Cold as a witch’s bosom in a cast-iron bra

If you happen to be a witch, please take no offense. I love Witches, Pagans, Wiccans, and pretty much everybody. I know you don’t wear a cast-iron bra.

Now that we have that out of the way, it is freaking cold outside. It’s currently 11 F (-11.6 C), and it’s been below freezing all week. I had intended to run six miles this morning. The searing cold air that I had to suck down my lungs quickly changed my mind. I cut it off at one, and that was quite unpleasant.

Luckily we have just a couple of more days of sub-freezing temperatures to endure, and then things will get back to something a little more tolerable. The forecast says that it will even be in the 60’s for a couple of days next week. I plan on seizing the opportunity to kick the shoes off and get some much needed barefoot time in.

Denice and I were up kind of late last night. She’s sleeping in, so I am sitting here quietly blogging and watching The Punisher on Netflix. If you haven’t seen The Punisher, you should. It is exceptional. Netflix has been hitting some home runs with their original shows. I’ve heard really good things about the new season of Black Mirror too. I’m going to start on it when I get done with The Punisher.

natural-born-heroesLet’s see, what else… Oh, I’ve started a new book. I am reading Christopher McDougall’s book, Natural Born Heros. This book is about the resistance fighters on the island of Crete, during World War 2. These guys did seemingly superhuman feats of strength and endurance to stop the Nazi occupation of their island. McDougall draws on their stories and the stories of others to introduce the reader to what he calls, “The lost art of the Hero.” I’m just a few chapters in, but just like Born to Run, it has the makings of a great adventure story. BTR is the book that really helped me to believe that I am capable of so much more than I had previously thought, and this new book has the exact same vibe.

Another thing that I have started doing this week is attempting to impose some measure of self-control with my social media usage. I have begun to take notice of myself when using Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the like. I exhibit all the classic signs of a person with an addiction, compulsively checking and scrolling and looking for that next dopamine hit. And the amount of time that I waste on these platforms is obscene. I want to be able to use these ‘tools’ without them using me. So, I have decided to limit the amount of time that I spend on them. I have dedicated no more than fifteen minutes a day to check, respond, and post to all my social media feeds. No more mindless scrolling. I have a handful of people that I follow. I have set up my feeds to display only their content. I will still use Reddit to check in on the state of the world, but only the front page of my subs, and popular. I figure that anything worth knowing about will still be on the front page when I check it. So, with that said, if you need to contact me your best bet @erickeVolved on Twitter. I will see it inside of 24 hours. I suggest this course of action for everyone. This compulsive approval seeking weakness if universal in us primates, and it would be prudent to recognize this and take measures to guard ourselves against manipulation.

That’s all for now, my friends. Until next time.

Save the Cluster!

Just a few weeks ago I discovered the coolest show I think I have ever watched, on Netflix. It’s called, Sense8. I watched the first episode of this Sci-Fi drama, not really expecting much. The premise sounded unique. The story is about eight individuals, all over the world, who suddenly find themselves sharing their lives and experiences through a neural connection. I thought, “Hmm, that’s different,” and gave it a try. The first episode was very strange. I’ll try to keep this post to a minimal spoiler level. The first episode begins with a suicide, followed by the eight experiencing a lot of weird mental phenomena. Not much is really explained. I almost gave up on the series right there, but I am damn glad I didn’t.

As I progressed through the episodes, the story began to make a lot more sense. The characters and their connections to each other began to flesh out and deepen. There was something about the way these total strangers, from vastly different worlds, began to come together, it just clicked with me. The way they cared for one another, helped each other, and fully accepted all the members of their “cluster,” was, well… beautiful. The scenes, the acting, the music, everything about Sense8 was a work of art.

The Sense8 cluster includes a Chicago cop, and Icelandic DJ girl, and Indian scientist chick, a trans woman hacker and her girlfriend, a closeted gay couple in Mexico, a Kenyan bus driver, a German gangster, and my personal favorite… a Korean badass fighter girl. This is without a doubt the most diverse cast that I have ever seen. The show unapoligetically includes gay, lesbian, and polyamorous relationships, and I think that is awesome!

The main villian is a guy that is right out of the nightmare realm. “Whispers,” and the shadowy organization he works for relentlessly hunt down and destroy members of this emerging subspeicies of interconnected humans.

So, I think this show is groundbreaking and revolutionary. I watched the two seasons that are available on Netflix in a couple of weeks. The last episode of season two ends on one hell of a cliff hanger. This story is no where near complete. With that said, it was like getting punched in the gut when I heard that Netflix had decided to not renew the series for a third season. What in the litteral hell? Ok, I get that the episodes are especially expensive to produce. I understand that Netflix is a business. But, this is the best thing that I have ever found on their platform. I couldn’t imagine that this show didn’t pull in some serious views. Even Netflix VP Cindy Holland praised the show in the statement anouncing that they were going to cancel it:

“After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end. It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable. Never has there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all around the world. We thank Lana, Lilly, Joe and Grant for their vision, and the entire cast and crew for their craftsmanship and commitment.”

I have since joined several online communities for Sense8 fans. I was excited to find that there are many who are just as touched and equally as passionate about Sense8 as I am. The fans have taken up virtual armes in an attempt to save the show. In the ensuing backlash, fans have forced the issue to the trend on Twitter with the #RenewSense8 and #BringBackSense8 hashtags. They have launched several online petetions, with the largest well over 300,000 signers at the time of this posting. Thousands have emailed and live chatted directly with Netflix, pleading with them to reconsider, and in some cases threatening to cancel their accounts if they don’t.

If you haven’t seen the show. I highly recomend it. Two seasons are still available on Netflix. Please give it a go and let me know what you think. I think you will fall in love with the story, as I have, and will probably be just as angry that the gatekeepers will not allow it a proper ending.

If you would like to help save Sense8, please check out these links: (main hub for support of the show)


The Black Mirror

Let’s talk about The Black Mirror. I just started watching this series on Netflix. It is beautifully disturbing. I’ve only seen the first five episodes, but I am already in love with it.

From Wikipedia:

“Black Mirror is a British science fiction television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker and centered around dark and satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.”

This show has the feel of the old Twilight Zone, minus all the completely implausible nonsense that permeated many of the episodes. I think the coolest thing about Black Mirror is that none of the episodes are very far fetched. The technologies already exist or are on the near horizon. This shit could and probably will happen.

The themes of Black Mirror are ones that I think on often. It’s easy to forget that science and technology are relatively new things. A mere hundred years ago the best method of transportation was riding on the back of large, grass-eating animal. Inside of a single century, we have rapidly traversed through the industrial revolution, to space flight, splitting the atom, and now we are smack dab in the middle of the information age. There is an acceleration of technological development going on that we are not prepared for, and there’s no way we could be. We are still animals, driven by instinct to an underappreciated degree. The learning curve of these new technologies is steep and unforgiving. Our ability to adapt to this emerging new world will be what makes or breaks us as a species. Many other species have gone extinct because of their inability to cope with far tinier degrees of change. If we are going to make it, we must master technology, and not become enslaved by it.

Anyway, while I was writing this I discovered that I started The Black Mirror of the third season. I had no idea that there were two previous ones. I think I’m going to go ahead and finish the third season before I bounce back and start at the beginning.

I highly recommend this show. However, be warned, many episodes are dark. I personally enjoy this. Not all of our nature is rainbows and kittens. You can’t really appreciate the good and sweet until you taste the dark and bitter.