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March 31, 2007

Out with the old books, in with the New

I have learned that some things about me have not changed in my entire life. I don't know if I was born with these traits or it's something I've learned along the way. Some of it most likely comes from my training in the military many years ago.
Over the last several weeks I have been cleaning out my living spaces of clutter and old, unused items. At the same time I discovered Twincitiesfreemarket.org mailing list where people post things they have to give away and you get an email notification. I get about 28 emails per day, so it's kind of like spam if you are not interested in the items people are giving away. But anyway, I wanted to try giving something away. As I was cleaning in my library, I saw a whole shelf of books I never use anymore. Old C and C++ programming books. God it seems like a life-time ago when I last used those books. It was too. 1989 to 2000 were years of intense learning for me. I became an expert in CAD very quickly and dove into Computer programming with a frenzy. I bought all of these books, took a few classes, and mostly taught myself to program. It worked until I discovered that I didn't really like the way the software worked, or how tedious it was, or that I really wasn't interested in writing computer programs for a living. I was more interested in the objects I was designing than the code in the software used to design. Thus my current direction in my career.
What has not changed about me is the intensity of my studies in any particular area. When I get something in my mind to do, I am a learner. "One is taught in accordance with one's ability to learn," has special meaning for me, because it's how I work. I don't blame other people, especially Teachers for my inability to learn something. Because it is not their responsibility to do something with what they are teaching. If I can't use what I'm learning, it's my fault not theirs. My intensity of learning also brought me to the point of purchasing a few new books in the areas of Civil Design, Project Management, and Leadership and High performance teams. I'm on a mission and the intensity increases.
In this way I have not changed. I'm not so sure I want to change that because it's fun and fulfilling. But what I am changing is that I am more willing to abandon areas of study or work that I am not really interested in. Instead of holding on to a career that I'm not really interested in staying in, I retrain. I get new books, new focus and new intensity. I also let go. I didn't always do that. But now I am giving away old books. Yesterday I gave away three of them to someone with an intensity to learn everything about programming. Today I am going in to work to study and practice lessons from one of my new Civil design books. Out with the old, in with the new.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:25 AM

March 29, 2007

A positive attitude and persistence gets results

Today I had the second half of my performance review and my boss told me that one of the things he liked about me was my positive attitude. He mentioned several examples of how my attitude has had an impact on the department and produced some tangible results. So I finished my first 5 months with a good review. So that was a good note to end my day. (and motivating)

Posted by carl1236 at 10:50 PM

March 27, 2007

Crumbling in a pile of uncertainty

That usually comes after high states of confidence, fueled by equally high energy and optimism. The bubble bursting? Or it sets in just how difficult and complicated things can get in a hurry. I realized almost immediately that things were not going to be easy. I made claims, Promises that I knew I could fulfill, but realized that it definately won't be easy and can't happen without major changes, which in this case will take a while and involve a lot of people. So my strategy at work has changed. In order to achieve the goals that were set for me I have to learn how to be certain again after coming to a crashing halt, crumbling into a pile of uncertainty; unchartered territory.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:22 PM

March 24, 2007

Flash Fiction Number 15 - Usless Ingredient

Useless Ingredient

I can’t taste it. I can’t smell it. As far as I know it has no nutritional value. It serves no other purpose than to fill up the recipe card!
But it’s on the card. I have to put it in. As soon as I leave out that one useless ingredient I will miss it. I know myself.
So I put it in and stay true to the recipe. But just a dash, because anything more would be a waste! I have to save enough for all of my other recipes that beg for it. My useless, bitter, secret ingredient.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:30 AM

Flash Fiction Number 14 - Renovated


We never thought death could be so exciting or enticing! Whatever we knew about life and death was totally wrong.
Here in our lovingly renovated Victorian home, we sat reading an old parchment, ink elegantly scrawled across time. The shock and then wonder struck us as we remembered the familiar script. The blotch of ink that stained. Our handwriting. We carefully dipped the pen and wrote back.
We had to make a sign obvious to ourselves; to recognize it immediately. A century later we scribed our names on the original house title, drawing us in. We have become new again.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:29 AM

March 20, 2007

Empty Nest

It finally happened. This past weekend our nest became 'empty.' So this coming weekend we are going to totally clean and repaint that bedroom and turn it into a guest room. I'm sure we'll see more of our children then. haha.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:49 PM

March 14, 2007

Changes in life due to circumstances

It's amazing how things change when our circumstances change. It has to do with all creature's instincts for survival.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:40 PM

March 12, 2007

Flash Fiction Number 13 - Malicioius Intentions

Malicious Intentions

He got away with it! The boss dismissed Stacy’s feelings that Brian had purposefully lied about her project, for whatever reason.
The motive she thought, although she couldn’t prove anything, was that just by being there Stacy threatened Brian’s sandbox.
Once out of the boss’ hearing range Brian turned to her with a smirk, “You should have stayed in bed today Stacy, this is my World.�
She just stared while he strutted off.
She didn’t know what was worse, snakes like him or a boss who couldn’t see through them. But now she had no doubts about his malicious intentions.

Posted by carl1236 at 6:45 PM

March 11, 2007

Peruvian Carved Gourd inspired Ukrainian Easter Eggs!

Here is the photo I promised. I'm working on the third egg now, based on other Peruvian carved gourds. Like in the Ukraine with eggs, gourd carving and staining in Peru is an ancient tradition dating back thousands of years. The gourd colors are pretty much all the same, with some red thrown in. I thought the patterns and colors were very fitting for Pysanki using the wax-resist dye method.
Gourds are also a pod carrying seeds, much like an egg, representing birth and life. The patterns in these eggs are like the patterns on a sea turtle's back, also found on other gourds. Many of the Peruvian gourds are carved, burned and stained with detailed stories. Abstracted geometric patterns like these are more recent, but still use the same technique and colors. Of course the same gourds and techniques that have been used for centuries are still being used today

Posted by carl1236 at 7:48 PM

March 10, 2007


As I was working on my artwork tonight, It hit me that sometimes creativity is what happens when you run into a problem (ie., it just doesn't look right,) and you modify it until it does look right. Revise, revise. Finding a solution to a problem.
The Craftstravaganza is coming up soon and I'm going to be there, so I had to get started on some artwork. That's what I did tonight. More about that tomorrow. I'll have pictures...

Posted by carl1236 at 10:34 PM

When I die - A list

1. Everything I am currently working on, I will no longer be working on.
2. Everything that I am hoping and dreaming for in life will no longer matter.
3. This body will will no longer matter.
4. Money will no longer mean anything to me.
5. I will leave my posessions behind.
6. Someone will have to deal with my posessions.
7. My relationships will no longer have me in them.
8. The world will continue revolving.
9. Other people will continue to pay taxes.

A lot of life seems to revolve around making money and posessing things.
So until I die, I have to do my taxes. soon.

Posted by carl1236 at 1:48 AM

March 8, 2007

Shamrock Shakes

I don't know why, but I like shamrock shakes. I had a small one today and that minty, green ice cream tasted so good. It's that time of year I guess. I am even going to have a green beer on St. Pattrick's Day. Wild huh? I will like that almost as much as a shamrock shake. I might even splurge and have a corned beef sandwich or something. I am part Irish after all. 1/8th Irish I guess.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:52 PM

March 3, 2007

And who said there is poverty in China?

China's military spending will jump 17.8 percent this year, hitting nearly $45 billion in 2007, an increase of $6.8 billion over last year.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:38 PM

March 1, 2007

The snow is really deep

The snow is really deep. There is something about all of this that feels really good. I think it’s like a thick blanket, wrapping us in quiet and peace and whiteness. White is a color of clean. I like clean and quiet. That feels good. Really deep snow also is so beautiful. Like a picture you see in a magazine, except it’s right here, in the city, which looks nothing like the picture otherwise.
I am going to shovel it in the morning, down to the gritty, concrete and ashphalt. I might even chip the beautiful ice away from it and throw down some sand and salt so the mail carrier doesn't crack his head open! Something about all of this that feels kind of weird. I can't even really ride my bike in this beautiful scene. It's a picture but not very convenient. Maybe I'll move somewhere that I can appreciate the snow from afar, like by looking at those pictures you see in magazines, with the snow all fluffy and piled high. There is something about that idea that feels really good. I think it's the thought of shovelling in the morning. The snow is really deep.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:36 PM