Monday, April 20, 2015

Photo of the Week #208 Oasis in the Sonoran Desert, Winterhaven, California, April 2015



I have been staying at what can literally be called a manmade oasis. It's the Quechan Indian Tribe Casino and Resort Hotel, also known as "The Q," in Winterhaven, California, directly across the border (Colorado, River) from Yuma, Arizona.

The three photos show the architecture of the hotel and casino (there is also a well equipped conference and function center, too). It gives me the general impression of a Spanish/Moorish style. The property is pretty new, probably only a few years old. . . READ MORE AND SEE MORE PHOTOS

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

#14 on the Top Ten List of Life Thieves - "Traffic/Congestion"

Do you live in any major city in the U.S. (or most foreign countries, for that matter)? How much time do you spend in traffic, congestion and gridlock? I have driven through rush hours and Saturdays in the cities and metro areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland (OR), New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Boston, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Phoenix, Columbus, Virginia Beach/Norfolk and many other large and medium sized cities and metro areas all over the U.S. The all have one thing in common . . . traffic, congestion and gridlock.

I grew up in the New York City metro area in suburban northern New Jersey. As a kid, growing up, learning to drive and spending my first five years of driving experience in that area, I just accepted the traffic, congestion and gridlock as standard operating procedure. Then, living in Syracuse for two years, another good sized city, and finally in the Washington, DC metro area for four years and having a business there for seven years, I just accepted this massive loss of my life sitting in my vehicle navigating the traffic, congestion and gridlock as a way of life.

Then, one day I moved to the more rural area outside the small (at that time) city of Annapolis, Maryland. Wow! What a difference. I actually began wearing my tires out from driving on them rather than having them dry rot from sitting still in traffic. But, alas, over the next ten years Annapolis was discovered. People began migrating there from the DC and Baltimore area. Bummer! They brought the traffic, congestion and gridlock with them.

So, I moved to the rural area of Winchester, Virginia in the northern Shenandoah Valley. Winchester was about 25% smaller than Annapolis when I moved to the home of the U.S. Naval Academy. It was wonderful. I could get almost anywhere in mere minutes. But, after some 25 years or so, the federal government began moving a number of government agencies into Winchester and turning the small valley city into Ground Zero. Along with it, the traffic, congestion and gridlock. To be sure the traffic, congestion and gridlock was nowhere close to the DC metro area. When I moved to Winchester you never had to wait to get through a traffic light intersection more than one turn of the light. When I left it wasn't uncommon to take three to four turns of that same traffic light to get through the same intersection.

The Traffic Life Thief

So, how much of your life is being stolen sitting in traffic, congestion and gridlock? Most likely, like most of the people I know who either live in or near medium to large cities or mega metropolitan areas, you probably don't spend much time thinking about this daily (even on weekends, these days) theft of your priceless life and time. You simply accept that this is part of life and you accept it to enjoy the privilege to pay higher housing costs, higher energy costs, higher cost of living expenses, higher real estate taxes, etc. But, you do have all the "conveniences, the great shopping, a plethora of restaurants of a broad range of cuisines and so on.

When I lived in Clifton, New Jersey, just ten miles from Manhattan Island, the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln Tunnel, it took about a half hour to drive approximately six or seven miles to the huge (for the time) new Garden State Plaza shopping mall in Paramus, New Jersey. When I moved to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, I could drive from my home, about three miles west of Winchester, Virginia, to my office in Front Royal, Virginia, a distance of approximately 27 miles, in the same 30 minutes with no traffic, beautiful country landscapes and I'd arrive at work refreshed. When I went home it was the same thing.

This brings back memories of my days when I served at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC. I lived just 1 1/2 miles from the DC border, half a block off Pennsylvania Avenue (yes, the same Pennsylvania Avenue the President of the United States lives on). There were three routes I could take to and from Bolling Air Force Base. Each one was approximately seven miles. On a good day, a day with normal traffic and congestion, I could make it to or from my office/recording studio at Bolling and apartment in about 30 minutes. On a bad day, the day I chose the wrong route, it could take me an hour to an hour and a half to traverse the seven miles. By the time I arrived at the base or my apartment, I was exhausted and literally wiped out. I was in my mid 20's at the time and it already took that toll on my life.

What do you feel like going to and from work? Do you enjoy going shopping and dealing with the masses of congestion? How much of your life is stolen each week by this insidious thief? What is your justification or rationalization for giving permission to allow this theft of your life? Is it money? That's the justification/rationalization I hear most of the time. So, you make a lot more money. However, you also pay more income taxes, more for housing, your cost of living and all the other items I enumerated earlier, not including the loss of more of your priceless life.

The other justification/rationalization I hear is about all the conveniences of living in the middle of such locations. But, if you're reading this blog, the chances are you are downsizing, minimalizing and economizing, so is all the shopping, restaurants, etc. really worth the theft of your life?

Alternative

Are there any viable alternatives to traffic, congestion and gridlock?

Absolutely!

Most people are not willing to entertain the alternatives. This is obvious by the growth of cities and metropolitan areas. Interestingly, there was a long trend to moving to the suburbs. The suburban creep moved further and further out into the outlying rural areas and brought the invasion of McMansions on postage stamp lots to replace the livestock and agricultural lands that once supplied food to the cities. Currently that trend has reversed and people are moving back into the cities, supposedly to counteract the theft of their lives and enjoy all the conveniences of the cities.

There is a price to pay for everything. As the old saying goes, "There is no free lunch." Cities are expensive places to live. The cost of installing and maintaining a city's infrastructure is not inexpensive. Someone has to pay for it all. They are, of course, the citizens of the city. Perhaps the city may get some funds from the county and state the city is located in. In some cases, the federal government even provides some federal taxpayer money. Personally, I object to this. It's not the federal government's responsibility. It was clearly outlined at the formulation of the United States what the federal government's responsibilities were and maintaining the cities is not one of them.

So, if you choose the alternative of living in a city or the outlying suburbs, expect to pay a significantly higher price for it. Thus, the higher pay you may receive, when adjusted for the cost of living will usually equalize the discretionary funds left with that of earning a lower salary, paying lower taxes and living in a lower cost of housing and living area. The chances are also greater that you'll reduce a lot of the stolen life and time imposed by the traffic, congestion and gridlock experienced in the city and suburban lifestyle.

Another alternative is to make the changes I've made by downsizing (on a large scale), becoming a minimalist and living very frugally. The result is to reduce the life and time losses from traffic, congestion and gridlock to very nearly zero.

But, let's be really honest. Most people are not going to give this lifestyle a second thought. Many people tell me and my like-minded friends that they "envy" us. Then comes the "but." "But, they couldn't live like this." That's followed by a plethora of stock excuses the individuals rationalize as being justifications  for why they can't make this change.

Your Time! Your Life!

It's your time and it's your life. You actually can do anything you want with it. The only people who have control over your life and your time are you and the committee of "They." "They" include your spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, business partners, some facets of the local, state and federal governments and anyone else you listen to. That's right. They control your life and time because you give them permission to do so. Most people are consumed with - what will "They" think?

Well, here's my take on it. I don't pass judgment on anyone else. Everyone has the right to choose the life they want and who they will allow to influence/control their life. Regardless of whether you're happy/content and enjoying whatever freedom you desire based on your definition of freedom or unhappy, feel trapped and discontent. It is your choice and I'm pleased for you. It's no skin off my nose or any of my growing circle of like-minded friends. We don't choose nor envy your life. Life is all about choices and decisions. You've made yours and we've made ours.

The positive thing from our perspective is that we never expect the huge majority of people to choose our lifestyle. First, it would be detrimental to the economy of the entire country (the U.S. and other countries as well). The country, counties and cities need you to keep spending money on all the stuff you accumulate and the taxes you pay to keep the economy rolling.

Also, if huge masses of people decided to join us in our lifestyle choice, it would negatively impact us. It would be harder for those of us who are mobile to find free places to park and camp. For those of us living in tiny houses or simple lives in small living quarters, the cost of housing would rise. Since most of us choose to live in less populated areas with much lower costs of living, all our costs of living would increase and there would be a new form of traffic, congestion and gridlock created.

But, if you are truly attracted to the idea of living with less traffic, congestion and gridlock and losing a lot of your priceless life and time to this life thief, there is still room out here for you. Yes! There will be some sacrifices and compromises. Yes! There will likely be some "culture shock." And, yes, your life will be different. But, I seldom find anyone who has made an informed decision to embrace this lifestyle who would ever go back to allowing the traffic, congestion and gridlock to steal their life and time, again. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Photo-of-the-Week #206 The Desert in the Mazatzal Mountains, Arizona, April 2015


What's to say? There is nothing more majestic than Nature's work. The desert and mountains of Arizona are a perfect example. I took this photo while traveling between Payson and Phoenix, Arizona. It was a beautiful drive. . . READ MORE

Friday, April 10, 2015

Intelligence vs. Education

I've learned a lot over seven decades of life. The first 18 years were dedicated to learning the basics of surviving and functioning productively as an adult. The next 10 years were dedicated to the finishing period of preparing for a lifetime career by completing two college degrees and serving four years in the U.S. Air Force. The next 22 years were dedicated to my most active professional and productive period. The last 20 years, while I remained very active in my career and even expanded into another professional direction, was the period when I began to review my life and evaluate all I learned over the preceding years. I continue that review to this day.

When I turned 50, I remember saying, "Geez! I'm a half century old. I managed to survive and thrive. I believe I have reached a point where I might actually have gained some wisdom to share with others. And, now that I'm a half century old, I don't care what other people think or how they judge me anymore." Boy! Did that feel good. I adopted the mantra, WYSIWYG (pronounced - wiz ee wig) meaning - what you see is what you get!

My father used to repeat a little bit of wisdom when I was a kid. "Everyday I learn more and more about less and less until one day I'll know everything about nothing." He never made the 50 year milestone. He died at 42. His little saying confused as a kid, after all, when I was 16 and 17 I knew everything. You just had to tell me something and my immediate reply was, "I know! I know!" My thought, since age 50 has been, I wish I knew everything now that I knew when I was 17. I'll wager there are a lot of readers who have had the same or similar thoughts.

With age comes wisdom (usually). Today I understand the profundity of my father's declaration about learning more and more about less and less. I epitomize that statement. There is so much to know and so much new knowledge being created everyday. It's probably always been impossible for any one human being to know everything. Today, impossible doesn't begin to describe the potential of knowing everything.

Intelligence vs. Education

A powerful and vitally important distinction revealed itself to me many years ago. It's proven itself to be irrefutable as the years have passed. Intelligence and education are mutually exclusive. It bothers me, I might even go as far as to say it angers me, to constantly hear this constant mantra about today's teenagers and young adults NEEDING a college education. My immediate response every time I hear that is "bullshit!"

What today's teenagers and young adults need is to learn to THINK CRITICALLY! That's where we are failing our young generations. Our focus is not in teaching young people to think critically. It's teaching them how to memorize the necessary information to pass a series of standardized tests so "no child is left behind."

FACT: Some people are more intelligent than other people!
FACT: Gaining education without the ability or intelligence to apply it is a waste of time and creates huge student loan debts (over one trillion dollars, currently).
FACT: Many of the most successful people in our society do not have college degrees.
FACT: Massive numbers of college graduates work for businesses led by individuals who don't have college degrees.
FACT: More people have college degrees in fields they will never make a living from than ever before.
FACT: Our country has fallen from (at one time) #1 to #16 (even Russia and Poland rank higher than the U.S.) in overall education. And according to the latest rankings by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the U.S. is below average ranking at #31 in Math, #24 in Science and #21 in Reading.

That's enough facts. The reality is that the U.S. and the world in general is spawning more and more educated derelicts. Please don't misunderstand my meaning. I'm not maligning education or you, if you have one or more degrees. I'm a product of the education system. I'm a high school graduate and I earned a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree. While I never applied either of the college degrees for the specific purpose they were designated for (teaching and working in the TV & radio industry), as a media entrepreneur, I applied most of the practical knowledge (not so much the liberal arts part of the degrees other than being able to talk and write somewhat intelligently) in my businesses.

My father was a non-degreed electrical/mechanical design engineer. I'm not sure if he even graduated from high school. My father had native intelligence and applied it. Because of him, the fax machine became a common place part of businesses and other parts of society globally. Also, he became a specialist in servo mechanisms used in the guidance systems of ballistic missiles and the U.S. space program. He had degreed engineers working under his supervision.

My son, chose not to attend college even though his 7th grade PSAT scores were high enough to qualify him for most colleges and universities. He is a self-taught graphic designer and Web developer beginning when he was in high school. Today, after ten plus years of working under contract for a long list of major corporations including Microsoft, Amazon and T-Mobile, he is employed by one of the Big Four international accounting and business consulting firms, shoulder to shoulder with offices full of MBA's. They all depend on him because he can take all their ideas and put them to work on a practical level.

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Bill Lear, Larry Ellison, J.C. Penney, John D. Rockefeller, Abraham Lincoln, Richard Branson, Dave Thomas, Will Smith, Mark Zuckerberg, Walt Disney, Ray Kroc, Dolly Parton, Rachael Ray, Debbie Fields, Mary Kay Ash, Coco Chanel and many, many other men and women became very successful without college degrees and in many cases without graduating high school.

Was it difficult for them to become successful? Sure! Very few people attain instant success. Most successful people will make all kinds of significant sacrifices. Is it easier to reach the levels of success these well-known people have attained with a college degree. Not necessarily. It is my belief and opinion that it required raw intelligence, an idea, a dream, the willingness to do whatever it takes to realize the dream and persistence. None of these qualities require or are taught as part of any college degree program.

Can college degree holders become as successful? Of course, however, they often begin four to six years later than non-degreed successful people. Also, those with degrees may also begin tens of thousands or even a hundred thousand dollars or more in debt before they can start their careers.

Intelligence

Intelligence is a raw, genetic trait individuals are born with. Despite the idea that all people are born equal, I don't believe that. I believe that some people are born with genius levels of intelligence. Some people are born with a low degree of raw intelligence. They may be trainable and functional, however, they will not be candidates for the CEO of Ford Motor Company. The majority of the population fall somewhere between those two extremes. We could call it average intelligence, but if you're referring to those at the crest of a bell shaped curve, once again, that is still only a nominal portion of the population.

Intelligence is that quality or trait that allows an individual to function in society and all of life's situations. The gift of talent may be equated with intelligence. Some extremely intelligent people may not be able to tie their own shoelaces, yet they might be geniuses in math. Intelligent people are those who can take a basic idea and turn it into a tangible invention, product, business, etc. Those with less intelligence are the people who are instrumental in producing the product, providing a service and making the business or organization function.

Mr. Herbert Reaske, an English professor at Montclair State College when I attended there in 1963, taught me the two most important things I learned in college. He was the professor of the first class of my college career. Mr. Reaske taught me that to be successful in life I needed to be able to burn the candle at both ends and to THINK CRITICALLY. He said that everything else I would experience in the way of classes, reading, papers and exams during my college education were basically all rote repetition. I had to get through them to earn the degree, but I didn't need to focus my life on them. If I could think critically, I could find this information, again, in the future should I ever need to.

That's the secret - THINKING CRITICALLY!

Education

Here is our failure! Education. This is why we are falling so far behind the rest of the world. As I stated earlier, I don't have any issues with anyone gaining an education. However, I believe we have long ago lost focus on the concept and process of education. School systems are dropping the requirement to learn cursive writing. We no longer focus on learning the traditional math tables and doing long arithmetic because we have calculators. There is controversy over assigning homework to elementary, middle and high school students. Is this too much work?

Here are a few more facts. Asian students study far more hours per day than U.S. students. They also have higher test scores and are ahead of U.S. students in math, science and reading. Another fact, there are more college graduates in India than the entire population of the U.S. Apparently, they are highly qualified and motivated, too, which is why we find so many Indian doctors, scientists and engineers migrating to the U.S. Either we aren't graduating enough people in these fields OR the Indian graduates are more qualified than the U.S. graduates.

 Here's another personal opinion. We have become a nation of educated derelicts. Of course, we have always had a certain percentage of educated derelicts. I simply believe we are graduating more and more of them. Why? Because too many people going to college are not prepared for college when they get there. They have unrealistic expectations of what a college education is and what it's supposed to do for a graduate. They are immature and aren't focused on education, but having a fun college life. Upon graduation, all too often, carrying a massive student loan burden, they expect to find jobs that will pay "big money" so they can live comfortably, buy "toys" and pay off their loans. But, no one wants to start at the bottom.

Also, I like to remind everyone, there can only be one #1 in class ranking. Therefore everyone else falls into place where their grades and efforts place them. There are those at the bottom of the class ranking, too. Are they not as intelligent? Do they not apply themselves? Do they not care enough about their future?

We all want to live and work in buildings designed and built by the #1 in the engineering or architecture class. We also want to be treated and operated on by the #1 in the medical school class. It doesn't matter what the field or industry, we all want #1 to serve us. So, what happens to all those who are in the lower class rankings? Is this why people who often get the positions may be from foreign countries?

Education is a process. Intelligence is a gift. If you have the gift and apply it by learning to think critically, an education may enhance your capabilities. However, if the system is failing you then, maybe applying your gift of intelligence without a "formal" education may be the better route for you. Expect some discrimination. Some employers don't evaluate employment candidates based on abilities and experience, but on their degrees and the institutions that conferred the degrees.

Think Critically

This is my admonition to you. Regardless of how intelligent you are, if you're reading this article, you have at least average or above average intelligence. Stop blindly being a follower and start living your life on your own terms. If you have kids, do something unpopular - challenge them. Help them learn. Help them to think critically by posing situations they have to actually use their minds to resolve. Limit their exposure to video games (you, too). They are addictive and take massive amounts of time away from one's life.

To live free you have to think free. You have to be independent and not concerned about what "They" think or what "They" tell you is right for your life. To be free, your mind must be under your own control. Set an example for your family, friends and others you come into contact with by defining what living free means to you and then using the gift of your intelligence to achieve it. Then guide your children and others down that path by your example. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

#15 on the Top 10 List of Life Thieves - "Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda"

Doesn't make sense does it - #15 on a list of the top ten things that steal your life. Actually, it's pretty simple. I keep finding more and more things that steal our lives. Remember, we can directly relate our lives, a priceless commodity, to time, another priceless commodity. It's my opinion that life and time are almost one and the same.

I'm going to count down from #15, although I may insert some additional life thieves as they occur to me or as you and others contribute ideas on life thieves.

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

How much time have you wasted contemplating things you would have done, should have done or could have done . . . if only? If you're honest, you're going to admit there has been any number of times you've spent time with these contemplations. These are life thieves.

I don't know a single person I've ever met who hasn't wasted time on this kind of retro living. Let's face it, even the best of us have some kind of regrets over missed opportunities in our occupational, relationship, hobby, financial, medical, physical, health, fitness, spiritual, etc. lives. The reality is that none of us can take advantage of all the opportunities that have and will continue to pass through our lives.

Life is nothing if not an ongoing series of choices and decisions. If we attempted to take advantage of every one of the opportunities passing our way we'd never accomplish and achieve anything. We'd go crazy attempting to do it all. It's impossible. We each made the correct decision, as we saw it, at the time. Yes! Maybe in hindsight it wasn't the best or right decision. But, remember, to be a successful professional baseball player and win the batting title for a given year only requires as few as 3.3 hits for every 10 times at bat. That means the champion batter made bad choices in swinging or not swinging the bat as many as 6.7 times at bat.

My sister often says to me how her life would be different if our father hadn't died at 42 when she was a few months over 10 years old. I, of course, agree with her. But, then I add, of course all three of our lives (we were three siblings) would have been different. But, would they have been better or worse than they turned out? The reality, is that each of the three of us have made thousands of choices during our lives since our father's death. We would have made those thousands of choices even if he had lived. Would we have made the same choices? Possibly, but it's not likely all of them would have been the same. There is no way of knowing if our lives would have turned out better or worse had he lived? So, it's a waste of time and our precious life contemplating something that can't be known.

Woulda!

Contemplating what you would have done or what would have happened if only you had made a different choice is a fruitless waste of your life. It's unknowable what path your life would have taken if you would have done something different.

If the baseball player who didn't win the batting title for a specific year would have swung a few more times he might have won the title. But, that's unknowable. Perhaps, he may have been walked onto base several of the times he didn't swing and positioned his team with the winning run for that game. Perhaps, if had swung a few more times he might have struck out and his team would have lost the game.

The best plan is not to focus on what would have happened if you had made a different choice. The reality is what you actually chose is now history. Focusing on what you learned from that choice can hopefully help you make a different and better choice in the future should a similar circumstance present itself.

Perhaps, you made a really great choice. Again, that choice is now history. You've benefited from the choice. Will you use the success from that choice to make another similar choice today or tomorrow?

There is no percentage in concerning yourself with what would have been. It's history and carved in the annuls of time. Now, is when you are living. Now, is the only time that really counts. Stop wasting your life on the "Wouldas" you can't change.

Shoulda

How many times has someone told you that you should have done something? How much time have you spent time contemplating the things you now know you should have done yesterday, last week, last month, thirty years ago when you met the person who became your spouse, when you accepted a job that wasn't really what you wanted, but you chose to do it for the money?

Yes! We all should have done many things differently. We should have said 'No' to someone when we said 'Yes' knowing it was the wrong choice. We should have gotten to know the person better that we said yes to or proposed to who became our spouse. We should have completed high school, the college degree, the graduate degree, become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, clergy, professional athlete, etc. But, we didn't and now we're obsessing over what we should have done and how different our lives would have been.

Again, the outcome of what you should have done if you followed that path is unknowable. Again, your life is now history and carved in the annuls of time. There is no time machine allowing you to go back and do what you now believe you should have done. This is a waste of your precious present life.

How about focusing on all the positive things that actually have happened in your life because of the choices you made. Believe me, there are far more than you may realize because you are retro focused and living in the past. If you've never watch a movie titled "Mr. Holland's Opus" starring Richard Dreyfus, perhaps you should. This could give you a positive perspective or spin on your life. You may not realize how many lives you've touched in a positive way because of the path you've trod. Richard Dreyfus's character, Mr. Holland, thought he had missed out on life and the dream he had for himself. I won't give away the end of the movie, but I will only say his eyes were opened.

Coulda

Yes! We all could have done many things differently during our lives. It doesn't matter how old you currently are, there are things you could have done. But, once again, there is no percentage in wasting your present precious life focusing on what you could have done. This kind of thinking is often associated with guilt over something. Perhaps you did something to hurt someone physically, mentally or emotionally. Maybe you said 'No' when you now feel you could have said 'Yes."

None of this matters. Time never goes backward, it only marches on. Perhaps you need to tell all the people in your life that you appreciate them for who they are and what they mean to you. Maybe there are people you need to sincerely say, "I love you," to. Perhaps someone did a favor for you and you neglected to thank them appropriately. Are you carrying a grudge, maybe for years, against someone who wronged you (or so you felt) at some time in the past and you've never forgiven them.

Yes! You could have done all these things back then including apologizing or forgiving someone. But, once again, it's a waste of your present precious life to think about, focus on or obsess over any of these things when you can simply take immediate action to change it all. Maybe they have passed away and left this Earth. Contact their offspring or siblings and take the action with them.

Yes! You could have made a different career choice or accepted a different job, or sky dived, or scuba dived or skied or taken up acting or sang solo, in a group or with a choir, written a book, painted YOUR masterpiece, led a group of people on a hike up a mountain, etc. So, why are you obsessing about it now? I know people of all ages who are doing these things. Yes! They could have done them a long time ago, but they aren't focusing or obsessing on what they could have done, they are doing these things NOW, in the present.

I have a friend and former author of mine who played in a rock and roll band when he was in high school and college and loved music. But, he chose to become a professional salesman for a major Fortune 500 corporation. He became so successful (after a near fatal bout with cancer while in his mid 20's) that he became an international sales trainer. He had a very successful career.

Then one day, 9/11 happened. This changed the dynamics of his seminar business. And then in 2008 the Big Recession knocked him out of the game again. He was in his 50's. So, he got together with a group of friends and formed a rock and roll band. Yes! He could have done music back when he was young, but that wasn't his focus. Today he isn't thinking about what he could have done. He's doing it and having the time of his life.

Bury the Past and All Your Woulda, Shoulda, Couldas

Your life equates to time. They are the two most priceless things we have. We were born wealthier than most of us ever fully realize. Don't waste your life thinking about, focusing on and obsessing over what your woulda, shoulda or coulda done. The past is the past. It's unchangeable. But, NOW is here. I commend you to review, if you've already read them before, or read, if you haven't already, my "12 Steps for Living Free." You'll find a link to the right of this post under the "Pages" listing. There are lots of ideas there to help you get started.

As the Nike Shoes slogan says, "Just Do It!"

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Photo-of-the-Week #205 Blood Moon Over Arizona, Tonto National Forest (near) Payson, Arizona, April 2015


Did you see it? Did you see the Blood Moon on the morning of April 4, 2015? I did and I have the photos to prove it.

A Blood Moon is caused by a total lunar eclipse. This particular Blood Moon was the third in a series of four within 18 months. This series of four eclipses, six months apart, is called a tetrad. There will be a total of eight tetrads between 2000 and 2100. This is the second tetrad of the century. The moon will typically look orange or red and is caused by the rays of sunlight bending around the Earth, which is between the sun and the moon. The color is caused as the sunlight bends through the Earth's atmosphere. . . READ MORE SEE ANOTHER PHOTO

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Photo-of-the-Week #204 Partying with the Phoenicians, Phoenix, Arizona, March 25, 2015


Normally, my photo-of-the-week posts are of some scenic sight or point of interest. This week I've taken a different course. I always tell people that my true wealth, besides the time I have on this Earth, is my friends. And, here are some of my friends. I rolled into Phoenix sent out an email and had hoped to find a time to get together with each of my friends individually, fitting into their busy schedules. Lo and behold, they all got together and just like that, we had a small party put together. . . READ MORE