Build A Better Mousetrap

“And the world will beat a path to your door.” That’s the saying, isn’t it?
I don’t know why the mice-killers get all the foot traffic, but I get it. Who wouldn’t want to be able to mass murder cute little rodents? (I wonder what Walt Disney would counter with. I suppose he just made better mouse)

creative uploads mousetrap photography dream inspiration

Of course the point was, if you can improve upon something simple with something just as effective but better, people will want it. Doesn’t even have to be cheaper. (Heck, these days a lot of people think more expensive is better. Suckers.)

Now in the creative engineering field that’s a good goal, but in the creative entertainment arena, better is relative. I write songs, for example, and I think some of them are just as good or better than songs by some of my musical heroes. That’s my opinion of course, but we all start with our own opinion, so there I go. Some of them, not at all.

So a better song than the pied piper, I suppose.

For creative types with more arbitrary measurements, this phrase could be reduced to “build better.” And measure against yourself. And while I write songs, I’ve properly recorded only a few with any patience and care. That’s the “building” part I’m leaving off. (Something my heroes excelled at.)

Goals are funny complicated things that we think are easy. We come up with the end of them in a snap. But even a complete basic mousetrap has a process. You have to prepare the cheese, set the spring, and put the trap carefully in the right spot to get to the snap in the first place. Also watch your fingers.

Build better. One step at a time. You can make many complicated steps or a few simple ones; it depends on what kind of cheese your mice likes, and how long you are willing to spend to get to your goal, but realize it’s more than one step. Build.

And once you have the staircase…. it’s a snap.

—–David

P.S. I didn’t have “Mousetrap” when I was a kid, just the commercials and friends with the game, so I loved it of course. Never got the chance to be bored with it. Friends always have the shiny stuff you never get to play with, while you are stuck at home on rainy days ignoring the boring toys you never bother to play with that make your friends envious. I have a bunch of creative toys now I am just waiting for a rainy day to play with, because I figured out a trick to try. It’s even in two steps:

  • Pretend they aren’t my toys so they seem fresh.
  • Point a hose at the roof so I can imagine it’s raining.

P.P.S. This works for all sorts of things, music, writing, photography and video projects. Heck, grocery lists if you like to buy more interesting stuff when shopping. But if you’ve read this far you’re probably creative enough to figure that out, so this is a just a complimentary confirmation bias.

Build A Better Mousetrap was originally published on Creative Uploads

Pool Your Resources

 Photo: Summer’s End.

Was writing a little about My HAMILTON experience the other day and how creativity could be like putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together, but an invisible one made of glass. Rather like a mosaic that doesn’t get its color until it’s complete. (Mosaic also is  name of this Prisma style .)

And today while contemplating expensive but necessary pool repairs, the perpetual dance between available funds and places to send it, or try to save it, has me thinking about balance and leverage.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to save money while still doing creative projects, and saving money taking time finding alternate methods, and mental energy working around limitations. I’m okay with that, spending six months researching things on and off before deciding to buy or not. Got some real quality stuff by being patient. 

But I’ve also embraced faster purchases on occasion, times I have done the math and realized that amortizing something over time pays other dividends once I already own it and can use it to do things easily and quickly.

It’s tricky. I don’t want to get good at buying new toys that I want and don’t use right away so I start chasing toys for the thrill of buying, but rather that I already have or create a need that lets me immediately put a new toy to use, justifying the purchase and rewarding me with a chance at producing something; to me that’s more rewarding than the temporary thrill of shopping. 

So balancing time (being money) and money (taking time to get) and leveraging opportunities to use these things to your advantage. For the artistic side it is to create, but it may be to obtain, or experience, or even avoid. We all have different pieces that make up our mosaic, close for the details and farther back for the big picture.

And then there are the times when you just have to repair something you already have. Good thing I save some money when I can. Like having dragged out this repair from last year. 

—–David

P.S. Now if you need something useful you could visit my Amazon Affiliate page

P.P.S. Not a single pool pun or metaphor. Not even when I could have related tile with the mosaic reference. So proud of myself. Oh crap, I started with that title. Well after that….gotta go.

Pool Your Resources was originally published on Creative Uploads

Wait for it

And then snap the picture you want, instead of “almost the picture” you want. Or take a bunch of pictures as you fine-tune your angle, your subject and background, and your settings, then share the only best one, which is the one you want to get in the first place if you could only take one picture.



AKA Get all your ducks in a row.

Editing means tossing out anything that’s not needed, and sometimes that means you didn’t have to touch what you kept.

These is my philosophical intention although I have major problems with the throwing things out and with not sharing.

                                                   —–David

P.S. Tweaked in Snapseed for exposure but not Photoshopped or repainted in anyway.I would have taken that extra double duck out. But then he may be the exception that proves the rule.

P.P.S. I followed them around for a while…

Wait for it was originally published on Creative Uploads