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This & That

The name for this blog was inspired by “One-eyed Jack” Williams who had a radio program in Phoenix, Arizona about 35 years ago.... His “Quarter Hour of This and That”. Everyday he started out the program with the statement. “It is a beautiful day in Arizona and I suggest, leave us all enjoy it.” It did not mater if it was raining or sunny, in the middle of a sand storm or cold and miserable. It was always a beautiful day. It is still my favorite way to start the day.

Location: Baños de Agua Santa, Tungurahua, Ecuador

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

We Live in Exciting Times

As we plunge headlong into the age of technology we find things literally changing at the speed of light. What was the latest technology yesterday is obsolete tomorrow. We can either get on this bandwagon or sit back and watch the world go by, getting further and further behind each day. In no-time, we will find our only solace is watching inane programs on television while watching the clock so we don’t miss taking our pills on time. It won’t be long before we won’t even have anything meaningful to say to our grandchildren. For me, the later is not acceptable, I choose to live and so can you.
I for one, am optimistic about the future. Because of the new technologies we have all of the world’s knowledge at our finger tips. Communications is instantaneous. If you really want to get involved in what is going on in this changing world, there is no excuse for not doing so. The Internet is available to everyone. Computers are available and affordable for almost any budget. To get started, go to your local library or to an Internet Café. You will find many people, more than willing to help you get started.
Once you are connected to the world, you will no doubt be overwhelmed with the possibilities that present themselves. You will suddenly find that you have a voice....and sometimes people listen and respond. And, probably the best part, is that you learn all over again that you have worth.

There are literally thousands of worth while causes to pursue and in some small way make a difference in this world before you leave.


Sunday, September 26, 2004

Bill of Non-Rights.

"We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters.

We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a “Bill of NON-Rights.”

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!!

The above was sent to me by my Mike.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Opinions and Judgements

Everyone has a right to their own opinions, but we all need to remember that that is just what they are opinions. Some opinions are based on research and thoughtful study. Others seem to be knee-jerk reactions to bits and pieces of news that are caught on the fly. Still others are based on deep seeded prejudices.

I have had opinions that I was sure were correct, based on the best information that I was privy to at the time. Later, when I finally learned the rest of the story I had to back-peddle and rethink the situation. How many times do we jump to conclusions and embarrass ourselves and other by speaking too quickly. I remember a time when I took an inter-city bus in Mexico at rush-hour. The bus was already full so I paid my fare to the driver and boarded through the back door. Each stop brought more construction workers and we were quite literally packed in like the proverbial sardines. I glanced over to the next-to-the-last seat and saw this blonde woman sitting on the aisle seat with the window seat vacant. I began to wonder why she did not move over and let someone else sit down. I formed an opinion that this woman was probably protecting herself from having to sit next to a Mexican construction worker. At each stop, I was getting more upset. I finally reached through the bodies and tapped her on the shoulder and asked her why she didn’t move over to allow someone else to sit down. She looked at me and said she couldn’t because there were grocery bags on the seat. I answered back rather shortly...”put them on your lap”. She looked at me and said...”they aren’t mine”, It was then that I noticed the young Mexican girl sitting in the seat behind polishing her nails with another bag at her side and I realized that the bags on the seat in front were hers. The exchange was in English, so not many understood my remarks, but I felt very bad for the lady that I had embarrassed.


Friday, September 10, 2004

We need to keep things in perspective.

Every day we are reminded of the number of American solders who have given their lives for the cause that we as a nation thought just. I morn their loss even if I have not known any of them personally. Their family grieve in a much more personal way. I also honor their valor and their sacrifice. They were not conscripted, but volunteered to be part of the military in peace and war. They were trained to do just what they are doing. I pray that they died knowing that they were dying for a just cause.

Today I heard on the news that the number of deaths reached 1,000. I am sure that in the next few days there will be many using that statistic to drum up more support for pulling out and leaving the problems in Iraq to the Iraqis. This would be fulfilling the prophecy that the men had died for nothing. We need to put this number in perspective. In our history, has any other war of this duration had so few causalities?

If you want to talk about dying for nothing...let’s put on the front pages the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers, all traffic related deaths, drug overdoses, murders. Let’s include the number of policemen who died in the line of duty.

There are many causes of death that should cause outrage. The number of deaths in Iraq is not one of them. It should strengthen our resolve.


Return to Nature...at least for a day or two.

This is a page from a book by Helen Hunt Jackson, the book titled Romana and was published in 1884.
“After two days in the canyon, the place had become so like a friendly home that she dreaded leaving its shelter. Nothing is stronger proof of the original intent of Nature, to do more for man than the civilization in its arrogance will long permit her to do, than the quick and sure way in which she reclaims his affection, when by weariness, idle chance, or disaster, he is returned for an interval to her arms. How soon he rejects the miserable pretenses of superiority, make-shifts of adornments, and chains of custom. “Whom the gods love, die young,” has been too long carelessly said. It is not true, in the sense in which men use the words. Whom the gods love, dwell with nature. If they are ever lured away, return to her before they are old. Then, however long they live before they die, they die young. Whom the gods love, live young forever.”

When I read this a few days ago, my mind wandered, remembering many special times when I had spent time with nature, sleeping under a canopy of stars and miles away from civilization. No phones, no radios, the best tasting bad food and delicious coffee, with grounds in every sip. Returning home was also a treat to be savored. The hot shower, the flush toilet, the soft bed.

Living or dwelling with nature as the author suggests, does not mean that we need to give up all of our comforts and live without shelter, but every once in a while it behooves us to take the old sleeping bag out of the closet and treat ourselves to a night or two under the stars...just to keep things in perspective.


Imagine this...

“Imagine a world where people give of themselves simply because they want to. Not out of a sense of debt. Or because they want something in return. No ulterior motives. No guilt feelings. Just a desire to give for the sake of giving. Now instead of imagining this kind of world, do your part in making it happen. Make a charitable donation. Volunteer your time to improve your community. Give back to the world that gives so much to you. And if it happens to make you feel good, that's all right. Feeling good is the one ulterior motive that's acceptable.” -Bill Danials.