Tuesday, December 30, 2014

creating makes me feel good | I AM A MAKER

As I work on the creative process for writing, photography or videography I feel good.

It's a goodness that includes elements of happiness, satisfaction, peace, wellness and growth. 

As I complete the task I also have a sense of pride, and I am learning not to expect perfection because there is no such thing.

I have come to realize that  making my things is what matters to me. It is what helps me to grow and develop. Sharing my made things helps others grow, develop and experience the world differently.

My day job is in management, managing teams of developers in computer systems application development to be more precise, and my job has its rewards but it cannot compare to the feeling I get when I am engaged in a creative process.

When I first started to paint, acrylic on canvas, I remember thinking I should have some specific purpose, techniques and structure in mind but I was a new artist with no training, skills or talent. I struggled to give myself the freedom do just paint. Eventually I did not think about perfection or audience but rather I let myself go into the work.

It's still not easy. The medium doesn't always do what my mind desires, either because of my lack of skill or the limitations of the media. Still, I am very glad that I continue to try to make time for my art forms. 

I make stuff, because it makes me feel good, and sometimes it makes others feel good too.

I am a maker.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

transparency that evokes

Imagine a meeting room.

A space in a corporate office, a government building, a church or a library.

Think about that meeting room having one wall that faces out into the common area of the building made entirely of glass.

Not just ordinary glass, but one-way glass.

You can only see through it one way and from the other side your view is completely blocked.

There are no blinds or drapes or any way to block the view through the glass. 

In this meeting room, the mirror faces inword, towards the people inside the room.

What does this space evoke, or perhaps provoke, in/from the people inside? 

appearance profiling must end

When I ride the bus, I get on it early, when the bus has lots of open seats. I usually choose a spot next to a window. The bus can fill up to the point of people standing in the aisle and yet the spot next to me is still left open. No, I am not one of those jerks that puts their bag on the seat, or sits in the middle. I would usually be sitting quietly with my ear buds in my ears listening to classical music while reading a book. I am, however, a man with a beard and long dark hair.

One person who did sit next to me one day, and decided to strike up a conversation with me, actually told me that I am a lot friendlier than I look. When I shared this story with a friend he told me "that you do look kinda scary and have a "dark" image, sometimes". Another friend said "it's so ironic that the guy who looks like a drug dealer has never done drugs and wouldn't no where to get them".

My personal appearance, gets me a seat on the bus to myself and people making room for me in a crowd. A perk, right?

I have also noticed that people are shocked to learn that I am a leader in things that I choose to involve myself in, that I have a strong preference for rules, law and order (of the real kind) and that I believe in hard work, balanced decision making and a world without chaos, loud music and parties.  Shocked, because my appearance doesn't line up with concepts of civil order or leadership?

I hate the negative stuff that comes with my choices for appearance but I do get it.

I struggle to trust the white, short haired, clean shaven male driving a sedan. I don't trust him because I suspect that he is likely out to use me, my money, my information or my connections to get him into a higher income bracket with a nicer house and a newer car.  Yes, I am guilty of it too. I do profile peope on appearance too and it really bothers me. It makes me sick how I look at someone driving a luxury car through the parking lot and assume that the reason that they are cutting across the lot to cut in line at the front, instead of going to the back of the line like the rest of us, is because they think that their time is more important than mine. It also frustrates me how I assume things about the wealthy because of how they dress.

If I shaved, cut my hair and dressed up in a suit I would change what some people expected of me, what some people thought of me. I have an issue however with the real fact that today in 2014 that we continue to have many people groups who still don't have that "luxury". The luxury I speak of is the ability to use a false appearance to portray something else, a suit, jewellery, car etc.

Far too many people are profiled by their appearance starting with the fundamental foundation of their appearance, the colour of their skin and the look of their body.  It makes me so angry that with all the trouble we humans have that we continue to make skin colour a factor at all.

You see, I understand when someone is profiled because of their behaviour. After all, our systems within our society are based on a set of rules that is supported by a series of tests leading up to the determination if we are breaking said rules. If you have someone tasked with enforcing those rules, you want them to have tests to find the rule breakers when they would be hiding their actions from your enforcement.  Here is the distinct issue I have, our appearnce has nothing to do with behaviour!

Driving a Ferrari does not make me speeder deserving of a ticket does it? No, the test of the radar gun has not been failed and therefore I have not broken the rule.  If I drive a Ferrari within the speed limit then I am passing the testing and working within the rules. Appearance has nothing to do with it.

Why are the people charged with keeping peace not being educated on the differences between appearance profiling and behaviour profiling?

Why are the people charged with keeping peace not being educated on good decision making based on a set of tests that assist them in assessing behaviour that might establish that a rule is being broken?

Why on earth would someone who is not capable of making good decisions be put in a position of authority?

Finally, I will close this rant of mine with a video clip that addresses part of my feelings on the topic of skin colour, ethnic background, etc. etc.

How we look does not matter, it is how we behave that matters. 

We have no aliens coming from outer space (sometimes I wish we did to unite us) but we must unite all peoples for the good of our species.

We must resolve to fix our societies, systems, laws, rules and tests to be good for the common good of all peoples.

So say we all!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

the sandbox has turned into a littler box

The sandbox has turned into a littler box, and no one is cleaning it.

The spammers, the scammers and the politicians are making me believe that our "developed" nations are going downhill, and faster every year.

Are greed driven thrusts getting worse? It seems with every day there is some new scandal, conspiracy or scheme where honest hard working people are being robbed by this conniving group.  Whether through trickery, lies or bad deals (disguised as good deals) we are losing what little personal wealth we have and tax money is going with it.

We are also losing our time that is wasted in filtering through the constant barrage of false faces that are trying to take our money and time spent blocking out their drama to further bring them credibility.

The whole thing stinks and it would seem that the only reason that this group of greedy selfish people continues to get away with it is because our system of governance for our "developed" nation allows their actions to continue long enough that they can get rewards before being shut down.

We seem to allow within our society a sandbox of activity that we accept because we do not want to waste a lot of time policing every little behavior within our countries. When the players in that sandbox stand on the edge and throw sand into our clean(er) space we push them back in or build a wall around their sandbox.

Political parties in power enjoy their sandbox for their term but it would seem that the funding that helped them get into power is also helping to dig tunnels into that sandbox and tear down the walls.

I just need to look to CNN and it would seem that forever there is a headline that proves that the system is reinforced (if not created by) the people who want to abuse the commons.

So, it would seem that I, the person who would have the park shared and cared for all to share and enjoy, will lose to the land developer would would fence it and sell it to a small wealthy contingent. Sound fair? 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

celebrating a birthday

For some people, after the age of 18 celebrating your birthday is just a reminder of what you missed out on and how much closer you are to the grave. For others, myself included, it is a simple day to pause and reflect on that one person just for a day.

I think a birthday is a good time to celebrate a person for being them. Not their achievements, their stuff, their job, their relationships, their position in society or any of those other things that we layer onto ourselves, just us.

SO, it will come as no surprise to you that I do not think highly of the modern north american child's birthday party. WHY can a child's birthday party not be about coming together to chant that child's name, laugh together, play together and be selfless pouring  energy into that person for one day?

I am blessed (in so many ways) that my wife has accepted the challenge this year of operating the birthday party formalities but I have come here to this humble soap box to rant about my favourite thoughts on birthday party shenaginery.

WHY are their gifts?

"Look dude, I am not good with the words of praise or smiling or having fun and stuff so my parents bought this gift for you so that you could have more stuff. Think of this gift as a representation of my good feelings for you. OK. Cool. Now bring on the expensive party and lavish goody bags dude!"

Seriously, why is the whole gift giving thing so important? Particularly when lately I have seen my own kids getting a lot of iTunes and store gift cards or cash. Ewww, that's just weird that some kid/parent just took money out of their wallet, slapped into a card and passed it along to my kid.

"Hey kid, go buy yourself something nice"

When I was a kid, gifts at your birthday party were a chance to actually get new toys. It was awesome! Now, the toy aisle sucks. Now, the options for cool gifts kind sucks and there is nothing more depressing than getting a piece of plastic that allows you to buy another app that will keep you entertained for a month on your iDevice. Gifts for kids birthday parties sucks.


I am left so empty and exhausted from this rant.... finally its over. OH WAIT! I have my top list of problems I have with kids birthday parties these days!
  1. The Competitive Party Experience!
    Since when did parents decide that kids birthday parties was another thing to add into the competiting with the Jones! Stop the madness.
  2. Gifts that Suck!
    Why bother getting a gift if its just going to suck. An iTunes gift card sucks! A slingshot doesn't suck. Oh wait, helicopter parents think slingshots are evil!
  3. Loot Bags with value?
    Seriously, when did a loot bag value equal or exceed the value of the gift we gave your kid? I hate loot bags, think they shouldn't exist and think they are like some kind of propaganda package.
  4. Making an Appearance?
    So, your life is so busy that you can't get your kid to the birthday party on time so you stop in with the kid and he makes an appearance, presents the gift and takes a loot bag? What, is he a politician?
  5. Making "the list".
    Oh good legolas, the process of making the correct guest list for a birthday party these days takes longer than writing Lord of the Rings! Pick 3 friends, thats all that fits in our car so we can take them all to McDonalds play land!
  6. The last minute RSVP
    YES, my son will be coming to your party, sorry for the last minute notice. I know its tomorrow and you are having it at a place where the number of attendees matters and you filled that slot. Shame it is.
  7. The Age Cut Off
    It should be 10, no older. It's crazy, they should be adults by 11 and this horror can end.
  8. Party?
    Party implies fun and celebration, these days its about a performance!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

alone we should not be

we achieve a certain amount of preparation in our silent moments to ourselves but it is in our time with others that we truly are able to make a difference in the world.