Day 118: Puppies

Day 118: Puppies

Because I spent a lot of time editing the pictures, I wanted to share this post from our dogblog.  Our chocolate lab had puppies a month ago, and in the process of selling them, we’ve set up a website for people to watch the pups as they grow.  I try to post pictures and videos often, so if someone has their eye on a dog, or has already paid a deposit, they can follow along.

Anyway, we had the dogs outside for the first time today.  They LOVED it.  I don’t care if you’re a dog person or not, you’ll think these are cute.

Here’s a preview:

See the full gallery here

http://caiaspuppies.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/first-time-outside-lots-of-pictures/

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Day 117: Traveling Again

I’ve been traveling the last few days for a work conference. Made it to San Antonio in time for the weather to turn cold and rainy. However, I was able to get some good runs and workouts in, and the trip was fantastic for work.

In lieu of failing or post the last few days, allow me to post my five favorite travel quotes of all time, in nor particular order.

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
– Robert Louis Stevenson

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
– Mark Twain

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
– Bill Bryson

Okay, so oneis in order. I have saved the best for last.

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

Day 111: Laughing In The Face

So I received this comment the other day via email regarding this blog.

“One mans journey into discovering that having no sustainabel roll in ilfe can be masked a narsissistic blog.   Step away from the computer and get a life….and stop thinking the world might have any interest in your banelity.”

Unsurprisingly, the comment was anonymously signed “Trixie”.  Saying nothing of the poor grammar and spelling, I couldn’t help but laugh at the comment.  It’s the first negative comment I’ve received on this blog since I began.  And frankly, I couldn’t care less.

To Trixie, allow me to reiterate what I end most of my posts with:

As always: This is simply my journal as I try to better myself. I hope it inspires you to focus on yourself. Make 2013 YOUR year.

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I can’t blame her for her anger.  The internet provides a wonderful venue for venting frustrations on others because you can do so with little chance of interaction or reprisal.  Very likely, she has an honest-to-goodness reason to be angry about something, and for some reason, my blog set her off.  I don’t know her story.  I don’t know what happened to her yesterday.  I don’t know if there is something that I said that offended her.  There are a lot of things I don’t know.  One thing that I do know, however, is this:  I don’t care about your negative comments.

Aside from the fact that you have provided me with an opportunity to write a post about sloughing off criticism, I don’t care about what you said, Trixie.  If someone wants to read my blog, they can.  If they don’t, they are not forced to.  In fact, I haven’t asked any of my friends on FB to Like my page in the hopes of increasing numbers.  I haven’t advertises this blog.  I rarely mention it in my day-to-day life amongst my friends.  It’s simply my carthartic outlet.  I don’t pretend it to be anything else.

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Criticism, when offered constructively, is not a bad thing.  We should cherish those friends who care enough to point out flaws in the hopes of helping us become better.  In a workplace, constructive criticism given in a positive fashion leads to progress.  On the athletic fields, it creates results.  Criticism, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing.

It is also important to note the way criticism is given.  When given with care and passion, it shows a desire to change something for the better – we can call this positive-oriented criticism.  When given with anger and venom, it shows a lack of faith or unhappiness in the giver – we can call this negative-action criticism.  How we choose to respond to criticism says the most about ourselves.  We can shrug it off, listen to it, or dwell on it.  If we dwell on negative criticism, we expend energy to something that truly doesn’t even involve us; it involves the giver.  If we shrug off positive criticism, we risk not ever progressing.  The best advice is to listen to the critic and consider their intentions.  If they have your interest at heart, pay attention.  If not, let it go.

My favorite quote of all time about criticism:
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 As always: This is simply my journal as I try to better myself. I hope it inspires you to focus on yourself. Make 2013 YOUR year.
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Day 109: Divine Peace, A Lesson from Boston

I read this passage a few days ago in my devotional, and thought it spoke to the core of what went on throughout the country this week.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…A time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 8

When you think of it, at the heart of most religions- Christianity included- lies the promise of better days ahead.  There can be no doubt that we’re living through some pretty tough times right now (yes, I’m well aware of the issue of preeminence wherein each generation feels like they’re living right before the end-of-days, but seriously…).  But given all that we’ve endured this week right here in America, to say nothing of problems around the world, it’s safe to say it has been a long week.

Despite this, in the end I rest confident that there will come a day when the final battle is fought and won, and divine peace rests upon us all.  Between now and then, we may come to pass and the earth may change, but there is a promise of better days.

Thou shall not hurt nor destroy…for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Isaiah 11:9

To borrow a phrase I read in a book: It is evil that exists because of man’s sin, and ironically, it is used as a means for providing and ensuring peace.  As the late President Ronald Reagan stated “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same…”

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My hats are off to Boston’s finest, the first responders in West, Texas, those searching through rubble in China, Pakistan and Iran for earthquake survivors, and everyone else who did/is doing good work this week to help others in need.  From the bottom of my heart:  Thank you.