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Wednesday, May 27, 2015


     Another Memorial Day weekend is in the history books. Up here in New Hampshire the weather was wonderful. My heart goes out to those folks who are contending with tornadoes and floods and torrential rains in the south, particularly in Texas. My prayers go out for them as well.
     Today being Wednesday, there is another series of questions from our hostess, Joyce from "From This Side of the Pond." I hope you enjoy this week's edition. Better yet, visit Joyce's blog and join in on the fun.

1.  Did you do anything 'memorable' this past weekend?
     Our church Small Group got together Sunday evening and shared a meal of cheeseburgers, salad, potato chips, cubed watermelon, and ice cream novelties. We always have a good time when we get together.

2. Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying-

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

Your thoughts? Do you somehow acknowledge and appreciate the freedoms you enjoy? Did your upbringing contribute to that sense of appreciation? If you're a parent, are there specific things you do to pass on this sense of responsibility and appreciation to your own children in regard to the freedoms they enjoy?
     I agree with the "Gipper." I tried to pass on to my children the importance of understanding our system of government. I also emphasized that they had a duty to vote in elections. SWMBO and I led by example often taking them with us to the polls.
     My dad is a WWII veteran and while I was growing up he instilled in me and my older brother that it was important for us to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. He impressed upon us that we had to take our turn defending our great nation. 
     I give thanks to God every day for the freedom He has blessed this Nation with.
     By the way, the church is one generation from extinction as well. 

3. Loudest noise you've ever heard?
     The four engines of a KC-135 jet aircraft running at full throttle. I was a sentry charged with protecting the aircrat at the time. It is also why I'm as deaf as a post today.

4. What was the last thing you ate that might be considered 'junk food'? Did you enjoy it?
      The last thing I ate that was junk food was popcorn and a root beer. SWMBO and I went to see the new Avenger's movie yesterday afternoon, and of course I enjoyed the popcorn and soda!

5. When was the last time you were somewhere the crowd felt 'packed in like sardines'?
     Last week SWMBO had a follow up appointment at Dartmouth Medical Center in Lebanon. It is a regional medical center as well as a teaching hospital. The elevators tend to be crowded. That was the last time.

6. Are you organized when it comes to packing for a trip? Do you make a list weeks in advance or toss items in last minute? Are you a carry-on only sort of packer or do you need an entire suitcase for your shoes?
     I tend to be very organized. I do make a list in advance AND throw things in at the last minute. I have a carry on as well as checked luggage. I don't have enough shoes to warrant a separate bag.

7. What was the last sporting event you attended in person? Did your team win? Did you care?
     There is a AA Major League ball club in Manchester, NH, affiliated with the Toronto, Blue Jays organization. They are called the Manchester Fisher Cats. I attended one of their home games a couple of years ago. I don't remember who won. I didn't really care.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Monday was Memorial Day. This holiday was estblished to call to the minds of the American people all of our fellow citizens who had died in the defense of our great nation. It is not to honor those veterans who are still alive. That's what Veteran's Day in November is for. And yet, FB and other media were replete with tributes to living veterans. Maybe it's just me but that bothered me. 
     I am proud that I served my country in the armed services. I appreciate it when people express thanks for my service and the service of other living veterans. When they do so on Memorial Day, however, it takes away from the respect and honor that those who paid the ultimate price deserve.
     It seems to me that the people doing this haven't taken the time to understand what Memorial Day is really all about.
     It is possible that I am being a fuss budget, but that's how I feel.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015



     Periodically, during times of quiet solitude my mind tends to wander and ruminate over various subjects. There is really no rhyme or reason as to what my mind decides to "chew on" or how long it decides to stay on that particular topic. Here are a few such subjects.

THE CHURCH: What is the "church?" Is it a building? Is it a social club? Is it a place where perfect, holy people meet together periodically? Does one join the church? How do they join? 
     I believe that the Bible teaches that the church that Jesus established is NONE of those things. The church is composed of imperfect, unholy sinners who are trying very hard to change their ways and not sin anymore. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) The church is composed of people who are trying to be obedient to the commands of Jesus, the Christ. (1 John 3:23-24) Also, one does not "join" the church, one is "added" to the church by God. (Acts 2: 41) The church, it seems to me, is a placed where imperfect people are trying to become perfect together by mutual support and encouragement. We will never achieve perfection in this life and we often "run off the rails," but we pick each other up, gently remind and encourage each other to "....continue to run the race set before us!"

CHRISTIANS: What is a Christian? Simply put, a Christian is a follower, a disciple, of Jesus, the Christ. Anyone who has spent any amount of time among "Christians" quickly learned that Christians are not perfect. Ghandi once observed that he liked the Jesus of the Bible, but he did not like Christians. Apparently his experience was with Christians who have not reached a level of behavior consistent with their professed beliefs. The "What you do speaks so loudly that I can't hear what you're saying" thing.
     Christians are really like anybody else...imperfect sinners. How can you tell a true Christian from a false Christian? The same way you tell a good person from a bad their deeds. If a person professes to be a Christian but willingly engages in un-Christian behavior, he is a liar...period. It is just like a person who professes to be a good guy but engages in bad, hurtful behavior. That person is a liar...period.

FREE WILL: When God created man, He created him with "free will." God gave man the free choice to either accept Him and obey Him because he chose to. However, this also opened up the possibility that man would reject God and disobey Him, again, because he freely chose to.
     Question - If a man decided that he wanted to engage in a monumental evil that would hurt or kill hundreds of innocent people and God intervened to stop him. Does that man really have free will? I submit to you that he does not. In my humble opinion, that is why there is so much evil in the world. People are freely choosing to perform acts of evil not caring who they harm because THEY choose to. 
     In my readings and experience, God will never violate a person's free will. It is not because He cannot, it is because He chooses not to. He wants us to love Him because we freely choose to, not because we are forced to.

Friday, May 22, 2015


     A funny thing happened to me the other day that wasn't so funny at the time. My beloved SWMBO said that I needed to go to the grocery store. I was sitting and taking stock of my self and came to the conclusion that I didn't "need" to go to the store. I further wondered how SWMBO knew I needed to go to the store? Then I remembered that our granddaughters were coming over for a few hours and we needed provisions for the sweet little angels.

     So as I grabbed my hat to go to the store I asked SWMBO if she thought of anything else we needed from the grocery store to please put it on our shared shopping list. Our smart phones are connected so that when one of us adds something to the grocery list it magically appears on the other's smart phone shopping list app. So off to the store I go!
    Upon arriving at the store I grabbed a couple of cloth shopping bags from the back of the car. We bring our own shopping bags in an effort to help reduce our carbon footprint and thereby make this little blue marble a little cleaner as it hurtles through space.
     Anyways, I entered the store and selected the items on the grocery list and placed them in my shopping cart. I went to the Customer Service counter to conduct some business. I parked the shopping cart behind me adjacent a bin containing sale items. I conducted my business and when I turned around my shopping cart had vanished! It just disappeared! It just frickin' disappeared! I thought that I was having a monumental "senior moment!" 

     I asked the young man working the customer service counter if he perhaps saw what happened to my shopping cart. He looked at me like I was crazy and gently said "no." He asked me if I even had a shopping cart. He suggested that maybe another customer took it by mistake.  
     The game was afoot! I was a man on a mission! I retraced my steps throughout the store to see if perhaps I did have a monumental senior moment. No luck! The more I searched the more angry I got! I then proceeded to do a systematic search of every aisle in every department in the store. I finally located my shopping cart in the Pet Aisle hidden behind a floor display. The funny thing is that I didn't go down the Pet Aisle. I've got to tell you, I was a little steamed! If this was someone's idea of being funny...I don't get it! How dare they!?

     I went through the check-out without further incident. The more I thought about it the more I believe that I was the victim of a dumb prank! I still don't like it.

     Have you ever had anything like that happen to you? What did you do?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


     Today is another Wednesday. I am glad that you are still here to enjoy it with the rest of us who are still here as well. Today being Wednesday means that it is time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thanks Joyce for these weekly essay quizzes. I hope that you enjoy this edition of the Hodgepodge.

1.  Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?
     I tend to purposely make at least one person laugh each day. I'm a jocular sort of fellow. 

2. What's a simple question with a complicated answer?
     Who are you? This can be quite complicated to answer fully.

3. Rhododendrons or have to choose. Are either currently blooming in your yard?
     I am not a flower person and could not pick out either flower out of a lineup!

4. May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job?
     I have never worked as a waiter. I always try to be pleasant to anybody who handles my food. I never complain if my food is not prepared as I ordered it. It really is not that big of a deal to me. It does affect the size of any tip I might give.

5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men?
     I think that there should be a weight limit for wearing spandex for both men and women. Other than that I don't really have an opinion.

6. Name a writer who inspires tell us why.
     Victor Davis Hanson inspires me. He writes really well and I have never read anything close to an ad hominem attack coming from his pen. He's a classicist who comments on the contemporary culture through the lens of history. He inspires me because he raises rhetoric to an amazing level. He states his opinions by means of cogent, thoughtful argument. Another writer I really like is Dr. Thomas Sowell. He's an economist by education and has written many syndicated opinion columns from a conservative perspective. 

7. What well known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?
      This is a really difficult question. I guess I'll go with "Love thy neighbor as thyself." I strive to do this every day.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     One of the things that really annoys me is when October rolls around and you begin to see advertisements for Christmas. My annoyance has led me to form the E.S.A.S. (Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society) in response. 
     A close second is the incessant political campaigning. No sooner had the midterm elections of 2014 ended when we start getting calls from pollsters for the 2016 election. I have decided not to participate in any political polls...period!
     Former Secretary of State Clinton has announced that she is running for President. No one has died from shock upon hearing that news. What is different is that Mrs. Clinton has not had any press conferences or submitted to interviews by reporters or answered any questions from any reporters assigned to cover her campaign. 
     If I could work my will I would impose a total news blackout of the Clinton campaign. I would tell Mrs Clinton "Fine, you don't want to talk with the press, we will not bother you with our questions for the duration of this election cycle." 
     I know that this will NEVER happen, but a person can dream can't they? 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


     Well today is Wednesday. Joyce has prepared another weekly essay quiz better known as the Wednesday Hodgepodge. It really is a lot of fun to participate. You meet some really fine people by visiting their blog posts and comparing answers. All you need to do is go to "From This Side of the Pond" and simply follow the directions. I did, so I ask you, how hard can it be?

1. When is your next big deadline? What's it for?
     I don't do deadlines...I'm retired!

2. May is National Barbecue Month. Do you prefer cooking indoors or out? What's the best thing about a barbecue? What's the last thing you cooked on an outdoor grill?
     I enjoy cooking outdoors but it's not my preference. The best thing about a barbecue are the aromas. I love the aroma of animal flesh being cooked on the grill. I think the last thing I cooked on the grill was chicken breasts. 

3. What is one thing on your "never again" list?
     Getting married. I hit the lottery the first time. There is no way that could happen again...43 years together this July. I love my beloved SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed)!

4. What's something that annoys you about people your own age? Something you love about your generation?
     Generally people my age don't annoy me. There are exceptions, of course, but as a general rule they don't annoy me. One thing I love about my generation are the great stories we tell. We have been around to have had many different experiences that form the basis of some great stories.

5. Lilac, iris, hyacinth, pansy...your favorite purple flower?
     I AM NOT A FLOWER PERSON, but for the sake of the Hodgepodge I'll select Lilacs. I had them at the house where I grew up and SWMBO has a bush in our backyard.
6. Whats a song that always calms you down?
     Great question! I wish I had a great answer. Many of the hymns we sing at church are very comforting. Vince Gill's music has a calming effect also.

7. What's the last thing you donated?
     Every week I donate money and time to the church.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Sunday was Mother's Day. I have been blessed to have been unconditionally loved by three women in my life. I am currentl married to one of them. The other two served as my Mom at different period of my life.
     My birth mother was a very attractive lady. She had beautiful long dark brown wavy hair and piercing brown eyes. She wasn't particularly well educated but she was a wonderful mother. Unfortunately, she contracted cancer and left us way too soon when I was in fifth grade. She would have been a great grandmother to my kids. I'm sorry that she never got the chance. I think of her and those parts of my life that she missed. I like to think that she would be proud of the man she raised me to be.
     My stepmother married my dad a couple of years after I married SWMBO. She was a wonderful woman too. She was a registered nurse who worked for the Veterans Administration. By the time she married my dad her kids were all grown up. Mom 2 had a keen mind and did a great job of keeping dad in line. That was a full time job! I enjoyed visiting her and dad at their house. We would share a meal and/or sit in the living room drinking tea and/or coffee talking about our lives or current events or their grandchildren. She was a wonderful grandmother. She's no longer with us either. 
     Like I said I was blessed to have been loved by these remarkable women who were my Mom. Happy Mother's Day Moms!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Yesterday, the National Football League its judgement in the infamous deflate-gate matter. The league officials handed down it's punishment to the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady. 

We citizens of Patriot Nation are profoundly disappointed in the outcome. The NFL has suspended Brady for four games in the 2015 season. It also fined the team owner one million dollars, a first round draft pick in the 2016 draft, and a fourth round draft pick in the 2017 draft.

I find this state of affairs troubling for several reasons. First, the investigation uncovered no evidence connecting Brady to the deflated footballs at issue. Next, in it's own report, the NFL explicitly stated that neither the team ownership nor the team coaches had any knowledge of the deflated footballs. Finally, the incriminating text messages sent by equipment managers upon which much of the NFL's decision was based were sent months before the AFL Conference Championship Game at which the so called deflated footballs were found.

If the team ownership and the coaches had no knowledge of the offense, in effect, were not guilty of anything according to the League's own investigation, how is it just that they be penalized with a huge fine and a loss of draft picks?
The League's investigation report alleges that Tom Brady was probably, generally aware of the practice of deflating game balls, hence he was culpable. Brady denies any wrongdoing and is planning to appeal.

It seems to me that as long as human beings are involved in the dispensing of "Justice," there WILL BE MISTAKES made! Humans are flawed creations and mistakes are inevitable. A brief journey through prior court cases will produce more than enough evidence to support my thesis.
Fortunately, or in some cases unfortunately, God is always just. His judgements are ALWAYS right. God does not make mistakes. Everyone who has lived and everyone who is currently living will experience either God's justice or will experience God's mercy. 
Fortunately, we get to choose which we will experience. The choice is yours. Please think about it and choose wisely! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


1. What's a phrase your mother often said to you? If you're a parent, is this something you now say to your own children?
     I can't remember any such phrase, therefore the second part of this question is moot.

2. What is a scent you associate with your mother or your childhood home?
     The smell of onions cooking. I love onions and my grandmother who did most of the cooking in our house always used an onion in her dishes.

3. What's an activity you remember always doing with your mother (or someone who was a mother figure in your life)?
     On Sundays my aunts and uncles would come to the house and we'd play Pokeno. A kind of bingo game with playing cards. Those were special times.

4. Flared jeans, maxi dresses, and jumpsuits are 70's fashion trends back this spring. Are you on board? Which trend would you be most inclined to try? For the men...flared corduroys, wide-collared shirts, and floral prints...what say you? 
     Wide collared shirts I suppose. I did wear flared leg pants in high school.

5. May 6th is Teacher Appreciation Day and also Nurse Appreciation Day. Is there a nurse or teacher  you have especially appreciated along the way? Tell us why?
       In high school I took two years of Latin. My second year I had a teacher who had a fondness for all things Roman. We studied Caesar's Commentary on the Gallic War in Latin, of course. She went beyond the text and delved into the history and background. It was one of the best classes I have ever taken. 
    6. If I came by your house, what would I find on your frig door?
     You would see an assortment of magnets from the different places SWMBO and I visited, San Diego, Acadia National Park, Niagara Falls, etc.

7. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana made her royal entrance on Saturday, May 2nd. On a scale of 1-10, how much attention did you give to all the news coverage? 1=Who's Charlotte? 10=sat glued to the telly, cuppa in hand.
     I would have to say about a "3," the "Oh that's nice!" crowd.
  8.  Insert your own random thought here.
      I am troubled by the rush to judgement when a police officer is involved in a  situation where lethal force was used. The notion that any police officer goes out looking for someone to shoot is absurd. A policeman's job is tough enough. It is grossly unfair to jump to the conclusion of wrongdoing without having all the facts. 
     In my experience initial reports are almost ALWAYS incorrect. This was the case in Ferguson, MO. The false narrative that was proven by competent evidence to be false persists to this day. The incident in Baltimore that ignited the riots is still being investigated notwithstanding the fact that six officers have been charged already, without al the facts being in.
     Police officers must be held accountable when they do wrong...period! However, they are also entitled to fair due process before being condemned. Any elected official who uses these incidents to further any political agenda is beyond contempt.
     My beloved SWMBO often tells me in light of recent events how happy she is that I am retired and no longer have to expose myself to such dangers. I must say I agree with her. Please pray for all of our first responders, Police, Fire and EMS.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


     I have survived another year of the "A" to "Z" Blog Challenge. It really is a challenge to write something every day for a month. I'm fairly certain that I could not write every day for a year. Perhaps that's a challenge for another day.
     My theme for this year's Blog Challenge was an "A" to "Z" trip down Rock & Roll memory lane. I really enjoyed doing the research and learning about the various artists and bands that I blogged about. I learned significantly more than I was able to include in each post. DO NOT PLAY Trivial Pursuit, Rock & Roll edition with me...I WILL clean your clock. Just kidding! 
     There were a couple of facts that seemed to be consistent with all the artists and bands that I researched. All of them who achieved a level of success worked very hard at learning how to play their instrument(s) from a very early age. Some artists were blessed with an innate talent for their instrument. Other artists had to work extremely hard to reach their high level of proficiency. Whether their talent was innate or developed by hard work, these artists had a real passion for playing music. Even if they had to earn a living doing something else, they would still find a place to play their music. They all shared a passion for sharing their talent with us, the great unwashed masses. 

     Those of you who have read my profile will not be surprised about what I am about to say. I consider the arts another piece of evidence that humans were created and did not evolve. Humans are the only "animal" who are self aware and do things because they are fun or because they touch us in special ways. Art is not necessary to sustain life. Art is not necessary to propagate the species. 
     There are no animals, to my knowledge, that create things that are not directly or indirectly related to their survival or continuing their lives through offspring. Animals do not create things to just sit back and admire them. Animals don't write songs, paint pictures or build magnificent dwellings for the sake of creativity.
     The Bible tells us in the book of Genesis that God created us in His image. Take a look around the universe and see the variety and beauty of what the Bible says has been created by God. God is amazingly and infinitely creative. Being made in His image, finite humans are finitely creative. The connection seems to me to be self evident. It certainly is a more plausible explanation than "It just happened by chance." I just don't have enough faith to believe that it just happened by chance.  If you have read my profile, you already know that. Think about it!