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Archive for May, 2008

Heart

Maybe I do not believe that I or anyone else has a soul. However, it does appear that my heart is genuine. As the Wujifa helps my heart feel more open again, I see more choices. I remember how much I love business and I am discovering some new possibilities. As I said several posts ago, I have begun working on some cheaper products.

I have even sent some emails back and forth with the woman who made the 303 kit I just got through building… she has some interesting insights as she’s built kits (a real niche market) of really odd things (even nichier niche markets) and has had some pretty good luck. She has a Guerilla DIY approach to things that I respect a lot.

Non-kits are less Niche than Kits, and I believe the things I’m designing have some appeal for parents of smart kids (-: mmmm, blinkenlights on ze beeping toys :-)… Beyond that, I still dream of a bitchin’ synthesizer that everybody can afford, and that sports one of my own designed keyboards on it. I believe I will work on some circuits for that this weekend too. Also, my cousin… why I overlooked bringing him in I do not know. He is one of the most honest people I know, so I would be happy to do business with him, and he’s an Electrical Engineer… moreover, he’s good at microcontroller programming, which is the side of all this I pretty well cannot touch.

I wonder if I could design synthesizers around a single printed circuit board design in which a odular array of parts were placed… ie, fill in parts set A for an oscillator, parts set B for an Amplifier and Parts set C for a filter… It would save me bunches in production cost for the boards (which aren’t too steep to begin with)… however, it could make construction a pain in the ass. Still, so many parts (like OTAs and op-amps) are common between circuits anyways… it just might work if I was clever about it. Maybe I could colour code the silkscreening or something.. Of course, with surface mount using pick and place machines it almost always behooves a manufacturer to build boards with multiple functionality since the machines are assembling parts.

All this almost makes me want to stay in the states. However, I think I can find cheap labor in some Asian country (I’m looking at Korea now as well)… but hell… I haven’t signed anything yet. [:-)

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I am sitting building a little synthesizer. I’m almost done, I’ve tested and troubleshot until everything works perfectly. In a couple of hours I’ll have her all buttoned up (fingers crossed) and I’ll have my very own 303 clone (x0xb0x).

The Japanese seem to make tea into a tedious affair. Whereas Chinese tea is about the tea, Japanese tea seems to derive a large part of its flavor from the experience… the way of doing it.

I’ve done some extra bits to this synthesizer. I spent a lot of time testing different little parts to make sure I had ones that were *just* right. I ended up salvaging pieces from old synthesizer boards from the 70s. Some of my pieces came from less exotic places as well, but I’ve included a lot of attention to minute details. I am also building in a couple of modifications. Where it starts to get into Japanese tea territory is that I have been obsessive about making every connection perfectly. I’m almost done and I am considering refluxing EVERY connection on the synth (I’ll let you know if I do). At that point I will have crossed over into putting so much of myself into this synth that it’s no longer about just “enjoying a good synth”… I believe it becomes a lot more.

Strangely, I have felt joyous through every minute act of care I have put into this little machine…. so the character of the experience is becoming more like a painting, a garden, or a pet than a machine. I think this also gives me clues as to what some men feel when they spend lots of time tinkering with their beloved automobile.

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If an animal dies, it hardly matters. As long as the species goes on, animals lives don’t affect each other too much. Humans’ lives create a more complicated web of effects because of our affections and our social interdependence. Were it not for those two factors, an individual human death would hardly matter to anyone at all.

I believe that my own desires and habits form the illusion of importance. I make up personal stories and buy into an “identity” in order to express my desires, both concious and subconcious. If and when I choose to do my best to follow my heart, to express what I feel is my deepest self, I tread on dangerous ground. If I fulfill that role I have chosen, become the amalgam of archetypes that I identify with, eventually I will live out that reality all I care to. If I do not then buy into some other “identity” then my desires have no house to live in.

I recently experienced a time with no anchors into the future. I came to the end of several of my stories. At first it was disorienting, I did not look forward at all. Then I explored the feeling for awhile. Then I forgot about it and chose to do something else.

I now suspect that following my heart and fulfilling my deepest feelings of my “self” is useful to fulfill an essential tension, a little anomaly in the universe, and settle entirely into peacefulness. In other words, the purpose of fulfilling my soul is to allow my identity to unwind, and to cease entirely to maintain the illusion of my individual soul…. Nirvana perhaps.

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My last girlfriend got really frustrated with my low blood sugar. She was essentially unsympathetic to the fact that I need to eat lots, dense food, and often. She several times made the comment that it was “disruptive” when she was pissed at me for dropping everything and going to buy food.

Now, I’ve been watching my blood sugar rather carefully for nearly five years. To me, it’s almost folded into my life enough that I don’t notice it. Or, I only notice it when circumstances conspire to make it hard for me to eat.

An even better example is sunlight. Since my mid to late teens I have been careful to avoid the sun touching my skin. If I do expose myself to sun it’s gently and in small doses. I am nearly unconcious of the fact that I run from shade to shade, and stay covered when the sun is out, and use sunscreen everyday, and pretty much do my outside time in the woods where there is shade or else I go after 5pm, and wear a hat and sunscreen…

All that *sounds* like a lot of work, but like I said, I barely notice it.

I have taken the approach, since I learned of Wujifa, that it was a very important thing for me to develop and learn. At best, my body can get into a routine where, before I go to bed, it feels like it’s time to stand, and I don’t feel like it’s very hard. Sometimes, I stop what I’m doing and either get into stance for a minute or else I do a little bit of paying attention to how one or more parts of my body are working, like my inguinal creases. I will try to do adjustments to myself whilest standing making tea, or working, to allow the weight to move to the center of my quads. I like to do stance in the morning sometimes because it helps me calibrate throughout the day to a better structure…

Of course, there is a bit lacking for me right now. I wish I lived closer to MI so I could get more instruction and input on my kung fu. I know there’s a trap in developing bad habits and training them in as well as I’ve trained myself to avoid sunlight…. Still, I feel that my intuition may continuously lead me in the right way. I’ve heard intuition described as a tether and the self as a ball attached to the tether. While I may wander far from the center point, my intuition will always pull me back to the correct path. Maybe some armoring and stress comes from resisting my own intuition…

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I’ve been studying language more lately. It’s interesting to me, for some reason, to be at a solid intermediate level with French and an Absolute beginner level with Mandarin. I switched my Dungeons and Dragons Reference books over to French Editions to help me learn more (since I reference them all the frigging time).

Something shifted in the way I study. I never noticed but I think I had a largely external motivation for French up until now. I liked it, but I remember that I always imagined impressing people, even specific friends of mine, with it (in the little movies I made in my head). Now, however, I just like where I’m at, I like watching myself progress and I find the study of the language fascinating. I just study a little every night before I go to bed, as well as listening to French Instruction, alternating with Mandarin Instruction, in my car every day as I drive around.

I don’t quite know how to capture my approach to french in words, but I think it’s very close to the “ease” Rick was talking about regarding Kung Fu. If I could practice stance the way I do french then I would probably never push too hard (unless I was just having a very energetic day) and I would just learn whatever I happened to learn or not learn with an evening’s practice… and I might get a little curious and stand for a couple of minutes here and there throughout the day. Also, I would be more trusting of my own sense of direction whilest still calibrating over long periods of time to something very very grounded. That’s more like gardening, and less like some sort of serious physical training regime (does anyone ever use the word “regime” when it’s something with ease? Well, I probably would not).

And of course, what I described is probably pretty good kung fu.

And I have a reasonable goal with Chinese and French too. I want to be pretty close to fluent in both of them by the end of 2010. French will be hard because no one around me speaks or will speak French. French will be easy because I know enough French that progress is easy. Chinese will be hard because I believe I need about a year of learning the basics before I’ll have enough of a foundation to start learning at a quicker pace. Chinese will be easy because I’ll be in Taiwan and I’m trying to move to a smaller city which the recruiters tell me will “really help me learn Chinese.”

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Well folks. I nailed the last interview with the last legit Taiwan English Teaching recruiter that I could find. Now we’re working together trying to find a match for me with location, school, workload, and pay. I really like this company and their process for finding contracts, helping with visas and all that.

I’m really excited. I’m going to try to get a job in Hualien County (maybe in the smallish city there or in Taitung. Perhaps Yilan city would be cool too, but it might be just a bit too urban for me. If anyone here knows Taiwan and knows nice small cities in very pretty parts of the country then please let me know. I pretty much get to chose where I live… and I’m trying to go somewhere enjoyable.

Looks like I’ll be leaving around the end of summer.. so, time to sell the car, sell (and/or bury) the guns, sell the extra synths, sell the little bits of stuff I have laying around, sell the books, pack what’s left away and hit the road..

My plan is to travel light, take a nice suit, a nice synth, some clothes and toiletries, and plenty of cash on hand.

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