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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Hearing the people – passively April 30, 2007 8:40 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Uncategorized
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Multimedia message

Mullins keeps falling asleep. more pictures

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Heroes Txt Msg April 30, 2007 7:49 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Heroes, Of Interest, TV / Movies
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Petrelli4Congress: Keep up with Nathan Petrelli’s campaign 4 Congress from your mobile device. Visit our WAP site @ mobi.votepetr

This mobile text message is brought to you by Cingular, now the new AT&T

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Rezoing Roundup Updated April 30, 2007 11:15 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Education, Health, Of Interest
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I have updated the Rezoning Roundup with relevant links. Who else has blog posts, news articles, or opinion pieces regarding the Knox County School rezoning debacle?

Please plan to at tonight’s School Board Meeting at 5pm with a sign that says, "Vote NO!"

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Yes and… April 30, 2007 8:32 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Health, Humor, Love, Mental, Of Being Dad, Philosophy
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Earlier I wrote about speaking positively to your child. The next step comes from some comedic training I had under David Brian Alley who trained in Second City with the i.O. under Del Close and Charna Halpern (the teachers of most of the Saturday Night Live greats!).

Using these lessons, I became a founding member of a Knoxvillian comedy troupe called Einstein Simplified and performed regularly at Manhattan’s for two years. We forewent the Harold, Truth in Comedy’s performance piece, and focused on performing the exercises. The end result was a format exactly like Whose Line Is It Anyway? before it became vogue. (Our inspiration was the British version) The performances were thrilling!

Truth in Comedy: The Manual of Improvisation written by Charna Halpern, Del Close, and Kim Johnson should be considered a guide to positive living. Its lessons can be applied to the stage, business negotiations, better familial relations, politics, parenting and most social interactions. The basic lesson is "Yes and…"

For instance, on the stage, one performer might say, "the sky is green." The other performers must now roll with this statement. To negate it is argumentative and not comedic. The next performer might add, "Yes and gravity has quit working!" If another performer said something like, "No that’s crazy" comedic opportunity ends because again the performers are arguing or contradicting. So instead, the next performer agrees and adds, "Look, the ground is blue. Pull your ripcords!" By agreeing and adding information, the comedians create a story. Is it funny? That depends on the connections it makes with the live audience and physical choices the actors make. As long as the actors did not argue or contradict, they are at least entertaining in the fact that they could piece together such a story on the fly. Connections with the audience can be guaranteed by starting the story with suggestions taken from the audience. "Give us a location. And a color."

Applying this lesson to positive parenting is as simple as avoiding "no" in conversation. When your teenager asks, "can I go to the mall?" instead of abruptly declaring, "no I don’t have time because I am cleaning" agree and add, "yes, as soon as your room is clean." Do not set your child up for failure. "Yes, as soon as you have painted and re-roofed the house" is not agreeing and adding with respect to positive parenting. When your teen asks to go on a date, agree and add, "yes, as long as it is a group date with a chaperon."

Another example might be when a younger child asks for a sleep over. Delayed gratification and planning are difficult concepts in your single digits so their "yes and…"s should be more immediate; however, sleepovers give a great opportunity to teach scheduling. "Can I sleep over at Wyatt’s?" The child is obviously implying tonight. Rather than saying, "no, you didn’t plan ahead" try "yes, and let’s find a good night in our calendar." Your agreeing and adding to the conversation has created a win-win situation whereby the child’s disappointment can turn into anticipation, you bond with the child and teach cooperation as you look together at the family calendar, and planning/scheduling skills are taught. Simply saying, "no" in exasperation would have created an unhappy child who would eventually learn, "there’s no point in asking my parents."

"Yes and…" works in business too. Imagine having a sales meeting without once uttering the words "no," "but," or "not." How energized and excited the prospective client will be from such a positive experience!

Negativity seeps into our lives. The news thrives on shock, gore, and evil. Adversity, bill collectors, road ragers, corporate back stabbers, con artists, and just plain mean people abound in our lives. It is no wonder so many people need antidepressants. We should avoid adding to the bad karma! We have all heard that it is easier to smile than frown and yet we furrow our brows constantly. Breaking our negative habit takes hard work. Practice agreeing and adding! You will become a more positive, happier person with greater success in your endeavors.

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Welcome New Readers! April 29, 2007 11:59 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Blog, Daily Life, Of Interest, Publishing
, 5comments

Due to some recent developments, like being politically active in regard to the Knox County school rezoning and our daughter showing our online publishings to a variety of people who otherwise probably would have never seen these writings, our visibility is up a bit.

Sarah doesn’t like her parents reading her blog so she snipes to her mother, "How’s it feel to have people reading what you write?" If the work was not meant to be read, it would not be publically published…As a friend of ours said, "You put it out there!"

If Instapundit and BusyMom are A-list bloggers, we are probably still somewhere down in the Ts. Some of our friends and family might ask, "Why do they do this?" My answer is published here. The long and short of it is that blogging is fun! It is also a playground for experimenting with thoughts and actions you may not explore in the real world much like an actor might explore a character on the stage. Online is an arena that may allow for exaggeration or outright fiction although Cathy and I tend to call it like we see it. That separation between real world and online world is important. When people from the online world meet for the first time, the experience is unnerving, fascinating, and enlightening for these online people have shared stories and know of each other intimately but are always surprised to find that often the person they "know" online is not the same as the person in real life. Online publishing shows but a glimpse of the person’s real life (unless you are Justin then you get it all) and in real life the person may have much more depth, be less revealing, and more politically correct.

Welcome! Read. Enjoy. Judge or not. Comment and participate or lurk in the shadows. And next we meet, smile and laugh with me!


The Half Full or Half Empty Child April 29, 2007 10:18 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Health, Mental, Of Being Dad
, 1 comment so far

Are you raising a positive child or a negative child? As their parent, you will help determine their outlook on life and, in part, it is as simple as your word choices. "No" falls so easily from our lips. As a parent, we have to deny our children often but do we have to say no? Instead we could give them alternatives, or we could redirect in a positive way but right now I want to focus purely on word choice. Consider this sentence:

Don’t touch that!

How many times a day? We say "don’t touch that" for safety, control, and sanity. "Don’t," contraction for "do not," is negative purely because not is a negator. Consider this sentence:

Leave that alone!

Same connotation but "leave that alone" is a positive statement. It is a doing statement. By using a sentence without the word "not" you have given your child a positive statement. By using an action word, you are teaching your child to be proactive. "Leave" gives the child an action where as a sentence with "not" generally gives the child an action to avoid.

Using positive words instead of negative words can help your child be happier, confident, self-sufficient, and will create the foundation for their future interpretation of life events. As adults, think about how dejected and beat down we feel from constant rejection and negativity. Our children need to hear positive words!

That last sentence could have been phrased, "Our children should not hear negative words." I challenge you to watch for opportunities to turn your speech positive. An easy way to begin is to drop the word "not" from your vocabulary.

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Why attack your allies? April 28, 2007 10:23 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Conspiracy, Publishing, Touchy Subjects, Video
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The BBC explains black flag (aka false flag) operations.

Other False Flag ops: The Gulf of Tonkin, Reichstag Fire, Operation Northwoods, 9-11, and to some degree the Lusitania, Gulf I, and Pearl Harbor. We baited the enemy in the latter 3 cases.

Do I believe all of these? Not sure. But the video certainly makes you think about the lies the government makes to justify world policy.
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And the bribes roll out April 28, 2007 9:34 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Education, Health, Local Politics, Politics, Touchy Subjects
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With the vote on the Knox County School Rezoning quickly approaching, and with the board on the fence between a yes and a no vote, the acting superintendent has begun trying to sway public opinion.

Mullins says he’s recommending that some siblings of high school students who would be grandfathered in at their current school … Students in the Crestwood Hills Subdivision could choose to attend either Hardin Valley or Bearden. The Holston Hills subdivision will remain zoned to Carter…[Source]

We have to remember that this rezoning plan is flawed on a whole. If suddenly, your neighborhood is not impacted, the plan is still flawed and the board needs to hear concern from your non-impacted neighborhood that your concern extends to the entire county and the board should vote no to this plan! Grandfathering siblings is purely a bribe. As time passes, and the younger children’s friends go off to a different high school, and the parents realize transporting their child to school everyday is unfavorable, they will concede to the rezoning in apathy forgetting the issues of safety and illogic which occurred with a yes vote.

The plan in its current form must be rejected! A new plan developed committee must be formed. Vote NO!

Update: See comments here.

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And afterwards I’ll sign autographs at Market Square April 27, 2007 6:31 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Announcements, Daily Life, Education, Health, Local Politics, Of Interest, Politics, Touchy Subjects, TV / Movies
, 8comments

Tonight I’ll be on Knox Politics (Comcast channel 12 – Community TV) from 8:30-9pm. This is a live broadcast and accepts calls at 865-215-2288. The topic will be Knox County School rezoning, of course. The bloopers DVD will be on special for $9.99.


The County Wide Forum Powerpoint April 27, 2007 9:44 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Education, Health, Local Politics, Of Interest, Politics, Touchy Subjects
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I had a request last night to provide the Powerpoint presentation online. It will officially reside at Knoxschools.info but until then you can download it here: community forum powerpoint. Thanks to everyone that showed up last night! Please keep the momentum going. We need volumes of people at both public meetings and once the school board votes NO to this rezoning plan, we must act as a community to help build the YES plan! Last night’s agenda is below:


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Of Grasshoppers April 27, 2007 7:49 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Grasshoppers, Philosophy
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Student: My plate runneth over.
Master: Perhaps you should share your meal or eat faster.

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I’m a Pamphleteer! April 27, 2007 6:04 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Blog, Daily Life, Local Politics, Politics, Publishing, Touchy Subjects
, 4comments

I could swear I have seen newscoma write multiple times about Bloggers being the modern day pamphleteer. Last night certainly showed that to be true. The Knox County School rezoning has caused quite a stir and last night roughly 130 people came together in a meeting that was planned only 4 days ago. Of the 7 organizers of the meeting, 4 are bloggers and others are readers of blogs. Even in the crowd there were mutters of blogging. "Thank you for your website" "I read your post" and so forth. Blogging can make a difference! Granted, these are words; action takes heroic effort and fortunately at least one of the organizers took that effort to arrange a meeting place, pull together a fact based Powerpoint presentation, alert the media (and we had media!) and get the right people together. Action also takes concerned citizens and the citizenry stepped up!.

Cathy appeared on WATE twice, WBIR was there, and at least 2 or 3 newspaper reporters. There may have been others. Tonight I will appear on a 30 minute political program from 8:30-9pm (details as I get them). Through blogging, have we joined the ranks of Thomas Paine and Jonathan Swift?

A big thank you to everyone that showed up last night! Brian Hornback has a recap of last night.


Taking any punches today? April 26, 2007 11:31 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
, 3comments

Sure. The Panasonic microwave we rely on so heavily runs for 3 seconds then turns off. That’s new!


Show more skin! April 26, 2007 7:00 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest
, 3comments


So, how do we make the pants lower? Recently we tried to buy my 13 year old daughter some new pants and, much to her elation, we have to concede to fashion trends and buy something much lower cut, albeit acceptable, than we desired. Apparently, girls pants come in 3 sizes:

  1. cut really low
  2. better shave those pubes
  3. why are you even wearing pants

Buy your bikini cut jeans here.


Turn Off Your TV Week April 25, 2007 11:25 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Announcements, Health, Mental, Of Interest, TV / Movies
, 4comments

April 23-29 is TV-Turnoff Week.

TV-Turnoff Network, formerly TV-Free America, is a nonprofit organization that encourages children and adults to watch much less television in order to promote healthier lives and communities. … TV-Turnoff Week is a grassroots project that works. More than 65 national organizations, including the American Medical Association, the National Education Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, support or endorse TV-Turnoff Week.[Source]

Uh. These people do know Lost is on tonight don’t they?!