Archive for the ‘ Thoughts ’ Category

The New Year

Happy New Year Everyone.

Neither I nor Amy did much to celebrate the New Year. She had to work on New Year’s Day, therefore needed to get to sleep at a normal time so we just had some wine and watched the East coast feed of the ball drop in Times Square and then made our ways to bed. And New Year’s Day wasn’t anything special for me, essentially cleaning up the house and doing laundry. Although I did go out and have lunch with my good friend Mike, who is in a very challenging situation and I intended to address that in a future post. But for me the New Year Day celebration comprised of mainly laundry, cleaning, playing a some video games and thinking about what the last year meant and what this new year will mean.

2012 was an interesting yet very challenging year. I turned 31 years old. I got to go out of the country for one of my best friend’s weddings in Mexico. I celebrated 5 years of marriage. I got to have one of my best friends move back to the Southern California area. I began to take a serious leadership role in my local church. I left the family business after working there more than six years. I got to see my middle younger brother, and the last McCormick boy, get married to a woman he adores. And both myself and my wife began new careers wife the County of Los Angeles.

In retrospect a lot happened and now I have a new year to try and set and achieve some real goals.

First and foremost I really want to work on my prayer life. While I have practiced occasionally with I want begin regular centering and contemplative prayer. I have read and studied it and I really want to put it to use this year.

Along with that I want to begin the exercise of prayer the divine hours, which is a way of praying at set times throughout the day. Just another practice that I want to make regular.

Like just about everyone else in the country I need to exercise more, so I hope to begin some sort of a regular exercise regimen, we will have to see how that one goes. As it is something I have never been good at but I hope to achieve and maybe drop some pound sby the time summer comes around.

Attached to that is my wish for a better diet. Amy has really been on me about eating better and I hope to do this with her and stop eating like I am 10 years younger than I really am.

I want to also work on my relationship in general, both with my wife and with people in general around me. As I age I have come to realize how important relationships are and I want to truly develop stronger more meaningful relationships with those around me.

I do want to get back to reading more. I have been inspired in this by my youngest brother who has become quite the voracious reader. So, my initial goal is to try and read a book every two weeks. We will see how I do on this one.

I also want to write more. While my new job does require more writing than my old one I want to really work at organizing and rational presenting my thoughts. I think it helps clean the brain out and hopefully helps me with my grammar and spelling.

Get back to school, somehow someway I want to be headed back to school by the end of this year. With my goal being to be in a Masters program, hopefully an MBA or MPA by the end of the year or at leats making progress towards that.

And finally I want to strive for honesty and transparency in life. To often we just fake our way through things and I don’t want that I want people to see me and really know what they are getting. But then I want people to get the real me, not some fake version I put out there but the real me.

So that is it, a long list, a tall list, but I want to be committed to it and really try to follow through, and hopefully I am a better person 12 months from now.

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Looking For Mike

For those who had been looking for information on Mike Huber, I have taken down my post at his request.  Fortunately the newspaper article about him did not cause any negative stir, but rather revealed to many people great testimony he has the and amazing journey God has brought him through.  Many people have learned the truth through the post I made and have come to support Mike in his ministry.  If you would like to know more you may contact me and I will be happy to respond appropriately.

 

Arizona Fallout Ramblings

+++Next on my mind is the tragic Arizona shooting and the fallout from it.

It has got me thinking about quite a few different things.

Many on the left want to take issue with the rhetoric the right used prior to this and use it as an example of going too far and possibly inciting this sad violence.  While I completely understand where they come from with this, I don’t think it fair to hold one person’s political speech as the responsible for another person’s action.  There needs to be personal responsibility here.  And while I don’t approve of much of the speech being accused of inciting this tragedy, I don’t think you should place limits on what can be said in a public forum.

 

Despite the fact that I still vehemently opposed flag burning, and I think corporate contributions to election campaigns and political action committees is a horrible idea.  I have become more and more a believer in free speech.  The ability to say whatever you want is one of those things that I think the founding fathers got right, as opposed to the right to own and bear arms.

 

The right to unrestricted free speech is a truly amazing and American thing.  I heard a story recently form the UK where an election was annulled and a candidate suspended from politics for three years because he made false statements about his opponent during a campaign. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11761986) What an amazingly civil thing to have, and quite British when you think about it.  But to quote Penn Jillette “Fuck Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. Marketplace of ideas can not be toned down for the insane.”  I kind of agree with that.  And I think this whole concept of “Blood Libel” is not close to something of an accurate description of what has been going on.  Plus I do not think many people even knew what “Blood Libel” meant before the week started.  I do not agree with much of anything Sarah Palin or other arch-conservatives say, but I do believe in her and their right to do it, no matter how stupid, insane or inerrant.  True freedom of speech unregulated by the government is, I believe, and essential piece of our democracy.

Turning within the issue a little bit though, I have come to be a believer that the right to bear arms while at the time was perhaps a good idea, today I do not quite agree.  While I do not believe in the complete abolition of gun ownership (For then I do truly think the only people who would have guns are the police and the criminals), I do believe it should be as tough as possible to own a gun in the United States.  I do not want to make it an expensive process, but I would like it to be a lengthy and thorough one.  I would like to see people checked for psychological stability and very complete background checks performed (I should say I feel the same way about car drivers, but that is another topic).  Even with all this I myself am not even sure I would want a gun in my house (I do not have one now), simply because when you look at the numbers having a gun in your house makes the possibility of someone being shot in your house go up exponentially, and I do not think that is worth the risk.  If I were to have children I do not think I would be comfortable even having a gun even locked up in a safe in my house.  You just increase your risks too much.  But there are people out there who treat gun ownership like a God given right and I don’t think that is what the founding fathers had in mind.  In fact the right to keep and bear arms is not a concept found in the original articles of confederation.  And our right found in the second amendment was heavily based off the English Bill of Rights in 1689, which was more about shifting power from the monarch to the parliament.  And when Madison was crafting the second amendment we were a bunch of farmers with muzzle loading rifles, Patrick Henry thought a well armed populace was the only way to ensure liberty, and while I see the reasoning behind that, especially when just coming out of a bloody revolution, I don’t think it applies to today.  No group of liberty loving gun nuts will really be able to oppose the power of the U.S. military, plus despite what Glenn Beck says I do not think the threat of gun violence is really what should keep society in order.

Well I said I didn’t want to ramble and I have, I would benefit greatly from an editor, something I am not.  That is all for now…..more mumblings later.

The Long And Winding Road Back To My Blog

Why hello there!

I certainly have not done this for quite some time, but alas I think I need to get back to writing on a somewhat normal basis and try to get my thoughts and feelings about certain topics back on “Paper”.  So I am going to try and commit to spending some regular time each day during my down time to putting the proverbial pen to paper.

So what is on my mind this morning?

+++ Jerry Brown and his budget for California.  I get it, I really do, California was enormously prosperous during the 90’s and most of the 00’s.  The tech boom, soaring real estate and home sales made the golden state quite flush.  Sadly the state legislature took all that tax revenue and started spending it like crazy on various programs, non essential services, and deals with unions.  The economy drops out, state tax revenue drops out and we are screwed.  We have to do something to get the state budget close to balanced and I think third timer Gov. Brown has the right idea.  Keep some taxes higher and make some big cuts to services.  You got some yin and some yang here, democrats won’t be too averse to raising or keep up some taxes and the republicans will agree with the cuts to services.  My only real fear is that republicans will really try to stall on this and claim that taxes need to be cut to help business develop more jobs in the state.  Deep down I really do agree that job creation is the single best thing that can happen for the California economy, but working in business myself I also know that no tax cuts are going to help with job creation any time soon.  Corporate or small business tax cuts will at best take a year or more to really affect job creation within the state.  Most every business I know or is not basing their hiring practices based on the their tax rates but rather on the overall shape and strength of sales, production, etc..  So while job creation does need to be a long term goal I do not cutting taxes now will affect it in any way.  Rather I think the responsible thing to do is really try to shore up the state’s budget and work from there.  It won’t be easy for anyone, the CalWorks program which my wife works for is looking to be cut up to 50%, which in all reality could mean her losing her job, but I accept that as being for the good of the people.  And I know fees and tuition will go up for state colleges and universities, which I hate to see, but I suspect this will separate the wheat form the chaff.  Those who really want to go to college will have to really work for it now and they will be rewarded, as opposed those who just treat it as a four year extension of high school.  Anywho, I just think that the Governor has the right idea and I hope that republican legislators (Of which I am represented by) might understand this too and try to do the painful but right thing.

Later I intended to take up my thought on the Arizona shooting, our rights, and the founding fathers.

Back To The Grind

I fortunately had a really nice holiday weekend.

I got to go home early on Friday, which let me get my relaxing on early.

Mad MenSaturday was a spectacular day and wasted time.  I worked on packing away some old books and watching episodes from season three of Mad Men, which over the last month has become my new favorite drama since the loss of Lost.  Just good writing, compelling story lines and characters who are a great mix of good and bad.  I eagerly anticipate the premiere of Season Four later this month.

I also snagged an online peak at the Main Event of UFC 116, Brock Lesnar versus Shane Carwin.  Holy Begeesus did Brock take a A Beat Up Brockpounding in the first round.  But he rode it out and the Ref was good enough not to stop it.  Although there were a few times when Brock seemed to just be curling up and not doing much.  However Brock answered the bell for the second round with a smile on his face and worked a choke on Shane.  Gotta admit th man is tough and deserves some respect.  I look forward to his next fight.

Angel StadiumSunday was a lovely day to sleep in, worship at Church, and then make our way to Anaheim for an Angel’s game.  Had not been to an Angels game in a while.  A completely different crowd from what you get at Dodger Stadium.  A bit higher class if I may say.  Plus you can tail gate in the parking lot.  And you don’t have to climb to the top of Mt. Chavez Ravine to get to your seats, just a leisurely ramp stroll.  The Dodgers organization good do a lot to make things easier for fans to get in and out of the park.  but they won’t because there is no financial incentive to do so.

We also got to watch the fireworks afterwards, and a really great show.  Artie Moreno really knows how to run a ball club.  If only Frank McCourt would take some tips.  The Dodger experience could be so much better.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love Dodger Stadium, I love Dodger Dogs, I love driving up Stadium Way to the Baseball Cathedral in the Chavez Ravine, but the Angels do a really good job with a stadium that is technically only 4 years younger then Dodger Stadium.

That’s all, more later.