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Perfect Timing

Well, hello friends new and established! I’ve been off the radar for a minute, so my apologies to everyone who has been wondering what ever became of me.

I would like to kick off my blog with something awesome and profound. Matt Banner @ On Blast Blog suggests polishing the opening post and starting strong. Somewhere in his 40 tips for blogging is a quote about it never being the perfect time for anything.

However, there’s something to be said for mission accomplishment. I have been trying to find 30 min just to sign up but between driving for Uber, launching a business with my girlfriend, and chasing after two 6 year old terrors, it has evaded me. One key to getting shit done is being opportunistic with time, and right now is the perfect time to stare at my phone since life just gave me a great big slap on the sciatic nerve! Ugh, what incredible pain to suffer. I’ve never experienced anything like this before, but the last 7 hours has been relentlessly awful. Really, though, I don’t know which is worse-the actual pain or the frustration of being so incapacitated that I have to be dragged to the bathroom!

Well, considering the pen is mightier than the sword and I can’t even lift my head without agonizing pain, it is indeed the perfect time to get blogs up and other screen time efforts underway. I have a project I hope to post on IndieGoGo and events to line out for vending. I will be posting updates on all of my efforts here as well as my own ramblings. 

So, pretty as my first blog may or may not be, here it is!

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I have a lot of good stuff to fill my blog posts with, so I can roll with the ocean scene for a first. I was 18 years old on a cross country road trip when I first saw the Atlantic. Since then, I could hardly imagine living more than a couple hours from an ocean. Feeling small, so miniscule while gazing at the vastness is curiously enlightening. Few things in this world can ground you in the moment like that. Except a child’s love 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Meaning, Life, and Happiness

and The Glad Game

Maybe life is suffering. Maybe our existential dilemma is manifested by our station in life. Maybe, just maybe, we have to feel miserable in some way to know we are still alive. Is it then too far of a reach to think we all suffer the same degree?

To ask what is life in a non biological sense sort of begs the question what is the meaning of life? It seems age old and as far as I’ve ever known, nobody seems to have a clear answer. It seems to me that there is a logical error in asking this question, kind of like how you can’t divide by 0.* The question we should be asking is what is the meaning of my life? Can each and every person on Earth have an answer to that? …

From here, the question is succinct enough to convey the idea that each of us is, simply by existing, a part of a larger whole, yet it lies wide open for individual interpretation. What is the purpose of my life, the role my brain was molded for, the thing I’m meant to do? What is the legacy of my life, the thing that I’m known for, the impact I’ve made, the mark I have left, the decisions of others that I have influenced? What is the effect of my life, the impact I leave on my children, the change I have effected on the world, the difference I made? Destiny, perhaps? Meaning is the function that connects you to the world.

Given the meaning of one’s life is found, and life is lived to fulfill that meaning, does that in turn satisfy us? Can we be happy by simply living out our purpose? Does this ease the suffering of life? Surely, this isn’t the sole key to happiness in life? “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work again.” Isn’t that it?

Suppose you are fortunate enough to do what you enjoy doing and it somehow still doesn’t feel like work. You may have made peace with your self and your connection to the world, but any number of unfortunate fates await a person. Illnesses and traumas are inevitable, but merely an aside to the consequences of unfortunate connections and best intentions fallen by the wayside. What of happiness then? Can one find happiness in the worst of conditions, perhaps even if most of their life seems stricken by misfortune? What weight do we give the sufferings of life, when those in great suffering can find happiness in so many places and those of immense fortune cannot be happy for a moment?

What is happiness? Again, I think the common way of asking is inherently wrong. Happiness isn’t a thing, it’s how we feel when our mind is positively focused. Perhaps we should be asking, “Where is happiness?” This question prompts active search rather than passive pondering. Where do you find your happiness? That’s a question we can answer. Sure, there’s bucket lists and hobbies, friends and family. It’s easy to think of at least a couple answers to where you find your happiness. I had a friend in Colorado that would insist on playing The Glad Game. Simply take turns stating I’m glad that _ and fill in the blank with something that hasn’t already been used that day. Being as we did construction, it was sometimes modified to The Fucking Glad Game, especially after a few rounds! Nonetheless, it usually cut through the thickest clouds of misery and gave folks a reason to laugh. Maybe focusing on happiness for the sake of a game takes the pressure off of trying to think happy thoughts for the sake of being happy.

Money doesn’t buy happiness any more than love. It can only ease so much suffering. Maybe without financial stress, in a vehicle both sturdy to outside hazards and comforting to the rider, the other sufferings of life are more impacting.

I will wrap up my philosophical soap box speech with one last thought. Maybe what intrinsically ties together these concepts of life, meaning, and happiness is reason. What is the reason I live my life? What is the reason my life means what it does? What reason do I have to be happy? Maybe asking the right questions is the key to avoiding an existential crisis.

*Yes, I remember invoking L’Hopital’s Theorem to divide by an expression that simplifies to 0. Entirely beside my point though!

When Life Throws You Limes

The thing about having a green thumb is that you end up adopting and rescuing a lot of plants.

We visited our neighbor for my girlfriend’s birthday. I was shown a lime tree crawling with ants and asked if I knew how to deal with it. The ants were there to farm the scale which had infested it for a few weeks. The only way to tackle the problem is to repot it to get rid of the ants and scrub the leaves with a toothbrush and neem oil maybe twice per week. She figured it was too much effort for her and offered it to us.

A few scrubbings and fresh soil later, this Kaffir Lime is blooming and smells amazing!

Happy April!

When Life Throws You Limes

The thing about having a green thumb is that you end up adopting and rescuing a lot of plants.

We visited our neighbor for my girlfriend’s birthday. I was shown a lime tree crawling with ants and asked if I knew how to deal with it. The ants were there to farm the scale which had infested it for a few weeks. The only way to tackle the problem is to repot it to get rid of the ants and scrub the leaves with a toothbrush and neem oil maybe twice per week. She figured it was too much effort for her and offered it to us.

A few scrubbings and fresh soil later, this Kaffir Lime is blooming and smells amazing!

Happy April!

On a Limb

New plants from thin air

I have taken hundreds of clones by now. I couldn’t put a number to it, but since my girlfriend learned how to take cuttings we now go through a bottle of rooting hormone in less than a year.

One thing I have not attempted until now is ‘air cloning’ where rooting takes place before severing the new shoot from its mother plant. I didn’t bother with process pics, as it’s really just a moistened cotton pad wrapped in plastic.

Well, so there’s a bit more to it, I guess. I also make a few cuts into the cambium layer (sp?) and apply a couple drops of Vita Grow to the moistened cotton.

The mosquito citronella from a few weeks ago has started to fill out nicely. I find they are constantly shedding and growing new buds, so they are quite tempting to take cuttings from. Since this one has recently been so ignored and has been clipped back pretty heavily, I didn’t want to stress it anymore.

I expect to see roots in a few weeks and will post with follow up pics then.

While the Sun Shines

Things have been much sunnier in the great PNW these last couple weeks. It rained projects on me a couple weeks ago as I made my big move, and I’m only now getting to call a couple of them complete. Self employment is usually feast or famine, so I’ve been ‘making hay while the sun shines’.

In the meantime, my pineapple sage has been making pretty pink blooms that finally popped open this morning.

And a few days later…

Warm, but not Spring

There’s a nice little bit of urban hiking to be had at the arboretum and this year I’m trying hard not to miss the magnolias. Alas, we were still much too early for them!

We still enjoyed a few blooming trees along the way, though.

We took a tour around town to see what’s around the neighborhood of my new shop space. At the trendy hardware store, my girl couldn’t resist a small pot of arabica coffee plants. I have probably wanted a coffee plant about as long as I knew they could be potted and kept in the house. Well, here they finally are, even if they’re not exactly mine!