Isn’t Reality Better Than Virtual Reality?

I wonder where we are headed as a society. And as a race. I know that the world is different today than it was 30 years ago.

The reasons why it is different are for people with bigger brains than me to debate.

We could have discussions about the “world economy”, and that would lead to a discussion about how the companies that set up shop in North America decided to leave and set up in lower cost nations.

But I digress. I am good at doing that.

I came across this photo on Techcrunch.

FOVE Virtual Reality headset

FOVE Virtual Reality headset

It is some sort of virtual reality headset. I did not read the article as I have no particular interest.

But the photo scared the shit out of me.

How many people are familiar with the book Johnny Got His Gun?

Here is the Wikipedia description:

Johnny Got His Gun is an anti-war novel written in 1938 by American novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and published September 1939 by J. B. Lippincott. The novel won one of the early National Book Awards: the Most Original Book of 1939.

Well how does this relate to the above photo?

The book was made into a movie in 1971.

Here is the synopsis of the book and movie.

Joe Bonham (Bottoms), a young American soldier hit by an artillery shell during World War I, lies in a hospital bed. He is a quadruple amputee who has also lost his eyes, ears, mouth and nose. He remains conscious and able to reason, but his wounds render him a prisoner in his own body. As he drifts between reality and fantasy, he remembers his old life with his family and girlfriend (Kathy Fields). He also forms a bond, of sorts, with a young nurse (Diane Varsi) who senses his plight.

At the end of the film, Joe tries to communicate to his doctors, via Morse code, and wishes for the Army to either put him in a glass coffin in a freak show as a demonstration of the horrors of war, or kill him. In the end, however, he realizes that the Army will grant neither wish, and will leave him in a state of living death.

In the film’s climax, his nurse attempts to euthanize him by clamping his breathing tube, but her supervisor stops her before Joe can succumb. This does not occur in the novel. The film ends with Joe weakly chanting “S.O.S. Help me.”

Hmmm. He drifts between reality and fantasy. Sounds a bit like the virtual reality world some of us seemingly want to enter via virtual reality headsets or machines or whatever they are.

I am all for a little escapism. I get the need to tune out for a while. But is a virtual reality headset the way to go?

Where does it end?

Now I am going to show you a photo from the actual film. He is a quadruple amputee, with no eyes, ears or mouth.

Johnny Got His Gun

Johnny Got His Gun

Look at the apparatus he is wearing on his face. It IS the virtual reality headset!!

I can’t make this stuff up.

Hell, the person in the techcrunch photo looks dead

This is what we are becoming. Mouthless, earless, eyeless beings. Hell we are already on our way with all the “smart” phones we are using.

Why can’t we just enjoy real life? Enjoying nature. Playing with our kids. Having an actual conversation with another person.

The future scares me.

“Oh please God wake me.”

A lot of you may be more familiar with the 1988 Metallica video One, which uses clips from the film. A very good song and incredibly powerful video.

Please, share your thoughts in the comments.

“Live Simply”

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Prime Minister Stephen Haper Is The Problem

Only Stephen Harper Stands in the Way of An Effective Government

An eye opening read about the state of federal politics here in Canada. One of the greatest countries on earth but we sure have a lot of work to do.

Posted in Minimalist Lifestyle | 1 Comment

What Is The Meaning Of Life?

For the past little while, I will say maybe a year, I have been wondering what is the meaning of life?

I have always been a bit of a thinker. Wondering about my existence, why am I here, what is the point of life, etc.

But last year one of my mom’s brothers was diagnosed with cancer and given less than a year to live. Turns out they were right as he passed away this past spring.

Here was a guy that lived a good life. He was a very devout Christian, he volunteered, he and my aunt rented out rooms to university students and actually looked out for them and remained close with many of them after they had graduated.

He was just a good man.

And in the end none of that mattered.

So what is the meaning of life?

I do not consider myself to be a good man. I have done bad things in my life. I have lied. I have stolen. I have cheated. I have made self destructive decisions. Some of these things have ruined really good relationships.

I cannot answer why I made these decisions. Anything I say would be an excuse really.

I have often thought to myself that I would not be able to make a good decision if my life depended on it.

And maybe that became a self fulfilling prophecy.

I have kind of used it as an excuse for making bad decisions.

Now that is messed up.

What Lies Are We Sold?

I have always wondered if what we are “sold” by the powers that be is something of a lie. You know, go to school, get good grades, go to more school, get a job, buy a house, buy a car, buy a bunch of stuff, try to pay for it all and oh yeah save millions for your retirement. I wonder how many people are actually happy with that particular plan.

Is THAT the meaning of life? Work, struggle to get by, then die. If it is, just tell me.

There is this awesome show that I LOVE. It is a documentary about space and the cosmos and our beginnings and the universe.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

It is nothing short of incredible.

The host is a real astro-physicist. Neil deGrasse Tyson is amazing. He speaks so calmly and explains things so well. I could listen to him all day.

Why do I bring this up? We share a lot of our DNA with EVERYTHING on the planet. Everything. We are all connected.

But it also seems that us being here, human life or life in general, is a fluke.

In a few years we will all be gone. I mean dead. I am not saying this to be morbid. It is just a fact. I will cease to exist. I will no longer be a person. It is a bit weird to think about. I am okay with it, but it is still strange. At least it is to me.

Am I the only one who wonders about this stuff?

So what is the point of this existence?

Yes, life is a journey. But maybe I do not know what my journey is even about.

I work in a factory processing wire that goes into tires. Sure it pays “okay”. Just enough for me to pay the bills.

Is that my meaning? My purpose? If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, would the factory shut down because I am not there?

Nope. They wouldn’t even stop for a minute. All about progress and production.

(No, I am not going to jump in front of a bus!)

There has got to be more.

Now because of some of the bad shit that I have done over the years, I am not sure that there is enough time left for me to have redemption.

Maybe, but I am not really sure.

If anyone that I have wronged happens to come across this post, please understand that I do have regret for the things that I have done.

I think about those decisions daily.

Some of you will wonder if I am happy. Do I have any joy? I don’t know.

I work. I sleep. I do try to remain active in so far as I get out for walks, and the beach and some biking and hiking. But I don’t do anything with anyone else. I have no circle of people that I hang out with. 43 year old single men who are somewhat introverted do not just go out and start socializing. That is a bit creepy.

This is my normal. And I am okay with this aspect of my life. What choice do I have?

Look, this post is the ramblings of a dim witted, stocky, bald man. I had to get this out.

What is the meaning of life?

You tell me.

Posted in Life, Minimalist Lifestyle, Self Help, self improvement | Tagged | 3 Comments

‘Purple Rain’ at 30: Why It’s the Musical That Defined the ’80s

Originally posted on Variety:

When it premiered on July 27, 1984, the rock drama “Purple Rain” announced the arrival of a major movie star in Prince Rogers Nelson, a flamboyant 26-year-old musician better known by the royal mononym Prince. Already a multi-platinum recording artist, Prince’s feature debut grossed a whopping $70 million in the U.S., while its Grammy winning soundtrack spent six consecutive months atop the Billboard charts. On the 30th anniversary of its release, here’s why “Purple Rain” remains the crowning musical film of our time.

The Album
Included in The Library of Congress’s National Registry of recordings deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important,” this era-defining collection of hits sounds as fresh today as it did three decades ago. From the joyful exuberance of “Let’s Go Crazy” to the bittersweet sorrow of the classic title track, the film’s music became the soundtrack of a generation.

The Kid
While most newcomers may have chosen…

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The Headphone Shoppe

The Headphone Shoppe is Live!

As I blogged a couple of days ago I have finally taken the plunge and started to build an actual website.

Here it is:

The Headphone Shoppe

I would love it if you would check it out.

As you will see it is a product review type of website

Why did I start an actual website?

Basically I get a thrill from blogging and getting visitors. For years I have wanted to have an actual website where I may be able to sell some kind of a product and maybe make a few extra dollars.

So yes you will see various links to Amazon on that website.

There are headphone reviews and how to care for your headphones and why some how the design impacts the price of a good set of headphones.

I am a minimalist but I also understand that people are in the market for quality items. A lot of people that enjoy minimalist living also promote investing in quality items.

I feel that a good set of headphones fits that category.

I have spent the last few days posting headphone reviews and
learning how to make things look decent.

No I do not have access to all of the headphones that you will see reviewed. I am curating other reviews. If I ever have a chance to do a hands on review I certainly will! This would be a grand goal!

If you have any suggestions I would love to hear from you on The Headphone Shoppe

It is very much a work in progress but it is a labor of love, something I have always wanted to do. So I did.

I am also hoping that it is something that Tyler may take an interest in as well. Something we can work on together.

Anyway that is some of the background as to why I have started the website.

Please stop by and let me know what you think.

Thanks very much for your support!

Please share this post with everyone you know!

And please continue to Live Simply!

Posted in Website Design | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Bluehost Hosting And An Actual Website

I have always wanted to have a website that is not a free website hosted on a free platform such as this WordPress blog.

Don’t get me wrong. I love this blog and all it has done for me and I will continue to use it.

However I would like to create a bit more of a web presence and I feel that in order to do this I need to use a dedicated host.

And I have chosen to go with Bluehost web hosting.

You have more control with a self hosted website, it looks more professional, and you can truly call it your own.

Bluehost Hosting

After researching different web hosting companies I decided to go with Bluehost. By all accounts they have excellent support, it’s incredibly easy to use with 1-click automatic WordPress installation and excellent customer service – via phone and via chat. If you have ever thought about having your own website I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Bluehost for your first site.

A WordPress blog hosted with BlueHost is the best option for new bloggers.
You should avoid free hosts and blogging platforms if you want to succeed with your new blog or make money with your website. And I actually do want to make money with my new site.

Believe it or not, this free site has managed to make me a few hundred dollars through people going to the various Amazon links I post and deciding to purchase something. I truly appreciate that.

I find that to be quite thrilling considering that 90% of all websites fail to make any money at all.

The new site will be more of a commercial venture.

Installing WordPress on BlueHost only takes a few basic clicks. (Here is a step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog with BlueHost)
BlueHost has been the recommended host by WordPress itself for close to 10 years.
Over 850,000 people use BlueHost to host their blog. Wow. Sometimes you just need to know that someone else has already done what you are attempting to do. This gives me faith that Bluehost web hosting is going to be the best web hosting for me to use.

Also, you can use the same hosting account for multiple domains if you plan on creating more websites. This is another great feature.

I do not have any experience with coding or in depth web building skills. With Bluehost I don’t need them. Sign up, pick a theme, install WordPress and you are off and running. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

Reasons To Have a Website

There are various reasons why a person will decide to even have a website, be it personal or for business reasons.

Maybe you want more credibility, you want to reach more people to share your ideas or products with(if you have a product), a lot of people find using a website convenient, you can easily track how many people visit your site. These are just a few reasons you may want to consider having your own website. There are many more.

I have waited for a very long time to do this. I have a bad habit of over analyzing everything. Well I can no longer sit around and keep researching it. It is time to actually do something.

I encourage you to do the same.

This is a new adventure for me. One I have thought about doing for a long time. I will be sure to keep you posted on how I am making out. I am not planning on actually launching the new site until the end of the month.

Wish me luck and be sure to check out Bluehost web hosting if you want to make the leap to having your own website.

Posted in Bluehost hosting | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Is It Possible That There Is More Than One Way Of Doing Things?

I have a bit of a hard time with people whom I consider to be closed minded. Now I do understand that they are the way they are for various reasons.

I try to be open minded and examine various points of view and then draw my own conclusions based on what I have read.

I use this information to then do what works for me.

Not everyone agrees with minimalist living and that is fine. If those folks what to buy stuff and watch television all the time that is certainly their choice.

Not everyone agrees with running as a form of exercise. And that is fine.

It is the same with anything.

A few days ago I posted a healthy shopping list on a budget.

In that post I expressed that I try to follow a Paleo lifestyle. It is what works for me.

Guess what? Some people think that I am crazy and that I must be the unhealthiest person on the face of the planet.

And that is fine. They are entitled to their opinions.

All I know is that when I eat grains I feel ill. I am sluggish.

There are people who choose to not eat meat for a number of reasons and that is fine. This is their choice.

And of course they would claim that there is science to back them up in that eating meat in unhealthy.

Science can be made to say whatever you want it to say.

See some facts. Choose to ignore others.

And maybe that is true of the Paleo lifestyle as well.

All I know is that I feel better when I follow a Paleo lifestyle. That is all.

I draw your attention to Alexandra Jamieson. She was the then girlfriend of Morgan Spurlock who did the Supersize Me documentary about eating all McDonald’s food.

She was a very famous vegan. And then something happened. She kind of felt that she needed some meat in her diet.

You can read about her decision here.

It is a fascinating account of a long time vegan who listened to her body instead of her thoughts.

Of course a lot of closed minded people skewered her. Never mind that it was her choice to try eating meat to see how she felt from a health and performance perspective.

All I am trying to get at is that what works for one person certainly may not work for someone else.

And that is okay.

Please share this post using the social media buttons below. Thanks.

“Live Simply”

Posted in healthy lifestyle, Minimalist Lifestyle, minimalist living | Tagged , , | 5 Comments