Unexciting Daily Musings

I have a hunch that my chess addiction causes poor sleep. It’s not the first time I’ve suspected this. Eight hours of playing chess online may be doing something to my brain. From now on I’ve restricted myself to play only when I have somewhere to be soon. If I have no place to be then I’ll just keep playing until my eyeballs fall out.

A guy came to pick up a $5 PS3 video game today. Also today, another guy purchased a Funko Pop figure from me for $45! I had the impression that he wasn’t impressed when he saw the $11.95 price tag on the bottom of the box. Capitalism, baby. Since I began selling personal items on Facebook Marketplace this year I’ve accumulated over $1000 of revenue.

I’ve been wasting my time, if my time can even be considered wasteable, shopping for a new toilet seat. The current one was getting crusty in the nooks and crannies but it never occurred to me to just remove it off the toilet and clean it. While trying to remove the plastic bolt I ran into some difficulties. I tried prying it off as it seemed as loose it could be. Before using more force I decided to consult with the World Wide Web. Not only did I find a video in 2 seconds but YouTube also marked the point of the video where the information I needed began. Technology, baby. As for some of you who are more handy around the home than I, you know that there is a plastic nut underneath that holds the bolt.

So I made money and saved money today including the Snickers chocolate bar I bought on sale. Chocolate bars have shrunk so much that they’re approaching the Halloween-sized bars that you give out to kids.

Quote of the day from my Twitter scrolling: “Nobody is coming to save you so be your own hero.”

Pain and Boredom

German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, strongly believes that life is an oscillation between pain and boredom. When we have pain we look to rid ourselves from it which when successful we feel satisfaction but at some point the satisfaction will lead to boredom. Once bored we look for new stimulation which may lead to temporary euphoria but will eventually lead to pain which we will try to escape again. For example: want new job, get job, “happy” got job, job gets old, stale then painful, want to leave job, repeat.

I’m at the boredom stage at the moment. I’ve never been this bored for obvious reasons. There’s never been a time where I’ve had fewer people in my life, more money and more time. The urgency to search for something that will eventually lead to pain has never been lower. I have very little interest in sitting around with people to relax and gossip. It’s not fun I’m really after as much as something that will keep me active and constructive like helping someone do yard work. Our bodies are meant to be used and I haven’t been using it so I’ve been feeling dead inside. This is Mother Nature punishing me like having violent diarrhea after eating too many pieces of fried chicken smothered with ice cream.

Most people my age finish their job for the day and want to watch TV or find something leisurely to do to soothe the mental and physical pain of a typical work day. I have no pain except in my membrane. Believing that the good and bad of life are often temporary, I subscribe to the idea of gratitude and perspective to ease my discomforts. Some perceived problems are relatively good problems to have. Many are in the pain stage but with little hope of oscillation to boredom in the near future. If you’re not handcuffed to your problems then you have hope of escaping. Kids, don’t handcuff yourself to permanent misery.

“The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison”

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Disturbances, Philosophy, Love

A new member to the neighbourhood parks his car a stone’s throw away from my bedroom window. Lucky me because the rumbling sound coming out of his tailpipe is loud as hell. He has one of those mufflers that young guys have that makes him believe he gets 20 extra horsepower. I hate it but quickly recalled how loud my tailpipe rumblings were when I was his age. Did I consider the sanity of my neighbours? I did not so I have to be understanding of this cocksucker who thinks he’s cool wearing his baseball cap backwards. Some people live beside drug addicts, I have to live with this guy for now.

At the supermarket today I contemplated buying cheese slices but then calculated that it was just under $2 a slice. I could buy cheaper cheese but there’s no sense in using cheese if you can’t taste it. If inflation and depressed stock market prices continue I will switch on my famine genes and only eat the essentials. I’ll eat starches and eggs until the chickens come home. You can’t beat me in a Great Depression situation.

Know thyself, is an ancient Greek proverb that I believe is universal fundamental wisdom. How does one effectively guide one’s self through life if they are using an instruction manual written for someone else. Our conformist genes often make it difficult to navigate life using our own instincts. “It’s a lot better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.”

A thought occurred to me last night on how love like religion does not find everyone. We are raised to believe that we will fall in love in our lifetime but I don’t think it’s the case. Many who do fall in love were often desperate to fall in love. Some of them felt hopeless that anyone would ever be interested in them romantically that when someone came along it felt like they found Jesus.

Frustratingly Evolving

Wise philosophy often states to ditch relationships where the other person is of poor intellect. This can be problematic since the majority of people are either of poor intellect, mentally ill or often refuse to think past their emotions. In theory, one can make an effort to only engage in discussions where there is no clash of opinions but I find it difficult to bite my tongue. If I’m able to swallow my words, I cannot avoid a slight hatred towards the ones who think irrationally while they also believe I’m the idiot. The obvious question here is, what makes me so certain that I’m not the idiot?

Let’s assume that I am the wise one. In this case, my negative feelings are derived from my ego since these discussions that I am referring to are often trivial. Whether I convince the other party to agree with my opinion or not, it does not alter my existence or anyone else’s. It is human nature to derive positive feelings from camaraderie. We like people who are on our side or at least mostly on our side.

Relationships of any type are based on what the other person has to offer the other. Petty disagreements may be trivial but if the other person offers not much else then the relationship may cease to exist. Often, the bond in a relationship is as pathetic as one person being too fearful of not having the other in their life or that person may fill their slots of unbearable boredom. If one cannot bear the idea of having no friends, partner or being included in a group, then they will be more than willing to suffer the abuse that is often required in such settings.

One solution to maintaining a relationship is to train yourself to shut off when others force you to listen to their poorly constructed thoughts. This is often how marriages survive. An argument against maintaining such relationships is that having poor thinkers in your life is disaster waiting to happen. There is a reason why humans hate stupid people. It’s because throughout human history stupid people have been an impediment to one’s life and could even get you killed.

In my middle age I may have capitulated to the likes of poor thinkers by avoiding showing my disagreement towards their poorly thought out opinions and behaviours. The other show of surrender is to associate with such personalities as seldom as possible which could be never. Were these great philosophers who preached solitude wise in doing so or were they unsociable despicable human beings?

Why do I care so much what other people think? If they are poor thinkers then that should be their problem and not mine. Do I feel like a failure for not being able to convince them of my reasoning? Or am I the stupid one? Perhaps it’s a sign of the dissatisfaction towards my life? If my life was grand then I presume I would not care of such matters. Also possible, this is just a part of life which we all travel and one day come to accept/surrender like wrinkles and saggy tits.

Life Advice

I’ve been intermittently reading the autobiography of Mary Kay, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. As a middle-aged man, I’m not exactly in the demographic of her fanbase but I saw the book at a thrift store and it had good reviews.

Today I read a bit about her describing how people get excited for vacations despite the fact of the monetary costs, planning and effort they entail. The point of her lesson was that you should choose a career that excites you so that you won’t mind dedicating extra resources to it. A career where you’re only willing to put in as much as you need to get by will be an unsatisfactory life.

Perhaps comparing a career to a vacation is not the most suitable comparison since vacations are typically short in duration. When you know you only have to endure discomfort for a short amount of time, it’s much easier to tolerate because you know there’s an end.

She also mentions how people drift through life with no plan which results in an existence of a boring job, TV watching and sleep. If you want a good life then you have to put in above average effort in a direction that can facilitate above average rewards. There’s also no guarantees.

Thoughts

An average chess player learns the common opening moves and executes actions which result in only immediate net zero or net positive outcomes. It’s difficult for them to engage in situations where there’s no immediate fair exchange. An above-average chess player learns how to execute moves that appear to put them initially at a disadvantage but result in more favourable outcomes.

The best decisions in life are those that will have many critics. If the consensus doesn’t disagree then it can’t be that spectacular. An average person has average vision which is often short-term thinking. The worst decisions in life are also the ones the consensus agrees are largely unfavourable. So, to get great results in life one has to think and behave differently but also be right. The problem is getting checkmated before realizing you’re wrong. Sometimes luck is all you need though instead of all this thinking and risk-taking.

You can be told every piece of wisdom from the greatest stock investors but the conviction cannot be given to you. Often, maybe always, one does not practice the sage investing advice until they get burned enough times. Being checkmated in the stock market is losing all of your money. If you have to get burned then it’s essential that you don’t get burned down. There’s no blaze of glory in going to zero. The sad fact of life is that pain is the best teacher.

Interesting and Uninteresting

Being anchored to the price of goods and services from 20 years ago, I’m reluctant to spend money due to the recent surge of inflation. Instead of eating out today, I opted for 4 eggs scrambled, sauteed cauliflower and cabbage, and a banana. If you want to get a better idea on how interesting your posts are, ask yourself if anyone would care on Reddit or Quora. Uninteresting thoughts belong on personal blogs where no one cares but the blogger.

Story of the hummingbird feeder

Don’t let the bold lettering of the title make you think this story is interesting. Two or three years ago I bought a cheap hummingbird feeder which collected dust for 1 or 2 years. When I decided to put it to use my procrastination continued in the form of not refilling it in a timely manner. The reason for this is because I had to get a step ladder to perform the chore. It’s a very pathetic excuse, I know. To remedy my patheticness I dug up an old metal chain I used as a gold rapper necklace for a Halloween costume.

I get a bit of joy seeing hummingbirds visit my feeder.

I’ve been reading autobiographies of late. In order for an autobiography to be widely published it must be considered interesting. There’s generally 2 types of people who fall into that category:

  1. Someone who was/is talented, worked hard and put themselves in positions that offered large rewards.

2. Someone who was forced to live a very interesting miserable existence.

Also generally, people aim for a life that is slightly better than what they presently have or slightly better than their parents, believing it will be a life worth living. The aim is often too low and the action too slow resulting in a life being checkmated by time and lack of options. A tragedy in life is that life goals are often set based on one’s current situation. A young adult sees what their friends are doing or what their current partner wants and revolves their goals around them, so much so that they are even willing to figuratively and literally prematurely sign away the rest of their life to them.

So your autobiography will never be published by Simon & Shuster. If you’re lucky, someone you know may pay the local newspaper to publish your obituary. If you try a little harder than your friends then maybe they’ll envy you. I suppose the moral of the story is to strive for excellence but youth is wasted on the young.

Happiness is a Choice…

Whenever I came across the phrase, “happiness is a choice” I would almost immediately assign it as having no merit. It was merely something that sounded good but wasn’t realistic. Recently, there was a 2nd part to the theory that made it sound much more believable to me. Happiness is a choice but you have to also work at it similar to building muscle or accomplishing any difficult goal. If happiness is the goal then you have to consciously decide which thoughts and actions are going to help you arrive at your goal. Anything that deters you from arriving at your destination must be considered for removal.

Of course, I am referring to long-term happiness and not the immediate gratification or comfort that most mistaken for happiness. As with every long-term goal there’s often short-term pain associated with it. Effective critical thinking is crucial here as it is for most important life decisions since people have a tendency to arrive at conclusions that deflect painful introspection which significantly raises the probability of poor outcomes. We tend to be degenerate gamblers with our thought process by bargaining with the same losing hand that never wins.

A decade ago, I didn’t make the conscious decision to find happiness. Instead, I consciously decided to eliminate all aspects of my life that I believed were either detracting from my well-being or had demonstrated to have a small probability of adding any value. To put it simply, I was just trying to make my life better. Improving your life is often met with the idea of adding to it rather than subtracting. A typical adult will have ingrained beliefs and habits that have never been questioned. The instinctual thinking is that if something has been with us for 20-40 years and is common with many other people then it can’t be that bad. It’s especially difficult to see where we’re deficient when we’re in a bubble with people who have accepted us. You stop improving once there is no resistance that needs to be conquered.

Often, people unconsciously decide that following the crowd and achieving their acceptance is what will make them happy. In all likelihood, conformity will make you miserable.

Part 1: Happiness is a choice

Part 2: You have to work at it

There’s also a part 3:

It’s not going to be easy

Unexciting Daily Musings

We played multiple games of online chess today and he was beating me into next Tuesday. Tending to my bruised ego I told him to “Take it easy on me. I’m only 12 years old.” He replied telling me he is a depressed 30-year-old man from Nigeria. Being a 12-year-old I consoled him by telling him eating cookies makes me feel happy. He said cookies aren’t available to him. As our conversation advanced, he offered to teach me how to hack credit cards but he said he couldn’t speak about it through unsecured channels. His various attempts at luring me into communication through Whatsapp failed. I’m only 12 years old, my parents would not approve of such behaviour.

I asked myself last week what would I want in my possession if nuclear war occurs. My conclusion was a package of cookies so I procured some in case shit hits the fan. I can’t imagine a more comforting picture than me sitting on the floor eating cookies straight out of the package waiting for the end.

My cheapness has been flaring up recently. Today, instead of eating out I took a piece of chicken breast from the freezer and dumped it in a pot with macaroni, cabbage, onions and ham to make soup. I’ve also been listing items on Facebook Marketplace to scrounge up funds from my many useless possessions. An acceptable offer of $30 for my small kettlebell had been made but I declined. Similar to being awarded an interview when applying for a job I felt regret for my disingenuous solicitation. I’ve grown attached to the kettlebell like it’s a pet rock. Pet rocks were apparently a thing in the 1980s.