Game Changing Three Word Phrases

Can the utterance of just three words change the direction of your day, if not your life? Here are a few examples from a Twitter Account called @SoVeryBritish:

– You’ll be fine
– Just a trim
– How are you?
– A quick word
– Out of milk
– Might be fun
– Contact customer support
– Meet and greet
– You look well
– Honestly, you choose

I’d add these to the list:

– out of nutella
– internet is down
– battery is dead
– no toilet paper
– clean your room
– let’s get high
– I am pregnant

For Canadians who are going to go to the polls this fall, I came up with these three-word ‘it sounds good until things go wonky’ phrases:
– national carbon ‘pricing’
– ‘irregular’ border crossings
– budgets balance themselves

What would be on your list for three word game changing phrases?

Saying Goodbye to The Fisherman

I recently read the book “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory” by Caitlin Doughty. It is a witty and thought provoking look at the history of caring for the dead and how the process has been sanitized by today’s funeral industry. The author explains the process of cremation in some detail – all very fascinating if you are interested in options to the ‘casket in the ground’ type of burial.

The Car Guy’s dad, The Fisherman, passed away in October 2017. The Fisherman was cremated. It was a good choice because a number of events, including the weather, made it preferable for us to hold a burial service the following June.

As the date for interment approached, our family discussed what kind of special box or urn we would use for the ashes. We decided that a wine bottle in a wood presentation box would be an excellent choice because The Fisherman had made his own wine for decades.

The Car Guy filled one wine bottle with ashes for the cemetery. With the remaining ashes, he filled several half bottles and three spice size jars.

A half bottle now sits on a shelf in The Car Guys Garage, a place where father and son had worked every Wednesday for many years building and fixing things, including  a Yellow Challenger T/A, a Corvette, and a Fargo half ton.

The spice jars were perfect for the ‘road trips’ where his ashes were scattered – at the farm where he was raised and two of his favourite fishing places.

As for the Cemetery Interment, we knew it was going to be a ‘do it yourself’ project because the cemetery was a very  rural, ‘old school’ sort of place that let you do that sort of thing. We also knew the ground was rock hard. But we didn’t need a very wide hole, so a post hold digger was the logical tool to use.

The Fisherman’s Daughter conducted the service, a lunch was served at a country hall, and a two day Family Reunion was held at a rural retreat – all were the perfect way to say good-bye to The Fisherman.

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.
-Doug Larson –

And That Ended The Card Game

Hi again. My name is Ghost. I’m this blogger’s daughter’s dog. The last time I ‘blogged’, I was back in Puppy Classes again. I think they went rather well for my owners. I wasn’t as impressed, because apparently I am going to have to get used to ‘coming when I’m called’ and all sorts of other infringements on my love of absolute freedom.

Freedom to do what I want. Case in point is this ‘incident’ from before puppy classes. I had a sleep-over at the aunt’s house. The whole family was playing cards on this flat topped piece of wood (that looked like the floor).  They called it a ‘table’, but I didn’t have one of those at my house yet, so how was I to know that it was off limits to me!?

Anyway, I thought it would be okay if I joined the card game, so with a speed that surprised even me, I unlocked, launched and landed right onto the middle of the table. Then I settled down to wait for whatever might happen next.

For a minute, Auntie and the family had that look on their faces that people  get when something unexpected happens, even though that unexpected thing was within the realm of possibilities of what a free spirited puppy might do if it is… lets say curious.

Later, when Auntie was asked why she didn’t immediately scoot me down off the table, she explained, “It was like watching a train wreck. Suddenly there was a dog in the middle of the table. We could either get the dog off the table or we could all just get our phones out and take pictures of the ‘damage’…”

For more stories about me, click this link: Ghost (that’s my name). Ghost, now you see me on the floor, now you see me on the table, now you see me in the dog house… again…

What Were You Doing 3287 Days Ago?

Nine years ago (the aforementioned 3287 days) I published my first blog post: Did you Get the H1N1 Flu Shot in 2009. It was not highly successful and has been viewed a grand total of 13 times. At the other end of the scale,  Tricky Questions – Thinking Outside the Box has been quite popular with over 36,000 views. Go figure…

That’s the interesting thing about blogging. While I might have a general idea what my readers might find interesting or when it is a good time to catch them in a reading mood, I  have no idea how the Search Engines will promote or trash my posts! I do know this involves algorithms that judge, filter, penalize and reward content, but that is about the extent of my understanding!

While the stats for the Tricky Questions post are fascinating to watch,  I like the H1N1 post as much and I love the process of researching and writing.  I’m happy with my blog as a whole –  a scrapbook of my photos, thoughts and ideas – my Codex Vitae.

I think the pleasure of completed work is what makes blogging so popular. You have to believe most bloggers have few if any actual readers. The writers are in it for other reasons. Blogging is like work, but without coworkers thwarting you at every turn. All you get is the pleasure of a completed task.
– Scott Adams –

I’ve mapped out a plan for the next year of blogging at Fueled by Chocolate (because 9 years of blogging won’t be as newsworthy as 10 years of blogging!) I’m bringing over all my quotation posts from The Quippery and will roll them out, two every week, for the next six months. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed collecting them.

Old words are reborn with new faces.
– Criss Jami, Killosophy –

My Birds and Bugs blog, Chirps and Buzzes, will get an injection of new material too – I’ve got a lot of photos that are patiently waiting to be edited and uploaded and I want that blog to be a record of my ‘backyard’ birding and buzzing life lists.

When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.
– E. O. Wilson –

My newest blog is Right Side Up – a Conservative exploration of topics that include politics, the environment, media bias, free speech – but also the exciting possibility of a return to civil discourse!

The reason that free speech is so important… It keeps the balance between those two tendencies. You need the questioning, and you need the order. You think, “how much of each?” The answer is, “the recipe changes day to day.” And so you think, “well, if it changes day to day, how are we going to keep up?” The answer is, “by keeping up! Here we are. We’re alive. We can keep up, but we do that by thinking, and we think by talking, and we think and talk by disagreeing. And we better disagree conceptually, because then we don’t have to act out stupid ideas that would kill us.”
– Jordan Peterson, Oxford Union Address –

What were you doing 3287 days ago? What was the most popular post you have ever written? Which of your posts is your favourite?

Where is Your Codex Vitae?

Is Codex Vitae a technical term for a part of your body or does it sound like a disease?  To answer that, I’m going to start you with Twitter, drag you through YouTube, and deposit you in a Book.

Twitter – What do you Seek?

Twitter receives a lot of criticism, but like everything else on the internet, the value is there if you take the time to look around. Think of Twitter as an almost endless series of doors. You open one door and if you don’t find anything of value, you can close it – but you might find another door there that is of more value to you.   It is through this exploration of doors that I have found a growing movement of people who don’t identify with ‘tribes’. They are open to listening to others they may not agree with. They have discussions and share ideas. Many of these people can be found at the Intellectual Dark Web Site.

It’s the great agony and the ecstasy of the Internet today. I think we have more great stuff to read than we ever have before, but of course the downside of that is we have more great stuff to read than we’ve ever had before.
– Robin Sloan –

What do You Want to Seek?

The QuipperyThe Intellectual Dark Web is populated by a number of individuals who have been vilified by those who identify with a ‘different tribe’. One of the more controversial figures in recent years is the Canadian author, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto – Dr. Jordan Peterson. A lengthy but extremely interesting summary of his thoughts is presented in this video: Dr. Oz interviews Dr. Jordan Peterson.

Dr. Peterson has written several books, does podcasts, and lectures about the value of having an aim in life. He has become the self-help guru for many young people who find they are unprepared for the realities of an adult world. What is ironic, to me, is that this same sense of ‘aimlessness’ sometimes happens to older people when they retire. Free time isn’t so free feeling if you’ve got a lot of it, and you don’t know what to do with it.

OK, now write for 20 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. This isn’t a composition exercise. You get to have what you want three to five years down the road. What does your life look like, hypothetically? Write it out. That’s the first part. The second part of the exercise — now you’ve got your thing to aim at. You think, “well, now I’m motivated, because I got my thing to aim at.” It’s like, “you’re not as motivated as you could be, because you don’t yet have your thing to run away from. If you really want to be motivated, you want to be going somewhere, and you want to be NOT going somewhere else.”
– Jordan Peterson in a discussion with Lewis Howes

Once You Have Found It

Last stop is a book. I just finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. This book is, to me, the ultimate intersection of old-world handwork, Old Knowledge, books, digital technology, fantasy and a Codex Vitae (which is the capture of all you’ve learned throughout your life – Jordan Peterson’s ‘what does your life look like’.)

In the book, and in real life, a Codex is a printed book. ‘Mr. Penumbra’s’  fictional character, Griffo Gerritszoon, was the real life Francesco Griffo who was born in 1450. The book’s character Aldus Manutius  was a real life printer and publisher. Aldus commissioned Griffo to cut the first slanted italic type. Aldus also invented pocket editions of books with soft covers and normalized the use of punctuation. The books fictional fifteenth-century font called Gerritszoon is perhaps the font we call Garamond – Claude Garamond worked with Aldus Manutius and Francesco Griffo.

By the end of Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore I had the answer to why, or what, ties me to blogging. This is my Codex Vitae – and I can only keep writing new chapters if  I am learning from all people, not just the ones that share my bias. I can only keep writing if I keep aiming for better and moving away from the person I don’t want to become.

How have you preserved a record of your life? Scrapbook? Calendars? Photo Album? Blog? Journal?