Climate Response

It’s not the weather changes that get to me. It’s how the people around me try to compensate for the changes.

When the kids were younger, they would leave the front door open as they left. It provided a giant hole for the warmed/cooled air to exit the house rapidly. I used to joke that they were the primary cause of climate change in our little neighborhood. It stopped being funny when the electrical bills came.

Put five people in a room and let a conversation about the weather begin. There will be instant consequences as they connect the weather outside to how they personally feel.

“I’m chilly.” one says.

“I’m just right.” another responds.

“Is it hot in here?” the hormonal one asks.

“Turn on the ceiling fan, I need a breeze.” another says.

“Pass me a blanket if you’re going to turn on that fan.” the last one states.

On and on it goes. In the car, one cranks the heat setting to maximum upon starting the car. It will take several minutes for the engine to warm and heat begin to flow, but that doesn’t matter. The illusion persists that by having the fan on its highest setting, with the temperature control set to maximum, heat will emerge faster.

At work, the facilities manager puts a lock box around the thermostats to prevent employees from tampering with the controls. It only slows them down.

One person holds a lighter under the box to let the flame heat rise into it and trigger greater cooling command.

Another holds a cold drink with a personal fan blowing “cooled” air at the box to get the heat mode started.

Yet another motivated person uses paper clips in an attempt to pick the lock.

In the end, the joke is on them. I know the facility manager installed a fake thermostat.

The idea that the weather and people’s moods are connected is quite old. Do you agree? If yes, how does the weather affect your mood?

No Guilt Here

I didn’t do it. 

Nobody saw me. 

You can’t prove a thing. 

I’ll keep denying it even after I’m sent to prison. 

These phrases keep coming to my mind as I watch the politicians (pick any country) in the news. It frustrates me that in spite of overwhelming circumstantial “evidence” and lifelong patterns of scandals that seem to orbit their lives, they somehow continue to remain in place and prominently position themselves for even greater roles.

Please, go away.

Share a time when you were overcome with guilt. What were the circumstances? How did you overcome you guilt?

It Might Take The End of the World

The weekend weather was pleasant. Mild temperatures, light breezes, bright sun warmed the patio. He read a book outside on the porch swing. His wife approached and asked about the book.

“Oh it’s another end of the world saga. Power grid goes down. Technology stops working. Society collapses. People fight to survive. I just ordered it wirelessly from Amazon for instant download to my Kindle.” he said without any realization of the irony.

Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?

Eating Like Their Dad

“I want the steak!” the little boy announced.

“Son, wouldn’t you prefer the fried chicken sticks with macaroni and cheese?” Mom suggested.

“No. I’m hungry for steak!” he insisted.

“Son, you can have steak another time. Like when you’re grandfather isn’t paying for the nine people at the table.” Dad whispered hoarsely.

“Grampa said we could have whatever we want, and I want steak!” the little boy loudly stated.

Grampa chuckled and said, “Let him have steak. It’s all right.”

25 years later, the little boy had a family of his own. Their grandparents came to visit and treated them all to a favorite restaurant.

#1 son loudly announced, “I’ll have the teriyaki hibachi steak, with a side order of steak.”

Tell us about a time you found out after the fact that you’d been mistaken and you had to eat a serving of humble pie.

Stuck Outside

“Take me instead.” he prayed. It would be easier for him to experience the events directly than to sit at his daughter’s bedside and watch her suffering. Unfortunately, he could not take her place. It tortured his soul to be helpless like this. He could not assist her breathing. He could not ease her pain. She looked over at him and smiled. “It will be okay, Dad. God told me I’m going to get better.”

Dad’s heart wrenched at her statement. He did not share the optimism. He knew too much. He understood more of the science than she did. The outlook was grim from his perspective. She clearly did not understand or else she would not be so cheerful. He smiled back and patted her shoulder.

“Dad. I’m serious. Stop worrying. I’m going to be fine.” she insisted.

He couldn’t see it. The outcome was unclear. The unknown future scared him. The fear fed discouragement to his spirit. The strain weighed on him mightily. He struggled to keep the worry from his face. A Bible verse came to his mind unbidden, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1.

That described the situation perfectly to his mind. He could not see past the current situation. It obstructed all views of the future. It loomed over everything and blocked out his hope. Her faith was stronger right now and instead of wallowing in self-pity, she tried to encourage him.

“Dad, trust me. Trust God. It’s going to be okay. He said so. Get more mustard seeds.” she stated. Her reference to Jesus’ words from Matthew 17:20 convicted his heart. “…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

He remembered hearing that “mountains” symbolized problems in one’s life. She was seeing past the current situation to the promise of a healthy future. There was no mountain in her way. She believed it was already past. He needed to catch up.

Tell us about the experience of being outside, looking in — however you’d like to interpret that.

A Cat, Bowl of Soup, and a Beach Towel

“He’s beautiful!” my wife exclaimed as the cat strutted across the living room carpet towards us. We were sitting on the couch waiting to greet our friend’s cat. She was moving and her new apartment did not allow pets. She had brought her cat to us in the hope we would adopt him.

“He’s pure white and goes great with the furniture!” my wife gushed. I rolled my eyes and silently groaned. As a former farm boy, my view of cats was much different. Cats are a disposable commodity not a decorating choice. But I was willing to be the “good husband” and let my wife have what she wanted. If a short-haired, all white, feline was it, he could be the neutered member of the family.

The cat stopped in the middle of the room and looked around briefly before walking forward and calmly springing to the center of the couch between us. He turned towards my wife and pushed his head into her waiting hand. His raised tail pointed at me and he farted. Not a big one, but definitely audible and fired in my direction. It was a warning shot we ignored at our own risk. My wife laughed at the gas event and announced, “He’s PERFECT! We’ll definitely take him.”

One year later, the cat competed with our infant for attention and control of the house. The baby clearly had priority status and the cat fought in creative ways to sabotage things. A moment of parental distraction and the bowl of soup got knocked off the high chair to the floor. Did the cat do that or was it the baby? We could not always tell.

Later, a horrible retching sound emanated from the bedroom. Another hairball? Gross. We would run in there and discover a large quantity of cat vomit on the pile of clean laundry. This time it hit a shirt, some socks, and a corner of a beach towel that never recovered from the stain. More items for the rag bin.

Wait! Where is the cat now? Oh no! He’s pooping on the dining room rug while looking straight at us. “What are you going to do about it?” he seemed to be saying. “This is what I think about your stupid baby. I was here first.” he went on staring in defiance as he dumped his bowels. How long had he been saving that load?

Today, you can write about whatever you what — but your post must include, in whatever role you see fit, a cat, a bowl of soup, and a beach towel.

The Great Pretender

Most people are sheep. Followers moving with the flock. Passively being guided through life by more influential others. Some of those leaders are positive, others negatively motivating through fear. Sheepdogs guide and protect. Wolves attack.

Watch the flock at a sporting event and you will witness the herd mentality for yourself. At pauses in the game, the mascot or other entertainers take to the sidelines and interact with the crowd. See how the sheep people respond to directions and sit, stand, wave, sing, or struggle for a T-shirt launched from an air tube. Passive. Weak. Vulnerable. Just how I like it.

A pretender assumes many roles. All it takes is confidence and commitment to the part. The correct tilt of the head, thrust of the jaw, steadiness of gaze, and the crowd is yours to command. Launch into the desired direction and within moments one or more of the sheep begin to move. Others quickly fall in line. The power is intoxicating.

At a gathering once, the people played a memory game to set the tone for a fun night. Halfway through, I commanded the sheep people to switch seating positions to opposite locations across the room. They complied and the game resumed with disastrous results. Everyone had associated their memory answers with people sitting in specific places. Now, it was all disrupted. After several stumbles, my wife interjected, “Why are you listening to him? He’s not in charge!” They sat stunned and took several moments to change seating back to their original locations while I sat smugly off to the side.

Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it.