Tempest Fugit, Memento Mori

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I love, and hate schedules. On the one hand setting aside time in the morning during / after coffee to write. Not write well, but just to get ideas on paper and thoughts out the door has been helping. But at the same time. Looking into the vanishing point of the future seeing things ordered and scheduled to an nth degree give me a bit of anxiety. That bundle of nerves tangled deep within my chest that tightens like a noose when i order more of my day.

I’d rather not count my food, yet I’m on weight watchers, points and all that. I’d rather not have to list every interaction in work yet I have to justify time with tickets in work. I’d rather not have to have a scheduled time to have coffee, yet here I sit laptop on a glass table and a mug of awesomeness next to me.  I would much rather float on the ebb and flow of a day. Yet I also have a fitbit which counts my every step during the day (currently averaging over 14,000!) The more I focus on the quantified self to more anxious I get. So I push those feelings deep down inside and convince myself that the schedule and the rigid timelines bring about good things. Like a disturbing memory you block away to remove the feeling in the pit of your stomach.

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I would like to just float by, But I know that when I do that. Things get missed and time is frittered away. I hate wasting time. Hell just by refusing to sleep like a normal person i gain hours each day. I sleep about 4 or 5 hours a night, so I gain 3 over every person laying in bed for 8. By the end of the week I’ve lived an extra 21 hours. Every 8 days I live an extra day!

So do schedules and structure work for you? Or do you do your best work unfettered?

Small Goals

2013-03-06_16-39-19_187 I Started the year off flipping my usual script. Instead of making vague promises i made declarative statements. Instead of saying I was going to lose weight I focused on doing it the right way. My three words for 2014 are Action, Create and Finish. I started with my food, and signed up for weight watchers online.

During the course of any project there is that one second right before you get to getting that I find myself holding back. This doesn’t happen in work, its only during things i have a personal attachment to. I needed to push past that hesitation, and the results have been amazing.

Just past the halfway part of the year this is what was. 1380394_10101884069456583_78265536_n

I’m still 6’2″ ish, however Previously I weighed in at 265 pounds, a 40 – 42 inch waist and i felt sluggish all the time. My normal push was towards working out hard and then getting my diet under control was a non started i got hungry too quickly. So I focused on my food alone for 2 solid months and got good habits in place before I continued on. Then i hit the gym, easily. Low impact but concentrated effort. I increased steady weight training, and solid cardio with as few gimmicks and fads as possible.

This is what is!

Still the same height, however I’m 232 pounds, 36 inch waist… I haven’t worn 36 inch pants in over 10 years, actually since i was 19. And i’m still going. I want to get down to 200 roughly for my frame and my height. The chart says I should be 185, not sure if that would work for everything else but my next major goal is 220. For some reason I stored away fun t shirts and pants that i thought would never fit me again. Each month I tried on some of the old clothes and more and more of them have been fitting. Each time I get back into a new / old shirt i have a minor jump of joy. Its going to be a good summer.

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Might not be an adonis yet… but I’m not a beach ball any longer either. Focus on getting healthy! I hadn’t worn this shirt without issue since 2004… I love this shirt.

 

My Three Words: 2014

After reading CC Chapman’s Amazing Things Will Happen I tried to do and follow the Three words last year. Rather than normal resolutions you list everything you want to do for the year, and try to distill them into three basic concepts that you can use to drive yourself for the year. Last year was the first year I tried it, and one of the first times I can actually say I followed through for the most part with a resolution, of sorts.

And rather than doing the same thing this year I decided to make so positive changes in the process, something that took me over a month to do last time. 3 Days isn’t so bad. So I give you my Three words… Sketchnote Style!

For me, spending the extra time to draw out the concepts helps fix them in my mind, and work my resolve into a frothy lather. Sketching always clears my head.

Here you go.

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Action, Create, and Finish. Simple concepts that honestly represent a laundry list of things and tasks i need to do for the year. But rather than a resolution, the list is now a roadmap.

 

Action

 

Action: make the first move, nothing happens without a catalyst. Basically get up off my duff and get… to getting. This stands in for giving myself the kick in the pants to move, and stop resting on past accomplishments and stories. Its time to make more of them.

Create

Create: Nothing give me warm happy fuzzies on a professional level, and on a personal level other than making things, and moments happen. It means more art, sketching more, and making time for the important things like family night, and date nights.

Finish

 

Finish: Bring things to fruition, make the extra effort to wrap things up and finish as in finishing touches as well. As the elf from ARthur Christmas says… “There is always time for a bow” Spending the extra time to make things better, and shining them up for others to see. Not just rushing things out the door, ut a focus on quality. Quality meals, quality work, and quality time.

What says you to the sketchy ideas? Big things coming the year from Puzzle Piece Productions, The CaffiNation, Geek Cruft and Design is Brutal. To use a hockey metaphor I’m going to roll 4 lines!

So what are you three words?

Why is everything gone?

Not that people check here very often, but i decided to clean house and pull the directory containing the travelersmug from my server. Yeah I thought i had moved the site to a different server. And in my rush to fix things on another site i decided to clear a little room. Nice and easy right? nope i washed out some 8 years of images, luckily all the posts and everything all that comic gold and literary nonsense survived the deleteaclypse but sadly the accumulated images did not survive. A lesson learned in measure twice cut once. There is no undelete in UNIX people… NO Undelete.

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But just like that everything is back after referring to backups. Last backup was a couple of months ago. But i would rather have to find and replace a couple months of work rather than everything since 2006, for this version of the site!

Looking Upwards

1-IMG_20130702_141316_451It really is all about focus. When you go about your day how do you see the world? Are you looking at the other cars on the road, are you checking out the other houses? I’ve been trying to recenter myself a bit and have been lifting my gaze skyward. Have you ever taken a second to make the dome of the sky the focal point for your vision, and realize that these massive fluffy white clouds are rolling past your house right now, and are rolling into another state, another city or another country before long? You are pretty tiny and there are bigger problems in the world. Lots of people are all looking at the same clouds. Every now and then we all get a bit down, and a little self centered. Take a step back raise your gaze and just consider the enormity of the sky. It sounds trite, it sounds a bit silly. But it works. Calms you down and lets you deal with the two screaming kids fighting over who took the last grape in the kitchen.

one of those things

Well_that_escalated_quicklyHave you ever stared at a menu for so long you just don’t know if you are hungry, or the choices aren’t that good? I’ve been dealing with a lot of friends looking for work. And roughly 50 – 75percent of the people i know who have a job are not educated in that field. Myself included. So when the time comes to change horses they don’t know how to do it. How do you stare at a job board and not get swallowed by the wave of overwhelming choices, none of which you know if you are qualified for?

It might be easier to hand your resume to someone and have them say… SO… A.) is this any good B.) Given this document; What do you think i can do. I guess that is where recruiters come in, doing a lot of the heavy work for you.. But either way the job boards seem to be lined with entry level jobs for sales, and 50 + listings there, and not much else. not sure if its just a sign of the times or if its people looking in the wrong place.

I wish all the best for those who are currently looking. I still don’t know what i want to do when i grow up ;-)

Starting

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Starting new things is daunting. Looking at a blank canvas, an empty screen, or a clean notebook is frightening. I hate the thought that my first words, doodles or lines might be failures. At times its a paralyzing fear. I fear looking silly, but not being silly. I know I’m good at that. Why not wait just another day to start the illustration? Why not have another cup of coffee before working on the next chapter. Sure no big problem.

The problem happens when the putting off becomes so much easier that you don’t even feel the twinge of guilt. Hey there is TV to watch, games to play, sleep to have. I vacillate between not sleeping because I’m working on something and not sleeping because I’m thinking about something. Which gets back to starting.
It gets easier to start the more you do it. Same as it gets easier to do many things once you get on with it. The more you work at it the easier it becomes. Why post this story? Someone might see it down the road and find me less than suitable for hire. Because hey this guy has trouble starting.

Except you’re reading something I started, a conversation. Most times I close my eyes and push forward, putting anything down until I’m left with a dirty page, and then I have to clean it up with proper prose. I still feel the need to mention the trouble, because it might strike a cord with someone somewhere else. If you have trouble starting, try nonsense. A little nonsense now and then always sets me right. Start with nonsense, then organize.

 

How do you get started?

Don’t Hate Mondays!

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I’m tired of people spouting off about Monday. No more, I hate Monday’s. Or if someone has a touch of the late 90′s ironic. “Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays…” But lets think about this does it make any sense to “Hate” Mondays? I Say no. And I can hopefully show you why its a bit ridiculous to waste that time… With MATH

You spend on average 8 hours a day sleeping. Which equates to roughly 33% of your life
So 66% of your life is spent awake.
Now 1/7 of that time or 14.2% is spent taking place on a Monday.
14.2 percent taken from the 66% awake time is left with 56% of your waking non Monday life left to live.

We aren’t even going to touch other days people don’t look forward to here. You are now left with half of your life, roughly, that you are writing off by default. Wouldn’t it make sense to give Monday a chance and push the percentage just a bit higher? I mean come on Monday is why they invented coffee.

This whole equation also shows why I don’t sleep 8 hours. I prefer 4 or 5. So that means I only sleep 20% of my life. Cuts down on the non useful time quite a bit.

So on average I work / enjoy and LIVE 13 % MORE than all you sleepy heads!

A twinkie problem


The nation is full of fat people, and yet we are worried about companies that produce unhealthy food, with no real redeeming benefits. Look I would hate to see good honest people loosing their jobs. I don’t think anyone would get up on a soapbox and push that notion forward. It is a private business and I do feel bad about a piece of history, albeit a less than tasty piece, fall out of favor. Tastykakes, are always better. Made with real food too

There are stories circulating about management vs the workers and trying to demonize both sides. But the real problem is we have a twinkie problem, and a burger king problem, and a pizza hut problem. A Twinkie going the way of the dodo isn’t too bad a thing when you think about it. It’s like a Mcdonalds going out of business, better for the waistline, not so good for the people who work there. We need viable healthy snack and food companies. Stupid economy.

Voting Mess

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I don’t care who you vote for.

We’re supposed to be a civilized country. And we happen to be in the business of spreading democracy around the world, whether other people want it or not. Be careful we might get some of our democracy on you. Why the hell can’t we have a unified voting system, that makes this mess simple, and easy. both to cast and to recount if needed. We need transparency and accountability.

Just sitting in the office listening to stories around the country of people on both sides of the aisle complaining about intimidation, unfair practices, machines picking the wrong people. Come on. ONE system. This is 2012, i can ship and track a package from almost anywhere in the world. I can talk to 10 people at once via video in 10 different locations… FOR FREE. and we can’t get voting done right?

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