Category Archives: ponder

Observations of a 4 year old birthday party

    My daughter celebrated her 4 years on the planet. During all the festivities, I made note of several little events I felt compelled to comment on here.

    I think one of the most annoying things I have experienced, even before becoming a parent, is watching other parents leave their children to fend for themselves at public functions. As soon as they arrive, the parent and child go their separate ways. I am not sure if this is a misinterpretation of “it takes a village” or what. Having been a camp counselor, I instantly feel I have to keep a watchful eye on the child. I find it hardly coincidental that the parent capable of this is oftentimes paired with what we in the childcare field referred to as “demon spawn.”  While most children have a natural appeal, these beings evoke no calming emotion. Luckily, the party only lasted 2 hours. I did quietly smile to myself watching these kids putting away soda in college beer bong proportions.  It’s almost like karma in disaccharide form.

     Other than that, I reaffirm my hatred of Bratz toys. The good news is that the toy gods were smiling upon us because there was only one this time. I find it really hard to celebrate inner-city attitude venerated as if it were culture. Bling is merely the substitution for the phrase “fascinated by shiny objects.” Even the frickin’ name emphasizes illiteracy…..


What is religion’s role in politics?

   First of all, let me say that I believe having religion is important. Religion, in my opinion, is having a relationship with the divine force. Faith is the expression of that relationship with the divine. Morality is the behavioral standard that we apply to ourselves when interacting with the world around us. Unfortunately, we have forgotten or lost perspective of several important things.

    Religion is something one has to find within themselves. Until someone experiences that specific moment where they find their own “proof” for the divine force, it will always be foreign for them. That person might know what to say to sound like a believer, but don’t feel it. They might surround themselves with religious people and the symbols of the faith, but that doesn’t instill faith automatically. Judging, condemning or shouting at people who don’t believe isn’t going to help anything. Telling them they have the wrong faith unless they share yours is even more spiritually damaging. Emphasizing or implying one is better than another is also misguided. I also think that a great deal of emphasis has been giving to religious symbols. Faith shouldn’t be threatened by the presence of some symbols or the absense of others. Destruction or desecration of those symbols, although disrespectful, doesn’t destroy faith because faith is something inside you.

   Does the absense of religion mean that person can’t function within our government? Not necessarily. Should they still be aware of religions? Yes. Can you be a leader in the government with it? Yes. Can you be a leader in the government without it? Yes.  While the presense of faith may influence decisions, the main premise behind a democracy is representing the people. You obviously can’t please everyone, but you also have to take other peoples’ viewpoints (including religious ones) into consideration. Having faith as a leader does not mean using it exclusively to find direction or make decisions. Leaders who reinforce their beliefs exclusively through their position of power carry the appearance of a dictator.

   Finally, I think the problem with religion in politics now is based on the fact that religion is worn as clothing. It is being used to disguise a candidate to make them appear acceptable to a group of people the candidate believes will help them win votes.  Religion is a beautiful thing, and in my mind, flawless. The flaw is in how it is exploited and manipulated by those who claim to practice it.  Essentially, another layer of the “say one thing, do another” mentality that has most voters fed up with our current political system. Sen. Larry Craig is just another example. Tell the public what you think it wants to hear, even if your current lifestyle doesn’t jibe.

*****side comments on current presidential candidates

Most candidates don’t strike me as being particularly religious, at least visibly. The only talk I have heard or read about religion in the presidential race is about Mitt Romney (Mormon) and Barack Obama (Islam).  It seems that some voters are deadset against either of these two because they aren’t Christian. That strikes me as incredibly misguided. What if Christian were a minority faith? Would it make sense to rule them out, simply because of that? Or are people just looking for ways to split the US vs. THEM thing? Bush, who seems relatively open embracing his Christianity(Methodist, if I remember correctly….although I have heard “born again” which strikes me as being generally more fundamental or charismatic for the Methodist line of thought.) His decisions have obviously colored his decisions on legislation. It’s even to the point where his view is the minority, yet it gets pushed through as law. Stem cell research. Case & Point.  I just don’t see how that makes us any better off than a more balanced leader. Of course, Bush never tried to mend any bridges after capturing just enough votes to win the election. A true leader would have reached out to the 49% of the vote that didn’t vote for him. Low voter turn out should have reinforced his need to reach out.

Of course, the other side of the coin is that Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hilary Clinton could spend the rest of her life claiming to be whatever religion she wanted to. There is still no way I could believe that she have the spiritual substance having been involved with so many questionable legal dealings.  Bill Clinton didn’t do us any favors either. A man who can’t respect the marriage vow doesn’t strike me as one who can be trusted to lead the country. I swear the only difference between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush sometimes is that Gee Dubya wasn’t as good of a liar as Clinton.

Would someone please tell me that this next election WON’T be another vote for the lesser of two evils again!!?!

5 Traits I Really Like In A Co-Worker

1) A Sense Of Humor – There is a time to be serious and get down to work, but being able to laugh is important too. You don’t necessarily need to be a prankster, but don’t take everything seriously.

2) Know the difference between venting and complaining – Sure. Everyone has their bad days. Things don’t always go smoothly. Let people know you’re having a bad day, then try to move on. Don’t become the human dark cloud who then evolves into a psychic vampire and drains the life and enthusiasm for being there. If things get that bad, dude; quit. If you are reading the classified during your lunch hour; it might be time to move on.

3) Flexible – Things don’t happen when they need to, nor does the equipment work the way it’s supposed to all the time. Figure out work arounds. Don’t go postal.

4) Be willing to help out where it’s needed – Don’t be the person who will literally only do the things specifically listed on your job description. Especially if you work in a small office, being willing to help others can go along way.

5) Beware of the psychological condition of TRANSFERENCE – If you just ended a customer call after getting your face ripped off because they didn’t get their way; don’t take it out on anyone.  Empower yourself.  Learn what you can and can’t do, then only worry about the stuff you can change. If a customer tries to rip you a new one, tell them you’re willing to help but not be abused. Be willing to help, but not willing to be a pariah for all the evils ever befallen from them in the past. Oh, and don’t go blaming the person or group who handled the issue before. Bad karma, otherwise.

Bonus trait: practice decent personal hygiene. Co-workers are willing to cut you some slack for the occasional broccoli in the teeth thing after lunch. Bad coffee breath is possible to cope with for brief periods. I am talking the shower/bath thing. Clean off. Use deoderant or other anti-stink technology.

God moves in mysterious ways

Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary appears on a garage door in Minersville, PA

The appearance of what appears to be a sign of God has drawn believers and garage door appreciators from all over East Central Pennsylvania. God’s holy message has been delivered to Minersville, PA although no one is exactly sure what that message is or why it is appearing on a garage door.

“I am not sure what God’s advertising budget is,” asks Lamar Advertising Account Exec, David Schultz,” but I think he might be able to benefit from our new line of electronic signs.” After being severely beaten by the crowd for suggesting that the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Creator needed such a mortal way to get His message across; the crowd returned its attention to the glowing garage door.

Many believers in the group of people seemed that they will have more converts by the end of the night. Most, however, seem to just be fascinated with staring at a human-shaped blob of light.

Personally, I don’t believe that something as important as finding religion would be left to such a vague presentation. The Old Testament burning bush that talks directly to the person is a much more clear way to send any religious message.

Looks like God’s gonna have to go old school.


p.s. For some reason, I feel compelled to quote those potentially prophetic words of Echo & The Bunnymen.

“Bring on the new messiah. Wherever he may roam.”

I just made up some words!

Linguinic – lin-GWEE-nic – adj. – having characteristics of linguini.

Governminty Fresh – guv-err-MINT-ee Fresh – adj. – something that leaves a bad taste in your mouth that tastes like one of those nasty pastel colored chalky mints.

Hiltonistic – hill-tah-NIST-ic – adj. – the state of being completely unaware of the world around you.

Lohaniacal – low-hann-EYE-ic-all – adj. – Believing that one can ingest alcohol and cocaine without having any effect on your body, career or freedom.

Ritchiegostisic – riht-CHEE-go-tiss-tickle – adj. –  Narcissism meets money and fame by adoption.

Un-Rinna-listic – un-RINNAH-liss-tick – adj. – lips having the appearance of mutant earthworms on steroids. See Lisa Rinna.

5 skills to master in life

1) Balance – Everything in the universe works towards maintaining equilibrium. Things also tend to be dynamic, rather than static. Equilibrium can be reached, but it’s not a permanent destination. Being able to find out what it takes for you to reach equilibrium with everything is the way to go. Hint: sometimes all it takes is having the right perspective to see the way towards equilibrium.

2) Learning – This doesn’t mean institutions to obtain degrees. It’s the willingness to be open to new ideas and incorporate old ones. Once again, it’s a journey – not a destination.

2) Energy Management – If you think of all the influences in your life as energy, it becomes clearer on how to manage them. The main example of energy most people probably think of is electricity. It is a force. You can’t see it, but you can see what it can do for you. It can be used to run everything from reading lights to running machines. However, if you don’t handle it properly; it can kill or injure you.  Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It simply changes forms. This even applies to personal energy. Holding onto anger, pain, fear and a whole range of other negative emotions is normal & takes energy. However,  not ultimately letting them go at some point can lead to problems.

4) Nurturing – Being able to expend energy to take care of someone else can help build a sense of empathy (an important trait to have) toward others.  It’s very natural, perhaps even genetic. However, it should not be a permanent state (see: balance). Living to serve only others is not healthy. You want to be able to see the whole picture of how everything works together, which includes each of us. We all have a part in the universe.

5) Discernment – Being able to see patterns and tell things apart is important. It applies to not only being able to recognize things in new situations, but also to be able to see the different levels of interaction. People have their own agendas. Some are obvious. Some are not. Being aware that you aren’t being manipulated or tricked can be an important skill too.

Here’s a job that could be scary and exciting….at the same time.

I don’t really like heights, but I guess I wouldn’t necessarily be looking down then, I suppose, either.