Beauty in the Bricks…

As the heavens open up and bathe the earth once again we thought it was about time we hit you with a dose of the best distraction pill available on the market. That’s right the doctor has spoken and prescribed you with a dose of A Mind of its Own to aile your woes. It’s been a couple of weeks since we last graced your screens with our rather unique brand of blogging, straight from some of the strangest minds in all of Australasia. Our off kilter approach to the worlds issues has the health authorities wondering whether they should have us all thrown in the loony bin.

For the first time in a while the team here stopped and took a look at the world around them. The ins and outs of what was happening in the world and the human beings ability to continue to adapt and overcome. There are plenty of unanswered questions about the world, particularly those about our purpose and how we came to be at the top of the evolutionary food chain. But all those can wait for another time and another place. If you wanted to read about that you’d have logged on to National Geographic or the Discovery channel website.

What do the people want to actually read about? You know it’s funny as human beings one would think we wanted to hear about nice things happening in the world but as the marketers say there are only two things that sell news papers. Sex and things that no one wants to hear about like murder, robbery and anything of the ill elk. Well sex isn’t really our forte and we promise you’ll never get a 50 shades of grey from us.The things no one wants to hear about, well they are rather depressing. Hence why the team here tend to have no idea what’s happening in the world. The news is never on and the papers are rarely bought and if they are it’s only to help start the fire at the manor.

So what does this weeks blog have install for the faithful A Mind of its Own followers, good damn question. With so much happening around the world and so much happening around us there should be a million and one things for the talented team here to write about but it seems like a case of writer’s block has infected the whole team. Without a dose of antiblocktics lying around we’ve had to tough it out and pull together something that will hopefully make sense and allow you to enjoy yet again another blog from our stellar team.

We’ve had some great feedback over the past couple of months from our followers ranging from great content to it’s an enjoyable read while i’m on the toilet. The last one was a little strange and disturbing but at least we now know that we are making toilet breaks around the world a little easier on the minds of those reading along while they void their bowels of their last meals waste. Sounds pretty shit it if you ask us, pun intended! So besides being a toilet break filler for those that need one, we tend to try and be educational, funny and a little on the crazy side when we can.

Speaking of the crazy side, the team has been playing a lot of Red Dead Redemption 2 as of late on the Xbox. An escape from reality as some of the wives continue to point out but never the less a distraction from the troubles in the world around us. The Rockstar games western themed second installment of the Red Dead series got us thinking about when times were a lot simpler. Simpler, yet harder in some aspects. Riding around America in the early 1800’s on a trusty steed with a pistol strapped to your thigh, the wind running past your face as you gallop through plains and meadows chasing your next dollar by robbing a stagecoach or train that’s if you wish to be an outlaw. You could be part of a posse chasing down those outlaws and bringing them to justice. Each to their own we say.

Oh how the world has changed since the days of the wild west, no longer is it socially acceptable to-day drink, well it is as long as you are at a function and it’s in a licensed venue or in the comfort of your own home. Office settings are not an acceptable place to drink or start a brawl when someone offends you and you need to defend your honor. You can no longer sit in the main straight swigging from a whiskey bottle, saying howdy and tipping your hat to every man, woman and child that walks past unless it’s concealed in a brown paper bag even then it tends draws a lot of attention.

A lot has changed since the days of outlaw gangs and cowboys. People no longer ride horses in gangs and have swapped the graceful beasts for the metal version on two wheels. They still tend to draw the outlaw tag and often are stereotyped into being part of a gang whether they ride for recreation or they truly are outlaws who run drugs, guns, prostitution and rob people or places in order to make a living. When we referenced that it was an easier time we were referring to the fact that towns or cities were small and miles in between, you could disappear for weeks on end and live off the land if you had to. Taxes were something you generally avoided and wearing chaps as a male was acceptable in all places aside from a strip club.

There were many other things the team came across that we noticed were different from back then till now. Hygiene wasn’t really high on the priority list with bathing happening every so often in some cases they took better care of their trusty mounts then they did themselves. You could camp where and when you pleased without the need of a permit and payment for use of the ground. Hunting just happened and tended to be your source of food while living off the land and there was no such thing as a balanced meal.

In fact everything that is now considered bad for you was considered to be good for from smoking through to sucking out the poison from someones snake bite and drinking heavily while operating firearms from a horse. Ok so maybe we’ve painted a picture that all cowboys were drunks that’s not the case but they did tend to drink quite heavily. Saloon brawls were a common occurrence and duels were an actual thing. Yeah fastest draw wins literally, their life and their honor back. Pace it out ten steps and fastest to draw their weapon and fire, it was as simple as that and it was done for money and for pride on a regular occurence with most of the town watching on..

We don’t think you could challenge the new graduate who mouths off around the water cooler to a duel, gun him down and walk away a hero these days. Firstly murder is not ok, secondly the workplace is not the place for firearms unless you work at a gun shop and thirdly today we are told to use our words. One thing that has changed overtime is chivalry, it is no longer deemed chivalrous to pay for everything and be a gentleman. People are just as likely to go on dates these days and the lady pays. Call us old-fashioned but some traditions shouldn’t change and good manners cost you nothing.

A lot of things may have changed for the better however there are a few things that make us turn around these days and think toughen the beep up. Where as in the old days you would be pushed in the mud and taught that it was not ok to not be tough. Hence the place we are in today where it is not ok for men to show weakness, compassion and anything that would not be deemed manly, it definitely was not ok to talk about your feelings as a man in the wild west. You would be labelled a yellow belly or a coward. But at least kids weren’t soft and got trophies for participating even if they finish last. As Ricky Bobby said “If you ain’t first, you’re last”.

So what have learnt from playing a game that is a lot like a my little pony simulator for men, teaching you to tend and care for your mighty steed? Other than being drunk in the 1800’s was a mandatory requirement each day. Being an outlaw was somewhat cool despite having to hurt and often murder people just so you could earn a living. After all you were your own boss, grifting from town to town, gang to gang. Stealing was a common occurrence and if you were good at it you tended to have your own gang. The law often appointed themselves and were just as corrupt as they still are today. The tobacco industry was in its infancy of becoming a world power, the church was its usual god fearing, preaching self and railway tycoons were the one true power throughout the land.

Much like today if you had money you had power, if you had power it often went to your head and you only wanted more of both. Whilst being a cowboy looks somewhat cool it would have been a hard life both mentally and physically. For now we are just happy that we were born in this century and have the luxuries that allow us to live quite comfortable lives. Oh and the fact that when we run out of ideas as to what to write about we can turn to an alternative source of inspiration. Virtual reality or augmented reality, well in this case video games that got us thinking about how life has changed and how we have a little more respect for ourselves and each other. We said a little…

One slow and we say slow because it’s still dragging its heels through the mud like a lame mare, change that has definitely changed is the way women were treated. We aren’t saying its in a good place now but it is certainly a lot better than back then. Like a caveman belting a prospective wife over the head with his club and dragging a woman into his cave. The wild west was not short of its share of violence against women. So the team are glad that has changed and there are no more damsels in distress requiring a cowboy to come along and defend their honor. These days there are a lot of women who would kick your arse at the mere suggestion. You go girls! As some of the younger generation are pointing out they can do anything including the things you thought only men can.

From the often confused and wonderful minds here it’s time for us to say farewell for another week, tip our hats, spit out our tobacco, slap our horses on the rump and ride blissfully into the sunset. We hope besides learning that day drinking was a thing and cowboys now ride motorcycles the message from this weeks post is that violence of any sort if not ok, especially against women. Until next week partners we hope you enjoyed another foray into A Mind of Its Own. Stay tuned for a double dose this week as we come at you with another post about god knows what but it is sure to keep you distracted somehow.

The Quiet Things that no one knows…

It’s another double week here at A Mind of Its Own headquarters, double martini’s, double espresso, double trouble and for our adoring fans that means you get double the awesomeness to get you through the weekend. We’ve searched high and low for another stellar topic to follow-up on the pampered pooches soft piece earlier in the week. It didn’t take the boffins down in the lab long to pull out a topic that I am sure strikes a chord with many of our female fans and one that this writer’s wife has voiced her opinion quite strongly about on several occasions.

We live in a world that is interconnected, we have mobile devices, instant message, video chat, you name it and it’s probably already there. We are still hanging out for a true hoverboard though like Marty McFly but give it a couple a years and we are sure we’ll be yelling at kids to slow down as the gravitate past at speed. So with all this technology you think we (Men) would be happy getting on a conference call and gossiping like a bunch of school kids behind the toilets at lunch while puffing on some stolen menthol cigarettes as we just aren’t quite prepared to go the full leaded option just yet.

Being male we can safely say that we are happy to chat but prefer to be doing something while we are chatting. Playing around of golf, some poker, shearing sheep, pretending to work at desk, sitting at your local watering hole, are just some of the examples of guys getting together and having a chat about life. So what do you do if you have a group of mates who want to catch up regularly but are all in different locations and have varying reasons as to why catching up face to face isn’t always possible. Distance being number one. Unlike our female counterparts who can sit on a call for hours, upon hours filling in friends on their week and how many cute guys or girls they saw at the gym while eating a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream on their own, Men just can’t focus on the conversation for that amount of time.

We’ll give you an example, you promise your other half that you will take out the rubbish on your way to work one morning, however in your rush to get ready you spend way to long in the mirror trimming your wayward nasal hairs and forget. So upon your return after a hard days work at the office where you’ve stood around the water cooler filling your day talking to anyone who will listen so you don’t actually have to sit there and look at spreadsheets, you walk in the door and immediately get chewed out. What you will see is the nodding and agreeing coupled with an apology. What you don’t see is that we’ve gone on autopilot and are already wondering what is for dinner or to watch on TV, are there any beers left in the fridge?

The example is not that we aren’t listening, we are! We hear it all, it’s that we are already thinking about the next thing. This is what a conversation between males is like, we flit in an out of the conversation not always present. Hence this week’s topic is something that keeps us all focused. Allows us to catch up and spend our time wisely doing two things at once. We know shock horror! Men can do two things at once! When we really want to yes we can do multiple things at once without even thinking about it.

The late 80’s and early 90’s saw the beginning of trend that would dominate the home entertainment industry for years to come. No longer did you have to go to the Arcade to play your favourite machines they were now all available to play on your own console hooked up to the television in the safety of your own living room. It was around this time that obesity and the links to discovering the colonels eleven secret herbs and spices started to also began to grow. The video game console had emerged and those lucky enough to be able to afford one would slowly become fans of some of the biggest cult heroes of our generation.

As technology advanced so did consoles and along with these advancements over time came the ability to interact with people all around the globe. You could be racing cars with John from Delaware, or in the trenches of Normandy with Raj from India. It is just another way of connecting people around the world. For a group of 30 something males it made it possible to jump online and play video games while catching on what has transpired through the week or month. The wonder of it all is that you can be stretched across the globe but for that hour of two as you battle your way through Mordor or reenact the landing on Omaha beach you are all in the one location.

So what is it about this that automatically makes it Geeky and frustrates wives, partners, husbands etc? That’s a question we have asked on several occasion and like comics and anything that people don’t understand or want to understand it’s all make-believe and not reality. Correct and no one is deluding themselves that it is. Ok there are a few who live in fairyland but like all things in life there is always going to be those one or two people who take things too far. Yes video games and gamers used to be associated with the geeks however more and more these days you will find what used to be nerdy, geeky and weird is becoming more and more mainstream.

In a world full of stereotypes many people have always associated gaming as something that only the loner, disenfranchised, nerds, geeks or children do. It is however a multi-million dollar industry and is attracting people from all walks of life for various different reasons to various different games. With games now becoming more and more like chapters of books people often finish a game and play it over and over again to see what they have missed whilst they wait for the next installment.

It’s not an escape from reality it’s merely a virtual interaction between people across continents, around the globe and maybe one day out into the far reaches of the galaxy. A way in which to interact and often work together in teams to complete a common goal. Some companies have even gone as far to go online and find future employees who exhibit online the qualities they are looking for in their staff. So escape from reality or a way of interacting and doing something with friends near and far? You be the judge but for the team here at A Mind of Its Own we advocate interact with friends and family via video games just as long as it doesn’t take over your real live. We don’t need hermits there is already enough cranky people in this world.

For another week it’s over and out from the team. We hope you’ve enjoyed the double dose this week and we look forward to gracing your inbox, iPad or desktop some point next week. Peace out hombres!