6.25.2006

6.15.2006

Crusin' for an Al Gore fatwah...

If you've already read this... see the update below...

All right dangit... I swore I'd avoid politics when I started this thing. So far, my complete lack of anything resembling consistent content has served that intent well... Now I've got this idea floating around in my head, but it's incomplete. I'm not entirely sure I want to throw it out there with my name all over it, but people are getting so close, I may miss out on an opportunity. Maybe I'll pitch the idea to Ace or Frank or somebody else more inclined to through fireballs (or lightning bolts). Of course, I could just be pissing into the wind...

UPDATE: Ah screw it. I might as well put it up here and see what happens.

I've had this idea stuck in my head, and Cox and Forkum's latest cartoon convinced me there's some merit to the idea.

The belief in Global Warming is turning into a cult, and with that in mind, I think a great idea would be:

"The Five Pillars of Global Warming"

"1. There is no god but Gaia, and Al Gore is her Prophet."

"2. The believer must face Kyoto and curse Western Capitalism five times a day." (praying doesn't really fit with the GW crowd, but it may work better)
"3. Rich nations must donate 2.5% of their carbon credits to poor nations."
"4. The believer must fast by avoiding the use of petroleum products for one month out of the year."
"5. The believer must make every possible effort to protest at least one WTO meeting in person." (I'm avoiding using Kyoto again for a pilgrimage, but it may make more sense as a parallel to the actual 5th pillar of Islam.)

I think the first three are pretty solid; it's 4 and 5 that need a little work. My sense if humor is a little dry for this sort of thing, so if anyone out there in the Intraweb-a-tron has any improvements, please let me know.

On hobby burnout and other such things.

I worked in a hobbyshop for six years from Christmas '96 to January '02. I was 16 going on 17 at the time and just barely had my own car to get to and from work. You'd think having a job in a grown man's toyshop at such an early age would be the greatest thing ever. And you'd be right. Unfortunately, I'd placed my neck squarely under the double-edged sword of "doing what you love" and "making what you love 'work.'"

The first problem was that I was going to school, which limited me to weekend shifts. 10am to 9pm on Saturday, with an additional 11-5 on Sunday, pretty much murdered my own free time.

The second problem didn't crop up as quickly as the first. The problem with working in a grown man's toy store, is that you never really take you're paycheck home. You're essentially bartering labor for an employee discount on all the stuff you still can't afford because the pay is a sniff above minimum wage. This situation wasn't helped by the "he who has the most toys" cold war that many guys around there were engaged in. I started that job as an excuse to get cheap stuff for my R/C airplane habit. By the time I left, I had boats, cars, more half-finished planes than I knew what to do with, and was ][ this close to getting a helicopter. I was 22, commuting to college, living at home, and dirt-ass-poor. Car insurance meant extra hours. A gas crunch meant extra hours. It didn't hit me until a few years in that I just couldn't enjoy taking my own toys out when I'd spent so much time fixing other peoples' broken toys, or helping other people find the things they wanted. My hobby had become a chore. It was time to get the hell out, and that's what I did.

Now, four years later, I'm digging through boxes after my second move since getting out of the house, and I'm finding all my old hobby stuff that's beeen boxed up, dry-rotting, and collecting dust. The old Ni-cad's are all shot. The glues are all hard, and half my tools are lost. But, I find myself itching to get back into it again. Maybe start slow with getting one plane back up to snuff. From there see we'll see how it goes. This time, I have the time and money to do it right and actually enjoy it.

I suffered a severe case of hobby bloat and am only now just recovering.

What brought this on was noticing that Steven is feeling burnt out on anime. All I can say is, that's what happens when you burn through the highlights like a class O star. I consider myself a fan of anime, but up until this point, my finances have prevented me from buying it up at anything like the pace at which it can be consumed. This is also aided by my aversion to buying online. When you're only buying things as you find them on the shelf, it's all but impossible to run out of material (unless of course your local anime shops suck at rotating their stock *grumble*). I went through Rahxephon one DVD per week. Friday, I'd head down to Fry's, buy the next volume, take it home, and watch it. It was almost like watching weekly episodic content. If it stopped on a cliffhanger, it was no big deal because I knew I'd get to see the conclusion in a week. Boxed sets were economically out of the question unless I took a couple of weeks off to save.

To this day, I still don't have anything resembling the library most otaku posses, but that's ok by me. I stay picky about what I buy, and only go online when I need a really smoking deal or something that's just not available in meat-space. I've also learned to temper my hobbies, with other hobbies. ATV's, guns, D-league softball with friends, video games, helping my dad restore an old '64 Falcon, and a handful of other things keep me from going overboard in any one and burning myself out.

My suggestion for Steven and anyone else burning out is, throttle back. Fill the time with a second or even third hobby. Go back to one you gave up on and see if it still drives you nuts. If it does, look into something that piqued your interest previously, but wasn't given serious consideration at the time.