Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Monday, November 30, 2015

That was weird

That was weird.  After work I was walking to my bus stop, which is under the downtown shopping center.  Just as I entered the building, a skinny, dishevelled middle-aged guy, my height, was exiting the complex.  He was walking briskly along the same hallway as me, but in the opposite direction, and was talking in some nonsensical language.

All of a sudden, just as he was passing me, he looked in my direction, saw something in my face he didn't like, turned toward me and kicked me in the leg.  Luckily he didn't kick very hard.

I was surprised!  I got into an open-handed fighting stance and waited for whatever would come next.  He looked at my face, and either he decided better of it, or (more likely) he just went on to his next thought, because he walked quickly away.

In hindsight I should've gone after him -- because who knows how many other people he'd kick -- but I was already late for my bus.

I'm not sure how well I handled the encounter.  I lost points by not giving him a wider berth, and by not blocking the kick -- although I'd like to think that if it had been a punch, or a kick to the crotch, that I would've reflexively blocked it.

I get credit for reflexively going into a good stance.  My hand positioning of my right hand was a little low:  my left hand was correctly at face height, but my right hand was more at chest height.  But I think my right-hand positioning was because my right shoulder (which I dislocated a month and a half ago) still doesn't have full flexibility -- so when I think I'm moving it to a certain location, it takes more effort than I expect.  But at least I got it up there. 

And I'm pretty sure I looked like I knew what I was doing:  so, that's something.

Points for reacting calmly:  instead of an adrenaline surge, I just thought "Huh.  Now what?"  I credit that to the Krav Maga class that I took (although it's been several months):  it just kind of seemed... normal, somehow.  Certainly, I didn't feel at a loss as to what to do next:  I was in my fighting pose.

But, yeah:  I should've missed my bus, followed him at a safe distance, and called the cops on my cell phone.  Next time.

Regardless -- pretty odd.


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Truth in advertising

One of my traits is that I don't want to trick people, or obscure the truth, if I'm giving something away.  So if I have a package of cookies that I'm handing around, and it's a few days past its "Best By" date -- I ask, "Would you like a cookie?  It's a few days past its 'Best By' date."

So today, I had a hankering for a soda -- but I'm trying to cut down on my sugar intake.  So, I bought a 1.25 L bottle of diet cola.

I asked my teammates at work “Anyone want some room-temperature soda with death chemicals?”

Surprisingly, no takers.


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Friday, November 27, 2015

Now left-dominant

As you know, I'm pretty much right-handed (with hints of amidextrousness), but had my right arm in a sling.

I've been out of my sling since Monday, and spent most of the weekend preceding out of the sling as well -- so, this is essentially my seventh day sling-less.

Curiously, my five weeks in a sling have made me left-hand dominant. Although I still instinctively use my right hand for writing, scissors, and knife work in the kitchen, everything else is reflexively left-handed: scratching my nose, opening doors, turning on faucets, brushing my teeth...

Since abandoning my sling, I've returned my cell phone "belt pouch" to my right hip -- which means I now take the phone out of the pouch, hold in in my right hand, and use my left hand to text.

Likewise, I've returned my public transportation "swipe card" to my right pocket: when I get to the train station I take it out with my right hand, hand it to my left, "swipe" with my left, then hand it back to my right hand to put it away.

When I get jugs of milk or juice out of the 'fridge -- if the jug is on the left, I'll pour with my left; if the jug is on the right, I'll pour with my right.

Even with writing, I've experienced a partial shift to my left hand: I tend to underline phrases in magazines and take note of the page number. Since removing the sling, about one-third of the time I've used my left hand for underlining and noting page numbers (i.e. writing the number on the magazine cover). Written notes (actual words), however, tend to be done with my right hand.

I'm curious to see how long -- if ever -- this behavior persists. It's probably self-reinforcing: the more times I do a task with my left hand, the more "normal" it seems to my system.


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Thursday, November 26, 2015

You see what you want to see

Saw this license plate today (yay!  happy that I have a smartphone; previously, I wouldn't have been able to take the picture).

I thought it said "simile", and thought maybe the driver was a writer -- or, just liked words.

But The Lady pointed out that it actually says "smilie" (perhaps "smiley" was already taken).  Okay -- that's nice, too.  :)



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why indeed

We had just dropped The Girl and TechBoy off at Tae Kwon Do, and The Lady was heading home to drop me and Blondie Boy off, and then return to the school to wait for The Girl and TechBoy to finish their class.

The Lady:  “I don't know what we're going to do about dinner.”

Gye Greene:  “Maybe we could go to Subway -- eat dinner – and let The Girl and TechBoy starve.”

Blondie Boy:  “Really?”

Gye Greene:  (Starts laughing, that Blondie Boy thought he was being serious)

The Lady:  “Daddy is trying to be funny.”

Blondie Boy:  “Why does daddy try to be funny?”  (Pause)  (Answering his own question)  “Because he's a Peterson?”

Gye Greene:  “That's right.”

Blondie Boy:  “Why are Petersons a type of comedy family?”

Why indeed.


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Thursday, November 19, 2015

A pleasing number

I'm in no way a mathematician -- but there are some numbers that I appreciate.

Today at work, I was using a calculator to determine 3,500 divided by 26 (you don't need to know why) -- and the result was "134.6153846".

For some reason, that just seems like a nice sequence.  Don't know why.


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Monday, November 16, 2015

Vince Clarke

Vince Clarke was in Depeche Mode... then Yaz (or "Yazoo", depending on which side of the Atlantic you're on)... and then Erasure.  All good bands.

An interview.

Showing his basic technique, with a delightfully old (from today's perspective) computer with a sequencer. 

In the below footage, at about 4:16, regarding a wall-filling modular synth:

Interviewer: "And how do you come across these things? I mean, they're not so [easy] to find?"

Vince Clarke: "Well -- this I bought new. 'Cause, that's how old I am."

Also, in the above footage -- at around 0:40, check out the shot of the panning around his "synth workshop".  I would love to have that sort of setup...



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Instant personality test

When you are at a shop (e.g. Target, K-Mart), you go to the customer service counter, and the sales clerk says, "Hi!  How are you?", do you:

A.  Go straight into your question or issue that brought you to the customer service counter.

B.  Reply, "Fine, thanks", and then ask your question.

C.  Reply, "Fine, thanks.  How are you?"  And then ask your question.


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Outlining the turf

Yesterday (Friday) we were at the grade-school that hosts my kids' Tae Kwon Do classes.

Out on the playfield, I noticed this square of astrotruf among the real grass -- and that the kids (I presume) had outlined it with sticks and rocks and bits of wood.



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Thursday, November 12, 2015

How did I get here?

“How did I get into this and this and how do I get out of it again, how does it end?”

–Soren Kierkegaard  (in Laurence Gonzales, Deep Survival:  Who Lives, Who Dies and Why, p.  17; found Nov. 12, 2015)


Thoughtful son

Today my youngest son (B2) brought home an unusually-shaped chunk of wood from school, because he knows that I enjoy pieces of wood.  I think he got it from the gardens or landscaping that's near the playground.

I'm showing two different views, here.  It is a peculiar shape:  it's hard to represent it by photographs.

Very thoughtful of him to get it for me.  :)


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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Just a memory by now

Today I was at a symposium held at a Brisbane hospital.  They had a series of photos displayed up on the wall, and this one intrigued me.

The caption to the photo (displayed elsewhere on the wall) said that this was an un-named soldier in 1945, carrying a young girl with polio.

The man has kindly eyes.

If the man was about twenty in 1945, he'd be about ninety now.  Might be alive; probably not.

And the girl looks about eight.  So she's about seventy-eight by now.  If she's still alive -- I don't know enough about polio's effect on life expectancy.

Anyhow, these are the types of things I think about.


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Sunday, November 08, 2015

Birds with hats

Saw these in a shop today, and was amused.

Birds with hats.  Sure.  :)

Not worth the price to actually purchase one.  But to take a photo...


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Saturday, November 07, 2015

Bored bored bored bored bored

So, my shoulder's feeling better -- a lot better -- so I'm trying to be cautious and wary and not be over-ambitious.

That means that I'm trying to not try to do physically active things on weekends, like woodworking or yardwork, or recording (e.g. playing guitar, re-arranging microphones).  And Monday-through-Friday I've been typing two-handed at work, which does make my shoulder a little sore by the end of the day -- so I really shouldn't do much computer work on the weekend.

And it's physically difficult to hold a book with just one hand -- so that means I can't really sit around reading.

So, that leaves:  watching t.v. and DVDs during the weekend.  Which I can do for a while.  But I'd much rather be doing woodworking or yardwork or music.

So I'm getting kinda bored.

But!  In two weeks I get to go back to the doctor's, and see if I can ditch the sling and start doing physical therapy.  We'll see.


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Thursday, November 05, 2015

Rewritng my neural pathways

I'm right-handed, and I've had my R. arm in a sling for the last two and a half weeks, so my R. arm has been fairly inactive (although I sometimes use my R. hand for holding very lightweight things).  So almost everything I've done for the last three weeks -- opening packages, writing by hand, folding laundry, eating with a spoon -- I've done with my left hand.

A few evenings ago, I finished brushing my teeth -- and realized that I hadn't been paying attention to the process:  I had simply "brushed my teeth" without thinking!
And today at work, on a whim, I grabbed two pencils and used them as chopsticks, with my left hand, to pick up various small items.  No trouble whatsoever.
So, even though I haven't actively practiced chopsticks with my left hand, my daily use of my left hand for other tasks has generalized to a greater over-all left-hand dexterity than before.
I've always been somewhat ambidextrous -- but still clearly R-hand dominant.  So this is both interesting and neat-o.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

A momentous year

On the bus ride home tonight, I realized that this year (2015) -- or alternatively, my current age -- has been the most tranformative year in my life, so far.

-More than going to graduate school

-More than my younger sister dying

-More than getting married

-More than moving to Australia

-More than becoming a father

All of those events changed me, to be sure.  But each of them occurred in separate years, and most had two years between them.

In contrast, I had three fairly eventful things happen this year.  And I'm pretty sure that the cumulative total of this year's events has changed my outlook and my personality more than the events of any one of those items.

The three things are (cryptically):

-The thing at work

-The other thing

-Breaking my shoulder (which was the second fairly stupid thing I'd done this year)

Here's hoping that I never have as "influential" year as this one, ever again.  ;)


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Monday, November 02, 2015

Flag the driver

When I moved here, I was amused that Australian "Yield" signs say "Give Way":  I could almost hear the "..., mate" on the end.

So, I've been meaning to take a snapshot of this -- and now, I have.

If you want the bus to stop at your stop, you have to flag down the driver.  Except the wording is to "hail the driver".

Which makes me think:  "Hail, driver!  All hail the driver!!!"



Sunday, November 01, 2015

Nice gate

Saw this gate yesterday.  Liked it enough that I took a picture.  In fact, liked it enough that I'm posting the picture on my blog.

Kinda "art deco".  I like it.

Oh:  wait.  Said that.


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Weird green beach worms

On Halloween (31 Oct), there was an informal gathering at a local park by some of my wife's co-workers.  The kids and I wandered around on the beach -- and found these peculiar little (green!) worms.

After a brief Google image search for "green beach worms", I found this blog entry, which says that they're called green paddle worms.

Here's a photo from their blog:

So:  there ya go.  :)


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