I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Forced ambidexterity  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Victoria BC
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True ambidexterity(ie fully equal ability with either hand) seems to be a born trait linked to brainy things. Nothing much you can do about that, afaik.


However, I think that lots of people could benefit from a concerted effort to use their off hand more, enough that practice improves functionality.

When my day-job was flying a desk(and a lot more of my downtime, too) I got RSI pretty badly in my right arm, to the point that I couldn't use a mouse accurately. So, figuring that was why the Flying Spaghetti Monster issued me with 2 arms, I switched the mouse to my other hand.

It was godawful for a few weeks. Slow, inaccurate... but gradually practice made... well. It got a lot better. Years later, I still use the mouse left-handed about 90% of the time, without even thinking about it anymore.


Now, you could argue that fixing the underlying issue would be smarter. And I tried a wide variety of desk heights, fancy ergonomic mice, etc. But in the end, none of them made much difference, and my left arm lasted long enough for me to GTFO of IT at a more opportune time.


Since that experience, I've made this choice earlier on with other activities. I find that even things which seem impossibly awkward at first become quite passable with a bit of focused practice. The option of switching arms, or for two-handed tools switching grip positions, is really helpful in spreading the load around. The old saw 'a change is as good as a rest' seems perfectly suited to this.

It's also very useful when circumstances put you in an awkward position and you need to perform a one-handed cut with your off-hand, because that's the only way you can reach. Finally, it's damned handy(so to speak) when you injure your good arm/shoulder etc, leaving you less disabled than if you were starting from scratch.

If I'm breaking ground with a mattock, I will work with my left hand leading for more than half the work, and switch to the right for the hardest bits, so it all averages out. Ditto when de-limbing, the left does the gimmes, the right does the tricky/tough stuff. Less forceful things, it's just a matter of reminding myself to use both hands about the same amount, and it's not something I think about much anymore.


So who else does this? Anyone persuaded by my glowing endorsement? Note that I wouldn't suggest starting with knives or hatchets!
 
garden master
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Some years ago, I noticed that my body was out of balance on the farm... That caused un-necessary aches and pains. Therefore, I deliberately trained myself to be ambidextrous. I weed up one side of the row right handed, and down the other side left handed. I alternate chopstick use between right and left hands from meal to meal. These days, I alternate between hands while pulling weeds, picking vegetables, or carrying pipe. Seems to me that when I alternate arms, that I can double the amount of work that I do...

I have typed ambidextrously, for as long as I can remember... I've played the piano ambidextrously since the beginning.

 
Posts: 46
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Dillon Nichols wrote:When my day-job was flying a desk(and a lot more of my downtime, too) I got RSI pretty badly in my right arm, to the point that I couldn't use a mouse accurately. So, figuring that was why the Flying Spaghetti Monster issued me with 2 arms, I switched the mouse to my other hand.

(snip)
If I'm breaking ground with a mattock, I will work with my left hand leading for more than half the work, and switch to the right for the hardest bits, so it all averages out. Ditto when de-limbing, the left does the gimmes, the right does the tricky/tough stuff. Less forceful things, it's just a matter of reminding myself to use both hands about the same amount, and it's not something I think about much anymore.


So who else does this? Anyone persuaded by my glowing endorsement? Note that I wouldn't suggest starting with knives or hatchets!


That sounds like a good idea. When I was in software QA (and taking physical notes, back in the dark ages) I switched to mousing with my left hand so that I could write with my right. Now I can use either. However, I've fallen into using my trackpad only right-handed now, and I can tell it hurts me. (Also, incapable of using the right shift key. WTH, brain?) Time to switch. Thanks for the push!

In the garden, I'm generally right-handed, except weed-pulling is always with my left hand unless it requires serious physical force. Time to look at those activities, too!
 
pollinator
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Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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When i was a child, first learning to write, i had two older sisters helping me. One was right- handed and the other left- handed. I learned both ways but went completely right- handed eventually because it felt more natural. I still try to switch it up, especially doing gardening stuff.
When i owned a gym, i would do " brain gyms" with some of my older clients. Any activity you do where you cross the center axis of your body engages both sides of the brain. One exercise was to (from a standing position) march in place and every time you raise your knee you touch it with your opposite hand. Sounds easy but alot of elderly people will raise their knee and want to touch it with the hand of that same side. We call that " puppetry ". I remember several people who were so frustrated with themselves they cried.
 
pollinator
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Because of your thread here, this morning I started mousing with my left hand. I'm interested in keeping my brain working (as much as it's able) and keeping my carcass together (lots o' joint pains), so I think this will help with both.

 
Posts: 6154
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I've been eating with my left hand (I am 'right handed'), using the mouse equally with both and doing other small repetitive tasks with my left (like opening jars, bottles, etc) for awhile now. It does get easier, .....I've always typed and played piano, done weaving and other fiber work with both equally.
I like to switch maneuvers with large single handle tools to do the exact opposite when possible...except for sharp ones
An easy way to start trying this is to do the opposite of what feels natural or automatic when you begin a task.
 
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I am a 'lefty', and am convinced that we lefties have a slight advantage.
Most tools/implements are designed for right handed use.
We need to learn how to use these things with our right hands.

So, we are forced to use our 'off-hand' often.
This leads to a certain degree of ambidexterity on our parts.

There are some things built both ways (left handed, and right handed). I have gotten so accustomed to using the right handed version, that the left handed version feels awkward to me.
 
gardener
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I mix things up in order to manage fatigue. It's important to me to get the same amount of exercise on one part of my body as another. Those things are rather scrambled for me anyway.

 I throw a baseball, use a hockey stick and swing a baseball bat right-handed. Tennis rackets are swung  with both hands. I only write with my left, but I can do a better job of writing with my right than most left-handers can.
 
When I use a weed wacker or blower, I switch up the hands used. I often drive nails using both hands, but I start those nails with a hammer in my left hand. Once a row of nails are started, I often use my right to drive them. Before the advent of air nailers, I was the fastest guy on a crew that were installing plywood on floors.

When doing a lot of shoveling I like to mix it up. It's more important to be sure and twist to the left sometimes and to the right sometimes rather than worrying about which way the shovel is held.

Another important thing for me is to kneel when I need to work at things low down. No point bending over if I don't have to. I never kneel on a hard surface.
 
Recently I had the job of pulling out massive amounts of English ivy roots. I pulled enough to fill a pickup truck twice. A job like this requires some fatigue management. I found that I was much more powerful when kneeling directly over the area where the roots were pulled from. After grabbing hold, it was only a matter of straightening my back and pulling a short distance with my arms. It was tiring but I made great production and got a workout. Another fellow was helping. He tried to do it by standing upright and bending down to those roots. This was totally ineffective and his back quickly became sore.
 
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Because of your thread here, this morning I started mousing with my left hand.

We switched our mice over to left handed use about 3 years ago. If you are right handed, this allows you to mouse around with your left hand and take notes with your right hand.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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