1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Isaac, What's So Funny?

Isaac, You'd Better Behave, Or Else!
If hurricanes or tropical storms weren't so destructive, observing the human reaction to them could cause a chuckle. I've been watching (and participating in) the mad rush to stock up on necessary supplies since Friday--gasoline, canned food, bottled water,, party favors, balloons, birthday cake.Yes, someone turned 30 this past weekend, and it wasn't me, as you can plainly see.

Anyway, back to the mad rush. Some famous and not-so-famous meteorologists have been racing each other to the Gulf Coast to report on the threat that Isaac ("he who will laugh") poses to our beautiful beaches and laid-back way of life. SAM watched The Weather Channel today and heard one of those brilliant prognosticators say that he was reporting live from Mobile Bay in Mississippi. What??!! Maybe that weatherman is lost in the Cone of Uncertainty--at least he is about geography. Mobile Bay is some distance from Mississippi, buddy. Try Alabama.

Even the Windy City's famous newspaper wants to get in on the action, providing us with a great article about the immediate political response to yet another crisis. Throw some money at it, and maybe some of it will stick this time. Who knows what happened to the billions spent in the aftermath of Katrina? Not I, said the politician asking for money before this storm even makes landfall on the Gulf Coast.

I was talking to someone at work today, and he was fairly disgusted with all of the frenzied activity taking place around here in NW Florida. Many schools and public offices were already closed on Monday. Medical clinics are shuttered, leaving some patients without critical treatment. Isn't it better to be safe than sorry? I remember what a mess Ivan left us with back in 2004. He (the guy at work) seems to think it's a big, fat, wet blanket response. One size does not fit all here. Our fate is (or should be) determined by choices we make on our own. Imagine that! Live in a flood-prone area or move to higher ground? You mean we're not all in the same boat, all of us in this together? Nope. You mean we should strive to make rational choices and take responsibility for our own actions, not expecting Uncle Sam to pick up the tab or decide things for us when we make stupid choices? Wow, what a novel idea! Seriously, a novel idea. It sounds too much like fiction to me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Make the Most of the Least Bee: Celebrate NHBD

Least Bee that brew--
A Honey's Weight
The Summer multiply--
Content Her smallest fraction help
The Amber Quantity--

(Emily Dickinson, c. 1863)

Today is National Honey Bee Day. Celebrate it...

Miasma has you moping. Summertime heat has you sweating the small stuff, not to mention the bigger problems plaguing you and the rest of the world. It magnifies the tiniest of irritations. Tempers flare like the sun, lashing out whips of fire.

Take a deep breath and cool your thoughts for a moment. Park your worries on the petals of a flower and imagine yourself fanned by 200 wing beats per second. Now then, "bee" content. It only takes the smallest fraction of, multiplied by Powers of Ten, to change perspective. To help the amber quantity?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jeff McKenney, MD: A Doctor Rich in Patients (Patience) and Wit But Poor in Dilatory Time

Slow...No Wake

How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Thou knowest we work by wit, and not by witchcraft,
And wit depends on dilatory time...

(Shakespeare's Othello, II, iii, 376-379)

Some years ago, SAM and I attended a small country church near Paducah, Kentucky, and became acquainted with the sister of a missionary in Honduras. She--the sister--spoke of and presented a slideshow of the incredible work that her brother, Dr. Jeff McKenney, and his wife had begun some years earlier in a remote area on the northern coast of Honduras. It wasn't the impressive presentation or the engaging personality of the sister that convinced us to support the Cornerstone Foundation. I must admit it was reading Dr. McKenney's fascinating account of his tribulations and triumphs that convinced me (and then us) to help fund this medical mission. Dr. Jeff has a penchant (read here) for penetrating the mysteries (to me) of missionary work.

Oh, sure, I understand the basic concept. How can you expect people to understand and accept the Gospel unless you first minister to their most urgent needs? Kindness and good intentions are all fine and good, but when a belly is either empty or split open by bandits wielding machetes, critical attention must be paid to feeding or fixing the belly before the soul.

The main thing I don't understand about mission work is how missionaries like Dr. Jeff and his wife can so easily put aside their own lives to save other lives? Well, maybe not easily, but willingly. It must have something to do with dilatory time or the lack thereof. Such a thing does not exist in such a man's vocabulary or thought process. Time is of the essence there and here. Okay, so maybe I'm beginning to comprehend. I owe, I owe. It's off to work I go...

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane ["olive press"], and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me..." 

Then he returned to the disciples [after how many times of waking them??!!] and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go!"

(Matthew 26: 36-46)