For those who are anti-religion, i am about to lose you.  If my faith offends you, there is not much i can do about it, but i ask that you give this blog entry a chance.
    Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
        vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
    What does man gain by all the toil
        at which he toils under the sun?
    A generation goes, and a generation comes,
        but the earth remains forever.
    The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
        and hastens to the place where it rises.
    The wind blows to the south
        and goes around to the north;
    around and around goes the wind,
        and on its circuits the wind returns.
    All streams run to the sea,
        but the sea is not full;
    to the place where the streams flow,
        there they flow again.
    All things are full of weariness;
        a man cannot utter it;
    the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
        nor the ear filled with hearing.
    What has been is what will be,
        and what has been done is what will be done,
        and there is nothing new under the sun.
    Is there a thing of which it is said,
        “See, this is new”?
    It has been already
        in the ages before us.
    There is no remembrance of former things,
        nor will there be any remembrance
    of later things yet to be
        among those who come after.

    (Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 ESV)
This blog post was actually started in rough draft form several weeks before the tragedy that took place in Newtown, CT on Friday.  I have been concerned with a tendency to over legislate ourselves here in America.  When things are not working out our legislators pass some law, hoping to curb whatever behavior that has caused the issue.  There are times that something comes up that that needs some additional guidance and a new law should be passed, but i feel we over compensate.  Granted, lawyers often search out the most miniscule detail and will exploit it for the gain of whoever their clients are.  They rarely concern themselves with "intent" of the law, etc.  This is what propagates new laws being on the books to correct previous omissions, etc. The problem is, you can not legislate moral behavior.

We have all encountered the layman lawyer.  The person who always knows the answer, who always knows the 'truth'.  We also know a person (probably more than one) who feels that it is only illegal if they get caught.  More restrictions on the purchase of firearms may help, but i feel where we are failing as a society is that we are not teaching our children.  We have lost the right and wrong mentality, but too often it is not backed up with consequences.  

I have no idea, yet, of what Adam Lanza's mind was like.  I don't know if he had mental issues, or what set him off, but i do know that Connecticut has some of the most stricter laws in regards to gun ownership - and - he didn't own them.  He killed his own mother and stole them from her.  Now the call for more gun laws are being shouted even louder.

I am sorry, but more laws will not fix these sorts of problems.  Man is the Apex predator on the planet.  He is set apart, not only by opposable thumbs, but a brain that can work things out.  Some better than others, but basic problem solving is wired into every human's brain, and within that problem solving it includes how to get around boundaries and obstacles... such as rules.  A child does not need to be taught how to lie, or covet, or even steal.  Granted, not EVERY child does ALL of these things, but they do at least some of them - and i am willing to bet that if the first child thought they could get away with it without any consequences, they would do all of them at some point.  Timothy McVeigh didn't use a gun, he used diesel fuel and fertilizer.  On the very same day as the gun attack in Connecticut a man wielding a knife in China attacked kids in a school there

I am going to be honest here.  I have no crystal ball here.  I have ideas of what might work, and what might not.  I will not proclaim to be as sure as many who shout out in the media - from both sides.  One thing i do know for sure, the issue lies at the heart of the perpetrator.  It is impossible to legislate morality.  For decades now there has been an eroding of Judeo Christian values within the United States and the world.  Now, i will be among the first to say that us white - Anglo Saxon - protestants AND Catholics have not been the most inclusive, understanding, gracious, representatives of the God we proclaim to follow (the Crusades and Inquisition immediately come to mind, as well as other more recent historical examples), but we are being told a fallacy.  That man is a basically moral creature.  That we have developed these moral senses of right and wrong as we became more civilized.  To this i say - hogwash.  Just look at any country where law and order break down.  One could even take a deeper look at any social dynamic, even within a body of church goers, to see that selfishness and envy and anger are constant struggles.  It's not matter of what laws are in place to keep these things from 'exploding', it comes down to a matter of teaching what is right and wrong and how to deal with such issues - BEFORE - it gets out of hand.  One cannot teach that right and wrong is a matter of perspective without expecting a conflict to eventually arise.


I need to confess something.  I struggle with condemnation of others, of those who i feel should know better, but for whatever reason just don't.  There is no way i can possibly justify these feelings.  For some reason i got into watching a series of YouTube videos depicting several people and families who have left the Morman church.  I learned some new things, but I am still comfortable on my views of that faith as a whole.  If interested, you may see the videos for yourself here - YouTube Video and more.

No matter where someone else is, even if it is an area that the Bible is clear on, i have no right to condemn anyone.  (“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you." (Matthew 7:1-2 ESV)) That is clearly in the Bible.  That does not mean that the other person is not in sin, or in error, but that i have no right to condemn that person for being where they are in their walk through life.  We all have a sense that we are not "there" yet, and we get down on ourselves to some degree, and so we try and 'place ourselves' within the context of others.  If they are messing up, than you must be better than they are, right?  In the end, only God the Father will be our Judge, and we will all be guilty before Him.  That is, unless we have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ to be our substitute, our propitiation.  Even then, it is not anything we have/had done.  We can only be faithful with what He has entrusted to us and share as we can. 
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."  (Ephesians 2:1-9 ESV)

While listening to WTOP (an all news station out of Washington, D.C.) i heard a report about G and PG rated movies are significantly less this year compared to last.  I am still not sure of the reason, but i do remember hearing that most, if not all, of the other studios have cleared the way for The Hobbit to be mostly unopposed in regards to opening weekends for the upcoming date.  I thought that was pretty funny.  My beloved and i are really looking forward to this movie, but after looking over our schedule it looks like we will not be seeing the movie until Sunday evening at the earliest.  I am out of touch with the general vibe of most of America, so i am not sure how well the Hobbit being expanded to three movies over all.  Personally i am pretty stoked.  I've always known that Peter Jackson did his very best (along with his fellow screen writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) would do their very best to be as faithful to the book, as well as find ways to incorporate a lot of the 'back story' from the various true canon sources.  The listed run time of "The Unexpected Journey" is 2:46, which i am quite thrilled about - AND, the 'extended version, on BluRay to be released later, will have an additional 25 minutes.  Love it.


I am trying to set goals for myself in regards to running.  There are four running events in the coming years i hope to do.  Two are 5k races, one is an 8k race, and the other is a 10 mile deal.  To be honest, i have not met my goals for this year (which were to walk 300 miles, and run 150), but each race entered has an entrance fee and would be added impetus.  Each race has something that is attractive to me.  One is for cancer research,
when in shape
One is to raise donations for under privileged children, and one is to promote wellness among children in my area (sort of like the Play60 campaign, but a lot more localized).  The 10 miler, is the Army race run every year.  That one is really hard to get in to, and i do not have confidence in myself to actually be ready for it this year.  I spoke with my beloved, and i received what felt like a half hearted endorsement... but, i think she is behind me.  Especially if it helps me get DS2 in better overall shape.  More to follow - i hope.


Video compilation

After wrapping up the month of November, and taking the time to remember the things to be thankful for in my life i wanted to resurrect this blog - sort of.  I mean, since it is not an actually living being, it never really dies.  Well... at least not in this world... but obviously in the world of TRON it would be derezzed eventually.
 :-B nerd:)) laughing

Well, over the course of time i had saved a few videos i absolutely found fun and wanted to share them somehow.  Well, sure, Facebook is the normal way to go, but hey, i never claimed to be normal, so, i thought, why not share them here.


The first one i want to share is an NFL Play60 promo.  I first saw it while watching the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins play on Thanksgiving Day.  First, as any regular reader of this blog knows, i am a fan of the Carolina Panthers, and this one features Cam Newton, their 'prodigal quarterback'.  In his first year he set all kind of rookie records.  I was able to see him break 4 records last year, in person:
  • First rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.
  • Most total touchdowns by a rookie NFL player: 35 (21 pass, 14 rush).
  • Most rushing yards by a rookie quarterback: 706
  • Most rushing touchdowns in a single season by a quarterback: 14
As well as a few Panther Franchise Records:
I am liking that he is growing a sense of humor. He just seems to be growing into a really nice young man. A well rounded team leader, on and off the field.  I completely agree that a Rookie, and even a second year player - even one as talented as Cam is - should not be a team captain.  There are just too many other things on their shoulders to take on that role and responsibilities.  Let them mature and grow as a football player, and let them learn from the veterans around the locker room.

Anyway, i love this commercial.  It has a great message about kids eating right and exercising, along with a great tongue in cheek humor.  I am snickering even as i type this and think about the video.
:(tv) tv

The kid is priceless.


The next one a friend shared.  I really laughed hard enough to have ice tea come out my nose when i first saw it.  It's just so NOT me and my family in style, but in content it was spot on.

There are so many times as a parent, and you are up to your eyebrows in insanity and you just snap.  There is nothing even remotely funny...not until you can put some distance of time between the present and the event.  There are quite a few things that happened around my 'dojo' that i was truly peeved... but now, it brings a smile to my face, and a laugh with the family.  The key is, don't take things too seriously.  Be honest with yourself, that you are not perfect -- and then just learn from the mistakes, and enjoy life.


The last video in this blog entry for todayis titled, "How Bad do You Want IT!".  It is straight up a motivational deal.  There are some people that think i am like this, that i drive and drive and drive, but the truth is, there are a lot of times i take my eyes of the prize and look at the 'storm' that is surrounding me.

In one of my 'Being thankful' blog posts, i mentioned how i ran on my High School's Cross Country team two years in a row, and both years the team went to the state championships, and both years i dropped off the team - just stopped showing up to practices and everything.  Fortunately for the team, i was not one of the top runners, and this really didn't impact their performance at the finals (if memory serves they one both years).  This was not the only time i had done something like this.  In the sixth grade i had the role in a class play, and i think i was pretty good, but on the day of the play, i refused to go on.  The teacher had to get the understudy.  In many ways... i feel like i let everyone down, over and over again.  I see this video, and i want to charge right out and never let anyone down again, but i know i can't go about it that way.  But, what this video does, partnered with the grace of God i experience everyday, gives me incredible motivation to pick myself up.  To begin again, to do what i can, then get up the next day and do it again, and when i trip and fall - to get up and get on again. 

Right now, i am not there mentally... but one has to have an objective to aim for.  In driving you do not stare at the road right in front of the vehicle, you look up the road so you can anticipate the corrections needed.  When i was taught to perform land navigation in the Army, i was taught to not stare at the compass, but to use the compass to get a direction and then to look out and find an objective along that line, and then aim and head towards that objective - all the while navigating the obstacles of the terrain as needed.  I am working on this, but i have formed a saying that helps at times. 

"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it everytime."

There is, i believe, something in each of us, that want to make a difference, to make our mark in some way, but unless we actually get up and do something... we will fulfill that saying above.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."  ~ Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt ~ "Citizenship in a Republic," Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910 


Well, that is all i have for today.  If so inclined, please pray for me as i too strive to "take no days off", all the while, keeping a proper balance in my life with my relationship with God, with my family, and with my career.  Thank you for reading.