Saturday, May 28, 2016

Every day is important

Being a working person in the field of manual labor has been my lot in life since I began collecting newspapers in the neighborhood after school to sell to the recyclers. It was good for a few dollars to enjoy some recreation on a weekend. It was all I knew. Money, for our family did not come from the government or other agency. One of our family motto's was, "Work first, play second!" We observed that every day. Another motto, "Choose to be happy!" went hand in hand with all that hard work. No matter what we did, we put some play happiness into it. When you are poor, you have to make the best of what you've got.

As I grew older it turned out that I did not have the patience to sit through the education process and earn a degree. (At least until I was 55 ears old.) This pretty much led me into the manual labor category. And, I relished it and actually still do. Mostly in the lower wage scale it meant, to support my family it took at least 60 or more hours a week to pay the bills. I'm in my 70's now and still work those hours. Something I have learned along the way: Choosing to be happy was the way to go. Every day held important opportunities and if I was happy it was much easier to see those opportunities and take advantage of them. Every day is important because it will never come again. good to remember, I have no regrets and I do not know anyone happier in life than I am. Memorial Day is a good time to meditate on that.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Finding fault

Being as guilty sometimes as anyone else of placing blame on others, I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and made a personal commitment to myself:

"I will do my best to find my own part in a situation before I attempt to place the responsibility on the shoulders of another."

I'm really going to try to live up to that.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Advancement of the Human species?

At least we still retain the right of free speech here in the United States. Mostly anyway. However, as far as I am concerned, adults who are supposed to serve and protect our constitution and keep us safe have gone so far off the scale it is ridiculous. And, on top of that, other adults are allowing them to make ridiculous laws without questioning their authority to do so. To the point of blurring the gender issue from natural law to nothing more than "feelings". It is just plain silly, but even more than that it is dangerous and verges upon pandering to perversion and predatory behavior toward impressionable children. Tell me the protection of our safety in that one.

Without passing judgement on good people of any religion or culture I ask this question: Do you wonder at all the blossoming popularity of the Muslim religion? Sharia Law is in the news a lot isn't it? It scares a lot of people but at the same time there are untold numbers of converts on a regular basis. Why is that? Would it be that all those converts are sick and tired of the "anything goes" culture developing so rapidly in Europe and the United States? Who is it that is standing up to the unceasing slaughter of our way of life? If you don't want to sit side by side with a person of the opposite sex in a bathroom, you are designated a "Hater" instead of a moral or modest person. You are not supposed to "feel" awkward or violated while at the same time, the person violating your space is allowed to "feel" whatever they consider at that time. The proof of burden is on your shoulders to protect yourself from any pervert that comes along under the guise of "feelings" because the government said they could.

It appears that the eventual acceptance of adult/child love relationships is on the horizon. Why? Because that is how some folks "feel" things should be. Watch your kids! Apparently the government doesn't give a crap about their well being.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Loss of a long time mentor

I received a long distance phone call yesterday from the wife of a friend, he has passed away. The pancreatic cancer took him quickly. I felt her loss and sadness across the miles. They were quite the loving couple, a real pleasure to be around and inspiring in so many ways. When love between a man and woman is so pure and simple the pain runs deeper but the memories of the time they had together will be the salve towards healing.

My personal feelings are sadness and loss. However, his strength of conviction regarding moral integrity, loyalty, honesty, you know, the things we all wrestle with from time to time will never leave me. As a man I've looked to my mentors and heroes like my dad, uncles, brother and friends to be an anchor when the world seems to be turning upside down and against me. wise men like my friend Ralph, in their conviction allowed me to see myself through their eyes and if they believed in me, I trusted them enough to believe in myself in spite of ignorant criticism.

It is my habit to make sure that those friends whom I admire hear me say just how much I appreciate their wisdom and tutelage. By holding true, they help make the world a better place.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Friendship is an exceptional part of most of us in some way or another. As a matter of fact, many people have much stronger, lifetime friendships than their marriages or relationships with their family members. In my case, I simply have a small, rather select, close knit group of friends going back as far as 62 years. I am so much a better person for our lasting friendships and I am grateful.

Friendships, I am told are based upon some sort of mutual need. For what I am not exactly sure but, according to that theory at least if there isn't some sort of give and take of benefit, there is no friendship. When I am interacting with a friend I cannot remember when I had a huge agenda of receiving benefit so it must be subliminal. After all these years I just figure: "Whatever!"

Last weekend I spent some time with a friend watching some of the race, grilling and eating steaks, shooting some bull, checking out some of his remodeling projects and watching a movie. Nothing earth shattering by any means but exactly what the doctor ordered at the time. Renewing and revitalizing a long standing friendship. Friends can argue and disagree and get a bit huffy or offended, but in a friendship, after all that is over they are still standing there and ready to move forward. Honesty backed by loyalty is the stuff of true friendships I think.

And, one important, but the only important factor of a solid friendship is  being there through thick and thin without question, through the best of their ability. It does not mean that everyone can do everything, no not at all. It simply means we do the best we can at the time with what time and resources we have and each of us understands one another's limitations.

I'm just saying that without my friends I would not be who I am today as a father, a brother, a husband and a grandfather. I wonder if there is a national friendship day?

Friday, April 22, 2016

History and me

I hear so many people speak angrily to me about what terrible things "people like me" or "people like them" did in the past to make a point about how guilty I am and they can blame the people of today for the sins of their ancestors. It saddens me when I listen to that type of destructive rhetoric. Am I to be blamed for those sins by simply being born?

Crimes against humanity regarding race, religion, color or opposing beliefs, property boundaries, water rights, you name it, have been going on since the beginning of time. Family against family, color against color, one person against another for the hand of a woman. I have studied history as most of us has. In my humble opinion, there is no race, religion, color or cultural belief that is Innocent of those crimes at one time or another. No country or civilization is completely innocent.

Today is the only day we can change and it is best that we look at history without hate for each other and unify our efforts. Free speech without fear of retaliation is a good first step. Creating boundaries of behavior in which we can conduct our lives safely and rules we can accept will carry that spirit of unity even further.

Get over the hate of me for the actions of whom you may believe are my ancestors and the world will become a better place. That is an admiral goal for all of us don't you think? It will never be perfect, but it certainly can be better.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fasting my way to better health

Often many of us find ourselves slipping a little in the healthy life style category. At least in my case that is true. Not huge slips all at once but several little slips, one at a time adding up. Slow but gradual weight gain over several months and then one day I see the scale and I have become 8 or 9 pounds above my goal. Skipping my daily exercise routine first one day a week and eventually for a week and even longer until it becomes only once in a while as I grow less flexible. With less flexibility comes more strain with weight lifting so I skip that because it takes more effort than I like. And, then I sit more and walk less etc. etc. etc. Snowballing into more of a sedentary life style.

All that sedentary stuff needs to halt! My modus apparendi is to fast for up to three days and get myself back on track. Fasting sharpens my mind and body to look and listen for what I need to do. A little sacrifice for my soul to awaken and point me in the right direction. I often fast 5 or 6 times a year.

Today is the second day of my 3 day fast objective. The first day is always easy and I don't crave much at all. The second day brings a desire to eat at every turn. I am so hungry at the moment I can almost visualize and smell a comfort meal. That's when I begin to think good things. I'm really not all that hungry. I am more like wanting food rather than actually needing it. I drink a glass of water and the craving disappears for an hour or so. As the day goes on I get back to business and the fast goes to the back of my mind and I busy myself with getting the exercise. The third day is almost silly in that I become no longer hungry and I am pretty much on my program to better health. Probably because I know that on the fourth day I will enjoy three normal meals and exercise will once again be part of my everyday life. Yeah, that's how I do it.
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