Wednesday, December 1, 2021

This, that and the other thing

Kubota is scheduled to leave Casa ERJ on Friday, 6:00 PM.

No "start-overs". The "start-over" did not go so well and we are not going to engage in a game of revolving doors.

He has to own his life. It became too easy for him to blame others when things did not go well. At this point in his life, letting him stay in the house is delaying his maturity. It may feel "loving" but at an intellectual level it is a selfish and destructive thing to do.

Parenting a 12 year-old is different than parenting a 21 year-old. There is no way a 12 year-old can take care of himself in the real-world. On the flip side, if a 21 year-old cannot take care of himself in the real-world it is because they have a distorted image of what their capabilities and their needs are. That is, they have become detached from reality.


"Methodists", the Christian denomination, was named because religious reformers, primarily the Wesley brothers, had this idea that souls could be saved if they took Matt 6:34 to heart*.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.    -KJV

They proposed a method where if each Christian simply tried to live TODAY as perfectly as possible, then they would grow to become the people God calls us to be.

That is, we become what we repeatedly do, which sounds a lot like Cognitive Dissonance.

High-end life-coaches are still milking that idea. All we can influence is "now". The past is gone. The future is shrouded in unknowables.

Sieving through the rubble left in the wake of of Kubota's departure, it is a stark reminder that there is incredible power in NOT doing one stupid thing a day.

No, I don't mean being perfect and going through the day without doing anything stupid. I mean to somehow do one fewer stupid things over the course of the day.

To make a difference it will have to be more significant that putting a spoon in the drawer where forks are supposed to go. And stupid things in the morning count for more than stupid things in the evening because of the "...good money after bad..." phenomena. How many times have I made a bad decision and immediately followed it with several more?

I am going to have to give this idea a little bit of thought.

Slow computer

I tracked down part of the problem with the slow computer. Somewhere in the shuffle of Win 11 being installed the antivirus program I use (Malwarebytes) took the opportunity to install a trial up-grade that includes real-time monitoring.

Every byte that came across the WIFI was laboriously compared to known viruses.

I found my issue using Task Manager. If you pop open "More Details" you can see what is gobbling up CPU, Memory and bandwidth.

I killed the Malwarebytes application and things straightened up....mostly.

Getting a new computer anyway

The case on the computer I am using is cracked.

Belladonna's boyfriend was gracious enough to research Cyber Monday deals and he pointed out one that met my specifications. 

I was impressed that he invested the time. For one thing, he likes big, fast computers with lots of capability. I need little more than a glorified word processor with spreadsheet and rudimentary image processing capability.

Belladonna's boyfriend looks like he might be sticking around. I am thinking of giving him a "handle" for the blog. I was leaning toward Pascal after Blaise Pascal but am very open to suggestions from my readers.

*Please feel free straighten out my errors in comments if you are a practicing Methodist and believe I grossly misrepresented the origins of the Methodist denomination. Please keep the comment to under 200 words.


  1. That is, we become what we repeatedly do,

    So THAT'S why dad called me a Fukkup.
    Making a daily, conscious effort to minimize the Stupid is a great plan, but it requires, first, admitting that we are committing stupid. Not everyone is ready to get that. Life is just supposed to work out.

    The Failure to Launch phenomenon seems a lot more widespread today than when I was a young guy. In 76,I got outta the air force and went roughnecking. Poorly named. All rough, no necking.
    I don't understand how anyone doesn't want their own life, doing it on their own terms. And be willing to work their ass off to have it.

  2. Agreed. I left home as soon as I could after college graduation. I don't understand why so many don't leave home, maybe it was a difference in parenting?

    I grew up Methodist, but I don't know enough about their distinction to explain it. They don't seem unique anymore...

  3. Sounds like Kubota is in that stage before he really understands the amount of works and sacrifice it takes to keep a roof over your head, food in your belly, and a set of wheels to go where you go.

    I was fired twice in my youth before I realized that maybe I was being retarded and changed my ways. That said, my old man made it clear when we were 18 that we were expected to be adults and move on. He wouldn't lend money, he wouldn't co-sign for cars. He wouldn't help whatsoever with finding work. That said, we knew that from childhood. The simple fact that he had no central AC, only a unit in the kitchen and his bedroom helped. We all were well motivated to never return. We also were a large family, so once you left, things reshuffled and whatever space you had was gone.

    I've done the same with my kids. I've helped them more than my dad did me, but they knew it was time to move on.

    What I find amazing these days is how few kids newly on their own don't pair up and get a place. When I moved out I had two roomates. I think I spent around $250/month as my share. I didn't make much money when I was starting out, but I had no debt.

    I look back on those times fondly. I had friends, money in my pocket (more than I usually do now), and freedom. I told my kids that the period between getting out of school and getting married was a magic time to be enjoyed.

    I think the issue these days is kids don't understand what it takes to maintain a nice place and nice car, and you have to work up to that. So they bum out having to live in a dumpy apartment with other people and drive a beater.

    In my case, my first place was nicer than my dad's (it had AC and a newer cleaner kitchen and bathrooms)

  4. A sense of pride and shame is missing in our civilization. A contractor I sub contract to said once about employees "they're all dumbasses till they prove otherwise."
    That's so true... It's damn near impossible to find and good help these days. I found a good hand. He's old and partially retired and only wants to work part time. But I'll take all the hours he wants to work.

  5. When I graduated from college, my dad told me that I was welcome to stay at home until I got a job. Fifty years later and I've never really understood how he meant that. I had a job within a week though and moved out. Dad passed away last summer and I miss him greatly. He taught me much.

  6. Not sure what you were trying to convey with "cognitive dissonance" but my understanding is it refers to the conflict between our knowledge/ feelings and behavior. Being a staunch democrat and anti abortion might create cognitive dissonance.

    1. That is the first part of cognitive dissonance. If the conflict cannot be resolved by elimination of the incongruent action, then the knowledge/feelings will rotate to be in harmony with the actions.

      So you might say "I cannot force myself to believe in God. I either do or I don't."

      But if make a conscious decision to act AS IF you believed in God, then in time your need for internal harmony will rotate your beliefs to ease the dissonance. You will, in time, believe.

    2. Funny you should give that example, been working at that for the last 25 years and have made no progress yet.

  7. I'm in that boat right now. With an added bonus of PTSD and partial military disability. He doesn't make enough to live on his own, and is unemployable due to injuries from his service. What started as a way point, has become an anchor or a millstone. You are right on the money with help becoming a hindrance to growth. I'm working on it, but that PTSD makes for a weird wrinkle to work around. Too much pressure and cracks develop....

  8. I am eager to see if Mrs. ERJ will remain steadfast. I have often seen how one or both parents capitulate. It is disappointing to sew because knowing it will prove disatrous for all involved.

    As for the Methodists, did they not learn from the early church who has misinterpreted the gospel therefore had sold all their belongings.
    Of course, since then have all too many Christian groups made similar errors. In pursuit of 'obedience' to Christ, mind you. His mercy endureth forever.

  9. None of my business really. I did lose track of the truck situation. A load of debt would make it worse by several factors. Though, imagine the confidence (avoiding the word, pride) in looking back to say, I made it through!

  10. I sincerely hope your wife and you are in agreement on the course of action.

    Looks good from here. Hang tough, you are batting .500 so far and this may work well.

  11. Kudos to you and Ms. ERJ for making the Tough Love decision. You have been admirably patient with trying to make it work, but one cannot push on a rope. I hope young Kubota turns the corner and finds his way. You'll know when he starts asking for your advice I guess. Good luck to your son, I think we are all pulling for him - and for you and the Missus too.

  12. A future in law willing to actually do something ! That's different .

  13. How about calling the new BF "Pender" as in pending?

  14. A buddy named his daughter's first boyfriend "Moving Target".

  15. I'm sorry for what you're going through with your son. Sometimes we're just too hard headed for our own good. He is looking at some tough times ahead I think but perhaps this is for the best and he really will come to the realization that he doesn't know everything. Life has a way of teaching painful lessons and sometimes as parents we have to get out of the way and watch.

    As for the possible future son in law, if you daughter is Belladonna, why not call him Wolfsbane?

  16. I have found that most cases when a computer that normally works ok starts getting really slow will have multiple 'monitoring' programs running. Malware bytes is a wonderful scan tool but I would never leave it on as a security barrier. It finds bugs and things that Windows leaves in place. If you choose to use a security program other than what is in Windows you have to disable the Windows security or as you have found, bad things happen. Another you can look at for chewing up usability is 'Adobe Updater'. As insignificant as this little app from Adobe should be, it is a pain as far as using resources when it should not. If you down load Piriform's C Cleaner you can use the tools 'Start up' to whittle down the list of things that start every time you boot your computer. Another tip. Don't turn it off. You don't turn your phone off so don't turn your laptop off. Set the Power options it sleeps after a few minutes when you close the cover. This way when you pick it up to do some work it is ready to go within a minute or so if it has been sleeping for a while. Even when you wake it, Windows insists on checking things out again......


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