It Worked!

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last couple days, you’ll know that I had a goal of gaining some readers from Greenland.

First, I begged. Then I learned. And now, I may even have a friend.

Thanks to Lars and his Greenlander pals, I can proudly display my world readership map, now including Greenland.

now_including_greenland

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I’m happy. Be happy with me.

And I’m not quite done with Greenland yet. Lars and I are going to do some kind of interview soon.

So stay tuned!

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5 Things I Just Learned About Greenland

In pursuit of my Greenland reader, I have decided to learn a bit more about their country. What I found was pretty fascinating, so hopefully you’ll enjoy it as well.

1. The USA lost a nuclear weapon in Greenland.

In the deep north of Greenland, the USA built Thule Air Base with permission from Greenland’s government in the 1950’s. The strategic location allowed the USA to monitor for nuclear missiles that might be launched from the USSR toward the USA over the North Pole. So, Thule was equipped with nuclear capabilities in order to strike quickly, should the need arise.

And that’s all good fun, until someone crashes a plane loaded with four nuclear weapons, which is what happened in 1968. In the cleanup after the plane crash, only three of the weapons were recovered. Despite extensive efforts to find and recover the fourth, it likely remains buried in the ice. It’s like a super-deadly surprise for future generations, when my generation is finished melting all the polar ice.

2. The USA once tried to buy Greenland from Denmark.

Before we started filling up her frozen north with nuclear debris, the USA tried to buy Greenland from Denmark in 1946. Denmark wouldn’t have any of it though. Think of how silly Texas would feel if it wasn’t even the second largest state anymore. (Don’t worry Texas, we still love you.)

3. Greenland could eat us for a snack.

DKvNdTn

And we taste like Ranch dressing.

4. 1 out of 4 Greenlanders has attempted suicide.

I’m not going to make light of this because it is a hard thing to lose friends and family to suicide. This one just saddens me.

5. The waters off Greenland are home to a predator even more frightening than the goblin shark.

The Greenland shark is larger than a Great White, can live for up to 200 years old, and regularly dines on polar bears and moose. Forget Australia being the world’s deadliest place. Greenland is steeped in frightening creatures.

So, now that I have more of an appreciation for Greenland, I’d really like to do an interview with a Greenlander. Let’s see if I can make that happen.

An Appeal to the Residents of Greenland

I finally saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with my wife over the weekend. I really liked it, even though it had very little in common with the source material.

Anyway, there’s a part in the movie where the titular character has to go to Greenland. That part of the movie got me thinking about the things that I know about Greenland:

  • It was home (briefly) to Erik the Red and his world-traveling son, Leif, after they were exiled from their homeland for being too good at being vikings.
  • The name is public relations deception to trick people into visiting since it most ice and snow and not green.
  • It was featured in the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
  • And no one in Greenland has ever read my blog.

It’s that last point that makes me sad. It isn’t that I feel personally snubbed by the fact that none of the countries’ eight residents have found me. The sadness comes from the fact that my lifetime world map of blog readership would seem so much more filled in if someone, even just one person, from Greenland clicked on my blog. Due to the nature of spreading a round globe onto a rectangular map, Greenland looks huge!

Coat_of_arms_of_Greenland_svgSo, here’s my plea:

Residents of Greenland,

You have a cool country, at least from what I’ve seen in the movies. And your Coat of Arms is honestly one of the most awesome things in existence. I know that you don’t need to read my blog in order to feel fulfilled. You have your ice and snow and lies of green landscapes and cool viking history for that. But I believe that I can offer you something that other blogs don’t: the rambling thoughts of a would-be author based in a Midwestern US town where you can escape from the mental tortures of constant polar bear and northern light-related attacks. Sounds good, right?

And for the non-English speakers among you: (translated by Google)

Beboere i Grønland,

Du har en cool land, i hvert fald fra hvad jeg har set i film. Og din Coat of Arms er ærligt en af ​​de mest awesome ting i eksistens. Jeg ved, at du ikke behøver at læse min blog for at føle sig opfyldt. Du har din is og sne og løgne af grønne landskaber og kølig viking historie for det. Men jeg tror, ​​at jeg kan tilbyde dig noget, som andre blogs ikke: vidtløftige tanker om en vordende forfatter baseret en midtvestlige USA by, hvor du kan slippe væk fra de mentale tortur af konstant isbjørn og nordlige lys-relaterede angreb. Lyder godt, ikke?

Let’s all hope this works. If you have friends in Greenland, let them know that I would love their readership.

I am Husband to a Wonderful Mom

No one could axe for a better mom!

No one could axe for a better mom!

I don’t want you to have misread that. I didn’t write “I am husband to a wonderful man,” or “I am husband to my wonderful mom.” Neither of those are accurate. What I wrote was “I am husband to a wonderful mom,” meaning that my wife is an amazing mom (which is probably a better title, but it wouldn’t fit in with my “I am” Monday posts and I’m a sucker for tradition).

Sunday morning, on our drive to church, my eldest daughter suddenly said, “Mama, I love you.” And that’s nice, because it was Mother’s Day and it’s good for kids to tell their moms that they love them on Mother’s Day (as well as every other day). Then she went above and beyond with her follow-up question, “Can I tell you something that I love about you?”

“Sure,” said my wife. “I’d love that.”

“I love your smile,” said my daughter.

“I love your smile,” said my wife. “And I love the sound of your laughter.”

“I love the sound of your laughter,” said my daughter.

“I love your sense of fashion,” said my wife.

“I love your sense of fashion,” said my daughter.

“I love that you understand thermodynamics,” I chimed in to make sure that my daughter wasn’t just echoing things.

“Why?” responded my daughter, disproving my echo theory and acting coy about her understanding of thermodynamics (which she never denied knowing; she only seemed skeptical as to why I would like that about her).

There was a lot of smiling going on after this exchange. In fact, I’m smiling now as I recall the conversation. My wife, the amazing mom that she is, gives us all a lot to smile about.

She’s a great comforter, reader-of-bedtime-stories, snuggler, master-of-toy-cleanup-supervision, helper-of-potty-times, and so much more. This is all in addition to her being an amazing wife, kick-butt accountant, and generally awesome person.

Anyway, I love being married to her and she’s a great mom. I hope all of you other moms had a great Mother’s Day and that all of you children of mothers did your best to tell your respective moms that you love them.

Friday 5 | Click-worthy Links

Wireless Computer Mouse with Wheel

Here are 5 more places online worth checking out:

  1. Children are wonderful. Especially when they read and review books.
  2. Russia is clamping down on foul language. Should the world be calling foul on this? Obviously, *LANGUAGE WARNING*
  3. You may find it strange that I work with graphic design, what with my being color blind and all. Be that as it may, one of the tools in my design belt is Pantone’s guide to color schemes. Here’s a recently discovered 800 page Dutch manuscript featuring handwritten notes and handpainted colors as a guide for artists. The manuscript predates Pantone by almost 300 years.
  4. “The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.” So says Karl Marx, founder of marxism and ideological forebear of communist policies. And yet, money must still pass through the right hands when it comes to Marx’s e-books. Read on for irony.
  5. I wouldn’t normally link to a story in Cosmopolitan, but John Green (author of The Fault in our Stars) has some good things to say about why adults (like me) enjoy YA Fiction.

Enjoy!

How to be Good Around People Whom You Badly Want to Impress

I would love to be my dorky self around Tom Hanks.

I would love to be my dorky self around Tom Hanks.

I’m not going to lie to you. This is tough.You are at some kind of gathering and your all-time hero walks in. You are probably not going to have another opportunity in your lifetime to shake their hand and tell them that they are cool. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even decide that you are just as cool as you think they are and they’ll want to spend all kinds of time with you doing best-friend-type things.

Or not.

Chances are good that you are going to say or do something awkward and regret it for the rest of forever.

So how do you avoid that?

Step One: Ask yourself if you really need to do this.

Do you really need to meet them in person? Are you willing to risk having your pleasant illusions shattered by the possible reality that the person with whom you are enamored is just another human (and possibly a jerk)?

Step Two: Consider for a moment the amount of crazy people your hero has to deal with all the time.

Seriously, if they are even semi-famous, they encounter weirdos at least 23 hours per day. You know the people that I’m talking about. They are the ones asking for autographs on body parts and who want to parent a child will your hero’s DNA. Don’t be that person.

Step Three: Introduce yourself.

This doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be something like this: “Hello. Are you [insert your hero’s name here]? I’m [insert your name here] and I just wanted to say hi.”

Step Four: Don’t let on too much.

Yes, you probably know everything there is to know about this person. You’ve read their blog. Heck, maybe you even wrote the Wikipedia page for them. But it is super creepy when you casually talk about the intimate routines of someone else’s life whom you are just now meeting in person for the first time. They don’t know you at all, so don’t act like you know them too well. Avoiding this rule is your best bet to getting their autograph on a restraining order against you.

If you have a question for them, screen yourself to make sure that your question wouldn’t sound strange coming out of a stranger’s mouth to you. “Are you enjoying our city?” is acceptable. “Where are you sleeping tonight?” is not.

Step Five: Say thank you.

It’s probable that this person makes more money per minute than you do per week, and you’ve just taken up some of their valuable time. Say thank you to them.

Step Six: Walk away.

Don’t overstay your welcome. Brevity is the key to success. Leave on a high note before any of your craziness leaks out.

And that’s it. Follow these steps and you will probably have a good memory about your time meeting your hero. Unless your hero is a jerk, and then you should probably pick a different hero anyway.

Good luck!