Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Changing Seasons

As I move through this particular season in my life one of the things that I have observed with curiosity is how non-communicative I have become.  It is something I am still wrapping my brain around but basically it manifests itself like this – I observe things, I have thoughts about those things, I think about sharing those thoughts – and then I end up just sitting and observing again.  I have observed some interesting things, about myself and others, as I have gone through this season.

I’ve also been searching for a while for an apt metaphor for what I am experiencing and I’ve settled on a change of seasons in life.  I am not entirely sure what that means, but it is the closest metaphor I’ve derived.  It is a seasonal change not just within me, but within the whole complex relationship with my environment.  However, after having moved through a period of uncertainty, I can say rather conclusively that it has been a good change.  The change of seasons is still underway, but overall, it has been interesting, engaging, and enjoyable.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thoughts on Layers of Stress

Modern life can sure be stressful.  It’s rarely a simple stress.  Usually it is complex and multi-causal and manifests itself in a sort of persistent uncertainty.  We’ve just not quite sure what is going to happen next. We function under layers of stress and each layer has its own texture. To find our way out of this stress we need to un-layer the stress. We need to lay them out separately because each layer has its own cause, its own manifestations, and its own experiences, and hopefully its own solutions. Can you un-layer your stress?



"Consult much, ponder much, resolve slowly, resolve surely." Alexander Hamilton on George Washington's leadership style.
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The Layers of Stress

I woke this morning thinking about the layers of stress that affect us. No conclusive thoughts, just the beginning framework of those thoughts. I may write about it later in the day when I have a window.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lighthouse Point - Santa Cruz, CA

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Waiting for Faust

A simple dream last night. I dream that I am in a college theatre, pacing, and waiting to see a production of Faust.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lunch III

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Lunch II

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Lunch I

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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Statue - A Poem

There is a statue in an Italian restaurant
The bust of a woman
In white porcelain
Her hair is pale gold
Her eyes are china blue
Her lips soft red
She is smiling
Her eyes are twinkling
Inanimate she haunts
The edges of my imagination

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At times life is a brutal dream and we just do our best to hang on.

(That phrase came out of my stream of thought as I walked down the hallway here at work and thought about the randomness of life.)
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I Dream of Exits and Off-Ramps

Last night I dreamed
I was driving in
A strange mountain city
To meet someone named
Blaine and deliver papers
I was not lost
But I was uncertain
Of twists and turns
Of exits and off-ramps
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Thursday, June 24, 2010


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Outside of the Box

One of the things I do at work is keep a detailed journal of my daily activities.  It serves a couple of purposes.  First, it lets me track what I am doing through the day so I don’t lose track of things in the high pressure and fast moving environment. Second, it gives me a level of institutional memory that I can refer to when something tickles my consciousness. Finally, on stressful days, when I am feeling overwhelmed, it gives me visible evidence that I am actually accomplishing things – opening new items, investigating ongoing items, closing old items. It is a very detailed working journal, basically a very long list of single line items that capture the critical “who, what, when” data elements. It also serves as an effective tool for analyzing “what I do” each day – not what I think I do, but what I actually do. It is that element that brings me to the box.

Getting “outside of the box” is actually a very difficult thing.  Most people who imagine they are outside of the box really aren’t, at least not to any significant level. At best most folks manage to stick a toe out of the box or peek over the edge of the box every now and then, usually just before scampering back inside their own particular box. This applies even more to people who “think” they are individuals.  The “rules” of modern individualism as far stricter than the rules of simply being a normal person (and falling in the normal range of behaviors). The farther out to the edges of normal behavior you move the more restrictive the rules are – not less restrictive, more restrictive.

So, looking back at my work journal – it’s nice to be normal.  It’s nice to be in the middle of the range.  It’s nice to be in the box.  Even though I dream about going outside the box, I know that the amount of energy and effort required to get out of the box is very high – and I want to expend that energy carefully. On those times when I leave the box, I like to leave the box…with enjoyment.

A Half Remembered Dream

I wake again
At two a.m.
From yet another
Half remembered dream
Of houses...
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Fragment of Poetry

Of all the secrets that
I have ever known
You are the one that takes me
Farthest from my home...
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I Dream of a Plane Crash

I dreamed to jet liners
Were flying in tandem
Over a coastal city
On the Fourth of July
One had some sort of wire
Dangling/tangled from the tail
And it crashed into
The pristine and blue bay
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Again, Ordinary Dreams

I dream of traffic
I dream of dinner
I dream of a book called "Mythopedia"
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The Simplicity of Silence

Stress arises from contention.  Often in life we choose contention when we have other alternatives. One of those alternatives is silence.  We are not required to participate in every discussion, whether it is personal, incidental, or work related. There are times when the simplicity of silence enables you to cut through things to the core of them, whatever that core may be.


Link to A Novel Journey


Here is a great little link with some good writing resources and interesting articles.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Courtyard III

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Courtyard II

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Courtyard I

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The Song of Saturday

A cool and beautiful day here. T.R.'s sweet voice waking me, a leisurely morning bath, breakfast with friends, and a bit of mid-day relaxation. Now sitting in the shade awaiting the arrival of some friends with a pick-up to cart off the spare bed.
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zooey Deschanel

The talented and beautiful Zooey Deschanel. I stumbled across this picture and just love it.
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I Dream of the Hubble

Last night I dreamed I was changing batteries on the Hubble telescope. (It's not that strange of a dream since I have been wanted to get down to the San Jose Tech Museum and see the new IMAX Hubble movie.)
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Thoughts on Monday's End

Well, the working day is winding down. I'm sitting here watching my laptop plow through files with the new corporate automated backup systems. It's slow going, but desktop support advised the first backup would take while and subsequent backups should be a lot faster. As usual, I remain skeptical.

Otherwise, it's been a relatively good Monday. It started rather wonderfully (thank you T.R.). I coasted through most of the morning, weaving in and out of meetings and working the usual corporate Monday stuff. Lunch was chicken chili verde (edible but not impressive). I spent the afternoon plowing through email and thinking about...stuff.

I am still mulling around different ideas about blogging without reaching any significant conclusions. I keep driving back toward a themed blog - I am just not sure which of several potential themes I should pursue. There are always many options.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Semi Random Thought Like Things

I titled this entry “semi random thought like things” for the simple reason that I wasn’t really capable of providing a better title. 

Once again I find myself in a strange place – I am not sure where I am and I am not sure how I got here and I am not sure how to get myself out of this particular space.

I seem to be almost completely creatively blocked. 

I am not sure why, perhaps I simply have too much going on, too much that I am concerned with, too much that I am worried about – most of which I cannot do anything about anyway.

It is starting to get to the point where it is genuine writers block and I am getting frustrated.


Two More Dreams

Well, my dream life continues to be unrelenting.

Last night I dreamed that I was running house to house to hide from a Terminator that was chasing me. I realized that, no matter how well I hid I would never be able to get away as long as the script writers kept telling the Terminator where I was hiding.

(That part made me laugh, but the dream itself was a pretty strong anxiety dream, verging on a nightmare. I awoke shortly after midnight in an agitated state.)

I followed that with a dream that I was plotting to rob an armored car by implanting hidden speakers in the car that would convince the crew that the car was haunted and force them from the car at a critical moment.

Strange things in the dream world. My subconscious is furiously churning.
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Tiger Behind A Rock

I write because it brings me great joy. I love the craft of it, I love the dance of words that create life from simple pen and paper. Since I was young I have loved stories - I love to hear stories, I love to tell stories. Writing is simply an extension of that.  We are, I think, by our very nature, story tellers. The story that we narrate is the tale of our existence, individually and collectively. Storytelling is hardwired into us, it is a genetic trait that was born of the simple need to survive. Some variant of "there is a tiger behind that rock" was probably the first story ever told. I write because I have to write and I am fortunate that it brings me great joy. Because I have written so much, for so long, I struggle to imagine a time when I did not write, but even in that time, I told stories. I write to tell stories. I write because it brings me joy. I write because I must.

The Chinese Character for Rebirth


Again, I dream of houses

I dreamed of houses again last night, only this time I was searching through them for a strange girl who had a book, because within the book were the secrets of Frankenstein's monster.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Dream of the Shape of Houses

Well, my strange dream life continues. Last night I dreamed of the shape of houses. I dreamed I was looking for a house that was uniquely shaped - not decorated, but shaped. There was no other theme to the dream, just a dream of the shape of houses.

(You may or may not notice I have comments turned off - I got "comment spammed" yesterday. Someone or some clever bot took the time to go through a lot of entries and put nonsensical words and inappropriate links on many entries. I'll turn comments back on once I've cleaned them up. I was too lazy to do it last night.)
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Where Monkeys Run Amok

I’ve often commented that the inside of the mind is a pretty amazing place – there are all kinds of crazy monkeys jumping around in there and if they get half a chance they will take it over.  I went on an amusing trip into my monkey mind on the drive into work this morning and I thought I would share it with you.

It was pretty much an ordinary morning and the commute was normal.  I was running a little bit late so the traffic was heavier than usual, especially at the intersection of Williams, Moorpark and Lawrence Expressway, but I have seen worse, especially there.  I get through the intersection on onto Lawrence Expressway and it shifts into a very ordinary commute.  Then, as I drove down the road and listened to the Corrs, my brain went like this.

My nephew is waiting from his income tax return check. Since he lives in a shared housing in an apartment where he doesn’t entirely trust the neighbors he used my address.  Soon enough the check will be overdue (if such a thing is possible with the IRS, who tends to move at their own pace) so he has been anxiously awaiting its arrival. I was thinking about that and it made me wonder if he had filed his taxes for the last year (he didn’t work much, his income was minimal, and his dad has a track record of not filing his income taxes). Then, I imagined that he hadn’t filed in the previous year(s) so old Uncle Sam had pounced on this filing and grabbed the return to pay previous tax bills.  Then, I imagined that they now had MY address as his last location and in a frenzy to collect revenue the IRS, in coordination with the Sheriff’s department, swooped down on my apartment to seize property to pay delinquent taxes. In the course of seizing MY property to pay my nephews tax bill, they DROPPED my big screen TV.  I was ticked off about it! 

And of course, it was all imaginary – it was just a place my brain went as I was driving into work but – I could feel myself getting agitated at their lack of respect for my property.  Once again, the brain is a strange amazing place.  Where monkeys run amok.


A Simple Morning Prayer

Often, upon waking, I pause to say a simple prayer. Usually it is some variation of:

"God. Thank you for this life. Amen."

I like the simplicity of it. Another night full of miscellaneous dreams, none of which particularly stand out. I think I may spend this week meditating on the question of the missing spoon.
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Strange Mood

Basically a good weekend but I slipped into a strange mood about midafternoon. One of those hard to describe but pervasive moods. I searched for words to describe it and the best analogy I could come up with was I felt as if I had sat down for dinner and my place setting was missing a spoon. A sense, a mood, a feeling that I am missing something.
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Friday, June 4, 2010

Dreams of...Bowling?

Okay, last night I had a dream that was strange but connected to the waking world. I dreamed that I was at a bowling alley with a whole bunch of people I work with or worked with over the years and I was trying to find a bowling team to be part of.

The dream connected with the reorganization ongoing at work (the people I dreamed of representing the various groups I've worked with over the years) and the incidental fact that, last night, while going to dinner with my nephew, I drove by "Strike" bowling alley at Cupertino Square, which is the last place we went on a department bowling trip a two years ago.

The neat and tidy subconscious in action.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thoughts About Blogging

While I was thinking about what to do with my blog – whether to continue writing here in Rod’s Floating World or to move over to a new blog, or perhaps to open multiple blogs so they could be subject specific, I realized I had never really contemplated what I wanted to accomplish with a blog. The short answer is – I don’t really know the answer to that question. What motivates me to write and to publish those writings online?

I am really not interested in a commercially successfully blog. I’ve read quite a few of them (and subscribe to a couple) and though they’re enjoyable they lack the “personality” that I like. When I read someone else’s blog I like to get the sensation that I am reading what a person is writing. Not an assumed virtual persona whether the handle is anonymous or masked or not. I think one of the great powers of the internet is the ability of people to connect with other people. There is plenty of commercially produced content online and I really don’t feel a great need to contribute to that sea of stuff. So, whatever I decide to do, ultimately, it is going to be a personal blog – I am going to try and keep that personal touch that lets you understand that you are reading something that is writing by someone. Not something that is produced according to some magic formula for the sole intention of selling ad space.

Then, I do like a theme. There is nothing particularly wrong with the rambling blogs, but a themed blog is simply easier to follow. A theme is more of an assurance that when the reader goes to a specific site they are going to get articles that move along certain vectors, articles that are about certain things – poetry, short fiction, writing, science, technology, media, - whatever the author chooses to write about., but it allows the reader to find those blogs of interest and follow them, with a sort of implicit promise that if your interest is poetry, you’re not going to log on and find a political rant – or vice versa.

I also write as an internal process. I write to help me understand – well, me. So, to a degree, I write as an act of contemplation and meditation. Call it mediation at the keyboard. I write in an attempt to understand things.

Then, I write to create, writing to create, I write to hone my writing and my story telling skills. Here is an interesting little tidbit – I write a lot for work – I write training manuals, I write technical documentation, I write process documentation, I write informational documents, I write analytical documents and I write persuasive documents – in short, I write a lot. I write a little over 200,000 words a year. That is roughly the equivalent of writing two novels a year. I’d also hazard that, as in information systems analysis manager I make an income that exceeds most writers, probably by a significant margin. Just out of curiosity I used Google to see what lists as the average income for a retail book author: 28K to 59K. Compare that to the average income for an IT manager: 59K to 101K. Hmmm, I think I may very well continue to write for the love of it.

So, I am going to write something personal, I am going to write something themed, I am going to write to hone my writing and story-telling skills and I am going to write for the love of it. It doesn’t really answer my question on whether I should have multiple blogs (though it does point toward an answer), but it does provide me with insight. The biggest insight I drew from this little writing exercise is simply this – I write for the love of it. That is a pretty amazing thing. But then, love always is.

(Okay, just a bit of strangeness involving this post - I originally wrote it while winding down the afternoon at work and attempted to use the email feature to submit it to the blog - but the security policy at work caught the email and rejected it for content. I've tried re-reading it, but I can't see what content it would reject, other then perhaps some strange combination of words. Very unusual.)

Nightmares of T.V. Dinners

Oh, just a quick note.  I had bad dreams last night, verging on nightmares – and oddly enough, I dreamed that I was being forced to eat T.V. dinners.  The old school, old style aluminum tray T.V. dinners.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Further Purging

In addition to contemplating the nature of reality, I’ve also been contemplating the nature of objects. I was reading online about people who, in their minimalist quest, have attempted to attain the 100 objects limit.  That is reduce their possessions to 100 objects or less.  Now, in reading, from what I can see there is a degree of gamesmanship going on there – several of the sites I read contained caveats – caveats like – “group possessions don’t count”, “collections count as one”, “things required for work don’t count”. 

Those are some pretty exhaustive caveats.  Does that means my movie collection (literally hundreds of movies) only counts as “one thing”.  Does that mean my furniture (a set) only counts as one thing?  Does my library (a collection) only count as one thing?  If that is the case then that is hardly minimalist. Anyway, I digress to critique other people, but the long and short of it is, in my contemplation of objects and my relationship to objects, I have developed a greater sense of awareness in terms of what I possess (and what in turn possesses me). 

Now, I don’t have any plans to head for the mysterious 100 items, but I do find the idea tantalizing, and I could certainly do with fewer things. Back at the turn of the year when I went through my possessions and eliminated so much stuff, a portion of the remaining stuff was boxed and set aside – and honestly, the vast majority of the boxes and drawers where I stored things I have not be into since I started that particular quest. 

To me, that is a sign that the contents of those boxes and drawers can be donated or disposed of. I kept a five tier bookshelf full of reference material and other books and I’ve been into maybe a dozen of the books on that shelf.  I have twelve boxes of personal possessions in one of the closets and I haven’t been in a single of the boxes since I initially inspected them and put them in there.  I have a four drawer bureau in one of the closets and I’ve only been in it once.

I’ve a lot of objects that are merely occupying space, both physical space in my environment and psychological space in my psyche. Further purging to come.



Lately I have been trying to grasp the illusion of the past. Specifically I think I have been trying to grasp how we are bound by the illusion of the past. It is strange to think that the framework with which we view the world is almost always a complete post hoc ergo prompter hoc fallacy. (Believing that because a thing preceded a thing, it caused the thing.)  My going to work on Friday did not cause me to go to work on Tuesday.  It proceeded it.  It shaped the form in took.  But it didn’t cause it.

I came to work today, here, now because I woke up and decided to, because I chose to. That is a strange thing. That is something that is hard to wrap my brain around. I think that, to a great degree, I am struggling with the concepts of time and space that create the framework (the illusionary framework) within which I move on a daily basis.  Am I struggling with the very nature of reality?  Perhaps I am. In reflection, most certainly I am. Not in the sense that I am losing my grasp on reality, but more in the sense that I am seeking a firmer grasp on reality.