Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm the man!

Ask anyone. Well maybe not anyone, but ask me and I will tell you. I’m the man! There isn’t anyone quite like me. I guess that’s a good thing. “I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan and never let my wife forget I’m the man. ” You may quote me on that. There are lots of things you can quote me on. There are too many to list them all here.

My wife says I have an ego the size of Texas. What does she mean by that? “It isn’t bragging if you can back it up” I always say. That’s another one of my original quotes. Honestly though, I am very talented and there are lots of things I can do. Whenever something goes wrong at work, and they need someone to pin it on, I’m the man. Whenever there is a project that no one else wants, I’m the man. Whenever something around the house needs to be fixed, I am definitely the man.

Last evening, I stopped on the way home and picked up a rotisserie chicken for supper. After we finished eating, I worked on my son’s car and then worked on the washing machine. I got the washer fixed and I am waiting on my son to call to find out if the car is working better today. I really have never had any training on either appliance or car repair but I can work on both. My secret is simple. I give it a try. Most young people these days give up without even trying. It is easy to just say. “I don’t know how to do it” or “it’s not my job”. I get great satisfaction from giving something a try and succeeding. I do occasionally fail (see honey I said it) but I succeed more times than I fail. If you don’t try, how will you ever know if you are good at something or not.

There are still some things I want to try in life. I am working on writing at the moment and I want to one day try my hand at painting. No sky diving or rock climbing for me though. Those are the kind of things that you don’t want to find out the hard way that you are not good at. I will just assume that I could do them if I really wanted to and stick to the safe things.

I do have to give credit where credit is due. My wife helps me out a lot. Last night, she fixed the other things to go along with the chicken and had it ready when I arrived home. She also got the boy’s homework started and got the fire started in the house and our greenhouse. She did several loads of laundry too during the day and then held the flashlight for me while I worked on the washer and also handed me tools. She even kept quiet when she knew I was getting angry with the washing machine.

Now my son is a different story. He did help my youngest son with his homework but the rest of the time, he was blogging. Imagine that, like father like son. He’s another blog addict.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I got this from Wanda, so thank her.

Did you ever plan the game of Scattergories? It's a lot of fun, and here is a way to play it on your blog.

"SCATTERGORIES" ...It's harder than it looks! Copy and paste into your blog and try it!
**Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following --they have to be real places, names, things ...nothing made up! You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

What is your name....................Greg
4 Letter word........................Gold
Boy Name.............................George
Girl Name............................Glenda
Alcoholic Drink......................Grappa
Something you wear...................Glasses
Celebrity............................Groucho Marks
Something found in a bathroom........Grape flavored Tylenol
Reason for being late................Got up Late
Cartoon Character....................George of the Jungle
Something you shout..................Get out!!!(Make sure you sound like Arnold)
Body part............................Gland
Word to describe you.................Great

Let me know if you try this so I can come and read your answers!! If your name starts with "G" you have to find your own!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Message: “The KING”

“We’re Caught in a Trap”

My Sunday morning started out with a meeting at work to discuss the day’s schedule. Everyone was either in a good mood or kind of average (due to lack of sleep), engaging in light chit chat. Then one person came in late with a frown on his face and began complaining about this and that and before I knew it the whole room was in an uproar. Isn’t amazing how no one wants to jump on the happy bandwagon but everyone quickly gets on the downer train. Hatred, evil and violence really do breed the same. I truly believe that humanity is caught in a trap. There IS however a way out. Whenever someone around us gets down we need to try to pick them up instead of letting them bring us down to their level. When someone around us is violent, it is up to us to break that chain and stop the violence. It is up to us to push evil aside and stomp out hatred whenever we can.

“Devil in Disguise”

I have come to the realization that although these “sour” people are not the devil they have the devil inside them. My mother used to say “if you lay with dogs you get up with fleas”. I took that to mean that you become like the people around you. I think that is what happens to a lot of people. They get down then start hanging with other down people and before you know it their attitude spreads to others around them. The devil loves it when people get like that. Once you get down, you start to feel bad about yourself and get even deeper in the pit of despair which makes you angry and that leads to more despair and it is an endless cycle.
Those of us who are trying to diet know that stress tends to make our diets fail. Think about it. We get stressed then lose focus on our diet or even worse eat to relieve stress. Then we see our diets failing so we get more depressed which leads to stress which leads to more eating. Etc etc etc.

“Return to Sender”

I have had enough grief and strife in my life. I am at a point when I only want harmony and peace and I intend to get it from here on out. When someone comes in pouting and trying to bring everyone else down I will from now on ask what is wrong and analyze the situation right there on the spot. I will do what I can to enlist the help of others (and God) to turn the situation around and return those bad feelings back to the sender. I am sure their (usually little) problem that has them upset won’t hold water in the light of day. It may sound like an impossible task but all things are possible through God.

“It’s Now or Never”

There is a popular song out right now called “Waiting on the World to Change”. The song insinuates that we can’t make change right now so all we can do Is wait for the world to change and hope that it changes in the ways we want. Gandhi once said;” You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. It’s time to stop letting other people around us make the changes. If the good people of the world sit quietly then change will be driven only by evil people. It’s time to stand up and fight for the things we believe in and the things we want for our children.

“Elvis has left the building”

Now for those Elvis fans that are with me, I am sorry but I have some bad news. First off Elvis HAS left the building. Secondly Elvis is dead. And finally the really bad news: Elvis is not the KING and never was. I know to some that comes as a great shock. There is only one KING and he still lives today. His body died but he rose again and unlike Elvis, he has never left the building. Elvis got what he got through the power of God but fell from grace and got caught up in the world of drugs and died because of it. As popular as Elvis was, just think where he would be today had he not gotten caught in the trap like so many entertainers do. Elvis was a great entertainer, don’t get me wrong. His love of money and drugs however became greater than his love of God and that is what ended his life. I hope this message hasn’t offended anyone.

Have a really great Monday, I know I am.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Don't you hate it when those anouncers for for those Monster Truck rallies shout that at you. I prefer my Sundays to be queit and filled with peace, joy and harmony. No monster truck rallies for me. I am working this Sunday. Not really by choice. I was given the choice when I was first asked and I agreed to work. Then shortly after I left for the day, the plant manager made it clear to my boss that he wanted us to work today. So it worked out for the best. My boss was able to tell the plant manager that I was working and didn't have to mention that he gave me the option.

I really wanted to take the day off to spend some time with my family but that little voice in my head told me to work today. That happens to me a lot. I listen to that voice even though it doesn't always agree with what I want to do but in the end I find I did the right thing.

Everyone here is in a bad mood this morning. All it took was one person with a bad attitude to get the whole crowd arguing and in a bad mood. I just sat there smiling. It's a great day out there so lets be happy. You can't get to me. I will tell you more about that tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday filled with peace joy and harmony.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Freaky Friday

Yea, it’s Friday. And do you know what that means? Only two more work days this week. Yes I may have to work all weekend but then for the first time since I started with this company, I will be getting paid well for it. So you won’t hear any complaining from me. One of the supervisors tried to get me all riled up about having to work these extra hours but his attempt failed and I just said “I will work how ever many hours my boss wants”. They hate my positive attitude.

Strange virus:

Something really strange happened yesterday. I work in an office with someone else and the room is divided with one of those “attractive” grey office partitions. We are building a maintenance schedule using a complicated scheduling program. As luck would have it, our company in its infinite wisdom decided to install an update to the program one week before our maintenance outage was to begin. We are having all kinds of problems now and have to reboot our computers several times a day. Yesterday, my coworker was busy making work order entries. All of a sudden I heard him say “what the heck” Then I heard him mumble to himself and I could tell he was getting frustrated. He continued to struggle and I could tell he was becoming angry. I asked what was wrong and he said that the entries he just made were disappearing. He explained that he entered 20 work orders but when he went back and checked there were only 19. He checked again and the number dropped to 17, then 15, then 13 and finally 11. Was this the work of a virus?

The rest of the story: I was in my little cube across the room deleting entries. Right in the middle, my computer crashed so I rebooted. When I searched for my records to delete, it then picked up the ones he had just entered so I was deleting them as fast as he could enter them. What we have here is a failure to communicate. OOPS, sorry.

Strange weather:

It is wet outside. Very wet. There is wet stuff falling from the sky but it isn’t rain. The people on the Weather Channel are sticking to their guns and saying it will be the driest year we have had in a long time. I am beginning to believe that they are all Israelites. I can’t wait to see them standing knee deep in water reporting on the drought. Wake up and smell the coffee guys. Animals are starting to pair up here.

Family time:

My family is starting to read my blog regularly. This really is strange. Not only do they read the final project but my son sits over my shoulder when I am typing like vulture waiting for me to make a typo. He then pounces on it and it really irritates me. I know I am not a good speller but I lose my train of thought when he interrupts me. I prefer to get to the end and then proof read. Spelling and grammar were always my worst subjects and everyone else in my family is better at them than I. I always preferred math. Math is black and white to me. You either got it or you aint I always say.

Have a wonderful day,

PS it is now “not raining” harder.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I give !!

The service this past weekend left my son really worried. It wasn't a particularly scary sermon from the pages or Revelations. It was actually taken from the book of Luke and centered on Jesus speaking in Nazareth. He spoke about giving to the poor and even though it was a great speech, he was almost put to death for it; still that isn't what worried him.

The part that worried him was thinking that I would come home and immediately start giving all the things we have away. Not to worry, that's not going to happen. The truth is I already give and give much more that most of the people I know, I just don't go around boasting about it so it isn't always obvious. Also in my humble opinion, compared to other poverty stricken countries most of the people in this country are pretty well off. Even the poorest in this country are better off than other some in other countries.

God also wants us to have nice things as a testimony to his greatness. Not to be boastful or flashy but to show that people can be successful in Christ. We don't have to be sly, cheating opportunist to make it in this world and I am an example of that. I have always treated people with kindness and respect and still managed to do quite well.

1 Samuel 2:7
The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.

Have a Blessed day


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Blame it on the Moon"

I woke up in a mood today. You know what mean. I woke up with something on my mind and I just knew I had to have it. I looked through the bathroom window and the moon was full and shining just above the trees. Maybe that is what caused my mood.

Looking at the bright round yellow moon reminded me of what I wanted and needed. I have been depriving myself lately which made this need even stronger. You know how it is when you do without something. You start to think about it all the time and thinking turns to fantasy and pretty soon it is all you can dream about. I knew if I didn’t satisfy my desire it would consume my thoughts all day.

So I set out to work early this morning, taking an alternate route. I drove down the dark streets with a purpose, looking for that beacon in the night. Imagine my disappointment when I got to my destination and saw that the “Hot N Now” sign was not lit. Oh nooooo The Krispy Kreme store was closed. I cruised silently through the drive in line only to discover that they had changed the hours and wouldn’t be open for another half hour. I left disappointed and frustrated.

Just down the road stood the Duncan Doughnut store and I quickly pulled in the drive. Yesssss! it was open. I had my heart set on a hot Krispy Kreme Doughnut though so the Duncan Doughnut just didn’t satisfy my hunger. Sometimes when I set my expectations too high, I end up disappointed and feeling let down. I do that with people a lot. I just expect people to do the right thing and when they don’t I get my feelings hurt. I think the doughnut I had was probably great but it wasn’t what I expected so it just didn’t taste good.

So do I need to set my expectations lower or do I keep hoping for a miracle. I know in a lot of situations I already know the outcome as I am waiting for someone to do the right thing. I know they will let me down but I just keep hoping and praying. I guess it is just my nature to expect better of people. If I set my sights lower I might feel better about others but I would feel worse about myself.

I know that God puts us in the same situations. He gives us choices and then waits to see what we do with them. Just like me, he already knows we will make bad choices and do wrong things. He hopes that we will do what is right but he knows we will let him down. Still he keeps trying no matter what. I have been reading about the Israelites and how no matter what God gave them they made the wrong choices. Even after given chance after chance they still made bad choices and were punished for it.

I have made a lot of bad choices in the past but I am trying to make some good ones now. Just as each doughnut is filled with something different, each day is filled with choices and my goal is to try to pick the right one. I can’t make up for the bad choices I made in the past but I can make good ones from now on. I will keep my expectations for myself and others high and keep praying that I don’t disappoint God and that others don’t disappoint me.

So would anyone care for a Duncan Doughnut? It was a bad choice to settle for them. I only want Krispy Kreme.

Have a Blessed Day,

PS The second one wasn't very good either. :( Should I try a third?

Friday, February 15, 2008

7 things about me

1. I served in the United States Navy for 20 years during which time I operated nuclear power plants on submarines. My favorite memory was the time we were in the North Atlantic and a pod of whales was around us. For an entire night we could hear them talking to each other right through the hull. They were so close that you could actually feel the vibrations from the noise they were making. The scariest moment was when a fire broke out while we were 1000 feet down in the ocean. We got it out and no one was hurt thankfully but it really made me think about death.

I got to travel when I was in the Navy. While I was in Naples Italy they were arranging a trip to some place called Pompeii. I had never heard of it so I opted not to go. I also went to Scotland but I only brought back a spoon. I hear they have good wool and china there. (So much for my geographical knowledge.} It was my worst subject. I did enjoy the food in both places. Food is my best subject.

2. I am deathly afraid of spiders. When I was young I was running through the woods and got a big banana spider on my face. It was about 4 inches across. Since then I have hated them. I am convinced that they are the work of the devil. I often have dream where the earth is being attacked by giant spiders from outer space, At first I am afraid but then I see the skipper from Gilligan's island and realize it is just that bad movie I saw a long time ago. Did anyone see that movie "The Giant Spider Invasion"? The only thing scarry about that movie was the acting.

3. I once cooked a meal for President Jimmy Carter. My father was a Southern Democrat and used to put on benefit fish fries. One year he and I were doing one for the Democratic Party in Florida. Word came out that the President was going to stop by and have lunch. I was really excited. Some of the secret service men arrived but then they all packed up and headed out. It seems that the President’s plans had been changed. Oh well there goes my moment of glory. We did cook for and serve the Governor of Florida once though.

4. I was a band nerd in high school. I played the trumpet and was pretty good at it. I got to play in both Disney parades in the US, one in Florida and the other in California. I played at half time at an Atlanta Falcons football game. Our band went to California to play in the Rose Bowl parade but I got sick that morning and had to sit out. We were staying in the UCLA dormitory. After everyone left for the parade, the place came alive and a bunch of girls came over into the men,s dormitory. There were some parties going on that day but I was too sick to participate.

5. I am extremely lucky. I win a good percentage of the raffles and drawings that I enter. I once won one of those national call-in radio contests. You know the ones: “Be caller 100 right now and win a million dollars.” Unfortunately at the time I won the contest they were only giving away $5000.00. The very next day they upped it to 10K. Maybe I am not that lucky. There is a secret to my success but to find out what it is you will have to keep reading my blog. One day I will tell you.

6. I used to coach Women’s Softball. I coached a team on Kings Bay Naval base and won the base championship several years in a row. I also coached a Womens Church team here in South Carolina. We won a state championship one year and came in second another. I gave it up though. I couldn’t take the complaining from the husbands. The only thing worse would be coaching little league. Then I would have to put up with both parents.

7. I was originally baptised "Seventh Day Baptist" not to be confused with Seventh Day Adventist. What, you have never heard of it? That's ok no one had back then. We were outcasts because we went to church on Saturday. All our friends went to church on Sunday. It actually is a very old religon and very big in some parts of the country. It's the church my Grandmother Green grew up in so that is where we went. The problem was that everyone in the church was old escept our family and the preacher's family. Those were the only two families with kids. Neadless to say we hung out together and they tought us how to get into trouble.

Well in the words of Porky Pig, "That's all Folks" I will have some great thought provoking posts and some new photo's this week so please come back.

My son says my posts are getting too long. How do you all feel about that?

Breakfast will be served in one hour. We are having country ham, fresh eggs and Bagels with creem chese and strawberry jam. Better "Rise and Shine, Give God the Glory" as Paster Ken used to say.

Have a Blessed Sunday

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"The Truth about Liver"

My mother loved liver. She fixed it all the time and made us eat it. She said it was good for us. The truth of the matter is that it was really bad for us. These days if a parent did something like that it would be considered child abuse. These days with the help of a good lawyer, I would be very wealthy from being forced to eat it and the law suit that would follow.

The real truth about Liver:

I know you have heard the expression “you are what you eat”. Well I am here to tell you that expression is false. The expression should be “your liver is what you eat”. The reason being is that a liver is nothing more than a very efficient filter. It filters out all the bad stuff because the rest of your body can’t handle it. And it’s not just our livers that do this, it is all livers. This being said, I know there are some liver lovers out there and that is your choice. So let me tell you what to do with it.

How to prepare liver:

I fancy myself as a chef but I really don’t have a good recipe for liver. I don’t know if there actually is a “good” way to fix liver but I know how not to fix it. Here is my mother’s recipe. Feel free to try it.

Take one large Iron skillet and pour in a generous amount of cooking oil. Turn up the heat to the highest setting. While it is heating, chop up a large yellow onion. Make sure it is the kind that brings tears to your eyes when you are cutting it. Chop it into large pieces. Once the pan starts to smoke, toss in the onion pieces and cook until dark black. Now take the liver out of the package and run some cool water over it. Toss it into the pan and cook on high until it shrivels up to ¼ its original size. This should take about two hours. You will know it is done when the smoke alarm goes off in your house.

How to serve liver:

The way I see it, there are three ways to serve liver.

Mom’s way: Cut up and garnish with the charcoalized onions.

My way: When I was a child, I would cut it up in little tiny pieces about ¼” square. Then I would top with a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of pepper and top that with ½ cup ketchup. I remember it tasted pretty good at first but after the toppings went away, it left a bad taste on my mouth. As soon as the cook looks away spit the remaining liver in your napkin. Make sure not to do it too quickly because it may appear that you like it and you will be offered more.

The preferred way to serve liver: Now that I am older, I know the best way to serve it and here it is. After cooking the liver fully, toss it in a food processor and grind it up. Once it is fully ground, put in on a paper plate and set it outside the back door. With any luck the neighborhood kitties will eat it and you won’t have to. Bon app├ętit kitties.

Now I am not saying my mother was a bad cook. Let’s just say that for a long time I thought she was very religious because she presented “burnt offerings” every day. And I am not saying liver is bad although in my book the term “Good Liver” is an oxymoron. All I am saying is liver is a lot like some people I know. You can dress them up and make them look really nice but deep down they are still liver. The best thing I can do is just stay away from it (them).

Have a wonderful (non liver) day


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"I didn't do it."

When I was young I used to envy my friends that were “only children”. For some reason most of them were well off so I figured it was because their parents only had one child. Now that I am older, I realize that wasn’t the case but back then it made sense. The way I saw it, if I were an only child, I would have it all. I know it was selfish but many children are that way when they are little.

I never looked at the situation deep enough though. For instance all of “almost nothing” is still “almost nothing”. Instead of just one slice of pizza, I would have gotten 1/3 of it but knowing Dad, if there had only been one child he would have ordered a small pizza to save money. I also never took into account that along with all the “glory” would come all the bad things. I really don’t think that a single child could have survived in our house. Sometimes there is safety in numbers.

When there are 5 kids in one house it is easy to pass the blame on to someone else. “Only children” don’t have that luxury. It’s nice to have brothers and sisters around to pass the blame to. Now that I am adult with children of my own I know that we were wasting our time because parents usually know who is to blame. Of course my older brother still likes to say “it’s not my fault”. Maybe one day he will grow out of it. He is only 55 you know. :)

This past weekend I visited my daughter and grand kids. Kids say the darndest things as Art Linkletter used to say. I took the oldest boy to the grocery store with me. As we passed the fruit section, he pointed to the apples and told me that “Ann was bad because she picked an apple and gave it to Tom” I said, do you mean Adam and Eve and he said Yea that’s who I meant.

The youngest boy has this habit of trying to pass blame on his older brother when he has done something wrong. The first thing he says is “Clay is a bad boy”. I think he is trying to get everyone to agree with him. Next he states. “I didn’t do it” so as to remove any blame from himself. Now at this point, none of the adults even know what has been done wrong so it is time to go searching to see what is up. Usually it is something simple like water spilled a shoe in the toilet but it is best to check it out.

It’s fun now to look back and reminisce about some of the things I did when I was a child. Like when I swam across the alligator infested “Thompson’s Creek” at night. There was a 12 ft alligator that lived in there and we were forbidden from swimming there in the day time much less at night. There was the time I set the tree on fire in the back yard and Dad (the fire chief) got the call and not only had to respond but explain why his son did such a thing. And there was the time we almost got caught throwing oranges at the “Hell’s Angels” when hundreds of them rode their motorcycles into town. And I wonder why I got punished.

I can hardly imagine being an only child and having to face Dad alone when he was angry. Those whippings weren’t quite so bad when you spread them between all of us kids and over the years of my youth. Can you imagine if you had to do it alone or take all those punishments at one time? The spanking I got when he caught me in the creek was bad enough and all the crying and pleading on the drive home didn’t help one bit. I know now that it was for my own good and I deserved it so kids don’t think you will get away with anything like that.

I know that one day we will all have to face our Father alone and go over all the bad things we did in life. And there will be no one to pin the blame on. Just like any father he already knows the truth.

Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Although I have done a “few” bad things in my life, I look forward to the meeting because someone has already taken the punishment for me.

Acts 13:38 "Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

Have a wonderful day

Monday, February 11, 2008

Amazing Grace

Have you ever had one of those days where everything you do seems to turn out wrong? Well that wasn’t the case for me this weekend. It was just the opposite. Everything that started to go wrong turned out good in the end. My routine was all wrong. My schedule was way out or control but I just let what “was to be” happen and God saw me through.

I slept late on Friday wanting to get some extra rest before my trip. Because of that, I didn’t get to do my morning reading. Instead, I helped get the boys ready for school and then started getting ready for my trip. I managed to get the car packed just in time to go to the funeral that I spoke about. It was a nice service and the concluded with a communion service which was great since I knew I would be traveling on Sunday morning and would miss Church. It was just after two when I started out for Florida.

Just as I hit the highway, the radio station that I was listening to went dead. Oh great I thought so I hit the scan button to find another. It found a station where someone was talking and I was about to hit scan again when I realized that was being read sounded very familiar. On Thursday, I started Leviticus:22 but had been interrupted and was not able to pick it back up. I suddenly realized that the guy on the radio was reading Leviticus:22 after which he read Leviticus:23 in its entirety. So even though I wasn’t able to read Gods word, it came to me. Pretty cool huh.

Around 6 I was still driving and have a very close call on the highway and was really nervous after that. I found another radio station playing some great music and I found out that Mercy Me was going on be playing in town that night and I had a chance to go see them. That took my mind off of my close call and I made it in ok. I wasn’t able to get to the concert but they did play parts of it on the radio.

Saturday, I got up early and drove to the town where my daughter lives. It was too early to get there so I sat and watched the sunrise. If you have never seen the sunrise over the ocean it is truly amazing so I took pictures for you all. They can’t do justice to the actual event but you can get an idea anyway. I had a great visit with my daughter and her family and will tell more about that later. For now, enjoy the sunrise and Praise God.

Have a great day,

Friday, February 8, 2008

Going solo

Well I am off to sunny Florida this afternoon to visit my Daughter and her Family. I will be driving alone which will give me some time to think and also lets me stop or not stop whenever the urge hits me. (no pun intended) I will make one stop in Georgia for food and then stop for the night around Jacksonville. Normally I could make it without stopping but something came up and I can't leave until this afternoon.

A dear friend of ours whom we consider family passed away this week. Beverly Kornahens died after a long battle but is now resting peacefully in Heaven. It was a rough year for her but now she is seated beside God and happy again. She is my brother in law's mother in law if that makes any sense. She was a wonderful person and treated my children like they were her own. At Christmas she would buy them presents and never expect more than a big hug in return. We will miss her but she is in a much better place now. No need for sorrow, she is without pain and suffering.

Have a wonderful weekend. I will be back on Sunday,

Ps, I will reach my destination in time for breakfast, hint nint, jess. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Speaking of Bars

Do you have bars? I am not talking about the drinking establishments or those little things on your cell phone. I am talking about those bars that we all have that represent our goals or Ideals that we set for ourselves. They are those things that we strive for as compared to where we are right now. Some would say “I am exactly where I want to be” but I am sure if these people were honest with themselves, they would see that there is always room for improvement.

Recently a certain President (I am not saying names here because I want to keep this non political) said that we are making headway in the war. In the perspective he used he was right. A few days later one of the candidates referred to that statement and said: That’s only compared to where we were last year. We have lowered the bar so low that any little progress is acceptable. I had to agree with that and it made me think about bars, and our little lines between right and wrong.

Each of us has bars or goals that we strive for in our lives. Yours may be set high or low but remember, they determine just how far you will go. If we set out to run a race and your goal is to beat a 10 minute mile, it is doubtful that we will achieve a 5 minute mile. If a 10 minute mile is acceptable to you then you are happy if you ran the race in 9.59 minutes. However a person who finished right next to you may not be satisfied because he was trying for a 9 minute mile.

On our quest to reach these life goals, we have lots of little lines that guide us. They are like the lines along the edge of a road. We know we must not cross those lines on our race to the finish line in order to stay on track. These little lines are the lines between right and wrong. Each of us has these lines as well and they are based on our upbringing and shaped by our environment. For example let’s look at stealing.

God Says that we shouldn’t steal. Our laws say we shouldn’t steal. Even if you are not a religious person, you probably believe that stealing is wrong. Most people do so the problem here is not with the “value” it is with the interpretation of what constitutes stealing or where we each of us puts that line. Humans have the ability to not only distinguish between right and wrong but analize a situation and make our own judgment. Since most of us believe that stealing is wrong let’s see where you place your line.

Is it Not true that Not giving back is the same as stealing? Wow I should have been a lawyer. :) Is finding money and keeping it stealing? The saying “Finders keepers” is on the same page where it is stated “Life is fair”. I know who made both of those statements but I will save that for another post. Let’s just say that “Page” doesn’t exist. Life isn’t fair and finders should not be keepers. Here is a test. (Now maybe you will pay attention in class)

You find 20 dollars in a parking lot. Is it yours?

You find the same 20 dollars but there is a young lady standing near it searching through her purse that probably dropped it. Is it still yours?

You see the young lady drop the 20 dollars. Do you still keep it?

You see this lady is driving a Mercedes is covered in jewelry and has a purse full of money and you are flat broke. Do you keep it?

What if she just cursed you out because you took her parking space? Would you still approach her again and tell her she dropped some money?

Most people have a breaking point. A point in our minds where we justify keeping the money. We rationalize that we “deserve” this money more than someone else and should keep it. We position our line so that we are still on the good side. So here is one last example to think about.

What if there were numerous things stacked against this person. What if there were so many reasons for you to keep the money that you could easily rationalize keeping it. But What if someone was watching? What if someone saw her drop that money and saw you pick it up. They probably won’t say anything but they did see it. Would you then do the right thing and give it back? No “what if” about it. Someone did see it. He’s waiting for you to make the right choice.

I will leave you with a story.

Some years ago, we took the boys to Disneyland. During the day, we made our way down to Main Street to watch the parade. We got there early and took a seat on the curb right up front. I got some great pictures of the characters as well as the boys enjoying the parade. After it was over we headed out to get something to eat. Suddenly, I realized that I no longer had my camera. I had left it on the curb when I got up. I rushed back to where we had been sitting but as I figured my camera along with the pictures from that day were gone. I was sick to my stomach as it was an expensive camera but more so because of the pictures that were lost.

After we ate, we were walking down Main Street again and I spied the Lost and Found sign. I really thought it was a waste of time but I dropped in anyway just to ask. I told the man at the counter that I had lost a camera and he asked a bunch of questions about what kind it was and where I lost it. Then he said he would go back and look. After a few moments he returned with my camera. I asked who had returned it so that I could write and thank them but he said the man didn’t want to leave his name. That’s ok God knows who he is.

Now if you are saying that a camera is different than 20 dollars I have to tell you that you flunked the test.(caught you with your guard down)But don’t worry you can take it again. In fact you can take this test over and over and over again. Good luck.

Have a wonderful day.

PS don’t worry it is an "Open Book" test.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful comments that everyone has been leaving. I also wanted to say thanks to Kati and Shannon for giving me these awards. I think the last award I received was for perfect attendance in Grammer school. That's not true, I got a bunch of awards when I was in the Navy. I even got a letter signed by the President when I retired.

I can't believe I have had over 5000 visits to this blog. I must be doing something right. One of my neighbors who reads my blog and is now refering to me as "The Preacher". Did I miss my calling? I am working on tomorrow's post today so yall come back now, ya hear. (that's southern for please visit again)

Have a blessed Wednesday everyone.


"Happy Hour"

The whole concept of Happy hour amazes me. First off, most of them are more than an hour long so it should be Happy Time or Happy Hours. And just why is it so happy? It is a time when you can get drinks for a reduced rate. Half price in some cases. Yes you can also get food and snacks for less sometimes but it is always centered on drinking. And you aren’t supposed to drink too much so is it because you are getting something for less that everyone is so happy?

The timing is such that most people would go to a happy hour right after work. After a long hard day at the office, putting up with people you don’t particularly care for, you head to the local bar and meet the same people and somehow you are magically transported to “happy land”. I know the consumption of alcohol has nothing to do with it. Otherwise it would be illegal just like the smoking in bars is. Our government has our best interest at heart and would never let us do anything that was bad for us. Cough cough. Maybe they should ban drinking during happy hour. Now that would be ironic.

A long time ago, I went to a happy hour at a bar called The Top Deck in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. They were offering 25 cent mixed drinks that afternoon. The lines were so long that most people just bought an entire tray of drinks when they made it to the bar. Each group had a designated line person who stood in the line all the time and ordered for the group. The band playing that night was Gary Lewis and the Playboys . They sang songs like This Diamond Ring and Everybody Loves a Clown. Wow if that doesn’t date me nothing will.

I am not a big fan of bars anyway. I am not saying I don’t like to drink but the whole bar scene doesn’t do much for me. All those women falling all over me is embarrassing. (Just kidding, I just wanted to see if you were really reading this) I really don’t like all the tall tales that people then to tell in bars. People are always apologizing for things they do when they drink too much. They blame it on the booze but the truth is that someone that is obnoxious when they are drinking is usually obnoxious when sober. And why do they say that someone drinks like a fish? Do fish drink a lot? I really don’t know. It should be drink like an elephant. I know they can do some serious guzzling. That would make more sense.

Lately I have been going to Happy Hour every weekend. The drinks and everything else there is free. The people where I go are very friendly and happy. Some come that way and most leave that way. It only lasts an hour too so it really is a Happy Hour. The really nice thing is there are no hangovers the next day. And like I said it is totally free. You won’t find a deal like that at any bar in town. Check it out if you don’t believe me. See you in Church at Happy Hour.

Have a wonderful day,

PS notice how this topic followed Mondays so well. :) Wait till you see how I work in Thursdays topic.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Happy Monday

I had a great weekend. The weather was wonderful and I got a lot accomplished. I did however eat way too much and am feeling bloated and heavy this morning. Over doing it is never a good thing. I am starting a fast this morning though which should help me cleanse myself. I don't know how long it will last. My stomach is already growling but I know I need it. Wish me luck. I am already thinking about a Tuesday and Thursday post and I hope you enjoy them. They will both touch on the subject of overindulgence.

Have a great Monday,

Oh By the way, is the spell check on blogger working for anyone? Mine no longer works.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Just don't say No"

There has been a shift in the way people view consent lately. It used to be that if someone wanted your approval on an issue you had to say "yes". These days it seems that silence on an issue indicates consent. So not saying No implies that you are saying Yes. The opposite is also true. Not saying Yes implies that you mean No. Silence is no longer golden.

Even salesmen who come to see me at work are taking this approach. It used to be that if a salesman wanted to drop in to see me, they had to first gain my approval by calling me and asking if they could come in to the plant. Now they are taking a different approach. They simply call after hours when they know I won't be there and leave a message like this: "Hello Greg. Sorry I missed you. I am going to be in the area tomorrow and planned on stopping by to see you. If this is a problem, call me. Otherwise I will assume it is ok and stop in." They are using the system (the answering machine in this case) To gain access to the plant. Then when they get to the gate, they tell the guard that I invited them in because I didn't uninvite them.

Many times, I just don't have the time at work to call them back, or I forget because I am busy, Last week this exact thing happened. There was a message on my answering machine on Tuesday morning. The salesman had called at 6 pm on Monday. Come on! Everyone knows I don't love my job that much. :) I called him back though (during normal working hours) and got his cell phone and left him this message: "Hey Bob. Sorry I missed you. I thought you knew what my working hours were. I am busy today so don't come in." Of course he didn't get the message or so he says so he stopped in anyway. When he got there I just said: Sorry I can't see you today. Didn't you get my message?" I hate being rude but these salesmen are getting pretty crafty these days and you have to take control of the situation or get walked on. I have more important things to do than listen to how great their newest product is.

This same thing is happening all around us too. People just do things and if no one says anything they assume it is ok. Since most people don't want to cause a scene, they go unchecked. Politicians are famous for this and may have started the concept. They simply do what they want or what the special interest groups want them to do. Since it is almost impossible to get in contact with them they never hear any arguments So we all agree with what they are doing. Or so they say.

Last year I was upset with an issue so I did some research into what bills were being discussed by our local politicians. I just knew our politicians must be pretty busy with all the serious issues such as crime, war and the budget being out there. I stumbled upon a web page that described a days activities. That particular morning, the "serious" issue being discussed was "Should putting a weave into someone's hair be considered cosmetology?" I didn't know weather to laugh or cry. At first I thought it was a joke but I verified it and yes it was true. With all that is going on in the world, why waist your time on something like that? But then we didn't say we disapproved so it must have been ok with us.

Lately, I have begun to get more proactive in changing the world around me. No longer am I going to keep my mouth shut. For years, I kept my light under a bushel so to speak and let the things going on around me that bothered me go unchecked. I left it up to people to "do the right thing" By the way, that is one of our corporate values although only certain people are held to it. (that's a whole separate issue I will discuss one day)

I am no longer going to sit quietly when I see something bad (or good for that matter) happening. I want people to know where I stand. I have already been questioned about this new attitude and I simply state that I don't expect you to do anything about it but now you know how I feel. Now don't expect any horn honking or middle finger pointing from me if I don't like what you are doing or saying. I will simply, rationally and positively tell you. I respect your opinion, but don't agree with you. No means No and Yes means Yes and saying nothing, means I am thinking about it and trying to come up with a better solution. I believe in not pointing out a problem unless you have a solution in mind.

I am also doing a much better job staying positive and happy. Each morning I start my day with a smile on my face and most days I am able to keep it there. I enter our morning meeting with a smile on my face and someone almost always asks: "Why are you so darn happy?" I just say, I am happy to be alive and to have this great job. The room usually fills with silence at this point or someone will reply with a smart remark about how much they hate their job. I then tell them well no one is forcing you to work here. End of discussion. I love it when me being happy bothers people. I wonder why that is. Why does being happy or talking about God bother people so much? I like it.

Matthew 5:16 : In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Have a wonderful weekend,