June 2012

The growing sense of entitlement in our society is nauseating.  On my last trip to Nicaragua, we were boarding a very full plane.  We had to use all of our checked bags for medical supplies, which left us with a carry-on and personal bag for all of our clothing and personal supplies for a week.  As we boarded, we discovered that the overheads on the plane were full.  The flight attendants made numerous announcements to only place carry-on bags in the overhead bin and to put personal items, such as backpacks, briefcases, and laptop bags under the seat of you.  Since many people refused to do this, several people could not put their carry-on bag in the overhead bins.

There was a man across the aisle and a couple of rows behind me who refused to take his laptop bag out of the overhead.  When the flight attendant personally asked him to place it under his seat, he replied that he was entitled to have one bag in the overhead.  He went on to say that he did not have a carry-on bag and it was his right to put his laptop in the overhead.  He then said that all of the other people should have checked their bags.

It was his use of the word entitled that really set me off.  Unable to keep my mouth shut, I told him that these people DID check their bags and those bags are filled with medical supplies for sick mothers and children – probably not the best thing to say in the presence of a flight attendant when you’re unsure of whether or not those medical supplies had been cleared with the country you are about to enter.  She simply smiled, he complied, and my boiling blood reduced to a simmer. 

Here we were, going to a third world country to provide medical aid to impoverished people and this guy was entitled to put his laptop bag in an overhead bin.  Every single day 30,000 children die due to preventable diseases and he couldn’t bear to have a laptop bag under the seat in front of him for three and half hours.  Get some perspective people!

Just yesterday, I was engaged in casual chitchat at work and the person with whom I was speaking complained about the 4th of July being on a Wednesday.  It was just going mess up the whole week… why can’t we just have Friday off instead of Wednesday… it was going to be like having two Mondays in the same week… blah, blah, blah.

I didn’t say anything this time, but here’s what I wanted to say:  “Let’s get this straight.  You are going to be paid for a full day’s work without having to do any work on the day that we celebrate the fact that we are a free country?  Get a grip!”

Don’t go all political on me either.  We ARE a free country and we are THE worldwide leader when it comes to democracy.  Most people who complain about our lack of freedom rarely leave their county much less their country.  If you want to appreciate our freedom, spend some time in Eastern Europe.  If you want to appreciate our wealth, spend some time in a third world country.  If you want to appreciate your friends and family, spend some time on airplane.


My grandfather passed away over the weekend and I wanted to take the opportunity to honor him here.  He was 84 years-old, married for 67 years, and lived to see the fifth generation of his lineage.  It is a rare honor for a man to actually get to see a great-great grandchild.  To put that into perspective for me, I have two daughters – one three years-old and one six years old.  To see the fifth generation after me, would mean to see their children become grandparents.  I can’t even comprehend that.

While he suffered ill-health toward the end of his life, my grandfather enjoyed a very active lifestyle for almost all of his 84 years.  He also possessed a sharp wit and humor that lasted almost all of his days.  While we know it is natural and unavoidable, we mourn the loss of life.  Fortunately in this case, we can also celebrate a long and full life, a lasting legacy, and a soul at rest.

We miss you, Granddaddy Bud.


Disclaimer:  This posting is poop-centric.  You’ve been warned.

Sara had a dinner one night last week, which meant I had the girls by myself.  For some reason, every time I have the kids without any help there seems to be a plethora of poop issues.  Last week was no different.

It all began right after finishing dinner.  I went outside to shovel up the dog poop.  We have a 75 pound lab that eats about a pound of food but produces around 3 pounds of poop every day.  She defies the law of conservation of mass and energy daily.  Seriously, I think some physicists need to study her.

As I was performing this duty (get it?), the girls were playing on their playground.  I noticed Amelia had disappeared.  I asked Olivia where she was and she said she went inside.  I knew what this meant.  I put my shovel on the ground and went inside.
“Did you go potty?”


“Pee or poop?”


“Did you wipe?”


“Let me check.”

Amelia was wearing a bathing suit… we hadn’t been swimming; she just decided she wanted to wear it – this is a normal thing at our house.  I pulled down the bottoms and there were some pretty serious skid marks indicating that I had to do a little more wiping.

With that task accomplished, I headed back outside to resume my dog cleanup duty.  Almost immediately, Olivia ran inside saying she had to go potty.

“Pee or poop?”



The nice thing about Olivia is that she is old enough to take care of herself… usually.  I heard her yelling for help, so I stuck my head inside.

“I need help!  It’s a slimy one!”

More wiping.

Eventually, I finished scooping the dog poop and the girls started a game of “soccer”.  This involves one of them kicking a ball and then both of them diving on it like they’re recovering a fumble and rolling around.  Wouldn’t you know it?   They rolled right into a pile of dog poop that I had apparently missed. 

Just another poop-tastic day with daddy.

I’m back from vacation rested and refreshed.  We had a great trip and I’m still catching up, so this will be a brief post today.  While we were in Napa, we stayed at the Milliken Creek Inn.  Whenever I shop for vacations, I look for bargains – not necessarily the cheapest but the best deal.  For example, I got a great deal on a convertible for our stay in California. 

Also, when I pay for something, I intend to get the maximum use out of it.  Therefore, when we took a drive along the scenic 17-Mile Drive in Carmel and Monterey, I had the top down the whole time even though it was about 50 degrees and overcast.

Anyway, I’m the bargain hunter when it comes to vacations and Sara is most decisively not.  For our accommodations in Napa; however, she hit a home run.  Upon check in we were told that we had been upgraded to a luxury suite… the best one on the property.  It was set apart from the rest of the inn and they used it as their honeymoon suite.  It was unbelievable!  I cannot imagine anything they could have done to make that place any nicer without being over the top.

When we returned, I went on their website to see what the rate was on the room.  It was about twice what we paid for the room we originally reserved.  This is actually pretty smart on their behalf.  Not only did they fill up their occupancy rates while we were there, but they thoroughly impressed us.  Now we’re telling everyone how nice their inn is… including all the doctors with whom Sara works.

Sure their profit margin was reduced on our stay, but by providing us with more than we expected, they gained two advocates for their business.  Now apply this mentality to the work you do every day.  Whether it is in your business, at home, or volunteer work, you never know who you may be serving.  Common knowledge tells us that any job worth doing is worth doing right.  Matthew 25:40 says, “And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

Like I said, you never know who you are serving, so serve well.