Monday, October 31, 2011

Loud pipes annoy lives

I don't understand the appeal of loud motorcycles.  I much prefer a quiet bike like a Honda Goldwing.  Or any Honda for that matter.  I hope to have a Honda PCX some day soon.  But I digress.  Some people like to rev their Harley Davidson and make a bunch of noise.  I wish they wouldn't do that.  I remember how someone in our former neighborhood would go to work early in the morning and really let it rip and this was before seven o'clock.  How many people are still asleep at that hour?  Probably a lot.  Some motorcyclist are in a sort of contest of how loud they can be.  I hope they all loose and quiet it down.  I would like to see more fined for disturbing the peace.  Please consider your neighbors and their schedule before riding up and down the street interrupting conversations, waking people from their slumber, and disturbing everyone.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Money Life podcast review

This is podcast that I listen to almost every day.  The host is Chuck Bentley, CEO of Crown Financial Ministries.  The program is two minutes long and is available Monday through Friday.  It is available in the iTunes store and the subscription is free.  I would recommend this podcast.  Chuck covers a wide variety of financial topics including budgeting, tithing, raising children, debt, and jobs.  I would like to see him lean more on God's wisdom found in the Bible.  Often times there is a quick mention of God at the end and it can feel like an after thought.  I think what he is trying to do is provide guidance and get help to people where they are at.  I would also like to see him focus more on what God has to say about earning money.  There is so much advice out there on managing money but way too little on actually earning and generating income.  I think a lot of money management problems would go away if there was an abundant and growing income.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Have one family

I would find it confusing and difficult to be raised in an American family today.  With divorce so wide spread, children are essentially raised in two families.  They live at their mothers, with her new husband, with all their rules and traditions.  Then they live at the fathers with his new wife with all of their rules and traditions.  Other children come along from those new marriages giving children siblings from multiple unions.  Those half brothers and half sisters are not being raised in the exact same setting with not exactly the same parents so there is less in common.  Some people are over here, some people are over there.  Where do I belong?  How do I relate to all these people?  I am even confused writing about the whole thing.  What I am trying to say is that I think it would be better for people to get married once, have children, and stay married.  Have children with the spouse of your youth and leave it at that.  This way there isn't a set of family over here and set of family over there.  I know being single isn't always the best.  It can be lonely and there can be a longing for something more.  However, to avoid confusing children and making things messy, I would encourage people to stay single if they have had their children already.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wal-Mart is not a bank

I was watching the World Series tonight and one of the banners in the back ground was saying, "Wal-Mart.  Save Money.  Live Better."  If one didn't know better, one would think Wal-Mart is a bank.  It is not a bank.  It is not a credit union.  It is not a saving institution of any kind.  It is a place to go to buy things and spend money.  Saving money is adding to your savings account or mutual fund.  This is all marketing folks.  Don't buy into it.  I have not shopped at Wal-Mart for some time now.  The last time I was in their store was when I was on vacation.  My wife had to buy a swim suit and there really were not any options.  I don't shop at their stores because they don't have anything I want, there are other retail options, and I don't like the feel of their stores.  I don't like messy, cramped, and an all around poor image.  I choose to shop other stores who do not try and trick me into thinking I am saving money by spending.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Max Lucado Daily Audio Devotional review

Max Lucado is a pastor out of Texas.  He has written many books that I have enjoyed.  His podcast can be heard daily.  It is less than minute long.  He has a heart for people.  You can hear that through his voice.  His objective is to direct people in the right path.  Max usually speaks but sometimes he has little snippets from other people.  Maybe those people are being interviewed or answering a question or acting something out.  There is usually a little back ground music.  He has ended the program recently by saying, "This is Max on life".  Or he will wrap it up by saying, "This is Max Lucado".  Nothing too heavy here but definitely Christian.  I would highly recommend this podcast and it can be found in iTunes as a free download.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birch tree taken down

We had a birch tree taken down.  It happened this morning after my wife left for work and before my daughter came home for lunch.  She told her mom who then told me.  We were both sort of surprised that the guys came today as they had not called to confirm the appointment.  When I arrived home tonight I saw all the wood in the yard that would need to be cut up and moved.  Fortunately, the men had done some cutting.  I am glad the tree wasn't just cut in five pieces or less and left for us to deal with.  Still, it was some work to cut up.  After supper, I got the chain saw out, plugged in, and finally started.  By then, it was raining lightly and mostly dark.  I cut and my wife loaded up the wheel barrows.  It was a little frustrating cutting as I could not get a good angle and had to do a lot of awkward bending over which probably put undo pressure on my lower back.  There are still three large pieces lying in the yard that will need to be dealt with.  I will have to cut them up quite a bit as even cut in two would be to big for both of us to load.  I may get to them Thursday night or maybe this coming weekend.  Now that the tree is down and the stump is ground we can move onto other plans.  We may put up an eighteen foot fence and we may put a paved path on that side of the house.  Even if we don't, it will be nice not having to mow around that tree, pick up its leave, or twigs.  I am glad we had that tree removed as it did not have enough advantages.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Body language not always as it seems.

People may think that I am resisting them when I fold my arms.  However, just as often as not, I am crossing my arms because I am cold, not because I am angry.  It is a very comfortable stance for me because I can warm myself.  It may also be that I am thinking about and contemplating what is going on around me.  Often times, I have to remind myself to place my arms at my side in order to not communicate something I am not intending to communicate.  I often times wish it wasn't so widely believed that crossing ones arms is a negative gesture.  I also like to place my hands in my pockets when I am standing.  This too can be read wrong.  Some people may think it says I am trying to hide something when I am really just trying to keep warm my hands.  When you see people and you think they are saying something by their body language, give them a chance to speak their mind and share their thoughts.  It may not be their intention to say what you think they are saying.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rest

Resting is not very popular in our society today.  Being a busy person is warn like a badge of honor.  People will work late into the night on some project that needs completion.  Overnighters for college students is suppose to symbolize how serious they are at passing an exam.  Practice and sporting events take up families evenings and weekends.   Sunday afternoons are often filled with the noise of lawn mowers as people try to get one more things accomplished on their to-do list for the weekend.  When is there time to relax and rest?  How is burning the candle at both ends working out for people?  I personally like to get my work and shopping done during the week.  I like to have my weekends free.  I will do house work and yard work on Saturdays so that I don't have to do on Sunday after church.  God gave us an example through the creation week of how to order our lives.  God created, formed, and gave life for six days but then rested on the seventh.  Not that He needed to but because we need to.  I think sleep is important.  We minimize sleep and how it helps us to stay healthy and be productive when we are on the job.  Setting aside one day per week to worship, relax, read, think, meditate, recover, and do something different is balancing and of great importance.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Why I don't use the f-word.

Why don't I use the f-word?  First of all, I can't see my parents saying it.  In the home I grew up in, piss and damn were not even allowed.  Secondly, it lowers a loving act into nothing more than a compulsion beyond control.  Sex is God's idea and therefore we should treat it has holy and use the gift in the best possible way.  If we need to speak of it, it should be lifted up not torn down.  Thirdly, we are all a product of two people uniting and to say that we are just a by product of some grunts and groans is unseemly.  We are made in the image of God and therefore each of us has much worth.  Fourthly, bringing sex into any and every conversation brings to mind something that maybe inappropriate for the situation.  Maybe there are men and women together or maybe the conversation is about something else entirely.  Why do we have to have the subject of sex interjected when it is not the topic at the moment?  I vote that we dismiss this word from our collective vocabulary because it does not reflect the true nature of what it is trying to describe.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dog verses cat

I enjoy our dog but I tolerate our cat.  My dog is excited when I come home and greets me at the door.  My cat is hidden away most of the time and I rarely see it.  My dog wants me to throw the ball for her and I get outside in the fresh air to play with her.  My cat doesn't want me to do anything with her.  My dog warns me of visitors and potential danger.  My cat would walk over my dead body on the way to the litter box.  My dog wants me to touch her, scratch her, and snuggle with her.  My cat can go days without any physical contact.  My dog is right there at the edge of the table looking for little scapes.  My cat is not around for dinner time.

I think cats are too successful for our own good.  They are cute and they can survive without much human effort.  But they also have a negative impact on the bird population.  I hope people with cats keep them inside and keep them from breading.  I would recommend a dog to most any family.  The companionship, the exercise, the physical touch that comes with a dog make up for any negative thing that comes with pet ownership.  When the cat is gone, she will not be replaced.  When the dog is gone, it will break my heart.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What are you doing with your freedom?

We have so many options, choices, and freedoms.  My question to you is, what are you doing with your freedom?  Are you exchanging your freedom for slavery?  Giving up your freedom for a little high, a little buzz, a little thrill.  Is it really freedom you are experiencing or an addition, a monkey on your back, a bad habit?  How is that working for you?  Do you like the high doctor bills, the poor health, and the thin wallet?  Why can't we have more people who are truly dedicated to the best?  I mean, being the best.  Why not strive for getting as far as you can and doing all you can?  Why get side tracked and hampered by silly, useless things?  We have far too many people settling, giving in, compromising and we have far too few champions.  Those that give it their all and become truly amazing.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Burned out on Angry Birds

I haven't played Angry Birds for some time now.  Maybe a month and a half ago I attempted to get back into the game on my iPod Touch.  But I noticed my heart wasn't into it any longer.  The game itself turned me away.  Playing Season's Greedings, I could not completely master level 1-17.  I am a person that likes to get three stars on every level and this one was impossible.  I must have played a thousand times.  It felt like it anyway.  I felt like the designers betrayed me by having a level so impossible.  I am also a person who likes to get all the achievements.  I was doing pretty well, over 80% completed, and ticking off  quite a few of them.  However, in the original Angry Birds game there is an achievement called "Smash Mania" and I had read that there was a glitch in the game not allowing anyone to snag this one no matter how long they played.  Also, the Score Addict achievements where so high, I felt deflated when I thought about going through all those levels again just to get a better score.  It would have been impossible.  Truthfully, I like Rovio, the makers of this game and I really don't think they intend to make levels or achievements impossible.  However, I think I am pretty good at this game and to never be able to reach 100% is a turn off.  I can't bring myself to go on when there isn't a chance that I will some day conquer it all. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How to not hit deer

When I went into work today, there was a dead dear on the side of the road.  I noticed that it had some spike antlers and was probably a young buck.  The air smelled terrible as I passed by and I notice a single, long, black skid mark leading up to the carcass.  The killing must have happened overnight.  I find it sad when I see animals dead on the side of the road.  Could it be possible to lower the chances of hitting a deer or other animals?  Yes, I believe so.  Here are my suggestions.

1.  Slow down.  Don't drive like a crazy person.
2.  Pay attention.  Keep your eyes ahead of you but also look back and forth from one ditch to the other.
3.  Drive sober.  Don't drink beverages that contain alcohol and then drive.  Get a ride home.
4.  Drive when it is light out.  Keep off the road when it is dark and hard to see.
5.  Get enough sleep.  It is easier to pay attention to what is happening on the roadway when you are fully alert.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Answers in Genesis podcast review

The Answers in Genesis podcast is updated weekdays with a minute and a half audio lesson.  The host is Ken Ham.  He is well spoken, easy to understand, and he deals head-on with important issues that many people don't know how to answer.  The topics that Ken uses are wide and varied.  Some include dinosaurs, the flood, stars, planets, comets, death, suffering, Adam, and the six days of creation.  I would highly recommend this podcast and it can be found in the iTunes store for free.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wisdom

Who needs wisdom?  Everyone.  According to Ecclesiastes 12:1, "Remember now your creator in the days of your youth".  

What is wisdom?  Good judgement, sound decisions, applied knowledge.

Where can I find wisdom?  The wisdom books of the Bible are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastics, and Song of Solomon.  However, there is wisdom found throughout the Bible from Genesis through Revelation.  Ultimately, we find wisdom in God's Son, Christ Jesus.  

When do we need to wisdom?  In relationships, with finances, at work, during free-time, and with the myriad of choices we have to make.

Why do we need wisdom?  To make good decisions.  To live a life that matters.  To avoid harm.  

How do we get wisdom?  By obeying and fearing the Lord.  According to Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments".  By asking God for it.  According to James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him". 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Darkness comes quickly

At this time of year, the day starts late and the night comes quick.  The temperatures can be comfortable so one feels like being outside but there is little time for it after work and after dinner.  So I usually push dinner back in an attempt to get some outside jobs done.  There are many leaves to rake up and everything like that takes time.  After doing a few things and looking up, there is the sun on the horizon.  In the mornings, I find it more difficult to get up due to the total darkness.  Sunrise is not until seven o'clock.  So having the radio set to 6:05 AM means no help from the sun.  I like the light.  It really helps me with my energy level and with my mood.  Changing over to all this darkness is an adjustment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lots of raking lately.

I enjoy trees.  They provide fresh air, are beautiful to look at, and give shade.  However, there are some down sides.  They drop needles, leaves, and sticks.  All of which I have to pick up or else run over with the lawn mower.  We have a number of large trees on our property and as a result we spend far too much time picking up their litter.  This week we called a tree removal service and are going to have a birch taken down and the stump ground.  They will leave the wood with us so that we can burn it in a year or two after it dries in the fire pit out back.  This particular birch leans a little over the north side of the house were the garage is.  As a result it drops leaves and stick on the house which end up in the eaves which then clog up.  This is the only large tree we will take down this year.  However, next year, I can see us taking down a white pine in front which drops needles and sap on the drive way and any car underneath it.  I like trees but some of the trees we own need to come down.  I am looking forward to our guy coming out next week and I am anticipating less work in the future because of his service.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Where is the music within me?

It has been said that "Many people die with their music still in them".  I am still searching for that music.  I would like to think I have a large dream that would release my energy, fire my imagination, and delight my spirit but I am not sure there is any music down deep that needs to be played.  Sometimes I turn inward and try to listen but nothing seems to be there.  I want to get along with people, I want good health, I want to have peace and tranquility, and I want things to get better and improve.  However, a big project, a large dream, a beautiful symphony does not seem to be there.  I don't know if it has been buried or if the music was never trained to get out.  I don't mean to live small.  My dreams and aspirations seem much more down to earth.  I will definitely post of I ever identify this "music within me".  I could possibly be there but I just need to have the right circumstances to bring it out. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

House tear downs

I enjoy observing the happenings on other peoples property.  Construction and destruction are especially interesting.  I have seen it happen several times where a house is removed.  With heavy equipment this can actually take less than a day.  In Neenah, when the television show "Extreme Home Makeover" came to town, they took down the owners existing small house in one day and then rebuilt on the same land.  I remember reading with interest in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a story of a house getting ripped away to the surprise of most of the neighbors.  The article went on to explain that the people just behind or up from the house bought the place with cash and removed it because it blocked their view of Lake Michigan.  I have noticed that two houses in downtown Hortinville have been removed in less than a years time.  This particular part of the town hugs a small lake.  I think real estate changes in a big way when it is next to water.  People will do crazy things and will spend money they would not otherwise spend when water is involved.  I don't entirely blame them.  A view of water can be calming and peaceful.  I like stories about a house being moved, torn down, or burned.  There is just something powerful about taking action that is that bold and that big.