Monday, January 29, 2007

Super Nanny

[Photo: thoughts by nettaphoto]

I'm so excited. It's Monday night. Which means that Super Nanny is on TV tonight. I am not a huge fan of reality TV (ok, I admit I watch American Idol), but I think that Super Nanny is one of the best programs on.

For those who are unfamiliar with the show, the premise is pretty simple. Jo Frost, a child behavioral expert, visits the homes of desperate parents with badly behaved children, and teaches them techniques and strategies to reclaim control of their lives and households. I have to admit, I don't know if I would have the courage to bare my dirty laundry on TV, but many times the parents seem to be pretty desperate.

Jo appears to take an honest, caring and straightforward approach to assisting the families. Often, the message most parents need help comprehending and confronting is that their children are behaving poorly because they are mirroring their own behavior and frustrations (even the unspoken ones). It such a powerful message, even for those who do not have children. In our fast paced, digitally isolated world, we often forget that we aren't isolated and that our behaviors and thoughts affect those we interact with in ways that we are not even aware of.

Are you cognizant of how your thoughts and behaviors affect others? What image do you unconsciously project to others? How do you cause people to react to you?

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Chicago is #1!


Monday, January 22, 2007

Who would you call?

[Photo: Love by Purzlbaum]

"If you had an hour to live and could only make one phone call --
who would you call,

what would you say,
and why are you waiting?"
-- Stephen Levine

What is keeping you from telling the people that you love how you feel?
Are you too shy? Are you waiting for a more convenient time?
The best time is now.

Tell three people today how much you love them.
Tell them in person. Make a phone call. Send an email.

You will brigthen their day as well as your own!

Spring Ahead

[Photo: Sundial by Leo]

I don't really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves.

-- Robertson Davies, The diary of Samuel Marchbanks, Clarke, Irwin (1947), XIX, Sunday

As a sort of public service announcement, this is just a reminder that the DST changes within the United States' Energy Policy Act (signed into law on August 8, 2005) go into effect this year - bringing our normal daylight savings time-change three weeks earlier than normal to March 11th, instead of April 8th.

While it's just a casual change for normal clocks around the house, computers and other electronic devices that automatically adjust for daylight savings on the first sunday of April know nothing about the new law, and will subsequently not adjust in March like they should.

Nothing earthshattering, per se, but if you've got shows set to record on your VCR at a certain time between March 11 and April 8th, there's a pretty reasonable chance you're going to record the prior hour's show. :) You can manually adjust the clock ahead on March 11th, like all the other stuff in the house, but keep in mind, it still thinks the old rules are in place, and on April 8th, it's very likely to set the clock ahead an hour for you, like it always has. :)

Correcting daylight-savings rules on a piece of hardware like a VCR is pretty challenging, so for as long as these new rules stick (last changed in 1987), you may be stuck manually adjusting the time over and over again, each March and November -- at least until they either change the rule back (it's a "Right to Revert" clause they left in) or until you finally up and get a Tivo.

In theory, this change will leave us with more time for shopping at night (whee, economy!), and lets the kids stay out longer on Halloween. Good times.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Book Worm

[Photo: Flower Book by MGShelton]

If someone was looking for you in a bookstore,
in which section would he/she be most likely to find you?

What is your must-read recommendation from that category of books?

Question selected from The Conversation Piece 2.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


[Photo: into the dark by are you my rik?]

"The more you trust folks,
the less they let you down."

The Universe

Monday, January 15, 2007

Eternity is Now

[Photo: For a Taste of Eternity by Mr. Rich]

"Eternity has nothing to do with the hereafter... This is it...

If you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere.

The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.

Heaven is not the place to have the experience;
here's the place to have the experience."

-- Joseph Campbell

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Generation Y

[Photo: Filmstrip by Editor B]

A recent survey of 18-25 year olds revealed that Generation Y holds more tolerant social views than its predecessors. These young people tend to favorably view typical "liberal" issues such as immigration and gay marriage. The survey also probed to determine what the top life goals of the generation are. Those surveyed were asked to pick their generation's top two most important life goals from the following: to be rich, to be famous, to help people, to be leaders in their community, and to become more spiritual. By an overwhelming majority, those surveyed picked "to be rich" and "to be famous" as their generation's top life goals. I found this result to be a bit disturbing and scary.

Does it surprise you? Do you feel that it points to a self-involved and self-serving Generation Y? Are we failing to teach our children compassion and humanism? How will this affect the future of our country?

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Pesos for Pizza?

[Photo: World United by Pizza by]

A Texas-based chain, Pizza Patron, has started allowing its customers to pay for pizza using pesos at 59 of its restaurants across Texas, Colorado, California, Nevada and Arizona. The company focuses its stores in Hispanic communities and claims that 60% of its customers are Hispanic. Therefore, they assert that the ability to pay for their products with pesos is a customer convenience. After posting signs advertising the promotion, the company began receiving threats and hate mail.

I was a bit taken a back when I read this story and naively wondered if it is even legal to do business in foreign currencies. I am curious to know how people feel about this topic. Does such a policy make sense in border cities alone? How would you feel if businesses in major cities such as New York, LA and Chicago started accepting pesos for payment? Why not also accept other foreign currencies?

I think the story also highlights the fact that there is not steadfast, clear cut definition of what it means to be an "American." We are a diverse, changing population from a multitude of backgrounds, making the meaning of the word "American" more and more vague. How do you define the term? What does being an American mean to you?

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Subway Superman

[Photo: brave little plant by Designerd]

The extra strength feats of fantasy superhero characters are of great mass appeal -- almost as appealing as the extra strength feats of human superheros. Surely you've heard of the appropriately coined, "Subway Superman"?

He is also known as Wesley Autrey, a 50-year old father of two. Autrey saved the life of a 20-year old New York teen, who had fallen onto the subway tracks upon suffering a seizure, by laying over the boy's convulsing body as the oncoming train passed over them.

Autrey is being lauded as a hero and has been rewarded for his bravery and selflessness in a number of ways, including tear filled thank you's from the boy's family to civic awards and a trip to Disney land for his children. Autrey is obviously an extraordinary person, who has most likely performed many other acts of heroism and bravery throughout his life. These acts may not have been as bold and publicized as that he performed last week, but I am sure they were just as important to those that benefited from his actions.

We all have personal heroes that have touched our lives in extraordinary ways. These heroes often do not receive the recognition they deserve and often do not know how much of an impact their actions, no matter how seemingly small, had on our lives.

Take a moment to identify those that have been played the role of your personal hero and reflect on how their actions changed your life for the better. Did you have an opportunity to express to them the important role they played in your life? Were you granted an opportunity to thank them for their kindness?

If you wish, use the comments to recognize those that have played profound roles in your life. Or, share stories of great acts of heroism that you have witnessed or experienced.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007


[Photo Two Faced by Ethan Woods]

I couldn't help but laugh last night; during one of the TV commercial breaks, the little promo clip for the evening news came on: "International outrage over photos taken of the execution.. [...] Stay tuned at 10.. we've got em!"


Is there a balance between freedom of the press and journalistic integrity? Is it irresponsible to re-publish the very thing that people are outraged about? Or is it irresponsible not to, since it's part of the story?

And, a followup question: Have you seen them? Did you switch away when they showed them on TV? Or did you stay tuned? :)

Monday, January 01, 2007


[Photo: Peace by buchan]

Happy New Year!
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous year!

I recently came across a website called, Edge. It is run by a non-profit organization whose mandate is "to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society." The site brings together some of the world's foremost scientists and thinkers for the discussion of many thought provoking topics.

To kick start 2007, the site has questioned its members to find out what they are currently optimistic about. Many have provided essays about exciting developments in their areas of expertise -- ranging from religion to physics. I agree that it s a great exercise to start off the new year by focusing on the good things to come, so I thought I would pose the same the question to you:

What are you optimistic about? Why?