The (Hand)written Word Must Live

We have Twitter, texting, Facebook and emails.   And blogs. . . . . We post messages on “walls” you cannot touch.  We even have software for transcribing the spoken word.  The written word is certainly everywhere these days but the handwritten word seems to be disappearing.  Does anyone hand write letters anymore? 

The new digital media for sending messages, notes and letters has usurped the handwritten word.  It’s easier.   Quicker.  People still occasionally sign their name to holiday and birthday cards but even those staples are being replaced by emails, JibJab, Blue Mountain and a hodgepodge of electronic links.   I think it’s sad.  I think it’s a tragedy. 

How many handwritten notes have you received in the last month?  I’ve gotten four.  All from the same friend.  For me, the impact of a handwritten letter is powerful.  It stands out.  It is personal.  And it inspires a connection far more than an abbreviated text message “thx 4 din.”

So next time you need or want to make an impression – or really send a message – grab a pen, some paper, an envelope and postage stamp.  And handwrite your congratulation, thanks, condolence or wish of good cheer.  It will make you feel good.  And it will make the recipient feel even better.   

Ministry Mentors

I am currently on the Board of an organization called Ministry Mentors (www.ministrymentors.org).  Ministry Mentors, founded in 1999, is an organization dedicated to mentoring support for Christian clergy — “Serving those who serve.”   We currently have about 45 mentors in 10 states and have mentored hundreds of Christian pastors.  Our mentors (all experienced clergy) are Lutheran, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Covenant, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ.

Because of the great variety of skills required, being a pastor is one of the toughest jobs around.   Ministry Mentors provides a confidential one-on-one spiritually-based opportunity for pastors to strengthen their professional and personal effectiveness.  And – it’s free to pastors.  Any readers who are pastors (or those who would like to learn more) can check out the website (above) or contact me with any questions.     

You have GOT to be kidding

I have gone from the heights (see post of August 25) to the depths.  I have just learned that Tom Cruise has been picked to play Jack Reacher in the film version of Lee Child’s classic novel — One Shot.  This is like asking Pee Wee Herman to play Conan the Barbarian. 

Tom Cruise might be okay playing a small samurai – but Jack Reacher?  Jack Reacher is an ex military policeman turned drifter – who looks like an NFL lineman.  He stands 6’5″ and weighs 250 pounds.  Cruise is like a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter(!).    I mean come ON people.  Is there no integrity in casting?  I could have tried out for this part and. . . . wait a minute.  I need to find out if tryouts are still going on.    ‘Scuse me. . . . .

Eagle Scout Politicians

I am an Eagle Scout.  I grew up with – and was inculcated with – the Scout Oath:  “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.  To help other people at all times.  To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”  The Scout Law added further obligation:  “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”  All of the Eagle Scouts I know continue to try and live their lives according to these solemn oaths though Donna doesn’t always feel I’m obedient when she asks me to take the garbage out or clean the garage.    I’m not real cheerful about that stuff either. . . .      

When I see the gridlock in Washington, it seems too bad we don’t have more Eagle Scouts running the country.   I would wager that Democratic and Republican Eagle Scouts would get along a far sight better and work a lot more diligently than the parade of horrors found in Washington today.   They would sing campfire songs while drinking beer at the Old Ebbitt Grill,  they would hike to the office with backpacks doing good deeds along the way.  And most importantly, they would take seriously – very seriously – their duty to this great country, their obligation to be thrifty and the promise to “help other people at all times.”    

Saturday lunch

Saturday lunch is the quirkiest meal that I have during the week if I am not golfing.  It has been for years.  Why?  Because I never know quite what to have.  I usually end up grazing in the refrigerator and pantry and slap together some odd bodkin agglomeration of whatever I can find.  If I find nothing, I will dash out to the local Treasure Island and buy a few pieces of spanikopita.  Regardless of what I have, Saturday lunch is rarely satisfying.  A few Saturdays ago, however, all that changed.  Dramatically. 

There is an old adage that if you give a monkey a typewriter and enough time (and paper), he will eventually tap out a serviceable poem or intelligent article (see  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem_in_popular_culture).  Well after decades of trial and error, this chimp came up with a winner of a Saturday lunch. 

I sliced a baguette thinly.  Then spread a layer of Champagne (or honey) mustard, added some smoked salmon, a wedge of fresh avocado and some crumbly chive goat cheese.  I nuked it for about 30 seconds and – voila!   It was a Saturday lunch destined for the time capsule.  I made extra and served it to Donna and she immediately asked for the recipe.  That was a true endorsement of my creation. 

From then on, I have been scrupulous about keeping the ingredients close at hand.  And I can’t wait for Saturday lunch. . . . .    

Born to Sweat

As some of you know, I’m a trademark lawyer.  As such, I sometimes come up with trademarks of my own.  BORN TO SWEAT is one of them.  I had t-shirts made with the t-shirt image I am wearing on the left.  And of course I wear my t-shirts to the local fitness center where I sweat quite appropriate to the trademark (and look much like I do on the left).   

Last year we were out for dinner with some friends and I happened to mention that I had applied to register (and now have registered) the BORN TO SWEAT trademark.  Our good friend said “Scott, horses sweat, men perspire – and women glow.”  Hmmmmmmm . . . . I thought . . . . .women glow?  Born to Glow.   Hey – that sounds good!  So now – thanks to our friend – BORN TO GLOW is a registered trademark too. 

I have absolutely no clue what I will ever do with these trademarks so if anyone has an idea . . . . .

 

September

September 1st.  Rabbit rabbit.  You’re wondering how in the world do I go from April 1st (previous post) to September 1st??  That’s how I feel about how summer has flown.   

In any given year in the history of time, no other month on the calendar will end on the same day as September ends.  This year, September ends on a Friday.  No other month in 2011 ends on Friday.  In 2010, September 30th was a Thursday and – sure enough – no other month ended on that day. 

September always begins on the same day as December begins.  There are 91 days separating the two dates and because 91 is divisible by 7, the rest is history.  And speaking of history, September means “seventh” month.  Yet it’s the 9th month in our calendar.  We can blame the Romans.  Actually, September was the seventh month of the Roman calendar.  Until 153 B.C. that is. . . .

Finally, September 1st is the beginning of meteorological autumn in the Northern Hemisphere (just as it introduces spring in the Southern Hemisphere).  And frankly, I’m ready for spring. . . . .