Greedy or Opportunistic?

Sometime back I decided that greed takes many forms and one of them is whenever someone passes you up with excessive speed or reckless driving. Then a few days ago a woman in a vehicle in front of me when around a slower moving vehicle that had cut her off (an elderly man was driving) and it made me think deeper on this subject. Was she being greedy by going around this vehicle in an effort to get somewhere faster? I decided no, she was not. I have come to the conclusion that in these scenario's the fine line between greed and opportunity is this: If by passing someone you cause harm or possible harm you are being greedy, whereas if you pass them with no ill consequences to them or anyone else you are being opportunistic. I know that this may sound trivial but it truly is not. I have a deep belief in God and I am trying to do the right things in life. I was driving along the other day when this vehicle was in such a big hurry on the freeway that because the lane he continued to drive in was ending he caused a lot of problems when he finally moved into the lane that continued on. I decided he was being greedy. Then, when the woman I spoke of earlier made her pass I said she too was greedy but thought more on it. I decided that I too would have done the same as her had I been in that situation and therefore that would have made me greedy. I am sure this makes it seem like I am trying to get out of being hypocritical and that is true but in a the right way. I wanted to get to the bottom as to what constituted greed vs opportunity in this and I feel I did that. I hope to only pass when opportunity presents itself and not endanger others by being greedy. This is not only for driving but presents as a metaphor for many other things in life.


I have an ongoing and constant dialogue with God, trying to understand His plan for me and what I need to do to fulfil that plan. While pursuing that never-ending quest I from time to time wonder about some of the same things that religious scholars have been trying to figure out for centuries. I try to look at it with a simple point of view while attempting to reconcile it with science. How does science and the search for logical reasons for why we are here fit in with God's plan? The other day I was contemplating the statement that God built the Universe in six days and rested on the seventh when it occurred to me that yes, he did build it in six days and yes, the world and universe is billions of years old. This is because I answered a couple of questions. The first was, what is a day? A day is the word we use to represent the unit of time that it takes for our planet earth to rotate on its axis. Since God made the whole universe, why can't His day be the amount of time it takes for the universe to rotate on its axis? Which for us is many billions of years but is just one day for Him.Since a "year" is what we call the unit of time that it takes our planet to make one trip around our Sun, His "year" would be the amount of time it takes for the Universe to make one trip around its space. In our arrogant way of thinking we always assume that time references are based upon our place in the Universe instead of thinking of the Universe as a whole. If we are going to believe that God made the whole universe, then we must take the whole universe into account. We must start thinking in a larger sense than in the confines of ourselves and our little planet here. If everything in the universe was created by Him, then we should include everything in the universe when think about Him. I am not a theologian but I do believe what I believe.


I bought some gasoline for my van a few days ago and did something for the first time in my life. I paid more than $3 per gallon for it. I know it has been above that price in other parts of the country before, and much higher than that for many years in other countries, but this is Texas, the heart of oil in this country. I have to move closer to work and get me a vehicle that achieves much better fuel economy. If I had my way, I would change jobs, live and work along the electric train in Dallas and only drive my van on weekends when I left the city. Hey, isn't that what they do in New York? Maybe they are on to something there after all. Just cannot make enough money in the smaller cities that are not attached to a major metroplex and I cannot afford to purchase a car right now. That is no one's fault but my own because of the choices I have made in life, but it is what it is.


Another week gone by...

The days seem to pass by faster than I can count them. We are now 2/3 the way through May and I am still trying to get February's work done, or so it seems. I work eight hours a day, six days a week and before I know it, the time has come to get ready for the next week. I have been working in time management principles and they do seem to be working. This past week I started using Google's calendar and it really has been a help. I do not know why, but it works for me organizing my days by the hour. I put in something I am going to do, the amount of time I feel it will take or that I wish to spend doing it and print it. The way Google has set up its calendar in the daily screen, it prints the items with enclosed space where I can make notes. I have decided it is in my best interest to keep a record or diary of my day and what I accomplished. That way if anyone at my works feels that I need to explain just what I do, I have it ready. All I know is I had a very productive week.


Always on the move...

That is my life right now. Leave in the morning and keep going until I get home around ten at night. Right now, I am in the dining hall of the local hospital where Tammi was admitted two weeks ago today. Of course she has been discharged for a week. Today I started buying my dinner at the local salad bar but I needed a quiet place to eat it. The hospital has free wireless Internet, is on the way to see Tam and is quiet at this time of the evening (8pm). The parking is free and is located just outside of the dining hall. How much more perfect could be? I can pop in, eat and update my schedule, check email, etc. I hope I do not get in trouble but I don't see why I would. I am not doing anything wrong and am just keeping to myself quietly. All I need is 30 minutes of time to myself and then I will be on my way to see Tammi for an hour or so. And this way, when I get home I won't have to spend time making dinner. The amount of money I spent last week buying salad items came out to be .60 cents less than what it cost me at the salad bar. Not enough to be worth the effort of buying and preparing my salad. I will do my best to just be inconspicuous as possible. For someone that had to be so very rigid in how things were done I am learning to be fluid and flexible. Someday, when Tammi is back home I will be a homebody again but as long as she is not at home I will be a road warrior, always moving and doing. I find it stimulating to a point and exhausting at the same time. I wish I had been like this 20 years ago and of course had the internet at the same time. Applied for a job today, with Sewell Automotive. I have heard many good things about working for them that I could not pass up the opportunity to at least apply. Not sure if I will even get an interview. We shall see. I am not really looking but I am always open to something that may improve our position.


Jess 1st Uniform

Jess 1st Uniform
Originally uploaded by svgnibli.

Well, Jess is now entering the workforce. I am happy and sad at the same time. I hope she will stick with making good decisions in life. She has been doing well and I am so proud of her. Only time will tell but another milestone in her life has been reached.


Rain Flower

Rain Flower
Originally uploaded by svgnibli.

I am sure I have posted this photo to my blog before but now I am using the Flickr service to do it. I have to say that the ways of posting are changing faster than I can keep up. Upload straight to my blog via Picassa, use the Blogger upload feature, use Photobucket, use Flickr, the list goes on and on. I was settled on Yahoo photos but they are discontinuing that service so I will most likely use Flickr to store and upload. For just about all of my purposes the 5mb limit on file size is adequate as my current camera maxes out at 3.1mb and that has been good enough for 8x10 printed photos. I don't know if I need to go larger than that, and if I do, I can store them locally. I had bought a portable hard drive to store this stuff but online may be a better bet after all. Now that the services give you unlimited storage this may be my best option. I was storing them on cd and dvd discs but those can become currupted. This may turn out to be the best yet. We shall see.


Originally uploaded by svgnibli.

This is the photo that almost got me arrested, or that at least is how I felt when the security officer approached me and told me that I was not allowed to shoot photos of the hospital and its grounds. I was upset that here I was just minding my own business and I was being told that I could not shoot a photo of something I found interesting. Now, after looking at the photo on the screen, it is not as good as I had hoped it would be, but then all of them cannot be worthy of a gallery presentation. I was short with the officer and left, but later upon reflection I saw the error of my ways and I went back out and apologized to him. That is when he took down all of my personal information as he had to fill out a report. Then his boss, the head of security came out and spoke with me, asking me why I was taking the pictures. After explaining to him that this is my hobby and I meant no harm, he told me I just have to ask in advance that I wish to shoot some photos. This is the world we live in, the price that the victims of 9/11 died for.

I had forgotten about the "All you can upload" photo hosting service provided by Webshots. Since Yahoo as decided to do away with Yahoo Photos and have everyone move to Flickr or another sight I have been going through the various bookmarks I have for photo related things. So I uploaded another photo there and have linked it here to see if I want to continue to use this service. The good things about it is there is no limit to file size or amount of photos uploaded. The bad thing, but this is what makes the sight good to start with is, once uploaded do not lose the link to your photo or you will never be able to retrieve it again. Below is a thumbnail of a photo I shot of what my salad looks like before I make it.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com



Well, I received a message from Yahoo Photos that they are shutting down and moving to Flickr. So, I have gone ahead and created my own Flickr account in anticipation of the migration later this summer. I really like Yahoo Photos as they had partnered with Target for the uploading and printing of photos. I have had really good results with this combination and was worried I would lose it when Yahoo Photos went away. I have since learned that Flickr also offers this relationship and that is why I will have a Flickr account. I only have one photo there at the moment but here is the link in case anyone ever wants to see any of my photos as I continue to upload them. http://www.flickr.com/photos/svgnibli/


Where is this leading us to?

I am not sure where I am going to go with this today. I am tired of sounding off like a depressed, sad bystander but that is what I am. I love being with Tam and taking care of her but I want her to become as healed as she can be so we can move forward and do things. I am starting to realize and accept that we probably will never reach that point. She is sick and will always be sick. She will have good days and bad days but I do not think she will ever be past this where we just get up and spend our days doing what we want to do. She may or may not ever get to even come home. It is always going to be some little thing and eventually those little things will add up to be a big thing. I do not say this with a negative outlook, merely a realistic one. If this is to be the way it will be, then so be it. I will be with her, take care of her the best that I can and just be happy I have that. I just am starting to understand that the dreams we had set out for ourselves are not going to be realized. We will have to be satisfied with whatever we do get to have for as long as we get to have it. We have already given up on our dream of moving to the country as she needs to be as close to medical facilities as she can. So here in the metroplex we stay. That is just the first realization. This is the second time in a month that she has had some time of complication to her health. Both of them have been treatable but still, it means work for her body to fight off some type of infection. This is C-diff which is a common bacterial infection found in people taking antibiotics in a hospital or nursing home facility. Again while it is treatable and curable, it is just another thing that can weaken her body. What next? How much can she take before her body just decides it has fought enough. She has been fighting illness for over 3 years now and at some point it is going to take her life. For one of the nicest, sweetest souls on this planet, it just is not fair. Why punks like Keith Richards can spend their lives ruining their body with drugs and still live a long life while someone like Tam who does not touch the stuff loses her life early we can not know the answer. I choose to believe that it truly is part of a larger plan of God's and that there will be meaning to her life. Where and with whom I do not know, but it will be. She will make a difference, if not while living, then because she lived.


Tired and hungry...

That is what I am right now. Of course right now is 1:35 am as we sit in the emergency room we have been in since around 7pm. The doctor has decided it is in Tam's best interest to be admitted for some observation. So here we wait until the paperwork is completed to have her admitted. I do not think I will be in to work at my normal time Thursday. That is, if I go in at all. Once she is moved to a room I will most likely just stay there with her until daybreak. Then go home, change and return so I can be close by as they do more tests. What a night. We could not even get a break from the weather as a massive thunderstorm hit just as she was being transported by ambulance. Trees downed and auxiliary power means no a/c for the first couple of hours. We thrive on drama.


What is today going to bring?

Tammi is not doing well today. She developed an upset stomach yesterday and it turned to diarrhea last night. She told me this morning that she has been sick with this all night and into today. She also told me that they are going to perform some x-rays today of her stomach in an effort to determine exactly what is wrong. I have been torn between going to work or going up there to be with her. She is concerned that she might be contagious although I was with her last night and if she was I am now exposed to it. I will let her make the final call but I think I will leave work early today to spend some extra time with her. She always tries to make it easy on me even when she does want me by her side but I wish she would be selfish sometimes so I don't have to try to figure out what she wants. If she wants me there, say so and I will be there without hesitation. If she is fine, then make sure I know that. I truly think that If I have to guess, I should error on the side of caution and go up there. Many times people just say to ask yourself what you would want in that situation but that does me no good because I know what I would say. Even if I wanted her by my side, I would do the same and tell her no, that I was fine. We humans are quite a mess.


Less than 2 weeks ago I was listening to Dan Patricks podcast as he was speaking about the VA. Tech tragedy. He was discussing that how after 9/11 and Katrina sports had been part of the healing process and that now, there just was not a way that sports could play a part in that. But he was wrong and this morning I watched a news segment with topic being how a baseball game, played on the road by the Va. Tech team was part of that process. How the opposing team, Boston College, had put VT on their caps and the words written on the wall of the field. I do not know any of those kids or their families, and yet I grieve for them. I have a daughter, 17 and stepdaughter, 22, and several other kids I have known over the years that I cannot imagine what it would be like if anything happened to any of them. What this young man did is inexcusable but I am compelled to need to know what caused him to lose control of his emotions when the rest of us contain them. I was bullied in school, shunned by the girls and ridiculed because I was awkward. I wished ill will on my tormentors, but not as revenge but just so that if they felt what they themselves were doing to me, they would stop. But I learned years later that they bullied me because they were or had experienced exactly what they were doing to me. I take pride in the knowledge that I did not follow their lead and bully those that were weaker than me as they had. As an adult, I can now see their weaknesses, and even the strongest of them had weaknesses that were exploited by someone. Physical strength is something that is given by genetics, but inner strength which is true strength, comes from within and it is more powerful than any on persons physical attributes. I know that the families of those kids and faculty will never know me, but I hope and believe that if enough of us mentally be strong for them, it will help them in the coming months and years.