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Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Today is the final blog post for the 2014 A to Z Blog Challenge. My “Z” word is ZOO.

I am a big fan of Zoo’s. My absolute favorite Zoo has got to be the San Diego Zoo. My beloved wife and I have travelled to the city of San Diego, CA, a few times over the years. Our son and his family, especially our grandsons, live in San Diego. We cannot take a trip out there without including a visit to the zoo in our itinerary.

There is so much to see at the San Diego Zoo. One of the things I love to visit is their amazing collection of snakes and reptiles from around the globe. They have many specimens ranging from the largest snakes to the tiniest frogs. They also have many poisonous snakes which do not look lethal but according to the information posted by their habitat, many are deadly.

    Another favorite exhibit is the Polar Bear Habitat. They have a habitat that is viewable both on land and below the water. Sometimes the polar bears become very animated and put on quite a show.

There is an aerial tramway that gives a spectacular view of the entire park from the air as you glide overhead. 

  There are elephants, giraffes, many kinds of deer, big cats and many other animals that make a trip to the zoo a memorable, if not life changing, event.

Should you have occasion to visit the city of San Diego, do yourself a favor and make a visit to the San Diego Zoo a part of your trip. You will not be sorry that you did. Enjoy your day!  


1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Are you blooming where you're planted as we begin the month of May?
     There are flowers blooming in our yard thanks to my beloved SWMBO. Flowers, blooming or otherwise, don't take up too much of my conscious thinking time though.

2. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no big deal, and 10 being full scale panic, rank your fear of spiders.
     Normal household spiders do not bother me, so I'd have to say I'm a 1. They do scare the bejesus out of SWMBO and many a spider has died for frightening her so. Now if the spider is one of those humongus gargantuan sized spider then I'm a 6 and I break out the shotgun and go tactical on the intruding arachnid.

3. May is National Salad Month (who knew???)...besides lettuce, what are two must-have ingredients in your favorite salad?
     I live a good garden salad. There absolutely must be onions and tomatoes in any salad I consume.

4. I mentioned on my blog last week that my Daughter1 will be moving to Washington State after she is married. Of the following sites in the Northwest, which would you most like to see in person-Crater Lake (Oregon), Seattle (Washington), Vancouver (British Columbia), San Juan Islands (Washington),  Mt. Rainer (Washington) Oregon Coast (Oregon), Mt. St. Helens (Washington), or Olympic National Park (Washington)
     I would not object to going to see any of the locations that you mentioned. If I have to pick a favorite I think I'd go to Crater Lake in Oregon.

5. This coming weekend marks the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby...when did you last race (literally or figuratively) to cross a finish line?
     I cannot recall the last time that I raced in any way, shape or form. I have chased my granddaughters around the back yard but they always win.

6. What is something little you love?
     SWMBO and I have a Chinese Crested dog. He is abut 13 pounds. He is a love...except for those times that he is not. 
7. Would you say you are more of a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? Elaborate.
     All of the above depending on the subject matter. For example, when I learned how to shoot a firearm I had to listen to the instructions carefully. I had to watch the instructor demonstrate the physical aspects of shooting. I then practiced what I was taught and what I saw the instructors do. 
     In an academic environment I use auditory and visual. I don't know which one I absolutely need to use.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     This month I participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge where participants had to write a blog entry every day of the month except sundays. The subject of the blog entry had to begin with the letter of the day. Tomorrow I will be posting the last blog of the challenge. I still haven't decided which word beginning with "Z" I'll write about. So if you're interested, please stop by, see what I wrote about and leave a comment. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The A to Z Blogging Challenge has been an interesting exercise in writing. It has certainly been a challenge to write something for each letter of the alphabet. Today's letter is "Y." My subject is the word "YAHOO!"

Most people recognize Yahoo as an internet search engine. Yahoo is also a descriptive of a person who says or does something that is considered to be really stupid. Three examples follow of what I mean. Two involve racism which at it's core is stupid, not to mention morally wrong. The third involves something that's just wrong.

Have you been watching the news or reading the papers? Cliven Bundy is a cattle rancher in Nevada who is involved in a dispute with the U.S. Government over grazing rights on public land and the payment of grazing fee's for cattle grazing on federally owned land.
Well, Mr. Bundy had tons of support in his dispute against the government. People went to Nevada and stood with him against armed federal rangers. However, Mr. Bundy was interviewed by the media and during the course of this interview showed himself to be a real "Yahoo!" He said... "Negroes were better off under slavery."
Anyone who has a nodding acquaintance with the history of slavery in America knows how stupid a statement this is. Mr. Bundy is a bona fide YAHOO!

My next example of Yahoo-ness is Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team. Mr. Sterling was recorded on tape orally chastising his girlfriend for publishing pictures of her with black men on Instagram. He told her during his diatribe that he did not want her to bring these black men to "his" games. Mr. Sterling has shown himself to be a bona fide YAHOO!

Another Yahoo in the pantheon of Yahoo's is former New York City Mayor, Michael Blumberg. While he was mayor, Mr. Blumberg wanted to ass an ordinance that restricted the size of soft drinks that were sold to the public. He wanted to outlaw the 7-Eleven "Big Gulp" soda's. A New York Court ruled that such an ordinance as passed by Mr. Blumberg was unconstitutional.
This crack down on soft drinks is just one of a host of stupid ideas put forth by Mr. Blumberg but this is supposed to be a relatively brief blog installment. That said, Mr. Blumberg is a bona fide YAHOO!

Do you agree? Who would you add to the list? Enjoy your day!  

Monday, April 28, 2014


Today is "X" day at the A to Z Blog Challenge. You know there are not an abundance of words that begin with the letter "X." So my word for the day is "XEROTHERMIC."

I am NOT xerothermic. That is one reason why I live in New Hampshire. My wife, on the other hand, is very xerothermic. She would much prefer to live in the southwest. She absolutely loved living in Albuquerque, N.M, while we were stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in the early 1970's. It was hot and it was dry.

Xerothermic means "adapted to, or thriving in a hot and dry environment." 

Tolerance to heat or cold is not the only area in which my beloved spouse and I are polar opposites. My wife is very neat, tidy and organized. I am not any of those things. I thrive in an environment of organized chaos.
My wife is an enthusiastically cheerful morning person. I am a "grumpy cat" morning person. I'm that guy in the popular joke "Do you wake up grumpy in the morning? No, sometimes I let him sleep."
My wife loves working out in the yard, planting flowers and vegetables. I do not like, much less love, working out in the yard. I do it only because I love my wife and it brings her joy to do those things.

Are you xerothermic or do you prefer the moderately cool temperatures of the Spring and Fall or maybe even the bone chilling cold of the Winter? 

Thank you for stopping by and reading my thoughts. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W - WTF!

Today is "W" day at the A to Z Blog Challenge. I have chosen WTF for this installment.

Having been in the military, over thirty years ago, I have been exposed to a plethora of acronyms. They are shorthand for longer names used in official letters and other communication. Some examples would be "TAC" for Tactical Air Command; "SAC" for Strategic Air Command" "USAFE" United States Air Forces Europe; and who can forget "FUBAR" Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition. That last one unfortunately is used a lot, although not usually in official communications.

If you are the kind of person who spends any amount of time on social media you most likely have seen the three letters that is the subject of this blog post. It is used as shorthand for a statement of surprise, shock or amazement. It is perfectly understandable if the profane use of those three letters came to mind. Still, "SHAME ON YOU!"

I have alternative meanings of the three letters WTF. One use is as a descriptor of something that I've read of witnessed first hand. WTF - Way Too Funny. This descriptor fit very well to my account of the time that my beloved spouse and I got deported from Canada. (See my "T-Travel" post in the A to Z Blog Challenge for further information)

Another use for the letters WTF is as an expression of desire. WTF - Want to Fly. I have been a fan of aviation since my days as a young boy. I have always been fascinated with planes and airports and all thing aeronautical. I love to fly. My wife loves being on terra firma. I would love to learn how to fly if I had both the time and the financial means.

So when you read the letters "WTF" please remember that context is everything! Enjoy your Saturday! 

Friday, April 25, 2014


Vicissitudes - successive, alternating, or changing phases or conditions, as of life or fortune; ups and downs: They remained friends through the vicissitudes of 40 years.

Today, my A to Z Blog Challenge word is "VICISSITUDE." This is a wonderful word that describes the one constant in life - Change! 

One of my first object lessons of vicissitude came when I was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force.  I enlisted while still a Senior in high school and reported for induction in August after I had graduated. I went through basic training and tech school. I then reported, with my new wife, to my first duty station, Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

So I went from being a single, wet-behind-the-ears high school graduate to becoming a married wet-behind-the-ears Airman in the beginning of his military service and his married life. 

While stationed in New Mexico my beloved wife and I became parents to a beautiful baby boy. So you can add wet-behind-the-ears father to the list enumerated above.

After a couple of years at Kirtland Air Force Base I was transferred to RAF Sculthorpe in the United Kingdom, that is merry olde England. Unfortunately my beloved wife and son were unable to accompany me. I was a newlywed with a fairly new son who was being separated from his new family living alone in military barracks.

After a year in England, I re-enlisted and with my re-up bonus I was able to bring my wife and son to England. We lived on base in military housing. While there we were blessed with the birth of an adorable baby girl. So now we were a family of four.

Of such are the vicissitudes of life. There have been many more changes over the past forty plus years, some were good and some were not so good. Like I said, the one constant of life is - Change! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Today's A to Z Blog Challenge letter is the letter "U." I thought about a number of words to write about such as "Unity" or "Utilitarianism" or "Unforgivable." I selected a word that I often identify with, and that word is "Unusual."

Many of your reading this know that I spent thirty years as a police officer. I have describe being a police officer as having a front row seat to the best show in town. I have seen so many unusual things during my career that now most things that strike others as unusual, I find to be fairly normal.

Sometimes while sitting around the campfire the subject of do you believe in ghosts or UFO's. This always starts an animated conversation.
For the record, I don't believe in either ghosts or extra-terrestrial life. 
These two subjects often elicit passionate, heated discussion and debate on the pro's and cons of each position.

Some people are absolutely convinced that they have either seen ghosts or attribute some inexplicable incident that they witnessed to the activity of ghosts. 
There are some things that happen that cannot be explained, however, I don't believe that these events are the result of the activity of spectral entities.

I believe in UFO's but I don't believe in extra-terrestrial life. If this seems inconsistent let me explain. I have seen things move across the sky that I could not either identify or explain. I just don't know what they were. They are unidentified flying objects.
I am not convinced that we have been visited by interstellar travelers or inter-dimensional travelers.

What do you think? Am I unusual?      

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


     That's right! I got deported from our neighbor to the north. This post is a little long but I believe worth the read. I hope you enjoy it.

     My beloved SWMBO and I drove to Niagara Falls a few years ago. As part of the trip we wanted to visit the duty free shop in Buffalo, NY. The store is located on the American side of the "Friendship Bridge." After getting lost we finally drive into the parking lot of the Duty Free Store. We planned to shop, purchase some chocolate items and continue on our journey to Lake Champlain. A simple enough plan, right? W R O N G ! ! !

     Apparently, you cannot drive away from the Duty Free Store without driving across the "Friendship Bridge" into Canada. Purchases at the Duty Free Store are for export only...Who knew? I cannot believe that we are the first people on the planet to make this mistake. So, Canada here we come! However, there are a number of "little" problems with our driving into Canada: (1) We do NOT have passports; (2) We do not have our birth certificates proving our citizenship; (3) I am carrying a concealed, loaded firearm. (When I was a police officerI always carried a firearm when I travelled.)

     We drive across the bridge and pull up to the Canadian Border Agent's booth. He asked a number of questions that were not a problem...Q - "Do you have a Passport? A- "No, all we have is a driver's license." Q - "Where are you going?" A - "We are trying to get back to the American side of the bridge. We came into Canada by mistake." We hand the Border Agent our licenses. We explained what happened. The Agent types on a keyboard, presumably checking to see if we were terrorists or drug smugglers or something like that.

      The Border Agent then turns to us and asks THE problematic question Q - "Are you carrying any firearms." A - "Yes, I am. I am carrying a loaded five-shot .38 caliber revolver."  The Border Agent stared at me, processing what I just told him. He nervously asked "Do you have it on you, now?" I told him "Yes, I have it in my right front pants pocket." I added that I also have five spare rounds in a cartridge pouch. He instructed me not to move unless he instructed me to. I acknowledged my understanding and placed both hands on the steering wheel with my fingers spread. He told me to          S L O W L Y hand him the firearm. I meticulously followed his instructions and removed my revolver, holster and all, from my pocket and slowly handed it to him. He hands it to another Border Agent who takes it, unloads it, and then huddles with a few more Border Agents showing them my revolver like it was some kind of trophy.

      The Border Agents confer with each other for several minutes. The decision is made to return my revolver to me and deport us immediately. Parenthetically, I asked myself..."How much of a jerk do you have to be, that even Canada won't let you in?" So, the Border Agent hands me back my unloaded revolver, holster and five rounds of ammunition. He then directs me back across the Friendship Bridge to America, Home of the Brave, Land of the Free...or at least so I thought.

     We drive across the bridge to the American side and pull up to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) Agent's booth. I was thinking that we would identify ourselves, show him our licenses, explain why we went to Canada and then we would soon be merrily on our way. A simple procedure, Right? W R O N G?

      The I.C.E. Agent asked the same innocuous questions "Where are you going? Where are you coming from? Anything to declare? May I see your passports?" I handed the Agent our licenses and explained how we inadvertently ended up in Canada. I further explained that we were sent back across the bridge by the Canadian border officials. To save time and conversation I also told the I.C.E. Agent that I was carrying a firearm.

He asked me "Why are you carrying a firearm?" Several answers came to mind: (1) Because I'm a police officer and I usually bring a firearm with me when I travel with my family, for protection; (2) The bad guys carry firearms, so I figured that I would make it fair; (3) The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution; (4) Better to be judged by twelve than to be carried by six; (5) Because I couldn't fit the bazooka in my pants! (6) To protect the drugs and explosives that are in the trunk; I opted to go with answer #1! I figured that it would cause the least anxiety for all concerned.

     The I.C.E. Agents huddled for a few minutes. An Agent, who I took to be a supervisor, leaves the huddle, comes up to my window, and asks if I have my police credentials with me. I show him my badge and my department identification card. He also asked me why I am carrying a firearm. I quickly review the aforementioned six answers in my mind. I stay with answer #1. After several more minutes we were directed to the interstate and were allowed to proceed on our merry way.

     We were delayed several hours being lost in Buffalo looking for the Duty Free Shop. We were delayed another 30 minutes at the Canadian border. We were delayed at the American border another 30 minutes. The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray! Don't they ever!


This is my second A to Z Blog Challenge that is a day late and a dollar short. My "S" word is SENIORITY. We live in a complicated world. I think that in many instances that we make things more complicated than they need to be.

Last week I completed my 60th revolution around the sun. I am having trouble accepting the fact that I am 60 years old. I don't see myself as a sixty year old man.
I remember as a younger man looking at people who were 60 years old and thinking that they are really old. I also remember thinking that becoming 60 years old is so far off into the future that I don't have to think about turning 60, much less worry about turning 60.

I now qualify for reduced prices at Dunkin Donuts. I can participate in the senior specials at restaurants. Medicare and Social Security are a mere 5 years away. I am moving from the "middle age" demographic into the "senior" demographic. UGH!

So, as I prepare for that inevitable day, in the not too distant future, when I can no longer chew the leather and I am eventual banished to an ice flow like that polar bear on those global warming commercials, I choose to keep things simple.
Things that I thought were so important just a few years ago seem to be less so. Time spent with family and loved ones have taken on more importance. Time itself has become more precious. Time is running out to serve God and others.

On a positive note, I am still happily married to my high school sweet heart and best friend. We have been, and continue to be, very much in love after almost 42 years together as man and wife.
We have raised two wonderful people, a boy and a girl, who now have families of their own. They are people who are devoted spouses and parents. They are people who care deeply about others and have grown to become decent, good human beings. I could not be more proud.
Last, but by no means least, we have four grandchildren. Grandchildren are the reward you get for allowing your children to live through their teenaged years. Grandchildren are a joy that is difficult to put words to. Grandchildren are such a blessing.

Yep! I'm a senior alright! (Insert face palm and groan here!)


I have been remiss and have fallen behind on writing my A to Z Blogs. I have no excuse really. So here is my "R" installment to the A to Z Blog Challenge.

The Easter Holiday means different things to different people. To some, Easter is the celebration of the arrival of Spring, all things that were dead become alive again.

To others, and by others I mean Christians, Easter is the day that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus the Nazarene, the Christ, God's Messiah. It is the most significant event to have occurred in all of human history.

Here's a Reader's Digest version of what I mean. God created everything and saved the best for last. He created man and then woman and placed them in the Garden of Eden. At that point God saw what He had created and pronounced it to be "very good."

Now please understand that God is perfectly Holy and cannot have any association with, relationship to, or any contact with "Sin." The first man and woman sinned against God by disobeying Him and eating of the forbidden fruit. The day that that happened, as a result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve died spiritually and would eventually die physically.

Since Adam and Eve, mankind has been sinning against God in various ways. The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans that all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. He also wrote in that same letter that the wages of sin is death. 

God took care of mankind's sin problem by sending His beloved Son to live a perfect sinless life and pay the penalty of death for all of our sin. He paid a debt He did not owe. We owe a debt we could not pay. Jesus paid for our sins on the cross of Calvary. He arose from the grave three days later. Because He lives we live because the wages of sin have been paid on our behalf.  We have been reconciled back to God. That is why the resurrection of Jesus is the most significant event in human history.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


My A to Z Blog Challenge word for today is “QUESTION.” From the time that we could talk we question. One of our first questions is “Why?” Our parents heard that question so often that out of frustration they answered “Because I said so! That’s why!” or “Because I’m the Mommy, that’s why!”

As we grow older our question becomes more probing. We ask questions such as “How do birds fly?” or “Why do cats purr?” and the all time heart stopper “Where do babies come from?” As a typical male and father my answer was “Go ask your Mom!”

During the teenaged years the questions become more petulant. “Why can’t I stay out late?” or “Why can’t I go to the party? Everyone else is going?” They also give parents the third degree to justify their actions. “Did you ever drink alcohol before you were twenty-one?” “Did you ever smoke pot?” The worse...”Did you have sex before you were married?” UGH!!!

Adult years bring more substantial questions like “Why do I believe in God?” “Is the government really looking out for me?” “Will the Cubs ever win a World Series?”

Our senior years are fraught with questions like “Why did I do that when I was younger?” or “Why didn’t I do that when I was younger?” “Where are my glasses?” or “Where are my teeth?”

We ask questions all of our lives. The type of questions we ask are determined by our age at the time. We have different priorities at different times of our lives.

One more question, what do you think?

Friday, April 18, 2014


     My A to Z Blog Challenge word is "Procrastination." I'll do it later! Enough said.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


My A to Z “O” word is OMNISCIENT. The definition is “the capacity to know all that is knowable.” This word is generally found in two contexts. One is in Writing the other is in Theology.

In writing, an author is omniscient in that they know all that is knowable about one of their characters. They know their background, their training, their idiosyncrasies, their heritage, and so forth.
  It occurs to me to ask a seemingly silly question, who else would know about a character that was created better than the person who created that character? The word that comes to mind is “DUH!”

In theology the word omniscient is applied only to God. It is believed that the only person who is capable of knowing all that is knowable is God.
Biblical prophecy provides a compelling circumstantial case that God is omniscient. Hebrew prophets predicted with great specificity events that would not occur for hundreds of years.
The prophet Daniel predicted the great empires of the ancient world that would arise in the order that they would arise well in advance of their coming into being. He predicted that the Babylonians would be followed by the Persians who would be followed by the Greeks who would be followed by the Romans. Recorded history tells us that that is what happened.
Also compelling is that there are about 300 prophecies from the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the life Jesus of Nazareth. The odds of probability that this would happen are too enormous to calculate.

By way of full disclosure I must tell you that I am a Bible believing Christian. So what do you think?   

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


My “N” word for this installment of the A to Z Blog Challenge is NUTS. People use this word in a number of ways. First and foremost is the food in all of it’s forms. My favorite nut is pistachios. I can’t get enough of them. I also love walnuts, pecans and almonds. What is your favorite nut?

Another way people use the word “NUTS” is to describe the mental stability of another person. I’m sure that you have heard someone accuse someone else of being nuts, that is mentally unhinged.
For example, I have often said that anyone who jumps out of a perfectly good airplane for fun is NUTS. There are only two things that fall out of the sky...bird crap and nuts.
Another example are those extreme survivalists who volunteer to be dropped off in the most extreme of environments, strip naked and survive for 21 days. It seems to me that civilization invented clothes and shelter so we don’t have to do nutty things like that.

My favorite use of the word NUTS comes from World War II. During the Battle of the Bulge superior German forces surrounded the French city of Bastogne. The city was being defended by elements of the 101st Airborne Division commanded by General Anthony McAuliffe.
The commanding general of the German forces sent a message to General McAuliffe telling him that his forces were surrounded by superior German forces and to avoid unnecessary loss of life, he should surrender his weaker forces.
General McAuliffe responded to the German commander with a one word message - “NUTS!” The 101st Airborne troops were able to hold on until they were reinforced by General Patton’s 3rd Army.
So depending upon the context NUTS can be either good or not so good. Is this blog post NUTS? What do you think?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


     “I solemnly vow to love, honor and cherish you from this day forward, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, until death do us part.”

If you are married you probably said these words or words similar to these words. I spoke the words to my beloved wife many years ago. As of July 1st we will have been married for 42 years.  I am a huge fan of marriage! Marriage is one of the few things in my life that I’ve gotten right!

      My wife and I still act like newlyweds. We still hold hands when we walk together side by side. We still sit together and I still put my arm around her shoulders. We still love being in each other’s company. She seldom has to open a door, because I do that for her. I am her biggest fan!

So what’s the secret to our happy marriage? We love each other! I know that this sounds too simplistic if not trite. But it’s true, we really love each other!What I mean is that we each honestly believe that we got the better end of the marriage deal. I often tell people that I married way above my station and I did get the better end of the deal.
My wife will tell you that she married way above her station and that she got the better end of the deal...and she would be mistaken because I definitely got the better end of the deal.

My wife is a most remarkable woman. She handles serious challenges with grace and determination. She puts up with all my stuff, without complaining, at least most of the time. She is a wonderful mother and grandmother! She is just a terrific person. A much better person than I deserve! She’s my soul mate! Like I said I am her biggest fan!

Monday, April 14, 2014


     I love to laugh! Despite all the trials of life I need to laugh. I suspect that I am not alone in this regard. I retired two-plus years ago after a 30 year law enforcement career. Here are a couple of amusing cop related anecdotes.

A state trooper stops a car filled with silver haired old ladies on the interstate for driving too slow. As the trooper walks up to the car he notices that except for the driver all the ladies are white as ghosts, gripping tightly on their seat belt.
The trooper speaks to the driver, telling her that he stopped her for driving too slow. The silver haired darling looked up at the trooper and told him that she was driving the posted speed limit of “25.” The trooper paused for a second and then realized her error. She was on Interstate 25. The trooper then understood why the passengers were all petrified, the car had just exited Interstate 95. (Insert cymbal crash here)

Another state trooper pulls over a car on the interstate. He walks up to the driver and informs him that he apparently left his wife at the previous rest stop a few miles back. The driver said “Thank God...I thought I’d gone deaf!”

I hope you laughed or at least was amused!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


     I am a fan of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He has served our nation with distinction in a number of positions in the Executive Branch of our government. He was the youngest Secretary of Defense in our nation's history which has to tell you something about the man's intelligence and skill.

What has this got to do with "Knowledge" you may be asking? Well, Secretary Rumsfeld gave an interview during which he was trying to explain how it was that certain decisions were made, specifically during the Iraq War. He said that when you are considering a decision you never have 100% of the facts. He said (1) there are things that you know you know; (2) there are things that you know you don't know; and (3) there are things that you don't know you don't know. He said it is the things that you don't know you don't know that keeps him awake at night.

Let me give you a practical example of how this might have worked. Towards the end of World War II in the Pacific Theater, the Japanese authorities knew that they were beaten. They knew that the Allies were advancing towards their home islands. They knew that the Allies had air and naval superiority.
What they knew they didn't know with any specificity was how the Allied powers were going to apply their superiority against them. They knew they didn't know how or when the Allies would invade their home islands.
What they didn't know they didn't know was the existence of the Manhattan Project, that the Americans had produced the worlds first nuclear weapon. We all know what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I agree with Secretary Rumsfeld, what we don't know we don't know can be very frightening. Think about it. What do you think?

Friday, April 11, 2014


     When I was a wee bit of a lad being educated by the Gray Nuns of the Cross at Saint Jeanne d’Arc elementary school, I was taught that Science was a search for truth. I was taught that truth is a binary state, something is either true or it is not true...period.

In high school my science teacher taught me about the “Scientific Method.” Here are a couple of definitions:

(1) "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

(2) To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. science teacher taught me that any theory based on false information is “Not True,” that is, it is NOT scientific fact.

There has been several instances where Global Climate Change proponents have lied outright about evidence. Most notably out of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Also, no matter what weather event occurs these proponents attribute the event to Global Climate Change.
It seems to me that proponents have concluded that Global Climate Change is caused by human activity. Any information that comes to light that supports their theory is published as fact. Conversely any information that goes counter to their theory is not published at all or is dismissed out of hand.

I believe that Global Climate Change runs in cycles and human activity has little to nothing to do with it. What do you think?

Thursday, April 10, 2014


“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

These word were penned over two hundred years ago by Thomas Jefferson. They are from the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Jefferson went on to assert that governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed. That belief forms the basis of our current form of government.

You may recall from your history classes that at the time these words were penned the standard form of governance was monarchy, a king. It was believed that ALL power rested in the king. Our founding fathers declaration to the contrary turned this paradigm on it’s head. Our founding fathers’ position prevailed. It took the Revolutionary War for it to prevail, but prevail it did.

“...endowed by their Creator...” means that our rights are God given. They come from Almighty God, not the government. Therefore they cannot rightfully be taken away by any government. Our founding fathers obviously believed in God and that we are all subject to Him. They also believed that He is the source of our inalienable rights.

Inalienable means “Incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another.” That means that they are ours and that we cannot give them away. Furthermore, as already stated, they cannot be taken away either.

The right to life and the right to liberty are explicit and easily understood. The right to pursue happiness, however, is somewhat less so. It is important to understand that we are endowed with a right to “pursue happiness” and not to a right “be happy.” We have the right to do whatever we want that we believe will bring us happiness, but the responsibility to be happy rests with us. I submit that happiness is often a choice we make. Happiness is a subjective assessment and not an objective fact.

So today, choose to live life! Choose to live free! Choose to live happy! God bless you!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


      Today’s A to Z Blog letter of the day is the letter “H.” Today’s word is “Hogwash” which is defined as “ludicrously false statements.” The American people have been fed a steady diet of Hogwash in recent years. Here are a few examples of what I mean.

When President George W. Bush was still in office he was speaking to the press about a meeting he had with Russian Premier Vladimir Putin. He said that he looked into Putin’s soul and found him to be a “good guy.” Well, empirical evidence and recent events have shown President Bush’s comment on Putin to be Hogwash.

When President Obama was running for president he hammered on two points. His administration was going to be the most transparent administration in history. Also, as a Constitutional Law Professor his administration would be scrupulous in following the U.S. Constitution. Both of these statements have been found to be unadulterated Hogwash.

When the then Director of National Security, James Clapper, was asked by a Congressional Oversight Committee if the the NSA was spying on American citizens. He stated under oath that the NSA was not spying on Americans. This has since been found to be pure, concentrated Hogwash.

The American people are being lied to by elected and appointed government officials with impunity. Unless this state of affairs changes, we are in deep, serious trouble as a Nation.
What can we do about it? We can hold those who lie to us accountable. Appointed officials should be terminated and/or prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Elected officials who lie must not be re-elected. In egregious cases where there is clear evidence of “...high crimes and misdemeanors,” they ought to be impeached and then prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

When asked what kind of government had been formed, Benjamin Franklin answered “A republic...if you can keep it.” We are in danger of losing our republic due to lack of interest.


      If you're a college basketball fan today is a sad day for you. The college basketball season came to an end last night when the University of Connecticut defeated the University of Kentucky in the NCAA Championship game. At least you still have the Hodgepodge to cheer you along your way.

1. April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. When did you last 'shower' attention on someone or have attention 'showered' on you? Did you love it, or did all that attention make you squirm?
     I am uncomfortable having attention showered upon me. It really does make me squirm. The last time I showered attention on someone was when SWMBO and I celebrated the 31st anniversary of her 29th birthday in March.

2. Share a favorite 'spring break' memory. Not talking about just the 'college spring break' thing, but any favorite spring break memory you'd like to share. Keep it family friendly please!
     One of my favorite "Spring Break" memories is from several years ago. I had some extra vacation time so SWMBO suggested that I fly out west and visit our son 's family. So, I did. SWMBO hates to fly. I love to fly. So off I went. I had a wonderful time but it wasn't the same without SWMBO being there. I became homesick even though I had a good time.

3. It's National Pecan Month...are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite dish that calls for pecans?
     I am a huge fan and my favorite dish with Pecans is Pecan Pie! Yumm!

4.  'Put all your eggs in one basket', 'egg on your face', 'rotten egg', 'walk on eggshells', or 'a good egg'...which egg-spression could most recently be applied to your own life?
           I will go with "rotten egg." You may recall my prank on SWMBO on April Fool's Day. That earned me the rotten egg award that day.

5.  In my experience___________________________________.
     …there is some good in all people. You just have to dig a little deeper to find it in some people, but it is there!

6. What's a  favorite song with the word rain in its title or lyrics?
     I am a huge fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival. My favorite "rain" song is CCR's "Who'll Stop the Rain?" I also like CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?;" Eric Clapton's "Let it Rain;" The Beatles "Rain"; and James Taylor's "Fire and Rain!"

7. What does the word hope mean to you?

    There are two meanings of the word "hope" that form my thinking. One definition is "a wishful desire." Examples of this kind of hope is found in statements such as "I hope the Red Sox win the World Series again!" or "I hope my wife doesn't get mad because I'm late."
     The second definition is the Biblical definition. Hope is "confident expectation!" A Christian's "hope" of Heaven is not a wishful desire but rather it is a confident expectation based upon God giving his promise that those who have obeyed the Gospel call can be assured of a place in Heaven.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I am participating in this years A to Z blogging exercise. The letter for today is "G" so I wrote about the Granite State, AKA New Hampshire. This random thought is from that blog entry.
     Our state motto is "Live Free or Die." These words were sent as part of a toast to a reunion of soldiers who participated in the Battle of Bennington which took place during the American Revolutionary War. These words were written by the hero of the Battle of Bennington, General John Stark who was too ill to attend the reunion so he sent along this toast with his regards. The full quote is "Live Free of Die, Death is not the Worse of Evils."
 This motto speaks of a mindset that we have a God given right to live free and we shall live free at ALL costs. You gotta love General Stark's attitude which is still alive and well in the Granite State.