Archive for February 18th, 2010

(Part of a series explaining the history behind my Texian Tees. Other entries: the Burnet Flag; the Johanna Troutman Flag; the De Zavala Flag; and the New Orleans Greys Flag. Click here to see and buy the shirts!)

Allegedly flown in the first battle of Texas’ revolution against Mexico, in October 1835, the flag depicts the legend “Come and Take It” under an old cannon Mexico had given to the DeWitt colonists to defend themselves against Native Americans. Under Santa Anna, Mexico began taking away the colonists’ arms, and requested the cannon back. The colonists, freaked out by the increasing dictatorship, said No, but thank you; we’ll keep the cannon. Mexico sent soldiers, but instructed them to avoid conflict if possible; the Texians fired on them; the Mexicans retreated.

Public domain image from Wikipedia

About my design: People have depicted the arrangement of the star, slogan and cannon in a number of ways; I used what I think is a traditional arrangement, as seen in the 1938 mural above, in the Gonzales Memorial Museum, which apparently includes some Davy Crocketts manning the cannon and another Davy Crockett stuck behind the flag holding it out. My cannon is based on a photo of what some say is the actual cannon. Noah Smithwick’s description also places a Lone Star above the cannon. (The Handbook of Texas hypothesizes that the flag of Col. James Long’s 1819 expedition might have been the first to use a lone star for Texas.)

Click to buy the shirt!

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About 3 hours before the end of my work shift, I often get into a weird state that’s a combination of antsy and tired. We’ve just completed the hustle of 4 p.m. deadlines; I’ve been sitting too long and I’m tense.

A few stretches from the book “Yoga for Suits” — designed for folks wearing work clothes; often one or more of my coworkers will stretch along with me — loosen things up nicely.  Here are three examples if you’d like to try (click image for a printable PDF), next time you want to flee the office but you still have a few hours to go. Do them slowly, breathing deeply:

(My illustrations are embarrassingly rudimentary, but I promise, if you buy the book you get full-color photos and proper instructions, as well as a very practical discussion of yoga philosophy.)

Also, I often have trouble getting to sleep.  My mind keeps running in circles and won’t slow down.  This meditation MP3 really helps me. It’s 8 minutes long (I often fall asleep before the end of it) and, to be honest, I like it because it’s very straightforward and doesn’t have flutes or somebody telling me to visualize unicorns. You get the rhythmic rise and fall of a Tibetan singing bowl, kind of a humming, white-noise sound, and a gentle voice giving you simple instructions that focus your attention on your breathing.

There is much more to yoga and to meditation than a 3-minute stretch at your desk, or just trying to get to sleep, of course. I simply offer these up because — truly — they work for me.

[Edit: March 29, 2010 — I haven’t tried them out yet, but you can download free meditations here! Unicorns and rainbows are possible. If I check ’em out I’ll update again.]

short link for this post: http://bit.ly/deskyoga

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