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dazed and confused

Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused was released the year I graduated high school, 1993. I first watched this flick in the 90s and recently re-watched it.

D&C gets high ratings, but that's only because most of the people who rated it as such attended high school during that era. Many reviews say what the movie shows is exactly what happened in '76 and that it was all awesome, but I'm pretty sure that's wishful thinking more than anything else. It's like me saying the early 90s were totally awesome when I know for a fact they totally weren't.

When I watch D&C I'm reminded a lot of the small town I grew up in. No, my little town didn't have hazing/initiation teen rituals like the film shows (or at least not that I know of), but it did have the exact same boring-ass feel which causes a lot of people to drink and smoke weed simply for the fact there's nothing better to do. In fact, several times throughout the movie you'll hear people say they're bored out of their minds, which is why they do what they do in the first place.

The thing to know about this movie is that it's not about high school but rather teen culture of the era. It's actually pretty interesting how mid-70s teen culture parallels with early-90s culture. The music, clothes and hairstyles might have been different between the two times, but the boredom that was abound was identical. Many things that happened in D&C happened in the town I grew up in, so I can somewhat relate to it.

A friend said to me recently that I have an 'old soul' since I know so much about cultural stuff of the 70s, and I think that's why I watched this movie in the first place. However after watching it, my thought is, "Eh.. glad those times are over."

juice and organics

After reading this you may think I've gone all hippie/greenie/veggie/whatever. No, not really because there are still times I'll happily order a double fatty burger from my fast food joint o' choice once every 6 weeks or so.

Two documentaries about food and diet that will absolutely blow you away (both on Netflix incidentally) are Food, Inc. and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. And to top it off, you should watch a third, Super Size Me. Anyway, after watching the first documentary you'll have a very different view on food and really start paying attention to what you buy in the market more. After watching the second you'll probably run right out and buy a juicer.

Something I have available to me all year are farmer's markets. Yes, plural. Several of them. Whether they use modified or organic seed I don't know (and I should probably ask), but regardless of that I have fruits and veggies that are readily available all the time and I have to start eating more of them.

In Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, you'll be introduced to what's called a "reboot" of your system. Summed up, a basic reboot is to eat nothing and replace with juice made from nothing but fruits and veggies using your own juicer for a week. In other words, a week-long fasting. Doing this once every 90 days keeps your body and mind in check.

The documentary shows extreme examples of juicing where two guys do 60-day fasts, lost amazing amounts of weight and became much healthier after it was all over. I have no intention of doing extreme fasting like that, but I could probably do a week with little issue. The first 2 days are the toughest, but once in the 3rd day the rest is pretty easy.

What I do know is that most people, including yours truly, carry around at least 6 to 8 pounds of literal crap at any given time from all the food you haven't pooped out yet. Steak for example stays in most people's systems for 6 days. Yeah, think about that for a moment. A burger you ate almost a week ago is probably still floating around inside you. Disgusting, but true.

Does this mean you'll drop 5 pounds in a week from juicing? Yes, and easily. And fortunately the juice has enough texture to it to where you feel full so you won't be starving or anything like that, or at least not literally. In your mind you'll think you're starving, but you won't be.

The extreme juicing examples in the documentary show you can drop 25 pounds in a month easily if you stick to it. Is it easy? Not in the slightest, as there are temptations everywhere. But if determined enough, yeah it really works.

A bad part about juicing that's not covered that I know is true is that once your system starts to purge naturally, you'll be crapping a lot until your body adjusts. Once the juice starts to filter out everything, the floodgates are opened up and you feel like you downed a whole bottle of laxatives. Let's just say that if I decide to do the fast, I'll make sure my body has done all the purging it wanted to do before running out to do errands.

The reason I'm considering the juicing thing is because I'm starting to put on pounds again and I'm willing to try a fast just to see if I can do it, plus the fact I think it would be cool to own a juicer as I would actually use the thing. A few major dept. stores sell them for just 35 bucks, so, y'know, why not?

I know from watching the documentary that some people simply can't do the fast even for as little as week. Some bail out after less than 3 days, but like I said, I think I can do a week. If not, it's worth it to at least try.

email follies, late 2011 edition

I'm what you'd call an email power user, as in the kind who uses mail a lot and requires what most people would consider 'extreme' functionality.

This year I tried simplifying my email setup, and as a result lost about a month's worth of mail. Fortunately none of the sent mail got whacked, and what was whacked didn't spell out the end of days or anything of the sort.

I'm now using POP "synchronized" between two computers and one Hotmail account. No, I'm not using Hotmail but it has filter capability for incoming POP accounts that make it a darn good cloud-based mail backup in addition to local. I put synchronized in quotes because the way I have it set up isn't technically sync but rather my own inventive way of keeping the copies of mail the same on both computers (PC and laptop) and the cloud.

When I first started using internet in 1996, almost nobody used webmail. Yes, it existed, but wow did it suck. Only 2MB (barely over the size of a floppy disk) of storage, no POP unless you paid for it and tagline ads on every outgoing mail. As such, most people, including myself, used a POP mail account, usually from the ISP. It's funny to think about it now, because the first PC I used to connect to the internet with had a 130MB hard drive, and the total mail I have in storage now is 2GB. Crazy to think about. Anyway...

I, like millions of others, used Outlook Express 5 and then 6 because it worked really nicely. That client is super-light on its feet (it barely takes up any memory) and mail was fast-fast-fast even on a slow computer.

Since switching back to a Thunderbird 3.1 POP setup, email is now a joy to use again. But before I get into that, if you use webmail like Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Gmail or whatever - that's fine. I'm not telling you to stop using whatever you use. What I'm going to describe here is just my crappy experiences with webmail and IMAP.

I know enough about how email works now to keep all my bases covered, so to speak. If my account gets compromised, I get locked out for whatever reason and all the mail in the web account is deleted, I have local backups (yes, plural) and a separate cloud backup. If my hard drive had some massive failure, yes that would suck but my mail is backed up elsewhere and on cloud. Basically speaking, I have what in the corporate world is called disaster recovery protocol all set up and working, so even in the worst case scenario, the mail can keep flowing and I don't lose any of it.

I've pretty much confirmed at this point that using mail in the browser sucks no matter the provider. What happens is that since the session auto-refreshes, just leaving the mail open in a tab sitting there will munch up so much system resource it's ridiculous. It doesn't matter which browser you use or what webmail you use. Leave it open and in about 2 hours the tab or your whole browser will slow down to a crawl and might even crash.

Seriously, if you want to see your browser speed up instantly, don't leave webmail open. Use an instant messenger (e.g. Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, GTalk, Pidgin or whatever) to get notifications of new mails instead.

IMAP, which I used before switching back to POP, doesn't play nice for any folder with high message counts. If you have under 2,000 messages in any given folder, sure, it'll sync fine (at least on a desktop computer). Go over that and you're asking for trouble. The sync will screw up due to IMAP's ridiculously complicated way of working and no matter which client you use, the connection will choke, forcing a restart of the app. It's just a nightmare to deal with.

Very recently I ran into the problem of an outgoing mail server sending me nastygrams because I was sending out mail too fast, which happens on all webmail providers. Yeah, I send and receive a lot of mail - that's where it's there for, right? Anyway, if the outgoing server "feels" you're sending too much mail, you'll either be forced to deal with deferred delivery or outright told you can't send mail for an hour or maybe even longer. Since switching back to the POP way of doing mail with a client, I have an add-on in Thunderbird that allows me to delay sending out mail on my own terms so I don't get nastygrams spit back at me. For example, in TB I can simply instruct to send mail 5 minutes later or whatever length of time I want instead of right now. That option allows me to completely avoid any mail server from giving me crap about sending mail too fast, because it won't be.

Modern email just doesn't work because it's not designed to accommodate people who send and receive a lot of mail such as yours truly. I've read horror stories aplenty from those, particularly in the business world, who've had webmail absolutely flat-out fail faceplant style and go straight back to Outlook. In my case, I went straight back to Thunderbird because I don't need Outlook, nor do I want to pay for it.

Yeah, it's true, now I can't sync my mail with my phone. I don't care. If someone wants to contact me on mobile, they can ring up or text me because that's what it's there for.

All I know is that now I'm a happy email user again and it works the way I want it to. I gave webmail and IMAP it's fair shot (again), and it just didn't work out, so I'm doing mail old-school style. For me, it works.

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