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Snowden August 21, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
31 comments

What if they are watching every step we take?

What if they are reading, saving, and collating our e-mails, library cards, movie queues, blog posts, account data, fitbit readouts, grocery store purchases, etc.?

What if they keep track of the books we read and the movies we watch?

What if they eavesdrop on our conversations and use facial recognition software as we window shop?

What if they watch us while we’re sleeping and know when we’re awake?

What if they know when we’ve been bad or good . . . and decide to tell Santa on us?

Hmm . . . “let’s give them something to talk about.

A little mystery to figure out.”

Let’s do something wild and crazy and unexpected.

Let’s be who we are and say what we will because . . . we can.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Notes & Quotes From Hugh Prather August 19, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
18 comments

In college, a friend shared her copy of Notes to Myself with me.  Years later, I read through Notes on Love & Courage.  Both books, by Hugh Prather, contained considerable fuel for thought.

Here’s a few quotes to stoke your fire within:

“An argument is always about what has been made more important than the relationship.”

“There are only three things you need to let go of ~ judging, controlling, and being right. Release these three and you will have the whole mind and twinkly heart of a child.”

“Almost any difficulty will move in the face of honesty. When I am honest I never feel stupid. And when I am honest I am automatically humble.”

~ Hugh Prather

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Broken Wheel August 17, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
23 comments

Once upon a time, a broken wheel set out to explore the world.

Due to a missing chunk of wood, the broken wheel rolled slowly, but noticed everything.

It observed the flowers in the fields, the sun in the sky, and heard the sounds of songbirds and laughter of small children at play as it rolled happily, albeit slowly, through life.

One day, the broken wheel ran into a talented wheelwright who offered to fix the wheel by replacing the missing chunk with a spare part.

Delighted, the wheel accepted the generous offer.

With the spare part fastened securely in place, the wheel resumed its journey through life.

As it raced down the road, the wheel noticed nothing.  The trees, the flowers, the birds became an indistinct, blurry mass of shapes and colors.  Sounds faded into the background, and the rush of wind drowned out the peals of laughter ringing forth from children at play.

Unhappy, the wheel stopped beside a small pond to meditate.

In the silent stillness, all the wheel had missed sprung back into being ~ the birds took to the air, filling the silence with song; the flowers bloomed in the field, painting the landscape with color; and the sun lit up the sky once again, warming the world with its golden rays.

Rested and refreshed, the wheel resumed rolling slowly ~ leaving the spare part behind.

Aah . . . that’s better!  ♥ ♥ ♥

Source:  Unknown

Access Your Inner Wisdom August 15, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness.
18 comments

Asking questions of others allows you to better understand their unique perspective on the world.

Asking questions of your self enables you to perceive, more clearly, your unique pathway through life.

To connect with your inner wisdom, ask questions and listen for the answers which may come through via insight, intuition, impulse, or inspiration, rather than words.

Need some ideas?

Here are a few questions to get you started on your inner journey:

* What do I want out of life? * How do I access joy? * Who do I want to be?

* What qualities shall I express to the world? * How can I feel more peaceful?

* How do I stop worrying? * How do I learn to “go with the flow”?

* What makes me smile?  * What fills me with gratitude? 

* Which experiences are treasures to savor? * What’s for dinner?

You may be surprised at how fast answers begin to appear once you voice the questions.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Have You Lost a Part of Yourself? (Always Well Within)

Water Over The Dam August 13, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
20 comments

I seldom worry about “water over the dam” (since there is no way that I can chase downstream to re-claim it).

But I am careful about choosing how I want to spend my remaining time on this planet.

If we desire to make the most of the time we have left (however long that may be):

* We must be willing to exercise our autonomy and freedom.

* We must prioritize our limited time and energy.

* We must be authentic and make choices based on what we want out of life ~ not what others want from or for us.

Quote:  Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live. ~ Goethe

Aah . . . that’s better!

Mountains August 10, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Nature.
25 comments

Mountains aren’t funny . . .

They are hill areas.

Aah . . . that’s punny!

Shibal Biyong and Tangjinjaem August 9, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
22 comments

What’s Shibal Biyong?

It’s a “fuck it expense” ~ an unnecessary indulgence that keeps you from giving up entirely.  The expression originated in South Korea in 2016:

[I]n South Korea, a generation of frustrated young people is reclaiming the idea of frivolous expenses—from cab rides to expensive sushi—as a psychological survival tool dubbed shibal biyong.

* * *

A shibal biyong is an expense that might seem unnecessary but that helps you get through a bad day. It’s the $20 you splurge for a cab home instead of taking the subway after you’ve been denied a promotion or the comforting but expensive sushi you buy after you’ve been berated by your boss. The term implies that you might as well make yourself happy right now because your prospects in the long term seem bleak. Buy that nice coat, because you’ll never get on the housing ladder. Eat that steak, because you’ll never save up enough to retire.

* * *

Inequality and a sense of economic despair have taken a fierce toll on South Koreans’ mental health. Nearly half of all deaths among South Koreans in their 20s are due to suicide, compared with just under 1 in 5 Americans of the same age. The country’s overall suicide rate was the highest among OECD countries from 2003 to 2016.

The title of a recent South Korean bestselling book, I Want to Die, but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), captures the essence of shibal biyong.

* * *

If South Korean millennials are squandering their money, it’s not because they’ve lost touch with reality. Quite the opposite: For many of them, short-term consumption has become a rational choice maximizing the utility of money based on a realistic assessment of the future.

* * *

“Shibal biyong and tangjinjaem [squandering fun] are symbolic endeavors responding to social problems via individual consumption,” said Alex Taek-Gwang Lee, a professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul. “As saving cannot guarantee the future, unlike in the past, the idea of investing in the present rather than the future gains strength.”

* * *

Koreans have begun blowing their money not out of ignorance but out of common sense. A small pleasure now is better than a promised future contentment that will never come.

To read more:  Why Young Koreans Love to Splurge (Foreign Policy)

Aah . . . that’s better!

Flygskam & Tagskryt August 7, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Less IS More, Sustainable Living, Travel & Leisure.
44 comments

Spurred by global warming, more and more travelers are spurning plane travel to ride the rails.  The savings in carbon emissions is considerable:

This is the season of flygskam, or “flight shame.” You don’t have to be Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist who recently announced plans to sail to New York in August, to recognize that a growing number of Europeans eager to reduce their carbon footprint are opting to limit air travel in favor of more environmentally-friendly means of transportation.

Significant enough that even airlines are taking note, flygskam–and its counterpart tagskryt, or train-bragging—is encouraging both European governments and private rail companies to consider investing in the return of long-distance night trains. But the revival of a form of transport that has long seemed consigned to the pages of Agatha Christie novels poses significant obstacles of its own.

Flygskam as a concept started in Sweden and is now taking off in the states:

The idea that acting responsibly entails flying less is even spreading to the United States. A jet propulsion scientist at NASA started No Fly Climate Sci in 2017 as a platform for earth scientists who wanted to make public commitments to reducing their carbon footprints. Kim Cobb was one of the scientists to sign up.

A few years ago, [Cobb’s] research into the large-scale destruction of reefs prompted the professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech University to examine her own carbon footprint a few years ago. “I was gobsmacked at how large a portion—85%—was locked in from flying, mostly for professional meetings and conferences, and, some for field research. As a scientist, I couldn’t unsee those numbers.”

In 2018, Cobb managed to cut her flight miles by 75%, going from an average of 125,000-plus a year, to 25,000 or 30,000.

To read more:

In Europe, the Movement to Give Up Air Travel Is Taking Off. Could the U.S. Be Next?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Roadside Rest Shelters Rock! August 5, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
27 comments

Before the arrival of McDonald’s drive thrus, parents often packed picnics to take on road trips (in case the natives in the back seat got restless or hungry).

To keep said natives occupied en route, parents assigned them the task of finding a suitable stopping point for lunch.  The task, thinly disguised as a game (complete with coveted prize) went like this:

“First one to spot a shaded picnic spot for lunch gets an extra cookie for dessert!”

Noses glued to the windows, kids scanned the horizon for a picnic spot that would score them an extra cookie.

And bragging rights!

* * *

Since a 2007 cross-country trip, Ryann Ford has been documenting historic roadside rest shelters with amazing vistas and views:

Roadside Rest Shelters: Destinations All Their Own

For a few more great shots of rest stops:

Attraction:  Retro Roadside Rest Shelters

I don’t know about you, but I think Ryann deserves an extra cookie for capturing these iconic images!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Meet Memorial Rock August 3, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, Sustainable Living.
23 comments

What do you do with an 8.5 million-pound boulder that crashes down a mountainside, digs a trench across a highway, and stops in the middle of on-coming traffic?

Nope.  You do NOT blow it to smithereens.

Instead, you give it a name, escalating it to landmark status and creating a tourist attraction even better than a giant ball of rubber bands!

And, if your new landmark is located in the middle of a highway, you reroute the road, saving $200K in the process.

Meet Memorial Rock:

Colorado Highway Rocked By 8.5 Million-Pound Boulder’s Crash Landing

Aah . . . that’s a bold boulder!