Jacob The Not So Mad Scientist

Posted on Tuesday June 18, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

This is a photo that I took of one of the toy’s that Mateo always throws on the ground while Minnie and I are sitting at the table and eating dinner. This is a photo that I took of one of the toy’s that Mateo always throws on the ground while Minnie and I are sitting at the table and eating dinner.

As a mental health counselor, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp one how to raise my son, and what to do. Something I feel like I explain to parents frequently when they bring their kids in, especially young kids, is that the majority of the counseling I’m going to do is with them. I explain that they are with their children and have so much more powerful of an impact then I ever could in the hour a couple of times a month I get to see them.

I feel like with my education and experience, I have been able to discuss some pretty sound points with parents and work through some issues well. That being said, as I go into raising Mateo, it’s like everything is an experiment right now. Hopefully Mateo won’t feel too much like I’ve been experimenting on him when he gets older, but I figure we are in it together to find the best solutions to everything that comes up.

A couple of nights ago, Minnie and I were sitting eating dinner and Mateo was in his high chair (already having eaten). He kept throwing his little barn on the ground. I decided that I didn’t want to pick it up every couple of minutes. I know that he doesn’t have the fine motor control to really manipulate objects and move things around very well. He also get super excited and starts flailing his arms around (so cute). I am not saying that I was upset with him, or even view this as anything but normal baby behavior, that being said, I did say I’ve been experimenting on him (not in any bad way). I decided that every time he knocks his toys off his high chair, I will pick it up. I will show it to him and tell him that he supposed to keep it on the table (pointing to the table) and then put it on our table for him to look at for about a minute (I tell him that I will give it back to him after a minute). He’s a pretty content baby and doesn’t seem to mind losing his toy too much right now. After about a minute, I give the toy back to him and explain again that he can play with it, but not to throw it on the ground or he will lose it again for another minute.

All that being said, it’s a pretty simple exercise, and some classical conditioning. It does seem to be working some. While he still throws it on the ground or knocks it over, I feel like he is more careful with it now, as if he knows that he want’s to keep playing with it. Like I said, pretty simple little thing… but it does give me a bit of the mad scientist feeling of trying to figure out what works best. I just figured I’d share…

Also, today is Mateo’s Six Month Birthday! We completed our monthly photo shoot so I will be posted a lot of shots on Instagram, so make sure you check them out.

Been So Long

Posted on Wednesday June 12, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

 This is a photo that I took from the alley way. I found out a couple of weeks after that this sign was still up after somebody rang out doorbell wanting to see the home. This is a photo that I took from the alley way. I found out a couple of weeks after that this sign was still up after somebody rang out doorbell wanting to see the home.

Maybe I shouldn’t feel too bad. Life has been hectic, and its been a long time since I’ve posted anything to here. My excuse is that it’s because I purchased a home, no big deal right. It has been quite an experience and I’m a proud home owner now. I feel as if there are a million things that I’ve been thinking about posting on, but haven’t. In this post I might overview some of them… But it is far too late tonight to go in depth with any topic.

I have been improving my Mac computing ability slowly and feel as if I know have a strong grip on the system and am absolutely loving it. Last thanksgiving I purchased a MacBook Pro. It has been amazing. My mom just got a new Mac and I’ve been teaching her how to use it.

Staying on the Mac theme, I’ve been listening to the amazing Podcast Mac Power Users. I’ve gone through almost a hundred of their sometimes 2 hour podcasts and I’m still not caught up. So much amazing information, it makes me feel like such the better nerd.

More than the looking for, negotiation (for sale by owner), and purchase of our home in Central Pasco… I’ve also been renovating some of it. I ripped out all of the living room carpet and refinished the hardwood floors. I’ve done some other projects to, some of which will likely end up in as DIY articles eventually.

I’m even doing a first ever complete post written from my iPad and is the first post I’m writing in Markdown. Maybe too many experiments at once, but I just really wanted to post something.

An Allegory of the Free Market and Capitalism, Atlas Shrugged Book Review

Posted on Thursday March 28, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

Overview of the Book

The Audiobook Cover for Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. You can find it on  Amazon  and listen to yourself. I uploaded this graphic for my blog post  An Allegory of the Free Market and Capitalism, Atlas Shrugged Book Review . The Audiobook Cover for Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. You can find it on Amazon and listen to yourself. I uploaded this graphic for my blog post An Allegory of the Free Market and Capitalism, Atlas Shrugged Book Review.

Ayn Rand’s classic Atlas Shrugged (Amazon || Google Books] is an enthralling novel with lots of conservative political implications done in the opposite of brevity. My friend Ami, carried this book probably weighing at least five pounds across most of our Jaunt Down to South America. I wondered at the time why she continued to pack the heavy book in her bag and heft it onto her shoulders every day. Even without having read the book, it sparked a number of interesting discussions between us as she leafed through it’s pages.

I decided that it was finally time for me to go through this highly acclaimed book. Instead of trying to take the time to read the book word for word, I decided to purchase the Unabridged Atlas Shrugged Audio Book and listed to it on my drive back and forth to work, and as I got further into the story I found myself listening to it at times I should have been sleeping.

The book examines in my experience, rarely for the genre, mainly a dystopia coupled with a remnant of a utopia. It explores a great number of topics through its story format and it is nearly impossible to miss the conservative political leanings of Ayrn Rand. It takes place in a world where the world has apparently become communistic (i.e. all of the countries are labeled “The Peoples State of Germany” [or fill in the country name]). In this dystopian world, the main protagonists (business men and women and industrialists) are disappearing from the world. The struggle mainly follows Dagny Taggart, the vice president of a transcontinental railroad and her never ending struggle to find “men of ability” and produce in a society of “looters.”

Throughout the novel, it addresses a number of different topics through its story format. Mostly indirectly it seems to me to address communism verses capitalism through a number of smaller topics. It looks at education and philosophy, victim and what Hank Rearden refers to as the sanction of the victim, government and business, and property rights.

Discussion of the Book

I found the novel to be particularly enthralling. While, I don’t necessarily believe the argument is a based argument as the author appears to lay out. The is most undoubtedly coming from a very right and conservative leaning stance. If the book can be considered an argument for capitalism, limited government, and social welfare I don’t believe that it lays out a fair argument. In it’s entirety, there is not one logical non-obtuse antagonist. The novels puts the concepts of social welfare and progressivism out like a straw man type of argument. All of the antagonistic characters are all quite deft and you just have to hate them and be rooting for the industrialists and business people. I wouldn’t disagree with rooting for these people, I truly do and have no problem with them.

For my own political leanings, I tend to describe myself as idealistically conservative but pragmatically highly liberal. You can read more about why my political stance is like this from something I wrote while in South America, Out of Trinidad & Tobago and into the New World of Venezuela.

One other thought about this this book, although I could and probably should write a lot more because there is so much in there, is about the concept of people with ability. There is a lot of argument about people of ability in the book and that it is not right to force them to pay for the “looters” who are without ability. All of the antagonists in the book are truly made up of people who could, with work, be people of action and ability it would seem. The book doesn’t address one bit societies need to help the most helpless and those who don’t have ability, especially those who are disabled. In my work, more and more, I find myself working with people who can not work (by definition for our services, somebody must not be able to work or must be on TANIF). While I do have clients that I could see doing some work, their disabilities make them highly undesirable for an employer and anybody that would hire them would have to make many sacrifices to keep them employed and I would imagine that they wouldn’t be financially productive for the company (don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have some employers like this… but it’s pretty uncommon). But then, I also have clients who I can’t really imagine doing any work currently due to their mental heath disabilities. They tend to be homeless, and have major psychosis that would extremely limit their ability to even do a job, less likely have clean and presentable clothes. I wonder in Rand’s utopia of Atlantis, who takes care of these people?

All in all, I would highly recommend the book, or the audiobook if your like me and have a long commute (although it was pretty pricey at about $30.). If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought, because I really only glossed over some major topics of the book and it’s such a long and deep piece of writing.

First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch

Posted on Tuesday March 26, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

This is the first DIY (Do It Yourself) project I’ve done for my blog. As I’ve been moving towards home ownership, I’ve been enamored by Pinterest and all of the projects I’d like to take on at the home I’d like to buy. Actually, I’ve completed a purchase and sale agreement with the owner and the paperwork is being process by the bank. You can see the home posted for sale by owner on Zillow at 1119 W Irving Street. It’s a pretty amazing house. I’m sure in a month or two we will be inviting friends over for a house warming party (no need to bring stuff). While the home is pretty well done, it sounds exciting for the moment to think about personalizing the house. Who knows if that’s how I’ll feel in a year, but for now it’s fun to think fondly about weekends spent working on my home.

That being said, I worked on my first DIY project, even though we are still living with Minnie’s dad. The idea actually came from visiting my mom a couple of weekends ago. She recently got a brand new couch. It’s really nice, one of those two seater couches with an armrest / cup holder in the middle of them and lazy boy’s on either side. I noticed that both of them had placed coasters over the cup holders, due to their glasses being too large to fit into the cup holder. I found myself worrying that the coasters would move. I thought about pasting something to the coaster bottom that fits snuggly into the cup holder, and then no worries about the coaster moving.

You can see the problem first hand below

Built in cupholders The built in cup holders for Minnie’s dad’s couch, for my DIY Project that I posted on my blog, First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch.

I decided to go out to Good Will and found a set of three clear glass coasters. Initially I didn’t want clear glass coasters, but I was limited to what I could find in the thrift store in Sunny Side. They cost about $0.99, so pretty inexpensive. I also picked up some guerrilla glue and some a box of canning lids from the store. All together under $5.00. The picture displays that I bought the complete set of canning lids, but I ended up using only the circular inside section which you could purchase for cheaper. It had been my plan to use the outer ring as the piece, but I found that having bought the wide mouth lids, it didn’t fit into the cup holders. I tried to cut them down, but found I didn’t have any sufficient tools to do the job. The inserts were the perfect size, and it turned out looking better then I had thought. Below are the utensils used.

Below are the various items used for my coaster cup holder  DIY Project  that you can read about at  First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch . It is a  photo  of canning lids, gorilla glue, and coasters purchased at Good Will. Below are the various items used for my coaster cup holder DIY Project that you can read about at First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch . It is a photo of canning lids, gorilla glue, and coasters purchased at Good Will.

It was pretty simple, once I decided to use the canning lids inserts (the flat round pieces). Basically I just glued them to each other with plenty of gorilla glue and then I glued it on the bottom of the coaster. You can see the final product below.

The final product of my  DIY Project  that I wrote about on my blog, at  First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch . A  photo  of a thrift store bought coaster with canning lid inserts gorilla glued to the bottom. Works pretty great! The final product of my DIY Project that I wrote about on my blog, at First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch . A photo of a thrift store bought coaster with canning lid inserts gorilla glued to the bottom. Works pretty great!

Just for fun, also check out the YouTube Video of MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS - THRIFT SHOP FEAT. WANZ (OFFICIAL VIDEO) thinking about Good Will.

Gun Violence & Mental Health

Posted on Saturday February 23, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

 A graphic I created in Adobe Photoshop as a graphic thinking about all of the debate regarding mental health treatment and the gun control. A graphic I created in Adobe Photoshop as a graphic thinking about all of the debate regarding mental health treatment and the gun control.

Over the last few years and especially over the last couple of months since the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting both mental health and gun violence have been all over the news, radio, and political discussion. It’s an immensely difficult and polarizing topic that is flooding every source of media. I figured I should add to it a little bit as I feel there is some misperceptions, especially regarding the mental health aspect.

One media source I find myself waiting expectantly to hear from every week and see what their latest episode is Freakonomics Podcast and have written about about before. I truly believe they put forth in-depth and thoughtful commentary and ideas, I must say I disagree with some of the comments that offhandedly given by Steven Levett in their episode How to Think About Guns: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast. He describes that one way he would deal with these types of mass shootings is maybe to bring back more hospitalizations for mentally ill persons. While I agree that in some cases long-term hospitalization is something that would be beneficial for some of our chronically mentally ill citizens, it is for different reasons.

I have a number of clients currently who I believe could benefit from long-term hospitalization due to being gravely disabled. This is not so much based on my concerns that they will be violent towards others (or even necessarily themselves which is, in my experience, the more prominent reason that people are involuntarily hospitalized in this area). More so it is that they lack the basic comprehension and understanding to function in regular life (i.e. have a job, have an apartment, buy food… etc) because of the severity of their disability and oftentimes psychosis. That being said, belief that locking up more mentally ill persons would help keep us safer is very off base. Research shows that statistically mentally ill persons are no more likely to be violent then persons who do not have mental health conditions. The New York Times even put out an article, titled, In Gun Debate, a Misguided Focus on Mental Illness which discusses this. If your interested, I could link in the future to more peer reviewed journal articles which look at the correlation of violence and mental illness.

I do agree that topics that are being discussed about gun violence and what politicians are proposing to help curb this violence are as the saying goes “a day late and a dollar short” although this is a vast understatement. I think if we really want to address gun violence and mental health, we should be finding ways of curbing suicide rates which make up the vast majority of gun violence and could be effectively changed in our country more so then the mass murders we are seeing on the rise.

New and Fun Functionality

Posted on Sunday January 27, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

I’ve always been a little bit of a geek. That’s actually a little bit of why I’ve created this website in the first place… so that I could show off my geekyness a little bit. More than just knowing how to use computers at a slightly higher proficiency than average, I love all things technology. Every morning, I find myself getting a hot cup of coffee, sitting outside in the cold with my iPad reading the news and having a cigarette (I know it’s bad for my health, but I do truly love those moments). I use Google News you can even read the blog post I wrote about it a couple of years ago, Now You Can Read What I’m Reading.

With my commute having gotten longer, I’ve also been listening to Podcasts to take up some of the time. I’ve written a couple of articles about the Freakonomics Podcastthat I’ve been listening to. I’ve added to my collection of digital media to subscribe to, and have started also listening to the Life Hacker Podcast which doesn’t have exactly as great of production quality as the Freakonomics Podcast does, but it does have some great content.

One cool thing that I have started to implement due to listening to LifeHacker is using a really cool service called IFTTT (i.e. If This Than That). It’s a really neat service which automates a number of activities that we do online. For example, now, whenever I change my profile picture on my Facebook Account it will change my profile picture in my @campjacob Twitter Account. Because my Twitter account has been pretty left out of the loop in things and left under appreciated, it seems like a pretty cool service and I don’t have to do anything. There are tons of really cool automated activities you can have it do. These include anything from notifying you via SMS if there the CDC updates a zombie outbreak to a really useful service I am also using that makes when I post on my Instagram Account that it also posts the picture on Twitter with the image uploaded to Twitter so it actually shows up in my profile and not just the link which is what has been happening recently. I’m trying out a new feature which will hopefully post every one time I post a new blog post or image post or resources post it will also share that with my various social networking sites. All in all, I think it pays a little bit to be a bit of a geek.

 

Serving in the Cold, PDC Annual Community Survey

Posted on Sunday January 20, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

Photo of Jacob Campbell posing to ask survey questions. I was doing a Google Image Search, how any of my good Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator design projects start. I’m writing an post for my blog, Serving in the Cold, PDC Annual Community Survey, about my recent experience canvassing East Pasco with a Survey for the Pasco Discovery Coalition (Google Site’s Page looking for inspiration. I cam across the The Quirky Community Survey photo. While this picture is nowhere near the same. I had Minnie take a couple of pictures of me pretending to be asking interviewing questions. I took that photo and followed How to Create Vintage Photo Effect Photoshop Tutorial. I followed it mostly exactly the same, but of course replacing my own image. I also made some changes to how the rendered lighting effects, and adding a little bit of a border to the image. It was a pretty simple tutorial, involving using some layer’s with color and blending options. As normal, you can download the Jacob the Great and Vintage Survey Interviewer Photoshop File so you can see more of what I did and help with your own design project.

I’m very thankful for all of the support that we got to complete some of the Pasco Discovery Coalition’s Annual Community Survey. We had people from the Coalition itself and some people from F.I.R.M.E. along with Jesse’s church members

I’m assuming that I will post something after we have more of the survey’s back and after the data analysis has been completed in my Resources Section, but I wanted to post that the data collection we did today went really well. A group of about 13 of us went around the Lakeview Mobile Home Park in Pasco and were able to reach almost all of the trailers there. People seemed to be very receptive and we might have even found more coalition members to participation in our monthly meetings. It was cold, but everybody was a trooper and had great attitudes. We were hoping to do more survey’s of East Pasco but ran into problems with not having a large enough volunteer base and enough time.

Birth Announcements and the Economics of Children

Posted on Monday January 7, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

Official Birth Announcement

You might be getting a postcard in the mail soon, as an official announcement of Mateo Rodman Campbell VSP’s birth. If you don’t, I’m sorry, and we don’t mean any office to you what so ever. We have a lot of friends and family and it is hard to get the announcement out to everybody. I’m pretty proud of the work I did in creating the announcement. It took me a couple of tries and a lot of time thinking and deciding exactly what to do. My mom said that we’d better be careful, so somebody might call CPS on us (the card has little Mateo inside the oven, see below). Don’t worry he was completely safe the whole time and was even laying on a blanket. Minnie was pretty freaked out though. Below is the front of the postcard announcement. Make sure to also check out the Mateo’s Birth Announcement Postcard Back Version 2 and the version that I didn’t use, Mateo’s Birth Announcement Postcard Front Version 1.

This graphic is a postcard that I created in Adobe Photoshop to announce the birth of my son, Mateo Rodman Campbell V.S.P. This graphic is a postcard that I created in Adobe Photoshop to announce the birth of my son, Mateo Rodman Campbell V.S.P.. You can read my blog post about the birth, Are You Ready or Not? Proud Father . This postcard, is the second version of two. I like it a lot better then the first version. I spent a long time looking through google images of baby announcements for some inspiration. I was struck by so many really creative ideas people had. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. After a little while, I was struck with a little bit of inspiration of my own. I didn’t see anything like this, but I’m sure I’m not the first to think of putting my baby in the oven. Minnie was super worried (don’t worry, the oven wasn’t on… but she was still freaking out. We did a photo shoot with little Mateo in various pots and pans on the oven too, maybe I’ll load them on Facebook at some point, but I haven’t yet. It’s pretty simple design. I took a photo and placed it on the right hand side. I blurred out a section behind the text “Baked to Perfection.” The various other portions are texts of different sizes and directions in a type of word cloud.

It was a pretty fun process to go through and make it. Make sure to leave some comments and let me know what you think. Also, if you don’t receive one in the next week or so, and feel really left out make sure to let us know and we will send you one (please note that we haven’t even mailed them yet).

The CEO Gene

It always seems like I live a life of great serendipity. The other day, I’m still going through the old Freakonomics podcasts. The two next ones were all about children / parenthood. The first one I listened to, was especially fitting as I am still tinkering around with the idea of starting my own business. It was tilted The Church of Scionology or listen to the Podcast and hear great voice over repeating “Scion.” over and over. I always love learning new words, and with my new addition to the family, really like this word.

sci·on /ˈsīən/ Noun

A young shoot or twig of a plant, esp. one cut for grafting or rooting.

A descendant of a notable family.

They discuss a number of really interesting topics, and it is helpful that the two main companies they look into are related to beer (yes, Steven Dubner knows how to keep my attention). They get into discussion about the frequency in which companies that pass on their family buisness to a family member continue to succeed and that there really doesn’t appear to be a “CEO Gene.” I guess I must agree, for my little Mateo, with the Buffet Rule (both the one in the media recently and discussed on the podcast). I want my son to do what ever makes him happy and that he wants to do. That he would find his passion and follow after that. The other podcast that I listened to was The Economist’s Guide to Parenting. Another great story that you should take time to listen to.