Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kids today

Is it just me or do others see an apparent failure on the part of families and schools to prepare today’s youth to survive in the world?

More and more I seem to encounter young people who lack what would have been basic skills when I was growing up. They can’t write a check or balance a check book. Thanks to ATM machines and debit cards they may not know what a check is. They can’t properly address a letter, mend a tear in their clothing, or cook a meal without a microwave oven. In short it seems that while they may be book smart they have failed to learn basic survival skills.

My mother taught me to sew, my dad showed me how to cook, and in high school I learned to balance a check book and fill out a tax form. Growing up I learned such lost skills as phone etiquette and respecting other people and their property. Basic things that allowed me to live in and survive as I made my way in the world.

Not only have we let these young people down, but we have let ourselves down also. Remember these are the people who will be running our world in the future.

Friday, June 11, 2010


If you are looking for words of wisdom, you will not find them here. I am wondering down the road lost in the fog. Each day I find myself busy dealing with the little surprises life throws at me; the hopes, the dreams, the frustrations, and tribulations that I stumble through on a daily bases. The roof needs repair and we need to borrow to pay for it, dreams of where we would go if we had the time and cash, how to deal with this pain in my back, and the list goes on and on. It would be enough to make one through up their hands and shoot “I give up”, and I would if I had to face it all alone.

Thank God that thirty eight years ago I joined my life to that of a beautiful and intelligent women who has been there by my side ever since. For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health she has been there sharing the good and the bad and I don’t know how I would have made it without her.

I’m not much of a poet but here goes.

“We stand apart, yet walk together through the dark and stormy weather, yet in my empty hand is yours and I love you. I thank the lord each and every day for bringing you my way, and once more I say I love you.”

I just want the world to know that on the eleventh of June nineteen seventy two we were married and I would not change a minute of the time we have spent together.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Retirement Ronald McDonald

I saw in the news that a group is protesting McDonald's Corporation. It seems they want Ronald McDonald to retire because he represents unhealthy foods and eating habits that are causing obesity in children. Like the Pied Piper he has lead the children of this country into a world of junk food and health problems.

The last time I looked the children eating at McDonald's were paying for their food with money they got from some responsible adult and the younger ones were transported there by that same adult. In other words the blame lies not with Ronald alone, but with also with the child’s family. Blaming the character of Ronald McDonald for the problem of childhood obesity and its related health problems is just shifting the responsibility away from the parents and the lifestyle they have chosen for their family.

One could ask what is next. Should we blame the Easter Bunny because of all the candy kids get in their Easter baskets? How about the Keebler Elf, the Trix Rabbit, or any of the other advertising icons that represent sweet, fattening, and unhealthy food and snacks.

It is easy to blame someone or something else; it is much harder to shoulder the responsibility that is rightfully yours.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fire Season

Spring came early this year and here in Michigan it has brought with it tinder dry conditions. There has been no rain to speak of for the last month and we have been blessed with above normal temperatures. The result has been very high fire danger postings for the State, most areas are not issuing fire permits, and people are getting out and doing yard work.

Yard work that unfortunately often leads to burning brush and trash, and that can and does lead to grass fires. It only takes a spark with the wind behind it and someone’s field or house is burning.

In a normal year there would still be patches of snow around and things would be wet from spring rains, but this is not a normal year and it won’t take much to start a bad fire. Until things green up we need to be as careful as possible. A camp fire, a cigarette tossed out the car window, burning that pile of grass and leaves you raked up in the yard, any of these things can and do lead to out of control fires that burn hundreds of acres every year.

So please be careful out there and as Smoky says “only you can prevent forest fires.”

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Buidget Cuts

The State is does not have the funds to cover the cost of running the government, so the thing to do is cut services and raise taxes. There isn’t enough money for road repair so they want to cut repair and maintain programs and add four cents a gallon to the gas tax to help pay for road work. A smart move when people can barely afford to pay for the gas they need to drive to work each day. At a time when we depend on tourists to drive up north to see the scenic wonders of our wonderful land, bringing their much needed dollars with them. Truly one of the greatest ideas our elected leaders have ever come up with.

Unemployment is the highest it’s been in years so cutting budget costs by letting people go is truly leading by example. Let’s hope our leaders keep up the good work. Perhaps instead of laying people off they could be finding ways to put people to work. A few government sponsored jobs in the State park system or cleaning the streets and parking lots in our towns could go a long way to getting those much needed dollars flowing though the economy.

Whatever the answer we need to streamline the budget, but not at the expense of the little guy at the bottom.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wind Farm

Right now there is a major debate in the state of Michigan about putting a wind farm off the coast of Lake Michigan. The company that wants to build it is in the process of holding public hearings about it and as expected people are opinion is divided about it. The facility would consist of a large number of wind turbines placed two to three miles off shore to generate electricity.

One group says it will make jobs and the other says they won’t be local. They fell that the construction will be done by specialized companies and the plant will be run by outsiders. While there is something to said for that theory, even if outside crews do the work they still need to eat and sleep somewhere and that means local jobs. The people who would run the facility are not going to commute to work, they will most likely buy or build homes in the area and that also means jobs.

Then there is the issue of esthetics. The not in my back yarders say it will be ugly and hurt the local tourist business. They think it’s probably a good idea but it would work better further up or down the coast. They need to realize that while the locals might see this as ugly there are others who would go out of their way to see it. Those people mean money spent in the area and that local jobs.

All and all it has the potential to be both a good or bad thing for the area and the State, but like so many things when and if it is built we will find a way to live with it. Who knows people might even find it something to brag about and remember they come to see the Hover Damn don’t they?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

History 101

A funny thing about history, its maintained by a handful of people and their view is the one we grow up believing is true. What we are taught is what we know, making are teachers the custodians of the truth. When the generation that has lived through events is gone, only the teachers are left to keep the true history alive.

That said we must realize that the true history of an event depends on how you view it. It is said that the winners of a war write the history of it, but if you were not the winners does that mean your version is wrong? If both histories reflect the same events seen from two points of view the answer is no. The trouble comes when events are forgotten or whitewashed to change the way one side or the other is seen by the observer.

As we grow older we have an obligation to make ourselves aware of what today’s youth are being taught. The text books of today include events we have lived through and we are the ones who know what may be omitted in an effort to edit information that will reach today’s youth.

In the end when all is said and done it is our responsibility to make sure the past is passed on to today’s youth, least we should forget some event that should live on in history.