Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Historically Speaking




I really enjoy learning where phrases come from. You might find this person silly, but I have learned a lot of cool meanings of words from, Hot For Words

Yesterday I received this message in my email. I have already heard some of these, but some were new to me. I'm not saying they are all true, but they certainly are entertaining.

Enjoy your brief history lesson on phrases you may have heard before.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor"

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . ..... . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof... Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive... So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus,someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

And that's the truth....Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !

So . . . get out there and educate someone! ~~~ Share these facts with a friend

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I received the following in an email last year. Thought it was time to share it with you all...





It's a romantic full moon, when Pedro said, "Hey, mamacita, let's do Weeweechu."

"Oh no, not now, let's look at the moon!" said Rosita.

"Oh, c'mon baby, let's you and I do Weeweechu. I love you and it's the perfect time," Pedro begged...

"But I wanna just hold your hand and watch the moon." replied Rosita.

"Please, corazancito (my love), just once, do Weeweechu with me."

Rosita looked at Pedro and said, "OK, one time, we'll do Weeweechu."

Pedro grabbed his guitar and they both sang...

"Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year."

HAPPY HOLIDAY'S!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Understanding The Math Behind The U.S. Tax System




I received this in my email today, and I think it clearly demonstrates our tax system, and how strange it is already.

Those of you who seem to think the rich people need to pay even more taxes will probably not even understand this. I am posting it anyway so that hopefully some of you might read this and a light-bulb will go on.

This is real life math to understand our tax system.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.


But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

I tracked this back as best I could to try and give original credit for this.
Sam Hall, Pensacoloa City Council, District 2

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

State of the Union




The United States is a mess. Our economy is horked, and people are getting pretty pissed that the current regime is not doing anything about it but spending more money and wanting to increase the amount of money we give them.

I’m not sure if I have mentioned this in a previous article, but I’m glad Barak Obama was elected.

Now before you go all nutty, hear me out.

If he was not elected, the government might have gone on about its business like it always does. Slowly messing up our laws, sucking money from the tax payers, and just generally being a horrible steward of this country.

In the past, a lot of folks really were not into politics. There was a group of folks that wanted to be politicians, and we let them fight it out and then go to Washington and try to make a difference.

Unfortunately, this nonchalant attitude of Americans toward our political system has created an atmosphere for the undesirables to weasel their way into the system and try to pervert it into something...well...unAmerican.

Enter Barak Obama.

Because Democrats have complete control of everything, President Obama seized the opportunity to get everything done they wanted to do to this country all at once, before anyone could stop them. Although this was a great idea, it actually backfired badly.

Politicians used to be able to infest our system slowly so that the uncaring American people would not notice.

Remember the experiment where you place a frog in some water, then heat the water slowly to eventually cook the unsuspecting frog? On the other hand, if you try to toss a frog into a boiling pot, it would just leap out. This is the way I see what is happening to our country.

Instead of the typical slow heat that our politicians and special interest groups do to our country, they cranked up the heat and started the water boiling and now they are trying to throw us all into it.

The result is that the American zombies have woke from the dead, and suddenly smell brains. No longer are they just wandering around doing their own thing, but many have turned their eye to Washington DC, because they don’t like what they see happening.

The change the President brought to this country was not only bad, but too much too quickly. The resulting catastrophe attracted the attention of the normally docile American people.

Now that the spotlight has been brought to the government, and the mid-term elections are coming up, the Democrats and the President are backstroking so quickly that they look like they are being chased by a ferocious feeding frenzy of sharks!

It’s amusing how they are not rejoicing to the people about their new health care plan and all of their bailouts and spending. If these were all fantastic ideas why not shout it to the roof tops on all the good you have done for this country? Because what they have done is horrible and they know it.

Then why do they continue to do things like this?

Because it’s the special interest groups, unions, etc... who are trying to run this country, and not the American people.

I’m glad Barak Obama won the election, because it has shown this country what a real disaster these people will cause if left to their own methods. It has given us an accelerated view of what they were trying to do to us slowly in the past. Finally, it has had the positive affect of waking up a lot of American people, who typically do not even acknowledge politics, and they are now reading about our country's history, and watching the clowns in government (state or federal) a lot more closely.

The state of the union is currently gloomy, but I see some clear skies on the horizon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Out Of The Blaze




Glenn Beck, and his staff, have recently started a website called, “The Blaze” which is set up “to post, report and analyze stories of interest on a wide range of topics from politics and culture to faith and family.”

Although this new site has some great news stories which I may stop by to read from time to time, the comment sections are chalked full of idiots. It's just another realm where people who enjoy attacking one another are going to hang out. Great discussions are fun, stupidity just annoys me and I don't have the time to devote attempting to change the minds of the ignorant.

I believe it's important to note that I only waded into the comments section on a few articles, and those two endeavors actually turned out well. It was the reading of other comment sections which made me come to this conclusion. I didn't even want to dip my toe in the name-calling pool that this comment section displays.

Throughout our lives there will always be narrow-minded people spewing comments that can't be backed up by any sort of intelligent facts or discussion.

It's difficult to believe, I know, but I occasionally post articles that I later find out have some errors in them. When these ar discovered I will correct the error or make note of it in the comment section.

This is why I don't want you to read my work and get mad and run away, point out where I have it wrong. That's the whole reason I write, so that I can engage in friendly discussions with people who can help me understand another side of my observation.

Unfortunately there are some subjects where you and I will disagree because there really is not much in the way as "evidence" to substantiate either one of our claims. In these cases, we can agree to disagree, but I still love to read your views, and welcome them on this blog.

Enough of this ramble, it's time to be productive around the house...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Into The Blaze

Glenn Beck, and his staff, have recently started a website called, “The Blaze” which is set up “to post, report and analyze stories of interest on a wide range of topics from politics and culture to faith and family.”

On the site was a story about “BIKINI-CLAD STRIPPERS PROTEST CHURCH IN RURAL OHIO”. Of course I could not pass up reading this one, and once inside the story, and after reading the various replies, I just had to sign up and leave my own comments. Following was my reply which was mainly directed at the other responders more then the actual story.

As a people we are only truly free when we have the freedom to do the things we'd like to do without abuse from others. The same freedom that provides protection for the religious folks in this country to gather and sing praises to whatever they believe, is the exact same freedom the strippers should enjoy.

I served over twenty years in the military to defend this freedom for ALL Americans, and I really get annoyed when religious people think that they are somehow superior to everyone else.

You are free to worship any way you'd like. When you decide to rise up out of your place of worship and start forcing your beliefs on others, this is where you need to take a serious look inside yourselves. You do not tolerate others encroaching on your right to worship, so I would love for one of you to explain why it is acceptable for you to go after those who do not believe the same things as you.


UPDATE: Here's a video of the next phase of the situation...

 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What Gives You The Right?




Monday, the United States Supreme Court ruled on what I have been complaining about for a long time now (see The Right to Keep and Arm Bears).

For years it has pissed me off that cities continually think that they have the right to legislate gun ownership to such a degree that it's almost impossible to carry a gun anywhere but inside your house, and even then they try to prevent that in places.

The high court has tap-danced around this issue for far too long, and it's about time they weighed in on the topic.

This decision on McDonald vs. City of Chicago, however, is distrubing to me.

One of the purposes of the Supreme Court is to be the arbiter of the Constitution. Although the ruling turned out correctly in upholding the Second Amendment, there were four judges who apparently are not convinced.

First I have to say, holy crap these judges can be long-winded in their comments. All of them tend to ramble on and on about the exact same thing over and over again as if the number of words makes them somehow more important. Sheesh, make your point and move along.

After reading most of the Majority and Dissenting comments I think I can boil things down to a fraction of what I have read.

The thing that really bugs me about this case is the discussion on whether or not the Bill of Rights can be infringed upon by the States. It seems that the Bill of Rights was put in place to protect the citizens of the United States from the Federal government, but not necessarily the state government. Since that time, there have been numerous cases where the Supreme Court has ruled that at least the first 8 Amendements of the Bill of Rights must be upheld by the states.

What strikes me as odd to begin with is why the heck wouldn't the Bill of Rights apply to citizens within a state, and from a state government as well as the Federal government?

How powerful would our rights be if the states we live in could just supress them at will?

In the case of the second amendement, since this is what this article is about, why on Earth would we have the right to keep and bare arms to defend ourselves, but not in the state with which we live? For a state to pass legislation to prevent its citizens to keep and bare arms goes directly against the second amendment!

This is the point that has always bothered me when I hear that a city has passed a law where you cannot bare arms in their city.

Sorry, but if you're a city in the United States of America, I DO have a right to bare arms in your city! Read the constitution! I don't care what sort of mamby pamby government officials try to pass their own agenda's to prevent this, it's our right as a citizen of this country.

In this recent case agains the City of Chicago, it was proven that crime has increased since the ban was passed in the city.

I really get tired of mentioning this, but there are some really stupid people in the world.

IF YOU REMOVE GUNS FROM LAW ABIDING CITIZENS, ONLY CRIMINALS WILL HAVE GUNS! And should I add, YOU MORONS!

Enough said. If you disagree I'd love to hear why...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Priorities and Traits of a Good Person




1. Eat Healthy - Life begins and ends here. You are what you eat. A strong body and mind require proper nutrition to function at their best capacity.

2. Exercise - Without exercise the body will break down and atrophy. Exercise is required to achieve stamina to allow you to face physical hardships.

3. Honesty - With yourself, and everyone else.

4. Caring - Life is sacred. Treat every living thing with respect.

5. Loyal - Your word is golden and cannot be undone. Family is always family.

6. Dependable - Always complete what you set out to accomplish. Do, or do not, there is no try.

7. Integrity - Doing the right thing, even when nobody is looking.

8. Hard Working - Always perform a task that needs to be done with dedication resisting distractions. Procrastination is not an option.

9. Intelligent - Learning new things expands your ability to live your life well for you and those who depend on you.

10. Honorable - This will come naturally by following the other traits.

These are the things that I have decided create a solid foundation for a person. I'm curious to hear any thoughts you all may have on the choices.

Eating healthy and exercising are two things on this list I really need to work on.

I plan to review this list as a daily ritual to ensure it is burned into my subconscious.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Relax




What is relaxing to you?

For several years I have been coming to Las Vegas for work to attend a conference on computer networking.

It's my job, it's what I do.

Because of the current issues with the economy, having work foot the bill for the conference was out. Since I have been in "Sin City" annually I decided to pay for this years trip myself and once again head to the conference.

Now some of you may think that my trip to Las Vegas is just an excuse to party on the company's dime. Those of you who know me are aware that this is not the case. I don't drink, and I have not dropped a dime gambling for probably 20 years now.

This is not to say that I don't enjoy Las Vegas. It's actually fun to see all of the casino's and the crazy people who visit them. There are other things to do here other then lose money and get drunk.

During my previous trips to Las Vegas for work I felt pressure to hit the conference daily and to work hard at learning all I could since that was what I was being sent to do.

This trip was different.

Since I am paying the bill, and taking my vacation time to be here, the load has been lifted and I feel more relaxed. This time I am here for me, not work.

Once I made this realization I decided to do more relaxing, and less work-related things.

Many of my previous vacations always seem to be on some sort of schedule. Be someplace at a certain time, and hurry up and have fun!

Today I cruised the conference floor with a passing glance at the same old thing. I have never failed to scour the showroom floor in previous years to uncover that one new technology that might be what we need. This year, I could care less.

Is that sad? My heart was just not in it. I was not here to work, I was here to relax!

So far I have spent a lot of time in my room. Watching TV and working on my computer. I'm sure this sounds horrible to many of you, but it's what I enjoy doing.

Although I do work on my computer and watch TV at home, I rarely get days of quiet time where work, family, and other external issues don't interrupt.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my family, and enjoy my work, but having some "me" time has been nice for a change.

Tonight a friend I met here a few years ago is flying in and we'll be hitting the town tonight and the conference in the morning. I'm sure I'll be in full geek mode then, but so far it's just been relaxing.

However, this has got me thinking...

If work will not spring for this trip next year, do I still take it? Is this truly where I would like to relax, or would I rather head to someplace like Hawaii or Mexico and do some diving?

This brings me to the point of this message.

If you could go somewhere without any other obligations, leaving work and family behind, where would you go? What would be relaxing to you?

I'd love to read comments from people who really think about this...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not Just a Hat Rack



Why do we do what we do?

Why do we believe what we believe?

Is it because of peer pressure?

Is it because that is what everyone else is doing?

As a child I was always instructed to use my head for something besides a hat rack.

I was listening to an audiobook from Dave Ramsey, "Total Money Makeover", where he brings up an experiment that was conducted with chimpanzees.

Dave explained that the experiment started with some chimpanzees being placed in a room with a ladder in the center. On top of the ladder was some enticement or treat (I envision bananas). If a chimp decided to climb the ladder the rest of the group was sprayed with water. Eventually, the group would not let any other chimp in the group climb the ladder because they all did not want to be sprayed with water.

The scientists then replaced one of the chimps with a new one, and once the new chimp tried to climb the ladder the group prevented them from doing so until this chimp learned that apparently the group did not want anyone climbing the ladder.

The scientists continue to replace the chimpanzees one at a time until eventually all of the original subjects had been replaced. Even though none of the first group that was sprayed with the water remained, the rest of the chimpanzees continued to prevent any of the new chimps from climbing the ladder.

These chimpanzees were now merely perpetuating something. Even though none of these chimps knew why, but because that is what has always been done.

Dave brings this up to explain why we so blindly think we need to acquire debt. Even though this makes sense, you can also take this a step further to explain why we do so many other things blindly and without fully researching and knowing why we do the things we do. From credit, to religion, to drugs, to how we interact with the opposite sex, or why we all had to go see Avatar. We continue to plod along doing things because that's the way it has always been done.

I heard a similar story while living in North Pole Alaska.

Someone who owned some sled dogs said they had installed sprinklers above the dog runs and had a switch installed in the house. Every time the dogs began barking the owner would flip the switch and soak the dogs to shut them up. Eventually they figured out that barking meant a drenching. When the owner would introduce a new dog into the runs, and it began barking, the other dogs would head for their kennels because they knew what was about to happen to the new guy.

While I'm sharing interesting animal tales, Dave also brought up how they capture monkeys in a country I don't recall the name of. They would place tasty sweet nuts into large jars with skinny necks. The aroma from the nuts would attract the monkeys and they would reach down into the jar to retrieve the nut. Once the monkey grabbed the nut with its fist, its hand became too big to pull out of the neck of the jar. Since the jar was too heavy, the monkey would be trapped from its greed of not wanting to let go of the nut.

What's the take on all of this? First of all, don't blindly follow people without doing your own research as to why you are doing something. Just because everyone else is doing something doesn't make it the correct path for you. Humans are full of mistakes. Some people perpetuate mistakes whether they mean to or not. They're not evil people, they're just ignorant and misguided. Which is what you will be if you follow their lead without knowing why.

Do you remember Jim Jones? People followed him so blindly that they all drank poison-laced Kool-Aid, which is where the common term that is now used to follow someone blindly is called, drinking the Kool-Aid.

Although we are animals, we have larger brains then the rest of the wild kingdom. Let's try using them a bit more often shall we?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Religion - Blind Faith or Wisdom?

A friend of mine asked if I had seen the "Life" series yet. Although I have it on DVR I have not yet started watching it, but I can't wait because the photography in it looks amazing.

He brought up that it was very slanted toward evolution. I mentioned the National Geographic special I watched a few weekends ago about evolution which asked the question, "Was Darwin wrong?"

I told him the Nat Geo show did a great job tackling the three basic things that Darwin brought to light concerning evolution, and in all instances Darwin was correct in his thought process even though in his day he didn't have the full ability to test his theories.

My friend told me that evolution is not real because the Bible does not have any mention of dinosaurs, and that Adam and Eve did not have dinosaurs around or the Bible would have mentioned them.

He went on to explain to me that the dinosaur bones were probably created somewhere else in the universe then brought from pieces of matter when the Earth was created.

Of course, he also pretty much ended the conversation by telling me that he didn't care about the past because he has it on faith what really happened.

Is this truly what religious people all think? Do they completely ignore scientific proof and just base all of their belief system on faith?

Does it occur to these people that the reason the Bible doesn't mention dinosaurs is because when the Bible was written detailed study on our planets natural history was not available, and that the Bible is imperfect because it was written by man, and not through the channeling or influence of a supreme being?

I'm not one to abuse people for their beliefs, but if their belief system does not stand up to scrutiny, what does it say about those who follow its teachings? They need to ask the bigger question such as, "Why does my religion teach that you must have faith and ignore scientific fact?"

Does this make any sense?

I have not ventured into a religious article for some time now, basically because I now have many articles on the subject and it can get tiresome to rehash the same topic over and over again. I just thought this conversation with my friend needed to be brought out.

What are your thoughts on this? What would a better argument be from the religious folks out there other then preferring to ignore the science and relying on faith?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Company You Keep

One thing I stress to my kids is that you must be careful who you choose to associate with.

There are stories upon stories in the news about someone being killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Obviously something like this can, and certainly does, happen accidentally. Why increase the odds by hanging out with the wrong crowd.

When I was growing up I stayed clear of wild parties where teens were all getting drunk and acting stupid. These parties never seem to go well. This is the environment that you tend to hear about on the news where a fight broke out and someone got shot or stabbed. Leaving these parties is just as bad, especially if you're riding in a car with someone who has been drinking at the party. To many times friends don't want to tell their friend not to get behind the wheel of their own car. Unfortunately, that could be a fatal mistake.

I enjoy excitement just as much as the next person, but some people can take the adrenaline rush to the extreme.

Extreme sports are cool to watch, and I imagine they are a real thrill to participate in. What you always need to be aware of, is that the more extreme the sport, the closer you are to serious injury or even death.

I've played my share of sports from football to baseball, swimming and water polo, and was even a tournament water skier and took numerous martial arts such as tang su do, jujitsu and taekwondo. Needless-to-say I have also suffered my share of injuries, and although some more extreme sports have intrigued me, I have always held back. It's not that I'm scared. People who know me well can attest that I am not afraid of much, it's more that my brain kicks into high gear and tells me to avoid the things that are on the edge of crazy.

Have you ever watched the show, "Man vs Wild"? Now Bear Grylls is one crazy dude. There is no way on this planet that I would even put myself in a tenth of the positions he does. Even though he has a climbing crew with him, I have seen him come close to ending his life way too many times. Bear is tempting fate, and I am awaiting the day I read about his "once to many" crazy stunt. I bet he'll say that he died doing what he enjoyed, but I have different plans for my future. I don't want to be in a hurry to end my life doing something stupid.

Some of you are probably thinking, "any of us can die tomorrow just walking across the street, or from some medical condition". This is true, but because we're all going to punch out eventually, why would we want to speed up the process? Life is dangerous enough without tempting fate trying to win a Darwin Award.

People who don't drink get killed by drunk drivers. People who are just trying to fit in get killed at parties where fights break out or a drive-by shooting happens. People end up with criminal records because their "friends" committed a crime while they were with them.

It isn't just physical injury or death that you need to be careful of, what about emotional issues?

Negative people can be very damaging to hang out with. For kids it might be friends that constantly talk about hating school, hating their teachers, or hating their parents. This tends to rub off on their friends and breeds problems in other houses from the negative collateral damage. I have seen my daughters attitudes about numerous things be changed rapidly by someone else's loser kid. It's difficult to keep hold of them and reenforce their strengths so that they do not fall completely under the spell of the local turd.

Unfortunately children who grow up with negative parents, or parents with twisted views of society such as racism and other hateful attitudes, have a tough time. Parental influence is strong and difficult to break free.

As difficult as it might be, if you have a friend, or even a family member, who is negative or self-destructive, you need to be strong and steer in another direction from them. You don't have to be mean, just make sure you spend less time with people who do not have the same attitude that you'd like to possess.

Remember, the company you keep will do a lot to define not only who you are, but who you will become.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Path We're On

As you move through life there are opportunities that present themselves. Sometimes these opportunities are within your control, and sometimes they are in the control of others.

If someone else is in control, it feels as though you are merely a spectator in your own life, watching and waiting for the drama to unfold.

At the moment my future lies with the decision of another. Well, one possible future to be sure. I would enjoy discovering where that path would lead, but am just happy to have caught a glimpse of the trail.

Our lives are constantly crisscrossing through different possible branches leading to a variety of futures. Which ones we take are not always chosen by us.

I will be moving quietly through the next few days awaiting my fate.

Will the path you end up on be the right one? There's no way of telling, even when you're traveling along. That's what makes life interesting. Our goal should be to take the path we're on and make the best of it.