Saturday, April 29, 2006
Wonders to behold
Can you believe the Boy caught this fish with his bare hands? He just put his hands into the water very slowly, moved them towards the fish, and then snatched it up. It was incredible to witness. He is sooooo the outdoorsman that I wish I were.
Don't worry, he tossed the fish back in.
Apparently we're not the only ones who visit the creek. We didn't see any racoons, and that's probably a good thing.
And this is a good sign for when Bob gets his archery license in a year or so. He's good at short range, now he needs to work at increasing it. We know that there's a 12 point buck running around these parts somewhere. We've seen him every year since we moved in.
And the rest
There are huge chunks of iron, like this one, scattered all around the creek-bed.
Returning home. I still love my new car! She's still so beautiful.
Then Bob let Bunnicula out to snack on some of the clover that's growing in the yard.
Thus ends another glorious day. God is indeed good to us, to allow us to behold such beauty and wonder, and all for free.
Quote for 4/29/06
Character name ?/ Mel Brooks - from History of the World, Part 1
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
This is why I'm a capitalist
I have always said that capitalism is the best possible economic system because it operates on principles that coincide with human nature. Unlike socialism and communism which are based upon ideologies which are antithetical to our nature.
The profit motive, or what socialists/communists call greed, is an inescapable trait of our humanity. But it is also a driving force to do good things. Not because others will benefit from the proverbial "better mousetrap", but because the inventor of such a device will profit from the fact that others can benefit from such a device.
However, I don't wish to imply that there is no profit motive in either socialism or communism. There is, but it is a different type of greed that drives these philosophies. Unlike capitalism, which requires a desire to attain wealth for oneself by one's own achievements and merits. Socialism and communism are bound to the immoral notion that someone can have whatever they desire by decree of a government that will give it to them. The true profit is that of those who hold the reigns of such a government as they are the ones who decide who has, and who has not. They in turn take from those who achieve on their own merit and ingenuity in order to give it to those who are lacking in either skill, ingenuity or ambition. Legalized theft in the name of "the common good of the people".
Now, perhaps you have a better understanding of my previous post. The oil companies exist as a business to make money for their employees and shareholders. As such, they will continue to produce goods and services at the best possible market price. If you think this is not true, then look at the price of petrol in Europe. About $7.00 a liter last I heard. And can anyone tell me the difference between European governance and American?
Call me Mr. Personality
I volunteered to be a part of a group at work, the specifics of what the group is about are inconsequential - maybe I'll discuss it all more, later on. But a part of our training, to be effective members of the group, included taking a personality/temperament test. I was told that I have the most unusual personality of all 19 members of the group.
Does anybody find that to be shocking?
I wasn't surprised to find that I was borderline on two of the four measured traits. But everybody else thought it was strange. To me it just seemed like I had a great balance in these two areas.
So they made me take another test. One that supposedly would give a more accurate read of my personality than the previous test.
Can you guess what happened?
That's right. I'm still borderline on the two traits that I was borderline on before. What can I say? I've always believed myself to be a well-rounded individual - Hey! No fat jokes! - and these tests seem to reinforce that conviction.
Oh, so you all know. I'm an Extroverted Sensitive/Intuitive Thinking/Feeling Judicial personality. I do admit that I lean towards Intuitive and Thinking rather than their opposites, but I incorporate enough sensitivity and feeling to temper my temperament.
I wonder if they're gonna make me take another test now...
Labels: All about ME
Quote for 4/26/06
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Reputation is everything
Supervisor:"I just wanted to say that I've talked to Kurt (my area's Production Specialist), and some of your co-workers and other people around here, about you. And they all say you're a good worker, you're intelligent, you know your stuff, know what you're doing, a hard worker and really dedicated. I just wanted to let you know that."
M+:"Well, thanks. I really appreciate hearing that. I do try. I mean, for me, it's matter of faith to put the effort in."
Super:"Well, it shows. A lot of people have noticed that about you. I thought you should know that."
M+:"It is good to know. Thanks for sharing that with me."
And then he went on to do his supervisor thing.
Now, at first I had to wonder why he was asking my co-workers and other people about me. But I realize that among all of the people under his authority I probably have the highest amount of overtime. Likewise, before he became my supervisor he was the supervisor for 3rd shift, and he always saw me coming in early.
Then of course there's the possibility that anytime he sees me on the production floor I'm standing somewhere that isn't my work area, talking to someone about things that don't always pertain to work. Which would make me the victim of really bad timing. But, it would appear that I have developed a solid reputation among my co-workers as a dedicated, hard worker who really knows what he's doing.
I like knowing that. I have worked hard, for all the years that I've been in the workforce, to develope a good reputation. And I have protected that reputation fiercely by trusting only a small handful of individuals, who are close to me, to know about those things that I struggle with (and most of you can count yourselves among that circle).
But I have also noticed that by saying that my reputation is a "matter of faith" to me, I have come to see just how true that is. As I look back over all of the jobs I've ever had, I realize that all of the best compliments that I've ever received were directed towards my faith, just as much as they were about my reputation.
My reputation speaks of my integrity to my convictions. It tells of my faith in a way that I believe speaks louder than any of the words that I might share with some people. It is just as much a part of my Christian witness as any of the theological discussions I've had with some of my co-workers. And I'm thankful that I've been allowed to know that I'm making a positive impact on those around me. It's encouraging to know that people notice such things.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Would you please shut up already!
I'm so sick of hearing about the oil companies "gouging" us with high prices at the pump just because Exxon-Mobile had billions of dollars in profit.
Have any of these self-proclaimed economists ever considered how much of the stuff we use on a daily basis is petroleum based? Our entire freaking economy is petroleum based, for cryin' out loud! Unless you ride a bicycle to work, or school, or wherever, you need petroleum products to make the vehicle function. From the gas in the tank, to the majority of the fluids that keep the engine running properly. Not to mention that the majority of the plastics used in the construction of the vehicle are also petroleum based products. And I'm sure that's true of the bicycle as well.
Do these geniuses ever consider the process involved in getting oil into a marketable form? I just paid $4.00 for a gallon of grape juice. Grape juice! Grapes grow practically anywhere, they're a renewable resource, and the refining process is nowhere near as complex as that of a gallon of gas. Yet I'm paying more for the grape juice than I am for my gas. And I use up the juice a lot faster than I do the gas.
Or how about bottled water? A buck and a half for 20 ounces. It's water! More than 3/4 of the earth's surface is water, and the bottling companies (that would be Coke or Pepsi, or one of the countless other smaller bottlers) are charging us nearly $9.00 for a gallon of it. And it's not like we have to drill into the ground, pump up the water and have it transported to a refinery that's thousands of miles away. Unlike the oil.
But the thing that burns me the most about all of the griping that I hear is the people who are doing it. Many of them are my co-workers. They keep floating these internet ideas about "nobody buy gas on Sundays", and whatever other scheme they think will "hit them (oil companies) in the pocketbook". Never realizing that you don't have to buy gas to keep the money flowing to the oil companies.
But I want to know why people feel some need to "hurt" the oil comapnies. The companies are run by people, just like the people who run the businesses that we all work for. Those companies keep millions of people employed. Also, it's people like you and I who are invested into the oil companies through stocks and bonds and our 401k's. I like to remind my co-workers that some of the investment options that we have in our 401k hold a stake in Exxon-Mobile. When Exxon-Mobile does well, our 401k grows too. And I'm sure that's true for a lot of you as well.
And even worse than my co-workers are all of the politicians. Exxon-Mobile's profit margin breaks down into 9%. 9 cents on every dollar earned by Exxon-Mobile was profit. That means about 27 cents per gallon, not counting any of the other products that the oil is used for. Pepsi makes 23 cents on the dollar, but nobody says they're "gouging" us. The tax rate on a gallon of gas is approximately 33% (depending on where you live), or roughly 99 cents per gallon of gas. Now, who's really "gouging" us? The oil company that has a responsibility to it's shareholders (like me and my kids and my co-workers) to show a profit, or the politicians who will pontificate about this, and do nothing, when they could simply reduce the tax rate and allow the prices to drop by that percentage?
Alright, I've said enough. I'm gonna go fill up my gas tank!
Sunday, April 23, 2006
The days events
The difference between men...
... and women
She brought this...
Macaroni salad (or potato salad) must be a chick thing, because they always bring it to a cookout.
Then there's the Jigglers.
I wasn't sure if I should eat this one or not. Was this some sort of warning for me or the Jiggler?
The only way to watch a movie. It's great to be an AV Geek with access to the church's equipment and an empty white wall.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
I really need to learn how to speak italian
Instead, I have found a new reason to want to speak italian; Lacuna Coil. They're a Goth/Metal/Alternative band out of Italy. I've been listening to them for a few years now, and I absolutely love their music. I picked up their newest CD last weekend and I've been thoroughly enjoying it all week long.
The thing is, being from Italy, each of their CD's has at least one song that is in italian. Hence my desire to learn how to speak italian. I'd like to know what the songs are about. I realize that I could just go to their Fan Site and get the translations of the lyrics. But I want to hear the emotion that the song itself carries, not just know the words.
Of course, I have more pressing matters to attend to in life. So I doubt I'll be learning any other languages anytime soon. But it is something that I might wish to consider later on.
Here's the deal
That being said; I have been trying to reduce, if not eliminate, swearing from my non-blogging communications as well. I'll admit that it's much easier to do with the blog than it is to do with my speech. Unlike blogging, speech tends to come out in it's raw, emotional form. There's no refing to it. Speech holds all of the anger, passion, frustration, joy, and surprise that we can experience as human beings. So it's not uncommon for speech to be so embelished by swearing, and such. But I have the ability, through the same conscious effort that allows me to type out my thoughts in a coherent (mostly coherent) fashion, to control that raw emotion.
And why am I telling all of you this? Because I recently made a deal with my son that has been helping to curb my tongue.
Not too long ago I heard him blurt out the word "shit", to which I said; "What did you just say?". He attempted to cover it up but we both knew better. Then he confronted me on my swearing habits. I might have tried the typical "Because I'm an adult and you're not." argument, but he was ready for me. "But Christians aren't supposed to swear.".
Uuuhhh... yeah... let's just skip over the whole "adult" side of it and go right for the theological throat.
So with my sense of moral authority lying on the floor wallowing in it's own blood I decided that now would not be a good time to try the "Do as I say, not as I do." routine that so many parents try to sqeak by on. Instead I made a deal with him, or we made a deal with each other.
Anytime he catches me swearing, he's allowed to say that word. Except for the "queen mother of all swear words" (as in A Christmas Story). If I say that word he gets a dollar from me. But for any other swear word he gets to say that swear word without fear of being reprimanded/punished.
I must confess, it's done a great deal to help me stop swearing around the house. Because I don't want to hear him say those words any more than I want to really say them myself.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Quote for 4/21/06
"Watch out for the matterdaddies; they're everywhere!"
This particular statement came up during a conversation I was having with one of my co-workers today. She was telling me about a time when she was working as a server at an all-night diner/coffeeshop. Two guys came in because they had the munchies "something fierce" and needed to get their grub on - fast! It just so happened that they had been dropping acid earlier, and they were both enjoying their hallucinations. Which happened to be the "matterdaddies".
And what is a "matterdaddy"?
Well, according to the two guys, they're some kind of bug-like thing with "two heads and a lotta legs". But if you asked Merry (my co-worker), she'd tell you they were the roses in the carpet pattern.
All just part of the daily goings-on in a normal workday...
I love my job, and my co-workers. Life is good!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I don't know why I did this
Yes, I do know. I've discussed it recently.
I must say, I'm somewhat amused by Spain's percentage. I wonder if it's telling us something more?
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Old habits die hard
"My side" of the bed? The whole freaking bed is "my side"! I haven't had anyone else to share it with me in over a year and a half, and I'm still sleeping on "my side" of the bed!?! What's wrong with me?
That's when I noticed that there are a great many things about this house, and even some aspects of my life that haven't changed since Jo left me. I haven't taken down any of the decor that was distinctively hers. I haven't moved, or removed anything from any of the rooms. I really haven't done anything to really make the place "mine".
Part of the problem is the lack of funds to start any substantial projects. Between the mortgage, and now the car payment, and the increase in my insurance premiums, it can get pretty tight to keep all of the bills current. Then of course there's food and gas for the car. It makes it hard to get anything going in the way of home improvements. But that will change in due time.
It's the other stuff, the habits that were developed over 17+ years of marriage that are a little reluctant to die. That's why I still sleep on "my side" of the bed. That's why I leave things the way they are. And maybe that's why I hate the idea of having to start dating again. I'm just not used to that kind of life. I'm not used to change, especially not that kind of change.
I'm in for a bumpy ride.
Ya know what?
Just thought I'd share that with everyone...
Monday, April 17, 2006
Quote for 4/17/06
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Happy Easter !!! (updated version)
Maybe I'll have something more to share later on, after church, or after all of the eating and visiting with family. We shall see.
Oh, and for those of you who care to know: Church is good for your health! So get out there and celebrate the resurrection today.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
My happy place !!!
"... and I will name him George."
An over-abundance of toys
This shot is one that Bob took of his favorite wall hanging. It fits the Dragon theme of his bedroom perfectly.
I'd show pictures of the rest of his room, but it's a real mess at the moment. And I don't think he'd appreciate those pics getting out on the internet.
Reasons to always carry your camera...
What's this? Smoke! Where there's smoke, there's fire, right?
Oh, yeah... there's fire alright.
And plenty of it.
We didn't see any ambulances, so we're under the assumption that nobody got hurt. And the firetrucks arrived within a few moments of us taking our pics (video, in JT's case).
Friday, April 14, 2006
Such a blessing
Before bringing it upstairs he made sure to go through it to see if there was anything inside. And there was. When I walked in the door he handed me a notebook that he found in it.
It looked familiar. I had a pretty good idea as to what was in it. I had used it for several projects, one of which being the Hoagie Fundraisers that we did for our church. I had all of the contact info written down for the suppliers that we dealt with. As for the rest, I wasn't sure about it. So I set it aside until I had a little more time to skim through the pages.
Last night when I went to bed I decide to take a look through the rest of the notebook. I was surprised to find that I had written several poems in the back pages. Also, I found some song lyrics that I had forgotten about, as well as some notations on the bass lines I wanted to try with them.
Of course, it's not likely that I shall publish any of the poems here. Some of them are already posted here in their finished drafts. The ones in the notebook were all rough and scribbled. Some of them were written for someone that I no longer feel the same way about. And there are already enough of those poems here. In fact, I'm contemplating removing those from my sidebar because they no longer seem appropriate.
As for the songs. Perhaps I'll get together with my pastor to see what we can't come up with. He's already recorded two songs using my lyrics. Maybe this time we can collaborate a little.
Tune 'em up and get ready to jam!
That's not what we've been told
Apparently women know better, too. Or at least according to this article about women's views on casual sex.
It's comforting to know that whatever agenda these magazines are pushing isn't being widely received by the target demographic.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
My sentiments exactly
It's something worth pondering. I may share more thoughts on it all later.
Hooray for me!
You scored 85% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 86% Advanced, and 86% Expert!
|You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go! |
Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!
For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.
|My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test|
I've always been fairly proud of my command of the English language. Now I see that I do have some reason to be. Still I must admit, I am somewhat sub-par for other men of my age. Oh, well.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Quote for 4/11/06
Monday, April 10, 2006
Should we be surprised?
So, ladies beware!
I figured, that since I have a few single ladies who visit regularly, I'd do my good deed for the day and let you all know to be careful with those good looking guys. Oh, and in case any of you hadn't heard this little tid-bit, fat guys are more faithful in a relationship. Just thought I'd share that with yinz. You may thank me later.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Causing trouble again
Let me start by saying that our Stations of the Cross service went very well today. We had a few more people than "the usual suspects". And afterwards we all went out to lunch to talk about some of the goings-on at the home church.
It seems that a friend of one of the elderly members of our home congregation stopped to visit our Revolution Church website. From our site this person followed a link (that has been temporarily removed) from the church site to JT's blog where this person proceeded to read through various archived posts from JT.
As some of you may know, from reading JT's blog, JT doesn't really censor himself when he writes. And that means that when he's passionate or upset about something he goes right ahead and swears. Or he uses whatever "colorful metaphors" he thinks most accuately fit his thoughts.
Well, this person took offense that such things were "on our church's website". Even though there was a clear, bold-font, large-print disclaimer saying that these blogs are not a part of the actual website, but are written by members of the church. The disclaimer also included a statement that the church doesn't have any say in what the bloggers write, nor does the church attempt to censure anything that they write. And also what the authors write about may be controversial or questionable in nature and that visitors are welcome to enter a dialogue with the writers, but that the views expressed are not necessarily those of the church or it's staff.
But wait! It gets better...
This person took the liberty of printing out several pages of JT's blog posts as
"evidence" to show to our congregation's members. Then this person followed links from JT's blog to mine (P.Dave hadn't finished adding my link to the site yet) where he proceeded to peruse some of my writings. And, yes, this person found something offensive about my blog as well. And even printed some of my posts out as "evidence" (it was the one about sex, I'm sure of it!).
The "evidence" was given to one of our church members, who in turn "shared" it with other members of our congregation, who then jumped down P.Dave's throat at the Wednesday morning Lent service.
I have mentioned before that I really love my pastor. And I have a great deal of respect for him, too. Or else I wouldn't still be attending this church. And knowing that P.Dave was willing to stand up for us only reaffirms my convictions that he is the shepherd of the flock that I belong in.
P.Dave informed the upset members of everything that the disclaimer states. He also told them that what we write about is a genuine reflection of our journey of faith. That our openness to express our struggles and shortcomings as well as our joys and triumphs is what makes us so real. And that he believes that our real-ness is what people are looking for in their own journey of faith.
People take comfort in knowing that there are other people out there that are having a hard time staying true to their convictions. They want to know that they're not alone in their struggles. They need to be reminded that our faith is about God's grace and not our successes or failures.
With all of that being said. I'm kinda curious, and would like some outside opinions from those of you who visit regularly. Do you think there's anything about my blog that presents or portrays Christianity in a negative way? Is there something offensive about the topics I write about, or how I write about them? I'd really like to know what all of you think about it, regardless of any religious, or non-religious, convictions which you might hold yourself.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Quote for 4/8/06
but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only
a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God."