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Monthly Archives: March 2007

My wife and I were talking last night.  She met someone who has similar career aspirations, ambitions, etc.; so they were an encouragement to one another.  This morning she told me that this lady’s husband is an airline pilot.  Rita went on to tell me that the husband who was piloting a flight on September 11, 2001 from Boston had to be re-routed and was not allowed to call his wife.   When my wife told me that her friend’s husband was an airline pilot, I automatically assumed the couple was white.  I was right because this is ‘normal.’  That is, the percentage of non-white pilots is minuscule.  What I long for is a ‘different normal.’  By this I mean, I long for a day in which it is normal that occupations traditionally held by whites will also be held by non-whites.  In other words, I long for the day when my assumptions are proved wrong; when I don’t make correlations between race and profession.

  1. I like change and my favorite color is blue.  Thus a new look for the blog.
  2. I played basketball with my son and some of his friends on Wed, March 21.  It cost me dearly.  I keep forgetting that I am 47 years old.  That competitive nature surfaces; what can I say.
  3. Oprah is a religion; she embodies that religion and it is attractive.  The Christian church can learn a great deal from Oprah.
  4. Saying ‘no’ is a wise move sometimes even when the ‘thing to do’ is good.
  5. Being cynical is quite harmful; better to be realistic and discerning.
  6. Technology has its pluses – see “Baby Amelia” under the blogroll.
  7. I’ve been thinking about walking into a tanning business and see how people react.
  8. I’ve been thinking about walking up to a house that has one of those ‘all guests are welcomed’ signs on the front porch and see how the owners react. (This is probably not a good idea considering that I live in the suburbs.)

Confidence or having confidence is a strange thing.  My wife and son exude ‘public’ confidence (but they have ‘private’ insecurities too; for instance, my son is scared of thunderstorms).  My daughter and I struggle with having ‘public’ confidence (this is our insecurity).  Yet our world places a great premium on exuding public confidence.  I am so thankful that is another ‘world’ [or kingdom] that helps my daughter and I with our struggle with confidence and similarly helps my wife and son with their ‘private’ insecurities.

I received an invitation to a country club in Clayton to hear Rick Warren (author of the best seller, “The Purpose Driven Life”).  My inviter (who I did not know) said over the phone, “tie and jacket required.”  This statement instantly made me uncomfortable.   I wouldn’t volunteer to go to such venues (bad memories).  I complied and wore a suit and tie.  I laughed (to myself of course) when I noticed that our speaker, Rick Warren, did not have a tie on.  I later heard a hilarious story from a friend who is white (who also attended but didn’t have a tie on).  Let’s call him, “Tim.”  Tim saw a good friend at this gathering who is an African American professor.  In a context that requires some level of sophistication and ‘high brow’ manners and stocism, Tim came behind his African American friend and started to nibble on his neck.  This is hilarious – in  a context when one needs to be ‘refined’, but Tim did otherwise.  Now, that’s pretty cool.

I gave a talk a couple of years ago on obesity (see below).  One of the points I made was that we talk about this topic among friends and family members.  At least, African Americans don’t talk about it; and this is ironic since a high number of African Americans are either overweight or obese.  Maybe other races are different when it comes to discussing one’s weight?  Nonetheless, obesity is killing some (literally) and killing others financially.  Consider for example airplanes.  Because of the growing number of obese persons, airplanes are now equipped with larger seats.  Who pays for this extra?  Look in the mirror: you and me!

This has been nagging me for a long time.  Occasionally I drive highway 40 in St. Louis when I absolutely have to.  Today was one of those days.  I was struck at what I saw on the billboards which line highway 40 from downtown St. Louis to the Ballas exit.  Actually, I am bothered by what I don’t see on these many billboards.  For 99% of them show white people doing various things – lounging, vacationing, enjoying a beer, holding hands, hugging, modeling clothes, etc.  I have nothing against white people; most who know me know that I have a heart for racial reconciliation.  However, what is being communicated here?  Isn’t this a subtle message that only this segment of our society are afforded such things?

I am struck by something that seems like a growing occurrence.  There are two busy (heavy traffic) streets I travel on.  One is a street named’New Ballwin Road’; the other is ‘Holloway.’  I have noticed something especially during the most busy times of the day (traffic wise) and when the weather is warming up.  I have noticed teenage girls wearing tight and short clothing (or provocative clothing) walking together, walking their dog, etc.  I often ask, why now?  I think I know the answer: I think these girls are quite in touch with their sexuality and are flaunting it.  This is indeed a worry of mine!

I may be showing my age here but I am amazed (or maybe frustrated) at the type of public businesses that have automated voice answering services.  Colleges/universities have them; banks have them; doctor offices have them (in case of emergency); dentist offices have them; local pharmacies have them.  Our world it appears is becoming more and more impersonal.  And these answering machines are riding that wave too.  What affect does this impersonal treatment have on us – personal and social people?