Journal Entry – 10.20.2016

It is 5:16 AM.

Today I have an all day travel industry event and must leave very early so my morning ‘me time’ is cut very short.  These things can be a bit draining but also great opportunities to do a lot of networking.  Needless to say I’m looking forward to tomorrow which is Friday.  Work has been much busier than usual because yet again I have to fill in for another territory.  I’ll be glad when we get someone permanently in place there.

Halloween is also almost here and I’m trying very hard to get into the mood and appreciate the beginning of the holiday season.  One of my son’s favorite movies is The Nightmare Before Christmas so we’ve watched that and have been listening to two of the best songs which are: “This is Halloween,” and “What’s This?”  The song ‘This is Halloween,” also has a version sung by Marilyn Manson which I appreciate:

The decorations are up and we’ll be carving the pumpkins soon.  But, due to work being so busy I’m still not completely in the holiday spirit just yet.

As for karate my body continues to be sore as it is being twisted, punched, kicked and going through workouts which it just isn’t used to.  It is used to the gym and lifting weights from which there is always a speedy recovery but karate is a whole different matter.  My body doesn’t recover as quickly and it makes me feel a bit old here at only 39.  I plan on continuing karate for the rest of my life so I’m banking on my body adjusting because things could be worse at 50 if it hasn’t.

It is great to be able to do karate with my son.  I can see it already gives great confidence and confidence is critical during the school years.  Without confidence kids get picked on, never get a girlfriend, get worse grades and generally just have a bad to mediocre time.  With confidence however, school can be a lot of fun, especially high school.

Last night we watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I hadn’t seen in a long time and it is remains a great movie 30 years later.  The best line is “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”  There is a lot of wisdom in that quote!  For so many people life is work, whether that be going to an office everyday or completing a series of tasks.  Everyone has a series of tasks to be completed everyday but how many stop and just be?  How many stop and appreciate the special moments that appear throughout each and every day but often go by unnoticed?

In the movie Ferris’ father works in a high rise, has a nice office with a view and drives an Audi.  But these things are paid for with the greater part of the week.  He spends each and every day in that office except for weekends.  Money is necessary to live but it is sad to think that the world demands people still spend the majority of their lives working, in order to get money, in order to pay for shelter, food and now thousands of unnecessary things as well such as bigger, fancier shelter, a number of vehicles, more stuff!

With technology life was supposed to get easier, it was supposed to give us more free time.  But greed takes over and ‘more’ is never enough so here we are working as much as ever.  It is sad to think that most of humanity must look back on their lives and think 90% of my time was spent working, doing something I really didn’t enjoy.  I hope that future humans would at least be able to spend 50% of the time they are alive not working but be completely free to do whatever they wish.

Decision time.  The sunrise today is at 7:24 AM and I would have to leave even earlier to catch it.  That means I should go get dressed now and out the door soon.

Decision made – it has been a long while since I’ve seen a sunrise, I’m going.

Got the sunrise and sunset!

Oyster Point sunrise on 10.20.2016
Oyster Point sunrise on 10.20.2016
Sunset at Nick's - Rockaway Beach - 10.20.2016
Sunset at Nick’s – Rockaway Beach – 10.20.2016

New Year’s 2016

The last sunset of 2015
The last sunset of 2015

It is 4:14 AM on New Year’s Day 2016.

No, I haven’t stayed up all night partying; I was in bed by 7:45 PM on New Year’s Eve being completely exhausted by a poor nights sleep and a day spent at the gym, running errands and playing with the kids.  Now that I’m up so early I thought I’d get a few thoughts down on the year 2015.

In our society at large I don’t think 2015 is a year necessarily worth celebrating:  we’ve got the demagogue Donald Trump leading the polls for Republicans, the Middle East is a mess, we’re close to war with China over some islands with fossil fuels that create global warming and global warming seems to be past the point of no return already.

When I look at the various parties all over the world they all seem like a tired out old record.  The date of the year is going to change and suddenly everyone forgets what the year actually brought.  It is akin to throwing a party on the deck of the Titanic while it is sinking.  We’ve hit an ice burg, the boat is going down but someone yells that we’ve got campaign and fireworks on the upper levels so the crowd immediately all shuffle and ignore that we’re all in serious trouble.  The party lasts all weekend until everyone returns to work on Monday realizing that nothing has changed, we have a hangover and to make matters worse, we still continue to sink.

However, it is possible to make 2016 better than 2015 for our own personal lives even if we cannot do something about the state of world affairs at large.  The change in the date is a good catalyst which gives us momentum to make resolutions but it will only work if we have perseverance to see them through as the days and months roll by.  For me personally I’ve been contemplating a change in careers.  This is not an easy decision as I work from home and actually like my job.  I just do not see any more room for personal advancement and wonder about all the excitement happening in the technology industry in San Francisco.  I wonder if I should go join that party or be content and pass up on opportunities which have been coming my way.

Given that I’ve changed my life – switching countries – many times in the past I know making a change can be done but I do not want to have regret or hate myself as I’ll have to leave the comforts of home and actually drive to an office everyday.  But if I do nothing than nothing changes and I do not progress in my work career.  It seems 2016 has already presented me with a very big life decision and if I make the change then 2016 could become very exciting (or awful).  If I do not make the change 2016 is just another year where nothing much happened.

But going back to Donald Trump I’m in awe that so many of my countrymen are dumb enough to support this clown.  It reminds me of looking back at history in disbelief about how a population could support such a terrible person and what they must have been thinking.  We tend to rationalize that it was in the past and perhaps the people back then just were not as educated, informed or generally smart as we are now.  Then we take a look at Donald Trump and all his support and realize not much has changed in terms of stupid people wanting to support idiotic leaders.  It makes one lose faith in Democracy as a whole.  With Donald Trump gaining so much support Democracy seems like a very poor system.

And it is not just Donald Trump.  We have legacy families that hold on to power just because that is something the wealthy want to do.  Once people gain a lot of money they are not satisfied and next want power.  The examples of this are innumerable.  We had Meg Whitman – the billionaire – who wanted to become Governess of California; in my opinion she had the money and so not being satisfied next wanted power.  We have the Clinton and Bush families who have turned America into an alternating monarchy and I imagine if there were any chance at all their children will be running for office in the future.

If I had my way we should go back to having a council of wise elders who do not depend on popular support in order to make wise decisions.  The population at large just isn’t sophisticated enough to make the correct choices and leaders who depend on the number of supporters will usually not decide against them unless there is a powerful corporation which trumps popular will.  The corporations hold the most powerful cards and even though we pretend the people are in control that certainly isn’t the case.

In fact, democracy has become a charade.  We’re lead to believe we have a choice and the power to make real change through elections but corporations have become more powerful than governments and the corporations main aim is to make ever more money no matter how many lives have to be spared.  Money and power now trump human life and the well being of the planet.

Well, I think I’ve said enough about that and should move on to other things.

It is now 5:15 AM and I have to start thinking about caching the first sunrise of 2016.  We were invited over to a friends house but my boy seems to have a stomach bug so we had to cancel so he doesn’t spread it to them.  This leaves a day wide open but keeping the boys indoors all day doesn’t seem like a very good choice.  Perhaps we’ll head down to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve or have lunch at a restaurant – if anyplace is open.  Today should be a relaxing day but I might feel the need to continue organizing different rooms of the house to really feel like I’m getting 2016 off to a great start.  And perhaps I could meet the guys outside by myself for a drink or two later on in the evening.

I’ve done a lot of grumbling in this post but I am looking forward to 2016 and starting to feel a little of the excitement regarding this change of the date.

As a last thought, I am sad to see Christmas over and have placed the last remnants of it outside over the Halloween pumpkins which have now all but disappeared.  Time marches on.

End of Christmas Here is a video I took of the last sunset of 2015:

Sunrise on New Year’s Day 2016 at Oyster Point, CA

Sunrise - New Year's Day 2016