Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Porque Ando de Ônibus: Because I Ride the Bus, Part 3

Finally this morning, I had a chance to talk with the guy with the curly hair on the bus. He explained it was his brother who was involved with the international exchange students to support English as a Second Language. He surprised me in that he was not a former missionary who had served in Brazil, but he learned his Portuguese by living there when his dad was in the Foreign Service. They lived for for a time in Porto Alegre where I served my mission. I asked when, and it was the same period of time I was there! It sparked a memory that I had actually met his dad! There was an LDS guy in the American Consulate. I recalled sitting down in his office and talking about his work and family life living in a foreign country. The memory came to me rather vividly even as I recalled I had not recorded it in my missionary journal or letters.

My new friend explained that at that time he was in the eighth grade in an international school that was run by some US Citizen hiding out from the IRS. It wasn't a very good situation for education so his dad got himself transferred to Brasilia where they had much better international schools. My friend graduated from high school there.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Guess Who Came to Dinner?

We had a wonderful evening last night with the future in-laws of my son who is engaged to be married in May. He and his fiancé are a great match for each other. Her parents and brother and sister are great people too. We felt an instant connection with many shared life experiences--even knowing some of the same people as the mom grew up just a few blocks from our present home.

Cultural Mormonism can be interesting because there are so many things in common with people you may have never met before. And while a clear sub-culture of its own, it is not homogeneous. There are many varieties of belief and practice and life-style. And there are a lot of Mormon families I wouldn't feel the same level of comfort with my son marrying one of their daughters.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Passionately Moderate Marathon Weight Loss: Eating, Right?

In honor of running six miles yesterday (!!) up and back City Creek, finishing strong, and finding my mojo again, I celebrate with this. As sort of an appendix to my Marathon Story that starts here, I thought it might be of benefit to document the significant weight loss that resulted and how. So climb into the Way-Back Machine with me and set the dial to 2001: 

Checking myself out with the doctor, I got all the middle-aged male tests. Then the results came back. The cholesterol problem had been ignored for a few years, but the blood tests showed my cholesterol at 295 and my triglycerides at 400. That’s not good. Normal range for cholesterol is supposed to be under 200. Some people are down below 100. 200 to 240 is considered moderate risk. 240 plus is high risk. My scores were so high on the bad cholesterol that the lab wouldn't do the ratio calculation between bad and good cholesterol.

Friday, January 27, 2012

One Small Step for Newt: A Giant Leap for Mittkind

Congrats to Mitt Romney with a little assist from Wolf Blitzer last night for standing up to the school-yard bully. I didn't watch but picked up enough news reports and video clips to see that Mitt came well prepared for some good, and deserved, attack lines on the newt. It doesn't mean I will likely support Mitt as I still like the old Mitt who was Governor of Massachusetts and his dad even better, but I was glad to see him help the newt destroy himself.

The newt did himself no favors in letting his grandiosity get the better of him as he pandered to the Florida Space Ghost Coast about establishing a colony on the Moon and even getting it to statehood. (Hail, Hail, Newtonia!) I think that was actually the turning point for the newt's demise. But credit to Mitt for the well-rehearsed line in response to the newt's garbage about free-enterprise building the moon base. He said that if anyone had come to propose such a scheme to him, Mitt, the successful capitalist borrowing a line from the donald would say, "You're FIRED!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SOTU Live-blogging!

We're going to give this another try. The Republican Debates are getting so painful. I hope the President is in good form tonight. And for heaven's sake, I hope he doesn't try to redistribute the wealth!

What he does need to do is to call the bluffs and collect the political high ground. Promote a fair playing field and opportunity for all. Challenge the Congress to reform the tax code. He needs to explain that it's not about "spreading around the wealth" or any other catch phrases the newtists will pounce on  to accuse him of African Mau-Mau Alinskyism. I much prefer Romney, in his more civilized way, accusing the President of being "European." Although I'm not sure that French-speaking Romney means that as a compliment either.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Republican Debate in Tampa (LIVE BLOGGING sorta)

Back late from getting my boy and neighbor kid back from a band practice. I have it linked up live on the internet because my family would rather watch "Cake Boss" than Republicans yelling at each other.

I heard the newt explain that we should go to war against Iran because we didn't really want to go to war with Japan in 1941. I'm sorry, but this guy is the looniest historian ever.

Happy Bloggerversary!

One year of the blog! 27,300+ page views! And steady growth on an upward trajectory.

Many thanks again to any and all out there who read this. I'm having great fun. I've had hits from all over the world -- the farthest north from Lapland and the farthest south from Tasmania. Country rankings are first US (of course), then on down through the English speaking world, the UK, Canada, Australia, then Brazil (que bom!) and on down through dozens of countries to the bottom of my hits from the Republic of Moldava and St. Kitts & Nevis.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mitt: Please, Please, Be Your Real Self--More Like Your Dad!

I really wish Mitt Romney could be his true self and more like his dad, George Romney. It bothers me so much that he seems to want to be something he isn't. He is or at least was a perfectly good, moderate and sincere guy. His dad wasn't perfect. There was the famous "brainwashing" comment and the apparently genetic "woodenness," but George Romney was a heroic moderate/liberal in his own way, particularly on Civil Rights. He walked out of the '64 Republican convention over the Goldwater plank opposing the Civil Rights Act.

Even in Mitt's past church service, he was a good guy. He did pretty well under some challenging circumstances. [Full disclosure: I also served as a missionary in a foreign country and as a Mormon Bishop. I have not been Stake President--for which I and many are relieved.] The positive nature of his church service is even acknowledged by serious-minded non-Mormons as evidenced by a fair-minded report from NPR via, the Atlantic Blogger, Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

South Carolina Republican Debate (not-live)

The South is rising again, at least to stand and applaud the newt as he turns moral indignation on the MSM when John King asks him about his former wife appearing on ABC tonight. (The one he asked for an "open marriage" while he was attempting to destroy President Clinton for his infidelities--that's what she said).

So, I don't know what to say about this. Politics is an ugly business. But I think it's ugly principally because of people like Newt Gingrich.

Porque Ando de Ônibus: Or, Because I Ride the Bus, Part 2

Actually, this has nothing to do with part one except that I was complaining a little about riding the bus. This morning was one of those extraordinarily surreal experiences on the bus making it all worthwhile.

Bus riders, like most humans, are creatures of habit. We tend to sit in the same seat around familiar people, most of whom remain nameless because we never speak to each other. There's the sleeping guy in the back corner, "Curly" with the slicked-up hair, the guy from the high council who always smiles and waves at me because he knows me from somewhere, and the church office worker in the little German hat like the the one worn by the mean Nazi in Raiders of the lost Ark.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Because I Ride the Bus

Last night at the end of Hardball on MSNBC, Chris Matthews gave his little editorial indignation on Newt Gingrich's "dog-whistling" in South Carolina. the newt was referring to the President as the "food-stamp President." (I can get away with being critical of Gingrich now because he's going after Romney and everybody in Utah hates him--the newt that is, not Romney). Chris said that Gingrich should be ashamed of himself.

It does seem like it's a bit more than a dog whistle as everybody seems to hear it And a lot of people, particularly Republicans in South Carolina, tend to stand up and applaud (stomping feet and whistling themselves).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Abrahamic Darwinism

OK. The title is a little provocative and I don't really want to go too deep philosophically, religiously or biologically as all three areas are over my head, but I was thinking recently about an old friend, a wildlife biologist and good LDS guy, who told me some years back about a theory he had that the Abrahamic Covenant was the same thing as the biological law of natural selection--Darwinism. The idea is best reflected in the concept of the explosion of life to find its natural place in this world much like the "sands of the sea" or the "stars of the heavens" compared to the number of Abraham's promised descendants.

There is a book I read about the same time by a non-LDS but Christian author who hit on some of the same themes. It is not an overtly religious book. In fact, it's an amateur naturalist's wonderfully written description of a year on the slopes of Mt. Rainier. He was a veteran of the First World War who took his newlywed wife to spend an isolated winter as caretakers of the lodge at Paradise. (Yes, that's the real name). The book is by Floyd Schmoe, A Year in Paradise (The Mountaineers, Seattle 1959, 1979), and still in print!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Losing Our Heads over Taxes

Charles I, Oliver Cromwell the Lord Protector, and me--British Museum, August 2010
My dad took me to a great movie when I was a teen. I have a DVD copy of it now. It is 1970's Cromwell with a great cast led by Richard Harris long before he was the first Dumbledore (but more tragically, about the same time he recorded MacArthur Park, the mesmerizing, top-rated song on my iPod "bad songs" playlist. But I'm seriously digressing). It also has the incomparable Alec Guinness in his pre-Obi-Wan days as Charles I, the British Monarch who lost his head.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hands Across History

H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Presiding Bishop H. David Burton spoke at our Stake Conference today. He reviewed a little of last General Conference giving hints of stories or themes and allowing us to guess who the speaker was. I did pretty well from my practice with Ardis's Conference Wordles. I was only reverently whispering them out to my wife and boys but loud enough so the people in the row ahead of us would know that I remembered conference [My wife told me to edit that out]. (Oh, yeah, and I've been reading the Liahona conference edition em português on the bus.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marathon Part 10: We Did It

Yep. 26.2 miles.

ST. GEORGE 2002 

The speed picked up once we were past the chute but not by much. The crowd was shuffling, tripping and jostling along. There was no worry about a too-fast start. Openings appeared here and there and I moved towards them generally to the left going a little faster than the crowd but there were still a few people passing me by. There was some guy wearing a Petrobras bicycle-racing shirt but he would not engage as I voiced “Petrobras” behind him in a proper Brazilian accent. At the first mile it looked like about a ten minute pace.

I started hitting my stride after mile 2 and then ran off the rode quickly for my first and last bathroom break by a convenient tree. There were a lot pulling off here and there including some women with bare buns showing with their giggling evidencing some remnant of shame. Mile 3 was the first station for aid with water in Burger King cups and Gatorade appropriately in Gatorade cups. I planned on water for at least the first part of the race at my Cousin’s suggestion not to dribble sticky stuff all over too early. More practice drinking on the run might be good. It was fun to try to toss the cup in the garbage boxes and I had no compunction if it landed on the asphalt with the others by the hundreds.

My Son, the Dragonslayer

In honor of my youngest child's fifteenth birthday, I present perhaps the oddest thing I have ever written, but also the most muse-inspired. All I will say for explanation is that he was born at serious risk to his mother and self. One day, near the end of this crisis, I sat down at my in-laws and began to write the following that just flowed out of me. It is all absolutely truth-grounded (whatever that means). I will provide some photos that might help explain even if in some contrast


At the thirteenth hour of the thirteenth day of the thirteenth month he was born in the Castle of St. Vincent under the shadow of the Mountains of the Sacred Blood. He was cut from the womb of his Mother to save the Mother’s life. 

The beautiful Enchantress Ligiv had known the Dragon was seeking the Mother and child. The spells she cast prophesied of the miraculous birth. Long had she tended the Mother, a sacred vessel of the Hero to be born. The Father had known too. It was given him by the Spirit to know that the son would come and the Dragon would seek him. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Marathon Part 9: Final Prep

Now we're finally heading into the 2002 St. George Marathon. For the beginning of this series, click here.


Time is reckoned differently for me now. There is before the Marathon and after the Marathon. The weekend was full of “times” yet such a blur: two eleven-hour car rides; hours of excited anticipation in a night of two hours of sleep; just over a four-hour Marathon; a half-hour turn on the Jacuzzi dial; two two-hour sessions of conference. But I didn’t puke, I didn’t need oxygen, didn’t hit a wall and thankfully didn’t injure anything but my pride. In casting away vanity, I delved a deeper well of satisfaction and confidence that will change me forever. I ran a Marathon. Athens still lives.

The training went well. My program was simple yet effective. Every month I added two miles to my Saturday long runs. So it was 14 in May, 16 in June, and so on. My longest run was about 21 miles, which I did twice, once on the C&O towpath up the Potomac from Washington, D.C. out to Maryland and beyond the Beltway and back in the cool summer rain. The other was a 21-mile run in town where I changed plans mid-route to run all the way from freeway to freeway, I-40 to I-25 along Tramway, down from the Mountain and back, then down to I-40 and back home where my wife drove me to pick up the other car at the Tramway stop sign. August was the month for these and two other early Saturday runs of 20 miles each.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Marathon Part 8: With Malice Toward None

This is part of a series on my first Marathon. It starts here. The previous installment (intended as Part 7 but previously published out of context) is here.


Tramway Boulevard belongs to me. I own it. It’s mine. 

A place can never truly belong to anyone and no one can be attached to a place fully until they have covered it with their own feet. This occurred to me in Santana do Livramento, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil when I was driven around town in the mission assistants’ little red Volkswagen. As we puttered up the street, while not at racetrack speeds, it was still so much faster and we covered so much more ground than my missionary companions and I were used to walking. It was way too easy. We zipped past a blur of colonial baroque house fronts, each one worthy of its own lingering look with its individual pastel hue and unique metalwork around its tall windows. No such luck in the Volkswagen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Tribute to My Nephew, Tyler Collins

There are some things in life you will never regret. In 2002 when our older Scouts were preparing to go on a 12-day Trek at Philmont Scout Ranch, one of our Scouts dropped out just a few days before. We had the slots reserved and paid for. Checking with the other leaders and the Bishopric and assuring there were no other candidates in our Troop, I called my sister to ask if her boy would want to go and if she could get him from Idaho to Albuquerque to go with us.

A Philmont Trek veteran herself, she was very excited. She checked a few details and called me back to give me info on his plane flight.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Marathon Part 6: Grandma

This is part of a series that begins here.


Exactly six months before the Marathon, I thought I would practice on the Veyo Hill. Actually, it wasn't that well planned but that’s how it happened and I learned an unexpected lesson in endurance. 

The Department of the Interior Solicitor’s Conference was scheduled for Las Vegas, Nevada that year. Now that I was a supervisory attorney and even Acting Regional Solicitor for the past year and one half, I had to go. It may have been my idea or AA's, but we easily agreed that I would drive to Vegas with my old friend and former boss from Santa Fe. Even though I was now his boss at least in my acting capacity we have remained good friends. The plan was to drop AA off in Zion National Park the Friday before the conference so he could hike for the weekend while I stayed in St. George, Utah with my grandmother. Then I would meet AA at a designated spot and drive the two hours on to Vegas arriving Monday afternoon as scheduled. 

No Surprise New Hampshire

Basingstoke is in old Hampshire. It's kind of a famous boring place as a running gag from Shakespeare through Gilbert & Sullivan to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Monty Python. I've actually been to Basingstoke in Hampshire (not the one in Westphalia) and driven through a couple of roundabouts. It wasn't that exciting. I've never been to our own New Hampshire. But I've seen it on TV.

Tonight, the New Hampshire Primary came out kind of boring. Romney has a solid win with a third two fifths of the voters furthering his inevitability. Paul had a solid second place furthering his irrelevancy. Huntsman had a disappointing third furthering his demise, at least until 2016. Huntsman is trying to put a good face on it. He did get a very mild spurt, but Cajun James Carville had the best line that 20 points behind Romney is as bad as LSU's loss to Alabama last night. Huntsman was hoping to do much better. But he's not giving up yet! Maybe he thinks his spurt has not yet peaked. But I can't imagine it going well for him in South Carolina.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Marathon Part 5: Serious Running

Another in a series. Start here for Part 1.


One of the secrets of life is that once you run three miles you can run forever. When I had run regularly before in college, I only went a mile and a half to two miles at a time. That was good basic exercise, but I never understood that you have to run beyond two to three miles before the endorphins kick in.   Everybody hears about the endorphins and Dr. Caesar referred to them as a natural substitute for medication. My earlier running never gave them to me because I didn’t push myself far enough, but I knew the endorphins from my hiking.

Todd Palin Is a Newtist

Yes. As if the newt wasn't entertaining enough as he beaks Reagan's Eleventh Commandment by self-destructing all over the inevitable Republican nominee, he announced today that he has the endorsement of none other than the former First Dude of Alaska, Mr. Sarah Palin. No word yet on who Mama Grizzly may be supporting. While tempted by the newt's credit line at Tiffany's, I think she's holding out for the candidate with the PAC best connected to Nordstrom's.

Marathon Part 4: The First Race

For the first in this series, click here.


The first race happened almost by accident.  I have a good friend in my wife’s sister's husband who very occasionally posts here as AnonymousD. They went down to Albuquerque for Thanksgiving in 2001 and Doug is a runner. He had recently gotten back into it and I recalled that the year before his wife, Doug and my father-in-law went down to a run on Thanksgiving morning. I thought that I might join them this time.  They got such nifty tee shirts. My plan was to join the walk that my sister-in-law went on because I was down on running with my knee problem. However, when they told me the walk was only two miles, I thought that was not much of a challenge as my walks were generally 3 to four miles. The other options were the five and ten kilometer races. Doug was going to compete in the 5-K and then run the 10-K just for the fun of it. I decided to take the challenge of the 5-K - just 3.1 miles.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Right To Privacy & States Rights' Hypocritical Hypotheticals

The last two Republican debates were just too much for me to try and live-blog. Saturday evening was better spent on some family activities. And this morning, Sunday, I just couldn't spoil the quiet Sabbath with more ugliness. I was working on some family history issues instead.

Speaking of family, I did catch a brief exchange in last night's debate. George Stephanopolous was questioning Romney on a hypothetical on states rights theories as to whether states could prohibit birth control. Romney appeared a little befuddled and parried as best he could deflecting the question somewhat indignantly because he said no state would ever do such.

Marathon Part 3: The Beginning

Third in a series. Part One is here and Part Two is here.


The exercise program began the next Monday. My office was located right across Louisiana Boulevard from the Coronado Mall. Sears is the best place for general merchandise so they had the bathroom scale I needed to track any weight loss. Mervyn's had some Nikes on sale that I thought would serve for running shoes and some cheap navy blue cotton shorts, size large. For years I had not owned any exercise clothes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Health Care Reform Is Up to the Supremes

Sitting here in the bowels of Libby Gardner Hall at the University of Utah waiting for my son at Utah Youth Symphony practice, I had a chance for this posting on Health Care Reform before the Supreme Court. (I may be sitting on the very couch in the student lounge that was honorarily named for another son after he spent much of his freshman year here!)

On behalf of all the people of the United States, the Department of Justice filed its brief yesterday in the Supreme Court on the ACA. (Health Care Reform or "Obamacare" as some of you call it, eventually to be a compliment rather than the derogatory term you may be intending). Here is a good article from Andrew Cohen of the Atlantic on it with a link to the brief itself which looks really, really, good. For a summary of the opposition briefs that are piling on, you can check it out here or here.

Marathon Part 2: Motivators

This is the second part of an ongoing series I wrote ten years back about my first (of four) Marathons. Some of this was already published in my comments on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11. My life change was in part motivated by that tragedy. And you can click right here for the first installment of my running history. I will keep this going until you see me finish St. George 2002!


The horror of September 11, 2001 came over me slowly. The first reports were from the rock station playing on the car radio. Thinking it was somebody’s bad joke I switched to an all-news AM station where the disaster was confirmed. The fragmented news reported a car bomb at the State Department and smoke behind the White House. The Interior Department sits between the two. I became very concerned about my co-workers and friends at Main Interior.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Newt Is No Salamander

My son the statistician queried me on the Republican primaries as to which were winner-take-all and which were proportional. It is a very important aspect in counting up delegates as the Hillary advisers blew in 2008 (and they got skunked good by Obama). I looked for an all-encompassing website and haven't been fully successful yet, but Wikipedia, to the extent you trust it, may come closest.

Iowa was proportional so Romney gets one more delegate than Santorum, even if he topped him out (maybe) by his whopping eight votes. [Each state party has its own rules that get very complex. I prefer to comment on vague generalities as the rest of the media certainly does. But I'll try to check these out as it becomes necessary.]

Marathon Part 1: My Non-Athletic Life

As I am working on my resolution to prepare for Ragnar, I thought I might publish my Marathon story I wrote some years back. This may serve as motivation for some or at least for me as it guilts me into continuing. (Four miles yesterday on City Creek!) Names have been changed for various reasons.


James was right. Even though Brazil is still better than Korea he was right about the 50-year-old thing.  And I proved it at only 45.

He had it all figured out at 18. As college freshmen while living in the “jock” dorm we were about as far away as you could get from the athletic-type. James always resented the good-looking sports guys in high school with their cheerleader girl friends. He was smart enough to figure that by the time we were fifty, the jocks would have potbellies. His long range plan was to keep up basic physical exercise and then increase attention to a fitness program in middle age so he could be a good looking fifty-year-old and show himself off at high school reunions.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Iowa Scorecard

Well, Romney was only eight votes from getting Rick-rolled. (Sorry. Couldn't resist. Don't say I didn't warn you!). And I heard some punditry that Romney actually lost against his 2008 Iowa vote total by an even less whopping six votes! That does not bode well for the Republican Party to take back the White House.

The best part about being an unpaid pundit is that I can't get fired. Actually, I didn't do that badly with my predictions. I aced Bachmann quitting. And Perry is next, he just hasn't figured it out yet. And I said the winner would win it by a squeaker, I just had the top three all jumbled.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Santorum, Romney & Paul Win Iowa for Obama

This vote count is going slowly tonight because the top three guys are so close. I won't be able to check my predictions of last week for a while, but I'll be pretty close. I even fell asleep for a minute, and my son changed the channel to the Michigan--Virginia Tech game, which was pretty exciting when I woke up at the end of the second quarter.

Earlier, I had this exchange with my fourteen-year-old trying to convince him to watch CNN with me (and before I dozed off for him to switch the channel). We were watching the projections based on those entering the caucuses:

Son: "So, who do you want to win?"

Me: "Huntsman."

Son (thoughtfully watching the screen): "Dad, he's not going to win."

The Coming Amphibious (Amphibian) Assault on Romney

Whoever wins in Iowa tonight, it won't be Gingrich. And he's hopping mad. The negative adds by pro-Romney PACs have had their effect--not that they shouldn't have as Gingrich is a very bad dude and if the only two politicians left in the world were Romney and Gingrich, I would certainly have to go with Romney.

Watching Chris Matthews on MSNBC Hardball last night, the contrast between the good-looking, family-man Romney and the ugly attacks on Gingrich by Romney surrogates led even Chris to feel a little sorry for Gingrich. Gingrich is certainly feeling sorry for himself comparing himself to John Kerry, of all people, being "swift-boated" ["Romney-boated."]

Monday, January 2, 2012

"Tired Boys Is Good Boys"

Three of my boys repairing wind damage on the shed behind our house. (Note the yew shrubbery)
That was a favorite phrase of my maternal Grandpa who worked his boys hard, and occasionally his grandsons. He taught me how to set irrigation pipe. He enjoyed that too, because as a city boy, I had to learn the tricky part of the flipping my thumb in one end of the pipe to create suction while pumping the other end in the ditch before dropping it into the irrigation row. When that goes wrong, you get squirted with dirty irrigation water. Grandpa would laugh and I enjoyed it too. I did learn to do it smoothly without the squirting.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Federal Government Attacks Religion

Actually, not.

In Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class today, some rather typical comments surfaced about how the government tries to destroy religion. I was just about to say something, but then the topic changed and the teacher asked me to read a scripture on pride and riches. Fine by me.

But my response would have been some sense of befuddlement. I have been a federal employee for 28 years now and I can't think of a time when the government has in anyway prohibited my belief or practice of my religion in the workplace. I have prayed at work--a lot--if only silently (that whole praying in the closet thing). There have been times, too many to count, where I actually closed my office door and knelt in prayer like Washington maybe didn't even do at Valley Forge. (While a praying man, many historians maintain he wasn't a public kneeler).

Resolutions & Goals (Groan . . .)

It's New Years Day and my church meetings don't start until 1:00 p.m. So, I suppose I should take the time to set some resolutions and goals for this new year. The only problem is that I hate setting goals and always have.

Of course I have through the years because I know it's good for me, and I have my share of guilt and responsibility, etc. It comes down to one of those personality things. Not to make excuses based on psychological profiling, but it does fit the pattern of the idealistic INFP. I want things to be genuine without the artifice of organization. If I am to accomplish good, it should be because it comes out of me naturally, not imposed by a list. And, I understand fallen man well enough (at least this one) to know that anything good that comes out of me is not much of my doing anyway. It is the action of Holy Grace by the workings of the Lord in my life, and often through His use of others around me as intermediaries for my own good.