Play is the highest form of research.
—Albert Einstein

Do you agree with Einstein at all? How important is play to your learning something new?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 5 Comments

Exploring Color


Color is a power which directly influences the soul.
—Wassily Kandinsky

Color touches the emotions. More than rigid rules and theories govern its use. But beautiful color is no happy accident —– in order to use color effectively, you must understand how it works.
—Nita Leland

I agree with Kandinsky and Leland. Color touches my emotions. As I’ve said, I’ve been playing with different materials and shapes and colors. For the most part I’m not saving anything. I have no desire to be an “artist.” I just want to explore, experiment, and experience. Wow! That’s more than enough.

Do you feel that way about anything?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments

Pierre Brassau

Pierre BrassauWikipedia

Pierre Brassau

Brassau paints with powerful strokes, but also with clear determination. His brush strokes twist with furious fastidiousness. Pierre is an artist who performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer.
Art critic Rolf Anderberg, 1964

When he found out the painting he had critiqued was really painted by a chimpanzee, he said it was still the best painting in the exhibition.

If that isn’t encouraging to those of us who love to play with shapes and colors, I don’t know what is. :)



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Underpaid, Really?

I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid. I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.
—Representative Jim Moran, quoted by The Washington Post

His argument is they can’t live decently in Washington on their $174,000 a year salary.

The Washington Post article goes on to say

Given Congress’s near-record-low approval ratings, of course, it’s unlikely many Americans will sympathize with members’ financial plights.

I’m afraid I’m one of the unsympathetic ones. How do you feel about it?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments


Some days are better than others.

It was a great afternoon here — bikehikebabe phoned! It’s been about 10 days now, and she says progress is slow but she’s getting slightly better everyday. I told her you all sent her best wishes and thanked her for letting us know.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 12 Comments


I came across this quote yesterday:

The art of living is to deal with problems as they arise, rather than destroy one’s spirit by worrying about them too far in advance.

Amen to that.

I assume that most readers here don’t spend much time worrying, that they take appropriate action if possible then spend their time doing something more interesting. What do you think?

I worried a lot when I was a kid, but then I decided I wasn’t going to run scared all my life. It was good choice. I’m still a pessimist (albeit a cheerful one), and I’m continually amazed at how well things have turned out so far.

“So far” is the operative phrase. It reminds me of the fellow who fell off the Empire State Building. As he passed the eighth floor someone yelled, “How is it going?” He replied, “It’s going great so far!” As I said, I am a pessimist.

What about you? If you’re not a worrier, did that come naturally or did you have to learn how?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 11 Comments

The Purpose of Life

The purpose of life is to fight maturity.
—Title of yesterday’s post at Bob and Sophie’s French Adventure

Do you agree with that? I sure do. I’ve been spending a lot of time the past few days playing with magic markers, watercolors, tempera, different paint brushes, etc. I’m not trying to produce anything resembling art, I’m just seeing how colors mix, and what color combinations and lines and shapes move me. It’s a fun exercise in Beginner’s Mind, and it’s a great way to get out of our linear left brains.

Do you ever do something for the sheer joy of it?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 16 Comments


Feel free to skip this post. It’s about solving a problem I would rather have avoided, but it did take a lot of my time the past couple of days.

After I finished the income tax I was planning to have some fun to celebrate, but then I noticed the sidebar on my home page had disappeared. Groan!

I decided to put the problem off for a day and continue celebrating. Wise choice.

The next day: Okay, how do I break the problem down into small steps and get curious and get started? I started comparing some of my WordPress files before and after the problem occurred. No luck — not surprising because I hadn’t changed anything.

So I poked around the internet to see who else had a disappearing sidebar. Quite a few, actually. Most of the suggestions were way too technical to be of much help, but then someone said in the case he was looking at the sidebar hadn’t disappeared, it had been shoved down to the bottom of the page. Sure enough. There it was.


I also noticed the last post on the page had a smaller font than the others, and it extended into the space which should have been reserved for the sidebar. Hmm.


I tried temporarily deleting that post, but it didn’t help. The post that replaced it had the same problem. So I figured if the first nine posts worked fine, just cut down the number of posts being displayed. I found out how to do that, and voila!


The sidebar is back. I have no idea why WordPress suddenly can’t handle more posts on the home page, but I really don’t care. I’m only displaying five posts now, just to be conservative. Probably no one else but me even cares if the sidebar is there or not. So I have declared this problem solved for now. Back to the rest of my life.

Do you ever have interruptions that take a while to resolve?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 12 Comments

April Fools

Dogs don’t understand magic, so the disappearing treat was a dirty trick to play on them. But we assume they were rewarded at the end.

The dogs were very well behaved. Kaitlin’s gerbil would have nipped your hand if you played a trick like that.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 6 Comments



The secret of happiness is to ask yourself every day:
  (1) What’s good about my life?
  (2) What needs to be done?
  (3) How can I get this done and      enjoy the process?

As I’ve mentioned before, I use those questions a lot, and they’ve really helped with learning to enjoy doing income tax. One of the reasons I enjoy doing it is I love having an excuse to use Digits, my calculator app for my iPad. It makes doing the arithmetic fun. What more could you ask? I agree wholeheartedly with the creators:

Digits combines the edit-ability of a spreadsheet with the simplicity of calculator. Dare we say it? Digits is a calculator a human can love.

They have me hooked!

Do you have any tools that you love?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 12 Comments