Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Father: Son at your age, Winston Churchill used be up and out for his morning walk at 5 a.m.. Son: Dad, at your age, he had become the Prime Minister of England."

Hello once again. You don't have to be concerned, it's only me, and you probably already know there's not much going on here. I suppose there's always the proverbial rent, as they say back home. It is Thursday, the last day of this first month of this brand new year, January 31, 2013. Wow! That didn't take long, did it? Carrying on about those conundrums got me to thinking about the oldest jokes on record. I did some research and believe it or not there are some that have been unearthed that go all the way back to before 2000 BC. Sadly, those listed as the world's oldest ten jokes are not able to be shared in a family blog like mine. Some of them are not terribly uncouth but even the best are borderline. That, I suppose is how the fallen human condition entertains itself, even way back then. Since I couldn't use them I'll share this one which goes back a fair number of years: "Are your relatives in business? Yes, they are in the iron and steel business. Oh, indeed. Yes, me mother irons and me father steals." I suppose I should be glad that no one can throw veggies at me, although, for a hungry would be comedian, maybe that would not be so bad.

I haven't said in a while just how thankful I am for my family. I didn't get to choose which one I became a part of, but, I know God did, and I feel privileged to have grown up under the tutelage of my mom, and my grandparents. I'm thankful for my brothers and sisters. I'm very thankful for my wife and her family that became mine as well. I'm thankful for my three sons and their families, all of my grand kids and my great granddaughter. I'm thankful for my step dad and his children who truly are also my brothers and sisters. I think about aunts and uncles who contributed to my development. Cousins. In laws. Out laws. Near. Far. Family. What a blessing! My family experience has never even been close to being perfect but it has always been a significant and defining factor in my day by day life. That's the way God set it up. Most of us end up dealing with messed up models of what He intended but even in the midst of our flailing around, family comes through, and I am who I am today because of all of the above. I had this on my mind and it was pretty intense, therefore, I thought it would be good to share. May God bless all our families. Amen.

I bet you thought after that little tidbit that I was going to have everyone join hands and sing Kumbaya by the campfire. While that would be nice, we'll save it for another time. And, I didn't dwell on so many that have gone on to their reward who have contributed much to my life. I didn't want to get all teary eyed so I'll save that one too for another day. I haven't forgotten that repetitive redundancy comment I made the other day. It has a ring to it and could be worth following up on. Could be. Lest you think some of the stuff you read at this particular destination is pretty iffy, you should see some of the paragraphs that I delete. It pains me to highlight an entire section and hit that delete button. Those keyed strokes are sent on their way to the place of destruction. It doesn't happen every day but I mention it only to let you know that I do try to use some judgment about what may or may not be something worth your time. What's that? You think I should keep up with them and publish them someday as outtakes or bloopers? Nah. I'll let the ones I keep take care of that. Now, here's the deal. We have today to do what we can do and riding herd over today will fill up our day. Let's do it in a way that honors God and serves others. Amen.   ....More later.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"I'm leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it's not raining." Groucho Marx

Hello and welcome to Wednesday's episode here at the ole Blogger Ranch where worn out words go to meet their end. It is January 30th, 2013 and I do enjoy our time together each day. We've been toying with 80 degree highs here but as they say, if that doesn't suit you, hang around a little while, because it will most certainly change. We've actually been having 70's for lows but we wake up today to mid fifties with a promise of mid 30's in the morning. Yikes. Someone wrote an article the other day in the big metro paper about how that our area may have the cold weather behind us for this winter season. With February and March coming up and based on the observations I've made over my 66 plus years of seasonal changes, well, I don't think I would have made that prediction. But today does reflect a major change. Short sleeve to long sleeve. Long sleeve plus a jacket. A fellow in our Church just returned from a business trip in Northwest Canada. Real temperature was 35 degrees below zero with the wind chill at 42 below. He said they didn't recommend being outside more than 60 to 90 seconds at a time. I've never been where it was that cold although I did spend time in the Chicago area when it was below zero for several days. I suppose we can be thankful for our Yo Yo weather here. It's beach attire one day and button up against the chill the next. And, around these parts, you can stay outside pretty much as long as you want to.

My wife came home yesterday. She had been over in Louisiana since last Friday. I used to tell people when she was gone that long it required a certain amount of retraining. I quit saying that a long time ago. No. It's not what you are thinking. I didn't give up. It was a joke or at least mostly a joke but I am so glad to have her back. Things are off just a hair when she's not around. It's noticeable. She was over to visit and cheer up her sister. Her brothers were there. They had a mini family reunion. And, she also needed a break from all the crisis management she has to deal with in and around our little world. That's part of the fabric of life. All families have their challenges. One person said they thought the reason God doesn't give us a view of the future is because we probably couldn't handle it. I'm not sure exactly what I think about that statement, but needless to say, none of us know what we could be facing, even today, much less in the longer term future. That's why we need a foundation from which to operate our lives. That foundation, according to The Scriptures, is found in knowing God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That's the only way I know that we can somehow make it in our tipsy topsy world. Amen.

We all know that life is filled up with conundrums, you know, those hard to figure out problems or questions. And, a conundrum can also be a funny statement or question that typically includes a pun of some type. I like those better than the ones that include a problem. Some of them are pretty silly. ~ How much does it cost a pirate to get his ears pierced? A buck a ear. (Buccaneer ) ~ If a turtle loses it shell, is it naked or homeless? ~ If you try to fail, but you succeed, which have you done? These next ones come from a book devoted to the subject, published in 1903, "Conundrums, Riddles and Puzzles". It starts out with this one: Why is life the greatest conundrum? Because we all must give it up. ~ Why is a kiss like a sermon? Because it needs two heads and an application. ~ The last one, I promise: What would you say if you sat down to dinner and only a beet was on the plate? That beets all. ~ It was, after all, 1903. There were others that were pretty good but not to the modern ear so I figured I had better quit now or forever hold my peace. Have a great day and may God bless is my prayer. Amen.    ....More later.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes." Thomas Aquinas, Theologian, (1227-1274)

Good Tuesday morning. Come on in and take a load off and let's enjoy a visit for a spell. After all, it's going to be today all day long on this January 29th in this year of 2013 that we all are trying to get our arms around. Doctor's visit went good. I will get the results from the testing on their website and they will send an email when they are ready to view. Electronically. I will have all the details which I suppose is somewhat better than back in the day when they would say if you don't hear from us, don't worry about it. Who said anything about worrying? Should I be worried? What if they needed to contact me but something went wrong? Maybe they forgot. Maybe they called and I was out and then they misplaced my paperwork. Perhaps I should call. You know, just to be sure. Yeah. I think this electronic system may be a step forward. I was prepared to discuss the small weight gain by telling them I was wearing particularly heavy work clothes. Now that I see that in print it doesn't really look as convincing as I thought at first. Oh well, they didn't mention it so I'll save it for another time.

The doctor's office waiting room is always a good source for a human interest story. I couldn't help but hear this couple discussing a situation. They looked to be in their mid seventies and while I can't say it was out and out arguing it was close enough to give a point had they been playing horseshoes. It seems the lady did not think she needed to be checked by the doctor. She demanded that he tell her just exactly when he had observed her coughing. And, she said she knew that he and the girls were in on it because they too had been pushing her. This older lady nurse called all of us in at the same time. She called them, Mr. and Mrs., and me. We all more or less lined up and went through the door. We were unsure what was going on and she didn't seem exactly clear which door we should be put behind. She finally worked it out and after we had bumped into each other a time or two, we finally found our examination room. It was like one of those Three Stooges skits. My advice to that dear nurse lady is to only call one at a time because she looked as befuddled as we did. See what fun you can have, even at the doctors office.

How could I refuse this boy?
Kids have a way of letting you know exactly where they stand. Alexander Benjamin, 7, came downstairs and informed me that he was hungry. That's a fairly routine event but this time he added that he was bored and when he gets bored he gets hungry and then he threw in this kicker: "And, Poppy, right now I am very bored." I don't know what I would have said to one of our boys had they ever come downstairs with that kind of request. I do know that I would have never even dreamed of saying something like that to my grandfather. But, times change, and hearing his clear delineation of the facts as he saw them, I, as his loving Poppy, dutifully got up and fixed him a big bowl of Cocoa Puffs. I did live to see that softening in my granddad as he dealt with our Chris, and I am witness that history does repeat itself because it's glaringly obvious not only in me but in our Chris' handling of his little granddaughter Madi Girl. What's that they say? The more things change, it is the more they stay the same. That should do it for a Tuesday. Have a good one and may God bless us all. Amen.       .....More later.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Doctor, whenever I get up after a sleep, I feel dizzy for half an hour, then I'm all right." Doctor replies: "Wait for another half hour before getting up."

I've been fasting. Well, nearly everyone does that. At least while we all are sleeping. Right? But, this is a little more than that since I will be going this morning for my 6 months diabetic check-up. It is Monday, January 28, 2013, and I have been studying for my big series of tests. Blood tests that is. I am tuned in to most of the stuff that hits the airwaves about diabetes. I've looked at all kinds of listings that reflect techniques, foods to eat, those that should be avoided, and schemes that promise to eradicate the disease all together. Now that would be nice. One of the things I find interesting on the food lists is the wide variety you can safely eat BUT most come with the caveat of that ever lurking warning: In Moderation. Avocado is a good choice. I do love me some avocados. But, I'm not sure a couple of postage stamp sized slivers is what I have in mind when I think of them. And, oh yeah, don't forget, that while some of these on the good list are low in carbs, they may not be that low in calories. It's almost like playing a game of gotcha roulette. The real number we diabetics live by is the one that reports average blood sugar levels over a more extended time period. It's called the A1c or for those who like the technical stuff, it's the HbA1c. The target is to keep it under 7.0 and I'm thankful that since discovering I have the beast I've done that consistently, typically in the 6.3 to 6.5 range. They call that well controlled. I call it a pain in my finger tips. But, I am very serious when I say I am thankful to God for the medications and the support I receive in helping me to deal with this unwelcome part of my life.

I did find a few random hits that said they thought it was okay to drink coffee before the testing. However, all the respected medical sites say no. My heart says go with the unrespected but my desire to get the best reading leads me to abstain. That means it will be around 10 a.m. before I get my first sip of the day, and that will likely be from one of the drive thru establishments on my way back to work. Yes. I do know there are quite a few of the convenience stores that serve up Community. However, I'm typically not inclined to want to stop, get out of my car, and go in for a cup. I also know which of the fast food places that serve the best substitute coffee and it will not be that long until I hear that sweet singing spitting, sputtering, and burping of my little one cup maker sitting next to my computer. I had a lady tell me recently that she believed I had convinced her that Community was the best. While I appreciated her vote of support, seeing her dump four sugars and four creams into her cup made me just a tad suspicious. However, knowing what a gracious person she is, she may have been humoring me, and that's a good thing, especially when it involves Community. Lately I've been reducing the amount of water I use and I found out something. It makes it much stronger when you do that. I was attempting to prove up the case that says a little goes a long way. I report, you decide, and for the record: It does!

I don't know exactly what that cartoon has to do with today's episode but I thought it was funny so I decided to share it. Maybe it reminds me that I have issues, you have issues, all God's children have issues. I've had reason lately to be reminded that when you are in a position of leadership or in helping to influence decisions on serious matters, well, it can be a very lonely experience. Sometimes folks draw conclusions that are unwarranted. They may assume things about the deliberative process and the motivation behind decisions and outcomes. The one thing a leader cannot do is to try and answer every one of these misunderstandings. No one likes to be thought of in a bad light by those they care for deeply. However, sometimes that's one of the things that comes with the responsibility where there is confidentiality and the feelings of others to consider. I always try to see it from their point of view, therefore, I do my best to not let it bother me. In the end, I have confidence in the truth and know that God will bless when we seek to follow His direction. Now, it's left up to you and I to go out there and mark off today with distinction and service. Have a great one and may God bless us all. Amen.   ..More later.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Deja new: The feeling I haven't experienced this before. (AKA, "Vuja De" - Nothing like this HAS EVER happened to me before.)

We can breathe just a little easier because we made it to Friday, and it turns out to be on January 25, 2013. The blog I wrote the other day about growing older and living out our time, one day at a time, well, my wife thought it was perhaps an old blog that I was recycling. I actually wrote it from scratch so to speak but that doesn't mean it isn't a retread of sorts. Maybe that stereotypical age related repeating of myself is rearing its ugly head. Or, maybe my views on life, over time, are somewhat consistent, therefore, some of my blogs may end up being redundantly repetitive. (I've always wanted to use those two words together.) I had thought she would have commented on the two lady alligators with the one carrying the handbag made out of her ex-husband. I thought that to be a funny one and I don't remember ever using it in the past. And, my favorite on the list of old age indicators was the one about waking up and looking exactly like the photo on your driver's license. I thought that one was pretty good, and, I can't recall that I have ever used it in the past. But, who's to say? Maybe my grandfather was right. I may just be like the proverbial crayfish who goes backwards because he doesn't care so much about where he's headed but is more focused on where he has been. You know, life in the rear view mirror, so to speak. Then again, you know who may have had one of those déjà vu moments where she had a sensation of having been there before. A lot to think about folks. A whole lot.

But life can be quite unpredictable, can't it? I read the obituary of a fellow the other day who had passed on at age 92. He is survived by his wife Phyllis. That all sounds pretty standard but what got my attention was those listed who had predeceased him: wife Florence, wife Necia, and wife Helen. That's a lot of grieving over mates for one man to endure and it struck me that he obviously was the marrying type. I know you are impressed in how I picked up on that one. Based on what I read, I can surmise that when he survived his stint in the US Navy, graduated from college, and set out to settle down with a new family, well, he never dreamed that one day that's how the write up would read when his life was done. He had been a successful business owner and long time volunteer at a cancer hospital where he operated what was called his 'jolly trolly' where he would transport people from their cars to the hospital. Grieving and giving. They both are a part of the life we've been entrusted with. Most of us brace for the grieving that will come but it wouldn't hurt for us to think some about the giving as well. And, he certainly would have never dreamed that his life story would be mentioned by a blog writer like me. You just never know folks. You just never know.

And, as you know, that's what this blog writer does quite often. Mention stuff. After my dear friend Brother Jim left the Company, I was, for a good long while the elder representative here on the property. However, this past year, Sam, a journeyman fabricator and welder, got bored in retirement and he returned to work. He has me by a few years. I always turn on his little electric heater on cold mornings. That heater is one of those long narrow models that puts out a whole lot more color than heat. Some days I go out to his area before work and he and I spend time reminiscing about the good old days or the plight of social security and stuff like that. You know. The really interesting topics. The other morning it was about 40 degrees and he and I were jawing away when this young whipper snapper comes bounding into the shop wearing his jeans and a white t-shirt. This fellow has one of the best attitudes I've seen in a long time, especially for someone his age. Nothing but a t-shirt in 40 degree weather. Who does he think he is? Maybe me, some 40 years ago. That yielded some instant recognition and respect while I continued to warm myself over that glowing color that passes itself off as heat. Mentioning stuff, that brings me to the end of another week here at the old blogger roundup place. I've rounded up what I could but I'll continue to look for some strays to share with you next time. Have yourself a wonderful Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and I'll do my best to catch up with you on Monday. Lord willing, of course. Amen.   ....More later.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

If you have a lot of tension and you get headaches, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two and keep away from children."

See what I mean?
Hello my fellow Americans and others from various spots on the globe that show up from time to time, welcome to our Thursday edition on this January 24, 2013. I had an eye appointment this past Monday afternoon. I typically see the ophthalmologist to keep up with my eyes in relationship to my diabetes. This visit was to the optometrist to do an examination and fitting for my contacts. I'm very used to having medical professionals attend to my needs who are in and around the age of my children. I believe this might be the first time I've had a young woman who could be my granddaughter taking care of me. Hello? My wife had used her before and she referred to her as a child doctor. She and the other eye expert I see do not like the night and day contacts, period, end of story. They don't like them for anyone but they believe a diabetic is playing a very dangerous game by using extended wear contacts. We talked and talked. I've never had even a hint of trouble with my contacts. But, in the end, they convinced me to change back to regular glasses. They believe that is the safest way for me to take care of my eyes. I could have gone with daily wear, taken out at night, and new ones reinstalled each morning, but, since you know who is the only one that can put them in for me, well, I would not ask her to get up and do that every single day. When I was talking to mom about it, I heard who know who say in the background that it was time for me to get some modern looking glasses for a change. Here we go again. Lipstick on the pig, or something like that.

You don't have to know one cotton picking thing about rocket science to gain appreciation for how cell phone technology pretty much dominates the world of communications. Statistics prove that accidents caused by distracted driving due to texting has become an already huge but growing problem. One fellow reported that his daughter had logged just under 20,000 minutes of cell phone time in one month. That's over 300 hours, just under one half of the hours available in a month. The most recent statistic I found was that Americans use, on average, some 500 minutes of time each month on their cell phones making and receiving calls. On average, for all cell phone users and may I just say that is a whole lot of minutes folks! Of course with the advent of smart internet connected phones, they can stay on literally 24x7. That caused me to look at my own usage. Last month I used up a little over 1400 minutes of time talking on my cell phone. That's nearly one full day of time. The overwhelming majority consumed for me was for my family, both near and far. And, I think that using it for that purpose is very positive. But, it does give one pause to wonder how that full day was being filled up before the cell phone came along. Maybe that time was being used to fetch wood or draw water. Or, maybe not.

The last two Tuesday nights it was my privilege to rejoin our inner city Crosstrainer's Bible Club. I had been out for the month of December due to my Santa schedule. The good news is that they did not forget me. That's always nice. Right? None of us want to be like the joke where the guy is sent off to camp as a kid and when he returns his family has moved without leaving a forwarding address. I can't say enough regarding my respect and admiration for Pastor Kim and his family who have labored in that community for so many years. They have stayed with it and they continue to keep on keeping on. There have been and continue to be many challenges but their faith has kept them focused. I don't even know how many kids have cycled in and out of the club during my thirteen years but some of them are adults with their own children now. Our desire is to lay down a foundation of truth that brings salvation to each child and after that to fill them up with God's plan to help them live out their days. Sadly, many of these children live in disrupted and difficult circumstances. Some have lost their lives and a few have lost their freedom as they have ended up in prison. Yet, others have received the gift of God and they are carrying forth His truths with them as they grow. What a privilege folks, what a privilege to be a part of such a wonderful ministry. Amen and Amen. See you next time, and until then, may God bless each one. Amen.    ....More later.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“An empty stomach is not a good political advisor” — Albert Einstein

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens) Not a bad way to start on a Wednesday, here on January 23, 2013. This is one of the most famous opening lines from a book but it also resonates with me in trying to express some of what our nation is going through today. Some folks are doing well. Others are struggling. Last weekend the Batmobile from the original TV series sold for $4.5 million dollars at auction. In fact, at that same car auction they set a record for that location, selling nearly $30 million dollars worth of collector cars. I recently overhead a conversation where a young man was trying to borrow some gasoline. The fellow said he could give him some money. The young man said that wouldn't help him because he didn't have enough to get to a station. They were able to work out a temporary solution. His story could be repeated many times over every day from countless millions of folks struggling to meet their very basic needs. I'm not trying to stir the pot regarding the haves versus the have nots, but, I am saying that we who are not in that situation should be very thankful to God, and, we should, when and where we can, do what we can to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Hearing the hurt in that young man's plea convicted me. I paused to thank God for the things I so often take for granted. 

I listened to the President's second term inauguration speech. Good speech. It seemed to me that it was tailored and directed primarily towards his base and based on the comments of the so called pundits and experts, the President tacked very significantly to the left in his presentation of the plans and programs he intends to pursue in this, his last four years. I didn't read the article but I saw the title of a report from the political director for one of the major broadcast networks. It went something like this: "Why Obama must destroy the Republican Party if he is to accomplish transformational change." We do know from history how difficult it is for any President to succeed in a second term. Now that President Obama no longer has to worry about reelection, he and his formidable resources will do all they can to build some type of monument of a legacy that will try and defy the second term malaise that has hampered so many of his predecessors. I wish him and his family no ill will whatsoever. In fact, on inauguration day, I prayed a special prayer for him, for the Vice President, and their families as they embark on this next four years. As for many, if not most, of his plans, I do not support them and I pray they will not be enacted, as they, in my opinion, will further distance our nation from the truths God has called us to uphold. May His will be done is my prayer. Amen.

I read a post by a young man the other day on Facebook. He was lamenting the many hate filled comments, articles, and cartoons being posted that target the President. He was not a supporter of the President but he said what was sad to him was the fact that many of the people publishing this stuff pass themselves off as God fearing, faithful and loving servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. He went on to talk about how that some of the folks involved in this activity were Church people, those who had influenced and impacted his life. I understand exactly what he is saying. In this country every individual has the right to stand against policies and plans that run counter to what we hold to be the truth as God has given it to us. However, when we turn our opposition of policies into personal hatred, racial bigotry, and the wishing of harm to the man and his family, I believe we have turned our backs on the Scriptural mandate. Here's what Jesus said: "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;...." (Matthew 5:44) Also we are clearly directed to pray for those who have the leadership responsibility. At a time when a pagan Rome ruled the world, here's what the Apostle Paul said in his instructions to his missionary helper Timothy: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." (1 Timothy 2:1-2) If you read my blogs you know that I exercise my right to have a dissenting opinion, often. But, I thought it would be good for us all to be reminded of the context we, as believers,  should follow as we seek to take our stand for truth. Food for thought as we all seek to please our Great God. Amen.     .....More later.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways." ~Stephen Vincent Benét

It is Tuesday, January 22, 2013, another day to rise and shine and give God the glory. While I am not one who knows how to act my age, I have been reviewing some of the ways you can tell that you are joining the older generation. Therefore, since I am a public minded citizen, I want to share a few signs or indicators that show you might be edging toward that age defined designation. These actually come from a website from Scotland. You might be headed for old geezer territory if: 1) You and your teeth no longer sleep together. 2) You try to straighten the wrinkles in your socks only to find out you are not wearing any. 3) You wake up in the morning looking exactly like your driver's license photo. 4) Your concept of happy hour involves taking a nap. 5) Your idea of weight lifting has to do with standing up. 6) Nearly everything hurts and what doesn't hurt - - - doesn't work. 7) You finally get your head together at a time when your body is falling apart. These are intended to bring a chuckle because growing older is the way God designed life to be lived out. And, it is to be pursued, one day at a time.

Psalms 118:24: This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Benjamin Franklin: One today is worth two tomorrows. ~ Will Rogers: Never let yesterday use up too much of today. ~ Dale Carnegie: Today is life - the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto. ~ William Arthur Ward: God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you? ~ Cavett Robert: If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one. ~ Norman Vincent Peale: It's always too early to quit. ~  Yogi Berra: It gets late early out there. ~ Ephesians 5:15-16: Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. ~ Lord Chesterfield: Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no delay, no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. ~ Beloved hymn by Anna L. Coghill: 2nd Verse, Work, for the night is coming. Work through the sunny noon: Fill brightest hours with labor, Rest comes sure and soon. Give every flying minute, Something to keep in store; Work, for the night is coming, When man works no more. ~

I love that give every flying minute, something to keep in store. I believe it has to do with our efforts today in producing positive results that bring fulfillment both now and later as we store them up for recall and reflection. I know the word aggregator has come mostly to mean the use of software in the digital realm to collect and assemble information. It is not typically used to describe an individual but in many ways that is what I find myself trying to do. Whether it be from my own experiences in life, the use of thus says the word of the Lord from His Holy Book, or the instructional and inspirational thoughts of others, I would say that I mostly do the work of an aggregator of information, distributed to inform, encourage, and to perhaps bring a word of cheer from time to time. This is of course not to be confused with the word alligator. As in, "I deny the allegation and defy the alligator." Or something like that. Bottom line: As God provides, grab hold of today and make something of it. I might even try that myself. Take care now and may God bless each one. Amen. .....More later.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

"We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations, and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity. And it has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed." Paul Ryan

Welcome back. I trust that all is well with you on this back to work Monday, January 21, 2013. My mom tried to pin me down a little concerning that ditty I wrote about being cold. I think she may have used the word finally, but I told her it was exaggerated some and that I am yet not ready to admit defeat to old Jack Frost. It was the rain that put that chill in my bones. I know this because last Thursday we had a pretty good little freeze going on. There was ice on my car. Not frost. Ice. And, it was a 27 degree start here at the company. Beautiful. Clear. Cold. Still. Yet, absent the rain, I didn't get chilled like I had before. I'm not saying that I was unaware that the temperature was where it was because there are just a few things where I can join Yogi Bear in saying, "I'm smarter than the average bear." Or, I could give you this input from another Yogi, Yogi Berra, who had this to say about the cold weather, "The wind had to be blowing 20 degrees." Maybe that was his take on wind chill. I will tell you this. Coming in from unlocking all the facilities on a 27 degree morning makes the Community even that much better. I hear all those Amens out there. As it should be!

Here's a question for many of us: How's that new healthcare law working for you? We've only just begun but so far it's working for us at the tune of about a 40% increase in our out of pocket spending. That's based on co-pays for doctor visits and the changes to our drug coverages. I know. I'm just one little squeaky voice in a long line of those wishing to complain. Most of us can relate to the impact when it lands in our lap or our pocketbook. If and when we have to do a hospital stay, that's when the full impact will be seen for all it's worth. What gets me is how the folks in this administration seem to get a pass on these kinds of programs. They said they would protect the little guy but according to published reports those making the least have been hardest hit in seeing their net pay go down. The administration claims victory, the mainstream media applaud until their hands get tired, and we all just go on down the road. We are left to deal with reality. Facts are facts. Our family is firmly in the so called middle class and that supposedly is the group targeted for relief. Yet, they don't give relief, they add to our burden, and it seems the majority are praising their actions. It's eerie folks, downright eerie. 

I heard this one before but I heard it again and thought it was kind of funny. The fellow on the radio from the government Centers for Disease Control reminded everyone when washing their hands to ward off the potential flu bug, that each individual should keep washing until they have sung through the happy birthday song, twice. Got it. I would only suggest that sharing bathroom facilities with 25 other guys, you might want to sing that song under your breath. For me, it wouldn't be too bad since for the most part they think I'm a little off anyway. Little. That's a guess. They might think more not less in the off category for me. I do confess that I am a serial user of hand sanitizer. In fact, I just finished re-reading that sentence and it reminded me to pump some on my hands just for good measure. According to the bottle it's supposed to kill 99.99% of germs, and, as far as I know, you can use it without any singing. Let's hope I avoid the 00.01% that could slip through the cracks. I think I've given us all at least a little to mull over as we continue our Monday journey. Here's what I recommend: Go out there and have yourself a healthy and blessed day, with God's help, of course. Amen.  ....More later.

Friday, January 18, 2013

"....You just put your lips together and blow......"

We all have our own set of regrets. That's what I am thinking about here on this Friday, January 18, 2013. I can whistle a tune but I never learned how to do that piercing blast that can be heard a quarter mile away. I was looking at an instructional video out on the internet showing how to do that type of whistle using your fingers. The fellow on the video took it slow, step by step, but alas, it may be a little late for me to get that one going this far into my sojourn. I did try. In fact, I tried so hard that I almost pulled a Charley-horse in my neck and throat. It locked up for a split second and scared the living daylights out of me. Who ever heard tell? That would have been a really hard one to explain but I've always wanted to do that loud whistle. At a ball game. Getting someone's attention. Letting everyone know that I could do that whistle. It's likely that on occasion I may have put my fingers up to my mouth and made a noise when it was so loud people couldn't notice that I was mostly only pushing air out. Maybe I should just carry a flare in my pocket in case I need to get myself recognized. What's that? Is it what? A slow news day? Hey, you deal with your regrets in your way and I'll work on mine in my way. I remember how Lauren Bacall described it to Humphrey Bogart in the movie, To Have and Have Not: "You don't have to say anything and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh maybe, just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow." If it was only that easy.

I hate to share these very deep seated private issues but sometimes getting it out there is good therapy.  Think about it. People who read this who have been doing that loud whistle since they were about 9 years old are having themselves a really good laugh right now. Go ahead. I probably can do a lot of things they can't. The fact that I can't think of any at the moment is most likely due to my sense of humility, or my faulty memory, or something else entirely. Hey. Wait just a minute: I did teach myself to use the computer mouse with my left hand. The desk I use here at work was designed for a typewriter. It has a return and the way my PC is situated it works best with the mouse on the left hand side. It took me a couple of days but it's second nature now. However, my computer at home has the mouse on the right side. When I use it I often find myself trying to operate the invisible mouse there on its left side. I've told you before that I pride myself in working without a net. And, after all is said and done, what do you do to entertain yourself? As you can tell, I never have to go very far to find me some new material.

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It's amazing how sometimes you can blink your eyes and when you look up another work week has come and gone. I've killed off a lot of words this week, shared my viewpoints and opinions, and hopefully brought some encouragement and maybe even a few smiles along the way. I'm the first to realize that much of my material is dated. I am very familiar with the blank stare in response to a quip or a reference that I would think everyone could recognize. The problem comes when the people with the blank stare are 25-30 years younger. They are not clueless, just totally unaware. They could easily do the same to me. Quotes from modern movies, maybe some popular lyrics from a rapper, or other types of the here and now anecdotes that they trade forth and back with their contemporaries. So this is the generation gap being lived out, live and in color. Some of you will remember when they used that live and in color moniker as a lead in to a program on broadcast television. Now those signals can be watched in 3-D. So that's it. I'm a black and white TV fellow living in a 3-D world. That explains a lot. Or, maybe a little, but not why I can't do the loud whistle. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and I'll try to have something when we meet up at our next scheduled visit. May God bless each one. Amen.    ....More later.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets." Will Rogers

It's Thursday, January 17, 2013, and I'm looking around for something to talk about. Yesterday I talked at length about death, therefore, I suppose talking about taxes is in order. Yes. We are in a new year and I finally remembered to check out how they calculate whether or not Social Security Retirement is taxed. Hello? I'm not sure whether I get to pass Go or not but I am very much certain I will not collect $200. Big time! If you make more than a certain amount in other income, BAM! I don't know how much I will owe when it is all said and done, but as I was using an automated calculation utility on the internet a vision of a convict breaking rocks came to mind. Let's hope and pray it doesn't come to that but while I wasn't altogether shocked, it still made for a less than sterling start to my day. I was talking to one fellow here in the office about it and he lamented that they should just leave us old people alone. I'm not sure how I was supposed to take that but the leaving me alone part sounded good, if you know what I mean, Vern. When we enrolled, I did make sure our ages were within striking distance of avoiding the dreaded penalty but that doesn't deal with the amount eligible for the income tax. Okay. I can hear what all you smart people are thinking out there. Why didn't I set it up to hold out a minimum amount? Reasonable question. Perhaps I got mixed up between the 'don't ask, don't tell' and the famous Reagan practice where they didn't tell him things so he would have what they called 'plausible deniability'. Meanwhile I'll continue to mull over that comment about them leaving old people alone. (The actual term 'plausable deniability' was coined by the CIA during the Kennedy administration.)

Since it appears that from the beginning of the year I've pretty much struck out on any attempts to be more concise, I thought it would be good to at least give lip service to the benefits that come from the use of fewer words. In other words, (pun intended), if you can't do it yourself, well, you can at least talk about it. "Good things, when short, are twice as good." ~Baltasar Gracián ~ "Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief." ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet ~  "The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do." ~Thomas Jefferson ~ "If any man will draw up his case, and put his name at the foot of the first page, I will give him an immediate reply. Where he compels me to turn over the sheet, he must wait my leisure." ~Lord Sandwich ~ "If you can't explain something in a few words, try fewer." ~Robert Brault ~ I bet you didn't think I could be wordy about not being so wordy. Oh that's right. This is not your first trip touring the ole blogger ranch. I'll take these thoughts and see if I can expand upon them. It's a joke. Go ahead. You have my permission to laugh at my expense. Now you owe me one!

I do have some in house critical review that has their own way to indicate that  perhaps the subject I wrote about, or more typically, the length of the piece, was a little too much. This would be the response from my significant other, at one time we called her SWMBO. That came from the PBS series, 'Rumpole of the Bailey'. Rumpole was a rumpled old barrister married to Hidegard who he often referred to, under his breath of course, as She Who Must Be Obeyed. Our across the driveway neighbor, our dear Ruth, watched that same program and thought we should have a shirt made for the wife with that acronym on it. But, back to what I was talking about before I rudely interrupted my train of thought. You know. It's one of those long trains. One like I use to long to hear on a night as a kid where I was trying to sleep and it was so hot and still you could hardly breathe. Another diversion. At any rate when SWMBO wants to indicate that I was not exactly on target or too long she has a very vivid way of saying so. I receive an email and it has this and nothing more, "Blah ....Blah ....Blah!" I never felt inclined to ask her to elaborate and I suppose it's best to leave it at that, for the time being, and I do know that most of you know exactly what I mean. Have a blessed day and may God help us all is my prayer. Amen.    ....More later.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Song: "No tears in heaven, no sorrows given. All will be glory in that land; There'll be no sadness, all will be gladness, When we shall join that happy band."

Hello folks, welcome to Wednesday, January 16, 2013. We do live in an upside down world, or it seems that way. I read a quote where a fellow was talking about his homeland, "In Ireland the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs." (Sir John Pentland Mahaffy) That was likely intended to be humorous but it really does reflect how things go, at times, for everyone who happens to reside on the planet. The wife and I have recently attended two memorial services that came up, as they say, quite unexpected. The first one was for a seventy year old neighbor and she passed away on Christmas day. She had been ill but no one thought she was close to death. One of her daughters spoke and used a replay of an imagined phone call to her mom that she was too busy to make on Christmas Eve. It was sweet and at the end she said, "Bye mom, I love you." The other service was for a 48 year old lady who discovered she was suffering from serious cancer and lived only 9 days from her diagnosis. It too was a very sweet service but the family was shaken and still reeling from this unexpected event. Sad but encouraging because those speaking could use her own words of testimony to comfort and challenge. From the get go she had told everyone not to worry because it would be okay. Those of us who are believers are reminded of the truth behind her statement. It wasn't okay for those mourning but it was okay for her and when that day comes for me, you, and everyone else who have placed their trust in Jesus the Christ, we can be sure folks, it will be okay! Amen.

I know some folks who would rather never, ever contemplate anything relating to death. I respect their right to see it that way while at the same time it seems to be an approach that not only defies reality, but it avoids a major factor in our coming to terms with our eventual eternal destination. I'm not one who enjoys seeing others so sad as the tears fall, but, I also am fully aware that it is an ever present and ever significant part of our day by day living. To be quite frank, that older age sentimentality has caught up with me. It's always been there but it tends to be a little easier to trigger these days. That's okay. Jesus wept because He cared about Lazarus and those who were mourning his death. (Gospel of John, Chapter 11) That puts us in good company when we mourn with those who are mourning. The 48 year old lady had specific words for her three children. Her words were shared with those attending. It was a different encouragement and challenge for each child because they are unique. However, the common thread was this: "Whatever you do and wherever you go, put God first." That was a mom's heart for her children and it's one that you and I can embrace in our lives as well. Amen.

There's always friction in Washington but the President flamed the fires even more by saying he was not going to even consider negotiating over the raising of the debt limit. The debt limit has to be raised by Congress in order for the government to meet its obligations. However, in the past there have always been deals struck where conflicting visions are at stake. It is true that the money needed is to pay for those things already approved by Congress and that is what the debt limit deals with, however, it is also true that Republicans see this issue as one of the few they have in terms of getting any concessions at all from the President. Now, supposedly, he has taken this off the table which could cause the government to shut down. He has fired the preemptive strike to make clear that the Republicans who desire to negotiate a deal to reduce spending will end up being blamed for folks not getting paid and services not being provided. The President said anyone not voting to raise the debt limit is supporting the collapse of our economy. But, wait just a minute Mr. President. You refused to vote for the debt ceiling increase requested by President George W. Bush, in 2006, when you were in the Senate. Mainstream media to the rescue. Things were different back then, you know, different. It was okay to register a protest vote then but now anyone doing so is a downright dirty dog. I smell something. It's the stench of the double standard, but, why should we be surprised. I hate to make this longer but I think it important for us all to consider these two quotes: “I think if you look at the history, getting votes for the debt ceiling is always difficult, and budgets in this town are always difficult.” That was President Obama speaking at his press conference this past Monday. Second quote: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. ... I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.” That was Senator Obama speaking on the Senate floor on March 16, 2006. As is often said, we will see what we will see. Maybe that's better than, it is what it is. I'll think about it. You do the same. Until next time, may God bless and may He help our troubled land. Amen.     ....More later.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Let's stop talking about new taxes and start talking about creating new taxpayers, which basically means jobs." Marco Rubio

Sure enough. We made it. Opened up the calendar book and found out that it is Tuesday, January 15, 2013. There is another 15th that is looming on the horizon, as in April. Those of us who do our best to try to keep up with all the shenanigans going on in Washington were well aware about the removal of the so called tax holiday. But, obviously, there are countless millions who do not keep up and when they saw their net pay reduced they let out a howl. That caused a flurry of editorials and other reporting where folks were saying they had been fooled, hoodwinked, cheated, and lied to. Okay. Pardon me but I'm going to switch on my cynical lens for a moment so some of you might want to look away. "Fooled, hoodwinked, cheated, and lied to are only appetizers on the Capitol menu. With the main courses coming up next, the debt limit and so called automatic spending cuts." Sorry to be a little negative to start the day but it actually comes from my more than 50 years of paying federal, state, and local taxes. I do know the Bible tells us to pay our taxes but it also says there should be honesty and integrity in those who would govern. All I can say to those folks who are feeling let down is that they need to stay tuned because I fear we've only just begun.

I did get myself chilled to the bone yesterday morning. I wanted to share that little tidbit with all those who think I somehow share a love for cold with the polar bears. It was maybe 38 degrees but we had a heavy misting rain and I didn't see fit to wear gloves or use an umbrella while unlocking all of our facilities. I'm not saying I was really that cold but I will tell you this. It might just have been a pretty doggone good down payment on that time when I might begin to be really cold. I noticed my hand was shaking a little as I tried to unlock that last building. I suppose I forgot to remember my grandfather's theory about cold being mostly in your mind. Once the shaking starts it's a little late for theories. But, it did make me yearn for one of those old fashioned open flame space heaters so that I could warm my shaky hands. You remember those heaters. You would stand up against it too long and some fine specimen of a person would come along and grab your pants leg and pull it causing that super heated contact and you would jump straight up in the air. Those were the days. Yep. Pardner. Those were the days.

I suppose I could give a brief update on the Community Coffee saga. My sister JoAnn sent me a note the other day and said she had switched. Or, I believe she used the word converted. To Community. I have a niece in Florida who exchanges funnies about coffee with me on Facebook. She knows about Community and she likes Community but she got one of those fancy making machines for Christmas and now says she is hooked on some type of Starbucks something. I sent her a note about how I had considered filing a complaint for false advertising because the Starbucks people actually call what they serve However, you can't argue with their success to the tune of billions. In fact, a recent report showed how that teenagers are now drinking more caffeinated flavored coffee drinks than sodas. Wow! I see them all the time. These kids are all over the place sporting those long tall Starbucks cups with the whipped cream on top. About $5 minimum. And, to think, they call it coffee. My wife and I recently frequented one of their establishments at an outlet mall. It was cold and she had a hot chocolate and I had a cup of their supposed strong drink referred to as coffee up on their board. Yes. I did drink it. At $3 for a small cup, you don't think I would leave it, did you? It made me want to go back to the hotel room and make me a cup of Community. That's right. I carried my little coffee maker with me. That's the way I ride pardner but I respect your right to choose even if it's not real coffee. Have a great day and may God bless. Amen.   ...More later.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky

Good morning blogheads. Don't try to find that word. I just made it up but in this day and age it might well already be well established. Hold the presses. I just Googled it and there's all kinds of hits on that word. Okay, let me start over. Since I'm not sure what the general thought is about what that other word means, I will change my greeting to: Hello friends and neighbors, welcome back to where we can share in the roller coaster ride that passes itself off as my thoughts and ideas. It's another Monday and this one happens to be the 14th of January, 2013. Next Monday is a federal holiday in observance of the birthday of the civil rights leader, Martin Luther King. I read the other day where President Obama will be sworn in twice, once using Abraham Lincoln's Bible and the other time using Martin Luther King's Bible. There sure are a lot of folks wanting to line themselves up with Lincoln these days. Of course he was a Republican but when one is trying to build themselves a lasting legacy I suppose labels don't really mean that much. I'm sure the recent highly acclaimed movie and all the surrounding hoopla has put ole Abe back on the hot list in terms of recognition and popularity. I have not seen the movie. I read a number of the reviews and paid close attention to those debating its historical accuracy. While the movie production had some historians helping fact check their work, there are still a number of respected scholars who are not convinced of its representation as being an accurate portrayal of the great president.

People are really observant. I did cut my beard back but I had not had my hair cut in maybe six months. No. I was not trying to emulate a rock star who has been cavorting on stages for 50 or more years. That really does get me: These guys who are still doing rock and roll while in their third trimester of medicare coverage. At any rate, people did notice that I had cut my beard. I could tell because nearly everyone of them asked me the same question: Did you get a haircut? Here I am wearing nearly shoulder length hair and that's the question I get. I've taken care of the haircut now so I suppose I will be getting: Wow, did you cut back on your beard? Now, I'll tell you why did it take so long on the haircut. My wife wondered out loud several times about the delay. I don't rush into things. I think about them. One reason I don't like getting a haircut is because they always ask me how I want it done and invariably 99.9% of the time they do whatever it is they want. Therefore, I think about which one to try this next time. I find myself going through the ones I've used before. It won't be them. And, I do remember one of my last hair appointments where this rather large lady at the big box store leaned on me like I had eaten her lunch or something. That's how we used to say it back home.

I'm not against hair cutters, so please don't write me. When I was a kid we had this one eyed barber who did the exact same thing. He would ask how you wanted it cut and when he did all the old whittling dudes sitting around would burst out laughing. I always thought it might have had something to do with that glass eye but come to find out, they all for the most part operate that same way. Over the holidays I had my work car, the one I call the old flivver, checked. It has nearly 170,000 miles on it and has been taking us places for soon to be 13 years. It has been a really good car so I paid $100 to get all the details of why it would not pay me to try and fix all the problems. They stopped when the labor estimate hit $2500 and that confirmed what I pretty much already knew. When I picked it up I asked the service manager how much I should put in the glove compartment before I drove it off the cliff. You know, the cliff was real popular at that time. The fiscal cliff. He laughed. I didn't. But my eldest son has been good to help me look for a reliable car to get me forth and back, you know, to and from work. I had a really good one on the line but it was on Wednesday and I had a Bible lesson to teach and I didn't go look at it and it was sold almost immediately. That didn't bother me because I knew something would work out. And it did. I am now the proud owner of a car that belonged first to this fellow's grandfather. That makes it two owners but all in the same family. Very good condition. Only 131,000 miles. It's nearly 16 years old. That's getting up there some for a car but since it belonged to a grandpa and I am a grandpa, we should get along okay. What's that? A prayer for the car might be in order? Not a bad idea. Have a great Monday and I'll see you next time. Lord willing, of course. Amen.    ....More later.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I may not remember the question but I do know that a cup of hot, black, and strong Community is always a reasonable place to start with the answer.

Thank God for the rain this week. Our area continues to be high on the list for potential drought. That's not a good position to be in coming out of our winter months and this recent rainfall certainly helped. I know it is different strokes for different folks but when I hear these fellows on the radio, sports guys, complaining because their little lives are interfered with ever so slightly by the rain, it makes me want to smack them right up side their head. I'm never glad to see anyone flooded but there has been very little of that, and most of our area received what I would call a wonderfully refreshing and nourishing rain. But, it is Friday, January 11, 2013 and I'm glad to be here slapping around the keys on the keyboard. I did notice that I had written the wrong date on one of my blogs the other day when I used 2012 instead of 2013. It's no longer the problem it used to be when we all wrote out our checks by hand. In fact, I'm not sure anyone does much writing by hand anymore. We now depend almost totally on electronically encoded plastic cards to support our day by day living. I occasionally do need to write a paper check, I find myself trying to remember exactly how to do it. Fill in the blanks and all that stuff. Old people. You have to love us because we are like having our own private amusement park.

I was reading through some resolutions for this brand new year and a few of them stood out. Here's what one lady said: "Dear God, help me to have a fat bank account and thin body this year, and please, don't confuse the two like You did last year." Another person wished their fellow resolution makers well in this way: "May all your troubles last only as long as your resolutions." This one is a little long but it has some pretty good thinking behind it: "This upcoming year I plan to speak up more, listen and pay attention wisely. Embrace my haters, make friends with my enemies, and don't let any nonsense or drama take over me. I learned that you can't avoid drama and some people will dislike you for no reason and if I let that bother me they'll always win." Finally, this lady is certainly on the right track in her desire for the new year: "I want to be on fire for the Lord more than I have ever been! I want to pray more, read my Bible more, and praise Him more! I am going to stay committed to Him and the Devil is not, wait not isn't the right word, how about NEVER going to win! I cant wait to see it." That would be a good one for you, me, and every other person who wants to accomplish something meaningful this year. Amen

Well, well, we have proceeded to finish an entire week's worth of daily episodes for this long running series entitled The View From Here. Number 1440 is now officially signed, sealed, and delivered. It has been another busy week with much routine peppered with some of the unexpected. That is how life unfolds and we learn that we can never really know exactly what to expect but this doesn't mean there are things we cannot lean on and be assured of even when we are caught off guard. Knowing God is the only way I know that anyone can have true confidence while living in a very changing and uncertain world. Knowing God is our foundation and knowing His truth as provided to us in His Word is where we find consolation, comfort, and confidence as we deal with each day. Or, that's what I have discovered in my 66 plus years of hanging out on the planet. I do hope that you will have a wonderful Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday. And, I will do my best, with God's help, to see you next time where we will no doubt continue this ever changing dialogue. Until then, may God bless each one. Amen.         .....More later.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It might not mean you are going to have a good day when you hear a bird singing outside your window. You look. Turns out to be a vulture.

I know today's title is a little on the tacky side. I suppose we could call this Tacky Thursday because I must warn you, there's more where that came from. I do send you greetings from my little spot here at the ole blogger ranch to wherever you might be. And, according to the connection statistics, either intentional or not, that could be from a whole lot of different places, in fact, literally from all over the world. But, it is safe to say that where I am at the moment, it is Thursday, January 10, 2013, and it's time to get on with it. You might be having a rough start to your day but I think we all know it could be worse. You could be like the fellow who went to the fortune teller, got his fortune read, the fortune teller finished but before saying anything offered instead to refund his money. Or, when you Google looking for a new opportunity and it tells you to check under the category marked Loser. The truth is that we all have days that are less than spectacular. The Fox Business News guru, Neil Cavuto, had this to say: "There's nothing wrong or evil about having a bad day. There's everything wrong or evil with making others have to have it.....with you." You may have heard his raspy voice on the Fox News Network which is one of the many symptoms associated with his multiple sclerosis. Cavuto was diagnosed with MS in 1997, after surviving an advanced case of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the late ’80s.

All of my readers know that I am a diabetic. I use the most widely prescribed medication for Type 2, Metformin. It works to reduce the production of glucose from the liver. They had a theory of how it works. This has recently been proven to be wrong. It still works but not like they thought. I'm so very thankful that it helps my situation. It's still a little worrisome that those who developed the drug, tested the drug, and presented it for approval, still had a wrong idea of exactly how it interacted internally to produce the results. It just goes to show you. There's a joke that asks the question about how many Ph.D's it takes to get a Powerpoint presentation working. The answer goes like this: You divide the total number holding this degree in the room who think they know how divided by the one who knows how to place a call to the audio visual technician. In the end, untold millions of people who suffer from diabetes have been helped by this medication, even though they were not clear on exactly how it worked. Now they do know, and, for folks like me, we are still thankful for any and all help we can get.

I tell you we live in a time when irony seems to be the rule instead of the exception. The Obama bailout plan to rescue the financial institutions is back in the news again. The AIG Company is considering joining a lawsuit against the government's terms for the bailout. Supposedly they would have gone out of business had they not received the $182 billion the taxpayers coughed up for them. Now having been rescued they are not sure they like the repayment terms they agreed to. One lawmaker said it was like a patient filing a malpractice suit against the doctor who saved his life. All of this is happening at the same time that AIG is launching a Thank You America series of advertisements to show appreciation to the taxpayers. Go figure. Only in America folks. Only in America. They will most likely use some of the money we gave them to hire the best lawyers in the world to sue us to lower what they have to repay. And, they will do this in the name of protecting their shareholders' interests. See what I mean? You really can't make up scripts like this because we have the world's craziest reality show going on all day every day and all you have to do is stay tuned. What's that? You thought the same thing about my blog? Good call. Another good reason to stay tuned. Take care and I'll catch up with you on the next episode. May God bless. Amen.   ....More later.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Excellence encourages one about life generally; it shows the spiritual wealth of the world." T. S. Elliot

You have to love that little smirk!
Hello Wednesday. It's January 9, 2012 and we are thinking about the birthday of our little power packed power ranger of perpetual motion, Brady Darrell. He is a seven year old today. This is the youngest of our youngest Rodney and his wife Mitzi. We were able to share supper in their home last Sunday evening where we carried Brady his gift and had a wonderful time with him and the family. Here's the story on Brady. Those who knew his dad when he was a young boy say Brady is his daddy's clone. Those who knew his dad when his dad was a teenager say Brady is his daddy's clone. Those who have only known his dad as an adult say Brady is his daddy's clone. That's a joke but it does mean they have their hands full and there's never a dull moment. We look at him and wonder what all that God will do in his life as he grows and develops. Happy 7th Birthday Brady. Love, MiMi and Poppy.

I know I share a lot of birthdays and other special family recognitions. It more or less comes with the territory and since this is my personal blog, there you go. Those many events to share reflect blessings that come with me having made it to the age I have attained. I think I have the growing older down pretty well. It's the gracefully feature you hear so much about that I may have left out of my recipe. To be honest, I don't have a clue what that even means, but it sounds like, whatever it is, it would be like me to not include it in the mix. Here's what I do when I discover I don't know something. I look it up. To age gracefully means a whole lot of different things to a whole lot of different people. I'm glad I found that out. This means since there is not a single definition, then perhaps I haven't left it out at all, and maybe, just maybe, you are getting the full measure of my version of aging gracefully, but, since I don't know exactly what it is, we will just leave it at that. And, you can quote me on this and add my non explanation to all the others.

Turning a liability into an asset is a great way of accomplishing things in life. I love the quotes from Yogi Berra. They are for the most part mangled misstatements but very funny at the same time. There are hundreds of them, perhaps, one of his most famous being, "It ain't over till it's over." He had a funny way of saying things along with being a hall of fame baseball player with the New York Yankees. Here's what the famous Yankee manager Casey Stengel once said about Yogi, "They say he's funny. Well, he has a lovely wife and family, a beautiful home, money in the bank, and he plays golf with millionaires. What's funny about that?" That should be encouraging. If only I could figure out which one of my many liabilities that could be turned into something wonderful. I'll think about it while I consider this one from Yogi, "Why buy good luggage when you only use it to travel?" Have yourself a blessed day and may God bless each one until we meet again. Amen.     .....More later.