Category Archives: Wisdom

High Coo – Nov 17 – Losing My Attachment Figures

Attachment theory is a very popular concept among psychologists and has been for a few decades now. It states that humans – in fact, all mammals – have an innate drive to seek out close emotional relationships with other people, who can become our ‘attachment figures’. Humans seem to have developed a particularly flexible attachment system. By this, I mean that we can become emotionally attached to a wide number of other people, from relatives to friends to romantic partners. Even non-humans can be our attachment figures – think about the bond you might have with a beloved pet, for example. Even inanimate objects can be attachment figures – the notion of a child and their teddy is a common attachment bond in many Western countries.” Maddie Bleasdale, aka The Awkward Archaeologist (see link above).

A recent Animal Chaplaincy class discussed how a loved pet (aka companion animal) can be a traumatic event for someone, especially when that loved one was a “primary attachment figure.” The guest speaker, Janel Griffieth, a Senior Director for CARE (Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity ( gave a powerful presentation about her personal experiences and why knowing more about trauma, resiliency, hope and the Attachment Theory can help animal chaplains be more empathetic when humans are emotionally devastated by the loss of their trusted non-human companion.

Today’s poem: Losing My Attachment Figures

the moment you died

I was sad, lonely, bereft –

I walk with you now

The book below, by Thich Nhat Hanh, has been helpful for me, perhaps it may be helpful to someone you know.

High Coo – Nov 16 – 3 Questions at Rainbow Bridge

Today’s senryu: 3 Questions at Rainbow Bridge

Together again?

Secure attachment regained?

Trust in the Pure Land?

Today is one of those days when big questions collide for me. I’m trying to sort out a few of them and would appreciate your insights.

This bottle-fed young moose has developed an attachment to its caregiver (at Kostroma Moose Farm). Might this attachment be mutual?

The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors essential to the health and wellbeing of both.”

The Rainbow Bridge is a meadow where animals wait for their humans to join them, and the bridge that takes them all to Heaven, together.

“It is only because of our misunderstanding that we think the person we love no longer exists after they ‘pass away.’  This is because we are attached to one of the forms, one of the many manifestations of that person.  When that form is gone, we suffer and feel sad.  The person we love is still there.  He is around us, within us and smiling at us.  In our delusion we cannot recognize him, and we say: ‘He no longer is.’  We ask over and over, ‘Where are you?  Why did you leave me all alone?’  Our pain is great because of our misunderstanding.  But the cloud is not lost.  Our beloved is not lost.  The cloud is manifesting in a different form.  Our beloved is manifesting in a different form.  If we can understand this, then we will suffer much less.” Thich Nhat HanhNo Death, No Fear

High Coo – Nov 10 – Thank You, Joe Juran

How do you define quality? What about blog quality? Does this blog meet your quality expectations?

Today is World Quality Day ( and one of the major contributors to the understanding and practice of quality is Joseph Juran. (

With a degree in Electrical Engineering and many years of practical experience beginning with his time at Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works, Juran went on to become a well-known author and consultant. He has been referred to as one of the founding fathers of the quality movement.

While the quality movement began in the manufacturing sector, Juran was instrumental into expanding quality planning, quality control and quality improvement into other sectors (e.g., service).

Joe Juran retired at age 90 in 1994 and lived another 13 years before his death in 2008. His final messages were about Big Q and a focus on quality of life and environmental quality.

I recall meeting him in the late 1980s at the end of a week-long quality planning training program and was very impressed with his direct yet low-key delivery. He may not have been as dynamic a speaker as his counterparts, Crosby and Deming, but his clarity, focus and many publications were extremely helpful. See a chart below as an example.

Today’s homage haiku: Thank You, Joe Juran

simple golden rule:

customers know quality

ask and follow through

High Coo – Oct 23 – Happy Birthday Randy Pausch

Motivational author, professor and speaker: Randy Pausch

Today we recognize someone who believed and practiced making his dreams, and the dreams of others, come true.

Randolph Frederick Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American educator, a professor of computer sciencehuman–computer interaction, and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pausch learned he had pancreatic cancer in September 2006. In August 2007, he was given a terminal diagnosis: “three to six months of good health left”. He gave an upbeat lecture titled, “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He co-authored a book of the same name, The Last Lecture, which became a New York Times best-seller.

Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008, aged 47.”

“Close friend Steve Seabolt, who was with Randy during his final moments noted that his ‘trademark wit and intellect were intact.’ At the end, as Dr. Pausch’s body was clearly failing, Mr. Seabolt said he told his friend, ‘It’s important for you to feel like you can let go. It’s okay.’

Dr. Pausch’s reply: ‘I’ll get back to you on that.’ And those, according to Mr. Seabolt, were the final words of Randy Pausch.”

Today’s haiku: Happy Birthday Randy Pausch

Brick walls inspired you –

sharing your life inspired us –

do the best you can

High Coo – Oct 14 – Tim Minchin’s 9 Life Lessons

Tim Minchin photo by Daily Express

Following on yesterday’s advice to Celebrate Failure, I’m pleased to share Tim Minchin’s 9 Life Lessons address to his alma mater, the University of Western Australia. But first, a quick review of the greatest philosophers who led me to Tim’s supremacy.

It all started with Allan Sherman‘s song in 1963, Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (aka the Camp Granada Song). From there I graduated to Dr. Demento and Weird Al Yankovic. And while I also love Bo Burnham, Tim Minchin is truly the best when it comes to musical comedy delivering a life philosophy worth singing about.

So, if you’re still with me, here are Tim Minchin’s 9 Life Lessons:

  1. You don’t have to have a dream
  2. Don’t seek happiness
  3. Remember, it’s all luck
  4. Exercise (you can’t be Kant)
  5. Be hard on your opinion
  6. Be a teacher
  7. Define yourself by what you love (not what you’re against)
  8. Respect people with less power than you
  9. Don’t rush (it all ends with death so take your time and enjoy the ride)

Listen to Tim’s 11-minute university address video here via MotivationArk’s YouTube channel.

Check out his website here and his biography here

Yes, I’m a fanboy! 🙂

Tim Minchin photo by Tamara Drewe

High Coo – Oct 13 – Celebrate Failure

The second Thursday in October is now known as the International Day for Failure. In 2010 a group of Finnish university students celebrated failure in hopes of encouraging more small business start-ups. The idea spread. Read more about it here:

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” ~Henry Ford

Failure is often a part of the process to success. Sometimes it’s the best motivator to try something new and become someone new. See this excellent post from the Wanderlust Worker, Robert Kanaat: and

Here’s today’s haiku: CELEBRATE FAILURE

try, try, try again

to learn how best to succeed

repetition helps

Bottom line: if you want to be successful, never give up.

And, finally, if you’re fed up with both success and failure, well …. read this excellent post from Nate Muller:

“The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” Camus

Photo by Keith Jonson on Unsplash

High Coo – Oct 12 – National Pet Obesity Day

National Today

October 12 is National Pet Obesity Day. See

“Many pets become overweight due to poor diet and lack of exercise. Another huge factor is the pet owner literally loving their pet to death. Most pet owners think their pets deserve treats every day and don’t need to go for walks if the pet would rather lie on the couch. This is a mistake the owners are making.

Diet is a major key factor in a pet’s body condition. It all starts with a measuring cup and good quality dog food.

The single most important thing that you can do to increase the lifespan and health of your pet is to maintain a healthy body weight.” See

Is your dog overweight? For more information check out this excellent article How to Determine Your Dog’s Healthy Weight and Body Condition at

Today’s haiku: National Pet Obesity Day

Don’t forget to play –

your pet needs exercise too –

healthy together


High Coo – Oct 11 – Happy Birthday Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhất Hạnh in Paris in 2006

Zen Master and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, was born on this day in 1926. He died earlier this year, at the age of 95, January 22, 2022. Known mostly for his non-violent peace activism during the American/Vietnam War in the 1960s, he was lauded by such notables as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Father Thomas Merton.

Thich Nhất Hạnh, or Thay’ (which means “teacher” in Vietnamese), “published over 130 books, including more than 100 in English, which as of January 2019 had sold over five million copies worldwide. His books, which cover topics including spiritual guides and Buddhist texts, teachings on mindfulness, poetry, story collections, and scholarly essays on Zen practice, have been translated into more than 40 languages as of January 2022. In 1986 Nhất Hạnh founded Parallax Press, a nonprofit book publisher and part of the Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism.” See

As one of his thousands of students, I have taken comfort especially in his books: Living Buddha, Living Christ, No Death, No Fear and No Mud, No Lotus published in 1995, 2002 and 2014 respectively. See An inspiring quote from the first book mentioned is “Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

Today’s humble haiku: Happy Birthday Thich Nhat Hanh

Ev’ry moment counts,

relative and ultimate –

let’s pause, breathe and smile

High Coo – Oct 10 – Indigenous People’s Day

@ Medium

“In 1992, Columbus Day became Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a sign of protest against the massacres that the Native Americans suffered at the hands of the Europeans. …Celebrating Columbus Day and Columbus himself goes against the very essence of indigenous nations as he was the man who began the genocide of the Native Americans.

For the Native Americans, Columbus Day was always hurtful as it glorified the violent past constituting 500 years of colonial torture and oppression by European explorers like Columbus and those who settled in America. Indigenous Peoples’ Day draws attention to the pain, trauma, and broken promises that were erased by the celebration of Columbus Day. Before his arrival, the indigenous folk were successful self-sufficient communities that sustained life for thousands of years.”

Find more information on this day at, and


Greed and genocide

cannot erase the beauty

of native peoples

Joy Harjo –

High Coo – Oct 7 – Happy Birthday Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu b. Oct 7, 1931, d. December 26, 2021

First Black African Archbishop of Cape Town & Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Desmond Tutu was born on this day in 1931. “Known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist, he was Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold the position. Theologically, he sought to fuse ideas from black theology with African theology.” See

Known for his warm smile and emphasis on forgiveness, he was also a tireless advocate of human rights. He said, “I wish I could shut up, but I can’t, and I won’t.” See

Today’s humble haiku: Happy Birthday Desmond Tutu

We can find the joy

and speak the truth to power –

begin anew now

Tutu with the Dalai Lama, both Nobel Peace Prize laureates, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2004

For more information on the “mischievous brothers” pictured above, check out