Pictures and Updates

Benny Paint

Our puppy “Benny” can best be described as lackadaisical. He yawns, wanders, and grazes, tail wagging like a metronome, and then he pulls up to his favorite spot…the water bowl.

Benny can drink 3 times his weight in water, it is like pouring a gallon milk jug into an 8 ounce glass, he slurps up tons of water, walks a couple feet away from the bowl and pees on the floor. At the conclusion of his urination, he returns back to the bowl and consumes more water.

I’ve come home from work on several occasions to find Jaclyn at her wits end, reports of cleaning up to 3 dozen accidents in a single day. We will ask the vet to inspect his constant craving for water. Otherwise, he is a good dog and will make a great addition to the family.

DD Paint

Dalia always wakes up with crazy hair, she is a supernova. Tonight we have a very special dance recital that she has been practicing for months. There will be tap & ballet performances complete with costumes.

WinFish Paint

Per my previous post, we tested out one of our new boats (the canoe) and our depth finder last weekend. The canoe is heavy as hell, but very stable in the water. Winston paddled us around a bit, but was much more engaged with the depth finder. He would study the changing depths and fish that appeared on the screen and report them back to me as I paddled “23 feet deep, fish at 18 feet deep!”. It was a fun exercise, despite leaving our poles at home, I made mental notes of the lake’s depths and made assumptions about the fish at 18 feet deep. Was it a bass or sauger, perhaps I could find a crankbait that dives to 15 feet and troll it around the lake as I paddled, it looked big on the depth finder, but what does that translate to in real life, I need a vinyl waterproof tape measure sticker that I can adhere to my fishing vessels.

2015 Fishing Plan of Action


During the brutal drudgery of winter, we began preparing for the spring fishing season. I got Winston a rod and Dalia inherited one of my favorite ultra light rods, we purchased a couple supplies, and began having casting practice a couple weeks ago.

This weekend we decided to take our new gear & skills to a trout pond that is packed with trout in the Laurel Highlands. The pond is very small and nearly every inch of it was occupied by rainbow trout. The kids were able to cast all by themselves, they hooked the fish all by themselves, and reeled in the fish they caught. In all, they caught about 6 fish in an hour.

I asked the kids if they would rather catch lots of small fish or spend all day catching just a single big fish. The unanimous answer was that they prefer catching lots of small fish. I plan to take them fishing a lot this summer, we will focus our efforts on learning the basics and catching sunnies & perch.

On the other hand, I am completely interested in catching bigger fish and have begun implementing a plan to catch one.

  1. Researched the nearby lakes and concluded the best places for a trophy fish are at Cross Creek Lake and Lake Author. I’ve been able to track down maps of the lakes to see how deep it is in all locations.
  2. Inherited three heavy rods from my father that can handle fish tens pounds or greater
  3. Purchased a cast net license for Lake Author to catch large bait within the lake

My goal is to catch a bass greater than 5 lbs, a walleye greater than 5 lbs, a catfish greater than 10 lbs, striper greater than 8lbs, and a musky. I plan to outfit my kayak with a depth finder to assist in these efforts.

In other news, I am trying to be a candidate to donate a kidney to my sister. Unfortunately, I had to lose 40lbs to be eligible. The good news is that today, I am halfway to that goal. The second half is always much slower than the first half because the water weight is gone, but still feel confident that I can be at the desired weight by August 22.

I have also become somewhat fond of pushups, I want to look like Dwayne Johnson.

Creating A New Sense

I was reading reviews of the new Apple watch just to try to figure out why someone would buy it. Its not like you can type up emails or talk into it like Dick Tracy, it seems like just sticking to your mobile phone would be much easier.

Then I started to think about what I would want in the next tech breakthrough and here is what I want:

I want to be have a calculator inside my head, so I can do impossible math problems with 100% accuracy, without someone seeing me opening up my phone to do the calculations. I want to have access to Google inside my head, so I can search answers to any question without anyone seeing me search for it on my phone. I want to appear much more intelligent than I am.

The problem is that right now, you have to grab a mobile device and essentially acknowledge that the little computer you are holding is much more knowledgeable than yourself. It is also a hassle to type, scroll, etc. Google Glass is trying to get us closer to having all of this stuff more integrated into your body, but the problem with Google Glass is that it still screams that you are dependent on technology. People acknowledge that they are dependent on technology, but they don’t want to make it blatantly obvious.

There was a great story on Invisibilia (a show on NPR, which is fantastic, free, and fun to stream on long car rides), that talks about a true story of a man who has essentially transformed himself into a Cyborg before mobile phones were invented, he was essentially super human with the information he possessed at all times. (show titled, Our Computers, Ourselves – February 13)

(Below this picture, my thoughts continue)

Another story in Invisibilia was about a man who was blind, but could make a “clicking” sound with his mouth and the sound waves would bounce off objects and bounce back to him and by the sounds/vibrations he could hear, it would essentially create a visual of what was around him. He could “see” the world without functioning eyes. Because, in reality, your eyes don’t project the images you see, your eyes collect information, pass it to your brain and your brain projects the visuals, you see with your brain. It was proven that the blind man who “clicked” could actually see.

So if you don’t need eyes to see, there may be different ways to communicate with the human body that do not require a smart phone, apple watch, or Google Glass. Perhaps you could create new senses where you rubbed your tongue on different teeth to type and little sensations into your toes would pass you information back. It sounds absurd, but if you were trained on it to the point it became like “clicking”, it could make an ordinary person incredibly intelligent. Once one person actually does it, becomes very successful, many more will follow.

Anyways, I thought I was somewhat brilliant for coming up with this theory, figured I should investigate it to see if someone else is already working on it, I googled, “Creating A New Sense” and it turns out, David Eagleman is way ahead of me:

This genius has already developed a way to give people a special vest that sends pulses to the body and those pulses are already helping deaf people hear and people to understand content on webpages without seeing them.

Fascinating stuff, kids in two generations will be enveloped in technology.

Ranking Up

Watched a nauseating documentary on the Church of Scientology last night called “Going Clear”. It falls into that category of movies where you’re watching a horrible train wreck in slow motion and you just keep asking, “Why doesn’t that person just stop?”

Other movies that fall into this category where I just think “STOP!” throughout the whole movie are:

  • Trainspotting
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • Permanent Midnight

The above movies are all about drug addiction and are sickening to watch. This movie about religion felt awfully similar. The people in the Church of Scientology were striving to move up fictitious “ranks” to get them closer to achieving a sublime greatness within the church. Church members would pay money to move up these ranks. They were addicted to their cult and to moving up rank. I watched it unfold on the TV, sitting on my couch and thought, “These people are idiots”.

But the issue is that all humans want to move up a rank, it is inevitable. I’m sure I’ve worked way too hard at companies because I wanted to be a senior level employee, I’ve spent a lot of money on a softball bat to have an edge on my slow pitch statistical rankings, I’ve spent money on digital extras in video games to gain an edge on the vastly superior players I compete against. To most people, these examples may seem absurd, but I am sure women do the same thing with shoes, yoga pants, and careers. We’re all trying to rank up in something. I even tried to rank up in how hot of a pepper I can eat. To people on the outside, watching me put the Carolina Reaper pepper in my mouth, it is a slow motion train wreck, they probably think, “This guy is an idiot”.

But it gave me a perverse satisfaction.

Perhaps the folks in Scientology are not crazy at all, maybe they are just as crazy as the cult of woman who own Coco Chanel handbags, overweight men on souped up Harley Davidsons, or corporate executives that rarely see their families.  So, whatever cult you choose, you must abide by these principles to remain a productive member of society:

  1. Spouse/children come before cult
  2. Respect other cults
  3. Do not put all your time into a single cult, belong to at least two cults
  4. Set limits up front on your financial contribution and time commitments to your cult
  5. Talk to outsiders about your cult, their perspective could keep your participation more rationale