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!



Nineteen isn't a very big number.  It's not significant number for most people.  If you are 19 years old, its your last year of being a teenager.  At 18 you got to vote and legally became an adult.  19 isn't a big deal unless you live in Canada, then you're old enough to drink, and go to the bars.  In the US 19 is normally a Freshman or Sophomore at college.  Maybe not 100% on your own, but you are on your way.

If you enlisted out of high school 19 means you've got about a year in and you've finished most of your schools for your MOS.  If you've hustled and proved yourself and preformed you might even get a bump in rank, or be close to getting one.  The future can look pretty good after 19 years.

How long is 19 years?  I guess that depends if you are looking forward or backward.  If you are 1 year into a 20 year prison sentence it probably looks pretty long.  If you're 19 years old, it looks like your entire life.  If you're 19 looking forward that's 38 years old.  Maybe not ancient but you can see the old folks home from there.  If you are 38 looking backwards 19 was yesterday and man what you know now that you wish you knew then.

19 years ago today was a Saturday.  The weather was nice.  The temperature was pleasant and the sun was out.  I got to hang out with some good friends, nice buffet lunch.  I think there was cake, or something.  Got the truck loaded up canoe and all.  Then I headed north.

I spent the night in the Soo and finished the drive in the morning.  I'd never been on the Trans Canadian Highway before.  It's not really much of a Highway but the scenery was pretty.  I made it to Joe and Paula's place. 

That was my first time spending a week fishing in Canada.  What a trip.


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!"


Odd Calling

Can you guess this man's identity?

b Feb 16, 1909, Lawrence Kansas
d May 14, 1982, Munich Germany

Was a Boy Scout
Graduate of the Baylor School
Played football for the University of Chattanooga
Earned a Masters of Theology from USC
Ordained Methodist Minister
Conservative Republican
Minnesota Christmas Tree Farmer

In all fairness, if I told you the man's name you'd immediately know who he was and what he was famous for.  He is famous, even though the thing he is best known for he stopped doing in 1963. 

In the 1930's ministers didn't typically make a lot of money.  They also didn't typically have a lot of other marketable skills.  After all, getting up in front of people and talking isn't generally a high paying career path.  They hadn't invented consultants or Power Point yet.  A preacher was the closest thing to a motivational speaker folks had.

To make a couple of bucks, a guy with a good speaking voice could sometimes get a little work down at the radio station.  Radio was in its infancy and inexpensive recording and play back methods were in short supply.  Someone with a good voice might make a little money reading stories, doing ads etc.  If you had a little exposure on the radio you could sometimes get a paid part doing community theater.

We're not talking about big money.  Fifty cents here, a couple of bucks there, was about all an actor could expect under these circumstances.  If you were a Methodist minister living off of contributions and the occasional invite home to dinner during the Great Depression a few dollars extra was a big help.

Ministry is a kind of work that offers its own satisfaction but normally not a lot of income.  If you could be a minister and support yourself financially by acting, then things might not be so bad.  A fella might even be able to afford a wife and family that way.  By the end of 1942 Eugene had 15 feature films under his belt, as well as a wife.  Three children followed.

From the time he was 22 years old in 1931 until 1946 when he earned his Master of Theology degree at the age of 37, Eugene used acting to pay the bills in an effort to fund ministry.  He continued doing ministry during his acting career.  When asked about the possible conflict between the two he said:
Sometimes my work as an actor presents a conflict with my ideals as a clergyman. I don't believe in the old saying that the end justifies the means, and no money that I can earn as an actor can accomplish so much good that I would feel justified in violating my ideals to earn it... If the question ever arises in a serious way, of course I would have to give up my acting.
In 1957 Eugene was on set with a child actor and his mother doing a promotional film for Rose Hills Memorial Park.  A more accurate way to state "promotional film" is "long commercial".  Rose Hills is a funeral home and graveyard, not exactly "A list" Hollywood fair. 

Eugene was talking with Marilyn about how work had slowed down in the movie industry.  He was using acting to fund his family and ministry.  TV had cut into the movie business.  Things were getting a little tight, money wise.  That didn't keep Eugene from coaching and helping the young actor playing opposite of him.

The boy's mom took an instant like to Eugene and gave him a job lead.  Her son had just landed a TV show.  They might be able to use him.  After shooting that night a young boy said his bedtime prayers, he ended with, "Please God make the actor I worked with today my father in the new series."

That is how Eugene Hugh Beaumont, minister and actor with countless radio, community theater, industrial films, commercial appearances, and over 80 feature film appearances became Ward Cleaver.

From 1957 to 1963 Leave it to Beaver was considered a good show.  It wasn't a top show.  It was a solid addition to the line up.  In syndication in the 1970's it had a larger following than it did during its original run.  In the 80's and 90's cable kept Eddie, Wally and the Beav in front of audiences. 

While not as well known a Methodist as the Wesley brothers, Hugh Beaumont ended up with a bigger pulpit.  Ward Cleaver as dad was never as popular as Jim Anderson, but he did something few TV dads accomplished.

Ward Cleaver was either: the dad you had, the dad you wish you had, or the dad you should try to be.   No doubt Mr. Cleaver was more common in 1957 than in 1997 or will be in 2017.  Telling someone today that they have a "Leave it to Beaver" life or outlook is considered an insult.  It shouldn't be.  Hugh Beaumont represented the pinnacle of American Fatherhood.  His example was as fine a sermon as any preacher ever gave.


Cowboy Poetry

This has got to be the most intellectually accurate explanation of reincarnation I've ever come across.  It's well worth the 2:21 to listen to.

Here is a link to the same written material.


12 Reasons Why Pastor Stopped Attending Sports Events

12) Every time I went, they asked me for money.

11) The people I had to sit with didn't seem very friendly.

10) The seats were very hard.

9) The coach never came to call on me.

8) The referee made a decision I couldn't agree with.

7) I had to sit with some hypocrites who were only there to see what others were wearing.

6) Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.

5) The band played some songs I had never heard before.

4) The games are scheduled when I want to do other things.

3) I don't want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.

2) My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.

1) Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches, anyhow.


A Picture is Worth...

I was pursuing the Monday news and came across an article on Slate.  Slate is of course known for its highly refined sense of culture, class and moral values, or whatever its known for.  The article (really more of a blog post) was a first person account of what Ted Cruz was like when he was 18 or 19 and running around on the debate team at college.

If anything Ted Cruz ever did when he was 19 could possibly be of interest to you, give it a read.

Resolved: Ted Cruz Was His Worst Self as a Presidential Candidate
In his surly, failed campaign, Cruz turned into a cartoon version of the blowhard I knew on the college debate circuit.
As you can tell from the subheading the "article" is another fawning media fluff piece.  No matter.  What I found interesting was the photo of Ted in late 1980 something.

What's important here isn't a Cuban kid with a cigar in his mouth.  Look past that.  There are 20 names visible on what I assume is a board listing the events participants.  I don't see Cruz's name, or know why he seems to be pointing to Bush.  None of that's important. 

Read the 20 names.  How many of those do you recognize?  Cruz was an Ivy League boy, attending Ivy League events, with Ivy League friends. 

Anybody remember what the Keating family was famous for?  Hint S & L scandal.  Go through some of the other names.  One thing Ted Cruz was not, he was not a political outsider.  He was as well connected to as many influential families as anyone could be within one generation of immigrating to America.


I've Said This Before

It bears repeating.

Donald Trump isn't my ideal candidate.  However the rest of America is unlikely to elect my ideal candidate.  America is unlikely to elect anyone's ideal candidate, no matter what your personal political position happens to be.

Besides that, there is the undeniable fact that the platform i.e. the promises made to get elected, is often very different from what happens once they get elected and are running the show.  This was true with Regan and the Department of Education.  It has been true with every other politician that has run as a "reformer", at least in my lifetime.

Now that Trump seems to have the election sewn up, the question of who his VP is going to be is coming up.  I don't know how he is going to make his decision.  I'm not even going to guess who at this point. 

If Trump was to take all the phonebooks in the United States, and cut out the names of every single person who was eligible to be Vice President, and then dump them into one giant hat, and then randomly draw out the name of his running mate, we would still end up with a better team on the ticket than what we have in office now.

Just for giggles I'd love to see Ron Paul as VP.  Personally I think its the only way that Trump gets elected and keeps from getting wacked by a coalition of bureaucrats and political insiders.


Perfect Par

A retired gentleman spent most afternoons at the local golf course. Every day he would spend about 3 hours out on the course, playing a round by himself. When he would return to the club house, the resident pro would inquire about his score.

"Ed, how'd you shoot today?," to which the man would *always* reply, "Another perfect par."

The golf pro (being of average intelligence) knew that there was no way the old man was shooting straight par every day, but since he was a regular customer, he didn't want to insult the man by accusing him of lying.

Finally, one day, the pro decided to accompany the old man on his daily round, just to see for himself. On the first tee, the older gentleman sliced the ball way off into the rough. He found his ball, but his second shot was even worse. Finally putting it into the first hole (a par 4) took him 8 swings. The golf pro thought to himself "I knew it. This old geezer's been lying all this time. There s no way he is gonna shoot anywhere near par."

They continued on, and the old man's game stayed the same, never once getting a par on any one hole. After almost 3 hours, they teed off on the 13th hole. The old man actually hit it straight down the middle - It was the best shot he had made all day! He promptly walked down the fairway to his ball, picked it up, and began walking back to the clubhouse.

The pro was confused. "Hey, that was a great shot. Where are you going now?"

"Oh, I'm done." the old man replied with a smile, "That shot was number 72 ...another perfect par!"


Hat Tip

Awhile back I heard about a couple of brothers who wrote a book.  I think the name of the book was "Do Hard Things".  I never read it or looked into it.  I just think the title, and the philosophy behind it is cool. 

"Do Hard Things" is a great motto, or even a life purpose.  Most of the time that's not how we are.  I'm not judging, just saying.  Depending on your personal strengths and talents some things may be harder or easier for you than others.

How about that Ida Keeling?  What you never heard of Ida?  Me either not till today.  Mrs. Keeling ran the 100 yard dash on April 30th.  She finished dead last out of a pack of nine runners.  She is freeking awesome and she has my vote for athlete of the year.  I'm not kidding.

Ida Keeling is 100 years old and didn't even start running until she was 67.  She set the worlds record for the 100 yard dash for her age group, 1:17.  Incredible!

She's got more than 50 years on me. I don't think I could do a 100 yard dash in 1:17 if it was downhill and there was a double-bacon pizza waiting for me at the end. 

Do. Hard. Things! INDEED!