Archive for August, 2008

An Interesting Ad

August 26, 2008

Things to Do Before You Die

August 26, 2008

Dave Freeman, co-author of the book, “100 Things to Do Before You Die,” died August 17th after a fall in his home. This book was an adventure-seeker’s travel guide to some interesting and sometime unusual events in the world. Included were the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska, the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Oktoberfest in Germany, and the Monarch Butterfly Migration in Mexico.

The book said, “This life is a short journey. How can you make sure you fill it with the most fun and that you visit all the coolest places on earth before you pack those bags for the very last time?”

Freeman’s family said that he had visited about half of the places on his list.

These lists have a variety of names, including Life List and Bucket List (things to do before you “kick the bucket”).

Yesterday, I mentioned that I would like to visit all our National Parks.  I guess that would be something to put on a Life List.

What’s something on your Life List?  What are some things that you would like to do or places that you would like to visit?

National Park Service

August 25, 2008

The National Park Service was created on August 25, 1916. As an agency of the Department of the Interior, the NPS manages the nation’s national parks and national monuments.

There are 58 National Parks. I would like to visit all of them, but considering how remote some of them are, especially in Alaska, I doubt I will get to all of them. I do, however, have a pretty good start. I’ve visited 21 National Parks. Here is a list of the National Parks that I have visited:

  1. Acadia
  2. Bryce Canyon
  3. Crater Lake
  4. Cuyahoga Valley
  5. Death Valley
  6. Denali
  7. Glacier
  8. Grand Canyon
  9. Grand Teton
  10. Hawai‘i Volcanoes
  11. Joshua Tree
  12. Kings Canyon
  13. Lassen Volcanic
  14. Mt. Rainier
  15. Olympic
  16. Redwood
  17. Sequoia
  18. Wind Cave
  19. Yellowstone
  20. Yosemite
  21. Zion


August 22, 2008

From the Ventura County Star.

$70,000 Worth of Part Stolen from Security Equipment Store

Someone broke into a security equipment store in Simi Valley on Thursday and stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of alarm parts, police said.

Police responded at 4:56 a.m. to a burglar alarm at Crimestopper Security Products Inc., 1770 S. Tapo St., and discovered someone had entered the business through a hole cut in a wall, Simi Valley police Lt. David Livingstone said.

An estimated $70,000 worth of alarm components were reported stolen, Livingstone said. No arrests had been made as of Thursday.

My Bi-Annual Flag Rant

August 21, 2008

Can someone teach our Olympians proper respect for the Flag?

I’m all for showing pride, but there are proper and appropriate ways to show the Flag. Using the Flag as a cape isn’t one of them.

Every Olympics, the same disrespectful displays of the Flag happen. One year, well before the Olympics, I wrote the United States Olympic Committee, asking them to give all our Olympic athletics instructions on proper respect for the Flag. I never got a response.

Writing Your Own Obituary

August 20, 2008

There is an personal development exercise where you are asked to write you own obituary. I have a feeling that this obit wasn’t written by Dolores.

Dolores Aguilar 1929 – Aug. 7, 2008

Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7, 2008. She will be met in the afterlife by her husband, Raymond, her son, Paul Jr., and daughter, Ruby.

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.

Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too.

But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again.

There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM.

A very sad commentary on what I am sure was a very difficult life.

In reality, we write our obituary everyday by the choices we make. Our obituary will be the sum total of how we decide to spend our lives here on earth. Will our obits look anything like the sad story above? Or will they be filled with stories of who we touched and how we touched them?

There is a great difference between living a life and living a meaningful life. What gives a life meaning? That is one of the great questions of life. But, I’m sure, it will have something to do with how we spend our dash.

Your Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
From the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came his date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years. (l907-l999)

For that dash represents all the time
That he spent alive on earth…
And now only those who loved him
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars…the house…the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile…
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read
With your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.

A Day For Inventors

August 19, 2008

Today is the birthday of two inventors who changed our world.

Orville Wright was born on August 19, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio.  He, and his brother, Wilbur, invented, built, and flew to first successful airplane.  The picture above is Wilbur making the first flight.

Philo Farnsworth was born in Beaver, Utah and raised in Rigby, Idaho.  He invented the first completely electronic television system.  The design was based on an idea that he thought of when he was 14 years old.  Farnsworth held 300 U.S. and foreign patents. His inventions contributed to the development of radar, the infra-red night light, the electron microscope, the baby incubator, the gastroscope, and the astronomical telescope.

“Above My Pay Grade”

August 18, 2008

Pastor Rick Warren held a forum Saturday, interviewing John McCain and Barrack Obama. While I didn’t watch the forum, I’ve reviewed the transcript, the news stories and the commentaries. The differences between the 2 candidates are becoming clearer and clearer.

Perhaps the biggest contrast in answers was to this question: “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?” Obama said, ““Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade. But let me just speak more generally about the issue of abortion because this is something obviously the country wrestles with. One thing that I’m absolutely convinced of is there is a moral and ethical content to this issue. So I think that anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue, I think, is not paying attention. So that would be point number one.”

McCain’s answer was direct: “At the moment of conception. I have a 25-year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate, and as president of the United States, I will be a pro-life president and this presidency will have pro-life policies.”

A clear, direct response from McCain; an “Gee, I don’t know” answer from Obama.

In Obama’s case, the unfortunate facts are that for the President of the United States, nothing is above his pay grade.

Question of the Day–Tuna Fish???

August 14, 2008

I asked Carolee what she was having for lunch at the bagel store in Chagin Falls. She said that she always orders the same thing–tuna fish.

Why is it “tuna fish” and not just “tuna?” Tuna is a fish and it is always a fish, so why the redundancy?

So, for the Question of the Day–Do you eat a tuna sandwich or a tuna fish sandwich? [Note: Stacy is exempt from answering. We already know.]

If you eat a tuna fish sandwich, do you also eat a roast beef cow sandwich?

Do you have bacon pig with your eggs chicken for breakfast?

The Olympics in Totalitarian China

August 13, 2008



So far, we have learned that some of the fireworks at the Opening Ceremony were faked and that the little girl that sang an anthem during the Ceremony was lip syncing because the girl singing wasn’t pretty enough. Now there are reports from the Olympic sponsors that they are disappointed with the low attendance on the Olympic Green.

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article [Link] about how the big sponsors are upset that after investing millions of dollars on their pavilions on the Olympic Green, only ticket holders are allowed in, leaving thousands on the outside. Maintaining security is the reason given.

Internet usage is limited in China. The foreign press complained and some of the restrictions were slower lifted.

The Chinese Women gymnasts look like they belong in elementary or middle school. The lower age limit for the Olympics is 16, but some of these girls look 10 or 12 years old. The Chinese government said that they can provide documents proving the girls’ ages. And, of course, the Chinese government would never falsify documents.

These are just minor examples of how the Chinese government controls life in China. I’m sure that as time goes on, many more examples will be revealed.