Tuesday, November 30, 2010

THARCE-Gulu, a worthwhile charity

This is a worthwhile charity for this Christmas:

So she has returned to Uganda, with Mormon women, and built more homes.  When the Ugandan women said they wanted a community center, she knew this had to be the next goal.  And the fledgling organization she has created is called THARCE-Gulu (Reese is working on updating this site in the near future).  The plans are in the works to buy a piece of land in Gulu, and build a healing center where visiting therapists (therapy through art, storytelling, sports, film making) can come to help the former soldiers, and around which the community can center their activities.  Because right now they still meet under that tree.
So in an effort to make this happen, we at fMh will be ramping up a fund-raising drive.  THARCE-Gulu needs $30,000 to buy the land for the center, I have no idea what kind of funds the bloggernacle is capable of raising, but we will be doing whatever we can.  So far our plans include raffles, auctions, perhaps some friendly competition within the bloggernacle, maybe some fund-raising snackers/dinners.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Girl Genius Avatar/Icons


Click on link or sample to go to the page where they are provided.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saw Disney's Tangled, really enjoyed it.

Of course I have blond haired baby girls my heart cries out for, but it was a good movie.  A very good movie, even better in 3D.  I even filled out the survey they gave us, but only because the movie was so good.

Of course the reasons I went to see the movie were (a) Heather wanted to see it, (b) The Dallas Morning News gave it an A, (c) we needed a family activity tonight.  It is so good to have family together at this time, but it makes me miss those who are not here so much more.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On becoming a man -- what does it take and how is it done?

It is easy enough to tell people to "man up" or to become a man.  Sometimes the speaker means that they want someone to fill some specific "man's role" -- whatever that is.  Usually "man up" doesn't communicate much at all.

In some cultures "being a man" has a specific definition.  It may be someone who has the right scars.  Or, it may be someone who has killed a large game animals.  In some places you are not a man until you have counted coup on an enemy on the battlefield. In other places, you are not a man until you have had sex or gone through an initiation ritual. Those are all benchmarks.  They are acts or experiences that stand in as a proxy that is used to signal a measure of self knowledge.

So, what is it that makes the difference -- that makes a boy into a man? It is a measure of self knowledge and of taking ownership of one's self. It means not being oblivious and not hiding from yourself behind passivity, or silence, or food, or resentment, or any other method. It means taking mature ownership of yourself, your behavior, your feelings, and your goals.

Sure, the past exists.  Things have happened, there are difficulties everyone caries with them. But at some point you take ownership of the present and the future and cease to be a reactor to events or a slave to destiny. Wallowing in the past is holding onto childhood.  Clinging to powerlessness is clinging to infancy.

So, love yourself. Acknowledge yourself. Take ownership.  Do not reject the past, make it an experience and a lesson learned, not a trap or a regret.  Move into the present and find and move into yourself.  Become what you are, become a man, that is what it really means.

If you find you don't like yourself, don't hide from the truth.  Hiding doesn't change things.  Take ownership and acknowledge yourself and then decide what you are going to choose for the future. If you can't love yourself, either grow up or change.

Anyway, that is what I had to say when asked what does it mean to be a man.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sandy Petersen

Well, want to know why he is able to do what he does?

Every quality in this presentation:  Sandy has.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On finding a match

So, you are still not married.  I didn't get married until I was 29.  But here are my comments.

First, some background.

I knew a guy, I’ll call him Jammin (Jam for short).  He was strong and tall, but not quick (so he could not play basketball or football – not quick enough, trouble with powerlifting, too tall).  He wasn’t as good looking as he thought, and not as smart as he needed to be.  He had a thing about really pretty girls.  Of course the only really pretty girls that would date him were ones with problems that off-set their being pretty.  He couldn’t figure out why he was always dating girls with serious problems, how come he always ran into the ones that turned out to be scary? 

It was simple.  He wasn’t good looking enough to be a good match or fit for that group and did not have off-setting qualities (dating sites show that you can exchange money, education and other things for good looks if you are a guy). So, if you were a pretty girl, you probably had some pretty serious negatives before you would date him.

I knew another guy, I’ll call him Loser (Lou for short).  Lou liked really pretty girls. He liked pretty girls who could think.  He invariably picked them up on the rebound after a bad break-up, he wasn’t pushy.  They would drift away as they recovered.  Mostly they remained friends, and interestingly enough, formed a group of ex-girlfriends of Lou’s that enjoyed each other, just not him.  Lou couldn’t understand why he couldn’t hold on to the kind of girls he was dating.  Now he is old enough that he is kind of skeevy vis a vis the girls he would like to date and has burned some bridges as well.

His problem is pretty simple.  He has little to offer (less now that he is older) other than a non-threatening supportive ear and friend-style dating.  But no one in their right emotional mind sees him as dating material for romantic dates.

Both of these guys were not matching what they were to what they were chasing.  Both of them had long histories of failed relationships.  Jam succeeded by breaking free of his blinders.  Lou is, well, there is a reason I called him Loser.

We probably all know a Lou and a Jam.

This is kind of a harsh introduction.  I knew a guy who told the same story, more or less, except it was about a girl who chased football players and another who chased drummers. 

Too many people think that the moral of the stories is that you have to “settle” for less than you “deserve” or “want.”  That’s wrong.  What you have to do is find who you match.

Some things make it easier.  If you are a guy, go to New York City.  There is a surplus of single women in New York City. If you are a woman, go places where there is a surplus of men.

Next, go places where people are looking for people like you.  I had a friend, Martha Muriel who was pretty and a dancer.  She went to a ward full of short professional men and tall models.  The men all wanted a short model (which, of course, wasn’t going to happen, there is a minimum height for models after all).  The women were all looking for tall professionals (which group, it turns out, is mostly already married).  None of them were looking for Hispanics, more their loss.  Martha left after a couple visits, she was much too smart to waste more time there.

There are things that look like problems, but that are not.  They are matters of fit.

In addition, it is easy enough to have huge blocks of time consumed by a failed relationship.  Though finding yourself 40 and single whether through divorce, death, or just never getting married can be much the same.

It is similar for both men and women.  In some areas there are too many men, in others there are too many women.  This is true of physical locations as it is of areas of interest (you trying to become a doctor’s spouse or snag an unmarried professional athlete?  There are a lot of people in those areas).  Some areas have huge pools (so the chance of someone in your sub-pool goes up) some have very tiny pools (if there are only three guys and three women in an area, the chance of a close match has probably gone way down).

Finally, what do you use as a filter?  What things do you use to exclude?  Every “hard” barrier will limit you. For example, my wife is taller than I am.  If I had insisted on someone shorter than I was, I would not have married her (and vice versa – luckily we fell in love before we realized the height issue). 

All of these matters taken together means that it is very, very possible for someone to never find a match without it being their fault and without anything being wrong with them.

Possible issues:

1.                  Geography.  Sometimes it is just bad luck where you live or where your education goals take you.
2.                  Relationships.  Not all relationships succeed.  However, each time you invest time and effort in a relationship it puts you a few more years down the road.
3.                  Looking for the wrong solutions in seeking a match.  Mostly that is idiot guys looking for physical attractiveness in women, but there are other things that come up.
4.                  Filter issues – excluding on the wrong things.  Which does not mean you should ever, ever give way when you are filtering for the right things.
5.                  Other gap creators (there are things that make a match more difficult.  Age, personal interests, political tastes, etc.).

Note that the most common issues do not require anything to be wrong with someone.  Being “squirrely beyond belief” and crazy is not something that keeps people from being married (would that it were so – I know lots of people in that category, some who have been married multiple times).


            Well, that is an entirely different thing.  What are the real things you want and the real deal killers?  Then, list why they are what you want and why they are deal killers (e.g. the thing you have against New York Republicans would apply to old fashioned southern Democrats and would make you fine with Arnold Schwarzenegger Republicans).

            Then re-think a focus.  You might start working at a Starbucks (comprehensive insurance for all employees)(and, if you don’t drink coffee, a wonderful place because you aren’t tempted to waste your money at work – I had a good friend whose wife worked at Starbucks until last year).  From there you might move to a Starbucks in the area where the other sex is in surplus.  Or a place where there are a lot of people in your interest area (you might not head to Brownsville if your interest area is skiing, for example).

            Finally, consider and reconsider your goals.  I used to be a game designer.  Good enough that Origin cold called me to offer me a job.  But, that is no longer a goal of mine.  There is a time and there is a time. My goals are different now, I let myself grow into new ones, all the better for my skills and time constraints.  Look at your own and think if they have grown with you.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

November 9, five years of freedom

November 9 marks my fifth year of being free from food obsession.  It has gotten to be such a part of my life I had to look it up to see how long it had been other than "long" or "years."

Dramatic changes all in all.  My weight fluctuates around 189.  It has a twenty pound range it operates in, which is a lot lower than the 265 or so it once was.

Weight training is going well too.

I still have so far to go in terms of recovering what I once was.  I'm never going to be in my 30s again ;)

But I am glad of my life and my family, and none of my children have died since 1997.  My mom's mission is going well, though I still miss my dad terribly.

Life goes on, with or without us.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Should all scripture be proof texts?

A proof text is usually defined as a quote taken out of context and misused to reach a conclusion that does not really fit what a broader reading would indicate was the true meaning.  Yet, almost every scripture quoted in the gospels seems to be stretched somewhat and to have a major shift in meaning from what those who first heard it would have found.  It seems as if all scripture is a proof text.

Which makes sense.  When scripture comes into the world it is trapped by the limits of the language, the experiences and the context of the person recording it.  By being recorded in mortal realms, by fallible humans with imperfect language, it becomes a proof text from what it was in its celestial context.

Scripture also comes intended to be used over and over again; to be reused to communicate to every person and generation, no matter how far removed from the original recording.

Thus scripture starts as a proof text by virtue of being captured or recorded, and is only freed and given true context as it comes to life outside of the original words and setting.  As a result scripture only ceases to be a proof text as it comes into your life and is freed from its frozen state by finding the meaning it was intended to have for you.

In a way, scripture is not true until it becomes a proof text.

For a different approach to the same topic, see Wheatandtares.org on Thursday morning.