How Big is a 100 Million?

I mostly stay away from political issues on the blog. So I don't want this to become a discussion on whether or not President Obama is doing the right thing. But I think we need to understand exactly how much $100 Million from our budget really is.

Link here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWt8hTayupE

Isn't it amazing at how small $100 million can look?


So What?

We live in the Information Age. There's an unmeasurable amount of information available to us. Some of us even have 24/7 access to all the information on the internet because our cellphones are internet capable. But it's not just the internet. There's more information, more news, more data, more science, more medicine, more theories, more everything. And all that data is growing. I recently read that the average 13 year old has already been exposed to more information than their grandparents were in their entire lives.

All that information is great, or at least has the potential for greatness. But what does one do with all that info? Learn to ask the question "So what?" Just because a piece of information exists, doesn't mean it's useful to you. I could know the weather report for New Zealand tomorrow - but that's not overly useful for me. I'm sure some people care about that - New Zealanders for one - but it doesn't really affect me. A careful application of the "So what?" can help filter through information that's non-essential.

This can even be true when dealing with a timeless truth. I believe the Bible is the Word of God. But not every text or passage in the Bible is useful in every situation. There are some passages in the Bible that when you read them, you need to ask "So what?" Why is this story here? Is it just a history lesson OR is there some truth to be learned in this story? You've got to run it through the "So what?" filter. And just because someone else finds a story particularly meaningful to them at that moment in their journey, doesn't mean that you will. And here's the important part - THAT'S OK. (Some of us need to read that last sentence a few more times and REALLY digest and understand that.) Maybe that text will matter in a different point in your journey, maybe it will never be a biggie for you. That's ok. Just use the "So what?" filter.

Useful information is not just head knowledge - it changes how you act. If you truly believe that 2+2=5, you will behave in a different manner than if you believe 2+2=4 (namely, much of your addition will be wrong). But information that passes the "So what?" filter, affects us. It changes us. Hopefully, it makes us better in some small way. When you find a Bible text that passes the "So what?" filter, it will change your beliefs and your behavior. And that's a good thing.

Use that "So what?" filter effectively. It will take some practice, but eventually you will be able to cut through all the noise and data, and have some great wisdom that really matters.



There's a billboard by the freeway on the way to work that has kind of freaked me out. It's been up for what seems like a long time, maybe two months or so. It's also in place that makes it kind of hard to see. It's on the curve on the freeway and it's kind of behind another sign. So when you are doing LA freeway speeds, the sign is not visible very long. Also, it's dark when I am going to work, and this particular sign is not lit, so I can only read the big print on it, not the smaller print. Basically the sign is hard to see.

On this sign, there's a picture of cop trying to be tough guy. He's got the dark glasses, the hat and the tough guy scowl. The text says "Observe and Report." The sign seemed very Big Brotherish. Or maybe even a bit Orwellian. I didn't know if it was telling me to watch for terrorist bombers or people who change lanes without signaling. It was just creepy. (Maybe it's just the fact that 5:30am is too early to be looking at that particular sign.)

About week or so ago, the movie trailers for a new movie hit the TV screen. The movie is called "Observe and Report." I started laughing when I saw the trailer. Not because the movie looked that funny. It didn't. What made me laugh was the goofy sign that had been freaking me out.

I drove by the sign and looked again. It still doesn't look like all the other movie signs. There's no start date or any of that other stuff. Maybe that's look they were going for.

It was a case of unclear communication - at least for me. I know that sometimes the advertising campaign tries to build an air of mystery by revealing only a small bit of the story. But this doesn't seem to be one of those types of ads. It just doesn't communicate the fact that they are advertising a movie. Seems like a waste, because their ad has not made me want to see the movie.

Is your communication as clear as you can make it? It's a never ending struggle to be clear and concise. Are you doing the hard work so you can get your message across clearly? That's worth pondering about....

PS - I just finished a great book about communication. It's called "Less Clutter. Less Noise." by Kem Meyer. It's really for church communications, but it would apply to any one who works in communication. If you lead a group or team, whether that's at work or a group of volunteers - this book is worth the read.


When Your Help Isn't Perceived as Help

This is my bird Kaylee.

They say you are supposed to give them toys to play with so they don't get bored. They like toys they can rip apart. This seemed like a good one to me. No sharp edges. Should easily come apart.

Apparently, Kaylee doesn't agree with me. She is more than a little freaked out by the toy. I didn't know she was part chicken.

Have you ever tried to do something nice for someone, or help someone out, but they didn't see your offer the same way you did? It's frustrating. Sometimes even when we mean well, it's not taken that way. Are you efforts to help really help? Or are you just frightening the locals? That's worth pondering about...


Debt Free

The world needs more mayors, and people, like this one.

Link here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY79KbCptTo