For all intents and purposes, I have completed my scan of faces in Picasa.  I have eight left to assign a name to, but I know who they are.

What I found interesting was the face fatigue I would encounter.  After scanning unmatched faces (faces without a name) for about 15 minutes, they would become a blur.  I wouldn’t recognize faces that I knew.  I could go back over them the next day and discover many that I had missed.

I ended up with about twenty three thousand faces that I chose to ignore.  Some of them were an easy choice – Lucille Ball, or the woman who ran the school I visited in India.  Identifiable, but not significant.  Others were a level up from there – people I could identify, who I had a short-term relationship with.  That includes some co-workers from India, some neighbors from prior houses.  Similar to that were people I could name but didn’t have a relationship with – the doctor and his wife from Bettie’s flower club, or the ladies from her garden club.

Harder to cut the ties on were people who had left our church, and former close neighbors, people I had prayed with and for.  But I have no fellowship with the former church members (not shunned, but they disinvited themselves and won’t be back), and no contact with the neighbors.

I still have 285 named faces (people, but Picasa identifies faces), including Giri, my driver from when I spent a month in India, and my friend John Gintz, who died earlier this year, and people who have not been at church recently, and Aunt Shirley’s former husband, whom I will probably never see again.

I chose to remove the people who were somehow distant because I want to make a conscious choice to have less.  Don’t worry – I’m not going as far as the guy who’s down to 100 things (or the other one who’s down to 50 things), but I have too much stuff.  I try to do too much, and it’s not working out.  I know the end of the year is going to get real busy for me, work-wise, and I’m just knocking some things down in preparation.

I went through the coins we have been accumulating.  Pocket change goes into a bowl.  I counted it over the weekend, keeping out unique quarters for Bettie (she wants the Philly and Denver versions of each of the state quarters – only six Denvers left!) as well as older pennies.  The ones from 1981 and earlier were all copper, and smash better.  I found about a hundred of those, as well as a wheat penny.  I ended up with over thirty bucks in change, which will go to missions.  And the bowl isn’t full to overflowing anymore.

My email has a label “Steve do this”, which is for pending activities.  I have been nibbling that down.  Still need to do a recommendation on LinkedIn for a guy at work, answer a question about dual-booting Linux for some relatives in the great NorthWest, and a few other activities.

And no decisions yet, but I am considering dropping back on the frequency of the entries on this blog.  Part of the reason I started this was to set a standard of a post every day, and live up to that standard.  So far, with a few exceptions, I have done that.  I’m at almost 1200 posts.  I have enjoyed this, and it will continue on a daily basis through at least the end of the year.  Writing each significant entry takes at least a half-hour, sometimes an hour or more.  Some things are worth the time investment.  Doing a daily post now because I didn’t think I could do it three years ago is not worth the investment.

There’s a gloss of a popular saying:

Power corrupts.  Absolute power is kinda neat!

That points back to the truth of the original.  And one thing I fought with in college is this:

The unexamined life is not worth living

Back in those days, I came up with my own anti-spin.  Now, thirty years down the road, I’m starting to see the truth in the original saying I so lightly cast away.  So I am working towards a conscious minimalism.

It’s easy to identify that as being in some way Amish.  They choose to leave behind things that would detract them from their focus.  I don’t know much about their actual religion, wouldn’t know a Beachy Amish from any other kind, and couldn’t pronounce Gnaddenhutten the way that they do if I tried (and I have).  I can still admire their preferences, and recognize that their choices come at a cost, but also provide freedom.

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