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Nov 6, 2013

Deeds, Results and Hot Air

I found myself thinking on the words of Shakespeare today: "Talking isn't doing. It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds."

Oct 15, 2013

Paine-ful Thoughts

Tonight, I read sections of Common Sense by Thomas Paine. I specifically was looking for the opening paragraph addressed to General Sir William Howe, where he compares arguing with another to administering medicine on the dead.

Sep 10, 2013

Life's Cheat Codes

I recall playing The Sims and learning the “cheat codes” to give myself more money, to stop aging or to make some other aspect of the game easier. I often wish there were a way to pause real life and enter a cheat code to make it easier because life is very tough at times.
Although there is nothing quite so simple as a cheat code, I know from raising my daughters, certain “secrets” of life become revealed. It seems as I observe struggles for them and offer advice, these “cheat codes” for life become obvious and simple. They really do make life easier. I hear myself say to my teenager all the time, “This is one of life’s secrets.” They really are self-evident and simple, but remembering to apply them when needed is difficult.

Aug 23, 2013

Not By Sight

I was not able to make it to church last Sunday. Fortunately, the church places Pastor Paul's messages on YouTube, so I've been able to watch the sermon. I am thankful for this technology because this is a very powerful Biblical advice - and so important, I felt I should share.

Aug 13, 2013

Vaccine For Viral Post

Ok, this one has been going around recently. First of all, yes, it is true. But the EXIF format embedded into images has been around for several years. This is not new. If you haven't known about the dangers of this, then you've probably already had your children kidnapped and house robbed...or if you haven't then perhaps your practices versus this threat aren't as much of a problem as being promoted.

Aug 8, 2013

From the Archives: The Flaming and Intermittent Jack-Ass

Originally Posted: 13 Jan 2009 5:00 PM
Last night to my horrid surprise, one of my regularly watched TV-comedies was not shown. It had been advertised during the show prior only and again moments before it was scheduled to air. However, unbeknownst to me, my local station decided to intercede and run some local living better documentary.

Aug 5, 2013

Integrity, A Study in Greek and in Irony

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “Integrity” as: 1 firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic value 2 an unimpaired condition 3 the quality or state of being complete or undivided.
The word’s etymology comes from Latin integritatem which means wholeness and in perfect condition. This is the same root from which we get the mathematical term “integer.” For those non-math majors out there, an integer is a number that contains no fraction.

Aug 3, 2013

Lessons of School Supplies

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." That is the vein in which I approach an observation we made while shopping for school supplies this morning. So, please understand I'm not meaning to be judgmental, but rather applying my response to the situation to be more aware of my own behavior.

Jul 28, 2013

From the Archives: Love, Not Fear

I discovered some older blog posts that have not been pushed up to the current blog location since the provider switch in 2011. I decided I would just post some of my favorite ones under the subtitle "From the Archives."
Originally Posted: 29 Feb 2008 07:30 AM
Last night, I got into a discussion with my oldest daughter about God, aetheism, sin, humanism, Heaven and Hell. It was one of those deep moments where you hope to have the right words and be able to explain all your justifications, knowing that you probably are not making any sense at all. Nonetheless, I was compelled to send a follow up email, which I know she will not mind me sharing. Here it is:
I've been thinking about what you said last night. I don't see God as a cosmic troll who snaps his fingers with demands of righteousness or He will send us to Hell. I view it more as a loving Father who hopes His children will love him enough to respect the rules of His house.

Being a father myself, this really clears up my understanding. I think things such as marriage and parenthood really are "gifts" from God. They are life functions with multiple layers of meaning - one of which to help us better understand God and His desire to interact with us.

For example, I want Rachel to keep her room clean. I don't want her to do it only because she is afraid of being punished. I may have to punish her if she fails to follow the rules - or perhaps she will stub her toe on one of the toys strewn across her room, which becomes its own punishment. However, I do want her to clean her room because I believe it should make her more happy but also I hope that she loves me enough to follow my rules even if she doesn't understand them completely. I want her motivation to be love, not fear. Nonetheless, I will still love her whether her room is clean or not.

I find it interesting that God is often referred to as a father. I think in recent years to whole "battle of the sexes" thing has caused us to lose perspective of this - as if being a father is a bad thing or is better than being a mother. I don't hold any of those opinions at all. However, I will note that fathers approach raising children differently than mothers.

With some exceptions, mothers nurture their children, and protect them from harm. If a mother foresees pain and suffering, a mother will directly intervene to prevent the distress. Fathers, however, are more passive in their approach. They allow the child to make those mistakes in hopes they will learn from them. Fathers do still intervene, but usually only do so when the circumstances are extreme.

Now - earthly mothers and father range with great variety. None of us are perfect, but the general difference of approach is there. Earthly fathers often get the blamed for being lazy and uninvolved - and some are; however, I think many times this comes from the method, not apathy.

The allegories run deep here; I could continue to make comparisons all day. Hopefully some of these things has given you insight. And please remember, no matter what you do or don't do, no matter what path you follow, no matter how you choose to live your life, no matter what you opt to believe, I will always love you too.

Jul 26, 2013

Bible-Belt Bloopers

*Disclaimer for this Post: This blog entry is written for an audience assumed to be of the Christian faith. Obviously, one doesn't have to be a Christian to read it, have an opinion on it or even criticize it; however, the context is primarily for those who follow and believe a Judeo-Christian creed.
Everything in life happens for a reason. God never gives you something you can't handle. So when things are bad, just remember, things always get better.
I like the motivational picture above. I've seen it a lot. It's a great positive message which gives us hope and inspires us to remember we are stronger than we sometimes realize.
I have heard many Christians paraphrase this idea in several different ways. Often they will follow it up with “It's in the Bible, you know!”
The problem with that is...well, it isn't. The Bible doesn't say these things. In fact, it actually says things nearly the opposite.

Jul 21, 2013

The Art of Mind-Reading, Part II

I left off last time with the idea of how well I get along with my wife has to do with how well I can read her mind. Let me reiterate this is not about her, but rather a real skill I should try to improve.
Of course I do not have any sort of clairvoyance or other mental prowess. But I do have powers of observation. How often do I “know” how someone is going to act or react in an upcoming situation? How can I know this if I am not a mind-reader?

Jul 5, 2013

The Art of Mind-Reading, Part I

By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
While Socrates’ quote is humorous and perhaps even something to which we relate, but I’m not sure I agree. Or perhaps I should say, not all philosophical thinkers have bad wives. I like to believe I think “deeply” as would a philosopher – and I have a great wife.
Of course, I also understand that how well I get along with my wife is proportional to how well I can read her mind. That’s not a slight on her, by the way. It’s a credit (or demerit) to how well I pay attention to her needs.

Jun 28, 2013

What’s The Count And Where’s The Play?

When I was a pre-teen playing little league baseball, I had a coach who had a method to help my teammates and me “keep our heads in the game.” When our team held the field, he told us that after each pitch – after each time the ball returned to the pitcher – each of us should mentally ask ourselves, “What’s the count and where’s the play?” During practices he would spot check to see if we could answer those questions. At times, one of the players would not know when asked. “Take a lap around the field,” the coach would say.

Jun 18, 2013

We Oft Mock Wisdom

I have thought a lot recently about the story of Solomon and the two mothers. It’s well known. Two women had come before the king, each had given birth to a child, but one baby had died. The claim from each woman was that the living son was hers. One mother claimed, “This woman’s son died in the night, because she smothered him while she slept with him, then switched the children in the night.” The other woman retorted, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son. She is making up this story to steal my son.”
Solomon examined the situation as each woman made her case, then announced he had a great way to resolve the problem: he would take out his sword, cut the baby in two halves to give to each of the women. Suddenly, one of the women shrieked, fell to her knees and begged him not to do that. She gave up her claim if only the king would spare the child’s life. Solomon then looked upon the weeping woman and told his royal guard, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.”

May 14, 2013

Not Drinking The Poison

If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?

 ~ Kahil Gibran
In my last post, I talked about who I want to be when facing difficulties and resentment. It is slow to implement, but I have been employing the idea of thinking how the optimal version of me wants to respond to a situation and trying to act that way. I ask myself, "How would the person I truly aspire to be handle this?" This has helped me greatly in many scenarios and kept me more grounded more often.

Apr 23, 2013

But Who Is Me?

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
 ~ Malachy McCourt
I held on to a lot of anger for years after my divorce. The bitterness ate away and corroded the true me, but it happened at slow pace – so much so that I barely noticed the change. And I carried this hatred with me for a long time and without being aware of it.

Apr 13, 2013

The Kvetching Order

I recently read an article in the LA Times by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman about being appropriate during times of difficulty. They described a method devised by Susan to know when and to whom it is okay to vent and when and to whom to only speak supportively.

Apr 10, 2013


Just a quick thought about manners in general, but specifically on social media. This could easily apply to the idea of how to engage in any conversation.

Mar 26, 2013

About Anger

This morning, as I was trying to leave a convenience store parking lot, a peculiar occurrence happened. I needed to cross two lanes of traffic to turn left, and there was oncoming traffic in both lanes from the left-hand side. A lady in a little Civic slowed down and waved me out take the spot in front of her. I’m not sure whether she didn’t see my turn signal or whether the off-angle of my car deceived her to think I wanted to turn right or perhaps even whether she was unaware of the other traffic around her made a left turn unsafe. However, after a few back-and-forth gestures of “go ahead” countered by my “no, I’m turning left” indications, the lady’s face became filled with frustration followed by another gesture, promoting me to number one. Then she sped up to fill the driving void.

Feb 26, 2013

You'd Better Work...

I read an article today about marriage that caught my attention. At first I thought it was mocking the institution, but soon realized it was standing up against those who believe marriage is an outdated idea.

Feb 15, 2013

Call Me Diogenes

Diogenes: Also known as Diogenes the Cynic, this Ancient Greek philosopher was a controversial figure who criticized the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt society. He was a renowned Cynic and Stoic. Many anecdotes of Diogenes refer to his dog-like behavior, and his praise of a dog's virtues. Diogenes believed human beings live artificially and hypocritically and would do well to study the dog. Unlike human beings who either dupe others or are duped, dogs will give an honest bark at the truth. Diogenes stated that "other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them."
Today's topic: The meteor impact in the Russian mountains near Chelyabinsk. Or...Why scientific evidence should not be tweeted.

Feb 10, 2013

Malice and Forethought

I read recently an opinion of the cultural shift of the word “abuse” in the past few decades. The point made was that this word is used today to reference all sorts of minor offenses and disagreements of opinion. In years past, if two people disagreed, then it would be considered just that and no accusations that one side or the other was abusive with their language or fueled by primal hatred.

Feb 6, 2013

What’s in a name?

How I am addressed is often an interesting tale. My professional pseudonym of “Dj” is not my legally given name, and more curious is why just a colloquial nickname became associated with my professional career. Today, there are few who even know my legal name, save the classmates on Facebook. However, this is not the story I plan to share for this post.

Jan 28, 2013

More A Matter Of Self Than Circumstance

I am no marriage expert. I am not a counselor. I have not performed or assisted in any scientific studies on the topic. My profession does not remotely work with the subject matter. I have no credentials to qualify me to discuss the matter.

Jan 27, 2013

Wearing the suit...

My boss and I were discussing résumés last week and telling tales of blunders we knew. So I did a quick search and found some very funny faux pas others have made. The list made me laugh, so I’ve decided to share.

Jan 24, 2013

A Sad Historic Event

The captives were blindfolded and forced to strip. Their captors would beat them, place them in mock electrical devices and torture their victims with freezing cold and starvation. The afflicted cruelty was so bad that some prisoners attempted suicide to escape it.
Many reading this opening description might believe that I am portraying the events at Abu Ghraib. But I am not. I am depicting the events endured by the American hostages for 444 days of the Iranian Crisis that began in 1979.

Jan 23, 2013

Reason And Force

I know not everyone agrees with my view; however, I believe in the right for the common citizen to own and carry a firearm. Do I believe this is an unrestricted authorization? Absolutely not. Just as Freedom of Speech does not give one the authority to commit perjury or incite a riot, the Right to Bear Arms is a careful responsibility that can be abused. The right does not give us unfettered license to wave and wield weapons wherever we like. As with Free Speech, there is a responsibility associated with this right and also a consequence if one does not attend to its potentiality.

Jan 10, 2013

Standing In My Own Sunshine

I'm writing a quick note here because yesterday's post had a little higher "read count" than average. That and a few personal message sent directly to me.
I am fine and coping with my dog issues, as well as my personal ones. I do apologize if my post yesterday concerned anyone. At times, I not only wear my heart on my sleeve but also model it on the billboard of the busiest section of the highway.

Jan 6, 2013

Our Rhyme That Passion Has Worn

A friend of mine recently made what I consider a very profound statement. Google credits George Carlin with the phrase, but I don’t recall hearing it in his comedy routine, although it does sound vaguely familiar. Nonetheless, when I heard it recently, it struck a chord with me. The idiom is this: More people write poetry than read it.