New toy

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It’s extraordinary how easy it is to make our purchases obsolete with the introduction of some new fandangled gadget.

With what was a perfectly good phone that acted just as it should have, I’ve now retired it to what now is an over glorified alarm clock.

It seems that having an awareness of the pit falls of unchecked consumerism still isn’t enough to curb the desire to accumulate stuff.

But it is kinda fun having the latest tech gadget to wile away the hours with. But how long will this piece of kit last before it too is relegated to a fancy bedside clock ?

Anyway I have high hopes for this new phone I now possess. At the very least I can entertain the notion that I can use this technological breakthrough for something more useful than just feeding my addiction to the internet.

After all I’m making my first post to my blog with this kit. So without further delay i’ll introduce you to my new toy.

Here it is, the HTC Desire HD

Category : Journal | Blog

Coming Home

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There’s something disenchanting about coming home from an overseas trip. You’ve traversed a time zone or two. You’ve travelled thousands of kilometres and seen amazing sights, to then have it all come to an end. Coming back home where things seem a tad more clouded or smeared, almost as if a faint brush of emptiness has re-touched the scenery with a greyness that you never noticed before or you’d abandoned once in the sphere of another reality far removed from the one we stand in, in our everyday lives. Perhaps it’s because of the closeness and familiarity that closeness imbues, once removed from that close and comfortable zone it so easily forgotten. Coming back to it affords a freshness and a type of amnesia of the menial everyday life we lead, yet it only seems moments pass when it all comes crashing back, just like you’d never left.. Prior to leaving you were acutely entangled within the mesh of everyday living and within its grasp you became blind and unaware that everyday life had all but ensnared you and held you hostage to a routine, which on the surface doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, however beneath the facade is the collateral damage of losing the ability to actually see and perceive the things around you. A comfortable and secure existence which is familiarity steals ones perception while trading it for a focal point that seems all consuming but is in fact merely just a distraction from the small things that make up the whole. Taking the time to stop and smell the flowers is not something which is often encountered in the hustle and bustle.

Upon returning from the ‘other side’, fresh eyes are still tuned to the perception that just on periphery there is so much more than just objects around you, so the once familiar is a little newer and a little fresher – one’s eyes are opened and moreover, receptive to the finer treasures that are everywhere but difficult to see when one’s blinkers are set to a narrow vision and focus. It’s unfortunate that fresh eyes soon tire and  fade back into the tunnel vision of routine. And how fast it returns is startling. It takes considerable effort to keep ones eyes open and not be consumed by all the things that you’d left behind to venture into the world afar but routine is an alluring seductress, she will invariably pull you close with her ruby lips, soft and sensual, whispering sweet little lies into your ears. The hot breath on your ear lobe telling you that you’re the only one for her, that all you need do is close your eyes and experience the here with the numbness and comfort it shrouds you in. To let yourself fall into those warm, endearing arms and be swept away with the ease and security that routine brings. Persistence wears away the memories from afar and your eyes are once again accustomed to the narrow tunnel before it, like the night vision we experience when we are thrust into darkness. As our pupils dilate to soak in what little light can be found in that darkness, the soft light at its end is all we soon see. A light that never seems to get nearer because the treadmill we are walking upon to get to that source of wonderment ahead – that light over yonder only perpetuates the illusion that we are travelling forward when in fact we are merely standing in the same spot while our legs are thrust in a motion that never gets us anywhere. A source we forever strive to reach yet perpetually fall short of, so it is – our beloved routine. Our mistress and comforter.

It’s a short lived experience, travelling the globe on holiday and all too easy to become reacquainted with normalcy upon returning home. Besides the fact that I am a new convert to the idea that going overseas is not a bad way to spend a few weeks it would be a entirely different ball game to up and leave and extend the travel experience by living and immersing yourself in another land, far away from home or to become a seasoned traveller who does overseas trips regularly. I have the impression that seasoned ‘travellers’ are a more adventurous lot and probably more interested and comfortable in the people of a place, where as a novice like me, prefers to avoid the people and focus on the actual place. I’m not one that likes to get in amongst the masses of the world meeting new people. I’m not good at it! Partly because I’m far too uninteresting to make any sort of impact but more so because not that many people really impact me and besides, I detest the little game we need to play with the trivialities and nuances of small talk. I understand the necessity of it,  treading carefully around the edges, sussing the other out before revealing too much of ourselves, but lets face it, it is a tedious process and unless one possesses the ‘gift of the gab’ to drive small talk in a direction of greatest interest it will ultimately fall into the two most uninteresting topics of conversation ever imagined.

I definitely do not in possess said gift, I find small talk just falls flat with me.  I’m a difficult nut to crack because my interests are small and narrow and not as eclectic to fit the tastes of most people. I suppose I’m sort of getting better at it as time progresses but I still find the uncomfortableness and anxiety and dead end that it usually ends in with me as just not worth the effort when so much of humanity is just not that interesting, who mostly subscribe to a default position of sport and weather. Occasionally little gems are presented but for the most part the rabble is just that – rabble.  Perhaps I’m far to arrogant and haughty to have what it takes to ‘fit in’ with such a default position. But I am who I am. Perhaps you may find my previous post entitled ISTP revealing. It may reveal why I am such a difficult personality to crack or then it may not.

What my travel to Finland and short visit to England taught me, actually reaffirmed in me, is that I prefer and enjoy nature to the hustle and bustle of city life. City life is such an artificial environment and I’d forgotten what it was like to sit in an environment that wasn’t just concrete and scores of human beings wandering around in a self deluded daze. In fact I had a semi epiphany when at the local Westfield’s the other week, observing the trickle of shoppers who were lazily strolling with what looked like a glazed look. I couldn’t help but wonder, what the exact nature is of this meaningless activity we indulge our precious time with -  shopping for things we have absolutely no need for but somehow are compelled to buy? It comes back to the routine we are entwined with. We invest a large portion of our lives at our places of work, complete with a tunnel vision that our routine sees with, while time withers away, dying at the hands of routine and what better activity is there to complement the numbness than with other shoppers who are desperately in need of something other than that which they are doing but no longer know what it is! I know I do it and even though I often find myself in a semi existential crisis, wondering why on earth am I wandering around with the same glazed look as my fellow shoppers. It is because it has become a routine and because we are a herd creature, the shopping mall is the obvious place to be when not working. After all it isn’t for nothing that we spend 40, 50, 60 or 70 hours a week working for is it. We want to spend the money we earn and seeing as most of our time is spent earning and so few is spent in leisure, it is a place of worship for many of us. We can buy those objects of yearning that will show to our fellows that we are above the ordinary and indeed better than the you. But time is little so we flock to the local Westfield’s where everything is nicely compartmentalised and convenient so we need not spend too much of what is most precious – time, wasting it in search for our little piece of nirvana.

It’s pretty sad that more of us don’t actually see the madness and do something else like get together with family and friends and head out in the fresh air but the madness is such that we feel compelled to visit the church of capitalism, to hand out the alms of our faith and pay homage to the god we serve. It’s funny but the cash god we pay our lives for, is intrinsically valueless. Those bills we hold in our hands so dear has probably less value than the actual paper its printed on.

What can I say. Time for another holiday to forget all this nonsense we work for.

Category : Journal | Blog

Loose Snus

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I finally took the plunge and went loose with my snus and although I took my first pris with some trepidation, with my mind’s eye wild and gouged with the image that my mouth was soon to become awash with a mudslide of moist tobacco, blackening it with bits of Skruf Xtr Stark Lös while I gagged with disgust, but my first attempt went without incident. I was surprised that while touching up my pris from the Prismaster by hand and as crumbly as it was, it actually held quite firmly under my lip once I shoved it up there.



It may not look like something fit to put in ones mouth it does taste better than it looks. However, after having it shoved up under my lip I was a little disappointed in the Skruf because for my tastes it lacked the impact that its portioned sister possessed. I was expecting a bigger flavour hit and a nicotine boost to match but it gave neither. In my virgin lös mouth it released little flavour and I couldn’t help wondering why loose seemed to get such favourable reviews when it was so much more subtler in all departments compared to portioned snus. Perhaps the subtly is what snus connoisseurs prefer while I generally like strong stimulus. The only thing that really stood out was how comfortable it felt under my lip compared to the sometimes rather abrasive pouches of some snus. But I was loose snus novice so my first impressions were untrustworthy. Although I do believe the Skruf Xtra Stark portions provide better flavour and perhaps a bigger nic hit, the king of nicotine delivery in my mind still resides with Oden’s Extra Stark Kanel, the ultimate in nicotine addiction and pleasure, sure to get the heart beating in a high pitched whir of high octane stimulation!

So in my 3 can loose mix that I threw in with my last order from Buysnus, to fill up the shipping bag so I could take full advantage of the shipping cost, Buysnus also placed a can of Ettan loose and who could resist the temptation of baking a pris of Ettan to sample. Still I found it to be lacking compared to portions but it was miles ahead from the Skruf. The strange thing about Ettan is that although it has a standard nicotine strength of 8mg/gram it surely satisfies the nicotine itch. It releases nic better than most snus and it tastes great as well. One of my favourite snus and being on the market since 1822, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not the only one that has a taste for this great bit of snussing history.

After sampling more from both the Skruf and Ettan loose I have developed a liking for the subtle and delicate flavour and comfort that loose snus provides and went ahead and ordered a roll of Ettan Loose to indulge my senses with. I’m still learning the art of baking a pris but from now on in, I will always have a can of loose handy to indulge my not so guilty pleasure of Swedish Snus.

Category : Journal | Blog

Midsummer (Juhannus) – Lappeenranta

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My first week and a half in the country of my ancestry – Finland.  Already it’s been a full week, a week and a half spent doing pretty much nothing except eating and relaxing in amongst the forest on the shore of a beautiful lake. Eating extraordinarily good food and I can safely say Finns serve a phenomenal feast. Just one helping just isn’t enough, although the first serving is more than enough it seems that my relatives want me to eat more and then eat some more. I don’t quite know why but I have to say that the food here tastes a whole lot better than Australia.

After arriving last Tuesday week, the 22nd June – early morning Helsinki time, the air a little brisk and the sun shining like it was 10am rather than the half six it actually was, my first day was spent recovering from traversing a time zone and having been cramped on a air plane for over 20 hours. It was a relief to have my feet firmly planted on Terra firma again but I was in such a daze that I could hardly think straight, let alone appreciate that I was in Finland. My first impression was quite literally that I’d arrived in a forest and to be entirely honest it was a little underwhelming viewing it from the air. But my first impressions might have been a little jaded by travelling in what felt like a sardine can with wings. My flight on British Airways left me with little confidence in air travel with anything resembling comfort, however Finnair were, by far, miles ahead in clean and comfortable flying. If I ever travel overseas again I will most definitely give British Airways a wide berth.

I only spent a couple days in Tuusula with one of my other Aunts and most of that time was spent resting and getting into holiday mode after years of slogging it out in the office. It was so good to relax that I’d forgotten what it was like to actually relax. Before my Aunt Paula and I left for some other relatives mokki (holiday house) we did manage to see some  of the local Tuusula wildlife. I saw my very first squirrel that jumped on the window sill and I thought it was coolest thing in the world. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to get it on film but I did manage to get a local pheasant walking in the front yard and down the driveway which was pretty cool too.


Now I’d read about how practically everyone in Finland owned a bit of forest and that paper consumption is never given a moments contemplation, but the view from the air plane as it came in for a landing at Vantaa was that I was landing in a forest. There were pine trees everywhere, and the landscape was just a green mass with a few lakes thrown in for a splash of colour. I’m just so used to the Australian landscape with it’s browns and earthy colours of reds, greens and blue hues of eucalyptus and the arid, sun scorched earth but Finland from the air was well, just green. Having also viewed the Finnish countryside from train now, I can confirm without a doubt that it is a green mass. The forest as viewed from the air is exactly what you see, everywhere, a matter of what you see is what you get. I have never seen so much forest in my life and when travelling by train it was a little monotonous but awesome by its sheer magnitude. Viewing it at speed is where it fails to impress anything but a green blur, however getting in amongst it is where it excels. It is a magnificent experience being enveloped in a forest and having the green swallow you and seeing not only pine but birch and numerous other nameless trees. It is awe inspiring when the summer night is shining its sunlight with an endless day and being in the forest without a sound. It is so incredibly still. Not a cricket stirs, nor any sound from the lake as if the frogs have been silenced by the beauty of the setting sun as it turns the lake into a giant mirror. If no wind whistles through the trees there is absolute silence. Still. Quiet. Just total peace. Nothing can describe the silence, just phenomenal!

The long days make the forest experience complete, with a lake mirroring the reflections of the forest and it feels as if you melt into the landscape and become a part of the stillness. Relaxation at its finest.


The long days are celebrated with the midsummer festival weekend which is called Juhannus where a bon fire or Kokko, as it is called here, is lit. Family and friends come together to drink and eat and party the weekend as the nation stops to celebrate the tradition of Juhannus.

My time at Lappeenranta will probably be remembered with a kokko and the incredibly peaceful and beautiful lake and long days where the sun never did quite set, even when the sun did eventually go down it was still light enough to see.


The sauna – lakeside pictured above.


Forest wild flowers pictured above.


Lappeenranta sunset above.

Category : Journal | Blog

E-cigarette – An alternative to Smoking

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The start of week 4 in my switch from smoking cigarettes to the use of an electronic cigarette and I haven’t had an analog (regular cigarette) since last Monday so it is my first full week without smoking. Since I received my Joye510 from Heaven Gifts I’ve been trying to retrain my brain to receive it’s nicotine fix from a personal vaporiser rather than combusting tobacco. The advantage of using a personal vaporiser or electronic cigarette, e-cig for short, is that rather than burning tobacco and inhaling the 4000 chemicals that are included in the combustion process I’m instead inhaling a vapour that consists of maybe 10 or 12 chemicals. Nothing is being burnt  in an e-cig so I’m essentially inhaling a mist of what is called E-juice or E-liquid. Electronic cigarettes consist of a battery, atomiser and cartridge (a place where the juice goes into). A small wick is joined to the atomiser to allow the juice to travel from the cartridge into the atomiser, where the liquid is heated producing the mist we inhale. Pretty simple and easy to use.

It is considered a safer alternative to smoking but has yet to be fully tested and vapers the world over are essentially  guinea pigs, myself included. Although it may seem foolish to risk using an untested device, it does seem that inhaling PG instead of Tar, Carbon Monoxide, Ammonia and the 3900 other chemicals is logically a safer proposition. Considering Propylene Glycol is a common additive to many foods and medicines, it seems reasonable that it is safe. Whether inhaling it continuously is safe is yet to be determined but the quantities we are talking about is anywhere between 1mL to 4mL a day. The only unknown is the flavourings but that is where the superiority of using  a PV comes into play. Rather than being stuck with a few brands of tobacco, which more or less, all taste the same, we now have multiple flavours to whet our palettes with. From tobacco to fruity mixes, sweet or bitter, the array of flavours to choose from is more than enough to keep everyone happy.

E-juice is a mixture of predominately Propylene Glycol, Nicotine and food flavourings. My growing collection of paraphernalia associated with my  e-cig is pictured above. The bottles in the picture are the E-juice and you can see my Joye510 Personal Vaporiser (PV) in the case and on top of the Oksmokey box as well.

The Oksmokey bottles with orange lids actually came this morning and include some Extra-High and Ultra-High nicotine strengths which translate to 30mg/mL and 38mg/mL juice respectively. The other bottles are HG (Heaven Gifts) 24mg juice. I was having trouble getting satisfaction from 24mg so I thought a few 38mg juice bottles wouldn’t go astray. I was right, the 38mg juice does satisfy my cravings for a longer period of time and works well when I’m at work when I can’t just whip out the 510 for a hit when I want, which is often 🙂

In my quest to refrain from smoking tobacco I’ve also imported some Swedish Snus and have been using portions of the stuff tucked under my lip – since Saturday anyway, when I got it.  Apparently it is considered 98% safer than smoking and in Sweden where it is manufactured, they have the lowest rates of cancer in the European Union. Smokers in Sweden have substituted combustion in favour of snus and as a result Sweden is a healthier place.

The only downside to all this is, because we live in Nanny state, I have to import all my smoking alternatives. Although electronic cigarettes or at least e-juice is illegal to sell in Australia, I have to rely on the tedious process of ordering and having to wait for shipments to arrive. Customs appear to allow it through for personal use but there is no telling how long it is before there is an outright ban where none of the components and liquid nicotine will be available. Snus is legal to import but there are heavy taxes if customs decide to inspect the parcel. Snus should be available to buy at Australian retailers like it is in America but we decided to make it illegal to seel back in the 90’s for some absurd reason.

It would a great loss to the health of smokers who have made the switch from combustion to vaping all because some do gooders believe it is in our best interests to either quit or die from smoking. Electronic cigarettes offer another alternative – vaping for nicotine. A better way for those unable or unwilling to quit. NRT is an option but is essentially no different to what an electronic cigarette achieves, except we may very well continue to vape instead of aiming to be rid of nicotine altogether. Maybe that infuriates the anti-smoking lobby but vaping does no harm to anyone except maybe the user – so it seems a little over the top to not make it available when cigarettes are and they are known to harm others and users alike. Makes no sense at all.

Category : Journal | Blog

No Sleep till Friday…..

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It doesn’t take long before the grind of another week gets the better of you. And the irony is, I’ve just had a long weekend – yet I am in no better shape than before going nowhere to my one day vacation. I must say it was fun while it lasted but today brought home just how tired I am. It perhaps doesn’t help when the start of the working week is met with a sleepless night. I just don’t know what it is about Sunday’s that produces this inability to sleep. It’s extraordinary, all day I’ve been battling to keep my eyes open, however once I get home I have this resurgence of energy – rarely is the day that upon returning from a days toil do I find a droop in energy, it is quite the opposite. Right now my mind is more lucid and clear than it has any right to be and I’m beginning to fear that tomorrow is going to be even more challenging.

The problem is that I want my cake and to eat it also. It’s been a long standing fantasy of mine that sleep is one of life’s little nuisances and I ought to be able to go into extended durations of alertness without consequence and as much as I wish it to be, it just doesn’t work out the way I desire it to be. You may well wonder what is so great about staying awake and I haven’t a good answer. Sleep just seems like a waste of time and lets face it, time is a limited commodity in the world of work and commute. Although days like today remind me that I am still grounded by the laws of nature and in her infinite wisdom she has decried that all mammals must rest.

So why is that it’s 11:20pm and I’m manic when I ought to be fast asleep catching up on the sleep I lost to last night’s pixies? Over tiredness comes to mind. Stubbornness is another. I just don’t give myself time to unwind and I purposefully try and cheat sleep for no good reason. Maybe I’m a masochist and punish myself for being a bad little boy. Don’t know but I do suffer because of my pig headedness in trying to fulfil an unobtainable desire.

But there is some method to my madness. If I sought to get my eight hours sleep then I’d have to be up at around 7am to get to work at 8:30am,  so be in bed by 11pm. I’d then leave work at 5pm on a good day and be home at 6pm.  Get changed and stuff around, 6:30pm. Work out what dinner I should cook and then cook and if I was efficient it’ll be 7:30 when I eat. Wash up, again if I was efficient I’ll have it all done by 8pm. Then three hours to muck around with me time. Ok it isn’t so bad, but I can’t see myself getting tired for the 11pm shut eye deadline, so how do I train myself to get tired by then? That is going to take a concerted effort and more than a little discipline to formulate a regimented early start, everyday – no sleeping in on weekends, routine. And a definite cutting back on caffeine. Oh NO!!!  Will I do this or even attempt it? Probably not. I’m too set in my ways. So looks like no sleep till Friday…Ah well at least I know what I’m in for and certainty in such uncertain times has got to count for something? Well at least I can delude myself with this small solace.

Category : Journal | Blog


Posted by Comments Off on Insanity

On the train home I saw one of those homeless people standing on the platform at Central Station as the train slowed to a stop. I was in the front carriage whilst this unknown and nameless man was standing at the rear end of the platform. You know the type, dishevelled and dirty with long grey hair and beard. The sort of person we pass on the street, stirring a sense of disgust or maybe a touch of pity but generally making us feel uneasy and perhaps a little anxious and fearful. The ones we go out of our way to avoid and hope they don’t approach us. It’s definitely a sight we’d rather not see, maybe because we know that they are just a person, probably not too dissimilar to ourselves at one time, but somehow ended up standing on a train station platform looking the way they do – not fitting into what is socially acceptable and who are isolated from the rest of us or we may like to believe anyway. We can be pretty sure that they live rough and we can assume that they are mentally ill or addicted to drugs and alcohol or maybe both. We might think them insane even.

Anyway we do know that we don’t want anything to do with him and we probably wish we didn’t have to witness such an unsightly soul on our way home from work. However, it got me thinking while I sat in the train, wondering just how much different are we, really, as we sit staring into space or out the window on our way home? I don’t know how many people sit in a carriage of a train, 50 or 100 maybe? We may be dressed appropriately, clean and probably not smelling offensive but we sit there avoiding one another if we can. We don’t want to have to interact with the person next to us and at least on the train we are pretty isolated from one another. We may have lovers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters or friends when we get home but on the train we are separated and isolated. I know the kind of isolation we may or may not feel on a train is far from the social isolation a homeless person of the kind standing on aforementioned platform, it does make an interesting comparison nevertheless.

The kind of isolation this homeless man must experience is what we fear the most and is probably why we feel so uneasy when confronted by it on the street. We could easily end up in a similar situation. If things turned sour and  in a serious of events we found ourselves with no money. If we somehow lost our social standing and thus our friends, we could be standing in a big city with no where to go, sleeping rough. What if the event somehow made us acutely aware of the superficiality and fragility that social norms are? What if  we turned to alcohol for comfort, to warm our souls in such a cold heartless place? A city filled with millions of people but no one willing to lend an ear? What if in such unaccommodating circumstances our perception changed and our mind snapped or broke and we lost the ability to adjust back to the norm. Would we then be standing on the platform, dirty and wretched?

Would you then be insane? Mentally ill and forgotten? Lost? Would then someone like me, sitting on the train look out the window and see you standing there, wondering who really is insane? Is it you standing there or is it me sitting on a crowded train, who will be there again the next day and the next wondering why exactly I am there? Doing the same thing day in and day out so that I may be seen to be a part of norm and not really knowing for what purpose? Is it really so important to be a part of machine that cares so little apart from the economic wheels I can turn? Who is alone peering out at my fellow human beings wondering if we aren’t all just as insane?

Did that homeless man see something we couldn’t that made him just a nameless agent standing at odds against a society that herds together for no apparent reason, other than appearing to be just another part of a norm. A norm that shuns and forgets and is threatened by something outside that norm? I wonder if anyone today will ask that homeless man if he’s okay or wants something to eat or maybe just be willing to hear and lend a sympathetic ear? After all that’s what we all want, someone who’ll take a minute to ask how we’re going and to care.

Category : Journal | Blog

Extroverted people….Grrr!

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Monday is over and done with and the countdown to weeks end has begun. Four more days to contend with before we are given the sweet taste of freedom once again. I’m in desperate need of time off, yet I continue with the grind that seems to achieve nothing but weariness and resentment. We truly are a strange creature and unless I am completely mistaken I’m surely not the only one in the universe who finds work to be truly uninspiring, repetitive and plainly put, repulsive? Maybe I am. A woman at work is always so happy to be there and I am sincerely perturbed at my total incomprehension at how anyone could be so ecstatic to be at work. It’s down right demoralising and so totally not right that I’m sure all could agree that such “happy” people have no place in the workforce. Surely it should be mandated under the Mental Heath Act as just cause to be scheduled into one of our fine Psychiatric facilities for re-education?

Anyway it is not her, it’s me. I just can’t fathom the idea that work could be an enjoyable experience but then again this woman is the antithesis of me. She is so extroverted and is constantly jabbering away and I’m genuinely surprised she gets any work done with her mouth working overtime the way it does. I have to confess that sometimes I just wish she’d just shut her fucking mouth for five minutes. It can get a little grating to have someone yapping so incessantly, asking questions all the time, after all there is a F1 function key that pulls up a help menu. Maybe more people could make use of it. They might even learn something without having to ask questions to break the silence and hear the sound of your own voice.

Well I can thank the merciful technology for creating noise isolating headphones. All I’m saying is that sometimes its good to drown out the background noise of extroverted individuals who need constant attention to enliven themselves.

Luckily today was a day free from too much extroversion and if nothing else, I at least have something to be grateful for. Although Monday’s are the worst day of the week, tomorrow the said woman will be back with her ingratiating cheerfulness and who knows maybe it will be contagious and the meme may even spread to a sour puss like me. Yeah I know, and pigs may fly. 

Category : Journal | Blog


Posted by Comments Off on Stalked

I’m being stalked by some random guy who has decided to make me his pet project. I stupidly opened the door to this churchy type and had a friendly conversion but I’ve opened Pandora’s box! Every weekend he seems to come knocking to see if I’m home. Luckily I was out last weekend so I missed him. Nevertheless he left me a Church pamphlet under my door with a hand written invitation for me to attend church on Sunday.

I must have been mad when I first chatted with him and had I known I’d be stalked, I would’ve been a little more discerning. I certainly would not have been so friendly. But what’s done is done and now I have to scheme a plan to get rid of him. He piqued my interest if I am to be honest and he seemed friendly enough. But is it a case of looks being deceiving, for all I know he could be a total nut case!

Anyway it makes me curious as to why someone feels compelled to knock on doors espousing a belief and touting it as the one and only truth. Why is it only particular creeds that feel it necessary to harass neighbourhoods with proselytising? Does anyone ever convert because some random knocked on their door?

He gave me a Bible because one of my complaints was that the Bible is so hard to read. I have the King James version and although I’ve read bits and pieces of it, I find it hard going. Due partly to the way it’s written but more truthfully,  because I don’t believe it and so seems pointless to expend time on something disinteresting. So I now have some modern version and it is no better, I still don’t possess an openness to receive the gift of salvation, namely because I think it’s absurd and silly to believe such things.

I was told to start with Mark and I started reading but it holds no appeal to me. It’s just words on paper written in what seems to not be any particular sequence and in somewhat fragmentary pieces. I would like to read the whole thing, one day, but it requires a concerted effort in concentration and focus to complete. A time consuming endeavour and one that isn’t particularly enjoyable. But are any history texts ever really an enjoyable read? Because that is what the Bible represents or so we are led to believe, that it is a document describing the history of Jesus and all the prophets and martyrs before him.

I can understand why religion appeals to people but to claim every word in a piece of text is the absolute truth and that one need only suspend disbelief is not so appealing to someone who wants to just know what the truth just for truths sake, without appealing to extraordinary supernatural phenomena to gain it. Is it reasonable to believe that the laws of physics can be arbitrarily suspended just for the sake of stirring devotion? Do religious people truly believe every nuance and miracle recorded in the pages of the Bible? Or is religious belief just a way to commune with one’s fellow human beings? Is it just a social club or does one truly have to believe literary that a Man rose from dead, or that a man built an ark to house millions of species? Or that Jesus walked on water, made the blind see and lame walk? Or that a man lived in a whales mouth for three days? 2000 years ago these things were perhaps believable but in the 21st century is it still possible to believe such things as the literal truth? And if they aren’t meant to be taken literally then what are we to make of it?

So having someone proselytise by door knocking may seem quaint but is it anything more than them expressing a desire to have their own existence validated in some way? I think the real reason why I naively opened myself up to this experience was because I was feeling lonely at the time and it was kind of nice having someone show a level of concern even if it was based on a deception. I’m not going to convert and he is unlikely to offer friendship without conversion. I could be wrong but the randomness of meeting is not some divine intervention but rather two egotistical entities colliding for a moment. There are two agendas that are not compatible. On the face of it, the need for belonging is a basic human desire so perhaps on rare occasions, when someone is vulnerable and alone there is a possibility that such clashes of ego be mutually beneficial but this random event is probably not one of them.

Still it’ll be a curious how this little synchronicity pans out and how long my stalker will stalk before he realises that it’s a lost cause. I somehow doubt he’ll ever see things in the exact same way as I see them nor will I be likely to adopt his point of view. But stranger things happen and we both may walk away with something interesting anyway.

Category : Journal | Blog


Posted by Comments Off on Smoking

I’ve been thinking about quitting the durries and let me tell you, even thinking about the concept sends an anxious knot into the pit of my stomach. It is something I conveniently place at the back of my mind when ever I think about  giving them the flick. This addiction is a mighty powerful one and one that seems to need constant reminding that it is exactly that…an addiction. The only regret in life I have, is ever picking the damn things up in the first place. Trying to conquer the fear of putting them down is the hardest part. I am able to quite easily avoid the fear by postponing the quit day indefinitely, just by not thinking about quitting, but surely it is time that I lay this demon to rest….before it is too late. I have one packet left sitting there waiting for me to smoke…do I make the plan to quit once that packet is finished or do I wait till the doctor tells me I have throat cancer. The answer is simple I quit.

However, do I mean it when I say it? Will I have the strength to carry out the plan. Have I even made a plan? What exactly do I fear about quitting, the pain of withdrawal? I don’t know. It’s the fear of fear. The fear of feeling anxious. The fear of feeling deprived, stressed, angry and lonely. My companion will be gone. But surely these fears are irrational and how can I even feel fear now when I’m still smoking. It’s outrageous that such a pesky stimulant can provoke such negative emotions. Will withdrawal even be all that painful, after all, half my life I spend in a state of anxiety as it is. It’s just thinking about how hard and difficult things will be that gives fear its life. What if I think about how good I’ll feel once I don’t have stinking cigarette smoke choking my arteries with lead, tar, carbon monoxide and a thousand other vile chemicals.

I get nothing out of smoking except a sore throat and a case of worry that those little nodes at the back of my throat are something I don’t really want to deal with. And yet  I still smoke. Happily I want the nicotine to sooth my worry away but it always wants more and never fulfils its part of the bargain, to give me the flight of light headedness it once did. Apart from the slight reprieve it offers before reminding me that is needs another feed I get nothing but headaches, legs that feel like lead, guilt and fear. Like a wretched little infant crying incessantly to be placed back into the warmth of its mother’s womb, to be cradled and fed and not face the cold and harsh reality of birth, this addiction beast just doesn’t want to leave the nest I provide. I have to kick it out!

So procrastination and waiting for it to leave isn’t going to work, that much is for sure. Motivation is unlikely to come until it’s too late so what is left? The Plan. The Big Plan. To walk through the door that says Non-Smoker and what can be easier than walking through a door? I’ve cracked open that packet now. Will I lay this beast to rest once it is finished. That leaves tomorrow and fuck I’m scared to walk through that door. But what’s more scarier the door or the morgue?

Category : Journal | Blog