A series of events have kept me somewhat off the grid in the last two weeks. There was the completion of an NPR story, double duty at the TV station, the release of a book in which I wrote a chapter and the negotiation of a business deal which is changing my life. But everything was somehow put on the side burner (notice how I didn't say back burner) with a new arrival. Skylar Blake.What really took me off the grid is this little girl. I'm officially a new auntie. You can read about this beautiful child's unusual trip from the heavens into the arms of my sister in her post: On Nonhuman Animals and Human Babies.I was skyping non stop, speaking with relatives and friends, making airline arrangements, ordering baby stuff, and rethinking my life as this new one came just about over night. You see, Skylar was adopted. While my sister was hoping to adopt a child, she and her husband had met with many challenges. Then suddenly in 24 hours, (you can read it in her story) she was a mommy and I was an auntie. We can't always prepare for such events, but we can have a bit of an action plan for such dramatic life events that challenge our work life balance. This is where the rubber hits the road for me in my work life merge. "Organized chaos" is better than "regular chaos" don't you think?When I say "side burner" that's what I mean. It goes to the side for a bit, it's not forgotten. Time is made for it at a later date, perhaps for the following week. For me quite a bit went to the side, but only for a few days, and not everything took a hit. My NPR story for example. There was no getting around that deadline, but other things could wait. This little peanut set my "Judy Martin's work life balance bootcamp" into motion. I have a list of priorities. It's an actual check off list of needs short term and long term. It's derived from 20 years in news, dealing with the intense day to day action which changes on a dime and my experience working with the dying as a hospice volunteer.My list may not gel with others, but there are some wisdom principles that I do adhere to. Our burden's might cross a spectrum, our lives dramatically different, but in responding to change in the work life merge, it's sometimes easier to throw things on the "side" burner temporarily, with perspective:
While not often, it is possible for a hurricane to hit the nation most populous city. I only discuss this possibility because Hurricane Bill looks like he will continue to be a strong storm, even as he skirts the mid Atlantic and northeast coast this weekend. At least, I hope he skirts the coast. Right now a storm sweeping slowly moving east and strengthening over the Midwest late this week, could be the East Coast saving grace. As this storm moves towards the coastline over the weekend, it will likely push Bill out to sea. But if that storm doesn do it job or Bill speeds up or even slows down, the outcome could be quite different.
The strength of a storm depends quite heavily on the sea surface temperature. Look at the map above. It shows how warm (the oranges and reds) the water is along the equator and well north and south. The water is warm enough all the way to New York City to sustain a powerful hurricane. Much farther north though, and the cool water will kill the storm. 1938 parts of the Northeast did experience a devastating hurricane. Nicknamed the Long Island Express, the storm devastated the mostly undeveloped Long Island and coastline farther north. Many people were caught off guard. While the forecasters knew a storm was brewing, they were not prepared for the strength of the storm when it hit land. If a powerful tropical storm hit the same area today, the results would be even more devastating. Check out the numbers from the United States Landfalling Hurricane Probability Project. It scary to think of this worst case scenario, and it not likely to happen, but it something to think about as action in the tropics increases. In the meantime, the National Hurricane Center and people living on the east coast of the United States will be watching Hurricane Bill movements closely.
"My name is Henio Zytomirski. I am seven years old. I live on 3 Szewska Street in Lublin," he writes on his profile. His birthday is March 25, 1933. He is no more than seven or eight years old. As a young Jewish boy, he was killed by the Nazis in a concentration camp.
Henio has been signed up to Facebook since August 18, 2009. "On that day, I wrote my first entry," said Piotr Buzek. The 22 year old works in the Brsadfama Grodzka Cultural Center in Lublin, and he is responsible for bringing Henio back to life in the virtual world. He imagines how Henio felt during his life and writes as though he were him.
Can Bad News Come From Grace God had something to say and wanted Jeremiah to get His message through. When God revealed the contents of this message, it gave the prophet reason to pause. God was asking him to deliver the kind of bad news that makes people want to kill the messenger: "Amend your ways or Jerusalem is going to be turned into rubble." His previous experience with national leadership told him not to expect a warm reception.The beauty of being a pessimist is you either right or your expectations are exceeded. In this case, after talking straight with Israel, Jeremiah was the former: Then the priests and the prophets spoke to the officials and to all the
The skewed reasoning of the religious bigwigs went like this: "We don't agree with Jeremiah's message, and that's all we need to know. Jeremiah deserves death for the audacity of telling us we need to change." It is remarkable that the priests and prophets did not debate the merits of Jeremiah's case. They did not ask, "Could it be true that we must either change or be punished?" Had they done so, they might have seen that Jeremiah's preaching was a benefit not a bane What if someone could have provided rock solid intelligence about what was planned for 9/11 (and how to prevent it) before it happened? Who wouldn't find receipt of such information an incredible benefit? That is precisely what Jeremiah did. But, the power trip the priests and prophets were on blinded them to the value of what they were receiving. The general populace did get it right, saying, "No death sentence of this man! For he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God" (Jer. 26:16).An unfavorable message, if it comes from God, is evidence of grace not grumpiness. God does not have to warn us. He could easily give us a taste of "shock and awe" without warning. But that is not how our Father operates. Even when we are walking in disobedience, His love moves Him to tell us what we NEED to hear even when it is not what we WANT to hear. So if you want to receive the full benefits of God's grace, ask Him to help you hear and take to heart whatever He wants to tell you, even when He has some bad news.
Monday had an odd air about it, from the predawn hour when TV crews began staking out Lance Armstrong's Austin, Texas home in hopes of catching him or Oprah before their much publicized interview.The media attention was so intense that Armstrong slipped out over the fence to go for an AM run, hat pulled low over his eyes. Whether via regular media or the social variety, reports rolled in all day with a kind of frenzied Super Bowl style character.Armstrong had apologized to the staff at Livestrong, reported the AP, also the source of the running anecdote. Then: the cyclist hadn't actually mentioned using drugs in his apology, and a foundation spokeswoman said only thatArmstrong had apologized to employees, "for all the stress they've endured because of him."Armstrong then decamped for a downtown Austin hotel for a reported summit with his legal team. But that seemed odd, since others said his decision to go on Oprah to begin with had been made withoutorters and advisers, while Oprah tweeted that she'd wrapped a two and a half hour interview, raising the question of what would be cut for the 90 minute broadcast. (Ultimately, Oprah decided to expand the show into a two night extravaganza/ordeal.)Reports immediately emerged based on inside sources claiming that Armstrong had confessed; that he had volunteered to testify about cycling officials' involvement in doping; and that he was open to returning some of his ill won money perhaps to the federal government. So much information flew around that, Tuesday morning, Oprah faux indignantly huffed during her own promotional interview on network TV that the leaks had revealed all the juicy stuff.The focus was so intense that, even among cycling fans, two other notable stories were lost: USA Cycling announced its strongest team in memory for the Cyclocross World Championships, held in just under two weeks on American soil, where said team could bring home multiple medals.And 2008 Olympic road race champion Nicole Cooke retired, although that's not quite the right word. In leaving the sport while at its competitive summit, she cited the abysmal climate of women's racing due, in part, to mismanagement, male chauvinism, and the toll of doping scandals mostly on the men's side of the sport.If three percent of the energy spent on Armstrong were directed to women's cycling, it would be far healthier than the train wreck Cooke leaves behind, and maybe she wouldn't be leaving just yet. (And yes, I see the hypocrisy in pointing that out in just two paragraphs of a piece on Armstrong. I do draw some hope from the fact that Cooke's statement was read widely enough that it crashed her website.)Separately, news emerged that Armstrong was approaching a number of people he'd clashed with in the past in an attempt for reconciliation. Not everyone who Armstrong has attacked received such an overture, and no one Bicycling contacted who had would speak on the record, but what is clear is that news of Armstrong's contacts stirred strong emotions in all of them.To date, almost all of the attention (including my own)on what an Armstrong confession would mean has focused on the effects on Armstrong. Would he expose himself to civil liability? Would the Justice Department re open its case? Would Floyd Landis' lawsuit gain new traction and government backing?Little to none of it has focused on what the confession would mean to those who Armstrong harmed the most.I've said before (maybe only privately, but I think I've written it somewhere) that Armstrong is the story that never really dies.What if you're Tyler Hamilton, barely 20 months removed from the evening Armstrong confronted him in an Aspen restaurant,threatening to make his life a living hell? Landis, who Armstrong variously characterized as bitter, mentally disturbed, and a drunk? Former assistant Mike Anderson, his dreams of an Austin bike shop vaporized in 2006, eventually departed for New Zealand, in part to put as much space as possible between himself and Armstrong.What of Betsy Andreu, who for eight years has been referred to as obsessed, a bitter, fat bitch for having the integrity to testify truthfully under oath; her husband Frankie quietly sidelined from the upper reaches of the sport?Or former soigneur Emma O'Reilly, slurred by Armstrong in 2004 as someone who was party to "issues within the team, within the other riders, that were inappropriate," as he said at a press conference, and driven nearly to bankruptcy? And David Walsh, the Original Recipe troll ever since 2001, attacked personally and professionally, done injustice by England's awful libel laws?That is to say nothing of
Armstrong refused. When, according to the Wall Street Journal, he later met with the agency after his ban to try to re cut the deal and didn't get his way, he angrily told off his counterparts and left with an expletive.That second meeting was about a month ago. This is the man we're supposed to now believe is contrite? No, strike that; it's not about us. Should the people he attacked for years, and to whom he now wants to apologize, believe he is contrite, a word Oprah stopped short of using in characterizing his appearance on her show? To borrow from Dan Coyle, does Armstrong | really believe he can "win" his confession?Armstrong once expressed exasperation at the charges leveled at him, lamenting that he could not prove a negative. Even just a couple of years into his run of Tour wins, the old "I've never tested positive" line had worn thin. He'd moved on to "I've never taken performance enhancing drugs." And he was upset that he couldn't prove it that, since beating the tests didn't mean much
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