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.

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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!

The Echo Chamber by Ian Bulock

For the past year I have been going through some stuff. After losing almost everything I had I buckled down in an attempt to regain some semblance of my former life. In the process I have found myself trapped inside the nightmare of my own mind. It started as a self-defense mechanism. It is something I did a lot as a child to escape the horrors of my reality. These days my reality is not as horrible yet I still find myself running from the world. I am not sure if it is a cycle I will ever break out of, or if I even want to break free from it. It is the only coping mechanism I have ever seemed to develop.

While disassociating does help me cope it is far from a healthy thing to do. Knowing this has not been enough to prevent it from happening. Unfortunately, the consequences of spending so much time reflecting inward is the madness that it stirs up inside of me.

I don't really talk to anyone anymore, all of my thoughts are dark and terrifying. I do my best to spare others the pain I inflict on myself. This means the only person I really ever talk to about my issues is myself. Over a year containing my thoughts to mostly inner dialogue I feel I may be losing sight of who I am.

Even typing this now I feel bad for burdening whomever may be reading this with my unfocused ramblings. I just had this intense desire to express myself even though I have no real clarity as to what it is I need to express.

 

I want to break out, but I don't know how. I fear that if I don't I will continue to lose everything that I love. I wish I knew how to proceed.

Fan Mail! Part 1 by Ian Bulock

While I do not get much actual mail from my fans I get plenty of comments online. Today I am going to highlight some of these for our pleasure. Please enjoy the following video. Feel free to check out my artwork from the video here:

Also check out the profiles of those featured in this video!

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The 4th of July and You by Ian Bulock

America, Fuck Yeah!

Last night I was planning on releasing a video to YouTube talking about the 4th of July and our country's addiction to nationalism. However after doing two takes of the video I soon realized that it was turning out to be rather hateful and kind of missing the point. While I normally do not mind being hateful and missing the point (especially on YouTube where this is truly what the audience craves) I just could not get into being that way once again.  So instead I figure I will just throw some words in my blog to see how that makes me feel.

As we all go to celebrate the birth of our now fairly old nation please keep in mind some of the lessons we learned from history. Over the past year many people have been bringing up socialism due to Bernie Sanders and his campaign to be president of our country. Obviously much of the talk about socialism comes from the type of people who  have never read a book before but since they are a majority of our country it is still something that needs to be addressed (as opposed to my normal reaction to people who choose to be ignorant, which is to ignore them.)

The talk I am referring to was people expressing how Hitler was a socialist so therefore socialism must be evil. Clearly this is a bad argument to begin with but also very perplexing as we live in a socialist country ourselves.

Somehow a large group of people in our country have totally missed the lesson they were supposed to learn about World War II. Instead they have come to the conclusion that Hitler's desire to build roads and provide welfare to his people (his CHOSEN people to be more specific) was somehow the thing that he did that was evil. The thing I took away from studying World War II was that committing genocide was the thing he did that was evil.

Do people think that Hitler's desire for social programs was what fueled his genocidal fervor? Is it not much more likely it was the other thing he was known for, his nationalism?

Nationalism at its core is the idea that a group of people will band together to have pride in themselves, specifically a nation of people. Usually this results in that group of people also thinking they are better than those not included in that group. In Nazi Germany it was the German people feeling nationalist pride that led them to believe that the Jewish population was the enemy that had to be eliminated. Nationalism was the tool that Hitler used to convince an entire country to comply with his insane machinations.

So the thing I think we all should have taken away from that is that nationalism is something to be avoided in order to stop ourselves from falling into that pitfall again. As a country we have unfortunately fallen victim to our pride too many times. Whether it be burning witches, lynching people, rounding up a large ethnic group and putting them into concentration camps, eliminating an indigenous population or just jailing those with differing political beliefs we have a record of letting nationalism convince us to hurt those that live within our own country. That is not even mentioning how pride in america has convinced so many that killing children overseas is something we should definitely be doing.

When you are out today eating your hot dogs, drinking your beer and blowing shit up. Just try to remember the danger of inflating a nation's ego.