Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Whatever happened to...

...coat of arms? Or maybe the proper pluralization should be coats of arms. Either way, how come we don't have them anymore? Such a cool idea and a great way to unify a group of people and create and maintain a sense of identity. Well, as cool as they are, I can't see them coming back into style anytime soon. That being said, a couple years ago I stumbled on an old Dickinson coat of arms and I wanted to share it just to show you what we are all missing out on here in the 21st century. Here it is:

That my friends is the Dickinson Coat of Arms. When I stumbled on it I gotta say, I was pretty excited. I sorta feel like I have found a piece of my heritage. I've always been kind of curious about what my ancestors were about and where they were from and stuff. I know my background is mostly British and that is kind of boring but now seeing this coat of arms, maybe we were a vicious band of warriors. I mean look at those lions...very fierce. Those funny looking trees though...I've got no explanation for those. But can't you just picture a group of soldiers marching with this beautiful coat of arms emblazened on the front of their shields? Or maybe we were peaceful folks and you could find the coat of arms on our coffee mugs and bumper stickers on our buggies. Either way, it's nice to know the Dickinson's have been around for a while and even went through the trouble of coming up with their own coat of arms.

And if you were wondering what that latin phrase at the bottom says it means, "To be, rather than to seem". They said things in such cooler ways back then.

So, see if you can find something cool from your heritage, or maybe you already know a bunch of stuff. As for me, it's time for supper. In honour of my British heritage I'm going to pretend I'm half Mexican and half Indian- fajitas and butter chicken for me.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Silence is Golden

Sometimes we need more time to just stop and think. Life is too busy, we are always trying to do so much, to have so much going on. I'll be the first to admit that I have very few moments of quiet, when I can shut out distractions and just contemplate something. I always seem to need noise. The TV needs to be on, or the radio, or some music; silence is scary. Our generation is too noisy, it's like we purposefully try to create as many distractions and diversions as humanly possible. That way, we don't have to be faced with the quiet contemplation of what is going on in our hearts, our minds, our souls.

I am the chief culprit of this, so really, I'm writing this more for myself than anyone. I find that by externalizing some of my thoughts it helps me. By putting stuff out here for people to read, it makes me accountable and not able to hide things as easily.

So, how to shut up the noise? How do we quiet things so that we can come face to face with who we really are inside? Don't be afraid of silence. It's so rare and hard to come by. If you can manage to grab a hold of some, take advantage of it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When a Pet Peeve Ruins Your Day

We all have 'em, right? I might have more pet peeves than others but does that make me a bad person? I hope not. The current pet peeve that is at the top of my list is bad parking. Actually, I'll take that a step further. Not just bad parking but ignorant parking.
I'm not claiming perfection here but let's be real, parking is not rocket science. You see a couple yellow lines (or white as the case may be), you position your vehicle between them and everyone is happy.
So why do so many people have such a hard time with this? Would it be weird if I kept a pad of paper and pen in my car so that whenever I see a person who has parked poorly I could leave them a friendly note to advise them that they could use some work on their parking skills? That is surely better than my initial desire when I see a bad parking job which is to ram into them or take my keys and leave a decorative bit of abstract art along one side of their motor vehicle.
But even worse then the people who just can't seem to find the area between the lines are the offenders who make up their own parking spots and disregard signs and basic laws of parking.  Take this guy for example who thought that the location of the fire hydrant had no bearing on where he should or shouldn't park:
He got what was coming to him and I bet he will never park in front of a fire hydrant again. That's the kind of justice that needs to be handed out to parking offenders. Maybe when a car parks over a line someone should come along and paint that same line from bumper to bumper on the car. Or how about when someone ignores the "No parking" sign someone comes along and removes their front left and rear right tires so there will be "No driving" for them. And for someone who tries parking in a legitimate spot on the side of the street but fails miserably, maybe someone should just come along and flip their car upside down. I guarantee you those people won't be repeat parking offenders.

Oh, and don't forget to leave the note to let them know they have just been punished for parking ineptitude.

So, next time you go to park your car, think of me. Think of how if you park like these yahoos you just very well might ruin my day. You don't want that on your conscious, do you???

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy New Year!! my Nepali friends.

Who knew that there are New Years celebrations happening in different parts of the world all throughout the year? Ok, so maybe a bunch of people knew that but I wasn't so sure. Obviously I know about January 1, and I've always heard about Chinese New Year because that seems to be a pretty big deal, but all the others? I had no idea. For example, apparently Tibet has New Year from January through March, Iran has New Years on March 20 or 21, and Assyrian New Years is on April 1st. There has to be a good joke out there about Assyrian April Fools on New Years Day, but I'm drawing a blank.

But, at the current moment, we should all be well into our celebrations for New Years in Nepal, which is from April 12-15. And what would New Years be without resolutions? Now, the problem with New Years resolutions is we don't ever keep them, right? Well, you can rest at ease because I have figured out why we have such a hard time keeping our New Years resolutions- there are two things we do wrong. First, we often only make one resolution, where we should actually make a handful of them because then there is a greater chance we will at least stumble on one of them. And secondly, we should be making these resolutions for Nepali New Year, not our current January 1st deal. After all, see that picture up there? That was last year, so this year Nepal is already in the year 2067. Shouldn't we try to align ourselves with the people from the future? I think they know more than us.

So here are some of my Nepali New Years resolutions:

-I want to get back in some type of shape. We have a free gym at Westjet so I have no excuse not to use it. Oh right except that I don't want to. But, I have softball and ultimate frisbee season coming up so I need to be kind of ready for physical activity after a winter of solid couch time.

-I want to read more. I recently had to completely empty my room for reno's and what I found was I have a ton of good books that I have never read, not to mention all the good books my friends have that I need to borrow, not to mention the 7 books I just ordered from Amazon, and not to mention the other countless books in existence. Oh, and of course, don't forget the Bible. So, need to do more turning off of the TV and more opening of a book.

-I want to go to an NHL playoff game. Wait, I'm doing that tomorrow! Hooray! Thanks for that Ebay. And who knows, there might be a second playoff game in the future for me before June, we'll see.

-I want to go to a bunch of baseball games in places like LA, San Diego, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Good thing I work for an airline, eh?

-I want to keep more and more people entertained with this blog. That seems like the toughest of all these resolutions because how can me rambling on about nonsense keep honest, smart folks like you entertained? Well, I'll give it a go anyways.

As always, thanks for reading and have a weekend. Oh and the other secret to making resolutions? Make one for something that has already come to fruition- just to boost your confidence. Happy resoluting everyone.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This Entry Doesn't Have a Title

So is this what writers block feels like? I really intend to update this blog more than once a week but lately I haven't had any thing big and inspirational or entertaining to write about. Maybe after a while this blog can sustain itself with the occasional mundane post talking about nothing but not yet, it's too early for that. I do have a bunch of ideas of things to write about but they just need some time to flesh themselves out. So, with all that being said, in an effort to get back into the blogger spirit and get this new blog up and running I'm going to periodically resurrect some posts from my old blog that I particularly enjoyed writing. Hopefully there are enough of you that never read that old blog so this will be new stuff for you.

So here's something fun and pointless to do when you are bored: Do a google search with "your name likes to" and see what you get.. For example, I typed in "Brad likes to". Here's the top 10 results that came back. Those of you that know me, do any of these remotely correspond with me in any conceivable way??

"Brad likes to be dad."  (This one was actually in reference to my namesake, Mr. Pitt. He not only took my name but also my stunning good looks. Crook.)

"Brad likes to take the edge off with a whynatte."  (First one to tell me what a whynatte is gets 10 bonus points)

"Brad likes to imagine he's a street-smart gangsta from the mean streets of L.A., and he's been trying to launch a career as a hardcore rapper." (Get out of my head. I was just thinking that myself.)

"Brad likes to keep stretching his limits, to see how far he can go." (Mr. Pitt strikes again. He's almost as well-known as me.)

"Brad likes to hit a tennis ball around." (There was more context before and after this statement but I thought it deserved to be on it's own, as is. Just random enough to be quite nice. Not to mention the fact that this specific activity comprised a decent portion of my childhood.)

"Brad likes to just go with the flow." (Sure, why not.)

"Brad likes to pick at his guitar or beat his Taye GoKit in a vigorous yet futile effort to produce coherent music." (I, on the other hand, recognize the effort as futile so just avoid it altogether so as to spend my time on much less futile efforts.)

8.  "Brad likes to
 ride his motorcycle, run, and play racquetball; playing with home theater technology is also a favorite pastime." (Ok, I don't think this Brad got the memo...he is way too ambitious. Unacceptable.)

"Brad likes to play hard with Zeus." (Now we're talking...a guy who hangs out with the ancient god of the Greeks...or maybe his dog is named Zeus...whatever, same thing.)

10.  "Brad likes to
 take fresh herbs at their peak of summer goodness; wrap in a paper towel; and store in resealable plastic bags in the fridge." (There is so much wrong in this statement I'm not even going to start.)

So there you have it. This has been an eye-opening experience for me. There are a lot of Brad's doing some bizarre things with their lives. Probably better that I don't know them.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The One Ring

This may be the most well-known ring in the world in the last decade. Even for those very few people (you know who you are) who have never seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this ring is probably going to be recognized. I'm not here to talk about that one ring though, I want to talk about a different ring: The One Ring that symbolizes a man and woman choosing to unite their lives. It seems as time goes on, marriage gets farther and farther away from what God originally intended it to be. Whether you are married, or single like me, I hope this post can encourage and challenge you.

Since I am single, and probably don't have a super solid grasp on what it is actually like to be married, I'm going to pass on some thoughts from someone who is married. One of the reasons I wanted to get back into blogging (I'm not a huge fan of that term by the way) was because often I'm reading something or listening to music and I'll really be struck by something and want to pass it on to somebody else. So, here's my chance, and you are the (un)lucky reader.

 Dustin Kensrue who is the lead singer for Thrice, is a great musician, and possibly a better lyricist than he is a musician. I wouldn't doubt it if some more of his lyrics pop up on this blog from time to time but for now I wanted to share with you his thoughts on marriage. This song is one that always encourages and challenges me on what my perspective on marriage should be, if and when God chooses to bless me with that kind of relationship. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome. Definitely read the lyrics first before watching the video at the bottom...just in case you don't share my same taste in music.

The Weight

There's many who'll tell you they'll give you their love,
But when they say "give" they mean "take."
They'll hang 'round jut like vultures till push comes to shove;
They'll take flight when the earth starts to shake.

Someone may say that they'll always be true,
Then slip out the door 'fore the dawn.
But I won't leave you hanging on.
Another may stay till they find someone new,
Then before you know they'll be gone.
But I won't leave you hanging on;
No, I won't be that someone.

And come what may, I won't abandon you or leave you behind
Because love is a loyalty sworn, not a burning for a moment.
Come what may, I will be standing right here by your side;
I won't run away, though the storm's getting worse and there's no end in sight.

Some talk of destiny, others of fate,
But soon they'll be saying goodbye.
But I won't leave you high and dry.
Because a ring don't mean nothing
If you can't haul the weight,
And some of them won't even try,
But I won't leave you high and dry;
I won't leave you wondering why.

And come what may, I won't abandon you or leave you behind
Because love is a loyalty sworn, not a burning for a moment.
Come what may, I will be standing right here by your side;
I won't run away, though the storm's getting worse and there's no end in sight.

And storms will surely come,
But true love is a choice you must make
And you're the one that I have set my heart to choose.
As long as I live, I swear I'll see this through.

And come what may, I won't abandon you or leave you behind

Because love is a loyalty sworn, not a burning for a moment.
Come what may, I will be standing right here by your side;
I won't run away, though the storm's getting worse and there's no end in sight.

Lyrics by Dustin Kensrue

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Coral, the return of a peasant, and the Resurrection

Because of the encouragement of my good friend Lee, be sure to check out his blog, I have decided to take up my cyber quill and start blogging again. This is a dangerous thing for both you and me. For me it's dangerous because when I do something I tend to go all out and this could take up a considerable amount of my time. It is dangerous for you because I have a very random mind and you never know what you will find yourself reading here. No promises that it will always be the most profitable few minutes of your day when you stop by my blog, but I will do my best to keep you entertained and thinking.

I haven't had a blog for over 2 years so I figured it's time to dive back into the game. If nostalgia is your thing, then you can check out my old blog here.

Today we remember and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It has struck me this weekend how many people are super stoked to have Good Friday off from work and will be quick to wish their friends and neighbors a jolly "Happy Easter!" without even really understanding what the significance of these days is. But then I thought, that's how it is with Christmas too. If we would spend less time thinking about the bonus time off work and more time understanding the real reason for these holidays we would all be better off.

And in an unrelated ramble, when I say the word 'coral' what do you think of? If you thought "oh, that's a colour (color for my American friends)," well then, you are far more educated than I am. And if you thought it was an orange-pinkish colour than you are miles ahead of me. I still choose to believe it's a greenish colour, no matter what Wikipedia tells me.