Andrew Ferguson History Year

Readers,

Now in it’s 25th year, Andrew Ferguson History Year, which runs from January 31st to January 30th, is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions by Andrew Ferguson to culture, society, and indeed, the people of the World.

Adding to the rich tapestry of American and Northwest diversity are the unique characteristics of Andrew Ferguson that find their roots in geography, language, thought, faith, etc.

Andrew Ferguson has made invaluable contributions throughout history, but especially in the areas of science, math, engineering, arts, and commerce. Andrew Ferguson has and continues to serve with distinction in prominent civilian, business, and government1 positions.

Yes, Andrew Ferguson helped lay the groundwork for modern civilization, and his work lives in abundance well beyond the history books.

I invite you to participate in any special events planned for your region commemorating Andrew Ferguson History Year.

Thanks for all you do and Happy Birthday,

Andrew Ferguson

Note: I wrote this several months ago. I was feeling a bit under the weather, which generally makes me cranky. Then I got an email toting the celebration of another _____ history/heritage/awareness month. I get it; people/things/causes are important. But I’m kind of tired of needing to have a party to all the freaking time. In response, I decided to satirize the email, mostly to humor myself. But also to make a point: I am people, too. I assure you, this would be infinite more funny if I could show you the original email, but it takes too much effort and I’m lazy; which is another quality you can celebrate this year.


  1. this is actually not true, I’m strictly a civi 

Fear

I was talking with a friend about striving for bigger and better and how I sometimes don’t feel content. This was in relation to dating and my question was if there was someone better for me than Staci, whom I’m dating now. This is not to say that Staci isn’t awesome, she is. That’s a fact. But could I do better?

I related to my friend that I thought part of my problem is that I spend so much time I work trying to figure out bigger and better ways to do things, that maybe I had a hard time not thinking that way with relationships. Or maybe it’s because I’ve never had a girlfriend longer than Staci and we’re crossed a point where much of how we interact is a new experience for me (in the sense that people who have only been dating for two weeks interact very differently than people who have been dating for two months).

My friend asked if I thought I was missing out by not dating someone else. I really hadn’t separated those ideas: I thought I could be missing out on someone bigger and better. In fact, I didn’t really see a difference.

As we were leaving, my friend turned to me and said, “One is opportunity, the other is fear.”

I have a fear on missing out.

I used to always go to events and parties because I didn’t want to miss out on something fun, even though most of the time I didn’t have fun…there could be that one time when we do the most funnest thing ever! Maybe.

I fear missing important news, so I incessantly scan Twitter and Facebook, always seeing what the latest news is before it scrolls off the screen. Who’s dating whom, what hilarious antics are my friends in Colorado up to now, what new vacation pictures did the Joneses post. Just in case.

I do the same think with email too, although I am getting better.

Skinner was right with his variable ratio scheduling.

All of this plays quite well to the simple fact that humans are notorious for loss aversion and “strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Some studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion, although it’s not clear what studies are being cited))

My “loss aversion” is that I don’t want to lose the chance to be with someone else, someone who I think might be better. I don’t know if there is someone better, it’s just a chance. What’s frustrating about this feeling — this feeling of fear and of potentially being trapped — is that I know it, I can label it, but I can’t do a whole lot about it except talk about it and let it run its course.

Apparently, I’m not the only one that has this fear. Which is good, it means I’m still sane:
From thoughtcatalog.com:

But after some time – perhaps six months, perhaps a year, perhaps, even, two years, the presence of a partner can feel much less exciting than it used to, and the thought of spending time with another person or some fantasy being might become a very compelling one. But being in a long-term monogamous relationship requires a sort of sacrifice and that sacrifice is one of romantic contact with anyone other than your partner. And when your partner feels less exciting, and the thought of one outside the relationship becomes more exciting, what’s left is a feeling of being trapped, indefinitely (as the goal of long-term monogamous relationships is to stay together forever, not some limited time span), in a less than ideal situation that will never be as exciting as you might perceive an encounter with someone else.

I think that it’s easy for me to unsatisfied with and even scared of the parts of dating that are hard. Dating life, much like not-dating life, isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. However, I have only dated, cumulatively, for less than 180 days. Meanwhile, I’ve been struggling with and figuring out this thing called life for almost 9,125 days. So perhaps it’s only natural that I have this fear; I haven’t been in dating life long enough to be able to recognize what it means be in a good relationship and that it will be okay.

Week 3

Day 15

DSC_1824
18.0 mm || 0.4 || f/3.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D7000
Eden, Utah, United States

Day 16

DSC_1926
18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/3.5 || ISO6400 || NIKON D7000
Eden, Utah, United States

Day 17

DSC_1996
18.0 mm || 15 sec || f/22.0 || ISO100 || NIKON D7000
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Day 181

DSC_5822
70.0 mm || 1/320 || f/5.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Beau Champ, Nord-Ouest Department, Haiti

Day 19

data
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 20

data
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 21

1295681951376
Vignette for Android
Shoreline, Washington, United States


  1. I forgot to take a picture on this day, so I’m posting a picture I took on this day from last year 

Week 2

Day 8

Day 8
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 9

Day 9
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 10

Day 10
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 11

Day 11
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 12

Day 12
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 13

Day 13
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 14

Day 14
25.0 mm || 1/50 || f/3.8 || ISO800 || NIKON D7000
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington, United States

Europe 2009…in Pummelvision

Photojojo posted a blurb on Pummelvision last month and I’m just getting around to checking it out. All I can say is that it’s awesome:

From content.photojojo.com:

Ever wished you could rewind your entire life and watch it again?

Pummelvision…gives you a breathtakingly beautiful, painfully poignant, and utterly simple video summary of your life. It’s remarkable.

It’s just a few minutes, but we dare you not to be moved as you relive old apartments, boyfriends, girlfriends, just friends, jobs… You might even cry.

Pummelvision is the reason you’ve taken photos all these years. Go, go now.

I pummel’d the photos from my 2009 Europe trip, which you can see below or, preferably, watch in HD:

1665 pictures, 12 countries, 3 continents, and 9 weeks expressed in 3:42 seconds.

Original pictures at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/afdn/sets/72157621841422075/

Epically awesome.

New Years Resolution: The Pace

When I think of “pace”, I generally think of “keeping up pace,” as if I’m always behind the eight ball, never on top of things, and striving to catchup.

When I read Run Less, Run Faster1, I noticed there is a constant theme of keeping the pace prescribed for that run. Even if you knew you could run faster, you have to run at that particular pace. Pace is vital and keeping the right pace is critical.

We ran 6 days a week, and every day, our “training” run resulted in a competition. No matter how much we bot insisted that “Today, we’ll take it easy,” at some point, one of use would push the pace and then the race would be on! No rest days. No speed days. Nothing but race days.

Having race day every day doesn’t work. I’d like to think that if I can just tough it out — if I can just get through the hour, the day, or the week going at 110%, that then I will finally find time to rest and recover.

That never happens though.

What ends up happening is things start dropping off my plate: I don’t turn things in on time, I get sleep deprived, I don’t do my best work, I neglect cleaning up after myself, I don’t eat well, I don’t get out…the list goes on.

I guess this point is that I run as fast as I can until I can’t run anymore and I crash, not always a big crash but still a crash.

What if I were to force myself to set a pace though? Maybe not even a great pace, but a pace that I can finish. Sure, I’d like to be able to run a seven minute mile for the entire half marathon, but that’s not going to happen2.

What if I ran a ten minute mile? Ugh, that’s so slow. But, I think I can do that without crashing (and I can…almost).

You may be able to see how this might translate more generally to life: setting goals which are maybe not so grandiose, but which are achievable and build upon themselves to propel one forward. I may have lull spots where nothing is happening, and that’s great! I did a little better that expected, but I don’t need to go fill that void with something ten times harder just “for the challenge.”

Obviously, one of things I want to try and focus on for this year is keeping a good pace. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to do that, but I’m going to start by setting some resolutions that are easy and that I sort of like doing already.

Run four races

I want to run in four races this year, spaced roughly 3 months apart.

Here’s what I’m looking at so far:

  • St. Patricks Day Dash (6K): March 13
  • Beat the Bridge (8K): May 15
  • Seafair Sprint Triathlon (5K): July 24

I’d also like to run a 10K in the Fall, but I haven’t found one yet.

Write something meaningful once a week

This will, naturally, take place as a weekly blog post and starts with what you are reading here. The goal of “something meaningful” is to let what I’m writing marinate over the week so I can really wrestle with it and edit it. It’s also to avoid the well know fact that “Once you start measuring something, people will change the way they behave”3, case in point: “You can tell which people listed blogging as a performance review goal“.

I’ve done that before and sometimes can turn out really lame.

365 days, 365 pictures

Finally, I’d like to take a picture a day. I’ve been having a fun time taking pictures using Vignette for Android and uploading them using Flickroid, which is a nice alternative to carrying my camera around all day. Forcing myself to take a picture a day will make me more observant, I think.

Rules for my 365 challenge are:

  • One photo a day…which doesn’t necessarily end at midnight, just before I go to bed for that day
  • I do not have to use the same camera
  • I can use my cell phone camera
  • Post processing is definitely acceptable as long as I don’t bring in additional elements
  • Only one picture a day will be added to the 365 collective

I won’t post photos here every day because sometimes they sit on my camera for a bit before I get around to editing them. However, they have been taken and they will end up here eventually!

Speaking of which, here are this week’s winners:

Day 1 (January 1)

DSC_1745
50.0 mm || 1/25 || f/2.2 || ISO800 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 2

data
Vignette for Android
Shoreline, Washington, United States

Day 3

data
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 4

data
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 5

data
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 6

data
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 7

data
Vignette for Android
Seattle, Washington, United States

Here’s to the pace!

What goals are you setting for yourself this year?


  1. Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, Ray Moss, et al 

  2. For the record, I can run a seven minute mile…but only for one mile 

  3. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2010/11/16/10091537.aspx 

Quotes for 2010

Every year I collect quotes in the “Favorite Quotations” section of my Facebook profile. I feel that every year has a theme, which make the quotes of that year somewhat reflective of who I am and what I learned. For me, these quotes — these snipets of ideas — serve to inspire, and remind, and educate:

“… when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” – Author Unknown

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough” – Mario Andretti

“Whatever makes you nervous” – Michael Jordan in response to what he bets when he plays golf

“Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium.” – The Palatine of Posen

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them; disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones – we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple

“When I became a man I put away childish things including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – CS Lewis

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” – CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

“I would hope that everyone in every profession would take the time to ask themselves on a regular basis one question: Do I tolerate mediocrity? And if the answer to that question is yes, then the next question obviously is: Why? For if we are to have integrity we must answer that question well and not tolerate excuses or half measures. We must lead our lives in an exemplary fashion, offering ourselves a constant, persistent challenge to excel.” – Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger

“It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Arthur Conan Doyle