A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (August 24, 2014)

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Certain things that have been happening lately and have gone viral have become total fucking jokes.

First, the “ice bucket challenge.” What started off innocently as something for people to do for a good cause has lapsed into a publicity stunt. Sure, they did it in the belief that it would raise funds for research to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.)  I see people posting to Facebook challenging their friends to do it and then post it on Facebook or YouTube.  Well, they did raise over $41,000,000 in a month.  But give it a rest, please.  It’s now lapsing into parody and people are just doing it now for publicity.  I refuse to participate just because other people are doing it. 

Second, the Starbucks “pay it forward” stunt.  The only thing that gets any benefit out of this is Starbucks. Me, I very rarely buy coffee at Starbucks. (The last time I did was when I got a small coffee at a Starbucks inside a Target store in Fairmount Fair about three years ago.)  The “pay it forward” phenomenon basically guilt-trips you…you don’t want to feel like a prick when you say “no.” I’ll pay for my own goddamn coffee thank you very much (and it is Dunkin’ Donuts, not Starbucks.) 

People just need to stop being sheep and following the flock.  Use your minds.

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© 2014, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

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A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (4/11/2014)

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Yes. I am 55 years old. But that doesn’t mean that I am out of touch with modern technology. My computer is a triple-core system running Windows 7 Professional. I use an Android phone. I have an Android tablet. I know digital photography and video. I am a blogger, I have my own website, and my own YouTube channel. So get off of your ageist bullshit, I have done it before you were playing with your Go-Bots.

Before I became a working-class warehouse grunt, I spent eight years as a systems operator in a corporate IT data center. I was skilled in OS/390 (an IBM mainframe operating system,) OS/400 (an IBM mid-range operating system,) Windows Server, and Unix/Linux. I used to maintain a company intranet, and I did all the support jobs, such as tape monkey, and print operator. So, I am not talking out of my ass when I say that I am not a novice when it comes to computer technology. Yes my skills are are ten years out of date (circa 2002,) but don’t try to bullshit me about modern technology. You may get into a mauling match with a grizzled old tech-bear.

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© 2014, Dean Basler, all rights reserved/

The Viewpoint of a Curmudgeon.

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I’m starting to become more disillusioned with humanity in general. People are more concerned with the accumulation of material wealth than the accumulation of spiritual wealth.  Life now has become a game of oneupmanship, i.e.  "I have it all, and you don’t have squat."  Is it any wonder why I have become pragmatic, cynical, and misanthropic?  The daily ride home on the cattlecar has given me a glimpse into the future of our species, and guess what, boys and girls?  It ain’t fucking pretty.

My husband is pushing me to be more "social," but given my attitude, I can’t stand other people.  The people at work?  I tolerate them.   I have to work with them, in order to keep my job and keep a roof over my head.  But seriously, don’t expect me to interact with them outside of the workplace. 

The so-called people on the cattlecar, well you all know that I express my disdain for them here on Facebook.  (Social media my ass, it should be called "anti-social" media.)  I didn’t go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade because I didn’t want to see a shitload of people turn themselves into total assholes.  (Plus I have a total disdain for anything having to do with Irish culture, even though I have Irish ancestry.  I’m an AMERICAN, goddamnit!)

And this obsession with celebrities and fame?  Big fucking deal…people go insane because Justin Bieber gets arrested for doing shit that the average person would either lose their job over or go to jail.  (And given that he is a Canadian citizen, if he gets convicted, the minute his twink ass is released from jail they should deport his ass and bar him from ever returning.)  Meanwhile, when the rest of you are crying while listening to his songs, I’ll be in my den, reading a book and listening to classic rock streaming on my computer, and chuckling silently over the behavior of "The Cult of Bieber" (which is kinda like Scientology.)

So I am just gonna shut the fuck up now, light up a cigar drink my Dunkin’ Donuts extra-large black decaf, pick up a book, and shut the fucking universe out. 

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© 2014, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

Time for a new DeanBear Chronicles

I haven’t been posting videos for a while, but the bug bit me today after my session with my therapist.   I had a few things to say, so I whipped out the FlipCam and dashed off this quick video (yes it’s over 8 minutes, but it is worth it.

 

The DeanBear Chronicles: The State of DeanBear

Rated TV-MA for adult language

Haven’t done a video in a while, so I thought that I would dash off a quick video to let the world know what is going on in my life.
(And yes, I am smoking a pipe in the video, a Missouri Meerschaum Country Gentleman, Dunhill Flake in the bowl.)

Starring
Dean Basler

Written, produced, edited,
and directed by Dean Basler

My Twitter feed:
http://twitter.com/DeanBearSyr

My Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/dean.basler

My Facebook humor page:
http://www.facebook.com/DeanBearSyr

The Official DeanBear Chronicles Blog:
https://deanbasler.wordpress.com

The DeanBear Chronicles Website:
http://www.deanbear.com

(c)2014, Mattydale Pictures Television, all rights reserved.

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Hot psycho mess (a compilation of random thoughts.)

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These are random thoughts and rantings that I have posted on Facebook for the past few months…venture into them at your own risk.

Altruism. (11/7/2013)

People wonder why I am a closed off, stand-offish sonofabitch at times. I’ll tell you why, ultimately altruistic behavior comes back and bites you in the ass HARD! I am not talking about working together for a common goal (i.e. working as a team at work to create product to make a profit on.) I am talking about being altruistic at the expense of other people and things in your personal life. When you show altruism in your personal life, it impacts on other people in your life in a negative way. Some people don’t want to be forced into self-sacrifice. It’s anathema to human nature, which is your personal survival. Sometimes I feel guilty about my attitude about altruism, but that is why I have a psychotherapist to help me get my head on straight. Having shown altruistic behavior at times in my life, and then being screwed over big time, is it any wonder why I am a hot psychological mess?

Instant Gratification. (11/14/2013)

The mindset of instant gratification has become a curse on our society. Over the past 20 years, we have been conditioned by the mass media into thinking that we can get what we want RIGHT NOW! Being a pragmatist, I of course move cautiously when making any kind of decision. That is why it took me so long to buy my own house. I pretty much live in the here and now for the most part, but I don’t jump right in when there is a major change coming to my life. All the advertisements that say you can get what you want RIGHT NOW with a zero APR and no money down is a trap to lull the less fortunate into massive debt with no way to get out of it. We have become a society of "I want it and I want it now." I am not one of those people. I take simple comforts and find joy in them. A good cup of coffee. A pipeful of good tobacco. Going to my therapist every two weeks to sort out my life. Ten minutes in a hot shower. Simple guy, simple needs.

Goddamn Cats.

Goddamn cats…anything that is loose on the nightstands in the bedroom becomes CAT TOYS. I leave a pair of earplugs on my nightstand (because I sleep during the day,) when I go to bed they are nowhere to be found. I find them DOWNSTAIRS in the dining room. Same thing with Dan, he has a couple of rubber bracelets and a pair of earplugs on the nightstand, next thing you know they are on the fucking floor. I tell Dan, close the goddamn bedroom door, the cats have the run of the fucking house. They don’t need to be in the bedroom. Yes, I am in a pissy mood.

Priorities. (11/15/2013)

Priorities…it’s very hard to set priorities when something else gets in your path to achieving some sort of peace. For the past three years, I have not been able to attain that peace. I have a set list of priorities that I have to follow.

1. Mortgage payment. That gets paid every month without fail. I’ve worked too hard to get this house and I don’t want to lose it.
2. Car insurance. I slipped one time and we spent a week straightening it out. We need it do get places (but the only place I really go is work every night, and I take the bus home in the morning.
3. Cable bill. Need the home phone, Internet access, and entertainment.
4. Cell phone. That’s an autopay every month.
5. Utilities. Gotta keep the lights and heat going.

There are other items that need to be taken care of but the top five comes first. When something unexpected comes along, I am thrown into disarray. I start obsessing, worrying, and suffer from insomnia. I CANNOT cope with the unexpected.
Work is my sanctuary. I have a set list of tasks that I have to do at work, and I do them to the best of my ability. Going into analysis was the best thing that ever happened to me because I WANT to keep my job. A lot of the problems that I had at work were my response to the instability in my personal life.
Like I said before, I am a simple guy. I don’t really want a lot out of life. I just want to do my job, pay the bills, and be left alone. Dan and I don’t socialize a lot. We have a few select people that he and I interact with on a regular basis. Part of the reason why is that I am a very cold and pragmatic individual. Instability is a variable that I cannot account for in my life, because it conflicts with my pragmatism. Socializing with people I don’t know is a struggle. I suffer from social anxiety disorder, and when I am in a crowd it feels like the walls are closing in. Work isn’t a problem for me since I am used to the people that I work with, and can be somewhat open with. (With a couple of exceptions, I pretty much get along with my co-workers.)
Social media like Facebook is a good way for me to get my thoughts out into the open without the immediate reaction that you get in real life. We’re all just ones and zeros zipping along in the ethernet, with a slight time delay until a response is put out there.
That is why I have to set priorities in my life. I cannot and will not allow myself to be caught up in other peoples problems or drama. I have enough of that bullshit in my personal life.

Anxiety Attack (11/3/2013.)

I had an anxiety attack about two hours ago. My nephew Matt asked me to if he could stay with us for a while. I just started freaking out. We got rid of the roommate in June, and things started to stabilize. Then in October, my niece came to stay because of difficulties in her life. We also had my grandniece a few nights a week. Then, when my nephew made his request (he came over to do laundry and apply for some jobs online,) I went and talked to Dan. I don’t know what came over me but the next thing I knew I was curled up on the floor of our bedroom with the curtains closed and I was shaking like a leaf. Every time when I think that things are going to work out, some crisis comes along to put obstacles in my way. Christ, I will be 55 next month and I was hoping for SOME stability in my life at this point. I have a decent job, my own house, and someone who loves me. Turning my nephew down was one of the hardest things that I had to do in my life. Yes, we will try to help him, but there are limits to what myself and Dan can do. I think the anxiety attack stemmed from seeing a family member in trouble and not being able to offer the support that he needed. Fortunately Dan was able to help me snap out of it. I hate having to tell Matt that he couldn’t stay with us.

Before the smartphone.

I miss the days where I would grab my Sony Discman, choose up to five CD’s to stuff into my CaseLogic CD case, and clamp some honkin’ headphones on my noggin to listen to music on the bus or while at work. Nowadays, I can just load up my smartphone with all my favorite music, and pop in my earbuds. Convenience has it’s costs.

Modern politics (11/25/2013)

Modern politics…it’s become more and more like a sales pitch to the unwashed masses.  We’re constantly bombarded with the viewpoints from both sides.  I, as a pragmatist, tend to look at the bullshit that is coming out with a jaundiced eye.  The right is all up in arms because same-sex marriage will "destroy the sanctity" of the American family.  The left is up in arms because government has been co-opted by big business more concerned with expanding their wealth at the cost of necessary social services that keep people healthy and fed (such as the ACA and SNAP.)  The right wants to "privatize" Social Security because it would give Wall Street a large money pool to gamble away on marginally successful companies.  The left wants to keep Social Security the way it is because the American public pays into it with each paycheck to provide a comfortable future.  (The right considers it an "entitlement," which it is in a way, because we are entitled to it when we retire.)  The left applauds the deal with Iran to curtail nuclear production, because it will help stabilize a region of the world that has been long a powderkeg for violence and terrorism.  The right is denouncing it because their thought masters in the military-industrial complex will lose big time with decreased arms spending.

And in between all this political posturing and bullshit?  Us, the American public.  We’re the people who are really keeping this country going.  The people who go into work every day to hopefully make a decent enough living so we can provide food and shelter to our loved ones.  All this that is going on has the end result of making even a die-hard pragmatist like myself throw up my arms and say "ahhhh fuck it."  I can’t decide which viewpoint is more valid.  I consider myself more informed than the average American, but the glut of information (or lack thereof) that we are bombarded with thanks to mass media and high-speed Internet access can be too much to process.

Fuck it, I’ll just have another beer and hope that some sort of equilibrium happens, otherwise the American way of life will become truly and hopelessly fucked.

Getting rid of the hoarder.

In 2007, a friend of ours moved in with us because she was suffering from throat cancer.  She was very ill, and she needed to stay with us because she couldn’t care for herself.  Little did we know, she made our lives a living hell.   She  moved in with five bags of things.  But she is a hoarder.  She went out trash picking, and in her twisted little mind, she saw some sort of value in the trash that people threw out.  Granted, I have clothes that I haven’t worn in a while, and I have computer equipment that still has some use, but she would bring home SHIT that wasn’t any use to anyone, but she thought had some value.  It got to the point where Dan had to put a padlock on the garage to prevent her from bring more shit into it.  She couldn’t go into the attic because the door was in the master bedroom where I slept, and the basement at this point was crammed full.

The other point was, in her mind, since she lived there, it gave her the right to control the house.  When Dan told her to stop bring shit into our house, she would throw the fact that the house was in my name into his face.    She tried to play Dan and me against each other.  Of course, I sided with Dan because he is my husband.  More on the hoarding part…Dan painted the bedroom that we gave her, and she crammed it from floor to ceiling with HER SHIT!  Every time that she had a problem with her computer, I hated going in there.  Yes, my den is a clutter zone, but at least you could move around in it.

Things started getting worse after Dan and I got married in 2012.  Right off the bat, we knew that conflict was going to happen between the roomie and our best friend Doug.  He was going to stay at our house while Dan and I were in Provincetown on our honeymoon.   Doug and the roomie are like oil and water, they don’t mix.  When I checked up on them (fortunately I had cell service)  I got an earful.  For starters, the roomie ate top of our wedding cake, then on a day in Syracuse, the temperatures approached 100 degrees she turned off the air conditioners because she “felt a breeze.” Our dog Spike was suffering from the heat, and Doug called my sister Missy for help.  My sister told her, “Turn the fucking air conditioning back on or I will come over and kick your fucking ass.”

At this point, Dan and I knew that she had to leave.  She desired to live out in “the country,” as she considered Wolcott.   But Wolcott became a bedroom community.  So Dan helped her to find a place that she could live in.  Once she found where she could live, she expected us t0 help her move out there.

Okay, she paid for the first load (a U-Haul) but…all the shit she had wouldn’t fit in the first truck (a 20-footer.)  But wait, it gets better…Dan and I had to rent a U-Haul two weeks later ,at our expense to  haul the rest of HER SHIT out. I had to call my supervisor on his personal cell  to get the night off (and burn off a vacation day for it.)

AND IT GETS BETTER! 

The rental company that manages where she lives has given her a month  to clear out the shit that she has accumulated.

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© 2013 Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

Manufactured greed (or the enslavement of America during the holiday season)

sepiapipe 003Well, it’s the day after Black Friday, and as predicted there was violence across America as people stood in line to get *supposed * deals.  Myself, having worked in a retail environment (the back office of a department store chain over 20 years ago) knew that the "Black Friday" phenomenon is a case of catering to the fears and subconscious greed of the general public.  The fear of not having the latest and greatest things, and the greed of most people in general (the "I’ve got mine, now fuck off" mindset.)

Myself, I am pretty much immune to the fever that grips these assholes when Black Friday comes around.  My life is more or less involved in providing basic needs (i.e. food, shelter, utilities) and not revolving on having things that everyone else has.  Yes, I have a computer and my hubby has one, we have a big screen TV (that I bought over three years ago) and a Blu-ray player (also bought three years ago.) 

The closest analogies that I can make is from two episodes from Original Trek (yes, my sci-fi geek roots are showing, and I have been watching it on Netflix.) 

The first is the episode "Amok Time," where Spock becomes irrational (Pon Farr) and has to return to Vulcan to take a mate.  His bride-to-be challenges him and he is forced to fight Kirk to win the right to marry her.  The only thing on his mind is winning, no matter the cost.  It seems like we as a culture go through a yearly blood-lust to gain material possessions, and you try to gain the upper hand over everyone else for bragging rights.

The second is the episode "Return of The Archons"  where the Enterprise crew encounter a peaceful, pacifist society that is controlled by an all-seeing being, Landru (read this as Walmart.)  The society for most part is peaceful, but there is a time called "Festival," where the populace goes ape-shit.  Some of the populace is immune to it, and has been trying to overthrow the control of Landru.  They are mind-controlled (read this as advertising.)  As a pragmatist, I am pretty much immune to advertising. 

The point that I am trying to make is we as a culture for the most part have allowed our worldview to be shaped by advertising and what the mass media have spoon-fed us.  The right wing is so fucking enamored of the opinion that the government wants to control what we do and how we think, but they are blind to the fact that the same machine that forces the American public to gather en masse outside a retail establishment at midnight on Black Friday is THEIR creation. 

As long as big business is allowed to manipulate the American mindset to enrich their pockets, we as a people are helpless to resist because we are addicted to mass media.  The so-called "Zombie Apocalypse?"  It ain’t coming folks.  It’s already here, and unless more people shake off the barrage of advertising and soundbites that mass media feeds us, then we are truly fucked. 

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© 2013, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

Spike Gets a Bath

Nothing special about this post…our shih-tzu needed a bath, and the hubby gave it to him.

Starring
Daniel Bishop-Basler
Sheryl Boldt
Dean Basler (voice)

My Twitter feed:
http://twitter.com/DeanBearSyr

My Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/dean.basler

The Official DeanBear Chronicles Blog:
https://deanbasler.wordpress.com

The DeanBear Chronicles Website:
http://www.deanbear.com

(c)2013, Mattydale Pictures Television, all rights reserved.