Function vs form

October.6. 2018

When it comes to things, I prize function above all else, including form. If it doesn’t work well, it’s a piece of junk. Even if it’s perfect form wise, it’s still just a beautiful piece of junk.

I had mentioned the summer of looking for #14, and the happy ending to that search.

Well, here’s the object that started the odyssey.

number14

Borneo machete (parang) made by #14

number14blade

The blade with the faint outline of #14

number14handle

The handle

This fearsome looking parang (machete) is extremely good at splitting coconuts. In its previous life, it had probably cracked open a few thousand of them.

It used to lie underneath the kitchen sink in my mother’s house in Borneo. Now, it’s found a hallowed place among my other tools in my garage.

Unfortunately no fresh coconuts in South Texas so I use it to whack at the weeds in the front yard which it does beautifully and effortlessly.

But imagine function and form merging into one.

That’s perfection itself.

And that’s what I found a few years back.

I was on a hunt for a quiet clock, one which I didn’t have to take the battery out when I’m recording late at night in my living room.

And I found it in this beautiful looking clock, a Braun ABW 30 designed by Dieter Rams.

abw30

Not only is this clock a work of art, it keeps perfect time.

And most of all, it does this almost soundlessly.

That set me off on a quest for more Braun timepieces and I found its perfect mini counterpart in this beautiful watch, an AW 20, another masterpiece by Rams.

aw20

phonewatch

Yes, the date is off by a day because I haven’t brought it forward since the end of September (September has only 30 days), but the time is still precise (attested to by the phone) and the last time I set the watch was in March 2017!

I like to think that I am not a materialistic person but I must admit, I’m a sucker when it comes to things that add functionality to life.

And if they add a touch of class and beauty, so much the better.

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Just what is a low life?

September.27. 2018

So I found out the other day that the no-collusion Twitter guy has some other choice words in his vocabulary besides the word ‘tremendous.’

Just what is a low-life?

Here’s my definition.

It’s someone who sleeps with porn stars.

Someone who can’t say something without lying.

Someone who will sell out his country for a few bucks (well, maybe a few billion bucks.)

Someone who denigrates everyone with childish insults.

Someone who gets laughed at and don’t even know he’s the joke.


Double-think 2

September.12. 2018

Still on the subject of double-think, today, there was another casualty in the latest witch hunt raging in the nation.

The classic definition of a witch hunt is of course any judicial process by lynch mob.

All it needs is an accuser and a mob, and the accused is guilty beyond doubt.

No evidence needed, no cross examination.

The latest national exercise in mass hysteria was triggered by a couple of real sleazeball types who used their position to perpetrate their crimes on their victims.

But their guilt, especially the one that was actually tried in a real court of law should not be an excuse for the current assault on our justice system.

Because things are not always in black and white.

There’re a huge variety of factors, not to mention human deviousness, that can come into play.

I have written about the Potiphar’s wife principle, where the victim actually became the accused.

But there’s also the factor of sex as currency, which I have detailed earlier.

People are all too willing to use whatever assets they have to try to get what they want, and woe befall those who are the targets of their intentions and did not deliver.

And if they do deliver, as in the case of a famous morning talk show host and his sidekick, well, it’s a happy story of a workplace romance that worked out!

As someone commented, a metoo that worked out!

In the meantime, while sex is being peddled everywhere—you don’t have to go far, just turn on the TV, or go to a concert, or a ballgame—this self-righteous indignant witch hunt rages on.

Which reminds me of the poor bishop who had to apologize recently for unwittingly “groping” someone.

The first question any rational person would ask is, why would a sane person try to grope someone in front of live television and millions of viewers?

Shouldn’t the explanation of an accidental touching suffice?

Perhaps it says more about the accusers than the accused in this case.

People with one-track minds only see what they want to see.

If their minds are filled with sex, every act is interpreted in that light.

I know a thing or two about unhappy accidents.

With the current vogue in ultra low cleavages, I must admit it can be hard to know where to look these days. One thing I’ve learned is never to drop your gaze these days. You can look up or sideways but never down.

It’s the same double-think.

On the one hand, wear revealing attire to attract attention to yourself by showing off your physical assets, and on the other hand, crying foul if someone accidentally happens to look your way!

It’s that same one-track mind too.

Just because you have sex on your mind doesn’t mean that everyone else have sex on their minds too!


Double-think

September.11. 2018

When it comes to double-think, Americans do it better than anybody else. (As usual)

What is double-think?

It’s like double-speak, except you do it in your thinking.

Take for example, sex.

Sex is the major currency in America. You might say it’s the only currency in town. In America, that’s all you see and hear.

The reason is simple–America is about money and nothing sells better than sex.

But because it’s double-think, you have to be subtle about it, mustn’t be too obvious.

So what do skimpily clad girls have to do with ball games? They call them cheerleaders but why do you have to be clad in bikinis to cheer on the game?

Everywhere it seems, the message is clear.

Appeal to the basest instincts of man to sell and make more money. From cars to movies to music and ballparks and stadiums, even to automobile spare parts, you see the same marketing strategy at work–which is to peddle the charms of a certain gender group to get your attention.

I once told a friend that to stand out as a performer, you have to do something special and what did he say?

“Pull down your pants.”

Sure he meant it as a joke, but that’s exactly what everyone’s doing to make a buck.

And so I’m completely mystified at the current outcry about the objectification of a particular gender.

Objectification?

You must be kidding me.

It’s ALL about objectification.

Objectification is the name of the game.

Why else do you think people put on red lipstick, and strut around and wear skimpy clothes?

It’s classic double-think.

On the one hand, doing everything they can to present themselves as objects of desire, on the other hand, objecting to being seen as objects of desire.

If we’re really serious about not objectifying the gentle gender, perhaps a good place to start is in the ballgame. Take out those silly dancing girls who add absolutely nothing to the game except to distract.

To do anything else is to indulge in the biggest sport of all—double-think.


The differences

August.27. 2018

The differences couldn’t be more stark.

One is a war hero, one a draft dodger.

One is a truth teller, one a liar.

One protects his country from its enemies, one protects the enemy from his country.


The Siberian candidate

August.19. 2018

Interesting that someone finally came out and said the unsayable—we have a Russian Asset in the White House.

You might call him the Siberian Candidate.

It explains the frenzied twitter feeds, the attempts to de-legitimize the law enforcement apparatus of the country and sabotage an ongoing investigation.

All this points to one thing—the man is guilty as sin.

A man who is afraid of perjury traps is obviously filled with lies.

As he likes to say—it’s very sad, very sad day for the country.

One and half years of nothing to show except a massive one billion dollar tax cut for himself and his kids.

And yes, fulfilling the wishes of his Siberian masters, or maybe just One Master.


Swamp master

August.5. 2018

It looks like the endgame is close at hand for my favorite no-collusion guy on Twitter.

And as I said before, he’ll regret he ever decided to star in the greatest reality show on earth.

Sure, the adulation of the crowds, the constant coverage of the press, being at the center of attention wherever you go–all that may make it all seem very worthwhile, until Mr Müller comes calling.

All very sad, especially since I liked the message.

For a while I even liked the messenger.

Until his true colors started showing and I realized it’s all a sham, a big con. The man who would drain the swamp is the greatest swamp master of all.

Sad.


The purpose/7

June.6. 2018

In the history of mankind, there’s one man, one man alone, who had figured out the secret of life.

He understood that it all comes down to energy.

Because energy is behind every action, every expression, every thought.

But there’s good energy and bad energy, and to live a fulfilling life (which he called the kingdom of heaven) you must expend good positive energy.

This was at the heart of his teaching.

If you want to be surrounded by love and goodness, you must treat your fellow men with love and goodness and this requires effort, which is just another word for energy.

If you want to realize your full potential and multiply your talents, you must put in time and effort, and this also means expending energy.

He was deeply aware of how the energy you sow today will be returned back to you in kind tomorrow.

And if you don’t use your energy, whatever you have left will be taken away from you.

But what energy are we talking about?

Certainly not physical energy, the kind you can measure and put in your automobile tank.

No, it’s energy that comes from your spirit.

Spirit as in when you’re full of life and spirit—when you’re filled with an inner energy.

The wise man knew that the key to a fulfilling life lies in your spiritual energy and how you nurture and harness it to produce a life of abundance (which is another word for fulfillment or the kingdom of heaven).

If you want to read more about how this spiritual energy operates, here’s a book you might find useful.

The Laws of Spiritual Energy

Of if you prefer the hard copy, you can get it here.

IMG_027.jpg

Amazon.com


The purpose/6

June.5. 2018

Continuing from the previous post.

The one thing that makes everything worthwhile.

What might that be?

Going back to the earlier ‘if you have a guitar, play it’ assertion.

Yes, there’re different ways to play the guitar.

You can play it at the basic level—maybe strum a few chords or pluck a few notes here and there—if that makes you happy, that’s good enough.

But you can also coax the most sublime melodies and harmonies from those same strings.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to learn how to do the former but to do the latter requires dedication and effort and time.

It’s the same with everything else.

You always have a choice, you can exist at the basic level or you can strive to go to the highest level.

One involves minimal effort, the other maximal effort.

So why do the latter when you can do the former?

Because effort and reward are tied together. The amount of effort you put into any activity is directly proportionate to its reward.

More effort means more reward, more reward means greater satisfaction, and greater satisfaction means greater fulfillment.

As someone once said, the reason we do something is not because it’s easy but because it’s hard, because hard produces greater reward and consequently greater fulfillment.

This is just one perspective. You may disagree and that’s fine too.


The purpose/5

June.5. 2018

There’re as many approaches to living a fulfilling life as there are people. And no one is to say that one is better than the other.

If what you do gives you a fulfilling life, that’s the only thing that matters.

My own approach has always been to ground it all on hard reality.

The reality of having to pay bills every month, paying taxes, getting to work on time every day, meeting all my deadlines, doing the yard when the grass gets high, dusting the house, clearing the cobwebs, and all the other menial things of life.

Why is this important?

Because if you don’t take care of this stuff (which can best be described as the business of life), you’ll end up wasting time and energy, fighting the resulting resistance.

Resistance as in, if you don’t pay your taxes, life could get complicated and you’ll waste valuable time and energy working with the taxman.

Some people of course thrive on complications, (such as the current No-Collusion guy on Twitter), but I prefer to travel with the wind on my back, which means as little resistance as possible.

After the business of life (which you might call the material side of life) are the relationships of life (which you might call its spiritual side).

And these too require constant maintenance, failing which you might find life not so fulfilling.

One of my mother’s favorite sayings is “More things more trouble” to which I would add “More friends more trouble.”

This will make more sense with another saying of hers, “Got come got go.”

(You might notice these sayings are all four words in length. It’s a peculiar characteristic of many Chinese sayings, like “Long time no see.”)

“Got come got go” means that if you want things to come in, first they must go out. In other words, all relationships are based on mutual benefit.

This is another real life story. I once knew a guy who was all about himself. He didn’t care much for others. His was the classic case of looking out for number one.

Life was fun, until one day when he found that he wasn’t so attractive any more. The old charm was still there but he didn’t have what it took any more.

So yes, you might think being alone is good now, but to be old and alone is not as much fun as you may think, and probably not very fulfilling.

(Which brings to mind the current epidemic of loneliness. Maybe caused by the other epidemic, that of looking out for number one?)

Finally the third compartment.

The reason why I prioritize taking care of the first two compartments, the business of life and the relationships of life, is so I can pursue this third compartment of life.

All three compartments provide fulfillment, but none more so that this third compartment, which is the source of fulfillment itself.

It is the one thing that makes everything else worthwhile.