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A Change of Seasons

Sid Dunnebacke:

From UnFocused, the blog that will eventually take over for Dad Knows!

Originally posted on UnFocused:

I’m no wimp concerning winter weather, as shown by my recent adventures going to and from Ottawa*.  I can drive effectively in it, mostly, I can shovel it with the best of them (snow or BS – I worded it like that intentionally – bring the comments), and I can appreciate the beauty of a snowy landscape as well.

But as I get older, my appreciation for wintry conditions subsides while my impatience with it grows, like two moons slowly waning and waxing over the years.

So I need a diversion.  Or a change of seasons.  I’m not yet the Jedi Master I want to be, I’ve not yet gotten my invitation to Hogwarts, and no one has ever mistaken me for Merlin.  But I can take pictures, and I can resurrect pictures from long forgotten autumns.

Misty and mysterious

Queen Anne's Lace

Looking up

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Carefree days

Nearing dusk and still warm

* The post about my traveling travails is still coming.

Thanks for the…

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Live and Learn

Sid Dunnebacke:

If you like what you read here, pop on over to UnFocused and get the full stories every time. Thank you!

Originally posted on UnFocused:

Some days you have it, some days you don’t.  Some days you have it one moment and lose it the next.  Some days you marvel at how remarkable it is that one thought can have such potentially huge implications.

When they were passing out ways mental illness would incarnate itself in us humans, I got in line a few times.  Frankly I think I got in the Insecurity line a couple times.  The Lack of Self Esteem line?  I hit that one a couple times as well.  Put those two together and you have disaster waiting to happen.

I’ve been aware of my little sense of self for decades, going back to university at least.  The last year or so has seen it drop further down than ever, which is a fairly frightening notion.  In the last year too, my insecurity has increased by a factor of ten, also a…

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I’m No Traitor

Sid Dunnebacke:

Know that Dad Knows is being moved over to UnFocused, and that I won’t be posting here much longer. So, for a while, when I remember to do it, I’ll be posting to both UnFocused and Dad Knows – but not for long. :)

Originally posted on UnFocused:

As noted in my previous post, I travelled to Ottawa recently.  By car.  In January.  Not the smartest move, in case you’re wondering.  Also not among the best 16,000 days of my life, either.  Also as promised in that post, I’ll get to the ugly details of that drive, but not this time.

Just one detail here.

See, in Ontario – at least along much of the 401 – there are these amazing ports of call that make Michigan’s freeway rest stops look like dilapidated outhouses.  Service centers, they’re called – not rest stops,mind you – and they also have a collective name of ONRoute.  I love puns and plays on words and dual-meaning advertising slogans, so ONRoute is just the thing for me.

Anyway, the ONRoute service centers are like mall food courts, not dingy & dark restrooms with map kiosks from the ’40s.  There’s a Starbucks or…

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Hello Winter

Sid Dunnebacke:

While I make the transition from Dad Knows to my new blog UnFocused, I’ll be reblogging myself so you don’t miss anything. :). Stop over to the new blog if you’d like!

Originally posted on UnFocused:

Within hours, if not minutes, of the solstice came quite wintry conditions here. What had been autumn-like rain froze with winterish abandon.

I find it beautiful, but then I’m not dealing with fallen trees weighed down by ice, or with power interrupted for days.

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Reasons

Sid Dunnebacke:

I totally forgot to re-blog this here. What’s happening is that I’m moving to a new blog, having run out of space here. Feel free to stop by over there and follow if so inclined. Thanks for visiting!

Originally posted on UnFocused:

For many blogs, and for much of the internet in general, their reason for being is… cats.  Thank heaven for those blogs and crazy cat videos and wonderful kitty adoption stories.  Seriously.

Cats, however, are not the reason for this blog – this next picture notwithstanding.

"Wait, what?  What did you just say?  We are TOO the reason!"

“Wait, what? What did you just say? We are TOO the reason!”

Nor is the reason for this blog Earth Wind & Fire, though I’m going to be able to tie them into this post very nicely.

Regardless of my reasons for blogging when I started or as I grew as a blogger over the past three years, I’ve recently had the real reason I blog hit me square in the face.

Since, like, July, I’ve posted – what, twice?  In those months since blogging regularly, I found that I truly missed the people I interacted with so often here.  The supportive – and…

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And Now For Something Not Completely Different

For those of you who read my previous post, I’ll say right here at the start that I didn’t intend to write such a dark post.  The moment being what it was, though, that’s what came out of my brain.

So, I owe you a treat of a totally different type of post, or at least something a little different – and you’re getting it.  After three years of posting photos to Dad Knows, I am nearing capacity for space allotted to me.  If I want to continue posting photos, I must either pay or find a new vehicle for them.  I’m all about choosing the latter, or rather, not choosing the former.

What that means is that I’m starting a new blog.  It’s essentially a continuation of this one, and can be found here.  I’ll admit to not giving the blog name much thought, but go there and you can read why I chose the name UnFocused.

So, yeah.  Dad Knows is going to fade into blog history (but won’t die), and UnFocused is taking over.

I invite you to pop over and read, and subscribe/follow.  So many of you have become such dear friends, and I’ve truly cherished our interactions here and at your fine blogs.  I’ve met only two of you in person, and yet I can truly say you’ve all become important people to me.  Something you may enjoy hearing is that for the first year and a half or so of blogging, I got something like one like from outside my immediate family.  One.  At some point I realized WordPress was another social media site, and I needed to treat it as such.  (I know, right?)  So, I started poking around and liking and commenting and following, and for the next year met more and more people from all over the planet.  The blog became a really fabulous place for me to hang out with friends.   Life got a bit overwhelming this year, though, and so since like early August I’ve posted only twice.  Well, now three times.  Still, you regular readers didn’t desert me or unfollow or anything of the sort.  You’re still there, welcoming me back with open arms.  As friends. For being so friend-ly and wonderful, I thank you all.

Now, feel no pressure to follow or subscribe to UnFocused, but know that if you don’t do it you’re off my Christmas card list…  Kidding, of course.

To save you the trip over to UnFocused – just this one time – here’s the text of my first post over there:

Yes, well, not really.

In fact, that’s a blatant lie.  This blog is to be the continuation of Dad Knows, which I kept for some three years and in which there was little in the realm of consistency.  I was all over the map, really, in terms of topics and content.

My last post on Dad Knows was on the disturbing, scary, and unnerving side, and honestly I didn’t intend it to be so much that way.  I wrote in the midst of a dark moment in which the monsters of depression were above me, casting shadows and drooling.  It’s not always like that.  Other moments are bright sunshiny happy affairs, and in those moments I’m likely to write about the shenanigans of my cats.

Darkness... light... it's all there.
Darkness… light… it’s all there.  In this case, “there” is my car’s windshield, but the metaphor works.

As you might expect, life most often finds me (or any of us) somewhere in between those two extremes.  There are dark days, there are bright days, and there are 50 shades of (ahem) luminosity between them.

Oh, a significant reason for me ditching Dad Knows and starting up this one is that I was running out of space for photos.  I’m a so-so photographer, but I’m a quite poor spender, and so was not about to shell out $99 or however much for an upgrade with more space.

It was time for a new look, also, and so was born UnFocused.  I frankly don’t expect much if any difference between UnFocused and Dad Knows.  The title is just an excuse to reference Monty Python.  I’m of the opinion that any blog post can be made better by referencing Monty Python.

Thank you for stopping by, whether you were a loyal reader and friend from Dad Knows or new to the unfocused brain of me who writes here.  You’re always welcome to leave a comment, respectfully critique a post, start a conversation, or simply say hello.

To all of you – welcome!

Not ready, but closer to being ready than I’m comfortable with

Over the past year I’ve discovered just how powerful and debilitating mental illness is.  If you read nothing else of what I say on this blog, ever, read this:

Depression, anxiety, insecurity, and many, many more disorders/illnesses are REAL.  They may be invisible, but they are most definitely real.  If you feel even an inkling of a notion that you have depression or anything of the sort – DO NOT ignore it.  Get help.  If you see even an inkling of a notion that someone you know has depression or anything of the sort – DO NOT ignore it and DO NOT let them ignore it.  Intervene.  Get help.  Do not take no for an answer.

Here’s the thing: a life may be at stake. Read the rest of this page »

Still Alive

Come autumn, or a fall, the days get colder, less bright, and maybe even bleak.  Unwelcome winds come, some days more fiercely than others.

Color fades from a natural brightness to muted tones, often slowly and subtly but on occasion seemingly in an instant.

Evidence of life is stripped and tossed on the ground below, to be ignored and forgotten, noticed only by those with an eye or heart for recognizing the beauty within.

Bare limbs no longer invite the company of those who before found shelter and comfort in them.

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There is a path and a bridge, over which is a firm ground and a new perspective – right there, within reach.  The one who can reach them does not, instead staying in place, steadfast, standing as tall and proud as nature allows.

Their chosen place is too familiar, whether the footing around them has eroded or the earth has risen up around to bury more.

Depending on where the surroundings are, the stinging and penetrating effects of winter can be long lasting or brief, paralyzing or easily swept away.

No matter the tree or the man, there is a promise of a spring with brighter days, lasting warmth, familiar companions, and renewed life.

Here’s a quick update

Or a teaser, if you will.  For sure I’ll have a more comprehensive post for you soon, but for now I have just a couple images from a truly beautiful spot in Quebec.  In a roundabout kind of way, this can also serve as proof that I actually took a ten-hour trip away from Lansing – and not only that, but into another country.  Not a big deal for many (all?) of you, but certainly a big deal for me.

Anyway, I’m in the midst of a two-week stay in Ottawa, which is a lovely city in so many ways.  Fabulous architecture, beautiful parks, friendly people, more pubs than can be visited in two months much less two weeks, bike paths everywhere, a remarkable array of ethnic restaurants, and truly wonderful friends.  Among those wonderful friends is one many of you know, Claudia, maybe better known as SummerSolsticeGirl.

Read the rest of this page »

Lunch with old friends

We’ve been to Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan before on few occasions, but there’s just something about

feeding giraffes

that keeps us coming back year after year.

Of course, my Anna, the animal lover extraordinaire, can’t get enough of these beautiful creatures.  Who can blame her?  They’re beautiful, peaceful, quiet, charming… and taller than a house.

Read the rest of this page »

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