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Thoughts and Quotes...
Collected or written by Case...Started on a lovely February day in 1995


“Life is far more important than what you do for a living...Life’s too short”
(Richard Dean Anderson)


It’s not being in the right place at the right time. It’s being ready when the time arrives

(Jeff Dunham)

Geography/Travel | Case’s | Family & Friends | Movies | TV | Famous People



Theres certain kinds of places where its not so much about what you see around you, but how they make you feel...What kind of sensations they unleash within you...There are places in this world where the feeling of being there is much more powerful than what your eyes get to see. (Adventurist Eva zu Beck, November 2021)

Mostly I want to see how the world works. Meet people. Learn how they’re different; [and] the same. (MacGyver in The Gauntlet)


The trip that matters most isn’t the one you took in the past. It’s the one you’re just about to take. (Me, modified from Stacy Johnson, CEO of Money Talks News)


Geography is an art that is structured, research-driven, and challenging like a science, but also a science that is creative, open-ended, and inspiring like art. (Kaelin M. Groom, 2011)


For one reason or another, determining the exactness of all my wanderings and wonderings can often be difficult. But it is possible to deduce the landscapes before me through careful observations and a mind saturated with the fluids of imagination... (Adapted from Tyler Thompson, 2010)


Don’t only practice your Art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men [sic] to the divine. (Ludwig Von Beethoven)


A journey is a way to experience a new life, a way to know a new world, and also a way to realize that the best thing for a journey is you can go home whenever you feel tired. (International CU Denver student Lingwen Zhen, Jan 2012, after my inaugural Geography by Rail®: London and Paris program)


Whoever said that science is all glory should be shot in the back. Science is 95% sludge work. (My Great Mentor, Ron Dorn, Summer 2005, while we were schlepping field gear across pediment interfluves in the middle of the Sonora desert in 125+ F temperatures!! It really was a fun day!)


Place is best experienced when one is relaxed and doing nothing. (Niko Lipsanen, Finnish Geographer)


I’m not trying to be mysterious about it. It’s just that what I do is tough to explain. (MacGyver in Jerico Games)


My country is the World and my religion is to do Good. (Thomas Paine)


The great thing about a map is that it can get you in and out of places in a lot of different ways. (MacGyver in The Gauntlet)


...The best company you can have in a strange place is a map. (MacGyver in The Gauntlet)


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men [sic] and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the Earth all one’s lifetime. (Mark Twain)

My Own:

Teaching is not solely about imparting information, it’s about helping people know which questions to ask. When teaching, the how is more important than the what. The what can be found almost instantly. The how often takes time, practice, patience, and perseverance. (Sept 2023)

Science is uncertain. Thats what makes it exciting! (March 2019)

We have lots of great moments in our lives...although we usually only realize them as such (way) after the fact. (January 2019)

The best way to experience a landscape is by walking in/through it. (May 2018)

You may see someone’s glory, but you probably don’t know their story. (June 2017)

To teach is to send messages we cannot (and may never) see. (June 2017)

Without reflection, most specific information is lost or automatically filled-in by our brains to conserve energy, which decreases detail. (June 2014)

You can’t read the book of my life by starting in the middle… (June 2014)

The best improvisations are the simplest. (May 2014)

It’s not that I have no equal, it’s just that I have no friends… (October 2013)


You can only learn from the past and prepare for the future by living intentionally in the present. (Aug 2013)


Help yourself first. Only then when will you be in a position to help others. How can you give the shirt off your back if you have no shirt to give? (Oct 2011)


Make time for pauses in the midst of your life because that’s exactly when appraising the meanings of your experiences occurs. Savor life. With zest. (Sept 2011, Kaelin M. Groom added the “zest” part)

Hope if not a strategy. It’s a catalyst (June 2011)

I believe in free will: the ability to make one’s own choices without interference by organizations, other people, or by fate – whatever you want to call it. But I do not believe in chaos per se, for that would mean I’m helpless...and I’m not. (Sept 2010)


We tend to perceive what we expect to perceive. (Feb 2010)


Fundamentals lead to wisdom. (Feb 2010)


A good way to bias research rests in theorizing before you have the facts. (Feb 2010)


Life happens... (December 2009)


Good things happen because of hard work; GREAT things happen because of perseverance with that hard work. (Feb 2008)


Success is not an event. It’s a process. (June 2006)


Opportunities arise because you make them happen. (August 2005...thanks to Beth N. for helping me realize this!)


Making money is far less important than living a rich life. (August 2005)


Knowledge is free. It can be attained by anyone. But wisdom is gained through experience fueled by a desire to understand, which, consequently, only comes after knowledge is attained. (June 2005)


If you knew what it took to have my life, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful. (May 2004)


Tourists see what they came to see. Travelers see what they see. (May 2004)


Awards are for the insecure and uninformed. They are almost always political, in one form or another, and only regarded as monolithic proof of absolute superiority by the ignorant. (April 2004)


The key to all knowledge comes in words of just one syllable, because they’re symbolic towards the journey of understanding. (Feb. 2004)


There is no “black” and “white.” And it is right that it is so, for if there were only “black” and “white”, then we are prone to judge others (based on our standards), breed ignorance, and spread unreliable knowledge. The grayer our lives, the more objective we become. And it is in becoming “objective” that we gain awareness and understanding. (July 2003)


Never look for straight lines. Life never follows that pattern. Straight lines tend to confine instead of leading to Freedom. (July 2001)


I used to worship in temples until I realized that all things are sacred: the forests, trees, waterfalls, stone, lakes, animals – even humans! (July 2001)


It’s what’s inside people that scare them the most! (January 2002)


It is only those that do nothing that never make a mistake! (2001)


Just BE (September 2001)


You’ve never believed in the impossible? Impossible things happen every day! (1998)


It’s okay to quit. It’s okay to fail. As long as you learn something worthwhile in the process...and quitting or failing IS a process –and a long process at that!! (1998)


An effective and good leader is one that can tell you to go to hell and you’d enjoy the journey! (1997)

In your 20s, you (should) explore things you might want to your 30s, you (should) find the thing(s) you want to your 40s, you get good at those things...and in your 50s, you make you money. (1997)

Everyone needs a Geographer – most just never realize it...!!! (1996)


Any type of education is never a waste. Neither is the money that is spent in learning. Any knowledge and learning that you gain in this life will be of benefit to you. Never quit learning. (1996)


Realize your worth and let nothing stop you from doing or being what you want. (1996)


Try everything at least once. (1995)


Look for the good in everyone and everything. That’s what Cinderella did, and look what she got. (1994)


Almost 75% of the earth’s landmass is in the northern hemisphere. And people wonder why the Earth is tilted on its axis. (1994)


Be yourself. If someone doesn’t like it, tough sh!t. (1995)


Sometimes you just have to know when to say “Kiss my a$$”! (1995)


Age matters not, but ‘tis experience that seems to be of more value throughout your life. (1995)


Pack light and pack tight! (1995)

Family & Friends:


You have to live life as it presents itself. (William Barton Groom, the first. My grandfather-in-law)


I have no fear! Except broccoli. (a kid named Ryan, age 5½, at California Adventure while we were riding Grizzly River Run, Dec 2012)


Never forget the Art of it all. (Kaelin M. Groom, several years before, but shared it with me personally, Oct 2011)


Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. (Carrie Fisher in our Broadway performance of Wishful Drinking, Jan 2010)


Cry all you want. You’ll pee less. (Carrie Fisher in our Broadway performance of Wishful Drinking, Jan 2010)


Conflict does not arise from “right” and “wrong”, but from two “rights”. (Tim Sutton, playwright, Jan 2010)


When reason fails...I have no problem cheating. (Brian Page, in a faculty meeting at CU Denver, Jan 2010)


Take care of yourself, because no one else will (or has to). (My great colleague, Fred Chambers, 2008)


No matter how tall your grandfather is, you have to do your own growing. (Ted Allen, my father)

The best act wins. (Dixie Allen, my mother)

We live till we die...unless a tree falls on us. Then we live till we die anyway. (Ted Allen, my father)


Can’t is a contraction for ‘can try’. (Dixie Allen, my mother)


Why settle for a pequeño when a grande is available? (Marissa Smith, ASU, October 2005)


Agency (i.e., free will): We all have it, but don’t want others to have it. (Jared Allen, my brother, Feb. 2004)


Happy people do good things. (Peter Slinger, 2003)


In your 20s and 30s you discover what you want to do, in your 40s you get good at what you do, and in your 50s you make your money. (Jay Martin, CEO of Silver State Surveys, to me while training me on site in Chile, 1996)


Even the worst student is worth your best effort. (SUU Professor Richard Dotson, 1997)


Compromising is for losers. Why compromise when you can win? (WSU Professor Dr. Rod Julander, 1996)


If you score, you make one person happy, if you make an assist, you make two people happy. (A basketball lesson from Robert Allen, my brother, 1995)


The change of the thought is more important than the change of the action. (One of my great mentors, Professor Dr. Deon Greer, in a Political Geography class, WSU 1995)


To live is the rarest thing. Most people exist, that is all. (One of my oldest friends, Sara Berryhill Monterosso, 1995, quoting some other famous person...)


There’s no such thing as a trick question. Only questions we don’t understand. (One of my great mentors, Professor Dr. Don Murphy in a Geography of Africa class, WSU 1993)


Courage is the thing behind the faith that moves mountains. (Tessie Peck Larson Lewis [my grandmother], 1957)


There’s no one so beneath you that you can’t learn something from them. (Maurice Larson, my grandfather, cir. 1930)



Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is...[W]e are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters. (Master Yoda in Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

...Giving in is what kills people. When you refuse to surrender with all your heart, only then do you transcend your humanity. Even in the face of death never give up. (Alucard in Hellsing, Master of Monster)

It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great. (Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own)


How much of human life is lost in waiting... (John Hurt as Professor Henry “Ox” Oxley in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)


It’s not the years, it’s the mileage. (Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark)


Some lessons cannot be taught...they have to be lived. (Blindman in Elektra)


If you don’t follow through with your dreams, you might as well be a vegetable. (Anthony Hopkins as Burt Munroe in The World’s Fastest Indian)


Until you know who you want to be, you won’t get very far. (Running Water in Bronco Billy)


The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things bother you. (Bill Murray as Bob Harris in Lost in Translation)


We’re all put to the test...but it never comes in the form or content that we expect. (Anthony Hopkins as Charles Morse in The Edge)


If you look close enough, all the world is a garden... (Mary in The Secret Garden)


Fear is nothing more than a feeling: you feel sick, you feel angry, you feel hungry. Fear can never kill you. (Chun in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins)


Believe in yourself, without that [belief] you can do nothing. (Chun in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins)


Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. (Yoda, in Return of the Jedi)


...You need to see more movies. All of life’s questions are answered in the movies. (Steve Martin in Grand Canyon)


Question Everything. (Meg Ryan in I.Q.)


Love conquers all! (Clucky in Disney’s Robin Hood)


Get used to disappointment. (Wesley in The Princess Bride)


This is true love, do you think it happens every day? (Wesley in The Princess Bride)


...A man without Spirit is whipped. (LaHood, in Palerider)


There’s plain few problems that can’t be solved with a little sweat and hard work. (Clint Eastwood as Preacher in Palerider)


There’s nothing wrong with love; if there were more love in the world, there probably wouldn’t be so much dying. (Clint Eastwood as Preacher in Palerider)

A man alone is easy prey. (Clint Eastwood as Preacher in Palerider)


Don’t dream it, be it! (Frankenfurter, Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1979)



Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts. (Beau Bridges as General Hank Landry in Stargate Atlantis: No Man’s land)

Don’t mistake my silence for confusion. (Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe in Burn Notice)

Anticipation doesn’t give you the win. It’s how you react to the situation. (Mark Harmon as LeRoy Gethro Gibbs in NCIS: Monsters and Men)

Greatness has nothing to do with power. Greatness is about achieving what others think impossible. (Caesar in Xena Warrior Princess: Destiny)

The best improvisations are the simplest. (MacGyver in Crisis Averted)


Stay low, move fast, think smart, and if you go, take company along… (MacGyver in Deathlock)


Sometimes in life you go with your heart, not your head. (Hercules to Xena in Prometheus)


Art will never take second place to rules and regulations. (Gustacius in Xena Warrior Princess: The Athens Academy of the Bards)


In youth, we run into difficulties. As we get older, difficulties run into us. (MacGyver in Crisis Averted)


Some friendships are so strong, they can even transcend lifetimes. (Avatar Roku, Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series)


When love is real, it finds a way. (Avatar Roku, Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series)


It’s easy to do nothing, but it’s hard to forgive… (Avatar Aang, Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series)


Forgiveness is the first step you have to take to begin healing. (Avatar Aang, Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series)


Success in battle does not rely on your strengths, but in your opponent’s weakness. (T’ealc, Stargate SG-1)

99% of the time a ‘hero’ is someone who is too tired, hungry, and fed-up to give a damn! (Benjamin “Hawkeye” Pierce, M*A*S*H* TV series)


Some people are scared of anybody who runs free. (MacGyver)


Walk in love, walk in service, and you will walk in honor... (MacGyver)


...A fella’s life ain’t worth mentioning if he hasn’t shared it with some folks along the way... (MacGyver)


I’ve found from past experiences that the tighter your plan, the more likely you are to run into something unpredictable. (MacGyver in The Heist)


I learned something a long time ago: never laugh at what you don’t know. (MacGyver in Silent World)


I think if you try hard enough and make the best of a situation, the situation won’t get the best of you. (MacGyver in Birth Day)


Only a fool is sure of anything, a wise man keeps on guessing. (MacGyver quoting [his grandfather] Harry in The Stringer)


It is said somewhere that ‘You don’t win the Silver Medal, you lose the Gold Medal’. Obviously that person never won a Silver Medal. (Olympic commercial, 2000)


To conquer others is to have power...To conquer yourself is to know the way. (Loa Ma in Xena: Warrior Princess, The Debt II)


Everyone’s gotta be full of sumthin’... (Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess, The Debt II)


The heavens endure and the earth lives forever because they serve others...Stop hating, stop desiring, stop wanting and willing. (Loa Ma in Xena: Warrior Princess, The Debt II)

I got a chance to make someone I care about happy...That’s the best reward you can have in life. (Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess, Ulysses)


Justice is doing things by the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. (Hercules in Hercules, The Legendary Journeys)


If you ain’t where you’re at, you’re no where! (Colonel Sherman Potter, M*A*S*H*, 1978)

Famous People/Music/Books/Other:


Think critically, Google competently. (Dr. Dan McClellan, 2024)

Walking the path that doesn’t even look like it’s there is really the most rewarding...We don’t have to conform to what people say we have to do in order to succeed. (Felicia Day, in an interview with Larry King, Dec 2020)

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. (US Navy SEALS)

The rewards were in the journey. (Sidney Poitier)


You will never be prepared for anything you do, ever. Not the first time. Training and practice are out the window the second they meet experience. (Patton Oswalt, in an article for GQ, Dec 2016)


You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love...Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you...The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. (Jim Carrey, in his commencement address to Maharishi University of Management 2014)


Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened! (Dr. Suess)


What’s past is prologue... (William Shakespeare, The Tempest)


The only original things we ever do are mistakes. (Billy Joel)


...Do what you love. Don’t do it for security, or status, prestige, money, or, for crying out loud, don’t do it for somebody else. (Billy Joel, in his 2006 commencement speech for Syracuse University)


...The greater the contrast [between objectivity and subjectivity – that gray area] the more intense the consciousness. (W. B. Yeats, quoted by Norman Jeffares in W.B. Yeats, Man and Poet)


Truth is what you get other people to believe in. (Tom Smothers in his Emmy Award acceptance speech, 2008)


It’s amazing what you can get if you quietly, clearly, and authoritatively ask for it. (Meryl Streep at her Golden Globe acceptance speech, 2007)


The future is not a result of choice among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created – created first in the mind & will, created next in activity (John Schear)


The future is not someplace we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the make & the destination (John Schear)


Eventually, all things merge into one. And a river runs through it. (Norman McLean, A River Runs Through It)

At the end of the day, we can do much more than we think we can. (Frida Kahlo [Rivera])

It’s not difficult to find our own supreme wisdom. It’s difficult to believe in it. (Supreme Master Ching Hai)

Take the job seriously, but NEVER take yourself seriously. (Clint Eastwood)

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot. (Albert Einstein)

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. (E. E. Cumming)

...The best things in life are available to everyone because they’re inside us; like truth, imagination, creativity, love, kindness, compassion....So you see, greatness has nothing to do with success or money or possessions... (Yanni in Tribute)

...We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy... (Albus Dumbledor, Headmaster, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

How do you be good to life? You live it. (Morgan Freeman)


Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


It’s not our abilities that make us who we’s our choices. (Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)


Though there are many paths / At the foot of the mountain / All those who reach the top / See the same moon. (Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido)


A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within. (O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido)


Be like the Bamboo and bend with the wind. (Ancient Feng Shui saying)


The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true Art & Science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, no longer pauses to wonder and stand rapt with awe, is as good as dead. (Albert Einstein)


If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done. (Ludwig Wittgenstein)


Money often costs too much. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


A well spent day brings happy sleep. (Leonardo Davinci)


People are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them. (Epictetus)


If something isn’t to your liking, then change your liking. (Rick Steves)


Don’t upset the balance of your nature; reach the level above your fears... (From B-52s song, Tell it Like it Is)


I would rather be a failure at something I like & enjoy than a success at something I don’t. (George Burns)


Challenge Everything. (EA Sports video games slogan, 2002)


If we treat people as they are, we make them worse; If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of being. (Goethe)


Symbolism transcends the artificial barriers imposed by language, nationhood or religious belief by speaking directly to our unconscious minds. (Clare Gibson)


You give little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need tomorrow?” (Khalil Gibran, The Prophet)


That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind. (Khalil Gibran, The Prophet)


Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you reach the mountain top, then shall you begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance. (Khalil Gibran, The Prophet)


Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win. (Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido)


How you imagine the world determines how you live in it. (David Suzuki in The Sacred Balance)


Like everything else, we are the raw material of life. (David Suzuki in The Sacred Balance)


Don’t tell me how educated you are; tell me how well-traveled you are. (Mohammad, blessed be his name)


Since the beginning of time, spirituality and religion have been called on to fill in the gaps that science did not understand. (Maximillian Kohler in Angels and Demons, pg. 25)


Sometimes things don’t turn out exactly the way you imagined. [Sometimes] they’re better. (Amanda Bynes as Daphne Reynolds, in What a Girl Wants)


A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. (Max Planck)


Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. (Carl Sagan)


If you knew the time it took me to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful. (Michelangelo)


Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside you own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it--memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey. (Tad Williams, Reader’s Digest, March 1996)

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