Autodidact suffering info overload: Help!

Have you ever been told to “figure it out yourself”?  Apparently I was told that often enough to take it totally to heart.  With some things, it might be a pretty good idea, or not.  I believe some basics need to be grasped, in almost any area you can name, to do an adequate job of it.  There are lots of ways to get the basics: school, observation, books.  Then, figure it out yourself has to become hands on if you are going to develop skills.

Learning to cook and bake was like that for me.  I grew up watching my mother cook and bake from scratch on a regular basis.  I have been known to read cookbooks like they were novels. And I took a Home Ec class in highschool.  I don’t cook or bake like my mother did.  Not even bread.   First time I tried to use her recipe, wow, was I disappointed.  It was one of the main reasons I started reading cookbooks.  My skills evolved over time, with lots of experiments, disasters and some surprise successes.  I learn new things all the time and feel very competent in the kitchen.

The information overload is actually of my own making!  Oh and has nothing to do with cooking or baking.  It has to do with computers.  Holy Cow!  Since I recommitted to the Postaday I have been like a kid, already amped with sugar, running wild in a candy store.  For instance, I’ve been tinkering with this blog site.  Can’t quite figure out how to get that badge to post on my page.  There is some totally obvious step I keep missing, I just know it.  When it is pointed out to me and I finally “see” it I’m going to slap myself in the forehead and say: ” how the hell did I keep missing that?”

And I got curious about video blogging and spent the better part of a day fooling around with programs, downloading and installing cool stuff, trying to upload my experiments and finding out (just where in god’s name) the files are stored on my computer.  Back burnered for now.  Priorities, don’t you know.  I found out I could do it and was willing to let it be.   For now.

Twitter…tweet…retweet….HUH?!  That’s a whole little world; all by itself!  And more valuable than I first thought.  Most of what I had seen was just plain ridiculous, I didn’t look very closely.  When I did…here it comes again..Holy Cow!  The first reference to a legitimate use of twitter was a suggestion from an article on WordPress.  I’m tempted to say in the Support section…not certain.  The second reference to a legitimate use for twitter came from The Wall St.Journal.  Say WHAT???

And here’s how I know I really need help.  If the information I have gathered recently were physical papers or magazines, I would be buried under such a massive pile I’d need a rescue team to dig out.  And it’s all chaos.  See, it’s exciting, following story to story, article to article.  On a good day I can even get back to my original inquiry.  There have been a couple of bad days.

I guess i have to admit it, I have gotten intellectually lazy in the last say, twenty years.  I used to be pretty good at bibliographies and footnotes.  In college they were imperative.  In private journals they are not needed at all.  Twice in one blog I’ve wanted to cite sources (yes, this one) and am woefully unprepared to do so.  Crap!  Re education is almost as trying as ordinary education.  Maybe more so, all those bad habits to lose.  I also used to be a whiz at organizing.  Until I started relying on the alternate wad method.  That’s only good ’til the stack falls over.  I tried organized chaos for a while, until chaos dominated.  The computer is kind of codependent thing: it looks all nice and neat and everything.  But you’re screwed if you haven’t set priorities….somewhere.  You can eventually find what you’re looking for; if you are patient and resourceful and have a good memory…or, thought to make a note of a file name.  I haven’t quite surrendered to the idea of starting over.  Do you suppose it’s time?


Walking the dog, again

Have I mentioned that I love walking dogs?  I do.  Give me a dog, a leash and of course, an excrement bag and then get out of my way.  While spring and fall are my ideal when it comes to weather for walking, if the dog will walk, I will walk.

Doodle is the second dog, in my long experience, who will walk as long and as far as I am willing to go at the other end of the leash.  Since I have walked miles at a time, even without a dog, I think this is pretty cool.

My late friend Cardi, a black Lab, was the first dog I had ever seen do this.  She was the BEST dog ever.  According to me, obviously.  Put her on a leash and she would follow her nose to the ends of the earth, if allowed.  I am SO tempted to say she  was a smart dog.  She was, in many ways.  A slow learner about things sometimes.  I’m not sure she ever grasped that skunks should be left alone.  Having said that, I just realized, I never shortened the leash when they were around.  Huh! that stopped me in my tracks.

About Doodle, he’s a fun dog to walk.  We had a beautiful, crisp autumn morning to enjoy.  So we did.  And that was what reminded me about Cardi and just following her nose.  He does the same thing.  Didn’t even attempt to turn towards home until I guided him that way.  My coffee was getting cold.  My mistake, pouring it out and all, before his walk.

He did another thing I’ve seen dogs do and quite frankly, will never understand.  He found something really gross and probably smelly and tried to roll in it!  Fortunately, I have learned to shorten the leash for stuff like that. 

Doodle is a friendly, curious little beastie and I’m going to miss walking him when he moves to his new home.  Don’t know when that is due to happen, so, until then…want to go for a walk Doodle?