Portrait of a climbing buddy

I met a great climbing partner 9 years ago in Joshua Tree. He wants to remain anonymous so I’ll call him John. We put together a van full of 4 guys and spent 3 weeks living the life. We are still friends today as we have a lot in common including: web design, inventing, playing guitar, and teaching.

We also both know our good friend Paul, who used to be a stellar climber but is now blind after a brain injury following a climbing accident. ‘John’ knows I’m trying to learn to paint so I asked him if he would consider sitting for a portrait. I said I couldn’t pay him…artist models earn $18 an hour. In exchange for posing, I’d give him the painting. He was onboard immediately. We are both underemployed and were easily able to schedule a couple morning painting sessions.

I’m still enjoying my break from Facebook. It’s so refreshing living the life I had before social media. My son used to always see my paintings first on facebook. He’d come over to the house and say, ‘oh yeah, I saw that on facebook…nice’. Now that I’m not online as much, it was awesome watching his expression when he first saw it…in real life. ‘Dam dad, you are getting really good at that!’

I know it’s got a few problems. Eyes have always been hard for me, and the background is unfinished. But it’s breathing and has staying power. I chose to walk away before I overworked it. I’m studying a book on painting called Alla Prima 2. He is famous for leaving large areas of his canvas completely unfinished. If the painting speaks, it is wise to leave it alone. Knowing when to stop is often the hardest part.


9-31-11 Facebook free, 6 days and counting

I quite facebook 6 days ago

Facebook is a great invention, but it’s very easy to get addicted. I only had about 40 friends, but they were mostly all climbers, so there were always interesting photos to enjoy. I only “friended” people I knew and climbed with in person. I saw cool pictures from all over the world on facebook. It was endlessly fascinating…but therein lies the problem.

If I was bored, or unmotivated, I would surf facebook. It’s a whole fascinating world in there that opens up to the world wide web. It was a black hole of wasted time. I saw the writing on the wall, and realized I needed to quit, I do have a website, after all.

In the six days I’ve been off facebook, I’ve added at least 2 hours of productive time to every day. I do enjoy writing. It clears my mind, and having the freedom to write in long form, as opposed the the “twitter/facebook” form of writing, is awesome. Most of the “communication” I was doing on facebook was in the form of a couple sentences, so it was practically meaningless.

By getting off facebook, I am removing another reason to get the new iPhone. Or, on the flip side, I may just get it to reward myself for not having facebook…still can’t decide. I love the idea of getting a slim dumb phone and gluing it to the back of an iTouch. It would be a “poor mans iPhone”, without the data contract. I like the idea of anything that simplifies my life, and saves me money at the same time.

I never, ever use data on my 2 year old droid. I don’t surf the web, I don’t check my emails, and I really don’t need to use the navigation function, though I sometimes do because it is convenient. They make paper maps that work almost as well.

Here is an interesting article about  smart phone addiction.