Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

It’s Not What Numbers Say: It’s What You Hear (by Mark St.Cyr)

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It’s easy to get caught up in numbers, and measurements. You measure
your growth or any deficiencies against numbers. However exactly what
you’re measuring against can be just as important as what you’re
measuring.

Don’t try to measure yourself or your accomplishments by using
someone else’s yardstick. Use your own. Just because it’s called a
“yardstick” doesn’t mean it’s held against a standard residing at some
National Measurements Institute.

Problem for many of us when using these mental yardsticks is we’ll
unwittingly (and sometimes intentionally) lengthen the stick or shorten
it based on emotion. We’ll put more emphasis on what we think was harder
based on our prism, while at the same time see other milestones as
smaller or more easily accomplished when in reality those might have
been the hardest.

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Graced with Coniferous Green

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Couple in the next room's bound to win a prize.
They've been going at it all night long.

Well I'm trying to get some sleep, but these motel walls are cheap.

Lincoln Duncan is my name, and here's my song.

I frequently confess to having a limited set of skills.

I'm good at finding chart patterns. I have an uncanny knack for assessing the appropriate container size for a given leftover. And I sleep brilliantly.

This last skill, sadly, was challenged to the breaking point last night. In the course of my oft-cited travels of late, I found myself in an undisclosed location in a lodge that could be described as quaint, charming, and rustic.
As with most real estate terms, though, the adjectives only gently suggest the darker truth.

My family's lodging is adjacent to an ancient graveyard. One could open the bedroom window and touch a two-hundred year old headstone. This place is also said to be haunted, with many individuals reporting hair-raising sightings of spectres.

The heating, too, is ghastly. The ground outside is deep with snow, and the inside is heated with a gas fire which loudly turns on and off via thermostatic control. The groans and aches of the surrounding metal as it contracts and expands with these turnings is enough to wake the dead (which, conveniently, as I mentioned, are just outside).

NoisyBut this wasn't my problem, really. It was the couple upstairs. The couple that arrived at 1 in the morning. The couple whose every footstep emitted a grinding squeak as the adjacent floorboards on which they feet pressed pushed against one another. The happy, very sexual active couple, who made extensive and enjoyable use of the four-post bed in the room above. That couple.

Squeak squeak squeak squeak. Pause. Squeak squeak squeak squeak. Pause. Squeak squeak squeak squeak. Pause.

As I've been married a long while, when I first heard this noise, I wondered to myself – – and I am not making this up – – why someone was doing workwork at 1:30 in the morning. I listened carefully, deducing incorrectly that a skilled craftsman was making lusty use of a wood plane.

Only after the powerful deductive engine that we all hail as Tim's Brain set to work did I realize that two people were above me doing the nasty.

I was eager to strangle either of them, since killing them both would have been unnecessary to my goal of silence.

After a long, long while, a final squeak squeak squeak pealed forth, and the next sound I heard was…..a toilet flushing. I personally have never conjured up a visit to commode as the natural terminus to carnal embrace, but perhaps humanity has moved past my own knowledge of this area.

So, your beloved host had a very limited amount of shuteye last night, but as I am wont to do, I desired to share my anecdote with you since, in the market's current state, I really could do without charts for a day. Have a happy Saturday.

Pause.

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