My Blog List

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


1. What's something you're dealing with that might be described as tricky?
     I find it tricky balancing serving the church as an Elder and meeting the needs of my beloved SWMBO. Of course, SWMBO comes first and I am confident that meeting my responsibilities to her is what God would have me do. It is tricky, all the same, maintaining the right balance between the two.

2.  What's your treat of choice?
     I love anything with coconut in it. My personal favorite, though, are Jordan Almonds.

3. Did you/will you carve a jack-o-lantern this month? Which real (living or dead) or fictional 'Jack' would you most like to meet in person? Why?
     I will not be carving a Jack-O-Lantern this year. I can't remember the last time I did. The "Jack" who I would like to meet is C.S. Lewis. I know! I know! Where do I get "Jack" from Clive Staples Lewis? It so happens that C.S. Lewis called himself "Jack," as did his friends and family. The reason why I'd love to meet C.S. Lewis is to talk to him about his journey from renowned athiest scholar to renowned christian scholar. 

4.  In your opinion, what's the grossest sounding word in the English language?
     My word is "EVISCERATE" for all the graphic and gruesome images that it conjurs up.

5. When did your heart last skip a beat?
     The last time my heart skipped a beat was when the doctor informed SWMBO and me that she had cancer. I would not wish this on my worse enemy, much less upon the person who I love the most of everyone sharing the ride on this big, blue marble as it hurles through space on it's appointed orbit!

6. Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Picket, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, or Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters...your favorite 'scary' tune?
     The scariest song for me is the the theme from the movie "The Exorcist." The name of that song is "Tubular Bells." Out of the songs listed above in the question, I would have to say that my favorite is "Monster Mash."

7.   It was a dark and stormy night when______________________________.
     ...all of a sudden a scream rang out, adding to the tumult of the violent storm. I stubbed my big toe on the bed frame while I was trying to come to bed without waking my sleeping spouse. That plan was now moot as my wife joined me in my screaming, me from the pain in my foot and she from fright from my scream!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     In the iconic words of Gomer Pyle, USMC, "SURPRISE ! SURPRISE! SURPRISE! I am shocked, as I'm sure most of you are, that the president was apparently being disengenuous when he repeatedly assured the American people that if they liked their health insurance plan, they would be able to keep it...period! If they liked their doctor, they would be able to keep seeing him...Period! 
     It now turns out, based upon IRS and other government documents, that the president and government officials knew back in 2010, before the president gave his assurances, that many people would end up losing their health insurance due to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. 
     President Obama lied...period! His administration officials continue to obfuscate and stonewall the legitimate inquiries of the U.S. Congress. Benghazi! IRS Scandal! Fast and Furious! NSA Spying Scandal! President Obama and his administration have lied, and continue to lie, to the American people...period!
     I believe that the American people will not let these outrages stand.  I urge all Americans to peacefully use their legitimate power to hold their government accountable. Call your representatives in Congress! Exercise your vote in the upcoming mid-term elections!  May God help us!   

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


     The temperatures in New Hampshire are definitely on a downward trend. We are gearing up for the winter that is inevitably C O L D! So I will be cleaning the wood pellet stove so that we can fire it up to heat the house. 
     What has that go to do with the Hodgepodge? Absolutely nothing! Thank you Joyce for another bunch of questions! Enjoy!

1. When it comes to good manners, what two top your list of most important?
     Saying "Please/Thank You" and "Excuse Me." It seems that people today have not been taught the basic common courtesies that govern interpersonal contact. Saying "Please" and "Thank You" are pretty self explanatory. 
     "Excuse Me," however, seems to me to be not as clear. "Excuse Me" is used as an apology or a polite request. One of the things I dislike about the Christmas Season is shopping. The reason is that I dislike being pushed and jostled by others who seem to be on a life or death mission to complete their shopping and the rest of us who have the temerity to be shopping at the same time might just as well be damned.
     I was taught as a young boy that when you walked in front of someone, you say "Excuse Me." Should you unintentionally bump into someone you say "Excuse Me." Another situation occurs often in the grocery store. When you try to navigate down an aisle and it is blocked by other shoppers you say "excuse me." This politely asks for your right of passage.  When you are driving and you need to change lanes, the use of your directional signal is a kind of saying "excuse me."
     A little more common courtesy would make life a little less annoying.
2. Let's open a proverbial can of worms...Common Core.  Are you familiar with the term (talking education reform in the USA)?  If so, care to share your thoughts? In your opinion, what is one of the biggest issues schools (in your home country) face today?
     I do not believe that the federal government should be involved in Education...period! I believe that public education is the sole province of the individual states. Therefore, I don't think it is proper for the federal government to come up with one standard for the whole country. This country is diverse. People have different priorities and needs from one part of the country to the next. A "one size fits all" approach just does not work and is not right. This is as true  for President Obama's "Common Core" as it was true for President Bush's "No Child Left Behind." 
     The biggest problem in education, as I see it, is that we do not "educate" children, we "indoctrinate" children. We need to get back to educating...teaching children how to read, write and do mathematics. We need to so prepare our students so that they are able access the opportunities that exist in contemporary America.

3. Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire and share why.
     Fashion? Really? I have too much testosterone to care about fashion. Give me sufficient clothes to dress appropriately for my circumstances. I never have been concerned with who wears what or who designed it.

4. How are you affected by the changing seasons?
     Personally, as the temperatures become colder, my joints become somewhat more painful. Another change is I focus more on warmth. My mission in life is to keep SWMBO warm and toasty. The house is warmed to the extent that she is comfortable...I am in shorts and a tee shirt,  but she's comfortable. It's a wonder I don't catch pneumonia!

5. Scariest book you've ever read?
     The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. A lot more scary that the movie.

6. What time of day are you most hungry? What's your go-to snack?
     I am most hungry when I'm awake!  Seriously, it usually is in the evening while watching TV. My go-to-snack is peanut butter crackers or sugar free jello & whipped cream.

7. Do you lean more towards being too needy or too independent? Which do you find harder to deal with in others?
     I tend to be more independent, sometimes to my own detriment. I strongly believe that a man "Stands Up!" A man carries his own water and lives his life without becoming a burden to others. 
     I find it more difficult to deal with people who are too needy, for a variety of reasons.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     If you have been keeping up with the news, it seems that a Ruger, semiautomatic pistol hid itself in a backpack, left it's home and went to a school in Nevada, attached itself to the hand of a troubled young man and shot two children and a teacher who tried to intervene to prevent further mayhem. Of course, I'm being absurd to make a point.
     The cause of these gut wrenching incidents is the existence of evil and/or mental illness, not the existence of guns. There has never once been an instance where a gun committed any violence or mayhem without human involvement.
     We have many damaged people who walk among us. Society needs to do a much better job of identifying these people and protecting the rest of us from those who would seek to do us harm. Correctly identifying the problem is the first step in effectively finding a solution to that problem. GUNS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM...MENTALLY DEFECTIVE PEOPLE WITH GUNS IS THE PROBLEM! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


     Some people find the GEICO camel "Hump Day" commercial annoying. As for me, I laugh every time I see it.  Another thing I enjoy whenever I see them are the weekly Hodgepodge questions. Thank you Joyce!

1. What was your biggest worry five years ago?  Is it still a worry?

     Retirement! As humans we all have the RC factor, that is the Resistance to Change factor. I approached retirement with great trepidation. Now that I am retired, I find that my worries were without basis or foundation in fact. Five years ago it was hard to believe that there would be life after retirement. I have found to my great relief that there is, in fact, life after retirement...and a pretty decent one at that!

2. Yesterday (October 15th) was National Grouch Day...what makes you grouchy? What cheers you up when you're feeling grouchy?

     If you were to ask SWMBO "Do you wake up grouchy in the morning?" She would answer "No...I usually let him sleep!" I am not a morning person...never have been, never will be! Having to wake up early in the morning makes me grouchy. Breakfast with my beloved SWMBO at one of our favorite restaurants cheers me up! Absent that, a good cup of coffee usually does the trick.

3.  In one word, how does it feel to be photographed?

     Awkward! I don't like being the center of attention.

4. Besides your parents, who would you say had the greatest influence on you in choosing your life path?  Explain.

     Indirectly, it was my Dad. I know the question asks for someone besides parents but Dad had the greatest influence choosing my life path. As we grew up my Dad instilled in both of his sons that we had an obligation to serve our country, preferably in the military. My brother and I both enlisted in the U.S Air Force. At the time I enlisted, the Air Force was short of cooks and cops. I chose to be a cop. When I went to Tech School I had an epiphany. I fell in love with the U.S. Constitution and the idea that we were a nation of laws, not of men. I became convinced that law enforcement was a noble profession. I spent the rest of my life pursuing a career in law enforcement and never looked back.

5. The crisp days of autumn are here ...what's something you like to eat, but only if it's crisp?
     Pork Rinds! Tortilla Chips and Salsa (Medium Hot) ! Potato Chips!

6. What's the most useless object you own?

     My Razor! Since I grew a beard last fall, I have not picked up my razor!

7.  Share a favorite fall memory.

     When I was a child, people in my neighborhood would rake leave into small piles and burn them. The aroma throughout the neighborhood was heavenly. Another favorite memory was raking leaves into a huge pile and diving into it, covering ourselves completely. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

       Are the members of the Tea Party really "anarchists?" Do they really want to abolish all government? Everything that I have read or seen on television tells me that the Tea Party are not anarchists. They do not advocate the abolition of all government.  
     What they do advocate is that the government abide by the restraints of power put on it by the U.S. Constitution. They further believe that our current government has grown too large and too intrusive into our lives. They further believe that the government spends too much and taxes too much. 
        If that makes them, as Senator Harry Reid refers to them, Tea Party Anarchists, then I too am a Tea Party Anarchist and coincidentally, so were our founding fathers! I think I'm in some pretty good company! They warned in their writings that the natural inclination of government was to grow more powerful and that government had to be restrained.  That is the genius of our Constitution. MAY GOD HELP US!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


     This is the time of year when we get our furnaces, pellet/wood stoves and other heating equipment ready for the heating season that will soon be upon us. Seeing that it is Wednesday, the Hodgepodge is upon us. Joyce has done it again! She has come up with a series of posers that are thought provoking and fun to answer. I encourage you to participate and answer the questions yourself. Also, let me encourage you to visit Joyce's blog "From This Side of the Pond." You'll be glad that you did.

1. The USA will mark Columbus Day this year on Monday, October 14th. What's something you need or want to explore (literally or metaphorically speaking)?

     My dream expedition would be to load SWMBO and our fur babies into an RV and travel the breadth of this great land. I would love to explore as many National Parks as possible, beginning with Arcadia National Park in Maine to Yosemite National Park in California. Ours is a magnificently beautiful country and most Americans do not get to see very much of it other than on TV or in movies. 

2. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty...who do you most love to hate?

     Generally I don't waste emotional energy by hating fictional characters. I hate evil in all of its forms. However, to directly answer the question posed, I choose the Wicked Witch of the West. She frightened me the most as a child.

3. Is open-mindedness a virtue?

     I believe that having an open mind is a virtue. If we closed our minds to new ideas we would never learn anything new. I believe that we should develop critical thinking skills to the extent that those with higher intellect and better rhetorical skills are not able to take advantage of our open minds. Our minds should not be so open that our brains fall out.
     On a spiritual note, before one can listen to, evaluate and obey the Gospel, their minds must be open to the prospect of a living, loving, almighty God and the salvation that He freely offers before they are able to respond to Him.

4. How often do you weigh yourself?
     I do weigh myself very rarely. I generally gauge my weight loss by how my clothes fit, by how tight or loose they are.

5. This question comes to you courtesy of Rebecca over at Making Memories, so thanks Rebecca! 

Costa Rica was recently named the happiest country in the world on the Happy Planet Index. What's the happiest country in the world to you, and what makes it so?

     I choose the United States of America. Our nation has observed in its Declaration of Independence that we are endowed by our Creator with the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We further sought to preserve these blessings of liberty in our Constitution. This nation is the envy of the entire world. Consider the hardships people are willing to endure to make it to our shores or across our borders. They are not emigrating to Costa Rica.

6. Besides The Bible, what is one book you think should be mandatory reading for high school students? Why?

     My choice is "The Book of Virtues" by Bill Bennett, the former Secretary of Education. Dr. Bennett has listed a number of virtuous character traits and has cited examples from the Bible, history and literature of good and bad examples thereof. I believe that students would be well served by reading and learning many of the teachings of this well researched and well written book. Adults would benefit also!

7. I went shopping at some nearby outlets last week, and while I was there, I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts. How about you? Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

     No Way Jose' ! Being a founding member of the E.S.A.S. (Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society) I believe that this constant barrage of commercialism that now begins before Halloween and continues well into the new year defiles the true meaning of Christmas. I choose not to participate or contribute to this vulgarity. Let me emphasize that this is my personal view and is not meant to cast any aspersions on anyone who may hold a different view, particularly my beloved SWMBO who is the quintessential Noel-ophile (Lover of All Things Christmas).

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     My inclination is to vent my spleen regarding the current situation vis a vis the government shutdown. However, I am trying to keep my blood pressure down to safe limits so I will not. 
     Yesterday, I attended a funeral wake for the wife of one of my former part-time officers. His wife was diagnosed about a year ago with advanced lung cancer. Although she put up a valiant fight, she lost her battle with this insidiously awful disease and passed away last Friday. 
     This woman is well loved by the many people she had interacted with during her brief time on earth, judging by the turn out at the funeral home. She is one of those people of whom you never hear anything negative about. By all accounts she is a wonderful wife, a terrific mother and a great friend. My heart and prayers go out to her husband, her two adult children and her granddaughter as well as her other family members.
     This woman enriched and made a positive difference in the lives of those who were privileged to know her. None of us have a guarantee of a tomorrow. Let me encourage all of you, while you are still here, enrich and make a positive difference in the lives that you are privileged to be a part of. 
     May she rest in peace!

Friday, October 4, 2013


    Have you been listening to the tenor of the commentary coming out of Washington D.C.? The very same people who complain about the lack of civility in the public discourse are using decidedly uncivil language to characterize the motives and positions of republican lawmakers who have a different opinion than theirs.

     According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, there are "Tea Party Anarchists" who are controlling the republican party and who are preventing moderate and reasonable republicans from voting to end the government shutdown.

     I have a couple of questions for the Senate Majority Leader. First, when did any member of the Tea Party ever advocate the abolition of the United States government, or for that matter any government? An anarchist, by definition, is a person who wants to abolish ALL government.
     The Tea Party, as I understand them, believe that our current government is too big, too invasive in the private lives of citizens and has exceeded their authority under the U.S. Constitution. The Tea Party advocate for the government living within the constraints of the Constitution. The Tea Party advocates for a reduction in the size of government. The Tea Party advocates for a reduction in government spending.

     There are many citizens, democrat, republican and independents alike, who agree with those ideas. Does that make them all "Anarchists?"

     Second, if the Senate Majority Leader wants to end the government slowdown, (It really isn't closed because the "essential" functions of government are still being done.) why doesn't he allow a vote on the appropriation bills that have been duly passed by the House of Representatives and sent to the Senate? He can pass the Continuing Resolution that funds the entire government for six months and then negotiate with the House on funding the American Care Act, AKA, Obamacare, and increasing the nation's debt limit.

     Personally, I say a pox upon both their houses. This country is in dire need of adult leadership. There are serious issues that need to be addressed by serious, mature grown ups.

    The kabuki theater that is Washington D.C. needs to end...NOW! We do not need to agree with each other, but we do need to talk to each other.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


     Today is Hodgepodge Wednesday. I don't know how Joyce does it, but she comes up with challenging questions every single week! This week is no different. Thank you Joyce for your hard work and for the fun that is the Hodgepodge!

1. What's one thing you learned in September?

       The Old Testament Book of Isaiah is a challenging book to learn autodidactically(self taught). It requires in depth knowledge of other Old Testament Books to understand the references in the Book of Isaiah. What I learned, to my chagrin, is that I do not possess such a depth of knowledge.

2. Acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, zucchini squash, or blech! hold the squash... what's your favorite squash? What's your favorite way to prepare your favorite squash?

   SWMBO and I love spaghetti squash. We also enjoy zucchini squash in pasta dishes. 

3. The older I get the_______________________________.
     ...more I learn that I don't know! A wise man once observed that you cannot learn what you don't know, if you don't know what you don't know!  The older I get, the more I learn what I don't know.

4. What's your favorite television theme song ever?

   The theme from "The Greatest American Hero." It was a sort of campy super hero sitcom but for some reason it appealed to me.

5. What do you wish you'd spent more time doing five years ago?
        Studying the Old Testament Kings. (See #1 above)

6. What item do you most need (or want) to add to your wardrobe this fall?
        A sportcoat.

7. On October 2, 1950 the Peanuts cartoon was introduced to the world. What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?

   The Amazing Spiderman! The Beatles cartoon was pretty cool too!  

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

   We live in troubling times! In this small state of NH, two people are dead by means gunshot wounds on the same day. 
   One was shot by State Police after a vehicle chase. The driver, a woman, apparently tried using their vehicle to run over the Trooper.
   The other was an estranged boyfriend who got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend. She called police. Police arrived and while investigating was shot at by the boyfriend. Police returned fire and withdrew. After a standoff lasting several hours the boyfriend was found dead from a gunshot wound. The unresolved question is whether it was self inflicted or as a result of the earlier gunfire exchange with police?
   In New York City a man and his family was set upon by a bunch of bikers. He was beaten unconscious after being chased down after he drove over one of the bikers to apparently escape to safety with his family after being surrounded by the bikers.
   We live in troubling times! May God help us!