Goodbye Coffee

It is sad when you have to say goodbye to a favorite thing.  Unfortunately I have to let go of coffee.  I have tried several times unsuccessfully but it became necessary when I realized that, as it does with some people, caffeine was causing physical anxiety that was becoming debilitating.  Caffeine withdrawal isn’t fun, but it only lasts a few days.  The amazing thing is that after only a couple of days without caffeine all of the anxiety and depression I was feeling is completely gone.  I feel like myself again and everyday things no longer seem overwhelming to me.  It is good to be back.

Lots of Stuff

Working for a big company, there were always projects to work on.  Working for yourself, or building something on your own, you also have a non-stop list of things to do and that you can do, but the difference is accountability.  Self-motivation can be a hard thing to maintain.  Personally, one of the roadblocks is having so many things to take care of.  The car is off-lease, taxes are due, after-school programs and activities, just maintaining the house and working on projects around the house.  So many things are pending that I am having a hard time prioritizing.  I have been focusing on things around the house since getting those things done will reduce the level of stress to be able to focus on other things.  That can be counter productive as well since I have to deal with things that will help me get my business off the ground.  It is taking me longer to do that then I was hoping, but I remain hopeful.  Things are going well enough to keep trying, but I have to take it more seriously.

Coincidence?

Waking up a little earlier to start the day getting in a little cardio and taking some time out of the day to clean up the mess around the house to make the environment less stressful, and today for the first time in what feels like a long time, I had a full day of feeling motivated and happy to be doing what I had to do for the day.  Had family plans for the weekend, but with the bad weather coming in, they were cancelled.  I feel bad that I won’t see my family, but I am glad to have some unscheduled time.  There hasn’t been a whole lot of that lately.

Cleaning house

Sent several bags of clothes to a local charity.  Threw out a lot of garbage.  Trying to make a dent in the piles and piles of paper.  It is this sort of progress that is starting to really help me see that things are getting done.  I have to get back to getting out there hitting some small business groups and following up with people.  I have hit a bad rut and I am trying to claw my way out of it but after today I feel good.  Going to wake up early, get back on the elliptical and I am going to write out my list for the day.  I have it in my calendar to do that every day, but I haven’t been doing it.  Things get done when I have a list.

Today was also a good day for other reasons.  Took Marvin to a doggie day care for an “interview” to see if he would get along with other dogs there.  He did great.  He is such a great dog.  At the end of the day when Christine and I are sitting and watching TV, Marvin comes by and sits on my lap.  A 72 pound lap dog.  It really is nice to see how content he is while he is sitting with me.

The best thing today though was William coming home with no X’s in school.  He tries so hard and he was so happy that he had a good day.  It makes me happy to see him get off the bus so proud of the day he had.

Why politics is a joke

Open seat on the Supreme Court and the GOP is screaming they need to wait until after the election.  Dems are screaming bloody murder about it.

If the case were reversed.. Republican President, death of a liberal justice, Democratic Senate, I have no doubt, 100% that the Democrats and Republicans would be doing the same exact thing.

In both cases the law is clear, the President nominates, the Senate votes.  The President did his job, the Senate should do theirs.

Keep going through the same thing

I went in to the office this morning and it was just mess.. a complete and utter mess.  The floors needed to be vacuumed, there were piles of paper and books and mail and just random stuff.  Stuff.. George Carlin said a house a place to keep your stuff with a lid on it.  He was right in the most frustrating sense of the word.  In my constant struggle to get organized and get a process going, I need to learn to keep up with the stuff.  Stuff is just too stressful

M*A*S*H Season 4

I am looking through the episode list for season 4 to put together my top 5 for the season.  I don’t think i will have a hard time coming up with 5, but as I was going through the list of episodes, Season 4 was an extremely strong season of M*A*S*H.  Season 4 is start of the 2nd major section of M*A*S*H with the departure of Wayne Rogers and McLean Stevenson and the addition of Mike Farrell and Harry Morgan.  In retrospect, I am surprised just how strong the season is given that the show had to be completely revamped.  It is testament to Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds.  With the original cast they were sort of hamstrung by being forced at some level to stay within the confines of the original.  I always thought that was the weakness of the first three years.  In order to make it a television show they had to make it smaller.  They had to get rid of a lot of characters and they had to change the focus of the show.  In the book and movie, we are seeing the events through Hawkeye.  He is involved in everything, but the main action happens to everyone around him.  He is the eyes and sometimes the catalyst, but not the center of the action.  The TV show had to make him the catalyst and the center of the action.  This stripped some of the characters around him, mainly Trapper, who a good portion of the action revolved around in the movie.  The TV Trapper basically had nothing more to do.  Being able to change the cast enough to bring in a new sidekick and a new commanding officer gave Gelbart and Reynolds the freedom to reset the feel of the show the relationships of the characters.  I do not think M*A*S*H would have survived if Gelbart and Reynolds didn’t have the chance to create their own characters.  While not my favorite episodes and probably wont make my list, Welcome to Korea and Change of Command were really strong episodes that did a great job of introducing new characters and updating the feel of the show.  It felt more mature.

The maturity was despite the presence of Frank Burns.  Larry Linville hit his stride with Burns and season 4 had some of his best moments.  Spoiler: I think by season 5 Larry Linville was already ready to leave and I think the show was ready to have him leave.  The show was maturing to a level that Frank was unable to reach.  Margaret, at the behest of Loretta Swit left Frank and was moving on herself (though to another man, which I feel was really not such a great development, but more on that when we get to season 5.)

Not to tip my hand, not that I can since I don’t know what my 5 episodes are going to be, there are three letters home, Dear Mildred, Dear Peggy and Dear Ma.  The letters home are some of the best episodes, also the brainchild of Larry Gelbart meant to be a device to show that there is more than one thing going on at the camp at any given time.  I will probably try to change it up and not put all 3 letters, but I may have a problem there.  One thing I can tell for sure is that besides the 3 letters, the 4th season is capped off with The Interview.  This I can tell you, The Interview is most definitely in the top 5.  I am trying to remain objective, but I have long said that The Interview is my favorite episode but since the whole point of this is to rank my favorites and see if the shows hold up or get stronger over time, we’ll see if it stays at the top.

Anger for Angers Sake

I have to get back to my MASH episode reviews.  It has been too long, but in the mean time, I want to talk about Star Trek.. or about a situation that started because I was talking about Star Trek.

I was on a Facebook page dedicated to Star Trek Voyager, a show I thoroughly enjoy.  Any fan of Voyager, or any show for that matter, will recognize that any show has it’s flaws and Voyager is no exception.  Being that it is part of the larger Star Trek franchise, Voyager might have gotten a little extra leeway in terms of being renewed as opposed to a stand alone show.  Deep Space Nine probably had the same consideration.  As I said, I loved Voyager and there are definitely more episodes I liked than I didn’t, but the show had it’s problems in front of the camera and behind it.  The writers had their favorites and those they, well, those they didn’t particularly like writing for.  Commander Chakotay and Ensign Kim immediately come to mind.  It is shame since I did feel that in the case of Commander Chakotay, they had a character that could have potentially been one of the all time great Star Trek characters and they just left all of that potential on the table.

For the longest times, television shows might have had some character development, but writers and producers were careful not to change too much in any given show for the sake of syndication.  They wanted you to be able to watch the shows in any order at any time and not feel like you missed anything.  Over the last few years, this has changed with shows developing long season long or even series long arcs.  Shows like Lost, Fringe, and the new Battlestar Galactica changed the way shows were made.  Deep Space Nine was really cutting edge in this area with great character development and long story arcs.  Voyager was made in the old fashion that while there was development over time, most shows really had no consequences for other shows.  It is said that every episode ends by pressing the reset button.  Even what is arguably the best Voyager episode, the two parter Year of Hell ends with a big fat reset button explosion.

I made the mistake of talking about some of these issues on Facebook page about Voyager thinking that conversation is good and respectful criticism is good.  Instead I was met by one of the admins of the page pretty much berating me about what I was saying. I was in the middle of a nice conversation with another person until this person came in guns-a-blazing just being rude and condescending.  Having had enough, I pointed out that the attitude was rude, but I was met with more anger and nasty responses that I was in fact the rude one for talking down about her favorite show and even worse, making a comparison to Deep Space Nine, a show this person hated.   I respected her opinion though as Star Trek fans, I suggested an episode or 2 of DS9 to watch which I thought were excellent examples of character development, to which I was told I was being even more rude for telling her what to do!

Basically the anger and attitude of this person destroyed an otherwise pleasant conversation and all it did was take a nice time and utterly destroy it.  For heavens sake, we were talking about Star Trek.  We were not talking about the worlds problems or huge philosophical issues.  We were talking about a science fiction television show and even that turned into this person being rude and condescending for the crime of not agreeing with her 100%.  People seriously need to lighten up.  We are seeing it in the presidential campaign and have been seeing it in politics for a while.  If you don’t agree 100% you are a traitor and the enemy.  People have forgotten how to be civil to each other.  They forgot how to be respectful of each other.  Whether talking about the worlds problems or a television show, we have to remember they first and foremost we be respectful.  We have to be civil.  Shake hands and smile at each other.  Talk about things and even disagree, but be civil.  It really is sad that we can’t even talk about Star Trek, a show about how humans progressed to the point of being able to travel to the stars after solving most of the base issues that we have today.  If we can’t talk about something like that civilly, how can we expect to talk about real issues civilly?