Thinks on Things

A gathering of ponderings…

Time’s Up

I was just pondering that the most deceiving time is that of ’15 minutes before the hour’. it is misleading enough to make you think that you have enough time to do something before time is up. say you need to be somewhere at 630 and the time says 545. you see 5– and the rest doesn’t register so you automatically assume you have more than an hour since you aren’t required until half past the next hour.

there’s something to be said there about two things. the first thing i notice is that the problem stems from assuming. assuming is bad, end of story. The second problem is procrastination. i think we all know enough about that.

add those two problems together and you suddenly get a recipe for lots of problems. i think it’s amazing how the power of those elements coupled with the factor of time propels that into the relative realm rather than the literal. the idea of being late for something because you assumed or procrastinated.

i’m still kicking myself for things i’ve missed out on because of this. there is one in particular that i do not want to let slip. the hard part is just trying to figure out when the time is ’15 minutes before the hour’. hopefully then i will realize what that time truly means and take the necessary actions. i don’t want to miss out on this again.

January 6, 2008 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

New Hobbies, Jobs, and Volunteering

Long introduction made short: My sister helped the local high school put on a production of Peter Pan about 6 years ago. Her involvement paved the way for my recent rock climbing adventures this summer. She purchased quite a bit of equipment needed for the pirates to rapel from the catwalks into the aisles of the auditorium. They screamed and “Arrg”-ed the whole way down, effectively freaking out the audience and scaring a bunch of kids (some actually cried)! After the musical had run its course, the climbing equipment got stashed away in a plastic bin and forgotten…

New hobby: So this spring I was looking for some good deals on gear and thought of the high school drama department as they hadn’t used the stuff in 6 years and seemed a waste. The director actually gave me a complete set of the gear as thanks for my sister’s involvement and I purchased the rest at a fraction of the original cost. My interest in the stuff sparked his interest in my interest. That got a brainstorming ball rolling and he decided to hire my services for the coming musical, Beauty and the Beast this fall.

I spent the summer enjoying use of my newly acquired equipment. I led climbing expeditions for my friends and family and had a blast learning and teaching some new skills. Around September, Mr. Director called me up and asked if I was still interested and I accepted the new job.

New job: From September through November I worked many evenings with the drama department and the students at rehearsals. My part was primarily giving a frightening and dramatic entrance for the Beast when he appears a couple of times. My job was to accomplish this in an OSHA safe manner that also put Mr. Director at peace. I assured him that it was a safe process providing that the Beast could follow specific directions and have a lot of trust/guts…

Beast lived up to and exceeded expectations in playing his character. Our two entrances were in pretty cool and terrifying; big hairy-scary beast climbing around on the outside of the catwalks and then leaping to the stage 30 feet below! We got a number of screams from the younger members of the audience (I was so proud of my little prodigy)!

On “crew night” all of the backstage cast are recognized for their efforts during the intermission. My brother and I decided to rapel down to the line-up with style. Of course I was dressed as a ninja should be, mask and all… It was great!

Whenever the cast receives a standing ovation, whether deservedly or by way of parents and friends and generally courteous and supportive small town, tradition calls for what is known as “The Boogaloo”. All the cast members (after greeting all the audience after the show) rush back onto the stage and begin to chant for Mr. Director. When he arrives he leads them in a crazy dance which ends with everyone falling on their behinds.

After one particular performance the chanting began as usual, but Mr. Director was slow in appearing. The chanting continued… And then from up in the catwalks, using the gear the Beast had used, he descended to the stage gaining cheers from everyone! At his request, I held him at 3 feet above the stage and he led the Boogaloo dance suspended. With the final move I dropped him onto his butt to join the others laughing and smiling. It is important to note that this guy is not exactly a young man and is getting close to retirement. He’s also deathly afraid of heights and has only done this sort of thing one other time (my sister pulled the same stunt). It was a musical experience to remember!

New volunteering: Getting involved with the high school musical was a double bonus for me. It was an added source of some income and also enabled me to connect with some of the kids from our youth group. Contact work is important in anyone’s life but especially during high school years. Teenagers need to know that there are people (besides family and peers) involved in their lives that care about them. Our goals to offer leadership, guidance, and friendship to these kids is key in them developing skills and confidence of their own to carry into their futures.

Being around all of these youngsters triggered a confirmation that this is a calling I have. I decided that it was time to really begin and step up to that call. I jumped through the necessary bureaucratic hoops to get myself a photo ID pass to give me access to all the public schools in our district. Now I can come and go without worry of being forced to play 20-questions with the hallway security. I even have legitimate cover stories and training on how to avoid getting trapped and kicked out. It’s almost as bad as missionaries having to jump hoops and play into other roles in order to get into some countries with the Gospel. The difference is that I don’t run as high a risk of being shot if my cover is blown… Thank God for that!

In addition to “helping patrol lunches and hallways”, I “run errands for teachers” and “tutor and monitor after-school study sessions”. All of this is helpful for the school of course, but the main reason is simply to get myself involved in these kids’ lives and be available when they need help or advice or just a friend to talk to about junk.

November 24, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

A New Post

So I haven’t written anything in a while. Oh well. I’ll get back to it I guess. I’ve been kinda busy and there are things I want to write. I just haven’t had the time to immerse myself in the internet when people and schedules required me to be in this world instead…

Coming soon would be:
-a summary of my involvement with the musical “Beauty and the Beast” at our high school
-a courtroom drama experience (or rather, a dissappointing lack of drama)
-new Bible study groups I’ve tried recently
-and something else that I just forgot because the Bou barista just interupted my train of thought…

Thanksgiving is coming! Whoop-dee-doo. At the moment I’m just not feeling very thankful about where my life has been this year and where it could be headed. This will take another pondering to sort out for sure though. Maybe I’m just frustrated at the holidays in general and the idea that we should all feel thankful on command just because it’s a certain date. Or giving. Or lovey-dovey. Or pious…

I am the way I am and God loves me for that. He can pull me through this, even with me kicking and screaming, fighting Him the whole way. In the end, I trust that I can be thankful for the correct things in life…

November 19, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

Hitchhiking

I’ve noticed recently, while delivering my mail route, that there are a lot of hitchhikers that like to ride on my car through the countryside. All summer long I pick up various insects that hop onto the hood or the windshield. They get on when I make a stop and then go for a ride until they decide they like a new place. Or they fall off because of my speed…

So a few weeks ago I picked up a grasshopper and he rode along with me for almost 5 miles! And for me to travel 5 miles takes a while on the job. He was probably on my car for at least half an hour. Not sure where he thought he was going but he must have had some issues at home and needed to get away…

And last weekend there was a fly of some sort that really must have had sticky feet. He hung on for dear life as I was cruising between mailboxes. Then came the longer stretch of road… He just hunkered down and made himself as aerodynamic as possible. This made me a bit curious because most of the other fellas blow off at about 25 or 30 mph. This guy really impressed me so I decided to have some fun. He hung on as I tested him for all he had- 60 mph! And that wasn’t the end either, I had to slow down for the next set of boxes. I may never know what this little guy was capable of cuz he was still on the windshield after that thrill ride.

October 25, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

To Forgive, or Not to Forgive?

In Mathew 18:23-35 Jesus refers to the Kingdom of Heaven by way of a story. In the story (also told here) the characters owe monetary debts of large and small amounts. The man who owes a fortune is forgiven by the King but then he turns on the other man who owes him pocket change. Needless to say, the King is peaved and throws the dude into jail for some good ol’-fashioned torturing.

So you’d think this is a no-brainer lesson, but obviously we’re talking about more than just money, right? Honestly, it would be pretty easy for me if it was only about money. Most of the time I just have to work a little bit harder or longer but eventually I usually get back what I was missing anyway. No real permanent loss here. So why is it so hard to forgive some other things like betrayals and broken trusts and hurting hearts?

Tonight I helped lead my youth guys in a study called Never The Same, trying to figure out what “following Jesus” really meant for our real lives. And then a question took me by surprise: “Following Jesus means leaving something behind. What do you need to walk away from in order to follow Him?”

Whoa, this took me back a step in time to a discussion I had with my mentor about forgiveness. His wise words were to the effect that “Forgiveness always costs us something. You must give up a part of yourself that seeks to make things right by your own means, and let God handle the offender. Forgiving does not grant innocence to the person but says I won’t make them pay me.”

Maybe the hard part of forgiving real issues is knowing that the something you have to give up is maybe something you can’t get back. I can’t seem to give up the bitterness and depression and cynicism in order to forgive someone. Is knowing I can’t hold onto these the reason I can’t move towards forgiveness?

I’m still struggling on this one. But I know I should forgive him and I really want to! And this isn’t simply to avoid God’s wrath upon myself as per the warning at the end of the passage either. It is because I want to and I know that if I can just overcome this stage many doors can open for the future. This whole year has been a hard lesson for me and I need God’s help in order to pass all these tests.

Fighting, loving, learning.

October 25, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | 4 Comments

Vibrators and Weight Loss?

According to research done by highly knowledgable scientists (who have nothing better to do than play with mice and vibrators) it is actually possible to lose weight and develop muscle by a simple new method explained in this article: “Vibrating Mice” Develop Less Fat

I just have three questions…

1. If I used the vibrating beds at hotels for 15 minutes each day, will I lose weight??
2. If we put newborn babies on a vibrator, could they lift a car by age 3??
3. If a cat were to bite into a “vibrating mouse“, would he get shocked??

PS. It is actually necessary to read the article to understand these thinks…

October 23, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

How Embarrassing

Don’t you just love it when you spend a whole evening hanging out with some friends and meeting some new people and having a great time? …And then you get home and find out your fly was down the whole time. D’oh!

Now the real puzzle in all of this is trying to figure out why I was embarrassed? Come to think of it, I don’t really get that embarrassed by much at all. So why would this have had such an effect on me? Usually, when something happens to me I just roll with it and make it out to be sort of funny. Or I pretend to have done it on purpose (which is easily detected, by the way, which makes it all the more funny). There are a whole lot of things I’ve done throughout my life that could cause just about anyone to be embarrassed and forgetting to zip up is pretty low on the list.

I don’t believe it has anything to do with making good first-impressions on the new people I met. A lot of the time I simply don’t care how I come across to others. More and more I am realizing the negative effects of trying to be someone you are not. So I battle that by just being myself, and if others don’t really like that, then I’ll find other ways to interact with them that still allow me to be myself.

Pondering this puzzle, I have come to the conclusion that the difference was in who knew about it and what they decided to do about it. In the majority of other cases, everyone knew (including myself) what had happened and it was pretty obvious that it was funny. It is much easier to brush off something stupid when everyone acknowledges that it happened. Faulty occurance -> recognition -> laugh about it -> move on.

But this time it was different. I’m sure at least some of the people knew about it. But I did not, and they chose not to say anything. There was a breakdown in the simple system of defusing embarrassment. There’s no telling how long this went on either, but I’m sure the longer it took, the more people noticed and the more people became a little embarrassed themselves.

Final analysis: Ignoring elephants in the room can lead to awkward and potentially embarrassing situations for many people involved.

October 22, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | 1 Comment

Gettin’ Dizzy Wit It

I recently discovered that our small town in the ‘burbs of the ‘burbs has just gained exotic status… While out delivering mail on a sort of new route, I came across an ingenious transportation phenomenon called a roundabout. I suppose these aren’t exactly a new occurance in the world but they are rare for me to come by in my normal travels. I have actually only seen them in places far from my home, different states, countries, and continents. So I was a little surprised when I saw the strange little sign with dashed arrows in a circle telling me the road ahead was wierd-shaped. It actually threw me for a loop momentarily (pun intended). But after recovering my wits, I navigated the maze successfully and realized that was fun! It was so much fun that I went around and around and around again laughing out the window like a maniac! I just hope that no one was watching out their windows witnessing their loony mailman going in circles (think Jim Carrey in Truman Show)…

September 28, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

Down is the New Up

Today I ate my sandwich upside-down.

I was curiously surprised by the amount of concentration it now took to maintain the new sandwich orientation. Breaking a lifelong habit can be hard sometimes and I was taken aback by the difficulty involved in a simple sandwich.

I’m sure there are valuable life lessons to be learned through this dramatic experience but it was still a tasty sandwich nonetheless…

September 16, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

Choices

Quittin’ ain’t always a bad thing.

September 14, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | 1 Comment

Bogus Banning

It seems that kids can no longer be kids anymore! Schools around the nation are beginning to ban regular schoolyard games such as Tag, Touch Football, even Soccer. Boston, Cheyenne, Spokane, Charleston, Wichita, San Jose, Beaverton, and Rancho Santa Fe are among the schools that have already banned kid games and there will be more to follow I’m sure.

This is so bizarre, there’s just too much to say. It makes me mad that a bunch of adults who have their own unresolved childhood issues are passing down their insecurities to not only their own children, but others as well. Seriously folks, what’s happening here?! Fear of self-esteem issues? Kids getting hurt? Someone having an argument on the rules? Hello? These are just regular parts of a kid’s life. You can’t take that away or the consequences will be costly in the future. If they don’t learn how to develope some key skills in dealing with reality and life in general, what sort of a future generation do you expect to get?

FoxNews wrote an article on the possibility of Tag creating some self-esteem issues for the person being “it”. USA Today wrote on physical dangers thereby justifying banning Tag and Soccer. MSNBC on says the schools ruled out all unsupervised chase games during recess on the grounds that “accidents can happen.”

Maybe we should focus on banning the color pink in Merrillville to crack down on gangs? Or when that doesn’t work, banning baggy pants in Shreveport, Alexandria, Delcambre, Atlanta, and New Orleans…? The fines range anywhere from $25 to $500 or 6-months in jail. Wow, now that’s funny.

Or perhaps a real issue like dealing with the Choking Game trend among kids under 18. Kids are seeking a “safe high” (450 victims, 300 in the US) through playing a game more dangerous than tag. Let’s deal with real issues people, not Tag.

September 2, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | 2 Comments

Web 2.0 101

I keep hearing about this Web 2.0 more and more lately. I decided to do a little bit of research on my own to find out what it is. So here’s some of my superfast research into this new technology that I don’t quite comprehend but aparently use anyway without knowing it…

A talk with the man himself Tim O’Reilly on What is Web 2.0?

And if that didn’t mean anything to us simple folk…

Really amazingly well done educational video explains a little history of Web 2.0 and how it is becoming more simple by growing more complex. It is the Internet: by us, for us.

A second excellent brief synopsis in plain English defining Web 2.0 and its principle elements.

Really cool interactive graphic representation of what links look like in the Web. Just enter your own search and it opens up automatically.

Super quick and easy definitions of some buzzwords.

An entertaining video interpretation of the future of Web 2.0…

August 30, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | 1 Comment

Stress

Straining relationships
Working 2 jobs
Volunteering for 2-3 other programs
Attempting to finish moving in 3 days
Attempting to finish fixing the new place in 3 days
Parking ticket Thursday
Speeding ticket Saturday
Citation for amber lights on top of car Saturday
Headache for 2 days
Lack of sleep

There is much more to write about stress in general but honestly I’m just plumb-tuckered out and sick of explaining things to people who don’t really care beyond hoping they aren’t causing me more stress… Yea, that’s all I have time for tonight. Sorry, folks… that’s if there really is anyone out there. Which actually makes only a little difference anyway as this is simply a place for me to Think on Things. You should feel so priviledged to know even a small part of it.

August 27, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

Ratings/Quizzes

There has been a recent flocking to the growing popularity of these online quizzes. They are simple and easy to take, and sometimes rather funny! I gave my shot at a couple:

My body is worth $4640 if sold to science…

Thinks on Things= $2400 (Wanted! For the Auspicious Digestion of a Likeable Pigeon)

Thinks on Things= Rated PG (for mentioning ‘sex’ x2 and ‘shoot’ x1)

I am only 37% Geek and 0% Stupid!

And of course, I have an 83% chance of surviving a Zombie Apocalypse…

August 19, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | 1 Comment

Reality bites

Vacations work, but only temporarily. Once they’re done reality hits home again. Strange how that works…

So I just got back from a road trip to Chicago. It was a grand ol’ time and I would enjoy returning. But as “all good things must come to an end…” What idiot said that?! Why do good things have to end? If they have to end then are they still good? If they are really good then do they ever really end? Tangent…

Chicago was fun but not long enough. It allowed me to empty a load of stress for a while but now everything is back to it’s normal hectic self again. Jobs. Relationships. Responsibilities. Blah blah blah.

But there has to be hope in it all doesn’t there?

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Mathew 6:34

August 17, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment