Tranquil Chaos

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Six Weird Things

Apparently I should write six strange things about myself.

In ascending order of weirdness (in my opinion).

6. I have some kind of strange need to exemplify any compliments I am given. So if someone says that I can eat a lot while I am eating, I tend to overfill myself attempting to live up to the compliment. I guess this generally tends to make me an extremist, as I keep pushing those things that I can do, and forget about those that I cannot.

5. I think that I have a perfect feel for the beat in a song, but people keep telling me that I do not. When I tap or move along with a beat, it feels as though I am hitting the underlying notes with almost mechanical precision, but Natalie tells me that I am inbetween the beats, which is about as far off as one could get, being that the beat is cyclic. In terms of this, I would like some other musical official to make a decision, maybe Scotty can see if I am hitting them.

4. I like pain. Sometimes if something is painful, like an infected cut or something swollen, I like to keep pressing it or even hitting it against things, just hard enough that I think it is not causing additional damage, but hard enough that it not only hurts, but allows me to determine that it was not more painful than before (therefore not getting worse).

3. I have a near pathalogical need to tell the truth. I tend to lie, on average, once every few months. Usually I do this to spare someone's feelings, but then I worry for days after that they will find out I lied, making up ludicrous scenarios by which they discover me, and my entire life is ruined.

2. I have a truely pathalogical need to look everyone in the eyes when I am not talking to them. This is not to say that I do not look people in the eyes when I talk to them, I usually do at some point in the conversation, but rather, whenever I pass someone on the street, or am standing near someone, or sitting across from someone, I can not help but stare at their eyes or least steal a quick glance. I am certain that I unsettle some people with this, but I can't help it for some reason.

1. I have very elaborate conversations with "others" in my head. That is to say that I tend to have discussions with someone else in my head, so I might be talking with Aimee in my head, and the things she would say, would seem to be something that Aimee would say, I also see her face and body language, and they tend to seem real and match how she acts. Many times the things the other person will say are completely new to me, that is to say that I would never have thought of things in that way, and I actually tend to learn or come to new outlooks through these conversations. Additionly, I sometimes talk with more than one other person, but usually less than four others. Sometimes I even start discussing with them how I am discussing things with them, and how that is weird because they are not real, and then sometimes we start discussing the discussing, and it starts looping out of control, the farthest it got was 4 nestings of the loop (discussing the discussion of discussing the discussion), at that point I was afraid I might be going mad and stopped it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Affects of Happiness

Just a heads up, there will be exactly three gramatical erros in this post, spelling errors not included, your job is to find all three.

So, many of us realized long ago that being happy is nessesarily a transient state, because it requires sadness to contrast the happiness, otherwise the happiness fades into a null state. This fact has hit me hard the last few days, as I just concluded a wonderful weekend at home with Natalie, only to return to a dreary and boring job, in a lonely city.

Long ago, my mother enrolled me in some kind of day-camp. Now, I always said that I hated that place, but she kept me in because I was always so happy at the end of the day, and agreeable, whereas I was miserable when she picked me up from the place I wanted to go to. Of course, this results from being miserable at the day-camp, and being overjoyed to be leaving at the end of the day, and likewise, I was happy at the other place, and didn't really want to leave.

I find it most tragic that happiness must always be shown on a background of despair.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Chronic Noise

So, I have been getting really tired at work, and generally irritable, and then, I started getting very minor headaches. Now, as you may know, I get a headache maybe once every few months at most, unless I do something totally stupid, like not eat for an entire day. In fact, before moving into Hickory (in Waterloo), I think I probably had a headache once a year if that. So you can imagine that of all the things, the headaches started to get me thinking. I considered maybe solvent fumes, since I am doing organic chemistry, but some of the solvents have a very potent smell, even at extremely minute levels, and I generally don't smell anything, so I somewhat ruled that out.

Eventually, I began to consider to the noise in the work area. Basically there are 3 old-school fumehoods, which pump out enough volume as to make you slightly raise your voice in order to speak to people, this is the minimum sound, since they must always be running. In addition there are 3 vacuum things, which can pump out a fair bit of noise, and usaully one is running. Then there are other sounds often going on.

So, I looked up the effects of chronic low level noise, and found to my shock, that not only is there a reasonable amount of information in phycological journals, but CBC's Marketplace, actually did a report on this some time ago, and found that the effects of low level noise in the workplace can include:

Low Moral
Lowed Immune Activity

At this point I considered that I have been enjoying my job less and less since arriving, even though the job has not changed, and in fact, could be considered to have improved. That is 4 on the list right there, and recently I have been having a little trouble sleeping, which is odd for me, and sleep disorders often stem from stress.

Anyway, today I put on some ear protection headphone type thingies, and within 20 minutes, my headache was gone, and by the afternoon I was somewhat happy, and didn't feel tired during the day. Now this is not proof that the problem was noise, but it is good anecdotal evidence.

I am considering doing my workterm report on this.

Monday, March 06, 2006

German Cooking

So I was at Natalie's house this weekend, and ate some wonderful german fare. For those who do not know, german fare usually consists of a healthy portion of meat, a healthy portion of potatoe type thing, and then those same healthy portions repeated three times more.

Now, I absolutely love meat and potatoes, but, my intestinal tract seems to not be quite up to the task of digesting all that protein. The result is that I was dropping dense gas bombs in the lab all day. Fortunately, there are fumehoods everywhere, and my boss was away, so things were not a big problem.

Of course, if one eats a lot of vegetables, one also generates a lot of gas, but it is odourless gas.

I will hold another poll, which is worse,

Lots of odourless gas, or, a small amount of foul gas?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

To Ass, But or Bum?

I recently conducted a quick poll of the younger people at work. The question was as so, "What is the sexier word: ass, but, or bum?". For the purpose of the question you need to consider whatever context is most sexual for you, for instance, "I want to grab your _______" or "I want to love you in the _______" or "you have one fine ________".

Anyway, between 1 gay guy, 2 unknown sexuality girls, one maybe bisexual guy, and myself, there was unanimous agreement that 'Ass' was the sexiest of the options. Between the other two there was some disagreement as to which was worse, but it was generally agreed that 'But' was not very sexy, and seemed more fecal than 'Ass', and 'Bum' was just plain pedophilic and should be scrapped immediately, which I found quite entertaining, as if only children had bums, and once you pass puberty your bum enters a stage of metamorphosis and becomes an ass.

Anyway, feel free to weigh in on the subject. If there was, or I knew of the way to include an online poll in my blog, I would.

Keep in mind that regardless of the results of this poll, it is still ok to "Bum around the house" if you are lazy, you need not suddenly start claiming that you are "Assing around today", because that of course would give the impression that you are whoring your ass around the town for wooden nickels.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Jahari Window

Here is my Jahari Window thing. I will likely need many more people than there are that read this blog to get anything real from it. At the moment, my opinions are entirely a facade, which is quite tragic. BTW, Aimee, I am impressed that you have no facade at the moment, you are self-aware I suppose.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Communism and Capitalism

Warning: Opinionated Material

So, I am on the bus with Jimbo Jones, a bus which has arrived late. It is determined that the reason the bus is late is because there is currently a municipal worker strike, and they are holding up the leaving of the buses.

So, Jimbo starts in with the usual "Why are they striking? They get paid enough already, they should just f*ckoff". To this I ask "Why do you think they get paid enough?". Jimbo replies, "Like, the Janitors get paid $20/hour to clean toilets", who knows if this figure is accurate. I then ask "Ok, but why is $20/hour enough? Many people get paid more than $20/hour". Jimbo, after wondering how somehow could ask such a question, replies, "Because they have no education, anyone with just a high school education could do that job". I again ask, "And why do you think that education should determine the rate of pay?". At this point Jimbo is momentarily taken aback, then he states, "Because more people are capable of doing that job".

Now, the argument goes on for some time, but let us skip the dialogue, and just look at this thing in detail. Jimbo's opinion that pay should be inversely proportional to the number of people that can do the job (pay goes down as more people are able to do the job) is actually a common opinion to hold, and consequently the opinion that pay should be proportional to education is also common. But is this the right opinion?

Now wait a minute, says Aimee, an opinion can be neither correct nor incorrect. Well, this is just not true. One must remember that we live in a free society (we can leave and emmigrate to another country at any time) and that our country is based on a capitalist economic foundation. This means that if you do not agree with capitalism, you should leave, and if you stay, you are wrong, because by staying in a country you agree to the overriding principles behind its laws and economics and politics, even if you may not always agree with the particular laws or political decisions made. This is like being married or something to that effect, you agree to the idea that you must support this person, even if you know that not every decision they make will be in agreement with your own.

So, back to the argument, what about this whole 'more people, less money' thing? Well, if we were in a communist society, this might be true and correct, since the government decides what the rate of pay will be for the available jobs, and in an effort to deversify and expand the populations potential, they offer higher pay for more difficult jobs or jobs that require more eduction or specific skilled training. Now, this may sound like a good idea, but keep in mind that if you look at the list of best countries in which to live, which is put out by some world organization, you will not generally find communist contries very high on the list, the top contenders are always capitalist societies, so perhaps we should avoid this communism thing.

Ok, then, so what about capitalism, if communism pays more for a job that less people can do, how does capitalism determine the wroth of a job. In capitalism, it is based on a 'supply and demand' structure, so if there is a need for X janitors to clean toilets, but less than X people actually WANT to do the job, which has nothing to do with how many CAN do the job, then the rate of pay will increase until at least X number of people are willing to do the job. In this way it can be seen that in our society, education usually improves pay, because there are many jobs requiring higher education, and not everyone possesses this, but it is not a rule. Moreover, this means that if noone else wants to clean toilets, and the janitor's strike, it is quite reasonable for them to demand more money, and in fact we should be happy that they are doing this, because they are bargaining, and excersising their capitalist rights, which we would all like to maintian. So the next time you complain that someone is getting paid too much for a job that is too mundane, ask yourself, "If this job is so easy, and the pay so great for what they are doing, why am I not doing this job?", and when you realize that you would hate that job, you will realize why the pay is so good.