Category Archives: thought


An ancient bookmark from the Empire State Bldg.

We are stuck. Nothing is really moving. Or so it seems. And with that lack of motion comes a natural anxiety for most. Those most afflicted are the ones lashing out. There aren’t as many as one would think. The outliers bubble to the top of the social media feeds because they demand clicks and eyes. Why is that? Because it’s outside of the experience of most but still close enough to be seen on the edges or in the distance.

In this time of stasis, we can think. We can reflect. We can imagine.

It isn’t easy. None of this is. The disasters that are piling up each day are very real. They were all predictable and predicted. This is not the stuff of prophecy, but the output of science and society. Each item whether it be wildfires, hurricanes, social unrest, or plague is the consequence of a combination of action and inaction. All very rational.

Hard to look at, isn’t it? That’s a shame. We’re stuck here and that’s the only channel we have left.


A low creek

I’m not much of one for lifehacks these days. There was a time when I believed that productivity was something that was important. It’s less so now. Now it’s not so much about how much one does, but what one does and with what level of quality. I don’t need more shortcuts or more automation. I need fewer of the things that require shortcuts and automation. And maybe that’s where we are collectively.

Me looking at the news every day will not change the number of new COVID-19 cases found in my county. My behavior pattern is set and will not be altered on a timescale that is measured in hours or anything less than months. Reading about the latest garbage spewed by partisan hacks will not change how I plan to vote. These are all ships that are far from port.

That’s where the filtering comes in.

Some people remember how to use computers. Some people even know about things like “hosts” files. I use this arcana to do things like make sure I never see certain websites. An errant link click doesn’t need to send my mind into a spiral. It can simply send me to a page that says, “Nope!”

But the biggest filter is not opening the browser at all. More reading of books. More experimenting with projects that are meaningful to me. More time with my family (not that this kind of time is necessarily in short supply in these Strange Days).

I’m thinking about music again. Art Music. The kind of music that I wanted to make the last time I lived in this ZIP code. I’m hearing the world in a different way. I’m feeling like some of the filters are really working.

Taking A Minute

A shelf with many things and books on it.

It wasn’t all that long ago that taking time off usually meant going somewhere. That’s no longer the case. The word “Staycation” isn’t being used like it was. Now, a vacation where one doesn’t leave home is the norm. I don’t think it will be that way forever. I’m personally hoping for the rebirth of The Great American Road Trip. Barring that, I feel like more and more people are using parks and, when they are able, are making better use of the space they have for recreation.

It would seem that the most critical part for those who are struggling through The New Normal with desk jobs that appear to be largely unaffected by these changes is taking time away from the computer. Turning it off. Really turning it off. Leaving the work phone on the desk charger and walking away. It seems counterintuitive, but it’s required. Being at home is not the same as being “off.”

I’ll be “off” starting tomorrow. There are things to do in the garage. Some wrenching on a vehicle. Some setting up of storage. And I will get to the water. Somehow. I want to take some more pictures. I wouldn’t object to a little fishing as well. I won’t push it too hard. Some reading is also on the agenda.

These are difficult times. But they should also be contemplative. We each need to look inside for strength. In times of chaos, there is room for change.

Smoke and Fire

A lit Zippo lighter

In a calendar year, I might consume a maximum of five cigars. My wife considers this a crime and a personal attack on her olfactory nerve, but that is far from my intent. I can’t really say that I have a strong palette. As with most things, I am a dilettante at best. But there is something peaceful in a good cigar. And I only get the good ones. How do I know that they’re good? Because people whom I trust to know these things say that they are. I usually pair it with my go-to bourbon and make an evening of it by the fire.

There is something meditative to the consumption of such a sinful item. It can take two hours properly enjoy a cigar. And those hours are usually silent. I could use that.

The truth is, the weight of the current reality is pushing the buttons of everyone I know. The New Normal isn’t pleasant. Everyone feels trapped. So we reach for things that might have some level of comfort associated with them. I don’t know that anything really helps in the long run, but every year is made of days that we must survive.

For what it’s worth, Perdomo Lot 23 are quite nice. Hat tip to my buddy Joe for that one.


Three Deer.

It’s not a cabin in the woods, but now and again, we get our share of deer to add to the groundhogs, chipmunks, squirrels, and birds. It does remind me of how quiet our place is compared to where we were living. Far less urban, though not rural by any means.