Failure is your only option

I think up new inventions every day but rarely do they survive the mental scrutiny of rational thought.

On lifehacker, Jim Carrey puts it another way:

In a recent commencement address at the Maharishi University of Management, actor and comedian Jim Carrey spoke about failure, fear, and why you should pursue something that you love.

Failure is necessary and how you learn to get better, Carrey reminds you that failure is not exclusive to your dreams:

So many of us chose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying: I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it.

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that was possible for him. So he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive.

I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.

The family torch

On my mother’s side of the family, my uncles were the resident genealogists, including Uncle Ralph, and Uncle Gordon, B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., book author and former Dean of the Department of History at Valdosta State University.  Uncle Ralph died and Uncle Gordon is in an assisted living facility so the family genealogist position fell to my cousin Janet.  Then, Janet became a grandmother and decided to pass the torch to me.  I wanted to complete the research on the family name, Teffeteller, which had sort of ended with this:

From “The history of Blount County, Tennessee and its people, 1795-1995,” pg. 352, article 1023 “Pioneer family fromDEFFITAHL toTEFFETELLER”   In 1748, a young man named Johannes DEFFITHAL left southern Germany. He traveled to Rotterdam, Holland where he boarded a ship to America. The ship was the “Hampshire” and it docked in Philadelphia,PA. Due to “Americanization”, the immigrant’s name was translated into ” John DEVENDALL”. John later moved to MD and his name was changed again, this time to TIEFENTELLER. He died in 1775. That same year, his son Michael was married.

This year 1813 was very important for our family. This was the year Michael TIEFENTELLER moved to Blount Co. from Lincoln Co. NC. Michael was between 55 and 60 years old when he settled on the land along side Crooked Creek in the Hubbard Community. He had 13 children, but we only have record of three sons. Joseph, Jacob and Daniel, who came to TN with him.

Then I found more recent information online:

Posted By:          Karen Vogt

Email:

Subject:               Origins of the Diffendall’s/Deffendall’s

Post Date:           January 30, 2005 at 12:03:39

Message URL:   http://genforum.genealogy.com/diffendall/messages/7.html

Forum: Diffendall Family Genealogy Forum

Forum URL:        http://genforum.genealogy.com/diffendall/

I recently ran across a Rotterdam, Netherlands record, unfortunately I was unable to copy it, that mentioned a Johann Tiefenthaler leaving for the U.S. at the same time and same ship and arriving in the same location as Johannes Divendall (other different spellings have been used for this last name.)

I believe these two to be the same person. I then checked for a Tiefenthaler in the southern part of Germany, particularly close to or on the Rhein River. Sure enough, I found one Johann Tieffenthaler, christened 25 Aug. 1718 in Bickensohl, Freiburg, Baden, Germany, father: Christoph Tiefenthaler who married Susanna Rieffler/Riessler on 9 Aug. 1707 in Bickensohl. This Johann has an older sister named Anna Barbara Tieffenthaler, christened 9 Dec. 1711 in Bickensohl. There are more Tieffenthaler’s in this region. Next, I checked for a Barbara Weise in Freiburg, Baden, Germany region. I found Barbara Wiss, christened 19 Feb. 1725 in Katholisch, Elzach, Baden, Germany. Her father is Joseph Wiss and mother is Agatha Maier b. 5 Feb. 1706 in Elzach. This I believe to be a very strong lead to our common ancestor, while I have found nothing on Hans Jorg Dievedal except that he was deported back to the Netherlands from England as a reject for American colonization in 1709 due to belonging to the wrong religion.

If anyone can help with this it would be greatly appreciated, you too Eric.

Karen Deffendall Vogt

Which led me here:

(from http://ethnicelebs.com/megan-fox):

Megan’s paternal grandparents were Euel Massie Fox (the son of James Earl Fox and Nila Dell Warf) and Vivian Vier (the daughter of Shellie V. Vier and Maud F. Simerly). One of Euel’s ancestors, born in the 1700s, Capt. Peter Thompson, was born in Scotland. Megan has German ancestry through Vivian’s ancestor, Joseph Teffeteller (making Megan of at least 1/64th German descent). Megan also has very distant German ancestry from another of Vivian’s lines (through her Rainbolt and Grindstaff / Crantzdorf ancestors).

We humans are connected in more ways than one!

Vocations through time

It’s vocation reminiscing week — today’s job well-remembered, if not remembered well:

working as an instructor for three terms/semesters for the vocational trade training business known as “ITT Technical Institute,” teaching incoming customers (i.e., students) about learning methods, Python programming language and SuSE Linux-based computer servers.

ITT-faculty-badge

And one last glance back at my sewer flow monitoring job — while I was working with Rick and Adam, we moved on to Erie, Pennsylvania, for another temporary flow monitoring project.  In the middle of the project, I flew down to Cape Canaveral to see my brother in-law’s experiment, called BATSE, catch a ride on a space shuttle launch, completing the circle for when I worked on the space shuttle main engine controller at Rocketdyne in the 1980s after the Challenger accident, which was even more fitting since the founder of the sewer flow monitoring company worked on the Apollo space program (he was part of the German rocket team designed the V2 rockets under the guidance of Wernher von Braun), turning the life science telemetry equipment from measuring astronaut blood flow into measuring the flow of liquid through sewer pipes — technology transfer!  Meeting interesting friends along the way…

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Deena Ramos, Klingon warrior, and her husband, James “Hardhat” White

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Dear Brenda, you were such a fun friend at the right time in my life…

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Before ADS, there was my first real corporate office job, working for GE Aerospace on the U.S. Navy test equipment called CASS, to whom us humble employees were awarded coffee cups for a job well done!:

CASS-gold-coffee-cup GE-coffee-cups GE-coffee-cups-2

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The downfall of Public Education, in snippets…

Damany Lewis, a math teacher at Parks Middle School (three miles south of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, in Pittsburgh), and other teachers complained that the legislators who wrote No Child Left Behind must never have been near a school like Parks. He felt as if he and his colleagues were part of a nationwide “biological experiment” in which the variables—the fact that so many children were hungry and transient, and witnessing violence—hadn’t been controlled. David Berliner, the former dean of the school of education at Arizona State University, told me that, with the passage of the law, teachers were asked to compensate for factors outside their control. He said, “The people who say poverty is no excuse for low performance are now using teacher accountability as an excuse for doing nothing about poverty.”

… “an effective teacher three years in a row will completely close the gap between a child born in poverty and a child born to a middle-income family.” This theory, in its earliest form, derives from a study by William L. Sanders, a statistician formerly at the University of Tennessee, but the findings, which have contributed to a nationwide effort to rate teachers rigorously, have been overstated to the point of becoming a myth. According to a recent statement by the American Statistical Association, most studies show that teachers account for between one and fourteen per cent of variability in test scores.

John Ewing, who served as the executive director of the American Mathematical Society for fifteen years, told me that he is perplexed by educators’ “infatuation with data,” their faith that it is more authoritative than using their own judgment. He explains the problem in terms of Campbell’s law, a principle that describes the risks of using a single indicator to measure complex social phenomena: the greater the value placed on a quantitative measure, like test scores, the more likely it is that the people using it and the process it measures will be corrupted. “The end goal of education isn’t to get students to answer the right number of questions,” he said. “The goal is to have curious and creative students who can function in life.” In a 2011 paper in Notices of the American Mathematical Society, he warned that policymakers were using mathematics “to intimidate—to preëmpt debate about the goals of education and measures of success.”

…the stakes for testing in Georgia have escalated. Although the state is replacing the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test with a more comprehensive method of evaluation, this fall Georgia is implementing a new teacher-evaluation program that bases fifty per cent of a teacher’s assessment on test scores. The program, along with a merit-pay system, is required as a condition for receiving a four-hundred-million-dollar grant from President Obama’s Race to the Top program. Tim Callahan, the spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, which represents eighty-four thousand teachers, told me, “The state is going down the same path as Atlanta, and we are not exactly enthused.” He said that many teachers have become so demoralized that they’re retiring early or transferring to private schools. He told me, “Our teachers’ best qualities—their sense of humor, their love for the subject, their excitement, their interest in students as individuals—are not being honored or valued, because those qualities aren’t measurable.”

[from here: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/07/21/140721fa_fact_aviv?currentPage=all]

There can be only one!

In olden days, beauty pageant winners demonstrated their singing/dancing talents in addition to answering a question about today’s popular issues in the news.

Not anymore.

This year’s winner of the Miss Kingsport contest had to be the last one standing. Literally.

Kingsport-Times-News-2014-07-06-Miss-Kingsport

We’ll let the rulemakers, the “Members of Amtgard,” describe the new contest requirements:

A blow to the arm or leg and you can no longer use that limb.  A blow to a kill spot and you are out.  The last two contestants have to battle it out until one beheads the other.  The last one standing is the winner.

Congratulations to Sullivan Central graduate Kylie Burkey for the surprise, last-second victory over Jacquelyn Crawford, the presumed winner who, although she won the the Jean Hilton Memorial Swimsuit Award and the Evening Gown Award as well as took tops in the talent contest by performing a graceful classical ballet dance to “Via Dolorosa” by Sandi Patty, lost her head in the final battle.

In 2013, Burkey became the first in Sullivan County history — and the first in at least the recent past statewide — to win gold at nati0nals.

When asked for comment, Crawford choked on her words but humbly admitted defeat.

When asked about her future plans to take other crowns such as Miss Tennessee or Miss America, Burkey said, “Right now, I’m just focusing on King.”

All contests are designed, run and judged by industry using industry standards.

Before losing her head, Crawford replied about her successful rise to the top of the program. “This is my first year being completely in charge of the Church Hill program, and it’s a really big responsibility,” she said, in regards to the Feed The Needy Program that believes no one in the community should go hungry during these times of heavy underemployment in the area.  “We feed nearly 150 to 200 undocumented immigrant kids a day to the homeless and homebound elderly.”

Barbara’s bartering banter

Barbara, tell us your story:


Bartering as a Lifestyle

I’ve learned to live on very little money in order to support my lifestyle as an artist. I haven’t had medical insurance since 1985 and luckily I’m very healthy but whenever I have needs, such as dental work, and once, a doctor, I asked around and found someone I could barter with. I’ve bartered for airline tickets, amazing places to live, places to stay while I’m traveling overseas and this continent, and car repairs. I usually barter my art, but I’ve met people with skills such as massage, hairstyling, jewelry making, and bookkeeping, to name just a few, who have done well with barter. If you are willing to work, create art, or have something to trade, then you’ve got something you can barter with. I’ve found that there are many times people might not want to spend money but will barter.

When I quit my systems analyst job and didn’t want to be stressed out about money, as a single person I learned that caretaking other people’s property allowed me the freedom to make my art. This lifestyle has landed me in extremely beautiful places, with my rent, utilities and, depending on the situation, food, salaries, vehicles, and use of swimming pools, as part of the deal. On this blog site I intend to tell my stories as well as those I’m collecting from other people, and pass on some web sites that will help you meet up with other people interested in bartering.

In my twenties I traveled around the world and found wonderful opportunities for work exchanges along the way. In Australia I lived for a couple of years in the outback where I rented a house on a two hundred acre farm for the low rent of $80 a month in exchange for keeping an eye on my landlord’s cows. In Bodh Gaya, India I spent a couple of weeks in a Thai Buddhist monastery, in exchange I spent an hour a day helping one of the monks with his university studies. In Israel I lived on a kibbutz for three months and did a variety of jobs in exchange for everything I needed. I learned that honest, loyal, hard working people were really appreciated and could get jobs anywhere in the world.

In my thirties I finally settled down and worked as a computer programmer until I sold two of my short travel stories to a magazine and a piece of art that I’d created was accepted for an important juried show the City of Los Angeles was sponsoring. I quit my job and began looking for ways to survive as an artist, which in L.A. meant long-term house sitting and scenic painting for movies.

In my forties my first creative work exchange was as a scenic painter for the New Hope Theater in Pennsylvania. I spent the summer painting sets in the Pocono Mountains while living in a beautiful resort hotel. I stayed for two months in an apartment in Venice Beach, CA in exchange for doing all the black and white still photography for a video project an artist friend was working on. On vacation in Jamaica I met a woman who lived in a beautiful villa on a hillside overlooking the Carribean and ended up house sitting it for a week when she had to go away. While there I learned wood carving from a local artist.

One of my favorite work exchanges was for a real estate investor in Bel Air, CA. For three years I worked two days a week as his office assistant in exchange for a salary and a nice little apartment in one wing of his house. I had full use of the grounds and swimming pool. It was while living in Bel Air that I began carving large sculptures for the Treepeople Park in Beverly Hills. I finally left Bel Air to do a summer work exchange at the Avondale Forest Park in County Wicklow, Ireland where I carved a large sculpture (see photo above) from a famous tree that had died. After this experience many of my work exchanges were art related.

Several times a week I will update this site with these stories and many more. I’m hoping to interview Ryan McDonald of The One Red Paper Clip fame, have a piece on house swapping, do an article on business barter sites, and much more. Don’t get me wrong, money is great, but if you don’t have much, there are alternatives with bartering. World travel, living in millionaire homes, the sky’s the limit on what you can manifest.

You can see some of my work on these blog sites:
barbarayates-sculpture.blogspot.com
woodenbooks.blogspot.com
barbarayates-photos.blogspot.com

If you have questions to can contact me at: byates3347@gmail.com

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Barbara’s Bartering Blog