Inspiration

I have a friend on You Tube with the screenname 7anby (7 to his friends). I met him on Stickam. On Saturday night Pam and I watch bad science fiction, horror and various other B-movie genre movies that are old enough to be in the public domain on a channel called Sleaze Sinema. If you don’t know about Stickam, it is a video chat site. Our hostess streams the video of the movie on the main screen and we all sit around and make snide comments in the text chat window. Several of us are on camera in the other smaller screens and others aren’t. We laugh and do a really good job of entertaining ourselves.

Back to 7anby. I met him on Sleaze Sinema and then I subscribed to his You Tube channel. He writes really evocative short stories and reads them on camera and posts them to his You Tube channel. Lately we have been encouraging him to write a novel. Today I was watching a couple of his videos and he was having the same problem I was talking about yesterday. He sat down to write five pages on his novel and ended up losing part of what he had written to the demented user interface that is called Microsoft Word. So, he makes a wonderful video and tells a great story about his grandfather.

This is exactly what I was talking about. He sets out to write five pages and he makes two videos instead. I want to make videos but I can’t seem to come up with ideas for short videos or the time to make them. Note, I mean videos that tell stories, not vlogs. I want to make more vlogs too but that’s a separate issue. I’m just feeling good that I am writing in my blog more regularly and that what I’m writing in my blog is more than just stream of consciousness crap.

I’ve got more to say about the Sinema but I’m going to try the technique of leaving things to say for next time so that I can get started easier next time. The problem with so many creative endeavors is getting started. Once you acheive flow (another topic to explore at length in another post) it is hard to find a place to stop. I hate being forced to create in little disjoint snippets of time. I want my flow, dammit.

Procrastination

This is a recurrent theme on this blog. When I can’t concentrate on what I should be doing, I blog. I suppose there are worse things I could be doing. At least I am doing something productive. It is a variation on the old saying that “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence”. When I’m supposed to be doing something else, I suddenly don’t have writer’s block. But if I was trying to write a blog post, there would be something else that would demand my immediate attention.

I should be coding but instead I’ve been researching the standards that I need to understand to write the code. What I ought to do is start writing the code and look up the details as I need them. That would make sense. That’s probably why I’m not doing it. I feel so rebellious. I’m the rebel without a clue. I’ve used that joke twice today. Guess I need to give it a rest.

I used to write blog posts that were topical. They had several links to other web sites in every paragraph. Now I just ramble on about whatever stumbles across my consciousness without bothering to link to anything else. That probably contributes to my lack of readership. Snarky is right, get in here. Read, comment, rate. Except there is no rating mechanism. Oh well, read and comment anyway.

I’m working on several projects. I just don’t seem to be able to get much traction on any of them. I even started keeping a todo list up to date. It has become something that I look at and then ignore. It’s my todo list. I shouldn’t be ignoring it. I feel weird. Not particularly bad, just weird. I can’t seem to describe it any more specifically.

That’s all I’ve got right now. Maybe some more later. You never can tell.

Speed Blogging

Ok. I’ve got ten minutes before I’m going home. Let’s see if I can write anything worth reading in that amount of time. I actually had several other things planned to do before I went home but they will just have to wait now. I am committed to seeing this experiment through to the end. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one reads this blog anyway. If I’m wrong, let me know. jkelliemiller@gmail.com is my address. I know I’m not wrong though. The only comments I ever get are from spam bots.

I really missed my big 1600×1200 dual monitor set up when I was working in the other building the last two weeks. I felt like I had gone back in time or something. You don’t realize how much difference screen real estate makes until you do without for a while. I also missed the last two Tuesday lunch time computer book discussion group meetings. The guys in the other building work on a much faster time table. I like it but it leaves less time for other things. Like lunch time meetings for instance. 🙂

I’ve updated Leo. It is a minor revision but there are some dramatic visual improvements. I had to spend half an hour reconfiguring my system so that it would run Leo when I double clicked on a Leo document. I need to spend some time on the Leo web site learning about some of the new features. I’m using Leo to manage a work todo list again. I’m also keeping a lab notebook again. We’ll see how long this lasts. That’s about it from the ten minute speed blogger. I’ll take a quick look at the preview and then publish this.

Blogger’s Block

This is turning into another source of blank paper syndrome. Every time I find myself staring at this web page lately my mind goes blank. I am feeling pressure to write something better than just a stream of consciousness. I guess we always reject what we have in favor of what we think we want. I can write unbound volumes of stream of consciousness but I want to write something polished. I need to work out my process because polished writing doesn’t spring full blown from your consciousness. You have to write a draft that allows you to capture your inspiration. Then once you have the raw materials, You can work on rewriting it into something polished. At least that’s what I’ve been told by people whose opinion I trust.

I’m writing this while watching the Sunday night line-up on Showtime. Weeds is funny but perenially uncomfortable. Californication is like watching a train wreck. You have to love David Duchovny. He is such a good actor. The plot twists keep on coming.

Then there’s Dexter. Talk about adrenalin. I keep wondering whether they can keep cranking up the intensity. They seem to have managed so far. I wonder how long I can stand the intensity. I had to quit watching 24 because it was too intense. But Dexter is different. Much richer and subtler. Poetic, literary. It doesn’t help that I drink coffee before I watch.

It’s October, Surprise!

It’s the 4th of October and I haven’t blogged yet this month. I’m falling off the wagon. This post will fix that. I’ve got an appointment with my therapist this afternoon. I don’t know what I’ll talk about. Perhaps I should make a list.

I wish I had an appliance for making lists. Something like a N800 maybe. I thought that Backpack would be the place where I made list but I keep forgetting to use it. I use it but not as much as I thought I would. I think the key to using it more is that I need ubiquitous access to it.

For instance, from a cell phone. Except that I hate typing on the cell phone key pad. The iPhone is a step in the right direction. It’s too expensive and won’t work with my service provider. I also hate that it costs air time for web browser access. If it’s a premium service, I won’t use it for such ad hoc activities as making lists.

It’s interesting to see the value propositions fluctuate with time. What is it worth to me to be able to make lists accessible from anywhere. Oh and email access is important too. I guess I could start exploring sending email to my cell phone when I want to remind myself of something.

I could use my web hosting system as an “always on” source of this ubiquitous goodness. The only problem is that by the time I finished implementing my little list/reminder system I would have implemented most of the functionality that Conduit is promising (assuming they ever finish it).

This ramble probably only makes sense to me. I may edit it so that it makes sense to someone other than me but I want to go ahead and post it so that I have an October post up. What a funny little competitive streak I’m exhibiting here.

Saturdays, Social Theories, and Getting a Clue

Here I am at the end of the week. I’m exhausted. I have spent most of the day in my bathrobe. I got dressed an hour or so ago as we are going to a party tonight. I’ve been washing clothes, reading my new Servo magazine, and trying to catch up on watching videos. It’s been a “kitty cat day” as Pam calls it.

Have you ever noticed how social events seem to come in waves. We seem to have a flood of events that we are invited to and then there will be weeks when we have none. Not that I’m complaining. I enjoy the time to get chores done around the house and we do have an active social life with our online friends. What would Saturday night be without Sleaze Sinema on Stickam? I need to make some videos. I have been so busy lately that I haven’t had any free time to edit. I’ve taken some footage recently but it’s still on tape in the camera.

I’m working on a lot of projects. I’m making slow progress on them all but it’s not visible progress yet. Part of the problem is that I have too many interests. I’m slowly getting the hang of just doing as much as I can when I’m in the mood and dealing with it. I suppose I should start setting some deadlines. That usually motivates me to accomplish things. E.G. I got my Extra class ham license because I saw that the hamfest was in Huntsville in 3 weeks and I started studying to pass the General class exam. I’m such an over-acheiver 🙂 that I passed both the General test and the Extra test in one sitting.

I had a goal to enter the Rocket City Short Film Festival but I missed the submission deadline. I had a bad case of writers block. Writing these blog posts is an attempt to get over my writers block. It’s kind of a literary version of working out with weights. You have to do it regularly to see the benefits, or so I’m told. I’ve never stuck with lifting weights long enough to see results there either. This seems to be a lot easier than lifting weights though.

I don’t understand what benefit spammers get from commenting on blogs that have comments moderated. I don’t read them so they aren’t getting any message across. I delete them so no one else sees them. All they accomplish is pissing me off.

The internet is full of detailed information about consumers and their interests. Advertising is not the answer. Vendors should engage their target market in a conversation. This would serve everyones interests. The vendor would actually sell more product. Consumers would be able to find information about the products that they want. And consumers would be empowered to tell vendors what they’re doing right and ways they could improve their product.

Ultimately, one would hope, this would result in better products. Companies that discover this and tap this resource will soon gain market share by being more agile and responsive to market demands. This is the age of the continuously improving product. Product development cycles have accellerated to the point where all the phases overlap. I have to credit Dave Winer and The Cluetrain Manifesto gang (Christopher Locke aka Rageboy, Rick Levine, Doc Searles, and David Weinberger) have both explored these ideas in depth. The thing that either has changed or is about to change is that we’ve reached a tipping point. Much of the specific infrastructure to support dialogs of this type are now in place.

Got to wrap this up and get ready to leave for the party. I’m glad I blogged today. I will keep at it, one day at a time, until I get it down.

Change is Good

I realized today that I had been getting really tired of the theme that I was using. This may have had some influence on how often I blogged. Now don’t get me wrong. The main reason that I go so long between posts is that I get distracted by other priorities. But I think I’ll use the fact that a new look and feel every now and then helps rekindle excitement about how your words look when you post them.

I’m still trying to get a clear vision of how I want to transform my life. I am not happy with the way things are. I have trouble getting inspired to go to work. Work has reverted to something I do to pay the bills. I want more than that. I want to be engaged by my work. I guess I’m spoiled that way. I have several ideas that I’d love to explore. I think any one of them are potentially very profitable. I just need to figure out how to see one of them through to profitability. I believe that if you can imagine something clearly enough, you can make it happen. It’s never failed for me in the past.

I’ll allocate some time to fool with the theme some more soon, maybe this weekend. In the mean time, I’m getting back on that horse and aiming at blogging daily again. Dave Winer makes it look so easy. I think it’s just a matter of getting into the habit of writing at least once a day at a conventional time. Like right after you check your email in the morning maybe.