1 One Sunday In Perry
2 What the Army Taught Me
3 Not My Mother's Shopping List
4 Brain Calisthenics
5 The Pono Nano Diet
6 Oatmeal Jim-Jams
7 A Walk in the Park
8 Escape to California
10 Printer's Devil
11 Pono - The Addict
13 Love in the Woods
14 It's a Small World
15 Culinary Crutches
16 We Want Sandin
17 Better With Age
18 Parallel Universes
19 Mårten Nilsson Finne
20 Hawaii Is A State
21 Shake-em-up Flashlight
22 The Use of E-mail
23 Normal American Schoolboy
24 Lake Gogebic Early Days
I keep reading about ways to exercise one’s brain and I finally decided to try some. One suggestion is to arrange things differently. I have a short towel rack near the sink in the bathroom and a longer one on the shower door. For more than 10 years I’ve had the towel on the right and the washcloth on the left on both racks. I switched them.
In about 4 minutes I could no longer tolerate the arrangement by the sink so I switched it back and it remains that way today. The shower door was a different matter. The new format was more convenient, took about 4 seconds to get used to, and is now the norm!
So, I think these experiments were failures. The first irritated and had to be abandoned. The second resulted in an immediate improvement in my life so it also failed to challenge my brain.
The next attempt was (is) …. interesting. Because of my reaction I think it qualifies as brain exercise.
During my walk one day I found a golf ball (not unusual since I walk on a sidewalk across the street from a golf course). When I got home I just took the ball out of my pocket and dropped it from about waist level to see what would happen. I have a ceramic tile floor so it bounced and bounced (repeat as needed) and finally came to rest in the archway between the front of my place and the master bedroom. It was about 4 cm. from one side of the arch so I just left it there.
I probably go through that arch ten times a day or so, and each trip I see the ball, subconsciously note that it is “out of place”, consider picking it up, consciously decide not to since it is a “brain exercise”, and go on. It has been there now for a bunch of weeks and I still find it …. interesting.
Over time, I have memorized the six countries is Central America, the ten provinces and two territories in Canada, the 15 republics in the old USSR and how they map into today’s world, some 444 Hawaiian words, about 44 Swedish words needed for genealogy, and a number of other highly important bits of information. I sometimes run over these items when I am walking, waiting for a doctor, or otherwise occupied in a non-brain-stimulating activity. Brain exercise?
I have little tricks that help me get and/or keep on track. When I turn on the coffeemaker I also turn on the light above the stove. The light stays on until the coffeemaker is turned off. (And still a couple times I left the pot, but not the light, on overnight.)
I keep track of my meds on a calendar. I take out the pills and while holding them in my hand I put the proper hieroglyphics in the proper place on the proper date of the calendar. I keep the pills in the kitchen and swallow them in the bathroom. Before taking them, I study them, think whether it is am or pm, and attempt to consciously “know” I’m doing the right thing. Since I usually use warm water in the bathroom sink, when the faucet is in the cold position, I’m pretty sure I took my pills. (I add this because sometimes all my other schemes fail and still I wonder if I took my pills. The faucet handle provides after the fact evidence of the action.)
Before retiring at night, I check doors, windows, fans, blinds, ‘puter, TV, kitchen (for anything rotting, burners on, coffeepot on, etc.), and calendar (for meds, undone chores). And still sometimes I leave a door unlocked, a bill unpaid, or whatever.
Brain exercise articles almost always recommend crossword puzzles. I can’t stand doing puzzles because I don’t feel that I’m accomplishing anything. Someone already knows the answer, so why should I struggle with it? (Besides, I’m not very good at them.)
However, I’ve found the perfect puzzle that no one (that I know of) has solved – my family tree – genealogy! In order to pursue this I have to learn and understand and manipulate some facts, some processes, some tools, and some sources, gather and integrate, communicate and organize, and put it all together in a “solution”. It may not be as …. interesting …. as a wayward golf ball, but it is definitely brain exercise!
And the golf ball, never
Still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid floor of Pono
Just beside the bedroom door.
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