Wednesday Aug 22, 2007

It's Time for a Change... "TIME TRAP .. Today"


Well, well.. for all you calendar viewers, daily planners, and clock watchers...

Today's blog is a poem that I jotted down in 2006 (8/31/2006), revised recently.. and just as it was then.. is still fresh in my mind and close to the heart..  reflections on TIME.. and Living for Today.   Realizing how absolutely TIME crazed our world is.. and that very few of us... actually do "Sieze the day" [Latin : "Carpe diem" Horace], living Today as if it were our last.. and valuing the precious (priceless) commodity that it is.

For all of us, we seem to reach for the future or get caught up reflecting on the past, with little effort spent on Living in the "present" (a gift not to be wasted).

We will never know which "today" will be the last.. so we best start Living .. and Loving more.. ENJOYING life and it's simple pleasures.. because any day could be our last.

Reflecting on the history and origin of all things, as I tend to do.., it amuses me how EVERYTHING is time centric.. given that it's a man-made instrument of humanity .. the illusive gauge that simultaneously enabled and handicapped mankind in our quest to control, understand, and harness the productivity of the world around us.

Take the definition of time itself as an example, ..seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, etc... all of which originated in prehistory and were refined over millennia.   The days of the week (7 days likely originated by dividing the period of the moon.. ~28 days by 4 phases = 7) , eventually personified.. named and associated with the gods of the times (Anglo-Saxon, Nordic, Greco-Roman, ..), as were the 7 known "heavenly" bodies :

Sun, Moon, Tiw/Mars, Woden/Mercury, Thor/Jupiter, Freya/Venus, Saturn

== Sunday/ Monday/ Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Thursday/ Friday/ Saturday

These were the key Gods worshiped by mankind as pagans (Polytheism) when the Julian Calendar was eventually finalized by Julius (July) and Augustus (August) Caesar.  This was before science started to take hold and Monotheism gained popularity post-AD (Constantine in 313AD), when science began it's uphill battle counteracting superstition by explaining reasons for why things happen (farming/agriculture, water/waste management, nutrition/medicine, ...), diminishing the need for many Gods as people understood and controlled more of the world around them.

You probably never realized that many variations in the number of days in a week have existed over time.. 7-10 being the standard range (the Roman calendar had 10 months with 9 days per week.. the 9th being market day, .. and with the French Revolutionary Calendar.. 10 days per week for 36 weeks a year).

The beginning of the year has also changed many, many times, initially marking time according to lunar/annual events (Solstice, equinox, etc..), then following the mandates of governments/ religions (Jan 1, March 1/ 15/ 25, May1, July 1, Aug 29-31, Sept 1, Dec 25,...), and even the birthday of Augustus Caesar (Sept 23).

The ancient Sumerians/Babylonians had an affinity to base-6 math, which resulted in the calculation of PI for calculating accuracy of geometric circles from a known radius (probably originating from drawing a circle from rotating a stick at it's center.. the stick's length, it's radius, able to outline a circle by creating a 6-sided hexagon.. the natural shape that bees use in a honeycomb.. with 6 uniform segments).  This base-6 math also gave us the 24 hour day, 12 months, 360 degrees in a circle.. and 360+ days in a year.. tweaked over time to 365, etc...

Once again.. mankind trying to control the world around us, creating order out of chaos, which grounds us.. and allowed for civilization to thrive (Imagine everything before sundials where people tried to coordinate things based on sunrise/sunset and high noon .. you get the concept .. lots of disorganized .. & LATE people).  Society and civilization as a whole couldn't become more productive and thrive without it (I suppose ;) ).

Well.. either way, for this's "time" for a change.. Let me know what you think.. hope you enjoy... and don't get sucked into that old "Time Trap...".

Todd  :)

"TIME TRAP .. Today :

As the clocks now click at internet speed,
slow them please to be there.. some "today" for me.

Time is my curse,
there every day.
Too young, too old,
they take it away.
Time Past,
Time Planned,
but none for today.

No Present, just reaching,
hearts and minds ..gone astray.

Sun-dials and sand-timers,
the urge to control..
a guage, the imaginary sage..
.. a need, within us all.

All the time,
Every Time,
our collusion, delay.
Are we late ?,
are we early ?, ..
.. perpetual disarray.

Quiet Time,
Past Time,
..but no time to Play.

Yours... hours,
the intangible price we pay.

Time for War,
and Peace,
but none for Love.

Break the clocks for me..
just give them a shove.

We've embraced the dillusion,
.. TIME, the grand illusion ..
though we waste the moments away.
While yesterday's tomorrow
..forever abscent.. 
is always another time, we call..  Today.


As you dance through life,
along the critical paths we weave,
ask yourself ..
  "is this the Time of my life ?
   or the Life of my Time ?" ..

to some.. disbelief, to others .. sublime.
Through Winter, Spring,
and Summer I call ..
to the dimension of time,
though invisible to all.

From the Sun and Moon,
the speed of light does speak,
as myths once told, every day anew ..
emparts on us, ... the strength in life we seek.

Upon the Earth, ever spinning,
we're speeding our lives away..
.. slow it down to a crawl,  so I can sow time's seeds..
... to blossom and harvest... Today.
We're here every day,
but just for the ride.
So come have a seat, right by my side.
But just as it slows, ... you get farther away,
so please speed it up, I can't wait for Today.
And while I wait, please make me some time.
Put it away for tomorrow, "Today" is not mine.
For I with You,
Here's my "present",
....  on borrowed time.
I simply dream for "Today" ... with you..
..just one more time.   "   

 Todd J.

( Copyright 2006-2007  Todd A. Jobson )

Leaving you with a little... TIME in a Bottle .. the other thing that recursively gets ReCycled .... ENJOY !! :)

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Saturday Nov 25, 2006

Brushing up on our Virtues & Vices.. Just in TIME for the Holidays :)


 The Virtuous Virtuosity of Vices and Virtues in a Virtual World

Just as characterized in many references, Virtues have been defined since Greek times (virtus) .. as character traits defined as being "good".. used together as a guage for determining the overall moral excellence of a person (see Wikipedia : Virtue).

Steer Clear of those Seven Deadly Sins... a refresher they probably didn't teach you in school.

Unfortunately, in this increasingly virtual world that we live in today (lacking strong moral judgement.. and the ever decreasing visibility of virtues.. the death of chivalry, and the erosion of traditional/cultural values, etc..), more of us would be familiar with the inverse of a virtue .. as defined by a "vice" .. of which there are seemingly an endless supply, most notably of them.. the seven deadly sins (which you might recall best from the Brad Pitt movie.. Seven).

Although fashioned from early paegan mythology (ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian,..), the common themes of  mythology and all later "theologies" depicting good and evil spirits and gods / deamons... that judged acceptable behavior, boundaries, and beliefs... are still with most cultures even today.    Local beliefs, customs, and rituals of the past have become melded to evolve into today's accepted religious teachings with the help of creative writers along the way.. and let's not forget.. Hollywood (the Omen, Exorcist, etc.. seem to reinforce the vivid nature of these primitive origins).   Remember that before the Roswell incident was in the news, there were honestly no UFO sightings, nor abduction stories (suggestion and "fear of the unknown" take on a life of their own in the human cultural psyche once the seeds are planted, ..especially in the abscence of educated explanation).

As strange as it may sound, the one person that truely fashioned and vividly defined /created the persona of the Devil and the workings of Hell (as it is portrayed in today's pop-culture and even beyond Catholic circles)... is Dante ,with his Divine Comedy (1300 AD)... [how purgatory (the purgatorio) as well as Heaven/Paradise works....and it's refelction of the vice/virtue retribution cycle .. and how we are judged for our sins...  Good = God,  Evil = Devil ...].

Ranked in order of severity as per Dante's Divine Comedy (in the Purgatorio), the seven deadly sins (Capital Vices) are:

  1. Pride or Vanity — an excessive love of self (holding self out of proper position toward God or fellows; Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, pride is referred to as superbia. \*\*\*I disagree in that WE ALL NEED TO BE PROUD and LOVE OURSELVES... though excessive Vanity.. turned hatred & contempt of others is vile.\*\*\*
  2. Avarice (covetousness, Greed) — a desire to possess more than one has need or use for (or, according to Dante, "excessive love of money and power"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, avarice is referred to as avaritia.
  3. Lust — excessive sexual desire. Dante's criterion was "lust detracts from true love". In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, lust is referred to as luxuria. \*\*\*\* OK .. Hmmmmm.. \*\*\*\* :) LOL
  4. Wrath or Anger — feelings of hatred, revenge or even denial, as well as punitive desires outside of justice (Dante's description was "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, wrath is referred to as ira.
  5. Gluttony — overindulgence in food, drink or intoxicants, or misplaced desire of food as a pleasure for its sensuality ("excessive love of pleasure" was Dante's rendering). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, gluttony is referred to as gula. \*\*\*\* OK.. WITH THE HOLIDAYS UNDERWAY.. MAYBE WATER THIS ONE DOWN A TOUCH :) \*\*\*\*
  6. Envy or jealousy; resentment of others for their possessions (Dante: "Love of one's own good perverted to a desire to deprive other men of theirs"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, envy is referred to as invidia.
  7. Sloth or Laziness; idleness and wastefulness of time allotted. Laziness is condemned because others have to work harder and useful work can not get done. (also accidie, acedia)

Our own little H\*LL ...

In light of the bombardment that most of see on any given day in this competitive, fast-paced real world.. of negative energy, jealousy, envy, hatred, pessimism, degradation of others through slander or defamation of character, etc.. etc.. (a WASTE of time and energy.. by any other name), I am devoting this blog to a refresher on those long lost character attributes. Those virtues, that .. if present, would enhance the quality of ALL our lives.. extending our personal Value systems so that they might be more tolerant or compatible with that of the community or society as a whole.

Just as Shakespeare simply stated in his play Othello :
"O! beware... of jealousy; It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on."

Virtues, Virtues, ... for Everyone ..

The following list of Virtues, comes from :
(the link for each virtue below will bring you to a few quotes if you feel like exploring)

Acceptance: To consider circumstances, especially those that can not be changed, as satisfactory.
Bravery: A quality of spirit that enables you to face danger of pain without showing fear.
Caution: Avoidance of rashness, attention to safety.
Curiosity: A desire to find out and know things.
Defiance: Bold resistance.
Determination: Firmness of purpose.
Devotion: A great love or loyalty, enthusiastic zeal.
Discretion: Being discrete in ones speech, keeping secrets.
Flexibility: Adaptable, able to be changed to suit circumstances.
Focus: Concentrated awareness and effort.
Forgiveness: To cease to feel angry or bitter towards a person or about an offense.
Generosity: Giving or ready to give freely, free from meanness or prejudice.
Gentleness: Moderate; mild, quite; not rough or severe.
Gratitude: Being thankful.
Honesty: Truthful; sincere; not lieing or cheating.
Humbleness: Modest; not arrogant or boastful.
Humor: The ability to perceive, enjoy, or express what is amusing, comical, incongruous, or absurd.
Impartiality: Fair.
Industry: Diligent, hardworking.
Innocence: Guileless, not guilty.
Justice: Fair, impartial, giving a deserved response.
Kindness: Friendly, helpful, well meaning.
Love: A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
Loyalty: Steadfast in allegiance to one's homeland, government, or sovereign. Faithful to a person, ideal, custom, cause, or duty.
Majesty: Great and impressive dignity.
Moderation: The avoidance of extremes in one’s actions or opinions.
Obedience: Willingness to obey, to be controlled when necessary, to carry out orders.
Openness: Ready and willing to talk candidly.Unsecretive.
Patience: The ability to endure delay, trouble, pain or hardship.
Peace: Freedom from mental agitation; serenity.
Prudence: Wise or careful in conduct. Shrewd or thrifty in planning ahead.
Reliability: Can be trusted to do something.
Responsibility: Having control over and accountability for appropriate events.
Sensitivity: Heightened awareness of oneself and others within the context of social and personal relationships.
Simplicity: Straightforward; not complex or complicated. Unpretentious.
Sincerity: Free from pretense or deceit in manner or actions.
Sobriety: Serious, solemn and calm. Free from intoxication.
Spontaneity: Natural, not planned.
Steadfastness: Firm, resolute; determinedly unwavering.
Strength: Capable of exerting great force.
Toughness: Strong and durable; not easily damaged.
Tranquility: Serenely quite and peaceful; undisturbed.
Trust: Having confidence in others; lacking suspicion.
Trustworthiness: Able to be trusted or depended on; reliable.

I have a Dream... that one day... we will all be a bit more Virtuous and Loving

Although I'm certain that most of us will be mixing in a vice or 2 during the holidays.. there are more than enough virtues listed here to hopefully counterbalance our vices.. kind of like how Pasta and Anti-Pasta can cancel out one another.. right ? lol :) Either way, this should be fuel enough to account for at least one virtue to be considered per day (or maybe just 1 in total ?? lol).. before the new year's resolutions are due.

Let's end this year on many positive notes.. "contributing" in a constructive manner to ourselves and the world around us.. vs. the antithesis.... destructive pessimism.. and mud slinging. We each have the power to enhance or degrade our lives and the world around us through the decisions we make.. and actions that we take..."within" each and every one of us.. and externally.. within our individual circles of influence. Let's try to foster more happiness.. in the hope that somewhere.. we might be able to grow that happiness into that ultimate fruit.. LOVE.. of ourselves, and those other special people in our lives.

Unleash that virtuous virtuoso within !!

Cheers.. and hopefully.. many "Happy" Holidays to come...

Todd :)
( Copyright 2006,2007 Todd A. Jobson )

I leave you with "The Right and Noble Code Of Chivalry" :

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Sunday Oct 29, 2006

Reflections on Life ...


At some point in the near future.. I'll be posting a synopsis/highlights of my latest adventures in life.. places that work and life has brought me, Conferences, Napa, MD, TX, etc.. etc..

Here are a few recent refelctions on Life .. as unpredictable as it can be :

The Unpredictable Nature of Life..

I've been swamp'd with work.. and life has recently thrown me some ultimate highs and lows.. coping with it all.. and maintaining a positive outlook and not letting life "distract" the holy grail.. to achieving life long happiness. Appreciating and focusing on the positives, while learning lessons from the pitfalls... and where possible, always keeping some pulse on reassessing our long-term goals and objectives is the key. Associating "purpose" with life.. that gives us focus on priorities.. and a sense of challenge and accomplishment.. is also a MUST.

Sometimes LIFE comes in and scrambles things.. midgame... putting you off balance. Other times.. it deals you a bad hand when you least expect it.. and you just need to play the hand you're dealt.. and do the best job you can, until you get the opening(s) again for a decision and acting to get where you want to be.. closer to those goals.

Expose yourself to maintain and grow Happiness into Love...

Exposing ourselves to one of the Ultimate fears (the UNKNOWNS) .. is always difficult.. but by opening your heart, and maintaining an "open mind" .. we can best grow the happiness within that is the ultimate "guage" in life. Inner Peace and Calm is important as a foundation for Happiness. It's not about the toys that we accumulate, but rather the culimation of happiness in life. Once we are happy with ourselves.. we can grow that happiness beyond ourselves.. sharing it with another.. to it's greatest form .. Love. Striving to achieve this.. and maintain it.. can be both among the most exposing and rewarding things that we can experience in life. In the event that cupid hits us and things change... be twice as happy that it happened in the first place, as you're sad that life keeps moving. Virtually anything is possible.. and sometimes love has a way of making things work out in the long run.. don't rush life, and don't give up HOPE..

No Risks, No Reward.... Don't Resist Changes if they move you closer to your Goals..

As with anything in life, you can't reap the ultimate rewards, unless you put some skin in the game and expose yourself. As much as we resist change in life, with no risks or change.. there will be no growth (no risk ~ no reward). Just as in pruning a tree .. to make room for new growth, ... OR by fertilizing and nurturing those areas that are in need.. we too need to take 1000 steps back from life occationally .. and refelct on it all... able to look at the "BIG" picture.. and not allowing ourselves to get LOST too deeply within the trees.. unable to see the forest.. which is so common in life. We need to be able to nurture ourselves and /or those around us, as well as make changes where/when appropriate. Realize that no one will hand you things in life.. instead, you must go after and sieze what you desire.

Don't be affraid to LIVE, Let down your guard.. and Confront Life.. Head On !

Don't be affraid to live for the moment and let down your guard, instead allowing the passion of life to expose you to the fruit of the moment.. At the same time, try to stay away from rash decisions (trying to not run on pure emotions if a major decision is at hand).. instead take those 10 steps back and reflect on the big picture.. take it all in and digest it. Don't always feel like you need to "run" from complicated scenarios ... assert yourself and confront life head on ! The more that you take care of up front.. the less you have to worry/stress about.

One balancing act that most of us.. MEN.. have a problem with .. is refraining from being guided strickly by LOGIC.. not allowing our Emotions to come through .. and in the process.. not "unwinding" that extra little bit.. to enjoy and "experience" life more.. not assuming or being complacent .. of the little pleasures around us. Women, however, seem to lean a little more in the other direction.. not engaging Logical deduction as much.. but MUCH MORE tuned into the more subtle aspects of life, relationships, communication, love, feelings/emotions.. sometimes running on "extra" emotions.. but that's ok with me.. as long as I don't get my BUT KICKED !! LOL :)

Appreciate your Emotions and Senses... The Simple Pleasures in Life...

Make sure you feel and appreciate the emotions in life.. both pleasure and pain are there for a reason.. keeping us out of trouble.. while also.. BEING ABLE TO FEEL and APPRECIATE.. the best that life has to offer us.. enjoying the pleasures that keep us happy and motivated .. and coming back for more !! It can ALWAYS be better.. and ALWAYS be worse !.. so be happy.
Enjoy the smallest pleasures that life has to offer (a smell.. a taste.. a job well done...a sunset.. a smile.. a hug...)... and appreciate the beauty of life as it abounds from every direction.. we just need to occationally remind ourselves that it's there in any situation.. there are always "good" aspects in any situation.

We are each the sum of our lives experiences.. the collective Decisions that we make (or don't make) and the Actions that we take (or dont take)... which carves our destiny.. resulting in "us" .. where we stand today... (although ACCEPTING the things that are outside our control is also a significant realization we need to make to sleep better at night). Do the best that you can.. and accept the rest.

Live, Love, Learn, Explore.. ENJOY Life ...

We need to savor and maintain the happiness that fuels our heart and soul... the Desire and Challenge, and sense of Accomplishment.. that we all need to thrive, flourish, and grow throughout life.. Start with a faith in yourself.. and grow that beyond yourself !!
Eat well, Sleep Well, Exercise, and keep your mind stimulated ;)

Live, Love, Learn.. and Explore life.. to it's fullest extent !!

YOU are going through Life.. right NOW.. so be IN THE GAME.. not just a casual OBSERVER !

More to come... so STAY TUNED ............

Todd .. :)
( Copyright 2006,2007, Todd A. Jobson )

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This blog does not reflect the viewpoint or opinions of Oracle. All comments are personal reflections and responsibility of Todd A. Jobson, Sr. and are implicitly copyrighted from the posted year to current year, to that effect.


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