Friday, February 28, 2020

Day 3 challenge: Raise awareness about Period Poverty

Today's lent 40 day challenge was the last one I looked at before starting.

It's do something about period poverty - help raise awareness.

This is not the kind of thing I normally post about of Facebook, but it's a real problem, and International Paper is helping to do something about it.
As you can see in the video - we originally thought that period poverty was a problem in other parts of the world. While that's true, it's also a problem in the US.
I'm proud to say that I know two of the employees who are packing the cartons in this video.

Link to the video

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Day 2 Challenge: Turn off the phone and help someone

Today's lent 40 day challenge:  Look for ways to help others.

So the options for this one were:
1) Put away your phone and all distractions for the length of your commute and watch for needs, or
2) At midday and 3pm (or two other times) spend 5 minutes looking for a way to be generous, or
3) Put your phone on airplane mode for as long as practical. When you go to reach for your phone, think of how you can be generous to someone instead.
Given that my commute is around 6 hours today and I need to get some things done option one won't work.
Option two might work on a normal day but on a flight day, not so much.
So I'm going to put the phone on airplane mode and skip the mindless games during the flight. I will get my work done and then think of ways to help others.


I took off my headphones in the jetway. That enabled me to have a conversation with a young boy behind me. He was telling his mom that a trampoline from the jetway to the plane would be fun. I told him that if he did that I'd fly on his airplane for sure.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

(Day one) Lent challenge - 40 generous acts

I decided to find something different for lent this year. I found a site called 40 acts. The idea is to do 40 generous / charitable acts over lent. Things that will help others.
The site ( has the daily charitable challenges. I looked ahead for two days and decided "Okay I'm in". No idea what days 4-40 look like, I'm taking that on faith.
Today's challenge was easy: Commit to doing 40 generous acts, set a reminder, and get an accountability partner (in my case that will be Facebook).
Here we go!
(To be clear, I'm also giving up Frosted Mini Wheats...)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

This post may be about hockey. Or it may be about my dad. Or maybe both

On yesterday's flight to Seattle I watched an episode of Silicon Valley (because the idea of obnoxious IT professionals appeals to me... go figure).

At the end of this episode Jared (aka Gabe from the Office) meets Gwart (played by Nandini Bapat). And as soon as he meets her the song "Easy Lovin'" by Freddie Hart starts playing.

I hadn't heard Easy Lovin for 40 years. But my dad loved it, and loved singing along to it, when it came out in 1970. Oh wait... make that 50 years.

Anyway, three notes in and I have a vivid memory of the song. I didn't remember Freddie Hart's name (but I did remember Freddie...) but I knew the song instantly.

Alas, the song is not on iTunes.

So tonight, I get home from dinner, and I realize that I need 5000 steps to get to 10,000 (slow day).

I went to the fitness center and turned on the Blues / Blackhawks game. And I find a YouTube clip of Freddie Hart singing the song.  About halfway in, I stop watching the game (it was Blackhawks 3, Blues 2) and start watching the rest of the video. 

Two minutes later the video is finished, and I look up and see that it's now Blues 4, Blackhawks 3.

Did I really missed two goals???

I go to my phone and find that, yes, the Blues did score two goals in about a minute.

As I'm reading this, I look up and see that the Blackhawks have tied the game at 4.

I immediately switch to iTunes music, and watch the rest of the game (final was Blues 6, Blackhawks 5).

But watching the video of Freddie Hart left a great impression. He was a guy who sang country music for 20 plus years with little acclaim (I looked him up). Then in 1970 he had his big hit.

The video of the live performance showed a guy who was genuinely happy to be on stage singing, and a guy who gave credit to his back up band.

No wonder dad liked him...

Note: There are about 1,000 other country songs that dad loved and loved singing along with... so this memory could repeat itself for years. I hope it does.