Monday, August 18, 2014

Getting Outside My Bubble

I live in a bubble. I've got my comfortable life with all of the conveniences and distractions I could ever want for. I was complaining to Tammy yesterday morning that all of the mini marshmallows were stuck together in the bag and because of that, I didn't want to hassle with them for my coffee. I know -- pathetic for more than one reason. It's enough to cause me to feel a sense of guilt at times knowing that there are countless others for whom there are few if any guilty pleasures in their lives and still others for whom there is little hope for a better future from their world of abject poverty or upheaval caused by war. My Facebook feed lately is all too often riddled with postings by friends about fighting in the Middle East or rioting in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri as I/we/they paint with a broad brush, defining one large group of people by the actions of a few.

We've all developed our prejudices along the way and there's no lack of groups or places to go online to support whatever it is we want to believe about others no matter how off the mark our beliefs may be. To get out of my bubble I turn to Humans of New York. The site is a pictorial blog started in 2010 by a guy named Brandon. Watch the video below for an understanding of what he's up to.

He's been doing some awesome work lately, taking his camera out of NYC and on a world tour, currently focused on the Middle East. Click on the photos and read the short stories that accompany each.

Hopefully, his work will do for you what it does for me by showing you a more human side to others that is all too easily overshadowed by news accounts and opinions that can often work to give us a warped sense of other people and their cultures.

For living in the suburbs as we do we don't seem to lack very much for wildlife. I caught this video of a doe and her fawn running through our backyard last week. Then, the next morning I noticed a rabbit feeding on some grass in the front lawn as I took the pups out for a walk. That cute scene was obliterated an hour later when I heard its cries after a hawk had descended on it. Poor little guy.

Alex from across the street was telling me that he watched a coyote walk up the street in front of our homes recently. He had to do a double-take to be sure what he was seeing. The winter before last we had an eagle that we'd often see perched in the tree outside of Tammy's office window. While these animals are interesting to see, they also worry us because of our pups. I really don't feel comfortable leaving them unattended outside with predators like that around.

I was on my bike earlier than usual last Friday, intent on doing somewhere between 70 and 150 miles depending on how I felt once I got out there. We've had some excellent cycling weather the past several weeks with very little precip or strong winds to contend with and I've been enjoying it.

I let my Garmin guide me along some roads I'd never ridden before as I made my way out of Medford and in the direction of Kenyon, not really sure how much I wanted to chew off but finding myself feeling more and more comfortable on the bike as the ride progressed.

A map of my route.

I made it back home with enough time and energy to check out the new outlet mall in Eagan with Tammy. I'm not much for outlet malls but it was something new to see. It looks impressive from the outside but there wasn't much going on inside that would cause me to think I'll be a regular there.

Toby and Allie turned 11 years old yesterday! We don't actually celebrate their birthdays but I do like to give them an extra hug or three and refer to them as the birthday girl and birthday boy throughout the day. They seem to like it.


John Hill said...

Marshmallows in your coffee?
Yes, I am judging you.
And I have lost a bit of respect for you.
This makes me very sad, Kevin.

Kevin Gilmore said...

Sigh...and some sort of creamer too. I know...I'm a lost cause. :-/