Author Topic: We all need answers  (Read 425 times)

Mark Hoffmann

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We all need answers
« on: November 23, 2020, 08:10:43 AM »
Rules.

Answer the previous question. Be interesting rather than accurate. Write well, use all your skill as a writer.

Then post a new question.

If someone beats you to it, reply anyway. By that I mean, if while you are crafting your erudite answer, someone else responds, then go ahead and post your reply too. However, don't ask a second question, let the first responder's question stand.



Why, when it comes to animals, do we cherish rarity? Is, for example, a woodpecker any more beautiful than a goldfinch? Probably not, but when a woodpecker is seen on the bird feeder there is excitement simply because it is rare. Same with ducks and egrets. There are lots of ducks and little excitement. There are few egrets and hence much pointing and oohing and aahing.
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
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Spell Chick

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2020, 06:02:26 PM »
It really is all about the novelty. In a world where everything is right at one's fingertips, there is little left to excite. Want to see the Taj Mahal, pull it up on the web. Want to see the Grand Canyon, ask Google. However, when seen in person, all one can say is that the pictures don't do it justice.

So the rare bird that alights on the bird feeder is more interesting. Frankly, I think all male birds are more interesting with their bright plumage. Female birds are just duller. They don't need to show off to attract a mate.


===

How can we encourage healthy behavior? No matter how much we natter on about bad food, sedentary life styles, smoking, or licit or illicit drugs (including alcohol), they all remain popular. With so many people suffering the consequences of their bad habits, why don't the bad habits change?
Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2020, 10:22:21 AM »
That's easy: you can't. For someone to choose healthy behaviour, 3 things are needed: 1) Information about the consequences of doing an unhealthy thing. 2) A rational mind that can process that information. 3) The motivation to act; overcoming inertia.

Governments can deal with 1, but even when they do that well, there are still many individuals who fail at 2 and 3.

You could also argue that people in a free society have the right to be unhealthy. The counter to that is the cost to society of their lifestyles. But that's an issue with how governments chose to spend tax. If they ring-fenced tax on tobacco and alcohol and increased tax on sugar and legalised and taxed drugs, billions could be invested on healthcare for those who paid the tax. Of course, they'd rather spend the taxes collected on pointless trains or new palaces (e.g. Westminster upgrade.)

Why are countries/states being so slow to adopt euthanasia for the terminally ill?
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZN6L6V

FB Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Hoffmann-Writer-102573844786590

Spell Chick

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 02:35:55 PM »
Life at any cost!!!!!

We are so afraid of death when we are healthy that we forget that death is a release when we aren't. We are so selfish that we want Mom or Dad to live even if they are miserable in their life because we can't imagine a world without them. Suffering seems to be universal, so, hold on for as long as you can.

Our knowledge of the finality and certainty of death has brought about fear and religion and this postponement. We "play God" if we end a life but we aren't "playing God" when we interfere with the natural course of death and destruction.


-------

What has been the most advantageous part of this damn pandemic?
Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

DGSquared

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2020, 10:22:29 AM »
I hope it's okay that I choose to personalize rather than generalize with this one.

On our two-week road trip to Montana, in May of 2020, my friend, Lori and I, traveled up the Pacific Coast Highway from Cambria, California up to Florence, Oregon before we cut across from Oregon to Idaho. It took us 14 days to get to Montana because we stopped and took in all of the scenery and visited with some of her family in Idaho for a few nights. Taking the time to stop everywhere I want to is something I don't normally get to do because I always seem to be in a rush to get from point A to point B.

The highway was more or less empty. No traffic, no problems parking, hardly any people. It was wonderful. You could actually see everything because we weren't fighting hoards of other people. Cannery Row in Monterey, California was like a ghost town - eerie and beautiful. I'll never forget it.

We were traveling on Memorial Day Weekend when we crossed from California into Brookings, Oregon on the coast, and although the campground closures were inconvenient, we ended up camping one night on Bureau of Land Management property on the Chetco River where we met a wonderful couple who sold their home and took up living on the road with their dog, Broodle the Labradoodle, in a van the couple had converted. They have a following at, One AdVanture at a Time. They were a lovely couple we made friends and exchanged information with. The story behind their adventure was moving. No pun intended but I'm keeping it.

To sum it up, the lack of crowds on the coast made that trip up the coast a dream come true. The road trip and the stay in Montana brought me back to who I am by myself after spending 26 years as a mother and wife where I seem to have to fit into other people's ideas of who I am. I like myself better for it and grew as a person.



----------------

What experience has reshaped your life for the better and why?


« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 10:31:31 AM by DGSquared »
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2020, 11:47:17 AM »
So many things it's hard to choose. Being in the military or being a pilot are the obvious ones. But they both have some negatives to go with the positives. So I'll pick something that made my life better in every regard and which has no downside. That's doing agility with my dogs.

When I dipped a toe into the agility water I had no idea how it would change my life for the better. I only went because I had just adopted a rescue dog who was part collie and I thought he'd enjoy the mental stimulation. What I discovered was that mostly it was my brain that was getting stimulated. Zak was fearless and loved the tunnels, ramps and jumps from the outset. My job twofold. 1) Learn the course (usually about 22 obstacles) and 2) run around telling Zak where to go and what to do without getting in his way.

I found that I really enjoyed working with Zak on the harder obstacles - such as see-saw (teeter-totter) and weave poles. These are not easy - especially weaves - and like all things that take time and effort, completing them gives tremendous satisfaction.

Then we started competing. This added a whole new dimension. Zak and I had quite a bit of success but actually, the best thing about competing at agility was the people. We made loads of new friends.

Hiedi is now almost at Zak's level, but her progress has been hindered by COVID.

My only regret is that I didn't take it up decades ago.



Is there any activity or pastime you wish you'd taken up when you were younger?
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZN6L6V

FB Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Hoffmann-Writer-102573844786590

Spell Chick

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2020, 03:19:51 PM »
I wish I had started CrossFit when I was in my thirties. It hadn't been invented yet, so that would have been impossible. When I was a girl, girls didn't do these things. We learned to sit with our knees together and our skirts pulled low with ankles crossed. We learned "demure" and we learned submissive.

If I had been thirty years younger when I started, I would have been able to actually do all the things that this old fart cannot do. Not because I don't try, but because I'm old and feeble. It has been so hard when people in their forties complain to me about being too old and losing their former strength stuff. I just usually give them a cold stare and then they remember who they are talking to.

I would have loved, just once, to not be the oldest person there. To have been able to actually get a younger, more fit body, able to do the things. Perhaps I could have learned to climb a rope or do a hand stand push up. But at this late date and with this bad heart, those things are beyond me.

=====

Do you have a favorite book? If so, what is it?
Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 04:53:04 PM »
I suppose my book is my favourite. Not because I think it is good, but because I created it and it took a lot of effort. I went on to write most of a second, but the experience wasn't the same. I suppose I'd ticked a box that can only be ticked once.

If I had to pick a book by someone else that would be hard. I've read so many great books it would be impossible to choose a favourite. I could name the one I've read the most times which is Po.1280 by Jim Thomson. I've also owned at least 3 copies because people keep stealing them!



What's the most valuable thing that's been stolen from you? Your innocence does not count.
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZN6L6V

FB Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Hoffmann-Writer-102573844786590

DGSquared

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2021, 10:46:41 AM »
Our house was burgled in 1992 and all of my grandmother's heirloom jewelry was taken along with my collection of political, funny, odd, and antique buttons and flag pins I picked up in the cities where I stayed. A nice stereo system, my wings, and class ring were also taken. Worst of all was the sense of violation knowing some jerk(s) were in our house going through our drawers our cereal, sugar, flour, everything.

What was the most valuable, best, or biggest prize you ever won and how did you win it?

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2021, 12:24:19 PM »
I haven't won many prizes. I have sporting medals and rosettes for show jumping, fencing (sabre) and dog agility but they were all amateur events with no prize. The only actual prize that springs to mind was a large bag of carrots that I won at a horse event (cross country jumping.)

Of course, I've won a few lotteries. The kind they have at the jazz club where the prize is something truly awful like a bottle of cheap English wine. But none of those were even bad enough to be memorable. I only bought tickets out of politeness as I'm disinclined to gamble. I consider the national lottery to be a tax on the foolish. Apologies to any players reading this.



Are you a gambler?
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZN6L6V

FB Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Hoffmann-Writer-102573844786590

Jo Bannister

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2021, 02:02:13 PM »
Never with money; occasionally with big things, like my life.  Why else would I (or you, Mark) get on an excited horse and gallop it across rough country, deliberately heading not for the openings between fields but for the fences and hedges?  Why would I (and others) trust myself to an open boat with no engine, only an absurdly tall mast constantly in danger of tipping it over, and a variety of sails apparently cobbled together from bed-sheets?  There's no practical justification: you can spend all day sailing from one place to another when there's a perfectly good road that you can drive in fifteen minutes.  Your car is also a safer conveyance than almost any horse you've ever met.  There must be a bit of death-wish wrapped up in the enjoyment.


What have you enjoyed doing, that you'd be horrified if your child proposed doing?

DGSquared

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2021, 10:40:04 AM »
Not working so I can kayak the river in June and spend a month in Montana with my friends. I'm trying to retire from the full-time mother routine. I've put in 27 years without a paycheck and am still not as valued by the men in my household, as I think I should be. They missed me last year when I was absent. How soon they forget.


Also, I would hate to see either of my son's trying to make a life with someone who no longer shares the same goals and desires as and puts little to no effort into the relationship. Marriage is a dying art.


Is there a moment in time that stands out above the rest, that you go back to and wonder about? What were your alternatives?

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2021, 11:08:10 AM »
Honestly no. My life has seen lots of forks, but more by luck than judgement, I took the roads that worked out ok. Even bad choices ended up OK.

I once bought an aircraft that I had my suspicions about. It was very cheap and my mate and I talked ourselves into buying it. I crashed it and wrote it off. BUT not only were we not hurt but we also won out financially. The insurance paid out and let us buy the wreckage which we sold on and made a few thousand pounds profit.

So a decision that could have got me killed instead made me a load of cash. My fairy godmother is looking out for me.



Is there someone or something watching out for you?
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZN6L6V

FB Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Hoffmann-Writer-102573844786590

Jo Bannister

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Re: We all need answers
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2021, 02:01:59 PM »
There have been times in my life when there was someone watching out for me, mostly in dark alleys and armed with a baseball bat.  Not so much now.  Novelists attract a better class of enemy than journalists. 

Is there anyone you would drive the long way round to avoid?