Jeff is reclaiming his unique digital identity with a sense of clarity.

ORGANIZATIONAL PATTERNS

Happy New Year

I was watching the news the other day and they said that you should choose one word as a new years resolution goal and focus on it the entire year. This year’s word for me is “health.” I plan to obtain that resolution/goal in a variety of ways. It includes both diet as well as exercise, but also includes a lot of other things too such as staying away from foods I’m allergic too more than I did last year, looking for non-traditional as well as traditional ways of being healthy, focusing on environmental things that keep me from the goal of being healthy, de-stressing, focusing on health issues of those around me, listening to my body more, and a lot of other things. Happy new year to everyone.

Hope this year is a great one for you. Be excellent to one another!


A few 5″ x 7″ doodles

These are a few 5″ x 7″ doodles on hard board. These works, among others, were presented to my brother in Texas as a Christmas present this year (we met them halfway in Oklahama City yesterday and drove all the way back last night getting home around 1:30 am – fyi – If you are looking for 435 in Kansas City, DO NOT TAKE 135 after the toll booth – take 35 instead! Also, there’s a nice little connector off of 435 that will let you hook over to just south of the Independence Mall that we found for the second time on accident last night – nicely done happy accident since that saved us some time – hard to miss that connector since it veers off to the right so it’s really an exit but seems to not be). Any work that is ‘from the imagination’ instead of depicting something like an illustration or drawing from life, I consider a “doodle.”

The color ones are mainly color pencil or color pencil sticks. The white one is china marker. There’s also a little China marker in some highlights on some of the color ones since I like to use china marker and prismacolor color pencils as top layers to add extra ‘punch’ to Crayola and Roseart (cheap color pencil) underlayers that get worked and reworked over and over. The white of the china marker can’t be beat nor can the pigment in the Prismacolor for the final touch.

Many artists use Prismacolor only and never use other brands. I think that’s just wasteful spending since Prismacolor color pencils average about a dollar a piece and on some really layered works I can rework an area enough to burn several pencils on one drawing sometimes. For underlayers expensive pigments in Prismacolor is not needed if you are going to work, re-work and then re-work again a few hundred times as I like. It is a nice touch for top layers, but for underlayers, it can get very expensive very fast for something that I’ll just essentially erase away and smudge to death so that the pigment itself isn’t visible anyways as it gets coated by layer upon layer of wax with more new layers on top.

In the upcoming year I plan to create many more 5″ x 7″ works. I love this size since it’s exactly twice the size of traditional “art cards”, exactly the same size needed for postcards or framed reproductions, and is just right for travel or hanging in a home vs larger works that work better in galleries that have tons of wall space.

I’m also starting to experiment a little bit with mixing color pencils and oil pastels with encaustic painting (wax painting that basically mixes oil color with a mixture of bees wax, paraffin wax and some manmade waxes to add more durability as bees wax and paraffin are both extremely brittle under certain conditions). I’m not sure I can do much with it since the encaustic doesn’t take the color pencils too well, but if the color pencils are the lower layers it might lead to some interesting potential as the encaustic can be layered three dimensionally much more than flat color pencils can by themselves.

I probably don’t have enough room for it now where we are currently located, nor will I for the next few years, but I’ve always wanted to experiment with mixing plaster sculpture and encaustic painting techniques someday. That’ll be many years down the road though. This upcoming year I really want to focus on the 5x7s and really ‘learn’ all the techniques and tricks I can about working on these small panels.


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6/17/2013 – 272.1 Lbs


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starting to track things again

starting up again copy

I’ve started tracking things a bit with some open office documents. I’m going to try to re-start my exercise program in the very, very near future.

I probably won’t count 1000 days like I was back a while ago since that just got to be too darn tedious, but I am planning on updating the above file to reflect current weight loss. Blue Line is weigh ins that I have recorded in this blog and in more recent things in the file at home that I may not have blogged about yet. Red line is following a goal from starting out one lb above where I started this tracking to where I think a great BMI weight would be in 5 years from now.

I like setting up a chart like this to track things since it’ll help me maintain a goal that is visible… I’m a highly visually oriented person so nice charts like this help me stay on focus and realize gains and losses far more powerfully than just putting it all in some other format.

The reason for the red line in the chart is because of some reading I was doing the last few days on some blogs related to the NO-S diet and some tips and tricks some other folks were using or have used in the past to lose weight. One blog entry talked about a book from the 1970s or so that talked about charting your goal weight loss on pen and paper and if you go above the line you eat less or exercise more and if above you go below, give yourself a little leeway, etc.

I’m planning to workout about 10-15 minutes daily in the morning… using various workouts on video and/or off of online sources like youtube. Somedays I might tweet about the morning videos from time to time… at https://twitter.com/JeffThomann in case you want to follow the videos I’m using, etc. It’s mostly going to be hasfit, bodyrock, and various other random stuff off of youtube, etc. However, finding those links can be tricky someday, so following tweets might make the search for great 10 minute workouts for you easier since it’s been a little, ok a lot, of a chore for me to gather them together…

Then at night I’ll do a longer 20-30 minute or longer workout, probably using some other youtube type sources as well as various workout dvds we’ve purchased over the years (some of which only were opened a few weeks ago even though we owned them for about 3+ years already!).

I like putting videos on tweets like that because it feeds in to facebook a lot cleaner than doing it via this blog.. also it’s a lot easier to just click the little bird icon for twitter on youtube, etc. than it is to post on the blog here… I like blogging, but for every day stuff like that tweets are better…

I’m hoping I can get to BMI goal weight by 5 years from now… I am giving myself that much time, but am hoping I’ll actually reach it much quicker than that… If I do I do, if not, not… I’m just trying to mainly get in shape, and getting to target BMI is THE WAY that traditionally has been recommended by doctors and the exercise science folks as the way to do it…

Portion control on eating is hard for me…. so it’s back to the NO S diet if I can help it. I like that diet since it’s habit based and long term based – which is something I definitely need since short term fad diets just don’t cut it for the type of long term health I’m aiming for here…

so I’m going back to my old trick I mentioned on NO S forums a while back of not carrying money with me… only putting in wallet license and other little stuff to identify me, etc. like insurance cards, etc… and then using debit/credit cards/gift cards, etc. only if I really, really, really need it – sort of hiding it from myself so I don’t use the money in gluttonous ways as I have in the past. I figure if I don’t have the money on me, it won’t go to the cafeteria at work, the snack machine, the atm machine so that I can use it to feed a vending machine, etc. Our budget is a bit tight at the moment since Tekla’s still going to school too – so that helps me not spend in excess as I might have let myself in the past…

More exercise based blog posts might be coming in the future. 🙂 😉


Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!

Today’s inspirational idea/theme/commitment:

Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!
Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!

Smile and tell yourself:
Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!
Good things happen to positive people and I am a positive person!

Say it twice.
Two lines are nice.

Be stable.
Be Firm.

(according to Pat Pattison, who teaches a massively online open course on song writing lines of equal length and number of lines that are even give a sentence or phrase stability, and he’s right… so if you have something really important to say to yourself or to others such as the above, say it twice for stability and firmness and boldness in your statement! — saying it odd number of times will add instability… go take his mooc if you want to learn more about it – it’s made me rethink a lot of things… )


back to the basics…

2013 New Year’s Resolutions
1. Exercise Regularly, and avoid setbacks
2. Get back in to creating art regularly.
3. Learn to play music.
4. Eat Right.
5. Write things down.

I’ve fallen off of the band wagon on sticking with the above. I am writing stuff down more, but got off of exercise a couple of weeks ago when my calf had a major issue…it sort of tightened up after I went down a flight of stairs a little too fast and it actually had me on crutches about a week… The pain stayed with me a long while. For the longest time I could not do stairs since it hurt so bad when the leg was in a certain position where the sore leg was behind the other leg… The pain has started died down a lot. It still does feel like a stiff, sore muscle in my leg sometimes… it is mainly one of the calf muscles but it sometimes radiates up to the back of the leg behind the knee and down to the Achilles heel… The ultrasound they did the day it happened didn’t find anything. I was told an MRI might find something since it has a finer scanning reading in looking for muscle tears, etc. Thank GOD there was no blood clots that the ultrasound found since I had the hernia surgery back in December.

I fell off the bandwagon also by moving my avatar in Entropia Universe to Rocktropia a few days back and exploring the entry level missions there. However, I’ve started to block myself from the forums related to Entropia with extensions on various browsers I use on home computer and blocking it elsewhere using other techniques such as content filtering in internet explorer and host file editing.

I got off target on eating right… I do plan to get back on target though. My goal has got to be 45 or 55 carbs a meal.

I got off target on the exercise because of the calf issue noted above, but plan to re-start exercising again regularly in the next couple of days. I have been doing some wii Just Dance 3 lately. I might re-start the Power 90 but it honestly scares me a little since I’ve read about how bad crunches are the last few days in a few blogs and websites. They can really screw up your back over time if you do too many. If I do do the power 90 again I might sometimes replace doing crunches with just doing a long plank or some other type of exercise?

I have been doing a little bit of MOOC (massively online open course) on coursera for song writing. It has been interesting learning about how line count affects stability/instability, etc. I find myself counting lines on songs playing on the radio these days. I haven’t been keeping up with that course or the social media MOOC I’ve been doing on Canvas Network the last few days since work has been very stressful and after work I just headed directly in to Entropia to reduce some stress through mindless grinding quests, etc. However, as I move forward and start to remove myself from Entropia as often as I have been playing lately, that will slowly come to a halt. If I’m spending all my free time in that mmo I’m not spending it doing other things like exercising and creating art, etc… I need to get back on path.

I see a lot of negativity around me at work, hear a lot of negativity on tv and in social networks, etc. I want to remove a lot of that from myself and focus with zen-like precision on tuning in to my own creativity and positive vibes. The world we live in is a wonderful place. I want to appreciate it more. I want to live long enough to appreciate it for many years to come. I can do much. I must do much. I don’t want to continue to “should all over myself.”

I want to DO.
I want to BE.
I WILL be FREE.

I AM GOING TO BE THE BEST ME I CAN BE.


MOOC – Massively Online Open Course

Massive open online courses are a relatively new version Open Courses. These are FREE online courses you can actually sign up for and take with others at various universities and other learning institutions offering them.

MMOCs are different then traditional Opencourseware because they let you actually sign up and take the classes where as typical opencourseware is just stuff the universities and institutions put online for free as a learning material… typically in the past opencourseware was sort of historical artifacts from past classes that are now open for the world to look at such as recordings of classes, syllabus, texts that professors put together, reading lists covered in various classes, etc.

MOOCs are different because these are classes you actually sign up for, and do homework for as they are in progress, etc. A nice aggregator I’ve found for opencourses can be found at http://www.class-central.com/
. It’s nice because it lists classes from several of the places offering them instead of just the classes at one location.

Here’s some more MOOC links:
https://www.coursera.org/
https://www.udacity.com/
http://www.edx.org/
http://www.canvas.net/
http://www.academicearth.org/

http://afrinnovator.com/blog/2011/02/12/students-circle-network-a-social-network-for-students-by-a-nigerian-innovator/

http://library.sdsu.edu/guides/sub2.php?id=210&pg=155

Here’s a nice list with links related to more traditional Opencoursware locations around the internet:
http://www.core.org.cn/OcwWeb/Global/all-courses.htm

http://www.missouristate.edu/fctl/124900.htm

On a side note, currently there is a huge debate going on with the University of Missouri and several other universities in regard to whether a syllabus is a copyright protected document or not. The trial will be starting in a few weeks. The issue has been in the local papers for the last year or two since the issue came to light. It looks like those instigating the suit have been keeping a blog about the issue. It will be interesting to see what comes of this lawsuit. If the courts side with nctq many more courses might become available to the public as opencourses even at universities that don’t want to open their courses to this type of thing.

Second side note:
As far as I know, the University of Missouri, including UMKC does NOT do opencourseware or MOOCs. However, you’d think UMKC would be interested in doing it since soon Google’s super high speed fiber will be in Kansas City. Having that much bandwidth available would be a fantastic thing for a place offering MOOCs. Something like that might have kept the recent Coursera problem from happening.

Maybe behind the scenes, the google fiber thing will increase the speed at Universities in the area due to the Internet 2 consortium?

http://doit.missouri.edu/research/internet2.html

http://www.internet2.edu/

However, it’s highly doubtful this type of thing results in ‘free classes’ for the masses… It would be nice if it would though.