Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Feeding Our Dog - or - Dozer Deserves an A!

Now that Dozer is a member of the family, I've stepped up my research and learning about all things dog. Prior to bringing him home, I became a fan of "It's Me or The Dog" on TV, learning about proper socialization and training. I lurked all over the AKC and other websites learning the major differences in temperament and breed standards for the large working breed dogs. But when Dozer came home, I started researching Bull Mastiffs and Boxers in particular (he is a mix of the two), and paying particular attention to the best foods for him.

At the website GoliathMastiffs.com, I found a page that gave TONS of information about the ingredients in commercial, vet, and holistic dog foods. Some of the information turned my stomach, to be honest. I learned that almost all commercial dog foods are made of ingredients that I don't want my dog to eat!

At the end of the page, the author provided a way to grade your dog's food from A to F. I found out that Dozer's food is only a C or C- and may possibly be contributing to skin issues and a probable reason for his stinkiness. Since then I've found a food that we'll be starting him on this week - it grade an A+ and doesn't have any corn or wheat - common allergens for dogs. Who knows - maybe cats, too.

Because I've learned so much from this, I give to you the Dog Food Grader. I encourage you to check out the web page where I found it, and then grab your dog's bag of food and check out the ingredients against the score card. Who knows? You may find yourself heading to the local feed store sooner than you think!

How to grade your dog's food

Start with a grade of 100:

1. For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points
2. For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points
3. If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
4. For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, subtract 5 points
5. If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewer's rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
6. If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
7. If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
8. If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3points
9. If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
10. If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2 points
11. If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
12. If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
13. If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
14. If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
15. If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credit:

1. If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
2. If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points
3. If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
4. If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
5. If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
6. If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
7. If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points
8. If the food contains barley, add 2 points
9. If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
10. If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
11. If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
12. For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
13. If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
14. If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point

94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 = F

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The newest member of the family

Family Expansion on a Weeknight

Champs has wanted a dog pretty much since the day we got married almost 11 years ago. Due to varying circumstances - most of them revolving around rental agreements or long employment hours, it just couldn't happen.

However, when we bought our home in March, the door opened for us to finally get a dog. We determined that we wanted a large dog; a Great Dane, preferably, or a mastiff.

We were lined up to adopt a Great Dane in we found in Indiana on Petfinder, but that fell through, breaking our hearts. After that, we tried to adopt a bull dog and then a Great Dane on Craig's List, but the owners were not upright in their business dealings. It was beginning to look like we may never find a dog for our family. Until this last Tuesday.

On Tuesday night, Champs was looking on Petfinder again when he saw these sad eyes looking out from the screen. He immediately wrote to the woman, who responded a few minutes later, giving us the go ahead to call her the next day after noon and discuss meeting the dog. Champs had Wednesday off, so he anxiously awaited noon and then gave Kristine at Eye on the Sparrow Dog Rescue a call. He explained our situation and asked about the dog. Then he agreed to come that evening - if she promised that she wasn't going to back out at the last minute. He explained that we couldn't handle that kind of pain again.

After hearing our story, she promised that the only way we would leave without the dog was if it was our choice. After I got off work, we drove 2.5 hours to northern IL and met the dog she called Andre. He was such a quiet, gentle love. Being a special needs rescue, we knew he may have some issues. He is about 5 years old and is already showing the beginnings of hip displaysia. But even when he was obviously uncomfortable, he was gentle, loving, obedient and calm - exactly the kind of dog I wanted for my introduction back into dog owning, and just what we needed for our daughter and my work-at-home-on-the-phone job. So we brought him home. We didn't get home until after 10:30 on Wednesday, and John needed to be up by 3:45 the next morning. Champs didn't think about the lost sleep; he only thought about the dog.

Bringing a new dog home at 10:30 the night before you have to work, the kid has to go to school, and the cats are expecting another average day is, to say the least, a possibly foolhardy proposition. It worked well though. Well, other than the cats. They were unimpressed, to say the least. Now, four days later, they are beginning to calm down.

By Thursday evening, we had to bathe our new Bull Mastiff, and we were still working on a name for him. When we tried to get him in the tub, he would have none of it - living up to the bull part of his breed, and we couldn't budge him, living up to the mastiff part of his breed. We finally threw up our hands in defeat and took him outside and bathed him on the sidewalk.

By Friday, after entertaining a lot of name options (Chief, Apollo, Fred, Ed, Duncan, Duke, etc.), we decided on his new name: Dozer. As in bulldozer. As in dozes all day (and he DOES!), as in "wow, that's a doozie of the dog!"). It fits him. We've been giving him treats and saying his name to socialize him to it. We've been taking him on walks and teaching him to heal. We've been talking about getting him to the vet to look at his hips and elbows (from laying on a concrete shelter floor). We've been feeding, walking, and teaching the cats to accept him.

And somehow I've gotten past the slobber and the dog stink to the heart of this beautiful, gentle giant. When the other adoptions fell through, I kept telling Champs that we just had to have faith that God knew the desires of his heart and would bring us the right dog at the right time. Dozer may not be a young puppy, and he may need extra support from us sooner rather then later, but he is family now, and we will do what is needed.

Because I love my husband. And when I saw him laying on the floor next to his dog, asleep and content, I fell in love with Dozer. The newest member of our family.

Here are the comments from this post:

Jean-Luc Picard said...
A large dog can'r be easy to look after, yet Dozer seems a very calm, gentle giant, as you say.
NetChick sent me here.

bellamocha said...
Hello, NetChick sent me!!
Your new dog is beautiful...wow! I have been a dog lover and owner all my life and can't imagine being without one. We have a golden lab right now...we thought he was big until I saw yours!
Keep posting the pictures, we'd love to see them! I'm glad that after the previous one fell through, you have brought Dozer home. I wish you much joy with your gentle giant!
Bella :)

David said...
so glad you found such a LARGE love

Sunday, August 23, 2009

USA IPO creates opportunity - and interest - in the trading sector

Our company has a feature in a weekly newsletter called "The Leek". It is a takeoff on The Onion. Working with equities gives me a bit of a different view of our world. With that world view in mind, I wrote a satirical piece on the government and the stock market for The Leek and submitted it. We'll see if it runs there. But this is my page and my writing, so I will run it here. This is fictional satire! Remember that: FICTIONAL :-)


USA IPO creates opportunity - and interest - in the trading sector

In an unprecedented move to capitalize on raising economic optimism, increase investor confidence, and end the recession, the US Government announced on Tuesday that it is going public. Stock, that is, trading under the ticker USA. With an initial public offering of 500 million shares expected to be priced in the range of $22.00 - $23.00 per share, the government hopes to raise enough cash to continue funding economic stimulus packages while reducing the national debt. The bill was presented to the house and senate on Monday morning, discussed at noon, and voted into law shortly after 3:00 p.m. Majority Leader Larry Read (D-NV) was quoted as saying, "The bill passed soundly. Then we went to lunch."

While investors are looking forward to the offering, a Gallop Poll completed today indicates there is some concern among citizens wondering if the IPO will be in the best interest of the government. "Yes, this is a bold plan, but we expect it to be highly successful", stated White House Press Secretary Robert Dibs, "the plan here is to price USA in such a way that the average citizen can purchase their own piece of the government. This will allow us to use the money from the people, for the people. It's all very constitional-ish".

The IPO, which is expected to take place next Wednesday, has already garnered excitement in trading circles. Ameriprise Financial, Merrill Lynch and TD Ameritrade have all reported taking hundreds of questions and advanced orders for the stock.. Ameriprise, at least, has stood by it's business practice of non participation in IPOs. "However, as soon as USA is trading on the NASDAQ and third markets, we will be accepting orders", Ameriprise stated in a press release. Interest in the IPO is not limited to American investors. China's Prime Minister When Tiabao has already stated that he plans on buying "at least 20,000 shares of USA", indicating willingness on China's part to help relieve some of the foreign gross national debt currently facing the government.

Questions still remain about the IPO, particularly the formation of a board of directors, the possibility of a hostile takeover by an investor with a greater than 51% ownership, if OFAC-listed nationals will be allowed to purchase shares of USA, as well as concerns for stockholder meeting locations. Without providing particulars, Dibs pointed out that all these questions will be answered prior to the IPO next week, stating, "We're moving fast, but we're moving confidently."

Here's the comments from this post:
AussiePomm (Bernie) said...
Interesting read... I might invest it it!!! lol lol lol
Netchick sent me over to see the proposal you put up!

Star said...
That could run in the Onion !

Emme Rogers said...
Too funny! I especially love how you needed to emphasize that it was Fictional. I write a fictional blog about me (whose also fictional) and people are forever thinking all those things are happening to my writer (the poor girl, I'm constantly getting her into trouble).
By the way, also love all the crazy names you have for people. Glad I wandered over here from NetChick.
Have a great Sunday!

Paul Nichols said...
Hey there! Great to see you again! Thank you for stopping by my joint. I didn't see your post until a short while ago.
And this was a great write. I can't really see much difference between what you just wrote and the spin the "doctors" put on everything. Are you sure it isn't fiction? Nevertheless, it's good.
Sad about Diesel. Sorry. Have you had any new opportunities? Have you ever thought about adopting a greyhound? What great dogs! They love kids.

MissMeliss said...
Hah! Fabulous. And so good to hear from you again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Diesel Isn't Coming Home

Sometimes, when something painful happens, you just don't know how to process it.

Champs has wanted a dog ever since we got married, but it has never been an option for us because we wanted a big dog – bigger than most rental contracts will allow. When we started looking for a house to buy last year, we agreed that the time was finally right for us to bring a dog home. After researching, talking and being honest about what we wanted and could handle in a dog, we decided that the right dog for us was the gentle giant – a male Great Dane. We agreed that we would look for an adult dog to give a home to as soon as we bought a house. On closing day, I don’t think the ink was dry on the deed before Champs was searching PetFinder.com for our new boy.

Finally, Champs found him – the perfect Great Dane for us. For the last two weeks, we’ve been going through the process to adopt Diesel from a rescue in Indiana. We've completed applications, emailed back and forth, and spoke on the phone with the rescue lady. We wanted to go next Friday so that we could have the holiday weekend for him to settle in. Instead, she wanted us to get him this weekend. She said that he is such a great dog that if he stayed any longer she might keep him herself. We made our plans, went shopping to buy new doggy stuff for our big baby, created a poll to decide which one of three carefully chosen names he would be given, emailed everyone we know with our news, and generally let ourselves get wrapped up in the excitement of giving this rescue dog a new, loving home.

So this morning we got up early and drove four hours to Indiana to bring Diesel home. We spent nearly two hours there, getting to know him and falling in love with what a great dog he is, only to have the rescue lady tell us that she couldn't give him away. We'd be great dog owners - just not for this dog, she said.

I think she was concerned by my reaction when I met him, which was "wow, you're beautiful... and BIG!." It took me a couple of moments to be ready to pet him - not because I didn't like him or I was afraid, but mostly because I wanted to be sure he wouldn't jump on me. I had told her that I grew up with Great Danes but hadn't owned one of my own or lived with one in 20 years. I may be wrong, but I think that after that long, it's not unreasonable to expect that I might need a couple of minutes to get reacquainted with the breed.

He was too perfect and she couldn't bear to let him move so far away, she said. Maybe if we lived closer so she could come and see him, then it would have worked, she said. He'd lived a hard life and deserved to be in a home where he would be loved like one of the children with no boundaries, she said. It concerned her that we didn't want him to sleep in our bed, she said. And then she went on to say that she wanted him to be in a home where he would be the only dog, but since she fell in love with him, she was taking him home to live with her four other Great Danes.

It took her nearly 20 minutes to go from "I'm not sure if I can give him up. I told myself this morning that I could, that I was ready, but now that you're here, I don't think I can do it" to "No, you can't have him." Champs finally had to leave because he was so upset, but I stayed behind to see if there was anything I could say to ally her concerns. I mean, we had passed the application process and we loved the dog. Sweet Girl, who has been nervous around big dogs before, but had no fear of him, had spent the hour hugging him, stroking him, and falling in love. We knew that Diesel was the perfect dog for our family; sweet, calm, loving, and gentle.

But I realized that nothing I could say meant anything to her. I don't think it was really about us - she just fell in love with the dog herself, which I can understand. What I can’t understand is why she didn't have the nerve or the courtesy to call and tell us how she felt beforehand so that we didn't take the long trip only to have our hearts broken. I think she was hoping that either we wouldn't want him and then she'd have an out, or that she could find something horribly wrong with us so that she could justify keeping him. But we came and loved him, and other than the fact that I want him to sleep in a doggy bed on the floor (which we'd already bought for him), and that I didn't fall over myself adoring him (which just isn’t something I would do, no matter how much I love an animal), she had no other reason to turn us away.

And when my daughter stood crying by the dog's kennel because she couldn't understand why Diesel wasn't coming home with us, the rescue lady's business partner leaned down and told my daughter, "Face it, you're not getting the dog.", then straightened, smiled at me and said, "I'm a grandma. I know how to handle them." That's when I picked up my daughter, picked up my purse, and walked out.

And just like that, we drove home 253 miles with our daughter crying for the first two hours of the trip. No dog. No new family member to love. Only pain, and the indefinable question, "why was I not good enough?"

Here's the comments from this post:
Geekwif said...
I wish there was something to say that could actually make you feel better, but I know there's not. All I can say is that this woman was selfish, inconsiderate, dishonest, and cowardly to the Nth degree; and her friend does not deserve to have grandchildren if that's how she "handles" them. To say something like that to a child in that situation is absolutely unpardonable.
I'm so sorry you and Champs and especially Sweet Girl had to go through this. I hope you find another dog soon that is even more wonderful and will help to wipe out the memory of this painful experience with lots of happy tail wags and sweet puppy-like affection.

gift4gab said...
That is a HORRIBLE way to treat people, especially a child. Is there someone you can report this lady too? Someone higher up in the rescue group?
I am so sorry your family went through that - I am ashamed that they were able to behave that way.
Good luck.

Tammy said...
That woman dared to call herself a grandma and had the nerve to say to Sweet Girl, "Face it, you're not getting the dog."??????? You've GOT to be kidding?!?!? If I had been there with my Irish temper in tow, I would have slapped her to start with... You would have had to bail me out of jail. I am soooo sorry to hear what you went through. =(

David said...
i can't believe this, but since you said it I will try to get my mind around the concept of people being so selfish. She was clearly NOT thinking about the dog's well being.
This makes me sad.

Jean said...
That was a real nasty way they treated you all... Feel very bad. I was really hoping that at the end Diesel would have somehow come with you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Maybe a gift card?

My husband used to be so easy to buy gifts for; get him a tool. He loves it. He's happy. I'm happy. End of story.

Until this spring.

I decided to get Champs this really righteous set of steak knives for Father's Day; the perfect accessory to his grill and smoker and the luscious meats that issue forth from them. The only problem is that he intercepted the box at the door and I couldn't think of a suitable lie, so I ended up telling him that they were his present. I warned him that now he wasn't going to get any present at all except maybe a few good steaks to toss on his grill. That was the story anyway; all this had occurred a good month before the big day, so I figured I would try again.

I went back to my tool theory. Champs has been wanting a power washer. Now, this is a substantial purchase, so I decided to get him one that would be for both Father's Day and his birthday, which is on July 7. He was given to searching for models on the web, so I had a pretty good idea of what he wanted. When he printed one out, I figured I had him nabbed. Until the next day, when he was on his way to help his brothers do some work at his Mom's house. That's when he unvieled his plan; he was going to Home Depot to buy a power washer that he agreed to buy with his brother. Yeup; half ownership on his Father's Day/birthday gift. I sighed, handed him a 10% off coupon and wrote a check for our half.

I told him the next day that I had planned to buy him one of his own in about 3 more weeks.

OK... so we're getting close to the big day and I still need to get a gift for my hubby. I mean, yeah, he's got two great gifts already, but I have to have something for him, right? Right.

I went to Walmart and decided on a new DVD player. Ours just up and died in February, which means that every movie we've watched has been shown on a portable DVD player temporarily hooked up to the TV. Yeah, that's the ticket; the movie ticket! I got him a box of raisenettes to go along with it and tossed the machine in the trunk of the car.

When I got home from Walmart, Champs struck again.

He showed me what he had found on PetFinder.com - a beautiful 4 year-old male purebred Great Dane in need of a home. Now, we just bought our home in March and this is the first time since we've been married that we're able to consider buying a dog. I don't think the ink on the deed was dry before Champs started looking for a Great Dane for us. And this boy is perfect. He's house trained, gentle and beautiful. And he's in Indiana. And his adoption fee is $200.00. And we have nothing. at. all. to take care of a dog. No brush, bowls, food, toys, shampoo, dog bed, AnyThing.

Now, I'm happy to get the dog (and all the attendant paraphernalia), in fact, we went out on Sunday afternoon and spent a good $80.00 just picking out starter dog stuff. But it did get me to thinking that he should be Champs' Father's Day and Birthday present. All told, we'll put more into that dog than I would have for the steak knives and the power washer combined. I explained this to Champs and he agreed. The DVD player hasn't been opened yet. We might return it... who knows?

But I wonder if it wouldn't have been easier from the get-go if I hadn't just gotten him a gift card?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Backhanded Compliment

Yesterday Champs and I went to Walmart to get ready for our housewarming/birthday party. While we were there we got some beer and wine coolers. The lady asked for my ID and said they have to card for anyone under 40. I said, "well, then, I'm 43, so I'll take that as a compliment. Must mean I look under 40."

She smiled and nodded and was ahead until she said, "well, not that much under 40."


Here's the comment from this post:

David said...
some people just do not know when to be quiet

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Why Didn't I Think of That?!?!

I am a Pampered Chef consultant and April was our Kit Enhancement Month, when we can buy any product at all for 40% off; no limits. Well, of course, I entered my order at 11:55 p.m. on the last day of April. The same day I closed a party, placed a paperwork order, and finalized a number of returns for customers. As you can imagine, I have been getting packages from Pampered Chef every day for the last week.

So this morning when I was in the bathroom, the doorbell rang. Champs went to the door to find that UPS had brought another box. I walked out of the bathroom to find him going through it. He let me know that the pineapple wedger is on back order, but everything else had arrived. The salt & pepper grinder stand was there. The crinkle cutter, the forged steak knife set, the silicone whisk... it was all there. About then, I had a heart attack and said, "NO!!! You're not supposed to open that box!"

Champs looked at me, the forged steak knife set in his hand and asked why. "Because", I informed him, "those knives you're holding are your Father's Day present!" I had intended to put the (extremely nice and pretty darn expensive life-time guaranteed) knives together with a couple of very expensive steaks, some nice smoking wood, and a new BBQ mitt for the Grill Master. Yes, I know he would have wanted to grill them that day, and yes, I know it would be Father's Day and he shouldn't have to grill, but you have to understand. For Champs, this would not be work. This would be a great gift. A wonderful gift which he was currently holding the chief component of in his hands.

Champs has a great sense of humor and says I don't need to get him another Father's Day present. I will, but it won't be as grand as I had originally planned.

So later I was on the phone with my sister who lives in Phoenix. I told her the whole sad story. To which she replied, "well, why didn't you just tell him it was for a customer who asked you to order it special for them?"

Lie? Uh, yeah... I didn't think of that!

Here's the one (enlightening!) comment on this post:
David said...
yes its OK to lie to us about presents, we even like it sometimes

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ah, so THAT'S why!

We're coming off a crazy month. We bought our new house in early March and moved in on March 21. I took a week off of work and painted two rooms. I got most everything settled and we're down to the last few boxes and small fix-it jobs before I'm ready to call us settled. New stove and dishwasher, free piano - this place has been a hothouse of activity for 5 weeks.

But not just here. 8 year-old Sweet Girl has been busy as well. After seeing a our local park district's production of "Beauty and the Beast Jr.", she had to give it a shot. We signed her up for the next production, "Annie, Jr.", a production of 50 children ranging in age from 7 to17. She (and Mom's taxi) went straight into 6 weeks of rehearsals - yes, the same time as our move and settling in. Hey, if you're going to go for a bit of stress, do it right, no?

So anyway, this being her first foray into the theatrical world, Sweet Girl was, appropriately, in the orphan chorus. She wasn't in a lot of numbers, but she was as cute as can be and did a great job. The play wrapped up last week and she has been feeling a bit as though the wind has been been let out of her sails. To congratulate her on a job well done, I bought both versions of "Annie" at Amazon; the one with Carol Burnett and then the 1999 Disney version starring Victor Garbor and Kathy Bates. It was the second version we decided to watch tonight, as the story line is closer to the original play.

As we watched the movie, we compared it to the play Sweet Girl had been in; songs changed, lines missing, different dance steps. During the song, "NYC", there is a large ensemble dance, telling the story of a hopeful star-to-be who has just arrived in New York. The number crescendos to this big routine with some 30 tap dancers, each beating a perfect rhythm to the song, while carrying a small suitcase. In the midst of the highly choreographed showstopper, Champs commented to our daughter, "you didn't do that in your show".

Without missing a beat, Sweet Girl turned to her dad and said, "of course not. We didn't have enough suitcases".

Here's some comments:
Geekwif said...
Ha! Sounds like your girl is developing a rapier wit just like her mom. :)

kenju said...

David said...
Great to find you here again, and with so much good news. Theater is WON DER FUL> I just went to see 'Tuna does Vegas' and laughed so hard I snorted!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Yes, yes, YES... I know I have to write part two of my revelation/reclamation/resolution post. But I haven't been there lately.

I've been focusing on something else. The roots of it all.

After 2 1/2 years here in Champaign (has it been that long already?!?!)






OK. I'm going to bed now to continue my freaking out in the privacy of my room. I wonder when/if I'll ever fall asleep?

A couple of comments:
Thumper said...

CONGRATS!!!! I know your excitement (and anxiety!) because we just bought a house, and moved in last week. It feels funny to be that excited over something people do every day, but c'mon! IT'S A HOUSE!!!

Major, major congrats and squeals!

12:35 PM
Blogger David said...

That is so cool
glad you found a 'keeper"
now for all the fun paperwork.
praying God blesses you

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2009... Resolution? Revolution? I'm working on it!

So here it is, 2009. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about 2009. I haven't yet gotten to the action of it all, but I am thinking. There are two main paths around which my thoughts have repeatedly circled.

My first circular pattern is hope. Working in finance, I've had every possible bad news thrown my way. Stocks are down, the Fed is frozen, jobs are scarce... the end of 2008 seemed to have the nation exhaling a collective sigh of relief and looking forward for some hope. Hope for a better future, a better life, a better... something. Hope is a very nebulous thing. Merriam Webster defines hope "to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment". Even when I looked to see how hope is defined in light of the Bible, I found "the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God's guidance". Not real exact, is it? And yet it seems, to me anyway, that the general populace is hoping things will get better but not defining how, or where. My dad used to say "wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which fills up first." Forgive the crassness; it was his, not mine. And yet, he had a point. Wishing without action is pointless. I've decided, then, that if I want to have some sense of hope for 2009, then I need to take action - with God's guidance.

My second circular pattern of thought is change. Not Obama vs. McCain change. Personal change. I heard recently that New Year's Resolutions are down; something like 60% less people make resolutions than did 20 years ago. It basically comes down to two reasons - first, people fear failure. Second, they don't feel the need to change. While I do certainly fear change, I also equally recognize the need for change. Clearly, I need to make some resolutions. Or is that a personal revolution?

Now the only questions I haven't answered are - what am I hoping for? What will I change? And how do I go about it without falling straight into failure?

Yeah, that's another post. Stay tuned.

Geekwif had this to say:

Hey! You posted! Maybe I should get working on your Christmas gift from last year, huh? ;-)