MonthApril 2008

idea!

Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.
Howard Aiken

At some point ideas don’t matter. They do and yet they don’t. There are many reasons why people won’t share their ideas. Sometimes we think the idea is not good enough, or not original enough or worse… we think someone will take our idea and, godforbid, make money!

What is an original idea anyway? What is a truly original idea? Aren’t most “original” ideas simply older ideas augmented in some form or manner?

I like sharing ideas now. As silly, foolish or unoriginal as they may be. And even if I think the idea will make me a thousandaire, I have no issues sharing it. Though I think at some point I would have had issues. But for some reason I don’t anymore.

I think ideas are for everyone’s taking. If I didn’t come up with it, someone else would have (or already has). So in the long run, it may not even matter who exactly came up with it. Everyone remembers the Wright brothers though, because they actually flew a plane. I’m sure lots of other folk were coming up with ways to fly.

Ideas in and of themselves aren’t much at all. The follow-through is what really matters in the end. At some point, I need to pony up and follow-through.

say nothing

I don’t know what it is. The thought of many words that I may write prevents me from doing so. At some point I will have all the words lined up in my mind. The sentences, the paragraph structure, even the jokes will all have been placed and polished. But yet there is nothing, because it’s not written.

Then when I come to write those thoughts, there is nothing. Sometimes I will go blank and sometimes the willingness to write those words will die. The more words required, the less willing I am to write them. The subject matter no longer as meaningful as it was in my mind. “Hah! Who would read this? Would I read this?”. But there is so much to say. I wish I could get as much out in few words. I wish I could transfer these thoughts without words and say nothing.

The unplanned thoughts flow easier in a way, the meaningless easier to convey. Never in my mind, the words and sentences form themselves. All of a sudden the medium has a meaning, and it’s beyond my mind. I wish I could say more.

take a haiku

many syllables
here i need to make seven
this better be five

at the doc

I was at the doctor’s office on Saturday, but I forgot to take my music machine with me. There’s something about hospitals and clinics, I don’t want to go there. I’m not against it, no. But I’m always reluctant to go. In either case, while waiting I realized I didn’t have my mp3 player. I then checked the pockets for a deck of cards – no luck. So I sat there for the longest time doing nothing. I may have been thinking, but this is unconfirmed. I decided to go to the convenience store and purchase a couple of decks of cards. My old deck was much battered and bruised anyway.

I started playing around with the cards to give myself something to do as I waited. I was eventually called into the doctor’s office, and was in the moment where the doctor is still finishing off with other folk in the other room. So I play with the cards a little and then start playing with a toonie. The doctor opens the door and walks in, so I put the toonie and the cards on the table.

“How are you doing?”
“Not so well, I wouldn’t be here otherwise”, all my conversations with doctors start this way.
“Okay, so hit me with one!”, he notices the deck of cards on the table. I had done magic for him a couple of years ago, but I don’t know if he remembers.
“Dude! I’m sick. Fix me up first. You do your job, then I’ll do mine.”
“Fine.”

This is the exact same thing I came in for two years ago, and he prescribes the same thing. In between though, he starts to examine the toonie, trying to see if there was anything magical/tricky about it.

“That’s just a toonie.”, I say.
“I know, I’m just looking at it”, he picks up the coin and starts to turn it over and over, continuing to examine it.
“Hey! Put that back! That’s my lunch money.”
“I wasn’t going to keep it.”
“I don’t know about that, you look tired and it’s been a long day for you and that stethoscope looks really old. Who knows what you might do.”

He hands me the prescription. Notices my ring.

“You want to examine this too?”
“No. So… you’re an engineer! You must be smart.”
“You’re a doctor, you must be smart. I hope my prescription is correct.”

We got into a discussion about engineering. He suggested that I’m young and highly employable, and probably should be in Silicon Valley working on some kick-ass software. The thought has crossed my mind, many times. But I can create kick-ass software here too.

I notice that he’s kept up his end of the bargain, it’s time for me to do my job. And I did. He reclined further back in his chair and started clapping.

“Dude that was awesome! How did you do that?”, he says as I notice that sense of wonder in his eyes.
“Somethings they just don’t teach you in med school, eh? So how often do I take these pills again?”
“You’re the magician, you figure it out.”

More doctors like this, and my reluctant nature towards clinics might just disappear.

drafts

i have 7 drafts/unpublished posts on wordpress right now, and more in my head.

in fact, i have so much to blog about, that i’‘m not blogging anything at all. i think i’ll have a flurry of blog posts when i have nothing to blog about again.

7 unpublished/incomplete posts are titled:
1. me, me, me… my failure
2. laying the rays to rest
3. just one
4. I was just there
5. I swear
6. something
7. The Adnan Identity

no

Krazy 4 – I got 20 minutes in, until the “item number” song. sorry, you lost me there. I thought the intros of the characters were pretty good, direction and camera work seemed to be done well. But… no.

Black & White – I’m not sure why I kept giving this movie a chance. The new kid, Anurag Sinha, acted well for the role he was portraying. BUT… the second time he shot someone for saying something, I had to stop watching. no.

Race – I wasn’t really interested in watching this one at all, but people kept saying good things about twists and turns and all. This movie lasted 10 minutes. Anil Kapoor didn’t even finish his intro-narration, and I had no interest in the characters. Yes, Saif Ali Khan jumps off a hot air balloon into an unmanned car, falls directly into the driver’s seat and stops the car right just before it comes to the edge of a cliff. Ummm… no.

in a circle

in a circle, all ends are connected

this is the sound

people take pictures, i’ve decided to take sound.

my first shot was in the subway today. this is the east-bound train at st. george station on the ttc (toronto transit system).

here it is, this is the sound of a subway train.

[audio:http://jaaduhai.com/this-is-the-sound/subwaytrain.mp3]

also! if you have a sound recording device go record an natural un-manufactured sound!

boxed thought and zen guitar

I recently finished reading ‘Zen Guitar’. I think it’s a great book. It’s not about how to technically play the guitar. It has no songs or notes. It’s about the approach, how one should play the guitar, how one should approach playing the guitar. But really, it doesn’t apply to just playing a guitar, it applies to anything at all. It applies to life.

A few reviews on Amazon have described the book as having “profound wisdom”. Although, if you think about it for a while, this profound wisdom is mostly just common sense, or what should be common sense. But we have boxes in our brains, our thoughts are boxed. Our minds are full of boxed patterns that have been ingrained by our societies and our education system. Common sense has no place amongst boxed thought.

Our thoughts are boxed. When I say “boxed” I don’t mean hidden or concealed, no. I mean the shape, the pattern. Our thoughts are boxed. “Think outside the box”, someone will say, and then feel clever. “Everyone is thinking outside the box now, we should think inside the box”, someone else will say, feeling even cleverer. Boxed thought. Inside or outside. No one tells us to think inside/outside spheres, cones or pyramids. We’re all boxed up instead (I now feel I’ve trumped everyone in cleverness).

Common sense helps us see new patterns, it helps us see the other shapes. If you fill up a room with cubes, there is no room for other shapes. And thus, common sense seems profound, and it should. It helps to see common sense in printed text, in audio or in friends’ encouragement. We’ve been trained against common sense, so we need to train ourselves to accept it.

Zen Guitar is full of profound common sense. I would recommend it to everyone. It applies to everyone and anything they would do. It’s one of those books I would buy multiple copies of, just so I could lend it out to multiple people at the same time. It’s a short book and an easy read. I particularly liked the sections on rhythm, collaboration, ego, competition and criticism.

I’m going to post excerpts from the book now.

On rhythm: <blockquote>
I often hear people say they have no natural rhythm. This is false. Anyone with a heartbeat has rhythm. Anyone who breathes in and breathes out has rhythm. Anyone who walks has rhythm. The important thing is to feel it and put it in your music.
</blockquote>

On self-doubt: <blockquote>
All you can ever do here is be yourself and play your song. If you ask, “But will it be good enough to play Carnegie Hall or the Village Vanguard or Budokan?” you are blind to the Way. A bird does not ask, “Is my song pretty?” Just make a joyful noise.
</blockquote>

On overthinking: <blockquote>
Do not analyze things to death. Sometimes the best strategy is, “Ready, fire, aim.” Do it first, then make adjustments. The answer lies in action – not in words.
</blockquote>

random guitar

so i was just playing with the guitar the other day and decided to try something other than my daily ‘happy birthday’ routine.

after about two seconds of thought, i figured i’d post it on the blog. i didn’t bother editing the sound clip, it’s 4 minutes long, and somewhere in there is a tune somewhere.

link to mp3 random guitar

[audio:http://wwwjaaduhai.com/guitar/randomguitar.mp3]

magnets

This is from a couple of months ago at work. I was in the kitchen getting a tea refill, being careful not to get burnt, when I noticed word magnets on the fridge. These magnets were part of some wedding vows package, you were supposed to make wedding vows with these words. I found the fridge in this state:

all the words

I decided I would play this game. So put arranged a few magnets in this order:

joy us, sad me

One of my co-workers/friends who was caught a glimpse of this came by and said, “that’s some deep shit”. Then she modified it to:

have wife, sad me

So I said, “whoa, wait a minute!”:

have husband, sad me

Laughter ensued. I continued:

work time, sad me

And then:

soul poorer, sad me

“Deep shit”, she said again. I kept going:

we poorer, sad me

“Not bad, but you’re losing steam”… Oh is that right? take this:

marry me, sad we

“Hahahaha”, much laughter again.

Then a few weeks later, I thought I’d give it another go. This time:

Wait… let’s try this:

Okay, what about this:

One more time:

“Hmmm… needs more cowbell”, I thought, forgetting to take the tea back with me to my desk.

my greatest trick

sometimes i wish i would just face that fear,
but don’t we all have our bones to pick?
though sometimes i wish i could just disappear,
would that not be my greatest trick?

but i want to be here, there’s much to see,
moments i have not yet met.
i think if i would just share more of me,
that would be my greatest effect.

blog templates and themes

I’ve been playing around with the design, templates and themes for this blog for a while now. I think I’ve finally settled on this one.

bringing them back

Designing Web Usability

Beautiful Code

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