Monday, June 10, 2013

Where Do You Start?

There’s a really hokie ad on the TV where people don’t know where to start buying a car. Suddenly, a white line labeled “START” appears and they go chasing after it. They finally arrive at some car dealership, which is the point of the commercial.

That’s always a good question: where to start? I was thinking about that in the shower. That’s where I start with shampoo, two lathers, followed by conditioner and a brushing. Then on with the body cleansing, finally rinsing out the hair. (It is a lot of effort to maintain my curly locks, but I’m sure my fans appreciate it.)

If the question was physics, then the answer is simple. You start with Newton’s second law, F=mA. From there you would progress to gravity. I still remember my high school physics class. It started with vectors and vector addition. But that wasn’t physics. That was more like special math required for physics. Then came Newton’s laws.

If it is the history of physics, then I’ve already given the answer: the Greeks. You start math with numbers, and then counting, and then addition.

A more general topic of history would be a tougher problem. I suppose you can almost start history anywhere. There’s US history which would start with Columbus or there’s world history which might also start with the Greeks, or even sooner. There’s Bible history which starts with Genesis, the “real start.” There’s European history … I suppose I’d start that with the Romans. See what I mean? The answer of where to start “depends.”

A cotton shirt begins with a plant and a wool coat with a sheep. A coat of paint begins with a primer and school starts with a primmer. Flowers start with seeds and guitars start with strings. Physicists think that matter begins with strings, but nucleons begin with quarks.

What about a home project? Well, all projects start with plans and it is good to gather your tools and supplies. Then start at the bottom and build up … I suppose.

You start school with Kindergarten, although it really starts sooner, especially if you wish to get a head start; and college starts in Junior High, again, if you want to get a head start.

A journey starts with a step and a trip starts with a tank of gas … and a map.

A paint job starts with preparation and a meal starts with the grocery store while a dance party starts with music and a party–party starts with booze.

A story starts with an idea and a song with an inspiration. A life starts with a birth and a death starts with a life.

The alphabet starts with “A” (and ends with “Z”).

Electronics starts with ohms law: voltage and resistance yield current. You begin with DC and move on to AC. Chemistry starts with atoms and biology starts with cells.

Psychology starts with the mind and philosophy starts with thought. Geometry starts with lines and calculus starts with limits. Police start with the academy but they stop with a red light.

Geology starts with rocks and cooking starts with cups and spoons. Airplanes start with wings and rockets start with a blast off.

Clocks start with hands and time starts with seconds. Water starts with rain and ends with the ocean. Beaches start with sand and surfers start with waves. Radio also starts with waves, but you need Morse Code too.

Letters start a word, words start a sentance, and a sentance starts a paragraph. Books start with chapters and lives start with births. Hospitals start with patients and parenting starts with patience too. Children start with giggles and teenagers start with texting. Phones start with dialing and computers start with booting.

Shoes start with leather and sandals start with soles. People start with souls too and religion starts with the Bible … and Christ.

Calculators start with the abacus and slide-rules, and computers too. Computers start with binary numbers and punch cards and programming starts with machine language.

A life starts with a belief and a career starts with an education. A habit starts with a resolution and repetition. Plumbing starts with pipes and an electrician starts with wires. A picture starts with a scene and a song starts with an introduction; a meal with an appetizer, and an idea with a thought.

Grammar starts with punctuation and reading starts with the ABCs. Music starts with scales and football starts with a whistle, although a ball is a good thing to have too.

Astronomy starts with stars and agronomy with dirt. The stars start with hydrogen and dirt starts with rock. Rock starts in the 50’s, but it was the 60’s that were the best.

Charity starts with love and love starts with a kiss. KISS starts with makeup, and I think makeup starts with Charis. A son starts with a father and a daughter starts with a mother. They all start with grandparents. Dogs start with puppies and cats start with kittens. Gold fish start at the pet store and lumber starts with trees, but you get it at the lumber yard.

Morning starts with a cup of coffee and dinner ends with ice cream. A beer starts with a can or a draught, but wine starts with a corkscrew. Soup starts with a bowl and a spoon, but some saltines are good to add. Cheese goes on a cracker and peanut butter on bread. Salmon start in the river, go to the sea, and end up braised with some green herbs.

Ice starts with water and winter starts with fall. A broken leg starts with a fall and ice is good for swelling. A haircut starts with scissors and an oil change starts with a wrench. Ice is good for a wrench, too. Baseball starts with a field and hockey starts with ice … and a puck. A bat and a glove start baseball, and golf starts with a swing. A dance can start with a swing, or it can be something slow like a waltz. A waltz starts with 1-2-3, and so does disciplining your kids. Kids start with a twinkle in the eye and end up with tuition payments. Old folks start with a cane and a slight wobble, but it took many years to get there. Sugar starts with cane too, although there are other sources. Newspaper articles have sources too, but the World Wide Web started with CERN.

Apple started with an idea that HP rejected. Xerox started with an idea that IBM rejected. IBM started with a punch card and a census and the United States started with a declaration and a constitution. Jack LaLanne had a constitution, and he didn’t need a cane.

Orange juice starts with an orange and apple juice with an apple, but Gatorade started with a football team … which started with a pig skin.

A wedding starts with an invitation and a divorce with a lawyer. Lawyers start with law school and laws start with congress. Congress starts with an election.

Lawn mowers start with a rope and a lawn starts with grass. A poem starts with rhymes and song with a melody. Fishing starts with a worm and hunting with a gun. Steel starts with iron and ironing starts with a board. A board starts with an appointment and a chairman with a gavel. Minutes start with a secretary and "ours" starts with "not theirs." Weather starts with air and rain starts with clouds. Sunshine starts with morning and the moon comes out at night.

A joke starts with a twist and a laugh with a tickle. A sneeze starts with a tickle too, and that other thing is often the result of eating Mexican food with lots of beans. Beans start in a bush, although mine are in a can. A can starts with “yes I …” and "can’t" starts a failure. Failures start learning and learning starts progress. Progress starts reminiscing and reminiscing starts the “good old days.” “Back then” starts with now and now is always replenishing. Passing Go starts with $200 and bankruptcy starts with landing on Park Place … with two hotels.

Motorcycle start with kick starters, at least before they got wussy-fied and old Harley riders never die, they just can’t start anything. A motorcycle ride begins with a helmet and a car ride with a seat belt. (It’s a law we can live with.) Slogans began with Burma-Shave and Wall Drug began with a lot of roadside signs. Signs start with a sell and a jingle begins with a product. Products begin with a need and need begins with a want.

Windows starts with a start, unless it is Windows 8. The Rolling Stones start with a "Start Me Up" and I don’t think they’ll ever stop. A light starts with a switch and a switch starts with a bush. Bush starts with a presidential father and Texas starts with six flags. Flags start with the Romans and Rome started with seven hills. All roads lead to Rome, and you start to do what the Romans do when there. Catholics also start with Rome and the Pope starts with the Vatican.

Movies start with a plot and hairstyles start with a brush. Painting starts with a brush too, but first you have to tape up the borders and stir up the cans. Fuller started with a brush and going door-to-door. Sliding doors started as windows and the Doors started in California. The Beatles started in Liverpool, and Shakespeare started in Stratford on Avon. Avon started door-to-door and Doors started with Aldous Huxley, although William Blake began the thought.

Dreams start with thoughts and thoughts start with thinking and meditating with relaxing and a nap starts with your eyes closed but Eureka will open them.

This essay started with a TV commercial and a thought in the shower. The blog started five years ago with a computer and some ideas. How did you get started?

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