Sunday, July 29, 2012

Patience of a Saint


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV)

So many of us heard these words at our wedding, many have it written in their wedding invitations. Some might even read them in Sunday school. I think that few actually come close to living it out. I'm guilty of it. Is it going to get a little "religious," a little "churchy" for some? It is the Bible, but frankly even people who've been in church only for their wedding have heard it. So hang around, it's going to be revealing.

The good King James Version (KJV) translates these verses differently than many of the modern translations.

It refers not to "Love" but to charity. I'm sure there is a whole lesson here about Love being like the United Way, but I'm not going there. It refers not to "patience" but to "long suffering." This means that Love ain't like waiting for the crosstown bus, a relief pitcher, or Christmas to come.

The state of Louisiana waited patiently for a Super Bowl victory while hosting countless (ok, it was 9, I counted) of them. Given that the entire team is probably going to be suspended after Bounty-Gate, (a toilet paper joke is there, but I refuse to stoop for it) I fear they are going to wait again.

So what is patience? The wikipedia dictionary defines it as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

That doesn't sound like waiting for Christmas to me.

What if patience was an Olympic sport? I'm guessing that Marathoners and dare I say those who wait upon their entry into the stadium would be hugely competitive. At some point we've shelved patience for immediate gratification. Everything is so instantaneous that we can't tolerate the smallest delay.

So what does that look like in real life? I would say that children require a lot of patience. Employment of any kind often requires a good bit of patience. They can't compare to the biggest trial of patience ever...


So what does patience in marriage look like? Could it be 15-20 years of waiting for your spouse to become less of a selfish jerk? How many of those years are spent with friends telling you to leave that jerk? Society says just get a divorce because it is easy and that's what they're there for...(divorces, not friends)

Impatience whispers in your ear "get out now before there are kids" or "get out before the kids are old enough to resent you" or "eat the marshmallow" wait...what? There was a study a long time ago where 4 year olds were given a marshmallow and told they could eat it or wait 15 minutes to get another. About a third of the kids waited and when interviewed later in life at 18, were more confident and socially adept.

I'm not sure that patience is made up entirely of years. I believe that circumstances are also important. Waiting 10 years to go to Disneyworld is not as patient as waiting for a loved one to come home from being deployed for a year in a war zone.

I want to be a long sufferer!
I suck at Patience. I give myself a 6 out of 10. I can't wait to finish this post.

Mrs Mynd is a black belt in the art of patience.

How about you?
What are you waiting for?
Get out there and be patient with someone!

Here is the list, I hope to cover them all in my blog.
Be patient, I will get to them at some point.
It doesn't say Love does not Procrastinate!

Love is Patient
Love is Kind
Love does not Envy
Love does not Boast
Love is not Proud
Love does not Dishonor
Love is not Self-Seeking
Love is not easily Angered
Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs
Love doesn't Delight in Evil, but Rejoices in Truth
Love Always Protects
Love Always Trusts
Love Always Hopes
Love Always Perseveres
Love Never Fails





    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    For the Love of Zombies

    I keep thinking I can write some Flash Fiction and over at they have a 250 word contest going.


    250 words maximum. Enter as a comment below this post. All comments are held for moderation (Thanks Spammers!), so don’t freak out if your entry doesn’t appear right away. Please include your twitter handle and word count below your entry. Contest runs from Friday, July 27th to midnight on Friday, August 3rd. One full week to be brilliant. No excuses!



    You must use ONE of these classic lines from Night of the Living Dead somewhere in your tale. Author’s choice on which one and where.

    “They’re coming for you, Barbara.”

    “They know we’re in here now.”

    “We may not enjoy living together, but dying together isn’t going to solve anything.”

    “This is no Sunday school picnic!”


    Here is my entry:

    She knew it was dangerous to be walking the streets at that hour, yet there she was. She had no dillusions that this wasn't Zombie season and Zombie weather. One girl against the masses, she would gladly trade in her current society.

    She wanted to make it about science, but she knew that she craved the power, the lack of responsibility for her actions, she just knew it would be fun. She would have friends and revenge.

    She had asked her one friend in the world, Anne, to join her. Anne had declined saying "We may not enjoy living together, but dying together isn’t going to solve anything." Repeatedly missing Anne would be the hardest part.

    The smell was noxious. It was over before it began, she remembered thinking that nothing she had read warned or promised her of the speed of the hoard. That would be useful.

    If only she survived.

    152 words - @WilyGuy

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Between a Rock and a Hard Case : the Exciting Conclusion

    In case you missed the first or second part of the story, we will wait while you catch up. Seriously, click and it will open a new window leaving this one patiently awaiting your return.

    Told you we'd wait....

    Now that you're all caught up, we'll take another look at our hero. He's just been offered a job in IT at an increase in his salary and the starting day is creeping up on him. Lost in the giddiness of a new job were the thoughts of inadequacies, the questions of why he hadn't been offered the job in the first place, and the conversations with God that went something like this.

    God, why did you wait so long? Did I not pray long enough? Did I not pray hard enough? Did you question my desire, my resolve?

    Fact is I had questioned if God had my back. I stopped listening for the answers.

    Fast forward to the first day on the job.

    I was slated to work in two offices. The first office was the beginning part of the day and involved working in a role supporting administrative staff and performing more administrative duties. I answered phones and opened letters and was generally bored out of my mind. Only the few phone calls that were mindless in nature. Every once in a while some excitement would loom. The calls from the inmates who we're calling the Governor to determine the status of their appeal.

    We'd get calls from the Mental Health facility, you know the psychiatric hospital. I swear their sign out front said "people committed to excellence" which was probably some rah-rah for the employees, but poorly thought through (or very well thought through) and the nature of those conversations was always "interesting."

    We had seemingly normal people call in whose judgement would later be called into question. I remember a very well spoken woman who called our office looking for the fax number of her Senator. After giving her the number, I politely asked if she would like the fax number of the other Senator in Marylnd. What followed was a brief moment of silence followed by excited exclamation "we got TWO senators from Maryland???"

    If it weren't for the second part of the day, I might have quit.

    Now, I was hot spit when it came to personal computers and nobody was going to tell me any different. I knew I had a few hours of learning before I had mastered the world of servers.

    Humility it's the gift that God offers those who don't think they need it. Those of you thinking you don't need it, yeah... Those of us who've think we've learned it, yeah. Truly the people who have it are the people who seek it. Oh, and be thankful it isn't the lesson of Patience.

    I got a heavy dose of it. I was working with some bright people. One of the first people I met was a guy who we'll call Rick. I got to follow Rick around like a loyal puppy for a few weeks. Rick was sharp, but more importantly he understood people and he was one of those people that sought Humility. One of the best lessons I learned from Rick was when he said, "you don't have to know the answer... you just have to convey that the problem is now your problem and the most important thing in your world."

    He was right. People take for granted your knowledge, but your desire for a solution to their problem is always welcome. Rick was the guy who got "my job."

    Dose of Reality #1: I wasn't ready to do Rick's job. What an eye opener, God. You knew me...enough to know I hadn't a clue.

    Did I mention Dose of Reality #2? Rick talked about God's influence on his career...ZING!

    I get it God, I'll stop doubting.

    One of the saddest days of my career were when Rick left to enjoy other career opportunities. I had lost an every day mentor and friend. After an ill fated replacement came and went, I was offered the job that I had initially applied for, not received, been trained for, and at which I was successful.

    One of the happiest days of my career was on the day after being told I was being let go (service in any political arena during a change of administration can be like that) was going to my shortest interview, ever. I believe it went something like this:

    Jim (a different one): Hi, I'm Jim.

    Me: Hi.

    Jim: I talked to Rick, when can you start.

    Partial credit goes to Rick on that one. Since he'd likely not accept it, we'll just call that a God "showing off" moment.


    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Memory for Weird Stuff

    image credit:
    I have a memory for the weirdest things.

    Long ago, I had a conversation with one of the other IT Guys and he talked about not having too many children. I asked him why. He said:

    The average guy can only faithfully remember between 7 and 10 things *.

    1. Anniversary
    2. Wife's Birthday
    3. Son's Birthday
    4. Daughter's Birthday
    5. Password to the system
    6. Admin Password
    7. Own birthday
    8. Dang it, what were the other ones?

    Anyway, he got to talking about how if you have too many kids,we start losing some of the other ones. He estimated that over half of the divorces happen because the man forgets one of the top two. (frighteningly, I remember the conversation)

    Clearly, there are layers of bad memory... my boss's memory is worse than mine. Equally frightening, he may have been the coworker with whom the above conversation happened.

    My wife has an excellent memory, or so she would have me believe. My kids have realized that I don't always have a stellar memory. I have conversations where I don't remember the conversation and I'm told I said things that don't even sound like something I would say... am I being used?

    So, here are just a few of the twisted things I have traded my childrens' birth dates for...

    • Almost every line from Princess Bride, I know... Inconceivable! I'm stupid like a land war in Asia.
    • A conversation with a person I had just met and only seen twice since, about of all things...gum and bad breath.
    • The lyrics of Ice, Ice, the extreme I rock the lyrics to a bad song, light up a cake and celebrate the wrong day.
    • I met this girl once and got her number and it just stuck in my head, it's 867-5309. Her name was Jenny, but not the one from Forrest Gump.
    • I remember that my sister likes German Chocolate Cake and my wife likes Red Velvet cake, but without the icing.
    • I remember that my mom collects crystal perfume bottles.
    • I remember that my dad will always opt for Vanilla, where as mom opts for Chocolate.
    • I still remember the combination to the lock I used in gym class in 1983. I don't actually still have the lock.
    Obviously, this list would be longer, but remembering what I remembered in place of the things that I've forgotten that I forgot to remember is just too much for my brain to process.

    I feel like I can forget my birthday, because optimally, I have one wife and three kids who will remember it for me. Notice I don't have my parents birthdays listed on my list so clearly this is a bad plan.

    What's one weird thing you remember?

    What's something you've forgotten? (Yeah, it's a trick question)

    * I don't remember the exact statistic, of course.


    Dude Write

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    The Dash

    Greetings to my normal (really?) readers who are staring at this page, wondering what all these words are about. Sensing a lack of snark, my readers should not be alarmed. I am competing in a Flash Fiction challenge over at DudeWrite. The idea is to write a story in under 500 words using a starting sentence given as part of the challenge. Please consider browsing over there and checking out some equally good posts from other writers, who happen to be dudes.

    If you'd told me two weeks ago that I'd be standing here on the blocks today, I would not have believed it, especially after what has transpired this week.

    I was the fastest in a dirt poor tiny nation. Standing here for some is an expected outcome, but for me, shortage of funds should have caused me to miss out completely. Travel budgets normally have me travelling by bus, camel, or donkey depending upon the location. A miracle donation had come in for a teammate from relatives in the states and his generosity provided for a few others to join him and I was among those chosen.

    With random drug testing removing three of the four best qualifiers, I am sad that they will miss out on the opportunity despite their misfortune being my gain. Part of me wonders if I could have hung in with the best, or whether I'd wither with competition. Another part of me wonders if this race day will be remembered more for its absences than its competitors.

    As if that wasn't lucky for me, two more competitors were disqualified for false starts in preliminary heats. As I stand here preparing for the longest 10 seconds of my life, facing 7 of the fastest human beings on the planet, I'm stricken by the colors of all the flags in the stadium on this night. So many nations represented in those colors, while a mere 8 stand on the track.

    I am again feeling the fates' fortunes as I prepare to toe in to lane three, my lucky lane. Having the third fastest qualifying time would normally put me near the center of the track and I'm happy with the location.

    While my fiercest competitors have been assigned lanes five and six, this will separate me from them by one other competitor. Time, and a short one, will determine if that will be an advantage or disadvantage. I mustn't take any other runner for granted as one misstep can be the difference between first and eighth.

    I begin my pre-race ritual.

    silent prayer

    ...envision the start

    ......set the hands

    .........shake the left leg and set

    ............shake the right and set knee down to wipe the hands

    ..................look to the sky

    .....................set the hands once more silence

    With the starter's gun, the silence is shattered, my heart races. Accelerating, I blink and the tape is within reach. As the tape falls, the hopes of 5 competitors fall with it. From my vantage point, it is simply too close to call.

    Anthems play, flags wave and mothers' tears moisten the ground. Possibly some of mine as well. As the music plays, I feel fortunate, melancholy, proud.

    Dude Write

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    Sunshine or STDs

    I've been accused of spreading a little sunshine to others through my blogging. This is a huge shift from being accused of spreading Syphilis. Becky over at Just Passing Through thinks I'm special and apparently believes me to be funny enough and responsible enough to know what to do with it. I've began reading Becky after she has began following the Dude Write Project. Crazy hilarious that she thinks I follow rules, but here they are for those who might follow them in the future:

    1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog page.

    2. Answer (10) questions about yourself

    3. Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers.

    4. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.

    5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you.


    1. What would you most like to change about yourself?

    I've always wanted a cool accent. Rusty and Michael have that Aussie thing going that would be fun.

    2. What's your theme song?

    Weird Al Yankovic's White and Nerdy...I feel a kinship on this one with so many of my favorite bloggers like Youngman Brown and Zannah.

    3. One part of your life, a memory, action, etc. that you wish you could surgically remove from your brain?

    I cherish most of my memories, both good and bad for the happiness or lessons that came with them. If I could remove this one, I could have less sweaty nightmares.

    4. What generation do you wish you had been a part of?

    I like my generation just fine. I think generations past had some cool stuff. I think the fifties would have been fun with Elvis and Marilyn. I think that the next generation will be tremendous and a bit frightening, Morgan will be in his heyday.

    5. What was your favorite childhood toy?

    I think probably my first video game which was the Mattel Electronic Football. Too many hours playing against those blips!

    6. What is your favorite housecleaning chore?

    I realize that nobody ever believes this but I actually like doing laundry. It goes from soiled and wrinkled to wet and soapy, then clean and dry, the folding actually let's me get all of my extraordinary retentiveness (retentive mess?) out. It also fits perfectly with watching football with all the breaks in the action. I would say that on the opposite end of this spectrum of love of laundry is Greg and possibly Amie

    7. Do you use Twitter?

    I prefer Qwitting, but I do tweet a twitter every now and again. I'm not a prolific retweeter or tweeter of responses like Daniel Nest.

    8. Any goals?

    I want to see Dude Write become a success and great male bloggers get their names out there. One such blogger is Joe. I hope that one day we can have a Dude Write conference and I can meet the Dudes.

    9. Do you really drink margaritas all the time?

    Not ALL the time. I enjoy a frozen melon margarita with salt, but I find lots of good ideas from Carri Ellen Brown.

    10. What is the ugliest car you've ever driven and were embarrassed to be seen in?

    I've had mostly Hondas in my life, like Lainey who teaches my son on her automatic, but the ugliest car I ver drove was a cream colored PT Cruiser while on a business trip.

    I'm breaking the rules... I'm not going to alert my winners. As much as I love to have links back to my blog, I'd rather other people tell them or they discover the link themselves. I will tweet it out. If you click on them and feel compelled to comment on their silliness, let them know who sent you.


    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Between a Rock and a Hard Case II

    When last we checked in on our lovable hero, life had dealt him a seemingly reality-size dream-crushing blow. To catch up on the story, head over to the first part of the story.

    I'm normally not one who blames God, sadly, I don't always give him credit.

    I will admit that I stewed.

    Fast forward one year later and I run into Jim at the local supermarket. We exchange pleasantries for a bit and catch up on life in our smallish suburb. Then he drops the question, "so, did you ever end up in IT?" and all the fabulous memories of job interviews gone awry come flooding back.

    After I tell him that my current job is still working with my dad, he unleashes the next statement, "I've got a position in my office that you may find interesting."

    Seriously God? Seriously Jim? I wasn't good enough the last time we rode in this rodeo, what has changed? Who signed me up for this torture? I had frankly stopped praying in earnest for an IT career. Why now?

    Haven't we been down this road before?

    Yeah, we all know I agreed to try again. I got my resume ready again, I interviewed with Jim again, with his boss again, with his boss's boss again. So he says to me as I'm leaving that he will be in touch in the next day or so. I consider telling him that I don't plan to turn blue holding my breath. Instead I ask him what my chances are. He tells me that they rarely hire outside his recommendation. Feeling cocky and with little to lose, I asked if I had his recommendation. He told me I wouldn't be there unless I did.

    Suffice it to say, the whole conversation had me guessing as to why I hadn't received an offer for the previous job. Old memories came flooding back, insecurities push my fears towards feelings of complete inadequacy. I was miserable.

    I wasn't miserable for long before I got a call and an offer to start the job.

    I couldn't believe it. I took the family out for a celebratory dinner. After all the waiting, I had begun my career. My true calling had finally been called.

    I learned that day that God doesn't always act in our time, but he hears all requests. He doesn't disregard any of them. He knows what is best for us.

    But he wasn't done.

    I'm reminded of a story I read that went something like this:

    Man: God, what is a million dollars to you?

    God: a million dollars is but a penny to me.

    Man: God, what is a hundred years to you?

    God: a hundred years is but a second to me.

    Man: (after pausing to think) God, can I have a penny?

    God: yes, just a second.

    To be continued in part III.

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    Teachers Are Pushers

    Cocaine of the Pre-School
    Now that school is out, I've noticed something different about Princess Sassy Pants.

    She has the shakes.

    She is in withdrawal.

    Though she enjoys school and the learning, she needs a fix.

    She hasn't been around enough glitter lately.


    I'm concerned. We've tried to ween her off this powder, but she is like a crack baby, jonesing for something and not knowing why. We've got to get her clean before she moves on to more serious stuff, like macaroni.


    Problem is that with Mrs. Mynd working in an elementary school, we've cultivated relationships with teachers. Teachers are the problem. Forget the teaching of various leftist and rightist cult like notions, the fact that they don't teach creation, they confuse them with dinosaur bones and leave them to pray for good test scores...This is worse!

    They be packin'.

    Almost as bad as its fully street cred worthy cousin the hot glue gun, the glitter gun is insidious and notorious for spreading the glitter like 50 cent spreads bad rhymes.


    Glitter is the first STD (Sparkly Transmitted Decoration) your kids will be exposed to and you aren't ready. When you see it at first, you may think its cute, but you won't understand. You'll become accustomed to seeing it. Soon, every picture will look like a Diana Ross dress from the 60s. There will be so much shimmer you'll have to look away.


    Soon, your kids will be so neck deep in it that it will begin to affect your lives. Imagine that first day when the boss calls you out in a meeting in the conference room asking "is that glitter on your suit jacket?" You'll stammer some excuse about an art project before realizing that it is summer and school is out.

    Betty Ford clinic visits are in your future, my friend. Psychiatric help will be required, and not just for the children. You'll be up to your ears. You'll say things like "I've tried to vacuum it up..." and "I can't get rid of it..." and you'll be uncomfortably correct. They'll give you inkblot tests and you'll twitch as some of them look like the glittasaurus monster that lives in a neighboring town yet invades your home to leave its slug trail of shine across your carpets and chairs.


    Inkblot Test for School Children?

    Creeps me does!


    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Caught My Wife Surfin' Porn

    So, I'm reading a book the other night (yes, I can read those antiquated bound pieces of paper) and I look over at my wife busily tapping on her iPad. I catch out of the corner of my eye a bra...

    My wife is surfin' porn? Normally, this wouldn't be in the realm of possibility, but this was shortly after her reading the first of the 50 Shades series (which she reviewed for us on my site) so I didn't know.

    Turns out, it was just some run of the mill bra shopping. No Fredericks of Hollywood, no Victoria's Secret...



    In today's world, who knew the following interchange could occur, and be considered "normal" and "ok"?

    Partner 1: Hi honey, I'm home.

    Partner 2: Hey, how was your day?

    Partner 1: It was a good Saturday. I finished that adult novel I got at the bookstore. I almost felt a little embarrassed buying it, but I waited until the store was closer to empty and raced up to the checkout.

    Partner 2: Yeah, did you get fired up?

    Partner 1: A little bit. I met up with my buds and went to the strip show.

    Partner 2: Yeah? Was it all you hoped it would be?

    Partner 1: Well, it wasn't an all the way naked show, but the dancing was pretty erotic.

    Partner 2: And did that fire you up even more?

    Partner 1: Oh yeah! Race you to the bedroom.

    Partner 2: I can't WAIT for the next Girl's Weekend!

    Partner 1: Me neither!

    So, long accused of lude behavior by the women, should men now turn the other cheek or be offended that it's ok for the ladies to read the 50 Shades series? And what about the movie, Magic Mike?

    Frankly Ladies, most guys are happy to receive the benefits of these vices and won't complain a bit. For the most part, we don't care if you objectify men. Stroke our egos afterwards with great care and in the end we'll all be happy.


    Dude Write

    Why wouldn't I put this into the Starting Lineup for Friday's Dude Write?


    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Avoiding the Shade

    I'm overjoyed this week to be bringing you a guest post of sorts from Mrs. Mynd! She is a regular reader, but rarely comments as she can tell me what she thinks in person. She's an "in person" kind of girl, so this my friends is a rare treat. With all the hype around certain books and films these days, I turned to my literary expert for her take on the Shades of Grey books.

    So I read anything and everything . I also read fast. This could very well be part of the reason that I will read anything. I also finish all the books I start, some have taken a really long time and were complete out of spite, I refuse to let bad writing or a bad story beat me, with the one exception of the Harry Potter series. She really just needed to get to the point!

    So when people kept coming up to me and asking about the Fifty Shades series imagine their shock when I repeatedly said "No, I have not read it."

    People then began asking me why not. I have to confess I didn't really have a good answer. Basically, I hadn't gotten around to it and I didn't want to read something that was going to bother me. I am not really easily bothered or offended so that concern was definitely secondary.

    My sister was going to loan it to me but then she got it for her kindle because she didn't want people to see her reading it. This was not the first time I had heard people saying that. But I mean really, it's at the top of the best seller list. Obviously a lot of people are reading it so you would expect to see some copies out there. My co-worker said to me Wednesday night while we were at the library, "enough is enough, I will bring you my copy tomorrow."

    I caved to the peer pressure and Thursday afternoon I sat down to read Fifty Shades of Grey. I had finished the latest Nicholas sparks book that morning and was planning to start the latest in the true blood series that evening. It was time to just see what all the fuss was about. Bring on the controversy!




    I don't get it.


    It was just ok.



    I agree it was not exactly mainstream sex, but it wasn't look away in horror either. The characters were ok, I feel like they needed more depth. The book leaves you hanging and the story isn't complete on its own, so you need to read the next one. I enjoyed it don't get me wrong. But I have enjoyed other books that left me steamier and looking for Mr. Mynd. It was 4 hours well spent, it wasn't a waste of my time.

    Will I read the entire series? My guess is that book 2 will also "finish" unresolved, so it may be out of spite that I read the rest. Maybe the other books wander off the normal path further...

    I'll let you know.

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