My birthday, Memorial Day, and Mars approaching

Today is my birthday - yay! - and it's also Memorial Day, the one day a year we collectively honor and mourn the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. In fact, in nearby Waterloo, NY, it's the 150th anniversary of the first public Memorial Day celebration.Growing up, my mother always joked that the town threw a parade for my birthday, but we always knew what the day was about. She never passed by a veteran selling paper poppies without making a donation - spare … [Read more...]

Does self-driving car take away opportunities to be nice?

Technology will make a giant leap from fiction to reality if self-driving cars hit the road within a few years, as predicted in this story in the Los Angeles Times.As expected, the big concern about the vehicle is safety ... I feel like I should add a "duh" here. If there's no one behind the wheel, the big question is obviously, "How does the car know where to go?"But there's one aspect of this science fiction achievement that no one has brought up: the self-driving car further isolates … [Read more...]

How cold is too cold to do the right thing?

I ventured out to the grocery store today to pick up a prescription and a few other small items. I say "venture" because it's cold out. Not as cold as the arctic sub zero temperatures earlier this week, but it's still only about 20 degrees out, and though the sun was shining the slight wind swept away any warmth.Brrrr.After two months battling bronchitis, laryngitis and asthma, I've been trying to stay inside and away from humans and germs as much as possible. One lungful of cold air or … [Read more...]

Be Nice: you make it a wonderful life

During the Christmas season, one of my favorite things to do is watch "It's A Wonderful Life". For me, it's just not Christmas without George Bailey and Clarence the Angel.If you've never seen the movie, it tells the story of a despondent man who contemplates suicide, believing the world would have been better off without him. His guardian angel-in-training, Clarence, comes to earth to give him the opportunity to see what the world would have been like had he never been born.George is … [Read more...]

Oh, be nice: a challenge for the new year

I'm trying to be nice. Honest, I am. But it's not easy.For years now, I've been working on a book idea about loving your neighbors. The idea came to me after I went on a mission trip to Mexico in 2004. At the time, I hated flying, didn't speak Spanish, knew zero sign language and was completely inept with both ball peen hammer and ball point pen. And yet I got on a plane and flew to Mexico to do construction at a school for deaf children.It's not as if I hadn't volunteered before. I'd … [Read more...]


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