Don’t save it

old mouse padMy in-laws gave Heather this lovely mouse pad, back when our boys were about 2 and 4. The oldest is now in college.

Things fall apart. In this case, the rubber on the back of the pad started to deteriorate. Fine powder began spreading around the home-office… time for the trash bin.

But thanks to the wonders of technology, I can remember that mouse pad for many years to come.

I would urge you to do the same. Take a photo, and then throw the darn thing away.

Click on each word for > more in this series.

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Merry Christmas

Hand-made angelI hope you have a great Christmas!

(My dad made the angel. He used to create them using Coke cans. This one was special, I guess. He died several years ago, and I enjoy remembering him through things he gave us.)

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Changing minds

powIt is so hard to change the minds of people.

The massacre in Connecticut brought all who are for or against gun control to the surface. I like the idea of gun control. (Please, bring on any controls!) I have many friends who prefer total freedom when it comes to firearms. I can never convince them to change their minds. They cannot change mine.

This left me in a discouraged frame of mind. I don’t see the reason to post a video on my Facebook page from Bill Moyers that makes a very convincing case (to me) against the availability of automatic weapons to the general public. (I posted the video and later thought, “What’s the point?” I probably turned off several people, if they actually clicked on the link. And it didn’t make any difference to those who agree with me.)

The one area where I can make a difference is to convince young, impressionable minds of the values behind the ways I think. My wife and I have three kids. All of them agree with our views about gun control (and lots of other things).. at least for now.

For my friends who don’t have kids, you can get involved in a mentor program — and make a difference in the minds and hearts of young people who need the influence of a caring adult. You can pour yourself into their lives. Chances are they will listen to you more than your adult friends.

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Important to someone

Center of the Population for the State of ColoradoYou can visit the Center of the Population for the State of Colorado. For the year 2000.

We saw the memorial for that recently during a family hike. There’s a plaque and a big “X” that marks the spot, next to the parking area of a state park outside Denver.

Knowing that we were visiting the population center was not an awe-inspiring moment for any of us. Knowing that the population center may have moved since the year 2000 was also not an awe-inspiring revelation. But showing park visitors the 2000 population center for years to come was important to someone. And they convinced some another group of people that it was important enough to spend money on. Maybe even public money.

My point in sharing this with you is that we need to accept things that are important to others, even if they are not important to us. And even if they represent money, time and energy that we would have invested elsewhere.

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Print is not dead

Posters in a city centerOur culture tends to have knee-jerk reactions. As eBooks have been on the rise, many people say the printed book will die. It is very true that paper mills are closing and that physical book sales are way down. But I predict that the printed page will continue for many years.

Moving from physical artifacts to digital artifacts is a major trend. It is so much cheaper to produce an eBook than to print a paper book. Physical books may become a luxury item. Ironically, companies that do very small print runs are on the rise. People still value something they can hold and smell.

Maybe posters will all turn digital, kind of like Times Square or Piccadilly Circus. A problem: the shoot-from-the-hip aspect is much harder to do digitally. (Have you tried to hire a hacker lately? I’d guess that it would be expensive to get someone to hack into a Times Square billboard.) People with some glue and 50 printed sheets can plaster a city center pretty quickly.

So don’t rule out the printed page — just yet.

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