Measuring Life in T-Shirt Hours

Mar 26th, 2011 | Filed under Opinions and Perspectives, Shirts

I read an opinion the other day,  that when you grow up, you should put the t-shirts away, buy a shirt with a collar, and get a job.  This really is a sad reality for most people, as  there are just so few decent paying jobs that allow t-shirts.

I like to wear t-shirts though, they are more comfortable than collars and I can get interesting ones that others don’t have.

After childhood it seems that usually only on weekends and holidays can you still enjoy a full day in a T-Shirt, and of course in retirement, these are the times in your life when you are your most free. Freedom to wear a T-Shirt. The rest of the time you are usually working away for the big corporate grinding wheel in your silly collar and tie.  In a world where you are forced to wear a tie, productiveness becomes more important than comfort. and you might find the freedom to start a conversation,  get a drink,  eat, or even visit the washroom the moment you feel a desire to is gone.

I would say most of us can measure the amount of true freedom we have in our life by how many T-Shirt hours we get to experience.

However,  a collar, tie, and job are all better than being unemployed and wishing you had a job. After all, employment is really not all that bad, there is usually a lot of socializing, company parties and other things.

But you lose the freedom and comfort of a T-Shirt.

I Never Reached Superman

A long time ago, when I was six, I remember fondly walking outside the theatre after seeing the Superman Movie for the first time. I was not just simply walking however, but striding, and jumping. I was convinced that if I could just get it all right, I too would eventually be able to fly.

As many women grow up with the ideals of Barbie in their heads, the pretty blond with the attractive figure, closets full of clothing, cute dog, handsome boyfriend, a house, and the corvette. I grew up with thoughts of being Superman, the honest good looking guy every girl wanted, using his superhuman abilities such as super strength, laser beam eyes, super breath, and virtual indestructibility, to flight the bad guys, and save the world.

That really is a lot to live up to.

Superman Movie Poster 1978

Superman Movie Poster 1978

I am sitting here now thinking of all the things I did to try and be a bit like Superman, the physical training I have put myself through, and the risks I have taken. I am not sure why I did it, if it was for the adrenaline or to prove something to myself, but I did it just the same.

When I was young, I used to like to jump off of things, each time I tried to jump from just a little bit higher than the last time. I would sometimes jump off things while riding other objects such as my bike, skis or skateboard, all in the attempt to just see if I could do it, and feel what it would be like to fly just a little bit. I have still not grown out of this really, just last week, I jumped off the roof of a sixty storey tower on a zip line, it was pretty cool, but Superman would have just leaped over the building in a single bound.

If you want to be a superhero, of course you need to learn to fight. At the age of ten I started to study Karate. I had to postpone my studies at thirteen for a couple of years, as I broke my arm quite badly while testing to see if I was indestructible, I am not. I later continued studying various martial arts formally for about eighteen years. I fought a few times, I even managed to defeat the number four ranked fighter on the Canadian kickboxing team several times. I never fought any higher ranked fighters. I found I did not like hurting people, and didn’t really like getting hurt either.  If  Superman kick boxed,  he would be number one, I don’t think he minds the pain so much, but I know he doesn’t like hurting people either.

I did a fair bit of mountain and rock climbing in my life, but for some reason volcanoes were always the most interesting to me, there is just something about their sheer awesome lava spewing power that I found irresistible, and once you get to the top, you not only get a view, but you also get to look in to their centre. One of the most memorable volcanic experiences I had was in the northern Philippines, after climbing the volcano, my friend and I then climbed for hours through the lava tubes inside it, right into it’s underground river systems. There is nothing quite like squeezing through small limestone holes and dropping ten meters or so through pure darkness into pools of fresh drinking water. Another memorable volcanic occasion was when I had a semi active volcano I was standing on in Indonesia erupt right under my feet, thankfully I survived. I had this picture taken of me, standing right over its billowing molten heart less than a minute before it erupted. I ran away in fear  from the top of the volcano as it exploded, I am pretty sure I freaked out a little bit also. Superman would not have freaked out or ran, he would have kicked that volcano’s ass.

Scott Vs The Volcano - Seconds Before An Eruption

Scott Vs The Volcano - Moments Before An Eruption

 

Large waves are another force I have felt a powerful attraction to. I have learned to swim and surf in some huge waves over the years. One particularly wavy January day in southern India, I chose to ignore the warning siren of the concerned lifeguards in the lighthouse on the point, and the people on the loudspeakers warning us of a dangerous wave coming into the bay. I had seen their “dangerous” waves before, and felt I could handle them. Larger waves break further out, so as everyone else was busy getting out of the water, I swam out into deeper water to get ready to body surf this wave.  After a moment, I found as I looked out past the fairly common five meter wave in front of me, I was able to see a much larger wave towering over that one, I would guess it was seven meters high or so.  Realizing it was breaking too far out for me to ride it, I was forced to swim towards it as fast as I could, so as not to get caught in its dangerous break. Once I reached the top of that wave, which was shockingly high, I could see an even larger wave coming, it was already well over eight meters tall, and still growing fast. I swam towards this truly giant wave as quickly as I could, there was no way to get away from it as it was sucking me towards it as it was building its height. I made my way over it just as it was beginning to fall, I am not sure how high it was exactly, I would guess ten meters or so, I remember looking over at the people on the beach, as I crested it, I was both a long ways from them, and towering over them, as they scattered up the beach, and away from the water. Luckily, I made it over the wave before it broke, because when the enormous wave did fall, it fell right over top of the beach, destroying quite a few things, including some holiday houses, the retreating wave then brought all sorts of things back into the water with it, chairs, tables, doors, glass, dogs and even some other people. The next thing I knew I was being sucked a good kilometer or so, at a very high speed out into the open ocean. It took me an hour or so of hard swimming to finally make it back to the beach. Of course Superman would have just started flying and saved everyone, but for me, my own survival was barely possible.

I have saved four people’s lives, two people were drowning once in Goa, and I swam out with a large log for all of us to grab onto and swim back to shore. One time when I was in Thailand, a lady that could not swim fell into a river in Bangkok, I grabbed her hand as she was going under the water to pull her up. Another time in Indonesia, a group of people were trying to kill my rickshaw driver, something about him picking me up on their turf. One of them smashed a large brick into his head, and I stood up to them all. They decided not to fight us both, my driver was bleeding quite a bit from his head, but he survived because of me. I really am quite proud of actually saving some lives, Superman would have done the same, but of course for each one I saved, he saved a billion.

Although I have a lot of stories about things I have done, I look back and notice a pattern of me putting myself in harms way, in hindsight it seems a little bit stupid,  and when I really think about it, I am a little surprised that I am still alive. I tried hard to do as much as I could, but now as I am nearing forty, my body is in its decline, and my risk taking days have ended, I realize, for all my efforts, not for a moment, did I ever come close to being Superman.

Five For Fighting (John OndrasikOndrasik) Superman – It’s Not Easy Lyrics

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find
The better part of me

I’m more than a bird…i’m more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
It’s not easy to be me

Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd…but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed…but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me

Up, up and away…away from me
It’s all right…you can all sleep sound tonight
I’m not crazy…or anything…

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
Men weren’t meant to ride
With clouds between their knees

I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me
Inside me
Yeah, inside me
Inside of me

I’m only a man
In a funny red sheet
I’m only a man
Looking for a dream

I’m only a man
In a funny red sheet
And it’s not easy, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…

Its not easy to be me

Sometimes, Some Things Can Not Be Fixed

Mar 25th, 2011 | Filed under Music, Opinions and Perspectives, Video

A few years ago, as the Cold Play song, “Fix You” was playing away on my car radio, I said to my Girlfriend at the time, who did not like Cold Play very much, “How could anyone not like Cold Play? I mean just listen to them, that is music that really moves me for some reason or another, and I like it.”

She laughed a little, giving me the idea she did not share my love for the song.

I asked her “How could you not like this song, what is it about this beautiful song that bothers you?”

My girlfriend answered the question immediately, “Because the song makes it seem like you can just go around “Fixing” everything. Sometimes, some things can not be fixed. ”

There was some definite truth to what she had said. No one can fix everything, some things, yes, but not everything. Sometimes the attempted fix just makes matters worse. Sometimes it is just best to give up on a fix, and learn to live with the problem.

I found the song on YouTube, so I have pasted it below for you to listen to. In the defense of Cold Play, the exact lyrics state “I will try to fix you”, so they did not say they could go around fixing everything, but the thought that not everything can be fixed was still very interesting.

Rather than focusing on the problem, sometimes it is best to just give up hope on trying to fix it, and get on with your life as best you can, for the sake of happiness. A happy song can help, and one of the happiest songs I have heard in recent years has got to be Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of Somewhere over the Rainbow, when I hear it, often my worries seem to fade a little bit.

Enjoy!

Popeye Meets Ali Babba’s 40 Thieves

Mar 25th, 2011 | Filed under Video

Look at this gem I found with a bit of searching on the Internet, a pretty high quality copy of the film Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Babba’s Forty Thieves.

Popeye is a pretty cool guy, he is sweet to the ladies and children, and doesn’t go around making trouble with others, but Brutus, Bluto or in the case of this film Abu Hassan, just can’t stop taunting poor Popeye and his friends. Eventually Popeye of course “Has All He Can Stands, And He Can’t Stands No More!”, pops a can of spinach and deals out a lesson in manners to the bad guys.

Have a good listen to Popeyes chatter as he walks around so you don’t miss the great one liners such as “I would makes me a sandwich if I only had a witch.”

Enjoy !

Acknowledging True Greatness – Humble Pie

Mar 23rd, 2011 | Filed under Interesting, Opinions and Perspectives, Video

I believe that most everyone has something going for them, we may have our weaknesses, but also our strengths. Stephen Hawking would be a good example of this, though he can not beat most of us in a foot race, it is also doubtful we could outperform his mind.

One of my strengths over others would be my ability to use computers. I first started working with computers in the late 1970s, and about a decade or so ago, I finished a computer science and programming diploma at college with a high four GPA. Essentially you could say I have mastered the machine. However that does not make me anything historically great, its not like I’m the guy that actually imagined such a thing into existence, someone actually did that you know, all I did was consume the knowledge that was written down by others, to learn to use a machine created by people that are not me. If I ever got famous for any of my computer work, as they say, I would just be “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”

Shoulders of Giants - Tigers

Shoulders Of Giants

Each of us is pretty special, and loving yourself is important, so long as you don’t love yourself so much you can’t see how awesome the other people around you are, truly world changing people actually walk amongst us occasionally. Even though you might feel your work is pretty important, and your boss is willing to pay you for it, is your work really as important as someone who’s work saves thousands, or even millions of lives?

Don’t worry too much, because the harsh reality is, mediocre is the majority, if you want to change the world for the better, you can do that very effectively just by interacting in a positive way with the people you meet. Positive social interactions can be the highlights of most of our lives.

There is also a small portion of the population that are better than any of us, superior to you and me, and would usually consider themselves somewhat remarkable. Though they do nothing to help our society in any great way, and receive none of our admiration, they are just better, because they say so. Some might say, they are legends in their own minds.

I found this video below recently on YouTube, and thought I would share it to you, the video portrays a character with a super powered ego.

My hat comes off to the actual creator of this video, for being exceptionally funny, and making me laugh. I would like to make a cool video also, but realize I probably do not have enough talent to do so.