Archive for March, 2008

Mar 30 2008

Life can change in an instant

Published by under Happenings

Thursday, March 27th seemed like just another ordinary day. I got off work a little early so I could make sure I got to my small group study on time. We talked and as we were leaving some storms moved into the area. I got in my car just as the rain was coming down. I was only about 15 minutes from home so I called Laura to let her know I was on may way. She told me that I had a phone call from Ruby that I needed to return when I got home.

I had turned onto Lynn Haven and the rain was really coming down. The opposing headlights were reflecting off the road and I was straining to see where the lanes were. I knew at this triple intersection, the turn lanes were deceptive and I didn’t want to accidentally drift into one of them. As I looked up from the lanes I noticed the light overhead was green, the one closer was green…

But there was one just above my head that was red! I told Laura, “I think I just ran a red…”


A large dodge grill came into my car just about 6-8 inches from my shoulder. It knocked the phone out of my hand and sent glass showering over me. I looked for the phone in the dark, but I didn’t want to grope around for it because of all the glass.

I looked over the hood of the car impinging on my personal space and asked if the lady driving was hurt. See looked around dazedly and then shook her head no.

A lady came running from across the street pointing at me shouting, “He did it! He ran the red light!” Then she got her composure and said, “Oh, are you hurt?” I was thinking to myself, “Well only my feelings with you accusing me like that.”

When I found the phone (it was under my leg), I called Laura back. I told her that I was trapped in my car. The mental image she had was that I was being crushed in my car. She shouted back at me, “Can you feel your legs? I mean, can you feel your toes?!?”

As the police came up to me, I was having to tell Laura, “I have to go now, I need to talk to the nice officer here.” He took my license and insurance cards and walked off to his vehicle.

Another officer got us out of the road by asking the lady to back up and disengage from my side. She did so and pulled over to the shoulder. Then he asked me to do the same.

My pastor’s wife, who was at the small group with me, was a ways behind me when all this happened. She saw the accident and did a double take when she realized it was me in the front car. She pulled over and walked back and talked with me a bit while I waited for the officer to finish doing his paperwork.

Finally he came back with the other drivers’ insurance information as well as my license and insurance cards. I was not cited, and he told me if my car was drivable that I should drive it on home.

Which is what I did.

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Mar 05 2008

The snow hit us all day March 4, 2008

Published by under Happenings

After a lovely Sunday where the temperatures made it up to 79 degrees, here we are on Tuesday facing snow all day. During class in the afternoon, Joshua went out and measured the accumulation. We had 11 inches in our front yard. The snow was even too high on our street to even get out and drive to some place to go inner tubbing. Just before dinner time I headed out to shovel the driveway. Joshua took that opportunity to take some pictures and video. And now we have it available to share with you.

Here we are as we get started with the shoveling. Mom and Nathan watched from the garage as I got to work. The snow came down so fast and abundantly that there was no ice sheet underneath. This made the shoveling surprisingly easy to do. The snow made for a mixed up day at work as well. I went ahead and decided to brave it across the river (my new contract has me working in Edwardsville). A few flakes started to fall as I left the driveway and by the time I was to the Mississippi, I could barely see the semi in front of me. I made it just fine, but after seeing it start to pile up, I decided to work from home in the afternoon. With minor technical glitches, the afternoon went by and around 5:30 I was thinking about taking the kids tubing. But Hannah didn’t have boots and Laura was afraid that we wouldn’t make it down the driveway, let alone the street. So I figured if we were going to get any groceries – as tomorrow is grocery day. I better at least clear a path down the driveway.

This is the fire hydrant right across the street – this is how high the snow got. That’s before the street was plowed, so none of that is a result of being piled up. That’s just how high the snow came.

Here is Nathan and mommy watching the driveway being cleared. Nathan was fascinated with the “no.” But he didn’t want to get down in it. Just a little technical note, in case you didn’t notice. I airbrushed our license plates so that we aren’t advertising our registration all over the Internet. I think it came off pretty good if I do say so myself. I getting the hang of all this web stuff little by little.

All done! Yeah, compared to Laura and Nathan, I’m a little bundled up. I didn’t know how long I was going to be out there. It went so quick, I might even consider saying it was fun. Naw…

Here is our video of this happening. Don’t be alarmed if it looks blurry to you, it starts out that way and the focus gets better as we go along. Also, this is filmed by Joshua, so take your Dramamine! It’s not too bad. Also, Nathan does NOT have a soul patch under is bottom lip. He had finished experiencing a pre-dinner brownie just before coming outside. Joshua thought there was 7 minutes of footage. It was a good guess, it came out to about 5.5 minutes. I am learning how to edit video, so I brought it down to 4 minutes. Most of that was spent with Joshua whipping around shooting at the tree tops trying to get a shot of the birds that were chirping away. They probably thought spring was coming soon after last weekend – frankly, so did we.

Just a quick technical note to self.  This video is embedded as Quicktime with Javascript.  There are four choices and I wasn’t sure which would be best.  Quicktime beats Flash for picture sharpness, and the Javascript makes it so you aren’t forced to load the video until you click on it. That’s nice for people who are running short on bandwidth.

This whole driveway ordeal took all of 15 minutes. But, as the threat of global warming causes us all to wear extra sunblock each time we bathe, and forces us to hold in our breath so as not to exhale as much poisonous Carbon Dioxide, it’s good to have these memories of a good hard snow – it’ll probably never happen again.

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Mar 04 2008

I wish I would’ve known this when I was a kid!

Published by under Ah-Ha Moments

This article on the Scientific American web site describes my outlook on life growing with amazing accuracy! I’m surprised how detailed they can be in calling me a “fixed mind-set”.  It explains so many things.

I was in the gifted program in school.  I was always told I was smart.  I had terrible study habits going into jr. high and high school.  I got by on my smarts.  If I had it, I had it.  Doing homework wasn’t going to change that.  I became a very good test taker.  That showed what I knew, not repetitive homework.  I thought of myself as lazy (still do!), when it seems clear that this is a symptom of the fixed mind-set.

I never liked being categorized unless it was in a favorable way, because you can’t change things.  I liked test scores and IQ tests because I excelled.  But when things got progressively harder I would make excuses and start to “check out” mentally.

I’ve only recently (since 2000 maybe?) began to look at life from a growth mind-set.  Looking at practicing, or trying new things and a different perspective about failure as a mastery activity instead of drudgery.

This article link may not always be there – it was written in November of 2007.  And it is a little academic; it talks about some studies that have been done to show the difference in effectiveness for children who subscribe to these two mind sets.

There is a focus in the article about the importance of deciding to teach this growth mind-set to children as they grow up.  This has been part of my frustration with teaching my own children.  I want them to see trying something as a positive thing.  And to see failure as just a step towards success.  At times they show such fear over trying something they haven’t experienced before.  It can actually see the struggle between the fixed and the growth mind-set taking place.  Now that I can identify and name this phenomenon, it will be that much easier to address and hopefully turn around.

Enough of me rambling on about it – read the article for yourself.  Oh, you don’t read very well?  Well give it a try!  You do get better with a little bit of effort! 😉

Scientific American: The Secret to Raising Smart Kids

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