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100 Words: Relativity

Timing is everything. Alarm clocks start us out on time. The vicissitudes of traffic determine whether or not we arrive on time. The time clock—actual, virtual or implicit—measures out our working day. Then it’s happy hour, rush hour, drive time, dinner time, prime time, bedtime. Every moment of our lives seems crammed and stretched. When will we ever find the time?

But we’ve lost track of time. We’ve lost leisure time, unstructured time, downtime, play time. Even the things we really want to do get crowded out by the things we must do. It’s time for a change.

Freedom vs. Control

I’ve been going through some issues with my new dog Buddy. We’re struggling with the line between freedom and control, and we’re both pulling in different directions.

He’s a cattle dog. He needs to run. He aches to run. The problem is he isn’t trained to come back when called. Running loose, he’s a danger to himself and others. He’s very excited to be free; I agonize because he’s not in my control.

He’s found every chink in the backyard fence, so he can’t be trusted to run free there. He’s out in a flash, and won’t come home until he’s ready. He’s free; I’m angry.

Due to all the escapes, he has been sentenced to a leash for everything from walks to peeing. He submits but is not cowed. He waits anxiously for his next chance to get away. I cling to control; he’s frustrated.

I bought him a large kennel in hopes it will keep him safe and secure outside when need be. It’s not assembled yet, so his acceptance is yet to be tested. I’m sure he will hate it. After all, it’s a cage—a nice roomy cage, but a cage nonetheless.

I hope it works out for us. I’ll be free to spend an hour with the cat or my housework, and without the dog on my heels. He’ll be under my control even though out of my sight. At least that’s the plan.

And if I can teach him some control, then maybe he can be a bit more free. And once he gets more freedom, he may be easier to control.

100 Words: The Power of Poetry

Worn, faded spots on the paperback cover testify to the numerous times it has been pulled from the shelf. The leaves are edged with a soft brown halo. Creases in the spine reveal my favorite poems. This book has been a life-long companion. It offered me the first glimpse of poetry with the power to move me. Indelible images leapt from these verses into my mind.

More than forty years later, I find the volume available in hardcover. The reviews confirm that it meant as much to others as to me. It might be the best $15 I’ll ever spend.

Classics Binge

I spent the weekend wallowing in great old movies. On the agenda:

Call Northside 777
The 400 Blows
Key Largo
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
The Haunting

You can keep your CGI and special effects. Give me script, script, script.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies

I can’t think of four other words that bring me such delight.


Dumbo and Yoda were litter mates, two identical black and gray tabby cats. I adopted them as kittens, so they spent a lifetime together. I called them my little bookends. Wherever one appeared, the other was always nearby.

For several years, we shared a quiet, suburban house on a sleepy little street. The cats spent a lot of time outside, …[MORE]

What Works vs. What Feels Good

There is one eccentricity of human behavior that leaves me dumbfounded. That’s when people will turn their backs on a successful strategy which achieves their goal, and embrace instead a failed strategy that makes them look and feel good.

There are a number of examples in our modern American life, but the one that made today’s headlines …[MORE]

And Don't Forget to Floss

I spent all yesterday in the dentist’s chair, and all today recovering from the trauma.

It’s not that I forgot the blog, it just paled in importance.

I think I’ll be back in the saddle tomorrow.

Taking a Step Back

In a volunteer organization, there is always a need to fill roles. Groups need leadership, administration, coordination of regular events, planning of special events, and lots of “warm bodies” to make everything go well. Since it can be a challenge to fill these roles, there is a tendency to call on a few select individuals again …[MORE]

Surfaces...I Want Surfaces

It was a very Zen sort of day, dedicated to clearing up clutter.

I don’t collect a lot of stuff, and I don’t bring a lot into the house. But I’m really, really bad to just set things down wherever I happen to be standing. Eventually, every surface becomes a collection of random crap.

Putting things away today felt good. Having …[MORE]