Regarding my Acceptance of Bitcoin

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“The First Rays of Sunlight” – Summer 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

So I have been receiving a few emails with questions regarding my acceptance of bitcoin… I have decided to just write about the subject as I have sent the same reply email ten times now… This post is different from anything I have ever written… But I think it will explain why I believe bitcoin is a good thing… And why I think we should all adopt it…

Bitcoin is a decentralized currency that only exists in the digital realm… Meaning… There is nothing physical about it… It is a line of code… I often compare it to gold in that it has a value because supplies are limited… It is difficult to acquire… And increasingly in demand… It is also similar to gold in that its value is universal… When a bitcoin is worth a thousand dollars in the United States… It is worth the equivalent of that anywhere in the world…

Across the bottom of many of my posts you will find my bitcoin wallet address… Just in case – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj – is what it looks like… I can receive bitcoins with this address… If you had one… I could send bitcoin to you… It is safe to post it anywhere… This number only receives… In order to send you actually have to log into your wallet… This is not possible with this address…

If you want a digital wallet… I recommend CoinBase… It is free to sign up… You can receive coins with it… But much more importantly… You can buy bitcoins using this service… Safely… They are based in the United States… And are not linked to the Silk Road or any other drug related dealings… They are a legitimate investments service… Operated by real people… Who actually return emails promptly…

I also like the fact that I can send money anywhere in the world without any kind of charge… I can send twenty dollars to an artist in Africa instantly… I can donate to a cause in Brazil… Hell… I can accept donations or tips from anyone in the world… No matter how large or small… This is why I believe bitcoin could revolutionize blogging… It would allow us to tip each other with actual money… And because bitcoin is digital… Sending small amounts is possible without a transaction fee (There is a transaction fee – But it is so small you will never even notice it)… Basically… If I read your post and like it… I could “tip” you with anything from a fraction of a cent all the way up to millions of dollars… If we all had bitcoin addresses… Making a small amount of money could be possible…

I personally believe bitcoin is here to stay… Though I do not believe it will replace fiat currency… I do believe it will become a commodity like gold or silver… It just makes sense that the concept of “value” would stray away from physical materials into the digital realm… As we as a culture spend more time in cyberspace… We will find ourselves looking for objects of equal value… In a world of computer codes… It just makes sense that we would find certain codes to put value on… The gems of the computer world… Like gold locked away in digital codes…

I recommend anyone who actively blogs at least looks into the world of bitcoins… Check out my link above and sign up for a wallet… After you have a wallet… You will be given a receive address… Anyone in the world with a bitcoin wallet can now send you money… If they like your post… They could send you a few pennies… Or a few million dollars… It just depends on how good of a writer you are…

Since the wallet is free… And costs nothing to maintain… I feel there is no reason all of our blogs don’t list bitcoin addresses… As far as I am concerned… To not have one is to miss out on possible earnings… However small a piece of the pie… But pie none the less…

Just in case you would like to open a wallet – CoinBase is what I use… If you want to purchase coins you have to let them link to your bank account… And the entire transaction takes 4 days for security purposes… I HAVE PERSONALLY DONE THIS… I have bought coins through their service… My only complaint would be they were a little too careful… But that’s not a real complaint…

If you would like anymore information about bitcoins… Please don’t hesitate to ask – c.condello@hotmail.com

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

Donations and Tips – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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The Pope is a Bad Ass

Pope Benedict XVI

RESPECT

Whether or not you appreciate the catholic religion, you have to admit that despite all of the controversy, the pope is one of the coolest religious figures in the world.

The simple fact that Pope Benedict XVI was man enough to admit that his age, and failing health would get in the way of his “job” is a radical move in its own right. The last pope to step down was Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the only reason he even considered stepping down was just an effort to end what is called, the “Great Schism” where two men were claiming the papal throne.

In 1941, Josef Ratzinger, 14, and his brother, Georg, were enrolled in the Hitler Youth when it became mandatory for all boys. Soon after, he was let out because of his intention to study for the priesthood. At the age of 16, Ratzinger was drafted into the German army. In 1945 during World War II and at the age of 18, Josef deserted from the German army and was a U.S. prisoner of war… They took him to a camp near Ulm, Germany where he wound up living under the open air for several weeks, surrounded by barbed wire.

The pope also happens to have his pilot’s license for the papal helicopter and liked to fly from the vatican to the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, but the pope does not have a driver’s license as he has never learned to drive a car… Bad ass right…

Weideneder Brau Vertriebs GmbH (?), a family owned brewery in nearby Tann, Germany, has created a special brew called Pabstbier/Pope Beer. The label reads, “Dedicated to the great son of our homeland, Pope Benedict XVI.” Bad ass right, What do you think Jesus would do?

Pope Benedict XVI is fluent in German, English, Italian, French and Spanish and has knowledge of Portuguese. Naturally, he can also speak classical Latin… Again… Totally Bad Ass…

The Pope is also a relatively computer savvy individual, being the first Pope to have a Twitter account, and sending the first Papal tweet. The man also has six email addresses, each one beginning with the name Benedict… He is even the first Pope to own an iPod…

And Finally, if this doesn’t say bad ass… I don’t know what does… The Holy Father loves cats and has two of his own… One was a stray which he found in Rome!..

Now, I’m not a religious person by any scale, but you have to admit that the Pope is one bad ass man. He is multilingual, a pilot, a P.O.W. and a beer namesake just to name a few. I guess what I am trying to say, is do your own research when it comes to religions, don’t let anyone else choose your spirituality… Your soul is not for sale…It is important to explore all religions… Take what will help you and what interests you… Absorb and digest it… And expel the waste…

He was the Pope, and he’s still a man…

find what works for you – chriscondello

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Feel The Love Of CHRISmas

I like to consider myself a problem solver… And apparently there’s a little issue with that pesky Jebus guy poking his head into our holidays… I mean… When I think “peace on earth”—I think of the federal government!.. Don’t you…

Joy to the United Nations… All I Want For Christmas Is An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile… Do You Fear What I Fear… Romney The No Man… I could go on and on…

Though I am not religious in any form… I am a man who appreciates tradition… I enjoy the relation Christmas has to the church… I don’t know why they are related… I don’t really care… That’s how I was raised… And for me Christmas is the one time of year that I think really hard about going to church… Maybe even toss a few bucks in one of those baskets… The baskets that are attached to six-foot poles… Jebus must have had a swimming pool… Why the hell else would he have pool skimmers in his house?..

What about the manger scenes placed around communities… The one we used to visit had real people in it… Great holiday memory… What I don’t get is why?.. Why all of a sudden does everyone have a problem with Christmas relating to Christianity?.. And even more importantly… Is there a compromise?.. Of course there is!..

I would like to officially propose that we drop the “T” in Christmas… That’s right… We could solve the entire problem with the elimination of one letter… CHRISmas will be a merry holiday… A holiday to celebrate all of the great people named Chris… But mostly me… You will not get presents… You will “get to” give them to me… And I… I in turn will scoff… Because your gift will never compare to the gift I am about to receive… My very own Holiday… Sweet!..

merry chrismas to all — and to all a good night – chriscondello

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Snow Falls And Spirits Rise

100_1969So the birds were right… Winter is now here… A surprise from the night… An end to the year…

The snow falls slowly from the sky… Created by the great lake… And guided by the wind… Frozen tears of Summer settle…

Pittsburgh snow makes natives restless… Toilet paper, milk, bread… Clear shelves and total panic… Two more inches and we’ll be dead…

No change for the animals… They don’t even seem to notice… Birds are singing… Cats are hunting…

Peace…

I love the first snowfall… A blanket of pure white… That covers the litter and dirt… And accumulates in the black night…

Winter brings us white from black… Good from the bad… Light from the dark… New, Pure and clean…

peace – chriscondello

I have never written any kind of poetry—Please bare with me as I experiment and learn…

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The Orange Glow Of The Night

The last of the leaves are being blown from the trees… Winter has finally arrived… The chill of the night is sharply enhanced by the wind… Thirty mile per hour gusts… And the first snow i have seen this season… Life is simple… Life is grand… Life is peachy…

The essence of the late night atmosphere—however you choose to look at it—is really about heightened awareness… The obvious lack of sight awakens your other senses… Take a moment and listen to the natural rhythm of your surroundings… Once the melody is established… Foreign noises will jump out of the sound scape… Disturbance of the rhythm… Is a disturbance of the natural peace… A foreign being… A predator… how true to life…

Tonight I am not alone… Neighbors cat… And the sound of the wind… Snowflakes in the orange street lights… And that oh so familiar constant dog barking in the distance… Winter in Wilkinsburg is something else… No one screaming… No one fighting… Just me…

Some abandoned houses whistle in the wind… Loose boards clap… And old floors moan… The wind-blown leaves rustling on the ground… Are what bind the song together… A song that you would never hear… Unless you took the time to stop what you are doing… And let nature teach you… Be ready to listen… And always be willing to learn…

nature is the ultimate artist – chriscondello

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Thyme To Finish That Nest

Green grass below me… And grey skies above… Really an odd day for the end of November… The clouds are moving as fast as cars… Blue, purple, orange and grey—constantly changing… Morphing… Heading south-east… At this time of year it can only mean one thing… Cold fronts on the way… Sixty degrees yesterday… Rain in the afternoon… Snow tonight…

Garbage men are smoking at the end of the street… 7:30 AM… The day after Thanksgiving… Not one single can of garbage is on the street… Because not one single person is awake… Or aware of their arrival… But me… Racing to get my garbage together… I managed to get half of it out as the truck was leaving… They took the few bags I had managed to get to the curb… But when I went to my back porch to get another bag… They disappeared… Dammit… Racoons are gonna eat good this week… If I could just train them to clean up after themselves… Imagine if you threw your dinner on the floor before consuming it… How rude…

There’s great light this morning… Very yellow, almost orange and warm looking… It makes the fallen leaves across the street appear almost invisible… The yellow light cancels out the yellow of the leaves… Against the green grass it creates a feast for the eyes… I think it’s because the low sun rise is reflecting off the bottom of the clouds… Only lasts a few moments… But so worth noticing when it occurs… It gives objects that ultra-violet glow that is often experienced in the evening… The little things that we notice… Can be spiritually huge…

The birds that live in my front porch are busy as hell… I can actually hear the things in my wall… I watched them for an hour this morning with my coffee… Beefing up the nest for the cold… These smart birds are apparently using my lemon thyme to build their nest… That’s what I would use—maybe a little chamomile as well…

This will be the third year for birds nesting in my wall… I have no idea if it’s the same ones from the past… I like to think so… I have a feeling they are trying to tell me to prepare for the cold… It makes sense… Why the hell else would they be rushing to insulate the nest…

Nature is the ultimate meteorologist… I think if the weatherman took his head out of the ass of his computer… And went outside and observed nature… He would be right every once in a while…

lets just say a little birdy told me – chriscondello

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Call Me Crazy

I think you should probably go now… There is nothing to see here… This is my secret place—not yours!.. The occupancy permit only accepts one… But if the fire marshal asks… Please forget about all of my personalities… Because although I never invite them… They still manage to crash all of my parties…

I am well aware of the toxic cocktail that is my mind… Any person that has the capacity to do good… Also has the capability to do evil… Evil is easy… As humans I am starting to think evil is second nature—It’s hard work to do good…

Sometimes my thoughts scare me… I actually have to take a moment and give myself a “reality check”… Every person I meet is not against me… You are not plotting my demise—or are you?.. I must be able to read your future thoughts through this keyboard… I feel like you are plotting to lynch me while you read this very sentence—are you?.. Don”t answer that—I wouldn’t believe you anyway!..

It’s interesting that after shutting people out for so long… I could possibly think that I know what you are thinking before you do… It’s so easy to draw conclusions just by the look on your face… I have been told my entire life that I look like I am up to something—I usually was—but that is besides the point… I used to hate that about other people… Now I hate that about myself…

It’s odd how paranoia takes a hold of a person… My paranoia is no longer about your thoughts… Mine is about my own thoughts… You don’t want to know what I am thinking most of the time… My mental jokes are to dark for the general public… I find your misfortunes to be curiously amusing… I have been my own personal lab for years now… Now I want to do experiments on you… How much can you take?.. How do I compare to that?.. I know how much I can handle—how much can you?..

My breaking point is definite—as I believe yours is… Test me… I dare you… Every landmine you lay down… I will step on… That’s just how I roll now… Call me crazy—please—call me crazy!.. Call me anything… Just don’t you dare call me normal… I am an outsider… I do not fit in… I am beginning to accept this about myself… I am not a dinner party kind of person… I don’t really do bars… I am not social…

The first time I meet you—I will most likely mentally reject you… No offense to you—I just don’t “trust” anyone… I love people—But I hate meeting people for the first time… I no longer have any faith in my ability to read a first impression… I have made to many bad decissions as far as friends are concerned… It’s not so much that I don’t trust you… What am I saying—I don’t trust myself—why in the hell would I trust you?..

peace – crazychriscondello

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Biohazardous Waste and Folgers… Not the best part of waking up!

Hot cup of coffee while the sun comes up… The first sign of morning is the laser beam of blue light that is enhanced by the cigarette smoke that accompanies my coffee… My body is still numb from the sleep… But my mind is electric from the lack of rest… You see… My body may have been asleep… But my mind wouldn’t shut up… Maybe I can focus for a few…

Let me see here… I just can’t seem to get my mind in order to write… Concentration seems to elude me… Blah!.. Seems to be the only complete thought I can generate… Nothing… Nil… Nada… Zero… Just sit and watch the news… With a cat… And my empty thoughts… Thoughts of nothing… Thoughts of everything… So many thoughts… I can’t seem to be able to put them into words…

Is it possible for the human mind to think nothing?.. Because it’s a very common answer to the question “what are you thinking?”…  I mean… Who in the hell actually thinks nothing?.. Even when I rest… My mind seems to just roll forward… From one thought to another… My mind weaves in and out of mental traffic… All that I can usually do is hold on… And hope for a red light…

Sometimes my thoughts are dissonant… I wrestle with the daily struggle that is the symphony of my mind… I struggle with every choice I have ever made… Sometimes it feels like a prison… As it does today… A prison that won’t let you write… Or display any kind of emotion… Emotion is nothing more than a sign of weakness—what a stupid statement…

Sometimes remembering something is worse than forgetting… My desire to be a socially sentient being has led me way off the beaten path… It’s amazing how many mistakes you can make in the name of friendship… But at the end of the day… I still have ten years of nothing… A million “exp” points and no gold…

I long to forget so much… And I hate to remember things… You could almost say that I have a fear of my memories… The dominant memories are drug related… A daily struggle I will never get used to… A struggle that at one time left me hanging by an extension cord… Even death is a feeling that I vividly remember… And every thought leading up to it… Save that for another time…

Recent memories are of a guy I used to hang with… He lived in a cold basement with his fiance… Junkies… Like I was… Held together by a parasitic bond… They seemed to feed off each other… Though in reality she fed off of him…

In this damp hell of a basement the only available light came from a candle… And a small glass block window that let the cold in through what I was told was a bullet hole… The lack of light was a good thing though… Not really much to see… A soaking wet mattress sans box spring on the floor… Two garbage bags of clothes… And an assortment of drug paraphernalia that would warrant a biohazard sign… Everything else was darkness… The penetrating sound of dripping… And nothing…

It was a rare thing for me to say I had a friend while I was still using… I guess we weren’t so much friends… But we had history… I went to school with him… And he always looked out for me… He hung himself in a jail cell… For reasons I actually understand… Oddly enough I was the first person his fiance called… At the time… I was the only person she thought would care… But I wasn’t sad that he was dead… I was sad that I lost my hook-up…

That is the kind of thought that predominately occupies my memory…  Everything I see reminds me of painful times and places… I find it very difficult to be positive… Though I try… As a writer I am trying to explore subjects that aren’t so doom and gloom… I hope this post puts my writing into a little  perspective…

Peace, love and happiness are feelings I am now attempting to explore… But given the fact that as an addict the only times I ever felt these emotions was when I was sky-high… You can understand my fear of the relation…

emotion is nothing more than a sign of humanity – chriscondello

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Just a Square in a Sea of Circles

So this afternoon I was standing in the paint department of the local craft store… Dreaming… Staring at a wall of colors that I can only dream of having in my palette… A guy wearing all black and one of those fancy french hats joined me in the aisle… This was surely an accomplished artist, the way he kept looking at me… giving me dirty looks… I could see in his eyes that he was “judging” my artistic ability based on the brand of paint that I was looking at…

  • Since I quit using heroin, I seem to have developed a bit of a “fuck the world” mighty-might, attitude problem. *as my girlfriend likes to call it* I have been in several situations lately, situations that I would have taken a “passive aggressive” attitude towards in the past… Apparently that is not an issue anymore… Now I apparently have no problem asking men twice my size what their fucking problem is… Is it a good thing? Probably debatable… But I like to think it’s a damn good thing…

Anyway as I was preparing to unleash five feet of pure and vulgar hell on this guy, he looked at me and smiled… He then asked me if I knew where they kept the chalk, he explained that although he could tell I wasn’t an employee… I looked like an artist and he figured I would know where they kept it…

Imagine that, I thought he looked like the unapproachable artist… For all I know he was thinking the exact same thing about me… I almost declared war on this guy while standing in the artists paint aisle at a craft store… Why? Because I thought he was judging me as an artist… I thought he was the asshole that “looked” like an artist, an artist that was judging my artistic ability without ever seeing my work… Funny thing is… I was the one judging!

What does an artist look like anyway? Apparently I look like an artist, but I rarely feel like one… Which brings me to the point of this post… I lack serious confidence… I rarely feel confident in public situations… I don’t know why, I used to eat acid with the explicit goal of being around as many people as possible just for the experience of mental chaos.

I consider myself a nerd, my idea of a nice Saturday night includes beer, cigarettes, TV, and time to work on a painting or a blog post.

  • Although I no longer do heroin, I have taken a very non-traditional approach to my “recovery”. I still smoke… I still practice “herbal” remedies… And I still drink beer… I don’t care what anyone says… I have been to rehab so many times it is embarrassing, every time to no avail… And I can honestly say that I think our current method of “recovery” is complete bullshit… Like the last thing an addict needs is to be thrown in a room with 20 other people who have the same fucking problem… I will write about this in great detail someday… Anyway!

I am a little-big ol’ nerd, a square I guess you could say… When I get around other artists and their work… Well lets just say my asshole tends to pucker up a little bit… I become speechless, and the mental comparisons begin… I look at other artists work and it makes me feel talentless and small…

I am beginning to think that although I loathe this feeling, it may be a feeling that I need to embrace… I need to accept the fact that I am rarely the only square in the room, that a lot of other people probably feel the same way I do… Awkward… Scared… And small…

I need to be proud of what I have become, I may not be “successful” in the traditional sence, but I am doing ok if you factor in the fact that I should probably be dead… Confidence will come back to me slowly… Luckily I have incredible family, friends, neighbors… And even though this will give her a big head… I also have a great girlfriend…

Some people will be confidence builders in your life, and some people will tear you down… Though in most situations you will probably find that most people will want to build your confidence, only a very select few will try to break it… Surround yourself with the good ones… Because life is way to short to fuck with the people who only aim to tear you down…

squares need loving too – chriscondello

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Plant Impatiens and Question Everything

100_1517Everybody has a soft spot for at least a few plants, for me it’s Impatiens. When I was younger my mom would plant them all the way up both sides of the walkway that led to our back porch. It would amaze me how small they were when she planted them, and within a few weeks they would completely fill out creating a neon mound of color that would last until frost. Still today when I see Impatiens it immediately takes me back to my childhood and makes me think about catching bees and waiting for hummingbirds to visit the colorful flowers. From this point forward I vow to have Impatiens in my garden every year for the rest of my life, if for no other reason than the fact that they remind me of my mom and make me feel good…

You see, the last couple of summers while I was building and maintaining the urban farm on the street I found myself spending all of my spare time studying data sheets on crops and pests, and basically immersing myself in agricultural research. I still do this, but it has made me realize how easy it is to take something that is meant to be peaceful, relaxing and enjoyable, and make it a daunting task associated with work. When your goal is squeezing as much food out of every square foot of garden space you have, aesthetic qualities tend to go out the window.

Gardening is a spiritual and physical connection to the earth that one could not understand without actually doing it, but the earth does a lot more than just feed us. Over millions of years our planet has developed an incredibly diverse bouquet of plants and animals, some feed us, and some simply blow our minds. Ssome things exist out of necessity, and some things are here as one of mother natures vulgar display of power. With all of the attention we currently invest in growing food, I sometimes feel we are forgetting that part of creating a diverse ecosystem also involves growing ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers… both annuals and perennials.

Over the past several years I have met some of the most incredible gardeners and urban farmers, people who do things that could blow your mind. But they all seem to be focussed on food… if asked a question about growing tomatoes they could answer you in a second, but if asked a question about normal every day annual flowers they are clueless. Are we so caught up in growing food that the art of growing an old school flower garden like our grandparents used to have is getting lost.

The lack of pollinating insects has gathered a lot of attention lately, wouldn’t it be funny if it turned out to be something simple like a lack of people growing petunias and geraniums. Next time you are buying tomato or pepper plants pick up a pack of petunia or marigold plants and intermingle them around your tomatoes. One of my all time favorite mistakes was a bunch of volunteer petunias growing in my corn patch… It was truly a beautiful combination…

I’m not trying to say that I am done farming as I am just getting started, I have big plans involving multiple urban lots that is becoming a reality much quicker than anticipated, but I am trying to get back in touch with the side of gardening where happiness is not measured in yield, but in aesthetic beauty. I love vegetables and farming, but I also love my ornamentals, and whether you can admit it or not there is a symbiotic relationship between food crops and ornamental plants that goes deeper than science will ever be able to truly explain.

I understand that gardening is a way for people to feed themselves, but it can also bring beauty and lift spirits in a way that little else can. This year as you plant your garden, don’t just fill every square inch of space with food for yourself, remember the bees and birds that make our vegetables possible work up quite an appetite as well. If you plant 3 tomato plants for yourself, then plant a petunia just for the bees. If you plant a few apple trees, then plant a serviceberry just for the birds. Consider it a sacrifice of space that may seem to hurt your personal yield but in the long run will increase the overall total yield of the earth as an ecosystem. Just as people should count compost into their overall garden yield, insects and birds that are attracted to your garden could also be considered yield… If for no other reason than the presence of these animals will increase your gardens yield as well as contribute to the quality of your life and your surroundings.

I don’t normally share this with people because it makes me feel like a dork but every fruit tree, bush or bramble that I have planted for my personal consumption over the last 3 years has a flower from my garden under it. I consider it a sacrifice to the plant gods, I feel if the plant is going to sacrifice its energy into producing food for me than I can sacrifice one of my flowers to it. Just my nerdy planting ritual that helps me personally connect with the earth and how I sculpt my surroundings.

plant impatiens and question everything – chriscondello

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