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Old 02-08-2009, 07:24 AM   #21
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Plex, FWIW my last job was actually better than not working in that it was tremedously intellectually stimulating and exciting. The problem was that it entailed way more hours than any normal person would want to put in and way too much stress. So it seems to me that the "utopia" jobs are pretty darned rare. Full blown professors, maybe, if they want to live the life of the mind. Other than that...
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:47 AM   #22
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So the trick, mastered by meditators and monks, is to quiet the left brain and let the right brain take over. Betty Edwards also shows how to do it in "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", which ironically is still in my "To Do" pile after all these years.
Excellent OP post, Nords. Sorry to hijack, but your mention of Betty Edwards book caught my attention. I could barely draw stick figures when I read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I didn't become an artist but I learned that I could learn to draw much better and more easily than I had anticpipated. Get the book. To get you started try this upside down drawing exercise from the book:

Draw crosshairs through a sheet of drawing paper and through the Picasso drawing of Stravinsky below. Then using the cross hairs as a guide to relative position copy the lines from the Picasso in freehand. Don't even try to understand what you are drawing - just try to acurately put down the lines you are seeing. When done, turn your drawing right side up. It will blow your mind.


I didn't keep it up (I am ADHD so I flit from thing to thing) but I quickly learned to draw in a rudimentary fashion. I like computers so I used a Wacom drawing pad/stylus and Painter software. Here are my first test eye and an apple from exercises in a Painter book - it took no time at all to learn to do this:





What it boils down to is that drawing what you see is a skill that can be taught. Creating real art is a whole nother thing. But drawing itself can be fun - especially for folks who got the wrong training as kids and thought they couldn't do it..
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:19 AM   #23
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Nothing like an extra ... squirming pounds to focus your mind on the present...
Yeah. I had a boss like that once.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:07 AM   #24
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For some reason we were brainwashed into "doing" Yes, we have to "do" in order to eat, but how much?

I believe this system was set up and maintained in order to keep us on the treadmill, churing out the widgets not needed and fueling the oversized dwellings and vehicles that are really just quick fixes to our addictions.

Our current economic crash is evidence we were on the wrong track. We consumed way too much, bought too much crap and worked our asses off to do it.

What to do? They speak about stimulus back into a system that is killing most of us. They want to kickstart an economy that exists in many ways to churn out goods and services we really don't need, back into the same thing.

Perhaps the country would be better served if each of us worked 6 hours a day or less. Less demand brings down prices. But that may be a good thing, since more people will be able to afford the basics, such as a place to dwell and some food and health care.

I don't believe we were made to carry on the way we do, surely it takes it's toll on our health and sanity. Perhaps to go slower and perhaps spent less time doing things makes better products.

There is nothing wrong with being a bit lazy, good for the body and mind.

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Old 02-08-2009, 10:11 AM   #25
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That was the first chapter of your book, right Nords? Looks good.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:13 AM   #26
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Don, you drew that eye?
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:30 AM   #27
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Don, you drew that eye?
Yeah. I was learning Painter software and that was an exercise. It is freehand. You use a stylus and pad instead of a mouse. Here is a thumbnail of a self portrait I did later using a photograph as a model. I am not sure I could do that again without a lot of practice and review of the software (also, I cheated a bit on this one by sketching the basic form out as a trace and by sampling colors from the photo with the eyedropper tool). The eye was completely freehand. I need to try bikes if I ever get back to it.



Here are my eyes in a mirror (pencil sketch freehand) when I was reading Right Side of the Brain. It is the little dashes of white in this one and the Painter eye that make the eyes come to life. If I can do this in a brief time, anyone can:

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Old 02-08-2009, 11:04 AM   #28
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Very impressive. I ordered the book from the library. Like you, I'll often work on drawing for a month or so here and there. My mom was an artist. I should resist -- too many hobbies already.

Sorry about the Hijack, Nords!
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:55 PM   #29
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Excellent posts, Nords & Freebird.

Roll up, roll up, get your metaphysics here. Wow, this Forum is great value for money!

I have always realized the need to "be" from time to time. It's a spiritual experience. For me, it usually happens when I am in a beautiful place, usually near water. There is something about the waves on a beach, or the tranquility of a calm lake, that allows me to feel renewed and serene about my place in the world. Another such experience I had when looking over a misty valley in south west France, late at night. When I'm in ''the zone" I feel profoundly happy. It has nothing to do with achievements or finance, just a feeling of intense calm; if I died tomorrow, my life would have been worthwhile.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:29 PM   #30
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Great post Nords , It really hit home. I spent so many years just rushing through life that now it is nice to just savor it .
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:44 PM   #31
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No problem-- learn to surf. Longboard, shortboard, paddle, tandem, tow-in, kite, wind... whatever you can get.
Nords - um...you mean surfing here doesn't count?
So find me an ocean in Central NY and that's a deal!
Actually, kite flying is one of my fun things to do, along with sandcastle building and spring snow sculpture when the snow melts a little. I have some creativity buried in the ol' brain. I can sculpt a mean "snow bunny" with soft wet snow and a elongated sharp edged stone I saved just for this reason. Using it makes me feel very prehistoric.
Khan - there is hope. I have 2 compost tumblers. They will be perfect for this year's garden. Another source of time to simply "be"...a human veggie amongst the chlorophyll making type of veggies. Now if I could just stop planting my seeds in perfect rows...
All - I writing a lot of this "help me!" stuff with tongue firmly in cheek. Little by little, I am learning to simply "be".
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:43 PM   #32
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Good post Noords - very thought provoking.

In recent years DW and I have had some vacations in england without kids and I've taken her on long walks along the cliffs and into the countryside where I grew up and where my Dad and sister still live. I've shown her various spots where, as kids, we would simply lie back and look out over fields or the sea, chew on grass, make daisy chains, watch the sky larks etc and just "be". I hadn't realized quite how far we used to roam - up to 5 miles one way. In my last 3 years at High School I had a lot of stress, trying to study for very important exams at 16 and 18 to get into university during a long period of illness with my mother who very nearly died in child birth when I was 16 and then again nearly died from cancer 2 years later, each time spending many weeks in hospital in the spring semester. Being the eldest I had to look after the house and rest of the family.

I used to find downtime by walking the cliffs and just sitting there trying to clear my mind.

Some years later during some very stressful times while we had 2 young children and work and other things were very tough I would de-stress by climbing the hills just outside our home and sit down looking out over the Yorkshire moors and just clear my head.

Reading your post and the responses in this thread makes me realize that I have lost this ability and the last 10 years in particular have needed such meditative techniques.

I look forward now to 're-discovering' myself....
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William Wordsworth seems apropos here....
Old 02-08-2009, 02:52 PM   #33
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William Wordsworth seems apropos here....

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:04 PM   #34
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Yeah, but have you ever tried to plant 300 daffodil bulbs? In hard pan clay?? It ain't a metaphysical experience, let me and my achin' back tell ya!

(Worth, it, though, since daffodils are about the only pretty flower that deer will leave alone).

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Old 02-08-2009, 03:06 PM   #35
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P.S. Donheff, if that's really what you look like, I hope you know you're hot
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:10 PM   #36
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Yeah, but have you ever tried to plant 300 daffodil bulbs? In hard pan clay?? It ain't a metaphysical experience, let me and my achin' back tell ya!

(Worth, it, though, since daffodils are about the only pretty flower that deer will leave alone).

Amethyst
I bet deadly nightshade would be allowed to bloom, eventually.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:30 PM   #37
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P.S. Donheff, if that's really what you look like, I hope you know you're hot
I may have chiseled the cheekbones a bit ;-) and it is probably about 8 years old.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:53 PM   #38
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Nords....You hit it right on the head!

Having dealt with the military mentality and the "fog's of war", I know I am not really interested in the "fog's of work"!

Mahalo!
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:00 PM   #39
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The problem was that it entailed way more hours than any normal person would want to put in and way too much stress.
From other comments you've made it also seems that your co-workers and supervisors felt that misery loved company, and they wanted as much company as you could give them... even if you should've been taking a sick day or enjoying lunch or telecommuting.

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Most likely, this will be a path I will never be able to take (for good or bad).
I am a similar type to Brewer, I tend to constantly plan things out, slowly adjusting the plan over time, at any given point, my whole life is planned out, at least vaguely. I am in my mid 20's, and have been well aware that work sucks since the first time I had to pick up a broom and sweep the leaves when I was six. Work occurs for me in bursts, for a particular purpose in an overall plan. Here is my mentality on work:
Life is spent thinking about many different things at once, that is, if it is not being spent being, enjoying the activities one loves to do best, or finding ways to enjoy being even more.
Life lasts a long time; don't sell yourself short.

I'm similar to you guys, but in ER (and especially after reading Betty Edwards & Stroke of Insight) I can appreciate right-brained creativity & its contributions even more.

The difference between us is that I didn't become aware of much of this until after I'd ER'd. You've just been made aware of it much sooner in your life than I was in mine, and you have a chance to decide whether it's worth incorporating into your life now (which may give you an edge over all the other hyperplanners) or later (when you also have ER time).

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Excellent OP post, Nords. Sorry to hijack, but your mention of Betty Edwards book caught my attention. I could barely draw stick figures when I read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I didn't become an artist but I learned that I could learn to draw much better and more easily than I had anticpipated. Get the book.
I've read both editions of the book, although the first ed sat on my reading table for literally about five years. Then I chased down her "Color" and her exercise book as well. I found that "Color" is an absolutely fascinating read into a subject that I only formerly appreciated for its chemistry-- and now I enjoy looking at the world with an entirely new eye. Never had to worry about any of that stuff when I was shooting torpedos.

The heck with lists of things to do in ER. I have a growing list of things I want to try someday after I get tired of all the things I'm currently doing in ER. I haven't even tried standup paddlesurfing yet, let alone kitesurfing. Drawing, color, computer art, and decades of old action movies will still be there when I'm much less mobile.

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Nords - um...you mean surfing here doesn't count?
So find me an ocean in Central NY and that's a deal!
No, it counts, you just need to go a few more miles west:



And Martha can get you a reciprocal membership in the Great Lakes Surfing Club...
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:17 PM   #40
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Nords - um...you mean surfing here doesn't count?
So find me an ocean in Central NY and that's a deal!
Actually, kite flying is one of my fun things to do, along with sandcastle building and spring snow sculpture when the snow melts a little. I have some creativity buried in the ol' brain. I can sculpt a mean "snow bunny" with soft wet snow and a elongated sharp edged stone I saved just for this reason. Using it makes me feel very prehistoric.
Khan - there is hope. I have 2 compost tumblers. They will be perfect for this year's garden. Another source of time to simply "be"...a human veggie amongst the chlorophyll making type of veggies. Now if I could just stop planting my seeds in perfect rows...
All - I writing a lot of this "help me!" stuff with tongue firmly in cheek. Little by little, I am learning to simply "be".
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