The Book of Good Living: Solve It Once

Something I used to do all too often was to have a recurring problem that I feebly failed to solve. And I know I’m not the only one."I put my glasses down somewhere and now I can’t find them.""Darn it, locked my keys in my car again. Third time this month.""I forgot to pay the phone bill again and they cut me off. Again."Most of us do it. Each time, we’re forced to deal with the small emergency that results, in a way that costs time, annoyance, and even money.The worst cost is … [Read more...]

Dawkins in Boston, Oh Yeah

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Owing to ... well, owing, I don't often get to attend the big atheist events. But this time there's one near me, so I'm going to see and hear Richard Dawkins in Boston this Thursday, June 11.I'm carpooling with some of the cool people of the Capital Region Atheists & Agnostics Meet-Up group.I'm pretty excited about it. Always wanted to meet the guy, and I hope that will be possible here.Tickets are $35. I'll be the guy in the cowboy hat.................I'll also be … [Read more...]

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...]

God, The Wet Blanket

One of the things I enjoy doing on my daily van trips -- I'm in transportation at an addiction recovery facility, and I drive every day a round trip between Schenectady, NY and New York City -- is play tourguide. Since the trip is close to three hours long each way, there's plenty of time to point out interesting details of the scenery along the way. I often see deer (today I saw a doe with a newborn fawn in the roadside grass), sometimes wild turkeys, occasionally great blue herons. There are … [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...]

Post-Teen Guilty, Middle-Aged Goddy

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I have friends in Texas who did some pretty questionable stuff in their wild teen years -- we're talking lying, stealing, animal cruelty, just plain meanness to each other, and yes, a certain amount of socially-unapproved sex -- who have become extremely religious as they've gotten older. I often suspect there's a direct mechanism that makes this happen. Here's how I imagine it working:Inevitably when you're younger and you have a childish sense of right and wrong, a childish sense of other … [Read more...]


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