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  1. I just gained a new friend today. Nope, not a person. In fact, there is a pair. Boobs? You wish, lol.

    Ha, the truth is that I just bought my first reading glasses today. I'm getting to be the age where my eyesight is starting to bother me just a tad. I'd initially avoided them for fear of further damaging my eyesight, but I'd since found out that wearing glasses in itself doesn't diminish the eyesight. So, I went ahead and bought a pair.

    It's amazing. I can actually read small texts. Furthermore, the frame looks pretty stylish. By owning these glasses, I feel like I've become that much more "distinguished as a gentleman", if you will.................fine, at least let me pretend, lol.

    I actually own a few pairs of glasses already. Because of my work, I am usually wearing a pair of glasses that prevents optically harmful rays that are projected from the computer screen. But this is the first time I've ever bought a pair that can help me actually see better. I'm not wearing them right now as the screen is far enough away from my eyes, however, I AM wearing my PC glasses as I typically am. These glasses are like my friends, but the new glasses I just purchased today will always have a special meaning to them.

    Ageing isn't fun, but there are some ways that you can incorporate into your life where things might start to appear more entertaining. It could be how you colour your (grey) hair, or it could be items such as clothes, hats, or glasses. What I think really makes a difference, however, is how you approach it all. I believe it's important to want to appear attractive for the sake of retaining your inner grace. Of course, if you focus too much on the outer beauty, you are bound to walk the path of shallowness. But beauty pursued in a shallow manner is not graceful in the first place. It must come from deep within you.

    And sometimes, even a simple act of purchasing a pair of cheap reading glasses can be an opportunity to speak to your inner self, because, if you're like me, you give it a lot of thought to it. You research the safety aspect of wearing reading glasses. You spend a lot of time choosing the right type of frame and colour. You basically ask your inner self, "are these really the ones?" And if the answer is "yes", then you get home that day with a new friend.
  2. There are certain people who catch my attention. Something about them causes me to notice their presence. I have a tendency to perceive this phenomenon as their "aura's" catching my attention. Interestingly enough, I seem to draw some of these people, too. The hair salon I go to is one of such environments where this two-way phenomenon seem to occur repeatedly.

    There was a stylist whose smile would light up the entire place. It was simply impossible not to notice her presence. Of course, as a customer, I wouldn't say anything as I had already picked my hairstylist and he had, in turn, chosen a different stylist as my colourist after trying a couple of stylists for the task over a few appointments. My colourist was fantastic, and she and I got along very well. But this one stylist with the smile, there was just something about her. Then my colourist had to transfer to a different branch. Guess who filled in the spot.

    But it's interesting because, during this time, someone else was catching my attention as well. She somehow stood out, but ever so discreetly. Nevertheless, I noticed her warmth even before I interacted with her. Now, I am aware that the people I've mentioned have so far been both female, but bear with me. We'll get to the dudes in a moment because I definitely see their aura, or some sort of personal "glow" about them, as well. At any rate, guess who was chosen to assist my new colourist.

    So, like I said, I do notice men's "glow" as well. In fact, my hairstylist is an older gentleman who appear confident without being intense. He is a chill guy, but he is an artist and he lets that fact show via his work. He actually reminds me of one of my old friends in that they both have their own unique ways of carrying themselves. Oddly enough, I'd first gone to a different branch to get my hair trimmed by someone who was even higher up than him. But fate is an interesting thing. For some reason, I ended up with my hairstylist at his branch.

    Before he assigned a specific stylist to colour my hair, there were a couple of guys who would take the spot. One of them I don't really interact with very much, but there indeed was something charismatic about him. The other guy has always been very friendly(we still chat whenever I'm at the salon and we both have the time to), and in his case, the glow about him has intensified over the years. That sometimes happens where you have someone who might not have a very bright aura in the beginning, but as they gain valuable experiences, their glow becomes brighter.

    Getting back to the stylist with the smile, sadly, she had to quit due to personal reasons. In fact, the other girl also ended up quitting as well. I still somewhat keep in touch with them both, however. The colouring spot was then taken over by someone else, a dude this time, but he is also quitting toward the end of this month, too. So, I went in just a few days ago to get my hair situation dealt with before my trip to my girlfriend's country. He coloured my hair one last time before his last day at the salon, and before I left, he introduced me to the person who would take over his spot after he left...............

    Turns out, it is someone else I've been noticing, lol. She is one of the assistants who have yet to officially become a stylist, but there is something graceful about the way she carries herself. She actually assisted my last colourist with my hair once, and she had been very thoughtful and personable. Although, I hear that it was essentially my hairstylist, being the boss at the branch, who decided she'd be my next colourist. Prior to that, I'd been told one of the very first guys who dealt with my hair colours years ago would fill in the colouring spot. I would have been happy either way, but it's always nice to meet new people.

    But these are people with positive, bright auras. The ones who project negative auras are an entirely different story altogether.
    Candybuttons likes this.
  3. You're alone in the world, and it seems there's no one who can understand where you're coming from.
    You're a minority, a threat to society, and you're seen as a disturbed entity.

    I'm not just talking about myself, but if you are an alternative thinker, you encounter opposition. To the world, you're opinion is like a deadly bomb.
    To them, you're a terrorist, no different than ISIS. They hear what you say and get pissed, and there's no denying this.

    Even when you're just an online persona, if you're like me, you remain honest.
    But you still must wear a mask, if you want to complete your task. No need to answer sensitive questions they ask.

    And just like that, you approach the cyber world, a cyber society, and kick the hornet's nest.
    Almost everyone will oppose, some of them will try to break your nose, no one will send you any rose.

    Some of them will also become determined to have you locked up.
    Welcome to a dystopia, where everyone has "youphobia", making you realize this is no utopia.

    "Protect our society", they say, "you're fucked up", they say, but in the end, they are the ones that are fucked up.
    Society has brainwashed them all, Blue Pills available at every mall, and if you try to stand tall, they'll try to make you fall.

    The State vs. Alternative Thinker, this is a tale of anyone who has taken a Red Pill.
    You're on the run, the world no longer seems fun, where their justice is done, by a gun.
  4. This is going to be a short entry.

    The feeling of yearning for someone can be overwhelming at times. That can actually mean you're intensely thinking about multiple identities. But you know where your "home" is. I think that's important. But hey, sometimes you can bring others to your home. It doesn't happen all the time, and it requires understanding of all parties involved. But that in itself shouldn't be a bad thing.

    I love my home. That's the bottom-line. And I guess it'll be a while until we can be ready to invite people over in that way.
  5. I sound like I've got a developmental disability, but that's just something I have to get over and keep working on.

    Vocal training. When you're an okay singer but your range is extremely limited as a baritone, and you want to sing like, say, Rob Halford or Steve Perry, for instance, then you're in for a hell of a ride trying to extend your upper register. That's right, that was what I meant by "sounding like I've got a developmental disability", because when I practice those range-extending vocal workouts, I do certain things with my voice where, to an outsider, I would sound absolutely ridiculous. My voice would crack, it would go whiny, it would flip, it would shake uncontrollably, it would do all kinds of unflattering things. But all this stuff that I'm going though is necessary if I want to gain more vocal range and improve its longevity.

    The human voice is an incredible thing. With proper training, you can strengthen your voice, add more range, and do all kind of cool things with it without really damaging your vocal system. But it's also very easy to ruin your voice as well, if you're not careful. This blog entry isn't a vocal lesson of any kind, nor am I a vocal instructor, so if anyone is interested in learning how to increase the vocal range, my advice would be to do a lot of research. I also like YouTube because there are so many singing tutorials on there. The general rule of thumb is that, if an instructor actively, and repeatedly bashes/challenges/taunts other instructors saying stuff like "what they're teaching is bullshit", then I wouldn't really pay attention to that instructor. With some research, it'll start to become obvious which instructors are legit.

    Getting back to my vocal training, prior to starting it, the highest note I could hit was really not that high at all. I could hit it, but I couldn't do so repeatedly since I'd get exhausted from practically yelling it out. My throat would become sore, and I would need to rest my voice for a duration of time before I could hit that note again. I needed to rectify this issue, and thus began my vocal training last year. It's a long process, but I've definitely noticed some improvements. The oddest thing is that the super high notes, I can actually hit now. The trick is the notes right in that area where the voice starts to want to break into falsetto. For me, this region may contain up to like seven notes in semitones(half steps if you're a guitar player), and strengthening this particular area has been a real challenge so far. This is where I start sounding like I'm mentally challenged during training.

    Luckily, I tend not to practice when I'm around people. I like my solitude here and there, and this is definitely one of those instances where I require it. But the fun thing is, the next time I'm with my friends and end up with a container of Advil or something in my hand, I get to do the Rob Halford scream and go "This. Is. The. Painkiller! Pain! Pain! Killer! Killeeeerrrrrrr!!!" LMAO
    You like this.
  6. It seems like a pattern has formed lately where so many people, mostly men and often high-profile figures, have been accused of something, usually sexual harassment of some sort. This has now become an international phenomenon rather than something that has only happened in Hollywood. But whenever I hear about these instances, there are some things that I find myself asking:

    One, is that REALLY true?

    Two, is it REALLY necessary for this situation to be publicly spoken about(AKA: media coverage)?

    Three, is it REALLY necessary for the public to jump to their own conclusion, based only on media coverage, about the people involved in the situation without really having been there to witness it firsthand, or to experience it themselves?

    Of course, sometimes it IS true, and there are also instances where the public deserves access to such information. But there are times when I hear about some high-profile person being accused of something, and I can't help but think, "something's not adding up".

    One actor was accused of drug use a while back, and he ended up being forced to retire from the entertainment industry. The accusation was never confirmed to be true.

    One politician was accused of sexual harassment and was forced to resign. He wholeheartedly denied the accusation, saying that he would fight it in court. The accuser wouldn't even come forth to confirm and support her own accusation even in a fully private and safe setting, away from unwanted eye.

    There was a news flash that one musician, in a drunken stupor, kissed a minor. The matter was already settled outside the court even before the media coverage. Everyone started bashing him anyway, and he probably will never be permitted to work as an entertainer again.

    Something is not adding up. And yet, the public would simply accept what they hear to be true. There is something about cases like these that make me wonder just how much of what we're hearing is accurate. I even find myself asking, "what if these people had been set up?" Of course, the public doesn't find a thought like that nearly as entertaining as the idea of a popular celebrity going down in an ugly mess of a scandal. Trust me when I say that this type of mentality that a lot of people seem to possess disgusts the fuck out of me. This is why I'm not a fan of media, and I'm sad to say this, but most people as well. There's always a part of me that doubts their sensibility and compassion unless I know them well enough to genuinely be able to say that they are good people.

    The act of accusing, if done properly, is the right thing to do. It is a brave thing to do. But if it's abused, and/or done in the wrong way, it has enough power to completely destroy someone's life, along with the lives of those close to them. In the recent years, "public shaming" has become such a popular practice on the Internet. Someone would post on social media that they (thought they) witnessed some inappropriate behaviour, and would thus encourage everyone to "like, share, spread the word, and subscribe! #metoo" But if we're not part of the law enforcement, we're not the police. We can't assume this kind of power without really, REALLY knowing how dangerous that power is the very moment we use it incorrectly.

    Sadly, we live in a world today where most people just don't give a shit. They prefer the "blue pill", so to speak, and continue to seek entertainment in reality shows, social media, fads, and in another's misfortune.

    The scenery is depressing from the outside.
    You like this.
  7. It's been nine years since I made an entry about a hat I bought. This was before HF changed their interface, and I'd actually had a number of blog/journal entries posted back then. Too bad you can't access your really old journal entries from before the Big Move, so to speak.

    Oh yes, this hat........... I'd been super excited about it when I got it in 2009. I would wear that hat all the time that year. A typical fur felt fedora, meaning it's better quality than a wool counterpart, certainly more expensive than the latter, and definitely not a summer hat for obvious reasons. Although, I think I've read that some people wear those even in the summertime. I'd probably suffer from heatstroke if I did that, lol.

    One thing about hats is that, if I like a hat, I wear it OFTEN. This means I would wear it in all kinds of weather conditions. I also have a beaver felt cowboy hat that no longer quite fits me, but that thing went through some serious abuse. It got rained on so many times, it got dropped in a lake, it got snowed on, it got sat on, and I feel like it still has life inside it. In my old journal entry from 2009, I'd referred to this hat as "an old friend". Nine years later, we've both gotten older. Even the hat I purchased in 2009, the main topic of this blog, is older now. I feel like I've gained another "old friend", and that's always cool.

    So, why am I talking about this 9-year-old hat, you ask? (Wait, you weren't asking? Doesn't matter, it's my blog and this is where I share my thoughts and feelings and random shit.) Well, the truth is that this hat hadn't been wearable for the past few years due to shrinkage. I'd really wanted to take it to a hatter to get it resized, but I'd just keep putting it off and putting it off.........until just today, I decided to simply take the matters into my own hands and stretch the bloody thing myself. So I did that using steam and this huge bowl that also has enough depth. The result is that the size is a bit bigger now, but I really do think it's shrunk a little bit since. Maybe applied too much steam afterward while trying to reshape the hat, and that might have caused the crown to shrink again. But at least it's wearable now, and I'm happy about that because it's like I got my old friend back. But I think I'll put it through another stretch at a later time, just to further enlarge the size.

    The 27-year-old cowboy hat is a completely different matter altogether. I thinnk I'll just take it to a hatter to get it resized. It might even be too small for my head now. But maybe in the future, I might have a family of my own where someone in that family might want to wear it. It's a good quality hat, if beaten up, so it could be one of those family heirloom type things, lol.

    Yeah, I do love hats, lol.
  8. Advice shared between two friends is free. It's not some kind of life consultation session where you sit down with your friend and discuss what they need to do in order to get out of whatever shit they've somehow gotten themselves into, then proceed to receive a consultation fee. Friends help out, you know. You want to see your friend excel in life, and therefore you offer them pieces of advice where appropriate, and they do the same for you. Friendships are great indeed.

    So, this friend of mine told me a while ago that he was in a bit of a situation concerning his living arrangement and his room mates. It sounded to me like he was no longer happy to be living with these people, and the gist of it was that they all had to move out of that particular location at the end of the month, anyway. So, I offered an exceptionally sensible piece of advice: "Give your room mates a full one-month notice, then just part ways with them." It just sounded like he had absolutely nothing to gain by keeping association with them, and besides, I know him well enough to know he either thrives beautifully or wilts into oblivion depending on what kind of people he surrounds himself with. These two people would simply fuck him over in a long run, and my gut told me just that. My friend was thankful, saying my advice was very sound.

    Then a few weeks afterward, I found out that he was actually moving into a new dwelling somewhere in a crappy neighbourhood with the same two people. It sounded like they pretty much convinced him to stick around, mostly for the sake of their own financial ease. I'd already had a bad feeling about these people from what my friend had told me from the start, so my reaction to that was, "are you really, REALLY sure it's going to be okay??" He was like, "yeah yeah, I'll get the entire basement suite, so it'll be fine." Then he moved into this new place, and I didn't hear from him for about three weeks.

    Yesterday, I received a message from him basically saying he got fucked over royally by his room mates, and that he was rushed into signing a shitty contract where he was now required to pay more than his share of rent. A major face-palm moment. They got my friend by the balls and knew they could easily push him over and about: precisely, PRECISELY what I had feared might happen. To top it off, now he's saying he's had to decide to act civil toward them for the sake of his own sanity. I mean, seriously dude?! So, he's going to be stuck with these schmucks for one more year, paying a greater amount of rent than he should, while pretending like things are peaceful between him and the fucktards.

    Somehow, "I told you so" just doesn't quite say it. I feel like an idiot for offering what would have been a life-saving piece of advice to him, and seeing him toss it away like it was nothing, and then to hear that all the shit I warned him about is now happening to him because he DID NOT LISTEN. AGAIN. Man, this isn't the first time he's done a complete 180 after initially finding my advice helpful, only to become a miserable mess because he reversed his decision. This whole bullshit pisses me off to no end because it could've been rather easily avoided, only if he'd listened to my advice like he'd initially said he would. But what am I, his babysitter, or what? He's a grown fucking man. I hate to say this but he's brought this onto himself.

    I'll always be there for him because he's a buddy of mine, but fucking sonofabitch, "WTF were you thinking?!"

    Alright, I'm done ranting.

    ::AT::
    You and ZenKarma like this.
  9. I've found myself in numerous debates over the past, what, 13 years as a member of HF. What I have found is that those who have earned my respect are the ones who know how to hold their end of the arguments. Usually we'd both agree to disagree in those cases, and that's cool.

    Sadly, a lot of people aren't that good at debating. They simply aren't ready to debate. They'd say something, and when they are met by an opposing view, they just don't have a very good argument to counter the opposition. Sometimes they even go as far as to block you the moment you say something they don't like, even if you've been perfectly respectful. They just can't take it.

    Also, the ability to be able to admit your faults is a very good thing in my opinion. I recently did just that when I was participating in a particular discussion. I said something that was out of line, and I realized I was out of line, and therefore I apologized. It's not like I did a complete 180° in terms of how I felt about the particular situation, but There was something about how I was perceiving the situation, and the way I was coming across, that needed to be rectified. And I was a man enough to recognize it, and admit it. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to do the same in a debate, and this is how a debate turns ugly.

    I've come across so many people who would oppose my view on something, but wouldn't have a very good argument to counter it. They'd then resort to stupid things like repeating themselves without making any progress in a discussion, name-calling, blocking the opposition in the midst of a debate, throwing a temper tantrum aimlessly during a debate........well, you get the idea.

    And yes, this is the way it is on the Internet. But it's also the way it is outside the Internet. Even before the age of the Internet, this kind of thing was observed all the time. I suppose it's part of being human, but I believe we as humans are more gracious than we've allowed ourselves to become. We are more intelligent than we've been conditioned to become. We are more sensible than we've allowed ourselves to become.

    And lastly, we are more humane than we've been conditioned to become.

    ::AT::
  10. Well, first off, thank you to those of you who have liked my last blog entry, and to those who follow my blog now!

    Now what the fuck am I going to talk about here? LOL

    Anyway, It's been almost a month since I've become active on here again, and I must say HF never disappoints! It's still the same old drama-filled place where new members are necro-posting 10 year old threads, or making new, often controversial ones only to disappear after a few days, while the old-timers either offer serious replies - I tend to do that - or be totally sarcastic - you know who these members are, lol - and thus scare many of the new members away. But whatever the case, it's always been more entertaining than other online communities.

    It does feel different to an extent, though. Back in 2005/2006, this place had more of a community feel and people seemed more "free", if you will. By 2009, it seemed like things had become more subdued in certain areas. And then we experienced that big change from the old site format to the new one. A lot of old-timers stopped posting after that. I was talking to someone about this very subject the other day in the chat, and and we were both in agreement that we missed the old HF. But that's okay, nostalgia is a healthy thing as long as one does not let it rule one's own life.

    It's interesting, too, that this time around I've been pleasantly interacting with those who I'd never thought I would due to, shall I say, our philosophical differences. Even the ones who I'd previously perceived as unpleasant a few years back don't necessarily strike me as horrible now. But I just might jinx it now that I've said it, damn! LOL I'm not going to lie, there have been unpleasant encounters but it seems my level of patience has grown greater with age. That's about the only good thing that's happened to me as I got older, haha.

    Private conversations have always been great for the most part as well. I'm not one to be engaging in a whole bunch of PM's all the time, but the conversations have been pretty cool in various ways, from interesting, entertaining, fascinating, helpful, amusing, to enlightening. That hasn't changed this time around, though, the aspect of WHO I've been talking to definitely has. I guess time does that. There's a long-time member here who no longer seems to be active, that I was exchanging email with until a year or two ago. I kind of miss interacting with him. Maybe it's time I sent him another email.

    Disclaimer: I don't condemn necro-posting. Hell, I think that's better than making a whole bunch of new threads that talk about the same bloody topic, like the penis size for example.

    ::AT::
  11. There were times when I was very much active here on Hip Forums. I had made some really cool friends, had great conversations, and also gotten sucked into the internet drama. I remember the first hiatus that I went on was just a few months after I first joined this site way back in 2005. Then another hiatus in 2006. After that I would pop back in occasionally but wasn't very active, until perhaps 2009 when I started to become somewhat more active again. During this period, I started posting blog entries most often on here which appears not to be accessible any longer. Kinda sucks because I like to think I'd written some good stuff, if nothing more than for nostalgic reasons.

    By 2011, though, I had once again stopped being publicly active. I still exchanged PM's with a number of people, but would refrain from making public posts for the most part. The last few years especially have kept me from being active on here due to personal reasons(aka: life). And yet, I seem to always end up back here.

    Thirteen years can be both a really long time and something that flies by super fast. Sometimes I long for the good ol' days when I was part of a group of these great fellow HF members. Sometimes I miss the friendships I'd developed with this member, or that member. Sometimes I regret pushing these people away due to my personal situations. But at the same time, I have made a decision many years ago never to mix my AT life with my offline life again. So, I suppose I have to pay the price for maintaining this double life, so to speak.

    The truth is that HF is the only online community that I feel like I can somewhat safely come back to. Not that I have never experienced negative things on here in the past(on the contrary!), but it just seems that I can't really function well within other online communities, maybe save for a particular porn site, lol. I don't know what I'm doing here this time around, to be completely honest, and there's also a likelihood that I'll go on another hiatus soon as well. But what I do know is that I'm here now, and that's really all I've got at this point.

    May 2018 be a great year for everyone. :)
    ::AT::