Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
1. Don't fall asleep. Yes, people make fun of you. No, no one is going to wake you at your stop. And yes, drooling does kill your credibility.
2. Don't talk politics. If you really had an interesting take to share publicly, you'd be on the radio. No matter what point you have, no matter how good you articulate it, 1/2 the bus will think your wrong, and the other half will think you're right for the wrong reason. You can't win, move on to something else. If you can't think of anything else, get off the bus and run for office.
3. Don't eat unless you have plenty to share. Just a carry over from kindergarten and plain good policy.
Monday, July 16, 2007
It's not like it's the first time, nor will it be the only time or the last time (I hope), but tonight I get to spend an evening at the ball park with my boys.
I recall all too well the games I attended while a boy. I remember the ballpark, the players, everything. Going to a baseball game was magical, in that we didn't go all the time and it was something I shared with my mom and dad.
In Salt Lake, we have The Bees. They are not Major League and have nothing to do with our team the A's, but they are a AAA team and are the affiliate of the Anaheim Angels. But what do we care, this is baseball. There will be pitches thrown, balls hit, runs scored, and about one million questions asked and hopefully answered and even more hopefully, answered correctly.
Who knows what tonight will bring. We might even have a chance to at a home run or foul ball. Or see a player that becomes a star. Maybe share a memory that lasts a lifetime.
I find myself watching the clock and getting excited as the hour approaches. I might be working myself up too much. It's all good. Baseball is on tonight and the best line-up I will ever see, is the one that will be following me into the stadium.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
I was introduced to the existence of Paul Potts yesterday. Paul Potts had been introduced to his own existence just shortly before that.
Paul Potts was a man, like many, who was dredging his way through life, day by day, half aware of a talent that lodged up inside of him. Within him, Paul Potts had the ability to sing as well as any other human being that can sing yet on the outside he was a cellular phone salesman, lacking confidence, lacking opportunity, lacking the awareness of the ability to shine.
His voice had escaped its solitary confinement in a few instances: for Paul's own personal escape from the rigors and harshness of life, for Paul's wife who believed and supported a quiet scarcely-possible dream of making people happy with his voice, and an occasional lesson and failed audition. Along came reality TV.
In a suit even I knew was bad, looking nervous, scared, and yet quietly determined, Paul Potts announced he was to sing opera on a stage filled with low to no expectations, in a show filled with others making absolute fools of themselves, with judges and an audience set to laugh, ridicule, and exploit weakness. The music started, the audience and judges prepared themselves for their assault and then amidst the quiet intro music, Paul Potts shocked the world. Out of this funny looking man, came a beauty no one could deny or resist and he sang his way into the soul of thousands.
Under the lights of the studio, in front of God, his angels, a studio and television audience, Paul Potts, in a fearless moment, let his light shine. He sang as if oblivious to the possibility of doing wrong, fearless to failure, and courageous to the opportunity of one last go at it. Most, like me, could not tell you very much about opera but most, like me, knew what we were hearing was fantastic. We were not hearing a man sing, we were feeling a man's music.
His song filled the otherwise void of the studio. A television audience awaiting scorn and ridicule was moved instantly. The suit became unnoticeable, the bad teeth that had once been so embarrassing that he withheld his singing disappeared, and the stage became filled by a man who suddenly seemed too big for it. Paul Potts walked out of obscurity and became a name, a feeling, an inspiration to millions.
Unassuming would be one way to describe his reaction. Humble would be another. I would say it was the most refreshing, the most awesome and the most heartfelt thing I have experienced for some time. Paul Potts. I think he knew he enjoyed his voice, but I doubt he knew how much it could fill others.
The formal opera world now waits for Paul Potts. There are some all ready to pounce on the untrained man from Pop culture that thinks he can sing. There are some who await the opportunity to expose the wannabe. I think they will find themselves disappointed. Paul Potts comes not with his audience out of sympathy, not out of some wishful thinking, but Paul Potts comes with his built-in audience because he moved us. He brought to many that rare experience of feeling the music, of not understanding the strings within that he was pulling but feeling them pulled, and of witnessing a miracle before our eyes. Paul Potts, with his voice, opens a conduit into the soul and human existence that most did not know existed. He brought hope to many, extracted cheers from most, and provided joy to all that heard him.
Thank God for people like Paul Potts.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I was one of the millions of people who paid their money to see the new Harry Potter movie. We did not catch the midnight showing, but we did catch the first morning show at 8:45 yesterday morning. I was not alone. I had my family with me, more to the point, I was with them. We, of course, we not alone either, as there were many, many people there to also catch the first showing.
I find it amazing that so many people are caught up in the story and I wonder what it is. You see, I am one of the few who do not get it. I always feel like I'm on the outside of an inside joke.
I do not read the books. I have no problem with them other than I cannot get interested. I tried to read the books aloud at one point. I thought it would be a good opportunity to exercise my speaking voice, but I could not stay awake reading. I fall to sleep often while reading, which is not strange, what is strange was falling asleep while reading aloud. It’s quite embarrassing to be awaken by angry young children because you starting snoring during the best part. I do this in movies as well, but they can continue to watch without me. It was not so easily managed when I am the reader.
As I said, I never understood the fascination with Harry Potter and I don’t completely get the die hard following. But I do get that the story was not written for me. I understand my kids liking it. My parents- I do not get. My co-workers- I do not get. The critiques saying it might not be for small children- I do not get.
Maybe it’s because I am a “muggle” and I realize it. Maybe it’s because my shoes are on too tight and my heart is 2 sizes too small. In any case, I enjoyed the scenes of the movie. I enjoyed the looks on the faces of my kids, before, during and after, and I relish the conversations we will all share now discussing this last movie, the tweener book already published and the one forthcoming. I don’t get the hoopla, but I do get the opportunity to be part of my kids’ imagination!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
We just got back from camping. Have you ever tried to start a fire? Have you been in charge of maintaining the fire? You work and work to get the kindling just right, the tender situated just so, and then have to baby this little fire along until it can burn grown-up wood and then...it topples over and goes out.
I can have a fire going for an hour, poke it with a stick a couple of times and it's out! Yet get two kids and a couple of firecrackers and next you'll have hundreds of firefighters, a couple of helicopters, and about a million dollars to put it out. What they should do is just hire me. I'll just poke with a stick a couple of times and it'll be out in no time!
If it's really a big fire, just line up a couple of hungry campers who are desperate for fire for cooking, ask them to maintain it...the fire won't stand a chance!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Within the speech, I found a nugget of wisdom that I agree with completely. It was my hope to share it with my readers. And here it is:
Life does not go to the gifted. Life goes to the people who see life. If there's an enigma that has always baffled me, it's this one: The smart get smarter. The rich get richer. The motivated get more motivated. The strong get stronger. Isn't that a strange enigma? You would think the laws of justice in the Universe would go the other way! That the dumb would get smarter, that the weak would get stronger. But there's a fundamental law of life and let me tell you what it is. The more motivated you become, the more you want motivation and the more you look for it. The smarter you become the more you are able to become smarter, to co-relate, to associate, to think. When you get strong, you get in shape so you can get stronger, so you can run farther, so you can get stronger.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Saturday, July 07, 2007
The saying is, "There is more than one way to skin a cat", apparently there is also more than one way to cool a cat.
Koko decided that, this morning, the sink was the place to cool himself down amidst yet another 100+ degree day.
A little freaky, but effective.
Friday, July 06, 2007
I have been accused of being a maverick of my own, of marching to the beat of a different drum. I guess in some ways it is true. I have always said, however, if you have to declare yourself a maverick or a rebel, you are most likely not one. You are just doing the opposite of what everyone expects, which is still the same as doing what everyone expects, just a carbon copy. Many self-proclaimed rogues are exactly that.
But the title above hits it right on the money. True mavericks do not what they do for attention, for glory, or even for celebrity; true rebels just hear and dance to different music. I cannot tell you why some things that are normal to others, such as being happy in a regular 8-5 job, are repulsive to me. Or why when others like social functions and I find them annoying. Or why people feel close to others because they share the same last name, and I feel closeness and fondness must be earned and maintained and not a birthright or duty. I cannot tell you where feelings such as these derive, but I can tell you they are not made up.
The music that I hear is a music not everyone else hears and so to me, everyone else looks mad. I also realize that I do not hear the music of the masses, and therefore, in the opinion of the masses, I am the one who is mad. But until I hear a different music, I must dance to the beat that is given.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
When you can be your own leader, when you can rely on your own standards to achieve greatness, when your success no longer depends on others, you have arrived!
Self Leadership- The ability to get yourself to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, whether you fell like it or not, and still do it well"- Jim Cathcart
Self Leadership. You either have or you do not. If you do, you agree. If you do not have it, try it and you will.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.