Monday, May 20, 2013

Skidding in sideways...

There's a saying that life isn't about finishing in a well-preserved body. Rather, the smart way is to go skidding into the grave sideways, thoroughly worn out and finishing with the thought, "wow, what a ride!"

That's a wise view. When we were at my alma mater for my 25-year reunion (and where did those years go?!) a few weeks ago, our last event was a lovely brunch on Sunday morning. We sat with two older couples. They were from the class of 1958, so 55 years past their graduation.

These people were busy, engaged in current events, active (they were talking about going kayaking) and seemed to be living life to the fullest. They really were inspiring. No one can say how long anybody's stay here on Earth will last, but these people were a reminder that age is just a number. If you have good health, then the rest is up to you. Live your life! Enjoy the days you have, and at the end skid in sideways, exhausted and marveling at what a ride you had!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Internal clocks

I know people who can wake up at a certain time without an alarm. I've seen all kinds of excellent grasps on time that didn't require a timepiece. But what really amazes me is how a dog--Dodger, in this instance--without cues that I can see, is able to tell time with pretty good precision.

He will ask for certain things to happen at the same time every day. A few minutes ago, he went over to Marc and made clear he wanted something. Marc and Dodger can go through a question-and-answer thing where Marc will ask if he wants things and he'll bark when Marc gets to the right one.

Marc was starting the question session, but then Marc turned to me and asked, "what time is it?" I told him it was 9:09. At that, Marc knew Dodger was ready for his treats. Dodger calls for biscuits at 9:0something every night. Most nights, the demand hits at 9:03 or 9:04, but it can vary a few minutes.

How can he tell? Nothing else he does is anywhere close to this time, so he's not judging one off the other. And we don't watch the same shows each night. In fact, lots of nights, we don't even watch TV, and tonight we'd put in a DVD.

We make a mistake when we underestimate the skills and intelligence of non-human animals. Dodger reminds me of that often enough!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A new hobby

If you know me at all, you know that I love photography. In fact, I've loved it since I was a little boy, and I continue to consider it my main avocation.

But recently, I've felt the itch to try something new. I love music. I can't sing to save my life, but I love music. In school, I played the alto saxophone, but that was long ago. More to the point, I don't want to try that again. Instead, I got the idea that I might like to learn how to play guitar. That's why the item you see below (at least I think it's below--I'm doing this from the iPad app, and I'm not certain where the photo will appear) is on my desk at work. I know, that's not a guitar. Just as well, since I doubt playing the guitar at work would be considered productive.

No, that's a device to exercise my fingers when I'm on calls or doing something else that would leave my hands free. It seems one must press down rather firmly on guitar strings to make chords sound right. They have to be pressed all the way to the neck of the guitar and contact the wood. Believe it or not, it's not as easy as it sounds. So I'm doing finger exercises.

Other challenges include pressing one string without touching the one next to it. Again, unless you have skinny fingers, this isn't easy! Also, it seems I need to develop calluses on my fingertips. Soft fingertips don't work too well for guitar playing.

I just started, so I have lots to learn, but I'm trying! At some point, I'll need to take lessons from someone. In the meantime, I'm trying to learn some basics. Hey, it keeps me off the streets at night! ;-)

Such a bad blogger!

I keep telling people that blogging is a superior format, at least in terms of quality, to things like Facebook. Blogging allows for the recording of more thoughts and a far easier way to look back and review life events.

With that said, I intend to make a real effort at being a better blogger. I do enjoy my blog, and I need to share more!