I took my grandkids to the Seacoast Science Center the other day to enjoy the beauty of where I live and give them a day to discover and basically play. It was a great day that ended up at the playground that was more of a ‘Ninja Obstacle Course’ then a playground.

My granddaughter is extremely athletic, so she ran up to the zip line in order to fly between two platforms. While she was waiting her turn, a young boy literally pushed her aside in order to get on the line first. My granddaughter just stepped aside and decided to leave the line, feeling a bit hurt.

I looked over at the mother of the young boy who was watching him play. She looked back at me and simply shrugged. I decided not to say anything for two reasons. One was because my granddaughter now became part of my right leg. The other was why would I promote a controversy that I couldn’t possibly win for, after all, we were at a fun place. Continue Reading →

Lives can be defined in many ways. A photo book, newspaper clippings, home movies, and even the history of our social systems online can display all of our histories. The other day I was emptying the dishwasher for my wife and noticed there were few dinner dishes and a whole lot of wine and beer glasses.

I smiled when I observed this because I knew the last few days had been filled with many friends and thus empty cans and bottles. The one symbol of our lives past that has been ignored because most do not believe it exists is the contents of our dishwashers. All of our dishwashers, the mechanical type and not the human type, can summarize our actions, week in and week out.

For example, if your dishwasher is filled with normal dishes and glasses, chances are you had a boring week. Chances are also good that you gained a bit of weight. If you look close you could also see what meals were memorable for good reasons and meals that were memorable for the worst possible reasons. Those usually include the ones I attempted to cook. Continue Reading →

It’s always dark because light never has a chance to penetrate the thick browns and blacks of the forest trees. The ground never feels warm because of the lack of the radiance the sun is supposed to give up. Everything lost its color and the creatures that lived in this world became the color gray. No one laughed, danced or rarely talked to each other because there was little joy in a place that was defined by lack of joy.

Except, of course, for one place in the center of this world. This place was called Imagination. It held a light that everyone yearned for, but only found here. It was a place that was defined by the energy of happiness and youth. Even the old seemed young when compared to creatures of their own age that lived beyond the boundaries of Imagination.

In the place called Imagination everyone loved everyone. Rarely did you see anyone frown because it was common knowledge that it took more muscles to frown then it does to smile. If you don’t believe this simply prove it to yourself by forcing a scowl that always takes a lot of energy. Then smile and you will discover what the creatures of Imagination discovered when Imagination began. Smiling simply felt better.

The creatures of Imagination came in all sizes and shapes. Some were very small while others grew like the flowered trees that surrounded them all. Some were thin while others were a bit husky but all were healthy and as was stated before, they all wore a huge smile on their faces at all times. Continue Reading →

How can one not love the wonderful world of spring. We just survived another New England winter and we are all looking forward to the beginnings of our gardens, outside barbeques, and just getting the hell out of our homes. This wonderful time also represents the beginning of attempting to fix all that was destroyed during our long winter months.

Since a small piece of my siding fell off my home during the last winter wind storm I thought it best to get away from the little jobs I had put off for the past decade or so and tackle a man-like one. The piece that fell off was part of the roof rafter.

Clearly understand I have no idea as to what a rafter is. It was only a 4 x 4 inch piece that was more for appearance then for protection. In fact, my wife never noticed it and I wouldn’t have either had it not been for it falling in front of me when I was outside.

I borrowed a large aluminum ladder from my neighbor who tried to talk me out of even thinking of using a ladder. After he saw I was determined to do so he told me he would keep watch in case I needed a trip to the hospital. I laughed and told him he was looking at the new me who was able to fix anything, or at least somethings.

I placed the ladder on the side of my house angling it so it would be secure. I did notice there was a bit of a breeze that afternoon but not enough to stop me from completing my task. Looking up at the corner of my house and seeing where to attach the piece of siding I thought this would be an easy task. All it needed was a single nail to hold it in place but because I wanted to do the job right I grabbed a couple of nails in order to make the siding immovable. Continue Reading →

 

Teachers across the country can no longer survive on the salaries they are offered to do the most important job of all. This is teaching our children the tools and honing their talents in order to have them do well in what is a very complicated world. Teachers are paid on a yearly contract that runs around 185 days.

There are many professions that do contracted work. If the contract is for 365 days or 100 days it makes no difference. The important thing is to get the job done and done well. Some believe in the concept of those who do, do and those who can’t teach. I do get a kick out of this statement because those who can do because they were taught how too.

Teaching has always been equated with the success of its students. The profession has never been defined by money even though the ability to live and teach at the same time has always been difficult. I can define teaching because I am a retired teacher. I wrote the following 25 years ago about one of my days teaching.

I had a great day…… Yesterday. But, even the greatest of days doesn’t make it any easier to get up at 5:00 in the morning. If only I could get to bed before 11:00 PM on school nights. That would make my life so much easier. With mountains of correcting being precipitated every day that possibility is basically impossible. So here I am, shocking myself awake with a cold shower so I can stay alert for the approaching new day. Continue Reading →

I am very jealous. I tell this to many people when we discuss the reality of religion. They explain the concept of faith in order to understand how a God could exist. I listen and am envious they could believe in something that can’t be logically explained.

They tell me this is the way it I, has always been, and will always be. I rarely argue with them because it would not do any good and it would also not relieve my stress that I know there is a God but not the God I have always been taught has always existed and will always exist.

I consider myself a logical person. I understand how when our species was able to survive in tribes and families we put a stick in the ground during the fear of night in order to be closer to the sky. I understand we had to follow a concept that we would survive because we were put on this planet for a specific reason including to represent an almighty God.

The problem is the concept we are all special living beings in special times led by an entity that considers us all very special. In reality we are not. Throughout the history of our species we were basically lucky. We survived whereas many of our fellow inhabitants on our planet failed. Continue Reading →

There is nothing nicer that the beginning of Spring, after a long cold winter. I actually saw a little green the other day as I dared to go out into my backyard. I haven’t attempted that particular excursion since a few weeks before Christmas.

As I walked beside my home I noticed that many of the bulbs, that I planted years before, were sprouting and the air had that feeling of newness because it was filled with scents of the blossoming spring.

While Spring bellows in the coming of a new season it also introduces us to the newest of our backyard pests. They seem to change every year. I’ve gone through the appearance of ants, yellow-jacket bees, grubs, beetles, and even multiple families of snakes. For a few microseconds, I loved spring with all its newness and promise of things to come.

Then I walked around to view the back of my yard. It looked like a satellite photo of an estuary with all its tiny streams that were coming together into a giant pond. There were multiple runways that connected tiny openings in my lawn. Something that must have been living beneath the three-foot snow pack decided to make its own neighborhood with all of its streets and alleys in my backyard. Continue Reading →

A rather famous statement made by people who hope to explain that something is not difficult because it is not rocket science has been around for my entire life. If something is too difficult people go on to explain it is rocket science.  Stephen Hawking showed the world that rocket science is simply looking into our sky in order to wonder where we all came from, when it all began, and where we are going.

Like most people who lived through a time when science fiction became science reality I’ve always been interested in the physical sciences of chemistry and physics. In fact, for the past four decades I’ve taught both these subjects. Dr. Hawking made this task easy because he described his theories of physics and time in understandable terms. He did not bury it in calculus but rather described his ideas in terms of wonderment and possible explanation of subjects that have been studied since people’s history began.

On March 14, 2018, Dr. Hawking died of a disease that should have killed him 50 years ago. That alone should make him remarkable. He never let his disorder get in the way of his mind. His brilliance never let his mind confuse what he was trying to describe. His genius was never allowed to elevate his legacy above those of us who look into the sky in order to attempt to understand why we are here.

Continue Reading →

Ffar away in Times-Gonebye, there was a very special village called Strood. Thanks to the hard work of its people, it had grown in size, and wealth, to become the finest village of all the villages in the land. Just a few miles away, craggy mountains rose to the sky and each night giant columns of flame burst from their peaks.

The villagers believed that the mountains were the home of many Fire Gods and everyone stayed well away from them. Although they feared the Fire Gods, and were scared that their homes might be burnt down, the villagers knew that the Flaming Mountains kept them safe, on that side at least, from attack by bandits and thieves.

Once a week, to please the Fire Gods they left food at the bottom of the mountains and on those nights, they huddled together in fear as they watched as the flames came down from the mountains and moved towards their village. However, each week the flames stopped at the food and, in the morning, the food was gone! As the villagers had lots of food, they were happy to make this payment in exchange for their safety. Then it all changed!

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The winter months expose people’s souls to anyone interested in observing them. Many people become ‘snow bunnies’ this time of year by traveling south to warmer homes. Those who decide to stay observe what is truly a remarkable event.

All of the seasons of the year demonstrate the natural beauty of our coast. By far the most exciting observation I can make is becoming part of a coastal storm. These storms always start with a lull. Not you’re ordinary quiet, but a time so serene you can’t hear anything, only the void promising to become exceptional.

The gulls and the winds whistling through the cottages near the beach have been told to be silent in hopes they will be left alone by the upcoming storm. It is a time when those who can walk to the water’s edge to watch the low tide go ever lower in preparation for the waters destined to explode on the beach.

The people are not the only ones who flock to the beach in the lull before the storm. The gulls also come to a collective realization they must fly to the beach in preparation for what is destined to begin. They are more courageous than their human counterparts. They stand precariously perched on one leg near where the surf meets the sand to stare into the water en masse like members of a religious cult awaiting their messiah. Continue Reading →