Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tuesday May 30, 2006 The Glory of War

I was watching “Band of Brothers” series on television yesterday. It's a series made for tv about a group of young men preparing for and participating in World War II. It follows their actions and their reactions throughout the war and also interviews the real men in their seventies and their memories. I realized that these were the young adults of my youth who had returned from war and were trying to establish their lives and families at the time I was a young boy. Most of them are now in their seventies and eighties or have already passed on. I remember them when they were just starting out as fathers and beginners in the workforce. They were my scout leaders and they were the younger men in the PTA. They were the young leaders in the church. Their time has almost passed now and their generation is leaving us. They were an exceptional group of people. They had lived through the depression of the 1930s and survived World War II and the Korean War and had tried their best to make the world a safer place for all of us. They fought for their ideals and kept the faith. The march of generations continues and they are now the old men just as the survivors of earlier wars have passed on before them and the survivors of the Vietnam War are now getting closer to retirement.

Wars continue to happen and young men continue to die.
We can't seem to learn from our mistakes.
Our leaders can't seem to be able to negotiate peace, only war.

All the graves of all the young men from all the wars are peacefully laid out in neat rows continuing on forever while the young men who had so much to live for become distant memories and characters in television shows.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saturday May 27, 2006 Memorial day memories

Your memorial day list grows longer as you grow older. Many of the people you shared life with have passed away as your years have passed by, grandparents, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, friends and companions from years ago. It seems, as you grow older and older, that your world of friends and acquaintances grows smaller and smaller. I know that by the time my father was in his eighties, he felt that most of the world he knew had somehow passed out of reach and that the world that now existed was something unknown and strange. He reached out for familiar things and places and they grew less and less obtainable. My memory is growing longer and I recognize that the world is changing faster and faster. As my contemporaries pass away or grow more distant, my world shrinks to a smaller group of loved ones and acquaintances. It is a comfort to see those people I know and to think about those who came before and are now just memories.
May your memorial day be filled with pleasant memories.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tuesday May 23, 2006 Email

I have several free email sites that I've acquired over the years. Some of the sites were too small to handle the larger files or the volume of email. Others became plagued with too much junk mail (I thought). I have one personal email site I only let freinds and relatives know about and I will check the other sites occasionally to see if someone forgot to change their address file. Last night I went into my Hotmail site after about a month and found 372 messages awaiting me, of which 3 were actual personal messages. I had to check who the mail was from before deleting to make sure I didn't throw away the wrong mail. Just a whole lot of junk! I thought my mail box got enough junk mail to keep advertisers happy, but it doesn't come close. Right now I seem to be a close personal friend to many political leaders and political parties who all need my immediate attention before the world falls apart. Many petitions and many requests for donations. My phone has also been ringing a lot more each day with political needs and charitable needs. I have obviously been put on "The List". I give to whom I wish to give and support the candidates I respect and let the others know that I don't agree with them - and that's enough. I don't respond to most mail or most email and have my phone answer machine pick up any important messages and try to live my life peacefully.

372 messages is a lot of wasted effort.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Monday May 15, 2006 WHY CAN'T WE?

If we had a national education system that gave free education to all children and young adults through college or trade school, wouldn't the entire country benefit? Everyone would be able to realize their full potential and obtain a living wage. With higher levels of education come higher levels of employment and higher incomes. From higher incomes come more tax revenue and less welfare.

If we had a national health care system that gave adequate health care to all people, wouldn't the entire country benefit? We would have less emergency health problems to deal with and less health related absences from work. Our healthier children could more easily realize their full potential.

Why can't we, the richest and most powerful country on earth, give these basic benefits to our own people? We have taken the job of being sheriff to the world and trying to meddle in all countries decisions outside our boundaries, with no recompense. Why can't we turn aside from their problems and be a little selfish and solve a few of our own problems?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday May 12, 2006 Thoughts slip away

I had a great thought yesterday evening. I knew just what I would say and it had some lasting meaning that everyone would appreciate. This morning my mind is a blank. That very important message that might have affected your life forever has flown the coop (so to speak). I am truly sorry. Now the quality of your life will be forever diminished and it's all my fault. Where do these thoughts come from and where do they disappear to? I'm sure there is a great novel there somewhere, but I would forget what I was writing about before I finished. It's kind of like forgetting the punch line of a joke while you are in the middle of telling it. Sorry about that! Next time I get a great world-shaking thought, I will grab the nearest crayon and scribble it down.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thursday May 11, 2006 Wealth

You're as rich as you think you are. Wealth is an attitude. When you were small, a dollar was wealth and you planned all that you could buy with your money. As you grew the amount that satisfied this wealthy feeling grew also. How much is enough? It all depends on how much “stuff” you want to carry with you. If your requirements are minimal and your expectations small, you are probably already wealthy and happy. If your expectations are way out of line with your life, you will probably always be poor and miserable. Simplify and enjoy the wealth you have. You will always be richer than some and poorer than others. The trick is to be happy with where you are. When life is over and you leave, you carry no baggage – all that you acquired is left behind. If you leave a miserable life, it's your fault. Take stock of what you have and what you have gained in the years you have spent on this earth and enjoy what there is.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wednesday May 10, 2006 Love is a gift

You can earn respect.
You can gain confidence.
You can draw attention to yourself.
You can gather acquaintances.
But, you must remember that love is a gift. You can't make someone love you. You can't earn somebody's love. You can't buy someone's affection. Love is given freely with no strings attached. Love can be one-sided. Just because you love someone with all your heart, it doesn't mean that your love will be returned. When you love someone unconditionally, you forgive much and overlook more. It's not necessarily your choice – you just happen to love that person -no matter what. Once you have loved someone completely and been hurt, it's hard to expose yourself to further pain. I have found that love doesn't stop when the other person has left your life and moved on – the love is still there. I love people that I haven't seen in years. And when you run into someone you love after all those years, it's like no time has passed by at all. You can't always control who you love, you just have to go with it and accept it. Just remember that your love is a gift you give freely to someone else. They may or may not return the feeling, and life will go on.

Luckily, in my family, I am surrounded by love. The love and respect that we all share gives our lives much enhancement and much comfort. I wish all could be as lucky as we.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday May 6, 2006 Debt grumblings

The U.S. Treasury Department also comes up with a number for how much Americans actually owe, thanks to federal deficits. Are you sitting down? It's a chunky number: $750,000 per household. That's what you get when you take the total commitments of the feds - $49 trillion -and divide them by the number of families.

The Financial Times goes on to note that it took 204 years for the U.S. government to accumulate its first $1 trillion in debt. Now, it adds that much every 18 months. George W. Bush has added more debt than any president who ever lived. In fact, he's added more debt than all the presidents who ever lived...combined.



Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thursday May 4, 2006 New Mexico

I've spent the last 2 weeks in New Mexico. It's warm and dry. Temperatures about 75 to 80 and humidity about 10%. They've had less than 1/2 inch rain since last October. The forests and grasslands have to be watched very closely to make sure no fires get started. The wind comes out of the west and southwest keeping things dry. It's very different from green and moist Missouri. Nobody has grass in their yards(not enough rain). Most yards are landscaped with native bushes and plants and river rock. There is little maintenance of yards required - this allows people much more free time. They get little or no snow and very little rain so all their homes only have to deal with the sun and the dryness. It's really a pleasant place. Albuquerque is about 5,000 feet in elevation, so it doesn't get too hot in the summer and it's far enough south so it doesn't get too cold in the winter. They just celebrated their 300th anniversary of the founding of Albuquerque. An interesting town. A good place to visit.