Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
A Movie? 35,000 ft? First Class?
What do they have in common??? Me…
First let me warn you that this is unfiltered and transparent.
Second, this is longer than the usual blog post.
Lastly, not everyone in life is trying to do more and get better (heck…few are trying to do either) but somewhere in these lines I wanted to share a few thoughts on how I am trying to do both. Here goes…
Here I am on Alaska Airlines somewhere over
The Bucket List is the best movie I have seen in a very long time! It is family-friendly, has a good message, minimal profane language, and I laughed hard. And yes…I cried. Not because the movie was a sob story or mushy…but because it clearly brought back several thoughts to my ‘frontal lobe’.
Not some spiritual prayer, scripture reading, or deep meditation…just a simple movie with Morgan Freedman and Jack Nicholson. The movie was not some revelation, analogy, or parallel. It just brought me back into focus on several things…here they are:
1. Last night I was packing for my trip and I heard it loud and clear, “You’re comfortable and won’t change until you recognize this and do something about it.”2. In the last three years I have flown business or first class more than I have flown coach (which is pretty frequent if you are wondering) and in the last 5 years I can only think of once when I have not had at least an exit seat to sit in. I am not bragging…just need to say that somewhere along the line I forgot how blessed and highly favored I really am. Now I also have to say that I work a lot (a lot!) while up there and actually accomplish more than the average bear when given the space to do so…so the upgrades and time in first class has not been wasted.
4. It’s hard enough when you cry and don’t know why…it’s worse when you are trapped on an aircraft at 35,000 ft. I have a passion and mission….when I am not on target it is tough to focus and everyday things quickly serve as a reminder that I need to change something. We all need to change something…what do you need to change?
5. I think there is a general misperception that people are called to things that excite them and make them happy. The reality is that sometimes we are called to things that are hard, not fun, and frustrate us. The difference in whether we are happy or not depends on our attitude, commitment, and in whom we are trying to please. There have been several places, people, and situations in the last year that I have encountered and failed to look at with the right perspective and therefore not only did not have the right result but was unhappy.
In the last 12 months we have hit some of our life goals (and it has been awesome to do so) but the journey is just getting started and there is still much to do. While I am not sure where all the potholes and traffic jams are...I do know the destination.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
None of us had been to the WW II Memorial before. It is young, it was finished and dedicated in 2004. The Memorial is beautiful. There are 2 fountains and pillars as well as many wreaths that are expertly crafted in metal. We enjoyed walking thru and talking about the history surrounding both the war and the memorial. The boys are big fans of history, particularly wars, and WW II is their favorite to study. This may be because many of their great-grandfathers served in the war. Their favorite story is of my grandfather, Oscar Hahn, who served in the war as a spy. He was German-born but immigrated to the U.S. with his family at a very young age. He was in the pre-curser to the Secret Service and also served as an agent to VP/President Truman during the war.
Here are some more pictures:
Friday, June 27, 2008
It was no surprise that so many projects have missed the target, been canceled, or gone over budget. It seems like every city has their own 'Big Dig' nightmare. Every company and organization has a story on some level about over run costs and how to take a $2.8 Billion project and turn it into a $14.6 Billion project.
I was reminded that we should lead people and manage things.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
The boys arrived at 1:30 to line-up and be escorted into the "tunnels." They were issued their very own DC United Uniforms (Shirts, Shorts, and even Socks). They were taken out to the Players' Field Entrance and had the opportunity to talk to the coaches, trainers, subs, and even spent some time with Ben Olsen.
As the players exited the locker room, Connor was matched up with Gonzalo Martinez, who later scored his 1st goal of the season in the 55th minute of the game. Martinez was certainly in the action of this game, after his goal, he also managed to get a yellow card---Connor was thrilled to have walked with a player who was central to the United's 3-1 Victory!
**Here are some of my favorite pictures, you can check out the rest (all 85 of them) on Flickr.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning "sun" + "to stand still." As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.
As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.How did you spend the longest day of the year?
We were invited by our friends Damon and Denise to hang out at the pool. Lots of fun and a great way to start the weekend.
DID YOU KNOW...Evening weddings were performed under the moon during Summer Solstice and very popular in ancient times. During the ceremony they would serve a fermented honey...thus creating the term, "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice.
Today was the first of our field trips: The Library of Congress.
Facts about the Library of Congress--
1. The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world.
2. The Library is the oldest federal cultural institution in the Nation.
3. It is housed in 3 buildings. The Thomas Jefferson Building (which we toured today) has 13 stories of shelved books below ground.
4. There is over 600 miles of shelving for storing items.
5. The Library has more than 128 Million items including: maps, manuscripts, photographs, films, audio and video recordings, prints and drawings, musical scores, digital materials, etc. Of these, there are over 28 million cataloged books and there are items in 460 languages.
6. The library, established in 1800, is 208 years old.
7. Interestingly, it is the only library of it's kind that allows for same-day "Reading Card" registration and materials access. Comparable libraries in Europe have waiting lists for "Reading Cards" that are 5-7 months long.
8. The Library has possession of one of 4 known "perfect-vellum" 42-line Gutenberg Bibles left in the world.
9. The library holds in it's Bob Hope Gallery, the late comedian's 85,000 page "Joke File."
In Summary, one visit to the Library of Congress is not enough, the 45 minute tour and accompanying video are invaluable, the architecture is AMAZING, and the kids enjoyed themselves, as did I. The Library is a wonderful representation of the United States, Democracy, and an open door for Learning.
Enjoy the pictures!!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
After rejecting one applicant to rent our home and so many people we have interviewed and shown through the house, we are getting close. We have a great family that has gone through the whole process and we should be signing the rental agreement. Keep your fingers crossed and the prayers coming.
For you die hard, devote bloggers...I will let you in on a secret...I conceded several days ago but tonight I officially told Sharon we can have #4. For those of you who know us well...you'll know what that means.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
This book serves as a follow on to that lecture and is a powerful read. I want to pass a long a few of my notes but to hit all the high points, would be much to long and would rob you of the joy of reading this book yourself.
To learn more about his life and hear several different talks he has given and to the last lecture he delivered go to: TLL.
A few of my thoughts and notes:
1. Even injured lions want to know they can still roar
2. If there is an elephant in the room...introduce it
3. Self-esteem is not something you give, it is something you build
4. Win Big, tenacity is a virtue and it is not always necessary that people see how hard you work on accomplishing something
5. Make memories
6. People before things
7. Which is more important - $16 or 15 minutes?
8. Brick walls are not there to keep us out, they are there to remind us how badly we want something and to keep out those who are not willing to work to get over it
Again...great read and stirs the imagination while reminding us of what is important.
1. Win big and win early...when winning big is not an option, still win early
2. Show - Don't tell
3. Don't follow the shiny object
I think the first one is self explanatory; the second one has to do with making people feel valued. How many times do you ask a hotel staff member where something is and they say something like, "down the hall up the first set of stairs and make a right". What would happen if they introduced themselves, asked you your name, and then walked you to the place you are looking for? This methodology and insight from Gaylord Hotels International is applicable in more than the service industry...it is a key nugget in life (more action and less words). The last comment about shiny objects was from Alessandro Zanasi of Italy who is a member of ESRIF. His point was know your mission, understand what capabilities/skills are required to meet your mission, and then identify what technology fits into that paradigm. To often people get off course and impressed by irrelevant items and forget what the mission is.I had two hours to get in a little sight seeing but this town is so rich with history, how can you get a taste in such a short time? I grabbed the nearest tour bus and did the whirl wind tour and take in everything from the Boston Massacre and Paul Revere's home to The Garden (Celtics) and the ever famous Cheers. I took tons of photos and tried to soak it all in but two hours just scratches the surface. Stories of the Boston Harbor and Old Ironside to all of the things going on academically (there are 67 colleges/universities in Boston) ...the most famous of course MIT and Harvard.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Here comes SUMMER!
As soon as school was out, we drove to a friend's house with cupcakes, towels, and squirt guns. YES, squirt guns for a Squirt Gun Party.
There were guns, hoses, hot dogs, chips, cherry-cola jell-0 drinks, popsicles, friends and lots of laughter.
There were about 40 kids there. It was a great way to start summer!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Leadership lesson - when the dream is big enough...the facts don't count! I could have gone back home and given up but I wasn't going to let the airline stand in my way and deny me the goal.
I arrived late into Boston and forgot what it is like to ride in a taxi between East Boston (Logan International Airport) and the city. Tunnels, tunnels, tunnels....got to get under that water to get there. Boston is such a great city and the spirits are high as the town is buzzing with NBA Finals excitement. After getting checked in, I headed over to the local steak house to grab some food and hang out with the locals to cheer on the Celtics!
There is nothing like hanging out with die hard, committed fans! I love that people get so excited and passionate (not much for the face or body painting) but despite the loss I think everyone was still in a really good mood since that means the Celtics come back here to Boston on Tuesday night for the big game.
Who are you cheering for?
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The course is windy! When we started it was pretty calm but I was told that most days the course is tough to play because there is almost always a constant cross breeze.
We started off great...all 3 of us hit straight down the fairway and landed dead center about 200 yards off the tee. From there on out the rest of the game went well but I won't share the details in order to allow for some story telling by those who swung the clubs. My brother Phillip joined us since he is now living in Northern Virginia and the three of us had a great time cruising around the course and hanging out on Father's Day.
It was a great morning and afternoon as we rounded the back nine and headed off to the front nine. As we approached the 3rd hole, I found out why they call this place "The windy course"...in a matter of minutes a storm blew in off the foot hills (you can't call them mountains once you have lived in the Pacific Northwest) and the temperature dropped from 90 to 70 (or at least it felt that way).
All and all a very enjoyable time, relaxing, and fun to play a challenging course . Thank goodness I brought a dozen extra golf balls...
We recently read a book called the Love List by Les & Leslie Parrott. It recommends 2 things you should do as a couple daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. Great little book, easy read, and short enough that a man might read it all! One thing they recommend is a date night...Sharon and I already subscribed to this and love that time away every month to date each other.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
This week the kids had Field Day. It was a total family affair. David and I volunteered, as did Sybella.
The boys had tons of fun, got very wet, & soaked up the sun. They also both volunteered to be at the school at 7am on Tuesday and Wednesday to set up the equipment-- Colin and Connor are GREAT kids with Serving Hearts!
Tuesday Night, we also had Colin's End of the Year Picnic for Cub Scouts.
The boys finished up their requirements for the Showmanship Badge- by singing and making puppets. The den has completed the first year of Webelos! At the picnic, the food was good, the company was awesome, and we finished just before the Thunderstorms moved in.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
By Tuesday, June 10th at 11am...I am officially overheating. Not the car...me! WOW, I have lived in the California Desert and Southern Arizona but when you add that Northern Virginia Humidity, there is nothing like it. Way to hot and praying for cooler weather.
This week I want to celebrate Willis Haviland Carrier...the Father of 'AC'. Did you know that he invented the air conditioner in 1902 and that AC for non-industrial use (aka your home) did not come around until 1928? They called it the residential "Weathermaker". If his name looks and sounds familiar, it is because his family is still making Air Conditioner's today.
While digging into history I actually found an discrepancy. David Crosthwait lived at the same time and may have actually been the first two 'invent' AC...but Willis filed the patent earlier and so the Carrier family gets the credit.
Either way, they are heros in my book!
I also like Carrier's quote, "I fish only for edible fish, and hunt only for edible game even in the laboratory." I had to think about it but I frequently see people just doing a job, or building technology for technology's sake, or just plain old being busy (esspecially in DC). I think Carrier was trying to remind us that we are here for a purpose and we need to engage in productive activities while we are here. It is not enough to be busy...so to are the ants. We need to find things of passion that stir us and pour our energy into those things.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
We are inviting you, to help us, help others.We all know that the economy is tough right now and food prices are UP--- unfortunately that has created many empty shelves and pantries at Food Banks and Services.
we have set a goal to collect 20 bags of groceries (approximately $400-$500) to give on Father’s Day, June 15th!
Before June 13, Bring a bag(s) of food to our house OR, if you live far away,
send a check made out to S.H.A.R.E. of Virginia (NO amount is too small or large, send $1 and UP ^^- We need EVERYONE's help!)
NOTE: 100% of your donation is Tax deductible and will go to S.H.A.R.E. of Virginia. If you would like a receipt for tax purposes, let our mom know- she will make sure that you receive one.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Just before we went on vacation (the same day actually), Colin's "Strings" Group had their Spring Concert. The Strings Group is lead by Mrs. Shah and consists of 4th-6th graders. It is an optional offering for the older elementary school kids. It is not required---- Colin WANTS to play violin. :) The concert was fantastic! The kids played 6 pieces. All the violinists played from memory- no music. It is awesome for the kids to be able to showcase what they have learned both to the parents and in the school assembly seen here.
Colin is on the right-hand side, in the second row of risers, close to the end.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
As a side note, I am not sure why the USDA who also puts out the Food Pyramid would want to emphasize National Candy Month but, since they did, I have decided to do a candy making project with the kids. We might as well start our summer fun a little early and who can pass up candy? [If it goes well, we'll keep the recipe handy for possible use with a future science fair project--always have to be on the lookout for an academic relevance!]
We could melt chocolate and make chocolate lollipops, I have at least done that before; unfortunately, Connor does not like chocolate. Really!
Instead, we are going to make Rock Candy.
I found the recipe that we will be using on-line; has anyone used this or a similar recipe? How did it turn out?
We'll let you know how it goes! Note: It takes 7-14 days for the Rock Candy to 'grow.' You'll have to be patient for the follow-up post.