Archive for May, 2011

The Power Of Moments

May 31, 2011

We all know about the power of moments, and if we forget, before too long there’s bound to be someone trying to use the fact that moments are important to try to sell us something we may or may not need, so I feel more than a little silly even mentioning it.

None of this makes moments any less important or powerful, of course.

Now even though they’re included in the general category, I’m not specifically talking about grand dramatic moments.  I’m talking about the little moments where you take the time to do something little . . . dropping someone a quick line, maybe pick up a dirty glass in the living room while you’re on your way to the kitchen for something else, or perhaps stopping what you’re doing for five minutes to play with your child when they’re feeling playful.

Little things, but they can add up.

(Which is good, because at the moment all I generally have the focus for is little things.  Honestly, there needs to be a statute of limitations on the duration of teething.)

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Feel Free To Join Me If You Like

May 30, 2011

Around this time last year I mentioned my feelings about Memorial Day having been moved from being observed on May 30th to being observed on the last Monday in May just so people could have a three-day weekend.

And while my feelings on that point remain unchanged, I’m giving the argument a pass this year since this year the last Monday in May is May 30th.

So this year I’ll simply raise a glass to the warriors everywhere and everywhen who put themselves in harm’s way in the defense of others, and leave it at that.

I Think He May Be On To Something

May 27, 2011

Complete and utter lack of empathy is, sadly, more common than basic psychopathy.

– Matthew Phillion, self-described bitter Humanist

Followup Thoughts To The World Not Ending (Part Three)

May 26, 2011

Mind you, there’s also the kicker that points of absolute certainty tend to be pillars of self and/or world views, and pillars tend to be heavily reinforced and protected.  This is understandable; after all, pillars are made to support a lot of weight, and if a pillar gives way, a great deal of stuff (and in worst case scenarios, everything) is going to come crashing down making things . . . “messy.”

But even if (and that can be a big if) that kind of pillar is stable, if you insist on hanging on to it no matter what, you can only see as much of the world as you can see from right there.  And the bigger the pillar, the more it blocks your view, and there comes a point where all you can see is the pillar.

This just doesn’t strike me as a good thing.

Followup Thoughts To The World Not Ending (Part Two)

May 25, 2011

That’s the problem with absolute certainty.  It can fill you with confidence and help you do some pretty amazing things, and it has the advantage of being a simple and easy to use approach if you’ve got the mindset for it . . . but it always comes with a kicker.

For instance, “Dying is something that happens only to other people,” is an unspoken point of absolute certainty for some. (Odds are good you’ve known at least one person like that in your life.)  This point of absolute certainty can give a young (and naive) pilot the confidence to take to the skies in millions of dollars of other people’s property and fly and fight at speeds better suited to a falling star than a human being, and provided they live long enough, can help the pilot develop the skills and confidence to keep flying after the day they realize they really are quite capable of dying after all.  Obviously this approach works . . . provided, of course, one doesn’t die in the meantime, particularly from doing something stupid because of the false belief in one’s own invulnerability.

Heck of a kicker, that one.

Followup Thoughts To The World Not Ending (Part One)

May 24, 2011

Happily, I feel much better today, so I can do some of the musing I wasn’t up for yesterday.

First off, I note without surprise that the person who predicted that the world would end on last Saturday has revised his timetable to October 21st.  We’ll see, of course, but let me state for the record that for what it’s worth, the world does not have my permission to end.

If I seem blasé about this subject, it’s because the way I see it, even though few of us give it much thought, any day could be our last (personally, at least), but that’s hardly a reason to not buy groceries just because you might not get the chance to eat them.  If nothing else, I hope the people who bet everything and lost that Saturday was going to be “the end,” had a flash of insight regarding the risks of “absolute” certainty.  It’s possible they did, at least.

Likewise, I hope the people who took an ugly, ugly, ugly joy in mocking this whole sad situation had a flash of insight regarding the irony of their absolute certainty that the world wouldn’t end.  It’s possible they did, at least.

But sadly, my cynicism tells me that the world has a better chance of ending on October 21st than most people have of learning anything from all this.

Could Be Worse

May 23, 2011

So here we are . . . at a Monday, for me at least, much like the Monday before it.  Considering what some people thought the alternative was going to be, I’ll take it though, even if I am feeling a tad under the weather today.  (Which is why I’m keeping today’s entry brief.)

Final Entry?

May 20, 2011

As you might have gathered from yesterday’s entry, this week has been a . . . challenging one.  The short form of it is L. has been having a very rough time with his teeth lately, and with Baby Orajel deemed unacceptably risky, I’ve yet to find anything that really gives him any relief, and I’m rapidly running out of grandmotherly advice to try.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today.

As you might have heard, a particular religious sect has declared the end of the world starts tomorrow.  I’m not linking to any articles because most the articles I’ve read have a mocking tone which I find just rude.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have no reason to believe the world is going to end tomorrow (I’ve heard this song played too many times before to really do that), but they do, and in my experience that generally means they find life on Earth unpleasant enough to find the end of it all attractive, and that alone is enough for me to find the idea of mocking them tacky.

Besides, someday somebody is going to be right about it being the end of the world (even if only by chance), and I’d hate to be the guy who made fun of that right before the end.  Because the way I see it, if you mock the idea that going out on March 15th is a bad idea, go out anyway despite your wife begging you to stay, and then end up getting stabbed by the Senate . . . well, you were warned, now weren’t you?

So even though I plan to do another entry on Monday, if for some reason I don’t, let me just say it’s been fun, everybody, hassles and all, so thanks for that.

This candle is for the world, and everyone in it.

Avoiding The Phrase “Nothin’ At All” At All Costs Today

May 19, 2011

If you can’t say somethin’ nice . . . don’t say nothin’ at all.

Thumper, in the movie Bambi

With A Smile On My Face And A Song In My Heart

May 18, 2011

So I was watching a bit of old school “space opera” style entertainment last night, and the conundrum our heroes found themselves facing was they needed someone to sacrifice themself for the greater good.  This decision had been temporarily delayed while the person responsible for the entire mess held them at bay with the very real threat of killing them all.  After some dramatic dialogue, his threat was promptly neutralized and he was safely unconscious.  Then the debate of who was to sacrifice themself began again, made all the more difficult because it basically involved being injected with something and staying still; turns out it wasn’t even painful and might have even been a touch pleasant.

And while everyone stood around looking concerned and thoughtful, the unconscious person responsible for everything, including well over a hundred horrible deaths and whose ill-considered plans for genocide would have led to the deaths of everybody on all sides, was still lying unconscious on the floor in preparation of being hauled off to a cell.

I’m just going to have to admit that I wouldn’t be a very good fit with this particular band of heroes, because they didn’t even consider what I know I would have done.