I was telling a friend recently that in general people have a strange relationship with money.

At one level it’s difficult to talk about with anyone other than your spouse, banker, or financial planner. At another it’s often the cause of significant consternation when trying to do something as simple as splitting the check.

Talking about what you do or don’t have is often considered to be either boasting, or feeling sorry for yourself. There’s a lot of shame around both having and not having money.

I do want to talk about it, and though I won’t get into specifics I don’t want to be seen as boasting. I had to think long and hard about posting this publicly, which goes to show that how we feel about money can be very complicated.

I’m grateful not for what I have, but for what it enables me to do.

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The older  get the more I come to realize that education isn’t a state, it’s a process. You’re never done; it’s a life-long process.

I believe that many people — perhaps even most — take their education for granted, and as a result fail to take advantage of the many opportunities available. Certainly those who have basic education available — much of the world still does not — are very likely not to realize what a wonderful gift it is.

I try not to. In fact, I try very hard to be grateful for all of my education – past and present.

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Our neighbor had … issues. That’s really the only way to put it.

It was our first home, back in Mountlake Terrace in the early 1980’s. We’d occasionally hear her holding what I can only describe as on-person religious revivals in her back yard. She accused us of somehow influencing our cats, as well as all the other cats in the neighborhood to come poop in her gardens.

You can imagine that living next door to someone like that was a bit of a challenge at times.

One day it all came to a head.

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I’ve talked about our breeder, now it’s time to talk about something else Corgi-related: the community.

Yes, there’s a “Corgi community”, and it’s pretty darned cool.

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One of the very major changes in recent years has nothing to do with the speed of technology, or even the its vast improvements in capability or power. Yet one, single aspect of technological change in recent years has impacted me more than any other.

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Growing Up Together

On October 7, 1977 I met Kathy. We’d been “set up” by my roommate a the time and his fiance — they had decided we should meet.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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Just Showing Up

Good help is hard to find. I think we’ve all heard that, if not said that, particularly if you’re a homeowner.

One of the themes of our home ownership, however, goes a tad more basic than even that. Even good help can be no help at all, if they don’t show up.

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In The Company Of Dogs

It should be absolutely no surprise that any list of gratitude I create would include the dogs currently sleeping in my office as I write this.

More specifically, though, I’m grateful that we hooked up with an awesome breeder.

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Meditation Mediation

I plan to share my “path to meditation” sometime in the future. It’s the path that lead the skeptical, pragmatic, logical, rational, engineer that I am to embrace meditation as a daily habit. It’s been useful, and I’ve been doing for some years now.

But it dawned on me that I owe a debt of gratitude to some authors and apps that helped me get here on that path.

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That’s Challenging

I had lunch the other day with a good friend — the kind of friend who challenges my thinking, all in a very positive way. This person is one of those people with whom I need no mask.

In reflecting on our relationship I realized that in the last few years I’ve grown — personally, spiritually, intellectually — in part because of my relationship and interactions with this person.

If that’s not something to be grateful for, then I don’t know what is. 🙂

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Engineering 141

In 1975 I’d applied to four colleges: The University of Washington, Washington State University, Gonzaga University, and Seattle University. Each application form had an entry that corresponded to some variation of “area of study.”

They each wanted to know what career path I would choose.

How the heck should I know? I was 17 at the time, doing all this during my senior year in highschool. I suppose some of my peers knew what they “wanted to be when they grew up,” and had for perhaps a long time, but I wasn’t one of them.

What I did know, from my own tinkering, along with some encouragement from a family friend, was that electronics and electrical devices were kind of interesting. I didn’t know what that meant in terms of a career, though, but, “electronics” is what I put down.

That one word changed my life.

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As I’ve said before people who’ve lost weight love to talk about how they lost weight. I’m no exception.

I’ve written about it, some, talked about it, some, and just generally put it out there that — after 50+ years — I’d lost some significant weight.

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Private Audience

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I gave a friend a ride into Seattle for an orientation meeting for a new job. While that meeting happened I hung out near the Starbucks in the lobby.

Eventually, though, I moved outside. The weather was beautiful, there were tables available, and it just seemed like a pleasant thing to do.

That’s when it became unexpectedly more pleasant.

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The Masks We Wear

We all wear masks as we interact with others. On one hand we might consider being anything other than our completely authentic true self as somehow deceitful or incongruous, but the masks serve an important purpose.

We use masks to protect the relationships we value.

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Pill Hill

I’m grateful to have grown up in and around Seattle.

Ironically(?) after yesterday’s post about my propensity to roam all over Seattle on my own as a child, I find myself back today for a completely different reason. Because I’ve lived so much of my life here I have a level of comfort and familiarity with the area that I value.

So being asked to give someone a ride to a confusing part of town? No problem.

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I was probably in my early teens – maybe 13 or so.

I had my bike and I was mobile.

In retrospect I was more mobile than I realized, and probably causing my parents ulcers.

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The Grandparents

Today we think nothing of calling overseas. In many cases, using tools like Skype, not only is it easy, it’s free and can easily include video.

In the early 1960’s it was another story. My parents made one phone call to Holland. It lasted 3 minutes, took something like an hour or more to set up, involved at least three separate operators, and cost an arm and a leg.

I believe it was in part to set up a visit.

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Immigration Day, 1960

While I see being born in Canada as having been a positive thing, I’m also grateful that we moved to the United States when I was three.

Nothing at all against Canada, but when I look at the years that followed our immigration much of my good fortune would not have played out as it did had we not moved.

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Oh, Canada

As odd as it may seem to some, I’m actually grateful that I was born in Canada.

For one thing, even though I’m a U.S. citizen having been born elsewhere protects me from ever considering a run for U.S. president. 🙂

In reality, being a Canadian citizen as well as U.S. (I have both) opens a few doors that wouldn’t otherwise be opened.

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Sixty Days of Gratitude #1: My Parents

For the next 60 days I’m putting a little bit of structure around my daily writing exercise. Each day will be about something for which I’m grateful. Some may be trivial, while others (like today’s) more significant, but all will be honest and from the heart. I live a fortunate life, and it’s good to reflect on that from time to time.

Why sixty days? I’ll reveal that … in sixty days. 🙂

It’s only logical that I start with my parents. After all, they “started” me. 🙂

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