When future generations read this post, they’ll need some context about what we’re facing, so this paragraph here isn’t for any of you reading it today. It’s for time travelers and historians. I write this during a time of uncertainty on planet Earth: the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’m not writing about the pandemic. There will be plenty of far smarter individuals that will have much more to say about it than I. Instead, I want to talk about my hero during this moment. You see, I’m not one of the people who suddenly found themselves holed up at home with copious amounts of free time (a curse, more than a blessing, for most). If anything, I find myself busier than ever trying to assist others with setting up contingency plans for working from home. As a result, my wife has been pulling extra duty as caretaker around here.
If you’ll permit me a moment, I want to brag on her for a bit. Before the toilet paper began disappearing from shelves, she quietly made note of what supplies we needed at home to disinfect and self-quarantine, if necessary. She picked up the essentials and a few extra items to make sure we were covered, but not hoarding. She organized our food stores, took the kids for walks, encouraged them to play outside, read them books, and basically took care of everything while I spent most of the last 3 days in the basement trying to help people figure out how to work in a place never meant for their work.
And through everything, she’s been cheerful, though concerned and occasionally overwhelmed by it all. But today, she ran back out to the store—not for us but for others unable to do the same. She picked up some staples for a pregnant friend and some toilet paper for an elderly man in a nursing home whose granddaughter is in Texas and knew he just needed something to ease his mind. She checked on everyone to ask if they needed anything and has been reaching out to others that might need a friendly voice to feel safe.
So, I just want to say how impressed I am by this incredible hero of mine. She does so much more than she needs to do and does so with joy in her heart. I wish we were all just a bit more like her.
I wrote this back in October (I think it was actually a response on someone’s Facebook post) and copied it here to post later. But, of course, I never did. However, I came across it today and, it’s still relevant. I know the idea that the fighting and name-calling and unceasing selfishness may never end, but I have to believe that we are better than this. Remember: there are more of US than there are of THEM. And the only THEM we should ever acknowledge as OTHER are those in power forcing us to fight each other so that they can get rich and do whatever they want.
For a poll to be effective, it has to use a large enough sample size, randomly selected. It’s the same methodology that stores use when they ask you for your zip code or address. They’re trying to determine where their shoppers are coming from to determine if they need to open another store closer to their base.
It’s also how drug testing works. Test on a large enough sample and you can get an idea as to the effectiveness and severity of side effects.
Just because you’ve never been polled doesn’t mean anything. Most people don’t answer surveys by phone or mail because they don’t want to be bothered.
That said, polls can be manipulated just like any statistic. On the flip side, just because a poll disagrees with your (the royal “your”, not any specific “your”) viewpoint and you don’t know anyone else that was polled (again, royal “you”), doesn’t mean the poll is incorrect. It’s natural to be in the minority on a particular subject and still feel like the majority because we tend to surround ourselves with people that think like we do.
It’s why herd mentality and groupthink are so effectively dangerous. We’re too busy fighting against “the other team” to figure out what we have in common and work toward that. It’s how our political system has divided us for decades to allow corporate interests to supersede personal interests. Our country has always been a democracy fighting against its own innate nature to transition to an oligarchy. But most people are too stupid or too easily distracted to fight those pulling the strings. They’d rather righteously declare themselves “correct” than admit that the side they’ve chosen doesn’t care about them at all.
I just blinked my eyes and my baby was all grown up.
I can’t believe that 18 years ago today my cousin and I ran around a campground with toy guns and made our very first movie together. A lot has happened since then (most notably, the lack of becoming famous). But I still look back fondly on those days. Though filmmaking never became a part of my daily routine, it’s responsible for a large portion of how I view things creatively. I still write with a cinematic mindset and I even develop scenes as a dungeon master as though my players are experiencing them both onscreen and as the audience.
So, as a tribute to the impact that the first Ripcord had on me as an adult, I present it to you all without shame or fear of judgment.
Okay, maybe just a little fear of judgment. Be nice to me. I was a child.
I find myself thinking back to a time, recent yet oh so long ago. A time when the family I chose—not the family I was given—lived across a small stretch of pavement and grass. When there stretched a vast, wondrous playground just beyond the doors of my home. When my loves shared so small a space and yet wanted for so little. When joy and laughter were nestled away, across the street, in a familiar, cozy place. Or just past the shed, where the flames licked the low-hanging branches of trees older than “One small step for man…” Or right in front, curled up on a sofa, all together, all one. Where even frustrations at the age and structure of home were easily forgiven when reminded of the wondrous, happy memories made within.
There are days I wish I could go home again, even if I’m already here.
Eleven years ago today, I married the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, and embarked on a remarkable journey that is still in its infancy. Like the great odysseys of yore, this journey has had setbacks and challenges, victories and celebratory joys, and days of endless plodding forward, trudging ever onward.
Marriage isn’t a straight line. It’s a circuitous path, circling back on itself in a fashion that must appear to be a strange doodle when viewed from above. But within that path are intersections where the struggles meet the successes and that is where the greatest moments of a marriage are born.
Eleven is an auspicious number. Celebrations of tenth anniversaries are as common as they come. The number 12 has a special place in my heart, but eleven is the first double-digit prime. It’s also an incredible visual representation of marriage. The two individuals (both the numeral 1) becoming a single entity, the number 11. I am so grateful that my “other number 1” in life is my wife Autumn. I could not have asked for a better partner in crime. I am well and truly blessed today.
It’s important to note, my son has never heard this song. But he now associates all music from the ’70s with the Guardians of the Galaxy. As such, as soon as that sweet, soul music started to play, he knew what characters were about to make an appearance.
If you’re in the market for a Mac app for editing PDFs, but don’t need (or want) Acrobat Pro, PDF Expert is half off to celebrate their 11th birthday. At $30, it’s a steal.
It’s phenomenal, and I have clients that use it as an alternative to Acrobat Reader. You can get a free trial to check it out before purchasing, to make sure it will do the things you need to do (since it’s obviously not as feature-rich as Acrobat). The iOS version of the app is NOT on sale, but it’s also a fantastic app that I’ve been using for years. Definitely give it a look, as well.