Dear Incels

2018 04 26 - 12:52

Don’t make the mistake of thinking incels are men’s rights activists – they are so much more dangerous - They place the blame on to women for their misery, and in doing so provide the motivation and justification for acts of extreme violence like Alek Minassian’s.

What a terrifyingly grotesque group of sad individuals you incels are. I pity you.

I've been rejected, abused, hurt, ignored, insulted, derided, shamed, called names, dismissed, used, devalued, harassed, and told I not only had no right to talk about how I felt about it, but that I should also be grateful for it, and yet I manage to get through my day without blaming the entire world for my sometimes excruciating loneliness. I don't think the world owes me anything because of it. I plug on. It's not easy sometimes, but I don't drown in it. Loneliness is like starving and suffocating at the same time, and I know it very intimately, but I channel what I can into something else - like my sword, or my art.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. If you find that women reject your come-ons, then change your come-ons, and change the type of women you're coming on to. If the common denominator is you, look to how you might be able to change that; or, accept the consequences of not changing, and move on.

Not one single man I've ever given the time of day to was a "normie", in the sense they see it. I don't like GQ men or pretty boys. I've always found it incredibly hard to read a pretty boy's personality. I don't like assholes. Women don't, you know. What women want is strength, and vast numbers of men have no idea how to be strong - they equate strong with domination. It isn't. Strength is knowing yourself, being solid, honourable, confident. I have always preferred men who are off the beaten path - in attitude, in tastes, in hobbies. What I don't care for, are men who have no desire for life, men who don't look like they give a crap about anything, men who want to coast as the lowest common denominator. You don't have to have a big life, but for the love of all that's sainted and holy, whatever life it is you do have, act like you care about it and not like you're just coasting through it. If you have no interest in your own life, how could any woman ever be sure you'd have interest in her or her life? If you have no interest in your own life, why should any other person? Women don't exist to fill that void. You must fill that void for yourself, and invite others along for the ride.

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Canson Art Board - review, tips

2018 03 16 - 09:35

It's nice to have a sturdy surface to work on without going directly on matboard. In fact, working on this stuff is rather like matboard - only this is thicker and has archival papers glued on to its surface. I can only speak to the finer textured version, but there are versions with more tooth than what I got.

Pros:

Cons:

I had actually soaked one in water for just a few moments, so not long enough to saturate it completely; but it was long enough to make it good and wet. It did come out bowed, but that can be combatted by laying the board between two flat, heavy items flatten the board as it dries.

The issue with the tearing and fraying of paper when you remove the board from the binding, could be solved by the application of some acrylic medium both before and after the piece is done.

I've worked over and over some areas with a lot of pencil, and this stuff is holding up nicely - both oil- and wax-based pencils. Of course, I'm not 'scrubbing' into the paper with a heavy hand, but multiple layers can produce a lot of piling on paper depending on its quality. So if you were looking to use this for pencil work, I'd say it's a safe bet. And given the ability it has to take water, I'd give it a go for acrylic and watercolour as well. I don't know about oil, as it's not a medium I've touched in over twenty years.

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T'Gaal Sharpener - review, tips

2018 03 15 - 20:17

A good sharpener is any pencil user's dream.

Pros:

Cons:

I once came upon the tip that one should turn the sharpener around the pencil, rather than turning the pencil inside the sharpener, when it comes to using the hand-held type; as this apparently causes far less breakage. I was never able to manage it easily, so finding a decent sharpener, rather than going the sandpaper route, was always a thing for me. I quite like this one, and the tip choices; as the lower number tips will lead to less tip breakage, but still offer a nice point. You also still have the option of the pencil version of a rigger brush with point 5, if you need something long and thin and need to get into a tight area.

On the note of pencil breakage, I'm sure you're aware of the issues with Prismacolor Premiers, so I won't go into that; but will tell you that my own personal fix is a hair dryer - and I'm guessing you could use a heat tool also. Lay the pencils down somewhere they won't get blown around much by the dryer, and blow-dry each pencil end to end for at least a minute or so - it doesn't have to be a minute or so for every centimetre of the pencil, but so long as the whole pencil gets heated for a good amount of time, it'll be suffice. I'd rather this method than the microwave option, given the shiny lettering. I've found the hair dryer method works well, and can be repeated if necessary. If a tip does break off in this sharpener, just turn it so the pencil hole is facing down, tap it against something a time or two, and the lead should fall right out.

Also, remember to every once in a while sharpen a regular graphite pencil with your sharpener, to help clean the blade of the waxes and oils from your pencils.

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The Delight of White

2018 03 12 - 17:12

Everything I have that will make white that isn't a paint or a bottled ink, on "black" cardstock. I don't have true black pastel paper at the moment (just this cardstock), nor any Caran d'Ache whites.

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Shodan

2018 03 07 - 22:03

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Termination

2018 02 12 - 15:24

I work for one of those companies that foists customer satisfaction surveys on its customers. I find these things annoying, and don't fill them out.

Yesterday, however, I found out another side to this noxious habit: My job is outright on the line if I don't get at least ten percent of my inbound calls to complete the survey. That's right, something that is really beyond my control is now my fault, and I could lose my job if I don't get enough of my customers to complete that survey. It's my fault if they hang up after I transfer them, apparently. I am supposed to cajole and manipulate people into filling out this survey. If enough don't, I will be termintated.

There is absolutely nothing under the law that protects me. The only thing that could result, is if it can be proved that I was keeping up my end of the bargain and not violating this company policy, and was still terminated and they denied me the severance pay I am entitled to, I could make a claim with the labour ministry to get that severance. There is no union, so there's no protection that way either. The lady at the ministry said I could seek legal advice if I wanted, and gave me the info on getting a free half-hour consultation with a lawyer.

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Left, Left, Left Right Left

2018 01 24 - 22:48

Up until I started Iaido, I'd never given too too much thought to how much I favoured the right side of my body. I'm heavily right-side dominant. It's all to do with my vision. My left eye is basically useless - the lights are on, but no one's much home. It led to me overcompensating way too much - and sometimes still a bit - with my sword. I always "think" I'm in the middle, but I'm not.

Last night, during karate, the sensei noticed that when we were doing exercises that favoured the right side of the body, I had my weight perfectly centered between both feet; but when we did exercises that favour the left side of the body, all my weight seemed to be on the right side.

I was telling this to my fellow dojo mates during Iaido this evening, and one of them said, "You don't trust the left side of your body." I'd never thought of it in quite those terms before, but he's absolutely right. I don't trust the left side of my body. I never have; never really could. I can't see anything coming from that side of the body. I can't read with that eye unless the text is large and my face is right against it.

It's taken a lot of diligent effort to compensate for this over-compensation. Forty some-odd years of habit to overcome.

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New Wage Order

2018 01 01 - 06:04

I woke up around 5 and couldn't get back to sleep.

I have to work today. I'm not particularly worried about this, as I think it'll be like Christmas Day and Boxing Day - deader than a doornail. I had all the angry people yesterday - the one who called me a fucking thief, the one who kept telling me to shut up, and the one who told me to fuck off because she didn't like our prices. (Note: Only one of them was intoxicated.) Today being a stat and all, means I get paid time and a half - for at least the pittance of time I'm guessing they'll make me stay, and stat pay for the day regardless. And, thankfully, as of today, that stat pay is going to be a little higher, due to the minimum wage hikes the Ontario government put through last month.

Let me put that in perspective: This new minimum wage means that I will no longer have to live several thousand dollars below the federal poverty line. Sobering thought, right? That someone working a full-time job could still be living below the poverty line?

So, I am going to take my new wage of $15.40 * an hour (still not a living wage, per se; but I'm grateful for it), and pay my bills, start doing things I couldn't do on my former wage (necessities as well as extras), and maybe start putting money into my RDSP again, and be happy about the fact that the poverty line is no longer something I have to crane my neck to look up at.

- - -

* People who work from home for a company earn a higher minimum wage than those who work outside the home. I have yet to find out why this is so. The Labour ministry didn't know, and the government officials I contacted regarding it never responded. I'm not going to complain, it benefits me; but I really would love to know the reasoning behind it. The minimum wage went up to $14 an hour for those working jobs outside the home - those who aren't servers or students, that is - and will go up to $15 for them next year, $16.50 for me.

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Shodan

2017 12 03 - 02:35

In all my born days, I never imagined I'd ever say "I have a black belt" in something.

Except for a brief flirtation with Tai Chi about ten years ago (something I'll eventually do again when I can find a class that's not on a Wednesday), martial arts was never an aspiration or draw of any kind. It had never been on my radar. And, when I got old enough to truly understand the limitations of my vision, I gave up hope of a lot of things. Along with issues of distance and detail, I have no real depth perception nor peripheral vision; so even simple acts that others take for granted - driving a car, facial recognition more distant than arm's reach, reading packaging - were either beyond my reach or had to be handled differently enough that it put me at odds with certain aspects of daily life. It limited a lot. Oddly, though, I sometimes forget I have a disability at all. Sometimes I have to remind myself of it, because I was never raised with the idea that I was disabled. My grandparents, through the ineptness of having no idea how to deal with a disabled kid, did me a huge favour that way. Accommodations were made when needed and requested, though; so schools did their best, and work does its best. It's limited my choices in a way that's done me very few favours, but it didn't limit all of them.

You learn to alter your focus a little when you have an impediment. I haven't yet figured out how to work this to my advantage so far as work goes, but I have figured out how to roll with the punches when it comes to my art. Given the limitations of my vision, it's a good thing it turned out that I like surrealism and abstraction. It limits choices with sports, also. Not a good idea to get into contact sports, y'see, when you can't see without your glasses, and still can't see with them. Knowing this, I figured I could still one day learn how to use a sword. At least sort of. I figured I could learn some moves without learning how to fight with one. Hey, when you're me and can't tell the difference between melon and cheese cubes on a buffet table, it's not a good idea to get into any sport that might involve skewering someone - intentionally or otherwise.

So when I found out about Iaido, I was curious. It's not at all what I was looking for, but is. It's surprised me in a lot of ways. Although, what's surprised me the most about it, is how dedicated I've become to it. I've never been dedicated to very much in my life - especially not something that is so contrary to my impatience. Iaido is exacting, fussy, can sometimes be tedious; requiring that you do the same thing repeatedly; again, and again, and again. Everything has a reason or a purpose - every bow, every pleat in the hakama, every angle, every step. Not at all the thing you'd expect someone to be doing who wishes everything was done yesterday. But, two and a half years later, and here we are.

Apparently the hard work is just beginning, though. I've got one more lazy Wednesday, and then it's off to the races of preparing for Nidan (second degree); according to my sensei, that is.

We'll see. :)

- - -

Unlike last year, I didn't completely lose the tape this time around. A strip of tape is used to mark our starting point, and the point at which we must stop. We should be behind the line when we bow, with the sword on the other side - whether we're standing or kneeling. I lost my grip on the sword during the third waza (seitei soete-zuki), and I thought I'd be done for at that point. Then, after I finished my next to last waza, though, I realised I was about a foot too far to the left of the line, and had to compensate a little to step forward and to the right enough to be right at it. I was shaking like a spastic colon though, and my hands were sweating like things that are sweating a lot. This, though, is one of the reasons the sword hilt (tsuka) is wrapped in cotton, silk, or leather - to facilitate grip. I was told by observers that I was very smooth, which is good. I don't feel like I had much, if any, jo ha kyu. I was most concerned about reiho, though; which is half the battle. If you've got sloppy reiho, you're screwed. I almost forgot what waza I was going to do though, which would have been bad. Ah well, it's all over - for now.

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Cannon Knitting Mill

2017 11 28 - 08:39

I've never been able to put a finger on what it is I find so fascinating and compelling about abandoned buildings. One thing I have noticed, though, is that I find the older ones far more interesting than modern abandons. Maybe t's because they've seen more life. Maybe it's because they seem more haunted by that life.

I remember once asking a local rampant urban explorer what the most interesting thing was that he'd ever found while exploring, and he said it was the hind end of a freshly butchered deer on the roof of an abandoned building. What, one wonders, is the though process behind that... behind hauling a deer into the city, butchering only half of it, then leaving the other half on the top of a building.

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