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Sunday, July 09, 2017

Time as Currency

Saturday, April 08, 2017

04/08/17 William Fitzsimmons

If you want some chill music to listen to in the mornings I recommend William Fitzsimmons on Pandora, it's one of my go-to's for mellow morning music.

Free DISC Test

I came across a resource for taking a free DISC test. I was browsing job postings and one of them referred to a free DISC test that can be taken by going to Tony Robbin's website and searching 'DISC'. The test is easy and fairly quick - about twenty five questions. As with other personality tests, like Myers-Briggs, the information can be helpful but isn't a complete picture of the person. I'm not super familiar with DISC, although I've heard of it before and may have taken it before, but I can see how it would be helpful for an employer assessing personality aspects of someone, or even just personal use. I'm not sure I agree with their assessment of altruism since most questions that seemed relevant to that dealt with things like charity or volunteering, but I think someone can be altruistic in other ways such as on a personal level in their own lives with people they know. But, if you want to check it out you can go to, click the search magnifying glass in the top-right, type 'DISC', and click the DISC PROFILE result; or, click the link below.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

On Reading

I suppose I read for the same reasons I wear shoes and drive a car. I could live without those things, but not the same. I suppose the reasons others read vary as widely as choices of footwear and transportation. Exercise and parties may be a better analogy still.

A thought . . .

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Brown Truck: LowerGentry's first feature-length film

LowerGentry has recently completed their first feature-length film, Brown Truck. The film won't be publicly available anytime soon as they're in the process of applying to get it into a film festival. However, you can catch a trailer and clip of the film below, then follow LowerGentry on Facebook for updates here!

Brown Truck trailer:

A clip from Brown Truck:

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Something Valuable I Learned From "Brain It On!"

This is Brain It On!. I started playing this game on my phone recently and it has been a valuable learning experience. Similar to how chess taught me about blind spots - how you can see the whole board, how your and your opponent's pieces are laid out, yet still be surprised by an attack that you weren't focusing on, the game Brain It On! has also taught me something interesting about myself and how the mind works. Basically, you try to creatively solve puzzles by creating your own pieces and strategy for completing a short objective. What's interesting to me is that oftentimes I'll feel like a puzzle is nearly impossible and have no idea how to solve it. I'll try several different things over and over, take breaks from the game, but then eventually I figure it out - I'll come up with a new idea and quickly solve it or just try different things until I slowly get it right. There were several levels where I thought they may be the end of the game for me.

What's fascinating about this to me is that if I were to only put in an initial effort I would never have solved most of the puzzles, and I might be left with the impression that most of them are impossible or too difficult. Of course, my willingness to persist was largely based on the assumption that the game is well-designed and thus the puzzles are solveable, but that's where in real-life there may be a wisdom factor in deciding how much effort is worth putting in for something where the possibility of the outcome is unknown. What's really insightful about all of this, though, is that I can apply this realization to other areas of my life - if I only put an initial effort into my goals and endeavors, then for many of them I'll never get nearly as far as I could if I really applied myself. The valueable application of this for me is in thinking, "how many things in my life do I bring that level of persistent effort to?"

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Inspirational Videos, 2

I don't necessarily agree with everything in these videos, but have still found them inspiring and thought-provoking. Enjoy:

Mike Dolce:

Joe Rogan:

Joshua Parker/Shia LaBeouf:

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Today's Breakfast

Oatmeal with a bunch of stuff (oatmeal, 10-grain hot cereal, sunflower seeds, walnuts, raisins, chia seeds, and banana, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg), 4 scrambled eggs with spinach (seasoned with salt, basil, and oregano), cottage cheese from the cottage (not really; and sprinkled with paprika), and black coffee; I did also have a protein bar early on when I woke up:

A good amount of fuel there following yesterday's workout. Today I'm mostly focusing on light, repetitious movements, maybe a little cardio, and stretching.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Today's Workout

Today's workout, a bit harder than I expected but that was partly the point; some of it was easier — surprised I was able to keep up with doing push-ups in sets of 20.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Independent People

No one told them to do that.
If so, no one told them to listen;
So on and so on.
If that's the way it is,
It doesn't depend on me;
Albeit there may be some things.
This is refreshing; should be so obvious.
When everything you see is from one perspective,
Imagine how many things like these there must be.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Adapting and Arranging

Do you succumb to your environment, or does your environment succumb to you?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Self-Development vs. Self-Care

I want to start exercising a distinction between self-development and self-care. Many things fall under both categories, but I think there are enough things that don't to make the distinction worth considering. It's easy to focus so much on being productive in terms of self-development that you either burn out or begin losing a sense of self. On the other hand it's also easy to be so internally focused on doing what you want and not disciplining yourself beyond what's required of you that you end up in kind of a static spot where you're not growing and developing in ways that would enrich your personal activities.

Both are enriching, but I think both can be overdone when they're done at the expense of the other. This is similar to the need for rest when you're active, but rather than simply seeing it as a distinction between doing things that are productive for self-development and taking a break from those things, I want to broaden the concept to see self-care as a different, but in some ways just as active, form of productivity. So it may include simply resting and taking it easy, but it isn't reduced to that. I see self-development as doing or learning things that increase your capacity or skill at doing or remembering the same or similar things in the future- so it's aimed at practice, discipline, and the growth that follows those things when they're done well. I see self-care as doing things that nourish your sense of self, satisfy your healthy needs and desires, and heal and repair you. These aren't the easiest categories to exhaustively define, but for the sake of providing myself with satisfying options besides just the sometimes tiring habit of self-development type endeavors this will suffice as a start.

My point is to see the value in and need for taking care of yourself in addition to developing yourself, and how efforts in one can enrich the other. I'm not setting these up as the only categories- interpersonal relationships are really important also but I'm simply adding clarity to one area of life by adding a distinction.

One way to parse out this distinction may be to think of things pertaining to self-development as those things which may be expected of you to do- pick up after yourself, develop skills, be physically competent and fit to handle situations you may come across, learn the things you may need to know, etc. and to think of things pertaining to self-care as that which may be expected of you to be- what are your interests, what do you value, what makes you happy, what experiences have you enjoyed, what are you good at, who are you given your unique experience and make-up as a person?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thomas Sowell's Clarifying Thoughts: discussing economic issues regarding minorities

I don't know enough to outright validate Thomas Sowell but I appreciate his clarifying approach to complex issues. He doesn't just try satisfying an issue on a simple point of comparison but digs into the complexity of an issue by taking into account the various factors that surround something like statistics and also looks into areas of a topic beyond the issue at hand in order to challenge and clarify the assumptions behind the proposed problem. I haven't looked a lot into Thomas Sowell but at this point I at least appreciate his clarifying handling of complex issues.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Saturday, August 01, 2015

Quiet Car Ride

All that noise had been burying me,
Never has silence sound so sweet.
When to be filled is to lessen what I feel,
All that space is what it takes for me to breathe.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cavendish Pipe

I'm just all alone but it's not quite a fright,
I sit on this porch and smoke my cavendish pipe.
The snow falls, it's cold;
I feel the things that I felt,
I fear getting old.
I'm just on the porch smoking my cavendish pipe,
the smoke is thick and it's late, well into the night.
I'm here, you're never around;
it's just me and no one is here,
they aren't when they are.
The tobacco in my pipe is burning up,
I guess I'll call it a night,
I didn't feel how I wanted tonight.
But there's always next time,
Even though this was like last.
I'll just rest my pipe and call it a night,
tuck my shoes under the bed and turn out the light.

(edited 9/14/15)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Lowergentry's "Brown Truck": Final Draft of Script Writing Complete

Lowergentry's Elliot Norton and Charles Norton have completed the final draft of their latest film script, Brown Truck.

The immediate next step for them is a private script read-through with Lowergentry collaborators, followed by a long-anticipated transition into their first feature-length filming phase. Following several 48-hour film projects for Idaho's i48 film competition, and numerous other independent film productions, Brown Truck will expand territory for Lowergentry as they have hitherto only produced short film works. What they can hope to retain from previous efforts is a quality and originality that has awarded them successful acknowledgements including:

2013 i48's "Second Best Film" for Twomancrew,
2014 i48's "Best Use of Character" for Guru's Sandbox,
and 2015 Idaho Media Award's "Best Narrative" for Canyon County.

Image by

For updates on Lowergentry and their newest project, Brown Truck, follow them on:


Visit their website at

Saturday, May 09, 2015

I'm Going to Start Waking Up Early: my thoughts on supplementation and lifestyle changes

By the end of the month I'll be waking up at 6 a.m. every weekday. That's the goal. The plan is to maintain that habit for at least a month or two, enough time for my body and habits to adapt to it. My original goal was 7:45 a.m., but then I realized I'd miss sunrise and might as well get up a little earlier, plus for some that's sleeping in and my goal is to try being an early bird. I have a tendency to stay up late and I don't know if that's just lack of discipline or a biological propensity, but this experiment should help me see how I handle mornings. The benefit is that if I adapt then I think I'd really enjoy it- seeing the sunrise, and being up early I'll still enjoy some quiet personal time, plus I'll probably be more productive having more structure. If it doesn't work out, at least I gave it a shot and when people give me a hard time about staying up late I can honestly say I gave mornings a shot and they weren't for me. Obviously I'm talking about preferences, having an early job or a family someday will likely get me up early whether I like it or not.

Lately, my staying up has been exceptionally bad- to where I don't even like it. Staying up as late as anywhere between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. in the morning and sleeping until early evening. This is largely owing to being on the search for a job and as I'm laying in bed I start thinking of other jobs I should apply for or other e-mails I should send, so I get up and stay awake much later than I should. For about a week or so I've been trying to get to bed earlier so I can adjust to reaching my goal of being up early, but I don't get tired now until way late into the morning. I tried skipping sleep for a whole night in order to fall asleep sooner the next day but that wasn't as effective as I'd hoped. I tried working out- jogging 5 mi. a day for a bit and that helped a little but not enough. Part of it is also lifestyle- being on the computer too late and thinking about job searching too late. However, last night I got to sleep around 3 a.m. and woke up around 9 a.m.! I went to Whole Foods looking for melatonin, and discussed it with an employee there who recommended Stress-Relax Tranquil Sleep supplement, and it worked well, better than I expected! It looks like this:

Image by Wesley Grover

(Obviously, people are different- consult your healthcare provider about what's right for you, especially if you take any other supplements or medications, and I would only use it short-term. I'm not being endorsed by this product, I'm just stoked that it worked well so far. I'm also not promoting the brand per se, I don't know how its quality stacks up against other brands.)

It has 5-HTP which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, Suntheanine which is a company's proprietary form of L-theanine- the compound in green tea that promotes a relaxing effect, and melatonin which is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. So, I'll be trying that temporarily as well as a few lifestyle changes such as not using the computer so late, not dealing with things that will get me excited late- such as thinking about a job or things I need to do, keeping the lights low prior to bedtime, exercising regularly, etc.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this morning schedule pans out and what effect it has. If it's even remotely remarkable then perhaps I'll give a little update on how it's been. Cheers.

Oh, and if you're already a natural early bird, as in an effortless early bird- YOU RASCAAAAAAL!! *shakes fist in a Stephen Colbert-esque manner*

Image by David Shankbone

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Inspirational Videos

So I struggle a bit between the tension of wanting, on one hand, to only post when I feel I have enough insight or passion about something in order to capture and express it meaningfully and, on the other hand, to keep disciplined in posting regularly enough that I'm pushing myself to develop the skill and mindset to think and write in a way that matters to me more consistently. With that said, this post will be an appeal to both sides. These are a few videos that I've found inspiring. Since I haven't worked out anything in the writing realm this at least keeps me disciplined about posting regularly while also giving me some more time to see if I can figure out what I'd like to write about next.

I don't agree with everything in these videos, yet I have still found them inspiring and thought-provoking. Filter them through your own value system and see if you find them useful at all. Enjoy:

Will Smith:

Rainn Wilson:

Arnold Schwarzenneger:

Russell Brand:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Introspective Questions

Sometimes I find it helpful to ask myself questions; this idea is somewhat neutral in that it can be done in a healthy way or unhealthy way. I spend a fair amount of time thinking about self-development and social dynamics, and these questions that come to mind sort of connect those two areas. They also happen to deal with perspective, which can be a powerful tool for insight. I'll pose a couple sets of questions which both deal with the same idea but with different emphasis.

First round- it seems common to think about what we want or what we think we have to offer, but usually it's from our perspective. One way I like questioning myself and challenging my perspective is by asking questions like: "If I was a girl would I want me as a boyfriend/husband?", "If I was a boss would I want me as an employee?", "If I was a waiter or cashier would I want me as a customer?", "Would I want me as a sibling or friend?", "Would I want me as a neighbor?", etc.

Second round- the first round of questions are the type of things I've occasionally asked myself, and my intent with it is to be more aware but also optimistic hence using it as a method for self-development. This second round of questions I just thought of today while watching a video that reminded me of perspective, it's a bit more in the theoretical realm as it may not deal with common relationships but is meant to provoke awareness and perspective. These are questions like: "What does my personality have to offer a blind person?", "What do I have to offer a deaf person?", "What do I have to offer a kid?", "What do I have to offer an immigrant?", etc. The idea here isn't about charity or giving, but rather about challenging one-dimensionalness. I myself tend to connect with people verbally whether it be joking around or carrying on a conversation, so the idea here would be to see who I am without that, hence "what do I have to offer a deaf person?" Some people may be really into their looks and seek to secure good standing with people that way, so a question to consider would be "what do I have to offer a blind person?" And so on. It also contributes to perspective by assessing what qualities are appreciated by different capabilities or positions in life.