Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100428

My daughter was on Spring break last week, so we sampled a few new restaurants later in the week. I noticed that when waiters and waitresses just give out the dessert menu without asking if we want dessert, we tend to order it. I must practice saying "No thank you, I do not want dessert."

Waist = 38.25"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Indoor Vine With Rainbow

Today was a beautiful clear day with some many delightful shadows to choose from. I picked this in order to feature the rainbow....

Friday, April 23, 2010

SDP: Learn and Create with Processing

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool.
- from

Art, Computer Programming, Math -- could Processing have most of my favorite topics melded together? I'm not sure I like looking at computer generated art. But you know how sometimes things seem to taste better when you cook or bake them youself? I think the same might be true of this art form.

The Processing website also has links to programming toys for younger folks, specifically Alice, Scratch and Pippy.

So much to explore -- so little time!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TAW: Quotes from "The Artist's Way"

Quotes from Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" ...

Every creative person has myriad ways to block creativity. Each of us favors one or two ways particularly toxic to us because they block us so effectively.

For some people, food is a creativity issue. Eating sugar or fats or certain carbohydrates may leave them feeling dulled, hung over, unable to focus -- blurry. They use food to block energy and change. (Page 162.)

As an artist, I can literally die from boredom. I kill myself when I fail to nurture my artist child [inner artist] because I am acting like somebody else's idea of an adult. The more I nurture my artist child, the more adult I am able to appear. Spoiling my artist means it will let me type a business letter. Ignoring my artist means a grinding depression.

There is a connection between self-nurturing and self-respect. If I allow myself to be bullied and cowed by other people's urges for me to be more normal or more nice, I sell myself out. They may like me better, feel more comfortable with my more conventional appearance or behavior, but I will hate myself. Hating myself, I may lash out at myself and others.

If I sabotage my artist, I can well expect an eating binge, a sex binge, a temper binge. Check the relationship between these behaviors for yourself. When we are not creating, artists are not always very normal or very nice -- to ourselves or to others. (Page 181.)

Edited on 2010-04-23 to add a title to this post and to replace the Philanthropy tag with the Quotes tag. I was so sleepy when I wrote it, I don't even remember posting it!
Edited on 2011-02-22 to add link to the quoted book.

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100421

I did weigh myself yesterday, but I forgot to post!

Waist = 38.0"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SDP: Learn Aramaic

It would be fun to learn Aramaic, "...the oldest, rarest language in the world. The language of God!!! Be proud of that. It is the root language of hebrew, arabic, turkish, and the alphabet for farsi (Persian), urdu (Pakistan/Indian), and greek."

Editted on 2010-04-23 to add second link.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Afternoon Sunbeam

This was taken in February. A sliver of afternoon sun slices the hallway in two.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Germany vs. Italy

I'm part German, part Italian. Growing up, I felt that I was audience to a duel between my German father and Italian mother. "Which nationality was better?" was the perennial question. German cars out-numbered Italian by a wide margin, so score 1 for Germany. But Italian food was the best as far as I was concerned, so score 10 for Italy. Germany is known for precision machinery. But Italy was the birth place of the Renaissance. And so on. And that was the back drop of my childhood.

I remembered all this today at the pizza shop. That was because of how I eat pizza. In New York, you fold your pizza lengthwise so it doesn't flop down. You can eat it with one hand, which, in NY you gotta do. It makes it easy to eat with one hand, leaving the other hand free to hold a drink (so you can eat while standing or walking), or to talk on the phone, or grip the steering wheel. 'Cause in NY, things happen quick, and you always gotta do other stuff when you eat.

My wife has complete disdain for my New York ways, especially the eating pizza part. When our daughter started to copy me today, my wife told her to stop, which (teenager that she is) made her copy me much more intently. Clearly, we were having an effect on her, just like my parents did on me.

My wife and I tend to polarize on some things, such as money, shopping, food, and more money, as described on the following diagram:
My PhilosophyMy Wife's Philosophy
Money: Get a job you can enjoy, live modestly, set aside some income for retirement.Money: Get the highest-paying job you can get, even if it's stressful and demeaning, and then spend all your money on diversions to help you forget what a lousy job you have.
Shopping: Figure out what you need, and which stores carry these items at a reasonable cost, and then buy the items as quickly as possible so as not to inconvenience other family members.Shopping: Go to any trendy store, one that you really like. Mull around for several hours, picking up items that you didn't realize you needed until you actually saw them, and then buy those items, never mind that your husband's legs have become petrified from standing around waiting for you, and that he should stop acting like a child already.
Food: Select unprocessed sources of proteins and fresh or frozen vegetables. Avoid products that contain wheat, dairy, corn, and potatoes, and other inflammatory substances. Stick with low-glycemic foods.Food: If you spend a lot on it, it has to be good food, so it should be good to eat. And anyway, we grew up on macaroni and cheese, Chef Boyardee
and Hamburger Helper. They wouldn't put anything bad into our food, so why can't you eat it, Mr. Picky-Ass-Pants?

I wonder exactly what effect my wife and I have on our daughter, especially when we discuss money, shopping and food in front of her.

One thing I clearly remember from my teenage years was how reluctant I was to show a preference for any girl, at least not in front of my parents. I felt like I'd be under a microscope. I would predict my parents thoughts: "Oh, he likes short girls," or "Oh he likes brown-eyed girls," or "he likes dark girls with hairy arms and large breasts." But I especially couldn't commit to liking any girl with obvious Italian or German qualities. Which was rather a shame since I was most fond of the Italian-looking girls with their thick, dark-brown hair and large, warm brown eyes and somewhat mocha skin tone, and there were a lot of them. But I just couldn't side with the Italians.

Will our daughter's choices in a companion be contaminated by the conflicts between my wife and me? Will she choose a boy with New York mannerism just to annoy her mom?

And what about you? How did your parents' conflicts affect you? Did you find yourself making choices based on whether a parent would approve? Or disapprove? Or did you try to avoid choices altogether?

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100414

Whoever wrote "What goes up, must come down" was one heck of an optimist.

Waist = 38.25"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Tired Bee

This bee was buzzing around the garden. I thought it was trying to find a nice place to make a nest. So I moved it to a more secluded part of the yard. By then it seemed to get tired out. That's when I took the opportunity to take a picture or two.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SDP: Ripping audio streams

A while ago I recommended Pandora. Now I'm really starting to like Hype Machine. I found a very hard-to-find song on there. I can play it repeatedly at will.

I wanted to get the mp3 of that song for my daughter. But when I went to look for it on eMusic, iTunes & Amazon, I couldn't find it. I recalled reading that it was possible to rip from audio streams, and when I did a search I found this software to do that. I decided to see if I could find something on SourceForge that might work and came across this. So this is yet another project!

The Hype Machine

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100407

Keeping very busy is a great way to avoid eating tempting treats.

Waist = 38.25"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Lamp Post

Sunny, summer-like weather made this shot possible:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How to Have a Crazy Idea That Changes the World

Scott Ginsberg, aka That Guy with the Nametag, lists just eleven easy steps on How to Have a Crazy Idea That Changes the World: "Strap on your straightjacket. Stand up proud and firm. And declare to the world that you (and your crazy idea) are ready to change it."

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dream: Witch at the Abandoned School

I walk toward the house next door to use the bathroom. But then my feet follow a path up and toward the back of our adjoining properties. The stonework is fabulous -- cobblestones were used for walls and retaining walls and even the structures themselves.

I notice the entrance to the school. I expect that it's locked. So I extend my arm several yards toward it to try to open it. It is indeed locked. But then I notice a woman standing behind the door. She's the cleaning lady with a mop or a broom. I also notice that the school looks very run down, as if it hasn't been used in years, even though my daughter attends the school regularly.

I get closer. I notice the woman is wearing a black robe and black pointy hat -- the quintessential witch outfit. Opening the door she invites me, "Come on in my deary!" using a tone of voice that's been made to sound like a normal person imitating a witch. She's trying to convince me that there's a Halloween party going on inside. But I don't believe her. I know she really is a witch. But I am not scared because she would have no power over me unless I crossed the threshold. However, I do have to pee desperately. I even squat down briefly, exhausted from trying to hold it in. But this causes some pee to spray out onto the mat below.

The urge to pee over, I back away. I realize that I, too, have power. I decide to demonstrate that I'm not a typical human. So I start to rise into the air, spinning slowly, and then I fly about. I'm surrounded by white light. Vague thoughts come to me that I'm flying in my dream and that I'm traveling astrally, but I'm not fully lucid.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April is [lots of stuff] Awareness Month

Today I had planned to repeat my April is Autism Awareness Month post. But then I recalled that April is also Sjogren's Awareness Month.

Curious as to how many things we're supposed to be aware of in April, I did a search on Yahoo. I figured I would include a list of all of them. But that was before I saw the search results, 64.7 million in all. And besides, there already is such a listing. Unfortunately, the authors of that list are not actually aware that April is Autism Awareness Month. Go figger.

What I found especially annoying was the top-most entry in the results is for Mathematics Awareness Month. It's not that I dislike math -- actually I think it's really neat. But it's the fact that someone decided it was necessary to devote an entire month to making us aware of it. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but isn't that what school is for? And besides, those of us in the engineering profession get only a measly week, and some folks still think engineers drive trains.