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Thursday, April 25, 2013


     Last week was a heck of a week, wasn't it? If you have been living off the grid in a cave somewhere, here's what's been happening.

     Last Monday was Patriot's Day. Patriot's Day is a uniquely Massachusetts state holiday. If you remember your American History, the shot that was heard around the world was fired by British troops in Massachusetts. Much of the revolutionary fervor was birthed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...but I digress.

     One of the Patriot Day traditions is the running of the Boston Marathon. Thousands of runners from around the world come to Boston to run the 26.2 mile marathon. In addition to the runners, are hundreds of thousands of spectators who gather along the marathon route to cheer the runners on and to take in the festival ambience that is the Boston Marathon.
     Shortly before 3:00 p.m. two bombs were exploded on Boylston Street near the finish line. These bomb blasts killed three people, including two colleged aged women and an eight year old boy. In addition, about 260 people were injured. Many of these injuries consited of  limbs being torn off and lacerations caused by flying shrapnel. 

     This horrific incident brought out the best of what is America. Our first responders, Police, Fire and Emergency Medical personnel, rose to the challenge and rushed in to the danger zone while everyone else was running they should have been doing.
     Ordinary Americans stepped up to help the injured by applying tourniquets and administering other first aid and by helping the first responders transport the injured to medical attention. 
     Marathon runners who had just run 26.2 miles ran a couple more miles to the nearest hospital to donate blood for the injured.
     The best of America was on display that day!

     The law enforcement community consisting of federal, state and local agencies sprung into action. They worked around the clock to identify and try to apprehend those who were responsible for the bombings.
     By Thursday, the police identified two persons of interest who were seen on video carrying two back packs in the location of the blasts. There was video showing one of the suspects placing his backpack on the ground along Boylston Street. The Police (FBI) published pictures through the news media, soliciting the people to call them with information if anyone recognized the subjects in the photographs.

Officer Donohoe and Officer Collier
     Thursday night, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Officer Sean Collier was murdered by the suspected "Marathon Bombers" while he was sitting in his patrol car. Another officer, MBTA Transit Officer Richard Donohoe was also shot and critically injured. Both officers were classmates at the same Police Training Academy.
     After these two brave officers were shot, the two suspects carjacked a SUV and it's owner. At some point when the suspects stopped to put gas in the SUV, the owner escaped and police were notified.

     Following the car jacking, police caught up to the carjacked SUV and a shootout ensued. One of the suspects was killed in the shootout. The other suspect escaped. He was captured later, but that story is for a later blog entry.

     Three people are dead, one of which is an eight year old boy! One officer is dead, and another is fighting for his life in a Boston hospital! Hundreds of people are injured, some with severe, life changing injuries! Through it all the people of metropolitan Boston stood tall! The first responders stood tall! The marathon runners stood tall! The best of America was on display that day! That Week!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


     Thank you Joyce for more thought provoking questions on this April Showers Hodgepodge!

1. April showers bring May flowers...what have you been showered with this month?
     I was showered with love and good wishes on the occasion of my 59th birthday. I am humbled by the number of people who hold me in such high esteem and at the same time am very grateful for it.

2. What is the nature of compassion?  Is it learned or innate?  Can compassion be learned?  If you're a parent is this something you've purposely sought to instill in your children, and if so how?
     Compassion is that quality where you recognize another's suffering and desire to relieve it. Compassion is something that must be taught AND modeled and is therefore learned. As parents, SWMBO and I sought to instill compassion in our children by example. When someone we knew was ill or otherwise hurting we taught compassion by showing compassion. We explained what we were doing and why.

3. Do you prefer to watch romantic comedy or romantic drama...or are you rolling your eyes saying bring on the action flicks?
     I'm with the "rolling your eyes" crowd but I will sit through a romantic comedy with SWMBO. If I'm choosing the movie though, bring on the adventure, action and mayhem, please!

4.  It's April which means baseball season is officially upon us here in the US of A. Humphrey Bogart is quoted as saying "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." Agree or Disagree?
     Although, I love a good roast beef, I have to go with Bogie on this one. I love the ambience of a professional ball park. The smells of the food cooking, the sound of iced beer flowing, and the crowd cheering is just magnificent!

5. What's something in your community or city that needs fixing or improving?
     By and large our community is fairly well run. We have a terrific police and fire department. Our highway department does a good job of maintaining our roads and our taxes are reasonable. One improvement would be if we had a Sonic drive-in restaurant in town.

6. Share a song you enjoy that mentions flowers or a specific flower in its title.
     "Every Rose has a Thorn" by the hair band "Poison!"

7. April 22nd is Earth you believe there's life on other planets?  That wasn't the question you were expecting was it? 
     I don't believe that there is life on other planets. I think that we're the only planet that has life on it, the only game in town as it were. Having said that, I am open to the possibility that I am wrong and that there is, in fact, life on other planets. There's no reason to conclude that God could not have created life on other planets, I just don't think that He did. It's a difficult proposition to prove one way or the other!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Last week was a difficult week for the people in the Boston metropolitan area because of the Boston Marathon Bombings and the resulting loss of life and the number and severity of the injuries.
     As difficult as last week was for us Bostonians, the people in the small town of West, Texas, have suffered an incredible trajedy with the explosion of the local fertilizer plant. Fourteen people were killed, twelve of which were first responders. Over two hundred people were injured. About eighty homes and a middle school were levelled in the blast. May God bless that suffering community.
     Last week was a difficult week, especially for first responders. GOD BLESS ALL FIRST RESPONDERS, POLICE - FIRE - MEDICAL!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


     There's a medical conspiracy afoot. About a year ago my Primary Care Physician spoke to me about getting a "sleep study" to determine if I have sleep apnea but never ordered the test.
     This year my PCP sent me to a nutritionist to educate me on how I should eat better. She asked me how I slept. SWMBO, who accompanied me to the appointment, gave her perspective and I gave mine. The nutritionist recommended that I have a sleep study done. I reluctantly agreed. So the nutritionist set the appointment...for the following week.
     I reported to the Sleep Center at 9:00 p.m. The staff showed me to my room and allowed me to change into my PJ's and get settled in. Once I was comfortable with the room and such the sleep technologist escorted me to a room with a chair...THE CHAIR.
     Once seated, the technologist explained what he was going to do to me and how he was going to do it. Basically he was going to wire me with numerous wire leads to record and monitor everythng that my body did while I slept. I had wires hooked to me everywhere. I found it hard to believe that anyone could sleep with all those wires attached everywhere as they were. Well, sleep I did! So far the results of the study aren't in. When they do come in I'll let you know what happened and what the next step is.

     A couple of months ago I get a phone call from the colonoscopy people. These are the same people who abused pets when they were small children. They said it's been five years since my last test and would I like to schedule the procedure? I said "No freakin way!" I told them that I was scheduled to see my PCP in a couple of months and I would discuss it with him.
     I saw my PCP this week. By the way, while I was sitting in the exam room, the nurse who took my vitals also asked me a series of routine questions. One of the questions kinda made me laugh. The nurse asked me how my mental health was.
     I told her my mental health was excellent but added that if she asked some people who knew me, she would probably get some much different answers. I then asked her "If I was really bat crap crazy, do you really think that I'd tell you?" Her response floored me. She said that some people do tell her they're crazy. I laughed out loud! I think that annoyed the nurse.
     Anyway, I'm talking to my PCP about the colonoscopy. He said that it's been five years since my last one and I should have another one done.

     I told him that I would like to wait until next year when I'll turn 60 and then I'll have them every five years from then on. He said okay, but if I change my mind, to let him know and he would order the test. My response to that was "You know, over the last five years I can't think of a single day when I thought to know, I could really use a good colonoscopy! Please do not hold your breath waiting for that call!" 

     On Monday, an event happened that happens every year...the Boston Marathon. Sadly, that event will never be the same again. Some evil jerk exploded two bombs and killed three people and injured hundreds more. There is a special place in hell for such people

     What this event clearly demonstrated once again is that the American people are a good and noble people, despite their many flaws. Everyday citizens stepped up to aid the injured without hesitation. Runners who had just completed running over 26 miles ran a couple of more miles to the nearest hospital to give blood for those injured in the blast. Strangers pitched in to help people by applying tourniquets, evacuate them and others from blast area to the medical people to get checked out and/or treated. Our first responders ran into danger, to the sound of the blast, as usual! 
     Those everyday Americans demonstrated once again who we are as a people, as they did during the attacks on 9/11, and again during hurricane Katrina and still again in the aftermath of winter storm Sandy.
     I am so proud of those everyday Americans who stepped up to help. I am so proud of our first responders who willingly ran into danger that others may live. I am so proud of our servicemen, and women, who were there to watch the Marathon and rushed in to lend a hand as well. Americans are a good and noble people! 
     May God bless the families of those who lost their lives on Monday. I pray that God blesses the injured with a speedy recovery and complete healing in both mind and body and their families, as well. God bless all of our first responders! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


     Here's another opportunity to give us a look behind the curtain that is you. Our friend Joyce has come up with more penetrating questions. Won't you join in on the fun?

1. April 15th is the deadline for Americans to file their state and federal income tax returns.  What's a job you do on a regular basis that could be described as 'taxing'?
     Yard work! SWMBO loves to "play" in the yard. To my mind, yard work is mind numbing drudgery. Mowing the grass, raking the leaves, trimming back trees and vegetation are extremely taxing to me.

2. I'm participating in the April A-Z blog challenge, and the Hodgepodge happens to fall on Day O this week. In keeping with that theme...olives, onions, oysters, okra...of the foods mentioned, what's your favorite O food?
     Onions, of course. My maternal grandmother told me that the first thing you do when you're going to cook pretty much anything is to begin with cutting up an onion. It's part of my French Canadian heritage. I can still remember the smell of cooked onions wafting through my boyhood home. I love onion rings, french onion soup, pretty much anything with onions...Yumm!

3.  What is something memorable you experienced as a child that your own children (or future children/nieces/nephews) will not get to experience?
      One thing I used to do with my siblings and neighborhood kids was play games such as kick ball, wiffle ball, football, etc in the middle of the street until the street lights came on, at which time it was time to go inside our respective homes. Of course, we would vacate the street if any cars had the audacity to drive by. I don't see that happening in today's world.

4. Term limits for our elected officials...your thoughts?
      No term limits, I think that they should serve as much time in prison as anyone else! 
     Seriously though, I would eliminate ALL pensions for Congressmen, Senators, Cabinet Officers and the President. The intent of our founding fathers was that citizens would serve one or two terms and then would return to private life to live under the laws that they had enacted. That was seen as a restraint on elected officials passing stupid laws and a natural limit on the number of terms for the majority of the elected offices.

5. On April 18th, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous 'midnight ride'...when did you last make a midnight ride?  Perhaps the fate of a nation wasn't hanging in the balance, but tell us where you were headed anyway.
     The last midnight ride I made was a few years ago when SWMBO and I made a whirlwind tour of Niagara Falls, upstate New York, and Vermont. We, I mean I, got lost driving through upstate New York and did not make it to the Lake Champlain ferry crossing until after midnight. 
     Before I retired, however, I often made midnight rides in my assigned patrol car.

6.  What would freak you out more...a mouse running across your floor or a big fat hairy spider?
     A spider riding like a cowboy on the back of a mouse that was scurrying across the floor would amaze me. I wouldn't freak out mind you, I would simply be amazed. I really do not fear mice or spiders. I generally kill them for my beloved SWMBO at her behest!

7. I love it when people ask me________________________?
     I generally enjoy meeting and talking with most people. I enjoy the give and take of conversation. There is no specific question that I particularly love being asked. I enjoy telling people about the Gospel. I enjoy expounding upon the joys of marriage and what a blessing marriage can be. I like telling humorous SWMBO stories. I love a good joke and having a good laugh, even if it's at my expense!
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
      Monday, being tax day and me being a procrastinator extraordinaire, I didn't get our taxes done on time. I had to file for an extension for the first time in my life. I hate doing my tax return. It really annoys me when I see how much I pay in taxes, particularly when I read about how our elected officials waste a significant portion thereof. 
     Also, I call bull crap on the President's assertion that the middle class would not see their taxes go up " dime!" He said the rich had to pay their fair share. Who knew I was rich and not middle class? BULL CRAP!!!   

Wednesday, April 10, 2013



     Our friend Joyce has come up with another set of thought provoking questions! Why don't you join in on the fun?

1. Share one fun thing you did last week, while the Hodgepodge was on 'spring break'.
     SWMBO and I went out to dinner to celebrate her birthday. We went to the Copper Door Restaurant  in Bedford, NH. SWMBO and I love that place. It's worth the time to check it out if you're in the area.

2.  April 10th is National Sibling you have siblings, and if so are you close? Share a favorite story featuring one or all of your siblings. If you don't have siblings, did you ever wish you did?
     I have an older brother, an older sister, and three step siblings. I'm closer to my brother than I am to my sister. Years ago when we were children we were taking turns hitting a tire swing with a baseball bat. My brother, not being the sharpest tool in the shed, swung at the tire like he was splitting wood with a maul. The bat hit the tire, bounced back and hit him dead between the eyes almost knocking his running lights out. I still laugh at that incident to this day. Of course, he doesn't see the humor!
3. Is it important to you to 'buy American'? Why or why not? How much of an effort do you make to 'buy American'? If you're not American, insert your own country in the blank. 
     I try to buy American when I can. Buying American saves jobs for our fellow citizens and usually American goods are superior in quality.

4. Besides The Bible, what book has impacted your spirituality in some way?
     Bonheoffer by Eric Metaxas. Deitrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran minister who was killed by the Nazis. He wrote a christian classic about the cost of discipleship. Bonhoeffer remained faithful to Christian principles to his death. A fine example for all of us!

5. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes.  Do you find rainy days calming or depressing?  When were you last caught in a rainstorm? What's blooming in your neck of the woods today?
     I find rainy days both depressing and calming, although not at the same time. It depends upon what's going on in life at the time. I can't remember the last time I got caught in the rain. The crocusses are up, not blooming. Tree pollen is blooming judging by my sinuses!

6. What's your favorite yellow food?
    I love banana's and spaghetti squash!

7. April is National Poetry Month...what's a poem that holds special meaning for you, and why is it special?
    I don't really have a special poem. Song lyrics are poems though, right? There are two songs that have made an impact on me...COLOUR MY WORLD by Chicago, and A MAN I'LL NEVER BE by Boston. The first one is SWMBO and my special song. The second one expressed how I was feeling at a painful time years ago in my life. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     This week the world lost two remarkable women! Annette Funicello, the paragon of innocence, Mouseketeer and Beach Blanket Bingo star. She waged a valiant struggle with Multiple Sclerosis and lost her battle this week.
     The second is Lady Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister. Lady Thatcher was the paragon of strength, self confidence and conservative thought. She was one of the most influential political figures of the 20th century.
     May they both rest in peace! The world is a better place because of them. May God grant their families a measure of peace during this difficult time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


     Do we need the Department of Energy and the Department of Education? Is the good that they do or the services that they provide worth the money that the American people pay in taxes to keep them going? More importantly, is the United States Government the best, most cost efficient way to accomplish what these two cabinet level departments were created to accomplish?

     I question whether the federal government should be involved in education at all. The Department of Education does not educate a single pupil. All primary education is conducted at the local community level and is overseen by the respective states. 
     I further question whether an entire cabinet level department should exist for the purpose of making America energy independent or more energy efficient?

     Let's look at a few facts. The U.S. Department of Education, a cabinet level department, was established in the 1970's. Since that time, the academic ranking of U.S. students in the three R's as well as Math and Science as compared to other industrial countries has consistently dropped. We currently find ourselves lagging far behind other less developed nations. This is a travesty. 
     Many colleges are required to have remedial courses for incoming freshmen because a significant number of students are incapable of doing college work after being "educated" from Kindergarten thru High School. 
     Many of the problems with our local schools can be laid at the feet of the Department of Education bureaucrats. 
     Billions and billions of tax dollars has been spent since the department's inception. What have we received for our money? Consistent deterioration of academic achievement.

     The Department of Energy's track record is not any better. Have you heard the names Abound Solar or Solyndra or Fisker? If you have been paying attention to the news in recent months, you may have. 
     The Department of Energy gave grants or guaranteed loans in amounts ranging from $424 thousand dollars up to $790 million dollars for a total outlay of 1.2 billion dollars to subsidize "green energy!" Nineteen companies received federal dollars and as of this writing there have been no successes.
    Abound Solar was given $790.3 million dollars. Abound Solar failed! Solyndra was given $570 million dollars. Solyndra failed even though the president went to the company for a photo op and touted it's being an example of thekind of  companies we that ought to support. Fisker Car Company received $193 million dollars and is about to file for bankruptcy after firing 80% of it's workforce.

     There are many more examples of egregious wastes of tax dollars in both departments. We ought to abolish both of them and eliminate all the fraud and waste for which both departments are responsible! That would be a great first step in reducung government spending.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


     I don't normally publish a blog entry on Saturday, however, I have committed to try writing two blog entries per week. I posted one entry yesterday, hence this Saturday post. I hope that you enjoy it.

DR. THOMAS SOWELL: Dr. Thomas Sowell, Professor of Economics at Stanford University, writes a regular opinion column. From time to time he publishes a column entitled "Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene." The above title is meant to be an homage to Dr. Sowell. I enjoy reading Dr. Sowell's writings and find his views to be informative and entertaining.  I wish that I wrote half as well as he does.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: The U.S. Department of Education, a cabinet level department, was established in the 1970's. Since that time, the academic ranking of U.S. students in the three R's as well as Math and Science as compared to other industrial countries has consistently dropped. We currently find ourselves lagging far behind other less developed nations. This is a travesty. 
     Billions and billions of tax dollars has been spent since the department's inception. What have we received for our money? Consistent deterioration of academic achievement. 
     If you owned a business that was failing in it's primary raison d'etre, would you not stop doing what was not working and try something else that would work to accomplish your intended purpose/goals?   
     The Federal Government is the only entity that institutionalizes failure at any cost! IT MUST STOP!

BOSTON RED SOX: It is officially Spring! Major League Baseball has begun. My beloved Boston Red Sox have begun by beating the dreaded evil empire, AKA the NY Yankees, two out of three games. There have been significant personnel changes from last year's team of the Great Valentine Debacle! I don't know many of the new players but I look forward to getting to know them as the new season progresses. GO SOX!

RETIREMENT UPDATE: As you know, I retired from law enforcement over a year and a half ago. I am still gainfully unemployed. By that I mean that I have not found just the right job that fit's my retired lifestyle. I am still looking, but so far nothing has shown itself. 
     My beloved SWMBO still likes having me home for some strange, inexplicable reason. I really enjoy being home for her, especially during weather emergencies when I can focus on taking care of her and not having to leave to go to work to take care of another community.
     I am enjoying having the time to read, think and write this blog. I also enjoy serving the members of the church. They are really fine people!
     As with all older people I am dealing with some health issues that have popped up. I am well, but some things have come up that need to be addressed. Also, I am now sporting a full beard!
     In short, I still love my new life with SWMBO, the grand-babies and the beasts. I am lavishly blessed by a loving God!
     Enjoy your weekend and take time to worship God on Sunday! GOD BLESS YOU! 

Friday, April 5, 2013


     Last Sunday the Christian world celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ, AKA Easter. The Gospels provide us with extensive information describing the events leading up to the crucifixion and the subsequent resurrection of the man called Jesus Christ.
     The Gospel accounts are pretty clear that Jesus was, in fact, crucified by the Roman authorities. Secular historians, such as Tacitus and Josephus, mention the crucifixion of Jesus in their writings.
     Interesting though is that the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, declared Jesus to be innocent of any wrong doing, that he found no fault in Him. However, Pilate ordered Jesus' execution because he was concerned more with local politics than justice...but that's grist for another blog entry.
      When it comes to the resurrection we have to rely on the Gospel accounts and the New Testament Epistles for our evidence that the resurrection actually took place. Despite the evidence there are some who chose not to believe that it actually happened. Let's look at a few reasons why I believe the Biblical accounts are true.
     First, all the Gospel accounts report that after Jesus was taken down from the cross, He was placed in tomb that had never been used. The tomb was carved into stone with a large rock in front of it, designed to be rolled across the entrance. The tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple of Jesus.
     Also, the Jewish rulers believed Jesus to have been buried because they petitioned Pilate to post a guard to prevent the disciples from stealing the body and claiming that He had risen as He said that He would. (See Matthew 27:62-66) A guard was posted. 
     Therefore we can conclude that Jesus was buried after His crucifixion.

     Second, all the Gospel accounts say that on the third day after the crucifixion some women disciples came to the tomb to find that the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty.  This is significant because in first century Israel women were not regarded as relibale witnesses and therefore were not allowed to testify in legal proceedings. If the Gospel accounts were fabricated as some suggest the women would not have played such a prominent role, therefore it must be true.
     Upon seeing the tomb empty, the women ran and told some of the Apostles who immediately ran to the tomb and saw for themselves that the tomb was empty.
     The Jewish leaders believed that the tomb was empty because the guards reported to  "...the chief priests all that had happened." (Matthew 28:11-15)
    The chief priests told the soldiers to say that the disciples came and stole Jesus' body away while they (the soldiers) slept. The chief priests paid the soldiers a large sum of money to secure their cooperation. The chief priests further promised to smooth things over with Pilate should he come to hear that the soldiers were saying that they fell asleep on duty. The penalty for a Roman soldier falling sleep on duty is death! (Matthew 28:11-15)

    Let us sum up. (1) Jesus was placed inside the tomb which was later sealed and protected by Roman soldiers. The Jewish leaders believed Jesus had been placed inside the tomb. The Roman guard believed that Jesus had been placed inside the tomb. The Apostles and women disciples believed that Jesus was placed inside the tomb.

     (2) Three days later, on the first day of the week, the tomb is empty. The women disciples went to the tomb and saw that it was empty. Some of the Apostles, after being told by the women disciples, went to the tomb and saw for themselves that the tomb was empty.
     (3) The Jewish leaders believed that the tomb was empty because the very soldiers who were guarding the tomb reported to them that the tomb was empty. The Jewish leaders bribed the guards to say that the disciples stole the body while they slept and promised to cover for them with the Governor. Why would the Jewish leaders do that if they believed that the tomb was not empty? Why would the soldiers report to the chief priests that the tomb was empty, risking their very lives, if in fact the tomb was not empty?

     I believe that the Gospel accounts are true. I believe because of the reasons mentioned above and many other reasons too numerous to fully cover in this short blog entry.

     SO WHAT? Well, if the Gospel accounts are true then Jesus is who He proclaimed himself to be, to wit, God incarnate. That means when the Bible tells us what we must do to be saved, that is precisely what we must do to be saved. (Acts 2:14-40)

     If you are interested, if you have any questions, come worship with us at the Manchester church of Christ on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. We would love to speak with you!