Living Out Loud

My Rules for Me


I wrote these commandments, if you will, a few years ago to serve as a constant reminder of the way I want to live my life. Every morning for a solid year I hand wrote these in a journal while I was having my first cup of coffee. Of course I don't do these perfectly, but no matter what, these are my values. I'm not wishy washy. I've shared them with enough people close to me to get called out if I stray too far. I would not have it any other way.

Be nice - The Golden Rule is real

I used to have a reputation for being grumpy and hard to get along with. I fancied myself as being a curmudgeon, but I wasn't. I was a hard to approach, large man with a deep voice who hardly ever smiled. These days I'm still big and my voice hasn't changed but I have. I try to treat people like I want to be treated.

Remember my purpose

I believe my purpose is to let my curiosity and enthusiasm create passions I can share with others. That's why I write tech reviews, why I led 100-mile bike rides for people attempting it for the first time and why I rescued parrots for a decade. I have the ability to focus like a laser beam on the things I am interested in, and I should use that for good.

Ask myself if it’s helpful, whatever it is

Being busy is not necessarily a good thing if something is being done for the sake of being busy. I try to apply this to the stuff I say and the stuff I write as well as the stuff I do.

Do the work

Reaching goals involves real work, something adults should know. When I want something, no matter what it is, I remind myself to take the steps needed to make it happen and not to rely on wishful thinking or the largesse of others.

Always have goals

Everyone has goals, it's just that some people have a goal to do as little as possible and watch all the TV. I do not want to be one of those people. I want to have a helpful blog and be a friend to people in the IndieWeb community. That's a goal. Writing regularly and reading regularly make up the work I want to do to reach that goal.

Take care of my body, it’s the only one I have

Well, I am wearing myself out as I age. Arthritis sucks and it's pretty limiting to someone who has had the interests I've had but I do what I can these days.


Man, I used to talk so much. If you spent any time around me, it wouldn't take you long to learn my opinion on everything. These days I'm not quite so bad. I went to online happy hour for the microcamp and didn't say a word. I was content just listening. Trust me. I used to be different

Learn something new today

I keep a written record in my journal of the new things I learn each day. If I haven't written anything down and it's getting late, I start to feel antsy. Thankfully, being into tech makes for lots of opportunities to learn. I also love learning new stuff about other bloggers. I read their /about and /interests pages.

Go more places, buy less stuff

I've lived in the same house for 30 years. When I bought it, our income was about 25% of what it is now but it is enough house for the two of us and we've been to some hella cool places, and we continue to travel. As a matter of fact, we leave in 48 hours for a four-day trip to the mountains.

Expectations low, Acceptance high

I learned this in 12-Step programs. The fewer expectations I place on the people and circumstances around me, the happier I am. I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than satisfied, if that makes sense.

Understand being powerless

This one is also from 12-Step land. There are things that just are the way they are. That doesn't mean accepting injustice or prejudice or any other kind of bullshit. It means the past is the past. That can't be changed. As a person in recovery, I won't ever develop the ability to have a beer with the boys or a glass of wine at dinner. I'm fine with being powerless over alcohol because there is an easy solution to that dilemma. Stay sober.

Change the things I can

The final one I cadged from the prayer of St. Francis, even though I am as secular as I can be. I believe our actions show what we truly believe. I have always been afraid of being one of those liberals who talk the talk but don't walk the walk. I try to do tangible things to demonstrate my values. In the end though, all politics is local and the best way to fight the patriarchy is to not be a sexist. The best way to fight racism is to understand my own privilege. I won't preach. You know what I mean.