Friday, July 20, 2007

When Personal Horrors Become Family Disasters

Dr. Laura's Blog for 7/20/07 says in part:
... The evolution of talk radio and television news from information to confrontation, as well as the loss of any ethical foundation of print media (newspapers and magazines) and the unleashing of anonymous venom on the internet and blogs, have served not only to destroy reputations with undocumented vicious gossip, but have lowered the level of discourse and civility to an unbelievably dangerous level.
Decent folks who wish to serve their country in the military, politics, social work and other public arenas, become fodder for indecent attacks based upon ideology, with the sole purpose of eliminating their voices and ability to function.
Gone is the civility of negotiations, arbitrations, discussions, and debates.
Soon, only the indecent will reign. Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, etc., have only to wait; we are destroying our own society. MORE...

Dr. Laura is right on - all we have to do is wait, and our enemies will take over. We need to reclaim civility in this country. It needs to start with each of us - giving and expecting respect.

An idea of mine is that all schools should require: uniforms, civility. That means, at the least on the high school level, addressing each other as Miss or Mister, shaking hands when greeting each other (no hugging and kissing) and taking turns in arguments / debates. Every school should require at least one course in rhetoric - in which the rules of formal debate are observed and practiced. Public speaking. Both practical applied arithmetic (accounting) and higher math (algebra, geometry, trig, beginning calculus). Phys ed involving heavy, sweat-producing exercise should be required of all students (unless physically unable for acceptable medical reasons). English - both grammar and literature, essay-writing with tough grading standards; History, simple Agronomy, Climatology and Geography - integrated with a beginning understanding of how weather affects agriculture and thus invasion and wars.

Yes, standards must be toughened up and discipline enforced.

The "hows" can come after commitment to the concepts is achieved. At that time, the hows and wherefores can be determined. I do have some ideas about that, too, however, and will discuss them later.

Strawberry Shortcake!

OK, I'm tagging: Suzanne, Denise, Meg and Loch on this one!

Do not cheat on this one, go with the first dessert you picked..

If all of the desserts listed below were sitting in front of you, which would you choose (sorry, you can only pick one!) Trust me....this is very accurate. Pick your dessert, and then look to see what psychiatrists think about you. After taking this dessert personality test, send on to others, but when you do, be sure to put your choice of dessert in the subject box.

Here are your choices:

1. Angel Food Cake

2. Brownies

3. Lemon Meringue

4. Vanilla Cake With Chocolate Icing

5. Strawberry Short Cake

6. Chocolate on Chocolate

7. Ice Cream

8. Carrot Cake

No, you can't change your mind once you have selected, so think carefully what your choice will be..............

OK - Now that you've made your choice this is what the research says about you...

No Cheating!!

1. ANGEL FOOD CAKE -- Sweet, loving, cuddly. You love all warm and fuzzy items. A little nutty at times. Sometimes you need an ice cream cone at the end of the day. Others perceive you as being childlike and immature at times.

2. BROWNIES -- You are adventurous, love new ideas, and are a champion of underdogs and a slayer of dragons. When tempers flare up you whip out your saber. You are always the oddball with a unique sense of humor and direction. You tend to be very loyal.

3. LEMON MERINGUE -- Smooth, sexy, & articulate with your hands, you are an excellent after-dinner speaker and a good teacher. But don't try to walk and chew gum at the same time. A bit of a diva at times, but you have many friends.

4. VANILLA CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING -- Fun-loving, sassy, humorous, not very grounded in life; very indecisive and lack motivation. Everyone enjoys being around you, but you are a practical joker. Others should be cautious in making you mad. However, you are a friend for life.

5. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE -- Romantic, warm, loving. You care about other people, can be counted on in a pinch and expect the same in return. Intuitively keen. Can be very emotional.

6. CHOCOLATE ON CHOCOLATE -- Sexy; always ready to give and receive. Very creative, adventurous, ambitious, and passionate. You can appear to have a cold exterior but are warm on the inside. Not afraid to take chances. Will not settle for anything average in life. Love to laugh.

7. ICE CREAM -- You like sports, whether it be baseball, football, basketball, or soccer. If you could, you would like to participate, but you enjoy watching sports. You don't like to give up the remote control. You tend to be self-centered and high maintenance.

8. CARROT CAKE -- You are a very fun loving person, who likes to laugh. You are fun to be with. People like to hang out with you. You are a very warm hearted person and a little quirky at times. You have many loyal friends.

LOL! Of course, being the contrary person I am, I actually like all these desserts - I just like dessert! It depends on the day and time as to what I would choose!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Ol' Curmudgeon's Vacation is Over

Rats! I'm just bereft! Yes, I'll get more of my work done, but I'm very, very lonely. It was sooooo comfortable having him home for 2 weeks.

The most painful loneliness is to be next to your spouse and yet be unable to transmit your inner feelings, even as external messages are transmitted instantaneously from one hemisphere to another. It is painful loneliness for married couples to keep secrets from each other for years. It is painful when dialogue is non-existent between children and parents, between children and teachers, between children and clergy. There is no more cruel loneliness than for a family to sit for hours in front of the television without speaking a word among themselves. We live in a difficult time. Loneliness is at an all-time high. Man is lost. God is silent.

In this loneliness, in this desolation of the cities, in this apparent absence of God, man is called to gather his thoughts, to come to his senses, to put aside his many worldly preoccupations and to retire to his place of prayer ­ speechless, naked, a child ­ so that God may speak to him, clothe him, and endow him with spiritual maturity. Then his loneliness will become the divine loneliness of liberation and he will achieve a sense of fullness. Only such radical loneliness leads to a fundamental understanding and experience of God, destroying every hesitation, doubt and torment.

In this sacred loneliness man finds himself face-to-face with his existential poverty and the fear of death which it provokes. Yet, even here, there is the danger that he may choose procrastination as a solution and, for a time, set his panic-stricken self at ease. He may resume running back and forth endlessly, expanding social activities, and seeking a variety of entertainments ­ a program of extreme busyness. Other people, other things, work and extensive involvements may serve as a cover for his spiritual impoverishment ­ for a time. And he may continue wandering aimlessly, driven by circumstances, tormented, flirting with one thing and another, fighting, being torn ­ and finally annihilated.

A life of work without the liberation of communion with God is slavery. The struggle for excessive wealth is an incurable, tormenting disease. Fear of the future can stimulate greed, miserliness, hoarding. And God can be easily forgotten.

From The Community of the Desert and the Loneliness of the Cities - Monk Moses
Copyright: 1999, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, Brookline, MA
Source: taken from the book, Athonite Flowers

This gives me the direction for dealing with loneliness. Turn my mind toward God and seek communion with Him.

Monday, July 16, 2007

From the Depths of Pain

From the Depths of Pain

Why me?
Why not you?

It hurts
Many hurt more
Many hurt less
Not you

I used to climb trees
And skin my knees
I used to hike and camp
And chop wood for fires
I used to live in the outdoors
Chase children through the leaves
Play hide and seek
and tag

So you did
But no more

Why me?
Why not you?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Curmugeon Blogs On ...

It had to happen - the Ol' Curmudgeon now has his own blog! He'll be posting about 3 times a week.

Check it out!!

Silly Sayings

For a while I've been collecting sayings - some pithy, some common sense, some Biblical, some humorous, etc.

So I'm going to post some here from time to time.

~*~ “Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks” ~*~
~*~ Laugh every day; it's like inner jogging. ~*~
~*~ The most important things in your home are the people. ~*~
~*~ Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional. ~*~
~*~ There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. ~*~
~*~ Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance ~*~
~*~ Modern Man is the victim of the very instruments he values most. Every gain in power, every mastery of natural forces, every scientific addition to knowledge, has proved potentially dangerous, because it has not been accompanied by equal gains in self-understanding and self-discipline. ~*~
~*~ Lewis Mumford ~*~
~*~ Humor is our way of defending ourselves from life's absurdities by thinking absurdly about them. ~*~
~*~ Lewis Mumford ~*~
~*~ Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf. ~*~
~*~ Lewis Mumford ~*~
~*~ A grudge is a heavy thing to carry. ~*~
~*~ Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing. ~*~
~*~ Wernher von Braun ~*~
~*~ He who dies with the most toys is still dead. ~*~
~*~ We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments. ~*~
~*~ Nothing is real to you until you experience it; otherwise it's just hearsay. ~*~
~*~ It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done. ~*~
~*~ Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck. ~*~
~*~ Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ~*~
~*~ Save the whales. Collect the whole set. ~*~
~*~ A day without sunshine is like...night. ~*~