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Archive for August, 2015

Surprise and delight.

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Kentucky Quilt Barn


A rustic barn in the middle of nowhere sports a hand-hewn quilt as art. Pretty. Fantastic.

Shot by Christy Akemon.

The Value of Time

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Seconds turn to minutes, minutes turn to hours, hours turn to weeks, weeks to months, months to years, years to decades and so on. For centuries man has strived to elude time, freeze time and travel back in time, without success – but it seems no matter how many memories made, leisurely books read or accomplishments checked off on one’s to do list, we are forever thirsting for more time. Time is – arguably – life’s most valuable commodity. So how can one estimate the value of time? How much is time indeed worth?

Founding Father and renowned polymath, Benjamin Franklin, famously declared, “Time is money” – a sentiment still shared by millions today. It’s true, the world runs on money, therefore, it is easy to equate ones time to a dollar value – pay per hour, salary per year, lifetime income, etc. But, chances are, if one does the math – divide your annual income by 8,760 to get a per-hour value, make the denominator 8,784 this leap year – you will be depressingly disappointed with the result.

Thus, perhaps it’s best not to measure time with money, but rather, with non-tangibles – days spent at the beach, hours spent on a favorite hobby or minutes with an elderly loved one. An unknown author appropriately breaks down and evaluates time in his/her poem, “Realize”:

“To realize the value of one year, ask a student who has failed a final exam.

To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize that value of one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value on one hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute; ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one second, ask a person who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of on millisecond, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.”

Ultimately, everyone measures time differently. Some find value in time spent making money while others value time spent with family or friends. Despite any measurement, we will never have enough time… so one must cling onto the time they are given and make the most of every second.

“Time is the measurer of all things, but is itself immeasurable, and the grand discloser of all things, but is itself undisclosed.” – Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon


Ann Keeling says:

Time is indeed money, no matter how we want to look at it. At the end of the day each person needs to find happiness in how they spend their time. If we dwell on our compensation, likely, we’ll get stuck there and never really move ahead.

Karma or Cruel Consequence?

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Poetic justice was the vast sentiment expressed on Tuesday, August 18, when the names, credit card numbers and email and home addresses of nearly 33 million Ashley Madison users from around the world were exposed via the Internet. As news of the published list broke, many individuals snatched a bowl of popcorn and took to social media to reprimand the nefarious cheats. Pure. Entertainment. Right? Those dirtbags got what was coming to them, or did they?

It’s all too natural for society to place blame and point fingers, but we forget the impact events such as this have on communities and families. Unfortunately in matters like this, the guilty party is not the only one who suffers – children are ridiculed by classmates, spouses suffer immense embarrassment and families are torn apart. “…kids do not deserve to lose a parent. Their family doesn’t deserve to lose a loved one,” asserts security expert, Brian Krebs.

Aside from the devastating potential of losing their families, guilty parties are at a serious risk of also losing their careers. Roughly 15,000 military and governmental email addresses were exposed in the hack, which present tremendous consequences for those involved. “Under military rules, philanderers can be punished by a year in confinement and a dishonorable discharge, which means losing their pension,” reports Michael E. Miller in his article, Don’t gloat about the Ashley Madison leak. It’s about way more than infidelity.

As the wolves descend, it is imperative to remember that not everyone on the list actually cheated on their spouse – whether that matters or not. In fact, a majority of the female accounts on Ashley Madison are fake. Additionally, Ashley Madison does not confirm email addresses – this means a colleague, friend or neighbor could have potentially created an account using someone else’s name and email.

It’s fair to say that some guilty parties received what was coming to them, but many innocent persons were undoubtedly caught in the crossfire. Ultimately, we must remember that this incident goes far beyond the realm of exposing immoral scum; it’s a sincere privacy concern. The Ashley Madison hack is a valuable lesson everyone in the realm of reevaluating ones presence online and the information that they are sharing. Oh, and of course, not cheating on your spouse.


Ann Keeling says:

There are likely people we know personally who are on this list. But really, what does it matter? It’s not like we don’t realize that guys are doing things like this (and maybe even worse), it’s just that now it becomes more real. But the idea that all of these men put their info on a “secure” site is ludicrous – there really is no secure site, particularly for information of such a personal nature.

Graphic image.

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Image 2

Linear shapes in black and white somehow become abstract; what do you see?

Shot by Jon Keeling.

It’s Hard Work Being Single

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

All the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single fellas too – now put your hands up… if… you feel underhandedly discriminated against at work. Discrimination against singles, or singleism, is a genuine epidemic in American society. According to recent census data, only 51% of American adults over the age of 18 are married, yet, singles continue to get the short end of the stick.

There continues to be a misguided stigma surrounding singles and their lives outside of work – that is, they don’t have one. Whether consciously or unknowingly, married coworkers maintain this ideology and more often than not, take advantage of their single – but awesome – peers; requesting them to cover shifts and work extra/late hours.

It’s assumed that “single people don’t have lives. No life means no need for balance – when of course, everyone has important obligations – whether it’s a class, exercise, caring for an elderly family member, or taking a holiday,” says social scientist Dr. Bella DePaulo.

Due to the way the Federal Tax table is structured, many singles are paid less than their coupled coworkers who occupy the same job title and perform the same responsibilities. Okay… but singles have cats to provide for, right? Well unfortunately furry friends don’t count as an extra mouth to feed. To add fuel to the fire, there have been several cases where singles have even been skipped over for raises – one single was simply told, “We all have families to take care of, and you don’t.” Having an attitude about the situation isn’t going to get you anywhere though, in fact it may get you fired.

The single to married wage gap may be a tad bit more difficult to negotiate, but in regard to covering coworkers shifts and working extra/late hours, make plans of your own or politely state that you are unavailable. Time is valuable and just because you’re single – and fabulous – doesn’t mean you should have to spend a majority of your free time at the office.


Ann Keeling says:

Everyone, no matter what their status is, deserves a good work-life balance – and that’s largely up to the individual to control, not the company. Many working professionals who are married with no kids (DINKs or double-income-no-kids, they are called) focus more on their careers than those with kids. That’s a choice. Just like people we all know who are married WITH kids, and choose, for whatever reason, to spend more time at the office than perhaps they need to. The office may be a more comfortable place to spend time so they don’t have to go home to challenges that perhaps they don’t know how to deal with.