November 24, 2007

Say Hello to My Little Friend!

No pictures! No pictures! Damn Paparazzi!
This is Gestalt. I picked him up at Ikea. I had a similar one (more articulate and more expensive) when I was in college. Somehow, he moved on.
I think the bottom pose may become the image attached to my profile. What do you think?

November 18, 2007

Lessons Learned as a Child - Part Two

A continuation of lessons found here:

1. The two best flavors of ice cream are vanilla and whatever flavor Daddy is eating.
2. The ground hurts your head, no matter how close you are to the ground when you fall.
3. Do not honk the horn when Daddy is working on the car.
4. Cats are mean. Especially when you pull on their tails.
5. Fish really like baths. They never seem to get clean, though.
6. Daddy is ALWAYS grumpy at 4:30 a.m.
7. Mommy must be afraid of the monsters, too. She never checks all of the hiding places like Daddy does.
8. Mommy has a three "why?" limit. I don't know why.
9. Cookies always taste better when Grandma makes them.
10. Grandpa buys me the best toys, like drums and horns. But I can only play them when I go home.
11. No matter how bad I hurt, mommy's kiss makes it all better.
12. I have it too easy. Daddy reminds me of this every day.

November 17, 2007

Ikea is a Four-Letter Word

So Thursday last, I ventured into Ikea for the very first time. It just opened the day before, so the excitement and buzz about it was still strong. My wife, no stranger to Ikea (she's visited others), was making her second trip in as many days. Many people had told me it was not a store, but an experience. Now I understand. For the three other people in the entire world who haven't been in one, and to get this out of my head, let me share my thoughts.
My wife, bless her heart, wanted so much to prepare me for this. I did not wish to have my visit tainted with any fore-knowledge. I wanted to jump in blindly and immerse myself without a clue. She allowed me this to start. Within 15 seconds upon entering, I turned to my knowing partner (smiling like the Cheshire Cat) and said, "What the hell!?!" She knows I am really a big-picture guy and this was not going to be any fun if she did not give me the lay of the land. And even with her apt description, I was still befuddled. She told me it was like a maze. First you see how the products look in the top floor showrooms, write down what you want, then the bottom floor you pick it up. This was helpful to a point. But here is how I describe it.
You are one of the Israelites freed from the slavery of Egypt. You and the hundreds (thousands, even) of others are on your trek through the wilderness to the promised land. At first, you are not sure you want to go. Then the Red Sea parts (doors open) and you feel like this will be a great journey! You then begin your 40-year trek of meandering through the wilderness. Some complain that they really didn't want to leave their homes (mostly guys). Some complain they are tired and must rest a spell (mostly kids). But almost all complain they are hungry. Never fear; God has provided manna. Halfway through your visit is a restaurant. Still more meandering. Then there is more meandering. Still more complaining, but no more places to rest. Then finally you spy the promised land (checkout). But first, all the items you wrote down must be found. After some recon work (the Israelites sent out spies, too.), all items are aquired and you have finally made it through.
Now if all that stuff will fit on the camel, you are good to go!

November 14, 2007


It seems anymore that the news has really moved towards emphasizing the bad news. Like today, the angle for one local radio news story was how the record number of tourists to the area had brought with it a spike in the amount of flu cases here this year. It seems that Universal and SeaWorld are announcing their best summers since 9/11. Walt Disney World will not give out figures, but are saying they exceeded their expected turnout. Yet, somehow, this was a bad thing for the area. *long sigh*
I noticed a long time ago that here and in New Orleans that news focused on the sensational. This was in stark contrast to Dallas. Big D police had requested very early on that news outlets not talk about gangs in Dallas. This actually helped in that gangs did not do crimes in order to publicize their existence. Even now, if you check out the Dallas Morning News versus the Orlando Sentinel or the Times-Picayune, you will find more negative stories in Orlando and New Orleans. Is it really that bad? Is it really that great in Dallas?
It permeates into our lives. When I ask people who they would vote for and why, the why is all about what they do not like about the other candidate. We seem to be moving to voting against someone instead of voting for someone.
Is there a way to reverse this? I realize the irony of being negative about negativity, but the first step is admitting there is a problem. I want to start now and focus my energy on what is going right:

No devastating hurricanes this year.
Streetcars are running on St. Charles Avenue once again.
The Cowboys have a solid shot at the Super Bowl.
Ikea opened in Orlando.
The economy is running strong.
Health-wise, my whole family is great.
I donate blood on a regular basis because I can.
Right now, I am content.