Wise Old Man

This is an old story, but I still love it.

An old man was eating at a truck stop minding his own business, when three dangerous-looking bikers walked in.

The first walked up to the old man, pushed his cigarette into his pie and then took a seat at the counter.

The second walked up to the old man, spit into his milk and then took a seat at the counter.

The third walked up to the old man, turned over his plate, and then took a seat at the counter.

Without a word of protest, the old man quietly paid and left the diner.

One of the bikers said to the waitress, “Humph, not much of a man, was he?”

The waitress replied, “Not much of a truck driver either. He just backed his truck over three motorcycles.”

The authors of the quiz we took the other day would call him a wise man:

In the words of the French playwright, Molière, “A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation.”

The bikers were certainly showing “unseeemly behavior”, and the fellow showed not only patience and moderation, but also a brilliant form of revenge.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 3 Comments

How Times Have Changed

Times really have changed! I hadn’t realized how much until I read about the mail survey Australia is doing about same-sex marriage. Most of the younger generation are in favor of making it legal, but there is a big problem — many of them never use the postal service. So a Labor MP posted a video on Twitter to show them how to do it.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 9 Comments

Fun Quiz

Abstract Art Can Tell You a Lot About Yourself is a fun quiz that is supposed to tell you a lot about yourself. I took it and the result was way too flattering, so I’m guessing yours will be too.

My result was

Your answers reveal that kindness is your most dominant personality trait. You are very sensitive to others and rarely have a bad thing to say about anyone. People are constantly impressed by your thoughtfulness, and if someone is having a bad day, you always seem to know how to make it better. In the words of the great philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”

Kaitlin and Torben got the same answer, even though I know Kaitlin answered some of the questions differently. If you take it and it’s not too much trouble, could you tell me how you answered? We’re curious. I did take it again, being careful to change all of my answers, and got a different result:

Your answers reveal that passion is your most dominant personality trait. You commit yourself entirely to everything that you do, and people admire the positive energy that you bring into their lives. You listen to your heart when making a big decision, and while some may accuse you of being too emotional, you never apologize for it. In the words of the great philosopher, Hegel, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”

Who knows how they decide? It’s interesting.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments

Not So New Ideas

When pain is treated solely with medications, only part of the problem has been addressed. Meanwhile, patients may receive too little of another kind of pain care, one that teaches them self-management techniques for treating pain. Our scientific research in the growing area of pain psychology shows that pain relief is more effective when you address the body and the mind.
The secret to overcoming the opioid crisis may lie partly in the mind

The article is about research being done at Stanford University, and I’m glad they are looking into it. But the suggestions aren’t new — I taught them in my stress management classes twenty years ago. If you’re looking for ideas, read the article or WebMD’s Stress Relaxation and Natural Pain Relief or Google stress reduction and pain management.

I’m a great believer in research, but in this area we’re not suffering from a lack of knowledge, we’re suffering from a lack of practice.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments

So Much for Stress-Hardiness

President Trump is killing me.

No, really. He’s killing me.

I went for my annual physical last month, and, for the first time in my 49 years, I had to report that I’ve not been feeling well: fatigue, headaches, poor sleep, even some occasional chest pain. My doctor checked my blood pressure, which had always been normal before: alarmingly high!

The doctor ran some tests and recommended some diet changes, but the tests came back normal and the diet didn’t change the author’s blood pressure very much, so he concluded reading the news about Trump was the cause.

I performed a longitudinal study to test my hypothesis. I bought a blood-pressure monitor and strapped it around my bicep at various points during the news cycle:

I am spending the evening with friends. Blood pressure: 116/67.

Trump says he is going to respond to North Korea with “fire and fury.” Blood pressure: 150/95.

I’m at home with the kids. Blood pressure: 117/69.

Jeff Sessions says they’re scrapping the DACA program: 137/92.

Trump agrees with “Chuck and Nancy” to avoid a debt-limit fight. Blood pressure: 122/81.

I remember that Trump’s term lasts another 40 months. Blood pressure: 159/97.

The Washington Post, Trump Is Killing Me. Really.

There was no mention of all the methods we have to help us become stress-hardy and resilient, so the fellow is now taking blood pressure medication.

Not my style. I became interested in stress hardiness years ago when both my division and Andy’s were being threatened with downsizing. The stress levels were high at work so I asked my usual, “What’s the opportunity here?” The answer was, “To become an expert on stress management.” I did, and I taught classes and led groups on this and related subjects for about ten years, so I was forced to practice what I preached.

Part of my daily routine was to read upsetting news the first thing in the morning until the techniques became second nature. Commitment and practice — it helps a lot.

Do you have any favorite techniques?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 18 Comments

It’s Best To….

As usual, it’s best to check our assumptions.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 9 Comments

Well, Yeah, Mom!


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 8 Comments

Unplugging from Reality

It beats worrying.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 14 Comments

No More Gender Bias?

This quote is from a June 2, 2014 article at Smithsonian.com:

Associating women with weakness may be a misguided, annoying stereotype, but it’s also putting people in danger when hurricanes with feminine names arrive. More people die during hurricanes with female names than male, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And our gender biases are probably to blame, say the scientists behind the findings.
Our Gender Biases May Be Making Hurricanes With Female Names More Deadly

Andy and I both saw that article when it first came out, and we laughed that people would actually think a hurricane was less powerful just because it had a female name. Presumably in these post-Katrina, post-Irma days that bias no longer exists.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 12 Comments


Andy, Orlando and Larry did a lot of roadwork this past weekend. Andy left the house at 7 Friday and Saturday mornings, returned home 6:30 pm Friday, 7:30 pm Saturday. Sunday was a bit easier, he left at 7 am and was back by 5.

We’re going up for a picnic supper today so I can see the changes.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments