#270 Dogs with jobs

Dogs are lazy.

There, I said it. And you know it’s true. Look who’s sleeping on the couch, look who’s drooling on my socks, look who’s wandering around in circles. Dogs, my friend. Dogs, dogs, dogs.

And sure, maybe the dog economy has dried up a bit and it’s not as easy to give a dog a bone. But before this old man comes rolling home let’s take a moment to say thanks to the K9s actually earning their kibble:

• Seeing eye dogs. I feel bad for blind people of three hundred years ago. We hadn’t invented glasses yet and Seeing Eye dogs weren’t around. People like me probably walked around aimlessly till we fell in sewer holes or tried to pet a bear. Lucky for us, now glasses and seeing-eye dogs come through in the clutch – leading us out of harm’s way and letting us live another day.

• Junk yard dogs. Who else is going to guard all the spare tires, rusty chains, and piles of gravel around here? Braving rainstorms, mud puddles, and barbed wire makes junk yard dogging a tough life … but an honest life.

• The dalmation on the fire squad. Apparently firefighters took dalmations with them in the early days to be a sort of barking siren. Their aggressive nature and loud barks helped clear the streets for fire trucks to get to the blaze. It helped that they had a ton of energy and got along great with horses. Thanks, Spots.

•Bomb sniffing dogs. These four-footed beacons of courage are keeping our skies safe. I mean, would you enjoy inspecting suspicious duct-taped packages making ticking sounds? I didn’t think so. So make sure you give these weekend warriors a grateful head nod next time you walk past.

• Hunting dogs. Remember when you weren’t clay shooting back in Duck Hunt there was that friendly neighborhood hunting dog scaring the ducks out of the bushes so you could pop them? These guys are close cousins of the bloodhounds who help detectives find clues in the forest. They follow a work hard, play hard philosophy.

• Sheep dogs. Herding sheep over grassy hills is no walk in the park. While his friends are pissing on trees outside the pizza place the sheep dog runs around barking for hours. Fierce determination and a tireless work ethic are hallmarks of the role.

Yes, dogs with jobs keep the rusty gears of our economy creaking as they dedicate their noble lives to service. Dogs with jobs help our world go round.

Dogs with jobs are

AWESOME!

— Email message —

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Pasricha, I am in the army and my Colonel suggested watching your video about the 3 A’s of awesome. I found a picture online long ago that I showed to him and he laughed and thought it would be cool to send it to you. So attached is the picture. Also, here is a photo of me when I was promoted to SFC. It was an AWESOME day. Thanks,

Sergeant First Class Wayne Gray


Photos from: here, here, and here

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#271 When the music player’s shuffle reads your mind

Sometimes it knows exactly how you feel.

Sometimes it knows exactly what you need.

Sometimes it plays a song that is exactly

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“The beauty of sunsets is well-documented. Poems have been written on it. Photographs have been clicked. Many romantic films end with the happy couple walking towards a beautiful sunset. I have seen some beautiful sunsets from my apartment in Bombay and they never cease to amaze me. But, every once in a while, if I wake up early enough during certain times of the year I get to see the moon setting over the Arabian Sea and the only word for it is AWESOME!!!!” – Nita

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#272 The Stone Age

Props to the past.

The Stone Age is the term describing the giant time period from 600,000 years ago to 8000 years ago where our earliest ancestors first made tools from stone. Unless you happen to be an immortal wizard, I’m guessing you weren’t around back then. Yeah, me neither. But we sure owe a lot to our cave brothers and and sisters for the stuff they figured out to help us along our way. Seriously, 98% of our time on Earth has been living in The Stone Age, so it’s time to look back and give two opposable thumbs up to our makers.

Now, the first stone tools ever built are either the core type, formed by chipping stone to form a cutting edge, or the flake type, fashioned from fragments struck off a stone. Hand axes made their first appearance here for our hunter-gatherer grandparents.

After this there was a technology boom. Think of it like the dot-com era of the 1990s, only this was about 50,000 – 100,000 years ago and included the invention of Mousterian tools — instruments such as sturdy points and bone needles and thimbles to help sew furs and skins together for body coverings. Yes, blankets were born. Also, we began painting back here, decorating dead bodies with colors before burying our loved ones. Note that this was the start of the cosmetics industry with beads, necklaces, and ochre, but its peak wasn’t reached until sparkly blue eye shadow much later.

From about 50,000 years ago onwards we really hit our Stone Age stride. We started building pit houses, which are arguably our first homemade shelters. So camping suddenly became more of a nice-to-do instead of a have-to-do. Also, we started group hunting and fishing with new tools such as knives, spears, and harpoons. And in addition to stone, we started using bone and ivory to make artwork such as Venus figures.

Basically, The Stone Age is a really, really long time that happened a really, really long time ago. But without it, almost nothing we see, do, and use in our lives today would be possible. When we’re driving around in fast cars staring at stars, just remember where it all started — carving stones, shaping rocks, and charging our way forward into science and the arts.

Yes, from ochre to Play-Doh, from cave paintings to computer screens, we’ve gone from berries to jam and from running feet to submarines. From pit houses to apartments, from stone spears to pocket knives, our latest inventions keep us moving forward… and keep changing all of our lives.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Here’s what happened to me tonight: I was speeding through the countdown and happened upon #519. Then I flipped on the television and found The Truman Show, which was a favorite of mine. I was watching and realized I never really watched the whole thing through, which I recall was #776. Midway through the movie, I read #464. The Truman Show was filmed in Seaside, Florida, which is our family’s favorite vacationing spot. So how about that? 3 awesome things in one. Truly Awesome.” – Mitch

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

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#273 Breaking into your own place after realizing you locked yourself out

We’ve all been there.

Whether you left the keys in your car, let a dorm door slam behind you, or just came home late without a key, we feel your pain, we feel your pain, we feel your pain.

Now after the panic drains and you stop going insane it’s time to get your brain together by slipping off your sneakers, pulling a ski mask over your face, and grabbing a giant empty sack with a dollar sign stamped across it. Yes, you’re a cat burglar and it’s time to bust into your own joint.

Unlocked windows, jimmied doorknobs, and bent wire hangers all help get the job done in style. Swing pet doors could also come in handy. Also! Be sure to try and fail to wedge a Mastercard in the doorjam for a couple minutes while saying “I saw this in a movie once”, just for the full experience.

Breaking into your own place after realizing you locked yourself out gives you a smirking sense of jewel thieving satisfaction. You get the high of being a bank robber without the guilt of walking around with a coat full of diamonds.

Let’s just call it a win win.

Let’s just call it

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“While walking along the cliff at the end of the world… alright, the Coastal Path of the most southern point in Cornwall, UK… I stumbled across this. It makes me smile every time I see it.” – June

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#274 When your child reads you a bedtime story

Once upon a time you had a baby.

Over those first few years you had ups and down, good times and bad, lots of laughs and lots of tears. You spooned applesauce off chins, you washed off their skin, and you walked them to their first day of school.

And as they grow up and grow older, as they grow taller and as they grow bolder, it’s beautiful seeing their tiny eyes sparkle with little pops of understanding of the world around them.

It’s a beautiful moment when your little one takes a book from your hand … and bumbles through a story that they want to share with you.

Once upon a time you read to your baby.

And now they’re reading to you.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#275 Sundays

It’s a beautiful day.

Don’t let it get away.

Now whether you’re holding hands in church, running with your dog at the park, just taking a break from the world, or just sleeping in till it’s dark, well … Sunday’s a good time to relax and enjoy some smaller moments:

1. Worship the Sun and ice cream. The word Sunday was originally named after “Sun’s Day” — just like Monday was “Moon’s Day”, Saturday was “Saturn’s Day.” Now it’s come to include giant bowls of ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and nuts. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a chance to worship both on a wobbly picnic table on some sandy grass by the water.

2. Couch potatoes unite. Sunday is the perfect time to practice the ancient lost art of Completely Lazing Around. Curl up on the futon with your boyfriend during the ballgame, pop open a pizza box with your pals for kickoff, or flip the recliner beside Grandpa for a marathon session of bird chirps and whispers during golf.

3. I’ve got all my sisters with me. After wading through work and before diving back in again, it’s time to pause and enjoy quality time with your friends and family. Maybe it’s a holiday dinner at Grandma’s, maybe you’re visiting dad in the home, maybe you’re dining out at college, or maybe you’re laughing with friends on the phone.

Yes, sometimes if you’re lucky the world slows down a bit on Sundays. Today we say when those highways unjam, when phones quit their buzzing, when your tensions untangle … it’s time for some Sunday loving.

AWESOME!

Congratulations to two longtime supporters of 1000 Awesome Things on their new books!

First up is the always impressive Gretchen Rubin! She has a great new book out called Better Than Before. It’s a follow-up to The Happiness Project and is an instant bestseller in its first weeks out. Congrats, Gretchen!

Second up is Jeremy Gutsche! He runs Trendhunter.com and and just launched Better and Faster. Another instant bestseller. Two books with better in their name? We are all improving every day.

Hope you like the books!

Photos from: Sarah Ross

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#276 Waiters and waitresses who know the menu really well

I’d make a bad waiter.

Yeah, balancing wobbly trays of wet glasses, slipping and sliding on slick kitchen floors, and rushing for refills after refills is just way above my abilities. Of course, sometimes when you hit your local eating trough you meet other waiters and waitresses over their head too. Like for instance:

1. No-Notepad Nathan. This is the guy who listens to everyone’s order without writing anything down. At first, you’re really impressed, but the wow factor disappears when all the meals come out wrong.

2. Disappearing Diane. She’s a great waitress during drinks and dinner, but after that — poof! — it’s like a cloud of smoke explodes and she just vanishes. Dirty dishes linger and you’re stuck walking around aimlessly, shoulder-tapping anyone in an apron looking for the bill.

3. Spilly Sonia. Watch out when that chicken noodle soup, soda refill, or gravy bowl arrives. Sonia is a bit of a klutz so you can expect lots of sauce smears, rogue fries, and wet glasses.

Yes, eating out ain’t easy and you never know what you’re gonna get. But that’s what makes it so great when you score a good one. Waiters and waitresses who know the menu really well help give us great times, great moments, and great nights. Confident recommendations, cautions against bad picks, and portion size estimates help us out.

So! To all those waiters and waitresses out there who know the menu really well … thanks for being there.

We hereby declare you

AWESOME!

Congratulations to two longtime supporters of 1000 Awesome Things on their new books!

First up is the always impressive Gretchen Rubin! She has a great new book out called Better Than Before. It’s a follow-up to The Happiness Project and is an instant bestseller in its first weeks out. Congrats, Gretchen!

Second up is Jeremy Gutsche! He runs Trendhunter.com and and just launched Better and Faster. Another instant bestseller. Two books with better in their name? We are all improving every day.

Hope you like the books!

Photos from: here and here

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#277 The fact that airplanes exist

Wait, wait, wait.

Let me get this straight.

Giant hunks of metal weighing half a million pounds soar in the air way above the clouds over deep dark oceans to deliver people to distant lands thousands of miles away?

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#278 Putting garbage in other garbage

In your car you used to have all this lying around: an empty Doritos bag, a napkin, a parking stub, and a coffee cup.

Now you just have a coffee cup.

AWESOME!

Photo from: here

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#279 Anything really, really heavy

Boom-badda, boom-badda.

Back when I was a wee lad I remember begging my parents for some newfangled gadget from Radio Shack that let me play LCD checkers in the back of the station wagon. It was like Game Boy’s Great Uncle or something and after I fought with scissors to break it out of its frozen-carbonite-like plastic shell I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, this thing is really light.”

Sure enough, a couple dozen King Me’s later in the back of our bumpy wagon and this E-crap of Terribleness went kaput. I guess it was essentially plastic-wrapped air with a rusty circuit board wedged inside and couldn’t keep up with my killer moves. But it got me thinking that maybe there’s just something better about things that are really, really heavy…

• A pile of blankets on top of you. Because nothing beats getting buried under the hot fuzz on a cold night.

• Pens. There is a direct relationship with the heaviness of your pen and its quality. Bottom of the barrel is those flimsy four inch plastic ones that clip onto your mini golf card. Top of the heap is the fat one the size of a hot dog sitting beside the wedding reception guest book.

• Gold bars. When your bank account is loaded with tipsy pyramids of gold bars you’re either an ancient Egyptian King, Veronica Lodge’s dad, or Scrooge McDuck. Either way, gold’s been valuable since before recorded history for coins, jewelry, and arts.

• The Earth. It really is a great planet. And sure, we may have problems, but have you tried living anywhere else? The commute is always a nightmare and don’t get me started on the lack of water or air.

• Things made of glass. Listen up, plastic Jeep windows, Styrofoam cups, and the stained yogurt container I’m heating up this leftover ravioli in right now — your days are numbered. Because there’s something to be said for going heavy and going back to glass for the win.

• Old toys from your Grandpa’s basement. When you come across an old dump truck or a heavy wood paddle and ball it’s time to get down with a high quality afternoon. Keep fishing through boxes and you might find a solid metal xylophone or a doll who’s rock hard head could double as a battering ram.

 

• Ununoctium. Poor Mendeleev didn’t leave spots for this synthetic element — also know as last square on The Periodic Table and the heaviest element on Earth. Packing 118 protons into an atom isn’t easy but it makes for a fun challenge for nerds.

• Babies. Yes, it’s a great sign when babies come out heavy and healthy and then keep growing and growing and growing and growing until they turn into me and you.

• Old, dangerous playground equipment. We’ve chatted before about how metal see-saws, hot slides, and rusty Big Spinners beat plastic rocking horses two feet off the ground any day.

• Unwrapped Christmas presents. Heavy mystery boxes crank up that exciting what-could-this-be factor on Christmas morning.

Yes, in these days of bendable, breakable, and throwaway there’s something nice about anything really, really heavy. Heavy means this action figure won’t break next week. Heavy means this omelet is packed with cheese. And maybe heavy is just a sign of substance, a sign of comfort, and a sign something was put together by someone who cared.

AWESOME!

Congratulations to two longtime supporters of 1000 Awesome Things on their new books!

First up is the always impressive Gretchen Rubin! She has a great new book out called Better Than Before. It’s a follow-up to The Happiness Project and is an instant bestseller in its first weeks out. Congrats, Gretchen!

Second up is Jeremy Gutsche! He runs Trendhunter.com and and just launched Better and Faster. Another instant bestseller. Two books with better in their name? We are all improving every day.

Hope you like the books!

Photos from: here, here, here, here, and here

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