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Issue #18: Confronting Finitude


Jeff Howardz | facts of my existence

April 30 · Issue #18 · View online

Weekly digest of things I find interesting, useful, funny, thought provoking or absurd... mixed with some wise ass short observations of my own.

“ I will do nothing because of public opinion, but everything because of conscience.” ~Seneca

Zen and the Art of...
Robert Pirsig died this week at the ripe old age of 88. He was most famous for writing “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, which was published in 1974, and was inspired by a cross country motorcycle trip he took in 1968. I don’t typically eulogize people but that book was one of the very first I read in my 20s that opened my eyes to a whole new world of philosophical thinking. There is one Pirsig quote that’s stuck with me forever. It’s a reminder that there is nothing OUT there because you are everywhere you go.
“The only zen you find on top of the mountain is the zen you bring up there.”
One Line Wisdom
Proper credit to whoever said it. Wuddn’t me.
  • Be decisive in action yet eclectic in thought.
  • Evolution and adaptation are smarter than you are.
  • Instead of wondering when your next vacation will be, maybe you should set up a life you don’t have to escape from.
  • The best test of a man’s intelligence is his capacity for making a summary.
Things that make you look stupid
Putting two spaces after a period. I have been embroiled in bitter arguments with people over whether or not to put two spaces after a period since the early 90s when I was a technical writer. Short Answer: YOU DON’T! Here is yet another in a long line of articles supporting the truth.
The future is coming
Insert geekiness here. At some point in the not too distant future there will be small machines built out of nano particles that travel through your body assessing all the damage you’ve done to it. This “race” of nanocars is just the beginning…
The "NanoCar Race" will feature the world's smallest cars competing on a gold track at absolute zero — Quartz
Last night during screen time Ethan and Jake were playing a new game, one they were obviously not accomplished at yet. They were losing to a team of 2nd graders or something and the tension between them was palpable. In walks Dannan…
“You guys are terrible. I am embarrassed to be your little sister.” 
Things I love about myself
It’s so easy to bash ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard to love. Here are a few things I am grateful for - just me.
  • I like to throw peanut shells on the floor of bars that allow that, and some that don’t.
  • I only know the first two digits of Pi, have never run a marathon or half marathon, and love bumper stickers that say “My kid beat up your honor student.”
  • I always drive especially careful when I see a “Baby on Board” sign in someone’s car (turns head to left and coughs). Before I saw that I was giving it just a little extra and endangering everyone.
May you always find pleasure in the small things and awe in the big ones,
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