Month: February 2012

A Morning Moment With Birdsong

The sky evenly grey, moisture descends calmly, quietly. Some bird’s song sounding rather akin to a child whistling poorly. This song grabs attention solidly. I know my walls absorb some tonality, change timber, perhaps limiting the time of the song. With the window open, the range expands. Compelled to understand this strange song better, I slide open a window. Slowly, carefully; trying to ensure that from which it emanates remains unaware, undisturbed, thus continuing unabated. An element of Heisenberg, I guess.

The sine wave of pitch clarifies. More tonal range, combined with an interesting harmonic. Do both pitches originate together? Perhaps a strange acoustical effect as sounds merge? Perhaps simply echo, with the scattered sound’s timbre losing elements, absorbed by the world hosting it, deflecting it?

I feel the different bell curves. One wave reflecting pitch, rising, cresting, returning to the origination. Then a pause, this few seconds of rest before recommencing. This rest the main moment of variation. Sometimes a second, sometimes several; probably due to the bird’s attention. Whatever the intent of this song: mate (highly probably given the season), defending territory, warning the flock of the nearby cat, or just filing the time alleviating boredom, I expect distracting elements effect the moments between songs more than while producing pitch. Upon tonal creation, focus centers. Pitch, volume created much the same as other moments. Instinct’s profound drive.

Volume another wave: beginning quietly, increasing as pitch rises, falling with pitch’s descent. Independent phenomena (I guess), or at least easily parsed components. All elements, however, of the experience: various sounds, materials around them, acoustical qualities, my building’s electronic hum, all layer into the gestalt of the moment.

One beauty, I find, of aging, this increased ability to refine/parse elements of life. This ability, while listening to a symphony, to discern violin from flute, trombone from French horn, perhaps first and second trumpet. This comes with experience. This awareness enables us (at least me) to experience the diversity in the moment. To experience the acoustical interplay of instruments in a symphony, or the way birdsong interacts with the environment both producing and changing the song.

We trade an ability to hear it all at once, unanalyzed, rather zen experience as we grow. Though philosophers state we must return to the original purity of experience to achieve enlightenment, my thoughts differ. Perhaps enlightenment comes when both the childlike experience mingles with the adult? We feel, perhaps, all the pieces in their entirety yet also notice the players. That, to me, fully encompasses the zen mind. A bird’s song, akin to a childish whistle combined with the awareness of all the interplay, all the random pieces that make this one moment special, unique within all time, miraculous. I expect that moment encompasses the higher mind. Childlike yet still adult. Dichotomous experiences blending together into a complex beauty. Many, yet one. Hope.

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Green Drinks, Sno Co Version

I first became involved with Green Drinks when I worked as part of the Starbucks Environmental Affairs team. It’s a loosely affiliated national group providing networking opportunities for the Green crowd. I’ve thought a lot about reconnecting with the Seattle group when into my inbox comes an invite from the Snohomish County chapter.

They’re meeting tomorrow and I plan to be there. If you’re in Everett or nearby, I hope you come by. More details at this link:

http://greendrinkssnoco.blogspot.com/2012/02/green-drinks-february-8th-sno-isle-food.html#comment-form

A Few Random Thoughts On Modern Technology

I love some things about this age. I like sitting in bed working. Getting some calm family time, yet also arranging my day, answering email and the like. And making a much delayed blog update without too much effort.

Another “like” is being able to utilize wasted time better. Things like standing in line, waiting for the doctor. I don’t sit reading months old magazines; I get work done.

Crazy side bar: I’ve spent the later half of this year working for a real estate company. Same sort of work, whole new sector. I never would’ve guessed just how tech dependent real estate is. Or can be. Perhaps a piece of this tech utilization is related to locale. We are in a major tech hub. My team lives and breathes via Dropbox and Gmail. Acrobat is additionally critical. Most communication with our sellers is via email, or via website.

Thinking of websites and real estate, one thing I spend time researching are Home Owners Associations, water associations and such. People, in today’s age, there is NO EXCUSE to not have a website with key information. At least post contact information. You must make some effort to be found if you want to be paid.

Data Saturation and Sanity

I, like so many others, have hit the wall: data overload. There’s SO much out there, interesting and readily available. Free, or so for all practical intent; very few barriers. Not too long ago, price helped keep this in check. Our resources to spend on magazines, newspapers and the like naturally limited out data-stream. Yes, we had free at libraries, but content was still limited (by the fiscal concerns of libraries as well as any particular mag being used or destroyed by another patron) and there was the time commitment. Clearly the topography has changed.

Content commodified: for creatives, this might be horrifying. I have a bit of that reaction. But this condition needs to drive a focus on quality. We content creators need to create the best stuff we can. And be aware of the subjective nature of “best”.

But “best” can still be buried within a sea of adequate. The tools for navigating this are still being crafted. I consider the hundreds of email I delete a day. All those newsletters I subscribed to. I’m interested in them, value the quality, yet am pushed past my time limits and am simply stuck. Then there’s my Google reader steam I haven’t so much as looked at in ages. And social media? Besides Facebook, I’m not trying to keep up with everything. I can’t read every Tweet. And I don’t have thousands in my stream. Much less Google+, Quora, LinkedIn, et masse. Nope: no keeping up with all of this without sacrifice.

I haven’t come close to mastery. Though I’ve explored ideas, from Franklin-Covey to Getting Things Done…still the feeling remains. Ignoring streams isn’t a satisfying solution. I tend to binge and purge.

What about you? You got this down? How go you triage your data-stream?