Life

After hearing of my new job last week, friend Paul sent me a great e-card including this thought:

Life isn't' about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

I like that.

It also happens to fit well with the philosophy espoused by a podcast I’ve been listening to recently, LifeZero‘s “Build Your Own Future.”

Barack Obama on Race in the U.S.

I don’t write much about politics here, but I do recommend that — no matter what candidate you support — each of you find half an hour to sit down and listen to this speech.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.”

This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me hope is the next generation.

Here’s a mp3 recording.

Yes, I’m a not-quite-old-yet white guy. One who grew up in a very not-white neighborhood. When, in 7th grade, we moved from the neighborhood I was the only white kid on the block. but we moved to a much more progressive, mixed community. Where, on the first day of school, I was confronted by a not-white student who informed me in no uncertain terms that he didn’t like the way I looked. He and I ended up being, if not close friends, at least not-enemies. This was not terribly pleasing to most of the other students. And in college I roomed with one of the few not-white students. By choice. And as an adult I moved to a suburb of “the city too busy to hate,” which every day seems very full of hate. Or at least distrust. And implicit segregation. Yes, I agree with the Senator, there is still a problem in this country, one that’s been hidden in the closet and let fester for way too long.

Clocks

When you’re going around the house (and car) resetting from daylight savings time, don’t forget that your cameras have clocks as well.

And take the time to remember to check the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors, too.

A 9-11 Rememberance

2007.09.11

Of course I knew what day today was, but the emotion didn’t really hit me until I stopped by the school.

2007.09.11

One of the Milton High School’s young ladies, as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, ‘planted’ 3000 flags and worked to have kids in the school write letters to soldiers expressing their feelings and support.

Throughout the evening I saw many people come to the school, park, and walk over to the displays. Many took pictures, all spent time obviously deep in thought and memories.

2007.09.11

Beautiful.

What My Sons Are Doing

On October 30, 1998 Hurricane Mitch struck Central America. Almost 3000 people were killed around Chinandega, Nicaragua, and entire villages disappeared under volcanic mudslides. The government was unable to to provide much for the people and over 300 of the surviving families were move to what little land was available – on top of a huge trash dump. Amigos for Christ has been working since 1999 to move them and help rebuild the community of Villa Catalina.

The people of Villa Catalina have been working together alongside Amigos’ volunteers, building houses — not knowing until it was finished which family would live there, a decision made by lottery in exchange for a certain number of hours of community service. The homes are 25’x25′ three room buildings with concrete walls, some with as many as 8 people living there with a small stove and a garden out back.

Today, teens and adults from St. Thomas visited the previous “home” of so many — the dump — then set to work. They worked on a medical center, and church, as well as painting houses and playing with kids in broken Spanish.

Today was, in their leader’s words on the phone, “a really an amazing day.”

Many thanks to all of you who helped make this trip possible, through your prayers and financial support.

DST Strikes

Despite plenty of administrators’ work, emails from various hardware, software, and service vendors, and even mentions on the morning radio programs, there’s a phrase we’re hearing much more often than usual this morning… “what time is it?”