Tuesday, April 27, 2004


Trees and birds.

Just after midnight I finally motivated myself to go for a quick jog around the neighborhood. My job and, well, my life involve much too much sitting still in from of glowing machines and if I don’t shake myself up once every day or two I find myself unable to concentrate at work. The blood needs to rush through my brain and muscles, clear out some of the toxins, and put the right nutrients back in place. Then I’m okay.

Though I still find focussing on this well enough to write something coherent difficult. Working with computers for so many hours out of the day trains the mind to use certain patterns to get tasks done. The development I do at work involves flipping between a web browser, my development environment, various reference materials, and the specs I use to tell me what to make. My concentration doesn’t need to rest on any one stream of ideas any longer than it takes for me to quickly shove the info I need into my brain (while searching for a certain technique or reading a change request) and spit it back into the development environment. This morning I had the odd experience of totally blanking as to whether I had completed a task on Friday. My brain had been working on such a surface level that the memory of the task apparently didn’t settle into my long-term memory.

Note that I’m not saying I slack or do poor work, just that I assume a mental posture most of the day and loosening up that posture requires a fair amount of clumsy stretching and warming up the same way one would warm up leg muscles before playing a game of soccer after a long day of sitting in an office.

So when I sit down and attempt to write anything besides bland e-mails or some one-off funny comment, political whinge, or whatever, my brain doesn’t immediately want to cooperate and I get frustrated and hope I’m not losing what I consider to be a decent writing skill.

Music helps loosen the brain up. Television doesn’t. I turned down the Howard Stern show and put on “The Fawn” by the Sea and Cake and the pale colors of sound and swirling melodies inspire the small sparks of thought and memory that form the heart any true form of personal expression.

Writing that makes me want to complain about the weblog world once again. Keeping up with current web practices and just maintaining the level of one-ness with the web that is required for me to do a good job at work and with my outside clients means I do a fair amount of monitoring weblogs for new ideas and developments. And most weblogs point to the same small pile of pages and novelties that every other weblog does. Usually adding some small joke or comment or whatever and leaving it at that. To me, the whole weblog thing seems to replicate the Media Echo-Chamber effect that many webloggers would complain about the more professional news outlets perpetuating.

Anyway. Time to go to bed.