It wasn’t for me.

Daily writing prompt
Do you remember life before the internet?

I remember there used to be a time when there wasn’t an internet, but I honestly don’t like to think about it. It was a time when everyone was expected to do everything in person or through paper. It was a time when people couldn’t work from home very easily. It was an era that predates blogging and many forms of self-publication. It was really not for me. I was born for the internet, and I spend a ridiculous amount of time there.

Some people like to blame the internet for everything, and there are some negative aspects, but if you really think about it, it has made the world a better place. Here are some things it has added.

  • Better connection to other people. Before the internet, it really wasn’t that easy to keep up with people you went to school with, or family that moved out of state. I remember my grandmother actually had to write to her cousins on paper and use snail mail. That definitely wasn’t optimal, though it did build anticipation and teach patience.
  • The internet allows for anonymity. Some people see this as an evil aspect of the internet, but I think it is absolutely critical. Societies and governments tend to silence and chastise people who criticize them out of fear that if enough people gather together, they will overthrow them. Without anonymity, those people would not be able to state the truth about their society or government.
  • It is more inclusive. The internet is pretty much everywhere now. Before it, you had to really work hard to connect with people outside your local community or state. The world has become much smaller and striking up a conversation with someone across the globe is trivial now.
  • The information age opened up tons of jobs that allow you to work from home, or anywhere there is an internet connection. You can literally work from the beach if you like. You can travel the world if you like, taking your work with you. You also don’t have to worry about that dreaded commute anymore. The only highway you have to be on is the information superhighway.
  • It provided an outlet for tons of creative minds. There are so many creators out there now. It’s almost becoming an expectation in our society. Without the ability to self-publish, you would have to get everything approved by a bureaucratic publishing system and advertising was pretty slow and expensive. Now, you just create an account on social media and start sharing.
  • Of course, the best part of having the internet is that you get to read this amazing blog. 🙂

So, what’s your favorite thing about the internet? Could you live without it? Tell me about it in the comments, and don’t forget to like and subscribe.


What am I good at?

Daily writing prompt
What are you good at?

I’m not sure I’m good at anything really.

I used to be good at taking classes. I graduated summa cum laude with two bachelor degrees (double major) and went on to complete a master’s degree. My degrees are in technology and business fields, so I suppose I could hold my own in those areas. I could probably set up a business and run it technically speaking, but I’m not sure what it would be.

I was also a full stack web developer at one point, working in a LAMP environment mostly. I learned a variety of programming languages along the way, including C, C++, Perl, PHP, Javascript, HTML, SQL, Bash, etc. In relation to that, I was also a Linux system administrator for a number of years, so I can manage things like Apache, MySQL, Postfix, etc.

I once even created my own personal Linux distro from scratch, compiling everything from source code. It included everything from the kernel and shell all the way up to the desktop level (KDE, Gnome, XFCE, etc.). That was an interesting project. I completely automated the build process also, so I could compile the entire operating system by issuing one command, and it created intermediate packages along the way that could be installed separately.

All this consumed a lot of time that I will never get back unfortunately, but I guess it led me to where I am now. I don’t know there was any easier way to get here.

I also remember someone once told me that I have a personality that is like a can opener. They explained that I am good at getting someone to open up about things that they normally wouldn’t talk about. I admit that happens a lot. I think I am just a good listener and people feel comfortable enough to just let it all come out. It’s definitely lead to some interesting conversations. Deep down inside, I think a lot of people have something on their chest, but they can’t really find someone who wants to hear about it.

Do you have anything you would like to get off your chest? What is your special skill? Don’t forget to like an subscribe.

I have a confession to make.

I met her years ago. I’m not exactly sure of our first meeting, but I remember her feeling very familiar to me. It sort of felt like I had known her from somewhere before, but that didn’t seem likely. This sort of added to the mystery of our connection to each other.

We worked for the same organization, but not in the same area, so I did see her at a couple of conferences. I remember at one of the conferences several of us got together for drinks afterwards, and she and I engaged in conversation for a little while.

We got on the subject of relationships. She seemed very sweet to me and I didn’t understand why she wasn’t married already. She didn’t seem to know why either but her relationships just seemed to fall apart. At one point in this conversation I distinctly remember her asking me, what’s wrong with me? She seemed genuine in this inquiry, and a little sad about it.

It really made me want to know why, because I couldn’t see any reason for it myself. She was probably in her mid-thirties at the time and seemed attractive enough to get about any guy she wanted. She also seemed very nice to me. In a later conversation, I remember her telling me that she was a very kind person, even kind to a fault, which got her in trouble apparently.

I remember one time she came to my office because there was some work things we had to discuss. After that concluded, we began talking about life goals and such. At the time, I was about to finish my MBA, so I remember talking about what this would mean, and my future aspirations and goals after graduation.

Then something peculiar happened. It was something I had never seen anyone do before. She was looking at me very attentively. I mean, beyond any level of attention I could even imagine. It was like she was hanging on every word I said. I feel like her mouth might have actually been open a little in awe. It was very noticeable to me because I had never seen anything like it before. She literally looked like she was mesmerized by this conversation.

It made me a bit uncomfortable to be honest. I actually had a strange thought that I might have somehow hypnotized her. What will I do if I can’t wake her up? How will I get her home safely? I felt like it would be a good idea to somehow break this trance to save her mental health. I began putting things together to leave, and then we left my office. She made it to her car safely, so I figured everything was fine, but what an interesting experience it was.

I will always remember her because she said things that I had never heard anyone else say. I believe this happened because we had become good friends and she was the type of person who was very open with her friends about everything. I really loved this about her. I feel like most people are hiding their true feelings to protect a fragile ego or preserve other relationships.

I remember a while after the strange office visit, I was on the phone with her and she said to me, I have a confession to make. Of course I had no idea where this was heading. I couldn’t even guess what she was about to say. She said, do you remember that time I was in your office and we got to talking afterwards? I said, yes of course (I mean how could I forget that?). Well, I was imaging what it would be like if you ripped my clothes off right there in the office and threw me over the desk.

Needless to say, I was speechless. There were quite a few more confessions forthcoming after that. I really had no idea that she had feelings like that for me, or how incredibly vivid her imagination was. Not too long after this, she got married to a guy she hadn’t known that long, and moved away. She was a great friend, and I hope everything worked out well for her.

Ever had any similar experiences? Tell me your thoughts, and don’t forget to like an subscribe.

What does having it all mean?

Daily writing prompt
What does “having it all” mean to you? Is it attainable?

The phrase having it all means something different to everyone. I think most people would think of it as being the state where you have achieved all your life goals. This might mean you have the dream career, earn the money needed to satisfy all your wants, have met and married your soulmate, live in the neighborhood and house where you want, and are surrounded by awesome friends and family who support and love you.

I have attained quite a few life goals already. Honest truth is they didn’t give me the kind of long term fulfillment that I assumed they would. I was always after the next thing. I accomplished them one by one and then just moved on to the next goal. The state of living really means that you keep moving. As they often say, life is not a destination, it’s a journey.

For the normal sort of life goals that a person may set, I’d say they are pretty attainable in our society. I was born to a poor family and lived in a small town in the middle of nowhere for half my life. There were no surrounding jobs that paid anything and the nearest college was many miles away. I’m honestly surprised they had running water. They did, but it tasted awful some days. I eventually managed to escape, get all the college I wanted, move to a thriving city, and make enough money to support a decent lifestyle. It can be done, but its a lot of hard work.

Unfortunately, there were some obstacles in life that I was not able to overcome because it would require supernatural powers. I lost some people that I desperately needed and didn’t want to lose. If I truly had it all, they would still be here to share it with me. In order to live the perfect life, I would need to become immortal and gain power over the fates, so those people could abide with me forever, and that is unattainable.

I’ve also heard other phrases that come close to this sentiment, like he’s living the dream, or she’s living her best life. Would you say you are living your best life now? What’s your plan on achieving your dream? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Money can buy happiness.

Contrary to popular belief, money can buy happiness. For example, I know a few shoppers, including myself, who occasionally use money to buy happiness. They go to a store, probably to get something they actually need, then they see something else while they are there. It appeals to them, so they toss it in the cart and buy it, generating a small amount of happiness. They may regret it later, especially when they balance the check book, but if it didn’t give them some sort of satisfaction, they wouldn’t have been motivated to buy it in the first place. Basically, their money bought them a tiny slice of temporary happiness.

Using money to buy things gives you a kind of high, so it is similar to a drug. Unfortunately, like other drugs, it can lead to addiction and become a costly habit. Also, the feeling you get from buying things is hard to sustain long term. The high eventually fades. This is because after an item is acquired, it passes from being an item you wanted, to becoming an item you have already acquired. Wanted items are more valuable than other items, and this drives you to want new things more than the things you already have, so in order to sustain this happiness, you would have to continuously acquire new things.

Another problem is that it requires novelty. If you buy an interesting figurine to go on your shelf, you might be very happy about that, but buying a second or third figurine that looks exactly like the first would have rapidly diminishing returns. It has to be something different, something novel. Imagine a mantle with 150 figurines that looked exactly alike. The value of each one would diminish with each new purchase because they are not unique or rare. You would need a world with a massive amount of variety to sustain the high of buying things, which probably explains why there are so many different goods being offered in our society. Supplying goods to shopping addicts can actually be a very lucrative business.

Another thing to consider is that every material item you purchase takes up a certain amount of space, unless it is something disposable, which may cause other problems. Every square inch of your house and property costs you something. When you bring something home, it will have to live somewhere and take up space. You are essentially paying the rent for all the physical items you own. If you can’t fit everything in your house and garage, you will end up paying extra rent for public storage, ultimately eating away even more of your income.

Also, the things you own usually cost you something just to own them, though it may not be obvious. You have to occasionally dust items that take up space on shelves, and if you are the type of person who moves a lot, you may find it to be a pretty painful process. You will have to box up all these items for transport. This is often the point in time when people decide to purge a few items. You just get tired of lugging them around. People who move around a lot probably know the value of not owning too much stuff. Even when you are done with the stuff, it often costs to dispose of it, and future generations will have the burden of dealing with mountains of discarded items that won’t easily return to nature.

Nothing lasts forever. The items you buy all have a shelf life. Eventually that will come to an end. It might be that they fall off the shelf and break, wear out, get stolen, or are lost in a damaging event, like a fire, earthquake, or flood. All material things are temporary in nature, though some have a much longer lifespan than others. If the item is not insured, any cost associated with it is lost. If you do insure it, that just takes more money away from you gradually to pay for an unforeseen event, further draining your income.

The items you purchase are probably not going to be heirlooms. Sometimes things get passed down to children and maybe grandchildren but that does not seem to be as common as it once was. They simply don’t need it. There’s an ample supply of similar new items they can buy for themselves, and they may not have the same tastes as their grandparents. In most cases, the items you buy over the years just get sold in an estate sale or end up in the dumpster, a sad truth.

Most of the items we collect are not really worth what we paid for them. We paid for the high of buying them. If you turned right around and tried to sell the item for what you paid for it, you would probably be very disappointed in most cases. This is especially true for automobiles. They lose tremendous value as soon as you drive them off the lot, but what a high it is to buy one!

What I’m trying to say is money can buy happiness, but it is really just a short term high, and has some negative things associated with it. Everyone should be able to spend their money on anything that makes them happy, but what they are really look for is a way to sustain long term happiness in a way that doesn’t have negative consequences. That’s a much harder thing to come by.

What I think people mean when they say money can’t buy happiness is that it can’t buy love, and they assume that only love can make a person happy long term. Maybe that’s true. Something to explore next time. I suppose another question would be, can money buy love?

What are your thoughts? Does shopping make you a happier person? Tell me in the comments, and don’t forget to like and subscribe.

The person I like to talk to most is my best friend.

Daily writing prompt
Who would you like to talk to soon?

My best friend is who I would like to talk to the most. We have been friends for years. We used to talk a lot more. I remember she used to call me every night. I would ask, do you want to talk tonight, and she would say yea. We would literally talk half the night. I was never bored with her. I loved every minute. I wanted it to go on forever, but I would have to go to work the next morning, so we had to say good night. I think I told her half my life history, and she told me hers. We went through a lot together, and she helped me though it all, and I hope that continues. I’d really like it if she called me right now, late as it is, I’d answer.

My most dear belongings.

Daily writing prompt
What personal belongings do you hold most dear?

A few years ago I went through some life changes and I began to doubt the value of most material things. As a result, I decided to free myself from as many things as possible. There are a few things I have kept though, and I do value them quite a lot.

This is a my teapot. I have owned it for years and use it quite frequently to make tea. I used to use it everyday. It’s quite a beautiful thing and I hope it never breaks. There are a few other parts of the set stored away.

This is a cross necklace that I wear daily. It is made of stainless steel, so it should last a lifetime easily. After my dad died of cancer, I went through a rough period of time. That is when I bought it. He was a very devoted Christian and good father.

Most of the other material things in my life come and go. I treasure the people in my life and pleasant life experiences the most.

Objectively beautiful?

Last night I wondered downtown to a local tavern to have a couple of beers. While I was sitting there at the bar top, enjoying my Corona light with lime, a couple of women wondered up and sat down close to where I was sitting. They also had another person with them who was a guy. I’m not sure if they all knew each other or had just met that night.

It wasn’t long before they had struck up a conversation with the bartender and began discussing a variety of interesting topics. I started to join in, but decided not to, even though they offered me a shot. I did take the shot though. It was something called a Rumple shot. It had a very strong minty taste, and I thoroughly regretted that decision shortly afterwards.

Women are objectively beautiful, but you have to get to know a man before you can determine if he is beautiful.

One statement made by one of the ladies that stuck in my head was that women are objectively beautiful, but you have to get to know a man before you can determine if he is beautiful. I’ve heard similar sayings before, but I don’t know how I feel about them. If true, then men really don’t have to be as concerned about appearance as they believe. It seems like this would be unfair if the girl was just endowed with natural beauty. It also seems to indicate that a guy has to constantly work on having the most pleasing personality, while a girl must fixate on her physical beauty.

Do you agree with these ladies’ assessment? Do you think this viewpoint is changing in our society? Had any related experiences? Tell me in the comments, and don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Love doesn’t save anyone.

I know she is depressed. The circumstances of her life have brought her to the lowest point. I tell her she is loved. It means nothing to her. I can’t fix this. She is trapped by her own mind, and the thoughts circulating in her head.

It should though. It should be enough. All of my soul bleeds out for her, and my prayers ring out across heaven, but it’s insufficient. If I could put it in words, the earth would quiver under my feet, but she would not be moved.

My love can’t save her from the darkness cluttering her mind, but it should. Maybe one day it will, and then she will understand what I was trying to tell her. Her soul will be positively flooded with love at that point.

If you’ve ever had a similar experience, let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like and subscribe.

I’m not a materialist.

Daily writing prompt
Do you have any collections?

When I was a kid, I probably drove my parents nuts with all the action figures I wanted in my collection. It was something I really enjoyed, and if I had kept them in pristine condition, I could probably sell them right now for a small fortune. That would be the best thing to do. I do understand long term investments, and the dollar is always losing value, so it’s just a matter of finding something that retains its value.

Unfortunately, if I had kept them that long, it would probably be because I had grown attached to them, which would make them really hard to sell. I think this level of attachment is dangerous. The past is meant to released. You can’t capture or hold on to it. I have also learned that there are dangers to holding on to things too long and then parting with them. Your things can sort of become a part of your identity.

A few years ago, I was going through some life events, and I felt like I should purge a lot of things and downsize. At the time, I had quite a collection of books. I didn’t really realize how important these books were to my identity. After I sold them at a used book store, I felt strangely empty. It was like I had lost a part of myself. It sort of created an identity crisis of some sort. There were little projects in my head I was planning to do, but I just abandoned them after that. It was freeing, but then I was like, what am I going to do with my life? I had to reassess who I really am and what my future is going to look like.

After all this, I basically became a minimalist, but it’s definitely not easy to purge all the stuff in your life. I don’t want to collect anything anymore, because it just ties up mental and emotional resources, increases clutter, and is usually a waste of money. Ultimately, the best thing to collect is interest on your investments, and a lot of friends and experiences.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe, more to come.