Thursday, August 30, 2007

Global Conclusions

A recent blog by Eric the Family Guy has inspired me to complete my trilogy about global warming. So here it is:

After looking at and thinking about both sides of the issue, my general conclusions are as follows:
  • Changes in the overall climate of the Earth naturally occur in a cyclical fashion, fluctuating in both directions - warm and cool (1).

  • Humans are having some affect on the Earth. Between burning fuel and removing foliage that would otherwise produce Oxygen and remove CO2, it's hard to argue that we aren't. While I think man is contributing to the temperature fluctuation, I don't think that it is significant. And certainly not devastating.

  • Even if the temperature is increasing slightly, that doesn't mean all of the affects of it are catastrophic, or even all negative for that matter (2).

  • Don't believe everything you read, or all of the movies that come out, or all of the politicians spewing their hot air while they do little or nothing themselves (Al Gore is far from alone on this). There are plenty of impressively reputable people that disagree with whatever paper/movie/politician you are reading/seeing/listening to. Heck, even allies of the same cause can disagree with each other about various climate claims and solutions. For example, the recent climate-themed movie by Leonardo DiCaprio (The 11th Hour) is being passionately disputed - by a Greenpeace co-founder (3)!
  • The pastor from a church I used to attend in Florida (Northland Community Church) summarized it well by saying "Wherever you stand on the issue, as a Christian our job remains the same - to take care of the Earth."
To sum it up, we should do our best to be good stewards of the planet that God has given us. But DON'T PANIC! Ultimately God is sovereign and in control.

(1) Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says.
(2) Global Warming Benefits May Exceed Risks.
(3) An Inconvenient Fact

Friday, August 24, 2007

Inappropriate, Unsanitary, or Just a Personal Peeve?

For some reason, I have always found it annoying and a little gross when people cut their nails in public places.

This realization became evident when I would periodically see men in the locker room at Bally's gym, sitting there on the bench and cutting their toe nails, letting their clipped fragments fall to the tile floor.

In my workplace, over the cubicle walls I occasionally hear nail clippers taking care of their business. It even comes from different directions, so obviously numerous individuals think that this is acceptable. Granted, I'm sure they aren't clipping their toe nails, but for some reason it still strikes me as something that should be done in the privacy of one's own home or bathroom.

Giving it further thought, I think it would also annoy me if someone were using an electric shaver on their face while in their cubicle too. Or flossing their teeth. Maybe all things that entail personal preening in public annoy me. Or maybe it's any personal preening that drops pieces of that person in a public area.

Am I just unreasonably phobic about this, or is it a valid annoyance?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Self-Reminder for My Marriage

I read an article this morning (full article is here) about a woman who sought a divorce after 15+ years of marriage. While I was reading it, some key ideas and feelings of this woman stood out to me and made me take note, because I want to make sure that Amanda never feels that way, or at least very rarely. Her key ideas/feelings are below:

On the surface, I have everything a woman could want, beautiful clothes, a stunning home, an enviable middle-class lifestyle.
But inside, I feel empty. The passion has gone from our relationship and we are more like intellectual friends. We still talk to each other - we have long, intense discussions into the night. We both care deeply about the environment and world issues. But, to me, this isn't a marriage.
I see friends coming round for dinner, touching each other, hugging, and I envy that warmth. We have lost that physical intimacy and, while we have still been sleeping with each other, it is more out of habit than passion.
Declan and I met on a film set where we were both working. It was 1991 and we just clicked. Both in our early 30s, we seemed to want the same things from life - a lovely home, a family. The following year, we had a big, lavish white Catholic wedding with more than 100 guests. I thought we'd be married for ever.
The sad fact is that he's done nothing wrong - he's still the sweet, intelligent, generous man I first met. But I've changed. I'm bored with looking after my horse, meeting friends for lunch, buying clothes.
I want passion, excitement and adventure.
After reading that little excerpt into the female psyche, I have to wonder - do I provide enough passion, excitement and adventure to satisfy my wife's desires? What am I doing or what can I do to ensure that?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Why I Play That Way

I rolled my ankle last Tuesday playing basketball. I was guarding a black guy who's at least my height and a good 20-30 pounds heavier than me. He attempted to shoot, but I went up too and STUFF - I flat out rejected his shot. Now, before I go sounding like a braggart, let me say that I generally suck at basketball and I'm definitely and consistently the worst player on the court (half-court actually). HOWEVER, I'm getting better. Slowly, ever so slowly, I'm getting a little better at a time.

Anyway, back to the story. The block that I executed felt really good. It was the first time that I had encountered the feeling and I certainly liked it. But it also emboldened my opponent (Percy is his name). He retrieved the ball again after I blocked it and now he had a new resolve to push his way to the basket for the shot. So he drove, and I resisted. Then he went up to shoot and I jumped up with him again.

I didn't block it this time though, and to be honest I don't even know if it went in. All I know is that when I landed my left foot rolled sideways and I dropped to my butt. It's not too bad, probably just a sprain or pull. In fact, I expect the limp to subside sufficiently to play again next week. Maybe I should get high-tops (instead of general cross-training shoes) first though.

But here is the rest of the story, the introspective part. After explaining my limp to a co-worker who used to play ball, he said "That's why I don't play anymore". I thought about that statement for a little while, I came to this conclusion. That's why I do play. Not to get injured mind you, but because there's a risk of injury. It's a contact sport, with pushing and muscling and driving and jumping. There's a risk of not only twisting my ankle, but getting my ribs bruised, my chin elbowed (that happened to me before), and whatever else.

Perhaps it's worth repeating that I don't want to get injured, but I like testing my strength. I like the feeling of exercising my will against another man's, of trying so outsmart and outmaneuver him and vice-versa, even though I regularly am on the losing end of the battle. And I like the fact that there's risk and contact involved, that it's not like tennis or golf where opponents have a safe distance between each other. And if I get injured, at least I have a good, manly reason for my limp.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Greatest Greeting

Yesterday, I arrived home from work to find Amanda and the kids sitting at the kitchen table. Lucas was sitting in a regular chair closest to the entry (not his usual one with the booster seat strapped to it), so I said hello to him first. He told me a few things that he had done that day or that he was currently doing (I forget which) and of course I responded with unabashed interest.

Then while I was standing behind his chair I put my hands on his little shoulders and playfully swiveled him from side to side, followed by a pat on his chest/stomach (one of my hands covers his whole midsection) and an affectionate tussle of his hair.

I then continued on my round of greetings, heading over to where Amanda was feeding Emily so I could say hello to them too. As I was making my way over though, Lucas said "I love you". I looked up and said that I loved him too, but this simple unsolicited statement of affection was really potent and I must say that I was moved by it.

What is the big deal with saying "I love you"? Because it wasn't a ritual statement of love when going to bed, or a response to my saying it to him. It was out of the blue, just because he was feeling enough love at that particular moment to let it spill out of his mouth. And frankly, moments like that just don't happen very often.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Prayer Campaign

In a previous blog, I mentioned and made a link to the website called Parents Behaving Badly. I can honestly say that in all of the years that I have been surfing the internet, I have never come across a single site that stirs my emotions more than that one.

I boil with anger and frustration for parents being so stupid, unconcerned, brutal or just plain evil. Then I simultaneously feel intense sorrow, sadness, sympathy, and care for the children that have no choice but to suffer at the hands of these foolish and/or violent S.O.B.s.

So, recently I have decided to make it a point to go to this website on a regular basis and pray for each of the individual articles. My prayers are for divine guidance and eventual salvation of the parents, and for healing and protection of the children (that haven't perished yet).
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