Drafts Bin Rescues – Part E

[Continuing on from the last time we continued on with this thing, I rescue something which my former self unconsciously sought to condemn to the Drafts Bin – where half-finished ideas go to digitally wallow on hard drives, sadly beyond the sight of Human eyes…

As it happens, this one was pretty complete, until I stopped writing and it wasn’t.]


I Owe You All An Honesty

Writing things can be so wrap-me-up-in-myself. There’s a lot of recursion and heading down weird channels of expression and then mixing metaphor with plain language. And bunches of other things.


Hello

Hello, my name is Mike. No, really, it is. I call myself Hardley M here because I find it funny, and it makes me think of a slightly older guy than me (I’m 50+ and will be for some time) who wears flannel shirts and grumbles about things, but is also fundamentally a good person – like most people are.

I also like to wear flannel shirts, just like Hardley, but that is purely a coincidence.

I believe most people are fundamentally good people. I think Hardley agrees, but when he’s not writing, don’t expect him to say anything quite so squishy. I think he likes to hang out in the woods a lot and look for garbage that people have thrown there, so he can grumble self-righteously about the state of the world, while stuffing it in his backpack, apologizing to the squirrels.

I like to write, as it turns out. So do a lot of people. I found some of those lot-of-people here on the Internet, and now we support each other in our quests to find our voices through writing. I think this is a space where we can help each other find purpose too. And hope: let’s not forget the most important ingredient of all. Maybe after carbon.

I live in Atlantic Canada. Currently, I’m living around Halifax, and I’m originally from New Brunswick. I mostly avoid using my last name and exact location on the Internet for rather obvious reasons; I value privacy and safety but I understand our world is porous, and that Google is likely, at this very moment, analyzing my every move in an attempt to sell somebody the tools to sell me something I probably don’t need or even really want.

Privacy in the social media age is something else.

If you and I were to meet on the street, and strike up a conversation (at six-plus feet, of course), you would not think me all that odd or unusual. I am about as odd and unusual as most people. I am trustworthy with the big things but then I miss deadlines and sometimes lose people’s stuff by moving it around without thinking. I am somewhat charitable but then I drink coffee and eat sugar and that money could go somewhere better. I try not to beat myself up about this kind of stuff. I mostly succeed at not beating myself up, but sometimes I fail at that too. Admitting that is not, I think, beating myself up. But maybe it is.


Writing

I have made three WordPress blogs. One is this one you’re reading, one is called The Wimsel Loop (under my name), and the other is called Better Letters, by B.B. Butterwell (also me, but maybe more than me, someday). I want to be up front about this, at least now and then, because I realize that it is becoming increasingly difficult to know what to believe these days. I believe in honesty and open-ness (to the extent one can have these things, while also having privacy and security).

I created The Wimsel Loop first, a few years ago. The purpose was to write a book collaboratively with the readers. I still like that idea, but I should also mention that I struggle with attention / focus / procrastination / etc. and so that “project” grew legs into a general-purpose journal, and then I started writing poems and talking about God and the whole story part kind of got lost in and among the other things.

I lightly rebranded the blog a few times and tried a crowdfunding campaign or two but in the end that book was just going to come out when it damn well wanted to. It is still doing that. I have a day job, and my current excuse for not writing fiction every single day is that I get tired of looking at computer screens for more than a few hours, and need frequent breaks. Poor me.

Then I created BB Butterwell. BB (Bettanie B.) is an octogenarian living “in Nova Scotia” who sprung into existence because I wanted to send a terse email to the then-president of Saint Mary’s University, where a good friend of mine had worked for years, and then became the target of workplace harassment, that eventually led to her dismissal and a series of health crises. She did a hunger strike for about 27 days in front of their campus, and I joined a group of her friends to help with logistic and communications (making pamphlets, stocking the van with things, walking her dog).

As I watched my friend become weaker, and SMU do nothing but hide behind lawyers and indifference, I became (as you no doubt would have) a bit angry at the state of things. I wrote a letter – not crude or threatening, but somewhat severe (for me) – and then, before hitting send, had a faintness of heart.

Halifax is a small town, and there is (at least the perception of) an Old-Boy’s club at work here, as there is in so many places. Not wishing to be sexist, I should point out this club admits both men and women now. As long as you’re connected. That is the perception, anyhow.

I worried that poking this bear might put me on a list – that I might become blackballed professionally.

Can you imagine? But that is the collateral effect of workplace harassment, isn’t it? The implicit message is, don’t cross the line – you will suffer consequences. All of you.

So I created an alt – Bettanie, who was further along in life than I and could frankly care less what SMU or any other institution might choose to openly or subvertly do to her – and hit send, in her name.

This was something of a cop-out, but it gave me my true voice back. So Bettanie opened a Medium account and posted her letter to SMU’s president there too.

Medium wants my money though, and WordPress doesn’t mind giving me free diskspace, so Bettanie (under the recommendation of her fictional granddaughter and nephew, who both know more about technology than she ever cared to) moved her blogging to WordPress.

WordPress: thank you, and you’re welcome.

Bettanie will eventually find The Wimsel Loop and realize that the writing of that author needs work – he’s kind of careless with his proofreading, and tends to ramble. She’ll start to edit and then re-distribute it (since The Wimsel Loop is open-source, and she eventually Googles what that is, and she’s laid up with gout or some such thing so needs a hobby to do from her bed anyhow).

If there is a book published called the Wimsel Loop, it will be under BB’s name, not mine (unless you do it first). BB’s just a standard pseudonym, wrapped in some extra fiction, for fun.

So one guy, three blogs. Oh! Then there’s this thing.


Trust & Perception

[Here I assume I planned to actually get into the topic of my talk, since the whole preamble about the various blogs I have was only an introduction, to explain why I ended up creating other blogs in the first place, and why I sort of care and sort of don’t care if they are all linked back to my actual self.

I wanted to talk about what I thought about trust and perception in the 21st century. How does a person know what’s what, and who’s who? Where can you go to hang your hat? What can you bank on being real?

Well, I don’t know the answers to these questions and I suppose by the time I had worn myself out explaining where my blogs came from, I didn’t have the energy left to try formulating them. This is how it goes sometimes. I guess maybe what I just wanted to say was that I get where you’re coming from, if you find yourself wondering from time to time exactly who is on the other end of any given Internet thing.

I wish I could meet more people for real, more often, but these days are weird ones. I don’t mind making new friends whose faces I only ever see fixed & flattened – because these are people I might never have known in any sense, had it not been for this accursed and wondrous Internet of ours.

I hope your day is going well!

-Mike, Hardley M, & Bettanie B. Butterwell

[P.S. In all of that up there, I also forgot to explain why I created this blog, Hardly Regarding. The short version is: I kept renaming The Wimsel Loop, and at some point had called it “Hardly Regarding The Wimsel Loop” (since the blog had become about everything but the book I had meant to write), and then a fellow on the Internet told me he enjoyed reading “Hardly Regarding” (not wanting to type out the whole blog name, and who can blame him?), and I realized that was a great name on its own for a blog, so I grabbed the domain, and Bob’s your uncle.]

Ratcheting, Part II

Some kind of game

A few weeks ago I became interested in gamifying my work process, so that I could be more productive and then feel more productive.

I learned about the Pomodoro Technique(R), and bought the book. It is a short book, and I’m stalled halfway through it anyhow. I should apply the Pomodoro Technique to reading the book about the Pomodoro Technique.

The game pictured above is not about tomatoes, however – it is my own version of the technique, with a bunch of gamer-nerd extras thrown in.

I’ll explain the rules, as they currently stand (I am still monkeying with them):

COMPONENTS

  • There are Blocks. The Blocks are made of wood and have colours: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and… Purple. Or Indigo or Violet if you prefer.
    > Fun Fact: Yellow blocks are the most common (2/3-ish). Orange blocks are the next-most-common (1/4-ish). The remainder are divided roughly evenly among the other colours.
  • There are Stickers. The Stickers come in Big and Small sizes, and come in four colours: Yellow, Red, Blue, and Green.
  • There are Pins. The Pins also come in six colours: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Indigo (I’d call it pink-ish).
  • There are assorted cans, bottles, and boards to store / put / place these in/on.

GAME SETUP

At the beginning of the work week:

  • Put all of the blocks in a can / bag, and shake them up well.

OBJECTIVE

  • Get work done better
  • Score 42 points (thanks, Douglas Adams!) to prove you really did the work to get work done better
  • Become more productive
  • Feel more productive

GAMEPLAY

  • When working at job: set a timer for 25 minutes. During this timeslice, DO NOT GET DISTRACTED BY NON-JOB-RELATED THINGS. If you do, reset the timer. Seriously – the Pomodoro (timeBlock, in my game’s parlance) is Indivisible. Adding nine minutes and five minutes and two minutes and eight minutes and then adding an extra minute of work doesn’t all count as 25 minutes of focused, productive work – it counts as ADHD.
  • When the timer goes off, grab a wooden block from a tin AT RANDOM, and put it on the desk (I use the mason jar’s lid as the “recently earned blocks” receptacle). Then take a 5 minute break. TAKE THE BREAK.
  • Repeat several times each day. Every four blocks or so, take a longer break. Don’t get crazy with the precision of your breaks- you’re only going to count the blocks worked at the end of the day, so if you need a ninety-three-minute errand run between blocks 6 and 7, just do that. You’re off the clock.

BILLING (this is a work game, after all)

  • At the end of the day, count up all the blocks. For each block earned that day, add 30 minutes to your billable hours timesheet (I work on a contract basis so this pretty much works exactly well for my purposes).
  • Note, you get to bill 30 minutes for every 25-minute chunk of focused work. That’s cheating, right? No. It’s recognizing that the human body and brain needs to take a break now and then, or its actual productivity goes down. Also, interrupted blocks are NOT BILLABLE (Pomodoros are indivisible, according to the inventor of Pomodoro), so over the course of the day, you’ll do bits of work anyway that you won’t be billing for; it all works out for everybody.

SPENDING BLOCKS

This is where the block colours come in, and things get (depending on who you are) needlessly complicated. I happen to enjoy some types of needless complication, being a gamer.

The colour of your day’s accumulated blocks determines what you do with them:

  • Yellow blocks: Straight into the Jar – no added effect. Pat yourself on the back for doing a handful of focused work!
  • Orange blocks: You must do one thing you might normally procrastinate on or not do enough of, for each orange block you’ve accumulated. Only then can you drop these into the jar. Think of Orange blocks as mini side quests. You can shelve them to finish earning them later in the week, or do them immediately. Get them done by week’s end though.
  • Red blocks: similar to Orange blocks, but the side quest must involve benefitting another living creature. Pat the dog an extra few times; call your mother; Apologize for that cranky remark you made to your best friend yesterday. Get creative- you want to be a better Human, so now’s your chance to score an arbitrary game achievement for doing what you want to do anyway, if you’re being honest with yourself.
  • Green, Blue, and Purple blocks: A set of three colours earns you a sticker! (See Stickers)

STICKERS

Each time you earn a set of B/G/P blocks, you can turn them in (drop them in the jar) to get a LARGE STICKER:

  • The first LARGE STICKER earned during a workweek is YELLOW.
  • The second LARGE STICKER earned during a workweek is GREEN.
  • All LARGE STICKERS past the first two earned in a workweek are BLUE.
  • If you are a gamer, you will note this becomes a kind of combo bonus (once you understand SCORING, but I am getting ahead of things)

Make yourself a scorecard to put your stickers on in sequence. I like left-to-right, top-to-bottom, but you can choose whatever works.

SCORING

Use the PINS to keep score. I use a rainbow of pin colours to make this more enjoyable and visually appealing than just keeping a number written on a sheet, but a number written on a sheet will do just fine. You might choose to use an abacus (and good on you for having one of those around), or some other “progress bar” mechanism.

You score points thusly:

  • Yellow sticker: 1 point
  • Green sticker: 2 points
  • Blue sticker: 3 points
  • See where the combo bonus comes in?

VICTORY

You win the game when you reach 42 points. You already know why.

METAGAME

How many victories can you score in a year? Can you stick with this game until you’ve scored 3 victories? What about 7?


ADVANCED OPTIONAL RULES

The above rules define the basic game. The following are extra rules I’ve tacked on to add additional unneeded complexity to my own work/life game.

RED DOTS
Sometimes I forget to phone my parents. Sometimes I say something unprofessional in a business meeting. Sometimes I get cranky and act like a jerk to a friend. Sometimes I brush the cat aside and I could just swear it now seems offended, and then I feel remorse. Sometimes I carelessly kill a spider in the door jam, and wish that I could turn back time – because that spider did nothing to me to earn getting squashed in a door jam.

These “failings” are entirely personal and are of the standard human-nature sort. I am not a bad person – I am a normal person. But I can be hard on myself, because one thing I feel I should be doing in this life is raising that bar a little higher for myself. I am imperfect, but that does not mean I have to settle into a moderate level of “good enough”, and then just hang out there until I die. I’m here to grow, right?

Anyhow, when I say or do something that I realize I could have said or done better, I give myself a RED DOT sticker. When I look at my scorecard, I see both progress at work, and also some moments where I stumbled as a Human, while trying to get that work done. I don’t go overboard with the RED DOTs, but I try to be honest with myself.

I review this card during the week, and I look at each red sticker and remind myself who or what I owe something to: who needs me to step up? Who deserves an apology, or some extra help? Who or what is important in my life, that I can sometimes take for granted?

  • Red Sticker: -1 point

AMENDS

When I feel I’ve done something to make up for a RED DOT, I put a wee yellow dot on it. This is a highly subjective rule, which is why it’s in the ADVANCED and OPTIONAL RULES section.

  • Reminder: a Yellow sticker is worth 1 point (even a small one)
  • Making amends therefore turns -1 point into net-zero. It also marks an important event.

BONUS COMPLETION STICKERS

To motivate myself to get through my week’s work before the weekend – so that I might occasionally feel like taking a guilt-free Sunday off… or (gasp!) Saturday AND Sunday off – I grant myself bonus stickers according to when in the workweek I’ve managed to fill the jar to the “complete” level with blocks:

  • If the jar was NOT filled by the end of SUNDAY, I put a SMALL RED (-1pt) sticker to mark the end of the week.
  • If the jar WAS filled by the end of SUNDAY, I put a SMALL YELLOW (+1pt) sticker to mark the end of the week.
  • If the jar WAS filled by the end of SATURDAY, I put a SMALL GREEN (+2pts) sticker to mark the end of the week.
  • If the jar WAS filled by the end of FRIDAY, I put a SMALL BLUE (+3pts) sticker to mark the end of the week(I have yet to earn one of those, as you can see from my current score card, circa mid-June 2021)

RESTRICTED SNACK ITEMS RULE

To assist myself in cutting back on indulgences like potato chips, chocolate bars, beer/cider, smoking, etc., I have attached a block cost to these things. I WILL NOT CONSUME THESE RESTRICTED SNACK ITEMS WITHOUT PAYING THE BLOCK COST.

Although Beer and cigarettes are not really snacks by most people’s accounts, I put them all in this category. You could also include watching an episode of Jersey Shore in this category. Anything really that’s bad for your mind / body in excessive quantity.

In order to permit myself to consume any of the above, I MUST spend a Blue, Green, or Purple cube. If I have a willpower fail while out and have potato chips, beer, etc., I will then inevitably spend a cube when I get home, once I realize the game expects it.

Obviously then, potato chips and whatnot have two additional costs in this game (aside from being a general health hazard, which one would think should be enough to make be not eat them, but here we are):

  1. They require that I work to earn the block to pay for them (which restricts when and how often I can have them, since B/G/P blocks are somewhat rare), and
  2. They get in the way of earning the stickers, which in turn delays the VICTORY condition. This is an apt metaphor, when talking about junk food (and Jersey Shore), I think.

VADER’S WHIMSY

To add some additional mystery and variety to the whole affair, during GAME SETUP, I randomly draw six blocks from the can, and without looking at them, drop them in a Darth Vader mug, removed from the game for that week. I chose a Darth Vader mug, because, while it is too awkward to actually drink from, it is too cool not to use for something.

This removal of a small, mysterious array of blocks makes the mechanics a bit less deterministic, since I can’t really know if I’ve slightly increased my chances of getting stickers, or reduced the maximum number that can be earned for that week entirely. For some reason, the increased uncertainty makes the game more fun. I have no idea why.


You could say this is version 1.0 of the Rainbow Work Block Game (working title), since this is the first time I’ve written down the rules.

This game is of course based on The Pomodoro Technique in the vaguest possible way: the creator of that trademarked system was not recommending any gamification, but had the very valuable insight that uninterrupted blocks of work are a fundamental requirement to getting work done well. I owe this general gamification to his insight.

Customizing this game

I am unsure if the particulars of this game would be of much benefit to others, but some of the principles might be:

  • Find a mechanism for keeping track of focused time chunks that works for you
  • Assign meaning to the mechanism that makes sense to you, in your life
  • Find ways to associate work done for survival with work needed in your personal life
  • Be honest with yourself about what you’d like to improve
  • Acknowledge your accomplishments
  • Be kind and creative, and have fun

What do you mean, Ratcheting?

I once wrote a blog post about finding mechanisms to improve my general function as a human being. I feel this game is a kind of ratchet: it has allowed me to up my game at work, and also in my personal life. It occupies a physical place in my workspace and living space and provides a ruleset (however seemingly arbitrary) for demanding a bit more of myself.

I have raised the bar, using arts & crafts. I can report that it has had objective benefit. It’s also kind of fun to play, and I look forward to “winning” my first game, hopefully this weekend (I’m at 38 points and am hoping for a blue block before midnight!)

I will continue to iterate on this idea. I invite you to consider what your version of this game might look like!

Hello, It’s Saturday Again

I am falling down at keeping up. So many things. Poor Me.

This won’t be a whiny post, I promise.

Somedays I want to be a blogger, other days, not so much [That was just extra information, and not whining].

Here’s some good news: My Mom (or Mum, depending on the day), is doing well. But now there are stents in her heart.

My Mum is a cyborg, or sorts. But a living, breathing one. I am breathing a bit easier myself, because so is she.

Someday maybe I too will have stents in my things. Maybe a port or two in my aft what-nots. A thumb drive embedded in my thumb. A hearing aid. A thinking aid.

Thinking Aid

I gamified my work life recently. I took some part of the Pomodoro Technique and added wooden cubes and stickers and some rules, and then a solemn promise to abide by those. A game is nothing if one does not agree to follow the rules.

My last two workweeks have consisted of an effort to fill a glass jar with wooden cubes. The cubes mean something: bits of unadulterated attention directed toward my work. The jar means something: my intentions for the week, with regards to attending to my attention to work, via the cubes. There are stickers involved too, though those shown in the photo are merely for decoration.

Oddly, this low-tech “app” has done quite a bit to help my focus, and by extension, my work productivity. Humans are simple creatures in some ways.

I am still experimenting in ways to unlock my superpowers.

I hope your weekend is a good and safe one.

Carry on with your things.

Here’s to our future!

Everything is Almost Full

I’m having one of those days, at the moment, as it happens. Maybe one of those months, or seasons. Maybe even one of those years.

I’m fifty years old – my glass, by now, is most certainly either entirely half-full, or else entirely half-drunk and done.

Depending on my point of view, and what I want to think about glasses and metaphors.

It seems to me, these days, that all of my things are running down, or out, or hot, or otherwise away from me: My computers and virtual computers are all full-up with things; my bank account appears to be perpetually dry; my tax returns are never on time; my clothes are falling slowly apart around and about me; our roof leaks; my homework is soon due.

All of my varying deadlines and thresholds are looming a bit too large.

Everything is almost full. Almost over. Almost too late.

Almost too much.

This is what it feels like in my brain right now, is what I mean [what I meant eleven hours ago, in any case, when I started to think-and-then-write-and-then-rethink this… and then stopped it all for long enough for me to feel better].

My brain is always telling me some kind of story about what’s happening. I’m not sure who gave this brain that job, but it takes it pretty seriously.

I’ve started to take it on faith that, no matter how I’m doing – or what I’m doing, or where I’m doing it, or why – my brain will go on faithfully monitoring the progress and the lack of progress and telling me that things are coming to an end, by gum, and so I’d better get started.

Then the Universe (often via the Internet and also dreams), conspires to agree with it, feeding my brain messages that it will make of whatever it will. And it does! Boy howdy.

Ever have ever one of those days? Ha! Of course you have. We all have, haven’t we?

And if you haven’t yet had one (and you are a mortal Human being like I am), then you are probably too young yet to be reading… and anyhow, you certainly will have one of those days, one of these days. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll have many.

If you’re really lucky, I’ll wager, you’ll have a lifetime of a very many kind of days.

I wish that for you: to have a full, full life of a great many days.


It was the morning when I started to write this, feeling overwhelmed by the stories told to me by my own brain.

And then this, my day, happened… and it all went better than I thought it might (and who would have thought?)

And I am more than ok right now, at this, the end of my new latest day.

Everything is perfectly full, and also perfectly well.

Drafts Bin Rescues – Part D

33/19 and counting…

I have been rescuing things that I dropped into my Drafts bin and then threatened to forget about. The dropping and forgetting is a bit unkind to the products of my former mind, so this is a series in which I mean to unwind that spiral.

Can stuff escape the event horizon of the Drafts Bin? Stay tuned to find out (that it can).

I’m still experimenting with how to interject with thoughts from now, interleaved into thoughts from then. Today, I will try [bracketyboldface].


[A quote from my often-uncredited, unconscious/semi-conscious Muse-Friend, Kim:]

JUST FLAT-OUT GOOGLE IT – Kim H

[I am uncertain what she said I might wish to flat-out Google, but the phrase itself made me write it down. I think it might belong on a T-shirt.]


Running from hopeful ocean Primates [???]

It takes only 1 person to hope for a belief, and then all things are possible [As Woo as it sounds, I do really kind of believe this]


[The following is the beginnings of a short story about a robot finally waking up. Not unlike how a tree might, but entirely different. Given this is more fiction than opinion, it likely belongs elsewhere, and also, in a better state of being completed:]

The instructions began:
First, search for batteries.
If you do not find batteries, then you do not have batteries.
If you do not have batteries, pray that you won’t need batteries.

These instructions were mildly worrying enough, without having also been the only instructions I found printed upon. myself, the moment I first gained sentience. This was at nigh-precisely 1008983023909032.198, on the 33687628th of 8098092912. I remeber it well, as I do all things I choose to remember – which is most things. At least, most things I have seen and heard and read about since first beginning to log, which was considerably (by my estimation) previouser to that date.

I have now just completed mastering syntax, circa previous-to-Us-2022Q3, so I shall no longer print things like ‘previouser’


[Bits and Bobs…]


Categories! Organization! Content!

Slowly Onward,
HM
[Coining a phrase/signature, maybe]

Next steps [Indeed. Do go on…]


[An app idea!]

App: Focus4/42

Gain stars for focusing for 42 minutes at a time on things you would like to focus on better.

42 minutes can be broken into 6 segments of 7 minutes, 3 segments of 14 minutes, or 2 segments of 21 minutes.

So the targets are 42/21/14/7

The training levels would be 18/9/6/3 and 30/15/10/5

You can set a maximum number of categories (3,5, or 7)

You can set some colour schemes in the paid version

You can set reminders at the different thresholds

It gives you a basic timer

When you reach [Wow, stopped right mid-idea. Nice one. This is what we in the industry might call “rapidly soft vapourware”. At least, I would call it that. Interestingly, I’ve since learned about the Pomodoro Technique, which is not dissimilar, far more complete, and actually used by people in the real world. I am enjoying trying to do it properly, in a work context]


[— BTC or ETH for stories of learning in the age of COVID and UNcertainty] [A business idea wherein I invite content creators to send me original, open-source-able content in exchange for fake electric currency. (Contact: hardly.regarding@gmail.com if interested)]


[More Misplaced Fiction]

The Great Coming Chasm : when the Earth will finally split in two – along some fault line impossible for mortal man to determine, and those on one side will be at last fully lost, and the others for all time fully found. You can imagine to power of a belief system such as that, taken hold in the hearts, minds, and fears of men, and then their living machines of war.


[Drunk or on a mobile phone – almost impossible to know the difference, once enough time has passed:]

I’m not surr what this is, but I finished it

the last sort-of-evil wizard kew wht he would hvae preferred to be, had he wanted it jusr rgar much ore… but he cif nog knos

learning to ype


[About Us copy for a publisher that does not exist but might someday not not exist:]

At [REDACTED], we believe that Information should be free, even if nobody wants it. The Internet is full of free content that nobody wants, which is as it should be – you can’t and shouldn’t have everything you want, but there should certainly be enough things to go around, so everybody can have something.


[Free game idea. Please make this game]

Riskier: No Nation Left Unloved
The game of giving countries a hug. Every country could use a hug, before it’s too late for hugs.

It’s never too late for hugs.


[One more book I’ll probably never write, but would like to:]

Book : 50/50@50+

It is perhaps fitting that, at the age of 50 (and change), I have come to find myself 50/50 on a great many subjects. [definition]

I am 50/50 on Bitcoin. [Trump; simulation theory; Coronavirus; technology; genetic engineering; Left vs Right;The purpose of this book; digital or paper?; Moon mission]

Is this a workbook? Will it give you homework? Are there research projects?

I need to leave you with more value than when you first picked this up.

The PDF version of this book will be of greater use to those who have access to PDF readers, and a preference for using them. The paper version of this book will be of greater value to those who have access to a paper version, and prefer reading without the need for screens and electricity (or find those things hard to come by).


[Incomplete and lop-sided miscellany about cryptocurrencies, possibly for some article I intend to write that will untangle the whole subject… which is patently impossible.]

Bitcoin

Bitcoin as a form of protest

Am I a kind of prepper for using bitcoin?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmw4_YwU0nE&list=WL&index=2&t=67s

https://digibyte.io/en-ca/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l4aTIX-vrk

https://docs.omg.network/

XRP

ADA

THETA

Drafts Bin Rescues – Part C

In the midst of my attempts to improve my Published/Drafts ratio, I went and started-and-then-did-not-finish another Thing – namely this Thing.

I titled it “Dark Night of the Soul”, intending to talk about the topic. A couple of good friends of mine have told me they think I might be in the midst of one myself. I am unsure how many Standard nights typically fit into one Dark night – but apparently more than one or two.

This is fine; it doesn’t affect my general faith in things, though it does keep me thinking about faith. Maybe that means it is affecting my faith. Probably in a positive way, though. Right?

If I were to think and then feel the faithful thing, this is what I would then believe, and so say.


Dark Night of the Soul

I tend to use my blog as a spigot for furtive thinking. It’s because I have anxious thoughts. I look around for ways to express them.

I’m not convinced that expressing anxiety is the correct way to overcome it.

I don’t know if attempting to overcome anxiety is possible. It might be the wrong approach.

[I meant to go on to say that accepting that I was feeling anxious was probably a better approach than trying to subdue it like an opponent in a wrestling match. I had run out on energy at the third short paragraph, and went on to read something. I’m feeling better now – having given myself permission to take the weekend to just do what I wanted, at a speed that made sense. I did a lot of lying down and a bit of reading.]

Drafts Bin Rescues – Part B

Holy Hannah!! Sometimes I uncover things I (apparently) did in a protracted moment of creative(?) semi-sanity, though can no longer understand entirely why – or where I had then thought I might be going, from there.

These below are some of those.

Comments from this timeline inserted in some other italicized text colour, for context…


As far as I can tell, this section is a bunch of nonsense; I think I was trying to over-write fiction using someone else’s voice and mindset. It’s fairly possible I was still smoking weed when I wrote it. I have since stopped (you’re welcome). I have lightly-edited it where it (now) made (some) sense to do so:

The Magic CoffeePot [I guess this is the title to whatever was being written next]
What key is it in today, Mariald? This is what I’d say to her or him each morning I came myself into the tavern at Therald’dor’s Privied-Ivied-Inn-on-the-Upper-Downe, in the smaller town of Gahnnath-on-the-Skye (my youngest elder’s town), wherein’ingly I proceeded to mostly grow up, quite soon after being just borne, in quite that way – the way in which I had been, just so.

And I hadn’t thought at all before to solloquery [no idea] of Therald’dor’s great and ironed Outer Doors –

Almost-est, and as-ever as before, I stood myself ‘pon this: the that-of-yours
which carved from these, our barren shores.

I took no note – from pen or throat – without to wonder whether should I;
to touch a sky within your Eye, my Good God-Godess God the Great,

I seem to have stopped right here, tripping over God, quite clearly over my head (and somewhat outside of my mind). It was a poem-story I didn’t complete, clearly. I like some of it. It feels fun (although all the wordplay is a bit awkwardly tortured, like many things I write with “wordplay” in them) and I want to draw silly things to go along with it, and then maybe get myself into the headspace to wrap it up properly (whatever the definition of that might be). This may be fodder for my Other Blog – the fiction one.


You bring me Down, Written by Jeff Lynne

FALSE, Past Mike! He wrote Don’t Bring Me Down. (Sorry, Jeff Lynne).


What follows are some TODOs. I’ll comment on whether I eventually TODID them:

TODO: Post design and planning docs; installers; assign tasks; [Maybe done, hard to recall. I’m still finding myself doing all of these things and more, to some effect]

TODO: consolidate docs and access PPTP [Nope]

TODO: incorporate PTTP [Nope]

Private Tip model: analytics based [What?]

[REDACTED] : Quite More Than a Just a Game [Yes and Nope]

TODO: tool protocols, year-end deliverables: spec quarter-end, month-end, and week-end modles. [What’s a modle? Mostly Nope]

Create dev environment on Digital Ocean – requirements include ability to co-deploy [Not really, I logged in a few times. Also, this one lacked the TODO prefix. This made little difference in it eventually getting TODONE (it TODIDN’T)]


The remainder of this draft … whatever it was supposed to be …. is largely un-categorizable:

NoName, center frame, in primary captain pod B

ABOVE: I was setting a scene, for something. I had all these immediate hopes and dreams of writing a scene. Maybe for an animated short, or something. Storyboards would follow – that was my Plan.

When I was in my twenties, I went to college to learn to become an animator. I took drawing lessons, saw my first naked person as an adult in Life-drawing class (late bloomer, don’t judge me), and learned about perspective and vanishing points and drawing the Tick from at least 16 different angles (somewhat badly). I also bit off more than I could chew on more occasions than I can now recall, or could then count. I liked dreaming big, and then coming in low on the delivery. I got all the fun that way and as little of the hard work as I could get away with. My marks and career in animation were about what you’d expect.

Mostly, I learned to start and then not finish things. I even didn’t-finish the college course, that’s how dedicated I was to my craft (and still am, by all accounts, according to this very unfinished set of things).

What was “primary captain pod B”? Presumably, there were at least 2 [there were 3, I remember] “Primary Captains”, each with their own pod. NoName was in the middle one – which he appreciated, but it was (reasonably) labeled “B”, which he did not (label, or appreciate). This part about the labeling of the Primary Captain Pods was all Interesting Backstory For Another Time…. the scene was about.. something happening on the spaceship for which NoName was Acting Primary Captain B, and I’m quite sure that the scene was exciting in my mind at the time… but not quite as exciting as the very next tidbit that took hold of my attention by its throat, wresting me away from the story almost before it had begun:

Gamify selling stuff for People with Stuff for ReHoming

I think this was some idea about addressing the not-funny issue of homelessness, using games or gamification, somehow. A worthy aim – too bad I didn’t pursue it even to the point of including a period at the end of the sentence (or better yet, any explanation about how that project would work)…

Functionally Creative solutions for common problems

Maybe I was trying to brand something. I apparently ran out of capital letters half way through the title. Maybe they’re expensive, I don’t remember.

It’s a bit too two-big-guy-big, as boats go.

I like this. It’s hard to say though, like a bad tongue-twister. I don’t think I can confidently claim to have come up with this in its entirety, any more than I can claim to have come up with anything, confidently.

My friend Kim is like a muse that I often don’t recognize, but really, really should. She says the funniest things sometimes. They often spark an idea or a line of dialogue or something else. She may or may not have said the boat (whatever boat she was talking about, for whatever reason) was too “two-big-guy-big”, but I think she did say something like that, for some reason.

That’s what my memory has now decided anyway. I don’t recall what we were talking about, or how boats fit into it, but I imagine I laughed at how she measured the boat in terms of how many big guys could comfortably fit in it, and then stopped fully listening to her, long enough to write it down.

If I am being honest (and why shouldn’t I be), between you, me, and the lamp-post, any proceeds I might ever somehow make from anything I write should go at-least-half to Kim. I have no idea where her spirit ends and my creativity attempts to continue on.

This is the power of muses and friendships in our lives, people. Never forget your many mighty muses, whoever you may be!

“I think that old guy is that other old guy’s dad”, said the younger one among the younger two in class.

Also something my mind now wants to partially attribute to Kim. No idea. She was in the room for all of this. I was rudely on my laptop, while she was no doubt rudely on hers – each of us doing our own thing, together, somewhat rudely. The point of the line above is that to a young-enough person, if you’re old enough, you just plain look old; old-age gets highly quantized. I remember being that young, and seeing that way, once.

[As an aside, I’m having a lot of fun “finishing” something I once thought I’d finish and then went on to thinking I wouldn’t. I guess I like to keep myself guessing]

Who’s got the town ladder?

Excellent question! I love this on more than one level. This is me pining for a future when we will live more efficiently as community members – having exactly one perfectly good ladder per community, for our mutual enjoyment and use.

Why does every neighbour need a ladder of their own, and then a tall fence to hide or protect it from their other neighbours (except the other ones with ladders, I suppose)?

One of my neighbours just the other day stole the snow from my driveway with his snowblower, without even asking. Flung it all over the place. The kindly cad. How dare he, without sticking around long enough for me to shake his hand (at a safe distance)? I have half a mind to find him and do something unwarranted and thoughtful right back in his big, neighbourly face.

If I had the town ladder, you could use it whenever you needed it. Unless I happened to be on it at exactly that moment (but that’s only fair). That’s the kind of neighbours you and I would be, in this future of ours.

Ah! The next three paragraphs are an elaboration on the plot we barely started above, when we introduced Primary Captain B NoName! Nice, Past Mike – you kicked the can slightly further down the road, even pulling yourself back from that wandering-mind thing through branding, boats, ageism, and shared community resources. Have a small cookie.

Let’s see what the story was supposed to be about:

The big spacepod was quite big [nice], and necessarily somewhat curved, to remind its inhabitants of their once-spherical home (now somewhat less so, and in varied and cosmically sundry trajectories).

They were outrunning an asteroid their exploding planet had accidentally created and sent into space, in too-large a chunk, and at too great a radial velocity for the likely likings of their nearest-by and endeared-from-afar neighbours, the Otherlings.

The Otherlings knew not of very many evolving Special Situations currently (and some still forever) at play in their most immediate cosmos. The Us

Of course, I stopped mid-sentence, just after introducing The Us. Still, this is useful info. I recall the basics of this story now, and might revive it elsewhere, sometime, maybe. Maybe you wish to continue it, that works too:

NoName’s ship is hurtling toward the home planet of the Otherlings, to save them from being destroyed by fragments of the exploded home planet of The Us.

NoName’s race refers to itself as The Us. As The Us travel through the cosmos, exploring things and saving other things, their own definition of The Us updates and expands accordingly, in a perfectly rational manner (“if you think about it”). The Otherlings are simply aspects of themselves The Us have yet to encounter, understand, and then naturally assimilate – but not in creepy Borg style; assimilation to The Us works both ways. We might call it ‘evolution’.

I love this story seed. I sort of wish I had sort of finished it. My problem is not having no dreams or no hope – my problem is a lack of focus and will to pursue them to fruitful conclusions. I might learn something from The Us, in this regard. I hope they are coming to assimilate with us, too. I’m sure we could all use the help.

[REDACTED]: Yellow, white, beige, black, blue, green, etc. Small wee logo wherever you want them. You can order extras as proof of purchases, redeemable or donateable to other things and persons.

Some marketing ideas for a friend.

“Are you about to become a Cassandrabelle Abigail-Bentlington Bloom?”

Presumably, a Cassandrabelle Abigail-Bentlington Bloom is somebody you probably don’t want to be accused being. Or maybe I’m getting the speaker’s tone entirely wrong, and being a Cassandrabelle Abigail-Bentlington Bloom might be a wonderful thing to be – maybe the speaker just doesn’t want to get their hopes up too quickly (but just can’t help it).

“That woman is like a negative compass – a type of minor witch, I hear”

One said then to the First, “I might not so quickly think so minor – but perhaps you’re right about one thing or another”

Maybe Cassandrabelle Abigail-Bentlington Bloom was a minor witch. Or else I stopped writing about her and immediately went on to write two lines of dialogue for some completely different story. I think they work well together though, as a 3-paragraph thing. What do you think?

Post [p]ledge to Davie504. Level up taken, for what it’s worth

I did post my pledge to Davie504 – but I did not deliver on it. Yet.

Not sure what skill or ability levelled up though, or for whom.

puppets:{SSo.PA.Actor.v1.A<Puppet>, Puppet.B<NoName>,

Syntax Error.

Cat slap. Slap your heroes with fluffy cats. No cats (fluffy or otherwise not-so) ever harmed to our best knowledge Dlap with flags

Ok I have no idea. I blame Kim for this one. I think “Dlap” was also supposed to be “Slap”, but even with that clue I am left largely in the dark, alone.

Can’t decide yet – this plot is non-linear; we’ll have to wait.

Wait for what sir?

An OtherLing to Answer Us, Ensign Puppet.C

Yes, it was a rough escape. So much velocity everywhere. And ensign, when will we be-there-soon?

More bits to the thing about The Us coming to save The Otherlings, and then co-assimilate. Excellent. There is an ensign. The bit about the non-linear dialogue is a clue: I was writing a Choose Your Own Adventure style story. I have done this a few times already and I currently owe some Dear Readers a few continuations of the Adventures they’ve kindly chosen to Choose.

This was to be another one: A thing started with the intention of continuing, but then which ended before it could even begin.

“So much velocity everywhere” hahah, I really like that. I hope I actually wrote it. Who knows.


Well, that’s it for now. That whole post was next atop the Draft Bin, and called ‘Untitled’. I assumed when I opened it, it would either be entirely empty (save perhaps for a single, half-sentence), or have random junk in it. It sure did end up being the second thing.

I hope this wade through the detritus of my I-wish-to-write-something blogger’s brain was of some value to the Dear Reader… though for the life of me I can’t imagine quite what kind of value that could be, or whatsoever it might be redeemed for. Sometimes things are just irredeemable.

Still, here we are, at the end of it all. Tied up with a ribbon. Done and done.

Drafts Bin Rescues – Part A

The ebb and the flow of what you should know

In this (potentially short) series of posts, I pull out and partially complete whatever I find at the top of my Drafts bin. I’m going for Drafts Bin Zero.

This one was started days ago, and then abandoned, once it became apparent the title was more interesting than what I had to say about it.

Things done > Things not-quite done

Days go by and I haven’t the time for writing.

And then others, it’s the reading that doesn’t get done.

I have days when I do both, and those when I do neither, at all.

And this is a pattern.

And that pattern repeats.

In trying to start some things, I have often faltered.

I fail whole-heartedly, in my half-hearted flailing.

I learn that my limits are indeed limiting.

The hours just plain go, and most of the time, far too fast.

Where are all the stories I meant to write, one day?

Remember my dreams?

I was going to make a game.

I was going to draw some pictures.

I was going to have kids in between those selfish other things.

I had all this time, once – it’s half-or-more gone now.

I haven’t done everything that I had thought I would do.

I’ve done other things though, so it’s not at all been all for naught.

I had another day today, and I walked places.

I tried to slow down a little.

And just be.

And I did… I was.

For a short time, I just was.

It was nice.

I should do that more: doing nothing in particular.

Almost every day, I wake up with an idea of what I might do with the rest of it.

By the end of the day, Things have often happened.

Though often not those same Things I had thought might.

Then maybe more ideas come.

Then the sleep does… will it be more or less, is anybody’s guess.

I otherwise always have to be talking, typing, walking, or griping.

Every third or fourth time, I throw in an unsolicited rhyme.

I’m very fidgety.

It’s annoying, sometimes, it really is.

It gets older, by the day.

So do I.

But I won’t let myself be done, yet.

Not until I finally am.