Good or bad is shocking

Since we are bombarded by social media every day we encounter good news and bad news on a regular basis. Either news can be shocking to us depending on what it is and how important the content is to us. Before the advent of social media, before the internet, we got our news in the paper, TV, a weekly magazine or from a friend or neighbor.

Receiving the news in person has the speaker witnessing the expression of shock on our face. The facial expression exchange can be priceless. How do you stay up-to-date with current events? Am I promoting gossip? Heavens no, that’s typically not trustworthy news anyway. If anything I’m just encouraging a little more human interaction.

Haven’t you seen the videos and commercials of people walking down the street so engrossed in their phone that they walk into a pole? If anything I would encourage more interaction with one another. A really old song may be appropriate here by Dionne Warwick’s What The World Needs Now Is Love.


Life, legacy and every day living

As a child time moves so slowly that boredom is an everyday affair. Most of us got into mischief because we had nothing else to do. Most of our parents began to find ways to channel our pent-up energy by not only finding things to do but also a list of chores. And it begins.

After our teens and we transform into adults. Not only has boredom vanished but we cannot seem to find enough time in a day to do what needs to be done. Between the interests, we carved out of our time we suddenly have jobs that take up more than a third of our entire day.

Those of us that took to blogging begin to find it difficult to carve out the time to devote to our craft. Not to be mistaken for witchcraft although sometimes that blank screen seems to cast a spell on you. Blogging and writing in general typically require you to carve out your own niche to establish your legacy.

Remember your parents telling you way back when that time speeds up? Now you wish they were wrong as years go by like months. Pink Floyd caught it with the song Time. How are you utilizing your time?

Safe Holiday travels

Once again the holiday season is upon us. The stores have been decked out in some cases for months already and this year it seems many homes are already set aglow. When you speak of the holidays you are reminded that it’s a time for friends and family with an emphasis on family.

Thanksgiving, actually the day before is the most traveled day of the year but others like Christmas are still on the horizon. As we plot out our trips to see relatives often times around the country we schedule one-way trips to get it done. Depending on the number of relatives and locations we can have a couple or a few one-way flights and/or car rentals.

Round trips are easy in comparison to one-way trips. Airlines typically charge more for one-way flights and car companies always jump at the chance to make more money. In scheduling one-way flights be sure to plan for extra time going through security as the TSA gives out the most pre-checks on round-trips.

Safety is key in your travels and in your journeys be sure to check for your personal possessions as you exit the plane or car as it will be nearly a miracle to find lost phones, wallets and the like later. Have a blessed holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

Trick or treats

Trick or treaters dress up in their ghoulish garb every year. Fads and costumes vary with time as do decorations. Parents with children that are trick or treat age typically dress up in costumes as well and most have somebody handing out candy as well.

What isn’t discussed or even given any thought is how many parents continue to decorate, dress up and still hand out candy? The percentage of empty nesters that have grandchildren is still very high but how many still carry the torch for the holiday even though they no longer have a vested interest in Halloween? i.e. no kids or grandkids.

With the little research I did I couldn’t find any statistics on what now are the “baby boomers”. I believe it all depends on the individual. Many have an abundance of reinforcing memories that keeps the spirit alive. How many are familiar with the Monster Mash? Who can forget Thriller? The Boris Karloff laugh at the end really adds to the classic effect.

As you venture out, remember some of those that have their lights off, aren’t home, don’t care for Halloween or have lost the spirit. Happy Halloween one and all.

Gateway to America

It’s widely accepted that the huge arch in St. Louis, Missouri is the gateway to the west. That being a fact and said, I just returned from a quick trip to the Utah mountains. The Wasatch Range of which we spent a majority of our time is the western edge of the Rockies. Mount Nebo at 11,928 feet is over two miles high and is the highest peak of the Wasatch that stretches into Idaho. This is a high, daunting, beautiful gateway to the greater northwest territory. I felt I was on the Top of the world looking down on creation.

After you cross this range you drop into Salt Lake City which is a huge valley much like Phoenix. It’s also the second most arid state after Nevada. Amazingly all 29 of Utah’s counties have mountains. That’s rough country.

There are almost countless canyons across the state that offer breathtaking views and can actually take your breath away because of the thin air. That doesn’t stop the hard-core bicyclists that climb these ascents constantly during the summer months.

Park City is in the Wasatch mountain range featured the 2002 winter Olympics and you can see the Olympic park from highway 224 which is maybe 10 minutes from town. The town is a huge ski destination but originally in the 1800’s was then known as the silver mining town.

Overview, observe, associate, friend, and family

Degrees of involvement. Whew! We have plenty of degrees adding up in Phoenix this year. Yesterday and today it’s been a record-setting, scorching 119 degrees. Times like this we recall all the beautiful 70 degrees outdoor Christmas parties. At the same time, friends and relatives in the Midwest were enduring a 15 below zero stretch with frigid wind chill factors. Thoughts like that are typically an overview or an observation at least on Facebook.

More personal involvements are the associates you work with and friends whom you really empathize with. Deeper still are family and close immediate family. They are the ones that you have known all of your life. They have been through the thick and thin of life, they’re your loved ones.

Everyone goes through thinning of the ranks of loved ones. But really, regardless of your disposition, it draws you closer to the remaining members. My sister who lived in the frozen tundra for most of her life moved to Arizona during the holidays in 2015. Because I had moved out of state or because she resided hours away -I’ve only seen her for a small fraction of my life.

This has been the biggest regret for me because aside from my wife she is the kindest most benevolent soul I have to ever know. Should she have a problem, would I meddle in her life? Not exactly, but I would aid and support her to rise above it. The Hollies said it best in “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother.” In this case, she’s my sister. It’s a long, long road, while we’re on the way to there we should share some time.

Hope for Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing

As a fan, I’ve laughed a lot over the years at the man who is notorious for comedy. You know who he is kids know him as Santa Claus in the comical Santa Claus movies. Even more of us recall him as “Tim the tool man Taylor” from the TV series “Home Improvements” and/or a host of other movies like “Wild hogs” and “Big trouble”.  ABC shocked America with news that their second most watched show Last Man Standing is canceled!

Tim’s latest //“>Tweet said, “Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home the past six years.” That being said, the Fox network is working to find a place for the blockbuster comedy show. The show isn’t simply a comedy it features family, moral values, and everything that has been an American heritage. ABC claims the show wasn’t canceled because of political reasons but it seems all too apparently not true. It’s considered the biggest, hit sitcom since “All in the Family.”

Allen’s character Mike Baxter was a staunch conservative along with one daughter stood against the Obama tirade of government overreach etc. Baxter aside from his one daughter had his wife and other two daughters along with a son-in-law that were liberals so the show had it all. The irony was Allen’s prior successful TV series he had three sons whereas here he was surrounded by women.  Several of those stars made appearances on this program.

Perhaps things are working out for the best as FOX would seem to be a better home for his conservative brand of comedy. Regarding living in Hollywood on Jimmy Kimmel Allen said, “You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You’ll get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes, it’s like ’30s Germany.”

As the voice buzz lightyear alway said, “To infinity and beyond.” As the captain in Galaxy Quest said, “Never give up never surrender.” Real words to live by.


Patterns in life

It’s amazing how most everything has a pattern to it. You can look at clouds and how they form a pattern to look like this or that which we recognize. Nature has patterns all around us that we marvel at every time we stop and think about it. It’s equally amazing how we find all these patterns around us to be so pleasing to the eye. That’s a compelling argument for creationists that God created these things and they were good.

Digging deeper when scientists look at our genes they see the pattern in our DNA. Again, something amazing in itself. Patterns aren’t limited to mother nature. I’m looking at this beautiful knitted blanket that my mother made it’s always been a pleasing pattern that reminds me of her. Mankind has made its mark.

Patterns aren’t limited to physical objects they’re also prevalent in our speech,  writing, and music of course. Observing patterns in some fields of interest are a full-time job. People seldom stop to take time to see the patterns in this or that, they don’t have time to “stop and smell the roses” and that’s sad. We rush through our hurried life trying to get here and there and miss all the beauty around us.

Do yourself a favor and stop and smell the roses or observe the way your kids are playing. It could be enlightening to you and can only be of help in those relationships with nature and the ones that we love.


The Daily Post



All is calm and certainly brighter in Arizona

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I was a kid I heard my parent’s play Jimmy Dean’s Christmas card album every Christmas. I loved how he summed up the history of the song while a guitar softly plays Away in a manger before he sings Silent Night. In 1818 at St. Nicholas a small church in Austria the song was born. The music director Josef Mohr had written a poem about the nativity scene and for the Christmas Eve service, he asked the organist Franz Xaver Gruber if he could come up with a melody to accompany the poem. The church organ was broken so the congregation heard it for the first time on Gruber’s guitar.

Weeks later well-known organ builder Karl Mauracher arrived at the church repairing the organ. He had Gruber test his work and he did so with Silent Night. Mauracher was so impressed with the song he brought the poem and music back to his Alpine village home, Kapfing where two well-known families of singers the Rainers and the Strassers proceeded to add it to their Christmas season collection. Both groups spread the song across Europe and twenty years after it was written The Rainers brought it to the United States. The song has been written in 300 languages around the world where it’s a Christmas classic.

Arizona, Phoenix, in particular, doesn’t have the snow to accompany the Christmas classic but we have enough sun to brighten up your day. The Christmas spirit is well represented here for if you fly over here at night this time of year you’ll see a dazzling display of colors below.  Local residents that have relatives (only two hours away)in the higher elevations of 5,000 to over 7,000 feet often visit them to see a snow glistening sight. All is calm, and all is bright.

How you deal with a conundrum builds character

Most of us encounter at least one problem every day. Depending on the severity, difficulty, and urgency of the situation our response measures not only what we’re made of it defines us. I’m not referring to a simple puzzle but a serious dilemma. Keeping your cool, remaining calm, analyzing the gravity of the situation and the best-suited solution is key. I’m not bad at analyzing the state of affairs but I’ve always been amazed at how well my wife remains calm and has a calming effect on all involved. It’s hours later that the dangerousness of the event hits her and it’s my turn to provide consolement. That’s how a soul-mate team works with years of practice.

Life is full of emergencies, trials, and tribulations. The choices we make not only make the difference but they often make a difference in the lives of those around you. As I said before relatively simple events can change our lives and the lives of others much like  George Bailey in the seasonal classic Christmas movie It’s a wonderful life“. You may not realize the ramifications today and perhaps never like George did.

So watch out for your fellow man, lend him a helping hand and put a little love in your heart- right out of another classic “Scrooged” starring Bill Murray and a host of others. The holidays are a difficult time for a lot of people. Don’t throw away God’s greatest gift, life. Take a lesson from Jimmy Stewart, because it is a wonderful life.

Conundrum Daily Post