Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Nagaland? Me neither, but it is a state in northeast India. As an aside, the attribution link didn’t work on Unsplash and want to make sure and point you right here as to where I got the photo.

2. Such a weird week. I had planned gallbladder removal for Thursday and that was really just the start of the week. Almost 10 months ago I went in for a regular physical and was wanting to get some more life insurance. I had some liver numbers that were slightly off and so my doctor asked me to lay off of alcohol for a few weeks and get re-tested. My last sip of alcohol was March 31st. The results improved, but not perfect so the search continued. X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI’s later, I eventually arrive at the idea that I do have gallstones and the best way to make sure that nothing was wrong was to have the gallbladder removed before the gallstones really become an issue and then do a liver biopsy.

3. Zoey has been my wife’s and my dog for our entire marriage. Right before Miranda and I were to get married Zoey walked up to her parents’ house, where she was living at the time, and she asked if we could keep her and how could I say no to my bride-to-be? She was a very good puppy dog, the kind of dog that was nearly perfect. Never a problem save for a couple of times. She must have been hit as a puppy because she never wagged her tail when you would pet her, she was seemingly always scared. Funny how things that happen to you can shape you as a person or a dog. We eventually had 3 dogs, my wife’s pug Olive and I had a dog that I adopted, Blue. When we brought Fitsum home, Olive died and I’m not exactly sure what happened, but Blue attacked Zoey and broke her hip. I had to give Blue to my brother for fear that she would kill Zoey. This would have been a decade ago. She was an absolute disaster, but we took her to the vet and they somehow fixed her up and 10 years later her body finally gave out. The past few years Zoey has lost her sight and hearing for the most part. She could still see bright lights and loud claps, but that was about it. By the end of her life she was in a lot of pain in the end, she struggled to lay down and we had prepared the boys and they knew how much pain she was in. On Wednesday, we said goodbye to sweet Zoey.

4. A high school student at the school district where my wife teaches wanted to do her UIL project on our family and I think it turned out wonderfully.

5. It’s been 4 decades since I’ve been fully anesthetized. All I could think about when it happened this week for me was this is what it was like for Zoey to go to sleep in her last moments. It is incredibly peaceful and that gave me some solace. Having those two events so close together couldn’t have been more strange and normally I wouldn’t associate the two.

Saturday Morning Links

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

1. Ever heard of Taghazout? Me neither. It’s a small fishing and surfing village in Morocco, approximately 5,000 people. It looks like the kind of place that no one really knows about, but you know about and you go there in the winter and you spend a week at the beach.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

2. I’ve only participated in a couple of ultramarathons and to see all that happens behind the scenes is amazing. Plus, footage of the Pacific Northwest, Victoria B.C., is pretty fantastic.

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3. Medieval warhorses were really no bigger than ponies, via the Guardian.

Outram said the vast majority of medieval horses, including ones believed to have been used in war, were less than 14.2 hands (4ft 10in) high, the maximum height of a modern pony.

One of the biggest they found was a horse from the Norman period, the remains of which were discovered in the grounds of Trowbridge castle in Wiltshire, but it was only 15 hands – the size of a small modern light riding horse.

Outram said that size clearly wasn’t the be-all and end-all for medieval warriors. He said that there might well have been some particularly large warhorses but armies would also have needed smaller horses for tasks such as harrying a retreating enemy, carrying out long-range raids and transporting equipment.

4. GQ on the best footballer in the world, Mohamed Salah.

5. I’ve been alcohol free since April 1st of 2021. Not an April Fool’s Day joke, but I suppose it could be. In the months leading up to April 1st I was trying to get some life insurance and I took a blood tests that turned up some weird results with some liver things. My doctor asked me to take a break from alcohol so I could get those tests done. The results improved and there are still issues which I hope to have resolved soon, but being alcohol free has been good. And I was never a big drinker. The most I’d drink in a day is 3 beers and I never got drunk in college. It just never appealed to me. Not having any alcohol as a 47-year old man is definitely different and I thought I’d miss it, but I really don’t. Not really at all. I sleep better and being clear 100% of the time has both its upside and downside. I probably won’t go back, largely because I don’t’ think I need it in my life and I’m perfectly content not drinking. I’m one of those annoying people that doesn’t really succumb to peer pressure so that won’t bother me in the future.

Saturday Morning Links

Photo by Allyson Beaucourt on Unsplash

1. Ever heard of Etretat? Me neither, but it looks like the White Cliffs of Dover, but this is actually Etretat in France, so they essentially mirror each other and the only reason I’m posting this is because I had never considered the same thing on the other side of the English Channel.

Photo by Laurent Gence on Unsplash

2. The James Webb Space Telescope is hurtling in space and if you want to know exactly where it is, this site from NASA tells you exactly where it is and how it has been deployed.

3. I found this very humorous because so many times art is revered, particularly art of Christ, but that doesn’t mean the artist did a good job of drawing a baby and yes, it appears at times that the artist has never seen a baby.

4. These are the church forests of Ethiopia, or also called “Gardens of Eden” and are oases in the middle of deserts that are protected by their priests. Ethiopia is in such a unique part of Africa, so close to Egypt and the Middle East and if you want to see one aspect of Ethiopia, these pictures are great.

5. And since we’re talking about art, we should also talk about good art, via Open Culture, exploring all 717 gigapixel’s of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. And watch this for an idea as to why it is important.

Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of the Cameron Highlands? Me neither. It sounds like some place in Scotland, but it’s actually an area in Malaysia. It was surveyed by geologist William Cameron in 1885, hence the name, and is known for well, farming as you might guess, tea, orchards, golf courses, wildlife, etc.

Photo by Sokmean Nou on Unsplash

2. Beau Miles is back and he’s planting a tree for every minute in the day.

3. Want to start 2022 on the right foot? WeRateDogs’ Dogs of 2021.

4. From Inverse, how dogs went from wolves to our best friends according to scientists:

“We propose that initial selection during early dog domestication was for behavior … which secondarily gave rise to the phenotypes of modern dogs,” the study’s authors write.

The authors of the study found the behavioral traits that were selected first eventually led to the selection of the physical traits of modern dogs. They concluded that primary selection during domestication “likely targeted tameness,” so you can thank our ancestors for teaching wolves to chill out, as tameness appeared as a trait before any other differences between wolves and dogs developed.

5. I don’t know how to end this week’s Saturday Morning Links. Another thing to read or perhaps another video doesn’t seem appropriate. 2021 was weird and I am ready for a non-weird year. I hope that you are happy and healthy and that you improve upon your 2022. Last year I did my year in graphs and I haven’t had time to find my old spreadsheets, but I can assure you that I have accomplished my mini-goals every day for this past year.

  • 458 straight days of having a glass of water before coffee.
  • 453 straight days of writing a gratitude journal.
  • 697 straight days of picking up a book.
  • 736 straight days of doing 100 push ups.
  • 368 straight days of planks.
  • 341 straight days of meditating for at least 3 minutes.
  • 368 straight days of putting away my phone when I got home from work.
  • 623 straight days of brushing my teeth at night. This is what started these habits, or finding an app to track them.