Archive for August, 2009


August 31, 2009

steve 2004


Traveling Light

August 30, 2009

Yesterday I saw a book titled Traveling Light, by Brian Andreas.  I just took a few seconds to look at it.  The full title is
Traveling Light: Stories & Drawings for a Quiet Mind.  The book seems fun and a little quirky.  What intrigued me was the title.

Traveling Light.  As a backpacker, I’ve always tried to use that as a guideline in packing.  Keep it light; the load only feels heavier to farther you go.  It been my experience that the lighter the load, the more enjoyable the journey.

Traveling Light.  As a photographer, I can read light as a noun.  Sometimes the quality of the light seems different when I am traveling away from home.  Different place, different way of seeing.

Traveling light can be a good motto to live by.  As we travel through life, we can pick up all sorts of  baggage–some good, some not so good.  The trick for traveling light is to determine what things are essential and what things are just going to be a burden farther down the trail.

Traveling light requires us to make decisions–what should I take, what should a keep, what is important, what is frivolous.

Are we carrying heavy burdens that we need to drop to make our journey a better one?  Do we need to drop some of our extra baggage–things that might be just fine, but are crowding out the more important or the more meaningful things of life that will bring us more happiness and joy?  Do we need to look at our lives in a new or different light to be able to see things that we need to change and improve?

So there’s to Traveling Light.  Let’s evaluate what we are carrying, let’s decide what needs changing, and let’s make the changes that will allow us to have a better, more meaningful trip.

Being There

August 27, 2009

For the past few days, I have been thinking about how important it is to actually be there–physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I’ll try to explain.

We live in a time and a culture that seems to promote multitasking–doing several things at once.  While this may work for a computer, I don’t think my brain is capable of handling more than one thing at a time.

If my wife is speaking to me, I need to listen to her and not to attempt to listen and to do something else at the same time.  Listening requires me to actually be there.  If I’m reading, watching TV, or working on the computer, I am somewhere else.  Physically, I’m there by my wife.  But if I’m doing anything else that requires thought, I’m not there mentally, but somewhere else.

No one can be physically in two places at the same time.  And the same rule applies to my brain.  My thoughts cannot be in two places at the same time.  Since I can only be mentally in one place at a time, I need to really “be there” — wherever “there” is and needs to be.

Yesterday to posted a video that attempts to teach the dangers of texting while driving.  Texting while driving can, and does, have deadly consequences.  Having our mind–and eyes–on one thing (the cell phone) when it should be on the road is dangerous.  And so is having our mind and eyes on something else when we should be focusing our attention on our conversations.  We need to be there–all there.  Not only is the communication more effective, but it is more polite.

When we devote our whole attention to one thing at a time, we will have a cleaner, clearer idea of what is going on.  We will be able to better understand what the other person is saying, thinking, and feeling.  Being there completely will foster better communications.

I’m going to work on being there.  I hope you will do the same.  Perhaps this is a small way we can make the world a little better today.

Texting while Driving

August 26, 2009

Do you text while driving?  Do you know someone how does?  This very graphic Public Service Announcement from Wales may change your and their minds.

Text all you want, but, please, not while driving.


August 24, 2009

Editorial:  Unbelievable Claims

Ventura County Star

Monday, August 24, 2009

Filed under the category: “You couldn’t make this stuff up,” is the Ventura woman’s claim last week against the city of Ventura for first $680,000, then $250, in addition to another claim of $759, for her husband’s medical bills, lost earnings and bullet-hole damage to her house.

The damage her husband inflicted when he fired more than 50 rounds from an assault rifle and handgun inside the family home April 10.

A SWAT officer shot the shooter in the shoulder after he peppered the neighbors’ homes — and a fire station two blocks away — with bullets.

The claimant should realize she is lucky she, her husband, the police and neighbors are alive, and leave it at that.

In the meantime, she may have given her neighbors, with plenty of bullet holes in their own houses — their own lawsuits to consider — against the shooter, not the city.

He Really Wanted to be a Millionaire

August 24, 2009

Last night, we turned on the television just in time to see the final question of the final “Millionaire” Anniversary show.  The contestant was at $500,000.  One more question and he could have $1,000,000.

The question was shown and it was clear that he had absolutely no idea what the answer would be.  I’m not sure anyone would know the answer to this insignificant, trivial question.  So he had the choice:  Keep the half million or risk it on a guess.  By guessing, the odds were 75% he would get $25,000 to 25% that he would get $1,000,000.  Or he had a 100% chance of going away with $500,00.

He guessed and guessed wrong–$25,000 instead of the sure deal $500,000.

Why would anyone risk $500,000 when the odds were so stacked against him?

Love Your Neighbor

August 23, 2009

I donate blood and platelets, but this is a donation on an entirely different level.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Few things can be more neighborly than offering your kidney to a friend. Two Kansas City women have lived next door to each other for 30 years. But Claudine Jackson and Jo Ann Walz really got to know each other after Walz donated her kidney to Jackson.

The two had always been friendly, but have grown much closer over the past three years as Walz helped with car rides to dialysis treatments, doctor’s appointments and the grocery store.

The kind act ended two years of waiting on a national kidney waiting list.

Jackson moved onto Fuller Avenue in south Kansas City in 1977. Walz moved in next door about a year later.

What  a kind thing to do!  And now she don’t have to take her on all those trips for dialysis and doctor appointments either.

Lombard Street becomes Candyland

August 20, 2009

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the board game Candyland, Lombard Street in San Francisco (the world’s most crooked street) was transformed into a giant Candyland game.

Check out the story here.

That’s not my Dad

August 19, 2009


Philadelphia Daily News

The mourners knew it wasn’t Tex.

Nearly everyone who passed the silver casket at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church yesterday morning whispered to each other. That’s not Tex, they said. But the corpse was wearing his blue suit and black boots.

The late Kenneth “Tex” Roberts, 80, who died Monday of a heart attack, was a jovial, mustached, retired tractor-trailer driver who loved to tell jokes, play cards and help people when they were down.

On Monday night, Roberts’ wife, Janie Holsey, and others went to check the body at James L. Hawkins Funeral Home, at 1640 Federal St., and told a female employee: “This is not my husband.”

But family members said the woman at the South Philadelphia funeral home insisted: “That’s how they look when they die.”

She was “so nasty,” pushing us out of the funeral home, said Rhonda Wearing, 52, the oldest of Roberts’ three daughters.

So yesterday morning, Roberts’ wife, eight children and three stepchildren stood for two hours greeting nearly 200 mourners inside Tindley church, at 742 S. Broad St.

“I touched him,” Wearing said. “We kissed him. Some of us thought it was him.”

About 11 a.m., just after the funeral director gave Holsey an American flag in honor of her husband’s Army military service – he was discharged in 1954 – the director asked to speak with the immediate family in a second-floor conference room before the funeral was to start.

The director, whose name was not available, said: ” ‘I’m sorry, it was a mix-up,’ ” said Wearing. “That was a hell of a mix-up.”

“It wasn’t my dad,” Wearing said. “It was some other person lying in my dad’s suit and clothes. He wasn’t dark and short. He was brown-skinned, 5 foot 9, about 180 pounds, and wore glasses.

“The man in the casket looked older than my father,” she added. And that man had been killed, she said she was told.

Horrified relatives burst into tears in the conference room. One of Roberts’ daughters yelled, “Go get my father!” A grandchild screamed, “Where’s Pop Pop?”

“They were crying and running around in circles,” said Lois Bundy, 73, a sister-in-law. “It was terrible, it was just chaos, it really was.”

Distraught, hysterical mourners poured out of the church onto the sidewalk, while others tried to calm them down.

“It traumatized all of us,” Wearing said.

Keith Harris, 19, had a seizure and was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. An unidentified woman had an asthma attack and was also taken to a hospital, Wearing said.

Meantime, the funeral home found Roberts’ remains, and rushed them back to the church. When an assistant opened the door of the hearse, mortified relatives screamed at the sight.

“The casket had tilted and his leg was hanging out,” said Wearing, who believed they drove so fast, hitting bumps, that the casket opened.

“It was unspeakable,” she added.

“How do you not know the person [deceased] had a heart attack? Why did we have to stand in line looking at the casket at a guy who was not my father?” Wearing asked.

WPVI-TV reported last night that Roberts’ body had been in a casket for a funeral at the Francis Funeral Home, on Whitby Avenue at 52nd Street, West Philadelphia. Both funeral homes are under the same ownership, the station said.


August 15, 2009

mikes home

After serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission for the past 2 years, our son Michael returned this morning.

He had a great experience as a missionary.  We have been honored to have him on his mission serving the Lord while he worked with the people of Pennsylvania and Maryland.  And it is great to have him home.

Mike’s next stop is LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, Utah.