Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Day 127. Yikes.

Dang, I seem to have lost what it takes to attract your attention. Feel free to comment here or on my Facebook page about what you like, don't like, etc. Can't teach anyone anything they don't have an interest in....

In the meantime, how about some cute animal pictures?

603 to go...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Day 126. Education.

Part of the reason I started blogging again was to teach others. I felt that my experiences might be useful, inspirational, maybe just downright funny to others. The kind of education you get from life. The kind you get from books, I'm probably not that great at teaching. But those who are fall into two categories: those that care about teaching, and the others that consider it a job. Then there's the public sector that believes that unlimited education spending will produce better results. Throw more money at something, that'll make it all better.

The current POTUS falls into that category. I won't bother to drag the Secretary of Education into the argument yet, but Arne Duncan is no friend to education. More on that later. This POTUS has announced a plan to make the first two years of community college "free" to those who can maintain certain grade levels. "Free" usually means our wallets take a hit, first off. But with the currently available Pell Grants, those two years are pretty much free anyway, to anyone not so lazy to apply for them. Then we have the statistics (damn statistics) that show public education is already not being utilized by current students, why would we bother to extend that further?

High school dropout rates are at 25%, more that 3 million high school students leave school early through their own choice each year. They're setting themselves up for failure: the jobs they are eligible for is a measly 10% of all job openings, their earning potential is over a quarter million dollars less than a high school graduate, and the unemployment rate is 5% higher for dropouts. The ever-hungry government should encourage them to stay in school, since that's more taxable income they can use to fund their money machines.

High school dropouts don't just not finish school, they go on to fail at other things as well. They commit 75% of crimes in the US, they lead half the households on welfare. Talk about putting your future family behind the eight ball. None of this should be surprising, it's all public information, well documented by governmental agencies.One of which is headed by Arne Duncan, mentioned above. Other than being a basketball-loving friend of POTUS (and a close friend of terrorist Bill Ayers,) Duncan has a failed record of public service which should have precluded his promotion to lead public education on the national level, and hasn't stopped putting his foot in his mouth since appointed.

The Chicago schools he managed? Failed and still failing. Blaming "white suburban moms" for the outrage against the Common Core curriculum that is dumbing down our kids? Yep, he actually said that. Common Core doesn't need any help upsetting parents, the collective anger at a program that basically tells kids that "your parents are dumb if they can't do this stuff already, so your teachers know more than your parents" is pretty intense.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and if anyone thinks the current public educations system is doing anything besides wasting time and money, do your research and speak up.

604 to go...

Monday, January 12, 2015


Day 125. Quibble.

Noun : a trivial objection or equivocation, especially one used to avoid an issue. Yep, pretty much on the money, that Super Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking today about the lack of US representation at the solidarity march in Paris on Sunday, he belittled any discussion that POTUS, VPOTUS, SoS, someone should have participated. FYI: lame duck AG Holder doesn't count, as he couldn't be bothered to march, he left to return to DC for more pressing matters. Can't wait to see what that ends up being... although some reports say he skipped out to make his appearances on the Sunday talk shows.

John Kerry: "I really think that this is sort of quibbling a little bit in the sense that our Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was there and marched, our ambassador [to France Jane Hartley] was there and marched, many people from the embassy were there and marched." Except...  Nuland was at the march in DC. Oopsie. But it will all be okay, he's dashing to Paris later in the week, in a show of support. His schedule the day before the rally? He was in Germany, meeting with the ailing ruler of Oman, still busy trying to broker a nuclear deal with Iran. Yeah, Germany. Right there close to... France. I know, pointing that out would be considered "quibbling," I suppose.

The White House's first "excuse" for not sending someone of high rank was that security for POTUS and the VPOTUS would have interfered with the march. Yeah, pretty sure there was plenty of security, since there were 40 other world leaders there. Hell, even Benjamin Netenyahu managed it, after being asked NOT to attend by the French (what jerk thought that was a good idea?) and he even walked the march yards away from Mahmoud Abbas from Palestine, someone who wants Israel wiped from the earth. No doubt, plenty of security. I'm just quibbling again....

Where was VPOTUS Joe Biden this weekend? Reports have it he was "home alone" in Delaware. The French should consider themselves lucky, Slow Joe isn't exactly the kind of guy you want around at a bad time. His penchant for poorly-timed comments is renowned.

And how about POTUS? Yes, the White House admitted, he was watching the NFL playoffs. No public schedule was posted, probably just him and Reggie and the boys. Which by the way, both took place hours after the march.  And besides, he already went to the French Embassy in DC and gave them his autograph. What more can the leader of the free world be expected to do? Oh yeah. He mentioned France in a speech he gave in Tennessee. Yikes, there I go again, being a quibbler.

Oh yeah. John Kerry, on the day of the meetings in Paris and the march where 3 million French citizens stood together in defiance of Islamism? He was in the Middle East, on a pre-planned trip he just couldn't change. Meeting with the PM of Bhutan, while at a conference in India. "Secretary Kerry's meeting with Bhutanese Prime Minister Tobgay will mark the first bilateral meeting between a US Secretary of State and a Bhutanese official," a State Department official said in a statement. "Previously, the highest ranking State Department official to engage with Bhutan was at the Undersecretary of State level. In the past, United States officials have met with both the Fourth and Fifth King of Bhutan." Well, there's that. Unprecedented. I'm sure the French will understand, meeting with the leader of a country that got its first television set in 1999. Yep, me complaining about this? Quibbling.

It's okay, France. The rest of America has your back. We stand arm and arm with you.

605 to go...

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Day 124. Extremism.

In almost all forms, extremism is dangerous. Too much of anything tends to drown out any other voices, and as a result free thinking is trampled. Most examples of extremism are in the religious front, but that perversion often turns to politics as well. The worldwide ignorance on Islamic extremism is dangerous, and sad. Most people confuse the religion of  Islam and the militant Islamism.  A little reading would go a long way in explaining why those of us who do know the different stay upset when everyone starts being grouped together.

Out of more than 6 billion Muslims worldwide, reportedly 10% practice forms considered "extreme." Even without a calculator, you know that's a huge number. The Sauds and their Wahhabi perversion, with their billions of oil dollars going to pacify those who would do harm, make up the largest group. "Practice what we preach, just not here" is their answer to those who maim and kill under the strict Sharia law interpretation they practice. Same with Qatar, their blood money flows rich.

But wait. Where have I heard Qatar recently? Ah, that's right. The five Gitmo prisoners released in "exchange" for the traitorous Bowe Bergdahl  went there. No problem, eh? Know that Qatar has no formal plan to ensure their containment: previous detainees released there previously have been photographed playing with their children and shopping in Doha malls. What a plan!

Despite what should be daily news regarding Islamism, most of the mainstream media in the US avoids it as much as possible. There was mention when large numbers of girls are kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria last summer, probably because of the First Lady's  "#BringBackOurGirls" posterboard campaign turned to into a Twitter campaign. Oh yeah, that'll hurt. The girls? Still unrecovered, although reports of several escapees being tortured, raped and mutilated. Boko Haram should have been in the news again this week, having reportedly massacred over 2000 Nigerians in one town. I certainly understand the large amount of attention in France this week, having suffered their own losses from several Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula groups, but gee, 2000 people and very little reporting? Almost like they don't want to talk about it...

Keeping up with all these things going on in the world seems to be outside the interests of most Americans. What most don't realize is that it takes just a few extremists to convert a few religious Muslims into Islamists, then they convert a few more, and so on. Next thing you know, we're like Paris, France, where over 90 areas of the city are "no-go" zones for the police. Since the Islamists are ready and willing to enforce Sharia law there, the French seem willing to let them police themselves. Probably not after this week, and judging from the size of the crowds marking in support of the French government and others who are meeting there today to talk about how to curb the violence.

I can't say it's too late, because that would mean giving up hope. But it's dangerously late. Over 12,000 murders worldwide in 2012, over 18,000 in 2013, I can't imagine 2014 was less. Being willing to see the problem is a big step, and if the world leaders gathered in Paris today are willing to take the next step and actually do something about it, we might can save this silly little planet we call home. It can't go unnoticed that the US delegation was the Attorney General, who has already announced his retirement and is waiting to be replaced. The lack of seriousness being given by our current leaders by sending him speaks volumes. America hasn't seen the end of the violence here, and until the leaders admit there a serious problem we can only sit and pray.

606 to go...

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Day 123. Outrage.

Hope the current events stuff isn't too boring for you. I know the stuff from the heart is important, I think they actually go together well. If we stay ahead of world events, the effects they have on our day to day lives at least won't be surprises. A chance to prepare a response is key in any aspect of life.

Today's hot button..... the good old Second Amendment. News from the state of Texas has emerged of a Dallas WalMart SuperCenter that refused to print one a couple's engagement pictures because it had an OMGELEVENTY!!11!!! gun in the picture. It was all the news today on several websites, Glenn Beck's The Blaze among them. I'll keep my opinion on the highbrow wedding pics being developed by the couple themselves at WalMart to myself, as obviously there's a shortage of professional photographers in Dallas.

First read of the articles about it play like a Second Amendment supporter's nightmare: Company policy, no weapons pictures printed to discourage gang culture. Then the details start popping. As it turns out, it was one clerk. At one store. Not a policy, the clerk took it upon herself to not print the photo. WalMart not only retrained the clerk, they have since printed the photo and given the couple a gift card for the value of the entire print package. Within 24 hours, a wrong made right. But was this even a wrong? Compared to some of the gun-grabbing of the past few years, I can't find any outrage here.

I can muster outrage that the Attorney General of Alabama has to file an amicus brief to oppose more locked-gun storage legislation. I'll get bent over similar moves being made in Montana and South Dakota, "Flyover Country" is apparently being bombarded with political correctness. The manipulation of California gun rights laws via the Ninth Circuit by the AG there gets my blood pressure up.

I can also feel proud that the South Carolina legislature is reviewing a bill to require all high school students to take an NRA-approved gun rights course, along with designating December 15 as Statewide Second Amendment Awareness Day.. I am thrilled to read that former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords anti-Second Amendment group is running out of money and influence, although I doubt they had the latter to any great degree. I am glad to see comedian Bill Engvall clarify his remarks to the unfunny Bill Maher, renewing his support for gun rights.

Outrage, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. What tweaks you might not even get me to bat an eye. But be sure, outrage at things that are not real do absolutely nothing to advance any cause. Getting your panties in a twist over a story on the internet is entirely up to you, but when the dust settles and the truth is out there for all to see, your wrinkled undergarments only give courage to the opposition.

Lesson One Hundred Twenty Three: Old sayings are sometimes best. Look before you leap.

607 to go...

Friday, January 9, 2015


Day 122. NEWS!!!

Looking at the stats for the blog, you must have learned enough about life and love and pain the first 100 days. I was sort of repeating myself sometimes... and BIG titles get bigger views, so I'm gonna switch up and talk about..... current events. Which doesn't always mean politics, so quit your eye-rolling. News around the globe affects us more than most people realize, so we should talk about it sometimes. Not just when I get pissed off about something in the US, things around the world.

Today's subject: let's dive into the massacre of a dozen French artists/writers by radial Islamic extremists. I don't have a problem calling them what they are. A few articles I read even hinted that the overwhelming lack of media calling out radical Islam likely promulgates it. I can't say I disagree completely: when you kowtow to evil instead of confronting it, the precedent is set and evil grows stronger.

First, mention of an article by the brilliant Charles Krauthammer from a decade ago, where he was pre-cognizant and knew where France was headed. It's behind a paywall at, but here's a bit of it:

The gendarmes have weapons. The kids they face in the street have mostly stones and Molotov cocktails. It is a mismatch. But it's the cops who are the heavy underdogs--the cops and the France that the cops alone represent in those burning godforsaken ghettos where most Frenchmen dare not go.

On the one side are the protester-arsonists, many if not most of them Muslim, whom the Interior Minister called racaille (rabble)--young, restless, violent, vibrant, angry, jobless, envious and fecund. And on the other side is an aged and exhausted civilization, the hollowed-out core of European Christendom, static, aging, contented, coddled, passive...and literally without faith. Who would you think will win in the end?

If you needed a snapshot of the balance of forces in this civilizational struggle taking place in France, consider only the incomprehension and inertness of the official French response. The President didn't say a word for 10 days. The state of emergency wasn't declared until Day 13. Meanwhile, the Interior Minister and Prime Minister offered dueling slogans and empty promises, with an eye more on their upcoming presidential contest than on the fire this time.

But the prospects for success in France are far fewer, because even if France changed, woke up and welcomed those it had once invited, it is very late. The grandparents who first came would have eagerly accepted the invitation. But their young have grown up in an alienated monoculture that has contempt for the godless decadence of French secularism with its empty churches, sexual license and existential ennui. France doesn't want them. They don't want the France they are throwing rocks at. But they are not leaving. And they are growing.

France always thought it had one last resort, one ready strategy for fending off the rage of its Arab street: beyond avoidance lay appeasement. No country in the West has done more to cultivate world Arab opinion, to appease Arab terrorists, to ostentatiously oppose American Middle East policy (Iraq above all), to champion the signal Arab cause of Palestine. It was no accident that Yasser Arafat chose Paris as his place to die--Paris, after Jerusalem, his second holiest city.

Paris burns anyway. As the French seem to learn every 70 years, appeasement does not work. It merely whets the appetite. And the angry alien young were already hungry."

The cartoonists at Charlie Hedbo appeased no one. They weren't bigots, or racists, or homophobes, or sexists: they mocked everyone. From the Pope to Jewish merchants to world leaders. We in the United States scream "First Amendment! First Amendment!" and with good reason: our right to civil discourse is granted by a Constitutional Amendment. Even when someone I don't like is spewing what I'd consider hatred (think Westboro Baptist Church,) I'd still fight for their right to speak their evil words. Other nations don't have the same protections, but the people of Paris took to the streets Tuesday night to show their support for free speech. "Je suis Charlie", French for "I am Charlie" became their war cry.

The failure of major media outlets to publish the very documents those twelve people were killed for shows the sad state of journalism. I'm just some chick on the internet who writes random crap, but even I know that you don't bow down to bullies. Yes, sometimes the bullies win. But not because you backed down. The Associated Press should be especially shamed: they released a statement that said they would not publish the controversial cartoons as "it's been our policy for years that we refrain from moving deliberately provocative images," yet the obviously inflammatory "Piss Christ" photograph remained on their website from its contentious release in 1987 until yesterday. CNN continues to make the image available on their weblinks.

A multitude of "right-wing talking heads" as the national media refers to them spoke out against the media's lack of coverage, along with their half-truths and their duplicity. The omission of the cartoons drawn by the dozen artists in Paris speaks volumes: as Mark Steyn put it, "if more of us really were like Charlie, the Hebdo staff probably wouldn’t be dead. They assumed the entirety of the risk in defying Islamic taboos because their bigger, stronger, better funded brothers and sisters in western media declined to share it by publishing the images themselves." These brave artists went to work Tuesday morning just like any other day, and their cold shadows should loom large to those who are or would be silenced.

Those who would lump all Muslims into the same category take heed: the billion that do not perform jihad, that do not subjugate women, that wish only to worship their God (who is the same as our God, by the way) in peace, they are equally abhorrent of these acts. Anjem Choudary, a radical Islamic cleric in the UK, does NOT speak for them. Yes, even the nutter Bill Maher gets it: radial Islamists want to kill anyone who does not convert to their perverted arm of Islam. Millions of Muslims live as free citizens around the world, in Western nations, adopting Western dress and speech, and yes, even some of our bad habits. Their assimilation should be an example to radicals, who chose to live in the 14th century instead of the 21st.

While there are many who believe they have been commanded to "kill all the infidels," we outnumber them. The worldwide conversation that is not taking place is costing lives every day. Don't get me started on Boko Haram, Nigeria, Coptic Christians in the Middle East. The radicals must, and I believe will, be stopped. At what expense, I can't fathom. There aren't enough leaders willing to step into the fray militarily or more importantly politically, and stand up for freedom. Not just ours, but for everyone. Religion does not matter, God granted us all free will. Radical Islam will, and does, take that away from anyone willing to cower before them.

Lesson One Hundred Twenty Two: Enough with the rhetoric. Gather the faithful, sound the horns. It only takes two to start a movement. We have billions.

608 to go,,,

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Day 121. Clinging.

We take comfort in what we know best. Routine things bring us joy: Friday night is always pizza night, Wednesdays we go bowling, always putting ketchup on our scrambled eggs. Fine things they are, habits. But we often become blinded to anything new, and resist our instinct to gain experience from new adventures.

But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom. Richard Bach, Illusions.

The risk of something bad happening is slim. And if you've been following along these past 100+ days, you know that you're in charge of your own outcome anyway, and won't be surprised at whatever happens. I'm not saying you should try skydiving. Or even regular diving. Just don't sit there and wait for things to happen. Unless you're willing to let go of Friday night pizza, you might never realize how much you like sushi. If you never try your eggs with salsa, how will you ever be inspired to grow your own tomatoes?

I'm actually not one to talk about breaking routines, I'm still working on living some of my dreams. I have started writing music again, and looked at a few guitars online already. I'm letting my fingernails grow (big deal for me, I never ever wanted pretty nails.) I did already expand my wardrobe to include something besides jeans and purple tops.

I guess refusal to try new things is about trust. And for the most part, we don't trust ourselves. Really, why should we? We're the ones that got ourselves into this mess to begin with, why would we risk more of the same? Because that's how we learn. And we are all teachers, we just have to accept that we can teach ourselves.

Lesson One Hundred Twenty One: It's okay to let your hair down and do something different. Nothing happens if you don't try. Well, that is what happens, actually. Nothing.

609 to go...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Day 120. Eeyores.

Time to wax political again..... I hope you know what "Eeyores" are. If not, here's a lesson: they're the gloomy, pessimistic, people who ruin dang near everything they get involved in with their negativity. Today's lesson on Capital Hill brought them out in droves. People who you don't expect to hear honking their displeasure come out of the woodwork. Misery loves company, I guess.

The vote in the House of Representative for Speaker was held just after noon today. There was some sort of half-baked movement to oust John Boehner (R - OH) from the position. A story from earlier in the week explained one Congressman's stance on why he wasn't voting for someone else. There was an opportunity in early November to nominate others: no one did. There have been two months since to nominate others: no one did. To be taken seriously, you have to spend time getting people to back your play. That didn't happen. Whilst Louie Gohmert (R - TX) and others tossed their names out last week in a last minute play, nobody was serious. A week? Really.

There was a poll from last week referencing that 60% of Republicans wanted Boehner out as Speaker. Digging into it like Glenn Beck told me to, I found that it was a telephone poll of 100 people, self-identified as Republican or Independent. From a Democratic pollster, Pat Cadell. Who worked for McGovern, Carter, Gary Heart, Biden, and Jerry Brown. Please. My dog has more credibility when it comes to polling conservatives. No doubt there are those who aren't happy with Boehner as Speaker, but I'm doubtful Public Polling called them on the phone. And again, pointless unless there's an alternative.

Bad weather stopped a few Congresscritters from making it back to DC for the vote. The entire NY delegation was absent, in attendance at former Governor Cuomo's wake. That raised the number of votes against Boehner to 36. They managed 25. Politics is nothing if not a numbers game, and who votes nay when it's an obvious losing hand?

Boehner won handily against the next closest challenger. Why? Ask the Eeyores. They say it's because all the people that voted for Boehner are RINOs (Republicans In Name Only.) Because they're traitors to what their constituents wanted. Because..... anything but the truth.  Because there was no serious challenger. Trey Gowdy was mentioned back in mid-December. He said he wasn't interested. They were out of DC the entire time, so even if he was interested there was no chance to garner interest in him. Remember, there were ZERO nominees from early November until today. Several interested parties raised their voices last week, but nobody serious enough to actually work for it.

We get the government we deserve. Bitching about how it works doesn't change a damn thing. Do something about it besides honking when it goes against your wishes.

610 to go...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Day 119. Freedom.

Wars are fought for it, lives lost in pursuit of it. Mankind around the planet searches for freedom, relentlessly searching for something we are already.

Each of us is in truth an unlimited idea of freedom. Everything that limits us we have to put aside. Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

I know it doesn't seem like we are free. There are many things grabbing at us, blocking our ability to do the things we want. Work, family obligation, governmental regulation. To cut through all the things in our way, we must start with the reverse approach: believe we are free, and push away the things that restrict it.

Those of us with jobs can't just walk away from them, but we can do things to make their demands less intrusive. Money isn't the only reason we work, but since it's the main factor we have to choose a job where the rate of pay is high enough to maintain the lifestyle we want. So lowering our material demands means we can take a job that requires less hours, less commitment: there's more freedom.

All those things we do with family: soccer practice, gymnastics, trips to the mall. Apply the same principles: lower expectations, remove the things we really don't need, gain more freedom. It's great to be involved, but really, what's your ten-year old going to do with what she learned in pottery class? Fine if she's going to become an artist, but just because all the other cool girls are doing it doesn't mean she has to as well. Maybe the freedom to sit home and watch movies with the family means just as much.

Stuff. We all know we don't need all that stuff. With less stuff, we can work less, so we can play more. That's more freedom. Forget the big screen television, the whole family can snuggle on the couch for that movie even without it. And afford to buy popcorn. Because freedom is cheaper than we realize.

Lesson One Hundred Nineteen: Don't fill up your life with things, free yourself from them.

 611 to go...

Monday, January 5, 2015


Day 118. Lost.

Nope, not me. I'm on a collision course with something good. I've been practicing for it my whole life. I thought I'd found it, then lost it. Found it again, lost it again. See the pattern? Exactly. Sometimes when you think you have finally found what you're looking for, you realize you weren't even looking at the right map.

Navigate by the same star, unwilling to change, and you find yourself not only off-course but lost. Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever.

Having started off on the wrong foot from childhood, I was eager to find happiness. Willing to sacrifice many things to find that happiness, to give up part of myself for it. And of course, failed miserably. Any time you have to give up something to get something in return, you lose. No, that's not compromise: that's changing who you are. And if you have to do that, you're going down the wrong road from the start. Compromise is freely doing something because it's the right thing to do, and if you're doing it for someone besides yourself... well, that's still not compromise. Correcting your course because you realize it needs done, making moves to right your sails: that's for you, and that's compromise.

I finally figured out I had to find out who I was before I could even begin to find someone to share life with. I was indeed lost. I knew I was not who some would have me believe, or what they tried to turn me into. I was missing some pieces, but determined to put myself back together. Somewhere along the way, someone found a few of those pieces. Several someones, I think. Even when I glued it back together, I was still missing some of them. I'm not even sure that I've found them all yet.

Lesson One Hundred Eighteen: Finding your star is easy, catching it proves to be more difficult. Worth the effort, so don't worry if you get a little lost.

612 to go...

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Day 117. Responsible.

In spite of what we might think, there's no such thing as fate. Our lives are our own, to bend or break as we see fit. We can choose an easy life, or a difficult one. We can take the high road, or wallow our way through the ruts. It should be simple to walk the path of least resistance, but for some reason most of us take the less travelled road.

From time to time it's fun to close our eyes, and in that dark say to ourselves, 'I am the sorcerer, and when I open my eyes I shall see a world that I have created, and for which I and only I am completely responsible.' Slowly then, eyelids open like curtains lifting stage-center. And sure enough, there's our world, just the way we've built it. Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever.

We may not realize how simple and beautiful life could be. Everyone around us has their stories of how their life was difficult, how hard they had to work to overcome adversity. How much easier if we all built our own bridges, blazed our own trails, and just got on with it? Why the comparisons? Does it make us feel better to struggle harder than the last generation?

Accept your limitations and, soon enough, they're yours. Richard Bach, Illusions.

The life we can imagine for ourselves: full of love, laughter, people we care about. Less responsibility, more chocolate, lots of free time for the things we enjoy. Why can't we just accept that, and make it happen? It's right there, all we have to do is take it. We control our destinies, we make our future. Our happiness is predicated on one person's actions: our own. Any pain, any sadness, we allow them. Why do that, when the simplest thing would be to allow joy?

Lesson One Hundred Thirteen: Just do it. Let the good times roll. It's your own fault if you don't.

613 to go...

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Day 116. Quitting.

The sweet taste of success. Professional or personal, nothing quite like the feeling you get when you find yourself at the top. Not necessarily the top of the tallest mountain, but at least the top of some mountain. It's a rough road: cluttered with the junk we tossed out of the car the first time we tried, a flat tire or five along the way back up. That's what makes it sweeter, having tried more than one and completing the climb. Give up, and you achieve nothing.

It’s not when you start that makes your success in the world, but when you quit. Richard Bach, Nothing By Chance.

Never.Ever.Quit. Ever. Nobody likes a quitter, and you won't like yourself much if you become one. You'll always wonder "what if," and you can't move forward if you're looking back at that failure. Why do we give up? Do we really think that's an attractive quality? Are people around us going to say "bless her heart, she tried," and then respect us as if we won? Probably not. Failure in others reminds us that we ourselves fail, and nobody likes to be reminded of that.

I know people that have accomplished great things. Defeated cancer. Performed live onstage with musical superstars. Spoke in front of huge crowds. Become a parent after years of trying. Won sports championships. Not one of them ever looked in the mirror and said "you know, today I quit." They might've felt the constant pressure, the public scrutiny, but not one ever quit. Risk nothing, gain nothing, remember how that goes?

The things that happen to us in life aren't meant to tear us down, make us fail. They're meant to build us up, boost our confidence, give us wings. Baseball fans all know "it all starts with a base hit." Same with anything else: every challenge starts with a single step.

Lesson One Hundred Sixteen: Buckle up, buttercup. Nobody said this would be easy. Nothing worth it ever is.

614 to go...

Friday, January 2, 2015


Day 115. Boredom.

Ah, relationships. Gotta love 'em. Or lack of them, as the case may be. I'm transitioning still, getting used to being widowed but eager to move past that stage. It sounds so... depressing. It could be, if I dwell on it, but I'm not. I'm always thinking forward to what will be, not backward to what is over. I have always known what I don't want: boredom. Which comes from being alone. Not by yourself, but alone.

Boredom between two people doesn't come from being together physically. It comes from being apart mentally and spiritually.” Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever.

I differ with Richard in that I believe that people are compatable on three levels: physically, mentally and emotionally. Spiritually and emotionally can be interchanged, I think. I believe that you can barter for two of the three, but you have to be willing to sacrifice boredom to replace the third. You can be attracted to someone physically, they are devoted to your needs but if they are dense as chalk, you can figure something out. The most intellectual person can be the most withdrawn emotionally, but it works with the red hot nights. The wild nights might not happen with the one who always keeps you thinking and never forgets your anniversary, but you make do.

Never pass up an opportunity to spend time with someone who meets your needs on at least two of those levels. You never know what you might find out about them that makes the missing piece irrelevant.

Lesson One Hundred Fifteen: Life is only boring if you let it be.

615 to go...

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Day 114. New.

Welcome to 2015, ready or not. My wish is that we all find the happiness we seek.  It's a new day, and a new year, and a new world. Time to get to work making our lives into what we want them to be, sewing the scraps of the past into a new sail and raising it in victory.

It was morning, and the new sun sparkled gold across the ripples of a gentle sea. Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

We are never guaranteed a moment past the one we live in, yet we plan for futures with such confidence. We make reservations for trips we may never take, we agree to events that may happen without us. Mortality is a scary thing, if we dwell on it. I believe it gives us a sense of freedom. We are not required to accommodate anything we don't want to, using the uncertainty of the future as a backstop. Avoid the wedding of the cousin we really don't like, skip dinner with the friends we're really not close to anymore, have other plans when the nice but weird guy from the second floor wants to have a drink after work.We can convince ourselves "it's the right thing to do."

Being spontaneous isn't for everyone. You run great risk by keeping your calendar open: it sometimes never gets filled in. If the rest of your circle are planners, they sometimes forget to include you, and you're stuck alone when no one invites you to the party. Be prepared to sacrifice some of your time, but always be ready to dive headfirst when someone mentions the ocean. At least have your boat ready, even if you're still working on that new sail.

Lesson One Hundred Fourteen: Drink a toast to innocence, drink a toast to time. Dan Fogelberg knew: try to reach beyond the emptiness, you really do know how.

616 to go...