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I am new to Formula One, or really, to any sport fandom. I tend to get emotional about the things I care about, and I have done my level best to avoid the crushing sense of disappointment one feels when one wants something deeply, and does not get it. Elections are hard for me. Wanting things in general can be a challenge, and investing in outcomes over which I have no influence? Rough. 

Which is why it’s a big deal for me to join Team Hamilton. He’s worth it. 

Why? It’s not the winning. Ok, not only the winning. And it’s not just the fact that he reminds me of my favorite brother. It’s excellence. Hamilton is good at what he does, yes, but he has taken to winning while retaining a sense of the larger picture. 

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Again, I’m new to the sport so it’s possible that I missed more formative, brasher years, but since I’ve been watching what I see is this: support for his team, especially those who are often unsung, support for worthy causes, good sportsmanship, and generally using his platform and profile for good.

Lewis is a 7-time world champion, of course, tied with Michael Schumacher to be the winningest F1 driver ever, but he also acts like it. 

As I dipped my toe into the F1 waters last year, Mr Man asked what I thought of the up-and-coming driver Verstappen. “Meh,” I said. “Why?” he asked. “He looks like he could win the championship.” True, I said, but I like Lewis. He is considerate to reporters and kind to fans, doesn’t project the sense of entitlement that some drivers wear like a second suit, rarely says “I” in interviews, makes a point to thank the team back at the factory, has succeeded despite not (like so many other drivers) being born to the sport, and is outspoken on human rights and other social issues. His rainbow helmet was a thing of beauty and likely did more to promote rights awareness than a year’s worth of articles. 

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This year’s F1 car changes have put Mercedes at a distinct disadvantage. Unless they get those problems sorted, Hamilton may never win that next championship, the one that would break the tie for first and put him at the very top.

This year his helmet carries a quote from Maya Angelou: “Still, I rise.

And now I’m realizing what so many fans before me have: Despite the possibility, nay, likelihood, of disappointment, I’ll root for him anyway.*

His vision of excellence is worth it.

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* I’m not the only one. I spotted Michelle Obama and George Lucas in the Mercedes garage today.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

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Today would have been The Whippersnapper‘s 109th birthday. I was hoping to post another photo of her but my father, keeper of the family album, is out of town.

For now just let me say to my grandmother, dancer, baker, tea maker and all-around excellent human being:

I miss you, but I love that you were here.

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Photo by Logan Ellzey on Unsplash

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Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

— Desmond Tutu

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Photo by Emily Jackson on Unsplash

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If you have ever needed to write a ransom-style note* but the decline of printed news has you at a loss, worry no more!

Polona Typo has come to the rescue!

Like many libraries, the National Library of Poland has digitized many of its holdings. They also have an interface that allows you to convert text into images based on scanned letters from their collection.

Sure, there are lots of ransom note generators out there (maybe too many; what are people up to?) but I like mine with a bit of history.

The Polona Typo project, based on the new Polona API, makes it possible to type, share and print your own sentences using thousands of letters from the books, posters and maps created over more than six centuries. Enjoy!

Test it out, reload to get a whole new look or click on individual letters to re-roll one at a time. Download and enjoy (responsibly, of course!).

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Courtesy Polona Typo.

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* Not an actual ransom note, of course. That would be wrong.

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Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but we have a bunch of cat-related items that could benefit a local animal rescue. 

Maybe you’re tired, stretched thin by the news and the pandemic and the climate and the effort it can take, sometimes, to make one’s way through life. Maybe you don’t think you have anything left to give. 

A newsletter I read sent around a piece that referenced this story:

StoryCorps: In A Jail Sentence, A Veteran’s Redemption — With Help From A Fellow Vet : NPR

As the judge from the linked article said, “We all mess up, we all fall short.” Don’t let that stop you from doing what you can, when you can.

Because kindness always matters, today and every day.

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I may have mentioned our adventures in kitten trapping over the past couple of years (short version: hard but rewarding, remote cameras for the win).

Here are two organizations that were great as we tried to keep the neighborhood from being overrun by adorable, yet vulnerable, kittens:

The good people in these groups have done an amazing job even under the stresses of the pandemic, which has increased demand for pets but also restricted a lot of shelters and the vet services they need.

Fortunately, we were able to help our local cat rescue groups get a lot of kittens off the street before winter. Just as an example, take a look at two of the kittens we saved: Comet and Dasher. So cute!

If you’re in the market for an adorable fur friend, check out the adoption pages at these or your local rescue groups. We’re not ready for a new cat just yet but when we are we’ll go through a group like this.

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Cuteness is our superpower. Photo by Ilse Orsel on Unsplash

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Some days you take a break from the avalanche of news and realize you’ve got Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi stuck in your head. The chorus can feel too true to remember that there are reasons to be cheerful and the world is not, in fact, on a one way trip to Ugh Town. 

But other days? Like today days? With heartfelt respect to Ms. Mitchell,* you realize that the final lines of the song could be rewritten:

“They saved Paradise,

and took out the parking lot.”

And we’re just the people to do it.

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Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash
  • How does one address someone with this level of accomplishment? Award-winner? Multi-Hall of Famer? Fellow Canadian? Doctor (she has three honorary doctorates)? I went with the title that, I hope, conveys fundamental respect across all arenas.

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Fun at Work

One weird thing about working alone? You tend not to smile as much because there’s no one to smile at. To avoid muscle atrophy (and general Tuesday-ness), I try to think about fun things like cookies or double rainbows or a good book.

Cat videos work too;)

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Tuesdays, amirite? Photo by Juan Gomez on Unsplash

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“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

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While you wait, here’s a little something to keep you entertained:

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