Friday, May 25, 2018

Bucket List

It was Boston Legal #13 hosted by J.P. on Thursday evening and the theme was "What's on your Bucket List".  My suggestion to watch the movie was outvoted but at least I forced a viewing of my favorite scene (See Blog Joy in Life 3/1/2012).  YouTube prevents it from being copied and viewed so I guess you just have to get the DVD - it is the scene called Two Questions about 58 minutes into the movie.

There was much discussion about categories, outputs, and outcomes.  Outcomes were associated with joy, health and life fulfillment.   Outputs were the activities that might measure the outcome from an external viewpoint.  I actually did some internet research (naturally) to get some ideas.  Stumbled upon a person who creatively used the entire Bucket List format to publish a book and website:  1000 ideas for you Bucket List.

So -  I did a deep dive and came up with 20 items -  here is just a sampling:

(1) Fly in a Glider
(3) Crawl Inside a Pyramid
(7) Mission Trip
(12) Curling
(14) See a Whale
(19) Visit Stonehenge

The reality is that I have been blessed to experience most of what I have wanted in the last 63 years and it was actually a tough exercise to come up with "important" and meaningful outputs.  I too am focused more on the outcomes and let the activities be more defined by the outcomes.

Just proves again that it is the experience of the journey that counts not the destinations or the time.

PS - We were stuck watching Blade Runner 2049 that had a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 87.  At 2hrs and 44 minutes it was tough remembering the original Blade Runner and its plot and following the sequel.  Thank goodness for Wikipedia summaries.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Political Comedy Low Point

I just finished reading Michelle Wolf's caustic comedy routine at the White House correspondents' dinner.  Absolutely disgusting! I wonder what made me feel this way?

I personally have a style of teasing, cutting humor, satire, sarcastic commentary, spiced with a jab, a razz, and sometimes a taunt to those I have closest relationships with.  I think this came from my east coast teenage years of junior high and high school.   Of course someone who delivers this style must also be thick skinned enough to take it back (which I think I do).  Most of my good friends enjoy jabbing at me also.  It is a way to laugh at oneself and each other.  Also it can be a fun battle of wits.

Yet reading this comedy routine shows how sarcasm can be abused and especially when the sexual innuendos cascade to filth.  For years, I have watched and enjoyed the White House correspondent's dinner.  My favorite was George W's playful interaction with his impersonator Steve Bridges in 2006.

What a great example of self deprecating humor, soft teasing, and "clean and wholesome humor.

It is shameful to see where the White House correspondents' dinner has evolved. No wonder the President didn't show up this year.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Guns vs Drugs

A.S. (one of my SVP Cincinnati Partners) sent me a link to Great Courses lecture on the Opioid Epidemic with University of Michigan Professor Thad Polk.

What is the single most common cause of death for people under age 50 in the USA?  Not car accidents; not aids, not gun related deaths.

Here's the answer:

Source:  Great Courses - Thad Polk Ph.D.

The media attention and national dialogue about the tragic loss of 17 people in a gun related death crisis in a Florida school is a natural reaction to shock and compressed timing/location (at School)  of those who died. Yet the slow -  one by one - deaths by overdose are hidden from our view and slip into obscurity.  This problem is overwhelmingly more important than gun control.  

Yes we lost 17 in less than an hour because of a mentally unstable person with access to a gun.  But what about the loss of 175 people EVERY DAY (7 per hour) by their own addictive condition using the equivalent of a gun inside their brain (that death instrument hidden quite effectively inside schools, medicine cabinets, and economically available for delivery to your door).

Where is our media outrage and national dialogue for the Opioid Epidemic?

PS -  Guns and Drugs by the numbers:

(1)  There are over 310 million guns owned by 37% of USA households.  Pew Research 2/2013
(2) Healthcare providers wrote over 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012 and there are 2.1 million people suffering from Opioid substance abuse and 467,000 addicted to heroin.  CDC and

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lord Over Drugs

It was an "Mighty" Evening with the M5 - Mighty Methodist Men's Movie Ministry.  A last minute organization by leader T.C. resulted in 15 of us watching 15:17 to Paris.   My favorite line (for obvious reasons) - "My GOD is bigger than your statistics".

Naturally, I agree with this statement by the Mom refusing to jump to drugs as any solution to parenting.   The Teacher jumped to the conclusion that the son had Attention Deficit Disorder and suggested medication. A "fix it" with medicine problem solving mentality.  While I understand (especially with my own back pain at times) the real need for drugs and medication, I also believe we are an overdrugged culture and jump to that solution as the easiest way out.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that more than one quarter of all American children and teens now take prescription drugs on a regular basis, too -- and this percentage is on the rise as well. Many of these children are taking dangerous psychiatric medications like Ritalin and Risperdal for so-called behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Could it be that the early history of drug acceptance for all ailments (and especially to our children) was the seed of our hard drug problems today? 

Now the big news (although it is old news) is about the Opioid and epidemic overdose crisis that is infecting the USA (over 130 deaths per day).   Check out this interactive map from 2009 to 2014 to see it's spread and geographical dispersion at  A Deadly Crisis

One of the SVP Cincinnati Fastpitch finalists is Drug Free Club of America  and is trying to change the landscape of this picture by proactively incenting youth to say no to drugs.  

Can Government help with these statistics?   How long has the war on drugs been publically proclaimed?  Nixon used those words in 1971.  Looks like Government is losing the war.

Time for something bigger than statistics.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Highway to Heaven

Last night I got to help a friend (M.I.) who is on a rehabilitation journey from an unfortunate accident back in July.  We talked about the challenges of life when the road suddenly turns a different way than we envisioned.  Add to that new bumps, roadblocks, mandatory detours, and even broken bridges preventing progress. We think we are in control, and can build the road we want - the superhighway that we can speedily rush to our destination.  But no - each of our journeys - the roads we take -  are not built by us and are complicated by intersections;  and others who are journeying on the same road (racing us at times); on ramps and off ramps; even choices that we freely take when there is a fork in the road.

Yet we all travel together, some on the same path, others beside us, and yes, even traffic moving the opposite way.  We wish there was a world of autonomous cars, all perfectly coordinated, symbiotic in unison and cooperation where we can securely and leisurely sit as we are carried comfortably to our destination.  Just tell the car where to go and relax.  Everyone will be happy.

Yet this vision of "Travel Heaven" is doomed to fail here on earth.  The roads here are always under construction, filled with selfish drivers who think of themselves first.

I think this was (and is) the plan - the very purpose we are placed here to experience.  The hard work of navigating the very curves in the road that we are faced with.  Asking for help from others for directions (when we are lost) and creatively overcoming the obstacles along the way.

Beep Beep -  For those stuck in the road and not moving forward  -  there is always a way.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Belated Christmas Post

Here is the Belated December 2017 Christmas e-Letter:

    Wisner Family   December 2017

C'est a year to be born again, and the Wisner's had many milestones to celebrate - newly weds blessed, a nuptial nest, graduation and new college test, a couple publicly profess, even a semi-empty nest  -  this year vows to be the best.
Ellen (College Test)  - A K-12 Brave graduate, U.C. it was either an Escape, break, or fate that she stayed in town.  No more bakery - babysitting is now serious business - maybe even a degree to pursue.  Leaving Rock was a Bear, no Cat was happy about that choice - a bow wow pair also.  Rowing has a ring to the idea of exercise, but 4am alarms and weekend excursions can bug you (and "sit up" can too).

Jenna and Paul Robinson (Nuptial Nest) - May made marriage more memorable this year with a merger of Robinson with Wisner.  The Wedding consultant (SDW), kept it low cost and a home was MADE. I RAte it a 10.  YOU Can sLIDe over anytime to see the new gas fireplace.  With busy careers in Nursing and Health Insurance, they will greet you with Hello Fresh and use their time for handyman (and handywomen) projects.

Susan and Garen (Publicly Profess) - Now Semi Empty Nesters, they are experiencing new life together.  A big step for Garen turned into #100 Emmaus Walk (17 years late).  Sounds like Susan could relax now but instead she presses on - the new Lay Director for Greater Cincinnati Emmaus in 2018. They continue to focus energy Outback with spiritual power of a backup generator.  New members in two clubs - books and paddles will create activities together.  There was a ginger moment on the cruise that filled the empty nest home sickness with the Mediterranean Sea.  Other options like the trip to Salt Lake City may be future common stock for them both - with bountiful returns.  Susan's avalanche of cards now allows her to talk like the rest of us about the 60's.

Some Very Philanthropic dinners preceded the Social Venture Partner Cincinnati 10 year anniversary celebration.  Even declaring "I'm In" multiple ways, reflects the joy of giving - every bit of coin.   Changing Gears from a Freestyle was a gift in two ways.  Exploring the landscape of servanthood with and through others is our return on life.

However, renewals come with setbacks and attacks in many ways - oneself, friends, family and on the world.  There is safety in only one place and one way.  Christmas lights that way.  Our hope is you follow the star, shine in glory, and rely on God - this day and the next.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

"Don't shine so others can see you ......
              Shine so that through you, others can see HIM."
                                       C.S. Lewis

Monday, September 18, 2017

Stunned Silence Saturday

It felt like a full eclipse - total darkness as Miami University lost to University of Cincinnati for the 12th time in a row. How memories fad so quickly.  The years I attended Miami the football team ran up a string of 23 undefeated games.  Last year Miami had entered the record books as being the only team to go 0 and 6 and win 6 straight games to end the season and get a Bowl Bid.  So naturally, the alumni like me felt the recent losing streak years (21 straight defeats) were behind us. 

But this game - the 5th oldest rivalry in US history - was time to show UC that Miami was back.  Unfortunately, of the 28 years as a season ticket holder this game will be etched into my memory.  The final two minutes will forever be remembered as the worst luck and judgment in my Miami Football memory.

The Victory Bell is once again missing from Miami's campus.  Sounds of Silence!

59-56-7  Miami             
With Jenna (3/8 of a Redhawk and 5/8 BearCat), Paul and Ellen Bearcats, it was a tough evening for Susan and I  (old Redskins).