The Harder the Conflict, the More Glorious the Triumph
Wow. It’s been two months since I’ve posted on my blog. I’ve got to get back into my routine. lately I’ve been making another attempt to learn some new musical instruments – if I ever learn them then it will have been quite the triumph. With this recent attempt, I’ve learned more about the guitar and keyboard than ever. I’ve got a long way to go but so far so good. I’m using a combination of an app called yousician, youtube vids, and books. I also have a harmonica and ukelele within reach so I may just learn them all. 🙂
I’ve also been reading on music theory. I just finished a book called The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten and gave it five stars on goodreads.com. Here is the review i posted there about the book:
Well I had planned on giving the book 4 stars but after reading the ending and some careful thought, I decided what the heck, 5 stars it is. First off, my thought process is mostly driven by logic and scientific thinking so books like this that utilize mysticism and such initially don’t interest me much. However, I gave the book a chance and was astonished at how well it’s story came together. I suspect most people who think like I normally do can’t open their mind to such a story. That doesn’t mean I believe every ounce of the story or even most of it. I think the author himself alludes to some of the playful exaggerations he’s uses to get his point across. To me the story shouldn’t be taken too literally and you shouldn’t try to verify and audit each point for scientific accuracy. The idea that if you spend your time and energy helping others learn and achieve greatness that you’ll draw from hidden connected arcane energy and forces is a powerful idea not because of magic but simply because you’ve helped others achieve something they may have not have done without you. The story paints a picture of a town filled with students who learned from the teacher. Students some of whom may have had difficult situations like the author and couldn’t have afforded to pay the teacher but yet didn’t have to because his lessons were free other than what it cost them in time and simply giving his ideas a chance.
our tethered life
What is it about the moon and the stars that captivate us? Is it because we are tethered here and it makes us think about being there where ever there is? Maybe we’re kind of like the fish in the fish bowl peering out possibly wanting to be somewhere else.
I snapped this picture of the moon and Venus and Mercury (I think). The sky was actually dark when I took this.
Earlier today I was walking around a park in Bristol, FL and walked up on this. When I found myself tonight trying (not succeeding) to get a good picture of the moon I thought of this picture and the related theme. LOL.
I was just glad i didn’t run into this guy. LOL. I’ve been watching original Twilight Zone episodes lately and getting a good laugh.
This was my view earlier this evening from my new wooden swing that I recently bought. I thought the patterns of the clouds overlapping the moon was kind of interesting so naturally i had to go grab my camera.
For now the moon wins. I guess I’ll have to invest in a tripod and finally read some of the advanced photography books I’ve had forever if I want to ever get a good picture of the moon. 🙂
what kind of surreal ethereal scooby snacks does your brain like to eat?
Metaphorically speaking my brain likes all kind of intellectual snacks such as history, tech, science fiction, politics, art, music, film and nearly any other category you can think of. Sometimes I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse. I constantly feel like the robot Number 5 on the corny 1986 movie Short Circuit when it says “need more input.”
An interesting quote by an interesting guy named Steve Jobs is “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” As with most quotes they can mean anything to anyone but to me it means keep learning and keep doing the things you enjoy and don’t be afraid to occasionally do something seemingly foolish such as veer off the beaten path. Read or study something you would normally avoid maybe but whatever you do don’t let your mind idle because an idle mind leads to idle hands which are the devil’s workshop. 🙂
the nebulous precipice of dreamy snow-capped peaks
I’ve been thinking about painting lately but not with acrylic or oil but with words. I had been toying around with the idea for sometime already when I started reading a book titled H.P. Lovecraft’s Book of the Supernatural: 20 Classic Tales of the Macabre, Chosen by the Master of Horror Himself. How is that for a long book title. To be honest, horror has always been one of my least read genres. However, my goal as a wannabe writer is to read everything especially genres I don’t care for as much.
As I read the book, it dawned on me that the part I loved most about it wasn’t the stories although they were good too but the essay at the beginning of the book written by Howard Phillips himself called Notes on Writing Weird Fiction which you can read by clicking on the hyper-link. I could read that essay over and over and enjoy it anew each time even though it is extremely condensed. Here is the first sentence from his essay:
My reason for writing stories is to give myself the satisfaction of visualising more clearly and detailedly and stably the vague, elusive, fragmentary impressions of wonder, beauty, and adventurous expectancy which are conveyed to me by certain sights (scenic, architectural, atmospheric, etc.), ideas, occurrences, and images encountered in art and literature.
I’m speechless and in my mind’s eye, I can hear George Takei, saying “OH, MY!” right now. And yes I do hear with my mind’s eye… sometimes. LOL. I’ve known for a long time that one of the horror genre’s strengths is incredible imagery and scenery but I’ve never been able to articulate it anywhere near the level that HP Lovecraft does in his essay. And one final note, what he says or implies about using writing to understand something in your own mind with extreme clarity is another reason I choose to dabble with writing though I’m not naive enough to think I’ll ever be a writer on par with HP Lovecraft.
A final final note, the title I almost used tonight was the nebulous precipice of the xenopus which by the way is an African clawed frog.
You ever look at a picture and try to imagine what it must be like if you were in that place? For instance, when i look at the picture above I wonder what it must be like to be a homeless person looking for somewhere to sleep. I first thought the far tree line may be ok but then it looks like it might rain so maybe it’s better to walk to the other side and sleep under the bridge. Kind of like a troll… I mean most trolls are homeless, right?
I read the definition of qualm several times to try to figure out if the title was grammatically correct, but then i stopped and thought, who cares. I have no qualm about writing grammatically incorrect blog posts. It’s the thought that counts. At least in cases where thought exists, unlike internet trolls…
And for a quote with qualm in it…
If a mosquito has a soul, it is mostly evil. So I don’t have too many qualms about putting a mosquito out of its misery. I’m a little more respectful of ants.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/douglashof508383.html
And some documentaries I’ve watched on the topic of homelessness
Tent City USA
Always remember to support charity if you can. You never know when you or someone you know may be the ones in need of help.
You’ve watched us grow up over many thousands and thousands of years
You’ve watched us get smarter, braver, and to conquer our worst fears
You saw us when we were at our worst and also when we were at our best
You saw us struggle to survive and against all odds to pass each test
You heard us when we laughed and when we sang and even when we cried
You heard us pray to God during our darkest hours when so many of us died
You were patient and kind to us even when we weren’t patient and kind to you
You did us many favors and were very forgiving as we acted like we had no clue
We know one day like all precious living things your life will come to an end
We can only hope that by then we have found our way and maybe made a new friend
We would do well to remember all that you have taught us over each and every year
And to remember that learned from each other so not to lose everything we hold dear
We know that time will be our ultimate test and no matter the outcome of our mortality
You will always be our mother who nurtured us with just the right amount of hospitality
By Jason Holliday – Mother’s Day 2017
I believe poems should be read and interpreted individually and personally by the reader but here is my take on it. each paragraph – becoming modern humans, agriculture, war, industrial revolution and nuclear age (hopefully no more major nuclear events), end of Earth for whatever reason – old age or precipitated by humans, colonizing new planet or star ship (maybe), learning from our past as to not lose our future, whether we have a future and are still around to remember where we came from.
Warning. This post may venture out a little farther than normal into the weeds of obscurity and geekiness.
Ok just in the unlikely case that any physicist or philosophical purist happens across this blog entry I hope freckles demonstrates (wow I had to think about subject/verb agreement there 2nd time in this sentence) that I’m being silly and playful with mixing ideas.
Lately, as a result of my OCDness and maybe having too many hobbies, I’ve been thinking about efficiency and as I often do how I can take it to the extreme or if you like Latin or you too are OCD you can read that as ad nauseam or ad infinitum or if you really hate the direction this is going, reductio ad absurdum. So as an exercise of all those at once and hopefully to help illustrate my point, I often try to get two birds (or more) with one stone (or in my case words). The bird thing is an example of an idiom and often leads me down the path of trying to remember the difference in a metaphor, idiom, cliché, euphemism, and trope to name a few. All those words link to http://www. merriam-webster.com which is one of the better dictionary sites because it has a lot of extra information such as word origin, etymology, thesaurus and a rhymes with list (useful if you like writing poetry). So before you get the idea I’m gaslighting, I’ll move on but only slightly. 🙂
So thoughts on why I blog? Here is the short list of birds umm err words:
- to share a story often personal which hopefully at least some people will find interesting. Teh internets is a big crazy place so maybe.
- to practice writing – grammar and content. I know I often get the former wrong.
- to document words and ideas that I have learned that I can share with others who are interested. I do this with many hyperlinks in my blog posts.
- to share useful tech-tips – tools and websites, etc.
- to explore ideas or thought experiments that I think of sometimes that don’t fit into my fiction writing.
- I’m sure there are many others that I can’t think of right now. 🙂
So why the title other than the word “final” being required to participate in the wordpress daily prompt? So I have a long commute to work each day and I often play this recall game in my mind while I drive. It may be that I hear something on the radio or an audio book or college lecture audio that I’m listening to and it reminds me of a word or concept that I’ve encountered in the past. So on this one past day I was trying to remember Boltzmann Brain and all I could picture in my head was this image:
I know disturbing, right? LOL. Well I kept forgetting to look it up when I got home or to the office but I would keep remembering it (the game not the words I was looking for) when i got in the car and started my daily commute. So I spent days in agony trying to remember the words “Boltzman Brain.” Now that I’ve mentioned it here, I’ll never forget it again – it has been etched in the halls of immortality on the Internet. 🙂
So I used the word “final” because I don’t really plan on writing about Boltzmann again (although it is possible) and if I actually believed (I don’t) as part of the theory goes that I and my brain are nothing more than a Boltzman Brain then it would be my last paradox on that subject. And what about poor freckles? Well obviously a reference to Schrodinger’s Cat (yet another paradox) since we were on the topic of physics and paradoxes and let’s just say I opened the box the cat was in (metaphorically) or was it Pandora’s? . LOL. I guess that depends on whether or not someone clicked this link expecting a serious discussion on physics. Well I warned them early on. 🙂 I’ll have to save that discussion for another day.
what a pink elephant taught me about choreography (and animation)
One of my many interests includes doing computer animation one day (I’ve dabbled with it in the past but nothing good enough I can put on my blog yet). So naturally I pay close attention to children’s animated shows and one that really stands out in my mind is Pocoyo. Elly, the pink elephant on the show is one of the funniest characters to me and the shows creator’s did an awesome job of really accentuating her expressions and choreography for the win. If you too have an interest in doing your own animations and content and need some ideas or inspiration check out the show and how it uses camera angles, music and dynamic movements to make superbly entertaining scenes – even for adults interested in animation. LOL. When my daughter was younger she didn’t like these silly type shows very much but luckily she watched them enough for me to catch this one. Here is a link to a couple of minutes of Elly on youtube. The entire show does a great job with animation, so check out some of the other characters too if you’re interested. Obviously this show is designed for kids but some of the ideas will carry over to different type content.
in infinite pursuit of profound profundity
Pardon my word soup but have you ever noticed how life’s hustle and bustle often impedes your ability to take a moment to stop and reflect? Then suddenly you find yourself clamped down on a sliding table heading into a narrow white tunnel into the abyss jamming to loud music? Wait. What? Ok, so it was just an MRI and and since it was for my shoulder they clamped it down with a vice so I wouldn’t move it during the 35 minute scan. Luckily I’m not claustrophobic or it could have been worse. I think it must have been 15 minutes into the scan when I finally realized hey this is a nice place to stop and think about some fictional story ideas I been kicking around. LOL. I figured it was probably a little like a sensory deprivation tank without the hallucinations.
So I certainly didn’t schedule the MRI to have a good place to stop and reflect but if life gives you lemons or 5 month shoulder injuries or long duration scans… Well you get the picture…
After asking the xray tech to change the pandora channel to different music and still not being able to work on my story ideas very well I finally just reflected on my situation. Here I was stuck in a narrow tube with loud noises from the machine (which is why they give you earplugs and headphones with loud music), my shoulder started hurting even worse, my arm went to sleep and my nose started itching and i couldn’t move without damaging the scan results. And I developed a tooth ache from a crown procedure I had the day before at the dentist that was very painful. I was trying to remember what I had did to karma to deserve all this but to no avail.
When all seemed hopeless and lost, bamm, I started getting all these great ideas for stories and I felt like I had reach flow nirvana if such a thing existed. If you haven’t heard of what a flow state is check out the hyper-links by clicking here or here. It isn’t just for intellectual pursuits or tasks. There are other good pages for learning more about it too and you’ll likely recognize some of what they are describing from your own personal experiences.
Ok so you’re probably still wondering what the title is about for today’s daily-prompt word pursue? Well, probably not but nonetheless, I needed a segue. 🙂
The little MRI experience reminded me of something I learned a long time ago that if you constantly look for opportunities to craft and shape ideas whether for stories or video games (like I worked on in my teenage years) or maybe you just want to spend a little time reflecting on your life, you can often find creative ways to do it on your schedule even if your life doesn’t slow down enough to make it easy on you.
At some point, I hope to write a second part of this exploring ideas of creating your own environments to facilitate thinking or reflecting. Something I experimented with many many years ago when I was making video games. Think of it as a thinking chair or area on steroids. Of course all of this isn’t really that unique and most people have probably already discovered it on their own or read about it elsewhere but I think it’ll still be fun to compare notes. 🙂
learn to take control of your happiness and creativity and build truly great things
My name is Jason and I live in Florida. I’ve always liked to create things whether it was art, music, stories, crafts or video games – and that’s the short list. 🙂 I have a lot of appreciation and respect for other people who create things also. I think too often people are overcritical of themselves and their work and sometimes they don’t see the beauty within themselves and in what they create. I include myself in that group. I’m trying to learn to be more open minded and appreciative of things around me because it’s easy to take what we have for granted when in reality everything around us is fragile including life itself. I hope that you try to be all that you can be and encourage others around you to do the same. Life is too short to stay stressed out and always worrying about what others think of you or your work. Be happy with who you are and what you create and learn to draw happiness from within. And I honestly believe that during your amazing journey you will learn to create truly remarkable things. I chose the single word sun for my site tag line because of it’s enduring warmth and brightness and because it’s Summer time. The pictures on this post are from my sunny walk at the park today during lunch. Enjoy.