Big Blog of Nothing

To Educate, amuse, and to, mainly, kill time

Monday, January 08, 2007

I Resolve To:

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. The family and I returned from being away from home for 15 days on vacation and then a week of business for me in Alabama and I took the family along. We all returned home this weekend VERY SICK, all of us. Campbell (my 18 month old) started it, then Wendy kept it going, and finally, Hayden and I finished it off. Boy, did Hayden and I finish it off. Let me report to you that 1) it was the sickest I have ever felt in my life and am still not totally recovered and 2) Wendy and I have really grown in our marriage as we had a lot of "close knit" time together - did I mention we were all violently ill, and we did not disagree about anything. Maybe I have matured?? Stay tuned. Anyway, we both agreed that this was the best Christmas our family has ever had. It was just too much fun to spend a lot of time with our family and friends in Tulsa.

With that out of the way, I give you some resolutions for 2007 for me and for our country. You think I am a little late??? I say tomorrow is the day to begin new year's resolutions as college football season will be over so you can actually keep the "eat better" resolution!

Resolutions for ME in no particular order:

  1. Learn how to accept failure and rejection - I expect everything to go my way....ALWAYS. I must grow in this way.
  2. Be more patient
  3. Make sure that everyone that I come into contact with - is better after our contact. Basically.....BE NICE even if the world tells me I have a reason not to.
  4. Talk to God more
  5. Teach my children the right way to live and act
  6. Eat healthy and be more physically fit
  7. Stop planning so much - Wendy will love me for this.
  8. Listen more
  9. Enjoy everyday of my life
  10. Forgive

Now a few for our country - in no particular order

  1. Get to know your neighbors - try to meet three new neighbors this year. We spend so much time emailing around the world that we don't know our neighbors 30 feet away. Get to know them.
  2. Focus on the big picture - more on what we are doing to fight terrorism and less on Britney, Nick and Jessica, etc. We need to get educated.
  3. Start asking questions about our failed political system - I love this country folks, but our Government is in shambles. Democrats = WRONG; Republicans = WRONG. The only group that is winning is lobbyists. If we stay uniformed this country will not be a superpower much longer. We need better men and women and maybe even a couple of new parties in DC. We deserve better.
  4. Deal with our immigration issue in this country - If you are in this country illegally you are breaking the law and you have no rights. End of story. This doesn't mean we need to hate or mistreat, we just need to make sure everybody understands there are laws in this country that we all need to live by.
  5. Deal with healthcare, social security, and Medicare - It's going to be painful, but it must be done. The longer we wait the harder it is going to be. Don't hot potato this issue down to our kids and their kids. These three things could clip our superpower wings as well.
  6. The War - A real good friend of mine explained it this way: We expected a movie like war - over in two hours. Now that it is hard we don't want it. If we stay, it could get worse but what about standing on principal. We are trying to create freedom in a world that has no concept of it. Sure, we could quit and pull out. But would the people be better off that we are trying to help? Wouldn't Iran just take over Iraq and call it South Iran? Was Saddam just a nice guy that we didn't like? Some people say we can't WIN. I usually run from people who tell me there is something I can't do. I would suggest we do the same on this one. Why are we over there?? For freedom and protect our interests. Enough said.
  7. Genocide - It's time we get more involved in some of these problems around the world.
  8. One of the wisest things that President Bush ever said over a year ago that we still do not heed - "Americans are addicted to oil." He was trying to politely say that 1) the bad guys have most of it and 2) the world is using way too much. We really could use some leadership on this instead of arguing and looking for ways to get lobbyists customers rich. I see a future in this country of growth but not in large cities, suburbs, or metro areas. I would look to the heartland folks and buy some property there. And you might not want to own any property by the ocean anymore. Maybe that McMansion in the suburbs wasn't such a good idea either.

Predictions: Ohio State rolls over Florida

Quote of the week: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss - Roger Daltrey from the Who

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Christmas!

The Christmas holidays can be a dark time for many people. People think about those that are no longer here to enjoy the holidays with them. If you are grieving, this weeks post is for you.

As I was visiting my daughters (Ana Rush Chapel) grave today, I wrote down the poem that is near a pond at the cemetery. I don't know who wrote this, but it is one of the most BEAUTIFUL things I have ever heard. ENJOY.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there
I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond's gifts on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentile autumn's rain
When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there
I did not die"

My daughter is alive and living in our house. She always will. Thank you God for the blessings that my family enjoy with Ana every day. I tried talking to her today to update her on the family. I found myself just sitting there and smiling because she already knows. So I just sat there and took in the moment with her on a beautiful day in Atlanta. Goodnight sweet girl. See you tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What happened to you?

Time to get serious.

I've been studying this for four years and it really speaks to me.

Paul's letter to the Philippians

Philippians 1 starting in verse 12

Now I want you to know brothers, that what has HAPPENED TO ME has really served to advance the gospel. As a result it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

Skip to verse 19 and please hang with me.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and help given by the spirit of Jesus Christ, what has HAPPENED TO ME will turn out for my deliverance.

What has happened to you to advance the gospel? What has happened to you that will turn out for your deliverance? It's probably something painful. It's probably something very hard for you to talk about. It's probably something very sad. Something you want to forget. God doesn't want us to forget what has happened to us. You see God gives you strength in those unbearable times to handle it so the gospel is advanced through you. People also notice. They can't imagine how you are getting by. They marvel at how you handle things. You cause people to grow in faith because of how you handle the unbearable things that life throws at you. And when you are ready to go on with your life, God puts someone in your path that is going through the same or a similar thing and you minister to them. And on it goes. How did that person get in your life anyhow? Was it just a coincidence? NO.

Isn't it awesome? Isn't He awesome?

We had some really good friends over last week for dinner and they began admiring our beautiful but very "ECLECTIC" tree and ornaments. They asked us "What does the "A" ornament mean? That's Ana's ornament I said. Ana Rush Chapel was our little girl who lived two weeks and then went to be with the Lord to be one of his angels. As a tradition each year we buy an ornament for everyone in the house. Ana still lives in our house and she always will. We are looking for just the right ornament for her second Christmas in our house.

Life is hard whether you are a Christian, non-Christian, or atheist. Don't let life make you bitter or permanently sad. God wants to use what happens to you for the glory of His kingdom.

At this very moment I have friends who: have a son who is in the NICU who was born three months premature, another friend who has a broken ankle and is in serious pain, another friend whose mother was in a very serious car accident and had to have major surgery, some married friends of mine who want to have a baby but can't, another friend whose mother was murdered and they are having to relive some painful memories, another friend whose husband has some health challenges at the same time her parents are having major health problems and she has lost other family members, another friend who is wondering if her cancer is back. I could go on.

These friends of mine teach me things every day and they don't even know it. They are the heroes in my life.

What happened to you?

Quote of the week: The moment I let go of it was the moment I got more than I could handle.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Seven Simple Edicts

Just thought I would share a few of my "unwritten rules" of my blog. This might help the three people that are actually reading it be able to navigate around.

  1. I wouldn't expect more than one post from me a week. I would expect the post over the weekend. I only have about one good topic in me a week to discuss.
  2. Comments are great and I will read them all, but don't expect much in the way of comments from me.
  3. This is a big blog of nothing, but from time to time I will discuss some serious subjects.
  4. My favorite things to discuss (what am I OPRAH???? - I can hear you all screeching waiting for me to give you all spa treatments and new cars): Sports, inspiring stories, things that do not add up, things we as a world need to work on, faith, family, the stock market, work life, etc.
  5. Web Hits Don't Lie - Everything is measured in my life, except one thing.....this blog. Whether I have 5 visits or 5,000 visits does not bother me. I plan on changing this world one person at a time.
  6. If I don't care about hits then why do I want to blog? It would be nice to share these ramblings with my kids some day and see how "out there" dad really is.
  7. I want readers of this blog to think and to laugh. Life can be too serious sometimes.

Housekeeping issues: Robin Doss had a great comment regarding fixing the BCS system this week. Read as it is THE SOLUTION. Also, I think Mr. Coors might deserve more credit than what we are giving him Robin. My Sooners are up 14-7 over Nebraska as we get close to the half. As the great DORA THE EXPLORER says "Where are we going? FIESTA" We can only hope. A Michigan/Ohio St rematch, which will be great. Florida fans: you can't play "average" football for most of the season and expect to get in the game. Sooner or later you have to live in Missouri: You gotta show us something.


BCS....Every year at this time these three letters incite more arguments across the country then "Does this dress make me look fat?"

My current take: Actually, the BCS is working this year. Ohio St. is undefeated and USC is playing better than any other team in the country right now other than Ohio St. They deserve to be in. This hurts me as I have cheered against USC all year. They proved to me they are worthy with their victory against the Irish last night. So all is well, right? No way. The BCS is a joke and must be overhauled. Look at all of the things at our fingertips today and we can't arrange a game between the best two college football teams? If you lose earlier it should be counted less than losing late in the season......WHAT???

Just complaining does not set well with me. Let's come up with a solution. So I ask you America: How can we fix the BCS? Give me your ideas, your powerpoint presentations, your drawings, etc.

I will share my solution in a future blog, which comes from ideas of mine and several friends.

Everybody knows that the BCS is a lousy system, yet it is forced upon us fans, the same people who support college athletics by buying shirts, tickets, hats, donating money, etc. Why?? My answer to this is pretty much the same as many other unjust things that go on in this world (Sadly): Follow the money....

Let me hear from you!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bo Knows

Bo Schembechler passed away yesterday. Bo was the greatest coach the University of Michigan ever had. I remember watching him "stalk" the sidelines on TV each Saturday when I was a kid. He was very respected for his integrity and character. In some profiles of his death, I have learned something valuable I would like share.

They played a lot of past footage of Bo as he talked about his rivalry with Ohio State and coach Woody Hayes. He talked about the "WAR" he and Woody had for ten years and how Woody never spoke to him over that time even though Bo had played for and coached with Woody. Woody was a mentor to Bo. After Woody retired he and Bo picked up where they left off and became good friends again until Woody passed. Which leads me to something that I see that is different between our younger generations and this "Greatest Generation" that we can learn so much from. The greatest generation competes hard but when the "Game" ends they stop competing and move forward. Past is past. We live in a very competitive world where everything is a "game" now and everything is "measured." Everything is a competition and people "wage war" not just to win, but to DESTROY. WIN AT ALL COSTS.

Let's learn to compete like the greatest generation: play hard, play to win, and learn to deal with the outcome. Learning how to lose is just as important as learning how to win. How many people do you meet today who can't deal with not winning in everything they do? How much does this hurt our world? Learn to deal with setbacks, and defeat and pass that noble quality on to your children.

And when the day comes for you to "lay your weapons down " and stop "waging war" against the competition: Embrace your competition, rebuild friendships, build new friendships and correct any mistakes you may have made.

Bo knows my friends, Bo knows.

Predictions: Michigan defeats Ohio St for Bo (I think there could be a rematch); Out on a limb: Cowboys beat the Colts.


Two simple words.....I'M BACK

Michael Jordan said it when he came back and now I'm saying it. Am I saying that I am the Michael Jordan of blogging??? No. Do I expect you to feel that way? Yes

In the words of the great Michael Stipe.....Let's begin again.

Check out some of my past posts; pretty good stuff from almost two years ago.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Quick Hits & Stop Downs

My last few posts have been serious, so how's about we have some fun?

My list of can't miss things on television today

1) Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church in Houston - If you have not heard him speak, he has the most encouraging and practical messages for how we should live our lives. His book, "Your Best Life Now" is awesome. Read it.

2) Arrested Development - The FUNNIEST show on television. This is a STOP DOWN each Sunday in our household.

3) The Apprentice - Do not care for the DONALD, but I enjoy watching how this reality show plays out. Sidebar: The Entrepeneur's will DESTROY the Book Smarts this season.

4) Scrubs - This is one I am just starting to enjoy, but I think it is a winner.

5) The Fox Business Block (Saturdays from 10-12)

6) Saturday Night Live - Not as good since Will Ferrell and others left, but still the women on the show are very talented. Weekend Update with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler is a must see each week.

7) Of course SPORTS, SPORTS and more SPORTS are on when the other six from above are not on.

Honorable Mention:
King of the Hill Reruns
Extreme Makeover Home Edition - They do some great things for people so it's good to watch from time to time.
Dallas Reruns - The best SOAP of all time.

One other tip: Invest in a digital video recorder or TIVO like device. It will change how you watch TV and make you a more EFFICIENT TV watcher.

Predictions: Bush will not get Social Security reform. The East beats the West in the NBA All Star Game.

Quote of the week: You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who cannot pay you back - John Bunyan

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Four Way Test

I ran across this a couple of months ago and it continues to speak to me today.

The Four-Way Test
From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.
This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:

"Of the things we think, say or do:
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"

Wow! What great insight. If more people lived by this test, we would not have had to live through Enron, Worldcom, Arthur Anderson, Tyco, Etc.

I love business and will always be in the "business world" but why (sometimes) does business have to be so "dirty" for lack of a better word? What happened to the days of developing ideas, bringing them to market, being better than your competition, providing a valuable service? It seems that now business has become how can I "stretch/bend" the rules or who can I run over to get this deal done? Why do some companies have such a difficult time running their business today?

I know the answer and the four way test speaks to's the lack of leadership that has us down this road. You see a real leader would not sacrifice the FUTURE of the company for a short term gain of a few in the organization. A real leader knows that his/her people are smart and can see through the "JUNK" so he/she levels with them. I could go on and on.

I am convinced that what corporate america needs most is for men and women that are willing to apply the four way test to how they run their businesses and their lives. It needs to start at the top and go all they way down. Could you imagine how people's attitudes would change? I love thinking about the possibilities! We want to make things hard and over-analyze things when really at the end of the day it's strategies such as this that make a difference (to steal a football term: the basics, block and tackle).

The one thing that speaks the most to me in this is TRUTH. All of us need to reaquaint ourselves with TRUTH. Like a very wise person once said to me: "Chris, no matter what, you can't argue with the truth. The truth is the truth. " It's very basic stuff (block and tackle once again) but it's true my friends!

Quote of the week: I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas A. Edison

Checkbook Talk

I thought I knew the answer to this but I guess I was wrong. You see, I thought NO ONE younger than 55 carried a checkbook anymore. The stats were even showing that as well: more debit/credit transactions than cash or checks. My wife informed me this is not quite true. She was at a meeting and was shocked to find that many people today walk around with their checkbooks. As a matter of fact they TOLD her SHE was in the minority. I don't believe it.

I can't tell you the last time I walked around with my checkbook, but I would put it at about 15-20 years ago and I was probably buying a car or paying for my college tuition. As a matter of fact the check companies have been losing on me for some time. We only right about four checks a month on average. Everything is either electronic bill pay or I use a credit/debit card. If I know I have to write a check, I will fill it out and put it in my wallet. If you want to know the truth, I carry very little walking around money as well. I will walk around with $5 for an entire week and never spend it. It goes on the debit card. Isn't that part of making our lives easier? Now that fast food places are accepting credit cards, I probably can walk around with $1 and be fine. My father (a man who will walk around with $500 on him at all times) for years has chastized me and told me I will be in trouble carrying very little cash, but so far no problems. My wife does the same thing: hardly any cash and uses debit/credit and has no problems either.

So I ask you America: Are you taking advantage of technology and using it to your advantage or are you lugging around an old big and BLOATED checkbook? I guess the same people that are worried about shopping online are the ones that carry their checkbooks around and never realize they could be pickpocket or have their purses snatched!

One caveat: When in New York City make sure and carry plenty of cash as it is a city to not have plenty of WALKING around money!

Predictions: The Pats beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl. If you booked an ad in the 4th quarter you might be disappointed as I don't even think it will be close. I have picked AGAINST the Pats everytime this postseason and NOT AGAIN.

Quote of the Week: Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk. Doug Larson