Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blog as a log

According to wikipedia a blog is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Term blog comes from reverse abreviating web log or weblog shortening it by removing the we and getting blog.

If a blog is a web log, what is it logging?

The free dictionary describes a log as:
log 1 (lôg, lg) n.
a. A usually large section of a trunk or limb of a fallen or felled tree.
b. A long thick section of trimmed, unhewn timber.
2. Nautical
a. A device trailed from a ship to determine its speed through the water.
b. A record of a ship's speed, its progress, and any shipboard events of navigational importance.
c. The book in which this record is kept.
3. A record of a vehicle's performance, as the flight record of an aircraft.
4. A record, as of the performance of a machine or the progress of an undertaking: a computer log; a trip log.

Being that a blog doesn't have anything to do with trees, wood, ships, or vehicles (unless that is what the author is blogging about) we can take the log part of blog to mean that it is a record or journal (bjournal doesn't really work, it sounds like a Swedish word)

Well then, if a blog is a record or journal, what am I recording or journaling about? In the case of my blog I am recording my random thoughts and observations.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Embracing Annoyances

Embrace what is annoying me, maybe it is exactly what I am supposed to be paying attention to and the annoyance is just resistance trying to trick me.

Comment on Expectations

My friend MaryLou sent me the below e-mail about expectations and gave me permission to share it. I thought it was pretty enlightening.

Expectations can be a confusing topic. Most of us have expectations. We entertain certain notions, on some level of consciousness, about how we hope things will turn out or how we want people to behave. But it is better to relinquish expectations, so we can detach. It is better to refrain from forcing our expectations on others or refrain from trying to control the outcome of events, since doing so causes problems and is usually impossible anyway. So where do we go with our expectations?

Some people strive to relinquish all expectations and live moment to moment. That is admirable. But I think the important idea here is to take responsibility for our expectations. Get them out into light. Examine them. Talk about them. If they involve other people, talk to the people involved. Find out if they have similar expectations. See if they’re realistic. For example, expecting healthy behavior from unhealthy people is futile; expecting different results from the same behaviors, according to many experts is insane. Then, let go. See how things turn out. Let things happen – without forcing. If we are constantly disappointed, we have a problem to solve – either with ourselves, another person, or a situation.

It’s okay to have expectations. At times, they are real clues to what we want, need, hope for, and fear. We have a right to expect good things and appropriate behavior. We will probably get more of these things (the good stuff and the appropriate behavior) if we consistently expect these things. If we have expectations, we will also realize when they are not being met. But we need to realize these are only expectations; they belong to us, and we’re not always boss. We can make sure our expectations are realistic and appropriate and not let them interfere with reality or let them spoil the good things that are happening.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Contemplating Expectations

I am looking up expectation right now. On Wikipedia expecation is defined as what is considered most likely to happen in the case of uncertainty. An expectation is a belife centred on the ftureu so it may mor may not be realistic. IF an expectation is less advantageous then what was expected then the emotion of disappointments is given rise. If something happens that isn't expected, surprise results. An expectation about the behavior or performance of another person, expressed to that personm may have the nature of a strong request or order.

Well if expectations exist and they don't occur dissapointment occurs, if they don't exist at all the only thing that can come is surprise. And if someone expects things from someone else resentment can occur because it denotes control.

If nothing is ever expected then there is no dissapointment, only surprise and you won't be seen as controlling, demanding, or righteous.

Is this right? Is expectation that bad? Am I never supposed to assume that something might happen based on my past experience? I can't say that I know what I am supposed to do but I do have to say that it does seem like a better life can be lived with no expectations; I would trade dissapointment for surprise any day.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

52 good deeds

Here is an idea that can change your world. Do 1 good deed a week for the year. Plan it during your weekly review and make it count. I am not talking random act of kindness here. 1 planned good deed each week.
No rules other than that, big or small it is up to you.

Brian Darnell

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Don't let the jack asses win

I was just chatting with my good buddy Matt about being open and trusting with people and how people aren’t always open for fear of getting hurt. His words:

“If you are not open to the nice people the jackasses win and I am too stubborn to let the jackasses win”

I am going to take his example and risk getting hurt a bit and be more trusting, let’s not let the jackasses win. 

My view every day when I get to work.

This is what I get to see every morning walking into the office. I love my job! And I love living in this beautiful valley.

Brian Darnell


Let go of the things that annoy me, I have been choosing to have them annoy me, let's choose to be entertained by them instead.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Salted duck eggs

Yes, I at 2 of these. I had never tried anything like this before and I have to tell you I was very apprehensive. The feelings that went through me were OMG am I going to bite through a baby duck? is it going to be really salty? do they burry them in the ground?
But I tried them. Did I like them, that is hard to say, they were a whole lot more salty than I am used to and the texture was very different from a normal hard boiled egg, it was gritty and was similar to dirt.
There are cultures that eat these kinds of things as a staple snack; with different traditions in a culture a person’s palette could be completely different that when offered this kind of food could be accepted like we would accept potato chips or a candy bar.
I think over time I could enjoy something like this as my palette adjusted but for now they are an interesting exotic snack to try every once in a while.

My challenge to you:
Try one new thing a day for 7 days. Share those things with me and please share your experience with me; if you like, put it as a comment on the blog. It doesn’t have to be a food, you can go to a store you have never been to before, try a volunteer service or give money to a homeless person when you normally would have just walked by. What new thing could you try every day?

Brian Darnell

As opposed to indedible?

Brian Darnell

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lord, please help me to surrender

If God brought Jesus into the world in conditions of poverty and his plan was to go through horrible pain and ultimately die to save us, who am I to complain about my life and my conditions when he was willing to die for me? Anxiety is arrogance and sin. It is the surrender to the idea that I have any hope of controlling my life when I should be surrendering to God. Who am I to try to make it better when his will is what matters. In fact, I should be able to surrender to God and not worry about this world hen I am saved and destined for eternal life anyway, with eternal life in my future, what is there to worry about now?

I need to stay prayerful and keep surrender to God in mind, my filter should be God focused and his will will be more obvious to me.

Dear Lord,

Please help me to surrender to you, please help me to remember that you are in control.

In your every present holy name,


Sunday, December 21, 2008

A little creative self exploration

What the heck am I creatively anyway? Am I a writer or a photographer. I find myself asking this question a lot when I have the choice between taking pictures and writing. The truth is, I am neither. I feel like I am looking at it from too low a level. I am neither a writer nor a photographer. Now, I do take pictures personally and professionally and I do write a blog, a journal, and am working on a book so doesn't that define me as a writer and a photographer? No, I don't believe so. I could say it defines me as an artist but I don’t like that word, it comes across as pretentious. It brings to mind images of a cartoony French man with a wispy mustache wearing a derby cocking is chin up and exclaiming “I am an arteest!”

I could look at it from a higher level and say “I am a human being”. That would be true but it doesn’t accomplish anything other than acknowledge what I already know to be true, that I am a bipedal primates in the family Hominidae capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection and problem solving.

Why I am I defining what I am anyway? The purpose of defining what I am creatively is to choose what the best activity would be at any given time whether that would be writing or photography. I should also include other artistic medium that I have engaged in: drawing, painting, digital art, ink wash, etc. What should I do?

That fact is, I shouldn’t choose based on what I am defining myself as because when it comes down to it I am not any of those things but I am also all of those things. I have to face the music. I am an artist. Not in the pretentious sense but in the sense that anyone who works creatively is. I am an artist just as a songwriter, blogger, actor, and so on; let’s also include other creative professions – Researcher, scientist, mathematician, physicist, etc! I and they are all artists. We do not wear derbies and exclaim this as an excuse not to engage in something that is below our artistic genius, we simply are.

So how do I choose what to do? I choose the best thing to do moment by moment. Now excuse me, I have wasted a lot of time writing here, I have to go take some pictures. J

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A little technical issue...

My power supply died so I got a new one and am putting it in right now, it is amazing how quickly the room fell into chaos after the computer died. I have big plans for it today. Wait till you see the after picture.

Brian Darnell

OMG another asian market!

I am learning more and more about my town every day!

Brian Darnell

Another discovery

I had heard of the community pantry prior to my current job but didn't really know any details. My boss is heavily involved. I volunteered today for the first time in 5 years. Why did I wait so long?
All I can do now is focus on the present, and not worry of how I have been in the past.
This operation looks really cool and I am looking forward to a morning opf hard work.

Brian Darnell

Friday, December 19, 2008

Asian market in Hemet

I know only one person who reads this blog that is local to Hemet but even if you don't live here you probably appreciate this kind of thing; discovering something new in the town you live in. I took the day off to finish my final paper for my class, Sarah talked me in to doing it last night so I have the whole day free so we are exploring Hemet, finding new things including this wonderful asian market. Thank God for the new that is always in front of us. I need to remind myself of that when I get bored with where I live.

Brian Darnell

Suit up show up.

The lecture at the martial arts studio inspired me last night. Professor kenn talked about discipline to a class as the ability to suit up and show up. Such a simple concept I forgot it.
But here I am, at the gym first thing in the morning and I feel great because of it, I suited up, showed up and not only did 30 minutes of cardio but practiced Iaido for an hour. I am overjoyed with how much I got out of it and my day is just starting.

Brian Darnell

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Clam Murder

1 can clam chowder
1 tbsp Blair's original death
Heat clam chowder, add death, eat, sweat. :)

Brian Darnell

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Paralyzed with fear

How do you deal with fear? Is fear the same as resistance? I don't know. Resistance is always negative or at least it seems that way to me while fear...fear is a reminder to be cautious but fear can be irrational so it could be negative too. Hmmm

Brian Darnell

Beautiful angels

I am sitting and listening to the choir and Sarah's beautiful voice. Gosh I fall in love with her all over again every time I hear her beautiful voice.

Brian Darnell


I am reading about life; reading about it in the book Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson. I was going to take a picture of the book itself and talk about starting it and what my hopes and expectations (expectations! Bad Brian, you are supposed to be living with an empty cup!) were for it but then I laid the camera on the page I was reading and bang! It hit me.
What impact that word holds! On page 2 of the book Mr. Carson defines a person as something more than bodies, personalities, beliefs, or thoughts. He defines a person as a life with a consciousness to make choices with an evil inhabitant known as a gremlin that attempts to make sure those choices are the wrong choices and all thoughts are negative. (I for one think that all thoughts are bad but thinking isn't bad in itself (digest that!)
I am going to like this book.

Brian Darnell

Reading a graphic novel just for the movie.- The Watchmen

The Watchmen

The Watchmen movie is coming out in March next year so when I saw this on the shelf in LA this past weekend I had to pick it up. I finished it yesterday and it definitely deserves all of the accolades it has gotten. I am very much looking forward to the movie.

Without revealing anything about the plot I can tell you that the story is very rich. It provides details on all the major characters in a way that I have not seen done in many novels. I also found the story stimulating on political, social, and emotional levels.

If I could sum up the novel in 1 sentence I would say,

"It humanizes superheroes"

I fully recommend it to the comic book reader and the non comicbook reader alike.

Brian Darnell

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today's affirmation

God is present in my life. I can rely on him and can feel save, secure, and happy no matter what happens. It is all God's will. It has always worked out before so it is always going to work. The bad is good because the bad has always had a purpose before, bad things are good thigns because they always have a purpose.

Brian Darnell

Monday, December 15, 2008

Learn from mistakes

I must feel good about mistakes. I must take the impact of being confronted with a mistake and accept how that makes me feel and use that energy to make positive change in my life.

Brian Darnell

Saturday, December 13, 2008

OMG it's real!

I can't believe it. I have always seen it in movies but it is actually real! Big freakin donut!

Brian Darnell

Sarah's wonderful cell phone photos

Sarah took these while walking through the Grove mall in the fairfax district. They sure came out great for pics taken with a blackberry. I guess it is the eye of the photographer that matters more than the tool he/she uses.

Brian Darnell

We think it has Santa's blood in it.

We couldn't think of anything else that would make this especially christmas soda.

Brian Darnell

Behold! Super sarah!

Behold! My girlfriend Sarah, semi sloshed last night. We had fun. :)

Brian Darnell

Friday, December 12, 2008

Behold! Mojito!

Behold! The best mojito on the planet!

Brian Darnell


Behold! The nut tray at the La airport hilton's bar. I am here till Sunday and my only reason? Because it's free (the hotel stay, not the nut tray even though that is free to and not a tray but a bowl;just not the reason for the stay...but good though)

Brian Darnell

This is what preparing for a trip looks like

This is what the room looks like while preparing to leave for LA for the weekend. It is 15:00 and we have to be out the door by 15:30. Let's see what we can accomplish

Brian Darnell

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Leave it with God

Don't be annoyed or anxious…let go…leave it in God's hands. Do I trust God? Yes, he has never let me down before and has come through for me numerous times in miraculous ways. Leave it in God's hands, you trust God, rest in him.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lose Control

I don't need to control anything because I can't and never will be in control, I can leave it up to God and surrender to his will.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What is possible on a 30 minute break?

I just got back from my half hour “lunch” break but no eating occurred. I had a small snack at my desk and went for a 30 minute walk with my camera in hand. It is amazing what one can accomplish in those 30 minutes, before I left I was starting to feel the bear of work and was having trouble rapidly refocusing between 3 projects whose outcomes are all due this week. I had a little resistance to taking my break but pushed through it and went for a walk, camera with 200mm zoom lens in hand. What did I get out of this? A nice stress relieving walk, some good pictures of beautiful autumn leaves (California, December is Autumn, what can I say?) and I discovered that one can walk pretty far in 30 minutes and still make it back with 5 minutes to spare to stow my camera.

My challenge to you:

Take your breaks! Go somewhere, do something, don’t get caught up in the boundaries of work. I did it and now I am refocused, I know exactly what actions I have to take between my 3 projects and will not only move forward on them but will ensure that their outcomes are complete by tomorrow morning (Because there are 30 more projects waiting in the queue). .

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Perfect way to finish a meal of sushi

I love Sushi. Out here in Hemet there is an all you can eat sushi bar that I love called Sushi Ray run by a wonderful chef named Max. You can eat all you want off a pretty sizeable menu for about $26.00 and if you know how much a sushi meal can cost with items like Caterpiller roll (Normally $10.00 ea.), Volcano ($12.99), and specialties like the Golden Tiger(Normally $11.99), you can get them at Max's all you can eat which is qute a bargain. Tuesday and Wednesdays are Men's nights and Women's nights respectively where if you are the correct nght's gender you can get 50% off on all alcohol purchased, and if you like alcohol I fuly recommend the cucumber saketini and the Korean Hite beer which I an only find a Sushi Ray.

Here is the perfect way to finish a meal at Sushi Ray, a quail egg shooter:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas in my office

Christmas is alive in my IT department!

Brian Darnell

3 Question Wake up Call

Pulled from Dan Millman's Every Day Enlightenment.

Am I breathing - take a conscious breath
Am I relaxed - let go of any tension you notice
Am I doing whatever I am doing with refinement and grace (allow yourself do to so

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Weekly Review

I am about to embark on my weekly review. If you are not familiar with GTD, the weekly review in concept is in fact a review done; you guessed it weekly of one’s system. To put it in a nutshell, I look at all the lists of things I have decided to do and make sure they are set up correctly. These lists include Projects, Next actions, a calendar, and notes. In reality for a lot of us a weekly review is not done weekly. In this case I am doing mine a week late. Why? My schedule was different then normal last week and I didn’t do it; excuses, excuses.

Here are the steps I follow for my weekly review.

  1. Get clear
    This changes, this could involve processing my inbox, doing a brain dump onto paper, or it could be skipped if I already feel clear prior to my weekly review. A recommendation my friend Barb gave me for this step is to do it the night before and do the weekly review in the morning; I prefer to do my weekly review at night so I get clear in about 30 minutes as the first step in my review. In this case, this blog entry is part of getting clear, I am using it to lay a foundation for this review

  2. Get current
    I make sure that all of my projects have next actions associated with them. I then review my next actions lists and make sure that all of them are associated with projects. If they are not I either get rid of them (if they are irrelevant) or create projects for them. I then review my incubate list (This is what I call my someday/maybe) and see if any of those items are ready to become projects or get deleted.

  3. Get creative
    This usually involves me dreaming. I do a centering exercise, either GRACE or the 6 breaths, 6 thoughts exercise. I then write what I want on my paper or on screen. This may sound kind of strange but this works for me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gratitude Journal

For a little over a month now I have been keeping a gratitude journal. I spent a few minutes each morning listing off 5 things I am grateful for. My friend Tara shared this concept with me and it has been helping me tremendously in life. My entry today was pretty significant and I would like to share it here.

5 things I am grateful for? Well for one, this list. I love this list that I have been making. I know it is a journal but it is also a list of journal entries to be technical and I like being technical. I am grateful for this list because it has helped me to get outside of my head about my life. I am grateful for each and every bit of it; the good and the bad.

I am grateful for the fire. In June of 1998 my house burned down and I am grateful for that. How does that work? Well it helped me to let go of my attachment to material possessions; stuff. And the ability to let go of that has helped me tremendously in my life. I LOVE my camera and the beautiful photos I take with it but I can live without it. I am not owned by the things I own because of that fire and I am grateful for that.

I am grateful for my time of unemployment in 2003. I had been working as a temp at a local college for about 5 years. I was a network technician and thought I was the greatest but got my wake up call when all of the temporary employees were laid off and I was not rehired into a permanent position. I was devastated and felt it was the end of the world. I spent a few months in unemployment but was eventually able to find the job I have now which I love. I am grateful for the lesson of humility it taught me.

I am grateful for the job I have now. It taught me how inexperienced I was and taught me to approach things with a beginners mind. I always felt I had the mind of a prodigy and working in a tough environment taught me that just being bright doesn't cut it. I am grateful for that.

I am grateful for the wound I took in 2005. I was riding my bike and lost my balance and fell. My right leg was impaled by my brake handle. Recovery was quick but the accident taught me that I am not invincible. I am grateful for that.

I am grateful for lessons of humility and the awareness that bad incidents can have good consequences. I have learned about detachment, humility, and meditation through reflecting on my life and I am grateful for that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Comitting to a complaint free world

My good friend Tara on her blog about comitting to a complain free world.

Here is the gist; you make a committment to stop complaining. If you complain about anything switch the bracelet to the other wrist and start your committment over from day one. Along with Tara I am making the committment
to do this for 21 days. You have my permission to point out to me when I need to move my bracelet to the other arm. And I’ll keep you posted on how I do.
If you want to do this too, let me know and we can support each other. I know this won't be easy for me. Join in and let's make this a complaint free world.

Mug boss!

I have wanting one of these for ever and my pal Troy gifted me earlier this week. Thank you Troy!!!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Another Reason for Resistance

Another reason for resistance to a next action is the thought that you will lose momentum on a project by marking a next action as complete without planning the next action or moving to it. This recquires diligence to the weekly review and project planning.
Make sure you are doing the weekly review weekly and you are reviewing your context lists as you access those contexts. If not, you will go numb to them. (Remember, this isn't failure, you still have those lists waiting for you, we all fall off the wagon sometimes)


Breathe in huge, breath in till hurts, but make sure you breathe out longer, slower, deeper, and gentler in every way.


I am grateful for this moment, I lift my arms up, smile huge and thank God for this life, this moment and everything about what I am , who I am, and what I can do for him. I love my good and holy lord for all he has done for me in the now, the present and the future eternity that is my life because of what he did for me.

Let's try this again. Re: favorite lense - attempt #2.

Since blogger obviously doesn't want me tpo post the photo of my lense, let's try it again with a different photo.

Once again, this is my Sony Alpha A700 with my minolta 50mm f1.7 lense.

I love the shots I get with this lense evidenced by:

Ketchup chips are freakin great!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, December 1, 2008

Don't you wish you were here?

I love sushi
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Big lense

My buddy Milton lent me this 28 to 200mm Tamron zoom lense for a couple of days. I really like it's zoom but my Sony lense is wider. I took some shots with it at the mission inn on Sunday which should be up this evening (I crashed hard when we got home at 3:30 and didn't wake up till 5 this morning)
I am at work right now and will try to use it only on my breaks. It's aperture maxes out at 4 so my little 50mm minolta (fstop 1.2) sees more play on macro shots.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Take a deep breath.. Smile, smile big and smile genuine

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Make @home a habit

I have been having problems finding time to check my @home list, review, my project list, and other GTD related tasks. Why am I so resistant to checking my @home list?
I think it is becauseI definitely don't have the habit built to review @home at home. I have the means, @home on PC in outlook and on my Blckberry but I don't have the habit.
I haven't been working on building it.
Can I learn from my own experience?
I have built the habit for reviewing my budget daily. I did this by creating a reward system that if I review my budget and make it current each and every day for a month I give myself a treat (usually dinner out nice like Sushi.)
Can I do the same thing with my @home list?
I have thought that I could reward myself for looking at it every day but what generally happens is I open it, read it and close it. What about a time frame? I could spend 15 minutes a day completing next action with a minimum of 1-6 next actions completed (I could roll a die). This sounds l.ike a good idea, it also sound like it will stick because
1. it engages me creatively (the die roll)
2. it gives me something to look forward to (the reward)
3. It is specific and measurable.
I will post my progress.

P.S. I keep myself accountable for this by:
1. Posting about it in the blog
2. Announcing it to my family and including them in the reward. This gives them a reason to support me without nagging. I find people can be very supportive when you give them something to be selfish about.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ladybug is the bestest doggie

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Hemet is beautiful

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My goal of reduced clutter is succeeding.
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Changing lenses is a pain but worth it

I am out at a park in the south hills of hemet. Getting some great shots. I don't like changing lenses. It really gives resistance practice and helps me to follow my intuition to better shots. If I really don't want to change out the lense, that means I probably should.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Unvoicedvisions.com updated

My photography site unvoicedvisions.com is updated with some new and old photos.

Trash can for rent

Rental rates are so high this family decided to cash in at a whole new level. LOL
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Summer is finally over

I love fun in the sun like most people but I hate the heat. Being that it gets up to 130° in Hemet these clouds, the rain we got today and the breeze on my face make me really happy. I wish the weather was like this all the time.
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Unclutter means peace of mind

Boy, it is easier to work on my school work with a clean and neat desk. I missed this.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What does anxiety feel like?

Anxiety is tricky. When talking to people about anxiety I find that a lot of people get rapped up in the

They figure if they can figure out why they feel the way they feel, they will then magically disolve it but how do they feel?
I can guarantee you that the how is very different for different people. Ask someone how they are anxious and the answer is very different.
For example, I have some anxiety right now; why?
I have no idea and if I obsess on why or even think about it my anxiety might even get worse but instead; how?

How am I anxious?
I feel a little out of breath but I am not breathing heavy. I have some tightness in my chest and lower back.
As I wrote the above I felt my body start to focus on breathing and my head clear up a bit (an issue I hadn't even identified.) Actively I can adjust my seated position and engage my core to take the strain off of my back. I close my eyes and take 3 long steady breathes.
When identifying the issue, my body tries to correct the issue on it's own, from there I can take some active steps to relaxing and correcting each symptom one at a time.
Bang! My mind is clear, I remembered something important I skipped today and found the source of myanxiety.
Here are some steps to follow.
1. Identify the symptoms. You can do this out loud, on note paper, in a journal, in a blog, in notepad and save a file, just silently in you head, heck, if you paint, paint a picture. Whatever you do make sure it is expressed and you identify each feeling.
2. List actions you can take to attack each symptom one a time. If you can't fix the symptom, identify it in your head, visualize it and think about it inside and out, name it (yeah, name it) and ask yourself, is this something I can deal with. If you can't deal with it, note that and mvoe onto the next sympton, reflect back on it after you have taken others apart.
3. Focus on your breathing or practice any other anxiety management method you can find and like, examples are yoga, meditation, journaling, etc

I find this method works great for me. Once each issue is identified I find that the whole monster of anxiety is a lot easier to deal with.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't just learn how to create but create!

I just started Fearless Creating by Eric Maisel and was really struck by the intro. He claims that he would like his readers to create after reading his book and not just claim that they have learned about creating. Now that is outcome based thinking.
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Relax into productivity

Relax, you don't have to be intense to have momentum, like chi running, relax into it, lean forward and let gravity do the work for you.


Processing is done!
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

It only get's worse

Haha! Collection is almost done!
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I am frustrated with blogger. I am posting more and more complex posts and my template comes up with hideous formatting. Adding to the project list right now: review blogger format and simplify template for mobile blogging. Also sub projects - look into typepad and see what format other blogs use.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Got the Recipe for Hominy au Gratin (and I can spell it too)

Got this recipe off of about.com - http://southernfood.about.com/od/gritsrecipes/r/bl30104e.htm Hominy is cooked with Cheddar cheese.
Cook Time: 12 minutes

  • 3 1/2 cups hominy (about one large can, or about 29 ounces)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup warmed milk

In skillet combine hominy with water, salt, cheese, and butter. Cook over
low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese and butter have melted. Gradually
stir in milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and bubbly. Put under
broiler to brown. Serves 8.

Neural reflection

My work inbox is empty but at home chaos prevails. Stuff goes in but it generally stays there. It is a flawed system but I commit to fixing it
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Natural Planning Model for Sleep Project

I woke up at 10 to 7 this morning. I slept at 1am. This particular issue is really
eating at me. I want to get to bed earlier but feel blocked.
I want to blame everyone around me whether they be work or family but I know
in my heart that it is my choice and I am merely making excuses.
Why can't to bed earlier? What is stopping me? The answer that whispers in
my head is, "because you don't want to". I know I really do want it. I want earlier
nights and earlier mornings like I used to have. I want to be able to proclaim "every
hour of sleep before midnight is worth two and every hour up before noon
is worth two"
What is the next action? I don't know. I will have to walk myself through the
natural planning model.

Natural Planning Model for Sleeping Earlier Waking Earlier Project
1. What is the purpose and principles? (Why do I want to get to bed earlier
and what rules am I abiding by?)

I want to get to bed earlier because I like how I feel when I sleep that schedule.
I enjoy the energy, morning clarity, and the ability to accomplish more in the
I want to start getting to bed earlier but I also want flexibility, if an activity
requires being up late then I don't want to be left out of it.
2. What is the desired outcome?

What would wild success look like?

In this case wild success would be I curl up into bed every night between 7:00PM
and 9:00PM and wake up between 3:30am and 4:30am. My best memories of good sleep
come from going to bed at 7, sleeping in became getting up at 4. I wake up bright
and early with a smile and am up and to the shower or the gym without hesitation.
My skin is in better shape, my anxiety becomes more manageable, and I slowly
but surely get back into my optimal athletic shape.

3. Brainstorming

What are all the things that occur to me about this? What is the
current reality? What do I know? What do I not know? What ought I consider?
What haven’t
I considered? Etc.

  • Design a reward system for keeping a chain of early bed
  • Take melatonin and valarien root
  • Go to the gym at 4 or even better, 3:30 after work which will help you
  • Start jogging
  • Practice getting up earlier when you are not tired to ingrain
    it into your subconscious.
  • Keep a dream journal
  • Talk to your family about your commitment and get ideas
  • Research sleep on line
  • Don’t be too strict with a time
  • This is connected to my health and fitness project as well as my anxiety
    management project so this should help me with anxiety, procrastination,
    energy levels, etc.
  • I should take before and after pictures and blog about
    my progress.
  • I could use the checklists in GTDagenda.com (will blog about
    this soon).
  • Take a shower before bed
  • Get a new bed frame
  • I can add meditation to my sleep state to my daily meditation.
  • I definitely have to pray about this – Why does prayer never pop
    into my mine first?
  • Make sure to budget melatonin and valerian.
  • I am celebrating the completion of another goal (Daily budget planning
    on nov 30th). This could be part of my next goal. So my preparation will
    be due by Nov 30th
  • I have to make sure that my life is still balanced with my relationship
    with my girlfriend and family around this sleeping schedule.
  • If I fall off the wagon I need to jump back on the next day and not
    let it discourage me.
  • What mistakes can I learn from?I know not to be inflexible the last
    time I did this I set a flat time and it was too difficult to maintain around
    other commitments. But I also know not to let peer pressure talk me out of
    this. I know in my heart that this works for me. I will discuss this with
    family first thought because it is a big change and resistance is rampant
    during a big change.
  • What skills do I have that can help me with this? I know how to practice
    and I know how to negotiate with resistance.
  • What could happen? I end up in a fight with my girlfriend because I
    don’t want to stay up. Can I handle it? Yes, I need to be open in discussions
    with my family before starting the project since my schedule doesn’t
    only effect me.
  • What about Wednesday nights? This will be a bit of a schedule shift
    since I get off work at 9:30, how can I handle this? Work a normal schedule
    on those days and do my homework sporadically and on Saturdays. I will have
    to make homework a daily goal and Sunday the catchup day, Wednesday can no
    longer be the deadline.
  • Who would have concern about the success of this project? Myself, I
    would feel a great victory if I did this. My work would see a positive change
    right away and welcome it with open arms
  • What’s the worst idea you can imaging about doing this project?I
    am really tired and irritability at first and it is hard to deal with.
  • What is the best idea?The new scheduled applies seamlessly and I am
    awake and bright every day, I lose 30 pounds in 3 months.
  • What would make this project particularly unique?If I maintained periodic
    journal and blog posts about it.

4. Organizing
Identify components (sub-projects), sequences, and/or priorities.
What needs to happen to make the whole thing happen?
Create outlines, bulleted lists, or organizing charts, as needed for review
and control


  • Talking to family at brunch on 11/3

Related Projects

  • Set up Daily Lists
    • Daily Exercise
    • Daily Meditation
    • Daily Journal
  • Rearrange room so bed is under window. This won’t directly help me
    sleep but making a big change like this always seem to boost my creative
    energy at the beginning of a big project.
Sub Projects
  • Get light blocking curtains for bedroom window
  • Get new bed frame

5. Next Actions
Determine next actions on current independent components. (What should
be done next, and who will do it?)
If more planning is required, determine the next action to get that to happen.

  • Calendar - Schedule discussion in brunch notes
  • @home – Log into gtdagenda.com and set up daily list
  • add sleep earlier get up later to projects – personal list
  • add Daily Exercise, Daily mediation, Daily Journal to project notes for Daily
    Checklist project. (Thanks Barb for this idea)
  • @home – Checkbook – Budget -50 for light blocking curtains
  • @home – Checkbook – Budget
    -50 for bed frame
I think this will be a very successful project.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thank God

I am grateful that I completed reviewing my project lists. I am grateful that I am moving forward on some of my goals and am beating this anxiety. I am grateful that I can beat this anxiety and I am grateful that I believe that. I am beating this anxiety right now and I am grateful for it. I am achieving my dreams right now and I am grateful for it. I am thanking God right now and I am grateful for that. I love my lord and I am grateful for everything he does.

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I was starting to feel resistance to writing so I am writing right now. Negative self talk sure is a gift. You heard me, I said gift. It helps us to way our values, if it is pushing to not do something then that thing is probably exactly what you should be doing. Praying helps too. My mom always says, if your heart and mind are filled with the Lord, there is no room for negative thoughts left.
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Homane au grautin (sp?)

I just tasted the most amazing thing. A lady I work with let me try her home made lunch. Homane au grautin (sp?). It was cheesy and tasted better then macaroni and cheese or potatoes au gratin. I want the recipe!!!
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ice cream is good

Sometimes a cup of ice cream is a nice treat
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What, no goldfish?

Just in case you don't understand what they mean by pets. The sign has a picture.
"Oh darn, Kitty we will have to walk you someplace else"
"Meow" of disappointment
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Pasta with Garlic and Parmesan

Servers 4 people
1 pound spaghetti- You can use your favorite kind of noodles as well. Rigatoni works really well for this recipe.
1/4 cup olive oil - I know this sounds like a lot but my grandmother used ½ to a whole cup in this recipe. If you are using a thin pasta like Angel hair you may want to use 1/8 cup. If it seems like not enough you can always add more or have olive oil at the table.
4 cloves garlic – I have made this with as much as 9, tastes vary.
2 tbsp dried basil (fresh is also always better if you have it, chop it fine)
2 tbsp parsley flakes (Fresh is better if you have it, chop it fine)
2 tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup grated parmesan – yeah you heard me, ¼ cup or more. Have more available for your guests.
1 Dash of salt.
Boil pasta until it is Al Dente (firm but not too chewy and never mooshy (That’s mushy said with an Italian accent)), strain water from pasta, and put it in large mixing bowl. Chop the garlic fine and add it, the basil, parsley, pepper, salt, and cheese to the pasta. Pour the olive oil over the top, and mix thoroughly. Taste it and if it is too dry drisel more olive oil over the top and mix again, remember that you can always add more olive oil but you can't take it back so be careful or it will be too greasy. Serve to your guests in shallow pasta bowls.

This is very good served with garlic bread, white wine, and sautéed scallops in white wine sauce.


We just had an earthquake here. I was watching TV and I heard a rumble followed by a loud sound like thunder and a loud cracking sound. I ran outside. The sound frightened me but the house barely shook. I have never been in an earthquake that was that loud. It lasted about 6 seconds.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

(I am completely) (stopping)

Completely styopping; that's rich. What does it mean? Do I phyiscally stop? It could mean to stand completely still and not move a muscle. Could I do that?
Not move.
Not a muscle for even a second? Sure, I could stand still but how long does it take before I scratch an itch, pop a knuckle, etc, etc.
Now what about mental? Can I stop thinking, contemplating, remembering, reasoning an so on?Let's say I calm down the stray thoughts but won't I see images of the word, "stop". Stop signs and traffic lights might come to mind. Heck just the word "completely" conjures images of full glasses and grave stones.
Now the coup de grace, spiritual.
I can't reason how to even measure that.

A big question to answer before I can learn how to stop is:
Whar exactly does completly stopping mean?
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pain = mindfulness

Being that my legs and arms are still screaming in pain from the cross fit workout I did on Thursday I am starting to think about the connection between being in the moment and pain.
Just walking around I have to focus moment by moment not to trip or bump into anyone because I am moving slow.
Is there a connection between centeredness and adversity?

Through a lot of concentrated effort I have been able to stretch out my legs and walk relatively normal now, I hope the pain clears enough for me to go for a short run tomorrow, cardio kickbox on Monday and do the cross fit again on Thursday (yeah I know I am crazy but I really want to beat this workout, it wil put me in great shape if I can eventually work up to being able to finish it.)
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Enthusiasm that's not sincere is wasted
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What a waste

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Lost reward

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Making Meaning

Remember I have meaning, what I do matter's, I matter. What can I do to create meaning today?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Martial arts class attempt #1 - cross fit

All I can say is oooooooooooooow!
I had called the school and he said come at 6:30 PM for a cardio warm up before class. I expected some jumping jacks, some pushups, and crunches.

What I got was a high intensity workout from hell!

1st set 21 standing squats, 21 squat thrusts with a pushup, 15 of both, 9 of both

The 2nd and 3rd sets were the same.

I could barely handle the first set and I almost threw up in the middle of my second.

I didn't finish.

I ate light today. 2 yogurts, a muffin, a bowl of soup, an omelette and a nutrition bar. Not enough carbs, I burned all my glycogen reserves almost right away.

After the "warmup" the martial arts class began, 1 minute of horse stance at the beginning of class. The advanced students broke off from the beginners (me), I then got to meet the professor and talk prices. 119 A MONTH! For 4 classes a week plus cardio, 99 a month for 2 classes with no cardio. This is way too steep for me.

I am interested in the class but my heart lies in traditional study and this is more of a technical self defense class. 119 would have been worth the sacrifice if it was Iaido. Do I have to move to Texas to find what I want?

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Soup is good even without a can of clams

This plain tomatoe bisque is great, It isn't clam clamder but it is great.
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What you get for $1200

My camera has the ability to detect my eye behind the viewfinder. I take a picture and it doesn't show on the display until after I pull the camera away, this is high tech! :)
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What my someday/ maybe review looks like

I am currently reviewing my list and seperating it into incubate categories based on projects I have to do but not this week (incubate-projects), projects I will do someday (incubate-someday), projects I may do but who knows when (incubate-maybe).
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My first gtd post - someday/maybe alternatives

Posting this during the gtdvsg:
How about this for an alternarive someday/maybe list
  • Incubate - someday
  • Incubate - maybe
  • Incubate - projects

Another options is to use Defer instead of incubate.

One of my work areas

We call this the rubber room.
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