Archive for December, 2005

It Is Well With My Soul

Friday, December 30th, 2005

Winter deceives many people because they wrongly figure that nothing much is happening since everything looks dead. Not so. While the trees and ground and plants rest, healing and chemical reactions ready the flora for spring.

Likewise, people often figure physical rest as a time when nothing is happening. Far from it! The body is busy repairing, healing, and rebuilding. We all need rest to go do our best work.

Do you rest? How can you think without taking time to do so? How do you keep the big picture when lost in the details?

Resting is soul-satisfying work and work well-worth doing.



Kwanzaa

Friday, December 30th, 2005

Happy Kwanzaa everyone and for the rest of us, Happy Festivus. Want to know about this very interesting “religious”/”cultural” holiday? Read more here.



Princess Diana

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Yesterday, I went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science where the Princess Diana exhibit showed jewelry, dresses, some video clips, her wedding dress and other effects. While not a huge fan, more just fascinated generally at the spectacle of it all, it was interesting.

She died at 36 years old. It took a split-second car crash to snuff out her life.

How many of us live life like it’s going to last forever and keep putting off what we’d love to do or experience or be out of fear of something? Wasted energy. Life is short for the longest-lived among us.

Do what you love or do what you do for love. Either way, infuse your life with meaning. Don’t do what you do ’cause you fear failure or loss or mistakes or disapproval.

Life is short. Live a life of meaning: joy and peace will follow.



A Greater Purpose

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

MaxedOutMama wrote that she felt that Christmas mass services felt “like joy distilled…into purpose”. Meanwhile, earlier this year, Peggy Noonan caused quite a storm with her editorial saying that the elites were out to lunch and “giving up”.

Hmmmm…..

Ever feel like you’re in a pressure cooker and the temperature just got turned up? That, to me, is 2005. So many majorly, desperately important decisions were made that it is almost impossible to comprehend them all. Some decisions have been driven by need, some by circumstances, but all big.

For example, we now have a new Supreme Court Chief Justice. Who is he and what will he be like? Another Judge, Judge Alito, is in the works. The liberals will fight this nomination. Hard. Another big decision.

Lot’s happened to us that made the world react:
Tsunamis in Indonesia, earthquakes in Pakistan, floods in China and New Jersey, hurricanes blew through New Orleans, southeast Texas, various Carribean islands and the Yucatan peninsula.

Peaceful revolutions in multiple countries: the Orange revolution, Syria booted from Lebanon, and more.

Truly, looking at 2005, takes one’s breath away. This year, Americans gave more money charitably than ever in history. We are a truly blessed nation and generous.

And still, the resources stretch is being felt as communities try to absorb a primarily welfare-dependent group of displaced flood victims. In addition, we watch huge American institutions like General Motors contemplate a future.

I wonder at a country with few plants making things and all industrialization, or a bunch of it, going overseas. What will all those guys with little more than high school educations do to support families? While the unions insist on shooting themselves in the foot as evidenced by the NY transit strike making them seem quaint old out-dated institutions, they used to be a vehicle to self-respect. No more.

Oil is sky-high and life is good in Houston. Business is building but subtly better than a few years ago. Have people learned to be more circumspect when good times roll?

Do people feel, like me, absolutely disgusted and tired of the insistence by Hollywood types to
poke fun at average, hard-working families headed by a strong, happily married couple? The latest condescension was Dukes of Hazzard. Yup, that movie captured the typical Red-Stater all right. Moonshine and shotguns and rebel flags sum up a typical day in most of Texas.

The ideological divide this country experiences won’t go away soon. In some ways it is smaller than would appear at first glance, most people form pretty reasoned opinions in nuanced situations. But when pushed, people want a hard line drawn–let tough rules be bent. Throwing out all the rules breeds chaos. Society doesn’t work well in gray zones.

2005: A year of decisions. France burning. Netherlands killing. Australia rioting. Poland holding. China practicing. Russia poaching. Canada roiling. Mexico sneaking. Germany electing. U.N. corrupting. Africa dying. South Korea cloning–or not.

The U.S. and Britain continue to fight an enemy akin to the Donkey Kong arcade game. Another head keeps popping up. That doesn’t mean the fight is lost. On the contrary, strides are being made. But will they hold? We’ll see.

2006 will be a year of more decisions. What is a city worth? What is a country worth? What is a life worth? What is a job worth? Are there any scientific limits?

Wisdom. We all need wisdom. Both personally and for our leaders. Since it seems in such short supply especially from self-indulgent leaders, prayer is always a safe answer.

May 2006 be filled with wise answers to tough questions.



I-Pod Update

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Sitting here listening to X&Y by Coldplay. Feels very Pink Floydish, all Comfortably Numb ala Roger Waters. I love it. Here are Comfortably Numb lyrics:

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown, the dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb

But Coldplay’s album, unlike Pink Floyd’s The Wall, is actually much more hopeful with more positive lyrics. I think that marriage and children are wearing well on Chris Martin. He hasn’t lost his overriding sadness. And, okay, maybe his lyrics aren’t so much hopeful as confused:

I’m diving off the deep end
You become my best friend
I wanna love you
But I don’t know if I can
I know something is broken
And I’m trying to fix it
Trying to repair it
Any way I can

Btw, the I-Pod headphones deliver great sound for the $30 they cost. The whole thing amazes me. Everyone at the house wants to use it (these are 6 and 8 year olds vying with Dr. Dad). Need a stereo port thingymabob so we can all enjoy it.



Vacation

Monday, December 26th, 2005

Everyone needs a mental break to stay sharp when working. For years, we didn’t heed our own advice.

Reasons to take a break:

  1. Fresh eyes for old problems
  2. Physical rejuvination
  3. Recharge doing a favorite activity
  4. Time spent with family and friends
  5. Learn something new outside of industry
  6. Reflect on past year and decide changes
  7. Be mindful about what you want for next months, years, decades

2005 was, in my view, the fastest year I have ever lived through. 2006 looks to be even faster. A concerted effort must be made to purposely slow down and take stock so you can spend your energy doing what you want to do…not just have to do.





U.S. Spys: Oh My!

Monday, December 26th, 2005

For those who forgot, there is big news this Christmas of 2005: The United States of America is currently at war.

More big news: And the U.S. spys on them! Deep breath. They spy on them even if they live in the U.S. and exploit our warm, open welcome to people from everywhere!

Good grief! What will we find out next? I hear that our soldier’s guns are loaded with real ammunition and sometimes kill people in Iraq, sometimes even innocent people.

Here’s how much traction the NYTs article aiming to undermine their own country’s efforts will get: zero. In fact, I hope they keep it up. I hope liberals everywhere squeal like newborn piglets about the “due process” rights of enemies within our gates. Where is Cindy Sheehan? She should be all over this! Let the woman’s voice be heard for heaven’s sake.



How’s the Weather?

Monday, December 26th, 2005

For those who think the Drs. Clouthier are insane for living in ewwww, Houston, Texas. I’d like to remind said people why we live here:

Weather. Today High of 72 / Low 45 Clear, Sunny, Gorgeous

We were at the park with scores of other people frolicking in the sunshine, playing catch and soccer and building sand castles and watching people windsail on the lake and swinging and playing on the jungle gym. It was horrible. Just terrible. Awful.



Democrats Skating On Thin Ice

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

Read the Anchoress. And this from Sensible Mom.



Blessings Everywhere

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

Imagine having to bring a machine gun to church and being grateful to do it. Go to Strategy Page.