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Archive for September, 2012

On Pause & Priority

Why my blogging’s on Pause

woman shoots at pc

Reason #1 why I let myself loose in WordPress seven weeks ago was:

I was planning to make a website for my new & small enterprise, using WordPress.

And I tried that.  But I found it hard to put my ideas across to WordPress and turning the whole thing into an acceptable website with a .com address.

So what did I do?  I blogged about personal matters!  Helluva way to procrastinate and have fun while feelin’ guilty. 😉

Change of mind

After an unproductive time of trial and error I came to the conclusion that I wanted a .nl website instead.  I prepared myself for learning WebMatrix, the Microsoft free web development application.  To my horror I could only install it in Spanish (got Windows Spanish).  After lengthy to and fro communication with various forums it appeared that I was unable to get an English version.  That pissed me off no end.

When something is daunting

So there I was, put off by the daunting prospect of having to relearn html, get acquainted with today’s standards, and learning WebMatrix in Spanish.  I spent a while in cerebral deadlock while blogging away happily.

Saved by the acquaintance!

no such thing as a free lunchYou can imagine my elation when an acquaintance offered to make my website, for free!  I would reciprocate somehow, one day, I would insist, because there is no such thing as a free website.  We talked at length about the vision I had for the site.  I then drew an exact copy of what I wanted in MS Word, software I know quite well in a low-level DTP sense.  For the first time I could see exactly how I wanted it.  He urged me to reserve the .nl domain and I decided to park the .com at the same time for a redirect.  He suggested a certain template and mentioned a program he was going to set it up with.  A program I did not know of.  I felt a little uncomfortable for two reasons:

  1. Was there any online support for this program?
  2. Would I be dependent on him for changes and updates? (Absolutely out of the question!)

Nevertheless I looked into the template he had suggested and I sent him a Messenger IM with two questions, a form of communication he had insisted on.  Two days later I got a reply.  That evening one of my cats dragged in a big rat which quite frankly I had already begun to smell! 😉

Take the bull by the horns

You can do it!I am as much fiercely independent as I am helpless.  These frames of mind alternate.  My contact had alluded to my inability to learn html and working with frames.  Hhmm, I think that that, together with the fact that he would take weeks to finish my site (his words), made my fierce independence kick in.

I started looking for templates and found a really good one.  No frames, but it would do in terms of layout.  I reluctantly downloaded WebMatrix once more (the fiftieth time, probably) having decided that I would just have to weather the Spanish storm.  Follow tutorials in English and find the corresponding functions in Spanish.  Time-consuming, but not insurmountable.

Commitment is not a four-letter word

Then a whole string of things happened which caused me to now have a completed home page with the linked pages not far off from completion.

  1. WebMatrix installed in English (don’t ask me why).
  2. I was able to concentrate on the job for ten hours a day, several days in a row;
  3. I bit into difficult issues like a bulldog, not letting go until I found a solution (it’s not easy deciphering someone else’s template in css if you’ve never seen a stylesheet in your life and div and span still seem like hieroglyphics).
  4. I figured out a way to copy a layer of an image and paste it onto an existing background.  I’d never done that before; for some reason a Layer window appeared in my photo editing software while I was fiddling with this issue, making me experiment with it.  A silly little thing, eh, to get so excited about?  Yeah, that’s what you think. 🙂
  5. It lifted my self-esteem to levels where the entire site, including linked pages, seven or so, took more and more shape in my mind.  I even felt a little euphoric.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it

I really needed to feel bold to tackle the building of my business website.  Instead, for weeks in a row I had felt like a wimp, resulting in an aborted website-building mission causing me to want to abdicate my responsibility.  What did help me in the end was needing to show an exact replica of how I envisaged my website.

All of a sudden the somewhat vague & complicated issue became crystal clear.  I think it also peeved me that he thought I could not learn html (I used it ten years ago to build a simple website), plus I was alarmed by the time it would take him to finish my site as well as the difficulty to communicate with him.

Summing it up

  1. Clarity (visual of my website);
  2. Defiance (what, you think I can’t learn that??!!), and
  3. Independence (you will take how long?!)

spurted me into my very own action!

In his beautiful quote of Goethe, the mountaineer W.H. Murray pointed out to me some 25 years ago that you have to be committed for the ball to really start rolling.  My commitment to make the website finally took concrete form after I designed an image of how I wanted it.  The other two ‘helpers’ were merely emotional motivators.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back…”

“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”

Psycho-cybernetics

Psycho-Cybernetics book

This is such fun to read!

To have a clear picture of your objective – ideally on paper – is therefore also a great way to stop procrastinating!  When I created the image of the website for my acquaintance I never wondered how this was going to be made (because it wouldn’t be me).

Typical psycho-cybernetics: don’t worry about the ways and means to achieve it, just focus on the goal and believe in its feasibility.  I always loved that stuff.

Thanks to:

  1. WordPress for this wonderful outlet
  2. Microsoft for the (free) web development application (WebMatrix)
  3. ELATED for a free template
  4. The acquaintance for his generous offer
  5. Richard B. for sharing a copy of Commitment loooong before it was on the net
  6. Me, myself, I for being so damn stubborn… at times.
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Of Pot & Potheads

Pot, Cannabis, Marihuana, Marijuana, Weed, Ganja, Dagga, Grass, Laughing Lawn, Hashish

Pothead

When I conceived the idea for a P-blog last month, this word was the first one I thought of.  I don’t know why because I never hear it, nor use it.  I even thought then that it was a mere swearword, like idiot.  But wiktionary told me otherwise:

(derogatory slang) A person who smokes cannabis frequently, to excess.

Relaaax, man…

Who came to mind instantly was Derrick, a pothead in the truest sense of the word.  In his fifties, happy-go-lucky with occasional bouts of depression, nature and animal lover, easy to be with, calling a spade a fucking spade.

He had permanently bloodshot eyes.  The only time when he was not smoking pot was when he had just returned from a week-long ayurvedic cleansing retreat.  He looked well.  Was clear-headed and frankly, a bit too serious and intense for my liking, because he was not stoned.  He swore he would never eat another piece of meat or smoke another joint in his life.  He felt SO great!  Holier-than-thou also.

I think his resolution barely survived a week.  I could tell when he accosted me on my way out of his property after a party one evening when he bashed my car, forcing me to open my window.  His pants were down and with a sheepish grin he said ‘Look what you’re getting if you stay the night.’  Ah, the pot, she is a potent temptress.  I laughed, rolled up the window and drove home.  True as Bob, as they say in South Africa.  The last thing I heard was that he was doing well, charming as ever, even twenty years later.  Because you don’t die of smoking pot if used responsibly.  See link #1 below.


True as Bob!

My own experience with pot was a memorable one.  I was 26 and it did not result in a lifetime of pot smoking.  Quite the contrary.  I never smoked it anyway, but I ate it.  Baked in a cake by my friend & housemate who didn’t have the foggiest how much of the stuff to put in, so she just guessed.  It may have been a bit strong, that space cake.

At first I thought that I was immune to it and decided it was a waste of money.  It was a Sunday evening and I had ironing to do!  After about an hour I looked at myself in the mirror while ironing and suddenly wondered ‘Who on earth does her ironing on a Sunday night?!’  It had begun.  I joined my friend in the living room where I got a case of the giggles, while she remained utterly unaffected by it (only to get violently ill the next morning, shame).

She sat in a comfy chair with her knees pulled up around which she held her arms.  In that composition I saw the following scenery (except that she missed a knee, of which shortcoming I informed her):

If you had another knee, they would be the three rondavels!

Gee whiz…

I hated not being able to come down.  Hours and hours later my head was still spinning.  Contrary to what you might have heard or experienced yourself, I did not get hungry.  I did not get horny either.  I just became a wet blanket.  🙂 I didn’t like the long-lasting effect: five hours later I still got dizzy when I tried to sleep.  Just as well.  I’m not keen on bloodshot eyes.

I remember all this as if it was yesterday, as well as the music playing in the background of my stonedness: 1) Pink Floyd and 2) Alan Parsons Project.  I was never able to dissociate the experience from 1) The great gig in the sky, and 2) Sirius


Coffee shops 

Not having lived in the Netherlands during the new coffee shop age, to me a coffee shop has always remained a place where you can sit on a terrace, drink coffee and watch people walk by.  And discuss them if you happen to be with someone.  To call a place like that a coffee shop in Holland would be a faux pas.  Say, if you agree to meet someone in a coffee shop, you are bound to smell a whole lotta pot.  Wikipedia may call it a Cannabis coffee shop, but that’s not what they’re called in Holland.  Just plain coffee shop.

Watch out: There are special regulations for foreign tourists.

For sale in Dutch coffee shops:


Dutch pot

Recently it came to my attention that Dutch marihuana is allegedly far more potent than the same stuff from other countries.  Be ware, brothers and sisters.

Cool runnings!

1. Can you die from weed?

2. 100 celebrities that smoke marijuana

Please note: When it comes to pot, I am like Switzerland.  Do what you like.  You can be for or against: either way, it’s your prerogative.  This is just my little, hopefully a little quirky account of pot (just because I write about anything that starts with a P, and being Dutch may have something to do with it – we are so casual about these things).  No debate or headbutting is condoned.  If you like to share your own (funny) story, please do leave a scribble (I may edit it).

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