How To Beat Cabin Fever And Influence People

cabinWe all know the old and very wise saying, Modern Philosophers: “Feed a cold, and starve a cabin fever.”

That’s too simplistic for us, though, the toga wearers and generators of Deep Thoughts.

The best way to beat cabin fever is with a baseball bat, preferably an aluminum one since the wooden ones break too easily if your rage levels get too high.

Clearly, I’m joking.  And that, my bewildered friends, is the first step in getting the upper hand in the battle against this malady.  Humor.  They say laughter is the best medicine, and since it’s covered under most insurance plans, I prescribe it as often as possible.

Laugh like a maniac, and they’ll give you the good medications.  When you’re on those, the cabin fever won’t even touch you.

Hire a Morale Officer.  If there’s someone on the payroll whose sole responsibility is to keep your spirits high, then you’ll be having too much fun to realize that the walls are closing in, the pipes are frozen, and the furnace has run out of oil.

SeamusOnce I realized that Seamus, Maine’s lone Leprechaun, had no business being this blog’s Sports reporter, I made him the Morale Officer.

That tiny, redheaded madman has not let me down, Modern Philosophers.  Sure, I don’t understand what he’s saying half the time, but he sure knows how to party.

Cabin fever cannot set in at The House on the Hill because the party never stops.

Watch movies and TV shows set in warm places.  The heat from the sunny locales will raise the temperature in your home, melt the ice forming around your brain, and remind you that there is something to live for if you can beat the fever.

Spring and Summer are out there.  You’ve just got to hang on for another month!

Keep the Miami Vice theme playing on an endless loop in your head.  That will stimulate the parts of your brain that send out pastel vibes to your body.  If your body thinks it is clothed in such summery colors, rather than buried under layers of flannel, it has a better chance of fighting off the madness.

Snow MiserPut out a hit on Snow Miser.  Sure, this is borderline illegal, but what jury of your peers is ever going to convict you of hiring someone to murder the being responsible for your tumble down the rabbit hole?

Snow Miser is the one who tampered with the settings of your internal thermostat, so if you eliminate him, you cure the cabin fever.

Dance.  Dance in the dark like Bruce Springsteen once suggested, dance alone if you can’t find a partner, but just dance the night away.  The cabin fever can’t catch up with you if you are constantly on the move.  Preferably to a rocking beat.  The slow stuff might not work well here because it leaves you open to a sneak attack.

Write.  Write.  Write.  Use your blog as the crutch that it was meant to be.  The Winter Madness cannot take hold if the Deep Thoughts are always bubbling inside your brain.

keep wrtingLaughter might be the best medicine, but Writing is the greatest therapy, Modern Philosophers.

If I didn’t have writing as an outlet, I would’ve traded in my toga for a straitjacket weeks ago.

If you only follow one piece of advice from this post, which is sure to earn a spot in psychiatric journals worldwide, let it be the one about writing.

When you feel the cabin walls closing in, grab a Sharpie, and write on them.  Anything that comes out of your head.  Just put it all down on the wall.  I always do my best writing when it’s without an outline.  That’s when my creativity runs free and my characters really speak to me.

Your words will become a charm that halts the walls in their tracks.

Trust me on this.

I’m a Writer.

Posted in Humor, musings, Philosophy, Winter, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Cabin Fever, The Great Snow Wall, And An Ice Phallus

cabinIt’s the last day of February, Modern Philosophers!

The sun is shining, so I have been out with the roof rake trying to clear away some of the snow so it doesn’t cause another leak when it starts to melt.

As I was standing in the driveway talking to Mark, I looked down and noticed blood oozing from a cut on my right hand.  Guess one of the giant icicles must have nicked me as it fell to its death.

Don’t worry, I had an intern tend to the wound and the blood has stopped leaking.  That didn’t stop my Vampire friend Ana from appearing at The House on the Hill unannounced for a visit.  She swears she simply missed me and wanted to say hi…

Thought I’d share some photos from the last couple of days since Dr. Jekyll believes that turning my angst into art is good for my Post Traumatic Snow Disorder…

work 2What my office looks like from the outside.  I shared this photo a couple of days ago, and several of  you asked me to show you what the windows look like from the inside.

Your wish is my command, Modern Philosophers…

window 1Here’s the view out of the window nearest to my desk.  As you can see, we can get a glimpse of the very top of a couple of the trees out in the parking lot.

window 2Since we can’t really see the outside world, we brought some plant life inside.  I’m not sure it’s helping much.

This window allows a view of the top of a streetlight and a few trees.  We aren’t missing much, right?  It’s all just snow out there, isn’t it?

window 3I think the snow is a Peeping Tom.  It wont’s stop peeking in at us.  Perv!

window 4What’s that I see under the window?  A giant crack running down to the floor?  And another crack next to it?

That can’t be good.  Might there be an avalanche in the office’s future?

snow wallThis was from my morning walk to the library.  I was finally able to use the sidewalks since they had been plowed.

Ooops!  Guess the plow guy went on a break here and never came back!

snow wall 2As you can see, the sidewalk is plowed behind the Great Snow Wall, but for some reason, progress stopped at this point.  I had to go back to The House on the Hill to get my climbing equipment just so I could get over the wall and continue on the the library.

snow wall 3I passed this house on my walk, and was impressed by its icicle collection.

Would you like to see a massive icicle up close, Modern Philosophers?

snow wall 4I knocked this Ice Phallus off of the back roof of The House on the Hill.  I am 6’3″ and have huge hands, so that was one big ass icicle.

snow wall 5It was something like a light saber, but I imagine, much colder.

I knocked down about a dozen of those with the roof rake.  The Force is strong in this one, Modern Philosophers.

More snow is in the forecast for tomorrow night into Monday.  At least I was able to clear most of the roof before the next storm hits.

How does the forecast look in your neck of the woods, Modern Philosophers?

Posted in Humor, musings, Philosophy, Photography, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Jump Start Your Brain: Dragon Slayers

JumpstartHappy Saturday, Modern Philosophers.

Here’s hoping that this weekend is a hell of a lot better than the work week.  It was a rough one for the Guy in the Toga, and I could certainly use a change in fortune.

It is a bitterly cold -4 degrees at The House on the Hill, so I definitely need a jump start to get my brain going.  Anyone else need 1000 volts of Deep Thoughts to get the gray matter back on track?

Am I the only one who’s made the connection between how harsh the last two Winters have been and the fact that there are very few Dragons left in the world?

When the brave knights slayed the Dragons to rescue the princesses and other various  damsels in distress, did we throw off the balance of nature?

Without Dragon fire to warm the world, have we given the Polar Vortex free reign to run amok all over the globe?

Didn’t anyone realize that Dragons were the one thing Snow Miser feared?  That Dragons made him cower like a little baby?  That Snow Miser suffered from horrible insomnia because of his terrifying nightmares about Dragons trapping him and melting him with their fiery breath?

Is it possible that Snow Miser sent the knights on their quests as Dragon Slayers?  Legend has it that a great Wizard was the one who recruited the bravest men in all the land to slay the beasts thought to be Satan’s minions, so could that person have been Snow Miser?  Wouldn’t his control over the weather have made people think him to be a Sorcerer?

Why was the world so gung ho to slay the Dragons anyway?  Was the eliminating of the world’s Dragon population the original Witch Hunt?  Did people simply kill the beasts because they were different and caused fear?

Or did men want the Dragons slaughtered because they ran off with all the pretty ladies?  So it was petty jealousy?  Were Dragons killed by the Green Eyed Monster?

Why were these damsels always in distress?  How come they forever needed saving?  Did Dragons open our eyes to the need for a feminist movement?  Did Dragons run off with fair maidens simply to urge females to empower themselves?  Why was it assumed that a knight had to be dispatched to slay the Dragon and save the woman?

How have I managed to get off on such a tangent?  Do you now see how the world’s dwindling Dragon population could be directly linked to its harsher Winters?  What are we going to do to save the Dragons?  Does science have the technology to bring them back?

Would the world be a better, warmer, less snowy wasteland if the Dragons returned?  Are the Dragons the key to holding off the New Ice Age?

Wouldn’t it be worth it just to see Snow Miser scared?  Do you think every time he encounters a Dragon he creates a mess of yellow snow?

Happy Saturday, Modern Philosophers.  I hope I’ve given you something to think about today to keep your brain active and warm…

Posted in Fantasy, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The English Channel

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHI’ve never been

A very stong


In fact,

I almost

Drowned twice

In my youth.

When I was

With you,


I felt like

I could swim

The English Channel.

You brought out

The best in me,

Challenged me

To face my fears,

And made me believe

There was nothing

I could not


Holding your hand,

Our fingers intertwined,

I felt your courage

As it seeped

From your heart

Into my bloodstream.

When I looked

Into your eyes,

I saw your belief

In me,

And I never wanted

To let you down.

You had faith in me,

At a time

When others

Acted like

I didn’t even exist.

But now you’re gone.

You’ve left me.

To chase your dreams.

With a push from me,

The boy

Who believed

In you,

Who had faith

In you,

Who knew

You were meant

For bigger things.

There’s a distance

Between us now.

One wider than

The English Channel,

And I’m drowning

In loneliness

And heartbreak

On my side of it.

If only

I had the courage

To swim to you.

But I’m desperately afraid,

And I’m a terrible swimmer.

Without your love

To keep me afloat,

I’m certain to drown,

Sink to the bottom

Of the channel,

Along with my hopes

And dreams

Of a future




Posted in Humor, Love, musings, Philosophy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Friday Night Think Tank: Lucky 7

SevenWhat’s in the box, Modern Philosophers?

What’s in the box?!?!?!

It’s Friday night, and I feel like Brad Pitt in the final scenes of the movie Seven.

It’s the seventh day of a horrible week, I feel like Kevin Spacey has dragged me out into the middle of the desert, and some delivery guy has just dumped a mysterious package at my feet.

My detective’s instincts are telling me that the box does not contain a case of Snapple, but I can’t bring myself to open it just yet.

What’s in the damn box?

This week, played by Kevin Spacey in this Philosophical Movie Scenario, has been screwing with me for the past seven days, but he said it would all come to an end tonight.

Friday night.

He’s promised that if I brought him to The Think Tank via the scenic route, I’d finally get closure and be able to move on with my life and enjoy a relaxing weekend.

And then the delivery guy arrived with the box.

I can’t take anymore of this, Modern Philosophers.  I’ve got my gun on Kevin Spacey, I’m pacing, I’m totally ignoring my partner, and I can’t get my mind off the damn box.

Are you coming to The Think Tank tonight?  We gonna open this box together?

The week’s topic: I’m having a rough week, so tonight’s topic is a little out there.  If you were one of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs, one day of the week, and one of the Seven Deadly Sins, who would you be?  Be creative in explaining your answer, or I’m going to shove you in the box…

GrumpyI am Grumpy Friday Sloth, Modern Philosophers, and you’d better clear out of my way because I am not someone you want to mess with tonight.

Clearly, I am a bad ass detective in some nameless city where serial killers have a thing for the Bible and savagery.

I’m Grumpy because when life starts to push me so much that I can’t take it anymore, the Brooklyn Boy in me comes out and pushes right the #$%^ back!

I’m tired of this weather, I’m fed up with how much my head aches when I get back to The House on the Hill after a day in the office, I’m pissed at how my personal life has become the punchline of a horrible joke, and I’m done feeling like a punching bag.

I’m #$%^&*@ Grumpy, and that’s all there is to it.

I choose Friday as a middle name because it’s a day of transition, and I’m hoping the change from work week to weekend is going to better my current outlook on life.

Friday night always holds out such hope.  I can finally burn my working stiff toga and put on a more casual one.  Friday night is just about chilling out, watching the shows on my DVR, and knowing that the next two days won’t be spent chained to a desk.

Eventually, Friday might even become date night again, but no one wants to date a guy who gets mysterious boxes delivered to him in the middle of the desert.  Especially when they’ve seen Seven and know what absolutely, positively had to be there overnight.

I chose Sloth as my last name because I am being extremely hard on myself.  I am lazy and not living up to my potential.  A higher power blessed me with the ability to turn my tortured thoughts into entertaining stories, but I’m not using that talent as I should.

I have done nothing to advance my writing career and, instead, I sit here in the middle of this metaphorical desert, waiting for someone to discover me.

Rather than thinking outside the box and coming up with ways to land writing jobs and get my screenplays out there, I’m obsessed with what’s inside the damn box.

Now that I’ve spilled my guts, let’s see what you have to say on this topic.

Posted in Humor, Philosophy, musings, Movies, Funny | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Clocking In To Snow Prison

cabinAs we slowly crawl through the snow towards Spring, I feel the cabin fever creeping in, Modern Philosophers.

Maybe it’s just my Post Traumatic Snow Disorder acting up again, or maybe the copious amounts of snow that have fallen on Maine (and not melted at all over the past month) really are closing in on me.

Dr. Jekyll is always telling me to use my words to express how this horrible Winter is making me feel.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I thought I’d take a few photos this morning to help get across my angst about the great white world around me…

work 4This was the view through the windshield of Zombie Car when I pulled into a parking spot at work this morning.

Can you see how the pile of snow in front of my vehicle is higher than the top of my steering wheel?

work 3Another angle through the windshield.  The snow is very high and we are running out of places to pile it.

work 2Welcome to Snow Prison!

Once you climb over this giant ridge of snow, you can continue on to one of the very narrow openings in the snow, where you will find doors leading to your cell.

Please note that the windows are completely covered in snow so as to enhance your cabin fever.  There are no Post Traumatic Snow Disorder medications in the prison dispensary, so do your best to deal with your symptoms naturally.

work 1This was the entrance to my cell block, Modern Philosophers.

Again, notice how the windows are completely blocked by the snow.  We can’t even be tortured by our view of the outside world.  We just have to sit in our cells and stare out at the snow all day.

How soon before it breaks through the glass and we are buried in the avalanche?

work 5A side view of the snow pile that is hard at work chewing through that brick so that it can gain entry to our Snow Prison.

It will get in soon enough.  That snow has been out there for weeks now, and it has shown no indication that it ever intends to leave.

Will you come visit me in Snow Prison, Modern Philosophers?  Can you bring me word of the outside world, far away from the snow?  Does such a place even exist anymore?

Posted in Humor, musings, Philosophy, Photography, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Superman Visits My Fortress Of Solitude

SupermanWhen The Man of Steel makes a surprise visit to The House on the Hill, Modern Philosophers, you rearrange your day to be available to hang out with him.

“I love reading your blog, Austin, and you told me I always had an open invitation to  The House on the Hill,” Superman explained as he stomped the snow off his boots from the short walk to my porch.

Thankfully, he remembered to control his strength and did not stomp holes through the floor of my front porch.

For the record, all Superheroes have an open invite to The House on the Hill, and I hope more will take me up on the offer.

The Modern Philosopher and his Superfriends.  I like the sound of that!

“Your stories about Maine’s harsh Winter and your battle with Post Traumatic Snow Disorder got me to thinking that we have a lot in common.”

Tell me more about this theory, Superman!

fortress“The House on the Hill is your Fortress of Solitude,” he continued as his cape rippled  in the morning breeze.  “You hunker down inside, safe from the elements and the stress of the outside world, and form your Deep Thoughts on your next plan of action.”

That’s exactly what Superman does at The Fortress of Solitude!

“Of course, your blog posts lead me to believe that it’s much warmer at my place of seclusion than it is as yours,” he joked with a mighty laugh.  “Plus, you have some very interesting guests, while no one ever wants to come to see me.”

Don’t be jealous, Modern Philosophers, but I now have an open invitation to visit The Fortress of Solitude.

We moved things inside because it was getting much too cold out on the porch for this puny human.  Once we each had a Snapple in hand, we continued the conversation in the warmth of my living room.

I must tell you, I’ve never seen anything more adorable than The Man of Steel petting the purring black cat curled up in his lap.  I doubt Cali had any idea who the visitor was, but she definitely took a liking to him.

Kriptonite-crystal“Like me, you have a weakness that drains your powers,” he told me as he petted Cali behind the ears.  “Snow is your Kryptonite.”

I countered that maybe Kryptonite was merely green snow.  Superman got a kick out of that one.

“The next time your Post Traumatic Snow Disorder makes you feel powerless, tell yourself that you are a Superhero, and snow is the one thing on Earth that has this effect on you.  I bet you that Deep Thought helps you get through the hard times must quicker.”

Faster than a speeding bullet perhaps?  I cannot wait to tell Dr. Jekyll about this at my next session.  This could be the breakthrough I’ve been hoping for!

“Of course, our most obvious similarity, after our striking good looks, is the fact that we each have an archenemy who is the bane (Superhero pun intended) of our existence.”

LexSnow Miser is my Lex Luthor!

How have I not seen this before, Modern Philosophers?

Superman is a genius and a true Modern Philosopher.  I can’t imagine the Deep Thoughts he is capable of forming.

“I don’t want you to let this horrible Winter get you down, Austin,” Superman informed me as he polished off his Snapple.  “Superheroes support each other, and I want you to know I am here for you whenever you need me.”

How cool is Superman?  Seriously!  He told me that on his way back to Metropolis, he is going to pick up a pair of glasses just like mine for Clark Kent.

After we had another Snapple, Superman cleared all the snow off of my property with his heat vision.

The Son of Jor-El is now officially my favorite Superhero.  Which Superhero do you think you’re most like, Modern Philosophers?

Posted in Funny, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments