December, 2012


28
Dec 12

Holiday Limbo

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Yes, I know… I am five days late with this blog.  I’m not exactly sure what happened.

The last clear thing I remember is that it was Christmas Eve and I was casually sipping on some eggnog and all of a sudden things seemed to kick into hyperspace speed.

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Nothing says holidays, like a cheese log.

- Ellen DeGeneres

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Since then it has been a cacophony of events.  All I can recall are a few memory snippets of wrapping tearing, people smiling, dogs playing, loads of cooking, everyone eating, wafts of candles burning, lots of cleaning, quick packing, snow flying and frenzied driving.  Whew!

All of a sudden it’s December 28th and somehow I ended up in Atlanta sipping on some coffee.  I finally came to my senses… well… that’s debatable according to my wife.

So here I am, caught in what I call Holiday limbo.  It’s the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day when everything seems weird.

It feels like you are between worlds and any sense of normalcy has evaporated.

It’s kinda nice and you start to feel good then all of a sudden there is a sense that I should be doing something productive.  You’re not exactly on vacation (that’s a different head-set) but you’re not in work mode either.

So typing this blog is kind of a Godsend.  It makes things feel a bit more normal even though I am not in my cozy home where I can dress as I want and behave as I wish (scratch, spit, belch, etc. at will – the guys know what I’m talking about… you know the feeling).

But regardless of the weirdness of holidays – especially the Holiday Limbo time, I wouldn’t want to change it.

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I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays.

- Henny Youngman

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We need disruptions to our routine.  Seriously.

We (self included) work hard at trying to create some measure of routine and predictability in our lives.  I think this is important.

A measure of routine provides some stability and sanity to a fast paced world.

But believe it or not disruptions are important too.

If not careful routine becomes a subtle web that builds over time and if not periodically torn they will eventually choke the very life out of you.

You create a cocoon that is very comfortable and protective, but it keeps you from growing.

Discomfort forces the action and movement needed to keep from choking to death.
Now some of you are on the other end of the continuum.  You are chaos junkies.  You cringe at anything routine.

But unfortunately, whatever extreme you may be on the continuum (rigid routine or crazy chaos) you reap the consequence of your excess.

I think I’m pretty balanced.  I really like my routine but I appreciate the value of disruption.

So this year’s Holiday Limbo has definitely disrupted my routine.

Ok, my web is broken for the time being… now let’s get back to the routine that feels comfortable and work hard to maintain.

See you Monday… New Year’s Eve.

Ciao


20
Dec 12

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

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The title is a weird saying huh?  And the picture is ugly too.

I love these old axioms, but it seems their popularity has waned over the past few years.

Unfortunately they seem to have been snatched out of existence like a chicken leg on a Golden Corral buffet.  Gone… one minute it’s there and the next minute… whoosh… never to be seen again.

The wonderful thing about these old axioms is that although the verbiage is a bit dated the core truth remains sound.  That’s the beautiful thing about Truth… it never changes.  Regardless of the wording, the truth is still the truth.

And this is the time of year that elevates the magnificence of Truth even more.

Fair warning – GOD ALERT!!!!

Now for all of my non-Christian friends you don’t have to worry.  You know by now that I don’t get all preachy on you and expect you to believe what I believe.

Hopefully it will make you think but regardless of where you land spiritually you can still get a lot out of my meanderings.

The entire Christmas thing is that God came to dwell among us human types.  Some of you may be wondering what’s the big deal.

Believe it or not, it is a big deal… a very BIG DEAL.

God decided to go slumming with his peeps.  Let me be clear, gods do NOT do that sort of thing.

Christianity is the only religion on earth where the god being served comes down on our level to have relationship with man.  In all other religions man has to work their way up to become like the god being served.

If a person does enough good things and goes through certain rituals they eventually progress into some sort of deity.

The weirdest thing is that the nation of Israel had been expecting the Messiah to come for generations.

But here’s the other key to the story… He came… but not the way they expected.

If there is a pattern with God is that He doesn’t come in ways we anticipate.  That’s why so many of us miss His moving around us because He doesn’t come in a way we expect the God of the Universe to come.

If He came in a way we expected then He would not be God… because He would be within our grasp.  God is not within our grasp of intellect.

Any Spiritual insight always requires a step of faith.  A step beyond where we are and believe that God is at work.

If we are willing to crack that door our life will never be the same.

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You may be wondering why the weird axiom about the gift horse as the title of this blog.  God offers a free gift… yet we have difficulty just accepting it.

We want to examine, test, or evaluate the worthiness of the gift.

This time of the year is the time of gift giving.

But a gift is never possessed if we don’t receive.

Ciao.


14
Dec 12

Listen or Discard?

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Ho Ho Ho!

Yep… the smell of the scented candles, sounds of carols and the zip from Egg Nog is starting to take effect.

I feel the joy of Christmas beginning to rumble deep inside.  Or, it could be just the remnants of the questionable fish sandwich I had for lunch.  But something is beginning to rumble and I’m getting into the moment.

Without getting all mushy and Hallmark Cardish there is something very, very special about this time of year.

Sure, you have your occasional curmudgeon (or Grinch) who dislikes anything that makes other people feel good or happy.

It’s kind of weird.  If they’re not happy they don’t want others to be happy.  But of course they don’t come right out and say that.  They put a damper on everyone’s joy by spouting their unhappiness veiled by some very philosophical or insightful proclamation.

The biggest philosophical proclamation that becomes an emotional wet blanket is the verbal barrage that Christmas is too commercial.

Is Christmas too commercial?  Absolutely.  No question about it.  But the gross over commercialization of Christmas doesn’t stop me from enjoying the Holidays.  I still know what Christmas is all about.

If you’re really upset Christmas is over commercialized… keep it too yourself.

Yep, keep it to yourself.  Why, you ask.

NO ONE IS LISTENING TO YOU!

Usually when people are pontificating (emotionally spouting off) they come across self-righteous, judgmental and pompous.  That alone turns people off.

But there is another reason why people will not listen to your message.

It amazes me that people feel they are going to change the commercialism of Christmas by harping on the negative.  If you want to influence a person’s belief system you don’t hammer on the things that are wrong or in error.

This approach just makes people take a stronger stand on their point of view and makes it easy to discard your opinion like flicking a speck of dust off their shoulder.

If you really want people to hear your message… focus on the positive.

For example, if over commercialism of Christmas is an issue for you; the power is in sharing the joy of simplicity vs. the evil of excess.

Yes, I enjoy the lights, gifts, energy and happenings around the Holidays, but I also the simple joy of the spirit of giving, sharing and love.

There’s no question the glitz can be distracting… but the simple joy in the hearts and eyes of the young (this is not an age thing) is glorious.

Relax… enjoy the simplicity of the season.

Ciao.


11
Dec 12

More Christmas Frivolity

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Welcome, great to have you hang out with me for a while.

Since it is the Christmas season I have been talking about what types of gifts men or women like.  So I will continue to unwrap the topic a bit more.

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Side Note: “…unwrap the topic…”

Yes, I know, that was really bad.  I couldn’t resist the easy layup of a pun.  And yes, I realize that puns of this nature do not reflect well on my intellectual prowess.  But it is what it is.

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The fact that men and women are different is not new news to anyone.  But the fact that we are so different is something for which I am very, very thankful.

In the last entry I mentioned that all you need to get for a guy is something that makes noise, a tool of any kind to take something apart (putting it back together is optional), a toy or some sort of electronic gadget.

Yes, women are different.  The fairer gender tends to like things that fall into one of four categories.  As I started to list them I found that they all started with the letter “S”.

Girls like things that are – Soft, Sentimental, Smell good, or Shiny.  I could throw in another “S” that girls like.  No, not Sexy, even though it is a good guess and it’s something that is both a guy and girl thing.

The other “S” I was thinking about is Silliness.  Now let me explain.  There is “goofiness”, which no girl likes.  And there is cute silliness, which girls tend to like, especially if it involves a cute guy.

I ran across a video that will perfectly illustrate my point.

As a guy I could relate to doing something like this… but would never attempt.  I wouldn’t try it because 1.)  I’m not a cute enough guy; 2.) I can’t dance; 3.) Cute is hard to pull off when you’re over 30.

Girls… enjoy the video.  Guys, it’s ok for you to watch too.  It’s a good idea to consider if you’re under the age of 30.  Make sure you get to the dancing part.

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YouTube Preview Image

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One of the comments below the video had a very good description of this little escapade.  They mentioned that it was so cool and uncool at the same time.

I have never been able to pull off something that is cool and uncool at the same time.  I have mastered uncool pretty well but I’m still working on the cool part.

Regardless of what you thought about the video whether it was cute silliness or just plain stupid goofiness, the guys were having fun.

FUN!!!  Innocent fun.

Regardless of age, cuteness, or ability to dance, fun is for everyone.
You may find this hard to believe, but God created fun.  What really throws some people is the notion that God is really fun.

Most people see Him as a crotchety old geezer that has no sense of humor.  Boy, are they ever wrong.

I think after Christmas I will need to dig into the funny God thing… because He really is funny… not goofy… funny.

Yes, I even believe that God can pull off the cute silliness thing… even though He is over 30 and probably can’t dance.

Ciao


4
Dec 12

Stress of gifts!

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Hi, good to see you again.

It’s early December and I can already feel the intensity of the season beginning to crescendo.

It’s the same kind of intensity one feels when standing between a group of seniors and the Golden Corral buffet – you see the object closing in but helpless to get out of the way.  It’s not a pretty sight.

Christmas is coming at full steam and there’s nothing you can do except brace yourself  for the impact.

I, like most of you, have started feeling the stress of what to get for gifts for the people in my life.  Personally, I think women are harder to buy for than men.

Men are easy (in more ways than one).  The only type of present you need for a guy is to get him something that makes noise, a tool of any kind to take something apart (putting it back together is optional), a toy or some sort of electronic gadget.

As you can see, we men are easy to tend to for the most part.

But women are a bit more complex.  Selecting a present for the fairer sex requires more thought and consideration than for us guys.

Women are just made differently… not bad… just different.

That’s the problem.  Guys think that everyone should think and see things the way they do.  That’s why we end up buying you wonderful women stupid stuff.

So I have decided to incorporate things into the blog this December that appeals to women… I may throw in a man thing or two but primarily it’s for women.

The first thing that I found that women like (other than jewelry) is anything that has something cute and cuddly gets their attention.

There are few things more cute and cuddly than puppies.

So the video below will give all of you that smiley, happy attitude that only comes from something cute.

Enjoy the video about the Christmas puppies.

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YouTube Preview Image

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How cute is that?  Yep… a puppy video like the one above will make any girl happy.

I thought the puppy thing would be enough but I ran across a cat video that the girls would enjoy too.

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YouTube Preview Image

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Okay guys, I know cats are not generally the type of animal that you enjoy.  But the ladies like it.

Visit me in a couple of days and I will try to find something that will appeal to both the guys and girls.

Ciao.