Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I give you the Racist... Dr. Joseph Lowery

So who thought that this “prayer” was completely inappropriate?
I have to admit, there were some fine sentiments in the prayer, but that stupid, racist, finale! Arrrgh! It overshadowed anything of value he had to say.


What would our country be like if we actually went humbly to our creator, said what was in our hearts, petitioned the all mighty in supplication with heads bowed and hearts open?
I dare you to find anyone in that video that was actually bowing his or her head… I found one… CLINTON!!!
This country is in SO much trouble.
That’s all I can say.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Poo Song

So I’m riding home on the bus the other day, and my wife calls me to tell me that she’s watching Scrubs and that they are singing about poo, and since I’m reading a Nobel Prize winning book that seems to mention the stuff quite a bit, I thought that I’d share what she saw with you… my readers… my friends.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Tale of Two Degrees

The other day, I was talking with one of the engineers in my office, and telling him that my oldest daughter has the opportunity to graduate from High school with an Associate of Science Degree in general studies, but to do that, she’s going to have to take some night school classes at SLCC and probably have to take some classes over summer breaks, which means that she’ll have very little time for summer jobs, or extracurricular activities while she’s in High School.
He asked me if this was something she was willing to do. I said that, yes, she’s willing to do it, but that she’s frightened by the whole idea. It’s a pretty big decision for a 14 year old to be making.
Then he says to me, “You know, she’s a pretty bright girl, she could forget all of the college courses, enjoy High School, get really good grades, and then go to a real school.”
“Real school?” I asked.
“Yah,” he said, glancing up at the two degrees I have hanging over my desk, “ya know, SLCC isn’t a real college, and frankly, an Associate Degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”
I ended our conversation at that point, but it got me thinking. I have two degrees, the first is an Associate of Science in Architecture from SLCC, and the other is a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah. The AS degree, I paid for out of pocket, so I owe nothing on it. It currently pays my mortgage, feeds and clothes my children, and provides my family with a few of the comforts of life.
The BA degree… well, it pretty much sits on the couch, eats potato chips, and watches cable all day. And… since I still owe a sizable amount on my student loans, the AS degree pays for the BA’s upkeep as well. Last week it started to demand it’s own room and phone line… I don’t want to know whom he plans on calling… Probably some Whitman Wannabe.
So, when I really take a hard look at it, which of my two degrees isn’t worth the paper?
As for my daughter, well, she’s decided that she’s going to take as many college courses as she can and still be able to have some fun while in High School… as it should be.
I think that with congruent classes and AP exams, she should be able to get out of High School with about 30 college credit hours… which in the long run are 30 really cheep credits as compared to paying full college tuition, despite what the engineer in my office thinks.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

To the Women in our Lives

My wife wasn’t feeling well last night, and I’m afraid that the kids weren’t being much help to her. But it got me thinking about how much our moms and wives do for us. Years ago, I heard a poem about a lanyard that was funny, but also quite poignant, and it really said a lot about the “thanks” we give the women in our lives.
It took some looking, but here it is.

The Lanyard

By Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

And so, to my Mom and especially to my wife… nothing I could ever give you will ever make us even.

Monday, January 05, 2009

A Banner Year

My thoughts for the New Year…

Last week, I heard some radio DJ say that he was sure happy that 2008 was over because it really sucked. I was inclined to agree with him until I really took a hard look at 2008. Yes, things have gotten a bit more expensive, but I’m really not as far behind on my bills as I was last year, and that has more to do with my lack of budgeting smarts as it does with the economy.
So what good happened in 2008? My son and I wore kilts to our first Renaissance faire, and I was able to put away enough money to buy my own kilt. We went to Disneyland for the first time in… something like… 5 years. I was able to read, review and interview 4 authors for my blog site… and I’ve got to tell you, that was awesome.

So what do I have to look forward to in 2009?

My wife and I are planning to go to a big Renaissance Faire in Irwindale, California with my cousin and her wife. Then, a couple of weeks later, we’ll take the kids to the Utah Renaissance Faire here in Ogden… Then… The Highland Games at Thanksgiving Point to see the Wicked Tinkers perform.
And after all that… I’ll be running in the Wasatch Back Relay.

This is going to be a great year, despite Obama becoming president, and despite my turning 40.

Hold your head up high, folks. Life is what you make of it…
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