The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. - Stephen Covey


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Friday, August 05, 2011

August is...

So much more than the dog days of summer! Did you know that August is all of this!?!?:
  • American Adventures Month
  • American History Essay Contest
  • National Catfish Month (Wow! Catfish get their own month!)
  • Black Business Month
  • Cataract Awareness Month
  • Children's Eye Health and Safety Month
  • Children's Vision and Learning Month
  • Get Ready for Kindergarten Month
  • Happiness Happens Month (This should be every month!)
  • Harvest Month
  • Motorsports Awareness Month
  • National Immunization Awareness Month
  • National Inventor's Month (I wonder who invented this holiday?)
  • National Panini Month (Really??? Sandwiches get their own month?)
  • National Water Quality Month
  • National Win with Civility Month
  • Neurosurgery Outreach Month
  • Peach Month (I believe the Peach and the Catfish can coexist peacefully)
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
  • What Will Be Your Legacy Month
All worthy causes, I'm sure! But I want to focus on the last one, as I believe it's one of those great questions of life that we can never answer completely because we're constantly evolving.


[leg-uh-see] noun, a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest. Anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor.

Interesting, huh? A legacy is a gift that you leave behind. This assumes that there is no payback or personal gain from the giving because you've moved on. How much time do we devote to contemplating and engaging in unconditional giving as opposed to our own personal gain? I think most of us will agree that it's not so much the value we create for ourselves, but how we leave our world changed and the value we've created in the lives of others that matters most.

Steven Covey points out in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" that most of us major in minor things. We tend to get caught up in the minutiae of our moment to moment need to gain pleasure and avoid pain. How would our decision process change if we based our choices on a bigger picture of our lives? Dr. Covey answers this with one of his most elegantly poetic quotes:

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."

There's a lot there to think about.

So Happy August! And what will be YOUR legacy?

All Things Possible,


  • At 7:35 AM, August 06, 2011 , Blogger SusanGail said...

    Thanks for the new topic, reminding us of keeping our main thing before us,continually looking at the big picture, and not giving up on our dreams.

    I love the legacy that Natasha is creating with her movie work. Thanks for sharing that milestone with us:)

    I love being tuned into a place like the forum here, where the power of positive thinking and the power of films can be shared.

    I love watching the ripple effect of ATP...

    Beautiful August Blessings, dear forum friends...Sue

  • At 9:39 AM, August 06, 2011 , Blogger Dave W said...

    Great post Chris - I think you are right we don't think enough about our legacy and as a result many of us won't leave one. There is, of course, the legacy of the impression we make on the younger generations of our families - which can be argued to be the most important one - but what beyond that? I like to think I've left a legacy of loving the arts, especially theatre, and supporting those same arts so that they endure for the future, and that through my professional work in higher education that I've supported the larger goal of educating young minds by providing the funding that keeps the institutions I've worked at open!

    Good question and thought provoking topic. Thanks! Now I'm off to re-read my copy of "7 Habits." Dr. Covey did have a lot of good stuff in there!


  • At 6:23 PM, August 09, 2011 , Blogger Tim said...

    Finally, a nice night. Cool temps,lower humidity, slight breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay, sitting on the deck with laptop in lap all the while cooking chops, ground sirloin and chicken breasts on the grill. Can you smell it??? Yum

    Legacy....??? I'll have to think about that one. I am currently entering into relaxation mode so "legacy" is above my capabilities at the moment. I'll ponder and return at a later time. In the mean time, got to flip the food!


  • At 7:46 PM, August 09, 2011 , Blogger SusanGail said...

    Tim, just saw your post as I was writing...and yes, I can smell that delightful food way over here! I was getting hungry and now I really am...
    also thought I'd say, yes, the cool breezes are filtering across the state as well, along with the food smells:) I am looking forward to a mild day and getting some things done in the cooler temps.

    Dave and Tim...just was thinking...we've all left a bit of a legacy here perhaps:)

  • At 6:00 AM, August 10, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well, uh, NO Tim, I sure can't smell your cooking. No one ever remembers the "Aromatically Challenged" :)...but back to the subject at hand; Legacy is indeed a whopper of a subject--kinda hard for a peasant-nobody like myself to comment knowledgably on!(I DO like that "main thing" saying, though, which is good to remember when you are trying to get something completed; but perhaps not so good for a life philosophy. I rather like the Lakota saying regarding that, "Akita mani yo", which means, "Observe everything as you walk")--not that I'm whining here(about being a peasant-nobody)--anonymousness is WONDERFUL in many respects--being something of a feral, reclusive person, I treasure it! There is something to say for living simply and quietly and NOT making such a big impact, admirable as some people are who do. I often feel very sorry for those in the limelight all the time--so many great historic and famous figures often lead wretched, sad, private lives. But I suppose NOT concerned about leaving such an impact is also a type of legacy, when you think about it. I don't know--I just find this a difficult subject to try and discuss--perhaps I've lived so simply so long around a bunch of animals, who are content in getting enough to eat, shelter when they need it, and being left alone, that such very human ideals do not often pop up in my ponderings.......L.B.

  • At 12:25 PM, August 10, 2011 , Blogger Tim said...

    First off let me apologize for forgetting that you could not share in the aromatic delight that the winds offered up last night. I will say, the chops were cooked to perfection....

    I think we will all have a legacy of some sort and that legacy may not be what we think it will be rather it will be the impression that we leave on others which of course is subjective and therefor different for each one of those individuals. As we will all come in contact with countless different people through out our lives, we have the potential to leave thousands of different legacies in our wake. If I had to pick one, I would have to say that I hoped I made at least one person a day, smile.


  • At 7:06 AM, August 15, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ....I also like the Chinese proverb "One often meets one's destiny on the road one takes to avoid it."!! I also really like to make people laugh and smile if I can, and don't mind playing the buffoon to do it. Any wonder I love the character George OTJ? Sometimes, though, I inadvertantly anger or insult people trying to joke about stuff--for which I am usually very sorry(Note-To-Self--don't joke around so-and-so about such-and-such), but sometimes, certain uptight people just need to pull that corn cob out from where it is stuck, and lighten up! My personality doesn't usually fare well with the very serious, managerial types(yeah, I've been fired from a lot of jobs!)......I used to have a zebra-striped truck that I painted myself(resale value? What is that? I drive a vehicle until it needs to be mercifully taken off and shot!) that I did for the heck-uv-it--I just always wanted a zebra-striped vehicle! I got a lot of smiles from people with that truck, and that made it well worthwhile to me. I feared it would attract vandalism and police-attention, and hesitated to paint it at first, but went ahead, as I usually do with my hare-brained schemes. And discovered it had the OPPOSITE effect--people thought I was crazy, so left me well alone! I asked a cop friend what he thought about it, and why the police looked the other way as I drove by--he said they took one look and immediately came to the conclusion that I would be TOO MUCH PAPERWORK!" But it made a lot of people smile--and I could park that thing ANYWHERE! NO ONE questioned a zebra-striped truck! Alas, it fell apart long ago, but I still make people smile with my collection of plastic dinosaurs on the dashboard, and rubber snakes looped all throughout the interior of my present pick-up!....L.B.

  • At 6:20 AM, August 16, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ....and speaking of legacy, boy howdy, just went and saw "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes", and what a movie regarding legacy!!! Quite the influence on the whole planet, the chimp character Caesar turned out to be! I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet--this was another "must-see" for me!! I grew up watching all the previous movies, T. V. series, etc., and saw Tim Burton's fairly recent remake, which was okay, but I never felt any compared to the original first movie with Charton Heston--UNTIL NOW!!!! BEST EVER Planet-Of-The-Apes, in my opinion! I may be biased, because it touched a lot of raw nerves of mine regarding the subject material, and being mainly from the APES' point-of-view I really related to it. Much as I like seeing REAL animals, apes in Hollywood tend to be very abused, and they can only use chimps and orangs when young(hey GOTJ, you can probably tell a few tales on that subject!!), giving people the wrong impression of them as cutsie potential pets--boy, this movie nips those notions in the bud! Chimps in all their formidable adult capabilities! And they could just do so much more with computer animated critters than they ever could with real live critters, or people in suits...(to be continued)...L.B.

  • At 6:43 AM, August 16, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    .....but this movie REALLY stirred the emotions in me. One scene, where the young chimp Caesar finally gets to romp in a forest for the first time, had tears streaming down my face--although it was really a happy scene for most people! But I unfortunetely visited a primate research center years ago in college--one of the most prestigious(??) in the world, and saw things that shocked me to the core--sadistic cruelty and callousness towards fellow creatures so much like ourselves, that will haunt me forever. One(among many) in particular was a baby chimp kept in isolation with zero other contacts(no different than doing this to a human child), an experiment that has been done over and over and over ad naseum, with, whaddaya know, the same results each time--in a sterile room with NOTHING--no toys, furniture, nothing--food slipped in thru a slot--until the baby goes psychotic. I "embarrassed" the college group I was with by stepping across the barrier between the viewing area and the one window into the room(lab guy and my professor and students all yelling at me! I was compromising the experiment, don't you know!)), and, tears streaming down my face, putting my hand up to the glass, reaching out to this wretched baby chimp. The chimp rushed over to the window and placed his hand against mine, his eyes pleading. His look will haunt me the rest of my life. I regret forever not going berserk and busting him outta there and taking him for a romp in the forest--but I would not have succeeded, just gotten arrested, of course! Still, I regret not at least trying. So, you see why such a scene in a movie can get such a reaction from me. I so wished I could have done the same for that wretched young chimp all those years ago.... Later, I DID have the amazing, marvelous, stupendous adventure of getting to live with wild, free chimps in Africa for two months with Jane Goodall(who hates those labs as much--yea MORE!--than I do!) So yeah, so much to relate to in this movie for me! Highly highly recommended! I certainly hope they do sequels; they definetely set it up for the possibility....L.B.

  • At 12:41 PM, August 16, 2011 , Blogger Tim said...

    I am really beginning to like this Lane guy. He is making me feel normal. I had the truck that I drove until it drove no more although is was not striped. I know much of the family history of Flo, Fifi, Freud, Frodo, Gremlin, Goblin and the twins and often check up on the Kasekela community. I used to let lab dogs out of their cages at a pharmaceutical company so they could play while I was working in their room (never got caught) and often feel more in tune with critters than I do my own species. Planet of the Apes is not just a movie, its culture! I am glad I am not alone! :-)


  • At 8:14 PM, August 16, 2011 , Blogger Tanya said...

    I love all the action on the forum. Thanks for the movie reviews.

    School started so I'm running around with my head cut off. Will write soon.

    Come fly with me - Tanya

  • At 6:39 AM, August 17, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Ha! Tim! Perhaps that is MY legacy; to make other people feel "normal"! But as Whoopi Goldberg said,"Normal is just a setting on a washing machine!" Your sneaky lab dog excercise sessions remind me of my first white-man job I got as a teenager--a MALL PET SHOP(and NOT a good place to be if you were an animal), and how I was mortified to learn how the puppies NEVER got out of the tiny cages until they were sold! Well, I soon fixed that--I was left unattended after hours to do the clean-up, and I just closed the gates at the entrance, and turned them all loose! They had a blast every night! More cleaning for me, but well worth it! I used to let the kittens, rabbits, guienea pigs and others run around too, but not all at the same time! I was never caught doing this(the night security guys knew I did it, but they turned a blind eye!), but did eventually get fired begging-to-differ animal mistreatment in other ways.And don't even get me started on the "Dog Pound War" I waged against the campus security in college! That is a purty thick book that could be written one day....I DID WIN that war eventually, though there were 5 1/2 years of guerrilla raids and tactics(sometimes gorilla tactics!) before I triumphed. And the various traplines I've wiped out, wounded critters I've nursed back to health, strays I've taken in--I'm beginning to see I actually DO kinda have a legacy in helping animals, though unrecorded and unknown by humans, mostly....And yeah, Tim, I got to meet and get to know personally, and LIVE with a lot of those very chimps! INCREDIBLE--and the African forest they live in is a PARADISE--I was like Brer Rabbit thrown in the briar patch! And I got to REALLY "play Tarzan" like few people get to! I am a lucky, lucky sap! Jane Goodall DOES have a great and voluminous website--what a legacy SHE has created! And she is all about the individual's impact and importance in the scheme of things...And Tanya--don't you need yer head for schoolin'? What kind of schoolin' are you taking in particular, if you don't mind me asking?....L.B.

  • At 6:42 AM, August 17, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ...And Tim; have you gone to see "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" yet? I cannot imagine you would miss it....L.B.

  • At 2:47 PM, August 17, 2011 , Blogger Tim said...

    I did the pets store gig for a couple of years too....kittens are fun to watch but a total pain in the butt to round up and return to their quarters.

    Have yet to see Planet of the Apes. It is on the list of things to do. I really want to see how Andy Serkis handled the physical aspects of playing a chimp. He of course was Gollum in LOTR and King Kong in Peter Jackson's remake. He has a fantastic gift and to his credit, he spent hours watching and learning the body movements of great apes readying himself for his roles.

    Jane Goodall....there are not enough words to completely capture what this lady has done for animal studies and continues to do for wildlife conservation.

  • At 6:33 AM, August 18, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Ha! I didn't last but about 3 months in the pet store before I got fired--and it is a MIRACLE I lasted that long! Let's just say I regularly excercised my Amurikin right to free speech, and I had not yet learned that, although that concept looks swell in our constitution, in real life, there are CONSEQUENCES for speaking your mind! And apparently I still haven't learned that very well.....We had a kitten room at that pet shop that was HELL to clean; basically it was carpeted throughout, floor to ceiling, carpeted shelves at all levels and even carpeted walls! One little litter box, totally hidden in the far back of a hollowed out bench(covered in carpet--and I mean SHAG carpet!Imagine cleaning shag carpet with runny piles of kitten poop from 20-30 kittens on average every day!), with only a small hole allowing access. OF COURSE the kittens never bothered to go to all that trouble to find a place to poop(if they ever even knew the litter box was there?!), with the consequences of me having to scrub the entire room, floor to ceiling, every single day! Maddening!(Although I must admit, the kittens had a blast climbing all over the place and playing, and it was a great attraction!). I suggested AT LEAST allowing the litter box to be out on the floor where the cats could SEE it, but this idea was rejected because it "looked too messy"(how about cat shite all over the shelves and floors? With the kittens constantly tracking through it? That is not messy?) After I got canned by the manager, he had no choice but to do the cleaning himself for awhile. I slunk back ito the store one day well after my departure to see how things were going--wouldn't you know it, every trace of carpet had been ripped out of the cat area, and replaced with linoleum, with TWO big litter boxes out for the whole world to see!....L.B.

  • At 7:36 AM, August 18, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    .....and yes, Jane Goodall is one of the most incredible humans of our time--she is often called the "Mother Teresa Of The Animals", but, nothing against Mother Teresa of course, but I personally feel Jane has somewhat surpassed even that title, as far as wordly influence and inspiration goes--she is an EXCELLENT subject for the subject of "legacy", that's for sure! And despite it all, as down-to-earth and real a person as you'd ever want to meet, if you ever get the chance--and there are plenty of opportunities; I urge you all to try sometime! She lectures all over the world CONSTANTLY(usually 300 out of 365 days a year), and has since 1984--she is in her 70's and still going strong(I worry about her a lot!) To check and see if she's in your area, get on her website(Jane Goodall Institute), go to the "Jane Goodall" heading, and scroll down to "Lectures and events"--I guarantee you she'll be SOMEWHERE fairly near you someday--this includes you guys in Europe too! Her lectures are SO inspiring, and she ALWAYS stays afterwards, sets up a desk and signs autographs/takes photos and gives a personal word to anyone who wants too--the line is usually out the door--and she stays until she's met and spoken to EVERYONE! Hundreds and hundreds of people at a time, usually! Day after day, year after year, I don't see HOW she does it--she is JUST SO DETERMINED to make as much difference as possible to as many people as possible! Her eyes really light up when she is talking to kids, too, which I think she enjoys the most. If interested, a good and inspiring book she wrote(among the many) is her autobiography "Reason for Hope"--easily and cheaply orderable from Amazon(copies for mere pennies!) and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! I guarantee you she will be going to see "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" too!!!....L.B.

  • At 9:12 PM, August 24, 2011 , Blogger SusanGail said...

    August is winding down, so guess I'd better put my two cents worth in:)
    Enjoying Tim and Dave's bantering about animals. Your thoughts are intriguing to me, now that I'm working on my article about animal communication. I think you are both highly intuitive, compassionate animal communicators in your unique ways. This whole subject is opening up new vistas for me regarding how I think about and relate to animals, so I'm appreciating your input. Jane Goodall sounds as fantastic as we all thought her to be. Didn't want to let the month go by without posting about it. And, as you mention Jane Goodall and as I remembered Chris saying when making the movie GOTJ2 that he spend a lot of time with the animals and getting into their character, so to speak. I'm not saying it right, so Chris, hope you will post. It would be wonderful to get your thoughts on animal communication from that experience, perhaps, or with animals in your life.

    I hope to get Goodall's book you speak of, Lane. And I've discovered there are many great books out now about communicating with animals. One highly recommended is Amelia Kinkade's "The Language of Miracles." Fascinating stuff. It's also fascinating the things being brought up on the forum. Love it.

    Enjoy the rest of summer everyone! Sue

  • At 9:57 AM, August 25, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Yes Sue!! I would LOVE to hear George-OTJ tales of his "behind-the-scenes" experiences with the many animals used in that movie--there have got to be some good stories there! I think I expressed that thought way back(2 whole months ago!) when I first was getting on this blog, in a private message to the meistro. However, having done a bit of animal work myself on a T. V. series years ago, I know that some abusive stuff can go on(depending on the people involved, and the production), and George might be uncomfortable discussing it publically if he witnessed some of the negative stuff. My own experiences(with dogs) involved competing with other dog trainers who would promise ANYTHING and DO ANYTHING to get the parts for their animals, including quite abusive stuff. I would tell the director and others EXACTLY what to realistically expect, and I REFUSED to do anything abusive to my dog just to get a part on a T. V. show--consequently I usually didn't get the parts!(at least, initially) I'm just NOT a good salesman! However, it was funny, because the "professional trainers" of course couldn't deliver their unrealistic promises, and I ended up getting called in to do several parts with my dogs anyway! All done simply, easily(if not spectacularly)and without abuse! I had a hard time trying to get through to directors that animals COULD CARE LESS about getting a shot, and could NOT be ordered about like human actors! Quite the interesting experience, that's for sure! One thing I like that Chris mentioned in one of the newspaper interviews from this website, is how one of the trainers just had him sit quietly with one of the chimps, I believe. And that's one of the BEST things you can do to befriend an animal--just be near without making any demands or frightening moves(handing out treats for free doesn't hurt either!) So many animals in captivity are always having people making demands and ordering them around(or ELSE, in some cases!), it's nice just to be friendly with someone without having to be "on", if you know what I mean. I've befriended and eventually trained animals considered "impossible" by just becoming their undemanding friend FIRST!....L.B.

  • At 4:41 AM, August 28, 2011 , Blogger SusanGail said...

    Wishing everyone well, especially all who may be affected or know someone touched by Hurricane Irene. In recent years, I've become acquainted with several people who live on the East Coast. Our daughter is glad to be back in CA now. The MD/VA area where they were is feeling Irene. We have fun discussing our crazy volatile mid-west weather on the forum, but we usually only get remnants of hurricanes. A friend in Wilmington, NC said she was OK. I need to check on others in Virginia Beach, Delaware, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

    Lane, hope you are as well, being down in the SE. Enjoyed your post about animals and movies. You and Tim definitely seem to connect with animals at a high level. Hope you are both writing about your experiences, as that can be a wonderful way to raise awareness about the subject.

    Have a great Sunday, everyone, and may your last days of summer be beautiful! Sue

  • At 10:26 AM, August 30, 2011 , Blogger Tanya said...

    Greetings beautiful forum family! Sorry I have not been here as of late.
    Lane, I don't need my head, the kids are in school.
    I also hope you are all having a wonderful summer. And pray that you are not effected by the weather!
    Come fly with me - Tanya

  • At 11:28 AM, August 30, 2011 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    HELLO IRENE!!! Even though Hurricane Irene hit the N. C. coast HARD, I live inland(midstate) far enough to where we got almost no rain--mostly cloudy and breezy--actually very pleasant for August! Without modern technology and communications, no one could have told a hurricane was slamming our coast........I went to see the new "Conan the Barbarian" movie, so I guess I'll critique it for you guys, so you can decide for yourselves did you wish to go see it.....well.....I think my expectations were just too high, Conan being a favorite character of mine. I didn't think the new effort was near as good as the old Arnie versions, alas. It DID NOT honor the original author's stories any better(or even as much!) as the Arnie movies did--they used a few place names from the stories, and briefly referred to a past exploit or two from the stories, but did not base the present effort on a single one(sigh)! I thought the actors were fine in their roles(good casting and talent)--Rose McGowan, without mercy, STOLE EVERY SCENE she was in as the witch! Some of the effects were grand(and some were podunk--whoever did the water wheel in Conan's village, and the elephants, should go back to computer effects school!), and the costuming SPLENDID--Jaschenka could appreciate that, I bet; but the story was so cliche'(nothing wrong with cliche's; they can be a hoot! But you have to have fun with them--I don't think they did in this movie), and it seemed like it was rushed throughout--inept directing/producing perhaps? Soundtrack mediocre(extremely noticeable since the original Arnie movies had THE BEST SOUNDTRACK EVER by Basil Pouledouris!sp?). My recommendation? Not a bad movie, really(for that genera), but wait till it comes out on a cheap, used DVD, and save yer money. First time I've ever been to the theatre THREE TIMES IN ONE MONTH--how self-indulgently decadent of me!(yeah, I know; I'm such a backward peasant!) I still HIGHLY recommend both "Cowboys And Aliens", and especially "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" though--of course I'd be curious to hear you guys' opinions too.....L.B.

  • At 3:22 PM, August 31, 2011 , Anonymous Alex said...

    Hi everyone!

    Hope y'all had a good summer despite of all the many dangerous extreme weather events; be always careful about them as well and stay safe!

    I enjoyed reading all your great comments, thoughts and comments here. For me it's a legacy of true love friendship, awareness, intuition, truth, honesty, smiles and laughters as well. I also agree with Tim about the legacies we leave on others.

    I loved what you said about the amazing Jane Goodall, about all she did, still does and the communication with animals. I always enjoy so much a high level connection, communication with animals, plants, nature and true aware people!

    Take care everyone!



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