Bucket Lists, Betty White & The Buffalo Bills

09.02.11 | Cecil Van Houten | Comments[11]

You can tell you’re getting older when you’re creating a new online account and the dropdown box to indicate your birth year only defaults back to 1970.

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A few months ago I wrote about Christianese phrases that drive me crazy, like “God showed up”.  Here are a few more:  “we’re reaching out to…”, “we just want to love on…” and “come alongside…”  What does that even mean?  Catchphrases easily become part of our everyday conversation.  We hear someone use a phrase and we want to use it too, to show that we’re with it.  And before you know it, our vocabulary shrinks and we chip away at our ability to express ourselves thoughtfully, relying instead on preprogrammed verbal crutches and habits.

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Spotify is very cool.

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I heard someone on tv talking about something they needed to add to their bucket list.  What’s the deal with bucket lists?  Yeah, yeah, I know what they are.  But really, what’s the point?  Most bucket lists seem to be written but never realized.  Dreams that never become real.  Climb Mt. Everest.  Get a tattoo.  Swim with dolphins.  Sail around the world.  Learn to speak another language.  Read all of Shakespeare’s works.  Right.  Stuart Wilde, the British writer, said, “Each moment of our life, we either invoke or destroy our dreams. We call upon it to become a fact, or we cancel our previous instructions.”

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If you’re the smartest person in the room, your room’s too small.

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Best quote of the week, from Dr. David Jeremiah:  “We have been conditioned in our culture to accept anything.  The thing we want more than anything else is to be tolerant, politically correct, whatever it takes to get along.  It’s called syncretism - bringing everything together from all the various disciplines and making it all one.  Take a piece of this and a piece of that, collect all this stuff and make your own religion.  Whoever taught you that you get to make the rules?  Almighty God is your creator and he’s set the rules out.  He doesn’t say to you, ‘Guys, ok, you’re on the earth, now go find a way.  Put something together and bring it to me and we’ll see if we can make it work.’  God is not a syncretist.  It’s high time Christians discovered that the very heart of our faith is Jesus Christ and that Jesus Christ did not come to make a contribution to the religious storehouse of mankind.  He came to reconcile the world unto himself.”   

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“Tolerance is the virtue of people who don’t believe anything” – G.K. Chesterton, English writer and essayist.

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Remember when the Weather Channel was about weather?  It was colorful maps and meteorologists and, well…weather.  Not anymore.  Since it was purchased by NBC Universal in 2008 they’ve added hours and hours of long-form programming:  ‘From The Edge’, ‘Cantore Stories’, ‘It Could Happen Tomorrow’, ‘When Weather Changed History’.  And they repeat.  And repeat.  And then there are my personal biases.  Networks owned by the same parent company frequently spread their talent across multiple platforms.  Fine.  But I never liked Al Roker on the Today show and I like him even less on TWC.  Nothing against Al; I’m sure he’s a nice guy.  But I can’t handle his hyper-caffeinated, over the top, in your face delivery.  Especially at 6 in the morning.  One of the things you notice as you get older and drift further and further out of the mainstream is that most change only goes in one direction.  I think they call it progress.  I’m not so sure.  But who’s getting the last laugh?  The Weather Channel averages over 100 million viewers per month and its ratings were up 34 percent in 2010 over the previous year.  I know Al’s smirking at me off-camera. 

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There’s a bigger hope than even the biggest heartache.

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Current book reading:  Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick

Last book read:  Hannah’s Child by Stanley Hauerwas

Latest song I like:  WatersEdge “True Religion”

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Love the Snickers commercials.  Have you seen the new one with Joe Pesci and Don Rickles?  Hilarious.  The series began with one that aired during the 2010 Super Bowl, starring Betty White and Abe Vigoda.  Not only was that spot rated the top commercial of the year, it brought new recognition to White, formerly of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’, ‘The Golden Girls’ and an Emmy winner for her hosting gig on ‘Saturday Night Live’ last season.  According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, White is America’s favorite and most trusted celebrity.  At 89, she’s an inspiration. 

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Best line of the week – our 10-year old granddaughter, Keylee, to Connie:  “Grandma, Grandpa’s not old!  He’s still got some funk in him!”

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Just got back from spending some time in Virginia.  Interesting…there are a lot more green cars down there than in the northeast.  I don’t mean eco-friendly green, I mean the color.  Around here white, red, silver and blue predominate.  Down there every third car was pastel green, grey-green, deep forest green…I saw one (I think it was a Ford) that reminded me of what you find in a baby’s diaper after they’ve eaten a jar of strained peas.  Not that I’ve seen the inside of a baby’s diaper in quite awhile but you get the picture.

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In other ‘green’ happenings, more than 50 years after their creation by the imaginative Jim Henson (who passed away in 1990), a Muppet-branded album has reached the Billboard 200's top 10 at last, as "Muppets: The Green Album," released on the Walt Disney label, launches at No. 8.  It just got a little easier being green.

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Knowledge talks.  Wisdom listens.

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The Bills.  What are you gonna do?  I’ve been a fan for decades.  Well, maybe fan is an overstatement, but they’ve been ‘my team’.  Like a very trying relationship (who just came to your mind?) you hope they’ll do well, you support them in their missteps and you savor the wins when they come.  You just wish they came more often.  The AFC East is going to be a tough division this year.  Will the Patriots take it?  The Jets?  Chan Gailey is the fifth Bills coach in ten years and he’s got his work cut out for him.  Nothing against Gailey but I think it’s time to bring Marv Levy back.  Again.  For the third time.  As head coach.  He’s only 86.  Come on, Paterno’s 84.  Something’s gotta happen.  I’d hate to see them go down as the best football team to never win a Super Bowl.       

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There are no zombies wandering through lower Manhattan.  That’s just Eliot Spitzer, still in shock that he lost his CNN gig.

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And finally, scanning the headlines…

Canadian fat cat finds Facebook fame…no, that’s what I thought too.  But it’s really about a cat.

Was Gadhafi smitten with Condoleezza Rice?  Ewww….that’s just wrong.

Dick Cheney is unapologeticThere’s a surprise.

A Presbyterian pastor has started a drive-in church.  He has big expectations (he’s from Texas) and he’s praying for its success.  Of course, Robert H. Schuller did the same thing in California in 1955.  That grew into the Crystal Cathedral.  And the Hour of Power.  And a lot of family squabbling.  And ultimately, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, $50 million in debt and a family and congregation in shambles.  Be careful what you pray for.

The Chinese government has ordered all websites, including personal ones, to stop playing Lady Gaga and other artists, including…wait for it…The Backstreet Boys. What?  Yes, the Chinese Ministry of Culture, the moral guardians and defenders of artistic expression, says their music endangers the “national cultural safety”.  Now if they could just do something about Rebecca Black. 

The Backstreet Boys?  Seriously? 

That’s all for now.  Hit it, Mr. Butters!   

Comments

Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 09.03.11 Bill Kamberg commented

I'm speechless, Cecil. You certainly have a way with words. And I always thought that keyboard was your forte. Thanks for the thought provoking wit, humor and wisdom.

on 09.03.11 Christine McGuire-Downs commented

Wow Cecil!, that just about sums it up...

on 09.03.11 Beckie Kiever commented

AHHH Cecil, Conversation with you is always wonderful!

on 09.04.11 Mary Day commented

Love your blog.....look forward to the next.

on 09.05.11 Andy Foster commented

This is too funny and kind of sad because I can relate to many of the points you make. Love the commentary - keep it up!

on 09.08.11 Cheryl commented

I've shared this with all my friends. Everything serious that you say is true especially about keeping the focus on Christ and the quotation about tolerance. I think we have to treat people with respect but when we compromise on what the Bible says it makes Christianity the same as other religions. I also think your comments about current events are very funny.

on 09.27.11 Terrie commented

Cecil . . . I love that we get to hear your voice and your heart through your blogs. Keep on keepin' on.

on 09.27.11 Bill commented

Cecil ... Go Buffalo!

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