Monday, January 28, 2013

T-31 : Building Detours

When I walk across campus -- especially in cold weather -- I like to duck through buildings to stay warm and dry.  The aridity is not usually a problem in the Idaho desert.  A couple of the buildings on campus recently had connecting skywalks installed.  I'd seen them before in Spokane and Salt Lake City and heard of them in Minneapolis.  When I spent a day in Manhattan recently my brother-in-law and I did as much internal walking as we could given that it was cool and misty.  Do you live/work in a campus or downtown-type setting where you like dodging in one door and out another in order to keep that body temperature regulated?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

T-32 : Seasonal Complaints

There's a lot of weather out there today!  I understand the Salt Lake airport has already received 8 inches of snow; which is 3 more than the previous one-day total set back in 1980.  We haven't had quite that much up here sans lake effect.  We have had enough, though, that it seems like a quick return to Winter; especially after we had a couple of days of above-freezing weather and were starting to see some meltage.  At any rate, I enjoy the variety.  I enjoy the seasons.  I like to say that my ideal year would be 3 months of each season.  In truth, though, I probably wouldn't enjoy that level of exactness.  It's just the spontaneity of each storm or dry spell that keeps things interesting.  What I really don't enjoy -- though I usually get a kick out of -- is how folks will complain that the weather is too ___________.  I want to help them realize that it's in the complaining that it becomes worse.  Weather is like lemons.  Let's make lemonade every day out of whatever comes our way!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

T-34 : Top MPG

Why exaggerate?  It seems that often when people are talking about the mileage their vehicle gets they'll use a number that it got once when they were going downhill with the wind at their back as an average.  "My car gets 42 miles per gallon", they'll say.  Why do they do that?  It irritates me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

T-35 : Love Lack

I grew up not getting much practice at saying, "I love you".  As a consequence, I still have a difficult time saying it.  I'll often even retort to an "I love you" from Tara with a "ditto" or a "me, too" or some other feeblishly humorous attempt at a retort.  I'm more comfortable making light of situations than I am engaging in the amorous moment, I suppose.  Part of my problem is that I see too many trite "I love you"s said that aren't really backed up with meaning.  Somewhere in all of this is some balance.  I need to say it a little more often, with feeling.  Which side of the love scale are you on; a little too heavy, a little too light, or just right?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

T-36 : Screeching Wheelchair

Today on campus a motorized scooter / wheelchair zoomed past me at what seemed like faster than "walking speed".  I grinned when I saw him fishtailing, seemingly on purpose, in the snowy crosswalk.  Then I almost laughed out loud when I saw him hit the brakes and actually screech his tires to a stop when a car passed in front of him in the parking lot.  In fairness, I think it would have been his fault!  Anyway, we all have handicaps.  I can't say for sure what was going through this guy's head or whether my perception of his speed, spins, or stops was consistent with the truth.  I can say, though, that we should all be certain not to take advantage of other people giving us the benefit of the doubt with any disability.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

T-37 : Wireless Weavings

I'm reading a book right now that's set in Ireland about 100 years ago.  They've referred multiple times to "the wireless".  In this context they mean a radio that could receive over-the-air broadcast transmissions.  I can only imagine how novel a concept it was for them in that day.  The concept of "wireless" has changed over the years.  As a child I first remember wireless telephones that allowed us to talk while moving from room to room without any cord.  Now the word "wireless" seems to always be tied to Internet transmissions.  Most homes seem to have a "wireless router" that magically creates Wi-Fi so that they can connect to the Internet through their laptop, tablet, or other device.  Wireless has come a long way, baby.  What will it mean in 20 years?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

T-38 : Hate Hater

My journal jogger for today is:

"Is there any music that you hate?"

The short answer is, "No".

In fact, I can't think of a single thing that I "hate".  I'm fond of the concept that there's no room for hate in my life.  Wikipedia says:
"Hatred (or hate) is a deep and emotional extreme dislike that can be directed against individuals, entities, objects, or ideas."
Billy Crystal used to do a bit on Saturday Night Live where he one-upped his speaking partner then declared, "I hate when that happens".

Will Smith said:
"Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too."
 Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Confucius said:
"It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get."
 Booker T. Washington said:
"I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him."
 William Shakespeare said:
"In time we hate that which we often fear. "
And the Apostle John said:
"...perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18)"
I choose to strive to love in order to avoid fear and the eventuality that could become hate.  Don't you hate when people try to take the high road? ;)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

T-39 : Hotter Shower

I'm thankful, especially on cold days, for hot water.  I don't take long showers but I do enjoy nudging the water a bit hotter a few times during each session, even when it's not cold outside.  I've gotten better about it over the years by tempering it a bit.  It used to be that I'd come out of the shower red as a lobster and sweating to beat the value of the shower in the first place.  Now I can get in and out in under 5 minutes but I still relish a few degrees upward.  I'm thankful that we have 2 hot water heaters that allow us this privilege  even working when 2 of us are showering at the same time.  The pressure goes down a bit then but it's still bearable.  Do you like the warm to get warmer as you go?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

T-40 : Sandy Gratitude

On the drive home tonight I came down 1000 South.  That's the road less traveled than Highway 33 that comes around the other side of our block.  It was icy but I didn't realize it until near the end of the crossroad with 4000 West.  Interestingly, shortly before I applied the brakes the GPS flipped 180 degrees and showed my triangle driving backwards.  Shortly thereafter I applied the brakes and began to slide.  I had zero traction.  I let off the brake until I approached the dirty intersection, then applied again when rubber grabbed against sand and I was able to come to a stop.  I'm thankful for the road department and their grit!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

T-41 : Muckerzgarf Hearkening

On campus I often walk between buildings with only a sweater, gloves, and a scarf.  Today it was relatively warmer than some previous days have been and the sun was shining.  I had already been out once with my overgear and it was a bit too warm.  So, when I went for my lunch workout I left the sweater and gloves behind and only donned the scarf.  While walking across campus I heard someone comment, "Muckerzgarf" as they passed by.  It took a moment for my brain to register that they were actually saying, "I like your scarf".  Sorry I didn't hear you soon enough to graciously accept your compliment, passerby!  By the way, did you know that "muckerzgarf" is not googleable?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

T-42 : Spinny Spirit

I remember riding bicycles a lot as a child.  In order to ride so much there was a certain amount of maintenance involved.  Oiling and reattaching the chain was probably the dirtiest and least favorite chore.  One that always mesmerized me, though, was spinning the tire when I'd flipped the bike upside down in order to fix a flat.  There's something about watching that wheel spin; especially after you've repaired the flat and are checking for balance.

I was thinking about spinning the tire today during devotional.  It's like each devotional is another hand grabbing the rubber and giving it another push.  The more devotionals, spiritual thoughts, prayers, etc. that we partake in the faster and longer our wheel can spin.  Moreover, when we've got a good spin going it's that much harder to bring us to a stop.

Spin on, my friends.

Monday, January 7, 2013

T-43 : Snow Lines

When the snow-covered roads start to melt off, do you follow the path cleared by traffic or the lines on the road?  To me it's like the road department painted the lines there to keep us on the straight and narrow.  Often we cut corners, even if it means crossing the line, in order to get to where we're going a little bit more quickly.  When enough of us do so on snowy roads the pavement underneath eventually shows through.  At that point it's like the travelers have taken back the law from the painty line guys.  It's like they're saying, "We want to drive on THIS part of the road!".  I find myself trying to drive in between the lines, even if it means keeping my tires on snow as opposed to asphalt.  I'm probably wrong, though.  Is there any legal precedent for what's the safest thing to do?

T-44 : Magic Focus

I was watching the NFL Playoffs after church on Sunday.  I was at a different angle because we've just sold our old sectional couch in preparation for a new leather set that's due to be delivered.  So I was on a chair in a different part of the room.  I realized that there's a glare from that angle that comes from the kitchen sliding doors that don't have curtains or blinds.  So, I had to deal with it.  I was able to change my focus away from the glares on part of the screen to more of the whole screen. It felt kind of like looking at a Magic Eye picture.  Perhaps that's how we I'll approach life more often.  When I get focused to much on the glare I'll just step back and try to see the big picture; especially if I can't find any curtains!

T-45 : People Versions

Someone prayed before Sunday School yesterday that we could all become "better versions of our self" by applying the principles we were about to learn.  I really heard that differently than I had before.  It struck me that we're not so different than software in that way.  We "upgrade" ourselves with new and better facets to our personalities.  That could just be the computer guy talking.  What do you think?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

T-46 : Siamese Fighters

We have a cat that has the markings and temperament of being at least partially Siamese.  I believe that the Betta Fish has another name of Siamese Fighting Fish.  Why are the Siamese so angry?  At least the King and I was a fairly peaceful musical story, the way I remember it.

T-47 : Evil Apple?

I don't know if it's technology folklore but I heard the other day that the first Apple Computer sold for $666.66 and that the company name drives perhaps from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.  I'm no conspiracy theorist but I do like to keep an open mind.  Has anyone ever heard evidence for or against either of these theories?  Could it be that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates actually knew each other early in life and that their paths diverged?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

T-48 : Earbud Invisibility

Whether anything is playing or not through my headphones when I'm either walking across campus or jogging around the track people tend to ignore me.  That can be a good thing or a bad thing.  I tend to enjoy not having to engage in trite pleasantries.  Something tells me that's the natural man talking, though.  A few semesters ago President Clark in a devotional said that we should be more social as we walk from here to there.  So, I try to keep a proper balance.  I still walk with earbuds in listening to podcasts but I also make eye contact, smile, and greet folks as I can.  How about you?

T-49 : Hail Mary

What does it mean to say a Hail Mary?  The book I'm reading is talking about a priest prescribing this to someone who has come for confession.  Wikipedia goes on and on about things that I don't have time to read right now. shows it as:

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
So, does that mean that, when the priest says that you need to say 3 Hail Mary's, you'd just repeat this prayer out loud 3 times?  Would you do so right then and there or back home in the comfort of your room before bed that night or what?  Someone with more non-sheltered Idaho/Utah life please enlighten me. 

T-50 : Balanced Esteem

Low self-esteem makes you expect too much from others.  Pride makes you expect too little from others.  The appropriate amount of self-confidence can help you to see others as partners; those you can rely on to give to you as much as you give to them.  Be a giver and a taker for the good of humanity.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

T-51 : Feeder Faults

I was thinking the other day that there are many seemingly-innocent activities we engage in that can lead to habit-forming activities later in life:

  • Arcades --> Casinos
  • Fantasy Sports --> Gambling
  • Soda (Soft Drinks) --> Alcohol (Hard Drinks)
Perhaps you can think of others.  The point is that we should be careful and be balanced in our lives, right?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

T-52 : Appropriate Specificity

I had a good Christmas.  My treasured gift was a FitBit; a device that tracks my steps, calories, sleep, etc.  I keep telling Tara that one year I want my gift in the driveway with a giant red bow on it.  After reading this comic I realized that I'm going to be more specific.

T-53 : Everyone Emanates

Galileo Galilei said, "I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."  That's another way of saying that we all have our strengths (and our weaknesses) and that it "takes a village".  Or, as the apostle Paul counseled in Romans 12:4-6:
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same aoffice:
 So we, being many, are aone bbody in Christ, and every one members one of another.
 Having then gifts differing according to the agrace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of bfaith;
So, be willing to both learn from and to teach your fellow man, man!

T-54 : Rising Screams

I have occasional night terrors.  I feel like it's gotten better over the years.  I didn't even realize that there was an actual term attributed to this "malady" until recently.  At a party we were playing a couples game where someone mentioned that they have night terrors.  I instantly recognized what they were talking about and was comforted and relieved to know that I'm not alone!  Other people have them, too!  I've always said that I can't help when I have a bad dream that makes me want to scream but the scream just won't come.  I try and I try until it finally wells up and overflows.  I'm just glad to know that I'm not alone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

T-55 : Anti Not

What did you resolve last year?  Mike Henneke, Managing Editor of the Upper Valley Standard Journal ( said, among other things, "Resolve not to bring up any comparisons of Obama with the Antichrist during Sunday school." I agree.  I'm anti-anti.  I guess that means I'm pro-pro.  There's too much negativity attached to anti-anything.  I guess anti-virus might be an exception.  Anyway, here's hoping you can keep your resolutions beyond that first week!

T-56 : Cone Obedience

The other day I had to leave my office to rush up to the temple to look for Jacob's watch; which he thought he'd left in a locker. I was in a bit of a hurry.  It was cold and I was anxious about leaving the office during the day.  As I approached the back stairs I saw the orange cones blocking the nearer stairwell.  My first thought was that they were merely cautionary and that I'd just sneak through them and be careful.  As I looked to the top of the stairwell I realized that the gate was actually closed ahead.  If I had continued ascending I'd only have had to again descend to get to the further stairwell; which was still open.  It made me realize that often the "cones" in life aren't put there to inconvenience us but to guide us away from situation which would certainly hamper our efforts to grow and achieve.  I'll be more aware and thankful for said "cones" in the future.

T-57 : Resolution 2013p

Two years ago I made the goal to make 365 "journal" entries in a year.  Last year I recommitted to complete that goal.  This year I'm re-recommitting.  I've only got 57 to go.  Once I finally make it here in a few weeks here are the other resolutions I have for 2013:
  1. Simplify.
    1. Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? --T.S. Eliot
    2. Continue to document my daily life as well as compare it to past days of documentation from years gone by.  
    3. Delete more things in my life that are merely good - including my too-big MP3 collection (8,287 and counting) - opting for better and best.
    4. Have more quality interactions with friends and family by whittling down the quantity of people in my address book (currently 2,307) and spending more quality time with them; even if only virtually.
  2. Attempt to solve every crossword puzzle in the Upper Valley Standard Journal.