"If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in."
- I heard a squeak on the way to work yesterday, freaked me out a bit as I thought it was under the hood. What is that, alternator bearing? Valve about to snap? Turns out one of the lid hinges on the truck toolbox sometimes has a high pitched squeak when it vibrates just the right way . . . . but it made me think that sooner or later, I'm going to have to retire this pickup. I am thankful for my 20 year old Toyo 4 X 4 king cab, 5 speed manual all the way baby, with over 200K miles it still runs like a top. The truck box in question is the kind with butterfly lids to the side so you don't have to climb in the bed to open the things. Both have been a major aid throughout the years, and it's still on it's original tires (Michelin, by the way.) Once you own a pickup, there's just no turning back to a sedan.
"Here's to the girls whose dream date would be lyin' in his arms, cuddling in the bed of a pickup truck watching the sun set and counting the stars."
- Today I am thankful that my future is looking pretty damn good. Good times come and go, life dips and rises, but it's important to genuinely be thankful when these times come, and mean it. Bonus: surf day tomorrow! :-D
"So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below.
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down.
'Cause it's the world I know.
It's the world I know."
- I am thankful for companies like GoPro, and we need more of them. The camera itself is awesome, affordable enough to enable anyone to chronicle the most amazing experiences from outer space to the ocean depths (literally,) but what I'm most thankful about GoPro is their company changes the entire concept of corporations. Read their story. Nick Woodman, you are awesome. Besides - who else **gives away** one of everything they make, every single day?
"If I didn't follow my passion for surfing, I would have never come up with the concept to make a wrist camera."
- I am thankful for lumber yards, the smell of fir and birch and oak, studs and beams and plywood, all those trees that have given up their lives to lay in ordered planks and sheets waiting for someone to turn an idea into reality. Sometimes it makes me want to build something just being there.
"Men admire the man who can organize their wishes and thoughts in stone and wood and steel and brass."
- I am SO THANKFUL coffee is not fattening. One calorie per cup, oh yeah.
"I prefer a pleasant vice to an annoying virtue."
- I am thankful for glass. Born of the very sands that were once mountains, glass is everywhere, allows us to see through walls of concrete and wood and iron, gives us beautiful utilities from which to eat and drink, and when shattered reminds us of how fragile our bodies are against the forces smelted from the Earth. The most awesome thing about glass is that it's not really solid and is always mutating, just slowly. Some of the tall windows in cathedrals in Europe clearly demonstrate this, with the glass thickness barely paper thin at the top, thick and overflowing the sills at the bottom, from gravity's constant pull. Glass is one of the most amazing substances humankind has ever forged.
"The formation of glass from the melting is like starting a clock. It resets the time for us to determine billions of years later."
- I am thankful that, for the most part, I pass through life pretty much unnoticed. Celebrities and stars live under a magnifying glass, every imperfection exposed and examined, gone viral over teh internetz, it must be a horrible way to live. When most of the world really doesn't give a crap about you, it's really a bit liberating. I am thankful I am free to experience the most positive aspects of the world and apply my energies to things I can do something about, free from the consequence of concerns over what someone might think about it.
"I don't know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower."
- I can't put words to this one, the closest I can come is that I am thankful for having the persistence to unravel complexities. When I was a boy tangled balls of string seemed to come my way frequently. Sometimes it was a web of kite string, or the string portion of the cleanup of some boyhood backyard construction, or my mother's frustration over tangled crochet yarn. Most people would throw it away, but I would find something to use as a spindle, locate one free end of the string, and spend hours loosening the tight angry knots into relaxed loops, passing the spindle through and through until the tangles became long twisted loops, more and more loose, eventually setting them free to be wrapped around the spindle. When it was done I always got a rush of excitement and completion, I really don't know why, but throughout life I get the same feeling with other tasks. I owe it to my training with tangled string.
"The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity."
"Solutions nearly always come from the direction you least expect, which means there's no point trying to look in that direction because it won't be coming from there."
- I am thankful I'm able to start work early. I arrive at 6 AM, my mind on high octane overdrive, seven steps ahead of my hands, long before it begins to settle down to the normal pace of human cognition. By lunch most of my day is done, I get to work out in the company gym for an hour, spend the last 2 1/2 hours touching up the morning's work and am on my way home by 2:30. I get a head start on the afternoon traffic with little to no slowdowns, and there is often time to suit up for an afternoon surf. What do I give up? Staying up late. :-)
"Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil."
- I am thankful for a childhood friend, Vicky Shipley, or more specifically her knack for finding dollar bills. She was a daughter of one of my mom's friends down the street. What I remember most about Vicky is for a time, almost every day, she would randomly find dollar bills. A walk to the store, playing at the park, to, from or in school, even once in my own front yard when we were playing house, she would scream "look! A dollar! I found another dollar!" Sometimes it would be folded and blown under the edge of a bush, others randomly laying on the sidewalk, once she chased one down in a breeze, but it was always Vicky that saw it first and claimed it. For weeks on end it seemed like every time she left the house Vicky would find another dollar. It was both creepy and amazing, but most of all it was inspiring: be aware and you will find treasures most people miss.
"Listen to the silence. Listen to your life. Be present, not just think about what's going on next week, next month."
- I am thankful for contests of chance. Radio contests, raffles, sweepstakes, even the lotto all give a person a chance to throw in and win. I almost never do, but it's fun anyway. The only two winners I can think of at the moment are door prize at the skating arena I went to when I was a kid, in which I won five free passes and three pairs of skating socks (#109) and free tickets to the U2 Elevation tour (#173.) The first was one of the most memorable experiences in life, watching the man's hand go into the hat and I just knew the slip he was pulling out had my name on it . . . and it did! Such a wonder for a young boy. :-)
(Post note: Later in the year after this post I was caller #10 in which I won tickets to my favorite arena band, Def Lepard, tickets to REO Speedwagon, and Quiet Riot at the House of Blues, all in a single call. This stuff works!)
"If you don't take the chance to live life, what can you say at the end of it?"
- I am thankful for the times when people totally misunderstand me. Like most people I used to react with an explanation, try to clarify, but now know this comes out of a need to be right. I don't need to be right any more than I need to be understood, it's a person's choice to interpret me as they wish.
"Being right isn't as important as making things right."
- I am thankful I am pretty much spoiled. Everything in this list of gratefulness is a product of a comfortable and abundant life, one that enables me the free time to explore and live to the fullest. The focus of my life is not hunting or foraging for food, grinding twigs or sparking flint for fire, struggling to survive against the elements, or defending my village against invaders. Civilization, though flawed, gives us freedoms we take for granted.
"Spoiled. That's all it's about - can't live without this, can't live without that. You can live without anything you weren't born with, and you can make it through on even half of that."
- I am thankful I can enjoy bawdy (or even bawdry) "toilet humor." Monte Python, Benny Hill, even Shakespeare understood that a laugh is a laugh, even from the most base circumstance. If it's good enough for The Bard, it's good enough for me. :-)
"Eva: 'If there is one, I shall make two in the company.'
Caius: 'If dere be one or two, I shall make-a de turd.'"
- I've been wearing contacts for several months now and from time to time I walk around without them. It makes me thankful for the times a thing is taken away or unavailable - the blurred vision and having to wear glasses, when the cell phone battery goes dead, the Internet goes down, power goes out, any of these makes one more thankful for the daily things we take for granted.
"If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires."
- I am thankful for those people in life who go out of their way to give that extra push to make your day. When someone in a group makes the effort to walk up and talk to you, a cashier asks how your day is going and means it, someone crosses the beach just to get a closer look at the O'Neill and recognize her, little things about people that show we are not all robot zombies. :-)
"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra."
- I am thankful I live an unmedicated life, taking on the difficulties of the psyche with what has been given me. There are reasons we feel depression, anxiety, and our minds wander from focus. There are no magic pills. Take the hits, heal, learn from them.
"Ritalin is easy, Ritalin is good, even all the ones who watered down the daughter."
- In #19 I am thankful to **have** a job, today I am thankful that I love what I do for a job. I roll out at 4:30, putter around, get there by 7, all the time my head is already there, can't wait to get there and fire off some clean code. The funny thing is I never would have thought this would be something I love, that's what happens when you stop looking. :-)
"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love."
- I am thankful for a decision I've made this weekend. I will only attract people authentic in heart and giving by nature, those who focus their energy outward. These are the people that understand they have the power to change the world and show it in their actions.
"You become AND attract what you think."
- I am thankful I no longer have a need to fit in pretty much anywhere. For a time I thought something was really wrong. I have no real friends, I don't socialize, I don't have a need to find some brah's to hang with, yet I don't despise people (well, most people. There is a special place in hell for people who hurt or bully just for the sake of making themselves feel better.) Most of you are probably already labeling me as an introvert, antisocial, or hoping I find a really good therapist, but honestly, it's none of that. No one likes to play my games that involve being real and saying what we mean and meaning what we say, standing behind our words as a self imposed law, being in for life; no values that degree of investment. I'm okay with that, so you should be too.
"There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle."
This morning I woke up and a song kept playing in my head, a song from forty-something years ago that still has the power to bounce me along. Today I am thankful for Carole King, who was composing top hit music long before she became known as a musician herself.
"Music keeps playin' inside my head. Over and over and over again, my friend, there's no end to the music."
- I am thankful I've no clue what people are talking about in discussions about television dramas. Not that there's anything wrong with regularly watching television, it just means I'm filling my head with real stuff, out here.
"Television has changed the American child from an irresistible force to an immovable object."
"When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships."
- I am thankful for the special day Wednesdays. Since I'm able to work an early shift (#310) I can pack my board and gear in the morning, take a refreshing afternoon paddle after work, or any other mid-week vacation that crosses my mind. Wednesdays are like a mid-week weekend. Plus there's the Camel, "what day is it Mike?" :-)
"Fennel, which is the spice for Wednesdays, the day of averages, of middle-aged people. . . . Fennel . . . smelling of changes to come."
- I am thankful I've discovered the greatest therapy for me is life itself, getting out every day and digging it.
"I think if I took therapy, the doctor would quit. He'd just pick up the couch and walk out of the room."
- I've never previously worked at a company where a 7.5 hour day, no more, no less, and an hour lunch is mandatory. Today I am thankful said company has a full exercise room because frankly, I wouldn't know what to do with myself for a full hour and no ocean nearby. :-)
"What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?"
- I am thankful I have discovered my animal spirit, the Clouded Leopard, often known as the Snow Leopard. Aside from the pun in the alternate name, the Clouded Leopard is largely a recluse, because of which science knows a lot less about the Clouded Leopard than other creatures, aside from captivity where it is not it's natural self. Their fangs are proportionately longer than other cats, giving them a closer connection to the Saber Tooth Tiger. They are also very rare and bordering on extinction. Clouded Leopards live in the trees of the jungle, stalking their prey from above, and have a distinct kill method: a single bite to the neck with a quick twist, symbolizing both mercy and their innate nature as a predator. Clouded Leopards are different from other felines in many ways, but the strangest difference is unlike other cats, they do not purr. Or perhaps it is an intimate behavior it has never shared with humanity.
"He who refuses to learn deserves extinction."
- Today I am thankful for the humans, the ones who don't look the other way when your eyes meet, the curious ones who want to know What Your Deal Is, the ones who reply authentically when you ask, the ones who don't see you and begin to work you to their needs, the people who realize we're all in this together and the only way to survive is to keep the network of relationships well knitted.
"People find meaning and redemption in the most unusual human connections."
- I am thankful I can't blame Satan for anything. Well, except for maybe Twilight . . . no, not even that.
"Poor God, how often He is blamed for all the suffering in the world. It's like praising Satan for allowing all the good that happens."
- Today I am thankful for microwave ovens. I remember life before they were made and most of the time we just ate it cold rather than to suffer the pain of washing another saucepan. I was maybe 15 when I saw the first one at a friend's house, a huge behemoth of an appliance that seemed a little bit alien and a lot of scary at the time. For years whenever I used one I would open the door and stand back a bit "to let the microwaves out." :-)
"I put instant coffee in a microwave oven and almost went back in time."
Categories: About the Art