Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's a small world after all

It's amazing just how much we rely on technology.  When my laptop died a quick and painful death about a month ago, I suddenly felt rather cut off from many things.  I use email and FB to keep in touch with friends and family.  I pay bills online and make purchases the same way.  I hardly ever watch television to get the news and weather forecast since it's so readily available on the net.

Truth be told, I wasn't completely cut off.  I had my work laptop that I could sneak in a few personal tasks.  And that did come in handy while looking for a new machine. 

I thought I located the perfect replacement, an HP running Windows 7 with plenty of memory and  large hard drive.  But a couple of days after I ordered it from a vendor on Amazon I got a notice that they oversold that model and no longer could fulfill my purchase.  Back to square one!

Himself found a website where I could order a Toshiba to my specifications and the price was comparable to the HP I had wanted.  So I placed my ordered and hoped for the best. 

We joked around that I would get it eventually, that it was going to be on the proverbial Slow boat from China.  We weren't completely off base with that guess.  It was being put together there, in a city called Chongqing. 

But, what we were completely wrong about was the speed of delivery.  FedEx was notified at 11:31pm on Sunday (3/10) and it was in my grubby little hands on Friday morning at 11:13am (3/14).

That blows my mind.  Only five days and it was here!

It's a small world after all!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

First Photo - March

Better late than never I suppose.  I actually did take the picture on the first of this month, but being computerless left me late in posting it.  And, surprise, surprise!  More snow.  I'm beginning to wonder if April's first photo will be the same as well. 


Friday, March 7, 2014

For my edification

I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks feeling angry and agitated.  I knew a case of raging PMS played a large part in it.  The weather, the seemingly never ending frigid temperatures and snow wasn’t helping either.  A broken computer and a failed attempt to get a new one just added insult to injury.  But late last week I realized something else was adding to the stress.

I tend to be a news junkie.  In the morning I usually check anywhere from four to ten news sites to see what’s happening in the world.  On top of that, many of my feeds on Facebook are news or political organizations.

What I’ve been finding lately is many of the site are more interested in invoking an emotional response rather than just reporting the facts as news.  Headlines are misleading if not downright wrong.  The stories leave out critical details, giving only one, biased side of the events in question.  In an attempt to sway me to their way of thinking, the author or reporter many times tells lies of omission. 

After reading articles that often paint a picture far from the truth, I have felt used and abused.  My time has been wasted and my emotions have been manipulated and played upon.

Late last week, Thursday to be exact, after reading one too many of these "stories" I decided that I have had enough.  Life is too short and too precious to be conned by charlatans posing as journalists.

I am tired of reading "what’s wrong with the world."  Chesterton’s response to that question when posed to him was short and to the point, "I am."

We’re human.  Humanity long has screwed up, both on a personal level and the world around him.  Just check out Adam and Eve.

But the bigger question is "What are we going to do about it?"

What are we, what am I, going to do to make it better?

For me, the first step is to take myself out of the line of fire.  Being bombarded by misleading headlines and stories of only partial truths was eating too much at my soul and at my sanity.

I unfriended, unfollowed, and removed from favorites any and all news feeds that I found questionable, which was pretty much all of them.  And I bet you might be surprised at some that have been banished.

I am not going to stick my head in the sand and ignore the world around me.  But, I will be much more selective of where, when and from whom I get information.

What I want to do instead is fill that void with positive action and soul nourishment.  I need to figure out how to make things good and just and right, if not for the whole of humanity, for my little part of it.

I need that for my edification.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014


This morning, shortly before lunchtime, our receptionist sent out an email to everyone letting us know that there were goodies in the kitchen.   Jimmy Johns dropped off three sandwiches for us to sample.   Considering it was Ash Wednesday I thought their timing was pretty bad, but given how fast they disappeared it doesn’t seem as though there are many Catholics at my company.  Later on, when I was in the kitchen, a bit after lunch, there was a boxes of leftover doughnuts and pizza sitting out for whomever wanted to munch.

I thought how I mindlessly eat things, not because I am hungry but because it’s there.   I was glad for the fasting of this day as I wasn’t tempted to swipe a snack or two.

This evening while waiting for dinner to cook, I read a few blogs and two struck me and helped solidify what my Lent is to be about.   Rebecca is going to pay more attention to her prayer life.  Spending time with the Lord will take a priority over the instant access to social media.   Then I read Stephanie’s post about picking a word on which to focus over the course of these forty Lenten days.

My Lenten plans suddenly became clear.   The word that I thought about at work today is it - mindfulness.

I had been struggling as to what I was going to do in preparation for Easter.   I really didn’t feel called to give up something. In doing that it seemed like I was choosing something more for health reasons than for sacrificial and prayerful purposes.   I knew I wanted to do something.

I need to be mindful.   About what I eat.   About what I say and do and write.   About what I fill my mind with through books and television and the net.  About what I spend time and money on.

When we watch our niece we are careful in the language that we use.   Her little mind absorbs everything.   We don’t want to be the person that teaches Sara her first bad word.  Actually, it was her mother that did that one!   Sis still blushes over that.  So why do I use those same words around anyone else?

The need of being mindful about what I read and write became terribly obvious to me last week.   I scribbled out a rant a couple of days ago and when I post it tomorrow I think you’ll see why.   Words and time make a difference.

I do love when things come together.   I struggled the last few days figuring out what I was supposed to be doing.   Thanks to Rebecca, Stephanie and a mixed up set of circumstances I’m now mindful of just what it is.