Archive for the ‘1984’ Category


Somewhere in a lonely hotel room
There’s a guy starting to realize
That eternal fate has turned it’s back on him.

It’s 2am….

It’s 2 am
The fear is gone
I’m sitting here waiting…

Maybe my connection
Is tired of taking chances

Yeah, there’s a storm on the loose
Sirens in my head
Wrapped up in silence
All circuits are dead
Cannot decode
My whole life spins into a frenzy

Help I’m steppin’ into the Twilight Zone
Place is a madhouse
Feels like being cloned

My becaon’s been moved
Under moon and star
Where am I to go 
Now that I’ve gone too far…

OK, so its not 2 AM here, but it is somewhere, and when I heard this old 80’s Golden Earring tune in the car today as I pulled into the airport, yet again, before 6 AM, the lyrics resonated with me a bit.

Don’t you judge me, Paul Blart.   I’m a bit sleep deprived, and it is about to get worse.   But, as I sit here in Virginia, going on Vienna, I can’t help but think on sojourns past, some even through this very airport.   Debit cards and “Rent A Wreck”, anyone?   Good times, good times…

And, just think, 48 hours after touching down on the old continent, I will turn around and do the whole thing over again.   At least the Westbound movie is different from its Easterly brother.

In the meantime, I can sit here (lay over, moreso) and contemplate trips past, and what needs to be accomplished on the trip about to come…

My becaon’s been moved
Under moon and star
Where am I to go 
Now that I’ve gone too far



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Having just returned from a day of being immersed and impressed by the culture that is Apple, Inc. this past week, I was taken along with the rest of the world by the passing of Steve Jobs tonight. Aside from his tech savvy world changing innovations, he was known for a memorable quote or two. Philosophy of life and faith aside, each is thought provoking and hard to ignore in a personal perspective.

Not everyone can necessarily be a world changer like Jobs, but we can all make a difference one day at a time, one life interaction at a time. And none of us will live forever. We may get fourscore and more, or we may “die prematurely” like Jobs, if such a guarantee of longevity should even exist.

That being said, here are but a few of Jobs’ more memorable quotes over the years. Make today count. Make a difference, however small it may feel…

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”


“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”


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We call it “The Vault”. It is a small 8 foot by 12 foot room, is wrapped in foot thick concrete, and has a massive metal door with an antiquated combination lock. In this protected room, we place all things tangible that are deemed to be of great value to the university where I work. Emphasis should be placed on the words “all things”.

We are doing some minor cosmetic work to our building this summer, and several people are moving offices. We are in the middle of several “digitization projects” that will put more and more records, and possibly history, into an electronic format. Accordingly, it seemed like a good time to clean out the vault.


Clean out, indeed. What began as a simple exercise was quickly recognized to be so much more. We brought in some additional hourly help to shred and move boxes. We made a huge mess of the office. And, we made some amazing discoveries. Minute books. Silver. Old jewelry. Personal notes. Handwritten general ledgers from 1949. Land deeds from 1914 for valuable property (an entire working ranch, no less, with cows and everything!) donated to the school many moons ago.

You see, our organization is 62 years young, and we have the records to prove it. All of the records, as the case may be. Perhaps the more operative word is “had”. Before you hoarders and “Nervous Nellie” types begin to hyperventilate, let me assure you that we threw nothing of relative importance away. In fact, with a deference to history and “old school” methodology for accounting in days gone by, we probably kept too much. But, the banks statements (all of the bank statements!) from that account closed in “nineteennoneofyourbusiness” are headed to the shredder. So sorry.

What we uncovered, however, seems to be so much more. In some sense, this vault is “the brain trust”‘ or at least the record thereof, for the past, present, and a potential repository for the future, especially now that we have made some room.

According to our friends at Wikipedia, “Brain trust began as a term for a group of close advisors to a political candidate or incumbent, prized for their expertise in particular fields. The term is most associated with the group of advisors to Franklin Roosevelt during his presidential administration. More recently the use of the term has expanded to encompass any group of advisers to a decision maker, whether or not in politics.”

And this record collection categorizes it all. But, it made us all feel a bit odd about our work. You see, I have worked at the school for the past 13 of the 63 years, and was a student for another 4 of those much farther back on the timeline, and I have been acquainted with this university for most of my life. I remember much of this and can relate to and recall decisions and events, even those for which I was not present.

As we worked through a growing pile of trashed records, many of our own creation over the past decade, I could not help but ask “is this all we have to show for all those years?”. And the answer would be a resounding “no”.

You see, we are not in the document business, thank goodness. We are even not in the information business. We are in the business of “transforming lives for faith, scholarship, and service”, and the contents of this vault chronicle much of the love, sleepless nights, difficult decisions, sweat, and tears that the servants of the school have contributed over low, the many few years. And a labor of love it is, indeed.

So, these records chronicle both the Brain, the thinking actions and history of the leadership, and the Trust, the sacrifice and love of founders, donors, alums, parents, and students have placed in those brains. And a sacred trust, it is, indeed.

Thank you’s are in order here, to those who have gone before, and prayers for those who will one day follow. The vault is cleaned and ready for chronicling another generation or two of labor.

Alma Mater, hail to Thee.

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1984: it was a book by author George Orwell, and as the 70’s raced toward the 80’s, everyone speculated on what the real 1984 would be like. And it was a book about an all seeing character called “Big Brother”, and BB was not a very nice person, apparently.

So what did actually happen in the real 1984? Please allow me to tell you. I was introduced to new friends. And then, they made me eat Quiche. (imagine Johnny Depp/Captain Jack Sparrow cadence and inflection here).

“Real men don’t eat quiche”. I had always heard that, and yet, I did not know what the stuff really was all about. Enter new friends/mentors Scot, Ted, and Bev. Three guys (including yours truly), a girl, and brunch at a “quiche place”. I will grant, it may be a stretch to have considered Ted and Bev as full fledged friends in 84 (as I hardly saw them again for almost 20 years), but time would tend to that, among other things.

Scot was my dad. He still is, in a manner of speaking. 1984: good “kid”, good mentor. 2011: good man, good mentor. Scot, 22 and free, adopted me as his 18 year old college kid at MRCC. A little laundry, a little football, and a little food was shared over the next year or two until Scot moved away.

But one instance, one moment of interaction, sticks in my brain, and that is sharing quiche with these three, Newly minted young adults and college grads, making their way as I tried to find mine in those first few weeks away from home.

As we drove back from the restaurant that day, I could not help but sit in awe in Scot’s shiny new blue 84 TBird. Here I was in the presence of people who I thought “had arrived”. A newly married couple, a couple of employed accountants, and all the “trappings” of those “not burdened by life or college”. As we drove back to drop me off at the OC campus that day and these men genteely explained to me the finer points of dressing for success (you wondered, “why that picture?”, I know you did), Scot almost wrecked the car at I-44 and Broadway while looking at my bad polyester tie and shiny patterned shirt.

Time, life, and goals took Ted and Bev to Brazil, Scot to Michigan/Dallas/Michigan and all points between, and me to Texas before we all somehow landed back in OKC. And when I was reintroduced to them many moons later, we all had changed, and that is the point where I believe I can begin to refer to them as friends, indeed (and in deed). You see, we have much more in common as 40 something’s than we ever did “back in the day”. Scot and his wife Dawn even share a reality of life with Sherry and I in the real world that is RA and autoimmune diease.

I’ve learned a lot from watching and listening to these guys the past few years. We even dress alike, although that may not be worth bragging about.

And in 2011, I think the real “Big Brother” is watching over us, but this one is much greater and gentler than that of Orwell’s imagination. His name is Jesus, and He is the author and perfecter of the faith of the imperfect. That’d be guys like us (but not Bev, Dawn, or Sherry. They are perfect, in practically every way).

In closing, maybe real men do eat quiche, or real men in the making. I hear it is high in protein.

So, gents, if you read this, let’s plan lunch soon. I’m buying. But this time, let’s go for some manly comfort food, 2011 style.

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