because I can."
  • Owners’ mentality says, "I can. I can. I can. I can."
  • Owners’ mentality says, "It’s my fault when things go wrong, even when someone else did it for me."
  • Owners’ mentality says, "No matter what, I will not fail. When I don’t succeed, I will try again."
  • Owners’ mentality says, "Teamwork is a bunch of people doing what I say."

So, I’m going to spend some time and find out how I can change the world.  I do think there are things that need to be changed, and apparently it is possible for one person to make a difference.

I want to thank Paul for offering any mentoring about this subject.  I’m sure I’ll take advantage of that as the need arises, or if I find myself in a slump.

As a side note, I think that it’s pretty cool to be communicating across blogs like this.  It’s sort of like loosely coupled forum topics/posts 🙂

Btw, feel free to call my Jim, James, or any derivative of the name 🙂  I usually go by Jim, but sometimes it’s different for certain situations/people…

I know French…

Or at least I did in a dream that I had last night.  It was a pretty realistic dream, and I can definitely remember the latter part of it.  It involved me at a coffee bar of sorts.  At the point I can remember, I was talking to a waitress (I think) and got her number.  I had planned to go out with her within the next couple days.  Instead of leaving, I started talking to another girl.  This girl ended up being the roommate of the one that I first talked to.  This one spoke in French to me, however.  She was a French exchange person (not sure if she was a student or not).  So, I setup a date with her to – this time it involved a dinner that she was going to make for me.  Before I left the coffee bar, the first girl came up to me and said something like “If you continue to see [insert roommates name here], I will begin to hate you.” 

Very strange dream, but I guess it encompasses what is going on in my life.  Another part that I can remember is walking down a street that reminded me a combination of Brady & Water.  The catch is that it was similar to a side street near Brady, where there is a little deli/market, that I used to run down. It also reminded me of the part of Water street where Trocadero (sp?) is located…

Other than that, I was in Green Bay for the night.  I stopped up to visit some friends for the holidays, since I’ll be celebrating the winter solstice in Michigan this year. 

If you’re visiting Green Bay and looking for the best place to get the best [butter] burgers, or in my case their sea burger, head over to Kroll’s East or West locations.  I’ve gotten the same thing from that restaurant for as long as I can remember… Sea burger on a soft bun (no onions), cheese curds, bowl of chicken dumpling soup, and a chocolate malt….. mmmm…. so good.

Web communities (warning… ramblish)

It’s really weird to be on the forefront of technology sometimes. I’m not saying that I’m bleeding edge, but I would consider myself ahead of the majority of internet users. For example, it appears as though blogging has really taken off to the masses in 2004. I gave a speech about blogs & rss in early 2003 for an Intro to Computers class that I took with a friend (don’t ask). I had “blogged” for about a year before that. Before that, I would post occasional thoughts to my ad hock (I jumped platforms a few times) website that I started in ’96. Anyway, the point of this entry is that it seems that the internet is moving from the cool thing of everyone registering a domain so that they can have a website, too… to sort of weeding down to websites with content that gets updated somewhat regularly. It seems to me that communities are becoming more of a part of the online experience than just commerce. In a way, it’s going back to how I remember the internet before the bubble. Back in the days that I was a regular on IRC…

It always seems that once the masses start using something that has been cool to more tech savvy people, the techies move on… The techies create something else so that they can keep feeling elite in their own virtual world.

I really think that while forums have existed for a while, the idea of a web community is evolving. I think that in a way, various websites are forming as a combination of Orkut, blogging, forums, etc where people can “hang out” or be a part of a community of people interested in the same things. The Orkut reference fits in because if you hang around that community enough, you start to get to know the people on a more personal/psychological way than just reading an obscure post.

The communities thing is good and bad. I feel it’s good because it gives you an opportunity to go to one place to hear many voices. Some communities are very specific while others touch many topics. The downside to these websites is that it is hard for the little person to be heard again. Yeah, occasionally a community or two will link to an obscure website, but that only gives the owner their 15 minutes of fame. The exception is that if the owner of that linked website consistently produces interests for people…

Whew… How was that for a ramble?

Cleared my mind of built up feelings about a friend

I talked with a friend tonight… She was once my best friend, someone I confided in, and will always be with me in one way or another. Anyway, I had been thinking about us for a while and I wanted to get some things off of my mind. I had the conversation swirling through my mind for a couple weeks because we just couldn’t find the time to be together to talk. Anyway, I just told her that there didn’t need to be dinner or drinks or any particular reason, to get together, other than getting this off of my chest.

It’s weird… when I originally was putting together thoughts about what I wanted to tell her, I had strong emotions for wanting to get back together with her. But strangely, with each passing day that it just didn’t work out for us to meet, those feelings changed slightly. I met some other people throughout that time, and I have to admit that one made me feel as good [mentally] as Jeana once did. I had a blast talking to her and things just went well. It’s easy to feel good with someone physically, but to be mentally attracted to someone is the difficult thing.

So anyway, the main focus of my conversation w/ Jeana had to do with a realization that I had about our split-up. I just basically realized that I wasn’t ready for the "next-level" that our relationship was headed towards. So I got scared (subconsciously?) and backed away… well, the pieces fell where they did and we’re both where we are today because of that… I also told her that I don’t feel comfortable seeing her with another person, yet, so I don’t know what will happen in the future – as far as hanging out, etc…

Long story short, it felt good to get that out of the way. We ended up talking for a while… just about random things. I’m undecided if I would want to start a relationship with her again. I know we can click really well, together, but there is a thought (in both of us) that maybe we’re just not right for each other.

It’ll be an interesting road from here on out, but it’s one that I’m ready for…. Or so I tell myself 🙂

Doubting life

I’m not really sure what pre-empted it, but this past Sunday evening, I became very depressed/curious about life in general. I was pretty hung over that day, so that might have had some sort of effect on it. Did the alcohol from the night before just kick in as a depressant that day? Probably, but I don’t know/care now…

What I do know is that I analyzed the purpose, or lack there of, of why I’m here. I still can’t find a reason, but maybe it will come about before I die… I’ve had a similar conversation with people before, and it’s also possible that I have already fulfilled my purpose, and I just don’t know it. For example, maybe it’s my purpose to write this crap down so that someone in virtual land can come across it and use it to spark a revolution. That’s for another ramble, though…

I just started thinking about what we, as humans, do while we’re alive. I really don’t think that we’re much more than slaves. I know that I’ve heard it before, but I never thought about it in this way. I always just thought that Jim told people that they were slaves because the general public seems to lack innovation/creativity and generally gets lumped together, mentally, like sheep. Think about it [if you can ;)], the majority of people are happy talking about the weather, happy in their 9-5 jobs, and generally happy going through the same routine till retirement or they die. I think the terror alert system just proves this point. How easy people’s emotions/thoughts can be swayed by a meaningless scale brought on by the controlling force. Sunday, however, I thought about it differently. Look at what we do throughout our lives… we are born, go to school, work, and for some, procreate to keep the cycle going on. How many people truly see the fruits of their labor? I am beginning to think that what I think of as the ancient lifestyles (Indian, Egyptian, etc) was healthier for people’s souls.

It sort of left me wondering what I should do… How can I make this time, that I may or may not ever see again, worth it? I feel sort of weird, though… not having proof of anything before or after life, is sort of weird. It makes me wonder why the hell I’m stuck in the middle of life.

I have realized that I desire that which I cannot have. It’s unfortunate, but I think that goes to the heart of human nature. The next step is to use my head to accept that I cannot have everything that I want, but I will also use it to try to get attain certain things out of reach.

So I guess when it comes down to it, I am going to try to learn as much while I’m here. I’m definitely going to take more things less seriously. And in general, I’m going to try to maintain an Epicurean philosophy and just try to enjoy each day as it comes… for tomorrow will be my last… With my ultimate goal of when I look back upon my days, I will try to not regret anything.

Installed a garage door opener

This weekend, I installed a garage door opener.  I picked up the cheapest ($130) one I could find at Sears and figured it would be a snap to put in.  It wasn’t hard, but it took longer than expected.  Since there was no prior opener, I had to build a structure, coming from the middle of the garage ceiling, to support the opener.  Now, if I had installed an opener previously, I would have probably built the structure using pieces of angled metal.  Instead, I chose to build mine using 2x4s.  It ended up being very sturdy…. Even to the point of me feeling comfortable hanging from it. 

Other than that, I had to put in an electrical outlet near the opener.  A good friend of mine let me use a couple tools, so that I could accomplish all of this.  Without those, I would probably still be opening the door by hand… anyway, if I get a chance, I’ll post a couple pictures of the wooden structure that I built.  I’m proud of it 🙂

Update: Due to demands, I have posted some pictures, available in the photo gallery.

New car and a story from the old car

After 9 years, I decided it was time to retire my 88 Honda Accord… I have been through quite a bit with that car, and it saddens me to close that chapter of my life.  At the same time, I can’t express how happy I am with my new car (2004 Saab 93 Arc).  Some of the major events that happened with my 88 Accord include running through/over a brick wall that was about 3 feet high, to recently putting 2 and 1/2 dozen eggs into the radiator to try to plug a hole that just wouldn’t stop leaking…

Going back to the brick wall thing… It was a pure joy listening to Mary Smits bitch me out in the early am hours that July 3rd (1996) night… Her husband, who was thankfully much nicer and understanding, allowed me to come back the next day to fix the damage I did to the wall.  I (with the help of my brother) did fix the wall and made it look better than it did before the incident, since I also fixed a portion that was hit by a snow plow truck some time before I got up close & personal with the wall… We even got out of the chemical plant that day, in order to fix the wall…  I thought that was a particularly nice effect from the accident.

A bit of history about that night, I suppose… it was a nice summer night (Friday, I believe).   A couple of friends and I decided to meet some other friends at a cottage that was located on a beach, [20 miles or so] north of Green Bay, to watch some neighborhood fireworks.  During those days, it wasn’t uncommon for either myself or my friend, Mike, to just alternate driving responsibilities.  We normally had an open cooler (cardboard box w/ a plastic bag & ice [from Arbys – Thanks Massart!]) in the backseat of the car.   I believe the drink of choice, those days, was Bud Ice or Bud Ice Light… Apparently the increased alcohol content was needed.  So anyway, if we didn’t find a place to hang out, we would just entertain ourselves while driving around.  Otherwise, if we did find a place, we would have already started our party, and happy days for us… 

That night, I was particular frisky behind the wheel, and I can remember driving my car half in the ditch, half on a country road because I liked how the little weeds hit my front headlight.  I recall that when I brought the car to get fixed, one of the mechanics made mention that I should make sure to clean all of the little pieces of weed from the engine compartment so that I wouldn’t clog the air vents… Gee.. .wonder how those got there.  Anyway, we made it to the cottage and met up with everyone on the beach.  I "frolicked" with a girl that I liked at the time, but before I knew it the beach party was coming to an end, I was back behind the wheel.  I must have thought I was in a race car because I got the Honda up to speed and into 3rd gear, in a relatively short distance.  This part gets a little hazy… but I tried to take a turn (on an incline) that I thought curved to the right, but in actuality was a T intersection.  The car basically slid/skidded into the wall, going probably 30-40mph.  When I went back to fix the wall, I was able to see 4 black streak marks from the tires… Anyway, I cracked & spider-webbed the front windshield with my head, got a flat tire, and did about $2000 damage to the left front portion of my car.  Also, the cooler splashed against the front windshield.  Thankfully, I was able to hobble my car up the road a little ways, so I wouldn’t have to directly confront the people from the beach.  Also, thankfully, everyone in the car was ok and just a little shaken up… So, I noticed right away that something wasn’t right (more than the quarter panel being fucked) as I drove, so I pulled over.  I got out and saw that the tire was flat and the rim was pretty fucked up.  I proceeded to tear into my trunk and grab the spare & wrenches.  Note… at this point, I had never changed a tire, I just heard about how to do it from some TV show.  I was about 90% done changing the tire when a car came down the roadway, towards the cottages.  Out came Mary Smits and her husband… He took my info, asked if I was ok to drive and told me that he’d talk to me the next day.  I then proceeded to hobble my car back home and go through the agony of explaining what happened, to my parents.  It wasn’t fun, but I have to admit that I’m happy that the incident sort of calmed me down and nothing worse happened.  By the way, Stephanie, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re still not pissed at me, and I hope you can invite friends back to your cottage again.  I’m sorry for the pain I caused you…

There were so many other things that happened while I drove that car (including yelling many Spanish curse words at unsuspecting pedestrians/commuters)… way to many things to fit into this blog entry, but maybe I’ll dive back into my thoughts and memories, at a later point in time.

Great interview w/ Bill Murray

I’m a fan of Bill Murray…. this is probably one of the better interviews (by Jessica Lee Jernigan) that I’ve read, and the fact that it involves Bill is just a nice cherry on top.  I would really enjoy reading interviews if they flowed so smoothly as this… it gives you a feeling for how the person is in real life, rather than what their latest movie/book is about.  A nice change from typical journalism…

Weird surgery dream….

Last night I had a weird dream… It originally involved me giving a c-section to an opossum type of animal. I was astonished by the number of babies that I pulled out.. They came out in a tangled group and many of them were cold and dead. That’s pretty much all I remember about that portion of the dream…

It then moved to me doing surgery on my brother. For some reason, I took a scalpel and sliced along his rib section. I then pulled the skin down and took out a package. Maybe it was the fact that I watched a Star Trek movie the night before, but this process resembled opening up a portion of the chest cavity of a droid… Anyway, the package was a little white rectangle type package wrapped in plastic. Again, I don’t know why I was doing the surgery (other than to remove the white package thing) and I don’t know what happened afterwards (other than he was better off)…

My Vote 2004

Yep, I voted yesterday… It really wasn’t a bad process, though I do think there is room for improvement. Overall, it took about 45 minutes for me to get in, register, and cast a vote… I did find out that I didn’t meet the must live for at least 10 days at the registered address. Apparently that didn’t seem to matter, as they still allowed me to vote.