Granny said…

Granny once told me: Alan, your brain is worth its weight in gold...or at least it ought be: since it's NEVER been used!

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Appeasing the Angry Inner Editor

Every so often, I just get lazy about writing something for the blog so I cheat and share a doodle when stumped for a blog post. Here’s my Angry Inner Editor trying his worst to scare me into writing something.

See how well it worked?

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Mind > Brain

Your mind is bigger than your brain

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An Amateur Looks at Aging

“The trouble is: You think you have time.”
—Jack Cornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Booklet

I’ve become interested in several topics related to aging lately because I happen to be aging myself  — you are, too! I am an amateur at it, so I suppose I’m seeking some sort of guidance or insight. As someone once quipped, “How am I supposed to ‘act my age’? I’ve never been this age before!”

One overwhelming impression about aging in our modern world, however, has been simply: we can do it better. Aging is inevitable (as long as you’re alive, that is), so it just makes sense to think ahead and maybe put some effort into better preparation. The Baby Boomer wave of the mid-20th Century rewrote standards of expectations and behaviors since we showed up by the millions back in the late 40’s and 50’s. With the “silver tsunami” upon us, it behooves Boomers to consider our options moving forward.

Here are some thought-provoking articles I’ve recently encountered that explore a few aspects of aging in our modern world as well as suggesting some interesting possibilities.

Aging solo: boomers without kids

“I’m an Aging Solo pioneer, riding the front of the coming demographic tsunami. Contemplating our own age-related problems is not entirely within the boomer comfort zone, even when we are focused on taking care of our own elderly relatives.”

Adding the arts to elder care for enrichment & engagement

“Our goal with the project was to test the waters. Could we pour creative engagement into care systems to reach elders wherever they live? Could social connectedness, meaning and purpose — those magic ingredients in well-being — be delivered by phone? By Meals on Wheels? By visits with a home health aide?
The answer is yes.”

The healthcare we need to age with dignity

“Person-centered care means that a person’s values and preferences guide all aspects of health care and support realistic health and life goals. But getting from today’s anachronistic, dysfunctional health care and caregiving system to a 21st century version, unfortunately, won’t be easy and it won’t be quick. Yet there isn’t much time: The number of Americans age 65 and older will double by 2060, to 90 million.”

A Possible Solution: French retirement co-op

“They didn’t want to end up in a traditional retirement home. They wanted to remain the actors in their own lives. Seven years after their first discussions about how to age well, a group of retired people is starting to build the first co-op for the aging.”

Cycling Without Age

Finally, a wonderful look at how a single individual took a simple step to make one life a little better, and ended up creating a worldwide volunteer program offering rides to older people in over 225 cities in 30 countries:


In the end, we’re all amateurs at aging — we only get the one time through. So let’s try and make the most of it.

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Granddad Looks To the Future, circa 1960

G.M.C. Massey, 1952

G.M.C. Massey

My grandfather, G.M.C. Massey, witnessed many changes during his time, having been born in 1880. At 80 years of age, he typed out pages of manuscripts filled with his memories, and sometimes — like today’s excerpt — his prognostications for the future.

We woke up one morning, and found that a rocket that had been fired a day or so before had struck the Moon; And a little later we found that they had sent a rocket around the Moon, and had the photograph of the other Side of the Moon.

These things that we are finding out now was among the things UNHEARD of 50 years ago; And we have never heard yet the things that will eventually be found true. As I have said to you in this MS, that if there are as much progress in the next 50 years, as there has been in the last 50 years; And we could wake up and behold it; we would not be able to recognize this world that wee are living in.

I retired from the P.O. 10 years ago next April the 1st. And now when I go there I would not be able to pickup anywhere, and go on with the work that I did when I quit; And when I retired; I could take hold of anywhere, and carry on.

Just think of what has transpired in the last DECADE. Just think of what the various Nations have accomplished in the way of space navigation, How they have put Rockets in Orbit, around the SUN, And the EARTH, as well as the MOON.

Just think of a man or set of men, Planning, and setting in motion a body and timing it so that they were able to hit the Moon in almost the exact time that they had figured it; And just think how they had to take under consideration the movement of the moon, As well as the corresponding movement of the EARTH, And too they had to consider the distance that the body put in motion, had to travel before it could make contact.

Men in science are figuring on putting MEN in space: Space travel, Opening up space relationship, and Communication; And it appears that there are to be no limit to the accomplishments of the Scientist in a few years. It is just beyond our Imagination, just what they are able to attain to in the very shortest time imaginable.

There are men right now on the waiting list that are wanting to be the first to go into space as a space traveler.

We don’t know how many lives will be sacrificed in this effort to put somebody On the MOON, On the Planet of MARS, Or some other planet; But we can see that so Many people believe in it that they are willing now to be the SACRIFICE for the Occasion.

It has come to the place that we can expect just anything, and not to be surprised at anything that might be brought to out attention.

I am about 80 years of age, and I expect to live till something great, and wonderful comes to pass.

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Casa Dexter Moves to Main Street

SXSWedu 2017 nametag Alan Buller, Casa Dexter“What’s Casa Dexter?” people ask me after seeing my name tag.

That question has two responses:

a) Professional response: “A digital publishing house.”
b) Comic response: “My house.”

Both answers are true, though b) used to be “truer.” See, Casa Dexter has been many things to many people, including our home at 1701 Dexter Street from 1990-2017. But even though we’ve moved away from that address, Casa Dexter, the Little Home of Big Ideas, lives on.

I first coined the moniker “Casa Dexter” in the early 1990s as the title for an interactive cookbook created in Apple’s HyperCard (anybody else remember HyperCard?), the Casa Dexter Cookbook.While trying to figure out how to make money creating interactive multimedia in the mid-90s, I added “Reality-Oriented Multimedia,” so the acronym became CD-ROM — at the time, a hot new media format.

As a freelancer, I started using Casa Dexter as my “company name” whenever forms asked for one. That’s how I came to use it at the SXSW Interactive Festival starting in the late 90s, and still do at SXSWedu. Shortly after YouTube launched and I realized I could post videos from my ACTV heyday in the 80s. I chose Casa Dexter as my YouTube channel name. Likewise, I took Casa Dexter as my Twitter handle when I signed up for that.

Now, Casa Dexter has moved to Main Street. We sold the house in Austin and moved to Cañon City, Colorado, attracted to the town in part by the historic Main Street district. When we found a house within walking distance of that downtown area, we jumped on it, still uncertain of what our trajectory towards transformation would lead us to do for income. I felt like my background in learning and behavior change left many possibilities wide open.

Once here a few weeks, I heard about TechSTART from Amber Conover, the owner of LearningRx Cañon City, a mini-franchise of a larger organization, who had reached out to me during our relocation. LearningRx provides one-on-one brain training services, from assessment to specialized exercises and training, so our similar interests gave us common ground for discussions.

View from the TechSTART office window

View from TechSTART window

A project of the Fremont Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), TechSTART offers “a brick and mortar tech accelerator-style co-work space” seeking to bring more tech work into the region. Located in the second floor of a historic building at the corner of 5th and Main, TechSTART has multiple offices for a variety of small businesses sharing several common areas including a conference room, kitchen, and larger meeting room available for members. I discovered that they meet as a group every Friday at lunch, so I arranged to visit and also take a look around at the individual office spaces available for rent there on Main Street.

Truthfully, I had not planned to do much of anything work-wise here until we had spent a few months here: settling in, getting to know the people and the area, and testing the waters for available work opportunities.

But once I met Brad Rowland, my TechSTART contact and host as well as some of the other tenants there that first Friday lunch, I felt like I had found a local group of kindred spirits I could network with. I have always found that having a physical nexus for like-minded creative people offers incredible benefits, whether a specific location like ACTV or a floating group like Creative Mornings. The TechSTART group there really felt like that. The fact that they just opened their doors in January certainly intrigued me. Getting in on the ground floor (even if it’s on the 2nd floor!) affords interesting possible opportunities in connecting with a variety of active professionals here in Cañon City.

Alan Buller: Casa Dexter shingle at TechSTARTSo I decided to rent an office there.

The shingle is up and, as always: mi casa es su casa — drop on by!

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Another Mindful Monday

"Sometimes my mind wanders..."

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