Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Thought I'd put something up that fits with the last day of Black History Month. Tomorrow also starts the season of Lent. Somehow, these words seem to fit like a span to bridge the two. Hope yours is going to be one of dreams contemplated and prayer for a more peaceful world, internal as well as external.

(from the Fall of 2004)

With all due respect to Dr. Martin Luther King, whom I admire as one of the most influential people of the 20th century, I would like to present my own set of dreams for consideration. I in no way claim the position he held as a purveyor of peace and justice. I am simply a citizen of the U.S.A. But I feel, as he must have, seriously unrepresented by the major political parties of our country. During every campaign, I see again and again that I can’t call myself Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. There is certainly something in each party that I like, but there is also enough about each that I cannot tolerate. And I am fairly sure that there are a lot of us out here who feel this way.
So it is with this in mind that I say...........

I have a dream. That unborn life will once again become the foremost right, by virtue of the eventual overturning of that misguided and ill-fated decision, Roe vs. Wade. The abomination of abortion has been like an open sore on the soul and psyche of our nation for far too long. No people can claim to be operating “under God”, and have this practice seen as legal. We have a stain on our collective soul for this dark period in our history. I am not so naive to think that abortions will end completely, but I can dream that they will. And I can’t help but dream that with this change would come a healing, and a new focus. Not to mention the blessing of God returning to our country.

I have a dream. That people who are truly in need, like single mothers with young children, developmentally and emotionally disabled people, and poor and elderly citizens will get the support, care and assistance they require, simply by virtue of their need. Every day we see this program being cut and that budget being slashed when it comes to taking care of the people who can least take care of themselves. We have always been a government of the people. All the people. And not just those who contribute to the GNP.

I have a dream. That as our domestic economic policy continues to offer incentives to business, it also continues to recognize the rights of people to organize and bargain. Having been on both sides of this labor fence, I know that the job of management is to get the most out of the work force at the least cost, and that the role of the union is to protect the rights of the worker for a fair wage and safe conditions. I have always hated the switch from the term “personnel” to “human resources.” Somehow it put the working man and woman on the same plane as a box of nails. The dignity of the worker has been diminished. It seems that recent years have seen a decline in the influence of the union. History has shown that without an advocate, workers lose. A strong union presence is essential to an equitable free enterprise system. There is no reason this cannot always be a win-win proposition.

I have still another dream. That we will continue to be the greatest power in the free world, but still remember that we can’t always save that world. World terror has changed the face and focus of our lives forever. We cannot afford to be isolationist in an ever-shrinking world. But neither can we always solve everyone’s problems. It is true we have always been the guys who cared. Sent money, food, medical supplies, troops. But this hasn’t always worked out the way we wanted. Take a look at Africa. Or Korea. Or Vietnam. And as much as the recent historic elections in Iraq have made any right-thinking American stand in awe at the courage of the Iraqi people, the jury is still out on that venture. There is the feeling that, even if sometimes we really do need to save the world, maybe somebody else needs to step up once in a while, too. Freedom does not come cheap, I know, but why is it always our guys who pay the greatest price?

Speaking of dreams, what has become of Dr. King’s? In the 40 or so years since his famous speech, can it be said that progress has been made? I’d have to give this a qualified “yes”. More and more, people are being judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. My kids have gone to school with and played with kids of other races. A lot of blood, sweat and tons of tears have brought about the laws that have helped this to come about, but I believe hearts are changing as well. In our own St. Louis region, we have growing, diverse cultures. Our people are not free of prejudice, but it is a “work in progress.” That in itself is partial fulfillment of King’s dream, voiced decades ago.

It has been said to never let go of your dreams. Langston Hughes wrote that a dream deferred can dry up “like a raisin in the sun.” So I’d like to thank Dr. King for his dreaming, and for his call to “let freedom ring” in this great country of ours.

I just hope that someday I can hear that ring come from a national party that represents my dreams, rather than perrenially get stuck picking and choosing from the menu offered by the two biggest players at the table.

Now that would be a dream fulfilled.

Monday, February 20, 2006


Here is a column that I got a lot of response to.
Hope it strikes a chord.

The concept of talent is something I think about a lot. It mystifies me how some people can become brain surgeons, and others carpenters, and still others physicists and musicians and oceanographers. I mean, just where do these gifts come from? What genetic forces are at work that can spawn a virtuoso violinist from the union of two tone-deaf people? And when you see people with tremendous athletic ability, don’t you just wonder what their moms and dads were like in their youth? And how about someone who grew up in Kansas deciding to study the deep blue seas?
When I think of talents as gifts, it reminds me of the Bible story where the master gives the servants talents and sends them on their way. Some use them wisely, gaining more talents, some hoard them, and at least one guy squanders his. Any parent can attest to the hope that their children will use their talents well. We all encourage our offspring to try new things, to practice hard, to give their best. For who really knows if the little booger is a dancer or flutist or potential World Cup goal-scorer?

Which, in a round-about way, brings me to the talents of yours truly. I can’t really play the guitar, in spite of having one for almost 20 years. My high school physics teacher gave me a “D” in my senior year so I could graduate with my class. (I pulled a whopping 32%!) Thankfully, Jill pays the bills and balances the checkbook, keeping us both out of debtor’s prison. And me and tools never have been become all that well acquainted.
I guess there are just some of us who are consistently average. Oh, I changed a part on the washer last year and the basement still hasn’t flooded. I can handle a few things around the house, like light bulbs. But when it comes to anything that has a potential of breaking at 70 miles per hour, or producing serious electrical shock, well, there is a reason that the yellow pages is full of professionals.
I do have some unique skills. Nothing that anybody would pay good money for, but valuable nonetheless. There’s my world class ability to nap just about anywhere, anytime. I somehow have gathered a vast storehouse of useless information that keeps my kids forever groaning. I can do a dead-on impression of a geek, with glasses over the ears, pants hiked up, the whole mess. Always good for a giggle.
So I say, so what if I will never fix a brain, discover a new species of platypus, or solve a quadratic equation. Or even replace an electrical outlet. I just have to do the best with what I’ve got, like the vast majority of us.
After all, being exceptionally ordinary may be a gift in itself.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


I needed to take a look at where I was headed with this site. So I backed off for awhile. Thought about how I would link, what I would write about.
I have decided to only link to positive sites. Too many of those I have been reading are very negative, angry and in some cases uncharitable. I have the option to not read these, of course, but I also have the obligation not to offer them as links.
It is in no way a statement on the quality of their messages, or the passion and sincerity of those persons. They are choosing to follow their hearts. Who am I to judge?
Consider it a change in direction.

I just think that the change will do me good.
You too, I hope.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


rdl from "when I grow up" suggested I post some of my past columns. Thanks for the vote of confidence, and the idea. So here is one from February 2005.

In the course of talking to people, I have come to the not-so-surprising conclusion that we are more alike than different. Yeah, some have blue eyes, some brown, some straight hair, some curly, and some of us are follicley- challenged. We come in various shades and hues, lengths and girths, and speak in a vast variety of ways.
But there are some universal experiences and reactions that make put us in the same boat on this voyage of life.
Awhile back, a comedian made a big hit with the use of a line after a statement….”you just might be a redneck.” So borrowing on that phrase, I’d like to offer just a few thoughts that “If you (fill in the blank), you just might be normal.”
If you’ve ever reached down into the cushions of your couch and found an M&M… and ate it…..you just might be normal.
If you’ve ever tried to rearrange the insides of your nostrils while waiting at a stop sign, and glanced over at the car next to you to see the driver grinning at you….you just might be normal.
If you’ve ever come back from the mailbox smugly thinking you must be quite popular, only to find most of the mail headed to the recycling bin and the rest to the “bills to pay” folder, you just might be normal.
If you’ve ever come home from little Johnny or Janies’s soccer game, and come to the realization that, no, the college scholarship is NOT in their future……you guessed it, you just might be normal.
It really is no crime to be normal. It beats abnormal. Or dysfunctional. Take solace in that. So don’t be ashamed if…
You ever have accidentally nodded off in the armchair while watching the 9:00 news.
You have driven like crazy, violating at least 12 traffic laws, to get to a kids tournament basketball game, dropped the kid off at the door, and raced into the gym, only to find that the game ahead of you has just ended the first period.
You’ve tripped over absolutely nothing, and then done that little skip like you meant to do that, thank you very much.
You once fell asleep with your arm over your head, dreamt that you had a horrible industrial accident, bolted awake and freaked out because you could neither see nor feel your still-sleeping right limb. (well, maybe I’m the only one who has done that).
Maybe you have had that, shall we say, “blemish” so big it had its own zip code, and you’re long past puberty.
Or walked off the elevator on the wrong floor, gone all the way down the hall to the office you thought was yours, only to open the door, look around and quietly back out.
If you’ve ever found your wife’s car keys in you coat pocket, after already pulling into your own parking lot, and had to make THAT phone call home…..you just might be normal.
If you’ve ever…done the “left, right, left shuffle” with somebody in a hallway…bumped your head on the doorjamb of your car…got so sick that the toilet and the trashcan were required at the same time……threatened to quit your job, 3 times in the same week….refinanced your home mortgage to pay off those charges, only to find those same charges mysteriously rise once again…wondered what in the world your teenaged son or daughter sees in someone else’s teenage daughter or son…..well, then, you just might be normal.
To misquote old Forrest Gump, “normal is as normal does”. It takes shared experiences to see our humanity. It’s this world’s trips and stumbles that keep us honest.
So take heart, friends and keep that stiff upper lip. Just hope nobody sees that hunk of mayonnaise hanging off the end of it.

Monday, February 13, 2006


I haven't been able to put much down lately....illness, family members from out of town....so I need to take a short time out and refocus on what I want to do with this space.... how I want to proceed.
Be gone for awhile.
Until then...........

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


What is your take on purgatory? Is it real? Based on scripture?
Me, it think it is like a metaphysical "time-out" where our soul goes to make that awful wait until we get into the Pearlies....you know, we weren't so danged awful bad on earth to deserve the H-bomb....but sure as shootin' we weren't no angels either...so we do NOT get a "Pass Go and collect $200 heavenly bucks for expenses" once we shuffle off this ole mortal coil.
Gotta pay the piper for our stupidity and hubris and thinking we knew more than the Big Guy.
So, there we sit, seeing St. Peteys open door policy for those who have served their time, but knowing we are not worthy just about yet, and it is painful...not as painful as sitting on the front stove burner, but not nearly as great as meeting the Lord.
Still, we know we snuck in the doggy door when the Gatekeeper wasn't lookin', and every dog has his day, so ...that has to count for something.
I also really do not think those who die get right in, like the eulogists are wont to say at funerals....not even saints.... they have some down time too...a lot of them were some first class sinners in their day....why else would we pray for the dead, except to get the Boss to go easy on them..?
So.....What do you think?

I know I'll be pleased as punch to get my big toe in the back porch door....

Once you're in, your're in, baby.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Since everybody but Bob's uncle are making predictions, here go minz.....
1. In spite of a great game by Hasselbach and Anderson for the NFC champs, the Boys Of Steel will ride The Bus home to their first win since who the heck cares when....
2. I will eat way too much chili, much to the dismay of my co-watchers, drink a few, burp a lot, and probably take a nap at half-time, since I never could get into the Stones. (Recall, I can sleep anywhere, anytime.)
3. Wifey, sisters and friends will have a girly day at one of the sissys homes, and will laugh, cry, eat baked chicken, drink wine, cry, laugh, look at old pictures, laugh, cry, kill the rest of the wine, and have a "crunk" of a time without the dudes, who are basically boring drunks anyway.
4. Call-ins Monday will continue to plague the American workplace, and Osama B. Laden will denounce us as infidels. Not even "W" will respond to this idi-ote, as he will also call in sick to the WH.
5. The local sports world finally will begin to pu it's focus where it belongs.......THE CARDINALS!

Enjoy the game....half time should have been Motown totally, but $ screwed with the DE troit minds.
(Bob's uncle just called....he's got "Hawks by 5"....)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Been on retreat, then got sick with a good old sinus infection....lot of good retreat did me...(just kidding, God!)
Still, being ill sure does make one appreciate the small things, like standing up without feeling like your knees are goo, or not being constantly achey/dizzy/snotty/ hacky.
Everybody at work and most in our family have something. Could be attributed to the warmer than usual January we are having here in St. Louis. A long-time meteorologist said it ain't global warming, just the cycle of the earth. I tend to go along with that, but then, he missed the forecast the other day pretty badly. So who knows.

Saw George last night...some show. He do smirk a lot...mostly to the left side of the crowd on the floor...Did I see him wagging his finger at the bad little boys and girls of the Dems? That must have made old Hil want to get up and punch somebody...probably Bill....not that she needs a reason... she probably always wants to jack him a good one. Probably why he lives elsewhere. I'd put money on her in alley fight with the former Pres. She a mean one, that girl. Looking at her reminds me of the Wizard of Oz...no, not the movie, the actual Wizard! "Pay no attention to the 'woman' behind the curtain."
Then I heard John Kerry say today that "53% of our kids don't graduate from high school"...seems kinda high, doesn't it? Need to check that one out.


Welcome to any readers of the Journal and STLtoday.com....here is a quick tour of the site...not much to it...you can read any past postings by going to "Archives" on the right, find some interesting writers by clicking on any of the "Links", and see interesting stuff on the ads boxes....also, you can go to "Google" by way of the box at the top. So check my site out, and then "Google" something after that. Talk about fun!!!! And if you visit, let me know, by clicking on the
"Comments" spot at the bottom of each post.
That's about it...thanks for checking it out.