Another Great Escape

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cancer Cure Screen Saver

This isn't a con - use your PC's (dunno about Mac compatability) downtime to complete medical research.

Click here to have a look

I've been doing this for a while.

Life is precious

It dawned on me this weekend that people who I love and care for won't be around forever. I went back home this weekend to see my mum and dad, we had tea with them and chatted about stuff. As I sat there talking and listening I noticed how much my parents had aged. I don't mean that in a bad way (especially if you find this blog m & d!) they just looked older. We were chatting about what I remembered from growing up. Thinking about those memories, really bought it home just how much things had altered in the last 28 years. Life does take its toll. A few things have cropped up recently that made me think

Dad had an car accident about 14 years ago, thankfully at the time he had only minor injuries but as time has gone on the damage caused to his ear has got worse. Anyway, last night he told us that he'd have to have a hearing aid. I know that there's nothing wrong with having one but it just reaffirmed that he wasn't indestructible. Claire's Dad has recently got older - his voice has changed a bit - nothing noticible to an outsider, but enough for Claire to pick up. My Grandad (he's ace!) recently discovered IKEA! Can you believe it? He's reliving his youth I think, he's 78, got a girlfriend 15 years younger than him and spends more evenings out than we do. But he's 78, he had 50 or so years of his life used up, looking after someone whose life was dominated by antidepressants. It's only now that he's having a bit of freedom.

Life is so precious. There is truth in the saying, "Youth is wasted on the young". You don't realise when you're 16 that people get old. My life has changed so dramatically in the last 5 years, marriage, job, house, etc, etc. You forget that in the midst of all this people are still getting old. There will come a time when claire and I won't be together. I hope and pray that this is far in the future. It tears me apart just thinking of it. Seeing my dad age is scary, because if he can age, so can I.

It's hard - as a Christian I've been taught that there is life after death. I do believe that, before you all starting worrying that I'm backsliding. But, it's hard, I don't want to be parted from anyone that I love and care for. I've been reading this book on the bible, it's a commentary really, but an interesting one! I've scanned through most of the bible with it - there;s a part in the NT about what happens when we die, I can't remember where, I'll have to dig it out later. But the gist of it was that it doesn't matter when you die, you'll be resurrected at the same time. That sounds good to me. I think the scary thing for me was being apart from people, being on my own or leaving people behind. I know that death is inevitable, just like taxes, and that it comes to us all and that people have been dieing for years. It still doesn;t make the prospect any easier to deal with.

Life is precious. Time spent with people you care about is precious. Life is short. Old age creeps up slowly but surely. Jesus said that he came to offer us life (present tense) in the full. I often think that my life isn't being led the the fullest - Like I've blogged before, time management is something I need to work on, I think I'm winning it.

I know this is rambling on a bit now - I'm logging off now. I'll try and add more to this later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Eminent Harvard Scholar

Mrs R. Russell, Harvard, USA - my obsessive (in a good way), vertically challenged, quality friend, from way back - in an email after reading my blog. This is someone who can further the cause to drink more water!!

"...water is SO important! I started drinking 64 or more ounces of water (8 cups... not sure what that is in the metric system!) and stopped drinking caffeine and low and behold-- I have at least 10 times the energy I had before (no exaggeration!), can wake up easier in the morning and am mentally more alert as well! If you don't drink enough water not only do you not have any energy because you're always slightly dehydrated, but your kidneys can't function as they're supposed to (they need a large supply of water to fully function) so your liver begins to help your kidneys filter all the bad stuff out of your system... when that happens everything else in your body slows down to compensate including metabolism (also, if you exercise and don't get enough water your body actually can't flush out the fat you've burned and 60% or more of it gets absorbed back into your body!), blood oxygenation (which will make you more winded if you're exercising, running up stairs, etc.), mental function, muscle function... everything! I'm a bit of a nutrition nut too, if you'd like to know anything about that (like, why you need omega-3 fatty acids, why trans fats are so bad for you, what different vitamins do, why all the B vitamins have to be taken at the same time or none of them work, etc.). I'm a little obsessed, can you tell??? :)"

She is an eminent Harvard Scholar!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Fire Starter

Connecting to one of mans primeval traits - burning things.

Good things

The past week has seen my energy levels increase, my work/life balance re-establish itself (to some extent) and the purchase of a chainsaw! What do I owe all of this renewed energy and realignment too, not to mention my love for all tools mechanized (I've not graduated to petrol ones yet - they're a bit too scary)?

Whilst I was doing all of those mudane, housey type things (picking up leaves, clearing out the garage, etc, etc) I was able to have a good think. My better half was out with friends watching some chick flick which I had no intention to see - I was great to have some clear, uninterrupted thinking time. Now I know why my Dad spent so much time out in the garden, garage, shed, loft when I was younger. Anyway, I actually made a News Resolution this year, I don't usually bother. I felt that I should at least have a go. I decided to make sure I drink more water. After not holding out much hope that this would have any impact, I began to feel more alert, and low and behold I had a bit more energy. "Wow!" I thought.

This has been going on for 3 weeks now, with each week I'm finding myself feeling a bit better. I wasn't ill before, but I just felt low. I put it down to lots of things; Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD); being a lazy git; being tired from work; etc. I realised that it was the water last weekend, I dunno about you but at the weekend our eating habits go out of the window. If we lie in we don't eat breakfast till late and then we won't eat tea until later. My drink (H20) patterns pretty much matched that. I felt really crap, and thirsty, it then hit me like a thunder bolt - WATER!! Anyway, don't take that as a true scientific test of the purifying properties of water - it does work.

Work/life balance...being a teacher opens me up for a lot of hassle from people who don't have a clue what teaching is like in the 21st Century. Just for the record, the days are long gone when you could turn up at 8.50 and leave at 3.15. Our old next door neighbour couldn't get it through his head that teachers earnt the long summer holidays. I've been doing a future School Leadership course, it is actually more interesting that it sounds. Part of the course is to complete a self diagnosis matrix (nothing to do with Neo, it's just a watch word for a few questions) and then get my colleagues to do the same. Well, I had the results this week and a meeting with my coach. On the plus side I have good to very good leadership qualities and a few other things too, on the negative side my "planning and organising" side is still "developing". I discussed this with my coach and after a prolonged discussion we looked at what I was actually doing at school and how I was using my time to do the nuts and bolts stuff of teaching. To cut a long, and potentially boring, I'm using my time at school to do the stuff that I hate doing, staying until the caretaker kicks me out but then leaving as much stuff at school as possible.

Having got most of my planning done in the week I have maybe an hours work at the weekend - the rest of the time is my time - It's the first time in a few years that I haven't dreaded Sunday afternoons because I've sorted stuff out. It seems so simple now. I had been so caught up with knowing I had work to do but telling myself I was too busy to do it properly, I dunno, I think I was spiraling out of control, taking more things on at work, but not fully realising the system I had wasn't;t working. I was really resenting my job - which I'm not now - maybe only a bit.

It's Sunday afternoon - no work to do - chainsaw time.

I'd better explain my power tool fixation next time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pure Evil

Do you ever look at the news and feel utterly horrified and disgusted at what humans can do? Today there was a story about the two babysitters convicted of baby rape. Last week there was a abduction and sexual assault of a 3 year old from her bedroom. And that's just a small part of it.
What is wrong with this world?!

I get so angry, wanting to physically assault those responsible in every most hurtful way imaginable. I find it hard, that as a Christian I am meant to - commanded to, forgive these evil and twisted people. We don't have any kids of our own, as yet, but I teach a class of 32. Each one, I would physically defend them if anything harmful was happening to them. I just don't understand why anybody could harm a kid.

I know it's a bit cliched, I try to keep away from the Jesus Junk, but WWJD (what would jesus do)? I know he was at times an angry man. Someone with a bit of a spark. He was afterall the son of God! But what would he have done if he was physically around when the above was kicking off?

I think I know the answer - but it doesn't bring any comfort - we all have free will. We choose to do what we do, but I reckon that we will have to account for the actions we have taken.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I've got to admit iTunes is pretty cool. I'm not completly sold on the whole mac thing but iTunes is ace. It's dead easy to use, I just wacked a CDR in and recorded some mp3, it changed it to CDA format without the need for any extra encoders. Maybe I'll move away from the dark side...