Friday, April 24, 2015

"Kids these day!"

Kids these days.

Particularly teenagers. I tell you what!

Well, let me tell you what.

Tweet 1:

"lol the man registering me for irsc was blown away that I have a job, dual enroll, and bought my own car at 16 years old"



Tweet 2:

"Why can't my mother see any of that"

We lament that teenagers are the lost generation, and perhaps they are, but whose fault is that? They want to be heard, we don't listen; they do stuff, we don't notice; they ask questions and demand answers, and we say we're too busy now, can you go back to your iPhone like all you teenagers do?

Perhaps, just perhaps, yes, our teenagers are a lost generation (but nobody asks if our generation is 'found' or 'grounded,' do they?), but perhaps our teenagers are, instead, the abandoned generation.

Ever think of it that way?

We've abandoned them to schools, to parties, to technology time-wasters (they aren't the only ones; I'm surrounded by zombie-commuters, their brains sucked out by their twitter feeds and candy crushes), to their amorality (because we taught them none), then we look at them and shake our heads and say, 'Grow up! Keep acting that way, and you'll ruin your life.'

And our lives are so well-put-together, that they can compare theirs to ours and say: 'I wanna be just like Mom; I wanna be just like Dad.'

Some of you are good parents (okay: justify that. By what measure are you good? How much time do you include your teens in your lives, your decisions, your work, your activities, your hopes and dreams?), so you don't have to read this: your kids are going somewhere because you are and they have a good, well-grounded example to follow.

But others of you … shake your heads at your teens and wonder why they are turning out this way.

How about this.

There's a little girl, a teen, who did the dishes and cooked supper and cleaned her room today, and she did all this, and told you, or didn't tell you, and you said, 'well, what about this, this, and this?' or 'Sweetie, I have too much work to do right now, we'll talk later, okay?'

And the thing about 'later,' is that it never, ever comes.

How about this.

Catch your teen doing something really good, really amazing, something you never did when you were 16, and sit down with her, and say, 'Honey, I'm so, so proud of you. You are an amazing, beautiful person and you really did something there. Something I never did." or "Something I didn't know how to/have the courage to do for years after your age."

Do that. Say that. Catch your teen doing something good, instead of catching them doing the same-old or instead of catching them doing something bad and punishing them.

Reward them.

Do you know what a reward for a teen is?

You put your phone down, and you listen to them, and you acknowledge what they do.

Not a car, not a phone, not a latte. Just that.

Sure, you can share a latte if you're both into it, but turn off the phone, and say, 'Hey.'

Just say, 'Hey,' and 'I just noticed how grown up you are, and I'm so proud of you.'

Just that.

Okay. I'm crying now, because I am so proud of these teens that are stretching themselves to be mature and responsible and hold it all together. And what do we have to say to them for all that they're trying to do and failing, or trying to do and succeeding, and where are we when they shine?

Be there when your teen shines.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"God Knows."

Yes, He does.

Okay, this was ... "fun."

A prayer request went out on twitter for 'special intentions.' I asked what the special intentions were and was told: "God knows."

Yes. God knows.

But what's the problem with that answer?

If God knows, and not I, then my prayers are not for a special intention, but for the general intention.

"Welp, you know, God, so have at it."

I'm already doing this.


One Rosary, at least, per day.

Are do, Miss "God knows"?

The other problem is this:

I have access. You lost your job, you want to change your job? God knows, but so do I. You want to get into editing? I have a friend who's an editor. You want to break into the computer field? Well, guess whom you're talking to-m. You failed Algebra II? Guess how we started homeschooling? The daughter of a friend failed Algebra II and she was being pushed up to the next grade, so, ostenibly, she could fail ... sorry, 'pass,' the next level of math?

But you're special intention does nothing to allow me, another member of the Church Militant, to assist you on your path through this life.

What are we here for? To pray for each other, yes, but also to help each other along. You're reticence is not helping me help your friend.

Here's the third problem with "God knows."

Your special intention? "God, I need another hit of acid. Bad."

So you want me to pray for your special intention?

1. God, who loves you, is depriving you of what you want, because He loves you.
2. It is a sin for me to pray for you to fall further into sin.
3. It is a sin for me to support things blindly.

"Please donate to our special, charitable cause!"

What is your special, charitable cause?

Oh, we provide birth control and recommend abortions to teens needing to get on with their lives.

Do you see the problem with me praying for the special, charitable intention you requested of me?

Or, "I lost my job, please pray for me."

What is your prayer request?

"I want to make sure the welfare check comes in."

Are you looking for a job?

"Well, only so I can get my welfare check."

So, you want me to pray for the intention of continuing government-supported welfare for your friend who does not work, so, Biblically, does not eat, and has continued to live in the squalor of low self-worth and is praying that it continue.

A special intention needs to be treated specially: what is your prayer request, what are the graces asked for.

Also, are you thinking only of yourself and your friend?

When I pray for graces, I ask for the intercession of the Blessed Mother Teresa. She needs just one more confirmed miracle to be recognized a saint, but if I pray for your special intention and you get it, and you don't share the graces received, and by whose intercession, that process of sanctification is further delayed, and by whom? You. And do you know why? Because you are being selfish. You are thinking only of yourself and your friend, who is asking for a special intention but who is not sharing what is needed.

"I am hungry."

Here, eat.

"I am naked."

Here, be clothed.

We, my whole family, does do these actual acts of charity, further, we pray for special intentions and graces, but giving you a grace you do not need, are not ready for, did not ask for may actually cause you to fall further into despair and into sin. And, if you are asking wrongly, it is in God's provenance not to give you something that hurts you.

And I do not want to pray against God's provenance.

Do you?

If you ask for a special intention, then ask for that special intention: you will have people pray for you, knowing what they are praying for, and you actually may receive actual graces that actually help from God's agents here on Earth: bingo, people; bingo: me, because you asked for the specific grace.

If you're asking for general intention, know that the whole Church Militant and Church Triumphant is already praying with you. So why do you need to ask for general intentions? Nobody does, as nobody is that stupid to ask for what they know they are already receiving.

A special intention is special: if you ask for it, be willing to say what it is.

If you're going to go up to the bell, ring it.

Nap time: or, why I don't sleep

Sleep, n.: or why I don't

OH on twitter today: why are people up all night, working themselves to exhaustion? Isn't it time for you to take a nap.

No, it's not time for me to take a nap.

I'd love to, but here's the problem with that.

I've got bills, inflation has been killing me now for the last five years, seriously, where my income has been less than my expenses ('outgo' as it's called). That's when I have had a job. There's been times, like that Christmas-time when I and everybody else got fired? When I haven't had a job. Do you know how long it takes to find a new job. That takes time.

Oh, and the new job I got. Every morning, I got to wake up and ask myself: what is the boss going to scream at me, in front of everybody, about today? Do I have an answer for him?

Some days I had an answer. Sometimes, my answer was: I just don't have an answer for you.

I'm an expert in my fields of mathematics and computer science. Me, not having an answer for this guy? Wasn't good enough for him. Lots of times, my answers weren't good enough for him.

So I quit that job. People cried when I left, because I was one of the ones who tried to make people's lives better, not worse. I'm sorry to have left that job, but I had to retreat and take care of myself then.

Left in the morning before dawn, came home to pitch-black night, every day. Worked through a lot of weekends. 'Shouldn't you take a nap?'

Sure. That job paid $1,000 less per month than what our bills were.

So now I'm at this new job, a few blocks south of the old one: same commute. And now I don't know what the hell I'm doing, because I'm planning the work for the next two years. I'm not a manager/planner, I'm a mathematician. I am failing in this job big-time, so how long will I last here before I'm out of a job again, looking for work? Before my first pay-check?

So, I'm starting a business, because you know why? because nobody is making ends meet on their job, and once their productive years are over, they are going to be paid a big fat pension and social security is going to send them a huge check to cover all their expenses for the rest of their lives?

Sure, if they commit suicide right (before) their last payday at work.

People, we all are in hot water, and if you're not, my hat's off to you, but if you are, you're 1) in a lot company, 2) smart if you see the writing on the wall 3) working two jobs to make ends meet and 4) wondering how the hell you're going to survive your retirement.

Oh, take a nap and chillax, the problems can wait.

Sure they can.

And your wife isn't asking you how we're going to pay the mortgage or rent and the insurance this month?

But a nap sounds oh-so-good right about now, doesn't it?

Or, how about this?

Instead of napping, write.

My novel-in-progress? I have received three emails so far of people who said they didn't kill themselves because of something I wrote stayed their hand from offing themselves.

How many lives have you saved today? How many lives will your nap?

I ask myself that every day I don't write: what is your problem? Is it so big that it's bigger than saving somebody's life today.

But you go take that nap and scold me for not taking one myself, so you can justify yours because we all bow our heads to your level.

Instead of napping, work.

The first eight hours of work let you live today.

The next eight hours let you live for tomorrow. What are you doing with those next eight hours?

I'm starting a business that will multiply not only my income, but will also create wealth.

Do you have wealth? Do you have the ability to create wealth?

Yes, you do. You are a human being, alive right now, you have ideas x, y, and zed in your head, or if you're a talkative sombitch, that you're complaining and whining about every day.

Instead of talking and whining, and saying, 'oh, I'll get to that sometime; I'll get to that someday,' … get to it now. Get to it today.

The difference of a successful business owner and a good worker is …


Nothing, and less than nothing.

The business owner just takes responsibility for his or her own sphere, including the people of the company. The good worker just takes responsibility for his or her own sphere on the job.

So, do so damn well at work, they start thinking 'we've got to promote this one; this one is actually doing something, unlike all the others.'

And shut up, you've seen it on the job, the 80/20 rule. 80%: tell me what to do, or I'll do nothing. 20%: I did this; what do I do next?

Where do you fit in?

Fit yourself into the 20% on your job. Your life and soul depend on it.

Then, start a business, when you know you're ready, and fit your business in the top 20%.

Then we'll talk about naps.

Okay, so let's talk about naps.

Last night, instead of working through, I took a nap. So my technical indicators system, not ready for prime-time, is still not ready for prime time.

We'll get back to that cost in a minute.

Last night, instead of preparing my lunch for today, I took a nap. So now I need to buy lunch. The cheapest option is to buy some tasteless GMO-crap at Safeway, which, in Bethesda, will set me back $7-$8. So, Chipotle? That's ten dollars. That's the cost of a nap.

Also, I didn't prepare breakfast. I got a free muffin at dunkin donuts because I have a dunkin donuts card from my employer, because I listen and retain. Then I bought my yogurt at Safeway: $1.69 and I got to stand in line behind an idiot, again. And then I bought a small coffee for $2.07.

An additional $4 that nap cost me.

We have no credit left. None. I paid cash.

But I should take a nap.

The last technical indicators system. I worked with the guy who developed it. His partner (not me) sold out on him for a cool lowest bidder of $5 …

$5 million dollars.

My technical indicators system is not ready for prime time. It's making money …

Listen to me … my technical indicators system is making money!

How much work-per-day will I have to do once this system is up and running? Oh, I estimate 30 minutes per day. And then it makes money for me that day.

That system, when it's ready for prime time, and up and running with a proven audit-trail will be worth no less than $30 million dollars.

But, instead of working on it last night, getting it ready for prime time, I took a nap.

My nap? It only cost me $30,000,015.00 last night.

You have that kind of chump change?

1) give it to me
2) then tell me to take a nap.

I will.

Good Enough

Dear LORD,

Happy birthday to me!

As my daughters exclaim: "You're so old, Papa! Why are you so old?"

Another year, LORD; we made it through another year where I did 'stuff.'

Thank You, LORD, for seeing me past another year, touching lives during it, guiding some toward you. 

LORD, take the least of these into Your hands, the most hurting, and hold them tightly to You, right up to Your heart, and love them. Love them through their hurts, love them after the hurt is gone, love them today, with all their problems, love them tomorrow, while all their problems have still not gone away.

Make me good enough, LORD, to love them and to give them hope, and to point them to you. Help me be good enough so that they may be saved.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.