Saturday, July 19, 2008

Boldly going where no Hector has gone before....

It is with great nervousness and trepidation I am prepared to announce the biggest piece of news to hit the front page of a Hector blog, EVER. Yes, this is even bigger than the motorcycle incident. Now you are curious, aren’t you?

As our family gets older, we begin to enter uncharted waters with each successive year. At first this meant drivers licenses, then college, but now we have officially reached the next level of family development. Thomas has requested the honor of courting Miss Ashley.

When you have finished being surprised, I will give you a few details.

Most of you already know Thomas, so we can ignore him, and focus on Ashley, or Ash, as she is affectionately known.

Ashley is the third child, and oldest girl of the family, whom we know from our dance studio. She is a dancer extraordinaire, very fun to have around, and lovely both in face and spirit. Ashley is also Sara’s ballet teacher, a very good instructor, and quite skilled with kids.

You may notice the fact that Thomas is the second born in our family, which means that he is even outpacing me in this area. Someone brought up the fact that there is a Biblical precedent in this type of circumstance, and were considering a situation in which Ashley should work for our family for seven years, marry me, then work another seven years for Thomas. However, that appears to be illegal in this country, so that idea was scrapped. This was fine with me….

As you can tell this entire realm of courtship is very new for the Hector family, so we will be learning as we go. Please be in prayer for both of our families, pray for wisdom on the part of the parents, and especially be praying for Thomas and Ashley. Pray that God will give all the grace, patience, and wisdom that they will need for this journey.

Updates and insights will be posted to this blog occasionally, since this is big news, so stay tuned. Until then, here is a good photo to end with:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Welcome to CSI: Mountain Ranch. I am your host, Detective Ben “Gumshoe” Hector. A folder just crossed my desk containing a case of some notoriety. The details are not well known, and the only evidence available is a series of pictures. It is my job, to lead you, the rookies, through piecing together this important information.

First, the suspects:

A rather normal looking bunch, but one of these people may prove to be something other than they seem.

The first bit of suspicious activity appears to be evidence of information being forced out of one of the suspects:

Yes, this sweet looking girl obviously has something to hide:

What appears to be casual wading in the creek could prove to be more than that. Are they looking for stolen money, hiding a murder weapon? It could be anything.

I wish I knew the story behind this, it could be key evidence:

Caught red handed, and yes, experts have confirmed that this is blood. The trail of evidence does not look good for this individual.

This is a hard piece of the puzzle to fit in, but that is not the look of a sane individual:

Disguises will not deter the long arm of the law:

Contraband Cheez-Its. I have it from a good source that these were hidden under her pillow. Yes, very bad…

Even a Card Room, is there no end to the depths these people will go?

Covert operations, this has the look of espionage to me:

Military training exercises:

Slavery in action:

I have no idea…. But this may be important:

Checking the oil, or tampering with the engine? He has a surprised look on his face…

Many pieces, many points of view. Now it is your job to both determine the guilty party, and the crime that they committed. This is the test that moves you from a Rookie, to being a full member of CSI: Mountain Ranch.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fitting for the Fourth....

We live in an age of innovation. An age where a computer is obsolete as soon as you turn it on, and the iPod that was the rage last month is good for naught but eBay in this. Words are constantly evolving, and I often find myself going to bed thinking I know what the words “sick” or “crib” mean, only to wake up and find that they are no longer holding the definitions set forth by Messrs Merriam or Webster; but have taken on meanings that can only be vaguely described, and then with the caveat that you “can’t think too much about what it means, you just use it”.

With this in mind, I am going to try and be progressive, and attempt to update one of our more archaic ideals, The American Dream. It seems that the current definition is quite outdated; not taking into account many of the new advances we have made as a nation and as a culture in general.

First it will be necessary to outline what the old “Dream” was, so we have an idea where to go with the new. The term “American Dream” was coined by James Adams in his 1931 work The Epic of America, a book outlining the historical heritage of America. Historical heritage is another idea that is archaic and in need of redefining, but I will stay on track.

In this book, Adams states that the American Dream is, “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement... It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable…

No, no, no, this will never do! Not only does it use big words, but you have to concentrate to even understand what it says. Besides, most of those ideas, once you actually figure out what they mean are so early 20th century. Yes, this surely needs a makeover.

In my new progressive definition, I will use small sentences with good description, as they help draw the eye of the un-interested:

The dream of a place where all people deserve to be rich and full, even if they do not work.

Just because someone does not want to work is no reason for them to be unhappy! In our enlightened culture we need to recognize that there are simply some people that were not meant to work, accept them as they are, and rejoice in their uniqueness.

Where a hero is not judged by merit.

What does it matter if a person stands for what is right, while others do not? Why look up to the person championing truth, when the falsehood is more popular? We should idolize people for the amount of pleasure they give to others, and by the numbers that they make comfortable. This is a land where it does not matter how many illegal substances you use, as long as you can hit home runs. A land where how many times you are arrested for drunk driving does not matter, as longs as you are cute, and say your lines correctly. A land where Tiger Woods has a Wikipedia article more than twice as long as William Tyndale.

Where opportunity is based on social demographics,

It is such an old idea that opportunity should be based on how well you do. That would not be fair to people who cannot achieve. It is a much better idea to base opportunity on how many of each kind of group there is, and then we will give everyone a shot at the dream.

And you can enter not by following rules, but by climbing over fences.

I pity those people in the early 20th century who entered the United States through Ellis Island. It is ridiculous to think that someone would stand in line, pass a medical examination, and answer questions, simply to enter the United States. Three to five hours of their life wasted, and people saw this as a privilege! Crying at the sight of the Statue of Liberty…Bah! Now we have a much better way of looking at things. If you can climb over our fence, you prove you’re physically fit, evade our security, proves you’re smart, and not ever get caught, you have an American sense of “determination”. Then you can stay here as long as you want.

Where the dream of having big cars, big houses, big toys and high wages is a necessity.

The last one is optional, the others are rights. If you haven’t yet gotten to the high wages, you can take out a loan, or apply for a credit card to cover you until that time. There is no reason why you should be made to wait! Oh, and don’t worry about interest rates, those are 0% for quite a while, a couple of months at least! Isn’t it grand?

Finally, a place where it does not matter what you do, as long as you reach the top of the dream before anyone else.

Second place is just First Loser". In the end, there is only one thing that matters, getting as much as you can before you die. If you don’t watch your own back, no one else is going to watch it for you. Morals and stature is restricting, success is best. Be an individual, trust in yourself, and go for the gold. That is the Crown Jewel of the American Dream.

So , let’s put that all together:

the dream of a place where all people deserve to be rich and full, even if they do not work. Where a hero is not judged by merit. Where opportunity is based on social demographics, and you can enter not by following rules, but by climbing over fences, Where the dream of having big cars, big houses, big toys and high wages is a necessity. Finally, a place where it does not matter what you do, as long as you reach the top of the dream before anyone else.

There, I think that is a much more modern description of the American Dream. As you go out and prepare for the 4th of July, think on this, and if you are going to buy some fireworks, don’t forget your Visa!

While I’m at it, there is another document that I think could use a little revision, The Constitution of the United States. I even know how it should start, “Sup all you U.S. Peeps? We gonna lay down the line for this hood…”

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Beginnings...

Hello everyone.

It has finally happened. Each member of the Hector family has realized that they do not have the time to maintain a blog on their own. However, what one cannot do alone, an entire family should be able to do together. Hence, the new blog.

This will be a place for all of us to communicate with the world, and you may have a post by any of eleven writers. Hopefully as the various members get older, the younger will post more, and we can keep the blog going for a couple of decades.

Each of our old blogs are going to be slowly added to this one, so you will still be able to view our previous posts, if you want to get to know us. It will be fun to read from "days gone by".

All I can say is, at least we will no longer have to fight over who has the most comments!

Happy Reading!

The Hector Family
Dave, Jean, Ben, Thomas, Matthew, Nic, Anthony, Jonathan, Laura, Rebekah, & Sara