Archive for January, 2017


Philosophy Tuesday

January 31, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

We often look for silver bullets.

We look for those perfect, single, solutions that we can use to take out and solve an issue or problem.

Or, we look backwards to see what was that thing, the one thing, that caused something to happen.

Unfortunately, that silver is rarely so shiny.   There exist few actual silver bullets.

It’s easy to get caught in the trap, though:

“If I push a ball, the ball rolls.  Cause and effect.  Hit thumb with hammer equals ow.  No surprise.  Ergo, it’s usually one thing (or one main thing) causes another thing.”

It seems silly when spelled out like that, but yet… we do it, don’t we?  Off we go, looking for silver bullets.

Thing is, even the ball rolling isn’t so straightforward.  We may not even pause to wonder, “What had me push the ball in the first place?”  Or,”If I chose to push the ball, how did I get my body to do that?”

We can play with an example that yesterday, we lost a dollar on the street, and it didn’t faze us one bit.  Today, we dropped our pen on the floor at work, and we fall to pieces.  Huh.

Turns out there are a lot of variables there, a lot of things acting in concert, making their influence felt, from why we are dropping things, to why pens upset us more than dollars, or to just why being at work puts us in a different frame of mind than being on the street.

And the larger the effect or result or incidence, the more likely it is that multiple influences played a role in its development.

When we look at directions and outcomes and even just the “what’s so” of our lives, or in society, or about the world at large, often we can, just on our own, come up with a number of possibilities to “explain” the why and the how and the now.  If we ask others, we can probably get many more.

Consider that all of these are valid, and they may all have played a role.  And, conversely, had they not all been present in some fashion, the outcome would not have happened.

Knowing how to proceed, how to work towards what we all want in life, we need to get as broadly grounded as we can, and from there we can choose where to apply ourselves, what to transform.  We need to get the lay of the whole land, and the wind and the rivers and the trees, not just that which is directly in front of our feet.  We can imagine things complexly.

Likewise, we need to plan and work broadly.  Just as it is many things that led us to where we are, there are many things we can work in concert, each one supporting and amplifying the other, to drive towards the new possibility.  To only work on one – our supposed silver bullet – will leave gaps and soft spots that can make our progress tenuous and unstable.  We may not reach everyone, or every thing, and influences that created the situation can continue to flow unabated and undermine our work.  Difficulty may discourage us entirely.

As nice as silver bullets would be, there is a distinct lack thereof.  Be it in our personal lives, our society, or the world at large, influences and avenues are much broader.

Maybe it’s time for a new metaphor:  Let’s find the silver shotguns.


Architecture Monday

January 30, 2017

Here’s a couple of nifty little ideas created using standard shipping container technology.

The first is a drop-down cabin that uses a sweet slide-out section that doubles the space  without needing to truck in a whole second container, and creates a giant solarium of living space.  The interior could use some refinement; the built-in furniture that tucks away is nice but the overall layout and design could be rendered both more useful and elegant.  That said, an intriguing first start, and the fact it arrives with solar panels is a plus.

Alternately, plug a few containers together, like this office.  With the outer frame taking up the structural load, there’s a lot of room for flexibility.  The front deck on this is pretty sweet, and would look great as the front bit of a house;  imagine having this deck as the entryway,  a container unit for the middle, and then having the slide-out solarium unit in back for a gloriously light-filled and open small house.

And you could always throw another container up top for an additional retreat or media room or library or…

With their ubiquity and standardization, shipping containers could offer up some nice design and building opportunities (like this train station).  Something to explore.

Cabin and office by CubeDepot.


Sabre Fun

January 29, 2017

Some photos from the lightsabre meetup at FC a couple of weekends ago!  Woo!




Sneak attack to the leg!  Reversal!



A very fun evening of dueling and geeking out.  Great way to finish off the con.

(Photos by Lostwolf)


Winter Fu

January 26, 2017

There’s only one thing I don’t like about practicing in the cooler months:  when I begin to sweat.

Not because of the sweat per se, rather, it’s that, given the cool temperatures, my body hasn’t sweat all day.

So when I warm up enough that I need to begin to sweat, every pore on my body opens at once…

… and it feels like a million cockroaches are crawling all over me.

A whole body tingly itching sensation.  That comes on nearly instantaneously.  While I’m doing some drill or exercise.


It is a great test of my mindfulness and ability to be with things!  Still not comfortable at all though.


Wonder Wednesday

January 25, 2017

by Alex Guinness


Philosophy Tuesday

January 24, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.


It does not mean to be in a place

where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.

It means to be in the midst of those things

and still be calm in your heart.


Architecture Monday

January 23, 2017

Well this is interesting – a nicely designed prefab hut/home that takes flat packed (Ikea jokes anyone?) to a whole new level.  Slick and well kitted out, with the option for easy size adjustment and able to handle different terrain types.

Also designed with different interiors for both isolated and urban uses, though given the level of craft I think either could work in a mix and match kind of way no matter where the hut was placed.

Slick design, good use of prefab, lofty, and customizable.  Colour me interested.  The company is just starting out — I’ll have to keep my eyes on them and see how it develops.

The Backcountry and Frontcountry, by BHC