30 July 2010

New Cheaper Wi-Fi Only Kindle

The New York Times reports that Amazon.com will introduce two new versions of the Kindle e-reader on Thursday, one for $139, the lowest price yet for the device. Amazon is hoping to convince even casual readers that they need a digital reading device. By firing another shot in an e-reader price war leading up to the year-end holiday shopping season, the e-commerce giant turned consumer electronics manufacturer is also signaling it intends to do battle with Apple and its iPad as well as the other makers of e-readers like Sony and Barnes & Noble.

Unlike previous Kindles, the $139 “Kindle Wi-Fi” will connect to the Internet using only Wi-Fi instead of a cellphone network as other Kindles do. Amazon is also introducing a model to replace the Kindle 2, which it will sell for the same price as that model, $189. Both new Kindles are smaller and lighter, with higher contrast screens and crisper text.

“The hardware business for us has been so successful that we’re going to continue,” Jeffrey P. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, said in an interview at the company’s headquarters. “I predict there will be a 10th-generation and a 20th-generation Kindle. We’re well-situated to be experts in purpose-built reading devices.”

When Amazon introduced the Kindle in 2007, Mr. Bezos described it as a must-have for frequent travelers and people who read “two, three, four books at the same time.” Now, Amazon hopes that at $10 less than the least expensive reading devices from Barnes & Noble and Sony, the new Kindle has broken the psychological price barrier for even occasional readers or a family wanting multiple Kindles.

“At $139, if you’re going to read by the pool, some people might spend more than that on a swimsuit and sunglasses,” Mr. Bezos said.
Some analysts are predicting that e-readers could become this year’s hot holiday gift. James L. McQuivey, a principal analyst specializing in consumer electronics at Forrester Research, said a price war could for the first time reduce at least the price of one e-reader to under $100, often the tipping point for impulse gadget purchases.

Check Gizmodo's view on the new Kindle devices.
The new Kindle is 21 per cent smaller and 15 per cent lighter than the Kindle 2, great for those like me who enjoy reading in bed. Even with a smaller form factor, the familiar 6-inch screen is still present with 50 per cent better contrast (same as the Kindle DX). Improved contrast and font rendering aren’t particularly noticeable for books, partly because it was never an issue with the Kindle 2, but the changes are nice for reading newspapers.

Amazon has slashed the price of the Kindle at a speed that is unusual, even for electronic gadgets. By last year, the price of the device was to $259, down from its starting price of $399 in late 2007. In June, hours after Barnes & Noble dropped the price of its Nook e-reader to $199, Amazon dropped the price of the Kindle to $189. The Kindle DX, which has a larger, 9.7-inch screen, is $379.

With Amazon’s latest announcement, it is again waging a price war. Barnes & Noble offers a Wi-Fi version of the Nook for $149 and Sony offers the Reader Pocket Edition, which does not have Wi-Fi, for $150.

Although the market for tablet computers is expected to soon eclipse that for e-readers, Amazon's latest move gives the company some breathing room, Forrester analyst James McQuivey said.

"Amazon wants to sell you enough of these so you can have a couple lounging around the house. It becomes a new bookshelf. That's the model they're going for," he said.


International Business Times says that, though Amazon does not release sales figures, e-books now outsell hard copies. The new Kindles will begin shipping August 27th.

28 July 2010

Turtles Fly! Strange worship, but I like it.


The beauty of these creatures under water is something to be seen, not described.

Church is good. Gathered together with all God's children is a blessing.

But being int he midst of His creation and seeing how big He is . . . that is worship, that is where I connect best with my God.


"The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it."

Psalm 24:1

"You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken... O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures."

Psalm 104:5,24

"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."

Revelation: 4:11

27 July 2010

Multi-cultural World: Multi-faith People

We ignore religion, and other religions than our own, at our own peril. To ignore them will not make them go away, nor will it simplify relationships and communication. Understanding and respect is the level ground upon which we can have conversations.

I recently received an email from a friend that traced the story of a Muslim woman from Egypt. The story outlined the injustice she suffered, the struggles she faced and the extremist stance Islam in Egypt can take.

What the article did not say is that much of what the story illustrated is not typical of Islam all over the world. It is typical of some forms of Islam in some places in the world.

I could tell similar extremist stories of Christian sects in an effort to turn all of the undecided or uninformed against Jesus followers. My story might even be accurate and documented, but it wouldn't be a true representation of the faith and life Jesus lived and taught.

I am against any religion being used as an instrument of
oppression of any gender, race or socio-economic class of people.

We all may have the opportunity to sit in conversation with someone very different from us. Asking informed questions will lead to meaningful discourse and possibly friendship. I'm all for that.

Scot McKnight writes, "We need to understand other religions for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is our globalized world is making the world smaller and because some think the differences between the religions is actually, upon closer inspection, shrinking as well.

In his new book, Prothero offers descriptions of the major religions of the world and does so under the following categories: Problem, solution, technique, exemplar. But, thanks to the skill of Prothero, this is not a systematic book but a gentle walk into the land of each of the faiths. It's not textbookish. It's a pleasant read.

His first major chapter is about Islam, and he begins there for reasons: "The nineteenth and twentieth centuries may have belonged to Christianity. The twenty-first belongs to Islam."

Why does he say this? Adherents are growing; its influence is growing; its economic assets are growing. Islam, he is saying, is setting the agenda for the 21st Century worldview.

In surveying his survey we run the risk of simplifying too much, so I will make the claim here that I'm highlighting points made in his chapters and not scanning the whole.

1. Most of us in the West know very little about Islam and know very few Muslims. This means we have a hard time being intelligent about Islam and Muslims.
2. Islam is about submission to Allah; it is about a world of peace through that submission.
3. Muslims, devout Muslims, pray 5 times per day, 365 days per year. . . .

There are 12 points in this list. Read more on Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed blog.

26 July 2010

Monday Mirth: Phraseology








Thanks to Mark Parisi for turning a phrase used for dog training into something else.

Nice touch.

25 July 2010

This is why I snorkel! Oh, and the turtles too.



"But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being."

Job 12:7-10

23 July 2010

Your Life: All moments are key moments

"Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."

Frederick Buechner in Now and Then

Just Under the Surface






A snorkeling holiday
is about as good as it
gets for me.

Wish you were here!

22 July 2010

Identity & Identity Markers: Who decides 'em?

If someone asks you who you are, the context would very likely play a role in your answer.


Sometimes our first response is to give our name.
Is your name who you are?
It was given to you by parents, possibly after they'd known you for only a matter of minutes and possibly chosen before you were born.

Is your occupation your identity?
What happens when you are made redundant, your position is disestablished or you retire?

In Zimbabwe amongst the Shona people, a father and mother's identity is intimately tied to their children to the point of nearly losing their given names altogether and being called father of- or mother of - , until the grandchildren are born. Then you get a promotion of sorts.

Many traditional cultures introduce themselves by ancestors and geographical markers, naming a mountain, river or famous chief as their point of association.

I was born in to a Methodist home to a family that worked for General Motors for generations. I was born in a corn growing state with an internationally acclaimed speedway nearby and a penchant for basketball. Indiana grows terrific sweet corn and cantaloupe/rock melon/musk melon.

Does that make me a Hoosier Christian who drives a Chevy very fast to ballgames to eat corn and melon?

Many people think going to church makes you a Christian. Years ago Keith Green quipped that going to church didn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's made you a hamburger.

All of this to muse on identity and how it is formed, but it's also to ask about statistics and how they are compiled.

Books are published and websites generated that spout statistics of major religions, minor sects and where these groups are clustered or dispersed.

How can a statistician determine that I am a Christian? By what definition? Is it a self-determined title or tag?

In America I was called a honky. If they were friends calling me that, it was ok. If they were not, my black friends would beat them up. In Zimbabwe I was murungu, only being called munhu when I learned to speak the local language. Fascinating, that. Now I am a Pakeha, a non-Maori living in New Zealand. The beauty is, in NZ my ethnic moniker is commonly capitalised where murungu and honky were not!
The major population groups in New Zealand are now Maori, Pakeha, Pacific, and Asian, and there is a rich diversity of people of other cultures. This is expected to continue to strengthen over the next fifty years. On present trends, half of all New Zealanders will be of Maori, Pacific, and Asian descent by 2051. Many of these people will also be of Pakeha descent. These categories cover over 200 ethnic groups, including more than 60 distinct Asian identities. Moreover, many people are of mixed ethnicity, and this is important in terms of New Zealand 's evolving national identity.
_____________________

Massey University religious historian Peter Lineham says the proportion of New Zealanders describing themselves as Christian fell from 90 per cent to 52 per cent in the 50 years to 2006.

A further 5 per cent now follow non-Christian religions and only 32 per cent say they have no religion. NZ Herald

If this trend continues, NZ will have 14 per cent of the population saying they are "Christian" in 2060.


When presented with statistics, discern carefully how they are being used and who compiled them. What are they supposed to be saying and who is saying it? Who is applying the labels and upon what basis?
Thinking is required.
Your response?

21 July 2010

The Oldest Employee of the US Postal Service Retires at 95

Chester Reed, 95, the oldest employee of the U.S. Postal Service, retires Wednesday after 37 years at the San Bernadino, Calif., Processing and Distribution Center.

Reed worked as a mark machinist, mail handler and forklift operator. Colleagues plan to toast Reed's departure with cake and ice cream and by giving him a leather NASCAR racing jacket with the Postal Service logo, sent by Postmaster General John E. Potter. Reed loves cars.

Reed, who is hard of hearing, spoke Tuesday by telephone with the assistance of plant manager Mary Brunkhorst:

-- Interview by Ed O'Keefe

Why did you decide to retire now?

I figured I don't have too many years left and, who knows, I could go tomorrow. My son, he likes to travel, and I'd like to do some traveling and he's a good traveling companion. He's kind of my right-hand man, so I don't know, the Good Book says there's a time for everything. . .

My plans right now are to finish my tour of Scandinavia, to visit Russia, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. We're just going to try to make a round run and see everything that I've never seen before. (He also wants to see the Taj Mahal in India. He has visited the Great Wall of China and Rio de Janeiro, where he hang-glided at 93.)

What did you do before the Postal Service?

For 25 years I was in the Air Force, before there was an air force (it was the Army Air Corps).

So why did you decide to join the Postal Service?

I like activity and I had a lot of time on my hands. When I first went to the post office in Riverside, they were interviewing a lot of people and it just so happened that they had an opening on the very day that I came in.

What's been your favorite part about the job?

I don't really have a favorite part, I liked all of it.

You never took a sick day in your 37 years. Have you ever worked sick?

Nope, I'm pretty healthy. . . . I eat onion sandwiches. It's very simple: You take two slices of bread, you put a lot of mayonnaise on either slice, then you cut a great big slice of onion and put it in between. The vinegar and the mayonnaise will kill the heat in the onion, and then you'll have a delicious sandwich, which is very healthy.

What did you drink with that?

Is there anything better than water?

Do you remember how many bosses you had in 37 years?

No, I sure don't, because most of them have been retired for a long time. Didn't keep score on that.

What do you make of the current financial condition of the Postal Service? Any advice on how it can survive?

That's not in my department, but I think one thing the Postal Service could do is to cut out Saturday delivery. We do Saturday delivery all over the nation, and it costs a lot of money. I would never miss it, I don't think most people would. Businesses might, but personally I think if I was the postmaster I'd cut it off right now.

Chester was interviewed on Radio National's Nine to Noon on July 12th.

Washington Post

ancient-future worship and spiritual practices

Jennifer Taylor writes in her blog, Write About Now,

"Authors like Brian McLaren and Robert Webber have written about “ancient-future” worship and spiritual practices. Many churches have added more contemplative vespers or chapel services in addition to the guitars and SermonSpice videos on Sunday morning, and Taize prayer services have started to pop up everywhere from the Unitarians to the Presbyterians.

Clearly, there is a growing desire for simpler, quieter worship options, even (especially?) among the younger generations. Is this symptomatic of larger doctrinal shifts, or simply the inevitable pendulum swing after years of the other extreme in American worship?

I’m guessing both, but for me it’s simply an opportunity to be still and to reflect . . ."

Read more at Write About Now.

20 July 2010

Legal Money Laundering, Zim Style

"The washing machine cycle takes about 45 minutes – and George Washington comes out much cleaner in the Zimbabwe-style laundering of dirty money.

Low-denomination U.S bank notes change hands until they fall apart here in Africa, and the bills are routinely carried in underwear and shoes through crime-ridden slums.

HARARE, Zimbabwe, by way of The Huffington PostANGUS SHAW | 07/ 6/10 10:19 AM | AP

Some have become almost too smelly to handle, so Zimbabweans have taken to putting their $1 bills through the spin cycle and hanging them up to dry with clothes pins alongside sheets and items of clothing.

It's the best solution – apart from rubber gloves or disinfectant wipes – in a continent where the U.S. dollar has long been the currency of choice and where the lifespan of a dollar far exceeds what the U.S. Federal Reserve intends.

Zimbabwe's coalition government officially declared the U.S. dollar legal tender last year to eradicate world record inflation of billions of percent in the local Zimbabwe dollar as the economy collapsed.

The U.S. Federal Reserve destroys about 7,000 tons of worn-out money every year. It says the average $1 bill circulates in the United States for about 20 months – nowhere near its African life span of many years.

Larger denominations coming in through banks and formal import and export trade are less soiled.

But among Africa's poor, the $1, $2, $5 and $10 bills are the most sought after. Dirty $1 bills can remain in circulation at rural markets, bus parks and beer halls almost indefinitely, or at least until they finally disintegrate.

Still, banks and most businesses in Zimbabwe do not accept torn, Scotch-taped, scorched, defaced, exceptionally dirty or otherwise damaged U.S. notes.

Zimbabweans say the U.S. notes do best with gentle hand-washing in warm water. But at a laundry and dry cleaner in eastern Harare, a machine cycle does little harm either to the cotton-weave type of paper. Locals say chemical "dry cleaning" is not recommended – it fades the color of the famed greenback."

Jill's Comment:

I still have some Zimbabwean currency. It's worth more as a collector's item than any monetary value. I have a $2 note! I keep it in my Bible as a reminder to pray for Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean people of all ethnicities scattered all around the world due to the difficult conditions within their homeland.

19 July 2010

Monday Mirth: Perspective




mirth

noun
merriment, amusement, fun, pleasure, laughter, rejoicing, festivity, glee, frolic, sport, gaiety, hilarity, cheerfulness, revelry, jollity, levity, gladness, joviality, jocularity, merrymaking, joyousness


Thank Mark Parisi for any chuckles that might have
followed this cartoon.
I thought it was a good one.


Perspective.
Hard to understand things from only our point of view sometimes.

18 July 2010

Worship: Amazing. Awesome.



"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good."

Genesis 1:31

"You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life..."

Nehemiah 9:6

17 July 2010

Designer Holidays: What would yours be?

Check out this snorkeling programme! Daku Vintage Resort on Savusavu Island

If we could design a perfect program for a vacation or holiday, a programme that highlighted and explored your hobby or interest, what would it look like?

A friend of mine just went to Australia and the highlight for her was the Venom Zoo. She loves spiders. Her husband loves her. He went too. I'm thinking it was not his highlight, but love compromises.

Would you make the rounds of op shops/secondhand stores like my friend Cheryl?
Would you go to gardens, race tracks or roller coasters? How about golf courses, art galleries or a sci-fi convention?

I frequent bookstores in my travels. Some of my favourite souvenirs have been books from odd places. I write the purchase date and place in pencil on the title page. If I've got to dust something, I'd prefer it to be a book to a nic nac.

How about you? The ideal hobby focused holiday?

WENDELL BERRY: LIFE & WORK

Read an excerpt: WENDELL BERRY: LIFE & WORK.

[ Now out in paperback from the Univ. Press of Kentucky! ]

http://su.pr/1t9yRF

16 July 2010

Founding Documents: Guiding Principles.

One of the challenges with wording public and legal documents well is that we don't always know the situations in which they'll be used.

Think of the Treaty of Waitangi or the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Who could have foreseen the situations in which those documents are scrutinised today? Surely not Queen Victoria and King George III. They were just minding their own business while their entrepreneurs and explorers were out creating opportunity and mischief in their name.

And today, we have self-governing former colonies scattered all over the globe trying to sort out the details and get it right for their current citizens.

One issue that strikes at the heart of many conversations is where religion comes in to the picture, or if it does at all. Is religion a determining factor in civil and legislative decision making or is there a real and abiding separation of Church and State?

Is religion a guiding factor only if it is our religion that is dominant, or do all religions have a right to some input on things? I'm just asking.

If we are talking about safe and healthy societies for all people, matters of faith and spirituality have to come in to play.

People are born, live, excel, suffer, overcome, struggle, thrive and die. They develop, love, give birth, seek trusting relationships, desire to make meaningful contributions and leave some sort of a legacy when they depart this place. Sometimes that meaning is in planting a tree, saving a sea star or having a child. Sometimes it is investing in students, creating better ways of living or contributing to medical science.

When we enter the realm of desire, hope, dreams, love, trust and meaning, we have entered the realm of spiritual matters. They need not be religious necessarily, but they are spiritual.

Can we legislate such things? Can we regulate such things? Can we restrict those things to private homes or outside of work hours?

Such elements make teachers better teachers, administrators better administrators, doctors better healers. Such elements add meaning to jobs that we might otherwise think meaningless.

If a street sweeper swept with pride and loved his city and people in it, that pride and love is not quantifiable. He is not just in it for the money. Passion is a quality that transforms everyday life into life-giving and energising participation in the human race. There is something spiritual about it.

Different voices shout for inclusion or exclusion of different phrases as they wrestle with the draft statement, but NZ's Human Rights Commission is trying to get the wording of Human Rights in New Zealand Today right. They are struggling, but it is a good struggle.

Sometimes the questions are more important than whatever answers follow.

15 July 2010

Influence: The life that I touch

"The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt."

Frederick Buechner in The Hungering Dark

A Library Without Books? Gone Digital!

Digital libraries? An excerpt from NPR


For years, students have had to search through volume after volume of books before finding the right formula — but no more. Stanford University's Librarian chief Helen Josephine says that "with books being digitized and available through full text search capabilities, they can find that formula quite easily."

In 2005, when Stanford University realized it was running out space for its growing collection of 80,000 engineering books, administrators decided to build a new library. But instead of creating more space for books, they chose to create less.

The new library is set to open in August with 10,000 engineering books on the shelves — a decrease of more than 85 percent from the old library. Stanford library director Michael Keller says the librarians determined which books to keep on the shelf by looking at how frequently a book was checked out. They found that the vast majority of the collection hadn't been taken off the shelf in five years.

Keller expects that, eventually, there won't be any books on the shelves at all.

"As the world turns more and more, the items that appeared in physical form in previous decades and centuries are appearing in digital form," he says.

Given the nature of engineering, that actually comes in handy. Engineering uses some basic formulas but is generally a rapidly changing field — particularly in specialties such as software and bioengineering. Traditional textbooks have rarely been able to keep up.

In 2004, Stanford University became one of the first institutions
to allow Google to digitize chunks of its library collection
as part
of the Google Books Library Project.

A New Trend In Libraries?

For the moment, the Engineering Library is the only Stanford library that's cutting back on books. But Keller says he can see what's coming down the road by simply looking at the current crop of Stanford students.

"They write their papers online, and they read articles online, and many, many, many of them read chapters and books online," he says. "I can see in this population of students behaviors that clearly indicate where this is all going."

And while it's still rare among American libraries to get rid of such a large amount of books, it's clear that many are starting to lay the groundwork for a different future. According to a survey by the Association of Research Libraries, American libraries are spending more of their money on electronic resources and less on books.

Meanwhile, at Stanford's new Engineering Library, librarians are looking forward to spending less time with books and more time with people.

"That's what we're so [excited about]," Josephine says, "the idea of actually offering more services, offering more workshops, offering more one-on-one time with students."

14 July 2010

Speaking in Code -> Confusion, Frustration, Alienation

Zumba, geocaching, Star Trek, Euchre, video games, Surrogates, breeding birds, golf, Taekwondo, scrapbooking . . . . they all have their own vocabulary, a code that works for those who are in. If you are in the group or interested in the hobby, you speak the language. If not, it gets boring very fast.

The same is true with religious or spiritual conversations. Those who understand the terminology often are not aware that many other people do not understand. Assumptions are made and confusion or misunderstanding continue.

John Ortberg often says, "Why can't everyone be normal like me?" His sarcastic humour underlines a real truth. His statement is funny and reminds himself that there are different ways of looking at things.

It's not funny when you take the humour and sarcasm out of the statement. To think that normal is to be like yourself is a form of arrogance. Humility will seek common ground those who are different from ourselves, with those who don't speak our language.

Consider this example from Discipleship Journal (Jan/Feb 2002)

"Would you ever use the word ‘sin'?" A lawyer in our group answered smugly, "Yes—as in ‘sinfully delicious chocolate.'" "OK," I replied, "a kid goes to school and shoots 15 classmates. Would you call that sin?" He said, "I'd call it wrong." "Based on what?" I asked. This provoked a healthy discussion.
How would you explain sin to someone who had no biblical, church or religious background? What if there was no understanding of a moral law giver, therefore no commonly agreed upon moral law?

Assumptions do not aid understanding; they fuel frustration and alienation.

Organisational Change, and it's Inhibitors.

Change is inevitable. It happens while we are sleeping. I'm involved with a few organisations that are managing change. Some are doing it better than others.

One, that ought to know better as it has all the resources for understanding change, is doing a terrible job because it is prioritising structure ahead of people. Another organisation is doing better as it is people focused; ignorant of major management theory, but treating its people well.

How can managers and leaders make change more palatable, acceptable, even embraced by the people affected or involved? Consider some factors that cause resistance to organisational change.

Us -vs- Them One of the biggest inhibitors to organisation change is the Us -vs- Them mentality. When there is no cohesion in purposes, plans, goals and strategies, much energy is lost within the organisation.

Image, prestige and reputation. Image, prestige and reputation are important to every employee. If people feel they are losing something they are used to, they'll resist.

Job security. Organizational change sometimes results in disestablished positions, redundancies and so on. Job security, while often an illusion, is a comforting illusion.

Reallocation of resources. Restructuring can assign more staff or authority to one person or department, possibly removing some from others.

Acquired interest of some groups. Organizational change can threaten old coalitions, changing the balance of power.

Misunderstanding of changes. Peoples resist change when they do not understand or agree with the purposes of change. Sometimes employees are not provided with adequate information. Resistance might be a result of confusion or apprehension due to lack of information.

Selective information processing. Individuals sometimes hear that they want to hear. This frustrates what might have been a good communication strategy.

Mistrust of initiators of change. When people do not trust the initiators of organizational change, things can become difficult. Strong relationships and good conversations pave the way for change.

Different evaluation and perception. People at different levels of an organisation have different perspectives. Their opinions and decisions are informed by the information gathered from those perspectives.

Fear of the unknown. Organizational change can lead to uncertainty and that might look dangerous to some people. Anxiety can be a sharpening factor in growth. It can also impede change.

Habits. People develop habits. Organizational changes requires a shift of that habit, upsetting organisational culture or patterns that can irritate participants.

Experience of organizational change. Participants already have some experience of previous organizational change and know that this process is not easy. If the experience was negative, the participants might be reluctant to endure the change process again.

Threat to interpersonal relations. If an organizational change threatens the strength social networks in an organization, the affected employees often resist change. Employees are more than producers or performers. They are social

Weakness of the proposed changes. Sometimes proposed change have weaknesses that employees can recognise. They'll be slow to implement change that makes no sense or will not serve the stated purposes or goals.

Peer pressure affects change whether by resistance or communal acceptance.

Skepticism about the need of change. If the problem is not personal thing of employees, they do not see the need have changed. Those that not can to see the need of change shows low readiness to change;

Length of time for change. Too short and resistance is sharp. Too long and it becomes ineffectual.

Understanding these factors might help us avoid obstacles that could derail good and helpful change. Informed change agents can navigate the territory with fewer fatalities.

With reference to Entrepreneurship in a Box

13 July 2010

Google Editions to take on Amazon & iBooks.

How will Google entering the retail realm affect it's integrity as a search engine? I know Google is much more than a search engine, with numerous apps online and huge initiatives in Android OS and so much more.

But when I'm searching for a book or music title, will Google prioritise it's offerings and I'll have to sift through more and more "advertising" or product placement to find what I'm after?

Check The NY Times article to see what's being said about Google. On the one hand, it is great that Google seems to be working with the independent booksellers in an arrangement that will keep the little guys in business.

Independent book stores employ people who love books so they can talk books with you, the book loving customer. The staff will tell you what they've read, what other customers read and then said, what seems to be touted as the next good read . . . a personal service that really isn't equaled online.

I love independent bookstores. They give as much as they sell, by way of advice and info.

But what do you readers think about Google straddling a line of providing information, paid for by advertising, and being a retailer that profits directly from product sales?

Does everybody win, or do we who seek information lose? No, I will not use Bing as my search engine of choice.

Wall Street Journal Article

Qualities of Jesus -vs- My deficiencies

Here's a challenge for weary Jesus followers who think they can never measure up.

Find a story about Jesus that appeals to you and “sit” alone with it for an hour.

“Concentrate on Jesus. Do not compare yourself with Him; just look at Him.
Focus on the qualities you see in Him rather than dwell on the deficiencies you see in yourself.”

12 July 2010

Spain's Victory Predicted by Spiritual Slimeball

I predicted Spain to win on June 13th in Conversations@Intersections. Check! I really did. But then, I know as much about football/soccer as an octopus does.

Wait a minute! You've heard the story, right, that an octopus in Germany has been choosing correctly match winners? Networks interrupted their television programming to watch Paul make his choice live! Europe erupted after the choice!

Does this sound like intelligent people in 2010? Sounds more like traditional or animistic societies throwing bones, swirling ash on water or reading curls of smoke.

We know that players train, condition and strategise to defeat their opponents. We know that many athletes have rituals that help them get their head in the game psychologically. Sport includes a certain amount of science and technology, but when the big games approach, people get spiritual without even realising it.

To consult an oracle or turn to superstition is spiritual. It is not statistical, psychological or strategic, but spiritual. It is something beyond us all that cannot be controlled, but is often consulted. For some it is astrology. For others it is a ground hog, a parrot or an octopus. For some it is just a joke, but not for all.

And how do we explain the accuracy, other than if Paul had been wrong he wouldn't have stayed in the headlines?

I wonder how many people placed bets on the basis of Paul the Octopus and his choices? That would make as much sense as putting money on my opinion in FIFA results I don't know much about soccer/football at all.

Here are excerpts from Reuters:

The two-year-old celebrity octopus, who has accurately picked the outcome of all six of Germany's World Cup matches so far, quickly tipped Spain to beat the Netherlands. It took him only three minutes to make up his mind.

"That was fast -- it looks like a clear-cut victory for Spain," said Tanja Munzig, spokeswoman for Sea Life in Oberhausen. She was surprised by his speed in picking Spain. For some matches it took Paul 70 minutes to decide.

The octopus, considered by some to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates, got the choice of picking food from two different transparent containers lowered into his tank -- one with a Dutch flag on it and one with Spain's flag.

The container Paul opens first is regarded as his pick. On Friday he wasted no time in diving for the container on the right side with the Spanish flag on it.

Two German television networks interrupted their programing for live coverage of the two-year-old celebrity octopus's picks. Networks in Spain, the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe also broadcast Paul's decision live.

Earlier on Friday, Germans heaved a sigh of relief when Paul tipped Germany to beat Uruguay in the World Cup match for third place. There were cheers in offices across Germany after crowds of viewers tuned in to watch Paul live.

The octopus in Oberhausen turned into a global celebrity for correctly picking the winners of all six of Germany's World Cup matches -- including their two defeats to Serbia and Spain.

On Friday Paul first settled on top of the Germany container but after a few minutes shifted to the Uruguay container. Then after about 15 minutes he went back to Germany container, quickly opened the lid and ate the morsel of food inside.

Not an ordinarily superstitious people, Germans have become believers in Paul's possible psychic powers. The country was shocked and distraught when he picked Spain to beat Germany after tipping German wins over Argentina, England, Ghana and Australia.

But after Paul accurately picked Spain to beat Germany in the semi-final, some Germans called for a public roasting of the oracle octopus. Newspapers and websites were filled with suggestions on how to cook and eat him.

Officials at Sea Life in Oberhausen have installed extra security to protect their octopus.

"Paul is in safe hands with us," said Munzig.

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was quoted in Spanish media reports saying -- in jest -- he was concerned about Paul's safety.

"I am concerned for the octopus...I am thinking of sending him a protective team," Zapatero said.

Spain's Environment and Fisheries Minister Elena Espinosa also said: "On Monday I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a (fishing) ban on Paul the octopus so Germans do not eat him."

Cartoon: The Art of Humour

What's your favourite cartoon?

The role of cartoons has changed over the years. Rare is the exquisite satirist who could say more through a few pen and ink lines than a thousand words could convey.

My favourites include Calvin & Hobbes. I actually have books of those cartoons. I don't get lots of the Doonesbury cartoons, and there's another one my friends used to show me. The laughter had more to do with the look on my face than the cartoon cause I just didn't get them.

Check out some of the best free online cartoons here. The list includes everyday humour to political cartoons. Laughter is a good thing if it's not at anyone else's expense.

Sacred Idleness: But probably not on a Monday morning!

Work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.

—George MacDonald

11 July 2010

Happiness & Perfection: Elusive

"Happiness is a quality which ever retreats before them without getting out of sight"
Alexis de Tocqueville

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
~Confucius, Analects


The most difficult part of attaining perfection is finding something to do for an encore.
~Author Unknown

10 July 2010

Are you reaping what you've sown?

Keiki Hendrix briefly reviews of The Karma of Jesus by Mark Herringshaw

Whether we call it Karma or not, life seems to be based on cause and effect. If we do something good, we expect (or hope) good will return. Do something bad, and bad will result. Indeed, the ancient idea of Karma--reaping what we sow--is recognized in almost every religion in the world.

But this principle sets an inescapable trap: If "what comes around goes around," then every small mistake will haunt us to the bitter end.

Is that it, though? Is this our destiny?

In this provocative book, Mark Herringshaw boldly explores two mutually exclusive visions of life: Karma and grace.

Prompted by a chance conversation with a spiritually curious young man, he gives us a probing look at the implications of Karma and the relevance of Christ's life.

Download the first chapter of The Karma of Jesus as pdf.

About the Author Mark Herringshaw, PhD, currently serves as a teaching pastor at the 7,000-member North Heights Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. A conference speaker and seminary professor, Mark is known for leveraging the crafts of storytelling, biblical scholarship, and scientific research to make complex ideas simple, practical, and transformative. Mark has done graduate work at Luther Seminary and Regent College and he holds a PhD in leadership from Regent University. He and his wife, Jill, have four children and make their home in St. Paul.

Buy the book via Amazon. Also available for Kindle.

09 July 2010

Home: Concept, Place or People?

When someone says the word home, what immediately comes to your mind?

Is it a front porch somewhere in your childhood or a smell of cooking from the kitchen? Is it a certain room or scene or sound? Is it a voice, a hug, a person?

I remember planting a Christmas tree in front of our house at 1905 Euclid Dr that grew to dwarf the house. I remember getting my head stuck in the railing of the house at 1524 Euclid as I waited and watched for my favourite milk man to bring me chocolate milk. Bob did eventually come and rescued me by pushing my ears flat and gently easing my head out. The chocolate milk followed and the tears stopped.

I remember planting another tree at another house over my dog's burial place. The blue spruce still stands and I think of my old pet whenever I drive past. I won't name the dog now as her name has taken on different meaning as slang has evolved.

I remember going in to Granny's house and shouting to locate her. She might be in the back bedroom ironing or in the basement doing crafts.

At my other grandmother's I would join her in the kitchen and admire the extra touches she put on things, and how everything had a place and was usually in it!

I remember climbing up on Uncle Fred's lap to watch the football game, and falling asleep there.

I remember places where I felt at home, but I'd say most of that had to do with the people who filled those places with their presence and their love. I can list the addresses even now, and the phone numbers come to mind, such is the stability of some of the people I've known. That comes in handy since I've lived on three continents so far.

Just this week, friends packed their stuff in to a storage container and left their home for two years to work on projects in Nigeria. As they left their bedroom for the last time, the husband enveloped his wife in a hug and nearly wept. While they were going to Africa together as a family of five, their home, and that room especially, had become their safe grounding spot; a place to return to. They took home with them in the form of each others' familiar faces, but what they had created in that house was unique and comforting.

With an English mother and an Iranian father, journalist Christiane Amanpour has known the world as her home. By the time her family left Tehran, in straitened circumstances during the revolution, she was being convent educated in Britain. "I grew up all over the world," she says. "My experience as a nomad helped me a lot. I don't have a problem adjusting wherever I am. Because my first formative experience was one of upheaval, I understand refugees. It's given me a sense of empathy which is different from having an agenda."

In The Sacred Journey Frederick Buechner recalls: "Virtually every year of my life until I was fourteen, I lived in a different place, had different people to take care of me, went to a different school. The only house that remained constant was the one where my maternal grandparents lived in a suburb of Pittsburgh called East Liberty…Apart from that one house on Woodland Road, home was not a place to me when I was a child. It was people."

Sometimes we can develop homing habits that make a place familiar to us. If I am staying in a hotel room for more than one night, I'll often get fresh flowers to bring in life and colour. I travel with a candle in a tin and add that to the homey feel of the space. When I've pulled out my journal and Bible, I am surrounded by the history and the future I carry with me everywhere. These things ground me.

Some of you have moved extensively; some from continent to continent, as had Buechner. Some of you travel more than you'd like. How do you maintain your sense of home or recreate it in a new place? Is it about CNN, BBC or flavours and aromas? Is it about photos of loved ones or phone calls home? What is home to you?

08 July 2010

Christiane Amanpour: Notes on Afghanistan & Corruption

Winning the war is winning the people" said former Afghan Foreign Minister, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in a conversation with Christiane Amanpour in New York.

Corruption, unfair patronage and extremist ideologies seem to be the major factors in the future of Afghanistan. Like an insidious cancer, practices and perspectives that are woven through a culture cannot be eliminated by legislation or exterior force. A cultural shift, a dissatisfaction on the part of the majority with the status quo, will be the key to real and lasting change.

Amanpour will be joining the US ABC News family, where she will begin anchoring the Sunday morning program, This Week, in August. Her 27 years with CNN give her a unique perspective on world events and the people behind them. See her farewell comments via Huffington Post.

On May 28th Amanpour wrote:
I had lunch with former Afghan Foreign Minister, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah today in New York. He is now leader of the Afghan opposition, The National Alliance and Hope and he has been holding meetings on Capitol Hill.

Calling the situation "very grim" he told me he believes there is still hope for peace and stability and getting things right in his country, but that many opportunities have been wasted since the Taliban and Al Quaeda were first run out of Afghanistan after 9/11. "Can you imagine only about 10,000 US and foreign forces were required to drive them out of all Afghanistan back then" he said. "Now it took 20,000 forces to win Marjah, and we still don't know if the Taliban will come back or not"


As US forces get ready to push back the Taliban from their heartland Kandahar, Abdullah told me it will only succeed if corruption and wholesale patronage is rolled back. "Winning the war is winning the people" he said.


Abdullah added that ridding Kandahar of the Taliban will have a positive effect around the country. Then the Afghan government must show it can empower and protect the people,and reassure them enough to cooperate. The Taliban, like any defeated force, will fall back, he says.


Abdullah told me he told leaders in the US Senate and House, that they still have a partner in the people of Afghanistan, but that the US cannot afford to miss more opportunities to deliver.


He said that required a serious US effort to engage Afghan President Hamid Karzai to fight for the rule of law and against corruption and unfair patronage that favors only a few. He said US legislators in turn voiced equaled measure of support, and concern.

Abdullah says he does not think Karzai takes seriously the US deadline for withdrawing its troops by next summer, believing instead the US wants to stay "forever" for its own geostrategic reasons.


Abdullah says even today things are working out in about 60% of Afghanistan. But he told me he does not want to see US forces pull out too soon, as that would create a dangerous vacuum in the remaining 40% of the country, he told me.


He reminded me that the Afghan people had rejected the Taliban ideology back in 2001, but today, some even dare to tell Karzai to his face, that they prefer the Taliban to his corrupt officials.

Winning the war is winning the people"

So the need is to finish the job, and to finish it well. Then to leave the Afghani people to determine their own future without the extremist ideology of the Taliban, the crippling corruption of the power brokers, or a resident foreign military.
In šāʾ Allāh. Kana Mwari achida. Amen, let it be so.

Amanpour, daughter of an Iranian airline executive and his British wife, is married to former State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin, a Columbia University professor. They have a son, Darius, 9. Amanpour is replacing George Stephanopoulos, who left the show to take Diane Sawyer's place at "Good Morning America." After joining the CNN foreign desk, she reported from the front lines in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, Rwanda and the Balkans.

Conversation with the Author

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though."

— J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)

What kinda book has that affect on you?
Who would you like to ring up and talk with?

07 July 2010

Conversation in Conflict: Politics or Identity?

At Burundi Independence celebration in Mt Albert suburb of Auckland, a woman originally from British Guyana criticised me for talking about 4th of July celebrations. She confused politics with identity.

We were sitting there listening, in fact feeling, the drumming on stage as Burundian men danced and sang songs from their homeland. It was thrilling! Children sang traditional songs and young people danced much as their grandparents must have done, though thousands of miles away from their beloved Africa.

A big meal was being prepared and people from all over the city were catching up with those they rarely saw in their normal day-to-day responsibilities and routines. It was a party with many nationalities invited. The Burundi's flag shared the big backstage curtain with the New Zealand flag, symbolic of the meshing of two countries and peoples.

In the course of conversation amongst those of us sitting together, a New Zealand friend sitting in front of us asked what I was doing for the 4th of July.

I responded that I didn't usually do much if I was in NZ over the 4th. I celebrate the holidays of the country I am in. We commented on Canada Day which had just passed and the refocused on the Africans, most of whom were refugees.

At a break I did a quick search on my phone to see if there were any American events planned in Auckland the next day. Nothing wrong with a hot dog and root beer if I could get 'em. When I leaned up to tell my friend there wasn't much of anything planned, the lady from British Guyana suggested that celebrating the 4th of July as an American holiday was probably inappropriate.

Ever see the hair on the back of my neck rise up? No? Well, you coulda then. Maybe it was tone of voice. Maybe it was the fact that we all introduced ourselves to be friendly, but really didn't know this woman, therefore not really having enough solid ground in the relationship for any of us to pronounce appropriateness or inappropriateness for each other.

Anyway, I kept smiling and suggested that a country's independence was a joyous thing, pointed to the stage and hoped for agreement an some level.

The woman then went on to list America's sins and to mockingly hum a few bars of The Star Spangled Banner, saying with much body language how that song just grated on her nerves whenever she heard it.

At this point, my peace-loving Maori friend who was sitting between the woman and me, gestured back toward the stage full of kids and said, "Look at that!" Much as I long for peace, I couldn't leave it there. Both logic and patriotism kicked in.

I asked how it was that we could celebrate one independence but not another when such celebrations were not about politics so much as identity and freedom. Burundi's civil war is an ugly scar of their history and the source of much suffering. yet we were there to celebrate what we could.

I suggested that 4th of July celebrations were not about the present administration or the last. It was about historical roots that are more than any one event or personality.

Given time, I could have listed many errors in judgment by political figures in nearly every country of the world. Every citizen of every country does not agree with all their leaders all the time. What one sees as justice is often seen as injustice by others. That's part of the problem with boundaries and borders, political opposition and elections. People take sides, sometimes passionately, but hopefully they take turns too.

It's difficult for me to capture the conversation, but it was just another example of painting an entire national history and identity with the same big brush. It was an example of prejudice that was so ingrained in her that no amount of logic was going to change it. Besides, we did not have a relational foundation upon which to have such a conversation.

All of us can be trapped in illogical prejudice.
We can paint all of any people group or nation with
the same brush, thereby feeding an injustice
that hurts everyone.


I must assume that all 770,000 people of Guyana are not of exactly the same opinion and so must engage with whichever ones I meet as the individuals they are. Hopefully they will do the same with the
309,660,927 Americans, assuming that each and every one does not hold the same opinion on much of anything. The point is not the numbers. Might is not necessarily right. It is the potential for difference and individuality I mean to emphasize.

06 July 2010

American mix makes us richer: Always has.

Today, about 35,000 non-citizens serve in the military and about 8,000 enlist every year. Army.mil Did you know that?

I was amazed to learn that Cajun people are descendants of French speaking refugees from Acadia in Nova Scotia. Many Americans are of refugee descent, whether their ancestors were chased from their homelands by war, religious persecution, economic hardship or some other catalyst.

Wikipedia tells us:

Between 1850 and 1930, about 5 million Germans emigrated to the United States with a peak in the years between 1881 and 1885, when a million Germans left Germany and settled mostly in the Midwest. Between 1820 and 1930, 3.5 million British and 4.5 million Irish entered America. Before the 1840s most Irish immigrants were Irish or Scots-Irish Presbyterians. After 1840, Catholics arrived in large numbers, in part because of the famines of the 1840s. Mortality rates of 30% aboard the coffin ships were common.

Irish and German Catholic immigration was opposed in the 1850s by the Nativist/Know Nothing movement, originating in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to American values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Active mainly from 1854–56, it strived to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts met with little success. There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery, most often joining the Republican Party by the time of the 1860 presidential election.

European immigrants joined the Union Army in large numbers, including 177,000 born in Germany and 144,000 born in Ireland. Many Germans could see the parallel between slavery and serfdom in the old fatherland.

Many of these patterns repeat themselves through history. One way immigrants feel they can repay their host country is by serving in the military, earning their stripes and proving their loyalty.

So when we think of patriotism, we must consider the perspective people gain when they come from a place of unrest or where they are threatened, to a place where there is opportunity and the peace and to pursue a better life. Patriotism will not always include Apple pie and baseball. Some of our most fervent patriots throughout history might have spoken Italian or English but with an Irish accent.

Look at Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google. Some suggest that the reason Google has reacted so strongly against China's censorship and heavy handedness is because of his family's struggles with oppression in Russia.

Down through the decades apprehension has arisen that there were too many of these types or too many of those. It seems the Muslims and Mexicans are shown the least hospitality these days. My family has German, French, Scottish and Indian roots. All of those people groups have been oppressed, alienated or maligned in some way.

When you've had your freedom threatened or taken away,
you'll take a stand for the freedom of others.

Let's not take our for granted, nor bar others from contributing.

05 July 2010

Evernote for Info Management

Evernote has become an everyday kinda tool as I manage information and ideas.

I take photos of labels, cards or articles with my phone instead of having numerous bits of paper in every pocket of my jackets, jeans or purse. The info then syncs with Evernote and I can access it via the web or on my computer! Amazing!

I can type or copy and paste notes, record audio, take snapshots, etc to capture info I'll need to refer back to. This includes recipes from magazines or in the supermarket, addresses or phone numbers from ads or articles, title pages or covers of books, excerpts and quotes .....

I could see someone like my mom using it to remember where they parked the car. My dad would use it for business cards or good restaurants to return to.
My brother would use it for classified ads he'd want to call about later and my niece would use it in her wedding planning.

Travel info, meeting notes and other longer documents can be saved as PDF files.

We have the technology. These apps are free!

Check out this link to compare Springpad and Evernote http://bit.ly/cPGpl9

Udderly Ridiculous





In honour of my dear friends who have recently pierced . . . . . things.


Check out Scott Nickel's infrequent blog.

04 July 2010

Faith; Proper Confidence

"The opposite of faith is not doubt, it’s certainty."
— Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott on Making Time

I sometimes teach classes on writing, during which I tell my students every single thing I know about the craft and habit. This takes approximately 45 minutes. I begin with my core belief—and the foundation of almost all wisdom traditions—that there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.

Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this.

This means you have to grasp that your manic forms of connectivity—cell phone, email, text, Twitter—steal most chances of lasting connection or amazement. That multitasking can argue a wasted life. That a close friendship is worth more than material success.

Needless to say, this is very distressing for my writing students. They start to explain that they have two kids at home, or five, a stable of horses or a hive of bees, and 40-hour workweeks. Or, on the other hand, sometimes they are climbing the walls with boredom, own nearly nothing, and are looking for work full-time, which is why they can’t make time now to pursue their hearts’ desires. They often add that as soon as they retire, or their last child moves out, or they move to the country, or to the city, or sell the horses, they will. They are absolutely sincere, and they are delusional.

I often remember the story from India of a beggar who sat outside a temple, begging for just enough every day to keep body and soul alive, until the temple elders convinced him to move across the street and sit under a tree. Years of begging and bare subsistence followed until he died. The temple elders decided to bury him beneath his cherished tree, where, after shoveling away a couple of feet of earth, they found a stash of gold coins that he had unknowingly sat on, all those hand-to-mouth years.

You already have the gold coins beneath you, of presence, creativity, intimacy, time for wonder, and nature, and life. Oh, yeah, you say? And where would those rascally coins be?

This is what I say: First of all, no one needs to watch the news every night, unless one is married to the anchor. Otherwise, you are mostly going to learn more than you need to know about where the local fires are, and how rainy it has been: so rainy! That is half an hour, a few days a week, I tell my students. You could commit to writing one page a night, which, over a year, is most of a book.

If they have to get up early for work and can’t stay up late, I ask them if they are willing NOT to do one thing every day, that otherwise they were going to try and cram into their schedule.

They may explain that they have to go to the gym four days a week or they get crazy, to which I reply that that’s fine—no one else really cares if anyone else finally starts to write or volunteers with marine mammals. But how can they not care and let life slip away? Can’t they give up the gym once a week and buy two hours’ worth of fresh, delectable moments? (Here they glance at my butt.)

Can they commit to meeting one close friend for two hours every week, in bookstores, to compare notes? Or at an Audubon sanctuary? Or a winery?

They look at me bitterly now—they don’t think I understand. But I do—I know how addictive busyness and mania are. But I ask them whether, if their children grow up to become adults who spend this one precious life in a spin of multitasking, stress, and achievement, and then work out four times a week, will they be pleased that their kids also pursued this kind of whirlwind life?

If not, if they want much more for their kids, lives well spent in hard work and savoring all that is lovely, why are they living this manic way?

I ask them, is there a eucalyptus grove at the end of their street, or a new exhibit at the art museum? An upcoming minus tide at the beach where the agates and tidepools are, or a great poet coming to the library soon? A pond where you can see so many turtles? A journal to fill?

If so, what manic or compulsive hours will they give up in trade for the equivalent time to write, or meander? Time is not free—that’s why it’s so precious and worth fighting for.

Will they give me one hour of housecleaning in exchange for the poetry reading? Or wash the car just one time a month, for the turtles? No? I understand. But at 80, will they be proud that they spent their lives keeping their houses cleaner than anyone else in the family did, except for mad Aunt Beth, who had the vapors? Or that they kept their car polished to a high sheen that made the neighbors quiver with jealousy? Or worked their fingers to the bone providing a high quality of life, but maybe accidentally forgot to be deeply and truly present for their kids, and now their grandchildren?

I think it’s going to hurt. What fills us is real, sweet, dopey, funny life.

I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day.