Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sunday February 27, 2005 Almost March

It's almost March.

March is the beginning of Spring. March is blustery, but can be sunny and warm. March is going to the park and flying kites. You may need to wear gloves, but it is so good to get out. The grass is just turning from brown to green and later in March the trees will bud. You smell the crisp cool air and it has a scent of left over soggy fall leaves, but also a beginning scent of newness.

I remember, as a young boy, flying kites with my dad. I remember, as a young man, flying kites with my daughters. I remember flying kites at the seashore. You launch the kite and you feel it tug on the string in its efforts to go with the wind.

I suppose that is my feeling about March - spring winds, outdoors, and freedom.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Friday February 25, 2005 Why the foul language?

I was in the construction business for over 40 years and dealt with all the trades who help to build buildings and shopping centers and schools and banks. My particular specialty was in the structural steel framing end of the business. I dealt with a lot of ironworkers over the years. These men put up with freezing temperatures, hot burning sun, slippery wet steel, mud, danger at all times, aches and pains and strained muscles. These men had great pride and endurance. And yet for all the troubles they put up with, they very seldom had to resort to the foul language that now is permeating our society. After visiting hundreds of jobsites and working with thousands of tradesmen, I can probably count on my fingers the number of times when the men have resorted to swearing. Their containment of their frustration and anger at times is admirable.

This is why it really bothers me to hear the “f” word or the “s” word or all the foul language bandied about in the movies and games and music and comedies that surround us now. I suppose it is put there to titillate us, but it really demeans us. If you can’t find the proper words to express your anger or frustration, you can always try to shock others by cursing, but it only tends to lower your esteem in the eyes of others.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Thursday February 24, 2005 Blogmind

I keep putting my thoughts out there on this blog.

Is there a blog space?
What happens to this blog after I stop posting thoughts?
Will this blog continue after I have passed away?
Do my thoughts continue to randomly appear in blogspace forever?

Maybe we have all contributed random thoughts that will coalesce into a blogmind that will continue long after we have gone.

Where do thoughts come from?
Where do they go after they have been created?

If we have created a new consciousness in blogspace, I hope it is able to distinguish the intelligent thoughts from the rest.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Tuesday February 22, 2005

Gray skies just waiting for spring. Just one more month of winter. I don't like to wish my life away, but it's hard to get enthused about this kind of weather and the gray dreariness. Here in Kansas City, our weather jumps up and down a lot during Winter. One day its warm and sunny and the next day its cold and dreary. You can't really get adjusted to the weather at all. At least in summer, it is always hot and muggy here and you can get adjusted to it. I haven't decided whether I prefer Spring or Fall - they both have their merits. I think I like Spring best because you have so much to look forward to, while in fall you know that Winter is just around the corner. I guess I'm like a big bear - hibernating through the cold, waiting for the sunshine.

Maybe I just need a good deep snow.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thursday February 17, 2005 A Friend Passes

Fred was a friend and fraternity brother from my college days. He survives in my memory as he was then. The years have not diminished his memory. He was someone you could count on. He was loyal and true. He still has that half-smile on his face in my memory. He enjoyed life.

It's difficult when someone you knew and cared for leaves this world. The world loses some of its warmth and magic. Life goes on, but it's not quite the same.

All of us who knew Fred, even those from long ago, will miss him.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Tuesday February 15, 2005 Testament

I thought about the advent of blogging and what it means to me.

My blog is my way of saying who I am, where I’ve been, and what I’ve thought along the way. It’s the book I never wrote. It’s the song I never published. It’s the pictures and thoughts and ideas that have come my way during my adventures. It is my diary.

It is my testament that I leave behind telling the world that I was here.

We set out in life with a clean slate and grand hopes of making a difference in this world. Life has a way of tempering those hopes and we end up hoping that we have made a difference to at least a few people. Most of the world will not know or long remember that we were even here. We have left only minor ripples in the stream of life.

I have enjoyed the trip and have great memories that mean much to me, but I’m afraid they won’t mean much to anyone else. I leave my thoughts and memories in this blog for all to see and with the hope that someone will fleetingly pass by and smile at some of my remembrances.

Who could ask for more?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Monday February 14, 2005 Itneersting?

Aoccdrnig to a rscheeshhr at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Itneersting, ins't it?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Friday February 11, 2005 Evil North Korea

Let's see, we called Iraq, Iran and North Korea "the axis of evil". We invaded Iraq.
We call North Korea a bastion of tyranny. Now North Korea breaks off talks with us. Surprise?
With our present government and their form of diplomacy, it's not surprising that Iran and North Korea want nuclear weapons. They must feel that they are in imminent danger.

Of course there is no danger as long as they don't possess weapons of mass destruction. We wouldn't invade another country without provocation, would we? I'm sure the rest of the world feels safe and secure with our compassionate, level headed leadership. We only want to help them, whether or not they want help. The people will welcome us if we rescue them from their evil oppressors, just like they did in Iraq. I'm sure we will think things through much better next time and even have an exit policy.

Besides, that's what an army's for - isn't it?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Wednesday February 9, 2005 Communicating

The words we say or write to express our own personal thoughts aren't always heard but can, on occasion, reach out and touch the hearts of others. At those times of communication, we can feel the empathy. We are all human and we all have our moments of love and anger and anguish and joy. To share those moments with another being gives a feeling of belonging.

It's important to know that others share our feelings. It's important to know that we are not alone during our trials and tribulations. Life is made to be shared. We are all social beings and find it very difficult to function without some contact with others. Life in solitary confinement without ever touching others would be unendurable agony.

I am thankful for all those people who have shared a portion of their life with me. They have given me joy and made my life memorable.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Tuesday February 8, 2005 attitude

I guess it's all in your attitude toward winter. Here in Missouri, there is a tendency to button down the hatches and wait for spring once winter arrives. We seem to gravitate toward indoor activities and stay away from outdoor activities. We don't hirbernate, but we do stay inside.

My cousin and her husband, from Minnesota, came through town the other day. They were on a winter vacation traveling south and then returning home. They were actually driving cross country during the winter and enjoying it. When I asked if the weather bothered them, they looked at me strangely and said - "Once they opened the highways, it was okay". They had no qualms about traveling during snow and ice, that's just part of winter and they seem to enjoy all seasons. Once winter arrives in Minnesota, it stays all winter and it gets brutal. They just adjust their attitude and go ice fishing or skating or snowmobiling. They really seem to enjoy winter just as much as any other season.

I'm going to have to investigate this.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Monday February 7, 2005 Family

No matter where you go or what you do, your family is with you. They helped mold you to be the person you are. Their values and views have become integrated into your person.

We share our lives with many people over the years. Friends and neighbors come and go, but family always remains. Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, children, aunts, uncles and cousins are part of our support group. They are on your side, no matter what. It's comforting to know that you have their unconditional love and support. There is no catastrophe so bad that they won't be there to give you comfort.

We have much love in our family. It helps.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sunday February 6, 2005 Super Sunday?

I remember the first super bowl.

No one really cared much, they thought it was kind of a gimmick. Bowl games were for college teams. Most people cared about professional football like we now care about indoor football. The only people who really cared about pro teams were the die hard fans in the cities that had teams. I remember the TV people interviewing people about the upcoming super bowl game and their surprised reactions. What's a super bowl?

Well, now the hype and the networks and the news media have taken over and to many people, this is the ultimate game. The old time football players used to be college football players who didn't want to grow up yet. They wanted to keep on playing games for a few more years before they settled down and got a job. They were rough and tumble guys out for a good time. It wasn't a profession, it was a GAME.

Times have changed and attitudes have changed and the game has become entertainment and all the changes aren't necessarily for the best.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Saturday February 5, 2005 sunny and warm

Good news and bad news.
The good news is that it's a great day, warm and sunny.
The bad news is that it's still the middle of winter.

These kind of days make you think of picnics and flying kites and walks in the park. Maybe you think about starting to work on the yard. You just want to get outside and breathe the fresh air. But the sad fact is that next week winter will return with the frigid cold and slush and grey skies. It wouldn't be so bad if winter just came and stayed the whole season. You would get adjusted and there would be sunny days of white shiny snow and ice skating and sledding and skiing. Here in the midwest we get a little of everything and not a lot of anything. Once it freezes, it thaws. Once the snow melts, it snows. We get a lot of mud and slush. You really need all-weather tires and all-weather clothes.

The good news will last for the day and make me think of spring. It won't be long now.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Thursday February 3, 2005 Living in the REAL world

CNN was interviewing a retired couple. They commented that George doesn't live in the real world. I got to thinking about that.

He never had to work his way through school. I bet he never had an after school job while he was in high school. He never had to search for a job at all. Jobs and positions were thrust at him. He never had to worry about keeping an old car running or getting fired from a job if he was late. He never had to worry about being able to pay all the bills. I'll bet neither he nor Laura ever have to go to the grocery store or do their own laundry or cook their own food. I'll bet the “help” take care of everything down on the ranch. He gets to play at being a rancher when he visits.

He doesn't live in the real world – never has. He lives in George's world – always will. He will never really understand the average man's situation. He may try, but he really won't get it. Maybe that's why he is in favor of changing the medical system and changing the retirement system – he just doesn't look at things from our standpoint.

I hope people from the real world keep things under control.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

February 2, 2005 Groundhog Inauguration

I suppose you could call today Social Insecurity Day.

What happened to the surplus we had just 4 years ago? We were going to give half of it back and still have some left over. I think the same accountants worked for Enron and Halliburton. Are they now working for Social Security?

Now I know that we had to respond to September 11 and I was in favor of going into Afghanistan, but I was very doubtful about the reasons for attacking Iraq. I figured that others knew more than I did and once they found the weapons of mass destruction it would justify all the killing and mayhem. What happened to the weapons of mass destruction mentioned just 3 years ago?

Now we're being told that somebody has a surefire answer to solving future problems with social security. Forgive me if I'm a bit sceptical.

These are the same people who don't believe in global warming even though the poles are melting. These are the same people who still haven't found the terrorist who killed so many of our people. Osama still taunts the most powerful nation in the world and gets away with it.

Their predictions and their conclusions seem to be as accurate as the groundhog's.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Tuesday February 1, 2005 campfires

Everyone stares into a campfire.

It's hypnotic. It's fascinating. It's restful.

You just sit there and watch the flames lick around each piece of wood and you watch the coals glow. Everybody seems to want to help by pushing in that half burnt piece of wood so it can be consumed. You find a fire-stick and poke the fire and then make sure your stick doesn't continue to burn by rubbing it in the earth. It's very difficult to get up and leave the light and warmth of the fire. When you leave the bubble of light, it seems suddenly dark and foreboding. You become closer to each of the people gathered around the fire and miss that close companionship when you finally have to leave and head off to bed. The smell of the fire lingers in the air and in your clothes.

It builds great memories.