Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Going Green

I find it somewhat odd how so many people in America are complaining that the USA is refusing to switch to greener technologies while simultaniously complaining about the high gas prices we have. Don't they see how wonderfull it is? Expensive fossile fuels will drive more people to cheaper alternatives, greener alternatives. They will finally get what they want.

The fact of life is that money runs the world. Warm fuzzy feelings toward Mother Nature do not get things done. Money does. If it becomes more economically viable for a greener technology to compete then people will go green. I'll happily hug a tree if it is cheaper for me to do so than hugging an oil barrel. I am on a budget after all.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

America rocks

Last week I was reading in Inocents Abroad by Mark Twain on my Palm Pilot. I've only been reading it in spurts so its taking me forever.

Anyway, Mark Twain had just finished visiting several Italian cities and made a few comparisons between American society and Italian society in his time. In Italy, the government was bankrupt and corrupt. The church held all of the wealth and the citizens lived in filth and poverty. In america even the poorest family had bread and clothes. The government actually worked and the citizenry could vote out the corrupt officials. Even the cities were clean and orderly. America was ever expanding and building anew while the Italians lived like rats in the crumbling structures of the Roman Empire's former glory.

I thought about America today. Our largest complaints include things like traffic jams and gas prices. Even our poor can get food or a roof over their heads. We have tremendous amounts to education and opportunities for economic gain. What are we complaining about? We have more wealth than the kings in generations past. We even put men on the moon!

I guess I was just taking for granted that we DO live in a promised land. It took the satirical wit of Mark Twain to remind me of that. Man we are blessed!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Flap Your Wings

A frequently read bedtime book here is Flap Your Wings by P.D. Eastman. It is a tale about an aligator egg accidentally placed in a bird nest. As Ben and I have read the book, I noticed an interesting thing about the two main characters, Mr. and Mrs. Bird.

Mr. Bird is quite confident, happy, and full of "can do" attitude. The illustrations show Mr. Bird with a serene smile on his face through most of the book.

Mrs. Bird on the other hand is always frowning, worrying, and second guessing herself. She is in a chronic state of stress.

It got me thinking about my parenting of Ben, who only sees a funny story about an alligator in a tree. Am I the Mr. Bird parent or the Mrs. Bird parent? I think I'm more like Mrs. Bird, always worrying and wondering about his development and if I'm doing enough for him. It's a very draining way to live.

Mr. Bird seems to have the better time. He worked just as hard as Mrs. Bird but he actually enjoyed the ride. He was content with whatever "his child" threw at him. When his kid failed to fly like a proper bird, he was delighted to see that Junior was an excelent swimmer. Nothing phased his positive outlook. I wish I had more Mr. Bird in me.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Another nice date with Sarah

I had another nice date with Sarah. We went to my work's summer party. It was kinda chilly but we had a good time. We had some food. I won a gift card in the raffle (which is amazing because I don't win stuff very often). We also played basketball. I found out that Sarah can juggle, just like me, but not with basketballs, just like me.

We went back to Thanksgiving Point (where we met and left her car yesterday) and wandered over to the Brasilian festival going on there. I had her taste her first Gaurana. She thought it was okay. I think the biggest problem was that it was carbonated and she doesn't like carbonated drinks much. They also had some local brasilian bands doing some nice music. I hoped there would be capoeira demonstrations but those were all done for the day when we got there.

We wandered over to the gardens and walked around there for a while. We sat under a gazebo thing and talked for a while. Mostly about Cold War Germany. I read the book Yalta to Berlin and she served her mission there just after the wall came down.

The afternoon finished off with a nice long hug. Longer than our previous hugs. We still don't hold hands and we still haven't kissed and she's still not sure about calling it a real serious relationship and I don't mind because I'm in no hurry either. Better to take it slow and get it right than fast and get it wrong ...again.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

...And to think we still haven't kissed.

Friday night I dropped Ben off at Richard's work (Carisa's new husband) for the weekend and then headed over to Sarah's house. I helped her pound in some electrical grounding rods into her backyard and then attach a bolt from the outside of the house to the inside of the attic to secure the exterior electrical lines. I met her friend Garth who is the Real Life(TM) electrician helping her on the project. He mostly tells her what to do and what not to do. She does the real work.

I met one of her neighbors. I forgot their names but they were nice, a middle aged woman and her son without legs.

The high point of the evening was walking over to her church to sit on the grass and talk. Her yard mostly has weeds and there's something unproper about randomly sitting on someone else's yard. She asked me what shift she should take for Fridays and Saturdays. She was trying to figure out which to take so that we could see each other more often without major inconvienences to either of us. She WANTS to see me! Yippy!

She appologized for not returning the gesture of my teddy bear I made for her. I don't see that as a problem because she has really done most of the date planning and facilitating for us. She also worries that we don't know each other that well. Which is okay by me because that's what dating is for isn't it? She did kinda let slip that she is related to the prophet Spencer W. Kimball. She didn't say it flat out but I think its a grandfather-granddaughter relationship.

We'll be seeing each other this weekend. This time its my activity. We'll be going to my work's summer party. Sarah's brother Joseph will probably be there too with his family. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Orleans gets baptized

Yeah Hurricane Katrina has come and gone and now some levies broke and "Nar-lins" is underwater. Hopefully it will be a little less sinfull when they rebuild. My coworkers and I joked today about it starting a Venice style tourism with gondolas and everything.

In seriousness though, I hope everybody is okay. I've noticed one thing that concerns me though. In New York after 9/11, the city banded together full of comradory and a determination to rebuild. The same thing resulted with the major power outages that occured.

What I've found from the news (biased and limited in scope) from New Orleans is bitterness and complaints. Yes this disaster is far greater reaching in scope than what has occured in New York but still, there is opportunity to unite and rebuild with hope and joy.

I heard one woman on NPR blame President Bush for the flooding because the army was sent to Iraq so the Army Corp of Engineers couldn't take care of the levies properly. I found her view full of faulty logic. I think some people just don't really analyze their beliefs or thought processes. No matter how much work went into preparing for such a disaster, man will still be no match to the power of nature. The city was living on borrowed time since its founding.

We're on borrowed time too. We are surrounded by fault lines waiting for the big quake. In fact, I've noticed that most of the world is in danger to one kind of natural disaster or another. We must live then as if each day were our last because one day it will be. The Lord is trying to help us by reminding us of our mortality from time to time so that we can prepare and repent. I'm sure he also gives us such disasters as Hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to serve one another and grow spiritually.