Summertime

Summertime

In the Summertime was one one of my favorite songs when it came out.  Well, it is summertime (officially).  It’s actually cooler today than it has been lately.

Without Volunteers

The Chamber of Commerce, FLPP, PPSNYS and my networking group all have had problems getting people to participate.  This got me thinking… what would the world be like without volunteers?

Talking to people in other volunteer organizations, it appears we’re heading that way.  Could you imagine what it would be like of those services went away completely, or if you had to pay for them.

A friend who is a volunteer fireman said they were supposed to have 5 firefighters show up to an alarm, and only two did.  Neither one of the two were qualified to drive the truck.  This is a scare preview on where the millenials are heading.

What’s in it for Me

The “What’s in it for me” attitude doesn’t end well.  Selfless people ask, “How can I help?  What can I do?”  Selfish people ask, “What’s in it for me?  What do I get out of this?”  As a result, a world full of selfish people becomes corrupt, evil, warmongering, avarice, to list a few of its attributes.

I hear people use the justification “what would Jesus do” when someone calls them out on their selfish behavior.  First, read the scriptures.  When confronted by a selfish man, Jesus told him, “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”  The rich man wasn’t happy with that answer.

Personal Note

On a personal note, I sometimes think myself too selfish with my time and means.  Yet, when you show up to a group function, where several more people should be, you have to remind yourself, “at least I’m here.”

That’s not to say something hasn’t come up in other people’s lives.  But, when it is the same people volunteering again, and again, and the others are not, you have to think that they just don’t want to help.  Honestly, I don’t know if that’s the case, and I try to be charitable and non-judgemental, but repeated behaviors tend to solidify the assumption that they don’t care.

To Each Their Own

There’s also the other side of things.  People tend to volunteer for what they do best or enjoy doing — even it it is work.  I have no problem with that.  You’re not going to have me volunteering to repair someone’s car because I wouldn’t know where to start these days.  Likewise, someone might not volunteer to tear off someone’s roof because they feel unsteady on their feet.

Repeat Offenders

It’s the repeat offenders (and there seems to be more and more of them each day) wherein lies the problem.  It’s people who never do anything for anyone except themselves.  I worry about that.  The more people in the world who ask, “What’s in it for me?”, the more precarious the future.

No Clue

About 10 or 11 years ago, I was talking to a young adult.  She was telling me about her ambitions and goals.  I said to her, “That all sounds great, but don’t forget to take time everyday to serve someone else.”

She had a blank look in her face.  So I explained it can be organized, like volunteering for a local charity, or it can be a daily goal to find someone who looks like they need help and go offer help.  The sample I gave was a family who bought a bed at Goodwill and it wouldn’t fit through the door.  The Goodwill store didn’t have any tools to disassemble the bed.

I was close by and could hear the customer venting his frustration that they wouldn’t have a way for him to get the bed out of the store.  My thought was they needed help.  So, I approached the customer and said to him, “I’m sure my boss will understand if I’m late getting back to work.  I have some tools in my truck.  I’ll go get them and we’ll disassemble this bed.”

So, we did.  The clerk stood by watching.  Once the bed was disassembled, I looked at the clerk and said, “You are going to help carry this out, aren’t you?”

The three of us got the bed loaded in the man’s van.  I returned to work feeling like I had made a positive difference in that family’s life.

I think the story fell on the young lady’s deaf ears.  She had no clue.

Saddened

I’m saddened how selfish the world is getting.  Thank goodness for the gospel that teaches people to be selfless.  Children being brought up in light and truth are the real future.

Process of Elimination

Process of Elimination

I’ve spent most of my adult life troubleshooting.  It’s a process of elimination.  You hold all variables constant, and you change one to see if it has an impact.  If it doesn’t, you restore it to its original state, and change another.  You keep doing that until you find the problem.

Since Then

Elizabethe commented that I really haven’t been my same self since the accident.  That’s understandable.  PTSD is, as the T stands for, a traumatic disease.    I say disease because it is a mental illness brought on by a life threatening event.

Since then I had a nasty flu that took weeks to recover from.  Let me correct that… I’m still recovering.  A couple of months after getting the flu I got a septic infection.  The antibiotics cleared up a lot of symptoms, but a few of them came back.

I’ve never experienced fatigue as I have lately.  It used to be I could trim the grass, hedge the bushes and mow the lawn only to feel some muscle stiffness the next day.  Saturday’s experience doing those three tasks nearly killed me.

Convinced Me

Elizabethe convinced me to see the doctor.  The doctor asked lots of questions, listened to my breathing and my heart, and told me the course of action.  It’s a process of troubleshooting, not unlike troubleshooting a computer or network system.

First, they are going to test my blood and urine for a bunch of stuff.  She said it could be an infection (again), electrolyte imbalance, hormonal, blood sugar, etc.  Her first line of troubleshooting is to see if anything appears in the blood or urine.

If nothing appears in the lab tests, the second tier will be to adjust my medications one at a time to see what happens.  She listed off a couple of my medications that could cause fatigue.   One she said could be eliminated.  The others, substituted or an adjustment in dosage could help.

After that, there are other tests.  She suggested sleep apnea.  Something tells me it’s not sleep apnea.  I think it is more “chemical” or “biological”.  She also wants me to see an E.N.T. specialist.  I haven’t been to one for years.  In 1974-1975 I practically lived at my E.N.T.’s office, but that’s another story.

Worse Case Scenarios

Some worse case scenarios were rattled off…  Kidney failure (I’m doubting that since urination seems normal), liver failure (another one I doubt), thyroid problems, Parkinson’s being the ones she mentioned.  Ones I found searching symptoms on the Internet were leukemia, Lupus and Sjogren’s (this latter matching all the symptoms).  It’s all a process of elimination until something conclusive rears its head.

In the Meantime

In the meantime, I have to manage my energy and time carefully.  My voice is a good indicator.  I need to remember to back off when my voice starts going out.  And, I need to accept that my effectiveness can end anywhere during the day.  (Today, it cut out around noon.  That’s when I started to lose my voice.  Losing my voice is coupled with the extreme fatigue I’ve been feeling.)

One thing I won’t be eliminating is prayer.

Server Work

Server Work

I built a good career off my knowledge of computers, mathematics and algorithms.  I say, make the server work.  That’s right, make that server work.

Every computer I own has virus checking software.  These days, it is stupid not to have it on a computer.  The problem is, it can really slow down a computer when scanning LOTS of files.

So, I finally put my former career to use.  I realized all of my computers were doing scans on the server.

Why?

That’s a good question.  Why was I doing that when the brains of my server are just sitting there doing what servers do — sharing files.  Why shouldn’t the server being doing all the work?

Yes, my server has virus software too, but without getting in to the nitty gritty, it basically takes care of the server’s internal hard drives.  It’s time to make it take care of the NAS drives too.

Setting it Up

Setting it up is easy.  I just told the virus software on the server to scan EVERY drive it can see.  Now, I can tell my laptops and desktops to only scan files it is opening (with the exception of their C: drive.)  This will sure make things a lot faster.

Update

Oh, and an update… it is scanning it’s 2,133,529th file right now.  That’s over 2 million files that my desktop doesn’t need to scan.  Yeah, my computer is already running faster.

Funny Telemarketing

Funny Telemarketing

Here’s a funny telemarketing thing to do.  When a telemarketer calls, whisper.  Wait for the opportune moment to tell them you are in prison.  Once you tell them that, you can also tell them you aren’t even supposed to have a phone.

I did this the other night.  They guy asked if I have a credit card.  I told him I used to before they took it away and arrested me.  He asked, “You don’t have a credit card?”

I said, “No, they took all of them away when they arrested me.  In fact, I’m not even supposed to have this phone on the cellblock.”

CLICK!

Let’s see… how many ways are they breaking the law.

  1. I haven’t done business with them, or given my permission for them to call.
  2. They did not check the NPA-NXX to see if it was a cell phone.  (It’s illegal for them to call cell phones.)
  3. They did not check the Do Not Call Registry to see if the number was listed.
  4. The call started with a mechanical announcement.  They must first start with a live human being and ask, “Would you be willing to listen to this…”

Hissy Fits

We just had a potential tenant throw a hissy fit regarding our policy that tenants in our house must keep their personal items (including food) in their room.  (All of our rooms have small refrigerators.)

Well, I’m glad they got that out of the way before we accepted a contract from them.

Let’s Talk About

Let’s talk about renting a room in a house where the owners reside.

  1. It’s the owner’s house; it’s their rules.
  2. Owner occupied homes are treated differently than apartment rentals.  Certain laws do not apply because the owner lives in the home.  For example, if the owner deems the tenant a bad fit, personality or otherwise, yes, they can turn the renter away.
  3. Guests are temporary guests living under the roof of the owner’s home with the owner in the house.  As a result, guests must give up certain privileges.  For example, we had a potential renter call asking if he could install a phone line in his name.  The answer is, “No.”  We do not allow any utilities to be listed in other people’s name.  His argument was, he wasn’t planning on living there, he just wants to establish residence in New York.  (Okay, that already sounds hinky.)
  4. Outside your personal belongings, only use/borrow what you’ve been told you can use/borrow.  Then, return it immediately when you aren’t using it.  Return it clean and stow it in the manner the owner wants it stowed.  For example, if you borrow a frying pan, wash it and put it back where the owner wants their frying pans kept.
  5. Read your contract and rules.  Read them until you understand what they are.

Nightmarish Things

Here are a few nightmarish things we’ve had guests do.

  • Ask to keep a small box in our garage.  Before we knew it, our garage was getting full of boxes.
  • Taking our dishes to their room to eat, and then, instead of going to the kitchen and washing them and putting them away, they put them in a trash bag in their closet. (Ewwww!)
  • One had such bad personal hygiene you could tell where they sat days after they had been in that room.
  • Damage done to the room without immediately reporting it and taking personal responsibility.

We’re considering putting an end to renting rooms.  Craigslist tenants seem to be a bit on the undesirable side, and airbnb guests seem to be on the want-something-for-nothing side.  I guess we’re getting too old for this.

A Month Away

A Month Away

It’s hard to believe pageant is only a month away.  They have trucks staged in the big parking lot at Hill Cumorah.  It looks like the stage construction will begin soon.

My workshop classes for photography are during pageant this year (again).  This means I’ll be in school from about 8am to 5pm daily.  I’ll miss much of the daytime stuff that accompanies pageant, but I’ll be able to watch the show one of those nights.

Social Media Fast

President Russell M. Nelson asked the youth to do a 7-day social media fast.  If the prophet asks the youth to do it, it must be good for others too.  But, like any fast, there are some things to consider.

  1. Do it in private.  Christ warned not to be as the publicans who disfigure their faces and dress in sackcloth and ashes.  In modern terms, I would take it to mean, don’t post stuff on social media like, “Okay, I’m going on a 7-day Facebook fast.  I don’t know how I’m going to manage, but I’m doing it okay.  Starting right now.”
  2. Social media is more than just Facebook.  It’s Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, chat rooms, message boards, etc.  A 7-day social media fast must include all of them.
  3. A fast isn’t complete without an offering.  What will be your offering at the end of your 7-day media fast?  I’ve been thinking a lot about this.  I think it would be appropriate for 7 days worth of internet or phone charges donated to the fast offering fund.
  4. It should start and end with a prayer.  You should have in mind what Heavenly Father wants you to learn from the experience, and you should pray for understanding and strength.

I guess one learning might end up being that people can do with out so much social media.

Church Down South

Church Down South

Church down south was fun today.  Zoe’s name was announced from the pulpit and she was sustained as a new member of the church.

copyright 2018 db walton

Zoe

Avery and Zoe get along amazingly well.  Let’s hope it keeps up.  After all, it’s only been a few months since they became a family.  I don’t say that pessimistically, but let’s be realistic.  Siblings usually will have their spats.

After church I drove the 4 of them (Ashley went home with her grandparents last night), down to Steve’s parent’s house.  They are having a week-long camp with all the grandchildren.  (It sounds fun.  For Rebecca and Steve this will be a nice honeymoon time for them.)

Old Hospital and Prison

Steve showed us around the old hospital and prison.  Talk about a waste of property and resources.  It’s been shut down since 1980s.  The buildings sit vacant, and the grounds unkempt.   (A lot of people blame Reagan for this, but I’ve read several analysis of it and basically, Reagan signed in some budget cuts, but MOVED the burden to the states.  States, like Georgia, responded in kind by closing facilities… and blaming Reagan.)

Israel

I dropped Steve and Rebecca off and went back to the hotel.  They joined Elizabethe and I there and I gave them a slideshow of Israel.  It was fun.

Zoe Baptized

Zoe Baptized

Zoe was baptized today.  She was so excited.  Her grin went from ear to ear.

Rebecca and Steve commented the attendance was more than they expected.  The little room was packed to capacity.  Zoe asked me and her Grandpa Martin to talk.  Russ Martin talked about baptism, and I talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost.

copyright 2018 db walton

Their Happy Family

Lunch

Before the baptism we met them for lunch at a diner named Kirby G.  I had a brisket burger.  It was a lean beef patty topped with slices of brisket.  Best burger ever.  As a result, I’ll want to return when we visit Atlanta.

copyright 2018 db walton

Zoe and Avery at Kirby G’s

Open House

They had an open house for Zoe after the baptism.  Some of Steve’s family showed up, as well as some friends.  The full-time missionaries were also there.

I enjoyed talking to the elders about missions and stuff.  The elders were telling me they are going away from tablets and just using smartphones now.  (Just wait for the next technology and they’ll be carrying something different.  Technology changes too quickly.)

Chick-Fil-A

We stopped and picked up a snack at Chick-Fil-A.  I wish we had one here in Palmyra.  Elizabethe was reading they are #1 where ever they have a location.  That’s impressive.

The Trip There

We arrived her yesterday afternoon.  We had dinner at Rebecca’s with the Sister Missionaries.

copyright 2018 db walton

The Gang Friday Night After Dinner

Service

Service

I believe service is what will separate the wheat from the tares.  Doing a survey for my trade guild I learn that those who say they do not have time to serve complain the most.  Don’t we see the same thing in the church?  Those most critical of church leaders are those who don’t serve.

It is discouraging to see fewer and fewer youth doing service.  A friend told me in his volunteer fire department, an alarm called for 8 volunteers, but only 2 showed up.  That’s a scary thought.  A lack of commitment and service, in this case, could cost lives.

We are seeing the same thing in the Chamber of Commerce.  Members want certain benefits of membership, but unless we have people volunteering to help, it just doesn’t happen.  The benefit comes from serving each other.

Foul Mood

I guess I’m in a foul mood today.  Saturday’s 2 out of 8 people showing up on time, and then 1 considerably late for doing service has me a bit ticked.  Then, to read comments in the survey for my trade guild only makes me more angry.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too in a volunteer organization unless you get out and help.  Granted, the church really isn’t a “volunteer” organization.  Things are done by calling and assignment by those in authority.  Nonetheless, when someone accepts an assignment, they have an obligation to be there.  And, if something comes up, they have an obligation to find someone to fulfill their assignment.

Business Volunteer Organizations

Business volunteer organizations are there to help business owners help each other succeed.  Anyone who thinks they can come along for a free ride is mistaking.  It’s like our network group.  You can’t expect to show up and have referrals handed to you.  You have to work at finding referrals to hand out.  “Givers Gain” is the motto of one such referral group.

In our guild there are some young folks who whine and cry about us not having webinars.  Well, folks, who is going to produce, record and manage those webinars?  Webinars don’t just happen.

Then, they expect this stuff to be ‘free’ or cheaply priced.  Again, you can’t have ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ unless you have people volunteering to help.  Without service, everything comes with a premium price.  It’s supply and demand.  If the workers are few, the cost goes up.

Yard Work

Yard Work

Elizabethe has been doing a lot of yard work with the Reynolds boys.  They are hard workers and she’s grateful. They have got a lot of work done.

Lunch at Longhorn

We had lunch at Longhorn today.  Our favorite waitress was off, but the waiter we got was quite attentive to our needs.  It’s always a good experience there. He went overboard and ran all our gift cards and printed statements for each one!

My steak was cooked to perfection.  Thus, It was the best steak I’ve ever had.  That’s one of the reasons I love this place.

New Shoes

Elizabethe needs new shoes.  As a result, we stopped at the shoe store.  Three pairs later, we were ready to go.

We also stopped at Home Depot to look at toilets.  They are all white.  I asked about ordering a black one, and they pointed me to their website.

It’s decision time.

Poser Stuff

My  learning continues in Poser 11.  Today I learned how to save my own character.  The answer was in front of me all the time.  I just didn’t see it.  I will now be creating characters ready for action.  This will save a LOT of time.

copyright 2018 db walton

Pirates on the Palmyra Flag Pole

Both Ways

Both Ways

You can’t have it both ways, as the old saying goes.  Yesterday I wrote about priestcraft.  Well, that link came up again.

Here’s the deal…

There are two apostate groups in the church that are diametrically opposed.  One says bishops ask too many sexual probing questions of youth, which in turn drives youth towards sexually acting out.  The other group says bishops don’t ask enough questions which leaves pornography addictions uncovered.

Why people leave the church over this stuff is beyond me.  The one group claims bishop’s go overboard.  While I’ve only had this experience with one bishop, it is my understanding bishop’s are supposed to stick to the recommend questions.  The other group wants bishops to ask detailed questions — especially about things viewed in pornography  — to determine if a person has a pornography addiction.  While the first group is probably right — bishops should not go in to details about ways a person can commit a sexual sin.  The other group is probably wrong.  You can’t have it both ways, and neither is a reason to leave the church.

Word of Wisdom

The same is true about the Word of Wisdom.  The bishop whom I felt went overboard would go in to long drawn out questioning about the Word of Wisdom.  Much of it was his asserting his own doctrine.

So, applying the arguments of these two opposing groups, should bishops go in to details like these?

Do you drink energy drinks that contain tea or coffee?
Have you ever eaten mocha ice cream?
Have you ever used alcoholic beverages in cooking?
Do you only eat meat sparingly during the summer?
Etc.

I think you’d agree that it’s a little overboard.  It’s simple.  The question to be asked is, “Do you live the Word of Wisdom?”

I think beyond that it is up to the individual to ask for clarification  if they don’t understand, or confess if they do understand.  By the time one makes it to the temple recommend interview, they’ve been around long enough in the church to understand what each of the recommend questions mean.  When it comes to 12-18 year old children, their parents should prepare them for the questions.

Questioning

The 14 or 15 questions asked are more than adequate — either way.

I’ve asked myself, “What would I do if I were asked a question that I felt was entirely inappropriate?”

I think I’ll ponder and pray about it.  When I have my answer, I can’t promise I’ll share it.  That’s something you’ll have to ponder and pray about too.