B-log

Backlog that is. I don’t like busy. I don’t do busy.

Busy is a lack of planning and preparation. I am feeling so unprepared.

My plan is to finish a degree by May 2013. I am currently uneducated.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. 5 week summer semester.

Can’t read this fast. Can’t write this fast.

Uhhhhg. 

Week two nearly done. Sucking it in. Pressing onward.

Looking beyond the horizon. That is where tomorrow is located.

Grasping the future in one hand and releasing today with the other.

 

 

 

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Clutching too tightly

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Many years ago my son came up to me as fast as 4 year old legs will run. He was hollering out to me, “Daddy, daddy, look!” The enthusiasm of a new discovery was all over his face.

When he reached where I was he opened his little hand to reveal a greenish mud imprint of his hand. It was crisp with every crease of the inside of his palm visible. The finger prints were even perceptible.  His eyes were wide with excitement as he again exclaimed, “Look!” I looked with as much delight as I could muster and said, “How cool! It is an imprint of the inside of your fist!”

His posture dropped a little and his eyes narrowed a bit as he said, “No, it is little baby frogs.”

I looked again. I had to examine what I saw. The outlines were barely noticeable. This “molded earth”  was little bitty baby toad bodies.

Sometimes we hold on too tight.

When our relationships are stressed there is a possibility that we are clasping someone too closely. This is not always the case yet is one cause. Our children need room to breathe and grow.

How can you determine if you are clutching too tightly?

Ask yourself if it is a natural time for them to stretch to fresh horizons.

  • Are they achieving their current chores and tasks consistently?
  • Are they accountable for their current obligations?
  • Do they get some satisfaction in getting their work done?

If the answer is yes to these questions, then it is time for new responsibilities and freedoms. If it would have been yes, though is no longer true, we may have waited too long for the increased independence. This is can be corrected with some discussion, agreement to re-establish the reliability to existing conditions, and trigger points for moving forward.

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Observation fun

Alien head

Alien head (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Looking at my community through alien eyes:

Making entry into the social cluster it appears tidy and inhabited. There is little movement at mid-day along the narrow paths though the large white paths are occupied heavily by creatures encapsulated within machinery. We shall term these beings ‘humans.’ The ratio is typically one human to one machine though some machines contain more than a singular human.

The humans observed seem emotionless and unobservant. Their gaze is straight with exception to examine a device in their appendage. The device seems of greater importance than directing the machine which travels at a velocity of sufficient kinetic energy to cause harm. It is witnessed that the device is sometimes placed to the side of the head with a slight tilt.

Structures along the paths are made to look similar to one another. Each is built to a standard format using 90 degree angles along the sides and of like tones. The tops do vary slightly in color, texture and slope. There are openings and transparent panels which are also formed of such angles. They stand along the many paths both narrow and wide.

These structures appear to provide a separate environment from the external natural environment. This environmental separation was also noted of the velocity machines. It is a noted opinion that the atmosphere may be unsuitable for the humans as they seem stressed traversing from machine to structure. This anxiety prompts some countenance from these otherwise bland characters.

Several attempts were required to elicit responses from the humans. The small device held in the appendage continued to be the focus of human attention. When eye contact was achieved it required an exaggerated downward motion of the human head due to their stature. Humans may be near-sighted as without exception the initial facial configuration cause the eyes to narrow, the brow to crease and the mouth to terse. A possible alternative explanation could be that of annoyance or imposition.

The intelligence of these creatures is suspect. Surveillance would indicate that the small device within the appendage provides guidance to the human. The typical verbal acknowledgement to the device was monosyllabic and sounding as one of affirmation or surprise. Negative responses were uttered less frequently as if the human were in adherence or submission to the device.

The device within the appendage also required manipulation by the appendage. It appeared relational and perhaps conjugal. It is unclear what the purpose or the outcome of this manual activity. The intensity of the behavior is sporadically with fervor and reaction. The sociability of the species is questioned in this occupation providing the beings interface continuously with devices rather than each other.

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Some consideration on physical fitness.

Moment Matters

The fitness industry is more marketing and psychology than physical.

The fitness industry has a spur of growth these recent years, due to illnesses like diabetes and obesity. And of course, thanks to Hollywood we all want to be hot. And that’s the promise of the Fitness Industry, be it a club membership or DVD take-outs – you will be hot and sexy when you buy their products and services.

You decided to join a fitness club. On the façade you saw beachfront bodies, hot, sexy, and sizzling! Expectedly, models are the lean and muscular ones. It doesn’t mean that they got fit in that gym, but seeing them makes you believe. Admit it, most people are visual people. Seeing what you want to be is enough to persuade you.

You may or may not notice, but the trainers are marketing savvy. You signed the contract and gave them permission…

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Beautiful Blogger Award

Thank you Genie, the magical one,  for nominating me for this award and being an inspiration to my endeavors as a blogger.

Rules of the Award:

1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post. This may require you to use an image widget.

2.  Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

3. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award.

My nominations of seven others, whose blogs have shown beauty to me.

1) Source of Inspiration

2) Hang on Baby, We’re Almost Somewhere

3) The Kitchen’s Garden

4) jeepnmom

5) Marie Overfors, freelance writer

6) Another Lovely Day

7) This Page Intentionally Blank

It has taken me a while to post the award and to make these nominations. I am slow. Please visit these blogs and know why I nominated them.  Make a visit to Genie Speaks and meet Genie, a walking breath of sunshine.

ST2

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Commitment

“The chicken participates in the making of breakfast, the pig is committed.” (unknown)

In this day and age, do we understand commitment?

a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date b : something pledged c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled commitment to a cause>  (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commitment. Accessed 6/1/12)

Contracts and agreements often provide for the responsibilities and conditions of all those signing the document. Specify details from beginning to end are included. The severance and discontinuation of obligations are determined by time period, fulfillment (completion) of a project or work and breach, failure to follow the stipulations by any parties to the deal.

Oaths, pledges and vows are commitments which rarely, if ever, provide a severance clause. There are no terms for termination. You find no reciprocal agreement or conditions on any other party. The onus is on the oath taker.

“On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people at all times, and to obey the Scout Law; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” (Boy Scout Oath)

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” (Pledge of Allegiance)

“I take thee, [name], as a gift from God, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for richer or poorer, in good times and bad, for better or for worse, and in sickness and health, to love, honor and cherish, forsaking all others as long as we shall live.” (I didn’t have to look this up.)

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (Constitution of the United States, Oath or Affirmation of the Office of the President)

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

Failure to keep the commitment does not provide relief from the duty. It means there was a lapse. Nothing less than a re-institution and probably, if possible, restitution should occur. There is no clause of closure.

It is unrealistic to keep oaths, pledges and vows.

There is a likelihood that commitments are broken. This can be difficult to prove. Truth and honesty provide the answer though we are dependent on a commitment to truth and honesty for truth and honesty. I would boast of a 100% fulfillment of every promise I have made yet I have stumbled. Here is an example of how we might salvage a stumble as presented by Hold On Baby, We Are Almost Somewhere in “He Doesn’t Stumble Often But When He Does He Makes a Nice Recovery.”

Commitment to oaths, pledges and vows is not usually easy or fully informed as it is about the future. Predicting the future might solve the ambiguity. Commitment is a promise of self, a yielding of rights, and it is open ended. Everyone seems to want to stand on their rights to a commitment by them, and yet so few relinquish their rights making commitment. Self is subdued by the vow so we avoid or cheapen the pledge.

Pledges, oaths and vows are just words.

Words are powerful. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is one of the great lies of all time. Words are used to praise and insult. Intimacy is revealed by sharing your name in some societies where a nick-name may infer familiarity in another. There are cultures where knowing the name of your enemy provides you advantage. The name of a deity can be revered to the point of silence where it might be spoken. It is written that God said, “Let there be…” and it was.

We find that songs in habit our thoughts. Poems, stories and fables pass along lessons of history, values and mores. Concepts and ideas are likely expressed in words, even to ourselves. Words (language) are a potential key to the difference between humans and other animals.

More than a decade ago I nearly abandon my family. In the crowd of many well-wishers affirming that, “You got to do what makes you happy,” one friend stood out. He called me to the moment of my vows. He was there. He was deliberate, not subtle or brazen, and he did not allow me to avoid facing the promise I had made, the words I said. I would have missed being with my best friend, my wife. This could have been more than a stumble; I nearly fell. Words brought me back to the commitment; thankfully, my wife stood firm in hers.

Words hurt. Words heal. Words define and refine. Words are powerful.

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” (Declaration of Independence)

A post by titled, “I Wondered What Her Secrete Was,” reminded me of a John Denver song, “Follow Me,” and this post was in part inspired by Hope* the Happy Hugger.

What is your commitment to oaths, pledges and vows? What holds it together? What forces it apart?

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GPS

Traffic starts, stops and detours. Project starts, stops and scope creep. Interruptions, realignments and reengaging is demoralizing. Why do I hate these so? How about you, how do you feel about the disturbances in life such as holidays, illness, repairs and questions?

How was your Memorial Day holiday? We drove across state to visit family. It was a great reunion of moms, dads, daughters, sons, cousins, in-laws and friends. It was hugs, cookies, stories, ice cream, songs, cake, games and salty snacks. Activities included cooking, hoops, washing dishes, napping, cooler totin’, wrestling, table settin’, toss, talking and hanging out.

I finished the weekend with a gain of 3 pounds and reaffirmed addictions to sugar, salt, soda (carbonated drinks), saturated fats and sedentary life. Let us not forget the tooth repair. Yes, my tooth broke while eating an onion ring. I was severely chided on aging.

This post-holiday weekend period has me a bit blue. I am begrudgingly getting back to the workout and healthy eating pattern which provides for some semblance to fitness.  Writing this first blob, I mean blog, in nearly a week has been laborious.  I am aligning my days back to order which yields some productivity from house work, homework and wholesome work. This requires ignoring that calling nap. I did take a nap yesterday and blamed it on anesthesia and regaining sensation from a partial extraction.

How do you get back to normal after distraction and intrusion?

Well, here is what I do. I hit reset or recalculate on my GPS. I have a pattern or plan of “normal” to begin with. Schedules, to do lists, project boards and such tools used on a regular basis provide stability to a routine. These tools are not unlike a map or GPS which allows for you to see your objectives on the path to your destination. Have you noticed that when you moving there is a continuous set of obstacles in your path? It doesn’t matter if you are driving, flying, sailing or walking the route is seldom straight or without some deviation.

You cannot walk from one room to another without averting walls, doors, things on the floor and sometimes a stumble or stubbed toe. Adjustment is part of the everyday though we often don’t think about it. You step over, go around or side step without conscious effort. In modern driving the GPS will systems will recalculate your path for you. In the old days people would just pull the map out and plot the new path.

Here is a simple test to prove you must alter to your path daily. Next time you want to go to the store, attempt the journey without turning the steering wheel. Stop. Don’t try this as someone or something will suffer. Try a safer test. Ride a bicycle without deviating course to the store. Stop. Hmm. This could also cause injury.

I hope this provides some clarity to the idea that we deviate often. We should recognize that we are constantly correcting course to reach our destination. A holiday is merely a larger diversion than the agitation of cleaning up a broken glass or changing a flat tire. It is road construction which may require a detour.

Beyond the plan should be a purpose. Why do you do what you do? I work out and control my diet to maintain a level of fitness. I write as it develops my abilities to think through issues, also it helps me learn to express concepts and ideas. In essence, I have a plan which supports what I see as an end zone, a purpose to my journey. Purpose is a fuel which drives the soul.

How do you get back on course to normal? Revisit or recalculate your GPS – Goals, Priorities and Schedules.

  • Have goals that support your purpose.
  • Be vigilant of progress toward your goals.
  • Correct deviations quickly.

Have you noticed that surfers and skateboarders seem to look for challenges and obstacles to overcome?

Now, set your destination in your GPS!

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Reach out…

My wife and I attended a wake for the husband of a friend two days ago. The death of a spouse, a father, a brother, and a friend happened suddenly. We really don’t know when, but it comes.

Yesterday I had lunch with a previous co-worker. We have not sat at a table together in over a year. It was fun. We were able to catch up on old times and new. Our conversation drifted to our kids. He has one in college and one in high school. We shared a bit on his job, a position I once held. Good things and sad have happened.

Breakfast this morning was with a fellow brother who is a bit depressed. He had contacted me day before yesterday saying things were just piling up. Based on our discussion this morning, they are. He talked, I listened. A slow time for his business, problems with his part-time job and he went home to no water last evening.

Meeting with friends is a good thing. The reflection was beneficial for me. I hope they received some value from our time together. The connection to people who have participated in this journey with me seems a natural thing. Why don’t we do this more often?

Let’s take a minute and write down the names of three people we haven’t spoken with for a while. Think back to the last time when we were with them. What was happening in their lives? What are the names of their family members? Who are common friends? What will they want to know about us? Why did we fall out of touch?

Pull out your schedule and find three thirty minute blocks from your week. Assign each of these half hours to one of the names you jotted down. (I suppose we could trade the names. Maybe not.) Call them. Chat and possibly set up a lunch date.

I have read a poem about the Reasons, Seasons and Lifetimes of the people we meet. The poem is about how folks join us for a short period along this trail through time. Some stay longer than others. They meet our needs and we meet theirs. There is joy, sorrow, tolerance, and relevance.

I have the privilege to share my life with my wife and sweetheart for more than 30 years. We have two sons and a daughter-in-law. My parents are living in different states; hers have gone on before us and she misses them greatly. We have siblings, cousins and friends. All are a blessing.

Memorial Day is this weekend. Her dad served in the Second Great War along with my grandpa. Father’s day is coming soon.

Who do you remember? Who might you call?

“Reach out and touch someone.”

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Never Give Up

Just try…not to cry…watching this guy…reach the sky.

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Freedom to serve…we need only to do it…

Occupy (Inhabit or Subjugate)

What if the world was a better place?

What if we all had the same income?

What if everyone had healthcare?

What if there was free education?

What if we all protest?

I cannot claim to understand the Occupy movement. Could it be that I am the 1%?

Thinking which inhibits my understanding:

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain. – Maya Angelou

Happy people build their inner world; unhappy people blame their outer world. – Unknown

Quit using ‘victim language’ and take ownership of your problems. – Dave Ramsey

The only disability is a bad attitude. – Scott Hamilton

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
– Albert Einstein

There’s no normal life, Wyatt. There’s just life. You get on with it. – Doc Holiday (Tombstone)

“Then Jonah suggested I check to see that if when I start to feel that the other person is obstinate and illogical, the other person is developing exactly the same opinion of me.” (Alex in Eliyahu Goldratt’s “It’s Not Luck”)

A Bad Attitude is Like a Flat Tire, You Can’t Go Anywhere Till You Change It. – Unknown

Everyone can be great because everyone can serve. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Character is the ability to follow through on a decision long after the excitement and emotion of the moment has past. – Cavett Roberts

Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. – Thomas Jefferson

A life not lived for others is not a life. – Mother Teresa

Drudgery is one of the finest tests to determine the genuineness of our character. – Oswald Chambers

A superior man blames himself. An inferior man blames others. – Don Shula

If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be what he gives. – Robert South

I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else. – Benjamin Franklin

Don’t judge a day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson

If you want to do something, you will find a way, if you don’t, you will find an excuse. – Unknown

There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience. – Archibald MacLeash

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. – Nido Qubei

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
– Joseph Cardinal Bernardin

A sailor without a destination cannot hope for a favorable wind. – Leon Tec

It is difficult to see your future when you are staring at your past. – Tony Evans

When I think of the word servant I think of the word mature. Mature people put the interest of others before themselves. Serving others makes a difference in your life and the lives of others. – John C. Maxwell

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions. –Anthony Jay

A good way to change someone’s attitude is to change your own, because the same sun that melts butter hardens clay. – Unknown

When we make a choice today, we are deciding who we will be tomorrow. – AW Tozer

Vacate (Leave or Free)

Make the world is a better place.

Contribute by serving, giving, sharing.

Practice healthy living.

We are free to learn and to teach.

Applaud those who do.

In the United States of America you are free to make life better; you are free to give your time, money and efforts; you are free to exercise, abstain from fats, sugars, starches, smoke, alcohol, drugs, promiscuity and all that ails; you are free to read, study, and teach; you are free to support those who work to achieve the outcomes you desire. Liberty is a wonderful condition.

Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.
– William Allen White

Can we regulate and mandate everyone else and have liberty for ourselves?

One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws. – Ayn Rand

Are we willing to live free?

 

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