Thursday, November 28, 2013

Some like it crowded

Stampeding from the cradle towards the grave.

Not just in Bali, but anywhere you are, you can go with the flow, you can follow the herd or if you don't feel the direction is right, you may turn left. Sounds simple enough, but how come it's so difficult to go your own way?

a) being a part of stampeding herd gives you strength
b) screaming same war cries with friends, coworkers, with any crowd gives you strength
c) getting confirmations from unknown and known people gives you strength
d) you walk (drive, dance, love, joke, meditate …) your road alone and discover (or not) your own strength

As every cat needs a soft pillow, every human needs company.
I have never met a cat stupid enough to go to pillow shop and try to get a pillow there. Despite the fact that they offer 12.453 different pillows – even soft pink pillows. But I've met quite some cats exploring my homes, carefully deciding, choosing and usually opting for my pillow to nap on …

Human superior nature is a little more mysterious – we tend to believe quantity and quality are synonyms.
Being part of the herd is same as not being alone.

We all have dozens and dozens and dozens of contacts, in our phone-books, email contacts, e-contacts of any variety. Quantity part of our potential company is confirmed.
However, if we try to select persons for whom we could say “Any given time they would call me for a walk or coffee, I would be really happy” we hit the reality check. Oops, the number is now shrinking as soft snow in Sahara desert. And if we add a question who of the remaining few on our list would actually remember to call us for a walk or anything?
Yes, there is really no need for snowplough in Sahara …

A rather common human goal to be uniquely the same with the uniform herd is a beautiful oxymoron, that describes human nature more accurately than five volumes of problematic Freud.

It's just a matter of selecting a herd most suitable for us.
If your bank will not crucify you, you can join a herd of “We have”. A new whatever. Piece of furniture, piece of land, tea-spoon, touch me gently mobile device, car, chewing gum … Just be very casual when mentioning your latest achievements and try to listen to bragging of your colleagues in the herd – if for no other reason to eat them alive when they leave.
If the bank or person providing you with funds seriously disagree with this solution, there are several other herds out there. All offering guaranteed uniqueness and being one with the herd.

Basic rules to join any of those are:
- tell herd members they are all absolutely unique and fantastic
- accept their evaluations that you are exactly the same as them – unique and fantastic
- master how to show a pitying expression to poor creatures who do not recognize these facts

This works well anywhere – from coffee shop chats, facebook, esoteric groups and subgroups, retired apple polishers, wannabe rocket scientist ...

There is just one nasty deficiency with this solutions. You can not experience more loneliness anywhere else than in the crowds.

If you are really weird, maybe you will think it's more likely two souls will connect on a lonely road.
A nun, just strolling and looking for nothing and a ronin aimlessly walking the same road.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Scuba diving and red tape

Superhuman patience and efficiency

As a next scuba addict, I'm also deeply and passionately in love with all the red tape imposed on dive business. Paperwork fulfills my secret dreams. Sometimes it almost make me come. Come to the verge of absolute violence – not something else (you and your dirty mind!).
Possible ways to get through required red tape without decapitating some government employed morons:

a) your organize all important paperwork in a huge, neat pile – and use your Zippo
b) for urgent e-notices you use delete button, paper varieties you sell for recycling
c) you sell all this shit on e-bay
d) you go diving and let somebody more capable to deal with this mess (Mazi the Cat and Jana the Patient)

My heart and soul is for a, b and c. And definitely for a good battle ax. For humanitarian reasons I allow my betters to deal with this – and I stick to scuba diving.

Maybe you are wondering why I start to think about the proper use of battle ax when government experts start questioning me about diving business related issues?
It's rather normal in order to decide to renew or not a business “license to operate”, that government institutions and ministries have to gather essential information about the dive business. And we have to provide it.
Yes, I agree.

However, when browsing through reports they demand, trying to find something even remotely related to scuba diving, well, it seems connections are so esoteric I can not grasp the meaning.

1. What kind of lunch you will offer to our expert team evaluating your business?
2. Business must be conducted in long trousers and long sleeves shirts with collar. How come you and your staff are in shorts and T-shirts, and some even in some rubber dress?
3. At our last visit you provided number for your telephone and email. Our staff could not reach you neither on phone number 012345678, nor your email number – are you solving the problem with Telkom Indonesia?
4. As a foreigner you probably do not understand situation in Bali very well. It's rather hot here. How do you plan to compensate us for this?
And so on to 194.

Maybe now it's more clear why I let solving the certain type of paperwork to Mazi the Cat and Jana the Patient. Our Indonesian licenses are in proper order, some chickens are sacrificed to prove our business is really a business, and I hum the verse from an old song “Jokers on my left, and clowns on my right ...”

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Divemaster retraining tool

“Positive Behavior Tool”
Patent: A01M 19/0075

If you dive in South East Asia from time to time, you've probably already seen Divemasters behaving as Mengele going loose on Jews. Torturing, maiming, killing the marine life – just “following the orders from the boss and trying to please their valued customers”. If you confiscate their primary tools of destruction, they use their torches, cameras etc. to smash the life in ocean.
How to change their ways?

a) education is the king, the queen and the executor of this process
b) you need to get their attention to achieve anything
c) education without proper tools doesn't work
d) tools must be used properly

I started to reeducate them in a not very brilliant way. More accurate, I did it in rather inefficient and beautifully stupid way. I tried to explain to them that primary use of pliers is to pull old rusty nails from wood planks. And not to pull the nails from fingers. Stainless steel stick is a pointer and nothing else. Yeah, sure …
Working on diving retards painstakingly slow, step by step - and confiscating one instrument for torture after another – it's a never ending story.
Without a poking stick they put neoprene gloves on. After grabbing, breaking and killing a coral, their fingers are still intact and after a good dive they can still raise their arak bottles. Without gloves and stick they use a torch to remind underwater lesser life forms who is the master. Without a torch a camera to smash a harlequin shrimp …
Never ending process.

For all of you slightly tired of all the pleading and preaching, our new “Positive Behavior Tool” is available now.
At any attempt of torturing or killing you see, you just hit any part of the exposed body of offender with “Positive Behavior Tool” - and even hard core repetitive offenders change their ways – for good. Lowlifes will forget about their steel sticks, knives, black gloves and see the light instantly.
The tool is patented as a homeopathic educational tool.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bali and global warming

Chill out - tropical nights in Bali

Conference on climate changes held in 2007 in Bali caused some serious changes also in mindsets of Balinese population. Especially shop owners. After deep contemplation of the papers presented at the conference in jet-set resort Nusa Dua, Bali they started to offer:

a) saunas
b) open fire places
c) central heating systems
d) bigger selection of warm clothes

As an average Western guy I thought, yeah, this Balinese are great for mixing everything up. So many proofs it will be warmer and warmer and even warmer – and poor guys are trying to sell me items more suitable for the inhabitants of the Norwegian woods...

And Earth saving participants of the conference did their best to prove their theories not only in theoretical department - in order to increase CO2 blanket they traveled from half a world to Bali by jet planes, to show how energy consumption will affect global warming, they used high power air conditioning all the time of their stay ...

After several other really successful global warming conferences (all held in places and at times when it's rather hot at the conference), we can all see their warnings come true.

However, as the time passes, I'm not anymore so sure of my understanding.
In tropical Bali we drink hot ginger tea to keep us warm...
My family and friends in Europe, decided this spring not to collect flowers and cut the grass, but to shovel the snow. In the end of October they started to look for snow gear again ...

As I like money as the next guy, I'm calling a conference on “Dangers of the New Ice Age”, in January, 2014 in Anchorage, Alaska.
If you want to save the planet (and my bank account) please donate now.