Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Last night after making rice krispy treats with the kids Noah decided that for Family Home Evening we would play Life. Noah loves board games. Actually Noah just loves any chance to talk trash to his parents and siblings. I’ve warned him repeatedly about this strategy. He always acts surprised when he’s the one given the flat tire in Mil Borne or as the case was last night he’s the one getting sued. Maybe eventually he’ll learn that lesson. At one point in the game Noah we caught Noah trying to set back the spinner from 7 to 6. You see he had counted up the spaces and realized that he was going to land on tax space. We caught him trying to get out of paying his taxes. At first I wanted to make him forfeit a bunch of extra cash as a penalty, but Victoria just called him Enron for the rest of the game.

A few turns later Eve really surprised me. She’d been landing on all of the spaces that give her kids and she had three kids. She took her turn and landed on a space that caused her to loose her job. She was devastated and just broke down into tears. But it wasn’t what I first thought. She wasn’t worried about loosing the game. She was worried that she wouldn’t be able to support her growing family. Victoria and I coached on how to get another job and she finished the game and actually did pretty well. I guess at 6-years old the metaphor was just too real for her

Thursday, November 13, 2008


A combination of a several events have had me really cherishing my girls lately.

My wife has been reading a historical fiction book set in 19th century China. I havent read it but from what she has relayed to me the story is told from the perspective of a young girl. In China girls were pretty much expendable and they were quite literally just a target for torture. Her descriptions of the Chinese practice of foot-binding really disturbed me. The fact that 1 in 10 girls dies from infection of lost their feet just adds to the horror of this practice.

Without going into too much detail, this week has been report card and parent teacher conference week. My girls accomplishments have given me particular reason to be proud.

Last night when I got home from work Eve was being uncharacteristically mellow. She crawled up onto the couch and sat next to me. Soon she had fallen asleep. I could tell by how warm she was that she wasnt feeling good. So I let her sleep on my lap for a few hours. When it cam time for bed I took her upstairs and stayed with her for a while once Id put her to bed. Victoria came in a remarked that I was doing womens work and that the men should not be burdened with having to help sick girls. I should send her away and let other women take care of her and if she dies she dies and thats one less mouth for me to feed. Of course she was not serious. She was just parroting the views of the book shes reading. Nevertheless her comments really made me focus on how precious my girls are.

Eve stayed home from school today and I just got a call that her fever is back up. I sure hope that its not too serious. Im just so glad that I didnt grow up in China.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Strategy Disagreements

Some recent events have really had me thinking deeply about the church's role in politics. I've been in some discussions that have gotten very emotional from many different viewpoints. One of the primary discussions has centered around what role should a church play in influencing elections, legislation and public policy. I'm still rather conflicted on the issue.
As I was making one of my many trips out to Lawrenceville to push a wheel around I was listening to NPR. They were doing a long segment on a Catholic Priest who said he would deny a certain politician communion if he came into his church just because his political position is different than the Catholic Church. This priest certainly has the right to do this. It just strikes me that this may not be the best position for a church to take. NPR then interviewed another priest who suggested that churches need to start acting "more like churches and less like political action committees". He then went on to say things like "rather than trying to make abortion illegal they should focus on making it unthinkable." You could put most other moral issues in the same sentence and the same logic would also apply. Rather than trying to make gay marriage illegal they should focus on making it unthinkable. Rather than trying to make drinking illegal they should focus on making it unthinkable. Churches should focus on winning hearts and not creating legislation.
From that my mind began to wander a little bit. It occurred to me that just because you allow somebody to make a choice for themselves does not necessarily mean that agree with all possible outcomes of their choice. For instance, I can agree that cigarettes are destructive and dangerous, but also feel that people should be allowed to choose them if they wish. Rather than a church campaigning to get cigarettes made illegal they should "act like a church", preach the dangers of any addition and then reach out to help those who are afflicted. I picked cigarettes for the mere point that is less controversial than some of the other issues currently in play. It is also an issue where the legality of allowing the choice is not really in question. Apply this same logic to several to hot button issues of the day I tend to lean in a similar direction.

On a little bit of a side note I believe it is possible to fully support a position, but still have strategic differences with other people or groups who support the same position. For instance: philosophically, I fully agree with the Libertarian party's stance on decriminalizing recreational drug use. However, I have serious concerns with how they market this plank of their platform. By focusing ad money on MTV they turn what I think is a serious civil liberties position into and appeal to get the "pot-head" vote. Philosophically I agree, but strategically I disagree. I have similar strategic differences with groups whose philosophy, theology and politics I wholeheartedly support. While I agree with their position I just may have some concerns about whether the strategy they have chosen is the best considering their role and their situation.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Random Observation

On the way home from camping Sunday I passed a truck with an ATV and a treadmill on a trailer. From the looks of the driver he used the ATV a lot more than the treadmill. Perhaps if he were to get rid of both of them he’d be in a lot better shape and also be better off financially.

Leaf Blowers

So I’m sitting here at work trying to be productive when I hear the guys with the leaf blowers making their rounds around the office complex. We have a fair amount of hardwood trees on the property, mostly oaks and a maple or two. The workers are blowing all of the leaves out of the parking lot. But they aren’t stopping there. They are also blowing all of the leaves out from under the trees too. And why are they removing the oak leaves from underneath the oak trees? So they can spread pine needles under the oak trees. This doesn’t make any sense to me at all. What’s wrong with having oak leaves under oak trees? We could save a lot of energy and labor expenses if Americans just didn’t require all of their oak leaves to be replaced with pine needles. Go figure.