Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Making Things

2015 has turned out fairly well so far I think. I've always spent a lot of time analyzing years of my life. It's always begun with how New Year's and how it turned out.  It seems like for the longest time, New Year's Eve and how the new year was rung in defined the rest of the year.

I know that's silly of course, at this point, it's usually an early night and making it to at least 11 pm with the local stuff on TV, and if I'm lucky to make it to midnight, an open door to put my ear out to find out if anyone decided to pop fireworks.  Hardly a harbinger of what's to come.

At my age, and experiencing enough year changes, it doesn't matter quite so much.  So I judge a new year on other criteria, such as where I slid in from the last year and where I plan to go.  I've got a few goals.  This year I'll be doing some homebrewing.  I have a lager recipe ready to go, but not quite all the equipment to get it just right.  So I think I'll start with an ale and take it from there.  A new project means I've got to get a foot in the door and test it out.

Jamie has successfully made two batches of laundry detergent from a recipe.  Both times she's nailed it.  She's also made candles before, and has all the supplies to make another batch of really great candles.

Grace has a knack for art.  Drawing, chalk, painting, you name it, every once in a while she comes up with something really great that people really like.

I've done a thing or two on the grill, but I want to do more.  Maybe smoke a brisket, or nail down the perfect ribeye.

It's a fairly new year, and all of us here have a specific skill or goal and that's what we're keeping focused on this year.  Jamie and I have always been interested in making things from scratch.  It's our version of the whole survivalist thing, but really, we're just being creative and wanting to make something to share.  A couple years ago, she made some candles, and I made some "liquid apple pie."  Grace drew some interesting pictures.

So here we are now.  We're a little more ambitious with our ideas and want to make a journey of it. I hope we each make strides with making something.  One day we may team up and make something no one's thought of yet.  Who knows?  We'll see. No one thinks of the best ideas while waiting for midnight, they always show up when we don't have a pen.  I'll keep a spare pen around with me if you will.  Only way we're gonna change the world.

Monday, February 9, 2015


I haven't written in a while.  Sorry for the delay in getting back to the blog to express things randomly, or freewrite, or whatever.  That's what I do here, is whatever.  The world is a really crazy place.  Quickly though, I'll get through the New Year's Resolutions in order to get to the good stuff.  Pretty much, I want to brew beer, get promoted, and do something else creative this year.  It takes a lot of work to pull any of that off in the hustle/bustle everyday stuff that comes along with parenthood and homeownership.

Anyhoo, I learned something about communication recently.  85% of communication is nonverbal.  Not the best news for me as a blogger doing all this random writing.  But, it is pretty damn interesting.  Only 15% of meaningful communication is words.  The rest of it is stuff like body language, expressions, feelings, etc.  So, as a writer... this is a different perspective but sort of a good one.

On a personal note, I, along with many of you, have been relegated to limited personal communication over the course of developments in technology over the last however many years. It's much easier to say something with a text or email or even a phone call to get something communicated.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitching about this, just making an observation.  Over the course of natural evolution, we lifeforms have had millions of years to get used to changes.  Humanity, however, has had to figure changes out over years, or even months.  With advancement comes the learning curve. 

What I'm really getting at is this: it's really hard to have a deep conversation with digital media.  Just as it's as difficult to have a deep conversation 200 years ago by sending letters.  Humanity hasn't conquered distances we can't walk in every personal way. 

As an old-fashioned sort of soul, I feel like I've forgotten these basic instincts of communication, simply by knowing who I'm around so well, and digitally communicating with those who I don't see personally every day.  Remember, our development as a species forgets certain things because we have so much other stuff to remember if we're going to survive, and if we're lucky, thrive.

Being reminded that 85% of communication has nothing to do with words sure does throw off an old wallflower like me!  Sure, I can be outgoing sometimes, but most of the time I put a lot of stock into words as communication.  Maybe I'm too quiet, or express things by typing a little more than I should. 

How we communicate is how we're built, I suppose.  Let's share ideas, and facial expressions. I'll fart on your head if you give me any shit, though.


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