Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Life's Brutalities

Darkness
Hints of red
Burning coals
Rage, consuming
Leaving nothing
But the charred remains
And regret

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ed Sheeran - Galway Girl [Official Video]

Every song by Mr. Sheeran I discover sounds better than the last. Now, with my love of Irish music, this was "sings" loudly to me.



Anyway, enjoy!





Friday, September 22, 2017

My Team Is Hiring A Home Detailer

Here’s the job description below.

We’re a dynamic and fun team looking to make something really great in the local construction market.

Residential Home Detailer Wanted for Growing Construction Company (Snohomish County)

Compensation: Depending on Abilities
Employment typeFull Time
This person will report to our construction manager

We are looking for a highly motivated, energetic, enthusiastic, and hard-working person to help us maintain our jobsites throughout Snohomish County.

Responsibilities include but not limited to:

  • Walkthrough prep for new homeowners
  • Complete punch lists
  • Follow-up on warranty items
  • Landscaping
  • Fencing
  • Pick-up work


Requirements:
  • Ability to learn quickly
  • Transportation
  • Great “can-do” attitude
  • Able to follow instruction and meet goals and deadlines
  • Well rounded skill level
  • Minor Carpentry skills from millwork to framing
  • Ability to do drywall repairs, patches, texture & paint
  • Some knowledge of landscaping
  • Familiar with construction projects
If you’re interested, please reach out to me directly. We’ll then ask you to email a cover letter explaining your potential qualifications for this job, along with your resume.

Sandra Bacchi's "Watermelons Are Not Strawberries"

Sandra Bacchi is a Pittsburgh based photographer and cinematographer. I discovered her current project, "Watermelons Are Not Strawberries" via Edge of Humanity Magazine.

‘Watermelons Are Not Strawberries’ is a work-in-progress, as I continually seek to better understand myself and increase my awareness of how I react to challenges related to my experiences as a mother. The photos reveal to me how uncertain and obscure my life became with motherhood. At the same time, there is an undeniable clarity in how my daughters lead the way for me to follow a brighter path as I journey through my everyday life.

This is my favorite image from this collection. I adore how the girl's dress blends so well with the tree's summer-lit leaves.



Also check out We Are All In This Together, another of her collections.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Quote of the Day: Steve Jobs

“One of the ways that I believe that people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something great, and to put it out,” ~ Steve Jobs

Looks like a great mission statement. 

Friday, September 08, 2017

The Cure's "A Forest" and the Evolution of a Band

I've heard this song countless times. Today, Youtube popped this up in the recommended list and I happily listened. Seeing other versions in the sidebar from 1979, 1981, and 1992 made me wonder about how different each one sounded. I enjoyed witnessing the evolution of Robert Smith's personal style as well.

Below is the 1979 version, which has a more traditional punk vibe (it says something that I can say "traditional" and "punk" without any sense of irony).




This one is from 1981. Not a huge transition, but I notice a less punk style and something that becomes much more recognized as The Cure.
 



By 1992, we have a clearly distinctive style that is The Cure, and not confusable with anyone else.
 


Thanks for giving a few minutes of your journey through the vast wasteland that is the internet. Let me know what you think in the comments, and give me a share, if you're so led.


Monday, September 04, 2017

Night

Darkness shrouds my windows
Cool air slowly dissipating 
The day's heat
All my house asleep
Though voices drift in
Through the open windows

I should sleep, but know the 
Vanity of such endeavors
At least at the moment
So I stare at this screen
Type a poem
Envisioning the coolness
Soon to come


Please come check out more of my poetry at Questionsall.net

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Thinking about diet

I'm thinking, yet again, that it's time to eat "better". 

Right now, that means cutting out soda pop and back on sugar. Again. Really, though, tis only a step.

I've often wondered if you could get every nutrient on the USDA list through dietary choices. That would be the PERFECT diet, at one level, at least. And what does that look like?

Could that be done with flavor and culinary appeal? That'd be important, too. So many diets fail because they're exercises in misery.

Important side note: this isn't about weight loss. Rather more energy, physical health, better concentration, and mitigating some health issues due to aging.

Welcome to the middle of the week!

Science Says "It's All The Sound Guy's Fault"




As one of my church's sound and video guys, this article speaks to me New Study Confirms Everything The Sound Guy’s Fault. Afterall, it is science.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A few photos from my evening walk

A few shots from my evening walk.

Click on the image to be taken to my Flickr page

  Along the Edmonds Waterfront 8-29-17

Summer's moving to fall



Summer's moving to fall
Teachers brewing coffee
Preparing classrooms
My wife awake before me
Coffee ground
French press timed

Classroom preparations
Lesson planning and coordination
So much effort this last week
Before school starts
Forget the thermometer
This shows the season's change.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Blogging, Blogs, Websites and Frustrations

I've blogged on this site for years. Back when I chose Blogger, it and WordPress were very comparable. I'd messed with it on a hosted site some time before Google acquired Blogger, and when Blogger became part of the Googleverse, it seemed inevitable that it would dominate the blogging space. And I was dead wrong.

Blogger's sites are pretty clunky, and very limited. And pretty much the whole world of Blogger is managed by Google. No larger ecosystem of themes, plugins, what-have-you to expand the functionality of the sites. Heck, no world changing themes. Heck, even the best are yawn-inducingly dull. And don't get me started on the clunkiness of the Android app (it would be ironic if the Apple Blogger app was more productive, but I digress). It does NOT like uploading images. Most of the time, the app will freeze, then there'll be a uneditable local file on the my phone. And there are times simple text will do the same thing.

Additionally, I love the system that has risen around WordPress. Between countless plugins and themes, one has no problem finding a solution to most any challenge. Real Estate agent wanting to put a listing feed on your sight? Easy! Calendars? Yeah, got that, too. Photo carousels, Mailchimp integration....on and on. No need to manually good for anything except the most outlandish challenges. Now, trust me, I get the desire to solve cool problems. And making sites load a bit faster, and a bit cleaner. But not needing to do much of anything to have a site mobile optimized, as one example, is pretty darn awesome.

I don't want to worry about Google's interest waning. Google huge array of efforts, and their significant lack of attention to Blogger, gives me deep concerns about the platform's long-term viability. Ever since Google launched Google+, I've worried that Blogger would become a backwater, forgotten and unsupported. Or, just as likely, Google abandons it like it did Google Reader.

So, CarlSetzer.com has been a self-hosted WordPress site for about a year. I play with the idea of changing it, mostly just to save money. But I'm very committed to WordPress, and that's where I'll keep my hat hung. Come on over and say "hi". I'm sure I'll keep posting here occasionally, but, well, you know.

A Film I Discovered: Kubo and the Two Strings

A few days ago I stumbled upon this trailer: Kubo and the Two Strings. A stop-motion animated films of epic proportions. Yes, I know that's a cliche, but I find it far too fitting to not use it.

Anyway, I'm deeply disappointed in myself for not noticing this film before. The trailers, by themselves, are truly beautiful. It has a stellar cast (Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, George Takei, amongst the most luminary), and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's clearly a film that needs to be seen. Just got to figure out where or how that will work out as I doubt it's in the theaters any more (was released last year).

So, enjoy the preview below. Let me know what you think. Especially if you've seen it (no spoilers, por favor).

UPDATE: Kubo is on Netflix!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Heads, Cakes and Revolutions: A Haiku

French aristocrats
Their talk of "let them eat cake"
Then losing their heads


A post shared by Dioniso Punk (@dionisopunk) on


Hope: A Haiku

All the fearful talk
Invective against others
Yet I still hold hope

Friday, July 28, 2017

Streaming Music and Google Music

I value knowing what’s going on in the tech world. Yet, there is so much change, coming so fast, that sometimes I miss the obvious.
I subscribed to YouTube Red some time ago. My focus: ad elimination. So much of my family’s video time is spent on YouTube, so it was a prudent investment.
I didn’t realize that the subscription includes Google Music. I discovered this today, so used it as my music delivery mechanism. Music is such a core part of my being, that the way I access it has value.
I like the interface. So far, the selection has been solid. Spotify, of late, has been quite a resource hog. Accessing via a web browser seems to use resources better, or at least more gently.
Anyway, I’m exploring shifting over fully, and cancelling my Spotify account. I’ll be diving deeper into Google Music and share what I learn.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Oh, Geeky Thoughts Late At Night

​My love of things geek manifests in strange ways at time. A huge fan of Ghost in the Shell, I wonder about Wi-Fi protocols and data throughput when people "think" at each other.

Or how many servers are on the Death Star? RAID drives? How much email gets sent daily? What kind of data connection is needed for holographic communications? What about the Rebel Alliance's security chief? I'd be wondering, loudly, why you'd throw someone with as much critical detail regarding the Alliance as Leia into operations with a high likelihood of capture and exposure to, um, enhanced techniques. Imagining Rebel IT. I'm picturing Hoth. When we see Vader enter the base, all the equipment looks rather operational. I would've, at least run some kind of worm that destroys everything. I'd rather pull the hard drives, at bring them with us on the evacuation craft. Or manually destroy them.

So, that's how my brain works...at night, when I'm weary.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Now it's Safeway, or Everything Changes 

A few weeks ago, one of my local grocery stores rebranded.  After Safeway and Albertsons merged a few years back, the writing was on the proverbial wall. The Safeway branded store across the street was shuttered. A few months back, I noticed the start of a remodel. While talking with friends there, I was told the store would become a Safeway soon. That's now done. 

A few days ago I noticed I felt somewhat sad looking at the sign. Well, the store has been an Albertsons as long as I can remember. Went there with my mom, watched the changes of the area, yet it was there. No longer, though. 

Lynnwood, this little suburb north of Seattle, hasn't been as radically transforming as Seattle or the Eastside. Well, until recently. Stalwarts of my childhood have closed, buildings getting torn down, land redeveloped, vacant lots becoming neighborhoods. Housing prices sprinting upwards. 

Change. Pretty rapid change, too. 

Communities consist of these institutions, and their interactions with our citizens. The uniqueness of Lynnwood morphs, so what will become of the charms we value? I value?. 

Defining their value, though, is hard. I see the value to government, and our local business community. I'm a real estate agent and currently work in construction. I get that. Yet I worry that the influx of national chains and steep housing price inflation erode that which makes this community unique. Lynnwood has always been about commerce. But it's also had a place for very one-of-a-kind businesses. Those are the ones vanishing. 

So many long-time residents I know feel concerned. Those things that build attachment vanish. What holds us here? At what place do we surrender to inflation and move to someplace more affordable? I guess that's the question at the end of all this. 

I don't know, my friends. Just don't know. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Going Outdoors

Seeking the outdoors
Connect to the tree's wisdom
Under summer's sky

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Better Writing

One of my goals: become a better writer. Of course, that really doesn't mean that much all by itself. So, another goal: define better.
Some things are easy with that. Focus on solidifying the basics. It's do easy to wrap myself up in getting a post out fast, losing sight of quality. Thus, I'm slowing down, watching more closely for spelling errors, weird grammar, etc. Correcting the bad habits created from blogging.
I'm working on refining my style. Trying to achieve a clarity through brevity. Find what's crisp and clear, ensuring every word earns its keep, so to say.
Another idea: join a writing group. We have many around Edmonds and Lynnwood. Such an easy thing, meet with people. Of course, that means opening myself up, letting others know my dreams, and risking their ridicule. That's the fear, at least.
Silly, I know. But very real, and uncomfortable. So, I know it's what I need to do.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Some Thoughts On Confidence

I was reading an email newsletter sent by my friend and life coach Wendy Kranz, which talked about confidence. Got me thinking: what would I do with more self-confidence?

Now, I've long struggled with low levels of self-confidence, manifesting as over-thinking, over-analyzing and over-planning. And I'm now thinking that it's manifested as a sense of dissatisfaction with my career.

I've long been an executive/administrative assistant, and the similar roles that flow out of that. And with that a deep-seated "you can be so much more" mentality. Really, though, I've never been dissatisfied with my work, with the things I do, with my contributions. There's something deeper.

Once I thought it might be a displaced sense of gender-roles. Being a guy in a typically female dominated role felt awkward at times. Never externally, no one ever said anything untoward about that to me. No, it's internal.

Anyway, that doesn't seem so real any more. Especially since I've found myself in other roles now, with the same sensibility. So, I think it's deeper.

Then the email. Could it be a lack of self-confidence? That there'd never be a role that took that feeling away? That's a powerful realization. And I believe that's true. Deeply.

So I wonder, what would I do with more self-confidence? My heart-of-hearts says, simply, enjoy life more.

I think that's worthy.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Passion

This evening was spent 
With dearest friends that I love 
Training: my passion 

This Evening's Haiku

 

 Evening passes by 
Night's seduction soothes my heart 
 Dreams awakening

Monday, June 19, 2017

Learn About An Indian-American Couple Who Adopted White Children


This article, over at Huffington Post, provides a different look at race in America.

We’re Indian-American With Adopted White Children And Here’s What People Ask Us

A lovely, gentle piece exploring a mother's love for her children, both from birth and from adoption. I particularly enjoy the voice she adopted.

Some great lines in there. My favorite: "The hyphen will define us more than the terms themselves...", which tells a big part of the story about race in the United States right now.

I doubt Ms. Iyer thought much about the social experiment she would be opening up. I expect, simply, that she and her husband followed their hearts and opened their homes.

She opened my mind with her writing. I hope the same for you.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Power Of The Simple “Thank You”

I pride myself on thanking people. I see this as basic. Time and time again, though, I hear how rarely it happens.
Really, one of the most basic elements of community building: acknowledging each other. An element of “namaste”, of seeing each other at a deep level, of valuing each other. Appreciating everyone’s unique gifts and contributions.
So often, in the comms world, we focus on solving some problem. Once the solution gets executed, off to the next thing. All the work teams put into the resolution vanishes into vapor.
Perhaps the easiest action to take, and one that reaps rewards in terms of connection, yet so often forgotten.
Want to stand out as a communicator? Well, remember the “thanks”.
Thanks for reading!


Come and connect with me on Twitter and Instagram

Friday, June 09, 2017

The Tenors - Who Wants To Live Forever ft. Lindsey Stirling





I loved this song by Queen, as part of the original Highlander movie. Add The Tenors with Lindsey Stirling and we get brilliance.



The intro gives a Phantom of the Opera dramatic vibe, and the 18th century styling delight me deeply.



So, happy Friday and enjoy this musical treat.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Check out my poetry focused site

My first writing love has been poetry. So I created QuestionsAll.net as a place to host it and explore poetry deeper. I try to post at least daily, and have been pretty successful at that.

For years I adored haiku. That's been a recent focus, perhaps obsession, with me. Finding expression within the confines of such a small form challenges me. Rising and meeting challenges delights me.

Come on over and see what I've been up to lately. You can also subscribe and follow me there.

Thanks!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Tuesday Morning

Awake and moving
Facing this day's morning light
Drawing energy from coffee

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Words

Words are reflections, capturing the light
reflecting off our lives.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Martial arts thought

Thought:  are martial arts a physical manifestation of zen?

Exploring Gary Snyder's Connection To Seattle

Perhaps you’re familiar with Gary Snyder. Most famous for his affiliation with Beat poets like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, he work is really it’s own beast. One of my favorite writers, I read his work quite regularly. He’s quite influential on me.
I find the way he combines such things as zen, Chinese literature and nature poetry with geomorphology and geology simply fascinating. And his eye keeps looking at the west coast, with him spending a great deal of time in the Pacific Northwest.
His seminal work, Mountains and Rivers Without End covers a great deal of ground topic-wise. There are several poems with Pacific Northwest themes, but one strikes me most: “Night Highway 99“. (The link will take you to the Google Books edition of book.)
I remember when I first really read the title. “Really” meaning “attentive, aware, awake (in a zen-sort-of-way). The connection was instant. Growing up in Lynnwood just a few blocks from Highway 99, it’s very easy to envision the places he writes about. Also, with my journeys around the region, most of the towns he mentions I know. At least driving by, and many of them have memories of my footsteps upon the ground.
Definitely give Mr. Snyder a read. The rewards; magnificent!
Seattle's Aurora Bridge at night
Seattle’s Aurora Bridge at night

Friday, June 02, 2017

Reflecting on "Career"

My career has been rather unique. At least when compared to so many of my friends.

It's been terribly linear. I've orbited around administrative/secretarial/office manager stuff. Orbited, and sometimes even held those titles.

But it's not been a deliberate effort.

Mostly, my employment has centered around taking advantage of opportunities. I generally consider the growth and development opportunities, long-term viability, and all that sort of stuff. Ironically, once I tend to be in a role, I generally settle in. Not sure that's the best way to live, but that's what tends to happen.

The universe rarely lets that happen.

My main element of deliberation: family. That's what's been important to me. Now, both at Starbucks and at Microsoft, I didn't see how deeply that was. When I left Microsoft and decided I wanted to focus on eliminating my commute. I concentrated on Snohomish County, and was interviewing with Boeing before I was hired with C&K Real Estate as their office manager.

My son has called for me when he's really hurt, or upset, for his whole life. I'm the nurturer in the family. I adore this part of my life and glad it manifested this way.

Yet that's not average...not for a guy.

FYI, I'm good with that...no, I'm great with that. Though I'm starting to consider what I'll do with my life when my son doesn't need me as much, or for so much.

It'll be fascinating to see what comes of all this. It's hard to map it out...ok,actually, impossible to map out. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm just now getting that, and embracing it.

Now, that's a good thing.

Check my other writings on Career here. 

On Making America Great Again, Trolls, Invective and Progress

A few thoughts:
  1. Regardless of how one feels about President Trump, Democrats or Republicans, flailing about invectives isn't going to get us anywhere. I know of no one who's change their stance on any issue because some troll called them "idiot" or "snowflake" or "nazi".
  2. It's quite interesting to me the role that the internet has played in degenerating the stuff talked about in point 1.
  3. On "Making America Great AGAIN": that's one that I've thought quite a bit about recently. Simply, the MAGA folks seem to look backwards to when "America WAS Great". Progressives look forward to Making America Great FINALLY. Seeing potential, the strengths of diverse communities, economies and cultures. But the distinction between the two mind-sets hit me hard recently.
  4. Somehow, we need to find a way to embrace dignity in our public discourse. However, I'm totally at a loss about implementing that.
There's more to talk about considering holding to a long-view. However, that will need to wait. Another post, perhaps.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Check out my niece's sustainable business proposal contest entry

So, hey, I'm biased. However, bias aside, I think this is a great proposal.

The judges do, too, as she's a finalist.

Please give her a listen, and, if you're so inclined, a vote!

Save The World One Purchase At A Time: by JoHanna F.

Space



This dance of starlight
Standing still at intense speed
Such is the way of Zen

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Investment? A Haiku


The future? Murky.
I stare into the unknown
A strange investment

Domain Thoughts

I'm thinking of changing the domain of this site.

At one point, my domain CarlSetzer.com pointed to this page (which I ported to a WordPress site).

I'm trying to decide whether to just bring that back to this site, or whether I should point a different domain here.

I own one, ForwardFacing.net that might be a nice fit.

I am trying to streamline my life. Does having a bunch of domains over-complicate things?

What do you think?

Some Thoughts About Everett

Last week, I spent a little time walking right along Colby. I was struck by the large number of vacant store front spaces. Which surprises me, since retail space in the region is in high-demand. I guess we can see the upper bound of that.

Perhaps Everett is considered too far from Seattle. I find that interesting as it's only 35 miles, 44 miles to Seatac airport.

There's a great arts community up here, with the Everett Philharmonic, the Village Theatre and the Schack Arts Center, just to name a few.

Plenty of businesses occupy the larger buildings, banks, escrow companies, the offices for Snohomish County, and, of course, the City of Everett's offices.

The city has an amazing amount of potential. I hope that the business community realizes it and helps Everett grow...and grow the right way.

Maybe that can Everett's call to glory: smart and compassionate growth! Just a thought.

As We Move Into June

Half this year...
We're moving into the middle of the year.
Striking to me.
I know it's a trope
But time seems to pass by
Faster...
....Far faster
.......Than before

With that, I'm thinking of returning to Blogger, at least for a while. Recapturing my roots, I guess. As well as simplifying things. My life became overfull, with so very much slipping. Quality; so very important to me, failing. Quality and Mr. Pirsig, my main take away from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Blogger's not as clean as WordPress. There's more work to getting the site just right. I'm curious to see if I can be satisfied.

We shall see!



Saturday, March 04, 2017

Eddie Money - I Wanna Go Back

Perhaps it's the planning for my son to start high-school, perhaps it's just hitting the 50s, actually add this to all the other changes going on in my life right now and this song has been speaking to me.



It's been one of my favorite 80s tunes since it hit the airwaves way-the-heck-back-in-the-day.  Yet it's meaning has evolved. I guess that should be a "no duh", but, there you go.





Friday, March 03, 2017

In The Middle Of The Night

These moments
My awakened fears
Facing them
Calms me  
And I 
Return 
To slumber