Wednesday, June 23, 2004

You Want The Culture of Death? You Can Find a Good Example In London

The subject is babies that survive abortion attempts and are born alive. This quote is stunning in its callousness and depravity (emphasis is mine).

Professor Thornton, of City Hospital, Nottingham, [apparently channeling Satan directly] said: "Once it is born, you can't kill the baby but the law doesn't say anything about to what degree you resuscitate it.

"The way it is dealt with is by sensible doctors and sensible nurses keeping it under their hat and allowing the baby to pass away peacefully."

Professor Campbell does not believe that a baby born in this way should be kept alive at all costs.

"What paediatricians do is spend resources keeping a baby that is going to die, alive. It is absolute nonsense. It does show that is up to us (obstetricians) to make sure the baby is not moving."

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Dave, the naturalist at Wild River State Park. Posted by Hello

Carry nothing but your walking stick. And your tent. And your camp chairs. And... Posted by Hello

We are off on our camping trip! What a great crew! Posted by Hello

Focus, focus, focus!

Today, has been a very difficult day to focus. I've been getting far too little sleep lately. I find it curious that when I am extremely tired at work, I don't have a hard time staying awake or working with the computer. The tiredness manifests itself in an inability (or at least unwillingness) to stay attentive to the task at hand.

When I am tired, I fiddle with my background image and cursors. I adjust the sounds my computer makes for its default beep. I repeatedly check e-mail, or see if there are new versions of utilities available for download.

I found it useful today to just spend the last hour of my time at work reading a new book on object-oriented programming. I will be posting a more thorough later. The book is by David West and titled Object Thinking. I'm about halfway through it and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Rather than complain about lack of sleep, I best head off to the land of Nod. God bless you all.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Book Log: The Introvert Advantage

This book, by Marti Olsen Laney came very strongly recommend by a friend. It's main point is that introversion is a personality type (one with many advantages), not a character defect.

It's All About Energy

An introvert is someone who gains energy by being alone or with one close friend in a quiet setting. An extrovert is someone who gains energy by being with other people. These definitions are very important. Many people things being an introvert and being shy are the same thing, but introversion is not shyness. Shyness is the feeling of anxiety caused by being in the presence of other people. Both introvert and extroverts can be shy.

Olsen Laney makes the point that she is a social introvert. She likes being with other people. She has always had jobs (librarian and therapist) that bring her into contact with many different people. But such contact, even though enjoyable, is draining. As an introvert she needs time alone to recharge.

Actually, It's All About Me

I found the first part of the book to be especially useful. She spends a good deal of time talking about characteristics of introverts, including common strengths and weaknesses. A couple of her points really struck home.

Introverts often have a hard time starting tasks, because they feel they have to have very in-depth knowledge of a subject or problem before they can really tackle it. This resonated with me very deeply. I read this at a time when I was starting a new project at work and was having a very difficult time just getting going. Realizing that this is a tendency common with my temperament freed me to put my hesitancy aside and do some initial work before I felt really comfortable doing so. It was very freeing.

The concept of a "social introvert" really helped to explain some of my more puzzling reactions to situations. I have come to understand that feeling drained and worn out after a social event does not mean the event was a failure or that something was wrong with me. It is simply part of my introverted personality.

Has It Changed My Life Forever?

No. The book is very good, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is an introvert or lives with one. But it was not as life-changing (at least for me) as some of the reviews seem to imply.

The first part of the book (which explains the main concepts, talks about the physiological brain mechanisms underlying the temperament, and provides insight into common characteristics, problems and strengths of introverts) was very useful. However, the last part of the book is an extended discussion of coping mechanisms that introverts can use to deal with the extroverted culture in which we live. I don't know if I'm just not that introverted or if I'm old enough to have figured out how to deal with most of these situations on my own. The last section was not very helpful, and I found myself skimming the last third of the book rather than reading it thoroughly.

I wish I could take credit for this one...

...but I know not who the creator of this image is.

Find the hidden bird! Posted by Hello

The Bloggopottimus himself Posted by Hello

Monday, June 07, 2004

If It Wasn't So Depressing, It Would Be Really Funny

This rather sarcastic satire from the Most Excellent ScrappleFace was depressingly echoed (albeit seriously) in this article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

I was very tempted to post both articles side-by-side on the exterior of my cube at work, but I feared it might prove to be a CLM (career-limiting move).

The Fantastic Four

My dear wife, Denise (actually, she's my only wife), and I were at a conference for Catholic Homeschoolers this weekend. The conference started on Friday night, and Denise took our four children to meet me at St. Thomas University (the conference's location) after work. As Denise was getting the children out of the car, another car pulled up to hers and a family composed two adults and one small child stepped out.

The mother looked at our van-load of four children and started to remark how amazing it was that we had such a large family. She repeatedly complimented Denise at her ability to handle so many children. She said several times that she had no idea how Denise could keep up with them. She said she could hardly handle the one little boy they had. She even gave our oldest soon (who was on the threshold of turning three years old) a tennis ball.

She was very kind, and I very much appreciate the fact that she was trying to be encouraging. But it saddens me that a family with four children should inspire such awe. Yes, they're a handful, but children are also an amazing gift. We don't stand in awe of people who work weekends and evenings to get a promotion or raise. We recognize that they are making an investment in what they believe to be important. Well, in being open to having and raising these children we are investing in what we believe to be tremendously more important than any promotion or raise could ever be.