Life is Good

image4“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
― Guillaume Apollinaire

There is a brand I came across awhile back when walking old downtown in St. Charles. I was walking the streets checking out the shops and came across a shop called Jakes on Main that sells “Life is Good” merchandise. It was filled with t-shirts and merchandise with various upbeat stuff and reminders that life is good. I bought a t-shirt that made me feel good. It had “Not all who wander are lost” across it. A very fitting t-shirt for me because much of my life has been wandering, opening myself up to whatever possibilities presented themselves, and following whatever motivation appeared inside me. Of course this has made for an interesting life.

My wife loves this video so had to include this. 🙂

“Take time to laugh, to talk, to hug, and to cry. These are the human relief valves.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

I was thinking how society plays to our emotions of misery. The news, the political machine, entertainment and even some religious institutions focus on the negative. They want to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt. While I do not stick my head in the sand and ignore the world around me, I do surround myself with reminders that life is good. I follow good news and positive media just as much as the negative.

“I live by three simple words: compassion, love and gratitude. We need to act on these three words daily. Doing so will irrevocably change your world.”
― Julian Pencilliah

I like putting things into perspective. I also like seeing what possible lessons can come from the negative. The same philosophy I apply in my own life. I always look for lessons. What can I take away from whatever I am experiencing? The world is an amazing place with beautiful people in it. In fact, with all the doom and gloom presented us, you rarely hear all the good done. People doing good can be harder to see sometimes, and many times only the grandiose gestures are the ones that make news. Though there is good everywhere. The stuff the media feeds you is a very small percentage of what is actually going on out there.

“The supreme adventure is not falling in love. The supreme adventure is being born … by the act of being born, we step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which has its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us, into a world that we have not made. In other words … we step into a fairy-tale.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Information is a beautiful thing, but we have to watch how it is presented to us. Some information can cause unwarranted fears because of how that information is presented. If you get information from commentators instead of a true factual base then many times it is slanted to provoke a response. My father would get so fired up against democrats after watching Glenn Beck. That is like getting fired up because Howard Stern imparted some misrepresented piece of info. It is only slightly based in fact, and may even be misrepresented fact but is mostly commentary to get a reaction.

“Intention is one of the most powerful forces there is. What you mean when you do a thing will always determine the outcome. The law creates the world.”
― Brenna Yovanoff

You can be pulled into the doom and gloom. Into the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that is presented before you. The more you consume of the negative the more it changes you. You start turning more cynical and it begins to slowly paralyze you. This is why I choose to also see the good in the world. I follow good news from Huffington Post, as well as the Good News Network, among other sites. Sources that present uplifting things that remind me to put things into perspective.

I love my Life is Good shirts. They make me happy, they remind me that overall life is good and they convey that message to others. I was reminded this morning on my way home from church how life is good. I passed blue flowers blooming, the sun was peaking out from behind the dark clouds and the people I interacted with were friendly and smiled. It was rather humid out, but then I walked into my house with air conditioning and felt grateful for such a lovely invention.

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”
― Douglas Adams

I see the mind much like I do programming. When I learned programming years ago there was a term of Garbage in, Garbage out. I see the mind the same way what we feed it as data is what will manifest itself in our output to the world. When you look at studies of the brain and its function you see this to be very true. You also see how things in our mind can be manipulated by what we take in. It is one reason I always ask questions about the information I take in. If you always take in the garbage that the media and other sources feed you, and never balance that with questions and other information then you will begin to put out garbage yourself. You will begin to stop enjoying life, question people’s intentions, etc.

We can also allow certain types of data to linger in our brain. That bad experience we had years ago that hurt us then, is still hurting us now because we never purged that data. We never forgave or learned to change the view of that memory. It is hard to forget things, especially bad things that happen to us. While I would argue that some of those bad things helped form us, we have to change how we perceive those bad things for us to grow. We have to remember Life is Good, and we have to allow ourselves to see that and feel that.

“Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”  ― Roger Ebert

I also think to truly appreciate that Life is Good overall is to be grateful for even the little things. I woke up this morning. I was grateful for waking up and for being healthy, even though I may have grunted and groaned a little getting out of bed. I had a nice cup of coffee and had something to eat. I am grateful that we have food and drink for me to partake. This is also one reason I give to food banks and such because I want others to have the basics of food. Many of the things I get rid of goes to charity instead of being tossed or sold because I want to give others something to be grateful for. I am grateful there is charity that helps those that need it.

There are poor people and homeless, but there are also charities and people that try and help them. You may counter that not enough is being done, but at least something is being done. Without those charities and people, on a stormy or cold night all the homeless would be subject to the elements. At least with charity some of the homeless can find safe haven. You can stereotype people and make judgements about people and never allow yourself to get to know them or you can refrain from judgement and allow yourself to open up to the beauty of the individuals there.

My daughter shared this with me:

“The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.”  ― Bruce Lee

I hear complaints all the time about state health programs and about food stamps etc. I hear all the stereo types to go with that as well. When my wife and I started out, we had nothing. Okay we had less then nothing. We lived with my parents for a short bit with a child on the way. We got our own place and had state health care and food stamps. My poor wife would have to go do the grocery shopping when we had to use food stamps, only because my pride would not allow me to use them. I had all the stereotypes inside me of what using those food stamps meant about me. Though if we had not had the state aid and the food stamps we would not have been able to make it. I am grateful for those programs and I have no problem with our tax dollars going towards them. Sure there are a select few that abuse the system, but as a whole it helps good people just trying to make it.

Charities and state programs help make life good for those that need them. I should say it helps make life better for them. If you have ever faced too much debt versus too little income, you can realize what a beacon of hope it is to have help. To have someone that says you will at least have food on your table and healthy children as well as yourself. Hope makes life good. Hope drives us to make life better.

That is also why being grateful is so important. It removes the taking things for granted element and puts in an appreciation element. When you learn to appreciate things, even small things, life is good.

“Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted–a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”
-Rabbi Harold Kushner

We do a vacation every year, even when we do not have much money. There have been years we did one even though I knew it would hurt us to do so. I wanted my kids to experience life beyond here, to see things and meet new people. I wanted them to see how beautiful life really is. How amazing our world is and how wonderful the people in it truly are. We stopped in Tennessee one time at a Waffle House to eat and the guy working pulled out little footballs and gave to the kids, made jokes, and was just a wonderful soul. My kids needed to experience and see that. It does not matter where you are in life, it is your attitude you bring with you that matters.

Life is good. There is plenty of bad in the world, but the good far outweighs the bad. We all face our own battles and hurdles but there is still good there. I have dealt with depression for years going all the way back to my teenage years. I do not allow it to define me nor do I allow it to stop me from seeing the good out there. In fact, maybe I look even more for the good because of it. In my darkest moments a smile or a flower can change everything for me. So my Life is Good merchandise reminds me of that.

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou 

My daughter has what she calls her happy shoes. They are very colorful shoes and she has stated she does not know why but when she wears them and looks down at them they make her happy. She is eighteen and she has happy shoes. I am happy that they make her happy. I have things like my camera, my writing, and my shirts that make me happy. It is good to have things that make you happy and remind you that Life is Good. When we bought our house, I painted Believe, Imagine, Hope, Love, and Dream on our kitchen cabinets. I painted Dream, Imagine, and Believe on the front door of our house as well. Reminders of good things in life.

I would also ask you to be a giver. If you give of yourself, you are helping others to see that life is good. When you do the simplest of gestures, it can change everything for someone else. I know a friendly smile has changed my mood. The concept that one person cares can change perspective. I hope that you can see that life is good, and that there will be plenty of reminders of that, but also that you share with others that life is good. That you give them reminders that the world is not as bad as it is portrayed. Remember someone had enough faith in humanity to give their life for it. You don’t need to go so far, you only need to shine a light for others to see.

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

Life is Good. A simple phrase that we should repeat to ourselves and find things to reinforce that ideal. Instead of always looking for the next thing to make you happy. Look at what makes your life good now. I have 3 wonderful children, sure I have complaints about some things they do but overall they are amazing and wonderful children. I have a wife that I love and adore. Is she perfect? No. Is she perfect for me? Yes. We can’t avoid problems but we can change how we perceive them. We can change the context. I can fret about all the problems presented me in life or I can see the lessons and the beauty in my life. I can see that my life is good.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day. I hope you are able to see that life is good and that it truly is an amazing world out there. I hope you do something to show someone else that life is good today.

While my wife did edit this for grammar she also said it was “pretty good” which translates to it not being as good as other things I have written. I do hope you enjoyed it and found it at least “pretty good”. 🙂 I probably rambled and for that I do apologize.

“Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is Love.”



a‭ ‬day‭ ‬without‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬day‭ ‬wasted – charlie chaplin


“If you’re too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”


I‭ ‬just‭ ‬spent‭ ‬a‭ ‬night‭ ‬out‭ ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬friend‭ ‬that‭ ‬always‭ ‬laughs‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬enjoy‭ ‬her‭ ‬laughter.‭ ‬Then‭ ‬I‭ ‬came‭ ‬home‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬someone‭’‬s‭ ‬blog‭ ‬on‭ ‬psychcentral‭ ‬about‭ ‬laughter.‭ ‬I‭ ‬started‭ ‬thinking‭ ‬about‭ ‬the‭ ‬impact‭ ‬of‭ ‬laughter.

The‭ ‬most‭ ‬memorable‭ ‬thing‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬mother‭ ‬is‭ ‬her‭ ‬laughter.‭ ‬So‭ ‬much‭ ‬so‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬the‭ ‬title‭ ‬of‭ ‬this‭ ‬blog‭ entry ‬put‭ ‬on‭ ‬her‭ ‬gravestone. ‭ ‬She‭ ‬had‭ ‬the‭ ‬most‭ ‬amazing‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬that‭ ‬would‭ ‬brighten‭ ‬a‭ ‬room. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬thinking‭ ‬how‭ ‬much‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬impacts‭ ‬our‭ ‬lives. ‭ ‬The‭ ‬most‭ ‬commented‭ ‬thing‭ ‬about‭ ‬my‭ ‬mother‭ ‬at‭ ‬her‭ ‬wake‭ ‬was‭ ‬about‭ ‬her‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬and‭ ‬how‭ ‬she‭ ‬would‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬at‭ ‬virtually‭ ‬anything.


“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive.”

–Bill Cosby

Laughter‭ ‬truly‭ ‬heals‭ ‬our‭ ‬soul.‭ ‬I‭ ‬love‭ ‬making‭ ‬people‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬and‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬make‭ ‬a‭ ‬fool‭ ‬of‭ ‬myself‭ ‬sometimes‭ ‬just‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬a‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬or‭ ‬smile‭ ‬from‭ ‬someone.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬thinking‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬a‭ ‬complete‭ ‬idiot‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬smiling‭ ‬or‭ ‬laughing.‭ ‬Goal‭ ‬accomplished.‭ ‬:‭)‬

Sometimes‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬heals‭ ‬from‭ ‬laughing‭ ‬and‭ ‬other‭ ‬times‭ ‬it‭ ‬heals‭ ‬from‭ ‬making‭ ‬others‭ ‬laugh.‭ ‬Much‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬joy‭ ‬comes‭ ‬from‭ ‬making‭ ‬other‭ ‬people‭ ‬happy.‭ ‬Whether‭ ‬that‭ ‬be‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife,‭ ‬my‭ ‬kids,‭ ‬friends,‭ ‬co-workers,‭ ‬or‭ ‬complete‭ ‬strangers.‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬like‭ ‬making‭ ‬people‭ ‬happy‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬just‭ ‬for‭ ‬a‭ ‬brief‭ ‬moment. ‭ ‬In‭ ‬my‭ ‬darkest‭ ‬moments‭ ‬in‭ ‬life,‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬or‭ ‬a‭ ‬smile‭ ‬that‭ ‬helped‭ ‬pull‭ ‬me‭ ‬through. ‭ ‬There‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬to‭ ‬it‭ ‬than‭ ‬that,‭ ‬but‭ ‬laughter‭ ‬definitely‭ ‬had‭ ‬a‭ ‬healing‭ ‬and‭ ‬mood‭ ‬changing‭ ‬effect.


Laughter is an instant vacation.

–Milton Berle

When‭ ‬I‭ ‬end‭ ‬up‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬lovely‭ ‬dark‭ ‬pit‭ ‬of‭ ‬emotions,‭ ‬I‭ ‬find‭ ‬myself‭ ‬watching‭ ‬mostly‭ ‬comedies‭ ‬and‭ ‬things‭ ‬that‭ ‬make‭ ‬me‭ ‬smile,‭ ‬or‭ ‬action,‭ ‬but‭ ‬even‭ ‬then‭ ‬most‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬action‭ ‬stuff‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬kind‭ ‬that‭ ‬has‭ ‬humor‭ ‬to‭ ‬it.‭ ‬The‭ ‬fun‭ ‬one-liners‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬The‭ M‬ummy‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬movie‭ ‬I‭ ‬ever‭ ‬bought‭ ‬on‭ ‬dvd.‭ ‬It‭ ‬is‭ ‬probably‭ ‬the‭ ‬most‭ ‬played‭ ‬movie‭ ‬in‭ ‬this‭ ‬house. ‭ ‬It‭ ‬is‭ ‬not‭ ‬a‭ ‬masterpiece‭ ‬by‭ ‬any‭ ‬means,‭ ‬but‭ ‬it‭ ‬has‭ ‬the‭ ‬right‭ ‬tone‭ ‬and‭ ‬feel‭ ‬for‭ ‬me.‭ ‬It‭ ‬makes‭ ‬me‭ ‬laugh,‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬light‭ ‬hearted‭ ‬and‭ ‬fun. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬bought‭ ‬the‭ ‬ultimate‭ ‬edition‭ ‬when‭ ‬it‭ ‬came‭ ‬out‭ ‬which‭ ‬I‭ ‬like‭ ‬listening‭ ‬to‭ ‬brendan‭ ‬fraser‭ ‬commentary‭ ‬on‭ ‬it‭ ‬because‭ ‬again,‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬fun.

 I‭ ‬think‭ ‬much‭ ‬of‭ ‬life‭ ‬would‭ ‬be‭ ‬better‭ ‬if‭ ‬we‭ ‬could‭ ‬just‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬more‭ ‬and‭ ‬not‭ ‬be‭ ‬so‭ ‬serious‭ ‬about‭ ‬everything. ‭ ‬Even‭ ‬when‭ ‬we‭ ‬must‭ ‬be‭ ‬serious‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬find‭ ‬things‭ ‬to‭ ‬make‭ ‬you‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬My‭ ‬wife‭ ‬had‭ ‬to‭ ‬adjust‭ ‬to‭ ‬me‭ ‬after‭ ‬we‭ ‬got‭ ‬married.‭ ‬When‭ ‬an‭ ‬argument‭ ‬would‭ ‬get‭ ‬too‭ ‬heated,‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬start‭ ‬making‭ ‬jokes‭ ‬or‭ ‬finding‭ ‬humor‭ ‬in‭ ‬things. ‭ ‬She‭ ‬took‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬not‭ ‬taking‭ ‬things‭ ‬seriously,‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬was.‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬was‭ ‬trying‭ ‬to‭ ‬bring‭ ‬things‭ ‬into‭ ‬a‭ ‬more‭ ‬manageable‭ ‬state‭ ‬for‭ ‬me.‭ ‬If‭ ‬that‭ ‬makes‭ ‬sense.


The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.

–Mark Twain

I‭ ‬also‭ ‬have‭ ‬fun‭ ‬songs‭ ‬I‭ ‬like‭ ‬to‭ ‬listen‭ ‬to.‭ ‬Things‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬dance‭ ‬around‭ ‬silly‭ ‬to‭ ‬sometimes‭ ‬and‭ ‬just‭ ‬put‭ ‬me‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬good‭ ‬mood.‭ ‬The‭ ‬song‭ “A‬ll‭ S‬tar‭” ‬by‭ S‬mash‭ M‬outh‭ ‬is‭ ‬one‭ ‬such‭ ‬song‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬love.‭ ‬Also‭ ‬almost‭ ‬anything‭ ‬by‭ W‬eird‭ A‬l‭ ‬is‭ ‬awesome.‭ ‬During‭ C‬hristmas‭ ‬while‭ ‬I‭ ‬love‭ ‬the‭ ‬classics,‭ ‬sometimes‭ ‬you‭ ‬will‭ ‬find‭ ‬me‭ ‬playing‭ “R‬usty‭ C‬heverolet‭” ‬or‭ ‬various‭ ‬tunes‭ ‬from‭ B‬ob‭ R‬ivers. ‭ ‬Music‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬big‭ ‬part‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬life‭ ‬and‭ ‬so‭ ‬it‭ ‬would‭ ‬hold‭ ‬true‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬find‭ ‬songs‭ ‬that‭ ‬make‭ ‬me‭ ‬laugh‭ ‬in‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬well.

Everyday‭ ‬you‭ ‬should‭ ‬find‭ ‬one‭ ‬thing‭ ‬that‭ ‬makes‭ ‬you‭ ‬smile‭ ‬or‭ ‬laugh.‭ ‬Something‭ ‬that‭ ‬makes‭ ‬you‭ ‬feel‭ ‬good.‭ ‬When‭ ‬life‭ ‬is‭ ‬putting‭ ‬you‭ ‬through‭ ‬a‭ ‬trial,‭ ‬toss‭ ‬in‭ W‬eird‭ A‬l‭’‬s‭ “D‬are‭ ‬to‭ B‬e‭ St‬upid‭” ‬song.‭ ‬My‭ ‬wife‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬appreciate‭ ‬the‭ ‬song,‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬it‭ ‬has‭ ‬something‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬cd‭ ‬getting‭ ‬caught‭ ‬on‭ ‬repeat‭ ‬while‭ ‬we‭ ‬slept‭ ‬one‭ ‬night‭ ‬and‭ ‬playing‭ ‬the‭ ‬song‭ ‬over‭ ‬and‭ ‬over‭ ‬and‭ ‬over‭ ‬again‭ ‬while‭ ‬we‭ ‬slept.‭ ‬LOL ‭ ‬poor‭ ‬girl,‭ ‬she‭ ‬endures‭ ‬a‭ ‬lot‭ ‬from‭ ‬me.‭ ‬Yet‭ ‬somehow‭ ‬finds‭ ‬a‭ ‬way‭ ‬to‭ ‬still‭ ‬love‭ ‬me.


The earth laughs in flowers.

–e.e. Cummings

May‭ ‬you‭ ‬be‭ ‬blessed‭ ‬and‭ ‬thank‭ ‬you‭ ‬for‭ ‬your‭ ‬time.

As‭ ‬my‭ ‬editor‭ (‬my‭ ‬loving‭ ‬and‭ ‬patient‭ ‬wife‭) ‬is‭ ‬still‭ ‬busy‭ ‬with‭ “‬work‭” ‬things.‭ ‬Like‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬important‭ ‬then‭ ‬editing‭ ‬my‭ ‬blog‭ ‬post.‭ ‬Anyway…‭ ‬So‭ ‬any‭ ‬grammar‭ ‬errors‭ ‬are‭ ‬indeed‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬making‭ ‬and‭ ‬as‭ ‬such‭ ‬something‭ ‬to‭ ‬smile‭ ‬about‭ ‬after‭ ‬banging‭ ‬your‭ ‬head‭ ‬against‭ ‬the‭ ‬desk‭ ‬trying‭ ‬to‭ ‬reread‭ ‬a‭ ‬sentence‭ ‬three‭ ‬or‭ ‬four‭ ‬times.‭ ‬:‭)‬ ‭ ‬Remember‭ ‬the‭ ‬mark‭ ‬on‭ ‬your‭ ‬forehead‭ ‬from‭ ‬the‭ ‬desk‭ ‬and‭ ‬the‭ ‬humor‭ ‬you‭ ‬found‭ ‬from‭ ‬it‭ ‬came‭ ‬from‭ ‬me.‭ ‬:‭)

Thank‭ ‬you‭ ‬again. ‭ ‬Remember‭ ‬to‭ ‬smile.


Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection.

–Jakob Smirnoff

ti kwan leep (boot to the head)

dare to be stupid – weird al

white and nerdy – weird al

all about the pentiums – weird al

star trekkin – the firm

I love big bang theory but also watching bloopers from not just big bang theory but other movies and shows. They many times bring a laugh.

Season 6 big bang theory bloopers

Note from The Editor: The blog has now been fixed. He is just somewhat challenged by commas and minor punctuation. 🙂 Remember folks commas save lives. It can mean the difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma.”

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever – Gandhi


Today I spent learning. Much of my time was spent watching TED talks. I love that they came up with the idea of TED talks. I love watching the various personalities and all the knowledge they impart in their various ways and styles. One of the things you learn also from watching TED talks is just how diverse a people we really are. You may form in your head what a neurobiologist is, and form all the stereotypes you want about that assertion of one’s profession.  But when you watch various neurobiologist up on that stage imparting their information you find stereotypes just don’t fit. Some are very funny, while others are a bit dry.


“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

3 rules to spark learning:

I have various sources that I do my learning with and I use various sites, mediums, and technologies. I have days like today where my brain wants to be fed, much like my stomach. You know those times, when you seem always hungry. When you find yourself wanting a little something to eat throughout the day. That is what my brain does sometimes. It wants to be nourished throughout the day sometimes. It yearns for more knowledge and so I get a similar impulse as I do when I’m hungry except it is for knowledge instead of food. So today was my bing day on knowledge.

Most of it was spent on TED talks but I also read various articles and watch some documentaries. It was quite an enjoyable day to me, though I’m sure many would look at it as a boring day.  But for me it was enlightening, fulfilling, and energizing. It got my brain working, thinking, expanding, and most of all pondering the possibilities.


“A man, though wise, should never be ashamed of learning more, and must unbend his mind.” – Sophocles

Music is medicine, Music is sanity:

I watched talks on human behavior, scientific discoveries, biology, and more. I got pulled into a documentary my daughter was watching on “inside pixar”. We both watched an episode of “is it possible”. So not only was it a day of knowledge, but my daughter and I shared some of those moments together. While I’m writing this I have something called Moving Art: Forests playing. It has footage of Redwood Coast and Olympic National Park set to music. Just something beautiful and peaceful while I write.

I actually love this so called information age. I love the accessibility of knowledge at our fingertips. I am in awe of the power of technology to broaden our mind, connect us, and unify us as well as teach us. If I want to learn how to fix my dishwasher I can google it and find instructions or a video on how to do such. If I am curious on a particular disease I can find out all the information and innovations in treatments within a few keystrokes. I want to chat with people around the world it only takes a few moments to do so. If I wish to find a group with similar interests, again just a few clicks away I can find a forum, chatroom, social network page, or other avenues to share ideas, thoughts, and be connected.


“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” Abigail Adams

Make stress your friend:

Today we are more connected then ever. Many schools are still stuck in the old style of learning the pounding in of facts. Many don’t take the time to truly impart the ability to continue to learn. The tools needed to expand your knowledge. They are slowly coming around but I think that slow progression is due to not only money, lack of proper tech and innovative teachers and techniques, but also the bureaucracy of schools. Information is always changing and learning should be an ever evolving art form. Something we engage with that excites us, but many times we feel it is a burden instead of a truly magical experience. We’d rather pop in the new Fast and Furious movie than take 20 minutes to learn about the exciting breakthroughs in biotechnology.


“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

your body language shapes who you are:

Learning should be fun and exciting. Unfortunately many of our childhoods was about a tedious form of learning. Boring, facts and figures, the forcing of memorization for a test. We were taught how to cheat at tests also. They were called tricks, but things like if an answer says always or never. In fact tell me what is the most common answer on multiple choice? We were taught that learning was boring, tedious, and just something you had to do so you could get to something fun. But learning is fun, especially when you are learning about things you care about, things you are passionate about, or in my case just to expand my knowledge and make me think. This is why I love TED talks, most of the speakers are funny and impart their knowledge in a fun way. This takes away that dull dreary feel .

I know I’m a bit different because I love to learn and am always learning about everything and anything. Then I think and ponder on these things I’ve learned and form various ideas and thoughts. I also happen to have a high retention rate even if it is just glimmers of intel that pops up, it gives me a base to go on. I can tell you a little about quantum physics, string theory, how to fix your washing machine, how repair various things, what type of cable you want to run for best performance for your cable modem, etc.


“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” – Albert Einstein

just a good site to learn various psych stuff. Has some great articles.

So to me the internet and technology is an amazing gift. It is something that helps me feed my brain, especially when it wants to bing learn. I also see all the amazing things that come out of our technology age. There are of course downfalls to it as well and the media and people like to focus on those aspects but again the good greatly outweighs the bad. I was truly saddened when I heard the ruling on net neutrality because this means it is possible for knowledge to be blocked because of money. If TED talks doesn’t ante up their protection money then their connection is slowed, etc.

I am also a huge supporter and lover of open source. I love the idea of open source and not only in a cyber world but in the real world as well. Just like watching a TED talk about do it yourself biohacking.  I was fascinated and even made me want to go check out one of these facilities. I also have read at various times about other sharing ventures with science and other learning things. I think it is truly amazing.


“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” – Richard P. Feynman

Biohacking — you can do it, too

I personally think this is an amazing time to be alive. You can point to the violence, poverty, etc. Though these things have always existed and in the past sometimes in more horrific manifestations than in current times. I also see a possibility of ending poverty, and even much of violence, with technology and learning. As we become more connected, even through a cyber venue I think we will see less violence overall. Though the media will do what it always does and dramatize those moments of violence, because it still sells as it always has. Also FUD is something the televised media really loves it keeps people coming back.


“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

I think NOVA is one of the best learning shows there is and one of the reasons I like PBS.

An interesting one I watched today on netflix from NOVA

So, I want to offer up a challenge for you before I end this blog post. For the next 30 days, I would like you to learn something new every day. Just take, say a minimum of 30 minutes to learn something new. Whatever you are interested in learning, explore something new about it. Just take time to learn something. Also find new resources to learn these things. Though if you aren’t interested in that, then take the time to watch something new on TED talks everyday. Also, question what you have learned each day, see if you can expand on it, see what thoughts it brings to your mind. Enjoy the entertainment of just postulating the various possibilities of the new knowledge.


“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” Isaac Asimov

to get you started 20 of the most watched TED talks:

Yes, I also watched a documentary on the science of Superman. Superman is my all time favourite super hero and someone I have always looked up to, and for lack of better terms, idolized. I’ll save my thoughts on looking up to fictional characters for a different time. 🙂

Thank you for staying with me through my rambling. I hope you have an amazing day. I hope you learn something new today, and that knowledge broadens your view of this amazing world and times we live in.  Also forgive any grammar errors. My editor, my wife, is sleeping and well, I am impatient and don’t want to wait a few hours for her to wake. 🙂

“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday, and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

better you playlist:


The pictures in this blog post are from my recent outing to Alton, IL. These are pictures of the Mississippi River.

Life lessons learned from a frying pan…


This morning I got up and made some white cheddar omelets for breakfast for my wife and I.  While cooking I was thinking about the life lessons you can learn from cooking. Before I start on the lessons I should state that I believe everyone should learn to cook at least basic meals and dishes. First it saves cost especially for those first moving out on their own, you can always make a romantic dinner etc. For guys you want to look sexy to your woman learn to cook a little. When dating she’ll be impressed that you cooked, when married she’ll be glad when a meal doesn’t have to be made. This of course presumes the old school view of the woman is normally the one that cooks. In my household I do much of the cooking, as well as I have taught my kids to cook. So they make dinner as well.


Now on with the life lessons…
1. Just like people each thing that you bring to the dish has its own qualities and traits but when paired with the right things can make an excellent dish.

2. sometimes something that doesn’t have the best taste qualities on its own can be come magnificient when paired with something else or prepared correctly. Sometimes it is how we handle it, how we treat it and prepare it that makes all the difference.

3. Sometimes slow cooking is best. Speed isn’t always the best. Sometimes you have to slow down, lower the heat and let the dish simmer to get the best flavor. Sometimes high heat and pressure will just leave you with a burnt dish and a pan that isn’t pleasant to clean.

4. The most flavorful meals are those that work with the other dishes to compliment each other. Would you choose oranges as a side for a steak or honey glazed carrots?

5. food creates memories because it takes in at least three of your senses, smell, sight, and taste. A dish that your grandmother use to make no matter how simple may bring back pleasant memories. I still prefer my pork chops with just little salt and pepper and fried in an iron skillet because it reminds me of my grandmother. How often does grilling bring back good memories?

6. not every dish comes out how you want or tastes how you expect but you still take a lesson from it. You try and learn what can be corrected and how to change it and then you try again.

7. You don’t always make the same dish because it becomes boring. You have to add new experiences new flavors and dishes to keep things exciting and have people looking forward to what you are going to place on the dinner table.

8. Always learning something new keeps things fresh. Such as our trip to miami we tried cuban food and when we came back I made cuban meal for thanksgiving.

9. what tastes good to you may not always taste good to someone else but that should never stop you from making what you enjoy. We all have different tastes, different palates and things we enjoy tasting. My daughter’s boyfriend prefers mostly meat dishes and so when I know he is eating I try to have a meat dish but I also include dishes the rest of us enjoy. Neither of us are offended.

10.  don’t forget the small things whether in seasoning or the drink you choose to serve with the meal. Pizza and soda or beer just works well for me, but pizza and orange juice not so much. If you ever want to learn how much a drink can impact your taste of meal learn a little about wines. 🙂

Have an awesome day. May it be a blessed day.

thanks for reading. Also my editor (wife) was not available to edit this, something about it being to early to fix my issues, so any grammar errors please forgive. 🙂

last thought food is normally about friends and family so cherish those moments shared around the table.


year in review….




Now be patient it starts out sounding like a whine…but trust me, it isn’t. 🙂


I lost my mother in March. Our car was totaled in June which we had just paid it off a couple months before. I hit a deer with the van the same night that the car was totaled, which it still has a dark blue hood from that incident. My grandmother passed away. I had a mental breakdown/anxiety attack just before fourth of July. We have had financial issues for the first time in years where I’ve had to deal with creditors and work deals. I still am dealing with the mortgage company on Mom’s house. I have good and bad days with my emotions. I worry about those impacted by the natural disasters that happened this year. I worry about watching a man I respect slowly slip away and hope that it is something fixable and not what I fear it to be. I also worry what impact the slipping will have on my wife, my kids, and my mother-in-law. I have to deal with trying to get Mom’s cat and our cats adjusting…….

I am surrounded by people that love me. The van was not totaled in the hit with the deer and only required a hood and light from the junkyard. Sandi’s car was covered by insurance and she got a new car she loves. While we have a car payment again it is much lower then the old car payment. Mom’s house is just waiting out the mortgage company because it won’t impact me other than annoying calls and etc. The financial issues will get better and most companies have been good about dealing with us to fix things. My grandmother was in her 90s and lived a good long life. My breakdown taught me to take more care of myself and not always put others first, sometimes you have to take care of yourself. I have always been an emotional person and I know it will pan out soon and be more balanced. It is wonderful to see the people that come to the aid of those impacted by natural disasters and it gives hope to see humans helping. The cats will eventually get along.

I have been blessed with an awesome job that I love going to work and fits me rather well. I love to help others and it gives me an avenue to feel I am helping with a purpose. The people I work with are amazing. I have an amazing family and my kids amaze me everyday. They are truly beautiful people that will truly brighten this world as they enter it. They have an inner strength that will keep them strong with all they will face. I have a beautiful wife that loves me dearly and whom I love dearly. There is so much to be thankful for and so much I have learned this year.

We went on vacation to Hot Springs and had a wonderful family vacation with much love and bonding. My wife and I got to drive to Miami for a meeting of hers and I got to relax and gain some bearing which I really needed. While I kind of closed in on myself for awhile, I am starting to open again and deal with everything and be the new beautiful me. I am making it out of my cocoon.

We can focus on the bad such as the first paragraph or focus on all the good that surrounds us. There will always be hills and valleys and sometimes it feels like the hits keep coming but then we have times when we just glide by. It is all part of the grand design that gives us the ability to cope with later events. We gain wisdom from everything we face if we allow ourselves to see the lessons, to have faith it all will work out as it should, and understand we are never alone (even when we feel that way).


My children growing up were read many things, especially at bedtime. I use to read them anything from the Narnia books to Taoist stories. I loved the Jataka and Taoist tales and so did they. They help give perspective sometimes to things. Such the story of the blind men and the elephant, 83 problems, or who knows what is good or bad. I actually think of the 83 problems and the who knows what is good or bad one when facing things. As you probably read in my other blogs I also always look for the lessons I can take from an experience.

“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” – Dalai Lama

I try to always find the good in the trials presented. It is easy to focus on the negative and let yourself get down. It is hard to push through and allow yourself to see the good in what you face, but trust me there is a lesson and some good in every trial. Even in horrible tragedy there is normally some glimmer of good that can be found. If nothing else then those that come to the aid of those facing the tragedy.

2013 was an interesting year. Though I learned a lot and am thankful for quite a bit. I look back and am aware of the love and hope that came from everything. I also see the lessons given me.
I miss my parents and this holiday season was interesting without them but I was not alone. I had my family. I got to spend Christmas eve with my in-laws, whom I love.

I recorded Christmas both at the in-laws and at home. That way those memories will always be there. There was only 4 seconds of video footage of my father that we ever found and it was an accident that those 4 seconds happened. Someone using mom’s camera hit the wrong button when attempting to take a picture of dad being silly and instead recorded 4 seconds of him dancing silly with mom. Those accidental 4 seconds were the most precious gift my mother had after dad passed. So I try to capture video from time to time so that there will be something precious for others of those they love.

I do believe this blog went all over the place. I’m not sure because I have slowly lost focus and pretty sure I moved into ramble mode. I shall save you the journey of traveling with me as my mind becomes more unfocused and switches topics. 🙂

I hope you had many joys and with every heartache I hope you gained wisdom and was able to see the silver lining. I pray that the year to come brings much happiness. Thank you for reading and putting up with the more sporadic thought pattern this time around. 🙂

Also remember what Mark Twain is attributed as saying “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”. So I hope you show kindness and that kindness is shown to you.

If I don’t blog before the new year, then I hope you have a great beginning to your new year.
Also remember no season lasts forever. Sometimes a season is longer or shorter then normal but change still comes… trees change colors and lose their leaves and yet flowers still appear in the spring.
Kutless – What Faith Can Do


The unexpected Journey



a flower given to my wife from a homeless man while we were in Miami. It made her day. 

Pastor Ron’s sermon about unexpected events that happen had me thinking about the various unexpected events in my life and the blessings many of those events have brought. If I had not went to a choir singing event some 20 years ago I would not have saw a beautiful girl flap her wings (her robe) and made me fall in love with her. This led to marriage and 3 unexpected gifts at an early age. Those unexpected gifts turned into 3 beautiful and wonderful young adults that I am very proud of. If we had not chosen to have them take karate then helen would have never met james and I would have never met valerie. Valerie is now a close and dear friend of both my wife and I. If I hadn’t met valerie then I would not have gotten the job at the church. Working for the church has been a great experience for me and I love working with all the people there. If I had not started working at the church I would have not started coming to church again. Which means I would have missed out on the great sermons and wonderful fellowship you find there. Also if I had not worked at the church then when my mother passed I may have not been surrounded by wonderful people that supported me when I got the news of my mother passing.

One never expects a spanish inquisition… I mean many things in life bring trials and unexpected happenings. I can look back over my life and see how many of the trials presented me made me a better man. How we approach those trials and how we walk away from them make all the difference. I always choose to try and learn from the events handed me in life. I choose to be kind even when kindness isn’t shown me. I choose to be forgiving even when forgiveness is hard. There is only one person throughout my existence on this earth that I still find it hard to have forgiveness though I accept the events and I no longer carry the burden of those events I still find it hard to find the true forgiveness, but alas I am but human.

I have always put my faith in a greater design and when I look around at people I see that greater design. Especially in their stories. Many people have a story of how an event straightened them out or gave them some unexpected gift. My father quit drinking when I was probably 11 or 12 years old. He had a beer in his hand and went to take a drink and his eyes met with the picture of Jesus we had and he put the beer down and quit drinking right then. I never knew of him picking up any alcohol after that moment. Which changed the man that I knew as a father and I got to see that change. While I do drink on occasion I keep it very limited in nature because I got to see the very real difference between a drunk and a man that I could respect.

Most unexpected events are the ones that leave the marks on us. The ones that we remember most. Some come with the memory of pain until we learn to work through that pain and become better from it. Some memories come with a smile and a feeling of warmth. All come with lessons to be learned and some of those lessons aren’t meant just for us. While dad had a life changing experience when he quit drinking his son learned quite a few lessons from that moment.

I am thankful for all the unexpected events in my life and for the lessons and gifts they provided.
I have amazing friends, an awesome family, and a wonderful job with beautiful people. This Christmas is the first without either of my parents but I am thankful for having them and the lessons I took from them. I am thankful for everything that has brought me to this point in my life and the wonderful people I have got to meet along the way.

Thank you for your time. I hope you have a great day and an amazing life. While the saying goes that it is the journey not the destination that matters, I would say it is how you travel that journey and the people you meet along it that matter most. Remember on the darkest parts of your journey it is the one that carries the candle to light your way that makes all the difference.

May you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and an amazing journey in the next year.

Now I got to get to work before I end up being late you see this writing was an unexpected inspiration that could lead to an unexpected tardiness. 🙂

p.s. once again my editor (wife) was not available to check my grammar so please forgive any misspellings, run-on sentences, and the life. 🙂

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