Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Dad's Letter to His Daughters

Love is an amazing measure

You can love many people

But you will never love two people in the exact same way

Each measure of love is unique to that individual

It should not be measured in how much or how little

It should simply be measured by that you do love

The main aspects of love are appreciation and caring

Combined it will always calculate you a unique measure of love

You only need one or the other, both are not required. But love is more fulfilling if both are present.

Love can be extended to anyone in your life; near, distant, familiar or even obscure.

If people love you, do you have to love them back? If you love someone, do they have to love you back?

No. Love shared by two people are always at two different measures.

You may love your friend enough to think of them as your best friend. That friend may love you back, but they may refer to another as their best friend.

Familiarity with someone should not be confused with love, unless that familiarity brings appreciation and or caring.

Infatuation is not love, not yet. More than likely though this is a transient or temporary love that could potentially dissipate to familiarity. But infatuation could also potentially grow into a very high measure of love.

You never know.

But when someone tells you they are “in love with you”, understand that their love for you is an infatuation.

People who truly love you do not say “in” or “out”.  They simply do love you.

So what is “romantic love”?

This is the most rewarding love, when shared with another.

This is the cruelest love, when the measures of love between two people differ significantly.

Romantic love goes beyond caring and appreciation – although caring and appreciation are the foundation of all loves.

Romantic love often extends to include passion, desire, commitment, and then contentment.

Romantic love most often begins as infatuation, which entwines the passion and desire.

This is the most dangerous phase of love.

This is the phase of love that requires the most courage.

This is also the phase of love that requires the most caution.

Because, as I said earlier, infatuation can end as quickly as it begins.

And should the end of infatuation occur for the other party before it occurs for you, the pain can be devastating.

And should the end of infatuation occur for you before the other party, I urge you be honest and polite as you dismiss it. Be kind.

But be cautions of the desire and the passion you feel in this early state. Acting to aggressively may well have very severe penalties.

I implore you as someone who loves you and wants only the best for you, that when you feel the strong passions and desires of infatuation, please employ patience and restraint. Not forever. But until you at least gain an understanding of how transient – how temporary or how potential the prospect of feeling commitment and contentment from this love appears to be.

Do not waste your passion and your desire on temporary infatuation. It is dangerous. And potentially costly.

You will know love when you feel it.

And you will recognize romantic love when it blossoms from infatuation.

And you will know when infatuation ends

And you will know when true love takes over as you desire to commit to that love and quite content to do so.

Loves will come.

And loves will go.

Some will pass quickly.

Others will endure a lifetime.

It is important to be honest with those that you love about your love

But it is even more important – and a prerequisite to your own happiness – that you be honest with yourself about your love for others.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Robots in My Life

You just can’t ask for a more beautiful Sunday morning.

I played nine holes of golf yesterday with my good friend Dan.  It was my first attempt to play for several years. And I was pretty nervous about it.

So to take my mind off being nervous, I vacuumed the pool.

In fact, I played golf while I vacuumed the pool.

Okay, I didn’t actually do the vacuuming,

I left that task to my little Nomad pool cleaner.

If you haven’t heard of the Nomad – it’s only one brand of many – it’s a gadget that is a collection of plastic hoses with a plastic cleaning mat at the end. At both ends of the gadget are spring loaded valves. You stick one end in the filter hole that leads down to your pool pump and filter, and it makes the whole collection of hoses connected end to end down to the plastic vacuum cleaning mat jump. The spring loaded valve in the plastic mat then walk around the bottom of the pool liner in random patterns until the whole pool liner has been vacuumed clean.

It’s powered by the vacuum sucking action of the pool filter pump. And when it’s done, you just take end of the hose out of the filter hole and backwash the dirt from the pool floor down into the drain in the back yard.

They’ve been around for years.

It’s so easy. But it takes a couple of hours.

This is by far my favorite robot in our house.

Yes, I will argue that we already have robots in our homes.

They are not smart robots per say, not like the artificially intelligent humanoid looking things that we see in the movies and TV shows. But they have been programmed with just enough smarts to do the tasks they are assigned to do.

They are “smart-enough” machines.

We have washing machines that clean our clothes and dryers that dry them for us. They know just how much water to add, just how much to slosh them around, just how much to spin them to get the water out, and just how hot to tumble dry them. And just how long to do each task. And they tell you when they are done.

We have dishwashers that do the same thing, just for dishes though.
And we have ovens and microwave ovens that know just how long and just how hot to cook or reheat stuff for us based on the information we feed into them. Even our coffee makers have all kinds of smarts now, to provide us with that perfect cup or pot of coffee waiting for us when we wake up in the morning.

My television is even a robot. It will watch TV for me and record the shows I tell it to – the ones I don’t want to miss – and it lets me play them back when I have the time and desire to watch them.

Even my garage door is a robot. When I ask it to, it lifts up the door for me. And it will close it to, when I tell it to. And it’s smart enough to know if it’s open or closed.

And cars? These things are so loaded with artificial intelligence now it’s ridiculous.

To me, if it’s smarter than my black lab Suzy, then it’s a robot. Suzy can’t do my laundry, or clean my dishes, or record my favorite shows for me, or even open my garage door.

And Suzy can’t clean my pool either.

I guess that is my favorite thing about my Nomad pool vacuum. It really isn’t smart.

There are no electronic memory functions or instructions to feed into it. You just stick the nozzle in the filter hole and watch it go.

The inefficiencies of randomness

But my pool cleaner has no logic. It’s a totally random process.

I don’t ever sit and watch my laundry wash and dry in the laundry room, or the dishes get clean in the dishwasher.  And I probably should pay more attention to watching the food as it cooks in my oven.

I could watch my Nomad wander randomly around my pool bottom for hours.

But it’s maddening.

If you leave the Nomad to its task un-watched, when you return your pool will be clean.

But sitting and watching it will drive you nuts.

You will see the Nomad continually wandering over the parts of the bottom that it has already cleaned, and you will find yourself rooting for it to get one patch of dirt on the bottom, only to watch it continually just miss it as it re-travels the same space it cleaned on the last pass by.

It drives me crazy.

It’s worse than watching my daughters clean their rooms. And just as random and just as illogical.

Although the Nomad doesn’t procrastinate and continually yell to me “I will Daddy, I promise”.

I could watch this device clean my pool for hours.

If I were to hire a guy to come clean my pool, well, my lovely wife Darlene would watch him work for hours. That’s not good.

Now I can really multi-task.

I can do the laundry and cook supper and wash the dishes while recording my favorite television shows and clean the pool all at the same time as I sit out on the back deck with a cup of coffee.

Or play golf.

This is the future I dreamed about.

I didn’t really have reason to be nervous about playing golf. I had several putts at birdie. And on the last hole I stuck a 5 wood a foot from the pin, but the ball rolled 10 feet past and I did miss the birdie putt.

I really enjoyed playing golf again.

While I vacuumed the pool.

If only I could cut my lawn the same way.

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