About

100Things photo in the post: About, at www.timtyson.us

I find writing about myself difficult. In fact, frankly, I just hate it. If you really want a fairly good sense of who I am and some of the things I value, I’d invite you to click on the “100 Things 1.5″ button up above. Or you can read it after the link to my photos.  The list took several days to write and sums me up fairly well I guess.

I’m not at all your ordinary guy. I spend way too much time with things technical and creative. In fact, I can’t imagine a world without both as they can be so intertwined. I think the truly gifted among us are those rare people who can take the complex minutia of the technical and creatively transform it into solutions for problems or tools of creation or prevention–whatever shape those may take, and in such a way as to make the transformation appear simplistic yet profound.

You may be interested to know that the entire intent of my starting a blog back in 2004 was to see if/how this technology could serve the pre-collegiate educational setting. I wanted to learn the “guts” of the process and explore the possibilities for my work place. Today the education profession accepts these tools as common place as they serve a significant role in education.

Now, though, I just really enjoy personal blogging.  I use my blog to reflect on all things life, as a filing cabinet, and as a vent to blow off steam.  My blog is my central digital footprint. Everything else is ancillary. For example, my Facebook presence is really just a mirror of my blog, which auto posts everything I write here to my Facebook account. My Twitter account now populates posts to my blog. So, everything I tweet now ends up here as well. And every time I post something here, my blog sends out a tweet with a link to the blog post. Everything revolves around the blog.

On a personal note, I tend to be an easy going, chocolate-loving, never-enough-hours-in-the-day, spiritually-minded, socially liberal, fiscally conservative guy that expects a lot out of this life experience. One would only have to take a short stroll through the category “Politics,” formerly named “Unpolite Conversation,” to quickly realize where I stand on most social and political issues.

I’ve enjoyed traveling and photography, a lot lately. So, explore some of the many pictures I have on the site, well over 10,000. I also have a great love for music and the art of movie-making.  Enjoy your visit. Comments and suggestions are almost always (wink) welcomed!

MYphotos photo in the post: About, at www.timtyson.us 

The List

When I first began timtyson.us, having a “100 Things About Me” list was standard practice for blogs. So, I went to work on one. This was very hard for me to do actually, took several days to complete, and has been revised and updated several times. [My life has changed a lot in 10 years!] I don’t think about this kind of thing on a conscious level. Perhaps forcing myself to write this list was a good thing. Some of the things on my list are heavy, really heavy, others just float about at their leisure.

  1. My name is Tim, and I am a chocolate addict. I am not in recovery.
  2. I’m a very conservative liberal. icon smile photo in the post: About, at www.timtyson.us [The pervading opinion seems to be that I’m a liberal liberal. Am I missing something?! [wink] OK, I’m admitting it now, some 10 years later: I grow more liberal with every breath I take! It’s a reaction to the pervading stifling conservatism and corporatism that has completely consumed the soul of this nation.]
  3. I have a Master of Arts degree in Piano Performance and have traveled the USA giving concerts.
  4. Aside from the newly arriving gray, I have 3 different colors of hair on my body (facial, head, arms & legs), and none of it is dyed.
  5. I have never purchased a lottery ticket even though I am an educator.
  6. I worked at a Tasty Freeze (an ice cream and hamburger joint like Dairy Queen) when I was a kid. [Trust me, it was a joint and not even a place!] I loved to serve hamburgers without any meat to see how long it would take the customer to notice. Some never did.
  7. I’m a Mac fanatic. I’m just crazy about OS X and Apple products. Long term therapy would be far less expensive.
  8. I actually enjoy honestly and open-mindedly considering dissenting opinions. I have profound appreciation for critical thought and the deeper understanding that can be born of clashing ideas.
  9. I hate talking on the phone. No, I mean I really hate talking on the phone.
  10. I entertain very weird ideas: bacteria and viruses are really alien life forms attempting to dominate the genetic pool of the human race. [Now, I don't really believe this, but I don't hesitate to allow my mind the freedom to think, what if? .]
  11. Creativity is an essential part of my being.
  12. Aside from the required reading in my education, I have only read one work of fiction: a novel about a submarine, Run Silent, Run Deep. Within 60 seconds of my finishing the book, which I tremendously enjoyed, I learned that my grandfather, who I adored, had unexpectedly died. I only read non-fiction. I read a great deal.
  13. Helping others create beauty and introducing people to the beauty that is around them brings me great joy.
  14. My favorite quotation, and I have no idea who said it, is: You don’t know what you like; you only like what you know.
  15. I have often been told that I am a great listener.
  16. I named my first car, a 1966 Ford Falcon with over 100,000 miles on it when I got it, Or because the F and the D had fallen off.
  17. My second car, a Plymouth Fury III, which was given to me by a church, was named Moose. It was big. It was brown. It looked moose-esque.
  18. The only other 3 cars I have named are my previous car, a 1994 green Integra named Kermit, my present gold (Nissan calls it pewter) Murano, named Big Bird , and the light green (sea foam) Prius names “Watts.” Update: Adding Chloé (short for chlorophyl), a Nissan Leaf; Rojo and Monica (Lexus SUVs); and Nick (short for Nicola Tesla), a Tesla S85, to the list. Yep. We’ve gone all electric. Our current cars are Chloé, the Leaf, and Nick, the Tesla! We use solar to provide our electricity and therefore drive for free.
  19. I went to college a lot, as in four degrees, and I loved it! I miss academia.
  20. I love using those little dental sticks to clean my teeth. I hate flossing!
  21. Currently on the west coast, where I hope to stay, I have lived in the following 25 places (25! It’s unbelievable!):
    • Pensacola, FL (3 locations over 18 years)
    • Greenville, SC (6 locations over 6 years: college time)
    • Durham, NC (2 locations over 4 years)
    • Champaign/Urbana, IL (6 locations over 8 years —mostly summers only for summer school, but 2 of these were actually full years for degree residence work)
    • Marietta, GA (2 locations over 8 years)
    • Atlanta, GA (2 locations, 3 if you count storage, over 1 year: moving from Marietta to Decatur got complicated )
    • Decatur, GA (1 location since 1995)
    • Atlanta, GA (Buckhead since 2007)
    • Manhattan Beach, CA (since 2008)
    • Sausalito, CA (since 2011)
  22. As of 2011 I have traveled to 45 states: [infoplease on the 50 states. These italicized states remain unvisited.]
    AlabamaKentuckyNorth Dakota
    AlaskaLouisianaOhio
    ArizonaMaineOklahoma
    ArkansasMarylandOregon
    CaliforniaMassachusettsPennsylvania
    ColoradoMichigan(Rhode Island)
    (Connecticut)MinnesotaSouth Carolina
    (Delaware)MississippiSouth Dakota
    District of ColumbiaMissouriTennessee
    Florida(Montana)Texas
    GeorgiaNebraskaVermont
    (Hawaii)NevadaVirginia
    (Idaho)New HampshireWashington
    IllinoisNew JerseyWest Virginia
    IndianaNew MexicoWisconsin
    IowaNew YorkWyoming
    KansasNorth Carolina
  23. I have traveled to the following countries:
    • Australia
      • Adventure Bay
      • Bruny Island
      • Cairns
      • Canberra
      • Hobart
      • The Great Barrier Reef
      • Great South Ocean
      • Port Douglas
      • Sydney
      • Tasmania
      • Uluru
    • Bahamas
      • Nassau
    • Belgium
      • Brussels
    • Canada
      • Jasper
      • Winnipeg
      • Banff
      • Calgary
      • Lake Louise
      • Toronto
    • Cayman Islands
      • Grand Carman
    • Czech Republic
      • Prague
      • Karlovy Vary
    • Denmark
      • Copenhagen
    • France
      • Paris
      • Versailles
    • Greece
      • Santorini
        • Akrotiri
        • Amoudi Bay
        • Kamari
        • Nea Kameni
        • Oia
        • Perissa
        • Pirgos
        • Red Beach
        • Thira (Fira)
        • White Beach
      • Rhodes
      • Athens
      • Katakolon
    • Hispaniola
      • Labadee
    • Holland
      • Amsterdam
    • Hungary
      • Budapest
    • Ireland
      • Castlecomer
      • Clarecastle
      • Cliffs of Moher
      • Cong
      • Cork
      • Doolin
      • Dublin
      • Kilkenny
      • Killarney
      • Ring of Kerry
      • Lyrath
      • Jerpoint Abbey
      • Rock of Cashel
    • Italy
      • Rome
      • Civitavecchia
      • Naples
      • Capri
      • Pompeii
      • Murano
      • Burano
      • Venice
      • Sicily
        • Catania
    • Jamaica
      • Ochos Rios
    • Jordan
      • Amman
      • Petra
    • Mexico
      • Costa Maya
      • Cozumel
      • Nuevo Laredo
    • Norway
      • Balestrand
      • Bergen
      • Oslo
      • Geilo
      • Grotli
      • Loen
      • Solstrand
      • Trømso
      • Voring Fossen
    • Puerto Rico
      • San Juan
    • Russia
      • Moscow
      • Ekaterinburg
    • St. Maarten
    • Spain
      • Madrid
    • Thailand
      • Bangkok
    • Tunisia
      • Ancient Carthage
      • Tunis
      • Sidi Bou Said
      • Sidi Dhrif
    • United Kingdom
      • Bibury
      • Bourton-on-the-Water
      • Broadway
      • London
      • Morton-in-Marsh
      • Stonehenge near Amesbury
      • Stow-on-the-Wold
    • US Virgin Islands
      • St. Thomas
    • Vatican City
    • Vietnam
      • Da Nang
      • Hanoi
      • Halong Bay
      • Hoi An
      • Ho Chi Minh City
  24. I was married in 1984, divorced in 1991, and was single for 17 years—until I remarried in 2008.
  25. I am a profoundly independent spirit.
  26. In no particular order, these are my favorite smells on planet Earth:
    • Starbucks!
    • Honeysuckle Vine Flowers
    • Magnolia Tree Flowers
    • Mimosa Tree Flowers
  27. I wore braces on my teeth as a teenager and again as an adult in my early 40’s.
  28. I don’t understand why we allow people to use cell phones in cars if we prohibit drinking and driving when studies consistently show talking on a cell phone reduces response time at least as much as driving under the influence of alcohol.
  29. I hate cigarette smoke, and I will not be around a person who is under the influence of alcohol.
  30. I literally do not keep food in my home as I eat out every meal and could count on one hand the number of times I or my x-wife ever cooked at home. Updated: OK, now there’s “stuff” in the frig.
  31. Some of my old clothes become like old friends. My favorite T-shirt, from Life Is Good, has a graphic of a TV on it and says: Think outside the box .
  32. The thermostat in my car was always set on an even number, but the thermostat in my home is always set on an odd number—odd I know! Somehow I got over this when I left Atlanta.
  33. I only use deodorant, never antiperspirant. I think if my body wants to sweat, it should allowed to do so.
  34. I value critical thinking immensely; therefore, dissenting opinion is of great importance to me. Oh, I already said that didn’t I!
  35. The huge, enormously significant difference between ideas and beliefs is seldom explored. Too many people confuse the two.
  36. I call my sister the sistoid unit. She likes that. It was my own invention. My half sister goes by the nickname, Cricket. I have no idea how that got started.
  37. My father said from time to time that he could easily be a hermit. Genetics fascinate me. I value solitude—but not to the extent my father did. Silence speaks, and I often like what it says.
  38. I’m a geek, a gadget-loving fool, and my iPhone is probably my favorite gadget. The iPad is a close second.
  39. I love Starbucks’ espresso brownie, even though it is ludicrously overpriced!
  40. I love wearing bright, vivid colors in the spring and summer.
  41. Fall is my favorite season: the angle of the sunlight, the gorgeous leaves as they change colors and gently drift, and float, and crunch, the crisp smells wrapped in invigorating coolness.
  42. I actually saw the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in the early 1980’s.
  43. The Gulf of Mexico at Florida’s panhandle gives me a profound sense of strength and peace, bringing the world back into focus and balance every time I visit it.
  44. Listening to J. S. Bach, especially his fugues, also has the same effect on me as taking in the Gulf of Mexico.
  45. I love composing music. [The San Francisco Symphony rocks my world!! Season tickets, baby, season tickets!]
  46. I am published but not nearly enough. Perhaps one day I will set aside the time to remedy this.
  47. My piano playing is now only for my own personal enjoyment and self-expression. I do not own an acoustic instrument. I now have the baby grand from my childhood sitting in the living room here!
  48. One of my favorite things my family did in my childhood was go camping during all 4 seasons. I loved it!
  49. I am told I laugh easily and frequently. I don’t notice it really. Laughing is like oxygen. We all need it to live.
  50. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.
  51. My home, several homes ago, was remodeled for over 2 years! I was, and still am, over it! I’m also over moving!
  52. I love vegetables, even the ones most people hate: spinach, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, to name a few.
  53. Going to my present dentist, who I really like, is still a trauma for me because my childhood dentist drilled my teeth with his knee in my chest and no Novocain in my mouth while screaming, This can’t possibly be hurting you! He died in the 1990s from a massive heart attack while actually drilling in some poor patient’s mouth.
  54. I love independent films and art cinema but watch way too little of it.
  55. I am really rather shy and quiet by nature (Remember my dad always said he could be a hermit. I got at least 2 of those genes.) which is sometimes confused with snobbish or conceited by people who do not take the time to really get to know me.
  56. I am very difficult to get to know. One of my friends would probably say that I vibrate at a different level. I love her expression. When she uses it to describe someone, she gestures with her hand vibrating up over her head, which she sort of ducks out of the way of the vibration. She will use two hands if the intensity or the level of the vibrating so warrents. She is very cool.
  57. Walking in the Headlands is a favorite past-time. I value breathing deeply and deliberately. I think that taking the time to feel the breath enter into and exit out of our bodies helps release stress and centers our life energy.
  58. Mother and I video conference from our computers more than we talk on the phone. (Remember, this man hates talking on the phone.) Those that know her find this unbelievable, I know.
  59. One of my favorite secretaries frequently reminded my that I need a keeper. Lord, she was right!
  60. Among my favorite restaurants are those little mom and pop shops that have been in the family for years.
  61. I have a hard time listening to George Carlin because of the language he chooses to use pervasively. However, I think he makes some really important points about meaningless choices in our society giving us a false sense of freedom [and I would add a false sense of purpose]. He also makes the point that the more important the choice is the fewer options we have from which to choose. [In the interview linked above, he doesn't use profanity.]
  62. I love pets but didn’t have any for many years. Now, we have Conrad the Kat.
  63. I don’t care for Mexican food really. Although, I’ve grown very fond of Saylors here in Sausalito.
  64. While I generally dislike jewelry, people are beautiful enough as is, I do enjoy seeing people who wear different textures, colors, and funky jewelry.
  65. Until recently, I never payed attention to people’s shoes. Now that people, especially guys, are wearing fun colors in shoes, I notice them a lot more! In fact, I even have several pair myself.
  66. All of the CDs in my music collection are now ripped and the covers scanned!
  67. One of the things I hate the most: shopping! I’m a short-trip-to-the-mall-for-a-specific-item(s)-and-get-out-fast-kinda-guy.
  68. I have a lady in the car and in my phone. I don’t know how I ever lived without her! She gets me everywhere I go! I love her! She is my GPS/Navigation System.
  69. At this moment 8 things sit in my refrigerator: mayo, mustard, ketchup, relish, half a stick of butter, peach preserves, garlic spread, and parmesan cheese. Well, ok, there are 9 things if you include the box or Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Several things have long since passed their expiration date. Why do I bother?! Update: Times have changed! The frig is full, and I now make our own diet soda to reduce our plastics footprint. Remember, I’m a raging liberal! [Raging on! Raging on!]
  70. I don’t like to be in crowded places.
  71. My brain takes me where I go, but my heart will decide how long I stay.
  72. Duplicity is toxic to human growth and empowerment. I utterly loathe it! You will see why later in this list. Too many people exist in a duplicitous state without even realizing it.
  73. Ironically, an atheist named P.K., a brilliant intellect and razor sharp thinker, introduced me to some of the most powerful ideas that, in time, found deep resonance in my soul and transformed my life:
    • Platonic thought (which tends to have taken root in Eastern philosophies and ways of thinking) focuses on defining the life experience based in what things share in common, how things are alike. Aristotelian thought, on the other hand, (which tends to have taken root in Western philosophies and ways of thinking) focuses on defining the life experience based in how things are different from one another. He also spoke of Socratic thinking as well, but I’ll spare you.
    • Human beings are more alike than different. [Boy, if that would only sink in to the American psyche!]
    • He spoke of the power of the being verbs: I am… , I believe… , Human Being. He said that to believe was to be living, to bring into reality by doing (do, does, did). He said the being verbs (am, is, are, be, have, do…) are the most powerful and most abused words in our language. We use them carelessly, wrecklessly, and without appropriate thought.
  74. As I reflect back, my right wing, fundamentalist upbringing seemed to be fear-centric and focus on how people are different.
  75. Love focuses on how we are the same and seems to have little space for fear. I think when we are motivated by fear, we too often tend to fall short of creating the space needed for understanding. Rather than exert the effort to more fully understand difference (which can be arduous and time-intensive), we tend to take comfort in dismissive condemnation. You see, I believe [being verb used with care] that the second greatest commandment, which is like the first * literally demands the former thus denouncing the later.
  76. Klaus Witz, a tiny feather-lite professor who ran all over Champaign/Urbana, IL., continued to fuel my transformation when he told me that all intelligent people should use all of their resources to pursue truth. He believed, and so do I, that God is truth. Truth is Love. Truth empowers people to love. He believed that the ultimate purpose of education was to pursue Truth.
  77. Ed Garcia, a wise, insightful, spiritual man, reminded me that we as people are easily addicted to form but are more powerful when we focus on function/substance. He echoed Klaus’ deep belief, though he does not know him, that we are our most powerful and authentic selves when our minds, hearts, and actions are all aligned in our pursuit of Truth. Make Truth real, reality, by doing Truth. To say you are (when you aren’t) … [fill in the blank], or that you should be …, or that you will be one day, in other words to substitute talking about it or feeling guilty over it for actually focusing our minds, hearts, and actions in actually doing [notice all of these pesky little being verbs which were used with deliberation] the work of Love, stalls us as we journey.
  78. I live with a sense of deep abundance and, though rarely expressed, pervasive gratitude. I will probably never tell anyone why.
  79. I believe that to motivate adults with fear or guilt is cheap, insulting, disrespectful, and ultimately ineffective. Using it with children may be needed for the immediacy of safety but is equally inappropriate for long term empowerment. To empower people with love, however, is utterly and pervasively transformational and the very essence of respect and everything that is good.
  80. Once upon a time, I drove waaaay too fast. Upon moving to California, I now drive extremely slowly—rarely ever exceeding the speed limit. I attribute this to the fresh air and the open, expansive energy of the ocean!
  81. Pez is cool. I know a real person called Pez. She’s cool too.
  82. I was born in ’57 and graduated from high school in ’75—nice little number flip thingie. In ’75 I couldn’t imagine being 43 at the turn of the century as I couldn’t comprehend living to be that old.
  83. Nutella is the best! Did I mention that my name is Tim, and I’m a chocoholic.
  84. My favorite men’s fragrance is Boucheron, which is made in Paris. I bought a bottle when I was in Paris. It was stolen by airport security in Madrid.
  85. My mother is utterly terrified of thunderstorms, as well she should be I guess. She has nearly been struck by lightening 4 times, once while holding little infant me. I, on the other hand, love thunderstorms!
  86. I have a piece of the Berlin Wall.
  87. When I was a teacher, my students would bring me little plastic creatures like the Raisin People, The Noid, the type of toys you would get in a happy meal. When I quit teaching, every flat surface in my classroom was covered with them. I stopped counting at 600. I gave my niece all of them except the Raisin People, 6 of whom sit in my kitchen window to this day.
  88. In the Matrix, would you have chosen the blue pill or the red pill? I want to know the truth. I need to know the truth.
  89. Having a depth of spirituality is profoundly important to me.
  90. In the past I called them old man eyebrows. You know what I’m talking about—those wild, bushy, out-of-control-hairs that sprout out of your eyebrows over night. Now that I have them they are properly called wisdom hairs.
  91. I love writing—always have. I’ve enjoyed sharing in my new blog, a wonderful tool for reflection and thought. I hate writing this list.
  92. I rarely watch TV. When I do, I only watch my TiVo, Netflix streaming, or HBOgo. Sometimes I’ll hit Rachael Maddow live, but, otherwise, live TV is never on.
  93. Aside from my computer, my only telecommunications device is my cell phone.
  94. I love sleeping in a very very cold room under the weight of lots of heavy covers.
  95. I do not like for people to give me gifts, celebrate my birthdays, or in any way bring attention to me.
  96. My trip to Europe in late Fall, 2003, was one of the most awesome experiences in my life. The world is a big, beautiful place, and I just got a glimpse!
  97. Surely I have some chocolate in this house someplace! If I kept sweets in my home, I would weigh 300 pounds!
  98. The most important things I have learned about technology were all taught to me by people about half my age at the time.
  99. I bought a special watch for Y2K. It would tell time even if all of the electrical devices and computers went haywire at the turn of the century. It is a sun dial on a watch band. I love it and still wear it periodically!
  100. My mantra: Just be nice!

* Biblical reference. If you don’t know it, I hope you look it up–powerful!

 photo in the post: About, at www.timtyson.us