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.

starting to track things again

Image

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.

Fresh Start

Edit 5/27/2013
Got off of the workouts a few days the last few days and didn’t watch carb intake either. Going to try to get back in to it going forwards… Anyways, since it’s Memorial Day, here’s a video from this memorial day and one from last. If I remember, I’ll try to take one every year to show progress because I DO PLAN TO GET TO MY BMI GOAL WEIGHT BY AGE 45!!!

Memorial Day 2013:

Memorial Day 2012:

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Today is my birthday and I’ve decided that it’s time to restart the daily workouts after this weekend. I’ve had enough time to rest and recover after the surgery a couple of months ago. So.. here’s a new ‘before’ video…

Weigh in 2/8/2013: 277.5 lbs.IMG_20130208_072324

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Here’s a couple of Birthday Self Portraits. Many other artists do annual self portraits on birthdays, and I started this little tradition last year, so figure going forward I might try it more often.

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The self portraits got me thinking about things so I started some photo self portraits shortly after that…
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More photos:
http://halfwaytoseventyfour.shutterfly.com/pictures/187

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Today’s video:
2/8/2013
277.5 lbs

………..
The hernia issue happened October 29th, 2012. I overdid it on doing a Power 90 workout. Up til that point in time I was using 10 lb weights on each arm for most of the exercises. On that day I upped it to 20 lbs on each arm for the exercises, with was just too damn much… so I got hit with a hernia and had to have it repaired with a surgery. The doctor said that it was an odd type of hernia unlike one he’d seen before because it wasn’t a tear all the way through. Instead a very long piece of fatty tissue had essentially come out from the back area up through where it should not be and the overdoing it caused that to just strain all of it much worse than it should have been which caused the surgery to be needed. The surgery was in the early part of December and I was out of work a couple of weeks to recover from that. Then I went to work about a week and half and was on a scheduled Christmas vacation that was planned before the surgery thing came up… I kind of have not gotten in to the working out too much since then. I tried a time or two to do some of the workout videos, but the strain on the area where the surgery was for some of the kicks, crunches, etc. was just too much at the time. I am hoping that I’m now ready to re-start fresh now that I’ve had another few weeks of down time that I have not been doing much exercise.

Past videos and weigh ins on the weight loss journey up til this point in time:

10/2/2012:
273.6 lbs:

9/3/2012
292.6 lbs

I went up above 290 since the ‘rest’ I had to take to let the stab wound heal was days I gorged and ate extremely badly. That was a HUGE setback!… Hopefully junk like that won’t cause me to have setbacks again in the future.


Video of ‘The stab wound’ the monring after it happened. Sorry for the crappy video quality. I was using a low resolution webcam since it was the only video recording device I had available on that day. I accidentally stabbed myself with a steak knife while doing dishes. It was in the rack drying with the point up, but our sink is very small so I just moved wrong while washing a dish and accidentally the knife went right in. I bled a ton when it happened. Very scary situation since Tekla was not home when it happened. Very hard to hold the phone and call 911 when one of your arms has to hold a towel to stop blood and the other is bleeding like crazy.

8/21/2012
284.6 lbs

8/16/2012
285.3 lbs:

8/9/2012
281.8 lbs

8/1/2012
284.8 lbs

7/24/2012
286.2 lbs

7/17/2012
289.2 lbs:

7/14/2012
288.6 lbs

Before then

6/29/2012
292.1 lbs

6/24/2012
296.5 lbs

Memorial Day
May 28, 2012

4/30/2012

4/10/2012

Weight Chart prior to the videos:

Just as a reference for this old chart…
135 kg = 297.624 Lbs
130 kg = 286.601 Lbs
125 kg = 275.578 Lbs

The chart sort of outlines my ups and downs… The time when I was at the heaviest was a very dark time. It seemed like death was everywhere I looked.

(https://jeffthomann.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/2189/ – list of most of the recent funerals in the family)

I think I was in a pretty deep depression at the time due to many family deaths those few years and various economic problems, as well as a lot of stressful political bullshit at work… One of my coworkers quit/got fired in a big huge spat that happened after several months of building up to it. They fought her getting unemployment checks, and that all ended us all in a courthouse type of setting in Jefferson City… one of the most nervous days I’ve ever had… It was a big fiasco. I’m not sure if she ever got her unemployment or not, or if she sued in a real lawsuit or not like she was planning to do… but anyways, in some of it I had to get sworn testimony in there about how the Associate CFO, who was sort of the head of our area had pounded fists on a table in a meeting a few years prior to this in some heated contractual negotiations, etc. (she was trying to argue something about a hostile work environment, etc.)… A few months after that whole fiasco, I was told that there just wasn’t room in the budget for me any more, and I was ‘reassigned’ to another department.

There was quite a bit of hostility in myself after that retaliation for speaking up… which is exactly what I still think that was all about… add in that type of getting pushed around to depression, etc. and with my personality being to overeat when feeling down or nervous, and it was just a horrible situation all around… I was a walking time bomb and heart attack ready to hit. Luckily, my rationale side, and amazing better half kept me sane during these insane times – so I didn’t buy up big bulks of fertilizer to use as a weapon of mass destruction, and stuck with causing havock in video games like Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, San Andreas, various old NES games, etc. Entropia Universe, the video game, was a part of the depression, etc. as you can read about in my other blog as the developers in that game love to make promises they can’t and just won’t keep… and the love to break expensive items and estates in game that you pay for with real cash after you pay for it, sometimes for months, or years (taming still isn’t back since version update 10, etc)… However, even despite all the bull shit with that game, it was something I had some control over in my life… sort of this little escape from reality that was always there since I started playing it in 2007. There was some documentary on Eminem I watched on youtube the other day that talks about how his alter ego existed vs his real name use because it was this sort of alter ego he went in to deal with reality sort of and have control over… the documentary said that lots of folks that grew up in some conditions similar to his had the same type of issues sometimes. I think my avatar in Entropia has sort of turned in to that type of alter identity for me. I guess, like Neverdie, I am my avatar.

(note – blog link in above paragraph is now on a private blog, so it won’t work… new blog for entropia can be found at https://entropiascams.wordpress.com/ – I had to start the new blog and make old one private (although backup does exist in xml file that you can find a link to over on the new blog if you use a password in one of the posts over there… hint: password is a simple name that most folks that have played entropia a long time should know… it starts with an M and ends in an O… 🙂 ))

(August 2015 update on the job issue… currently working as a Dual Rate First Responder/Security Officer at the Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville, Missouri.  I’ve held this job less than a month so far. Before that I was only a Security Officer a few months, and prior to that worked as a Steward at the Casino. I have a few updates to resume still needed.)

I have grown to love my new job… so sometimes the God(s) do have a plan. I actually kick ass at work now since I’m 3000% hyper focused. Also, I don’t have the constant man hating bullshit that I had to experience daily in my previous department. At one time back then my Supervisor back then actually hung up the phone and outloud gabbed about how the problems they were having was all his fault because he was a man. It was highly funny/ironic/sad at the time because the only other guy in the area we worked in and I had to go to a human resource training session the day before that talked a lot about how sexual discrimination was so bad to have in the work place, etc. In that department, at least at one time there was a massive amount of sexual discrimination of men in the department was happening by the female supervisor and boss… All the while chitty chatty brown nosing gossipy bitch who sat in the cubicle next to mine got a raise. They never really did this discrimination stuff openly. What they’d do is this stupid crap of creating a new position that did the exact same job of who they wanted out… then after they purposefully got the job duties overlapped enough they’d assign the old worker they wanted out the bullshit jobs like manually closing out 50,000 or so accounts in a huge database where a pulldown menu had to be selected to close it, and this backlog of unclosed visits existed because the brown nosers never did their job but did a good enough job of hiding that fact until months later that they were never reprimanded… and then after assigning the crappy job they’d say that due to the overlapping of duties, there just is no need for the person that was there longest, etc. It’s all political bullshit…

However, luckily the new position I’m in now has much less of that type of stuff going on. For the first time in my life I work for a Department Manager that actually gives a damn about what her employees think! Just the other day I had an hour long meeting with supervisor and department manager just to discuss a handful of emails I’d sent where I explained some concerns I had about processes in the office that I didn’t agree with. At no other job I’ve ever had in the past has anyone ever taken the time to care that much… That’s an awesome feeling. It’s nice to have control over your own real life world a little, and have coworkers that actually care about what you have to say and think. Also, even though I do have to listen to some coworkers and their phone conversations nowadays, it’s nothing like the hateful bullcrap I used to have in my old department where the brown nosing bitches like to slam phones down after the call, call names to the other party after that, and then repeat back the entire conversation they just had voicing out loud with as much hatred as possible why the other party was wrong, on every paragraph in the conversation, EVERY time they take a call or make a call, either on the office phone or on their own private cell phone… That type of venomous poison is easily spread as it’s yelled out daily. Kinda sad to say it but it’s almost too bad that rattlesnake they found in the hallway outside of my old department didn’t find it’s way in the mail slots. Might have adjusted some attitudes in that area, but I doubt it would have done any good. Hopefully some of the self-loathing venom being spewed from that old office can recede from that area in the future as it really just causes endless cycles of negativity to draw itself in more and more daily…

Hopefully, as I continue down a healthy past in the near future, this control over my own life can only get better and better over time. We are now in the age of Aquarius. Enlightenment that was just beyond grasp is now within reach! 🙂 😉

New Years Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Exercise Regularly, and avoid setbacks like the stab wound, hernia surgery, Bursitis, etc. from this year. If a set back does come my way, get back on course and stay on it with a quick recovery. (no more weeks off at a time). I’ll probably start light with once a day workouts. I don’t know if I’ll go back to the twice a day like I was doing before the hernia (which wasn’t technically a hernia, but was close enough that they had to do a surgery). I probably won’t keep up the 1000 day tracker thing any more since that is ultimately still the goal, but tracking it puts too much stress on myself (might be part of the reason these set backs came about? The UNIVERSE/Subconscious/Collective Subconscious/Gut Feeling is telling me that’s not the right way to do it. I still will track things, just not exactly that way)…

I DO PLAN to still eventually get to my goal BMI weight over the course of roughly 1000 days or a little over 3 years, regardless of if I’m tracking it or not. I HOPE that it won’t take that long… but if I do things slowly and only workout 20 or 30 minutes a day, I suspect that it might take that long or longer… the two a day workouts exist basically to increase the calorie burn per day to get to goal faster. Time-wise though, I’m not sure 2 a day workouts are really feasible… I might try walking on breaks at work again to help with that, but am not sure about that or not. ‘breaks’ exist to take a break and center/calm… adding more stress in the form of physical activity at those time might not be the best thing to do?…

2. Get back in to creating art regularly. This includes drawing and painting at the moment, both digitally, and on paper/board/canvas, etc. It might eventually include creating 3d models too, and probably will include photography, but only time will tell if those will be main focuses or not. I will likely have to fire up the ol laptop to get the scanner running again since it doesn’t work with this computer… However, instead of scanning stuff, I might try shooting it with a camera instead?… I’ve never done a very good job of shooting my works with a camera, in part due to lack of practice. Might have to change that?

3. Learn to play music. I’ve had this midi keyboard for years, but have never really learned to master it yet. I’m not just going to do midi though. This includes some other stuff too probably. I found this learn to play music app/youtube thing the other day – and so far it’s taught me that I have been playing wrong up til now since all the beginner books teach you the wrong placement of fingers… 12312345 is better than 12345. I’ve read/heard some interesting info about studies on how music can help those with Alzheimer’s. It helps them increase verbal skills/patterns, etc. I don’t think I have Alzheimer’s, but I do think that the more I get in to visual art, the more tendency that I’ll have to get some symptoms that are similar somewhat. It has to do right/left brain usage. The more I dig in to the visual pattern thinking mode, the more I start loosing memory due to loosing connections verbal pattern thinking mode.

If I study music and visual art simultaneously I’m hoping to overcome that hurdle because even though I think having memory loss, etc. is not a ‘bad’ thing, it is an annoying thing. It’s never good when getting so deep in to creating a painting/drawing that you forget where your keys are, forget pieces of conversations you just had 2 hours or less ago, forget where you placed some tool you just had in your hands less than 10 minutes ago, etc. In the past I’ve overcome that sort of thing by mentally just telling myself it’s ok… When it first started happening many years ago, it would freak me out big time, and I’d go on crazy panic attack induced searches around the area for those lost keys, tools, etc. til they were found. I learned that it’s not as important to do that the more that I studied/learned the connection between that sort of thing and right/left brain connections. However, I’m hoping that learning music can help that sort of thing just get bypassed… also am hoping that maybe it can help me stop the eventual possibility that I’ll actually develop true Alzheimer’s down the road as it does run in my family a little.

Learning to play music will probably include learning to do some remixing type of stuff, and possibly writing some music, etc. I’d love to be able to integrate visual and musical arts sometime down the road… but only time will tell how that will happen. I don’t necessarily like animation since it takes so many hours of work to get just a few seconds of results. However, I’m not going to limit myself and say I won’t do animation/3d type stuff. I likely won’t upgrade Lightwave though since it’s expensive. I might possibly try to learn blender, but that seems like a difficult task. Only time will tell what I’m going to actually do. However, I do know that I want to try to set aside some time to learn to create music before I try to teach myself to manipulate it as background noise for visual arts since that’s a skill I’ve needed to learn for a long time but never took the time to really master yet.

4. Eat Right. I’m probably going to try to do more of the ‘No S’ Diet… “No snacks, no sweets, no seconds, except sometimes – on S day(s).’ I’ll probably try to check sugar more regularly too maybe. I’m say maybe because the Doctor says that if I keep on track I probably won’t have to check it but about once a week or so… the trick is staying on track… it’s so easy to fall off track…

5. Write things down. I’m going to try to do ‘morning pages’ from The Artist’s Way again. I’ll probably also blog some since that is sort of similar to doing that. I will likely burn through a lot of paper, and it won’t all be on acid free stuff that will still be around after I’m long gone for many years as it will age and turn yellow, but that’s ok. I might also try keeping multiple notebooks to notate various things like I’ve tried in past years some…. I might get in to using sketchbooks more too, but we’ll see. I’m not sure I can afford to buy a ton of sketchbooks regularly, at least until after Tekla graduates from Massage Therapy school in about 8 months.

Organizing…

Going to try to do some organizing going forward.

I’ve been wasting too much time playing video games, and other non-productive things now and then the last few years. I have enjoyed that since it helped me stay away from getting too serious about things, and/or to lower stress from work and other places (or blow off steam from stressful situations at work – what better way to deal with stress at work than going in to a video game to blow things up, go hunting, etc.)

I’m starting to work on an excel database linking blog listings of various images I’ve uploaded here to locations of those images on the hard drive and where they’ve been uploaded online.

It’s a very time consuming project, but eventually, I’m going to try to use this project to help me do several things.

  • It’s going to help me figure out what is worthy of being in a ‘real’ portfolio either online on it’s own website, and/or in a printed format.
  • It will help me figure out where I need to put my next efforts going forward
  • It will help me organize things, get rid of duplicates, etc.
  • It will help me organize things in a way that I can group things that are related together better so that I can create ‘collections’ of items to group together to sell as packages on Turbosquid, etc., or to show off in categories in other locations, etc.
  • It will help me organize keywords better and figure out what needs new ones, which ones to dump, etc.
  • It will give me a chance to look at a lot of great stuff (and some not so great stuff) that I’ve created that I haven’t looked at in a while since it’s been hiding on a hard drive, hidden away from my two eyes

The surgery is scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving. I am going to have to have at least a couple of weeks of recovery time after that before I can get back in to working out too much. I do plan to get back in to that. My goal is to work on this database project, the blog, and possibly creating more artwork as I do that so that I’m developing a bit of a recovery in health as well as mental focus/art focus, etc. I have not been doing the artist’s way writings, and might not except now and then? I actually see this blog and posts like that as sort of doing that without doing that. I don’t want to make it so that the art focus takes away from the exercising focus going forward. However, I don’t want to balance it out the opposite way either and focus too much on working out and not enough on art – I think I may have done that when I was trying to do the two a days…

so… I might just go down to the one a day workouts when I get to where I’m doing the working out again.

I’m not sure if I’ll keep up the 1000 day tracker thing or blog about the exercise so much, but I might since it was helping me stay focused and on goal. I probably will sometimes list some groupings from the database project in the blog here from time to time. I tried something like this a year or three back, but never got too far with it. I think part of that was because I got too off track with various things, including but not limited to the video games, moving to where we are now, etc.

It is very time consuming and difficult to organize thousands of photos and sketches, etc. However, it’s something I think I need to do. Strangely, the video games have somewhat gotten me to realize that a little… Organizing the shop, booth, and apartments in Entropia Universe, and organizing the hundreds of blueprints and other items my avatar owns in there has helped me realize my real world life needs some organization… time to unclutter and CREATE FROM THE CHAOS.

Habit Calendar Tracking idea

Since this whole hernia surgery thing is throwing my 1000 day tracking thing way out of whack… and since it’s been sort of weird trying to figure out a way to do a calendar I’ve been thinking about how to do things a different way… So here’s the new idea… which is sort of an old version of something I’ve been doing anyways but a little different and evolved…

Here’s the idea… Take a 8 and a half x 11 sheet of paper and use a ruler to break it down in to multiple columns… college rule is preferred.. Non-lined paper could work too, but you should have rows and columns… Now in each box you can do dashes in each of them… now work your way through each day of however many days you’ve put down doing one slash in each. Next go back after you complete and have a slash in every box and go through a second round, and continue through it every time like that… If you organize the first four times through as a star, then do have circles around it and edges of a square on the last go through like the following image, you can fit 10 iterations through the one page calendar. If you use a typical ruler, which is about an inch wide or so to break out the columns, there’s over 200 squares in one sheet of paper… 200 times 10 = 2000… in other words, you can fit 2000 days of tracking habits on one sheet of paper! Do this a different sheet for every good habit you want to form and you now have a bunch of years of habit tracking right on one page in front of you. Seeing the marks will tell you where you are doing well, not so well, etc. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue the 1000 day thing since this hernia surgery is probably going to have me on some down time for exercise, but I do plan on restarting something and sticking with it this next go through.. so probably will at very minimum have one tracker for 20 minutes of painting a day and another for a minimum of one workout a day. I might go back to two a day, but really, honestly that might be pushing too hard to do that every blasted day like I was doing before this hernia thing happened…

Calander Tracking

1000 day challenge!

edit – The newest Version of the Blank Tracker is here: https://jeffthomann.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/1000-days-backup-backup.xls Tweaked it a bit. Fixed the 30 day counter part and added a few columns to the right, etc.

Also, created a new spreadsheet that is a 1000 day countdown thing. https://jeffthomann.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/1k-days-countdown.xls.

A pdf copy of this is available at https://jeffthomann.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/1k-days-countdown-xls.pdf

Feel free to use either file however you want (ok, don’t use it to go murder someone with paper cuts and blame me – I take no responsibility for your actions! If you succeed, don’t succeed with your goals, or don’t care, I still take no responsibility for your actions!).

The 1000 day countdown is a simple one page document with 1000 day counter on it listed in reverse order from 1000 days so you can cross off every day you get past your new days… For some people simple scratch off lists like this work better than the other type of check box list. For me personally, I’ll probably use both, also use the blog, and probably an excel file or two that’s saved digitally too since I find that checking off multiple lists helps me stay more in tune and in focus with getting goals done… making things down multiple times helps reinforce the idea that I actually am accomplishing something and can succeed. Not everyone is like that… If you do the 1000 day countdown thing, it only has room for small amount of notes, so maybe just do one of those countdown pages for each goal you have… maybe as a way to continue past the 1000 day tracker for all 33 checks just for the ‘really important’ goals that you feel you ‘must do’ for 1000 days in a row (for me that’ll be daily exercises – I will do an up and down slash on morning days, a cross slash through that to make a plus sign for the evening workouts, and a circle around the middle area where that plus should be daily for the ‘no s’ successful days — that way I’ve got that tracking my three huge diet and exercise goals, and the other tracker tracking that and everything else I figure out as my 33 goals, and the blog here and digital copies of the big tracker as a way to track another copy in case the paper gets torn, messed up by getting rained on, etc….)

Here’s a tip… on the row 3, column’s G-AL, type in your tentative ‘goals’ but change format to white background and white text so that you are not tempted to mark in things before the months those goals actually ‘start’… change the text to black on white background for each cell as you get past the 30th days… This way you are really only tracking one goal the first month, which should be the focus and primary ONE THING you are doing the first first month to make this new ‘thing’ become a habit. I’ve read online in various places you NEED to focus on ONLY ONE GOAL for a MINIMUM of 21 days til it become a ‘habit’… so DO NOT FORCE YOURSELF TO DO MORE THAN ONE GOAL PER MONTH. You can do the extra the first month if you want, but DO NOT COUNT ANYTHING OTHER THAN THAT FIRST GOAL THE FIRST MONTH WHEN MARKING THINGS DOWN SO THAT YOU DO NOT OVER-STRESS YOURSELF WITH MULTIPLE GOALS AND NOT BEING ABLE TO ACHIEVE THEM ALL… JUST FOCUS ON ONE GOAL AT A TIME, MAKE IT A HABIT, THEN THE NEXT MONTH ADD A NEW HABIT AND KEEP THE OLD HABIT FROM THE PRIOR MONTH(S) AS DAILY HABIT. IF YOU DO HAPPEN TO FALL OFF AND BREAK A HABIT ONCE, DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER IT. JUST GET UP, DUST OFF, AND TRY AGAIN THE NEXT DAY. THE GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOURSELF DO BETTER THINGS AND HAVE A HEALTHIER, WEALTHIER LIFESTYLE CHANGE, NOT TO BEAT YOURSELF UP FOR NOT ACCOMPLISHING SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO ACHIEVE. THESE NEW DAILY HABITS OUGHT TO MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF, NOT MAKE YOU FEEL WORSE. IF YOU START GETTING DEPRESSED SINCE YOU ARE NOT ACHIEVING THE GOALS YOU SET FOR YOURSELF, DO NOT LET THAT CONTINUE. I read somewhere the other day that you need to fail about 12 times in a row before you succeed at anything. I believe this is probably true. Changing your lifestyle to be healthier or meeting your goals is a good thing to do, but YOU MUST NOT LET NEGATIVE SELF IMAGE THOUGHTS KEEP YOU FROM ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS!!! You are a great person, and just by trying to even change one thing to improve your lifestyle, you are already doing 99 percent more than most do usually who just go about their lives without many goals. DON’T YOU DARE BEAT YOURSELF UP FOR TRYING TO DO A GOOD THING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!

If you find doing something 30+ days in a row to be too much, maybe try another way of doing things other than what I’m suggesting in this post. There’s a really great 21 day habit tracer over at http://lds.about.com/library/weekly/2004/goal_sheet.pdf… maybe give it a try instead of or in addition, or as a pre-requisite for trying this thing that I’m trying with the multiple monthly goals… actually that one might be better anyways since it would let you do the same ONE THING over and over and over til you get at least 21 days in a row… which is great. Hell, I might even end up using that instead of this thing I’m starting in the end, lol. I’m just doing the 30 day goals because I know I can accomplish this sort of stuff as I’ve done it before… but hell, yes, it has taken me a few attempts and failures, so please DO NOT beat yourself up if you fail a time or three, or 50… just try, try, and try again. You will get the habit formed eventually. I am proud of you for even trying to meet your new goals at least once, and you should be proud of yourself too!

Remember, ultimately NO MATTER WHAT YOU DECIDE, IT WILL BE THE RIGHT THING… We are all people on this earth — with all of our imperfections. You are ‘perfect’ since you were made in God’s image even if you don’t know it yet or see it. Yes, it is good to make new goals and achieve them, but even if you fail to meet your goal(s) from time time time, you are still made in God’s image, and as such, you are perfect as you are right now…

It only takes a little bit of self love, and seeing the truth behind things to understand this. It’s very difficult to see this sort of truth sometimes, but you need to understand that this sort of truth is truth, and it is beautiful, just as the whole world is if you let it be and stop with the negative self talk, stop with the looking at yourself and the world around you as bad, etc. Stop beating yourself up for being human. None of us is ‘beyond perfection’ but we are all ‘perfect.’ We all have our own path – our own stories, our own missions and quests in life at various stages. Learning self respect and understanding yourself — and not beating yourself up all of the time is THE way to achieve your goals ultimately. Others that don’t have respect for themselves yet because they have not opened their eyes to this truth yet will try to bring you down, and cause your own self image to follow in their footsteps in trying to bring you down, but you should not allow that to happen. Negativity breeds negativity. Try to stop having so much negativity in your life, especially when it comes to looking at your own personal surroundings, and ultimately your own inner self. Maybe one ‘goal’ you should set for yourself is to try to slow down or stop negative ideas, thought patterns, etc. from impacting you… I’ve read on several blogs that some people have accomplished this sometimes. It’s not something I’ve been able to do all the way yet, but might make that a goal one month someday as my ONE monthly goal that I want to turn in to a habit over time. Doing so might be the best ‘goal’ one could ever attempt to achieve because seeing the world as it really is is a good thing to do… not biased by the news media’s dreary tones and hidden messages and agendas… not biased by negative coworker’s sayings bringing you down and making you hate the amazing place you are employed for at the job you might actually like if you could just ignore the negativity they throw at you daily, etc. I find myself entering a ‘happy place’ when I do more things involving my right brain… stuff like taking pictures of asphalt and concrete walls, clouds, trees, dirt, flowers, etc. helps me see the world through a different lens. There is a really great video about this on Ted Talks that I posted to in a previous post… it’s over at http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

I will try to embed the video below, but it doesn’t seem to be working right for some reason, which is why the link above is there.

that sort of thing is one reason I MUST make art related goals some of my 33 goals. I need to find ways to bring art in to my life more as making art allows me to enter that right brain thought pattern more, and enjoy the ‘heaven on earth’ that it causes… It’s the sort of thing why I think artists, or musicians, or any number of others in their own professions can ‘enter the zone’ and the world becomes better for them… I could write a book or library of books on this topic, and may in future posts, but for now will just leave it at this since I’ve already probably gotten far off enough on the topic of this tracker for now, lol. I’m just saying, don’t beat yourself up much… and if you want, making changes in your attitudes and self talk patterns might be one way to do some personal goals if you really want TRUE change in your own life and to make good habits become great life-changing lifestyles for yourself that can very positively impact yourself, and all of those around you… Remember, we are all human beings… and everyone in the history books was too. ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

The 33rd goal really just starts on day 991, so if you want to continue this past first 1000 days, you should take that in to account. Some blogs I’ve read indicate that you need to do one new thing at least 21 days in a row before it’s really a ‘habbit’… I only went up to day 1000 since it seemed like a logical number to go up to… You could theoretically only do 990 days and then start a new 990 days after that, etc. I just figure 1000 is a good goal since it’s easy number to remember… If you get that far you should probably allow yourself a little slack since hell, you just accomplished doing something for over 3 years in a row – great pat on the back!!! 🙂

If you prefer it in Google, here it is (Google’s formatting is not as pretty):
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AppC9Gwr9zBIdFBsN1hRWDhQRnhkejBYYTBPSzJfWUE
====================
Read about a lot of 30 day and 100 day challenges in various places in the blogsphere, but no 1000 day challenges yet… so I’ve decided to create a way to track something like that. The idea is really to do a series of 33 one month challenges and form those challenges in to daily habbits… and use a checkbox type of system to keep yourself in check with all of these challeges. I figure since I screwed up the 90 full days of doing the Power 90 already, this is a new start sort of… but a continuation of that… so the counter starts over sort of, but in a completely new way with much more in the focus than just that 90 day end goal…

Could be something as simple as smiling at someone daily, doing a workout in morning, doing a workout at night, cutting out snacks from diet, cutting out soda from diet, cutting out having seconds at meals, cutting out sweets from diet, or as complex as you want it to be… it doesn’t even have to be focused on health. Maybe you want to give yourself the habbit of doing some thing every day and want a way to just build that in your life…

Anyways, below is the blank tracker for this thing on google docs. Tried to make it so that it tracks days, has check boxes for all 33 challenges for every day even though you would not use all of them til the last month… and also put in dashes on every 7th day since you probably need to build in one day a week that you ‘rest’ and ease up on yourself… after all doing any one thing for 1000 days is a heck of a lot. You could do it every day and not do the one day of rest if you wanted, but really you just like I am human, and made in God’s image (if God exists) so you need to let yourself have one day of rest probably… but hey, if you think you can do something every day for a thousand days without any rest, go for it.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AppC9Gwr9zBIdDh0dXAwTlRSckpHVDIwVVE3Q1dQM2c

the excel file above may need to be changed in page setup to make it print right. Below pdf was adjusted with a few changes in that… Sorry that the legend on right doesn’t have 1-33 on each page. That was the original intention. Could probably be fixed with a little tweak here and there.
https://jeffthomann.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/1k-day-challenge.pdf

The idea with the ‘goal for the day’ and the legend as it is is for it to be a write in just like the others are… because every day if you write in your date, goal, and write down in the next box to the goal for the day the goal you completed it becomes more of a positve ego booster type of thing… You right your goals for day down in morning before you try the goal, then write down the goal in the daily notes box after you completed that day’s goal. If you are making it a 30 day challenge thing… do the same goal every day for 30 days, and use the one on habbits as the checkbox for that day, etc. The legend is just a sort of reminder to yourself about what your goals are… in case it gets confusing. This thing is made to be used on a clip board or something similar so that it’s easy to keep track of… but you could just edit it in excel file you update daily or whatever. I like using clip boards and have been doing that with power 90 to track my stuff in addition to this blog and an excel file in my computer. I use all three to track stuff like that since it keeps it more in my brain…

The last few days have been heck on the power 90 goal… with the arm stab thing, and then trying to workout again after that. I’m making up this 1k day tracker to start tracking my own goals in getting healthy and figured it might help others do similar which is why it’s here.

My first goal is probably going to be doing the Power 90 or some similar type of workout in the mornings… Then maybe add habbit 2 as doing workout at night, etc. Up til now I was tracking power 90 and the nightly add ons with handwritten papers on clipboard. I think this sort of tracker will work better and be nice and neat and actual help me keep track of goals better without being sloppy, hard to read, or time consuming to put together.

Not sure on this but some of my 33 goals are going to probably be morning workout, afternoon workout, no snacks, no sweets, no soda, check sugar in morning, check sugar at night, do some writing daily in a journal (not sure if I can make myself do the 3 single space pages that the artist’s way books call for, but might try it… just not sure on it since that’s a lot of writing and that amount of writing eats at free time that might go towards family time r&r time, or workout in evening time… but maybe doing something like one page a day for a month, then two, then finally 3 might make it possible? My hand cramps after writing that much, etc..), drawing a day, 3d model a day, or maybe even something simpler…. no negative thoughts for day, smile at people today, stay focused on one positive thing every day, etc… not sure on all the goals yet, but health goals will likely be my main focus for a while. I know goals will change over time, that’s why this is all fairly blank and just a skeleton right now…

I know I can change my ways to be better and get healthy. I know I can ultimately get to a great goal BMI weight by 1000 days from now. I’m not sure if I’ll start this tracker thing this week or next week. Might aim for starting it on the beginning of the month, but not sure yet.

Some other ideas for my ‘goals’:

MORNING WORKOUT
EVENING WORKOUT
NO S… NO SNACKS, NO SWEETS, NO SECONDS, NO SODAS (MIGHT HAVE TO BREAK THIS IN TO 4 MONTHLY GOALS)
MINIMUM OF ONE SIMPLE 5 MINUTE DRAWING A DAY
WRITE ONE PAGE OF MORNING PAGES WITH ARTIST’S WAY
WRITE A SECOND PAGE OF MORNING PAGES WITH ARTIST’S WAY DAILY
WRITE A THIRD PAGE OF MORNING PAGES WITH ARTIST’S WAY DAILY, AND MAYBE MORE…
MINIMUM OF ONE SIMPLE 10 MINUTE DRAWING A DAY IN ADDITION TO THE 5 MINUTE DRAWINGS
ONE POEM A DAY
MINIMUM OF 10 PHOTOS A DAY
ONE CONCEPT WRITING/DRAWING IN SKETCHBOOK DAILY
ONE PAINTING BASED ON ONE CONCEPT WEEKLY. (MINIMUM ONE HOUR PER DAY FOR 6 DAYS IN A ROW
ONE BLOG POST DAILY?
REMOVE NEGATIVE THOUGHT
ADD POSITIVE THOUGHTS TO YOUR DAY ABOUT AS MANY THINGS AS POSSIBLE… CHANGE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS IN TO POSITIVE ONES. TALLY THEM UP AS YOU COME ACROSS NEGATIVE THOUGHS AND COUNTER EVERY ONE NEGATIVE WITH 3 POSITIVE
LOOK AT NEW ARTWORK DAILY – BLOG ABOUT IT.
DO DISHES
MINIMUM OF 20 PHOTOS A DAY
WALK ON MORNING BREAK AT WORK (NOT SURE ON THIS ONE SINCE I’LL BE DOING THE MORNING/EVENING WORKOUTS)
WALK ON AFTERNOON BREAK AT WORK (NOT SURE ON THIS ONE SINCE I’LL BE DOING THE MORNING/EVENING WORKOUTS)
CREATE ONE DOODLE, SKETCH OR CONCEPT ON LUNCH BREAK… OR ALTERNATIVELY DO ONE 3-5 MINUTE SPEED DRAWING IN THAT TIME SINCE LUNCH BREAKS ARE ONLY 30 MINUTES
PROTIEN AS 20% OR SO OF MEAL AT EVER MEAL (EGGS OR DELI MEAT MOST LIKELY IF NOT SOMETHING ELSE), 3 MEALS A DAY
COUNT CARBS — NO MORE THAN 55 PER MEAL!!!! 3 MEALS A DAY.
CHECK SUGAR IN MORNING
CHECK SUGAR IN EVENING
GRATITUDE JOURNAL – WRITE 5 THINGS YOU ARE THANKFUL, HAPPY, OR APPRECIATIVE ABOUT DAILY.
NO SIX DOLLAR, SIXTEEN DOLLAR, OR SIXTY DOLLAR SH!T5 (don’t eat out)

My suggestion, or at least one thing I’ve done to modify my own personal copy that I’ll use to log this thing in my computer is to add new row above day one and then in the 1-33 edit formatting to type sideways… then in daily goal for first 30 days make the content of those fields equal what is in that field (g3 on mine but really depends on how you edit on yours…) That way you only have to write the one goal out if you are doing this in computer instead of on clipboard once, and then can just add notes later freely, etc… Since it’s a spreadsheet you can also add whatever you want to new rows and columns… track an entire lifetime, add in new columns for sugar level checks, blood pressure checks, etc. Heck you could even make it in to a daily calander with to do lists since you’ll look at it every day.. put birthdays on there as a yearly goal so you get cards to who you need to. Put change oil on car every x months, etc.

Getting Organized, and Moving Foward…

Getting Organized, and Moving Foward…

Over the last few days, I’ve decided to start getting organized again and make more plans on how to get motivated and move forward in my life and in my art.

The cgtalk forum thread over at
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&s=f7856855978ca716d6c6734dd8c5ecb7&t=969336 got me thinking, and as I noted over there, I’m starting to work with a few notebooks and sketchooks now.

I started the Artists Way again, and am at least trying to do the Morning Pages again. I had given up on that a month or two back because my allergies were really hurting me a lot, so making the time to get up earlier in the morning then necessary to write down the 3 handwritten pages needed for that every day was too much.

We also were going through some personal crises type of things recently that was having big emotional impact on me… My mother-in-law passed away April 10th and her funeral was on the 14th. In the last couple of years my wife has lost her mom, dad, and last living grandparent as well as a six month second cousin who she never got a chance to meet that now rests in peace next to her mother and grandmother. All of these tragedies make me realize how fragile life is an how short it is, and how important it is that I start following the Artist’s Way more strictly since, as the book discusses, it really is ‘selfish’ to have talents and skills and not share them with the world or take the time to perfect those skills and talents as a gift to myself and those around me, even if it does cost a bit to do so in the form of art materials, etc.

I’ve started a notebook that is acting sort of like a diary and daily planner type of thing like the one described at http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&s=f7856855978ca716d6c6734dd8c5ecb7&t=969336 and http://studium.tobiasdeml.com/2011/04/02/making-your-life-more-efficient-than-ever-before-the-notebook-battleplan/
I’ve also started a second notebook that is a to do list similar to the one listed at http://www.erica.biz/2010/getting-things-done/.

As mentioned at http://advancedphotosolutions.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-you-need-grimoire.html we all need to do this sort of thing, especially if we focus on technical things like art, computer programming, game development, and hacking, all of which are sort of niche areas that I have some interest in on some levels.

The calander/diarly/battleplan book is sort of a daily summary thing so far, where I’m keeping small notes on mostly everything I’m doing that is of some importance in my life daily and out of the ordinary. This is sort of a reflection guide that tells me what I’ve done and when I’ve done it that will come in handy later since the calander part of it you do forwards to backwards and then back and forth… so each page has dates that are months apart so you can sort of mentally review what you did earlier that year or last year and keep your mind fresh and clear on where you’ve been so you know where you are going…

The Morning Pages notebook I’m doing is just a bunch of loose leaf papers in a 3 ring binder I keep on the coffee table and I enter 3 handwritten pages in the mornings. If I just ‘have’ to sleep in an hour I only do one half page or one page as time permits before work. I don’t try to sleep in much, but if I had too much caffiene the night before, or allergies are extra-ordinarily bad that caused me to loose sleep, or stomache is upset or loud neighbors disturbed rem time, I’m not oppossed to skipping the morning pages and just doing a shorter version since it’s all about getting healthy and wealthy on a lot of emotion and psychological levels, and you can’t be too healty or wealthy if you are lacking sleep…Eventually if that 3 ring binder is full, I might either bind the pages in some other way (likely using leather, yarn or something, or just buy another 3 ring binder… Plan on doing this the rest of my life essentially, so it’ll take up a lot of room over time I suspect.

The TO DO list is something new that I’ve not done before. I used to do to do lists in excel and notepad some for daily and weekly stuff, but never one that I wrote out by hand and updated every day. I’m finding that writing the stuff down and actually crossing it off as I do it gives a nice sense of accomplishment, and a motiviation to actually do what I put down there every day in the morning after I do the Morning pages… I want to get really detailed with this to do list and add all sorts of various technical things in it eventually every day. That way it’ll act sort of as a grimoire type of thing along with the daily calander/battleplan book.

I’ve also got a couple of voice recorders. I bought them several years back to record sounds when I was getting in to 3d animation a little in 2005 or so, but never did much with them. Now I pack them with the ‘manbag’ type of laptop case I carry with me everywhere to record notes to myself on the way to or from work and also to just do various sounds. Sound driver on computer is glitchy though, so can’t always listen to what I record there… Need to fix that eventually but not sure how. I DO NOT CARRY A LAPTOP with me ever, so don’t even think about trying to steal it from me if you see the laptop bag. All that I carry with me is a paper notebook, a cheapo mp3 player and a cheapo voice recorder in there, and somedays a cheapo digital camera somedays, lol.

Over time I might scan these various notebooks and put them online somewhere at least as backup… Also might buy myself some more external hard drives (only got one small one right now) to save backups to and actually keep one at my parents house that I’ll do backups to on a monthly basis or something going fowards.

All this writing and organization is helping me think clearer and be organized. The morning pages sort of ‘clear my mind’ in the morning. The other two notebooks help me ‘clearly define my daily goals’ and keep track of what goals I’m getting done and not getting done daily so I can become more productive as an artist and guide myself towards where I want to and need to be.

If I’m not doing all this, which is the way I used to be, my mind becomes unclear on what I need to do and when I need to do it, so I would find myself watching forums and emails or youtube and movie channels for hours without being productive. I’m probably one of the few people that call myself a painter but have not painted or sketched a lot in years… Hopeing to change that… Hoping to do small skill challenges and things to increase my skills in drawing and painting to where they were back in college, if not go beyond that level, far beyond it… to the professional level I want to be at, and that I know I can be at with a little practice… daily practices… practices that will be in that to do list that I will actually do and cross off as I do them! 🙂

I do plan to buy acid free sketchbooks too, but that, along with other art expenses will be something I’ll tackle one thing at a time… Art materials don’t have to be super expensive, and to do lists and stuff like this don’t need to be on acid free paper since scanners exist. The old me would have just not suited for anything but acid free sketchbook paper, but that’s silly and way too darn expensive just for writing stuff like the morning pages and to do lists…