Radio

It’s my dream to one day own (or at least host) on a fully fledged radio station.  In the mean time, I have no choice but to tinker with HAM radio (I’m keeping my callsign private because you can look up someone’s personal details, heh).

I’ve been fiddling with building an FM setup, it’s pretty fun and it’s a good way to confuse the neighbors.  My short-term dream is to own a 50-100 foot antenna tower, but even that is a little out of the question.  The price isn’t exactly out of reach, but the wife doesn’t want me to erect a massive metal structure in the back yard, as awesome as that would be.

Some day, if we ever own more land, I can build as big of an antenna as I want.

The Victim

Whenever it comes to prevention of theft, we are told to lock our doors.  Hide our valuables.  If you leave your valuables in your car and leave your car unlocked, and your valuables get stolen, people will say “well, you shouldn’t have left that stuff out in the open.”

Whenever it comes to rape and sexual assault, it is never the victim’s fault.  Ever.  No matter how promiscuous, no matter what poor decisions someone made (walking alone at night in an irreputable area, for instance), the blame is always pushed towards the perpetrator. At least, that’s according to tumblr and the media.  Verdict is still out on that, especially if you visit some of the creepy subreddits that glorify the dominant male behavior.

Whenever a crazed gunman kills 40 people, there is no doubt.  The gunman was either crazy, or a terrorist, or barely a human being. People freak out for a week, or a month, and then move on, blaming politics or poor mental treatment or whatever, who cares, we’re already back to watching TV or… what was I talking about?

 

 

Now, the point I’m trying to get to is in each of these situations, these situations that are very different, there are two key players here.  A perpetrator, and a victim. That’s it. That’s what it really boils down to. It’s not about culture, or conspiracy, or whatever.  Regardless of the debates on gun control, on rape culture, or on petty theft (okay, you don’t hear about that last one on CNN), all of these things happen in every country, every day.  In fact, there’s probably someone somewhere right now who is robbing someone, raping them, and killing them.

And as unfortunate as it might sound to say it, this is perfectly normal behavior. One of those, “yeah, it sucks, but that’s just the way it is,” situations.  If it was truly a controllable issue, we’d have fixed it by now.  But despite thousands of years of societal reform, of laws, of “talking” about the issues, we still have to deal with perp-victim crimes all the time.

Why is that? Is it rape culture? Is it poverty? Is it the glorification of violence in video games?

I don’t think so. I think it’s human instinct.

You see, if you look at almost any animal in existence, every animal behaves the same way. Otters rape baby seals.  Chimps kill other chimps. Birds fight over that juicy grub they just saw over there. Female lions that refuse to breed are killed or banished from the pride by the male lions.

Throughout human history, humans have murdered, pillaged, stolen, destroyed, raped, and so much more from generation to generation.  Just like our animal relatives.  Because we are animals.  When push comes to shove, every human being is capable of killing.  Every human being is capable of stealing.  Every human being is capable of sexual assault.  And no amount of society is going to change that.  Sure, there will be good humans and bad, like any other society.

Take the common rat, for instance.  There are two classifications of common rat in most “Western” countries.  Wild rats, and pet rats. The biggest difference between the two is that many wild rats were captured hundreds of years ago, and bred over and over and over again for lab purposes, for pets, for genetics, etc. If you go to a pet store and buy a fancy rat right now, odds are, the past 200-300 generations of that rat have been born, bred, and died in captivity.  We’re talking 300 years of breeding and domestication.

In the early 2000’s, Dr. Manuel Berdoy released 75 lab rats that were fully domesticated into the wild.  A controlled environment, mind you, but essentially the rats were allowed to roam free after being alive in captivity for a year, descended from the many other generations of domesticated lab rats.

Almost immediately, these docile, cage-bound rats reverted to natural, instinctual behavior.  Skills that had not been touched for 200-300 years revealed themselves within days.  Foraging, social hierarchies, wild behaviors, sexual behaviors, etc.

Let’s look at humans. If you go back just 200 years, the United States still maintained slaves. We still fought over land.  The civil war hadn’t even happened yet.  In many cases, rape wasn’t even seen as a crime against the woman, but a crime against the father of the woman, for betraying his offspring.

I guess what I’m getting at, is the idea that we don’t live in a “violent” society. For it to be a violent society we’d have to have figured out how to stop the violence.  Otherwise it’s just the status quo.  I don’t know if that’s a better or worse perspective than what we already hold though.  The bottom line is, we’re all animals.  And animals can be contained, sure.  But once you stop training Fido and let him out of his cage for a while, he might go back to his bad habits.  The same applies to humanity.  If there were no laws against rape, there’d be a lot more rape.  If there were no laws against murder, there’d be a lot more murder.  Deeming it a “cultural” issue is almost insulting to the biology itself.  We need to realize that it goes way beyond the cultural or societal aspect.

The Golden Age of the Internet

I heard recently that AOL is finally closing down their instant messaging service.  I guess it isn’t used that much anymore.  Real shame.  I mean, shit, it’s not like I use it anymore, and nobody I know uses it, but it’s weird to see such a classic piece of internet history finally being destroyed, for good.

I remember spending many nights chatting up strangers, or hoping a friend would be online as soon as I logged on.  I remember forgetting that I was logged in, and turning my volume up for some music or some game, only to have the shit scared out of me when someone logged out and “slammed the door” on their way.

AIM was… wow.  What a time.

Losing Weight

Whelp, I’m doing it.

I stuck with my whole “calorie counting” thing and I’m successfully losing weight.  A lot of weight. I started at 200 pounds in September(?) and now I’m at 179.  Just 19 more to lose, before I can start on my followup exercise plan.  Hooray!

I’ve learned a fair amount throughout this process.  For one, as long as long as I focused on the calories and didn’t worry too much about everything else, it seemed to be fine for me.

Additionally, I was still able to eat out at some places I like, a fair amount.  Know what I love? Teriyaki chicken, with rice, and sweet potato tempura.  I had it once a week, and it was great.

Charting my progress helped, too.  I logged everything I ate, logged what my maximum alotted calorie consumption was, and how much of a deficit I… you know what? I don’t know why I’m bothering explaining all this.  It doesn’t matter.  This isn’t some health blog.

I lost weight, and I’ll keep doing it.  If I can hit my goals on time, I should be at 160 pounds by December 21st. Good enough for me.

The Internet

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother checking the internet. I hate that I can’t visit even the most tame, simple website without someone having to drag politics into it.

I just want to read fun comics, and look at the occasional funny / interesting picture.  I don’t want to hear about shootings, terrible world leaders, global war, liberals vs conservatives, or gender issues.  I just want to look at fun positive things.  Is that too much to ask? Does everyone have to get riled up about every little thing?

Mascots

So I’m working on some new mascots. I have no idea what I’ll use them for, but it’s just something I’ve been fiddling with.

  • Blood Hare – The obvious one, and the unofficial name of the Rabbit Hive mascot
  • Death Rat
  • War Weasel
  • Murder Mole
  • Slaughter Beaver

 

Again, no idea what to do with these, but I feel like they could be characters for… something?

Lost an Aunt Today

I lost an aunt to cancer. We were never close, so there’s no real point in acting like this is affecting me any more than it is. I think that as human beings I was mostly incompatible with her in terms of personality. She was extremely religious, whereas I am not (well, in terms of Christianity, anyway, I have other personal beliefs which I hold). As far as I remember, the last time I saw her in person, we went our separate ways on somewhat negative terms (probably over 10 years ago), and just never reconnected. It’s not like we were angry with each other, time and distance just prevented us from reconnecting.

I’m not close with most of my family, truth be told. I rarely call my own parents, though when I do, we tend to be on good terms.

I guess I just feel like I should be writing something, considering I’ve lost yet another family member, but I really don’t know what to say. This poor woman went through so much. She as stabbed by an angry ex boyfriend, and came so close to death, only to recover, live on for another ten years, and get brain cancer. Real unfortunate. It’s hard not to feel sorry for her, though I assume she wouldn’t have liked anyone to.

Well, that’s that, I guess.

Looking into the past

So I recently came across a random links to classmates.com, that website where you can check up on some of the other alumni that went to whatever schools you went to (basically a facebook for people who have forgotten people’s names, I guess).

Visiting this site, I discovered that over the past decade since I was in high school, about 8 people registered for that site. Not very impressive, but whatever.  The real point of interest is it turns out someone uploaded a few of the yearbooks from my school.

Oh man, talk about a blast from the past.  Faces of people I haven’t seen in years, pictures of this club or that team.  It was a real overload.  And it reminded me of why tend to leave the past behind. I think I have too much of a “good ol’ days” problem.  If I start reminiscing about something in my past, I get hooked.  Too much.  So many thoughts and questions of “what could have been,” so many feelings of yearning or regret, it’s just painful.  I’m glad to be an adult, and I would never go back, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t at least some things I miss about high school.  The familiar faces, the routine, the feeling of nothing really being important, etc.

I think a part of it stems from the fact that it’s like catching up with old friends.  Some of the pictures were of people who I never said more than 10 words to, despite the fact that I’d gone to the same school as some of them for 12 years.  A pretty significant portion of one’s life, especially considering it’s almost half of my life.

I miss some of those people, and the whole reason I regret looking through that year book is because now I feel myself missing people who I probably would have forgotten completely had I not looked at it.  I was also kind of a jerk to some of them, and now, no matter how unnecessary it probably is, I feel a weird sense of shame, like I need to somehow go back and apologize to a couple of them.

I don’t like feeling this way, and I try to avoid it.  It’s the same reason I don’t like looking back on a lot of things in my past, good or bad.  Really anything social, when I think about it.  Huh.

I’m glad the brig didn’t have a yearbook.  That would probably fuck with my head.

Rat trap

So some day I think I’d like to have more pets. An idea I’ve been considering is trapping some wild rats in our area. I mean, they’re considered pest animals anyway, and seeing as how they’ll either be caught by cats, killed by other (inhumane) rat traps, eaten by snakes, etc; I feel like in some ways I’m doing them a favor by catching a few of them and giving them a new life. I mean, sure it’s questionable whether it is morally sensible to catch any wild animal and attempt to tame them, but let’s face it, we wouldn’t have any pets at all or any working animals at all if we didn’t ever do any of that.

What I’m thinking of doing though is conducting a little bit of scientific study on these animals. I’ll likely test it with store bought rats as well. What I’m interested in doing is crafting some sort of system with an arduino microcontroller that allows the rats to press buttons that put out a light signal of some kind. The logic behind this is that I’ll have three buttons, and they will each correspond to a different light, and from there, I’ll give the rats a different treat.

I’m not really sure what I expect out of it, but in the mean time, I will have a fun pet (I mean, come on, I love rats, I’ve been missing them badly since I lost Leera and Pip a few years ago) and a new experience. So who knows.

I’m also curious of the differences between a wild caught rat and a store bought one. I mean, they are both the same species, technically (Rattus Norvegicus), but decades of selective breeding have led to pet rats and lab rats, and considering the sheer number of generations that rats can create in that amount of time, I have to imagine they have significant personality differences, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

This isn’t exactly happening tomorrow or anything like that, I still have plenty of pets at home, but it’s a concept that has been pressing me for a few years now and I’d like to finally really start doing research on the concept as a whole. Hopefully I can capture a pair of rats that can mate, so I can have some babies that I can imprint from birth. Only then will the real training begin.

I’m a nihilist.

Well, sort of.  I’m sure some people would say I’m not a true nihilist, as I still care about my wife and my pets, and thus, I adjust my life accordingly.  But otherwise, yeah, I strongly believe I’m a nihilist.

For those of you not aware:

Nihilist: (noun) a person who believes that life is meaningless and rejects all religious and moral principles.

It’s easy to bark at the religious principles.  I mean, come on.  Religion has done nothing to help humanity, it has only served to tear us apart.  People still die every day because someone believes their god and his ways are more correct that someone else’s god.  I mean, it’s simple.  The gods we know today are not the gods that existed in roman times, and yet they fought over and had issues for some of the same reasons.  Religion has existed for millennia, and so has religious warfare.

So then there’s the moral side of things.  What is morality, anyway?  Morality is our human definition of what is right and what is wrong.  Society dictates morality via laws, and the individual human dictates morality via their actions and personal beliefs.

But to me, that’s all bullshit.  Everything we’ve accomplished as human beings has always been fixing the mistakes that previous human beings have made.  Never looking into the future, only repairing the past.  Sure, you can say, for example, that the United States took a huge step into the future by legalizing gay marriage.  And yeah, that’s a good thing.  But it wasn’t a step into the future.  It was a catching-up to the present.  What should have been the past.  We abused, outcast, and even killed people over their orientation for years, and years, and years, all because some book from 2000 years ago said we should.  The ridiculous thing about it is that before the bible was written, ancient peoples were freely enjoying homosexuality.

The problem with being morally right is in this world it doesn’t accomplish anything, because those who are morally wrong tend to be in power.  And that’s not necessarily a good or bad thing (remember, nihilist), it’s just the cards this planet has been dealt.  Our current president, Trump, makes decisions that help the rich become richer and take medical are away from the sick and the poor.  Yet, his predecessor, Obama, a man who stood on the opposite side of the political line, freely ordered drone strikes that killed innocent people in foreign countries.  You could argue just as easily that they have both made good decisions too, but it doesn’t matter.  There is no “right or wrong” in politics.  There’s just “more powerful” and “less powerful.”

I feel I’m going off on a tangent.  It shouldn’t be about what makes “right” or “wrong,” the topic is about Nihilism, which is why it doesn’t matter anyway.  Well, here’s why it doesn’t matter:

Everything that you and I, the average people, do, is for naught.  The world is going to be destroyed by mankind anyway, and we are all going to die.  It’s that simple.  Global climate change because of human activity over the past centuries is the cause of it.  It’s not any one person’s fault, it’s the fault of anyone who wants to take shortcuts. Shit, anyone who wants to live a moderately pleasant lifestyle.  Who wouldn’t want to live a good life?  The problem is, it has cost us too much.  Unless every human being on this planet completely changes their way of thinking, their way of living, behaving, etc, we are all going to lose this planet that we love so much.

Our mass meat-farming practices put too much methane into the atmosphere.  Our shipping industries put too much pollution into the air.  Coal power plants, gas powered cars, the number of humans… there are so many factors that are tied into our pollution problem, that stopping any one thing won’t help.  It’s just too late, unless we change our entire ways of life, which we won’t.

I don’t want to stop eating meat.  I don’t want to stop using the convenience of a car to get food home. I don’t want to stop using online stores that rely on shipping services that polute more in a day than I ever could in a lifetime.  It’s modern luxury.  Nobody wants to give it up.

And unless you, me, and every other person on the planet decides to give it up, it’s too late.  Every step that we take, with electric cars, and “spare the air” days, it’s only slowing the inevitable.  And even then, it’s not slowing it down by much.

So, I just await the inevitable doom that we will all face when we are elderly.  In another 13 years, there will be enough carbon dioxide in the air to cause permanent damage to anyone born thereafter, so I’ll just try to survive happily in the mean time.