Things to Consider For Friday

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Just as you shouldn’t use a fork to adjust a toaster, it is inadvisable to attempt to relax and meditate using music from the “Rocky” training montages as background music.
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It occurred to me yesterday that weather forecasts could be immensely improved if they were delivered in poetic prose – and especially so if viewers could call in an read it that way. The weather, unlike the news, doesn’t really need explanation or editorialized: let’s stop being so unimaginative with it.
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It’s still surprising that when your mind is bent or troubled, you see things in plain sight you’ve never noticed. I had that out-of-body visual sensation this morning, driving down Butterfield Coach Road and saw an interesting tree house. It’s always been there, year after year, waiting for me to see it, much less admire it. Today, though, it clicked and my first thought was that I was hallucinating it.
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As devoted you might be to reason and logic, trust me; there is always an idiot behind you making rabbit-ear fingers or a face that could best be characterized as “Steve Buscemi.”
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Among the reasons that the accusation of prejudice stings is that it is subjective to the viewer – and definitely to the accused. It’s a hat no one willingly sees themselves wearing.
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One of the most delicious sensations in life is that feeling you get when you shout a warning repeatedly, only to be ignored – and then the stuff hits the fan and everyone is running around in pandemonium asking, “Why didn’t we see this coming?” And you, of course, think, “Why didn’t you listen to me when I told you it was coming?”
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When someone tells you have no common sense, the real message is that they alone possess it.
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A friend of mine, Jorge, was going through some battles with anxiety. He swallowed his pride and signed up for emergency counseling, only to find out when he called that it would be a minimum of 2-3 weeks before he could see anyone. He then went to his doctor’s office and explained his situation. They told him, “Oh, you can’t see any doctor for anxiety, stress, or depression, you have to wait for a regular appointment with YOUR doctor.” Jorge, without hesitation replied, “It’s a good thing I’m not at the literal end of my rope or in danger or anything.” True story, too.
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Many secularists aren’t necessarily nervous about just a blurred line between church and state, it is just that they wish they could put it to a vote as to which religion gets to the be the one calling the shots. There’s a huge difference in being Catholic and the belief systems which enjoy handling live snakes and living without electricity. Everyone is convinced their religion, denomination or faithview is the singular answer for everyone, if they would only just listen. It is precisely the breadth and wealth of differing views that makes overlap of society and faith almost impossible.
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I think every phone system should have a “Bingo” option. When you press # for “Bingo,” all the possible extensions get randomized and your calls goes to literally anyone at the company, even the startled janitor who didn’t even know he had a phone in the broom closet. On the other hand, I think that there should be an option to send a shock directly to the CEO’s ear if the phone system is difficult to use.
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Of the 100 + ancestry family trees I’ve done, few of those requesting investigation had American Indian ancestors I could verify. Investigating the tendency to believe one has Indian heritage uncovered an entire sociological backdrop which many have written about. I’ve had several people insist they have such ancestry and I feel bad for them because usually, I know that before I even start researching that the road will probably dead-end. To be clear, it is not necessarily because their family stories might not be true, but because it is nigh on impossible to prove, even with DNA, if you don’t already have a decent trail to prove it.
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PS: for those who have trusted me to do their family trees, I have learned much and been greatly rewarded in so many unexpected ways as I discovered a vast interconnection between all of us. It’s been an honor to find hidden family members, write stories that literally define our cultural history, and connect people to forgotten pieces in their pasts. For most of us, we are much closer than we know, even down to our chromosomes.
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I think the world can be generally categorized based on the likelihood of whether you agree or disagree with this statement: “My instruction manual for life is always subject to change, based on complicated yet logical criteria.” -x
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If ever elected to be President, on my first day I will make good on my pledge to hire a cadre of people smarter than me – and then listen to them. While social issues will always take precedence, the best ideas will always get the most attention. Politics comes last. And we will have a great lunch, because people feel more human when they are sitting around a table or couch, eating, laughing, and thinking. In fact, that’s what we need: a national lunch hour.
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I wish I had a billion dollars, because you can be certain that I would do the craziest, most fun things to the people I know. A friend of mine mentioned she had twice entered the wrong vehicle and that all red vans were subject to her inadvertently entering them. If I had crazy money, I would secretly place about 50 vehicles similar to hers at her work and film her reaction as she exited. Likewise, I’d wait until she was driving somewhere and upon my signal, 50 of them would surround her and follow her everywhere she went.
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As an aging middle-aged white man, I can’t tell you how ecstatic it makes me feel to know that I have not followed the worn steps of my contemporaries by rejecting new and different music. Thinking that music declined at a certain point is the surest indicator that life is shrinking away from you.
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I knew that the civilization was bad because they didn’t provide A-1 Sauce when they burned people at the stake. Get some class, people.
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The weird thing I’ve learned again: if I write something that amuses me, it is going to be amusing to a certain % of other people, too. Unlike normal people, I don’t ever get writer’s block, either, which may or may not be a good thing. You can’t trust either the criticism or the applause, not in a pure motivational sense – and you should never underestimate how many are watchers, never joining the conversation.
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(The rest is one observational chain of thought…)
People tend to say that you can’t step into the same river twice. Each step I take, each forward motion reinforces this idea of the indefatigable progress of ‘me.’ But I do sometimes look into this river and realize that currents have pulled me backwards, away from whoever I think I am.

I believe one powerful draw of great literature, television or cinema is that it can create a new universe in our heads. The imaginary people inhabiting those worlds effortlessly teach us new things and hold an infinite variety of mirrors for us. When those characters rejoice or suffer, we feel their pain. We can’t help but to relate to them as though they are people we might meet if we open the door suddenly, finding them on our doorsteps. We hope we find them there. It’s not only a testament to the skill and creativity of the people who’ve created those worlds, but also to the gift of our own imaginations.

As we see them behave stupidly or with malice, we call them hypocrites. It is only later that it occurs to us that we might be recognizing our own ignorance in their actions.

As I age, I of course succumb to the temptation to read a cherished book again or to watch television or movies with an older eye. At times, the surprise I feel steals my breath, and with such unexpected vigor that I can only shake my head. That surprise when revisiting old characters is proof that I have also changed, one imperceptible bit at a time, relentlessly. The characters seem deeper and more connected to me because I have also underwent deviations, hopefully due to a rich, full life.

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