Giving Answers Without Questions

This recommendation is going to be a little interesting since what I would like to share maybe a little hard to find. It’s a documentary made by Stephen Fry and Ross Wilson. Its called “Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive“. It was originally shown on British television and, as you can see by the link, has been released on DVD. The problem is that the DVD is Region 2 and will not play in your average American DVD player. I am sure there are other ways you can see this documentary and I will let all who are interested find it on their own.

But of course now the question arises why should someone take the time to find this documentary or even purchase it. Well for starters I wanted to watch it just to placate my need to garner more knowledge. There is a great amount of information on Bi-polar disorder and key signs of the disease. There are discussions about what age you can diagnose and the different ways it can be diagnosed. There is also a discussion on how the diagnosis has changed over the years. The last given through the first person experience of Stephen Fry who is going back and asking new questions that he has.

Having his personal story being the driving force behind this documentary I think adds something that is usually lost when done other times. When I have seen other programs that try and have a personal feel to them the focus tends to be more emotionally driven and less about the actual facts about the subject matter. I am not saying that taking things from an emotional perspective is bad but I do think that their are subjects where facts need to be considered on the same plain. Where this documentary gets its drive from is hard to say. I think it comes from a combination of the inquisitive nature of Stephen Fry and the depth of the subject matter.

The fact that there are so many different ways that Bi-polar disorder can manifest itself gives a number of questions to the larger list. We learn how it showed itself in Stephen Fry and he spends the two hours (broken into two episodes for television) talking to others about the time when they first noticed symptoms and signs. In the second half he also discussed the idea of treatment. I found this part particularly interesting because he looks at this from the side of a man who has never taken medication but who may need it. This opens up to a lot of information not just on medication but there is even discussions of more alternative ways of controlling the ups and downs of the disease.

There is so much more that I could say but I do not want to give away to much. I will say though that if you, or someone you know, suffers from or may suffer from that this is an excellent beginning point for research. I know it has given me a few answers about myself and obviously it has raised a few as well. I hope those who watch it find it informative. But also don’t feel that you have to have a tie to Bi-polar Disorder before viewing this. It is always great to expand our own knowledge base. And as always thank you for reading this.

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A Step Back to an Odd Dichotomy

I am going to go a little more personal on this one. I’ve been noticing a funny difference in the way my work affects me vs. the way I would think that it would. First a little history that sets the idea. I am a person who truly enjoys things that force me to slow down. What I mean is that I like things that take time. Not all the time but it can very relaxing and can help quite, what I consider to be, my very active mind.

One example of this is something I bought for myself a number of years ago. It is an old style pen set. The kind of pen set that requires you to have a bottle of ink that you have to occasionally dip the pen into. Other than what you have to do while writing, the set up is very helpful since there is so much I have to do to get ready to write. I have an older style leather bound journal and I have recently thought about writing a couple of letters with it so I can get to my “happy place”. I love the idea of slowing down time. The idea of having to take time to do multiple steps. I hope that paints the picture that I want.

So now to work. At my job I put things on shelves. I actually put things on shelves that you might buy. It has more of a process than you might think. Or at least I see more of a process. The idea of finding what you have to put up. The opening of the box. The placing of the items on the shelf. In my mind there is a wonderful process to it.

With that then you would think that I would love my job but I don’t. There are many reasons why I don’t and you would think that many of them would be placated by the idea of a very process heavy job. It isn’t. I think because I am not really able to enjoy the process. The job I have is very time sensitive. I am not able to take the time to revel in the process. I am not one that minds being in a rush. I have had to be many times. I have even been able to revel in a process while being rushed while doing sound. I think the difference here is that I still have many questions to be answered. I have been at this job for 4 months and I still don’t know everything I need to do the job well. And I think that is where it truly lies. If I knew more I might even be able to revel in the process of my job.

I mean I have enough knowledge of sound that the differences and changes in my process are only because each situation is different. I feel good about those times because I know enough to change what I’m doing. Why I can’t stand the changes to my process at my work putting up stock is that they are controlled by the fact that I still don’t know enough. It is more controlled from outside than inside my head. It is controlled from people walking up to me and saying, “You shouldn’t do that like that. Here’s how you should do that.” I am thankful for the help but it does screw up my process. It is also a little annoying especially when someone tells you that you have to come up with your own process. But that is what we sometimes have to put up with isn’t it. And I thank you for staying with me this far. I fear I got a bit rambly and a bit non-cohesive but that seems to be part of my style on these personal things. Thanks for reading.

A thing to listen to

For the first week of this idea I think I am going to recommend something that I have recently started listening to. Its the podcast version of WNYC’s Radiolab, a show from NPR. I am not sure how many NPR channels actually carry it so some people may have never heard of it and others may not have listened to an episode. The thing is that I have and I really like this show, or podcast.

There are really two episodes that really got me to think that I had made a good decision when I decided to subscribe to the podcast. The first was an episode about color. The thing that got me intrigued was how they answered a question that I had when I heard the subject. I wanted to know how the hell they were going to cover the topic of colors without being able to show things visually. Well they answered that question in two ways. The second half of the episode was used to cover subjects about color where the verbal description of the object gave you enough to go on.

Now the first half of the episode was where they did the most interesting thing. It actually came in on the second story where they covered how we see a rainbow. Well actually it was how many different creatures saw a rainbow. They were looking at how our eyes compare to other eyes. Which when they were talking about any of it you couldn’t see how they could explain it without video. Though there was a point where they get into the area of vision that we can’t perceive, so they were discussing a part of vision that would be difficult to cover even on video.

But their fix was to substitute one sense for the other. Because both sound and light are both waves it was an interesting idea to take a choir and have them sing the differences in vision. Each color that can be seen was assigned a different area of the musical spectrum. For example when they discussed a dogs vision you had only two major voices that could be heard since dogs can only really see blue and green (another thing I learned during the show). So, as the amount of colors that could be seen by a creature the more voices you heard. I will say that the sound that accompanied the creature with the widest range of color vision is just amazing to hear. Sends me into kind of a nice bliss point.

Oddly enough bliss was the topic of the other episode that really enraptured me. (cheesy transition I know but it worked, I hope.) Now this one is different from the other one in that it is more of the usual kind of reporting that you can find on the show usually. I fear that a remark like that sounds more boring than I would like. There is a style to there story telling that can enrapture you and let time slip by as you listen to their stories. This one stood out to me strictly for the subject matter again. The idea of making an hour long program about something as hard to define as bliss is in itself intriguing to me. And the wide range of topics that you can cover under that original heading is amazing once you listen to it. The fact that they could find things like that make me want to see what else they explore.

So I enjoy this podcast and if this sounds interesting I hope that you will check them out. If you aren’t doing anything major this weekend maybe check out one of these episodes. Or just check out their website and find something that suites your taste in topics. And always thank you for reading.

Short & Sweet & More

This one is going to be short and sweet today. In trying to figure out what to write for this week I’ve decided to add to the content on this blog. I am going to start posting every Friday but this time it will have more of a theme. I am going to make recommendations for things to either watch, listen to, or start reading over the weekend. I am still trying to figure out how much I am going to say about each thing but I think that it is going to depend on what the thing is. Some things will need few words while some may need more. I will at least tell you why I like it. I will, hopefully, not tell you that you need to watch, to listen to, or to read but I will, hopefully, tell you enough, and say it well enough, to pique your interest.In a way a new add to my revolution of ideas.

So I am now going to Bookend your weekend. This should be a good new chapter for this blog.  Thank you, as always, for reading.

A New Type of Funding

As I research a way to get my own ideas to come from my head and into reality, I keep running into the idea of funding. Well I can’t say I keep running into it as it is a constant spectre that reminds me of the difficulty of taking on such life changing ideas. I mean that keep running into the areas where it is the biggest issue. From equipment, to travel, to the cost that I will have to brunt in my own life as the ideas I have are so large and difficult to do against a second job. So I have been looking for a way to fund a couple of my ideas.

My search has brought me to that mecca of public funding, Kickstarter. There is something very right with what Kickstarter (and other websites like it) is trying to do. Bringing people wanting to fund projects that they like with the projects needing funding is not really a new idea but just the ease at which everyday people can do is new. I mean when was the last time that you could help fund a major motion picture.

The wide variety of projects that you find that actually made it to their “fully funded” point shows that there are a lot of people willing to help. And many of those have even gone further than the original asking price. The only problem that I have with Kickstarter is that they are an all or nothing operation. I do think that with at least half of the asking price that someone could find other means of funding. That being said, from the perspective of a person who intends to avail myself of their services, it is a good idea to be able to test an idea before you get too far into it.

What I mean is, I can see how many people would be willing to listen to my idea for a podcast by seeing how many are willing to help finance it. I know that there is a step back as there are some that are willing to listen but not donate. Look at the funding for NPR as a good example. But if you have many people willing to put forth a little money they are also willing to help promote by telling people. I still think that word of mouth is still the best way to promote something at first while you build up your audience. People trust friends and family more than they do advertisers.

I can’t think of much more to say about Kickstarter at this moment and I think that it is better to go and see for yourself. So click here and gain your own opinion. And maybe help out some startup that you think will help change the world for the better. Thank you as always for reading. See you next week. And I will keep you apprised of my try.

What’s driving you?

After last week I’ve been thinking a little bit more about what drives me. It started because I was thinking about a kind of morbid idea. I was thinking about would I be happy with the life I left behind. I mean that am I anywhere near where I want to be in my life. If it were to end tomorrow would people say that he did a lot with his life. To be honest, no. I am partially where I wanted to be. I have a wife and we are still very much in love. Hell that is a lot further than I thought I would be at this point.

I was one of those guys that thought I would be alone for my life. An odd thing to think of while you are dating someone. But that is another story. Back to my original point there are a lot of things that I want to try and do with my life. I know that’s the rote idea and that there are so many people like that out there. But I am very restless. I am not mentally stimulated by my current job and that kills me. Actually, worded better what it does is severely depresses me. I want to be mentally stimulated by any work I do. But it is at war with what we all want to be able to do.

My want for mental stimulation with work is very much at war with the need to take care of my family. At the moment I am just taking care of my wife but eventually we want to have children so the idea of having to get a job that pays enough to be able to take care of my family is a high priority. But I made it more difficult for myself to do that because I didn’t finish college. I had many issues with the school I was going to so I decided to leave. Again I won’t go into that now but suffice it to say that I have made it a hundred times harder on myself. So now I am driven by the want to satisfy both requirements for me.

Sadly at the moment I am unable to do either. I have a job but it is does not go far enough so I am trying to make my own work. On the mental stimulation idea I compensate for that by listening to podcasts. But these things are not enough and I am wanting so much more out of life. I will create my own work and my own way of things. I am not sure this actually answered my original question for myself but I am really enjoying the direct from my head way of writing these personal things. I am still looking for topics to talk about. Thank you again for reading.