Double Astuteness

Heard a great piece on NPR last week about a new book called Blindspot:  Hidden Biases of Good People, delving into the hidden world of our prejudices and biases.  The radio piece looked at our hidden prejudices we have that don’t look like prejudices because they are positive towards people (rather than what we usually think of prejudices, which are negative and vindictive), and it sounds like the book goes deeper into looking at all sorts of biases.  Great to listen to, and great that this book’s out – anything that helps get a broader conversation and awareness of all our blind spots (both about others and ourselves) out there is beneficial!

Also, saw a great shirt today that read “People don’t want advice.  They want corroboration.”    Astute!

Up and Out

Went climbing today for the first time in about a year.  Good, fun, met a bunch of people.  I wonder on how sore my forearms will be… and whether I will accidentally chuck a few swords across the kwoon during practice tomorrow morning.  That would be…. bad.

Beauty

My front yard is awash in orange with a carpet of poppys!  You could say I have a poppy-lation explosion…  hee!   It really is a gorgeous gaggle of tall grasses, the poppys, and a few other wildflowers and the few other things we’ve planted.  I know I’m doing something right when the yard is buzzing with bumblebees, visiting flower to flower…

Moving Forward

I don’t really know much about Justin Trudeau, apart from his eloquent eulogy for his father some years back, and, of course, that he just won the leadership of the Liberal Party.  I have a newfound appreciation for him for his insightful and humanist response to a question regarding the Boston bombings, recognizing that there is complexity and much at play, and that there is a way to make a difference.  To take care of the moment and to look to the future.

I have an equally and conversely new depreciation for PM Harper, who jumped all over this intelligence with a response that basically said “No, you need to wave your dick around!  That’s what is needed!”

Shame.

Putting the Gōng Into it

I am a total product of the literal meaning of Kung Fu:  accomplishment arrived at by great effort of time and energy.  I doubt many would ever describe me as being naturally gifted or talented in the physical arts; certainly I never excelled nor participated in many sports as a kid.  When I started my KF training my flexibility was abysmal, my body coordination rather poor and my muscle endurance was low.  My energy endurance was not too bad thanks to much cycling, but even there that came from hard work and repetition.   Climbing gave me half decent balance, but that too was from years of practice and working up to it.  Neither of those seemed to make any difference though as I began my Shaolin training, where I could never put my hands where I needed them and my legs felt like they would fall off at any moment.

All the skill and ability I have today has come from training, training, and more training.  I trained 16 hours a week for a time, and even when moving supplies up the stairs at work I would consider it training.  I asked questions, took coaching, and then trained some more.  I bet it would be hilarious to watch a video of me from when I started (alas, as far as I know no such thing exists).  But that’s where I started out, as do we all start out somewhere and sometime.

We start there.  Then we train.

Chokesplosion!

My artichoke plant has exploded and is producing artichokes out the wazooooo.  Delicious and huge artichokes.  I’ve been steaming and delighting in them.  Gotta catch up though – they’re better when not too huge, and some on the plant right now are big enough to use as a mace!

Enter Kundig

Went to a talk last night by Tom Kundig at Stanford.  I was semi-familiar with his work, primarily because of his exquisite armature/mechanic inventions that effortlessly move whole ginormous window wall sections with the turn of a small hand crank.  Nifty stuff on its own, but I came away from the talk discovering he has a great sense of space and materials as well.  Beyond just the cool machine bits the designs shown really come together into a whole experience of landscape, feel and materials, spatiality and light.  Really makes me want to explore his work more and appreciate and learn from them.  He’s now totally on my radar.

The talk itself was great, it wasn’t a lecture it was more of an “City Arts and Lectures”-style interview, with one of the Stanford prof’s asking questions for a while, followed by a good number of questions from the audience.  They let the images cycling in the background introduced his work, and instead let him explore practice, the meaning of architecture, his beginnings, his process, and more.  It had been a while since I’d been to the Stanford architecture lecture series, so glad I went again last night.  Inspired now!

California Drivin’

I have a request for all drivers in my area.  Please remain aware of the situation around you and, more importantly, drive as though there are other human beings on the road.  I do not understand what possesses one to do as a driver did this morning, as I was in a single-lane merge onto an expressway, who with their SUV came on the outside of me in the lane (trying to turn it into a two lane merge?), thus dangerously blocking my view of the oncoming traffic as I go to merge, while gunning it as I try to merge, almost running into me.  I do not understand what is your view that makes this an OK thing to do.  I do not understand what is the view that makes it OK to traverse four lanes of freeway traffic, forcing others to dodge you, just so you can take some exit.  I do not understand the view what makes it OK to barrel off the freeway into a merge lane to get two car lengths ahead and then cut someone off to get back onto the freeway.  I do not understand the view that makes it OK to turn right on a red light when someone is pulling a U-turn, then blocking the crosswalk because there was no space for you to actually turn right in the first place.  And I do not understand the many of other things I see on a daily basis that has me starting to wonder if the Russian model of a dashcam in just about every car would be a good thing.

Please.  Your actions have an impact on other people.  And on you.