Remember when we had blogs? That was weird.

About This Site

This site represents attempt #239 to write about things in public. Writing, thoughts and editorial regarding a wide variety of topic and a way to get to know me. What I say I like and what I seem to like may be different things.  Having a wide variety of interests, this site will also (hopefully) work as a concentrator for my activities and further my construction to (also hopefully), a useful human.

About This Author

Born in Southern California, I’ve lived the majority of my life in Washington State. I enjoy the occasional game, programs on the television, books and adult beverage.  I like to cook for other people. I have wanted to be a lot of things when I grow up.  A non-exhaustive list of toiling: Retail Clerk, Fast Food Slave, cement distribution… guy? Technical Support Monkey, Test Engineer, Student, musician.  I currently support firewalls for a small to medium-ish security appliance manufacturer.

I live in Seattle with my best friend, 2 skinny pointy dogs and a cat by the Puget Sound.



Wm4.0 – A week with Keto Chow

As I mentioned last time, I decided I need to get my body all sorted out.  One of the reasons for this is that I am dying slowly faster than most people.  I got the beetus and I got some other acronyms, too.  Still under control via pills, but the way I love me some food, that wasn’t going to last long.

I had luck in the past with Ketosis based diets like Atkins, but being a Man of Leisure, making meals 3 meals a day, packing a lunch, finding something low carb in the international district, working, walking dogs all are plenty enough to say fuck it and order a pizza. But I do love me a routine.

Enter Keto Chow, a meal replacement for people who are into nutritional ketosis. He’s come up with a tasty shake that I eat twice a day.  All the ingredients are purchasable myself, nutritional information is plain.  He seems like a nerdy engineer type so I can get behind that.

I just started week 2 with a 4.6 lbs loss from week 1. This not being my first BBQ, I know that much of that will be water, but having done this type of diet before, I do know its possible to lose ~2lbs a week.

Anyway, 2 data point down, a bijillion to go.


Regarding my mass extinction

Every post need a pun right?

Oh how I have neglected you, blog, for you are in direct confrontation with my modus operandi: leisure.

I was bemusing with a friend about how being a man of leisure is a calling we both are drawn to. Some people can’t stand to look at a day of free time without manifesting a list of duties they should rather be engaged in.  Not us, oh no. To us its a vast canvas of lackadaisical invention: “I should really marathon Ballers“; “you know, I could organize <insert collection>”; “Oh hello there, nap all day”.

Its not that I don’t like a good honest days work, its just I would rather dishonestly not work a day.

Now, there will be some of those who for, for instance, will read this and say, “I am sure glad I looked up this guy before I hired him!” and that is fair enough, but consider for a moment that the man/woman of leisure is the mother/father of invention, rather than necessity.

My father, told me once of the job he had for some Mad Men era electronics related company he was working for an the task that he’d been given for which he was designed (being a fellow man of leisure):

John Straley: Man of leisure vs. the pallet of electronics components (liberties with facts taken ruthlessly).

John was provided the task of sorting diode by their… μ.  Its gets better. His boss has a problem: “I have all these components, but they are unlabeled and their values are unknown! What shall I do?”

Of course he delegates, to John Straley: Man of leisure.

Previous to his assignment they had been just picking some and measuring them, hoping to find some that match.  With over 2000 diodes and some TV to watch at home, he immediately set out to end his torture early so he could watch the News or football or whatever.

Result: cataloging the variance of all the diodes against a single bench diode chose at random allowed him to create a database of matching pairs.  Of course this was the 60s and running these through a computer meant punch cards.  No leisure allowing devices like excel spreadsheets in the age of the moon landing.

It didn’t get better, I lied.

So this brings me to why I asked you here.

My life of leisure does not include yoga or jogging. It is largely sedentary. My charmed, lower-middle-class-childless-white-lifestyle allows me to taste the delicious cuisines of the world within a 5 mile radius. Amazon likes me to hang out at home and will delivery me items in under an hour.

Taking my dogs out for one of their two walks a day to void they bladders and bowels is a chore.

OK OK. I am starting to sound lazy, so I should get to the point where I have decided I should get rid of some extra fluff and exercise.

I have decided I should get rid of some extra fluff and exercise.Capture

Being a man of leisure means not having to look at the calories and carbs.  So I’ve decided to do go for the nuclear option because I am really good at routines.

Losing weight nuclear option. (not to be confused with losing-weight-nuking-from-orbit-just-to-be-sure-option):

I’ll be replacing 2 meals with a lowcarb high protein shake of about 400 calories called Keto Chow.

It seems gimmicky but I like gimmicks.

Then I’ll eat dinner, as usual, which had already been low carb.

“But carbs!” I hear you say.  Well, I am already diabetic, due to my life of leisure and love for Bismarks. And I had really good luck on a Atkin’s in the single aughts.

So, its really 2 fold, lose weight, treat the ‘beetus.

2015-08-11I’ve also been going to Harold’s Fitness in W. Seattle.  Close to home, Harold is a former professional body builder and over 70. He’s a bad ass. A bit of the scoundrel.

Here is pressing the bench. He calls you if you don’t show up. He is a man of action; a nice counter point to man of leisure.

His gym is reasonable and very low-fi, low tech and casual. He’s also old school men’s and women’s days separate, so no googly eyes from me.

So where am I right now? Lets say I am over the 300lbs mark for the second time in my life.  My goal right now is 250, but I’d like to get lower if my body type leads me there.

Hopefully a thinner man of leisure.


Human Domestication

I have started this sentence 43 times.  The problem is I have never written for writing’s sake.  Some say this means I am not a writer, but you know what?

Tell me if you do, please?

I think to truly embrace this medium I need to adopt the process of catching ideas for use later. Right now its kind of catch and release.

If pushed to speak about ideas for which I have passion, I am at no loss for words, yet when I sit here and consider whipping myself into a froth just so I can write about it seems disingenuous from me. Ranting is easy, a soapbox is easy. When I was taken by such things preaching was easy and the adrenaline of forming and transferring an idea is exhilarating.  I understand public speaking from this angle. Its like being a bit of the rock star, the center, the catalyst.

I can speak, at length, with plenty of self righteous but unrecognized authority on a variety of topics.  Such is the curse of being my father’s son. A role I find myself filling mentally and physically. So when I muster up the gumption to write about my emotional, monetary or physical state, its always flavored with a little bit of parental contaminant. When I speak to my partner, is it with the authoritarian overbearing spirit of my father? Did I hear my mother in that self effacing comment?

I always considered that at a certain point, we should put away the trappings of our childhood psycho-incubator.  I believed that at some point, which I thought I grabbed in my late 20s, I could and should, finally, forgive my parents for whatever damage they did, though well intentioned. Don’t get me wrong, I had fairly good parents to some. But we don’t get through childhood unharmed.

So as I grew up further and my life drifted away from their circle, I could no longer place blame squarely on them, but I had to recognize that while I had transferred blame away from them, I had never transferred it to the person who was now responsible, myself. Oh sure, its easy to point out the flaws of my parents. I mean I have all the info I need from my Psych 101 class right? Control freak. General Anxiety/Depression. Authoritarian. Paranoia. But these simple labels don’t tell the whole story nor should they. People are complex and yet simple. Walking contradictions.

There is an interesting train of thought that we don’t actually make our own decisions. We already know that Confirmation Bias is real, (the drive to seek information that agrees with us), but we can extrapolate further that we merely choose from ideas or meals or dogma that are presented to us with the illusion of choice. Free will, predestination. Consumer products, the car salesperson; these things don’t tell the real story. When I am given the menu, I don’t order what isn’t there.  So why should the menu of life and how we treat people or allow people to treat us be any different?

Who presents me the menu of choices when I interact with friends? Or a homeless person? Or a person of color? When I look for a job, how do I choose which I apply to, which I wish I could apply to, and which I scoff at as below me? Can I really say I am autonomous and that I choose to do from the full cauldron of humanity? The answer for me right now must be, “no”.

This all leads to being mindful and aware of how reactionary I behave as I go about the vast majority of my life because my menu is influenced by how I was raised, my biology and how society treats me.  But I think this exercise also serves to inform how I “choose” to perceive those around me.  When I see the homeless, the protester, the rebel flag waver. Who gave me the menu?


Your ugly mug

Flip, flip, flip. Another, another, another. He idly paged through the book, face after face, like Tinder or Grindr, but not really, because Tinder and Grindr were like this. Oh books, how you’ve been the constant champion by which all media was measured. Where does the book go? Would he only find them in second hand stores 10 years from now like his parents LPs, only to be resurrected by mustachioed nostalgia for analog? Will they be dug up in 20 or 50 years after the world falls into anarchy and there is no one around to open that document stored on your proprietary storage device? How will we know Margaret’s last wishes, written in that note pad program on her now defunct operating system?  How will we-

“Are you actually looking at these?”

Hans looked up. The officer on the other side of the desk looked bored. Well no shit, he was bored too.

“Of course.” he lied.

As he started actually paying attention again, his eyes scanning the pictures, probably snapshots of immortalizing people at their worst. Weirdo, weirdo, weirdo. Hans considered that maybe he should make a website for people that have their mugshots on public display, where they could upload another photo when they have their shit together, like

  • myshowerhadnotworkedfor2daysbecausemylandlordisanassthatiswhyipunchedhim.com
  • cocainisahellofadrugbutigotbetter.net
  • moviestarsnevergetarrestedonbadhairdaysexceptgarybusey.org

These would allow people that second chance that seems so hard to come by when your not-so-tasteful side boob goes global.

How many pages had gone by without him paying attention… two? Three?  Let’s see, three pictures in a row, four rows on a page, probably thirty to forty five. This was ridiculous, he though, so he decided to share it with a public employee.

“Why don’t you have a computer for this stuff? I mean there is a computer right there on the desk.” He then motioned with his head, just so everyone knew exactly which computer on the desk he meant.

Hans was bad with names. He squinted at the name badge… Officer… it was hard to make out, Smyth? No one had that name anymore. Jenkins? Wow he was way off.

“Yeah, you just worry about you. Listen, can I step out and get a cup of coffee and trust you to actually look through that mug book?” Jenkins picked up his coffee mug. Clear County Sheriff it said. Did that mean he wasn’t an officer? Should he call him deputy?  May he was the sheriff. A Sheriff? An Sheriff?

“Oh, coffee?” Hans chimed, hopeful, “what kind is it?”

“The hot kind.”

“Oh.” Hans made a grimace.

“You wanna cup?”

“…no.” Hans replied. He didn’t.

Maybe if he could remember anything about the face of the guy that had hit him on the head and taken is stylish Ona “The Brixton®” messenger bag this wouldn’t be a complete waste of time. GOD HE LOVED THAT BAG. Not that it contained anything useful, but it had been sweet. That perfect manufactured look that said, “This was hand forged by hairy men with leather aprons with re-purposed materials, then passed down over generations of hard won, socially responsible and eco-friendly usage.” Hans was sure this would tell women that he was a writer, or perhaps a photographer for a NPO and that they would then ask about his travels, muses and have sex with him. He’d been experimenting with strategic camera shaped bulges to place in the bag, as he’d spent too much on the bag and could no longer afford the camera. A travel sized Pringles can was working well in bathroom mirror testing.

What page was this? Page 27 of… 100?? Ugh. Hans decided that maybe he could slip in a couple flips of two pages at a time so he could move to the next book. He thought perhaps he could make a mug book app, where people could flip through mug shots on the phone.  He’d call it Offendr.


“Something funny Mr. Leifson?” Officer Sheriff set down his coffee on the metal desk where Hans was sitting. He resumed the paperwork he’d started when Hans had arrived.

“I just came up with a funny app.” Hans had a crooked smile; at least one side of it was smug, “for mug shots. Books.” he added, “A mug book app.” Hans could see that Officer Sheriff was not an early adopter type for technology by his complete lack of response and let it go.

Scanning… scanning… scanning… it was a feast of dereliction that was for sure. Killer, murderer, deranged, drug dealer, drug taker. He wondered if they knew each other. Flip. His eyes scan from the first image to the second and he stopped. Frozen in his seat, he studied the face in the image and tried to make sense of it by saying, “Huh.” as he scanned the face. Its nose, eyes, the mole under its eye.

“Find something?” Officer Sheriff looked up from his paper work; he seemed excited to have a possibility that he could stop what he was doing and peered at the book in front of Hans, who promptly slammed it shut.

“Uh, no, sorry my mistake.” Hans lied, “I thought it was my dog’s… previous owner?”

Officer Sheriff stared for a moment before Hans continued, “May I have that cup of coffee now? Sorry.” Hans succeeded at not smiling normally and regardless of the fact that Hans was a terrible liar, Officer Sheriff got up with a sigh and left the room. Once Hans was satisfied he was alone, he returned to the mug book in front of him. He looked closely, his finger traced the outline of the shoulder, head and shoulder again.

It was him. I mean me! It’s me! Or at least it look like me. But no, look at that mole, what are the chances?

Having a great idea, Hans pulled out his phone, taps the camera and flips it for selfie mode, just in case he was having a Changing Places or Freaky Friday body swap moment and he was currently inhabiting his mom or cousin or something. This was quickly ruled out. The image however, was him. And he was him.

Hans slipped the picture out of its sleeve and closed the book.



Hey I said every week right?

Right.  I know I did and you know I know I did. But that is the problem with a man who’s family motto was “TV is my only recreation” growing up.  This is a difficult tradition to break, because its easy. Yes, Television, my radiation emitting parent, friend, lover. How I long for your tutelage every night as I take my place in your court.

Worries?  Not while I am being passively amused. I don’t need to worry about how I never finished that degree whilst your content flickers in my eyes. How I have a room full of hobbies I want to get around to, but goodness me, I can watch ALL the seasons of Boston Legal right now? SWEET SPADE AND SHATNER, TAKE ME AWAY!

I can posit that these behaviors are escapist. Likely. I can extrapolate that I escape because otherwise, I may be forced to concede that I am not where I want to be, creatively, academically, financially or emotionally; through this media time sink, I can idle my engine while the past, present and future take a backseat.  These are big things to navel gaze.

Lets take a look at my existential to-do list and see where we’re at a month or so later:

  • Create a demo for voice acting.

Well, not a lot here.  There are people at work with some experience with audio gear, which may get me over my “this is hard why doesn’t it work right” phase. Basically I have an M-Audio interface with a build in pre-amp and a mic, but its super quiet and noisy.  I don’t know how to troubleshoot this.  Must ask for help.

  • Fix or replace my guitar.

Being unemployed for 4 years and living off of good graces and savings puts you in a bit of a financial mess. This will have to wait.  Maybe I should put a little away each month.

  • Be healthy.

Another aspect of working full time again is lack of time.  Combined with my TV Parent, preparing food and making good food choices, not happening as much as I’d like.  But I have made progress.  More salads from home for lunch.  I fear weighing myself.

  • Write more.

Pretty good.  I could cross post more of my Facebook posts here.  My word a week plan made it 2 weeks, then last week… nada.  This week is nearly done.

One thing that I completely admit my hypocrisy on is keeping promises. As a child who had a few promises broken, I suspect that my ability to trust others and myself, was stunted.  I am better as an adult.  I have reasonable expectations and my skills for choosing whom and when to trust others is much better, even than it was when I was 30. But as far as keeping promises to myself? When no one if watching? At school I learned that investment in myself was worth it. I must remember this.

  • Be kind and present.

Making strides. Compliments when you appreciate someone. Remembering to consider the active feelings of others.  Empathy.  It happens.




Words a Week: Deuce Ex Adoption

Week 2 of 2 weeks of words!  This one is dark, probably has some psychological triggers and certainly has adult themes and language. I had some problems keeping tense as I like present tense, because it falls out of my mouth better. It also started from a more neutral “they” perspective, but it ended up about her. Time is a tricky thing, and I feel like this would have really been excellent if I’d had a more regimented writing time per day. This is not where I saw it going. But per usual, this was rushed when I could fit it in on lunch breaks…  I still like it.

She placed the baby on the hood of the car and looked down at what she had done. It was late; 3 o’clock in the morning, but it was hard to tell.  Had this been a different time or a different place, she thought they would have taken him home. Chances were, that life would take over and things would work out, even if the odds seemed stacked against them. That is what she told herself before reality set in. Soon considerations had to be made, scenarios played and replayed until the hope withered and died within hearts and the world won. So there they were, looking at the baby on the hood of the car.

“We should name it.” her voice was an exercise in sorrow. Worn and depleted from bringing this child into the world. She smoked her cigarette and considered the life before her. It was tiny and quiet; full from her breast.

“I like Mable.” She took another drag as the baby clasped her finger. It was dark. The nearest street light an anemic witness.

“I don’t care, we need to get rid of it.” coke boy croaked. He was not so contemplative and he stepped away to continue pacing.  In no uncertain terms he had told her his life was over; he’d confided that he wanted nothing to do with this, but he’d help get rid of it. There goes college. Joining a band: gone.  Sure he didn’t know how to play an instrument but now that was gone, too. His dad would kill him.

“Besides, Mable is a cow’s name.” (more…)

Weathered Plague Doctor by scklyic.deviantart.com

Words a Week: Merriam

This is part of my self-development cycle where I push my creative juices out of my body and on to the public stage. It may be good, it may be silly, but it is. Cheers. 

Merriam didn’t want to change. She liked things exactly as they were. Before her was the embodiment of exactly not that. Her hands were white knuckled fists. She shook and she watched. She could barely breathe let alone form a sentence to convey how disappointed she was. Thoughts of violent rage swirled with thoughts of compromise of how she should be tolerant of others but this was hers. Her place, her things and her life. 

So she did what she always did when faced with change. She kept very still. Like a stone or a great tree and she waited for her feelings that bid immediate violent action to subside. Soon the fire was a smolder and soon the smolder a single, cherry red coal of ire; never out completely, but redirected. Never out. (more…)


On Corning Beefs

Neither being Catholic nor a heavy drinker, I used to wonder why I liked St Patrick’s day so much. Well, you’ll find no answers here about that!  But I do like corned beef…

Corn that beef!

Human animals love some corned beef. Super useful for keeping meat for a long time, salt curing has been around as long as we’ve been staying in one place for extended periods, ~10,000 years.  Everyone does it, but corned beef is especially popular in Irish, English, Jewish and Filipino cooking.  Ireland exported a lot of it during the Potato Famine, but couldn’t afford to buy it. Partially because the English were dicks. But what the heck is corning anyway?



Kickstarter: Shadow of the Demon Lord

Viva la Jacques Henri!

One time I met Robert J Schwalb on the sidewalk of Aurora Ave N in Seattle.  Right by Beth’s cafe.  You all know what that means.  He was selling somethin’…

Actually he was testing a game he’d been writing. A game that would make a 1980s housewife quiver with righteous mother grizzly rancor:

Shadow of the Demon Lord.



Premature Dissemination

The problem with writing, for myself anyway, is that I often can’t think worthy or writing about. Most of my Facebook stuff is fluff or reactionary. Maybe someone said something silly about vaccines or politics or race or religion. Pleading or yelling at someone that they are, or I am not, drinking the Kool-Aid of whatever philosophy they, or I, subscribe to. And by Kool-Aid we mean bullshit. We really think that the other person is delusional and worthy of suspicion of motive and if not motive, they are stupid for falling for it at the very least.  This goes both ways. I am surprised that I have friends with alternate philosophies at all.  But I try to remain civil. So what does this have to do with writing? (more…)