Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's My Party, and I'll Skip if I Want To

I'm an Introvert. An off-the-charts, 100% every time I take the test, Introvert. Learning to honor that part of me, including taking care of it according to how it can best be served, has been an amazingly beneficial process for me.

By 'the test', I'm referring to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI defines four groups of two traits, and by taking a yes/no questionnaire (free online version here), one can determine which of each trait is a more accurate description of their tendencies.
  • Extraversion (E) vs Introversion (I)
  • Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N)
  • Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F)
  • Judgment (J) vs Perception (P)
This results in a four-letter combination, or type, for a person. With 4 groups of 2, there are 16 possible combinations. See this website for listings and discussions of each.

Every time I've taken this test, I've ended up INTP - 'The Thinker' or my favorite: 'The Absent-Minded Professor'. I posted something a while back expressing frustration with the labeling. But over the years, I've come to value tools that allow me to look at myself honestly. And while I'm still testing at INTP, I am thankful that my T/F is now around 55%-60% T rather than the 100% it's been in the past.

Anywhatzit, this post is about the freedom I've found by honoring my Introvertedness. Being an Introvert is not the same as being shy, anti-social, lonely, or awkward. The most resonant concepts for me around the Introvert/Extrovert division is in where a person is recharged, and where a person is drained of their energy.

Extroverts feel recharged by spending time socially with others, while the Introvert feels drained of energy being with others. Give an introvert quiet time alone, to reflect and recharge, and they will be content, while an Extrovert will tend to grow increasingly uncomfortable and need to get out and do something.

Removing the judgments against myself that it was somehow 'not normal' to want to spend evenings alone, and was 'normal' to celebrate a particularly difficult week out on the town with friends.

I now cherish my 'Me' days on the calendar. They are sacred red-letter days for me, and when life restructures my time where I am unable to spend at least 1, usually 2 evenings a week on my own, with my chair and a book, I can now prepare myself for the increased irritability, frustration, and loss of focus that will come along with me to the next event. This awareness helps me temper myself, and give myself and others more slack and opens me to more forgiveness.

So if you have ever felt exhausted after a wonderful party, or petrified at having to entertain house guests, or embarrassed for spending a Friday night alone and totally enjoying it, you might lean toward the Introverted side of things.

Here's some articles which I find encouraging as an introvert:

Today I don't have the negative opinions I used to of the 'label' of INTP. It is not some galactic curse, imprinted into my psyche, dooming me to live a life within someone else's set of rules. On the contrary, I see it as a tool which provides me with insight into my 'easy operating' areas and 'room for growth' or 'learning zone' areas.

It has been empowering and exciting to me to work on some of the more negative tendencies I read about 'The INTP', especially around the T/F split. Awareness seems to be the first step, and I'm definitely more aware of when I'm in a comfort zone, and when I'm being challenged to grow.

Thanks for your time, and feel free to share your own 'four letter words' in a comment.

Tim "tending towards change" James

UPDATE: For each of the 16 types, here are Personal Growth and Improvement Suggestions for that type. The suggestions for the INTP gave me a lot of insight.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Year of Tiger Begin!

Is new year good, everybody! This is Tiger's year 2010.

I wish you greatest blessing and the Happy New Lunar Year!

Tim "A Dragon" James

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brother's Birthday Round Two

A second brother had a birthday after I met xtranormal.com, so another movie was made.

Welcome to the talk show: 'Fascinating Members of the Neighborhood' where savvy personality Jack Awesome interviews fascinating people in the neighborhood. Featured in Tonight's Episode: Ninja #3.

I'm still finding my groove with this tool, and lots of Joy along the way, so it's all good.

Speaking of Groove, if you haven't checked out Grooveshark you need to. For reals. It's a great free streaming music website.

Happy Holidays everyone, go cultivate goodness,
Tim "Jolly Old Man" James

Friday, November 20, 2009

My New Super Favorite Toy

Once my good buddy John sent me this link to a pretty funny video about these Hipsters discussing Cyclocross, I was hooked. Well, actually it was after I'd watched the video he sent me, and went to the website www.xtranormal.com and started working on my own movie that I was hooked.

My first video is: Super Saturday, dedicated to my 'little' brother.

I've got the strangest feeling this is just the beginning, so

...to the Revolution!

Tim "like wildfire" James

PS: When using the web versi0n in Firefox, I found that if my mouse pointer went outside of the Flash boundaries for the movie creation, it would reload and lose all unsaved data. This can be somewhat to primal-rage-inducingly frustrating. So I suggest moving your pointer carefully down to the bottom right, clicking "Take 5" to save your work, then come back in to edit it. Now you know.

Friday, August 07, 2009

King of the Wild Things!

When I first heard there was going to be a live-action movie of Where the Wild Things Are, I was less than optimistic. I just knew the movie was going to destroy the exalted place in myself that is occupied by memories of 'reading' this book.

NOTE: 'reading' is in quotes because the book's only got about 9 sentences or something.

However, despite the brevity of the text, I would sit for hours studying the pictures and imagining worlds of unbounded wildness and fun, populated with monsters inspired by the amazing artwork in the book.

There was just no way a movie could capture that feeling.

Then, back in March, the first trailer surfaced.

On first watching, I was choked up and nearly teary-eyed. Wow. This might just work. But I wasn't letting my hopes get up too high because then the dashing against the rocks is always so painful.

Fast forward to August, and the next trailer appears:

This time, I crossed the line from nearly teary-eyed on over into smiling while weeping.

So now I'm letting those expectations soar. Even if the rocks do crush them someday, the time flying will have been worth it.

Tim "The King is dead, long live the King" James

Monday, April 06, 2009

Fun With Compound Words

Nerban Legend: noun. An apocryphal story that spreads quickly and is popularly believed to be true including elements particularly tailored to appeal to those who are single-minded or overly accomplished in scientific, technical, or typically nonsocial pursuits ( i.e. Warhammer 40K, World of Warcraft, Comic Book Guy, etc.) who are felt to be socially inept.

See also: nerban, nerd, urban legend

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Please Consider...

I'm not sure when it started, but I've begun noticing it more and more lately. Popping up in emails from all over the place, a little bit of consciousness thrown in for good measure down at the bottom. Don't know if you've seen it or not, but it's something to the effect of the following:

Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this email.

This was an eye-opener for me. I mean, I've been printing off every email I send or receive since 1994. So far the "Collected Works of Tim and People He May or May Not Actually Know" spans 367 volumes. And that's not even including the forwards! But this little signature line gem made me rethink my philosophy. I mean, I wasn't considering my environmental responsibility, now was I? I was just enjoying all the rights of being a part of the food chain's upper class. Little did I know I was actually destroying my home by printing so many emails! Egads, what to do?!

But this simple tagline, with a nifty eco-friendly glyph added using the capital letter 'P' in the 'Webdings' font (see here for a nifty table and instructions on using some of the 'dings'... but don't count on Firefox to render them appropriately) got me thinking...

There's so much more people should be considering in this world. Just think of the difference we could make in the universe by just suggesting people consider this or that upon reading an email I either wrote or thought was worth forwarding to everyone who's name has ever been added to my Address Book! It's pure genius.

I submit the following as possible additional taglines we could add to our mails, and I just know the Utopia this planet is destined to become will be made manifest in that much less time once we all just pause every once in a while to consider.

Please consider providing a link to a good YouTube video, because reading emails tends to bore me.

Please consider that the Mercator Projection is practically unusable for latitudes higher than 70° north or south. Don't let Greenland fool you!

Please consider adding graphs and charts to increase the spiffiness factor in your emails.

Please consider your digital storage responsibility before saving this email.

Please consider your audio environmental responsibility before sharing all of your downloaded ringtones with the rest of the world.

Please consider your opinions rejected flatly, by default, across the board, unless stated otherwise.

Please consider your Karmic responsibility now that you've enjoyed a taste of my wisdom.

Please consider not focusing on things we could actually do to help the world, just don't print emails. You'll feel so much better simply for not doing anything!

Please consider how awesome it will be when we finally get hoverboards!

Please consider yourself warned.

Please consider natural beauty overrated and not good for the economy.

Please consider that the critical security update to Windows that just installed without your permission will corrupt all of your files and leave you vulnerable to identity theft, security breaches, loss of firstborn, and contraction of deadly diseases unless you restart your computer right this second.

Please consider awareness.

Please consider how unintelligent we look before sending another Arecibo Message.

Please consider letting a few things go, enjoying the moment, not having to be right, and opening yourself up to learning something new.

Feel free to add your own suggestions for further considerations we could share with our fellowmen through the etherwebs that have entertwined us all.

Tim "still considering" James

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Atari 2600

1) You Are What You Eat: By continually eating Fast Food items (Cheeseburgers, Hot Dogs, Nachos, Soda Pop, etc.) while avoiding healthy foods such as Purple Eggplant, I might gain more points, but chances are I will be "Getting FATTER".

2) Sisyphus Has it Easy: When confronted with tasks that initially seem to be productive, such as driving a race car with no brakes around a track while picking up large "dots" in the road and trying to avoid head-on collisions with a computer-controlled vehicle driving the wrong way on the same road, remember that clearing all the dots will just create a new screen with more dots, there are only five sets of dots per turn, and after three crashes, all that happens is your score will flash. Then you can start over.

3) Winning Isn't Everything (or even possible): There are always more invaders from space that operate in synchronization to slowly invade the earth. While you're "Laser Cannon" is capable of destroying the invaders, there will always be more. More points can be scored by destroying the Command Alien Ship, but again, Infinite invaders + Finite Cannon Count = Impossible odds.

4) Candy Good, "The Man" Bad: When accidentally left behind on a strange, alien planet, fall down as many holes as possible, searching for items that can be used to build a communicator to "Phone Home" and call the mothership to the forest for an emergency evacuation. Accept Candy (Reeeeeeeessseesss Peeeeeeeessseeess) from kind strangers (like Eeeelllllleeeeeoooottt) but be sure to avoid all the government agents who just want to experiment on you and determine why extending your neck while at the bottom of a hole allows you to levitate your way out of the trap. They insist it's all for "National Security".

5) I'll Get By With A Little Help From My Friends: When searching for a Biblical Relic that has been lost for centuries and possesses extraordinary powers and is able to "level mountains" and "lay waste to entire regions." Oh, did we mention any army possessing it is invincible. Well, yeah, when doing that, be sure to progress back and forth through the ENTRANCE ROOM to the MARKETPLACE to the TEMPLE ENTRANCE to the SPIDER ROOM to the ROOM OF THE SHINING LIGHT to the TREASURE ROOM to the MESA FIELD to the MESA SIDE to the VALLEY OF POSION to the BLACK MARKET and back and forth as required until reaching the WELL OF THE SOULS and discovering the Ark. Both controllers, significant amounts of hints, endless patience, the ability to imagine pixelated attempts at graphics represent a MAGIC FLUTE and COINS and a GRENADE a KEY a WHIP a PARACHUTE a TIMEPIECE a REVOLVER with BULLETS an ANKH some CHAI an HOURGLASS (not to be confused with a TIMEPIECE) and even a SHOVEL, all that and no power outages will be required, but it is possible. Good Luck!

6) The Best Offense Is A Good Defense: If you ever notice that aliens from the planet of Krytol have begun an attack on the planet Zardon, remember that the Krytolians are warriors out to destroy and seize the planet of Zardon. Even though Zardon is the last of the peaceful planets, the Zardonians are skillful and hardworking people, and their cities are built-up and rich in resources. I mean, it is truly a planet void of crime and violence. Luckily, Zardon has built a powerful defense system. Several antiballistic missile bases have been established within the cities of Zardon. The Zardonians are ready for this attack, and are prepared to fight to save their cities.
If you then get appointed to be base commander, it is your responsibility to protect and defend six cities on the planet of Zardon. The Krytolians have begun firing interplanetary ballistic missiles. They are aiming at your cities and missile bases. Your only defense is to fire back with antiballistic missiles. But watch out, the Krytolians are sly, they also have cruise missiles. Cruise missiles look like satellites, but they are just as deadly as the interplanetary ballistic missiles.
You must then use your antiballistic missiles (ABMs) to stop the enemy before your happy and harmonious planet is destroyed.

7) Just Because You Can Talk the Talk Doesn't Mean You Know Anything About What's Actually Happening: You might realize that a YAR is a fly simulator under direct user control, an ENERGY MISSLE can be shot by a YAR and removes CELLS. You might even know that the QOTILE is a laser-base type object on the right side of the screen, behind the SHIELD. You can understand that the SHIELD is composed of CELLS, which are the elements making up the SHIELD. In addition, you can know that a DESTROYER MISSILE is put out by the QOTILE in order to destroy YARS. You can discover that the ZORLON CANNON is really a pulsing, scintillating fireball which appears on the left side of the screen and traverses the screen horizontally. You could even conceptualize that a SWIRL is a whirling pinwheel fired by the QOTILE to again destroy YARS. Even all of that plus the knowledge that the NEUTRAL ZONE is a colorful and glittering path down the center of the playfield that will protect a YAR from the DESTROYER MISSLE, but not a SWIRL, however the YAR cannot fire the ZORLON CANNON from there.

You can know all of that and still have no idea where you came from, what you're supposed to be doing, who sent you, who is the enemy, who is your friend, and why this game is so awesome anyway.

Tim "GAME RESET" James

Monday, November 12, 2007

What I did on my Summer Vacation

Simple list format today folks:
  • Flew in two (2) different planes for a single non-stop flight
  • Walked the earth
  • Slept in
  • Saw Bigfoot
  • Got a picture with George Bush Sr.
  • Caught a football with my hooves
  • Left luggage unattended
  • Carried at least three (3) universes (universi?) up a flight of stairs
  • Smuggled pirated goods across the border
  • Slept out
  • Spent a Saturday nearly 100% Shanty Style
  • Escaped unscathed from the radio black hole that is central America
  • Read a book, read a book, read a... hmmm... nevermind.
  • Found the true meaning of Christmas
  • Witnessed BC's swan's song for the ages
  • Stared at snow
  • Kissed a rainbow
  • Missed work
  • Hunted Moon Rocks
  • Ran with scissors
  • Scared off some neighborhood dogs
  • Laundry
  • Created RoboTim (Patent Pending)
  • 9 naps in 7 days
Tim "out of office autoreply" James

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Doin' the Bug-Dance

Ever wanna catch yourself some lightning bugs? Or just wanna mess with the minds of a few cool little insects? Well now you can. Read on to find out more:
You can 'call' in male fireflies by pretending you are a female firefly and blinking a small bright light (like a little LED or a pen-light... not the big honkin' flashlight shown above) to attract the males.

The key is in the timing. After you see a firefly flash, wait two seconds and then flash your light, kinda close to the ground. This will make the firefly come towards your light. When it flashes again, count one-one-thousand two-one-thousand and 'blink' him again. The poor guy won't know what hit him when he finally comes to land on your bulb.

I know it's a little late in the season now, but just keep this in mind for the next time you are out with the fireflies. Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Tim "science: the right stuff" James