Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Good Old Days

Fishing is such a relaxing family pastime.  The water flows along, interrupted only by an occasional boater or a duck. Once when we went, one of our kids beckoned the ducks with quacking sounds and then exclaimed, “I am the Duck Whisperer!”  I spent the time relaxing in the gentle breeze, swatting away flying critters, and cringing at  comments about the nightcrawlers’ “blue veins” and their “gooey, white hearts” as the poor worms were ripped apart, speared, and hooked for bait. Yuk! It was a worm’s worst nightmare.
I’m guessing few people associate relaxing lake fishing with violence. Once you combine worm gore and fish blood, you have a really messy event so I bring plenty of hand sanitizer. I doled out some sanitizer after the worm tearing and more after tossing back the catch. I won’t bore you with the measurements of the four fish we caught, but let’s just say several spanned the width of a hand. We’ll skip the tales about the “big ones that got away.” When you catch the really big ones, you better get proof and here’s a guy who does:
                                     http://youtu.be/lcJovDMSp1A    
Jeremy Wade catches the scary fish, the ones you don’t want to know exist, especially if you‘re vacationing in an exotic place because that’s where they seem to lurk. The various kinds of fish  in our waters rivals the types of cereals on our supermarket shelves. Why so many?  In your opinion, why are there so many interesting types of fish, of people?

Renamed and edited from a prior post

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Your End Game


Most people love this time of the year—the lights, the festivities, the gifting—there are downsides, too, like the traffic, the stress, and the leaves. Sure, they looked beautiful hanging from trees, but now they litter the ground looking like a lot of work. Few people enjoy raking leaves. Families try to make it a fun time, but it’s only the little leaf pile-jumpers who enjoy the event, and usually after a series of questions like, “Are we done yet?” or “Can we get a snack?” and the straight-to-the-point comment, “This stinks!”

As soon as the leaves are cleared, we realize that we forgot to look up. When we do, we spot tree branches still harboring enough leaves to fill several bags. Here’s how we’d like to handle things:
                                          https://youtu.be/VsNdmRB-kF4

Sometimes, regardless of how painful the journey feels, the only thing we can do is go through the process. It’s okay to have a moment of moaning and groaning, but then we need to pick up our rakes and get to work making things better. What work do you need to finish to reach the better side of a tough situation?

    

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Nothing Holding You Back




Earlier this week, someone told me that they bumped their head on a tree branch—not while horseback riding—they were walking down the street. Ouch! I guess it’s possible since people and trees come in all heights. Tree branches often grow dangerously low making it almost impossible to avoid them. Sometimes obstructions stop us, sometimes they cause us to pause, and sometimes we crash through them, like in this case:

                                         https://youtu.be/dz5MGJGmfiM                



Here’s one of the few scenarios where a majority of people side with window breakers. When there’s a task to complete, committed people find a way to prevail. A wise person assesses a situation and determines whether to circumvent an obstacle or smash through it. What situation are you struggling to push through and how will you prevail?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Inside Lighted Alleys




Now that we rolled our clocks back an hour, darkness descends as fast as a poorly pitched tent. I forget how dark the back roads get with only headlights guiding the way. Adding to the night’s mystery, we never know when or where wandering deer will decide to cross the road. On cloudy evenings, darkness surrounds us like a velvet cloak as our thoughts run wild with imagined dangers, like this:   

                                         https://youtu.be/RU8nalnppLk      

A few extra precautions will help us stay safe. For instance, trust your instincts, travel with the brightest light, and avoid roads leading to short cuts and back alleys where danger might lurk. By nature, most of us enjoy a good scare. It’s the potentially bad scares that worry us. What’s scaring you and how are you handling it?       

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Without A Doubt




When traveling on a familiar road, we think we know what conditions we’ll face. In the morning, we expect rush hour traffic to delay us, like I did earlier this week. Driving along a road congested with early rush hour traffic, I expected to encounter a long line of cars. Off to the left, about two cars ahead, I spotted an escape route. At that moment, the two cars in front of me made the left turn revealing an open road with the closest car was about twenty yards away. No rush hour traffic in sight. I jumped to conclusions based on what I believed, and so did these guys:

                                     https://youtu.be/BdFHCeszgCw



We’re quick to look at a situation, and make judgement calls without considering all sides, or even a few facts. If we spend a little time investigating—asking, the whens, hows, or whys—imagine what we might learn. When is the last time you jumped to a conclusion?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Remember the Time




The atmosphere feels wrong. With October over and the ghouls put away, we normally tumble headlong into holiday preparations. The stores responded on cue by selling everything we need to move forward, but given the 70-degree temperatures, things feel off-kilter. The weather suggests showers, flowers, and endless sunshine as if spring and summer are around the corner. Sea-saw temperatures leave us guessing about what tomorrow holds. Let’s hope it’s not this scenario:

                                         https://youtu.be/St1AqmmQ3Io

 We’re living in unprecedented times, breaking records on all fronts—in the weather, in the culture, and in our political climate. What unprecedented life event will you always remember?   

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Looking Back at You


Many of our quirkiest sayings crept into our vocabulary from our parents or grandparents, and few of us know the history of how the terms originated. After telling our kids to stop hemming and hawing, one of them said, “I’m not hawing.” I’m sure the context helped them understand the term, but the exchange prompted me to do a little research. The web indicates the term dates back to the 1700s. “Hemming” refers to clearing one’s throat, preparing to speak. “Hawing” means to hesitate, and together, they translate into stalling to avoid acting or responding. Since the concept is so old, stalling is not new.
 
Nothing we do lacks historical context. In school, one of our kids is studying the U.S. Constitution and other documents that helped form our nation. It’s surprising to see what we remember about the country’s beginnings. Take a look:
                                         https://youtu.be/03He5u9jHHc
People say that if we don’t know our history, we’re bound to repeat it—and not in a good way. No doubt, you’ve benefited from past. Which part of history makes you the best version of yourself?                

 

 

 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

What About Them?


Not all mammals go to heaven. Obviously, that’s only one opinion since some people believe they’ll see Fluffy or Fido in the afterlife. What about racoons or bears—will they be left out? It’s weird imagining everything on Noah’s ark, flying and running around heaven. But, it’s not too difficult to imagine monkeys lying beside tigers or birds hanging out with cats. They do it now. Somehow, they overcome their basic instincts, doing what “higher species” have a difficult time doing. Take a look:

                                      https://youtu.be/Mth49PbTbrY

 The key is exposure. The trio has been together since their early years, and there’s no reason to quit at this point. Unfortunately, people box themselves into categories, then erect walls to segment themselves even more. If a cat and bear can get along, surely, we can do as much. What people do you avoid, and how can you reach out to them now?      

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Where the Power Is




When is the last time anyone talked about “selling wolf tickets?” This is another old school word. I’m not a linguist, but here’s my definition. Selling wolf tickets refers to an assertive speech peppered with claims to back up the talk with potential resources, ability, or intent. For various reasons, the audience often believes the speaker lacks the credibility to support or follow through on their claims. Basically, the audience thinks the speaker is bluffing, trash-talking, or to use another term, talking smack. Listen to this:



                                         https://youtu.be/nOhZivlLvOo
Although the hand gestures look convincing, this is an example of what audiences hear when someone is selling wolf tickets. It’s usually a case of talking loud and saying nothing, but that’s not always true. In a friendly debate concerning a topic you’re passionate about, what “wolf tickets” could you sell because you possess the wisdom, power, or experience to support your claims?     

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Timeless Word


By now, you’ve probably heard the word. It’s turning up in all sorts of unexpected places, so imagine my surprise when the newscaster used it twice during the weather report. I’ve heard it before, but my mouth dropped open anyway because no one expects to hear that lingo during a weather forecast. Now, a Merriam-Webster tweet is circulating about potentially putting the word in the dictionary. 

“Jawn,” I’m learning, is a unique-to-Philly word. It’s an all-purpose noun. People still use it, and if you need to learn more about its origins, check Google. This word, like many, should only be used by those who know how.  

                                         https://youtu.be/fvTKo6YxOwE

That’s a funny concept, but it’ll encourage people to mangle the dialect. Remember how you laughed at your parents when they used teen lingo? Right on? Jawn, right on, shade, cooyan—when you don’t quite know how to use the word, leave it to the experienced. What word do you wish people knew how to use?    

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Who’s A Believer?


Maybe Sharknado wasn’t so far-fetched. No, actually it was. Each of the sequels rated higher on the outrageous scale, and a situation like the one in Mexico might have initiated the whole thing. This week, townspeople in Tamaulipas reported how it rained fish. Scientists backed up their story, admitting that this phenomenon has happened in the past. A waterspout catches fish up in the air, blows onshore, and shocks everyone by depositing fish onto roadways in town. Compare this story to Sharknado:       

                                         https://youtu.be/JSHYNfb5Ppw

As unbelievable as Sharknado looked, raining fish is a real thing. Given the amount of fake news flying around, it’s difficult to tell what’s true and what’s not. Sometimes we rely on experts or scientist to convince us of the truth, other times it’s friends and Facebook. How do we decide what’s true? What’s the most incredible, true story you’ve heard lately?      


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Inside You


Manufacturers realize if their product is great, people will flock to it. That’s probably why  many people bought the same vehicle that we did. While that’s good for the for company, it’s not as wonderful for us because we keep encountering the same situation.

One day, after leaving the store, we headed toward our van in the parking lot. I unlocked the vehicle and all three of us tugged at the handle of a different door. For some reason, not one door opened. Peering inside the vehicle make everything crystal clear—it wasn’t our van. To make the situation even more ridiculous, as we hurried away from a stranger’s car, my one child yelled, “Abort, abort” as if we had failed at some wicked master plan. Any two or more things that look the same on the outside can be surprisingly different on the inside. Take a look:



                                     https://youtu.be/3UNMdZLXj6Y

Three-year-olds may appear similar in size, but after a few conversations with one, you’ll understand how different they can be, especially with someone like Alexis. We often make snap judgments about people, putting them in the boxes we think they should inhabit until we dig a little deeper to discover who they are and what they think. During ordinary conversations, what surprising detail might someone learn about you?    

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Do Something Different


Few adults would pass up an opportunity for a good catnap or a restful night’s sleep. I’m always interested in both, so my odd-story-antennae perked up when I spotted an article about a man who lived to age ninety-six—and never slept. Born in the 1800’s, Albert Herpin shunned the circus exhibition circuit to hold a job and lead an uneventful and somewhat isolated life. It’s a remarkable story, but I need more facts to believe it because doctors never stated that Herpin didn’t sleep with his eyes open. Getting to the truth can be difficult. See if you believe this:



                                                https://youtu.be/bsL7u8qosTM

Humans are incredible creatures. Most of us function the same, but every so often we discover someone who can’t sleep, can’t wake up, or does astonishing things while hovering somewhere in between. What if everyone lived ordinary lives during the day and became superheroes, accomplished artists, or someone extraordinary at night? Maybe it’s possible to live an extraordinary life during the day. What’s the easiest way for you to become out-of-this-world awesome?         


Herpin story appeared in Courier Post & Weird NJ Magazine

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Your True Colors



Black clothing never goes out of style, but every year there’s another color to fill in the popular saying (blank) is the new black. According to fashion experts, red is the trending color for this fall. I don’t know how they pick the season’s top color, but they manage to convince us that we’re of date unless we fill our closets with whatever color the “experts” choose.

Situations used to be either black or white back when we thought we knew who we were, what we believed in, and how to navigate the world. As social issues become grayer, it’s important to pause and reconsider what we see and believe. Take look:

                                         https://youtu.be/2Lyc6DJ69To

If the current culture leaves you baffled or confused, revisit your core beliefs. When you look in the mirror, how do your true colors translate into your motto for living?    


Saturday, September 2, 2017

What the Other Side Sees



The word “mush” used to remind me of either overcooked foods or an arctic dog sled, but now I associate it with another image. This week, I spotted a large man wearing skates, rolling along while two small dogs pulled him down the street. To top it off, he flicked the leash to keep the dogs moving. I’ve seen people exercise their dogs while riding a bike, but an arctic dog sled scene in the neighborhood is a different story. Expect to encounter anything on the street, even something like this:

                                         https://youtu.be/1K5SycZjGhI

 Our perspectives develop from upbringing, environment, and experiences. Labeling something “different” simply means it’s not your normal. What different perspective are you struggling to understand?


Saturday, August 26, 2017

To Straddle or Not to Straddle 


Driving down the road, we watched a truck weave across two lanes. Before we decided whether the driver planned to keep swerving or stick to one lane, he turned off at an exit. We usually create hazardous situations for ourselves and others by shifting between the good and the bad. Imagine the gangster who buys groceries and toys for neighbors while also engaging in illicit activities. Questionable behavior undermines our best intentions and sabotages our overall objectives. Listen to this:

                                         https://youtu.be/-gNgmBBSudA

Consider the facts, including the “help,” and the financial donation. The video demonstrates how we’re masters at straddling lanes, doing whatever serves our needs. Think about how you straddle different identities. Which one best reflects you? Would other people agree?       


Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Glorious View


We’re poised to witness a phenomenal cosmic event soon, and it’s astonishing how scientists predicted this eclipse decades ago. I saw a tape from the 1960s featuring a newscaster telling viewers to look forward to the next eclipse in 2017. Back then, it must have seemed like forever. Fast forward decades later, and we’re waiting to see it again. While we go about our business down here, there’s a lot up there to consider. For instance, watch this:      

                                         https://youtu.be/1Eh5BpSnBBw

While people advise us not to sweat the small stuff, only you can decide what’s a small or significant part of the big picture. What’s making you anxious? Are you putting it in the right perspective?


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Stranger Things


Keep your eyes open, and you’ll spot the strangest sights alongside the road. It’s not unusual to see people pausing to change a tire, closing the gas tank door, fastening the trunk, or switching drivers, but I saw a more unusual scene. I spotted a guy standing beside his car applying deodorant. Granted, maybe he forgot to do it that morning, or maybe he felt he needed a second application, but admit it, it’s not your everyday scene. See if these scenes look familiar: 

                                         https://youtu.be/QREokgDQ5g4



Be ready for anything because anything could be right down the road. As soon as we think we’ve seen everything, something new pops up. What things have you seen that make you reevaluate your strongest opinions?      

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Designated Survivor?


I dislike flies, especially when they’re inside our house. Few things are more annoying than chasing those little critters while they zip from one room to another. They gravitate to the windows trying to find a way out, but that only makes them easier to swat. I expect to find them flying around the kitchen searching for crumbs, but once they migrate to bedrooms I declare war. 



This week a fly had the guts to visit the bedroom and then sat on the bathroom sink alongside the soap. I lump soap and food together as the most unsettling places a fly can land. You never know what type of disgusting germs a fly will bring from its last adventure. In short, the fly that entered our house is…gone. It should have stayed with its buddies, like this explorer.

                                         https://youtu.be/iSnotDc9JIw



Did you feel like a wandering fly, heading toward the light, yet unsure if you’ll reach safety? Drifting off the main trail quickly causes disorientation and trouble, but our adventurous natures usually win out and we wander away anyhow. What kind of groups or people will prevent you from wandering into messy situations?                 


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

No Promises?


If someone makes you a promise, you expect them to keep it—that’s the hallmark of a promise. It’s your guarantee that a specific event will or won’t occur. Promise fulfillment depends on surrounding issues and the abilities of the person who makes the promise. Despite our best intentions, uncontrollable situations often prevent us from keeping them. Watch how this ends:

                                     https://youtu.be/YTfhaCOgzVQ

Smart girl. She knew her limitations. Most promises involve a high degree of serious intensity. We usually make them at important events like in front of before wedding officials or judges at swearing-in ceremonies. Unfortunately, based on the success rate of marriages and the current political news, some of those promises are difficult to keep. Whose promises do you trust?      

Monday, July 24, 2017

Naughty or Nice?


Based on our entertainment choices, it’s clear we’re preoccupied with monsters. One TV show features weird parasites that make us sick by invading our bodies. We watch movies about creatures assembled from dead body parts, and how under certain circumstances, we might be hiding a maniacal personality or even unleash our inner wolf. Then, underscoring everything, I spotted a decal on a car window that said, “vampire inside.” What does that mean?



Half the population believes people are basically good, while the other half thinks humans are predisposed to naughty behavior. Try to reconcile what you hear with what you see here:

                                         https://youtu.be/h8wVitdTRcQ

Who taught him that? The evidence is obvious—or not. In your opinion, are humans naturally good or naughty? What’s your proof?



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Peaceful Power

I’m a pseudo-meteorologist. You probably don’t hear that confession very often.  My mother said that, as a child, I always asked about the weather conditions. At my house, my husband or kids seem to think I have the inside scoop on the weather. Almost daily one of them asks, “What’s the weather today?” and “How hot is it going to be?” Maybe it’s because they catch me listening to the forecast about twice a day, and more often when a big storm is predicted. I just like to be prepared for whatever comes.


Although I dread getting caught in bad weather, that’s exactly what happened last week. Driving home, a curtain of wind and rain slammed across the windshield. I don’t usually pull over during storms but the blinding rain obscured everything. I couldn’t see and I couldn’t pull over. The curvy road offered no shoulder for the faint – hearted. Fortunately only small branches littered the street and nothing fell into my path. After the storm, numerous split tree trunks testified to the storm’s strength.
A tornado‘s power is amazing, and one videographer managed to capture beauty amidst chaos. Take a look:
                                         https://youtu.be/Crpit2DNtw4
Despite a tornado’s massive size and destructive power, it can also create a majestic and tranquil scene. When you find yourself caught up in life’s storms, how do you reclaim peace? 

Modified from August 2011

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sketch of You


  

Once you’re familiar with someone, it’s easy to describe their eye color, their laugh, their funny habits, and their best traits. After recently receiving a loved one’s boxed ashes, the remains failed to convey anything about their owner. Our most important characteristics are captured in photos and conversations, tucked away in our hearts and minds. First impression don’t always provide authentic sketches of people—but sometimes they do. Check out these assessments:

                                
                                         https://youtu.be/PT2ZkeiTxUs

The harder we work to create a positive first impression, the further we get from making one. In initial meetings, be yourself and you’ll connect with the right folks, but not everyone will see the real you and—have a seat for this part—not everyone will like or appreciate what they see. What’s the first impression you want people to form of you?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Eyes Wide Open

You’ve heard of tasks being easy enough to do with your eyes closed. That’s true for knitting or folding clothes, but for other activities, keep your eyes wide open. For instance, when walking on a treadmill at the gym, the repetitive motion of putting one foot in front of the other can lull you into a daze. You might even feel comfortable enough to close your eyes for a few seconds. Don’t do it! Believe me, you  want to keep your hands on the treadmill’s handrails and your eyes wide open. Here’s what could happen when you close your eyes:    

                                         https://youtu.be/dYcvLw_jkkk

There’s a big difference between thinking you’re on the right path and actually being on the right path. This is true for many aspects of life. Once we close our eyes, we’re liable to end up in an unexpected place. If you’ve ever closed your eyes to a situation, what was the outcome?   

Saturday, June 24, 2017

That’s What You Like?


One of our kids dislikes vegetables. This week, I heard a surprising comment about a particular fruit, one that we’ve been buying for years. Apparently, now blueberries are the enemy. In fact, our vegetable-intolerant child called them “sweet peas.” Nice. No wonder we have seven boxes of blueberries in the fridge. I’m hoping fruit preferences change soon, but in the meantime, we’d better find a few blueberry recipes. Whatever we dislike today could very well become our favorite thing tomorrow. One day, these guys may grow to love this:    

                                     https://youtu.be/O0pPIo-ksS0

Some of these items were foreign to me, too, but refer to last week’s blog post for my overall perspective. It takes time to adapt to new tastes, and as time passes, our preferences change. Think about something you dislike. Can you see yourself growing to like and appreciate it in the future?  


Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Secret Life



I enjoy most international foods, but I love Indian food. Whenever we visit an Indian restaurant or get take-out, I get a little euphoric inhaling the curry and cumin  seasonings. Anticipating the delicious flavors turns my eyes into swirly spirals like a animated character. Bet you didn’t know Indian food brought that kind of joy.  

Look closely and you’ll find joyful moments in unexpected places. We look for it in major events, but it’s often found in life’s small spaces. Try to appreciate little moments, like this one:

                                         https://youtu.be/2oZhH4ifqDo

We think we need a lot of money and resources to be happy. Not true. We just have to appreciate the special moments that come our way every day. What’s the one joy-filled moment that cost you nothing?     




Sunday, June 4, 2017

One Day at a Time



Once we think we understand a situation is the moment the surprising, true facts emerge.  As the school year draws to a quick close, one of our kids commented how time flew and that school should continue for at least another month. What? By June, most students, parents, and teachers yearn for the end of the long routine. Throughout the year, our child complains about studying and school-related inconveniences that interrupt web-surfing and other important activities, so it was bewildering to hear a call for more school days. Time is a peculiar thing, and our perspective of it changes depending on who (or what) we are and where we stand. Have a listen:       



                                         https://youtu.be/Bc-YpWBxsHU

No wonder flies escape us so easily and so often. Imagine how life would change if we perceived time differently. Even now, dangerous close calls demonstrate how our reaction times can make the difference between life and death. What situation is moving too fast for you right now, and what would you do now if you knew you would run out of time this week?     

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Say You'll Let Go


One of the most annoying things while driving on a rainy day is encountering a wall of water from the opposite lane that temporarily obstructs your view. The number of down pours we’re getting makes it feel like we’re moving backwards, a redo. Here we come, April! Scientist haven’t succeeded in traveling to the past, but consider this idea:

                                         https://youtu.be/CFWmqMvr3bc

 These experiments require careful thought. It’s an intriguing concept, but have we learned nothing from Jurassic Park? Besides, our global warming situation doesn’t support their living conditions. Some people celebrate the past, hearkening back to the good ole days, and missing things from long ago. What do you miss about the past, but more importantly, why?  


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Something Almost Like This


On Mother’s Day, I spotted an interesting sight on a busy road. A superhero, decked out in a yellow and red costume and mask, high-tailed it uphill on a bicycle. I’m sure he was hurrying off to visit his mother because superheroes always do the right thing. Everybody loves heroes. In these unconventional times, we need more superheroes to watch over folks and rescue them from their troubles. Watch what this designer does:

                                     https://youtu.be/Cl8ijPGEKO8

 Given the right opportunity, regular people can be amazing. Heroes are the humble souls who do what’s necessary at the perfect, critical moment. Superheroes are uniquely equipped with special powers, who wait for the chance to step into our chaotic situations. If you needed saving, what power would you want your superhero to possess?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

That's What You Want?




The other day someone said to me, “in my time zone…,” which sounded puzzling since we live in the same neighborhood. Basically, they meant to say, “according to my clock” because they set it fifteen minutes fast. Lots of people do that. If those people joined together, they might try to establish a new time zone, a subcategory within the Eastern Standard zone. It feels like we’re moving in that direction. Believe and do whatever you want. The current climate says if it’s okay with me, it should be fine with you. See how you feel about this:



                                     https://youtu.be/WtewmJ78hzw



We’re faced with tons of issues and just as many solutions. Some ideas will work, but other ones will waste our time, generating pointless arguments and dead-end alleys. How do you avoid conflict when someone else's opinion differs from your viewpoint?   

Saturday, May 6, 2017

What Are You Listening To?   




Some sounds make us pause and reflect. Growing up, I often heard a train’s whistle in the wee hours of the night. It always had a melancholy, Midnight-Train-to-Georgia feeling, echoing a traveler’s reluctant good-bye. Earlier this week, I heard the train whistle from the neighborhood station and got that melancholy feeling again. As if there aren’t enough sounds here, there’s this:

                   
                                     https://youtu.be/k3eNVD_h5b0



We spend tons of time and money trying to understand what’s happening in other places, especially in space. Most alien movies feature space creatures bent on destroying us and taking over Earth. While Hollywood urges us locate and crush hostile outer space creatures, scientists continue looking skyward, wondering if we’re all alone. Do you think we’re alone in the universe?  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Not Going There




Earlier this week, while driving my normal route, I found the main ramp to the highway closed for repairs. Trusting GPS to get back on track, I followed the directions and found myself in the shady side of town. But, after a few turns, I was back to familiar territory.  Getting sidetracked can be annoying or worse since there’s always the opportunity for adventure or dangers. Take a look at this:


                                     https://youtu.be/jXil9P1xqKI

Have you wondered what could happen in this kind of situation? The agency puts layers of precautions in place for protection, but if anyone fails to follow directions, a “floater’s” fate isn’t pretty.  

We all need safety measures in place for when we feel off track. Rescue missions come in all forms. If you began floating from your normal routines, heading in a dangerous direction, what type of rescue mission would put you back on course?


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sign of the Times


When it’s time to wake up, some people drink coffee, others might drink coke. While driving behind a garbage truck early one morning, the vehicle’s rear lights flashed brightly enough to trigger seizures. That woke me up. It seemed like overkill because it wasn’t nighttime, the truck wasn’t pausing, and given their enormous size, no one’s going to overlook them on the road. A jolt to the system will usually revive you. See if this wakes you up:

                                         https://youtu.be/P1cVjsSyCso 


We’re in the midst of many new technologies and advances. They’re popping up so fast it’s difficult to keep up or even debate their long-term implications before they’re put into practice. Anything created for good has the potential to do harm. What issue have you been sleeping on, but realize it’s time to wake up and take action?                       

Friday, April 14, 2017

Breaking the Box


You know it’s spring when your lowered car window allows you to enjoy music from  cars in the next lane. This week, while driving through the city, I heard what sounded like Rap music drifting from the vehicle. What was the driver’s ethnicity? Right. An Asian man. How old was the driver? Right. About thirty years old. What kind of car did he drive? Right. A Lexus. Maybe you missed most of those answers. I usually picture middle-aged people owning luxury cars. We can easily stick people in boxes if we  guess who they are or assume we know their preferences based on our predispositions. See if this surprises you:   

                                     https://youtu.be/ZvNwCRujeFc

 It surprised and entertained me. If we assume a Catholic person is going to behave in a particular way, then we’re limiting our thoughts, and maybe our treatment, of them. Have you ever been prejudged? Try to fill in this sentence: Just because I _________, doesn’t mean I _______________. Have you ever prejudged someone else? What mischaracterization have you made, but will avoid in the future?     

Saturday, April 8, 2017

It's Water Under the Bridge


We enjoyed incredible weather earlier this week. Although forecasters predicted terrible rain and thunderstorms, we saw morning clouds, followed by beautiful sunshine. What if every day could end that way? Last week, an invisible, unexplained bubble of protection kept my friend dry as the sound of pelting rain echoed throughout a parking lot. It’s always wonderful experience to feel protected in the middle of a storm. Imagine living here:


                                     https://youtu.be/jxsSBHTFk3w   
These days we never know when an unprecedented storm will blow though, flooding, toppling, and disrupting the important pieces of our lives. It pays to find the best possible protection for housing, insurance, health, and every aspect of life. What’s your best advice for weathering life’s storms?          




Friday, March 31, 2017

Savor This Moment




Driving through the city, I spotted a peculiar sight as I waited at a stop light. An elderly, well-dressed man carrying a bag and a walking cane ambled down the street. Nothing about his appearance drew attention, except that he was walking backward. Fortunately, the light stayed red long enough for me to watch the gentleman walk a few yards, pause, face forward, and resume his journey. Why would someone do this on a major street? Maybe his knees felt better when he walked that way, or he was making a statement, like this guy:
                                         https://youtu.be/pWe7NbITHnQ  

Sometimes reexperiencing the past helps us reclaim the present. The father in the video may want to ignore GPS, but getting lost is only amusing once or twice. Given the typical Google search requests and the fact that our family owned a set of 1960 encyclopedias, I can tell you those books won’t answer many of today’s questions, unless you’re a fan of history. Bravo for the father’s attempts to savor family time, but at some point, he’s going to want to face facts: addictive technology is here to stay. Progress means appreciating the good parts and managing the bad ones. What good part of life will you savor today?      

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Giving up the Blame Game


A flashback favorite...
Several years ago, a wealthy man promised a class of impoverished students free college tuition once they graduated from high school.  You probably think this deal was “money in the bank” for those students—problems solved.   Not really.  A majority of the scholarships went unused.  I was shocked by that, but I think it shows that money doesn’t solve every problem.  Apparently, certain obstacles in the students’ lives were just too large to overcome. 

This situation reminded me of the book I just finished.  It’s a riveting memoir about a dysfunctional family whose children still grew up to live relatively normal lives.  Check out the book video that features the author and her story:
                                         https://youtu.be/lW0XVno-0gM
 I often wonder why some kids make it through difficult circumstances and others flounder.  Despite her shocking childhood poverty, Ms. Walls (from the book video) had one crucial thing going for her—encouragement.  Although her father made her manage through edgy situations, she often heard him say, “I knew you could do it!”  They shared a connection and the various family members seemed to love one another. 

While I think that we live in the world’s greatest country, I believe we can do a better job of preparing our young people for the future.  What’s the most important trait, quality or skill we need to instill in the next generation?