TSQL Tuesday #123: My Life Hack – Flowing in the Morning


This month’s T-SQL Tuesday was created and is being hosted by Jess Pomfret and the concept for these once a month blog posts was originally created by Adam Machanic; the torch has now been passed on to Steve Jones. Thanks for hosting Jess!

T-SQL Tuesday #123: Life Hacks to Make Your Day Easier


Have you ever heard the expression, “In the zone”? Or you are just so into something that you don’t notice the passage of time?

It is both a unique state of mind and physical state of the human body. Truth: I am addicted to the flow state. It would be awesome to be able to maintain flow for your entire waking life but alas, that is not how it works. Just like deliberate practice, one needs to manage when to be in flow and when not to be in flow.

I have read and re-read this book on Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (and his other book on Creativity too) many times.


Not every morning but on many a morning, I do the following:

Get out of bed. Count my blessings. There are many people who never got up (read they died in their sleep).

Grab coffee. Nothing fancy, strong and black works for me. Drink two cups. Think about what’s coming up that day or soon.

VR and Volunteering and Oculus Quest Availability

For those who don’t know, I’m into virtual reality (VR). I help lead COVAR and the Denver/Boulder Unreal Engine Group here in Denver. I have several VR headsets, all Oculus based.

Sadly, the Oculus Quest has been on backorder since before Christmas and with the outbreak of the coronavirus in China affecting and killing people, it is also disrupting product supply lines.

It is unknown when the ‘Quest will become available again in 2020.

Enter Stage Left – TiltBrush

Now the fun part.

I put on my ‘Quest with a generous space around me, don my AfterShokz headphones, launch my Jazz station on Pandora, and I jump into TiltBrush:

I prefer to use my ‘Quest instead of my desktop rig as I love the freedom of wireless and don’t have to worry about tangling cables.

While I am nowhere near the level of expert like Rosie Summers, I do love to draw and paint in 3D. Check out her demo reel:

My latest exploration has been geometric shapes. TiltBrush allows you to take pictures from within. Here are a few images of things I have done:

It is a huge challenge for me on what I want to draw/paint as there are only invisible wire guides (capsule, cube, sphere), straight edge and ruler settings. There is no drawing compass.

So I had to attempt to memorize how something is made then attempt to re-create it and figure things out.

Starting out with basic shapes like hexagon and octagon.

Years ago I was really into Unit Origami (also called modular origami). I used to make things and give them away as gifts. Some of these structures take hours to make.

Trust me, this is way beyond simple paper airplane folding. It requires perfectly cut square paper, intense concentration and meticulous attention to detail.

My plan is to get experience with more shapes in TiltBrush and begin to build the individual pieces and then assemble unit origami structures in VR. Might even post them to Poly. By the way, if you think writing and posting blog posts can be intimidating on what others may think, try sharing art 🙂

And yes, of course I have thought about building SQL Server execution plans (i.e. create all of the operators and assemble them) in VR as a teaching and training tool.

Conclusion – And Now You Know

This is one of my life hacks- getting into a flow zone before the start of my formal day job. It’s a great way to wake up, literally get the creative juices flowing and start your day!

Someday I should blog about my journey with lucid dreaming as another source of my creativity and imagination too. Another time.

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