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Archive for August, 2007

What’s Next #2

whatsnextpic.jpgToday’s query: Where can I find…?

Click here to find the top answers.

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aisleofviewart.jpg In 2008, Al Gore will be elected the next president of the United States. He will win the popular vote with more votes than he took in 2000 and he will win the electoral vote as well including the states of Florida, Tennessee, and Ohio. That is, of course, if he chooses to run. Before discussing this further, let’s review Gore’s 2000 bid for the White House.

“While I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome,” were the words that ended Gore’s fight to be president in 2000. It also ended the hopes of millions that their votes would count. It was a dark day for the United States and the world. Gore had won the popular vote and very likely won the electoral vote as well. Had it not been for the Supreme Court’s intervention, he would have been president these past six years. Gore ran a tough and smart campaign and in the final analysis, in the moment of truth on election day, more people voted for him and he achieved his highest ambition at that time. Conceding to Bush was certainly heartbreaking and in “An Inconvenient Truth” Gore said: “Well that was a hard blow. But what do you do? You make the best of it.”

Gore did. He made the best of it. In his words: “It brought into clear focus, the mission that I had been pursuing for all these years and I started giving the slide show again.” The slide show, as he calls it, is his campaign to end global warming and his presentations about it. In the past few years, he has given the slide show thousands of times in countless cities across the United States and world. He has truly become a passionate spokesperson for the cause of recognizing that not only is climate change real, it is here.

Fast forward to 2007, Gore has had an incredible year so far. In February, he won the Academy Award for “An Inconvenient Truth” as well as being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In May, Gore’s book The Assault on Reason was released. In July, Gore was instrumental in the effort to produce the Live Earth concerts bringing together two billion people on all seven continents. What will the rest of the year bring?

Can all of these activities be leading to something? Can they be precursors to a presidential bid in 2008? Gore has been questioned time and time again in the past six months about running for president and he continues to say: “I don’t have any plans or intentions to be a candidate again.” Even when it has been put to him in terms of the powerful impact being president would have on addressing global warming, Gore has stuck to his guns that he has no intention to run. He has even said, “I’ve kinda fallen out of love with politics.”

Were he to run, it would not only be possible that he would win, it would be probable. No one else in the running has his experience in politics. No one else has his credibility to move our nation and our world forward toward solving the climate crisis. No one else has the experience of having run a successful campaign and winning the office as he did in 2000.

Al Gore speaks of the “uncommon moral courage” necessary to rise up and solve the climate crisis. Were he to find that courage within himself and throw his hat in the ring in 2008, he would definitely be victorious.

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bpart.jpg I no longer do much with New Year’s resolutions. In the past, I would write out a few goals and attempt to follow through on them. Before too long, they became empty lists that are ignored and lost. I used to make similar lists on my birthday in June and even random times during the year. But, alas, the lists never amounted to anything more than that.I was intrigued, however; to read in Anne Truitt Zelenka’s blog about what she calls a “class schedule.” She shared nine things that she is planning on doing during the fall months. It is like a class schedule of goals, ideas, and actions to take. This may be the holy grail of goal planning and project management for me.So what does my fall “class schedule” look like?

  • Blog consistently (3 posts per week) at geminitao.net.
  • Create updated suicide prevention presentation that focuses more on my story as a survivor and shares more of the impact of suicide.
  • Share current suicide prevention presentation with local action group.
  • Learn (memorize) one passage from a Shakespeare play. I did this the first time in 1991 and can still recite many passages from Henry V.
  • Read one Shakespeare play.
  • Read one other piece of literature, probably something by Mark Twain.
  • Write one short story and share it.
  • Continue becoming more mindful by daily reading, writing, and meditation.
  • Learn Cocoa programming so I can create a project management application.
  • Continue spending quality time with the children and family.

These are the main things I wish to focus on over the next several months. One difference that makes the concept of a “class schedule” more than “just another list” is that it is presented as a schedule which translates into an action plan with intention for completion.

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I’m So Confused

aisleofviewart.jpgI thought the electorate in 2006 voted for change. At least, I thought I did and many millions with me. We could not vote for a change in the presidency, so we did the next best thing, changed both houses of Congress. The issues of the 2006 midterm election focused on the war in Iraq and the need for accountability; a return to the checks and balances this country is founded upon.

Prior to the midterm election, Congress had a confidence rating of 19% as measured by Gallop. This month, August 2007, the new Democratic led Congress has a confidence rating of 14%.

What happened?

Instead of accountability and checks and balances, Congress is writing the Executive blank checks:

  • President’s surge plan, passed.
  • $459.6 billion military budget, passed.
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act including provisions for warrantless wiretapping, passed.
  • Conduct of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, check.

Oh, and on balance, this Congress sought to improve their balance sheets by passing a pay raise.

This is the not the return to checks and balances we had in mind. These are not the changes we voted for. These actions seem like more of the same. Is it time for a new party?

What gives? What’s going on? I’m so confused.

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Not Another Dish

21stcentdadsart.jpg On a given day, I almost always have two ambitious goals for managing the household: spend quality time with the children and keep the house clean. The problem with these two goals is, that by 7 P.M., they become mutually exclusive and I suffer burnout and exhaustion.

Like yesterday, I cleaned the kids’ rooms, family room, kitchen, and entry. I also took my son to swimming lessons, played some games with both toddlers, read them stories, prepared their lunches and cooked supper, got their pajamas on and tucked them into bed.

At 9 P.M., the kitchen sink was again full of dishes and the top drawer of the dishwasher needed unloading. By this time, I was so exhausted with cleaning, the very thought of unloading a single dish produced fatigue.

Needless to say, I will be starting on the dishes in the morning when my two goals will be reenergized.

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inside17thminuteart.jpgI was someone who lived without regret and with a healthy optimism for a bright future. If I had a frustrating day, I could always be comforted with the idea that there’s always tomorrow. This perspective changed on June 1st, 2004. Christopher’s suicide shattered it. I now had one unforgiving regret that will haunt me for the rest of my days: I did not do all that I could to provide my son with the hope he needed to see the future as a place he wanted to be. He no longer has tomorrow. And though I do, and I am still an optimist, my confidence in the future has been shaken.

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Google Toolbar provides suggested searches based on previous similar searches. For example, if I pose the query: “Why does the sun…” and stop there, google will suggest:

  1. googletoolbar.jpgshine
  2. go on shining
  3. shine lyrics
  4. rise in the east and set in the west
  5. rise in the east

For a bit of entertainment on this site, I’m starting a miniblog called “What’s Next…?” I will pose a search query leaving off at a spot that could yield many alternatives. If you want to play, think of what might come next. Then click the provided link. The top few answers will be presented there. Let’s Play!

Here’s the first query: What foods are…?

Click here to find the top answers.

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