Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Whats the next step after friendship?

I would say that I have a pretty healthy social life. Between the wife and I, we plan or get an invite to a lunch, a dinner, or some other activity almost everyday. I have about 20 people that I would call close friends that I see on a regular basis. Which leads me to my main thought tonight... What comes after friendship?

As far as I know there really is no other step after friendship unless one is talking about a significant other and then marriage is the next step. That is not what I am getting at though, I am referring to friendships that have developed and matured into near siblinghood.

It seems like I've known my friends now for so long that they've become more like brothers and sisters than just friends. I care about what is going on in their lives like my brothers and sisters, I know just what to say to make them mad or to make their day. So what do I call these people in my life? Friendlings? Broends and Fristers? For now I'm sticking with 'friends' until better terminology is invented.

So here is to great friends and family that make life more fulfilling!

-Just Ben Shewell

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fictional Sports Teams

Today like most days a portion of my thoughts shot to the future and to where no man has gone before... yes, to Star Trek. Also in my thoughts today were the upcoming NBA playoffs. You could see how logically the two thought topics collided in one of my synapses and suddenly I was thinking about a basketball team comprised totally of Star Trek characters. Of course all the characters would be in their prime and from different times and regions of space so this would have to be a game arranged and refereed by the Q.

Without further ado this is my list of Star Trek characters I would put on the same basketball team and what position they would play:

Coach - Data -- The only being to ever beat Sirma Kolrami the Zakdorn at a game of Strategema would make great game plans and keep his cool no matter what the refs called.

Assistant Coach - Geordi La Forge -- Geordi and Data would always come up with a brilliant and surprising play in just the same way that they found ways to defeat enemies in difficult situations.

Point Guard - James T. Kirk -- Kirk's ingenuity and belief that there is no such thing as a 'no win' scenario make him the ideal pick to run the plays when the action is on the court.

Shooting Guard - Jean Luc Picard -- Picard is cool under pressure and quick to evaluate the best action. Picard doesn't hesitate to make a move when a move is available.

Shooting Forward - Spock -- Fast, strong, agile, precise, intelligent, and level headed are the characteristics that make Spock the perfect fit the shooting forward position. Spock could calculate just how to deal with opponents and have the physical prowess to dominate.

Power Forward - Worf -- Worf is big, strong, and fast. In addition to having the right physique for the position Worf can be mean. Worf's warrior disposition and training make him ideal for rough inside play.

Center - Odo -- Who wouldn't want a shape-shifter at center? You need someone to block shots, his hands are way up there. You need someone to block the middle, he is super wide in the paint when he needs to be. You just would not be able to get near the basket without Odo in your face.

Of course the other Star Trek characters would have roles to play as well. The team's back up players would include Riker, Sisko, Sulu, Scotty, and Tuvok. Wesley Crusher would be the team towel/water boy. Cheerleaders would include Crusher, 7 of 9, Jadiz Dax, Kira, Uhura, and Lwaxana.

Team Federation would be completely capable of taking on any other team assembled within the Star Trek universe and I would be a season ticket holder.

-Just Ben Shewell

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Moderation... Not Mediocrity

Over the course of the day's conversations two things have come to my mind, moderation and mediocrity. Basically we promote moderation in our society and seek to not be mediocre. Further, moderation and mediocrity seem like simple concepts and I bet most any adult could give a reasonable definition for both. I would also bet that most adults are not very good at doing all things in moderation or avoiding mediocrity.

For the sake of being on the same page, the following are links to Merriam-Websters's Online Dictionary results for moderation and mediocre:

First I will examine moderation in our society and culture. The phrase most people have heard is "moderation in all things." That phrase actually dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, but it has persisted into our day. Often the concept of moderation is applied to food and drink. Basically it is a good idea to be careful of how much we eat and drink. Excessive eating will make a person overweight, and excessive drinking (or other types of drugs) have obvious consequences as well. Spending is another area of our lives that we strive to moderate. I think we all could have benefited if less people had been eager to take on mortgages that in reality they could not afford in the last decade. According to MSN the average American household carried $8000 in credit card debt alone in 2004. Some other things many people tend to struggle to moderate are sleeping, exercise, idle activities, relationships, and more.

Avoiding mediocrity has no catchy or memorable phrase like moderation, but who really strives for average? In our culture there is a premium set on standing out, excelling, and being the best. Also we are constantly bombarded by messages from the media, advertisements, and family members that push us into that frame of mind as well. The desire for excellence may even just be human nature.

So how can we cohesively mesh moderation and avoiding mediocrity? That is not so simple. I propose we add a few new concepts to solve this problem; understanding, acceptance, and wisdom.

First and foremost understand that neither you nor anyone else on the planet is perfect. No one can moderate everything all the time, and no one can be the best all the time. Understand that happiness is not tied to success. Having a good understanding of any given situation will usually lead to the best results.

Accept the reality of your situation. I will almost certainly not get beamed aboard the starship Enterprise no matter how much I want that, and I have come to terms with that reality. That is kind of an absurd example but I hope you know what I mean.

Finally be wise. Its easy to be moderate when you take a step back and look at the situation from an outsider's perspective. For example, today at lunch I could have eaten a whole pizza. I certainly had the capacity and the desire, but I stopped eating long enough to think about how much I had already eaten and decided that just because the pizza tasted good and I had the room wasn't a good enough reason to keep eating.

I hope my thoughts on moderation and mediocrity will help keep life in perspective for you.

-Just Ben Shewell

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And Today A Blog Was Born

In preparation to writing this blog I have been thinking about blogs and their various purposes. It seemed important for me to understand the purpose of blogs in order to accurately assess whether or not I had anything blog worthy to say. Obviously I have decided that I do have blog worthy ideas and thoughts or else I wouldn't be writing this. In the end however, you and other readers will actually make that decision for me.

In my research I found there are journal-like blogs, humorous blogs, informative blogs, and many other types as well. With some blog types, such as informative or how-to blogs, I can clearly see their purpose and value to the reader. Journal-like blogs seem to be an emotional and creative outlet for the writer and a can be a source of inspiration, entertainment, or more to the reader.

The only blog type that really appealed to me as a writer and as a person is the editorial type. In editorial type blogs the writer expresses an opinion. Sometimes the writer's intent is to persuade the reader to align their opinions with the writer's opinions. Other times the writer just has something to say and doesn't care who knows it. I have a plethora of opinions so this seemed like the best blog option for me.

So if you read this blog please understand that I am just a man with an opinion and you may not always agree with me. But you can depend on me to tell you what I honestly think and why I think that way.

-Just Ben Shewell