Eleven Years


This blog is getting old. Already well into its second decade. (Well, into, at least.)

Today is the day, eleven years ago, that I first set out on this blogging adventure. You can read the post here. Many of the August Twenth-Sixths since, I have linked to that first “blog”. It was not of much consequence, but it was the beginning of much thought and heart shared, many stories told and re-told, and generally just life shared with you, Dear Reader.

You’ll note, if you are the observant sort, that the next most recent post here at GregsHead dot net is from the month of June. (At least it is still in the year Twenty-Fourteen…) The writing has been sparse, selective, and even somewhat nonexistent for quite some time. There are reasons, but the main reason of course is my own choice not to write.

Why does that happen? The reasons I mentioned above include excessive busyness, choosing to spend time on other things, feelings of an unimportance placed (by me) upon my writing on any topic, and even sometimes being so beat down by life that, “I just don’t feel like it.”

I have taken some moments to get thoughts out. Perhaps you’ll recall when I wrote about how truly Special God has made each of us to be (not as sappy as that synopsis makes it sound); or two posts [one, two] about our strength being found in our weakness; or maybe you saw the post titled Christians Being Christian, and my aversion to gatherings where those of that ilk are present in greater numbers.

(If not, today might be a nice day to click those links and catch up?)

Perhaps as the Fall begins so many things anew, I will make a concerted (joyful) effort to put fingers to keyboard and once again process the thoughts that constantly churn in my head and heart. I love to share them (and in so doing, refine and learn from them) and I love to hear back from anyone in whom they might strike a similar chord—or a discordant one.

It will resume. The words have flowed for eleven years now. I don’t imagine they will ever cease completely, so long as God breathes his life into me, and there is Internet to share these stories by.

Thanks for reading along.

How To Write Good

There is no shortage of sharing these days thanks to the wonderful world wide web. I receive many forwarded emails from my dads, and I see many friends posting via Facebook and other such media various content created by others.

Below is one share that I decided must be shared again!

I’m not sure these rules are actually worth following (I’d say some are definitely not) but most of them got a good laugh out of me, and I think they will you, too.

The original list is longer than this. Google tells me that it was published by Frank Visco in the Writer’s digest in June 1986. I found a version that was posted March 20, 1995. (That’s near the infancy of the Web. Neat!)

Without further ado …

How To Write Good

  1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  5. One should never generalize.
  6. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  7. Be more or less specific.
  8. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  9. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  10. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  11. Who needs rhetorical questions?

GregsHead on Facebook

Greg Campbell - GregsHead.net - BlogFor a few years now I’ve been trying different ways to share content from this site with friends and others on Facebook. First, back in the day, I imported RSS items as “Notes”. That presented a few problems as some items (videos in particular) were not imported, and I think some of the notes were truncated. I only learned that after many incomplete posts. It was like I never finished a story! 🙂

Then I found NetworkedBlogs, an app that was more feature-ful, allowing me to have people sign up to follow my blog on Facebook. It would also automatically post the blog as a link on my Facebook wall. Neat. And better still, you could see all the formatting of my site (including the missing items from the first way mentioned above.)

The one drawback was that (at least originally) people needed to allow access to their information in order to “follow” me using this app, and I wasn’t sure if anyone was even seeing the posts anyway since it wasn’t me, but an app that was posting the links.

So, I decided to make a page for my head!

The official GregsHead.net Facebook page is conveniently located in your browser at www.facebook.com/gregsheaddotnet. (Easy enough to remember…) My plan is to not only more easily promote content from this site via that page (the daily posts) but also to have some other fun interactions there like a quick link, a video, a follow up on something I wrote about on the blog.

It’ll be like the bonus coverage for GregsHead.net! (I know… it’s what you’ve always wanted.)

Also, I do plan to offer a way to purchase my three published books there, as well as any that I may publish in the future.

It’s your one-stop-Greg-the-writer shop! (Again, definitely what you’ve always wanted… right?) 🙂

If you are encouraged, challenged, inspired—or, confused?—by things you’ve read here, and you’re a Facebook user, I’d appreciate you “liking” my page and joining in the additional conversation there. It will be a nice way to keep in touch, keep up to date, and keep … the change?

And of course, feel free to use the convenient “share” and “like” buttons on posts to allow other folks to see things posted here and join in.

Thanks for reading, and I always welcome responses/rebuttals. Now there’s another place to leave them.

“Meant To Be” by Steven Curtis Chapman

In light of all that we’ve been surrounded by these past couple weeks, and all we’ve been thinking of, I think I noticed the goodness in this song even more when my kids were watching it yesterday. It’s from the VeggieTales show, “It’s a Meaningful Life” (based on the classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life”) which has a cool added focus on adoption and how great that can be.

The chorus always jumps out at me:

You were meant to be touching the lives that you touch,
Meant to be here making this world so much
More than it would be, without you in it.

We are all meaningful. Each of us. And we can be even more meaningful to the people around us when we know it, and live out what matters. Our impact goes far beyond what we perceive, I think.

So, it’s a great song… but it might make you cry.


PopTarts Rewards

PopTarts Rewards

Ahh, PopTarts… the great American breakfast treat! 🙂

Jen purchased a box of Apple Strudel PopTarts for me last night, and this morning when we looked at the box, we noticed a little promotion they have going currently called PopTarts Rewards. Apparently they are wanting (needing?) people to try all of their flavors. The incentive towards this end is a little code on each box. When you collect five codes, you get one prize. You can do that up to five times. (But you can only get one code per flavor…)

The prizes you can choose from include 5 music downloads, a free movie ticket… AND… 2 FREE BOXES of POPTARTS! Who doesn’t want free PopTarts!?? 🙂

So head on over to their PopTarts Rewards site and check it out. Then head to your grocer and try out some new flavors.

(And no, I was not paid to write this… I’m just a fan.) 😉

Free Preview of Glenn Beck’s Insider Extreme

Glenn Beck Insider Extreme Free PreviewGlenn Beck announced today that his paid content will be available for free as a two-day trial. This is a great chance to see the short documentaries that he has been making covering subjects like US history, biographies on the Founding Fathers (Samuel Adams, George Washington).

We in the Campbell home have really enjoyed watching them and been inspired to look deeper into the history of our country from the topics covered in these documentaries.

Usually, the “Insider” access is a paid service (roughly $75/year) but, as I said, this is a good chance to see what Glenn Beck is really saying, for free. 🙂

(Also included are access to his magazine, the video cast of his daily radio show, and/or audio podcast of the show, sans commercials, and I think some more stuff. Check out the link for more information.)

We recommend. I think lots of people have the wrong idea about Glenn Beck. He’s discovering for himself, and sharing what most people in our country want: the real values of character, integrity, honest, courage… and not any party affiliation. For too long, discussions of policy and politics for our nation have been politically driven, played according to party-line rules. Blah. There are so many problems with our country … it’s not just politics, and political solutions are not the answer. The only thing that will fix the brokenness of our people is to change who we are. To fix ourselves, to educate ourselves, and to live out those values.

Glenn Beck is not the answer, but he’s become a great resource and inspiration toward that end. Don’t just believe what you’ve “heard” about the man… check it out for yourself.

Many Means to an End

This is crazy! Saw this at NHL.com today…

Buffalo Sabres#3 Buffalo Sabres would clinch a playoff berth…

* if they defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning


* if they get one point against the Tampa Bay Lightning AND the Atlanta Thrashers lose (in regulation or overtime/shootout) to the Carolina Hurricanes AND the New York Rangers lose (in regulation or overtime/shootout) to the Toronto Maple Leafs


* if the Atlanta Thrashers lose in regulation to the Carolina Hurricanes AND the New York Rangers lose in regulation to the Toronto Maple Leafs

Got it? 🙂

The good part of all that is, the Sabres are—in all likelihood—returning to the playoffs after two seasons watching “from the sidelines”. (If I may mix my sports metaphors…)

Campbell: Supports The Government

Campbell of Argyll TartanI am a Campbell. My lineage traces back to Scotland, and Clan Campbell of Argyll. We have use Gaelic names for some of our kids. I used to own some bagpipes. I even have a kilt, I think.

Plenty of good Scottish heritage here!

So today, a friend (who, coincidentally, usually only refers to me as “Campbell”) told me that she and her daughter were studying Scotland this week, and not only did they find Clan Campbell in there, they found an interesting paragraph as they were reading the history of the tartans.

“While the recruits were drawn from all parts of the Highlands, in the main they tended to come from clans that supported the government, in particular the Campbells, Munros, and Grants.” [emphasis mine]

(If you know me, and/or read this blog, you’ll likely find that quite ironic as well.)

Parking Ticket

My dad sends me a lot of email forwards. (Does your dad do that, too?) I get a lot of email so, often I won’t have time to read all of them. If they are shorter I will scan quickly (or if he sends just to me, not a group) and there are a few that are definitely entertaining or intriguing or otherwise worth the time.

The following was from this morning’s forwarded email, and political jabs aside, I just thought it was a funny story. Don’t know if it’s true, but it’s funny anyway. 🙂 Enjoy!

Parking Ticket

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day my wife and I went into town and went into a shop. We were only in there for about 5 minutes. When we came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. We went up to him and said, “Come on man, how about giving a senior citizen a break?”

He ignored us and continued writing the ticket. I called him a Nazi turd. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So my wife called him a poophead. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote…

Personally, we didn’t care. We came into town by bus and saw the car had an Obama sticker… We try to have a little fun each day now that we’re retired.. It’s important at our age.

—author unknown

The Role of Government in Charity

Check this out… long quote from a book I just picked up from our library. I read this part with Jen last night and we both thought it was pretty astounding.

In 1887, Congress passed a bill appropriating money to Texas farmers who were suffering through a catastrophic drought. These days, that funding would not only be authorized, it would probably be done so under an emergency program that gave more money to the farmers than they ever dreamed of. But not in 1887. Not with Grover Cleveland as president.

Here’s how he answered Congress’ request:

“I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose. I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner related to the public service or benefit. A prevelant tendency to disregard the limited mission and duty of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people.


“The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bond of a common brotherhood.”

(I omitted the author’s comments in between the two Cleveland quotes above, and the emphasis in the second paragraph of Cleveland’s response was mine.)

What I found so fascinating (aside from the stark contrast to how our government is thought of and run today…) was the part I emphasized in the second paragraph. Not only was it a misappropriation of public funds, thought President Cleveland, it was also harmful to our country’s character. Who says that today? No one seems to even think of such things today. How sad. But how true this man’s words are. If not given the opportunity to think of other people (by choice, rather than coercion … taxing) how will we ever be charitable? How will we exercise our “character”?

The author added “the rest of the story” at the end.

Even more impressive was that Cleveland turned out to be a hundred percent right. Those “fellow-citizens” that he put so much trust in donated ten times more money to those farmers than the amount the president had vetoed, once again proving that when individuals personally sacrifice to help each other, it not only makes us better people, it makes us a better country.

Amazing. I sure wish our current government leaders would realize the truth of this. (Rather than spending more and more “money” that doesn’t exist.) Eventually… we’ll be held responsible for these trillions and trillions of dollars in debt. It’s hard to imagine what that will look like. But I suppose we’ll be bankrupt in both finances, and character.