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).