Chapter 8 — Think Bubbles

October 27, 2012
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Problem: animation assignment was super vague: use the techniques we covered in class (dealing with making facial expressions).

That was the whole assignment as presented and Iwas somewhat paralyzed with indecision, so!

some rejected ideas:

ghost tries to spook cat/bat only to get scared by it’s teeth (head too complicated)

something with my characters from my final (too complicated)


Final Idea:

Ghost teaches little ghost some spooking moves but then the little ghost gets scared away.


Overall not bad.  I liked the connecting of ideas and association.


Chapter 31 — Not Kansas

October 27, 2012
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So I have a friend who’s been pretty down lately.  I really want to cheer them up, but there’s a lot in their lives I can’t — and shouldn’t control.  Lots of people are putting too much pressure on them.  Still, I can tell they’re really down.  So, that’s the problem I will be tacking for this thinkertoy.

I went along with the Dakotas journey printed in the book, allowing myself to relax back and just record the images.

They were: grey damp mine buffalo sharp bleh bright crisp

On the paper: Falling down again.

The overall impression of the scene was very lonely, (and it also strongly resembled a class trip I had taken to Catalina island, but that’s a bit beside the point).  While I’m normally the more passive person in our social interactions — the shy introvert that I am — I should make more of an effort to reach out.  Text em funny things that happen during the day.  Maybe cook them some dinner sometime — who doesn’t like getting free food?

Overall I found this thinkertoy pretty silly.  The conclusion I reached admittedly isn’t anything earth shattering, but I actually found the image of the mine more interesting from an artistic standpoint.  Maybe I’ll draw it sometime.

Chapter 9 — SCAMPER

October 21, 2012
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Problem: I’m trying to make dinner but, but we’re missing milk for the sauce.

Substitute: We have vanilla soy milk but I don’t even need to test to know that won’t mesh well with tomato and Parmesan cheese.

Combine: if I were at home, there’d be some powdered milk I could mix up to use.  Alas, we are still getting sorted in our kitchen.

Adapt: There’s nothing I can use as a milk substitution.

Modify: I can’t think of a way to modify the recipe so milk is not needed.  I’m not that skilled a cook.

Put it to some other use: I could try to change the recipe to utilize the meat for more of the flavor and protein the milk is lacking in.

Eliminate: I could cut out the problem by going to 7-11 and buying milk.

Reverse: Or I could back up by making something else so the lack of milk was not a problem.

In the end, the simplest solution is sometimes the best.  I got milk at the store.

Two days later, two of my roommates have also picked up milk.  There are now three small jugs in the fridge and I hope they don’t go bad.

This was an interesting exercise to work through.  Most of the ideas I came up with could not be solved with my time and expertise.  However, they have given me food for thought as to new meals that I could try.


Chapter 24 — The Three B’s

October 21, 2012
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So this week I was having a hard time coming up with something to do for my animation class.  Our assignment was to create a 15 second animation that took the watcher on a journey.  I didn’t know what to do — a roller coaster was to obvious, an outdoor environment was too complex.  I talked to others to get a feel for what they were doing, but nothing inspired me.  What kind of situation could be assembled in a week already busy with other work.

Since I was so busy — work study and CS classes in particular eating up my time, I knew I wouldn’t be able to even start working on my project until the end of the week.  So, with a loose deadline in place I allowed myself to go about my week.

It hit me at work, a few days later.  A cubicle environment would be easy to create — lots of repeated simple shapes, and would give me enough space for my camera to walk along for the desired time.  I could even incorporate rolling chairs into it.

Indeed, the idea worked out, though it ate up most of my weekend.

I am very satisfied with how this thinkertoy worked out, as it is pretty much in line with how I already solve problems.  If there’s time, get as far as you can and then just let the problem go.  The answer will come to you eventually.  It can be frustrating, though if the deadline is too tight.  Then my thinking feels restricted and I can’t work as well.

Chapter 28 — Dreamscapes

October 13, 2012
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So I don’t often have dreams but I really like the idea of them.  So this week I pondered my question — how to keep myself interested in my new work study job (lots and lots of data entry).  And I had one dream this week!  But I only really remember one thing about it — I had a pack of direwolves.  We were running through a snowy wood.  The main focus was on two wolves — one grey and one almost white, but I had the special dream-knowledge that there were more, a whole pack at my command.

(Dire wolves are creatures from the book series A Song of Ice and Fire.  They’re like regular wolves, but grow to the size of a small horse.

While the idea of maintaining a pack of giant wolves is really cool, it doesn’t seem to relate much to my problem.  Let me run it through the questions, though.

  • Direwolves don’t really relate to my co-workers, my “pack” would more likely be my family and friends.
  • The key players were me, and the two wolves.
  • The dream relates in that I have many packs in my life, of different levels of importance.  For example, there are my roommates, my friends in my major, my friends in CA, and my family.
  • The dream changes the nature of the question in that I’ve spent all this time trying to look for internal solutions to the problem, when maybe I should turn to my pack.
  • The “pack” element has inspired me to look more to the other people in my life for ideas to keep my mind engaged through the long hours of filing.
  • As I’ve said, the association from the dream is relating my wolf pack to my family and friends.
  • The answer from the dream: I will talk to the people around me to see how they cope in similar situations, and see if they have any advice.

This thinkertoy was surprisingly helpful, actually.  It demanded a level of creative interpretation much reminiscent of English class.  I had spent all this time thinking of things I could do all by myself, when there are plenty of people around me have been in similar situations.  The questions asked were a little repetitive, though.  I won’t be keeping the dream journal, though — I simply don’t have time in the mornings.

Chapter 22, Chilling Out

October 6, 2012
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This exercise is very in-line with what I already do to solve problems.  So I used it this week without even knowing.

I was having some problems with some other homework — a certain piece of animation wasn’t looking right.  The more I thought the less sense I made.  It wasn’t due for several days, though, so I left it be and headed back to my apartment.

Once I was back there, I rewarded myself with some chill time.  Puttering around the living room with a drink, the answer suddenly hit me.  I knew what was going wrong, and setting it right was a simple matter.  I made myself a note on my phone to ensure I’d fix the problem and gave myself another pat on the back.

This is something I’m pretty good at.  I don’t know what it is about chilling out that makes the answer rise to the surface, but I’m not complaining.

Chapter 7, Cherry Picking

October 6, 2012
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Problem: my charger for my cell phone is lost


energy —– fast

power — light —- speed — zip



island —- missing

buried — trapped —- misplaced — invisible


Found it.  It was underneath one of my extra pillows on my bed.

The formation of this exercise was interesting, I suppose.  I liked making the chart but thinking up words that might seem helpful was hard.  It’s nothing that I couldn’t have managed with a couple of minutes of throwing things around in pursuit of the thing.  I suppose it kept my bed neater.