The thoughts of a writer.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Advertising Failures...

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Middle Politics and Anger

With political views that do not follow any party lines, I can at times, get people upset with me who are on the far right (conservative) or far left (liberal) end of the spectrum in equal numbers. What I have noticed (though maybe I know more liberals than conservatives), is that liberal people seem to get much angrier over even minute disagreements than conservatives do. I have wondered about that and I might have an answer as to why this happens. It is my opinion that liberal minded issues generally have little hard science or data supporting them, and rely primarily on emotion. Any discussion (or disagreement) should be a process of understanding and using evidence to support your opinion. If there is no actual science, the person using conjecture and emotion is likely to get frustrated and angry. Whether they have science backing them or not, a conservative can often point to the Bible and say, "Look, it's right here. God wrote it."


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fate of R2D2

Alas poor R2D2. I knew him...

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

How Great Societies Fail

Even though I'm involved with an organization that has the mission to preserve history, that mandate gets kind of blurry when politics are involved. What I mean is, that history seems to reflect the attitudes that are force-fed to the population through the media. This “free media” being the same one that was forced to shutdown a breaking story 14 years ago when I worked for the county and an individual placed into a position to help vulnerable people was arrested and the (political) policies were shown extremely poorly as a result.

History, is often a partial truth. Our “politically correct” society has no stomach for the entirety of truth—as it does not fulfill the “popular” misconceptions that we are all supposed to believe. Yet, most people are fine perpetuating these partial truths for the sake of looking good.

One other historical fact that is conveniently forgotten as “we” show how accepting we are of all of the lifestyles and hybridized family units, is that most “great societies” throughout history, begin to fall apart from the inside rather than from outside forces.

As “thug culture” becomes mainstream, and when “we” are asked… no TOLD that we must be accepting of other factions of society, or we are racist, homophobic or a litany of other social horrors, the blindness of what this does to society becomes more complete and the infighting and disintegration becomes more real.

While I do not believe in barring any individual from entering a business based on race, sex or like reasons, it seems that someone whose butt is showing because they are wearing pants more suitable to a prison environment may be legitimately asked to leave. But the liberal opponents will not agree with this. In the process, they will use any reasoning to push their agenda; whether truthful or not.

Once while two individuals were discussing the need to accept homosexual marriage in society, playing the “devils advocate” I asked if maybe it should also include “a person marrying a cow” in order to be completely inclusive. Though both were assumably “straight men,” they were immediately incensed by this idea—which served to prove my point—that there is always a “line drawn” for every issue; and each of us has to decide how far is right and how far is wrong. There are always people who want to push that line one way or the other and society must come to a consensus as to what is acceptable and what is not. Someone may say that their religion condones dog fighting. Some religions won't allow medical intervention for their children who may die without it. Throughout history, the consensus surrounding various issues has and is changing. What constitutes freedom and what is abuse?

Pushed too far to the right or to the left, this can leave disastrous consequences. But historically, all the great societies tumble from within as they try to include “everyone,” no matter what they represent. Of course, there are also unacceptable issues that “explode” when they are finally brought out in the open—such as the harassment claims now piling up against Hollywood actors and politicians. Eventually, the hysteria creates a “guilty until proven innocent” reaction and it becomes impossible to know who to believe anymore.

But most people are ready to “attack” just the same—for fear that someone may decide to point the finger at them if they don’t “prove” how justice minded they are.

Meanwhile, the society that was once great and revered as the “Home of the Free,” is now touted as the home of racists and bigots and when the flag is brought out, the “hero” is the guy who “takes a knee” instead of the soldier in uniform who is saluting. And I find that unfortunate.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017


I have to think that God has made better decisions as to where my life should go than I would have alone. In other words, often the disappointments evolve into something great.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This will be the 396th Thanksgiving (1621).


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sticky Keyboard?

After working in a school, I learned a trick that I have since used many times. If you have a sticky (wired) computer keyboard, you can usually fix it by running it under warm water and then drying it (by letting it sit) for a day or two. Nothing else I can think of in the world of technology can handle a "bath," but so far my luck with "unsticking" keyboards is nearly 100%.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Estas Tonne - The Song of the Golden Dragon


Rodrigo y Gabriela


Being Told You're Special

While it might sound nice to be told that you are “special,” it is often a curse for someone inexperienced and impressionable. That is if the implication is that because you are special, you don’t need to “try” to be great.

Whether the person is a favored child, or part of a protected group, if you are given a line of entitlement, it is almost always a curse. Often, it is the person who is told early on that life is not fair; so you must try harder than most people—who will ultimately be better off.

Nothing is so sad as someone who gives up because they believe that they are already at the top and cannot excel any farther. Too often that person is doomed to living off the welfare of others' work and being unfulfilled.

Those who are showing their “higher morality” by perpetuating such thinking are as guilty as those who allow themselves to fail because of it.

Friday, November 17, 2017


And while all the people were yelling about their trifles, the (only)-overweight, underachiever from across the 38th parallel was plotting to incinerate large portions of the world and the "leader" of the free-world was busy tweeting petty hatreds while balancing precariously on top of his oversized wallet.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct
UnAssociated Press
November 16, 2017

EVERYONE has just been accused of sexual misconduct! We apologize.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Essential Oils???

Why are they called "Essential Oils" if I don't really need them?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

When SPRINT Said I Changed My Plan

I understand that I'm a "dinosaur" because (even though I am employed in Information Technology) I don't succumb to every new (and not so new) technological trend. My wife and I have cell phones and I get a good price on my plan because I've had it for a long time and we don't have any extras. Our phones are just phones. They are not portable computers that have voice/calling as one of the apps. So when Sprint emailed me that I had changed my plan a couple of weeks ago, I immediately called customer service to find out what was going on. The people at customer service asked for verification of who I was by a code word established years ago. I gave the person the word and she was unable to "authenticate it." Though I was calling on the phone in question about a change that had obviously been made, I was forced to go to a Sprint store. At the store, I was able to use my ID to establish a PIN and to find out that my plan had been changed to Unlimited Talk and Text. My concern was if the price had also changed and I was told it was "basically the same." Later, armed with my new PIN I went online and learned that my "code word" to "authenticate" my identity had been hopelessly misspelled by another of the customer service personnel.

So in the meantime, I began to use the text feature which I had previously had turned off when it was costing 10 cents per text. Now that I had Unlimited Talk and Text, why not use it right? So after a time I decided to use my new PIN and check on my account to make sure the cost had remained "basically the same" for the "Unlimited Talk and Text" plan that I had not authorized the change for. But the cost had changed! So I contacted Sprint and found that the new plan "was basically the same," except that text messages were costing 20 cents apiece. I was, of course, not at all pleased by being misinformed and duped into paying more. So I made them refund the extra charges for texting, turn off the texting feature and "basically" put things back to where they were before Sprint said "I had changed my plan."

So I'm back to being a "dinosaur" and annoying friends and family who want to text message me. Along the way my opinion of phone companies remains the same as well. They are all crooked.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Back In Wilkie

It was exciting to get back into the Wilkie Unit on Friday. It had been awhile and it had changed in many ways and yet it was still the same. I immediately found the remnants of an owl off the edge of the trail. Then I saw a lot of Bald Eagles and even more swans over Blue Lake. The river had geese and Mergansers and I found the large tracks of the hind foot of a beaver in the dried mud. When I was on the trail beneath the highway bridge, it should have been easy but the trail was washed out and I had to leap across. I'm getting kind of old for that but I made it. On the way out I met a hunter searching for the blood trail of the deer he hit almost four hours earlier. My 2-hour hike in the windy, 22 degrees (F) was exhilarating to say the least. I wish I had more opportunities to enjoy the places I used to frequent almost daily.

Owl flight feathers have soft edges for silence.

2 Bald Eagles

Eagles above swans


Flood Remnants

Minnesota River

Cottonwoods get hollow

My favorite terrain

I remember you.

Too cold for the beach.



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Veterans Day

When Veterans Day is prefaced by a quick, methodical and somewhat impersonal military funeral ceremony, it drives home the reality of what it all means; and also what it doesn't mean.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Grayson Makes History!

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Monday, November 06, 2017

Dear John

Dear John,

A long time ago, we were best friends. I met you in seventh grade on the football field. When I was 24, it was you who accompanied me on the premier adventure of my life—when we flew to Alaska and hired a bush pilot to drop us off on Admiralty Island for most of a week. We drank a lot of beers together and every Thursday was taco night.

Later, we drifted apart. I left the bar stool and life changed. We began to socialize in different circles. We lost touch.

Yesterday I heard that you had died. I tried in vain to find an obituary. Your landline is disconnected. So, I have to believe you have left the Earth just as sure as we felt like we had left the planet when we arrived in Alaska in a storm with all of those brown bears roaming around.

I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.

Take Care Old Friend,