Thursday, January 26, 2006

Old Habits Die Hard

Many months ago, my friend introduced me to the simply phenomenal email system that is fast becoming the standard web based email... Gmail. I have been using it for almost a year now.

The people at Google are always coming up with new features and such (my love for Google is a topic for another blog post entirely). The most recent new feature is the addition of the "delete" button. Users used to have to click on a drop-down menu in order to delete a message. Well now, you can just click a button... so much easier.

However, it has taken me 9 days of consistant use to go directly to the delete button. Today was the first time that I didn't instinctively go to the drop-down menu to delete a given message. It is very much like writing dates during the first two weeks of January... it takes about that long for me to use the right year.

This is so interesting to me because it shows how habits (even simple ones like those mentioned above) are so hard to break.

Again, on a side note... I have another shout-out to give to another dear lurking friend of mine... again, she knows who she is. I am pretty comfortable saying that she makes the best brisket that I have ever put in my mouth. Seriously... it was grandmother/years of cooking experience quality. So kudos to you, Lurker Friend, for your brisket (and for just being all around fantastic).

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mutant A.D.D.

This morning I was having coffee with a friend of mine; and in the process of the conversation, I begin telling him a story that occured on Saturday night. He lets me tell the whole story... and then says back to me, "yeah... I remember you doing that." And it hit me - he was there and witnessed the story first hand. In fact, I had been sitting next to him for most of the evening.

So has this happened to anyone else? Has anyone else launched into a story they thought needed to be shared... only to realize that the person they are sharing it with was present for said story. This is beyond A.D.D.... this is truly Mutant A.D.D. (extra points for all who catch the "mutant" reference)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mr. and Mrs. Richards... CPA's

There is a married couple who both work on my floor. This whole concept just strikes me as odd... and frankly, not very enjoyable.

I see them having lunch together... they likely ride to work together... and I just saw them working on something together (though they are in different groups, they were both on their way to my team lead's office to ask a question).

Now you may be thinking that is sweet. A married couple getting to spend that much time together. I am thinking, "that is pretty close to my idea of a person hell."

You know what they say (yes, I just used the elusive "they" as a reference)-"Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Apart from Jesus Christ himself, I can't imagine spending that much time together with anyone on this planet.

So... married and single people alike, share with us your perspective on what it would be like to work with your spouse.

Oh, and on a completely side note, I want to give a quick shout-out to my favorite lurker. She knows who she is... and since she is a lurker, I will keep her identity a secret (unless she decides to "out" herself and actually post). But then she would lose her status as my favorite lurker... so it is a catch 22, I guess.

Monday, January 23, 2006


I am taking the example of my great friend (and simply perfect stand-in date #1) Laurie Johnson, and I will offer up a confession of my own.

I watch the Food Channel. I watch it. There - I have said it for all the world to read. I watch Rachel Ray... Bobbly Flay... Emeril Lagasse... Paula Dean... (and, guys, my personal favorite) Giada De Laurentiis. (there are others, but blog confessoins don't have to be 100% complete, right?)

The wierd thing is that I clearly can't taste or smell anything that is being cooked... but I certainly do imagine how good the food must be. I mean seriously, they wouldn't be on TV is the food wasn't good. Right?

Now I do NOT schedule my days and nights around these shows... and I do not Tivo them. I have never set my VHS to channel 52, but I do flip to it on a regular basis just to see who is creating what for my imagination to enjoy.

Now many of these chef hosts are a little on the annoying side. A few examples:

Rachel Ray. She is kinda like a train wreck. I just can't look away because I want to see what the final product will be. So I sit through all the hand motions and all the cheesy giggles and all the "EVOO..Extra Virgin Olive Oil" remarks.

Emeril. Well, he just needs to kick it down a notch.

Paula Dean. She is sweet like sugar, but it just rings of... oh how can I say this... "Fake Southern Charm." If she really is that sweet, I want to marry into her family somehow.

Bobby Flay. This guy is the only one who is not annoying. I think I would hang out with this guy because he is... well, normal. At least he appears to be on his shows.

Giada De Laurentiis. Wow. I mean seriously, guys... check out Food TV just to see her. She is strikingly beautiful (in my humble but accurate opinion). She is not annoying either - for that proverbial record.

So there you have it. Todd Richards is a fan of Food TV. Who's with me?

(Judging by the fact that most of my readership is missing a Y chromosome, I expect to get lots of agreement. However, some support from the fellas would be appreciated)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Senseless Analysis

In reading the 8th chapter of Hebrews yesterday, I came across this verse:

"Now the point in what we are saying is this..." (it is verse 1 of the chapter, actually)

Well, the meaning of the verse and the chapter is not the point of this post... so you will have to read it for yourself.

But here is the point...

My Bible has a fair number of footnotes, and I tend to read most of them as I read a given passage of Scripture. So I read this verse... glanced down for a footnote... and found one. Now the format of the footnotes in my Bible is pretty important to my point. The words being discussed in the footnote are in bold, followed by the commentary/explanation/etc. So here is how the footnote reads in my Bible:

8:1 Now the point in what...are saying is this - [explanation of the verse, etc, etc.]

Does anyone see this as odd like I do? I mean I am curious to know if I am too analytical/critical or if others see what I see.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Reflective Christian

So in my last post, I mentioned that I have recently read a book entitled The Myth of Certainty by Daniel Taylor. In this book, Taylor uses the term "reflective Christian" to describe himself... and those to whom he is directing the book. So what is a "reflective Christian?" I am so glad you asked....

I will attempt to give you Taylor's words... and then add my own commentary at the bottom.

"The term 'reflective Christian' brings to mind a knot of related but quite different images. The first is very positive, evoking a simple wonder that among the things it means to be created in God's image is the ability to carry on a mental dialogue with reality - that is, to think.

"But there is also a more troublesome aspect of being reflective. Thinking, as many have discovered can be dangerous. It can get us in trouble - with others, but also with ourselves. And the suspicion lingers in religious circles that it can also, if we are not careful, get us in trouble with God."

It is the dual nature presented here that Taylor addresses in the 130 pages that follow. The issue of having a mind that causes you to think... but how that thinking gets us in trouble in a variety of ways.

Taylor's words again: "Being reflective is both a blessing and a curse, a potential for strength and for weakness. It can lead equally well toward truth or error. Life can be richer, more textured, more challenging, more meaningful. Likewise, it can become barren, more threatening, more overwhelming."

So what is a reflective Christian? Simply put, it is a person who has been touched by the Holy Spirit (hence the Christian aspect of the term), and who has a mind that is not satisfied with simple, pat answers to difficult questions (hence the reflective aspect of the term). The reflective Christian follows in the steps of the writer of Ecclesiastes who said, "I directed my mind to know, to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation."

Having this outlook on life can certainly make it "richer, more textured, more challenging, more meaningful." But the problems start when the answers to your questions are not neat and tidy. That is when life can become "barren, more threatening, more overwhelming."

So is it wrong to direct our minds "to know, to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation"? Thoughts? Comments?

Friday, January 06, 2006


Some people are naturally more reflective than others... by that, I mean that some people analyze things a great deal while others are content to just take things at face value.

I definitely fall on the refelctive side of the coin. This can be both a good and a bad thing (see, I am even reflective about being reflective... it is a curse).

The good side of being reflective is that you are less likely to be fooled in this life by the lies of others. Another positive aspect of being reflective is that if there is a problem, the reflective person is probably going to be the one to uncover it. This is not a hard and fast rule, clearly... but as a general rule, the analytical/reflective ones are the ones who nail 95 Theses to church doors.

The bad side of being reflective is that you can "reflect" yourself into a corner of paralysis. As noted above, I can see every side of an arguement... which may make me a good politician or diplomat, but it makes decision making very difficult. Another bad aspect of being reflective is that you might miss truth because you second guess it too much. This is especially true for Christians who struggle with "blind faith." A reflective person is not as likely to just accept things because a preacher says them or because of tradition or whatever. The reflective person will likely be more like Thomas who wanted to see/feel the holes in Jesus's hands and side. That can make for a difficult faith journey because much of what we believe as Christians is believed "by faith." I have much more to say on this... but that will have to come later. Much of what I am saying has come to my mind as a result of reading a book entitled The Myth of Certainty by a guy named Daniel Taylor. He explores this issue in a lot more depth.

I bring this up for three reasons:

1. I recently read the book noted above... and it has caused me to think about a lot of things.
2. I tend to be very reflective this time of year.
3. I am curious where others find themselves in the reflective spectrum.

So tell me... on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being extremely non-reflective and 10 being the person who can't decide what socks to wear because he sees so many pros and cons to every pair) where are you?