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Lucas Weismann

Ch-ch-ch-changes

For those not in the know, recently I’ve gone through several changes.  Those that I’m openly discussing in public are the following:

I’ve moved

Currently, I’m no longer living in my home state, Minnesota.  You can find me in the environs of Bakersfield, California where I moved using an ADTmoving service for this.  While I love my home state and many of my people there, including my good friend Dan over at DVG Framing (seriously, check out his framing and furniture, it’s amazing), Things were not altogether well and helping me to be the best Luke I could be for me and the people in my life.

I’ve Changed Job

I am still working on wood in my spare time, as well as writing, but I am no longer focusing on them. My dad, Dexter and I traveled west to see the eclipse and photograph it with Minneapolis photographer John Anderson, who kindly made modifications for my dad’s Canon 800mm F/2.8 Lens.  We used it to photograph the eclipse and Dexter ran around like a madman taking pictures and taking an interest in the things he could do with the photographs.  After the eclipse, we parted ways and I continued on to my destination, whereupon I joined Noah Nethero and Jake Miller at 1st Light Energy, a solar company that services all of California.  My first afternoon in bakersfield, I stumbled into the Iron Arms Gym, met the owner Ryan and joined on the spot.  (If you are from Bakersfield, and want to lift at a gym focused on “the iron”- join and tell them Luke sent you).  Since then –

I’ve Started Lifting Again

I’m doing a better job of tracking my lifts and been going more regularly thanks to the fact that the Gym is a real gym and 10 minutes for my house. For $25/month I’m treated to loud music, guys who give me something to shoot for in size and strength, and the occasional shot or round robing Mortal Kombat session.  It’s like I designed a gym in a computer to meet my geek, bro and lifting needs.  At week two, my totals are still weak as a kitten (Bench 165, Squat 185, Deadlift 245), but after a nine year hiatus from serious lifting, I don’t deserve to be jumping back in.  But since I’m putting in effort at the all-around self improvement –

I’ve Started Eating Healthier

Myfitnesspal by UnderArmor has been a great help.  It allows me to track my calories, macros and what I’ve eaten.  It’s a bit tricky when eating at non-fast food or non-chain restaurants, but they usually have general guidelines to follow.  Additionally I can use it to track my weight, steps and exercise for the day.  This is has made everything WAY easier to track and a lot of fun.  I do miss habitRPG for the cute anime things, but for diet and fitness, this has been an excellent fit. The app inspired so –

I’ve Started using my Bullet Journal again

For those not in the know, bullet journaling is an offline way to make easily migrated tasks in any Journal-style notebook as well as notate events, cluster things into projects and set goals on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.  It is fantastic.  you can find out more information about it here.  There are SO many different ways to do this, it’s highly adaptable and for the craft-y people reading, yes, you can use all the colored inks, tapes and even pictures you want in order to make it shine.  For those more like me, that’s not necessary.

One of the modifications I’ve made is to use the habit tracker invented by Benjamin Franklin:

Though, I’ve inverted this by marking when I succeed at engaging in the habit I’m trying to develop.  At the end of the month, I tally the number of days I engaged in the habit, divide by the days of the month and look at the success rate.  Then the current month is compared with the previous to see where improvements can be made.  Rather than the ideals Franklin for which Franklin strove, I’ve started farther down the ladder of abstraction.  For now, I’m working on the following behaviors I’d like to make a part of my regular life.

• Completing all tasks I’ve assigned myself for the day

• Walking a minimum of 5,000 steps

• Meditate – this has been the hardest to think about so far.  tonight I just thought about some quotes from Jordan B. Peterson, probably one of the greatest professors of the modern era. Check out his Maps of Meaning series on youtube

• Shower – Hey, hygiene is important, and I wanted a habit I could cross off every morning first thing, like the bed-making suggestion from Admiral McRaven

• Staying Under my recommended Calories

• Read/Listen to non-fiction books and podcasts for at least 30 minutes per day.

• Write – This was the one I wanted most and have put the least consistency into up to this point.  Whoops!  Sorry folks.

• Knock Doors – This is a big part of my new job working with 1st Light Energy and my goal is to knock a few doors every day.

• Gym/Yoga – walking is not enough.  I’ve dedicated Mondays to Deadlift, Wednesday to Bench and Friday to Squat.  Somehow the off days just lack luster and so it’s on those days that I’m going to be filling in with Yoga, Dance, or other physical activities.

• Rosetta Stone – I have been gifted a license for Rosetta Stone German – Levels I-V and want to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.  So far, I’m noticing my comprehension go WAY up, but that’s starting from zero… we’ll see how it goes.  I’m really enjoying the difference between Der hund frisst and Er isst.

The next few are work metrics, not quite daily habits because some are out of my control.

• Appointment set – I’m requiring at least one appointment set per work day either from knocking doors or a networking type meeting.  On days when I’m knocking, my goal is for three appointments set.

• Referrals Received – I’m handing out a lot of referrals, and I’d like to track them.

• Deal Closed – Need appointments for these to close, but I’d like to get an idea of what kind of effort needs to be made in order to actually make a consistent living selling solar.

• Phone Calls Made – Did I call at least one person to follow up on some bit of business?

So far, that’s a lot of change from what I was doing to what I AM doing now. I’m excited to make this into a process rather than a goal.

Getting to Cadansa

I left Copenhagen station last night on the night train to Amsterdam.  If you’ve never taken a night train you have two main options.  I sitting car or a sleeper car (couchette), Don’t even get me started on the commuter car option (basically it’s not one, you don’t want it).  For the first few stops, I had the room to myself and thought I was a pretty lucky guy.  Somewhere in rural Denmark, I was joined by a young almost-college aged kid who was going to his first trip to Amsterdam.  His english was just good enough for me to realize that he wasn’t there to see the canals.  He was an amiable guy and after awhile I went to the shower room to charge my devices.

When you take the German trains on an overnight trip, sometimes you have modern trains and sometimes you don’t.  If you’re lucky enough to be on an old-style train, don’t be surprised if the conductors are a bit grumpy when you ask where you can find an outlet.  They’re just as tired of people asking as people are of asking the question.

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The Blues Dance Project – Unit 1 – Week 4 – Featured Artists: The Three Kings

Albert King, Freddie King and BB KIng
Albert King, Freddie King and BB King

“The Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” are Albert, Freddie and BB King.  Each had an enormous impact on the way we think about blues today.
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The Blues Dance Project – Unit 1 – Week 3 – Featured Artists: Ethel Waters, Alberta Hunter, Ruth Brown

Three women who had a huge impact on the world of Jazz, Blues and R&B.  Defenitely worth a listen!

Ethel Waters

Ethel waters started her career in 1920 as a Blues singer- she was, in fact, the 5th woman to record a blues album.  In her career, she also performed on Broadway, sang Jazz, blues, pop and show tunes.
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The Blues Dance Project – Unit 1 – Week 2 – Featured Artist: Howlin’ Wolf

Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf) grew up the son of divorced share croppers.  He was kicked out of his mother’s home at a young age when he refused to work for 18 cents per day.  He was sent to live with his mother’s brother who treated him badly and then around age 14, he ran away and found his father’s family; supposedly walking 85 miles barefoot to reach him. His father loved him and they were happy together.

He learned to play guitar from a popular musician of the day, Charley Patton, who taught him how to use the guitar and “might” have given him his nickname.
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The Blues Dance Project – Unit 1 – Week 1 – Featured Artist: Muddy Waters

Right now I’m traveling the world teaching Blues Dancing and have to good fortune to be staying in the Malmö, Kobenhavn, Helsingborg region of Sweden and Denmark.  This luxury is allowing me to offer blues dance classes in three cities simultaneously and to focus more deeply on material than I would otherwise be able to do while on tour.
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Being a Good Conversationalist on the Dance Floor

A Student’s Question

1234563_10151804089575376_1567122219_nThrowing this in an email because Facebook will manage to lose it. I don’t know if it’s a class thought, a “help me sort this out for myself by talking about it” thought or something to look at in a lesson but…I’m hoping maybe you can at least help me stop making my brain spin every time I think about it.

So, when I was watching you and Ruby dance, the topic of matching your lead vs being given space to stylize came about, and Ruby commented that the less her lead gives, the more she matches/less flashy her movements are because she has little to respond to from her lead.

Is there ever a point in a class to address that sort of topic? Especially as follows are developing their own styles, we definitely get conflicting messages about styling vs matching. Plenty of times we hear “match your lead” and then in solo classes “move with the music” but at least with a number of MN leads, there’s an assumption that if they place a follow in open position, she is not supposed to match the lead except in pulse.

Personally I agree with Ruby that, sure I can make stuff up and solo, but I’d like to have something to react to from my lead. As dancers, I think we get a lot of “match your partner” and then also “leads, listen to your follow/let her do her own thing” (as far as I can figure out, those aren’t the same thing) and it gets super confusing and frustrating when you think one thing will happen when you place a follow in open and that thing you want, but didn’t explicitly lead, doesn’t happen.

I suppose the gist of this is: how does a lead successfully communicate that he wants a follow to do her own thing, and how does a follow explain, short of having a conversation prior to dancing, that maybe she wants or needs her lead to give her feedback?
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