Finding balance in a chaotic world

Archive for August, 2008

It’s Policy

WorkersHow many times has a simple thing blown up into something ridiculous because people refuse to apply actual thought to the situation? I have found myself growing less tolerant of poor customer service from the places I do business with. I’m never belligerent or rude but I’m certainly not going away because “it is our policy.” A lot of this has to do with me reading sites like the Consumerist but also just the general degradation of competent help. I will say that probably 75% of the time any issue that I have is resolved in a timely and satisfactory manner. Unfortunately, that percentage used to be a lot higher just a few years ago. Why is that? Read more »

Family Olympics

A few years back I created this activity for our Sunday School class called the Family Olympics. The idea was that each family would compete in a series of games and whichever team won the most would win a Gold, the family that came in second got the Silver, and the third place team won a Bronze. It was a challenge because we had families of all different age groups and some with no kids. Trying to balance it out in such a way so that everyone had a roughly equal chance at winning required some mental gymnastics but I eventually figured it out. Of course the end result was not to find out who had the best family; it was to encourage families to come together in friendly competition. Read more »

My Wife is a Great Cook

It’s true, Amy is an amazing cook. That is probably why we only eat out a few times a month. Shocking when compared to the average American who, according to various studies, eat 4 – 5 meals out a week. When I was single, I was a passable cook, relying on books such as “Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her” and “Cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less” to keep me from starving. It wasn’t that I did not like to cook, but it took a lot of time to cook and I would be frustrated by all of the lingo. Blanche, sauté, simmer, dice, julienne, broil, braise, brown, crumble, whip, etc. I’d read over a recipe and think “that sounds good.” The directions seemed easy until I came to the point of actually preparing the dish. Then suddenly I’d get hung up on terminology. I’d start to question what it meant or when a process was truly done. Did I sauté the onions long enough? Hard to tell when there is one little paragraph telling you how to make an entire dish. Thanks goodness for Alton Brown. Read more »

Big Issue in a Little Place

Have you ever been involved in running a group and things turn very political very quickly? Suddenly you are going from deciding the course of the group to breaking into factions and choosing sides. One group does something, the other responds. Both sides woo the neutral parties to their side and try to manipulate things in their favor. Soon, what is best for the organization is long forgotten and instead everyone is fighting for what is best for them. “The feuds are vicious because the stakes are so low” is a quote often attributed to this situation. It is certainly not a fun place to be, but what can you do about it? Read more »

One Step at a Time

StairsA few times a year I’m required to go to a conference or seminar for work. I need to arrange the flight, transportation, hotel, etc. Typically these things are no big deal, but I do find myself nervous and anxious about all of the preparations before the conference begins. I start to fret about what-if’s. What if my flight is cancelled, what-if there is a problem with my hotel room, how will I get to where I need to go, where will I eat, when should I leave to catch my return flight, and on and on. Since I apparently love to worry, I’ve had to come up with a way to deal with these irrational thoughts. Read more »