Favorite Quotes Friday – 4/11/2014

I have failed at times to live by the truth that follows. I guess it’s human nature to be judgmental of others. It gives us a false sense of superiority, a boost to the ego. But I do believe in a higher power and life beyond the grave. Life is short. What goes around definitely comes around… sooner or later. Buddhists and others call it karma, I call it common sense.

The man quoted below was a German Lutheran Pastor, an author and dissident anti-Nazi. An outstanding academic theologian he earned two doctorate degrees before he was 25. Later he studied in the United States. His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world became widely influential and his book, from which the quote came, is considered a classic.  He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and executed by hanging two years later while imprisoned at a Nazi concentration camp just 23 days before the Germans surrendered. He was only 39 years old.

By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are. ~~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

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Generation to Generation

Life is an everyday occurrence, until one day it’s not. ~~ Susanne Strempek Shea

A few weeks ago I was looking at hand tools, many of them with a lifetime replacement guarantee. As I read those words I was reminded there really are no guarantees, not with tools and not especially when it comes to lifetimes. Here today, gone tomorrow — no time outs, no second chances and few replacement parts.

Like most of us when young and stupid I thought myself invincible, that I would live forever. At least I envisioned the inevitable so far off that it seemed that way. Even when I experienced the death of What was I thinkingcontemporaries my attitude, my life style and the risks I often took spoke of an assumed immunity.  That only happens to the other guy, tomorrow never comes! But as one ages — receiving experiences and education that almost always come with the passage of time — we realize the years quickly pass us by. For me the inevitable is a lot closer than it was once perceived.  So, I’ve changed my mind, time to savor the moments. Continue reading

Say Hello to My Little Friend!

My iPhone is a constant companion that I use throughout all my waking hours. It’s literally the first thing I grab in the morning and the last thing I relinquish at night. Really, it is! When I dreamed of owning one I knew I would have many uses for it, but I never imagined how much it would become an integral part of my everyday life. How it would become… my best little friend.

I’ve often said that if I lost my laptop computer, it would be like cutting off my right arm. With my iPhone and its instant ease of use and portability it’s far worse! (The same said arm and a leg of your choice below the knee). And the funny thing is… I rarely use it to make phone calls! Maybe they should name it something else. iPhone no longer does it justice! Continue reading

Music Monday – A Brand New Day


Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner was born in October of 1951 and grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Following work as a bus conductor, a construction laborer, and a tax officer, he attended a teachers college and in the mid 1970s taught elementary school children. During weekends, evenings and breaks from teaching Gordon would play in jazz bands. While performing he’d wear a black and yellow sweater with hooped stripes. Some thought the sweater made him look like a bee. Soon he would be nicknamed “Sting”.

The rest — as they say — is history. An international sensation he’s received sixteen Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Emmy Award, and several Oscar nominations. He is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Sting is one of my favorites.

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Remembering the Honda Canyon Fire

One of the reasons I decided to write a blog is that from my personal perspective there are so many stories that need to be told, retold… and most of all remembered. If ever there was one… this is it.

My days in the Air Force and especially those at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base were among the best days of my life. My assignment there changed my life in ways I never imagined. It’s where my first child, a son, was born and where he works today. I really loved Vandenberg and the beautiful surrounding area of central California just an hour north of picturesque Santa Barbara and along the Pacific coast. I was assigned to the 4392nd Civil Engineering Squadron at the base throughout most of my career as an Air Force firefighter between 1972 and 1975. To serve in that department with a Top Secret security clearance afforded me a truly unique experience and perspective.

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A Letter to the Younger Me

Hear these words, hear the rhyme
Heed the hope within my mind
Send me back to where I’ll find
What I wish in place and time
~~~~

Dear Rick,

In your time it’s December 13, 1971.  I know it’s hard to believe and will come as a great surprise but I’m you!  Yep you, but exactly 40 years in your future.

I’ll help you here.  Remember that ghostly woman who would repeatedly terrorize you in nightmares as a five-year old?  We never knew her intentions, but we knew she was evil.  Then there’s that dream of a lakeside home and a boat parked in the back.  The huge antenna atop that sprawling ranch style home.  How about that last kiss and the words Dani said to you just five nights ago when you last saw her?  All those doubts and the terrible, nagging, lingering ache in your heart?  Who else but you could know these things?  Young love is always tough.  Give it time, your feelings will pass as they will for the others that will surely come.  Heart breakers, every one of them!  Prepare yourself… adult love can be even worse. Continue reading

Who’s Your Master?

Happy is harder than money.
Anyone who thinks money will make them happy, doesn’t have money.
~~ David Geffen ~~

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

I once had a plaque on my den wall that read: He who dies with the most toys, wins!  Another displayed nearby said: The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.  One is definitely true while the other is most definitely not.  Can you guess which one?  I don’t know what’s happened to those wall hangings, I haven’t seen them in a long time.  But like most things of material value they can be easily lost, even forgotten.

As a young father years ago struggling to make a living and hoping for financial independence I gave up a lot to work many of the jobs I once gave a big part of my life to.  I held very few positions where I wasn’t required to work nights, weekends and holidays.  I would often miss many extended family events, holidays and birthdays, even a few vacations etc..  I often reflect on how much is too much and what sacrifices must some pay in that struggle to get ahead? Continue reading