Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly." Thomas Sowell

Correction: Okay. I do know the retiring baseball player's name is Derek Jeter, not David Jeter. Sorry. I worked with a David Jeter for a number of years, therefore, I can only assume that my old person interfered with my accurate person and the result was a mistake. And, thanks to Jimmy, our middle son, for pointing it out to me. I hate it when I do things like that. The David Jeter I knew never played baseball that I know of.

I have forgotten how to change the date on my watch and I do know that today will end the current month, therefore, I will be closer to being right or further away from the target. I will tell you that I do love it when it somehow corrects itself. You are right. It doesn't take much to make my day and this one happens to be Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Most of you know that I am an early person. Early indeed, by some standards. Often I like to crank up some world news from a variety of places around the globe. There's English language broadcasts from places like South Korea, Japan, France, and English networks that actually officially represent China and Russia. In addition, one can easily hear from Australia, Israel, and a variety of sources within Great Britain. Many of these have live streamed programming therefore you can both see and hear the news from their location. Here in our country we mostly hear and see what the news bosses decide, regardless of the network we follow. Often they make choices in keeping with their own point of view. I must tell you that folks in different places in the world do not always see it exactly the way we get it here. I'm not saying they are always right but I do think it's important to have a contextual comparison from which to draw a more well informed conclusion. Plus, I enjoy it. In fact, that may have more to do with than the other, but, I will have to think about that one and get back to you later.

I'm not going to get into a long drawn out discussion regarding the new terrorist threats posed by groups that were supposedly previously decimated. Now we hear that while they were decimated they went underground, changed their name, and when they reappeared they had morphed into something much more fearful than before. I guess it has to do with what the meaning of the word decimated is all about. And, oh by the way, there's a brand new group that no one had ever heard of and they had to be taken out because they were considered to be an imminent threat on our homeland. Folks, you may enjoy drinking the Kool-Aid, but to almost anyone with a lick of common sense this stuff just doesn't pass the smell test. We supposedly have the best security and intelligence operations in the world, yet, we woke up one morning and a new group had taken over most of the territory that we sacrificed over 3,000 of our service men and women to preserve. Now the President is saying our intelligence people underestimated the strength and ferocity of this new group. Throw into the mix the upcoming elections here in our country where making loud noises about taking people out is often seen as a political strength and the picture gets even more fuzzy. I'm just a lay person. And, if I can see huge holes in these so called strategies that surely does not bid well for how things might go in the future. That ends my brief throw down on this subject but there could be more, you know, as in later.

Here's one about answered prayer: ~ A woman received a call that her daughter at college was sick.  She stopped by the pharmacy to get medication, got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys inside. The woman found an old rusty coat hanger left on the ground. She looked at it and said "I don't know how to use this." She bowed her head and asked God to send her help. Within one minute a beat up old motorcycle pulled up and its rider was a bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag. The man got off of his cycle and asked if he could help. She said: "Yes, my daughter is sick. I've locked my keys in my car. I must get home. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?" He said "Sure." He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was open. She hugged the man and through tears said "Thank you so much! You are a very nice man." The man replied "Lady, I am not a nice man. I just got out of prison yesterday, I was in prison for car theft." The woman hugged the man again sobbing, "Oh, thank you God! You even sent me a professional!" Is GOD Good or What!?~ I picked that one up off a thread that posts funny stories. It was unattributed but I thought it was good enough to share. Some days good enough will have to do. Take care and may God continue to lead, guide, and direct us all. Amen.  ....More later.

Monday, September 29, 2014

"A recent report claims that half of Justin Bieber's 73.8 M fans on Facebook are fake. What's even more disturbing is the other half are real." Funny Facebook Posting

Welcome back to the real world. That's how most of us think about it. From our point of view, you know, how things really are. Well, to start off with, X marks the spot where I find myself ready to embark upon another brand new work week here on this Monday, September 29, 2014. The use of Facebook really defines what I would call a love/hate relationship. I continue to greatly enjoy all the family updates. I'm also thankful for the immediate connection when folks call out for prayers for a special need or situation. We have a nephew who is working on a massive drilling rig off the coast of South Korea. He and his family live there. We can almost be there with them as his wife posts their daily exploits, explorations, and the situations their three boys get themselves into. We have many native missionaries that we support in far flung places. Through Facebook we are able to get to know them better, their families, and their daily challenges. Those are the things I love about the network sharing we can do. The other stuff that you have to wade through, well, it might be the things that others do enjoy, but me, not so much. I really am not interested at all in hearing about the family pet and their digestive issues. I'm not inclined to want to see a huge zit that is causing life to be difficult. I certainly don't give a flip for the sharing of stuff that should be kept behind closed doors. And, there's more. But, suffice it to say, I dearly love seeing photos of those we love and at the end of the day, the good does far outweigh the less than good, especially when you really hone your skipping ability. How can one do that? The same way the taxi driver told his customer when they asked how to get to Broadway. Practice....Practice....Practice!

Can you believe October is nearly here? I've not heard anyone humming 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire' but I can assure you that Christmas in terms of the shopping season is already beginning to be represented in some of the stores. As for the schedule for my version of the Jolly Old Elf, we have four sessions booked with several others that we know are being planned. I had wanted to do more charity events but it turned out that the paid events have become opportunities to pay much of the proceeds for income and social security taxes. I may have to incorporate Santa in order to reduce this burden. And, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining because I understand that when anyone is blessed financially even if it is vis-à-vis something like playing Santa, there are tax implications. I thought since we are old people now that it would work differently. Silly me. I called them and asked about it. The lady chuckled. Essentially, it will go away when our incomes or we go away but not a minute sooner. Maybe that's where the saying came from: The only thing in this life we can be certain of is death and taxes. And, obviously, not necessarily in that order.

I played a lot of baseball as a kid. I was thought to be pretty good at it. I even slept with my Wilson Al Kaline glove.  Today's baseball is not as intriguing to me as it once was. Perhaps it's the performance enhancing drugs, the personal scandals, and all the other shenanigans that make it less entertaining to me. However, last Thursday evening I did watch much of David Jeter's last home game with his beloved Yankees. I'm not sure he deserved a whole month of what has to be one of the longest farewells in sports history, but, he has been a player who showed the best about the game. That is, he considered himself to be very blessed to play it, he respected the game, and his commitment to playing every inning with every ounce of his ability and strength along with his amazing statistics and his five world series rings will make him easily a first ballot hall of fame inductee. Twenty years. At shortstop. That's a lot of wear and tear. David Jeter ended up his storied career by getting the game winning hit. A movie script could not have gotten it any better than that. In the end, as a baseball player and leader of his team, he's the real deal. Good for him. That's the kind of player you can point any kid to. This past summer I did hear his name mentioned several times as favorite player by the kids playing in this year's little league world series competition. That's good enough for me. Take care. Have a great day and keep on keeping on. May God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

“I feel like sometimes I was not meant for this society.....when you see me smash somebody’s skull, you enjoy it.”~ Mike Tyson, Professional Boxer

As the radio talk show commentators like to declare, I'm making today open line Friday. That's right folks. This means for those who have input to this particular electronic page, well, they can bring up anything they want to. This is activated for today, Friday, September 26, 2014. Since I am the only one offering up input, well, you are going to get my idea of open line Friday. Let me tell you something that I am sick and tired of: Dialing into a sports show and finding the hosts trying to act as if they are experts on all the social ills of the day. If they care so much about all of these issues they should listen to the people that advertise on their programs. Seriously. They are concerned about the treatment of women. They are concerned about alcohol and substance abuse. They are concerned about domestic abuse. Suddenly they all think themselves to have been appointed to be Dr. Phil covering all these subjects. Here's the rub. How about all the gentlemen club ads? How about the glamorization of alcohol and gambling of every sort in the commercials that air? And, the outright sexual exploitation implied as they dialogue with callers about cheerleaders and so called hot women in sports? Give me a break! Here's what I say: Show your concern by resigning immediately or shut your mouths because you are a part of the ongoing enabling of all the issues that you want to seem to be so sensitive to. That's my two cents worth and thanks for hosting the open line forum.

I know what some of you are thinking. Why don't I tell you what I really think? It's just so in your face hypocritical. I even read a public statement by one huge ad buying alcoholic beverage company expressing concern over the way the NFL was responding to the domestic abuse allegations within their player personnel. Hello? Maybe they've never Googled the relationship between alcohol consumption and domestic abuse. There's plenty of studies that indicate a correlation. I am not pointing fingers here because I'm sure there's plenty of blame to go around, however, as a consumer of information, we all should see things with our eyes wide open. I'm not the least bit interested in having sports commentators expressing their purported enlightened views on what lifestyles and behaviors people should embrace. I even heard one the other day saying that calling boys a sissy or telling them they run like a girl might end up turning them into an abuser. Pretty soon we will all have to read from our 21st century society version of the Little Red Book just to see what words we can and cannot use. Don't know what the Little Red Book is about? Look it up. That should do for today. My rant meter is pretty much used up. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Let me see if I can do a quick transition which will end my open line tirade for today. ~ One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to accumulate the building materials for his home.  She read, "...And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said, "Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?'" The teacher paused then asked the class, "And what do you think that man said?" One little boy raised his hand and blurted out, "I think he said "'How do you like that? A talking pig!" Here's one I liked but it might not be thought to be that funny: "It's always hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they're always taking things literally." Okay. One last one for you to ponder. "A truck load of turtles collided with a truck load of terrapins. It turned out to be a turtle disaster." What's that? You thought the ranting was an improvement? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and just so you know, that turtle/terrapin joke was ranked number 47 by researchers who attempted to identify the 50 funniest jokes of all time. I can identify with that turtle disaster collision because that's how I feel sometimes at the end of my blog. I do hope you enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and here's my last warning for today: I will do my best to see you come next Monday morning. May God bless. Amen.  ....More later.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

“Lethargy. It's a word I know, because it's in one of my father's favorite expressions. Lethargy breeds lethargy. It means the more you lie around doing nothing, the more you want to lie around doing nothing. Your limbs and your mind feel so heavy that it becomes a major effort just to lift your arm to channel surf.” ― Neal Shusterman, Author

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." That would be a good one for us all to memorize and use it as a way of starting each day. It's taken from the 136th Division of the Psalms. Good morning and welcome to my little portion of God's green earth where I'm sitting here contemplating the day before us, that would be Thursday, September 25, 2014. That little get away last weekend was just that, a time to get away from our daily routines. However, it's taken me most of this week to get myself re-acclimated to my daily approach to adding my participation to the so called rat race of life. My internal clock is doing its thing, and it can be counted on to nudge me awake between 3 and 3:30 each morning. Therefore, I can't fault him. He's doing his job. I just seem to be dragging a tad here and there. Can't put my finger on it, but, if given my druthers, I prefer to be more like the Energizer Bunny than Sam the Sloth. No. I don't know any Sam who is slothful. It's called a literary device intended to convey my point. Maybe I need to follow that well known prescription for wellness. You know the one I am talking about. "It hurts when I do that. Okay. Here's the deal: Don't do that!" I'm working on it. Maybe it's my blood sugar, the weather change, my advancing age, or something new that I haven't discovered yet. Those should keep me busy for a while. Meanwhile, I recommend we all go back and read my opening sentence and get on with it, you know, get out there and 'git r done'.

I don't know exactly what I was doing 40 years ago but I could probably find out. That's because I use an annual calendar book to keep up with my schedules and major happenings and have done so since the mid 1970's. They are all in a box in my upstairs office at home. One thing I can tell you without looking: Our lives have not been one long journey floating on a cloud of happiness and tranquility. We raised up three boys. We've had setbacks in our personal lives, our financial dealings, and in just about every other category one might imagine. Some we can readily earmark as being self inflicted. Other challenges came suddenly and without warning. That's how life goes and that's why that opening sentence about celebrating the mercy of God has special meaning to me. He's been faithful. He's provided a way. He's been there. For the duration. Some want to find a way of saying the good outweighs the bad, but, from my perspective, it's been Him and His mercy that has allowed us to make it to where we are today and it will be Him and His mercy that guides us to our final destination. I've been around people who act like they would never need the mercy of God. Not me. Not yesterday. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Amen

I hope I didn't offend the Wheel Watching community with my little story yesterday. I hope I didn't offend anyone who actually loves the weather forecasting community. Speaking of community, with a capital C, I sure hope writing about the coffee I drink didn't offend anyone who grabs those tubs with coffee written on them that sit in the middle of the aisles in the grocery stores. My understanding is that most of those big brands are doing quite well. I hope I don't on a regular basis offend those who think President Obama is doing a good job because I don't agree with his policies, his vision, or, his job performance. And, the list could go on and on. Think about it. There are good folks out there who faithfully watch The Wheel sipping on their Folgers while they continue to believe the President is exactly the right answer for America. Good folks. Different in many ways but they are entitled to make those choices and I, for one, am glad they can. I will, however, have to add one last comment about it: They very much are entitled to also be wrong. Just so you know where I stand. One more time. Don't get mad. Get happy. Why? "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Amen.  .....More later.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"That sound means time is running out so I'll give the wheel a final spin. You'll ask me to give you a letter and then you'll have five seconds to solve it."

Okay. It's a little cooler and that my friend is a good thing. It should be because we officially flipped the page to the Fall Season, Monday evening at 9:29 p.m. I should have walked outside to see how different it was between 9:28 and 9:29, you know, being that it made that big change. Okay. It's a joke. Don't get all riled up. By the way, I am coming to you today on behalf of Wednesday, and this particular one happens to be September 24, 2014. There's been over 6,000 episodes of The Wheel as it is called since it began back in 1975. There are folks who are very dedicated to watching this program. My mom has become one of them. My wife's mom was a Wheel watcher up until the day she left this world for her eternal home. I worked with an older fellow here at the Company for several years and he and his wife made this their daily 'must see' TV. They even had a special credit card so they could participate in the daily cash drawing. My oh my. All of that is well and good but when The Wheel becomes a trump card, well, that's a completely different story. I was trying to make some information available to my mom on her computer. I had talked to her about it earlier in the day. I got home, took care of it, and called her to let her know she could view it now. She said thanks but she needed to go because The Wheel was about to start. Let me see if I have this correct? At 90 years young she thought watching Pat and Vanna to be more important than talking to her last remaining son? I didn't mind but I will tell you that is the first time I've been bumped by The Wheel.

And, be sure and know that I am more than pleased that she enjoys that program. Trying to solve those puzzles is a good workout for anyone's brain. I had thought that Vanna White must be around 70 by now but she's only 57, having been on that program for 32 years. No wonder people think they know her. She is like a daughter, granddaughter, or maybe even a great granddaughter. I'm like that about my coffee. I know that wasn't the smoothest of transitions but it was time to move on, therefore, that was the best I could come up with on the fly. I did see another posting on Facebook where one of my niece-in-laws said that she had convinced my nephew to convert. No. They are already believers in Jesus the Christ. They have converted to Community Coffee! I would put a bell ringing sound here but that might be a tad too much. When I call my mom on Sunday mornings she often tells me that she is sitting on the side of her bed enjoying her first cup of Community. (For us Community means coffee, therefore, to add coffee to the statement would be superfluous.) Yes, I do know dad doctors it up for her with that hazelnut stuff but it's still Community. And, after all, she gets a pass because at the end of the day, I'm thankful that she is my mom!

Did I know that not everyone likes their coffee exactly the way I like mine? Sure. I know that. It's mostly a joke. You know. My attempt at humor. No. I did not give a lady a lecture in the grocery store because she put one of those big tubs of imitation coffee into her basket. Man. The stuff that gets told on people. Just joking. I've hit on The Wheel, The Weather, and Community Coffee today. It will be pretty hard to improve upon those as topics. I could throw in some political stuff but I try to ration those thoughts because when I use up a good portion of my space on those issues I typically get the email from the wife with a one word reply: Whatever! ~ "First apple: You look down in the dumps. What's eating you? Second apple: Worms, I think." ~ "What do you call a meteorite that doesn't hit the ground? A meteorWRONG!" ~ List of things you can do to annoy others: 1) Begin every sentence with 'ooh la la!' 2) Tie jingle bells to various parts of your clothing. 3) Sit in your front yard and point a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down. 4) Constantly hum the theme from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. ~ Okay. There were 50 listed but those are the ones I chose. I thought there might be a big finish in there but we will have to settle for a quiet so long for now along with a prayer that God will bless us all. Amen.  ....More later.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” ― L.P. Hartley, Author (1895-1972)

Pennzoil Place
I think I have regained my sea legs and should be a little more steady for our visit today which falls on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. I caught a glimpse of a very familiar place as it was featured in the news the other day. It's the place I called my second home, (my wife might argue it to be my first home), from 1975 to 1993. They will soon be demolishing another place I spent a lot of time, the Houston Club Building, and because of that work, Pennzoil Place was inspected from top to bottom with any little blemishes marked with bright yellow stickers. That way they will be able to gauge any new damage from the implosion of the nearby building. My office was in the South Tower on the 22nd Floor. I burned a whole lot of hours in that place. I even rode out a couple of hurricanes there. I was privileged to work with and to have on my staff a huge number of folks during my time there. It does bring back memories. Kids that I hired out of college now have grandchildren of their own. It, by the way, no longer represents the Company I worked for. The brand remains but the Company itself no longer exists. Fortunately, a much larger oil concern bought up the remaining pieces and they also took responsibility for my pension. That has been a good thing. You never forget places that were such a vital part of your life. I wish I could enjoy my favorite lunch at the Houston Club. It was their version of seafood gumbo and I've tried gumbo in many places over the years but theirs was the best I've ever had. I can't even guess how many bowls of that stuff I consumed during the five or six years I was a member of the club. Some of the memories from my job I would just as well forget, but the gumbo, that's one I will hold on to. Yum yum!

The picture is not really us. Just an illustration.
When the wife and I travel you can sure tell our differences. I'm always friendly and courteous to other folks, up to a point. She, on the other hand, will strike up a conversation and before you know it, she will be either taking pictures or even showing someone how to take them on their brand new I-Phone. I'm not saying she's not technical in her operating ability on devices like a computer or smartphone, but, the thought of the blind leading the blind did come to mind. She is an extrovert and a natural born people loving servant. In contrast, I typically can be whatever it is that is required of me. We know these things from some testing we did many years ago. She came out the highest in nurturing represented by the color blue. This high score was explained by a professor as being like his wife. He said she would lay down in the snow to give someone traction if they happened to be stuck. Mine was scored as a blended hue. This means I more or less move in and out of the spectrum depending on the needs of the circumstance. The folks doing the analysis said the idea is to understand your personality so that you can maximize your ability to function among the many people you deal with in your life. She grabbed that phone and showed the lady. I was thinking what it would cost if she dropped it. See what I mean? I do know that I can always do better. How about you?

While we enjoyed our very brief time away, I can tell you that I was more than happy when we pulled in that driveway to our home. It was time for some John Denver: "Ain't it good to be back home again." Maybe you prefer the famous old tune from 1823, 'There's No Place Like Home': "Home! Home! Sweet, sweet home! There's no place like home There's no place like home!" We've been blessed to live in the same house since 1984 and I think much of my attachment to home is all that it represents: our life together, our family, and the many memories experienced in this space. We certainly had excellent accommodations in our little excursion, but, when it comes down to it, our bed sleeps better than any other. I realize it takes more than rooms to turn a house into a home, and I'm thankful that we've been able to somehow have this as the welcome mat in our modest abode for these many years. From a kid and going forward I've always dabbled in traveling places wide and far in my dreams and they are typically peppered with some vivid instances of time travel thrown in for good measure. Maybe that's a good thing for me because when I wake up I've finished my journey and I'm back home again. And for me, well, that's not bad folks. Not bad at all. Take care, enjoy your day, and may God bless each one. Amen.  ....More later.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Polling is merely an instrument for gauging public opinion. When a president or any other leader pays attention to poll results, he is, in effect, paying attention to the views of the people. Any other interpretation is nonsense." ~ George Gallup

Okay. Here I am. Ready to go. Again. I will not say I feel re-energized because I'm not 100% sure exactly what that means. I have enjoyed my time off, the different routine, and spending time with my bride of soon to be 50 years. It is good to be back in the saddle, one more time, and I am attempting to make sure of it all, here on this Monday, September 22, 2014. I know most of you who read my stuff are more than aware of how the current news media continues to fawn over and do everything they can to protect and insulate the President. I can see it for myself. I don't need for someone to tell me. You can do the same. It is insidious. Recently, I ran across the graphic I have shared with you today. President Obama's approval ratings are in free fall. President Bush's were also in dire straights about the same point in his tenure. Look at that picture very carefully. Okay class what have we learned? News Media to the masses: we are unbiased in very balanced in the way we cover politics. However, the graphic tells a different story. Right? I am one of the masses and where I come from they taught us that 124 reports highlighting President Bush's bad polling numbers is significantly more than the 9 reports that mentioned President Obama's standing. I report folks, but in this case, the obvious is so clear it makes me sick to my stomach. Sadly, the vast majority of the uninformed are unaware of these kinds of in your face discrepancies.

No. I didn't come up with that one while I was on holiday. I had it already in the oven cooking while I was away. That graphic says a lot but it really is even worse folks. Some mainline reporters are gushing over initiatives offered up by the current administration. Many of them are identical to the ones President Bush and his team announced. They are the same. President Bush's were misguided and dumb. President Obama's are on target and brilliant. The good news. The American people may be slow but we typically do figure out how to interpret the actual performance versus the hype. It may take a while. But we get there. When we break through the disconnect between what is reported versus what actually is happening, well, like I say, it may take a while, but we end up getting it. That's why 70% have lost confidence. It sure wasn't because of the great reporting being done by the major news organizations. It was because sooner or later, the old adage becomes the reality, you can run but you cannot hide. They can no longer hide and everybody sees what is going on.

Are you saying these same types of things didn't go on in other administrations? I did not say that and I would not want to imply that they didn't. What I will say is that other administrations often lacked any support whatsoever by the mainstream media. They certainly didn't have any covering for them. There's typically enough blame to go around, regardless, but living in la la land where what you actually see is described as something different and it's reported that way on most of the major news sources, well, it can lead us to that proverbial time when we wake up and find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. That's where we find ourselves today, at least that's how I see it. Maybe I am feeling re-energized, whatever that means. I certainly seem to be focused in on the subject at hand. I'll give myself a couple of extra points for that and do my best to move on to something else for tomorrow. Thanks so much for dropping by and always remember that God is with us, at work, caring and loving, no matter what. Amen. That makes me feel better already. See you next time. ...More later.

Friday, September 19, 2014

"All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination." ~ Earl Nightingale

Labeled as: Undisclosed Location
When many of you read this we will likely be on our way to an undisclosed location. I put it that way for security reasons. Not really. I just always wanted to say it that way. We pretty much live in an undisclosed location in terms of exposure. You know. If no one is ever trying to find you, well, I suppose your location is pretty much undisclosed. It's the 'Don't ask - don't tell location scenario'. How in the world are you doing today? We are well as we pick em up and put em down on this Friday, September 19, 2014. We had ourselves a great time with our Alex yesterday and having finished that little piece of business we are ready to travel across the highways and byways of life, so to speak, although I do not personally know of too many people who speak that way. We will be on the road for 3-1/2 hours and with little to no agenda, we'll just let it work itself out. Tomorrow evening we will be at a Marty Stuart concert so that's the real reason we came out this way. We enjoy this country/bluegrass/folk/gospel group and we saw them in Branson last year and it was about as good of 2 hours of non-stop music as we've seen, performed by some of the most gifted musicians on the planet. (Our jointly held opinion.)

I do hope you will enjoy your Friday, your Saturday, and that Sunday will find you assembled with other believers to honor the Christ who rose on the first day of the week. Lord willing we will return on Sunday evening and I'll be back in the go position here at the blogger ranch come early Monday morning. May God bless each one. Amen.  ....More later.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday to our Alexander Benjamin

It's a happy happy hello day here on this Thursday, September 18, 2014. Today we pause to recognize our grandson Alexander Benjamin's birthday. I remember all too well when he was born. He was a Hurricane Rita baby. The main challenge was having power to take care of him since he had to be under an ultraviolet lamp for a few days. With the help of neighbors, his parents were able to share a generator and take care of his needs. Fast forward some nine years later and we find a fellow called Alex who can be loving, rowdy, rambunctious, and just about every other attribute you might imagine. Since his dad, our Jimmy Sr., lived with us for many years, we became very close to his children. Now that they have moved on we don't see them as much but we still love them all along with the rest of our huge extended clan. (We are blessed!) We are looking forward to picking him up from school this afternoon and going on a treasure hunt to find him a present and sharing a meal (probably fast food) and then we will deliver him to his dad for their family celebration. Happy Birthday Buddy from your MiMi and Poppy.

I will admit that my blogs are all over the place. They are part daily journal where I share personal family insights, challenges, and prayer requests. Some have noticed they feature political viewpoints and commentary. What's that? Feature is an understatement. They also allow me the opportunity to share stories, funny sightings, and other bits of information intended to amuse. Finally, and I am not ashamed of this, they include the essence of what I have found to be the most important element of life itself, that is, a loving relationship with the Creator God through His provided provision, the Lord Jesus Christ. I try not to preach but rather to share what I know God can do in a person's life. And, since I have been a teacher of the Word of God for over 40 years, well, you no doubt will get some of that along the way as well. I would like to think of it as a smorgasbord with all kinds of variety. I said I would like to think of it in that way. I've never been to a place that used the name smorgasbord but I do know it pertains to a variety of meats, etc. If you go to one of those buffet places, you can choose what appeals to you. Feel free to do the same with my blogs. Keep the skip and the delete functions handy just in case. Be sure to take second helpings of the stuff you really life.

What about dessert? Please don't push my metaphor too far. Mine are usually on shaky ground to begin with but hopefully they, for the most part, communicate what I have banging around where the grey cells assemble to mix and mingle. I read a little note the other day where a lady had lost her husband. She went into the newspaper office and asked to place an obituary. They informed her that it was 50 cents per word. She thought about it for a moment and told them to just put, "Fred Brown died." This was upsetting to the copy editor so he told her there was a 7 word minimum. She thought again for a minute or two and finally said, "Okay, let it read: 'Fred Brown died. 1983 Pick-up for sale'. I think I may have seen that lady the other day. She had a stack of coupons she was trying to use at the check out stand. She had two problems going for her. Most of them were either out of date or they were not for the product she had purchased. I had a 7 word minimum for her but decided to keep it to myself. You know. There's always such uplifting and rewarding reading material at your fingertips while you are waiting. NOT! Oh well, she ended up giving me something to mention so it wasn't a total loss. Take care, enjoy, and may God bless each one. Amen.  .....More later.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Leading Scottish historian Tom Devine who backs independence for Scotland: "The referendum campaign has been the most exciting thing to happen to Scotland in my lifetime."

Greetings. It is Wednesday, September 17, 2014, and it's the last day for this week that I will be showing up early here at my workstation. Just think of how good it will be to sleep late in the morning. Right? Maybe. Late for me would be 5 a.m. Sleeping in would be like 6 a.m. But, I'm not worried about it because I can always get up and grab hold of a steaming hot cup of Community to get my day off to a good start. Don't I overdo it just a tad on the Community? Good observation. You would not be the first to notice that. I know many years ago I was introduced to a fellow from Microsoft and his title was Product Evangelist. Hello? I had never heard that one. His job was to go around introducing people to their product line that they may have never heard about. Some have recommended that kind of job for me with the Community Coffee Company. I appreciate the thought but I am pretty much only committed to one version of their product line and nothing else, and in addition to that, while I do love my Community, it is mostly a long running Louisiana coffee source for anecdotes. I would have a whole lot of trouble introducing anyone to Pumpkin Praline. In fact, I nearly gagged just writing that sentence. Okay. Scratch the Community Coffee Evangelist job. I think I will brew me up another cup of that Cafe Special Medium-Dark Roast and sit back and think about it for a while. Feel free to do the same. Pumpkin Praline? Whoever heard tell?

Tomorrow is a critically important day for the people of Scotland. They will be voting in a referendum to decide whether to remain as a part of Great Britain or to become their own free standing independent nation. I've written numerous times about the nationalistic spirit of many Scots as we observed them in a visit there a number of years ago. There does exist that Braveheart mentality where they yearn to be free. However, there are huge obstacles involving everything from currency to military to energy. The ruling party in London along with the majority of Britain are in a race to try to convince the Scots to stay in the union. The campaigning on both sides has been ferocious. Many nations are watching the outcome as they too have provinces that are considering their status. When you have children that are taught to reverence a battle in 1314 that established Scotland's nation status which has been lost now for some three hundred years, well, that gnawing gut feel for freedom is a feature of their outlook and perspective. It will be interesting to see the results. Interesting indeed!

My guess is that should they become independent, there are no doubt folks around that are in line to sit on the royal throne of Scotland. That's right. Tourist trade and all that rubbish as they say across the pond will be a big deal. At any rate, as they say here in our land, we've got our own fish to fry. Remember what I told you about how the Presidential speech about the terrorist threat was intended to improve polling numbers? Well, Americans are not buying it. According to a recent NBC News poll, some 70% of US citizenry lack confidence in the President and in his ability to deal with this reported crisis. I think I may have told you that was my reading but saying I told you so doesn't really help to change the conditions on the ground. I just finished teaching the Book of Habakkuk on Sunday mornings. Here we find the Prophet looking at a world in melt down. It appeared to him that evil was winning and perhaps God was not involving Himself in all that was happening. God spoke to the Prophet and let him know that even in the midst of calamity and chaos that His Sovereign Plan was still advancing and that Habakkuk could be certain that in the end God and His people will be vindicated. Habakkuk started in a confused state of worry and exasperation. After hearing from God, he bowed and sang a song of worship and adoration. Now, that's something we all can learn from as we see our world being turned upside down. God is still at work and we can be sure of that. Amen.   ....More later.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Whether the weather be fine Or whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold Or whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather Whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not." Anonymous from Britain

Hello and welcome. It's Tuesday, September 16, 2014, and I think a rant is in order. I must be a sucker who just likes to be pounded on, time after time, day after day. I fell for it again. These local weather people teased a 59 degree. All I can say is that while I enjoyed the slightly cooler temperatures, the only thing close to their early projection was the highway that carries that same 59 name. I even wrote a blog about it. You might remember it. It was the dream sequence where I was breaking ice on the wood to get a fire started. I fell for it again. But, I wasn't the only one. I saw plenty of people out and about sporting their jackets. Maybe they needed it to carry their suntan lotion in the pocket. They must have been watching the same station. Yes I am aware that the Panhandle got into the low 40's. Okay already. The so called cold front made it to our area but lost some of its punch. Yep. It's always the Panhandle. That area is nearly 400 miles away. As if they think I'm going to settle for low 70's instead of 59. I don't care too much for folks that mess with my head as it relates to weather forecasting. In case you didn't know that, now you do. No wonder they have bodyguards. You know I'm kidding. They wear one of those bullet proof vests but no bodyguards. Joking again. Oh well, maybe next time but don't call me if you hear about some kind of polar vortex headed our way. I think I would just as soon be surprised. Thanks for your understanding.

If you or anyone you know are friends or family of weather people then please don't take this personally. It reflects a long running issue that ends up being a combination of a pet peeve and an amusing anecdote. Maybe it goes with that famous country song: "Mama don't let your children grow up to be a weather person." You what? You don't think that was the song? Maybe you live in a different region than I do. Or, maybe my memory is slightly off. It happens. It has to. Where do you think some of this stuff comes from? There are days when I think if I didn't talk in circles I wouldn't have much to say. And, being in a perpetual circle might explain why I have trouble finding the exit. I've even had that experience in a revolving door. It wasn't that I enjoyed it so much I decided to go another round, it was because I had my mind on something else I missed my exit. Yes. People did think that it looked strange. Finding my spot, I got out of the door and tried to look as if it was all done in a proper way. I'm still wondering why people were chuckling as they nodded to me. You would think they never saw someone taking a few rounds in a revolving door. They needed to get out more is all I can say.

You never did anything like that? Good for you. I think the longer I hang around here on the planet it is the more that I am a walking talking candidate for somebody's funniest video. I suppose we might as well laugh about it because like the folks watching me in the spinning door, they already are. I believe the trouble comes when we are no longer able to laugh at our own missteps and other goofy things we find ourselves doing. Why don't I share more of them? I think perhaps the statute of limitations have run out on some of them and the others, well, maybe someday I will. I heard mom say the other day some little something that dad had done and she added that it was good to see that it happened to younger people, not just folks like her. She is 90 and he is 84. See what I mean? Younger folks. Just think of all the entertainment I have coming as I continue to pursue my twilight years. That reminds me. Does anyone know what the new 50 is? They keep changing it. When I was a kid folks that made it to 70, you know, the Bible number three score and ten, well, they were thought to be the elderly. That same age now is considered to be like 50 in today's world of health and vitality. Someone needs to get that message to my bones. All joking aside, I am thankful for the life that God has given to me and the fact that I am able to do the things that I am still able to do. I'm also thankful for mom and dad who are still able to share their wisdom and a few funnies along the way. May God bless each one. Amen.  ....More later.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NBC Middle East correspondent Richard Engel, commenting on President Obama's speech to the nation last week about the terrorist threat: "Wildly off-base” and an oversimplification."

Welcome to my very short week here at the old blogger ranch. It's Monday, September 15, 2014, and I'm anticipating a few days off beginning on Thursday. The wife and I are planning a short road trip excursion or get away as they are called in the travel ads. I'm not sure how to handle so many that tell me that if anyone deserves a few days away, it's myself and my bride. I appreciate it but I sure hope that I'm not showing some signs of institutionalized fatigue or something. I know some of you have been wondering when I was going to say something about President Obama's speech last week regarding the latest terrorist threat. I'm not sure I am a good person to ask. Maybe I've seen and heard too many of his speeches, but, here's my take. Very uninspiring. Discombobulated. It was peppered with disconnected subjects like the auto industry, the economy, and jobs. And, some of what was said just does not hold up under even casual scrutiny. Like the one about how this particular group is not a part of Islam. Hello? They sure think they are and many of their Muslim supporters think they are as well. Like I say, no there ...there. For me anyway. My belief is that the main purpose of the address was to try and do something about his sagging poll numbers. I hope they don't call me because they would have found them sagging even more. Just so you know. Just think what it would have sounded like had I not been doing my best to be kind.

Some may think a 'no comment' would be better. I worked with a fellow one time who said his rule for life could be summarized with this statement: "If I can't say something good about someone I won't say anything at all." Be careful with slogan theology. That particular fellow was perhaps the most outrageous character assassin and slander monger I've ever known. So much so that his slogan became a parody for all that knew and worked with him. It was literally a running joke within our organization. See what I mean? That same fellow also wore his religion like it was some kind of badge. When it came time for some layoffs he begged me to do whatever I could to keep him employed because of his need to work and his family. I chose not to. The reason had to do with the overall impact of his presence. Weighing it all together, it was a negative, not a positive. In addition to that, there were other much more deserving people to try and find a home for. That was way back in the late 1980's but a couple of years ago I heard from someone who had run into this fellow at a funeral. I was informed that this man is still bristling with hatred towards me because I didn't do what he asked me to do. That was news to me. By the way, he didn't lose his job because another group picked him up but here's my point: His slogan and his religion has not kept him from living in hate. Sad. Sad indeed.

That's a long time to carry a grudge, especially when the other person didn't even know about it. I know about it now. I hate that he feels the way he does. I really do. I can't think of anything I might would say to change his mind about what happened. However, I can pray that he would somehow find the peace that God's grace gives. I know the Church he has always attended is sound and solid, therefore, he does know the truth regarding the harm this type of harboring can do. He wouldn't be the first to disagree with how I made decisions, however, I don't know of any others that are still bent out of shape about it, so many years later. Okay. Just sharing. It might help us all to think about how we think about things. I've been there before myself, carrying ill will towards someone who did me wrong. Getting over stuff like that is not easy but it can be done, but, at least from my experience, one needs help from above in order put it behind them, forgive, and move on. That sure beats being weighed down with a heavy load on your back year after year. Here's how Jesus invited people: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Have a great day and may God bless each one. Amen.  .....More later.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wiki explanation for Analysis Paralysis: "Analysis paralysis or paralysis of analysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome."

Okay. Here's the deal. Today is Friday, September 12, 2014. Last week we had a four day workweek because of the holiday and I felt like I had been run over by a freight train. This week I've been plenty busy but it doesn't seem as tiring as last week. Go figure. Maybe trying to keep up with our little Madi girl this past weekend gave me a running start. Maybe not. Maybe I don't have a clue. Speaking of that, I know people who really do very little in the way of analysis. I'm not saying that in any critical way whatsoever. They pretty much are folks who enjoy life and get things done and really don't pay that much attention. Period. They are good God fearing America loving citizens who don't burn their gray cells the way I do. I say that to say this. Because I'm into the armchair quarterback on just about every detail of life, well, that's certainly not a recipe for being better than the person that just gets up everyday and goes out and makes the best of it. I actually think being oblivious can be pretty enticing. It's not me. It will not be me later, at least, I don't see it happening that way. But, my point is that we all are wired differently. It's easy to look down on others because they just don't happen to be obsessive about the things you might obsess over. Guess what? It's okay. And, I will stick with that story until I have time to break it all down, look at it, try to understand exactly what's going on, and then I will get back to you. Stay tuned.

I certainly know the importance of taking action based on gut or core beliefs. That, in my opinion, is always the balance as we attempt to make sense of all that makes up the world around us. However, I am well aware of that analysis paralysis syndrome. That's where folks study things and never get past the studying. But, that's enough about that because it really doesn't seem to be advancing the ball too much in my visit today. Some days are like that. Since I am not in a contest I suppose there are no winners. And, since most are inclined to see only the bottom line, at least as they see it, well, it turns out to be what it is, nothing more and nothing less. If I had even a notion of understanding what I have been talking about I would call it a day and move on. But, I feel compelled to further elaborate because that's more or less what I do, elaborate. I am aware that Shakespeare said, "Brevity is the soul of wit." He meant that one should use the fewest amount of words and choose those words that intelligently present that which is being communicated. Now you see my problem. I can't even talk about brevity with any brevity at all. Some days. I'm telling you.

The other day a fellow here in the office asked me to watch a video of the daughter of a friend of his. When he saw the video on Facebook he was distressed because she seemed upset. She is a very bright young lady who has just finished college. What he interpreted as being upset was not what I saw. She was pondering out loud the calling that God has placed on her life, to do something to influence others and to advance the Kingdom of God. She was tearful because she knew that everyday presented an opportunity to work towards that end, and a day not doing so, even when one knows about it, thinks about it, and perhaps is even convicted about it is not getting the job done because only getting up and getting out there with that higher purpose in mind is the only way it can be pursued. He asked me what I thought and I told him. Her tearful heart before the Lord is precious because she realizes that He has blessed her with the life she has, the abilities, and all her experiences, and she does not want to miss out on His best which reflects His plan for her. He seemed satisfied that she was okay but perhaps a little puzzled by her focus on that sort of a thing. Would to God that we all would be as concerned. I know I can get a few amens on that one. Right? Until next time, may God richly bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

"9/11 was a deliberate, carefully planned evil act of the long-waged war on the West by Koran-inspired soldiers of Allah around the world. They hated us before George W. Bush was in office. They hated us before Israel existed. And the avengers of the religion of perpetual outrage will keep hating us." ~ Michelle Malkin, Conservative Commentator

9-11. I know exactly where I was when I first got the word. I am sure you do as well. It is a day that we will never, ever forget. May God bless the memory of all those who fell as a result of this heinous act and especially for the sacrifice of so many who gave their all in trying and rescue as many as they could.

Life continues and we are still learning and it is good to know that we still can. Right? Some of it can be quite humorous. Well, that's what I am mulling over this morning, on this Thursday, September 11, 2014. The other day I was out doing my regular thing at 6:30 a.m. opening up our main shop building. There's this bushy cedar Christmas looking tree that grows right up next to the shop door. Just as I was putting the key in the lock a fluttering bird came out of nowhere and here's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, it scared the living daylights right out of me. If I had been hooked up to one of those heart monitors it would not have recorded some crazy spikes, it would have most likely disintegrated. Thank you Mr., Miss, Ms, or Mrs. Bird! Just because I'm not a pet person does not mean they need to be sending emails to each other about it. I don't like things fluttering into my private space/face when it is still dark thirty. Fast forward to yesterday. Went out just like normal. Put the key in the lock and bam! There comes the bird again. But this time instead of doing a shut down test on all my blood vessels, I just said good morning and kept on going. I may have asked if they particularly enjoy scaring old people. See? Still learning. Did I mention that I really don't like to learn in that type of situation? Oh well, life goes on. And, I think we all can be glad about that.

Our great granddaughter has started Pre-K. She is so excited. She can hardly talk about anything else. We now know that it is official. How? She's not even five yet but she's already been given a fundraising portfolio to sell items to help support her school. I know these schools are needy. It's a part of the fabric of our modern times. But, a four year old? Don't get me wrong. We will buy from that child. You can count on it. However, what a wake up call for her regarding the workings of the free enterprise market system. She's four. She can't write. But, knowing her, she will take this assignment very seriously. This must now be a back to school given because we are already purchasing from several kids at our local Church. I suppose it's good that the product or trinket will be available in time for Christmas. (That's what they are told to say.) I remember once as a kid trying to sell seeds. Don't laugh. Remember, I was raised up in a small rural town. I can't remember if it was school related but I do know that selling packaged seeds based on a little catalog with pictures was not that easy. I'm sure there was a prize involved and I think they still do that type of incentive today. A little kid can get pretty excited about winning a little flashlight for selling a few hundred dollars worth of merchandise. Like I say, they might as well start young and it looks like that part of the program is working.

I'm certainly not blaming the schools. We know enough teachers to be aware of how limited their resources are. We also know the companies that sell all of this stuff are doing quite well, thank you. They end up with a highly motivated sales force out there knocking doors to hawk their products. I had a fellow who worked for me once who was friends with a man who was in this business. His friend was very well off.  The schools are needy. The little kids do the selling. The people providing the merchandise make out like bandits. I don't know if there is anything wrong with that picture or not but we can't fix everything. Right folks? One would think that making a good return as opposed to a grossly disproportionate and excessive windfall might be a better formulation, but, that's just my way of seeing it. You know. I say that without a whole lot of specific knowledge of the details but as my own self appointed OIC, (Observer In Chief), I have done my observing, even if it is limited. The good news is that schools will be helped and kids will learn valuable lessons and we will all enjoy flavored popcorn for the holidays. My wife loves everything to have an happy ending so I threw that in for her. Take care, enjoy your day, and thank God for it. Amen.  ....More later.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Don't talk to me about aesthetics or tradition. Talk to me about what sells and what's good right now. And what the American people like is to think the underdog still has a chance." ~ George Steinbrenner

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. McNeese Cowboys
Good Wednesday morning here on this September 10, 2014. Nearly everyone loves to root for the genuine underdog. Last Saturday afternoon I happened upon the game between McNeese State University playing Nebraska. Am I the only one that is absolutely knocked down by these huge college programs playing the little tiny schools? I know the storyline. The big schools do it for, well, they do it for, let me see, and this may be my opinion only, but, when it comes down to it, they do it for a guaranteed win. The small school does it for the money and the exposure. And, unless you've been a castaway on an island for the last 100 years, you can be certain that college football at the higher levels is awash with cash, therefore, they have plenty to play around with. At any rate, the little Lake Charles, Louisiana college came really really close to beating the 19th nationally ranked Nebraska team. A touchdown was called back on McNeese and Nebraska scored in the last few seconds to win. It even had the wife in there pulling for McNeese. I know. Occasionally a tiny little school does slay the giant. That too is part of their justification for continuing to schedule games like this. I don't know how much the average game attender pays in total outlay for the game and all the extras, but, my oh my, it just seems hard to believe they pack a stadium to watch these kinds of typically lopsided outcomes. I even read folks on Facebook calling the LSU beating of Sam Houston State 56 to zero a really good game. You can leave me out of good games like that one. Thank you very much.

Mr. Blogger man, do you have an opinion on everything? I'm not sure but I'll think about it and get back to you with my opinions about that question. Just joking. Hey. We all have thoughts that come to mind as we observe things in life. I know from experience that I'm not always 100% in my reading of the facts. And, I do have some preconceived notions that most likely weigh in as I interpret my seeing of things. That's the personalized viewfinder we all have. It comes with the territory. Some like to project the thought that they are unbiased and balanced in their ability to see and report things. I've got a word for that one: Boulderdash! We all got to wherever we are through the living of life and that my friend does provide conditioning along the way. We say we can see a liberal bias in the reporting of the news. They say that's not true. However, they cannot deny the fact that when surveyed anonymously the vast majority of news media list themselves as voting Democratic and as being liberal in their personal views. I don't rest my case, I'm just making the point that being human makes 100% objectivity pretty much impossible. Therefore, feel free to label my stuff any way you see fit because you doing that would also be an exercise of your way of seeing things. Now I am confused. But I do know that I am unanimous in that.

The President now says that he should have paid more attention to the optics surrounding his decision to go and yuk it up playing golf immediately following his somber announcement regarding the beheading by terrorists of an American journalist. There's a number of ways to interpret that comment. Paid more attention to the optics? In other words, he should have known it would have the potential of making him look bad. Okay. I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, but wouldn't the problem be one that comes from inside of the person as opposed to the optics? The optics made it look like his somber words were meaningless and empty. This leaves one to wonder if the real problem is not with the optics but more so with the heart. But, that would be this particular lay person's way of thinking about it, and, I do recognize that others would see it differently. I don't begrudge the President his time off but folks have always looked for some form of consistency in matching words to actions especially when serious matters are at hand. As it relates to government bureaucrats taking time off, one way of looking at it is that when the President and the Congress are away there's less opportunity for them to be messing around with stuff that tends to muck up our lives. Sounds cynical? Well, I do love cinnamon, if that counts for anything. Take care and may God be honored in the way we do our best to match our words to actions that He is pleased with. Amen.   ....More later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it." ~ Patrick Young

Happy Anniversary to the most wonderful parents anyone could ever hope for. We thank God for them, their many contributions to our lives, and for their continuing testimony as they busy themselves each day in keeping on keeping on. These are special people and we say Happy Happy to them and we offer thanks and praise to God for His provision. Amen.

Labor Day snow for Alaska and Wyoming
Man is it ever cold here this morning. I had to knock the ice off the woodpile just to get the stove started. That crunch under my feet felt pretty good. The shivering. Not too bad. In fact, it feels refreshing. Sorry. That was just a brief daydream that I was having. I suppose it's because they are promising our first big cold front for the fall season hitting this upcoming weekend. I mean it is supposed to be down to 59° one night. Okay. I know I'm acting a little silly this morning but the mention of a cold front does that to me. I immediately checked my inventory of Community coffee just to be sure I have enough to keep me warm. My rough estimate is 288 single serve cups, therefore, I think I have it covered. Shouldn't I have something better to do in getting this Tuesday, September 9, 2014 off and running? That is such an excellent question and as soon as my hands warm up a little I'll try to respond. You know. The keyboard gets just a tad stiff when the temperatures fall. I did look at some photos of folks already getting some early winter previews up in Alaska and Wyoming. Here's a hopeful quote from the Farmer's Almanac's 2014 winter prediction: "Brrrrr! It looks like global warming will soon be taking a vacation to make room for Old Man Winter. This winter is shaping up to be a rough one, sweaters and snow shovels should be unpacked early and kept close by throughout the season."

I agree. I have probably spent way too much time thinking about cooler weather. Like so many other things, by the time you might be able to satisfy that itch, well, you might not be able to tolerate like you would have much earlier in life. It was like the time I ordered up all those streams and bubbling brook relaxation cd's. Think about it. I was in a high stress job and any relief would have been appreciated. So I hooked up a player and let those soothing sounds fill up my night time. It sure sounded like a good idea. But, by the time I implemented the program, I had aged some and the concept of listening to water running all night, well, it didn't necessarily compliment my body chemistry. It's always something folks. Always. Here I am once again thinking about making snow angels as I lay in the cold white powder, meanwhile, at this stage of the game I'm not sure my uncles will cooperate. You remember them, don't you? Uncle Arthur, as in arthritis and Uncle Bursy, as in bursitis? Maybe the daydreaming deal is the best solution for me. That way I can always add a blanket if things get out of hand. Okay. So I've made you feel a little better that you are not quite as wacky as I am? Good. I do what I can to contribute whenever and wherever I can.

It's even worse than you might think. Sometimes I have several blogs under construction at the same time. Do I use my own Slow Men Working Sign? That's a good one. Very funny. I've learned that when the thought process manufactures an idea, I'd better get it at least recorded as soon as I can. I will admit something. Occasionally, I will bring one up that's still being worked on and read over it and wonder not only where it came from but who wrote it. I know. The couch visit needs to be at the top of my bucket list, which I prefer to be pronounced 'bouquet-list' like Hyacinth from the 'Keeping Up Appearances' series on PBS. If you don't recognize that one, it's okay because I can't complain since I don't even always recognize my own stuff. Even worse is when I read it and think to myself that whoever came up with that one, it's pretty good. Now you have a small sliver of a glimpse into my life pursuit where for 68 years I find myself operating in my own personalized version of the Twilight Zone. I wrote all that just to throw you off. I couldn't be more sane, sane, sane, hello?, sane. Maybe one day I will come up with something as good as Dickens from his classic 'Tale of Two Cities': "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times......" Until then you will have to put up with whatever graces my electronic page each day. Take care, remember to thank God, and maybe when you can, work on your own 'bouquet-list'. May God bless. Amen.  ....More later.

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC's Wide World of Sports!” Famous intro written by Stanley Ralph Ross

Welcome back to my little homestead here at the ole blogger ranch where we are getting ready to get ready to deal with the day at hand and it just happens to be Monday, September 8, 2014. After all these years it finally happened. Well, it sort of happened. Last Thursday I'm driving down a major thoroughfare and I encounter something that infuriates every driver. That one fellow in a pickup truck driving like he's gone completely crazy. He is weaving in and out of traffic, driving fast, and nearly running over everyone on the road. But, hallelujah, there he was, a motorcycle cop. He spots the crazy driver and makes a u-turn, sirens blaring and lights flashing, he takes after this fellow. Finally. You know. The question gets answered: Where is a cop when you really need one? He runs that joker down. He pulls him over. I wanted so bad to clap when I came by but something suddenly happened that snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat. The fellow driving the truck was also a cop. I saw and recognized his uniform. He was a sheriff's deputy from a sister county. The motorcycle cop waved him on, turned back around, and headed on down the road. Within seconds, the truck driver passed me again and I suppose he will get home before everyone else. It was good while it lasted, but only for a few fleeting seconds. And, no, there was no sense of emergency on the part of the off duty cop, just driving like he owned the road, and I suppose in this particular case, he did. I hate it when it happens like this!

"Betty Bodder bought a bit of bitter butter. "That butter's bitter," Bodder spluttered, "It would make my batter bitter. But a bit of better butter oughta make my batter better." Then Betty Bodder bought a bit of better butter, better than the bitter butter, and the batter was made better by the bit of better butter Betty Bodder bought." You are supposed to read that one fast. It's an entry from a web based contest looking for new tongue twisters. I thought reading that little ditty a couple of times would get that rogue cop episode off my mind. You don't have to tell me. Rogue may be a little over the top. But, as my mom and granny used to tell me, "It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt." I remember Granny Mac being even more brutal because she always told us the story about a girl that was tripped as a joke and she ended up being crippled for life. You know. That went along with all the stories about kids getting their eyes shot out by BB guns. I did make a neighbor kid really angry one time and he shot me in the hand at close range with his BB gun. I used to could find the scar. Now all I see is age spots. Wait a minute. I think I found it. My story is still intact. Boy howdy, he sure was mad. 

Our Madi with our Tiffany
Talk about things that distract. How about a really good distraction? Her name is Madelyn Joy and she will be five in January. Those of you who have read my blogs for any length of time know that I've always called her our 'bundle of Madelyn Joy'. She got to come and stay with her great grand MiMi and Poppy this past weekend. What a little character. She's bright, funny, and always on the move. I do know that she is her mother's child. We should know. Her mom, our granddaughter Tiffany Marrie, well, she was our first grandchild and we did dote on her, like crazy. So much of Madi's personality reflects our memories of her mom when she was the same age. Bottom line, we had a good time and I think she did too. Maybe we'll do it again some day. You know. After I finish the next round of energy pills. Joking only. Have a great rest of the day Monday and Lord willing I'll be moseying up to a digital connection near you come tomorrow morning. May God bless each one. Amen.  .....More later.