Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

1/28/10

IPad in a Kindle World?

No, it isn't yet a Kindle world. Not at my home. Still reading old fashioned books here in good ol' Wheaton, Illinois. I've seen the Kindle, and I want one, but am waiting until they get the bugs out, the features in and the cost down.

Roughly translated, I can't afford one.

Now, the new kid on the block is iPad. Apple is cranking these out, and maybe it will be to books what the iPod was to CDs. Ipad blogs are popping up all over.

Like the Kindle, it is an e-reader, and like the Kindle, I can't afford it. It is just as well. One or the other will lead the pack, and I want the leader, not the wannabe.

So far, it is not clear to me how these are not much more than software on a funky, keyboard-less laptop, a repackaged PDF with some cool features. Sure, it is focused on books, periodicals and the like (and I do like), why not converge it all? Get this all on my laptop. With the iPhone features. I already have iTunes there, and reading plenty on it. Software is software, and I'll already have more hardware firepower. Shrink my laptop, provide a snap-off keyboard, and viola! An e-reader.

1/26/10

Andy Griffith Football Story from 1953 - Video

Funny stuff for a cold day.

"Andy Griffith's famous 1953 stand-up monologue about college football. It has become one of the most beloved comedy recordings of all time."

1/20/10

I'm Rooting for the Country Girl (American Idol)


I'm rooting for the country girl. I can't remember her name, but she bought her dress for something like $4.00. I hope she has real talent tucked away back there.

While Kelly Pickler's fun in an Ellie Mae Clampet kind of way, she was already doing the beauty queen circuit. At this point, she seems all schtick. This current gal is the real deal country. She's from a small town in the sticks, not very sophisticated, is sincere on every level.

I might, for the first time ever, vote for someone in American Idol.

If nothing else, if the country gal isn't quite ready for the big time, maybe a generous viewer will think kindly of her and give her a music education.

1/19/10

Happy Birthday, Mr. Poe

Cut my literary teeth reading Edgar Allan Poe's work in junior high school. Loved his work ever since.

Happy birthday, pal. We've been through a lot together.

1/17/10

Pablo Says

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
— Pablo Picasso

(Stolen from my cousin's Tumblr acct)

1/9/10

Martin Luther King and the Rest of Us

An old friend posted on Facebook a quote from Martin Luther King, from 1956.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Real controversy, the kind which matters more than my petty interests, I have never faced. Likewise, tragedy. I have had stressful times, been shouted down, and have buried my mom, but the deepest controversy I have never seen. There has never been a day in which my faith was muzzled.

King faced this. His faith was not muzzled, per se, but he was killed for his beliefs. His beliefs, on the surface, look like the typical Jesse Jackson-style social religion. In fact, Jackson was involved in King's work. Jackson never has understood what King was about, however, looking at it all as merely a form of racial conflict resolution. That end was and is noble, and by degrees, we are getting there. King served a deeper goal. His name misnomers his reality. He knew the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.

In the Wikipedia article on King, his faith in Christ is ignored, except for mentions what organizations he was involved with. In his letter from the Birmingham jail, he is not St. Paul writing prophetically from the Ephesus jail (though he makes the allusion, and a few parallels do exist), but it is clear who King serves and why he was doing what he did. An injustice often overlooked suffered by King is that his motivation is ignored.

This is not agreed by all. One website writer disagrees completely. However, in reading his site, reading some pseudo scholarship he used in defending his King James Bible only defense, the whole lot is suspect. It brings up the question of how do we know any celebrity Christian's faith? With the likes of Benny Hinn and Robert Tilton tugging on the checkbooks of their flock, and the blatant racism found in Barack Obama's pre-White House pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it is easy to be cynical. Toss in the Ted Haggard (an evangelical leader) and the Catholic priest abuse scandals, and it is a wonder anyone believes anything.

As Christians go, I don't hold King up, or down. That he died from the consequence of what he believed does not make him greater. He was murdered, or assassinated (I don't what the distinction is), and this, no doubt, was a response by someone afraid of what he was accomplishing. He is a hero, but what matters to me is not how he died, but how he lived.

The ultimate issue is not what do they believe, but what do I (and you) believe. Scandals are nothing knew. Complex motives are part of everyone's life, and complex lives are reality. The hypocrite and liar cannot change truth. Was King really as I see, or as the website writer linked above sees him?

1/8/10

Visions of a Snowy Morning: Workaday Joes Filing By My Window One-by-One


An essay looking at my hardworking neighbors en route to their next stop in their commute. It is both lonely and hopeful, as they trudge on a gray day looking forward to better days.

Listen to me read this on BlogTalkRadio.

It snowed last night.

I looked through the window, and saw them passing by, those people who live in the homes around me. The sidewalk this morning had a path of neighbors stepping in a suburban linear regiment. Each one, walking. Footprints in the snow. Coffee in hand, bag in the other, like quiet soldiers without guns. Or students, sans coffee, with backpacks bigger than parachutes, but not as buoyant. Their day would be filled with factory floors, or cubicles with short walls. Or driving something, pushing snow, delivering packages or people. Or in classrooms, surrounded by sniffles, wet socks and struggles to remember fractions.

Typing, calling, affixing, packaging, shipping. Whatever the pay, whatever the skill, the job's the job. It is not the beach, the woods, the theater, or the dinner under candlelight. Punch in/punch out, or work all day for a salary, few are not slaves to some kind of clock. Time is money, so they all sell their days for a loaf of bread, shoes, pants and a shirt. Water is still free, more or less, if they know where to look.

Each walked toward something the same, independently yet as one congregation. Protesting nothing, catholic without a pope, unified, global, universal, though unknowing their connection. Their religion was to get through the day, not to get through to God, but God still watches and loves them. Some know this, but it is hard to tell which own which heart; each looks the same with massive black jackets, dark pants and boots, silhouetted against the streetlights leftover from the night. They press on because it is not today they see, but a sunny day in July. Then, the schools are out, or they have vacation, or, they just don't mind the walk any longer, leaving no footprints in my sidewalk.

The whiteness of the snow is offset by the overcast of an unfriendly January sun and eyes not ready to open. The coffee will seduce the eyes into seeing the gray skyline, and the workday will start soon. Better days will come as the snow melts and the days lengthen, but for now, this is their lot. This is a morning; this is today.

Susan Boyle Sings Amazing Grace

Susan Boyle Sings Amazing Grace

more versions - Variations on Amazing Grace (various singers)



from her CD

I Dreamed A Dream

1/6/10

On Schlepping

I've never schlepped. If you know me, you might think I have quite often. Some very well-founded arguments can even be made that as schleppers go, I am their champion, their expert and their leader. Still, I am not a schlepper.

There has been more than a good portion of my life spent disheveled, disjointed, uncoordinated. I've hauled, dragged, pushed, pulled and piled. But never ever have I schlepped. I feel like I'm missing out.

As one who has dragged, with schlep being Yiddish for 'to drag', it stands to reason that I have schlepped. But no. Schlepping, if done right, requires more than me in front, pulling with an unwilling parcel of something fighting gravity on the ground, sliding. There's an awkwardness to it. I'm awkward, and, again, why not a schlepper?

Too much thought goes into moving things from here to there. I might put off the execution of the necessary move until things are rushed. A schlepper never plans. I have plans, Details. Spreadsheets. Timelines. I'm great for planning. It is a big part of managing communications projects, and an a lot of the rest of my life. When it comes to stuff transfer, I'm not as diligent in my delivery, but I am as much of a planner.

And not a schlepper.