Wednesday, August 25, 2010

spelling does count!

I know I am not a great speller.  But I am a decent one usually.  Sometimes I have to write things out to see if they look right or wrong.  And no matter what I make sure the words are correct after I have finished a sentence.

What in the world has happened to the spelling in the world?  I don't know when it started but bad spelling is driving me nuts!

I have no proof but part of me wonders if part of the problem is the tendency for people to abbreviate words.
LOL, TTYL, FYI, and others have become so common place in our society that nobody bothers to spell words anymore.  Other things like "U 2" instead of "you too" also are like this.
(to, too, and two are one of the ones that drive me nuts because it seems like more and more kids don't know the difference between them!)

No matter what the cause, bad spelling drives me crazy.  Do people not realize how dumb you sound when you cannot spell correctly?  Is it just me that is bothered by this?

I shudder to think of what business owners and managers have to go through when they look at applications.

Is the world really getting dumber or is it just becoming so lazy that it doesn't care about things like this?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Harry Potter vs. the Nazis?!?!?!?

The Twins were busy getting their butts handed to them by the Angels this afternoon so tonight when I usually turn on the game while I make dinner I had to find something else to watch instead.
ABC Family channel is running Harry Potter movies this weekend I guess so I watch The Goblet of Fire.

I have seen this movie before and I have read the books.  But tonight I noticed something for the first time about the schools participating in the Tri-Wizard tournament.

Am I the only one out there that has never noticed before this that we have a reference to battles between European countries?

Hogwarts, which is Harry's school is located in England.  The basis of all the Harry Potter books is based in England and that works because I believe the author is from England herself.

In the story there are 2 more schools that visit Hogwarts to participate in the tournament.

Beauxbatons (not sure of the spelling, I don't have the books in front of me) is the school from France.  You can tell this by their school name, their accents, and the names of the teacher and students.

Durmstrang is the other school.  While the books and the movie never reference this place to be in Germany there is definitely a "German flavor" to the participants from this school.
The spelling and pronunciation of this school suggest German or Prussian background as well as the main student, a young man with the name of Viktor Krum.

During the Tri-Wizard tournament these three countries compete with each country having a role.

The English school, which is of course the good guys, comes out in first place in the tournament in the events and while they have adversity they manage to pull through with bravery and determination.
The German school seems to be their main competition and in the story the German student goes as far as to become bewitched and to attack the English and French competitors.  (The German attacks the French first and defeats them as the English comes to the rescue a little too late to save the initial attack but is able to assist after it takes place.  WW II anyone?)
The French school has the weakest competitor and while resilient she just doesn't have the ability to take the competitions head on and requires help from the English on a regular basis in order to survive.

To throw another kicker in there the teacher and helper of the German is Igor Karkaroff which is a Russian name origin.  He assists in the beginning but by the end is a person of no consequence in the large scale of the specific competition.  He is however portrayed as someone that has done evil in the past and while he does acts considered vile in the beginning of the story he will run in the end, effectively terminating his aid to the German.  (Once again think Russia in WW II.  They were originally German allies to take over Poland but then when Germany attacked them they quit on them and would become a force the Germans have to worry about)

When you look at the story you have to wonder how much of the author's subconscious or even intent was to write in a way that mirrors the history of Western Civilization.

Am I the last person to notice this?  Has everyone else already thought of this and I found myself outside the discussion?  I do wonder.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

To thine own self be true

I am 32 and I have been up and down.  I have gone through a roller coaster of a life and the younger me is very much different than the me of now.  I don't know if I would call it growing up or just defining myself as who I truly am.
I think that we all go through a stage like this in some ways.  I know some people take longer than others and some people they know from such a young age you wonder if they changed at all.
But one of the things I think of is the fact that I know what I love and don't love.

It is just sometimes I forget.

I have a quote board at school.  Once a week a new quote goes up.  Every Monday to be precise.
This is the one I started with.

I think that it is important to sit back and think about this every once in a while.  Because as I go through life watching movies or reading books or just watching other people I want to be various things.  Or I want to be various people.
But I know that ultimately a lot of those people aren't me and I am never going to be them.

So what I really need to do is sit back and remember to be true to myself.  What I love I love for a reason and I need to have my life revolve around that.

For me personally, that is God and faith.  Then softball.  Then music.  There are others that come close after and many things I enjoy.  But these are my top 3.
I need to stop thinking of other things in my life that don't seem to be as important and remember that what makes me happy is those things and those are what I need to do.  And I need to stop concerning myself with things that I sometimes think of but aren't one of my true loves.

As long as I put God first, then enjoy my softball I am going to have to make sure I leave the rest behind.  Those are my true loves and they have never let me down.

To thine own self be true.

Everyone should find their own selves no matter who they are and be true to what they are and stop trying to be what they are not.
That is what I think.

Monday, August 16, 2010

alcohol free

My knee injury has had me on antibiotics for 20 days now.  And for another 10.

So it has been 20 days since I have had any alcohol because alcohol doesn't mix with medications.

I don't miss it.

I am not going to become and advocate of only non-alcoholic beverages.  And it wasn't like I was a drunk before this.  But it is funny that I have had no urge at all to have a beer or a shot or even wine (and you who know me I am kind of snobbish about my wine).

I just thought of this randomly right now so just wanted to say that it is not the worst thing in the world to not drink.

AYP and low test scores. Kudos to the Scholls.

In-service days started today at school.  It felt good to be in there actually.  I am nervous but excited for the upcoming year.  I spent 11 hours there today and it went by fast!

For those of you who aren't in education or related fields there are these tests that students have to take to make AYP.  (Annual Yearly Progress)
Basically the government wants everyone to be up to snuff on education standards in the US and these tests are to make sure that schools are making adequate progress on their test scores.
These tests are standardized tests and in many ways the same as what we all took when we were in school.
But now if the students don't do well enough the school suffers in funds.

I think that the government wants us to care about how educated the public is and I think that is fine.
I think the government is making many smart and gifted people go through hard times when students that aren't theirs don't do well and I think that is very wrong.

But mostly I think that if we all valued education as a culture and society we wouldn't have this kind of problem at all.
A lot of the countries that are at the head of education right now have kids that want to be in the classroom and learning.  They value their education and where it can take them.

In the US, we have a good number of people that do as well.  But I don't think it is the majority anymore.
I think there are a lot of people that don't grow up in a family where the kids are taught that your education and your social skills are really important in the world at large.

If all kids grew up hearing how important education was and how the US wants to be at the head of the world and that they are the ones who make a difference in that then more kids would want to learn and more kids would naturally be more anxious to learn.
Our test scores would be better because the kids would be immersed in their education in a positive and active way.

I love the fact that I know some families personally that value education and their kids do as well.
A great example is the Scholl family.  Ryan and Jenn have done a great job of letting their kids know that educated people are the ones who succeed in the world.  That if you complete school and do your best it takes you places other than the unemployment line or the welfare office.
And I appreciate that they do that as a teacher!
It all starts with the family and home life at a young age; we can't wait until they get to school because that is years of education already done.

I hope that more people will start to raise their children to appreciate their education and we can retake what we once had in the world.  (that being a place at the head of the table in ingenuity and smart ideas)
Instead of valuing being sexy or stupid (which is what some of these reality shows seem to value in a way) I hope that people can remember that what made us great as a country in our history was our drive to be the best, the smartest, and the more creative.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Acting and morals

I have been watching various tv shows tonight.  It seems like all the good shows are on at the same time on the same day.  If only they spread them out more......

I have seen a lot of kissing scenes today or even more passionate.  Good movies like X2 have been on and ok movies like Cocktail (which I do enjoy even if it isn't the greatest movie ever made) and unbelievable movies like Remember the Titans.  Remember the Titans doesn't apply here but it is a great movie and it was on.

I used to do some acting in high school and junior college.  I was in my share of plays and musicals and I enjoyed them.  I have done a couple kissing scenes before myself.
I found kissing someone in the musicals and plays rather awkward at times.  Part of the reason was because they usually had a boyfriend already and I didn't want them to have to worry about kissing another guy they didn't usually want to kiss.
It was acting and when you get into character and you also don't think of it that way usually because it is a part of being a thespian.

Watching today on tv seeing some of these scenes that actors and actresses have to go through it makes me realize why these people seem to fail in their relationships so much.

I watch these shows and I see some of these love scenes and I wonder how the spouses feel about this whole deal.  I realize that a lot of the couples are hollywood so they have their own love scenes to do but it gets a little ridiculous when you really stop and think about it.

I am so glad I haven't had to do more scenes with kissing and I don't think I would ever want to be an actor involving scenes like that because I would rather know that I am giving my all to my significant other.  All my love, all my passion, all my kisses and all my desire.
Even if you are just acting it is so much better to not have to worry about the physical aspect even in a relationship because I have always felt so strongly about cheating and how wrong it is in relationships.

I find myself pitying the people in the world that have to deal with these sorts of problems and I wonder if they understand how much they are missing out of at times in their lives.

WNBA requirement

I don't mind watching all different sports although watching basketball is not my first choice.  To be honest, I love watching some sports more than others and the WNBA hasn't ever been that high on my list.
I know that a lot of women's leagues don't get the coverage that men's leagues do and while this is sometimes justified I think that a lot of the times if networks would cover more then there might be more interest.  Some of those games are crazy intense and they do some cool things.  (I like watching the softball games best myself)

While this is good stuff to think about what I actually want to talk about is my new respect for a policy of the WNBA.

The WNBA is the only league I have ever heard of that all the players need to have college degrees in order to be drafted.  I love this idea!
How many times do you hear an interview with a professional athlete and they sound kind of dumb on tv?  They don't know how to speak correctly and they don't have the vocabulary to express themselves properly.
This isn't all athletes; one guy I love listening to at times is Tim Duncan who speaks very eloquently when he wants to.  (I am pretty sure he has a degree too; it is amazing what an education can do to your conversation abilities)

I would love to see all professional sports adopt what the WNBA does.  After all, the "shelf life" of an athlete is relatively short to their life span and I would love to hear less of professional athletes either ending up bankrupt or doing dumb things when they can't perform anymore.  And of course, it is nice to hear them speak well if they are going to the the role models to our children.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

endorsement ethics?

I saw a commercial today that had Tony Stewart (Sprint Cup) working at Burger King.  It was pretty amusing, he did a good job.

I thought about that commercial and one of the best things I like about it is when you look at Tony he looks like the kind of guy who actually would eat at Burger King.  While he isn't super-fat or anything he definitely doesn't look like a body builder.

When you look at commercials with celebrities in them they are putting their name on a product and telling people that they should buy it.
I wonder what would happen if celebrities only endorsed products they actually believed in and used.

Maybe it is just me but while you watch someone like Michael Jordan endorse McDonalds and it is amusing to watch, I do wonder if he actually eats there.  Or at least if he did back when he was playing basketball.
 - Do professional athletes who care about what they eat and how in shape they are in actually eat fast food?
 - Do people who endorse shoes do it because they grew up wearing those shoes and like them or do they just wait and see who throws money and free merchandise at them?
 - Would Tiger Woods drive a Buick if they hadn't given him one and a bunch of money to drive one?  Or would he prefer a sports car or a huge SUV if he had his choice?

Maybe some of these celebrities actually believe in what they are endorsing and only take the time to choose the products in which they truly believe in or use.
But I wonder if they all do.

What are we telling people if we have people selling products they don't believe in?  That if you throw enough money at a person they will go against what they believe or think because it makes them rich?

Isn't that too big of a problem already: people doing whatever with no morals or ethics just to make a buck?

Wouldn't it be better to make a little less (especially when you already make millions) and uphold your morals and ethics?
What would the world be like if we only upheld what we believed in?  All of us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

church camp and faith

I found a bunch of old church amp stuff today.  Old addresses and camp awards and little messages we wrote to each other at the end of camp like you do with your yearbooks.
It brings back such good memories of a special time in my life.
I don't remember all the details but evidently back then I said the right things and I could talk church with the best of them at camp.
It feels good to read all those old comments from names and faces that seem to swim through my mind like a puff of smoke; a wisp and a shadow.

I think the greatest thing in some ways though is that I look back at my life back then and for as much faith as I had back then, it is nothing compared to what I have now.
I am not going to say that my faith hasn't been like a rollercoaster at times.  I have had ups and downs and there have been good times in my life and bad just like everyone else has.
The best news is that what I relied on God for back then was small stuff.  What I rely on God for now and have faith about is so much greater.
I don't mean to belittle what I thought before because I firmly believe that the problems of people are equal in many ways to God or anyone that loves us.
You don't stop caring for a person because they have a worry that you consider less important.  And that is the best part of it.

I feel more important is that not only do I give the small things to God but I also give the biggest things in my life to Him now.  God has consumed my trust and my belief and I know that no matter what is going on that He loves me and cares for me and that He will watch out for me in the long run even if life isn't always the easiest here on earth.

That is what faith is to me.  It is easy to have faith when life is good, but harder to have faith when life is rough.  But faith by definition is that belief no matter what the circumstances to me.  And I have given all of my life to God and my faith has consumed me in that way.

I look back with fond memories of camp and I know that those people would be so happy for me that my faith has grown with my age and that I continue to let God lead my life.  And for those that have followed the same path I am happy for them as well.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

believe it because I said so!

Was channel surfing tonight when I got home from hanging with Christmans and Scholls.
Just had gotten home and turned on the tv so I could watch something while I checked email and took out the contacts, etc. etc. etc.
I am not sure what show it is but I have seen little pieces of it before.  One of those investigation shows where the police are after criminals.

They made a great point in the show tonight.  They talked about how we sometimes hear things and we automatically believe them because we are immersed in them by someone in authority.
I love this thought because I have long advocated the idea that you have beliefs not because you are taught them but because you truly believe them.
Religion is a big one for this.  If you say you are buddhist or christian or muslim and I ask you why and you say it is because you were raised in that religion then I say that you are in trouble.
If you say you are a religious choice because you have thought and prayed (or not if you aren't in a praying religion) and researched and looked into your heart then even if we don't agree I am more likely to understand where you are coming from.
This is because I have searched my heart and I have chosen things in my life that fit me and who I am and what I truly believe.

If we all really thought about things and learned based on hearing all sides and truly looking at ourselves I think we would all be a lot more convicted in our choices in our lives and we would probably be a lot happier in many ways.  For those of you that already do that, I am glad that you can do that for yourselves.

p.s. - If anyone is wondering I am a Christian from that earlier thought.  I believe because of personal experiences and truly searching my heart and my mind.
p.s. 2 - The show was talking about Christian Science and I loved what they said - If God created doctors and all these treatments and cures, why wouldn't He want us to use them?  Good Call!  (to me, if you believe different and can truly say you have researched and searched yourself then good for you even if we don't believe the same thing)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

many will enter, one will win

Random thought that I am amused by.

I saw an ad on tv today that was for a contest.  It said "Many will enter, one will win!"

Does anyone else think it is kind of egotistical for the station to assume that many people will actually enter the contest?  What if only 1 person does?

Friday, August 6, 2010

stinky park

I stopped down at Mankato Ribfest today at Riverfront Park.
I love ribs, they are perhaps my favorite food.  Of course, good ribs is what I mean.  There is a lot to be disappointed about when you get substandard ribs.
It always used to be that Ribfest was kind of wedged into this area behind the Free Press and around the corner from the Bar-muda Triangle.  Now they have this new Riverfront Park down behind Denco and Midtown Tavern and it looks like Mankato is going to try and do all those little festival type things there instead.
I went down today in search of some ribs to try; I even made sure I ate the ones from Arizona in honor of my friends Misty and Ben who are both from AZ.
First of all, I miss the festivals behind the triangle.  I know it wasn't as convenient for many reasons and that there were space issues but there was decent parking and you were close to the other things in the area when you got sick of eating overpriced food and drinking overpriced beer and pop.  But there is something worse that I noticed this time around.
Riverfront Park is not a bad place, it is spacious and the council in Mankato tried really hard to make it very pleasant.  But there is something they couldn't do anything about it seems.
Riverfront sits right next to a dump and an industrial section of the city.
Not only does it kind of smell down there but you have to park next to the dump in order to get to the park.
There are parking spots close to the park but they close those off except for handicapped parking during events.  (I don't know about that since it seems to me those spots are never even close to being filled so they are making more people not want to go down there because you have to walk across train tracks and by a smelly dump to get to the park.)
Walking doesn't bother me as much; you usually had to walk a little to get to ribfest or wherever you were going anyways.
But the thing I noticed today is the dump.  I really does smell.  And that doesn't really help an appetite for ribs.  Or even make it pleasant to park down there.  The trash and junk is piled high enough that you can't miss it and the area is kind of dirty and gross.
I walked by today and I was hungry enough that I kind of ignored the situation when I went to the park but as I came back I really looked as I went by.
I am not a environmentalist superfreak like some people are.  I recycle and I don't litter but I don't only buy biodegradable products and I don't hug trees or anything like that.  But I am saddened by that trash pile nonetheless.
It is sad that you can look at the park and the dump right next to each other and see such a contrast in concepts.  The park is meant to be beautiful and a chance to sit in harmony with nature as you enjoy music or food and right next to it is a symbol of the result of our indulgences.
I realize that I have been a part of this problem because I too have taken advantage of not being overly environmentally conscious.
I am not going to go extreme on the subject but I do want to stop and think more often of what I can do to keep the planet looking more pleasant for everyone.
(Please don't get me started on other environmental issues because that is a huge discussion I don't want to get into right now but I have my thoughts on that too)
I hope that as I think back to my experience today I can remember the little things as I go through life and do what I can to help make things beautiful to experience for the generations after me as well as for myself.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jim and Andrea Williams Wedding

Jim and Andrea got married on Saturday, July 31, 2010.
First of all, congratulations to them!

I was at the wedding and I was at the reception.  They were both a ton of fun.  It was good to see some of my old college buddies and catch up and we danced and acted like goofs like we used to and it makes you feel young and invincible like we used to be.  (or we thought were were)

I watched Jim's and Andrea's eyes all day and all evening.  Wow, that was magical.
I saw two people so very much in love with each other it was so touching.  They both were thinking it was the best day of their lives (I think.  It looked that way in their eyes) and they were so happy not only for themselves but for the other person.

It is cute to watch them as a couple have so much fun.  The way they looked at each other, the way they kissed, the way they danced.  Their vows and how you could see the emotion and hear it in their voices.
They both feel like they are special to the other person every day.

I hope that I am in love that way some day.  I hope that I can make a girl feel like she is the luckiest person every day of her life.  I hope that she can feel like it is a dream come true.  I hope that she can feel like I love her more deeply every day compared to the one before it.  I hope that she can be happy.

It was truly amazing to watch them together.  It was almost like a fairy tale.  They are both such wonderful people and I am glad I got to see such a great event.


For those of you who know me I am not very political.  This is because politics in our country don't seem to work the way they are supposed to.
Here is my simple idea.
Instead of being voted into politics to get there and stay there how about getting into government to make a difference for the country and do what is best for people!
A few ideas.
1.  Lower salaries of politicians.  They are public "servants" not public rich representatives who take money from political action groups and lobbyists and others who throw money their way to sway a vote.  Oh, and they get huge salaries on top of this?!?!?  When is the last time you saw a politician wearing a run down old suit or a pair of slightly worn pants with a regular button down shirt and tie and a sports coat?  Isn't that what most of us wear when we work because we can't afford the really nice stuff?  Doesn't that mean we are working with what we can?
How is it that a person can claim to represent us when they have no idea what kind of money the "real" people make?  What it is like to hold off on stuff you want all the time because the bills of the month are due?  I am not saying they have to live in poverty, just saying that when you are making hundreds of thousands of dollars you really aren't doing much to relate to us.
This will of course never happen because the people who have to vote for this to happen are the people who are getting the money and who actually would vote themselves a lower salary?
p.s. - This would help the deficit and debt and even give us extra money for jobs and resources, wouldn't it?  What a way to help those problems if people who are supposed to be dedicated to service were being paid like they were serving and not like they were royalty!
2.  Limit the lobbyists.  If I give you a million dollars to endorse my brand of shoes or my restaurant then you are probably going to take it and you will peddle/support what I ask you to.  That is fine when you are talking about something as simple as shoes or food or music, but what about when the good of the country is at stake?  What if I gave you a million dollars to ignore the fact that I was torturing your kid?  While we may not be doing that literally we are going down that road and that is what we are going to be doing to generations if we keep up with the "I am going to grab all I can for me because that is what counts" mentality of the politicians.
3.  People should realize that just because you are in a political party you don't have to conform and the opposition isn't always wrong.  I realize and understand the reason for political parties.  You want a choice and to vote and it keeps us from a dictatorship and from someone coming in and ruining democracy.  But people are so for and against party lines that they hate the other side for no more than what they are called.  And worst is the fact that people can do something bad only because it is the view of their party.  Shouldn't it be that no matter who is in charge, what party you align yourself to, and no matter what you stand for, that you should always be working for the good of the country as a whole, not just the couple people that you want to represent?

I realize that this isn't much but then I just said a few ideas.  It would just be nice if politicians would work for what is best for the country and not just to stay in politics.  Instead of being a part of the "game" wouldn't it be nice if they only wanted what was best for the country even if it meant they only spent a couple years in congress and then went back to their regular lives?

sports salaries and priorities in life

I keep reading about all these pro athletes who decide to "hold out" or "sit out" or argue about their salaries.  They are of course making millions of dollars and playing sports for their jobs.  This isn't anything new; I know that a lot of people argue and complain about this because not all of us are fortunate enough to be gifted athletically.  While I am like many other people in that I don't see why these people complain when they are making about 10x what everyone else is making I do have another worry about this situation.
The educational system in the US is currently falling; you can ask anyone that is learned in the subject and they can talk about how the US is falling behind the rest of the world and we no longer set the standard for the world in brilliance and ingenuity.
It seems to me the problem is our thinking on sports.  Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy sports as much as the next guy.  I love watching and speculating and I yell at the television when the refs/umps make a bad call and I cheer viciously for my home teams.
The problem has become that the people that are making the big money are no longer the ones that are super smart and have invested time and brains into a product.  They are now those that have the biggest muscles and can jump the highest, run the fastest, or throw the hardest.
It saddens me that a person can be dumb as a box of rocks and if they can dunk a basketball they can make $100 million.
I am not saying that all athletes are dumb; there are in fact plenty of them that are very smart.  But even the smartest person can tell you that if they are asked to quit college in their 2nd year to play a sport the rest of their lives and make millions of dollars compared to graduating and only making thousands that the lure is to become rich and famous.
So where does this leave us as a country?  We have gifted athletes who make the most money and they are the inspiration and role models for our children.  They don't finish school, they never had to pay for school, they are given anything and everything, and when they get in trouble legally they are so rich and powerful they don't have to worry about getting into real trouble.  (Our sports world is full of convicted felons and trouble makers that repeatedly get chances because they are talented and can help their team win but they don't worry about that and just keep getting into trouble because they have never had to worry about losing it all.)
The sports worlds seem to realize too late that giving hundreds of millions of dollars to people to play a sport is problem.  They aren't making the world a better place for mankind even if they are entertaining millions of people.  The problem is entertainment doesn't make things better.  It only helps them forget about problems that are going to be there when the game is done.
You know who deserves the big money?  The people who make a difference in the lives of others and who are trying to better humanity.  The doctors and researchers who are trying to find a cure for cancer and AIDS.  The teachers who are doing their best to give the world smart people who can keep us from doing dumb things (yes I am a teacher and biased but it does make sense).  The ministers and priests who teach moral standards and pray for the world to do their best to keep a moral conscience for the world.  The police who put their lives on the line each and every day to uphold law and order and make the world a safer place and while doing it have to put up with people who complain after they have been caught breaking the law.
If we were to really look at the people who make a difference in the world for mankind and who try and make the world a better place instead of just grabbing what they can while they can and throwing it all away on stupid stuff we might have a better handle on being a part of the world and we might just find our country a better place to live in.

The start 8/2/10

This is the first of a new blog.  I have spent time writing journals and even doing a little blogging on facebook but this is my real blog.  I am going to write about whatever I feel like just to warn you.