Brain Training

Photo by IsaacMaoI received something I wanted for the holidays: a copy of brain training software for my Nintendo Switch.

This game allows me to work on memory, reflexes, logic and all sorts of things that I may not see in my every day life. I love the arithmetic drills, the music play along (not really a challenge for me), the sudoku and more. I feel revved up when I have a chance to play.

I’m realizing how important it is to do things to stretch my brain as well as my body. Just like muscles, if I don’t use my mental abilities, I will lose them.

So I make time two or three times a week, to play the brain training game. And I try to do a sudoku every day as well.

Photo by IsaacMao

Cancel Culture

Photo by EpicTop10.comI’ve been hearing a lot about cancel culture lately. I was a bit confused about it, but it appears that it is a phenomena that happens on social media where someone does something stupid or reprehensible and then people start unfollowing them. Since these people make their money based on their followers, it makes a direct impact.

This sort of thing has been going on since I was a child – and probably longer. It went by a different name, though. It was called. boycott. If a company or person did something reprehensible, people stopped buying the products…and spread the word. The result was that the company would lose customers and it was a direct impact.

Boycotting is effective. Money is where most corporations are focused. And hitting companies there are a good way to get them to change. But only if the boycott is big enough to make a dent on the bottom line.

I’m really not sure that cancel culture isn’t boycotting. And I’m not sure it’s not such a bad thing.

For those people spouting things that are not in the public’s best interest, such as vocal anti-vaxers right now. For the public official whose public opinions have caused violence and racial hatred? For the social media influencer who has been caught spouting racial epithets? For the powerful male who has bragged about his transgressions against women?

The good of the many outweighs the good of the one. Boycotting, or cancel culture, is one of the ways that we can use to correct behavior and thinking.

Educating people out of reprehensible opinions and positions doesn’t work. Let’s hit them where it matters to them. Let’s show them that to work against the good of the many in their quest for personal expression is going to have powerful and immediate consequences to them.

Photo by

Oldies But Goodies

Photo by istolethetv

Technology is great. But sometimes it doesn’t beat the oldies.

There are times when I think I should upgrade, but the old screw-controlled cookie press will beat out a cookie gun any day.

And old-fashioned curlers will tame my natural curls faster and better than any curling iron.

And my feather duster out performs Swiffers.

So before you replace something just because it is old, ask yourself if the newer version works as well.

Photo by istolethetv

Changing Holiday Dinners

Photo by fireflythegreat

There are few big food events in my household. Most of them revolve around the trifecta of the American holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

Each of these holidays have their own traditional foods. Turkey, stuffing and that green bean casserole at Thanksgiving. Ham or turkey with the fixings for Christmas. All the good luck foods (which changes depending on where you are in the country) on New Years.

Here’s the thing, though. Usually the holidays are just the three of us in our core family. And most of the traditional foods don’t appeal.

None of us like stuffing, for instance. Especially as leftovers. And all three of us are united in the opinion that canned green beans covered in the gray cream of mushroom soup is gawdawful. And black-eyed peas, collard greens and pork hocks? Blech.

So after many years of producing traditional meals, I decided this year to switch to those foods we actually like. No stuffing. No green bean casserole. No cream-of-something soup in anything.

And you know what? It’s more fun to prepare a big dinner when we actually like the food, and the leftovers get eaten instead of being thrown out.

Photo by fireflythegreat

Goodbye 2020.

I am so ready for 2020 to be done. It’s been a hell of a year. More named storms than ever before. Massive fires. COVID. Isolation. Social distancing. Layoffs. Economy tanking. Graduations and other rites of passage cancelled.

I think I’ve weathered this better than some. First of all, I still have a job. I transitioned to working from home in March, and there has been no break in my employment.

Second, I’m an introvert. Telling me not to socialize is like a winning lottery ticket. I can stay home with my family, my books, my computer, my cats and be perfectly happy.

Third, we didn’t get hit by any of the named storms. Or the fires. Yes, we had flooding, but that is pretty typical around here.

Fourth, my daughter did have an individual graduation ceremony, from my former colleagues at her high school. And she is staying home for community college for the next two years, so that is a bonus too. Not quite empty nesters yet.

Fifth, my family and friends are weathering this as well as can be expected.

But even with all these things to be grateful for, I’m ready for 2021 to be a much better year.