“A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.” — Edgar Watson Howe
This is my current iPhone home screen and I’ve been using this for a while now. Basically moving all apps off the home screen and leaving it blank. This way it’s nice and minimal when I pick up the phone with only a few apps right in front of me. I can always swipe to the other pages or use the pull down search if I’m needing something, but I like having all the stuff out of sight.
Social distancing doesn’t have to be terrible if you can find things to pass the time. This afternoon I’m having a little fun making new captions for the newspaper comics.
A couple of years ago a friend sent me a three pack of field notes and I honestly didn’t get the point. I tried to use them but I didn’t see the benefit over a bigger notebook I kept on my desk.
I was recently doing some cleaning and came across the notebooks again and decided to give them another go. Grabbed a pen and stuck one in my pocket.
It’s been about a week now and even though I work from home having it my pocket is so useful. It’s quick to pull out and jot down a note, a reminder, a quote, or anything else.
Then when I get back to my desk I either copy to my main larger notebook or setup things in my calendar. I’m now a convert and just ordered a couple more sets. Of course, field notes is the main brand but any pocket size notebook will work. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Should be placed at every bar and night club throughout the world.
Today is my youngest child’s tenth birthday and every year I have a reminder set to reread Father Forgets by W. Livingston Larned. Since I’ve been doing this I’ve been convicted every year about how I let little things upset and annoy me and it always gives me a reset to refocus. Here is the poem in its entirety:
Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.
There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.
At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”
Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive-and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!
Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped.
You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.
Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding-this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.
There was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!
It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy-a little boy!”
I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.
It’s been just over a year since I broke my hand and I was finally able to play golf for the first time yesterday. The weather was chilly and I played terribly, but just being outside away from the computer was great. There is something about being out in nature that gives me clarity on problems and helps clear my head.
Another thing that I’ve found useful is after working on a coding problem and getting it working, go for a short walk and just think about the solution again. Typically I’ll get ideas on how to make the code better, and think of other side effects I might not have originally seen.