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Archive for the ‘Living well’ Category

A Grandfather

My grandfather lived from 1910-2000.  Last month, for no special reason, I wrote out some short notes about him.  I really didn’t know him that well, and can now only wish I’d spent more time with him.  I suppose these memories reflect myself more than they depict him, but it feels good to do this:

  • My grandfather kept a garden in his backyard, in which he grew rhubarb.  He loved rhubarb.
  • He often took long, quiet walks by himself.
  • He kept a collection of big books downstairs.  I remember him having a copy of (the then-new novel) James Clavell’s Noble House, which he freely agreed to let me read.  As a child, I predictably couldn’t make it past the first page.  I just read it a few years ago and loved it.
  • He went to church on Sundays and, when he was in town, made sure to take my brother and me.  When we got home, he told our parents that we had been “good as gold.” (more…)
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When I was younger, I would have dismissed these stunts with some nerdy, smarmy snark, but as I age I appreciate physical skill more and more.  Life is for living, and these guys have reached goals that are not only fulfilling for them, but inspiring and entertaining for others, as well, including me.  Some of these are clearly fake, but they all make for good viewing.


A great list here called, “50 Reasons We’re Living Through the Greatest Period in World History,” focusing on medical and technological advances, quite rightly.  We have now basically become the gods of the ancients, able to do unimaginably fantastic things.

It’s not just the lifestyle progress, though.  I’m reminded of a remark the historian Will Durant made when asked what the greatest period in history was.  He replied that it was today, because we have the largest inheritance of cultural experience and creations of any civilization.

Which brings us back to technological progress–the Internet brings us so much of that inheritance with ease and panache.


Graphic showing 35 simple productivity tips.  Saved to hard drive.

Nevada’s best-kept secret’ offers hiking, camping and stargazing.  Note to self: visit ASAP!

“The 60 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken That Perfectly Capture The Human Experience”  Many of these are truly wonderful–thought-provoking and humbling.

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“The Years Are Short”

“The days are long, but the years are short.” –Gretchen Rubin.  One of the wisest things I’ve ever heard.



It’s always amazingly scary to think about how tiring, how busy and stressful most individual days are, but then to look back on the last year, or the last five years, or even the last ten years, and realize how much happened in them, and how much seems missed, and how it all went by so quickly.

I have children who are rapidly approaching adulthood, and I constantly wonder where their childhood went.  How did it disappear so suddenly?

I’ve now been teaching high school for more than three times as long as I went to high school, and the student part of my life actually feels like it lasted longer than this part.  Weird.

It’s true what they say, isn’t it?  At some point, every year seems to go by even faster than the year before.

I think if you’re not consciously being corny and sentimental, at least some of the time, you may not be doing it right.  There will likely be more regrets.

*sigh*  Don’t mind me.  I’m still just bummed out about How I Met Your Mother being over.


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Sunset at UNLV, January 2014

View from the third floor of Wright Hall, UNLV, around 5:20 PM on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.


sunset 1












sunset 2 sunset 3

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I remember this being one of my favorite games from the early 90s.  Watching these videos of it reminds me why.  Time to find an emulator online?


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Red Bull Rampage

A few Saturdays ago I saw some of this event on TV.  Pretty impressive stuff!  The first clip is a “best of” intro, the second is a hair-raising POV shot of one brave rider!

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Watched this series the last two summers.  The kids love it, too.  Pretty entertaining, and inspiring to see what they achieve.  At the end of last summer, this guy got further than any other American has: almost the end of the 3rd stage of the 4-stage final course:

Here’s a guy on the original Japanese version making it all the way, showing all four stages:

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Think of every illness you’ve ever had: not just the serious sicknesses, but even every cold and flu.  Canker sores and rashes, too.  Seriously, make a list.  You’ll be surprised.  There must be dozens.  Your body has recovered from them all.

Think of every injury you’ve ever had: not just the broken bones, but every paper cut, every jammed knuckle, every bruise, every stubbed toe, every sprain, and any and all boo-boos since you were born.  There must be dozens of these, too, if not more.  Your body has healed them all.

Think of every headache, every sensitive tooth, every stomach ache, every stiff back, and any other soreness you’ve ever had.  These could number in the hundreds.  Your body has persevered in spite of them all, overcome them all, and continued to serve you and allow you to live each day after they’ve been forgotten.


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The Difference Between People

A child is someone who needs to be guided, coerced, or even forced into doing things that are necessary but unpleasant.

An adult is someone who does these things freely, understanding the importance of obligations.

But people who do these things with quality and passion, we call leaders.

People who these things for others, we call saints.

People who do these things with a commitment to find beauty and joy in them no matter what, we call happy.

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The Hubble Deep Field


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Rock Hard Papaw

Saw this video below and then found this article about him online.  Looks legit.  And pretty dang inspiring.


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Talking to a student a few weeks ago about The Catcher in the Rye segued into the movie Finding Forrester, which reminded me of the clip of this song used near the end of the film, which led me to look it up on YouTube, which is how I found this wonderful video:

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I just finished doing last Sunday’s syndicated New York Times puzzle.  I’m pretty proud, because it’s only the 2nd Sunday puzzle I’ve ever finished without having to cheat and Google a single answer.

I’ve done dozens of these now, and it still surprises me how stumped I can get by simple answers, just because of tricky clues.

In this one, 14 across was “Where roots grow.”  I immediately got it into my head that it was about plants.  Five letter answer…SOILS?

It wasn’t until I had a P in the final spot that I realized: it wasn’t about plants, it was about hair.  SCALP.

A good crossword puzzle shows us how we make assumptions, and it challenges us to constantly re-evaluate them.  This is a mental skill sorely lacking in our day and age.

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This Week in Vegas Sunrises

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Each of these was taken around a quarter after 6 A.M. This is what I see on my drive to work.

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The point is made in an Atlantic article:

Meaning is not only about transcending the self, but also about transcending the present moment — which is perhaps the most important finding of the study, according to the researchers. While happiness is an emotion felt in the here and now, it ultimately fades away, just as all emotions do; positive affect and feelings of pleasure are fleeting. The amount of time people report feeling good or bad correlates with happiness but not at all with meaning.


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