All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Prairie Frogs

What is the difference between riches and wealth?

When we first moved into the house we have now I would sometimes set out on the back porch at night and enjoy the coolness of the evenings.  The girls would lay down in the lawn and keep a watchful eye.  In the springtime as the sun set I would hear the chirping of frogs.

I knew that frogs didn't live on the prairie.  Yet the sound was unmistakably that of frogs seeking their mate.  It wasn't until latter that I found the source of chirping.  It was a toad.  These toads only come out when they have enough water to grow and reproduce.  Which means you only hear them for a few weeks in the springtime.

This morning when I got home from work I spent a couple of hours setting on the porch listening to the frogs and watching the moonrise.

As I set enjoying myself I realized that I have been greatly blessed.  Hashem allowed me the pleasure of enjoying my early adult life free from most of life's cares.  We had enough money.  Not having kids we had the ability to take nice trips and pursue recreational activities.  I was living where I wanted, doing the things I wanted, with little concern for the future.  Life was good.

Lately I've not felt that way.  My friends are now able to do the things I once took for granted.  Their kids are graduating high school and college.  We're trying to teach ours to read.  Economically times are much tougher.  I worry over the future.

I still live a very blessed life.  Like the grasshopper I lived a life of pleasure in the spring and early summer.  Now I have to be the ant.  The ant's life doesn't seem to be as much fun.

Back when I still traveled to do consulting, I had a job where I met a man who had just sold his business in Florida.  His kids were out of the house and he and his wife were doing similar work to what I was doing.  He and his wife were traveling together getting reacquainted with each other.  As we sat talking after work that day he asked about my life.  I told him that my second child was on the way and that I was looking to transition to a more 9 to 5 situation.

He remarked on my age and my late start on having a family.  Then he told me something.  He told me that the years coming up were good years.  That I should hold onto them.  That was eight years ago.  He was right.

My bank account isn't what it used to be.  In terms of riches, I'm poorer than I've been in a long time.  In terms of blessing, I'm wealthily beyond what I deserve.  When it comes to material things, I have it better than 95% of anyone who has ever lived on this planet.  When it comes to having a life, what I have is a miracle of incredible proportions.

God is good.  More than that, He has been good to me.

The frogs didn't care that tonight was cold.  They were still out providing me with the same symphony that their forefathers preformed.  A pleasant reminder that the good things in life are still just as good as ever.  All I have to do is appreciate them.

These are the good ole days.  They will be good years.  I am blessed.


BJW--If You Love Something,

If you love something,
Set it free...
If it comes back, it's yours;
If it doesn't, it never was yours.

If you love somebody,
Set her free ...
If she ever comes back, she's yours;
If she doesn't, well, as expected, she never was.

If you love somebody,
Set her free ...
Don't worry, she will come back.

If you love somebody,
Set her free ...
If she comes back, ask her why.

If you love somebody,
Set her free ...
If she doesn't comes back within some time limit,
forget her.

If you love somebody,
Set her free ...
If she doesn't come back, continue to wait
until she comes back ...

If you love somebody,
Set her free ...
If she comes back, and if you love her still,
set her free again. Repeat

If you love somebody,
Set her free...
Clause 1a of Paragraph 13a-1 in the second
amendment of the Matrimonial Freedom Act clearly states that...

If you love somebody,
Set her free...
If she comes back,
I think we can charge her for re-installation fees
and tell her that she's also going to get an upgrade.

If you love somebody,
Set her free...
If she loves you, the probability of her coming back is high;
If she doesn't, your relationship was improbable anyway.

If you love somebody
don't ever set her free

If you love somebody
set her free...
and look for others simultaneously.

If you love somebody
set her free...
If she comes back, her super ego is dominant;
If she doesn't come, back her id is supreme;
If she doesn't go, she must be crazy.

If you love somebody
set her free...
If she comes back, its time to look for fresh loans;
If she doesn't, write her off as an asset gone bad.

If you love somebody
set her free...
If she comes back, she has brand loyalty;
If she doesn't, reposition the brand in new markets.


Big Y Fly

I admit it.  I'm not a fly fishing purest.  It's true I made my first rod.  It's true I have a ton of fly tying materials.  It's also true that I have other things to do than build fly rods and tie flys.

Res Jr. has been bugging me all year to go fishing.  Thinking back to when I was his age, I remember being just as much as pest to my progenitors about fishing.  I swear I've heard "rainbow trout" used so often that I'm ready to start tossing dynamite into rivers ever time he mentions the species to me.  The boy's fascination with the rainbow is because until this year, that's the only fish he's caught.

We managed to get out twice so far this year.  There is a spring creek about an hour from my house that is open year round.  We managed a couple of small browns.  Then two weeks ago we got out again.

I pretty proud of myself.  We managed to hook a couple of bullhead, some sunfish and trout, including a couple of rainbow.  That made several firsts for my son and daughter as well as a new one for me.  I landed a 15 inch splake.  I had never caught one of those before.

My kids got to see another first, me losing a large fish.  I hooked and played a large rainbow.  It was an epic battle of big fish on a very fine tippet.  I knew I had more fish than tackle to land it.  So I played her.  She put on a great show leaping and thrashing around near the bank where the kids got a good view of the battle.

Not having a net, because I didn't think I'd need one fishing in the town park, I exhausted the fish before bringing her to the bank.  Then as I was drawing her up, the tippet broke off leaving the fly firmly hooked in the fish's mouth. 

After seeing the big fish my son wanted to use the same fly.  Cabalas only included one elk hair cadis in the kit.  Dad, not thinking he'd actually get to fish with two kids to watch, didn't bring his own fly box.  I promised to buy him some more flys to make up for the one I lost.

When I went online to fly shop last week, I was shocked.  Flys have gone up a lot in price since I first started fishing.  I remember when quality flies could be had for about 25 cents.  That's not the case anymore.  Apparently the kids in China's sweat shops have gotten a raise.

Eventually I discovered Big Y Fly.  If you are going to order flys by the half dozen or dozen, they have reasonable prices.  I ordered a little over 100 flys and a bottle of fly dressing and it cost me just over $60 shipping included.  If you're into fly fishing and don't want to spend a mint on flys give them a try.  My order showed up today and they are good quality. 

I even splurged on a half dozen of the "purple haze", which my female child thinks are the best ones in the bunch.  They're pretty.  Her biggest concern was that I didn't get any pink ones for the girl fish.  If they work, I'll be stuck buying Barbie style fishing gear.  I guess that's OK so long as I don't have to buy a Hello Kitty Glock.


Making a Marine Cry

My father was a religiously minded young man who, after high school was preparing for a life of ministry.  As a ministry student, enrolled in college, pursuing a preaching degree, dad had no worries about getting shipped off to Viet Nam like other kids.  Except my father couldn't wrap his head around Koine Greek.  He was flunking it, and because of that, flunking out of college.

Dad went down to the Marine recruiting station and enlisted.  My father wanted to serve with other people who were serving because they wanted to, not because they were forced to.  The Marines were the only all volunteer branch at that time.  Latter on they took draftees.

That's the story of how dad joined the Marines in a nutshell.  He was allowed to request a MOS, which he did.  He put down chaplains assistant.  Request denied.  They shaved his head and sent him to the Nam. 

He served in Da Nang, guarding the air base, walking patrols, shooting and ducking, and doing whatever else the sergeant told him to do.  Dad did his duty, received his honorable discharge, married mom, reenrolled in college, and had me.  More kids came latter.  He never became a preacher.  Dad worked as a human resources manager till he retired.

Now that mom and dad are retired they are out doing retired people stuff.  They've taken a couple of cruises, and visited grandkids.  I'm sure dad's going out in public wearing white shoes, black socks and Bermuda shorts.  Dad also wears one or more articles of clothing with USMC on it.  At a minimum he will have a ball cap with something Marine related.  This is S.O.P. and uniform of the day for old farts with access to a Sgt. Grit catalog.

This month they headed off to Washington DC.  Dad went to the Vietnam War Memorial.  From what my mom says that went OK.  The National Museum of the Marine Corps is just outside of Quantico.  There was no way they were going to miss that.

Dad had one of his USMC ball caps on at the museum.  A little Hispanic girl came up to him and asked him if he was a marine.  I'm sure dad stood a little straighter when he told her yes.  She thanked him for his service.  Then she gave him a letter she had written, explaining how much she enjoyed being an American and how grateful she was for her freedom.  It was her way of saying thank you. 

The air-conditioning must be broken in the Marine Museum.  I guess its so hot in there that Dad's eyes began to sweat.  No matter, he was able to stifle himself and beat a strategic retreat without imperiling the dignity of the Corps. 


Right Decision

I am opposed to no fault divorce.  We've experimented with this standard in our society for fifty years.  It has proven to be a disaster for society in general, marriage and children.  It's a bad idea whose time has come, and its time for a change back to more traditional marriage standards.

That said, sometimes a divorce should be fast tracked.

Newlywed husband divorces his wife hours after the ceremony because she was too busy texting her friends to have sex on their wedding night
'When he asked her if her friends were more important than he was, the bride answered that they were.' 
This happened in Saudi Arabia, which makes me wonder whose daughter this guy married that he didn't take her phone and beat her senseless for the offence.  Maybe that was an option, I don't know.  Kicking her to the curb was the right thing to do.

Tooth Fairy

I was playing tooth fairy when my daughter suddenly woke up. Seeing the money in my hand, she cried out, "I caught you!"

I froze and tried to think of an explanation for why I, instead of the tooth fairy, was putting the money under her pillow--but her next words let me off the hook.

"You put that money back!" she said indignantly. "The tooth fairy left that for me!"