The Pottery Barn rule

It seems that Colin Powell “misjudged Pottery Barn’s breakage policy.”:

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

_Flow_, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (chick-SENT-me-high), describes the conditions of enjoyment. As it turns out, any situation can be used for enjoyment, though some of course are more amenable than others. Stories such that of Joe, who works at a factory and has no desire for promotion or even raises, should inspire us all.

This book risks being trivial and redundant. Its information is accessible to all of us without a U. Chicago psychology professor telling us. However, we don’t do it ourselves, and a $14 investment surely is worth taking every moment we have and turning it into enjoyment. Many of the ancient philosophers taught these ideas.

Specific topics include the use of the body (as in athletics), the mind, the hobby, the job, the traumatic experience, and the meaning we give to life. No matter what level we are on — amateur, professional, or mere dabbler — we can experience enjoyment as long as we are challenged, know what to do to meet those challenges, and grow in the process.


Book reviews

Random John’s “book reviews”:

Random John

“Random John”:

Alternative forms of punishment considered for Sisyphus

* Feeding yogurt, vegetables, or anything else healthy to a toddler
* Putting a toddler down for a nap
* Keeping a toddler off a table when she *knows* she shouldn’t be on it
* Keeping a toddler happy when mama is away
* Cleaning up cat barf, pee, and poop
* Keeping cats out of a bedroom or off a kitchen counter
* Vacuum cleaning a room which entertains seven cats and a toddler
* Doing all of the above on *way* too little sleep

Random Thanksgiving ruminations

* I didn’t want to, but yep, I did it. Three HUGE meals. And the apple cranberry pie was too hard to resist.
* I spent Thanksgiving day with six children, ranging from 20 months (my daughter) to 17 years (somebody else’s son). It was a zoo, and very exhausting.
* It seems that the three biggest ways to find my site are through searching Google for Barak Obama, unbelievable photos, and “virginity for sale.” I hope you find what you are looking for on Obama, because I link to a site with a wealth of info on him. I’m not sure what you are expecting to find with unbelievable photos. Are you looking for UFOs, or pornography? Maybe a little of both mixed together (I hear those martian women are something else …). Maybe even “this.”: Well, I the photos I link to aren’t in themselves unbelievable, but their “location and time was.”: As for “virginity for sale,”: you may not find what I’m looking for. There is a company in China that sells a way of giving you back your OWN virginity, or at least a semblance thereof, if you are a girl. If you are a guy, well, there’s really no way to tell, is there? (Really, the hymen is only a rough indicator in women, anyway.) It seems there are auctions where girls sell their own virginity. Some bids, so I hear, go as high as $10K. Well, put the two together and you have a perfect scam. Well, maybe not …

Can the weather get any gloomier?

I suppose the weather could be like London, but sheesh. Not a ray of sunshine for two straight days. A great couple of days to be playing the latest “Zelda.”:

Rice in 2008? Say what?!

Apparently a bunch of right-wingers decided to leave the good, solid earth for a while and go out for a cruise. Michelle Malkin has her take “here.”: The sentence that struck me was

bq. … mixed feelings about a Condi Rice 2008 presidential bid …

I really hope this is a joke. We really can’t afford for Bush’s reach to extend further than 4 years. Especially since the “party of smaller government” has just voted to raise the debt ceiling again.

Science and public opinion

“Polling Report”: has a page on “public opinion and science”:, including polls on whether evolution is a tenable theory, whether cloning humans is acceptable for medical treatments, and whether the use of genetics for cosmetic purposes (e.g. to choose the eye and hair color of a child) or lowering risk of serious disease goes too far.

Get the big picture

If you are one who can’t see the trees for the forest, find detail-oriented people nitpicky and weird, and really rather see the overarching principles rather than the individual steps, then the “big picture”: is for you.