My Prayer of Carpe Diem

I’ve always struggled with exactly what truly, intentional presence in the moment looks like. Sure, professor Keating can shout “Carpe Diem” from the desktop in Dead Poet’s Society, and since then thousands of pop philosophy sound bytes can tell us to “seize the day.” In fact, a cereal company even applied to trademark the term, but that’s a different matter altogether. This week I was meditating on quite the opposite: my utter absence in moments divided by Facebook, Email and work deadlines, and in that moment I relived one of the richest memories that I shared with my dad on his final day. This post may sound grim, but I promise you some glimmer of gold for your patience in reading it. Through nearly a year and a half of his sickness, my father insisted upon an active life. He was, after all, the guy that proclaimed, “ain’t no fat…

Obituary for my Father, J. Lewis Floyd

J. Lewis Floyd, born June 4, 1934 in Harriman, TN, bravely and boldly bounded from the loving arms of his earthly family into welcoming arms of his heavenly family on November 29, 2010. Lew was a graduate of East High School in 1953 and Carson Newman College in 1958 where he was co-captain of the football team.  He married the love of his life Mary Frances (“Fran”) Gardner in 1958, and they began their international romance by serving the U.S. Army in Germany. In 1961, Lew joined the F.B.I., where he loyally served in Springfield, Illinois; Buffalo, New York; and New York City before finally returning to the Knoxville office in 1974. After retiring from the F.B.I in 1986, Lew worked with TVA, Suntrust Bank, before starting his private investigative firm. “The Lewster” had three children by birth and three by marriage: Michelle and Andy, Doug and Kelly, and Jeremy…

I’m Sorry.

Wow. I said it, I’m sorry. Despite a little hit to my ego and the fraction of a second it takes to type or utter these two words, it doesn’t really cost anything to say, “I’m sorry.” Not saying them, however, can cost thousands even millions of dollars, split up marriages, drive wedges in families, and result in years of litigation. It seems to me that as a culture we’ve adopted a hard stance against the two words, and when someone humbly utters them it’s newsworthy. Last week Jim Joyce made headlines when he apologized to Armando Galarraga for blowing a call, which instantly destroyed Galarraga’s perfect game. He said the magic words, I’m sorry-I screwed up. Somewhere between little league and the big league we get out of practice of apology. We build better justifications, bigger blame, and less frequently simply say sorry.

Cultivator of Hope

Last night my “original family unit” had dinner together in preparation for my dad, the Lewster’s, surgery. It just so happened that no spouses or children came, so we had a nice time, reminiscent of similar dinners from my childhood–big jokes despite the circumstances, thin edge of sarcasm, and my dad striking up conversations with random people. At one point in the evening, as my sister was furiously framing the perfect photograph, he began chatting with a couple at the table immediately next to us. The youngish fella at the table was handsome, well-built, and sporting a stylish blonde doo. My dad’s uncanny ability to extract much information out of a short conversation revealed that this guy had played football at one time for the Tennessee Vols. A while later, my dad returned to their table to satisfy his itching curiosity of whether this table neighbor played professional football for…

Planting Vision

For the past four weeks I have spent Weekends working long hours in the yard. After, as the wife says, neglecting the yard for several years, I am interested and excited in transforming dirt into something beautiful. While laboring away under the hot sun with the assistance of a few fine friends (kids aged 7 and 2), I have reflected on the fun torture that was working with my dad in the yard when I was young. In particular, I remember one event where my dad had created a raised bed in front of their house. My job was to create a “custom” edging around the mulch bed out of small timbers that he had cut. My job included: Digging a small ditch around the bed. Soaking the logs in a preservative. “Planting” the logs in the ditch. Use Bailing wire to tie the logs together. For this bed that…

Launch Floyd Family Reunion Website

As President of this our Family Reunion this year, I have launched a reunion website. I have a few mashups (pictures, videos, blog, maps).  As I say on the site: All things web web now 2.0, which basically means that the web is at the next level of interconnectivity. Maps can be embedded in web pages; pictures can be shared; but most importantly people’s stories can be shared with one another like never before. As part of this plan, I made some postcards, check them out here.

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I consume a number of audiobooks, but how do you retain all of the content? Here are a few tips that I use to improve comprehension and use of audiobooks.

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