Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Flashback of Home

Today I discovered something... Google Streets! I knew it existed, I have even used it on my phone to find places more easily. What I discovered today was that they have nearly completed an entire photographic sweep of my entire hometown area. For the first time in well over 5 years I saw where I grew up as it looks in late summer. I saw where I went to school and church. I saw all the places I had jobs. Friends houses I haven't seen or spoken to in more years than I care to count. Friends lost to time is one of my biggest regrets.

I can't believe the emotions and the longing these images stirred within me. It brought tears to my eyes thinking about those days. Every experience and environment that shaped how I grew up. I don't think I honestly believed I missed these places until the moment I saw them again. It is strange how some extremely simple things can completely engulf you. The feeling is hard to describe as all truly wonderful feeling should be.

I know have the hope of visiting my old home again at that time of year when the corn fields are just turning and the leaves on the trees as still full and green. When it is hot and humid, sticky and discussing all day, and the nights are still hot but moist and refreshing. A night when you can here the frogs crooking and all the sounds of the still night. When you are in that place at that right time it feels as if you are all alone in the world. There are only a two places in this world that I can remember giving me that feeling. My old home is one, the other is a place here in AZ that I can disappear when I need too.

I miss my home... I still call it my home even though I haven't lived there in 7 years and I have a home of my own here. Family is a big part of who I am as an individual and even with the long term long distance that have separated us they still remain a huge influence in my life. Just like my friends, I have lost a lot of family to time. Not the direct family members but the cousins and aunts and uncles that helped shape life as a Birchler. The number one thing I miss... is getting up at 4 am to go start making Birchler Turtle Soup. Yeah, I said Turtle!!! You can laugh all you want, but act of making and eating turtle soup is an experience you will never forget and I will never describe it further than that. This is a tradition in my family and not many have been part of everything involved.

Just like everyone else I have endless stories of the days growing up. Being from rural Indiana I have some truly unique stories. My very large family also provides endless information that can add depth to these stories that can astound and bewilder. And those that know me well know that I can talk for hours... these stories are no exception, one leads to ten more. This diverse background is what allows me to have the insight in to everything around me that I have. It is also part of my limitation to see beyond this background and change.

I could type in this blog window all day about all the things these simple pictures have brought back. I will spare you all from that. I am going to use todays experience as a reminder to think about the past. The past creates the base on witch your life is built and to grow on that base you must reflect and understand it. I forget this too often and seem to think of life as coming in the future and not what has existed in the past.

Don't ever forget the good or the bad times. We have to remember to learn from out collective life experiences not just the ones we see as relevant. Until the next flashback!!!

Andrew

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Game

I think game is an accurate description of the process of involvement between the opposite sexes, aka.. dating. This is also from the point of view myself and I have never really been in the game enough to know any better. So, take what I say with a pound of salt. This is also a theory that has become part of my thinking.

We are going to start with a break down on the game. In sports there are known strategies that work. These strategies start as simple plans they are tested in practice, then in live matches, then after years and years of them working are considered solid. They are updated by each new coach and players put their own talent in to them to make it successful. In dating, these strategies have to be developed by the individual and are unique to that person. No one really hands down the affective ones as if they are successful then that person my be out of the game forever! This poses two problems, one the numbers are against the individual and two, the individual is out numbered. This makes dating a huge strain on the ones involved. In sports, two teams or players face off with the same goal... to win. This is head to head and everyone knows the goals. In dating, the individual is pitted against all other in his/her sex vying for the attention of the other sex. This creates a huge playing field and can cause some to loose the drive to play at all... I have to quote a blog I read once. The numbers are very general and are guesstimations but you will get the picture it is painting. (If you read this... sorry for steeling your work.. it fit in to my idea for this blog.)

Small part of the blog that gets the picture across:
"
300 million people in the US.
Age range of 25-53? Probably about 26%: 78 million
About 53% of the population is Women: 41 million
Those unmarried, about 48%: 20 million (we’re fudging it a little now)
Taking 7% for the Lesbian population (again, fudging): 18,860,000
Taking off 40% for smokers (statistic is higher, but hey, it’s in good fun): 11,316,240
We’ll say 1/3 of the people work out 3 or more times per week: 3,771,703
College Education? (about 26%): 980, 643
Unmarried yet in a relationship, or not looking (about 48%): 490,321
Taking away teetotalers (about 5%): 392,257
Population of AZ: about 10 million
Percentage of total country in AZ that meet my standards: .13%
Total women in the state that actually meet my standards: 13075
Total women that meet my standards in AZ (approx 30%): 3923
Those that live in the Phoenix area (give or take 65% of them): 2550

That means there are about 2550 women in the totality of Phoenix and the surrounding areas for me to find.

Now, here’s a depressing statistic: 94 single women per 100 single men. (http://www.epodunk.com/county_data2/mw3.html) That means we guys outnumber them. That means for the 2550 women, there are 2712 guys vying for their attention.
"

Disturbing pseudo-math!!! If that is really true then the average person, depending on their pickiness and basing it off of there being ~4000 possibles in AZ, only has a 1/2500 chance in meeting a compatible person. Now you also have to take in to consideration the other persons pickiness! That makes that ratio nearly impossible to calculate and endlessly depressing. It is a wonder we ever find anyone at all. It also explains a lot about bad relationships. Compromising is the next logical step to increase your ratio. But that makes people unhappy and makes for a bad time for all involved. This also leads to one sided relationships with only one person being happy. I have been in both of these examples and I really don't want to make those same mistakes again.

Here are a few of the simple observations I have made in regards to my own search. I think these numbers above are very generous. I think the ratios are even higher. Even if the girl I meet meets all my external requirements on my list, personality, maturity level, even believes, and morals can still conflict.

Questions:
How can I avoid bad times? The only way to avoid then is to find someone that not only meets your specs but you meet their specs. This is the phrase "finding Mr. Right". The same works for the men with finding "Miss Right". Maybe we all really just settle for the "right now" people in our lives and we get lucky if it works out.

Why even try? It must be the drive of human nature that keeps us playing this little game. When real human thought it put in to the idea it makes no sense to work so hard at something. Maybe it is the thrill of the game, or the act of being in it that keeps us all coming back for more. I wish I knew.

I have never really thought of myself as ever really being fully in this game. I have really only had a hand full of relationships several were long. I was pulled out of the game before I learned it. So, in a sense I feel I am playing catchup with those already on my playing field. The thought of just jumping in scares me... allot. I would rather take it slow, learn the strategy and apply accordingly. But, my ratio isn't going to get any better and that wonderful someone that I hope is out there isn't going to sit around and wait. Honestly, I would rather wait, I am in no hurry. If taking my time reduces the bad experiences and promotes the good ones then the "one" is just going to have to wait. I think that in the mean time I will work on my strategy and other things that make me a better, happier person.


Andrew

Friday, March 20, 2009

My MINI

For those that don't know, my MINI is a 2006 Space Blue Metallic MINI Cooper S. It was built in Oxford, England in January 2006. It is powered by a supper charged 1.6L 4 cylinder engine. Just like all other MINIs, my MINI is unique. No two MINIs are the same. They all portray different personalities, they compliment their owners. In many cases their owners are not the same without having their MINIs with them. I believe I am one of these people.

When I am behind the wheel of my MINI, I feel like someone else. My MINI takes me places, like work and home, but those journeys are more then just getting from place to place. They are my therapy, my escape from reality. I become part of my MINI and it part of me. The feeling is like nothing I know how to describe. It is a rush to merely drive to work in the mornings, and twisty roads are like crack! I spend many hours on many days making sure my MINI runs and looks great all the time. It is a matter of respect to give back to the MINI that gives me so much. I know some people can't understand this relationship with my MINI, it isn't common to have a car that is more than a car to it's pilot. Many owners name their MINI, but not this time for me. I have never been able to find a name that describes and matches my current MINI. I have had two other MINIs and they both had names. This MINI has always been more than any name I could provide. Maybe I don't really want to name my MINI, because, it may diminish it as a memory. If one day a name surfaces that matches this wonderful machine it will then become that name and be remembered by that name forever. If this day never comes then my MINI will be remembered by the feelings it created within me and that seems like so much more than any name. So, for that reason, I don't think it needs a name. I think being known as my MINI works just fine!!

I don't look forward to the day my MINI has to leave me. It will be a sad day. But, at the same time, I will have a new MINI to create new experiences with and earn respect from. Just as my previous MINIs have done, this MINI will remain in my memory as one that gave me every joy of driving it could. I will miss this MINI and it will always be remembered.

Maybe my MINI life is weird to some of you, but it isn't something I ever want to loose. I would rather be looked at with strange faces then not feel the rush of a twisty road. It is part of me and without it I wouldn't be the same. Life would not have the level of happiness it has today, and the loss would be hard to bare.

Make sure you enjoy your drives through life! I know I will be!

Andrew

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

RECAP!!!!

RECAP!!!!
What a great week this has been!!! RECAP: Monday was a very very long day, but it ended with a good dinner out. Tuesday was fun after I had a Guinness in hand, before that the whole day was TelCo and VOIP crap. Wednesday has been busy enough to make the day go fast... One of these days it will not be so up and down... I hope.

Good times are hard to find on a thinning budget like mine. Every time I think I can really be a little frivolous. Bam.. another unexpected bill. Damnit world I am just trying to retire before I am 65, is that too much to ask??? It hasn't been that bad lately. I think after 3 years of trying, I finally have most of my ducks in a row. I have taught myself to save money!!! Spending money is limited to set amounts and some of that includes Gas money, as the MINI is one of the greatest forms of entertainment I know of! Food costs are down, by eating more good for you foods. It is amazing how much just doing that effects how you feel. I still don't work out, and most of my day is spent in a chair in front of a computer screen. I am the guy that destroys cheap desk chairs fast! So I am starting to go beyond just getting by and really starting to make live great. Not that life wasn't great before... it was just so much more stressful... I think.. I have a hard time telling when I am stressed until it is way too late and I am in full blown panic attack. (knock on wood) Haven't had one of those in several months.

wooo... time flies... Got to get some work done this evening...

Andrew

Monday, March 9, 2009

Been a while!!!

So I have been out of the blogging world for a while now. It is kinda sad. I liked blogging all my thoughts about everything that cam to mind. I know I could blam it on being to busy but that would just be a lie. I can make time for almost anything. My life isn’t that complicated. I know I am just lazy!!!

Putting effort in to things that don’t seem to have a reward in the end is hard to do. Blogging had huge rewards to my sanity for a long time. It was my way of venting the thoughts and ideas piling up in my head. Sometimes when you spend time thinking about hard stuff you just need to get it out somehow. I feel like for a while that I has learned to deal with the hard stuff better and don’t need to let it all out in to the world as much. But, I believe I was incorrect. There is always reasons to get your thoughts on paper, or out on the WWW in this case. The mind is a terrible thing to waste and in my case not blogging has made me think about things less. Not a good thing when you really should be figuring out what is happening in your life and learn to deal with your feelings. Like most men, I am not good at that.

So what is happening in my life. Work!!! That is what i have been focusing on the last several months, really to just avoid dealing with life itself. It is easy for me to substitute work for life as in the last year my life was turned upside down in every way possible. Trying to find out how you want your life to be viewed and what you want out of life is not an easy task most of the time. I am confused about what I want right now and even more confused about what is available to me. As i am not a very socially adapted person, I have to feel out each situation even force myself to be more open and social in some environments. My real problem these days, I fear, is that I don’t really have the social life to carry on a good conversation with many people I meet. Most of my life, work and personal, is spent working with technology in all forms. This helps me enormously in my work as I can deal with and adapt to almost anything that is thrown my way, but my personal life suffers from that being the only thing I have to discuss with people. Work isn’t something many people want to discuss when all they want is to have fun!!!! I guess my definition of fun may be a little skewed compared to the general idea of what it means to the world. I go to social events and i do have fun being at those events, but I don’t interact like i feel i should be able to at this point of my life.

As most of you know, how you can’t I have no idea, almost my entire social life is based on another hobby, MINIs. They take up every spare moment in my life that I don’t spend in the technology world that I have completely shrouded myself with over the years. MiNis are not much better then the technology in regards to conversation, it is a one way. It really boils down to my life doesn’t have the flair that I think it needs to have the social life I desire to have. As a teenager, I just thought social behavior was just learned over time and it would just be a natural thing. It isn’t that simple, it is a complex very very hard behavior to learn when it doesn’t come naturally.

I think my battle of the unknown has made me strong in dealing with my shortfalls as I see them. I still hope that someday, if I work at it, I will make it to a level of confidence in my social life that I have developed in my work life. Life isn’t easy, it is what it has to be to make it worth living.

Until next time!!!

Andrew