Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Of Runs & Critters & Names

THE RUN...

was a good one.
I did not feel in top shape but still reasonably well.
At the end of Hill One, I flirted with accelerated breathing, but it was not needed.
That was not true at the top of Hill Two.
But the distress only lasted a couple of minutes, then it was smooth treading until late into mile four.
Actually, halfway into mile five.
I crossed the finish line/crack in full pant, hot, sweaty, feeling fulfilled, glad that the session was over, and ready to get on with the day.

VISITORS

Tuesday morning at 5:00 AM my clock radio began its quiet discussion of the events of the previous few hours.
I was laying comfortably in the Royal bed listening as my biological system booted, when I heard a noise outside my open window just inches from my head.
I jumped out of bed (almost literally) and went to the window, thinking the squirrels were getting an early start on the day.
It would not be the first time I have seen a squirrel at my window.
But it was not a squirrel.

It was a mama raccoon and her two babies.
They were scratching at my screen and even when I made hissing noises they were little dissuaded from trying to get in.
They did move away after a couple of seconds, going I know not where.
I tried to take a picture of them but they had scampered off into the morning gray before I could snap them.

BABY NAMES

I came across some interesting trivia today.
Since I had to make choices in this regard four times in my life, it still is of interest to me.
I believe that the name you choose for your child can have an affect on his/her personality/development.
Note - can have.

I kept this in mind as I negotiated with my wife on this subject.
She also took some things into consideration in this process, such as, would the initials spell anything bad, and does the name rhyme with something negative.
In other words, could the chosen name be turned into something embarrassing for the child.
We both knew, if there was a way to make fun of a child, other kids would find it.


Most Popular names in1950

1. James / Linda
2. Robert / Mary
3. John / Patricia
4. Michael / Barbara
5. David / Susan
6. William / Nancy
7. Richard / Deborah
8. Thomas / Sandra
9. Charles / Carol
10. Gary / Kathleen

Most popular names in 2007:

1. Jacob / Emily
2. Michael / Isabella
3. Ethan / Emma
4. Joshua / Ava
5. Daniel / Madison
6. Christopher / Sophia
7. Anthony / Olivia
8. William / Abigail
9. Matthew / Hannah
10. Andrew / Elizabeth

I noticed something interesting in these two lists - the number of names from the Bible.
Even though 1950 was generally a time of more religious influence on our society than today, there were only five boys names and two girls names from the Bible.
In 2007, a time, by all accounts, of decreased religious influence in our society, there were seven boys names and still just two girls names taken from the Bible.
Interesting.

SOME THOTS

First, I do not think many people consider whether the name of their child comes from the Bible or not.
Some folks do, but not many.
Especially in these days.
In fact, I would not be suprised if some people purposely avoid using names from the Bible.

That being said, I am amazed at how many names from the 2007 list come from the Bible.
I am sure it is just a coincidence.
However, there is one more detail to consider.

There was a study done last year that documented that political/social liberals tend to have fewer childern than do political/social conservatives.
And political/social conservatives tend to be more religious, generally, than do liberals.
This could explain, in part, why there are more Biblical names in the more recent list than before.

I am appauled at some of the most popular recent female names.
Isabella?
Ava?
Sophia?
Olivia?
Abagail?

These all sound like they fell out of a Emily Dickenson novel. (except she did not write any novels; she only wrote poems, where few names were included, but the line sounded good.)
Or some retro-think exercise as if they were decorating their den.
What are these parents thinking?

Methinks many of them look upon children as little walking trophies, so they name them after queens and movie stars, as if that will somehow increase their worth and status.
To the extent that this is so, I am embarrassed on their behalf that they are so shallow.

For the record, we managed to miss the top names in our day when naming our children.
Except for Joshua.
And our first two have even modified the spelling of their names from their original given order.
Jeffery has become Jef.
Cathy has become Cathi.

Original thinkers, they.

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