Category Archives: daily goings on

Give All

guvhundsIt was a rather odd place to find God – a banking office. I should never be surprised, of course, where God will pop up in that it happens to me quite often. But it still amazes where God likes to make appearances in day-to-day living.

I had some business to conduct. She was a very kind and helpful officer who seemed like she really wanted to get my business handled with efficiency and correctness. As it turns out, however, the thirty minutes we had together ended up being – as both she and I agreed – a time that we needed to further think about. We began talking about family – very quickly for both of us this became a revealing and somewhat sensitive topic. Due to her willingness to be open, I shared some of my story. We began to share and compare notes. And in the end, we both agreed that we are richly blessed people who should never take anything for granted, everything has a purpose, and our job is to keep walking as steadily as we are able.

Her adopted twins from Russia are a challenge. She thinks the sister will be okay and will thrive but the brother is struggling in school and socially. He is, she admits, “a little off but we knew that when we went to Russia to bring them home.” They need love and patience, she said. They were abandoned by their mother – a known alcoholic and drug user.

She told me something an adolescent counselor told her recently. The counselor said, “I can’t prove it or have any way to verify it, but the way the siblings care for each other even now, it’s almost as if your son began taking care of his sister even in the womb of their sick mother. Your daughter has everything that your son doesn’t. It’s as if he gave her whatever he had so she would be okay – even at his own expense.”

Again, as I left, we both agreed that we are a richly blessed people and we need to be incredibly thankful for what we have – health and opportunity. And we should also consider – who might have given all of themselves so we can be who we are?

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Maya Angelou

April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

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The Nail

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Gnome Infestation

Despite my best efforts to prevent them, the gnomes are taking over my flowers. What can I do?

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Digital Witness

I like St. Vincent’s “Digital Witness” and I really like what PS22 did with it. So cool!

“Digital Witness”

Get back, to your seat
Get back, gnashing teeth
Ooh, I want all of your mind

People turn the TV on, it looks just like a window, yeah
People turn the TV on, it looks just like a window, yeah

Digital witnesses, what’s the point of even sleeping?
If I can’t show it, if you can’t see me
What’s the point of doing anything?
This is no time for confessing

I want all of your mind

People turn the TV on, it looks just like a window, yeah
People turn the TV on, it looks just like a window, yeah

Digital witnesses, what’s the point of even sleeping?
If I can’t show it, if you can’t see me
Watch me jump right off the London Bridge
This is no time for confessing

People turn the TV on and throw it out the window, yeah
Get back to your stare
I care, but I don’t care
Oh oh, I, I want all of your mind
Give me all of your mind
I want all of your mind
Give me all of it

Digital witnesses, what’s the point of even sleeping?
If I can’t show it, if you can’t see me
What’s the point of doing anything?
What’s the point of even sleeping?
So I stopped sleeping, yeah I stopped sleeping
Won’t somebody sell me back to me?

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Skyrim Thrones

If you are a Skyrim and Game of Thrones fan, this is very cool! (If not, I suppose it really doesn’t matter any at all.) Read an article here about who and how this video was made.

Thrones from Brady Wold on Vimeo.

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Young Old

oldyoungSpending time with young people and spending time with older people presents a number of differences to me which makes me think about who I am and what I’m about when I’m by myself or with others.

1. Young people ponder the future – their hopes and concerns. In past weeks, I’ve heard about marriage, college, driving, jobs and careers, what happens after graduation, and getting tests out of the way. Stuff is pretty dark, emo, and scary. All pretty heady stuff when you are seemingly looking from the bottom of the mountain up. Being with some older – even elderly – people I hear about sons and daughters, doctor visits, food tasting this way or that, and so, so, so many memories.

2. Young people generally embrace the future and it’s possibilities even if they don’t grasp the scope of their own, personal future. The future is decades and decades out. The elderly reminisce, regret, wish, and mostly may end up being thankful for the good things that happened along with the not so good. The future may only be seen as a few months or a few years.

3. Many young question faith, God, existence, death, and love. Life, to some, seems bitter and unfair. Relationships are measured in days and months and, for a few, maybe a few years. Money and career and families are off in the distance, a blur, a fog. The elderly, as one even a few days ago stated, might be worried about running out of health care money. Faith in something or someone has had sustaining power for many years. Relationships are sometimes measured in decades and even half-centuries. Careers may have ended many years ago. As one lady reflected a few days ago – her life is defined by the times she almost died but God rescued her.

4. The younger a person is, oftentimes the more morals and ethics are black and white in the world. The older a person becomes, the grayer things get. Younger base their morality on what they have learned and what they see around them. Older morality is based on experiences and what has worked or not worked.

5. Stamina and well-being, of course, changes over the years. A college student can go for several days without sleep. Some of my elderly friends need a 10 hour night and several naps during the day.

6. Of course, young people are risk takers whereas the older one gets, one becomes more risk averse. There are lots more young people doing drugs and passing their sex around than old – experience and age seems to temper the amount of risk a person will take.

7. Being young might be more about action, taking the hill, fixing the problem, and never giving up. With age comes a reluctant acceptance that some things will not change, the peak is too high, and someone else will have to fight the battles.

What I’ve listed here isn’t original or something you aren’t aware of. I’m blessed to be associated with people both quite young and quite old. Not a day goes by that I don’t consider the many, many ways to see something through the eyes of a young person or the eyes of an old person. As a few of us were discussing recently, there is always at least two opposing arguments to anything and everything. Often times, the arguments have much to do with experience, gender, education, or any number of other factors that come along with age and much less to do with logic and rationality. In other words, what might seem right to a young person is, basically, exactly right within the confines and constructs of the experiences and knowledge of the young person. Take the same situation and it might be seen completely different – even opposite – by an older person because of experiences and knowledge.

All that to say this – I hope so much that I can be open minded, sensitive, and empathetic to the plight of those who simply don’t realize that they are being pig-headed in their reasoning.  Quite frankly, their reasoning is based more on their personal experiences and opinions and far less on logic, education, and open-mindedness.

More than anything, our world suffers from not having enough people who listen, empathize, and desire to understand.

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Noah Movie

noahDo you read books then go watch the movies that are made from the books? I do. I’ve read, for example, the Hobbit, Twilight, Hunger Games, Ender, several Tolstoy, some Bradbury, and a Kesey book, to name a few from over the years, that later had movies made from them.

How do you come out of a movie after having read the book? Spoiler alert – I watch movies because they are movies and read books because they are books so I do expect there to be differences. Rather, I like to see how characters in movies compare with characters in my mind’s eye. And that’s about all. If the movie is a good movie, then I like it. If it isn’t, then I don’t. I’ve never been too worried whether the movie follows the book. To me, books are 99% of the time better than their movies but I like the movies to add to the images I might have of a book. As a corollary to my spoiler, I never expect a movie to be remotely as good as a bible story. Ever! So that’s the spoiler, okay?

So a friend and I went to see the new movie Noah a few days ago. I went with the expectations I shared in my spoiler alert – basically, the movie is never as good as the book.  And in this case, I was not disappointed.

But I invested in the movie. The power of the Creator, the heavenly protections given to Noah and his family, the evil in the world, the sin and violence in everyone – including those on the boat, and the meaning of faith all, for me, were vividly shown in the movie.

I enjoyed the movie as a movie. I believe the director captured a depiction of the essence of good and evil manifested in a broken world. As any good movie is apt to do.

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Past Pickup

twrerAlan set up a reunion of sorts. Some of us hadn’t seen each other in over a year and a half since I had retired. Several years ago, we were an assembled team of engineering and operations people who were, in my humble opinion, the best in the business. More than the expertise which we had onboard, I appreciated the can-do attitude, willingness to be creative, and the realization that sometimes exceptional ideas required some risk-taking. Often, we were right on the edge but we never fell over it. I was privileged and honored to work with the team that I was able to work with.

As I have written previously, funding and politics got the better of us. Regardless of how awesome we were, we began to die a slow death a few years back. It was painful to watch. Slowly but surely, the good people had to leave and find greener pastures. I was thankful that most all of the men and women who left found good and productive jobs – with no thanks to our former, dying organization.

We are a year or two down the road now. Alan, who is quite the lovable curmudgeon, graciously arranged a time for a bunch of us veterans to get together a few nights ago for some dinner, sharing of embellished stories, reminiscing of former antics, insider jokes, and updates on names many of us had forgotten. These are guys I trusted beginning back ten or fifteen years ago to plan, implement, and maintain what we did. And they were excellent at what they did.

But more satisfying is the friendship and mutual respect (we wouldn’t admit this to each other, for goodness sakes!) we continue to have for each other. I am gratified that they all have found decent work now and are picking up on new careers, challenges, and mountains to climb.

As close as I felt with them at the dinner table, I felt the odd man out. They still work, commute, take care of families (most of them), work for or manage people, and truly feel the stresses of important and senior federal government jobs. I used to, admittedly, feed on the stress so I get where they are coming from. We laughed and talked at dinner but, deep inside, I knew that they would all be at work the next day whereas I would be doing what I do now. It’s not a bad feeling and I don’t want to go back, but I remember the frustrating happiness often felt when we – together – would be able to solve something that everyone had said we wouldn’t be able to solve.

Thanks for dinner Alan, Marc, Kirk, Art, Aubrey, John, and Dick. And a few couldn’t make it because of illness or other commitments – thanks to you, too, for what we were able to do together. I’m not sure what was for dinner, but the company was a few hours of comfort and reflection for me. Tomorrow will be another day and we will all go about our business. But for a few moments that evening, we chortled our way through some truly whacky experiences together. Thanks.

(Blue, brown, and red M&Ms randomly mixed to Alan for a dinner well done!)

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