Friday, November 7, 2008

Fractals, Pixels and Socks

Ever notice a synchronicity when you are reading something and examples come to pass almost like excerpts? A couple of choice examples happened today, so I thought I'd share them with the both of yoos.

I am reading two books concurrently, one of them is upstairs and I try to read a chapter before passing out each night. The other is on the kitchen table and I do a couple of pages as I take breaks from editing or RCV data entry, more if I actually sit and eat a meal.

The two latest both came into my life as recommendations from friends, so there is one thread. But not the only.

Upstairs is "Everyday Survival" by Laurence Gonzales. Subtitled: Why smart people do stupid things. I love this book. In the chapter called "The Earth is Rotting", he says:

"As I look out my window at the trees, I see that they have a branching structure that makes it difficult for me to tell how big any part of the tree really is without something to compare it to."

This is exactly the issue I am having with the St. Croix RCV. I look at the video and see a winding and hilly road. But because the camera is fixed upon the road just ahead (and mounted to the car) often I cannot tell if the road ascends or descends, worse, I cannot tell HOW MUCH is climbs or falls, because with the camera fixed and showing trees or shrubs as we turn I have nothing to compare it to for accurate scale decisions. So I have to advance the video in order to tell and then return to make the entry. Mr. Gonzales calls these things fractals. In video land we call them pixels. Definitely the forest meeting the trees. I ran into fractals last night and pixels this morning.

Downstairs is "The Magic Lamp" by Keith Ellis, and it, too, has a subtitle: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Setting Goals. This one is also fun. Mr. Ellis says:

"Even ordinary effort over time yields extraordinary results".

Hoo Ahhh. That was the issue I was struggling with all week as my eyeballs popped in and out looking back and forth from video screen to spreadsheet. "Why is this taking so friggen long"? I would ask of the monitor.

So here I sit on Friday afternoon, armed with the latest intel from the field (everything outside my door), and happy that I have the opportunity to apply this data to the project (both the RCVs and my life).

And as a reward I ordered Fox in Socks from for a penny (plus $3.99 S&H). I figured that with Gonzales upstairs, Ellis in the kitchen, I should balance that out with a little Seuss (for the caboose).

The fractal (as goal) is to record some and post it for your listening pleasure.

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