Showing Up is Over Half the Battle

Show up for your appointments

When we moved into our current home, over twenty years ago, we elected to enlist a service to mow our lawn and do some other basic maintenance on the large yard. We went through several services before finding one we would stick with for many years.

The most common cause of failure was actually very disappointing. While we expected the quality of the work to be the determining factor, it was something else entirely that had us more often than not looking for a new provider.

We ended up making our evaluation on what seemed the simplest of things: did they even show up regularly, as promised, to do the job?

Too many times the answer was “no”.

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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.

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The Mug

It’s funny how we assign meaning and even sentimentality to inanimate objects.

Consider the mug accompanying this article: it’s actually quite meaningful to me. So much so that at one point I actually stopped using it for fear of breaking it. As a result, I never saw it and it remained in a relatively obscure location.

Last year I came to the conclusion that that was kinda silly, and placed it back into service.

This morning I realized that it’s not just the mug we set aside for some odd perception of safety and desired permanence.

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Truth, Facts and Opinions

Sheldon: But evolution is not opinion, it’s a fact.

Sheldon’s mom: And that is your opinion.

– Big Bang Theory

Nothing sums up the current political environment to me more than that quote.

I think everyone would agree that facts are facts. They are invariant, objective  laws of the universe, subject to scrutiny and unchanging based on who’s doing the scrutinizing.

Until, it appears, you happen to disagree with a fact.

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Confirmation Bias is a Bitch

We love confirmation bias; you know, the fact that we more readily believe those things that confirm, rather than challenge, our existing beliefs.

We love it when we can use it to explain the behaviour of others, or our inability to persuade them to our way of thinking. “Oh, they’ll only listen to things that they agree with.”

But we have a blind spot:

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Providence Marianwood – Family Story and Ask

[I was asked once again to speak at the spring luncheon for Providence Marianwood, the long term care facility at which my father lived for his last 4.5 years. The keynote speaker for the luncheon was Robert Fulghum. I was also preceded by Gene Muren, whose wife Debra is a resident of the same wing that my father had been on, and who suffers from early-onset Alzheimer’s. Debra was diagnosed at the age of 46.]

I want to thank Gene as well for sharing his poem and story. Debra’s a familiar face to those of us who’ve spent any time in the Alzheimer’s wing. I also have to echo Gene’s characterization of the experience as both educational, and humbling.

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New unit of measurement: The Bible?

The Bible turns out to be a handy unit of measurement,
particularly when you’re trying to help folks some grasp
large storage media or data transfer rates.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe in what’s in it, of
course, it’s just that most folks have seen one. I’d wager
that most folks have a reasonable concept of its size, even
if only in heft or “thud factor”.

I used it as an example way back when as I tried to convey
some concepts to my parents. This disk? It could hold X
bibles! And this connection here, we can send the entire
Bible
in Y seconds! Wow!

A random copy of The Bible, text only, from project
Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org) “weighs in” at roughly
5 megabytes.

With that as a unit of measure:

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Seattle has no full time news radio station.

Yes, yes, I know that the two heavyweights in the Seattle
marker, KIRO 710 and KOMO 1000 both claim to be news
stations. And yet…

KIRO changed branding some time ago from “News Radio” to
“News Talk” to finally reflect more accurately what they
really broadcast: News and Talk. More of the later than the
former, I’m afraid. Fair enough, at least they’re honest
about it. (And I’m a fan of the talk part … if
that’s what I happen to be looking for.)

The real offender, in my mind, is KOMO.

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Why yes, I do live in Seattle.

During my recent trip to San Antonio, I found myself in a small shop
(gourmet dog cookies, if you must know) across from a Starbucks.
I told the proprietor that I was visiting from Seattle, and she immediately
said, “Yes, the home of Starbucks!”

Indeed.

It made me realize that I’m really, really from Seattle, because:

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Aging Gracefully: Caring For Dogs With Degenerative Myelopathy and Other Mobility Impairments

As our dogs age, a common scenario is the loss of mobility. Often the hind legs begin to deteriorate first, due to disease, injury or simply because our friend is getting on in years. The front legs can also begin to lose their ability over time as well.

All the while the dog frequently remains otherwise healthy and alert.

Our Pembroke Welsh Corgi Guido brought us to exactly that situation as he developed and progressed through degenerative myelopathy.

If you’re looking ahead to a time where your canine pal may suffer from partial or major mobility issues, here are some tips we picked up along our journey.

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The One Big Thing – In Your Way?

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about what was
coming next for her web site. She has a new site design. The design itself is
ready to go, and I’d say that the “important stuff” has been moved into it, but
not everything. A bunch of older content hasn’t yet been moved. On top of that
the older content needs updating as it’s moved into the new design.

So she’s been waiting to release the new website design until more (all?) of
the old content has been revised and moved. And of course, that’s just an
overwhelming amount of work – all those pages. It’s a big deal.

So naturally, since it’s such a daunting task, it’s not happening. Smile

My response? Just do it.

No, not the old content migration. That is an overwhelming
task.

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DirecTV Take 1. Take 2. Take …

As I mentioned elsewhere,
my 11 year old big screen TV decided it was tired, and wasn’t going work
any more. That, of course, accelerated my HDTV education and upgrade
timetable.

My replacement HDTV is on
order.

But as I mentioned to Kathy, this is a slippery slope. Programming.
Audio. Recording. Etc.

And so I found myself on the phone to DirecTV to upgrade our programming
to their HDTV package with their HDTV DVR. No problem, they said. They’d
be happy to take more of my money. No surprise really.

We scheduled an appointment for the upgrade, which includes a new
(bigger) dish and the DVR. I made note to the representative to make sure
to mention that a 30 foot ladder was going to be required, as the
existing dish was at the peak of one end of our house. No problem, they
said.

And here the enumeration begins by visit and technician contact… (you
know it’s bad when a numbered list is the right approach)

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Empty Office & Clean Desk

We’re having all of the woodwork in our home re-varnished. The time came
for my office, which from the following picure you can see is mostly woodwork.
We took advantage of having to empry the walls and bookshelves to go one step
further and empty the office and move the carpet to a different room so it could
be cleaned as well.

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