The Peaceful Warrior and Weed

I recently took ill a couple of days ago, and had a chance to catch up with some movies that I had been collecting on my shelf. One of those gems was Peaceful Warrior. If you haven’t had the chance to watch it, I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s a life changer of a movie. An Amazingly Awesome friend introduced it to me during a time in my life when I desperately needed some guidance. It was the first of many steps I took to start really getting what I need out of life. I think it was also the most important of the steps.

Peaceful Warrior Movie Poster

Awesome Movie! Awesome Book!

However, when I watched it this time, I made a connection with a previous topic I have touched on several times in this blog. Specifically the topic of Smoking Pot. Upon watching portions of the movie where “Socrates” is trying to teach Dan that there is never nothing going on, I realized that the way of the Peaceful Warrior and the effects of Marijuana on the mind have an inverse correlation.

In the past, when I have talked about my experiences with Mary Jane, I have mentioned a “shrinking” of the world around me. More specifically it has been a “shrinking” of my awareness. First, I drop all awareness of the universe, Then the rest of the planet leaves all conscious thought, then my country is all that is left, then the state I’m in. Before I know it, the town, the world outside and even for a brief period the rest of the house is all non-existent within my head. All responsibilities and worries tied to those places and the things in them have dropped away. They might as well no longer exist at all. That’s the feeling that kept me drawn to smoking weed. After my “Bad-Trip” I never touched the stuff again, and never will. Curiously though, after watching Peaceful Warrior again, I think this may be a good thing for me.

Spoiler Alert Comical Image

You have been warned!

“There’s never nothing going on… There are no ordinary moments.” – Dan Millman, Peaceful Warrior

{SPOILER ALERT}
In the Movie, the Character Socrates attempts to heighten the awareness of the character Dan. At one point (after a hilarious scene at a bridge) he gives Dan a dose of clarity with some kind of pressure point move. During another point he makes him sit on a Car for hours until he comes to the realization stated above.
{END SPOILERS}

In the Book they have a conversation where Socrates asks him a series of questions starting with “Where are you?” in which Dan answers (among others) “the Universe”. To which Socrates replies “And Where is the Universe?”

I started thinking about the idea that there are no ordinary moments. At every possible moment, somewhere, most likely in several places all over the universe, something AMAZING is happening. Becoming a Peaceful Warrior is about being able to see that thing. If not in person, than at least in your minds eye. There is always something beautiful to behold.

World looming over head

All those problems… are still on your shoulders.

I believe now that Pot dims the light that lets us see those amazing things. It turns the universe into a dark place that you don’t bother thinking about because “out of sight, out of mind”. Then, when it starts to wear off, the light slowly gets brighter showing you all the scary things that have crept up on you in the dark. Had your light not gone out, you could have kept an eye on those things, but now they loom over you like evil ogres in shadows of your mind.

Of course, this is all just my opinion and speculation. I just wanted to talk about the strange connection between a random movie and a drug that will be legalized in Alaska very soon. Like I said before, I don’t mind if anyone wants to go and smoke some weed every now and then. I just won’t be in your smoke circle. And now I have one more reason to say why.

Thank you for your time!

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ADD/ADHD: How does anyone SQUIRREL!!!-ing deal with this?!?!

J-D-scrubs-22808844-1024-768

Boy that person has shiny buttons on their shirt!

Let me start this off the right way. I have not been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. There has not been any medical examination to tell me whether or not I have it for sure. However, this has not been without a lack of trying. Without giving away too much information (not that it’s hard to find), I live in a small town in Alaska that is located roughly 100 miles from Anchorage. The medical facilities here leave much to be desired. Almost a year ago I went to my doctor to talk about the fact that I was sure that I have ADD.

[Just a side note: I’m going to refer to ADD/ADHD as ADD especially when refering to myself from here on out. I don’t seem to have the H, but the more I lose weight (I am currently 300+lbs) I feel myself getting more antsy and “hyper”.]

When I went to my doctor and expressed my concerns, he said that he would be glad to help me, but neither he, nor anyone else in the town is properly qualified to diagnose ADD. He contacted the local Mental Health Agency and said they would call within 3 days. I went home and eagerly awaited the call… for five days. I then called the hospital, who referred me to the Mental Health Agency. I called them, and when they couldn’t find me in the system, they took my information and put me on the “list”. Almost a year later and I’m still waiting for that call. And if they do call, my first words to them will be “Well thank goodness I wasn’t suicidally depressed!!!”.

All I wanted out of that doctor visit was to confirm or deny my suspicions. Anybody can tell you they are sick with some condition, but it takes a doctor to make it believable and worthy of action. That’s what I wanted. If I had a doctor confirm to the best of his/her ability that I have ADD, I would like to pursue some help with it.

I have done a lot of “Internet” research on the subject of ADD. Mostly I have been looking through Tips, Tricks, and Hacks to help me with my tendencies. I have come to understand myself a lot better now, and I have found out things about myself that I have never known, but have been witness to the effects and aftermath. After hearing the descriptions and stories from people all over who have been diagnosed, I am 100% positive that I have Attention Deficit Disorder. (However, I would still like a diagnosis.)

One mind looking in all directions for stimulation

One mind looking in all directions for stimulation

So what is it like to have ADD? There is a lot of ignorance on the subject, and we’ve all heard the jokes (Hell, I used the most common one in the title of this post!). I have heard many descriptions from diagnosed individuals, but I feel we can always use one more. Therefore, I would best describe having ADD as being trapped in a mind that is always looking for stimulation. You are always on the lookout for something interesting and entertaining. It’s the simplest explanation I could come up with.

The scientific explanation (so far as we have discovered) says that people with ADD have a lack of Dopamine within their brain. I think this fits with my description of what it’s like to have ADD. Dopamine is the “Feel Good” hormone in our brain. It’s the reward system of our body. Whenever you do something good (eat chocolate, have sex, hug a loved one, etc) dopamine is released in your brain to tell you Hey, you should do that again. Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter which is essential for the function of the brain. Without Neurotransmitters, your neurons can’t transmit and your brain goes dead (this falls into the “Bad Things” category). Now I am not a scientist, (though I have thought about pursuing that field) but I think that if a brain were hurting for dopamine, it would look as long and as hard as possible for stimulation to create dopamine! Therefore, people with ADD tend to drift and have a really hard time doing mundane tasks.

Probably the first real evidence that I have ADD (that I am aware of) happened when I was in middle school. My grades would be great at the beginning of the year and then start to get worse towards the middle of the year. I would come back in to class and my homework would be partially done or not done at all. I would have trouble realizing that an upcoming due date for a project was really happening next week. (terms like the 18th meant nothing to me.) If we had to repeat a lesson because someone didn’t understand, I would get frustrated even though I understood why we had to do it. You might be reading this thinking “well this kid just hated school” or “well you just weren’t being smart” or something etc. etc. Well turns out, that’s what my Parents and Teacher thought as well. However, I would continuously frustrate them because all of my test scores were awesome! That’s basically what it came down to in the end. Bad at homework, great at tests.

This trend continued straight through high school. I would do terrible at finishing my homework, and then ace the tests. Especially Math. Math was the bane of my existence. We would spend all day learning how to do a bunch of math problems, and then they would send me home with 50 more to do. I didn’t like math at all. If I knew how to do the problem I didn’t want to do 50 more of them. I could sometimes choke down the ability to get it done some nights, but it was SO HARD to concentrate on doing math problems when my brain was looking for something, ANYTHING more entertaining to do. And when you are sitting in your bedroom filled with all of your cool stuff and video games… you’re pretty much doomed from the start. I was bored! That’s basically all it came down to. I would love school if the lessons were shorter and we had just moved on when it was learned.

What were we talking about again?

What were we talking about again?

That’s why people who have ADD will talk about how they go off on these little tangents. It’s the Drifting that they talk about, and the source for the “SQUIRREL!” Joke (Besides the movie UP). Basically You can be talking to someone, and they will say a word that will trigger a thought process that you end up following for a while, inside your head until you snap back to reality and realized you have missed almost all of the story of how their workday sucked. The exact same thing goes for reading. You can read a paragraph about something and the word “list” reminds you that you have to go to the grocery store, because part of your ritual for going to the grocery store  involves making a list. Then you imagine yourself going there and getting something like a banana, but all of a sudden you are thinking of your friend Joe and his relationship with Brandina because you saw them the last time you were there buying bananas and they looked like they were a bit tense. Then you start thinking about how your last relationship with your girlfriend/boyfriend went and how things could have worked out had you only been listening to her when she was telling you about how bad her workday was. Eventually you will get back to reading and you’ll have to start back at the last sentence you remember, but you have to take those little trips, because your brain needs the stimulation and it’s the one calling the shots.

That’s why life is hard for a person with ADD. They need the stimulation all the time, and if they aren’t getting it, they’ll sure as hell look for it. Chores become more of a chore than they already are. To normal people this might sound like a slight inconvenience, but to a person with ADD, this can become a source of stress that is nigh impossible to overcome. I hate doing daily chores, but I live alone so I have no choice but to do them. The problem is, when I do something around the house, I have a problem finishing it. I will eat food and then leave my plate wherever I am. I will start a project, then leave a mess. I will watch movies and play games, but not put anything away. Therefore, daily chores become this never ending battle for my own house.

And that’s just one aspect of my day!

Here is one of my days in a nutshell, in fact, this is probably exactly how tomorrow will go:
I will wake up. Spend my morning rushing around getting ready for work. Work 8 to Noon. Go home for Lunch. Work 1 to 5. Come home and eat something light. Go pickup my buddy for swimming. Swim at Open Swim from 6:30 to 8. go home and eat dinner. Waste time online until I go to bed at 11ish. The next day will go exactly the same minus the swimming. I have been trying to replace it with some other exercise routine.

I try to fit as much entertainment into those 5-6:30 and 8-11ish time slots that I can in order to keep sane. Chores are the last things on my mind during the week. But you have to do them, so I fit them in wherever I can. Mostly this occurs on the weekends. I have found a few ways of making chores easier. The two most effective ways are listening to Audiobooks or stand up comedians while I work. Then there is also doing the chores in small blocks of time sandwiched by periods of rest. (http://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/ is a great resource for that).

Just keep Swimming, Just keep swimming!

Just keep Swimming, Just keep swimming!

My point is (I think) How is anyone supposed to live with their brain being wired abnormally? I can think of many other conditions that would be worse having, but how is anyone supposed to live with it? My only answer to myself has been one step at a time, one problem at a time. “Just Keep Swimming” as Dory from Finding Nemo would say.

Do you have ADD/ADHD? Hearing my story, do you think I have ADD/ADHD? What signs did you have? Did you notice it before others did? What knowledge can you pass on to me or anyone else who may be reading? please leave a comment down below!

Thank you for your time!

Why is it so Hard to Burn Water?

Alaskan Gas Prices at 4 and a half to 5 dollars a gallon.

Exhibit A

I am sick of living in Alaska. Enough is enough and I am finally ready to get out. Alaska may be the biggest state in the US, but it is also the biggest mess. The state is underdeveloped, the politics are all screwed up, and the prices… the prices are… well just look at the cost of Gas. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A which was taken Saturday May 21st, 20011. This is unacceptable.

For a State that has it’s very own oil pipeline, you would think that the gas prices would be pretty easy on the eyes. Instead they blind you with the sheer terror of your wallet getting raped in the billfold. Now before I end up turning this post into a denouncement of the state I was born in and have lived in most of my life, I will shift my focus to the real issue. Alaska is not the only place with this problem.

Everybody has been watching the gas prices soar to an unbelievably high cost, and the truth is that not just one thing is to blame. You can say that the government is pouring money into wars that create higher gas prices. You can say that Oil companies are silencing the technologies that could lead us to better alternative fueled cars and trucks. You can even say that the shortage of fossil fuels is starting to jack up fuel prices. All of these are right and more. However, we shouldn’t be focusing on the problem. We should be focusing on the solution. Although, we do need a specific problem to solve.

In this post, I chose the problem “How to make a Hydro Electric or other Alternative Fueled Car”. I chose to focus mainly on H2O cars because they seem the most appealing as the next step for fuel dependent cars. I also know that we have the technology to do this. Here, I will some of my favorite sources:

A Water Hose

Exhibit B

Now I, as much as any of you, would like to see these Water Engines be put in to mass production in automobiles right away. I guess there are some things holding us up. What those are have ranged from “That’s a stupid reason to keep us waiting!” to “Huh, that does pose a huge problem.” My favorite “stupid reason” is that we don’t have enough water fill up stations across the world. This is just a delay, that was created when gas stations realized that they wouldn’t have any way to make money after their fuel stations were gone. Are we really going to delay one of the greatest technological breakthroughs in the the 21st century because of the price of some plumbing and the device pictured in Exhibit B? If you want to charge us for water fuel than charge us for Purified and distilled water. Just pipe in the tap water for free. 

The Best reason for halting the production of these earth saving machines is that the technology hasn’t been perfected enough to make it viable for cars to run on water. Well, that is a big problem, but I have a solution. Stop focusing on cars long enough to start selling Furnaces for houses, generators, Torches, Barbecues, and other things that are portable and that only require heat. I gurantee that with the experience of building those devices and the money funding the research, Cars and Trucks will be running on water in no time. 

Water igniting as it is poured into a glass

Ahhh...Refreshing!

I hope that someday soon, we can get out of this prison of gasoline and start living life as a clean technological race of creatures that will not destroy the planet they call home. Now if you will excuse me, all this talk about water has made me thirsty. I think I will go have a glass of fuel.