Martin Luther King Jr. Day

It was a shame that Robby Novak had to grow up. (He’s 18 or so now.) They ended that amazing series so he could concentrate on being a kid, and that makes perfect sense in every respect of course. Still, you might have found yourself hoping that they’d pass the torch. You could have written a storyline about that — a storyline of positivity, of course.

I remember when I was first introduced to this interview, some 12 or so years ago, perhaps. It came to me as part of a conversation about the larger message, the work incomplete, and the issue at hand. All of that was, and is, true. And the interview is remarkable. The first thing you notice is the composition of the shot. But it won’t be the last thing you notice.

This was an important interview, absolutely worth your time. Go ahead and bookmark it if you can’t watch it all right now, but do watch it. And then, maybe, like me, be grateful that we have places available to dip our toes into such important source material.

The world needs more three-day weekends. I say that with all of the respect today deserves. There are a great many important people and ideas to celebrate. We could only benefit by having more opportunities to acknowledge and learn, and our communities would be better for the service. Having a few more four-day work weeks would be a nice byproduct, sure, but that’s not the point I’m after here. I figure one a month, March through October, would be a fine civic contribution.

And, on some of those days, we’d even have nice weather. Law of averages and all that. Saturday we had some sun early. It was gray and cold all day Sunday. It rained most of today. The next seven days we’ll be between 28 and 53 degrees. We might get some sun two or three of those days. We might get some snow or rain on three of those days.

Ninety more days until spring.

We played a few hands on dominos yesterday afternoon. The cat, who only swatted at the tiles one time, managed to eek out a win.

Which makes this as good a place as any to put this week’s installment of the most popular feature on the blog. It’s time to check in with the kitties.

A few days ago I was able to catch Phoebe in shadow and light. It’s a moody image, both dark and mysterious and bright and shiny. Also, stay away from her tennis ball.

Poseidon has placed an order online for a deliver, and he’s spending a fair amount of time waiting on the delivery guy to bring it to him.

I guess he didn’t spring for the overnight delivery. Smart cat.

He got a bit trapped the other night. This cat, that always wants to go outside — they’re strictly indoor pets — has to have his under-the-cover time to keep warm, you see. And if a fuzzy blanket has been deployed Phoebe will find her way to sit on it. So Saturday night …

He looks thrilled by that development, doesn’t he? Look at those eyes. He’s positively delighted to find his blanket time being intruded upon. He allowed me to take three quick photos before he left in disgust.

This is the section where I’m sharing things that, judged too good to close, have been sitting in open tabs for far too long. Today’s first tab features a poem. I ran across it near the end of 2021. That’s a long time to have a tab open, in my estimation. (But I’ve got older tabs, though, as you’ll eventually see.) Lovely poem though.

Keep Your Faith in Beautiful Things

Keep your faith in beautiful things;
in the sun when it is hidden,
in the Spring when it is gone.
And then you will find that Duty and Service and Sacrifice—
all the old ogres and bugbears of —
have joy imprisoned in their deepest dungeons!
And it is for you to set them free —
the immortal joys that no one —
No living soul, or fate, or circumstance—
Can rob you of, once you have released them.

It was written by Roy Rolfe Gilson, Spanish-American War veteran, newspaperman, author and, finally, an Episcopal rector. Born in Iowa, in 1875, Rev. Gilson died in 1933, and is buried in Maryland, where he had served in a parish. He wrote for papers in Michigan. He’s quoted in his obituary. “The best known of my works is ‘In the Morning Glow‘, and is not a child’s book, but an attempt to preserve in words something of that exquisite loveliness of the American home as it has been in its simplicity, and never more beautiful than when seen through the eyes of a little child, to whom the father is a hero and the mother a heroine, and even the toy soldiers have an identity and name.

“It is never the bizarre or unusual that makes me wish to work, but the poetry and comedy in everyday life, in the common lot … If my stories are idyllic, it is not because I wish to write pretty things, but because I have a friendly eye for those secret quests on which we pass each other disguised in foolishness, but wearing beneath a lovely raiment of dreams.”

You can read the entire book, which he published in 1908, at that link.

(So I guess I’ll have that tab open for a while … )

(I just read the first chapter — sweet and innocent and charmingly sentimental, but you knew what was coming. I’ll be reading the rest.)

If memory serves, I googled this because of something I read in a Quora answer about some job interview techniques. I’d never heard of this, neumonic, or seen the concept spelled out, and so it seemed like something to learn about.

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

More: What is the STAR method?

The STAR method is an interview technique that gives you a straightforward format you can use to tell a story by laying out the Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.
Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.

By using these four components to shape your anecdote, it’s much easier to share a focused answer, providing the interviewer with “a digestible but compelling narrative of what a candidate did,” says Muse Career Coach Al Dea, founder of CareerSchooled. “They can follow along, but also determine based on the answer how well that candidate might fit with the job.”

I suspect this structure is useful in some circumstances. But in others, well, there are a lot of odd interview … let’s call them techniques … out there.

And now I can close these two tabs, meaning on one of my phone’s browsers I now only have … 40 tabs open. Progress!

I had a 30-mile ride on Saturday, including some outrageous (for me) power numbers. To be honest, I am not yet clear on how to interpret these things. Occasionally my watts look more impressive than others, and I’ll google them, just to see how they all measure up. On those days, I have almost-weekend-warrior sort of numbers.

For instance, Saturday I hit 1,048 watts on a sprint. What’s that mean? It means I was standing up and going hard while simultaneously trying to keep my bike in the trainer. That’s pretty close to my recorded maximum. Apparently world-class sprint track cyclists can touch 2,200 watts. So … I’m not that guy.

But then I was going up a hill and looked at the watts in the HUD graphic and …

That’s on a climb and, for me, impressive. I am in no way a climber, but I have lately been getting over small punchy hills in an almost-timely fashion. I’ve just had brief moments of good legs the last few days, basically. There’s something to be said for riding a lot. And that something is “Your legs will feel tired all of the time, but when you get them moving … ”

2023 Zwift route tracker: After today’s 25-mile ride I have completed 34 of the routes on Zwift, and there are 86 to go.

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