Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Future: Pharmacy Technician

Get excited. Handling Drugs.

I've been informed that my job requires a cool PTCB. So I'm pretty stoked to get, yet another, piece of fancy paper that states my name and will undoubtingly collect hordes of dust bunnies. So I cracked open this baby, to try and get a head start before classes begin. Check out all the cool things I learned today: 
1. A little Greek Mythology.
  • Pandora's Box - Zeus created, Pandora, and had her collect "gifts" for man. Zeus being Zeus, tricked her and basically the box contained disease and pestilence. Sweet.
  • Greek god of Medicine - Aesculapius (How do you even pronounce that?) was this bad-ass physician that kept a bunch of people alive. Pretty awesome dude, until it pissed off Pluto, because he wasn't getting enough people coming to the underworld. So what does Zeus do? At Pluto's request, Zeus strikes Aesculapius down with a lightning bolt. What a dick. To save face, Zeus pronounces him as "god of medicine" and Aesculapius' daughter, Panacea, becomes the goddess of medicinal herbs.  
2. Got in touch with Nature.
  • Two Greek physicians, Hippocrates and Dioscorides, wrote about the amazing ability of the white willow tree bark which the active ingredient is salicylic acid. This was the birth of the wonder drug we know as Aspirin. *except it's now acetylsalicylic acid
  • Malaria, a pretty crappy disease spread by my all time favorite thing to despise, mosquitoes. Luckily for us, this Peruvian Cinchona tree has the answer to that problem. The bark contains, Quinine, which the Spanish priests sent back to Europe, after most likely P&R'ing the Incas/Mayans/Aztec, which helped them cope with the deadly disease.  
  • Zoom back to 1884, where Carl Koller, who used the first local anesthetic, cocaine. Imagine going to the local dentist and them chalking up your mouth with cocaine before they amped up those drills. But now, since we all know, cocaine is quite harmful when abused,  procaine aka Novocain was created. 
3. Ancient Alchemists.
  • Ancient Sumerians (~4000 B.C.) - usually you only hear about this civilization when it comes to Ancient Aliens and Theories - but they allegedly used about 250 natural medicines which are still used today!   
  • Chinese Emperor Shen Nung (~3000 B.C.), ate random plants and natural materials to determine which were poisonous and which were beneficial. One of the first "trial and error drug testing" he believed to have 365 herbs for health treatments. Let's be honest, no Emperor is eating random plants. He's got a gang of servants that eat the plants, then they pray to Buddha that they don't get the short stick and eat the poisonous ones. 
  • Greatest Islamic physician, Avicenna (another sweet name, might I add), wrote a five volume encyclopedia. Each encyclopedia was a different discipline within medical healing. His work was so legit that it dominated European medical practices for centuries. 
  • Indians of Mexico were to have more than 1,200 drugs that were used for treatment. One herbal treatment which is still used today would be the the plant, Sarsaparilla. It's said to help with kidney and bladder ailments. 
They even included a 4 page timeline of "medical" high points through out history, dating way back to 4000 B.C. to present day. I'm thinking, how do you date some of this? Also, this timeline is pretty solid evidence that the human race has only been on earth for 6014 years.
The most interesting part -to me, and it may have only occurred to weird circumstances- was that I totally forgot about, Dolly the sheep. First mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. 
At the time, I was watching, The Island. <fun fact: this flick, caused me to get kicked out of my first movie theater.> Which, I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so if you plan on watching it. Stop reading, please. 
It basically is about an insurance policy that makes a "product" or clone of you so that you will have all organs/limbs readily available, if and when, your human body breaks down. Crazy idea, but then I looked at the dates and this movie came out a year before Dolly was even created.  
Sent me down a rabbit hole of, what has happened to that industry? Is that what they are doing a mile under New Mexico? Or has it shifted to become, stem cell research? I've seen where this man is actually growing a new nose on his forehead, to replace the one he lost. Or is the Zombie Apocalypse a repercussion of cloning gone bad?
-That last sentence is where I stopped. As it was comical at how terrible these ideas were becoming.-

Let's hope the next 18 chapters have some worthwhile information in them or else this will be quite a staggering 6 week feat. Until next time.




Monday, September 23, 2013

For the Love of Basketball

Basketball has taught me many things: discipline, trust, composure under pressure, and confidence in myself to just name a few. But the best thing basketball did for me was being able to build some awesome friendships with so many people. Be it a small town pick up game, league play, foreign collegiate team practice, to any place that has a court, I've met a wide variety of personalities and people. The greatest thing is that it never mattered about who we were or what we did, but how we played the game. And that's one of the reasons I'll never give up this beautiful passion of mine.

But today, the basketball world loses a great individual. And I, (and many-many others) lose a great friend.

It's crazy and sad, that I now, only think back to all the great times we've had. Not realizing that we go way back, farther than I thought. Playing for the 7th grade B squad baseball team and having a blast. Those summer traveling leagues and school ball up until 9th grade. So much time spent in the dugouts spitting seeds. Crazy.
You were my fullback for my entire RB career when I played football. To which, I would have never been able to pull those sweeps & blasts without you leading the way. Thanks for being a member of Team Morale our junior year. One of my favorite memories of high school football.
After college, who would have thought we both end up in our hometown still. But now I have no regrets moving back home. Those 2 years we got to play basketball every Sunday and the occasional Thursday will be cherished and missed. Your technique to beat me 1v1 all those times we played at the very crappy double-rimmed-waterpark-courts will bring a smile and great memories. I honestly couldn't fathom how much time we spent on those courts playing 1v1, trying to dunk of the 8ft hoop and laughing at how humanly impossible it was to sweat as much as you. 
All those times we yelled at Tony {dude from p90x} as we suffered through workouts at snap, to doing a stationary bike race while watching, Johnny Tsunami, and those times you called me a girl for not being stronger, will be remembered every time I step into that gym or see a Snap Fitness.

It's heartbreaking to lose another great friend and basketball teammate. I'm glad that I bought a replacement phone in time to have one last conversation with you. Especially since you told me, "I laughed so hard at your fb status." and prompted in asking me how my trip was. I couldn't have asked for a better friend and teammate.

I'll miss our woodville pick up games, all the late night workouts at snap, 1v1 at NE park, and just hanging out drinking beer and playing vids.

RIP Adam. I fuckin' miss ya.

Much Love

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Long Time, No See [好久不見]

Dust off this ole' keyboard. Boot up that pasty-white macbook that WSU gladly sold me for a measly $25, after stealing thousands of dollars for a laptop during my awesome 4.5-5 year jaunt. Time to lay down some thoughts on this darn site, since it hasn't been updated since Oct. 16th, 2012. (which is totally a bummer to see. I was doing so well) To bring my spirits up at least, there are about 5 short posts that were either half written or a mess of splotchy thoughts and corresponding pictures. Which shows that I'm too ADD to sit down and finish out my ideas/thoughts thoroughly without getting distracted by the millions of other things that can/could/will be seen on the internet.

They say that, you should concentrate on the moment or else the moment will be gone. That your focus should go into what you can do now, instead of what you could do later. And more similar statements of the like... (seriously, there are way too many statements that portray this theme... it's a little scary)

Sorting through all this: do that or this will help you succeed, eat that, not this, blah, blah, etc, etc... I've realized it's best to just leave it all in question, and ramble through this journey as you see fit. Mistakes they come and go, lessons are taught and forgot, while the sun goes down all that matters is that you are at peace with yourself at the end of the day.

It's sad, that I've just come to the realization of not succumbing to the excellent million-dollar-marketing that makes me feel like I am not the average American and I need to step up my game. Granted, we've been blessed to be able to learn from almost every single individual that lives on planet earth, and see how/what/and where their path is leading them as they solve problems on the way. So who needs to experience life, when we can learn from other people's mistakes? Makes more sense right?

That's how I was kind of cruising through life for the past 7-9 months, reading a ton of books that were recommended as "must reads", "true life changer", "break out perspective" and so on. I fell for the trap. (but, don't get me wrong. There were some great quotes that changed how I viewed my life and the outside world that surrounds us.) I blasted through 6-7 non-fiction books about different aspects and industries. [For example] Every time a loan payment came up, I'd worry about how my financials were doing, and if I was doing the right thing. I'd stock up on a few "financial books" from the local B&N, and zoom through those in a few days. After a few months of that, I've realized, 1) I'm smarter in financial knowledge than I thought, because I barely learned anything from these books, 2) I'm blown away, at how simple the ideas that are referenced in these, #1 best seller financial books. 3) The key factors in becoming financially fit. Save, know where your money is going (whether it is coming in or going out), and staying out of debt... <---- Brain Buster right there

All of this really caught up with me, as last week came upon us. May 15th. It gets me every time. This time though, it's been 5 years. 5 unreal years, that I haven't had one of the greatest influences in my life, in my life. It's uber sad and leaves me speechless. It makes me ponder, what the !@#$ am I doing with my life, and I think that train of thought may be my worst enemy and best friend.

Worst enemy: because it makes me want to rush into things and make things happen right here, right now.
Best friend: because it cuts out the bullshit and helps me realize what matters and what doesn't (As BHP would say, Don't sweat the small shit, Nate.)

The saddest part is, that life keeps truckin' on. There are literally are no pauses in this game of life.

Which brings me back to square one with those silly phrases:

Situations only align themselves perfectly once. Don't let that moment slip, as you won't receive another like it. Luck may be cursed by many, but what is luck without proper sight for opportunity. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Media Fast

I have fallen in love... I've climbed 5 trees in the past few days. I forgot how much fun climbing random things. You are probably wondering, don't I have better things to do.. rather than spending time gazing out at the scenic view that is in front of me? I thought I did until I started this media fast. 
I haven't looked upon a website besides, a guitar tab site, amazon to look for equipment & supplies to start a little show, and to check on my financials via online banking. 
I've realized, within the first 24 hours, that I spent way too much time looking up stupid cool-amazing-articles about space/animals/futuristic inventions/world issues/ etc... and that I have more time than I know what to do with, when I'm not on the internet.
Picked up this old book on my shelf, Tim Ferris' 4 Hour Work Week. Where I received this goofy little trial run of a Media Fast. (Which I might see how long I will last, it seems to get easier everyday) I remember reading this book about a year ago, when I got back from Taiwan... and then I applied absolutely nothing that I read because I was busy slaving away at my retail jail.
This time, with all the "freed up" time why not try some of these abnormal exercises. I just started writing goals for myself within the past year (most likely I'm way behind, since most people have been doing this since High School or before). So obviously one of the first things Mr. Tim Ferris, makes you do is to create a personalized chart of, having/being/doing. 
 So here I am, sitting at my desk making a detailed chart of goals and how I'm going to accomplish this. It's almost a flash-back to high school when my favorite short-tempered and quick-to-kick-me-out teacher, telling me how to plan for the future. (She also told me, I would never graduate college. It was quite the love/hate relationship.) 
The difference in this time, is that I am not such a sucker of influence. I feel, actually I know that I cared a lot of what people thought about me and based what I did via what I think is cool/right/acceptable. I most likely still have that thought, but not as much as when I was 18-ish. Climbing trees and creating a homemade brownie recipe probably isn't the forte' of most 24 year olds. 
 Staring at this short goal list, that contains 15 goals (5 goals per having/being/doing) and adding direction on how I'm going to do it, plus the cost of having/being/doing. (e.g., Being: I want to be flexible ---> survive an Advanced Yoga Class ---> Cost is free, Snap Fitness offers free classes to members) I realize that each goal is super easy to attain. They are all reachable as I actually stare at it and follow the path that I created to each one. 
This is one of those moments, where I look up, think to myself, "I'm an idiot. Why haven't I done this before?" This makes life 10x easier which makes me feel utterly silly for not even trying this back in the day because I was too cool for school. 
The only thing left is to follow this flow chart that I made for myself and not get distracted by more entertaining things that seem to always find me. 

Much Love,

Alastar Swift 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reality Break

I've survived an entire year in the so-called, "real world" and it has seemed like an entire blur. To cap this little feat off, I spent about 3 days in the purest form of nature. Camping in the Boundary Waters. 
Sunset (no photo-editing needed)
Seeing that the first night, all those worries that the real world emits just melts away. This trip was a great time to reflect, realize, and renew. Granted, my fellow friends that I accompanied up there with probably wondered why I spent so much time daydreaming most of the day, but that's another story. 
Last September, I found a job with a Nationally Recognized Retailer. I told myself I would find a job that interested me and I found a sense of accomplishment instead of working in Retail. Since then I've had numerous phone interviews and interviews, but to no avail, I'm still climbing the retail ladder. But with all the interviews, I was able to practice being more comfortable with the awkward silence of one-on-one interviews and even the popular, "Phone-Interviews."
 With each job application that I applied for, I find myself learning a little more about how the business world works and how I know absolutely nothing. Thousands of ways to "prep" your resume, create the "buzz-word" central of a cover letter, and use that great "networking-system" to find your dream job. It's all a headache to try and master, but in the end, hopefully it will bring up an opportunity where I can't turn it down.

 One of my proudest accomplishments has been the improvement of my health and fitness over the entire year. I've realized that health & fitness should rather be viewed as a long-term goal, rather than a short term. It wasn't until month 6-8 that it occurred to me that all the hard work I spent investing at the local 24/7 gym was paying off. I struggled with not seeing any results during the first 3-4 months, which I had a self-battle of: Is this working? Am I doing this right? Why aren't I seeing any changes? It must be genetics... (excuse after excuse, I had it all)
 Thankfully, I have a lot of encouragement of friends and other local gym mates that made me not want to quite and pushed me further than I've been. It came to me that to excel and push through all barriers, sometimes it takes an outside element. 
 It's also great to have friends that challenge yourself to workouts or different movements that you aren't used to. I've been blessed with the chance to try various styles of physical activities that range from, yoga, Muay Thai, power lifting, stretching & stability training, cross fit training, Brazilian jiu jitsu, basketball leagues, sand volleyball leagues, strength&endurance building, and the list goes on and on as I get introduced to new forms. 
 It's great to learn and discover that there are several ways to accomplish something and that no particular way is better or worse than the other. They are just different. I think this is a great attitude to have when we face the challenges that run into on our journey.

One of the major things I pondered about on this great nature adventure was how I needed to step up my game. How much time I spend on nonconstructive activities or hobbies that will not get me to where I want to be in the next few years. Tasks, goals (short & long), journals, writings, and challenges have never been a part of how I lived my life. But yet, as I have learned  over the course of the year, those things are very important to developing the path you'll take to achieve your dream.
The biggest fear I have is the presence of those great things called, Student Loans. It's that deep fear of, taking a chance of what I want to do, but facing the reality that there isn't enough financial stability to pursue it and make the monthly payments that are on top of rent, utilities, food, gas, etc... 
It's such a crazy world, that I don't know how some people do it. It may all stem from me having this fear of being in debt that I can't see anything but the negatives or I just see people setting themselves up for disaster later in life and can't believe what I'm seeing.   
Back to Reality
 The best realization I had over this trip was the fact of how much we can accomplish in a year or how little we can accomplish. This must be the difference between the super successful and the mediocre. The hard work, repetitive-boring-practice, challenges and barriers that we must face and overcome through-out our journey on this giant-spinning-slab of space rock. 
It's easy to get down about all the things that I should have, could have, wished I had done this or that. The fact that I let that one slip through my fingers, or let that stranger walk out the door before I had to the chance to meet them. 
A change of view and they all become motivation to capitalize on all the opportunities that will arise in the near-future. Just another small yet quite beautiful life lesson.
Much Love,

Alastar Swift

Ps: The Real World does not work like the sorely missed College World. Time to step up to the new curve.
 *** I picked up a few sponsors. So click the ad on the side to get in shape and dominate this world before Dec 21, 2012!!! Various products ranging from, healthly skin promotion and detox plans, to supplements and workouts that will help you achieve all the gains you want. Shoot me a message for more info. *** 

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Swift Thought

You know one of those things. Moments in time, where you go... "Shit, that actually makes sense." or maybe one of these, "Damn, I finally get it." 
One of those moments. It smacked me across the face.. Or else I'm just uber bored in my hometown.
I've realized I haven't played a single video game for about 4-5 months. Which for you, are probably thinking, yeah. The rest of the world doesn't really play video games, or I don't play video games. That's perfectly awesome. But for me. I have always played video games since I can remember. Growing up watching my brother play Mega Man. I was a little 5 or 6 year old kid running in the background freaking out that he might not beat the boss of the stage.
This shit, is in my blood. Ingrained into my conscience. I remember spending hours playing Call of Duty with my college roommate. I mean, I met most of my freshman (college) friends playing Halo 2, linking up with random people within Prentiss-Lucas. I had received so many death threats and "kid, do you know who I am. I live in the same dorm as you." My reply, "Ah... No shit Sherlock, of course we are in the same dorm." 
I guess the whole cocky-thing from growing up in this small town really gave me some false confidence to run my mouth. But it worked, to this day, I still have never been in a fight. Nor have I even been punched in the face. (Minus the many times I get popped in the face at Muay Thai or Jiu jitsu) 
 In a strange way. Playing video games really helped me understand this whole life scenario. As in, you gotta put a lot of time into something to be good at it. You are going to suck at everything that you first try. Beginners Luck? Quick Learner? Nah, it's all about being focused. When have you ever stumbled upon a quick learner that wasn't focused on what they were being told/shown? It never happens, quick learners are the type of people everyone despises. The kid in the back of the class that always ask questions. I'm always super curious on why I always thought that was annoying. Cause I'm standing at this moment in time, which I am fully aware that I am that person now.  
In this life, it's supposed to be "our story". We control the fate of the world. We control how our ending comes to conclusion. In many Role Playing Games (RPG), which I have personally played a few. (I am a nerd, but I enjoyed the story in all of them.. for my ADD, it was 10x better than reading a book), you play a character and that character is guided by every single decision you make. Just like life. Every decision we make, concludes the next path in this world that is open or closed for us. 
We open one door, and a different door will be shut. But we just have to keep tunneling through without looking back or saddened that one path will never have the option of being taken. 
Its funny how everything that we do in on this flying rock, we can tie back into how we perceive reality or our life. 
No matter what it is, someone somewhere, will always be able to comprehend and input how it will add value to their life, or somehow change their life for the better. While to another human being, it means absolutely nothing... except for a complete waste of time.

I guess it just comes down to... We all have to find that crutch. That crutch that adds value to us. That makes that tiny change in our life, which will make us crash into the perfect ending we had always been searching for.

Just a Thought
Much Love


Monday, March 26, 2012

Just Another Day in the Life...

I found myself thinking everyday is like the one before and rarely differs. My life came to the highs of being boring, somewhat really lame, and a rush of unfulfillment. I guess it came down to me wanting this reason, a sign, to turn my life into something beautiful, something worthwhile.  
I've came to this thought, at one-year before a quarter century that I needed to invest time where it counted, somewhere it actually benefits not only the short, but the long term.
Sadly, I've noticed friends fade away (not because we want it or that it ended badly) but because it slowly happens. I've seen girls disappear, even when there was a time in my life where I couldn't possibly think my life could get any better. 
All these little things from my past to even the present, has made me realize that I really need to take time and invest in myself.
My best friend, Tyler. (who I view as one of my brothers) Who I've had the opportunity to hear his countless number of funny advice statements, questions, and remarks that really help me realize how silly or just a 'wtf moment' that was going on in my thought process. 
I walked away from visiting that dirty states across the Mighty Mississippi with a slight change of perspective. (besides besting Ty in pool 4-1) We had one of those life changing drunken conversations... (or was it one of those super-hung over convos that happen on our way to find food.. That's not really important) but he gave me this way to think about my life/future. 

Small Changes. No one realizes the power of them. You don't even know the power of them. Take a look at your life and think of that small change that you made. Now look where it took you or what you can do. 
Small changes suck at first, because we get absolutely no gratification short term. All the hard work, it seems as if its just pointless to keep trying. But think about 3 years down the line. 
That small change = a huge change. Don't Believe Me? Try drawing a straight line and at the same starting point draw a line that has a small change in the slope. Yeah, what do you see?

I thought about this, probably a little too much on the way back from that dirty state, but something clicked. I realized if I didn't spend all that time being awful at guitar, I wouldn't be able to play a handful of songs, or write my own songs.
If I never kept pursuing to learn another language, I would have never set myself up to be prepared for a short term living experience in Taiwan. 
Things started to click everywhere! One of those moments of, sweet lord, how could I have not seen that before. 
That lead me to really, truly believe in, that we can somewhat control our realities. Not in that "Secret" BS, but in more of a simple, yet subtle change of our perception. I believe that there are so many different opportunities out there, yet we haven't tuned into that frequency to be able to "see them open", awaiting for the taking. I think it really takes a conscious awareness of that certain thing you want from this universe to be able to seize them. 
Sure, you can think, "I want a cookie." and obviously a cookie isn't going to appear from out-of-no-where (unless you have some badass roommates). But with this thought, it's very general (there are thousands of different types of cookies). If you make it more specific, as in "I want a chocolate chip cookie.", you have set yourself to think about where you could get one, long before you even become aware of it. 
I hear people say, "I want to find a job." Well, I'm sorry to say, but there are jobs everywhere! Sure, most of them aren't what you want, but it was stated, "I want to a find a job". General statements lead to no where. If it became more specific as stated before, BAM! You'd already be looking where to find that exact job and be thinking of different scenarios of what you could be doing.
Viewing reality this way, doesn't mean it will always play out to your exact expectations. I think it offers a basic understanding of how your thought process can alter your actions or patterns through this life.
I understand it is only a small change in perceiving this(your) reality, so who knows if it actually is a probable theory/thought. 

Much Love,

PS. Might have gone a little too deep in the rabbit hole this time. But sometimes, it's good for the soul. After that being said, Let's just enjoy this picture.
What are you waiting for?