Review: Strange Planet - Nathan W. Pyle

I remember when I first discovered Nathan Pyle's Strange Planetcomic on Instagram earlier this year. The humorous encounters within the short comics are great observations about life. These beings, as Pyle calls them, experience life in a way that when we observe it we see it as funny, ridiculous, silly and sweet. These beings indeed live on a strange planet.

I pre-ordered the book as a gift as soon as it went on sale, and sure enough that same person reciprocated and ordered it for me and we exchanged eagerly last month. Despite following the comics on Instagram and Facebook there is new content in the book that has been a delight to view.

The beings communicate in English - but very formal English. They don't state they are getting a sun tan, instead they are getting star damage. They speak in simple, obvious phrases - but not obvious. No one speaks like this, but we say the same things when we are being serious. But stripped down to formal English and simple phrases, the be…

Short Hair, Don't Care?

It sounds funny to write about hair, long or short, it is just hair. But people are funny about hair, especially women - but especially men!

I have cried over one bad hair cut. I was eight years old, and my mom had left (I stop short here of saying the word abandoned) my sister and I with my grandmother for a visit. Juvenile memory recalling events (perhaps exaggerated) but as soon as my mother was on the road my grandma took me for a hair cut, and possibly the worst bowl shaped hair cut of my childhood which was riddled with bad hair cuts. That is how bad it was. There are pictures.

But since then, no matter the cut, I have never cried about it. It is hair, it grows back. I am lucky to not be bald or have a hideously misshapen hairline. I haven't always loved my hair cuts but I have never given them such thought to be upset by them when they are bad.

However, generally I love my hair. I wear my hair very short. I cut it all off to a short bob when I was 30, and then at 33 went ev…

Action, Motivation and Discipline

We are approaching the time of year when people begin making resolutions. I love resolutions! I am goal driven. I love a good list of things to achieve and then start checking them off. Big and small (this is partly why I started using DayZeroProject several years ago!). I make New Year's Resolutions but I also don't wait around until Monday or New Year's Day to make changes. I make them as soon as I realize what I need to do.

People will say "2020 is going to be my best year" and they list off their goals to save money, get fit, pay off debt, get promoted, go back to school - any number of great things that will benefit their lives.

And then the first few weeks of January are a flurry of activity. Getting a machine at the gym is a nightmare in January. By usually by February this has died off almost completely.

People want to be motivated. But motivation doesn't work like that. Motivation is not something most people just wake up everyday and have. If I spen…

Holiday Commercialization, Gift Giving and Shopping Addictions

It is Black Friday, no longer the beginning of the wild craze of the shopping season because the sales started weeks ago, but rather the pinnacle or culmination of all American holiday season commercialization. We are fat off turkey, feeling generous and opening our wallets both in stores and online.

There is no doubt that Christmas has been commercialized - as have all holidays - and the insanity of it can be exciting or overwhelming depending on your outlook. I think it is an unfair burden we place on ourselves when we buy gifts at the expense of increasing our debt burden, in the end that isn't very helpful to anyone. And while I celebrate the spiritual significance of this season, I don't really object to the shopping sprees either, so long as they are financially sound.

I love giving gifts. Giving is not the language of love I most like to be spoken to me, but it is my favorite way to speak love. I love to give, and I love to find surprising and creative ways to show thou…

Grief, Loss and the Holidays

I love the holidays. From about mid November until New Year's Eve I am as festive as it gets. I have decorations up, music playing, my Christmas t-shirts are washed and my Christmas headgear is ready to go. I am done my Christmas shopping every year before Thanksgiving, I am just so excited to pounce into the Christmas season!

However, for many people, the season is less than festive. It is a reminder of grief and loss of loved ones who are no longer around to share. Several people come to my mind that I know really struggle through the Christmas season.

In years past I felt ill equipped to offer any opinion on this because I had no relevant experience. Who was I to weigh in on such a sensitive topic with no background experience?

However, as many of my readers know, about this time three years ago, my father's already poor health began to rapidly decline. The last time I saw him stand up was Thanksgiving of 2016, and he passed away the day after Christmas.

Many of my coworker…

My Favorite Fictional Character Was Always Thankful

We all have fictional characters that we have sort of fallen in love with even though they are not real. That is the whole point of a great movie, book or TV show - to create characters that seem real, that we can connect to personally, that represent something we can identify with on some level.

I can think of tons of characters in fiction that I adore. My favorite is when the creator of the character balances the good and the bad. No one is entirely good and even most bad people have some redeemable quality about them, which is why I love a good villain with a soft spot somewhere!

However, my all time favorite fictional character is one that I feel I have sort of grown up with. I became acquainted with her when I was a child and she was a child and I watched her grow and I feel like as I have grown she has grown with me. This character, of course, is Anne of Green Gables main character, Anne Shirley.

Anne was feisty without ever intending to be. She never wanted attention, but she c…

Moral Obligations in Society

A dear friend and I were having an interesting discussion today about personal accountability, excuse making and societal responsibilities. She and I share a common idea that most people making excuses about their lives do have the wherewithal to make a better choice for themselves and take responsibility for their health, finances, personal relationships, etc. I believe we agree there are some who, through the mistreatment of others, have a more difficult time making positive life changes but even then they should make the changes they are able in order to improve their life.

I made a comment like, "As a libertarian, if people want to piss away their life then that is their right to do so, but I object when their life choices begin to become a burden to others."

My friend disagreed with this, stating that people must do more with their lives than piss them away (these were our literal work choices) and that we have a moral obligation to the world to do more than just be a l…