Category Archives: Daily Discussion with BQB

Regrets, Kierkegaard Had a Few

Do you regret reading this post, 3.5 readers?

That’s OK. I already regret writing it.

And there’s the rub, for the great Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard warns us that it is inevitable for us to regret literally everything we do:

“If you marry, you will regret it; if you do not marry, you will also regret it; if you marry or do not marry, you will regret both; Laugh at the world’s follies, you will regret it, weep over them, you will also regret that; laugh at the world’s follies or weep over them, you will regret both; whether you laugh at the world’s follies or weep over them, you will regret both. Believe a woman, you will regret it, believe her not, you will also regret that; believe a woman or believe her not, you will regret both; whether you believe a woman or believe her not, you will regret both. Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will also regret that; hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both. This, gentlemen, is the sum and substance of all philosophy.”

I have come to find that Soren and I are a couple of morose mother-effers who act like someone just pooped in our cereal (classic Jay and Silent Bob reference.)

But it’s true, isn’t it? Middle-aged, people, you know what I’m talking about.

If you get married, you will regret not staying single a year or two or three more and maybe you could have found that sex crazed nympho that was willing to cater to all your whims.

If you don’t get married, you will regret being alone and come to realize that the nice, normal person who wasn’t a sex nympho and was not going to cater to all your whims would have been at least good company who would have given you some nookie once in awhile.

If you are mean you will feel bad about the people you could have helped but didn’t. If you are nice, you will regret letting people walk all over you.

Soren loses me on the suicide part of the quote. That’s too far for me. If anything, my big regret is not doing everything possible to ensure that I’ll live to be over 100. Frankly, my big regret is that I did not become a health crazed, kale chomping, 5K running strong man at an early age…so I do regret that my blood type is rocky road now. I don’t think I would have regretted getting healthy and staying that way from the beginning.

The Sore-meister famously dumped the love of his life out of fear that he’d regret marrying her only to regret doing so. I hate to admit that in my youth I chased after dum dums and pushed away smart smarts (is that the opposite of dum dums?).  I guess you could call me a junior Soren in that regard.

Maybe I am Soren reincarnated.

Anyway, we only get one life and we must make choices. Unfortunately, many of those big choices are made when we are young and have heads full of mush. When we are older and get all the spoilers of how our choices worked out, I suppose it is only natural to regret mistakes made, now that we have more information.

Note though we can’t be sure that we made mistakes even if it feels like we did. We wish we had snagged that special someone but maybe that special someone would have turned out to be a jerkface. We wish we would have snagged that special job but maybe it would not have worked out. Maybe we would have made decisions that got us the perfect life only to be run over by a bus in a freak accident.

Let’s try to recognize that Soren is right in that regret is inevitable, but perhaps we do need to forgive ourselves lest we regret being consumed by our regrets.

Remember, Soren also said, “Don’t forget to love yourself” so he must have realized we need our own personal hugs in the midst of all this regret.

Soren actually invented the term “angst” and noted that “anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” In other words, we have so many choices in front of us that it is normal to feel sick over the possibility that we might eff those choices up.

Finally, the Sore-a-nator said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Soren didn’t know the term “spoiler alert” but he was right. You don’t figure out what you did wrong until the wrong is already done. As you get older, you can’t help but do an autopsy of your life and analyze what you should and should not have done.

It’s too bad we don’t get to live to 200 so we could screw up the first 100 years then really knock the ball out of the park in the second hundred.

Thanks for the thoughts, Kierkegaard and cheer up, wherever you are.

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I Kant Even

The great philosopher Immanuel Kant once said, “Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination.”

What say you, 3.5 readers?

I’ll admit, I have wasted my life thinking if I only get this or that or the other thing or achieve x y or z I will be happy and now that I am older I realize maybe I should have looked for happiness in the journey rather than wait for the destination that never seems to be reached.

Perhaps it is unreasonable to be happy. It is illogical to be happy. How can we be happy when we know full well that one day we are going to plotz? That we are but a mere tragedy away from losing our homes, our lives and/or everything we hold dear? Honestly, we are probably idiots if we aren’t up all night long, worrying about every conceivable thing that could hurt us.

So perhaps happiness must be imagined. Imagine that your significant other is the best lover on earth with the prowess of a Greek god or goddess. Imagine that your house is a mansion. Imagine that your TV is a 60 foot plasma. Imagine that your whiny little lap dog is a majestic dire wolf.

Find the happiness in your head, 3.5 readers.

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Albert Camus’ Invincible Summer

Hey 3.5 readers.

The French philosopher Albert Camus once said, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned there lay within me an invincible summer.”

What do you think that means, 3.5 readers?

I’m going to guess it means that even during Camus’ worse times, he was able to feel good about himself. And why not? He was a famous writer who was handsome and popular with the ladies.  It was easy for him to find his invincible summer.

Camus was an absurdist and I am no philosophy expert but my understanding is that absurdism is a spinoff of nihilism.  Nihilism = life is meaningless while absurdism = life is absurd.

Is it? Maybe. It is kind of absurd that you are born, you live, you learn all these lessons and savor the joys of life in your youth then eventually you hit a point where with each passing year, these joys are taken away from you more and more.

So maybe it wasn’t easy for someone who thought life was absurd to find an invincible summer inside of himself. Maybe Camus does deserve a pat on the back for finding it.

Sidenote – the poor guy died at 46 in a car crash while a passenger in a sports car his agent was driving. There was a train ticket in his pocket that went unused because he decided to drive with his agent instead. If you get an agent, don’t let them drive, 3.5 readers.

Then again, what do I know? Maybe your agent is a great driver and the train you would have been a passenger on might have exploded due to some sort of unforeseen malfunction.

Don’t listen to me. Don’t take advice from blogs that are only read by 3.5 readers.

To sum up, it is good that a famous writer finds his invincible summer. It makes sense. Where it is harder is the janitor who scrubs toilets all day then comes home to an empty house because his wife left him and so he stares at the walls by himself all night. These are people who need to find their invincible summer, and it is hard.

Come to think of it, it is hard for proprietors of blogs with only 3.5 readers to find their own invincible summers. Excuse me. I need a kleenex to dry some tears that came only due to allergy season.

Find your own invincible summer, 3.5 readers and if you know someone living in winter, maybe see what you can do to bring some summer into their lives.

I got through this whole post without making any French jokes about Camus probably liking baguettes and crepes suzette. I am proud of myself, oui, oui, sacre bleu!

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Does Every Rose Have Its Thorn?

Hey 3.5 readers.

That infamous 1980s hair band Poison once said of life, “Every rose has its thorn and every cowboy sings a sad, sad song.”

The point was to everything good there is also some bad. Roses look and smell good but they have little thorns that might prick you.

Cowboys are cool because they ride horses and rope broncos. (I assume Poison was talking about modern day cowboys who just work on ranches and live under the stars and not yesteryear cowboys who robbed stagecoaches and so forth.)

Anyway, cowboys ride horses and do fancy lasso tricks but they also sing sad songs. What are the sad songs about? Probably women they missed out on because they were too busy roping broncos and riding horses and the women didn’t want to live under the stars.

Poison was trying to warn us that every good has its bad, so be careful but also, don’t avoid good because it has bad. Don’t sit around waiting for the badless good because you won’t find it. If you wait for a good without some bad, you will wait your whole life.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Why Politicians Aren’t Motivated to Do the Right Thing

Hey 3.5 readers.

I try to avoid getting political on this fine blog, largely because the Internet/social media has ushered in a whole new era where people debate, not by the Marquess of Queensberry rules of old, but rather like the pro-wrestlers of today.

In other words, in the past, two parties would show up, debate, stay relatively cordial, and then agree to disagree.

Today, it’s pretty much you’ll inevitably say something that offends someone and rather than explain their side, they’ll just conk you on the head with a folding chair, Hollywood Hulk Hogan style.  OK, they won’t use a chair, but they’ll use fighting words.  They’ll get personal and at some point, it will be implied that your mother wears combat boots (less of an insult today than it was 30 years ago, but anyway.)

I digress.

Our political system sucks and politicians aren’t motivated to do the right thing.  TV and social media means the politicians react to the headlines of today, while they are happening right now, and in life, whether it is a disaster or a suspicious lump on your nether regions, what you did in the past to prepare for these sorts of things is more important than what you do once disaster strikes.

Think about your own budget.  Do you spend recklessly?  Maybe you do.  We’ve all been there from time to time.  But still, you have a general awareness that you need to save.  You need to pay bills on time.  You need to keep some money on hand for a rainy day.  Sure, you’ll see nice things and want them, but hopefully, some voice in your head reminds you that it might be easy to charge it on the credit card today, as if that credit is free money, but the bill will come back to haunt you.

Our politicians have zero motivation to NOT spend foolishly.  They have no motivation to prepare for a rainy day.  They have no motivation to keep borrowing low and they definitely have no motivation to keep some money on hand for a rainy day.

Think about the coronavirus.  I hate to break it to you, but we aren’t in a situation where everything is going to open up in May or whenever and we no longer have to worry about catching a dreaded disease.  This shutdown was never about that.  It was a fear that our hospitals weren’t up to snuff, that they didn’t have enough medical equipment, beds, and space to take care of a large influx of sick people.  Thus, if too many sick people flood the system, the medical staff can’t respond to patients fast enough.  This leads to more people getting sick and not being cured and before you know it, wammo.  It’s the Walking Dead world, and we are all Rick Grimes.  Actually, I’m awesome, so I’ll be Rick Grimes.  You nerds will be Shane at best.

Why didn’t the politicians prepare?  Swine flu happened in 2009.  That wasn’t as deadly as corona, but it was still bad.  It was bad enough that it scared Hollywood into making a movie called Contagion where Gwyneth Paltrow’s virus fighting doctor character (SPOILER ALERT) dies and gets his face cut off so her body can be studied for science.

But the politicians weren’t that motivated.  Politicians don’t get applause for making sure hospitals have enough beds.  They don’t get praise for making sure hospitals have enough ventilators.  They don’t get likes for making sure hospitals have enough masks and gloves or space.

Politicians get applause for dissing their opponents.  They get applause for dishing out free money and why not?  If you’re dumb enough to give me your credit card and tell me its ok to spend whatever I want, then  I’ll gladly buy a round of drinks for every schmuck at the bar, take the applause, then stick you with the bill.  Am I going to buy equipment to make sure people can be helped in the event of a crisis?  Pfft.  No.  Where’s the applause in that?

Think about how you run your own household.  You probably have some kind of a budget, even if its in your head.  You keep track of bills and expenses.  Maybe not on a nice flowchart but you have a general idea.  You have an idea of what in your house is broken and falling apart.  You have an idea of how much longer you can use this not so good appliance before you have to cave in and buy a new one.  You want to buy that fancy watch, sweet leather jacket or go on that awesome vacation, but you balance those wants with the needs of maybe some day you’ll need a new dishwasher, or your fear that a pipe will burst and you’ll need to hire a contractor to fix it and you wont be able to if youve spent all your money on comic books and bubblegum.

Unfortunately, politicians look at tax revenue as free money.  Free money to use to reward allies and punish opponents.  Free money to waste and why not because more free money will always come along.  And I hate to break it to you, but the money you give them today was already spent a long time ago.  The nation is being run on loans, or if you think about it, on a massive credit card.

When you see the US helping everyone around the world, that’s nice, until you realize we ran up the credit card to do it.  If you use your credit card to buy your neighbor’s kid an XBox, people will think you’re a nice person…for about five minutes, until everyone realizes your own kid doesn’t have shoes and your credit card bill is so high and your free cash is so low that your own kid will have to run around barefoot.

Overall, I wish there was a better system where politicians of both parties were inspired to keep costs and debts low, and to save, save, save for a rainy day.  To spend money on necessities rather than wants, to prepare for disasters ahead of time.

Long story short, 3.5 readers, unless you poop a crazy amount, you probably were always keeping a few spare rolls in your closet, so when the corona shit hit the fan, you didn’t have to run to the store and do a battle royale with all the people who didn’t keep enough rolls of butt wipe handy.  You did it because you knew you had to take care of yourself.  No one else will.

Politicians don’t think like that.  Spend, spend, spend.  Ignore potential looming disasters.  Someday, some other schmuck will be stuck with the bill and the blame while they’re chilling out on a beach somewhere…with all our toilet paper.

End of BQB rant.  Thank you.

PS – Imagine you are a parent.  You send your kid off to college.  You give them a prepaid debit card and tell them this is for important things only.  Your kid comes home and tells you they spent all their money on booze, parties, and they bought gifts for their dumb friends.  But then they tell you that they don’t have any money for text books, clothes or basic necessities.

Next time a politician gets on TV and tells you they spent your money helping out some OTHER country, maybe remind them that they were supposed to make sure the kids in America had shoes and textbooks and food first.

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Happy January, 3.5 Readers

Happy New Year, though it is late, 3.5 readers.

It dawned on me that if I didn’t post today, Jan 2020 would be the first month I didn’t post at least once on this fine blog, and we can’t have that.

How are you, 3.5 readers?  Are there still 3.5 of you?

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Dealing with Christmas Returns

Hey 3.5 readers.

Has this ever happened to you?

The good thing about online shopping is you don’t have to leave your house.

The bad thing is that things get messed up, especially around Christmas time.  This has happened to me the past few years and again this year.  I will have to once again go into Christmas telling people in my life that uh, sorry, they sent me the wrong thing and I guess I’ll get you your gift in January.

What crap.  And I usually have to go round after round after round with customer service until someone finally pays attention and sends the right order.

I know.  I sound like Grandpa Simpson.  Matlock!  I want Matlock.

Do I Want An Air Fryer?

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  It’s cyber Monday, er week, now as the sales go all week long.

I’m thinking about getting one of those new fangled air friers but something I’ve always wondered – you’ve got toaster ovens, crock pots, George Foreman grills, and now air friers….my question is, why are any of these devices better than the oven that came with my house?

Like it just feels like I’d buy a 200 dollar appliance, use it a couple of times and then either burn myself, or burn down my house, or just shove it in a closet when I realize I’m not going to use it again.

I watched a video of a guy having a fun time frying a steak in an air fryer but really, is it any different than putting the steak on a pan and frying it on my stove?

Discuss 3.5 readers.  Men, feel free to chime in.  Women, I don’t want to be sexist but I feel you might have more to say here, though I feel that because I’m probably a misogynist pig who needs to go to a re-education center to work those feelings out of my system.  Also, you all need Pelotons.  Sigh.  Where is this coming from?  I don’t know.  Anyway, forget all that and discuss cooking devices vs just using your stove/oven.

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Quote About Iron or Gold, Thorns or Flowers from Great Expectations

“Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”

Hey, 3.5 readers.

I’ve found that generally speaking, a lousy life isn’t the result of one mistake but a series of mistakes, a pattern of doing dumb things repeated over and over, time and time again.

Then again, when I look back, there have been some crucial blunders, some things where I think, “Wow, it was a no brainer to have done or not done something.”

Charles Dickens, who periodically stopped his books to talk to his readers right in the middle of his prose, once asked his readers to think about the one day where something happened that put them on a path to greatness or sorrow.

Have you ever had a day like that?

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My Online Auction Addiction and What Should I Do With My Punisher Helmet?

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

In recent weeks, I developed an addiction to an online auction site.  I don’t know why, just…so much fun memorabilia and while I’m not rich by any stretch I am finally at a point in my life where I can afford the very occasional frivolity.

Long story short, I bid on and won a Punisher football helmet signed by Jon Bernthal, the actor who plays the Punisher on the Netflix series.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  In retrospect, I don’t like football.  I’m not a huge Jon Bernthal fan.  I think he’s ok. Honestly, I didn’t know his name and always referred to him as that actor who played Shane on The Walking Dead.  By the way, I always thought Shane sucked because his big gripe is that Rick was mad that he banged his wife like literally five minutes after Rick was presumed dead.  Although I guess if I thought Shane sucked then Jon Bernthal did his job.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t dislike Jon Bernthal….I just don’t worship the guy or anything either.

Long story short, I bought it with an eye toward putting it on a shelf that heretofore had nothing on it.  But when it arrived, it came in the helmet’s original box and inside, it was sealed in a plastic bag so….I guess now I’m worried about taking it out.

Will air, dust and fingerprints ruin the Jon Bernthal signature?  Should I just tuck it away in the closet somewhere?  Perhaps in ten years it would have a nice resale value?  In fact, maybe I could secretly root for Jon Bernthal to become an Academy Award winner so its value could increase.  Maybe Jon Bertnhal will score a role in the Toilet Gator movie!

Then again, I don’t know.  Maybe it would be fun to keep it on the shelf and look at it.  Perhaps I could get a glass case for it or something, or is a glass case overdoing it?

It is also signed by Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who plays The Punisher’s technical assistant Micro.  I gotta be honest, I only watched the first season so I didn’t know there was a Micro.  I had never heard of this actor before but I could root for him to be an Academy Award winner too.

Hell, if Bernthal and Moss-Bachrach win in the same year I could retire off this thing.

Sidenote- I gotta be honest, I originally wanted to win an Avengers football helmet signed by Stan Lee, but the bids on that were way too high for a humble blog proprietor to afford.

Double sidenote – This wasn’t totally silly because as a kid, I did like and read the Punisher comics.  I don’t know why, I just thought out of all the superheroes, he was the most believable.  He had no special abilities or powers.  He was just a vigilante who violated all norms of due process and criminal procedure law and just shot bad guys in the face.  Like honestly, I love Batman, but at least Batman would leave a bad guy hog tied so the cops could find him and arrest him and put him on trial.  The Punisher would just extrajudiciously decide that a dude was guilty and blow his head off with a bazooka.  As an adult, I do realize that this lack of due process is wrong though so Batman is probably the better vigilante.

In conclusion, should I leave the helmet sealed in the bag and inside the box and in a closet or should I take it out and put it on a shelf?

(Sidenote – I also bought a first issue, first edition GI Joe comic book that came sealed in a plastic case and a 1966 Superman Comic Book that did not come sealed in a plastic case and that after that, that was it.  OK it wasn’t it, I actually bid on a lot more things but thankfully, I lost all those auctions and then after that I stopped and quit cold turkey..)

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