Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Can Republicans govern?

I wonder if Republicans can actually govern.

Witnessing the proceedings in the House of Representatives over the last two days makes it apparent that Republican politicians are simply foreign to concepts such as cooperation and negotiation unless, of course, they are assured a victory. Compromise is simply an impossible tactic.

Democrats may be happy seeing this much chaos amongst their opposition. But they should not be. A divided Congress is an inefficient government and a waste of our tax money.

Come on, people! Get to work already!

Tuesday, January 03, 2023


Many years ago I gave a speech entitled "Imagine." The premise was basic: can we imagine a world without professional sports? Without useless competition?

The speech was inspired by watching a soccer game televised in England. The TV crew was showing how close two soccer stadiums were to each other. A fan could just walk from one stadium to the other. The two enormous concrete structures surrounded by humungous asphalt parking lots. All that money just to see 22 men compete. Imagine if all that space was used for other things: parks, museums, art, science. More cooperation and less competition.

Imagine if the world would spend more time learning instead of watching TV or going to arenas to witness the cruelty of players bashing each other?

Just this week, during the Monday Night Football game, the world watched a young man collapse during a "routine" tackle. Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin, just 24, suffered cardiac arrest and was resuscitated on the field. He remains in critical condition.

Is it time to imagine a different reality? Can we eliminate competitive sports and instead turn our energy into more worthwhile endeavors? Can we imagine a world in which we teach our children how to collaborate and cooperate rather than constantly compete against others? Can we teach them to compete against themselves rather than others? What would the human race be like?

Imagine all that money going to worthy causes such as eliminating hunger and restoring our planet, really curing diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and improving every aspect of life, rather than burying issues in a sea of meaningless distractions.

Imagine that. Just imagine that.

Monday, January 02, 2023

Divide? Combine? Conquer!

As a follow up to my January 1 post, I have rediscovered the power of combining. In this case, I had decided to use my inversion table more often to help my back stay healthy. So I decided to combine my morning meditation time with my inversion table time and achieve two daily goals at once. So far it has worked perfectly.

There are many times when a problem is so large that it may seem impossible and we may freeze, deciding to postpone handling it until we can figure it out or are forced to deal with it. I often recommend to people that large problems are easier to handle if we divide them into smaller pieces. 

"How do you eat an elephant?"

"One bite at a time!"

Whether we combine things or divide things, what matters is that we take action.

I hope you are having a wonderful 2023.

Image Source

Virovores eat viruses

 From the realm of the amazing: scientists have discovered an organism that eats viruses. 

"... one particular microbe seemed to be snacking on the viruses – a ciliate known as Halteria. In water samples with no other food source for the ciliates, Halteria populations grew by about 15 times within two days, while chlorovirus levels dropped 100-fold. In control samples without the virus, Halteria didn’t grow at all.

In follow-up tests, the team tagged chlorovirus DNA with fluorescent dye, and found that Halteria cells soon began to glow. This helped confirm that Halteria was indeed consuming the virus."


My 2022 review

 It is customary to reflect on the year that just passed to see what we accomplished, what was left undone, what we want to carry into the new year and what we want to let go.

My 2022 was a good year, all things considered. Here are some highlights:

  • Professionally, 2022 was likely my best year yet. I accomplished much and helped others accomplish a lot. I think it was a resounding success.
  • Personally, 2022 was another year of loneliness. There were two sides to this. On the one hand, I spent my 10th year by myself. wishing to have a life partner, or even an adventure partner. But it was not meant to be. On the other hand, I have become more comfortable with loneliness and solitude, perhaps as a way to prepare myself for the next adventure after I retire.
  • It was a year of unexpected losses: first Tara, our 12 year old dog, and then Bhakti, our six year old kitty that had been with us less than a year.
  • It was a year of new companions: we gained Duke around Thanksgiving. Everyday is an adventure with this guy.
  • It was a year of good-byes: after over a decade, I stepped down from the ContraCola Board, unwilling to succumb to the chaos that has become part of that operation.
  • It was a year of hellos: I became an officer in the Harvest Moon Folk Society, having been elected its President for the 2002-2003 year (and also taking over as Booker and continuing to do work as webmaster), and I also joined the Charlotte Contra Dancers Board as their Secretary and sound tech.
  • This was a year of new realizations. One of them was that my relationship to Contra dancing changed drastically over the last few years. I still love the dance form and the communities around Contra, and I am also not as driven to actually dance. When I go to a dance, I am content with just watching others dance, rejoicing in their smiles, loving that I made a small contribution to their joy. My lower stamina gets in the way of enjoying the actual dancing. That also comes across at my lack of interest in driving several hours to attend a dance or my lack of interest in going to weekend dances. All this is neither good nor bad; it is just interesting to observe.
  • It has also been interesting to observe how much some Contra communities have changed since the pandemic. Many members of the Contra world have stepped away from it, either partially or completely. Without them many of these communities are struggling, being forced to re-start their groups almost from scratch. Not only are we missing the dance energy from these members, we are also deprived of their knowledge and wisdom. As with many similar situations, there are also positive aspects: we are being forced to re-invent these groups, forced to re-think what we do and how we do it, and this may be what Contra needs in order to survive and grow again.
What are your reflections about 2022? Was it a good year? What lessons did you learn?

[GIF image source: via Google Images]

Sunday, January 01, 2023

And so 2023 starts


Today is January 1, 2023. Another year gone. Another new year started.

Somehow, however, it does not feel like just any new year. 2022 was the bridge between what we knew and loved, pre-pandemic, and what is here and now.

So much has changed since the end of 2019!

The start of a new year is often an opportunity to change our lives, start new habits, dream new dreams, set new goals. We know that, sometime around Valentine's Days, most of our new year resolutions would have been forgotten, abandoned by the side of life's road, ran over like roadkill. And that usually happens because we try to change too many things all at once. We forget that making small changes over a long time is far more effective.

I stopped making new year resolutions many years ago. Instead, I try to fine-tune my rituals, the sequential steps we take everyday throughout each day. It starts by writing down what we do during a regular day. We get up, go to the bathroom, take a shower, etc. Each step is a trigger for the next step.

How do we fine-tune our rituals? We simply decide what we want to accomplish and how we can do that. Then we find something in our rituals that we can replace or shuffle to accommodate what we need to do. For example, if we want to be healthier by exercising more, we may find a spot in our rituals that we can use as a trigger for exercising. Let's say that we usually watch TV after dinner. Finishing dinner would be the trigger. If we substitute watching TV with going for a walk, then we will likely achieve what we want.

And it is not an all or nothing proposition. We do not have to give up TV altogether. We can exercise three days and watch TV three days.

Finally, it needs not be perfect. There may be times when the weather just is not OK for a walk. So we can watch TV that day and do a walk the next day.

Let's have fun with life this 2023. We have gone through a lot since the end of 2019.

May you be well, healthy and happy!

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Is it back?

Is it really back?

No, not COVID. That has not gone away.

Polio. Is it really back?

Watch this brief video to learn some facts.

Friday, August 05, 2022


 One of my joys is to capture beautiful cloud settings. Here is one of my latest.

Thursday, August 04, 2022


 I am hooked on this. There is a YouTube channel called "SUV RVing" and it rocks!

Tristan, the guy that runs this channel, is the ultimate adventure seeker. The places he travels to in his SUVs are amazing.

What I like most about his channel is the simplicity. The photography is fabulous, the narration is simple and lively.

One of the things that impresses me the most is Tristan's comfort with loneliness in what could be dangerous situations. I often wonder what would happen to him if the unthinkable happened?

I hope you enjoy his adventures.