Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

We've all heard that it's the rough times in life that make us strongest. It's unfortunate that it's true. Punch-in-the-gut life experiences enable us to learn a lot about ourselves, build our character, have epiphanies about the world. True, we can do this by not getting the wind knocked out of us throughout life, but the learning seems to be at a slower pace.

Anne Frank was put into a real awful situation at an extremely horrible time in history, making her learning curve very steep. Sure, her diary is filled with the normal fare of a 14 year old (e.g., disliking peeling peas or thinking about boys), but very often she fills the pages with neat insights, thoughts on the workings of the world, and constructive criticism of her character. One of my favorite passages:

How noble and good everyone could be if, every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the whole day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then, without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that: "A quiet conscience makes one strong!"

This book is good because it was the real life of a young girl who was dealing with a rough situation the best way she could, and all the while trying to become better. How would each of us deal with such a situation? How do each of us deal with what we've got? This book makes you think about it.


Beach baby, beach baby

Whoa! Look at all of those people on the beach. That's what I like to see on a family trip.


The Midas touch

In a relatively quick amount of time, I've become quite familiar with the workings of the car I drive. I know the meanings of and have looked closely at worn out car parts including the sway-bar; brake knuckle (aka hub), pin, and seat; ball and socket joints; and shocks. I'd like to blame all of this mechanical education I've been getting to the patchwork quality of the city/neighborhood streets I drive, but that's another matter.

What's amazing is that I've learned all about this stuff in the past three weeks at the local Midas mechanic shop. They've surely got the Midas touch and it's in their favor not mine, because I keep having to go back one week after another. I always hope it's because of something they've made a mistake with so I can get the repair for free, but the three separate times I've visited in the past three weeks have all legitimately been for different problems. Before all these repairs began, I think my car had found homeostasis, but after one thing was fixed, another got upset. During my second visit, I'm sure the mechanics thought I a car-hypochondriac, but I am far from it. I'll have to admit, I'm one of those people who ignores the maintenance light, but I could not ignore the series of techno beats coming from my front axle.

At the end of three weeks, I'm on a first name basis with the mechanics. They're nice guys who'll answer any or all questions I have (even if it is because my business makes up 1/5 of their revenue stream for the month of August). They've even got to making me estimates in ranges before they have to "look at the parts inventory and talk with the manager," which I consider a great hurdle cleared. And the last time I went, one of them told a mechanic joke and I got it.


What happened?

How in the world did it get to be August 8th already? This whole week I kept thinking we were barely moving out of July and into August. And the other day, someone told me that summer is over. What? Not yet, I reply. I've still got a lot of summer left in me.


Golden Anniversary

Golden Anniversaries call for golden blogging measures,
yep, a wedding photo:

Celebrating 4 years of excellent times on the 4th.