Thought Improvement
Thought Improvement

About How I Write

My wife’s friend and her husband stopped by, and the husband asked to see some of my writing.  I shared a few examples with him, and he looked at me and said, “Nobody writes that way. You must use that ‘artificial insemination stuff to write for you.”

So, based upon his query, let me elucidate how I “artificially inseminate” information…

Here Are Previous Examples Of How I “Inseminate”

For this section, I’ve selected various examples and sources, including:

  • websites I own
  • published magazine articles (I’ve written over 100 in my lifetime)
  • posts from a decade or two ago
  • Yelp and Amazon reviews

… and additional, similar sources. 

Number Three Ain’t So Bad

Independent studies by Smithsonian Magazine, the History Channel, and National Geographic have all reached the same conclusion after reading the below: this site was determined to be an important piece of ancient history, imperative to understanding the ascent of man, the evolution of civilization, the foundation of culture, and the birth of thought.

These important publications rank the discovery of my ancient writings just below the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Rosetta Stone, but above the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Code of Hammurabi, The Nag Hammadi Library, and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Onward…

Website – My Hip Replacement Surgery

I had my hip replaced about a decade ago, so I created a website about Hip Replacement Surgery. It is essentially a step-by-step playbook of what to expect and what to do before you have your hip removed. 

Chapter 1 – How Do You Mend A Broken Hip?

(Inspired by the BeeGees song “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?”)

Hip Replacement Surgery Tip #31: Evacuate So They Don’t Have To -I love paradox, so I used the word “evacuate” to represent two distinct applications of its usage.

Chapter 5 – What Are The Seven Steps of ‘Hip?’ – A brief checklist to self-assess their personal condition. Visit this link to read more.

Magazine Articles – Over 100 Published Monthly Magazine Articles

In addition to creating websites, I also used to write for a number of magazines.

The Hole In The Fire  (2007)

As a bonus for all those doubters out there, this link is actually to the archive.org site to show, and verify, that it was indexed by an impartial third party. You can read the entire article if you so desire, but here is a sample of the article:

It was August 1949, a bone dry day in Montana with near 100 degree heat. The lightning-caused blaze burned more than 3,000 acres and controlling it required the efforts of more than 400 firefighters.

Fifteen brave firefighters parachuted into remote Mann Gulch to fight an out of control forest fire. Shortly after the smokejumpers were on the ground the fire jumped across a ravine, flared up and trapped them between the flames and a steep slope.

The fifteen firefighters panicked and ran, trying to make it up a 76% grade in hopes of reaching a crest for safety. It was hopeless, but they all dropped their heavy gear and ran, except their commander. He knew the climb was too great and the fire too swift and knew that it wasn’t going to work. So he stopped, took out matches, and lit a fire in front of him in the tall dry grass that was between him and the slope.

Just 90 minutes after the 15 smokejumpers had parachuted, 10 were dead, unable to out race the fire as they were consumed by a wall of 200 foot flames. Two others died the next day due to burns they received. The commander of the unit lived as he had created a safety spot, “a hole in the fire.”

The Value of Stories

When they interviewed Steve Sabol, one of the principals of NFL films, he was asked why have they been so successful given that Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and ESPN all do essentially the same thing. He replied that they were different and then stated, “Tell me a fact and I’ll remember. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and I’ll remember forever.”

Peak Oil Theory Bell Curve and the Future of .Com Domain Prices (2007)

This article compares peak oil theory to domain names. (Of course, this article was written before the onslaught of new domain extensions.) Here are a few writing samples from this article:

The Hubbert Peak Theory

In 1956, Marion King Hubbert stated that for any individual oil field, or for any country, or for the world as a whole, the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell-shaped curve. This became known as the Hubbert Peak Theory.

There Are Some Similarities Between .Com Domains And The Oil Industry

Obviously, the peak is at the top of production. Essentially the Hubbert peak theory shows that once oil findings peak, so does the amount of oil that can be produced (duh). And, that once we are on the downside of the bell curve, which we are, we should be examining other alternatives, because there will be no more oil.

Now, What Does This Have To Do With .Com Domain Names?

Well, there is a finite amount of oil, and for the most part, there is a finite amount of .com domains (unless you count 1plna889qqqzz.com as an option).

Want to read more? Visit this link.

Yelp Reviews

It is said that if you want to truly understand someone’s character, one of the following usually applies:

  • You can often judge the character of a person by how they treat their parents.
  • The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t fight back.
  • You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat animals.
  • Your character is defined by what you do when you think no one is watching.
  • If you want to see someone’s true character, watch how they treat the servers at a restaurant.
  • If you really want perspective, read what someone wrote when they thought nobody would ever read it, or find it.

So, let’s apply the above concepts…

Yelp, That’s ‘Write’: To truly understand how an author thinks and writes, don’t just read their essays, articles, or books… Read their Yelp reviews, where they thought nobody would ever find or read them! Below are two truncated examples.

Yelp #1 – A Food Co-Op Review

Just What Is The Food Co-op – Don’t let the fact this grocery store is a co-op fool you: Aisle for aisle, this grocery store is as busy as any national chain store. It is a full-service organic foods market providing affordable organic foods to everyone and has been member-owned since 1972.

How To Shop (Like A Local) At The Food Co-op:  Nobody bothered to tell me the rules of shopping there. Here are just a few rules I learned (by breaking) over the years that might help you assimilate more quickly than I did:

1. Carefully, Thoughtfully, Introspectively Inspect Each Item You Purchase: I initially failed to carefully look over all the vegetables, say turnips, by just picking up the first one I touched. I now carefully, thoughtfully and introspectively analyze and then determine which specific turnip I should even consider to pick up. After careful consideration, I look at, rotate, inhale the essence of, and then — only then — do I nod my head in agreement that this specific turnip was right for me and, more importantly, I was right for that specific turnip.

Bonus Tip – Be sure to look at the bottom of the turnip to see if there is any dirt left. If so, say something, just loud enough for someone nearby to hear, like, “Hmm, this looks like it came from the Short’s Family Farm or similar farm.” Skilled, long time Co-op shoppers can complete this assessment in two minutes per turnip (although it takes longer for fruits).

7. How To Park At The Food Co-op: As if all the above isn’t hard enough, I had to learn where and how to park while shopping at the Co-op. I ultimately learned to park my (whisper) gas-guzzling SUV (end whisper) in the bank lot across the street so I don’t have to endure an intense Scarlet Letter of “a**holes who drive cars that ruin the planet” looks.

9. And, After You Shop, There Is More: When friends, neighbors, people in the neighborhood stop over to visit, you have to remember to always say, “Oh, I just got this turnip from the Food Co-op!” In case they don’t acknowledge that, say with a bit more force, “I JUST GOT THIS TURNIP FROM THE FOOD CO-OP!” Then after they automatically say, “We just shopped this morning there. Aren’t the turnips wonderful this time of year?” You reply by saying, “Yes, this organic, fair-trade and providing-a-living-wage, almost-locally-sourced turnip does taste terrific!”

Yelp #2: Resort Town Review – Tofino, Canada

First Things First – 1: If the ‘special rate’ says ‘Storm Watching Special’ then you should expect a storm…

First Things First – 2: This review would have been 5* except for the quake thingy… There are a few things you need to know before you go.

The Ocean Village Resort is about a 4.5 hour drive from Victoria, BC or 3 hours from Nanaimo, BC. If you are driving from Seattle, including ferry times, plan on an 8-hour trip.

But there is a bit a good news for the long trip: the drive isn’t just awesome, it’s doubly awesome. There are winding roads, waterfalls, creeks, rivers, lakes, and lots and lots of trees.

So, What’s So Bad About Tofino? There is the little, itty-bitty nuisance called the Cascadia Fault. Cascadia makes the San Andreas fault look like a high school football player trying out to play in the NFL. The Cascadia earthquake will be almost 30 times more energetic than the San Andreas fault. And, as a bonus, it often generates a very large tsunami – about the same size as the 2004 9.1+ Indian Ocean earthquake or the 2011 9.0 Japan earthquake.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program… I really liked Tofino.

Wow, Way To ‘Reframe’: When you go on vacation you typically nice weather, blue skies and stress-free days.

Look at a map and you’ll see that Tofino sticks out into the Pacific Ocean, making it very susceptible to almost all storms from the north, south, or west.

So, how do you market that susceptibility? The town offers ‘Storm Watching Special’ rates during the ‘Storm Watching Season’ which is five months long and spans from Oct 10 – Mar 9. Smart of them to reframe the weather.

Having said that, we went in October to see a storm (see, reframing works). Well, we got one.

If You Enjoy Carpal Tunnel You Will Enjoy Endlessly Hitting Reconnect To Attempt To Revive Your Internet Connection:  Reconnect… reconnect… reconnect. I say to front desk, “I am going to be the first one ever to say this: your internet is crap.” She replied, “I’ve heard that before. Fiber is coming to town.” Pause. Then she says, on a somewhat brighter note (?), “It used to be worse.”

It’s Canadian, Eh? There is an exchange rate, meaning that sometimes the US dollar is worth a lot more than a Canadian dollar and vice-versa. In October of 2016, $100 CDN per night cost only $76.22 in USD.

All that being said, I would go back! Visit this link which has all my Yelp reviews.

Amazon Reviews

Another way to understand how someone typically writes is to read their Amazon reviews. Here is another truncated example. And just to demonstrate that I write about almost anything, this review is about a bidet.

Full-Featured Bidet. It Includes Everything Except The Morning Sports Page (2017)

Things Learned: In doing my research and reading reviews, the old adage, “With quality you only pay once,” is the most important factor when you go to purchase your bidet. There are some things in life that you can get by with just buying the cheapest, the least expensive or the most cost-effective item. BUTT, when you consider how often and how many times you might use a bidet, it will serve you well to purchase a quality item. If, for example, you are going to hike the Appalachian Trail and you buy a low-cost pair of hiking shoes, you will be paying for it with every step you take. You can save money by buying flimsy, cheap toilet paper, but you get what you pay for…

It Is Your A**: I know, I know, it’s easy for me to say how you should spend your hard-earned money. Sure $500-800 is a lot to spend but remember, it’s your rear end. Not surprisingly, there are many high-quality bidets available. This is the bidet I bought – works great!

BUTT Wait, There’s More: Once you purchase your bidet, there are a couple of other expenses that you need to consider. First, you must have it connected to the plumbing associated with your toilet.

If you knew me, you would know that if it is more complicated than a stapler or a ruler, I am incapable of doing even simple household improvements – thus a plumber was contacted. Once the plumber completed his adventure (15 minutes, cost $95) he asked me to test it.

Features That My Wife (Initially) Poo-Pooed: (AKA design features for the woman of the house.) Those sneaky engineers at Biobidet must have been female because they have included a few bonus features. When set in ‘feminine mode,’ the nozzle extends a few more inches outward to reach the so-called feminine area. Upon reading the manual, I noticed that there was one additional feature that might be of interest to my wife: it is called the ‘gentle massage’ feature. I would tell you how that works, but my wife has been in the bathroom for the past few weeks and I just can’t get a response out of her. I will update this post when she comes out.

Self-Discovery: There are some other features included with this bidet such as the ‘turbo mode.’ I feel it is best left for you to find those buttons and experience the sensation and report back as to your conclusion. For those of you who are not thrill-seekers, I would suggest wearing a seat belt during triple mode operation.

I Can’t Wait For My Next Bowel Movement: Most people don’t look forward to their next bowel movement. Anticipating bowel movements is just not something most people think about. But once you have a good bidet, you will actually look forward to one, or more, sessions in the bathroom.

‘Insemination’ Summation

Whew, you made it to the end! That includes just the teasers which ‘artificial insemination would craft, if it could.

One more thing…

About Rod

On my Medium.com profile page, I have this:

These are a few of My Favorite Thoughts (to the tune of “My Favorite Things”*)

Mystery Science Theater, laughter galore,

George Carlin and Robin Williams, comedic lore.

Clarity from chaos, direction from doubt,

Curiosity and awareness bring it all about.

Podcasts on ears and drizzles on walks,

My wife challenging me with thought-provoking talks.

Awes and ahas, that fill me with glee,

These are some thoughts that set me free.

Phones that alert without beeping and flashes,

Computers that run without pesky crashes.

Hard thing to solve like Gordian Knots,

These are a few of my favorite thoughts.

Learning new things, by seeing connections,

These are the thoughts providing directions.

Writing in the dark, brings ideas to light,

These are my favorite thoughts that make life bright.

The lessons of history, stories of old,

The triumphs and tragedies, that still unfold.

The wisdom of the ages, that we can learn,

These are the thoughts that make my mind burn.

Long daily naps, then paradoxical thoughts,

My mind just waits to connect the dots.

Juxtaposition – such a delightful surprise,

These are the thoughts that I highly prize.

When I’m feeling low,

Or when I need a boost to go,

I simply remember my favorite thoughts,

And my mind starts to grow.

*Apologies (some) to Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers.

Website – My Hip Replacement Surgery

I had my hip replaced about a decade ago, so I created a website about Hip Replacement Surgery. It is essentially a step-by-step playbook of what to expect and what to do before you have your hip removed. 

Chapter 1 – How Do You Mend A Broken Hip?

(Inspired by the BeeGees song “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?”)

Hip Replacement Surgery Tip #31: Evacuate So They Don’t Have To.– I love paradox, so I used the word “evacuate” to represent two distinct applications of its usage.

Chapter 5 – What Are The Seven Steps of ‘Hip?’ – A brief checklist to self-assess their personal condition. Visit this link to read more.

Magazine Articles – Over 100 Published Monthly Magazine Articles

In addition to creating websites, I also used to write for a number of magazines.

The Hole In The Fire  (2007) 

As a bonus for all those doubters out there, this link is actually to the archive.org site to show, and verify, that it was indexed by an impartial third party.

You can read the entire article if you desire, but here are a few excerpts.

It was August 1949, a bone dry day in Montana with near 100 degree heat. The lightning-caused blaze burned more than 3,000 acres and controlling it required the efforts of more than 400 firefighters.

Fifteen brave firefighters parachuted into remote Mann Gulch to fight an out of control forest fire. Shortly after the smokejumpers were on the ground the fire jumped across a ravine, flared up and trapped them between the flames and a steep slope.

The fifteen firefighters panicked and ran, trying to make it up a 76% grade in hopes of reaching a crest for safety. It was hopeless, but they all dropped their heavy gear and ran, except their commander. He knew the climb was too great and the fire too swift and knew that it wasn’t going to work. So he stopped, took out matches, and lit a fire in front of him in the tall dry grass that was between him and the slope.

A Hole In The Fire

Just 90 minutes after the 15 smokejumpers had parachuted, 10 were dead, unable to out race the fire as they were consumed by a wall of 200 foot flames. Two others died the next day due to burns they received. The commander of the unit lived as he had created a safety spot, “a hole in the fire.”

The Value Of Stories

Across The Frozen Tundra…

Remember, Remember, Remember My Name…

When they interviewed Steve Sabol, one of the principals of NFL films, he was asked why have they been so successful given that Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and ESPN all do essentially the same thing. He replied that they were different and then stated, “Tell me a fact and I’ll remember. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and I’ll remember forever.”

Next, from a post I did on a website, then added to my website (2013):

A Post Comparing Peak Oil Theory To Domain Names: Applying Peak Oil Theory To Domain Names (2007)

Here are a few writing samples:

The Hubbert Peak Theory

(Of course, this article was written before the onslaught of new domain extensions)

In 1956, Marion King Hubbert stated that for any individual oil field, or for any country, or for the world as a whole, the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell-shaped curve. This became known as the Hubbert Peak Theory.

There Are Some Similarities Between .Com Domains And The Oil Industry.

Obviously, the peak is at the top of production. Essentially the Hubbert peak theory shows that once oil findings peak, so does the amount of oil that can be produced (duh). And, that once we are on the downside of the bell curve, which we are, we should be examining other alternatives, because there will be no more oil.

Now, What Does This Have To Do With .Com Domain Names?

Well, there is a finite amount of oil, and for the most part, there is a finite amount of .com domains (unless you count 1plna889qqqzz.com as an option).

Visit this link to read more.

Yelp Reviews

It is frequently said if you want to truly understand somebody’s character, one of the following usually applies:

  • You can often judge the character of a person by how they treat their parents.
  • The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t fight back.
  • You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat animals.
  • Your character is defined by what you do when they think no one is watching.
  • If you want to see someone’s true character, watch how they treat the servers at a restaurant.
  • If you really want perspective, read what someone wrote when they thought nobody would ever read it or find it.

Below are two truncated examples.

Yelp #1 – A Food Co-Op Review: I wrote a longer post, but here are a few bits and pieces…

Just What Is The Food Co-op – Don’t let the fact this grocery store is a co-op fool you: Aisle for aisle, this grocery store is as busy as any national chain store. It is a full-service organic foods market providing affordable organic foods to everyone and has been member-owned since 1972.

How To Shop (Like A Local) At The Food Co-op:  Nobody bothered to tell me the rules of shopping there.

Here are just a few rules I learned (broke) over the years that might help you assimilate:

  1. Carefully, Thoughtfully, Introspectively Inspect Each Item You Purchase: I initially failed to carefully look over all the vegetables, say turnips, by just picking up the first one I touched. I know carefully, thoughtfully and introspectively analyze and then determine which specific turnip I should even consider to pickup. After careful consideration I look at, rotate, inhale and then, only then, do I nod my head in agreement that this specific turnip was right for me and, more importantly, I was right for that specific turnip. Bonus Tip – Be sure to look at the bottom of the turnip to see if there is any dirt left. If so, say something, just loud enough for someone nearby to hear, like, “Hmm, this looks like it came from the Short’s Family Farm or similar farm. Skilled, long time Co-op shoppers can complete this assessment in two minutes per turnip (longer for fruits).

  1. How To Park At The Food Co-op: As if all the above isn’t hard enough, I had to learn where and how to park while shopping at the Co-op. I ultimately learned to park my (whisper) gas-guzzling SUV (end whisper) in the bank lot across the street so I don’t have to endure an intense, Scarlet Letter of ‘a**holes who drive cars that ruin the planet’ looks.

  1. And, After You Shop There Is More: When friends, neighbors, people in the neighborhood stop over to visit, you have to remember to always say, “Oh, I just got this turnip from the Food Co-op (In case they don’t acknowledge that say with a bit more force, ‘I JUST GOT THIS TURNIP FROM THE FOOD CO-OP!’).” Then after they automatically say, “We just shopped this morning there. Aren’t the turnips wonderful this time of year?” You reply by saying, “Yes, this organic, fair trade and providing a living wage, almost locally sourced  turnip does taste terrific!”

You get the idea…

Yelp #2: We visited a small resort town in Canada – Tofino.

First Things First – 1: If the ‘special rate’ says ‘Storm Watching Special’ then you should expect a storm…

First Things First – 2: This review would have been 5* except for the quake thingy…

There are a few things you need to know before you go.

The Ocean Village Resort is about a 4.5 hour drive from Victoria, BC or 3 hours from Nanaimo, BC. If you are driving from Seattle, including ferry times, plan on an 8-hour drive. But there is a bit a good news for the long trip – the drive isn’t just awesome, it is, doubly awesome. There are winding roads, waterfalls, creeks, rivers, lakes, and lots of trees.

So, What’s So Bad About Tofino? There is the little, itty-bitty nuisance called the Cascadia Fault. Cascadia makes the San Andreas fault look like a high school football player trying to play in the NFL. The Cascadia earthquake will be almost 30 times more energetic than the San Andreas fault. And, as a bonus, it generates a very large tsunami – about the same size as the 2004 9.1+ Indian Ocean earthquake or the 2011 9.0 Japan earthquake.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program… I really liked Tofino.

Wow, Way To ‘Reframe’: When you go on vacation you typically nice weather, blue skies and stress-free days.

Look at a map and see Tofino ‘sticks out’ into the Pacific Ocean as makes it very susceptible to all storms from the north, south or west. So how do you market that susceptibility? They offer ‘Storm Watching Special’ rates during the ‘Storm Watching Season’ which is five months long (Oct 10 – Mar 9). Smart of them to reframe the weather.

Having said that, we went in October to see a storm (see, reframing works). Well, we got one.

If You Enjoy Carpal Tunnel You Will Enjoy Endlessly Hitting Reconnect To Attempt To Reive Your Internet Connection:  Reconnect… reconnect… reconnect. I say to front desk, “I am going to be the first one ever to say this, your internet is crap.” “I’ve heard that before,” she says. But, “Fiber is coming to town.” Pause. Then she says, on a somewhat brighter note (?), “It used to be worse.”

It’s Canadian, Eh? The Currency: There is an exchange rate, meaning that sometimes the US dollar is worth a lot more than a Canadian dollar and vice-versa. In October of 2016, $100 (CDN) per night, costs in US dollars is $76.22.

But… I would go back!!

Visit this link which has all my Yelp reviews.

Amazon Review

Another way to understand how someone typically writes is to their Amazon reviews. Here is one truncated example.

And just to demonstrate that I write about almost anything, this review is about… a bidet.

Once more, a few selected highlights.

Full-Featured Bidet. It Includes Everything Except The Morning Sports Page. (2017)

Thing Learned: In doing my research and reading reviews, the old adage, “With quality you only pay once,” is the most important factor when you go to purchase your bidet. There are some things in life that you can get by with just buying the cheapest, the least expensive or the most cost-effective item BUTT, when you consider how often and how many times you might use a bidet, it will serve you well to purchase a quality item. If for example, you are going to hike the Appalachian Trail and you buy a low-cost pair of hiking shoes you will be paying for it with every step you take. You can save money by buying flimsy, cheap toilet paper, but you get what you pay for…

It Is Your A**: I know, I know, it is easy for me to say how you should spend your hard-earned money: Sure 500 to $800 is a lot to spend but remember, it is your rear end. Not surprisingly, there are many high-quality bidets available. This is the bidet I bought – works great!

BUTT Wait There’s More: Once you purchase your bidet there are a couple of other expenses that you need to consider. First, you must have it connected to the plumbing associated with your toilet.

If you knew me, you would know that if it is more complicated than a stapler or a ruler, I am incapable of doing even simple household improvements – thus a plumber. Once the plumber completed his adventure (15 minutes, cost $95) he asked me to test it.

Features That My Wife (Initially) Poo-Pooed: (AKA Design features for the woman of the house.) Those sneaky engineers at Biobidet must have been female because they have included a few bonus features. When set in ‘feminine mode’ the nozzle extends a few more inches outward to reach the so-called feminine area. Upon reading the manual I noticed that there was one additional feature that might be of interest to my wife. It is called the gentle massage feature. I would tell you how that works but my wife has been in the bathroom for the past few weeks and I just can’t get a response out of her. But I will when she comes out.

Self-Discovery: There are some other features included with this bidet such as the ‘turbo mode.’ I feel it is best left for you to find those buttons and experience the sensation and report back as to your conclusion. For those of you who are not thrill-seekers I would suggest wearing a seat belt during triple mode operation.

I Can’t Wait For My Next Bowel Movement: Most people don’t look forward to their next bowel movement. Anticipating bowel movements is just not something most people think about. But once you have a good bidet you will actually look forward to one, or more, sessions in the bathroom.

Whew, you made it to the end.

That includes just the teasers which ‘artificial insemination’ would craft, if it could.

One more thing…

About Rod:

On my Medium.com profile page, I have this:

These are a few of My Favorite Thoughts*

Mystery Science Theater, laughter galore,

George Carlin and Robin Williams, comedic lore.

Clarity from chaos, direction from doubt,

Curiosity and awareness bring it all about.

Podcasts on ears and drizzles on walks,

My wife challenging me with thought-provoking talks.

Awes and ahas, that fill me with glee,

These are some thoughts that set me free.

Phones that alert without beeping and flashes,

Computers that run without pesky crashes.

Hard thing to solve like Gordian Knots,

These are a few of my favorite thoughts.

Learning new things, by seeing connections,

These are the thoughts providing directions.

Writing in the dark, brings ideas to light,

These are my favorite thoughts that make life bright.

The lessons of history, stories of old,

The triumphs and tragedies, that still unfold.

The wisdom of the ages, that we can learn,

These are the thoughts that make my mind burn.

Long daily naps, then paradoxical thoughts,

My mind just waits to connect the dots.

Juxtaposition – such a delightful surprise,

These are the thoughts that I highly prize.

When I’m feeling low,

Or when I need a boost to go,

I simply remember my favorite thoughts,

And my mind starts to grow.

*Apologies (some) to Oscar Hammerstein / Richard Rodgers

And a Cast of Thousands!

I have a lot of influences in my life, mostly my wife and daughter. And our pets: