Why Worry About Not Worrying?

My daughter told me tonight how she was worried about the lanyard pouch she had left at school in her last class, which had some money and her school ID card. This is the lanyard I told her to write her teacher about when I picked her up, to make sure that when she got to the class late tomorrow it was there and put away. Seemed to make sense to me.

Of course when the teacher didn’t write back to her tonight, doubt and fear crept in, possibly in part from that seed I planted, though she may have come up with it on her own. “What if someone….” Of course I tried to reassure her that having been sent the email, the teacher would probably grab it early. And extolling that most people are honest. “Don’t worry,” I said.

And then I realized that doesn’t help her. It’s a command, not instruction.

Half of “Don’t worry” is worry. Does anybody worry less because they are told to? Unless it’s that great sixties song, “Don’t Worry, Baby,” I think that helps, but that’s probably the music.

What you really need to do is try to start a worry diet. If you want to lose weight, or stop smoking or drinking something too much, the first thing you try is self-control, but humans aren’t good at that at. We obviously put it off so long that we ended up eating, smoking and drinking too much.

What humans are good at, without any practice, is putting things off. Oh, we want, we crave, yet when it’s really important but takes good mental effort, we have the urge to put it off. The best of us can push past that quickly. But we all have the urge.

I say: give in to the urge to put things off sometimes. It’s satisfying to take such control that you can literally do nothing for a moment or hour or day, should you choose. Plus, entropy takes less effort at the start. Gotta love a lazy Sunday, right? Of course recovering from it may take longer: you can quickly roll down a tall hill with relative ease, but getting back to the the top at the same speed is another story.

So what’s the trick? 

Pick what you put off. This concept took me years to figure out. I would have found it sooner but I put it off. I wanted to drink less soda. I won’t. But I will put off getting one by telling myself to drink a glass of water first. And I make it a ritual. This lets me quench my thirst and usually means I drink the soda slower when I get it.And I have half the chance of grabbing a soda instead of water.

What does that have to do with worry? Well, I was worried I might drink too much soda. (I also worry that any soda is too much, but one thing at a time.) It is a process, so there is more than one step.

I worry less when I give myself something else to do, or think about, distract me.

Once I get there, worry is in the entropy zone. Find your thing: exercise, cleaning, stupid tv, or playing music (listening or making can work), or just tell yourself:

  • “I just can’t even.”
  • “I will think about that later.”
  • “I will worry about that in the morning if my lanyard is still missing.”
  • “I’m going to have a soda”

See, if it’s something you need to worry about, the worry or panic or fear or loss will gladly come around again; you didn’t need to worry twice, right?

You will worry a little less, then when you surrender to not caring  for a while, you can forget to worry for longer.

Now if it’s something you have some control over, you can try to do something. Not to worry, but literally, trying to fix something that would you would otherwise worry about is the best distraction from worrying, ever. That’s why we call it being proactive, and not active worrying. Sometimes all you can do is schedule a reminder or write a note so you can take action later. Okay, do that. Take your time doing it. Start immediately, but do it slowly and carefully, maybe even in a silly way.Why leave yourself one voice mail when three will over do it? Several Post-It notes in a circle. Like you’re going to forget.

And you may fail at “Don’t worry.” So what? Who cares but you? Don’t beat yourself up about it. (Now I still laugh at myself when I accidentally hurt myself or fall down, so I am a special case. But that is literally the opposite of not beating yourself up, how can you not laugh at that?) Worrying about worrying is the worst double with cheese, ever.

If it’s important, it will come up again. I accidentally posted this while still writing, and then my website went down. So I found a way to keep writing the missing paragraphs and ignored my thoughts that maybe I don’t have a current backup.. Now the website is back up and I don’t even need to worry about it. Shame it’s too late for a congratulatory soda. You know what? I am going to schedule this post to publish later. Just to practice putting things off.

—David

P.S. You can schedule the times for when you put things off and when you don’t to your benefit. Using my soda story, I don’t wake up and have one; I try to wait until I have been up for a few hours. Since I don’t drink coffee, this means I am not reliant on caffeine in the morning. I may be slouchy and show, but I’m not addicted! And since caffeine has a long half life, unless it’s late weekend night or a special dinner out, I have to get my last soda in before five o’clock in hopes of making me get to bed earlier. (It doesn’t work; I am really good at putting off going to bed.) But I literally have less time for the habit I want to reduce. Imagine applying that to worry time. “Oh, I only worry after lunch.” That sounds relaxing.

P.P.S. Another approach you can try: One of my favorite scenes from the first season of “Lost”: Kate is hiding in trees as a polar bear is trying to attack and she counts to five. Didn’t watch it? Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter. Jack had told Kate earlier about a time he was terrified but still needed to act: “So I just made a choice. I’d let the fear in, let it take over, let it do its thing, but only for five seconds, that’s all I was going to give it. So I started to count: One, two, three, four, five. Then it was gone.”

P.P.P.S. Sometimes you fail. You drink, or you worry, or you fall. Does that mean you give up? No, usually we fail because we didn’t worry enough about the behavior we were trying to change. So don’t worry about it. Now you know you know how not to worry! Just change the approach to take advantage of that. You will try again, when you feel like it. Maybe even try harder.

Or do. There is no try. Because “do not” can be a phase, the phase before “Do.”.

Why Worry About Not Worrying? was originally published on Creative Uploads

Advertisements

Avoid The Thorns?

No. This is bad advice.

  1. Get close enough to touch them.
  2. Don’t touch them.

Sometimes you will. Learn from that.

                 —–David

P.S. Actually if you stroke them sideways or avoid putting a lot of pressure on the pointy parts, you can touch a lot of them.

P.P.S. Some will still hurt you no matter how you try though. Learn the difference, through experience.But it doesn’t have to be your experience; you are allowed to learn from others mistakes. That’s my favorite school!

Avoid The Thorns? was originally published on Creative Uploads

Windows 10 Virtual Driver Damnation Reincarnated

I talked about this lost partition nightmare at the end of the free Windows 10 upgrade offer, and now that computers are finally starting to catch up on the Anniversary update despite repeated attempts to force the download, it struck again last night.

After the update installed my iTunes library couldn’t find things, all things, which live on my M drive (the mapped path I created when I moved off the external drive that held the library to a multi-terabyte hard drive that was so big it required a virtual disk driver for my older BIOS to recognize it.*

Fortunately I take notes when I troubleshoot so I know what works in case I need to help someone. Well, I had to help myself and reinstall the Acronis Virtual Device driver again for Windows 10 too see what was already there. But it took two installation repair tries plus reboots before it worked.

For a few minutes I was concerned that the driver was no longer compatible, but apparently it or its settings were just overwritten or ignored again. Seagate hybrid SSD/HDD 4 Terabyte drive. You’d think a fancy new operating system wouldn’t bork a fancy newer drive. 

Ha. Anyway, it worked. Click here for details from the first time and where to find the fix.

— David

P.S. The computer that didn’t want to upgrade until I disabled the network card can’t get online now either. It did at least install the upgrade. But I think have to find an older network driver, and of course there’s no roll-back driver offered, so I need to sneaker net I guess.

* Keeping the iTunes library location drive letter and the same — and well clear of multiple partition letters forcing it to change — let me regularly upgrade my external drive by cloning the entire iTunes library to new bigger external drives without changing anything else, even network drive mappings! And I can always go back to that if needed on this or another computer, since the library files live in M:\m (for music of course) with all the contents in folders below that.

P.P.S. Sneaker net is what we called carrying a floppy disc between computers that weren’t networked, online or behaving in the years before USB drives even existed. Flash drives are still technically sneaker net whether your wearing sneakers or something else. And if you fight know what a floppy is, look it up on Alta Vista.

Windows 10 Virtual Driver Damnation Reincarnated was originally published on Creative Uploads

These Are For You



Prisma
has about twenty-nine filters at last count, and they do seem have dropped a few from the list. <a

</a

Still free, and the update likes to reset the logo watermark if you turned it off.

The Android interface is a little cleaner too.

Prisma-ai.com is the real site, use that to find the real app, and no there is no paid version, so that iPad only wannabe version is a lie.

                     ——— David.

P.S. I deliberately avoid using the app sometimes because it’s like eye candy to me and I don’t want it to wear out its welcome like some flashy hit pop song.

These Are For You was originally published on Creative Uploads

These Are The Voyages

Star Trek is just a tv show, that spawned a philosophy, inspires generations, cultivates personal connections around the globe, survives and thrives despite its labored beginnings, and  encourages humans to be more than we are, become better, and always, to boldly go … #startrek
                  —David

P.S. Not a fan? It’s really good, often great, and when it’s not it’s still really fun. You should watch it. You may accidentally learn something, or just kickstart your brain into having deeper thoughts. LLAP.

These Are The Voyages was originally published on Creative Uploads

Adobe Encore Chapter Menu Creation Quick Guide

menu layout timeline and settings

I always had a hard time creating chapter selection menus in Adobe Encore until I started writing down what I was trying and where it failed.

Since there was often a gap between disc projects that needed it, I had to look up tutorials and try to find the one that helped me the last time. Nobody writes things down, ; they were always videos, and the Adobe help site was no help. They start in the middle, assuming you already know what’s being talked about or you’ve already done certain steps to arrive at the current section, but there is no flow or timeline to their material. It’s really strange to me. So are the themes but that’s another story.

So I use an great app called Stickies from zhornsoftware.co.uk that lets me put post-it style notes on my computer screens, save, store, delete and search them and send them across network or email, that’s another post, but here’s my sticky on how to do Encore chapter menus, annotated for clarity.

menu layout timeline and settings

Menu layout timeline and settings. Yellow highlights show key areas for scene selection menu creation

encore chapter menus (aka scene selection menus)

under menu>  create chapter index (that’s where you start it, AFTER YOU ARE READY)

First create menu with links, buttons, all the things you want on your scene selection menu. You do this in the layout window, so it’s visual and WYSIWYG.

I tend to uncheck Automatically route buttons as it frequently picks weird orders for me on certain button placements. This may be because I open a thumbnail menu and copy stuff to wedge more previews in to one page. We have big TVs nowadays, I think they can handle 6 or 8 thumbnails instead of three. (When you do that you may not want to animate them, lots of flashing and also disc size considerations.)

Make sure everything is placed correctly and doesn’t overlap, of course.

This is a good time to check your timeline and fine-tune the preview thumbnail, which is usually a second or so beyond the chapter point but can be dragged anywhere on the timeline. You should do that earlier but who does that? — so check it now. Open the timeline you are creating the chapter menu for, place the position line over the desired frame and right-click the chapter to Set Poster Frame. You can do this even after you create the menus; sometimes that is easier because the automatic choice can work; it’s a bear when you do dark fade ins though.)

I also add a Chapter point in the last few seconds of the show, usually right at the copyright-contact me title. This let’s you zip to the end and watch the video roll over to the menu. Great for testing when you don’t want to wait through the whole end credits. I usually DELETE that index thumbnail from the scene selection after creating the menus. It’s nice to skip to the end while watching, but you don’t use scene selection to watch the last five seconds unless it’s a Marvel movie.

Select the first thumbnail in the layout window (or text button entry) and under Button properties (Basic tab) click Set button text and name and “set name from link” to let the menus show the titles of your scenes (presuming you have done that prep work and named your scenes in Premiere when creating the Encore chapters. You did create Encore chapters right? Because regular chapters are ignored if they don’t say “Encore” Grrrr.).

Originally I would copy a menu and in properties deleted existing links; sometimes I start with a clean menu, but often I recycle previous projects and modify the style and links around a layout I liked.

Now with the first thumbnail or text button selected, under link, choose first chapter of  your desired timeline

Save your project now….

Menu>Create chapter index (Once I had left out a “previous” button and it automatically created it but not in the right style. So if you got no style, it will help, but not beautifully.)

Don’t choose MULTIPAGE, that’s for bluray popup menus.

Boom, Bunch of menus!

If they look good, congratulations. Test them.

If they don’t look right, well, disaster recovery:

Before I “create chapter index”, I save the project, so I have a backup in case it’s terrible and I want to delete and start again. For the same reason I also like to choose my final draft template scene selection menu, then in the Encore menu choose Edit>Duplicate so I have a backup of it as just a menu and can try again quicker than restoring my last save.

To reset and try again, you clear all the numbered menus in the list – EXCEPT “menuwhatever1” if you didn’t make a copy – rename it without the number and edit as needed. Then duplicate your “final draft” menu and try again. If you didn’t make a copy you will want to delete all the extra menus except the first, then in that you delete the thumbnail and text links for all the buttons after the first chapter, not the buttons themselves but the links in them.

Hope this saves you as much time as it does me. And yes I expect it will take you a couple of tries. That’s called “getting familiar with the process.”

— David

P.S. Discovered with joy I could reuse my chapter indexes when I converted my Blu-Ray project to DVD size (there are several methods but I just save a copy with a DVD in the filename and trade out the project medi by importing the DVD renders and replacing them in the timelines. (you can actually save the audio track if you are brave and it is EXACTLY THE SAME LENGTH).

Sadly thumbnails for half of one timeline were one quarter sized like the media (HD versus SD) for some reason*, but not the other. Fixed by reselecting the Poster Frames.Not too bad.

*This may have been an out of memory situation, where the thumbnails weren’t rerendered on import because my C drive was filled up even though the scratch disks are on different drives. Oh Adobe, you do like to make cache files everywhere and never clean up after yourself. It was cute when you were a teenager but give me a break.

P.P.S. Google “clear adobe cache files” and you will find useful pages like this: Managing the Media Cache Database. That one is for the Media encoder but there are similar management buttons under preferences in all their programs.

Adobe Encore Chapter Menu Creation Quick Guide was originally published on Creative Uploads

A Selfish Thought?

Had an artistic inspiration the other day and decided to finally play with one of the too many apps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, an Autodesk freebie under an icon: Sketchbook for Galaxy (Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for Galaxy)

There’s another full Autodesk branded version on the phone too that I must have downloaded as a bonus for buying the phone, called Autodesk Sketchbook.  It looks like these are available on Android, iOS, Mac and Windows, with a free version and a much more expansive subscription version at about $5 a month, which looks amazing for artists.

It lets you draw with your finger or the pressure sensitive pen and do layers, resize, mirror, basic selections and image import and export (even as a PSD) — pretty typical ideas these days but amazing for being literally in the palm of your hand and far beyond the capabilities of just a few years ago. The PSD export means you can start an idea and continue it in a lot of other programs too, photo, video and illustration apps all support that format and the layers and vectors it might carry.

At first glance my artsy message seems self-aggrandizing, but by placement it’s really meant to be a three word plea. I have a couple others on this theme I’ll probably share later.

                                            —-David

P.S. I keep so many apps on my devices because I think I will try them out or use them — albeit rarely –that sometimes I forget I have them and whether it’s a good tool. Who has a good method for organizing and tracking this? A Try out to do list? Play with me folders?

P.P.S. The other thing I like about this is that when I read it from myself, it’s inspirational and not an aspirational request.

P.P.P.S. I didn’t mean to write a mini review but since I started to (and then WordPress lost the latest draft – boo –) here’s the feature comparison list:

FREE  $0  DOWNLOAD FREE

  • Optimized pen-based workflow
  • 16 Brushes
  • 3 Layers
  • Symmetry
  • Ruler and ellipses
  • Quick transform

PRO version   $29.99/ year   (and this may be across all devices because it is login-based)

  • Brush Library with 100+ brushes
  • Create and customize your own brushes
  • Synthetic, smudge, and glow brushes
  • Custom canvas size up to 64 MPX
  • Advanced layer functionality
  • Copic Color Library
  • Flipbook animation
  • Advanced perspective guides
  • Persistent selection tools
  • Distort transform
  • Dynamic gradient fill
  • French curves
  • Unlimited upgrades

 

 

A Selfish Thought? was originally published on Creative Uploads

M&Ms in the Teens

So a single serving of Peanut M&Ms is about 18-20, which is not too bad if you eat them one at a time instead of putting a handful in your mouth to practice speaking clearly like Demosthenes *

But it’s a long road when you have a 56-ounce value bag. How many single servings can you have in a day, because that’s Not on the bag.

                                                                                             —-David
* Demosthenes was a Greek orator who reportedly overcame his stuttering by filling his mouth with pebbles and practicing. I don’t stutter but I credit handfuls of peanut M&Ms with preventing me from developing the tick.

M&Ms in the Teens was originally published on Creative Uploads