No sonic screwdriver required

This week geeks all over the world celebrated together as we rejoiced in the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Who. I went to a huge gathering last night at the EMP museum in Seattle and celebrated with other people who love the show. It’s good to commune with your tribe.

I’ve learned so much from the show about living a joyful life, so I thought I’d share some of that today in honor of this milestone. This applies whether or not you watch the show yourself.

  • There is value to be found everywhere. The Doctor once said: “In 900 years of time and space I have never met anyone who wasn’t important.” I agree, and I would add that this means that you, too, are important. Never forget this.
  • Don’t give up. Just as in baseball, “it’s not over until it’s over”. There is always time to remedy the most dire situation, and there are always more than two options. You may need to think outside the box, but you can usually find a way.
  • Travel is good. Without a T.A.R.D.I.S. (the flying blue police box) you may not be able to travel through time, but you can always go new places and meet people, and you may have a chance to save the universe. Take it.
  • Bring your sense of humor. There are some essentials one should not do without. The Doctor believes you should always bring a banana to a party (and this is debatable) but you should never leave your sense of humor behind. I have defeated the darkest of foes with this strongest of powers. You’re going to want to have it around.

Here’s hoping the show continues for a long time. I’ll be watching.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
269. What shows or books have inspired you? Take a few moments to think about this question and write down some of the lessons you’ve learned. Extra credit: share a few of these lessons with others, either in the comments or with someone you know.


And they read my blog

Today is my parent’s forty-fourth wedding anniversary. There are so many different things I could say about that. Love and commitment are magical things, allowing us to work together with our partners through both difficult and fun times. My parents have done all that, and met the challenge. I salute them.

They’ve done a lot for me too, of course. I am here because they are together, and I’m very grateful for that. I’m also grateful for the many things my parents have given me over the years. My dad gave me his love for math and puzzles, and a basic curiosity about how things are put together. I remember taking things apart in the garage with him, seeing the insides of radios and televisions as he’d fix a tricky tube or wire. We used to do the math puzzles in Scientific American, and we’d work on physical puzzles, too. My dad can slip a popsicle stick into your shirt in such a tricky way that you really have to think to get it off without cheating. I still love mechanical puzzles.

My mom gave me my love of books, vocabulary, and research in general. She was always reading something, and I’d ask her about tricky words as I climbed my own way up the literature ladder. She taught me to always look up words I didn’t know, so that I might recognize them the next time I saw them. I still do that, and it’s a habit that serves me well. My mom also gave me my love of cooking and experimentation. She fed us all kinds of foods growing up, so I’ve never been afraid to try anything. We ate snails and seafood, curries and sushi. I have an adventurous palate to this day.

Both of my parents have a love of adventure, of people, of music, of art. I’m sure that I’m a writer because of all that they shared with me while I was growing up. The limited space of this column is too short to properly thank them, but I hope they’ll take this little tip of the iceberg. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! Carpe diem!

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

81. What have your parents done for you? Let them know that you appreciate it, even if it isn’t their anniversary.