Lightning bolts striking To The Right Right To The Left left. Two images Layered making this 30 sec, 250 ISO – f5.6 – 90mm. (C) 2011 James Bo Insogna

Last night, I had some really realistic dreams. While thinking about dreams from the past, it seems that, depending on a person’s strengths and experiences, a dream might contain different symbols.

For example, an effect of experience: I was really successful at taking tests when I was in school. A consequence of that is that I never have dreams about an unexpected test coming up or the anxiety of getting there late.

An effect of strengths: Often my dreams include text. While I can recognize the words on the page, if I look away and look back again, the words have all changed. I can’t remember the message. Apparently my brain’s system that recognizes words and letters is closer to my core than the semantic part that understands them.

One feature of my sleep is that I often have “hypnogogic hallucinations:” I start dreaming before I’m actually asleep. Past experiences have usually been the face of a single person that appears and then vanishes. Recently, the images include two people instead of one. I wonder what that change signifies?

Last night, my dreams were hyper-realistic. Everything was really detailed and pretty mundane. Nothing was bizarre or mixed up.¬†For example, I saw a rain shower in the distance. I could see the edges of where the rain was falling and the dark clouds that were above them. In the dream, I was picking up some papers because the approaching storm could scatter them. They looked like real pieces of papers and as I piled them together, they didn’t do something strange such as transforming into a bird or a monster.

One aspect of last night’s dream was anxiety about a tornado coming. In the past I’ve had real tornadoes coming near me. Eventually, I had one pass directly over where I was hiding and I never had a tornado dream again. I didn’t see one last night, but I was worried that one might come.

Original image: To The Right Right To The Left left. By Bo Insogna, TheLightningMan.com [Image license]

Lightning Adding Machine Company

Mom and dad went to some auctions this past week. One of the things they bought was a Lightning Adding Machine. There are a lot of different models of the calculator.

Mechanical adding machine

Lightning Adding Machine Co. ca. 1953

Looking at the different versions online, mine appears to be the version that was made in 1953. This version has instructions to do addition and subtraction painted on it. It also has a lever that will clear the calculator quickly.

I’m not much of a collector and decided to use it to track my expenses today. I *really* like it. The mechanical clicking of the dials is very satisfying.

My Nokia internet tablet has a really nice digital tape in the calculator. I like that and used the tape often, because I often made mistakes with that calculator. With the Lightning, I make fewer mistakes. Usually, if I’m going to make a mistake, I realize the error as I am entering the addend.

I really like the mechanical feedback of rotating the dials. Mine doesn’t have any of the original attachments like a stand, stylus or instruction book. I’m using a ball point pen for a stylus. If I take the ink cartridge out of the pen, it should be an reliable stylus.

The only drawback I have found is that if I get distracted in the middle of adding a list of numbers, I don’t know exactly where I stopped… Was I in the middle of a value or which number was the last I entered? I have to start over. For a long list of numbers, I make subtotals of parts of the list and then add the subtotals which helps avoid that problem.