• Life

    30 Days of Gratitude: Wrap Up

    by So that’s my 30 Days Gratitude, and an end to this little experiment. But I think, in a couple of months, I may revisit this experiment, as frustrating as the technology often was. The whole auto-post thing, which has worked well for me in the past when I’ve used it, let me down repeatedly on a couple of levels. If/when I do this again, it will be planned a little more manual up front. And I don’t need to do Gratitude again, although I’m certain I could think of 30 more things to be grateful for without too much difficulty. No, I think things will be on a different…

  • Life

    30 Days of Gratitude, Day 30: The Wheel

    by It may seem strange end this series on something as simple as the wheel. I certainly covered science and technology in a couple of ways during the early days, but the wheel is special, and if fire is the basis for our technology, in many ways the wheel is its true inspiration. Capturing fire was all about survival, making it through the cold season with all of your body parts intact, killing the parasites in our food, and pushing the predators further back into the darkness because a lot of things that might’ve liked to eat us are a little more primitive a don’t appreciate fire all that much.…

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    30 Days of Gratitude, Day 29: Negative Examples

    by To provide a counterpoint, or perhaps a couple, to heroes, negative examples are important too. I worked for someone who was fond of saying, when presented with a particularly brilliant piece of stupid behavior on the part of one staff member or another, “You’re never completely useless. You can always serve as a negative example.” I live in hope that she never said it about me. Simply, a negative example is someone who provides behavior that you very much don’t want to emulate, and maybe even that inspires you to fight against what they stand for, in however small a way. Some illustrative examples are worthwhile here, too. I…

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    30 Days of Gratitude, Day 28: Heroes

    by The definition of hero often changes from generation to generation, or even week to week lately. I’m not going to argue anyone’s definition here, but instead simply present my own and perhaps a handful of significant examples. I hero has done something hugely significant, really awesome, or just plain cool in such a way or time or place so as to inspire or help other people, to push individuals for our whole species to new heights, or to push themselves to be better than they were. My heroes are not rock stars or famous actors more professional athletes. Or if they happen to be, the fact that they are…

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    30 Days of Gratitude, Day 27: Humour

    by On the heels of yesterday, to pick one specific emotion, humor is critically important in my life. I would rather be happy than sad, and I would rather laugh than cry. There’s a lot of humor to be found in the world, and if not all of it is my type, that’s okay too. George Carlin once said that the comedian’s job is to think up goofy shit or to point out the things that you forgot to laugh at first time. This is a good description of what I want from my humor. Find me some goofy shit or find me something I should have laughed at but…

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    30 Days of Gratitude, Day 26: Emotion

    by So if I look back at the original series of Star Trek, as I frequently do, I come to the conclusion that Spock is my favorite character. I love them all, really, but I think I identify closest with Spock. In a lot of ways, outwardly at least, the Vulcan first officer of the original starship Enterprise was defined by his lack of emotion. Except, as the series goes on, you discover it’s not so much a lack of emotion as it is an ironclad control. And I very much identify with that. I am an emotional sap. I feel everything very intensely, and I keep as much of…

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    30 Days of Gratitude, Day 25: Voice

    by Taken literally, a voice allows us to express our thoughts aloud, share our feelings immediately with other people, add words to tone and body language to communicate so much more in person than mere words in print alone. And yes, everyone has a different voice, distinct and unique to them as fingerprint or retinal scan, and some of us control our voices well enough to be good storytellers, or readers, or singers. I don’t sing very well, but that doesn’t necessarily stop me. I feel that you should always sing as if no one’s listening (and dance like no one’s watching). I haven’t always liked my voice, but it’s…

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    30 Days of Gratitude, Day 24: Language

    by I suppose that, as a writer, language should become somewhere closer to the beginning of the list, but I don’t stress too hard about the order of things after family. It is worth stating outright that I love words. I love to play with words, to create and manipulate words. Poems and articles and stories, working within and around the rules of grammar built by generations gone before me in their quest to communicate ever more complicated ideas to each other while not losing the simpler, more fundamental one. Language is awesome. We can do so much with it, express so many things. Language, and its child writing, allow…

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    30 Days of Gratitude, Day 23: Thought

    by Human beings have the most wonderful ability to think, though sometimes it seems as if we seldom use it. Part of the basic functioning of our brain, thinking allows us to understand the world and the universe around us, to ask questions, and to figure things out. Thought allows us to learn and change and grow. Of course, it’s not unique to humans. While I’m not a scientist or psychologist, or anything like either, I will suggest that there are a large number of creatures on this world who have the ability of thought, a by-product, or special feature, of the brains they use. You can watch other creatures…

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    30 Days of Gratitude, Day 22: Time

    by Time flies. Time heals. Time waits for no one. Time changes everything. Time is what prevents everything from happening at once. People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to affect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective point of view, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey… stuff. Rosemary and thyme. Okay, maybe not. Tracked on a calendar, whichever one you want, we divide time into various slices from the projected lifespan of the universe all the way down to Planck time. But however you think of it, we each only have a certain amount of time and there’s no way to know how much.…