James Woosley’s Blog

Is It Fair?

December 22nd, 2006

Quickie post for controversy:

Why is there a different penalty for murder and attempted murder? I mean, when you get down to it, the intent to kill is the same. But the attemptee is a failure. Why should the punishment be less just because you can’t finish the job? Does it also work for robbery and other crimes? Does intent matter or not?

Comments welcome, either way!

–15 of 40–

Way Behind

December 22nd, 2006

I set a goal in November of making 40 posts by Christmas, but it looks like I’m going to be quite a few short. I could go on a massive writing spree if the spirit hits me, but it doesn’t look likely at this point.

Still, I’m posting more frequently than I have in the past, and hope to keep that up. I miss writing, and there are more people reading the blog now than when I started.

So what’s caused the slowdown? Some has been standard holiday doldrums and I just haven’t felt like writing. But I’ve also been going through changes at work, including quite a few nights without internet access. I wrote some posts offline, but it just isn’t the same.

I’ll keep going, and I’ll count this one too!

–14 of 40–

Playing Secret Santa

December 22nd, 2006

A few weeks ago Dave Ramsey had Larry Stewart (aka Secret Santa) on his show. It was a really neat interview with a man who secretly gave more than $1 million away a little bit at a time.

Larry now has a website where you can sign up to be a Secret Santa. You don’t have to give away money, just promise to commit a random act of kindness during the holidays. I signed up last week and today was my turn.

I’ve been in a bad mood for the last few days. Maybe it’s the holidays (I’ve always found them hard to enjoy…maybe because it throws off the rhythm of the rest of the year). Anyway, today I had to go out and finish my Christmas shopping. Heather’s done most of it this year, but I had to get something for her and for my secret gag gift person (we have a wicked cruel time in my family!).

I ventured to the store (can’t say where, they might be reading!). People were driving their cars like idiots, driving their carts like idiots, and whether cars or carts, the cell phone to their ear made it even worse.

After that trip, I headed to Walmart to get the van’s oil changed ahead of the trip to Missouri. The young lady who took the key had a red nose and looked absolutely beat. I assumed she had a cold. But when I came back to pay for my stuff and the oil service, she mentioned that she had a fight with a guy (husband? boyfriend?) and that the bills were stressing her out. Probably not a cold, but some serious crying.

I tried to lighten her mood with some cliches, told her I’d pray for her and wished her a Merry Christmas before heading to the parking lot. But when I got there, I just couldn’t drive off. I stashed my stuff and went back into the throngs of people (throngs, not thongs!).

You see, in addition to my shopping, I was looking for someone to help. God was telling me that she was the one to help. So I found a simple Christmas card, wrote a simple note and stuffed it with some cash. I walked back to the service entrance, saw her there and gave her the card. It’s funny, but she instantly had a wonderful smile. I told her Merry Christmas again and said that I was her Secret Santa. Then I walked out the door, jumped in the van and sped away. I felt like I needed to get out of there before she could open the envelope.

What a cool rush that was!

I just hope she doesn’t feel the need to look me up in the computer and send it back. I have to believe that maybe that small amount of cash will help her buy food or a toy for a child. I have to leave that to God. At the least I can believe that for a moment she felt some holiday spirit, and maybe that will carry her through whatever pain she’s going through this holiday season.

Your turn! What can you do for someone else? The challenge is on!

–13 of 40–

TOPS

December 17th, 2006

Last Monday night I had the honor of being the guest auctioneer at a meeting for Heather’s weight-loss group. She’s the president this year, so who could turn her down?

It was a lot of fun. I didn’t do the whole bada-bada-bada auctioneer thing, but kept it lively and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Though it would have been quite different had there been real money on the line! Everyone had earned Monopoly money all year for losing weight and other good deeds.

But just because the money was fake doesn’t mean they didn’t duke it out over a few items! Some were upping the bids on purpose, just to spend the other’s money.

Sadly, there will soon come a day when silly auctions with Monopoly money will be as foreign as 8-tracks and LPs. Seems Parker Brothers signed a deal with Visa, and the game will no longer have cash but debit cards and card reader. Nothing wrong with debit cards (unlike the evils of credit cards). But with Visa branding, kids playing Monopoly will grow up thinking “Live Can’t Exist Without Visa”.

I often played the banker and it was a great exercise in basic math. Think of all the teenagers working fast food in the next ten years who won’t be able to make change? Er, never mind…it’s already like that.

Then there’s the fun alternative games you can play with the cash. Anyone pay fees and fines into the middle of the board and use the Free Parking space as the lottery? That’s one of my favorite parts of the game, and soon it’ll be history.

I guess I’m getting to be a bit of a curmudgeon (even at 32).

– 12 of 40 –

Hi Jack!

December 15th, 2006

I’ve been way too busy lately, and thus fallen behind on my promise of 40 posts by Christmas. I’m not giving up yet though! I’m starting to write when I’m offline and will post them later.

Just don’t say that too loud in the airport.

It was inevitable. No amount of reasoning would hold her back. All my logic and emotion didn’t matter. When Heather’s on a mission, she gets what she wants.

On Saturday, after visiting several locations, she picked Jack. Jack is a scruffy little mutt of a puppy, part German Sheppard and part everything else.

He’s small. He’s cute. But he still whines at night and goes on the floor.

Heather had to walk him outside in the rain the other night.

Chaos continues in the animal kingdom known as our home.

So why is he named Jack and what is his full name?

Why? The previous week she had found a Black Lab/Golden Retriever mix puppy (for a visual think Black Retriever). That weekend she asked me what I was going to get her for Christmas. Without thinking, I said coal. She had already been thinking of naming the dog Coal, so she saw it as a sign!

Thinking of continuing the Christmas season theme, I suggested Jack Frost. Our daughter Anna turned it into Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp’s character from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

I’m more in tune with Jack Bauer from Fox’s 24 (returning January 14th!).

– 11 of 40 –

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