Creativecraft: What I’m into now

My creative undertakings are coalescing into several projects that I have something to show in the near future:

First, I am revisiting an old project focused on small drawings using a variety of methods I can produce in a short amount of time and in quantity. These will be mostly non-representational creations focusing on geometry, shape, and color; although, some of them may be as representational as I get.

Second, I have revived my “ambiart” painting project that involves creating small, color-swatch paintings designed to be color accents.

Third, I am transitioning my 3d-drawing toward kinetic sculptures inspired, in part, by my recent discovery of Greg Olijnyk‘s work and revisiting some themes I once explored in other media, including cardboard, once upon a time. I envision these sculptures involving motion, motors, lights, and even sound.

Fourth, I have discovered both fabric painting and wet felting, and both these discoveries have lead to a new idea that is still very much in development at the moment that may also involve sculptural and technological elements. I hope to have something to show for this undertaking after the first of the year.

Finally, I am working toward getting my newest LEGO studio into some kind of working order so that I can pursue my latest passion in brick building: micro cityscapes. 

As always, I tend to be far more ambitious in my pursuits than time and stamina often permits. Nevertheless, I intend to give all of these projects a fair go, and I hope to have some examples to post here in the very near future. Stay tuned.

DLH

Read more at my Creativecraft site...

Education: The tension of lifelong learning

I am firmly in the camp that believes that lifelong learning is directly linked to living life to the fullest. I believe that, when we stop learning, we start dying.

That tension has come to a certain head for me in the past couple of years as I have discovered that I have slowed down in my own intentional pursuit of learning. There are a variety of reasons for that slow-down, some legitimate, others not, but the result has been that I can feel my mind slowing down and taking my body with it.

I believe that central to that slowdown is the fact that I have not pursued an organized and intentional path of learning for quite a long while. Random learning has its place, but intentional learning is a practice and a discipline that helps form the entire mind and body into something better than what it was before the pursuit.

I do not yet have good answers as to what or how I will pursue intentional learning yet, but I believe being aware that it needs to happen is the first step in pursuing the solution and producing a result. Stay tuned here for more on this journey I am beginning.

DLH

Read more at my Education site...

Gaming for the Rest of Us: Making games

One of my long-time passions has been tabletop and role-playing games. I’ve played various games since at least high school, and continue to play to this day.

One of the exciting things I’ve been involved with is the development of the Purgatory game and No-Class gaming system by my friends over at Broomstick Fighters (Facebook Page). Purgatory is a weird-west style game with Cthulhuian overtones, and the No-Class system is a new take on the mechanics of role-playing.

It turns out that I also develop my own games, though they are in various states of disarray. If you’re interested in keeping track of my progress, you can watch here, on my gaming page (Facebook page), or head over to my Engima22 Productions Unlimited site (it’s woefully out of date, so be patient).

Game on.

DLH

Read more at my Gaming for the Rest of Us site...

Walking along the narrow road: Wondering what to say

It’s been a long while since I wrote on this blog, not because I don’t have things to say but because I don’t know how to say them in a way that is both meaningful and fitting to my place as an educated layman.

One of the dangers inherent to writing about faith is that of passing oneself off as something one is not, even without intent. I intended this blog to be about my own thoughts about faith but discovered that some were taking it as something more and were, as a result, taking offense.

Some would just write and let come what may, but in matters of faith, I don’t believe that’s the right answer. This blog is by definition about both faith and witness because, in it, I share what I believe, and one of the things I believe most dearly is that it is important for me to avoid leading anyone astray with whatever I may write.

That said, I have things to say. They are my views, informed by what I believe, and I cannot hold them back. I welcome discussion, and I will do everything within my power to add clarity wherever I have been unclear.

DLH

Read more at my Walking along the narrow road site...

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Worldview: Food: Changing diet

I’ve found myself gravitating toward a far more plant-based diet over the past several months than I ever thought I would. Some of that change is out of necessity because of my ever-present health concerns, but more of it is because I feel better when I’m eating less meat.

That has translated into a strange phenomenon for me. The more vegetables and fruits I eat, the less palatable meat becomes to me. I find I have to eat smaller portions of meat less frequently to avoid digestive problems.

All of that said, it’s also been a hard transition. I’ve been a meat-eater my entire life, so cutting back has had a steep learning curve for me. I also find I have no creativity when it comes to preparing plant-based meals and that adds to the struggle.

Fortunately, I’m slowly realizing the way through. We recently started purchasing plant-based, prepared means from Sprinly, and that reduces some of the creativity problem. Further, I’ve discovered that I naturally gravitate toward Mediterranian, Near Eastern, and Far Eastern plant-based dishes, so I at least have a place to look for ideas when I need them.

Are you experiencing your own changes in diet? Share your experience in the comments.

DLH

Read more at my Food weblog...

Read more at my Worldview site...

Gaming for the Rest of Us: Games I’ve been playing

My gaming has gone mostly mobile and casual these days. I don’t have the time to invest in sitting for hours playing PC games, and my attention span at the moment doesn’t support PC gaming anyway.

That said, I do have a bevy of mobile games I’m playing on my iPad. Of course, the ever-present issue with mobile games is that they always want your money, but I find that playing less frequently and less intensely covers over quite a bit of that.

Right now, my main go-to game is Start Trek Fleet Command. If you want to “win” you have to pay, but I enjoy the base-building aspects of the game without paying.

In the same vein is Star Wars Commander. The base-building aspect of this game is better than Star Trek Fleet Command, and it’s easier to advance without paying. That said, the campaign and PvP aspects of the game get tedious to me.

Speaking of tedium, there’s Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. Don’t get me wrong, this game is easy to play without spending a dime, but the gameplay can get repetitive and dull very quickly.

The same can be said for Star Trek Timelines. This game has a lot of potential, but the gameplay is often inscrutable and repetitive.

Rounding out the five games I regularly visit is Pixel Starships. This is a kind of silly, straightforward game of building a starship and attacking other players. Still, it has limited playability as you spend enormous amounts of time gathering resources to upgrade your ships.

Of course, my reviews beg the question, if the games are tedious, why play? The short answer is that they only become tedious if you play for more than, say, five minutes at a time. Played casually, these games are a welcome distraction and are worth that much investment.

What games are you playing right now?

Happy gaming.

DLH

Read more at my Gaming for the Rest of Us site...

Makercraft: Making isn’t always glamorous

While all of us makers love to create awesome things, sometimes what we’re making is far more mundane. In fact, I’d guess my own mundane creations outweigh my awesome ones 2 or 3 to one.

Cases in point: I recently build a simple plastic reel holder for my 3d drawing area out of a couple of 1x2s. Hardly glamorous, but it’s functional and provides easy access and some much-needed space to my shelves and desktop.

 

Another example is an old section of countertop I recently repurposed into a desk using a leg set I bought off Amazon.

The underlying theme is that making has its roots in thrift as much as it does awesome. The endeavor should contain some of both.

DLH

Read more at my Makercraft site...

Readiness: We need to be thinking about how to GTFH too

I’ve been thinking about readiness a lot more recently. It’s easy to get complacent, especially when you “feel” ready, but the fact is even the best prepared among us are never as ready as we think we are.

One of the themes that play out in the readiness world is an obsessive focus on “getting out of dodge” when things go south, but the fact is that’s only a limited part of the story. Sure, in the case of some disasters, bugging out may be the only option, and if you have a plan and a destination, that is an important part of planning. What many people don’t think about, though, is how to get home when something goes south and that’s where you need to be.

For me, there are a limited number of unlikely circumstances that would force me to leave home. In fact, while thinking about it, I’ve realized there are a far larger number of circumstances where my necessary goal would be to get home rather than away from it. While getting home in a disaster situation looks a lot like getting out, there are some critical differences.

Often, when I am away from home, I am also not following my usual routine. That means I’m not wearing my usual readiness friendly clothing, especially footwear, and I’m often not near my readiness gear. Realizing that, I’ve also realized I need to rethink how I do things when I’m away from home so I have a better chance of getting back in one piece.

I’m just at the very beginnings of thinking about how all that works, but I will share my insights here once I have them.

In the meantime, what’s your get home plan for yourself and your family. Think on it.

DLH

Read more at my Readiness site...

Science and Technology: The evolution of the pocket computer

Yeah, I know… I’m a broken record…

But we can see the future of the pocket computer in a variety of new devices starting to come onto the market that transcend the phone moniker in favor of becoming pocket computing devices. Of all the ones announced so far, I’m most interested in the potential of the recently announced Microsoft Duo, a dual-screen, folding device running Android and designed to be carried in your pocket.

If the Duo lives up to its promise, it will be the first true “phablet”, a pocket device with the power of a table but that can be carried everywhere. Further, because it’s plugged into an existing ecosystem of apps, it could be able to do all of the things you can already do with your so-called phone, but with the focus on computing rather than talking.

I am convinced devices like the Duo are the future of pocket computers. This future means unleashing these devices from the legacy of the phone-based past and focusing on them as productivity tools and information devices.

Granted, this is early technology in this transition, so it may take a few generations before it reaches its prime, but the fact is the Duo and devices like it represent how many of us are already using our current phones. With these devices unleased, we could see more progress in our relationship with the information revolution.

DLH

Read more at my Science and Technology site...