Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I suspect that most people know the story of Moses and Israel as they sought deliverance from Pharaoh.  Many movies, books, plays, and songs have been written to chronicle the events of that miraculous journey to freedom.  Even those who are not of the Christian or Jewish faith can see some the lessons taught as God led His people out of bondage to freedom.

Pondering the trials and victories of the Hebrews as they fled Egypt often brings up thoughts of how life evolves for most of us here in mortality.  We all have varying forms of bondage that keep us from receiving all the good that is available from God.  Most of us have myriad experiences working our way out of, in one form or another, that captivity.  Some efforts are amazingly successful, but others fall flat and make us wonder why we even tried.  I am ever grateful for the lessons learned from trying (and failing or succeeding) but wonder if the success ratio might be improved by following the example found in one story from the life of Moses.

When Israel had finally escaped, completely, from Egypt – remember that the Egyptians were drowned and destroyed so they could not follow – the Hebrews celebrated by writing a song in honor of Moses.  Part of the song goes like this:

The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2)

At that moment of great joy the Children of Israel were sincere in their focus on praising their God.  He had delivered them from slavery and death by eliminating their greatest enemy.  They were headed to a land of plenty with hopes of a bright future.  From there on, life would be easy and smooth.  Or so they thought.

A mere three days later, Moses, the vaunted leader of the innumerable company, the Lord’s anointed prophet, seer, and revelator, is confronted by these same ‘children’ with another dilemma. 

So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter:… And the people murmured against Moses, saying, what shall we drink? (Ex. 15:22-24)

It is a serious thing to be without water and it is not unreasonable for the people to wonder where they will find refreshment.  The trouble comes for Israel as the congregation recognizes the situation that lies ahead and decides what to do about it. 

Having just received deliverance from God in an outstanding way, it would seem appropriate to find Israel pondering about what miracle God would perform to help them through this trial.  But their response is consistent with what seems to be their level of faith.


Why?  Because murmuring is easier than doing what should be done.  Murmurers seem to derive a sense of power from their actions.  Murmuring invites a feeling of superiority because a problem has been recognized and brought to the attention of the world.  Never mind that no solution is offered – that’s a duty for another – the situation has been identified and will now be reviewed incessantly. 

It’s not always clear what brings on this malady of character, but it is often – much too often – the tool of response to difficult (or even simple) challenges.  And it isn’t just the Israel of Moses’ time that follows this path.  Every day there are examples of murmuring found in news, politics, religion, education, etc. 

How did Moses deal with the attitude of his people? 

And how can we avoid developing this habit that is so unproductive? 

It’s really pretty simple. 

Moses trusted.

Where Israel murmured,

Moses trusted. 

Not in himself or any other mortal person. 

He trusted in God.

In the story from Exodus, we learn that Moses went to God and asked what to do.  He was inspired to find a tree, cut it down, and toss it into the waters of Marah which were so bitter.  That particular tree had properties that, when submerged in the water, neutralized whatever substances were causing the bitterness that rendered the water undrinkable.  Now it was sweet.

Moses acted on his trust in God and found an answer.

Who knew a tree could fix water?
But how did Moses know what to do.  Why would God give him the idea to use the tree?  After all, he was raised in the palace of Pharaoh and was considered by many to be an Egyptian.  

Moses knew who he was and never let go of his heritage.  And when he was forced to flee Egypt, he did not abandon that heritage because things got hard.  He found others of like faith and continued to be a faithful follower of Jehovah.

In that heritage, valued by Moses so much, was a tradition that still survives today.  We find the gist of Moses’ ability for finding answers in a message of modern revelation.  Here’s what it says:

Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.  Now behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. (D&C 8:2-3)

Instead of turning to the worldly method for confronting challenges (murmur), Moses chose to go to God and ask for revelation.  And revelation he received!  This communication from God is available to anyone who seeks it.  Not just prophets or pastors or priests, but anyone who wants to know. 

So when the waters of Marah were too bitter to drink, Moses did exactly the same thing he did when the waters of the Red Sea stood before the whole company of Israel.  He asked God for help.  We might even consider that the previous scripture could have ended like this:

Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold this is the spirit by which Moses healed the Waters of Marah for the children of Israel so they did not die of thirst.

Revelation is not magic.

Revelation is not a mystery.

Revelation is asking in faith and waiting on the Lord for the answer.

Revelation is available to every one of God’s children.

Too many good people revert to murmuring when difficult questions or experiences arise. 

Murmuring eliminates or reduces any chance for revelation. 

Without revelation, we cannot know what God would have us do.  We are then left to our own devices, ideas, or prejudices for the answer.

As Israel continued to find fault with Moses and Aaron, the Lord inspired the Prophet to issue this challenge:

…the Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him; and what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord. (Ex. 16:8)

It is one thing to issue condemnations against mortal men, but when we start to contend against the God of this earth, we are placing ourselves in a dangerous situation. 

There is a God in heaven who communicates directly with His children if they will ask.  He will tell the least of us what He wants if we will but ask.  His prophets guide the Church and give us counsel on how we can find happiness. 

When we choose to murmur instead of seek revelation, we place ourselves outside the protection of a loving Father.  Our actions tell Him that we aren’t ready to understand His truth.

He wants us to know. 
And He will tell us if we ask. 
He did it for Moses.

He will do it for us.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


I originally had a much longer title to this post but decided it might be too wordy.  Of course, being who I am, (sarcasm alert) wordiness is anathema to me so the title was changed.  Anyways, this is not about my predilections to communicate using too many words, but about the state of my thinking concerning certain political motives.  My musings are preliminary but I don’t see them changing much in the near future.

But who knows!!  So here goes.

It is a given that when election time come I WILL NOT be offering my vote to any of the Democratic candidates currently running.  It seems the Dems are insistent on nominating the other half of the Clinton family (though I use that last word loosely).  She has shown no ability to lead in any position and seems to only believe she should be President because she is a woman.  Frankly, I would prefer just about ANYONE besides her.

Nothing is her fault -- she's a woman.

While I am not enamored with Bernie Sanders and his Socialist agenda, at least he is being honest about what he wants for America.  There are grave doubts about what Hilary desires (besides the title) in her campaign to ‘lead’ and the consequences of her election may inflict greater damage on this nation than the current fellow caused when he ascended to his throne.

Socialism is his game.

I will not vote for Hilary!!!

There is only one instance in which I might voting for Bernie Sanders.

And this is where the title of the post resonates.

It doesn’t matter who else is chosen for the Republican nominee, if Donald Trump is the victor, I will not vote for him.  Reservations abound with all the other candidates from that party but Mr. Trump has nothing for me.  There is nothing he spews that resonates with truth for me.

Therefore, if D.T. is the candidate from the red side, this young man will probably not vote for any of the current candidates.  That may change if more information comes into play but it is doubtful there will be enough to change this mind.

You may ask me, “Why are you so adamant against the Trumpster?”

Lots of faces but not much substance.
My answer would be, “because there is nothing in his character, business dealings, family relationships, societal associations, television experiences, etc., that gives me cause to trust he will do what needs to be done to make America a better place to live.  He has no experience dealing with political entities (much like Obama and Carson) and everything he does will be for the first time.”

But you say, “Why would you vote for Carson if he has the same limitations in political savvy?”

Don't know him well but he seems
to have a moral backbone.

Because, as best I can tell, Ben Carson is a moral man who wants to make the world better – not just see how much he can get for himself.

I have grave doubts concerning the morality of Mr. Trump.  And without morality, we are back to the days of Mr. Clinton.  

Not a good place to go.

This is definitely a judgment made without all the facts, but judgment can only be decided by what is shown.  And Donald Trump has not impressed me as having integrity during his moments of fame.

So, if it comes to pass that Donald Trump is the nominee for the Presidency of the United States of America, I will have to take my vote somewhere else or abstain completely.

And if I lived in a perfect world and was in charge of which candidate would win, I would most likely to pick………………….?

More on that later.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Today I ventured out to a meeting with our Stake Council.  This includes the Stake Presidency, High Council, and all the other organizations that direct the affairs of the stake.  Despite the early time (7:00 am), I felt like it was time to stop using my surgery as an excuse to stay home.  It was a bit of a stretch, but I made it and got some good information.

Since the April Conference of the Church, we have been receiving training from the leaders of the Church on how to be better Sabbath observers.  Our Prophet and His councilors plus the Quorum of the Twelve have been sharing ideas that are meant to help us do a better job of keeping the Sabbath holy.  Frankly, I could use some reminders from time-to-time so I appreciate the efforts.

Today was a follow-up to the previous training we received.  This time it was a little more specific in ways we can improve our worship on the Sabbath.  But rather than recycle things we have heard all our lives, our leaders shared, via a roundtable discussion, some of the things they do to help make this day important to themselves and their families.  It was good for me to listen because I have gotten a little sloppy in some areas of my worship.  I want to focus on three of the most important areas that caught my attention.

#1 – Make the Sabbath a delight!!

I remember as a kid really disliking Sunday because it was full of lots of DONT’S.

Don’t play outside.
Don’t watch movies.
Don’t turn on the TV.
Don’t have fun of any kind!!

In actuality, most of those weren’t hard and fast but they did seem to infringe on having a good day.  It seemed like we had to walk around on pins-and-needles for a whole day so we didn’t offend anyone.  And when I became a parent it was just as bad cause I became the enforcer of the don’ts.  

But as Teresa and I tried to make things better with our children, we began to realize that the day needed to be a happy one and not one of fear or misery.  So our don’t list got a little shorter and we tried to find things we could do as a family.  We made it a point to go visit some of the elderly people in our neighborhood (which seemed to help the kids be not so afraid of them).  Often times we would make cookies together or have candied popcorn while we played games.  And we even added some family appropriate TV shows that weren’t too far out of bounds for our day of worship.  It made a difference and I hope relieved some of the stress our kids felt when they were younger.

#2 – The Sabbath is meant for Worship

The most important part of Sabbath observance is attending church and partaking of the Sacrament.  Nothing is more important because that is the one time, each week, when we can renew the covenants we have made with God.  As we remember the Savior and His Atoning Sacrifice, we can reflect on the week and finalize the repentance we need for our sins that week.  The power of the Holy Ghost is abundant in that service/ordinance and will testify that we have been forgiven if we have done our part.  The worship of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is the main purpose of gathering together in our meetings.  When we are focused on Their efforts for us, our hearts are drawn to the things we can do to overcome the world.  Worship is the purpose of the Sabbath.

#3 – Our Sabbath commitment is a sign – a perpetual reminder of the covenant we have made as followers of Christ

When we choose to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and declare, by baptism, that we are His followers, we make a covenant to do three things for the rest of our lives: 

1. To always remember Him and His sacrifice for our benefit
2. To keep His commandments to the best of our abilities
3. To take upon ourselves His name and act, in all things, as He would act

The Sabbath day is our day, given by God and Christ, to be different than we are every other day of the week.  Not just in the way we act (though that is part of it), but in the way we think and remember.  Sunday is God’s day and all we do is to be done for His benefit and to remember Him.

When Moses descended from Sinai with the stone tablets, there were 10 commandments engraved thereon.  The fourth was the Lord’s way of helping us be aware of the first three and save our souls from destruction.  Keeping the Sabbath day holy is not a commandment most of the world is concerned with today.  The days has become something less than it should be.  Only by remembering God and Christ, on their special day, can we bring down the blessings promised by our Heavenly Father.  

I believe that the state of the world makes it clear that we must, once again, make observance of the Sabbath a priority.  Otherwise, the blessings we desire may be withheld until we do.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Well, I’m sort of there but not completely.

It has been seven weeks since I went under the knife/saw and survived.  Over those weeks I had therapy and walked many miles around the neighborhood (got to see, firsthand, how the city public works guys do their jobs) while recovering fairly well.  My sweetheart kept me fed (though nothing tasted good) and my kids made frequent visits so I wasn’t too bored.

Now it is time to get back to work.  This past week I started teaching again.  I couldn’t handle a whole day but I was able to take one class each day.  It was very nice to be with the kids once again.  I’m not sure they enjoyed some of my ramblings but I was excited to be out of the house and back in the classroom.

The plan is to go another week with one class a day and then add another the next week and add one per week until I’m back to a full load.

It is always surprising how much energy teaching takes.  You would think just standing and talking wouldn’t be that hard but after one lesson I am completely drained.  Most of the energy is used just trying to stay focused and help the students understand what we are studying.  Teaching is a much harder job than many people think.

It’s exciting to be back in the saddle (mostly) and I look forward to the time when I am completely back.  Thanks to those who have waited so patiently and those who have made it all possible.  Especially Teresa who helped me heal so quickly.  She is amazing.

For those who are interested, this whole experience has caused me to lose about 20 lbs.  As Teresa says, “you have not gut anymore.”  Until food starts to taste good again, I suspect I will remain as I am.  If you can believe it, I can’t stand the taste of ice cream.  Who would have thunk it possible?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


As I watch the happenings of this world, I wonder why people obsessed and incensed about some events and totally ignore others.

For instance, there has been a great deal of conflict generated because of recent events in Oregon.  Many believe that withholding the right to own firearms is the only solution to the problem of madmen (and women) gunning down innocents.  They claim that by limiting access to weapons, specifically guns, there will be greater peace and happiness in the world.  While there is limited data to prove either side of the story, those who are against gun ownership for individuals are using these tragedies to bolster their “case” for revoking 2nd Amendment rights.

The root of all evil in some people's eyes.

On the other hand, many of these same citizens are shamefully silent when the spotlight shines on millions of unborn babies who are aborted each year in this country.  Those practicing this form of death like to claim that life is not viable until at least 16 weeks.  Even if that were true, and it isn’t, what about all the “late-term” (after 16 weeks) deaths that take place in Planned Parenthood and other facilities?  There are more deaths generated in those places than all the “mass-shootings” combined in the U.S. each and every year.

So what’s the difference between these two methods of death?

Why are so many people up in arms about protecting innocents from guns but only a much maligned group seem to be concerned about protecting innocents from forceps and other medical implements that tear lives apart?

I’m reminded of a circumstance in the Old Testament when Josiah— raised in an environment of idolatry that required infant sacrifice to false gods – became king at a very young age.  The experience of watching his father’s violate the worship of God had such an impact on Josiah that when he became king of Israel he outlawed such practices and tried to bring the people back to the worship of Jehovah.

Josiah destroys the idols of wickedness.

Our society is much like apostate Israel in the days of the kings.  So many things that are good have been declared evil and innumerable practices that would have brought on rebellion from the righteous in years past have become accepted.  Selfishness and self-aggrandizement are the norm and the rights of the unborn, weak, and humble are devalued by the rage of the world.

The anger towards violence that raises the hue and cry of so many when it comes to gun attacks is completely absent when the topic of millions of dead babies is broached.  Instead, there is justification because of the “rights of women” to control their own bodies (and other such nonsense).

Whatever happened to controlling bodies before inviting new life into this world?

Thus, my question is:

What is the difference between killing hundreds of people with guns in groups and killing, one at a time, MILLIONS of people with drugs, medical tools and other means?

Both end up dead!!

Both circumstances are violent and abhorrent!!

I wonder if Kelsey Grammer’s shirt isn’t right.

Would this stop those who hate babies?  I doubt it.

If abortionists were required to use guns to do their dirty work, maybe we could stop the infanticide.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Time to report in!!

It’s been a month and I suppose it would be right to fill you all in on the happenings.  And if you aren’t interested… sorry!!

Last Friday was the one month anniversary of my encounter with the knife wielding jackals at the hospital.  Let’s just say that I am grateful for their ‘incisive’ work but I’m still recovering from their efforts.

Maybe not quite this bad -- but close!
For the first few days I was in such a daze that I was unsure where I was most of the time.  My kids have fun recounting all the weird things I said or did but that’s OK – I can’t remember so they never really occurred.

Thankfully, serious drugs helped me drift through the haze without too much pain.  But then, somewhere in the 2nd week, my wife was given instructions to begin reducing the dosages of said drugs – and the fun started.

Now, 4+ weeks out from surgery, I can say that I feel much better and have hope for normalcy once again.  Sleep is still a dicey subject (if I spend too much time lying in bed the nights get really long). But most of the severe pain is gone and I can get around on my own without a struggle.

Now I have to prepare myself, every MWF, for Heart Therapy!! 


My favorite.  In reality, it’s not that hard.  And I suppose it is doing me some good.  Yay heart people!!!

I’m still restricted from lifting or driving (my truck literally has cobwebs on the wheels from sitting so long) so if I want to go somewhere Teresa has to take me or I need to walk.  For an independent guy like me, it is hard to always have to wait for someone else.  But Teresa is very kind and doesn’t make fun of me (much).

That little piece of foam is in the web.

I did try to visit work a couple of times.  Both times ended up being very stressful, even though all I did was sit and watch.  Makes me wonder if I will be able to go back to teaching in two weeks. L  I’m sure the guys at work will help out and get me through all that needs to be done.  Again, it’s just the dependency thing.

Most of my scars are healing well (the one on my chest is the most prominent but not that bad) and should mostly disappear.  I am amazed at what those doctors could do to my body and not kill me.  And I was surprised that all the stitches they used weren’t even stitches.  Modern doctors use Super Glue instead of that other stuff to put us back together.  Thanks to the guy that figured out that wonderful product.

And thank you to all those who sent best wishes.  All your responses were greatly appreciated (even the old friend that let me know I would never press 200 lbs. again because of the surgery – that’s OK, I’ve never benched 200 so it’s no great loss).  Sometimes we forget how many friends we have until things get crazy and they all stand up and say HI!!

Oh, one other thing!! I have spent some time recently wondering what I will do when it comes time to retire in a few years.  My thoughts were that I could write a little more and serve in the Temple an extra day or two.  Teresa and I have plans to serve a mission and I’m sure I will make time to do a little fishing. 


All of those things will depend on being in good enough health to be ambulatory.  While I have done a little writing (several articles for DN), it has been a real struggle to make myself stay busy.  When you feel lousy, all you want to do is sit and mope… or sleep… or some other useless thing.  As I get better I am putting more effort into being productive.  This has been a good lesson on preparation for later in life.  Let’s all hope the lesson takes.

OK, that should do for this posting.  Again, thank you for all the good wishes and kind words.  My plan is to get back on schedule and post a little more often.  Thanks for reading and be safe (watch out for men with sharp knives).

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I think I have tried this two other times but, for the life of me, I am unable to find the previous attempts.  One of the efforts is very clear in my mind because my only instrument for writing was my iPad – but the document isn’t there or on my cloud drive or anywhere else.  So I am giving it another try.  If this never appears – well then I really am losing my mind.

Most are probably aware that late in August Teresa and I visited the local emergency room because she was worried there was some great failure in my physical self.  After innumerable hours of testing and prodding, the ER doctors found that I was reasonable healthy for a 60 yr. old man and sent me home.  There only condition was that I attend a little festival designed to stress out old guys (ok, it wasn’t a festival, but it sounds better that way).  With those instructions, we delivered ourselves at home and went about our normal business.

Monday and Tuesday I went to work, as usual, and favored my classes with – well I can’t actually remember what we did.  Right after classes on Tuesday Teresa led me off for testing at the hospital cardiac campus.  It was all so lovely and delightful – until they indicated they were injecting me with enzymes and other things to simulate what it would be like to exercise vigorously.  There was an immediate change in my demeanor, my pain level shot up to 1 Billion (slightly exaggerated), and the doctors were very concerned (not enough to stop the pain, but enough to indicate that I could not go home).  Our schedule was changed and Teresa and I were given accommodations for the evening (but for some reason, we had to pay – it wasn’t my idea to stay the night) with instructions to wait for further testing the next morning.  In a macabre sort of way it was rather exciting!!

The next morning, doctors did what they do the very best – instructed us to wait until they were ready to honor us with their presence.  They were actually pretty nice about it but their time schedule and mine seldom seem to coincide.  The intent was to do an angiogram so they could put stents in two blockages they discovered the previous day.  Sadly, when the stents were attempted, there was no room for them “at the inn.”  The blockages were so substantial that stents would do little or nothing to help with my problems. 

My only hospital 'selfie' -- pre surgery.

So guess what the next step was?? 

You guessed it!!!
It was now time for
Mr. Bypass

Or better yet – two Mr. Bypasses!!!

How lucky can one guy get!! J

In my case, pretty dang lucky.

There are three main arteries that feed blood to the heart.  The two largest in my heart were clogged with a lifetime of gunk (mostly created by heredity and excessive ice cream consumption) and there was little blood getting into the heart through them.  The third artery was doing his job and had even found a way to create a little ‘bypass’ friend of his own – thank you little artery ally!!

Since we weren’t on the regular scheduled list for the ‘rack’ of surgery, we had to wait for a spot to open up.  Turns out we got to be the second case in on Friday, Sept. 4 which meant I would go just after lunch. 

Just as I was being wheeled away for surgery
Those who have spent time in a hospital know how lovely it can be to have constant attention to your every need.  There are wonderful nurses who are always checking on you and injecting/drawing liquids to/from your body (for no real purpose except to see how many times they can do it in one 24 hour period).  And then there are the ‘almost’ nurses who’s every refrain begins with  “let’s get your vitals” even though they or someone just like them was in the room doing the exact same thing eight minutes ago.  But truthfully, everyone is so kind and works so hard to make you happy – all the while reminding you that you need to get plenty of rest so you will be prepared for your surgery.

Cool socks, leg circulators, and other stuff
I don’t remember the surgeon attending my soiree (but that might be because I am very susceptible to anesthesia and was out like a dead man) but he left his marks all over my body.  There were incisions on my left arm (where they harvested an artery to use for the bypass), on my right arm (where the ARTLine was installed for the convenience of all involved), and all over my chest and belly (which was considerably smaller after three days of hospital food)
I was also much less hairy – but we will leave that story to another day!

My first recollections were of nurses poking me and asking me my name and birthday (which I must have given at least 100 times – doesn’t anyone ever write things down in the medical business?).  There wasn’t much pain but I think that can be attributed to powerful friendly drugs.  But there was an unusual growth coming out of my right shoulder area that was VERY annoying!  It felt like I had another head attached to me and I would often talk to it in the night. 

The whole hospital thing was long and drawn out (though necessary) but finally came to an end and I was allowed to go home – I think it was Thursday but I’m not completely sure.  I only know I was very relieved to get home and into my own bed. 

Yep, that's exactly how I felt!!
Recovery continues to take up most of my time but I am finally getting around and acting pretty normal (or at least as I can be).  The plan is to recuperate for a few weeks and then move on to something that is way more fun.  Going back to work would be my favorite right now.  (BTW, I stopped by on Monday to visit and was worn out in 15 minutes. Maybe just a little more recovery)

My biggest battle is controlling my mind with the drugs they have given me.  There have been some weird visions (drowning in the bottom of a pool full of spiders – and I’m not afraid of arachnids) and some interesting dreams (talking to folks in the temple) and even a few conversations while Teresa was in the room with people not there.  Anything to keep life interesting.

Overall, the whole experience has been enlightening.  I am beginning to feel my mortality a little more, but I am also grateful that there are people who can fix defective bodies.  It would not surprise me to feel MUCH better in a few months because I have been running on such a low volume of blood to my heart.  Maybe now my boys won’t stop me from going hiking with them.  And maybe I will feel like instigating the hike myself. 

I suppose I should stop here and get this posted before I lose it again.  One day all this will be (PICK ONE: inspiring, frightening, hilarious, disturbing) you choose which seems most appropriate.

Thanks for reading.  I believe I will be around for another year or two with all the changes I have encountered.  Hope to see you all real soon.

Had to pretend to be happy so they would
let me go home.  That blue thing is my nemesis!
I have to suck air through that or no one is happy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


There have been a lot of ideas running through my head over the past few days.  Originally I was planning to do one blog on each but as they accumulate, I think it might be better to just take a snapshot and let that be the end of it.


Frankly, I have not been too concerned with this subject but the antics of some “candidates” are so appalling that I feel a need to comment.

Not being a Clinton fan, I am not surprised at the things Mrs. Clinton does and represents.  For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone could consider her an appropriate candidate for the presidency of the United States.  We, as a nation, have had decades to watch and evaluate her abilities and everything that she has shown says there is no substance.  As a First Lady she ‘looked the other way’ when her husband defiled their marriage arrangement.  Rather than hold him accountable, she decided to stand by and let him philander his way through 8 years as President.  How then can we trust her to hold members of congress, a cabinet, Joint Chiefs, and a staff (check out Huma) responsible for their actions (and that’s not even counting her own predilection for avoiding responsibility) when she won’t even call her husband out for infidelity.

I am aware that no person is perfect and all candidates have their weaknesses and warts but the accumulation of defects seems to be much greater for Mrs. Clinton than for most others.

And lest you think I am holding her to a standard different than other individuals:

Donald Trump is a travesty!!  What has he EVER done for the benefit of anyone but himself.  His life is one continuous fling with fame, fortune, and self-aggrandizement.  Yes, he has billions of dollars.  Yes, he can make deals with competitors and ‘fire’ people for their failures.  But what has he ever done when it comes to the improvement of a nation, or even a city.  His bluster and rudeness are not the things that will buy us goodwill with our allies and will only aggravate the situation with those who already hate us.  People like him are not what we need when there are tough decisions to make.  A leader who ‘shoots from the hip’ is fine when you are in the business world but dealing with the governing of nations we must have leaders who are thoughtful and careful in their decision making.

Truth be told, if these two are the only choices we have, I would much prefer the Socialist Bernie Sanders.  At least we know who he is and how he will be doing things.  As to other candidates: I haven’t seen enough of any of them to have an opinion so I will hold judgment until later.


It has been some time since we cut the cord from Comcast.  We are finding that there are some pretty good things to watch on other sources but also, our TV time has been reduced considerably with the change.  Here are a few little gems we have found to watch when we do go online:

Granite Flats – this one sort of reminds me of Mayberry and the like.  It’s not a comedy but the story line is believable and the acting is decent.  And you don’t have to worry about language or other stuff.

Warehouse 13 – quirky and edgy sometimes, but still a fun show to watch.  Interesting to see what ‘artificts’ they will come up each episode.  A couple of times it came close to the line but backed off before falling over the edge.

The 100 – Sci-Fi premise with a little of the flavor of Revolution.  Kids from a space ‘ark’ are sent to Earth to see if it is livable and find that not everyone died.  Now they have to figure out how to survive.  Again, pushes the boundaries but, so far, hasn’t gone rouge.

There might one or two others, but that’s all I can remember right now.

We haven’t been to many movies lately but the last one I enjoyed was the ‘Hunger Games’ recent release (can’t remember all the names). Guess I’m getting lazy in the oldness of life.


We have finally finished the ‘rumpus’ room.  At least the major things are completed.  After all these months, it is such a pleasure to enter a room that feels and looks like something we can enjoy.  No more ratty carpet – no more ugly paint – and no more weird doors and windows that drive us crazy.  I have to give Teresa all the props for our success.  If it had been up to me, who knows what it would look like.  There are some picture on my phone and I will add them when I get home (I’m on my iPad right now).  You will be amazed at the difference.


The other day the high school next to our seminary had an unusual experience.  They have one of those automatic call generators to let parents know when kids are absent or when activities are coming up.  So the principal decided to send out a message to all parents about something (I don’t remember what) he figured they needed to know.  Unfortunately, the call generator hit a glitch and kept calling ALL the parents and delivering the same message.  Over and over, the parents kept receiving an annoying message that wasn’t that interesting the first time – and it kept coming – 40 or 50 times in one night.

Imagine the calls that experience would generate for the school.

Now times that by 1000.

There were even a few parents who threatened to sue the school district because of harassment.

Sure glad I wasn’t on the receiving end of that little escapade.

I think that will do for today.  There will probably be another posting in the next few days.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Nearly twenty-five years ago Teresa and I welcomed a new addition to our little family.  He was cute and cuddly and all the other kids were so excited to have him with us.  Despite the fact that he was late and disturbed our holiday celebrations, we have grown to love him as our little “Christmas Baby.”

Fast forward to today!!  Joel is now a grown man and has decided it is time to ‘tie-the-knot’ with a BEAUTIFUL young lady, Paula Jean Campbell.  He is so excited and we are pleased that he has chosen so well in this most important decision of life. 

Joel and Paula on an excursion

This is a contemplative time for me (and probably Teresa).  We have been ‘empty-nesters’ for some time but we are now on the path to becoming parents of completely independent children.  Each has made the leap that begins their individual family life and, in their own way, they have indicated that it is time for Mom and Dad to let go. 

It is what we are here on earth to do… family is our major purpose in life.  The work of parenting and 'family making' cannot be done effectively with too much shadow leadership.  Like our Heavenly Father, we have to allow others to learn and grow by doing the hard things.

But it is sure difficult to release what has been such a wonderful experience.

We miss having little ones in our home (OK, we get the grandkids some but that’s not quite the same).  It is a difficult realization that we are now just background noise to our children as they move forward, raising up the next generation.  There is no more ‘Primary Responsibility’ for us in the welfare of the new little ones.

Anyways, back to Joel.

Don't they look happy!!
Paula and Joel are being married next week on the 20th and we couldn’t be happier.  It is a bit unusual to have another Paula but we are working on how to address that issue (PJ, Paula Jr., Joel’s Paula?).  It is such a wonderful dilemma to have.   

Paula's wedding picture

I am most impressed that Joel’s siblings have been extremely supportive of everything that needs to be done.  Our children have grown into such good friends and that brings us great joy.  I credit their mother and her immense efforts to keep us all connected.  She is truly the glue that holds us all together.  Thanks Teresa.

As I review this post, I realize that I am all over the place – please make allowances for an excited and feeble dad.  


I have included a few pictures of the happy couple and hope that you will celebrate with us and let them know how much you love them.