When I was younger I used to have a theory I called environmentalism, which seemed to better explain people’s’ behavior towards one another than how ‘racism’ did. That is, people develop opinions about the world and others depending one what their environment is comprised of.

For example, if you’re a policeman, you might tend to think of the world in three terms: cops, perpetrators (perps), and civilians. If you meet someone who’s not a cop, you’re already more likely to put them one of two boxes.

When it comes to race, I always thought that no one intrinsically dislike another race. At best, one is indifferent and forms opinions based on the types of people one interacts with. If you’ve got only negative interactions of a race, then you’ll have negative opinions. However, people, races, sexes, all behave differently in different locations and circumstances. For example, whites in the US are different from whites in England. Whites in the North are different from Whites in the South. Same with blacks. Blacks in Chicago are different from Blacks in New York and Blacks in America are wholly different from Blacks in Africa. A man who interacts with Blacks in Chicago is liable to have a vastly different opinion of Blacks than a man who interacts with Blacks in Africa.

I believe that people start with neutral opinions of other people and other places and form them after repeated interactions. If one travels, it gives one a bit of perspective that different people can be even more varied in behavior and beliefs in different areas, even amongst a particular race or nationality.


Why They Didn’t Get the Vote

Imagine the hottest or prettiest girl you know. Enough that you’d want have 101 dalmatians…er, babies and then some with her. Think about it long and hard. Focus on all the details of her face, her curves, edges…

Why They Didn't Get the Vote (SBP)

…stop touching yourself, you pervert.

Now think.

She’s never wanted for food, water, or shelter. A different man buys her dinner every night. Another man buys her drinks. A third man repairs her car for free, at the speed of text. Not to mention she didn’t buy that car and rarely if ever even pumps her own gas, let alone does any other maintenance by herself. Hell, in today’s world, men will even cook for her.

Besides wiping her own ass and dressing herself, there’s not much that actually does for herself…or even needs to.

Now ask yourself. How firm a grip on…reality do you think she truly has? How well, do you think she truly understands how things work or what it takes to get things done? If you took away her beauty…how well do you think she’d perform in the real world, all by herself?

Now think of the average woman. Not a smokeshow, but cute enough, with a sweet personality.

Why They Didn't Get the Vote 2 (SBP)

Now, think about it and be honest. How much would that girl truly do for herself that someone else wouldn’t happily do for herself?

…and that’s why women didn’t have the vote.


“The Sun is shining, and everything’s dying…”

In less than four weeks, I’ll embark on training that will last at the very least, sixty-three days, if not several long months more. I’ll have zero ability to post or otherwise communicate with civilization or the outside world short of by letter or payphone at scheduled times. When I have 8 hour pass to rest and recuperate, I’ll likely not post at all, instead opting to shovel food, sleep, and resupply.

It suddenly occurs to me that I’ve got a huge backlog of posts that may never see the light of day for longer than they should. It also occurs to me that I’ll miss being able to record and post my thoughts when convenient.

So – in order to offset that, I’ll do my damndest to post at least twice a week, if not more. To hell with perfect posts – good enough will done, as it has done before.

As of right now, I’m pretty damn nervous. I’ve already had one wake up call and I think I’ll get another wake up call reminding me I’m not 100% ready for Ranger School. So much seems to hinge on this assignment and its successful completion. I’m worried I might not make it much further past RAPT week, embarrassing myself, and potentially missing my one shot at this opportunity.

All told, there’s probably one big thing in my favor. I never thought I’d finish a 12 mile ruck in under 3 hours and I ended up doing it twice. Both times, people doubted me. Hell, I even doubted myself. Now, here I sit, butter bar and blue cord. I suspect I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. Or at least, my heart is a size bigger than it should be given my size. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, I want in my heart of hearts to earn that tab. Ultimately, my body’d break down long before my heart ever did.



I’ve finally come around to understanding why my father always talked about having a plan B, C, D, and even Z. It only took me 23 years.

Contingency plans. Back up plans. I like to call them redundancies (I think influenced by reading Nassim Taleb’s anti-fragile?). Back ups of my back ups.

The thing is – things go wrong. Not everything works according to plan. Cliché, cliché, cliché. In practical terms, I’m an officer in the military now. A butter bar with butter fingers. That is to say, I lose things. I forget things. I misplace things that are right in front of me. Sometimes that means that I’m missing a flag patch on my right shoulder. One other, particularly embarrassing time, it meant that I was missing my patrol cover (PC). In those brief flashes of time, no amount of excuses or clichés could save me from the fact that I was out of uniform and that it was usually painfully obvious.

To fix that – I put several redundancies in place. I’ve got three sets of PCs. One on my head, one in my car, and one at home. If I lose one on my head, I replace it from my car, and then buy a new one at the earliest opportunity. I carry an extra flag and unit patch in the pockets, under which my flag patch and unit patch respectively go. As soon as a patch comes off (it comes off with my ruck in the field, for example), I’m able to fix the problem on the spot and go about my day as normal. I have a back up set in my car and two at home (a total of 5 pairs of patches).There have been times where someone else in my training platoon lost a flag patch and I was able lend him one and he’d return it to me the next day.

Redundancies save lives, you know.


God I Hope So

God I Hope So

I hold a lot of beliefs or thoughts. I don’t believe every belief equally. Most of them I just hold in the back of my head and compare to what I see as I experience life. A lot of the time, I don’t even pursue satisfaction of my curiosity about them because I think it’s a waste of time.

I don’t like vaccines (1, 2, 3)

I think there is such a thing as sleeping with too many women.

In my heart of hearts, I want to get married and have four children.

I think it’s possible that the earth may be flat.

I believe in the theory of r/K selection.

My life’s dream is to buy an island off the coast of Brazil.

That’s to name a few. At this point in time, I don’t really express everything I believe except to my best friend and a maybe a mentor of mine. Anyone else I’d talk to would likely call me crazy in some shape or another. The thing is – the reason I don’t talk to them, more than the fact that the conversation would go likely nowhere, is that they’d never be prepared for my response to being called crazy or a tin-foil hat conspiracy theorist.

“God…I hope so.”


“Don’t follow me, because I am lost too…”

I remember reading something about Taoism and how Eastern Philosophers were different to Western Philosophers in that the main apparent difference between the two was their attitude towards their students – namely – Western ones exhorted their students to follow their examples. Eastern Philosophers, on the other hand, often told their students “don’t follow me”. *

I believe the point of the second was that in the end, no student truly was the teacher. Following exact methods would therefore not produce the same results. Instead, students were encouraged to own their newfound knowledge and make it their own. What do I mean by that?

I mean that at some point the student has to take off the training wheels and become an autodidact. At some point, they have to come up with their own ideas. Using someone else’s can only take you so far. Let this not be an attack against using someone else’s ideas, however. Newton himself, the father of modern calculus (along with another, less well known fellow), once said:

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

If you take the metaphor of a house, I encourage you to build upon a foundation that those who came before you have laid down. In time, your work, combined with your predecessors, will be a new foundation, upon which the next generation will build.


Don’t follow me.


* I could have remembered wrongly. I remain the right to be completely full of shit at any time. You have the right to remind me.

Random Thoughts

A friend once wrote:

“I don’t know about you, but I learn more from 1 mistake than from 100 successes”.

That sounds about right. I’d add that when I have a success, I learn what works, but not why it works (and not always specifically what exact thing worked). When I make a mistake, I generally learn exactly what didn’t work, and why soon after.

The same friend also said:

“Love is going to hurt you. Deal with it through music. And be thankful when you do.”

I’d add – if you can’t play an instrument, listen to all the sad songs you can handle. Eventually the pain will go and the phase will pass. You’ll move on and people will forget. Bad poetry and drunk text messages, however, are forever.


Even when it seems that your world is crumbling all around you – try not to lose all hope. Take the victories when you can, no matter how small. You’ll be surprised by how many chances you get in this life if you refuse to accept defeat (or can’t).


5 Saddest Songs I appreciate?

  1. On a Valentine’s Day – Linkin Park
  2. In Pieces – Linkin Park
  3. Mad World – Gary Jules
  4. Whiskey Lullaby – Bradley Paisley, Alison Krauss
  5. Comptine D’un Autre  été L’après-midi – Yann Tiersen


10 of Life’s Simplest Pleasures?

In no particular order:

1. That almost euphoric relief after a much needed pee.
2. Finding something to laugh about with my best friend
3. Spending time with my Dad or my mother
4. Ice cold Yuengling, right after work, when I’ve no more obligations for the day
5. A full eight hours of sleep.
6. Everything leading up to the first kiss.
7. Being recognized for a quality I’ve been trying to improve for years.
8. Seeing the enjoyment in the eyes of someone who’s tasted my well cooked, marinated steak.
9. A book enthralling enough that you leave this world as soon as you read but one sentence.
10. Reading people correctly.


Thoughts on Christianity

Originally, I meant to write these thoughts in my other journal – a mistress to my main, if you will.

I was raised a Catholic. We went to church on Sundays, from what I remember. When I moved overseas, I went to an English-speaking Catholic school run by nuns. Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmetic were the order of the day – along with classes on religion.  I vaguely remember asking questions in those classes – I’d heard all the stories before it seemed. Usually my questions weren’t welcome.

I also remember that I never had my first communion as I was supposed to. I was fidgety, talkative, and otherwise a little shiftless when I wasn’t supposed to be. The importance of the Sacraments were lost on me then.

Through conversation with several people, I’ve slowly found myself drawn  back to that with which I had been raised. I couldn’t help but notice that there was knowledge in the bible, whether I believed in its tenets or not.

There are two things that strike me as the crux of why Christianity appeals to man.

1.The Concept of Ultimate Sin

I used to despise this concept. That I was a sinner at birth and there was nothing I could do to change that. I’m not the past, my forefathers, the deeds or misdeeds they’ve committed – yet I’m painted with the same brush? Tarnished by things of which I had no concept or understanding of at birth. It seems like a cruel trick.

But now I realize, I think, the actual importance of the concept. That is, eventually you come to terms with the idea that man is flawed. That you, yourself are flawed. That the only one who is perfect is God, and that you can only strive for perfection. This concept is not oppression, rather it is liberating. Tie this concept with the idea that God loves you – no matter what – and you’ve got a recipe for liberating mankind from disease of self loathing he is often prone to. Some days I wish I wasn’t me and that I could just die or disappear. Slowly, I’m coming to accept myself…

…whoever that is.

2. The Concept of Redemption

From my understand – this is the idea that one can atone for one’s sins; the idea that one is not forever condemned by virtue of one’s birth. It’s an important concept, I believe, because the belief that one is forever condemned by a mistake is soul killing. You may not realize it – but you can always stop what you’re doing and do the right thing today.

This is the idea that though the Devil may win from time to time – the war is not yet lost. Not by a long shot.


Combine those thoughts with another concept (one I think is oft misunderstood) – “You are all equal in the eyes of the Lord“. Many believe means that all humans are equal and try to endeavour to treat them as such if not engineer it to be “on earth as it is in Heaven“. I believe they’re wrong. To be equal in the eyes of the Lord is to receive equal Judgement on the last day – to attempt conflate being equal in God’s eyes is the same as trying measure the days God spent creating the universe, the world, and everything in it, in increments of 24 hours – a man-made unit of time.


P.S. That song, Cantata 147 by J.H. Bach is the first song I learned how to play on the piano. It was my first favorite song before it was unseated by another. It’s now my second favorite song.

H/T: Ace

To Have Loved and Lost or Or to Never Have Loved at All

I’ve only had two conversations about having loved and lost or never at all in my life.
One, I had with my Dad. The other I had with Ace from 80 Proof. Unfortunately, I can’t recall the contents of my conversation with my father only that he thought it was better to have loved and lost versus the opposite. In contrast, that time I spoke with Ace, he believed the latter. To be fair to him, at the time, he’d suffered a bite of an apple from the Tree of Forbidden Knowledge which shocked him from one opinion to the other.
In that conversation, I believe I’ve come to an answer, though it may be a cop out. I believe it’s the middle between two extremes.
That’s fair.
The only answer I’ve got is a cop-out
Pain teaches you.
Pain at a young age, often not fatal, teaches you a lesson and “makes you feel alive”
Pain at an old age can mean a swift lesson followed by death
It is better to have loved and lost at a young age
or never at all
For now, I’ll save my whole love for God who deserves it
and my children who need it


Life Dream Part 2

In my previous post, I detailed my life dream for all to see.

This post is to give a little context to my dreams.

The first part is that my dreams came from inspiration. As I detailed in my about me section (which has been updated), I traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2009 to visit two of my best friends. One day we took my friend’s father drove us all a dockyard and we sailed to a beautiful place called Angra Dos Reis, or Angra for short.

We stayed there for about three days and I fell in love with the beauty of the azure sky and the chartreuse green trees and grass. On the car ride back to Rio, I resolved to buy an island of the coast of Brazil someday.


The beauty of my dream, is that I don’t need to accomplish it in its entirety to be satisfied with it or my life. If I only succeed and basing my family on the island to keep them safe and I don’t get any further, I’d be happy with it. Were I to die in the army before I could get out and further my designs to amass the money to buy such an island, I’d still be happy. Sure, I would not have completed my dream, but I would have died on the path I chose.

The best part is that with each passing year, more and more of my dream becomes clear to me. Though I do not knowing yet how I will accomplish everything, I know I will find out soon enough.


Here’s an original picture.

April 2010 in Brazilien