An unexpected series of unfortunate events

clown murder

Well, only one, really — we might have to move or buy on a relatively short notice. This is I guess what happens sometimes and maybe it’s a good thing that it forces our hand to move forward on that front, but geeeeeee….if you have ever met me you’d know that I don’t to well with unplanned or sudden events or changes. I’ve gotten better with it, but as a lot of children of alcoholics I am a little inflexible when it comes to adjusting to sudden changes. I like things announced and planned out and especially I need mental time to get used to the change. That’s not the greatest quality to go through life with, but I guess there are a bunch that are worse, so here we are. We’ve started the whole process of (possibly) buying a house and it blows my mind how many people are involved in this and are just wetting their beak in the process. I mean, I get it, you need to make sure that the thing is not falling down the hill and it makes sense to have the payments managed by a third party, but still.

Other than this latest event things and life have been pretty quiet and busy. The cat is doing fine. It’s finally getting warmer and spring is around the corner and while winter here in the PNW is nowhere near as nasty as in probably 80% of the rest of the U.S. not seeing the sun for several months gets tiresome after a while. Having the sun come out is nice. Oh, and I also got a staph infection, so I’m out of the gym until that is cleared up. At least it’s not one of the nasty ones that hurt like hell, nor is it MRSA, thankyouverymuch. But it sucks to be out for two weeks and on antibiotics that make my stomach hurt.

And I’ve been reading Peter Watts‘ Rifters Trilogy right now and it’s absolutely great and if you haven’t read them you should. You can get them as an ebook or an actual book, but he’s also posted them on his website under a creative commons license. I’ve read his more recent book, Blindsight, a while back and wasn’t too excited about it, but the Rifters stuff is great, especially if you’re into deep sea biology and biology in general. Speaking of books, I made my way through Jeff VanderMeer‘s Southern Reach Trilogy, which is also enjoyable. It starts out great, the second volume is a bit meh, and the third felt belabored, but still, overall it’s definitely worth it.

We finished the third season of House of Cards and say what you want I still think it’s amazing. Daredevil was not too shabby, either.

This seasonal is my new favorite beer.

Surprisingly and pleasantly tasty.

A photo posted by Cät Wizärd (@_catwizard) on

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Okay, maybe there is a resolution for the year, of sorts…

…decluttering! We have too much stuff and it’s stressing me out, but it’s so fucking hard to get rid of things! And I did manage to shlep a surprising amount across the pond when I moved to the US and it’s only gotten more. And I’ve come across a series of posts on Root Simple about decluttering and I guess I’ll start in earnest.

It’s hard. Books especially. It’s not only that I have some sort of connection to the particular books, but also because I remember how difficult it was to get them or they were expensive. I’ll probably not get rid of books that are out of print now, like the edition of Apocalypse Culture that I own, but there is a lot of other crap that I might as well get rid of. On Root Simple one guideline they used to sort books out was;

The book was released to the universe if:

I had read it and absorbed the information
* The library has a copy
* It does not give me joy
* I don’t think I’ll ever read it
* My interests have changed
* I read part but don’t think I’ll read the rest
* I kept the book if:

It’s a volume I refer to for reference on a regular basis
* It gives me joy
* It’s especially beautiful as an object (only one or two books actually ended up in this category–I’m not a book collector)
* I really intend to read it
* I want to re-read it

This seems like a pretty straightforward way of doing it and I’ve had some success. It did need several sweeps of the bookshelf over several weeks, but I have gotten rid of a bunch of books, even though some are still in the eternal limbo of ‘maybe’. However, it’s a good start, and ebooks (did I ever mention that I love my kindle?) are a great way to reduce book clutter, as well, especially because the library offers a lot of books in e-book formats, as well. So now I’m also becoming a lot more picky about what books to actually get in physical form and the stuff that is suggested on Wink Books is the way to go!

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It’s already waaay into the new year!


…and I haven’t written anything here! No weekend posts, no photos, nada! What’s going on! Not too much, really, I’ve just not really been in the mood lately and there doesn’t seem much to report. We both took time off over the holidays, actually, we have been terrible about taking vacation last year, so we took it all in a bunch at the end of the year.

Which was nice.

Christmas was okay, as well. Drama-free this time, just the way I like it. The only weird thing is that this winter here was unusually mild. It’s not like the Pacific Northwest gets harsh winters, at least West of the Cascades, but trees had budding leaves a couple of days before Christmas and the sun was shining. That ain’t right.

New Year’s Resolutions…well, I did do some of the ones I had last January, but not all of them…so what do we have for this year;

  • Be more conscious about taking day or weekend trips and actually plan them and actually do them. Both me and the wife are not great about the planning part of this, so this is kind of a biggie.
  • Do more stuff with friends. We’re both social but, again, we’re also bad with planning stuff and keeping in touch with folks. So that’s something I want to work on.
  • Figure out what I actually want, career-wise. I have a job, but it’s definitely not a career and I don’t want to sound harsh, but it is somewhat a dead-end job in the sense that there is nowhere to go within the company. This is a tough one, because I have a lot of anxiety about this issue that I somehow need to untangle. Maybe try a career coach or something…
  • Keep recording the It’s Unclear Podcast. It’s been not very regularly, which supposedly is what you have to do in order to grow an audience but I guess doing it at all is better than nothing. Our schedule have been wonky and it’s hard to find a date and time that works and sometimes you have a date and time that works but both of us a tired, etc. — be that as it may, expect more episodes in 2015. You can download the episodes on iTunes and stick them in your head!

I’m actually not a huge fan of resolutions, I guess I’d rather think of them as To-Do lists. Some of it is stuff I’m already doing and want to be more consistent with. Or I know I should be doing them and am not, for whatever reason, and might just have to let them go and move on. For example, I’ll never be a master whittler, because I just do not enjoy it. I maybe enjoy the idea of it, but the actual whittling — nah.

The major change this year is probably that I have changed gyms and now attend a pure BJJ academy — no more cross-training for me. If anyone of you ever had to change academies you know that this can be awkward. And it was. There were some awkward email exchanges and I admit that I’ve so far avoided conversations with some people. However, this is the best decision for me and my development and it makes a huge difference to roll with all belt levels and not just with one group of white belts. I’m not saying that the group of white belts does not progress, however, I’ve (and a friend of mine who also switched to the same school) noticed that there are some glaring holes in my game — in addition to the ones that are there anyway — that stem directly from rolling with folks who don’t know how to exploit them. I was blown away by the differences between rolling with the different levels in one evening, from white to brown. The white belts I can handle and, sometimes, at this point also dominate, depending on how far they are and if they weigh 200 lbs. or are closer to my weight. The other ones are smashing me (no news here) in oh so many different ways. I think last week a brown belt used the ‘shoulder of justice’ so enthusiastically that I thought my eye would pop out. Good times.

The switch also means that I’m going from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours of class in the evening, which is great. I have to figure out some of the scheduling, but I want to try and continue to go 3x per week, which seems to be the sweet spot for me. If I do more my body says no-no-no, if I do less I get antsy.

I will miss the guys at my old school and will probably drop in from time to time, but I think this was the right decision and I’m not feeling bad about it. Plus, it’s nice to finally have actual grappling mats and not roll on super-hard tatami-ish mats. My shoulder immediately noticed the difference and let’s face it — I’m not getting any younger and my old and brittle body likes to be pampered.

If you’ve been involved in any martial arts and had or wanted to switch academies, what was it like? Was it awkward and horrible or easy-peasy-we’re-friends-forever?

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Sunday Papers 11-24-2014

Who is it!?

A photo posted by Cät Wizärd (@_catwizard) on

There’s no real update for the weekend because I’ve been traveling for work and was sick on top of it. Be that as it may, I did get the chance to walk around New Orleans a bit to see that part of it (ahem, Bourbon Street) is pretty awful, just like any tourist destination. There are some nice bars though, I don’t understand the way taxes work there, and the architecture is gorgeous, especially if you manage to get away from the main drag and tourist hotspots. There was also a surprising amount of homeless and street people thrown into the mix.

I now really wish that I had taken more photos but for some reason I didn’t, which probably makes me a very bad person. I did put some up on my Instagram, so feel free to poke around there. It’s not a lot, unfortunately, because I happened to be sick while I was there and was mostly trying to get one foot in front of the other. I’ve also started to play around with Snapchat, so add me as dadbeasty to see 5 second photos of cool stones and pebbles. And send me snaps of cool stuff, like a sweet leaves, fanny packs, and food items!

Big Daddy is ready for you.

A photo posted by Cät Wizärd (@_catwizard) on

I did have the chance to squeeze some time in for reading, for example about medieval re-enactors that beat the shit out out of each other and string cheese, which is a snack I just recently discovered.

And that is all for this weekend.

I’m tired.

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Sunday Papers 11-16-2014 and some thoughts about the Berlin Wall


It’s mushroom time and while I like mushrooms how people can just walk into the forest and forage for them is beyond me. Because that shit is fucking dangerous. Just look up what happened to the guy who wrote the Horse Whisperer. I kid you not. And then there’s this, too:

The toxins in the death cap mushroom make themselves known within 24 hours, as the body is racked with abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrhoea. After a day or so, the symptoms die down and the sufferer recovers, gets up from his bed and thanks God for His mercy. But he has not been saved. Silently, secretly, the poison is invading his body, shutting down his internal organs, wreaking irrevocable damage upon his liver and kidneys. Jaundice will follow, then seizures. Within two weeks, he will be dead. There is no antidote.

Not great. Anyway, it’s surprisingly cold here already and last week we had our first hard frost — so I guess I won’t be really warm again until next April. Maybe that also means that the fall storms are already over and our power will stay on. Which is good, because I still haven’t out anything resembling a go-bag together, even if there are plenty of lists and tested gear options available.

It being this cold though makes going to bed a lot cozier because let’s face it, you can always add more layers to reach the perfect temperature. Not so in the summertime. And while I sleep like a rock, apparently it’s not that recent a thing for bonded humans to share a bed and while I remember in the very beginning not being able to sleep because I the other person’s breathing would keep me up I’ve gotten over that a long long time ago. And if that doesn’t help, the bitter bitter craft beers will.

I was actually thinking about one more thing — the fall of the Berlin Wall, which just had it’s 25th anniversary and the Germans did a very cool light installation that night. I’ve lived in Berlin most of my live, aside from my entire high school years, which were spent in the mountains in the south of Germany, but that’s another story. After which I moved back to Berlin again and stayed there until moving to the US. When the wall came down I was 11 years old, so I was old enough to remember the whole thing. Maybe not old enough to clearly understand the implications, but I got that it was a big deal and driving or walking into the Eastern Part — I was a Wessie — the difference was striking. The smell of the coal ovens, everything falling apart, Trabants and Wartburgs everywhere…shortly after that I was sent to the south of Germany and spent my teenage year there, so I wasn’t really in Berlin as things changed in the ‘wild 1990s’…

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