Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It is especially a blessing to discover real Catholics who try to adhere to all of the Lord's teachings, like NFP. Not only is it great to have conversations about mucus, or about the spiritual benefits of love-making beyond the fertile years, but there is a palpable sense of understanding and mutual connection that is deeper than the words exchanged. An intimacy that could only be wrought of materials far beyond my comprehension.
NFP - Health, Love, and Friendship.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
By the grace of God I had seen them together so I had some idea of what Sasha looked like. Since he had canvassed the area around the court thoroughly, I went to look where he hadn't. Upon entering the nearby stores, I found a little girl touching everything that she could. I asked Jen to watch over her and I flagged down the frantic dad. Guiding him to the store, he picked up Sasha immediately and then called for his son, who emerged from behind another rack of touchable items. He started reprimanding them both in a foreign language, perhaps German.
And there is the lesson of the Incarnation, the mystery of our place as Children of God. God so loves us that He will keep searching for us, as He would search for His only begotten Son. (And once He has us, He will teach us the error of our ways)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Lyric: "...I'm just talking to myself. I'm just rearranging Hell..."
I suppose Cake has been a guilty pleasure for years. Isn't that always the case? Ever since their hit, "Going the Distance," I've been intrigued by their lyrics. The above lyric struck me upon my most recent listening as a particular apt description of Hell in two sentences. Although the whole Fire and Brimstone imagery is still common in the arts, the recent elaborations of Hell have focused on the idea of singularity. That is to say, Hell is being completely and totally self-absorbed much like the image from "The Passion" where Satan is on a floating rock in a vast dark emptiness, screaming. The Cake Eschaton has a nice fussiness to it. When a consummate consumerist goes to Hell, I imagine him spending a lot of time rearranging it; moving things around in a knowingly futile attempt to make things better and looking at all his things as they eternally condemn him, like a millstone around his neck.
I imagine Hellish furniture to be expensive and modern, whereas Heavenly furniture is from Ikea.
Friday, November 28, 2008
And I have time to blog about it. God bless the U.S.A.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
But I detest well child visits. What is the point of taking all the healthy kids and having them sit in the same room, breath the same air, and play with the same toys that all the sicks kids touch? The dark and cynical part says that the point is to stay in business; the kind part says that they can see more patients if the patients come to them, than if they go to the patients.
In the end, I've decided that the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle applies. You can not measure the health of the child without affecting the result.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Suddenly I feel much better about risking advancement in my corporate career to start a new business. I pray the Lord deems these talents more valuable.
Monday, November 24, 2008
MDP will be hosting a Christmas Play written exclusively for MDP on December 12, 13, and 14. This will be your only chance to see this play as executed by the uniquely talented thespians of MDP along with special performances by local actors. The Athletic Association and the MDP Knights are hosting the event so ticket competition should be fierce, get yours today!
See how the buzz is already spreading:
"Is the show heartwarming or quirky? Is it sentimental or goofy? I was going to wait for the reviews to find out...Please put two tickets on the side for me." - Brother Knight via e-mail
"Good prevails, evil is vanquished." - A recently minted Third Degree Knight, rumored to have a significant inside track
See you at the show!
If you don't get the title, see here.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Personal responsibility, gotta love it.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
But this is evil.
I praise the Lord for the solace that he provides in trying times. "Jesus wept."
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
I loved watching wrestling on the weekends, though I could never have said why. In retrospect, I think I loved the morality play which it represented. The bad guys like Nikoli Volkoff and the Iron Sheik, always lost the match. The good guys, like Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, always won. The only exception was treachery, when the bad guys would sneak in brass knuckles or some other weapon, like a bazooka, without the referee noticing. I never understood why they didn't hire referees with better eyesight. The morality play even included redemption stories, with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Macho Man Randy Savage switching from mortal enemy to tag team partner united against evil. The egotists were always ridiculed, even when they had a perfect record, like Mr. Perfect. If only WWF (sorry, WWE) wrestling could get back to its roots, it could participate in the formation of real men who fight external and internal evils, and who know that goodness ultimately wins.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I have been wanting to bone up on my American history and since I have had such great luck with the "... for Dummies" series of books, I thought I would try the "Idiot's Guide to ..." series. My brother credits this Idiot's Guide to getting him through high school history so I grabbed it when he was tossing it.
The layout of the book was very like a textbook and had none of the interesting attributes of the "... for Dummies" books which I have read. The topics jumped around more than I would have liked, but this did make each section a good read individually. The author mostly kept the book entertaining and even succeeded in explaining the Native American issue with balance and tact. Unfortunately, the research and balance seemed to drop off as the modern era was approached especially anything since the New Deal. From FDR onward, there are blind assertions that socialist policies are good, while free market policies are bad. Clearly, it is difficult to write history while history is being written but that only underscores the need to provide good research to back up claims. All in all, I would recommend this book be treated like my American History class. I paid attention and learned good stuff but we ran out of time and stopped abruptly after the Industrial Revolution.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Dear reader, if you love the Church as much as I do and you own every Weird Al CD, like me. You will thoroughly enjoy Nick Alexander. Check out his new website. Also, if you want to buy me a present to celebrate Christ's birth, I'll take any of his CDs. For right now, you can check out some samples here.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Lance Rogers: "uh... Hi... I'm Lance Rogers. I'm calling to talk to members of this district. I'm tired of those calls too. Are there any issues which I can talk to you about? Any questions you'd like to ask me?"
Me: (Aside to Jen) "It's actually Lance Rogers."
Me: "I'm sorry. I thought you would be another auto-dialer."
Well, Lance Rogers seemed like a nice guy. I'm not thrilled with him but he certainly did comport himself well, even with a belligerent caller like me. We didn't agree on everything, unfortunately, but it was refreshing to speak to a person.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
It makes me thankful that I received a nice tax credit this year, so that I could direct the funds to a small business.
Note: This is not a promise that anyone can achieve results like this, I am merely telling my story.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
If there is anything I have learned in my investing studies so far, now is probably the best opportunity to buy American equities that will ever exist in my lifetime. I just wish I had started learning about investing, and socking away my cash, about a year earlier than I did. Now is the time to up your 401k payments, now is the time to fully fund your Roth IRA!
And the real estate market looks ripe for the buying too...
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Oh yeah, I've also taken the plunge into fatherhood again, too. I'm taking more plunges than the stock market.
I'm not very good at the subdued announcement.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
As I have been exploring economics from a variety of perspectives, it seemed only natural to read a book about one of the greatest investors of our time. I was pleasantly surprised by this book to learn that investing well was a rational and intelligent process and not just random chance.
Obviously, there are those who dispute that statement but I believe that the weight of Mr. Buffett's success is a powerful argument against them. I also believe that his value investing strategy is highly compatible with the Christian life. As his recent buying spree proves, value investing helps out companies, and consequently keeps thousands of people employed, when they are down and it punishes investors that artificially raise stock prices by selling companies that get too expensive. This process of buying at undervalued points and selling at overvalued points moderates the growth of a company, consequently reducing instability and maintaining a rational environment for the securities market. Given the recent market plummet, I'd rather let billionaires keep the market afloat than my tax dollars.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
My first argument in favor of network marketing is that it meets the principle of subsidiarity as I understand it. The bulk of profits goes to the people who do the bulk of the work, people at the lowest level. There is a tremendous culture of support of those at the lowest level since each person up the chain depends upon the success of the newbies. There is a small contingent of people "at the top" and they can be a problem if the compensation package is not structured properly, just like Enron or Fannie Mae. I particularly appreciate the minimal overhead, such as the lack of a gigantic marketing group that generates "buzz" by flooding the media with pictures of scantily-clad women and/or celebrities getting paid millions of dollars to pretend they use the product in question. Paid endorsements just give more money to rich people. I much prefer an organization that lets normal people work for a normal profit.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Christopher Blunt has written a novel demonstrating nearly the entirety of the Church's teachings on marriage and sexuality. I am stunned by how well everything hangs together without being forced. The plot involves fornication, abortion, contraception, personalism, NFP, annulments, and marital chastity. The story is gripping and believable with a main character, Stan, who appeals to me, a Simpsons-loving entrepreneur. Stan is also a Catholic like me, who takes the Truth for granted and needs to re-learn the Faith constantly.
As Stan re-learns the Faith, a variety of events occur in his life which succeed in being surprising while not being unexpected. Stan's life is not a common one, yet it appeals to the common man. His is a truly Catholic life, where small things can teach great lessons and where an average man is prepared for great gifts.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Until then, give this blog a try.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Your result for The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test...
Monday, September 15, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
A Baby's Breath is having a Run for Life on Sunday September 14. They have a great, Catholic crisis pregnancy center (with an amazingly competent director) and this is their main fundraiser for their Main Line office. Please support them if you are free and need a good 5K run or a simple one mile walk. The race marshals are especially courteous and well-trained!
Oh! And please support the businesses who support the unborn!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
After denigrating her husband for a few paragraphs, she mentions how women of all ages can look sizzlingly hot and therefore attract a new future ex-husband. Maybe this isn't the best way to find a good man since that attitude got her to where she is now, middle aged and dreaming of divorce. Perhaps she could try something different, like prayer and self-sacrifice, just to mix things up a bit. Also, getting off hormonal contraception is a good idea, since many of her issues can be related to its side effects as explained in Contraception:Why Not by Dr. Janet Smith.
Then, after a few paragraphs of trying to summarize the feminist revolution, she cites examples of other women: a high-powered high-earner, a mogul's wife, a clothing designer, and a doctor. Do I even need to mention that she lives in New York? Maybe she should get out more. I bet Wife Swap would take her.
Her final hypothesis is that marriage will wither away like a vestigial organ. I can only pray that she actually try to use her organ before it withers away, she may discover that it isn't so vestigial after all.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
It is amazing how many difficult situations in life can be summed up by the word discernment.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Go team U.S.A.!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
The convention, themed “Advancing the Culture of Life Through NFP,” provided a mix of national and international speakers who presented a combination of main talks and workshops that were inspiring and practical in their support of marriage, Church teaching on sexuality, parenting, nutrition and natural family planning.
Nationally-known speakers included Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota; marriage counselor Greg Popcak, MSW, Ph.D. and his radio co-host wife, Lisa; professor of moral theology Christopher Thompson of the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity; biological anthropologist and researcher Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D.; John Bruchalski, M.D., Ob/Gyn, founder of the Tepeyac Family Center in Fairfax, Virginia; Damon Clarke Owens, M.S., founder of Joy-Filled Marriage NJ and the New Jersey NFP Association; and Tami Kiser, founder of the Smart Martha seminars. International flavor was provided by German NFP effectiveness researcher Petra Frank-Herrmann, M.D., Ob/Gyn, and CCL-affliated speakers included Executive Director Andrew Alderson; Board Chairman Linda Kracht; Board Members Tom Bengtson, Erik Tozzi, Jack Burnham, M.D., and Fr. Erik Pohlmeier; Project Managers Ann Gundlach, Vicki Braun, and Silvia Schmidt; author of Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition, Marilyn Shannon; and CCL Teaching Couples Mike and Ann Green, and Adrian and Stacey Nagle.
Most convention attendees were certified Teaching Couples, Promoters, or members of CCL. The Couple to Couple League has been providing instruction on the highly effective Sympto-Thermal Method of natural family planning (NFP), clarification on the moral issues surrounding the use of NFP, and support for breastfeeding since its founding in 1971. The convention is an opportunity for volunteers to recharge their batteries, sharpen their teaching skills, and share strategic ideas and successes with volunteers from other parts of the country, and for other attendees to fellowship with like-minded families.
“I thought this was the best convention ever,” said Chairman of the Board Linda Kracht. “All of the speakers were smart, engaging, funny, and timely in their message. Also, the Ridgecrest staff was wonderful, and the facilities were very well laid out in a beautiful setting. I heard from many attendees that they were enjoying themselves.”
The families who attended brought with them over 350 children who participated in age-appropriate activities including outdoor play, crafts, music and games. In addition to various group activities, teens also received one age-appropriate talk per day and had opportunities to participate in a high ropes course, outdoor laser tag, and a rock-climbing wall. In addition, all convention attendees were treated to a family concert by Catholic wife, mother and recording artist Marie Bellet.
To learn more about the CCL organization and the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning, visit www.ccli.org.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
John Allen Jr. has an op-ed in the NYT. Wow! (Warning: Evil registration requirement)
California Catholic Daily has an article by Cardinal James Francis Stafford. Shouldn't that be James Cardinal Stafford? (I haven't read by I mean to!)
Inside Catholic has an article by former blogger Simcha. A firestorm in the comments.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I vividly remember the reel-to-reel Curious George films from my grade school library days. I didn't spontaneously pray much as a little kid, but I came close during the walk to the library, hoping that we would watch a Curious George "book" in library class. Since I don't own a projector, my girls have received and inherited many Curious George books and they request frequent readings. The movie did an excellent job of capturing the art of H. A. and Margaret Rey while updating it with current technology and excellent voice talent. However, the movie missed the relationship between the Man in the Yellow Hat and George and came off as a buddy film instead of retaining the father-son relationship which the books portrayed. So I sadly approved the film which was acceptable but reflects the failings of modern society, adults who want to be buddies instead of parents.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Despite my radical changes in opinion, I have almost constantly defined myself as a rebel, in true American style. My first chosen philosophical opinion was to be a true rebel. While the majority of my grade school classmates were disrespectful, 90210-watching, football-playing, cool-kid idolators (pseudo-rebels). I decided to be a respectful, cartoon-watching, video-gaming, cool-kid agnostic (true rebel). This led to some good spiritual development such as actually singing at school Masses when no one else did, but it also made me an outcast in general.
Being an outcast had its own benefits such as being able to choose my own path in life without the burden of appearances. I have chosen the counter-cultural path of an orthodox Catholic: trying to follow the Natural Law, getting married without co-habiting, having kids before establishing my career, running a single income family, and teaching natural family planning. Considering Billie Joe's comments about hoping to win a Grammy for American Idiot (and the praise that goes with it), perhaps I have stayed truer to his message of rebellion than he has. In the End, I don't think I'm a Walking Contradiction, just a Basket Case.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
The movie definitely beat Temple of Doom, keeping it out of the bottom spot in the Indiana Jones collection. Interestingly, the adventure took place in South America, an area of archaeological history which is often overlooked. Conveniently, child sacrifices were glossed over but I can agree to that conceit since contemplating the murder of children is too deep for an action/adventure film. The moral of the story was not as powerfully depicted as in The Last Crusade, but it was pertinent to modern life. Finally, Harrison Ford did pull off the action star role despite his age while the car chases and fight sequences were all of Raiders quality. Crystal Skull also made the required slights against Indy's age, as well as references to the previous movies. I don't think this movie will win over anyone who wasn't an Indy fan, but as a guy who owns a fedora, I'm thrilled the series ended well.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I admit that I'm not sure what to think of Oprah. She is an excellent interviewer and TV producer and all of her failings seem to be the common ones. She is "Christian" but mostly supports New Age belief so her definition of Christian is off. She is a feminist, helping African girls as a way to improve the continent instead of exposing the vast governmental incompetence and/or corruption. She acts as if racism is still the rampant social malady it was in 1968 despite the fact that we've had a black woman as Secretary of State for years. I suppose the best thing that I can say for her is that she is a normal human with the misfortune of international fame so that crackpots like me can form an opinion about her.
However, her network has given my company its TV debut. (Click on the More... link under the Oh! Oxygen banner on the left of the page)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I believe that a father should be a teacher, passing on many things: the Faith, family traditions, the history of video games, what-life-was-like-when-I-was-a-kid, and such. The task of teaching requires the dad's presence, for teaching by example is the best way. As I stated in my previous post on fatherhood, since I wanted my children to be helpful around the house; I took on chores such as the dishes and the laundry.
As I contemplated how we have arrived at this state in our society, I realized that working outside of the farm/home was a result of the industrial revolution. It seems, to me, that prominent paternal presence for the children was a casualty of the rise of the factory, along with handcrafted goods and quality food.
Makes me wish I knew how to run a farm.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
I am stunned by the resolution of this picture, considering that the ovum is one cell. I had no idea that there were any cameras capable of capturing such an image. I hope such technology can be applied toward noble ends.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I have read in multiple places recently that the primary assistance which fathers provide in the home is not help with what was previously termed, "woman's work" but is something else. I don't know to whom these authors are responding but I will write a response anyway. Since the laundry, dishes, and other "woman's work" are not objectively assigned by the Lord; I assert that they are up for grabs around the house. It seems natural that they mostly fall upon whoever is home the most. In the majority of households, this is the mother as biology dictates that she has difficulty working outside of the home during pregnancy and early breastfeeding. However, if the father is to pass on the virtue of selfless service to his children, he should help out when necessary, during pregnancy for example but also in times of general familial chaos.
I get the feeling I said this before. Thanks for humoring me, dear reader.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
When moving kids from one sleeping location to another, we did everything gradually. We started to talk to our eldest about moving into her own room months before we officially did it. She slept in there a couple times before the official switch but she still preferred the toddler bed so we didn't make a fuss. Everyone was sleeping well in our bedroom Pangaea. Suddenly, our eldest was playing with her dolls and talking about how the big kid doll was ready to sleep in her own room, so we struck while the iron was hot and she moved into her own room that night. The princess sheets which my forward-thinking wife had purchased made the change special. There have been no complaints so far, except from us.
While the eldest was ready for the change, the little one was not quite ready for the toddler bed so the change was made even more gradual for her. First, she dozed next to me in our bed. Then I placed her in the toddler bed and she cuddle against my arm. I extracted my arm to whimpering which was calmed by a hand on her tummy. Finally I snuck out of the room, as slowly as a tectonic plate, so that I could avoid the squeaky floorboards.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
lyric from Same in the End by Sublime
I admit to rabidly enjoying Sublime in my adolescent years, despite the knowledge that the lead singer overdosed shortly after cutting their best seller. As I've listened occassionally throughout the years, I skip over more and more tracks because of profanity and general vulgarity. However, this lyric struck home upon my last listening. Perhaps even as a worldly teen, I was subconsciously aware that manhood was important and Sublime conveyed the sense of frustration. Every man should know how to be a man, it seems so basic. Yet even the lead singer couldn't find the manhood he needed and sought refuge in fleeting pleasure.
God rest his soul.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Business: My first week completely off. Things have been crazy with home improvements and the shift to summer scheduling so I haven't done much else. I had my first technical trouble when the website was out of commission for a few days and a customer needed to re-order.
I am starting to see how word-of-mouth actually works. Friends are asking how business is, and family is mentioning it to other friends. Business is teaching me patience and persistence. I won't necessarily see fruits for a while, or ever, but the longer I keep at it, the better my chances get.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I pray the Lord will make me (and my pride) diminish more, so that He may work more fully through me.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I have noticed that many other bloggers occassionally do a "Hello World" post and ask their readers to leave a comment. Please leave a comment and introduce yourself, I love meeting people. As an incentive, I am running my first blog contest ever. I will pick one random commentor to receive a copy of My Grandfather's Son, the book which I recently reviewed at Available Light. If you don't want to be in the contest, please say so in your comment.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
More surprising to me than my emotional response, was how I understand the Tree much better now. As a child, I guess I pitied the tree and sympathized with the boy. I simply expected that the Tree enjoyed helping the boy so the Tree was happy. Now I know that the Tree did enjoy helping the boy, but that the Tree suffered as the boy grew since the boy grew further away. I guess The Giving Tree taught me the lesson of love which I only absorb intellectually from the tree of the cross. Successful love, like successful parenting, involves suffering. The better I do my job of raising my daughters into mature, independent ladies, the more I will miss these years of providing everything for them.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Clarence Thomas has a clear recollection of his tumultuous life from living in a shack near a swamp through college activism to political intrigues. He not only narrates the details of his own life; he realizes that his life is a whole. He illustrates the connections between incidents in his life with an understanding light. Though racism was a formative part of his life, he demonstrates the strength that comes from meeting the challenge. As politics continues to be more dominated by whining, I am thankful for the story of a man facing the challenge of integrity, failing, and learning to be a better man by incorporating the difficult lessons taught by life and by a loving grandfather.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Business: I have been doing some calls and learning a lot from my sponsor. I have a potential new customer.
I am thankful that this business is giving me an excuse, and motivation, to call people whom I wouldn't ordinarily call. I am starting to develop relationships, even with non-customers, that I would have left fallow otherwise.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The Meatrix 2
In trying to live a natural life, I become more sympathetic to the way animals are treated. I hate being treated as a cog in a machine; it seems unpleasant to them too. Also, grass-fed beef is absolutely delicious.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I have contemplated this review for over a week and I was unsure exactly what to say about Brad's first novel. It defied easy categorization and therefore, comparison was difficult for me. The basic style was reminiscent of Ludlum but the protagonist, Ryan Hull, was far more gruesome in his methods, like Jason Bourne but with less control. The novel also used the scenery of Philadelphia and the environs to good extent, just as Ludlum often vividly described the locales of his adventures. The story also contained many detective elements, yet Ryan was more gruff and direct than a PI written by Raymond Chandler. Fortunately the plot was also far easier to follow, which was a big plus over Chandler. My biggest complaint was the brevity of the novel, ending in under 300 pages.
Even though it was the first novel in The Corrosion Legacy series, I hoped for a more exciting climax, though I enjoyed the lively banter between the two principal characters which brought the novel to a close. Lively banter and the vivid action sequences were the biggest discriminators for this novel and I hope they continue in the next installment.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Putting the focus on abstinence was an extension of focusing on myself and focusing on the self is antithetical to developing virtue. All virtues are learned by dying to self in some form or another, and the sacrifice involved in abstinence is only beneficial if I actually sacrifice with the proper attitude, not just grudgingly endure what I am giving up until "go time."
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
"Look the earth is still here!"
"Wow, the sun is shining!"
"Air, there is air!"
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Health: I have been able to exercise a bit more but I don't think that accounts for my decrease in body fat. According to the same body fat scale that I have been using for years, there has been a noticeable decline in the fat percentage of my body. I am also down a few pounds and I can eat like I did in college.
Business: No new customers but I'm enjoying spending time to meet people who I would usually ignore, even if I never talk about the business. I have heard some excellent motivational speeches and received lots of training in sales. My support group has helped to bolster my confidence and keep me focused.
One of the eminently Christian aspects of Reliv is that the rich serve the poor. The people who have built successful businesses and pull down large incomes are the same people who help the young upstarts. Much is expected from those to whom much is given.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I can't wait until my lovely, nerdy wife and I finish watching all of Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) and move on to Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) since we've already watched all of Deep Space 9 (DS9) that will only leave the dumb ones which I hope to convince my wife never to watch.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
I just couldn't resist that. Perhaps I should work to improve my self-control. Anyway, this quest to start my own business has tremendously increased my empathy for other entrepreneurs. As a result of that, I have been updating my Business Links. Please visit them and use them, if they are in your area.
By the way, I receive no compensation from any of these businesses (except for my own, obviously). I merely want to see them succeed.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Business: I lost my first customer. Definitely a deflating experience. I have tried to come at this whole business venture with the attitude of failure is good, as long as it is educational. I am still learning how to focus through the failure and not let it deflate me. I am continually exceeding my goal of talking to someone new about Reliv every week, this gives me hope that I will eventually find more customers.
My biggest intellectual concern is the self-selection bias of the distributors. I am afraid the product only appears to work because the people who have no noticeable improvement, simply don't sell it or take it. Whereas, those people who happen to improve while taking it, incorrectly attribute their improvement to the shake. Of course, I can't prove either hypothesis but it weighs on my mind.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
I must say, I particularly love the irony of a woman claiming that the Church isn't "with it" or current, and then only citing data from 40 years ago.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
My new business experiment has completely proven this Christian teaching and I am not alone. Even though there is massive awkwardness in my direct selling, home-based business, I would much rather do it than my high-paying corporate job. The more I perform my usual duties, the more cog-like I feel. I pray the Lord will give me the strength to keep going, and bless my efforts at self-employment a thousandfold. (though, a millionfold would be nice!)
Friday, April 18, 2008
To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, people are more real than you can imagine.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Health. After a bizarre rash and pimples on my forehead, this detox ended and my head returned to normal. No reversal in my receding hairline. I have been sleeping better; I am more refreshed after the same amount of sleep. I feel like I sleep 7.5 hours when I only sleep 6 hours. 7.5 hours is my ideal for an average night of sleep, so I'm functioning more ideally. I had strange pimples on my knees which quickly went away. My boil/ingrown hair has stopped improving though it improved steadily up until now. My skin is smoother and the clogged pores on my triceps have become smooth, as if I exfoliated every day (I didn't, loofahs are for girls).
Business. No new customers but I am slowly sharing my business with people I encounter. I attended a special event and met many Pennsylvanian distributors. They were genuine people, not polished salesman. They were friendly and respectful of differences (no dirty looks when I mentioned NFP). God was mentioned liberally and mutual support was abundant.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday started with video games, since I splurged on Saturday and purchased the Windows XP versions of all the King's Quests and all the Police Quests for a total of $25. I began with KQI and showed my daughters how a true knight should handle himself, obedient to the crown and picking up every stray object in sight. That adventure was followed by Mass, with two exceptionally obedient daughters, one who won the praise of departing parishioners for her ability to genuflect and her charity in depositing her Rice Bowl money into the poor box.
Upon returning home, my brother invited me over to try my hand at Guitar Hero III and I was rather hooked. We played for a couple hours, though I never made it past the Easy songs, and discussed life, the universe, and everything. As a break from the carpal tunnel inducing guitar, we broke out Super Mario 3 for the NES and went to town. I was able to impress my brother by remembering obscure tricks like the White Coin Ship and the alternate text when beating a Koopaling in a Frog, Tanooki, or Hammer Brother Suit. I think the time spent in a house where four guys live was good for my soul, I rarely spend that much time around Y chromosomes. It also served as good preparation for my Knights of Columbus meeting that evening, where I received my second degree. It was an honor, and an excellent close to the day.
I believe that manhood was restored in my spirit through quests (even digital ones), prayer (Mass), fraternity (the best brother in the world, I mean it), and knowledge (sharing arcane game info to those who can appreciate it). May I learn more by traveling these familiar roads.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I know it's a stretch but it seems that the principle of subsidiarity as John Paul II espoused, would prefer direct selling. Direct selling definitely occurs at a lower level of society than mass marketing. Just the thoughts of a man trying to live a natural life.
I have also noticed some improvements in my health, such as higher energy and better sleep, especially if I add an extra shake before I go to bed. I am a bit more anxious, but I think this crazy venture is causing that, since I was definitely anxious about this venture before I even drank a shake.
Even though business has been easier than expected, my first customers still seemed easy to get in comparison to my recent experiences. I keep looking for signs that I am supposed to be in this business, as opposed to volunteering for a crisis pregnancy center or something. With that in mind, I watched the promotional video which Reliv has, by clicking Play at the top of their website, and at the very end is a shot of Dr. Kalogris shaking hands with John Paul II while the Kalogris Foundation is feeding needy children. I consider that a small sign that I am somewhere on the right path.
Friday, March 28, 2008
As always, I was disturbed by the casual mention of using condoms during the fertile time since that is not NFP but at least it's another avenue to move people past some contraception and towards a holy life.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
As I believe most of my business lessons will teach me how to be a better Christian, I realize that respecting your customers and potential customers is just a variation on "Love Thy Neighbor."
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
You Are Olive Green
You are the most real of all the green shades. You're always true to yourself.
For you, authenticity and honesty are very important... both in others and yourself.
You are grounded and secure. It takes a lot to shake you.
People see you as dependable, probably the most dependable person they know.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
My favorite quote is the last one, when a woman claims that homeschooling is not "being in a place daily where they [children] would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety." If parents don't have a duty to ensure the safety of their children, who else possibly could?
I don't think I could have parted with it in any other season but Lent. I am constantly amazed at how attached I am to worldly goods, even non-functional worldly goods.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
OK, I'm retired at 38. Wouldn't it be great if I could teach all my friends what I know so that they too could be retired? Our kids could play all the time and maybe we could start up that Bible Study which we never can find a good time for.
For the first time, it seemed eminently logical and kind to write a book about success in business. I do want all of my friends to be successful, so why wouldn't rich guys want the same thing?
Monday, March 3, 2008
The first observation that has been important to me is that people get rich by providing a service to others. I know that some services would obviously be immoral, such as pornography, but for the first time, I think that maybe some rich people are really good at serving people. After all, McDonald's serves millions daily. Most of the books that I read indicate a social awareness and a desire to meet the needs of people which plays a big part in being a successful businessman.
A major prejudice dropped when I realized how much I had assumed that businessmen were successful only through deceit, maybe some of the rich actually helped millions of people. I hope to help people through Reliv as well as providing for my family.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
For those astute people who question what this has to do with living a natural life, I plan to make my case through future posts but it can be summed up in a few sentences. A job, even one which pays a wage high enough to support a wife and kids, is unnatural when the employees feel like cogs in a machine. I consider home-based business to be closer to the way things should be. Especially since my grandfather and great-uncle were entrepreneurs, it is a chance to learn about my past by living like they did.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The culmination of this training was reading the new Student Guide which CCL published. There were a few typos, which irk a grammar nerd like me, but overall, I was very impressed with the guide. It covered the necessities and seemed to be a far better teaching tool than the old Art of Natural Family Planning (4th ed.). The Student Guide taught the basics in a simple, comprehensible manner and it did not suffer from the information overload of the Art. However, its strength was also its weakness. As a workbook, it will no doubt be a good teaching tool but students will be at a loss for more in depth information. CCL could easily remedy this situation by putting out a new comprehensive NFP guide, which I hope they do, after the rollout of the new materials is completed. Despite this weakness, I think CCL has done exactly what was necessary to re-vitalize its work.
We are in the midst of teaching our first classes in the new method. I will do a more thorough review of the overhaul and the course after we have taught it.
May I learn the lesson that the Lord is teaching.
St. Frances (see above post), pray for us.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I only made up the second part. Some people sure make it hard to respect your elders. I pray for the soul of every 12 year old girl in England.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
We have a toddler bed next to our bed (on my side) for our three year old to sleep in. Although she has spent all night in her own bed for about one and a half years, she has recently wanted more snuggle time in the early morning and has been asking to come into bed. I let her in as long as she promises to stay still. At the first motion that disturbs my return to sleep, I put her back in her bed. It has worked very well. She let me know recently that she crosses her legs to help her stay still. I can't imagine sleeping with my legs crossed but I'm thankful she has discovered her own way to obey.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
May He bless your work!
Any other entrepreneurs out there? I might be one soon, but mums the word so far.
Monday, February 11, 2008
40 years from now...
"Georgetown Theologian discovers Rosary Beads."
Thursday, February 7, 2008
M.K.- "I need to get the lasagne down. Some people who have ladders can get it down 'cause it's highest."
Dad - "Where did you learn about lasagne?"
M.K.- "From the song we sing at Church."
Dad- "Could you sing the song for me?"
M.K.- "Lasagne in the highest, and peace to people on earth..."
Dad calls Pop and Mom-mom to relate the hilarity.