October 9th, 2009


And it'll go so well in that last blank space above my pocket

So, apparently I have qualified for another adult award with a square knot to wear on my uniform: the William D. Boyce New-Unit Organizer Award. It will be presented next spring at the Council Gala.

The requirements are to organize a new unit all on your own, without help from the Council. This is what I've just done in organizing Venturing Crew 119. Now, I've done this multiple times over the years and think it's the best way to do things. After all, all BSA units belong to their Charter Partners, so the best situation is where the Charter Partner (like a church) wants to have a Scouting ministry (or extend it), and therefore recruits their own leadership and puts it in place.

I'm floored. Is it really so rare as to deserve special recognition? Shouldn't it be the way we do business normally?

Now look constipated

One of the consequences of having a birthday is that I had to get my Driver's License renewed this week. Less of a pain than it used to be, I'll give 'em that. But then, there's the ordeal of the photograph.

I swear, the more I smile, the grumpier I look. Maybe it's my innate shyness, but I just never take a good photo if I'm trying to look happy. Only occasionally am I caught in a spontaneous moment where I look like I'm enjoying myself.

It has something to do with having buck teeth as a kid, I think. I learned to keep my lips closed at all times, which gave me a tight smile. Although the mustache probably doesn't help, overall. I decided to shave it off for my fortieth birthday (Where now are the snows of yesteryear?), but got dissuaded by my Scouts -- and my wife. I don't think anybody would know me any more if I shaved it off now. (Maybe I'll do that when I retire.)

But even without the 'stache, I think I'd have to practice phony smiles in front of a mirror for hours to look anything like what I wish I did in portraits.

You win some, you lose some

Tomorrow, Oct. 10, is the anniversary of Charles Martel's victory of the Islamic hordes in the Battle of Tours in 732. Next Wednesday, Oct. 14, is the anniversary of the defeat of Harald II and the English by the hands of the Norman banditti at the Battle of Hastings, 1066. I'm glad Charles won; I wish Harald had.

Both battles are among the most pivotal in world history, though I think Tours turned out to be more important than Hastings in the long run, at least for those of us who are glad of the achievements of the Church (and Western civilization) through the ages.