And, look, a spiffy new layout!
No trackback yet or anything fancy. And my mouse-control program is acting funky, to boot. Bear with me if there are typos... they are almost certainly remnants of text that were supposed to live somewhere else in this post...
Yes, the old "we love Ascii" version died: imploded, collapsed, folded, bit it, took an eternal celestial dirt-nap, suffered irreversible orbit decay.... According to Blogger, it actually got formally deleted. I like to think I'm not *that* clumsy with a keyboard... but part of optimism is recognizing that bad things bring opportunities, and that those opportunities are frequently profound.
Let's dwell on that for a second, and ponder what I like to call "the moral ironies of history."
The Romans were a bunch of right bastards: but because of their grand imperial designs, Carthaginian first-born children were not routinely sacrificed by being thrown into flaming ovens after the conquest. The nation that didn't callously squander its people proved to be the more competent and lasting empire... just as in our current era, even the tyrants are slowly coming to realize that they must either loosen the chains of their subjects, or else become permanently unable to compete against their foes.
Trianon was an ugly, ugly treaty. My wife's nation was literally cut into a third of its previous size: like taking the US and giving everything but the midwest to Canada and Mexico. Villages were literally cut in half and separated from their water source, churches, etcetera. Hungary was carved up as a hecatomb to the principal of "the self-determination of peoples. And without that principle having been put forcibly into effect (to the great advantage of the Slovak and Croatian peoples, and continuous conflict in Transylvania), well, the folks in East Timor, Kosovo, Ukraine, and Iraq wouldn't have stood a chance.
From bad, Good. From the spatter of human evil, the light moral Progress. From need and distress, Invention. Optimism is no starry-eyed idealism, but rather the immensely practical and realistic understanding of what it is that we humans do.
So, what do we have to offer you? (In no particular order this week, as they don't fit my pre-conceived categories all that well... but they're all good.)
Steve Pavlina has a truly kick-ass solution for one of my specific problems: how to become an early riser, and sleep better to boot. If you're a night-owl like me who'dver like to get better at functioning in the a.m., this is definitely worth your time.
For Northstar over at the People's Republic of Seabrook, it's all about decisions and consequences -- and his great pride at seeing a lad truly mature.
Drew Vogel slips in one of the best engagement surprises I've ever heard of, as he gets ready to begin his new life with Wendy. Congrats to both of you, and go read it! Wow.
Shiloh Musings lets rip with one of those odd strings of fortunate coincidences that are hard to believe happen to people... until "people" happens to be defined as "you." Nice.
That's going to be all for this week, because, frankly, these are overdue. Thanks for the encouragement and bearing with the delay.