Walter

Hello, my name is Walter. I’m a boy Pembroke Welsh Corgi, born in 2013. I live in Woodinville, Washington, but I do travel a little, mostly in western Washington. If you find me my owners would love it if you let them know. You can reach Leo Notenboom via the 206 number on my tag. … Read more

An Interested Interview

I was recently interviewed by Josh Spector, the man behind For The Interested, a curated newsletter of interesting articles and other information that Josh both finds and occasionally writes himself. There’s an associated For The Interested Facebook group made up of newsletter subscribers, and as part of an experiment to learn more about the people in it, Josh has been conducting a few short interviews.

Here’s mine, presented here with his permission.

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Not. My. Monkeys.

I have opinions.

(I’ll wait for everyone that knows me to stop laughing….)

I tend not to be terribly shy about sharing said opinions.

(Again, another pause for the audience to catch their breath….)

I recently read an article that discussed how the Dutch are somewhat more “brutally honest” when it comes to opinions, and are often puzzled when people don’t accept and understand that they’re offered with the best of intentions. My Dutch heritage apparently runs deeper than I thought.

Of late, though, I’m trying to take a different approach when I react and want to share something I think important. And a simple phrase is helping.

Read moreNot. My. Monkeys.

The Insidious Bubble

I was talking to a friend yesterday about our meditation practices. The observation we both made was that meditation, mindfulness, and related concepts were becoming more and more mainstream. What was once considered a fringe and somewhat “woo” activity had made its way into common discussions around everything from personal performance, to medical and mental health discussions.

But on one observation we differed in an interesting way.

Read moreThe Insidious Bubble

The Shallows

As revolutionary as it may be, the Net is best understood as the latest in a long series of tools that have helped mold the human mind.

Last week I finished the book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains” by Nicholas Carr.

It brought a few things in to clarity for me, both with respect to my own ability to focus and dive deep into content, as well as how my audience is being impacted as well.

Read moreThe Shallows

Five Things I Learned Writing About Gratitude Every Day For Sixty Days

In mid-August, sixty days prior to my 60th birthday I started a writing exercise I called “60 Days of Gratitude“. Ten years ago I wrote a thought piece entitled “Half Century Mark“. I wanted to do something similar to mark the next decade, and using a writing exercise focussed on gratitude seemed an appropriate approach.

Now that I’m done I decided to capture some of what I learned in the process.

Read moreFive Things I Learned Writing About Gratitude Every Day For Sixty Days

Oma & Opa

“Oma & Opa” is Dutch for grandmother and grandfather. Pictured are my mother’s parents with us on their visit circa 1964.

I never met my father’s parents. They were long gone before I arrived.

In looking back, I miss having never met them, and conversely, I’m very grateful I got to spend time with my mother’s parents.

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Coffee, Vodka, and Choice

It wouldn’t be my 60 days of gratitude if I didn’t include coffee. And vodka. And coffee-flavored vodka. And coffee-flavored rum, while I’m at it. And Starbucks, of course.

You get the idea. I’m grateful for coffee, with and without alcohol, and preferably from Starbucks.

But when I think about it, it’s really gratitude for something much, much larger: choice.

Read moreCoffee, Vodka, and Choice

Books

I’ve always been a reader. Some of my earliest memories include books of one sort or another. I’m sure I have my mother to thank for that.

I recall Little Golden Books on a bookshelf when I was perhaps five years old. Dick and Jane were part of my kindergarten or first grade curricula. I was an avid reader and collector of Tom Swift Jr. (my first science fiction), as well as The Hardy Boys.

But it wasn’t until high school that things really took off.

Read moreBooks

A Community Of Information

It’s no secret that I believe quite strongly that the internet has created more community and opportunity than it’s destroyed, and connected more people in more ways than we could possibly have imagined. Yes, there are issues, but they are far outweighed by the positives.

A simple example: I’m currently in my travel trailer, parked outside my sister-in-laws house, near a workshop that has a 220 volt electrical outlet for a welder.

Can I plug in my trailer? I plug into a different type of 220 outlet at home, why not this one?

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Progress

As part of my daily research to produce Not All News Is Bad (NANIB) I run across a lot of positive news stories. (That daily research is the intended goal of NANIB — that I publish it is just a side effect.)

When my wife stumbled into a story about a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that is showing promise my first thought was that I’ve been seeing a lot of stories about progress on the medical front.

Read moreProgress