Tuesday, February 28, 2006

eternal algebra

A friend of mine used to describe eternity as a trip to California.
Conversely, life on Earth is like parking in the middle of a parking lot at an amusement park. If the trolley comes by and there's no room to sit, you don't mind standing up and holding onto the little loopy deal hanging from the roof. It's actually kind of fun.
What wouldn't be fun is standing the entire trip to California. I can stand for a few minutes if I know that I'll be getting off the trolley soon..and I can see my destination...but for several days?
His point was that life's little inconveniences are just a blip on the radar. When we realize that our life here on Earth is just a quick little trip to Disney World...it's easier to weather the storms. You don't mind standing up while someone else takes a seat, because it's not that long in comparison.

On the scale of eternity....with a line that goes forever in the past, and forever in the future...our lives are the smallest of dots. It's helpful for me to think about that when I'm trying to make a big decision.

So the question is, are you living for the dot, or are you living for the line?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Simon Says...sit down Garfunkel

I'm leading 400 doctors and nurses in Simon Says tomorrow afternoon.
That's kind of different.

This will be the first time I've been to this place since my wedding reception. Last time I was there I was introduced as half of "Mr. and Mrs. Murphy" and tomorrow it will be, "Simon...and you'd better do what he says...or you'll have to sit down"

The control freak in me gets a kick out of these things.

The guy who has to be at a meeting 25 minutes after he starts the game, kind of gets nervous about arguing with old people about whether or not simon actually said something.

should be interesting...

I think???


Someday I'm going to publish all of my edited, deleted, saved and not yet posted, blog posts. It'll be when Annie's not around to stop me. It'll be right after someone slips a Mickey into my diet coke and I'm so drunk with power (and whatever is in a mickey...anyone know what a mickey actually is? Adam?) that I won't care.
I'll be uncensored.

I say things on occasion that are 100% correct and people look at me like I've kidnapped the Lindberg baby (if you're under 75 - "They'll look at me like I punched Reece Witherspoon in the ear") It doesn't matter if I'm right...there are just some things you shouldn't say.
The truth doesn't matter...it's about keeping up with appearances?


So, how about them Olympics?

My early prediction - 5 gold for the US
actual US golds - 9 (I forgot that snowboarding is a sport)
well done United States of America - God Bless the USA! Go Eagles! (are we the Eagles? Seems like we should be...)

how is shuffleboard on ice, with 50 year olds a sport?

and really? Softball and baseball aren't Olympic sports, but sliding down a mountain on your butt is a sport?
Yeah, they have to point their toes to be aerodynamic.
Ah...touché - game, set, match - you.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


it's crazy to me that kids run everywhere....
I wonder what happens? In high school you're in great shape...but you sleep in on the weekends and spend a lot of time lazing around the house. It's almost like you have the power to go run around...and you will when you want to....but you'll also just sit there and watch tv for hours at a time.

So you're a little kid and have to run everywhere....then you're a teenager and can run when you want to...and then you're an adult and the very idea of running gives you the shakes.
Or is that just me?

I watched a guy on tv talk about running and walking. He was talking about the walking craze and said, "You know how it's almost harder to walk than to run? It's almost like you're holding yourself back....you just want to break out into a jog"
"Yeah, it's like you're forcing yourself to go slow when you really want to break out into a full run"
No...I don't know that feeling. I have no idea what you're talking about.

That's insane!
Run instead of walk?
You're crazy

I think it must be something that people who eat right and exercise regularly feel. They just store up so much efficient energy that eventually they just have to release it.

I don't really suffer from that.

Friday, February 24, 2006

kids night at the Murphy's

We have the Thomas kids here for the night. Maddie and Caleb plus Griffin and Cooper (and one on the way)

Four kids in one house for the night feels like a lot. Soon we'll have 3/4's of that living here.

More cartoons, more first words, more crawling,

more diapers...more bills...more doctor visits...more tantrums...

More moments where one of them climbs up onto your lap, tucks their head onto your chest and then they look up and just smiles that smile of contentment.

It's just the best.

Things are good at the Murphy house...

Cafe Philosophique

Had an interesting discussion last night.
There were nine of us gathered to talk about our differing views about a variety of subjects. To some degree it was like the view....Barbara starts the show by saying, "I wanted to get together a group of girls with different views..." and I'm always struck by how similar their core values are...and also by Star Jones eyes...but I think we all feel that way.

Anyhow, last night was very much like the View (with Adam playing the part of Star Jones....he was Sassy and said, "Go girl!" a couple of dozen times) We all had the same basic core values, but did see different solutions, had varying degrees of hope, discontent, and saw different paths that we could wander down.

I've read Proverbs a few times and there's this recurring theme of shut up and listen (it says it a little softer than that) I did a word study on listening last week. I was talking with a group about how to honor friendships by listening and one of the thing I learned in the process is that there's great value in listening beyond just nodding my head and thinking through the smart thing I was going to say next.
I also learned that I'm a pretty bad listener.
Last night was a fun chance to try this new fangled thing out.
So I listened.
I picked a good night for it.
If I was in a room full of blathering idiots I would have either checked out or spoken up more....but there was some real wisdom in that room....or at least intelligence. I often gauge wisdom the same way that Robin Williams explains in Good Will Hunting...it's lived out.

Dave Workman is a wise dude...the rest of us are pretenders with a bunch of ideas about what might work. Either way it was great to be around one wise couple, and some young, energetic, inspired, intelligent, hot (Adam has the eyes of Star Jones), passionate folks...
It was really nice....even inspiring...

It wasn't quite the same as sitting on the couch and watching Dancing with the Stars and yelling at the judges for not grading Dustin Diamond higher for his Samba... but there'll be time for that...

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Random is an over used word...I get that. So is awkward (by me), the expressions, "let's talk off line" and "at the end of the day" Having said that...I still love awkward moments. I appreciate random items...and we all have our little words or lines that we use.
Here are some random thoughts from me...basically an awkward guy at the end of the day...if we can talk off line.

I just read an article entitled "A book this good deserves a better reviewer" which might be the greatest title of any book review I've ever read.

High heels I don't get. I hear all the time, "you guys don't know how good you've got it...you don't have to wear these things"
"so why do you wear them?"
"um...because they push up my butt and slenderize my legs"
"so shut up about it"
A $400 pair of high heels looks exactly like a $17 pair to me...they're all the same...just different colors. That's all I have to say about that.

I don't understand how court reporters can type so fast. If their machine is so much faster, why aren't we all typing with those things?

I think I'd feel more manly if I had a gray highlighter marker to work with There's just something about fluorescent...

In the last month - I was asked to be a third banana on a radio show - to move to Charlotte - to move to Columbus - to speak in Alaska - I was told that we're going to have a girl - I had one of those amazing, potentially life changing conversations - the Steelers won one for the thumb - and I saw a lousy movie that I liked - Not a crazy month, but a little different than most...

If I went back in time, I wouldn't know how to make a lightbulb, a car, a computer, or an x-box. I just wouldn't be able to help those poor cavemen unless I went to the pre-wheel days...and then I would be their king!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

hoping for the best

I have people that I really hope succeed...and people that I sort of enjoy watching them fail.

Is that so bad?

um....yeah Sean, it kind of is...

oh...so I should stop that?




I listened to a friend speak tonight and it was fun hoping for the best. It's great to see your friends do well. It's great to see them in a role that really fits them. So today was good...

The crazy thing is that there are some folks that I just struggle loving. When they screw up...it's almost like I soak in it. I think through all of the bad stuff they did...why they failed...I think about how that's a pattern in their life...and I feel bitter.

Wait a minute....bitter?

I watch someone that I like do well....and I feel better at first....and even later.

that's good

I watch someone that I don't really like fail....and I feel better at first...and then worse later...


I hear about someone I don't really enjoy screwing up... and I feel worse?

That doesn't make sense.
I know that I laugh or at least smile when it happens. I sort of rejoice when they screw up. Eventually though, I just end up soaking in that hate. It doesn't sit real well.

If I chose to love them instead of looking for them to fail, that might just end up helping me to not be so bitter.

Might be worth a shot...

Looking for the best in people...looking for people to succeed.....hmmm

(disclaimer - Annie read this and said that one of my friends is going to read this and think I'm talking about them..."Sean just heard about my not turning in a cover sheet with my GPS reports, I knew he wanted me to fail!!" if that's the case, rest assured - I probably am talking about you)

stylish substance

Style over substance? Substance over style? Style = Substance? Substance = Style?

I know a guy who has the fancy car, fancy clothes, spends enough money on haircuts to sponsor a child for a few months, says the right things (lots of buzzwords - paradigm shift, staple remover) He would read this description and hope that I was talking about him...

The thing is, he has incredible opportunities to affect change. Because he does all the cheeseball stuff (seriously, get out of the bathroom, put on your jewelry and let's go!) people listen to him. It's as though people are so tired or the artistic, creative types that have so much potential...but typically are late to everything...if they show up at all...and you'd love to have them on your team...but then you hate having them on your team.

The style over substance guy cares enough about appearances that he'll show up on time. He'll turn in reports and return phone calls. He really cares about other's opinions...and wants to be seen as a smart, sharp fella...so he does stuff. Good results...insecurity or pride driven motivation.

So do you go with the guy who has the gifts....or with the guy who has the packaging?

I think part of the problem with the folks with the gifts is that they can coast. They're like the star athlete who just has to show up and he's the best guy on the court. You wish he's try harder...because he'd be Michael Jordan...but he doesn't have to. The style guy can only buy more expensive watches, shirts and leather shoes.

I guess we'd all do better to put a little more effort into things. We can show up on time (if we care more about the person we're meeting than we do about ourself). We can return phone calls (see above) We can try to be generally reliable. I guess a lot of these things come from the "I'll do that when I feel like it...and let them wait on me" mentality. It's o.k. if I'm late because I'm very important...and my time is worth more than your time.

Ah well....I'd better get going. I've gotta get my jag out of the garage and hit the salon...

metrosexual (met.roh.SEK.shoo.ul) n. An urban male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.—metrosexuality n.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

it's the little things

I've always been intrigued by window washers. I could watch them for minutes.
there are very few non sports or tv related things that I could watch for minutes.
There's just something about those guys with the extra wide squeegee (how fun is that word) deals and the wide washer doo hickeys. They always start at the top in the corner. They wind their way down to the bottom covering every inch. It's the twisting motion that I like to watch. It's almost an art.
I owned a store in Columbus for a few years and it was always my favorite day when they'd come in and wash our huge windows.
This is kind of weird, huh?

It's the little things.

If I pay for a 5 piece chicken nugget meal and they give me 6, I flip out. It's like I won the lottery.

If I go to pay for a book and it rings up for less than it's marked, I always ask, "Excuse me, but is that price right?" (it's one of 7 areas that I have a modicum of integrity in) "Yes sir, all of our extra thick books that only really smart people can read are 32.5% off today...it's an unannounced sale for Mensa members"
"Oh....right. Um....is my Sports Illustrated discounted too?" Paying less than I expected is one of life's great surprises.

Sometimes I put on a coat and step outside only to realize that it's warm enough for a sweatshirt and no coat...it's just the best (and I need to move to Charlotte)

Griffin sometimes just runs up to me yelling "DADDY!!!" and then he jumps in my arms...and life is good.

I have a boring meeting and it's not so bad...or better yet, gets cancelled....I love that.

I go to drive to the gas station and realize that Annie's already filled the tank...and I love her a little more.

I get a rebate check in the mail, a letter from a friend, find $5 in a pocket...these are some of life's great moments...and a few of them just might happen today (if I take the time to notice them)

Monday, February 20, 2006

checking the risk box

Living on purpose, full contact living, live like you mean it.... That sounds a lot better than, getting through the day, checking the box, or get home and become one with the couch.

I'd rather live my life doing stuff that stretched me. I'd rather move out of state, try something new and possibly fail, than play it safe and never really see big changes. I debated moves while I was living in Middletown about twice a year. I'd get a call from somewhere, think through the possibilities...and then not do them. I really felt like we were accomplishing some stuff in the home of the Middies.

Eventually, I got a call to go to Pennsylvania. This was more of a "go there now" than a "are you willing to consider" and it was hard. I'm still glad we went. We accomplished some things, made friends, lived in another state....and it was tough. I'm glad we did it.
We moved here because we thought it'd be a good stretch. We might someday move again. I just don't want to stick around because I think I can work the system. I definitely don't want to create an extensive list of "boundaries" that keep me from really stretching myself...and never take any real risks. I want to be stretched...I want to sacrifice...I want to see big changes...and not through other people alone. I want to be in the game.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


I've seen over a dozen of my friends start blogs in the last couple of months.
It's the new black.

I love blogs.
I have one blog that I read every day and a few others that I like to check in on. I get asked about something in my blog just about every day and I rarely know what the person is talking about at first. Once I type something out...it's like it gets erased from my memory. I don't go back and read it...I just type and pretty soon I decide to stop...and then I hit "publish post". About 3-4 minutes is my typical process. I figure anything I happen to be thinking at the moment that would take more than 4 minutes to articulate...that's a lot of monologue and no dialogue.
Maybe it's my ADD that struggles with reading anything on a computer screen for more than that. I can read a book for hours, a magazine for dozens of minutes, a blog for 4 minutes and a menu for 2.
My aunt Peggy (her real name is Margaret Mary...but Peg is short for that??) just started up a blog...should be a good one...I'll let you know.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

one thumb up....sortta

You ever hear a third grader sing a song that is really, really bad...but it made you smile because it was cute?

Your kid draws you a picture that resembles a plate of spaghetti and tells you it's a picture of his two best friends. It's really bad....but you love it because your little boy drew it.

O.K., it's not a little kid. It's someone you know trying their best to perform in a local play that just is bad...but you like it because you know how hard they worked.

Now it's a bad movie about the Olympic hockey team winning the gold...and it looks like a tv movie of the week, but you love it because it's about hockey and you love hockey.

I use these to illustrate the movie I went to last night. (not miracle)

Horrible acting. Really bad. The understudy of your highschool rendition of Fiddler on the Roof bad.

Makeup that you could visibly see on the actors.

Cinematography that reminded me of videos I made in college.

A script that was straight out of Freshman Film School...
....at a community college in Wisconsin

Predictable ending. Predictable beginning. Stunted, stumbling plot.

You get the point.

The thing is...I liked it. It had a great heart and message (how can you go wrong with racial reconciliation....like Lethal Weapon or 48 hours)

I'm kind of glad I went to this awful movie...

Friday, February 17, 2006


There are these fellas and gals in Kansas City that pray.
That's what they do.
They're prayers.

"What are you doing today?" "I'm praying, how about you?" "Yup, me too"

I had a chance to read a pretty good book titled, "the hour that changed the world" and the whole concept of the book was to build the discipline of talking with God for at least an hour a day (I'm probably completely misrepresenting the author's intent here) I do think to some degree that prayer is a discipline.

In a relationship you could argue that it's a discipline to take time each day and not think so much about yourself, but to instead listen to your spouse (or to one of your 17 roommates -if you're teaching communications, starting a mime ministry and helping to launch a church) and really hear what's going on in their life.
I'm much better at talking than listening (and I'm not that great at either of them). It takes discipline sometimes to not just become one with the couch, fondle the remote control and drift into Sean time. I know that sounds contrived or forced...we should crave our time with our loved ones...and I do...but the reality is that sometimes we're just having a bad day, or are feeling selfish, or want alone time. None of that's bad...but if we don't take the time to communicate...there are going to be problems.
To some degree we need to put some effort into the relationship. It should absolutely be effortless...but we're a bunch of screwballs (see the latest divorce stats) and probably need to throw in a little discipline into the mix.



So I've been talking with some folks who are familiar with IHOP and trying to get their read on things. I asked a friend if she'd been there (we'll call her "Candy") and she said she loved it. I saw her husband later (we'll call him "Mat") and said, "So, have you ever been to IHOP?"
"Yeah, a few times"
"I didn't know if you had gone with 'candy' or not, but she said she loved it...what did you think"
"I liked it a lot"
"But 'Toni B' hates it."
"really, why?"
"He just really doesn't like the food"

So in my mind I'm picturing this cross country trip to the International House of Prayer where people pray around the clock...and "toni" gets there and doesn't like it because the steaks a little under cooked.

turns out he thought I was talking about the pancake place...you can see the misunderstanding...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

shakin in my boots...

I shake. I'm a shaker. I used to think that everybody had hands that shook...but turns out it's just me and Ali. I remember wondering how they did delicate surgery since no one could possibly hold their hands steady enough to do that. It's funny how I assumed that everyone must tremble a bit just because I did.

I make the mistake of the false assumption a lot. I'm feeling this way about this...so everybody must. I have to continually ask people around me how they're feeling about issues just so I can try and figure out next steps. If they feel the same way as I do...then it seems like I can start moving towards solutions. If they don't...crap....then I have to figure out how to tell them they're wrong.

Is that bad?

Out of my pride/insecurity comes this insatiable urge to fix things. Sometimes those "things" just happen to be people...or more pointedly, the way they think. I value my opinions so much that I want to help people to have the incredible opportunity to have my opinions themselves...

That's bad, right?

It'd be great to not care about anything. That's part of my problem.

When people don't care about certain things I tend to envy their emotional distance from whatever it is. I do this with a lot of things...but the things I really care about....it's hard to just sit back and let things happen. I can't just say, "Oh well" or "whatever" it kills me...it eats at me...
it gives me the shakes

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

wind catchers

I'd rather ride in a paddle boat than a sailboat. I'd rather churn my feet on the pedals and steer that boat around the lake. On the surface, it seems like that's where the action is.

I'm guessing it's a control issue with me. I'd rather try and crank out work than depend on anyone or anything...like the wind.

I've heard that some of the best sailors sometimes just sit on the shore and look for wind before they head out. Even better sailors just head out to where they know the wind will be. They know it instinctively because they've been wind catchers their entire lives. They don't create the wind and certainly can't control it...but they know it.

My control tendencies, driven by being selfish, full of pride, insecure or all of the above - keep me from experiencing the wind. I crank along at a snails pace...and then eventually get tired and quit...while people sail by me enjoying the wind.

I've been on the sailboat a few times. It's nice to just enjoy the ride. You pull a few ropes, shift a few things around...but the power of the wind is really what gets you going.

I want to stop cranking. I want to stop trying to control everything. I want to enjoy the wind. I want to be carried away with it. I struggle with wanting to paddle...but man would it be great to be wrapped up in the power of the wind....to bask in it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

a day to remember

"you can impress at a distance, but you only impact people up close"
I've heard that a few times and I believe it.

I get motivated when I go to big events. I get excited after seeing a great speaker or even an inspiring movie. I love all of those things....but it seems like the simple conversations with folks that I know, that are the life changing, motivating, inspiring times where I see real life, do-able possibility. When I hear from someone I know, and know their struggles, talk about life change...it gives me hope.

Hope has always been hard for me. I guess that's why it's so attractive to me. It's never become blase or common for me...it's always fresh (when I catch a glimpse of it)

Yesterday I was a part of a hope filled conversation. I saw up close the spark of electricity that was coursing through my friend. If windows are truly the window to the soul, I had a front row seat...and it was inspiring. I wasn't envious (which is rare for me) I was in awe.
It was attractive and infectious

Yesterday was a day I'll remember...

my gal

I love my wife.
I remember losing sleep because I was so in love with her...and I love her more now.
I love her laugh. I love her smile. I love her eyes. I love her heart for others.
I love her sense of humor. I love that she loves me. I love how she loves Coop and Grif.
She yells at the top of her lungs when she sneezes, and that can be a little goofy...
but that's about all I got...and I can live with that.
She's just the greatest.
I win.

Monday, February 13, 2006

the office

There's just something about awkward moments that I love. This is why I love the Office (the show...not the place....not that I don't love the office, the place....but who are we kidding?)

I was wondering if in five years I'd feel the same way about the Office as I do about Seinfeld now. I remember basking in the glow of a good Seinfeld episode. It was glorious. Now I like the reruns...but it's just not the same. It's kind of like how I feel about MASH. Anybody under 30 has problems buying into my putting MASH on my all time top shows. It's hard to revel in the beauty of a good tv show episode 10 years after the fact. In it's time, MASH was THE show.

My list of greats:

Last Comic Standing
The White Shadow
The Office
Happy Days (I was 8)
Northern Exposure (the first two seasons)

I'm also quickly becoming a big fan of Love Monkey and am on the verge of putting Scrubs up with the big boys...

only so many hours...

Exaggerations sort of eat at me. It's hard for me to hear someone talk about how much they do, or have done and not internally verify their numbers.
I'm not a great listener...I'm not a great basketball player...I'm not a great chemist...but I'm pretty good at doing quick math in my head. The problem with that is that I tend to think through people's claims. I can figure out what the possibility or probability of something occurring are...and it sort of eats at me if they're lying.
I try to think of it as exaggeration...and that doesn't bug me as much. It still bugs me though. You'd think I'd learn to use this power for good....like playing poker...but I tend to use it as a sort of B.S. meter (B.S. standing for "Baloney sandwich" of course)

We all exaggerate to some extent (or maybe I'm overgeneralizing...or sort of exaggerating the facts). I certainly do. I exaggerate my perceived weaknesses to be not quite so weak...and my strengths to be stronger than they are in actuality.
My name is Sean, and I exaggerate. As I say that, I know it's true...but I can't think of anything in particular that I've exaggerated recently. Maybe it's something that I subtly do day to day...maybe I've grown so accustomed to my exaggerations that I've come to believe them.

Maybe today is a good day for self reflection. I can take the day off of worrying about other's exaggerations and focus on the stuff I'm trying to cover up...or enhance...

I really can't do either right now...I've got another car to build before lunch...

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Our window just exploded. Actually it just shattered....but it felt more like an explosion. We think the stroller in the back somehow busted it. Luckily it was a back window with tinted glass and a defroster on it...so that'll probably be cheap.

It's funny how quickly I went to blame. "Did some kid throw a rock at you?" "No, I don't think so" I was immediately looking for someone to blame that didn't have the Murphy surname.

It drives me nuts when people do that...and I do it all the time. People do it after elections, sporting events, when they screw up at work...it's just easier to blame people for cheating, or for somehow thwarting our plan.

It's weak.

I need to man up.

I screw up all the time. Often it's because I forgot something, procrastinated, said something the wrong way, or just dropped the ball.

It's not always someone else's fault. It's not always the government's responsibility. It's not because someone's out to get me. I just make mistakes.

I'm human.
Really human.
I think I'm extra human.

It's time to fess up and move on.

My name is Sean and I'm completely capable of screwing up just about anything...except for my chip dip....it's killer.

the law of the lid

I just heard someone talking about the leadership law of the lid. It's the principle that you can't take people past where you are in a particular area...so you'd better figure out what your "lids" are, and then delegate those to people with higher capacity.
Makes sense...

In my mind, this goes back to pride. It's pride that makes us think we can do everything. It's pride that doesn't allow us to give things away. It's a lack of self awareness that keeps us blind to our weaknesses. It's that blindness that keeps us from allowing others to live up to their leadership ability by handing them things that they're better equipped to handle.

Because the guy running the meeting didn't ask others about his ability communicate effectively, it was a poorly run meeting. If he is willing to hear that he's not great at something....maybe he hands it off to someone who is...and we have a well run meeting.
or project...or event...or business.

This guy said that he'd pulled in his entire staff and asked them to share with the group their lid. The interesting thing was that nobody was surprised. Everyone already knew each other's lids. The people working for you know your lid. It makes sense. You know the lid of the person you work for....they know the lid of the person they work for...we just see it. Sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it takes awhile.

He said that it was very freeing to have people talk about their lids. It opened up constructive dialogue about how to work together more effectively...when to delegate...how to emphasize strengths...and how to do "what only you can do" within the framework of the different responsibilities.

It's gotta take some real humility to open that kind of conversation up. I don't know if I could do it. I've been out of real, life on life, daily leadership for a short time now, and I wonder if I would have had the guts to do this with my last group. I did take out time to have folks tell others what they felt like their strengths were. It was empowering to some and it was a sort of wake up call for others (who didn't have people talk about their strengths in an area where they had an inflated view of their giftedness) It ended up being a good thing because we had an honest view of how we viewed each other's strengths.

I just came out of an hour long meeting where we watched a DVD from the Leadership Summit.

Inspiring stuff that makes me thing...

that's the probleme with inspiring stuff....it makes me think...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I have the antidote for Olympic fever

Am I the only one who didn't know the Olympics were starting yesterday?

I remember when they were a big deal. I was at a big meeting last night and not one person mentioned that we were missing the opening ceremonies. You'd never schedule a big meeting during the Super Bowl, but there were two other meetings going on in that building and the one next door.

We just don't care that much about the winter Olympics....because we're just o.k. at them. We're like the college that isn't that good at football...and people just don't really care. At UC you'll find thousands of rabid basketball fans and dozens of rabid UC football fans. Actually there are a lot more, but they love OSU football. It's the same way in NFL & MLB cities that aren't any good...until they start winning.

The thing is - The USA is supposed to win the second most medals. That's another thing...we don't really care unless they're gold medals. We're only supposed to win five golds. That's about fourth best....fourth isn't good enough. We're supposed to get second overall in medals...that's almost good enough...but it isn't. The US will have spent millions of dollars on training and developing athletes and will end up with 5 more golds than the Murphy household.

We're front runners. Part of the deal is that unless you're a gal, you probably don't care a bunch about figure skating...and unless you're a freak, you probably don't care about every other non hockey "sport" on ice. It's kind of sad to me that my favorite sport in the winter Olympics is hockey. You'd think they'd throw basketball or wrestling in there. It's not like you have to play outdoors. We have both of those sports in the winter over here. Maybe the deal is that it has to be cold indoors if it's not outdoors....

"I liked ______ before they were popular" I've heard that a thousand times. It's like it doesn't count if you started liking some group before they were famous. "I was following the ________'s when they weren't winning any games" Really? You'd think the stadium would have been more full if all the people who liked teams when they were horrible would have shown up. "I don't like _________ because they're popular" It's not cool to like popular stuff. People want to be different....on paper.
We are front runners and we hate front runners. We're a self loathing Country.

Lets root for the good 'ol US of A
Unless there's something better on TV...

Friday, February 10, 2006

school mom of the year

I just ran into a lady that I've met once before. I have no idea what her name is, but I know she's a mom at the school that Griffin goes to. The one thing I noticed when I met her before was that she talked to everybody. Not only did she talk to everybody, but she asked specific questions about what was going on with specific situations.

She just knew everybody and everything. It was really important to her. It makes sense that I would remember her because I took the time to see her in action. She stood out merely because of her talking to other moms. I couldn't pick out one other mom out of a lineup (wouldn't that be odd if I had to?)

The crazy thing is that she saw me (while she was talking to someone's mom) and said, "Hey, congratulations! A girl! Great news!"

She knew about #3 (I'm going to start calling her Tre) I have relatives and people that I see every day that don't know that our third child is going to be a girl...some don't know that we have a third kid on the way.

Her actions are crazy to me because people generally don't really care. We had one neighbor come over and introduce themself since we moved here four months ago. People just don't care. I understand that people move around a lot more now. I also understand that people can hang out in their air conditioned houses watching cable tv while talking with someone on instant messenger and playing Doom with someone in Detroit.

We don't hang out on porches...we don't have block parties...we don't really connect.

I don't think this lady (I have no idea what her name is) would have really stood out to me 50 years ago....well, neither of us were alive...so that would have been weird....
If this lady went back in time 50 years...she would just be another mom talking to all the moms (and the occasional dad with the day off)

I wonder sometimes if the church has become so inwardly focused because that's how society has evolved. Maybe some of the churches are a little better than society at caring for others...but I'll bet that we're not nearly as good as we used to be.

I wonder sometimes if there are folks in our church genuinely interested in folks outside of the church...who are willing to step out and engage them in some sort of conversation. I know there are a few....

but a few?
That's what we're looking at here?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. - Chariots of Fire

God didn't make me fast. And when I run I feel his displeasure.

I had a chance to teach a small class last night. It just feels right. You know how you get into bed sometimes and it's like your entire body...even your feet...just relaxes at the same time?
It just feels right.
Then the phone rings...

Last night the phone didn't ring.
It just feels right. I really miss teaching. I used to do it 2 - 3 times a week. Now I do it almost never. It's something I've really missed.

I love speaking to groups...and I love to teach. They sort of go hand in hand.

I wonder if it's 100% pride/vanity/attention seeking or if maybe...just maybe...thats something that God's given me. Maybe a sliver of - he doesn't totally suck at this....just maybe it's only 97%

I miss it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

first pictures...

You can debate whether or not she's a life yet...but she's got a heartbeat....and Annie swears she looks just like Cooper...
Let's just pray she looks more like Annie than me...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I asked Grif if he'd rather have another baby brother, or a baby sister.
He wants a sister.
I asked him if he'd still like the baby if it was a boy...and he said no.
I asked why ,and he said that he already had a name picked out for his sister...he likes the name Belle (that's not going to happen)

Turns out it is a girl. (one pound one ounce...she even gave a thumbs up for the ultrasound picture) So bring on the dresses, dolls, pink stuff...

June 13thish I will be the father of two boys and one girl...I guess I am right now come to think of it...and was yesterday, I just didn't know it.

My three sons?

Today is the day.

In two short hours I'll know whether it's my three sons
I'm looking at years of dance recitals,
awkward moments where I'm not sure what restroom to use
while she's learning to use the potty,
buying dresses,
guys showing up in vans...
Today is a big day.
Do I have to eventually pay for a wedding....or for wrestling camps?
I know...girls play sports and boys...um...well, girls play sports...I get that.
a big day indeed...

Monday, February 06, 2006

and the things you've heard me say...

I wonder sometimes about leadership. There are some folks that are just naturals. People follow them. People continually ask them to be their mentor. They follow them. They pick up their habits. (not stalking, emulating) They take action that would lead them down the same path as their "leader".

"Look behind you, if no one's following....you're probably not a leader"
That's one of those quotes I've heard a few times in classes, seminars, meetings...and I think it's true.

I have a friend that I think is hilarious, and we used to challenge each other about how we were attempting to lead. Whenever one of our guys would make a sarcastic reference, we'd look at each other and say, "oh the things you've heard me say...teach to others..." Our point was that these guys were picking up our humor maybe more than our character...or that our character was all about our humor and not necessarily what we'd really like to pass on.

I sometimes wonder how much of my leadership is based on position, and how much is based on my life. Because of my last job, I just naturally had people who followed me. There were those who chose not to follow me by stepping down, and there were those who kind of did their own thing...but there were also a bunch who chose to follow. One of the nice things was seeing folks outside of my "job" approach me about getting together once a week to hang out and talk. Those were always significant to me because they felt a little more organic. They weren't predicated on my work, or getting ahead. They were just looking for someone to talk with, listen a little, and maybe offer some advice.

This is all running through my head because I miss that. I've had a few people talk with me about meeting periodically...and I'm looking for someone that I can meet with that will challenge me....I'm just not there yet. It's one of the hard things about being the new guy. It takes a while to get the lay of the land.

I think we all need a peer relationship where you can be brutally honest and just lay out your garbage. There's just something raw about admitting to stuff out loud. It somehow makes it more real.

I also think we need mentors. Personally, I need one guy that I can sit in front of to tell me, "Sean, you're too wrapped up in football...it doesn't matter even a blip on the radar of real life" or whatever my issue of the hour is at that moment. I need someone I respect to kick me in the butt...and to pick me up when I'm dragging.

It's just an amazing thing to see stuff in someone's life and want to follow them. It's even better (and scarier) when someone sees it in yours...

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Bono and Bush celebrating the Steeler's big win!

They did it. One for the thumb. Super Bowl Champs.

Big games are hard for me to watch. It's just a game...I know it's silly....but I get into them. I played in high school...coached at two high schools...I love football. The hardest thing for me is talking to someone after the game who never played.... or coached, talk to me about their "theories" on the game. I know you don't have to take crack to know it's not great for you...and you can know about a sport you never played....it's just that some people watch their team on Sundays and consider themselves experts.

Please don't talk to me about the game if you don't know the difference between a bubble route and a skinny post....or yell, "Off Sides!" every time the guard jumps.
"what's the difference between a 3-4 and a 4-3?" you ask...don't understand a nickel d or dime package...maybe we should just talk about the weather.

"they're lucky"
They beat everybody.
They had the hardest road to the Super Bowl ever...
Lucky? Are you sure you know what that means?

(5 seconds 'til the Bengals rant)

Outside of a couple of weeks when Ben was hurt and coming back from an injury...they were the best team in football. There have been some frustrating moments. 3 out of 4 Bengals fans were telling me that they thought that Pittsburgh would beat them in the playoffs "but it's still been one heck of a season" (it sort of took the fun out talking smack that week)

...and then 3 out of 4 Bengals fans were telling me that they were lucky....even though the experts had Pittsburgh favored...even though it was in Cincinnati...."Carson was going to throw it 65 yards every time...how could they have lost?"
That's how football works? You're not just saying that as a Bengals fan? Because the national sports writers aren't really picking up on that story.

Then the Steelers beat the team with the best record. Then the Broncos. Today they beat the best team in the NFC by two scores....lucky?

They're the best football team on the planet. I can now prove it. No more rants...who really cares? Every fan of every other team is already talking about next year....that's fine. They have the trophy, the ring, Hines has the new car....I'm going to be happy for them.

As odd as it is to say...today still wasn't a very good day.
Annie is running a fever. Grif doesn't understand why mommy can't play...and Coop is still on antibiotics.

It's hard to care that much about a game with a bunch of guys in tight pants fighting over a ball when your wife is carrying baby #3 and is dehydrated from throwing up for 24 hours.

I'd rather my wife and baby were healthy than watch the Steelers win yet another Super Bowl.... Some things just don't really matter that much...honestly.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Focus is a funny thing.
Things that bring me down seem to come back over and over to haunt me throughout my day. I see people get venomously angry about stupid things and I can't help but think, "boy, they're venonously angry...that's really stupid...they're really overreacting" and I'll come back to that thought throughout my day. Again and again. Boy are they stupid. I need to tell them they're being stupid. If I were to talk with them, I'd point out how stupid they're being...

Just keep thinking about them.

All day.

It eats at me.

It changes my perspective about things that should matter.

I just read that I should "set my heart and mind on thing above" and that's just straight up, 100% correctamundo (as Arthur Fonzarelli would say)

How great would it be if I didn't spend so much time focusing on stupid stuff, and then obsessing about it all day?

I'd probably love people better.

I'd probably be in a whole lot better mood....always.

I'd probably be rich and famous.

O.K., not rich or famous...but there are a lot of miserable, rich, famous people.

Maybe they should start focusing on things above...and less on the things of this broken world???

Thursday, February 02, 2006

fight the power

I was talking with a guy who mentioned that he doesn't listen to Christian music because he wonders why these guys are in it.
His point was that he thinks these guys and gals are just making music for the money. I asked him how many people he thought worked at our church for the money. He said, "everybody" Now I don't agree with him on that...and I don't really listen to Christian music myself...but I wondered about his assumptions.

I do the same thing all the time. I give my opinion about other's motives a bunch... but what do I know? Maybe these musicians are just in it for the dough. Maybe they're in it for the fame. Maybe everyone working at this church is just picking up a paycheck. Maybe we all clamor for the stage or running big meetings or having big titles for the "fame" - who knows?

The bottom line is that all of this assuming can really be debilitating. I know people that won't listen to a politician's point because he or she is from a different party. I heard an interviewer asking one of the heads of the Democratic party about some quotes from President Bush...and the guy said the President was dead wrong and a liar....and then the interviewer told him he was just kidding...they were actually quotes from John Kerry....and that changed everything. Same quotes...just different assumptions. Both sides do it...I'll even throw in the Green party (and their 17 supporters) It doesn't matter what the truth is...just who said it.

I can't watch movies because some of the stars are in it just to be famous. I can't watch tv because some of it's cheesy. I can't listen to jazz because some of those guys don't really have "soul" they're just picking up a paycheck. I can't talk to my neighbor because there are dangerous people out there. I can't go to a play because some of the actors aren't that good. I can't listen to Christian music because some of it's cheesy. I just know that mall Santa isn't really jolly and I'm not buying into his schtick...and I'm definitely not sitting on his lap.
I'm not doing anything anymore...I can't....there's the possibility that people have some screwed up motives.

I can no longer read blogs because this one is so bad...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Coretta Scott King 1927 - 2006

I was just reading about Dr. and Corretta King's kids. It seems like they've been screwing up the King Center ever since their mom stepped down a decade ago.
Nepotism will do that to you.
There are millions....literally...of people that would probably love to take that over. They'd be passionate about making that thing great...but they had the misfortune of not being born to Dr. King. Dexter King was running the center until he decided to pursue a career in the entertainment field. Keep an eye out for Dexter in Police Academy 8.

I was a fan of nepotism when my grandpa let me take inventory of his business to earn a couple of bucks. I liked it when my dad would pay him to help him write scripts or work on one of his video projects. Basically I like nepotism when it helps me...otherwise I think it's not the smartest way to work.

But back to me.... I love that I grew up with a dad that loved me more than he loved the kids down the street. I loved that I had a family that looked out for me just because I was a Murphy. In a perfect world that would make sense. You'd like to think that the King kids would be so excited about having a dad that helped to change the world...that they'd want to perpetuate that message.

I'm often like that. I have a father that loves me enough to die for me. You'd think I'd spend more time trying to perpetuate that message and less time trying to become a "STAR!" (Whatever that means...basically I'm trying to lift up the Sean agenda whenever I can)
Maybe I'm more like Dexter than I'd care to admit...