Let’s grab a kayak

Let’s grab a kayak to Quincy or Nyack
Let’s get away from it all

~ Lyrics by Tom Adair

The secret to life, of course, is to first get away from it all, then grab that kayak. Because wherever I go, there I find myself. The things that one wants to “get away from” are all things over which you exclusively have control. That stack of papers that should be filed… This mountain of debt… That broken air conditioning… Even really hard things like mortgages, needy pets, frenemies, toxic family members… you are in control of how you act and how you assess those things.

Have you truly and honestly examined the things in your life which are weighing on your mind?

You have? Great! That’s the easy part.

The hard part? Let go. Toss things out of your life. Realize the hearse has no luggage rack. 15,000 years from now nothing you did or worried about will matter at all. You have exactly this one lifetime. Apprehend why each thing is in your life and appreciate it, right now. Build things up. Help people. Create. …we humans are creatures meant for social interaction, of course. But no regrets. No could’a should’a would’a.

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16/100: Nice bike ride

(Part 17 of 20 in series, 100 Days of Training (2020))

I normally go through the community park. Over the weekend, I noticed someone has left behind a slightly broken pop-up tent—the 10×10 sort, that collapses to be portable. I figured if they wanted it, they’d be back. Yesterday we had some crazy thunderstorms, and today I noticed the tent is now a mangled pile of snapped aluminum legs. On my way back, I folded up the wrecked frame and drug it to where the recycling/trash pickups happen at the edge of the park… and I scored the perfect condition 10×10 cover for another project. (It’s rolled into a long thing and tied into a donut so I could put it over my head to ride home.) Recycled aluminum and up-cycled tent top. :)

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The writing is easy

The hard part is deciding what to share.

At no point am I at a loss for something to write. Instead, I’m at a loss to decide what is worth sharing. This is true for this web site, conversations I have with podcast guests, and my personal journal. The way I sort out whether something is worth sharing is to think about who is it for. I read my personal journals in an ongoing way—each morning, (give or take,) I read that day’s entry from various numbers of years ago. So in my journalling I know that capturing my struggles and frustrations will serve me well; 9 years later, I read those entries and am relieved to see how that story turned out.

Other things—this web site, the podcast conversations—are not meant primarily for me. And so with pieces like this I try to have a point. Today it’s: Language, writing, conversation, reading, etc. are tools. As with any tool, it’s the intention of the user which matters most. You can break things or build things up using any tool you care to consider.

But first you have to ask yourself are you using your tools intentionally?

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Open Graph and oneboxing

This is a standardized way to present a preview of a URL. Instead of just showing a URL, like this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_D._Eisenhower

It can be presented as a “onebox,” like this:

That’s just a screenshot from a system which is able to do oneboxing. The magic is that when editing, (wherever you are editing,) you simply paste in a raw URL and the oneboxing is done automatically by the system.

What wizardry is this?

It’s based on the Open Graph Protocol (OG). Facebook started this as a way to get sites on the open web to provide software-understandable, summary information. It took off everywhere because it’s just downright awesome.

A web site includes information stuffed out of sight, in the source HTML of the page. Software can fetch the URL, notice the OG information and craft a meaningful summary. This grew into the idea of presenting a single box summary—”one boxing”—of a URL if it has OG information.

Testing it

When something doesn’t onebox as you expect, how would you figure out which end has the problem? (Was it the end serving the URL content that doesn’t have OG data? Or is the end fetching the URL that couldn’t parse the OG data?) So someone wrote a handy tool that lets you see what (if any) OG data there is at any URL you want to type in:

http://debug.iframely.com/

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You don’t deserve happiness

Happiness isn’t something that is deserved or earned from something outside yourself. Happiness is created within yourself. And it’s created by the simple and constant choice to accept what is. To look at the pain in the face and not blink. To confront one’s fears and struggles and embrace them rather than fight them.

~ Mark Manson from, https://markmanson.net/values/life-philosophy

Manson has written a number of articles that feel like the fist from the adage: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” (~ Mike Tyson)

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