Monday, January 31, 2005

Sensory Underload

We made it through the weekend without turning on the TV. This was our aim after sitting like a blob watching The Apprentice, and another show on Thursday. I am amazed at what can be accomplished when you don't instinctively turn on the Tube. For example, we printed off some digital pictures from trips to Telluride and Vienna. Our goal is to blow them up to poster size (with a linen mat), and frame them.

Given the "success" of TV-deprivation this weekend, the only wrinkle was last night when Geri wanted to watch Desparate Housewives. To her credit, she did yoga instead.

Friday, January 28, 2005

And The Winner Is......

Here is a Yahoo News article. It talks about Canadian, Marcel Tremblay. He wishes to die. He suffers from a lung condition that leaves him "unable to breathe properly". Tonight he will sit down for dinner with friends, invariably talk about his legal right to suicide, talk about his innability to breathe (It is a horrible thing-having seen my Grandpa go through Emphysema).

After the eating and political rhetoric about not being able to take a good breath, what's he to do? After all.."I can't think of a worse death than not being able to breathe". HE'S GOING TO STRAP A HELIUM FILLED BAG OVER HIS HEAD!

Makes sense doesn't it? He gets my vote for the 2005 Darwin Award.

--------------------Here Is The Story----------------------------------

Man who plans to commit suicide says he's promoting right to die
2 hours, 1 minute ago
OTTAWA (CP) - A retired businessman who plans to kill himself Friday evening, says he wants to publicize the right to die with dignity.

"I'm trying to get lots of publicity for the dying," Marcel Tremblay said as he entered a lawyer's office in downtown Ottawa. The 78-year-old, who suffers from an incurable lung condition, insisted in media interviews that he would stick to his plan to commit suicide.
He and family members called on lawyer Lawrence Greenspon on Friday morning.
Greenspon, a prominent local attorney, says suicide is legal in Canada, provided the person doesn't receive help from someone else. Assisting suicide carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.
The lawyer said earlier he will ensure that Tremblay's family, who plan to be present when he dies, won't be charged in the death.
Ottawa police had no immediate comment.
Tremblay said he would hold a wake with 50 friends and relatives and enjoy a last meal before killing himself in his suburban home.
He planned to pull a helium-filled bag over his head and suffocate.
"I'll just go to sleep," he told the Kingston Whig-Standard. "Everything stops within five minutes.
Tremblay, a right-to-die advocate, has a number of health problems, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung condition that leaves him unable to breathe properly.
"It's supposed to kill me, but it's taking too damn long," he said. "I can't think of a worse death than not being able to breathe."
He said doctors hold out no hope, saying his condition will get worse and worse.
He began planning his death about three months ago when he decided he wasn't going to live in pain any longer.
Tremblay readily admits he hopes his death will have an impact because he feels strongly that people should have the right to decide when they die.
"I want to make as much noise about this as I can."

I recently bought a DVD set of John Eldredge's "Wild At Heart". So far this is an interesting look at 5 guys holed up at a dude ranch in Colorado, discussing their personal takes on each chapter of this book.

My first experience with this book was pretty much a failure. In Colorado, I half-heartedly read half of the book. My heart was hard to the message. I then taught the class in Missouri. This is when the message finally spoke to me. If anyone out there wants to borrow the DVD's, let me know.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Pyramid of Success

Ever since my mutual fund wholesaling days, I have appreciated the wisdom of Coach John Wooden. I used to give out his books to my clients to spur them on towards Success. Today I need to go back and study his Pyramid of Success. God has blessed me, but I am embarrased to admit I rarely strive to be my best. My charge today is to attack my projects to the best of my abilities.

I love this saying from Coach:
Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

Check out his Pyramid:

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

7 layers of separation

As a salesman I always tried to find a connection between my client (or prospect), and myself. There is an interesting concept that goes something like this. Two people can find a common friend within 7 layers of separation. These 2 people might live in different states or timezones, but given enough time, you can usually make the connection. In the movie world, 7 layers from Kevin Bacon. Truth is, many times you only have to rattle off 1 or 2 people to make a connection.

Last night playing ball at the gym proved this true. A youth minister here in STL is good friends with someone back in CO who has been very instrumental in my spiritual growth for the past few years. Not very odd, considering most church-folk swim in the same streams. However Geri and I were on a boat in Venice, Italy, where we spied a guy sporting a "Boulder Gear" jacket. That isn't something you see every day, so we began to talk. It turned out he lives in Evergreen, and works with a mutual friend. I guess a lesson is to always be on your best behavior. A goal of mine is to be on my "best behavior" not only away from friends, but with friends.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Famous Last Words

As an important figure in the last century, Winston Churchill knew how to rally his countrymen. His speeches and dynamic ways with words surely inspired fellow Englishmen in their time of trial from 1939-1945.

As a casual historian, Winnie never was at a loss of words and actions-whether smarting off to his mother as a child, going off to war as a young man, campaigning (both successfully and unsucessfully) as a politician, or representing Great Britain throughout WWII. By measures of the world, this man had it all. A full life, a best-selling author, a war hero (young and old), a full belly, a fat cigar and glass of brandy...he was the man to be celebrated. A man full of life.

I can't help but think that on the inside, he was far from fulfilled. As a Christian, I look back with amazement at what God has placed in my life, through no talent of my own. A great wife, wonderful friends and family, a nice home, a sweet 1995 Tahoe (hey, at least it has leather chairs and a CD player), my health, a child..actually being hand-delivered from Korea (now, that's service!).

My life is actually exciting. It's too bad that after a long life lived, all Winnie could muster was "I'm bored with it all". Surely there is a lesson in these final words.....

Sunday, January 23, 2005

It is never too late

2 1/2 years ago Geri suprised me with a trip to Normandy, France. To add to the suprise was the fact a good friend, Mark was going as well. Since we have very similar interests, and a good friendship, it only made sense we went together.

Last night I finally got around to starting a scrapbook of the memories and places we were fortunate to visit. To travel is great, but to travel with a friend is wonderful. I look forward to finishing this project, and pour over the memories with Mark again.

Friday, January 21, 2005


Today there are many things to be thankful for. Chris' long term prognosis is positive, in the wake of that terrible accident. I have agreed "in principal" with a landscaping company to be their only source of lighting to their clients. We have a baby on the way (although we know nothinig of specifics-we have hope). For this I am thankful.

On another note, I started out the day by watching an episode of Wild At Heart. Isn't it great to know we are made in the image of God. Men are compassionate warriors at the very core. The challenge is to display this in a Godly way, and make a difference in this world without getting caught up in the "false self" that we so easily fall into.

Tonite I am taking Geri out to a movie, and am looking forward to spending time with her. She rocks!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


In the words of Napoleon Dynamite..."Sweet"....

For the past several years, many people have participated in "Toddfest". This obsession evolved from eating out as a group in honor of a good friend. You know him as Todd Dennis. To others, he is simply "Wib" (short for Wilburn, if you care to know). We would celebrate with Food, T-shirts, and wisecracks about his advanced age.

This annual Fest ultimately began to be linked to an annual ski trip to Steamboat. In past years, attendance has faltered. The faithful attendees of the group through the lean years has primarily been Barry, Todd (the honored one), Ken Davis, and myself. In part due to marriages, children, losing touch with friends, and living in various timezones.

After jabbering with Barry today, it seems that the traditional celebration of Toddfest is well on its way to regain its former stature. Like Bing Crosby and his cohort in White Christmas, we soldiers are going to get the word out about the trip, to honor the Ol' General again....Sweet!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Pumped Up

Started off this morning with a weekly Accountability Group/Bible Study. It is great to see new friendships grow. It has been somewhat difficult to establish good friends here in St Louis. With every move comes both sadness and awesome things. I am blessed with great relationships from my Oklahoma days and Colorado days, but am looking forward to great Missouri days.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


Last night was the final dinner to cap off the annual Edward Jones General Partners meetings. There were quite a few folks retiring, and the usual honors were bestowed. That is except one. Darryl Pope. I do not claim to know him, and have only met him on a handful of occasions.

Darryl has had a great career with EDJ, that spanned over 40 years. He started at the mailroom, as the 37th (or around there) employee. Today there are almost 30,000! While he sent his children to college, he himself did not have a college education. Last night, Maryville University presented him with a Doctorate of Laws. I was inspired at his contributions over the years to not only EDJ, but with the University, and to his family.

It has taken me almost 40 years to realize it isn't what you know, or who you know that makes a profound difference. It is dedication. This can only be recognized through the passage of time, and through alot of "mundane". I am inspired to not be dead-icated--that is to have interests of a passive nature, but to be dedicated in an active way. I want to be more dedicated to my God and my wife. I want to channel this to be a very passionate person, that affects!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Squirrel Cuisine?

It has always been a dream to write a book, so I am using this as my training ground to help me along this journey. It might be painful, but please enjoy this for what it's worth. Hopefully it gets better over the days, weeks, months, etc...

Evidently a great gastronomic delicacy in the Cope family is Squirrel and Dumplings. My only memory of this, prior to this past week was trying it out once as a kid. I remember someone (probably Uncle Don) making a crack about watching out for the buckshot. This didn't sit with me very well, so I probably ended up eating only dumplings that night.

A few weeks ago it popped up on the menu in Neosho. Dad and UKen went out to "harvest" the squirrel. A few things of note. I'm glad he talked dad into not taking the shotgun. Once they shot the squirrel, the poor thing ran into a tree to die. That did not deter the Cope brothers. They promptly sawed it down to extract the victim. That is determination.