Saturday, October 8, 2016


I need your help!

I am embarking on the most exciting endeavor of my life. And, I really do need your help. I am synergizing my 50+ years of knowledge, skills, experiences, creativity and talent in audio recording, audio and video production, book publishing, voice-over and communications to begin, what I hope will ultimately become, one of the largest, ongoing, digital, multimedia archives of human knowledge, experience, achievements and wisdom ever compiled.

Before you blow me off, hear me out. I am one person with a big dream and limited resources. But, I have an insatiable lifetime curiosity and passion for learning and gaining from other people's lives, stories and wisdom. Add what I bring to the table from the last paragraph and I'm about to launch, in my estimation, the biggest and most all encompassing dream of my lifetime. It's also, most likely, going to be my last endeavor of this magnitude.

I'm calling it “Big Questions” as a working title. The name comes from an author, John Applegath, I met several years ago in Durham, New Hampshire. He created an idea to discuss really important issues and questions about life in informal group discussions. Due to health and some other issues, he wasn't able to really launch the concept. His idea has remained in the back of my mind since we met.

The scope of what I'm working on is far more detailed than I can explain here. I'm preparing a treatise you'll be able to download. It will explain in great detail the entire concept and scope of my Big Questions project. This is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Right now there is a certain urgency. The commencement of this project involves interviewing certain individuals who are nearing the “expiration” dates of their life spans. I must start immediately recording these interviews.

Here is where you come in. I already have a number of questions of my own. A few people have already submitted some questions to me. Now, I'm soliciting you to submit one, two or maybe three questions to add to my list.

I don't need the usual simplistic questions we all see/hear and read in “People,” “Time” or hear on typical talk shows on the various media. What I want are questions that delve deeply into life issues – whether personal, relationship, business, philosophical, faith based, political, financial, etc.

Think of it this way, if you could have the opportunity to sit with friends, relatives, colleagues, people active in your community, business people, etc., what you would really like to know about these individuals. What would you like to know about their philosophies, attitudes, experiences, special knowledge on the really important subjects like life, death, success, failure, love, science, medicine, assisted suicide, marijuana, the experiences in their lives that were pivotal in who they became . . . as far as I'm concerned, there are no off limit questions. Consider this, what questions would you like someone to ask you to get to really know who you are and what you believe?

I will be listing these questions (and I do expect duplicates and some that may be similar with slight variations) and categorizing them. Each time I'm preparing to interview a subject, I'll select questions I feel are specifically apropos for the individual. I'll send them the questions in advance so they may review and prepare to answer them. They may decline to answer any questions they prefer not to answer. All questions will be anonymous. They will not know who submitted the questions.

I will ask some initial “back story,” oral history questions to establish who the individual is and his or her background – where born, parents, childhood, education, occupational/professional career and similar before asking the “Big Questions.” The interviews will be informal and will start and stop for breaks. There are no time limits on any questions. And, if, as the individual is responding to a question, I think of other questions to delve deeper into the primary question, I will ask them.

The interview subjects will not be individuals of celebrity status, although, that is not outside the realm of possibility. If you are familiar with Studs Terkel and Charles Kuralt, they are two of my main influences. They documented people through recorded interviews, photos and video from all walks of life from the poor to the wealthy, mostly between the extremes.

All interviews will be video and audio recorded (other than several I have on audio from the past – some are deceased) and archived in unedited format.

I won't go into further detail at this time. When the treatise is ready, I'll make it available so you may access it and learn the full scope of this project.

I currently have a short list of interview subjects, so time is of the essence. If you desire to participate in this project, please respond rapidly, but thoughtfully. Also, I'm open to suggestions of interview subjects you feel represent 20th/21st Century society. Submit a name, contact info, location and brief statement why they would be a good representative of our times. And, don't be surprised if someone doesn't suggest you.

I'll be using my blog, social media and email to solicit questions, so please, don't be upset if you receive this by more than one communication mode.

Please send all submissions to my Gmail address –

Thanks, in advance, for your assistance in this exciting endeavor.

Live free and be happy. EH

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Live Free and Be Happy - Part II

This is the continuation and conclusion of my discussion on my “live free and be happy” mantra and philosophy. As a brief recap, in the first part I discussed my ideas on the words “live” and “free” as I use them in the mantra. You can go back and read Part I if you haven't already. Use this link

I want to remind you that you're reading my thoughts, definitions and philosophies. I do not expect you to accept all or any of what I have to say as reality or truth for yourself. I offer it only if you're seeking answers to your own questions, realities and truths. If something I say is enlightening or inspiring, I'm pleased for you. If it sounds like a bunch of hooey or bullshit to you. That's fine! You are a different person. You have the right to accept or reject anything I say or anyone else says.

With that, let me move on to the second half of my mantra “be” “happy,” beginning with the word “be.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Live Free and Be Happy - Part I

Today, after taking a leisurely walk for my daily physical and mental health and adding to my step count, I decided to write about my mantra, “live free and be happy.” While walking, I was listening to some soothing music emanating from the ear buds, plugged into my smartphone (my 21st Century multi-tasking device). This music was streaming from the Internet on Pandora through my wireless phone and data service. It was all conducive for my mind to wander to my life and my mantra.

How miraculous this life is. I was born 12 days before Franklin Delano Roosevelt died, a few months before Harry Truman gave the command to drop two atomic bombs on Japan and change the world in ways no one could imagine. Like everyone, my life has been a journey. A journey I could not have dreamt in my wildest dreams. I'm walking down the street in a small rural town, next to a flowing river that goes all the way through and past our nation's capital more than a hundred miles away. I'm connected to the entire world with a palm-sized device many times more powerful than the computing systems that took men to the moon and brought them safely back to Earth.

For those of you in your third half of life, like me, the wonders we've seen and experienced would be hard to enumerate. For those who lived before us, the same was true, except it has all accelerated. And for those currently in their first and second halves of life, you guys ain't seen nothing, yet. I can't begin to guess what this country and world will be like in 2045, my 100th birthday. And since the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. is the centenarians, there is a nominal possibility, I might see that birthday.

That being said, this morning I shared a picture on my Facebook page (another of the miracles of Internet magic) that depicted two groups of children. It's a “then and now” scenario. Here's that impression. I believe most of the people reacting to this on my Facebook page recall the days depicted by the group on the left.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

To Consume or Not To Consume – That Is A Choice

That statement presents a Catch 22, a conundrum, if you will.

We live in a capitalistic society. Capitalism is defined as “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

More simply stated, we the consumers have choices and in most cases, with the exception of certain monopolies, we actually control the economy and whether certain businesses succeed or fail. That's pretty awesome power. And, as with virtually everything else in life, there are advantages and disadvantages, benefits and abuses with this kind of system.

We live in a Democratic-Republic, as far as the governmental facet of the U.S. society. That means (or is supposed to mean) that the government operates under the power and authority of the citizens (democratic), but laws and day to day operation of the government is delegated to elected officials elected by the citizens to transact the business of government for the citizens. It's not my intention to make this a civics lesson or talk politics. I'm simply stating the definitions.

China has also embraced a Capitalistic economic system. It hasn't always been that way. China became a country operating under the Communist governmental model in October 1949 defined as “a way of organizing a society in which the government owns the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) and there is no privately owned property.” Additionally, in most Communist countries, the citizens don't own homes, they are assigned where they will live. They are assigned jobs and paid what the government chooses to pay, etc.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Some Light On The Commemoration Of A Dark Day

Something light for you on this day, September 11th, the 15th anniversary of the worst foreign attack on U.S. soil since the beginning of this country. Remember those who died then and since then due to long term injuries or illness caused by that event, all as a result of a creed of hatred

A friend sent this to me as an email. I've seen it before. It passes around periodically. It's attributed to the late 60 Minutes contributor, Andy Rooney. I tried to vet it since so much of what passes around on the Internet is attributed to people who had nothing to do with it. Whether Andy Rooney had anything to do with these thoughts or not, I hope they lightened your heart a little on this darkly commemorative day.

I've learned....
That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I've learned....
That when you're in love, it shows.

I've learned .....
That just one person saying to me, 'You've made my day!' makes my day.

I've learned....
That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I've learned.....
That being kind is more important than being right.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Compartmentalizing – Part II - Shelter

A couple months ago I was sitting in my campsite in the Umpqua National Forest about 15 miles from the north rim of Crater Lake in south central Oregon, As I sat there, I was reminded of the people who are intrigued by my simple, living free lifestyle. Most want to look inside “My McVansion,” my tiny house on wheels, to see how one can actually live in 50 square feet. That's about the size of a small walk-in closet, to give you a bit of perspective.

In my first article on compartmentalizing I listed ten areas we humans, especially those of us living in “Western” developed societies, compartmentalize to varying degrees. In this article I'm going to focus on “shelter” compartmentalizing. Our early ancestors probably didn't have words like house, home, abode, residence, cabin, cottage, apartment, condominium, villa, townhouse, mansion and, one of the newer terms, McMansion or any other descriptors we currently attach to our variety of shelters. The list doesn't include portable, mobile and other alternative forms of shelter. But, as you can see from the list I just made, we compartmentalize the array of forms shelters may take.

And, to add to this, there are subdivisions (and I don't mean communities, that's another form of compartmentalizing) broken down into the varieties of the listed shelters. There are cape cods, split levels, bi-levels, colonial style, ranch homes, bungalows, garden apartments, high-rise apartments, brownstone walk-ups, tenements. I could go on and on, but I'm sure I've made my point. But, there is more.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I'm Still Alive.

I know it's been a couple weeks since my last article. Life has been very, very busy during this time. I spent about a day or so in Yucca Valley, visited Joshua Tree National Park, stopped in Cathedral City and spent about four and a half days in Los Angeles. In Cathedral City I visited my former wife, Cynthia, and still one of my good friends. In Los Angeles, I hung out with my son, Pete, and did some LA things with him.

Then it was on to Clovis, California for a family reunion and birthday celebrations for my former mother-in-law and two of my former brother-in-laws. We must have had over 50 people in town from all over the U.S. for the festivities. All of those events covered a week. I stayed and relaxed for two more weeks enjoying the California sun and the company of my former mother-in-law, BJ Gardner and one of my former brother-in-law's and his family. Then I was off and running again.