Endings, beginnings, aspirations and expectations

Endings, beginnings, aspirations and expectations

This week as I transitioned into living in 2018, I experienced a deep and visceral sensation that I am sitting stationary on a huge existential conveyor belt being slowly but forever pulled forward on a great master timeline.  So many times in my life the month of January has been one of endings and beginnings, both literal and metaphorical.  I remember forty years ago the passing of my last living grandparent on New Year’s morning 1978.  The following day the Barry Switzer coached Oklahoma Sooners were dealt a humiliating drubbing in the Orange Bowl at the hands of the Lou Holtz coached Arkansas Razorbacks.  The current January is showing signs of continuing in such a tradition.  Although nobody close to me died this week, on New Year’s Night, my...

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Finishing Volume 43 and reflecting on 2017

Finishing Volume 43 and reflecting on 2017

As the current year’s final hours tick by, I wax nostalgic about the binder full of daily entries I have compiled since January 1st.  The December 31st entry will bear the cataloged number of 43-365 and will mark the end of my 43rd volume of daily records, a personal activity which I began in the middle of my sophomore year of high school on January 1st, 1975.  This dedication to what is viewed mostly as a constructive personal discipline may impress a few but for the most part the feedback I have received is wrought with indifference.  This is likely due to the boring life that I tend to lead, a fact that I readily concede.  I mean just how interesting can one describe a middle aged divorced male stuck in a career rut that gets repeated over and over? ...

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Our slow but steady downward glide

Our slow but steady downward glide

Evolution, be it that of a living organism, a nation’s identity or an individual person’s character, is a fascinating process.  I am perhaps a little biased and maybe outright unrealistic when it comes to the evolution of a person’s character.  I would really love to believe that just because an average soul such as myself can shed multiple idea-limiting self or authority imposed rules and evolve from the confines of a very narrow world view into a state of universal enlightenment that any of my fellow citizens can do the same.  It has been a few weeks of one heavy news item after another with a sensational headline seemingly dominating each media cycle.  For the most part I have opted to keep my mouth shut and quietly watch while so many of my...

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Rules of self-governance at age 230

Rules of self-governance at age 230

Happy Constitution Day to all my friends, lovers of reason and readers of this humble blog.  It was the product of several months of intense negotiation between delegates representing wide and varied common and opposing interests but it was on this day exactly two hundred and thirty years ago which was a Monday that the final product was presented for approval to the body of the Constitutional Convention of the United States assembled in the Pennsylvania State House.  To say it was the finest work ginned out by the ultimate sausage factory of its day in an understatement. In the end only 39 of the original 55 delegates signed their name to it but few if any were likely completely satisfied with what has become an enduring system of rules and law of a nation still...

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Watergate: An enduring memory of my youth

Watergate:  An enduring memory of my youth

All democracy is a work in progress.  For better or worse and despite being under constant threat of compromise since its founding, the grand American experiment has met the demands and overcome multiple imposed stresses as well as all manner of intense strain up to and including civil war.  In my lifetime that radical idea of democratically elected men leading a constitutional republic has survived egregious insult in grand fashion.  I fondly recall those halcyon days of my youth during which it was emphatically demonstrated via the mechanisms of government that the United States is a nation of laws and not of men or women.  Saturday, June 17th was the forty-fifth anniversary of the arrest of five men for the unlawful breaking and entering of the Democratic...

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Respect for the butcher’s bill

Respect for the butcher’s bill

Of all the federally observed holidays on the American calendar, the one slated for the last Monday in May has for me always been the most somber and sobering.  I’m sure most people who have sustained the loss of a loved one regardless if their lives ended on active duty in the armed forces or not share my sense of gravity related to observing the sacrifice of the nation’s war dead.  I was a teenager when I became aware of why a day was set aside specifically to honor those who did not survive hostile action during their military service.  In my junior enlisted years I was acutely aware of a select few whose lives ended on active duty, stateside in homeport due to illness, accidents or from physical anomalies which contributed to their demise.  Being...

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