Sunset with Sandy

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HOW IT CAME TOGETHER

We planned to meet at 5:45pm. It was 6:15pm. I was early and had spent the last hour anxiously watching shadows stretch out and become useless in the first planned location. Sandy strutted up and Plan B was willfully enacted. I hopped on shotgun and we were off.

Gravel crunched, I waived directions, and Ivan skillfully placed Sandy with the sun at her stern, a pond and trees to starboard, high grass to port. The belle of the ball was all dressed up in black with the biggest spotlight around turning her curves to elegant shadows. …


The Last Snore my Parents Shared

The day my mom died

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

I smile as my mom and dad snore aloud. It’s that last time I’ll ever hear it. Soon my mother will be gone and the duet will turn into a solo. This could be the last time that my parents are together as they were before my mom was destroyed by cancer. Calm and understanding each other, dreaming of each other I’d like to think.

And it’s over. Dad began leaning too far out of the chair and I had to wake him before gravity took over. Now he sits in this world and his wife in another. One of strong pain and stronger medication. …


You just have to get over your fear and your distraction.

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Your brain is a machine created to experience thoughts and situations and find ways to interpret and express those thoughts. You have thoughts, opinions, and humor that may seem normal to you, but are creative and insightful to someone else. No one can read your mind, so you need to get it out of there and onto a page or screen to practice turning thoughts into words. No excuse. No alternative.

This is especially true for those new to writing intentionally. The old salts talk about “finding your voice” and the only way to do that is talk, or in this case, write. …


Tech is always less important than the people using it.

Apps don’t break caucuses, poor UX breaks caucuses

We now know the app used to calculate votes for the Iowa caucus had both technical and user experience problems. Let’s look at the user experience problems.

The rollout of a new app can be the single most important part. The technology will be what it is at that point and all you can control is how people are accessing it, how easy it is to troubleshoot, and how much time is given for both of those things.

The rollout of the Iowa caucus I failed on all points.

The main failing was treating it like a normal app from an App Store. It’s not. It is a specialized app that you have to jump through hoops to get. It is not click-download easy. There was a sign-up process and pin numbers to get access. That alone significantly increases the complexity and confusion with accessing the app. …


Buddhism: The Artful Practice of Living

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The religious aspects of Buddhism includes tradition, lineage, and ceremony. It’s what we see in movies; monks in robes, chanting, hermitage, and statues with rows of burning candles. It’s the easy part to mentally envision.

This is not to discount the tradition and ceremony of Buddhism! Or to make a connection between how Hollywood depicts buddhist tradition and how it is actually performed. Maybe growing up watching “Buddhism” on TV and in movies cheapens the reality of it and creates a distrust of what it means. How pure can an experience be if it is easily captured in film? There has to be more than going through the motions in a temple. …


“Just Sitting” — Opening to the World Around Me During an Afternoon Meditation Session

Listen to the world and it will teach you everything.

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An afternoon meditation session began as any other. Following my breath I felt the rise and fall and smelled the incense with each inhalation, a nice treat that I usually overlook in the haste of the day.

A thought had been rolling around in my mind throughout the day, itching at me. Now, with the clean slate of a warm afternoon breezing through my windows, I turn towards it and begin to explore.

And here I ended up, typing instead of meditating but it was something I felt needed to be shared. …


Your Beagle’s Skin health

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Beagles are happy, energetic, compassionate and loving dogs and most families would love to have a beagle as a pet. And like other dog breeds, beagles also have health problems — they are predisposed to certain diseases. One of the health issues of beagles is that they are prone to skin infections/problems.

What are the common skin diseases of beagles?

As with other dog breeds, skin problems in beagles can be caused by numerous agents including infectious agents (bacteria, virus, fungi, parasites), external irritants, allergens and trauma (burns, radiation).

• Bacterial dermatitis (pyoderma)

Bacteria that can cause skin infections include Staphylococcus intermedius (most common causative agent), normal resident bacteria of the skin (Staphylococcus sp., Streptococcus sp.), Pseudomonas sp., …

About

Richard Kitchen

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