Just after finishing lunch my iPhone rang. By the time I’d put the bowl down, my daughter, Jordan’s call had been ended. I needed then to either wait for her to try again or to return it. Yah, I called her right back. A call during her lunch hour felt odd. Being a high school teacher typically means there’s little time to do much else than teaching after rushing from classroom to classroom or watching your students lackadaisically wander into the classroom. So, being the dad I am, I wondered whether she had something serious to talk about.

All Jordan told me when she answered was, “Dad care to have a coffee with me over at Starbucks?” to which being the kind of guy I am, I answered, “Yes!” I needed to go only a block and across a marginally busy street to be there. She on the other hand, still had about a mile of starbucks_escherbusy streets to move on down. I quickly packed a few things, just incase I decided to stay there for awhile.

Discovering her car already parked at the coffee shop was almost embarrassing to this boy. Brushing those childish feelings aside, I walked on in finding Jordan up at the counter finishing up her order. She and the store’s manager, a young lady as cute in my eyes as my daughter and the same age asked me what coffee I wanted. By the way, I’ve met and talked with that manager’s husband a time or two.

Nonetheless, I pushed their query aside with, “Thanks ladies, but my neurologist has restricted my total fluid intake.” Not knowing about this recent change in that part of my life, Jordan asked, “Why?”

“Well, sweetheart,” I’ve been calling her that for many years, “my doctor determined that my anticonvulsant had changed my sodium levels and she wants me to just simply keep the medication by restricting my total fluid intake.” I laid out a few more lines about how limiting the cups of liquid I take in per day will return my sodium levels to normal and  so help to lessen my potential for seizure activity. Of course, I loved watching the two ladies, whom I know via conversations are intelligent, become marginally confused. Oops, I’m certain I’ve tripped over another of those egotistic urchins in my life.

Anyway, what Jordan had asked to talk about at our favored Starbucks about was my assisting her in the domain of computers. She knows her father is not geek, but I am still someone she knows can find his way through such dilemmas. In recent history, more because I know how to use the internet to learn or use my iPhone to call someone who knows more I have repeatedly shown in her eyes! So, now I have become the person she’ll be turning to as she begins developing her language programs high school website.

cliff-falling-angst

I’m now setting back wondering where in the haberdashery of life I’ll turn as my daughter pushes me again, over the precipice of my knowledge base?

Yesterday was, positively, exhausting. I spent the better part of the day walking and playing with my daughter, Jordan’s 5 month old Labrador. Flynn, he’s my little girl’s dog, is now barely under 60 pounds. A trim and powerful young dog, who even with the Gentle Leader on his face is still able to pull hard. It is proving just as hard on me to learn the right way of living the leader’s tactics out.

Nonetheless, he and I walked around four miles yesterday. Our making it back and forth to a dog park generated the best return. Watching the big little boy run circles around everyone and occasionally their older dogs was a delight. Once another dog, barely a month older came into the park, Flynn found true delight. The two of them wrestled, nipped at and rolled with each other. By the time each was almost too tired to keep at it the other owner and I had to walk those two out of the park and down to the creek running nearby.

After Flynn had bathed and lapped up some fresh water having just arrived from up stream, I was dowsed in the part of the creek he shook free. From that point on he was easier to deal with till Jordan picked him up after dismissing her high school students. Last nights sleep was much easier for me, as well!

After a half tab of  Clonazepam (Klonopin) and Gaba nearly an hour before shutting my Audible app off I fell asleep easily. Now, I don’t typically need help stumbling down under a sagebrush to sleep. Remember, I grew up on a ranch/farm and the idea of sleeping under the stars or a sage brush fits too well to my early memories. My being unable to saw the log all night long, occasionally, makes necessary my swallowing one or smiley-face-for-mac-windows-and-linux-free-smileyboth of those sleep aids. Last night, my 7/8th’s of a brain saw this morning as one which made those tabs vital.

Six o’clock rolled around not as well as I had wanted but better than most other days. My being able to walk over to the nearby Starbucks before that special person was to arrive felt just right. I’ve always liked being ahead of my kids. My daughter, Jordan, showed up a little late, but her reason made the father in me wish she’d stayed in bed. Mutual friends had been over to her and Jared’s place till midnight, so she didn’t get to sleep as well as I did, which wasn’t as well as most people can.

032812_swe_2Our time together began with my being able to pay for her coffee with my earned Starbucks reward! By the way this child learned to love coffee while living in Jovita, Provincia de Córdoba, Argentina. It took that little town’s, barista to introduce her to a truly great espresso, made with freshly roasted and locally grown beans. Able to talk over a couple cups of coffee about all those things the two of us chat on was marvelous. First, she had to tell me about being serendipitously assigned to be the lone representative at the teachers’ union meeting. Never having done such a thing, she became caught up in a host of ‘first timers’ mistakes repeatedly bringing tears to a stressed set of eyes.  I even love hearing about these struggles.

Jordan with students at the Jukjeon LCI Kids Club

Jordan with students at the Jukjeon LCI Kids Club

Like a dad I then asked her many times did I receive or make international calls to her while she lived in Seoul, Korea  Teaching english at Jukjeon LCI Kids Club? Back then, I didn’t care, whether she was crying, laughing or grouching with me about things. All I wanted was time talking with her.

Quickly I brought up our Skype’ing while she was in Seoul. Even with the delay just seeing her was so powerful in my eyes. Reminding her that like I heard from via email and Skype from Argentina,  I spent a host of times with her sobbing into my ears or in a delayed fashion before my eyes. If that’s not enough I, also, metaphorically had my shoulders wetted with sobs from her while she taught in Bogotá, Colombia.

Anyway, it was a means of reintroducing her to how many times she’s needed to spill tears and then to wipe those tear streaks from her cheeks and always go on. An image of seeing herself crying to me across those past years jostled those fragments of what she called thoughts and feelings.  Her discovering, all over again, that leaking those tears pretty close to always reenergized her, subtly transformed the face I saw sitting on the other side of that small Starbucks table. Her always standing backup and then wiping dust from the butt of her jeans the girl, as she did last week at a teacher’s union meeting, successfully moves on.

After her several earlier snafus in trying to find the meeting and then crying to Jared she  introduced herself, to people without additional seating area at their table. Once they knew who she was they took her into their group, walking her through the twists and turns of that meeting.

Let me shift your attention back to yesterday. Jordan had texted me about needing me to look at an HP DeskJet printer. I’d agreed and found it sitting on my desk at home that afternoon. Linking it up to my Macbook Air, like her, I was not able to print. I slowly began looking into the device for all of it’s common problems. None of those showed.

1609822_10201891266584556_8899569371211941760_nI laid it on it’s top, after pulling out my few tools, and cautiously began taking the bottom off to see if I could find a whole sheet of paper wadded up in one of its’ secret crevices. I found something else, though. Cautiously I worked a brown Crayola Crayon and a few tiny wads of paper out of the feed. Jared’s youngest boy was probably the culprit, and I delighted in reminding my daughter that I remember these kinds of things from years past.

We had already hopped, skipped and jumped into and out of several conversational puddles by the time I brought this topic up. So, I’m certain that we had created a great rainy and snowy morning near the foothills of the Rockies.

Here I am attempting to write a novel not knowing even distant cousin of confidence in being published. In spite of  living the curse of needing to spew ideas out, I have caught myself writing little for days at a time. Being this way continually draws my attention back to clients coming to sessions with little to say. To a person, I figured each was more hesitant at dealing with themselves than not having anything to talk about. Discovering what I’m avoiding is the key.

Police SWAT Team

Police SWAT Team

Not unlike the relief a few of my clients knew during the course of therapy, my disgorging a whole set of fantasies sets off a buzz, interior to my being. It is a churning mix of settings, conversations and characters that I repeatedly have to corral. Every attempt at sorting and mixing those ideas out onto the pages so the reader sees what I have imagined puts me at a trying distance from my comfort in being out with a SWATeam. Don’t shove that image to the side, as I was out with a few of those in years past.

Why bother writing if I can’t find prestige and money? Right? I can’t deny those hopes but those emotionally laden motivations have proven a problem. A client demanding admission to the psych unit and then putting a short knife to my throat after I said “No,” wasn’t that difficult since I knew that person simply had a friend staying on the unit. I had to do an admission, then, but not so that person could leave whenever. Saying, “Yes,” to the demand the knife fell to the floor. A short time later, though, I was writing out a legal hold forcing that person to stay a longer than planned.

Jean-Paul Satre

Jean-Paul Satre

Writing stirs up other threats, seated deep within me. Early on, my efforts to begin writing expressed too much of my obtuse joy in philosophy. I know, in essence, philosophy can be a powerful thread in any work. Read Jean-Paul Sartre’s play, “No Exit” and I am rather confident you will understand my point.

By tossing these struggles out into a public arena the exposure could become overwhelming. My refuge  I hope, though, to turn this something healing. Not because I am published but by facing into the angst I live out a healing of that insecurity.

No matter what I attempt to portray in my writing, aspects of me are somehow linked in. Some of me is chagrined. Other aspects of whatever self is feel smug about their being seen. So Freud, my egotism is definitely rooted in the problem.

fslip Nothing, beyond pretending that I can’t see myself in the mirror is done to mask that over!

Like everyone else, I’ve known a few intense struggles. All of my writing efforts, infused with a need to succeed, have always attracted attention – always. Not all of that scrutiny has felt positive. Rather than getting in the way, those pesky urchins are predisposed to tripping us up from behind. Many of my pesky imps, scampering around the edges of my life are bent on keeping me certain that I can’t write. I suspect this is precisely why my efforts have consistently been so slow!

As I’ve stumbled down the path of writing, I know I am not unique in this dysfunctional jockeying for attention. However, as long as I keep lusting after anyone’s attention, my motivations to write are kept distorted.  Those few friends offering encouragement and suggestions, usually, fire up my desires to write. Their attention isn’t garnered by my efforts, but freely handed too me without a request. Yet, I still catch myself slumping and I suspect that sink hole is my fear of not living up to what I see in their words, faces and hear in their voices. There in lies my problem. Oh, dear Freud you’ve snuck up on me again. I have to admit that you’ve caught me glossing over their friendship with my projections. That’s the worst offense I’ve caught myself at in years.

I’ve not yet read Thomas Nagel’s work Mind and Cosmos, but I could be attempting such in the next few months. Not trusting in the seeming certainty of the human perspective does not negate science in it’s ideal. Rather, as I found delightfully worded in Marcel Gleiser’s book, “A Tear at the Edge of Creation” there is little possibility that we will fully understand reality. From what Gleiser intended I stray since I take it several steps further. By doubting that we have taken hold of enough to even begin correctly anticipating how all of what we know fits together questions the meta-ideas we imply.

Now, I still may come to the end of Nagel’s ridiculed book questioning where he came up those arguments, but I’m one of those willing to read things outside my typical arguments. So, wish me luck in some fashion.

I spent a disturbingly wonderful evening talking over an assortment of topics with a friend, Duane. He gave the two of us a wonderful spot to feed both our minds and bellies. If you’ve not eaten at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen well I recommend your doing so.

As we waited to be seated I introduced an idea I want woven into my, yet un-birthed, book. Step-by-step he caught sight of the basic structure to what I want drawn out from a single chapter into the book’s tapestry. Each stage of the idea intrigued this man who, as a computer geek, willingly took hold of the intricate problems.vector-of-a-cartoon-computer-geek-with-a-messy-office-coloring-page-outline-by-ron-leishman-22557

Duane began carrying on about a wonderful assortment of options in a host of directions. To my delight, I became enabled to ride a tidal wave of thoughts gushing from him. Little of those intricate computer and systems based items he belched forth could be made use of since I don’t want to bury the reader in an avalanche of thinking I enjoy. His broad assortment of items and options in how to make my basic idea work made me drool right along the smell from all the tables we stood near while waiting to be seated. Before I could take another step in outlining my efforts his beeper went off telling us our table was ready.

For the moment, I dropped the story and prepared for gastronomical delights! After we were seated and menus had been shoved under our noses, I stumbled through too many culinary options. Duane help me, since he’d been at this restaurant a few times before, to chose the Jumbo Shrimp on Dirty Rice. We then tasted our way through an appetizer mix of Salmon and deep fried gator while picking back up on my story questions.

While we worked at not wolfing all of those and our entrée items down, I kept at laying more levels of that chapter idea before him. Linking those items we’d already talked over with a few things he’d not yet learned of aroused the man’s mind further. Once he took hold of how this particular catastrophe fitted to the over all story, Duane asked for a better read of the story itself.

An overarching view of a series of seemingly disconnected tragedies, itself is hard enough. Each item from the story I had already worked on rightfully seemed totally unrelated in Duane’s eyes to what we were discussing over before this delicious meal. Bite by bite we chewed through items, plots and characters.

I gradually unfolded minor dimensions of core characters and plopped them down before Duane. Limiting our conversation to minor things was both to keep him from being weighted down with too much and to get us out of the place before midnight. By connecting the personalities of those characters with the catastrophes revealed to him each major event being a thread linking together in a single character.

Duane finally caught sight of my story’s antagonist’s motivations weaving other’s unconscious motivations into catastrophes they lived out through their own. He expected no such things through those major events which I laid out early in the course of the meal. His response to my story’s tapestry voiced more than what I had hoped to learn from a geek. His wanting to read the book when’s it’s finished adds courage to continue trudging on down that road.

…little direct work has been done on my story. Yet, I’ve not lost ground…well I don’t think I have. Over the past week or so I’ve trodden through organizing my thoughts. As disheveled as those can be, I repeatedly become mentally exhausted. A nap or my taking a walk helps a great deal. Walks do a great deal to strengthen and help me push toward completing the work.

Winding my way through using OmniFocus to better orchestrate my thoughts, also, seems to be giving me a touch more of that necessary help. Able to arrange my thoughts and assign  some level of organization to the whole thing is a proverbial Godsend.

I have also approached another psychologist, I have known for many years, to see if he’d be open to looking some of the work over. He offered to go ahead and read the introduction. A few days later, he wrote back saying, “You come with up with some weird s**t on occasion – and this is one of them.

Yes, I was gratified with those words!

As I’ve already told many friends, I’m only slowly wading through this one. John Brockman has played a powerful editor, or perhaps better put salesman, in generating “This will make you smarter”. After all, I’m working my way through 4 journals and a couple of other books. Anyway, David G. Myers

David G. Myers

David G. Myers

generated one of the chapters, “Self-Serving Bias”. Inside that exceptionally brief chapter lay a simple expression of what this post’s title is all about.

One hundred percent of us are more than encrusted within but penetrated through with self-serving biases. Now, this is nothing reinforcing that classic trash of, “You need to see a psychotherapist!” Rather, simply begin attempting to question yourself. This last sentence isn’t meant to embolden many of our self-negating crappy thought lives. And again, rather, smile at what you just did recognizing that at one level that little share of bias you put out there might be deeply positive in its’ effects on everyone including you.

However, also, go about building a courages intent to find those self-serving distortions. Those kind I want you after are the ones which hold you captive to things you wish weren’t rooted into that life you call your own.

Dave:

Raised on a ranch/farm and now being a semi-geek, I’m intrigued with this attempt.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Imagine operating a sprawling 50-square-mile farm, 30 roaming employees and a hectic and fluctuating growing season using Excel, Quickbooks and two-way radios. That’s how many of the top 30,000 to 40,000 farms, which operate a third of the farm land in the U.S., are still running. But San Francisco-based startup Granular , which emerged on Thursday, has started trialling its new software for farmers that offers the types of modern smart phone apps, cloud-based services and collaboration tools that many other industries have come to rely on as the backbone of their operations.

Granular launched out of the split of another startup, Solum, which was founded in 2009 with early backing from Khosla Ventures and had built up a business around onsite soil analysis. Farms have been using Solum’s data tech to test soil onsite and tightly manage and customize their fertilizer use. But as a young startup in the…

View original 344 more words

Here I sit in front of my a computer screen scuffling with myself over thoughts recorded in Dragon Dictate. I treasure those musings. Still scattered out around in what my neurosurgeon left behind all of those and more fuel my imagination. Much of that kindling being used to fire up my creativity are scraps from my years as a therapist and emergency clinician.  My infusing those snippets into a storyline is no different than making use of those same memories while working with other clients. As long as I quietly clip connects of those memory threads from what is laced through my therapized memories everyone is safe. 

But, alas, my surgeon took a portion of my thought bandwidth with him! No longer do I have the capacity to keep at thinking through a drove of thoughts and memories, like I use to. Being easily mentally winded before working far down into those treasure troves isn’t my only problem. Coupled with running out of mental stamina I at times get a little too confused to finish much of anything, has left me a little bitter about being hobbled.

Now closing in on completing my 13th year since being under a scalpel and I imagine Roto-Rooter, I’ve become better at accepting my inability to move at the pace I use to. Certain that, most of the time, I have my iPhone or Sony recorder with me, those fragments of thoughts scurrying around, like mice or silverfish are much easier to catch. While it takes time to then let Dragon transcribe my recordings to written word, this is proving worth the wait. Those pieces my Dragon works out of those recording are then slowly woven into the fabric of what I’m wanting to accomplish.

Certain as I am that some of you might be thinking this is closer to (silver)Phishing for Nuance, I want you to know that the devices and apps I’ve mentioned so far are lifesavers. Depriving ideas of being able to dissipate like morning fog makes them usable. A little too often, I re-read things with no idea that I had generated the material, but it is refreshing to catch sight of things, again! Now better able to keep a firmer hold on thoughts, which too often scoot out of sight, out of mind is a tremendous benefit.

Now, let’s see if I can actually generate a novel.

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