Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Exceedingly Lazy Saturday, My Fortress of Solitude and Ideas

I can't believe how fast the day zipped by. I have not had such a do nothing day in a very long time. I am back to my frantic pace at work these days and at the end of the week I absolutely need a slow day to recharge. So I am not going to beat myself up about it.

I spent the day alternating periods of hours listening to music, catching up on my RRSP portfolio tracking and re-jigging my blog pages with short bursts of energy sufficient to get a few small jobs done around the house. I am in a thoughtful mood today and I've found that on weekends when I am in a mood such as this there is only one way to deal with it - go with the flow.

If I just meander through the day and let my brain loose to think about what ever it wants at some point I exit my thoughtful mood and can easily make quick strides on some important decisions or some mentally challenging effort I have to get going on. This is in absolute contrast with my Monday to Friday work day rigour - not one moment when I am allowed to stop thinking carefully about what must be done and what is most important to do next.   My new place is fast becoming a very  comfortable refuge and I am starting to think of it as my "Fortress of Solitude".
Just as Superman needs to retreat to his Fortress of Solitude, we all need an equivalent to go to recharge and to be alone with our thoughts.  These days my Collingwood Shangri-La is not available for that purpose as it has a family of skiers have taken up residence.      My new place is fast becoming my comfortable refuge, my Fortress of solitude.
Superman brought his special friends to his Fortress and of course I will too.  I have family and good friends who will visit and so it will not always be a place of solitude.  

With that, let me show you a few pics of my Fortress of Solitude.  I am trying to figure out where my art work should go and the accent colours I will need for the area rug I am shopping for.  Also needing thought is the type  and colour for window coverings and I need to shop for a dining room table and perhaps small china hutch.  Lots to do yet to feather my nest er, rather to equip my Fortress.  LOL

This living room is much larger than I had expected it to be.

My new combination fireplace/TV Stand/Media shelf.  Eric says I need a larger TV.

I love my kitchen.

The ugly part is the billboard view (I did zoom for these two photos but not much).  However in a year this will be replaced by the Condo now being built beside my building.

I get to view a couple of  big Coors beer cans.

And now for Something Completely Different

While letting my mind meander in my Fortress of Solitude today, I decided to start a blog series which will wind along a theme.  It touches upon themes of innovative ideas, visual art, animation, music and literature, but is a theme by association only.  At risk of your imagination seeing more into this than a simple 3 part blog,  will will let it unwind in its own way and at its own pace, so I won't say more but will launch immediately into part 1.

Where do new ideas and innovation come from?

Steven Johnson's latest book is titled "Where good ideas come from: The natural history of innovation" explores the phenomenon of inspiration.  In the You Tube Animate Video and the BBC interview and report included above, he makes the point that for the most part innovation is the result of slow germination of collaborate effort, of which the web stands out as a prime example.  He comments,
" Just the speed with which it's transformed itself over the last 15 years is just amazing.
"And so much of that is because it's wonderfully set up for other people to build on top of other people's ideas. In many cases without asking for permission.

I have to say that I have had more ideas and innovative thought since the Internet became a tool and an information source and I have seen how collaboration in the workplace always wins out in the longer term over the single genius who works alone.  But I would add, you also need another factor to be present.  Your mind has to have time to wander.  Innovative ideas come when you aren't focusing on the problem at hand.

The Author's advice to those wishing to find the creative spark needed for their work?
"Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down; but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies, frequent coffee houses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle, reinvent." 

I like his idea about "liquid networks".  LOL   I think his book might be an interesting read, but I must hold off looking for his it until I reduce the size of my "To Read" book pile.

To read the whole BBC report click here.

Stay tuned to next Saturday when I will post part II of this series.  In the meantime, come back tomorrow if you can and I will have my other idea out of the cooker.  :)


  1. Well, I guess our Saturdays were very different, Peggy. Mine was more driving than I usually do, more walking than I usually do and more learning/looking/thinking than I usually do.

    You have a lovely home, and I am certain you will experience many happy times in it. I do have a difficult time, however, understanding why you would move along to another location before you have even broken in this one.

    As for where good ideas come from, I would be more interested in discovering one or two original ideas. I think the well might be dry there, but if you notice any, whistle, please.

    It is nice to see you writing regularly again.

  2. What some beautiful photoes!!that lagune is such an relaxing place!!

    and your home is beautiful too..Have you tried to not have so much on the walls?i like sometimes just the walls..really old walls are very interesting hehehe!!

    Put your own paintings on the wall..i did that..and when you get visitors they say""Ohh who painted that?a you say did you like it? is very old and expensive art..hahaha..kidding!!)))))))) lol!!

    I like your blog more and fact I only write on you and Frams blog..Thanx!!

    happy sunday!!

  3. I like the pages that you have added to your blog. I've been tinkering with the idea of adding pages to my blog too. I need to finish other projects first! Your new condo looks quite nice. You will have fun outfitting your fortress!


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