Monday, October 31, 2005

In action vs. inaction

When did inaction become a welcome alternative to getting in action? I don't consider myself a social or political activist, yet I stay involved and do things that are proactive for myself, friends, and family. Not that socially acceptable baloney of donating chump change to end world hunger or voting at presidential elections (not true I turn in my ballot and then watch the electoral college do what they want). Rather I teach and coach for free, I've mentored students, and I try to be everything for everyone (difficult, tiring, and obsessive-compulsive as that may sound). I accept challenges and conquer fears, get defeated and come back stronger. I try to be in action, not inaction.

And then I look around, I see apathy, incompetence, and acceptance of the second rate. Not because it has to be that way, but because its the easier choice. And for simple, small, inconsequential things. When was the last time you went into action and stopped for someone in distress? When was the last time you let inaction hold sway and passed someone in distress? For me the answers are Saturday and a little over a week ago. Neither of these event horizons of inaction or being in action brought me joy, happiness, or less of a tension headache but I did the right thing 50% of the time. And that is acceptable to many, although a score like that wouldn't pass an accredited proficiency or technical exam in this country, being active 50% of the time is acceptable even commendable. Then why do I feel like I haven't done enough?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Linear Discrimination

I hate lines, ques, whatever you want to call waiting in a geometrically predetermined position. Absolutely hate the inactivity associated with waiting for grocery checkout, ordering take-out, or whatever. It is somewhat alleviated by being with friends or family, but by yourself there's just not a whole lot to do but stare blankly ahead and go to your happy place. I understand the necessary evil of this side effect of supply and demand but when there are other registers available or multiple stations accessible and the staffing is not available it drives me nuts. Me and everyone else on the planet have better things to do, even if it is just sleeping.

Its like competitive inhibition, all the active receptors are saturated by myself and my fellow consumers and yet all these other registers stand silent (the inactivated receptors going through some sort of predetermined cycling time). Think of the jobs created by opening up these "receptors" think of the man (or woman) hours saved by processing everyone through that much faster. Unemployment could be zero and people would have that much more time to produce and expend money. Call it Red Button Economics.

This thought brought to you by leaky tank bolts.


So its 2 am and I've worked out for 5 hours today, I SYN (sh!t you negative). I'm downstairs in my kitchen and see what dripping on one of the counter tops. WTF!?! It is right under my bathroom so I run upstairs and see a layer of moisture around the toilet. After some exploring and discriptive cursing I figure out that one of the tank bolts (the bolts that attach the top water reservoir to the actual excretion receptacle) is the site of the leak. Plus side: this is clean water, minus side it has infiltrated under the tiles which I can now remove with my bare hands. Apparently a previous owner retiled the bathroom floor by just tiling on top of the old tile, idiot. Also no extremely important as in vital for making water tight RUBBER washers on the inside of the toilet -- hence its raining toilet water downstairs (while this is better than men, cats, or dogs its still a pretty annoying form of precipitation). I love lazy idiots.

The fun begins today, I have to get new tank bolts and secretly I love doing this handy man thing. Makes me feel like a rugged, "get er done" kind of guy. Of course as I am a not-insignificant fellow and stronger than a bull, my usual experiences with plumbing has been a few hours of descriptive cursing, bloodly knuckles, a destorted piece of metal plumbing mocking me, and a call to an experienced plumber who politely explains the modern advances in plumbing apparently not made public to the guys down at the hardware store. To quote a a famous full contact stickfighter, "the adventure continues."


Some of my friends call me a Big Red Button, because of certain bellicose, exuberant, and verbose responses to things that happen in life or the world. Welcome to the text version!