Anyone in Microland have experience working at an early stage startup? And if so, any chance of an offline conversation? I have a potential opportunity in the works and limited if any experience in this world, therefore I have questions. Thanks in advance!

Watching a helmet cam video from a ride last weekend. Once I stopped listening to music, which my camera/bluetooth com unit pipes into the video, all I could hear was my own breathing.

And nearly incessant sniffing.

And why did nobody tell me how funny I sound on camera!?

Why am I asking you fine folks, who only know the text version of my snark.

Seriously, the only things I said out loud were to call a driver a putz for slow-rolling a turn without signaling, and another driver something more colorful for cutting me off. Then slow-rolling a turn without signaling.

Oh, my point. At one stop light, a dad ran by pushing a double stroller being followed by like a 5 year old on a two-wheeler. Little dude was rocking that two-wheeler. As they passed, he looks at me and says, “nice ride.” Complete with the dude-bro head lift. You know, when the chin lifts quickly just as they say “nice…”

All I could do was laugh and return the complement. Then laugh some more, it was truly adorable.

I'm going nuts.
This should not be this hard.
All I'm trying to do is get a new blog up and running.

I want to:

  • own my content
  • expand to a newsletter/memberships...eventually
  • manage my own site without coding skills.

Any and all input is GREATLY appreciated!

Earworms as memory triggers?

Is anyone else's earworm kind of an asshole? After having the intro to a particular Grateful Dead song (not going to name it for fear of it making a repeat performance) on repeat for nearly a week, I started to think about how certain songs can come to be tied to very specific memories, complete with all sensory recall.

This particular song was the set 2 opener the last time they ever played Seattle, and I was there so it conjures up some very specific memories for me. Everything from the smell of pot smoke (no, before you ask, I don't) to what I was wearing to the late day light playing off the trees that surround the venue (Memorial Stadium) — it's all connected in my brain. I can't hear the song without seeing the sights and smelling the smells.

The other powerful example from my own life is the song "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner. I don't like this song, at all, but it will forever be connected in my brain to ski lessons when I was 7. There was only one radio station that came in all the way to the local ski area, so that's what we listened to in our '82 Honda to and from lessons. I hear the song, and I recall the way the heat felt hitting my face when I adjusted the registers on the dashboard. I smell the hot cocoa my mom got me from the lodge after lessons. And I see the steam rise from my warm self after finishing up for the day. I even remember how the strange, almost Corduroy-like fabric felt against my face as I dozed off on the way home.

Give me a second and I can come up with at least half-dozen other examples from my youth and youth-ish times.

But why?

Why do songs connect so strongly with memories? And why, for the sake of your deity of choice, do I remember the seat fabric of my mom's '82 Honda?!

So I did what I do. I read. A LOT. And what I found out is absolutely fascinating. Well, to me and any of you out there who geek out over neurological anomalies and psychological weirdness the way I do.

This is going to be a brief version of the 10,000 ft view on this topic, mostly because I'm far too knackered to even hope to form that many coherent sentences tonight. It turns out that the brain region responsible for retrieving autobiographical memories (not where they're kept, mind you, just the part that retrieves them from long-term storage) is the same area where we process tonal shifts. For you neuro-nerds it's the dorsal region of the medial prefrontal cortex, right behind your forehead. It also happens to be the latest region to develop after we evolved into Homo sapiens.

Since things like songs are stored primarily as tonal shifts, the whole "ear worm jogs loose a memory" scenario is starting to make more sense.

Music triggers many other regions of the brain as well, of course. Centers of motor activity/control, emotional regulation, and creativity light up like a Christmas tree, especially for those songs that resonate strongly. But here's the part I find truly fascinating — the prefrontal cortex area lights up just as strongly, if not more so, than the others when it comes to songs we associate with memories.

But which way does it go? Do more salient memories trigger stronger associations with songs? Or to songs we love trigger stronger associations with memories of when we first heard them?

Turns out the scientists doing this research don't know. Yet. The focus of their work is actually on developing possible treatments for Alzheimer's patients, since the prefrontal cortex is one of the last areas affected by this degenerative condition. At the moment, all they can say for sure is that the connection is real and they can point to it on fMRI scans. The rest is open to interpretation.

For now, the fact that songs and memories can strengthen the same areas of the brain is enough for me. Now if I could only get this song out of my head...

“Leap and the net will appear.” Not today. More like,“leap and you’ll hit your head on the ceiling fan.”

February photoblogging challenge | Day 21 | Colors

I love the shades and hues this time of year, for me they’re better than any range of colors.

February photoblogging challenge | Day 20 | Weather

This is not normal weather for Seattle, from last week.

February photoblogging challenge | Day 16 | Erudite

When one wishes to become erudite, this is always a good sign:

February photoblogging challenge | Day 15 | Reflection

I love the special way wetlands reflect their surroundings. The added foliage, downed trees, etc add so much character.

February photoblogging challenge | Day 14 | compassion

My sister's fuzzy children. The border collie has precisely zero compassion for the plight of her sibling. Now throw the damn ball.

February photoblogging challenge | Day 12 | Sporg

From a year ago, when I sporged (or is it sporgged?) my shoulder.

February photoblogging challenge | Day 10 | energy

Forrest is a grand master at the art of conservation of energy.

This piece is a fascinating look at aphantasia from the perspective of someone in the ~2% of folks who don't have a mind's eye. The brain and how it affects the human condition never ceases to amaze me.

Couple additional iPhone shots from my drive into the hills last weekend. As I mentioned previously, I had intended to hike Rattlesnake Ledge, but my knee has been most displeased with the cold weather that finally hit so I stuck to where I could wander near the car...

Yes, that's snow flurrying by...

I don't know what it is about this tree, but I really want to get back up there while the water level is still high with my Fuji and get some good shots of it. Especially with the bleak lighting this time of year...it's just so moody.

February photoblogging challenge | Day 9 | Muddy

Today's post brought to you by the last month of ridiculous rainfall amounts (for Seattle, at least). This is the parking strip in front of the house, it should NOT be 2" of muck.

Hey all Micro.blog Carryologists! I have one of these Tom Bihn Cafe bags I'm looking to rehome. It's pretty much new, only reason is I upsized to a Maker bag. If you're interested, I'll send contact info and we can work out the details.

Metaphors, broken and otherwise

This post resonated something fierce. I'm also in a day job where my main priority is communicating often highly technical information for business leaders who may or may not come from a tech background. I never know who exactly is reading, whether English is their first language, etc. so being able to wield things like metaphors with care is a big part of my day.

I was not familiar with Moby Diction or David Drysdale (the man behind the curtain, apparently) before today, but after today you can rest assured I'll be reading up and have already subscribed to his newsletter.

February photoblogging challenge | Day 7 | Craving

The only thing I find myself craving these days is time alone, in the woods, to just breath.

Had intended to be up on a ledge just under that peak, but my knee had other thoughts.