Rest in Peace Dad

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Yesterday was my 50th birthday. I was going to write a post reflecting on my half-century life. But I got a phone call yesterday morning telling me that my 83 year old dad had passed away.

My parents were divorced from one another by the time I was 2 years old. I never had much interaction with my dad while I was growing up. And a number of family members were always speaking ill of him. For a long time I believed those stories.

Somewhere along the line I learned that I actually looked like my dad the older I got. I thought that was interesting but never did much about it. Genetics after all will always play a part in your life.

When my grandfather passed away, my dad didn’t come to the funeral. I was upset by that and thought it was rather rude. At the time I didn’t know there was an unhealed rift between father and son which caused my dad to stay away from that family gathering.

Many years later, his older brother died suddenly and without any warning. I felt a call to reach out to my dad and heal that rift. Much like my own son did with his birth father. So I did reach out. I thought I had nothing to lose, if he didn’t want to talk to me then I wouldn’t have lost anything except a bit of time and a stamp.

My dad rejoiced at the re-connection of his youngest child. I learned a great number of things that I didn’t know about my family and my dad as well. It made sense out of a good number of events in life. I learned that I had a lot in common with my dad. It was a wonderful re-connection. One that I should have done a lot sooner but hindsight is always 20/20.

The last few years of being reconnected with my dad have been the best years of my life. I will treasure every moment I’ve spent with him and writing back and forth between those visits. I will also continue to reach out to his widow, Kathy, she is a sweetheart and one of the best things to have ever happened to my dad.

The Nature of Homosexuality

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This is a brief post on the nature of homosexuality. This is not a post on the morality of homosexuality or any other aspect. Maybe another post will reflect more on these items and/or on additional aspects.

Homosexuality is not found in nature. There are no homosexual animals in the animal kingdom. Any act that resembles homosexual behavior in animals is unrelated to homosexuality among humans. Generally with animals, such behavior is a show of dominance over others of the same gender. Or a means of having a passive-aggressive contest between members of the same gender. And lastly, it is just confusion. The scent of a female who was in heat on the male that just mated can cause other males to attempt to mount each other. None of these issues are the pleasure stimulation gained by humans who engage in homosexual activities. Animals do not have sex for pleasure. And humans are not animals at all.

Homosexuality is a choice. Now there are many who will read that last sentence and just scream at me for stating it. And justify themselves or their loved ones with such comments like, “I didn’t choose to be a heterosexual. So it can’t be a choice to be gay.” But I say you did choose to be heterosexual. This choice was made at a subconscious level. We make these choices by the 1000’s every single day. Just by doing something. Our subconscious makes choices based on our life experiences and knowledge.

No one is born being homosexual. Now there are people born who have a higher degree of engaging in homosexual behavior than others. Just as everyone has traits stronger or lesser than someone else. But the choice is still made at some point, to cross that bridge or that line. However one wishes to envision it. The “first time” was a conscious choice.

What causes someone to choose a homosexual path? There we are dealing with the age old combination of nature vs nurture. Even if someone is more inclined to be homosexual, they don’t do to their nurture. While another identical person and circumstances may take that path. Just the same for the majority who are heterosexual leaning, may encounter something that causes them to choose to become homosexual later on.

These are debates for psychologists to discuss. I am sure there are hundreds of possibilities and they do not apply to everyone. Even many of those who experiment in homosexuality go on to be heterosexual. While others who have their first homosexual encounter become homosexual or even bisexual. The human mind is a very complex thing as is human sexuality.

But the true nature of homosexuality is that, although complex, it is a behavior and a choice. One that is made every day by everyone. And after a while like many of our choices it becomes automatic. A habit. And then it is hard to break.

 

Happy Father’s Day

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Father’s Day. This day is set aside to honor Dad’s across the nation. So today I’ll give my blessing to all the Dads out there. Even the single mom’s who are doing double duty.

Being a Dad is a great honor and with it is a responsibility too. Raising children and being there for them is the most important job out there.

I myself am not a biological Dad., but I have helped, in part, to raise and be a Dad to 4 children who are all now young adults. With 2 of them, I didn’t have much influence during there younger years but I am here as they continue as adults. Able to give fatherly advise and council with love. With the other 2, I was there during the teenage years. I had the privilege of teaching one of them how to drive and I eagerly awaited a chance to teach the other as well. But his life was cut short in this world and I miss him dearly.

Growing up, I was mainly raised by a single mom who had to preform double duty. Circumstance beyond my control had my parents divorced while I was just a toddler. I too had a step-dad. He wasn’t the best, but he also wasn’t the worst either as they come.

Within the last couple of years I’ve reconnected with my own Dad. It has been a blessing. As an adult, having been married, been through a divorce, a death of a child, and being remarried and also being a Dad myself. I can understand the trails that took place in his life. We have a lot in common, my Dad and me. It amazes me all the time on those similarities. And I love my Dad and I am so happy that I can reach out to him.

So Happy Father’s Day to my own Dad, Ray. I am honored to have you in my life. And Happy Father’s Day to every other Dad out there doing their best every day for their children as well. It’s a tough road but well worth it.

Star Wars Day

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I’m a life long fan, well at least since I was 10, of the Star Wars saga. I am a fan of all of it. All 7 movies to date. All books, games (all though West End’s was the best RPG version), magazines, toys, and you name it. If it’s Star Wars I like it.

May Fourth is known by the fans world-wide as “Star Wars Day”. It takes a play of words from the slogan “May the Force be with you” and turns it into “May the Fourth be with you”.

So celebrate Star Wars today and May the Fourth be with you.

If I Could Be Serious for a Moment…

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With all of the political talk going on, I wanted to take a break to throw out an idea that’s been rolling around in my head that…has nothing to do with politics whatsoever!

Although I write mainly opinion pieces, I have dabbled in other writing styles including science fiction. I am in the process of putting together a crossover story featuring one of my favorite superheroes (Green Lantern) and one of my favorite science fiction heroes (The Doctor). Although I can’t promise anything at this point, I would be interested in getting feedback on whether there would be enough interest in posting the story on this forum. It’s totally fine if you don’t want to read it, just as it would be totally fine if you do.

So, with that being said, what do you think?

Graduation and Empty Nest

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Well the teenager has graduated from high school and even has a good bit of college under his belt already. Got to really love the programs high school kids are offered these days, sure wish they had them 30 years ago.

Soon my wife and I will transition to being empty nesters. No more kids at home and the youngest will go off to college and live on campus the first year at least. I know he will be missed. The first month or so will be getting used to him not being there and then it will settle in to a new routine.

I haven’t been kidless in a long time, since Dawson moved in with Donna and myself to finish his high school career and then only having a slight break between the end of my first marriage to Donna and the beginning of my life with Kristen. There has been a kid in the house.

Looking forward to being just 2 of us again (not including the cats.)

One year on

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It’s been a year now since God decided He needed a red-headed step child more than me. I can remember it just as clearly as I can remember yesterday. Chatting with Dawson at work about his future at Mediacom. What department to move into next. He had just moved from Customer Service up to Tier1 and was looking forward to his next advancement from there. Looking out for his wife Meaghan to make their lives better. I reflect on how he was raised right by all his parents. A little of each of us in him, the best of the best.

I’m sure by this time he would have moved on to join the fledgling HFC NOC department and would be working with me there. It would be really cool.

I watch his Facebook page and see a continuing stream and outpouring of love towards him from his friends and family. His sudden passing is still felt by us all.

During the summer at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire a red maple was planted as a lasting memorial to Dawson with a dedication service as well. It was a beautiful gathering of his “fairemly”.

His sudden passing on February 3rd of 2013 has impacted me deeply. I really havent blogged much since his death, it came as such a shock to me that I am at a loss of words.

We can all learn from Dawson. He was always happy. He was alway forgiving. He always smiled. So here we all stand a year since he left us for other things. What have you learned from Dawson? Who have you forgiven? Are you happy and smiling just because you can?

I have. I have had trouble forgiving one person for many years, in fact for most of my years. So I have finally forgiven him and reached out to him in love. Much the same way Dawson did. It is with my birth father. I learned that from the example of my son.

Happy Birthday Susie

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I would love to be able to say those words to you. But for now, I must wait in this life until I can say them to you again. I’ve tried to write this a couple of times now, getting my thoughts and emotions in order. But I really can’t on this one. I love you Susie. I wish you were physically here, what a different life we would all have right now if that was the case. Thank you again for being my friend and much more even though it was cut short with your passing. I still love you and always will. You are never far from my thoughts and always in my heart. And when I need to hear your voice, I just play that voicemail message you left for me. It makes me smile to hear it. Happy 47th Birthday and I blow a kiss towards Heaven for you.

 

Night Watchman

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Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.

Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.”

So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?”

So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?”

So they created a Quality Control Department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.

Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?”

So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer, then hired two people.

Then

Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?”

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back.”

So they laid-off the night watchman.

NOW slowly……..let it sink in.

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?

Anybody?
Anything?
No?

Didn’t think so!

Bottom line is, we’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which very few people who read this can remember!

Ready??

It was very simple… and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was

instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh???

AND NOW IT’S 2012 — 35 YEARS LATER — AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS “NECESSARY” DEPARTMENT IS AT$24.2 BILLION A YEAR. IT HAS 16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES; AND LOOK AT THE JOB IT HAS DONE!

(THIS IS WHERE YOU SLAP YOUR FOREHEAD AND SAY, “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”)

34 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

Ah, yes —
good old Federal bureaucracy.

NOW, WE HAVE TURNED OVER THE BANKING SYSTEM, HEALTH CARE, AND THE AUTO INDUSTRY TO THE SAME GOVERNMENT?

Hello!! Anybody Home?

Signed….

The Night Watchman

Tornado Time

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In the last 24 hours. The Greater Des Moines IA area has been under a Tornado Warning 2 times. Both sitings have been to the north of the city itself. That is a lot of storms within the span of the day.

Both Sunday and Monday were nice days until the early evening when the thunderstorms started dumping heavy rains on the metro area. Then came the winds and the cyclonic actions of funnel clouds being sighted.

We here in Iowa have been fortunate. Unlike those in OK. Please keep them in your prayers today and the days to come.