Blog

How to Hover

I look forward to offering brief thoughtful content. The most recent entries will be displayed first. You may decide to just read the latest. Perhaps you will decide to scroll the titles until you find a topic to hover and dip into for a few moments.    

Humor Helps

An additional goal of many entries will be to provide a way to enjoy a smile or even a laugh. Then you can go on about your day.

Follow Your Curiosity

If an entry has you wondering - how lovely. Satisfy your curiosity with a web search, or a field trip to a book store or library. Best of all, start a conversation with a friend.


Blog Started Spring of 2017

How and Where to Give

When the world is hurting.

News of disasters compels us to do something, anything. For most events the only possible action is to give money, less likely donate some useful goods or time. The further away the disaster - the more useful cash becomes over helpful items. Imagine the logistics of getting a bag full of jeans and sneakers over a thousand miles away and into an area that is at least partially destroyed. Then there is the whole next organizational challenge of getting the sneakers to fit someone. Cash may be a bit impersonal as a gift for your niece and it is imminently personal to give cash to a distant area in need.


So who can you give cash to?

The news is also covering the names of familiar organizations doing what they do in times of crisis. Then there are the less familiar organizations that contribute to recovery efforts. Unfortunately, there are also “charities” that are created to take advantage of people’s generosity. These groups rarely serve any real recovery purpose. 


GoDaddy doesn’t allow enabled links. 

So just copy and paste or type it out.


How to decide where to donate your money after disasters by Nira J Chokshi in Boston.com has some common sense advice on donating after a disaster. I especially like the advice from Jacob Harold, the chief executive of GuideStar. “If the organization is only talking about the problem, but not talking about how the work they do leads to solutions to that problem, that is a red flag,” Harold said.

 

GuideStar and Charity Navigator both offer clear and useful information and ratings. Spending some time on either site is part of a thoughtful response to the tragedies and disasters filling the news.  


Giving isn’t just so you can feel better - it is to assist in someone someplace or something becoming better.

Self-help books

Help Yourself

Yes - there are plenty of tips and suggestions and quizzes available on the web.

There are plenty of mediocre books. Then there are well thought out books and workbooks that explore a topic at length offering greater understanding and solutions.


The trick is to find a book that speaks to you.


Book Selection Strategies

Bookstores are actually better than on-line booksellers when it comes to self-help books. You can hold the book. You can compare the book to others covering similar terrain. You can take it home with you and begin right away versus waiting for delivery. You have already, actively begun to do something real and tangible to manage your distress or difficulty.


If you do choose to use an on-line bookseller then take the time to read the samples provided. Next read the user reviews. Look for reviews that have specific comments such as, “I found the inventories at the beginning of each chapter helped me organize my thinking before starting the next section.”


Too many self-help books fill the majority of the pages describing the problem or concern. Then the last few chapters contain fairly common strategies or tips that can be found in much shorter resources. Look for books that provide just enough information to explain the scope and limits of the topic then spend a lot more space on exploring solutions.


If the title is “too cute” and the book is full of jargon - the book will probably be more frustrating than helpful. Flip through the book to read various sections. Is the language clear? Is the tone encouraging?  

It is now your book. Make notes, underline or highlight.

If after careful reading and thoughtfulness, you are unable to resolve the difficulty, then it may be time to seek out a therapist. You will already have a better understanding of what is troubling you. You will also have some useful experience in “what doesn’t work” to discuss. A therapist can begin working with you from a much more informed place.


surprise Redbook reading

How to Be a Total Boss Bitch by Nicole Lapin

So I was waiting my turn in a lovely room provided for waiting. This waiting room included a stack of fresh magazines. A recent copy of Redbook was top of the stack. How long had it been since I had looked at a Redbook? And when had I ever seen the word “bitch” in an article title in Redbook? Time to read Redbook again. 

What a fine and useful article for women. 

I like the way Nicole Lapin writes for women. Women are too often tripping all over their need to be perceived as polite and nice and considerate and trying to do whatever they think it takes to, horrors, not be considered a bitch. 

At least read the article, it is available on line from Redbook. I am buying the book. Nothing really revolutionary in the content and I like the way she writes about the ongoing struggles women have between being effective and successful and the social training to be nice and never ever be considered a bitch. The more help and strategies and support women can muster in the pursuit of being a better boss of self the better and more effective women will be. At the very least in being the boss of their lovely self. 

Thank you, Ms. Lapin.

Myth of multitasking

Tend to the Task at Hand

How did such a notion of doing all sorts of things virtually all at the same time ever gain any credibility in the first place? If everything arrives on the Thanksgiving table hot (or cold) and tasty  at the same time then that is successful multitasking - directing multiple tasks and time to one clearly defined goal. Deciding to start making your Christmas cookies while the gravy simmers or paying your bills is “multi-distraction” and bound to up the chance for errors or a lousy time at the holiday table.


Ready to challenge the myth of multitasking?


LARRY MAGID: Struggling With Information Overload


I used to think I could manage my own often-interrupted life by "multitasking." But except for things like walking and chewing gum, multitasking is a myth. When it comes to cognitive tasks, our brains aren't really capable of competently doing more than one thing at a time.

 

Knowledge into wisdom

PARAPROSDOKIANS

Seventh on this this list of Pararosdokians still makes me laugh. It also makes me think. Just to save you from reading down the list until later, number 7 is: “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

 

You know it is funny. And then you begin to have your own thoughts. Here are mine. Turning knowledge into wisdom is a process with a price. Sometimes the price is no more than the cost of putting together a fruit salad. Other times there is a higher price. Knowledge needs to be tested with experience before it can become wisdom.

  

There is so much that we know. Our brains are crammed full of knowledge. We all still have plenty of storage capacity for wisdom. Here’s hoping that earning wisdom won’t cost you more than a bag of fruit.


PARAPROSDOKIANS

 

Definition: "Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation."

"Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is a type of paraprosdokian. 

Enjoy the rest of the Pararosdokians! 

  1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. 
  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list. 
  3. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 
  4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong. 
  5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public. 
  6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left. 
  7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. 
  8. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't. 
  9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research. 
  10. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my  desk, I have a work station. 
  11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks. 
  12. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.' 
  13. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you. 
  14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. 
  15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman. 
  16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory. 
  17. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness. 
  18. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice. 
  19. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with. 
  20. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away. 
  21. I used to be indecisive... Now I'm not so sure.
  22. You're never too old to learn something stupid.
  23. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target. 
  24. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
  25. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  26. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. 
  27. A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip. 
  28. Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were. 
  29. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water. 


Words of Wisdom 

        The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. 

                                                                                - Jon Hammond

sand castles

Ephemeral Art

The sand art photos are of the winners of the RGIS Sand Castle Competition. The competition was held in Oregon on June 19, 2010. The photos went viral. Turns out there are all sorts of competitions in many places with lots of sand.

I am still enchanted by the wide range of wit and subjects in the winning collection. Not sure how such sand art could be constructed. Already knowing it won't last for very long even if started above the tide line. So I went searching for information. Oh my.

As I continue to add content I will try to use a few more. 

dandelion determination

Be as Determined as a Dandelion

Dandelions are the designated scourge of suburban lawns. Many beautiful days have been dedicated to rooting them out with special tools and herbicides. Nevertheless, they have persisted. Often the first cheerful bit of color in a still sleeping winter lawn. A surprise in a crack in the sidewalk. That bit of blown-around fluff. A seed hidden in the fluff insisting on growing against all odds. How remarkable is that? 


So easy to wait to be awed by nature. Requiring the undeniable majesty of the Rocky Mountains or the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon to notice. The persistent determined cheerful little dandelion and all its future fluff is right around us. Flourishing in the sidewalk or even in the most tended of lawns. The dandelion persists.