Monday, February 28, 2005

Whoops, Voting's Over

The 2005 Bloggie Award nominations are over. I guess now we can only vote on the nominees. Check out the nominations (scroll down a bunch, there are many categories) and check to see which blog you like best. It's actually kinda fun. :)

I think it's a great drag name..

Tequila Mockingbird. Actually, it's a blog that has been nominated for two blogging awards: Best American blog and Best blog Writing in the annual Bloggies Award. It really is a great site and I encourage you to check it out (if you're into that sort of thing).

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Crackers

This seems like an interesting juxtoposition between the art exhibit of The Gates in Central Park and my favorite crackers.

A Funeral Tomorrrow

I am finding it difficult to go to sleep tonight. Tomorrow morning is a funeral for a friend of mine who died after a very brief (or so it seemed) battle with cancer. Dick Butler was this amazing person, who after retiring from directing the Church World Service, went to work at Union Seminary. I knew Dick in seminary and served with him on several committees and councils in the city.

One amazing characteristic about Dick was that you'd've never guessed he was 74 years old. He acted, moved, and lived much younger. His joy and serious commitment to social justice and ministry was profound. The consumate professional, he was also friendly, approachable, and brilliant.

Union Seminary already had their memorial service for him. You can read about him and the memorial service as well as watch a video of the service here. Tomorrow, The Riverside Church where he was a member, is holding its memorial service followed by a light repast and remembrance time at Union Seminary.

I am so sad right now... really achingly sad. Funny thing is, while I knew Dick, I didn't know him that well. Serving on committees isn't like going to his home or, traveling with him, or waxing theological in a local pub. I only knew him by his commitment in areas of justice. And while that may pale to others who knew him better, I find myself affected by him nonetheless.

From the little I knew of him, he was such an amazing person.

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Hype re: the New HIV Strain

Okay, don't take me wrong but I think something insedious is going on. Let me explain what I mean. About 2 weeks ago, it was reported that a man in New York City is carrying a Super Strain of the HIV virus that morphed into AIDS in approx 2-6 months (usually it takes 10 years or so). And, 4 out of the 5 coctail treatments (its called coctails because two or more treatments are used together) used to treat the virus don't work on the man. And, the man has admitted to drug binges where, in orgies, he's had sex with hundreds of men in a few months. And, the press is eating this up.

Dr. Gallo, you know, THE Dr. Gallo, the man who discovered the virus in the first place, said that this whole thing is being blown completely out of proportion because only one, count it, ONE man, has encountered this phenomena. He thinks unless more men are tested and discovered with this new strain (so far no one else has it) then its probably the result of this particular man's unusal immune system not being able to ward off the virus to begin with. At least, that is the hope of many (including myself).

So what's my point? Well, it seems a few commentators, such as Cal Thomas, are blaming all gay men for not taking personal responsibility for their sexing about and implying that its all our own fault. Other writers are calling this "a wake-up call" and reminding everyone that we gay folk have become too lax in our sexual experiences and need to reign in our desires. You see- one case and suddenly everyone has an opportunity to blame gay folks for AIDS, as if, "See, its always been your fault, so don't expect any sympathy from me (or a reduction in the high cost of anti-viral therapy, for that matter)." This sort of hyper reaction fosters an attitude of decreased sympathy and compassion.

So you say this is just another example of homophobia, "What's the big deal?" you ask. Well, get this: The Bush Administration believes that the best way to decrease HIV infection is through abstinence-only educational programs where condom and safer sex education is forbidden. According to the Center for Disease Control, 40,000 Americans are infected with HIV every year. 50% of those are men who have sex with men. So, that's 20,000 new HIV infections who are either gay, bisexual, or men on the down low (shhh, don't tell anyone). 50% of those infections (10,000) are among people under the age of 25! And, get this.. because it's real scary.. 50% of those cases (of the 10,000) are those age 13-19 years old.

And its not just HIV, each year U.S. youth under age 20 experience nearly four million sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—including herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV (Adolescents and HIV/AIDS).

With all this infection of pretty dangerous stuff, one wonders why safer sex education isn't even on the minds of our policy and decision makers? When a gay and lesbian organization is prevented from discussion safer sex education to students by the government (from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention no less!) lest their funding gets cut, one wonders how a person cannot understand that abstinence-only education isn't working. Look at the ages of those getting infected? It's those in the highschools where abstinence-only education is being taught that are getting infected! Isn't the abstince-only education supposed to stop this? The youth have incredibly high rates of infection- do you see my point?

I'd think a great safe sex education would incorporate both abstinence AND safer sex. But if attitudes continue to manifest themselves whereby all gay people are only getting what they (we) deserve, then how motivated will our leaders be to put into place better education? How motivated will they be to address STD infection, if its perceived that they are only getting what they deserve? That's my point in typing all this.

Surely there has to be lots of bright and intelligent folk who could combine both abstince and safer sex education in an articulate way that works better than what is obviously not working now. Here is one suggestion.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Scary but really cool program

Yesterday morning I downloaded this 125 MB program that once it was installed turned out to be 2 GBs. NASA has a new program that'll let you zoom in on anything happening in the world via their satellites. You can see rivers and streams, mountains and creeks, from Tanzania to the mighty Mississippi. You can even see cities, towns, and buildings. And, if you want to have some real honest to goodness fun, you can live in New York City and call your mom in Oklahoma and ask, "Mom, who's parked in your driveway?"

She was a bit freaked to learn about this particular program.

The program is cool- but it requires a serious 3D graphics card, one that I don't have. However, I was able to see a lot, just not real clear. So, no, I couldn't really see who's parked in mom's driveway (but you can, this program was up and running last year and I did in fact call her last year to inquire about the mysterious car in her driveway). I did it again this week and it wasn't as funny since she didn't have an unusual car parked there. On my computer is was too blurry to actually see it... yet. I'll get the new graphics card this weekend.

To find the site, check out the NASA World Wind homepage and look for the download section.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's After 1:00am...

and I can't sleep. I took the day off because I think I either worked my butt off too much last night at the gym and simply fatigued myself beyond repair or, my body is fighting off something. Either way, I slept all day. Now, it's 1:00am and I can't sleep AT ALL! Grrr..!! I hate it when this happens.

I could take some Tylenol P.M. I went and bought a bottle last week when I saw a commercial that said that these pills weren't habit forming. Hmm.. I dunno, I should take a couple (or three, I usually take an extra pill above the recommended dosage because my doctor said that since I am 6ft 9in tall, my body needs a bit extra).

It's amazing how there is nothing to do this late.


Of course, I do have my blog. But then, this is all I am writing rather than thinking up something clever.

Hmm... I think I'll go sort through my icebox and get rid of moldy things.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Believe the Hype

Usually when I hear a lot of people talking about something that I must read, see, or experience, I find myself less likely to do it. Be it a good movie, a Broadway play, or the like, I just find it uncomfortable to "jump on the bandwagon" so to speak. However, while listen to the cds at Virgin Megastore, I ran across Green Day's American Idiot cd.

I must confess that the hype is soooooooo true this time. I have even copied the cd onto my mp3 player. This is one fun, energetic, and melodious mix of songs, lyrics, and beat. Even if you don't like Green Day, you might like this cd and you can make it your "one Green Day cd" in your collection.

Laugh Out Loud Funny

Normally I have a particular book I read on the subway. If you live in NYC and cannot afford a car (which costs $10K a year just to maintain, including insurance, parking, and tolls), you take mass transit. The mass transit in this town is spectacular. With buses and subways going to practically every part of Manhattan, giving up your car isn't a huge sacrifice.

Anyways, because everyone takes subways everywhere, you just have to have something to read while your on the trains. Sometimes you'll be on a train for an hour; at other times, less but still a long time. Ergo, carrying a book or magazine is essential.

My subway book this time around is called Magical Thinking, by Augusten Burroughs. This book is a collection of short stories from the author of Running with Scizzors. If you want a book that'll make you laugh out loud while causing your fellow subway riders to look at you and then each other, then this book is for you.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Did you hear about the schizophrenic buddhist? He was at two with the universe.

Yes, it's true, Abe Vigoda is alive-

I ran into this funny website,, in which it gives us the update on whether Abe Vigoda is alive or not. I know the humor seems in bad taste but for years there was a rumor that Abe Vigoda, the eternal old man in the old Barney Miller sitcom, was dead when it fact, he is as alive as ever. And yet, everyone wonders how that could be possible.

Anyways, I was over at the Mozilla homepage looking for new utilities to install on my computer when I found one that gives an update on Abe Vigoda.

Seminary President Fired

Well, New Brunswick Theological Seminary just outside of New York City in New Jersey has fired its president for performing a same-sex wedding ceremony for his DAUGHTER! Crazy, eh? I actually know his daughter, she is a minister in a church in Queens, of the same denomination of her father, no less (like that makes any sense). She sometimes comes to church where I serve (our services are in the late afternoon affording her such an opportunity). She and her partner are wonderful people and I am still shocked that her dad got fired for doing the ceremony for his own daughter. I think a religon is mighty messed up if it condemns a dad for blessing his own children. I wonder if the seminary would have congratulated the man had he openly condemned her instead? You can read more of the story by going to

Getting Lured In

So last week I was watching television and an ad for Bally's Fitness Gym came on. They were advertising their new montly special of $19 down and $19 a month. And almost immediately I was hooked. Roy says I am the one's all advertisers aim their products and tag lines because he says I'll buy anything if its packaged in a way that says, "Buy me NOW! You can't live without what it is I am selling! Impress your friends and they'll be envious with you!" As I was putting on my sneakers and heading out the door to go sign up, I wondered what Roy meant.

Anyways, I get to the gym which is located in midtown off of 50th Street, the A train goes right there (I live off the A train, so the communte (I figured) would be easy enough). The gym is located in a fancy building that I can't tell if its an office building or an apartment complex. The gym is in the sub-sub-basement of the complex.

Okay, so I get to the gym and they give me a great tour. The gym has more cardio machines that would impress anyone. The weight room is fairly large and they offer free exercise classes and yoga. What impressed me most though was the swimming pool. New York City doesn't have many swimming pools and finding one is like finding a diamond in the rough. It is a huge pool with lap swimming almost all day, every day. I was hooked.

"So, $19 down and $19 a month, eh?" I said this to the salesperson. "Well, yes, sort of. Let me let you speak with my manager." I could feel the disappointment and fear in my stomach.

The manager said that price isn't for the Bally's Sports Facility that I was in. It is for the Bally's Fitness Gym. And, that price includes 3 work out days a week only and they'll pick those three days. Two days a week and one on the weekend. Oh, and at the Bally's Fitness Gym there isn't a swimming pool and only a handful of cardio equipment and "I think they have free weights..", say said. I got hoodwinked. Remember the advice my parents gave me, "If a deal seems to good to be true, it usually is."

As I sat thinking about getting hoodwinked, I thought about my old gym. At New York Sports Center where I used to be a member, the membership was $72 a month (the cheap rate) and I could work out every day from 8-10am, 2-4pm, and 8:30pm to close. And, this membership included all the NYSC clubs in the city (there are about 45 in Manhattan alone). If I paid $90 a month, there were no restrictions. So, I sat down with the keen salesperson/manager and asked what "deal" they could offer me, 'an ordained minister' (I use that only sparingly, you understand).

So, the deal with pretty good (I guess). They told me it'd be $90 a month to use just their facility. I told the manager that I could get cheaper than that at NYSC and that I would pass, thank you very much. As I got up to leave, I was offerred a cheaper membership at $75 a month. I reminded her that rate was the cheap rate at NYSC that I paid. As I grabbed my scarf, she offerred the membership for $59 a month. "Hmmm," I thought, that is a good deal. But the catch is that its $59 for 3 years. A three year membership. I explained my job and how I might move. She said that if I move after 1 year, then the cancellation fee is only $50.

So I thought about it and decided to get everything the manager said in writing and signed up. It's the cheapest rate in the city and the gym IS one of the most amazing ones I've seen in the city. It's two stories up (or is that down?), has an incredible work out area and wonderful pool. And, from the looks of things, it's also pretty "straight." What this means to me is that while its a bit cruisey at times (I've already noticed), the steam room and saunas are co-ed and open up to the swimming pool. In other words, I won't have to worry about anything slippery/sticky sticking to my feet in the steam room. (Some gyms in this city are more like bathhouses than real gyms, or so I've been told, not that I would know anything about that... er, yeah.. ahem...).

So I told Roy that I joined the gym. Of course, he wasn't surprised. "Did they throw in a free workout DVD? Or, what were they giving away that made you sign up?" Clearly not offended at this remark, I told him about the swimming pool and the rate. He was impressed and a bit jealous (his gym is $90 a month and his steam room floor is a bit sticky).

I've already worked out and swam there on Thursday (I signed up on Wednesday) and on Saturday. I tell you, I feel pretty good both mentally and physically although I am a little sore. I am going there later today to work out and swim some more. I am pretty psyched.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Service Pack 2, Eating Crow

Okay, so guess what I did last night and this morning? I worked my butt off to install Service Pack 2. I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to do it but recent developments made it necessary (that and Microsoft saying they will not support any computer NOT running SP2).

So, I backed up my hard drive (I went out and bought a 120 GB USB drive) and backed up my system (it took 3 hours). And then, I downloaded Microsoft's new Anti-spy ware because my system was so infected with this new trojan/virus thing that it wouldn't LET me download SP2. Crazy, eh? So, I downloaded the thing and it found the trojan and then deleted it.

So, then I downloaded SP2 and you know what? My computer is running as fast as it did when I bought it, the trojan is gone, the advertisements are gone, and I feel pretty good (except I am having trouble with the new 120 gb drive, but I'll work on that later).

I am amazed as the difference. However, I got so used to the Mozilla Firefox browser that I want to continue using it. It is simply amazing!

Well, there you have it. I'll update more computer talk as it happens to me.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

ELCA debate

As some of you may have heard, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is about to release its study from its task force on human sexuality- or rather, its task force debating the issue of homosexuality in its church and how the ELCA ought to respond to gay marriage and the ordination of us gay folk. Interestingly, I found an article written by a member of the ELCA and found it very insightful. The author of the article is David Weiss (you can read more about him and the various responses to the study at .

For more than a year now, as we've tried to "journey together faithfully," we Lutherans have had our heads buried in Scripture. Some of us are convinced that the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexual activity. Others of us are convinced that context renders these biblical condemnations less than absolute - or altogether irrelevant today. And plenty of us remain somewhere in the middle, uncertain as to what exactly the Bible says - or means - regarding same-sex relationships.

Well, it's time to close our Bibles for a few months. We won't find the answer we're looking for there - at least not in the places we've been looking.

In fact, we haven't even asked the right question yet. Supposedly we've been studying whether to offer blessings to same-sex couples and whether to ordain persons in committed relationships. But in reality the study materials haven't really focused on those questions. Instead they've mired us in a quite different question: whether homosexuality, either in orientation or expression (and it's just plain arrogant when straight people assume a distinction between the two) is sinful.

But this has never been the right question. The church has only ever blessed a heterosexual marriages between sinners. The church has only ever ordained pastors who have also been sinners. And don't talk about "willful, ongoing" sin as the crucial distinction. We bless marriages between persons quite willfully devoted to conspicuous consumption. We don't hesitate to ordain people who smoke - even while wearing their collar, even around children. So the "sin" question misses the point. And while I personally do not think homosexuality is sinful, I recognize that this argument isn't going to be settled anytime soon.

Moreover, even the questions about blessing and ordination are misguided. They're so specific that they keep us from seeing the question that would offer us a way forward. The real question is this: How should we as a church respond when persons come to us seeking full participation in our church - as they are, without becoming like us? Especially when they are persons whom the Bible has seemed to suggest have no part among God's people unless they become like us? That's the situation we face. And that's the situation faced by the early church when the Gentiles sought full participation without the precondition of first becoming Jewish in diet and circumcision.

There are texts in Acts 10, 11, and 15 that tell us how the early church responded to that situation, but the Sexuality Task Force chose not to put those texts before us in the Journey Together Faithfully study materials. They chose not to offer us the one biblical model for constructively engaging our situation. No wonder we got nowhere. In contrast, the early church did not rush back to the Torah to see whether Gentiles needed to be circumcised in order to join the church. If they had, they would've gotten mired in the same dilemma we are, asking whether what the Torah seemed to say about Gentiles 'back then' still applied in the first century. And while there were some who wanted to do that, the church dared to try a different approach.

Though not without some fierce squabbling, the church ultimately decided to listen to the lives of the Gentiles who sought to join them. They simply listened to the stories of God's activity in their lives. Then the church asked, is it possible that God's Spirit is already active in the lives of these people in ways we would never have guessed? Is it possible that God is surprising us even now?

A Journal Entry

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Today has been one of my more productive days at home. Not having to preach tomorrow (a member of the congregation is preaching) has afforded me a day to myself. Roy has been at his school library all day researching for his classes. So, being all my myself, I puttered around the house tidying up things and spending some much needed energy reorganizing my storage containers. With all I've done, I am throwing out 4 large trash bags of junk as well as some larger items like blankets, old plastic storage bins, a leaky and bulky air mattress, and some shelves.

Taking a break, I called Roy to see what he was up to. When we don't physically see each other, we call once or twice to see how the other is doing. Roy just left the library and was heading home. He said that for some reason, he feels sad or tired or perhaps "it's just the winter blahs." He said that he sometimes gets like this when he is alone and for that reason, he hates being alone. He invited me to see a movie with him tonight but as I explained to him, I still have cleaning and organizing to do, so I couldn't meet up with him. I invited him up to stay with me tonight, I explained that I could put off some things and perhaps we could rent a movie or something. I hadn't showered or anything today and, I didn't want to do so, then catch a train to midtown (where he was), all in all, it'd've taken me an hour and a half to meet up. So, he decided to go home and I said that I'd continue puttering around the apartment. At the end of our conversation, we said our goodbyes and promised to call each other tomorrow which we'll do.

I guess I am still thinking about him and me and why it is that we're two very different people sometimes. He hates to be alone and, in contrast enjoys being quite the socialite. I, on the otherhand, enjoy being alone and while I enjoy company and social gatherings, if I had my choice, I'd stay home or go somewhere alone and read. Or, hang out in my favorite bistro writing something or thinking about what I am going to do tomorrow.

I remember a friend from Oklahoma who once told me the same thing that Roy told me tonight. He hated being alone too. When he told me that, I remember being surprised because I thought he would be the sort of guy who would seek out his alone-time. I am sure I was just engaging in transferance.

Still the whole thing makes me wonder.. would I be a better person if I spent more time with others? Or, would Roy enjoy his life more if he made productive use of alone time? Or, are we just different people who have different needs. I am sure its the latter- but I feel for him, being alone when you're lonely is such a sad feeling to experience.

Arrrrgggghhhh! Trojans and Viruses!

These last few days have been quite hectic- my computer picked up a couple of serious trojans and viruses that I've been working like a madman to eradicate. One in particular pops open small advertisements over and over and over again. As a result, I've become the mini-web geek as I have installed and run several counter-attack programs to try and resolve these problems. I found two trojans this morning (two mind you that my Norton Virus Checker and McAfee firewall either let in or didn't even recognize!)

Fortunately, most programs are working and I am now more convinced than ever to stick with Mozilla Firefox (the ads don't pop up in this browswer). Still, its annoying and I am presently running 2 new applications continuously and am using up more and more of my RAM to do it. And that frustrates me the most- since I normally have several programs up and running, my system has had to slow down a bit to run everything.

I guess I prolly oughta go out and get more RAM for my system. Opening my CPU and installing more RAM makes me so nervous. The more I use and depend on my computer for stuff, the more I wonder if the simplication that computers are supposed to afford us users is overblown and exaggerated- or if it only means that such simplication comes at a higher than anticipated cost. hmmmm....

The Communion Experience

I was talking with a colleague recently and we had one interesting conversation. He was telling me how his church went about doing communion. He explained how they observe it, how many people are involved in setting it up, and how long it takes. I too, then shared how the congregation where I serve practices it and I opened up such a can of worms.

I explained that we call the congregation up to the front of the church (they usually stand in a line) and where we serve communion by intinction (whereby you dip a piece of bread into the juice, which is always grape juice, before consuming the bread), which is a great way to do it and doesn't take nearly as long as passing it out on trays to the congregation in the pews. My friend thought that this was cool and this didn't bother my friend. I explained that we always recite responsively the communion liturgy together; my friend thought that was cool and this didn't bother him either. I explained that sometimes we gather around the communion table in a circle and I sometimes pass the bread while I go around holding the chalice. My friend thought that'd never work in his congregation but that was cool too.

I then explained that we offer an open communion table. I saw his eyebrow raise. I also said that during our invitation of the communion liturgy, I say,

"We have an open communion table whereby everyone is invited to participate with us in our communion experience. Regardless of the faith tradition you come with, we welcome you. It doesn't matter if you are a member of another United Church of Christ, or a member of another denomination. It doesn't even matter if you are Agnostic or an Athiest. You are welcome here. However, if you are a Christian, this meal means something special and we invite you to join with us as we break the bread and drink from the cup that Christ gives."

My friend freaked. He couldn't understand how we could allow "anyone" to participate in the meal. In his tradition, communion is reserved only for Christians and particularly members of his faith tradition. I explained that Jesus didn't exclude anyone and neither do we. I also said that the communion meal is an experience of our community as much as it is to the person who comes forward. How they interpret it personally is up to them--how our fellowship participates means that we want to invite everyone to celebrate life with us.

I am glad to be a member of the United Church of Christ that continually professes that, "No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here." Our congregation does that over and over and over again. It's a message that needs to be told and retold--so that we never forget and those who worship with us can finally believe it (some are so stunned at first, that we have to say it over and over).

What do you think about an open communion table? Please share your thoughts, if you'd like. Even if we don't agree- it'd be nice to talk about it.

Friday, February 04, 2005

What the Bleep Do We Know!?

A friend has been trying to get me to see a movie for ages, but I just don't go to movies often enough to actually "go out of my way" to see one. Well, today after coming back from the hospital visiting a parishoner, I walked by a new movie house that opened up in the neighborhood and low and behold, the new movie house plays indie movies and, to my surprise, was showing "What the Bleep Do We Know!?"

After thinking about the fact I'd be, in effect, leaving work early on a Friday afternoon, I decided to do just that (I worked until 1am last night, or is that this morning?). And let me tell you what, it was a fantastic movie!

Okay sure, its a bit New Agey, and the philosophy/religion of quantum physics is still under the religious rubric of "suspicious", still the ideas and concepts were spell-binding and will provide hours of discussion starters for those asking about God, science, and spirituality.

I found some of the ideas very stimulating and will most definately explore them more. The movie has a website,, which you can go to and get an idea what the movie is about. This is a great movie that I'd recommend everyone to see.

If you see it, drop me a note and let me know what you thought.

Die Mommy Die!

Roy and I also rented this movie, Die Mommie Die! It's a blending of "old Hollywood" in a tale told with hilarious results. The acting sucks but, in the vein of camp, it fits right in. If you want a fun movie with lots of laughs and a surprising ending, this movie will definately suffice.
Posted by Hello

Girls Will Be Girls

Girls Will Be Girls is a hilarious campy movie! Roy and I rented it this week and we laughed so hard, we had root beer coming out of our noses!
Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Those Blasted Chain Letters

Okay, so yes, I can't stand them but today I received one that had some good advice. So, I am going to copy and paste its advice here minus the, "If you don't send this to 10 people in 6 minutes your life will be cursed" threat. Here goes:

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, "I love you," mean it.

FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions

EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.

* * * * *

Pretty good advice, eh?