Personal Update 202312 | 31 Dec 2023

GREETINGS

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. I hope you’re doing well. The photo above is from 12 Nov 2023 while taking a walk at Kent Park.

WRITING TOPICS

I continue to expand on the topic reports found on the Resources For Life dot com website. The list can be found on the What’s New Page. Adding incrementally takes very little time since the post and related context are already present.

TECH WRITING

If you’re interested in the latest tech-related guides and articles I’ve posted, you can visit the Posts Page on the Iowa City Tech website.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site. 

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]

Personal Update 202311 | 30 Nov 2023

Greetings

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. I hope you’re doing well. The photo above is from 22 Oct 2023, looking west at sunset on a bike ride heading home.

Writing Topics

I continue to expand on the topic reports found on the Resources For Life dot com website. The list can be found on the What’s New Page. Adding incrementally takes very little time since the post and related context are already present.

Middle East

For the fourth quarter, since October 1, I’ve added only a few new writings to the Resources For Life dot com website, which were mostly relating to the heightened conflict in the Middle East.

I already have existing news posts for this year on Lebanon, Iran, Qatar, and Palestine / Israel, as well as other countries in the region. So, I’ve updated those, but didn’t need to create much new.

On Facebook, a “suggested post” for me with a peace dove and the words “Thankful for Palestinian-Israeli Ceasefire” showed up as the cease fire details were unfolding. It was a post of mine from 21 Nov 2012 that Facebook randomly selected as a previous post on the same day. I decided to accept the suggestion and share the post. The timing was appropriate to share it again.

I’ve followed Middle East news for about 25 years, mostly with an interest in efforts that prevent conflict and violence.

The song “Prayer of the Mothers” by the group Women Wage Peace was made into a video (below) that shows women involved in the peace movement in the Palestine / Israel area. I wrote an article in 2018 about the video and their efforts. [Learn More]

The group Koolulam works to promote peace through music, by inviting people from diverse backgrounds to sing songs together. On 28 Feb 2018 they had an event where a group sang “One Day” by Matisyahu. I wrote an article about the event, and shared the video. I was able to get help from my Arabic and Hebrew speaking contacts for translation assistance to share the lyrics, and Koolulam gave me permission to embed their video on my website — it was otherwise blocked for viewing outside of YouTube. You can watch the video on my original post. [View]

My hope for myself and for others, is that we can grow and expand our sense of compassion. I guess it’s human nature, or the habit of some, to have selective compassion. We hear about tragedies, but for concern to be expressed, we first want to know the race, religion, gender, or nationality of those involved. If the incident feeds into a narrative we’re trying to push, we’ll get involved and march in the streets. If it doesn’t fit our ideology, we go back to binge watching a show or some other activity.

In February this year, a tragedy in a region of predominantly Muslim countries resulted in over 50,000 lives lost in a matter of hours. To me it seemed like a big event, but because it was an earth quake, and people couldn’t blame any popular vilified group of choice, the media was mostly silent after one or two days. I still check the news on conditions in the region.

In 2020, the largest non-nuclear explosion in history took place. It effectively wiped out an entire country that still hasn’t rebuilt three years later. We couldn’t blame any of our preferred vilified groups of choice, so it got a couple days coverage in the news, then everyone forgot about it. I’ve been more closely following the news from Lebanon since that blast in Beirut. [Read More]

These massive tragedies happen, and if there’s nobody to blame, there typically is no marching in the streets, no flag waving, no public mourning, no candlelight vigils.

In the area of the Middle East, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Caspian Sea, there is archeological and cultural heritage dating back thousands of years. If you go back far enough, you’ll discover all of our ancestors are most likely from the cradle of civilization. There are numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites in that area. The entire area is a huge fragile protected outdoor archaeological museum, with people still living there — people who are sort of everyone’s relatives, and it is everyone’s homeland.

If we increase our compassion for humanity to include everyone who suffers, regardless of how or why or who they are, it would make the world a better place, and it would de-politicize our emotions and humanity.

To people who want to know which side I support in the war, I’ll share what I wrote to someone in October, “I strongly support both sides (the innocent people on both sides who are suffering), and strongly condemn both sides (those who are making the situation worse).”

More Next Month

I’m going to skip my usual entries this month for tech writing and how many steps I took. I’ll include more about that next month.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site. 

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]

Personal Update 202310 | 1 Oct 2023

Greetings

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. I hope you’re doing well. The photo above is from my morning walk on 7 Sep 2023.

Topic Reports for 2023

I continue to expand on the topic reports found on the Resources For Life dot com website. The list can be found on the What’s New Page. Adding incrementally takes very little time since the post and related context are already present.

TECH WRITING

If you’re interested in the latest tech-related guides and articles I’ve posted, you can visit the Posts Page on the Iowa City Tech website.

Walking and Travel

In September I walked about 131,000 steps covering 21 miles in about 10 hours. These calculations are provided by Google as totals of my outdoor walks and other steps. The Google Maps and Google Fit monthly reports provide cumulative reports as well as weekly and daily reports. These help to stay mindful and motivated. Below are the travel and steps summary reports. The top report is from the Google Maps app and the bottom report is from the Google Fit app.

Social Media Outreach

I posted some more pictures and reviews in September using Google Maps. The total cumulative all-time views are now at 10.2 million.

My main goal for the posts is to help local small businesses become more discoverable, and also serve the many people who visit our community for big events, healthcare, education, and other reasons.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]

Personal Update 202309 | 15 Sep 2023

GREETINGS

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. I hope you’re doing well.

Featured Photo

The featured photo this month at the top of the page is from 29 Aug 2023 while on my daily walk. It’s the completed parking area that replaces a field of prairie grass previously used by wildlife and pollinators. Below is a photo of what the field looked like in July prior to the parking area being developed.

Asphalt Habitat

The new parking area helps accommodate RV parking and vehicles during football games. It is also used by weekday commuters, mostly those working at the hospital. Proposed names for the new parking area will undoubtedly include “Prairie View Parking Facility” since it is common for developments to be named after the habitats they replaced.

There’s a saying that we sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees, meaning we can get so focused on specific details of an issue that we don’t see the overall picture. In this case, there is no forest and there are no trees, but the principle is the same.

It’s easy to be discouraged by the loss of natural spaces and it’s disappointing to see habitats removed. Of course, the driving forces behind sprawl and development are far upstream. Often with projects involving the de-beautification of natural spaces, the protests and “solution” involve moving the proposed development to someone else’s neighborhood or backyard. We subconsciously know that the landfills, the power plants, the factories, polluted rivers, deforestation, smelly waste water treatment facilities, and similar byproducts of massive demand are apparently, given our present technologies, necessary to sustain all that we do. We just don’t want to look at those things or be reminded of them.

Anyone who has been in the Iowa City area for a few decades ends up being somewhat of a welcoming cheerful ambassador to greet and help visitors. With the new parking area, I’ve already had an opportunity to meet and visit with some of the travelers that come to our town by car or RV. On game-day weekends, the parking area turns into what looks like a traveling RV show. Many enthusiastic football fans descend on the area for the camaraderie and festivities that accompany the big game (every game is the big game when you’re a fan). I like to meet new people. I like RVs. I like seeing people having fun and socializing. So, there can be some positive aspects to this development.

Big parking lots have always been an important aspect of human experience: at large factories, theme parks, concert venues, shopping malls, sporting events, and remote commuter lots that reduce city traffic congestion by replacing cars with public transit. For many people, the concrete jungle and asphalt parking areas are our habitat. The spaces that support cars and parking are part of the complex mix of what makes up our human habitats.

WALKING AND TRAVEL

In August I walked about 160,000 steps covering 34 miles in about 10 hours. These calculations are provided by Google as totals of my outdoor walks and other steps. The Google Maps and Google Fit monthly reports provide cumulative reports as well as weekly and daily reports. These help to stay motivated. Below are the steps and travel summary reports for August. The top report is from the Google Fit app and the bottom report is from the Google Maps app.

GOOGLE POSTS 8.9 MILLION VIEWS

I posted some more pictures and reviews in August using Google Maps, and there were over two million views. The total cumulative all-time views are now at 8.9 million as of mid-September. As the collection of posts grows, the number of monthly views increases.

My main goal for the posts is to help local small businesses become more discoverable, and also serve the many people who visit our community for big events, healthcare, education, and other reasons.

TOPIC REPORTS FOR 2023

I continue to expand on the topic reports found on the Resources For Life dot com website. The list can be found on the What’s New Page. The list of topics expanded considerably in April. I keep adding to these reports, typically with one or two additions per month with a video or article link. Adding incrementally takes very little time since the post and related elements are already present.

TECH WRITING

If you’re interested in the latest tech-related guides and articles I’ve posted, you can visit the Posts Page on the Iowa City Tech website.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]

Personal Update 202307 | 1 Jul 2023

Greetings

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. The featured photo this month is from 23 June 2023 while on my morning walk. The trail is near a wetlands area. I’d shared a similar photo from the same location last summer. The photo at the bottom of this page is of the Old Capitol on 24 June 2023.

Walking and Travel

In June I walked about 218,000 steps covering 59 miles in about 17 hours. That’s about double of my May walking totals. The calculations are provided by Google as totals of my outdoor walks and other steps. The Google Maps and Google Fit monthly reports provide cumulative reports as well as weekly and daily reports. These help to stay motivated.

Below are the steps and travel summary reports for June. The top report is from the Google Fit app and the bottom report is from the Google Maps app.

Reviews now at 3.8 Million

In recent months I’ve started using Google Maps to post reviews of parks, restaurants, museums, businesses, and other destinations.

With billions of people using the Google Maps service, even just a small fraction of views result in surprising numbers.

I am now at about 3.8 million views and gaining at a rate of 500,000 per month. Of those views, about 3.5 million are of photos and 300,000 are people reading reviews of places.

It’s taken some effort to reach “Local Guide Level 8” by earning over 15,000 points. That was achieved by making about 4,500 contributions in the form of photos, comments, and reviews.

If I write a review and take photos of a very popular tourist destination, that will result in more views than information about a place with less popularity. I’m focusing on the places I’m going to anyway, and not making special trips simply to gain more views.

TOPIC REPORTS FOR 2023

I continue to expand on the topic reports found on the Resources For Life dot com website. The list can be found on the What’s New Page. The list of topics expanded considerably in April. I keep adding to these reports, typically with one or two additions per month with a video or article link. Adding incrementally takes very little time since the post and related elements are already present.

TECH WRITING

If you’re interested in the latest tech-related guides and articles I’ve posted, you can visit the Posts Page on the Iowa City Tech website.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]

Personal Update 202306 | 24 Jun 2023

Greetings

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. The featured photo this month is from 15 May 2023, taken at sunrise of Niagara Falls from Ontario, Canada. A zoomed-in variation of that photo is at the bottom of the page. [More Niagara Photos]

WALKING and Travel

My Google Pixel phone helps keep track of my walks and other travel. In May, I walked about 180,000 steps covering 28 miles in 9 hours 22 minutes. I spent about 50 hours driving 2,092 miles. In a more typical month, my driving miles would be about 300, but May included a road trip to Canada to visit Niagara. It was my first vacation since 2019. [More Niagara Photos]

Work Life Balance

Today as I write this monthly update, I have about a dozen computers needing attention from different people and additional non-computer work that’s pending. I’ll take a break today for my walk and some time away from computer screens, but generally my work continues through the weekend as a quiet time to catch up on pending projects.

This year I began supporting a large group of people who were getting support from another tech person in our area who is no longer consulting. It’s been a good fit and a wonderful expansion to the community of people I already support. I’m adjusting to take on extra people. Some live a few blocks away, or have limited periodic support needs. So, I’ve been able to handle the additional work without too much strain.

TOPIC REPORTS FOR 2023

I continue to expand on the topic reports found on the Resources For Life dot com website. The list can be found on the What’s New Page. The list of topics expanded considerably in April. I keep adding to these reports, typically with one or two additions per month with a video or article link. Adding incrementally takes very little time since the post and related elements are already present.

TECH WRITING

If you’re interested in the latest tech-related guides and articles I’ve posted, you can visit the Posts Page on the Iowa City Tech website.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]

Personal Update 202305 | 31 May 2023

GREETINGS

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. The photo above is from 7 Apr 2023, taken at the Des Moines Art Center looking out the large windows to the grassy area behind the center. I applied the “Surf” artistic filter available in the Prisma app.

Walking

Last month, with nicer weather becoming more frequent, I started walking more regularly. The photo at the bottom of this page is from a walk on 18 Apr 2023.

Topic Reports for 2023

I continue to expand on the topic reports found on the Resources For Life dot com website. The list can be found on the What’s New Page. The list of topics expanded considerably in April. I keep adding to these reports, typically with one or two additions per month with a video or article link. Adding incrementally takes very little time since the post and related elements are already present.

Tech Writing

If you’re interested in the latest tech-related guides and articles I’ve posted, you can visit the Posts Page on the Iowa City Tech website.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]

The photo above is from a walk on 18 Apr 2023.

Personal Update 202304 | 21 Apr 2023

Greetings

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. The photo above is from 30 Mar 2023, taken from one of the downtown Iowa City buildings with a view from the hallway.

Challenges Ahead

For the past two weeks I’ve been studying some of the news categories that I’ll be reporting on this year. You can see the current list on the What’s New page at Resources For Life.

For world news, I’ve assembled a report called “Countries in Crisis 2023” that covers some of the significant challenges around the world.

For the United States, the “U.S. Crisis Report 2023” covers various topics including widespread fraud and scams, smash-and-grab organized retail crime, regions of drought, catastrophic floodshomelessness, tornados, gun violence, social unrest, food deserts, limited access to healthcareteacher shortages, hospital closings, widespread poverty, toxic spills, and other news.

I want to be mindful of these challenges as a context for working on proactive public interest efforts.

Doomscrolling

The practice of doomscrolling involves scrolling through social media and being fed an increasingly negative selection of news stories. This is only made possible because social media feeds people more and more of what they seem to be interested in. So, its an intensifying of negativity that typically induces depression and hopelessness.

After just a few days of researching some of the social challenges we presently face, my YouTube feed became filled with an unending flood of stories about crime and violence across the nation. It’s taken several days to reset the feed back to hopeful stories.

A certain news network, which I won’t mention by name, has affiliate news stations in most major metropolitan markets. Those affiliate stations seem to be tasked with gathering and amplifying really depressing and fear-inducing stories. Individually the stories are true and very accurate. Collectively, however, the overall message is imbalanced and false. The dominant message being communicated is that nobody is safe and all our big cities are a dumpster fire of crime, violence, and social unrest. Other stories have as the title, “They are coming for your _____” and the story tries to convince the viewer that an enemy is going to take their car, stove, gun, or other treasured possession. So, what is believed to be a “trusted” source of news, is spreading false information that promotes violence.

That fear inducing propaganda is believed to be a significant reason for the recent wave of shootings — more people are armed and fearful. As a result, it’s now reported that “hair trigger justice seems to be the norm.” [Source]

I hear from many people who are disconnecting from social media and news sources because all the bad news can be too discouraging. As someone looking for answers, I want to understand the depth of the problems to arrive at solutions that aren’t impacted by the problems.

Hope Scrolling

I want to seek out hopeful perspectives and initiatives that can result in positive outcomes. I thought I’d coined the term “Hope Scrolling” but then did a Google search to find that many other people have simultaneously come up with the same idea. [View Results]

While maintaining an awareness of the challenges, and keeping realistic perspective, I want to explore working solutions that will produce positive outcomes.

I’d recently seen a year-end video report from Beit El Barakah — an organization working to revitalize the community and economy of Lebanon. [View Video] It’s a really inspiring video. Despite facing every imaginable challenge and disaster, this organization is helping to provide vocational training and jobs for those impacted by the crisis in Lebanon. It’s an example of what I’m talking about: acknowledge the scope and depth of the problems, then develop a response that can succeed despite the challenges.

This year I’ll be monitoring the various crisis situations that exist, while in parallel working to support impactful non-profits and deliver tech services to those in need.

Good News

I believe despite what seem like insurmountable extinction-level challenges ahead, that there is still good news, and there are ways to create pockets of sustainability and abundance. I’ll be sharing more about that in the months ahead.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]

Personal Update 202303 | 25 Mar 2023

GREETINGS

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. The photo above is from 26 Feb 2023, taken at one of the local Iowa City recreation areas.

Artificial Intelligence

Over the past 60 years, artificial intelligence has been in its infancy. In recent months, AI has gone through a sudden growth spurt. It has gone from scoring in the bottom ten percent on the bar exam, to achieving a score in the top ten percent.

Today, AI systems can monitor your brain waves and show an image on a computer screen of the picture you have in your mind. They can show text on a computer screen for the words you are thinking of.

I was given early access to the Google AI system known as Bard. I’ve written more about AI, and share the transcript of my first interaction with Bard in a longer article dedicated to the topic. [Read] I think you’ll find that report interesting.

I’ll keep this month’s update short to encourage people to read the AI article I wrote. I hope you take time to check it out, and let me know your thoughts.

Click here to read my post about artificial intelligence.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]

Personal Update 202302 | 28 Feb 2023

Greetings

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. The photo above is from 14 Jan 2023, taken during a walk at Kent Park.

Three Years Later

In about two weeks we will all be looking back on three years since the start of the pandemic. For some people life has returned to normal. For others, it hasn’t.

I’ve been working just about every day during that period — weekdays, weekends, morning to night. During “break times” when I’m not 100% focused on helping someone with their tech needs, I’m catching up on the administrative aspects of running a business. I remember heading into November 2020 feeling wiped out and needing a break. The holidays rushed past, with support requests pouring in even on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years. It’s been non-stop for three years now.

There’s been a decline in the quality of tech products and services. At the same time, customer support has become more of a quagmire with complex support automation and longer hold times. This means there are more problems to solve, and the resources needed to solve them are fewer.

Because problems are more frequent, and solving them takes longer, it’s increased my workload. I’ve had to let go of some businesses I was supporting to make room for more individuals with support needs.

The chaos in the industry described above (poor products and dwindling support) could result in greater tech support costs for people. Someone needing 5 hours per year of support in the past may now need 20 hours or more per year. I’m trying to absorb some of the cost and look for innovative ways to delivery more support to more people for less cost per person through free online support materials and guides. Also, I’ve kept my hourly rates the same as they have been for over 20 years.

In addition to the general poor state of technology these days, there are increases in the number of security threats. If you follow the news, you know that scams are on the rise and coming at consumers from every angle: text messages, emails, phone calls, pop-up ads, postal mail, and social media scams.

It’s really a challenging time to be in the tech industry. A December 2022 report from Stanford states: “… in 2022 alone, over 120,000 people have been dismissed from their job at some of the biggest players in tech – Meta, Amazon, Netflix, and soon Google.” [Source]

This month I noticed two separate global banking institutions had gone completely offline. Their websites simply wouldn’t load. I checked a site that reports on such things, and people around the world were having the same problem loading those sites.

In January 2023, NPR reported on attacks of the national electric grid. [Source] About two weeks ago, the FBI stopped a neo-Nazi plan to bring down Baltimore’s electric grid. [Sources: PBSReuters]

We’re seeing massive outages. It’s possible that some workers among those 120,000 who were laid off may have been serving some important support roles.

Yesterday, Feb 17, a report by Ars Technica revealed that another major data breach happened to LastPass, the group that maintains logins for numerous critical systems around the world. A highly positioned employee had their home computer hacked, resulting in access to critical information. [Source]

Four days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported an increase in iPhone thefts where the victim loses all their contacts, emails, photos, and files in a matter of minutes after being locked out of all their accounts and having their bank accounts drained. [Source]

As reported in September 2022, one group of 12 people from the Minneapolis area engaged in targeted smartphone thefts that resulted in $300,000 in total losses for a total of over 40 victims. That’s just one theft ring – in one city. [Source] So, the losses to individuals are increasing.

Just at the moment when “big tech” needs to step up to protect consumers, the industry has decided to jettison the most skilled workers in an effort to “downsize” and maximize profits. It’s like railroad companies cutting back on safety measures. Bad things happen.

I’ve described above the “state of tech” as we head into 2023.

In these first two months of the year, I’ve been following other important news stories: earthquakes in Turkey, war in Ukraine, economic collapse in various countries, climate extremes, environmental concerns globally, severe drought in the states reliant on the Colorado River. The list goes on.

At present, it doesn’t seem possible that the wars will cease, or that water will flow from dry sand to end the drought, or the rubble left after multiple earthquakes will be replaced with newly restored communities. To those who stay informed about these and other stories, one may conclude that it’s time for something similar to Hospice for Humanity.

I live in Iowa where, at least up to this moment, we find ourselves on the end of the sinking ship that is above water. This results in a sense of being wearily grateful. We don’t have atmospheric rivers, mudslides, earthquakes, forest fires, regular flooding, drought, war, and other challenges.

I feel that offering tech support is a way of serving the people in our community, and indirectly helping people around the world. As I talk to others here in our community, they share my concerns about the state of the world, and, like me, they are looking for ways to help in areas where people are suffering. They give to charity and offer their expertise to help. In this way, I feel my efforts are multiplied. I’m helping those who are looking for ways to bring healing to the world.

Years ago I visited an elderly woman in the hospital. She was not expected to leave the hospital. I’d gone to say goodbye. She had little strength left in her. I think it was two or three days later I went to visit the woman’s family to offer some comfort in a difficult time. I was greeted at the door by a woman who had just finished baking some pies — one pie was in hand. I entered, and it took me a moment looking at the woman with the pie to realize it was the dying woman from a few days ago. As you might imagine, I was a bit confused. Apparently she had a somewhat miraculous recovery.

I mentioned above that it may be time for a kind of Hospice for Humanity. It seems that way sometimes. But I want to remember the elderly woman in the hospital who recovered and think about how humanity can recover. That’s the image I want to focus on and the future I want to work toward.

Actors

I saw an inspiring message by Sally Field from the Screen Actors Guild awards on Sunday, 26 Feb 2023. I’m sharing it here because it’s touching and inspiring. I hope you like it.

  • UPDATE: For some reason, as of 21 Apr 2023 the official video has been removed from the Screen Actors Guild YouTube channel.

Subscribe

You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters [Subscribe] or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address where indicated to be notified of every post to this site.

Thanks

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]