wonder junkie

I heard an interview with, I think, the host of a show called something like “Brain Games” the other day

I was driving… at work…so I wasn’t paying as close attention to the interview as I might have been….so I didn’t catch the host’s name.

Let’s look it up….it’s crummy to be lazy when Google is so easy.

Jason Silva! That wasn’t so hard.

In the interview, he talked a little about how much he liked Carl Sagan….and how he’d heard the phrase “wonder junkie” first mentioned in the book Contact.

Then he went on to talk a little about Jodie Foster and the movie she starred in that they made out of the book, and how Jodie Foster’s character in the movie, Ellie, is a true “wonder junkie”….obsessed with and amazed at the vastness of the Universe.

It made me want to watch that movie again.

What a great phrase….”wonder junkie”.

What a great phrase that is….something great to aspire to….to be a “wonder junkie”.

Nate’s up now….waiting for me to finish this blog so that he can watch videos about Transformer toys on YouTube.

I haven’t made my coffee yet.

There are a lot of things that happen everyday that I focus on that might eclipse my ability to notice the things that are “really amazing”.

It’s hard for me to study the stars when someone short is tugging at my hand.

It’s hard to notice things that should fill me with wonder when I am helping to take care of the things that a parent needs to take care of.

I am not communicating with the stars.

I don’t interact with things far and wild….with the mysteries of the universe.

I am not a scientist.

I deal in the mundane.


But…my world is full of wonder. My world is full of wonder that I miss every time I think that I need to chase something “out there” that might be grand and mysterious.

I have a little boy sitting on my lap while I try to type this.

I can hear Jenny sleeping in the next room with Sparrow.

My oldest son is asleep in his room.

My daughter is probably still asleep up at college.

That’s my wonder.

I am a junkie for that wonder.

I guess that I’m a “wonder junkie” after all.

What a mysterious world it is….details big and small….so full of wonder and amazement.


forecasting discomfort

It’s raining today.

It’s not snowing.

The weatherman told me early in the week that today was the day it might snow….but it’s only raining.

One of my friends at work told me that it was only supposed to rain today….and she was right.

But….she also told me that next week, a “Nor’easter” was supposed to be blowing in….and that’s when it was all going to hit the fan.

I guess she was saying that today might be OK….but just you wait until next week.



I have enough trouble believing the meteorologists…..now I’ve got all this other input to pay attention to.

No….that’s not true.

I don’t have any trouble believing the meteorologists (I’ve got to start saying “weatherman” or “weather guy”…..”meteorologist” is too hard to type….).

I believe them when they say something hard or bad might happen.

A “chance” of anything fills me with dread…..unless it’s a chance of sunshine.

I guess that I’m hopeful if it’s a chance of sunshine.

Nobody reports a “chance” of something good happening, though.

It’s funny, though, how apt I am to jump to the conclusion that someone else’s prediction of snow or “hard weather” is going to come true.

I will, apparently, jump on any gloomy bandwagon that comes rolling through town.

I guess that I have too much riding on the weather to not jump on a slow moving doom mobile when I have the chance.

I guess that I really need to work on a “believe it when I see it” mindset.

Until proven otherwise…..and even a negative final result can be spun around to appear positive, I suppose….I need to expect that the good thing is my thing….that I roll with the good times…the good weather….the hopeful outcome.

Hah! I forgot to turn off the thing that makes all my typing BOLD…..there…..that’s more like it.

There is no difference in outcome except how I perceive it.

Everything’s the same….except what I think is happening around me.

That changes…. moment to moment.

I don’t want to ruin my weekend living in fear of what someone said might happen later on.

But….if I don’t jump on some kind of bandwagon, how’m I ever going to be able to say, “See? I TOLD YOU SO!!!”

I don’t want to miss my chances to say, “See? I told you so….”

Those chances, like bad weather, don’t come along everyday.



My new sneakers came via UPS last night.

I found some cheap hi-tops on a site called 6pm.com….and so now….after 45 years or so of not owning a pair, I am cruising around in new PF Flyers.

My shoes are just like these.

That’s my contribution to an impending second childhood….my substitute for a red sports car when I’m locked in my mid-life crisis….my way to make myself smile if I get mired in any other kind of crisis.

pf flyers



The thing about PF Flyers….the thing that a cheap price and fast, free shipping couldn’t satisfy for me….was knowing that I wasn’t going to get a toy when I opened the box.

(Wait!! I didn’t look in the box!! Maybe they still….mayybeeeeee……No….they don’t…..)

The attraction of buying a pair of these shoes that was such a pull….a tantalizing bonus….when I was younger was that if you bought a pair of PF Flyers, in addition to super powers and the ability to run like the wind just because I had a new pair of sneakers, was the fact that you got one of the coolest toys ever available to a kid anywhere….just because you got a new pair of shoes.

You might have gotten one of these:

pf flyer toy 2

Or….if you were lucky and your timing was right, you might have gotten one of the Johnny Quest decoder rings they used to give out….like this one…


Or…maybe if the cards were in your favor, you might have been fortunate enough to get one of these things that you had to snap together.

pf flyer toy 1

I remember all of them.

I probably had all of them at separate times.

I wore out the shoes a long time after I lost interest in the toy….but that was the price you paid.

You had to need a new pair of shoes before you could get a new toy.

That whizzing tooth was probably my favorite.

I’ve never had another tooth that whizzes after I lost that one.

Anyway….I don’t think that I got a toy this time.

I’ll have to check the box more closely, though.

Just in case.

Me + “action shoes” = UNSTOPPABLE





perspective perch


My friend John is a good friend.

His comment to me….on Facebook….about my post yesterday was, “I think completing a really nice porch to sit on and sip lemonade as you contemplate (plan) what to build on to it would be a nice Spring project”.



Maybe that’s the secret. Even if it wasn’t the “perfect step” in working on that house, it would give me a nice place to contemplate all of the other things that I need to do to it?

I worry about stuff too much….need to just get on with it, and if the only thing driving me is the expectation of a nice place to sit and drink lemonade, well….that would be enough.

That’s pretty motivational….thinking about a nice Spring day, sipping lemonade….maybe even covered in sawdust as I take a break from all the other projects?

We had a couple of nice warm days here….I could see how much easier a warm day is than a brutally cold day. That didn’t take any creativity to come to an obvious conclusion.

Here’s to warm days and easy decisions.

And….even though President Obama had a State of the Union address last night, I got to spend some time with Jenny, so I missed it.

What did I miss?

I’ll bet I had a nicer evening than most of the folks who watched the show.

The “show”….that’s about all it ever is.

I need to go make some coffee.

That’s a good plan, John….sit….drink some lemonade, let the warm breeze blow gently across me…..plan….and don’t even turn on the TV….no matter what leader is getting ready to tell me something.

I like that plan.

“you can make it if you try” Sly and the Family Stone”

that porch

Of course, it would go a lot faster with this porch than with the porch over at the new place.

It’s a smaller porch that these over-caffeinated guys are slamming through.

You can make fast work of a small porch.

It’s when you get into the medium size porches that you really get bogged down.

They take a little longer to build back up than these little porches.

Aw…..who am I kidding?

You don’t rebuild a porch and have something nice and new attached to the old structure.P1010331

You don’t put the silk purse where the sow’s ear used to be….it’s just not good for the pig to show off what “could be” while he’s still got another ear on his head to compare the new to.

That’s the best excuse.

If you can’t make it all nice right away….then don’t make any of it nice at all.

It’s all an excuse.

I could rip into something over there and get something done if I really wanted to.

You know, I could do that if it didn’t get so darn dark so early now.

If the sun would coöperate with me, I’d be a ball of fire….swinging a hammer or pulling a nail….I’d be a reconstructing fury if the weather….no, the sun….would just coöperate.

I’d “get r’ done”.

(I should trademark that phrase…..”get r’ done”. That’s kind of a cool thing to say….”get r’ done”….”get her done”….”gitterdone”. I’ll work on that one….no sense releasing it to the public until it’s perfected….)

I better get something done sometime quick, though.

You don’t make payments and continue to feel good about it if you don’t see any benefit to giving all that money to the bank.

You have “got to get” in order to feel that the world is alright.

Maybe my friend’s father was right….”do something….even if it’s wrong” was good advice.

Do something….even if all it does is give you a false sense of accomplishment.

Maybe I’ll buy a new broom.

Maybe I could fool myself with a new broom?

Or maybe I could cut down another tree?

That feels like progress, somehow.

Or….maybe I could sit in my dry house and watch another YouTube video about how to do something.

“If you’re failing to plan….you’re planning to fail”.

How long can you plan….and get away with “just planning”?

I better plan to tear something up soon…or it’s going to drive me…..somewhere.

That darn porch.

Darn porch.

“front porch” Pat Metheny/Bill Frisell/Marc Johnson


the core on the edge


I saw something nice down in Greenville yesterday.

We were in a toy store on Main St. and a father came in with his young daughter and started talking to the cashier.

“My son bought a bat and ball….but somehow we didn’t end up paying for all this other stuff.”

That’s kind of confusing when someone comes back to pay.

I’m sure that the cashier gets questioned about stuff that was paid for more often than she runs into someone wanting to pay more.

The father, in front of his young daughter, who was with him, figured out what hadn’t been paid for….and took care of the discrepancy.

People are quick to jump on things that work against them….if they’ve overpaid, they rush to fix the problem.

It was nice to see someone working to fix a situation that worked against someone else’s business.

It was good that I didn’t see him dancing on the street after getting all that free stuff, waving his receipt and yelling, “SCORE!!!”

His honesty wasn’t a “grand gesture”, either.

It was just a quiet thing that the father did.

It was the “right thing” to do….and he did it quietly and efficiently.

When he left, I told him that I thought it was a good thing for his kids to be able to see him do that.

That was a good thing….what that good Daddy did.

All this stuff….all these lessons that we try to teach our children…..we try so hard to “educate”….and it’s the quiet things on the edges of our lives that I have a feeling they’re going to internalize and remember.

It’s the kindness or honest moment that we don’t even pay attention to while we’re (hopefully) doing it that they’re keeping track of.

I better mind my “P’s and Q’s”.


rocking hard….backwoods style

I’d forgotten how good this was.

A friend posted it on Facebook a while back and I watched and enjoyed it….but, dang….it’s good.

That’s the beauty of a good pair of overalls….you can be a stealth genius and no one would give you the credit you deserve.

You’d just be another “hillbilly” in a pair of bib overalls.

These guys do something that I haven’t seen anyone else do….and have a lot of fun doing it.

Here’s another one…..I need to go make some coffee….it’s early again.

all this science….and the first hand remembrances

How about this?

All these dudes dressed in furs….screwing around in the snow.

That’s pretty wild.

And….how the heck did they get film of all this stuff?

I thought it was all supposed to have happened before they were making documentaries…..like, many….many…years ago.

It did have a line in it that I’m sure I’ll be able to use at some point in my future…..”May my childhood necklace keep your breath alive.”

I guess that’s pretty universal though….who hasn’t had an opportunity to say that?

Maybe I have too much time on my hands….sitting in the dark, trying to be quiet so that I don’t wake everybody up, typing “full movie” into the YouTube search bar?

Awwww, what the heck? I don’t have that much time on my hands that I can sit through this movie about these old cavemen guys.

I can’t waste my time like that.

I should spend it more constructively….like watching a good movie early in the morning.

Maybe a classic?

Like “Soul Plane”…. on Netflix?




Holy Smokes, though…that caveman movie has enough good quotes to last a lifetime.

Those Neanderthals really knew how to dish out a one-liner.