Thursday, January 31, 2013


I love the poem below because after reading it I certainly felt edumacated (or educated, depending on your spelling preference!) I know it talks about being a man but I still think it applies to everyone. It's like a cliffs notes guide to how to live a good life. So a toast: Here's to filling every unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run! ( Mind you, I don't  always know where I'm running to, but heck, maybe that's the fun of it!)


By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Source: A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1943)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How's your computer feeling today?

I was listening to the news the other day and there was  segment on how a group of scientists did an experiment about how people reacted to machines. One part of the experiment involved people being presented with a computer that could talk to them. The people being studied were told that they had to shut the computer down and erase all it's memory by telling the computer to shut down. As the people started the process of getting the computer to shut down, the computer proceeded to beg them not to erase all its memory and stop shutting it down. The scientists found that the people they studied actually went through a sort of internal struggle in shutting down the machine (which they all eventually did, by the way.) It was as if having a computer "beg" not to be shut down almost made people feel that the machine had feelings of its own. (Either that, or the people that were being studied were just an extremely sympathetic and nice bunch of poor sods.) 

The story got me thinking about what my computer might say to me about how it felt on a daily basis. (Of course I care because I like to think that I'm an extremely sympathetic and nice poor sod!) I want to believe that my little computer is fairly satisfied with its lot. Sure I've dropped it a couple times (not very far mind you,) which might have ticked it off a bit, (after all wouldn't you be ticked if someone dropped you on your bottom from any height?) I have also (horror of horrors, gasp) eaten in front of it and probably dropped some crumbs now and then on the keyboard (but I cleaned it out-promise!)  Yes, it's also true that I may have psychologically damaged my little machine as  I have on occasion sworn at the damn thing when it  decided to be naughty and rebellious  and not do what I needed it to do!  Despite all that, my computer keeps miraculously working and hasn't put up too much fuss. Well yes, it freezes up occasionally but who hasn't had an off day now and then? With all this in mind,  I have decided to believe that my computer is a tough little machine and can take life's hard knocks and soldier manfully on despite everything! (Brief pause now so I can applaud the machine's bravery.-huzzah, huzzah, huzzah!)

Of course, now I've written this and confessed that I care about my computer's feelings, if it gets ticked off with me it'll probably decide to spontaneously combust. So if you don't see any more blog posts all of a sudden, you'll know why! Moral of my story: love thy computer as thyself!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My wish for everyone....

I found this song by Blessed of Union of Souls and have enclosed some of the lyrics below that I felt related to the hope that I have that people reading this blog can feel a sense of peace and some happiness from reading it. In short, I wish everyone who reads this peace and a lot of love.

Peace & love
By: Blessed Union of Souls

May every star you wish upon 
And every hope you're hangin' on come true 
Out of everybody in the world 
There's no one who deserves it more than you 
I hope you find 
Everything you've been dreamin' of 
Only good things 
No in betweens just 
Peace and love 

 I hope you find 
Everything you are worthy of 
 I only wish you 
Peace and love 

Peace and love 
Tears of joy 
Kindness of strangers 
All of your roads 
Paved in gold 
By guardian angels 
Wherever you may be in this world 
My salutation says it all 
May you always have enough 
Peace and Love

If you wish to listen to the song you can do so Here

Monday, January 28, 2013

I may not understand football but I still love teams

To begin, and because it's coming up to the Super Bowl, this is the extent of my football knowledge: I know that touchdowns and field goals are really good and that touchdowns are worth six points (why the guy who gets the touchdown then kicks the ball one more time to get one more point rather than another six still puzzles me.)  I also know that a first down is running a little way up the field to get to the end zone which is also a good place to get to. I don't really understand why the two teams start out in two neat lines. I used to think that for some inexplicable reason they liked to be orderly for a few seconds before hurling themselves at each other in their quest to get the ball and run like mad towards the end zone like their lives depended on it. 

Maybe I do have a basic knowledge of what football is but I think I'd enjoy football more if I felt it was less complicated. What I do like about football is how people get so passionate about supporting teams they like, it's as if, in supporting the team they're part of it.  Granted it does make me sad when people get angry/riotous if their team loses. However I still like the idea that people can go all out to support a team. I ran track in high school which unlike football is fairly straightforward. Although, before I joined the track team I didn't understand quite why people liked running around in circles. Truth be told, I joined track because I always hated gym class and if I did a sport for a semester I didn't have to take gym. I didn't do so well with contact sports and I wasn't able to swim fast enough to qualify for the swim team so track seemed like the best option and it turned out to be one of the best things I did in high school. For four years straight I happily held the position of being the slowest person on the team.  I never felt like it was a big deal. The team I was on was really good but what I liked best was how supportive everyone was and I think my running time improved because of this. Running grew to be something I liked to do (and still do occasionally.)  

I really enjoyed cheering my teammates on and somehow just finishing a race made me feel good because my teammates, like my family were there and still cheered for me. I don't think I really understood the phrase that there is no "I' in team until I joined track. I used to think it was the corniest idea. However, once I had joined the team I learned that in finishing a race, in a small way I was contributing to the team's success and because the team won, so did I in the end.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's the little things

I know it's cliche but it's funny how the simplest things can be so exciting. My roommate  for example, received a massive bag of Twizzlers as a gift from a friend the other day. She was so excited about it, it was like Christmas came early. I suppose i should talk since I'm like that too. I was so excited when I received an Itunes gift card. Suddenly it felt like there was a universe of music at my fingertips. (Well at least a universe as large as $15 and exactly 2.5GBs of memory space could stretch.)  My roommate and I may not have won the lottery, staved off world hunger or ended all wars,  but by heaven we'd won the magic that is Twizzlers and music! I could jam out to songs I love and she could munch on Twizzlers to her heart's content. 

I've found that things that I can find joy in that might not seem so grand to the rest of the world, still succeed in showing me that life really can rock! It might not involve receiving something- I can feel a thrill of excitement sometimes when I hear a song I like (case in point: "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet makes me feel like dancing on a regular basis when I hear it.)  Life can be full of so many awesome experiences and it's  having those experiences and having the hope of future awesome happenings that makes life worth living for me. LIFE IS GOOD!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The things I learn from listening to "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!"

I  feel the need to admit that I'm an NPR addict and I love the show "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," which is a quiz show comedy program that airs on Saturdays asks questions of its audience members and celebrity guests about the week's news. (For more information click here.) From listening to the show I've come across some excellent news stories and facts that I felt should be more widely publicized. See below.

How Scientology got started

Apparently L Ron Hubbard ( the father of Scientology) got the idea for Scientology while under laughing gas at the dentist’s office. I never realized that going to the dentist could be such a significantly religious experience. All I can say is when they gave me laughing gas when my dentist took my wisdom teeth out, I can't remember what I thought about but I'm pretty sure I didn't feel particularly religious when I came out of it!

Why British people are exemplary

According to Oprah, in order for couples not to fight so much and have a lasting marriage they should pretend there's a British person in the next room since people from the UK are well known for being generally well mannered. Oprah clearly knows the secret why my father who is American has been married to my mother who is from the UK, for 34 years!

It used to be illegal to insult police horses and other animals used by law enforcement in the UK. Now people can apparently shower these poor animals with insults as the law has been changed. (This change stemmed from a man who was prosecuted for asking a British policeman if the policeman’s horse was gay. Why that was considered  as insulting I still don't understand.) Anyway, if you go to the UK now you can swear at a policeman’s horse if you really feel the urge.

Really stupid crook stories
 An Alabama man who was trying to rob a Starbucks gave up when the cash register wouldn’t open. He decided to have a cup of coffee instead-proving once and for all that Starbucks coffee is crazy addictive-so much so that it’s useful in crime prevention.

Three criminals in Colombia were foiled in their plot to rob a convenience store as their “getaway vehicle” was a donkey that started making lots of noise as it was being loaded up with loot, thus proving that donkeys are smart and that crime doesn’t bray!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Phrases that got lost in translation with me....

I was just thinking how certain phrases people use are rather strange in some ways. Here are some examples:

1- When people describe something as being a "drop in the ocean" they typically are implying that whatever you're doing to solve a problem isn't going to do a whole lot of good. I don't quite understand this logic-without drops of water there would be no ocean-every little bit you do to reach a goal counts, however small the step might be.

2:  If great minds think alike, then how is it that many experts seem to spend an inordinate amount of time arguing?

3:  You can't teach an old dog new tricks? Whoever came up with that phrase must not have liked dogs much. The idea is completely false in my humble opinion. My family had an old dog  (that we loved and who I still miss very much) that must have been extraordinary because we taught him all sorts of new stuff even when he was old. 

One phrase I do like very much is: A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down! Although I realize this doesn't apply to all medication I still think a little sweetness never goes amiss. Thus, if you have to go through something hard and/or take some nasty medicine or other today I hope this blog post helps things go down a little more easily!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Answers to the riddles!

Finally the long awaited answers to the riddles I wrote about in yesterday's blog post are here!!!

There are how many seconds in a year?
Answer: There are 12 : January 2nd, Feb 2nd, March 2nd. etc, etc..

A man and a son were driving home one rainy night. They had an accident. The father died on the spot. The people who were nearby took the son to the emergency room. The surgeon refused to operate on the boy, saying "I cannot operate on him, he's my son!" How is that possible?

Answer: The surgeon was the boy’s mother.

A man makes a claim that he can predict the exact score of every football game, before it begins. And he's always right. How's that possible?
Answer: The man says that the score before every football game begins, is 0-0. Thus, he is always correct on that subject!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brain food!

I like to think that a healthy brain can lead us to be happier people. To that end, I've found 3 fun brain teasers that might be of interest. The answers to them will be posted in my next blog post. (Just to keep you all reading it!!)

Brain Teaser 1:  How many seconds are there in a year?

Brain Teaser 2:  A man makes a claim that he can predict the exact score of every football game, before it begins. And he's always right. How's that possible?

Brain Teaser 3: A man and a son were driving home one rainy night. They had an accident. The father died on the spot. The people who were nearby took the son to the emergency room. The surgeon refused to operate on the boy, saying "I cannot operate on him, he's my son!" How is that possible?