the nebulous precipice of dreamy snow-capped peaks

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.

a qualm and stormy night

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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.

Douglas Hofstadter

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/douglashof508383.html


And some documentaries I’ve watched on the topic of homelessness

Dark Days
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.

boltzmann’s brains final paradox and his late cat freckles

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:

  1. to share a story often personal which hopefully at least some people will find interesting.  Teh internets is a big crazy place so maybe.
  2. to practice writing – grammar and content.  I know I often get the former wrong.
  3. 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.
  4. to share useful tech-tips – tools and websites, etc.
  5. to explore ideas or thought experiments that I think of sometimes that don’t fit into my fiction writing.
  6. 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:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e6/Boltzmann_(427167382).jpg

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

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

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

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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.

out with the old and in with the new

Screenshot at 2017-05-02 20:15:49

About

My name is Jason and I live in Florida.  I have lived in FL all my life except for a brief time when I lived in a trailer park in Dothan, AL.  I like trailer parks except during weather events involving tornadic activity or otherwise extremely high winds like hurricanes.  Just high winds are ok in a trailer because they make the trailer rock back and forth and the whole thing kind of rocks you to sleep at night – like one ginormous baby cradle.  It’s only when the wind is fast enough to tip the cradle over or suck it into the air that it becomes a problem but you get the picture so I’ll shut up now.  Enjoy.

 


 

Ok so this may seem lame but I wanted to give it a try anyway.  I wanted to archive my old themes and reflect for a moment on my thought process for creating them.  The image above is stock from a theme on wordpress.com.  If i remember correctly, it was titled Earnest Hemingway which I thought was kind of cool since i have such an interest in writing.  The scene reminded me of three elements which interest me – country, old barns, and grapes which lead to wine.  🙂

In the title, I used the word “disorienting” which was inspired from the following TED Talk.

Reggie Watts disorients you in the most entertaining way

I first saw the incredibly talented Mr Watts on the late show on one of my many sleepless nights.  Yes, thus the sad life of an insomniac.   Something about the Reggie Watts video reminded me of this old Google Video – maybe it was the beat-box.  I hope you’re familiar with TED Talks if not check out the link:

https://www.ted.com/talks

My about text was inspired by years of Jack Handy watching SNL in my 20’s and 30’s.  Here are some more good Jack Handy quotes.

And if all that didn’t truly disorient you or disturb you then check out this amazing music video from Disturbed himself.

time’s apprentice

a stern teacher and a willing apprentice

an early lesson counting with tiny thumps, followed shortly by tiny wisps of air

sights, sounds, tastes, feelings and scents in a wild wild world, they are all there

curiosity follows, exploration, crawling, walking, falling, and walking with care

playtime begins with so many toys and friends and ends with a torn yellow bear

days with hours of numbers and letters and two long bus rides in the bully’s lair

then emotions lots of them with no where to go and what’s this, arrgh, chest hair

then a new close friend and sadness that she’s gone and realizing how life is unfair

out of despair a new friend and a new little family is born with many memories to share

days turns to weeks to years and decades and loss repeats itself almost to much to bare

finally time’s final lesson hugs and kisses some real and some not and a final prayer

 


It’s not great but it’ll have to do i suppose.  It’s not all about me except the torn yellow bear was when my beloved Pooh bear was chewed up by dogs.  They tore his ear and I kept the bear for many more years.  LOL.  The new close friend was about a friend of mine in high school that was murdered by someone robbing her house.  Luckily they caught the guy and I think he is in prison for life.   😦

 

 

consider visiting and supporting your local botanical gardens, nature’s perfume and art gallery

consider visiting and supporting your local botanical gardens, nature’s perfume and art gallery

I normally spend my lunch break at work walking for exercise and a stress relief.  One place on my rotation is my local botanical gardens which for me is DABG in Dothan, AL.  I’ve been a member and regular visitor for several years.  I recently switched my membership from individual to family so my family can visit there as well. The family membership cost is around $50 and you can use your membership for many other botanical gardens in different cities across the US thanks to reciprocation agreements they’ve worked out.  Throughout the year they have a lot of special events for the public and some members only events as well.  It’s a good deal and supports a great cause in my opinion.

Here are some photos I took earlier this week at DABG…

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This is from the rose garden.  This is just one corner of it.  It’s probably the most fragrant area of the gardens.

Here are some close-ups of some of the flowers.  The color on some of these are so bright they almost seem to glow in the sunlight.  I can only imagine what they look like to bees – probably like bee heaven.  🙂

This is a very small sample of what my local gardens have – they have just added a new kiddie play area and they have a very nice Asian Garden with waterfalls and a wooden bridge plus much much more.

If you’re city has a botanical gardens and you haven’t been yet consider paying them a visit.  I spent many years working in Dothan, AL before i realized they had one.  Once I walked the paved trail a few times I was definitely hooked.

 

 

a zip and a prayer

a zip and a prayer

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I’m constantly amazed at how insensitive, uncaring and thoughtless some people can be to drop off a dog or puppy beside the road and zip away in their car.  It must be easy for them to shut out the reality of their mind and not think about how the puppy will likely starve or get run over. So many days spent being alone and being hot or cold without food or water.

I’ve seen this event play out over and over during the years – rarely does the animal find a new and caring owner soon after being dropped off if at all.  One of the earliest memories I have from such an event was seeing a healthy dog sitting beside the road from where his owner dropped him off.  He sat in the same spot waiting very patiently without moving thinking his owner would surely return to pick him up – he just needed to wait a little longer.  Surely thinking his owner wouldn’t leave him all alone and without food or water.  Days went by and the dog didn’t move ten feet from that same spot and with each passing car you could see the excitement in his eyes which was quickly followed by sadness that the vehicle kept going by without stopping.  I saw him from the school bus window and I was too young at that time to take care of an abandoned animal but I told some adults about it.  I never found out if someone finally picked him up but the fact he was an adult dog probably didn’t help his chances of being adopted by a stranger.  Where i grew up as a kid was a popular place for people to abandon animals.

Some days ago my wife found a puppy wondering down the road towards the end of our driveway.  The puppy was starving and very emaciated with her ribs showing.  We’re going to try to make her story a happy one.  Meet Katy…

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She’s still looks sad sometimes but her ribs don’t show quite as bad as when we first got her.   And she’s learning to play and be a happy puppy again.  She was playing with my shoe earlier today.

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And her new best friend, Nala who just survived a a moccasin bite.  Nala is still getting over the moccasin bite and getting used to her new friend – she’s not used to another dog invading her space but they play well together so far.  This is Nala’s face when I told her we were adopting Katy.  Nala is used to being the center of attention.  LOL.

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If you know anyone that is considering abandoning an animal beside the road talk them out of it and talk them into taking the animal to a shelter instead.  And if you need Nala’s help use this picture of her stare down.   Hopefully no one can resist it.  🙂

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