Joshua Wilner http://joshuawilner.com A Writer Writes Tue, 18 Aug 2015 18:38:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 http://joshuawilner.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/JWLinkedIn3-5492414cv1_site_icon-32x32.png Joshua Wilner http://joshuawilner.com 32 32 Do You Read Newspapers? http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/18/do-you-read-newspapers/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/18/do-you-read-newspapers/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 18:38:35 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5560 Until quite recently I received a hard copy of my local newspaper on a daily basis. I did it because I really enjoy reading the paper and because it was important to me for my children to see that we are active readers of both news and fiction. They need to be active participants in […]

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blogging changeUntil quite recently I received a hard copy of my local newspaper on a daily basis.

I did it because I really enjoy reading the paper and because it was important to me for my children to see that we are active readers of both news and fiction.

They need to be active participants in life and society and part of doing that involves making sure you are informed.

However we reached a time where I realized that I consuming the majority of news online and just a portion of it via that hard copy of the paper so I had adjust my subscription.

Actually I had to do it twice, the first was from daily to Thursday-Sun and then just to Sunday.

I did it because I wasn’t reading the hard copy every day and it seemed like a terrible waste of paper so I reluctantly adjusted to the current schedule.

My news reading is still daily, but the primary source is electronic.

It Changed Long Ago

Truth is that change took place long ago because for years the hard copy of the paper has been a supplement. That is what happens when you can’t update at mouse speed.

But I felt guilty about it for a while and guilty again when I cut down to just one day a week.

So I am curious dear reader about your reading habits, do you still receive a hard copy of a newspaper and if so, how often do you get/read it?

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Do Things Bring Happiness? http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/15/do-things-bring-happiness/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/15/do-things-bring-happiness/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 04:14:03 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5539 I can’t tell you what made the truck burst into flames or if anyone was injured in the crash or the fire. All I know is that it created one hell of a traffic jam and that it extended my commute by an additional 45 minutes. When you are stuck between exits and know that […]

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lincolnhappyI can’t tell you what made the truck burst into flames or if anyone was injured in the crash or the fire. All I know is that it created one hell of a traffic jam and that it extended my commute by an additional 45 minutes.

When you are stuck between exits and know that unless your car develops wings you are going to be there until the vehicles in front of you start moving you find ways to occupy your mind.

Sometimes that means listening to music, developing to-do lists in your head or just thinking about whatever crosses your mind.

An RV Or Jet Would Be Nice

After a solid ten minutes of not moving I looked at the Tesla on my left and the Winnebago on my right and started thinking about possessions and what I really need/want in my life.

It started with wondering what it would take to turn my my car into a version of a Harrier Jet, you know the kind of plane that can take off vertically because with something like that I wouldn’t care about the cars that were five feet front and back of me.

I could just take off, no runway needed.

But then I started wondering about the engineering requirements and whether the force of the jets would make my car rattle apart because after all, it is 15 years-old.

Don’t even get me started on whether it is aerodynamic enough to fly efficiently.

because taking my home wherever I went like a turtle might cut down on the commute.Click To Tweet

So I moved from that thought to wondering if I would want to live in a Winnebago because taking my home wherever I went like a turtle might cut down on the commute.

I have never lived in one so my thoughts here are theoretical, but I would imagine that one of the primary components of being happy living in a recreational vehicle is having one that you like spending time inside of.

Of course I have to also believe the location you park yours in might play a significant role in your happiness too, but when you are stuck in traffic you don’t necessarily pick apart all of the elements of happiness in an RV, you just brush against them or at least if you are me that is what happens.

Anyhoo, my thoughts about whether I would want that RV were shattered by the head shaking caused by the idiots i front of me who kept trying to pull closer to the burning truck so they could snap more photos.

I don’t know about you, but my epitaph isn’t going to read “died while trying to take a selfie with a burning truck.”

Cursing Cars

Traffic started moving before I had time to worry about whether the people in front of me were going to do something really stupid and I had to focus on coming back up to speed in a car that believes acceleration is optional.

Somewhere in between cursing the vehicle for being stubborn and wondering whether that would be the day I chose to buy a new car I started thinking about what sort of car I needed and what I really wanted.

It led me back to my apartment in Texas and memories about how little I had there and how happy I was.

littlestuff
I don’t need much to be happy.

I took the photos in that collage just before the movers came so you won’t get as clear a picture of how little or how much I really had in it.

Here is the manifest I created for myself before we packed the truck:

12 boxes
1 queen size bed,
one 40 inch TV,
1 folding table three chairs
two plastic containers
1 couch
3 suitcases

That doesn’t cover what I took in the car with me, laptop, small backpack with clothes and toiletries and a portable GPS.

Nor does it provide you with any indication of the size of the boxes so you don’t know how most were filled with books and the rest were a combination of kitchen stuff, odds and ends and assorted things.

I loved that place. It will forever be locked in memory as being somewhere I spent some of the happiest moments of my life.

Do Things Bring Happiness?

Perspective is a wonderful thing. If you were to compare the apartment I had twenty some years before that one in Texas you’d immediately notice the differences.

One looked like a recent college graduate had scraped together a couple of bucks and was just barely getting by and the other looked like it was lived in by some one who had enough money to buy real furniture.

I suppose I ought to mention that manifest doesn’t tell you about vacuum cleaner or entertainment center I gave away.

They were in good enough condition to travel but I got rid of them because I had duplicates waiting in LA and because I knew I had a ton of things waiting for me.

Things that don’t have memories attached to them are just stuff and I am not very attached to stuff.  Stuff is replaceable.

So the answer to the question of whether I need things to be happy is it depends.

And the older I get the more time I spend trying to rid myself of stuff because in my head stuff is often equated with clutter and who needs more of that.

A Final Thought…Maybe

Sometimes I wonder how my perspective would be influenced by money. That really starts to tear into want versus need so maybe we’ll save that for a different day.

So I’ll close with I need and want that flying car, if it is good enough for George Jetson it is good enough for me.

What do you think?

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Hello I Must Be Going http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/12/hello-i-must-be-going/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/12/hello-i-must-be-going/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 17:45:41 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5528 I got ‘carded’ at a restaurant not long ago. It made me smile when the first response to my drink order was to be asked for proof of my age. Can’t tell you the last time someone was worried about whether I was of legal age. I just smiled, pulled out my driver’s license and […]

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Hello I Must Be going
I got ‘carded’ at a restaurant not long ago.

It made me smile when the first response to my drink order was to be asked for proof of my age. Can’t tell you the last time someone was worried about whether I was of legal age.

I just smiled, pulled out my driver’s license and told the waitress that I graduated from college last century. At the time I didn’t think twice about it because I was just being silly.

It was just one of those innocuous comments that come back for a visit long after they have passed between our lips. No reason to think twice about it, nothing serious to be found within it, or so I thought.

A few weeks later my son walked into the kitchen and effortlessly reached into a cabinet that had once been inaccessible to him without a stool.

I stood in the corner and watched him grab a few more items as he prepared his own lunch and realized if the next chunk of time follows a certain path we could be at the tail end of his living at home.

It caught me by surprise.

It was just one of those innocuous comments that come back for a visit long after they have passed between our lips. No reason to think twice about it, nothing serious to be found within it, or so I thought.Click To Tweet

Could he really be that old?

Could I?

It is kind of a ridiculous question because I was in the room the day he was born. I know exactly how he came to be from start to finish but that didn’t make me wonder if maybe my math was flawed.

That little man of mine isn’t so little any more.

Four years of high school have started and within a blink they’ll pass by and he’ll be off to college. It is not ridiculous to say that he could go to school out of state and never move back home.

Mind you, none of this is a bad thing.

The point of parenting is to raise kids to become independent and productive members of society.

But I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me a little bit to realize how close to the moment where he really heads off on his own.

How Did It Get Late So Soon?

It is hard enough for me to accept that it is almost 30 years since I graduated high school or that it is more than 20 since I earned my degree but both are easier than recognizing how old the kids are.

My baby isn’t really a baby anymore either.

She is a girl racing full speed towards becoming a teenager with no regard for what her fast pace is doing to my hair.

This is not to say that there haven’t been a number of moments where I wonder who stopped the clock and agonized over how long some things were taking.

There have been plenty of those and I anticipate there will be more to come. That is the joy of the roller coaster nature of life.

But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to stop the clock for my own purposes and find a way to stand at the side of the pond skipping rocks with the kids.

Nor am I ready to concede my place as strongest and fastest in the house.

You might see those as being silly needs, but I take pleasure in those being among my biggest concerns because they are indicators about how many problems I have.

If those are among the top things I focus upon than I know life is pretty good.

Now if I can only figure out that time stopping thing, that would be one hell of a nifty trick.

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How To Make The Most Of Your Time http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/10/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-time/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/10/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-time/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 18:45:13 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5523 I like a lot of the suggestions in this presentation. There are some great tips in there but there is one that wasn’t spelled out in detail. Take time for yourself. I am talking about scheduling time to do nothing but something that you find relaxing and enjoyable. That is one of the best ways […]

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I like a lot of the suggestions in this presentation. There are some great tips in there but there is one that wasn’t spelled out in detail.

Take time for yourself.

I am talking about scheduling time to do nothing but something that you find relaxing and enjoyable. That is one of the best ways to recharge your batteries and put yourself in a position to make more use of your time.

Why?

Because life is meant to be lived and experienced. Sometimes in our effort not to waste time we miss or forget that and it is to our detriment.

What do you think?

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If You Weren’t There, Did It Happen? http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/06/if-you-werent-there-did-it-happen/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/06/if-you-werent-there-did-it-happen/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 16:52:23 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5517 The Churchill quote with a Statue of Liberty backdrop is intentional on my part. You can blame attribute the inspiration for that upon some conversations I have seen take place in person and online where fierce debates have raged about historical events and how they should be interpreted/understood. Coincidentally I stumbled upon a Washington Post […]

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whomakeshistory
The Churchill quote with a Statue of Liberty backdrop is intentional on my part.

You can blame attribute the inspiration for that upon some conversations I have seen take place in person and online where fierce debates have raged about historical events and how they should be interpreted/understood.

Coincidentally I stumbled upon a Washington Post article about how the Associated Press (AP) uploaded more than a half million historical film clips to its YouTube channel.

Why Is That Interesting/Relevant?

If you enjoy history as much as I do it is interesting to see clips about things you might have only read about.  For example they have footage of the Titanic leaving Belfast Lough for Southampton, 1912, Victory in Europe Day, 1945 and the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., 1968.

Relevant because some events are harder to understand outside the context of their moment in time.  Sometimes it is hard to understand how or why people did things so these clips might help add some insight.

I’d also say it is relevant and useful because many people think they know/remember what happened during a particular moment in time but really don’t have the sort of clarity and recall they claim to have.

And they are useful to help with the “if you weren’t there. did it happen crowd.” You know those people who claim that certain historical events didn’t really happen or if they did, they weren’t quite what we have been told they were.

Truth is some of those conspiracy theorists won’t accept film footage that is in dispute with their beliefs, but you can’t please everyone.

Never Enough Time

Now if I can only find a block of free time to go watch some of these clips…

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Star Trek Technology Is So…Ordinary http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/01/star-trek-technology-is-so-ordinary/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/08/01/star-trek-technology-is-so-ordinary/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 17:05:12 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5508 A thousand years ago when I was but a wee lad we would watch Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Bones and the guys in the red shirts who were always doomed to die use incredible technology to travel through space and time. Out on the school yard we’d talk about what we would do if we […]

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dream by day

A thousand years ago when I was but a wee lad we would watch Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Bones and the guys in the red shirts who were always doomed to die use incredible technology to travel through space and time.

Out on the school yard we’d talk about what we would do if we had our own spaceship, Phazers and Tricorders. We had big plans, grand ideas for adventures.

And then we’d watch episodes of Welcome Back Kotter, All In The Family and Happy Days. The Sweat Hogs, Archie Bunker, Ritchie and The Fonz would bring us back to a reality that was a bit different from what we saw on Star Trek but it never stopped us from hoping that maybe one day we’d see these things.

Really, we were children of the seventies and we knew that something bigger was coming.

Maybe it was because we were still kids who played outside until dark and rode our bikes all over the city without parents in tow.

Or maybe it was something else, the how and why isn’t really a part of this post.

Nah, this is focused on how we watched Q give James Bond the coolest tech to defeat the bad guys and the hope we had that maybe one day we’d gain access to it too.

Our Children Don’t Appreciate Tech

Our children don’t really appreciate how cool it is to have all of this technology on hand. Smartphones are ordinary and they don’t know from not being able to pause their favorite television show because they had to pee.

They don’t know about life without computers, typewriters and the Internet.

It is all normal and ordinary to them.

That is not necessarily a good or bad thing, it is just a thing but sometimes I wonder about it.

Wonder because does imagination do better when you have a framework of ideas to base your dreams upon or does that framework also serve as a prison that restricts what you can or cannot imagine.

I don’t have a definitive opinion about that, but I enjoy mulling over the ideas.

What do you think?

Bonus: Star Trek Tech Brought To Life

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Life & Business Lessons As Taught By John Wooden http://joshuawilner.com/2015/07/30/life-business-lessons-as-taught-by-john-wooden/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/07/30/life-business-lessons-as-taught-by-john-wooden/#respond Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:18:46 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5506 People who aren’t real familiar with John Wooden might not be aware that he was far more than a just a college basketball coach. He was a man who could teach you life and business lessons that you can use off the court just as easily as he could teach you how to win on […]

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People who aren’t real familiar with John Wooden might not be aware that he was far more than a just a college basketball coach.

He was a man who could teach you life and business lessons that you can use off the court just as easily as he could teach you how to win on it.

I never get tired of learning from him. This video is worth watching again and again.

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Did Technology Kill Communication? http://joshuawilner.com/2015/07/26/did-technology-kill-communication/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/07/26/did-technology-kill-communication/#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 23:36:17 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5495 A dear friend and I wandered through the student union at the university we attended and were surprised not by how many buildings were gone or renovated but by what we didn’t see. Eyeballs. We didn’t see eyeballs. Yeah, I know that sounds sort of odd but when I provide more details it will make […]

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The impact of technology is...
The impact of technology is…

A dear friend and I wandered through the student union at the university we attended and were surprised not by how many buildings were gone or renovated but by what we didn’t see.

Eyeballs.

We didn’t see eyeballs.

Yeah, I know that sounds sort of odd but when I provide more details it will make sense.

In our day it wasn’t uncommon to find us sitting at a table at the student union or to find us sharing a pitcher of beer on the balcony at the Pub that overlooked the swimming pool.

We’d watch the girls walk by, talk about classes, talk about summer break and just hang out. But the way we hung out then appeared to be very different than what we saw.

That is because this last time on campus what we noticed was how many people were lost in electronic devices so instead of seeing eyeballs we saw the tops of the their heads.

From our non scientific, impromptu study it appeared to us that people spent more time in electronic bubbles than talking to the people who were sitting next to or across from them.

Since there was nothing scientific about our approach I can’t tell you if our conclusion is accurate or false. I can only tell you I wonder if there is something to it.

Did Technology Kill Communication?

Every time my children have a birthday party or some other function I find myself noticing how there are always children who seem to be more engaged with their electronic devices than with the people around them.

I watch them and wonder what the real impact of technology is on communication.

I think about how technology has shrunk the world in such a way that my children don’t understand why someone should be quiet because you are on a “long distance” telephone call and yet fewer people seem to use the telephone to speak.

Are the devices that were supposed to improve communication and increase productivity doing so or are they causing other issues?

Those of you who have had conversations with me know that I’ll ask you how know something is true and inquire about sources and facts.

So when I ask if technology has killed communication some of it is done tongue-in-cheek because I don’t have any data I can use to give a definitive yes or no.

But that doesn’t stop the father in me from making sure I work hard to make sure my kids never lose the ability to communicate face-to-face and or use a telephone.

That might be the most important or among the most important skills a person can have, the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas.

conversation

I suppose the Mark Twain quote above is proof that commentary and thought about whether people were communicating isn’t a new idea.

There is certainly no doubt that every generation seems to look back at those that come after as being questionable.

Still I can’t stop thinking about what sort of influence technology has upon our children and those that follow. Do people know how to put their devices down and just talk or is there something to our concern.

What do you think?

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It’s Not Even Close- LA Would Beat Chicago http://joshuawilner.com/2015/07/20/its-not-even-close-la-would-beat-chicago/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/07/20/its-not-even-close-la-would-beat-chicago/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2015 05:51:11 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5490 We would beat em by fifty “what you think”. Let me know and don’t hold back A photo posted by DR. SHAQUILLE O’NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on Jul 19, 2015 at 5:29pm PDT If you are in need of a break from the political rhetoric and the important daily tasks we all take on I have […]

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We would beat em by fifty “what you think”. Let me know and don’t hold back

A photo posted by DR. SHAQUILLE O’NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

If you are in need of a break from the political rhetoric and the important daily tasks we all take on I have a gift for you.

I am going to join the hubbub surrounding Shaq’s Instagram from the other day and say I’ll take the Lakers over the Bulls.

Don’t think I can go so as far as to say they would win by 50 but they would win. Not even a question, far too much firepower.

There is no doubt that Jordan at his peak was a force to be reckoned with and that he had all of the tools and ability to destroy teams.

We saw it happen.

But the bulls couldn’t stop the captain, Kareem is the X factor there and there is no answer for him and his sky hook.

That is the ‘think about it for three minutes and go with Josh’s gut response.’

Could we produce something more substantive?

Of course.

We could enter all of the historical data into the computers and come up with the technical answer about who wins but I don’t know that I would want to.

Why?

Computers can’t predict everything.

They can’t tell you about the crazy, illogical and inexplicable stuff that a human might come up with the sort of accuracy that would make it work.

Part of the reason we watched these players is because you never knew what they might do. You’d watch them do something that should have been impossible and make it look simple.

I don’t know that I would want to hear what the computer came up with either. Yeah, it would be kind of interesting to find out what it spit out but it would take some of the magic and mystery away from it all.

There is something kind of nice about not having a definitive answer and being able to chew on it for it bit.

I can promise you that even though I am a die hard Laker fan if I really thought they couldn’t win I would have said so.

What about you? What do you think?

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Are Parents More Powerful Than Superheroes? http://joshuawilner.com/2015/07/18/are-parents-more-powerful-than-superheroes/ http://joshuawilner.com/2015/07/18/are-parents-more-powerful-than-superheroes/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 01:11:59 +0000 http://joshuawilner.com/?p=5486 It would be kind of cool to be like Wolverine when the kids start dating, some Adamantium claws could go a long way towards influencing good behavior. 😉

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Parents, Assemble! 11 Ways That Parents Are More Powerful Than Superheroes

It would be kind of cool to be like Wolverine when the kids start dating, some Adamantium claws could go a long way towards influencing good behavior. 😉

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