Sunday, June 13, 2010

Order Please

Fixed Chaos
(Finding order in a chaotic universe)

Google images - chaos theory

Once I stopped
trying to make everything behave like I thought it should, things seemed to go more smoothly.

How many times
have we heard the example about trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. The illustration generally used, is that of a child's toy where one fits pegs, (dowels, rectangular, triangular and square blocks, etc.), into precut holes on a wooden device. This is combined with an image of a similar toy that combines a hammer and pegs in a wooden toy where the objective is to pound the pegs all down to the surface, then turn it over and do it again from the other side.

When we
demand that the universe behave in our concept of an orderly manner, we set ourselves up for disappointment and frustration. We all do this to some degree; "If only 'they' would, ________ , this wouldn't happen."

The nature
of the universe is orderly chaos. Behind seemingly random behavior is thoughtfully designed arrangement. Observe the chaotic jumble of leaves on a tree. If you take into account their purpose, you can see that those leaves are all posistioned so that each one can collect as much sunlight as possible from it's place in the overall structure. The leaves that shake in the slightest breeze are actually redistributing light to increase production.

For a long time
, and even now to some extent, I felt helpless and inneffectual because I couldn't get others to understand the things I had learned. If only, 'they' could see that, _____ , is just going to result in, _____ , they would, _______ , and we would be, _____ . I spent many frustrating years in foolish attempts to change the world to the way that I thought it should be, only to suffer bitter disappointment. I sought solace in self defeating enterprise and destructive behavior. Soon it became a habit that became a character trait that became a crushing weight that I carried around in some delusion of justification. What a dope!

Luckily for me
, and those who love me, like a leaf down inside the tree, the light can reach me too. The leaves are designed that way, so that their shape, position, or movement in the wind allows the light past them to the inner leaves. Even in my darkest moments, I would have moments of lucidity, during which I would feed the tree.

Like a security guard
, or a historian, I have always felt my 'mission' is to, "Observe and report". Of course I would ponder and wonder, "Who", I was supposed to report to, and "What" exactly was I supposed to observe?

To take the tree analogy a bit further - Because I, as an inner leaf, only had to perform the function of photosynthesis part time, I could do other things with the rest of my alloted lifespan. I actually have had the time to observe, and having done so, feel the need to report what I have seen. Surely this information would be important and useful to the outer leaves, or the bark. What about the roots? Do the other trees know what I just learned? Does it matter if they do? Are there inner leaves like me, observing and reporting, too? What's that sound? Is that a chain saw?

Where I sometimes err
is when I feel certain that I have uncovered all the bits of information on a subject and think that that is an exact and complete description. Then it gets even more erroneous when I draw a conclusion based upon these facts, and answer with absolute certainty that I know what I am talking about. I could not be farther from, or closer to, the truth than I am with each new discovery and informed insight. This can be both disappointing and enlightening at the same time. The glass half full, or half empty as usual.

Relatively Full

It will be fully charged in 23 min.

I recently
was made aware of the different ways I can observe the condition of the battery in this MacBook. It can tell me whether the battery is half full, or half empty.

I had it set
to show the percentage of available battery power, but for now I like this feature that tells me how much useful time I have left in my batteries with whatever applications I am running. Some things like editing and producing a movie use a lot of processing power and can drain the battery faster than reading or writing email, (or blogging).

I have 5hrs and 19min of battery.

The computer
calculates how much time one has left, based on the activity one is doing, and reports in the toolbar. Since I am writing this in Google Apps, on line, and don't have any other applications running, the MacBook estimates that I could continue doing this for another 5hrs and 19min before I would need to plug in the power cord.

Fussing Over Fonts

The New Yorker magazine gets a facelift.

The average
person doesn't know just how much time and creative energy goes into something so seemingly simple as the name of a magazine on it's cover, but they do know that they recognize and identify with that publication by just one glance at the cover. The masthead, logo, trademark, or 'graphic' that identifies a product, has been created, massaged, and produced by graphic designers.

I know a little about this subject having begun a 'sometime' graphic design career path as far back as junior high. Like many things in my life, I only used this bit of talent when needed, but I know how effective a little font change can be.

I was
explaining to someone, the how and why it was so exciting to locate just the perfect fonts to use for the viola e-book for iPad. It took a lot of combinations of various styles and type faces to balance with the tone of the subject matter. To enhance the feeling of old Italian masters being revisited through a present day master maker as he creates on each page. To support a story about a viola that embraces the Stradivarius attention to all aspects of a concert quality instrument.

I chose two fonts that would represent this modern creation of a classic design. The result is an effect that illustrates the message in the words while balancing with the tone and substance of the images. I finally chose a couple of Apple fonts that produced the desired effect;

Apple Gothic

Apple LiSung

Using a sanserif
font for the headlines and attention getting effect is a tried and true design standard, as is using a serifed font for big blocks of text. The most often used combination is Helvetica and Times. Usually this will suffice in a general way for all projects, and it's a safe, if overused, graphic design technique, but I like to use all the tools at my disposal to best illustrate the nature of the material. In the case of viola book, I looked for a combination that felt to me, like a classic viola that is born in 2010. I got what I wanted.

Don't Forget

Venus with Lumix TZ1 at 10x optical zoom. 6/12/10

Monday night
is expected to be a splendid display of the crescent moon and Venus together on the western horizon. I hope to capture a few images with all my cameras, just so I don't miss anything.

Beautiful Day, Today

I guess I don't need a jacket. 6/13/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Cuando Calienta El Sol - Trini Lopez

Warm Thoughts

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