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Assuming assumptions August 1, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in just my blogs, mind, useful.

One key to educating yourself is UNlearning as much as learning. An important lesson for me in personal growth, is observing how so many people have set sincere beliefs in something which are either misguided, out of focus, or pure delusion. Self-deception is amazing and rampant. Me included.

Also amazing is how my work assignments often reflect these topics.

Below are 2 Flash pieces I did on Freud’s ideas and influence on society …


freud.jpg Freud was revolutionary in changing how we see ourselves, our thoughts, and behaviors – not that he knew or figured out everything . . .
But we are only human, so patience, and a sense of humor is required when turning on a healthy skepticism within our critical reasonings, and self examination.

Plus, as I often suggest, keeping a zen-approach by quieting the over-reaching, sense-of-it-all-making rational mind, while pleading to the heavens for guidance, seems to help . . . somewhere a lock clicks open.


BloodSunEarth July 25, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in body, just my blogs, mind, spiritual, useful.
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Heart Mind Body. Does anything else matter?

unfinished oil painting (with photoshop)

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

from the Bibles’ Ecclesiastes “She who gathers”, written about 250 BC.

“All things are full of labour.” Everyone and all things work – have activity – have occupation – over and over – there is no end. This is noble, This is true.

Let’s get working.

… but first get educated.

Basic Training July 17, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in body, just my blogs, mind, spiritual, useful.

Life is full of wonder. I wonder why we easily fill up our lives with needless schtuff, and quickly forget or take for granted our key essentials. It’s a wonder how helpless and defenseless we can be in the face of the cultural conditioning onslaught we receive from our parents, peers, and society’s media which allow us to “fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.”

Sex, eating, breathing, thinking, feeling, imagining and sleeping reveal more about our shared human condition than we might give credit to. I’m attempting to re-capture a big picture sense of the commonplace universal essentials of life, and elevate them to their noble, sacred positions for re-consideration and re-integration.

This is said to simply re-dedicate this blog. Where I am coming from is to offer an artist/philosopher’s insight, for what it’s worth. I can do no less, given the weight years of experience and contemplation have given me. I am eager to offer these ideas, and discuss them whenever possible. These blessays (blog-essays?) will become my personal record of thought ether and techno pixels, to live and stand out here in cyberspace on their own merits. I’ll attempt to order them in a sort of sequencial revelation of relevance and importance, hoping that helps.

The “Heart” page tab above will become archives for these “thinking points” which I’ll try posting once a week (along with other blog stuff). Unless I get comments, I’ll just remove them from my home page and list them down in chronological order on the Heart page.

Never stop learning, expanding, growing, sharing, giving …

Like Erasmus once said “The more I learn, the less I know.” He carried it to its logical conclusion in that he learned so much that he recognized that he knew nothing. There it gets down to simply being – a fully integrated, fulfilled creature of Life.

Turn it on.   switch.jpg

Life update June 2, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in 3D, Art, just my blogs, useful.
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On the career front, I just finished re-re-doing my web portfolio, so if anyone wants to check it out, let me know what you think about www.hobbitdance.com

Hopefully, I’ve taken it a step up. The pieces are in place now to look for work and not feel to foolish recommending my website to employers. As I continue to get some 3D pieces done, I can easily plug them into the site. I added some of the recent Flash animations I’ve been doing for work.

For this site, since I’ve been blogging less about {art} and more about {heart} I think I’ll try adding a second page, and dedicate it just to the spiritual side of expression.

This mystical path seems unescapable to me – to combine art and spirituality, even if the art is more commercial these days. With a couple of decades of experience behind me I feel I’ve produced a fairly large body of work on “human insight.” My eyes and mind dont miss much, and pretty much my whole life has been about experience and learning and looking deep . . . so we’ll see what happens.

Life sure is complicated, but keeping it simple is important. I’ll share what I can – at least just to get it out there – and hopefully I’ve found a good recipe and haven’t missed any of the ingredients.


Uncut Crystals April 6, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in humor, just my blogs, mind, spiritual, useful.
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gems12.jpgWhile attempting to shine on my crazy diamond, it occured to me that rare flawless clear perfection is not always the order of the day. Diamonds are quite commonplace. In fact, the production of gem-quality diamond exceeds sixty million carats. This equals twelve metric tons and would fill about 145 bushel baskets ( could be more, but market production is closely regulated). The diamond is more of a McGemstone, really … consider that the next time you pony up a few thou’ for yer girl’s best friend.

Unless you are some “fancy” diamond, there are gems more valuable – and precious. Per carat pricing show Sapphire, Emeralds and Rubies have all out-priced diamonds at different times in history. Even pearls, a looongtime ago. Current claims today are made that actually Emeralds are most valuable by weight, Rubies by rarity, and a Jade necklace was the most expensive market jewelry of all, selling at auction for a cool 9.3 million USD.

It just shows that a little rare brilliance, color, softness and fire is sometimes preferable to the hard cool common diamond. Variety out sparkles conformity.

Remember this as earth’s pressures squeeze you into a molecular configuration you never dreamed possble, and shine on you crazy aluminum oxide, with trace elements of chromium oxide (ruby).

What to Order? March 26, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in humor, just my blogs, useful.
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Where ever one ventures to consume the morsels of a local favor – whether a taqueria, street-side bistro or cafe – simply order “one,” with “please,” in the local venacular. Whatever then you receive is no doubt the best of what that establishment has to offer, and you should be most satisfied.

Another tip gleaned from experience: when expected to wait, on a list, at some busy restaurant, always leave the name “Lee.” It is phonetically simply to relate, remember, and hear when called.

For those requiring a more baroque flourish, “Cartwright” may be used.

Know your Avoirdupois March 26, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in humor, just my blogs, useful.
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I recently was befuddled to realize my scant error in confusing the dram measure of ounces, not realizing the Apothocaries weight equalled 8 drams to an ounce, compared to the Avoirdupois of 16 into 1.

A common mistake I am sure, however I trust my barkeep will indulge my discretion whether my wee dram order of Laphroaig will measure into the standard, or take on medicinal proportions.


Creative wanting November 5, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in 3D, Art, just my blogs, useful.
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lacoonsm21.jpg – my last painting.

“Artistic Lacoon” 2005.

While my dear daughter’s AP Psychology book happened to be left on the table the other day, I availed myself to peruse it’s pages to see what was to be taught of the creative side of life. Some interesting considerations were brought to light, regarding what certain researchers identify as six components of creativity – not just artistic, but encompassing the multiple intelligences of the human potential. (Sternberg 1988, Sternberg & Lubart 1991,2)

1) – Intelligence – For a visual artist, I suppose this also means talent, to a certain degree, but widely applied to mean mental aptitude, critical thinking, and problem solving/solution finding.

2) – Expertise – “a well-developed base of knowledge.” This is primarily what I’ve always considered to be my inner library of experiences and images – something critical for an artist to have. At some point these elements seek life beyond my imagination and through dreams and inspirations allow me to see how they might appear to others.

To be a truly valuable asset for an artist I think this also applies to the skills one acquires, based on the fruitful application of one’s innate “talent.” This value never runs out: it grows over a lifetime, and develops the “voice” one earns to articulate his/her vision.

3) – Imaginative thinking skills – ability to produce fresh insight, and ideas both novel and valuable. Finding a way through the maze of patterns and connections by which one can form new patterns, or integrate to better define/make clearer existing ones.

4) – Venturesome personality – “tolerates ambiguity and risk, perseveres in overcoming obstacles … ” stays focused and resists running with the pack. Sounds like heroic qualities to me.

5) – Intrinsic motivation – The pleasure and challenge of the work itself, not influenced by external pressures.

I call this a healthy “artistic obsession,” and my primary shortfall. At times I wonder how I can consider myself to be an artist when this part doesn’t click and I ignore, deny, and supplant creative enterprises with other stoopid, or mundane time-stealing projects. Consider whether an artist is made from the value of one’s ideas, or the work one accomplishes.

This component matches other recent studies which show monetary or social gain is NOT a motivator in creative pursuits. Money, fame or any external derivative factor, beyond simply seeing one’s own dreams come to life, even thwarts the process – hence the “starving artist” notion, where pursuit of one’s passion sacrifices vital health.

I once thought of myself as free from such trivial affectations, but when trying to build a career of of it, it’s sorta’ inescapable. While I willfully push away such ideas, they’re always in the back of my mind, conflicted by that need for an audience I wrote of in last post. It’s an evaluation of survival, but ironically also thwarts my own artistic progress.

6) – A creative environment “sparks, supports, and refines creative ideas.” Another weak area for me, despite efforts occasionally related on these pages. It makes me wonder why social connections among artists of differing flavors is so hard to come by. Internet connections sometimes seem to help, but it’s a huge investment to seek out colleagues, I’m finding. Still hopeful to take part in the next pre-Raphaelite or Impressionist movement, I’m willing to see what happens tomorrow (part of the venturesome personality!)! Mystical 3D anybody?

Beyond these intrinsic things, an artist also needs the proper tools, space to work, and a decent business-sense, without which one is doomed. Thankfully I’m not yet doomed, just spinning my wheels it seems, looking for the right traction device to shove under my tires.

Use your Cosmic Windex to blot those unsightly Sunspots May 29, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in just my blogs, life, useful.
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As our dear Solar cycle 23 draws to a close, just a reminder that that cycle 24 is reported to be much stronger, peaking about 2012, and commonly resulting in a solar pole shift.

sunsm copy.jpgNot sure what it all means, but should be of interest to anyone following the 2012 singularity factor, e.g. Mayan calender, I Ching, Bible code.

Aluminum foil hats may require a denser Teflon coating. ++++
Ken Wilber is an interesting chap, with some interesting things to say. His site kenwilber.com is a tour de force in Flash design. It is robust and it’s elements are well integrated (and this guy’s all about integration!)! I am still not completely sold on all-Flash sites, as they’re too “hyper,” but this one comes very close. I’ll have to look more into his relective thinking and “Intergral Life Program” (nice use of 3D in Flash design) to see how hyper they are …

Flurry of Activity Preceding the Summer Days May 25, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in Art, humor, just my blogs, life, music, useful.
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I suppose my absence from the great web-logged ocean for a month doesn’t amount to much, but it’s given me the time to extend my battlelines, open a second front, and plot my summer invasion of Russia. No worries, I’ll be out by winter …

Actually I *will invade the east* soon and take my family for the first time in 6 yrs to my “ancestral compound” on Cape Cod. My heart leaps to return to the land of the Pilgrim’s pride, where seekers of religious persecution freedom were wont to go … I’ll seek some refuge in the sand dunes, amid the preparations for the summer renters.


I’ve been blessed again with a healthy rental return, which should cover the annual upkeep of the tiny cottage my parents built, and our “vacation.” The settlement from the utility company for the downed (rotten) pole and resulting disconnection of all winter power, was a huge Ibuprophen for a giant headache, plus utilities now get to run underground.

School is over in a week. I’ve been working hard getting final 3D projects wrapped up.


night time warehouse (shot from animation)


attack of the killer pharoh mummy! (sketch from storyboard)

Work is a sweet p/t deal. Tomorrow I’ll put in my first 8 hr day and take advantage of the International District’s fine lunch cuisine with the group.
Hoping for Bento and sushi!
dragon3.jpg if the dragons don’t eat me ….

Despite all the wakky dealings lately … like Black Bears getting tazed in Seattle … I’ve kept the mood up listening to Matisyahu, My Morning Jacket,and Ladytron. ladytron.jpgInternational date line? Let’s end it here!

Yoiks away!