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Everything Is Awesome!

Really. It’s amazing.

A movie I watched reminded me that we are surrounded by awesome. I need to do a better job of reminding myself, and you, of all the awesomeness I see.
Lego Leo
Lego Leo (Image:

I’m going to take a moment, step a little to the side of computing, and let my inner geek out. Not that I restrain him all that much anyway.

Some time ago I watched The LEGO Movie, and besides bringing back some memories, it reminded me of something I hadn’t thought about for a long time.

Not that everything is awesome — that’s something I feel pretty much every day.

No, this was more about how I got my start and how my grandmother had a hand in that.

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Everything's Awesome!

Childhood LEGO gifts from my grandmother began my journey into making things, engineering, and eventually technology. There’s been so much to marvel at along the way, even to this day. Remember, we’re living in the future, and there is much around us to inspire awe.

I had LEGO toys before LEGO was cool

Back in the 1960s, when I was growing up, LEGO® toys weren’t really popular. I’m not sure if they were even available in the United States; if so, availability was certainly limited in comparison to today. Building and construction-type toys were the purview of things like Erector Sets and Lincoln Logs (back when they were real metal and real wood, respectively).

LEGO toys, however, were available in Europe.

My relatives in Holland sent packages of assorted gifts around the holidays. Besides traditional Dutch treats and other goodies, my grandmother almost always included a LEGO set, and over the years, they accumulated.

An engineer is born

I often credit a T.V. repairman as setting in motion the events leading to my career, but in reality, the die was cast much earlier.

Besides the healthy dose of “engineer genes” I received from both of my parents, the toys I played with as a child also placed me firmly on that track. And I have to say that it probably all started with the LEGO bricks my grandmother sent me.

Ask Leo! in Lego

And I still have ’em. The bricks in the picture you see here are well over 50 years old1.

I build things, and I always have. While my medium has changed from plastic bricks to computers, software, and words, the underlying skills remain the same: a fundamental wonder at how things can be put together and what can be created when it’s done well.

I’m an engineer of the software variety.

Look for the awesome

So, why am I going on about children’s toys, engineering, and my perhaps pollyanna-ish approach to life: everything is awesome. Really?

It’s much too easy to let the day-to-day frustrations of technology — or the rest of the world or the rest of our day — get in the way of seeing the awesomeness around us.

My trip down memory lane reminded me of this.

And it reminded me that I need to do a better job of reminding you just how awesome some of what we take for granted is.

Those are just a few of the things that I call awesome, not in the “oh, that’s cool” watered-down definition, but to me, in a truly awe-inspiring way.

I haven’t said it in a while, and I should say it more often: I love living in the future.

And I want you to love it too.

Do this

Look beyond your daily issues with technology (or the rest of the world) and watch for awesomeness. It’s everywhere.

I think this is pretty awesome, too: Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

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Footnotes & References

1: Though, no, I didn’t write “Ask Leo!” in LEGO bricks 50 years ago. I had to play with those old bricks for a bit before writing this article and taking that picture. :-)

2: While exercising on my elliptical, no less.

5 comments on “Everything Is Awesome!”

  1. Hey Leo,
    I’ve been following you since my oldest got his first computer. I wanted to be able to help him if he had problems. I use a Mac for my work so I had zero clues. Anyway he is a IT guy now. Idk if you had anything to do with it. I am sure I Fwed him your email newsletter, so maybe! But I kept on your email list because I thought you were awesome. And I do learn a thing or two about computer things that are not PCs. ;-). Thanks for being out there being your awesome self.

  2. Hi Leo
    I have been reading “ask Leo” for many years and still do.
    Like you, I was born in the Netherlands. In my early years I played with “Mecano” boxes containing many metal bits, screws, nuts wheels, tools and even a little steam engine. This was the for runner of Lego, I suppose.
    With that. I showed you my age.
    As a boy built radio sets and later a 8 bit computer to play games and used MS Dos
    I still like using my PC, mac mini. iPad and iPhone.
    I agree, everything is awesome.

  3. I grew up in the US. LEGO bricks popped up sometime in the mid-60s. They came in a box with assorted pieces and sizes and it was up to our imaginations. My brother and I would build all sorts of things with them.
    My life has been spent more along the lines of “How does that work? Take it apart and find out.” That covered everything from a ’65 Chevy in the backyard at 17, to nuclear reactors in the Navy to computers in my retirement. Not necessarily an expert, but I’ve learned enough to know a bit about a number of things.
    It is amazing what can be done today compared to even a decade ago. Too many take it for granted what can be done in today’s world or think about what is behind the curtain. And it all just works (most of the time).

  4. As one who has always appreciated technology but still remains a reasonably competent beginner, I agree that it’s awesome–in so many ways. I’m a much better pilot than I am a tech geek, and I feel the same way about flying. I’m an octogenarian and have been flying for almost 57 years, and I’m still awed every time those wheels leave the ground and the wings sweep me into the sky. Good advice, Leo. Look for the awesome. It’s everywhere!

  5. Wonderful reading your stroll down Memory Lane.
    Thanks for the reminder that even in this divisive election year, things are pretty AWESOME
    Thanks, Leo
    Peace, Love, Blessings, Health and Happiness to You


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