Friday, December 26, 2014


Duty. Something you are required to do because of a legal or moral obligation. Duty dictated by the latter is often much more difficult than duty dictated by the former. Following the law is really black and white whereas morality is cloaked in various shades of gray.

I spent eight of the last nine years caring for my wife as she struggled with Huntington's Disease. That circumstance was compounded by the addition of my daughter and her family - all of whom moved in under the same roof as Lynn and I and in fact a further member was added during that time. My daughter and I have been only barely civil to each other for many years - the reasons for which I won't explain here. .Her oldest kids - my eldest granddaughters are good kids and the new addition - my now 4-year old grandson - is a bundle of energy akin to the Tasmanian Devil of Looney Tunes fame.  Here is the last decent photo ever taken of Lynn when he was just a few months old.

My duty to Lynn was clear as a bell.  I also thought it my duty to allow our daughter to assist with her mother's care regardless of the consequences to me. The success or failure of the circumstance is open to interpretation and in a few months we will no longer be under the same roof.  I look forward to the quiet times ahead.

My first brush with the notion of duty came at a young age as a scout - "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to be square and obey the laws of the pack" - I never forgot that and  I see it has even changed a bit. Good old Den 6 Pack 3 in Pueblo Colorado. Here we are on the front porch of the house my grandfather built. My time in the scouts was very short - 2 years. When we moved to California my friends weren't scouts hence neither was I.

In a broader application of duty we all owe respect and gratitude to those who defend us with their lives.  We owe them respect regardless  whether or not we agree with the fight and we as a country collectively failed our Viet Nam vets here.  We seem to have resolved that issue as we now recognize and respect the efforts of our military regardless of the moral ambiguity attached to the conflicts they face. Witness the two gulf wars and the current excursion in Afghanistan.

Duty.  It is our duty to be as good a person as we possibly can. We all should try to make the world a better place. We all should help others whenever we can.  A simple notion.

That's it for this week's topic. Tune in next week to see where that road takes us.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Comfort Zone

Maxi and Ramana joined forces to give us this week's topic - Comfort Zone. You know that place - it's where you feel like you are in control and can accomplish the task at hand  quickly and efficiently with a minimum of stress. We all have one - in fact we all undoubtedly have many.

Take my job for example. When I have to write copy for computers, tablets or network products the words flow freely.  With digital cameras not so much. That's because I have been involved in the home computer industry since its inception and have written about those products regularly for the last 10 years.  Digital cameras on the other hand are the bailiwick of my buddy Robert and he is as comfortable writing about those cameras as I am about computer stuff.  If he has to write about computer stuff he struggles a bit.

Musically it will come as no surprise that my comfort zone is pop music, especially that of the sixties and seventies - though I have a degree of proficiency  in most decades. But I occasionally step out of my zone to listen to classical music - the complexity is fascinating and oh yeah - much of it sounds pretty darn good.  In fact my fave piece of music is a Baroque ditty - give it a listen. It's widely played this time of the year in many places.

Comfort zones and anxiety go hand-in-hand. It's good to expand your zones - step out of the box a bit. That lets us grow as people. Managing your anxiety is a critical element in life and - and it can in many cases be learned.  Try doing things differently.  Change some habits. Expand your zone. Enhance your life.

That's my quick shack-take on today's exercise.  Check out what the other LBC folk have to say - and I'll see ya next week, same bat time, same bat channel

Friday, December 12, 2014

Love's Labours Lost

Good old Wil again.   As I have stated in the past I am not a Shakespear fan, I'll approach this as a lost love commentary instead.  One that for whatever reason fell into the unrequited love column - like the one this song addresses -

We've all been there - at least I suspect if we are being honest.  Some more than once.

Of course the optimist would suggest that a broken heart is simply one more mistake to be cast aside on the way to finding the RIGHT ONE.  Hmm - that sounds oddly salesman like - ya gotta wade through the NOs to get to the one that says YES.  Some of us are lucky enough to have that experience in love. And also to encounter an aggressive salesperson.  Door knocking religions immediately spring to  mind.  But that's a discussion for another day.

Press on if you have a failed relationship.  After all, it's all just a game

The stakes may be high but the quest is certainly fun and the end result very much worthwhile.  Unless of course you're the solitary type. And that is fine too although it's not for me. There's just something about having someone who gets you - understands you completely and still cares about you. These days that task falls to my basset hound/collie mix - Ginger.

That's a quick shack take on this weeks topic, submitted by Gaelika in India.  We also have a new member joining the LBC this week - Lin from Germany. She's an old high school acquaintance of mine and she can be found at Dun Na Sead Rising so be sure to check her out along with the other LBC posters.  See ya next week - same bat time, same bat channel!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Emotional Alchemy

Emotional alchemy. That's a typical Old Fossil subject  - designed to make you think before you speak. Or not - I suppose it depends upon one's level of comfort seaking about personal chemistry and such.

I am essentially a shy, dumb jock gone to seed. Now I fancy myself something of an old curmudgeon. But - through the years there have been a few people with whom I had an almost instant connection. I'll briefly discuss a couple of them.

First up, of course, is my late wife Lynn. Love at first sight?  Well if not that then it was certainly something very similar. The first time we met there was an instant connection. We were both jocks - me a football player and Lynn a gymnast at BYU. Unlike with other young ladies, conversation between us flowed like a river. There was genuine interest there and it lasted for 45 years.  Not bad if I do say so myself.

The other person I want to briefly discuss is none other than the sage of Pune - Ramana.  We have enjoyed an easy rapport from the time we met.  Though coming from two very different cultures, Ramana and I hit it off immediately. We are somewhat similar in background - educated, widowed, we love music and movies and we both fancy a heated discussion.  Though we handle discussions a bit differently, we love them.  Ramana is ever the cool, calm rational fellow whilst I am more easily excitable. It makes for some interesting, fun times.

Emotional alchemy.  Magic?  Alchemy might imply that but it's really - to me - a matter of wanting to learn and a willingness to listen. At times logic dictates the emotions be ignored and reason  take the lead.  It might be nice if that were always the case but then we are people after all. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is much more common than one would hope.

Emotional alchemy. The chemistry class of life.

That's this weeks off-the-cuff shack take on the weekly LBC topic,  See ya next week - same bat time, same bat channel.