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As Opposed to What?

in Articles, News Column

The Independent News Column – MAR 2016 Those of you under 50, Google “The Smothers Brothers” and learn to appreciate the wisdom they taught through comedy.  One of the great lines was “ As opposed to what”?   I think it was Tommy that would ask his brother Dick if he wanted something.  Like an Ice Cream Cone.  Dick would reply “as opposed to what?” What a good point.  The ice cream cone compared to what?  Getting punched in the nose?  Tommy was talking about a comparative analysis.  Of two choices, which is better for you, A or B.? My point here today came from a conversation with a guy about some new counter tops, a sink and faucet and new backsplash tile.  He found at a showroom exactly what they had been looking for, received a quotation, and in telling me his story he said that “the price seems a little high”.    My reply in classic Smothers Brothers delivery was “as opposed...

The 30 Day Challenge That May Stun You

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The Independent News Column – DEC 2015 I have a challenge for you.  For your mind and for your physical space.  And you are going to think it can’t be done and that I am nuts.  I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I would like to discuss generosity.  Being a generous person is not something that comes naturally.  We have work at it from the moment our Mothers tell us to share.  We learn that to be generous we have to think about the needs of others and see how that fits into our lives, or resources, and our ability to serve. I heard in church a few weeks back that if you have a change of clothes, a few coins in your pocket, fairly reliable transportation, and a house that keeps most of the weather out, you are considered part of the wealthy of the world.  The Pastor said we often do not consider ourselves wealthy as we feel we are just getting by, but we really are.  Look at us....

Simplify Christmas

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A collection of class notes from Joe Prin Do you look forward to Christmas or Dread it? And that which you dread, is it the Christ in Christmas or the stuff we have built around it? Gift giving and receiving, parties, decorations, relatives, work schedules. “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.” – Bob Hope Tonight, in the short time we have together, we will outline the theory of a simplified Christmas.  Everything I will bring up is in the notes I’ll pass out at the end of class.  There are also some reference materials that you will want to read through in the coming days. What are you favorite memories of a Christmas past? Thought:  It is hard for me to wrap my head around how today, so many of the lowest wage earners have to work the longest and hardest around Christmas so that I...

Just Do it Right

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Star-Eagle Independent Newspaper – SEP 2015 You have seen them.  The photos of “epic fails”, or home repair solutions that are absolutely astounding as to the stupidity involved in their creation.  These photos (or evidence) exist for car repair, animal care, sports, just about anything where if it can be done wrong, it probably has.  And here is the picture to prove it. Do these examples really exist?  Are they some clever photo manipulation just to amuse us or did someone really think that this was a good idea at one time? Most are for real.  I know this because just in the few years I have been on this planet, and the fewer years I entertained myself as a remodeling contractor, I have seen my own share.  And, in this moment of self-confession, I have to admit I may have created a couple “epic fails” myself. Most of the photographic ones that really catch my attention seem to...

Cathedral of the Rockies August 2015

in Articles, Church Newsletters

“Good, Fast, or Cheap- Pick two”.  It was a phrase I often used in my Remodeling business prior to life here at the church.  Lots of stories to go with it. But today, let’s focus just on “Cheap”.   What is the real cost of Cheap?  An engineer friend of mine explained this in economic terms to me by saying that in making and selling things, if two identical products have different prices, you have to ask why.  Why is one of them cheaper? Or why is one more expensive?    Likewise, if two products cost the same, but one comes from halfway around the globe and the other from 10 miles away… why?  Assuming the same margin for the seller, somehow down the chain, cost is being pulled out of the product to make it cheaper. If the model discussed above is broken-down into the significant components, three groups would form.  Those groups are Materials, People, and Environment. In the case of...

Cathedral of the Rockies July 2015

in Articles, Church Newsletters

Interesting conversations can manifest themselves in the most obscure locations. While pulling a few weeds in the First Fruits Orchard a passerby diverted off the sidewalk and took a seat on one of the benches.  She sat quietly as I buzzed around the trees pulling bind weed and goat heads.  I soon needed a break and joined her on the opposing bench.  We started talking. She was a visitor from out of town staying with a family member a few blocks away.  There were medical issues at the home and she was there to provide comfort and care.  She needed a break.  She went for a walk and found the orchard on a beautiful day with a slight breeze.  Her story ended with “I really needed this place today.” One of her questions for me was how the orchard came to be, why, and who.  I gave her the short summary, something hard for me to do.  All she said was “wow”.   She then observed a Dad and two...