Everything is its own reward

Everything is its own reward

From the book “Everything is its own reward” by Paul Madonna

In hard times, beauty can seem frivolous – but take it away, and all you’re left with – is hard times.

All the places we went.
things we did.
At one point I tried to arrange them,
construct some sort of narrative.
I was looking to find sense in what happened,
fully believing I could.

The days passed slowly, while they years flew by.

Leave a little emptiness
A space
for when what you’re waiting for
arrives.

Right now I’m so damn happy. And I’ve been alive long enough to know it’s all so damn fleeting.

Everything is its own reward.

I kept meeting people that claimed to be artists but never made anything. Always the same excuses: time, money, space. So I decided I’d use only supplies that fit in my backpack. I could draw and write anywhere, anytime, so if I didn’t, I’d be to blame.

In this episode, Michael attempts to construct a time machine to escape debt and dinner party obligations.

He said the only things he regretted was having not written down all the excuses people had given him for not doing whatever it was they had said they would do. “Priceless insights! With them, I could’ve held a mirror to the world”

The portions of his brain not used to imagine her in compromising positions

“What? I didn’t say anything.” “You didn’t have to, you’re saying it in my head.”

He was like a shark of conversation – if he stopped talking he would die.

Words spoken then forgotten
turn up again like tiny shards of glass
from broken bowls
hidden in the rug missed by the vacuum
pierce your toes in the early hours of the morning
as you wander the hall
wondering why it is you can’t sleep

There had been a confrontation followed by a cooling off period. Memories became distorted, imaginings of what could have happened grew exaggerated. It’s what happened in absence, and the longer it went on, the greater the crash that would come from giving it another try. It was like trying to correct your posture. You know that you slouch, so you straighten your back and vow to forever sit up right, only to find a moment later, you’re hunched over again.

It despairs her to know that the world is not flat. That if she sailed off one shore, she would hit another. That she can’t just keep … going.

Sometimes I pack a bag and just walk around the neighborhood.

You were starting to have second thoughts about all the friends who complimented you on being self-deprecating.

There will always be someone who walks into the middle of the street then curses at the cars that have to screech to a halt to avoid hitting them.

They change the definitions of words you believed in slowly, so that what you ended up fighting for was the opposite of what you wanted.

Freedom to act outside the rules is no protection against doing so.

and in my head, I go.

What about those thoughts that say you can do anyeverything?

I am not an industry

I’ve found my hand, but not my voice.
I’ve begun to make my name, but not my fortune.

All my offerings of beauty are little more than decoration
If through them my demons are not set free.

What are you looking to get? To give? What will help you feel closer to whatever it is you feel far from?

It takes perpetual work to keep life simple. There are ways of being that I could return to, but they’d result in little but trouble.

“I think that’s the first thing to rule people out, whether they’d still do it if there was no money.””Reality doesn’t have to be like that.”

“Reality doesn’t have to be like that.”

There are so many things I can do – so I don’t do any.

We want something to tell us how to live (that doesn’t mean we’ll listen)

Are you really sorry, or is that just what you tell people when you can’t tell them the truth?

Revisit old themes

Does the smell of the air today remind you of another time? Inhale through your nose. And the next time a day like this comes around you’ll be transported back to now.

“All this wondering why,” she says. “It’s a pain. Makes you think you’re doing something important, that you’re smart or covering all your bases, when all it does is spin you in ever darkening circles. I’m convinced that why is no longer the question – or the answer. Maybe I’m just progressing through interrogatives, but at this point, the question I’m asking is, how?”

How do you get smarter faster?

How can you know what you don’t know?

I walk around – Touching everything I love once.

Changing because you were caught doesn’t make you honest
Changing because you were forced to confess and now live under watchful eyes doesn’t make you fixed.
Change because you can’t live being who you are – and change alone.

No matter which direction you choose, in 5 years you’ll be happy you did.

We were talking about how you can’t make decisions out of fear, or potential discomfort. That if you do, you don’t really ever go back.

There is a fine line between inconvenience and hardship

In what country do you live? What home?

You got older, and things happened (all windows of the cars on you street got smashed out)

Rich said he felt better after a friend told him, “Everyone has a box for problems in their heads, and no matter what’s going on in your life, the box will always be full.” It made me feel better too – so I’m passing it on.

Trying to turn the disillusionment into cash

All weird camera angles – And no story

I listened to the news of the world too early and so the rest of the morning I walked around feeling that everything was bad. Then through a store window I saw a book of drawings I just had to have. They made me happy so I bought them. Out on the sidewalk I realized that the only thing I can do about the state of how people have to live is offer what I can, whatever I have to offer, and go from there.

eDNA, biodiversity, and the end of brutal field work

eDNA, biodiversity, and the end of brutal field work

I heard a fascinating news clip while listening to BBC radio.

When one wants to study a species and how it is doing or get an idea of what animals live in an area, one usually must spend untold hours in field work. Scientists must come up with clever ways to detect the animals they are tracking, get counts, and collect all kinds of other data. This work is often tedious, expensive, and error prone.

But there is a new technique exploding on both land and sea. It’s called eDNA.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a technique that involves simply collecting water or soil samples, then sifting it for DNA. Every living thing sheds DNA into the environment in many ways: skin cells, waste material, hair, scales, etc. Each of these materials has cells, and each of these cells has mitochondrial DNA that identifies the species.

Now, instead of spending long hours trying to canvas areas over long periods of time to see what animals are present, you can simply take a few soil or water samples, and search them for the different species that have been there. Even more amazing, in areas where the mitochondrial DNA doesn’t break down quickly, you can even get a picture of how many kinds of animals lived there in the past.

The technique is perfect for identifying changes in biodiversity. If repeated samples are taken over time, they can tell you if animals are appearing or disappearing from an area. If you want to see if an animal is migrating through an area, simply take samples and see if they appear/disappear at certain intervals.

There are some limitations. You cannot identify individual animals nor get an idea of how many of a particular species are present. Subspecies might have the same mitochondrial DNA and cannot be individually distinguishable.

Still, this is an amazing new technique that will likely revolutionize field work. I’m excited to see what it tells us.

Quake Champions closed beta

Quake Champions closed beta

The NDA for the closed beta of Quake Champions has lifted. I’ve spent the last week or so playing on and off. It’s pretty good so far. It does a really excellent job capturing the feel and best parts of 90’s era twitch shooters. They even automatically give you the wide field of view, lower visual bling for faster frame rates. Part of me, however, wonders about the market for this kind of twitch shooter given today’s twitch-shooting games like Overwatch/etc. I hope they are able to draw in a new generation of players.

Finding glass floats on the Oregon coast

Finding glass floats on the Oregon coast

Did you know that each year from mid-October to Memorial Day, glass float makers place their hand-made, numbered glass floats on the beaches near Lincoln City?  Their army of “Float Fairies” covertly hit the seven miles of public beach hiding handcrafted glass floats along their way, from Roads End on the north to Siletz Bay on the south.

While we put out over 3,000 floats each year, official floats, which are numbered, are placed reflected by the year – so 2,016 numbered floats were placed in 2016, 2,017 in 2017, etc…. You find it, you keep it!

Here’s a link for more info.

Portland cable-access-like-youtuber vonHummer

Portland cable-access-like-youtuber vonHummer

vonHummer is a local public-access-like Youtuber and musician in Portland. I’m not sure how to describe his shows other than a psychedelic trip with a man who wears plastic lobsters attached to his head and speaks in made-up languages, co-stared by a skeleton man that shakes beers and shoots them with a pellet gun, and several strange women. Each one of his shows usually has a song he’s made up for the occasion.

He has a YouTube channel, but here’s an idea of what you’re getting into: