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True Value

I think one of our biggest problems is that we manipulate the value of things, including thoughts, knowledge, emotions, actions, and people. We try to change the value, or change the perception of value in order to gain a sense of higher value in ourselves. What we don’t realize is that our own true value only arrives when we allow everything to take its true value, and as we regard it as such and treat it as such.


Planting the Seeds of Happiness

We spend decades of our lives wanting happiness, peace, and contentment—without sowing the causes for that aspiration. Why did we not plant the seeds of the fruition we aspire to? Buddhist logic says that if you plant a lemon seed and pray for a mango fruit, logically it won’t work. But this is what we do: we wish for happiness without planting the seeds of happiness.

– Khandro Rinpoche, “Planting the Seeds of Happiness”


Remember that above all, you are telling a story. Don’t provide so many details that they snag the readers’ clothes and keep them from moving through their reading.

That said, you are also writing for yourself. You can include as much detail as you like within the draft, and you can mark that out as you go. Your draft may or may not be the best place to keep your research product, though, as it will clutter the work and slow down review.


I had the idea for a story, that sprang from the time the Romans occupied what we now know as Palestine. The Romans did things that were considered abominations to the Jewish inhabitants of the region. So, that word, “Abomination,” became my working title. The Jews had a strong concept of the holy, and the things the Romans did were considered desecrations, abominations on the land and the sites holy to the peoples’ faith.

The point of this entry is that I want to understand what about the idea of abomination in this context grabbed me, and made me think there was a story in it worth telling.

I think the first inspiration came as I was reading Reza Aslan’s book Zealot, the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Now I feel like I need to go back and read it again, but take notes while reading.

I’ve read a fair bit of historical fiction and fictionalized history. Some of my favorite work has been by James Clavell, James Michener, and Colleen McCullough. In fact, McCullough’s book First Man in Rome has the flavor I imagine in telling the story of the Roman occupation of Palestine. She really brought the characters to life. I can’t help but think, after reading Aslan’s account of the collaboration between the Romans and the Jewish religious establishment, that there are some very interesting, yet untold, back stories in the history of that occupation that I would enjoy experiencing. Since I’m not aware of a work that takes it all in, from Pompey to about 70 C.E., it seems like an idea that wants pursuit.

The problem with a project like this is that it will probably take a lot of research, because I’m no real student of history or of the period. I do have a biblical exposure to a small part of it, but that is a very limited scope. I may have to read a lot of history from many different sources before I can create what I want.

I think that I’m going to have to do two things as I read: 1) take notes, 2) read background material in parallel.

Wooden Kayaks

Handcrafted wooden kayaks for use on Town Lake. Paddles, too. Designed to evoke envy and desire.

Women’s Studies

An earnest young man enters college with the intention of majoring in Women’s Studies. He encounters incredulity, radical violent feminism, guys in the classes just thinking they would learn to pick up girls. Rollicking comedy.

Wood Laminate Sculpture

Thin wood laminate sculpture; bends, cuts, stains, lights, kinetics, clockworks, fans

NC machine can duplicate designs for production.

“Paint booth”


Income Level

Say you’re willing to work 4 hours per night (that’s a lot), 5 nights per week (that’s a lot), 50 weeks per year (also a lot). That’s a 1,000 hour work year. How much money do you want to bring in per year? The 1,000-hr year makes it easy to think about this, and to calculate. Just going at it from the other end, if you can generate $75 an hour, you can conceivably product $75,000 in a working year, just working evenings. If you’ve ever spent time as a volunteer or at a second or seasonal job to pick up some extra cash, then you know how draining that can be. If you have the stamina, then it’s a productive way to go, but if not, it’s better to monetize the things you already do or want to do so you don’t wear yourself out.

The Nonstick Toilet

Notice how “stuff” sticks to your toilet when you flush? Makes you want to flush twice. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a toilet with a nonstick surface that wouldn’t require double-flushing?

Business Idea: Empire Math and Physics Tutoring

Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precal, Calculus, Physics, AP prep