Chicken Tenders and Other Bad Words


“Ooooh, you said a bad word!”

So the five-year-old informed me when I told him what I fixed for lunch today — to wit: chicken tenders.

“What?” asked his mother.

“He said ‘tenders’,” Caden informed her.

Heather, apparently unprivy to previous relevant conversations between her sons, continued to look confused.

“Tenders,” I knowingly explained, “as in, ‘oooh, he was kicked in the …'”

Heather made a valiant effort at explaining that chicken tenders were a perfectly valid form of food, and that ‘tenders’ was a perfectly acceptable word to use in describing them.

Caden, on the other hand, just continued to be amused that I, and now his mother, kept repeatedly saying a bad word.

So I tried a different tack. “I could say ‘I had four apples, BUT I gave Caden three.’ And it’s OK to say ‘but’ when I’m talking about the apples like that.”

Caden paused, and pondered this.

And then looked at me with his most serious expression and asked …

“What are ‘butt apples’?”

Take Time to Look Out the Window (via Calluna)


I wish I’d written this.

Take Time to Look Out the Window Astronaut Doug Wheelock gave a presentation at work this week about his time on the International Space Station and as the station's commander. He was a great story teller and had all kinds of humorous stories. But the thing that stood out most was his one regret. His only regret was the three or four days that he got too busy and forgot to look out the window. His advice that he had just told the current ISS crew prior to his presentation was "d … Read More

via Calluna

STS-1: 30 Years Ago Today


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From “Bold They Rise” by David Hitt and Heather R. Smith, forthcoming the University of Nebraska Press:

“Before we did STS-1, there had been some, I guess, things going on in the States,” (said Bob Crippen, the pilot of the first space shuttle flight.) “The morale of the United States, I don’t think, was very high. We’d essentially lost the Vietnam War. We had the hostages held in Iran. The President had just been shot. I think people were wondering whether we could do anything right. [STS-1] was truly a morale booster for the United States, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was welcomed by what I would call our allies abroad. So it was obvious that it was a big deal. It was a big deal to the military in the United States, because we planned to use the vehicle to fly military payloads. So it was something that was important. I feel, still feel, that the Space Shuttle is important. I don’t know that I had to impress that on any of my crews. I think they saw it for themselves, that what they were doing was important work that needed to be done.”

Crippen said that STS-1, and human spaceflight, provided a positive rallying point for the American people at the time, and that human space exploration continues to have that effect for many today. “A great many of the people in the United States still believe in the space program. Some think it’s too expensive. Perspective-wise, it’s not that expensive, but I believe that most of the people that have come in contact with the space program come away with a very positive feeling. Sometimes if they have only seen it on TV, maybe they don’t really understand it, and there are some negative vibes out there from some individuals, but most people, certainly the majority, I think, think that we’re doing something right, and it’s something that we should be doing, something that’s for the future, something that’s for the future of the United States and mankind.”

Irony


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Resolution


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The government is not shutting down.

I get to return to work on Monday.

Frankly, after the week I’ve had, I was ready to hit pause briefly.

I’m thankful, however, that what could have been a bad situation for many people was averted.

A Matter Of Trust


I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
— Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, from Frank Herbert’s Dune book series

I had to admit to Heather this morning that I’m afraid.

“Afraid” may be a bit strong, in public I would probably say “nervous” or “worried” or something.

But whatever word you use, it’s driven by fear. I’m afraid.

I’m nervous or worried or fearful or whatever about the things that I wrote about on here two days ago, particularly the looming financial giants of the potential government shutdown and roof repairs.

And Heather, very calmly and honestly, stated to me that it’s going to be OK.

And she’s right.

But here’s the sad thing:

I know it’s going to be OK. I know God’s not going to give me more than I can handle. I know that I’m taken care of.

I know all that.

But …

The part of me that is afraid doesn’t care.

Not because it doesn’t believe those things.

But because it doesn’t care.

Because that part of me knows that God will make sure I’m OK, but He’ll use His standards for what that means.

I want to be OK by my standard.

That part of me  don’t want to be OK by the standard of not having to deal with more than I can handle. It wants to be OK by the standard of not having to deal with anything.

I don’t want to have to use what I have to survive this.

I want to come out of this continuing to be able to go out to eat and buy books irresponsibly. I want to buy an iPad.

I want to be that sort of OK.

That’s selfish, and self-indulgent.

And I’m afraid, because I’m afraid God isn’t going to enable those things.

That’s rather sad.

And that’s been true many times. I had that conversation over a year ago with a good friend. We have trouble trusting God because we judge His trustworthiness not based on whether He does what is best, but whether He does what we want.

Part of me really does trust. Trust that He’ll do in this what is good.

And that part of me really does have peace and rest.

Part of me on the other hand is afraid.

Afraid I don’t get to be sloppy and self-indulgent and undisciplined.

And it’s a good reminder for myself that I’m still very much a work in progress.

Taking My Kodachrome Away


Heather had a great idea, so I’m totally copying it.

She decided that she was going to dedicate the month of April in her 365project to black and white pictures.

My 365project photos have become sort of routine, so I thought that might spice mine up a bit, too.

First, it should be fun.

I’m old enough that for the bulk of my newspaper career, I was working in black and white. With film, no less. Remember that?

Back then, I would buy rolls of black and white for my personal use as well, just because I enjoyed working with it.

Since making the switch to digital, black-and-white has become a post-capture processing option, rather than a pre-picture commitment like it was with film.

If I think a picture would look good in black and white, I can change it. But I don’t have to tailor my pictures around the format like I used to.

Making the April commitment sort of simulates that — yes, my camera will let the pictures be in color, but to use them in the project, I have to take something I would want to be in black and white.

Also, I’m hoping it improves my photography in another way.

As the project goes on, I become increasingly reliant on the cool tricks my iPhone can do with photo software, a lot of which has to do with color enhancement. Take those away, and I’m back closer to just having to take good pictures, not do good photo editing.

Hopefully, this will be the photography equivalent of going acoustic for me. Strip away the fancy production, get back to the basics.

Back to seeing the world in black and white.


Here’s Heather’s post about her project.

And here’s an example of the photo-processing power of the iPhone. (Follow the cut for explanation.)

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