Saturday, October 31, 2015

Adios, Daylight Savings Time!

It's Day 11 of my 30 Day Writing Challenge, Halloween, the end of another month (putting us 5/6th of the way through 2015) and the final day of Daylight Savings Time (DST) in the USA.
My! How time flies when you're having fun!

I'm really thinking about adjusting my sleep habits to wake up a little earlier so that I can take advantage of the shorter daylight hours. Not being a big TV watcher and no baseball games ought to make that a little bit easier. It's not like I have a real schedule to have to work my sleep hours around. As it is, I get up when I'm finished sleeping.

Take today, for instance.
I don't normally get up at 6am anymore, but I had been awake for about 30 minutes and wasn't falling asleep again, so...why waste the time lying in bed?
I got up, brewed a pot of coffee with those organic Mexican coffee beans, added some Mexican vanilla and a little cream and grabbed the ol' Chromebook. It's a little cool out and there is a light rain, but I may try to get a walk in or maybe just hit the indoor cycle and weight machine this morning.

It'll be interesting to see how the change back to Standard Time affects me this year. While working, I always disliked it -- a lot! The evening shifts seemed to last forever and it was dark shortly after I got home from a day watch! I wonder if the longer hours of darkness will have the same negative impact while at home.
I have to admit, I never really got the whole changing time thing. I know that DST is supposed to save a lot of money (or make a lot of money for some), but wouldn't changing business hours/school hours/recreational hours/broadcast hours on a seasonal basis do the same thing?
Oh well! Another case of nobody asking John for his opinion!
I'm getting pretty used to that.

While we're on the subject of seasonal changes, some of my northern Facebook friends have already experienced a little snow. We have had a couple nights that dipped into the 30s but are still dreading the first overnight frost. It looks like it will be at least a week away as the first week of November looks like it's going to be very nice. I hope that the Chicago weather will be kind to me when I journey north later in the month.

This is the time of year that I think I should join my Australian cousins and enjoy the Southern Hemisphere spring! When Chris finally hangs up the OR scrubs, I hope to take a long journey Down Under. This would be the right time of year (I think)!

I hope that your weekend will be full of treats!

John <><

Friday, October 30, 2015

Turning up the Heat

So when does the heat come on at your house?

Chris has been complaining of the cold in our house and wanting to turn on the furnace. However, when I've looked at the temperature, it's been above the 65f (18.3c) where we usually have the thermostat set. This morning's temp read 60f (15.5c) and the day hasn't been that warm. The overnight low was around 38f (3.3c). My guess is that Chris will probably kick the furnace on tonight, whether I want to or not.

Next week daytime temps will be back in the mid 70s f (21c).

Our winter settings are 65 for daytime and 62 overnight.
We were at 60 for the overnight, but Chris wanted it just one degree warmer...then another. So now it's the 62.

I suppose that since the temps are below our normal settings, it does make sense to go ahead and flip the switch.
Just out of curiosity -- where do you keep your household temps? We're mid 70s in the summer, mid 60s in the winter.
Btw, I do not like winter!

John <><

Thursday, October 29, 2015


It's almost 11 PM and I just realized that I haven't posted anything today!
Not wanting to miss on this 30 Day Writing Challenge, I figured to put out a quick post.

Without straining my pea sized brain at this late hour, I pose this question:

What is your word or phrase of choice when faced with this kind situation?

I have been saying, "Sacrebleu!" for a number of years. I think I first heard it expressed in the Disney movie The Beauty and the Beast. I don't remember if it was the clock or the candlestick holder that used it, but I'm thinking the clock.

Plus one of my co-workers started using it and I would use it to mimic him. Eventually, it became my own and others picked it up from me.

I used to use "Holy socks!" which is really a word play on holey socks. I still do on occasion, but mostly it's "Sacrebleu!"

What is your word or phrase of choice? (I know I'm taking a huge risk here. Be nice.)

John <><

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Will Work for Food

It's Day 8 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge and I am again going off list for today's post.
I'm more interested in writing every day than following the list.

Having waited until the end of the day for this post has been beneficial as my story took place late in the day.

It was around 4:30 this afternoon when we noticed a couple of young men approaching our front door. When I answered the door, I found out that they were looking for work, any work. They were carrying a couple of tools for pruning and trimming and said that they had been out since morning and hadn't found anyone that was willing to pay them to do any work. They were brothers -- the older one with young kids at home, the younger one looked like he should've been in school during the day.

I had a tree that had grown against my fence and actually separated on section of fence from the post. I have been meaning to rent a chainsaw and take care of it, but hadn't got around to it yet. I took them around back showed them the tree and we talked about a price. I expected them to come back tomorrow to do the job since there was only about an hour and a half of daylight left and they didn't have a chainsaw or anything to cut down a tree with them.

The older one said that he would really like to take care of it today and asked if I had an ax they could use. I told him the only thing I had was a hatchet and hand saw and that would be a lot of work for a hatchet.

He reminded me that they had been out all day and hadn't made any money. He said they had knocked on doors and talked to about 70 people and nobody had any work for them. He said that he loved his kids and if that meant cutting down a tree with a hatchet, he would do it. He told me that they were just God fearing people and he needed to take care of his family.

I handed him the saw and hatchet and they went back and went to work.
I went with them because I knew that handling that tree was more than two young men could manage. They were game and aggressive but they were also young and not very big guys. And I have the advantage of what Aaron calls "old man strength." (I guess that's a good thing!) The older guy was not feeling well and stopped to vomit several times as he worked -- but kept on working.

I left them for a little while so that I could go to an ATM and get them cash instead of paying them by check. It was getting dark by the time they finished and would be fully dark by the time they walked the couple of miles home. I had helped them with the work and paid them a little more than we had agreed on. They were very grateful for the work and thanked me several times as we were walking around to the front of the house. I prayed with them before they left, they both shook hands with me and thanked me again before heading down the street towards their home.

I was impressed with their work ethic and that they were willing to work hard for their money. I know that there are people in the area that are hiring, but when you need money today, it's pretty tough to wait out the hiring process, work for a couple of weeks and then wait another week before getting paid. They weren't asking for a hand out and they didn't shy away from hard work. I think I paid them well for the work they did and hope that they will find more work. They did say that he had something lined up for about half a day tomorrow.

People face problems differently. I have no idea of what brought these guys to their current situation. I know that they are not sitting around waiting for somebody else to fix it for them. I wish them well.

John <><

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


No ink for me.
I do not have anything against tattoos, but have never seriously considered one for myself.

I actually think that there are some pretty cool tattoos and I do consider them to be a form of art. As with most arts, there are good artists and poor artists. Today's artists have more colors available to them than the artists of the past and there are plenty of safe places to go to have the work done.

I also think that it is interesting  to know the stories behind the tattoos that people have. Sometimes I do see tats and wonder how the owners will feel about them years down the road. Tattoo regret has birthed the new art of tattoo removal.

I think that it is weird that so many people have preconceived ideas of the lives of tattoo owners. Perhaps there was once a time when the stereotype fit a great majority of tattoo owners, but no longer.
There are many older people that are getting first tattoos. There are both men and women that have them. There are people that have very small tattoos and people that are covered in ink. There are professionals and blue collar workers, hipsters and rednecks. You are just as likely to see tattoos in church as you are in a bar. Some tattoos are meant for everyone to see. Some are very intimate.

And today there are even cosmetic tattoos -- eye liner, eye brows, mascara, lip color, even tattooed nipples for those that have had breast removal and reconstruction.

As with most things in life, it is a matter of personal preference.

John <><

Monday, October 26, 2015

Drugs, Strangers and Other Dangers

It's getting late in the day and I want to get my writing in so that I can continue with my 30 day writing challenge.

I'm skipping what ever the suggested topic for today is so that I write about my first presentation of Drugs, Strangers and Other Dangers.

It is a program that is designed for third grade through fifth or sixth grade and is a perfect fit for Red Ribbon Week.

I purchased this program from my friends at Castlewood Entertainment a couple of years ago. Last year, due to staffing at work, I was unable to get time off during Red Ribbon Week and so I didn't book any shows. This year, even though I was off work, I hadn't really put the time into working on the show and so I didn't want to start booking schools.

As is often the case, necessity forced my to get things ready for a show. At a Springfield Cardinals' baseball game late this summer, I met a man that is the principal at an area elementary school and booked a show.
Today was the day!

I did modify the original program a little bit to suit my needs, abilities and personality. But it was essentially the same program. It went very well. There was a little problem with the sound system that I'll have to work on, but I was pleased with how it went. I believe that I'll be able to market the program with confidence and look forward to doing many more shows in the coming year.

I can see where having two people to set up and break down the set would be a big advantage. The team that owned the program before me was a husband/wife couple that traveled together. It took me almost an hour to get set up and about 30 minutes to break it down. I do like the way the set up looks and plan on making a similar set for my other programs. I also like having my own sound system and will probably start to use it for my church and camp programs, as well.

If you are a teacher, administrator or educator at the elementary level, I would love to talk to you about this program. My contact information can be found in the About Me section of this blog.

John <><

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Places to Visit

The Day 5 writing challenge suggests writing about a place that you'd live that you've never visited.
I'm not certain that I have one of those. However, there are certainly plenty of places that I'd like to visit.

Most of you already know that I am particularly fond of beaches of Mexico. I should say that I'm happy that our Zihautanejo trip was last month instead of last week! We are planning another trip to Cancun for January (this will be our third visit to Cancun). Sometime I'd like to visit the beaches of Oaxaca.

I would really like to take a trip Down Under and visit my family in Australia. Traveling to my mother's native Philippine Islands is also appealing to me. (If it was just me, I might look into to buying one of the many islands that are for sale in the Philippines and live out life as a lonely hermit.) I think I'd much rather travel to the South Pacific (Philippines, Guam, Indonesia, Malaysia) than to Europe. I'm not sure why it's that way. It just is.

Costa Rica is on my list of places to visit, as is Belize.
We've not visited any of the Carribbean island nations (other than Jamaica and the Dominican Republic) and I'm pretty certain that I would enjoy that.
A warm, sunny beach is about all it takes to entice me to travel to a place.

We've never planned a trip with another couple and I'm not sure that I really want to. I like my lazy time and I like not having to consider what other people want to do.
I would like to plan a family trip with my kids and their spouses. I think that would be a blast!

Maybe if I lived on or near a sunny beach I'd be more interested in traveling to the mountains or other land locked destinations. For now, I want and ocean beach, plenty of warm sunshine and some good food.

John <><

Saturday, October 24, 2015

About Me

Day 4's topic is Ten interesting things about yourself.

Since I've written several posts with similar content (and none of them are really interesting), I'm giving myself a pass today and just going to give you a link to one of them. This particular post has links to several of the stories that give information (interesting or not) about me.


John <><

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dogs in Cars

I'm going with my own topic for Day 3 of the 30 day writing challenge.

Back in the day when Chris and I were young and childless, we lived in an upstairs apartment in Joliet IL's Cathedral district. The owners of the home lived on the main level and we had stairs at the back of the house to an outside entrance for our apartment.

The owners had a beautiful golden retriever named Sundance.
Sundance loved to go for car rides. Whenever I was going to run a short errand, he always looked on longingly as I got into my car and drove away.
One day I asked the owners if they would mind if I took him with me sometime when I was only going to be gone for a short time. They said he would love that!

And love it, he did!

My car was a two door, 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix. Sundance would sit on the passenger side of the front seat with his head out the window and ears trailing in the wind as we drove down the road. Whenever we came to a stop light, he would pull his head in and look at me as if to ask, "Why are we stopping?"

As soon as I started moving again, the head went back out the window and Sundance was a happy dog!

I always thought it was funny that he (and other dogs) loved riding with his face in the wind.
...Until I got a motorcycle!

Now, after decades have gone by, I understand why Sundance loved the wind in his face!
I wonder if that feeling is as therapeutic for dogs as it is for me. I just feel better after taking even a short ride on the bike. I know motorcycle owners that rarely ride their bikes and just don't understand it. Even before I got my little CM450, I didn't understand why somebody would own a motorcycle and not ride it as often as you can.

I can't wait to upgrade to a larger bike that I can take on a road trip or two next summer!
When I told Chris of my Sundance analogy, she asked me if I liked the feel of the wind blowing my ears back!
Of course not! The human breed doesn't have long ears!
And besides, there's a helmet law in Missouri!
Silly woman!

Well it's cool and cloudy this morning; only 60F (15.5C). I think I may put on a pair of jeans and my leather jacket and make a morning coffee run on the motorcycle!
Or I may just finish another cup of coffee and home and then go for a ride.
Either way, it sounds like a grand way to start the day.

My apologies to Sundance.
You were a good teacher. Sorry I am such a slow learner!

John <><

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Baseball -- of course!

#2 in the 30 day writing challenge is to write of your earliest memory.

Earliest memory? I don't know. I was so young back then. One of my strongest memories from my childhood was my first Little League baseball team.
I don't know what age I was when we started playing baseball (probably 1st or 2nd grade, idk). I know that there was no such thing as T-ball and there was no coach pitch ball. I also know that my team had the best pitcher in the league and we were an undefeated 10-0!
Most games had lopsided scores and a mercy rule went into play at some point. Everybody got to play at least two innings and have at least one at bat. I think the games were only 6 innings long.

I played for Hostler's Trading Post.

I remember riding my bike to practice and to the games. It was a small town and we rode our bikes everywhere. Our ball gloves on the handlebars, and any of the baseball fields was close enough to get to in just a few minutes.
Back in the day, the winning team always went to the A&W Root Beer stand for a celebratory mug of root beer. We would pile into the back of someone's pickup truck (yes, we rode like that back then) or ride our bikes to the A&W. At the end of the season, our sponsor took his undefeated team and coaches all out for a steak dinner!

I played for several years but was a mediocre player, at best. I played every position at one point or another, including pitcher (I was horrible) and catcher (which I kinda liked). I seemed to play better in the infield than the outfield and spent most of my time at third base.

Good memories.

John <><

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

30 Day Writing Challenge

So my daughter posted a meme with a 30 day writing challenge. I've decided to go for it, although I may not post my writing every day. Looking through the daily topics I can see that some won't be very post worthy, some I may not want to post and some I may substitute with my own subject sentence.

In any case, here is Day 1

Five problems with social media

Just five?
Oh well, I guest that we each get to choose five from the many problems with social media.

1) For me, one of the biggest problem is that social media keeps a record of your "friends" even though such a real life record doesn't exist.

If I don't know you well and don't want to count you as a friend, in real life I don't have to. We can still acknowledge that we are acquainted. We can still be civil or friendly. It doesn't mean we are really friends. The thing is, we never really say, "You're not my friend!"
Social media isn't the same. I have to decided to "friend" you or not. Or actually "unfriend" you. I think this causes bad feelings where no maliciousness was intended.

2) Even though we know that others are going to read our posts and that our posts say things that we would never say to the face of some of our readers (while we would gladly discuss them with others), we tend to feel isolated and safe in our homes behind our keyboards or phones and we write things that may hurt many of our "friends."
Then we get our feelings hurt when they "unfriend" us!

3) Face it, social media is a time suck! You don't mean to be on it for hours on end, but you are. You read and re-post articles and later find out that most of them aren't even true. Hours of your life spent wasted!

4) There are so many different venues for social media.
Back in the day, it was just My Space. Now there are social networks for everything and you can link your accounts together.

I probably spend more time on Twitter than any other venue. I often read through my Facebook feed, post some comments, but most of my Facebook posts are actually links from Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

5) And of course, the downside of the free access is all of the ads!
And because of the smart programming, the ads are targeted by key words in your own posts so they are things that are of interest. It's kind of creepy that the ads on your feed are about things that interest you.

I know that there are many other problems with social media. These are not the worst problems; they are just the ones that popped into my pea sized brain as I clicked away at the keyboard this morning. Now it's time to refill my coffee cup and get on with the day.

I hope that your day is a good one.
Feel free to share one or your problems with social media.

John <><

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cool Autumn Temps

Overnight temperatures are cooling off in the Ozarks. Nights are now in the 40s and daytime highs will be in the mid 70s for the coming week. The leaves are turning colors and many of them are falling and blanketing the lawns of our little neighborhood.

I know that there are many people that love the fall as much as they love the spring; I am not one of them.

Although I don't mind the cooler temps (and I really don't mind the hot days of summer), I really don't like the shorter hours of daylight. An early sunset is my least favorite part of winter!

I know! A retired guy that hates winter should move south. Unfortunately, Chris is still working and doesn't want to leave her friends. I guess not having friends makes packing up and moving easier.

We do have plans for a January trip to Mexico, but that is three long months away. I guess I can use that time to work on my Spanish speaking skills so I'll sound less like a tourist when we go. In the mean time, I guess I'll have to break out the sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets and start making plans for winter walks.

I'm heading for Mexico MO this afternoon for an evening show at Littleby Baptist Church.
I get to worship at my home church of Hopedale this morning!

John <><

Saturday, October 17, 2015

ATC Retirements

There have been many recent articles and news stories on the critical staffing levels of air traffic controllers. The percentage of eligible to retire controllers is still quite high and the number of new controller trainees is quite low.

Last night I was at another controller retirement party for two guys that I worked with. One had moved to a staff job several years ago and was past the age of being able to work airplanes. The other still could have worked for another year, but decided to go now.
Congratulations to both of them!

The people that made it to the party were an interesting mix. It was mostly retired controllers that were there. There were a couple of the newer controllers and a couple of the newer supervisors and just a few of the controllers that I worked with over the years. I did enjoy the night and visiting with the people that I once worked with. It would appear that retirement is agreeing with my fellow retirees.

I know that there are many factors that each eligible controller considers about when to pull the trigger and leave. Part of the pull to stay is that it really is a great career. I can honestly say that I still enjoyed working airplanes at the time I left. But I used to tell my boss that as much I liked my job, I could usually think of at least one place that I would rather be each day -- and sometimes it was just home, smoking a cigar on the deck. When it got to the point that it didn't make much sense to stay financially, it was time to go.

Although I still consider myself to be an apprentice retiree, I am enjoying it very much. I think I'll enjoy it even more when I get a new motorcycle! I like taking the little CM450 (1982) out for a ride (almost everyday) but would like something that I can take for a longer trip next summer. I would love to make a day trip or two to St. Louis for a couple of ballgames or ride to Chicago to see the kids. And I'm OK with going alone. I think that time on the motorcycle is good therapy. I always feel great after taking a long ride!

I wish the best to my new fellow retirees!
Apprenticeship in retirement is way better than training for ATC!

John <><

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Another Baseball Season Comes to an End

Well, at least it's true for most of MLB's thirty teams and it is true for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Last night the Cubs eliminated the Cardinals from post-season play as they move on to the National League Championship Series against either the Mets or the Dodgers. It's been 70 years since the Cubs have made a World Series appearance and more than a century since they have celebrated a World Series Championship.

I can't say that I'm really sad that the Cards are out of it. In fact, it is really amazing that they managed to do as well as they did this season. Being eliminated by the Cubs is a little tough to take, but it is how the quirks of the game go.

I'll continue to follow the remaining postseason games, but with a little less enthusiasm. And I'll be fine with the Cubs winning it all for all of the faithful family members and friends that have been waiting for such a moment.

In the end, the World Series winner will have very little impact on my life.
I'm sure that I'll have to put up with a little more grief if the Cubs or Royals win, but still--nothing that will have much of an impact on the day-to-day happenings of life. I didn't make nor lose anything from the Cardinal division win nor the series loss.

I'll watch a little Blues hockey in the off season and follow the winter baseball talks and off season signings of players. In a way, I suppose that the off season is good for the fans, too -- a time to rest and recover and get ready for next year.

I did watch a few minutes of the Democratic candidates' debate last night, but then switched the channel to watch the Mets and Dodgers play game four of their series to a series tie. It was far more interesting than the debate.

Today looks like another beautiful day in the Ozarks and we have plans to spend it with friends on a short day trip. It's mid-week for you working folks so enjoy the second half of the week.

John <><

You win some games and you lose some games; some games get rained out.
But you dress for them all, 'cause you're in the Big Leagues!  --

Thursday, October 08, 2015

It Should be the Weekend

I know it's only Thursday, but it really feels like it should be the weekend already!
Yeah, yeah...I know--every day is a weekend when you're retired. But not this week. I feel like it has been a long week already--a good week, but a long week.

We wrapped up the revival at FBC Richland last night and had another good night. There were quite a few kids and families and the folks at FBC Richland did a great job of inviting friends and bringing in some good food! Since I had dinner with Chris before making the drive to Richland, I mostly just snacked on the homemade peanut butter cookies.

I suppose it was the 180 mile round trip for four consecutive days that made the week seem long. But the positive energy and experience at each service has a way of keeping you going. But now that it is over...well, I just feel kind of drained.

There were several professions of faith in Jesus as Savior this week; both kids and adults. I know that Pastor Bob will be following up to make certain that these new believers are baptized and discipled. The young minister of worship did a great job of bringing us to throne each and every service. The church is very blessed to have a wonderful collection of staff and volunteer servants. I really do hope to be invited back to serve with them in the future.

I've been thinking that it might be time to put together a brochure of some kind. While working, I really had as much evangelism work as I wanted to go along with my full time controller gig. Now that I'm retired though, maybe I should do more in the area of promotion.

It's a bit of a fine line, though.
I don't want to come off as a carnival barker or a vendor that is pitching his wares. I really do try very hard to make certain that I don't come off that way. I think that we (evangelical preachers) often sound like high pressure salesman with a product to sell. Far too often, there seems to be a push to have people respond in great numbers so that we can feed our egos and boast of the numbers of people that come to Jesus through our ministries.
Self promotion seems counter-intuitive to the life of a preacher that seeks to exalt Jesus rather than promoting one's self. I've had brochures in the past and only used them in our Fellowship of Missouri Baptist Evangelists' (FMBE) booth at different conferences or state events. I've never really tried to market for events or bookings. Word of mouth recommendations and conference appearances have been my primary source for bookings. I'm not really sure how I feel about doing it any other way.

I would be interested in hearing some feedback from my readers (both believing church goers and non-believers) on the subject of sharing Jesus vs selling salvation. What are your perceptions of preachers/evangelists?

Feel free to be as specific or as general as you like.

John <><

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

My life on a Tuesday in October...

It's a Tuesday afternoon and I am killing time in a Buffalo Wild Wings away from home. I made the early drive to Richland MO for tonight's revival meeting to have lunch with a ladies' group at the church. Now I am just waiting until the evening for tonight's service.

For all practical purposes, tonight is the close of the regular revival meetings. I'll be back tomorrow, but it will be a family night and magic show kind of service. It will be dinner and a show and there will be many guests in attendance. I am really looking forward to it.

I am also looking forward to tonight.
Sort of...

It is a strange feeling as an evangelist comes to the close of a series of meetings. We leave and often never hear of nor see the results of the time we've spent at a church.
We plant seeds, we water, we cultivate; but we often don't get to see the harvest.
And sometimes we harvest where we have done none of the work.
It can be difficult to maintain the heart and attitude of a servant and laborer, trusting God to be glorified in our simple words and deeds.

I hope that my brothers and sisters at FBC Richland will continue to share the simple statements of "God loves you," and "Jesus died for you."
I hope that they will ask the question, "Who is Jesus to you?" and share the Jesus that they know.
I hope that talking about their faith becomes as easy and natural as talking about their favorite sports team, restaurant or any other part of their life.
I hope that the Kingdom will continue to grow as they glorify God by lifting up the name of His Son, Jesus.
I hope.

These folks are not that far from home and I will see some of them in the spring at the Pulaski Association Evangelism Conference. I am looking forward to a good report.

But let's face it... goes on.

It is far easier to fall back into our old patterns than it is to establish new ones.
If it is our habit to engage in small talk and never delve into more serious topics of life, death and eternity--well, it is what we will probably continue to do.
If we have lived with a fear of exposing ourselves by sharing our deeply held convictions, then a preacher's words over a few short days will have little effect when it comes to a life altering experience.

I think that there are many of us that claim to be Christians that do a pretty poor job of living out our faith on a daily basis. Often, it takes all of our energy just to endure the day and the struggles and challenges that are a part of our day -- every day. We are challenged to endure our own day and have little time to worry about other people that cross our path. In truth, they are often obstacles rather than people to be considered. If they have problems and struggles (and they do), they'll have to find their own ways to deal with them. We can barely manage to deal with our own.

Somebody else will have to tell them that God loves them.
Somebody else will have to tell them that Jesus died for them.

But what if nobody else does?
What if God has placed them in your path so that you can tell them?
What if sharing God's love with them is your intended blessing for today?
What if their struggle is worse than yours?
What if you are their relief?
...and they are yours?

Be a blessing to
Offer a kind word, a helping hand.
Tell them, "God loves you. Jesus died for you."

Be the bearer of Good News!

John <><

Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Dark Side

You know that the dark side of the moon isn't really always dark, right?
We just never see the far side from our vantage point on Earth.

The moon has a unique characteristic in that its rotational period (spinning on its axis) and its revolutionary period (the time it takes to orbit the Earth) are the same. That means that the same side of the moon always faces towards the Earth. At the New Moon phase, the far side of the moon (what we refer to as the dark side) is in full sunlight. We just can't see it! The side facing the Earth is now the dark side.

I was thinking about how we sometimes refer to ourselves or others as having a dark side, a side that nobody sees. But really, the dark side comes into full view of the sun on a regular basis. While we can keep a part of ourselves hidden from others with the same perspective, we cannot hide ourselves from ourselves (with an inward perspective) nor can we hide ourselves from God (who sees from afar).

For the most part, I try to be pretty transparent. However, I am also very much aware of people and their harsh and often misplaced judgments. I think that it is often best to keep some thoughts and things from certain people. As I have mentioned before, I am not a very trusting person and there are few people that know me really well. I've learned that it isn't important that everyone knows what I am thinking all of the time, especially when I'm thinking that they're stupid, ignorant, self-centered, narcissistic morons. (Yes, I have my own harsh and sometimes misplaced judgments.)

So yeah, I have an unseen side. I call my dark side Ugly John. Most of the time he shouts (or whispers) to me from the far reaches of a dark dungeon where I try to keep him locked away. It's better that way.

I wonder about some people. I tend to believe that they have no really dark side. They seem to be genuinely nice people that are in complete control of themselves and their emotions at all times. Is it possible? Or do they also have a dark personality locked away in a deep, dark dungeon?

We probably all know people that need to lock away their ugly side. It would seem that their ugly side is in control and has their good side locked in away in a dungeon (or perhaps a tall tower). It's like they always show their dark side and we never see the good!

What do you think, my reading friends? Do you have a dark side? Or is it more of a what you see is what you get personality?
What about others?
We might agree that there are people that are always ugly, but are there people that are really always nice?

John <><

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Hmmm...Retirement plus Part-time work?

For some time now, the FAA has been transitioning away from government employees for many staff jobs (like training) and hiring training personnel from a contract employer. Before I retired, my manager had suggested that when the SGF-ATCT (Springfield MO Air Traffic Control Tower) staff person retired, he would probably be replaced by a part-time contract worker. (Most of them are retired controllers.) I think he was hinting that I might want to consider that.

Well, yesterday he retired.
And today (apparently) a job opening was posted for the contract position.
And I had two different people call me to tell me about it -- just in case I am interested.

Before I retired I had indicated that I might be interested in such an arrangement. Now, I am not so sure.
The thought of having to get up at a certain time to be at work -- even just a couple of days per week -- doesn't really appeal to me. However, I'm not entirely certain that I want to dismiss the idea completely just yet.

Money isn't really an issue (although, who couldn't use a little more of it?), so that isn't going to be a driving factor in my decision. Personnel at the tower is pretty much equally split between people I'd like to see regularly, people that I'm indifferent about seeing and people that I really have no desire to see. I guess it will come down to finding out exactly what is involved and whether or not I think that it will be worth the compensation. The only way to really do that is to go through the process. 

Under normal circumstances, it would probably only be about 8 hours per week. However, there is a lot of training at SGF right now so it may be closer to a full time position for a little while. But it would be all weekday hours, no nights, no weekends, no holidays. 

Maybe I'll have to think about it for a little while.

John <><