Mixed Salad of Thoughts

Friday, September 26, 2008

Political Spectrum...How color blind are you?

For tonight's presidential debate we'll be setting up a screen in the middle of a field.

Democrats can sit on the right, Republicans on the left.
Those in the Green Party can sit on the grass, while Libertarians can stand on their own two feet.
Anarchists can, and will, stand in front of the screen, while Communists and Socialists try to convince Democrats and Republicans to share chairs with them.
Those unaffiliated with any political party or movement may sit behind the screen and watch and critique the viewers of the debate.

Headphones will be available to those interested in actually hearing what the candidates have to say, but simultaneous translation and skewing of ideas based your political mindset will occur immediately upon hearing. Transcripts for later reading will be written by the local media outlets in your region and may not indicate precisely what was said.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

An amazing Tribute

I just got the following email, forwarded to me from my mother:

Since coming to Maine, Allen and I have learned so much about the housing shortage here. There is a huge need for low income/affordable housing here. I calculated this morning that we have provided low income housing for at least 24 families (not including our own) and one small business, here in Maine. Allen has been researching the market and continues to work diligently in this field. We recently have been given the opportunity to to start a non profit organization for low income housing and we've decided to start it in honor of Dave. Had it not been for Dave's undying patience with me in teaching me how to fix all the little things and big things that we've come across, not to mention his constant telephone support, and love and encouragement that I could do anything, we probably would never have gotten into the real estate arena. We are also so grateful to the two of you for your part in our union as husband and wife.

We are planning on naming this non profit "David Neil Brown Housing". We are in contract already to purchase 75 acres of land in Hallowell Maine. The town of Hallowell is thrilled that we are doing this and is offering 100% financing for the new construction, because it seems, that they have just written a new plan for their town and it included the need to focus on affordable housing.


Best wishes and all our love to you,
Connie (and Allen)

Way to make me bawl at work!

I'm so touched and amazed. What an awesome tribute to my Dad!

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Work Smarter, Not Harder...or Work Harder, Not Dumber...

I've come to the realization recently that no matter what kind of promotion or additional work I'm offered at my current job I will not feel challenged. Certainly they can give me all sorts of things to do that will be stressful, and could keep me so busy I wouldn't have time to breathe, and I might think "Well finally, I'm being productive because I have a lot to do and I'm getting it done" and I might react well to the pressure of having so much to do and really step-up my game....But that doesn't mean I'll really be challenged.

Think of it like this: if you asked me to add up a bunch of single digit numbers--5+2, 7+3, 8+6, etc., I'd be busy. If you gave me hundreds of those equations to solve I'd be really busy. If you added double digit numbers and multiplication I'd be busy and the work would be harder--But regardless of how many of those equations you gave me and how much adding and multiplying and division and subtraction you asked me to do I wouldn't be challenged.I know how to do this work and I can do much more complicated math with little "real" thinking. My brain wouldn't be struggling...just working--and struggle and challenge is what makes us grow. Striving to overcome something increases your abilities. We are creatures of limitless potential and if we are not constantly working at increasing our abilities I, for one, think it is a waste. Not only is it a waste, but it creates, in me at least, a sort of stagnant lethargy that taps away my momentum and growth in all areas of life.

There are ways, of course, of learning from every task we do. I could spend the time adding those numbers practicing patience, accuracy, and increasing my computational speed. I could use my frustration over the mundane tasks as a way to work on my humility and on being thankful for the opportunity to serve. It is true we can all learn lessons through even the most routine of tasks, but could we not learn similar skills while working on something challenging?

How normal is it to not be challenged? Aren't most people in jobs they will eventually master...and then what?

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

I want out.

How many times have I written this post?

Really? I think at least once a year and often times more I just get the itch. I just feel like I want to jump ship or run away or whatever cliche expression you want to put to it.

I feel lost: I don't know where I am and I don't know where I'm going--LOST.

I look at jobs on job boards and can't find a single query that gives me any result I'd even vaguely be interested in. I ponder what it would be like to sell most my stuff, put the rest in storage and move somewhere...anywhere... and then just find a job to pay the bills...any job. Would I be happy as a waitress in Portland? How about in Paris? Would I enjoy teaching English in Korea? Would I be happy as a receptionist in South Africa? Where? What?

I know this often happens to me with the changing of the seasons, with the oncoming cold. I know it rained all day today and I was consequently in a kind of crummy mood. I know all this, and I know that days from now I may not feel this as strongly...but won't it still be there?

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Separation makes the heart grow fonder?

My father's birthday was/is/would be September 10th.

I don't know if there is something I'm supposed to do.

I kind of want to do something. I kind of wish I was in Ohio so I could bring flowers, or football scores, or something to his gravesite.

Ideas anyone?

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