Saturday, December 3, 2016

Things one should never outgrow:

the view.

If one looks closely, it changes every day. And it leads somewhere new every time.

Go with it, and grow with it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Facts or Factish?

According to a variety of sources, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women are colour-blind. Typically a genetic condition, there are several types of this “blindness.”  Some forms are mild, some severe such as those who see no colours at all, only greys. Most colour-blind people DO see colours although they are not fully able to “see” red, green or blue.

Think about that. Colour-blindness is a fact. And yet don’t we “regular-sighted” people tend to think red is a fact, green is a fact, blue is a fact. Maybe that’s not true? Even though 11/12 men could all point to red and 199/200 women could do the same, maybe colours can be opinions?

Colour-blindness is not considered a severe limitation; “sufferers” learn to adapt by using other cues such as labels, brightness, or location. Red/green colour blindness is the most common. The name is tricky because apparently, this doesn’t mean sufferers mix up red and green; instead, they struggle to distinguish colours which contain some red or green as part of the whole colour. For example, a red/green colour blind person will confuse a blue and a purple because they can’t ‘see’ the red element of the colour purple. One man described it this way: “most people would see 32 differently coloured crayons in a box; I see about 12.”

Think about that too. For some, 1 x 32 = 12 colours. Whoa. Maybe basic math isn’t factual either? 

This leads me to three conclusions:
  1. Some so-called facts are actually fact-ish.
  2. Therefore, it’s important to question "facts" (and their sources).
  3. And it’s especially important to question facts even if you’re absolutely sure you know the facts because those have been the “facts” your entire life.

Here's my point: our judgment, our choices, our decisions, must be based on critical thinking. Sure, confirmation bias is way easier, but emotions aren’t facts. Perceptions aren’t facts. Opinions aren’t facts. Even some facts may only be fact-ish. Determine the truth based on a combination of evidence from several sources through observation, experience, evidence, analysis, reasoning, research, reflection, and so on. Otherwise, we may become colour-blinded people manipulated by those who insist their red is red and their green is green.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Wrong.

source
Hands up if you hate being wrong. Go ahead and admit it. We are raised to be right. Trained in fact. And that makes us very productive. Yet it also weakens us, and sometimes it ruins our relationships.

It’s okay to be wrong. It really is. We all know this. We can assure others and we can even assure ourselves, but let’s be honest: we still don’t like it. We all remember those times when our faces burned with embarrassment. We remember feeling too vulnerable, to unsafe, too unstable, too powerless. We remember that sting.

Yet fear of being wrong is a huge problem. It’s why people sometimes double down on stupid ideas. Remember the Titanic? There were not enough lifeboats because it was “unsinkable.” Um, sure it was. Constantly being right is a narrow journey. What’s left to discover? To wonder about? To find?

And be careful because being wrong feels exactly like being right. Think about it: when we don’t know we are wrong; we think we’re right. It’s only when we realize we’re wrong that we feel awkward or ashamed. Couldn’t we avoid some of that if we simply developed a healthy habit called self-examination?  I know, I know. Easier said than done. True. So start right now. Make a list of all the things you’ve been wrong about. Here’s mine:
  1. Bigfoot. (Still waiting.)
  2. Parenting.
  3. Election outcomes.
  4. How to peel a banana. (Start at the bottom, not the top.)
  5. Almost everything I’ve tried to do right.
  6. Decisions.
  7. People.
  8. Life.
  9. Mullets.
  10. I’ve even been wrong about being wrong sometimes.

A friend of mine has this philosophy: today is the last day I’ll be the worst I’ll ever be. I love that. We don’t have to like being wrong nor do we have to question everything. But if we ever want to create the right conditions to get life truly right, we have to admit when we’re wrong, to ourselves and especially to each other.

(I'm 98% sure I'm right about this.)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Things that deserve the stink-eye:

For realz or just clever marketing?
(I would brand this unsheared oil.)
Hmm. Does my beard stink? Is it not shiny enough? No one's complained. Yet. Honestly though, it didn't occur to me until I discovered beard oil. According to Reddit, beard oil is a good thing. Could be I guess. But then I researched the ingredients. According to the Art of Manliness (also new to me), you can DIY your own beard oil using the following recipe:

-1 tbsp melted coconut oil
-3 drops of peppermint oil

Hmm. Have the same sort sorts of sexist marketing practices that target (and overcharge) women become commonplace for men as well? Totally.

Anyway, I'll let you know how this works out after I finish reading the manly skills section of the Art of Manliness. Lol.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Toast

I have this theory. If someone makes toast for you, pay attention because that someone loves you.

Turns out I’m not so alone in this theory because I watched a documentary about an autistic young man seeking a girlfriend. According to him, the formula for a quality relationship partner is
1.       25% looks
2.       25% personality
3.       50% how well that potential partner treats you.

That stuck with me. I'm not a relationship expert but that seems 100% wise to me. Think about the people most important to you. How do they treat you?

I’ve heard that one’s eyes remain the same over an entire lifetime. According to various health sources, this is not true. Our eyes continue to grow from birth to adulthood, just a few millimeters. Yet, looking at old photographs it’s often the eyes that remain recognizable. It may seem impossible to find the baby in the old man but there’s always something about the eyes. Everything else though? It morphs, sometimes dramatically. Looks fade, sag, decline. And personality evolves too, at least some aspects. Maybe, eventually, treatment is nearly everything in relationships?

For example, outside the realm of romantic relationships where attraction and chemistry may be important, does it really matter what your friend looks like, at all? Maybe the friendship formula is 0% looks, 40% personality and 60% treatment? Whether you’d calculate this slightly differently or not, aren’t we all pretty much in agreement that treatment trumps everything else? Wouldn’t it be shallow to act otherwise?

How they treat you defines them. How you treat others defines you.” Rita Zahara

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Power of Cookies

About 15 pounds ago, I learned how to make cookies. Last month I decided that if I ever wanted cookies again, I would have to learn the ancient secrets of cookie-making. Why? It’s my wife’s fault. She doesn’t bake anymore. Now before you label me sexist, in no way do I think baking is woman’s work. It’s just that she happened to be the one who made exceptional cookies, muffins, and other delicious what-have-you (or in my case “what-have-you-not”) and I miss all that stuff more than my adult(ish) children. Plus, she is into health and fitness and other mythologies that I struggle to accept.

So, after like two years of waiting for cookies to magically appear, I was struck with a novel thought that some might deem common sense, but not me: bake them yourself David. And so it began. My first batch was decent. But my second and third attempts were impressive and THEN NOW? Well, let’s just say there’s enough butter in my incredible soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies that after 13 minutes and 54 seconds in a 350-degree oven, they all melt into ONE GIANT COOKIE called insert-heavenly-music-here. Actually, I named them Cookie-Monster cookies because, ME LIKE COOKIE. Also, while eating them they fall apart in the same signature way that cookies get catapulted all-sorts-and-such when Cookie Monster unsuccessfully snarfs them down them because (SPOILER) Cookie Monster has no throat.

So then I started bragging to people about my cookies. Anyone with basic deductive skills likely knows what followed. PROVE IT they said. And so I did. And then I did again. And again. And then one more time. Finally, I realized they were manipulating me into making cookies. So I stopped. Then began the gentle inquiries attempting to deflect from the way they USED ME. For example, some asked, “Do you make other kinds of cookies?” My response: “What, like raisin? NO. Raisins don’t have the right flavour, and more importantly, vibe. Basically raisins are sad grapes. Cookies don’t need that kind of negativity.”

Whoa. When did I get so bitter? A sudden realization struck me, a cookiepiphany, if you will. Cookies are more than the sum of their ingredients. They bring people together. They could end global conflict. Therefore, I must make more. AND I must share them. AND SO MUST YOU. Right?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Let's be honest.

I'm not smiling on the inside
(because this is bullshit). 
When the neighbour kids make a surprise snowman in your front yard, it's quite heartwarming and adorable. Isn't it?

One problem though: WINTER IS COMING (TOO SOON).

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sometimes Time

Sometimes I wish I could freeze time.

No. I want to pause time then replay it when needed so I can relive it and so could everyone else in the memory...but then would it just be a photograph?

Better yet, what if I could stretch time? Or hold an intermission during time? At least a breathing time?

No, I want to amend time. Why pause it? Why not capture it along with a variety of other forming memories and make wine out of it and cork it? Then I could sip it when I need it, when I'm lonely, when I'm missing the ones I love.

No, maybe what I really want to do is mend time. I don't mean fix. I want to sew moments together like a quilt and crawl underneath, grow warm there. If only this were possible.

No...what I want to do is bookmark time. Return to that page. Show it those who need to see it so they can see where I'm coming from, why I have the point of view I do. And to share it too.

If only I could punctuate time. Add a comma to slow it down, a dash to speed it onward, a period to stop, or a semi-colon to wait for a while for the inevitable.

Sometimes I don't know what I want. Sometimes time is cruel.
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