Paths In Life : Crossroad Decisions

February 2nd, 2014


(Composed in response to a homework question “What would you share with a 13 year old to help guide them in their life decisions?”.)

“As with a lot of things in life, you need to be at a certain place at a certain time for things to happen – good or bad. It’s interesting to think about what might have happened if you had taken a different path in life — just one small change could make a total change in your life.”

That’s a quote from a fellow mariner and neighbor, Betty Karl at now incorporated into Facebook. (Also where my post here originally resided.)

It’s not a new concept, I’ve heard variations before, but this time served as a reminder to take a moment and recall what decisions I made and how they sent me along paths that put me in a certain place and time.

The major cross road decision in my life was my choice of colleges : the University of Virginia.

Actually another major cross road, but not a decision of mine, led me to my father who would significantly influence that decision. In short, I was born in Wiesbaden, Germany to German parents. My parents died when I was young, and my father’s mother, my grandmother, escorted me to the United States where my father’s sister, my aunt, and her husband adopted me.

That husband was to be the one I called ‘Dad’ for the rest of my life. I’d have to think back why he was such a strong advocate of my going to the University of Virginia, but what matters is that he prevailed. And that shaped the rest of my life for the next thirty years.

That decision led to my three years of active duty in the U.S. Navy by way of an ROTC scholarship at UVa.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nature Deficit Disorder and Technology Addiction

December 26th, 2012

Too little time in nature causes us to become irritable, frustrated, and less able to cope with stress. Even in small doses, exposure to nature can measurably improve our psychological and physical health.

“The more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need.” Source : Richard Louv, author of ‘Last Child in the Wood’s, ‘The Nature Principle’,and “Get Your Mind Dirty”.

This post was inspired by Tonya’s ‘back packing kids’ blog at this link where she writes about technology addiction in adults and children.   A good, honest, down to earth, not lengthy read.

Setting Cookies and Clearing Browser Caches

February 10th, 2011

What are cookies?

A cookie is a message given to your web browser by a web server, and is stored on your system in a small text file. Web sites use cookies to recall user information, when you return to a web site that uses cookies, your browser sends information to the web server via the appropriate cookie file. The server can then present you with custom web pages, recall any preferences you have specified or even remember your login information in order to automatically log you into the site.

How do I set my browser to accept cookies?

Read the rest of this entry »

Going The Distance With TV Humor

January 20th, 2011

I’ve been cursed with seeing humor in a lot of things that people miss … either that, or the script writers are intentionally or unknowingly witty : from this mornings TV news, where a long distance marathon t-shirt was evidence in a crime … “police are circulating a picture of the t-shirt in case it  jogs someone’s memory”  (my emphasis added)

How Deep Is Our Collective Reservoir ?

January 10th, 2011

Liberty is a fine-sounding word. But it has its limitations. Caution needs to be practiced so as not to go to another extreme. Many a libertarian wants to be free to practice his own social immorality in the name of freedom, but in this he tends to be socially liberal, while fiscally conservative.

The Libertarian with a capital “L” yearns for almost limitless freedom from controls, saying we would be better off with no government. But for most Americans, the idea of liberty comes with the needed expense of at least minimal guidelines, governance, and law enforcement. The debate, therefore, among the liberty-loving peoples comes down to how much governance is needed.

Our two-hundred-plus year experiment in freedom and self-government has worked well, because in general there has been a reservoir of decency and obedience to natural laws of goodness among the people.   But will our Constitution survive in a people who seem less inclined these days to cling to standards of righteousness?

Flat Tax : More Fair than the “Fair Tax”

December 23rd, 2010

“Fair Tax” still implies some levels of subjectivity, which is why I prefer a “Flat Tax” as a primary tax, in tandem with a consumption tax, which is what the  “Fair Tax” seems to be.    

A Flat Tax would be simplest and most fair— more fair then the Fair Tax — no adjustments, no exemptions, no limits.  Tie all income and consumption to personal social security numbers and business tax ID numbers and let computers sort everything out.

Unfortunately I  foresee problems with the consumption tax if it’s anything like the sales tax system in Florida.  Businesses are collecting the tax but not turning it into the government or are understating their sales.   We don’t want to create another agenda that’s going to take an army of auditors and collection agents to sort out.

Small Farms Under Attack ?

November 28th, 2010
I don’t pretend to understand the nuances of this bill, or any legislation for that matter, but people I trust are recommending that S.510, the misnamed “Food Safety Modernization Act,” be opposed on every vote – including cloture.

I am told S.510 will open the floodgates for the Federal bureaucracy to crush the food industry’s small businesses.

The bill’s proponents suggest that a few provisions totally address concerns of small-scale farmers, but closer examination reveals the FDA acquires even more power to shut down family farms on a whim.

In these tough economic times, S.510 will drive up the costs of food production by adding more layers of government interference.
The bill also empowers federal agencies to impose international guidelines and standards on domestic food producers – molding American food production into an unhealthy globalist Codex system.

S.510 threatens to destroy reputable food producers like the independent family farm, where the free market works every day to provide the public with healthy choices.
Background : Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Chris Dodd (D-CT), and Richard Burr (R-NC) coordinated to reach a “bipartisan” agreement earlier in the year to move ahead with the otherwise stalled bill.

I think this legislation may be coming up for a vote as early as Monday, Nov. 29.

‘Underdog’ (2007)

November 21st, 2010

” there are no bad dogs …. only bad owners “

‘Nell’ w/ Jodie Foster and Liam Neeson

November 20th, 2010

Our income tax system : designed for an economy that no longer exists ?

November 17th, 2010

The income (tax) system, designed for an economy that no longer exists, is perhaps, too great a political cash cow for it to be abandoned in favor of something that raises fewer campaign contributions — even if that might actually save the economy of the United States.

Clearly, the revenue side is but one part of a two-sided equation. No matter what tax system is used, when Congress and the president are spending $1.67 for every $1 dollar in tax revenue, the United States is going to go under. The U.S. economy is no more unsinkable than was the Titanic — only for the U.S. economy, debt is taking the place of the North Sea.

Link to quote source.