Inspiration FebMarch 2007

Shortarmguy's Emails To Make You Think

March 25, 2007

This is a very interesting piece to read, will take all of 2 minutes and
well worth it and should cause you to do some very serious thinking.

House 1:

The four-bedroom home was planned so that “every room has a relationship with something in the landscape that’s different from the room next door.  Each of the rooms feels like a slightly different place.” The resulting single-story house is a paragon of environmental planning.
The passive-solar house is built of honey-colored native limestone and
positioned to absorb winter sunlight, warming the interior walkways and
walls of the 4,000-square-foot residence. Geothermal heat pumps circulate
water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground. These waters pass
through a heat exchange system that keeps the home warm in winter and cool in summer. A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof urns; wastewater from sinks, toilets, and showers cascades into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is then used to irrigate the landscaping around the four-bedroom home, which) uses indigenous grasses, shrubs, and flowers to complete the exterior treatment of the home. In addition to its minimal environmental impact, the look and layout of the house reflect one of the paramount priorities: relaxation. A spacious 10-foot porch wraps completely around the residence and beckons the family outdoors. With few hallways to speak of, family and guests make their way from room to room either directly or by way of the porch. “The house doesn’t hold you in. Where the porch ends there is grass. There is no step-up at all.” This house consumes 25% of the energy of an average American home. (Source: Cowboys and Indians Magazine, Oct.
2002 and Chicago Tribune April 2001.)

House 2:

This 20-room, 8-bathroom house consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year. The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, this house devoured nearly 221,000 kWh, more than 20 times the national average. Last August alone, the house burned through 22,619 kWh, guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of this energy consumption, the average monthly electric
bill topped $1,359. Also, natural gas bills for this house and guest house
averaged $1,080 per month last year. In total, this house had nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for 2006. (Source: just about anywhere in the news last month online and on talk radio, but
barely on TV.)

House 1 belongs to George and Laura Bush, and is in Crawford, Texas.

House 2 belongs to Al and Tipper Gore, and is in Nashville, Tennessee.

March 19, 2007


You Know You’re From A Small Town If…

1. You can name everyone you graduated with.
2. You know what 4-H is….heck, you used to be a member.
3. You ever went to parties in a pasture, a barn, a gravel pit, or at the end of a dirt road.
4. You used to “drag” on Main Street.
5. You said the ‘F’ word and your parents knew within the hour.
6. You scheduled parties around the schedule of different police officers, since you knew which ones would bust you and which ones wouldn’t – same goes with the game warden.
7. You ever went cow-tipping or gopher hunting.
8. School was closed on Farmer’s Day.
9. You could never buy cigarettes or liquor because all the store clerks knew how old you were (and if you were old enough, they’d tell your parents anyhow).
10. When you did find someone old enough and brave enough to buy you cigarettes, you still had to go out to the country and drive on back roads to smoke them….same thing for the liquor.
11. It was cool to date someone from the neighboring town.
12. You had “Grade 12 Skip Day”.
13. The whole school went to the same party after graduation, along with half the town residents under 30.
14. The local golf course has only 9 holes.
15. You can’t help but date a friend’s ex.
16. You think that kids who ride skateboards were weird.
17. You consider the town next to yours “trashy” or “snooty”, but it is actually just like your town.
18. Getting paid minimum wage is considered a raise.
19. You refer to anyone with a house newer than 1980 as the “rich people”.
20. The people in the “big” city dress funny, but you and your friends pick up on the trend two years later.
21. You bragged to your friends because you got pipes on your truck for your birthday.
22. Anyone you want can be found at either the coffee shop or the feed store.
23. You see at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town and another of your friends drove a grain truck to school occasionally.
24. Coaches suggest that you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.
25. Directions are given using “the” stop light as a reference.
26. The city council meets at the coffee shop.
27. You wore your high school jacket after your 19th birthday.
28. Weekend excitement involves a trip to the grocery store.
29. Even the ugly and untalented people enter beauty and talent contests.
30. You decide to walk somewhere for exercise and 5 people pull over and ask if you need a ride.
31. Your teachers called you by your older siblings names.
32. Your teachers remembered when they taught your parents.
33. Your kids’ teachers tell them they remember teaching you.
34. The closest mall is over an hour away.
35. It is normal to see an old man driving through town on a riding lawn mower.
36. You laugh your ass off reading this because you know it’s all true!

March 18, 2007


Deer Roping


I had this idea that I was going to rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it.    The first step in this adventure was getting a deer.    I figured that since they congregated at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away) that it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.


I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, which had seen the roping thing before, stayed well back.    They were not having any of it.    After about 20 minutes my deer showed up – 3 of them.    I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope.    The deer just stood there and stared at me.    I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold.


The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation.    I took a step towards it…it Took a step away.    I put a little tension on the rope and received an education.


The first thing that I learned is that while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope.    That deer EXPLODED.    The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt.    A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope with some dignity.    A deer, no chance.    That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled.    There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close to it!    As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I originally imagined.    The only up side is that they do not have as much stamina as many animals.    A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up.    It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head.


At that point I had lost my taste for corn fed venison.    I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope.    I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere.    At the time, there was no love at all between me and that deer.    At that moment, I hated the thing and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual.    Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer’s momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in.    I didn’t want the deer to have to suffer a slow death so I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder – a little trap I had set before hand.    Kind of like a squeeze chute.    I got it to back in there and started moving up so I could get my rope back.


Did you know that deer bite?    They do!    I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody so I was very surprised when I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist.    Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and then let go.    A deer bites you and shakes its head almost like a pit bull.    They bite HARD and it hurts.


The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly.    I tried screaming and shaking instead.    My method was ineffective. It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds.    I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now) tricked it.    While I kept it busy tearing the bejesus out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose.


That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.    Deer will strike at you with their front feet.    They rear right up on their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp.    I learned a long time ago that when an animal like a horse strikes at you with their hooves and you can’t get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal.    This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape.    This was not a horse.    This was a deer, so obviously such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond, I devised a different strategy.    I screamed like a woman and tried to turn and run.


The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head.    Deer may not be so different from horses after all, besides being twice as strong and three times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.    Now when a deer paws at you and knocks you down it does not immediately leave.    I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed.    What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.    I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away.


Now for the local legend.    I was pretty beat up.    My scalp was split open, I had several large goose eggs, my wrist was bleeding pretty good and felt broken (it turned out to be just badly bruised) and my back was bleeding in a few places, though my insulated canvas jacket had protected me from most of the worst of it.    I drove to the nearest place, which was the Co-Op.    I got out of the truck, covered in blood and dust and looking like hell.    The guy who ran the place saw me through the window and came running out yelling, “What happened?”


I have never seen any law in the state of Kansas that would prohibit an individual from roping a deer.    I suspect that this is an area that they have overlooked entirely.    Knowing, as I do, the lengths to which law enforcement personnel will go to exercise their power, I was concerned that they may find a way to twist the existing laws to paint my actions as criminal.    I swear…not wanting to admit that I had done something monumentally stupid played no part in my response.    I told him “I was attacked by a deer”.    I did not mention that at the time I had a rope on it.    The evidence was all over my body. Deer prints on the back of my jacket where it had stomped all over me and a large deer print on my face where it had struck me there.    I asked him to call somebody to come get me.    I didn’t think I could make it home on my own.    He did.


Later that afternoon, a game warden showed up at my house and wanted to know about the deer attack.    Surprisingly, deer attacks are a rare thing and wildlife and parks was interested in the event.    I tried to describe the attack as completely and accurately as I could.    I was filling the grain hopper and this deer came out of nowhere and just started kicking the hell out of me and BIT me.    It was obviously rabid or insane or something.


EVERYBODY for miles around knows about the deer attack (the guy at the Co-Op has a big mouth).    For several weeks people dragged their kids in the house when they saw deer around and the local ranchers carried rifles when they filled their feeders.    I have told several people the story, but NEVER anybody around here.   I have to see these people every day and as an outsider – a “city folk”.    I have enough trouble fitting in without them snickering behind my back and whispering,


“There is the dumbass that tried to rope the deer!”

March 11, 2007



Our dog, Abbey, died August 23, and the day after Abbey died, my 4 year old, Meredith, was SO upset. She wanted to write a letter to God so that God Would recognize Abbey in heaven.

She told me what to write, and I did.

Then she put 2 pictures of Abbey in the envelope. We addressed it to God in Heaven, put two stamps on it because, as she said, it could be a long way to Heaven. We put our return address on it, and I let her put it in the drop Box at the post office that afternoon. She was absolutely sure that letter would get to heaven, and I wasn’t about to disillusion her.

So today is Labor Day. We took the kids to the museum in Austin, and when We came home, there was a package wrapped in gold on our front porch. It was addressed to Meredith. So… She took it inside and opened it.

Inside was a book, When Your Pet Dies, by Mr. Rogers (Fred Rogers).

Inside the front cover was the letter we had written to God, in its opened
Envelope. On the opposite page was one of the pictures of Abbey taped on
The page On the back page was the other picture of Abbey, and this
Handwritten note on pink paper:

“Dear Meredith,

I know that you will be happy to find out that Abbey arrived safely and
Soundly in heaven. Having the pictures you sent to me was a big help! I
Recognized Abbey right away!

You know, Meredith, she isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me,
Just like it stays in your heart…young and running and playing. Abbey
Loved being your dog, you know.

Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep
Things in. So…I am sending you your beautiful letter back with the
Pictures–so that you will have this little memory book to keep.

One of my angels I S taking care of this for me. I hope this little book
Will help.

Thank you for your beautiful letter — Thank your mother for sending it
What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.



March 4, 2007

A Story Worth Reading . . .

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, and then drive away.

But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of  danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

 So I walked to the door and knocked. “Just a minute”, answered a frail, elderly voice.

I could hear something being dragged across the
floor.   After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil
pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.  By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with
sheets.  There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

 “Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

 She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

 She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing”, I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated”.

 “Oh, you’re such a good boy”, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

 “It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly..

 “Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a Hospice”.

 I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have  very long.” I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

 “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

 For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator  operator.

 We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture  warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

 Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing..

 As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said,

“I’m tired. Let’s go now”

 We drove in silence to the address she had given me.  It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

 Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

 I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

 “How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

 “Nothing,” I said

 “You have to make a living,” she answered. “There are other passengers,” I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

 “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said.

 “Thank you.”

 I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.

Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life

 I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.

What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?

 What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

 On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

 We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

 But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.



 Thank you, my friend…

 Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

February 25, 2007

How to annoy the IRS

1. Always put extra paper clips on your forms. Any foreign fasteners or the like have to be removed and put away.

2. Always put staples in the right hand corner. Go ahead and put them down the whole right side. The extractors who remove the mail from the envelopes have to take out any staples on the right side.

3. If you send two checks, they’ll have to staple your unsightly envelope to your half destroyed form.

4. If you’re very unfortunate and have to pay taxes, send two or three party check. On top of paying with a third party check, pay one of the dollars you owe in cash. When an extractor receives cash, no matter how small an amount, he has to take it to a special desk and fill out of few nasty forms.

5. Line the bottom of your envelope with Elmer’s glue and let it dry before you put in you forms, so that the automated opener doesn’t open it and the extractor has to open it by hand.

6. Never arrange paperwork in the right order, or even facing the right way. Put a few upside down and backwards. That way they have to remove all your staples, rearrange your paperwork and re-staple it (on the left side).

7. Sign your name in ink on every page. Any signature has to be verified and then date stamped. These are just a few of the fun and exciting things you can do with the IRS. These methods are ONLY recommended when you OWE money.

8. When you mail it, mail it in a big envelope (even if its just a single EZ form). Big envelopes have to be torn and sorted differently than regular business size ones. An added bonus to the big envelope is that they take priority over other mail, so the workers can hurry up and deal with your mess.

9. Write a little letter of appreciation. Any letter received has to be read and stamped regardless of what it is or what it’s on.

10. Write your letter on something misshapen and unconventional. Like on the back of a supermarket sack.

11. If they owe you money, being nice helps.


February 18, 2007

See what 50 years will do.

  Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.

 1956 - Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.

 2006 - School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.


 Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

 1956 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

 2006 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark.  Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.


 Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

 1956 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal.  Sits still in class.

 2006 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.


 Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.

 1956 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

 2006 - Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that
she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.


 Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school.

 1956 - Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on the smoking dock.

 2006 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations.  Car searched for drugs and weapons.


 Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.

 1956 : Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

 2006 : Pedro's cause is taken up by state democratic party. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a
requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned
from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can't speak English.


 Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed

 1956 - Ants die.

 2006 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from
home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.


 Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary, hugs him to comfort him.

 1956 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

 2006 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job.  She faces 3 years in State Prison.


February 11, 2007


I’ve learned you can get by on charm for about 15 mins. After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned you shouldn’t compare your self to the best others can do, but to the best you can do.

I’ve learned it’s not what happens to people that’s important. It’s what they do about it.

I’ve learned you can do something in an instant that will give you a heartache for life.

I’ve learned no matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.

I’ve learned sometimes two is a crowd.

I’ve learned regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.

I’ve learned it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned it’s a lot easier to react than it is to think.

I’ve learned you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned that, along with the eyes and cheeks, tears wash the soul.

I’ve learned Angels can’t lie…. even if they try.

I’ve learned flowers and pricker bushes grow out of the same dirt.

I’ve learned you can keep going long after you think you can’t.

I’ve learned we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned I can’t visit a bookstore or music store without buying something.

I’ve learned either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I’ve learned that sometimes I just need to be held.

I’ve learned learning to forgive takes practice.

I’ve learned if splashing in puddles means you have to wear wet shoes for the rest of the day, Sometimes it’s worth it.

I’ve learned you can love someone and still not like them very much.

I’ve learned when I’m given a choice of 31 flavors of ice cream, I still choose vanilla.

I’ve learned there are people who love you dearly, but just don’t know how to show it.

I’ve learned my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned I’m getting more like my mom, and I am happy about it.

I’ve learned true friendship continues to grow , even over the longest distance.

I’ve learned a little kiss can make a big difference.

I’ve learned silence can be an answer.

I’ve learned just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned no matter how old I am, I want my mom when I’m hurting.

I’ve learned maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned you should never tell a child his dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if he believed it.

I’ve learned how is more important than learning what.

I’ve learned I wish I could have told my parents that I love them one more time before they died.

I’ve learned it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned poems don’t have to rhyme.

I’ve learned our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned we don’t have to change friends if we understand friends change.

I’ve learned you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned the clothes I like best are the ones with the most holes in them.

I’ve learned If you can’t name it, scrape it off your pizza.

I’ve learned it’s not what you have in your life but whom you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned you can learn your lesson, but you don’t always remember it.

I’ve learned a good friend is better than a therapist.

I’ve learned if your dog doesn’t like someone You probably shouldn’t either.

I’ve learned sandwiches cut diagonally taste better.

I’ve learned there are names that hurt much more than sticks and stones.

I’ve learned you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned sometimes you have to accept things you don’t understand.

I’ve learned that no matter what the weather channel says, if you wash your car it WILL rain.

I’ve learned to believe in prayer.

I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.

I’ve learned everything looks different through tears.

I’ve learned the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned the path you’re on looks different when you turn around.

I’ve learned if you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t believe in you, you should get out before you stop believing in yourself.

I’ve learned no matter how old or how experienced you are, you can always learn something from a child.

I’ve learned no matter how beautiful your makeup is, it can’t hide the expression of a sad heart.

I’ve learned wearing a halo can give you a headache after a while.

I’ve learned no matter how closely I follow her recipe, my cooking never tastes as good as my mom’s.

I’ve learned you shouldn’t leave your fork on your plate when you reheat your food in the microwave.

I’ve learned no one ever drinks the last drop of anything in a container they would have to wash or refill.

I’ve learned not everyone can be silly. Some people just don’t know how.

I’ve learned the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else.

I’ve learned one of the best things I can give a hurting friend is my presence, not my words.

I’ve learned sometimes a P.S. to a letter contains the most important message of all.

I’ve learned rainy Sundays are great for snuggling, reading, napping, and listening to Classical music. But not necessarily in that order.

I’ve learned picking out a Halloween pumpkin is fun at any age.

I’ve learned in this world, you don’t need a multitude of friends. All you need is one who will stand by you through thick and thin.

I’ve learned you should never change everything in your life at once. Keep something the same just for the stability so that it’s easier to remember who you are.

I’ve learned that nothing beats the taste of a piece of your own homemade fresh bread from the oven, slathered with melted butter. well, maybe Chocolate!

I’ve learned opportunities are never lost; Someone will take the one you miss.

I’ve learned every drop of rain adds to the ocean.

I’ve learned the fire of a past love will always burn with a small flame.

I’ve learned the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I’ve learned the bad guy doesn’t always wear a black hat.

I’ve learned the end isn’t always where it should be.

I’ve learned people always underestimate my ability, but one thing they should never underestimate is the drive behind my ability.

I’ve learned the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

I’VE LEARNED That no matter the consequences, those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.

I’VE LEARNED That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I’VE LEARNED That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I’VE LEARNED That it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings, and standing up for what you believe.

I’VE LEARNED That sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I’VE LEARNED That either you control your attitude, or it controls you.

I’VE LEARNED That it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’VE LEARNED That you can keep going long after you think you can’t.


February 4, 2007


1000 Marbles

      The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the
unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

      A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a
typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I
came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting
business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

      “Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your
family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your
daughter’s “dance recital” he continued. “Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his
theory of a “thousand marbles.”

      “You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live
less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

      “Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire
lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any
detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.” “I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I
only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three
toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.”

      “Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the
really important things in life.

      There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”

      “Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast This morning, I took the very last
marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use
is a little more time.”

      “It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old
Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!”

      You could have heard a pin drop on the band when

      this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to
meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

      Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast” “What brought this on?” she
asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy
store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.

Inspiration from the past

On this page, I will post the most inspirational material I receive on any given day.  So email the best stuff you get.  Life can be darn tough sometimes and every now and then you might need a little happiness booster.  I’m hoping this page may accomplish that.  After you read a few of these,  you can push back from your keyboard, throw your arms in the air, wave them back and forth and scream “I’m glad to be alive!”  If this happens to you, please send pictures and I’ll post them here!