Thebastidge: 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
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    Friday, August 31, 2007

    Colour me displeased...

    I came within a thin milimeter of quitting my job yesterday.

    After weeks of planning, buying my tickets, making arrangements for people to meet me in other cities, my management spiked my vacation plans. Through piss-poor planning, they have found themselves short-handed and under the gun.

    So I will not be coming home for vacation in a few days. I don't know when it'll be. Not soon.

    Pissed off barely begins to describe it.

    Monday, August 20, 2007

    Office topic

    Today's topic of discussion around the office.

    Thankfully, I'll be home for vacation in a couple weeks.

    Saturday, August 18, 2007

    Still breathing...

    It has been a little busier at work the last few days, and outside of work I have been makig a concerted effort to get more exercise and less eye strain, so I haven't been on the 'puter quite as much. Between that and studying both for computer certifications and piloting, as well as doing a lot of planning for the business I'm planning to open when I get home (my pub) there just hasn't been a lot of time, inspiration, and energy left over for commenting on the many things I read abut in the news, and my own personal details don't change much from day to day here.

    But I'm still around.

    Friday, August 10, 2007


    Just one more data point confirming my small government bias.

    Monday, August 06, 2007

    Personality Part XII

    This conludes my "Emotional stability" dimension. It's part XII of a series of posts on my personality profile, with more to come. I'm sure you simply can't wait, right?

    Ease with Others - Introduction:

    Most of us have at least one or two friends or family members we know we can trust; many of us have a whole crowd of people we think of as reliable. But some people just aren't sure; they don't know if it's foolish to trust even the person they feel closest too. After all, they've been let down before and what's to keep it from happening again, even from someone close at hand? Many of us walk out the door into the world believing that there is fun and goodness and even love to find out there; we embrace the opportunity to explore new places with new or familiar friends. But some people just aren't sure; the world is a dangerous place, and whatever fun or goodness or love there is out there is compromised by the danger of some people and the random acts of violence that no one is safe from. What about you? Do you leave your home every day with a buoyant expectation that you'll find pleasure and kindness out there, or do you anticipate the worst and guard against it with prudence and caution and a very observant eye? The following paragraphs describe ways in which you view the world and the people in it as you venture forth.

    Ease with Others: Your Personalized Description

    You're a worrier. Not a serious worrier, so much so that your life is confined by fear. You go places and mix with different kinds of people and try out new venues and follow your friends even when their destination would not have been your first choice, or even your second. You go. But you worry a bit. Then when you arrive and settle in the worry subsides, you breathe more easily and relax into the experience and enjoy it as much as anyone. It just takes you a little time to unwind.

    It is most likely the case that you've always been like this. Each fall you wondered who would be in your class and whether they would like you and if you would get picked.... for whatever you wanted to get picked for. There may be a worrier in the generation above you: your mother or father or an aunt or grandfather. Regardless, there are plenty of life experiences that can reinforce this as well; friends betray us, or our family situation is an emotional mine-field, or some illness haunts a season of our lives. So we worry.

    It's not that big of a problem for you. The most important thing is probably to know that it's true and to accept about yourself that you are something of a worrier. Once you can own this you can use it wisely and it won't inhibit you very much. You will anticipate an upcoming new experiences - a date with someone you haven't gone out with before, a gathering that includes strangers, a trip to somewhere you haven't been before - and the anticipation will nudge you toward nervousness. Accept it, work your way through it, let it make you careful if you need to be careful, and then on the other end let it go and enjoy the new circumstance.

    It will also help if you own up to your friends what they probably already know is true. Some of them may worry, too, maybe more than you do. Others of them may be fearless. Whatever, as they get to know you and you get to trust them you might want to talk about your fear and let it be part of the relationship. This will be especially important with your partner. The person they learn to love will be the you you really are, worry included. So let them in on it; it's not that big a deal, especially if the two of you treat it as not that big a deal.

    This is Part XII of a series. Part I is here and look for Part XIII soon.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    Personality Part XI

    Emotional Strength - Introduction:

    Over twenty years ago Scott Peck began his best-selling book The Road Less Traveled with this profound statement of the obvious: "Life is difficult". Two decades of learning later, we want to say, "Duh!! Of course it is". Life comes at us at too fast a pace, just to get by we need to take on more than we can handle, stress outweighs pleasure by a ton - we know all these things because this is the river we swim in, the life we both choose and cannot avoid. And more often than we'd like, it's difficult to make such a life work. So how do we handle the pressure? Do we manage the stress or does it control us? Are we able to cope beyond simple survival and actually experience our lives as happy and hopeful? Or do we collapse under the weight of it all, panic at the thought of what tomorrow morning brings, and look for some way out of what has become more than we can handle? The following paragraphs describe your emotional strength, which is your ability or lack of ability to deal with the fact that life is difficult.

    Emotional Strength: Your Personalized Description

    Most of the time you manage to make it through even the most difficult situations. You've survived the break-up of relationships or the loss of a friend or battles in your family or conflicts at work. You somehow manage to gather your inner resources, keep yourself from panicking, and find your way through. Maybe on occasion you collapse; you crawl under the covers for three days, turn the electric blanket up to ten, suck your thumb and sleep until the panic subsides. But not very often. Usually you're up and at it and head straight for the problem, using your brains and your character and your imagination and getting control of your life again.

    A word about those times when you lose control. Have you ever tried to figure out what it is about those rare times when you don't do so well? Maybe there's a pattern; maybe they involve a certain kind of person, or a situation that calls for a response you're not very good at - you need to fight for your rights and you don't like to fight, or it's something in your family and your family never allows you to assert yourself. Something like that. It's worth figuring out, if you can, which situations give you the most trouble and how you might cope with them more effectively.

    It's also worth knowing where your strength comes from. Maybe you got it from a family that cherished you and challenged you and taught you what you were capable of, or maybe you struggled early on and learned to make your way with ingenuity and imagination until you came to believe in yourself. Now you've had enough experience with surviving, even thriving, to trust that you will make it through most situations.

    Here's another thing you've probably already learned. You need friends, or at least one friend, who is very much like you, not necessarily in their opinions or beliefs or the clothes they wear but in their ability to make it through difficult times. Someone you can count on to understand what's happening when the bottom drops out for you, and whom you can lean on as you make your way up out of the ditch. It is a sign of your strength, not your weakness, that you cultivate a friendship with just such a person so that, when you have to, each of you has the other to rely upon.

    A word of warning. Some people - maybe some of your friends, or even your partner - are always looking for someone to pick up part of their load in life, either because they cannot carry it or they're just not willing to exert the effort it would take. Be careful. You're strong but you're not invincible, something you know from those rare occasions when you wind up curled up under the blanket looking out at the world. You do neither yourself nor your friends a favor by taking on more than you can or should handle. So use your great strength wisely, and both you and those around you will continue to benefit from it.

    This is Part XI of a series. Part I is here and look for Part XII here.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    Pause for commentary

    It's interesting sometimes, to look at a personality profile arrived at by any number of questions designed to elicit trends rather than specific reponses to specific inputs.

    I try my best not to game the system, though I am almost always aware of the purpose behind the particular question.

    I think sometimes this self-awareness makes it difficult to gain much insight from the exercise, because I'm always striving not to overly think the question- would I hang up on someone who was annoying me? Of course! Would I hang up on an annoying person if the call was important? Probably not. I'm too aware of myself and my moods to let my natural inclicnations have free reign. I figure this probably skews my results a bit, but it also corrects my results towards how I actually behave, the sum of my experiences, choices, which could be considered my conscious environment, as well as my unconscious environment, (which I would consider my emotional history and conditioning), and heritage.

    The anger questions are a particular example of this. I haven't lost my temper in many years, and I rarely allow even my annoyance to surface in any negative way. I'm not shy to let someone know they are annoying me, but I'm careful not to over-react, be undeservedly harsh or violent etc.

    But I have felt within myself the potential for a berserker. I think that knowing you're capable of Very Bad Things can mitigate against it in some ways, particularly by defining a philosophical code of personal ethics.

    Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled bout of TMI.

    Personality Part X

    Anger Management - Introduction:

    Anger is as natural as love is, as much a part of what it means to be human as sadness or fear or joy. But for most people anger is a more troubling - perhaps the most troubling - of our emotions. Some people refuse to express anger directly; they hold it in, like holding their breath, until the moment passes and the anger slips out like a subtle sigh. Other people explode with the frequency of popcorn, littering their lives with necessary and unnecessary conflict. What about you? You get angry of course; everyone does. But how do you manage those angry moments? The following paragraphs describe your ability to manage your anger.

    Anger Management: Your Personalized Description

    It's hard to tell with you: does anger sometimes overtake you and you just can't help but explode, or do you choose when and where not to erupt? Because sometimes you seem in perfect control, even in circumstances where others might go Boom. At other times a slight provocation and you're the emotional arsonist, setting off what seems in retrospect an unnecessary conflagration. So it's hard to tell whether you pick your spots and choose when to explode, or whether in those moments you really cannot help yourself, your anger just gets the better of you.

    Are you clear which of these is true, or at least true more often? It would probably help you to know. It's obvious that anger lives in you in ways that you can feel it, and probably feel it rising up when an argument ensues. Anger is as natural as breathing to all of us, something born in us to help us protect ourselves from enemies real or imagined. More than some people, you are aware of your anger. The question is, do you manage it, or does it manage you. Here's a guess: you are more in charge of your anger than you realize. You probably don't explode in situations that would be very costly to you: say, at your boss or at the road rage candidate on the freeway. You are more likely to explode when you can get away with it without too much collateral damage: with the friend you always disagree with or the partner with whom you've turned arguing into a regular substitute for communication.

    If it is your choice, then you might want to consider keeping your anger under better management. Here's what we know: the most predictable outcome of the expression of hostility in any relationship is the expression of more hostility. Anger is self-perpetuating. So it's always - yes, ALWAYS - better to avoid exploding when you can. If it's not your choice, if anger rises up like "the monster in the basement" climbing the stairs toward you, then you might want to get some help in understanding where it comes from and why it has such power that it can take you over even when you don't want it to.

    For most people, anger is a tricky emotion. It's even more so for you, because sometimes you seem in charge of it and sometimes it seems in charge of you. The more you understand your anger and the more you take control of it, the more successful you'll be in managing this tricky emotion and the more successful you'll be in every one of your relationships.

    This is Part X of a series. Part I is here and look for Part XI here.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    Personality Part IX

    I've been posting the results to a personality survey I took in relation to dating...

    Introduction to Emotional Stability

    We're born with the capacity to feel deeply, so it's as natural as breathing to experience a range of emotions. Fear and joy and sadness, anger and shame and disgust lie somewhere within each of us. Ah, but to what extent do we control these emotions, and to what extent do they control us? How you answer this question of how your emotions play out in your life has a great deal to do with your levels of personal satisfaction and with the character of your relationships with others. Do you manage your emotions well, keeping them in check with your thinking and your willpower, or are you someone who lets emotions have their way, giving in to the wild dance of feelings? The following paragraphs describe your emotional range in terms of being a person who is emotionally steady or someone who is responsive to whatever feelings swell up in you.

    On Emotional Stability you are:


    Words that describe you:

    Able to Cope

    A General Description of Your Reactivity

    In some ways, you've got the best of emotional worlds. When emotions rise up from inside you or are brought forth from a conversation by a friend, you know how to engage them. You deal with sadness, fear, joy, anger - whatever comes up - in ways that are perceptive and flexible. You can adapt to whatever level of emotion is appropriate to the moment. At other times, you are able to cope with your emotions in a more reserved manner. Because you are aware of what does and does not make emotional sense in a particular situation, you will decide when it is an appropriate time to express your emotions and when it would be best to keep them to yourself.

    All of this gives you a rich emotional life. You are free to express your passions about certain subjects with appropriate people. But you are also emotionally adaptable; if the conversation needs to be more cerebral, you'll keep it "in your head" and talk calmly through whatever issue is on the table. This emotional awareness serves you well. You seldom get in over your head, either by opening up to the wrong person or by triggering in someone else's emotions they may not be able to deal with.

    Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward You

    When it comes to dealing with emotions we all meet some people with whom we don't match well. You bring a balanced approach to your emotional life. As such, those who are at the extremes are most likely to have a negative reaction to you. Those who live in their emotions may feel you tend to "live in your head" while those who go through life as an emotional rock may feel that you are a bit too "touchy feely" for their approach.

    And of course it is always possible that because you do balance your emotional approach to life you may misread others - we all do at times. So there have undoubtedly been those times when you have misread cues and stayed in your head with someone who hoped for a more open emotional approach or you may have opened up emotionally with someone who keeps their emotions bottled up. But these things happen and since you do have a good balance of being in touch with your emotions and not being overly impacted by emotional swings, you undoubtedly are able to adapt.

    Another potential problem is that as people get to know you well, they will discover that you have a great balance between emotional expression and emotional control. If they don't have this balance they may wind up envying you. They can't express feelings as well as you, or they are too often out of emotional control and resent you for your ability to cope so well with the very emotions that may trip them up.

    Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You

    Many people will be grateful to find a friend like you who can stay in control when emotions verge on chaos, but who can also go into the tangle of emotions when it is safe and appropriate to do so. Because of your ability to engage them at whatever level they are comfortable, to adapt to whatever changes in emotion emerge in the conversation, and to cope so well with all of it - well, they'll be very glad they found a person like you. You may, in fact, wind up as something of an emotional mentor. Your awareness of the emotional temperature of a situation, your ability to adapt to either heat or cold, and your ability to cope with whatever winds up happening in the conversation could be models for them to follow as they come to terms with their own emotional worlds.

    This is Part IX of a series. Part I is here and look for Part X here.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    Friday, August 03, 2007

    Life in the Garden

    It's another hazy, dusty day in Mesopotamia.

    It's my day off, when I get to do so much fun stuff, like laundry. Shouldn't complain though, the day started out pretty exciting.

    Went to the gym after work this morning. Got in a pretty standard workout; 30 minutes aerobic on the cross trainer, then chest workout; 10 reps each in descending weight on the Cybex fly press, starting at 100 lb and working down to 37.5 lbs, with 15 reps there, and then 30 reps at 25 lbs. Then the same routine on the chest press, from about the same weight, then ten assisted dips with about 100 lbs weight on, and I'm spent. I'd probably do it differently if I knew anything at all about weightlifting, alas; the whole concept bores me to tears, but we all get older and us computer geeks have to do something to avoid the dreaded "mountain dew gut".

    Got back to the trailer, showered up. Funny how there's no cold water, just hot and lukewarm. It only cools off into the high 90s or low 100s at night, so it's understandable. Let me be very clear: I'm not bitching. We have it pretty damn good here compared to most. I am, as I believe Lex said, merely your humble Chronicler of events, attempting to give you a taste of this glamorous lifestyle.

    Got toweled off and wasn't ready for sleep- "ah the DFAC is still open" thinks I, so off for a hearty breakfast of pseudo-eggs (scrambled), some sausage, hash browns, and cantaloupe. Not bad. When the alarms went off I realized I hadn't actually eaten a meal in the chow hall for a while (carryout while I've been on nightshift) and I've either forgotten how loud it is in there, or they have turned up the volume.

    Ach well, it least we have an alarm, though I still nearly put my fork through my cheek when the mortar actually landed close by. Close enough to make my ears pop a little bit at least. Man, I'm going to have to start eating with a spoon and chewing with my mouth open. At least we have a hard roof over us since earlier this year.

    Then off to the Palace coffee shop to read for a while. I'm making serious progress though the official private pilot curriculum, but I need practical. I think I'll take some lessons while I'm home next month, even though I won't be current when I go home again, and therefore it won't really help that much with building hours, at least I'll have some real life experience to apply to the simulator. A couple hours 4 months ago isn't enough to make it feel real. I'm glad I read "Stick and Rudder" first though- old Wolfgang made it a hell of a lot more interesting with his semi-narrative style then Jeppesen does in their textbook, which is also dumbed down to about 6th grade level and correspondingly dull. I haven't managed to touch the FAR/AIM stuff yet. It looks rather daunting; if I weren't a fast reader with good retention, I might be tempted to give up on this idea. Nah. I've wanted it for too long. The dream of flight abides.

    I can't help starting to get excited about vacation. I try to keep my horizon limited to a week at a time, but now here I am looking forward a whole month. I'm bound to become frustrated by that.

    Personality Part VIII

    Perceptiveness - Introduction:
    How well do you see? Not with your eyes but with your instincts. Do you read people like an open book or is it easy to slide something past you as if your inner vision blinked? Some of us misread other people's intentions while others of us get it right away; some of us consistently misjudge situations while others of us seem to know what's happening even if it isn't obvious. How well do you see? The following paragraphs describe your Perceptiveness.

    Perceptiveness: Your Personalized Description
    When P. T. Barnum said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time" he didn't take you into account. You are nearly impossible to fool. You quickly pick up the difference between someone selling an honest product and a peddler hawking the current rendition of snake oil. You aren't fooled by some photo opportunity posing as an important moment or your partner's subtly twisted logic to explain why they arrived late to the restaurant or the credit-card bill didn't get paid. Barnum didn't get it; you are nobody's fool.

    Your quick mind and keen eye serve not only to protect you from cheats and swindlers but also help you to make the best of constructive moments. In a conversation with someone you care about you pick up the details as well as the main themes; you catch the whole range of what they're trying to tell you and they come away with the gratification of having been truly heard. In the complex environment of your work circumstances you can juggle lots of information about a variety of projects and keep all the balls in play. Because you pay such close attention seldom do you drop an important bit of what's going on. Even out among 'em in the public sphere you seem to catch not only the obvious meaning of events but also the nuances, those subtle shades of true and false that help you make good judgments and keep the public snake-oil peddlers from slipping one by you.

    Not very often, but once in a while you'll get fooled. Maybe you weren't paying attention or you didn't think it was a moment of enough importance to keep your mind's eye open; nevertheless you wound up with your pants around your ankles or some elixir in your glass that wasn't as advertised. Learn from it. Even the most benign circumstances deserve your best attention so you can be of use to whomever you are attending to and so you can deny the next Barnum the satisfaction of fooling even almost-never-fooled you.

    This is Part VIII of a series. Part I is here and look for Part IX and beyond tomorrow.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    Personality Part VII

    Inquisitive - Introduction:

    People who raise children talk about a period in early childhood when every bit of new information is met with the question, "Why?" "You need to eat your carrots." "Why, mommy?" Or, "Why is the sky blue?" Or, "Why did Grandpa die?" Many of the questions never do get answered, but most children grow out of their incessant curiosity and find their own answers, however reliable, to the simplest and the most profound questions. Most children. But some never lose this curiosity. Into adulthood they are addictively inquisitive. "When a fly lands on the ceiling does it come in flying upside down, or does it do a quick flip-turn just before landing?" Most of us would say, "Who cares?", but for the truly curious such questions taunt them and haunt them. How about you? The following paragraphs describe the extent to which you are or are not inquisitive.

    Inquisitive: Your Personalized Description

    You are the inquisitive child who never stopped asking "Why?" Well into adulthood you still have an insatiable curiosity about the way the world works and why people behave in certain ways and not in others. Where most people would ask a question, get an answer and be satisfied, you press on. "Why do men and women deal differently with problems between them?" "Men are problem solvers and want to find a solution, while women are more interested in relating so they want to talk things through." Enough for some people. Ah, but you want to know, "Is this a difference in their brain structure, or is this something learned through cultural influences?" Probably some of each. Enough then, right? Not so fast. "But why don't cultures just alter the way we nurture women and men and try to resolve this difference?" And on and on and on. Why? Why? Why?

    Your curiosity keeps you stimulated, keeps you thinking and exploring and growing. You're always seeking out new facts, or new interpretations of known facts, or new comparisons of various interpretations. . . . .well, you get the point. You just keep pushing out the edges of the envelope, hungering for more information, more understanding. All of this makes you a very interesting person. You are lit up with your own curiosity; your mind is lively, your imagination always switched on, and you consistently have new insights that captivate you.

    Most of the time, your friends and colleagues are fascinated with what you bring to the conversation. Like few in the group, you have a way of taking conversations to a higher level by asking - and sometimes answering - questions no one else is dealing with and pushing everyone forward toward new knowledge. In your work environment your inquisitiveness requires the entire team to think outside the box, to be restless with what is now routine and willing to explore another way to make the product or offer the service. Among your friends and with your partner you are the one who gets everyone to consider a different approach to recurring problems or a different way to understand why you love one another and what it means to make commitments for the long run.

    But sometimes enough is enough. You exhaust the curiosity of others even as you're moving on to the thirteenth level of Why. They're ready to settle in to some boring conversation about ordinary stuff because their brains are worn out by your questions. "Give it a rest" is what they think, whether they say it or not.

    So you've got to be discreet with your inquisitiveness. On your own, have at it as long as you wish. But in the company of others learn when you've gone far enough and need to back off. Your curiosity is one of your great gifts to your work colleagues, your friends and even your partner and you don't want to spoil the gift by wearing out its welcome.

    This is Part VII of a series. Part I is here and VIII is also posted.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    Personality-Part VI

    Information Processor - Introduction:

    We're reminded regularly that we live in "the information age". With streams of email and phone messages and the vast sea of data on the internet it seems sometimes that we might drown in "TMI", or "too much information." How well do you do at taking all of this information in, making sense of it and using it wisely? This increased flow of information is also happening in our personal lives. If we talk honestly and listen carefully with our friends and our partners, there's a lot of stuff to process: everyone we know wants us to listen to and understand their different opinions and beliefs and each of us brings our unique family history and our own records of personal successes and failures that make up the stories we want to tell to those we care about. The surge of feelings that result come at times like water from a fire hydrant.

    Again, how well do you do at taking all this in, making sense of it and using it wisely? Put briefly, how effective are you as an Information Processor?

    Information Processor: Your Personalized Description

    You are very effective at processing information. This must mean that at least these two things are true of you: you love the rush of all this data, the flow of information coming at you day by day, and you have confidence in your ability to take it all in, sort it out and use it wisely. Because you love the rush and have the confidence, you are unafraid of the vast flow of information. It may surprise you to know that not everyone faces this onslaught with the pleasure you find in it. Some people are taken aback at the thought of another morning with dozens of emails, a Blackberry humming, instructions to submit a new proposal by noon, and a phone that seems to have no silent moment. But what they avoid you embrace, curious to find the pieces that fill out the current puzzle you are solving with the data rushing through your high-speed processor of a brain.

    In the right job or the right relationship this ability will be a great asset. Your colleagues, your closest friends and your partner will appreciate that you take in what they tell you; you are someone who not only pays attention you remember what you have been told. And because you catch on quickly and analyze clearly, your responses to them will usually be on target in terms of what the information means and how it can be best used.

    Two things to watch out for. First, don't expect your colleagues and friends to process as much information as quickly as you do. You are so exceptional in this area that you won't meet many people who are your match. So cut them some slack. Should you fail to do this you'll have expectations of them they cannot meet and this will lead to frustration for them as well as for you. They'll think you're either arrogant or impatient or both, and you'll consider them either slow-thinking or lazy when in fact they are closer to the norm than you just not in your exceptional category in this skill.

    Second, if you live and work in a structure where you have to pass things to someone else - a work colleague or your children or a friend you're collaborating with - be careful not to flood them with more than they can handle. Remember, you are able to take the rush of information and process it quickly while they are can handle less and will take more time. Don't drown them with what you pass on.

    On the whole, however, this quality is a real strength for you, so continue to develop ways to use it wisely on your own behalf and on behalf of those you work and live with. If you do this it will be an asset for everyone.

    This is Part VI of a series. Part I is here and VII is also posted.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    Personality Part V

    The first four posts in this series were along my "agreeableness" dimension. The next four will outline my "openness", starting with the introduction and then the three dimensions..

    Introduction to Openness

    How firmly committed are you to the ideas and beliefs that govern your thinking and guide your behavior? Some people trust their current ideas and beliefs the way a climber trusts the mountain; whichever way they move, whether the climb is on a familiar trail or over new ground, there is something solid beneath them, something they count on.

    For others, new ideas, new solutions to old problems, new beliefs that replace tired convictions are like welcome wind in their sails. They can hardly wait to tack in a new direction and ride a new idea through uncharted waters. If it's new, it's interesting, and they're ready to explore.

    The following paragraphs describe your responses to new ways of thinking and believing. How do you handle new information? Are you more like the climber on a familiar mountain or a sailor with a tiller in hand and a fresh breeze to propel you? How you integrate and process new information about the world and about others is a core aspect of your personality.

    On the Openness Dimension you are:


    Words that describe you: :


    A General Description of How You Approach New Information and Experiences:

    You are a very creative and imaginative person who is especially open to new ideas or new ways of thinking about old problems. You love to approach a conventional idea or a traditional way of doing things by walking around to the other side and explore it from a novel perspective. What's new is what interests you. Like an artist looking for a new way to see, you focus your imagination on envisioning ideas, events or problems in completely original ways. You are intellectually progressive, which means you like to think and feel your way into unexplored landscapes where you let your sense of intellectual adventure romp freely.

    Because you are so curious you can also be very teachable. You learn from personal and interpersonal experiences as well as from classrooms and textbooks. You crave new information, and toss and turn it in your vivid imagination. When you come across an idea from someone else or a thought in your own head that is particularly provocative or original, you light up. With wit and wisdom, Dr. Seuss describes you like this: "Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!"

    Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward Your Style of Thinking

    Not everyone will be thrilled by your adventurous mind. Many people are content with the ideas that have served them and their culture well, and with visions they've grown accustomed to of what is and is not true. They're not lit up at the prospect of moving out of their comfort zone. Others are afraid of new ways of thinking and creative ways of solving problems because they are somewhat fragile in the sense that they have trouble maintaining serenity in their current worlds and don't want someone, like you, for instance, pushing out the edges of their intellectual and cultural cosmos. So don't be surprised if your unconventional ideas sometimes get you criticized, or if some people walk away from the explorations of new territories of the mind that you find so exhilarating.

    Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You

    Despite some negative responses to your style of thinking, many people will find your progressive thoughts and vivid imagination quite attractive. Some will find your openness to new ways of thinking and your willingness to explore what others shy away from a very compelling quality. Other creative souls will find in you a companion on the journey into the unknown, and will welcome the camaraderie. Conversations with them will be lively and innovative and will ignite your imagination, and theirs. Even some who are less curious than you will be impressed by your courage to think and believe what is for them unimaginable, and by your willingness to go on adventures of the mind that they would find dangerous or daunting. For these people you might become a mentor into the wilder side of thinking and believing, and nudge them toward the creative and progressive ideas that you find so interesting.

    This is Part V of a series. Part I is here and VI is also posted.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    Personality- Part IV

    This post concludes the section on "Agreableness". The next post in the series will explore my "Openness" dimension.

    Social Awareness - Introduction:

    While taking care of others and taking care of yourself, to what extent do you let people know what you really think and feel? Do you hide your foibles and failures, or can you laugh at yourself in front of someone else? If you believe in someone, will you speak up on their behalf even when it might cost you? Do you see yourself as part of a social system of equals or do you see yourself as part of a social system where you need to game the system a bit - never quite sure what others want or what you are willing to give. For some people, it's true that what you see is what you get; there's nothing hidden about them. For others, what you see is what they want you to see, and they keep a good bit of who they are out of sight. The following paragraphs describe your level of social awareness.

    Social Awareness: Your Personalized Description

    Sometimes you just lay your cards on the table, whether it's aces and kings or a busted hand. "Here's what I've got." And people can play off that however they wish to play. At other times, you've got your cards pressed hard against you chest and no one knows if you're holding deuces or jacks. You hope the other person folds their hand so you don't have to lay your cards on the table, face up. Interesting, aren't you? Open with some things about yourself, closed tight about other things. Open with some people, closed like a drum with others.

    Maybe it depends upon how comfortable you are with yourself in a particular situation. If the conversation is about stuff in you you're not ashamed of or things you know a lot about, you're out there: cards on the table. You can laugh at foibles you've come to terms with, stand up for beliefs you know the person in front of you shares, even stand up for a disreputable person if their bad reputation doesn't splash on you. But if the conversation drifts toward the uncomfortable - something you've done but want to keep secret, a belief you hold that no one else buys into, a friend this particular crowd finds a bit obnoxious - then it's cards against the chest, secrets clung to, reputation protected by silence.

    Or maybe it depends upon how comfortable you are with the people in front of you. With your partner or a trusted friend you can exhale about your who you are; they already know your through and through and love you still and all. So put it out there, whatever it is: you at your worst, you at your best (which is sometimes harder to share, because we're afraid of seeming "too full of" ourselves), your goofiest or wildest behavior or belief. You trust them to take this, as they take everything about you, and hold it carefully. But if the person in front of you is a stranger, or a proven "untrustworthy-with-private-information" sort, then you smile as if everything is just dandy thank you, let only minimal truth leak out of you, and leave them as much in the dark about your true self as you can. Maybe that's it: you rock between secrecy and openness depending upon who is standing in front of you.

    One word of caution. Even if it makes sense to be discreet with what you share, if you are inconsistent in your openness you may get to be known as two-faced: candid when it's convenient, but capable of hiding out when it suits you. Some people might find you hard to trust if they come to see you like this. What to do about it? Well, you've got to be true to yourself, even if that means being inconsistent. But in the long run you're probably better off getting more comfortable with whatever is inside you and expanding the circle of people with whom you share this. At least this gives you a direction in which to move rather than continuing to rock between open and closed, open and closed, open and closed.

    This is part IV of a series. Parts I, II, and III are below.

    More to come tomorrow.

    Personality- Part III

    Generosity - Introduction:

    Generosity is both attitude and action. It is an attitude of genuine interest in the well-being of others, and a genuine desire to help them. And generosity is action: taking the time, gathering the resources, delivering the goods. When it comes to taking care of others and taking care of yourself, are you a generous person? The following paragraphs describe what it is like to be more or less generous in your relationships with people you are close to.

    Generosity: Your Personalized Description
    In the arithmetic of generosity you've found an equation that works pretty well for you. You know when taking care of others means lending a hand and when the best way to take care of them is to leave them alone and let them take care of themselves. You know when it's time to focus your kindness on them and when you need to turn your attention to yourself so that your own life stays sane and lively. You can be generous when generosity is called for but you are not indiscriminate with your generosity, doling it out when it isn't required. You give enough to help when help is needed, but you take enough time and keep enough of your resources to insure that your own life goes well. Such is the arithmetic of your generosity.

    Since you know how to be generous, it is curious that you stop short of giving all you've got. It's as if you are afraid that you might deplete yourself, as if there's not enough in you, not enough of you to let your generosity run free. Or perhaps your caution has as much to do with your view of other people as with your fear of emptying yourself. Maybe you have a genuine concern that people will become dependant if you offer them too much, and that what they should do most of the time is dive down into their own treasure chest of time and energy and inner resources and pull up what they need to get through. Perhaps it's both: you don't want to run dry, and you want other people to find their solution in themselves and not from you. Whatever the case, it is curious that you have more to give than you give.

    Your closest friends and your partner may alternate between genuine gratitude and confusion. Gratitude, because when you come through for them, you come through big time: you show up, you stay, you give what you've got, and they thrive. Confusion, because there are times when you don't show up, or show up only briefly or with little in your hands, and slide off to take care of yourself while they're still trying to climb out of whatever ditch they've fallen into. When you're there for them, you're really there, and they're grateful. But it's confusing when you don't show up; they wonder where you are and why you're not there when they need you.

    Still, the arithmetic works for you. You give what you can, but not more than you can. For the rest, you want people to take care of themselves, use their own resources and not just yours. This equation keeps you close enough to know what intimacy is, but sane and lively in your own life as well.

    This is part III of a series. Part I is here and Part IV is also posted.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL

    Personality- part II

    Modesty - Introduction:

    While taking care of others and taking care of yourself, to what degree do you try to put yourself in the spotlight or keep your caring acts hidden? Are you out to make a name for yourself as "someone who really cares", or are you content with the actions themselves and comfortable if no one recognizes you for your efforts? Is some desire for personal gain hidden in your acts of kindness? Are you or are you not a modest person?

    Modesty: Your Personalized Description

    When you set your mind to it, and especially when your heart's in it, you listen carefully to the person in front of you and pay attention to their needs. With your closest friends or with a partner, what they say, what they want, whatever is on their minds matters to you. Which is where the part about "your mind" and "your heart" comes clear - you tell and show them you care.

    If the person you're listening to isn't real close to you, you may not stay as focused on them. You may, sooner rather than later, turn the conversation to what's on your mind, not theirs. Ah, but if your heart's involved, it's a different matter. When you deeply care for someone, your thoughts will follow your affection toward whatever your friend or partner is saying, and you listen very carefully, very patiently. In these moments, it's not about who is getting to talk the most or whose needs are the focus of the conversation. You wrap your heart around whatever they have to share, and stay there, full of affection and attention.

    The result is that because you listen and care, they will want to listen to and care for you as well. They trust your attention to be genuine; they can tell you're not trying to find fault with them or take advantage of what they tell you for your personal gain: the relational see-saw game of putting them down to elevate your own ego is not one you play. No, it's about them, not you. So they are willing to give back what they receive, and turn their attention to whatever it is you want or need to share.

    But if your heart's not in it, it can be a different deal. Your mind wanders off of their concerns: "Is this a good use of my time? Don't they realize I've got my own life to take care of, not just theirs?" And you lose your focus on them. When your heart's not in it conversations drift off as your mind turns its attention from them to you, from them to something you need to be doing, from them to someone or something that you care about.

    Maybe the smartest thing you can do, or at least the first thing, is to be aware of this in yourself. You know how to take care of other people. But it works best for you when the person in front of you is someone you've got your heart as well as your mind invested in. With others who you don't have deep feelings for it is difficult for you to keep your mind's huge capacity on them. Once you're aware of this, you may or may not choose to try to change it. But at least it will keep you from being confused about why you are or are not able to stay focused on the needs of this particular person.

    This is part II of a series. Part I and III are posted.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    Personality Profile

    I thought it might be of interest to post some results I got from a personality profile. I'm not sure entirely how much credence I give it, because it is all self-answered, but what the hell...

    Part 1:

    Introduction to Agreeable Dimension

    This section of your profile describes your interactions with other people. The ways we communicate our feelings, beliefs and ideas to others are influenced by our cultural backgrounds, the way we were raised, and sometimes which side of the bed we got up on this morning. Some of us are very mindful of others making decisions we hope will be in their best interests, even if it means sometimes neglecting our own interests. Others of us believe each person should be responsible for themselves, taking deep pride in our own character and independence with a firm belief that others are best served by doing the same. The following describes how you engage with others; illustrating the dimension of your personality that determines your independence or your desire to reach out and touch others in meaningful ways.

    You are best described as:


    Words that describe you:


    A General Description of How You Interact with Others

    You are important. So are other people, especially if they are in trouble. You have a tender heart, but you know how to establish and keep personal boundaries. You are empathetic and compassionate, but you also believe that it's best if people solve their own problems and learn to take care of themselves, if they are able.

    You are deeply moved by the needs of others, but you know that if you don't take good care of yourself, you'll wind up being of no use to anyone. So yours is a thoughtful compassion. You strive to be fair and sensible, taking care of others while also taking care of yourself.

    When someone really is in trouble, you like to collaborate with them toward a solution; they do their part, you do yours. You consider carefully, and respond in a sensible way; they do their part, and together you move through the difficulty.

    You seldom act impulsively; rather, when a problem arises, you take your time to think through the situation. This contemplative quality usually means that you'll arrive at a diplomatic solution, one that's fair for the other person and also fair to you. It's frequently a win/win situation.

    Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward You

    For people who are ruled by tender-hearted compassion, your more diplomatic response to problems might seem too cool, too focused on fairness and not filled enough with sympathy and selflessness.

    For them, when someone's life is on fire, what is needed is not collaboration but rescue. And the person who experiences their life on fire may resent the time you take to contemplate. "I need you, and I need you NOW! This isn't about fairness, it's about the fire." "All deliberate speed" may seem too deliberate and not fast enough, either to the more compassionate or to people in genuine trouble.

    At the other end of the spectrum of compassion, those who believe people should take care of themselves may find even your thoughtful sympathies too soft. They expect people, themselves included, to work their own way out of trouble. They are convinced that the helping hand you lend just fosters dependence and is not good for the development of character, either in you or in the person you assist.

    Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You

    Many people, perhaps the majority, will come to appreciate your balance as a compassionate person. The more they get to know you, the more they will admire your thoughtful compassion for others and its compliment in the sensible ways you take good care of yourself.

    Those whom you help will appreciate the way you leave them with their dignity by expecting them to collaborate in their own rescue. Those who are more tender-hearted will find in you a balance they lack; when they've run out of energy because they fail to take good care of themselves, you will still have enough compassion left to lift others out of trouble.

    Even the tough-hearted, those who believe people should solve their own problems, might come to admire your tenderness which they don't find in themselves. So the people you help will be grateful, and the people who see your balance between self and others will admire you. Certainly, balanced is not bad at all as a way to be known among your friends.

    Comments are welcome- especially from those who know me IRL.

    This is part I of a series. Part II is here.


    Making arrangements now for vacation at home the last 3 weeks of September... More details when I firm up the plans.