And That’s What I Did

September 4, 2020

Sometimes as a parent I have to admit that I end up asking myself, “What would Mister Rogers do?”, and I always (and I mean always) end up looking the worse for the comparison.

But last night when I was woken up by my son at three in the morning because he was “super hungry” and asking for popcorn, then when accommodated he promptly made a loud “Bleagh!” while proclaiming equally loudly that he didn’t want to eat anything after all, and when I asked myself that question again, something different happened this time. I could almost hear Mister Rogers saying, “I would never have sung songs about what to do when you’re angry if I’d never felt anger myself. I suggest you go back to sleep now.”

That’s My Generic Answer To That Kind Of Question

September 3, 2020

“Why isn’t this working?!” L’s Mother asked this morning, and I pretended the question wasn’t rhetorical.

Glancing over at what she was working on, I answered, “Because it hates you, and secretly plots against you at night.”

Something That Came Out Of A Conversation With My Son This Morning

September 2, 2020

Frequently the “boring” stuff is also the most important stuff.

So Always Test The Waters Carefully

September 1, 2020

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about when is a joke “too soon”? Now I doubt anybody out feels that a tragicomic event from 1677 falls into that category, but it’s not like there’s a set amount of time that passes before it’s okay to make light of something. I learned that when I heard Fozzie Bear ask, “What do you get when you go on a titanic vacation?” and the answer was “Halfway across the Atlantic!”. Now even though the Titanic sank in 1912, my response was still “Too soon!”.

So when is a joke no longer “too soon”?

When people are ready to laugh about the incident, and never any sooner.

A Most EMPHATIC No!

August 31, 2020

Today I was reminded of the story I once heard about the monk who was apparently struck and killed by an errant meteorite. (This was recorded to have happened at Tortona, Italy in 1677.)

Being prone to gallows humor as I am, I also remember my first thought when I heard that story: “I don’t know what he prayed for, but I’m pretty sure the answer was no!”

In Good Ways And Bad

August 28, 2020

There are lots of important stories in the world, but the most important story to you personally is always the one that you tell yourself. Be it good or bad, true or false, or some mix of any or all those things, the story you tell yourself about yourself and about the world around you will influence you every day of your life.

What A Concept!

August 27, 2020

Today I learned the secret of how Flinders Petrie discovered so many small artifacts at his archeological digs when many of his contemporaries were only finding large statues and the like.

Petrie actually paid his workers a fair market value for what they found if they brought it to him.

Full Disclosure

August 26, 2020

I know it’s silly to say this, but I wanted to make it clear that what I posted yesterday, while containing the important essence of what I said to L’s Mother, were not my exact words to her. When you’ve spent as many years together as she and I have, you develop a lot of private linguistic shortcuts that would mean something very different if said to anyone else.

So, yeah, not my exact words, but that was the message that was conveyed.

The Art Of Self-Awareness And People Management

August 25, 2020

Last night L’s mother made a valiant effort in clearing the aftermath of her efforts in the kitchen yesterday, but she eventually (and understandably) reached the point where she said, “That’s all I’m doing tonight. I’m sorry for leaving such a mess for you, but I’m done.”

I thought about this for a moment. “You know . . .” I said slowly. “If you ask respectful of my time for me to finish it up for you, and thank me nicely afterwards, I’ll happily do the rest. If you don’t do that, I’ll still do the rest; I’ll just do it unhappily.”

When Algorithms Go Awry

August 24, 2020

“Registering to vote can make a HUGE difference,” a social media site told me the other day. “So register to vote in Colorado today!”

“They’re right,” I mused to myself. “It would make a huge difference, particularly because I don’t live anywhere near there!”