Archives for August 2007

I Should Be Sleeping

I had trouble falling asleep. Too many things on my mind. Too many concerns about the coming days. Most of the time I can push them aside long enough to grab a little shut eye. This time it was tougher. I rolled around for a while, got up, did a few sets of push ups and then lay down long enough to pass out.

That was a little after 1 am. Around 4 am I woke up. Daughter was crying. Went to her bedroom and discovered that the monsters had encircled her bed. Dad is the dragon killer. Beat up all of the monsters and found out that no matter how many times I punched them in the nose they kept coming back.

Took daughter in my arms and walked for a bit. With her head on my shoulder I wandered through the dark house and wondered when she stopped being the baby. It was a while ago. She is a little girl now. A little girl with long dark curls and serious eyes that explore the world. Gentle snoring told me that I must have finally beaten back the hordes so I carried her back to her bedroom.

For a moment I held her and listened to her breathing. It was peaceful, relaxing. It reminds me of who I am and what purpose I serve. Not the only purpose, but one that transcends myself.

There in the dark I whispered I love you and placed her in back in her bed. Standing above her bed I looked around to be certain that the monsters really were gone. Fathers are always on alert. If need be I’d become a one man wrecking crew.

Tried to go back to sleep and just couldn’t find my way home. It is going to hurt later on. I can’t live off so little sleep. Not anymore. Too many weeks of haunting the midnight hours is going to catch up with me. The vampires of the neighborhood recognize me. They have seen me go traipsing by too many times not to. They leave me alone, recognize that I am not in the mood for conversation.

So here I sit in the darkened room, the computer monitor serving as the sole illumination within the room. Alone in the dark with my thoughts. Here I sit pondering the next steps and best ways to go about my business. I feel alive, but wish that I was asleep. I am babbling, rambling away at the keyboard.

It is hot inside this house. I am sweaty. I am grumpy and I am still wondering whether I should go sit out in the cool night air and await the sun. A cup of coffee, an iPod and some moonlight beckon. Flashes of memory remind me of things that have been and hint at possibilities of what could be.

It is Elul. The new year approaches. Who will live and who will die. What waits for me on the other side. I feel its presence. It leaves me….wondering.

Vocabulary Time Part 3

It is vocabulary time again. Here is part one and part two.

Jack·pud·ding
n.A merry-andrew; a buffoon.

Job·ber·nowl

n.[OE. jobbernoule, fr. jobarde a stupid fellow; cf. E. noll.]
A blockhead.

nikhedonia

[fr. Nike, the Greek goddess of victory + hedoné, pleasure] the pleasure derived from anticipating success

quidnunckery

[fr. L. quid nunc, what now] nonce-word curiosity, love of news or gossip (also quid-nunc-ism)

Time To Play Tetris

What a Waste Of Time and Money

In an earlier post I mentioned that thanks to my close personal relationship with the good old almighty I am receiving instructions from the big man. He told me that I am to share the story of the foolish high school girl with you.

As she stepped to the microphone to give her commencement speech last spring, Erica Corder knew that what she was about to say might ruffle some feathers.

But the 2006 Lewis Palmer High School graduate ? one of 15 valedictorians who addressed the crowd ? didn’t believe she had a choice.

“I really felt God calling me to do this,” Corder said Thursday. “My top priority is obeying God.”

G-d told me to tell you that you’re making this up as you go along. You knew full well that you would get in trouble. He is quite angry that you’re wasting time and money to try and prosecute a losing case.

So Erica Corder thanked all the teachers, parents and peers in the crowd for their encouragement over the years.

Then, deviating from the 30-second speech that had been approved by the principal, she began speaking about “someone who loves you more than you could ever imagine.”

“His name is Jesus Christ,” Corder said. “If you don’t already know Him personally I encourage you to find out more about the sacrifice He made for you …”

The approximately 30-second speech sparked an immediate controversy.

Parents and students including some of her fellow valedictorians complained that Corder had been proselytizing, and that her comments were inappropriate for the occasion. She also took heat from school officials for deviating from the pre-approved script.

Now that the moment has passed and I am back to being me I’ll insert my own commentary. This is not a typical free speech case. We could spend time talking about why public schools are not subject to the same rules as other places or why free speech is not absolute.

But the thing is that we really don’t have to go there. She knew in advance that she was going to create a problem. She knew that what she wanted to do was out of line. Call it civil disobedience, call it ignorant. The bottom line is that she knew it wasn’t approved and she did it anyway.

Now Corder is fighting back.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court this week, Corder says the Monument high school violated her rights to free speech and equal protection.

Corder’s father, Steve, said Thursday the Corders are not seeking money other than attorney fees.

This irritates me on multiple levels. As a father you should teach your children to take responsibility for their actions. This doesn’t do so. It was clear in advance that she knew that there might be consequences to her actions.

The district has a written policy titled “Student Expression Rights,” according to the lawsuit. It prohibits expression that, among other things, is disruptive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous or threatens violence. It does not specifically prohibit religious speech, the lawsuit states.

The 15 valedictorians agreed before commencement that each person would speak for 30 seconds. Two people did the introduction, while others spoke about each year of high school. Corder and another student were tabbed to conclude the speeches.

Corder said the valedictorians had only a few days to prepare their speeches before they practiced them for the principal, Mark Brewer.

She knew she wanted to honor God in her remarks, but she didn’t do so in her practice speech because she knew there was a chance Brewer would prohibit the comments, and because she didn’t think there would be enough time to work through the issue with him, she said (Emphasis mine)

You knew that there would be consequences. You knew that there would be trouble but you did it anyway. And all that happened was a little slap on the hand. You had to issue a written apology for your actions. Big deal.

Reference: Prayer in School

One More Reason Not To Take Reuters Seriously

r– A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of having posted a video of himself on YouTube driving at speeds of more than 140 mph, police said Thursday.

The car, a Ford Escort, was filmed on the A76 single-carriageway road in southwest Scotland.

A Ford Escort going 140 MPH? I don’t think so.