Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to http://andyrbunch.weebly.com/. Here are links to first two books http://goo.gl/iHP1i and http://goo.gl/kK13W

Monday, April 30, 2012

Couple Tracks by Acoustic Alchemy





In the world music tour this counts as my British contribution.

Getting Acclimated

This new blogger composer is something to get used to. Anyway, here's a simple post to get my feet wet. I had a phone call today from a buddy. It was good to hear from him but annoying at the same time. I was deep in thought on projects I've had to put off over and over again, when the phone rang. He was on a long drive and taking advantage of the chance to catch up. The problem was he asked what people always ask when they haven't seen you in a couple weeks/months--how's it going? Seems like an innocent question doesn't it? Well my close friends and I are hyper honest with each other. We've shared high times and disasters. I try to be forth coming with people but lately it doesn't feel like anything is going on. Everyone knows there's always something going on so when you say, "nothing," my friends always push for something. Like I'm hiding something. It's awkward because of course something is going on. There are a dozen small but significant steps happening in my life at any given time, but that doesn't feel like the kind of thing you tell someone over the phone. I'm not a phone talker on a good day. So it ends up being awkward. On two fronts really. One I feel annoyed with myself because I don't have anything exciting to share and two I don't feel like recounting all the tiny things that are going on over the phone. If I am going to give a rundown of the small stuff I'd rather type it here or on Facebook and then refer people to that. It sounds strange maybe. Most people don't face this because when they tell their friends everything is fine their friends drop it and get on to their good news. To make matters worse most of my news is non-news. My best friend from grade school didn't get rich and give me my dream job...yet. My new neighbors are driving us nuts stomping around upstairs so my roommate and I drove to Silverton, OR to check out a cheap place to live for the summer and put in applications down there. It might have been a nice change of pace for a few months, but the place to stay fell through and my roommate got a new job that'll keep her up here anyway. So it all worked out. See what I mean? It's not that nothing's going on, it's just that theirs nothing to report--especially when I'm deep into finally cleaning up my hard drive. So now that you've heard me rant...here's a really cool site I stumbled on as your reward. Hope you like it! http://xaxor.com/funny-pics/39562-funny-smart-tips-to-make-life-easier.html

Sunday, April 29, 2012

DYI Herb Garden


This I thought was a clever, easy way to put an herb garden in your window sill or wherever.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Success



It won't surprise anyone that I really resonate with Tony Robbins. I also dig TED talks. When the two come together you know I'm going to post it. ;) maybe I have before, but this one has got to be seen.



If you haven't had a chance to watch Breakthrough yet, it is a must watch. Will I be posting some of my own ideas on success? Absolutely, but I can think of no better way to introduce the topic than watching a master at work. I'm writing a book on organizing and prioritizing life from inside out and I wish I could say it's ready to launch but in I'm still drafting. Soon though, you will be seeing a devotional book entitled, "On Becoming a Man." It's the first in a serious I call "Be, Do, Have." More on that soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cool Tree House


I always wanted to live in a cool tree house. When my dad took me to Disneyland, age 13, I spent most of the day on the island going through the Swiss Family Robinson tree house. I have some photos but they are the "old" kind, not digital, for you kids out there. So I'll just look back and reminisce when I see photos like this one.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lucky shots--Near Misses

It's been awhile since I posted one of these. It's hard to find one that doesn't contain obviously faked video among the legit ones. I also don't post the ones with people intentionally laying on the tracks and letting a train go over them. It doesn't count in my book, and its really a dumb thing to do.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dresden Musical Building

I don't exactly here music It mostly just makes me need to pee...still I have to give them props for doing something unique.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Genius Idea

About 3 seconds after someone decided to put a digital camera on a cell phone, someone else should have thought of the Mangifi by Arcturus labs. This is a sharp idea carried out well.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Container Homes



I love the idea of container homes. I've been onto this idea for years, but recently the price of shipping containers has gone through the roof. It turns out a US company is taken my idea an done it well. Their manufacturing is in China, and their probably soaking up all the surplus containers.

While these guys I covered before were exploiting the cheap modular nature of shipping container homes to build low income housing today's link is exploiting the portability of shipping containers to build homes in remote locations.

http://www.gizmag.com/shipping-container-house/22129/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=1c88b1c718-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fun with English



Ran across these and thought of you all...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tax Day

Music to Sooth

I think I've put Lene Marlin up here before, but it's been awhile so here's a couple worth a listen.



Monday, April 16, 2012

Bad Teachers

I was talking to a teacher this week and the topic of bad teachers came up. I'm pretty passionate about the topic as I've had some really awful ones. Anyway, I thought I'd blog about it. I realized before I can get into what makes a teacher bad, and there's more than one kind of bad, I need to frame my thoughts on bureaucracy.

Bureaucrat wasn't always the curse word it has become. Back in the very beginnings of the industrial revolution you had a small minority of people with collage degrees or professional certification (doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.) and another class of tradesmen who learned their craft through apprenticeship (farmers, bakers, etc.). Then everyone else was a laborer. With the rise of factories the amount of paperwork generated required a new bread of creature. There were trained clerks of course, but there was a need for people understood the work being done by workers and could shuffle the correlating paperwork. With the notion of scientific management came the birth of the bureaucrat.

As time passed certain characteristics of bureaucracy emerged:
1. Anyone could do it as long as they stuck it out long enough to specialize in the task of shuffling that type of paperwork.
2. Because of the investment in time it took to train a good bureaucrat you didn't fire them without a good reason.
3. Conversely, because of the time investment to train a good bureaucrat you didn't promote them out of their spot either.

The reverse logic of bureaucracy:
4. Because of #1 and #2 above job security for a bureaucrat comes from having complicated paperwork to shuffle that no one else understands.
5. Because of #3 above, the only path to promotion is:
a. stay in your job a long time
b. create problems so complex you need more bureaucrats beneath you to manage the problem.

In short, with bureaucrats knowledge is power. Bureaucrat A can't make Bureaucratic B do his job because of #1 above. But if Bureaucrat B needs something from Bureaucrat A he can manipulate B into doing what he wants. Now this is the exact opposite of a healthy working environment. But its how government and large corporations work.

So what does this have to do with Teachers? Well even with the heavy involvement of government in schools you'd still think it wouldn't penetrate all the way out to teachers. Apparently it does because I can't think of another reason why teachers would work so hard to make the information at the heart of a course so difficult for students to learn.

Type 2 Bad Teachers
The 2nd type of bad teacher is the type of teacher that actively prevents learning. People want to learn. We enjoy it. Especially when we are young. I actually think our desire to gossip is a warped form of our desire to learn things we don't know yet and teach those things to others. Seriously, students want to learn.

Wait! What happened to type 1 bad teachers? Well Type 1's are just not good at it. They either don't understand the information themselves and shouldn't be teaching it, or they don't know how to organize it in a fashion that students can assimilate. Type 1's can be called incompetent, which is a sin, but not really malevolent.

When I'm talking about bad teachers I'm starting with Type 2's. The kind that, through some flaw of personality, actively hide information of the course from the pupil. They use these techniques to do it:
1. Fail to explain the material
2. Focus exclusively on unimportant and uninteresting information
3. Give assignments from the reading (which is always poorly written) and never lecture at all.

Type 3 Teachers (abusive)
Even though the bureaucratic teacher actively hides information from the students they still aren't the worst kind of teacher. The worst kind are the type 3's. These teachers don't hoard information to feel powerful, the hoard it to put the student under them.

You might think I'm exaggerating but there are more Type 3's than you think. Think back to your school experiences and see if these tactics sound familiar:
1. Test over information that wasn't in the reading or lecture
2. Punish entire class because of the actions of a student so the class will censure the student for them.
3. Never answers policy questions to the group, only one on one. (guess why they need to be alone.)
4. Can't be nailed down on policy. Changes student syllabus throughout the term.
5. Applies rules unequally.
6. Does everything the bureaucratic teacher does as well
7. Wants work outside of class to get an A
8. Verbally discourages or disparages students

I've had a few teachers exhibit some of these behaviors but I've had two at the collage level who exhibited all 8. There are sociopaths out there, but the ones that work there way into government, law enforcement, and education tend to be the most destructive. Students don't always know how to express their pain. They can't always give you actionable behaviors to record a pattern of abuse. We need to listen, carefully to nebulous terms like "bad" and ask questions like, "bad in what way?"

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Burn Out!

I'm not immune to burn out. In fact I get both kinds of burn out. Here's an article that does a great job of describing and explaining one type of burn out. Don't get confused when they use two definitions to describe their type of burn out. I have another type of burn out I'll explain here soon.

Mind tools also has a great self test to find out if you might be suffering from Type 1 burnout. You'd think you'd know when your burnt out but you might be long before you realize it. Like a marriage, the magic can be gone before the arguments really set in.

Type 2 Burn Out is the kind we see from Sherlock Holmes. It's burned out on not having a challenge. The mind tools article above hints at this a bit when recommending ways to avoid burn out. Suggestion #1 and #4 seem to suggest that part of burning out is finding meaning in what you do or discovering what you're made of. These are great for treating both types of Burn Out.

I think there are several things that will treat either type of burn out. I call it seeking adventure. Let me paint a picture for you:

A man sits alone in a holding cell. His hair is disheveled, his clothes are torn and dirty, and there's a tissue in his nose to staunch the bleeding from a hit he took that day. He leans back to let light from a small window illuminate his face, but his blood shot eyes are out of tears.

How did he get there? What will happen next? You tell me. Will his pregnant wife come to bail him out? Will the real bank robber be caught, but only after he's broken out of prison by the other robbers wanting to know where he hid the loot? The real question is--what sort of story is this. If we view our burn out as part of a larger story, the story of our life, what are we living? A tragedy? A comedy? Is what you face now just an inciting incident to spin your life in a whole new direction?

I encourage everyone to frame their lives as an adventure. It can radically change how we view things like burn out.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Living in the Future part 2

What conversation about living in the future would be complete without a mention of the tricorder project? It has given rise to some awesome attempts at creating a working tricorder, such as http://www.gizmag.com/jansen-tricorder-project/22019/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=777d5a65fe-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

or this one http://www.gizmag.com/scanadu-developing-medical-tricorder/20974/

Just the fact that we have a funded movement attempting to invent tricorders makes me proud.

A Bit of Fun About Dating

I ran across this site recommending things to disclose on a first date. I got to wondering what people think of the idea. Should you just get everything out there as best you can? I've always favored letting conversation develop organically.

What do you think? http://www.howaboutwe.com/date-report/tell-your-girlfriend-boyfriend/?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=7+Signs+It%E2%80%99s+Just+a+Hookup%3B+10+Tips+for+Dating+a+Coworker%3B+15+Fixes+for+Common+Sex+Problems+%26+more&utm_campaign=all+4_13_12&utm_term=10+Things+You+Need+to+Be+Upfront+About+When+Dating+Someone+New#

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thoughts on First Draft

Writing a first draft can be challenging, especially for new writers. Here's another article from about.com http://fictionwriting.about.com/b/2012/03/26/hammering-out-that-first-draft.htm?nl=1 on the topic with some good suggestions. I'm going to add one of my own. Drafting a novel is not actually the first phase. The phases of writing a novel are these:

1. Inspirations
2. Composting
3. Drafting
4. Revising
5. Editing

When writers talk about there process they may neglect to mention one or more of these phases and here's why. You can combine many of these phases together. For example Inspiration and Composting happen entirely in your head. Writers will cycle back and forth from inspiring thought to letting it sit and germinate and then get another brilliant flash. You may get an idea for a character while driving to work and then discover a plot while on the phone to a friend.

Most writers will caution you against revising or editing while you are drafting, but people do it. It's just as deadly sometimes, to dream and compost while drafting. It's usually not such a big deal to get an idea or dwell on it while drafting, but it's far better to do it before you sit down to write. For one thing you are going to change your mind about things through out the drafting process no matter what, but you'll have a much better time of it if you've already flashed on the major aspects of your novel, and then moved them around in your head. Some people get a lot of use out of an outline. A lot of us don't use a formal outline, and of those who do most won't actually stick to it all the way through, but it's an option.

So the real tough thing about drafting your manuscript is if you haven't had very much inspiration and haven't daydreamed about it, and then as you draft you also try to go back and revise the things you're going to change, as well as fixing your typos, misspellings, etc. Your doing 5 steps all at once. It's like getting a good idea for how to start a novel and then trying to write a perfect final draft the fist time. Surprise! That's going to take you forever.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Unknown Norwegen Gal covers a song well

Before we leave Norway we need to check out a couple more artists. This one isn't a pro she just rocks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Outside the cubical thinking


Ok, so I talk a lot about feet and shoes. No its not a fetish. Business in America, and around the world really, has lost a lot of its innovation. Big business won't invest in something unless there's a 90% chance that they'll make their money back plus 20%. The reason is they run so inefficiently they have to do that just to move the stock price up a tad and keep from getting bought out. European socialist countries started backing their big corporations so that they could be more competitive globally through using economies of scale.

Anyway, America was forced to do likewise or risk having all US corps bought out by foreign interests. Well the jokes on us, because once a corp goes international it generally has very little loyalty to the nation that birthed it. The loser in all this is small business and that's where we all lose. Small business runs efficiently, therefore on a narrower margins. Small business will often thrive in bad economies although you couldn't prove it now, because big business is given bail out money to buy up smaller competitors and close them down. Government also loves to tax small business to pay for tax breaks it gives companies like GE. GE needs the money so they can contribute to the Obama campaign. It's all a big circle...ok back to shoes.

The problem with big business is a lack of creativity they simply don't do a good job of R and D anymore. They fail to see the opportunities in the problems they face (because they aren't forced to face them anymore). I was speaking with a young grey-hat the other day and was surprised to hear him point out that its easier to steal movies than to buy them. I thought about it and its true. Hollywood is so busy sueing everyone they haven't figured out a way to bring there product to market that isn't a buggy hassle.

Well not everyone is stuck in the cubical mentality. Once in awhile someone steps outside and thinks, "I bet there's a customer who's needs aren't being met." In shoes this means companies like Vibram or these guys http://www.gizmag.com/split-toed-suction-cup-shoes/21808/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=777d5a65fe-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Risk Factor

I just watched a great film. It was quirky but fun, just like I like. It was called "The Darwin Awards," starring a whole host of people.

Thing about this movie is that it reminded me of something I believe in very strongly--I believe that people need risk. Men especially. It's like a vitamin. Now their are false adventures, but mainly its about backing down or not seeking out adventures. Life is fraught with risks of all natures. You can't actually eliminate all of it, but you can live your entire life attempting to mitigate it. If you do that, you more than miss out on life, you begin to walk a path that will take you really negative places.

Certain things in life are like that, like vitamins. Relationship is another one. If you get close to people you risk getting hurt but if you don't...You have to get a certain amount of relationship to grow as a human being--be a well rounded person. In that same way you need risk. Risk is good for you when channeled well. Nearly every aboriginal culture has a rite of passage that involves some level of risk, often life threatening risk.

The transition from boy to man is brought on by dealing with risk. In our very young US culture we hardly have any rights of passage, many of the ones we do have involve risk like getting a drivers licence (you could crash and die). Many others like being able to smoke or strip dance, may not be so positive. Interestingly, they still involve risk, but of something that is likely to take you out down the road, after a lifetime of reduced capacity. Positive risks aren't easy to define but they don't look like that.

There are 3 levels of adventure. Level 1 adventures are casual. Level one's are like rafting, or a weekend survival camping trip. Level 2 are personal, like getting engaged. Level 3 are the major risks in life, life responding to a mugger or leaving your job to join the mission field. You can't always control when you're going to get a level 2 or 3 risk opportunity, but the only way to prepare to handle them is to accept that they are going to happen and work you way up to it. It's also important to get in a few casual adventures where you can to keep in practice. If you don't, your need for adventure and risk will push you into doing counterfeit adventures like drinking away your paycheck or having an affair.

For more on risk and adventure I recommend the entire line up of books by John Eldgredge found here. To read a fun-filled adventure I can recommend Suffering Rancor by Andy Bunch. (See what I did there? ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Living in the Future

It occurred to me just the other day, that I'm living in the future. It may be the present for the teenagers running about, but for me, it's the future. I'm really impressed by a lot of the gadgetry we've managed to come up with, but I also feel a little ripped off. Where's my personal jet pack?

We at the very least they should be able to make me a flying car...then again since their are roughly $7,000 in safety features built into a car before they spend a dime on any other design features it would take a miracle to make a car that also meets FAA standards. ($7K, explains why cars are so expensive and still don't have any headroom.)

We here are a couple flying cars just to show that imagination is not actually dead in the auto industry.

http://www.gizmag.com/pal-v-flying-car/22032/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=777d5a65fe-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email



This one I like a little better. I think their will be a few 1st world enthusiasts who would buy a flying car but most users will be missionaries and flying doctors. This second one seems like a better design for that purpose and I believe its connected to the son of Nate Saint, one of the missionaries killed in 1956 by Ecuadorean villagers.



This is the flying car that's perhaps closest to production. http://www.gizmag.com/terrafugia-prototype-first-flight/22047/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=3bb0ba5f39-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Faith

It's a big word. It can refer to something people have in a particular instance, like having faith that everything will turn out. It can also mean the denomination someone hails from, as in this is what I believe. We are really referring to religion in that use of the word. I have a very strong faith, which surprises a lot of people, because I'm one of the least religious people you'll meet. At least I hope I'm not religious at all.

When you believe in something, it effects your life. You will make certain decisions based on your beliefs. We all walk out our faith, to borrow a term from Christianity. I can hear my atheist friends getting ready to argue, but they need to chill. Believing their is no God is an act of faith. It's a belief system that effects how they live. I believe in God, but in a very rebellious manor. I actually dare to think that he likes me, and that He's a likable guy. This is enough to set me outside most mainstream religion and yet it won't get me accepted by the atheists either. I'm fine with that. I don't need the affirmation of either group.

When the way we walk out our faith needs to mesh with those around us we either conflict with them or mesh with them. This is the force that causes Christians, who are called to be one body, to form denominational groups so they can avoid the appearance of conflict. I'll get off the topic soon, I just want to explain that I'm not anti-God, but I can be very sacrilegious.

When I say I'm outside these groups, I don't mean to say I'm alone. Here's a couple places to look for some good outside the box views on topics of faith and religion.

http://www.nakedpastor.com/2012/04/04/pastor-dominatrix/

http://www.sheepcomics.com/strips/SheepHist10/SheepHist10.htm

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Around the World in Music

I've been into international music for some time. There are a lot of awesome musicians out there. I'll try to post them as I find them. Here's a great one to start off with.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Clever DIY camper bed

Here's an instructable for people with a truck and canopy. Very well done. makes me wish I hadn't sold my truck...again.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Convert-Your-Truck-into-a-Camper/

I've covered this one before but it was also interesting.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Roof-top-car-camper/

Whereas this would be the Cadillac version
http://www.instructables.com/id/Homebuilt-Camper-Trailer/

And this for the minimalist
http://www.instructables.com/id/Bivy-Sack/

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Here's a Tip on Organizing

This is interesting. I'm passionate about organizing, which is to say I'm good at it. This is the latest thing I've stumbled across. I had this idea awhile back but of course I wanted to make a custom flat surface. This is much easier and cheaper. I'll have to try it.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Managing-limited-desktop-space-and-multiple-projec/

My favorite organizing systems so far is a combination of July Morgenstern's organizing from the inside out, and David Allen's Getting Things Done system. I actually need to get back to the GTD thing again. I was doing it well for awhile but needed to computerize it and just never got time to do that. Well, this is the year to succeed despite all excuses.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A quick invite to comment

I just wanted to remind everyone to go ahead and comment here. You can also contact me through my FB fanpage. I look forward to hearing from you.

NorWesCon

I've been needing to get back to the topic of writing. Tomorrow I'm headed out to NorWesCon and that gives me the perfect excuse. NorWesCon is a SciFi/Fantasy convention that happens April 5-8 in SeaTac, WA. A group I helped found, Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA), will be selling our books in the dealer room. We'll also have a fan table in the lobby, which is where I'll be spending much of my weekend I bet. This is a great convention and a whole lot of fun. I'd love to see all of you there.

On the topic of writing: here are some resources that writers should check out.
1) go to about.com and sign up for the fiction writing newsletter. It's chock full of cool stuff like this article about writing fast. It's important to write as fast and as much as you can because there really isn't the difference in quality that you imagine there will be. You're going to fix it all in the revision anyway.

2) on the topic of speed: National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an event put on by the office of letters and light. Founder Chris Baty has started a movement of writing 50k words in the month of November. April is script frenzy, which is also worth checking out.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wash your clothes on the go

I have a beef with washing machines. I like them I just don't think we design them for modern use. The modern washing machine is designed for the 1950's house wife. You have two separate units and you must move the cloths between them. This allows you to do two loads at once, in theory. So if you are going to be home all day and you have a family's worth of laundry to do, only the first and last load are inefficient (running only 1 machine at a time).

My idea would be an all in one washer/dryer. I know they have them for RVs, but I mean a full size one in the home. You put a load in before work and it washes and drys. Then when you get home you put in another load and it washes and drys. Probably could put one in over night as well. That's about all the time the average person has to check on laundry these days. Those same 3 checkings in my system would be 3 loads done. In the current system would result in 3 half loads at least one of which would have to be redone. Therefore everyone just does there laundry on the weekend. I think it's much better to do it throughout the week, without having to think about.

Here's a newish invention for doing your laundry on the road while traveling.

Monday, April 2, 2012

71 mpg

I'm frequently commenting on the horrid state of econuts in America. What's got my goat now is hybrid cars. I'm not anti-hybrid completely, my dad designed a hybrid in the late 70's with 4 wheel drive, and 4 wheel steering. My dad was an inventor and a mad genius. He envisioned a car with 4 induction electric motors, 1 over each tire and a super efficient 2 cycle gas engine to keep the batteries topped off. His car actually recharged the batteries when you hit the brakes. Anyway, he abandoned the project because gas prices weren't quite bad enough to get people to buy it AND because you've got to mine the lithium for the batteries so its really not that eco-friendly anyway.

Modern hybrids are ridiculous. They don't actually get better gas mileage than a standard car. I call that a failure. Then theirs the all electric vehicles with 100 mile range. Completely impractical. Say you want to go 105 miles. You've got to stop and charge your car for 8 hours. With power rates being what they are you actually pay more per mile.

Everytime I turn around someones talking about how smart they are in Europe, well for a change I agree. Europe has been investing in clean diesel for a long time and they are very close to making it. Ford now has a new Fiesta that goes 71 mpg. Can you get it in the US...nope. Econuts have green washed our economy. Pop culture environmentalism says hybrids are the way to go so you don't get to have the option of something that works.

I have a dream folks, that one day the news media will stop propgandizing for the left and cover what's really out there that's news worthy.

http://www.gizmag.com/ford-fiesta-econetic-technology/21943/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=4483461352-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

Perhaps the answer is to make the car small. Here's a couple ideas from MIT I do think are ingenious.



The smallest car ever made for production was the P50 which originally sold for just over $300. The Peel Company will be releasing replicas of the classic soon, but thanks to the unionized workers and massive safety restrictions, and just plain greed on behalf of automakers it will now sell for $12,676.

http://www.gizmag.com/ford-fiesta-econetic-technology/21943/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=4483461352-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email



And here's an alternate fuel for you:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Silverton, OR. Book Singing

A quick thanks to everyone who came out and met with our crazy NIWA folks. The event went well. Here's a blog about it. now if only I wasn't hideously bad at being photographed.

A new/old take on health

It's that time of year again, when I become convicted that I must do something about my health. I may have mentioned before, that a lifetime of chubbiness that never really slowed me down has become a real unhealthiness. It's a combination of my age and a stressful job I had (thank you Vancouver Housing Authority for helping me gain 70lbs of fat in 2.5 years--you suck).

So, earlier this year I tried and loved the juice fast thing (aka reboot diet). I watched the movie, "fat sick and nearly dead" and it really impressed me. So why would I not just try that again? Well it's a little expensive. Not the diet itself. That guy made everything basically free and as near as I can tell he doesn't even make anything of selling juicers. Somehow eating that many veggies adds up. Anyway, there's a second factor.

I'm a big fan of the two factor theory. There's usually a gas pedal and a brake pedal in life. If your car won't go very fast it could be that you aren't stepping on the gas or it could be that you've got the brake on. In order for a diet to be effective it needs to work AND in needs to be doable. To satisfy both of those factors, despite all the people who will argue that weight loss is a simple matter of burning more calories than you take it, you need a diet that is effective for your body and your mind. There was a big labor factor in juicing. I was hard to do for more than 3 days. I need something I can do for longer, like 90 days.

My friend Pam inspired me to chronicle my search for a diet and my attempts. She's doing something very similar. The next 10 days are going to be insanely busy for me, but I'm going to start anyway. I can't put it off any longer.

The diet I'm selecting, which is recommended to me by my friend Adam, will be the Paleodiet. I know virtually nothing about it, accept it's very controversial and my instincts tell me that a caveman diet will work for both my body and my mind.

I'm not a believer in cavemen living thousands of years ago, in fact I don't think the earth would take several million years to cool, so we haven't had hundreds of billions of years to "evolve" into the complicated beings we are today. But I do think humans were hunter/gatherer for many years and that such a lifestyle is likely to be more healthy than the genetically modified, over processed, chemical-laden, radiated convenience foods we eat now. One thing the reboot diet taught me, perhaps unintentionally, was that smelling food cooking made it taste better AND I ate less of it when it came. If that one simple factor can be so impactful on my apatite, I could be missing tons of little secrets that I actually knew when I was a kid but forgot as I became a "responsible" brick in the wall.

In addition to the caveman diet, I'm going to up the convenience factor by doing the body by Vi thing. I'm going to eat meal replacement shakes whenever I'm too busy to actually make a meal.

I'll dig into it more soon, but my research has already netted me a cool website called, "Nerd Fitness" which is a good sign. But I'm going to take it a step further, still.

I find that I personally have better results when I A) tell people I'm doing it (which is where you come it) and B) I immerse myself in it. So I'm going to also begin other aspects of hunter/gatherer life. I'm going to start walking more everyday. I'm also going to start sleeping much earlier and rising much earlier (which is a freakish thing for me as you know). I've already blogged about sleeping twice a night, I'd really like to try it. My guess is that my body will go into such a shock from the rising with the sun thing that I won't notice the screwy diet. Oh and I'm also going to start shooting the bow more, I already started that today.

So these are my plans. I hope you'll join me on my crazy adventure. I haven't started out yet. I've got a little more planning to do, but it's going to happen...soon...

Record Setting Film Maker


So...April 1st. I should pull a prank, but I have the opportunity to post a story I think sounds like an April fools joke. James Cameron, THE James Cameron has set the record for the deepest solo dive. I don't know why, but it sounds like I'm making it up, huh? James Cameron's name sounds like a made up name to me. A film maker named Cameron.

Anyway, it's true. Check out the news stories below. This is a good opportunity to talk about the film I love to hate, 8mm. That movie is one I'm glad I saw, I'll never watch again, and I wish I could recommend (sometimes I do). It is not a good date movie for you Christian boys and girls out there. It is, however, a perfect example of the real power in movies. As we watch the main character descend into the abyss of hard core pornography for the purpose of investigating a young girls murder we witness him becoming increasingly desensitized to the sex and violence around him. As we discover the fate of the girl we start to really want him to become the right hand of revenge.

Now in Hollywood no matter how evil our bad guy there are ways in which our good guy can end him without really becoming bad himself. They struggle over a gun, they struggle and the bad guy is knocked back striking his head or becoming impaled on a convenient sharp object, they struggle and the bad guy is pitched from a roof. My personal favorite is they struggle and the bad guy is pitched from the roof and lands on the convenient impaling object. If and only if the good guy is a police officer, then the good guy can just shoot the bad guy in self defense or to protect a hostage. But is rare when a film ends with the good guy just murdering the bad guy. Thanks to some brilliant acting on the part of the cast, lead by Nicolas Cage, and brilliant film making on the part of James Cameron we wouldn't care if the hero stabbed the villain in the back while he slept, we just want that bastard dead.

At it's core, 8mm is a movie that documents the descent of the human soul into depravity, and it take you, viewer with it. It inspires a sort of temporary insanity that when the film ends your heart back lashes against. Sort of like the first time you take a drink of booze after watching Leaving Las Vegas. The movie is ultimately redemptive but...

I know porn is in vogue right now, and I'll seem like an old conservative for saying I'm not a fan, but I've had a real life 8mm type experience. I took on a project a few years ago, ghost writing a book on how to protect kids from child molesters. It's an issue you'd think people are talking about, but you'd be surprised. Child molestation is extremely prevalent and there's very little research into understanding it. In fact most people have written it off as incurable and content themselves with the delusion that it's rare. I did 1100 hours of research for the book, and I can assure you that there is a connection between garden variety porn and child victimization. I had to shelve the project because I just couldn't do it anymore. All I found were more questions. No one seemed to have any answers, they just had this 8mm-like fantasy of taking out the villains.

Of course most molesters were molested themselves, and 80% of victims know and trust their abuser, 1 in 4 girls has been abused and 1 in 5 boys...and the statistics get worse from there. It's a topic that needs more attention and one day soon I'll finish that book. In the mean time, my hats off to James Cameron for his wild adventure to the depth of the ocean floor and for his insane but effective look into the depravities of the unredeemed human soul.

If you are or know someone who is struggling as a result of childhood molestation there are resources available. Here is one of the best. If you are a young person and need someone to talk to try contacting Dare to Live. The most important thing is that you keep telling until someone listens.

http://www.gizmag.com/cameron-deepest-solo-dive/21940/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=4483461352-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

http://www.nature.com/news/james-cameron-returns-from-the-deep-1.10332

ARGH! ATTN: After all that I realized that 8mm was directed by Joel Schumacher. April Fools after all, eh?