Friday, February 24, 2006

Oh - Limp - Icks

I'm not too ashamed to admit it, but I am a fan of the Olympics. I've noticed that this year I'm in the minority. Maybe I have always been in the minority and never realized it, but this year seems worse. As Dylan and I sat on the couch this evening and watched the events, I think I know why that even I'm not too terribly excited with the 20th Winter Games from Torino.

1) I know the results to everything we watch in prime time. If I were home watching the games live on USA and MSNBC and CNBC and every other NBC network, there might be more excitement. Clearly having a tape delay due to time zones takes the suspense out of it. I remember watching Curling from Salt Lake because it was live and had suspense.

2) All of our "favorites" have really sucked this year. This has actually made it more interesting in some respects, but let's face it, I'd rather watch Americans winning, not stinking up the snow. Message to Bodie, Michelle and all the other big stories before the games started - might be time to think of retirement. Can anyone say "choke"?

3) NBC coverage has been so-so...Since all of the favs have been losing, they've needed to drum up interest with other stories. I'm tired of the speedskating team issues and the huge Canadian men's hockey flop. I remember when they used to do stories of poor Austrians who needed to ski to get to school (both ways uphill, mind you) and hunt for their dinner and how that would explain why they kicked butt at the Biathlon. I don't know, just doesn't seem like there is a lot of human interest, well - interest.

4) I've traveled to Europe a lot, and I've always been real conscious of the "Ugly American" view that many have for us there. I've seen my share of why that view is so prevalent. I think that's why events that have obviously been taylor made for us really bug me. I can't stand snowboarding, especially that board-X and half-pipe crap. Leave that for the X-Games.

I'm sure there's more that bugs me, there always is. Maybe the professionals have taken away some of the pure sport ("does anyone remember miracles?")...I'll keep watching because I just don't want to ever miss that one instance of greatness that gets you all choked up and proud to be an American.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Worry wart

Let's face it, I'm a worrier. I worry about everything, and it often gets me worked up pretty good. Clearly, I'm a type-A personality, and worry about all of the little details. I used to be grateful for that fact, as I would point any success I had to the fact I took care of the details. Fortunately, God has put some men in my life from which I have been learning a lot. They don't worry like I do. Although they have all of the same concerns, they seem much more at ease in that they are doing everything that they've been gifted to do, and that God is going to take care of the rest. These aren't just men that talk the talk, but they walk the life! So, what have I learned from their example?

I think I learned what it truly means to "give it up to God". What I know is that a week like last week would have killed me had I worried about all of the things out of my control (see "Whew! I made it to Saturday" below). But I didn't, and it was the most liberating experience. You see, the bible tells us not to worry. In fact, Matthew 6:24-32 is all about how we shouldn't worry about things (for those of you that might doubt the voracity of the bible, modern science has proven that stress will shorten life expectancy and is directly related with many diseases, include heart disease).

So what did I do different last week? First, I spent some quality alone time with God, either in prayer, contemplation, or in the bible. This helped me stay focused on Him and His will. Second, I worked my butt off to be prepared (again, thanks to the talents and abilities that He has given me). Lastly, I prayed that He would take care of the rest. I made a concerted effort not to worry about those things that were out of my control.

The result, everything worked out very well. The meetings I had at work went well, all of the deliverables I was responsible for were delivered, and I did well on my exams. I might not have had a lot of time to sleep, but I didn't stay awake worrying. The most interesting thing about last week is something Angie said to me. She noted, "You know, Scott. We haven't fought all week. I could definitely see that you weren't as stressed as you would have been." She really made me feel awesome when she said that.

That feeling alone added a couple of years back to my life that stress has taken away.


NB: Sammy/Bob - thanks, bros!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Interruption for Denise

I didn't expect this to be my next entry, but Angie and I had an interesting experience today, and would like some feedback. While at our car dealer this morning (I was getting an oil change, and we were looking for her next car) a woman came up to us in tears. She explained that she needed some assistance. Although I'm not sure of her entire story, she needed help to pay for a remaining night of lodging at a nearby motel. Apparently, she had been there for a couple of weeks, and needed to stay there one more night and needed help with that. I had asked how much it was, and she informed us about $55. In the past, I might have told her we would love to help, but couldn't and perhaps given her a couple of dollars to get her to leave us alone. However, she seemed real upset, embarrassed to be asking, and in real need. Most importantly, Angie and I have come to some decisions about helping those in need and have tried to increase our giving. The bible clearly tells us that we are to share our resources and this is how the early church survived (Acts 4:32-35). In fact, Angie and I have come to believe that God has blessed us so much financially because He wants us to share that blessing (Matthew 25:23).

We decided that we'd help her and I drove over to the motel. She explained that her boyfriend recently passed away, and that her unemployment ran out not too long ago. I paid her bill, wished her well and tried to leave. She followed me out, gave me a hug, asked God's blessing on me and Angie, and then proceeded to ask me for a little cash for something to eat. I gave it to her, and told her that we'd pray for her.

At this point, I am struggling with whether I helped someone in genuine need, or if I was taken advantage of. Did we do the right thing? Ultimately, we really won't miss $60, but I sure wish I could feel good about helping someone instead of struggling with feelings I have. What you think? Did we do the right thing? Should we have done anything differently?

Her name was Denise - pray for her. My name is Scott - pray for me!


Whew! I made it to Saturday

Have you ever had one of those weeks where is just seems like EVERYTHING is due, everything that is due is major, and that your personal life is also so busy that it just adds to the mayhem. Ultimately, it feels like there is no time to sleep (and literally there is very little) and that the ONLY thing keeping you going is that you know Friday is only a couple of more days away AND coffee? Well it's Saturday, and I've had one of those weeks. In fact, my week like that started last Friday night and I call it the 'Week of Tests'.

What was going on this week is not important. Suffice to say there were some major deliverables during the week, culminating with a presentation to our EVP of Sales and Service on Friday. I used to pray that I did really well in those meetings and that I would be hailed as a superstar. Now, I just pray that I get out without looking or saying something stupid. I guess I've matured a bit since those days of wanting to be a hotshot, and I am comfortable with the skills I bring to the table.

Add to a difficult week at work was the fact that BOTH classes I am taking at UTD scheduled the first major exam of the semester on the same week. If I wasn't preparing for something at work, then I was studying for an exam.

Since work and school were taking so much of my time, two things were family and my sleep (incredibly enough, I was able to spend some quality quiet time with God this week). Thank God, Angie understands that I sometimes (and temporarily) have weeks where I either have to travel, or otherwise unplug from much of the family. Last week was that week, and she basically takes care of everything family related. She does her job AND mine and she is awesome. I know I can't do weeks like last week without her, or God. Thanks, baby.

To celebrate the week, and to reconnect, we had a date night last night. I'll post about that and my attempt to handle this last week by "giving it up to God" next time.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Idiots (or fools) and their toys...

There's this really cool toy that I've been playing for the last couple of days. It has my whole family mesmorized. It's called a "20Q" (I know, I'm a slow adopter of technology and these things were like so 2004). Tease me all you want, this thing is uncanny. It's based on the old children's game of "Twenty Questions". You know, where your friend thinks of something, and you try to guess it by asking 20 yes or no questions. However, the first thing you have to do is identify if it is "Animal, Mineral, or Vegetable".

It is uncanny how the 20Q gets it right so often.

Take a look at a recent series of questions:
Q1) Animal
Q2) Is it small? NO
Q3) It is dangerous? NO
Q4) Does it have claws? NO
Q5) Is it something that you can purchase? NO
Q6) Does it have 4 legs? NO
Q7) Can it climb? YES
Q8) Can you hold it? NO
Q9) Is it usually colorful? NO
Q10) Is it smooth? NO
Q11) Can you see it in a zoo? NO
Q12) Does it bring joy to people? NO
Q13) Do you know any songs about it? NO
Q14) Is it a mammal? YES
Q15) Does it stand on two legs? YES
Q16) Is it worth a lot of money? NO
Q17) Can it be hunted? NO
Q18) Would you use it in the dark? NO
Q19) Can it swim? YES
Q20) Is it comforting? NO

20Q guessed, "are you thinking 'ninja'?" NO

Q21) Is it a predator? NO
Q22) Can it cheer you up? NO
Q23) Is it flexible? YES
Q24) Can it run fast? SOMETIMES
Q25) Does it live in groups? YES

20Q guessed, "Is it an Amoeba?"

Stupid thing is making a liar out of me. My word was "idiot" - namely, someone who blogs about kids toys!

If you would like to see for yourself check out the online version at
The website version tells you at the end when you've made a bad response that messed it up. That's kinda cool. It came up with "fool" in 24 questions. Either way, they're synonyms for me with my toys.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Coolest church...

If the title of this post is an oxymoron to you, it may be because you don't attend Springcreek Community Church. I've done the church thing on and off for a long time, and frankly, it sometimes takes Herculean efforts not to yawn your head off. Or sometimes, you can't really connect with the instrument-less hymns. Springcreek isn't that kind of church. It's a cool church with a cool staff with cool worship music and a cool message - that God loves all of us more than we could ever understand. That we are separated from Him by sin, and that he solved that separation for us by giving us His Son, Jesus Christ.

My buddy Bob has several posts about the cool-ness of Springcreek on his blog, so check them out here. (I won't repost the same messages when someone with more ability has already done it for me). Since he is actually a pastor there, I would guess that his opinions are somewhat biased, and they may be, but I am complete agreement. He's cool even if he is a really horrible dancer.

Want to see for yourself, take a look at these videos that were created for our superbowl party and for a recent message.

Lastly, if you'd like to experience a church like no other, take a look at a message on the web, the Springcreek website, or come visit for yourself. I'll save you a chair, just don't come late, you may miss something cool.


(please note that my opinions are my own (who would possibly want them?) and do not represent those of Springcreek Community Church in any way. If something I've said upsets you, please don't blame them)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

City so nice, they named it twice

I guess someone from back home interpreted by profile entry about getting to Texas as fast as I could as a slam on being from New York. Couldn't be more far from the truth. In fact, I used that in my profile because it is an old saying down here. But then again, I've heard this down here, too;

"what the difference between a yankee and a DAMN yankee?"

OK - truth is, I love New York. I love living in North Texas, but I still think that NYC it is the greatest city in the world. Besides missing my friends and family back there (duh), I miss much of what the town offers, including the ATTITUDE, the SMELLS and the SIGHTS. My aunt has a phrase about NY, that is right on - "where else can you get champagne and strawberries at two in the morning, if that's what you wanted?" I can tell ya this much, not in Dallas. It takes me a drive just to get a cup of coffee and a donut.

Things I miss about NY (besides my family)...

White Castle hamburgers at three in the morning

View of the east side over the East River from Astoria Park

Basketball rims with metal (or worse, no) nets

Benny's Burrito on Greenwich Avenue

Trying to decide the best way into Manhattan (midtown tunnel or 59th Street bridge)

American Museum of Natural History (my absolute favorite place in NYC)

Mets games at Shea Stadium with Jill and JP (Go METS!)

PizzaTown on 30th Street and 7th Ave (right across from the Garden)

Snow on Christmas Eve (or just some snow once in a while)

The view from the World Trade Tower observation deck

Sigh...good times.

Answer: "A DAMN yankee stays!"


Friday, February 03, 2006

Mouse Tears, Confession, and other Ramblings...

Something has been heavy on my heart, so I thought I'd get it out there. Apparently, I'm a pretty judgmental person. I find this fact extremely convicting, given what the bible tells us about judging others. Apparently, the log in my eye is HUGE! (Mt 7:1-6)

I was listening to a radio interview with Pittsburgh Steeler safety Troy Polamalu. I knew who he is from seeing some games this year. I didn't like him. Not one bit. I'm not entirely sure why, maybe the fact that he plays for the Steelers or maybe because he has that long hair coming out from his helmet, and the fact that I didn't think he was very good. I remember his overturned interception a couple of weeks back, and I thought, "ha - what a horrible player". I felt pretty strongly about this guy, and I have no clue why, at least right up to his interview.

The first thing that struck me is that he is incredibly soft spoken. Also, the radio guys were gushing about his talent. Then, he gave the credit for his success to both God and the system that he plays for, not his own talent. He clearly has a strong faith (I think he is Christian from the way he spoke, but not sure). I found myself not only very much liking the man I was listening to on the radio, but struggling with why I didn't like him so much previous to that point. Since that interview, he's been hobbled with an injury, but expects to play in the Superbowl. All I know is that there is one Steeler I will be rooting for. I just hope I can see the game with this log in my eye!

Did you know that mice cry? Not sure if there are actually tears, but they certainly squeak when they are unhappy.

I forwarded several family members a link to my blog...several replies were received...

"I can't open it."

"You have hit an all time low."

"No offense but there is nothing to be ashamed of in coming from NY"

I'll blog about that last one next time.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More stupidity

Day 1 and I'm already scraping the bottom of the barrel. Here goes...

You know those people that always talk about their kids? I think we all agree they are annoying. You know the type, the ones that gush about their kids in school, or on the ball field, or whatever. I even knew a working mom that seemed to take pride in the fact her kid moved their bowels, and she wouldn't hesitate to tell us all the gory details. I mean c'mon, your kid took a dump - enough already. The fact is, the only people that want to hear kids stories, are their parents and grandparents...and I'm not even too sure about grandparents.

That being said, I have a story about my four year old, Cassie. Her mom was telling her that I was going to Miami on business. She told her over and over. However, on the morning of my departure, I asked her if she knew where I was going. She said, "Sure, daddy, you're going to 'Mommy's Ammy'". I had no clue what she was saying. After confirming that she meant to say that, it dawned on me. She interpreted "Miami" as "my ammy". Thus, it became "mommy's ammy".

Now, do you understand why I can't stand people talking about their kids? I know you do.


Blogging is Stupid...

Let's face it, who cares what I think? Perhaps my wife, maybe some friends, family back home, and nobody else. The web is full of ramblings of individuals and here is my contribution...

About me: I'm a disciple in Christ, first and foremost and my church is very important in my family's life. That makes me a better husband, father, step-father, friend, uncle, brother, nephew and manager (for a major security software company). I'm younger than I look and younger than I feel. I'm married to a remarkable woman (Angie), a step father of three (Justin (18), Dylan (11), and Marissa (9)), and father to Cassie (4). They are everything to me, and will be the subject of many lamentations as well as celebrations.

Thanks for visiting...I gotta run before I miss my flight from "Mommy's Ammy" (more on that soon).