Category Archives: Uncategorized

Moving on…

Published / by Tim / 1 Comment on Moving on…

So, after my last post I was going to talk a little about the reasons we don’t ask questions… but the more I thought about it, the more I thought  the reasons I gave in the original post seem pretty self-explanatory. I’m going to do something else with this post.

For me, the hardest part of maintaining this blog is that I have not set a regular time for writing. Instead, I rely on filling the “spare” moments I have to do some writing. While this shouldn’t be problematic, it is. I end up “not writing” too often.

In order to combat avoidance I am scheduling time to write on the blog specifically, each week.

I was also beginning to believe that not having a “focus” for the blog was making the actual writing more difficult. I have all these ideas, but I find myself pre-editing and deciding what you all may or may not want to read. Perhaps I should quit worrying and just write…

I was listening to Billy Collins (Former poet laureate of the United States) talk about how he writes. He writes for himself and doesn’t worry much about the bigger audience. I found myself thinking, “Well, that’s fine for a poet who already has a huge following…” and I realized I’m worried about what you think.

While I like you all very much, especially if you have stopped by to read this, I just can’t worry about what you like or don’t like. It’s stressing me out. I’m gonna keep writing but it will be for me first…

Hope you choose to come along, but if you don’t, I’m ok with that.

 

Dr. Seuss would be sad.

Published / by Tim / 1 Comment on Dr. Seuss would be sad.

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities. ~Dr. Seuss

Like everything, too much of a good thing is usually a bad thing. Today they served green eggs and ham at school for lunch. I suppose it was novel, but the thought of eating Kelly green eggs, well, I do not like it Sam I am.

All week there will be Dr. Seuss activities going on and while I totally support these activities, the thing we need to take away from them is often overlooked. Children need a little nonsense or fantasy to wake up the brain cells. As a nation, we are moving away from the nonsense of fantasy and into the nonsense of over testing. The testing kind of nonsense puts the brain cells to sleep, increases cortisol production and overall leads to fat, stressed out, bored children.

We have been looking through the right end of the telescope to try to compare our kids to the rest of the world. I suggest we turn that sucker around look the wrong way through it and let our kids figure out how and where they will fit in the world.

The Dr. put it nicely…

Planning for the year.

Published / by Tim

Well… a couple readers asked about my bicycling plans for 2015. I always get a little nervous sharing long-term plans because it’s kind of like putting them in cement. So let me be clear, this is my tentative plan for the year.

The Monster Cookie Metric 60 miles

The Willamette Valley Scenic Byway 132 miles

Strawberry Century 100 miles

ALS ride 100 miles

Oregon Coast Bicycle route 360 miles

Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway 133 miles

Six BIG rides and some fund-raising  for a worthy cause… It really should be a good year if I can pull it all off…

In the mean time I have gently begun riding base miles. I am not totally compelled that putting in a ton of random miles will be of the greatest benefit to me. I actually think fewer quality miles with some other fitness work will do more to prepare me for these rides. I think I’ll have to do a separate post on that topic. The whys and wherefores….

I am excited to announce that I have a sponsorship for this year of riding. One of my all time favorite products is Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration mix. This year I am proud to be using and promoting Skratch Labs products and lifestyle. I am opting to move away from the widely accepted practice of using goo, gel and other super processed carbohydrate supplements and instead using real food, made at home from real ingredients. I have noticed that in the last year as I have begun to adopt this philosophy I have felt better on and off the bike. There will be more to come about Skratch Labs.

So, that’s the outline of the plan. It feels ambitious. It feels a little scary. I think it will push me and that will yield a good result. More on that  as we go…

I’m a Kickstarter Junkie…

Published / by Tim

Well, only three months since my last post. In three months I’ve had a ton of ideas and lots of time to write, but I am battling my procrastination demons.

KSphotoSo, what’s on my mind right now? I just realized that I’m a sucker for Kickstarter. I have now officially backed 27 projects, 25 of which were actually successful. Because they are successful does not always mean I’m happy with the outcome, but by and large, I am pleased with the results of the campaigns I have backed.

My (current) top three faves are:

Fix-it-stix – Which were first a simple set of bits that fit in these clever little “sticks” that when put together made a nifty t-handled wrench. The first iteration was cool, but did not allow for changing of the bits. The second iterations are on their way soon and allow bits to be changed. Very clever and useful.

Ironthread – American Slim Wallet – Mine arrived today… and it’s pretty cool.

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I got most of the stuff that was in my old wallet (At twice the size) Into this handsome little piece of work. I did have to get rid of a few things, but they were the loyalty cards that I never use (Ironic, loyalty cards…)

and finally…

The Tap-it Cap – A beer growlers best friend… and no more flat beer in 24 hours… I figure I have already saved the cost of my pledge by being able to savor all the beer I bought but couldn’t finish in one sitting.

So, what is it about Kickstarter that really gets me jazzed? I think it’s the desire to see regular people have the chance to be exceptional. The three campaigns I listed above are the three that I get the most daily use out of right now, but all of the projects had an element to them that inspired me, made me think of greater possibilities. I am excited about a current project I backed that will deliver in October… Barrel Aged Sriracha sauce (rooster sauce). The campaigner had this idea to barrel age this sauce that I really didn’t think could be improved upon. The thing is, I don’t know if their sauce will be an improvement, but the “what if” is what hooked me.

I kind of feel like it’s a way to root for the underdog with my cash. Putting my money to work to make new and interesting things that add value to our ordinary, everyday lives. I keep thinking that maybe even I might have a Kickstarter project somewhere inside me… What about you? I’ll be on the lookout!

Reading.

Published / by Tim / 1 Comment on Reading.

“I don’t read.” That’s what he said as I sat across from him waiting for the next question.Books

I was interviewing for a teaching job and the interviewer had asked me, “What is the greatest gift you’ve been given?” I admit, I had considered saying that Smartwool socks were it. I love Smartwool socks. But I went with what seemed like the better, more honest answer.

“I love to read. Learning to read is the greatest gift I’ve been given. My mom worked hard to make sure that I would be able to interact with a world where much of what we need to know is written.” That was my answer.

“I don’t read” is all he said. And really, it was that moment when I knew the interview was over. I don’t know that he felt that way, he kept asking questions. I really don’t remember much about the rest of the experience. I just couldn’t figure out how a vice-principal could casually state that he doesn’t read. The shocker was that it didn’t seem like a problem to him. In a way, I ended up feeling like the weirdo in the room.

He said he doesn’t read and I have to believe that it’s not a matter of his ability, but more a matter of his attitude or desire for reading. Either way, how can an educator NOT READ? How can a citizen in a powerful country expect to be successful without reading? How can someone responsible for ensuring the success of children NOT READ?

This moment in time stood out for me. Not because I didn’t get the job. I probably didn’t really want that job. I ended up working in a school where the principal read, the staff read, and students were challenged to read. I immersed my classes in words. Some of those students read even more than I. At least one of them has degrees more advanced than mine (not that it would be hard to get degrees more advanced than mine, but it would require a bit of reading). I think I ended up where I was supposed to be.

Things have come full circle. I’m now the interviewer and the questions I ask are, “What’s the last book you read?” and “What are you planning on reading next?” You can tell a lot about a person by what they read, or not, as the case may be.

What are you reading?