Anti-TPP and NAFTA

I’m supporting Trump. He says he’ll stop the trans-atlantic partnership and reverse the north american free trade agreement, and I really want those things to happen. I do think that other coutries are buying our politicians and I think Trump has the sort of ego that will make him less susceptible to foreign bribes and interests. I think other countries may take offense or retaliate but I think that’s fine–bullies react to principled stances with threats and violence all the time, and I think ending these agreements (and agreements like them) is a good thing. It may not benefit corporations much, but I think it will benefit Americans and could bring some prosperity back to uneducated people.
Many of the foreign governments we have these agreements with use what is essentially slave labor to drive costs down, and the effect it’s having is to drive down american wages as well. Basically slave labor is creeping back into america through these agreements. That’s my feeling. I also think that things on the border have gotten quite bad. Unconscionably bad. The american public does not seem to have the courage to end the war on drugs, so we have to do something that will alleviate the border problem, even if just for the cartel stuff. There is so much cartel stuff at the border–innocent people are killed for their homes, just to house drugs for smuggling operations. People are forced to work for the cartels with their families kidnapped, and the wives and daughters are used as sex slaves. Anyone who talks gets a columbian neck tie. There are so many dead bodies, gangsters just throw them in dumpsters. Also, immigrants who are deported for crimes in America have no problem coming back & they’re more than willing to do so. And even well meaning illegal immigrants are affecting the economy. Corporations want them & the results are the same–slave wages creeping into the American economy. People talk a lot about free trade being good, but I don’t think it’s free when the people in the other countries are not free. Western values of freedom need to be spread to a country before we can trade freely with them, I think.
I also don’t think banning muslims temporarily is a bad idea. People act like muslims are a disenfranchised minority, but they outnumber atheists and christians in the world by at least a factor of two, and islam does not believe in a seperation of church and state. Also, muslim is simply not a race. It’s an ideology. And people make so much fun of Christians–it’s such a hypocrisy that they don’t make fun of muslims too.
Finally, a Trump presidency would send a powerful message to feminists who are actively lobbying against movements that seek to draw awareness to structural and sociatal injustices against men. For instance, men are 45% of domestic violence victims, and 70% of domestic violence victims where there is one-sided abuse (i.e. the partner abuses and the victim doesn’t figtht back at all). Male suicide rates are higher, men pay 90% of alimony, are more likely to be abandoned or divorced by a spouse, only 10% or so of men get custody of their children, etc. Also, the racial divide for incarceration is purported to be evidence of severe racism in the country, yet the gender divide for incarceration is 7 times higher. But men who bring this up are painted as misogynist by the media, similar to how Trump is called a misogynist by the media. Such words are beginning to fall on deaf ears.
As for racism, there’s a quote that I find particularly resonating, “welfare did in 40 years what slavery couldn’t, it destroyed the black family.”
so perhaps progressive policies are well-meaning, but they’ve destroyed everyone they try to help–including myself

(*Disclaimer for this project: These are not my opinion, these are opinions of real people who gave them to me as is*)

ALSO – If you leave comments, ONLY tell me what you like about your candidate. Comments that only say what you DON’T like will be ignored. We get enough of that elsewhere.

The Next Ronald Reagan

I like Trump. I think he’s going to be the next Ronald Reagan. I don’t think a moratorium on immigration is a bad thing; Democrat Presidents in the past (i.e. Jimmy Carter) have done as much in similar situations. I’m convinced he’s the best choice to protect our constitutional rights, and our country as a whole.
After giving it some more thought, I’d like to add that I think it’s important to world peace for the US to maintain a positive relationship with Israel, and I think Trump is the best candidate for that task as well.
I think Trump will proactively defend our religious freedoms, as well as our right to free speech, and our 2nd Amendment rights. I also feel he will be the right candidate to bring about marijuana reform.

(*Disclaimer for this project: These are not my opinion, these are opinions of real people who gave them to me as is*)

ALSO – If you leave comments, ONLY tell me what you like about your candidate. Comments that only say what you DON’T like will be ignored. We get enough of that elsewhere.

D&D Stuff moved to Dungeons & Dave

I decided to move all my D&D stuff to its own website, www.dungeonsanddave.com.

I’ll let this site focus on all ov my other unfocused odd thoughts ov thee moment. Not sure why I slipped in TOPY-speak just now…

5th Edition Spells – Message

Bard – Cantrip – Message

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 120 Ft
Components: V, S, M (a short piece of copper wire)
Duration: 1 Round

You point your finger toward a creature within range and whisper a message. The target (and only the target) hears the message and can reply in a whisper that only you can hear.

You can cast this spell through solid objects if you are familiar with the target and know it is beyond the barrier. Magical silence. 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet o f wood blocks the spell. The spell doesn’t have to follow a straight line and can travel freely around corners or through openings.

My Comments: This seems to be a spell WotC decided to leave up to common sense. Sometimes they make sure to say things like “your message can only be 25 words” or some other limitation, and here they left that out.

So, as a DM, you will probably want to remind your players that this is just a cantrip and they can’t recite Moby Dick and have the target respond with War & Peace. The duration is one round, so they should be limited to whatever they can say in about 6 seconds.

I try not to be in a hurry

OR, why waiting in line a few extra minutes every day won’t kill you.

I was at the dentist’s office recently and as I was settling up I asked for an extra document.

“Sure!” The receptionist said brightly, and then grimaced in apology, “It’ll take a moment though; our printer is being really slow for some reason.”

She actually seemed kind of distressed and tried to rush for me.

“It’s OK.” I said, “Don’t worry about it.”

“Well, I know you’re in a hurry.”

“No. I try not to be in a hurry.”

Everyone in the office turned and looked at me strangely and then went back to what they were doing.

“Well, most people are in a hurry.” She chuckled.

“Not really. Most of that is manufactured. Most people are in a hurry because they feel like they should be, not because it helps.”

One of the other office personnel almost fell out of her chair because she spun around so fast to agree. We all laughed about it and went on with our day.

Here’s the thing; being in line for an extra few minutes or waiting on a printer isn’t going to make that much difference in your day. More importantly, you actually slow things down by getting upset or trying to rush things that can’t be rushed.

“BUT THOSE MINUTES ADD UP!” you cry out!

Sure. I’ll get to that. But let’s not rush. 🙂

The worst is driving. For a variety of reasons, I choose to go to this particular dentist who is about a 35-40 minute drive away without traffic. So far, it’s totally been worth it.

Some days I have driven like a crazy man, most days I drive at the best reasonable speed I can. On average, driving like a crazy man will complete that trip for me about 0-3 minutes quicker, and raise my blood pressure and that of the drivers around me by twice as many points.

Also, standing in line at the grocery store doesn’t go faster if you get upset. As a matter of fact, it might go slower because the people in front of you or the cashier might get flustered and make mistakes. And have you ever gotten home in a rush because you were hurrying to recycle that coffee you’d been drinking on the road and couldn’t wait to get inside? You finally get to your front door and you’re fumbling with your keys, phone, and assorted “useful things” and finally get the right key and you stab Stab STAB it at the lock until it finally goes in and then you jiggle the handle so that you can burst through the door and run for the relief you so crave?

businessman-hurryDid hurrying speed that process up, or slow it down?

 

 

Sometimes you need to slow down in order to go faster.

“BUT I’M IN A HURRY!” you cry, and reiterate, “THOSE MINUTES DO ADD UP!”

Both true statements.

Lately I’ve been busy at work and having to be at the dentist is making me busier, but it’s necessary.

The truth is putting effort into “being in a hurry” isn’t helping, and those minutes that add up aren’t really that important.

If we take all of those minutes we “lost”- when we had to wait on people in line who can’t find their wallet at the grocery store, on slow credit card machines and printers, or getting stuck behind a truck for a few minutes on the road- if we take all those minutes and add them up, we might have lost 20-30 minutes out of our day.

It’s not that important. You know how I know? How long did you spend on Facebook today? Or watching TV you weren’t really interested in? Or even just sitting with your head in your hands wishing that headache would go away?

“Well yeah, but that’s my relaxation time! I’ve had a stressful day and I need that time to relax!”

Sure. Taking time in your day to relax is great. But think about that stressful day you had. Is there any possibility it could have been less stressful if you would have relaxed while it was happening, instead of getting upset and then needing recovery time later?

Un-tense your brain in day-to-day situations and it works more efficiently, leaving more mental energy for the free parts of your day so that you can really enjoy them.

Monks in line
The guys are in a long line but they aren’t letting it get them down!
Photo credit: Wonderlane on Flickr

5th Edition Spells – Mending

Bard – Cantrip – Mending

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (two lodestones)
Duration: Instant

This spell repairs a single break or tear in an object you touch, such as a broken chain link, two halves of a broken key, a torn cloak, or a leaking wineskin. As long as the break or tear is no larger than 1 foot in any dimension, you mend it. leaving no trace o f the former damage.

This spell can physically repair a magic item or construct, but the spell can’t restore magic to such an object.

My Comments: In the past I’ve had two characters I have played that need to use mending, each once. One wanted to repair a magic broom that sweeps floors. The magic still worked, but the handle was broken, so he fixed it, because… why not?

Another player got hit by a critical and bust a few links of chainmail. He didn’t have mending and in that case it would have been really useful. Once.

I can think of of other uses, but this isn’t going to be the most used spell in your arsenal. I know, it’s just a cantrip, but it’s a cantrip with a 1 minute casting time, all three components (V,S,M) and that includes using 2 lodestones every time. Are you going to carry around two lodestones? OK, to be honest, a lot of players and DMs ignore material components when it’s slowing things down, but the point is still there.

Here are some uses I can think of; you busted a door handle to get into a room and want to leave without a trace, your arrow was broken when you went to retrieve it, you want to fix that rope bridge you have to cross, you broke the chain of a necklace as you grabbed it off an idol and ran for your life and now you want to fix it… Anything else?

All in all, I would be glad enough to have access to it, but I wouldn’t cry if I didn’t.

5th Edition Spells – Mage Hand

Bard – Cantrip – Mage Hand

Conjuration cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 ft
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute

A spectral, floating hand appears at a point you choose within range. The hand lasts for the duration or until you dismiss it as an action. The hand vanishes if it is ever more than 30 feet away from you or if you cast this spell again.

You can use your action to control the hand. You can use the hand to manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow or retrieve an item from an open container, or pour the contents out o f a vial. You can move the hand up to 30 feet each time you use it.

The hand can’t attack, activate magic items, or carry more than 10 pounds.

My Comments:  This is another great utility spell. There are a lot of times when having an extra hand 30ft away is useful, especially in the first few levels. I think combining this with other cantrips like prestidigitation, and dancing lights can make for a great show.

Plus, you can always use it to high-five yourself. Best. Use. Ever.

5th Edition Spells – Light

Bard – Cantrip – Light

Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: S, M (a firefly or phosphorescent moss)
Duration: 1 hour

You touch one object that is no larger than 10 feet in any dimension. Until the spell ends, the object sheds bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. The light can be colored as you like. Completely covering the object with something opaque blocks the light. The spell ends if you cast it again or dismiss it as an action.

If you target an object held or worn by a hostile creature, that creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw to avoid the spell.

My Comments:  This is probably one of the best utility spells in the game, and as a cantrip that makes it awesome.

You might be thinking “A magic torch is awesome? Pffft… whatever, human! Get some low-light vision already!”

But wait, check out that second paragraph for some inspiration. I know mages hate to get within touch range, but imagine scoring a touch attack on that annoying rogue that keeps getting away, or the shape-changing doppelganger! Of course, with something like invisibility and shape-change you could argue the light gets neutralized but I think I’d probably leave them glowing… Maybe a save would be in order in some cases.

It’s easy to imagine other uses, like you’re trapped away from the rest of the party in a wagon rolling away in the dark. Light up the door of the cabin! Light up the sail of the pirates that kidnapped you!

I never managed to have the right situation come up, but I had a character that carried around some sticky pitch he found and he planned on throwing lit-up balls of pitch at people in the dark. There are some creatures that would really hate that!

And, of course, it works as a magic torch as well.

Relax Your Back

Relax your back.

I was cold recently and I remembered this random moment several years ago outside a club. It was cold out and I was talking to someone who I tend to avoid when I’m out because they get drunk and just aren’t that interesting drunk.

At some point, in an odd moment of lucidity, this person noticed my discomfort and asked what was wrong.

“It’s cold. I need to go inside.” Partially, I thought I had an excuse to get away from this person because they were obviously not ready to go back inside yet, but as much so, I really was cold.

This person was raised in a very cold climate though and responded with “Oh. Cold. Just relax your back.”

I was shocked. It’s true, when cold, relax your back and you don’t feel nearly as cold and the cycle of uncontrollable shivering stops. It won’t stop you from suffering the effects of extreme cold, frostbite will still occur for example, but, really, most cold is just uncomfortable, not dangerous.

A few weeks ago I walking to the bus station after work and only had a few minutes to get there. I was charging ahead like an angry bull. Rawr. Charging and getting nowhere and making my legs sore. Then a voice from the past came to mind.

“Relax your back”

And then a voice from a bad novel series I’ve read came to mind.

“Cat crosses the courtyard” This describes a type of walking that is kind of arrogant looking, but involves relaxing the legs and hips and allowing them to move in a fluid almost falling motion.

I stopped. I was in a dead hurry, but I took a moment to stop. Then I consciously relaxed and began walking again. I felt like I was walking with half the speed and yet I was catching up with people who had passed me earlier. I felt light, like I was falling down hill and laughing the whole way.

Today I was forced to realize that I’ve been doing the same with my thought processes. I was working so damn hard to get things done, that I wasn’t getting anything done. I took time this morning to relax my mind and then went to a meet up tonight with a guided meditation and it was amazing the change that happened.

Relax your back.

Relax your hips and legs.

Relax your mind.

You can’t move if you are all bound up fighting yourself.

I Laugh.

I have often had this practice of laughing on the way to work. It works best in the car because if someone sees me they’ll just think I’m listening to something funny on the radio. I did it while I was walking to work too. In this case, it helps to have headphones on, right? ☺

Some days it was “Fake it till you make it”. There were mornings when I was so tired I barely felt like I was going to make it to work, let alone find anything to “laugh” about.

But you know, laughter is a muscle; the more you exercise it, the easier it works.

Fake it till you make it

I love faking it. See, just saying that made me grin just now because of the way it sounds!

On the difficult days I would start out with the most fake laugh ever. Maybe because it was all I could manage, maybe because I wasn’t in the mood, maybe I just didn’t care that day.

“Ha Ha. Ho Ho. Hee Hee.”

There I did it. At least that’s over. This is stupid.

Actually what I would think is “How ridiculous that sounds!” and I would smile. And then, I would do it again. Then, I would find myself laughing for real.

Some days were so hard I couldn’t do it

Nope. Actually, on the worst days of my life I made sure to do more than once. I remember one of those days, I laughed, then I cried, then I laughed again. What would my day have been like otherwise? That sentence would read “I cried.” Period.

There’s nothing wrong with crying; it’s a wonderful activity. Every emotion we feel is worth feeling and helps to make us healthy people. Sometimes those emotions need to be expressed totally and completely and perfectly, and crying is a great way to do that.

And then I laughed. And I found reasons to smile. And I found good in the difficult time I was having. And it was easier to accept the support of others around me, and easier to be supporting to them as well.

The Real Speedbump

The thing that stops me most often is just not doing it. Wait, was that self-referencing? Is that a logical fallacy? I don’t know, I didn’t really pay attention in that class, which fine because the logic doesn’t matter as long it’s true.

Two things seem to be the big hang-ups; I’ll do it later and thinking it’s a chore.

I’ll do it later most often comes up because I’m afraid I’ll look crazy. Or, at least that’s my excuse. I so often have done crazy-seeming things that I’m pretty sure that isn’t really a barrier for me. So that means it’s an excuse.

If it makes me feel silly, I can wear headphones as mentioned early. I can pretend to be listening to something funny. It really doesn’t matter, what matters is starting off my day with the energy of laughing.

One key though, it to make sure I realize it’s not a chore. It’s not something on my daily check-list. “I’ve got my keys, my phone, my wallet, my tooth and I’ve laughed. OK, I’m ready to go to work.”

It’s best for me to realize that I am doing it because it’s fun. It’s just frosting that it has some benefit as well, because the best reason to laugh is because it’s fun.

And It Does Have Benefits

You know what becomes addictive? Having a crappy day. It’s true. It’s great for conversation.

“Hey hey, how’re you doing?”

“Ugh. I missed the stupid bus, so I was on the second train that’s really crowded and had to stand the whole way and what do I see when I come up the escalator? Rain. All I need now is an earthquake and my day is complete”

Woo-Hoo! What great conversation material misery gives us! Even better, the other person can feed the same stuff right back to you and you can COMMISERATE! We seem to have forgotten that word’s meaning. We take it to mean “to sympathize”.

Bullshit. Yay, I said a naughty word!

What it means to commiserate is to share in misery. One person says how miserable they are and then the other person expounds upon their own misery and often they even get to have a misery pissing contest!

See? Being miserable is great fun!

Say this out loud slowly and it becomes really obvious, CO-Misery.

Being miserable is a muscle too, and it seems to be much easier to exercise than laughing.

However, laughing makes it easier to avoid the misery trap.

Imagine talking to this guy;

“I’ve had the most ridiculous morning; missed busses, crowded trains, got soaked in the rain… *laugh* What can you do but laugh, right?”

Who would you rather talk to? Who would you rather be?

Honestly, everything is easier on the days that I laugh. It’s a good habit, and I want to be the Lou Feriggno of laughing.