December, 2000

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I hope "better late than never" counts here...  So it took an extra week to put the page up...

Ryen's back from her NY trip with Grandma Joy,  More pics to come once I scan them (yes, they use embarrassingly old film technology).

As usual, Daria has contributed heavily to the jokes pages, as well as sending some holiday photos of the Edmond Family (ayyy).

Jeff has completed hazardous duty on his roof, and the San Antonio Skillin household is well lit for Christmas.  Thanks, Jeff... now I must keep up.  Maybe next year!

This story has been around for a while, but worth a reprint:

This is what you call a motivational email.


Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "if I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life. "Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life." I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied. "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon to be born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live." "Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read "he's a dead man. I knew I needed to take action." "What did you do?" I asked. "Well there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. "Yes, I replied." The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, "Gravity." Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.


Something to make you think about what's happening in this country right now...a little slanted, but kind of true, too.

 A view from the developing world.

 The following is from an article in which a Zimbabwe politician was quoted  as saying that children should study this event closely for it shows   election fraud is not only a so-called "Third World" phenomenon...

  1. Imagine that we read of an election occurring anywhere in the   in which the self-declared winner was the son of the former prime   and that former prime minister was himself the former head of that   secret police (CIA).

  2. Imagine that the self-declared winner lost the popular vote but   on some old colonial holdover (electoral college) from the nation's  pre-democracy past.

  3. Imagine that the self-declared winner's 'victory' turned on   votes cast in a province governed by his brother!

  4. Imagine that the poorly drafted ballots of one district, a   heavily favoring the self-declared winner's opponent, led thousands   voters to vote for the wrong candidate.

  5. Imagine that members of that nation's most despised caste,   their lives/livelihoods, turned out in record numbers to vote in  near-universal opposition to the self-declared winner's candidacy.

  6. Imagine that hundreds of members of that most-despised caste were  intercepted on their way to the polls by state police operating under   authority of the self-declared winner's brother.

  7. Imagine that six million people voted in the disputed province and   the self-declared winner's 'lead' was only 327 votes. Fewer,   than the vote counting machines' margin of error.

  8. Imagine that the self-declared winner and his political party   more careful by-hand inspection and re-counting of the ballots in the  disputed province or in its most hotly disputed district.

  9. Imagine that the self-declared winner, himself a governor of a   province, had the worst human rights record of any province in his nation  and actually led the nation in executions.

  10. Imagine that a major campaign promise of the self-declared winner   appoint like-minded human rights violators to lifetime positions on the high court of that nation.

 None of us would deem such an election to be representative of anything  other than the self-declared winner's will-to-power. All of us, I imagine, would wearily turn the page thinking that it was another sad tale of pitiful pre- or anti-democracy peoples in some strange "elsewhere."

Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything. Frank Dane