Category Archives: Just Interesting Stuff

Megaphone Mufflers And Clarity

Megaphone Mufflers Mimic A Crying Child

At the end of my vacation, I was gathering perspective of a free and peaceful life verses everyday life.  I spent much of that time on a “old man’s motorcycle”. That motorcycle runs so smooth that if Rolex made a motorcycle, it would be a flat 6 horizontally opposed machine much like this, only more costly. I learned much about life this week.

Plymouth Fury
Old Plymouth Fury that was a common sight in my youth.

This all came to an ear shattering end when I made the mistake of going through what I call “everywhere land”. It’s my town’s strip of retail hell. It looks much like every other town’s everywhere land. It’s poorly designed roads with bad lighting. It’s signs with “specials” for things that will kill you good and quick. We all end up here far to often.

The ear shattering sound was a young man with megaphone mufflers. Not like the rumble of cars from my adolescence, this was shrill cry. He was revving this once-great economy automobile to it’s limiter. Nobody was with him. He was poorly dressed and badly groomed. He didn’t look left or right. The smell of weed poured out of this thing. He just revved and released revved and released. There was no reason. Rev and release.

It struck me that what I was hearing was not unlike a child crying. It had the same rhythmic undertone . Just like a child crying, often, it is difficult to know why. If you don’t know that the child is sick, hungry, lonely, or tired, a person is left with nothing but frustration. That’s what I was experiencing.

This behavior is common. I now understand that the motor replaces the scream in a plea for attention. The reasons are as hard just as difficult to discern as the crying child. Is there something wrong or are they just enjoying the attention that this rhythmic wailing generates?

I think I’m approaching an aged mark of understanding. These are adults though. I can ignore and evade by staying out of the that strip of retail hell as much as possible.

The Joy Of Conquering Tobacco

Joy In Conquering Tobacco

Tobacco is a horrible addiction. There are few resources that really help. You’re almost better off taking addiction to a drug that will completely incapacitate quicker. The world understands the fast rate of dying from heroin or cocaine because of the quick disabling effects, but smoking is a slow death so it gets less immediate attention.

The world’s approach to smoking is to nag you out of it. That’s not entirely bad, but that alone doesn’t do much. One only has their own motivations and desires with some crutches like nicotine replacements(gum, patches, etc.) to break the grip.

Store selling tobacco, alcohol, and lottery.
No thanks. Nothing there for me.

I tried many times to quit. I lost count. Probably the about the 10th time was the one that took. I suffered through the entire suggested length of the NicoDerm nicotine patch program. I had a reaction to them, but just kept placing them in new spots. A box would get used and a lower nicotine dose would be used for the next box. The program worked for me, but every lower dose was misery.

There are ill effects from smoking even after a year, but every so often I notice easier breathing and other positive health effects. I gained willpower! I use this with other areas of life now.

Yes, I gained weight and I struggle with that, but I’ll overcome this too.

What is really nice though is when I pass any place that sells tobacco and I don’t give them my money.  Gambling, tobacco, alcohol, etc. All the vices kind of blend together. They appeal to our weaknesses in one way or another.

The nicotine addiction was only one part of the addiction. The ability overcome self-destructive behavior and anxiety was the other. The advertising that maims and kills is revealed once you overcome it. The people responsible, including yourself, are revealed to you once you’re released from the grip of addiction. The joy of this knowledge and knowing that you overcame them is as sweet as any great victory.

Fudged Up At The Sporting Goods Store

A visit at a large sporting goods retailer recently put an question in my head that has just been rattling around like crazy. There was a massive fudge section in this store. Why?

Here you are in this huge display of wildlife and outdoor gear and there is this fudge shop. Nobody questions why and people were buying plenty of it. There is a short circuit in my head when it comes to fudge and sporting goods.

The best answers I  came up with when I asked on my Facebook account were:

  • It’s a peace offering to the wife when you spend to much money there.
  • I don’t know, but it mesmerizes me to watch the lady make it.

I searched the Internet and found an answer I’m going to accept. It has to do with your sense of smell. There’s an entire science about scent marketing. Searching more on the topic will tell you the science behind it.

Now that I know this science is out there, it makes me even more aware of the attempts to separate you from your money. My opinion is that this is unfair because the customer is not aware of how they are being manipulated.

Question everything.

Flattered By The Copyright Infringement

The way I was I understand copyright infringement is that the artist has copyright by default. Filing for a copyright merely reinforces the ownership of the works. I put copyright status in the meta-data photos simply so that someone doesn’t claim my photos are their own.

With all that said, I’d probably never go after anyone for taking my photos unless it was actually harming me in some way. I do this for a hobby and it interesting how my photos are used. It’s also surprising when government entities and wealthy corporations take them. As bound up as they are in legal matters, one raises an eyebrow at petty things like this.

Most shocking though is that credit is rarely given. Less shocking is that my favorites are never the photos stolen. I thought this one was oversaturated.

Here is one that I found this morning from http://johnstownohio.org/.

Johnstown, Ohio photo.
My photo of Monroe Township Hall in Johnstown, Ohio.
Monroe Township Hall In Johnstown, Ohio.
Monroe Township Hall In Johnstown, Ohio.

I do appreciate the comments when people tell me that I should go into photography for a living. I even had a boss in programming tell me that once long ago. I still laugh at his “advice” as the guy really didn’t like me much. I’m sure the thought of me doing anything else but working with him sounded good to his ears.

The thing is, professional photography would be a tough way to pay the bills when you can’t even get government entities to even put credit on a photo.

Pull Tab Memories

Pull-Tabs From Cans Long Ago

Old Pull Tab
Found this pull tab while gardening.

Found a pull tab and remembered when we had them. We were always looking for a place to throw them away.

I think that we stopped seeing these around 1980. I can’t help but wonder what someone far into the future would think of all of these laying around  until they dug up a can that had the matching hole.

A Good Article On Farm Subsidies

Here is a good article on farm subsidies.

Grain silos.
Grain Silos in Mechanicsburg, Ohio

It’s going to be interesting to see where Trump lands on the farm bills. If they resemble previous farm bills(I’m pretty sure they will), there is no possible way that a real businessman could claim that the bills are fair and good for “the American people”.

If you’re to busy to read the article, the short of it is that the government taxes you, then gives enormous amounts of those taxes to farmers in numerous ways. The farmer grows the government’s preferred crops of corn, wheat, and soy. They do it with heavy doses of pesticides and herbicides. So much so that they harm their land in the process. Then, they sell these crops back to you in forms that you may not even recognize(high fructose corn syrup, fuel, soy fillers, etc.).

Due to the products that use these crops being subsidized, superior non-subsidized products that do not use them are sold for what seems to be very high prices. The market is fixed and the customer is sold very poor quality and dangerous products that they unwittingly funded.

Simple Backyard Fire To Relax

A Roaring Backyard Fire Works To Relax

Sometimes all that it takes to clear your mind is a cool, quiet night with a roaring fire. I’m blessed to be able to do this right in the backyard.

I didn’t worry about the camera, the video quality, the steadiness of the shot, or anything else. I just took a video good enough to see if just watching it for a few minutes would change an attitude at a later date.

You need the entire experience. For this fire, the experience includes cutting down the tree even. It includes, the sound of crickets, my dog lying next to me, the stars in the sky, and the sounds of the train on the tracks just over the way. Very pleasant for a little while.

Fake Mud Stained Jeans. Fake News.

I seen a story on fake mud stained jeans. I have no proof, other than it’s obvious bullshit. I won’t post a link to it because the link will soon be dead if not just links to horrific pop-up ads. These links are to major “news” sites too, but their ad systems are works than the year 2000.

The story goes something like this.  An exclusive retail chain is selling mud stained jeans for $400. (That part is probably true). The part they fail to discuss is the sales of them are probably next to nothing. There are articles about these articles too. “The wealthy are trying to look like they work”. It’s just divisive bullshit.

This article will run it’s course and people will probably buy enough for some money to be made. The real money is to made from the stories and advertisements from something so ridiculous.

Our media is so full of this type of thing if they are writing anything trustworthy of value, I can’t find it.

How Advanced Are We Really?

I Question Just How Advanced We Are

A tangle of communication and power lines.
Technologically Advanced?

Sure, our modern society is exceedingly advanced, but we’re going at such a pace that I question our simple skills like organization and appreciation of simplicity and beauty.

This is a scene from Downtown Newark, Ohio. Newark was an area at the forefront of the aluminum, fiberglass, aviation, and manufacturing industries. Now, not so much. When I look at the downtown area and see this type of scene, the reality of where we are at sits in.

Our technology could easily be used to clean up messes like these. Massive investments have been made in the area, yet so much has been neglected before building new. That will catch up with us. The complexity of technology and the remnants of the recently outdated tech can get ugly.

Billboard Madness

How Many Billboards?

I counted 18 billboards on my 4 mile commute. A few were empty. A few had real advertisers. The rest were Ad Council and government ads.

Old Kentucky Club ad.
Billboard advertising from days gone by.

Photography and just getting older is forcing me to take a deeper look at what is around me. Here are the ads that I see everyday. They will have an effect on me in one way or the other.

  • Recycle plastic AdCouncil
  • Adopt a child
  • Pepsi
  • Join the military
  • Dental work
  • Radio station ad
  • Buy a motorcycle
  • Go to YMCA
  • Buy furniture
  • AdCouncil telling me to get a mortgage.
  • Get a billboard spot
  • Hepatitus C from CDC
  • Ham Sandwiches
  • Garage doors
  • Big Brothers
  • Just photo of an empty bed
  • Empty boards
  • AdCouncil telling black men to be better fathers.

Weird Billboards

So that’s quite a bombardment of advertising. With that much, I’m sure something somewhere influenced my thought process. I’m not so worried that someone might want to sell me a ham sandwich or a motorcycle either.

I find the government influence coming from the AdCouncil and CDC on the creepy side. Should the decision to adopt be sparked by a billboard? Immunization and disease information should come from your doctor right? Why am I getting input for these things the same way I’m sold a ham sandwich?

The creepiest is the empty bed. It’s covert. The intention is to get others to ask why such a lame photo is on a billboard. Then, you dig a little and find out the photographer his lover died of aids. That’s supposed to spark conversation. To me, that’s just weird.

Think about what you see. Apply that to your thought processes. Guard yourself against the seeds of thought that may or may not be to your benefit. Quite a different approach from the photo of a pristine ham sandwich.