Band Names

Want to waste a lot of time? Try coming up with the perfect band name.

5 potential ways to go about it –

  1. Try an online band name generator that combines words at (seeming) random:
    Band Name Maker (http://www.bandnamemaker.com/)
  2. Have some input with an online band name generator that asks you to give it some information (or at least words) to use in its generation:
    Band Name Generator (http://www.song-lyrics-generator.org.uk/band-name/)
    Among mine: “A Box of Clocks with Blue Rock and the Cool Humans”
  3. Pick from a list already created by someone, somehow:
    Ten Thousand Statistically Grammar-Average Fake Band Names (http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~bwhitman/10000.html)
  4. Start typing something interesting into a web search and see what the search engine suggestions for your search might be.
    Beware. I started typing “polymorphic” (sounds like a cool word, right?) and one of the suggested searches was Polymorphic Light Eruption. Awesome band name!! Um… see here what the Mayo Clinic thinks… Next!
  5. Brainstorm with your friends, family, co-workers, random folks you run into:
    • Moving parts
    • Dull machete
    • Toad Crossing
    • 17 Odd
    • The Buicks
    • there were many more, but I won’t subject you to all of them.

 

Have fun. But don’t forget there are probably other things you have to do.

 

 

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Simulated Reality

From Vox (http://www.vox.com/2016/8/15/12480734/simulation-theory-explained):

Echoing a paper by philosopher Nick Bostrom, Elon Musk thinks there is a good chance humankind is living in a simulated reality.

The general idea of our reality boils down to three possibilities — humans go extinct before we are able to run a simulation of this size, humans choose not to run ancestor simulations, or we are currently participating in such a simulation. According to Musk, “There’s a one in billions chance we’re in base reality.”

Or,  The Matrix was real.

 

Resources and Links

 

The Power of the Mind

Two quotes that speak to the power of the mind…

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.
– Henry Ford *

You become what you think about all day long
– Earl Nightingale

Just as a reminder!

P.S. Of course one needs to be wary of quotes and their attributions, especially those found online. Perhaps you’ve seen a tongue-in-cheek quote on the web that goes something like this:

The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine.
– Abraham Lincoln

 

Resources and Links

Calvin and Hobbes, again

I preached the Calvin Hobbes doctrine in a previous post, but I want to give an updated shout-out to the boy, his tiger, and author Bill Watterson.

In Dan Kopf‘s Priceonomics article, “What is the Internet’s Favorite Book“, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes takes the top spot. Bill Watterson appears 6 more times in the top 20 and is the highest rated author in this study of Goodreads top-rated books/authors.

Love Calvin and Hobbes? You’re clearly not alone.

Still haven’t checked them out? Do it now!

Ode to the Public Library

I recently spent an hour and a half in a car with someone with whom I had very little in common. And, the longer the ride the more and more that became apparent.

The one thing we could agree on: public libraries are awesome!

Tremendous resources. As community centers. For information. For entertainment. With staff ready to serve.

Support your local library! Or, at least, visit it and make use. They are there. They are incredible!

 

Resources and Links

Alignment

What do I mean by alignment? Let’s dig a little deeper.

For the purposes of the posts on this site that are in the alignment category I mean that all the motivations, desires, wants, needs, hopes, understandings, and interests are pointing (at least roughly) in the same direction.

Two examples to try to illustrate what I’m talking about: contracting to add on to our home (aligning in a relationship) and dieting (a relatively common self-improvement goal).

In a relationship

We wanted to do an addition on our home. An accessory dwelling was the term that was being used – a separate entrance, kitchenette, bedroom, bathroom, and small living space. The first person we talked to was a close family friend. Someone we’d grown up with. Someone that we trusted completely. He had some lovely ideas, but most were beyond our means. But, he knew our limits and tried to work within them.

His usual way of charging for such a job (some design, some building) would be as a percentage of the cost of the project. We discussed trying to come up with an alternative fee structure to propose to him. Something where he would share in the savings if he could come up with something that gave us everything we wanted, and nothing we didn’t, if the final cost was lower than our absolute maximum cost. Align at least one of his motivations (maximize profit for work done) with one of ours (stay under budget, as far under as possible and still get what we wanted).

We never proposed an alternative fee structure. Seemed like too far out of the norm, among other things. It also became clear that he was not the person for the job – no matter how close we were or how much he wanted to help. Another of his motivations was to design something he could be proud of, that he thought of as elegant. Our budget wasn’t going to make that easy (or doable).

In that particular endeavor, we were misaligned. No problem. Except we didn’t want to be misaligned with someone we cared about. So, we got misaligned with someone else – because often, in business arrangements, the alignment is not perfect, or even great. If the salesperson (or contractor, or builder, or stock broker…) is getting a percentage of the final bill or money spent, it is in their interest to make that bill as high as possible. No matter how ethical, wonderful, or caring that person is. Humans are, well, human. There is an inherent misalignment of purpose, of need, of desire.

Oh, and our friend wouldn’t have been aligned himself with this job. He was looking for beauty. For elegance. He was also looking to do right by us. We didn’t have the money to spend on a project of that size to result in a project he could love.

Is there a way to build better alignment in relationships? Professional and personal? Something to think about.

Self-Improvement/Dieting

The goal: lose weight. So many different possible diets, diet plans, or “habit changes.” And, a person who is on a diet or following a plan is, by definition, motivated to lose weight. So, why is it so hard? Why do we fail so often to lose the weight we want or need to lose?

Any self-improvement is difficult if we’re not in alignment. We might, generically, want to lose weight, but if it’s not happening yet, we’re probably not in alignment or the plan we’ve chosen doesn’t align to our needs. How could this be?

Maybe I want to lose weight, but…

  • I think it takes self-control and I don’t think of myself as a person with good self-control, or
  • I’m generally concerned with “value” and a part of me thinks that I don’t get full value out of a meal if I don’t finish everything I’m served, or
  • I grew up thinking of eating sugary foods (sweets, baked goods, etc.) as a way to treat myself, especially when I’m not feeling well or when I’ve earned a reward, or
  • I, and others, have a perception of me as the jolly, chubby guy, or
  • perhaps something else.

So, I struggle to lose weight, diet after diet, because the change I’m trying to make is misaligned with at least some of my other thoughts.

To get aligned, I may need to want to lose weight and:

  • pick a program that helps with the self-control or requires I exercise my self-control less often,
  • change my understanding of value – perhaps value isn’t getting everything possible out of every experience but instead is getting the highest quality of what I need,
  • alter what I consider a treat (can I change it to mean giving myself the freedom to engage in some enjoyed physical activity?), and
  • commit to the persona of the healthy, relaxed guy as opposed to the happy/jolly persona.

Maybe not easy. But, how much more difficult to try to meet one goal (weight loss) while being at odds with other goals, motivations, or self-perceptions.

Finances: A practical post

Sometimes I get lost in the self-help section of the bookstore or library. Sometimes I think about “financial planning” a bit too much…

Before I head down that rabbit hole, perhaps I should have a handle on the basics. Of these 10 (I’m counting questions 2-11 here) from Derek at How I Do Money, I can answer 5 without looking anything up, can ballpark 3 more, and, yikes, have no answer for 2. How about you?

  1. What is 2 + 2? (That’s a warm up question.)
  2. How much money do you have?
  3. How much do you earn each month?
  4. How much debt do you have?
  5. How much money do you spend each month?
  6. How much do you spend each month on debt payments only?
  7. How much money are you saving each month?
  8. How much is in your emergency fund?
  9. What is your net worth?
  10. What’s your plan?
  11. Bonus question to make up for question #1: How many months until you are debt free?

Derek, wisely, suggests getting a handle on the basics before trying to do the complicated. I think all my time spent on the non-basics is simply hoping that there is a magical solution out there so that I don’t have to work to figure out the answers to those last two questions that I can’t answer right now.

 

Resources and Links