Friday, July 31, 2009

Health Care

I think that there should be a substantial fine for television news program hosts who do not tell the truth. Right now Lou Dobbs is being raked over the coals for his daily attack on Obama's birthplace. Katy Pilgrim sitting in for Lou Dobbs actually gave proof that he was born in the United States. The following night Lou Dobbs (who apparently does not watch his own show) was back to alleging that Obama was not born in the United States.

One of my students this week told me that he did not want his medical records to be sent to Washington under the Obama plan. I explained that under HIPPA the only way that could happen is if the student gave his permission for them to be sent to Washington. Only the patient and his or her personal physician has access to medical records. No one else. I asked him why he believed that they would be shipped to Washington and he told me that Bill O'Reilly said it on his show. If that is true then shame on him.

I realize that the whole issue is very complicated but the simple goal in the Obama plan is to have universal access to health care. It is not socialized medicine. It is not the Canadian plan. It is not the British plan. It merely means that everyone would be under some sort of health care. If you have insurance then you will keep it. You will not be required to go to a doctor that you have not picked. You will keep your insurance. You will keep your doctor. It is for the men and women and families without insurance. It will give them the opportunity to get insurance.

Currently people without insurance go to the emergency room. A visit to your family doctor is about $100. A visit to the emergency room is probably over $1000 depending on the problem. Right now if someone can't pay then we all pay. Those costs are folded into your bill and my bill. That is why an aspirin in the hospital costs $7.50. The bill of the people who cannot pay is included in every hospital bill.

Also there is no plan to provide health insurance to all of the undocumented foreign workers. That will remain the same. Both education and emergency health care are provided to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. I can't believe how the racists of this country have taken this one to the people to convince them to oppose the health care plan.

I personally do not believe it will ever pass but at the same time I think the issue should get a fair and impartial hearing in congress and with the people. Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, Glen Beck and all of the other television reporters who perpetuate myths should check their facts. If they oppose it then that is fine but please tell the truth.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Snow in July?

I just turned my furnace on for the first time in a couple of months. I live alone so it is not normally an issue. If I get cold I know who to blame.

We had major rain all night long and it is still raining right now at 10 am. I looked out around 7 am and there was a skiff of snow on my deck in the midst of the rain. My good friend Don Brown in Estherville, Iowa never believes me when I report snow this early but it was real snow. Not hail and not the result of drinking too much wine last night. Real snow.

I am not sure if I am ready for this. I have lived in Colorado for almost 40 years and I still am not used to the cold and snowy weather. Yet I do know that the very best time of the year is September and October. It is when we have the county all to ourselves and the weather is perfect. None of this stuff to impress the tourists who are long gone then.

I wonder if I should light my fireplaces? I have two. One in the living room and one in the master bedroom. Both are gas fireplaces and are virtually worthless for heat. Probably fits along with snow on the 30th of July.

I do know that the sun is still shining brightly high above the very dark clouds.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Country Music

Randy Travis recently was allowed by the Grand Old Opry to offer a membership to Carrie Underwood on the stage of the Opry. What a wonderful honor and what a wonderful tradition.

I like all kinds of music but as most of you know Country Music has a special place in my heart. It could be that I grew up in a very small country town in Iowa during the 1940s. Or it could be that I lived in Europe and New York for nearly ten years and that taught me the value of the country and its people.

Regardless of the reason it is an American tradition that lives on even stronger than ever even though one of the biggest stars Keith Urban is from Australia. You have got to give him credit though as he is married to Nicole Kidman who is also from Australia. Many other country stars are from Canada also. Shania Twain for example. Maybe it is a United Kingdom thing?

The world is truly flat. Must be a globalization thing too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The cicada's roar

In class last night the discussion gravitated toward how you can tell the outside temperature in the summer by counting the seconds between the sounds a cricket makes and then adding the number 37. I had heard that before but had never tested the theory. The conversation then went to Cicadas and how, every seven years, they come out, make a huge racket for a few days and then disappear for anther seven years. Not unlike what politicians do every four years but with much less noise.

I remember laying in bed in my childhood home in Iowa listening the to crickets and the cicadas and how they would actually keep me awake or was their comforting noise actually helping me to fall asleep?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ear Worms

Strange as it may seem it is called an "ear worm." It is where you can't get a song off of your mind. You hear it once and for hours and sometimes for days. Sometimes you will wake up with the song on your mind and go to sleep with the song on your mind. At times it can be pleasant and other times irritating.

I do the same thing with people's faces. I will see someone in a store or a restaurant, can't place them, and then spend the rest of my day or week trying to remember who they are. I wonder if that is a function of growing older?

I have always had a great memory. When I was a police officer I would memorize the "Hot Sheet" of license plates of stolen or wanted cars. I would not even have to look at my notebook as I was driving down the road. I could even put the letters in order with the numbers in another list in my mind. I made a lot of good arrests because of that ability. I guess that is gone now. I have to look up my own account numbers and PIN numbers when needed.

I have developed another irritating habit of always being able to remember someones first name but not their last name. I will say to my friends, "You know, Joe what's his name." Of course my friends do not have a clue as to who I am referring to at the time. Sometimes it helps to put Joe in a certain context like, "You know Joe. The guy who works at the tire shop." Then my friends can help.

Last but not least I have started seeing faces of people that I have no point of reference to in my life. Just a face. Men and women but a face. No body. Just a face. I am sure they exist somewhere but that where is the kicker.

Maybe that will become my next lifelong goal to find the name that goes with the face. Or go back to memorizing licence plates.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

George Drake Died

George Drake died this morning. He was 93 years old and had been living in Denver for the past few months as his health was failing. George was retired from the old Public Service Company and most recently was the greeter at Wal Mart in Frisco. George was a on-fire Christian and would greet people with "Welcome to Wal-Mart. Do you know Jesus?" People who knew him regardless of their own religious beliefs always liked the fact that he was a strong believer. He was never obnoxious and was always quick with a story or the latest joke. He would always corner me about how the world was going to hell because of the ACLU and the Pro-Choice crowd. He always talked about his dream of passing on and going to heaven to see Jesus. I guess he got his wish this morning. I will miss him.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christmas in July

If this was December today would be Christmas.

Last night driving home from my Russian Film Class in Dillon I drove by a fully lit tree with hundreds of Christmas lights on it. A tad early in my mind although I did read where several companies are running Christmas in July ads hoping people will come in and buy their Christmas gifts now and put them on lay-o-way. Probably not a bad idea. It will be interesting to see how many customers come in to buy. I do know that many retailers do 90% of their business in December and after this past year they are probably really hurting.

I stopped doing Christmas a few years ago and quite frankly I have not missed it one bit. Way too much hate and anxiety to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Peace kind of gets lost in all of that.

I think that Christmas should be part of one day. Christmas morning and children should be the only people allowed to celebrate it. I am sure that Jesus would agree.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just be careful out there

On one of our local social network blogs there was a flurry of activity yesterday as one member posted photos of a Moose in his back yard. The Moose was fearless and walked right up to the deck. I have seen Moose several times and they have a right to be fearless. They are very tall and appear menacing although they probably are not.

In the comments that followed a couple of people said that while riding horses in the same area they had been circled by Mountain Lions stalking their prey, people on horses. I have lived in Colorado for nearly 40 years and there have been many people killed by Mountain Lions. I drive by a bridge weekly named after a young man killed by a Mountain Lion a few years ago near Idaho Springs. I remember the story was that he was jogging through the canyon and the Mountain Lion jumped him from the rear biting his neck and killing him. Wildlife officials surmised that the lion may have thought the boy was a deer.

When I was running daily on Straight Creek Drive in Dillon Valley I encountered a Mountain Lion sleeping on the asphalt paved Little Beaver Trail. My dog alerted me to the lion and I decided to stop and when I did that the Lion ran across Interstate 70 back up Ptarmigan Mountain.

I reported the sighting to the Wildlife officer at the time and he told me that I must have been seeing things as there were no lions in the area. In the next couple of weeks there were many more sightings including several near Silverthorne Elementary. I think the wildlife officer was hoping that the lion had left the area and did not want to alarm anyone by reporting my sighting.

After the moose thing yesterday someone quoted something that I quote often. We are living in the home of the wildlife. They are not living in the home of humans. It is their land not ours. Just be careful out there.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cars and more cars

Each summer Summit County hosts a number of statewide and national events. Each year some are the same and some are new and different. Two weeks ago we had the Porsche group and that was interesting. This weekend it seems as though everyone is driving a Corvette so it must be their weekend. We used to have a Mustang weekend and the Panteras would slide in under that umbrella also. We have had antique car rallies where you can't get from here to there quickly because of the slow moving Model T and Model A Fords. They are fun to watch. I really like the period costumes. It is a play and they are the actors. Nice. Around the 4th of July each year the Dodge Vipers come and work very hard to wear off a set of tires by spinning them at every opportunity. Fat, bald old men who are immediate transformed into the cool dude from 1956 with the white bucks, rolled up jeans and a white t shirt with a pack of unfiltered Camels in the sleeve. My God! I just described myself. Heaven forbid.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To Teach, To Learn

Here is one for all of you students out there regardless of your age. Your job is to learn. Your teacher's job is to teach. You are responsible for learning. No one can force you to learn. It is much like eating. Someone can put food in front of you and if you either refuse to eat or are not hungry then no one can force feed you to make you eat.

A teacher is responsible to put as much learning on your plate about the subject that is reasonable and relevant to the course. You as a student have the job of deciding how much and what you are going to learn.

I have taught at the college level for nearly forty years at Metro State College in Denver and at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge. I teach as many as 150-200 students a year in the eleven disciplines in my teaching portfolio. I have a large majority of my students eventually end up getting a four year degree. Many are lifelong members of the various National Honor Societies. While others do not do the reading, never participate in class discussions, do the minimum on projects or not do them at all and then get a low grade or sometimes fail the class. I know that a few feel as though somehow I have failed them for some reason. Of course I would not agree but at the same time I wish that I could find the magic bullet that would make them be what I think they can become. They blame me for not force feeding them enough information and I blame myself for not finding ways to overcome their lack of enthusiasm or interest.

I promise to keep trying but I certainly need the help of my students.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just answer the question

Survived the public hearing in fine shape. It was really funny. It would have made a great Saturday Night Live Skit. Colorado has a constitutional amendment that put in place a permanent Medical Marijuana system. The question was never "Should we have Medical Marijuana?" The question was, "how many patients (users) should one caregiver (grower) be able to have?" The state was proposing five and the opponents felt that it was too low and would create a huge network of small growers (not midgets but growers with small crops). To a person the police officers and district attorneys got up and spoke against having the program at all. They wanted it abolished. I would question their ability to read and understand the law. That was not the question. They answered a question that was not asked and could not be asked. I am not an attorney but I teach law in several different iterations including Constitutional law at the college level. I would have given the cops and the DAs an F in my class. They simply do not get it. By the way there were a few opponents who did not get it either. They wanted to testify as to their personal experiences and not to the question of the number of growers. Maybe we should have a class for people before they testify. This is the question. You either support or oppose the question. We do not need to know what you think or feel about any other issue. End of class.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Proposed rules for medical marijuana

Off to Denver early this morning to testify before the Colorado Board of Health concerning proposed rule changes for Medical Marijuana. Several years ago both Frisco and Breckenridge were two of the first towns to approved medical marijuana in the State of Colorado. Since then a statewide approval was given by the voters and it has been the law for many years. There has always been a conflict between the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and our state law. Recently the United States Attorney General suspended drug enforcement a the federal level when it conflicted with state Medical Marijuana laws. The result of that has been the opening of many retail stores in Colorado and in other states where people holding prescriptions can purchase marijuana legally. In California they have also moved to have marijuana in 24 hour vending machines. The Colorado Board of Health is now proposing that providers can only serve five patients. That would end the progress that has been made recently.

I have always supported the legalization of marijuana. I feel that if it is legal we can tax it and use that money to provide health care and education for all of the people. Why should the drug dealers make all the money? Speaking of that, organized crime and local drug dealers are opposed to the new progressive laws concerning medical marijuana. Imagine that. The Colorado Board of Health and organized crime and drug dealers on the same side of an issue.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Best Week Ever

It is a study of contrasts. This week has been one of the nicest weeks I have had since moving to the mountains in April 1974 more than 35 years ago. While there have been many locations in Colorado with temperatures over 100 this week we have enjoyed highs in the 60s and low 70s. The contrast is the rainy weather that we had for several weeks in May, June and the first part of July. What a great thing to prevent forest fires in our beetle kill decimated forests. What a wonderful thing to green up our normally brown vegetation. But of course that too comes with a price. The increased rain causes increased growth of forest plants that causes increased potential for a huge fire once the rain stops. Beware of what you ask for. I guess we could hope that it continues to rain until the snow comes. Sometimes that happens the end of August so we might not have to wait that long.

It is a study of contrasts. This week has been one of the nicest weeks I have had since moving to the mountains in April 1974 more than 35 years ago. While there have been many locations in Colorado with temperatures over 100 this week we have enjoyed highs in the 60s and low 70s. The contrast is the rainy weather that we had for several weeks in May, June and the first part of July. What a great thing to prevent forest fires in our beetle kill decimated forests. What a wonderful thing to green up our normally brown vegetation. But of course that too comes with a price. The increased rain causes increased growth of forest plants that causes increased potential for a huge fire once the rain stops. Beware of what you ask for. I guess we could hope that it continues to rain until the snow comes. Sometimes that happens the end of August so we might not have to wait that long.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The recession is over

What a beautiful morning. It was 30 degrees overnight which is normal at 9600 feet but it will get up to 70 around noon. Could not be better.

This past week has had some major improvements in the economy. Real estate is still in the toilet along with the credit market but the rest of the world is looking better. I still believe that it will take a few years to recover but if the traffic in Summit County is any indication nothing has changed. The roads are still packed and yesterday there was a two hour wait to get a table at the Arapaho Cafe in Dillon.

Let's all hold hands and close our eyes and chant our mantra that everything is better and that the recession is over.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My zoo

I have been watching the baby voles in my yard this morning. They are really having fun running through the tall grass. Several people in my subdivision will walk their dogs around the circle every morning. It is exactly one mile so it is and nice short walk. When they get to my yard they let their dogs loose and let them chase the voles. That is fun to watch too. It is always Voles I and Dogs 0. My home is much like having a house in the middle of a zoo with voles, fox, coyotes, deer, elk, bear, cats, dogs and the occasional human being. Nice.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A fee is not a tax

A new fee has gone into effect on auto registrations. The increase was approved by the legislature to provide funding for road and bridge repairs. The entire world has erupted into a hissy fit. In Colorado there is a law that prohibits tax increases without a vote of the people. Of course the registration increase is not a tax increase. It is a fee increase. Not unlike hunting license fees or emission fees. They are fees and not taxes.

As a former County Commissioner and former Colorado State Representative my phone has been ringing off the wall. (Actually my pocket as I have not had a phone for many years.) People want to recall the state legislature and the governor for going against the state law on tax increases. Can't do it. They did nothing wrong.

People hate this when I say it but Colorado has one of the lowest tax rates in the nation. People come to Colorado from other states and cannot believe how little they pay in taxes. It is true. In fact here in Summit County they are even lower due to the large number (70%) of our property owners who do not live here. They do not eat up services. That leaves the full-time residents to enjoy expensive services that are being paid for by people who don't live here. What a deal.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lavinia, Iowa

My mother passed away twenty years ago today. I still think of her daily and miss her a lot.

She was born and raised near a small town in Iowa. The town was Lavinia and was one of those throwback communities that was created as a grain elevator centered place that eventually had a grocery store, a church, a bank and an auto garage. The school was actually on my mother's farm a few miles away.

When I was growing up I would go to Lavinia with my aunt and uncle to buy milk and bread. Later I would haul grain with a tractor and wagon to the elevator. A grain elevator was a structure that lifted grain into bins that could then be dropped into railroad cars hence the word elevator. During the harvest season or when the price of corn and beans was high the elevator was the center of the universe for the local farmers. The elevators are still there but the trains no longer come and the tracks have been torn up. The railroad right of way is now being farmed instead of cutting a swath through the farmlands. Some would call that progress but some would say not.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


We live our lives in increments. We do not live our lives from beginning to end but in pieces. We have some short increments and some longer increments but increments none the less. Those of us who are allegedly retired have much longer increments. It could be from Senior Lunch to Senior Lunch or a week at a time from church to church. Regardless it is those increments that keep everyone going. Small intermediate goals to reach. Places to start and stop. I just finished doing my teaching schedule through December. I now have five increments each week that go until December 10. Soon I will begin to live my life in those increments and each class and each week will be benchmarks of time in my life for the next few months. It is funny how we measure our lives by time. It is funny how we sometimes want time to speed up and sometimes we want it all to slow down. It is good that we measure our lives.

Monday, July 13, 2009


People drift in and out of our lives. Not on purpose or due to any serious circumstance. It is a fact of nature much like the changing of the seasons. When they leave we can almost be assured that they will return someday in one form or another. Older, wiser maybe more wrinkled or more seasoned. Still the same. Still as they always were in the first place.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Let's legalize marijuana

A very long day but that is another story as I write this at 9:43 pm about 43 minutes after my bedtime and considering that I woke up at 2 am because I was so tired after driving to and fro to Steamboat and back for a very long and tedious meeting on Saturday and had gone to bed at 8 pm last night. I have got to change my internal clock.

The State Employees of California are weighing very heavy on my heart. They are no longer getting paid and are getting IOUs from the state for their salary. The state is broke. If California was a country it would be the 8th largest in the world based on their annual budget. One commentator said that the true issue is do they want to pay for the most expensive state government in the nation rivaled only by New York and Connecticut or to be run like the State of Mississippi that has the lowest per capita expenditures in the nation.

The governorator and the legislature are both considering full legalization of marijuana and then putting a $50 an ounce tax on the sales. Great idea. It is happening anyway and they say that might bring in as much as $2 billion a year. I am helping on a similar proposal here in Colorado and in Breckenridge. Why should the crooks make all the money when we need the money for health care and education. And to bail out California.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The promised land

Sometimes people forget their manners. Sometimes people come to the mountains to relax and then forget to relax. The car that pulled in front of me, cutting me off, almost killing me if not for my razor sharp reflexes. The woman behind me in the store gently pushing her cart against my heels hoping that would make everyone in the line disappear and the clerk to work at lightening speed. The man on his cell phone yelling hoping that that would make the sound move faster through the air. The person who changed lanes three times in one block hoping that God would open the sea of cars as he did for Moses to allow him to return to the promise land. They could all not leave for the promise land soon enough.

The promised land

Sometimes people forget their manners. Sometimes people come to the mountains to relax and then forget to relax. The car that pulled in front of me, cutting me off, almost killing me if not for my razor sharp reflexes. The woman behind me in the store gently pushing her cart against my heels hoping that would make everyone in the line disappear and the clerk to work at lightening speed. The man on his cell phone yelling hoping that that would make the sound move faster through the air. The person who changed lanes three times in one block hoping that God would open the sea of cars as he did for Moses to allow him to return to the promise land. They could all not leave for the promise land soon enough.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The is no success without risk

There is no success without risk. Sometimes you have to take a job that involves risk to make a lot of money. Sometimes you have to look for risky investments to realize a considerable gain on your investment.

We have all seen how this works recently. A few highly visible ponsi schemes are good examples. They were all paying huge profits while they were operating while the investors did not realize that the profits were not profits at all but new money from new investors.

I have a lot of friends who are now unemployed. They decided some time ago to go into real estate because of the high appreciation in property values and high demand for new housing. Of course that all ended. My friends made a lot of money for a while but now they all have high expenses with no income. Hardly worth the trouble.

Others have been involved in new development and the same thing happened there. High earnings and high risks.

Was the ride worth it? Was it exciting enough?

I teach American History and Contemporary World History (20th Century) and I will assure you that this has happened a few times in the past. I think the only difference is how long it will last.

Warren Buffet yesterday commented on a national news program that we need to prepare ourselves for 11% plus unemployment and a recession that will continue for a long time. When your means to not meet your ends then you need to cut expenses.

Not hard when there has not been any inflation for many years.

I laugh when someone talks about costs and they add that they have to consider inflation in their costs. There is no inflation. If someone says that then you have my permission to laugh. We could only hope for inflation.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

For my Spanish friends

Pienso a veces que estoy no haciendo caso de mis amigos de habla hispana aquí en los Estados Unidos y en mis países adoptados de México, de Guatemala y de Ecuador. Te aseguro que no soy y que pienso en ti muchas veces diarias. Presto la especial atención al informativo de televisión sobre tu gente y recientemente sobre Honduras. Applaude I el presidente de Costa Rica para caminar adentro a ayudar a negociar una solución. Tener un buen día mis amigos.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Freedom's just another word

Here we go again.

Kris Kistofferson in his famous lyric sung by Janis Joplin said that "Freedom's just another word for nothin left to lose, and nothin ain't worth nothin but it's free."

I know that what is going on in Honduras is strange and unusual for most folks.

Basically there is a term limit in the constitution that says the president can only serve four years. The Honduran president thought it would be a good idea to form a group to investigate changing the law.

Apparently there is something in the law the prohibits that so the military came in and forcefully removed the president and sent him off to that modern day hell known as Costa Rica. You know the place with drinks with umbrellas and the only country without a military.

Right now there are two countries supporting the president, Venezuela and Ecuador plus the Organization of American States. The United States has backed off for some very interesting reasons. We do not support the forceful removal of heads of state. Heaven forbid someone might do that here. The other thing is that if we oppose it publicly we are putting ourselves in the Hugo Chavez camp.

Imagine how many times we would have forcefully removed George W. Bush for purposefully violating our constitution in the past eight years? He would have racked up a huge number of frequent flyer miles between Washington and Costa Rica.

Yes, Kris was right. It is about freedom and having nothing left to lose.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tall Thunder

After all of our rain in the past few weeks the weather gurus are now saying that this week will have temperatures in the 90s with little or no moisture. By Friday we will be begging for rain again.

Living at 9000 feet and surrounded by 13,000 foot peaks (three that are over 14,000) it is always the fourth of July. In the late afternoon I can look at my three mountain ranges (The Gore, The Ten Mile, The Divide) and watch lightening strike. Waiting for what seems to be several minutes the low, long rumble of thunder finally hits the valley floor. It is as if the is an echo when in fact I am hearing the original sound slowed down by many feet and many miles. Nice to live in such a tall place especially in the summer.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The sound of your own wheels

Jackson Browne said, "don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy" in his great song, Take it Easy. It is called dissonance. A mingling of discordant sounds. Things that are not in agreement. Noise. For some people it is comforting because it recognizes another existence. For other they need drugs or alcohol to quiet the noise. So very sad. Sad when we live with so much peace and quiet all around us. To listen to the dew on the grass in the morning. Listen to the sun rise. Listen to a swallow flying back and forth to the nest under the eaves. To lay in bed and listen to your heart beating. Listen to yourself breathing. All of these are important. The noise is not.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cleaning house

I have over 16,000 e mail addresses on my computer. I recently bought a software program that will automatically remove any duplications. Duplicate names or addresses are automatically removed. It cost me $10. Great at half the price. That is the good news. The bad news is that it is not discriminating. I could automatically remove a good name or address and leave an old address or name that is no longer relevant. Also it only works with MS Outlook e mail. What I had to do is dump all of my addresses into the Outlook contact list, do the sort and delete and then copy the refined list back to Google and Outlook Express.

The net result is that I have a very clean address/contact list but I have also found that some are not getting my forwards or my blog.

I need your help if you would not mind. If you are getting things from me irregularly then let me know. Also if you want to opt out of my daily BLOG let me know that also. I know that many of you get more e mail than you want and I do not want to add to that. If you are not hearing from me enough and want to be on more lists let me know and I can do that too.

If you want to read my BLOG but do not want it to go to you by e mail then I can delete your name and you can check at your leisure to read all of my BLOGs or the latest one on-line.

Some of you will get this message several times and for that I apologize. That is why God created the delete key.

Thanks. g

Saturday, July 4, 2009

So what's up with this?

I sometimes wonder where we went astray. When did we stop celebrating holidays for their original intent and start celebrating them for something totally different.

Today is not about picnics and parades. It is not about fireworks and backyard Barbecues. It is not about sitting in traffic for hours on end trying to get from one place to another. It is not about all of the things that this holiday has become. It is about what it used to be.

I am not against all of the things that people do on this day but I am against the fact that they do not know why the day even exists. The purpose of the day. The reason for the day. The why of what we do on this day.

Today is about freedom. Today is about revolution. Today is about self determination. Today is about the birth of the greatest nation in history. Today is about flying the American Flag. Today is remembering the personal sacrifice that millions of people have made just to keep this day as a representation of our freedoms.

I know that I am not going to change the world or even change minds. What I would like to do is have everyone who reads this to take a few seconds and remember why we celebrate the Fourth of July. Then go ahead and eat too much or drink too much or do whatever it is that you do to celebrate.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I love to teach

I began teaching at the college level in 1970 at Metropolitan State College in Denver in the Criminal Justice program. I started teaching at Colorado Mountain College in 1983 in Criminal Justice and then moved on to Social and Behavioral Science. I consider it a privilege to teach and I continue to teach today. This summer I am teaching Comparative Government and Contemporary World History. This fall I will be teaching Introduction to Sociology I, Social Psychology, American Government and Political Science.

All I ask of my students is to bring an open mind to class. I never, ever try to convince them to think and feel the way I do about the subject. In fact I tell them that I enjoy conflict and disagreement in my classes. I will often take the opposite position just to stimulate discussion. I have given an A grade to students who totally disagree with me. I gave them an A because they did the work and they proved to me that they learned the course work. I would never give an A to a student who simply agreed with me.

I teach students how to think. I teach students how to learn. I teach students how to succeed in life.

I love to teach.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


The ability to listen is probably the number one attribute anyone can have. It does not take money or college degrees. All it takes it the ability to stop talking and to listen to what people are saying.

I was listening to a discussion this morning about travel and how Americans are perceived in other countries. The speaker commented that people abroad love President Obama because he listens. He comes to Europe and other countries and actually sits down the listens to what the people have to say. He cares about what is on their minds. Their feelings and their needs. This is compared to the last president who would come to the country and then proceed to tell them how they should think and act. People were offended by the last president.

My Masters Degree is in Human Communication and I will give you a graduate level course in listening in one minute. If you are talking then you are not listening. Good communication is not a contest to see who can talk the most. If your mouth is moving then your ears are shut off. If what you have to say is more important than the other persons thoughts and ideas then you are not listening. Be quiet and listen and see what you can learn. Be quiet and listen and see how your star will rise in you circle of friends. Think of the people who really impress you in life and I am sure that they are good listeners.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Buy a Honda

There is a Porsche rally at the Keystone Ski Resort this week. Lots of 356's and cherry old models driving all over the county. Reminds me of when I went through my own personal mid-life crises and I bought a Porsche back in the early 1970s. It was probably the worst car I have ever owned with my Saab Turbo coming in a close second. I had always read good things about their engineering. Trust me. It is not true. I had actually owned a VW Bug in 1961 and that was a great car. Could not hurt it if you tried but both the Porsche and Saab were terrible cars. I could not keep them running and when I went to the shop it was a minimum of $1000 to drive through the door. I guess there is a major cost for the prestige you have while waiting at a light and others are envious of your car. If they only knew.