Children’s responses to What Does Love Mean?

"Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way."
Charlie, age 5

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love."
Rebecca, age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy, age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl, age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy, age 6

"Love is when someone hurts you. And you get so mad but you don’t yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings."
Samantha, age 7

"Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired."
Terri, age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.
"Danny, age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss. "
Emily, age 8

"Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby, age 5

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate."
Nikka, age 6

"Love is hugging. Love is kissing. Love is saying no"
Patty, age 8

When you tell someone something bad about yourself and you’re scared they won’t love you anymore. But then you get surprised because not only do they still love you, they love you even more."
Matthew, age 7

"There are two kinds of love. Our love. God’s love. But God makes both kinds of them."
Jenny, age 8

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle, age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
Tommy, age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore."
Cindy, age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare, age 5

"Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine, age 5

"Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris, age 8

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
Mary Ann, age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren, age 5

I let my big sister pick on me because my Mom says she only picks on me because she loves me. So I pick on my baby sister because I love her."
Bethany, age 4

"Love cards like Valentine’s cards say stuff on them that we’d like to say ourselves, but we wouldn’t be caught dead saying."
Mike, age 8

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."
Karen, age 7

"You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica, age 8

Source unknown, via Joanne Starodub

Tiger Woods and Jimi Hendrix: Artists

I agree with Bomani Jones at ESPN (excerpts below): Tiger Woods is an artist using golf clubs, like Jimi Hendrix used his guitar to make music. Sadly, Jimi didn’t achieve success until he was 23 and he died at age 27, so we only have four years of his work to enjoy.

Link: Page 2 : Tiger couldn’t quite deliver this time

…I don’t watch golf for sport. I watch golf for Tiger; he transcended sport a long time ago. He’s still not the Gandhi-like figure his dad, Earl Woods, thought he would become. Yet it doesn’t even feel right to compare him to towering athletic greats like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky. Instead, he’s an artist nonpareil.

The most comparable figure to Woods is Jimi Hendrix. Like Jimi on the guitar, Tiger has an instinctive feel for the game that makes him a virtuoso, one who makes everything look easy. Add to that the power and intensity that gives his game its unmistakable soul and personality, and it’s easy to see he’s the Jimi of the 21st century — he’s better at what he does than anyone else on Earth.

(If you don’t know Jimi’s music, check out this link: Jimi at Woodstock).

Looking at Tiger as an artist makes it OK for me to watch golf only if Tiger is playing. Rooting for him isn’t like rooting for the house in blackjack. It’s rooting for Hendrix or The Beatles in ’68, Stevie Wonder in ’78, Prince in ’85 or OutKast today.

It’s not cheering for "the genius." It’s cheering for "genius." It’s hoping for continued greatness — wanting to be treated to another classic, to be blown away by his ability to meet expectations that would seem unrealistic if they had not been met so many times before, and to see it done in a new way.

Tiger had that chance on Sunday. He had never come from behind on Sunday at Augusta. His final rounds at the Masters have been more about coronation than competition. But this one could have been different. And when he led after two holes, it seemed like another classic was on its way.

But it wasn’t.

His first 12 holes were uneventful, if not boring. Breaking his 4-iron on the 10th made for an interesting replay, but that was about it. Tiger didn’t play badly. He didn’t play well. He just played.

It wasn’t until the 13th that things got good. Woods trailed Johnson by three strokes, and he needed an eagle on 13 to have a realistic chance to win. His approach shot had to get near the cup, or Tiger’s tournament essentially would have been over. So what did he do? He hit a shot that looked like something from the golf equivalent of H-O-R-S-E — over the creek, past the hole, roll back real slow, three feet from the cup.

Ever bought a CD from your favorite artist, listened to half of it without hearing a single track worth repeating, and then been blown away out of nowhere by one stunning verse or solo? That shot on 13 was that solo, that brilliant moment which gave hope that expectations would be met — that something memorable would happen, that Tiger would blow us away again. That he wouldn’t disappoint.

But disappoint is exactly what he did.

Is that unfair? Of course. Sheesh, Tiger finished second in a major. That’s pretty darn good. But from guys like Tiger, pretty good just doesn’t feel right.

No hassle solar energy for your home?

It seems too good to be true, so I’m going to investigate further. But if it works the way it says, it is a no-brainer. Read the features and benefits statement below.

Update: In researching this issue, I have found a number of naysayers. Here’s a link to an example, from a competitor.

From my research, I have concluded that this is a business model that will succeed if the executive team can overcome a number of conventional obstacles. I HOPE they can succeed because we are currently funding hostile countries and polluting our air and water by using fossil fuels.

Link: Citizen REnU Service Overview

Citizen REnU program packages solar power for you in a simple and smart way. Plainly put, the Citizen Corporation pays for, installs, owns and operates the solar installation. You don’t have to worry about maintaining the equipment or any of the other concerns that come with making an investment into solar power. All you are required to do is pay for the electricity generated from these panels, at a fixed rate that is at or below your current electricity price, for up to twenty-five years. Just take a look at some of the benefits that our customers will receive:

No upfront investment, no need to become a financial expert to justify your investment.
No waiting for rebates.
No headaches with the city and the utility; let us handle the engineering, procurement, and construction.
Performance-based contract means you only pay for what is delivered. And since the solar power you generate will reduce the need for electricity from your power company, your net payment should always be equal to, or less than, what you’re paying now.
Hassle-free operating and maintenance; it’s handled by the experts.
Actual hedge against future utility price increases: you can “lock in” your rates for the electricity generated from the solar system at your home for a period of up to twenty-five years, far longer than the guaranteed rates offered by other electricity providers.

Solar Savings Calculator

Service Territory and Rates

How Solar Energy Works

Frequently Asked Questions

The Citizen Corporation is presently limited in the areas that it can offer the REnU program. Our service territory is defined by the regions that have enacted net-metering legislation. That is because we want to make sure that our customers receive the full benefits of solar power without being penalized by their local utility.

As you can see below, even with the limitations, we have a sizeable service territory. It is likely that you are even within our territory and are eligible for the REnU program. However, in the event that you fall just outside of our territory at this time – because it is growing year after year, you can still participate in making clean energy a priority.

If you do not find yourself in our service territory, please take a look at our green energy program below. There you will find out how you can help make solar power a significant player in our energy mix.

Click on the map for a list of provider for each state (pop-up window)

Click on the map to see details
State-wide net metering for all utility types
State-wide net metering for certain utility types
No metering currently available

My Little Chickadee and Sweetie

I was absorbed in my software development work on Tuesday when Sweetie Wildcat came by. She stops by my office dozens of times a day. She will stand on her hind legs and tap me with a front paw to get a scratch. If she doesn’t have any business somewhere else, she will jump in my lap for a nap or to rub against my chin. If she has obligations (like eating or chasing and being chased by Blue and Missy), she will move on.

On Tuesday, she quickly circled and left. It took a moment for me to recognize that this was atypical. I glanced down at the floor and saw something unusual. On closer inspection, I found small feathers. This is very unusual because our cats are not allowed outside. I hurried downstairs to investigate.

I caught up with Sweetie in the basement. She had something in her mouth. I yelled at her to stop and she ran into the back bedroom. She went under the bed when I tried to grab her. I got down on my knees and confirmed that she had a small bird in her mouth. I changed my tactics from trying to grab her to politely asking her to drop the bird. After a few seconds she decided to drop her prize for me and I reached carefully under the bed and enveloped the little bird with my hand.

When I stood up, I saw that she had caught a chickadee. Apparently It had managed to get through the eves of our porch and Sweetie had snagged it. (It must have been quite a chase because chickadees are quick — but so is Sweetie.) The chickadee still had some fight left; it immediately bit one of my fingers with its small beak. It was a bit wet from cat slobber and bleeding slightly from some scratches, but it still had some spunk left. That it was even alive is amazing given that it had been caught by a cat with very sharp claws and teeth, and who knows how long Sweetie had paraded around the house with her prize.

Ann was meeting with a furniture rep in our dining room. I stopped by to show them why I had run down the stairs after Sweetie a few moments earlier. Then I took the little chickadee outside and carefully put it on a branch in our holly bushes. It was unsteady for about 30 seconds and then it flew away.

I hope the chickadee recovered from its big adventure and lives to tell the story of escaping from the orange monster many times.

Sweetie was feral kitten when we got her (you can read her story at this link: Fast Food Kitten — Sweetie Wildcat Arrives). She is an amazing hunter, as the lizards that venture into our greenhouse have discovered. She would be a terrific barn cat.

April 3, 2007