Friday, May 29, 2015

"Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering." Saint Augustine

Hello folks and welcome. It's Friday, June 29, 2015, and I bring you greetings from my home away from home, here at the ole blogger ranch. Yesterday morning I saw something when I arrived here at the work place that I had not seen in a while. It was that heavenly chorus of lights shining ever so brightly. I'm located in somewhat of an off-the-beaten-path rural area and typically the stars are breathtaking. That is, when they can be seen. We've got more rain in our forecast today with some potential for more associated problems, but, yesterday morning I did enjoy the absence of clouds as I walked around with my head looking upward. Just think about those stars. "Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also." (Genesis 1:16); "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,..." (Psalm 8:3); "He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name." (Psalm 147:4); and perhaps the most important reference to the guiding star, "...saying, 'Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.'" (Matthew 2:2) That's a little biblical starology to get our day started. And, here's what the psalmist encouraged: "Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!" (Psalm 148:3) Amen and Amen

I read the arrest report of a fellow who choked down his fiancee. That wasn't very nice. Her crime? It was that recent Sunday where the Indianapolis 500 Indy Car race was on along with the NASCAR Coca Cola 600 later that same day. At the end of the day, and after a long day of some serious imbibing of alcoholic beverages, they became argumentative and she made the comment that she thought the Indy car racing was better and more exciting. That was enough to elicit his criminal behavior. I suppose she at least found out what was really important to him before they married. It's no joking matter. Folks take their particular sports interests way too seriously. It can be dangerous to be at some competitive events to cheer for your team. The NASCAR idiot fellow looked the stereotype, therefore, the news media played it up for all it's worth. He may have even had missing teeth but he had his mouth closed so it wasn't clear. What about all the fights in sports bars? What about the brawling between parents at a little league game? What about torching cars and destroying property in college towns after a great victory? It's shameful. Sad and shameful. 

Thanks to everyone who inquired about our safety and well being during these past couple of weeks filled with stormy weather. It's good to know that folks care. I would do a recap of my daily visits this week but that would no doubt be an exercise in futility as well as like a ride in one of those bumper cars at the fair. I can give you one unifying theme that has been fundamental to all of my blogs. It is the need I have, you have, that we all have to seek God in all our ways every minute of every day. It's like the old preacher man saying that we all are fellow strugglers in this life. I know it's popular to trumpet victory and to say we are victors but at the same time I think it is also healthy to acknowledge that we do constantly wrestle with and do battle in dealing with the vicissitudes of life, or at least I do. The good news? Our Savior has told us that He has overcome all on our behalf. (Gospel of John, Chapter 16, Verse 33) What a great thought to finish off our week. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and I will do my best, with God's help of course, to see you next time. Amen.   .....More later.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Never make forecasts, especially about the future.

Hello world on this Thursday, May 28, 2015. I was born in 1946. That supposedly makes me a Boomer. The generation that preceded the Boomers was called the Silent or Traditionalist generation. I've always felt conflicted between these two. My birth year puts me on a fence with one leg in the traditionalist and the other in the boomer world. Pulled. In both directions. The year of 1946 produced two presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. It also brought forth Donald Trump and Steven Spielberg. There were a total of 3.4 million post war babies born in 1946 of which some 2.8 million of us are still alive. According to the actuarial tables the remaining men can expect to live another 22 years on average, the ladies another 25. We are living in a remarkable age where folks hang around longer. By the time the first of the 1946 edition reach 84 in 2030, those over 65 will have grown to 20% of the population compared to just 13% today. That's a whopping 75% increase. I've said all of that to say this. This day, today, is truly the only day I can be sure of and even it is very fragile as we all know if we think seriously about it. However, I do, you do, we all need to use each and every day wisely and I am going to start thinking about trying to do that very thing, one day soon.Very soon. And, that's a good idea even if I am being pulled by those forces I told you about. You know. The complex deal. Not the apartment. The other one.

Some of that was just playing around. Time is an important feature of our environment and it waits for no one. Here's a quote from The Fellowship of the Ring written by J. R. R. Tolkien, "I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. 'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'" Maybe for a confused Boomer like myself Dr. Seuss' words might be more appropriate, "How did it get so late so soon?" It could be that I fall into the category pronounced by the 17th century French Philosopher, Jean de La Bruye`re, "Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity." Although I'm not sure I'm complaining, just confused. Or really none of the above. I might just be filling up the page with words. However, there's no doubt a message in there somewhere for us all. But, it will take a moment of our time to find it and even more of it if we choose to use what we find in some productive manner.

And, just so you know, I am aware the cartoon in the previous paragraph had little to do with the point I wasn't making even though I acted as if I was making one. I chose that cartoon for two reasons. First of all I liked it and secondly I got tired of looking through the others. Speaking of a sign of our times, the IRS has been hacked again. This time they only got the tax information on about 100,000 of us tax paying citizens. We should feel good. They actually tried to get many more. The acting commissioner had some more soothing words, "We're confident these are not amateurs, these are actually organized crime syndicates that not only we but everyone in the financial industry are dealing with." Did you get it? Everyone is having to deal with this problem. Not just us. Folks, we are talking about the most sensitive data that we share with our government. We don't have a choice but they cannot protect our data. That's clear. I don't have to wait for a hearing to find out what they think they need to fix this problem. More money. More people. And, of course, more understanding from us poor slobs who pay all the bills. Sorry about the minor outburst. But, give me a break. Please. One last little ditty about the time stuff. This one comes from the Holy Spirit via the Apostle Paul. It's that verse he wrote to the folks at the local assembly meeting in Ephesus, Greece about redeeming the time. Here's how the NET Bible puts it: "...taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:16) Chew on that one. Amen.  ...More later.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

“I can remember much forgetfulness.” ― Hart Crane, (1899-1932), American Poet

Good Wednesday morning to one and all on this May 27, 2015. While I was on my three day vacation I came up with some wonderful ideas to share with those who read my blog. They were good ones. But, alas, they have gone to that place where they do such a wonderful job of hiding. I know. I should have jotted them down. Why? Surely I wouldn't forget them so quickly, especially if they were good ones. Right? Maybe it's just that I have so much stuff percolating at the same time. That sounds pretty good so I think I will adopt that one as my story and will do my best to stick to it. Sure. It's aggravating to not have the same level of instant recall that has helped over the years to distinguish my profile, but, it, unfortunately, does come with the territory. I am not raising any white flags and I am not throwing in any towels. I am just sharing the status of my remembering ability. The internet does help. I've learned not to fret over something if I can quickly find it by searching for it. Sometimes the wife hits me with one of those 'what was that program we watched many years ago?' or some other type of trivia that may have landed in a file now marked classified. I typically jump up and walk over to the little laptop, get the answer, announce it, and all is again right with the world. It does make one wonder how I could have files that I created that are not available for me to access. That, my friend, is the question of the day.

My old commute route into Houston. Taken yesterday.
I did drive through some water that was over the road yesterday. I typically try not to do that but I was convinced it wasn't that deep. My eldest son gave me a little lecture about my little flivver of a car going through water. (I think maybe this is a sign of the times as indicated in my first paragraph.) I did try to be as careful as I could. It was pretty scary and I did see where some trees were down. I will tell you this. There are some very sad stories out there with all of these storms. Some have lost their lives. Others are still missing. The devastation has been dramatic. Some dear friends of ours were subjected to a small tornado that touched down near our area and it did a number on their yard full of trees. One of the big ones hit their garage. I'm thankful they came through okay but now they have a big repair project and clean up. This kind of stuff cannot help but remind the wife and I of Hurricane Ike and the impact it made on our lives. We pray for God's provision for all those who are suffering as a result of these weather events. May God help is my prayer. Amen.

Hornbeck, Louisiana Post Office.
The storms have kept everyone kind of on the edge of our seats, but, they are a part of this sojourn. The wife and I saw something on a local live Houston weather tracking map that we had never expected to see. Hornbeck. That's right. Hornbeck, Louisiana. That's the little hamlet of a town where I grew up. Sometimes you see Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, or New Orleans, but Hornbeck? It was one of those tight shots showing the projected path of Monday night's serious thunder storms. My wife happened to be talking to her sister over in Louisiana when Hornbeck showed up. We all had a good laugh because there's less than 500 people counted as citizens of that little place. It reminded me of when I first came to Houston. One of the supervisors had been transferred in from the Shreveport office. They introduced me and told him that I was a fellow Louisianian. They then told him I was from Hornbeck. He immediately said, "Hornbeck, what's that? A disease?" My oh my, it's no wonder I have a complex. I'm not sure what kind I have but I do remember living in an apartment complex back in the 1970's. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless each one. Amen.   ....More later.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

President Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

Welcome back. I do hope you had a wonderful holiday respite as well as remembering those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. It's back to short work week Tuesday, here on this 26th day of May, 2015. The other day I was watching a short travel video about a famous castle in Japan. The original was built by a ruler who is believed to be the first Shogun in Japan. It is dated back to the 15th century. Here's my point. The travel guide was telling about this place and said sadly it had to be rebuilt after the Americans destroyed it as they did so many other places around the world. Really? That's the way you want to describe this replica? Maybe this fellow never read about Pearl Harbor. Maybe he like so many others somehow believe that America was the aggressor and not his own country. We talk about revisionists that like to tamper with the historical narrative here in our country but much has been written about how places like Japan and Germany have downplayed their roles in WW2. I'm not talking about them taking responsibility at the governmental level, I'm talking about what the average school child is brought up to believe about their own country. Those who lived through it know the truth but generations since may be fuzzy on the facts. Here again, I'm not one that believes we should whitewash our own history but that particular comment from that travel person just caused my American hair on the back of my neck to stand up. What's that? It couldn't have caused the hair on my head to stand up because there's not that much of it left? Hey, it's way too early in the morning to deal with that type of observations.

I know. I know. We do have a lot to say grace over ourselves. The plight of native Americans. The civil war. Discrimination of all types and varieties. Rigged election outcomes. Greed. Extortion. And, just about every other form of evil intentions can be found in the history of our past and in the reporting of our present. It's almost as if it comes with human nature. Oh, that's right. It does. The fallen human condition. (Read all about it in the opening chapters of Genesis.) We do thank God for those who have given their lives on our behalf. But, especially, we can be thankful that God did send His one and only Son to die on The Cross for the sins of all. Sadly, the hearts of us all still have the potential for wrong, even for those of us who have been changed by the power of God through our relationship with Jesus Christ. The Prophet Jeremiah via inspiration made it crystal clear: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Chapter 17:9) Knowing this truth and seeking God's help individually each and every day is the best way to have victory in our day by day living. That's not only good advice, it's also potentially life changing. For me, for you, and for everyone, everywhere! Amen.

I do listen to NPR. Yes. They are not just tilted to the left, they pretty much own the left. However, it does inform me as to how the battle for hearts and minds is being pursued. They have recently had to retract a story. A big story. It was one touted in a respected scientific journal. It had the blessings of a lot of academics. It reported on a study that showed people's minds on gay marriage could be changed by active and agressive door to door canvassing. They thought this to be wonderful progress. Essentially, the study indicated that people could be convinced to support gay marriage through a screen door conversation. One problem. The study was shown to be bogus. Without merit. Okay. Now I get to have my say. They were so in love with the outcome they did no fact checking and instead chose to do a stop the presses heralding of these breakthrough results. When their high up press expert fellow was doing their confessional they drug all the other folks into the mix who didn't do their homework either. At any rate, the story could not be substantiated by the facts, and the presumed expert PhD who supposedly did the work, and was supposedly checked by another respected PhD, well, they are not available for comment. Here's a good question. How many people heard the first report but didn't catch the retraction? You think I might need to do some retracting on my own? While I don't disagree, I have no idea where I would start. Thanks for tuning in and may God help us all is my prayer. Amen.   ....More later.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Essay, written in 1996 by Kathalena Peebles who at that time was a High School Junior in North Highlands, California

~ Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day set aside for remembrance of those who have died in our nations service. Memorial Day was first proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, in his General order number 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868; when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. The South, at first, refused to acknowledge, Memorial Day, honoring their dead on separate days until after WWI. It is now observed in almost every state of the union on the last Monday of every May. Since the Civil War more than 1.1 million veterans, both women and men, have lost their lives in service to America. Indeed the Civil War alone accounted for more than 600,00 dead.

On Memorial Day I had the opportunity to witness a memorial in San Francisco, aboard a submarine, the USS Pampanito, a submarine that was used in WWII and Korea. The United States submarine service suffered the highest percentage of casualties than any other of the services that served in WWII. They also sank over 55% of all Japanese shipping sunk in WWII. This was all pointed out to me with pride by several of these veterans.

As our National Anthem was played over the speaker system some of them started to cry as they remembered all of their fallen comrades, the ones that served with them, and the ones that did not. I thought about how many of these veterans brothers had made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may all enjoy the freedom this country offers.

As we stood for the Pledge of Allegiance I saw the reaction on their faces, it was a thoughtful, respectful look, a look of such sadness. I thought about what my dad's submarine veterans group was really all about "To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives while serving in the United State Naval Submarines" I then started to cry myself with the realization of what that really meant . All those old sailors, my dad included, standing on the deck of an old submarine holding the flag with such pride and sadness.

Then it was time for the speakers to give their speeches about their experiences and the meaning of Memorial Day. A WWII veteran talked about the hardships and struggles and the fact that he was lucky to be alive when so many of his brothers had fallen victim to the war. One talked about how it was up to the veterans to teach "our children about the sacrifices made by so many". Another said, "that America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave". So many of the speakers spoke with so much pride about America that it was hard not to think about all the people who have no idea what this holiday is really about. While they go to their Bar B Q's and beaches there are some who keep up a tradition of pride in service to the United States of America and remember all those who had fallen, and rejoice in the ones who still live and remember. Let none of us ever forget what Memorial Day really is. ~

Friday, May 22, 2015

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived. The odors of fruits waft me to my southern home, to my childhood frolics in the peach orchard. Other odors, instantaneous and fleeting, cause my heart to dilate joyously or contract with remembered grief. Even as I think of smells, my nose is full of scents that start awake sweet memories of summers gone and ripening fields far away.” ― Helen Keller, Celebrated Author, (1880-1968), who overcame being blind and deaf

That great rushing sound of air is the exhaling of relief from all those who have waited patiently all week for this day and especially since it ushers in a long holiday weekend! Whoop Whoop! I promise you that to the best of my knowledge I've never uttered those whoop whoop words but I've seen them used quite a bit so I thought I would throw them in for this particular occasion. It is Friday, May 22, 2015, and I'm just glad to be able to visit with you via today's edition. The other day I was washing up here at work and a combination of smells hit me. It's been rainy rainy here. We have well water. I grew up with well water. I've stayed overnight with some relatives who didn't have running water. Something about that humidity drenched atmosphere along with the faucet pulling that water from deep inside the earth, well, I could just as easily have been on the back porch at Granny and Paw Paw Mac's playing in the water as Granny worked through the clothes washing chore using one of those old wringer type machines. I have to tell you this. I love it when things like that happen. I looked around to make sure that no one saw me looking around to enjoy the moment. It didn't take long to shrug it off and realize that I was still in Kansas Toto but those flashbacks are special and I do thank the good Lord above for designing us so that we can grab hold of a smell that will take us back to where a sweet memory abides. Amen.

My mother in law was a very special lady. She married my wife's dad without knowing that she would spend her life as a pastor's wife. She faced adversities and physical infirmities throughout her time here but she did so with such humility and grace. One of the things she lost along the way was her sense of smell. I'm sure it was a huge liability but I never really heard her complain about it. This woman was a plant and flower lover with a green thumb but she couldn't begin to smell the roses. She was an excellent cook but she never got to enjoy that wonderful aroma we experienced as we waited for the call to the table. The kids always worried about food spoilage and things like that but somehow God took care of them. She loved music, especially music about her Lord and Savior. Her favorite style included the mandolin and guitar. She could play the mandolin. She was an avid poem writer and letter writer. Those poems were a way for her to capture some of her favorite memories. She may have even been able to remember some of the smells from the times she wrote about. And, she was a woman of great faith. I'm blessed that her daughters took after her. Amen.

All of that from washing up? I'm afraid so. It really is the simple things in life folks. It really is. Okay. I think I've done my best this week to make my word quota which is a number that varies depending on the day and how well the gray cells happen to be cooperating. They don't always show up on time and ready to work. It shows? I would be the first one to agree with that. Now, it's own to the weekend. I do hope you enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday. I also hope that we all will take some time to remember those who have worn the uniform of our nation and in so doing they have given up their lives for us and for our freedoms. This is what Memorial Day is all about. I know what some of you are thinking. I finished a long time ago, maybe as far back as Wednesday, but I kept on slinging stuff on the page anyway. Some weeks are like that. Maybe the next visit will be better. We can all hope. Take care and may God bless us all and especially the memories of our dead warriors. Amen.    .....More later.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gotcha Journalism defined, according to Wikipedia: "Gotcha journalism is a pejorative term used by media critics to describe interviewing methods that appear designed to entrap interviewees into making statements that are damaging or discreditable to their cause, character, integrity, or reputation."

Good morning to one and all as we attempt to get our day cranked up here at the ole blogger ranch. I'm glad we have this time to spend together on this Thursday, May 21, 2015. You have probably gathered by now that I am an unofficial un-appointed observer of all things political. One of the current big gotcha's going around involves questioning of the potential republican presidential nominees using a concept of looking at past events through the lens of current knowledge. The big one has to do with us sending troops into Iraq. They phrase the question like this: "If you knew then what you know now would you have started the Iraq war like President George W. Bush did?" That's about as unbelievably lame as it gets for a question. If you knew then what you know now. First of all for the most part this question presumes that everyone is clear on how the actions taken by President Bush back then were completely wrong. So, what we have is a boatload of revisionist history since immediately following 9-11, the security apparatus of our nation along with dozens of other nations around the world agreed with this being the appropriate action to take. And it was voted on in the Congress and overwhelmingly approved. Think about it. Think about your own life and the decisions you have made. If you knew then what you know now. Sure, I would have bought that stock for $1 that is currently trading at over $500 per share. See what I mean? By the way, they could well use this same approach in asking about any and all actions taken by the current administration over the past seven years, based on that same rationale, if one knew then what we know now would we have _______ (fill in the blank)? Sadly, my view is that far too many folks see and hear these same things but they just shrug and have their ticket punched to get in the line marked lemmings. That may be too harsh but after all is said and done, it's my view from here.

What? You think it's too early for something so heavy? I suppose I do have a head start since I'm working on my third cup of Community. I do believe the current studies indicate that coffee may be good for you. Some reports suggest more is better than less. Don't hold your breath because this beverage has been on a seesaw for as long as I have been around. It's bad. No. It's very bad. Wait a minute. It might be okay. No. It might even be good. In moderation of course. Hold on. It might even be good if you have several cups. Are you dizzy yet? You get the idea that I most likely have not adjusted my intake based on all these reports? You my friend are showing that you too can be an astute observer. There are some things in life you just have to make up your mind about. Coffee is one of them. To be or not to be is not even a question but it did cause me one day to say to myself, 'Self, why are you always looking for that big tub on special?' That was many many years ago when I concluded enough is enough. From that time forward, its been Community and only Community. Why? Because life is short and as best I can remember I was unanimous in my own decision. Now you know, again, for the first time.

I now have Community here at the ole blogger ranch. I have Community at my home place. It took some convincing but we now use Community at the Church where we attend. And, I am proud to say they always consult with me when they go to fetch more. You know. To make sure it's the correct blend. No. I do not get any commissions from the Community Coffee Company. And, you can enjoy whatever you like, even one of those big tubs. It's one of those rights guaranteed in our Constitution. And, it's historical. You do remember the Boston coffee party. Right? You thought it was the Boston tea party? That's how your books read. Right? It's likely because a bunch of East Coast Yankees wrote your history books. You do know that I am very much out of control in terms of fooling around but when it comes to something as important as coffee I believe it's critical that we get our facts straight. I'll let you think about that one while you sip your Community. Take care, enjoy, and may our Great God add His blessings to the day that He has given to us all. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball." ~ Jack Lemmon, Actor, (1925-2001), Two time winner of an academy award

I've double checked it for you so you don't have to wonder. It got here a little sooner than I expected but it is, it really is, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Have you noticed there seems to be a lot of school graduations at this time of year? Everywhere you look there's another one going on. Well, well, our local area NBA team, the Rockets, have made it to the Western Conference finals for the first time since the late 1990's. The fans are elated. The players are happy too. They did something very difficult. After having played some of the ugliest basketball in recent memory and getting down in the series 3 games to 1, well, they came back. One of the key players said this was their goal all along because when you look at them you see the word pursuit. Pursuit of the NBA title and ring. One commentator said that when he looked at how they had played he saw the word pursuit also, as in pursuit to the exit door. I just wanted to share a different perspective. Oh by the way, this is a good one. Some fan in the Boston area has started a crowd sourcing site to help pay the $1 million dollar fine the NFL levied aganist the Patriots. How funny is that? I bet the billionaire owner is really happy to see that folks want to help him out. That just kills me. Well, not really. It's another one of those figures of speech. But, it is pretty funny. To me. Maybe not you. But to me. Okay. Shall we move on?

You think my thought process lacks continuity? I hear the late and in my opinion great Eddy Arnold singing in the background, "Welcome to My World." Here's one that we knew was coming and it should have made us sit up and take notice a long time ago. China now owns more US debt than any other country on the planet. They crept by Japan in a recent accounting from our treasury department. They hold $1.261 trillion of our debt while Japan, the former biggest lender, now holds $1.229 trillion. Here's the clincher. That same report indicated that these numbers are official US Treasury estimates. They do not include debt bought through third parties on behalf of China. Many monetary experts say this means you can take this official accounting with a grain of salt because the numbers which are impossible to get since China doesn't publish them, would be staggering. That doesn't mean much to most of us but it sounds ominous to me. In fact, it reminds me of that famous line made popular by, not originated by, the old time comedy team of Laurel and Hardy, where Hardy says, "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!" There are mistaken variations of that one but that's the actual quote. I had thought it was 'fine mess' but it was 'nice mess', and at any rate I believe it is transparently obvious how it applies to us being beholden to the world's most brutal communist regime. Yes, the North Koreans and the Russians are definitely in the running for that distinction. (Even a country boy from the rural environs of Louisiana can see this debt situation is seriously bad!)

I know. We typically respond to stuff like that with a yawning 'oh well'. It reminds me of that 1967 hit song from Bobbie Gentry, 'Ode To Billy Joe'.  It's a song about a tragic suicide but even though they recognize it in passing, they've got more pressing issues to concern themselves with. ~ Today, Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge" And papa said to mama, as he passed around the blackeyed peas "Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense; pass the biscuits, please There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow" And mama said it was a shame about Billy Joe, anyhow Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge And now Billy Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge ~ That may be a bad analogy but it was the one that came to my mind, therefore, I thought it to be somewhat appropriate. In many ways it seems to me that for us to continue allowing the Chinese to own us, literally, well, that's kind of like a form of jumping off the Tallahatchie Bridge. But, meanwhile, I think I smell the Community so I better tend to that and Lord willing I'll catch up with you later. May God help us is all I can think of to say as I go. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to." ~ Carl Sandburg

It's Tuesday, May 19, 2015, and I'm just sitting here allowing my fingers to do their thing. If I had not taken that typing class back in high school, well, it's doubtful that I would be able to get this many words on the electronic page each day. A couple of years ago I took an online typing test and I think I could still do 70 words per minute with an acceptable error rate. Now you know. Speed and the quality of the information produced do not always go hand and hand. Here's the deal. The wife left me again last Thursday morning. She went to Louisiana for our nephew's high school graduation and a visit with family. When I came home Thursday evening she was gone. Same on Friday. When I woke up on Saturday morning she was gone. Same on Sunday. She knows I am not a one man band. The good news is that she did return on Sunday afternoon. I had one fellow who doesn't know me well enough to ask but he did anyway. Who watches you when she is not there? Hello? I asked him if he thought I was like the professional baseball guy who has to have someone with him all the time to make sure he keeps himself in line. He said that he thought that would be a good idea for me too. I tell you. The stuff I have to deal with. No wonder I have such a rough time, and a lonely one when you know who is gone.

Another one of your Home Alone stories? I should do a series and maybe even have it made into a movie. What? It's been done? Yeah. I was just pulling your leg. Obviously I wasn't actually pulling your leg. It's one of those phrases that began to be used back in the 1880's. It came to mean that you must be joking, teasing, or making something up. While there are many different theories concerning how this became a common saying, none of them hold up to close scrutiny. Therefore, it remains in the 'we can't be sure' category.  (One was particularly gruesome. It came from London where they said people used to pull the legs of those being hanged to help them die more quickly.) Yikes! An actual article from a newspaper in Ohio from 1881 had this quote: "It is now the correct thing to say that a man who has been telling you preposterous lies has been ‘pulling your leg.’" Many believe this indicates how that it had began to be used and the paper wanted to explain its meaning. I suppose I could have substituted 'jerking your chain', or the proverbial 'NOT!', or maybe the 'just kidding'. But then I would have had to research them and we would still be here talking about something no one cares about. Oh well. (I'll check that one out for you later.)

Based on the state of my recent blogs you think perhaps the wife should reconsider leaving me home all alone? I'll share that point of view with her but I doubt that she wants to become connected to how lame some of my stuff can be at times. It actually comes with the territory and I am in good company. The famous western book author Louis L'Amour was actually rejected 200 times before Bantam accepted and published his first novel. They went on to sell 330 million of his books. One of my all time favorites Agatha Christie went through five years of rejections before landing her first book deal. Her works are believed to have garnered in excess of $2 billion worldwide. As a teen I read Zane Gray. He too was a western novel writer. After becoming a celebrated author, he shared with the world the advice given to him by one major publishing company, "You have no business being a writer and should give up." I'm glad he didn't. There are plenty of others that had the same experience. I've said all of that to say this. Don't expect too much when you land on my blog each day. I think they call that setting low expectations. That should make it easier for me. Or, I could just might be pulling your leg again. Take care and may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, May 18, 2015

"New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group"

Glad you tuned in today for our brand new episode. It is a back-to-work Monday and this one falls on May 18, 2015. I use that brand new moniker very loosely since much of what I write about tends to be a rerun of one sort or another. I like headlines. I really do. At times I enjoy the headlines a whole lot more than the story. I saw one last week that jumped out at me. It was from the electronic edition of the NY Times: 'China's Super Rich, The Bling Dynasty'. If you don't like that one, sorry, I may not be able to help you. Back in my formative years I did nearly 3-1/2 years as a federal civil service employee. That was long enough to gain me career status. No. It was not long enough to qualify me for re-education training when I left. At any rate, my last job was in the public affairs operation at Fort Polk, Louisiana. I was there for about 18 months. We were the press interface for the training post. The Vietnam conflict was still going hot and heavy. We had a newspaper and a radio station to staff. One of the PFC's had come to us via the draft from the Houston area. He had worked for the now defunct Houston Post. His job there? Headline writer. How neat is that? Sitting around all day thinking up pithy wordings that would cause someone to pause and check out the story, well, that sounds to me like a pretty decent way to spend a day at work.

Clever headline in Scottish paper about a devastating soccer loss.
Of course newspapers are for the most part an endangered species today. Back in the day, it was all about what was on the front page headline. It was the story that answered the paper boy's reason to shout, "Read all about it." If you were in Chicago on October 31, 1938, you could have given 2 cents to the paper peddler and purchased The Chicago Herald and Examiner. In huge bold letters it proclaimed, RADIO FAKE SCARES NATION. This headline reflected the panic and chaos surrounding the Orson Welles radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. The opening paragraph under the headline said this: "Hysteria among radio listeners throughout the nation and actual panicky evacuations from sections of New York and New Jersey resulted from a too-realistic radio broadcast last night, describing a fictitious visitation of strange men from Mars." I've listened to that broadcast myself a number of times. And, I can easily see how those who missed the disclaimers at the front would have thought it to be a live news broadcast.

Nowadays the main focus is on the electronic media. They still give out awards for best newspaper headlines but they have now added the on-line headlines as well. An online story about closing post offices had this winner: 'Facing the loss of a stamping ground' ~ Another winner was the headline on a story about worker fatigue and stress: 'The yawning of a new era' ~ An online technical journal won for it's title on a piece about the permanency of posting items on internet social media, 'What goes online, stays online' ~ There are many more but I'm pretty sure this entire subject is of little interest to many of you. Here's my final one for today. In an article about a devastating drought, this title brought the writer an award, 'Desperation is the only thing growing' ~ Now you know a little about what grabs my attention. What's that? You think that might mean I am wide but very shallow? I think you may have nailed it! Here's my own headline for you to consider, 'News Flash: God is still in control.' Read all about it in the Book He gave to us, The Holy Bible. Have a great rest of the day and may God add His blessings to us all. Amen.  ....More later.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Baby Sister!

Today is that day that so many yearn for. It most certainly is. It's Friday, May 15, 2015. The 15th of May is a day of remembrance for us as we think about our baby sister Kayla Jean. This would have been her 63rd birthday but she had an early call to her heavenly home in June of 1979. Finding out that she had an incurable form of leukemia was a huge shock but she faced up to her future with a faith, character, and courage that none of us will ever forget. Today it's almost as if she still lives on through her precious daughters, Stacy, Kelly, and Mary Beth. She also has left a testimony for her Savior that has become an example to us all. Before she left this life at 27 she made sure that she touched as many lives as possible with the truth of her hope, that being her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Happy Birthday baby sister. We will never forget. And, we do know that because of His promise that where He is we will be also, well, that means we will catch up with you on the other side. (John 14:1-4) Amen.

Okay. I want to share a word with all you meme mongers out there. What in the world am I talking about? A meme is something that has come with the internet. It has to do with an idea, a behavior, a saying, that is spread from person to person in the culture. Facebook is filled up with these graphic meme representations. They are typically artistic renderings of some type of favorite saying, a truth, a pronouncement, or icon of some sort. There are thousands of them being promulgated every second of every minute. Once they cycle through they typically come back again, and again, and again. Am I saying they are overused? Is water typically wet? Have I ever used one? You betcha! I just thought I would make us all aware of it so that everyone doesn't need to re-post every single one of them. Oh that's right. Many of them say if you don't share their little graphic it means you don't love Jesus. Yikes! They sure don't leave much wriggle room, do they?

We all recognize hypocrisy when we see it. Like up close and personal. You know, in the mirror. Ouch. But we especially see it in those who openly campaign in trying to get people to do as they say yet they operate completely differently in their own personal lives. One high profile politician is a huge supporter of unions of all kinds. They give her campaigns huge amounts of money. Yet, her family owns a chain of highly profitable restaurants that are all non union. Another large number of prominent speakers go here, there, and everywhere talking about affirmative action and fairness in hiring. Yet, each of them individually have a dismal record in their own personal hiring when it comes to diversity. One of the biggest lying blowhards that loudly decries all things capitalistic as he goes around bragging that he doesn't own one single share of stock. Uh oh. According to his tax records he indeed owns many different stocks through a listed broker. (Maybe it is in a blind trust. Ha Ha.) See what I mean? The other day I saw a TV news story about the Hollywood elites who have exempted themselves from any constraints on their personal use of water. The entire state of California looks like an extra crispy french fry but an aerial view of their mansions show up all green and luscious and their Olympic sized pools filled to the brim with crystal clear water. Oh well. So much for their community shared experience. They probably all have good intentions. Right? Yeah. Right. That will give you something to crunch on until we meet again. The plan calls for that to be next Monday morning. Until then may God bless us all. Amen. ...More later.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Welcome to the new world order: "Life is what happens to you while you're looking at your smart phone."

Hello Thursday, May 14, 2015, we are here to greet you. I started to say with open arms but that would obviously be hyperbole so early in the morning. Paul Revere had his warning cry about the British invasion. There's another one lurking nearby and it's already here and totally integrated into our society. No drum roll needed but the Millennials have now become the largest group of workers in our nation. These are our grands and great grands, aged 18-34 in 2015, nearly 54 million workers strong. Us Boomers dominated for so long but now we make up less than 30% of the job market. The kids of the Boomers, the Generation X's are now beginning to decline some as these new kids on the block ascend. Believe it or not there's already some post Millennials in the job market. So, what's the big deal? Plenty. This Millennial generation is far different than any experienced in our history. On the whole they have little to no respect for tradition, history, religion, institutional family, and they tend to care only about the here and now as in today at this moment only. The liberal news media have gone all happy happy happy over the fact that we have failed to hand down our faith to these kids. They think it's great. Is it? Sure. They can gloat in trumpeting the indictment of our failure to do what God instructed us to do in passing down our faith. However, the media and everyone else are likely not ready for the impacts over time associated when a people turns their back on God. Meanwhile they only want to figure out how to market to these worldly minded kids. Scary stuff folks. Scary indeed!

Sour grapes? I don't think so because I realize that my generation bears a lot of the responsibility for this decline. Along with this troubling situation there has been a surge in this younger crowd who identify themselves as agnostic or atheist. The news media think this is wonderful since our nation might now be able to make progress in becoming more like the enlightened peoples of the world. The social agendas that overturn any semblance of recognition of God and the Bible can now be advanced unhindered. I feel the weight of my own complicity in not doing enough. However, there is still hope. Let us not lose our grip on the truth. What can be done? The Apostle Paul shared the basis that defeats all that this Satan worshipping world can conjure up: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.'" (Romans 1:16-17) And one more from Paul: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled." (2nd Corinthians 10:3-6)

I didn't really mean to go off on a tangent. But, we old throwbacks are concerned for the future of our offspring and the future of our nation. How did this happen? In my personal situation I can confess that many times I found myself too busy making a living instead of making a life that counted for time and eternity. But, God can still turn things around and that's our hope. Join me in praying for these kids as they continue to make their mark in this world. How did I become aware of this situation? I've known about the differing views for some time but it has been this arrogant gloating reporting from these who rub their hands and lick their lips as they basically say to America we are so happy to report that your kids are spitting in your faces. And, they then add that it's about time. Too strong? That's what I heard and that's why I wrote today's episode. That's the truth as I know it. Now. What can we do? Reaffirm our commitment to be faithful to God and take a stand for truth regardless of the consequences. That is a challenge but we have God on our side. God bless us all and may God bless our nation is my prayer. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"What the Founding Fathers created in the Constitution is the most magnificent government on the face of the Earth, and the reason is this: because it was intended to preserve the American society and the American spirit, not to transform it or destroy it." ~ Mark Levin, noted author and defender of liberty

It's Wednesday, May 13, 2015, and we are having ourselves a rainy week here. Some localized flooding has taken place and a few folks have had to temporarily leave their homes. Thus far it has been nothing like the dangerous storms north of us. I saw a video clip posted on Facebook of one of the destroyed homes as a result of a tornado in Van, Texas. The people are shown going through the rubble. They find their American flag, retrieve it, and they find a place to attach it where the roof was before. That little clip showing the spunk of this family better defines the American spirit than any words that might be spoken. I know the current wave of opinion denies the Christian heritage that helped build the foundation for our American spirit, but with very little research this erroneous view is easily rejected. Here's what the man who would become the first president of these United States had to say at the end of one of the most trying times during the Revolutionary War: "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian. The signal instances of Providential goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labors with complete success demand from us a peculiar manner the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all good." -- George Washington [Orders issued on May 2, 1778 by George Washington to his troops at Valley Forge]

All that from a video clip? In a word, yes. I know it has become popular for scholars to earn their stripes within the academic world by tearing down the character of those who sacrificed to build this nation. And, because those founders were 100% human there are faults to be found. Here's the part I think to be absurdly wrongheaded and unfair: They find a fault and as a result they attempt to destroy the good works done by that particular individual. That way they can revise history and turn our heroes into scoundrels. Example: George Washington owned slaves. In the mind of modern historians this fact discredits him and his contributions to the freedoms we enjoy today. Example: The early government and its authority was mostly all men therefore they were illegitimate for not including women. Here's what I say: I'll take them all as heroes along with their faults, failings, and blind spots. And, I pause to thank God for them. How ironic that these folks who trash our founders are actually exercising the rights guaranteed them by the blood, sweat, and tears of those they malign. Just in case you may have wondered what I thought about it.

Remind you to do what? Not to post or send me a clip like that? I'm not working my fingers here just for the fun of it. I actually believe in my assessment of our current situation. Lest you might wonder, I do not think it good to whitewash the past. It's okay to study all the truths about our history and those who helped to build our nation. I can take it. Read your Bible. God used flawed folks because all of us are just that, flawed. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and so many more were champions for their faith in the Lord but they also made wrong choices at times. Many of those choices came with a heavy price that had to be paid. Did that mean their faith was voided? Obviously not since God chose to include them in His inspired faith hall of fame as recorded in the Book of Hebrews. It's called grace and we all stand in need of it from God. Our founders needed grace they didn't deserve and you and I are in need of that same undeserved grace today. And, I would add this: Those haters and revisionists that seek to destroy our past, well, guess what? They need the very same grace we all need. I say Amen to that. And again I say, Amen.  .......More later.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"But we will say something else. That for far too long in this country, people who can work, people who are able to work, and people who choose not to work: you cannot go on claiming welfare like you are now." ~ David Cameron, Prime Minister, Great Britain

Good morning and welcome. It's Tuesday, May 12, 2015, and it is good to see you today. I am aware that some wonder if I feel better after getting rid of a good rant out of my system about this, that, or the other. Maybe a little. Reality tells us that letting off steam about stuff typically has little impact on the problem. But, it does provide that small relief, therefore, we look here and there to find the opportunity to sound off. Not really. Many of the things I talk about are serious issues. I may take a tongue in cheek approach but believe me when I say that often the underlying challenges are quite daunting. It's good when the world gets it wrong. Last week's election in Great Britain is a great example. The Conservatives led by David Cameron were given little chance to remain in power. All the polling indicated a too close to call election. Every major source supported this theory. On election day the people gave Mr. Cameron and his party a resounding victory, throwing cold water on all the sophisticated polls along with the blowhard pundits. It just goes to show you that people can still show up and make a difference. Let me be clear, the Conservatives in Great Britain are not like conservatives here, however, they are significantly less liberal than their counterparts, the Labor Party. Speaking of that, we can't even figure out the meaning of conservative here in our own land. But, that's a different story for a different day.

Here's a couple of news items that while they didn't surprise me, things like this still cause me to scratch my head. The super liberal throw away any and all societal morals electronic news source, The Huffington Post, ran a featured article about Mothers Day. Their take? Celebrate Mothers Day by embracing abortion. To them killing babies and honoring mothers goes together real well. In a related Mothers Day article one of the save the earth campaigners lamented how that people who give flowers are helping to destroy the planet. How low will celebrities go to assure their peers accept them? One very celebrated comic recently gained favor by telling a little story that placed President Ronald Reagan in hell. These are the same people that say we should go out of way not to say anything bad about those bent on our destruction but when it comes to dead American heroes, the gutter is their playground. And they are so individualistic they require all of their ilk to wildly applaud on cue because not to do so would endanger their club membership. What did you say? Why don't I tell you what I really think? I can tell you this: Stuff like that does tend to get me riled.

You think what? If I keep this up I may get my picture in the dictionary by the word discombobulated? Please don't tease me because that would be a great honor. There are some days where you just have to go with the flow even if it doesn't seem to be headed in any one direction. Or maybe it is going in all directions at the same time. This daily production of material comes as a result of me working without a net. You would think one would get better at it with practice. And, today marks my 2,043rd practice session. They say that laughter is like exercise for your insides. It supposedly lowers your blood pressure. Old fashioned funny stories and jokes have given way to mostly photos and videos since we live in a visual world. We see the guy on the treadmill. An attractive lady is working out close to his area. He is seen obviously paying attention to her. Distracted, he loses his balance and the treadmill works him over. He is humiliated but to the rest of the world it's funny because it's a slice of life. And it lowers your blood pressure. And it gives something on the inside a workout. One would hope. Take care and may God bless each one. Amen.  .....More later.

Monday, May 11, 2015

“A certain man once lost a diamond cuff-link in the wide blue sea, and twenty years later, on the exact day, a Friday apparently, he was eating a large fish - but there was no diamond inside. That’s what I like about coincidence.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

Good morning. Welcome back. Let's see what we can stir up for you on this Monday, May 11, 2015. I want to send a shout out to whoever it was that spoke to the traffic coordinator on my little route. After writing about it, they must have gotten the message because on my very next commute I came through with flying colors. It was like they were all afraid of me. I might have even sensed them bowing down to me. Not one stop. Not even one. That is, except for that last left turn. And, he didn't mess around in getting me a green light. That's what I'm talking about! What's that? You think what? It all might be purely coincidental? That's a good one. Keep thinking that Bucko and you might end up not letting things bother you so much. We do all love a good little gloating story now and then. Right? I worked with a big fellow one time who loved his ice cream. He always bought two scoops at the same place. One day he went in and the two young guys began to argue about whose turn it was to wait on the next customer. After way too long one of them finally came over. My co-worker reached and grabbed him and shook him real good. He told the workers there that when they saw his car turning in they had better have the scooper ready to go. They both were shaking. Next time he came for his afternoon treat he turned into the parking lot. To his surprise, one of the fellows ran to the door and held it open and the other already had his cone prepared. Whoever spoke to that traffic fellow, thanks. Tell them to keep up the good work.

Tax payer funded training that included teaching IRS employees how to line dance.
No. I am not this foolish most of the time. I just play like I'm one of those types occasionally when I write. Thanks for noticing. Well, we just found out what happens when you work for the IRS and you cheat on your taxes as well as not paying your taxes. You get promoted and you get an annual bonus. A recent report from the auditing arm of the government indicated serious issues with IRS employees who are delinquent in paying their taxes. The interim commissioner promised Congress to improve things. However, he is the only one at the IRS who can keep an employee from being fired for cheating or not paying their taxes. He exercised that option many times and even went further by promoting the cheats or granting them a bonus. I well remember seeing him being interviewed at a congressional oversight hearing. Because of confidentiality, he, of course, could not discuss individual cases. That's the old circular logic runaround. The law will not allow me to talk about the lawlessness in my own department. Is there any wonder why people who work hard and try to live by the rules are fed up? You don't have to take my word on this matter. Look it up. Read it for yourself so you can join the rest of us who are fit to be tied!

Well, we all can sleep better at night knowing the months delayed $5 million dollar investigation into the use of deflated footballs in the NFL has now been published. It doesn't come right out and say New England and Tom Brady also known as Tom Terrific were caught directly cheating but it does say the preponderance of the evidence indicates that is exactly what happened. This has caused an uproar throughout the fruited plain. It was a clear violation of a printed NFL rule. People who like Tom Brady and the Patriots think the whole situation is nothing more than an absurd example of idiocy. Those on the other side think he should do time at Gitmo for his crimes against humanity. While most of it is silly here's something that is troubling to me. So many callers I've heard on sports radio have related how they were taught to cheat as little kids playing in competitive games. This was done by their coaches who often were supposedly the role models in their communities. That to me is saddest of all. I never experienced that as a kid playing baseball but then again I was in a small town and maybe we had not learned all those neat tricks yet. What have we learned today? Society in general is a mess folks unless you missed it. Take care and may God watch over us all is my prayer. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, May 8, 2015

"Motherhood is a great honor and privilege, yet it is also synonymous with servanthood. Every day women are called upon to selflessly meet the needs of their families. Whether they are awake at night nursing a baby, spending their time and money on less-than-grateful teenagers, or preparing meals, moms continuously put others before themselves." ~ Charles Stanley

It may not be marked with an X to let you know your exact location, but, let me assure you this is the place to be get Friday started here on this May 8, 2015. This upcoming Sunday is the day set aside to honor our moms. It is a celebration that comes very naturally to me and my clan. I can surely identify with Dr. Stanley's comments in today's title for we have been surrounded by, served by, influenced by, blessed by, and changed for the better by the moms God has placed in our lives. The photo shows just four of the women that have blessed my life as examples of Godly motherhood. My Granny Mac and my mother-in-law have gone on to their reward but I am thankful to still have mom, my wife, and my daughters-in-law and one granddaughter mommy to honor on this occasion. There are others. My wife's grandmothers, my aunts, and the moms who taught me in the classes where I attended school. In addition, it would be impossible for me to name all the wonderful moms that have contributed to my life that were members of local assemblies where we attended. Can moms still follow God's plan for their calling? They most certainly can and I thank God for those who did just that in making a difference in my life. Happy Mother's Day. Amen.

It happened again the other day. They were doing something with the traffic signals to see just how irritated I could get. At 3:45 a.m., I am essentially on a deserted roadway minding my own business, doing my best to get from point A to point B. However, on that particular day every light changed. No crossover traffic. Nobody. Nowhere. But they still changed. They cycled. They made me stay in one spot even though I was the only one on the street. Right turn. Left turn. All the invisible cars could go but me. It added maybe a whopping 5 minutes to my commute. I'm not sure what it added to my blood pressure but I can assure you it didn't cause it to go down. I finally made it through the maze even though on the very last left turn I ended up having to make the turn against a red light. Here's my thinking. All these intersections have those little monitor cameras for traffic control. Someone at the control board recognized my little car. They called their buddy over and invited to watch while they have some fun. They told their associate to keep a close eye on the driver to see how long before the steam comes out of their ears. It could have happened that way. But here's the truth: I did get fidgety and a little frustrated, but, it also dawned on me that it was not a big enough problem to let it ruin my day. Looking at it like that made me feel better. A little. But, if you happen to see that traffic dude, be sure and let them know that I would like to have a word. Thank you very much.

The previous little tidbit was subjected to a fair amount of embellishment, however, the basis for the report is 100% accurate. You think what? Maybe I suffer from a little tinge of a persecution complex? I don't think so but I will not deny that the Coasters tune did come into my mind, "Why is everybody always picking on me?" I agree. I wouldn't want to be me either but my response, sadly, is summed up by this way overused euphemism, "It is what it is." You do know I'm just playing around. Maybe they wouldn't recognize me if I changed cars. Okay. Enough of that. It's been some week. I had such a great time with my mom last weekend but she ended up in the hospital this past Tuesday because of a virus. At 91 she is still a fighter and we are thankful that she should be able to go home today. I've also been very busy getting ready for our Mom's Day celebration. I have my mom and I've already given her a table plant and a homemade card. This weekend we are planning a get together and if all goes well all our moms will be there. My wife, my three daughters-in-law, and my granddaughter. Wow! That's a lot of moms to honor but we are so looking forward to the entire gang being together again! As they say back home, that surely is enough to say grace over. Until next time, happy mother's day to all you wonderful moms, and may God bless us all is my prayer. Amen. .....More later.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

"A baby is God's opinion that life should go on." ~ Carl Sandburg

If you landed on this particular blog by mistake I believe the escape key will get you back to where you came from. Just trying to be helpful on this Thursday, May 7, 2015. You can be for or against unions all you want to be, but, you cannot doubt the power of those that represent federal employees. The lady who previously headed up the Drug Enforcement Agency testified that she did not have the authority to fire agents who were involved in egregious behavior. She said they were protected by the union they belonged to. What had they done? In South America they had participated in sex parties with prostitutes provided by the drug cartels. Yes. She had to resign or in her case retire. It was a huge embarrassment to the current administration. I wonder what the real issue was? Is it because she told the truth about her hands being tied? Or, does this reflect the current state of our government in terms of how employees are dealt with, regardless of the situation they are found to be involved in? The current Secret Service Director recently talked about the limitations he had in disciplining agents who had broken the rules of conduct. One agent had driven drunk and crashed through a gate at the White House. Unions may play an important role in some areas of our economic structure. I remember as a young worker I joined the union to work on the construction of a dam. The company decided they no longer needed to pay electricians to do nothing more than to connect the cable of a bulldozer to a portable light plant. They would drag the light plants around so that work could be done at night. A laborer could easily do this job. It had nothing to do with operating the light plant. One night I arrived to find the road blocked by union officials who had shut down the job until the company agreed to restore this duty to union electricians. Even as someone very young this made no sense to me. Take that mentality, put it on steroids, and I think you get an idea of why our government is so messed up. (Yes. It is an opinion piece.) I know folks who I respect and love and they are committed to the union they belong to. I very much believe that folks should have the right to associate in whatever way they choose, or not to do so if that is their persuasion.

Since I have moved into rant mode, let me hit another hot button topic. Black lives matter. Police lives matter. Latino lives matter. Asian lives matter. Girls lives matter. (I will not even comment about the absence of White lives matter, or Boys lives matter.) We have heard this as a mantra over the last several months. Many of those espousing this as a right to life slogan want nothing to do with one that says All lives matter. Those who oppose abortion are not invited to participate in this sudden preoccupation with the sanctity of life that has gripped so many lately. In fact, those who promote this onset appreciation for the value of life often say the lives of the unborn are not comparable. In other words, the unborn life is not really a life so we don't want to hear about them as we attempt to raise the consciousness of how that certain lives matter. I even saw where one celebrity was forced to walk back her comments concerning all lives matter to make sure everyone knew she was on board with abortion. She caught flack for saying the wrong thing. (Political correctness run amok.) I don't know if we are living in bizzaro world but our social fabric today is unraveling as we see huge disconnects in people's vision of baseline morality. This disconnect cannot be missed. That is, if people are paying attention. (Opinion piece number two.)

Thanks. I appreciate the recommendation for me to take a few deep breaths and regain my composure. Just kidding. No wonder my mom worries about the stuff I write about. One of the things I enjoy is hearing someone tell a story they read in my blog. Often they can't remember where they heard it, (and I surely don't tell them), but it does show that occasionally my stuff does have legs. (Whatever that means.) On a lighter note, where I grew up we had Redneck jokes without calling them that or even having a name for them. Just country folks doing what they do. But, as the well known comic says, you might just be one too if.... ~ Your old car has now become a main storage unit. ~ After your divorce you can still call your ex, Cuz. ~ The Roto-Rooter man calls for backup when he visits your house. ~ You were arrested once for how you acquired your girlfriend's roses. ~ You've actually burned your yard instead of mowing it. ~ Your kids have taken a siphon hose to school for show and tell. ~ You carried your fishing pole when the family went to Sea World. ~ You've tried to use your belt buckle as a form of identification. ~ You've used a red rag in place of the gas cap on your vehicle. ~ Your idea of taking a cruise is making a trip to Dairy Queen with the wife. ~ Okay. Maybe one of those will make you smile. If not, don't forget to keep the delete key handy. Until next time may God bless us all is my prayer. Amen.  ....More later.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"If it is ever right to do God's will, then it is right to do it - today!" Quote from a printed Bible Study,

It's still very early but so far it's a good day here at the old blogger ranch and I send out a big ole howdy to everyone tuned in today's episode, on this Wednesday, May 6, 2014. I suppose most of us have stuff we need to work on all the time. There's always something. Right? I was really on track to hit my target on my weight but something happened on the way and I'm pretty much restarting again. I really thought I could make more progress on my diabetic blood glucose numbers, and, on some days I do quite well. On others, I think seriously about seeing how far I can throw my testing equipment. Then we have our attitude and the testimony and influence we want to have on others. It's certainly not just our actions, it also has to do with our reactions. It's a struggle to make progress in this old life, but, we have God to help us as we deal with the obstacles we face. Just recently I heard someone talking about seeking the Lord's leadership in a matter that some might think to be trivial. They wanted to be sure so they sought God's will. Guess what? God used a specific circumstance to answer their question. Now that's something we all can learn from. Take it all: small, medium, and large to the Lord. What was that I said last week? There's always tomorrow, but in my case, maybe I need to look more at 'today'. What say you?

Our government drops the ball a lot folks. They knew about the Boston boys who did the bombing. They had their suspicions. They were following up, but, the investigation faltered because of the bureaucratic maze that exists between all the variety of agencies involved. Our government knew about the Garland shooters. One in particular had been on their radar screen before. They knew that he was radicalized but because of how it was all handled he remained free and available to do his dastardly deed. I fully realize that freedom in and of itself provides situations where bad people can do bad things. However, it is galling to me that we spend billions upon billions and when something does happen we discover all this ineptitude at work within the so called elite agencies who supposedly are there to protect us. The Fort Hood shooter showed signs but not enough was done beforehand. Chain of command, protocols, procedure, and the process itself stood in the way of doing what should have been done. My very small amount of insight having worked for the USAF, the Veteran's Administration, and the US Army, tells me not how hard it is for things to be dropped, but, how easy. I'm not an alarmist but doesn't these kinds of things, time and time again, begin to make us all wonder? Pretty scary if you ask me. You didn't but I shared it anyway.

My wife sent me a note the other day saying she has no clue how my mind works. She said when she reads my blog she gets the idea that if you don't like one subject, move on because Lord only knows what is coming up in the next paragraph. Thanks. I think. She might not know how my mind works but she does know me. I think sometimes I was stuck with one of those kaleidoscope thingies in my head. It also gives me an opportunity to throw out one of my favorite words as a possible explanation. Discombobulated. Back to my theme for today. If we have something to do that will serve the Lord and help others, it would be best for us to busy ourselves in the doing of it. Today. It may be a word of encouragement or testimony. It may be a phone call or visit to comfort someone hurting. It may be a random act of kindness. Making His will our priority will change our thinking along with our sense of urgency. Okay. That should do it for today. I pray that God will provide for us all as we continue our journey here. Amen. ....More later.