Abraham Lincoln

February 12, 2011

Abraham Lincoln, our nation’s 16th president, was born on February 12, 1809.  When I was young, Lincoln’s Birthday was honored as a special day.  Today, I think most people don’t remember February 12th as anything important.  I think President Lincoln was a great leader, one deserving of his own holiday and remembrance.

To remember President Lincoln on his special day, here are a few quotes:

“All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.”

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”

“I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.”

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”



Happy Birthday, President Reagan

February 6, 2011

Today is Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday.  In honor of this fine man, a few of this quotes—

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have.”

“Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.”

“Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”

“Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.”

“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

“There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”


Expressing Thanks

January 31, 2011

I saw a segment on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday that I liked.  It was on the importance of expressing thanks by writing written thank you notes.  The link to the segment is here:  Written Thank You Notes.

I can’t remember writing thank you notes as a child.  My family lived in the same area.  When I got a gift, it was easy to just say thank you in person.  After I was married, my wife taught me the importance of writing thank you notes and it became part of the process of Christmas and birthdays:  you get a gift and you write a thank you.

The CBS reporter doing the segment started his report by saying that he thinks the written thank you has gone the way of the curtsy and “that is a good thing.”   He thought that the “paperless, mannerless”  world of today has moved beyond the written thank you note.  He also interviewed Los Angeles attorney John Kralik, who has written 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life.

Expressing thanks, either orally or written, is a way of showing gratitude.  I know how I feel when someone sincerely tells me thank you.  It is just a simple thing to do.  And it is something that we all can easily do.  I like the idea of the written thank you as a way of expressing gratitude.  We might all like to give it a try.


January 13, 2011

By now, I’m sure everyone knows about the terrible shootings in Tucson that occurred on Saturday.  Much, perhaps too much, has been written about the reasons and motivations behind the shooting and also how those speculations are misguided.  [For a good analysis, please check Charles Krauthammer’s 1/12/11 column in the Washington Post here.]

My criticism of the news coverage is regarding something that I haven’t seen discussed.  Why do we need to see the photo of the killer?  As far as I’m concerned, the best way to handle this is to completely block any reference to his image and his name.  We can easily find his name if we need to know it, but why have the name and the image of this murderer constantly before us?  Why reward him with fame?



Merry Christmas

December 24, 2010


And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all world should be taxed.  And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (be;cause he was of the house and lineage of David:)  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Christmas in Texas

December 24, 2010


We are in Texas, visiting Stacy and James.  And this American Alligator.  Also saw some mosquitoes, but they didn’t stay still long enough for a photo.





Christmas Guest

December 4, 2010


We have a hummingbird feeder in the backyard.  Usually, the birds zoom in for a drink and are quickly gone.  Sometimes it’s a drink, then a rest in a nearby tree, then another drink before leaving.

This morning, we have a visitor that has taken up residence.  He is sometimes at the feeder, but most of the time he is standing on the tomato cone in the garden.  He has been here for about an hour and isn’t showing any signs of leaving.  He has a beautiful red collar.  We don’t have any direct sun this morning or he would really be shiny.  When he is on the tomato cone, he almost blends in with the orange tree leaves.


Giving Thanks

November 25, 2010

I enjoy Thanksgiving.  It might be my favorite holiday of the year.  The gathering of the family, the good things to eat, all without the stress of Christmas.

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for the blessings that we enjoy.  But it certainly shouldn’t be the only day that we express our thanks.  That should happen every day of our lives.

It is so easy to become complacent and to take our blessings for granted.  Thanksgiving Day is a good excuse to take inventory of our lives and to give thanks for the blessings to have.

Thanksgiving Day is Thanksgiving Day.  It is not Turkey Day.  Let’s not lose the meaning of Thanksgiving Day as we have with Christmas.

I have many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.  And I will try to remember all of my blessings every day, not just today.

A Time to Tweet and a Time to Refrain from Tweeting

November 18, 2010

Bill Nye, the Science Guy, was giving a presentation at the University of Southern California yesterday afternoon when he collapsed.  The good news is that the “Science Guy” is OK.  The bad news is the reaction of the crowd.

Instead of rushing to his aid, the first reaction of the crowd was to take out their phones and tweet, text, or do some other social media posting.

Doing nothing is a common reaction during emergencies.  The first thing taught in first aid training is how to decide how to go into action.  However, I don’t think posting that someone has collapsed is ever the proper first response.

Remembering Veterans Day

November 11, 2010