Coffee

I remember, not all that long ago, never drinking coffee. I was a fine, functional human being in the morning without a cup of joe. I would be able to get up and start my day, and enjoy it. It seems like so long ago.

After a few years of working at the government, I started needing a cup of coffee every once in a while. I needed that extra jolt to get my day going.

I worked with some serious coffee snobs. They drank the high-test stuff. Each morning I would hear the coffee grinder start and run for a few moments. They brought in their own water jugs. Although, that may not have been all that snobbish part, since I wouldn’t drink the water at Ft. Monmouth without boiling it for a few weeks first. You could smell their coffee all throughout the office. And of course, nothing would be added that would affect the taste. No cream, no sugar, just straight black.

A few years went by, and the next think I know, I am drinking 2 cups every workday. I admit it; I needed it to get my day going. And now, after 10 years of working for our government, I have become one of them. I drink three cups everyday, including weekends. Of course, I add nothing to the coffee. I drink it black. And you better not talk to me before I’ve had at least some of it, because I am nonfunctional without it.

It was a short trip to get to this point, but now every morning, before feeding the cats, the coffee is a brewing. And that sound and smell permeating through the house is the only way to start the day.

Fat Cat

I am going to spin you a yarn. This is a tale of a fat cat. One large, furry, longhaired fat cat. He wasn’t originally my cat, in fact, he wasn’t originally part of the family. We got him a few years ago because a coworker of my moms came home one day to find her cat inside the dog’s mouth. Of course, my mother being the softie she is, couldn’t let this cat live in a house like that so she offered to adopt the cat. And then, he was brought to our house. He became part of the family.

Me being me, I asked if I could be the one to name him. After some thought, I decided to name him after the Norse trickster god. And this fuzz ball became Loki. Turns out, the name actually fit the cat.  After a few days, my mom took me aside and told me that she started to agree with the dog. This cat was a terror. He was always getting into trouble, or causing trouble.

When I moved down to Maryland, I needed to borrow some money from my family. Part of the agreement with my mom was that I would take a cat. An interest free loan and all I would have to do is let a cat move in with me? Who could say no to that? So, after about a year of living in MD, I went up to NJ and brought down Loki. Turns out, the one thing all my parents other cats could agree on was not liking Loki. As soon as I took him home, they all started fighting amongst themselves.

Now, I honestly cannot imagine this house without the little man. He’s my bud, my pal, my confidant. When I am sitting at my hobbying table, working on either my blogs or my plastic men for gaming, he is usually there by my feet. When I lay on the couch to watch some Godzilla, he jumps on my chest and takes a nap. He wakes me up at 6 am feeding, and then joins me back in bed when he is full. I’m sure he would be happier without the extra guests I have at the moment, but that is a story for another time.

Weird trait.

 

I admit it, I drink. In fact, I would say I drink a lot. Mostly I stick to beer and wine, but sometimes I do hit the harder stuff. Vodka, Whisky and Rum, I do drink them all. And yes, I do drink alone. I like a glass of wine with my dinner. I am not going to apologize for that. Wine makes dinner a little bit better.

However, I actually tend to avoid alcohol when I am stressed. I don’t know why that is, but it’s a sort of reverse alcoholism. And alcoholism is something I have to beware of with some of my family history. I enjoy wine and beer. I like the taste, not necessarily the effects of the alcohol.

I can’t explain why this is. Maybe I am very aware of the fact that if I feel like I need the drink, I probably shouldn’t have it. And that, of course, reminds me of the episode of M*A*S*H where Hawkeye tried giving up drinking. Every now and then, I put myself through the same test, and I go dry. It doesn’t happen often, but it has been known to happen.

Oh Lord

So, I don’t hide it, I am an atheist. I don’t flaunt it all that often, but I am not ashamed to admit it either. Now, sometimes I will hide my beliefs to avoid a potential confrontation. For example, if a person comes to my house, telling me about the lord, or some church I should join, I politely listen. Thank them for the information, and when they leave, forget about everything they told me. I do this to avoid confrontation, and because it is just simpler.

Now, I am going to blog about the existence or non-existence of a supreme being. That is a blog I will reserve for later. What I will blog about is about those believers who don’t actually believe. I was once told by a friend, after telling him that I was the A word, that I should lie, and say I believe in god just in case. Ok, so you believe in a supreme being, one who knows all, sees all, is all. However, you say that me lying will fool him? That’s a little arrogant. It’s probably even more arrogant than my non-belief.  You worship him, but think the supreme one can fooled by a little lie by me.

And then, one has to think, would lying to a supreme being really be the answer?

I don’t know the answer to this. I am not a believer, and probably never will be again. The world makes so much more sense to me now, but lying to the all knowing, and assuming I can get away with it, just seems silly.

Too Much Information

The last few days I have been told things that I shouldn’t know. To be truthful these are things I do not want to know. Some of it’s personal information that, while I don’t think will get anyone in trouble, they were not always told to me by the person whose potential secrets they were. And that bugs me.

Yes, in one case I was told by a POC that she was going in for surgery. I so wanted to joke, “Are they inserting a brain?” but I managed to keep that to myself. This is a person who probably is under some serious stress, and me joking about it probably would only upset her more. Though, being a government employee, they probably should insert a brain. And this is coming from another government employee.

The other information that I don’t want, I don’t feel I should call out with specifics, but I will say that after I was told I though of taking some ice picks and jamming them into my ears. Maybe that would have gotten the information out of my brain.

It is one thing for friends to be telling me all this stuff. In that case, I want to be there for them. But people who are just acquaintances, I’d rather let the information go. I’d rather not know.

Double Blogging

I have been posting on this blog for over a month now, and every time I post something, I get more impressed by my fellow blogger and friend Jeff. He posts almost every day and has been blogging for years now. And yes, I read his blog almost every day.

www.jeffreytharp.com

I know, that’s a shameless plug for a friend, but I don’t care.

I am always afraid I will run out of topics, and I have only been at this for over a month now. Luckily life seems to solve that problem by giving me something to blog almost every day.

The other issue I have is that I actually double blog. I have another site that I blog on almost every day as well.  That blog is for gaming only, which makes it easier sometimes. However, I try to limit the cross blogging, and very few game blogs end up on this blog, which limits available topics.

I may end up repeating myself; in fact, I would be surprised if I didn’t. And for that, I apologize in advance.

Getting Old

The other day, I was talking to my main contract point of contact and found out his ten-year-old son is going in for an MRI. As we were talking about it, I told him about how I recently went in for one and that it is not as bad as it seems. Yes, it is enclosed in a small area. Yes, you have to lay motionless for a while. And yes, it is actually quite loud in the machine. However, it sounds like a video game! And that is when it happened.

It sounds like a video game, but it sounds like an old 80’s video game. This kid would have no idea what I am talking about when I say it sounds like Pac-man or Q-bert. To this kid, video games are like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. And a ten-year-old crammed into and MRI thinking he might hear gunfire probably wouldn’t calm him down.

So, maybe telling a ten-year-old that it sounds like a video game isn’t appropriate anymore. Going to have to come up with a new description.

Charity

I admit, I don’t donate to a lot of charities. Actually, I usually only donate to one. I have donated to the Red Cross, but like most people, I only donate to them after a disaster. I donated to them after the nuclear power plant explosion in Japan and after Katrina made land fall. I have also donated to the World Wildlife Fund, usually in someone else’s name as a gift, but I have no done that all that often.

The charity I typically donate to is the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Why do I do this? Well, to be honest, I love cheetahs and they are going extinct. I whish they could be around for all future generations to admire. They are amazing and beautiful creatures. Now, some people would say “Lets take care of our own before we worry about animals.” I would argue, A. a lot of people already donate to charities for the poor and suffering, and B. I don’t have a lot of faith in humanity. That’s right, I said it. I would rather give my money and time helping something that is suffering because of humanity than help humanity itself. We were given a shot a running this planet, and we seem to be running it to the ground. Again, I know, this is just my opinion, and linking to the charity I donate to won’t help. But it cannot possibly hurt. Or can it?

www.cheetah.org

 

Convenience Fees

1. I was writing out a check for my water and sewer bill today, and I realized that this is one of the few bills I still write a check for.  Most bills I pay online. Mortgage, Phone, Cable, almost all bills. So why don’t I pay my water and sewer online? Well, turns out that they charge a convenience fee. It costs a couple of dollars to pay online. Now, I may be wrong, but I would assume this would also be convenient for the county of Harford as well as for me. So, I’ll save the money, pay for the stamp, write out the check, and mail it in. At least I’ll feel like I am keeping the post office open another few moments.

2. I have been thinking about my next vacation for a while now, my next serious vacation. I haven’t been away on a vacation since last October. Yes, I took trips to places, visited family, made a drive up to Canada, but none of those were really a vacation. I want to go dive in the Bahamas so I can swim with Tiger Sharks. I want to go to San Diego Comic-Con. There is so much I want to do, but I keep coming back to diving in Guadeloupe again. It was a great trip, and I had no choice but to turn off my phone for a few days, completely cut off from society. Not to mention, if I go diving there again, I might be able to see Bella. That was one beautiful shark. So, even though I have done it before, I think I will do it again. Next October: Guadeloupe.

Begging Day

Today is Halloween. Halloween is now a day where we celebrate children going house-to-house and begging for candy. Yes, these children have to go through the effort of dressing up, at least most of them do. But still, this was never the original idea behind Halloween, but this is where we are now. And surprisingly, I actually don’t mind kids coming up to my house, knocking on my door, disturbing me from what ever I am doing, and asking me to feed them sugar. And the sugar is the key.

I realize these “little” kids are going to go home and eat chocolate and sugar for the next few days. Well, I also assume that their parents will steal some of the candy as well, but the kids will get most of it. And why don’t I mind? Because these sugared up kids will not be at my house. Or even near me. I am not the one who has to deal with hyper children, that is what the parents have to do. And if the parents are smart enough to limit the candy intake of their children, even better! It the poor parents, the one’s who allow binge eating who are going to suffer. And I just love that thought.

On a final thought, I was thinking of when I went trick-or-treating, and what we did back then that is no longer acceptable in today’s society. The librarian at our element school used to bake brownies and give them out to the children. In today’s world, that will never happen. Well, I guess it might, but it usually ends with adults dressed as police officers stopping by that person’s house. And this makes me a little sad. How the times have changed.

I felt I should add this link to a blog of someone who feels the way I do!

http://jeffreytharp.com/2013/10/31/what-annoys-jeff-this-week-98/