Posted in Pets, Uncategorized

Hi, I’m Chubbs

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Hi.  I’m Chubby.  I am a Lab/Shepherd mix and just celebrated my seventeenth birthday September 1st.  My good friend and walking companion, Ron, normally writes this blog, but he is working on several other projects at the moment and so I suggested that I take over for a time.

I do plan to keep the general tone of the writing but we will be focusing more on some of the health concerns and social issues involving myself and the more than 150 million cats and dogs that now share this great country with you.

Now you may be surprised that a dog such as myself could even be writing a post, but recent studies have shown a canine capacity to learn language and even to recognize some rudimentary spelling.  (Don’t try and sneak v.e.t. past me.)

I may even have a few thoughts from time to time about some of the silly things that you humans are prone to doing.  How some of you can get by without a dog to keep you out of trouble is beyond me..

So, give me a chance.  I might surprise you.

 

Posted in Environment, Uncategorized

What Are We Doing to Our Planet?

I have long been a critic of the man-made global warming theory, but I am beginning to think that opposing the premise is not really conducive to my overall values and the future that I work toward..

I still do not think that our activities have much to do with the rising of the temperatures; instead I think that it is likely caused by natural fluctuations that have been cycling far longer than we have been here to take note of the phenomenon.

I do not totally reject the idea that we may have some impact on the climate but as yet I have not seen the evidence to support that premise.

Sometimes the amount of money invested has a lot to do with the results.  Following the science often turns into follow the money.

Science should not be either a democratic process or a profit oriented endeavor, but an untainted search for the truth.  It is not an attempt to prove or disprove, but a mission of discovery.

My concerns rest more in the manner in which we poison our environment and do irreparable genetic damage by using the world and its population of humans, animals, and plants as a laboratory, thinking that we have a better idea; that we can take what God has wrought and improve upon it.

This may be a result of our allowing the corporations to pretty much monitor themselves.

What has changed about the fox guarding the hen-house, that it can become our standard for sponsoring research?

Now it is hard to find a river that runs pure, a grain that is genetically unmodified, or an honest man in a position of power.

Posted in Political, Uncategorized

I Can’t Vote

I don’t think that I can vote any more. Not on the national level. I think that it still matters to varying degrees on the regional and local levels and I will be voting there, but on the federal level it is all a big charade and it does not matter which side is there, as president or congressman or judge, there are no more good men.
I used to think that there were congressmen who went in at the start with integrity and good intentions, but I have lost that belief. I now think that to reach a level that you would be considered by the powers that are crucial to an election, you have already sold your soul. By that time integrity is a malleable variable to you and you have compromised your deep felt moral compass in order to join in the juvenile process of choosing up sides to do battle. To play the game you must accept bizarre premises and play politics with people’s lives and livelihoods. In some cases you deem to play God, but without His wisdom and omniscience to guide you in deciding who is viable and who is not, who is worth saving and who is not, and who can succeed and who cannot.
You come to think that it is your position to decide who can say what and even what they should think. You align yourself with the loudest whining special interest groups that seem to think the right to the pursuit of happiness means that everyone else has to help out with their happiness, no matter how strange or off-beat their desires may be. And you understand the need to cater to the minority du jour.
I am sorry, but I cannot vote for that, not in either party, and at that level there is not much difference between them, no matter which party they arbitrarily cling to. The constitution has no meaning to the federal governing class. They modify it and ignore it as it suits them, either claiming that the founders never intended for it to be a rigid set of rules but rather a loose set of guidelines, to be stretched and bent according to which way the social winds are blowing, or that it is out of date and should be amended and updated as society evolves.
I cannot accept that idea that the greatest document in the history of mankind, the one that stands as a model to the rest of the world, is a shortsighted exercise in governance that has outlived its usefulness. That is a bunch of horse feathers and we should respect that document and allow it to guide us as it did for two hundred years before us, leading and defending the world on the strength of its premise.

Posted in Political, Uncategorized

What a Choice

It struck me today that the two prominent women in the race to be president, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina on the right and Hillary Clinton on the left, give us the choice between a rich women who has never had to relate to the average worker’s plight and who made her fortune in the corporate world, riding the efforts of those middle class working stiffs, and a rich women who made her fortune the old-fashioned way, by milking the public teat and peddling influence. What a choice.
Next there is Donald Trump on the right and Joe Biden on the left. In Trump we have a rich white guy who made his fortune riding the backs of the working stiffs and playing the buffoon, and Joe Biden, the rich white guy who made his fortune the old-fashioned way, milking the public teat, peddling influence, and playing the buffoon.
There you have the people in which the two parties are resting our hopes and dreams. Lord help us all.

Posted in Inspirational, Uncategorized

“The Victorious Christian Life, A Guide to Spiritual Success” by Dr. Tony Evans

I read “The Victorious Christian Life, A Guide to Spiritual Success” by Dr. Tony Evans. Dr. Evans writes in a style that makes it not only an easy and interesting read but also connects messages from The Bible to our modern lives.
The Victorious Christian Life is written to be read from start to finish, but I found it more effective to skip around after the introduction. If I skipped to a chapter that was pertinent to my current situation, I could easily navigate to related material using the excellent chapter titles and the section headings. I did not read the book with a review in mind, and so this review is of a book that filled a particular need at a particular time in my life. That the book seemed worthy of a write-up speaks to the effect that it had upon me.
For the person who is firm in their faith it is a wonderful confirmation of the rewards inherent in seeking God in all of our endeavors. Dr. Evans points out the joy of living each day for Christ and the many ways in which God rewards us for living for Him.
For the Christian who is struggling with his walk with Christ because of hardship in their lives it is a comforting explanation of the many obstacles that face us as Christians and a confirmation that there is a point to our struggles and suggests ways in which we can polish our lives to better reflect the glory of God. The book reminds us that our purpose here is to reach others for Christ. God does not want to lose even one of us, and we are His agents here. Our lives should be spent creating a better reflection of Christ and His life and resurrection.
I heartily recommend this book to everyone. It is easy to read, packed with useful tips for remaining grounded in The Word. Dr. Tony Evans powerful speaking presence comes through in this book, leaving you better prepared to live a satisfying and productive Christian quest. This book is one that you will want to keep on the shelf of your library. Packed with good advice and easily navigable, you will find yourself enriched each time you return to it.

The Victorious Christian Life
A Guide to Spiritual Success
Dr. Tony Evans
Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville

Posted in Fitness/Health, Uncategorized, Walking

I Think; I’ll Walk

I like to walk every morning.  I have written often of the physical benefits derived from walking.  These gains comprise a list too long to cover in a single article or blog post, and I intend to cover some of the individual advantages in upcoming posts, but today I would speak to the emotional and cerebral rewards gained through time spent in motion.

I have been in North Carolina for the past four months spending time with my son and three grandchildren.  I have cherished this time with them but find that my opportunities for the long walk through nature, an integral part of my writing process, are severely impeded.  There are places to walk here, but as a lifelong resident of Oregon I have found the heat and humidity here to be daunting in my attempts to walk regularly.  My schedule does not allow for the early morning walks that might preclude the oppressive heat, and the evenings are only now, near the end of my stay, cooling enough to allow the occasional evening walk.

Walk
Walk to relieve stress and let your mind soar.

In Oregon I would walk every morning with my best friend, a lab mix named Chubby, in preparation for the writing day.  During this time I could lose myself in the natural settings while praying, meditating, and working through the thoughts and ideas for the writing that would follow.  This mobile quiet time invariably leads to several lines of thought from which I could find a starting point for the day’s work.  My production is limited only by the time that I allowed myself to write.

Here at Fort Bragg, with my schedule with the children precluding these early morning brainstorming sessions, I have found that the writing comes much harder and I am more willing to turn to all of the other chores and pursuits that pull at me rather than struggling through the painful process of dragging subjects from a mind not primed through ambling inspiration.

I find myself dreaming of the time that I can once again stroll through the towering Douglas firs and along wild streams in the chill of a Northwest dawn.

Walk; Relieve stress

A morning walk serves to set the mood for the rest of the day.  No matter what tasks await you, an early morning hike can make you more productive throughout the day.

A walk can remove the stress felt for the job ahead.  If you have left over anger or depression from the previous day it soothes your frayed nerves and resets your emotional equilibrium.  It eases depression and anxiety.  It stimulates your problem-solving capability.  It can move you closer to your true purpose, re-focusing your vision of the future.  You are more inclined to accept your shortcomings and of those whom you encounter.

The morning walk is not the only way to benefit mentally.  A walk in the evening is a wonderful way to release the stress and frustrations of a difficult day, renewing your spirit and preparing you for a restful sleep and preparing you to meet a new day with enhanced vigor.   A peaceful night can free your subconscious mind to problem-solve and present you with solutions upon awakening.

Walking is the easiest, most natural method that you will encounter for controlling the stress endemic in our busy lives.  No matter what the approaching day entails, walking with your thoughts will clarify and simplify the solutions that you seek.

The physical health promoted by daily hikes will serve to enhance your mental acuity as well.  A healthy body promotes a healthy mind, and, as previously mentioned, the physical benefits from walking are copious.

Get out and walk daily.  It is the cheapest and most effective therapy that you can find.

To find some good nature walks to boost your creativity and reduce your stress try the link below:

http://alltrails.com/

Posted in Uncategorized

Our Soldier’s Plight

I am at Fort Bragg for a while, visiting my son and my three grandchildren and helping out.  It has been so long since we were together (more than a year and a half) that it is a real treat to be here, but after a week I am realizing how much I miss Oregon and the ease with which I could find solitude and a quiet place to write.  Here on base there is nothing like that and I am pretty much a captive on base as I cannot leave by myself without a lengthy and iffy process to get back onto base.  Without a DOD issued identification I cannot buy anything on base and yet to get off base is just not worth the bother.

While my son and his fellow soldiers and their families are less restricted, they live with impediments and rules that many of us are only beginning to imagine as we learn of the secret surveillance and data mining that has been implemented on the citizens at large.

A soldier and his family live with house inspections to ensure that their housekeeping is up to Army standards, under penalties as severe as to cause loss of rank, and even of their careers.

They live in houses that expose their children to flaking lead paint and steep, narrow staircases.

They live in housing that looks the same as their neighbors and the same as the housing for miles and miles around them.

They and their families are subject to moving at a moment’s notice.

Their families are routinely split asunder as mother or father is sent to some far side of the world to a situation from which they may not return.

They are told what to wear and how to wear it.

They make less money than equivalent positions in the civilian world.

There is less opportunity without a long commute for the spouses of soldiers who choose to help with a second income.

Being involved in a traffic accident or incident can negatively impact their treatment at their jobs, and a little financial difficulty can result in demotion and loss of security clearance.

Every aspect of their lives can be and is intruded upon.

And they volunteer for this!!

They re-up and make this their career.

Unless they are a high-ranking officer, when they retire from the army, they can live comfortably only by working to supplement a barely adequate retirement as they re-assimilate into a society that is increasingly separated from the world that they have grown accustomed to.

They live with a growing segment of our population who do not appreciate, understand, or support them in their sacrifice.

I mention all of this because as I stay here and see the sacrifices that each and every soldier and each of their family members make in order to be available for a job that most would not be willing to do.

I see more and more calls to cut the defense budget.

In today’s political environment, the party in charge uses our soldiers and our schoolchildren as pawns, making cuts where it will do the most damage or be the most painful in order to extort more money from the hard-hit taxpayer.

With our schools they cut the programs while wringing more money for administrators and the unions.

With our soldiers the politicians protect their bloated budgets on the backs of those least able to absorb the impact but with the least amount of voice to protest.

It is high time that we forced those in office to respect the commitment of their protectors and make the same sort commitment to them.

We give subsidies to huge farming conglomerates who routinely poison our food supply due to shoddy practices and non-existent oversight.

We subsidize huge drug companies as they pour out medications that drain our budgets and end up killing people.

We subsidize foreign countries that hate us and kill our citizens and our soldiers.

We subsidize social programs that grow out of control and support people who don’t want to support themselves while those in real need go hungry or without shelter.

We subsidize huge insurance companies through the Affordable (what a joke) healthcare act, allowing them a captive market and ever increasing revenue through wink/nod oversight.

The people who give up their privacy, give up their right to move about freely, give up their right to be heard, give up their right to a minimum wage (my son is paid for an eight hour day from 8 to 5 but he starts with PT (physical training) at 6 and sometimes works till 6 and later.

On his last three day weekend he had staff duty (24 hour shift) on his Friday off and then spent the next day recovering and resting.  We enjoyed Father’s Day together, but it was in essence a one day weekend.

It is high time we put those who devalue or denigrate the contribution of our military personnel in their places.

Appreciate our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen.  Make sure that your representatives in congress and the white house do as well.  Let’s make the career politicians do right by those that protect them or give them all the boot.  It starts at the top, Mr. President!!!