Taking Time to Compliment

Recently, I have been trying to send compliments to stores, restaurants, or the like if I receive great service. Olive Garden was the latest recipient. Service there has been extraordinary the last three times I have visited. I sent them an email telling them so after I got home from there last Tuesday.

In the reply back, they wrote, "It's a rare person who takes the time to compliment. Thank you for being that person!"

I'm no superhero, just a person sitting behind a keyboard who types too many words, but it is amazing how just such a simple task can make people happy. I know from retail that it is very rare that someone takes the time out to write a compliment. They might give one in passing, and those even make you very happy. They can be enough to keep you going through the barrage of hostile customers that you need to also help. But a written one means that someone took the time out to write a compliment at a later time.

I need to continue to use my words to encourage and make people's days better. It might not hurt you to do that either. If you encounter someone that has done a good job at a store or a restaurant this holiday season, remember their name and shoot the company an email. Share the holiday cheer.

Two Tidbits

I posted a new post over at Chi Rho Live: The Great Temptation.

I also started a new blog to chronicle my thoughts along the journey into campus ministry. Radius.

This blog will remain the place for my cultural and political ravings.


I just wanted to update everyone. I will not be posting much this month. Very busy with school, job, and future ministry.

But I will ask this, what is up with all of the Facebook profile pictures in which the person is holding a beer? I have no qualms against drinking, but I just find it strange.

American Roulette

Traffic is backed up for a wreck. Time passes. Frustration wells as I am going to arrive late to work. An hour later, the jam begins to move. We all drive by the wreck slowly looking at the damage done to the cars. It looks like an unsuspecting driver was t-boned by a car that missed a stop sign. A broadside at fifty-five. I drive a little faster as if that will make up for the lost time.

I'm reading a book as the evening news blares in the background. I miss hearing about a casualty from the wreck. My book is interesting. It's one of those spiritual self-help books. One of those that will make me a better person just by reading it.

I wake up in the morning, shave and shower just like I did yesterday. I get dressed. I eat my breakfast. I hop in my car. I'm running a little late. It's my morning ritual. I turn the key and start down the road. It's time for another game of American Roulette. And I don't even realize that I am playing.

General Mills Increases Profitability

General Mills tweaked their products here and there to make more money. It made me wonder what tweaks could be made in my life or in the business to help us save more money without changing anything significant.

New! Improved! Profit Margins!

Looking Back at Election '08 - Sparrow For President

The December 2008 issue of The Sun has an article on a man named Sparrow who ran for President on the Sudoku For All Party in 2008. Needless to say, he did not make any political waves. Reading excerpts from his speeches made me laugh.

Besides the few excerpts included here, more of the article can be viewed on The Sun's website.

WE MUST STOP THINKING of imperialism as strength. France and England conquered Africa; therefore we see them as “stronger” than Africa. But suppose you have two daughters: One is a farmer who works diligently on the land, growing food for her family. The other moves to a foreign nation, where she kidnaps three people at gunpoint and forces them to work as slaves. Which daughter would you consider “strong”? Which would you consider mentally unbalanced?

BECAUSE OF MY LOVE for Sudoku puzzles, I pick up all the free daily newspapers offered in New York City. Today’s issue of Metro contains a troubling essay on the lack of Secret Service agents. Don’t worry, I have the solution: let the presidential candidates campaign in pairs; but they must stick very close together, so that one agent may guard both of them. Personally, I am prepared to travel with Mitt Romney — and even share my deodorant with him.

FORTY-SIX PERCENT of the American people now support the impeachment of George W. Bush. Imagine if he were to decapitate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and carry her head through the streets of Washington on a pike. I’ll bet support for impeachment would rise to 48 percent!

OUR GREATEST NATIONAL PROBLEM is that so many of us take antidepressants (often just because we like the word Celexa). The American persona is cheerful enough already. When someone asks, “How you doing?” you must reply, “Fine,” or, “Great.” You’re not allowed to say: “I feel like a great big tongue that a water buffalo is peeing on.”
Americans are not happy or joyful. Rather they are “antidepressed.” We need to start taking pro-depressants. The world is depressing, and we are oblivious to this crucial knowledge.

ONE OF THE PRINCIPLES of homeopathic medicine is that a smaller dose is considered more effective than a larger dose. This has profound implications for U.S. foreign policy. At the moment, we have 158,000 troops in Iraq. Imagine if we had only six! According to homeopathic logic, this presence would be much more successful.
Let’s try it: Reduce troop levels to six soldiers and see what happens! Adopt a homeopathic foreign policy! Sparrow for president!

THE PHRASE “One man, one vote” is obsolete. I propose we replace it with “One woman, one vote.” Let men sit out the next twenty-eight elections, as women did the first twenty-eight. Only then will our nation truly attain gender equality.
I am the first presidential candidate to declare: “I should not be allowed to vote!”

I PREDICT that by April 2009, capitalism will crumble, and our world economic system will vanish. (I know I have made this prediction several times before, but those pronouncements were based on faulty data.) The subprime-mortgage crisis will nudge the shuddering carcass of capitalism over the edge of the cliff of insolvency, to be dashed to pieces on the rocks of moral urgency!
And what will replace capitalism? Possibly Hugo Chavez will rule the world with near-benevolent socialism. My suggestion, however, is cantorism, a system where one is rewarded for singing. (Cantor is Latin for “singer.”) Wouldn’t you enjoy living in a world where doo-wop groups are richer than finance swindlers?

And from his blog.

On election day:

Dear Constituents,

Vote Obama! not for me! I hope this is clear!

What part of “Obama” don’t you understand?

vote for me in your heart, in the pew of your Church or the non-pew of your Mosque, but vote for Obama today! Vote until your fingers are feeble!

His post-election message:

Thank you all for following my explicit instructions yesterday, and voting for Mr. Obama. I had no idea so many people read my blog!

I must say, now that he has been elected, I feel slightly more black.



I would read a collection of works from this guy, but there isn't one that I could find.

Eli and Takeaway - A Child and His Imaginary Monster

We have been dealing with Eli and a monster he calls Takeaway. Takeaway wants to take him away, hence the name, and eat him. He especially scares Eli in the middle of the night when he wakes up to go to the bathroom. Last week, it reached its peak when Eli ran back to the stairway, started holding the door shut, and was yelling for us to come help him with Takeaway. He was very adamant that Takeaway was down there.

I came up with a great plan to deal with Takeaway. I would get a bunch of blood makeup, the kind used at Halloween, and make it look like I got in a knockdown, drag out fight with Takeaway. Then I would tell Eli that I killed Takeaway and he would not be coming back.

The night came. I put all of the makeup on, but I got too wrapped up in the moment. I then ran upstairs, turned on Eli's light so he could see the blood all over me, and screamed at the top of my lungs, "Run, Eli, Run! Takeaway is coming to get you." The I ran around the house like a madman.

Now you might think that is overly mean, but fear is a good thing. And let me tell you, Eli was scared. But it will make him stronger.

In order to keep him strong, I make sure that I call home from work and talk in a mean, demonic voice to Eli as if I am Takeaway. I usually say something along the lines of, "Hi Eli. This is Takeaway and I am going to get you tonight." Kids are just so entertaining.

Needless to say, all of the preceding except the first paragraph is made up. After much prayer, Eli has been saying that Takeaway is no longer around. What made the situation a little scarier, at least to me, is that my research revealed that there is a demon in African mythology named Abiku. They are "Ravenous demons who are partial to children – either as a takeaway snack or to stay inside for extra portions. They can be driven away by the ringing of bells." I prefer prayer to bells. We figure God can stop any silly Abiku or, more likely, just a child's overactive imagination.

The Fishy Smell of Soldiers Stationed on American Soil

Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security

The story makes me feel like my more libertarian friends.

I do not understand why the military has to be the group trained to provide relief to the American population in case of a nuclear attack. Can't we train the Peace Corps for nuclear fallout relief? Or another organization if the Peace Corps is not the proper solution? A nonviolent Homeland Relief organization would work well. It just seems wise to keep it out of the hands of the group that would be the ones to oppress us if oppression were to happen?

I know it mind sound harsh, but the military is trained to kill people and win wars. The soldiers who might not be directly involved in the killing are there to provide support to the men trained to kill people. We should have a separate organization for nation building, if we feel led to do that, or disaster relief. Our military is being used more and more for those two tasks which distracts them from their real purpose. I just do not see the logic of stationing soldiers on American soil who need to go find Osama. Let us create a nonviolent nation building organization and a nonviolent disaster relief organization, which we already have in the Red Cross, if we feel the need to continue doing those tasks.

History shows that the government plans and implements without the consent of the people. For instance, the draft for WWII happened a year and a half before the United States entered the war. Roosevelt claimed that we were going to remain neutral while he prepared and planned in secret to enter the war. This stationing of troops at home reeks of the government planning something that we do not know about. I assume we will know in three years.

All I want is for them to not station American brigades on our soil in the name of homeland security. If there is a need for a nuclear relief organization, then start one that does not carry guns and does not have the ability to oppress the population. Even if the intention is noble, abuse is not far behind.