Author Archives: Erick Eggleton

About Erick Eggleton

I was born in 1977, in the Volunteer state of Tennessee. I live with my soul mate, Denice, and our three dogs. I am a student of ancient philosophy, modern science, and anything else that life wants to teach me. I am a proponent of unconditional love, the equality of all people, non-violence, and continual self improvement. I write primarily about minimalism, egalitarianism, sustainable culture, post-scarcity, science and the use of science for social concern, and all areas of self-improvement. I love the natural world and technology, and I believe the two can successfully coexist.

Back in the Saddle

Hello, friends! I know, I know… it’s been a while. Sorry for the hiatus. I hope all has been going well for you monkeys. I hate that I go through these cycles of interest and disinterest in writing. It is a regularly occurring pattern, and I can’t promise it won’t happen again in the future. For now, though, I think I’m ready to get down to some blogging.

Let’s begin with a few updates. I haven’t had much progress in the weight loss department. for the past couple of months, I have been stalled in the upper two-fifties. Last week was a pretty good week. I was solid with the intermittent fasting, and not so bad with the food choices either. I was keeping my caloric intake down to under a thousand calories a day, and it paid off. I am down nine pounds from last Saturday. I’m confident that I will do well next week also, and I expect to be in the two-forties by next Saturday. However, Denice and I are going to be on vacation the following week. Historically, being on vacation is a deathblow to my eating plan. When I’m at work all day I don’t even think about food, and there is no social pressure to eat at certain times. That all goes out the window when I’m on vacation. My plan is to get as much progress as I can before the vacation, and then do the best I can to minimize the damage during it. It is a vacation, so I am going to have fun, and that will involve social eating with family and friends. I think if I put my mind to it I can keep the food choices a little on the healthier side, and possibly reduce the eating frequency here and there. We’ll see.

For our upcoming vacation, we are going camping in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Denice’s mom, dad, and some other family members are renting RV’s, and taking them up to Gunnison for a few days. Camping and outdoor stuff is my thing, so I think we are going to have a great time. I’ll post some photos when we get back.

One new thing that I have taken an interest in is barefoot walking and running. I discovered a person out there in the Internet Realm by the name of Christopher McDougall, who is the author of a book called, Born to Run. The book proposes that running long distances, without the aid of cushioned running shoes, is one of our species greatest’s, but mostly forgotten powers. The general idea is that most injuries people experience while running is the result of running in shoes or at least shoes that drastically change and inhibit the way our feet and legs are evolved to work. There’s a lot of information to explain so I would recommend watching his TED Talk on Youtube if you are interested. I have started experimenting with this idea. For the past few weeks, I have been walking the dogs around the neighborhood with no shoes and doing some very lite treadmill running with no shoes. My feet have definitely changed. The soles are a little tougher, and my feet feel a little stronger overall. Not counting the one time that I stepped in dog poo, it’s been a very rewarding experience.

20170710_170154I have also purchased a pair of Vibram Fivefingers, which are shoes that are designed to give the closest approximation to going barefoot while wearing shoes. I’ll probably write up a review of these once I’ve more time to play around with them. They are way too clean. I’m going to have to fix that.

Denice and I are also at the beginning of a very big, life changing big, new chapter in our lives. I really want to share it with you all, but the timing is not right. I did want to mention it only because I am very excited about it. Let’s just say it is something that we have waited a long time for, and now it looks like we are finally ready to move forward on.

That’s all for now. More to come.

Save the Cluster!

Just a few weeks ago I discovered the coolest show I think I have ever watched, on Netflix. It’s called, Sense8. I watched the first episode of this Sci-Fi drama, not really expecting much. The premise sounded unique. The story is about eight individuals, all over the world, who suddenly find themselves sharing their lives and experiences through a neural connection. I thought, “Hmm, that’s different,” and gave it a try. The first episode was very strange. I’ll try to keep this post to a minimal spoiler level. The first episode begins with a suicide, followed by the eight experiencing a lot of weird mental phenomena. Not much is really explained. I almost gave up on the series right there, but I am damn glad I didn’t.

As I progressed through the episodes, the story began to make a lot more sense. The characters and their connections to each other began to flesh out and deepen. There was something about the way these total strangers, from vastly different worlds, began to come together, it just clicked with me. The way they cared for one another, helped each other, and fully accepted all the members of their “cluster,” was, well… beautiful. The scenes, the acting, the music, everything about Sense8 was a work of art.

The Sense8 cluster includes a Chicago cop, and Icelandic DJ girl, and Indian scientist chick, a trans woman hacker and her girlfriend, a closeted gay couple in Mexico, a Kenyan bus driver, a German gangster, and my personal favorite… a Korean badass fighter girl. This is without a doubt the most diverse cast that I have ever seen. The show unapoligetically includes gay, lesbian, and polyamorous relationships, and I think that is awesome!

The main villian is a guy that is right out of the nightmare realm. “Whispers,” and the shadowy organization he works for relentlessly hunt down and destroy members of this emerging subspeicies of interconnected humans.

So, I think this show is groundbreaking and revolutionary. I watched the two seasons that are available on Netflix in a couple of weeks. The last episode of season two ends on one hell of a cliff hanger. This story is no where near complete. With that said, it was like getting punched in the gut when I heard that Netflix had decided to not renew the series for a third season. What in the litteral hell? Ok, I get that the episodes are especially expensive to produce. I understand that Netflix is a business. But, this is the best thing that I have ever found on their platform. I couldn’t imagine that this show didn’t pull in some serious views. Even Netflix VP Cindy Holland praised the show in the statement anouncing that they were going to cancel it:

“After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end. It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable. Never has there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all around the world. We thank Lana, Lilly, Joe and Grant for their vision, and the entire cast and crew for their craftsmanship and commitment.”

I have since joined several online communities for Sense8 fans. I was excited to find that there are many who are just as touched and equally as passionate about Sense8 as I am. The fans have taken up virtual armes in an attempt to save the show. In the ensuing backlash, fans have forced the issue to the trend on Twitter with the #RenewSense8 and #BringBackSense8 hashtags. They have launched several online petetions, with the largest well over 300,000 signers at the time of this posting. Thousands have emailed and live chatted directly with Netflix, pleading with them to reconsider, and in some cases threatening to cancel their accounts if they don’t.

If you haven’t seen the show. I highly recomend it. Two seasons are still available on Netflix. Please give it a go and let me know what you think. I think you will fall in love with the story, as I have, and will probably be just as angry that the gatekeepers will not allow it a proper ending.

If you would like to help save Sense8, please check out these links:

https://renewsense8.com/ (main hub for support of the show)

https://www.change.org/p/netflixlat-netflix-sense8-sense-8-season-3-renewal

https://www.reddit.com/r/Sense8/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Sense8

 

Carry the Fire

“This shit has got to go.” That phrase, more than any other, stuck with me all these years. Every since I first heard it in Zeitgeist Moving Forward, spoken by now the late Jacque Fresco, it struck a cord with me. The world simply cannot go on the way that it is. We cannot keep gobbling up the natural resources of this planet with reckless abandon. We cannot keep wreaking havoc on the environment. We cannot sustain the massive inequality that we have created. The world cannot take it. It will break under our weight and immaturity. This shit truly must go.

Jacque Fresco was a man who carried in himself a vision for what humanity could be. He saw our potential and spent his very long life pursuing that vision. Two days ago, Jacque Fresco, the futurist, and the founder of The Venus Project passed into history. For one hundred and one years the world has had this fire of a human being among us. Today, we must carry that fire on. The fate of the world and of our civilization is now in our hands. I suppose it always was.

Now more than ever, we are at a crossroads. The biological systems of this world are stressed, almost to their breaking point. One way or the other, this shit will go. Either we will be flushed along with it into a nightmare future that no one wants. Or, we will harness our intelligence and the better angels of our nature, and climb out of this mess. I’m almost forty. My time here is but a little while, For the sake of all those who come after me, I really hope we collectively chose the high road.

Carry the fire. Don’t let it go out.

The Fat Beast within

It’s Employee Appreciation week at work. This is something that my workplace does every year to show their heartfelt gratitude for the feeble efforts of us little guys. I say that in jest. My company does put a lot of effort into keeping us happy, and that’s a hell of a lot more than I can say for most places. Sure, like all top-down, hierarchial organizations, it has its faults, but there are far worse places out there. I’ve worked at a few. There are places out there that don’t give two shits about their rank and file employees, places that view their people, the lifeblood of their organizations, as just another resource to be exploited. I have much to be thankful for in this department.

So, this week my work is catering meals every day and has a continually filled popcorn machine on the grounds. The old me would revel in these facts, and not give a second thought to stuffing his fat face with reckless abandon. The me of today is locked in an internal struggle, a battle of wills. On the one side is my rational mind, which has helped me lose seventy pounds, and does not want to see me lose ground. However, on the other side, is a thoughtless and hungry animal, that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about getting and staying in shape. This beast only cares about its next burrito or cupcake. This creature knows no self-control. So far, the beast has had its way.

I am going to have to get a grip soon, or I will lose all the progress that I have made. I know I can do this. I have proven that I can do this. And most importantly, I really, really want to do this. With that said, tomorrow is lasagna day, and the beast is hungry.

That’s all for tonight, friends. Thanks for reading!

SJW’s Satan and Mother’s Day

Hello, my friends. Once again, it is Saturday. I find myself sitting on the couch in my quiet house. The only sounds are the rhythmic snores of three dogs, and the faint hum of an electric fan in an adjacent room. It’s overcast outside, so it is comfortably dark in the living room. It felt like an ideal time to do a little writing, so here I am.

I just finished listening to some lectures by Dr. Jordan Peterson, of Toronto University. Dr. Peterson has gotten a lot of attention as of late from the Social Justice Warrior crowd, who regard him as the Devil incarnate. I’m new to this drama, but I believe the main reason is his refusal to use alternative gender pronouns when asked (demanded) to by those who would like him to do so. Apparently, this has become such a thing in Canada that the Canadian government is trying to enact legislation to force its citizenry to use such words. I don’t know enough about the issue yet to speak with any kind of intelligence on the matter, so I won’t. I just wanted to say that I discovered Dr. Peterson as a result of his demonization by the SJW’s, and I’m glad I did. He has several hundred hours of video on Youtube, on a variety of interesting subjects. His talks revolve around phycology and philosophy. He has some really interesting takes on things. Check out his Youtube channel when you get a chance.

This is Mother’s Day weekend. I don’t spend as much time with my mother as I know I should. I only live about twenty minutes away, so I have no real excuse. I want to have a closer and better relationship with her, but like most things in my life, I tend to procrastinate. This is chief among my flaws. The big problem with this is that neither of us is going to live forever. Every moment that passes in this life is forever lost and can never be reclaimed. With that in mind, I am going to propose to my mom that we plan a regular time, every week, to get together. I don’t want to waste any more time.

Another thing that Denice and I have procrastinated on in having children. Natural children have been denied us by the universe. But, there’s more that one way to have children in this world. We have talked about adoption, but have always had something stand in the way of us actually doing it. It reminds me of the old saying: “If you really want something then you will find a way, if you don’t, then you will find an excuse.” Well, I think this is something that we both really want. I think this Mother’s Day is the time to begin the journey to make Denice a mom. It is time to find a way, no matter what the obstacles.

Till next time.

A sleepy Sunday morning

It’s Sunday morning. Denice is still sleeping. The dogs are laying on the couch next to me. The sound of the washing machine drones away in the background. It’s quiet. I’m taking the time to relax. I’ve got the Joe Rogan Experience qued up. In this episode, he’s interviewing Abby Martin, formerly from Russia Today. This is pretty much how I unwind.

Last night we watched Hacksaw Ridge. It was pretty good. I didn’t know until the end that it was based on a true story, of a real person. If you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to spoil it for you but be ready, there is a shit ton of carnage. It is a war movie after all. War is not pretty.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my coworkers last week. We were talking about the series on Netflix called, ‘Penny Dreadful.’ It is a horror drama set in late 19th century London. Anyway, the show is loaded with Violence and gore (obviously), and a modest amount of sex. What was amazing to me is that my coworker didn’t seem to have a problem with her daughter watching the extreme violence of Penny Dreadful, which includes but is not limited to: people being shot, stabbed, impaled, and dismembered. There were also some scenes that showed the bodies of murdered children and babies. All of that was just fine. Where she drew that line was when it got into all “the bad sexual stuff.” Really? You don’t see an issue with exposing your young daughter to nightmare-fule violence, but you do have a problem with a couple of brief scenes of a consensual and non-violent sexual encounter between two adults? I just have to shake my head and marvel at the mind job that conservative Christian culture has done on us.

Ok, back to this sleepy Sunday morning. It’s almost noon. In a few minutes, I’m going to wake Denice up, and we are going to have a great day. It is a beautiful day outside. I think I need to treat my skin to a little bit of warm sunshine. I recommend you all do the same.

Signing off, with much love.

 

The Friendly Skys, and my Funk

Hello, friends. It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been in a little bit of a funk lately. I’m trying to pull myself out of it and reestablish my good habits. Like with most things in life, it’s a continual struggle. Writing is definitely one of my good habits. Aside from this public blog, I also have private journals, which I have also been neglecting. The funk, like the rain, comes periodically, but it always gives way to the sun again.

Our trip to Colorado happened. It was good to spend time with our family there. We didn’t do a lot besides hang out at the house, play cards, and generally catch up with everyone. This trip was really more of a test run to see how flying standby was going to work. One of our close friends is an employee of United airlines and has graciously added us to his travel pass program. This allows us to fly at cost (under $40 a leg), as long as there are empty seats on the flight. For the most part, everything worked fine. Our first flight was canceled due to mechanical problems, but we were able to get out the next day. The only problem we had was me getting motion sickness.

I have never experienced motion sickness before. In fact, my stomach is usually ironclad. I can fall asleep on most roller coasters, so having this happen on an airplane was really unexpected. I think it had something to do with the bizarre combination of food that I had eaten that morning. I started the day out with a bag of Combos and a Coke. On the flight, the attendant offered us a snack box, since we had to endure sitting on their plane for so long the previous day. Oh, forgot to mention that we boarded and deplaned twice on the ill-fated flight. Back to the infamous snack box. The box contained an assortment of meats, cheeses, crackers, and M&M’s. I ate some of all the items. So, I had this devil’s brew churning in my stomach, and the flight was a bumpy one. Nausea wasted no time seizing me. It was horrible. I spent most of the flight teetering on the verge of blowing chunks. It took every ounce of focus and energy that I had to prevent this from happening on the plane. When we landed, I made a b-line for the bathroom, where I remained, violently barfing, for about half an hour.

I suppose I can’t let this post go without saying something about the United controversy. I’ve flown with United a few times, even before the whole standby thing, and I have never had a problem. Their people have always been super nice and helpful. The video of Dr. Dao getting wrenched out of his seat and drug away like an animal was pretty hard to watch. Obviously, I condemn the violence that was used to force him off the plane. It shouldn’t have happened, but in a way, I’m glad it did. Large corporations seldom change their policy unless they are forced to. This viral video footage and the ensuing national outrage against United will ensure that the airlines take a hard look out how they treat passengers. Last I heard United is even talking about doing away with their practice of overbooking flights altogether. So there is a lot of positive change in the works now, thanks to Dr. Dao’s stubbornness. With all that said, my thoughts are that the dude should have got off the plane before being manhandled off. This is basically my personal policy with people who are “in authority.” If it were me, just like if I were being treated unfairly by the police, I would calmly state that I believe they are in the wrong to demand that I do something against my will, and then I would shut my trap and comply. Why? Because the police and security personnel are human beings. They do not like having their supposed authority challenged. As we seen in the video, things can get ugly when you cross that line. I would begrudgingly comply with their demands, and complain and possibly sue the shit out of them later. However, that wouldn’t make for a good game-changing viral video though, so thanks, Dr. Dao for taking one for the team.

We must remember that everyone we deal with in our day to day lives are also human beings. I have found that the simple act of being nice to the people who serve us goes a long, long way. Sure, you can be an asshole if you want. It’s a free country after all. Just remember that when they need someone to get off their plane, it’s probably not going to be the guy who smiled at them and asks them how their day is going. Treat people well, and life will get a lot easier for you, I guarantee it.

Back to my funk. For the past few weeks, I have been losing ground with my weight loss. I am still doing the intermittent fasting, and only eating once a day. However, I haven’t been doing well on my food choices. Last week, due to poor planning, we had fast food every day. Thanks to the fasting I haven’t ballooned up to 300 pounds, but I have gotten back up into the 250’s. I’ve been gaining about 1.5 pounds a week. This has got to stop. I’m going to make sure that we get to the store and stock up on healthy food for next week, and with any luck, I will be back on track by next Saturday.

That’s all I have for now. Till next time.