The Annual Family Calendar

The Kiser Family Calendar

The Kiser Family Calendar

200°  For the last several years I’ve created a calendar using my photos, family birthdays/anniversaries, average Reno temps, and sunrise/sunset data. I also add milestones and events for the year on the date they occur. For example, one hundred years ago (1914) World War I began, the Colorado National Guard attacked a tent city of striking miners and killed several people, including children, and the House voted against giving Women the right to vote. Fifty years ago (1964) civil rights and Vietnam War protests were beginning.

One interesting note, we will have two total lunar eclipses this year and two next year. That is unusual. The first lunar eclipse will occur on April 14th, and the next on the night of October 7 (the eclipse is actually on the morning of the 8th.) 

I finally finished the calendar yesterday, which is a great relief, and I was able to start it on February 1st, so it will only be about a week late when it is delivered. I have used Costco Photo Online for the last several years to build and print my family calendar. It costs about $10 per calendar and it can be delivered to any store in the US. 

It’s Never Just Black and White

Black cat has many shades

Black cat has many shades

350°  People like definition. It is either ‘X’ or ‘Y,’ but it can’t be ‘x-ish’ or ‘y-ish.’ The problem is that our world, our universe doesn’t usually give us absolutes. Next time you’re at a body of water try to find out where the water ends and where the land begins. We live in a blurry existence where upon closer examination there is no ‘edge’ nor is there a beginning or end.

Our senses are severely limited and our brain tries to fill in the blanks for what our senses can’t detect. Much more is going on around us than our eyes can see, our ears can hear, and our nose can smell. Filling in the blanks for what we can’t see, hear, smell, taste, and feel is dangerous.

It’s why scientists use theory and hypothesis to explain our universe. They want us to know that it is their best explanation based on the data we know and can prove. It doesn’t mean it is perfect, or correct, but it does take us out of the dark ages where everything is explained by mythology, which is just one person making stuff up.

Those that take the position that scientists are wrong because they use theories, not fact, almost always use mythology to explain our universe. Those people like black and white because it is easy. It puts people under the belief that they can rely on their emotions and prejudices rather than on truth and fact. 

It’s time we started listening to people with better vision. People who can see all the colors and all the shades. People with humility and grace. People like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Holiday End Game

The long shadows of Winter on next Spring's mulch

The long shadows of Winter on next Spring’s mulch

45°  The holiday season does not begin or end on a single day. For us the end of the holidays involve several steps. The Christmas tree comes down, the holiday decorations are put away, the holiday dishes are stowed, the outdoor decorations are struck and packed, and the tree is taken to be recycled.

There is no set order in these activities, but usually the last two things accomplished are striking the outdoor decorations and recycling the Christmas tree. Today, both were done and now we can move out of holiday mode and into the long wait for Spring.

I know real Christmas trees are wasteful and incredibly dangerous when they become dry; however, I always regretted when my Mom decided to go with a fake tree. It seemed to make Christmas artificial. It was also about the time that some of the magic of Christmas was lost…only to return with greater power when my children became old enough to discover the excitement and anticipation of December 25th.

We can put this season to bed for another year while the Earth plots another visit to these constellations December next.

One, One, Twenty Fourteen

Image by Paul Kiser

Image by Paul Kiser

245° Morning of the first day of 2014. If you look closely you will see the confetti left by the poppers from the night before. Fuzz-a-Bug has come to greet me and Jasmine is just hoping I am going somewhere that she can go. Fuzz-a-Bug has no problems with Jasmine, but he knows she is a clumsy dog, so he stands ready to give her a quick and painful reminder that he is sitting there. Alexander’s snow shovel waits for the next snow, which may be weeks away.