Saturday, October 27, 2007

Concert Tonight

It rained this weekend. Good news as we needed the rain. Better news, because now I am free to go listen to one of my favorite local groups, Grey Eye Glances. They are playing in Delaware for the first time. It's about an hour from here so definitely commutable.

I thought I was going to be spending my Saturday watching football games. But the rains made them postpone the high school football games which in turn postponed my son's football games. So instead of watching football in the rain, I'll be off to a club listening to a great band. Sunday, instead, I'll be doing the football scene.

Sunday night, I head off to a global meeting I am leading Monday and Tuesday. It is going to be a busy weekend getting ready for that plus some work assignments my boss requested to be completed by Monday. Better get to work!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Prayers for my Uncle Mike

My Uncle Mike talks tough and is a typical New Yorker. But he hides a big heart and would do anything for his family and friends. He has worked hard his entire life and retired a year or two ago. He worked for Pan Am in various jobs until they went out of business and has had a variety of jobs since then. He loves his two daughters and his wife and feels he has had a good life. Last Spring, while enjoying his retired life, he began going to the gym twice a day in an effort to get healthier and lose some weight. Suddenly, he began having trouble breathing and underwent a series of tests. Turns out all the chemicals he was exposed to during his years at the airline have irreversibly damaged his lungs. He needs a lung transplant or he will probably die in the near future.

Things were looking good for Mike. He's undergoing tests for his transplant; the tests were started in time for him to make the age cutoff for the transplant list. The doctors were optimistic about his chances. I found out tonight that he is in the hospital with a lung infection. Any illness is obviously dangerous for him.

Mike loves children and he likes to "torment" them. When my children were younger, my daughter was afraid of him and didn't want to go to Gram's or Aunt Julie's if Uncle Mike was going to be there. He used to pretend to chew her hair. After a few years, she realized he was not anyone to be afraid of. Above you can see my niece getting the best of Mike.

Mike is a very open and honest man who sees things clearly in black and white. That doesn't mean he doesn't have compassion. He believes that family and commitment are the most important things in life and he lives life that way. If a man gives his word, he needs to honor that pledge. Being ill is hard for him in that he is used to working hard and doing for himself. Not being able to do things like work on his cars or paint the fence is very hard for him. He is accepting of his fate saying he's had a good life, a happy family, beautiful daughters, a good wife and a year of retirement. He's made amends with who he needs to and is at peace no matter what happens to him.

I pray that we keep him around a little longer. We can use more people like him.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Another Monday, Another Ambulance

Every Monday night football game, it seems, we have to call an ambulance to the game. Usually it is for one of the opposing team players - we've had several possible spinal injuries - and it is scary to watch them get strapped into the boards and carted off in the ambulance. Once it was for a spectator who somehow tripped and fell into a street sign, smashing up their nose very badly and also possibly injuring his neck.

Tonight it was for one of our players and the initial thought is that he messed up his ACL. He was having a great game up to that point and had scored a touchdown. We won 33-6 and there were a lot of great plays by our team. My son scored a touchdown and had some other great runs. One of his friends was the boy who got hurt. His parents took it very well, but I thought his grandmother was going to have a heart attack. She was shaking uncontrollably and had an anxiety attack.

Two more weeks of football and then we go into the play-offs. After football, basketball starts fairly quickly. Last year, Jason broke his collarbone about this same time and missed the end of the season and the beginning of basketball. Last weekend, my nephew broke his arm badly playing football down in Alabama. Dangerous game, but they love playing so much and enjoy the physical contact. My son is not a very big kid but he is very tough and can lay out the biggest opponents. I wonder at myself sometimes when I am proud that he's "flattened" another player and the other player has a hard time getting up. And, I wonder how they can tell the other player, after they've been flattened, that it was a good hit and he did a good job.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Great Decider

Unfortunately, President Bush was in my hometown the other day. Luckily I was at work 80 miles away and didn't have to deal with him and his entourage. He came here to announce why he was vetoing the Children's Healthcare bill.

From the newspaper, I got a list of Bushisms that he managed to say while here. It's enough to make you cry that this man is the President of the United States.

My job is a decision-making job. And as a result, I make a lot of decisions.

I always tell Condi Rice, "I want to remind you, Madam Secretary, who has the Ph.D. and who was the C student. And I want to remind you who the advisor is and who the president is.

I got a lot of Ph.D. types and smart people around me who come into the Oval Office and say, "Mr President, here's what's on my mind." And I listen carefully to their advice. But having gathered the device (sic), I decide, you know, I say, "This is what we're going to do." And it's "Yes, sir, Mr President." And then we get after it, implement policy.

When talking about cutting taxes, he said
You know, when you give a man more money in his pocket -- in this case a woman more money in her pocket -- to expand a business, it -- they build buildings. And when somebody builds a new building, somebody has got to come and build the building. And when the building expanded, it prevented (sic) additional opportunities for people to work.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Foy Vance and his new album, Hope

Don't think it has been released in the States yet, but I got a copy that Foy sent to my cousin. Great album! I really like the quote that Foy put in his cover notes. It came from a book called "Music Lovers Quotations" that he found in a thrift store. I understand why Foy said it took his breath away.

I tell the story of love, the story of sorrow, the story that saves and the story that destroys...I am the smoke which palls over the field of battle where men die with me on their lips.

I am close to the marriage altar, and when the grave opens I stand nearby. I call the wanderer home, I rescue the soul from the depths; I open the lips of lovers and through me the dead whisper to the living.

One I serve as I serve all, and the leaders I make my slaves as easily as I subject their slaves. I speak through the birds of the air, the insects of the field, the crash of waters on rock ribbed shores, the sighing of the winds in the trees and I am even heard by the soul that knows me in the clatter of wheels on the city streets"
-- Anonymous