Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Crisis of Credit

This is an interesting explanation of the current Credit Crisis.... It is long, but it is worth the time for those who want to understand the history of how we got where we are...

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Passed!

Every father knows that in the eyes of his children, he is different things at different times. Sometimes cool, sometimes ignorable, sometimes intolerable. And often, the father is tested by the behavior of kis kids. Sometimes the test is intentional, others, a surprise. Take last night, for instance....

On our way home from yet another fabulous basketball practice for my daughter's team, my sweet wife asked me if "Andrew has told me his news...".

(At that very moment, my panic response kicked in. It is a predictable response in me. It is that natural assumption, that conclusion jump that tells me my kids have done something horrible, or that they have done something not-so-horrible, but enough of something to embarass me.)

"What kind of news?" I asked. My sweet wife responded by saying that he would have to tell me on his own.

OK, so for the next hour, the back of my mind was filled with the most awful and terrible things that my son could have been involved with.... so fragile was my emotional state that I never noticed the calm and stable behaviour of my sweet wife.

Clue overlooked.

Finally at home, during a commercial in Wreckreation Nation, the Sweet One asked the Number One Son if he had told me his news....

He stood up and while he mumbled something about losing a bet, he brushed his beautiful long brown locks from around his red right ear to reveal...

Yep. An ear stud in the top of his ear.

Like taking a punch in the gut, I inhaled a quick breath, and while the blood drained from my head and my vision faded, I had to think quickly. How would I respond in such a way that would let him know of my eternal love for him, despite the unnatural piece of shiny shrapnel intentionally lodged in his ear that surely indicates that somewhere along the parenting line, something went horribly wrong?

In my eloquence, all I could say was. "boy, cover it back up."

That's it. I couldn't get angry, 'cause I love him too much. I couldn't scream, because Madilyn was sitting in my lap. And I didn't notice the Sweet One, again, cracking a huge grin over to my left....

Clue overlooked.

When I could breathe again, I said, "Andrew, you're 18 years old; you can do whatever you want with your ears, but I wouldn't hire you with that in there." (I thought that was notably eloquent, and particularly, wise.)

Andrew walked over to me, then said "Then I guess I should take it out." And he removed that silly plastic fake earstud and tossed in on the table. And he laughed a huge, beautiful, laugh, accompanied by the sweet, musical laughter of my wife and daughter. As the blood rushed back into my head, I realized I had been tested- even as a joke- and had passed. I found a way to squelch my usual judgmental and angry response, and, for the most part, remained calm. I passed!

My beautiful family laughed a lot about that ear stud.

I, too, will laugh someday, I'm sure...

Life is good!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Making an "all" of myself

The older I get, the more I realize I'm not all that. I am losing qualities and skills I once possessed in abundance- humility, grace, penmanship. And spelling.

In some on-line correspondences, I am forced to admit that my readers need translators to decipher what I write. Of course, I know what I intended to write; it should be obvious to everyone else what I wanted to say. Not so.

A perfect example occurred this morning. Stressful as Mondays go, with a meeting, a funeral, reports due, and two chapters of a book report due.... before 11:00 am. I found myself hurrying through the details of it all, not really excelling at anything.

Especially writing my reports.

Now, you have to understand that as I get older, and type faster, sometimes my brain outruns my fingers, sometimes resulting in some, well, odd words. I also get dyslexia digitalis, a condition in which the correct finger but on the wrong hand will push the keys to spell words. Usually this is quickly caught, either by my powerful skills of perception and observation, or by my spellchecker.

However, when you type the word "all" and encounter a sudden onset of dyslexia digitalis, it comes out as "ass".

Now this is where all my churchy friends get embarassed and aghast that I would reprint such a word here. Two things:
1) Balaam (in the Bible) had one, and
2) I tried 6 times to tell this story without using it, but it didn't make sense. Get over it.

Anyhow, when you spellcheck that, it obviously sails through without a problem. The problem arises when I submitted that mistake on a report- to my pastor- well, let's just say that I won't hear the end of that one for a long, long time.

It was even funny when pointed out to me in private- Pastor and I had a good laugh! When addressed before the entire ministerial staff- not so much. To the lady in my article, of whom I attempted to describe "her desire to give it her all", it was not funny. Not at all....

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Welcome Friend

I am sitting at my desk this morning, a fast computer and hot java at my side. In a few minutes, I will pick up a book and begin to read where I left off the other day... And while I have read parts of this book many times, it has been a while since I have spent any real time in it, listening to the words; thinking through the phrases. I am finding new refreshment in letting my imagination create the scenes in my mind- the backstory before the action makes the vivid images even better! What was once only "familiar acquaintence" is becoming a welcome friend.

I read this book in order to learn more about its author. I have been told about Him all my life- good things, difficult things. I know the author, and He knows me.....

But I really, really want to get to know Him and His Son a lot better. I am learning that the things I have been taught about them- while important and meaningful- are much more endearing, more intersting, and more incredible as I get to know them on my own. I am less afraid; more accepted. Less rhetoric, more compassion. Less dogma, more action. Less "build it and they will come", more "live it and stop worrying about what they think".

I want my wife and children to know where I stand. I want them to see the persistence, consistency and stamina of a Godly man. I want my family to know that the perception of Godliness is like a sheer vapor- almost everyone sees through it. The only people who don't are other religious people who can't see through their own veil of religiousity. I want to be real; I want to try and fail; and try again. I want them to know they can try, and if they fail I want them to know they can get up again, and go on.

That's what I have learned so far.... only 46 pages in.

What have you learned recently? What jazzes you about new discoveries in the word?