Saturday, January 6, 2007

Bats In The Belfry? ~

Obviously, someone in the US stupperment has taken some older holiday films (think Jack Frost, for instance) seriously enough to put out some "new and improved" rules for air travel ....

"To paraphrase a classic line from Lily Tomlin, I worry that the person who thought up the rules for carrying liquids and gels on airplanes last year is busy thinking up something new this year.

The thought arises partly because of a scene just after Christmas at an airport security checkpoint, where a half-dozen festive snow globes — like the ones with Frosty the Snowman in a liquid-filled glass globe that simulates snowfall when you shake it — were lined up on a counter.

Wasn’t that nice! The Transportation Security Administration had decorated the checkpoint! But as it turned out, Frosty and his co-conspirators had actually been busted — confiscated from passengers’ carry-on bags pursuant to the following notification by the security administration:

“Snow globes, regardless of size of amount of liquid inside, even with documentation, are prohibited in your carry-on.”

Now, I am not sure what exactly constitutes a documented snow globe. But I do know that the snow globe rule has intensified ridicule of airport security, and that cannot be a good thing."

Quoting TV infomercials: But wait there's more!!!
“It is easy to ridicule the security agency’s carry-on procedures, which are continually being revised — Did you know they have special rules for monkeys?

They do. Like dogs, some specially trained monkeys are classified as service animals to assist handicapped people. But you really have to wonder if these sample sentences — from the security administration’s rules for how transportation security officers at walk-through metal detectors should handle monkeys — were written with a straight face:

“When the handler and the monkey go through the W.T.M.D. and the W.T.M.D. alarms, both the handler and the monkey must undergo additional screening.” The rules add that security officers “have been trained not to touch the monkey during the screening process” and that “the inspection process may require that the handler take off the monkey’s diaper as part of the visual inspection.”

And on that note, I can just imagine the sequel to "Snakes On A Plane" .....

But They Said ~

Each year an editor of a major news magazine offers "quotes" about various topics. Here are the most recent.
Here are my fantasies about what was said over the New Year's holiday, with inadequate acknowledgments to various contributors, some of whose words I've adapted a bit:

Democrats on the Republican congressional defeat: "Just remember it is lonely at the top when there is no one at the bottom."

The press's attitude toward President George Bush: "People say satire is dead. It is not dead; it is alive and living in the White House."

The public's contempt for corruption in politics: "Politics are so corrupt even the dishonest people get screwed."

The press on the new Congress: "You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think."

The Democrats on their contempt for the Republican health plan: "Just say no to sickness."

A politician's assessment of TV commentary: "TV is the goose that lays the golden eggs. You can't blame it for not producing caviar."

The public's skepticism about bipartisanship: "The word bipartisan in politics usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out."

The public on politics in general: "Look up the word politics in the dictionary. It is the combination of two words: poli, which means many, and tics, which means bloodsuckers."

The Republicans on Democratic suburban liberals: "It is easy to be politically correct and liberal when you live in a gated community."

The press on the political attitudes of the different parties: "A Democrat sees the glass of water half full; a Republican looks at the same glass and wonders who the hell drank his glass of water."

The press on the press: "Asking a journalist what he thinks about a politician is like asking a dog what he thinks about a lamppost."

George Bush on his ambitions for transforming the world: "I would love to change the world, but I can't find a big enough diaper."

An economist on the disparity of incomes and the flow of income to higher income brackets: "A fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place."

On Christmas gifts: "I have all these people to give Christmas gifts to, and you know what I find? There are some very nice things at the 99-cent store."

On personal finance: "I went to the bank and went over my savings. I found out I have all the money I will ever need if I die tomorrow." "At the ATM, they ask if you would like to conduct your business in English or Spanish. I suggest you try Spanish because your account balance would look much better in pesos." And "Money can't find happiness, but it helps you look for it in more places; and what's the use of happiness if it can't buy you money?"

Ministers on their support of birth control: "Contraceptives should be used on every conceivable occasion."

A minister's view of evolution: "I don't understand evolution. If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Why couldn't they make it over the hump?"

The public on the age of technology: "I shop at a computer store called 'Your Crap Is Already Obsolete.'"

The public on cynicism about the police: "We live in an age where pizza gets to your home before the police." And a recent police study found that "you are much more likely to get shot by a fat cop if you run."

Advice on life: "The definition of old is always 15 years from now." "You know you are getting old when you walk at the cemetery and two guys run after you with a shovel."

Middle age: "when your age is starting to show around the middle."

On dating: "Men always say the most important thing in a woman is her sense of humor. Do you know what that means? They are looking for someone to laugh at their jokes."

On life: "People who live in glass houses might as well answer the door."

On the work ethic: "Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough not to quit."

from Mortimer B. Zuckerman, editor-in-chief, U. S. News and World Report (January 8th issue)

Friday, January 5, 2007

Another Elegant Time Waster ~

It's Friday and you really don't want to be at work. So, the folks at have come up with a pleasant way to pass the time.

The objective is really quite simple ... create a - I think I'll let you discover!! Just click here - and enjoy!!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Early Morning Thoughts ~ Truth or ? (Part 4)

As I continue these thoughts on truth and making truth work ... I want to offer without comment tonight the following fascinating story:
by Flavia M. Lobo

from CAFE IRREAL, a wonderful e-magazine of international imagination

Actually I never thought it did much for Marta," said Mother from the depths of her closet.

Last year Marta and Vitor returned from one of their trips with a pair of masks. Of a very fine and transparent material, the masks would adjust to anyone's face like an extra layer of skin. They did not have openings for the eyes, nostrils or mouth. Some intricate technological device temporarily opened eyes, nostrils, mouth at the touch of a minute remote control. Vitor said they were the height of fashion abroad. We had all heard of them. They protected against pollution in general, covering everything from the neck up to the hairline. So here too they were a hit. Some traveled to buy them, some had them imported. Some brought back stacks of them to sell on the black market. And after a while there were imitations offered even in street markets.

Soon Vitor, Marta and Mother all became addicted to theirs, which they wore everywhere, inside the house too. Vitor and Mother appeared more self-assured than ever in their insulation. And I suspect Vitor and Marta were not even taking them off when they went to bed. Despite the fact that the masks eventually went out of fashion, the finest being sold for peanuts. To begin with, the climate worked against them. In a tropical country air is what you want most; you want it more than protection from germs, or noise, or smells. Or other people. Only some of the more affluent wear them now as they can afford to constantly live and travel in air-conditioned environments.

Often on my visits to Mother, I find a masked group of half a dozen people or so, usually playing cards, or watching a movie or something. They speak very little and when they do words sound like grunts. They apparently understand one another perfectly though. A couple of times I have tried to participate in whatever they are doing, but had to give it up.

However, Mother has always been very careful to take the mask off inside the house, when she has no visitors, for her skin to breathe. And sometimes I am lucky enough to turn up at such a time when I can exchange words with her while she is having her massage or reorganizing her over-organized closet. Mother's things in general look like her: very expensive, but in traditional good taste, well behaved. Except for her nightgowns and underwear. These are all silky, lacey and languid, and surprisingly revealing. I must admit I love to look at them, touch them, breathe in their sophisticated scent. Their fluidity seems out of place where they live, right next door on one side to a meticulously tidied drawer where petrified items of clothing lie as if standing at attention, and on the other to a drawer containing a carefully piled up collection of masks.

Lately Vitor started to worry about the dangers to his skin too. He is conscious and proud of his good looks. He could not risk any serious damage to them. So he makes sure he takes his mask off a couple of hours everyday and before going to sleep.
Marta, on the other hand, insecure, plain Marta believes the mask improves her appearance. It is true that it smoothes her skin and gives it a sort of glazed radiance. Also it certainly makes her look more confident, screened from the darts of other people's often cruel glances. But her eyes. Her eyes look dead under those transparent lids. Nevertheless, everyone realized a while back that Marta would never again take off her mask. And some time after that she informed us that she could no longer take it off even if she wanted to, which was all right with her.

And over the past six months or so, I have been aware of something extraordinary. Something no one else seems to realize. At first, because of the others' indifference, I thought maybe I was imagining it. But now I am sure. And yet no matter how forcibly I insist, the others will not take my words seriously, will not look. Instead, they respond flippantly seeming unreachable even without their masks. I have tried speaking to Marta herself also, of course. To no avail. I asked her only last week, "Isn't it becoming a bit uncomfortable?" "No, she answered. "Not at all." And laughed that muffled, cavernous laugh. Maybe she does not know it is happening. But how could she not? Or maybe she wants it to happen. Who knows.

What is happening is that the mask is eating away the flesh. It is making Marta's face a little thinner every day. A minute ago, when she stood by the window in the living room, I saw her cheek bones. Not just the impression of the bones under the skin. The bones themselves. Whitish, unmistakable, covered still by a flimsy layer of epidermis which I know will soon be gone. The lips have shrunk so the teeth are never completely hidden. I looked more closely at her face and I could make out the entire skull. It is taking over.

Once more I tried to warn Marta, I tried to warn the others. I do not understand how that can be, but they do not hear. They do not see.

Flavia M. Lobo is a writer and translator from Rio de Janeiro. Her translations for the Brazilian public include Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband and Liam O’Flaherty’s The Informer. She also helped revise the translation of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Her translation of André Sant'Ánna’s story, "Bitches Brew," appeared in Issue 18 of The Cafe Irreal, and her translation of another Sant'Ánna story, "Love," appears in the current issue of the online literary magazine OMEGA 6. She currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.

To PC or not To PC ~

At one point last month some people were upset over what they considered to be a lack of a certain facility at a rather small airport. Taking trying to be all things to all people to it's logical conclusion ... perhaps your next airport adventure might look a bit like this ....

Dante had it right ~

Living in a large city, one of the more interesting adventures is parking ~ While I can't guarantee I've seen this sign, I'm pretty sure I have .....

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Early Morning thoughts ~ Truth or ? (Part 3)

Continuing with the thoughts about truth, this comment came to mind:
The word "true" has many meanings.
People who feel that science and literature or science and religion are in necessary conflict do so because they habitually think in opposites of black and white, true and false, good and evil.
To such people, if science is "true," then literature or religion is nonsense; if literature or religion is "true," science is merely "pretentious ignorance."
What should be understood when people tell us that certain statements are "scientifically true" is that they are useful and verifiable formulations, suitable for the purposes of organized cooperative workmanship.
What should be understood when people tell us that the plays of Shakespeare or the poems of Milton or Dante are "eternally true" is that they produce in us attitudes toward our fellow men, an understanding of ourselves, or feelings of deep moral obligation that are valuable to humanity under any conceivable circumstances.
S.I. Hayakawa Language in Thought and Action (San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1990)
Without much difficulty we can get trapped into a situation where everything is treated as black or white, good or evil, etc.

Hayakawa uses a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes:
You know that if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipestem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way - and the fools know it.
This is why it is often frustrating to try and have a discussion with people who hold a my-way-only-valued philosophy (____________ is no good, ____________ is all bad” “__________ is wrong in all circumstances” “_________ are evil”), because to such people there are no shades of gray.

And you want to discuss arguments against their philosophy/truth but get sucked into defending their opposite (democracy or whatever), just to prove the point.

Looking back at the two statement I highlighted and appearing to take the words from their contexts:

they are useful and verifiable formulations, suitable for the purposes of organized cooperative workmanship. . . they produce in us attitudes toward our fellow men, an understanding of ourselves, or feelings of deep moral obligation that are valuable to humanity under any conceivable circumstances
It becomes apparent that if core moral truth were operating in the situation, there could/would be a discussion rather than a rant/argument with no reasonable outcome.

In this kind of situation, I'm not required to give up anything - rather, I listen, evaluate and perhaps comment (perhaps?!). But nothing is standing in the way of working together. This allows understanding, growth and hope. It also allows us to keep the boundaries /fences of ourselves intact.

For example, corporate worship is important to me. It isn't to everyone, and that is alright. I began attending worship with a group of people whose core beliefs I discovered were very different from mine. So different from mine, that I began to realize that their attitude toward others, their feelings of obligation and their sense of cooperation were only accessible through those beliefs (my-way-only-philosophy). It began to trouble me, as there was no way to discuss the differences without ending up in an argument and any interaction would be simply shut down. I then gently and kindly separated myself and went in another direction. Why didn't I stay? Because open truth was not acceptable there, and by linking myself with that philosophy I was, in a sense, lending myself as a proponent of it. Of course, there were those who wanted to know the why and wherefore. My response was a simple "I can respect, and acknowledge your stand, but I can not accept it." And the "coat-piece" ideal simply wasn't going to happen. (more on this tomorrow)

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Early Morning Thoughts ~ Truth or ? (part 2)

All the time we are bombarded with what someone wants to have us believe is the truth. A very good, recent example is the recent election. And that is the same reason that after an election we still haven't "gotten" over it. We continually see people trying to persuade that they, and they alone, are the champions of the value of truth ... the knight in shining armor for those values. They conveniently forget that many of us see through their pretenses.

Unfortunately, what they are after is not the value of truth, but a desire - overwhelming desire for self-importance and the power that goes with it..

Truth sets rules and so many people would try to take away those rules that would estrain THEIR actions but also put restraints on the actions of others.

And where Truth brings about peace and contentment, we are in a time where a lack of truth makes everyone polarized and willing to demonize anything/anyone that stands in the way. I"m not sure there's ever been such a disdain for the truth or how "truth" is spun to help us hear only what is wanted to be heard.

When this happens being a "conservative" or a "liberal" becomes something different and something quite dangerous. For, in the long run, those wandering in this desert appear not to be guided by any values what-so-ever.

It seems to be difficult to find people willing to sacrifice anything for a greater good. And I'm not talking politics (although it would be a very easy target) or the entertainment industry. No, this goes all the way down to me as an individual. Why am I not keeping this topic at the top level such as the presidency or congress? Simply put - they are merely a creature of larger and smaller forces. There seems to be a marriage of a number of unholy alliances causing tremendous divisions and hypocrisy at almost every level.

Whether gay, straight, black, white or whatever - we individually need to answer for the lack of truth - moral truth - as a core value of our lives. We once again need to find our shared values - particularly the shared value of truth. The truth in our lives, the truth to ourselves and the truth to each other. And that means finding out who we are and how we are for ourselves. Yes, it is a journey of self-discovery. But it also is a journey of learning to get those around us to be themselves as well.

I look around and see that the very soul of community is in danger.
Yet those in power have failed to speak about this profound moral danger, but the political opposition remains virtually mute and effectively impotent in the face of these forces. (This silence and this impotence are signs of another part of America’s moral crisis, of that also-dangerous moral flaccidity into which too much of America has lapsed.)

But my major concern is individual, and especially the individual "me." If I fail to live in truth, and to require truth from those around me, it is my core value that is in danger. When I fail to live in truth, I need an ”Emperor’s New Clothes” moment. “This emperor,” I must loudly, and forcefully remind myself, “has no moral clothes.” This fits into a "coat piece" plan for change. (more on that later)

The Psychic-less Network ~

The ability to see the future has always fascinated people, after all, who wouldn't want to know what was going to happen and how to influence it. And that alone allows people who are less than honest to try and make money from it. First Diane Warwick seems to have gotten "suckered " in to being part of a mass "boiler room" operation followed relatively shortly (so it seemed) by Miss Cleo. Of course, Miss Cleo turned out to be a sham herself, and the network exposed as being nothing more than a scam involving keeping people on the phone at so much per minute as along as possible, without giving out any information that might be something someone could sue over.

Then tonight I came across THIS story:

In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson predicted Tuesday that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in "mass killing" late in 2007.
"I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

Robertson said God told him during a recent prayer retreat that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September. Robertson said God also told him that the U.S. only feigns friendship with Israeland that U.S. policies are pushing Israel toward "national suicide."

Robertson suggested in January 2006 that God punished then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a stroke for ceding Israeli- controlled land to the Palestinians.
The broadcaster predicted in January 2004 that President Bush would easily win re-election. Bush won 51 percent of the vote that fall, beating Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. He also predicted Bush's victory for a second term in 2005.

"I have a relatively good track record," he said. "Sometimes I miss."

In May, Robertson said God told him that storms and possibly a tsunami were to crash into America's coastline in 2006. Even though the U.S. was not hit with a tsunami, Robertson on Tuesday cited last spring's heavy rains and flooding in as partly fulfilling the prediction.
After saying a few unpleasant things about Mr. Robertson's desire to become a prophet - as well as keep the money flowing in to support whatever he chooses to have it support. I thought about something Mr. "Cleo" Robertson seems to have forgotten.

Since he seems to have decided to be a prophet of God - he needs to read a little more carefully the end results of that career decision. For those prophets, there was NO margin of error. None. There were no partial successes only dead on predictions. If there was an error, a simple apology would not work. There was no way of saying the people misquoted them. There was no going on another preachers program and suckering them into agreeing with your position.

There was none of that. The end result of being wrong with the word of the Lord was very simple ... death. Death by stoning. A very painful death to be sure, and one that reminded other would be prophets that they need to be VERY sure they are hearing the word and not just their own off-beat, prejudiced, harmful and highly personal agenda.

I owe ~ I owe ~ So it's off to work I go!

Some people were blessed with having today off as part of the New Years holiday. Others were not so lucky. If you have ever worked for, or currently work for a large company, you will relate to these new terms for the 2007 workplace.
(thanks to Donna for sending these my way!)

Essential additions for the workplace vocabulary:

BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

404 - Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located. "Don't bother asking the boss . . . he's 404, man.">

ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.

PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

SITCOM(s): Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. Reality TV is just one prime example.

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an
electronic device to get it to work again.

ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file employees. The adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls,subdivisions.

CRM - Career Restricting Move - Used to describe ill-advised activity. Hitting the reply all button on that personal e-mail or trashing the CEO while your CEO is within earshot is serious CRM.

OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.

CROP DUSTING: Surreptitiously farting while passing thru a cube farm, then enjoying the sounds of dismay and disgust; leads to PRAIRIE DOGGING.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Early Morning Thoughts ~ Truth or ? (part 1)

The first day of the New Year has almost ended ... and mine had several interesting twists. This came about during a long conversation. There were several points that are going to be worth some strong investigation on my part. And, of course, I will post my journey as it goes along (most of it anyway). There was a discussion about truth that started my thoughts about this post. I have always maintained the necessity for truth ... in people, in government, in life. Sadly, that is one attribute that seems to be sadly lacking in some. I know some who regard truth as this overriding idea that somehow floats along and may or may not provide some kind of order. I have others who regard it as a convenience of the moment. I regard truth as something that operates not only without as a principle, but something that has to be within as a core value to make our lives real, powerful and aligned with one another.

"In our time, what is at issue is the very nature of man, the image we have of his limits and possibilities as a man. History is not yet done with its exploration of the limits and meanings of 'human nature'."
C. Wright Mills

"A man of clear ideas errs grievously if he imagines that whatever is seen confusedly does not exist; it belongs to him, when he meets with such a thing, to dispel the midst, and fix the outlines of the vague form which is looming through it."
J.S. Mill

"Truth is a shining goddess, always veiled, always distant, never wholly approachable, but worthy of all the devotion of which the human spirit is capable."
Bertrand Russell

"But whoever is a genuine follower of Truth, keeps his eye steady upon his guide, indifferent whither he is led, provided that she is the leader."
Edmund Burke
A Vindication of Natural Society

"...truth is much more than a means to expose the malevolent. It is the great creative force of civilization. For truth is knowledge; and a civilized man is one who, in Hobbes' words,has a "perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation of knowledge."

Hobbes also writes: "Joy, arising from imagination of a man's own power and ability, is that exaltation of mind called glorying." And so it is; for the pursuit of truth is our civilization's glory, and the joy we obtain from it is the nearest we shall approach to happiness, at least on this side of the grave. If we are steadfast in this aim, we need not fear the enemies of society."

"The essence of civilization is the orderly quest for truth, the rational perception of reality and all its facets, and the adaptation of man's behaviour to its laws. So long as we follow the path of reason we shall not move far from the lighted circle of civilization.

Its enemies invariably lie among those who, for whatever motive, deny, distort, minimize, exaggerate or poison the truth, and who falsify the processes of reason. At all times civilization has its enemies, though they are constantly changing their guise and their weapons.

The great defensive art is to detect and unmask them before the damage they inflict becomes fatal. 'Hell.' wrote Thomas Hobbes, 'is truth seen too late.' Survival is falsehood detected in time.

"Civilization... is the rational pursuit of truth within a framework of order. The discovery of truth, of course, is part of this ordering process, the way by which man located himself in the universe. This is a very long, complicated and cumulative process.

Man needs to orientate himself in time, by discovering and perfecting chronology; in space, by acquiring geographical and astronomical knowledge; in nature, by discovering its laws and using them to master his environment.

He is also engaged in a continuous effort of moral and social orientation, reflected in his attempts to improve his designs for civil government, for legal and ethical codes, and his image of what a just society should be. There is, likewise, a process of moral ordering, in which man seeks to discover his worth in relation to other men, and to the potentialities of his surroundings.

Human beings need to know where they stand in all these matters, for such knowledge is an essential element in their security, and... their happiness..."
Paul Johnson
"Enemies of Society"

1) orb painting by Antonio Puri
3) Harlequin - Mask of Truth

Late Night Thoughts ~ It's MORE than just a new year

As the clock hands move toward the midnight hour when one day ends and another a officially begins ... This one is special as it marks the end of one year and the beginning of another. What a delight! A chance to look at the new day with a new resolve and new ideas. One of the blogs I follow says in his profile -- I'm bursting with ideas. That's what I want to do tomorrow - I want to wake up simply bursting with ideas. Ideas that will goad my day into being even better than I imagined!!

I shared this wonderful poem with a number of people this year about the new year:

How beautiful the turning of the year!
A moment artificial yet profound:
Point upon an arbitrary chart
Passing like a breath upon the heart,
Yearning with anticipation wound,
New hope new harbored in old-fashioned cheer.
Even when the boundary line is clear,
We recognize the oneness of the ground.
Years, like circles, do not end or start
Except we lay across their truth our art,
Adjusting dates as they go round and round
Revolving to a tune long sung and dear.

As the time moves forward to what we call the "new beginning" I realized that we are actually always IN a new beginning. We have the choice to live with what was, tolerate what is or move into the exciting, terrifying world of what may be. As for me, that is where I want to "hang my hat" and dig in to live.

It's always been easy for me to simply get comfortable with the now, and accept what is as the way it is. I'm regaining something else I had lost over the last few months - the realization that I don't have to tolerate what is, that I don't have to accept less than my best - or anyone else's for that matter. (watch out friends!)

While I'm looking forward, I will need to acknowledge and celebrate the past. However, as the old country saying goes: "You can't plow straight furrows by looking back as you're going forward." And trust me, I want straight furrows in the field of my life!

And now, it's almost the time ... Morning is almost officially here1

New Year's Morning

Only a night from old to new!
Only a night, and so much wrought!
The Old Year's heart all weary grew,
But said: "The New Year rest has brought
The Old Year's hopes its heart laid down,
As in a grave; but trusting, said:"
The blossoms of the New Year's crown
Bloom from the ashes of the dead."
The Old Year's heart was full of greed;
With selfishness it longed and ached,
And cried: "I have not half I need.
My thirst is bitter and unslaked.
But to the New Year's generous hand
All gifts in plenty shall return;
True love it shall understand;
By all y failures it shall learn.
I have been reckless; it shall be
Quiet and calm and pure of life.
I was a slave; it shall go free,
And find sweet pace where I leave strife."
Only a night from old to new!
Never a night such changes brought.
The Old Year had its work to do;
No New Year miracles are wrought.

Always a night from old to new!
Night and the healing balm of sleep!

Each morn is New Year's morn come true,
Morn of a festival to keep.
All nights are sacred nights to make
Confession and resolve and prayer;
All days are sacred days to wake
New gladness in the sunny air.
Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old come true;
Each sunrise sees a new year born.

- Helen Hunt Jackson