The Book of Good Living: Tools 2

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Tools are under-appreciated by most of us officey types. Whether it’s a circular saw, a drill, a planer, an arc welder, or just a simple car jack, too many of us aren’t ready to get our hands dirty.It’s not the dirt, of course. It’s just that certain tools can be outside our bubble of competence, and it’s human nature to shy away from getting involved in something we probably, in the beginning, won’t be much good at.But here’s the really great thing about tools: If you have the right tool … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: Tools

Advice to moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older cousins, anybody with young people in your lives:There are few material things you can give kids that will make such a difference in their lives as good tools. Carpentry tools, woodworking tools, mechanic's tools, plumbing tools, metalworking tools, electrician's tools, -- kitchen tools! blacksmith's tools! -- tools for servicing appliances, computers, mechanical devices.The card should say "Dear One: Build things. Make things. Fix … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: The Social Minimum

I've struggled for a long time to figure out the simplest way to say this, and never gotten it down to a short formulation. But here it is at last, I think:It's not your job to cater to others. But you DO have to live your life in such a way that they're not forced to cater to you.Unpacking this brings out a lot of little specific rules such as:Don't pee on the toilet seat, forcing the next guy to wipe it off before he can sit there. Don't park in the supermarket entryway, forcing … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: How to Avoid Being Killed By A Train

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Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V., Killing 7 in Railroad’s Deadliest Accident When a train hits a car, it's pretty much never the train's fault. If you just arrived on this planet, here are some tips on How to Avoid Being Killed By A Train:1) Look for the big silvery steel rails, spaced about four feet apart. They will run for miles in each direction to your left and right. The rails themselves are a huge warning sign, and if all else fails, they will be there. However ...2) Where the big s … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: Just Say No

Looking back over my life, one of the skills that would have saved me a lot of anguish, annoyance and wasted time is the skill of saying No.If I'd been taught to say No, just no -- without anger, without guilt, without any sort of emotional spin -- oh boy my life would have been different. I would have spent a great deal less time getting roped into doing things I didn't really want to do. My life would have been more MINE -- which I strongly suspect would have better allowed me to say Yes … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: Innocent Until Proven Guilty

A common thread that has run through many of the stories we’ve seen in the last few years, about the public outcry over genetically modified crops, and over the PCBs which GE dumped in the Hudson River here in Upstate New York, is that there is insufficient proof of the dangers. The implication is that anyone harboring baseless suspicions about these things, which are after all the result of scientific progress, is either a Luddite or a superstitious primitive.Nobody ever says it out loud, b … [Read more...]


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