Friday, January 29, 2010

Kurt Warner

"Whether I'm a Super Bowl Champion or a regular guy stocking groceries at the Hy-Vee, sharing my faith and glorifying Jesus is the central focus of my time on earth." -Kurt Warner-
Thanks for the memories Kurt.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


"To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism - it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." -Conan O'Brien-

I will miss the Conan O'Brien version of the Tonight Show. Personally I think he is a lot funnier than Leno or Letterman. His final show last week Friday was awesome and finished well. I have been stuck on his words of encouragement before joining Will Ferrell for a hilarious version of Free Bird to end the show. I do not understand why I tend to be so cynical. There are obvious factors such as my relatively young age, being an American, and growing up having a lot of things. But why I choose to take a bitter, pessimistic outlook on situations, people, and things must mainly come because I choose to be a cynic. That choice, like the choice for many people, comes from not getting everything I think I should get. This is more then just stuff. It includes opportunities, experiences, and "good luck." For whatever reason, when denied anything I feel like I am deserved it leads to adding more bitterness to my life. I don't know how to break through it all - other then to simply stop being cynical. Cold turkey. No more cynicism. We'll see how it turns out, but for now I am simply thankful for the encouragement Mr. O'Brien.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


"He [Tweed] did everything on a grand scale and left a trail of clashing images: the outgoing, backslapping leader uniting the city and helping the poor; the conniving schemer lining his pocket and monopolizing power; the victim of politically driven prosecutors; the guilty architect of the largest municipal fraud in history. Tweed proudly insisted he had always kept his word, even while fixing a vote or skimming a contract. In the end, even after his epic crimes becasem public knowledge, people respected his integrity, especially in facing his accusers, serving time in jail, and, in the end, confessing his guilt. It made him an oddly moral man for the most outrageous thief of his generation." (Ackerman, Kenneth D., Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conconceived the Soul of Modern New York, New York: Carrol & Graf Publishers, 2005).

Polarizing. I just finished Ackerman's excellent study on the life of William Tweed. In a general look back in history, all we see is a man who stole millions (today's billions) in graft & illegal contracts. A man who destroyed the financial structure of New York City. A man who died in prison - a place he earned a placement in. Yet, as the book pointed out - there is far more to the man, myth, and legend of Boss Tweed. His perceptions on politics, leadership, corruption, and people were ingenious if not outright devious most of the time. I found myself strangely supporting the guy even as I read accounts of his thievery. On one hand, I cheered some of his actions on, while on the other hand I supported Tilden & Co. for bringing him to justice. In the end, I am left looking at a guy who not only polarized politics in 19th century New York City - but also polarized the inner feelings of people then and now alike. If nothing else, we learn that charisma, wit, and personality go a long ways in winning the hearts of people. And that is the greatest path towards success.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

No Space for Politics

I like the announcement of former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush coming together and being commissioned by current President Barack Obama to spearhead a relief effort for Haiti. This is a time to set aside political differences and discover that in joining together we form the best opportunity to help. Politics do not have a place in relief & compassion. If we could only realize that more often - perhaps we could help the people of this world out a lot better.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I am still in shock over the brutal and senseless words of Pat Robertson the other day in regards to the tragedy in Haiti. How a person could speak out against a people in utter misery and to essentially applaud the death and destruction as an act of God in revenge is beyond belief. The worst part is that Pat continues to be the spokesperson for those who claim to follow the path and ways of Jesus Christ. Of course, many believers will say he does not represent them - but until there is a unifed stance by the church against people like him, we will continue to be lumped in with losers like him. I see nothing but hate, evil, and a lust for attention when Pat Robertson speaks up like he did. And for what gain? What possible good does it to bring up his own personal beliefs? Throughout the Bible we see a God who who is passionate about the hurting & downtrodden. Even in the midst of our worst depravity - sin - we see a God that desires above all else, reconciliation. Right now is a time for love, care, and compassion. What the people of Haiti need - is for the the world to embrace them in their sorrow and anguish and help them. Money, supplies, time, and prayer should all be sent to Haiti. Instead, Pat used his time to spread a message of pure hate. Way to go Pat. You just showed us who Jesus Christ is not.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


"To me history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn't just part of our civic responsibility. To me it's an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is."
-David McCullough-

I absolutely love history. I think about it. I dream about it. I read about it. My mind jumps to historical comparisons like it does to Seinfeld, Friends, or Scrubs episodes. Every time I read a new book - I fall in love with another time period, person, or experience of the past. I enjoy journaling and thinking about how we as people could do life so much better if we could simply learn from our past failures. What thrills and joy I get from being able to convey something historical that has true ramifications today. Quite simply, history is the thing that helps me feel alive & passionate. Now the question is how do I take that and incorporate it into the rest of my life & responsibilities?

Monday, January 11, 2010

What if...

A loss is a loss. The way the defense played the Packers deserved to lose. But what if the officials would have called the penalty they should have on this final play. Apparently in Arizona - it is legal to grab the facemask.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I recently finished a book on Leonardo da Vinci. Although the book was only so-so, there were some interesting things I discovered about Leonardo (the guy was totally unreliable - literally most people figured he would not finish a project when they gave it to him). The two things though that stuck out the most to me were Leonardo's views on: experience & opportunities. As 2010 starts, I find myself in pretty much the same position I was in during 2009. I believe I am afraid and I therefore never take opportunities as they present themselves. The consequence is that I never experience anything beyond that which I feel completely comfortable with. The downside is that I think I miss out & will continue to miss out on so much. Charles Nicholl uses a quote from Leonardo in regards to opportunitism where Leonardo stated, "fortune must be grasped by the hair as she passes - not a moment too late, for behind she is bald." I think that is an incredibly true axiom for life itself. If I fail to grab it in the moment - I'll lose part of it forever. 2010 cannot be another year I simply let slide by. I must make this year different by taking on new challenges, experiencing new paths, and most of all, seizing hold of each moment and not being afraid to do what I truly think I am suppose to do with my life. The only alternative is to simply "keep on keeping" and realize my life is but a mere use of time.