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Dec 28, 2012

Starting Anew

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
~ Socrates

Earlier this month, I had been making a serious attempt to take inventory of many personal issues and examine my life, as to be sure it is worth living as Socrates would say. However, a sad incident took my and the nation’s attention, and I’ve found myself discussing and debating gun-related topics. No matter how right or wrong I am in this political arena, my impact on the solution at large will be quite minimal; thus, I have decided to focus again upon things by which I can personally be more effective.

Dec 18, 2012

Everybody’s Solution Sucks

A lot of discussion has taken place in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy. Many talk about gun control while others discuss mental illness. But let me just say for the record, everybody’s solution sucks: yours, mine and those pundits on TV.

Dec 11, 2012


“All I want you to do for me is give it to me when you get home.”
~Aretha Franklin (Respect)

Aretha Franklin’s song is a woman’s cry to be treated fairly and properly by her man. This is a reasonable thing to demand. However, for many of us, respect has become more a thing we desire or demand and less of something we give or show. And while we might deserve respect, and perhaps should avoid certain situations due to a lack of it – I wonder if I may be unbalanced in the demand-and-give ratio.

Dec 10, 2012

Character Revelations

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won't have time to make them all yourself.”
~ Alfred Sheinwold

We all know that paranoid person in the office or some other social environment. The one who acts out of fear, the one that reminds us of Tom Smykowski from Office Space running across the corporate landscape between the building and coffee restaurant warning his officemates that the company has hired consultants. The truth is that we all act out of fear at times, but the person who displays habitual response to perceived fears creates a lot of problems for themselves. And we see it obviously in others!

Dec 9, 2012

Mental Calisthenics

“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”
~The Apostle Paul

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am working on some character renovations. Whenever starting such a project, I find the passage above a good place to start.

Dec 8, 2012

Paving the Road

“We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This morning I was consumed in thought about how people judge each other and why. Of course we all know this is a bad practice, yet it continues to happen.

Nov 22, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 22

Today I am thankful for my inconveniences. While that may sound like an odd thing to be thankful for, hang on so that I can explain.

Nov 20, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 20

Today I give thanks for the Serenity Prayer. For anyone unfamiliar with it, the prayer goes like this: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” What I am perhaps less thankful for is my measure of wisdom as it applies here.

Nov 18, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 18

So, clearly, I took a week off from counting blessings. I considered going back and making up for it with seven items I behold with gratitude. However, that somewhat would defeat the purpose of why I chose to do this posting project of thanks. The point, at least personally, is to take a moment to appreciate the important things in my life and whole-heartedly acknowledge them. To lump them altogether like a checklist just won't cut it with me; so...I will simply continue on.

Nov 11, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 11

Today is Veterans Day. The security of our nation is an easy thing to overlook and a difficult one to truly understand. The men and women who have served to protect my liberties and comfort deserve respect beyond what my simple blog entry can give. I am very grateful for this country's veterans.

Nov 10, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 10

I am thankful for relaxing, simple days where the demands are few. After this week, I've needed a little time to "decompress" and thankful to have it.

Nov 9, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 9

Today is a fairly straight-forward and simple gratefulness. I am thankful for my new employment. It's going to be a wonderful job!

Nov 8, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 8

Entertainment, leisure time and specifically music and concerts are the things I am thankful for today. I must admit this is probably biased by the fact that my wife and I have "Meet the Band" tickets for the Aerosmith concert tonight. However, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to enjoy concerts and live where there is an entertainment industry to provide such.

Nov 7, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 7

Although I am not always thankful for what the government does, I am thankful for the civil process of our political system. When we the people vote in this republic, we feel rather confident that our collective voices will be heard and the decision followed. Unlike other places in the world, the transition or retention of power is not forced by a coup or militants in the street. This is a convenience and wonder we find as normal that many other citizens of the world never see. I am thankful for our flawed, imperfect, still-needing-to-be-improved and often rude but congenial-by-comparison political and govermentmental systems.

Nov 6, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 6

I am thankful for travel modes of this century. A hundred years ago, most of the population did not travel 20 miles outside of their birthplace. Today, however, with airplanes, automobiles and even trains, we are virtually unlimited to the places we can visit. I have been fortunate in my lifetime to travel to 36 different states and four different countries. Modern travel is a blessing.

Nov 5, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 5

Modern medicine is what I am thankful for today. As frustrating as the issue of healthcare has become, I am still thankful for medical science, the diagnostic procedures and the biochemical "magic" we have today, saving countless lives and improving the quality of lives even when cures of some afflictions have yet to be discovered.
A century ago, tuberculosis, pneumonia and influenza were the great enemies of humankind and could strike anyone regardless of age and relative health. Today, these diseases are far less threatening, and that threat is isolated more to smaller groups. Cancer and heart disease are our health risks today, but because of modern medicine, the danger is far more about our choices than being a random victim.

Nov 4, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 4

I am thankful for the readily available food. It's something I take for granted because ever since my earliest memories, grocery super markets have existed. Beyond taking it for granted, I probably even abuse it.
The "supermarket" did not make its premiere until 1930. Prior to Piggly Wiggly, grocers were service-based and sold mainly perishables. Other than that, people grew their own fruits and vegetables and raised their own livestock, which they either cleaned and prepared themselves or had the butcher do it. While we most likely overeat due to the convenience, I am still quite grateful not to have to spend several hours each day just to prepare and provide a day's sustenance.

Nov 3, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 3

Today is a difficult day to count blessing as a recently reacquainted friend from high school unexpectedly passed away. However, as has become a practice in our home, I have sought the unexpected blessing when tragedy occurs - a sort of Divine lesson of Providence that makes life somehow better in the midst of the difficulty. So today I am thankful for the many opportunities to share with others how important they are to me. I further vow to express my affection to those I love more often and more obviously. For all my family, friends and the fellowship with them - it is this I am thankful today.

Nov 2, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 2

I am thankful for wonderful neighbors. This could not be more distinguished today, as our next-door neighbors' son found our missing dog. He selflessly returned her (without knowing there was a reward) simply because it was the right thing to do. I am blessed to be surrounded by such caring people.

Nov 1, 2012

Season of Thanks: Day 1

I am thankful for the basics of human comforts: the shelter of my home, the food in my pantry, the electricity and gas to keep the temperature reasonable. I am very fortunate to live in a place where these amenities are readily available and there are jobs and careers available to fund the purchasing of these things. The simple basics, which I so often take for granted - for these I am thankful.

Oct 25, 2012

Top 50 Pop Culture List (Final Ten)

Today I reveal the final ten items of my Top 50 Pop Culture Items of the Past 50 Years list. But before I give the top of the top, let’s review the list thus far:

Oct 24, 2012

Top 50 Pop Culture List (20-11)

The first thirty items of my Top 50 Pop Culture Items of the Past 50 Years list have been revealed. Today I will divulge the next ten items. Again, I have to mention how fascinating and peculiar this project became, as I had to decide how to lump and split so many things and further how to rank them. Was the Pet Rock more popular than the Magic Eightball? How do Rickie Tickie Stickers compare to Big Hair of the 80s? Was the Slacker Movement more influential than Tupperware Parties?

Oct 23, 2012

Top 50 Pop Culture List (35-21)

Today I continue with the list of the Top 50 Pop Culture Items of the Past 50 Years. Of course, I will impose a bit of trivia first that I gained while researching this project. The average cost for a domestic car in 1970 was $3,700; in 1980 was $7,600; in 1990 was $14,500; and in the year 2000 it was $18,700.
As Casey Kasem used to say: “And now on with the countdown…”

Oct 22, 2012

Top 50 Pop Culture List

Here begins my list of my personal ranking of the Top 50 Pop Culture Items of the Past 50 Years. It was a fascinating processing gathering ideas, grouping them, splitting them and finally ranking them. And I uncovered some interesting details about the past fifty years as well. What started as a personal project for fun became a real education.

Oct 21, 2012

Pop Culture Top 50 – The Preface

What started as a fun mini-project has quickly become work. I have come across some fascinating research and found a ton of nostalgic websites and wikis. But with so much information, I’ve started to have difficulty even defining how to score my list. After all, what is pop culture? What’s just a fad? Can something be both?

Oct 18, 2012

Mini Project

And you can help. The last two months or so of my life, while still being wonderful, have been filled with their fair share of stress…and more. I lost my job and went through a failed IVF cycle with my wife. Between hormone shots, filing for unemployment insurance and interviewing for new positions, things have been a bit trying lately. Not to mention, this election year hasn’t made things any less stressful.
So, I’ve decided to fight back by doing something fun. And as I said in the opening, you can help. I’m going to compile a list of the Top 50 Pop Culture Items of the Past 50 Years. I’ve often told my daughter it is important to understand what America looked like to the generation before, and now I’m going to compile a list.

Oct 3, 2012

Piracy in the Free Market

Anyone remember those Microsoft Windows jokes about if the highway system were like software? “Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car” was one of the listed gripes. The response from sensitive software engineers was something like “A computer is an interactive piece of machinery that evolves; it’s not passive like popping in a movie.”

Sep 7, 2012

Political Stats

So, I just finished reading the BGOV article which Clinton used as a reference in his speech for the DNC last night. I have to say I was a little stunned by the 42 million to 24 million ratio he quoted. It certainly defies my intuitive speculation.

Sep 4, 2012

RPG in Real Life

I recently considered how to take my career to its next step. I have entertained the thought of taking the LSAT and applying for law school. However, I have been seriously...well, "discouraged" is probably the best several career attorneys. And yes, that can be interpreted in multiple ways. So, while the jury is still out on that decision, it seems less likely the verdict will by a four-year sentence.

Aug 30, 2012

At the Intersection of FaceBook and Friends

I discovered an accidental FaceBook URL command today. The feature has been around for a while, but only when FaceBook suggests it to you. So, today I paid attention to the redirected URL and discovered I can do this anytime I want.