Sacred Poetry Friday: On the Pulse of Morning

Over the weekend I stumbled on and caught most of a PBS special about Maya Angelou. I knew she was an amazing woman, but I didn’t realize how amazing. Here is the poem she wrote for Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. Words of hope in unsettling days.

Secular Music Friday: Change of Heart

This Holy Near song is from 1993 and the video is from 2012, but both are as appropriate as ever today. There is an inspiring message of hope here.

a thought for today

A thought on this day of sadness, depression, and despair:

quote“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

That is the truth. It is the best we can do for now.

Thanks to my good friend Tahoe Mom for the reminder of this passage.

let’s do better

After the election I noticed the title of an NPR podcast from Weekend Edition. It was about escapist fiction to take your mind off of the election results. Just what I need, I thought. But what was the book editor recommending? Dystopian fiction. Why? Why?  That’s not what I need.

Recently, while downloading Kindle samples for books I saw in the Sunday New York Times Book Review, my Kindle Store web app displayed Dystopian Societies as the first category of suggested titles. Why? Why?

Fr. Phil used up in Morgan Hill used to preach about this. Why envision a dystopian society when we can just as easily envision a utopian society, he asked. Yes, “utopia” means nowhere, but we can make “nowhere” into “now here.” Remember the Belinda Carlisle song “Heaven is a Place on Earth”?

My friend Tahoe Mom writes of hope:

quoteAdvent, a time of waiting. A time of anticipation. A time of Hope. This year more than any I have experienced in a long time, I am in need of Hope. Hope for Light in a time of darkness. Hope for Love in a time of hatred and bigotry. Hope for Laughter in a time of sadness and bewilderment. Hope for Peace in a time of threat. … I must also live in the moment given me already, claiming the promise of Hope for Light and Love, Laughter and Peace.

Please my friends, let’s put our energy not into a dystopia but into heaven as a place on earth. Let’s focus on light, love, laughter, and peace here and now.


that’s a brand?

I wrote a while back about a Hispanic-focused food company called FUD. I said that such a company name looked odd in the Anglo world of business and marketing. That’s because in that context FUD means “fear, uncertainty, and doubt.” It’s what your competitors want to instill in your customers about your products. But in the world of Hispanic food products, FUD = food, and that’s how it’s pronounced.

bimboSimilarly, if you live in an area with a large Hispanic population, such as we have here in Southern California, you will see delivery trucks with the label “Bimbo Breads.”

Say what?

The name of the company comes from the combination of the words “bingo” and “Bambi” (at least according to Wikipedia) and the mascot is a cute (I suppose) white bear that slightly resembles the Pillsbury Doughboy. “The English word bimbo, with its negative connotations, has no cognate in Spanish,” says Wikipedia.

Bimbo is now the largest bakery company in the United States. The actual Bimbo brand is only marketed to the Hispanic community. But Bimbo Bakeries USA brands include:

  • EarthGrains breads
  • Nature’s Harvest breads
  • D’ Italiano breads
  • Ballpark hot dog buns
  • Entenmann’s pastries
  • Francisco breads
  • Oroweat breads
  • Sara Lee breads and products
  • Thomas English muffins and bagels

You have to read the fine print on the product Web sites to see that these brands are part of the  Bimbo family. And in fact Bimbo does not manufacture all of those brands in every region. As part of the purchase of Sara Lee in 2011, Bimbo had to sell brands in certain regions. For example, in 2013 Bimbo licensed the Sara Lee and EarthGrains brands in California to Flowers Foods.

It’s a weird, weird world of marketing today.


now here’s an idea

EagleDroneI cannot believe the stupidity of people who fly drones over forest fires and prevent the firefighters from doing their jobs. When asked about drones in a recent Toastmasters Table Topics session I had some less than generous things to say about people who do such things. The Table Topics Master was referring to a news item about how in the Netherlands they are training eagles to take out drones flying over unauthorized areas.

Follow that link. It really is true.

My thought? Let’s add this capability to the CalFire budget!

people helping people

One of my Facebook friends posted an article entitled “Today’s Tech Oligarchs Are Worse Than the Robber Barons,” the premise being that the robber barons created good-paying jobs and the “tech oligarchs” of today are not. At least not beyond the scope of their own companies. There is some truth to that.

At the same time our online world and social media have been doing some good things. I have mentioned my friend Alison before. She has been a close and loyal friend since my post-college Claremont days in the mid-1970’s. I was present at the wedding in the Santa Cruz mountains when she married Glenn. When Terry and I got married here in Hemet in 1994 Alison was part of the wedding as Best Person. (Terry had a Man of Honor, some of you will recall.)

gofundmeGlenn is a professional musician. He’s a dulcimer player and plays at places like Renaissance fairs in their various incarnations and the Dickens fair. He has developed quite a following, and built up a lot of goodwill. Making ends meet as a musician, however, can be difficult. Glenn and Alison found themselves at risk of losing their house. A friend set up a Go Fund Me page for Glenn with a goal of $4,000. In less than 48 hours the page received $4,200 in donations.

Crisis averted. People are good. People do care.