A favorite, inspirational video

So let us cut to the chase and view exactly what is going through my head and inspiring me to write.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, just going through the post-Christmas pre-New Year’s part of the year pondering the next.
Traditionally, we’re still going through the 12 days of Christmas.
Jesus’ birthday seemed even less spiritual this year despite repeated viewings of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and reading the nativity passage from the Gospel of Luke.
The holiday seems over and done with as the decorations come down and the gift wrap gets thrown out.
Trying to find ways to keep entertained, I’ve been watching classic movies I’ve missed such as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” on my new Kindle Fire.
Also re-reading “Spellsinger” as noted in my last blog entry. I’m sure I’ll write more about that next year.
A big thank you to my thoughtful roommates for the Kindle Fire gift.
Haven’t figured out how to text or write effectively on the Kindle yet, though.
Any movie suggestions welcome.
Will probably watch “The Hustler” next as it is considered a classic.
I’ll go out with a new video that showed up in my Facebook newsfeed thanks to Zooey Deschanel.

Zooey, I’m free but would need a babysitter for my daughter if you’re thinking about Times Square.


Christmas time is here…

Ho, ho, ho and have a holly, jolly Christmas.

Yeah, right.

Try feeling that way when you’ve been called incompetent and someone yells to speak to your supervisor.

But I’m still feeling good this season despite what seems like determined attempts to bring me down.

One reason, for all six of my readers, is a comment from a reader who said “You write good friend. Check out my website at….” Of course, I couldn’t go there because it was blocked by Bluecoat, a sort of net nanny corporations use. I think he was trying to pitch something, sort of like all the girls on MySpace telling me they want to be my friend and then leaving a link to a website you have to pay to enter to see their photos. I don’t want to. Not interested.

By the way, I started a blog here because I got tired of such solicitations there and at another site. I wanted to focus more on news, but then repented and wanted to focus on Christianity. Then I couldn’t decide whose Christianity because it didn’t seem like there was a consensus out there. So then I started reading “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis and decided maybe I should give it a rest for a while lest I write something that steers someone the wrong way.

Those latest kudos from my “friend” were the closest thing to a Christmas present I’m getting except for the usual coal. Not that anyone including myself cares. I’m happy despite this. About half my Christmas shopping is done.

Along with the coal this year there also seems to be a more malevolent attitude. So I’m going to be brave here and put out a request for a Bobblehead Jesus. Here is the site link http://shipoffools.com/Products/gadgets/bobble.html .

The hope for levity arose about the same time Black Friday took place, brokered by a tide of calls where customers seemed a bit more on edge than usual.  Yes, I work in a call center where employee benefits are handled. These callers have just gone through annual benefits enrollment. Many missed it. More didn’t and are still unhappy.

I’m not a grinch or Scrooge. This is my favorite time of year. But this year either I’m more sensitive or people really are being a bit nastier to each other and I than usual.

Maybe it’s because the Dallas Cowboys are in first place in the NFC East Division.

Maybe it’s because I keep reminding people that and that I grew up in Dallas and once worked in Texas Stadium as a fundraiser with a Boy Scout troop.

Or it could be the weather – snow today. Or the news.

Allergies did seem to be running rampant around here.

One caller apologized to me after barking into the phone and said it’s the stress of the holiday season. Okay, apology accepted. Accept mine if I retaliate with a bad attitude instead of realizing it’s not about me.

And we need to focus people.  

Like this – what happened at my son’s recent decade of decadence celebration (aka 10th Birthday). He selected my daughter’s seemingly insignificant gift of a short kid’s book to read to the guests.
I’d tried to talk her out of it. It seemed self-serving – a child’s book with flashing lights and music aimed more at a 6-year-old.
My boy told everybody to quite down and reverently read the book – the lyrics to “O Little Town of Bethlehem” – to the 10 males and one tiny female gathered in the 15 x 15 basement.

My son read the first verse of the song, but the all the lyrics bear repeating, especially the last verse.

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel  


Nagged into horseplay

My daughter saddled up and rode away on her first real fad this week.

Not normally one to follow the herd, she succumbed after seeing horse-themed trading cards on a trip to Target.

It had been a good week for us all.

The children finished chores on time and now both were due their promised rewards.

My son, 9, bought football cards – a welcome departure from a popular trading card game he’d spent a couple of hundred dollars of chore money on.

The same trading card game had also inspired him to move up to electronic gaming and break at least two portable gaming devices.

Now my hopes were the Bobby Knight of electronic gaming would move into a more physical pastime of football.

My other child, a 6-year-old girl, debated purchasing either High School Musical 2 cards or some horse cards I’d never seen.

She bolted for the horses.

This meant research.

My son related he’d seen girls at his school playing with the horse-themed cards. He said it proved popular among the female gender (not his exact words, but close).

His sister snagged the next-to-last box on the rack at Target, meaning either they were on clearance or a popular item.

This meant more research – something must be going on in the kid world I wasn’t aware of, something beyond High School Musical 2, Hannah Montana or the Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

There are, of course, other online games played at the library or home. We frequent Disney.com, Nick.com and Nickjr.com.

Being in moving mode with the laptop packed away, the playing card purchase meant a trip to the local library – no problem since it’s our normal before-kindergarten hangout anyway – and deciphering how to use the website.

Before the library opened, our wanderings in the physical world took us to a pharmacy selling lifelike dog and cat robots. The furry robots lay asleep in a pet bed with their chests rising and falling. Impressed for about five seconds until finding out they weren’t real, my daughter moved on.

It was to be all about horses this beautiful October day.

Once settling in and signing in at the library, off we surfed to www.bellasara.com where a press release reads:

“Bella Sara, the horse-themed trading-card game, has won three new parenting awards: the iParenting Outstanding Product award, the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, and the Creative Child Seal of Excellence. 

“Designed by a Danish social worker to help young girls express their feelings, the cards feature horses, real and mythical. Enter each horse’s code online, and it comes to life in a stable where it needs to be fed, watered and groomed.”

 The press release goes on to say “Each Bella Sara trading card features a stunningly designed and imaginatively artistic horse image along with an inspirational saying that promotes inner beauty, emotional strength and self-worth.”

Both my daughter and I could barely contain our excitement.

After logging in, we discovered Bella Sara was a point-and-click type activity/game featuring horses needing virtual nurturing.

Time constraints (had to get her to the school bus) kept us from getting much more out of the virtual horse world but she managed to care for a horse given her named Peter. His “inspirational saying” was “Believe in Happy Thoughts. Then You Can Do Anything.”

My daughter shrugged off the saying and went right into caring for the horse, brushing it clean, feeding it apples and oats and then cleaning the stable.

She asked me if she did a good job and I indicated bar charts that showed her the equine was indeed clean, happy and well-fed.

My daughter had time for a quick jousting game that proved difficult for her and then broke and ran across the library for the comfort of Dr. Seuss.

She used some of his characters to create a story on a felt board. I felt bad when I had to round her up and head for the bus stop.

We plan more trips into the world of Bella Sara as I research just how one trots around the site.

Yet more trips will revolve around reading stories and using imagination on the library’s cool felt board.

The horse card site and its kin are cool for kids. Lisa Davis, a special contributor to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, wrote a good description in their Oct. 1 issue about such sites that can be read here http://www.star-telegram.com/408/story/253062.html.

Thankfully, my children don’t get or want much internet time for such.

And if possible I’d rather not pony up the cash.