Morning Walks

I am a night owl. I appreciate the cool night air and appreciate the night’s symphony of insects, sirens and trees swaying. I’ve loved the night for as long as I can remember but I have a new love. Mornings.

Not early mornings. I am not rising with the roosters and greetings the earth before the sun rises. I have a work schedule the begins at 10am so I have used the time where I’d normally be getting up and ready for work to go on walks. I’m grateful to live within a few minute drive of a wonderful park with a huge lake. I’ve started walking the trails in the morning. Sometimes armed with a camera, headphones and an audio book. Other times just the camera and the sounds of nature around me and the city in the distance.

Every morning I walk the trails I’m delighted by what I find. The small gifts nature provides if you’re aware and looking for them. I saw a huge black spider sitting on a tree near where I stopped to marvel at the web of another arachnid. It darted away into the tree trunk and the safety of its web before I was able to take its picture. But I did get some of another one sitting on its web. Waiting for a meal.

Spider web near Lake Needwood.

One morning I was greeted by a large bird and two turtles sunning themselves on a log at the water’s edge. I was able to creep down the hill and get a couple of pictures before the turtles wised up and scurried off, disappearing with twin splashes. The bird (an egret? a heron? I can never remember.) decided to give me a few more steps before taking off for an inaccessible shoreline.

Bees sitting on a thistle flower.

What we lost today.

Net Neutrality prevented the Internet from becoming toll roads.

The rules, put in place in 2015, banned cable and telecom companies from blocking or slowing down any websites or apps. They also prohibited broadband providers from striking special deals that would give some websites or apps “priority” over others.

Source: FCC Votes To Repeal Restrictions On Internet Providers

Now the lawsuits begin. And service providers can now extort companies. They can bundle access to web sites like cable TV channels. If Comcast is licking its chops you better believe the rest aren’t far behind.

Municipal Broadband is a threat to these companies which is why they spend money fighting it.. Cities like Chatanooga, Tennessee have been very successful. Let’s hope the trend continues.

But an often overlooked problem in this country remains access for rural areas those without the money to for the access. Did I mention rural areas? My father lives 60 miles West of Washington DC and to this day cannot get broadband Internet access without cellular or satellite being involved.

Joe Kenda Returns (to Nerdist)

I started listening to the Nerdist Podcast: Joe Kenda Returns | Nerdist and got about halfway through before I had to restart it and sit next to a text editor as I listened. There are way too many things I wanted to write down from his interview.

Who is Joe Kenda?

Joe Kenda (Homicide Hunter) returns to the Nerdist podcast! He and Chris talk about how would break the news to someone that a family member had passed away, statistics of murders and Joe talks about his interrogation techniques. He also talks about being married for 50 years, his show Homicide Hunter and his new book I Will Find You: Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime!

So without further rambling, here are the bits of Joe Kenda’s interview I found notable.

On delivering the worst news someone can receive

It’s a very unpleasant task to be the angel of death.

I didn’t want to face picking someone. Let me torture you today. So I would do it, if I possibly could do it. And I would go to the house and it was in the middle of the night usually. You’re on the porch in a suit holding up a badge. They know when they see you, you can see it in their face someone’s not here that’s supposed to be and now here’s this man on my porch. I would stay away from bullet words. I wouldn’t say murdered. I wouldn’t say killed. I would say your son/daughter/husband is no longer alive. It’s not much but it’s something.

On lying

There’s no hard and fast rule for human behavior. But generally speaking, people will start lying when they’re little to their mother. They’re four or five years old and they’re confronted by the parent. Did you do this? No, no I didn’t do it. They are determined to continue to deny. That has been successful in the past on a few occasions so I’m going to keep doing it. I’m not going to admit to this because A) it’s too horrible B) if I do I’m in real trouble and if I just continue to lie maybe somebody will believe me.

Let me tell you what I hear you saying. You are in the kitchen saying to your mom that you remember being in the kitchen and you were near the cookie jar. And you seem to recall perhaps the lid was not on the cookie jar and there could have been a moment and maybe there was a cookie in your hand. But take a bite out of it. Oh no. Not you.

When you lie as a child, the parent knows you’re lying but they consider it insignificant so there’s no point in getting into a disturbance over it. And they let it go. This reinforces to the child that it was a successful attempt. I lied and nothing happened to me.

Death Drumbeat

The entertainment media. The news media. They beat the drum everyday. Death. Death. Death.
People all over the world are dead.
People in your country are dead.
People in your state are dead.
People in your city are dead.
People in your neighborhood are dead.
We’ll be back after these messages.
Unless you’re dead.

Stay Alive

You need to stay out of bars at closing time. Nothing good happens after midnight.
Do not associate with people who buy, use or sell narcotics.
And try to marry well. Don’t marry a psychotic.

On Gun control

Picture yourself at Broncos stadium during a Denver Broncos football game and it’s halftime. You’re on the 50 yard line. You’re surrounded by 79,000 emotional drunks. On a table behind you are 79,000 guns. Would you give one to everybody or would you be selective on who you gave one to?

On Stress

Take five days off. Don’t listen to the news. Don’t look at social media. You will feel immensely better. You will realize that life just sort of goes on for you.

On Children

It’s always good to say every child has a right to be alive. I’m a right to life person. Ok.
Unwanted children suffer. So what are you going to do about that? Should we bring them to your house? We’ll bring 1200 over to you on Monday. Don’t forget to send them to college.
Now the following Monday we’ll be back with 1200 more.

And a few one-off lines that I found worthy of writing down.

It’s human nature at its worst possible moments. That’s all murder is.

The Internet is a sewer and swans don’t swim in a sewer.

It’s not about being smarter than anybody else. It’s about being determined. I’m stubborn.

I will leave you with the line that stopped me in my tracks.

Emotion overcomes judgment. Murder results.

Journey of the Intern Therapist

I have a friend who is a therapist-in-training in the Bay Area who just started writing. I’m loving her posts. She’s working to be a therapist and is going to start working with a middle school population which brings back memories for all of us. Her latest post resonates deeply with me. She’s going to be working with middle schoolers.

Crap…” I thought, “not  middle school… anything but middle school.”  I immediately flashed back to my own middle-school experience.  I entered 7th grade with a terrible hair-cut, glasses, braces, and skinny like an awkward string bean.  My hand-me-down, decade-old clothes made me stand out from my wealthier peers who always had fresh, new clothes and great hair.  I remember getting bullied on the bus mercilessly by 8th graders day in and day out.  I remember holding back my tears on the bus, trying to look reassured while older girls would tease me and older boys would harass me.  Suddenly, things I had necessarily forgotten were staring at me in the face.  I didn’t want to work with adolescents… especially middle-schoolers.

Middle school brings back vivid memories for me too. Some good but many fearful and anxious. She closes with an honest bit of writing that I feel could have been written by anyone I know, myself included.

So how do I “adult” from here? Honestly? I have no idea. I’m guessing at it every day. I’m working on a website, I’m writing a blog, I’m networking, I’m taking risks at disappointing people with my career choices, I’m taking some time for my family and accepting financial hardship as a present, unavoidable (but hopefully temporary) reality.  I’m trying to take criticism and uninformed advice in stride but hey – I’m not made of metal.  I’m making poor choices and good choices, not having any idea which is which at any real-time moment. I’m open to advice, feedback, and opportunity.  As a wonderful professor of mine once said, “the ego must be strong enough to allow itself to be defeated.”  This is the making of the intern therapist… I think.

So… how do I adult from here?

I don’t know any more than she does, but I encourage you to follow along with her journey to figure it all out…

Follow along at Journey of the Intern Therapist

Fires

Running around fires makes you feel good because you’re solving problems and you’re busy. But you’re not solving problems. You’re dealing with the unsolved problems that caught fire and need your immediately attention.

If you were solving problems, you wouldn’t be fighting fires, you’d be watering down dry wood and putting matches away. Look for potential fires. Stop them before they start.