Categories
Blog Photo Essay

A Good Walk

Few people know how to take a walk.  The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humour, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most mornings I go for a little wander around my town, generally a 2.5 – 3 mile circuit.  I do this to clear my head after a 2 hour reading period and to get ready for the events of the day.  Yes I am an early riser. In the U.S. Army we had a strap-line that said ‘we do more before 9AM than most people do all day.’  I guess you can take the man out of the army but you can’t take the army out of the man.

I pretty much do the same few circuits. The point of this walk is more about movement and thinking and less about seeing new things.  Saying that, I decided to take of a different of what I saw as I walked.  I used the old Hipstamatic app to capture small random details of my town:

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Hipstamatic settings:

Film: Cano Cafenol
Lens: John S

Categories
Poetry

Freedom is a Mystery

Shameless freedom is a mystery
Wasteland studded

blasting free adverts

What is this really, except
easy fantasies)?

Normal people trickle down the cracks

neoliberal teenagers

Rock The Brady Bunch and
Unemployed achievers

Source document: The Wire magazine

Categories
Blog

I Still Be on the Grind

Midway this way of life we’re bound upon,
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
Where the right road was wholly lost and gone.

The Divine Comedy: Cantica I Hell, Cantos 1, 1-3

Dante found himself lost and Virgil appeared.

Oh where is my Virgil!

The in-laws left on Tuesday. The house is quiet now, well quieter (my daughter still has moments of blasting her music to club levels). I like it when family is around, there’s a nice buzz about the place that is comforting.

Yesterday, I dusted myself off and got back to the gym and to work.

“Strength has a greater purpose.” | #strengthtraining

A video posted by Clay Lowe (@soulcruzer) on

I haven’t made a vlog in a while so here you go:

I also met up with Eleanor Brown to do a podcast. She’s currently running a crowdfunding campaign to finance here next album. I first met Eleanor about a year ago. She had just finished living in a caravan for 3 months wrote and produced an album based on her experiences during that time.

I was the emcee for her co-launch with my novelist friend, Sarah Beth Hunt.

I like Eleanor’s music and soul, so agreed to do a podcast with her to help support her crowdfunding campaign. Have a listen:

Captured Moments

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It’s been a beautiful couple of days of cold frosty mornings.

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I like Eleanor as an artist and as a soulful person. She’s at the beginning of journey. I’m excited for her.

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Back in the gym after about a week off.  I thought I was going to be sucking, but actually the week off did me some good.  While not quite at my peek strength, I felt good.

Anyway, peeps, I’m trying to cram a lot of stuff into this evening, blogging being just one of those activities and the hour is growing late, so I best be on my way.

Peace.

 

Categories
Wisdom Bombs

Dangers of life

Categories
Poetry

A Voice

So tonight starts the first in a series of year end parties. I didn’t want to leave this until after the party, lord knows what would come out then.

Categories
Poetry

Conscious Torpor

 

And just like that the house was quiet again.

The source text for this black out poem was an old issue of Philosophy Now magazine.

Categories
Quotes

Weird enough

Categories
Blog Health and Fitness

I’m a human hamster, that’s what life-logging taught me

As some of you may or may not know, I started dabbling in the Quantified Self movement and tracking many of my activities throughout the course of a day. I ran the experiment for several months. My biggest take away was how much of a human hamster I am, and I suspect most of us are. That is, our lives on any given day is essentially interchangeably with any other day.

Same shit, different day comes to mind.

Yeah sure, there are nuances to any given day, and some days something totally out of left field happens, but mostly our days are the same.

Yeah, yeah even if you live a life of adventure, if you do it every day for enough days, it becomes the same. Trust me. I’ve spent many days out in the field and after a while one tree begins to look just like the next tree.

That isn’t necessarily to say that my life or your life is boring. It could be as exciting as Hell, but the sun will rise and the sun will set just the same. You will no doubt see most of the same people each day, drive the same car or catch the same bus, wear the same-ish clothes, eat the same-ish food etc.

There’s a sameness to our day that we can’t escape.

There I go again, getting sidetracked.

I’m suppose to be sharing some Quantified Self data with you. Particular the gym, because I kept up with the tracking after I finished the experiment .

Gym Hero Pro is my app of choice for tracking my weightlifting activity. I do believe you can connect it with RunKepper now for you running freaks.

I started using the app at the tail end of 2015, so the year on year improvement stats are not useful. I’m more interested in the 2016 tonnage and reps per exercises:

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Tracking my gym activity was ok because I only had to do it once a day. The life-logging on the hand got a bit tedious tracking every thing. I think if I start again, which I might do come January 1st, I’ll only track those things that can be done with ‘always on’ technology and can happen in the background to what I do like my Garmin smartwatch does and apps like Moves or Momento (which pulls from your social media feeds).

Plus. I’ll continue to do some old school tracking in my journals.

Categories
History

Herodotus, the Man Who Invented History

In the 5th century B.C. Herodotus set off on an ambitious mission to record the glorious achievements and remarkable events of the past so that these things wouldn’t be forgotten.

He declares at the start of the Histories:

“Herodotus of Halicarnassos here displays his inquiry, so that human achievements may not become forgotten in time, and great and marvellous deeds – some displayed by Greeks, some by Barbarians – may not be without their glory; and especially to show why the two peoples fought each other.”

And thus history was born.

Herodotus doesn’t generally get much play among academic historians (which is probably why I like him), but he is considered to be the father of history.  Reading the Histories is like reading a modern day literary travel-writing book.

Justin Marozzi on Herodotus:

“Herodotus’ first-person comments and asides reveal an educated, enlightened, adventurous, endlessly curious man with a dancing intellect and a felicitous turn of phrase, someone with a powerful sense of wonder and an all-encompassing humanity, brimming with relentless wanderlust and irrepressible storytelling zeal, revelling in his fizzing sexual curiosity and fierce tolerance of other cultures, buoyed along on the currents of historical inquiry by his continent-spanning humour, ranging wit and questing wisdom.”

I’m feeling the call of history again.  I’ve returned to Justin Marozzi and his book The Man Who Invented History as a starting point.

One, because Marozzi is considered to be one of the new breed of historians – a historian as travel writer type – and as such approaches history as narrative storytelling like Herodotus, the father of history did.

That’s a good place to start, I think, both with Marozzi’s text and Herodotus’s text to rekindle my history roots.

 

Categories
Quotes

Reasoning

Categories
Quotes

About found poetry

Categories
Blog Poetry

Attracting Love

This is the last of my sloth days.  It’s been fun hanging out with the family and a few friends – eating, drinking, and being merry.

For about a week now, I’ve been in chill mode, winding down the year and generally lazing around.  But enough is enough.  The family all head out tomorrow back to various points on the compass.  Once they go, I can finally draw a line in the sand for over-eating and sucking down cakes and pies and mounds of chocolate.

My belly is so big and round now, I’ve had to loosen my belt a couple of notches!

Anyway, it’s all good.  What’s the point of anything if you can’t let yourself go every once in while. The trick is not to do it for too long.

Oh, yes. I finally have my three words for 2017.  They are:

Patience

Creativity

Movement

Something I’m not the best at is patience.  I generally want everything and I want it now, especially when it comes to new projects.  I’m a great starter, but an awful finisher.  If I don’t see immediate results, I’m outta there.  I know this is not good, so for 2017, I’m going to make a concerted effort to be much more of a finisher.

A lot of my projects for 2017 have creativity at their core.  I’ve been holding myself back, for what reason I’m not entirely sure, maybe it’s like Madchild’s lament in Dark Clouds:

Can I rediscover my mind are we wasting each others time
I don’t cry I don’t look up at the sky and ask why
But sometimes I feel like I’m patiently waiting to die
Go thru the motions try to put the pen to paper with love
But I’m still holding back afraid of what I’m capable of…

So yeah, time to stop holding myself back!

And lastly movement.  I need to move more in 2017, get a little bit of the old days back when I hardly spent anytime indoors.  I’ve been so focused on building my little online empire that I’ve neglected being in motion.  I’m getting too old to not be moving around.  If I’m not careful I’ll seize up like the Tin Man.

That said, the featured imagine to this post is a part of my new found poetry project.  If you want to know more about what found poetry is you can check out this link and this link.

The source text for this poem is Lillian Too’s Little Book of Creating Abundance.

 

Categories
Blog

Saunas Help Your Brain

OK men, add a daily trip to the sauna to your goal list for 2017.

A new long-term study out of Finland found that the more frequently men chilled in a sauna, the less likely they were to develop Alzheimer’s.

I don’t think you “chill” in a sauna, but we know they mean.

After controlling for lots of things — age, alcohol, smoking, diabetes, resting heart rate, body mass index, and the like — the analysis found that the dudes who bathed in saunas four to seven times a week had a 65 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s and a 66 percent lower risk of dementia compared to those who went just once a week.

Finnish fun facts:

99 percent of Finns sauna at least weekly, the BBC reports, and there are 3.3 million saunas in the country of 5.3 million people. It’s been a part of Finnish culture for thousands of years, and sauna is the only Finnish word to be loaned to English.

I’ll be upping my sauna game in 2017.

Categories
Link Love

How Your Brain Controls the Speed of Time

Since the brain estimates the passage of time by how much information is stored within a given interval, richer memories make it feel like more time has passed.

Categories
Social tech

Facebook’s problem isn’t fake news

There’s something sinister about a company that wants to take over the world. And what’s even more sinister to me is how slowly and inconspicuously the take over happens. FB with its to “connect the world” mantra and Google with its to “organize the world’s information” mantra are examples of these companies’ intent to take over the world disguised as inspirational company vision posters.

When you consider quotes like this from Mark Zuckerberg when he told investors that the company makes decisions:

“…not optimizing for what’s going to happen in the next year, but to set us up to really be in this world where every product experience you have is social, and that’s all powered by Facebook.”

You realise there’s something greater at stake.

Think about about how much data Facebook has on you. Your passwords, your pictures, your connections, your buying habits, your surfing habits.

Through the power of algorithms Facebook knows more about you then you do and can accurately predict what you’ll do in the future.

And it’s not just Facebook…there’s also Google, Amazon, Netflix to name a few.

But how do you fight against it without looking like a Luddite? Or maybe like me, you suffer from FOMO – fear of missing out – so you comply with the slow take over of your life even though you can sense the impending doom.

And then there’s this thing with fake news. Although it’s not a new phenomenon ( you can read about the long and brutal history of fake news ) what’s got me questioning myself now is this:

That the “fake news” problem and its proposed solutions have been defined by Facebook as link issues — as a web issue — aligns nicely with a longer-term future in which Facebook’s interface with the web is diminished. Indeed, it heralds the coming moment when posts from outside are suspect by default: out of place, inefficient, little better than spam.

Is all of the attention on fake news part of Facebook’s plan to complete it’s self-contained eco-system in which all of us are trapped in it like The Matrix?

Categories
Music

Watch Alexandr Kisko kick Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ finger guitar style

One of favourite Michael Jackson tracks beautifully rendered finger guitar style.  This guy, Misko has also done an awesome job with some other popular tracks too like Linkin Park’s In the End and Zombie by the Cranberries

Categories
Quotes

Journeys taken alone

Categories
Blog

Soulcruzer’s 5×5 Music Pick #002

‘She came along and she cut me loose’, that’s what 2016 has done to me.  The year has come and gone so fast, although I suspect we say that every year.  But damn, as I get older, I swear the days come and go twice as fast as they used to. Gone are the lazy days where it feels ok to flitter time away.

Categories
Blog

I saw your ribcage

Categories
Quotes

Out on the edge