I was poking around in my ideas folder for The Buck List and came across some notes and blurbs that never got developed into full blown posts for the blog, and I figured why not just combine them all into one article of random thoughts. Sorry…
Don’t Dis Great Grandpa
I was reading something the other day about how lost our ancestors would be in the tech savvy world we currently live in. I don’t know if it was the smug tone that got to me or just the absurdness of making that kind of comparison but I got to wondering how well would we today fare if we suddenly had to live like our predecessors. While many of us today communicate with and are entertained by and even make a living using computers, watch lots of TV and can’t imagine life without a cell phone, most of our ancestors spent from before sun up to after sundown out of doors physically working. And while I imagine Great Grandpa would welcome a well deserved break to sit back and feed his face while watching American Idol he would probably soon grow bored and feel the need to get back to work and nature. Automation and technology have given we Americans so much leisure time that it is hard to imagine how much work our elders did and the knowledge needed to survive. Returning to the idea of having to do it that way again, here is a sampling of some skills needed just in the last 150 years.
Cooking on a wood burning stove, milking cows, plowing a field and harvesting crops by horse and by hand, making your own clothes, caring for and butchering livestock for meat, cooking three meals from scratch every day, living by lamp and candle light after dark, hunting for and cleaning small and large game, washing clothes by hand…the list really could go on and on.
I bet Great Grandpa wouldn’t have too much trouble learning to text or use a computer mouse, if his big calloused hands could even hold them. How well do you think you would do in his world?
Some moments and realizations that I thought I could liven up some blog posts with by working them into similes or metaphors or whatever but didn’t end up using.
The moment when you return home from a vacation and walk into your still house and take in the abandonment before it all comes alive again.
The moment while you are listening to music you have never heard before when you realize you really like it.
While driving the moment when you have almost been in an accident and then the realization that it did not happen.
The moment when, as a child, you see your favorite grandparent and anticipate the fun you will have, and the moment when you remember it years after they are gone and still feel the excitement.
While watching a rain storm coming your way the moment when the rain just begins to fall.
The Most Mysterious Things
This was to be the first installment of a monthly series that I thought would be fun and different, but I put it on the backburner and forgot about it. I only wrote this one, and I honestly was not consciously trying to imitate Andy Rooney. By the time you get to the end it’s pretty obvious why I decided not to use it.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” – Albert Einstein –
They say everyone likes a good mystery. While true for me as well, I also dislike a lot of them. Missing people, for example. I would rather know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Airhart. Missing links bug me too, such as the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. How hard can it be to find a gigantic fish-monster in a 20 square mile lake, or an 8 foot tall 500 pound ape-thing running around in the woods? Since most species on Earth take two to tango to keep procreating it would only make sense there would be at least a small population of these things to detect. And how about missing mysteries? Whatever happened to the Bermuda Triangle and spontaneous human combustion?
Pondering all this recently got me to thinking: what are the most mysterious things, phenomenon that truly cannot be explained? (Insert wife joke here. Or not.)
First up in this series: Dogs
My family had a dog when I was growing up, and as an adult I am now on dog number four. It is said we are genetically closer to primates but socially much closer to dogs than any other species, due to thousands of years of living with each other, as well as the fact that we created them from wolves. (For some fascinating reading on the subject Google “Jozsef Topal)
This intimate and ancient relationship between our two species still has its mysteries, though. Since most dogs can’t talk we can only speculate what might be the most mysterious aspect about us to them. My guess would be “Why can’t we just play and sleep all day?” If you ever get that questioning look from a dog, and you do every day if you own one, explanations of having to work or doing something else that does not involve them are met with sad eyes that show more pity for you than sadness by them.
There is no doubt what my mystery question would be for them: “Why, oh why, do you eat poop?” Every dog I have owned, from the first one that ate poopy diapers out of the trash whenever he could to the current dog that eats deer droppings in the woods, they have all ingested scat. To make an already disgusting subject slightly worse, they really seem to enjoy it, like a drunk eating sloppy Buffalo wings at the end of a hard night. Which is grosser is a tossup, but you wouldn’t want either one to lick your face when they are done.