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Dude Knows Best http://dudeknowsbest.com Dude Abides Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:55:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.13 If Life is a Game, Then You Make the Rules [Leverage the Compounding Effect of Consistency to Accomplish Great Things] http://dudeknowsbest.com/if-life-is-a-game-then-you-make-the-rules-leverage-the-compounding-effect-of-consistency-to-accomplish-great-things/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/if-life-is-a-game-then-you-make-the-rules-leverage-the-compounding-effect-of-consistency-to-accomplish-great-things/#respond Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:55:33 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2243 Continue reading ]]> consistencyThis seems like a good post to kick of the New Year.

I recently shared the idea that it may be helpful to think of life as a game: The Tao of Tetris. A quick sum…

  • Use your resources wisely
  • You compete against yourself
  • Life moves fast
  • Play in the present

I’ve enjoyed this perspective. It’s allowed me to seek opportunities to improve, but not take life, and myself, too seriously.

That balance between improvement and enjoyment is a tight line to traverse. Erring on the side of fun seems the wise choice, and games are meant to be enjoyed. Good match.

Your gaming strategy becomes the art of improvement. Your systems are your daily practice. The practice is the set of rules we choose to live by.

The daily routines, rituals, and habits. The consistency that accomplishes great things.

This is not an invitation to make promises we won’t keep. It’s an opportunity to make daily progress, keep score against yourself and enjoy the process.

Where to start? Gather info, make a plan, get to work.

Take what you can from others, but this is your life, your time, your skills. You are unique. Build your unique game.

I’ve kept the eye on the interwebs and located some ideas to kick us off.

There are more great ideas to be found. But no need to wait. Now is the time. Simple. Actionable.

Mindset

The greatest tool at our disposal is the right attitude. Open. Creative. Excited.

Inflexibility breaks. Flow creates.

In my humble opinion, meditation may be the best training ground to build the right attitude muscle.

Ryan Holiday shared a post about the great power of greeting it all with a smile – awesome story about Jack Johnson…the boxer, not surfer/singer.

The world is going to try to knock us down. We will face unfairness, animus, even evil. How will we respond? With anger? With rage? By letting it get to us?

No. We should instead respond with the excitement and smile of a Jack Johnson.

Personal Rules Lead to Great Things

Every game starts with a set of rules. A framework to build the game.

Understand the rules so we know how to bend them. Know the standard so we can exceed expectations.

Rules may seem limiting, but personal rules offer freedom. The freedom to simplify and clarify.

Reduce decision points. Stop negotiating with yourself. Know your clear direction.

Your personal rules lead to power, independence.

Kaizen Method

A strong overarching strategy is 1% progress, daily. The Kaizen Method.

Leverage the compounding effect of daily progress.

It applies to all aspects of life, and you can tackle many habits at once. Simply ask…

What is one small thing that I can do to improve X?

The Art of Manliness has a great post discussing the Kaizen Way – interesting background and simple suggestions.

System-focused, not goal focused. Build your systems to continually improve. The goal is progress.

Kaizen has become my first thought when considering how to improve. But the game of life is broken down further into multiple systems.

Each of these systems is broken down further into individual steps – habits. Each of these habits is the opportunity to improve by 1%.

Regardless of your goal, narrowing down your focus to small manageable tasks that can be done daily is the secret weapon to achievement. – 10x Your Results, One Tiny Action at a Time

Fail More

The vast majority aim for mediocrity. It’s a bit of a paradox, but the medicore has the most competition, while few aim for great.

99% of people are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most competitive. – Tim Ferriss

Ryan Holiday wrote a great book on this subject a few years ago – The Obstacle is the Way.

Obstacles are exciting. The large majority will give up. Keep pushing.

Aim high. Don’t be afraid to fail…seek failure!

Present, Pause

The Ancient Greeks had two concepts of time – Chronos and Kairos.

Chronos is the time we refer to on the ticking clock. Kairos carries a spiritual significance – a sense of presence and attention to the moment.

Chronos is a necessity to operate in the daily world. But Kairos is where we find joy, motivation, and greatness.

Create Kairos – know your purpose, set aside quiet time, create quiet space.

Be ready to pause when the opportunity presents itself.

There is a new Leonardo da Vinci biography the interwebs are buzzing about. One of the highlights the author has pointed out is da Vinci had distractions just like we do today. One of da Vinci’s strengths was the ability to pause and focus when he was inspired.

You can’t always schedule quiet moments for reflection. Even when we can schedule Kairos, inspiration may strike off schedule.

Cultivate the habit of the da Vinci Pause. Cultivate Kairos.

Be present. Be aware. When inspiration strikes, pause. Focus on the moment. Focus on the inspiration. See where the flow takes you.

Create Your Time

The game of life is a long game. There are daily, moment to moment, opportunities to improve.

Systems and daily practices evolve. The game evolves. We evolve.

The evolution of the best you is a fantastically rad process. But it helps to have a few reference points to start from…

  • Bullet Journal
  • Deep Habits: Plan Your Week in Advance
    • Cal Newport – “[T]he return on investment is phenomenal. To visualize your whole week at once allows you to spread out, batch, and prioritize work in a manner that significantly increases what you accomplish and goes a long way toward eliminating work pile-ups and late nights[.]”
  • Perfect Morning Routine to Have a Good Day – AOM
    • 10 minutes
    • Rule of 3 – three most important items to accomplish
    • Set Intentions – purpose helps Kairos time…see above
    • Plan for fires – what distractions could come up today
    • 15-20 minutes of physical activity
    • Set a reward for the end
  • Fixed-Scheduled Productivity – Cal Newport
    • “Fix your ideal schedule, then work backwards to make everything fit — ruthlessly culling obligations, turning people down, becoming hard to reach, and shedding marginally useful tasks along the way. The beneficial effects of this strategy on your sense of control, stress levels, and amount of important work accomplished, is profound.”
  • Productivity tips that could be worthwhile…
    • Single task – forget multi-tasking, one task at a time
    • Nightly prep for the AM
    • Sunday prep for week
    • Text to audio – pro tip, 2X speed
      • I just realized Instapaper does this, and I’m “reading” more now than ever.
      • Only way I listen to podcasts as well.
    • Meditate
    • 1 minute rule – if it takes less than a minute, do it
    • 7 second rule for clothes and dishes – do you have 7 seconds to put them away?
    • 1 touch rule – only touch things once; clothes, mail, dishes, emails, etc.
    • Stand while on the phone – conversations go faster, less distractions, and motion creates emotion
    • Big projects before lunch
    • Automate repetative tasks
      • Outsource, virtual assistant?
    • Know when/where to work. Know your personal cycle
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Love Me Today: The Significance of Small Moments & Great-Grandmother-in-Laws http://dudeknowsbest.com/love-me-today-the-significance-of-small-moments-great-grandmother-in-laws/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/love-me-today-the-significance-of-small-moments-great-grandmother-in-laws/#respond Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:31:59 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2230 Continue reading ]]> stargazingIf you’re ever going to love me love me now, while I can know
All the sweet and tender feelings which from real affection flow.
Love me now, while I am living; do not wait till I am gone
And then chisel it in marble — warm love words on ice-cold stone.

I’m not often choked up.

Or at least, that’s what I tell myself.

As life progresses, I realize my rough exterior is pierced more often than I’d like to admit. Not by sadness, but by life’s significance. The significance of all the small details, small moments.

2017 has claimed my lovely bride’s two Grandmothers. As a result, the fam has experienced two memorial services for Great Grandmothers in the past month.

Neither a surprise. Both an opportunity to reflect.

Both remembered for strength and grace.

The above poem was read at yesterday’s memorial service. A great sum of my feelings on loss and funerals.

Let the ones you love, know you love them. Now.

One of life’s many lessons: be present, aware, with a focus on Now.

But our everyday life pulls us to the opposite poll – rushed, stressed, focused on the past AND the future.

The Now requires a focused effort…Easier said than done.

I practiced my best focused effort during yesterday’s service. I related to the poem, spent time with family and reflected on the kind words.

I was surprised by a familiar twinge of emotion starting in the chest and pushing towards the eye – a tear threatening to escape.

Not because of sadness – I hope I showed love when I had the chance. It was the significance that bit so hard.

As we age, life seems more significant. In reality, we’re just more aware of the significance that has been there all along.

Great-Grandmother-in-Laws have impacted me more than I could ever imagine.

They opened their hearts, their homes, and their families. They accepted me unconditionally and trusted me with their lineage.

These moments may seem small, but the significance cannot be overstated. This kindness, this love will carry on for generations. They are in our veins and they are in our actions. I see their love in my family every day.

I know I say the words, but I’m not sure I’ve understood the significance.

Saying I love you is easy (important, but easy).

Recognizing the significance of this moment is hard.

A memorial is a great reminder. But the opportunity is Now.

A Saturday night stargazing and a Sunday morning lounging with Curious George may seem simple, normal. But the significance is hidden by the normal.

Last night’s stars were extra bright, and the hugs this morning are extra sweet.

With the right focus, perhaps I can capture more of the significance life has to offer – the people, relationships, and love that can be lost in the everyday hustle.

Pay attention to the small details and the significance of each moment.

When they are gone, they are gone. Love me today.

Thank you Mimi and Granny. We love you.

 

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The Changing Tides of Special Needs Parenting & the Cycle of Grief: We’re Lucky. But Sometimes It Doesn’t Feel That Way. [Featured on the Mighty] http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-changing-tides-of-special-needs-parenting-the-cycle-of-grief-were-lucky-but-sometimes-it-doesnt-feel-that-way-featured-on-the-mighty/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-changing-tides-of-special-needs-parenting-the-cycle-of-grief-were-lucky-but-sometimes-it-doesnt-feel-that-way-featured-on-the-mighty/#respond Sun, 10 Sep 2017 13:23:49 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2203 Continue reading ]]> Related imageFull post featured on The Mighty. 

The morning surf-check is one of life’s delicacies. A day of clean waves is nothing short of a gift from God.

Unfortunately, the clean lines that surfers crave do not always march to shore. When the variables – wind, swell, tides, etc. – are not aligned those clean lines become a mass of confusion, some days/hours/minutes more threatening than others.

Those messy, threatening days do not dilute the fortune of living by the sea. The stormy moments offer a richness that would be lost if every day was nothing but clean lines.

Similar to the rogue wave or sudden storm, life’s engineering does not always match the forecast.

The Mrs. and I have shared the beginning of our special needs parenting journey:

As this special needs journey continues, the richness matches the beauty of the sea – unfolding in calm breezes, clean waves, and favorable tides. And unexpected storms.

Unfortunately, as any surf forecaster will tell you, ignoring the storm does not change the foreboding path. Storms will arrive. And patterns will repeat.

There is a cycle of grief. And this cycle repeats. Despite my best intentions to change the unchangeable, I recognize this cycle because we experience the raw emotions – on repeat.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

We work through this grief cycle individually and as a family. We manage this cycle as best we can, and I’d like to believe we are improving with each repetition.

We yearn towards the clean lines of acceptance, and we revel in the warm sun and cool breeze of our strong, loving family. The majority of our time is spent enjoying the amazing waves of love and happiness that ALL special needs parents know.

But we need to mindful of the forecast. We don’t know when the storms will blow through, and we don’t know how hard we will need to bear down to remain grounded, but be prepared.

It’s amazing what a well-timed hug or good cry can do.

We’re lucky to live by the sea, but we’re even luckier to be special a special needs family.

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The Tao of Tetris: Life is a Game. Choose Your Strategy Wisely. http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-tao-of-tetris-life-is-a-game-choose-your-strategy-wisely/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-tao-of-tetris-life-is-a-game-choose-your-strategy-wisely/#respond Thu, 07 Sep 2017 04:19:24 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2217 Continue reading ]]> Tetris RocketSimplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.

― Lao TzuTao Te Ching

Simple isn’t easy. Life gets in the way of simple. Life is complicated.

Or perhaps we make life complicated.

Crossing into my fourth decade on this wild ride is driving me to drink determine the Tao of the Dude.

What are the rules I live by? What are my guiding principles?

If we don’t consciously determine our personal Tao (Way) than outside forces will determine the Way for us. I have let this happen far too often in my 40 years.

I need a simple framework to create a simple Tao. A Way that is easy to apply from sun up to sun down, through thick and thin.

One foundation that has caught my attention recently is the idea that life is a game. A simple mindset that adds a layer of fun to the ups and downs of the daily grind and switches the focus from survival to strategy.

This cool cat Oliver Emberton wrote a great post outlining his view of life as a game.

I’ll let you jump to the post for the full monty, but a few highlights…

  • Life is the big game with a lot of “mini games” within it.
  • Crucial to manage resources and master your use of time.
  • Everything you do affects your state and skills.
  • State = health, energy, willpower.
  • Willpower is a finite resource that fades throughout the day.
  • Important tasks first.
  • Reduce choices.
  • Choose the right tasks at the right time.
  • Ensure a healthy state and then work on skills that open new paths.
  • Combinations of skills are most effective.
    • S. Adams discusses the idea of “talent stacks” to build unique expertise.
  • All players die after about 29,000 days, or 80 years. There is no cheat code to extend this.
  • By the time most of us have figured life out, we’ve used up too much of the best parts.

I dig this simple framework to maintain focus on the important strategies of a “successful” (IE happy) life.

But there is room for this framework to grow, to deepen, to expand to life’s nuances.

If life is a game, what game is it?

Nintendo Gameboy was glued to my hand in 7th grade, and Tetris was my weapon of choice.

Are you aware that a rocket blasts off if you hit 100,000 points in the original Tetris?! You need to be dedicated to see that rocket. I was.

I wasn’t aware I was building the Tao of the Dude with each block I rotated into perfect position. But in hindsight, a life strategy was slowly taking off. 🙂

This great post by Tor Bair adds the next layer to our life is a game framework…

Our first inclination may be to view life as a game of chess where we agonize every move to vanquish our foes. But life is much more fluid than chess, and our most formidable opponent is the person we were yesterday not an enemy across the table.

Highlights to ponder:

  • Life is not us vs. them; not a zero-sum game where there needs to be a loser.
  • Your only opponent is yourself. The real game is internal.
  • Life is a game against time (29,000 days) with a random stream of inputs for you to orderly configure.
  • Life doesn’t get harder, it just gets faster.
  • Master life – like Tetris – by playing with self-control at high speeds.
  • Play for the present moment – you can’t control the board.
  • No one tells you when you “win” – you determine your path and your end goal.

Play to play. Enjoy the game. Keep it simple.

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The Gifts of Disability: Making Sense of SATB2 [Featured on The Mighty] http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-gifts-of-disability-making-sense-of-satb2-featured-on-the-mighty/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-gifts-of-disability-making-sense-of-satb2-featured-on-the-mighty/#respond Thu, 15 Dec 2016 04:01:55 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2198 Continue reading ]]> fam-picSome roads we choose and some roads choose us.

The road less traveled can be challenging. But it also offers great opportunity.

I recently discussed our new path with Awesome Mack :

Definitely a road with few travelers.

Making sense of this new reality is no small task. Missed expectations can be a bitch. Your vision moves one way, but reality jolts another.

Attachment to those missed expectations is a disservice. To you AND the new reality.

Disabilities don’t meet expectations. Screw expectations. Find the gifts.

Mack is not what we expected. He’s exactly what we need.

Embrace the rare. Be patient. Maintain perspective. Pay attention to NOW.

One of our methods to embrace our new reality is to talk about it. We want to draw attention to SATB2. We want to share with parents that may be on a similar path. We need to process the thoughts swirling in our heads.

In addition to firing words at the page here on DKB, we’ve also been selected to contribute to The Mighty – a great special needs blog that boasts the tag lines:

“Real People. Real Stories. We face disability, disease, and mental illness together.”  

And has a mere 125 MILLION readers.

Sweet, right? Yeah, we’re excited too.

You can find our first contribution here:

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Breathe In, Breathe Out: Buddhist Master Explains Easiest Way to Meditate and Train Your Monkey Mind http://dudeknowsbest.com/breathe-in-breathe-out-buddhist-master-explains-easiest-way-to-meditate-and-train-your-monkey-mind/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/breathe-in-breathe-out-buddhist-master-explains-easiest-way-to-meditate-and-train-your-monkey-mind/#respond Tue, 06 Dec 2016 03:33:38 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2195 Continue reading ]]> I’ve professed my love of meditation – perhaps the ultimate life hack.

Unfortunately, meditation is a habit that fades for many. Too much thinking. Too much sitting. Not enough Zen.

Good news. Your Monkey Mind is easy to tame, and it’s as simple as breathing.

Love this dude.

Mingyur Rinpoche – a Buddhist master – explains how to train your Monkey Mind and create an easy meditation practice – anywhere, at any time.

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Speechless: The Uncharted Territory of SATB2 Syndrome http://dudeknowsbest.com/speechless-navigating-the-uncharted-territory-of-satb2-syndrome/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/speechless-navigating-the-uncharted-territory-of-satb2-syndrome/#comments Wed, 26 Oct 2016 04:05:50 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2170 Continue reading ]]> Jasper Mack

Jasper Mack

“Be the expert.”

A platitude I’ve echoed in my head as I venture into uncharted territory.

My general lack of direction over the years has created ample opportunity for this self-talk.

But I’ve never qualified as an expert. Always onto the next horizon before my “10,000 hours” arrived.

Then I became a dad.

The fit was precise. Love, purpose, direction – the missing ingredients I never knew were missing.

The search for meaning (conscious or unconscious) was over. I knew my path to 10,000 hours – be the best dad I could be.

I didn’t really need to be an “expert.” I just needed passion.

Until now.

When actual experts confirm that I am the expert – not by choice, but by necessity – the implications are profound.

Speechless.

Almost two and a half years ago, The Mrs. and I shared an update about Awesome Mack – developmental milestones had been missed and the search was on for a cause behind those missing milestones.

That search has led us down a path with developmental specialists, neurologists, geneticists, dental exams, ex-rays, MRI’s, sight tests, hearing tests, PT, OT, speech therapy, blood tests, genetic tests …and ultimately THE ANSWER.

SATB2 Syndrome.

Never heard of it? You’re not alone.

Mack was the 53rd diagnosed case of this genetic syndrome – in the world!

But the numbers are growing. We see new members added to the FaceBook support group on a regular basis. Genetic tests are improving, and SATB2 is making waves (ripples?) in the genetic community.

What may have once been categorized as Autism (Mack was almost diagnosed), may have deeper genetic meaning.

Public Service Announcement: If you know a child – perhaps diagnosed with autism? – with no speech and some crazy teeth, a genetic test is probably worthwhile.

What to do with a SATB2 diagnosis?

Become the expert.

With so few diagnosed cases, the parents are the experts. We are the living lab. The doctors defer to the parents.

To begin, we have become very good at expounding the SATB2 highlights:

  • A de novo (anew – not passed down from parents) genetic syndrome that alters the SATB2 gene.
  • SATB2 gene regulates other genes. As a result, altering the SATB2 gene can alter other genes.
  • There are three ways the gene can be altered – deletions, duplications and mutations (“misspellings” within the gene).
  • A Dr. in Arkansas is currently compiling a study of the known cases.
  • There are commonalities among the diagnosed cases, but the sample size is small and much research is needed…assuming the medical community stays interested and funding materializes.
    • Nonprofit? Another topic for another time.
  • Common characteristics: developmental delay, speech delay, dental abnormalities, behavior abnormalities.
    • A common theme but a wide spectrum.

Speechless.

It feels cold to discuss statistics, characteristics, and cases. But that’s what experts do, and that’s the world we’ve been thrown into.

A technical mindset is a must to navigate the medical, educational and financial aspects of a lifelong march into uncharted territory. We need to work within large, established bureaucracies, and we need to fight for our needs. We need to speak their language. We need to be the expert.

But that technical mindset doesn’t change the fact that this group paving the way into uncharted territory is full of children, parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, Grandparents, and friends. People.

We’re not just cases and numbers lumped into studies. We are the experts, but we are also the emotions that lie beneath the surface. Our determination creates a suit of armor difficult to penetrate, but our love for those we fight for keeps us vulnerable.

A paradox that can be difficult to manage.

Finding the SATB2 answer has removed a small piece of hope – hope that things could all of the sudden be “normal.” Perhaps hope is overrated.

More important than hope, knowledge gives us the will to fight for what we believe in. The determination to overcome the odds. The courage to march into uncharted territory.

The strength to be the expert.

Where does Jasper Mack fall into all of this? Speechless.

  • Mack has a “misspelling.”
    • Because there are a lot of chromosomes that could be “misspelled” and there are so few cases, Mack is literally the only known case with his specific diagnosis.
  • MRI at 1 year showed abnormal white matter on his gray matter. MRI at 2 years showed no change. No regression – great. But why abnormal…who knows?
    • A few other cases show abnormal MRIs, but not all. No conclusions.
  • The Mack Attack is full of love. His “behavior abnormality” seems to be overly happy and friendly. Always smiling. Loves hugs.
    • Although he does have his breakdowns, and other experts (IE parents) have indicated that frustration seems to build with age – one theory is the lack of speech/communication aggravates…seems sensible.
  • Jazzy Mack has no speech. Sounds, but no words. We’ve been working on signs (and speech) for almost two years, and he is only consistent with a few. We are also in the process of being approved (add insurance to our list of expertise) for a communication device – a board with pictures for Mack to choose from.
    • We are told that his receptive language is higher than we may know. We believe this to be true, but with little communication, it can be hard to tell what “sinks in.”
  • Mackie Mack has decent gross and fine coordination, but not perfect. A lot of PT and OT has improved but not corrected this. The work continues. In the end, it could be neurological, but who knows?
  • The Boy eats like a champ and is almost as tall as his bro 2.5 years older, but he’s thin and does not gain weight easily.
  • Mack has 4-5 days of therapies per week – speech, PT, OT, and he has a full-time aide with him for three days of preschool.
  • Progress is being made every day. It may be slow, but it’s progress.

We may not seem like experts. We may not act like experts. But when it comes to SATB2, we are the undisputed experts. And our expertise is growing daily.

Why us? Why Mack?

Natural questions, but not worth the energy. No one has the answer, and the answer doesn’t matter.

This is our world. This is our fight. This is our Mack.

Our family is exactly the way it should be. Mack is exactly who he should be and exactly where he should be. We are stronger, better people because of Mack.

I relish the opportunity to be the expert that I need to be.

fam-pic

Update: Mom & Dad interview…

PS – It’s funny how life gives you what you need when you need it. Coincidence? Synchronicity?

While you wrestle with that conundrum, check out the trailer for an ABC show called Speechless. A great view of being the expert. We can relate…

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This Pooping Unicorn Will Make You Question Reality http://dudeknowsbest.com/this-pooping-unicorn-will-make-you-question-reality/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/this-pooping-unicorn-will-make-you-question-reality/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 03:12:35 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2164 Continue reading ]]> Image result for squatty potty unicornThere are a lot of reasons to question the reality we are fed – from parents, peers, schools, government, media, food, medical, blah, blah, blah.

Conspiracy theories abound.

More importantly, conspiracies abound.

Everyone is selling the idea they believe in.

But does anyone actually “know?” I mean reaaaalllllly know.

I don’t.

And I think we’re all guessing. At just about everything.

We talk like we know. We discuss “facts” as if they are factual. We try to fool ourselves into believing we know.

But we don’t…

Universe came from the Big Bang?

Oil comes from dinos that died to give us Netflix?

Oh look, here’s a man-made structure that’s 47,600 years old!

Yeah, but hunter-gathers were still just roaming chasing food 10K years ago, right?

At least we know how our current worldview was created – like money and debt…

  • Then again, tracing Debt back 5,000 years offers a different perspective.

We reaaaalllly don’t know. And that’s awesome.

Life is wide open. One big treasure hunt.

Be open. Be aware. Be ready to learn from anyone at any time.

But don’t believe the “facts” just because they’re fed to you.

Think for yourself.

Here, I’ll get you started.

You know how to poop, right? Sure…we all do. #2 has been our close compadre all our lives.

But maybe we’ve been doing it wrong…at least since the brainwashing potty-trainers got a hold of us.

Don’t believe me? The below pooping unicorn will make you change your life…and question reality.

If we don’t know how to poop, then what do we know?!

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The Yin & Yang of Being Beaten by Your Kid http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-yin-yang-of-being-beaten-by-your-kid/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-yin-yang-of-being-beaten-by-your-kid/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 16:35:15 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2154 Continue reading ]]> I have three claims-to-fame in my 39 years on this lovely planet.

  1. I once placed 2nd in a BMX bike race. Seven years old. My first BMX bike. A brand new birthday helmet. A big dirt track with hills and jumps. Early 80’s when BMX was super cool. And I came in 2nd…in my very first race! There were only two riders. It was also my last BMX race. But I did hang my red 2nd place ribbon on my wall.
  2. In the 8th-grade yearbook, I was selected as “Best Dressed.” The climax of my life – and the height of my style – was only a short 25 years ago. Not too shabby.
  3. At six, I was the youngest green belt my YMCA Karate instructor had ever encountered. I stopped shortly thereafter. A local YMCA record seemed sufficient.

There are no BMX tracks near us.

8th grade is still a long way off.

But…

On Saturday, Little Dude captured his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. He’s only five.

My meaningless YMCA record has been crushed. By my prodigy.

Sort of.

There’s a bit of a technicality.

As “they” say, every great teacher wants their student to be better than them.

I love seeing Little Dude kicking ass and taking names. It literally warms my heart – yes, literally, as in my heart is physically warmer watching the awesomeness of my offspring.

But…

Dad’s don’t like to be beaten. Especially by their kids. At anything.

The technicality…

In the generic YMCA karate of my youth, the green belt followed the white belt. In Little Dude’s TKD class, green follows yellow.

In Little Dude’s mind, Dad is still in the lead. And I’m keeping it that way.

I have the green belt (thanks Mom), and I’ll pass it down when the time is right – IE when Little Dude is 7.

Long live the Dad champ!

Congrats Little Dude…

And for contrast…

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The Mysterious Life of Bob Ross…Still a Mystery. But Now We can Watch the Very First “Joy of Painting” Episode. http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-mysterious-life-of-bob-ross-still-a-mystery-but-now-we-can-watch-the-very-first-joy-of-painting-episode/ http://dudeknowsbest.com/the-mysterious-life-of-bob-ross-still-a-mystery-but-now-we-can-watch-the-very-first-joy-of-painting-episode/#respond Sun, 06 Dec 2015 03:15:25 +0000 http://dudeknowsbest.com/?p=2092 Continue reading ]]> A gross disservice. A disservice to you – dear reader, to me, and most of all to the legend himself, Bob Ross.

I have spewed 312 posts on this very blog, and not one of them has referenced the venerable Mr. Ross.

However, as Bob would say, “there are no mistakes; just happy accidents.” No need to dwell in the past. Let’s celebrate the present.

A present that now offers the ability to consume the very first Bob Ross episode of The Joy of Painting

Awesome.

Click here to view the embedded video.

In fact, we can now joyously watch the entire first season of The Joy of Painting

Click here to view the embedded video.

Actually, 70 full episodes of Bob!

Click here to view the embedded video.

I’ve missed Bob. His soothing voice, cool as a cucumber attitude, amazing afro…and happy trees.

I was coming up during Bob’s heyday. I’m pretty sure he was my babysitter on a few occasions.

I didn’t paint. I just watched. That’s how cool Bob is.

I never knew any backstory on Bob. He was just a groovy dude jamming out rad paintings at the speed of light.

Turns out he’s a bit of a mystery. And that just adds to his cool.

Here’s a great article about Mr. Ross: The Surprisingly Mysterious Life of Famed Artist Bob Ross, and some interesting Bob facts…

  • Nobody ever really asked Bob Ross to do any interviews and he only gave a handful of them over the course of his life. “I never turn down requests for interviews. I’m just rarely asked”.  Missed opportunity!
  •  PBS once lost track of him until Ross called to let them know he’d moved to Orlando after the fact.
  • His company, Bob Ross, Inc, today is fiercely protective of their intellectual property and Bob Ross’ privacy, even in death.
  • Ross left school in the 9th grade to support himself as a carpenter with his father.
  • When he hit age 18, Ross joined the Air Force which saw him relocated from Florida to Alaska.
  • He disliked the job because it forced him to be “mean.”Ross left the Air Force after two decades of service, supposedly quipping that he’d never yell or raise his voice again.
  • Ross found inspiration after watching a show called, The Magic of Oil Painting hosted by artist, Bill Alexander.
  • Ross would later use an almost identical format for his show, The Joy of Painting, which greatly annoyed Alexander.
  • After leaving the Air Force, Ross returned to Florida in the early 1980s intent on seeking out Bill Alexander to learn the finer points of wet-on-wet painting. Alexander, who was an art teacher in his spare time, happily taught Ross everything he knew about painting, blissfully unaware that he was training his soon to be arch-nemesis.
  • With money tight, Ross made the bizarre decision to have his hair permed, exchanging the military crew cut he’d sported for two decades for his now iconic afro. Ross’ reasoning was that if he permed his hair, he’d save money in the long run because he’d no longer need to pay to have his hair trimmed once a week. Ross kept the ‘fro for the rest of his life, though grew to dislike it in his later years.
  • Exactly how Ross went from “perming his hair to save five dollars” to “being on TV” isn’t clear.
  • When the time came to film the first episode of The Joy of Painting, Ross made the conscious decision to speak as though he were talking to a singular viewer, giving the illusion that he was giving a private lesson.
  • Ross almost exclusively wore jeans and a casual shirt throughout the show’s run, a look he felt would be “current” regardless of how many years later an individual episode was aired.
  • Ross was never actually paid for appearing in the show and he never sold a single painting featured on it. The show was instead used as a vehicle to promote Ross’ teaching business, interest in which exploded after the show first aired. Over time, the business expanded to include Bob Ross branded brushes, paint, supplies, etc., all making Ross a millionaire.
  • As for his paintings, with the exception of the ones he sold to tourists during his time in Alaska, Ross gave away virtually all of them made during the show’s 403 episode run. As for the thousands of other paintings Ross made during his life, many of them were similarly given away or, when Ross became a household name, given to various charitable causes to be auctioned off.

Interested in hanging an original Bob Ross in your humble abode? Good luck.

Bob may have been charitable with his paintings, but the general public sure isn’t. Here a screen shot of the top two B. Ross paintings on Ebay – yes, that’s $20K+!!!

Related Bob Ross links…

 

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