Far in the distant darkness, a dim light flashes slowly like a tiny lighthouse

far in the distant darkness, a dim light flashes slowly like a tiny lighthouse

 It’s almost 9 PM I’m sitting outside in the backyard swing under the Dogwood tree looking up at the moon.  The moon is bright however occasionally the fast-moving clouds obscure its  the view.  It’s slightly cool, breezy and in the distance ahead of me I can hear the wind blowing through the top of the pines.  The night sky is just bright enough that I can see the pines swaying gently back-and-forth like concertgoers at a late night music concert .  Behind me is natures concertgoers a chorus of frogs that occasionally stop singing I guess to catch their breath maybe. 

 I’m on a top of a hill in a wooded area of North Florida.  I have to believe that many many hundreds of years ago that this same hill wouldnt have been a bad spot for the Native Americans living here the time to peer up at the moon just as I am doing tonight.  I know they were here because they left their stone artifacts as arrowheads a tangible reminder of a long distant past.  

 The image below is what I see tonight.  Although it shows the moon through the distant Pines as the Native Americans might’ve saw it, it also shows a nightlight a friendly reminder of our modern conveniences.  I’m sure the Native Americans too were serenaded by the multitude of frogs as well as harassed by the relentless mosquitoes.  In some ways we probably have a lot in common even though we are separated by long spans of time we are connected by the timeless land and by nature.

 While the dim slowly flashing light mentioned in the title isn’t visible in this picture, I’m sure that the Native Americans would’ve been all-too-familiar with it as well.  But I can’t help but wonder how they would have pondered those lightning bugs.  What magical properties may they have thought the lightning bugs possessed.  For when I see lightning bugs through my modern educated lens I think of insects and evolution things we were taught in biology.  Special properties of behavior and adaptation that allow the lightning bugs to keep their tiny light house lit.  Only for short time when I was a kid could I look at those dim slowly flashing lights as magical and wonder probably as our ancient Native American ancestors did what magical lands must they have traveled from and from what magical hands must they have been created.


Thinking the neurons would congregate sufficiently in action to support the cognitive endeavor, he soon realized…

Thinking the neurons would congregate sufficiently in action to support the cognitive endeavor, he soon realized…

 I’ve learned a lot about writing since my early childhood, however,that’s not to say I’m an expert by any means.  For instance, one thing that I’ve learned  along the way about writing is that when you make a promise to the reader that you have to keep it.  Obviously one example of that in this case is the title.  While it sounds a little bit like mad Libs or ad lib.’s which was an old favorites of mine as a kid, tonight my cognitive endeavor if I can call it that is an attempt to write this whole passage or blog with my Kindle using audio dictation or voice recognition.  

 Tonight I’m sitting in the swing under the moonlight in the backyard surrounded by woods and mosquitoes which are unfortunately for me enjoying it a bit too much and alas I wanted to write this blog completely outside.  Additionally, I’ve been playing around with ultra portables also called convertibles or hybrids; these are touchscreen devices that have a keyboard like a laptop, they’re also very light and some of them fold all the way around or have a detachable screen like the Microsoft surface.  Originally, my plan was to use one of these ultraportable devices to write the blog using a standard keyboard but I haven’t figured out how to do that comfortably in the swing. I was gonna build a frame out of wood to hold the device and fit in the swing but I haven’t done that yet.  So that brings me to where I am currently and I’m using the Kindle Fire HDX which is a standard tablet and voice recognition to write all of this and so far so good.  Yay.
 So to finish out the title of this blog, he soon realized that speaking is not the same as typing when writing as apparently it uses a different part of the brain and mine isnt quite as exercise as the typing part of my brain.  While the Kindle is doing pretty good with accuracy I can still tell it’s having difficulty with my southern English.  This reminds me about reading some twilight zone history about Rod Sirling’s writing method that with a lot of those old stories he actually recorded on audio while he was outside by the pool with a nice view and had somebody dictate them later.  While my view isn’t quite as nice as Rod’s was probably I’ll take what I can get.  And so far this little experiment hasn’t been too painful.  I have learned that with the Kindle I have to say the word period quickly after finishing a sentence or it ll put a space before the period like this .  

 While writing this I’m also using a Kindle app for WordPress so I’m not sure if it’s saving it every so often like the web version does so I maybe taking a little bit of a risk here.  I guess I’ll have to hold my breath when I press the publish button and hope for the best. 

 I have a long commute to and from work so I also use an audio recorder for a lot of my science fiction writing ideas and this is a little bit similar that when trying to collect thoughts and record them with audio. I’d also consider getting some PC software called DragonDictate and play around with it but their versioning schemes were very little bit much for me and I was afraid that the functionality I needed would not be in the version that I acquired.  If you don’t have a Kindle tablet you can also use I’m sure a different device such as an iPhone or even Google’s voice recognition.  I will probably try one of those other devices with a future blog post.  I’ve used Apple’s voice recognition and Google’s voice recognition and I’ve had various results with those so I have to say that Amazon’s voice recognition isn’t too bad. Tonight I probably got an accuracy of somewhere around 92%.  

 I meant to time the blog tonight to see how long it took me to compile it but I didn’t do that. I suppose it’s about 45 minutes so it’s not nearly as efficient as typing but it has been interesting nonetheless.  Okay so I guess I better press the publish button now and see what happens.  There are two firsts tonight, using voice recognition to do this whole blog (mostly) and using for the first time the WordPress app on the Kindle. I kind of feel like one of those wheel of fortune contestants that will spin the wheel and clap while saying big money big money so…  big money big money or please dont lose my post wordpress.  🙂  And if you’re wondering… I did get that emoticon or emoji (I  always forget which) by saying the word although it added a nose and I did take the nose off 🙂

how connected to past you is present you?

how connected to past you is present you?


unsplash-logoLuke Chesser

This evening I’ve been listening to a playlist i created on amazon music a couple of months ago – (a lot of people don’t realize that if they already pay for amazon prime that they can get access to a lot of music included with their membership just by downloading the amazon music app.)  The songs roughly a dozen carefully chosen and sorted are by only two artists – sia and rachel platton.  I know listening to the same songs over and over would drive most people crazy but I’m weird like that.  Before dark I fed all the animals – 6 dogs, 1 cat, and 9 chickens while listening to the playlist.  Then i cooked some frozen zipper peas (that I bought from a local farm last summer that me and my family shelled by hand back then) and washed dishes while listening to the playlist.  Then spent some time on the treadmill while umm well you know.  Then to cool down i went outside to the backyard swing (the one that swings fast) in the cool night air – again same playlist.

I chose music to talk about because a lot of people relate to it when tying to memories from their past.  Usually in that context it’s just one song or maybe even one way of listening to a song such as listening to an old album you had on vinyl that had a scratch on one part of the song.  Maybe it’s a song that you and an old friend related to or maybe it’s one that only holds special meaning to you.   It’s pretty undeniable that when a past event or events are tied to specific music that listening to that music helps you recall and experience in more vivid detail those old memories.

I enjoy being a life long learner especially when it comes to the sciences so i’ve always been fascinated by psychology and neuroscience.  Therefore, i’ve noticed something strange about the “strange” way i listen to music.  It took me a long time to utilize playlists on the many music devices i’ve had over time but several years ago i started building special playlists of carefully selected songs.  I used these playlists for weeks or even months at a time.  I had an old one made of celtic music, love and rock songs, instrumental, and even a few country songs that i listened to when i started walking and trying to get in better shape several years ago.   Some of the songs in the collection were from movies that I liked and some i watched with my wife and daughter, and some were instrumentals from documentaries that I liked.  Therefore, a lot of the individual collection were handcrafted from different pieces of my past and some that friends had recommended.  It’s almost like the playlist was a type of tapestry of a timeline from my life.

Back then i listened to that playlist which was roughly 90 minutes long because a lot of my walks were 90 minutes at that time.  I had some custom walking tracks that i cleared through the woods here and I also walked very consistently at a public park in Alabama in the city where I work.  I found that old playlist a while back and listened to the songs again and I remembered specific rainy days where i walked my 90 minutes here at home in the rain refusing to call off my walk due to weather.  I remembered many windy days at the public park in great detail just from listening to the songs in the same sequence that i had listened to over and over.

The playlist is the same concept as you experience from that one song you remembered from high school or your childhood but with the playlist and the additional number of songs, it’s like you have more resolution within your brain to map to those old memories.  That is if you can stand listening to them over and over.  It’s probably not something you should do if you don’t already enjoy listening to playlists but if you do then maybe you should save all those playlists so years from now you can recall them and maybe even get back to some of those old memories.  Assuming you want to get back to those memories.

I’ve done a similar experiment with memory by trying to remember the many books i had as a child and reacquiring them cheaply from thrift stores or from online stores like amazon.  It’s been amazing that when i see certain pages with unique color patterns that i can actually remember seeing those pages as a child and thinking wow that’s a weird choice of colors on that particular page.  It’s neat to re-experience the artwork from those old children’s books too.  A lot of them have beautiful and very unique art styles in addition to the story woven within the book.

The real question that I pondered tonight while swinging high (as in fast not as on drugs b/c drugs are bad mmm-kay) on backyard swing is how is current me connected to past me.  I’ve read in biology articles and books that we as a living organism are really made up of mostly water and bacteria (some symbiotic, some evil, and some in between)  in addition to our many specialized cells and then those are made up of atoms are actually rebuilt nearly in their entirely every so often.  So in some ways your cells (an thus atoms) if you can say that they are you are mostly new and not the same cells and atoms that made up you just a month or two ago.

One common thread at least a little more so, however, is our memory.  But even that is questionable because is the current you really the same you as 10 years ago?  Unfortunately other than sharing experiences prior to that time with old you and having the same genetic material, you can’t ever be that old you again.  You can’t even be the person you were yesterday or last week precisely because you can’t unlearn or unlive all the experiences and memories since whatever point in history you choose to consider.  So in that way each day we are a new person and are never quite that person we used to be.  It doesn’t take a life changing event such as loss of a loved-one or a breakup with someone close to us for that to be true because it’s always true.

The memory experiment with music and playlist is just one i chose to illustrate as a way to recall memories but it doesn’t really change anything.  It’s just an interesting observation and if you enjoy listening to music like me then it can be an entertaining little experiment.   And i always try to include a few nuggets of knowledge that I’ve learned or a quote here are both.  The quote by T.S. Elliot which i suppose the place in the quote may be a physical place like home or it may be a place within our mind meaning that one day we may come full circle back to all our memories before us and truly understand them for once in our life.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
And what is a talk about memory with mentioning deja vu?  And if you’ve ever wondered if there was an opposite of deja vu then you’d be happy to know there is.  It’s called jamais vu – it means you’ve seen something before and thought it was the first time you’ve seen it but in reality you have seen it before but only forgotten it.  Maybe if the memory of it had only been connected via music that wouldn’t have happened.  🙂  Good night.




Infinity’s Conveyor of Numbers and Thoughts


Infinity’s Conveyor of Numbers and Thoughts

If I take the concept infinity as it applies to numbers and add something to it such as thoughts then do I still get infinity even if that something else isn’t purely a number?  So David Hilbert had his infinity hotel and I have my infinity of thoughts?  No?  Maybe?  LOL.


And what does this have to do if anything with Zeno’s paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise?  And more importantly will these thought experiments lead to an infinite loop inside ones mind?  Nah, that would only happen if you were more connected to the other yous in parallel universes of course assuming such things exist.

So why even consider such profound and incomprehensible ideas that some people would consider useless and headache invoking?  I think I agree with many ideas Max Tegmark lays out in his book Our Mathematical Universe and Andrew Liddle summed up nicely in a review for Nature,

The culmination that Tegmark seeks to lead us to is the “Level IV multiverse”. This level contends that the Universe is not just well described by mathematics, but, in fact, is mathematics. All possible mathematical structures have a physical existence, and collectively, give a multiverse that subsumes all others. Here, Tegmark is taking us well beyond accepted viewpoints, advocating his personal vision for explaining the Universe.

Ok, now may be a good time for me to admit that I’m a Math major and a bit obsessed with math and physics but please don’t hold that against me because if Max is right then we’re not only related genetically as humans but also as numbers.  🙂

And so you don’t consider me as being totally biased I’ll even include in this fanboy glorification of science, physics and all things math, for your viewing pleasure since you’ve made it this far – a dissenting opinion from an old show I somehow got exposed to as a kid and still enjoy today…

Not every show can get away with having a weather balloon as the evil villain:

And so you don’t think I’m the only one who thinks of the risks of infinite loops, I end with an interesting thought by Douglas Hofstadter ingeniously named Hofstadter’s law that says “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.”  The “it” in this case is describing my point.  Good Night.  🙂

testing my proclivity to write with a writing device called morning pages

testing my proclivity to write with a writing device called morning pages

I’ve purchased two of Julia Cameron’s books – the artists way and the miracle of morning pages.  I’m reading both of them and hope to finish them soon.  It’s nice to read books by people who have so much experience with a certain topic and when someone teaches as many students as Julia Cameron then even more so.

Morning pages are supposed to be done in the morning but I did my first 3 pages of hand-written long hand tonight just before bed.  I got up at 4 AM but being a day after xmas with so much to do I just couldn’t get to it.  I hope to make it into a routine and hopefully finding the time will be more natural but for now I’m still in the trying to make it a habit phase.

The following is a quote from Julia Cameron’s website followed by a link to the website:

“Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing,
done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*–
they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about
anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes
only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and
synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put
three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”


I’m recalling from memory the rules to give the author credit without plagiarizing so I hope I didn’t miss anything.  I would highly recommend her books.

Well today I’ve meet two of my writing goals – writing the “morning pages” tonight in my journal and updating my blog.  Yay.


the myth, the legend, the beard…

the myth, the legend, the beard…

I’m going to the use today’s word of the day to talk about beards and share some interesting links.

First, an interesting book with amazing artwork.  The Gigantic Beard that Was Evil.

Next, if you like strange myth stories and audio podcasts here is a good one about a dwarf with an uber beard.  The podcast is called Myths and Legends and is teh awesome.


And because I like music – here is music from beardyman.  LOL.  Ok.  I know that was quite a reach but it’s a pretty good video.


a story from my childhood: a most deadly riff that you never, ever want to hear – especially like this


This is a story from my childhood and one that I remember well.  This is a picture of me near my house in Florida which isn’t in the picture and one of my many beloved hand-me-down adult bikes that would have been taken within a few years of the time of the story I’m about to tell but unlike the story which happened at night this photo was taken in the day time.  As you may surmise from the photo, I grew up in a very rural area.   I spent a lot of time working on a farm and even though I went to school like every other kid there were many nights that I didn’t get home from the farm until late into the night.  The road I took in this story was less maintained than the one in the photo.  So let’s start shall we…

a story from my childhood: a farm kid, a bicycle and a pitch black night.

I was on a dark dirt road on this particular night when I was probably around 12 years old, part of the farm from where I had been working was to my back and had some dim lights which barely broke the firm grasp of the darkness.  Me and my bike were in a dark area pointing towards what looked like a dark swamp and to the untrained one wouldn’t have recognized it as a road.  Slightly to my left was the main road which was a wide well maintained dirt road but still pitch black except in the distance you could see dim lights of another part of the farm.  It’s the road I normally take home at night when I’m on my bike and forgot to bring a flashlight like on this night.  It would have been easy to take the main road even in pitch black darkness but it was a mile and a half home that way.  I was alone and it was late on a school night and I was exhausted and just wanted to get home to my warm comfy bed.  Through the dark swampy trail, it would have been around a 3/4 mile trek though much more challenging to navigate in the complete darkness with no stars or moonlight to speak of.

Decisions, decisions.  Standing in the dark on the road with my oversized bike, I contemplated the choice in front of me and I remember not being scared of anything as I made the careful necessary calculation.  Taking the swamp trail would be very challenging; I would have to rely purely off memory from where I took the trail countless times in the daytime but never at night.  It would be like taking the trail blindfolded or with my eyes closed but in the mind of my young 10 year-old self, “no problemo!”  It all boiled down to the time savings so off on my little journey into the darkness I went.

I had to build up speed and hit the ditch between me and the trail head.  The deep ditch was full of water and was muddy which could easily stop a bike and throw it’s rider right over the handle bars.  I had learned this the hard way one unsuspecting day.   But this night there were no magnificent handle bar acrobatics and bad physics experiments in store for me.  However, my bike hit the deep ditch full of water hard and bounced violently before I made it across to the other side.  I got soaked with water and mud but it was too dark to inventory the damage so I continued on having walk my bike up a steep embankment.  I knew the path ahead of me which I could not see in the total darkness was straight for about a quarter mile and made a hard right turn.  I knew there were always deep holes almost big enough and deep enough to swallow me and my bike about the distance of 20 bike lengths.  I couldnt see those either so I decided to push my bike until I passed those hazards.  The road, well if one could call it that, maybe a goat trail is a better name for it, was mostly grass and only about the width of an automobile tire or slightly wider was the dirt part of the trail.  It was easy to walk in the dark and feel the dirt under my old worn out shoes.  When I started venturing off the road which happened a couple of times, I could feel the rough grass and weeds under my shoes.  Each time I quickly corrected my direction to get back on the road.  Eventually, I stepped right into one of the deep holes and knew I was there.  Oddly the holes didn’t hold water long after storms so they were dry.  There were large hogs in this area so I always wondered if that was their little watering holes and they drank them dry.

Now, I knew I had a straight shot in the darkness until the road curved sharply to the right.  I knew the field past the curve would often get muddy with something I can only best describe as quicksand though rarely went deeper than waste deep and also tended to harbor a great briar patch which could slice up ones skin with all it’s barbs.  I surely need to avoid running into that field I thought to myself as  I got on my bike and began to pedal.  I ran off the road a few times but quickly corrected by just feeling the narrow but smooth road under my tires.  I picked up speed and tried to remember how far it was to the curve.  While I was pedaling, I noticed an eerie quietness in the cool night air.  Nights can sometimes be loud due to the magnificent orchestra of frogs and crickets and who knows what else in the wooded areas like this one.  But not on this night.  I made a mental note of it an continued onwards since by now I had gotten a little better at navigating the road and correcting course when needed to stay on the smooth dirt.

Then just as I got comfortable with my blind bike riding adventure, I ran through the curve into the field full of weeds.  My feet instinctively landed onto the soft muddy ground and kept me from falling and I paused a moment waiting for the strong sting of briars but it never came.  Wow, I thought I’m lucky these waste high weeds aren’t briars or I’d be shredded. I stood for a moment to see if I sank into the potential quicksand.  But tonight was my lucky night – no razor blade weeds and no quick sand.  Things are looking up for me so I by using nothing but the feel of the ground beneath my feet,  found the curved wannabe road that I had failed to recognize earlier on my bike and climbed back onto my bike.

I tried to make sure I was oriented in the right direction and not go back in the direction from which I had came and get well positioned on the road before I started pedaling.  This entire area was surrounded by thick forests so I couldn’t use any lights from the farm or from my house to help guide me.  I took another moment to calculate the distance of this leg of the obstacle course.  I knew the path ahead of me was straight for a little over a quarter mile and then veered left into a very swampy and wet area of the road that was usually under water.  I dreaded the thought of having to navigate that area as I’d likely have to travel through water on my bike.  I figured I’d wind up wading water on foot which didn’t sound at all pleasant to me.  I was still wet from the ditch encounter earlier.

I then paused and once again briefly noted how strange it was that it was so quiet on this night.  I don’t recall that ever happening before so it kind of creeped me out.  Other than that creepy feeling I remember not being scared of anything.  I got on my bike and continued on and by now I was pretty good at navigating this road in the darkness.  The road felt smooth under my tires and by now I rarely even ventured off the road into the grass.  So for a while I felt at ease in the quiet total darkness on my bike feeling the cool damp night air pass across my face.  With more speed I could hear the air passing by my ears slightly breaking the silence and the quiet pitter patter of mud from the tires hitting me in the back of the head and back of my shirt from where I ran into the muddy field and none of the adult bikes I inherited as a child had fenders to block the dirt and mud.  I continued on without many cares or concerns of what may or may not go wrong.  Little kid minds like mine at the time just don’t think of those things in great detail it’s more like as a kid we live minute by minute or second by second and don’t really ponder how a bad quick decision could go wrong and potentially affect you for the rest of your life.  A quick bad decision like I made on this particular pitch black night to take a narrow trail without a flashlight through a swampy area.  Anyway things were about to go very bad for me and I don’t remember what came first whether it was running over something big in the road or the sound, the piercing sound that I knew so, so well.  It was a natural riff played by one of the most deadly creatures in an arsenal of bad creatures also known as venomous snakes.  I could see nothing and all I had to go on was feeling something very evil under the tires of my bike and the piercing sound that now echoed against all the big trees that I couldn’t see.  And obviously by now a whole lot of adrenaline for a little kids body.  I heard this sound often in the daytime for which I never had a healthy enough dose of fear from it but in the day time I always knew where it was.  But tonight as I heard the loud dire warning, I had no idea where its lethal head was and for once in my little invincible kid mind, I was scared.  I think anyone can recognize the fear inducing sound of a very large rattlesnake, it’s almost like the fear response is coded into our very DNA.

Anyway, in the split second from the time I ran over the large creature and the instant warning sound, I instinctually pulled up on the handle bars to keep the bike from stalling out the forward speed and falling directly on top of or at least near whatever the offending object was.  Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, however you look at it, I had well rehearsed this response after some very nasty accidents in the past including some that irreparably damaged some earlier bikes.  I learned physics at an early age I suppose. So back to our story where at this moment the snake would have  been between my front and back tires and well within striking distance of my little legs and feet.  I pedaled hard knowing I had to make sure the back tire of the bike made it over the large lethal venomous snake that  I could not see but I could hear and sense quite well.  Imagining back I’m surprised I didn’t pedal with enough force to throw the snake backwards at least a 100 feet.  But I felt every bit of the creature under the back wheel and I was never happier to feel the bounce of the bike and continued forward motion.  I don’t remember taking inventory of my legs to see if I felt any large puncture wounds but for the 2nd half of the trail including the part of the road that was under water took no time at all to finish up.  I got home and as usual no one was waiting on me and no one would have missed me at least until the next day probably if I hadn’t have made it through the field that night.  I had a strange childhood with almost no rules, no curfew, and no supervision.  But I made it home that night without getting bit or breaking any limbs and without a flash light.  I don’t think I ever took that short-cut again in the dark without a flashlight and I’ve never forgot that night even though it was so many years ago.  I don’t know how I survived my childhood because this is only one of many stories just as bad as this one.  But I did survive it and I’m glad I’m able to write about it and laugh about it now.



confessions of an ocd neophyte artist and some new experiments in simple upcycling


confessions of an ocd neophyte artist and some new experiments in simple upcycling

Lately I’ve been getting more into art again so I thought to myself that I should get more serious about it this time and get more organized (and maybe a bit ocd) in the process.  So I bought some paint and brush organizers.  LOL.  The spinner paint organizer I got from Michael’s and works pretty good so far and was amazingly cheap.  I was thinking I paid 8 or 10 bucks for it so I may have got it on sale but $13 is still not a bad deal.  To the right of it is the plastic shelf organizer and I got it from amazon.  And the brush stand was a little cheaper and also came from amazon.  I’ve hyperlinked them so you can click on them if it’s something you are interested in.  The picture is kind of dark but in front of the paint shelf organizer is a little stamp pad and box of rubber stamps.  I got those from amazon in a lightening sale so I think I got a little cheaper than it’s current listed and I’m not sure if the ink pad still comes with it but here is that link.  If you do a lot of arts and crafts, they are pretty handy to have for projects.


I keep finding uses for the stamp set for custom birthday cards and such but here is a picture of where I used it recently.  I’ve been doing the rock hiding game a little where you find painted rocks in parks and leave rocks that you painted and I’m in a facebook group called 850 Rocks! – 850 being the area code I live in.  I’m not that good at painting and sketching but I’m even less good at painting on uneven rocks.  LOL.  But the stamp set seemed to work good on the rock.  Before I paint the picture on a rock I normally sketch it with paper and pencil first and I included that below the rock painting.  I was toying around with having ms pacman and pacman together with a ghost sneaking up behind them with it arms out but I dropped that idea and decided to go with just a plain pacman.  I had some extra paint poured out so I painted the balloons and heart too.  It didn’t turn out as well as I wanted it to – I had to redo the balloon strings twice and they still aren’t great.  I posted a picture of the shark in an earlier post and it turned out a little better – I used metallic acrylic paint with it.



The following pics are a couple related to upcycling.   While upcycling which is reusing glass jars and such to keep them out of landfills isn’t for everyone, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to increase my recycling potential and lower my carbon footprint.  Another side of upcycling is called found art which is creating art from used items.    I plan on doing a blog post about that topic at some point.  But anyway here is the first image:


They say a picture is worth a 1000 words and while I’ve never though about it much this one may be.  LOL.  You can see where I got my circular saw to the desk the tablet/hybrid is sitting on because it wouldn’t fit into the corner with the dresser.  By it’s rough edge you can see I chose the wrong blade also.  LOL  Since I’ve gone and went tangential (or as I heard someone erroneously say one time – tangenital), I’ll go ahead and say I finally took the time to solve my Rubik’s cubes and the little black case above the mouse is my mugig harmonica which I’m attempting to learn. I’ve never heard of the brand so I took a chance with it but it sounds pretty good compared to a hohner brand harmonica I have.  Ok back to my topic – the former pickle, olive, and tomato containers. LOL.  I used to remove the labels but now I’ve just started washing the used containers real well before I repurpose them.  I figured the labels themselves are a kind of art after all and if they aren’t now they will be someday.  Tostito’s glass salsa jars are also great for reusing when you run out of salsa.  Just make sure you wash the containers really well.  The first picture in this post has one of those jars full of marbles to the left of the paint shelf organizer.  In the last picture, I’ve used one jar for glass rocks and another for rubber bands.  I didn’t have enough rubber bands to fill the jar so I put a couple of unused golf balls in the bottom of the jar.  In the empty and washed tomato can I have pencils, pens, scissors, and such.  I put unused swishy cups (small paper bathroom cups) inside it to keep everything from just falling wherever – I cut the bottom out of the 3 paper cups and turned them upside down and put them in the tomato can.


The picture above is same angle from further away.  It shows my old tired iPod touch that’s on it’s last leg and an old android tablet I still use.  I’m getting more into digital art or maybe mixed media art is a better description and the reason I showed those 3 devices are they represent apple, android and windows (the hybrid, a laptop looking device is a windows 10 Samsung that I got for roughly half price since it was a prior year model) and I’ve been experimenting with apps in each ecosystem for doing digital art and hopefully animation and music.  I plan on writing some blog posts soon about what I find using free or cheap applications and hardware.  I have 4 wireless headphones because I buy them on amazon’s lightening sales when I can get them for 8 to 15 bucks each.  I also have another even older device not shown that is a 7″ android tab and I use Bluetooth headphones on all of them and I don’t like having to relink them between devices.  And since I got all 4 of those for less than what a single pair of Bluetooth headphones at some other discount retailers would be, I figured why not.  LOL.  You do take a slight risk with sound quality and connection issues and such but every one of them worked out for me.  I listen to a lot of audiobooks and audio blogs in addition to music so I haven’t had any issues although there are slight variations in quality when listening to music.

Ok.  To wrap up this blog entry, I was just going to mention one other thing about the last photo.  While not necessarily an example of reusing potential garbage like the jars, I was experimenting with decorating with odd items such as comics books.  Those three frames to the right of the large starwars poster are normal comics books in a frame designed for standard comic books sizes – you don’t have to damage the comic to put it in the frame.  You can use any standard comic book size you like to decorate with if you pick up or build some frames for comics.  The darth vader and others image to the top left of the large starwars poster is a book bag my daughter got when she was in elementary school some years ago – I just flattened it and used push pins to hang it to the wall.  The little unopened terraria figurine below the large poster is one I got on clearance and sometimes I decorate with opened or unopened toys such as that.  I would have rather have gotten a normal terraria figurine because I’ve never even used that one in the game terraria but I guess that’s why it was on clearance. LOL.

Well that’s all for now.


halo gingerly world! simple doodling with plumbago and paint 3d

I just upgraded my pc to windows 10 creators update which has Microsoft Paint 3d.  I didn’t have a lot of time to spend with it so I just did a simple doodle to test it out along with another free app called plumbago which is a notebook writing sketching app.  The first image below I did with plumbago and a stylus.

I then saved it as a png and loaded paint 3d and created a simple blue 3d sphere.   The eyes, mouth, and north pole err I mean hair are called stickers and you can place them on the 3d objects.  Finally, I loaded the first image as a custom sticker and stretched it over the sphere.  It also supports 3d text which is what I did the date in.  Lastly, I used a yellow light source on the first and red light source on the second and exported them to standard jpg format.

My main problem with plumbago is I couldn’t figure out how to lasso some of the image and enlarge or shrink it.  I figure it must be possible but with the ruled lines maybe it disallows it.  All in all both programs are pretty neat.  I’m sure I’ll try them out again when I have more time so I can gingerly doodle more and hopefully better images.  🙂


HaloWorld (2)halo worldhalo world red

straight out of the uh and into the frying pan – YAOR for teh internets

Wow – what a coincidence.  I had planned on writing a post about my chickens and an omelet I made with their eggs this morning and the word of the day is egg.  I also figured I’d take a moment to mention some of my kitchen hacks and recipe variations for omelets which I’m sure is not all that original.  I mean there are only so many ways to crack an egg huh.  So here goes for this episode of Yet Another Omelet Recipe for teh internets.

First for some pictures:


I used the 3 eggs on the cutting board to make the omelet – those are small to medium eggs (unlike that one giant egg in the corner of the egg carton photo).  This size omelet is really two servings so I cut it in half and only had half of for breakfast.  It actually keeps ok in the fridge so I had the other half for dinner with some grits.  As you may infer from multicolored eggs, my chickens are also multicolored.  I have some Rhode Island Reds, California Whites, and some Australorps which are black.  I’ll post some pictures of them another day – maybe when the word of the day is chicken.  🙂

Eggs used to be considered unhealthy but due to the healthy fats organic eggs have, I think expert opinion is shifting as long one doesn’t overdo it.  An omelet with salsa is fairly low carb for diabetics such as myself but they do have fat and calories.  I’ve been able to lose weight and keep my blood sugar down if I usually just eat one egg for breakfast.

So how do you cook an omelet?  Here are the steps I use and some tricks I’ve learned:

  1. Before I turn the stove on, I prepare part of the veggies.  They are the ones in the small cup on the back of the cutting board in the photos.  One thing that I’ve found is I don’t use green or red peppers fast enough to leave them in the fridge but if you go ahead wash, de-seed and slice them right after you buy them, you can put them in a zip-lock bag or if you want a smaller carbon footprint and less waste then use a re-usable freezer container.  They wont be as crunchy and fresh out of the freezer but they are tasty in stir-fry and aren’t too soggy – just don’t cook them too long.
  2. So I take only as much out of the freezer as I need of the sliced red or green pepper and chop it frozen – it’s easier to do than you’d think.  I normally keep vidalia or sweet onion chopped up in the fridge – I use it more often than red or green pepper and it keeps pretty well in the fridge.  So I add the chopped onion to the pepper at about a 3 to 1 ratio since i like onion and it’s more mild than pepper.
  3. This is optional but to that small plastic cup of onion and pepper I take about 3 jalapeno slices out of a small jar i keep in the fridge.  I chop the 3 small rings of jalapeno up into small bits and add it the cup of onions and peppers.  It doesn’t seem to add too much heat for me.
  4. Another thing i keep in the fridge is green onions.  If I’m making one omelet, I’ll take one green onion stalk out and wash it and chop it up.  If it has that hairy root stem on the very end just cut that small piece off and throw it away but I’m sure you already knew to do that.  I add the chopped up green onion to the cup with the sweet onions, peppers and jalapenos.
  5. Now the veggies are sitting pretty in the plastic cup and raring to go, but I sit them aside for now.
  6. I use a separate small pan for cooking the filling and i add a teaspoon or two of olive oil and heat the pan on medium.  Once the oil heats up I add a teaspoon or two of minced garlic – I get the kind that is in the small jar you put in the fridge and is already minced. This flavors the oil with garlic but it’s not real strong.  If you don’t like garlic you can leave it out.
  7. If i have uncooked sausage I usually chop it up and add it to the frying pan at this point.  I don’t normally use the same cutting board for meat that I use for veggies.  I use the wooden cutting board in the picture mostly for veggies.  You can use precooked breakfast meat, or you can chop up sandwich meat such as ham or turkey.  If you have left over grilled pork chop you can also chop it up and add it.  Occasionally, I buy a slice of ready to serve ham steak and keep in the freezer and it can also be used in this step.  Oh and the precooked real bacon bits in the bag in the photo are also a convenient choice.
  8. While that is cooking I wash the fresh mushrooms and slice them and set them aside.  If the meat is mostly done (no longer pink), I go ahead and add the mushrooms and stir occasionally.  If you’re not using raw meat and you’ve chopped up already cooked meat or sandwich meat you can add the mushrooms immediately.
  9.   Once the mushrooms have cooked a little bit but aren’t cooked all the way, I add the cup of fresh veggies.  These will only need to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on medium until the sweet onions look a little shiny.  Once that is ready go ahead and remove it from the hot eye but you can leave it in the pan until you’re ready for it.
  10. if you notice the picture with the bacon bits bag, there is a large pancake spatula in it.  One challenge some people have with omelets is flipping the half cooked egg so that large spatula makes it easier to do without the egg falling apart.  I add about two teaspoons of olive oil to a medium sized fryer (it’s bigger than the one i cook the filling in) or you can use butter or spray oil.  Just crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork or wire whisk and add a dash of salt and pepper if desired.  You’ll want to cook the egg pretty slow on medium heat so it doesn’t brown too much.  If the egg cooks too fast just pick up the frying pan and shake it a little to move the egg around and turn the heat down some.  This part will take some practice but just cook it until there is just a thin layer of liquid on top.  Then use the large spatula to flip it over.  Now this only needs to cook for about one to two minutes usually.  I go ahead and add the filling from the other frying pan to the top of the cooking egg mixture in a line in the middle of the egg.  Then I add a pinch of shredded mozzarella cheese and about 3 pinches of shredded cheddar cheese – you could use american cheese also.  By now the other half of the egg will probably be done enough you can fold the omelet – i use a smaller spatula for this.  You probably won’t have to flip the folded omelet at this point as it’ll likely be cooked soon.  You can hold the skillet up and slide the omelet into the serving plate and eat by itself or with some salsa.
  11.  One thing to note is the bag of precooked bacon bits which i get from Sam’s club comes in handy for a lot of dishes.  I use it in egg scramble dishes, grits, and i use it when cooking a variety of veggies such as green beans, lima beans, turnips, collards, and black eyed peas, etc.  It works in canned, frozen, or dried beans etc.

Well good luck.  Cooking for yourself isn’t as bad as you may think if you’re not already doing it.  And you can better control what goes into your food – how much fat, salt, etc.  If you trying to eat healthier and don’t want to add meat just remove it from the recipe.  I use the veggie part of this recipe for several dishes including some Chinese dishes and some homemade soups.    The great thing about doing your own cooking is you are in control.