Well, Kellen still gets to stay home with mom, but Trenton is now officially an all-day student in first grade and Sawyer has just started the journey with two days a week in preschool.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Roland Huntford, The Last Place on Earth, (New York: Random House, 1999), 532.
2012 has provided us with a plethora of examples of men & women striving for goals that are far bigger than the ordinary dreams of most of us. Mitt Romney & Barack Obama seek the White House in a time of economic uncertainty and unrest in America. Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Usain Bolt, and countless other athletes have sought glory and honor in the Olympic games. Queen Elizabeth II became only the second Monarch to reach her Diamond Jubilee in terms of length of service. And recently, NASA's Curiosity touched down on Mars hoping to discover a wealth of new information. All of these events will cement the legacies of these people for years to come. For me, it is easy to become wrapped up in the accomplishments of the 'great' allowing me to experience, even at a distance, the wonder of truly doing something amazing.
Recently I wrapped up Roland Huntford's stellar masterpiece The Last Place on Earth about the race to the South Pole between Roald Amundsen & Robert Falcon Scott. The comparisons of the choices, visions, and decisions made by those two legendary explorers are absolutely riveting. Each of them reached for the ultimate goal of getting to the last place on Earth not touched by the foot of man. In our current era it is easy to lose sight of the significance of this since we are quite able to go "anywhere" with ease and comfort. The unknown in many ways has already been accomplished for us. As a result, we can do far more things & many of us face far less challenges in getting them done.
Despite this, though, the dream of Amundsen (in particular to Scott) remains quite challenging to me in terms of the scope of his vision & spirit to accomplish it. It took tremendous courage & tenacity for him to get to the Pole. Many people did not see the need or reason to even do it. It took more than the right materials, money for expenses, and planning to pull it off (although as was clearly seen in the story - all of those were crucial). What it took was spirit & will to attain the seemingly impossible in a world of unknowns. I admire his answer to those questioning him why go to the Pole - "small minds have only room for bread and butter." Ordinary thinking & dreaming would have never thought to even tread close to it or even worse would have simply dreamed but never stepped forward to accomplish anything. In our current era of big goals & accomplishments, we must remember that none of them were achieved by people with "bread and butter" mindsets & spirits. Our minds & spirits must be stretched to move us beyond the possible so that by walking in the unknown we just might do something bigger than we ever could have hoped for. Stop living in the shadow of others doing great things - step forward & succeed in doing something incredible yourself.
Posted by Landon at 10:50 AM
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
- My days I devote to reading and to experiments in chemistry, and I spend many of the clear nights in the study of astronomy. There is - though I don't know how there is or why there is - a sense of infinite peace and protection in the glittering hosts of heaven. There it must be, I think, in the vast and eternal laws of matter, and not in the daily cares and sins and troubles of men, that whatever is more than animal within us must find its solace and its hope. I hope, or I could not live. Kindle Location 1633-39
- Very much indeed of what we call moral education, he said, is such an artificial modification and perversion of instinct; pugnacity is trained into courageous self-sacrifice, and suppressed sexuality into religious emotion. Kindle Location 849-50
- I say I became habituated to the Beast People, that a thousand things which had seemed unnatural and repulsive speedily became natural and ordinary to me. I suppose everything in existence takes its colour from the average hue of our surroundings. Kindle Location 1010-12
- I must confess that I lost faith in the sanity of the world when I saw it suffering the painful disorder of this island. A blind Fate, a vast pitiless Mechanism, seemed to cut and shape the fabric of existence and I, Moreau (by his passion for research), Montgomery (by his passion for drink), the Beast People with their instincts and mental restrictions, were torn and crushed, ruthlessly, inevitably, amid the infinite complexity of its incessant wheels. Kindle Location 1173-76
H.G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau, (New York: Modern Library, 1996), Kindle DX.
Posted by Landon at 8:21 PM
Sunday, March 4, 2012
...the leper (Mark 1:40-44) who met Jesus had both a disease (say, psoriasis) and an illness, the personal and social stigma of uncleanness, isolation, and rejection. And as long as the disease stayed or got worse, the illness also would stay or get worse. In general, if the disease went, the illness went with it. What, however, if the disease could not be cured but the illness could somehow be healed?
Posted by Landon at 6:48 PM
Friday, February 24, 2012
Posted by Landon at 4:57 PM
Friday, January 20, 2012
Posted by Landon at 11:31 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012
Robert was beginning a new life. As the director of a weapons laboratory that would integrate the diverse efforts of the far-flung sites of the Manhattan Project and mold them quickly into a usable atomic weapon, he would have to conjure up skills he did not yet have, deal with problems he had never imagined, develop work habits entirely at odds with his previous lifestyle, and adjust to attitudes and modes of behavior (such as security considerations) that were emotionally awkward and alien to his experience. It is not too much of an exaggeration to suggest that in order to succeed, at age thirty-nine, Robert Oppenheimer would have to remake a significant part of his personality if not his intellect, and he was going to have to do all this in short order. Every aspect of his new job was on a fast-track schedule. Very few things - including Oppenheimer's transformation - could meet that impossible schedule; yet it is a measure of his commitment and willpower that he came very close.
Posted by Landon at 5:30 PM