Never disappoints. Anniversary hike two and half weeks later. Procrastinating meant the daughts could join us. Wonderland Trail to just beyond Summerland campground. Panhandle Gap proper will have to wait. 8-9 miles of unadulterated fun. All is okay with the world. For now.
Monthly Archives: July 2019
Egan Bernal > Lance Armstrong
Bernal, Columbia’s first Tour de France winner, and at 22 years old, the youngest rider in the race, seems to be Armstrong’s opposite in every way. Granted, variety is the spice of life, but I’ll take Bernal’s soft spoken, low key humility to Armstrong’s angry brashness every day of the week. Here’s hoping fame doesn’t change him too much.
This Just In
Queen Elizabeth moving to Canada. Can you blame her?
Sentence To Ponder
“Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson was “trusting the wrong people,” his attorney said, and is deep in debt after making nearly $100 million during his NFL career.”
A Little Lost This Morning
The Open Championship is over. Final rest day at the Tour de France.
The Open Championship is the best golf tournament in the world. Way more inclusive than the other three majors. Way more authentic than the Masters. I love seeing the players sporting winter hats, with the sideways rain, playing from hellish pot bunkers and gorse. Port Rush Ireland is one of the more beautiful settings for golf I’ve ever seen. It boggles my mind that fewer than 2m people live in North Ireland and 237,000 watched the Championship live.
Irish passion for golf was evident in Rory’s Friday charge, all the Irish player’s comments, and Lowry’s 63 on Saturday. Professional golf doesn’t get any better than that. Only wish I had been there.
And the outcome of le Tour is still up in the air after two weeks. Given the weakness of his team, I do not think 2 minutes is enough of a cushion for Alaphilippe. Of course, we’ll probably have to wait 8 years to determine the winner.
Thanks to this movie preview, which gave me an Open Championship like jolt of joy, I think I’ll be okay today.
Weekend Assorted Links
2. The lessons of Washington State’s watered down ‘public option’.
3. How couples meet now versus earlier.
4. When did synchronized swimming turn so incredibly athletic?
5. These are just what I need to lively up myself. Don’t cha’ think? And don’t say no.
Avoiding The Pointless, Downward Negative Cycle
I’m in the Trump Trap. I doubt I’m alone.
It’s impossible to ignore the President, but paying attention to him only feeds his narcissism and seems to make matters worse. To ignore his lies and race baiting is to condone both. I argue with a friend when he says “Obama was worse,” but that doesn’t accomplish anything. How to escape this pointless, downward spiral of negativity?
My friend, while totally exasperating on things political, has redeeming qualities. Among others, he’s committed to his family, he’s funny, he cares about those he works with. Why don’t I just focus more exclusively on those attributes?
There’s a direct correlation between how people feel about themselves, more specifically how secure they are, and their propensity to see the best in others and affirm them. If you don’t feel very good about yourself, if your insecurities win the day, you’re unlikely to sing anyone else’s praises. You don’t send thank you cards. You don’t risk any awkwardness by directly and specifically telling others what you most appreciate about them.
As if life is a zero-sum game. That there’s only so much positivity or praise to go around.
We can focus on the good in others, and name it, without any cost to ourselves. At all. Focusing on the good in others, and naming it, creates positive momentum that makes political disagreements less consequential. My friend’s politics are whacked, but he is not the sum of his politics.
One can be a good teacher, nurse, or executive, and liberally celebrate other teachers’, nurses’, and executives’ excellence. One can be a decent human being and routinely celebrate decency in others. We’re apt to recognize and publicly declare the redeeming qualities in others to the degree to which we feel okay about ourselves, the degree to which we like ourselves.
A few weeks ago, I made eye contact with another driver as I pulled into the Trader Joe’s parking lot. She was an acquaintance from church who smiled at me. “Finally,” the introvert in me immediately thought, “I’m going to get a chance to tell her how much I enjoy her blog.” Sure enough, halfway through my appointed rounds, she walked straight up to me and asked if I’d eat some fancy shmancy blueberry desert that she was thinking of making for a party. “Yes.” I assured her, and then said, “Hey, I’ve been wanting to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I’ve been enjoying cooking more and I’m amazed at your creations. And you’re really funny.” For good measure I added, “You’re a very talented writer.” To say she was touched is an understatement.
Her blog deserves a wider audience. When that happens, I will celebrate her success. Because it will not detract from this humble blog.
With respect to the President and my friend, my inclination is to ignore the President. My vote will be my proof that I’m not condoning his calculating and inflammatory rhetoric which will only get worse once the campaign begins in earnest. As for my friend, I’m going to focus more on his redeeming qualities and our common humanity.
Monday Assorted Links
1. Deputy gangs in Los Angeles have survived decades of lawsuits and probes. Can the FBI stop them? Despite being from LA, granted West LA, I thought this read like fiction. Police gangs in the open for decades supported by chiefs despite continuous community opposition. Perception is reality. Reprehensible.
2. We’re entering the era of the Tiny Wedding. For $2,000 you get a short ceremony and a small cake.
“A Tiny Wedding is also incredibly easy to purchase: When I tried out the booking process, it took me 20 seconds to select a time and a kind of cake before I got to the credit card field.”
Guessing this is a tad more popular among grooms. What is it with me and marriage/weddings lately?
3. Three Things You Can Learn From Norwegian Packed Lunch About Minimalism.
“Norwegians follow a step-by-step guide ingrained in their DNA to prepare their lunches.”
Agreed, Norwegians are lunch role models extraordinaire. But where are the pistachios?
4. Cyclists are dying in New York City.
“Across the city, 14 cyclists have been killed in crashes this year, four more than all of last year, according to city officials. New York’s streets have seen an increase in bicycling while also becoming more perilous, in part because of surging truck traffic fueled by the booming e-commerce industry. The mayor himself acknowledged on Monday that the city was facing an ’emergency.'”
Saturday afternoon I was driving down 36th Street NE, which as you know, is one of the rare Olympia streets without a legit bike lane. There’s only a fog line and then six to twelve inches of pavement. Two of my cycling brethren were riding side-by-side as other drivers and I came upon them, unnecessarily requiring us to move into the oncoming lane. This is a rural setting, so not life threatening, but there’s no reason to be riding side-by-side without a legit bike lane. My window was down, I thought about doing some consciousness raising, but chickened out. I had my speech all planned out, “Dudes, single-file.”
5. Matthew Boling has gone viral.
“‘The biggest worry is we just don’t want his personality to change. He’s a great kid. He’s humble.'”
The Rarity Of A Truly Great Marriage
“In the United States, nearly 40 percent of marriages end in divorce. Another 10 to 15 percent of couples separate and do not divorce, and another 7 percent or so stay together but are chronically unhappy. In other words, more than half of the people who decide to marry, presumably driven by passionate love, wind up unhappy. The odds are worse for couples that marry before age twenty five.”
If that is not depressing enough:
“And there are very few things worse than a bad marriage. Being in a bad marriage will increase your chance of getting sick by 35 percent and shorten your life span by an average of four years.”
The obvious take-away is choose very, very carefully, but I can’t imagine any couple in passionate love saying to one another, “WAIT, before we consider getting engaged, we should read and think about David Brooks’s marriage advice.”
The Prospect Of A Truly Great Marriage
Brooks’s best paragraphs on marriage highlight Tim and Kathy Keller’s insights:
“In The Meaning of Marriage, Tim and Kathy Keller describe how the process of improvement and elevation happens. First, you marry a person who seems completely wonderful and mostly perfect. Then, after a little while—maybe a month or two, maybe a year or two—you realize that the person you thought was so wonderful is actually imperfect, selfish, and flawed in many ways. As you are discovering this about your spouse, your spouse is making the exact same discovery about you.
The natural tendency in this situation is to acknowledge that of course you are a little selfish and flawed, but in fact it is your spouse’s selfishness that is the main problem here. Both spouses will also come to this conclusion at about the same time.
Then comes a fork in the road. Some couples will decide that they don’t want all the stress and conflict that will come from addressing the truths they have discovered about each other and themselves. They’ll make a truce, the Kellers say. Some subjects will not be talked about. You agree not to mention some of your spouse’s shortcomings so long as she agrees not to mention some of yours. The result is a truce-marriage, which is static, at least over the short term, but which gradually deteriorates over the long one.
“The alternative to the this truce-marriage is to determine to see your own selfishness as a fundamental problem and to treat it more seriously than you do your spouse’s. Why? Only you have complete access to your own selfishness, and only you have complete responsibility for it,” the Kellers write. ‘If two spouses each say, ‘I’m going to treat my self-centeredness as the main problem in the marriage,’ you have the prospect of a truly great marriage.'”
Jives with my experience.