Monday, April 10, 2017

Lost Treasures

Here is the post I had just finished when I got some horrific news.  Please read on:

What are your tiny treasures?

I love tiny treasures.  You know, tiny toys found in the bottom of cereal boxes, Matchbox Cars, tiny souvenirs from trips, etc.  Most totally worthless, but I hold on to these tiny relics because of the memories they represent.  Each tiny piece brings me right back to person, place, experience.  I know that some people say that "It's just stuff",  but to me they are precious.

Why do we amass all this tiny stuff we don’t need?

Philipp Blom, a cultural historian, writes:

Objects and their organization bind us to something larger than ourselves, and as religion was born out of a fear of death and the wish of eternal life, collecting expresses the same fundamental urges.  For example, carefully arranged around the sarcophagus of pharaoh’s tomb representatives of the king’s possessions, of the wealth and the resources he needs to live on in the afterworld. Their presence is symbolic, but it assures survival. It is remarkable how many collectors chose to be immortalized through their collections, either by naming and donating them.

While I doubt anyone will be fighting over my “Nixon Now” button, Harry Chapin autographed concert ticket,  G.I. Joe dog tag, an arrowhead, vintage 1968 Frito-Lay Frito Bandito rubber pencil top eraser in mint condition, one of my wisdom teeth (yes, you read that correctly),  I still feel the need to save and collect my relics from the past.

But, how to display them?

The answer:  I spent some valuable time and resources this weekend converting a one-hundred-year-old dresser and some old printers’ trays into a Tiny Treasure Display Case.

By my calculation, I now have 490 individual tiny compartments to store my tiny treasures (more if I double them up) plus an entire section for larger objects.   I will now start the process of sectioning them into categories including relics from grandparents, parents, early childhood, family, and “I’ve forgotten where I got this, but I still think that it’s damn cool!”

My relics and relics from past Kuhn and Riley generations.  I can't explain it, but my urge to collect is impossible to ignore: it touches the very depths of who I am.

Or, maybe I just love my ny stuff and the memories they represent.  

What are some of your favorite tiny relics?


I was writing this post today when I got word that a fire at my sister-in-law's apartment building took everything she owned away from her.  All of her possessions -- including photographs, family heirlooms, tiny treasures of great personal connection -- painfully gone!

Thankfully, no one was hurt or killed. Still . . .

I can't imagine.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, April 3, 2017

Are You an Artist? Hell YES!

A friend of mine (good morning, Curt) and have have been having an on-going discussion about “What is art?”  More specifically, “Who is an artist?”

It seems that most people hesitate — no, make that refuse — to call what they do art or themselves artists.

“I take photographs, but I’m NOT a photographer.”
“I create images in PhotoShop, but I’m NOT a digital artist.”
“I play music, but I’m NOT a musician.”
“I write poems and stuff, but I’m NOT a poet or writer.”
“I _______________ , but I’m NOT an artist.”

We used to be artists, musicians, and writers when we were children -- our refrigerators were even the "art gallery!"  When did we stop being artists? Why do we do this to ourselves?  And what’s the cost? 

That question has led me to two things. One, The Icarus Deception, by Seth Godin.

 For thousands of years, people were told the story of Daedalus and his son, Icarus. They were isolated on an island by the gods and Daedalus came up with a way to escape by making wings. We know the myth as “don’t fly too close to the sun or your wings of wax will melt and you’ll perish.”

But it turns out that Daedalus gave his son two instructions.  The second, “Don’t fly too low. Don’t fly too close to the sea because if you do, the mist in the waves will weigh down your wings and you will surely die.”

It turns out that, according to Godin, industrialists and the systems that we live with want us to fly low. They push us to settle for less, and Godin thinks the time has come to stop buying that propaganda. “My book is a manifesto,” Godin writes, “almost a creed, about how we must overthrow the mindset of being a cog in the industrial system and instead, stand up and make what I call art.”

“Art is the work of a human being – something a person does with generosity to touch someone else to make a change for the better. We can see art in the way the nurse in a doctor’s office treats us when she knows how much pain we’re in. She’s not just doing her job; she’s being a person. She is enlarging the bubble around herself to include us.”

I was thinking of all this as I was doing some yard work at my younger daughter’s house when the sound of a chainsaw down the block caught my attention.

Meet Eric.

“That’s awesome art!” I said as I introduced myself.

“It’s my first attempt at making a duck!”  he replied without missing a beat.

Eric, like a lot of us, stopped short of calling his work art or himself an artist (even though it turns out he studied at an art school).

Eric, if you’re reading this, I call bullshit.  Eric is an artist. And what he’s crafting will be enjoyed by thousands of people as they walk Franklin Street on Evansville’s West Side (scheduled to be there in a couple of weeks).

What is your art?

Seth Godin defines art is a human act, a generous contribution, something that might not work, and it is intended to change the recipient for the better, often causing a connection to happen. Art contains three elements:

    1.    Art is made by a human being.
    2.    Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
    3.    Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording... but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.

By his definition, most art has nothing to do with oil paint, marble, words, wood, digital images, etc. Art is what we're doing when we do our best work.

Go out and make some art this week.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, March 27, 2017

Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps

I read a quote yesterday that got me thinking, Damn, I wish I had written that!

“When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.” -- Emo Philips 

Who is this Emo Philips?

Here's the all-knowing Wikipedia:

Emo Philips (born Phil Soltanek; February 7, 1956) is an American comedian. Much of his stand-up comedy makes the use of paraprosdokians spoken in a wandering falsetto tone of voice. The confused, childlike delivery of his material produces the intended comic timing in a manner invoking the 'wisdom of children' or the idiot savant.

Paraprosdokians?  Falsetto and confused, childlike delivery?  Wisdom of children or the idiot servant?  No wonder I’m drawn to this guy. 

Here are a few more Emo-ism (at least some of the benign ones):

"A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing."

"I love to go to the playground and watch the children jumping up and down. They don't know I'm firing blanks."

"I ran five miles today. Then, finally, I said, 'Here, lady... take your purse."

"At my lemonade stand, I used to give the first glass away free and charge five dollars for the second glass. The refill contained the antidote."

"You know what I hate? Indian givers... no, I take that back."

"I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, 'I'm going to mop the floor with your face.' I said, 'You'll be sorry.' He said, 'Oh, yeah? Why?' I said, 'Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well.'"

"People always ask me, 'Where were you when Kennedy was shot?' Well, I don't have an alibi".

"The way I understand it, the Russians are sort of a combination of evil and incompetence... sort of like the Post Office with tanks."

"I was walking down fifth avenue today and I found a wallet, and I was gonna keep it, rather than return it, but I thought: well, if I lost a hundred and fifty dollars, how would I feel? And I realized I would want to be taught a lesson."

"How many people here have telekinetic powers? Raise my hand."

"I go from stool to stool in singles bars hoping to get lucky, but there's never any gum under any of them. "

And finally, if you’re feeling like “Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps"

Try this, "When I wake up in the morning, I just can't get started until I've had that first, piping hot pot of coffee. Oh, I've tried other enemas."

Thank you Emo Philips.

Carpe Diem Life,

David Kuhn

Monday, March 20, 2017

All Those Who Wander . . .

Last week I showed you a couple of images from a hike that I took and quoted the motto of the Baltimore Grotto (a caving society):

    "Take nothing but pictures.
    Leave nothing but footprints.
    Kill nothing but time."

Well, I actually did take something. 

For some time now, I've recognized that my body just isn't what it used to be.  Years of broken ankles, a broken leg, knee surgery, back surgery, etc. has left my body as broken as tree that had been in the path of a F3 tornado (severe, but not yet completely devastated).

Mindful of my lack of balance while I was out wandering, I came across this limb from a downed tree. It look as if it had also gone through a contorted life, and it needed a second chance.  So, I brought it home, stripped off its bark, sanded it smooth, and applied five coats of tung oil.  The result:

Looks like something out of The Lord of the Rings.  Which leads me down the path to this poem written by J. R. R. Tolkien:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be the blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

I don't know about you, but I can use a walking cane from time to time as we wander this life.  This is mine.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hectic as a . . .

A co-worker of mine keeps asking me when I’m going to start writing this blog again. 

I can probably come up with a few dozen-thousand reasons why I’ve CHOSEN to take a respite, but I’ll just use one: 

While ponderer life on a hike through a southern Indiana marshy land Saturday, I came across this.

That’s it! I’ve been as busy as a beaver!

I really wish that I had a chain saw with me so that I could have cut a section of this and dragged it home with the aspiration of someday repurposing it.

However, I know in my heart that the “something” would probably just be a nuisance to my children who will have to dispose of my belongings after I’m dead and gone. 

So, I did the responsible thing and followed the motto of the Baltimore Grotto (some sort of caving society according to the inter web):

    "Take nothing but pictures.
    Leave nothing but footprints.
    Kill nothing but time." [except mosquitoes and ticks!]

Spring--nearly here-- is a time of plans and projects.  Spring is also a time to pay attention to the woods.

“I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.” — Anne Lamott

Just someone to chew on this week.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Riders On The Storm

Riders on the storm 
Awaken to the present
It is as it is

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, February 20, 2017

“No Paintings For Sale!”

While on my hiatus from writing, I ran across the story of an American artist and author that touched a nerve and prompted me to get out of my journal. 

Meet Harlan Hubbard.  Born in Bellevue, Kentucky, in 1900.  His father died when Harlan was only seven.  Soon thereafter, his mother moved him to New York City.  There, he received his art education.  In 1919, he returned to northern Kentucky.

According to Wikipedia: As a young man, Hubbard saw the industrial development in America as a threat to the natural world and he came to reject consumer culture. In 1929 he started keeping a journal into which he poured his thoughts on society. In 1943, he married Anna Eikenhout. The following year they built a shanty boat at Brent, Kentucky and traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. 

Harlan is known for his simple lifestyle, simple storytelling, and pastoral art. 

As the story I was reading goes, Hubbard sent a portrait of his mother to a juryless exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  When he traveled to see the show, he found the portrait hanging in an obscure corner of an obscure room.  He wrote,

“I do not understand why anyone who has painted as long and seriously as I have, and who has asked little, should have absolutely no success or recognition.  But I have gone this far and now I must go on.”

His defiance had, as Wendell Berry wrote, “achieved a kind of style: “I will paint for myself and turn the canvases to the wall.’”

In negativity of his rejecters, Hubbard found that his “failures” actually helped him connect with the source of his work. 

“No Paintings for Sale."  That's the sign he tacked a sign to his door when he came to the realization that the mere hope of a sale and acceptance of fellow artists and critics had created a “psychic trap.”
 As Gail Sher wrote, “Not until he could paint without even the possibility of selling, would he be able entirely to surrender to himself.”

To paraphrase Harlan Hubbard, “I will write for myself and close the cover of the journal.” 

But, please stay tuned.  Unlike Hubbard, I’m not ready to, “sever completely all possible connections to the world and live on the outside fringe, a rebel”

What is your “No Paintings for Sale” craft, hobby, or passion?

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, February 15, 2017



noun: hiatus; plural noun: hiatuses

a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process.


Thanks to those that actually took the time to read my essays. 

Thanks to those who took a little more time to like or respond.



Carpe Diem Life

David Kuhn

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

7,323,187,457 . . .


That’s the official total of human beings alive on the planet (at last count).

The Median age is the age that divides a population into two numerically equal groups - that is, half the people are younger than this age and half are older -- is 30.1.


Today, I’m the proud father of the newest member of a 30-year old.  I won't see her today.  She's far off celebrating with her family.  As it should be.

There are not enough pages in my journals (though I’ve tried) to express all the joy that Amy has brought into my life since February 14, 1987.  I’ll just say Thank you.

Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day to Suzanne (now the mother of a 30-year old), Amy, and LucyAnne.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Spring in mid-winter?

If you had driven through my neighborhood yesterday you would have seen an old man doing some spring cleaning in the yard.  Me.

I've already established that I'm not a lawn guy,  yet I do have a few rules when it comes to yard work.  One, I don't rake leave in the fall until after Halloween.  This allows for a nice blanket of crunchy leaves for little trick-or-treaters to kick their way through.  Another, I don't cut the back yard until after Easter.  This allows the grass and wild onion to grow nice and tall so Easter Bunny has lots of choice hiding places.  Common sense really.

Which brings to yesterday, February 12.  I guess it was a combination of cabin fever, unseasonably warm spring-like weather, and a heavy layer of oak leaves that didn't drop until after I had finished my final fall raking that motivated me to un-shed the rakes and fire of the lawn mower.

"It's winter!" coughed Toro on the first pull.  "What the hell are you doing?"

"Time to make hay while the sun is shining!" I replied.

Believe me, she was none too happy to be stirred from her winter hibernation.  I fed her some fresh gas and she eventually gave in.  We raked, mulched, bagged-- twice.

It felt strange moving the yard work clock up a month or so.  Spring is still five weeks away.  Still, I was happy getting a jump on it.  Besides, now when the first real spring weekend comes along you will find me paddling a canoe instead pushing a lawn mower.

I'll trade a rake for a fishing pole any day.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sand Castles

Got a text from my soon-to-be 30-year-old daughter on her first vacation with her family.  She wanted to vacate the Midwest cold to a warmer beach on the Atlantic Ocean. 

All my five-year-old granddaughter talked about was building sand castles.

Yesterday, I received the photo of little Annabeth and her first sand castle. Perhaps not perfect in most people’s eyes, but a masterpiece nonetheless. I can only imagine the pleasure she felt learning how to use her new tiny pail, tiny shovel, and her tiny hands to construct the most magical castle on the beach.

Now comes the hard lesson.  I know that at some point today, she’s going to learn about the law of tides.  She won’t understand why all her hard work was destroyed.  Why?  She will be very disappointed; I’m sure my daughter and her husband will teach her that the laws of nature are in effect and that it’s inevitable that the tide will always come in and sweep the sand castles away.  She will learn that there is nothing we can do to stop it.  Hopefully, she'll learn that all she can do is pick up her pail and her shovel and start building again.

This whole process becomes a metaphor for life.  It starts with sands through the hourglass  . . .
We only have a  brief period of time on this beach, and joy comes in the creative moments of the building of the sand castles.

We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.     -- Pema Chodron

The tide comes in.  The beach is a blank canvas.  Go build some sand castles this weekend!

Carpe Diem Life
David Kuhn

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A few Haiku Thoughts . . .

A few months ago I decided that I would practice writing daily.  If nothing else, I would write a haiku.

A haiku is a Haiku is a contemplative, unrhymed Japanese-style poem that consists of 17 syllables, contained usually within three lines.

"The primary purpose of reading and writing haiku," writes William J. Higginson, "is sharing moments of our lives that have moved us, pieces of experience and perception that we offer or receive as gifts. At the deepest level, this is one of the great purposes of all art, and especially of literature."

I write haiku poems when I don't have anything else that I can think of to write-- which is most days.  Most were inspired by something I had been reading at the time; or some experience.  So, without further ado, I present a few haikus out of my collection:

The greatest feat of Man
The pursuit of happiness
How to accomplish?

A message fro Psalms
The joyfulness of a man
Prolongeth his days

My lingering cold
The first cold of the season
It is just snot fair! 

This is life! Enjoy it!
Happiness hates the timid
Human life is play!

The question for me
Do I prefer to be right
or live happily?

Let my boat be light
Packed only with what I need
Live simplicity

Manifest plainness
and embrace simplicity
Reduce selfishness 

Happiness is not
found in our circumstances
But found in ourselves

When we hold a torch
to lighten another's patch
We brighten our own

Skating away on
The thin ice of the new day
Thank you Jethro Tull

A scarlet sunset
Intro to the longest night
The Winter Solstice

Clogged drains like clogged minds
Restrict the positive flow
Causing backed up shit!

I awake and write
I have practiced my haiku
Now, brewed black coffee

Carpe Diem Life
I hope you enjoyed the show
Good Day, David Kuhn

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Do a quick Google search for "The Importance of Smiling" and you'll come up with something like
26,300,000 results in under a second.

Must be pretty important, right?

Working in customer service (retail), I know the importance of smiles-- both giving and receiving.  I try to greet each customer with a genuine smile (certainly not a 100% success rate).  And I've witnessed first hand the tone of "How may I help you" change to a customer who walks through the door with a frown.  My co-worker has been known to grumble, "This looks like fun!" when he sees someone walk in looking pissy.

But, do workers have a right to be grumpy?

According to a New York Times article early this year, maybe they do.

Trader Joe's has gained popularity among grocery shoppers in large part by having relentlessly sunny employees, but now that the firm has expanded from mellower California to more brusque New York City, it is learning that cheerfulness is harder to find. The company fired Thomas Nagle recently because, though he said he frequently smiled, he was told his smile was insufficiently "genuine," and, backed by several colleagues, he has filed an unfair labor practice charge (and union organizers have taken notice). The National Labor Relations Board has already ruled (against another employer) that workers cannot be forced to convey that all-important "positive work environment" because they are entitled to have grievances. 

 I'll admit, for me smiling is not easy.  But, today I'll try to see the miracle in life.

Carpe Diem Smile,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Wind Chimes

I was awakened from a deep sleep by 
The clang of wind chimes outside my window.
The heavy chimes are from my Mother's Funeral
Several years ago.
It takes a lot of energy to move them;
To wake them up!
I am awake, listening to   
 The clang of wind chimes outside my window.
The shame of realizing that sometimes
It takes a lot of energy to remember
Those who have gone before me.

Carpe Diem Life
David Kuhn

image from: Woodstock Magical Mystery Space Odyssey Wind Chime - Wind Chimes at Hayneedle

Monday, February 6, 2017

Never Give Up

Winston Churchill probably said it simplest and best, "Never, never, never give up!"

In recent history we've seen historic examples of great comebacks:

The Cubs (100+ years and down 3-1)
The Cavs (down 3-1)
Donald J. Trump
"So a thought crossed your mind?  Must have been a long and lonely journey!" (oops, wrong kind of comeback)
The New England Patriots (down 28-3)

No team in Super Bowl history had ever come back from more than 10 points down.

And whether or not you like Tom Brady, you've got to love his reply to the question, "How did you do it?":

"We brought each other back. We never felt out of it!"

We and hope.  That's a lesson we can all live by.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Survival can be summed up in three words - never give up. That's the heart of it really. Just keep trying. Bear Grylls
Read more at:
Survival can be summed up in three words - never give up. That's the heart of it really. Just keep trying. Bear Grylls
Read more at:
Survival can be summed up in three words - never give up. That's the heart of it really. Just keep trying. Bear Grylls
Read more at:
Survival can be summed up in three words - never give up. That's the heart of it really. Just keep trying. Bear Grylls
Read more at:
Survival can be summed up in three words - never give up. That's the heart of it really. Just keep trying. Bear Grylls
Read more at:
Survival can be summed up in three words - never give up. That's the heart of it really. Just keep trying. Bear Grylls
Read more at:

Friday, February 3, 2017

A Book Asks Me A Question

Last night a book asked me to pick it up and directed me, like a magician flipping a deck of cards, “Pick a page.  Any page!” 


“Are you sure?” asked the book, “You may select a different page if you would like.”

I went with my first instinct and elected to stay on the selected page, not knowing what mystery the book was about to reveal.

The book continued, “As you can see, my pages are full, but your next page is blank.  You are the author of every next moment!”


“May I ask you a question?”


The book asked me to first answer truthfully if I wanted this to be true: 
“Every event that befalls me is absolutely the best possible event that could occur.”

The second, more difficult question, the book went on to ask:
“Will I give that a chance to be true?”

I closed the book and smiled, knowing that what just happened was absolutely the best possible event that could occur.  Even if I don’t yet understand it.

I do wonder what would happen if I believed that every event that befalls me is absolutely the best possible event that could occur.

Something to think about this weekend.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A "Word" About What The World Needs More Of!

Yesterday I wrote about the “birthday” of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).  In 1884, the first portion, or fascicle, of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), considered the most comprehensive and accurate dictionary of the English language, was published.
Photo by Daniel White
Turn the page 137 years and meet Ted Utchen, a.k.a. “The Dictionary Man.”  Mr. Utchen has been giving youngsters in DuPage County, Illinois, free dictionaries— nearly 12,000 pocketbook dictionaries to third-grade students since 2002.

According to an AP report:  ”The Dictionary Man" brings little shtick to the vocabulary lesson he repeats every year for students in schools across DuPage County. Just the usual corny jokes and some worn-out index cards -- all with an eye toward selling kids on the virtues of proper spelling.
"It's the most worthwhile thing I've ever done," the Wheaton father of two said. "If we can get kids started with dictionaries while they're young in third grade, they'll start to use it, and when they grow up, they'll spell words right.”

"It's good to start learning how to do things early in your life while you're still young and before you get older," he recently told Park View students. "If you learn how to do something while you're still just a kid, you become real good at it."

The first word Utchen tells them to look up? "Slovenly," for no particular reason.

I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Ted Utchen, but his story has taught me some valuable lessons.  First, it'ss not too late to learn.  Second,  one of the most important words in the dictionary:  GENEROSITY!

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Words We Use

Yesterday I wrote about "comfort food" and The Oxford English Dictionary adding the definition for "comfort food" only in 1997. 
  Image from Oxford University Press

Synchronicity:  On this day in 1884, the first portion, or fascicle, of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), considered the most comprehensive and accurate dictionary of the English language, was published. Today, the OED is the definitive authority on the meaning, pronunciation, and etymology of over half a million words, past and present

According to  Plans for the dictionary began in 1857 when members of London’s Philological Society, who believed there were no up-to-date, error-free English dictionaries available, decided to produce one that would cover all vocabulary from the Anglo-Saxon period (1150 A.D.) to the present. Conceived of as a four-volume, 6,400-page work, it was estimated the project would take 10 years to finish. In fact, it took over 40 years until the 125th and final fascicle was published in April 1928 and the full dictionary was complete–at over 400,000 words and phrases in 10 volumes–and published under the title A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles.

Today, at a whopping 20 volumes weighing over 137 pounds, it would reportedly take one person 120 years to type all 59 million words in the OED

Which reminds me of the Steven Wright observation, "If a work in the dictionary was misspelled, how would we know?"

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"Comfort food"

You would think the term "comfort food" would be older than what it is.  The Oxford English Dictionary added the definition for "comfort food" only in 1997.  It traced the term's etymology back to just 1977 to a Washington Post magazine article about Southern cooking: "Along with grits, one of the comfort foods of the South is black-eyed peas."

Seems the that Oxford English Dictionary was wrong.   "Comfort food" has been around at least as early as 1966.   1966? 

That makes sense to me.  One of my favorite "comfort foods" is good ol' frugal ham and beans with a side of cast-iron skillet cornbread.  The taste and aroma bring be back to 1966 and dinners and Grandma and Grandpa "Louie." 

Ham and beans with a side a cornbread.  I don't need anything else for "comfort food" (except copious amounts of black pepper and some hot sauce-- just the way Grandpa liked it!).

What's your "comfort food"?

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, January 30, 2017

Today's story is a lesson on continuing . . .

A Buddhist monk was walking through his village. . . .
This weekend, I traveled north to the "village" of Linton, Indiana, for a pre-1840 Historic Reenactors' Trade Fair.

The monk was carrying his only precious stoneware pot, filled with soup--his only meal of the day. . . .
I go to this annual every year to visit old friends and support the craftsmen who provide some of the wares we use.  Last year, for example, I picked up a historic stoneware reproduction tea cup from J. Henderson Artifacts.

While the monk was on his path, he stumbled on a rock. . . .

I used my unique and beautiful mug at our club's next Spring Rendezvous.  Everyone around the morning campfire loved it.

While trying to keep his balance, the monk dropped the pot.  The pot and hit the ground, shattered into a hundred pieces, spilling all the contents. . . .

After my event, I traveled home and was unloaded my truck.  When I opened my back gate, my precious stoneware mug dropped out onto the driveway-- smashing into a hundred pieces!

The monk looked down at the pile of stoneware pieces and the evaporated meal.  A young boy who witnessed what had happened was puzzled when the monk just smiled and continued on. . . .

I did not smile!

The curious boy ran up to the monk and asked, "Master, your precious stoneware pot and your meal for the day is all gone.  Why do not get upset?" . . .

This year I purchased another "historic stoneware reproduction" tea/coffee mug.

The monk replied, "The pot is broken. The soup is gone.  There is nothing to do but walk on."

Hopefully, I've learned my lesson.  Frist, I will try to pack my belongs better. Second,  when I eventually break my new mug, I will immediately let it go.  Until then, I will enjoy each cup of coffee or tea our of my precious mug, realizing that all things are impermanent.

There is nothing do today but walk on.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Greatest Story Ever Told!

Every year at this time I start watching episodes of The Greatest Story Told.  Each year's episodes included familiar themes such as "Birthdays," "Dance Recitals," and "Holidays."  Every new season also includes random episodes like, "Annabeth Learns to Fly a Kite," and "Owen Learns to Walk, Then RUN!"  Joyfully, new characters arrive; we watch familiar characters grow up; sadly, some characters we've loved for years exit.

Though the episodes change each season, there is one constant:  I'm not starring in them.  Oh, if you watch carefully, you might catch a cameo of me-- usually a reflection in a mirror. They are the stars of the show.  They are my wife, daughters, grandkids, family, and friends.

The Greatest Story Told is my yearly editing and dubbing of our family videos from the previous year.  All and all, there are now 30 years of video.  And because I know that there are fewer and fewer seasons left for me, each one more precious than the last. 

So, here I'll be for the next several nights, watching the greatest re-runs of The Greatest Story Told.  Even though I'm not in front of the camera, I hope that all the stars in my videos know how much I loved recording their lives and being a part of it.

As sentimental as I get watching these episodes, there is also the anticipation.  Each year at this time I have the opportunity to insert a blank media card in my camcorder and blank pages in my journal to write new episodes for the new season.

What's your Greatest Story Ever Told?  Choose to write the best season ever-- one episode at a time.

Carpe Diem Live,
David Kuhn

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Was Reminded of Harry Chapin . . .

My favorite musician of all time is Harry Chapin.  He was a folk-rock singer who wrote what he called ''story songs.'' The subjects of these songs were often common people with poignant or even melodramatic tales to tell - tales of lost opportunities, cruel ironies, and life's hypocrisies. Most people have never heard his songs because, as Chapin used to joke, they were too long for radio.  A couple of exceptions are “Taxi” and “Cats In The Cradle.”

Another one of his fan favorites was “Thirty Thousand Pounds of Bananas,” based on a true story of a tragic truck accident.  On March 18, 1965, a 35-year-old truck driver, Eugene P. Sesky, was on his way to deliver a load of bananas to Scranton, Pennsylvania, when he lost control and crashed. 15 people were injured and Sesky was killed.

Tragic, I know.  But, if you’ve never heard the song, it’s worth a listen-- especially on the live album.
Chapin, by the way, was killed in 1981 when the car he was driving was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer on the Long Island Expressway.

Though I haven't heard that song for many years, it started to play in my head the other day after I read this headline:  A Truck Driver Has Lost His Marbles — All 38,000 Pounds Of Them

A truck carrying 38,000 pounds of marbles lost its trailer on I-465 in Indianapolis this past Saturday morning, causing the contents to spill onto the highway and shoulder near Pendleton Pike.

No injuries were reported, and, as one reporter wrote, "the lost marbles brought a pop of color to an otherwise bleak winter’s day."

Indiana State Police public information officer Sgt. John Perrine tweeted a photo of the accident.

Out driving today?  Put on some Harry Chapin and don't go bananas or loose your marbles.

Carpe Diem Life and Drive Safe!

David Kuhn

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Jumbo Mess

Built a bonfire for my 5-year-old granddaughter the other night. We made our standard fare:  S'MORES.

According to, "Where the wonders of learning never cease":

A s'more is a traditional camping snack that has been popular with kids — and their parents! — for years and years. Although many different varieties of s'mores have developed over time, the s'more is basically a sandwich of roasted marshmallows and chocolate between graham crackers.

This sweet, warm, gooey, delicious treat always leaves kids wanting more. In fact, that's probably how they got their name. S'more is thought to be a contraction of the phrase, “some more," as in “I want some more of those s'mores!"

No one knows for sure who invented the s'more. However, the first published recipe for “some mores" was in a 1927 publication called Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. Loretta Scott Crew, who made them for Girl Scouts by the campfire, is given credit for the recipe.

This time, grandpa decided to up his game by purchasing JUMBO marshmallows the size of my granddaughter's head. The result?  A jumbo mess.  What was grandpa thinking?  Where was all that molten lava gooey mess going to go?  Hands, chin, coat . . .
Carpe Diem Life Lesson:  Too much of a good thing, even as delicious as roasted marshmallows, can create a huge gooey mess. But in this case, a fun mess that I wouldn't trade for the world!).

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Alternate Euphemisms

 The hot topic at work the Sunday night was the latest, greatest political euphemism that had just been born that morning:  Alternative Facts!

Evidently, the outrage over “alternative facts” began Sunday, when President Donald Trump's adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on “Meet the Press” and defended press secretary Sean Spicer’s statement (being reported as inaccurate) about the size of inauguration crowds.
“Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts,” Conway said.
“Wait a minute,” host Chuck Todd countered. “Alternative facts? ... Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods.”
The debate quickly sparked mockery on social media.

I found this article by Elizabeth Koh

If you’re of a certain age, Little Golden Books were a childhood staple for learning how to read, featuring the tales of characters like Scuffy the Tugboat and the Saggy Baggy Elephant.
But after President Donald Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway used the term “alternative facts” in reference to misinformation, internet user Tim O’Brien decided to project how young kids might learn about such “facts” through the iconic children’s book.

Boing Boing’s Facebook page shared a Little Golden Book parody mocking Conway’s use of “alternative facts.” Boing Boing, via Tim O’Brien Facebook

Personally, I try to stay out of the current political swamp.  But, I do find this new political euphemism interesting.  It's got me immediately thinking how Saturday Night Live writers are going to elevate it into laughs.  It also has me missing the brilliance of George Carlin.  Wouldn't he work wonders with today's fodder?

Sometimes, the best thing we can do is to find ways to laugh!   

To paraphrase Carlin, "Actual facts may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, "Alternate facts" is the second-best policy.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, January 23, 2017

An Exotic Hike!

Whenever I get a chance, I hike around the 35 acres that make up the North Words Forest and Nature Trail on Evansville's North Side.

In the early 1950's, Mrs John L Igleheart donated to the city 52 acres that is now Igleheart Park, which also includes baseball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, and Lloyd Pool.
Prior to the donation, the land served as a reclusive site for the Igleheart family's summer home. The rural retreat situated on a cool hilltop setting, an important attribute in the days before air conditioning and in the days when higher elevations were thought to protect residents from Malaria.

First avenue was still a gravel road when the family spent summers in the log house. It boasted a stone fireplace and was surrounded by several out buildings., The family kept cattle, sheep, and chickens. Here the Igleheart grandchildren played and learned a bit of country life.

It’s nice little hike with a plenty of trees and plants.

One plant that you can’t miss is what’s commonly called the multiflora rose.
Though pretty, it’s actually an exotic plant (not exotic in a good way).  Multiflora roses were introduced from Japan in 1886 as a rootstock to cultivate roses.  In the 1930s, the United States Soil Conservation Service touted the plant to curb soil erosion, to provide thriving fence rows, and to create barriers along highways and in medians to curb headlight glare from on-coming traffic.  All that seemed like a good idea at the time.

There was just one growing problem.  As with other exotic plants, multiflora is very invasive.  It has escaped cultivation, spreading into private and public lands to the point that it has been classified as a noxious weed in many states.

A plague at the park quotes John F. Kennedy:  “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it is attached to the rest of the world.”

My first hike in woods in this new year:  A time to reflect on the beauty I have in my life and a poignant reminder to take the time to notice and eradicate the exotic plants I've cultivated in my garden! 

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, January 20, 2017

"A Song For Trump!"

I’m wrong . . . a lot! 

For example, I remember the evening of September 22, 1994, and Suzanne and I watching the premier of a sitcom. Other than the obnoxious, wonted laugh-track, there wasn’t even a giggle on our side of the screen.  “This show will never make it!” I said. 

That show went on to receive acclaim throughout its run of 10 seasons, becoming one of the most popular television shows of all time.The series was nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning the Outstanding Comedy Series award in 2002 for its eighth season. The show ranked no. 21 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time!

You think that I would have learned my lesson about making doomsday predictions, but . . .

On August 6, 2015, we were watching another premier sitcom:  The Republican Presidential Debate.  My prediction?  “This Trump guy can never be elected President of the United States!”

You think that I would have learned my lesson about making doomsday predictions, but . . .

January 20, 2017. 

I'm not watching the inauguration and I’m not making any predictions.  For the sake of the country and the world, I really hope that President Donald J. Trump has a successful run. 

Oh, and back to that TV show?  It had a pretty successful theme song that somehow seems appropriate today.  Hope President Trumps sings it to us:

So no one told you life was gonna be this way . . .
When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, but
I'll be there for you! 

Hopefully, when this is all over, he'll be there for us and we’ll somehow all join tougher as FRIENDS!

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, January 19, 2017

"I protest!"

These days, you can replace Will Roger’s “Democrat” with (fill in the blank).  My goodness, what disorganized times we live in.  And tomorrow, they are apt to get . . . well, probably not any more organized.

However, there are groups that are getting organized.  Dozens of groups have announced rallies and protests leading up to tomorrow’s historic Donald J. Trump inauguration (isn't every presidential inauguration “historic”?).  In fact, there have already been some very nice protests in Washington, including, but not limited to:
January 14: March for Immigrants and Refugees
Immigrant and refugee rights groups organized this day to show solidarity for immigrants and other vulnerable communities and to stand up against hateful rhetoric against immigrants.

January 14: We Shall Not Be Moved March on Washington
Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network.

January 15: Our First Stand: Save Health Care
Led by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Democratic members of Congress and other health care groups.

January 15: Writers Resist rallies

Launched by poet Erin Belieu, a national network of writers "driven to defend the ideals of a free, just and compassionate democratic society."

January 19: Reclaim Our Schools Day of Action

Several teachers unions and education groups, including the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, have organized under a newly-formed group called the National Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools.

One of tonight’s caught my eye: The Busboys and Poets Peace Ball
Described as an alternative to anti-Trump protests, the Busboys and Poets Peace Ball will be a "gathering to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the past four years" at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.  Notable attendees include celebrities, authors, and organizers. The event had room for more than 3,000 people and has already sold out. 

The group uses the following quote to help promote the event.  It’s by Howard Zinn, an American historian, playwright, and social activist (1922-2010):

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. 

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” - Howard Zinn

We'll see how the drive-by (whatever that is), mainstream (whatever that is), news (whatever that is anymore) handles this.  Let's imagine we can all just get along today, tomorrow, and going forward. 

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Motivation II

I read something last night while we were in a lull before our Basketball Production.  I found it particularly interesting because I've sometimes worked with directors who, from time to time, focused so much on what we've just done "wrong" and on what he projects that we're probably going to do "wrong" that we miss the current action.

The quote from that brilliant writer Anonymous:  "If you have one foot in the past and one foot in the future then you're shitting on the present"

Crude, I know.  And I really don't know if it has anything to do with motivation; I just like the sound of it.

Need to get motivated?

Choose one goal that you want to accomplish today.  One!
Write it down.
Bribe yourself by picking the reward you'll receive for accomplishing it.
Get off the pot and stop shitting on the present with meaningless tasks that are distracting you.
Just do it.
Reward yourself.

Again, folks, I'm not preaching to you.  I'm trying to teach myself.

I hope that there is a turd of wisdom in there.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Slow Draining Motivation

The drain in our shower has been slow to drain.  Very slow.  Oh, it does drain-- eventually.  So, no need to take any action, right?

I was thinking that (again) yesterday morning when I was reminded of a question a friend of mine asked me the other day:  "What motivates you to take action?"

I found myself trying to bluff my way with an analogy about tea steeping until it's the perfect time to drink (even I wasn't swallowing that bullshit), I went to my stock answer of, "I don't know, but I believe in my ability to find the answer-- at least study it."

What motivates us?  Interesting.

So, I'm pondering of all that as I'm standing in an inch of soapy shower water.  That's when I simply decide today is the day I CHOOSE to take action.

I create my ACTION LIST (pretty basic in this case), check my RESOURCES (either call a plumber or go buy some drain cleaner), take PERSISTENT ACTION (buy drain cleaner and use it), wait 30 minutes and EVALUATE THE PROGRESS (it worked).  Had it not worked I would have changed DIRECTION and worked to IMPROVE the results.   Simple as the task was, I ENJOYED the process by feeling satisfied that the job was finally done and I did it.  All that because I realized that it was MY LIFE and that I could continue to watch the water  s l o w l y  drain each morning and think, "Someday I'm going to do something about that!" or actually CHOOSE to take ACTION.

So you see, MOTIVATION is like a CLOGGED DRAIN . . .
okay, bullshitting again.  I still don't know what the answers are to life's big question are.  But, I'll try to continue to dump industrial strength drain cleaner into my brain until it becomes clear.

Oh, and it helps to go to one of those hardware stores that serves free popcorn to and offers merchandise such as Moneky Butt Powder look at you head to the plumbing aisle only to find that the drain cleaner is actually on a shelf on the other side of the store.  Enjoy the process!

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn




Monday, January 16, 2017


I volunteer at several Indiana Historical Living Events throughout the year.  It's a chance to dress up in early Indiana clothing and demonstrate a few pioneer skills.   One of the most common questions I’m asked— especially from folks from out-of-state— is,  “So, what is a ‘“Hoosier’” anyway?”

My answer?  “It’s a mystery.  Nobody really knows for sure.” 

The Indiana Historical Society says some often-told stories about the term's origins are false. Those include the tale that it was used to describe Indiana employees of a canal contractor named Hoosier and that "Who's yer" was how early settlers responded to a knock on their cabin door. A tale spun by popular 19th century Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley attributed the name to people asking "Whose ear?" after finding the body part on the ground after vicious fights among early settlers.

I like the fact that the mystique makes us unique.

Even though the mystery may never be solved, last week the U.S. Government Publishing Office made it official.  I’m officially a “Hoosier”  (HOO'-zhurz).  Check it out, we’re the only state (except Hawaii) that has a demonym* that isn’t some form of the actual state name with -er, -an, or -ite

So now it's official, if you're an Indiana resident, you're part of the great mystery.  You're officially a "Hoosier" (even if you're a Purple Ace, Screaming Eagle, or even a Boilermaker, you’re also a Hoosier).

Carpe Diem Life, Hoosiers!
David Kuhn

* Yes, demonym is a word I had to look up:  A demonym or gentilic is a word used for people or the inhabitants of a place.

Friday, January 13, 2017


Celestial body news reported this week: 

The formation of the moon wasn't the result of one massive cataclysmic clash of planets — rather, researchers say our moon formed when small "moonlets" came together.

That means the moon was formed over millions of years, not in an instant, said the scientific journal Nature Geoscience, which published a study on the revelation earlier this week. The prevailing belief has been that the moon was a piece of material that broke off when Earth slammed into something the size of Mars.

But a trio of researchers ran a number of simulations of large, but not giant, bodies hitting Earth. They found the impacts produced small discs, which formed small moons or "moonlets." Those moonlets migrated outward and formed together to create what we know as the moon.

Moonlets.  A great lesson that philosophers have been teaching for centuries: 
"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together." 
                                        -- Vincent van Gough

Have a great and difficult project that's got your "reaching for the moon?"  Remember moonlets!
If you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.

Carpe Diem Life
David Kuhn

Thursday, January 12, 2017




                                   U n p r e d i c p r e d i c t a b l e






Connecting>Creating>Fresh ideas

     Putting us in touch with our seemingly unfathomable selves!

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winners never . . .

In yesterday’s post, I offered a few short words about Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers coming back from a two-touchdown deficit to take down the kings of college football.

I ended the post with the anonymous quote, “In the game of life nothing is less important than the score at halftime.” (That anonymous sure did say a lot of smart things!).

That got me thinking about an inspirational quote that I had posted in my football locker my senior year of high school:

Part of this Carpe Diem Life experiment is to discover new inspiration, even if it comes from long ago forgotten sources. So, without further ado, I present a few more of my favorite sports quotes:

Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.

- Orison Swett Marden

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

- Michael Jordan

Victory isn't defined by wins or losses. It is defined by effort. If you can truthfully say, "I did the best I could, I gave everything I had" then you're a winner.
- Wolfgang Schadler

In life, we choose whether or not we want to be a winner or a loser. To be a winner, we must devote time and hard work. To be a loser you do nothing, and that's exactly what you will get, nothing.

- Patrick Boles

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.
- Babe Ruth

Training is what you are doing while your opponent is sleeping in.

- Brian Owen

Every time you compete, try harder to improve on your last performance. Give nothing short of your very best effort.

- Elgin Baylor

Champions keep playing until they get it right.
- Billie Jean King

My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.

- Hank Aaron

It doesn't take talent to hustle.
- H. Jackson Brown

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

- Vince Lombardi

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses. It is won behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.

- Muhammad Ali

To me, a winner is someone who recognizes their God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses those skills to accomplish his goals. Even when I lost, I learned what my weaknesses were and I went out the next day to turn those weaknesses into strengths.
- Larry Bird

Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.

- Muhammad Ali

The race isn't over until you cross the finish line. You'll be surprised at how much can change in the last twenty strides.
- Jackie Dugall

Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.
- Dan Gable

- - -

I hope you glean something in those that will help you get through the day.  Feel free to comment and share your favorite sports quote!

Have a dream or passion?  Don’t quit!

Carpe Diem Live
David Kuhn

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

WOW! All I can say is . . .

Football teaches us a lot of great life lessons.  Two of the most important are to never stop believing in yourself and never give up!

Things started out pretty bleak last night for Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers, but he lead Clemson back from a two-touchdown deficit to take down the kings of college football.

Clemson beat Alabama 35-31 on Monday night in a game for the ages, and it was Watson's 420 passing yards, 43 rushing yards and four total touchdowns (three passing) that ensured the Tigers won the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship.

In the game of life nothing is less important than the score at half time.

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy Cold, Flu, and Dabbing Season

It's that time of year when we're seeing more and more cough- and sneeze-related dabbing going on.
Thanks for the image

I grew up with a "Cover your mouth!" whenever I sneezed or coughed.  Later, it evolved to "Cover your mouth with the back of your hand!"  Now, it's "Cover your mouth by shoving it into the crook of your elbow like you're dabbing!"  Dabbing seems to have its roots in the Atlanta hip-hop scene and later popularized NFL's Cam Newton.  Must be a lot of sneezing and coughing going on there.

Speaking of roots . . .
Having German roots, the automatic response to a sneeze was "Gesundheit!" which simply means something like "healthiness" (Gesund = health.  Heit = iness.  Okay, actually state) or "good health."

Now, more than not, I hear "God Bless you" or "Bless you."  Other cultures have their own sneeze responses.  The Greeks wish each other "long life."  People in Arabic countries say "God be praised."
Others are "Live well," "Be Healthy," and in China when a child sneezes "May you live 100 years."

Why did people start wishing each other "good health" upon sneezing?  According to several sources, including the book An Uncommon History of Common Things, "It was mainly because in ancient times people thought that the force of a sneeze could propel a person's soul right out the body.  By uttering kind of incantation or invocation, bystanders believed they could stop evil spirits from taking the sneezer's soul, as well as protect against spirits entering the body."

So, this cold and flu season, it's okay to say "Gesundheit!" or "Bless you" when someone sneezes -- even if they're looking as if they're dabbing while doing it.  But, when you see someone dabbing to be dabbing, perhaps the better response would be, "Bless his heart!"  That's what my Granny Kuhn used to say when she saw someone doing something ignorant.  Sort of a passive-aggressive way of insulting someone.  

I don't know if "Bless his or her heart" will stop evil dabbing spirits from taking the dabber's soul.  I'm thinking our society needs some sort of dabbing exorcism. 


Carpe Diem Life
David Kuhn

Friday, January 6, 2017

History of Texting LOL!

A conversation with some old friends at dinner last night and a “This Date in History” story this morning got me thinking . . .

Imagination a communications tool that uses the fewest and shortest words possible to communicate a thought or idea.  One that “old timers” say will surely ruin future generations’ ability to speak or write the English language.

Texting, right?
Sometimes it’s fun to reverse engineer current technology to see how we got here. 

On this day in 1838, Samuel Morse’s telegraph system is demonstrated for the first time. The telegraph, a device which used electric impulses to transmit encoded messages over a wire, would eventually revolutionize long-distance communication. He demonstrated his invention using Morse code, in which dots and dashes represented letters and numbers.
GR8, right?

In May 1844, Morse sent the first official telegram over the line, with the message: “What hath God wrought!” (Today, that would probably read: “WHGW!”).

L8R, private companies, using Morse’s patent, set up telegraph lines around the Northeast. Then came Western Union, the first transcontinental line across the United States, the first successful permanent line across the Atlantic Ocean (imagine the logistics of laying a permanent line across the Atlantic).  By 1870s, world news could quickly spread worldwide.

Because telegraph companies typically charged by the word, telegrams were known for their succinct prose “stop”


Here’s a bit of trivia:  The word “stop” was used in place of a period because, for some odd reason, the word “stop” was free and there was a charge for the period.  WTF?

Of course, time and technological innovation marches on.  Over the course of the 20th century, telegraph messages were largely replaced by long-distance phone serve, fax, email, and now texting.  Western Union delivered its final telegram in January 2006 “stop”

At this point some of you may be thinking DILLIGAS  (Do I Look Like I Give A Sh**), so I’ll just wrap this up.

We can thank Mr. Samuel Morse’s telegraph system (demonstrated for the first time on this date) for laying the foundation of this epidemic that is texting.  But, if you’re one of those who people who believe texting is “penmanship for illiterates” and will ruin future generations ability to speak or write the English language, you can thank Samuel Morse for being able to send out the International Morse code distress signal of SOS (· · · – – – · · ·) stop

TYVM for reading today’s post stop  TTYL stop HAGW stop

Carpe Diem Life,
David Kuhn