Sunday, January 29, 2017

Housekeeping Blues

January 28, 2017

A city on a hill can be seen for miles.

So can a single crumb on my countertop.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Missed Comments?

January 27, 2017

I’ve heard a couple of times from someone who said she left a comment on a blog post, but the comment hasn’t shown up on the blog site so that I can publish it.

If you’ve left a comment and I haven’t published it, that’s probably why. Don’t think I just dismissed it—I probably just didn’t get it. Sorry.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Don't Ruin the Story Line with Consistency

January 22, 2017

If “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”, Ralph Waldo Emerson would have loved TV writers.

Sherlock’s parents went from being sweet country folk in Season 3 to abusive nobs in the Season 4 finale. Quite a change.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Bring God Problems, Not Solutions

January 18, 2017

Have you ever said, “Please, God, get this slowpoke out of the way so I can get to work on time?”

And the slowpoke leaves, but something else comes up and you’re still late?

So often when we pray, we tell God how we want things to go, instead of just telling Him what’s bugging us.

So what’s really bugging us?

“I don’t want to be late.”
“My best friend hurt my feelings.”
“I hurt somebody’s feelings, and I don’t know how to fix it.”
“I don’t think I’m really doing the most with the talents you gave me.”
“My medical bills are getting out of control.”

The thing is, there may be lots of ways to fix a problem. If you focus on one way, you may not pay attention to the other ways that present themselves.

And sometimes you don’t think there is a solution. And maybe there isn’t; maybe there are only coping strategies, or maybe you have to just give up and go in another direction.

Sometimes solutions happen step by tiny step; and you may not even realize a problem is getting solved until you’re halfway there.

And maybe this method won’t work for everybody. But I’ve found out that if I just bring God the problem and not the solution (exception: I’d still like to win the lottery), things actually go much better.

Chump Change

January 21, 2017

Must be nice to have so much money that you forget about $100 million in a Cayman Islands account.

Sad that the guy who can’t keep track of his money is being tapped as Secretary of the Treasury.

Like Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury from 2009-2013, who called his failure to pay $34,000 in taxes a careless mistake.

If they can’t keep track of their own money, why are we trusting them to deal with the money of an entire nation?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Whom Are They Trying to Protect?

January 18, 2017

Last January I said that tweeting is like a puzzle; it makes you work to put a clear thought in only a few characters. A friend suggested I try Twitter, but I don’t feel up to it. So I  thought I’d try a few here about some issues here in MO.

1. Eric Greitens elected governor of Missouri by promising to protect gun rights; first act is to ban guns from State Capitol

2. Legislators who made laws allowing anyone with a pulse to carry a concealed weapon, and who are trying to force colleges to allow guns on campuses, are the only ones allowed to carry guns in the State Capitol. (OK, that one’s a little too long for Twitter.)

3. MO legislator offers to lend guns to citizens who aren’t allowed to bring theirs into State Capitol building

4. Wife of gun-rights defender Greitens held up at gunpoint, fortunately not hurt

5. Citizens outraged that St. Louis has the highest violent crime rate in US should go live in Capitol building in Jeff City where it's safe

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

He's Taking the Easy Shot

January 17, 2017

Eric Greitens, Missouri’s new governor, is coming in with guns blazing. The man whose campaign ads featured him firing rifles vowed to cut the state budget, and he’s starting with the easy target: Higher Education.

I give Greitens points for not allowing public funding to be used for the proposed soccer stadium; but surely there are other items in the budget that could bear scrutiny as well. Instead of actually studying the budget and reducing waste, he simply picked Higher Education as the default budget-slash item.

Governor, you’re a Rhodes scholar. You of all people know the value of education. Stop firing from the hip and use your head. 

January 18

Now that I’m taking the Twitter challenge, here’s what this post would look like if I tweeted it:

Rhodes scholar elected governor of Missouri, immediately cuts funding to Higher Education.

Just Like HAL

January 17, 2017

I opened a music app that promises to play whatever songs you like, and let you build a playlist.

So I asked for “The Holly and the Ivy” (this was in December), and it played another song; and it said, “Why we aren’t playing ‘The Holly and the Ivy’” or something like that. Seems they wanted me to get exposed to some similar music first. I guess they figured they know what’s good for me.

It reminded me of HAL in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” (For those of you who don’t remember, the astronaut gives the computer a command, and it answers, “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.”)

And somebody invited me via Facebook to follow her on Instagram, so I hit the icon to follow her via Facebook; it proceeded to spin aimlessly until I gave up and gave it my e-mail address instead.

And people wonder why I’m a technophobe.

Don't Distract Me, I'm Reading

January 16, 2017

When I got into my rental car the other day I noticed that the radio display was showing ads. Tickets are on sale for some event or other; and if you buy 3 tires at some place you can get a fourth one free (assuming you’re not reading these ads while driving, and live long enough to take advantage of them). Phone numbers are included (which I think might reduce your chances).

This display wasn’t even on the dash—you’d have to look down and to the right (presumably to see which radio station, song, or artist was playing, because of course you need to know that while you’re driving).

With the proven dangers of distracted driving, you’d think that automakers would know better. But no—in addition to the displays that will tell you your miles per gallon, the outside temperature, and all kinds of other superfluous information, they’re giving you phone numbers to read, and dial, while in the car.

Once lawmakers have eliminated texting or talking on the phone while driving (har!), maybe they can strongly encourage automakers to stop contributing to the problem.

By the way, the reason I was driving a rental car was that I was rear-ended FOR THE THIRD TIME IN 14 MONTHS.

Any guesses on why that keeps happening?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Here's a Toast to Dear Old Penn

January 13, 2017

I went to a college alumni event last night. As always, I’m amazed at how down-to-earth Penn graduates are. On TV and in the movies, Ivy Leaguers are portrayed as condescending jerks—to the point where I was nervous about going to my first alumni event, even though the people I went to Penn with were completely non-jerky.

So—I don’t know about the other Ivy schools, but Penn—I’m pretty impressed that you let regular folks in, and that your graduates are genuine, approachable people. Keep up the good work.

(The title of the post is a line from a Penn song.)

So THAT'S What It Looks Like!

January 13, 2017

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “a look of unholy glee” and wondered what it looked like, watch Cary Grant’s face in “The Awful Truth” during the scene where Irene Dunne and Ralph Bellamy are dancing.

It’s about 30 minutes in. But watch the whole movie—it’s HI-larious.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Do the Math on Winter Driving

January 12, 2016

Weather is bad and driving conditions are horrible all over the country.

I’m lucky enough to work with someone who says, “If the roads are bad, stay home!” A lot of people aren’t.

But if you do have a choice, and you’re just worried about losing a day’s pay, think about it:

If your deductible costs more than what you’d make for the day,

Stay home.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Did He Really Stop to Tweet?

January 6, 2017

Ari Fleischer tweeted, “I’m at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Shots have been fired. Everyone is running.”

Did he stop to tweet, or was he a safe distance away?