I have been thinking about friends, death and goals this past week, albeit not necessarily in that order. Our friend Jeremy passed away two weeks ago, a sudden death. An aortic aneurysm. One of those potentially “here one minute, gone the next” type medical events that can occur with no warning whatsoever. Inexplicable. It happened during the night while he was asleep. And today, June 24th, would have been his 50th birthday. This is not a pseudo eulogy or tribute to Jeremy, his story is not my story to tell, nor even attempt. I can only ever tell my story, and here are some of my thoughts and experiences from the last two weeks.
I don’t feel like I knew Jeremy as well as I should have or would have liked. I have been close friends with his wife for over 20 years, we met through work, I took a course from her father. » Read the rest
I am an analytical introvert by nature, and over the last few years, I have let myself become somewhat socially isolated, partly by choice, partly by laziness, partly by circumstance. The pandemic, of course, exacerbates that condition. Even without it, though, I tend not to reach out to people to go out and do things. I do my own thing, often online, or with my family. It’s “easy” to do nothing to arrange social events when you’re an analytical introvert. It’s my default mode.
With the impact of Covid, I’ve been reading a few posts online about social connectivity, and how for many people, their network has changed over the years as they aged. At one point, it was likely their class list at school. Or a sports team they were on. Maybe later it was an address book, or perhaps an email list or contact list. But in the same vein that Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and saw it expand, many people use their social media contacts as their “network” for friends. » Read the rest
Firefox has this little feature when you pull up its built-in home page with a search engine box — just below the box is your recently viewed webpages, nothing unusual there, but between the search and history are three articles that Firefox thinks might be of interest to you. I have no idea if they are actually using an algorithm of the web history and past searches, or just curating interesting stories, but I often find one or more of the stories worthy of clicking. I figured initially that it was just clickbait, but most of the time, when I’ve actually clicked, the article has been worth the click.
Take for instance one from today. The article is written by a philosophy professor and revolves around anxiety. It starts with some powerful events — the death of his parents — that are not powerful in terms of trauma but in their normalcy. » Read the rest
Gratitude entry #11…Today I am grateful for planetary conjunctions. At the moment, in the sky, Venus and Mercury appear about two inches apart if you hold your hand straight towards them and measure. I’ve never seen Mercury before, or rather never realized it if I did. And for the last couple of weeks, I’ve looked at dusk and saw nothing. Mind you, I’m only doing naked eye visuals, nothing with a telescope or anything. But tonight, as I drove home, Venus was very obvious straight ahead of me, and faintly to the right, I could see Mercury. Nice of Venus to provide a simple easy arrow to find it.
I’m hoping on Sunday maybe, or possibly even Friday night, I might get a chance to try for it with the telescope. I’d love to see Comet Lovejoy too, and Orion is pointing the way, but just haven’t nailed it yet.
Gratitude entry #10…Today I am grateful for a new recipe for lasagna. No, I haven’t turned into Garfield. The lasagna was a vegetarian recipe that my wife found that uses the Epicure steamer. I had a long day at work, didn’t get home until late, had to heat it up after everyone else was long done and had left the kitchen, and it was really good. Even re-heated.
That’s it for today — just grateful for a good meal, something different than our norm. Onward in the journey…