zeitgeist, loyalty feigned and real, and a talking blond wig named womp

zeitgeist, loyalty feigned and real, and a talking blond wig named womp

Stream of consciousness can be a funny thing if you just sit back and let it.  If I can ever be disciplined and loyal enough to write in the mornings (morning pages), I think I would write better blog posts but here I am at 10 PM tired from a long day and a 2.5 hours commute time and trying to rely on SoC to help me write a decent post before another restless night of what some people call sleep.

I was listening to a new podcast tonight, sitting in the back yard swing after dark enjoying the cooler night air when the podcast, called It Makes a Sound, used the word zeitgeist which I haven’t heard in a long time; okay and they used it in a particularly entertaining way – at least to my silly sense of humor.  I thought to myself now there is a word to go in the title of a tired sleep blog entry so here we are.  LOL.  Not that we shouldn’t worry about the implications of that word…

And then there is loyalty or lack thereof.  In politics and the rat race everyone expects it even though it almost never exists in the wild.  I was going to look up some recent research on the topic which suggests people are almost always looking out for themselves but I’ll save it for later.  Also somewhat related, I was listening to a podcast of 60 minutes (Episode of ~10/8/2017) on the way home after work this evening and they ended it with a quote from Nixon about six years before he resigned, I know they are real subtle right? And it went something like this from the original 60 minutes interview by Mike Wallace

“When style and charisma connotes the idea of contriving of public relations, I don’t buy it at all…” Nixon told Wallace. “Some public men are destined to be loved and other public men are destined to be disliked, but the most important thing about a public man is not whether he’s loved or disliked, but whether he’s respected. And I hope to restore respect to the presidency at all levels by my conduct.”

The 60 minutes episode, however, did have a good report on how Trump’s team leveraged facebook with a dedicated team of facebook republican employees (wow such a thing exists?), and a sad report on the vegas shooting, and an interesting report on shake shack.

And last and maybe I dare say least to some people that is we have a talking blond wig.  OK my goal so far with the blog is to mostly avoid politics so I’m not going to go too far out on this shaky limb but I listen and read quite a bit of news and everywhere you look is well, you know.  I remember a few years ago talking to my mom about an encounter she had with a family member and I asked her what she thought of him (the family member) and she responded she thought he was the loch ness monster.  Now I actually like the vulgar South Park cartoon series sometimes but I knew my mom who is old fashioned had never watched it so she had obviously just single handedly created out of thin air one of the funniest parts of South Park but I couldn’t bring myself to ask her how in the world she came up with that or if my cousin err umm the loch ness monster asked her for about tree fiddy.  So today I decided to think of how my mom might describe our current prez and I came up with talking blond wig.  Naming the blond wig womp just seemed natural and when I read the definition of womp, I figured putting a blond wig on the old rabbit ears tv antenna we used to have would surely improve the signal quality – ok I know I’m grasping at straws or fake wig hairs here but it’s late and I’m tired so that’s all for now.  🙂

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the hurdy gurdy, an exceptional folk music instrument

 

the hurdy gurdy, an exceptional folk music instrument

Not sure how many of you are familiar with this instrument but it’s pretty interesting.  Thought I would share some of the cool videos I found related to this unique instrument.

 

I always like including links to TED whenever possible so here is one specifically for the instrument:

 

Are you a gadget geek?  Kickstarter which is a site for people to try to raise money for ideas and products, etc.  even has a gurdy kit you can build yourself and also some very cool wooden trains.

 

Though not technically a gurdy i suppose but cool nonetheless, the marble machine.  Kind of like a rube goldberg music machine…

 

Still not buying it all this ruckus about HG.  You may have heard the words hurdy-gurdy in the past and just forgotten. 🙂  Catchy song from the old days.

 

Want to know more check out Patty’s link and peruse her vids.

 

 

 

“All creatures are capable of darkness, but not all choose to succumb to it.” ― Sara Humphreys

“All creatures are capable of darkness, but not all choose to succumb to it.”
Sara Humphreys

Sometimes I find a quote that I like that doesn’t necessarily match the topic that I wanted to talk about.  Of course the quote is usually based on the daily prompt word of the day which today is succumb.  I’m also not against borrowing quotes from Romance Book authors either so if that is a genre that interests you the quote is from this book, vampire troubles.  I’ve never read anything in the genre yet which with their liberal use of book covers with pecs reminds me of college Anatomy books.  I mean how many different ways can you illustrate books with close-up massive pecs pics – TBD.

What I really wanted to briefly talk about today was the good reads 2017 challenge for which i pledged to read 48 books this year.  And umm I’m only at 15 books :S

Therefore, I’ve decided to cheat.  Kind of.  I’ve decided to read shorter books like comics to try to catch back up.  I guess if i reached far enough I could connect three of the recent comic titles to darkness in the quote i used for this post.  And not that readers who would be interested in romance novels would likely be interested in comics but here goes:

Batman

Halloween Comic Fest 2014 - Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Special Edition (2014-) #1

And Batman’s sidekick Robin’s new gig:

Nightwing

Nightwing 201 Booklet

and Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo Team-Up Vol. 1

And if you’re like me and like free, all of these comics just happen to be free on google play books:  Batman, Nightwing 201, and Scooby-Do Team-Up and all yes, just coincidentally are related to Halloween (I think) – this month’s holiday for some in the big wild world.  I hyperlinked those in case you use google play books and wanted to check them out and no I don’t get a percentage of your “free” purchase price if you go through with it.  🙂

 

the constant struggle, athletics vs creativity

the constant struggle, athletics vs creativity

Well, I finally painted my first rock this evening which because of the rock’s shape i decided to do a great white shark.  I traced the rock outline with a pencil and sketched out a design in pencil first which turned out great because I could have never came up with that on the rock first due to how difficult it is to paint on an uneven rock.  I used metallic acrylic paint which turned out better than I expected.

However, as the 2nd photo indicates, my creative project came at the expense of my fitbit goal of 10,000 steps or roughly 5 miles.  The neon circle should go all the way around but stops at just past the 3/4 mark.  😦  An unfortunate reminder of how difficult it is sometimes to juggle those little creative tasks with meeting daily exercise goals.

The 3rd photo bottom right is the shark rock before image.  I was thinking of making the little white rock in the bottom middle a rattle snake head.  The egg shaped rock I may make into a little dino egg with a t-rex head sticking out.

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our tethered life

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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

james-zwadlo-88308

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.  🙂