No long rants today folks. For me this is always a day of reflection and celebration. My thanks to all have ever served our great nation, my gratitude for all who are still serving and protecting us all, and a heartfelt godspeed and bless to all of you about to enter into a life like no other. So get out there folks, find a veteran and thank them, shake their hand and salute them, for it was their sacrifices that made everything you take for granted today; possible. Beatus Nostrum Patronus.
Ain't politics grand? Maybe I should say Ain't politicians amazing? When are we gonna learn for crying out loud? We wanted change right? We got it crammed down our throats and now we want more! Maybe we have become spoiled by the instant responses in our everyday life. I mean you can push a button and receive near instant results for most things. From instant messaging to ordering pizza, it works every time; all time. Case in point; I am not home, rather I am sitting at the Upper One bar in A-town right now. My fellow prop-hoppers know exactly where this, only airport bar outside of security, is. I have checked all my email, talked my my bro in Colorado, and sent numerous texts, all while swilling some tall glasses of Alaskan White. All that; yet I am way behind the electronic power curve when I sit around the millennials, or even my peers that live in the outside world. It is no wonder that America is dissatisfied. I mean we gave them two whole years to turn the largest economy in the world around and solve global warming! Enough! Oust 'em and bring in some new hopefuls. Really? Come on folks,the new darlings of the new third party are wackier than Jessie Ventura and Sara Palin duct taped into the same straight jacket. There is a retired witch in Delaware, and an Alaskan candidate who is getting most of his funding from the lower 48. Add a whole bunch of other assorted wannabe's and you get the whole Planters Party Mix sans the can. Meanwhile behind the curtain lurks the woman who went from Governor to Vogue,(thanks to ISH), to rogue, and now is in vogue with a group of change mongers from the east coast. BTW folks it is not change if you are going back, that's called retro and is usually considered faddish. Meanwhile the GOP has switched dance partners faster than a jilted prom queen and Lisa Murkowski is now Ronin! Man if this was any more Disney, I'd be pukin' from the dizziness of it all. My point? Patience folks, that's what. This nations problems will not be solved like that empty freezer gets filled during the Coho run on the Kenai. Rather it will be the hard work and patient strategy of the trout fisher on a mountain stream that brings long lasting results. American economics will not be solved with draconian, binge diets. The problems will be solved with innovation, time, and an understanding of the process. Yes there will also be some sacrifice involved too. Good luck Alaska, I only see two viable and honest,(mostly), candidates out there. Good luck America, cause if y'all don't start reading and voting, than all you will see is a never ending cycle of change and no results. Just thinking folks. Odd that it was an English band that came up with this one. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. We won't get fooled again. Or will we? Ask hard questions folks. Peace
Yeah baby, let's start this thing up! Six shiny new hopefuls & six new chances for change Or is it? Sure the Tea Party has broken new ground, and both republicans and democrats are scratching their heads, and possibly other body parts. Who woulda thunk? I mean these upstart wannabe politicos came out of no where. They had no backing from the GOP or the majority right? Well I guess they showed us huh? Is it gonna be Ross Perot all over again? Nope, this political drive may succeed. Ole Ross did not have Sarah pitching for him. Ross did not have a nation full of folks who felt shortchanged when the change was handed out. Change folks, remember that? The current administration sold their entire campaign on it. They promised a break from the status quo, they promised more services for less taxes, they promised a lot things and we bought into it. We lapped it up like a starving kitty on a broken milk bottle. Well we got change alright. The deficit is swelling, the experimental financial theories of the administration are failing, republican and democrats have resorted to name calling and finger pointing. Nothing can pass the house or senate without pain-pain-painful rhetoric and slandering. The media is making billions on the show, hell, they are creating half of the show themselves. Spin doctors are trying to deflect our gaze from the people behind the curtain............ WAIT A MINUTE! I thought we were going to break away from the status quo? Mr. Obama was going to save the day while he changed the world. America was going to shine, our children would prosper, all under the bright warm light of bipartisan politics. Ah, the more thing change aye? So what next? Looks like tripartisan politics to me folks. The GOP is already pandering to the new tea party runners, rubbing their hands and shuffling their feet. It would appear that they can accept change only when it is forced down their throats. The Dem's are circling their wagons. They are also looking over their shoulders. They too have jackals at the back door. They have a group that thinks they are not far enough left of center. So whats left for the majority of us? Do we vote for the new status quo in hopes this wake-up call will bring us back to the American ideal of nation before self? Maybe we should throw the dice. Maybe we should vote in all the new faces regardless of which side of extreme they are ranting from. We did it two years ago didn't we? Face it folks, the entire world is in financial trouble and global warming affects the planet, not just America. Millions are out of work, billions are below the poverty level, and superpower nations are approaching mediocrity. Lets put the experiment back in the "grand experiment". What qualifications did our founding fathers have? Maybe we need a fresh perspective. If it doesn't work, we can always undo it later. Yup the beauty of democracy is the eternal mulligan. With the power of the election process we change anything. It's could be a hell of party folks. What is the cost of admission? A conscience and a ballot. I don't know 'bout you, but count me in. YEEHAA!
It can be hard to be grateful at times. I am sitting here listening to replays of the news broadcasts from that day nine years ago. The day that changed our country as much as Pearl Harbor changed this nation for our ancestors. In honor of the thousands that died, the hundreds of rescuers lost, and the families left behind; I will not pontificate on the politics of this tragedy. Instead I will remember and I will be grateful. I will be remember that even though America was attacked, more than Americans died that day. I will remember that it was not just Christians that died that day. I will remember what our founding fathers sought when they bled and sacrificed to build this great nation. I will be grateful for all the heroes who have sacrificed so much for so many, far to often. I will be grateful for living in a nation where all opinions are respected, all faiths given the opportunity to be practiced, all people given the chance to achieve their dreams. I will remember that the great freedoms I have, that my family has died and sacrificed for; carry a terrible price sometimes. I will remember that God loves me, in fact God loves us all. Today I will ponder all of this and then some. I will go fishing with friends and grill later. Every once in a while today, I will be quiet, my eyes will blur, and I will remember. I will pray for those lost and their families. Lastly, I will reflect on the principals this nation was built upon. I will thank God for all that I have. Peace ya'll
Wow has it really been two months already? Hmm, been on the road a bunch. (In fact I'm sitting in Logan International right now.) In between hopping from one plane to another, the sun came out on our little island and I just sorta got lost. I had to jump back in folks, before I lost my way altogether. Nothing big to say, but I did observe/experience a rather odd thing back here in Bean town. Apparently the former governor of our great state is the talk of the town. Imagine my surprise at that. I was questioned more often about the Palinator than I was about our great brown bruins. Fortunately I had several great pics of the famous brownies rather than the quitter. Yup, that's what I told my former neighbors back east, I told them about the quitter and opportunist known as Sarah Palin. I told them a short descriptive tale of media pandering and a unique talent for not quite finishing anything she started. Imagine their surprise. This a place in our great nation where folks still work simply because "you gotta work". Every task started must be finished, every child must share the load in the house until they too can work. Most New Englanders cannot sit idle for long. Sleeping means six in the morning seven days a week. I know this, I was raised there. So there I was sitting and listening to some of our elders chat about how truthful she is, how maybe she oughtta run for the big office after all.and that she comes from a state that still holds to the old values, etc, etc. So I told them the truth; at least my perspective. That raised some eyebrows. I told them of a two time quitter, I reminded them of what the ORIGINAL tea party set out to do, I reminded them about the second tea party of the seventies. I explained that to me she was the "Jesse Ventura" of Alaska. In closing my soliloquy I taught them a new phrase; Sarah Barracuda. That brought a chuckle. Normally I avoid all things Palin. She has embarrassed me as an Alaskan and she ticked me off me personally. I simply could not listen to my elders and friends back east tout this media personality as the next possible coming. So I finally spoke me piece, I finally broke my silence; and I did it where this great nation began. How could I not? Ask hard questions folks, demand real answers. Peace Ya'll
Actually, thanks to a whole lot of good folks who sacrificed a whole bunch I CAN! That said; I give you my choice for the next President of the United States. This man and his sidekick (let's just call him Joe), may be the only human beings with greater oratory skills than our current; albeit well intentioned, but mostly ineffective leadership.
Rumor is the original was total improv, yup no speech writers. He and the VP candidate got my vote for sure! Even if he accomplishes nothing he's bound to be fun. Ask hard questions folks. Peace ya'll
So there I was 19 and staring at my VW bug and scratching my head. "I don't get it", I said to my friends dad. "It was running pretty darn good until last week, then it began to start harder, ya know crank & crank but not fire". I continued, "now it just spins all day and never starts at all". My friends dad was a simple old New England hobby farmer, but in true New England tradition he had learned to fix almost anything. Wise beyond reason, Earl, had learned that self sufficiency relied on knowledge and the willingness to get dirty. He looked under the hood, fiddled with a few things, made a couple of small "thought so" comments the straightened up and smiled at me. "It ain't so bad", he explained. "Just need to change a few things is all". He then went on to explain the basics of car maintenance. "Change the plugs and wires, and not just the ones you think are bad, but all of 'em. Then change the oil and filter, not one or the other neither. Ya gotta change 'em both or it won't help the motor one damn bit. Next you need change that cap and rotor. After all that, it should run just fine". I stood there, head down, thinking how expensive it was going to be. That and I was feeling a little dumb for not taking care of my car. Sensing my despondency, he added "don't sweat it kiddo, I'll help ya and after we change all that stuff she'll run like a top" True enough, we did the work and my little bug was back on the road. "Now don't forget" Earl reminded me as we washed up," you have to do this on a regular basis or she'll quit on ya again. That or eventually she'll stop altogether. Just change the fluids and tune 'er up on schedule and she'll run forever". Wise man. Twenty years later I had a similar conversation with one of my daughters while she stared down at a now dead truck. "Baby", I said, " you gotta change the oil once in a while. It's not the end of the world, the trucks in good shape, so we'll change the engine and she'll be good as new". Yup, once again change fixed the problem. So now I'm looking back east, scratching my head, wondering if a tune-up isn't over due for the capitol hill crowd. Change the oil so to speak. Then again, why not look down the street at our own local politico wannabe's, even across the water at the folks in Juneau? I mean really if you're gonna change the oil you gotta change the filter too. Otherwise the oil just gets dirty and the problem comes right back; friction versus lubrication. Soon I will have a chance to help change the political oil with the stroke of a pen. I can participate in a government wide tune-up & I'm going to take advantage of that. I'm going to check the block next to the new person on the ballot. Some will call that a "protest vote", so be it. However; if enough voters turn out and check that block, then "protest" will turn into "upset". So long as the candidate believes in Democracy and loves our country, I'm willing to give them a shot. Really folks, if they don't work out, then in a few years I'll just change the oil again and again and again. I apologize in advance to my friends that hold office. Please do not take my decision personally. Even if I think you are doing a good job, I'm not going to vote for you. Changing one bad spark plug will only lead to another failing later, so ya'll gotta go. Don't sweat it if you don't make to another term this time. Shoot, take a break, enjoy some time with your family. Re-connect with the folks you used to represent, then run a gain next time. The USA was once called "The Grand Experiment", so let's do it folks. Let us be bold, let use be daring, let us shed the security blanket that we knitted and is now strangling us. Let us be Americans. Do right thing folks no matter how scary it may be. Peace
I do. 23 years, 4 months, and 22 days of service and I made it home. A lot of good people didn't. A lot more good people won't. So please remember what this holiday is all about. Sure have fun this weekend folks. Grill, chill, and wave the flag; but remember how lucky we are. Lucky to have so many give so much so that we may enjoy the freedom and security far to many of us take for granted. Enjoy the video. and have a great Memorial Day Weekend.
This is for Dwayne, for Dave, and for John. Although their luck ran out before mine, I was lucky to have known and flown with them all. This is for the Uncle I never met: I hope I have brought honor to your name sir. Peace and thank a veteran this weekend.
Some have noticed that my rants are leaning toward the reflective side. I am grateful for those still reading even though this is true. I also thank the small but growing group, that after exploring my outpourings, are discovering that not all bloggers are politico bashing wannabe's or religious zealots. Some of us actually have something to say that is not at the expense of those easy targets the mainstream media and so many blogs seem to feed on. There are many, so many, that really put it out there. Who share so much, without tearing down others. The Saltonstall's enrich my day often, PJ makes me think, Womom does all that and she makes me laugh. There are many more, so please check out the links on the side over there. So back to being reflective.
This for a friend who has beaten me to heaven. I did not know. When I listened to you playing your guitar at church, It was the last time the missed chord, the little smirk, would grace us with presence. I did not know. When I talked to you Friday at the store, it was last time I would hear that laugh, feel your energy. I hope there was no harsh word said, your last day among us. That too, I do not know. Yet I do know I hope to be loved as you. When I go. Live every day as your last folks. Treat every person as if every word you speak to them is the last. Every action the one you will remember most. My definition of ultimate hope: My mother never says goodbye. Never. She always says "so long" or see you later". That's optimism folks, it truly is. Treat every day as your last chance to do the right thing and every conversation as your last one. Take nothing for granted, especially those you love most. Maybe, just maybe, if we all do that, the world would be that much better when we walk into our last sunset. Good night Steve Kreber. I am better for having known you. Peace ya'll you know the rest................
Happy Easter everyone. It is a time for people all over the world to rejoice. It is the time when spring births add to many a shepherds flocks and family. It is also a time of spiritual rebirth for many. For me it is all that and more. It is a time for gratitude. I try very hard to be grateful every day, but today is a day I try to remember all I have to be grateful for. That is a long list, so this post I will keep it simple. Millennium ago one men gave his life to save us all. His resurrection started a movement that changed the world and continues to do so even today. Jesus died so that we may live, he has risen so that we may live forever. This I truly believe, it guides me when I am troubled, it strengthens me when I am weak. It gives me purpose. It keeps me humble, for no matter what sacrifice I feel I have made, none can top the one made that day in Jerusalem. Thank you Jesus. I am grateful for my family, they also give me purpose. They also teach me much. I thank them for that. Thank you to the mentors I have been blessed with knowing. There were many, but I would name a few here. Thank you Sister Patricia, my first grade teacher, showed me love and that learning was an adventure. Thank you Earl Jones, you taught me responsibility, wood craft, patience, and how to have fun. Thank you Sister Dianne, for even though I had strayed for so long, you welcomed me back. You nurtured me and my family and never judged. Thank you Sister Angela Goedkin. I met you at a time in my life when I needed you most. I was transitioning from a life of service and purpose to a life unknown. When I started coaching your boys I had no idea the education I was about to receive. Your gentle guidance helped me out time after time. When my relationship with my son was strained and challenging, you showed me that love and patience would prevail. You guided me through my "rebirth" and I am better for it. Sister Angela rests with the Lord she loves now, and I know that I will see her again. Perhaps she will come across the son I have in heaven. Perhaps she will tell him about me. Perhaps she will do the same for my fathers. I can only hope. That's what it's all about folks. Hope and faith are what keep us going. By having hope we demonstrate our faith. Saints, sinners, believers or not, hope is the product of faith. It proves we believe in something. So many will argue that faith is not necessary for life. However; few will argue that a life without hope is worth living. So admit it, hope and faith go hand in hand. Then be grateful. Be grateful for every good thing that happens today and every day after this one. Recognize the gifts you have been given. Use them to help all those around you. what better way to demonstrate your gratitude than to share your gifts? On Grateful Living: Reflections by Catholic Sisters “Gratitude is my constant consciousness of God's presence in persons, nature, and circumstances,” says Sr. Angela Goedken, OSF, a teacher in Kodiak, Alaska. “Sometimes gratitude comes easily, and, often, in more challenging or negative times, it is hard. I am growing in giving thanks in difficult circumstances. When my mother died so unexpectedly, it took me years to be able to thank God for her gift of life to the family.”
Yup it's me again....... To quote one of my favorite writers Mr. Mark Twain,"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated". Has it been 2 months already? Oh well, I guess I got sidetracked. My beautiful bride has tolerated my innate ability to disappear for decades now. After many years of a simple trip to the store turning into an all day adventure, she has learned to be patient. Actually, now that I think about it the cell phone may have saved my marriage. It allows me to meander about from one thing to the next while giving my lovely the security of finding me when she needs to. Epiphany! What I once considered to be a leash turns out to be a life ring. Like the whistle that brings in my Lab when she swims out to far, that phone steers me toward home time and time again. So what I have been up to? Not much really, started school back up, traveled a little, and enjoyed some really great fund raising events in Kodiak. The folks over here really know how to rally around a cause and throw a party at the same time. The best cure for winter doldrums? Live music, good food, and throwing money into the pot to help out a neighbor, the school band, local kids football, or local recycling. You name it this island raises money for it and they do it party style. Man I love this place. I have also been catching up with many old friends, and I have noticed some trends forming amongst many of them. Disillusionment. They are tired of the government over governing, they are tired of the rich corporations getting the mulligan and a cash band-aid to help them over the hump. They are tired of political players worried more about an esoteric party game than the good of a country their families have sacrificed to defend and support. Worse yet they are getting tired of each other. Several of my friends are choosing to end decade long commitments to their spouse. Some have completed that painful journey, some are in in the midst of the quagmire, and others are on the edge staring into the abyss. It saddens me to bear witness to their pain. There is no joy in divorce folks, no matter why it is happening. Divorce is filled with remorse, loss of self, and fear. Later things may be much better, but the process is painful; period. What troubles me, is all the folks who have been together for decades and are calling it quits, without giving it one last try. Once the children are grown, and the day to day challenges of raising a family are over, they end up staring at each other saying, "NOW WHAT?". Good question really. You have outgrown the passions of youth. The hot, steaming, I gotta have you feeling has mellowed a bit. The joys of raising the little ones, the war rallies that united you over the teen-aged ones, and the fight to keep it all together are over. SO NOW WHAT? Hold hands, that's what. Go to movies. Hang out with your friends (together). Go to events, volunteer together. Read to each otherand doing it holding hands. Sure you want to develop personal time and activities, but stay together. Now there is time for both. Relish it folks, you earned it. The transition from children to empty-nesters is twice a difficult as the transition was to parenthood; believe me. Once you cross that bridge, overcome the barriers modern society places before us all, and ignore the "grass is greener" mentality that has brought our nation to the edge of morale and financial disaster. Your reward will be joy of sharing your new adventures with a person you understands you, accepts you, and loves you. Why are so many couples willing to spend hours in therapy to stay together for the "good of the kids", but unable to try it again later? I mean really, we should be older and wiser right? Isn't 20+ years of struggle and triumph worth a few more hours trying to learn how to adjust to the new life you have earned? It may be hard, it may be painful at times, it may be worth it too. So take baby steps. Start by holding hands. I must depart after this rather long rant from my heart. Peace Ya'll & do the right thing. Even if it's difficult.