We need help – some of the time

car exhausts from 3 different cars

Some praise the idea of increased rules. Others tout the benefits of self-regulation.

I argue for somewhere in the middle.

I am old enough to remember cities before the era of car emissions laws… a brown layer of thick haze covered the skyline on most days.

Today, new passenger vehicles are 98-99% cleaner in what comes out of tailpipes compared to vehicles from the 1960s (source). That change would not have happened without government regulation.

At the other end of the spectrum lies the ridiculous state of health care in the USA. Because of government regulations (and also private litigation), it takes months to pay a single doctor’s bill. And it’s nearly impossible to find out the real cost of a simple procedure because of added complications from the insurance industry.

Why does government involvement in one area yield good results in one area and bad results in another? I’m not sure.

One end of the spectrum says groups have no wisdom. The other end says the individual has no wisdom.

Both are incorrect. Groups and individuals have wisdom – some of the time. And some individuals have no wisdom, just as some groups have no wisdom.



crashing on the street

A few weeks ago, I took a tumble off my bike. The road repair crews had put caution tape between the cones along one of the roads on my way to work – that wasn’t there the week before. I didn’t see the tape until I was too close. I slammed my brakes and went head-over-heels.

A guardian angel lady saw me tumble and quickly pulled over. She crammed my bicycle into the back seat and took me home, in spite of how I was such a bloody mess.

Through a miracle, I was able to get my teeth fixed that morning at a nearby dentist. Through another miracle, my dental insurance covered the vast majority of this unplanned expense.

Good as new!

Not quite. My face was a melange of scars for the next week. The aches and pains still live on – for a little while, at least.

That incident reminded me that nearly anything can happen to us. And that we’re fragile.

People all around us are injured. We may not see their scars. But we should treat them with love and care, just like that guardian angel lady treated me.

We never know if someone in our daily lives is about to break. The stress of life might be more than they can handle.

A little love and care can go a long way toward their healing. And we’ll feel better for having made a difference in their life.


The name flush

missing nameI have a great ability to forget your name immediately after you tell me. This is not good.

Why do I forget? Maybe at a subconscious level, I think I don’t need to remember your name. Definitely, I am overwhelmed with keeping up with the flood of information I need to remember for work or to keep the wheels of life spinning. In any case, when I forget your name, I am cheating you. I am cheating myself. At a very basic level, if I remember your name, I am telling you that I value you. I am opening the door to a relationship and am showing you I think you are worth getting to know.

Work with me on this. Let’s try to remember names.



The spectrum of friendsFriends fall into a spectrum. Some people we just love – and others – well, not so much.

Of course you know that. But sometimes there is guilt involved. If someone falls into the not so much end of the spectrum, we often feel guilty – that we should like them more.


Just let people fall naturally where they fit into your spectrum. But give yourself freedom to realize that your feelings toward them may change over time. Or not.


Men are different from women

Photos of outfitsYou know that men are different from women. I know that too.

I’ve been married to Heather for more than 20 years. I love her and am always amazed that after all these years, we are still discovering new things about each other.

She started a new contract job recently at a large company that has a fairly formal corporate culture. She has to “dress up” to go to work. Some mornings involve a clothing crisis before the right outfit is found.

Now this is partly a personality thing, but it takes me about 5 seconds to choose what I’ll wear to an event or a work situation. Heather deliberates till she finds the perfect outfit. Since she has really good taste, she scores. (I don’t always score, but she often will warn me of impending mistakes.)

So I came up with an idea to save her time in the morning. What if I took photos of each of her outfit combinations and she could just flip through the set of photos to choose the outfit for a particular day?

No. She didn’t like that idea. Why? “You just wouldn’t understand.” (True.)


Anonymous photography

People I will never meetOne thing I love about photography is that you can take photos and have them for a while.

We took a long trip this summer, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed looking at the photos I took, over and over.

This family was in the Harrod’s Store in London. I will never know who they are. They will never know who I am. We will never meet. But I can wonder about what their lives might be like.


Super encouragement

You never know when the past will meet the present.

Two weekends weeks ago, we attended the graduation ceremony for our dear friend Stefani. Little did I know, but that day the pastor from my junior high and high school years was being given an honorary doctorate. He also gave the commencement address (excellent).

After the ceremony, Heather, Rachel and I went to greet both him and his wife. They were super nice! I told them how their influence on my life so many years ago was still lasting to this day.

Moral of the story? You may be making an impact on someone today – and that impact may last a long time.

(The horrible photo is from my cel phone – but that is the couple, on stage.)


Mom & me


Actually, this was a rare moment in our relationship.

One of my sisters came across this photo while we were dissasembling her apartment. (I love the pic!)