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I recently hit my 30s and I've realised over the last couple years a couple things have happened. Firstly, as I keep getting older the X that marks the left simply keeps moving to the left of me and secondly, not only was the X moving to the left as I stood stationary, I myself am now moving to the right of my own accord. I'm not even that old, and I feel in general I am losing touch with what's current. It continues to be a weird transition for me; to move from the "happening crowd" to the lepers on the outskirts of society.


Right now I am at an interesting crossroads politically speaking. Political ideology is inherently selfish. When you're young, you tend to have nothing and policies that you give something for nothing sound very enticing. Yet, when you get older you now have something and those same policies you once liked now mean you get nothing, but something is now taken away from you. As an aside from that, I feel like as you get older your horizons tend to broaden. I know with myself personally that I once tarred all conservatives with the same brush. In essence, they're selfish, heartless and racist idiots. 


Now that I've spent some time getting familiar with conservative talking points "straight from the horse's mouth" so to speak, this characterisation no longer seems fair. But (and this is a big but), I don't think those claims are completely baseless either. We all prefer to see the world as black and white, and as I get older I realise that this is just as true of me as it is others. It's easy to switch camps, it's harder to sit somewhere in the middle disagreeing with both about some points, and agreeing still on others. This is where I am currently sitting.


I guess if I were to summarise my current transition, it is to say that I've moved from a big "S" socialist to a small "s" socialist. Not earth shattering I know, but I am beginning to realise that not every government solution helps the people and that a paternal hand upon society can quickly turn into a yolk. For me I care most for looking after people and care for the economy insofar as it supports the goal of looking after people. Because of this I don't ever see myself becoming a libertarian or otherwise conservative due to this inherent focus of mine, but let's see where this goes.


In closing, this quote was something I came across during an interview the other day and I find it rather apt for how I feel about where I am at currently:


Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and
any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains 

Many years ago now I purchased this book, you can get it on Amazon here. At the time of purchase, I read about a third of it, found it fascinating and didn't touch it again. This of course changed in the last week or two as I made it my mission to go through old books of mine (and books I've always wanted to read) and begin working through them. The first of these was Price's book and it's not exactly a light read, my Kindle estimated about 15 hours reading time, and it wasn't too far off that.


So, what exactly is this book about? Quite simply, Price's mission here is to go through the NT (primarily the gospels, though he touches on some epistles to make certain points) and show that after separating the wheat from the tares you come to find yourself with no wheat, and nothing but tares. That is to say, once you're done stripping away myth you are left with no facts to pin to a historical Jesus. Price's methods (which he outlines at the start of the book) are the following:


  • Consistency with Known History - Do the biblical accounts match the historical record? If not, then we obviously chuck them out. Price's initial examples of this are the census of Quirinius and the synagogues and existence of Galilee at the time of Jesus. 
  • Criterion of Dissimilarity - This is one of his more contentious methods, essentially if what Jesus said was dissimilar to what everyone else was saying at the time, it's potentially authentic, otherwise it's not. Pro tip: According to Price, nothing is dissimilar.
  • Principle of Analogy - Essentially saying that if it's supernatural, it obviously didn't occur. Price explains that if we can find some contemporary examples of events that are recorded in the NT, then we can reasonably think there's potential for them to have really occurred, otherwise we can't. 
  • Principle of Biographical Analogy - If it walks, talks and acts like a duck; then it's a duck. If the gospels of Jesus look like other mythological tales, are told like them and include plot and story elements like them then why should we not consider the gospels mythological like they are?


Price of course explains this points more rigorously and more seriously than I have here, but this gives you an idea of the tools he uses to dissect the NT. That said, what are Price's findings as he goes through the various elements of the gospel narrative?


He covers so much ground that I don't know if I could do him justice in summarising with the few words I could be bothered writing on this topic. That said, let give you some snippets of the points and arguments he's made:


  • Parallels between gospel stories and those outside the NT - Price spends a lot of time showing how various stories in the gospels are either similar or identical to other stories found elsewhere. These could be stories told in Jewish lore such as the OT, the Talmud or various midrash. They could also be in Greek/Roman mythology, or even in Buddhist/Hindu mythology. Some of these are very compelling, others I feel are a stretch. I feel like at times Price is looking to find something to match up to the gospel text, rather than it coming to him. Some compelling, or at least interesting examples are those tales told of Apollonius of Tyana as well as multiple midrash concerning various Rabbi and their saying and/or miracles.
  • Hints of revisionism of various narratives - That is to say Price makes the argument in many places the narratives told were an attempt to correct previous authors or otherwise fix up embarrassing tales. Some of the compelling arguments I found were the deification of Jesus and how authors Luke and Matthew (and occasion John when covering the same material) toned down the human Jesus in Mark. For example, massaging Jesus' reply of "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God" into something else. Then there's the move of making John the Baptist subservient to Jesus. At first it was understood he was probably much older than Jesus, and weren't familiar with each other to him being Jesus cousin barely older than him who jumped in the womb upon Jesus' conception.
  • Hints of later church disputes being retrofitted into Jesus' words - Price argues that certain actions or conversations Jesus has are actually issues the Christian authors at the time were facing and were looking to get final word by getting authority through Jesus. Price gives examples of what he believes are allegories to these disputes, as well as conversations that couldn't plausibly have happened amongst Jews. An example off the top of my head is from the Gospel of Thomas where the topic of circumcision comes up - an obvious anachronism.


There is so much really, and I feel like in order to do it justice my summary would have to be 2 or 3 times longer than what I've written so far but I couldn't be bothered going back over the book to give some more thorough details so I will leave the snippets at that. What I will say now are my conclusions based on what he has written.


Price is writing to those in the know. Unless church history and biblical criticism are of particular interest to you, you will feel like you've jumped into an ocean not being able to swim. As a Christian these topics were of immense interest to me and I felt right at home. In some ways it was a bit of a relief as I felt like he wasn't wasting time explaining himself which can be frustrating reading material written to the layman when you yourself tend to be already knowledgeable. That said, he likes to display his extensive vocabulary and I found myself looking up a lot of words which I don't generally have to do when reading books. That was probably the only "annoying" part in terms of communication and writing style.


As for the arguments that Price makes, I feel like he is just blasting out theories and seeing what sticks. If it doesn't stick, he tries seeing if duct taping it on will give it a bit of a hand. This will put some people off and might make them view everything else he says with suspicion, but I believe with what he's wrote he is probably on the mark a good chunk of the time. I wouldn't even necessarily say the majority of the time but it's significant to the point that if you can forgive his stretches, it would be hard for you to continue to believe there was a real historical Jesus underneath the gospel tales.


I remember watching a sociology course a few years ago, and one of the lectures discussed the study of suicide by a man called Emile Durkheim. It covered a lot of ground, but essentially what it boiled down to was that the more isolated you are, the more likely you are to commit suicide. Single people are more likely that people in a relationship, people without kids vs those with kids and so on. The lecture also discussed another finding Durkheim came across: Men commit suicide more often than women.


One of the interesting things the lecturer pointed out was that men's social networks often depend upon their partners. This of course isn't true in every case, but often men's social engagements are organised by their partners and their friends are generally the partners of their partner's friends. Thus, a break up or divorce is incredibly traumatic as their one connection to the outside world has been severed and they're now isolated. You combine this with the fact that men in the west are often raised in a way that "bottles up" their emotions and you have men that even when they do have some type of support network, they can't leverage it due to social norms making pushing against them seeking emotional support.


As I mentioned in a previous post, as I've gotten older I've not kept up with making new friends to replace the ones I've lost. I am now in a position where I literally have no friends. I have a few "acquaintances" that I would call friends in casual conversation, but no one who if shit hit the fan I could call up and expect help when I asked for it. My only form of socialisation is through my partner, and while I don't expect us to break up - I am very aware that I am connected to the rest of the world by a single thread.


Because of this, I have been trying to increase my social activity. I've recently gotten involved in a meet up, and I think I will start attending others as I find them. This isn't enough though, I need to make some meaningful relationships - this is a lot harder. I do hope I make some more friends because I know I need it. I've been seriously depressed before, but not in a very long time. The reason for this is that I now have a meaningful relationship with another person: my partner. This is also why I am aware that if anything every happened to us, I know exactly what is in store for me and I don't want to be in a situation where I am left alone, with no one to really turn to.


As an introvert, I tend to favour having few relationships that are deep over many that are shallow. While this is a strategy that works fine when you're younger, as you get older I've found that you still experience the attrition of friendships that you used to, but you're no longer getting new supplies. In other words, when you're younger you make and lose friends at roughly the same pace, but as you get older (especially as an introvert) you're still losing friends but not really making any new ones. It's to the point now where I don't have any friends anymore in my usual sense of the word. I am friendly with a bunch of people, but not particularly close to any of them.


This is something I need to do something about, but I am at a bit of a loss as to how to overcome it. I'm not sure if I'll ever have any meaningful relationships anymore and that's a bit concerning to me because we all need some lifelines out there, even us loners. While we're talking about meaningful relationships, I've slowly come to realise over the last year that some relationships that I had were more one sided than I had realised. Looking back, I held onto some relationships despite the obvious signs that I was not valued. It's funny for me to realise now how misguided I was about it all, and how concerns my parents raised were more valid than I considered. Which is really a funny realisation to have given my age.


I think I settled for what I could get, which it seems was not a lot. I didn't realise it until now, but I need some more self respect and that starts with not putting up with what I have been putting up with this whole time. 


Today I clocked in 129.1 kilograms. That's about 284lbs for you yanks :) Now, I realise this is still fat as fuck, but I was at one point 165 kilograms so I'm pretty chuffed at the moment. I still have about another 29 kilos to go until I am anywhere near a healthy weight but at least I'm past the halfway mark. As it stands now, I am lighter than I have been in years. In fact I think when I first joined ex-c, I was probably about 10 kilos heavier than I am now, to help put it into perspective.


Anyways, I know I don't post often here anymore but I know I sometimes wonder how things are going with people. No one likes being left in suspense :) Anyways, I'll try to remember to post again soon to fill y'all in about how I am going. I'm hoping to be 100 kilos by january next year, but let's see how this pans out. I think it's possible, but I'll need to be disciplined. Anyways, that's it for now. Catch y'all later :)


Long post ahead, be ye forewarned.


I watched an interesting video recently on the effect of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence has and will have on humanity. You can view the video

. Basically, the video argues that shit will hit the fan when robots take over human jobs because we'll put the vast majority of people out of work. Most jobs that people have are ones where a robot with basic artificial intelligence could take over. The chief example is driving which we already have solutions for. Driving jobs along make up about 3 or so million jobs in the US. Essentially he argues that unless we put plans in place now, things could easily go very bad for the short and medium term.


When I think about the situation, I find that these changes won't be as sudden as he argues they will be. My thoughts on how this all plays out is the following: For example, going back to automatically driving cars, I do not believe that automatic cars will be allowed to drive by themselves for quite some time after their mass production. Instead, there will have to be a driver there who supervises the car during the trip just in case. Likewise, they'd need to be alert and not under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Just like those who supervise learner drivers are held to the same standards as if they are driving themselves.


Small businesses won't be able to afford robots as they require too much of an upfront cost and the larger ones will experiment by taking a couple on board while keeping a majority of humans (kinda the same process supermarkets are taking with self serve checkouts). A lot of countries will probably at this point see the effect that these displaced jobs will have on the economy and probably introduce regulations on the percentage of robot workers to humans. Human oversight on operations will be required for a long time and thus the last of the jobs to go will probably be managerial and supervisor positions.


Poorer countries will be less likely to use robotics at all and further fall behind, some of the growing economic countries like india or china might be tempted to get into robotics, but this could reverse the progress they've been making in fighting off poverty. Some might take the bite, others probably won't. The 3rd world will probably fall drastically behind again, but catch up quickly once the west figures out how to handle this new dilemma and decides to help build their economies.


So, the government response will initially be regulation; preventing businesses sacking vast majorities of their employees for robots. Not that they'd do this anyway as they'd start off experimenting with a few here and there. They'd still be pretty damn expensive so they wouldn't be gung ho, and those working for small businesses wouldn't have to worry about their jobs for quite a while until the prices for robots dropped dramatically.


The government would require a lot of automated jobs to still be supervised by staff (such as self driving cars) and that at this stage, a long term plan will be developed about what they're going to do about supporting people who will be out of jobs. I do suspect that the short term solution will be some sort of ramped up welfare system where everyone who is out of jobs will be given a minimum wage by the government. This will keep the capitalist system going for maybe quite a long time but it's not viable in the long term.


Obviously the wealthy who are benefiting from this system will perpetuate it for as long as they possibly can but there will come a point where money is essentially worthless and some sort of socialist or communist like system will come into effect mostly because the government will take it upon itself to offer the same services that these wealthy individuals are involved in and will undercut them to keep prices cheap because they'd be required to do it to keep the world going.


The wealthy will eventually be eradicated and the whole concept of paying for things will be demolished. People will take as much as they need, with perhaps some sort of upper limit on what they can take, though this probably won't be needed to worried about as at this point it wouldn't really benefit anyone being greedy. Nations will connect to each other at this point in a even more cohesive version of the EU allowing for free travel between nations and people living basically wherever they want whenever they want.


The only potential problem I see here lies in the government as while all other jobs may go, the government will persevere and as it takes a larger and larger role in supporting the populace, there is an extremely large danger of it turning into a totalitarian state. The shift of this happening or not will be at the later stages and I think people will need to be very careful, and very vigilant to ensure that this doesn't happen.


Lastly, I think this is probably much further away than the video makes it out to be. I get the impression that they think this will happen in the next 5,10 or perhaps even up to 20 years, but I suspect they are going for the former figures rather than the later figures. I however suspect that this will not happen this quickly. I think we will probably be seeing these sort of big changes happening in perhaps 50 years, or maybe even more.


Automated cars for example are something that the author believes we are on the precipice of releasing en masse, but the fact of the matter is there is so much work left to do. Big car manufacturers (i.e. not Google) have stated they will be releasing basic types of these self driving cars in the next 5 or so years, essentially they are like "cruise control plus". A far cry from your own personal robotic chauffeur. The ethical issues that this equipment has to deal with still needs to be fleshed out.


My ball park figure for this? I think maybe, at the earliest it will be 15 years away till we see any sort of large scale deployment of self driving cars and probably 25 years away from robots being involved in easily automated type jobs. I actually think it will be even longer, but I am somewhat hedging on these earlier dates. Now, why do I think that this will be so far away? I'll illustrate with an example.


Let's look at self serve checkouts at a supermarket. The first of these came out in the early 90s, but have only really taken off in the last couple years. I think the ones in the early 90s would have been rather limited, but those from the early 2000s onwards would have the processing power to do what we can do now so I'll take the figure from this point in time rather than the 90s.


Even with this figure in mind, the time from when these machines were first being taken on board to their near ubiquitous presence now has been about 15 years and i most supermarkets you go to there are still plenty of staff working in lanes. It will probably be another 10 years till these lanes are your only option, with some staff on board making sure you don't pinch anything. Thus the full effect of this technology on employment will have taken 25 years. Seeing this, why would we assume that robotic automation will be near instant 100% permeation upon its release?


Thus, we have a long time to respond to the effects these inventions will have on the economy and it is not going to be a panicked rush that the author suggests it will be. Even assuming the implementation takes half the time I suggest, that is still over a decade to respond to the ongoing change, and that is a decade on top of whatever time we have now till their first commercial release, which as I suggested earlier is still over a decade away anyways. So yeah, I think we can cool our heels for a while and not panic. We do need to respond, but we will be given ample time to do so.


Good Dream

Have you ever had a dream that left you in a good mood after you woke up? Well, until recently I never had. That's not to say most of my dreams leave me in a bad mood, they just leave me in a neutral mood most of a time. You see this dream was sorta unique too. In the dream I saw a good friend of mine who I see on occasion in my dreams and we were just having a good time catching up. Now when I have him in my dreams I usually say that I thought he was dead and he clarifies that he was just seriously hurt or whatever and that he's ok now and I usually wake up quickly after that. This time round I didn't say what I thought and instead we just chit-chatted, had something to eat and had a good time. The dream wasn't "off" like most dreams are, but instead just felt like the good old days.


He was a good friend of mine, it shattered me when he died and I can say that I've never felt pain like that before or since. I do appreciate that my mind is able to let me see him every once in a while, even though it's not really real. Had me in a good mood the rest of the day, do miss those good ol' times.


So, it's a bit scary to say it out loud. There is almost a sense of embarrassment being overweight - even more so when you are soo incredibly overweight. When people ask I am generally vague, I might even be described as deceptive about how much I say my weight is, but I decided today that I need to make some small steps in "owning" it. Even if it's somewhat anonymously on a blog. So as you might notice I have a section to the right called weight loss. It's got my current weight loss and how much I actually weigh.


So yeah, I weigh 161.3 kilograms. I can hardly believe it. I remember only a couple years ago when I weighed 140KG and I've gained an additional 20 since then, 15 of which in the last two years or so. This needs to change, and I have been making small progress, 2.4kg in a couple weeks (for a rough conversion into pounds, double it but at my weight it's probably better to use a calculator as it'd be about 30 or more pounds off).


Anyways, I decided I am going to put a goal and a stretch goal out there. So, at the rate I am losing weight now is about 0.8KG a week. That's not a lot, but it falls within the recommendation of keeping weight loss between 0.5 - 1.0 kilograms a week. At this rate, I'd expect to lose about 7.2KG by end of March, and weigh around 154.1KG. Since I have amped up my activity a bit this last week compared to the weeks prior, chances are I should expect to lose more than this, but I think this is a good, realistic and achievable goal with where I am at right now.


Now, for my stretch goal is a bit ambitious, but I don't want it to be too ambitious as I don't want to get upset or whatever not meeting it. I'm having a hard time choosing the weight exactly but I've decided on it being 145KG. It's a little over double the other one but it works out being a little under 2KG a week (I have 9 weeks till the end of March). I'm pretty sure I'll be somewhere in between these two results.


Lastly, one thing that I realised recently, and I guess this is because I am being more conscious about it, is that I often eat after I feel full because there's good still on the plate, I'll finish a drink even though I'm not particularly thirsty as well. When I realised this the other day I've been mindful of it and simply choosing to stop eating after that. Sometimes I'll finish a meal like I normally would, but other times I'll see that I'm full and I'll stop. I think small changes like this and the others I'm making will add up, but at the same time don't make me feel deprived and desirous of food that I "can't have". I'm still having what I want, I'm just being a bit more tempered with how much of it I eat. Anyways, that's it for now.


A Month In

Note: I'm kinda rambling thoughts here so they might not be flowing that well.


So, it's been a couple weeks since I started going to the gym and things have been going well. I've been going every other day, but this week since I've got a bit of a late start at work I've been managing to go every day as I go in the morning while I'm refreshed enough to do so. It also helps that since it's a late shift I don't have to get up incredibly early to fit it in (I get up at 8, have breakfast and I'm there by about quarter past).


My phone has a pedometer so I've been tracking my progress as well. Prior to going to the gym I was averaging about 3000 steps a day, but since going to the gym it's increased substantially to about 8000 steps a day. Today I actually breached 10,000 steps. I plan on doing this whole treadmill only thing for a couple of months before I decide to mix it up and do anything else. In fact I think I'll give it till the end of march, so about 90 days.


I've found some quick changes in the short amount of time I've been doing this, which I always seem to forget about - namely that I have more energy. However, the thing that doesn't change so quickly but the one that I want to change quickly is almost frozen in place. In the last 2 weeks my weight has been about the same (about a 1kg difference, but since they were taken at different times it could be a matter of one was a full stomach vs one that wasn't for example).


Checking the scales religiously is really not doing me well and is making me feel dejected. I want fast results and I'm not getting them. The amount of positive reinforcement I need is not being met, so I need to find where else I can fulfil it so I don't fall off the bandwagon again. Starting with me not checking the scales every day. I think I am going to try to force myself to check 'em only every Sunday. On top of that I will make sure I do them at the same time each time so I can get some consistency.


Next, I need to remind myself that I need to have a realistic expectation of how much weight I can possibly lose when I am not making major changes to my diet and that I am only walking on the treadmill for a couple kilometres every day. Seeing that I burn a couple hundred calories at best each session, and that I need to cut about 500 calories a day to lose about 0.5 kg a week, I should expect to only lose 1kg every 3 weeks or so since I am definitely not burning 500 calories a day.


BUT..I am making minute changes to my diet if I am going to be fair to myself. I am attempting to eat smaller portions so a regular sized meal at a fast food joint vs the large I regularly get. When I drink soda I am trying to go for the one with the least amount of calories and so on. I think it's all about making small changes that are almost imperceptible and sticking with them for long periods of time before making more of them and so on; simply repeating the process.


In the end, I know I could have lost at least 12kg by end of march if I choose a stricter regimen - but that theoretical limit won't mean shit if I bomb out early on because I can't hack it. It's much better to lose 4 actual kilos vs 12 theoretical ones.


Anyways, in summary:

  • Will stick to treadmill only scheme till end of march, then reevaluate
  • Will only weight myself once a week
  • Try not to focus on my weight loss so much (even though it's so fucking hard and I am tempted to think it's the only thing that matters)
  • focus on finding positive reinforcement elsewhere (not sure where yet)


So today I was reading something in the paper and I noticed that the said the current value of the item was 6.47% less now than it was a year before and that its current value is $66500. Now, I vaguely recalled there was a way of figuring this out, but I didn't just want to look up the formula. I wanted to see if I could get to the formula myself and below are my initial steps. You see I've been recently seeking to improve my math skills so I've been starting off with algebra and have gotten up to playing around with quadratics. Prior to that, I was practicing rearranging equations.


Now, I knew how to reduce something by a given percent. Basically you take the value, and minus it by your value divided by 100 and multiplied by the percentage you wanted to reduce it by (I realise there's a simpler way of doing this but this came to mind initially so I just ran with it). So, I called this initial value a and created the formula below.


I then multiplied each side by 100, then applied the distributive law (ab - ac = a[b-c]) before finally dividing both sides by 100-6.47. This resulted in a being isolated, and thus gave me the formula. To reduce this formula even more, one could simply say you divide the current price by the percentage of its original value. In other words if a $56 is 25% off, you can find its value by doing 56/0.75 (it's current value is $56 and it is now 75% of its original value).


Anyways, I realise it's not all that impressive for most but I was pretty glad to have figured it out myself and further more to actually apply something I learnt.



I've in my personal life that for the most part if you have enough goes at it, eventually you succeed. I know this because of several different areas in my life that required me to half multiple attempts before getting to the finished product. The main one left now is related to my health - weight loss.


I've tried to lose weight and on several occasions I've lost significant amounts yet over the years I've still managed to gain the weight back, and worse, add more on. It's at the point now I am really worried I'll die young. Over the last couple months I've tried off and on again to lose weight and I'm basically hovering about 5 kg more than I was this point last year.


I've learned at least what my main problems are, and they're the same too problems I always have no matter the goal I'm trying to achieve. I either get too pumped up and have unrealistic expectations of myself (i.e. lose large amounts of weight in a month) or I immerse myself in the topic and obsess over it day and night for weeks, even months and then as a result I get burned out and lose my motivation regarding it.


So, what happened to my last bout of trying to lose weight? I was not enjoying the workout, I was doing too much for what I can handle given my current fitness level and it was making me hate what I was doing. I decided to dial it right the fuck down this time. There's a gym that's a couple of mins walk about the road, and I've joined it. All I'm doing right now is walking every other day on the treadmill. I set a goal of walking about 3kms (about 2 miles) at a leisurely pace which now takes me about 40mins


At first I was listening to music and walking really fast (doing 3kms closer to 30mins than 40) but I found myself getting bored and not enjoying it. In fact doing my walk last time was such an effort I felt like just calling it a day not even 10mins into it. At that point I realised I needed to do things differently. I needed to slow down so I wasn't feeling so uncomfortable and I needed to do something about the boredom and music was obviously not helping me.


Today when I went, I took longer than I was before (my walk taking me about 40mins as mentioned before) so I wasn't struggling and sweating profusely and also as a change I listened to a debate (Ehrman vs WLC) and I found the experience far more pleasant. I think giving me something interesting to focus on is important, it's probably unconventional but I found I enjoyed myself far more than I did the last few times. I'm just gonna keep on at it till I find something that works for me.


Further to that, I am not trying to walk everyday and not beating myself up if I miss it for a couple of days (I'm trying to go for every second day). I would actually walk more often but aside from my legs aching a bit the next day, I find my inner thighs are raw from rubbing together while walking which actually bothers me more. I found by walking slower as well they're not as bad, but we'll see how that progresses.


Anyways, since I started doing this walking regiment a couple weeks ago I've noticed I have more energy. Most weekends I found that I had little energy to go into town and run errands and just couldn't wait to get home and when I did I'd be exhausted. This weekend though I noticed I was far better in that regards. I did not at all feel depleted and felt it was absolutely ok to go around and walk.


So, goal for this month is simply to keep on doing what I'm doing.


Max The Cat

Yesterday we noticed our cat was acting a bit funny, a little reluctant to move. This was further compounded this morning where we found him pretty much where we left him in the house. He wasn't moving much, and while eating he wasn't drinking. We took him to the vet, and we were given some antibiotics and basically told that his age combined with the fact that he has FIV means we might be having to face some hard decisions if he doesn't get better.


I sort of allowed myself to get into the mindset he was going to die and I just started crying as I thought about what I wanted to do if we had to put him down. I feel better now, and he does look better too. I dunno how it'll turn out, but having anything to care about is a ticking time bomb, just with cats it's one that goes off faster than others.


Health Scare

So the other night I came home from work and I felt a bit of a dull pain in my side and chest. I didn't think much of it but I started feeling a bit nauseous. I soon started to feel like someone was trying to crush my head and then my left arm started to tingle - that's right, it started to look like a fucking heart attack. We went to the hospital and I got checked out, they took an ECG and when I found out that came out ok most of my symptoms went away and I decided to go home before the blood tests came in (I know I should have probably stayed to await the results, but I had work the next day and on top of that I was quite certain I brought upon most of my symptoms through my own anxiety and fear over possibly having a heart attack).


After this scare I decided i needed to do something serious about my weight. I have been trying to lose it on and off for many years and I simply lack the discipline needed to do it. I need help, I don't want to die young from a heart attack. I booked an appointment with my doctor and will be seeing them soon to discuss our options. I need to do something about this and I'm not going to try doing it on my own anymore.


Today's Workout

So I started my workout today, it's official. I got some basic gym workout stuff the other day and put it all in what is now I guess you can call my "workout room". Here's a glimpse:




I have somewhat improvised with some of the things in there. For example, the table there is used as a stand for my lappy so I can listen to tunes and check up on things if needed (It's surprisingly easy for me to forget the order of the workouts I'm doing), the mirror I use to double check my form - especially when I am doing squats - don't want to be bending that back, man. Lastly, the weights and bench are used for as you guessed my workout. I got a fairly cheap flat bench and it was a bit too wobbly for my liking, so as you can see I reinforced it a bit for my peace of mind.


Aside from that, I had a good workout today. Was sweating hard, and even though I couldn't complete my full workout, I got most of it done and I was knackered. I just gotta work on that endurance, that will come with time. I find that the squats take the most out of me, which I guess is mostly due to how many muscles it works at the same time. Secondly, I find that my back is probably my weakest point as I have such a bad posture (not only due to my weight, but it's also fairly common for tall people like myself so it's a double whammy) that keeping it straight during workouts is a workout in of itself.


Anyways, this is my first big step. Next workout will probably be on Wednesday or Thursday - depending on how sore I am :D


So, I haven't exactly been making strides, I am finding that I am drinking soda every now and again but it is still less than what I use to drink before. Some days I don't drink at all, other days I'll have it with a meal. I kinda went all out a couple days ago when I had a pretty rough day, I guess for me food is my own form of self abuse.


Anyways, the cardio pretty much went nowhere. I have barely touched the elliptical so I decided to start doing what I actually enjoy which is lifting weights. I bought some weights and a flat bench and dedicated one of our rooms for it. I think I might even buy some speakers to play music off my phone. I did some lifting yesterday and I'm a bit sore today, so something went right. I put together a workout plan and I'll be using this for a while. It's a beginner plan and gives me a good overall workout.


The workout is designed for use 3 days a week with cardio done on the off days. Seeing how much I seem to detest cardio I don't like my chances of doing the cardio, but we'll see how we go. What I found looking online for people who lost large amounts of weight is they all started very small. Some started as small as walking around the block everyday, others just cut out soda for one meal a day, or every other day.


I guess what I am trying to take from this is to start small enough that I can keep it up. So typically I drink soda with lunch and dinner. What I do now is typically skip it with lunch and have it with dinner. I tried skipping it for both meals, but for whatever reason dinner seems harder to break than lunch so I'll take lunch and stop getting annoyed at myself with dinner. Likewise, if I won't do cardio but I enjoy doing weights, I'll take that and go with that.


Anyways, Since I started I have lost a tiny bit of weight - about 3 kilos, it fluctuates (water retention or something I guess) but it's still consistently lower than it was when I started. I think my first mini goal is 10 kilograms lost. I just need to take one step at a time - one baby step at a time.


So I posted a rant the other day in the forums, but I figure they probably belong more so on my blog. Just now I was reading this blog where a person was countering the racist statements of somebody else (basically that all blacks are criminals) and gave the explanation for high crime rates wasn't race but education and poverty levels and gave a european country as an example stating that in this country where there are high levels of the above, there is also high levels of crime despite being a fairly racially homogenous country.


All the painful comments in response to his retort were about how that country has low crime rates and despite multiple clarifications that he wasn't talking about the country as a whole, people kept repeating the same mantra "this country has low crime rates lol you don't know what you're talking about hahah". This is what is so frustrating to discuss issues on the internet. Some people get stuck on a misunderstanding of your point, and never deviate from it and it becomes tiresome. Anyways, this bugged me so hard I had to vent here and now I'm done :)


In one of more more serious attempts, I went and saw a dietician who gave me some good advice on what to eat and drink. Nothing that can't be found online of course, but I think hearing it from someone whose job it is to know about these things is reassuring no doubt. The main thing thing I took away from our conversations was the amount of energy you take in matters more than the type of energy you take in.


To expand upon this, I'm sure most of us know about the documentary where a man lived off purely McDonalds for a month I believe and by the end of it he was feeling really terrible and had quite bad side effects. The thing about this documentary is that this has never been replicated. In fact, many people have gone on to show you can lose weight even through eating only eating McDonalds.


How is this possible? Well, my dietician explained it this way: We all need a certain amount of fuel to run. Too much fuel, and we start depositing fat. Too little fuel, we begin to lose it and given enough time and severity we simply die. He explained how many people when they begin to diet try changing out "bad food" with "good food". Juice instead of soda, fruit instead of chocolates and sweets and so on and so forth. The problem is that the energy you get from both types of foods can be comparable.


Just this morning I was looking at the bottle of coke I have in the fridge and compared it to the bottle of juice that I have. I knew from what my dietician told me that fruit juice and things like gatorade were pretty bad but I never bothered to compare them myself. I found to my amazement that my apple juice actually was worse than coke. If anything, I was expecting it to be a fair bit better, if not just a tiny bit. I have found in my investigations that the "healthier" alternatives are hardly healthier at all.


So, more important than switching out bad for good is to "count your calories". If you count them, even when making "bad" choices, if you keep a deficit you will lose weight. Anyways, the theory part is hella easy. Putting it into practice is what I've always struggled with :) 2 days and counting though, let's try to get to a month eh? :)


So, I decided last night to get back on track to losing weight. I was feeling really defeated and wasn't really in the state of mind to go forward with confidence but after reading some weight loss success stories I have boosted my mood and today I began my first set of changes, albeit minor ones. They are simply this, every day use the elliptical for 15mins and to cut soda out of my diet completely. This includes juice, cordial or any other sweet beverage in place of water. It's in essence a water only policy.


So, those are the changes. Here's to a healthier me :)


And a video to motivate me to stay away from soda:



Random Rant - Opinions

I'm a very private person, and perhaps a bit of a sensitive one while I'm at it. I don't like telling people things because my thoughts, feelings and desires are precious to me and I don't appreciate it when people piss and shit all over them. You ever tell somebody you're doing some non standard hobby and their immediate reply is either "man, you got so much time on your hands" or "why would you do that"? Both responses crush your spirit at a time when you're trying to bring somebody close to behold a precious jewel you have.


It's the equivalent of spotting a wild and rare creature and ever so quietly trying to grab their attention so they can come over and gaze upon its beauty - only for your friend to shout out as you gesture to them "HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT!!". Those responses are the lightest of criticisms, as you can imagine it gets progressively worse as their responses get far more critical of something that you cherish.


By far though, the worst response (at no fault of the other person in this case) is one of "oh, cool" and that's it. You might be learning a language and have reached a major milestone, say the ability to hold some basic conversations, and you're so pumped at getting there - only to be immediately deflated by an apathetic response beneath the veneer of positivity. Depending on your interests, it can be very hard to find somebody to bring in and share that joy with you. For example, I like programming and I can share cool hacks and optimisations I've done with a friend or two who can appreciate it but the vast majority of people don't even understand the significance or the brilliance behind the acts. All quite frustrating really.


Anyways, this is why I keep so many things to myself because people can't appreciate the value as much as I want them to, or worse they shit upon the very thing I value so much. This was brought to the forefront of my mind as I have a friend who just recently began dating a girl. She's in her early 20s and he's in his early 30s. Both are consenting adults and both obviously care very much for each other, but the first reaction people had as soon he was out of the room was "man, isn't he a little old for her?". I thought as the gossip started, "fuck these people man".


Here's a guy who shouldn't be anything but happy at this occasion, but now has to deal instead with underlying judgement from people who have no business forming an opinion. Utterly fucking bizarre that you must be within a certain predefined age limit or "it's weird". Fuck people man. Be happy for him, don't make him feel like a fucking piece of shit because their age difference is closely bordering the double digits and that's just too uncomfortable for you to bear. Sigh.


If I spend enough time on the internet, especially if it's in the comments of a news article or perhaps on a forum; chances are I am going to read something that pisses me off. There is then this urge of wanting to tell this person off or correct them; but what I always come back to in my mind is how often do people change their point of view after arguing with somebody in person, never mind the internet? The percentage is basically so close to 0 it can be considered an anomaly.


When I remind myself of this, I sheath my keyboard sword and go back to what I was doing. Sometimes though, I can't help but give in but I have yet to come across somebody going "No, you're right. I was being a fool".


During my mother's descent into madness, a whole host of things happened. Especially during the period between my mother's first stint in the mental hospital and her second major one. You see, it sucked pretty badly being in the foster homes that I was in and I figured putting up with my crazy mother was less of a jabbing than dealing with them.


The first thing I really remember her doing that was weird was basically claiming that she was drugged and hypnotised at some football club near where we lived. Her entire description of the event was bizarre. Shortly after that she started having the lights on in the house 24/7. I got used to sleeping with them on, and when I went back to a foster home it took me forever to get use to being without them. The whole lights thing was because of demons and all that. When she looked at me at night she saw some scary stuff and they only went away with the lights on. Thinking about it just now, I'm surprised she didn't kill me during this period.


Another thing that she'd do is laugh. Even now if people laugh around me and I don't know the reason why, it angers me. You see my mother heard voices and they would often tell her jokes or otherwise make her laugh. It was very hard to get her attention. I would have to scream repeatedly till I was able to get a hold of her, and there she'd go - laughing again.


She also started getting violent with people. I remember a friend of our neighbour asked us for some cigarettes and my mother said she'd go get some. She turned the kettle on and the guy asked what was taking so long, I told her she had the kettle on for some reason. Shortly afterwards she walks outside and throws the boiling water on the man.


Anyways, in my next post I'll focus on my actual foster home experiences.


I don't remember the exact chronology of things but I know I was 8 when shit really hit the fan, even though things were brewing before then. Since I can't really recall what happened before or after I'll just focus on the crux of it.


I remember parts of the day, though not in so much detail. It was a weekend, a Saturday I'm pretty sure. I remember I was pissed that the best thing on was an Aladdin musical which I detested. My mother was on edge and I knew it so I was trying not to set her off. Despite that, I did something I suspected might piss her off, but was hoping wouldn't. I don't really remember what it was but I suspect it was changing the TV channel.


That was it. We began walking to the police station. Since we didn't have a car, we took the bus or walked. Mostly walked. It wasn't that much of a walk, about 30mins away. When we arrived at the station, my mother walked up to the counter and in matter-of-fact manner told the officer there that I wasn't her son, that she found me a few years prior and had pity on me and has looked after me ever since but no longer wants to do so.


After a few minutes the cops took me aside and basically said "She's your mother, isn't she?". After asking me that and taking me to another room I saw my mother sitting down and waiting. She had a look of hatred on her face while she looked at me. I remember thinking how pissed she was. I remember being told that she was sick and was going to the hospital to be taken care of.


I remember how confused I was at how long it was taking for her to get better because no one explained she had a mental illness, something which I was capable of understanding. Instead, they said she had something along the lines of a flu. For the next 8 years after this point, my life was mostly a roller coaster, a shitty shitty roller coaster that I didn't even want to be on in the first place.


I don't often talk about my past, not because I have anything I particularly want to keep secret or to hide or to forget - it just doesn't come up in conversation much and if it does it makes everybody all awkward and all that and they sorta regret asking the probing question which revealed details about me they didn't wish to know about :)


Anyways. I was reading something about emergency line workers this morning and it made me think of my most memorable experience of having to make an emergency call.


My mother started exhibiting mental illness symptoms when I was around 7-8, that's a story for another time though. Anyways as a result I was put into the care of a couple that were friends with my mother. I found "Steve" (I guess you could call him the foster father) to be a bit weird, a bit of a tool but overall a guy that I could put up with as he wasn't really totally bad.


So, one day I can't really remember the details surrounding the event but I do remember my mum calling up and she was crying and basically saying goodbye as she downed a lot of pills in an attempt to kill herself. I remember the weird behaviour my mother's friends had. Their reaction was basically like "wow man, this is really annoying that you did this. I hope you realise how severely you've now inconvenienced us". A very interesting reaction to have, no?


Anyways, Steve called up emergency services and told them of the situation. He then asked for the address of where we lived. He was fairly confident he knew it but wanted to double check it with me. I thought he had the digits inversed (i.e. 58 as opposed to 85) but I wasn't sure. His reaction was basically to threaten to beat me if it turned out that I gave the wrong information.


We're no longer in contact with them (albeit for different reasons than the ones mentioned above), but if we were I guess I'd want that cunt to know that it's probably not the wisest idea to take an already stressful situation for an 8 year old child, and throw a potential beating into the mix as well. Asshole.


I was having a conversation with someone today and I realized that probably the most valuable lessons in life that I learned were those that were not taught to me. I wasn't taught to judge my self worth based on my appearance, my intellectual ability or my wealth. I also wasn't taught to judge others based on these qualities either. I think it's a bit sad this isn't as common as it should be.


So, firstly you may have noticed that I changed the name of my blog. This is a temporary name till I think of a cool one. I changed it to this as the Latin one was starting to feel too pretentious for me to bare. Still throwing ideas around, I'm sure I'll find something.


Anyways, on to the content of my post. I was reading something of Sapolsky's quite awhile ago now and he remarked how humanity has learned to delay gratification for insane periods of time, even hypothesizing that the concept of heaven is one of the grandest delays of gratification to be seen.


I know with myself I for some reason seem to wish to rob myself of reward or gratification in any of my accomplishments. Each thing I do is not really good enough, and when I look at others gloating over their meager accomplishments I am not always able to fight off the temptation to keep them in touch with reality. Whether its the money I'm earning, the company I work for or the position I'm in - there's something to criticize to make it not that much of a big deal. I just can't give myself anything.


I continually put hurdles to my happiness. I have to finish my degree, get a certain type of job at a certain type of organisation and be at a certain position earning a certain amount of money. Once the stars have aligned in such a fashion - then, and only then have I made it and I can be happy. Which to be honest, is totally bullshit. If I stop and think about it, I have it really good right now.


I don't earn a lot of money, but I still have plenty left over after my bills. I have a flexible job that pays more than most jobs in the small town I'm in at the moment and I'm past the halfway mark towards getting a degree - something I've wanted to do for a long time. Yet, I find myself not allowing me to be happy. I think this ultimately has root in my feelings of inferiority, which is somewhat ironic as I also find myself having feelings of superiority in many ways as well.


The first steps I am trying to make me content is to stop thinking about the future and what it holds. Think about the here and now some more. It's about time I lived in the present rather than the ever elusive future that beguiles me so.