Monday, November 24, 2008

Not a morning person?

It's Monday, so I decided we needed more humor. I like getting into the office early, but not because I am a morning person necessarily. Don't judge me because I think this is funny. There's plenty of other stuff you can judge me for.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


In case you didn't notice, I missed a few days this week. OK, every day this week since Monday. My second year of NaBloPoMo is less then a success. I can live with that. This week has been crazy at work. Getting ready to file a brief and getting all the ducks in a row. Long days. No time or energy to write. But you don't want to listen to my excuses.

Despite my less than consistent posting, you guys keep dropping in here. In fact, this week, one of you was the 10,000th viewer of this electronic journal. I'm guessing that at least half of those views are people searching for new photos of K-Man. I don't blame you. Keep coming back because there'll be more of those. And thanks for dropping in.

Speaking of Kee, I think this is going to be a big year for him at Christmas. Not because he's all into the gift-getting. For the last few months, he and Jen have watched Polar Express about once a day. We watched it 1.5 times today. Of course what started the love affair with Polar Express was the train. In fact, it is still commonly referred to around the house as "Train Movie." But in the last few weeks, he's noticing the Christmas things in the movie -- especially the Christmas tree. We don't usually get our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, but this might be the year we do. Just to see Kee's eye light up as we walk through the Christmas tree forest (in the parking lot at White Water.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blogger ubiquity?

More Monday humor:

21st Century Tribes

I thought Monday should start with a little humor.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just cheese

Jen and K-Man have been out of town for a while. They will be home tomorrow, and I am looking forward to having them around again. I talked to them on the phone tonight. Kee was jumping on the bed looking at himself in the mirror while he was jumping. He does the same thing in his playroom. We have a mini-trampoline that he got for Christmas last year. He loves to jump on it and look at himself in the mirror. He seems to watch to see how high he's jumping and to see if he's jumping correctly. As long as he's staying on the tramp and not jumping off and crashing into one of the three train sets strewn about the room, I'd say that's "correct" enough.

Thinking about them coming home got me to thinking about a story from a few weeks ago. Keegan has been on a quesadilla kick for the last month or so. Rather than spend money at Moe's or Willy's on his occasionally favorite meal, Jen decided to just make them at home on the pancake griddle. Works like a charm by the way. The problem was that he was just eating tortillas and cheese. Needed some more nutrients. So Jen tried to sneak in some more nutritious substances. First, she tried to add some veggies with the cheese, thinking he wouldn't notice. Wrong. He took a bite and looked more closely at the assortment of quesadilla pieces on his plate and turned to Jen and said "no like." Busted.

Next, she tried to add some chicken. Now, he'll eat chicken from time to time. But apparently, he doesn't like that in his cheese quesadilla either.

Undeterred, Jen got some tofu, which is made from soy. Tofu is the food equivalent of that liquid metal stuff they made those next generation Terminators out of in Terminator 2. It can take whatever form you need it to. It's white, like some of the cheese in the mexican blend of shredded cheese we use for the quesadillas. When placed on a tortilla with shredded cheese and heated on a griddle, it blends fairly well with the melted queso. And it's tasteless, so it absorbs the cheese flavor. This one got by K-man's cheese-dar. Poor kid. Duped by his momma.

A few days later, I was home with Kee while Jen was running errands. It got to be dinner time, so I asked him what he wanted for dinner. This question doesn't yet generate a response containing a choice of entree. It seems to alert him that the parent will then rattle off a selection of options. To which he will respond "no." Or he will repeat the choice that he wants.

So knowing that he's on a quesadilla kick, I throw that one out first -- hoping that I can shorten the exercise of dinner selection. I say "do you want a quesadilla?"

"Quesadilla" he repeats.

"Do you want a quesadilla?"


And as I'm walking from the pantry with the tortillas to the fridge to pull out the shredded cheese, he places his order: "Just cheese."

It's hilarious to me that the kid is aware that his mom is trying to sneak in foreign substances into his quesadilla thereby ruining the meal for him. "Yea, she calls it a 'quesadilla,' but I know she's slipping other stuff in there." And apparently, I'm guilty by association. Otherwise, he wouldn't feel the need to clarify his order with me.

So I grabbed the cheese out of the fridge and told him "Just cheese."

"OK." he shot back.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What is holding you back?

What is holding you back?

I was talking to someone today, and this question came up. My problem is that the answer to that question has so many layers. I tend to overanalyze things. The phrase "paralysis by analysis" comes to mind to a certain extent. But that doesn't completely capture it. Some of what holds me back goes back to what I shared on Sunday. I tend to see obstacles and rather than take a shot at something different, I stick with what I know -- warts and all -- because there's a certain comfort in the known.

Now if I was talking to someone else who was thinking about what was holding them back, I would be encouraging them not to let doubts about the unknown prevent them from taking a chance on something that may better suit them. So why can't I give myself the same permission? Or why won't I give myself the same permission?

What holds you back?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Laundry night

This is one of those stream of consciousness posts. Sorry.

I did a couple of loads of laundry tonight. A load of whites and a load of dark clothes. Why do white clothes get so dingy looking? We use bleach, so I don't get it.

There's a metaphor there, but I'm too tired to unwrap that one.

I have a team in a fantasy football league. Had a running back in tonight's Jets-Patriots game. He didn't do squat. Why tonight does Matt Cassell decide to throw for 400+ yards and do the Patriots give up on their running game? Why?!

The Atlanta Hawks are playing some very nice basketball. They are young, but they are playing very well as a team. They actually make me want to watch an NBA game ... and that never happens.

It's still college football season, but the Gators hoops team gets the season started tomorrow night in Gainesville. Tip-off is at 6:00 p.m. EST. ESPNU is providing coverage of that one. Check your local listings.

Speaking of the Gators. The Swamp welcomes back the Head Ball Coach and his South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gators have been on a roll. I expect to see Spurrier drawing up some ball plays from deep in his playbook. But I think the Gators will prevail. One game at a time. I can tell you that the Gators are not looking ahead to next week's game just yet. There will be time to get ready for The Citadel on Monday.

Will the St. Louis Cardinals regret not pulling the trigger on Matt Holliday and letting him get away to Oakland? Holliday would've been nice protection for Pujols.

I have a dentist appointment on Monday.

All right, my consciousness has been reduced to a trickle. And I need to fold the dark load before hitting the hay.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An end of relativism?

I'm just asking the question. Tell me what you think after reading the article.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

You didn't get mail today because it is Veterans Day -- not because you're unloved. Veterans Day started as a day to celebrate the Armistice signed after World War I. After The Great War needed a number and the Korean Conflict, a man in Kansas thought it was important to recognize all veterans. Congress agreed, and we began to celebrate Veterans Day every year on November 11th (the date of the Armistice signed at the end of the War to End All Wars).

Some wars are easier for people to justify, but every American who served in a war or conflict or police action or whatever deserves our gratitude for their sacrifices and their families' sacrifices. They served so we could enjoy the freedoms we take for granted. So today, I say to all of the veterans who are still with us and the millions who have come and gone, thank you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I heard a good message this morning at church. David was talking about worry. I think most people worry about something from time to time. Some worry more than others, but we all worry about stuff at some point. I've heard messages about worry and specifically about the passage in Matthew 6:25 that David talked about today. This wasn't one of David's messages that opens a new perspective on the Word for me (but there have been a few of those). But it was a perfect message for where I am at the moment. I don't really want to share all of the details of that just yet, but suffice it to say, I could identify with the other people in the room today who identified themselves as "worriers."

Here's what I heard about worry today (that takes David off the hook if I screw up the paraphrase of his message). The Lord knows that we are prone to worry. But he wants us to know that he wants to take those burdens from us. He provides. He wants to provide. What that provision looks like for me or you or your friend or your co-worker or your classmate or your neighbor is different. But he knows what would work best, and he wants to provide. That doesn't mean we can just sit around and wait for that provision. We have our part to play. We have to work. Or we have to go to school. Or both. Maybe we have to pray. Maybe we need to ask for help. Maybe in verbalizing what it is that is worrying us we are admitting that it is bigger than us, and we need the Lord's help.

So why don't we take advantage of the Lord's desire to help? Well, if you're like me, you probably don't have faith that the Lord really will help you. I'm not saying I don't believe the Lord can help me. I do. I do because I've seen it before. In my own life. So if I've seen it before, why do I continue to doubt that he'd do it again? Why is my faith so ephemeral? (David didn't answer this question today, but it got me asking myself that question.)

I don't know the complete answer to that question, but saying that "I am just human" is a trite cop out. I know that I am way too self-reliant. I spend too much energy thinking about (read: "worry about") all the negative ends that could be reached instead of doing what I can do and trusting that the Lord will provide what I/we need.

David shared a couple of images today. One was God with a closed fist and us prying it open to get him to open his hands to us. That is the picture many of us have about making our requests to God when those things we worry about come to the surface. We think we have to convince God to open up to us. In fact, he's sitting there with his hands open already to give us what we need. If we'll ask. Without the faith that he can and will provide for us, we don't bother. How much faith is enough? A mustard seed's worth. (David's second image)

David actually had mustard seeds for us to hold to get a visual for the passage in Matthew 17:20 where Jesus commented to his disciples that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed, they could move a mountain. I don't know if I have that much faith, but I have enough to loosen my grip on the things that I cling too tightly.

So what I'm trying to do is hold onto a Matthew 6:34 perspective: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A dog will eat anything

So on Friday, I let our dog Murphy out to do her thing. Usually, that's a short maneuver or two for her, and she's back at the door waiting to be let back into her palatial estate. This time, however, she was gone for about 15 minutes, and when I went outside to check on her, she was nowhere to be seen. I waited a few minutes and went back outside to look for her. As I was walking around the side of the house, I heard her bark. She was walking back towards our house. Our neighbor was walking with her and with his dog. She saw me and started slinking back -- like she knew she had been gone too long and was in trouble.

Later, I put some food in a bowl for Murphy's dinner. But she didn't jump up and scarf it down like she usually does. This should have alerted me that something was awry with her digestive track (foreshadowing).

So after about another 30 minutes of ignoring her food, I heard that sound that no dog owner likes to hear. The sound of stomach muscles churning followed quickly by what sounds like a bucket of water pouring out on the rug. Only what Murphy deposited on the rug was not clear like water. And certainly didn't smell like water.

I turned to see the circle of heinous on the rug -- yes, on the rug. It was a chunky yellowy mess with what could have been a small dead animal carcass or another animal's former food and it smelled like both of those things. God awful.

I put Murphy outside on the porch in case there was more heinous waiting to make an encore. Thankfully, there was none.

Now the clean-up. I grabbed some rags and a garbage bag scooping up handfuls of Murphy's putrid discard. Fighting my gag reflex every bit of the way.

Then I threw cleaner after cleaner at it to kill any germs and -- please God -- to kill the stench!

Vinegar, Fabreze, Lysol, repeat.

I think that rug may be shot. It's going outside because the smell lingers.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Time for a little humor

I thought with the seriousness of yesterday's post, we could use a little levity. I saw this guy the other day on YouTube. Funny stuff. His name is Jeff Caldwell.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I was fine

In case you were in a coma, we elected a new President yesterday. The person I voted for didn't win. But I can appreciate the historical significance of the results. And, I admit, there is a part of me that is proud of this country for arriving at this moment -- even though I do not agree with the winner's philosophies.

And I was fine with where things stood until earlier this evening when I was driving home.

I was listening to NPR. Yes, I sometimes listen to NPR. I also read the New York Times (well, the online version). What better way to know how the other side thinks than to listen to and/or read their main media outlets?

So anyway, I was listening to NPR on the way home. Actually, I was listening to their program called Fresh Air. The host was interviewing Bill Moyers. Now Mr. Moyers was on the staff of Lyndon Johnson from 1963-67, serving as his Press Secretary from 1965-67. Mr. Moyers was serving with LBJ when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. These are very important pieces of legislation in American history.

The host wanted to ask Mr. Moyers about his perspective on the election given his proximity to history in 1964 and 1965. In the course of the discussion, Mr. Moyers shared that after LBJ signed these two bills into law, he made the comment that "we just lost the South."

This was an obvious comment about the state of race relations in the South in the middle of the 1960s. We know what that decade looked like. We've seen the black-and-white footage. We've watched Mississippi Burning. Many of us -- if we're honest -- are embarrassed by that part of history. The country's history. The South's history. But that was more than 40 years ago.

The follow-up question from the host was whether he thought, given the election results, the South had moved past that. Past that decade. Past that comment from LBJ. Past those racist beliefs.

I was fine up until this moment.

Then Mr. Moyers gave his opinion.

He said that sadly, he thought the election results showed that the South had not moved past its racism. And he said that was reflected in all the red states on the map throughout the South. Like it was obvious from the mere fact that those states had not voted for Obama.

It's not possible that the majority of the voters in those states had serious concerns about Obama the man? Obama the candidate? Obama the guy who wouldn't be completely forthcoming about what he meant exactly by "change" but resorted to platitudes instead?

For Mr. Moyers to paint with such a broad brush is beyond offensive to me. Not to mention the millions of people -- IN THE SOUTH -- who voted for Obama. Mr. Moyers even commented that only 1 in 6 white Mississippians voted for Obama as evidence that they must have voted on the basis of race.

Worse, the host of Fresh Air just let Mr. Moyers' assumptions about the Southern voters sit out there. She never pushed back on the absurdity of his hypothesis. She never asked him if the fact that 9 out of 10 black voters voted for Obama meant they voted because of race. Or whether that was OK for some reason.

The notion that the South voted as a bloc against Obama because of his race is belied by the millions of Southerners who voted for the man -- not to mention by the results in Virginia and North Carolina.

What this really reveals is the underlying paradigm among the Democrats or liberals or left or whatever label you want to put on it. As long as you agree with their positions, you are enlightened or smart or sophisticated. Dare to question their positions or -- gasp -- oppose them, and you must be a blithering idiot. Oh, and a racist apparently.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's a NyQuil night

A couple of weeks ago, I got a flu shot. I had never gotten a flu shot before, but my firm was offering them for free to all of the employees. So I thought, why not? They say it'll stave off an ailment that hits so many in the winter months. No fever. No aches. No cold sweats. No days of drinking Gatorade by the gallon.

Well, I don't think I have the flu. I sure as heck better not after putting up with that shot to my upper left arm. But I clearly have a cold. And as the day wore on today, it seemed to get worse despite the dosage of generic DayQuil that I took at mid-day.

And now, I think it's going to be a NyQuil night. It'll help me sleep and hopefully, it'll work on my scratchy throat and the annoying crud in my nose.

I guess it could be worse. I could also have the flu.

(NOTE: the Blogger spellchecker is fine with "NyQuil" but disapproves of "DayQuil.")

Monday, November 3, 2008

Goodnight Moon

So we went to the Alliance Theater tonight for the opening night of their production of Goodnight Moon. This is one of K-Man's favorite books. He was on the edge of his seat the whole night. As an added bonus, when we were parking the car, we saw Grammy and Aunt T and a car-load of cousins emptying out.

Keegan loved the scenery, the story, and the songs. He could barely sit still ... and often didn't. More than once, the excitement was so much that he spun around jumping up and down looking at us like "can you believe how incredible this is? That's the great green room down there! That's the old lady whispering hush. Those are the three bears and their chairs! This is totally awesome!!) A couple times, I thought he was going to pogo himself right over the balcony he was so beside himself.

His eyes sparkled. He was mesmerized by it all. And when it was over, we walked up the stairs and out into the hallway where Keegan let out a bellowing "Goodnight Moon!"

It was a good night.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween weekend highlights

The Halloween weekend started with, uh, Halloween (hence the name). Keegan got things started with a party at school where he enjoyed pizza and Capri Sun. In case you're wondering, K-Man went as a penguin.

Then he got ready for the real Halloween festivities in the neighborhood.

Posed for a picture with his Aunt Nicole and Uncle Jonathan.

On Saturday, we had some friends over (all of whom were dog fans) to watch the annual Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville (a/k/a the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party). I expected the game to be a Big 12 shootout with the winner being the last team with the ball. Fortunately, it didn't matter who had the ball at the end of the game ... or all of the fourth quarter for that matter. UF took advantage of some "timely" penalties by Georgia and Matthew Stafford auditioning for the Detroit Lions by throwing 3 interceptions. The final score was 49-10.

By the fourth quarter, John Mark, one of our UGA friends, had capitulated.

And decided to get a new tatoo.

On his forehead. See.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November to remember

Well, my November got off on the right foot today. After a fun night of trick-or-treating last night with K-Man and his penguin costume, we had some friends over today to watch UF dismantle the Georgia Bulldogs and the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, Florida. The final score was 49-10, with Georgia scoring its lone touchdown very late in the 4th on a pass from the back-up QB.

November also means it's National Blog Posting Month. I participated last year, and I've felt the blog hangover all year. But I'm a glutton for punishment, so I am back at it again for 2008. So I will be making an effort to post every day this month. That's at least 30 posts this month. Chances are one or two of them will be worth reading. Maybe, it'll be a November to remember.