Thursday, August 29, 2013


Critical thinking I

Strategies for critical thinking in learning and project management

Critical thinking studies a topic or problem with open-mindedness.
This exercise outlines the first stage of applying a critical thinking approach to developing and understanding a topic. You will:
  • Develop a statement of the topic
  • List what you understand, what you've been told
    and what opinions you hold about it
  • Identify resources available for research
  • Define timelines and due dates
    and how they affect the development of your study
  • Print the list as your reference
Here is more on the first stage:
Define your destination, what you want to learn
Clarify or verify with your teacher or an "expert" on your subject
Topics can be simple phrases:
"The role of gender in video game playing"
"Causes of the war before 1939"
"Mahogany trees in Central America"
"Plumbing regulations in the suburbs"
"Regions of the human brain"
  • Develop your frame of reference, your starting point,by listing what you already know about the subject
  • What opinions and prejudices do you already have about this?
    What have you been told, or read about, this topic?
  • What resources
    are available to you for research
    When gathering information, keep an open mind
    Look for chance resources that pop up!
    Play the "reporter" and follow leads
    If you don't seem to find what you need, ask librarians or your teacher.
  • How does your timeline and due dates affect your research?Keep in mind that you need to follow a schedule.
    Work back from the due date and define stages of development,
    not just with this first phase, but in completing the whole project.
Summary of critical thinking:

  • Determine the facts of a new situation or subject without prejudice
  • Place these facts and information in a pattern so that you can understand them
  • Accept or reject the source values and conclusions based upon your experience, judgment, and beliefs

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Big Sur Pt. 1 - Arrival

Big Sur last weekend. Camped by the beach. Woke up to, and slumbered against, an infinite deep blue backdrop, crusted by a sharp and bold cliff side. Toward the North, a magnificent blade of hard Earth curved along the coast, and protruded outward toward the Sea. The East mountains, wise as ever, rested low, and climbed into the heavens, piercing the occasional thick white fog that solicited the shallow skies. The road vanished behind the campsites Southern grassy knolls. The marathon bicyclist and sports car fanatics were not shy to scurry by and by. The West was watery and delightfully wicked. In the morning, the Sea and her mate, the Sky, kept us warm beneath a thick blanket of cotton-like clouds. None would wake up to the busy Sun, for to do so would be to exist elsewhere, something I cared not for.

We arrived later than anticipated, around eleven a.m., and were excited to find an available camp space. At first, we were confident that all spaces had been seized, but after speaking with the Camp Official, we were reassured that there were two plots to our avail, and we hurried to occupy the first one we could find. The site was very close to the road, at first I was concerned by this, being that the road was immediately behind our camp space, and that we could see and hear cars passing by at all times of the day. My second concern was with the overall proximity of the camp spaces, our neighbors were very close and in plain sight! I thought this an obstacle for the expected mid-day and late night debauchery. None-the-less, we unpacked our tents and bags, and immediately began our tiny colony.

It was a popular location, and for good reason.The site, which boast about twenty-or-more camp spaces, was perfectly adjacent to the incredible ocean, which could be seen from any of the spaces. There were, however, better views of the ocean, certain spaces offered a more intimate setting, and would prove ideal for enjoying an uninterupted sunset from ones camp with ease. Ours however, was perfect for us. We picked a nice grassy spot, that had more space for leisure than any other site I observed. And our neighbors were as young and crazy as we, however, not nearly as mean and certainly not as cynical; we are a crude bunch, like a bowl colorful sour grapes, but also playful and nourishing.

The local wildlife made themselves known. Cheerful creatures of different sorts scampered around in the dirt, or grass. Black birds, blue-jays, robins, and other sorts would flutter by and grace us, often lurking nearby, hopping along, searching and waiting for discarded foods. Shaggy-tailed squirrels praced around the cars and BBQ pits with playful expression. A small hare chewed grass near the neighbors car. There were few insects, none that were bothersome, not even one timid mosquito.

 Once all was set up, we cooked, ate, smoked, and drank our way into a pleasant existence. We were well equipped with food, snacks, beers, and strange medications. I enjoyed a Corona and a smoke before retiring early to the tent for a mid-day nap.

Burne Hogarth

One of my favorite artist
My Mother bought me his book Dynamic Anatomy when I was young
It introduced to me the human form in powerful, vidid, and wild detail
The men with massive arms, wide chests, and rigid legs.
The women, so soft and elegant, yet bad-ass and intimidating
All nude and free as the body ought to be
I have since purchased several other of Burnes publications
and plan on studying his ideas and techniques in depth
. Thanks B.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Winter Girl

Small, tender, wild, and untamed.
Bright, pure, honest, and ripe.
Loud, quick, hungry, and anxious.
Impatient, impatient, impatient.
But, patient enough.
Eager, willing, and motivated.
Naive, at times, but aren't we all?
Slender, thin, and trim.
Tickled, sweet, and young.
Summer, Spring, and Fall.
A hot chocolate kind of Winter girl.