Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Goodbye, Sweet Blogger, I Knew Thee Well.

This is it for Halftime Lessons on Blogger.

Starting tomorrow, HalftimeLessons.com will now run on WordPress instead.

Please make sure that if you wish to keep following my humble work you DON'T go to halftimelessons.blogspot.com anymore. Instead, make sure you go only to http://HalftimeLessons.com.

If you read my blog in a reader, make sure you follow me through this feed link:

Subscribe in a reader

It will take you where you need to go. When you get to the new location, there will be more ways to follow if you so desire. If you have any issues, please email me at halftimelessons(at)gmail(dot)com .

See you on the other side, my lovelies.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

IMPORTANT: I'm going through some...changes.

Good morning gentle readers.

So, I have been working on something. Well...when I say I, I mean the pit bull the nice lady I hired. I haven't done CRAP. (and for her gentle disposition I avoided the use of the "s" word there.)

I am about to relaunch my blog. An all new look, new content, and (gulp) a new platform and host...I am moving to self-hosted WordPress.

So here is the thing...

I really, Really, REALLY don't want to lose you in this process.

So can I ask you to PLEASE take a second today and verify how you are following my blog? If you have plugged me into a reader, PLEASE make sure you have it plugged in as "http://HalftimeLessons.com", and nothing else.

If you are following me through some weird feed address or something other than the URL above, I may lose you.

And That.Can't.Happen.

I need every stinkin' one of you.

Please check...my switchover is IMMINENT.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Next Stop, Dysfunctional Genitalia.

Kind of a big day for the Jaypo.

Tomorrow I take my first step towards the world of the gelded. I have an appointment with the physician assistant who reports to Dr. Franksandbeans (and who I assume I get to sleep with), to discuss my impending maiming.

The smirky cow who made my appointment at the Urological Correctional Facility was very non-specific about what this PA would want to do or discuss, so I am assuming that she simply wanted a copay, and to sleep with me. I haven't discussed the matter with my wife, but I can only assume that she is cool with letting me party a bit before Dr. Smokedsausage uses my undercarriage as his personal amusement park.

I've had plenty of time to imagine this procedure, and that may have contributed to why it took me so long to make the appointment, but I am now on my way.

I think it is only appropriate to put my best foot forward, so after I finish my twelfth vodka tonight, it will be time to do some personal grooming. And as I finish writing that statement, I can't help but wonder if you knew what you were getting yourself in for when you subscribed to my work.

Despite the flood of requests, I will not be publishing pictures after Dr. Isthatallugot finishes making my farverbean holder look like an Ikea cutting board. And considering I chose to confess my lack of faith to the universe just days ago, I am also assuming that any and all higher powers will be taking this opportunity to write the next Law of Murphy as Dr. WaitwhatwasIdoing has a brainfart.

No "I pushed a bowling ball out of my urethra" comments will be tolerated.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Faith, and the fake.

I went to church today.

Not any kind of milestone, or monumental achievement for most people, and not for me. See, my wife likes to go. And when she says she wants to go, I support her, and we go.

But I gotta tell you, with a 42nd birthday on the not-so-distant horizon, I sit here still with the same questions, doubts, and lack of faith.

After a year of blogging, I haven't gone here at all. I've avoided it. Deliberately. Because I have yet to learn the "halftime lesson" in regards to religion.

Where did Cain's wife come from?

7 days? Really?

Why should I put so much time, heart, and dare I say FAITH into something that I cannot prove, and that routinely throws so much doubt my way?

I sit in the pew, I really do enjoy hearing him speak. It feels good to support my wife, and to expose my children to something decent without jading their lessons.

But as I look around, I see the others. The people who close their eyes, say the words, hold up their hands, and allegedly feel what I do not. Some I respect, and others. Some I know who are there heart and soul, some who aren't.

The only person who has ever made sense to me was my aunt, who said, "what's the harm?" And she's right...but still that realization doesn't get me where I think I may have to be.

So I am throwing this out into the universe tonight. And I am turning off comments...not because I don't care what you may want to say, but because I hope to find an answer for myself. And honestly, after looking for a very long time, I have no idea if that answer will come. Or when.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kids and September 11th.

I know we just went past another September 11th, but I wanted this post to be a part of my blog record, so I'm inserting it today. This article was first published 2 weeks ago in DFW's NeighborsGo, a Dallas Morning News publication.

We all live with this now. It's always with us, the memory of that terrible day, where we were, who was lost.

But every year, on one day, it comes to the forefront in the news, in the schools, in our homes. And we each have to make decisions, based on the ages of our children, about how to talk about September 11.

I don't want her to be scared. I don't want her to look at airplanes with anything less than excitement, or be afraid to push the very top button in an elevator. And although I want her to understand that most people would do her no harm, you can't always tell who the bad ones are. There are plenty of years for details, for newfound incredulity and fear. The loss of childhood innocence after that terrible day is needless and avoidable collateral damage if I can simply find the right words.

So this year as my oldest reaches a level of understanding about things that go wrong in the world, she and I will sit and talk about what happened that day. And there will be things I tell her, and things I don't. She will ask pointed questions, and I will guide her to a safer place. And I will send her back to school understanding that September 11, like all days, is a time to be thankful.

Thankful for those people who put themselves in danger, to keep us safe.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

The TimeBomb That Is Facebook

You ever feel like you are walking on the ragged edge?

You oughta.

I have come to the conclusion that it is only a matter of time before I get lost in the specifics of all my technological fascinations, and make the whopper of all mistakes. It's kinda like when I was a kid and I desperately wanted one of those chronograph watches with six thousand functions. And when I went to my "dad" and asked him for one, he said "you know, the more bells and whistles you have on it, the more that there is to go wrong."

Well, this particular watch isn't just gonna stop glowing at some point, it has the potential to leave a crater where I once stood.

Like many bloggers, I love the feeling like I am building something. And the tools available to build a following are plenty. But those tools don't discriminate between a wife and an ex girlfriend, or between your boyz and your boss.

See, I'm a blogger. And I Twitter. And yes, I Facebook. And that doesn't even account for email, two cellphones and a texting addiction. Oops, one more...I sit by the mailbox every day waiting for credit card offers...but thats a whole other thing.

When the pieces begin to be put together, you quickly uncover pitfalls with each. And you work through the problems to put in place the safest, most productive combination possible.

On my blog, I like to think I can say whatever I want. My domain, you know? Only, the wife is watching. Sometimes other family members do. What's more, it's out there to be found by search engines. And folks I work with? Human resources? Careful...

However, on my blog I have the ability to edit, or even remove a post that I should have been more considerate about...unlike Twitter. With Twitter, once it leaves your keyboard, it's out there. Gone, and permanent. Plus, you see all those followers that you are "best friends" with? What's to say one isn't your creative boss, watching from the darkness? Much as I think I know every sordid detail about every Twitter follower, I'm also pretty sure I'm an idiot.

And that brings us to the beloved Facebook. Spouses, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, bloggers...not to mention exes of every variety. Some of whom know about my blog, some who don't. Some who have wives or husbands who don't understand any of the social media thing, think it's stupid, and who are nervous about their newfound connections. And they should be, as divorce rates are climbing, especially among Facebookers et al, who use these vehicles as opportunities to see if "the one that got away" is at all...interested.

With Facebook, the biggest pitfall is the diversity of your friends. What is gonna crack up one is gonna insult another, and a new, even remotely attractive "friend" is potentially an invitation to the Spanish Inquisition hosted by your spouse.

For a blogger, Facebook provides an opportunity to develop more of a following of your work, and a very good one at that. Benefits can be great, mistakes can be costly. Wire in your blog using NetworkedBlogs, and every time you post, it runs on the wall for all to see. But write a controvercial piece and forget for just one second that your boss is a Facebook friend, and a wisp of smoke will be where your career once stood.

My advice is simple. Develop a list of questions to ask yourself before posting anything anywhere.

Blog - Who is this gonna hurt? Do I care?

Twitter - Will I hit enter on this Tweet and wish I hadn't? 5 minutes from now? 5 years from now?

Facebook - Is this status/wall post appropriate for Trixie, my wife, Mr. Lumberg, and Pastor Stephen?

Write 'em out. Sticky them on your monitor if you have to, or staple them to your forehead, as I have done. Take a minute, and think about it. Be as controvercial as you want to, but be ready. Mistakes are gonna leave a mark.

And that ex-boyfriend?

There was a reason why you dumped him before. Same guy.

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

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posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson