Exploring Weirdness

What would be the worst “buy one get one free” sale of all time?
I guess nobody needs more than one blow up doll, so that would be pretty weird having two of them, unless you let the air out of one and save it just in case your original inflatable girlfriend springs a leak.

Have you ever gotten a really bad haircut?  Do share!
My last haircut when I tried cutting my own hair turned out to be a disaster and I wrote about it in this post What Was I Thinking.

Isn’t Disney Land and Disney World (and all the variants) just a people trap operated by a mouse?
I have no idea where this question came from, but Disney is much more than an iconic mouse.  Sure, Mickey and Minnie draw in customers, but all of the rides are nothing more than control systems and I actually applied for a job to program the rides.  I didn’t get the job, but I always thought it would have been fun to work there.  Thus, Disney Land and Disney World are operated by people not mice.

What if Batman got bitten by a vampire?   What would happen?
I have no idea, but this question did make me smile.

What do you want your final words to be if you could choose?
Only the good die young.

Gratitude Section
I am happy that all of my April A to Z posts are written.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Rode Hard and Put Away Wet

Do you think psychic abilities exist?
Since there is more than one type of psychic ability, I will look at these on an individual basis.

Apportation – The ability to undergo materialization, disappearance or teleportation of an object.
Magicians are good at making it look like they can make things disappear, and this stuff works in Harry Potter books, but unless there is some type of black hole used, this has no place in reality.

Astral projection or mental projection – The ability to voluntarily project the astral body (consciousness), being associated with the out-of-body experience, in which the astral body is felt to temporarily separate from the physical body.
Kids in my town were doing this, at least they claimed to be doing it, but I think it was just the LSD talking.

Automatic writing – The ability to draw or write without conscious intent.
I could throw paint on the wall like Jackson Pollock did and call it art, but nothing coherent comes out without your brain involved.

Divination – The ability to gain insight into a situation using occult means.
I don’t see how examining the entrails of a sacrificed animal is ever going to tell you anything of value, but supposedly the innards of a bull told Julius Caesar that he was in for a bad day.

Dowsing – The ability to locate water, sometimes using a tool called a dowsing rod.
Man can’t survive without water and years ago people were willing to believe anything to obtain this precious substance, but thankfully we developed technology to help us find water now.

Energy medicine – The ability to heal with one’s own empathic etheric, astral, mental or spiritual energy.
Your mind is a powerful tool and I imagine that people can exert some control over their health.

Levitation – The ability to float or fly by mystical means.
I don’t think this works without the broomstick.

Mediumship – The ability to communicate with spirits.
I think that Houdini proved that all of these seances were fake.

Precognition or premonition – The ability to perceive future events.
Anybody who is receptive to their inner thoughts, will appear to have some type of intuition, but this is limited to certain events,

Psychic surgery – The ability to remove disease or disorder within or over the body tissue via an “energetic” incision that heals immediately afterwards.
Hogwash medical fraud, don’t give any money to these people.

Psychokinesis or telekinesis – The ability to manipulate objects with one’s mind.
I have actually bent some spoons with my breath, but that only works if I stop brushing my teeth for a whole month.

Psychometry – The ability to obtain information about a person or an object by touch.
If this actually worked, it would put all the companies that make crystal balls out of business.

Pyrokinesis – The ability to control flames, fire, or heat using one’s mind.
Another hoax that uses some type of trickery.

Remote viewing – The ability to see a distant or unseen target using extrasensory perception.
Another pseudoscience that has no place in reality.

Retrocognition – The ability to supernaturally perceive past events.
I guess this would have to be more than déjà vu, more like a psychic time travel that would involve clairvoyance, but I live in the real world, not the spirit world.

Telepathy – The ability to transmit or receive thoughts supernaturally.
I can picture Robert De Niro hearing all of these voices and questioning who is talking to him.

How would you describe peanut butter to someone who didn’t know what it was?
I have heard the taste of peanut butter described as being like getting kissed by god under a rainbow of goodness which will make everything in the world seem better, thus it is a symbol of hope to be savored, but I would just say that it tastes better than paste.

Why does an octopus squirt ink?
They do this because they are not able to squirt peanut butter.

Who are two of today’s greatest entertainers in your opinion?  (can be actors, musicians, singers etc)
Clint Eastwood and Paul McCartney.

Gratitude Section
I am happy that I got a big jump on my April A to Z posts this year and I only have 5 left to write.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

A Really Big Shovel

What is knowledge?

This is the stuff that doesn’t go in one ear and out of the other.  It is any type of information that sticks in your brain, not something that you would hear but disregard or quickly forget.  Knowledge is what you remember, it is the electrical and chemical signals that are stored in your brain, that make up your memories.  Nerve cells connect together in certain patterns, called synapses, and the act of remembering something is just your brain triggering these synapses.  Your brain cells are always cooperative, working together to make your brain as efficient as possible and allow you to possess knowledge.

How do you define consciousness (self-awareness)?

These are actually two different terms, where consciousness involves being aware of the environment that you are in, and knowing how your body and lifestyle fits into that.  Self-awareness goes a little bit deeper, saying that you not only understand this consciousness, but you are also aware and recognize your existence.  To be conscious is to think, however being self-aware is the realization that you are a thinking being and you are capable of thinking about your thoughts.  To the French philosopher, René Descartes, the nature of a mind, is to think.  If a thing does not think, it is not a mind.  In terms of his ontology (branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being), the mind is an existing (finite) substance, and thought or thinking is its attribute.  Descartes defined thought in terms of consciousness, by saying that a thought is something “in us” of which we are conscious.  Descartes clearly identified the mind with consciousness and self-awareness and he distinguished this from the brain as the seat of intelligence.  The role of consciousness, is primarily to makes certain things available to the mind.  This may be easier to understand with an example, say you had an accident in your pants, no stick with me here as I am being serious, your consciousness would let you know that you had a problem, but your self-awareness would go a step further and let you know that you should try and remedy this accident, before it becomes a bigger problem.

Is it possible to prove that other people besides yourself have consciousness?

I think therefore I am would prove that I am a real person living in a real existence, so that is pretty deep, but it seems that these questions are getting more difficult, so I have my shovel out so I can dig deeper if necessary.  Thus, Descartes posed his famous question about whether he could know with certainty that the world he is experiencing is not an illusion being forced upon him by an evil demon. Like he was possibly stuck inside of a dream or even inside of the Matrix.  He reasons since he believes in what he sees and feels while dreaming, he cannot trust his senses to tell him that he is not still dreaming.  His senses cannot provide him with proof that the world even exists.  He concludes that he cannot rely on his senses, and that for all he knows, he and the rest of the world might all be under the control of an evil demon.  Since the consciousness of others is even more complicated than determining your own consciousness, taking anything at face value, and trying to question the existence of those things is going to take much more than my shovel and I may have to get my bulldozer out, or you could all stop reading at this point, knowing that I am full of bull.

Would you be able to tell if time had been altered in some way?

Why is it so difficult to understand time, if we could only understand time and gravity, then we could create a unified theory of everything.  I am not going to touch gravity even though there are relations between the two, but then I would have to talk Einstein and Relativity and I will save that for another post.  I just did a time related prompt on Song Lyric Sunday and now if I think about why anything exists, I figure that existence must be related to time.  Since nobody has defined what time is, I am going to say that it is a measure of existence and since that was not an answer to your question, let me get to the point.  You want to know if it is possible to tell if time has been altered, so I am going to assume that it is possible to alter time.  It happens all the time on Star Trek and in the Back to the Future movies, and I have seen things about time travel machines, alternate dimensions or universes, alternate time lines or being caught in an alternate time stream, but since I am not a science fiction writer, I don’t really spend that much time thinking about this stuff, that is unless I just smoked a real sticky one.  To answer your question, I don’t think that I would be able to tell if time had been altered in any way, because I would be altered along with the time line, otherwise I would be out of time and time would not be on my side.

Do you like potato chips (they’re called ‘crisps’ in Europe I believe)?

Yes, I do.  What about potato sticks, do they count as chips?

Gratitude Section

I went to the dentist this morning and I had a Spring Cleaning done on my teeth.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Whenever

If not now, then when?

Can you describe your life in a six-word sentence?
Have not figured it out yet.

Do you remember that thing people used to say, about how you swallow eight spiders a year while you sleep? It’s not true, but do you think you’ve ever swallowed any? What bug do you think you’ve eaten the most of by accident?
I heard that there are 57 sextillion spiders living on Earth and that is 57 followed by 15 zeroes which is a whole lot of god dammed spiders.  The smallest spiders have a body length of 0.5 mm or just 0.02 inches, so many of them go unnoticed.  I actually think that this could be true, but since Melanie says that is not the case, I will agree with her.  For many human cultures, insects are a regular part of their diet but that is not what Melanie is asking.  I know that I have swallowed a gnat or two, as those pests swarm around everyplace and I am pretty certain that I may have accidently eaten some food that contained insect parts in it, as even the FDA has an established quantity for consumption of safe quantities of insects, which regularly get into food.

What’s the best approach to resolving conflict?
Any nonviolent way would do, but you could always do as Celine Dion sings.

Optional Gratitude Section asks where we find inspiration.
I call on the muses for inspiration.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Odd Shaped Basket

Have you ever ‘butt dialed” someone?  (‘butt dialed’ means have you ever made a phone call that you weren’t aware of making, because the buttons on the phone got pushed by your sitting on them (in your pocket) OR having something in your handbag press against them?)
I hardly ever bother to turn on my phone, so I can honestly say that I have never done this, but since I have fat fingers, I have encountered a lot of problems sending text messages.

If you were given 1000 acres of land, what would you do with it?
That would depend where the land is and if it had any value.  Leo Tolstoy told a short story about a peasant named Pahom, who overhears his wife and sister-in-law arguing over the merits of town and peasant farm life.  He thinks to himself, “if I had plenty of land, I shouldn’t fear the Devil himself!”.  Unbeknownst to him, Satan is sitting behind the stove and listening.  Satan abruptly accepts his challenge and tells Pahom that he would give him more land and then snatch everything from him.  A short time later, a landlady in the village decides to sell her estate, and the peasants of the village buy as much of that land as they can.  Pahom purchases some of this land, and he is delighted, but as he gains more success, he becomes increasingly disgruntled when other peasants trespass on his land and his neighbors’ livestock start to wander on to his property.  Pahom feels that he is still too cramped and he buys more land as he becomes consumed with greed.  In the end, Pahom realizes that God may not let him have all the land that he desires and then he falls down and dies.  His servant buries him, so the only land that Pahom needed was for his grave.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on-line recently? 

Have you ever eaten something off the floor?  ‘5 second’ rule applies or not (the ‘5 second rule’ is that if you pick up the dropped food within a set time frame, it’s still ‘clean’ and you can safely eat it)?
There’s no magic period of time that prevents transmission of bacteria that will contaminate your food and even if a floor is cleaned regularly, it still has germs.  The handle on your refrigerator, or the knob on your faucet, or money in your wallet, or even your cellphone may have more germs than your floor, so I have done it and I am not really paranoid about everything.

Gratitude Section
I am grateful that I am still able to write every day and catch up with my friends here on WordPress.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Panties and Bras

Do you feel you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?
Wow, I am not sure what to write for this.  I am not very bashful, so I do ask questions, but if I don’t get an answer from somebody, then I will settle and not make a pest out of myself.  I think it is better to move on and not beat a dead horse.

When did you fail to speak up when you feel you should have?
When I was fired for sexual harassment, I should have told the company some of the things that this girl said to me, so they wouldn’t have looked at her like she was completely innocent.  She told me to stop telling this story, which I didn’t because I couldn’t see any harm in it, but some things that she told me were much worse.  She told me that when she slept at her boyfriend’s house that his dog would chew up her panties while she was sleeping, so she had to go to work not wearing any on those days.

When was the last time you felt lucky?
The last time that I got lucky, I felt lucky.

What is a boulder?
Since a brazier is often called an over the shoulder boulder holder, I am going to say that a boulder is a breast, and it is always good to keep abreast of things.

Gratitude Section
I have an appointment tomorrow at 1:15 to get my first Covid-19 vaccine.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Dinner at Her House

In your opinion, do May/December (older partner with much younger partner) romances ever work?
I have never been in a May/December romance, which is what I consider is one where the older partner is more than double the age of the younger partner, as May is the fifth month and December is the twelfth month.  I did have this thing going with an elderly neighbor of mine, who was about twenty years older than me at the time.  It wasn’t what I would call a romance, but we did spend some intimate time together.  It started out as a friendship with her helping me out as I was new to the area and she knew where everything was.  We used to talk when I walked my dog past her house and one day, I told her about my new job and that I needed some new clothes.  She said that she loved shopping and that she would gladly take me to the mall.

I was not interested in her at first, as she seemed to be old enough to be my mother, but when I was trying on pants, she came in the dressing room and told me that she would help me to make sure that they fit me.  I let her in and she saw me in my underwear as I was changing, which was a bit odd, but she was also very helpful.  One day she told me that she was having a problem with her computer and she wasn’t able log on to this dating site, so I helped her with that and she said that she wanted to take me out for ice cream.  I guess we were dating, but there was still no romance involved until the night that she invited me over to have dinner at her house.

She made spaghetti and it was very good and she had a glass of wine and gave me a beer.  She spilled some sauce on her dress and excused herself to go change in her bedroom.  The chair that I was sitting in faced her bedroom and I was surprised when suddenly it popped open and I saw her sitting on her bed wearing black panties and a black bra.  She covered her self when I looked at her and I assumed that the door latch did not catch when she closed it so I got up to help.  She looked pretty sexy and when I approached her bedroom, she did not object, so I want in and our relationship moved into a new level.  It didn’t work for us, as her kids who were my age thought she was acting foolish and soon after they moved her to another State.

What physical action or gesture do you find romantic?
I had a girlfriend who liked me to wash her hair in the shower and I always thought this was nice.

What is your idea of a romantic dinner?
Spilling wine on your clothes, so you can change them and then have a trick door that you can open at just the right time.

Is ‘love’ a real ‘thing’ or merely a physical chemical response and brain activity pulling our emotional strings?
I don’t think that I will ever figure out love, as sometimes you feel that you have it and then something changes and it is gone.  The good news is that you may find another love around the next corner and maybe the next time this will not fade away.

Gratitude section
I hope to be receiving my first Covid vaccine this week.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Law and Chaos

If the government offered to suspend all laws, and law enforcement for 24 hours, letting you (and everybody else) do whatever you wish… Would you be in favor of it, or not?
Being a mentally stable person who avoids chaos I feel this is a bad idea.  I enjoy things when they are organized and understandable and having no laws or law enforcement will not make my life any better, as I am already doing what I wish, staying at home and writing.

What would be the creepiest thing you could say while passing a stranger on the street? 
I just farted here; can you smell it?

As a child, what did you think would be great about being an adult, but isn’t as great as you thought it would be?
I always thought it was going to be cool when I started shaving, as this would be the way that I crossed the threshold from childhood into becoming an adult.  I would watch my dad shave and he would let me apply shave cream on my face and he gave me his shaver without a blade in it and I always got a kick out of that when I was young.  When I actually started shaving, I found it to be a pain in the ass.

What, in your opinion, has been blown way out of proportion?
The mishandling of the Covid-19 vaccines is a big mess and I preregistered for my first dose today and supposedly they will contact me with more information.  The demand for the shots is far outweighing the supply and everyday I hear different news, and it is like nobody that is in charge of this actually knows what they are doing.

Gratitude Section
Where is your ‘happy’ place? 
I am happy when I am writing and this is my fourth post today.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Dreams, Names, Hardships and Judging Others

Why do we dream?
No one knows this for sure, but I think this happens because our minds like to stay occupied while our bodies are regenerating.  Since there is no good way to study why people dream and also because our memories tend to fade quickly after we wake up, this may be related to certain circuits in your brain rewiring themselves to take in events and preserve information, thus stimulating neuron activities that manifest as our dreams, but what the hell do I know anyway, as I am not Sigmund Freud.

Do you think a person’s name influences the person they become?
That is quite possible as the boy named Sue grew up to be a tough son of a bitch.

Does hardship make a person stronger?  (example:  What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger)
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought this was true and I tend to agree, but I don’t think this works for continued failure.  If you get up after being knocked down, you may learn to duck next time, but if you keep getting knocked down continuously, the only thing that you will learn is that it is better to stay down and this will make you weaker.

Why do we judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions?
Stephen M.R. Covey the American writer and public speaker and the author of the book The SPEED of Trust said this and it makes sense to me.  If we do something wrong, we try to rationalize how we didn’t mean for that outcome to end the way it did, or perhaps that we really did it for some good reason.  However, when other people do something wrong, we never give them that same slack, because we don’t know them as we do ourselves and we just assume that they are wrong.  Everyone is biased on certain issues and we hold ourselves to a different level of accountability than we do for others, so we judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.

GRATITUDE SECTION
I heard that there is a chance that the Covid19 vaccination might come into my neighborhood and that would make me very happy.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Hammered

What should you get rid of, that would make your new year better, and why?
I could use a new bed, as the one that I am sleeping on is about 8 years old now and of course when I get a new one, the old one must go.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
One time, I dove off of a cliff, but this may have been more stupid than brave, however I would qualify it as daring as my friends dared me.  It was Anthony’s birthday and Ed, Jack my brother, myself and Anthony, or ray face as we liked to call him, all went to this bar and we got hammered drinking shots and beer.  This was one day when I wasn’t driving as we went in Ed’s Chevelle and after our stop at the tavern, we went for a cruise.  The tunes were blasting, but I actually can’t remember everything that we were listening to, but I know it was rocking.  This was May 1972 and rat face was turning 18, so if it was the radio it was probably the Stones ‘Tumbling Dice’, or Paul Simon’s ‘Me and Julio’, or Elton’s ‘Rocket Man’, but the one song that I do remember was the Allman Brothers ‘Midnight Rider’, because I was singing, “I’ve got one more silver dollar, but I’m not gonna let ‘em catch me, no
not gonna let ‘em catch the midnight rider.”  We may have heard ‘Midnight Rider’ in the bar and we could have been listening to some Dead in the car, but none of this is important to the story.

Ed saved three joints of this killer pot for Anthony’s birthday and we smoked two of them in the car and we finally ended up on Johnston Drive in Watchung, NJ, a place that everyone referred to as 13 bumps.  There is a crazy story that says these thirteen bumps were put in the road for the thirteen witches that once lived there, but the real reason is that they were added to the end of this twisting down hill road to slow speeders down and prevent accidents.  We used to drive over them and everyone in the car would bounce around a bit, which was always fun.

Just before you get to the bumps, depending on which way you get on this road, there was this sort of scenic overlook.  It wasn’t all that scenic, as there wasn’t much to see besides Route 22 below, so it was more like a rest stop where kids would pull over to party.  We stopped there and finished up the last joint.  I looked down the cliff and I figured that I could do a flip off of it and everything thought I was a jerk, or a brainless idiot and they said that I wouldn’t be able to do it.  I took the dare and rolled into a summersault and then untucked and grabbed this branch hanging down from this tree, or otherwise I may have ended up on 22.

I climbed back up the hill to everyone cheering and laughing at what a nut I was.  My shirt was ripped and I had some glass stuck in my back, but in the state that I was in, I wasn’t feeling any pain.  I dusted myself off and then Bergen, Phillips and DiDario, these dudes also from South Plainfield pulled up in the rest area, as they spotted Ed’s Chevelle.  They got out and we exchanged greetings and everyone told them that they just missed me diving off of the cliff.  They didn’t believe that I did it, so I turned around and pulled a chunk of glass out of my back.  They were stunned and Phillips said that he has this camcorder and he wanted me to do it again, so he could film it.

I told him, “Been there and done that, but for you I will dive off the cliff backwards.”  Phillips got his new toy and I turned my back on the cliff and dove off tumbling down and grabbing onto another branch.  All the guys were amazed that I would attempt such a thing, but stupidity knows no bounds and I enjoyed being the entertainment.  I got back up and Phillips was mad because he ran out of film, but he did capture me just as I went over the edge of the cliff and I would love to see that video again someday.

Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken?
Not really, but my dad was a clean freak and I guess it could have been, “Pick it up or it will be thrown out.”

On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are?  (this does not mean ‘smell’ or looks; because this is a judgment free blog!) 
I used to be funny and as a matter of fact this guy on the High School yearbook staff told me that I came in second on the vote of Class Clown.  Yes, I know this superlative is not what most students strive for, but that was my life back in the day trying to make people laugh.   Nobody knows who came in second as they only show the photos of the winners.

Gratitude Section
I am going to try again to get my Covid vaccine and if I do, I will be grateful.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.