Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing.

I have a distinct feeling that the sea and I are mutually exclusive. I've avoided it to date as I fear that I am prone to seasickness. Mind, I don't know for certain, I'm just afraid that this will be the case. Can you imagine being stuck on a boat for hours upon hours trying to fight back the overwhelming urge to puke? Yeah, that's what keeps me away. There was this one time that I visited Cedar Point in Ohio. I was able to ride a single rollercoaster. I was fine up to and after that point. Then I had a hot dog. Spent the rest of the day with waves of nausea rolling over me.

It was a shitty experience.

I knew I should have skipped the hot dog.

would honestly like to explore the world and see it from the seas. To have that mobile house and putter about at my own leisure. Unless I somehow become one of Fortune's Favorites, I doubt that this dream will be made a reality.

Anyhow. Sailing. My primary escape plan for many apocalyptic scenarios is to flee to the embrace of the sea. Zombies. Nuclear war. Radioactive Zombie invasion. Global Warming. Run out of Fossil fuels. Whatever happens, there are a wide range of situations that would see me glad to get the hell out of dodge aboard a sailboat.

Why a sail boat? Think of it, unless the sun stops shining, there will always be wind power. Today might be calm, and tomorrow. But sooner or later the wind will pick back up. The same goes for the use of wind turbines for electricity. The wind will Always be there. So it makes sense to harness it for every applicable use. Sailing especially.

I've always had that part of my mind that is concerned with resources. Fuel. Ammo. The ability to obtain more and keep going. Eventually, after a collapse of our civilization and the industrial knowhow that it represents, human society is going to run out of the liquid fuels.

The wind is free source of energy. The sun heats the atmosphere and causes the air to move and circulate. Though wind does lack the overall reliability of say gasoline. Nor is it as straight forward, as a boat is forced to tack back and forth to travel against the wind. But the allure of wind, well has already been stated. In the long run fuel will be just one less thing to worry about. Up sail and go.

Have I won you over yet? Doesn't matter, here I go.

Now, the unlimited free fuel that the wind represents is fantastic. Humans have been using it to power their vessels for thousands of years, and in the mean time have been able to stretch out and explore the entire globe. Early on, we were forced to either go whichever direction the wind was blowing, or to labor heavily with the oars. This was how the Viking Longboats worked. Can you imagine fighting against a storm in an ancient wooden ship by pulling at the oars until you collapsed? Yeah, our ancestors were bad-assed.

Eventually navel powers developed the triangular sail, which allows a boat to sail into the wind at a 45 degree angle. Ie, if the wind is coming out of the north, you can tack back and forth between a northwest and northeast heading in order to get to your destination due north of your location. Depending on the distance, and other circumstance this maneuver may take several executions before you arrive safely.

Getting it to work well is probably a science and an art.

So, zig-zagging back and forth makes travel more difficult, as you can imagine. You've just increased the length of the trip, and there's a better chance that you'll run into obstacles along the way.

Many sailboats, both ancient and modern come with a variety of differently shaped sails, which are used for different purposes in the course of a voyage. I have no idea how they work. But I'm trying to learn. Honestly, how am I doing so far? I bought the book Sailing for Dummies and read part of it. Fascinating stuff. Easy to read. But I'd need to get some hands on experience before I was able to digest all of the information and fully Grok it.

When the Zombie Apocalypse arrives, I'm getting myself a boat. Zombies can't swim.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Exalt the new God!

I'm thinking about writing my own quasi-spiritual novel in order to form the foundation of my own hack religion. I mean, this worked for the likes of L Ron Hubbard. And It would be awesome to bring in a sizable load of funds. Money for nothing and my chicks for free.

You think Summer Glau might join? Ignore the fact that she's smoking hot. Ok, don't ignore it, you can't, but set that aside for a few minutes. She's both a trained dancer and martial artist. Who doesn't want someone like that around? My compound is going to need a dancy-ass-kicker to keep the peace. Hell, any of the female members of the cast of Firefly. Viva La difference!

I don't think my bullshit capabilities are up to par. I'd get Jamal white and Paris Hilton. Pessimistic of me, yes, but also a realistic assessment of my skills in creating a whirlpool of mumbo-jumbo and then selling it to the spiritually devoid.

But really, in the Apocalypse, who wants to hole up with a bunch of movie stars? Sure, they're pretty. That doesn't really come at all in handy. Less so when you realize that a fair number of celebrities are psychologically damaged attention whores(not all of them, but enough). Put five or ten of them together and will it be like watching the cast of Jersey Shore? Stupid, petty drama.

I can live without that. Maybe. I suppose it would be better than being alone.

If I have my say, I want people with practical skills(ie, the shit on this list). Not borderline sociopath who plays make-believe really well. (Un)fortunately, Scientology seems to have scooped most of the cracked cases up. Kudos to you Scientology for your goldmine!

Creating a religion is a grand tradition in humanity, and quite useful. Just ask the Jews. Their shared collection of stories and beliefs have held them together through conquest after conquest. Then dispersal. And finally genocide. They have for years faced discrimination and worse from both the pagans and gentiles amongst whom they lived. And though they're now spread across the face of the world, they're still a collective culture who sees itself as a single people. No matter the color of the individual's skin. Maybe that's how they've managed to take over the world!*

*SARCASM. That was a sarcastic statement. As sarcasm is difficult to judge via text, I felt the need to add this disclaimer. So, thin-skinned assholes who are easily offended by stereotypes, and Nazis/Rednecks/Klansmen or whoever, Kindly refrain from emailing me,

The important part about starting a religion isn't the details, though those will come later, it's the ability to bullshit and stick with your story and convince the gullible that you know what you're talking about. Example, Joe Smith. Part of his spiel was that an angel had given him a set of gold tablets that nobody else was allowed to see. They purportedly held the story of the Native American peoples, who were lost tribes of Israel. I shan't go further, but I will admit that I am a cynic when it comes to prophets and their tales.

So, create an interesting set of stories that present some moral lessons. Claim to have received spiritual wisdom from on high and then stick by my guns.

Religion has two main effects. The good is that it strengthens the bonds within the group and makes them a people rather than a number of individuals. The society now has a common thread. This is what religion has been used for since the dawn of time. Why the Roman Emperors adopted Christianity when they did. They seek unity.

The down side of having an US means that you need a THEM. And outsiders are usually considered less valuable. They don't share your culture or beliefs. You know nothing about them and who the outsiders are or how they will behave. They are frightening and potentially dangerous, rather than fellow humans. How easy it is to strike out violently against the unknown other and treat them in a manner that doesn't befit another human being. In a way that you wouldn't even treat an ox.

So, I gotta watch out, or this religion thing can backfire on me. And potentially on the whole of humanity, depending on how good my story is. Still any hot female doctors out there who want to get in on the ground floor?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The curse of Babel

In the inspired words of Bruce Willis: Lady I only speak two languages: English and Bad English.

Well that statement applies to me. And I cannot really even vouch for my mastery of English. At least in spoken form.

I live in the United States and the language most widely spoken is the aforementioned English. It is our universal and common tongue. For now. Second is Spanish. If you count Canada as part of the states, and some do, you also have French. These are the three languages that I would most likely be to encounter whilst traveling from sea to shining sea.

Of course, this being the United States, we have people from all corners of the globe. In pockets secreted around the country it is conceivable that just about every language still spoken by the Human race is used to communicate thoughts between people.

Then there are the various dialects of English. You know what it means when someone say “Oi poodle up the Mud Flap ya wankin' geezer!” Or “Give it to me Yahoo Serious style!” No? Neither do I. To be honest I'm sure I'd rather keep it that way, judging by the words I do understand. But still, it's fascinating how we've taken a single language with so many common and twisted it to make it incomprehensible to the rest of the world.

Quite some time ago, around when I was 18 years old, I decided that I would learn two phrases in as many other languages as humanly possible. They were 1) your breasts look magnificent, may I feel them? 2) Ow ow, please stop hitting me, I was only joking. Hey, I was a horny teenager, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. It still strikes me as being funny, now that I'm a horny adult. How far did I get in that goal? I can say the phrases in English. Most of the time. Sometimes I still trip up.

I realize something about myself. Linguistics isn't a field of study for me. I am abysmal at memorization. And in order to learn a new language, you need to download a whole new vocabulary. Hell, even visiting a place like Texas where they call all carbonated beverages 'Coke', frightens and confuses me. But then, that might just be the effect that Texas has on most people.

I'm a lazy bastard. That's why I'm here writing about kick ass areas of endeavor instead of going out and mastering them!

Right now, unless one of you wants to donate a lot of money, it is doubtful that I will be on foreign soil if/when the apocalypse occurs. So, English and Spanish. I have a fair range of English. But my Spanish leaves to be desired. I've considering learning some more than counting to ten, mostly so I can get the full worth out of watching unovision and it's bevy of scantily clad beauties. As it stands, I can sing most of the words to the song Labamba and I can inform you of my firmly held opinion about pants: They are the devil.

Los Pantalones son el Diablo!

See? Pretty sweet huh.

So, if you ever need someone to tell a group of folks in espaniol that pants suck. I am your man. Translate some instructions into Russian on diffusing a bomb – you better probably look somewhere else. My only instructions would be 1) don't panic! don't panic! don't panic! 2) Run!