Thursday, April 27, 2006

All this oil business

Wow, the last couple of weeks flew by quickly. After hearing stories about oil prices on NPR everyday for the past week or so, I thought I'd weigh in:
  • First of all, can republicans and democrats (intentionally not capitalized since they're acting like children) quit pointing fingers and blaming one another for everything. Yeah, we have oil barons in the white house. I'm not sure they have the power to single handedly raise the price of crude oil all around the world. Yeah, the dems blocked legislation to drill in Alaska. We probably wouldn't have gained that much oil anyway. Quit trotting out 101 lame excuses about how it's the other guy's fault.
  • Second, as I see it, this crisis has little to do with all of those lame excuses mentioned above. It has a ton to do with the fact that we are bottomless pits of oil consumption. We all drive around in our cars BY OURSELVES and wonder why gas prices go up. In response to a question about how we can drive oil prices down, one expert simply said, "Drive less." Wow! What a concept. Now, I drive around Nashville by myself a lot, so I'm totally complicit in this, but I'm also not complaining that the oil companies keep gouging us. Does it suck? Yes. Is it all their fault? No. We keep paying the prices that continue to rise, because we just have to get to work in 15 minutes when it would take 30 minutes by bus or train.
  • Third, I wonder if our lawmakers could make some headway by actually introducing legislation designed to address the problem of so much individual consumption. What about subsidies for municipalities that are willing to bolster mass transit services? I can tell you that if there was a bus system of some sort that ran throughout Williamson County, I'd use it to get around. What about more bike paths when the department of transportation widens roads? What about anything besides pointing fingers and being upset while standing at the pump filling up our cars?
  • Finally, maybe some of us need to do some serious self reflection about this issue. What kind of vehicle do we drive? How often do we drive when we could walk? Could we conceivably carpool? Do we need to encourage our local towns and counties to think more seriously about mass transit options? If we're unwilling to make some of those sacrifices, I'm not sure we should be quite as upset with the oil companies for doing what they've been trained to do in a free market capitalist economy, which is get as much money as you can for the product you have to offer from those who want the product.
In the words of my former brass caption head Bill Watson, "That is all."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Church sign

"Christ desires fellowship with us. That's what the cross is all about."

These words are on a church sign that I drive by everyday. Each time I see it, I think, "Um, that's not really it." I really thought the incarnation was all about Christ desiring fellowship with humankind. If they substituted "reconciliation" for "fellowship," I could get down with it, but as it is, I just don't think it captures the heart of things. Any thoughts on this? Am I ridiculous to be bothered by this?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

So much to blog about...

There have been so many times in the past two weeks that I’ve been somewhere or seen something and thought, “I really need to blog about that.” Unfortunately, it usually slips my mind while I have internet access and returns only when I’m back in the car or at home, where I have “limited or no connectivity.” So, here’s my best shot at summarizing my recent blog thoughts/experiences:

Last weekend, I attended a multidimensional learning conference in Chicago. It was kind of a primer on workshop rotation and other innovative Sunday school models that take multiple intelligences into consideration. Good conference, although, for a multidimensional learning conference, we did a lot of sitting in a room listening to a presenter talk at us.

While at the O’Hare airport in Chicago on my way home, I walked out of a newsstand/gift shop and saw the Mike Tyson, former heavyweight champion of the world, walking around talking on his cell phone. He walked right by me. He’s actually kind of short.

On Monday, April 3rd, I became a homeowner. That’s right, I sat in a room for two hours signing a bunch of papers that basically made sense when the woman explained them, but will probably look like gibberish when I look at them by myself. My new home is a two bedroom condo in Franklin, TN. I’ve spent some time this week taking down wallpaper. Man, is that a pain in the ass. I’m hoping to move in by the end of April as long as all of my interior decorating goes as planned.

I want to give a big shout out to my friends Bettie Parsons Barger, Jake Wilson, and Katie Wilson, for celebrating with me on Monday. I wasn’t planning to do anything, but they insisted that we go out and have a nice dinner and celebrate my grown up-ness. Sometimes I’m reticent to suggest celebrations for myself, which I’d imagine most of us are, so I was really thankful for the celebration.

OK, this post is now eternally long, so I’ll wrap it up. I hope that everyone is getting psyched about Easter.