10 Weeks In... by Ian Hill

Hello Internet, Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. I love you all <3

We are ten weeks into our pregnancy now and we finally got the first picture of our growing baby. I don’t plan to over-share a lot of baby photos in the future but since this is the first photo of it, I had to share.

The ultra-sound technician labeled this… In case we were not sure what it was..

The ultra-sound technician labeled this… In case we were not sure what it was..

Obviously a still image does not do justice to the experience of actually seeing this little peanut move around inside of my lovely wife live on the ultrasound, but at least it is a glimpse we can hang on to for our memories.

I know it is a standard thing to say, but I cannot really describe the kind of joy I felt getting to look at our little alien creature for the first time. I read somewhere that the pregnancy feels real for the mother as soon as she finds out she is pregnant but for the father it is when you see the first ultrasound. I thought maybe this was not accurate but based on how my thoughts on this changed since seeing it, I think maybe that old advise is correct.

Anyway, we are happy. If you have any naming suggestions leave them in the comments below or send me an email -> ian@greenglassesproductions.com

<3 Love Ian

The Seed Shall Come by Ian Hill

Consider this an announcement of sorts. Since I have sworn off posting anything too personal directly to social media I have not talked much in length publicly about the news that I will soon be a father. Honestly it is hard to know what to say that has not already been said by countless fathers countless times.

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All I know is that I am super excited, and that feeling is strange. When I was younger I never even thought I would have children. People always tell you that when you find the right person you will change your mind. Those people were right. However finding that common wisdom is true is a double edged sword to me. Another common bit of wisdom you hear often is that men are destined to become their fathers. If that is true then I fear for my child. Those that know me already are aware of my own struggles with my family, if you are not one of those people I will just summarize it as follows. I have been on a lifelong quest to prove that not all men are destined to become their fathers. Take that how you will.

My wife, Kim, and I only just recently started to try to have a child. We were told by the doctors that it may take months for her hormones to balance after removing her implanted birth control device. It turns out they were either way off on their estimate or my sperm and her eggs were just raring for a chance to re-produce. It only took a couple of “attempts” and suddenly we were pregnant. To say that we thought we would have at least a little more time to figure this out would be an understatement. It was good news nonetheless. Sure there are worries and anxieties about the process, the same ones I am sure every expectant parent has going into this adventure but those concerns pale in comparison to the joy I get when I think about the beautiful baby that is brewing my my best friends belly. I really don’t have the words to express how trans-formative this experience has been for me mentally even this early into the process. Every decision I make now is suddenly made under the consideration of a completely new and un-born life that is on the way. How will this effect our plans for the pregnancy? How might this impact or finances after the baby is born? Questions that I never considered before now flood my head and interject their way into my thought patterns. This is a good thing, I can sense the positive change in my mind and body taking form.

I will likely write much more on this subject in the future. We have not even had our first appointment with the OBGYN yet so we are still early stages to be sure. Plenty of more news and excitement to come. If you are friend or family and you want to wish us well feel free to give us a call or drop me a text. We are happy to share our joy with all.

Our First Child… Peppy, in his natural environment..

Our First Child… Peppy, in his natural environment..

Breaking up with Social Media - Part Five - It's not Me, It's You! by Ian Hill

Social Media, at its inception, never seemed like anything more than a silly distraction to me. Yes, it was cool that so many more people were getting into this thing I loved called “The Internet” but to me I never saw these people as really getting what was special about the Internet to me so I never took sites like that seriously. At least that was the case at first. I had a strange love for the Internet but over time I learned how to stop worrying and love The Facebook. Sure the interactions were more vapid and self serving and less thoughtful or self-aware. I just figured that most people did not have a need to find themselves the way I did online, and good for them for already having their shit together. Instead I looked at social media as a place to get a hold of people I wanted to chat with that no longer used AIM and I would continue using my own website and Livejounral to continue loving the internet like I always had before.

That did not last for long.. Unfortunately Facebook became so popular that it more or less killed almost every other site that people used to connect with others online. Including blogging sites like Livejournal and any chat service that was not Facebook. As the world I loved online began to dwindle I too leaned harder into Facebook and started taking the content I would have previously posted elsewhere and started posting it on Facebook.

Only, things were not the same. You cannot post a long blog post (like this one) to Facebook and expect anyone to read it. At most people are going to read the title and maybe a few lines throughout and then make some kind of comment about the part that they read while ignoring the rest. Over time I stopped writing blog posts as instead of the thoughtful conversations I would get into on Livejournal with other writers I got nothing but homogenized life advice from people who did not even care enough to read what I had posted. The catharsis I had from the internet was going away. I could no longer be myself online as I had no place to do that anymore. Sure I can still post to my own personal website (and still do occasionally) but there was no longer any community to interact with. Meaningful conversation vacated the internet to be replaced with nothing but self-promotion and judgement. Online Ian no longer had a home and Family Ian had to move online to keep up appearances.

For years this has felt like a betrayal of myself. If I am not being authenticate online then what is even the point? I told myself I needed to keep up appearances so that if I ever got around to finishing a book I was writing I would have this large audience of online friends to share it with. I told myself that having a well kept online persona would help people get to know me with my best foot forward. I thought that these things mattered, but in reality I was just jamming myself back into a closet that I have always hated being trapped inside.

Now Facebook is a company that is actively harming the world. Nobody can question anymore the harm that the site inflicts upon democracy. It enables our worst tendencies as humans and silences voices that are not mainstream. So I have recently begun to really question why I am still on this site, can whatever I gain from being here actually make up for what I am supporting financially by allowing Facebook to sell my data for profit?

I don’t know that I can make that case. I don’t think there is enough to gain to make it worth it to continue to be on social media.

So with much pain I am breaking up with Social Media. I am sorry Facebook, it is not me, it is you. I fell in love with the internet when the internet was different. Back when it was accepting of who I was and allowed me to flourish as an individual. But as the internet has changed me so to has the internet changed, it is no longer the accepting place where I can be myself. I don’t really have any place I can be myself any longer (other than when I am home alone) and that is very sad. I would love for their to be a day where someone like me can find a place in the world again. However that place is certainly no longer Facebook or Social Media. So I must say goodbye to my online life, and move on to being myself in other ways. It was a good long run while it lasted but unfortunately there is nothing really left for me here.

I imagine my Facebook profile will still be online for a while but I have already removed most social media from my phone and I do not spend enough time online at home to really have any sort of presence anymore. If you are reading this and want a way to get a hold of me here are some great options!

Email: Ian@GreenGlassesProductions.com
Phone: (616) 841-5527
Google Chat: Ian.Bulock@Gmail.com

I hope this was an informative look into why I am quitting social media. If you want to know more about me check out my blog (you are reading it right now) there are plenty of other things to learn about me here. I would love to get some feedback from anybody that might have read this far. Maybe we can start our own online support group return some of that former glory we are missing online!

With Love <3 Ian

Breaking up with Social Media - Part Four - Becoming Ian by Ian Hill

Over time I matured, and the internet matured with me.

Another huge change in my life happened that also forever changed me much like my love of the internet changed me in the years prior.

I mentioned how I had grown up in a small town that more or less repressed the person I felt I was inside. Well, in 2001 that all changed as my Dad decided it was time to move out of that small town and into a very liberal college town instead. This move happened as I transitioned from Middle School to High School. At first this felt completely traumatizing to me, as my personal anxieties have never made it easy for me to handle large changes in my life. However as I began to meld into this new school and this new life something kind of remarkable happened. I found that I no longer needed “Family” Ian while at school. People here accepted me for who I was. Being gay, or nerdy, or a weirdo were no longer things that I would be picked on for. Teachers would encourage these types of behavior and push me to be more of myself, I found new friends who were into all the anime and video games and computers I was into.

Online Ian met the real world. It was glorious and possibly the best time of my life. There is nothing more affirming than to be able to be yourself and be loved for it. This is what I got at East Lansing High School and is when the version of myself that was born and developed online really solidified into that main version of myself that I would become.

I still spent a lot of time online during this period, but almost all of the socializing I would do would be mostly with people I knew in real life. The popular method of online chat by this point was AOL instant messenger, which I used constantly when I was online at my computer. I had built my own websites before, but now I was building websites together with real life human friends that I knew in person. I began to become very self reflective during this time. Being accepted by strangers, again, but this time in real life made me start to question what had gone so wrong in my hometown, and question what was so wrong with my family. I had always loved to write and so when I found the site Livejournal I knew it was time to start getting all of my shit out.

My first blog post, from the day after my birthday 2002.

My first blog post, from the day after my birthday 2002.

I started a blog where I would talk about my feelings, my thoughts, my fears, my anxieties. I had discussed these kinds of things in chats with people before but never in a long form method like this where my thoughts could fully form and develop. This was again, a very trans-formative thing for me. I met even more new friends on blogging sites that also had an interest in figuring their complex emotional shit out, and we helped each other with encouragement and support to navigate what was going on in our minds and our lives. Having a place you can go where you can go as deep as you want to into your own messy mind and be still be accepted by other people is amazing. I cannot imagine the kind of person I would be today if I never stopped back then as a teenager to try to decide who I was as a person and discover why I thought the way I did about the world. In a way Family Ian was still alive when at home and at Church, Online Ian became just Ian and that version of me would continue to develop further with these new outlets for self-analysis.

At this point a new presence was starting to take hold on the internet. The advent of social media websites was upon us, and things would change forever.

Concluded in Part Five…

Breaking up with Social Media - Part Three - Splitting in Two by Ian Hill

Let’s go back again. Sorry to keep teasing you with along (though I secretly hope that makes this long story more digestible.

You should know more about my childhood before we proceed. I was a feminine boy, a repressed one at that. This was not something that was acceptable to my father. I remember my favorite movie being the Little Mermaid, loving my easy bake oven and mostly playing with dolls growing up. My dad did not like Barbie's, of course, so he got me He-man dolls, Polly Pocket was out of the question but Mighty Max was fine. Easy bake was for girls, but creepy crawlers was for boys! My dad was okay with the illusion of me being a boy and so I got the boy version of all the girl toys that I wanted. The first time I remember going to the emergency room was due to me flying around the house like a “fairy” with a wand in my mouth when I fell forcing the wand down my throat cutting it. My homo-phobic father having to drive his fairy son to the hospital due to an injury from deep throating a wand is probably one of the greatest things ever. Just imagining his embarrassment and shame delights me as an adult. Not that I want anyone to feel shame, but his shame was not real shame but judgment of a son he did not accept.

One of my favorite cartoons as a child was Sailor Moon. Only I was afraid of people knowing that I liked this show, as it was for girls. The small town I grew up in, and the father that was clearly very anti-gay never would have understood why I liked a show for girls, about girls. I didn’t even understand it then, I truly thought there was something wrong with me. So I hid the fact that I watched this show. I would only watch it when my parents were asleep (it sometime played during what eventually became “Adult Swim”) or when nobody was around.

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So when I was finally able to be in an environment where I could explore things without judgment Sailor Moon was one of those things I explored. I found myself in a web forum devoted to the show and in a sub-section of that forum was something else that was new to me. Role playing.

I participated for about a year in a roleplaying game based on the show. I was still unsure of myself so of course I took on the role of Tuxedo Mask as he was the primary male character in the show (and honestly if you have not watched the show, please do yourself a favor and go watch it, it subverted gender stereotypes in amazing ways for a kids show of the period.) This is something I told almost nobody in my personal life until years later. It is hard to really describe the amount of fear I had in being myself to the people I knew in the world around me. It was easier to just pretend to be the person they wanted me to be to make them happy than it was to be myself and face judgement for it.

Two versions of Ian developed during this time. Online Ian, which I still identify as the authentic version of myself to this day, and family Ian (the Ian I was around family and in school). These two personalities diverged quickly and became completely different people. Family Ian was a good christian boy who studied the bible, did his homework, and respected his parents. Online Ian, was a devout atheist who mocked christianity, would pretend to do homework and hide report cards to make sure his parents never learned the truth and had nothing but anger for his parents who he felt had abandoned him. The online version of me was able to embrace my feminine side and did not shake with fear the prospect of socially interacting with people.

I was becoming something new, dual versions of Ian existing in the same body but being completely different people. Both family Ian and online Ian depended on each other to survive. Online Ian would never had the freedom to explore who he was without Family Ian making people believe that he was not doing such things online. Family Ian could never had been so perfect if not for the catharsis that I was getting when going online and finally getting the release of being myself. The facade would have crumbled without that release. The duality of Ian is two complex co-dependent personalities living atop one another. This would have never been possible without a place to go to be myself. This is when I fell in love with the Internet.

Continued in Part Four….

Breaking up with Social Media - Part Two - Get Excited by Ian Hill

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves here there are some things you should know about me that may help you understand this story I am telling. For starters I am, and have always been, a very shy person. I won’t go too far into the reasons for this, (I have other blog posts that do a much better job of that), but to make it simple sometimes when you face a large amount of violence and abuse as a child you can tend to internalize a lot of things. I remember being the type of kid that would hide behind my mothers legs and never talk to strangers as I was too afraid to socialize.

This tendency to be closed off and shy has plagued me my entire life. I had friends as a child in school but not because I wanted to have friends, more because my parents and teachers thought it was important for me to socialize. Nobody ever once thought it might be a good idea to examine my home life to find out why I was acting so strange as a child. That is not something people did then, and not something people do now. If a child is acting strange and showing signs of abuse it is human nature to ignore that child out of a desire to not want to “get into the middle of another families problems” I totally understand that impulse as an adult but as a child I felt betrayed and abandoned by the world.

I had no desire to do the things that other children would do. I did not find sports to be fun, they just reminded me of my abusive father who would spend all of his time angrily yelling at refs on the TV. I was not really allowed to have other kids over to my house. I can’t remember if that was because my dad did not allow it (he smoked a lot of weed which was much more taboo back then) or if I just never wanted to invite them over because I was afraid of them seeing how I actually lived. Either way it is hard to make friends when you feel like you have to hide yourself from the world because you don’t want your abusive father to get in trouble for being abusive because if he did you would have to move away. Young me always felt trapped in a corner and threatened. I honestly do not have many memories of childhood other than being paralyzed with fear. Maybe other people relate to this, maybe someday I would find them I thought.

My young life was lived almost entirely in my head. I would talk to the people in my head and create vivid worlds for them to live in which I could travel to and go on adventures with my head-friends. I actually like this part of myself as it has endowed me with an imagination that is boundless to this day. No matter how many friends I had in my head, however, I still felt very alone. So when my mom finally got a computer and connected it to a dial up internet connection I was psyched to get out there and start meeting people I could talk to without having to have the fear of them knowing my sad situation in life. And meet people I did.

It should be noted that I did not live with my mother full time, she had lost the custody battle when her and my father divorced so I could only spend time at her house on weekends and over the summer. However before she got online my only time to use the internet was whenever I could use a public computer so even this limited amount of time I spent at her place was amazing to me. I quickly found myself deep into chat rooms, forums, and spending hours reading about my favorite subjects (mostly video games and porn at the time.) The internet had matured by ‘98 so you had some more diversity than just basic websites. Excite chat was the first social network that I really got hooked on. Excite needed to be installed to your computer to be used and consisted of chat rooms that were divided up by topic. You had a little 2D avatar in Excite chat that more or less functioned in a similar way that profile pictures do now consisting of just a square box with an image in it. I found myself getting deep into video game and computer chat rooms on this service and eventually found myself identifying with a “hacker” group on the service that would troll and take over rooms until we had our own private chat space. It was immature to troll, and I wish I never did that. The “hacking” was all just a facade however as none of use were actually breaking into things, it was just a cool persona to align with at the time and made me feel a part of the group.

Excite Chat, I did not take this screenshot but found it here - http://www.angelfire.com/clone2/iceman255/ - Credit goes where credit is due. Thanks IceMan255 :)

Excite Chat, I did not take this screenshot but found it here - http://www.angelfire.com/clone2/iceman255/ - Credit goes where credit is due. Thanks IceMan255 :)

Regardless of how stupid our antics were back then, this was the first time I really ever felt accepted by a group of people. For that group of people to also be random strangers was profound for me. If these people could accept me so easily having only recently met me why did the people in my own life reject me? I started to believe that I was not the defective one and that the people around me were the ones with a problem. If people could not accept me for who I am, they must have the defect. This line of thinking has defined me as a person more than almost anything else in my life. This defiant attitude that I developed from the confidence of being accepted and loved by strangers molded me into an entirely different person than I had ever been before. This was when Ian, became Ian.

Acceptance was just the start of things. Soon I would find a whole new love for myself, and I would fall in love with a new world.

Continued in Part Three…

Breaking up with Social Media - Part One - Falling in Love by Ian Hill

I am quitting social media. Well, I am not quitting social media, but I am breaking up with Facebook.

This probably does not seem like a big deal to you. Facebook is, after all, a pretty vapid site just full of fluff and no real meaning. However for me this is kind of a big deal. To understand this you would have to understand who I am. If you only know me from modern social media there is literally no chance you have any idea who I am. This is actually part of the problem.

Let us go back in time, to when this all started. Let me tell you a story about the first love of my life,and why I must purge this love from my life.

This is the story of how I fell in love with the Internet.


I think I was around the age of 12 when this all started. I don’t remember exactly how old I was as memory is fallible and I don’t want to commit to a specific memory as somebody would probably present evidence that makes me look like a liar. So let’s go with “around” 12. At the time I knew what the internet was already as I was a home computer native from my years of playing games in DOS and tooling around with QBasic. Windows was first becoming popular and with it we started to see web browsers become a thing. In these early days the World Wide Web was nothing like it is now. You could only achieve some basic text and sometimes a few images on a site. You really did not have user accounts, or any real way to interact with a website back then other than passively reading the site and clicking on links that took you to other sites.

One of the earliest web browsers I had used. Yes that is about as complicated as websites looked back then as well.

One of the earliest web browsers I had used. Yes that is about as complicated as websites looked back then as well.

There was no search engine that would help you find things, you kind of just had to know how to navigate yourself. Instead of search you had directories. Sites that would compile lists of hyperlinks that they found useful or compelling, and many times these directories would link to other directories and the sites you found on them would link to even more stuff. Me and other nerds of the time look back on these days of the internet fondly as the “wild west” days. Mostly because the internet was so new and small that nobody gave a crap what you posted online. If I wanted to rip a CD to my computer in glorious .wav format (this was before mp3) and post it to a server I could do that (not that I did because geocities/tripod did not give you much storage space for free back then). No company was going to send a take down notice or even care that the CD was freely available to download, there just was not enough people that would even know how to download it to make it worth their trouble to pursue.

The internet was rough at that time, but it was also honest. In those early days you were on the internet mostly because you were an academic who used it to share information with other academics or you were a computer enthusiast desperately wanting to try the hot new thing. I was in the latter group, I loved computers and religiously read every computer magazine I could get my hands on. The more I read about this magical new world wide web the more I wanted to dive in. I finally got my chance one day when my school took a field trip all the way up to Lansing (I grew up in a small town outside of Lansing, so the city felt like a huge city to me back then) to visit Lansing Community College. I saw a computer lab in the library and spent almost the entire trip just browsing the web for the first time. It did not take me long to find websites devoted to my other love of the time, video games.

I was hooked, knowing that there were people out there posting new stuff about video games every day and going back home knowing I would be stuck with just magazines to get by on was devastating. For a while after that first encounter I would only interact with this new network occasionally in libraries or the homes of friends from school. It was just enough contact with the web to make me salivate for more and daydream about being able to connect again.

Then Windows 95 was released. This was a big deal for the internet as it was the first version of Windows to be packaged with a web browser and be specially designed to make it easier for the every day non-enthusiast to get online. The internet started exploding with new content and I was still just watching from the sidelines as it all was leaving me behind. I did not have to wait for too long, however, as when more and more people began to purchase home computers not having one made other people feel like they were not keeping up with the Jones. Thanks to that in 1998 my mother finally purchased a home computer for herself and my life was about to change forever.

Continued in Part Two…

WWJD by Ian Hill

Over the past two years the vitriol that has been built up in public discourse in our country and the world has left many of us blind-sided. Every body believes that they are correct in their beliefs and a large amount of other people are not. Of course, as every body seems to be involved in this the chances are that every body is wrong. I know in your head you are reading these words and thinking to yourself, “well, not me, I am the one who can see the truth that the rest of these other people cannot see.” I get where you are coming from, with so much insanity out there how could you be the one who has incorrect beliefs?

 

I am not here to tell anybody what the truth is, or what to believe. That is neither my job, nor something I am remotely capable or qualified to do. What I do want to say today, and trust me I realize the irony in this statement, we should all be a lot more like Jesus.

 

Yes, it is true that I in no way believe that Jesus was ever a real person nor do I believe there is an almighty presence looking down on me right now. That does not mean that Jesus as he is portrayed in the Holy Bible is not someone we cannot learn from in order to enrich our own lives. I did grow up in a church and for many years may have slightly believed in the words of this man. The biggest take-away I had from those teachings were Jesus’ ability to accept others even if he did not agree with them. That is the part of his teachings that seem to be lost on almost everybody these days.

 

In my opinion, we could all learn from this. What would the world be like if instead of immediately judging each other for the things we believe in or how we behave we instead approached everybody with love and acceptance even if we believe they are vile? I realize that does not sound productive in every situation but in the end of the day we are all victims of our own circumstances. The rich man who thinks he knows everything and wants to rule the world did not become that way in a vacuum. If he does not know what he is doing perhaps that is due to how he was raised and the sheltered life he lived until this point. If you were raised in the same exact way would you be just like him? If so, would you react well to everyone hating you for how you are? It may be easy to judge because he is so wealthy, but it is possible he truly has no way to comprehend how horrible his ideas are as he may not have the base knowledge needed to understand his own psychology. His victims are numerous, however, so there must be something we can do to show him the error of his ways. I believe the way we do this is to be more like Jesus.

 

Instead of shouting on social media or yelling at our family and friends who think differently than us perhaps we should instead just live our own lives in the best ways we can. Let us be kind and compassionate to every body else we meet. Lets not preach to them, or berate them for their thoughts or opinions. Lets instead lead by example. If our kindness and love looks appealing to others they may just want to join us in our quest to love our neighbors and accept our enemies. You do not have to be religious to love, and you do not have to be perfect to show compassion. These are things that everybody can do. The more we do them, the more these ideas can spread.

 

Unlike fighting with each other, the rewards for loving one another will not be immediately apparent. This may make things less satisfying for you in the short term, but I promise the long term effects of this will be well worth it. At least in this crazy mans opinion.

On the Subject of Grief by Ian Hill

Grief is an interesting experience. While you never want to have it, you will always end up in it at some point in your life. While you are in grief everything will hurt, nothing will taste good, and nothing seems right. 

Yet through grief, we grow. With grief we teach ourselves how to focus our thoughts and feelings. We can, after all, only think about the thing we are grieving about during this time anyway. The sadness that overshadows all of our thoughts helps us focus on only what is important, blocking out the background noise that usually deafens our walk through this life. 

If you find yourself in grief, I am sorry. I truly wish I could ease your pain. Instead all I can offer are my thoughts and a hope that this grief leaves you in a state better than it found you. Maybe we do not always come out better with a lesson learned from our grief but finding a way to grow from it sure seems worth a try. 

For those that are grieving, stay strong!  

Alien Encounters of an Ian Kind by Ian Hill

When I was younger you could say I had a fascination with Aliens.

For a period I consumed as many books, TV shows, movies, and documentaries about aliens as I could get my hands on. I explored parts of the early internet that had discussion boards about alien encounters.

Then I had some of my own, and it terrified me.

Read More

2018 Goals - Ian's Personal Blog by Ian Hill

2017 was a hell of a year for just about everyone it seems. While most people had horrible years I personally had a pretty good one. I married the love of my life, continued working at a job that satisfies my desire to educate the world (even if the pay is less than desirable) and continued to make progress towards getting out of debt and back into financial stability.

I still have a long way to go. I am not yet to the point where I actually have enough money coming in each month to both pay my bills and eat. So I usually decide to eat and not pay all of my bills every month. The main culprit for this over the past few years has been the large garnishment of money from my paychecks from some ancient debt that finally came back to haunt me. Thankfully that will be resolved in the next few months and I will actually be able to take home more than 20% of my gross income for the first time in years.

I hope that over the course of this year I will be able to get more of my debts paid off and get my credit score into acceptable ranges. The overall goal is to be able to buy a house in the next few years so my beautiful new wife and I can have a place of our own (we have so far been dwelling in the basement apartment of her parents house, millennials right?)

Me and my amazing better half, Kim :)

 

I am going to be approaching this from a few different angles and I am confident my plan will succeed. Being forced to tightly budget because you have no other choice is a good way to learn that you can have financial discipline if you really work for it.

During this year I also am going to become established as a patient in the medical industry. I have never really seen a doctor in any sort of regular way. Mostly because I had a lack of insurance during most of my 20s, combined with the fact that we never really saw doctors much as children due to our fathers aversion towards them. Going to a doctor makes me nervous but now that I am paying $330 every two weeks to have a top-tier insurance plan I tend to get use out of it. I have enough money in my HSA to cover my small deductible at this point so I can get pretty much any medical treatment this year at no out of pocket cost. I plan to take full advantage of that and have every test I can get run. I have been ignoring my apparent sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and crazy brain for far too long. Time to get all three looked at.

Finally I do plan to get Green Glasses more off the ground this year and that is one that I have already made strides towards. You may notice you are reading this on an entirely different website than you may remember. We have re-launched the site and now feature a beautiful donation button on the right of this blog page (wink), as well as a store button at the top where I am selling custom digital artwork for anyone who dares to pay me for such a thing. These are small steps for now to see if I can make any money off this at all (instead of just paying money into it as I have this entire time.) Also, getting these things established will allow me to find more ways to monetize in the coming months. Building my own personal brand will be a part of this so expect more social media and outreach from me personally over the course of the year.
 

I don't believe in resolutions or strict guidelines for goals. I feel when you set such strict terms for yourself you become more likely to not do those things as they may become overwhelming resulting in you just giving up. I do, however, believe in having hope. So I hope that I can make my dreams come true or at least get a bit closer to them over the course of 2018. It helps that I have a whole new set of confidence and belief in myself so if I can take that power and push it into further development I will be off to a good start.

If you read this far, thanks for sticking around. This was mostly a post about me and my dreams but I am glad you were interested. I would love to hear from anyone who would like to leave me some feedback and if any of you want to collaborate with me on any future creative projects I would love to do that with you. Leave me a comment, email me, sign up for my newsletter or just give me a call. I want to open the doors of this site for more than just me if people want to be a part of what I have going on in the future.

The world is what we make of it, so lets make it a good one!

Just Be You by Ian Hill

Far too much has been said lately about the medias influence on our minds. You don't need to read another article that makes you think everything you see in the world is designed to manipulate you into believing some foolish idea.

Instead, you should look withing yourself. Find out who you are deep within, and let that self guide you.

People may make you think that you are not capable of coming up with the right idea on your own, and you may even believe that yourself.

It is not true, you have everything you need to be you. From day one that is the only person you have ever truly been.

So I implore you, inquire within. Look into your self, analyze your mind. Find out who you are, where your core values lie. Use those values to shape your life into what you need it to be.

Yes, we are all in this together, but in order for us to overcome the evils of the world we all must become better.

Be better, be yourself. You are great!

Spencer the Space Raider thinks you are great too!


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A Fresh Start by Ian Hill

A new year, another new start for Green Glasses Productions.

In reality this is more of a second start, as our original site green-glasses.com is going to remain online for the time being.

For years I had lost our original domain name greenglassesproductions.com after letting it expire. A company picked it up and sat on it for years trying to get me to pay $5,000 to get it back. The error that company made was thinking I have ever had that type of money to pay for such a thing. I did not, and thus green-glasses.com became our new web home.

Two years ago I was finally able to buy back the original domain as the squatters finally gave up on it, however I had no real idea what to do with this page. So I just sat on it myself.

If you are reading this you may have noticed there is a new site here. For now this is a landing page/professional page for the company until I decide further what to put here. If all goes well I may make this the new official home of both domain names and move my old blog to another URL.
 

Let me know what you think of this new site, any improvements you think we can make and if you want to contribute yourself we are open for any collaboration.

Brain Bad! Sleep Good? by Ian Bulock

Unlike many people I know I have no issues at all falling asleep at night. While common sense would dictate this is due to mostly biological reasons I found myself pondering tonight the neurological reasons behind this. More specifically my perspective on the neurological reasons based on my own understandings of the science and my own understanding of myself. (In better words, read this at your own risk, I am an expert in neither neurological science nor myself.)

First off, I may not have a very typical brain. Which is, probably, fairly typical for most people to believe. That being said, I do think there is something.. off.. about how my brain works compared to what I have been conditioned to know as "typical".

My entire life I have experienced "shocks". I do not know how else to describe this feeling. It simply feels like every electrical switch in my body is being triggered all at once. The feeling starts inside my brain and blinds my senses from within before washing over my entire body with electrical stimulus. It does not hurt, nor does it ever last any longer than it would take for an electron to signal a nervous response across your body. (Basically no time at all.) Overall the entire thing feels most closely like a wave of static electricity that bursts from within my head and spreads throughout every nerve in my body, never jarring enough to entice an outward physical response but at the same time being completely overwhelming for me internally.

 

It is a feeling I have never been able to contain, nor control. Yet at the same time it has never been something that has given me any cause for serious alarm as the symptoms are almost pleasurable, if but for that precise moment.

 

It is a whole body catharsis that happens in an instant and is gone before you have any trouble with it at all.

 

So.. that is a lot of preface... I guess I meandered there for a bit but I thought having a longer explanation of that in writing may have been good for me. In any case I do not seem to be the only person I know who has experienced this as both my mother and brother have reported similar experiences in the past. Most likely this is some sort of genetic neurological disorder that I am neither qualified nor able to diagnosis. Either way, it is a part of who I am.

But how does this relate to sleep?

Damn... sometimes I start typing but have no idea where I may end up.

I guess my initial point was going to be something along the lines of...

My brain seems to be extra active almost all of the time. Whether this is holding multiple conversations with multiple facets of my own personality with myself in my head at all times, or it be just rambling into incoherent spaces of non-linear thinking, or just imagining worlds and storylines that only I will ever see or know... there is always an unbelievable amount of non-sense going in in my head at any given moment. I really cannot ever honestly keep up with myself sometimes. I am not trying to say that having an active mind is necessarily a good thing, I am actually starting to wonder if it is the sign of pending mental anguish. (mental health does seem to go pretty quick in my family, and I think I read somewhere once that people with active minds tend to go all dementia/Alzheimer's quicker than most, which is fitting with family history..)

Actually, once again I am not sure I know my point with this whole thing. Right, back to basics.

Strange neurological symptoms may help explain constantly active mind which may then in turn explain sleep.

There I was... sleep. I keep losing track of what I was thinking of. Actually I never quite lost track of it, it was just fading into the background noise of the countless other threads of mental processing happening in my chaos pool I call home (my brain.)

The moral of this story is this.

I exert myself physically much less than almost any other person I know. Yet, I fall asleep much easier than almost any other person I know. Even if these people exert themselves physically to the point of utter exhaustion I can always fall asleep easier and more quickly than most.

I don't think that my ability to fall asleep has any relation whatsoever to how tired I am. I am starting to think that my philosophy on sleep may just be different.

Over my life I have heard many people tell me how they long to sleep easy at night and stay asleep for an entire night.

I long for the opposite. I long for enough time awake to finish all the things I am thinking about. Only the things I am thinking about (much like this story) never seem to end. Instead I spend all of my time fighting to cling to consciousness. My mind only ever succumbing to sleep after it is battered down, defenseless, and ready to submit to it.

Which, with a mind like mind, is almost always.

So from this weary traveler to you dear reader, thanks for sticking around. :)

Fairwell MS Paint! by Ian Bulock

This morning I read some tragic news. MS Paint is dying. One of my earliest memories of using the Windows operating system was as a child at school. In the computer lab in my elementary school we had some Windows 3.1.1 networked PCs. They were likely IBM clones, as most PCs were back then, and used 5.25 inch floppy disks which were endlessly amusing to flop around when you are young.

The first thing I did on that computer was launch MS Paint and scribble out a crude work of art. Knowing myself it was likely of a penis with some balls (I have never had a very mature sense of humor, after all.)

I fell in love with computers as a child and my life has been guided by that love ever since. I would not have ended up working in IT or having my current life at all if not for my early love of computers. I can't help but think a lot of the charm that I fell in love with came from creativity apps like MS Paint which were built into the system on every single PC. So when I found out today they are getting rid of this classic windows feature that I love it saddened me.

Of course MS Paint has had another large impact on my life by way of Paint Comic. The whole idea of that comic originally was to help me get out of a creative slump. I am an endless perfectionist when it comes to creativity which has resulted in me starting hundreds of projects that I have never even come close to finishing as I can never get it "just right." Paint Comic was my answer to try to end that cycle of bad behavior. I set out to create something I could do on a daily basis that would not take me more than 15-30 minutes to create from start to finish. I think the first comic I did took me around 5 minutes to complete (and it shows.)

paintcomic1.png

The comic was created in MS Paint so I went with the lazy title of "Paint Comic" surprisingly some Google searching at the time indicated that nobody else was using that name so it became mine.

While I never ended up doing the comic daily (other than maybe for the first few days) I did keep coming back to it over time as it was nice to be able to make something and have no obligation to myself to make it be good. Over time I did fall back into the trap of trying to make it actually have quality and not surprisingly that is around the time I stopped making it altogether.

While I would like to say that I continued to use MS Paint to create the comic I actually had moved on to a different application called Paint.net after a while which is about as close to MS Paint as you can get with support for layers. In the days of MS Paint being removed from Windows I would suggest anyone with a longing nostalgia give Paint.net a try, you will find it refreshingly similar (only with some added features that make it more usable.)

With all of that being said, farewell MS Paint. You helped me find my lifelong love for computers and you will be remembered by at least this one nostalgic geek.

Cash Me Outside by Ian Bulock

Did you ever see that movie, Gladiator, and think “man, how could a society gather in a crowd to watch the weakest among them be torn to pieces for their entertainment?” I saw that movie too, but I was never as surprised by the shocking nature of the content displayed. Unfortunately Gladiator is as much a critique on our own society as it is on the ancient Roman society that is depicted in the movie. For proof of this we need to only look at the latest viral meme to spread through our collective sub conscious.

Last year an emotionally unstable 13 year old girl was in need of help. Instead of helping her, however, she was instead brought out into the public arena, and torn to pieces. For the most part everyone laughed at her misfortune as a corporation profited from the destruction of her life. She was in need of therapy after some tragic events in her life left her mentally ruined. Instead of therapy she was put into a room full of strangers who were there to judge her every action. She was then forced to perform for this crowd, being backed into a corner until her defensive nature kicked in and an extreme emotional response was pried from her young mind. The crowd booed at her for her inability to handle the situation. Her mother sat nearby and wept as her daughter was humiliated live in public. Meanwhile television cameras recorded the event to broadcast it nationwide, and eventually would take that footage and share it online for the world to see.

The world loved it, the footage spread like wildfire. People could not get enough of a young girl being exploited publicly. The sickness of humanity reared its ugly head and did everything it could to prove we have no sympathy as a whole. The story was shared and mocked endlessly on social media. The troubled childs inability to communicate effectively was used as proof that she was below us and thus deserving of any kind of torture we may inflict upon her. Nobody stopped to think about what this girl may actually need or what may have caused her to act this way.

A child needed help from a mental health professional and instead was mocked publicly by someone pretending to want to help her. I am not sure the details of why she needed her therapy to be on TV. If her mother was simply too poor to hire an actually therapist then Dr. Phil exploited both the mother and the child for profit. Perhaps the mother just wanted the attention as well, however, in which case this girl is being actively whored out by both her mother, and a corporation eager for profit. Does that make us better than her? Are we justified in our contempt for a girl who has no say in how she was raised?

The whole situation sickens me and the fact that nobody seems to give a shit about a child who is being exploited publicly makes me lose faith in humanity more than most things that have happened in the past year. Howbow dah?

17 Years... by Ian Bulock

17 Years. It was 17 years ago that I started Green Glasses Productions. I know because I picked the year 2000 for the sole purpose of having a really easy year to remember as the founding of the company. The goal at the time was simple, find a name that I could use to release creative works online, something that I would own and control. Up until that point every project I worked on was a collaboration between me and other friends. The most infamous at that point was “Immortalis Tyranus” which, to be honest, may have been the most successful website I have ever worked on.

The original Green Glasses
The original Green Glasses

The name originated from a photo I took during a sophomore year science class in High School of a pair of paper light diffusing glasses that we were using to demonstrate the different wavelengths of light. They were green, as you might expect, and the photo was taken on my first digital camera which had a whopping resolution of 1 whole mega-pixel (at the time this was pretty cool.) It seemed like a nice palatable name that would be easy to remember and would likely offend nobody. Plus, nobody was using it yet so that was a bonus too.

Since then I have not done much with the name or the company. In fact I still have not even incorporated the company officially in any legal way yet. Sure there have been a few small videos that I have made that I attached the name too as well as a “weekly” podcast that got upwards of a few listeners. Nothing of note in the end though. I also have written similar posts to this one manytimesbefore.

So what is different now? Nothing really, other than it is once again a new year and I feel, once again that I should really start to work on this company. Seventeen years of stagnation is enough time to really think about my ideas and bottle up some good ones. What would it take, though, for me to consider the amount of effort I put into this company to be appropriate? Let me lay out the guidelines now for what I will need to do to be satisfied with this project over the next year.

1. Officially incorporate company

This is a big one as I have found that legally it is hard to take payments online without having an actual company to send those payments too. I cannot take donations on Youtube and I cannot cash out ad revenue for my site. (unless someone out there wants to point out something that I may be missing.) Plus this will give me a modicum of legal protection from other people who are using similar names for their company. Yes, I am fairly certain that if anyone ever took me to court I have sufficient records showing that I have been using “Green Glasses Productions” since the year 2000, however, getting that in a legal document will help.

2. Get Producing

An obvious one. You cannot have productions without actually producing something. For most of the time this company has been around I have mostly been quietly producing ideas in my head and not doing anything with them. Which I would say, does not really count at all.

With this bullet point I would like to get on a production schedule. My main issue with releasing things I work on is I am never happy with the quality of the content I produce. I have, in the past, dabbled in just releasing a mountain of garbage in order to get myself into just making a lot of content and I want to return to that. I already have a couple of “test” episodes of shows I was working on recorded and half edited. I never intended to release those as they were more or less designed to try to figure out my formatting but I think I will just throw them out to the wild soon and then follow up with more content as fast as I can. One piece of advice I seem to see given over and over again by successful creators is to just keep working and improving. If I am not actually releasing anything or working on new projects I will never improve. But if I shift to constantly working on things and releasing them I will surely become much more skilled soon.

3. Defy Evil

When Google founded it had a famous motto of “Don’t Be Evil”. A motto that is pretty funny considering the company Google has grown up to be but a noble motto for them to start with. I would like to take this a step further and I am happy to announce the new motto of Green Glasses Productions.

“Defy Evil and Have Fun”

It is a variation of the ubiquitous GLHF that is popular amongst anyone who participates in online gaming but with my own twist. Evil is subjective of course so I may have to give an official company definition of evil at some point for clarification but I think for now this should be fairly simple to understand.

There is an increasing amount of evil in the world and it has always been my goal to stop it wherever it festers.

4. ???

5. Profit

Someday I will figure out that 4th step and find a way to make money while doing what I love. Until that day comes I will have to be happy making money educating people about technology. Which is my day job and the most satisfying one of those I have ever had. Which I hope is actually a plus. Many times when I have started the process of buckling down on creativity I was doing it from a very dark place. I am now as far out of the darkness as I have likely ever been in my life. So I hope I can use the light and spread it through GGP. I will love it if anyone wants to join me on this quest but I don’t want to obligate anyone into doing so. I have no problem going this alone forever. If you like the work I do in the coming year and you want to be a warrior of light with me, then let me know. Otherwise I hope you all have a great 2017!