Back to Cosplay after 7 Years

Kurisu - Shimakaze Amatsukaze Fall 2017-8This has been a long time coming. Earlier this year I started cosplaying again. It isn’t like I haven’t been involved in the local con scene these few years, but I haven’t really did Kigurumi cosplay during this time. Fall last year I got the itch again to get back to the place where I was during my initial university studies.

What made that time special was that I was running and was studying the stuff that I wanted to. Having decided to take a second degree, circumstances lined up for me to return to running. A short half year later I started kigging again.

Kurisu - Shimakaze Amatsukaze Fall 2017-5Now it is fair to say that this style of cosplay is not for everyone and the masks can be a little much for many, but for me I just love the creative spaces that this style opens up. One isn’t bound by face shape, gender, and with the mask being solid and a little bigger than a regular human head allows proportions to be fudged a bit. Moreover as a photographer I absolutely love the creative options for photos and video. As a cosplayer I am not stuck worrying if my face is doing what I think it’s doing and just focus on posing.

I’m excited to be back in this hobby, and I will absolutely sing the praises of how running can really bring life to better places. I don’t want to obsess about losing weight, but I absolutely think it’s important to find ways to keep an active lifestyle as it has been such a positive force in my life.


Learning and Need

As someone who finds random topics fascinating, I am always challenged to get good at what I want to learn.  Having spent years studying Japanese, and being admittedly not comfortable with spoken casual Japanese, I wonder how to get better at this. Same thing goes for programming, photography, etc.

This has left me pondering on this topic:  How do we get good at our given skills?

Over the years I have found I have been most successful at learning things that solved more problems for me than the act of learning the given skill created. This has some profound implications.  How often have we learned subjects in school, only to learn enough to get us through the exam, and shortly thereafter forget all or most of what we spent so much time studying?  The skills were often not immediately useful, and often they weren’t even useful long term.  Yes granted that a lot of these concepts are all around us every day, but most often the details are looked after by those who make their living taking care of those details.  Example, the engineer who does the math to figure out how much a load bearing beam can handle when engineering a structure.

Whereas often a lot of rote-learning requires a lot of time for artificial memorization, or artificial problem solving.  I have found when the problems become real, and need to be solved, everything seams to magically click.  Moreover the pesky ‘whys’ we always troubled over in school become immediately obvious. If the learning is creating more trouble than it is solving, often the learner becomes burned out and the effort ceases.  Another good intention left unfinished.

What I propose as a solution to this is that we spend more time figuring out the problems we need to solve when we set out on learning, so that we can better match what we are learning to what it can do for us.  Fair example with computer programming, there are great movements to make coding part of computer literacy programs. Without specific problems that coding solves, this will be remain an obscure skill that only few master.  Rather we should teach people how algorithms and computing code can take a very tedious labor intensive repetitive task and set the machine loose on it.  This leaves us with more time to focus on other tasks, skills, hobby’s where our limited time can be better spent.

I know there are exception cases where people learn despite the fact that learning was harder than the problem it solved.  It would be a good conversation point on how these people persevered despite the circumstances.

How has learning made your life easier.  Or how has learning made your life harder?


Direction Going Forward

It has been a long time since I have done an update on this page.  This has mainly been to the fact that I worry about all the random things I’m up to, posting about them on this page would make this blog non-cohesive and random.  I think I’ve picked the worst of the two evils.  Instead of having content here, even if it is unrelated, there has been nothing posted at all.

What this page is going to serve as going forward is a non-topical personal blog.  The hope is that this will serve to foster discussion on topics I am currently working on.  With the many things I’m working on, I think it would be too difficult to have a site that focuses exclusively on any of them.

While the main news-feed will be non-themed, I will do my best to come up with an organized way to tag my posts so that if you are interested specifically on one topic, it will be easy to filter posts specific to that topic.  If I notice a pattern to the themes of my posts I may schedule specific days of the week that are exclusive to a particular topic.

It is my hope that by forcing myself to get content up here, I will be more diligent in keeping up with this page.

What are some of the things you want to be more consistent with this year?


Learning to be more concise


One thing that I grapple a lot with lately, is thinking about how to be more concise.  Often times I find myself wanting to share all the reading and ideas I have been doing lately, but a couple of short paragraphs doesn’t seem to cut it.

The big trade off is that the longer a message gets, the less likely the people who you want to read it, will. Or worse still, they’ll skim over it, and comment bringing up a point that was already in the original article, but buried in a middle paragraph.

I invite you to share some of the challenges you may have had with writing something that you wanted people to read.

Going to where your audience is

I had a eureka moment today.

Don’t create a blog separate from Facebook, blog on Facebook!

Have you ever thought about starting a blog, or some kind of online presence? I spend a lot of time thinking about how to find engagement in topics I care about. So I set up a blog, and kind of just hoped good content and interest capturing titles would do the trick.

Doing a bit of reading, which I’ll be sharing here, there were several good points that have brought me to this Ah ha! moment. Promoting work on Facebook, Twitter, and the like requires convincing people to stop what they are doing to come and read what we have written or made.

Someone who sets down and reads a newsfeed wants to catch up with what their friends are doing, maybe see a funny pic or two, and move on with their day. By putting an external link on Facebook, I create an inconvenience. You have to decide first, am I going to click it? Second when I get there is it so long it really is removing me from what I originally set out to do (catch up on Facebook).

So I’ll put this to the news feed. When have you found Facebook useful to bring you new ideas, or start conversations with friends you otherwise might not have?

Adulthood and Cosplay

ImageAdulthood and cosplay, how many times have we been to cons and listened to someone say they think this will be their last con. Usually it is prefaced with “I think I’m getting too old for this.” What I find very disturbing about this is that there seems to be an implication that age is a limiting factor of what people should be able to do.

Let’s put this into a different perspective. What is different about dressing up a business suit, or dress, and going to a social dinner for a political party, or a cause you believe in. You wear the uniform, you show up, and meet with other people and network within the context of that interest. The only difference I see with cosplay is that it has a lot more color, and generally is more youth oriented.

Which brings me to my last point. Youth brings with it a lot of ambition, optimism, and creativity. These are all things that are absolutely tragic to give up on. The most ambitious leaders of the world never give up on their youthful creativity, and not accepting the status quo.

The world is a place that will continue to be ruled by those who will not accept the lies of negativity. We have control of our world. We have control of the jobs we take, the cost of our homes or rent we chose to take. Often we make choices, and expensive ones at that, to keep up appearances.

Fun fact, average mortgage will cost approximately 1.5 times the value of the home. So if you buy a house for 300 000, you have to pay 450 000 over the life of the home. So that is 150 000 dollars just to pay the interest and other fees. That is several years work for many people at the start of their careers.

Cars lose tons of their value the minute they are driven off the lot. Yet we still buy new, and finance them. People say life is unfair. I think it is more than fair.

People rather need to remember that resources, time, and money are limited. If we use these inefficiently, and don’t weigh the choices we make, life can definitely become a struggle. Remember, we can chose to get on the treadmill, and step away from the things that brought us passion and fueled our creativity as youth. Or we can make intelligent choices, and make our youthful passions into part of a productive adulthood.

What is everyone else’s thoughts on this?

No topic in particular


This is going to be a blog post with no particular point in general.  I really want to try and get back into a writing routine.  The main way to to do this will be to start writing blogs in a free write format.

For the last little bit I have been wanting to get back to blogging.  I have been worrying about coming up with a post that has had serious substance to it.  In the process I have let months go by without a post.  

Have you ever had a mental block that was hard to get over?  I will make efforts to be back tomorrow and will start taking stock of techniques to come up with blog ideas during the day.