“What did the citizens of Pompeii do that was so great?”

But I was walking through Pompeii and my friend, he says, you know, something along the lines of, "Will our society leave behind something this great? Like, look around us, you know, like, this is beautiful. This is, you know, insane what we're walking through right now." And part of me was like, you know, "What did the citizens of Pompeii do that was so great?" Because like the importance of that site it isn't, you know, anything that was special about Pompeii as such. You know, like the residents of Pompeii didn't really - I don't know, as far as I'm aware, they weren't all that historically important. They didn't do all that that was interesting. It's just a city, that happened to be covered by volcanic ash and, like, became well preserved, and then became a ruined site that was excavated and it's the reason we know so much. But like I found my roommate's reaction a little odd. Like not in the sense - like it was really cool to be walking through but I was like, "Well, of course we're gonna leave behind something like this, or at least we already have. This is just a city, like this is no different than modern Rome or Chicago." It's probably closer to like, you know, Detroit or even Knoxville, Tennessee, you know, or... You know, it's not even necessarily like - I don't know why Knoxville, Tennessee popped into my head, but, you know, just like it's a city, it's not like even all that important, right? Detroit's pretty important. But like, yeah the point I'm making is that the city - that's a small city that's important but not, you know, really all that relevant to the day-to-day cultural life of, I don't know, of the people living there. You know, that's what Pompeii was. It was just day-to-day people doing day-to-day things and that's what makes it such an important archaeological find, is it revealed to us, probably more than anything, like the day-to-day lives of individuals in the Roman Empire in that time period. Same with Ostia Antica in - closer to Rome. Now these are ruins sites that - but again, like the point is, and in order to respond more directly to that question, is that the people who leave behind important historical artifacts usually don't know they're doing it and usually…

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“He probably did scale back, which is the sad part.”

"What is the farthest you've ever had to walk?" I don't really remember the mileage in general, but I visited my cousin in Australia in 2019. And my cousin is extremely athletic. I mean he's like - I mean professional athlete level athletic. He does ice climbing and marathon running and just any sort of, any sort of athletic sport or contest or activity, I guess that you could think of. He, you know, would do it and he'd excel at it. He's just very, very athletic. And I'm in pretty good shape. I mean, I could definitely be in better shape, but I'm no athlete and I'm not really great at anything. So I - and he kind of knows this, right? So my sister and I went, and she's probably slightly more athletic in general than I am and just in better shape probably than I am as well, but nowhere near his level. So he knows that we like to hike though, and we like to walk, like to hike. So he told us he would take us into the Blue Mountains which are just outside of Sydney and I thought "Okay, you know, that's fine. He's gotta understand that we - our level of ability here," and he probably did scale back which is the sad part. But oh my goodness. We probably walked, hiked, for like three days and it was, I mean, just miles and miles and miles. You know, 10 plus miles a day. Going uphill though. That's the thing. Like it wasn't just a ten mile, a ten mile walk. It was a ten - you know, ten mile hikes up mountains. And I wish that I would have had some sort of a tracker, or like somebody was telling me that if you have one of those fitness trackers, which I don't have, it can tell you how many, like, flights of stairs you've gone up and, you know, different things besides just "This is how many miles you've walked," or "How many steps you have," or you know, whatever. I really wish that I, you know, had something like that and I don't think my sister does and I don't know that he does either, so I don't think there's any record of this and to him it was probably nothing, like this was probably just like a regular, you…

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“It’s so overwhelming to have ads everywhere in our lives all the time.”

I was looking at the prompts and the prompt about advertisements I thought was really interesting. Like how advertisements have changed since I was a kid. I feel like it's so different now. I feel like I had kind of a crisis, like a year or two ago, where I felt like I was, like, constantly bombarded with information and ads. I think that this was like at the height of covid, and everyone was just really stressed out, and it was around that time that I deleted my social media. And I also did one more thing, I started paying for YouTube Premium, which is YouTube without ads, and I feel like both of those things have helped my, like, everyday life just feel a lot easier. I was really overwhelmed going on, like, Facebook or Instagram and constantly seeing things for sale and feeling like I needed to buy things, and at the time I really needed to save money. So I would be really stressed out to go on and, like, see all these ads, and it was for stuff that I didn't even want or like stuff that was tangentially related to me but, like, I didn't need. And it's so overwhelming to like have ads, like, everywhere in our lives all the time.

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“If I made a movie I’d want it to be in Michigan featuring…”

This week, I am grateful for the sun. It seems as though we had a gray dome just resting over top of the state of Michigan, or at least the southwest corner of Michigan for what felt like most of 2023 so far to be honest. But this week, at least in my region, we finally had some clearing, and it's underrated how powerful it can be to just get out of work and see that the sun is there. I take backroads home from work, so I can drive down past one of our state parks in this area that sits along the shoreline and, you know, today was one of those days where there's that low winter sun, it's there. You know it. It's not so bright that you can't really look at it, but it just peers through the trees and the woods and hits you just right. It's this amazing tone that's struck. If I had an eye for it, it's how I'd want to set a scene in a movie. I've always kinda imagined if I made a movie, I'd want it to be in Michigan featuring the sort of things that Michiganders see that don't often get replicated on film, like these sunny early February winter afternoons, snow on the ground, it's cold outside. Your car is covered in salt and the remnants of whatever last snow-slash-mud mixture you've got cooking there. Actually, when you're cozy in your car, I love that ambiance, so much so that after work this week on Tuesday, I think, I drove straight to the lakeshore, and I took a nap in my car as I pulled up to the shore of Lake Michigan, and stuck around for the sunset, and there's sometimes where you just want to get home after work period even if you're getting home to do nothing. That's actually me on most days, but every now and again I get this feeling like "Yeah, I'm gonna get home late, but at least this is worthwhile, right? You know, may as well make something of my day." So yeah, I'm really grateful for the sun. I think I heard that we're now done with sunsets before 6 pm and that makes me happy too. So I'll take it.

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