Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hypocrisy abounds

I've seen the Palin video flying all over the internet in the past couple of days.  She bumped the republican ahead of the democrat and it's driving everyone crazy.

The Republicans were going crazy over Obama's lack of experience (and so was his current vice president) but now they're ok with Palin's?  The Democrats were ok with Obama's lack of experience, but don't let a woman with that little experience hope to get into office.  I've seen so many posts about how much experience matters from people who didn't really care a few months ago....or even now...because with their guy it's not such a big deal.  Hypocrites are on both sides of this one.  In fact I'd say that hypocrites are running this election.

Talk radio people complain about the networks - CNBC watchers complain about Fox news while they're reading their Moveon e-mails.  It's all just one side spinning the other.

Palin looked stupid in an interview - and it's all over the interweb.  I looked back on several of these sites where people are so concerned for the direction of our country.  I wanted to see in what other ways we were warned of stupid things potential candidates have said...and I'm still looking  - I went back to when Obama said we had 57 states, where he said that he lost Kentucky to Hillary because her home state of Arkansas was closer than his home state of Illinois...and I didn't see those videos.  We pick our battles and get outraged when it's the other team.  We don't mind it when our side screws up because....well because we choose to overlook those points.

One vp candidate said some stupid stuff about Russia, the other vp candidate told the country that his future boss was too inexperienced to hold the office of the President.  You'll read about one on some sites, but it'll be a rare site that shows both sides.

There is a video of Obama calling a female reporter "Sweetie" and then brushing her off - I didn't find it in the archives of these blogs.  It makes him look like a mysogynistic jerk - so we'll not show that.
He gave a speech in Israel referring to the Senate Banking Committee that he was on...only to find out he wasn't on that committee.  Oops.  I didn't see this on those same sites....

McCain didn't know if we were in a recession - and I didn't see it on the sites that would never show the Palin video.  It wouldn't make their side look very good.  He's still counting his houses and he has more of those than years spent as a POW.  I read that on a couple of sites that left off the part about Obama calling his Pastor of 20 years his mentor...and then the guy he just sort of knew because once he saw him at a TGI Fridays.

McCain "inned" himself as a washington insider who was away from "the day to day challenges that people have".  He spoke of that as a good thing...seemingly. 

So go crazy when the other guy says something dumb in one of their 73 interviews they'll do today- they'll say there are 57 states and that someone is a "typical white person" - they'll flip flop on key strategies and they'll play on their history of serving this country.  They have lots of houses and say lots of dumb things.

I just really don't think I've seen this much bitterness/jealousy/anger/vitriol in an election before.  I think Seth was right.  The University of Wisconsin tracked the national and regional commercials of both campaigns - 77% of Obama's ads were negative and 56% of McCain's were...and I keep reading about how Obama won't go negative - you can ignore facts if you really want to - we do it all the time - the bottom line is that both are more negative than positive - both are talking down the other side rather than talking about their vision for our country.

Mostly this was a post based on a challenge to use the word "vitriol"
and if you think I'm writing this based on your blog - it's not about you - and you were one of 8,746,489 weblogs that posted something negative about one side or the other last week.

I'm one of 6 who used the word vitriol - so you do the math...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Q City

We played around with some improv tonight and it was great...and awful...but great.

No risk, no reward is right on the money. There are moments when you put yourself out there in a scene and you can't blame the lameness on the script...it's all you just sticking your neck out and saying a bunch of stuff that's all you. When it goes bad I want to punch myself in the trachea. I try not to allow the "why the crap did I come out here to feel like this?" thought to enter my adorable little head.

It's awful...and that's what makes it great. It's risk. It's taking a shot at something and realizing that even if my dead on Ed Norton impersonation doesn't go over that well...I took a shot.

I have a friend that swings for the fences. She applies for jobs and does projects that I would never have the courage to pursue. Because of her lack of inhibition she does some pretty cool stuff, and probably faces more rejection that you or I do.

I admire that more than the guy I know that plays it safe. (This isn't my friend I'm talking about here) I'd rather see someone fall flat on their face because they went for it than the rest of us just sort of drifting through life. I'd rather see someone fall down because they were swinging at the ball so hard...than the guy who hits a weak dribbler into the gap for a single.

Life can be like golf. We swing hard and about every 35th shot we hit one true. It keeps us coming back even if we've shanked 34 in a row.

So keep swinging away...(too many sports analogies?)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

it's time to put together my cabinet

A posse just feels done. I'm not sure I want to roll with my crew. Gangs just seem very 1988.

I think I'd like to think through a cabinet.  I just need some guys and gals around me to keep me in line and help me out in a time of crisis.  It'd also be nice to get the occasional ride to the airport.

I'd probably need a secretary of the interior - this would be a buy or girl that would keep the interior of my car clean. This wouldn't be one side though. I'd play him in racquetball and buy him lunch every once in a while. I'm thinking this is probably Alton.

I'd like to have a defense secretary. I'd just like someone to get defensive on my behalf. Someone would say, "that Sean, he's hilarious and cute as a puppy...but I'm not sure he keeps a clean car" And then my secretary of defensiveness (I'm thinking Joe or Peg) would scream, "you don't know the first thing about clean cars and the beauty that that man creates every time he drives down his driveway!" I see Joe red in the face and way over the top on this one...sorry Peg.

I'd like a secretary of agriculture because I don't think even Stone Phillips could fix this lawn.

I'd like Dave to be my court jester. I know it's not very cabinet like, but that would still be pretty awesome.

My labor secretary would probably be Annie. She works hard and has been in labor three times now. Carrie's done it four times but I'm going to give Annie the nod on this one.

My secretary of education would probably be Jana. She'd be cool because she wouldn't make me do homework. I'd make Steve her assistant because I'd like to see that.

I'm thinking my secretary of the treasury should probably be Griffin.  He has more money than me and keeps a pretty sweet piggy bank.  Some people have maligned Griffin's economic policies, but I'm a second chance kind of guy.

I think my first step is getting us some t-shirts and maybe one of them fancy drinks with an umbrella.  Maybe I'll put my secretary of the alcohol cabinet in charge of that one.  (see what I did there?  I ended with a pun.  How great are puns!?)

friends are friends forever

I had to quote Brad's favorite song for the title of the post.  Brad's a good friend.  He'd show up at my house if I fell and I couldn't get up.

We have some friends who heard that Parker wasn't feeling well, so they came over with a bag full of toys.  They're smart enough to know that when one kid gets sick, it's hard on everybody.  The other kids who are used to getting a decent amount of attention sometimes feel slighted when all we do is hold Parker and clean up after her when she gets sick.  So our friends brought Parker a gift and also a couple for the boys.

We have friends that also happen to be family - and they took us in when our house didn't have the electricity we need to turn on our flowbee.

We have friends that have helped us move and friends who tried to talk us out of moving.

We have friends that show up when we're struggling through life and friends that celebrate even the smallest victories with us.

We have a friend that showed up to speak at an event we ran last night...and instead of getting an honorarium, he actually gave me $15.

We have friends who are published and friends who are about to be.  We have friends with great talent and we have friends with great character. (too many to link to)

As I look around I can't help but thank God for the people that surround me and my family.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

changin' things

Every once in a while you've gotta set things straight.  It's time for a change.

For decades, maybe even several score, people have viewed having your zipper down as an embarrassing moment.  I've heard it used several times in story form as the source of great red facedness. 

No more.

It's now ok.  Oh sure, we're not going to encourage it.  I'm just saying it's not a big deal.  If you happen to have your zipper down, I say you should just pull it back up and move on.  Who are you hurting?

I'm not talking about exposed flesh here.  That's crazy talk.  I'm talking about the back liner deal of your zipper or even possibly your under skivies.  We're looking at cotton material.  It's ok.

Now if you're riding without a saddle - that's another situation.  In that case people should point and laugh.  I'm not talking about THOSE people.

In most cases - it's just a zipper.  Ever notice that every zipper was made by YKK?   

Monday, September 22, 2008


It's hard to blog when your kids are sick. It's one of those all consuming deals that makes almost everything else an after thought.

Parker had to go to the emergency room last night at Children's hospital because she was running a high fever, her heart was racing and she was throwing up.

She has a urinary tract infection and a kidney infection. She's on antibiotics and will go in to our doctor tomorrow to see how she's doing after two days of the medicine. In two weeks they'll take a look at her kidneys and we're praying that her fever breaks today and everything clears up.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I really feel like September 21st is going to be a big day...somehow

this is appearing on the 20th, but I'm writing it on June 6th and under my post options I'm putting a 9/20/08 post date.

I often don't post anything on Saturdays and really this is just something interesting for me to look at in three months.

stolen from Allison's weblog

Friday, September 19, 2008

Murphy, Sean Michael Murphy

I think I need a spy gadget or two in my life.  I'd like to have maybe a laser that cuts through locks and doubles as a rubiks cube??  I'd also like to shoot rope from some sort of device that's attached to my belt.

That's just something to shoot for.

While I'm waiting for those, I'd like some secret compartments.  I used to have one of those fake cans that felt like a normal can, but actually was an empty container for my valuables.  The trouble was that I didn't really have any valuables.  We own one of those turtles that you put in your garden and it has a secret compartment to keep your key in.  The problem is that those "secret" turtles might as well have a sign on them that says, "this is the second place to look after you've looked under the mat, Mr. Robber"

If I had any ability with construction or drywall I think I'd have to build a false wall with a secret hiding space behind it.  I'd put in a movable floorboard, a rotating bookshelf and fix my roof (that one isn't really spy worthy, but I really should fix my roof).

I'm not sure I want to wear a tux or get into elaborate car chases, I just want the toys.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

just like falling off a bike

So we're back to work.  It was an interesting and unexpected break.  I spent my evening shopping at our local Meijer in honor of my friend Carrie who just had boy #4 this morning. 
Her name is Carrie Smiley, but her maiden name was Carrie Meijer...actually I think it was Carrie Meyer.  Funny, I never considered her a maiden before she was married.  They haven't come up with a name to throw before Smiley yet...any suggestions?

I went to Meijer because I've been told that you don't want to get frozen food from a place that has been without power for three days.  They seemed to be the only place in town that didn't go green for three days.  I tend to roll the dice with those sorts of situations, but I figured I'd just head to Meijer. 
Apparently they have a bunch of stuff there.  I had to go buy breadcrumbs just so I wouldn't get lost.

Two hours later - I head to the parking lot just as Meijer becomes the last store in town to lose their power.  Yup, they lost it all tonight.  They're like that friend of yours that still requests the macarena at weddings.

Bottom line - don't buy your veal cutlets from Meijer next week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

As Amish As I Wanna Be II

This is day four of living off the grid. I guess that's not nearly as impressive if you're doing that by force. It's even less inspiring if your house and work are without electricity but you're living at Aunt Peg's house - complete with the world's biggest tv, foosball, bummper pool, ping pong, air hockey, basketball, some sort of shuffleboard table that I don't know the name of and can't ever win against Annie, and a video arcade game that has over 3,000 games.

We're not really roughing it.

I was just thinking that this week would be a good test for most people.

Here's the test. If you have loved having your work get cancelled for the past three days - you might be in the wrong field. You may just have picked the wrong job...for you.

I've been called for Jury Duty twice now. One time I was exstatic and one time I tried to get out of it (and succeeded). When I had a job I loved and really believed in - I got out of jury duty. (Keep in mind that if you have any opinions in life they won't pick you for a case anyhow) When I hated my job, I loved getting the two weeks to go away and sit in a room to read.

So if you've been off work for the past three days - how's it feel?

Monday, September 15, 2008

As Amish As I Wanna Be

I'm powerless.

Sans the electricity.

Our power is out and we counted 63 trees that had been knocked over within 5 miles of our house. Luckily our landscape is marked mostly by dead grass and weeds...and we're largely treeless.

Tiles are flying off of houses a dozen at a time. Our roof looks like a checkerboard. We came home - before it got really windy - and saw a patio deck umbrella across the street. It turns out that it was ours. Our umbrella was down and behind our house. It was behind the middle of the house. This means that the wind had to pick up an unraised umbrella, blow it in one direction...and then change directions to turn the corner...and then change directions again to bring it back in front of our house and across the street.

I've been studying the video our neighbors the Zapruders shot. I think I found where the magic wind blew in from that knoll across the way...the one with all the grass.

So we spent the night at Aunt Peg's and I'm trying to figure out how to get the 73 things I need to do in the next two days. The power company said we'd be without for three days. I literally called 34 people yesterday morning and told them to call me back - leaving my home number...which now won't work for 3 days.


Friday, September 12, 2008

local super hero attends wedding

I'll be at a wedding this weekend wearing a robe.  Yup, a robe.

They asked me if I wanted to wear a suit or a robe in this wedding this weekend.   I just looked at them as if that was the silliest question I'd ever heard. 

-Robes are very slimming
-they make my eyes pop
-you can't sashay in a suit
-no one really knows what you're wearing under the robe
-if I need to grab a quick shower I'm already one step ahead of the game

And at some point I'll pronounce these two young ones married.  That's right, I can pronounce stuff.  That's how I do.

And as far as the power that has been vested in me, well that's nothing to sneeze at mister. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

not so free agency

I'd like to see sports go to a true free agency rule.

I was originally thinking that we should have each team draw their players from their city, but then we'd get somebody who is from Arkansas saying that they've always been a Yankee deep down.  It just seems fake and would probably ruin the whole thing.

So we can't go with hometowns.  What would we do with all the jocks from North Dakota?  Wouldn't work.

So what if we treated sports just like any other business.  Some young dynamic kid comes out of college and the different companies recruit him.  If he's a scrappy young man, he can go from city to city and prove himself.  If he came from a good school and they already know all about him, they can show how much they want him with a comparable salary and benefit package.  It seems fair that someone would have the choice of picking where he or she wants to work.  If they love the heat they can head to Arizona... and if they love mountains...it's off to Colorado.  You love old people and hurricanes?  I hear Florida is a nice place to play.

So somebody could take a big bonus and go to one of the rich teams, or try and help the hometown team and earn a little less while also enjoying all the perks that go along with playing in familiar surroundings.  Maybe they can try and get both...it's up to them.  This way we're cheering on the team that chose us and not just the guys and gals who were stuck playing in some city they hate.

Sure some teams would spend more.  It happens in the real world and we still have different places to shop, eat and watch Mr. Bob Saget perform comedy while standing up.

Let's give the guys and gals their own choice.  This isn't the army...why are we holding a draft?

just a thought...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hadron Smokes!

They're firing up the Hadron Collider.  It's been twenty years in the making and it's about to get the 2 AAA batteries put in it.

This thing is fifteen miles in circumference.  High-energy protons will be smashed together at roughly the speed of light in two counter-rotating beams and then we'll all see what happens.

If this thing doesn't have a lightning bolt painted on the side of it, I quit.

I've been trying to picture a device fifteen miles around and all I can see is the scientist who made it.   I see him with a fairly new hair piece and a corvette.

Somebody's compensating...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

a mesage to the people

I've decided to change my answering machine message.  I've gone with the standard, hi it's Sean...blah blah blah...leave message...I'll call back...." for a while now.  It's time to move on.

I think we're ready. We all understand how the whole process works now.

I do have a couple of ground rules.
-Never tell the person what number they just called.  They know.  They dialed it.  Their phone has redial and their cell phone has a call log.  I just saved you 8 seconds.

-Don't make jokey jokes.  It's always hilarious....but if you call the person twice in one day...it gets old.  After a week it's just annoying.

-if you say something like, "I'll be out from June 23rd to June 27th"  make sure that isn't still your message on August 4th.

-if you rap or sing on your message, you're telling people to hang up.

Here is what I suggest.
"Hi, it's me ________ here's the beep"

That's all we need.

Here's the problem.  I did that very thing and after the beep there is some lady telling people that they have several options....the only one of which they ever choose is to either talk or hang up.  I don't want to change my machine to say, "Hi, it's Sean here's the lady telling you things that aren't helpful.  I'd like to fire this lady, but she rarely stops by and I'd hate to do it over the phone.

but I'm tempted to...

Monday, September 08, 2008

kicked me in the arse

The best line I've heard in a while came from my friend Dave the other day.

He was actually quoting Dorothy Day.  "You only love God as much as the person you love the least"

I think she was right.  The Bible makes the same claim several times in several ways in scripture.

So who is your enemy?  Who is the person you're mocking, insulting, or just generally despising these days?

Think about the convention (the one you didn't like - you know the one with the idiots saying stupid stuff).  Who are you loving the least these days?

If Dorothy was right and that's exactly how much you love God....

...I don't know.  It's just something to think about I guess.

Friday, September 05, 2008

He said, she said

Fox news is bad!
All the networks and CNBC are worse!
The republicans are mean!
The democrats are hypocritical!
It's time for a new administration!
The democrats keep flip flopping to try and play both sides!
You're a big meanie!
Well you're a stupid-head!

People have been getting mad - choosing sides and blindly following those sides (despite the evidence on either side) - insulting each other - belittling each other - getting way defensive - way insecure - it's just ugly (right now people are thinking - yeah, they really have been bad...those other guys)

It's sad, it really is.  I have one person that I've had an actual conversation about this that didn't do this.  He agreed that his side had some flaws/hypocrocy and I did the same.  It was civil.  It was honest.  We weren't sprinting to our computers to pull out the latest spin from whatever side we wanted to take.  We just talked.

The point wasn't to WIN the argument.  We didn't have to deflect from our candidate's weaker points by pre-emptively pointing them out as a way of softening the reality or truth of the issue.  We didn't have to change topics or point to side issues to try and take the conversation away from our losing a particular point.

We just talked and didn't keep score.

I'd forgotton about that conversation until last night when I was reading to the boys
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. -James 1:1-20

Thursday, September 04, 2008

the 3 o'clock conversations

"You can impress from a distance, but you only truly impact up close."  I've heard this a bunch of times and I can't see any flaws in this argument.  I've seen it played out hundreds of times in the people's lives around me.

I love going to the big conferences.  I think it's great to have a silly amount of people show up to the big thing...but to what end?  Often it's like going to the big game - exciting, energizing, exhilarating...and not a whole lot changes.

I know this.  If you get enough people to show up to the big thing - you'll get some stories.  You're bound to.  Stuff will happen.  It always does.  If 50 people sit around and don't do much, there will probably be at least one person who just sort of does something noteworthy.  500 might produce 10 stories...and so on.  You might even get enough stories to keep you going, but is this the best way?

Gatherings are good for gathering.  If there's no second step, no relationship, no sense of belonging or commitment - I'm just not sure there will be much impact.

Bono won't really have that big of an influence on my life.  He just won't.  I'm impressed by him.....sometimes inspired.  I might even do a thing or two that he talks about - I'm just not sure that he'll have made an impact on my life the way that the people I live with will.

Day to day takes a lot longer.  Life on life is a lot tougher.  Unpolished, unrehearsed conversations aren't always as noteworthy as convention speeches and conference keynotes...but they do something bit by bit that eventually creates a difference.

So where does that leave us?  If this is how we've always done it - if this is all we've ever really seen - if the other way seems harder - if there isn't a great book out there telling us how to live among people as opposed to telling them how to live - how will we ever hope to do it?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Been there, done that

If you've already done something and now are doing a different thing....does that mean that you're now "past all of that"?

Have you evolved?

I hear the expression, "Been there, done that" every once in a while and I sometimes wonder how that applies.  I'm a big believer in experience.  I think true wisdom is time spent + lessons learned.  Time spent - lessons learned often results in someone saying, "been there, done that".  Having "been there" or "done that" doesn't mean I've learned a thing.  I haven't necessarily proved or disproved anything either.  I've simply been there and done that.

If, out of the passion of my younger years, I pursued something whole heartedly and failed...does that make it wrong?  Often I'll do the right thing the wrong way.  I'll get excited about something and go for it...and fail.  I don't think through the smartest way to do something or the smartest time to do something...or I just run into problems.  Months or years later when I hear about someone else pursuing that same thing - I'm tempted to drop the "been there, done that" line on them.  In fact I've probably used a variation of that line hundreds of times.

Sometimes I "evolve" to a safer course.  Because I used to do one thing, and now do another thing...that doesn't mean that I'm beyond that first thing.  I'm not more mature or better, smarter or more disciplined.  Often I've just learned how to play it safe.  I use all the smart phrases - I'm a family man now - I'm too old to do that or to start over.

Looking back two or three years/decades - do you think you're going for it as much as you used to before you got so smart?
or are you just kind of playing it safe?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Who names a hurricane Gustav?  Greg, George, Griffin, Gloria, Gwen, Goldie, Gordon, Gomer...I've got dozens of them. 

Have you ever met a Gustav?

Ever even seen the name in a baby name book?

I sort of think they just made this one up. 

I've often thought they should name the hurricans after former heavyweight champions or Disney characters.  This way you can have people either take them more seriously and listen to the mayor or governor when they tell you to get out of town...or you can relax and calm down.

Hurricane Tyson is coming to town?  I'm getting out of here.  Hurricane Sneezy is coming to town?  Oh, it can't be that bad.

Hurricane Buster Douglas is coming to town?  I'm not sure what to think???

Monday, September 01, 2008

daydream football

I'm in two "fantasy" football leagues this year.  It's never really been a fantasy of mine to have a football team with Owen Daniels playing Tight End.  It would have been a fantasy to have him play on my high school team, but I'm not sure it is at this level.  We shall see...

All I know is that we had two drafts this year and I phoned them both in.  I've always been a fan of the bid drafts.  There's more strategy.  You can really show how much you value a particular player by how much fake money you throw his way.  Everyone starts with the same fake money and nobody is mad that they were the last team to pick in the first round of the draft for the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW!!  You can also run up the bids or steal a player late for a dollar.  It's a fun event.  I'd much rather hang out with a group of friends and have a bid draft, or even a traditional draft than just push some buttons on my computer.  I couldn't even be near my computer this year for the online draft.  I had to submit a list and let big blue do the picking for me.

I'm always going to hold out for something having a relational edge rather than just phoning (or typing) something in.  We can drive thru a restaurant without talking to anybody.  We can do our mail from home and most of our shopping.  We've isolated ourselves enough - let's look for more opportunities to interact with humans and leave the cyber world to online predators and the people making funny or die.

Bottom line - I'm sitting Peyton Manning this week - that's how confident I am in my backup quarterback.  Now that's a fantasy.