Attention Log

Attention Log

  1. Date, 3/31/15
    2. Description of Physical Space and Device Sitting at a desk on my laptop
    3. Duration of session, 1 hour
    4. What occurred, my professor lectured while I took notes
    5. What you did, I checked my emails, paid my internet bill and cruised 9gag while switching to word to copy slides constantly
    6. How you felt, it was my 8am class so I was tired and groggy
    7. What worked, checking my email during announcements
    8. What did not work, Cruising 9gag for jokes and paying my bill
    9. Other comments. My notes aren’t very good
  2. Date, 3/31/15
    2. Description of Physical Space and Device Sitting at a desk with my laptop
    3. Duration of session, 1 hour
    4. What occurred, my professor lectured while I took notes
    5. What you did, I cruised facebook and chatted with a friend in messenger between slides
    6. How you felt, this was my 2pm class so I was hungry and ready to leave
    7. What worked, I got a great idea for what to cook for dinner
    8. What did not work, I had horrible posture, slouched over my laptop
    9. Other comments.
  3. Date, 4/1/15
    2. Description of Physical Space and Device In my living room recliner on my xbox
    3. Duration of session, 30min
    4. What occurred, I played battlefield
    5. What you did, Played a couple rounds of team death match
    6. How you felt, Relaxed, but disconnected from reality
    7. What worked, I was able to relax and clear my mind for awhile
    8. What did not work, I didn’t see my phone going off and missed calls from my mom
    9. Other comments.
  1. Date, 4/2/15
    2. Description of Physical Space and Device At my dinning room table on my laptop
    3. Duration of session, 2 hours
    4. What occurred, I was on Sakia
    5. What you did, I took an online exam as well as did some homework while listening to music
    6. How you felt, I felt rushed to finish my exam on time, and zoned into my screen
    7. What worked, Setting Spotify to a radio station so I didn’t have to constantly pick music
    8. What did not work, I kept browsing facebook while doing homework.
    9. Other comments.
  2. Date, 4/4/15
    2. Description of Physical Space and Device Laying in bed on my cellphone
    3. Duration of session, 20 minutes
    4. What occurred, Checked all social media
    5. What you did, I checked my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds as well as sent snap chats.
    6. How you felt, Tired but couldn’t fall asleep
    7. What worked, Fell asleep reading my screen.
    8. What did not work, Leacing my phone on loud so every notification made a noise disturbing me
    9. Other comments.

I waste a lot of valuable time on Social Media, I should work on this.

Is the Internet a resource or a interference

After viewing Paul Miller’s TED Talk I had to take a step back and think about my internet usage. Was I using it to much? Was I abusing this power source? Or was I in the clear?

Being a 90’s baby I got to explore the glories age if dial up. I remember when it took 20min to buffer a 5min YouTube video. I also remember that we had one desktop computer in the living room. I did not get my first phone or make a Facebook account until my senior year of high school, my own laptop my freshmen year of college and did not get my first smartphone until my junior year of college. So growing up I was pretty distant from internet. But this past year and a half I have noticed I have pretty well become attached to the internet.

I made a twitter and Instagram, allowing me to complete the 3 social media cycle all day on my phone, constantly refreshing my feeds. While at first it was nice to become involved in the digital world and see what my friends are posting I soon became a zombie and hardly remember anything I read or saw, handing out random likes and the occasional LOL.

In class during the day I spend most of my time distracted from class constantly multitasking between typing notes off of slides and scrolling 9gag, a website full of comical memes and humor, I waste a lot of time on this humor. I have been making an attempt to focus more in class but it is so tempting when it is a click away. But I do not waste ALL my time on the internet.

Thanks to the internet I have been able to share and look at ideas for my leather work as well as market it. I am able to post pictures of my work and advertise reaching new costumers I would have normally ever had. I also enjoy being able to pay bills and order goods online, saving my countless trips to town and allowing me to buy foreign products I could not normally get.

I think I need to begin to better balance my time on the internet in class and continue to use it to expand my work, but still be able to step away when needed and become attached to society again.

Back on the Rodeo Road!

Hey all sorry I have fallen behind and haven’t blogged in awhile. I had surgery a few weeks back and was pretty well bed ridden for awhile and wasn’t able to do much but sleep. I’ve been working to get caught up and will post all my blogs in one to not clog your feed sometimes this week. With the spring rodeo season under way I have decided to blog about my weekend adventures rodeoin since I will have little time for my independent learning project. This weekend we went to Torrington, Wyoming, stop 2 of 5 for the spring rodeo schedule. Torrington is always a fun rodeo for me because they ALWAYS have great bucking bulls.

Back track to Friday morning, 7am. I wake up and go through my morning routine. I shower and shave, (Leaving a ‘stache for moustache March of course) then eat some breakfast. I double checked my bags and made sure I had everything I needed for the weekend and headed out the door to meet the rest of the team. A group of us rough stock riders always travel together in a van, since we don’t have to haul a horse and trailer. We met in the parking lot of the PAC at 9am made a quick stop for coffee and headed down the road.

We rolled into Torrington just in time for the slack. The slack is when they run 100’s of contestants all afternoon so everyone can compete. I won’t lie I find the slack very very boring. I do not enjoy watching 100’s of team ropers and barrel racers make runs. So I usually slip away to the hotel with some friends and either play cards, do homework, or take a nice nap, as I did this time


I was woken by my coach when it was time to head to the night perf. The night perf is when 10 rodeo athletes are selected randomly out of the list to compete at night under the lights, in front of the crowd with the “rodeo” atmosphere. When we got back to the arena I proceeded to grab my gear bag check the draw for what bull I have and head behind the bucking chutes. I tend to hang out behind them the entire rodeo so I can help my friends in the bareback and saddle bronc events, as well as keep away from people and keep my mind clear before I ride. At the end of the saddle bronc event I began to get my gear ready. I rub rosin into the tail of my rope to make it sticky as well as the palm of my glove. I then put my lucky riding pants and shirt on, my boots and spurs, and tie on my boots. After that I tape my wrist and forearm and began to stretch and warm up. When they start running bulls into the chute I put my chaps and vest on grab my helmet and rope and go find my bull.

My bulls was a young coming 4, very small and I was told he has only had 2 riders on him before. I put my rope on and sized it so that the sticky part of my rope lined up with my handle. I would be the 4th rider out. My teammate and good friend Chasen Cole was 2nd out, he made an awesome bull ride (1 of only 3 this weekend) and man did it pump me up. When the rider before me went out I crawled into the chute and onto the back of my bull. He instantly began jumping and thrashing in the chute. I took my time and squatted above him as I warmed up my rope, took my wrap, and slide back down onto his back. As I tried to slide up on my rope he began to lay down in the chute. After trying to get him to stand I finally asked the stock contractor if I could take him lying, which he said yes. I took one last deep breath and nodded my head. As the chute came open the bull instantly shot out. I charged my hips into my rope to match his kick as he spun around. This bull almost spun 180* the first jump, or so it felt and I thought oh boy here we go! So I instinctively started driving my body to the right for the next spin. But all of a sudden the bull completely stopped, and I didn’t, leaving me hanging off the side. As it turns out the bull got his horn caught in the gate which made him stop. When he became unstuck he jumped to the left away from me leading to me getting bucked off. I tried to get a re-ride but the judges did not favor me that day. Not much I can do but be happy I’m healthy and on to the next one!

torrington 2015Me arguing

Digital Activism

I learned a lot after reading all the digital activism articles. I really had no idea what Digital Activism was or anything about it, but “The 6 Activist functions of technology” was a very helpful read for me to get started. I learned how people were using the internet to aid their activism. I then went on to the other articles and learned more about how today’s teens are using it effectively to fight key issues they face.

Maybe it is just because I am from the Midwest, or I have the wrong friend circle, but I rarely see people actively engaging in digital activism on my Facebook or twitter feed. The only thing I can honestly think of is anti-suicide campaigns that come across every few years. But when reading the articles I was able to see how teens are effectively spreading their word and cause via Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. Each like and sharing making it bigger and stronger. Slowly but surely gaining more followers.

With social media and the internet teens are able to stay up to date almost instantly about issues and they stay on top of issues that concern them, like bullying and depression. I think another great thing about digital activism is it can give people a voice that may be shy. Some activists can be keyboard warriors, in a good way. They can express concerns through a screen they would be too scared to say in front of a crowd.

A finished piece

Well this week I finally got to sit done and flower tool something from start to finish. I also got to try some new leather dyes. My new tools are great and helped a ton; I love them. I settled on pattern I’ve been sketching on the past couple weeks and I think it turned out pretty good. I’ll try to explain the process I went through to make this.

I first put the drawing of my design on the damp leather, then traced over it with a pen to leave a small depression of all the lines on the leather. I use a pen because it is harder and also I can see what parts I haven’t traced. I then go back and re trace all the lines with a swivel knife to cut them into the leather. After that I go back through and bevel all the lines, this gives the raised or lowered impression and makes my flowers or vines “standout” from the leather. After that it is a time consuming task of using veins, thumbprints, and camo tools to add the details to the flower pedals and leaves. The final step is to use a back grounding tool to flatten any leather that is “Behind” the flower tooling, to make it stand out even more. After this I tried some new oil dyes. Before I have always used gel dyes that stain the leather one color, then gone back through with paint to add color or darken areas. But with these new oil dyes I can stain different areas different colors. It was tough to figure out though because when the brush touches the leather the oil dye “bleeds” out into the leather so it will take some practice to get precise with my dyes.


Overall I’m happy with this piece and it got my confidence built and makes me want to work at this even more. It still isn’t great but I’m getting there! Already have projects in my mind for next week!

Feeding My Feed

I could not get “How to Cultivate your Personal Learning Network” to load so I could read but I have a few good ideas on how to clean up and expand my personal learning network. First off I did do a large spam follow to a point and am no regretting it. I followed some pretty useless accounts that either tweet things I have no interest in, retweet other accounts I already follow, or don’t even tweet. I need to pay attention to what accounts these are and unfollow them as they are doing nothing for me. One nifty tool with twitter is it alerts me when so many of my followers, follow the same account. So if a new account is made or discovered that would be beneficial to me, it isn’t that hard to find!

I was surprised at how many accounts followed me back and new accounts followed me after I reached 100 followers. I actually have people to “inform and educate”. I want to be able to relay any cool facts, tricks, news, etc to my followers and keep them in the loop as well. I also want to someday get good enough at leather tooling to start my own page and gain followers that admire my work and want to learn.

The only real challenge I see with continuing to feed my personal learning network is that most of the great leather toolers are very old, and probably don’t even know what twitter is. I’m learning from my generation, which isn’t bad, but I’m sure those old boys know some tricks and tips to help me.

Casing Leather

I spent some time this week working on flower tooling on some scrap pieces of leather I had laying around my house. I tired some new techniques that I had read about and watched some videos on but I just could not get things to come out as well as I wanted. My outline cuts just wouldn’t cut as deep and clean as I would like and my tools didn’t leave as fine of edges or burnishes as I wanted. The last picture I posted I borrowed some tools from a friend so I finally came to the conclusion that my starter tools were not going to get me the results I wanted.

So after reading reviews, asking questions, and window shopping I broke down and bought a new batch of tools. Mainly a new swivel knife to make cleaner and deeper cuts. As well as a new beveller to round out my flower edges, and vainer to leave the deep marks and impressions in the petals, and a bar backgrounder to flatten the leather “behind” the flowers and vines. While these are not all the tools you use in flower tooling they are some of the most important and felt that they were the necessities to get and that I could afford on my budget. Being a college student sucks.


But this week was not all in vain. I learned how to “Case” my leather before tooling it. Leather tools best when it is wet, it is easier for your tools to cut carve and mold the leather. But if it is too wet it becomes mushy and leaves a crappy mark. So all the while that I am tooling I have to constantly stop, re wet my leather, and let it dry a little before continuing. But I found a video on how to “case” leather. If you get your leather wet, wrap it in a plastic bag, and let it sit in a fridge overnight, it allows the water to really soak into the leather and keep it moist, but the surface dry to keep the tools from blemishing it.