I miss you Sam!!

I miss you Sam!!
I miss you Sam!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Help Needed Now

With all the other problems this country is facing these days and probably for the next several years, it’s easy to lose sight of the intense struggles of many G.I.’s coming back from overseas deployment in Iraq and Afganistan. Returning to civilian life for those who have been in combat is always difficult at best. Studies have shown that a third or more of the GI’s returning from combat in those countries – more than 300,000 men and women – have endured mental health difficulties. They have experienced the agony of deep depression and alarming numbers have tried or succeeded in committing suicide, according to an article by Bob Herbert, Op-Ed Columnist for the NYT. A CBS News study found that veterans aged 20 to 24 were two to four times as likely to commit suicide as non-veterans of the same age.

Founded in June 2004, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those Troops and Veterans. They have initiated an advertising campaign designed to increase the number of veterans seeking treatment for their mental health difficulties. There are so many who are embarrassed to speak about their problems or are unaware that help is available, or even that they need help.

The site is filled with features and news updates on many topics and information on a wide range of mental health resources. Their ads are powerful and send the message that: “If you’re a veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan, you’re not alone.”

This ad campaign, if disseminated widely enough (it is depending on donated media), will reduce the heartache of G.I.’s and their families and will save lives.

Combat does terrible things to people and there is a tremendous need for more attention. Paul Reickhoff, IAVA’s executive director put it this way: “Nobody can cross this river without getting wet.”

If you know of a G.I. that has recently returned from these tragic war zones and may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome – perhaps not even knowing exactly what it is – and many don’t, let them know that help is available. We may be able to help save these young lives by spreading the word of this organization and the work that it is doing.

Additional Inspiration

You are about to see something beautiful!

If you love nature, beautiful photographs and inspiring music...you're going to love this short inspirational movie.

To watch, just click here. http://news.simpletruths.com/servlet/cc6?kpuitLQSSBQAVyHlrHgBxnuHptQJhuVaVR

To Life,
Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths

Goals for the Coming Week -- Some of My Quirky Humor Afterall

I posted one of these earlier today, questioned whether it was a good idea or not, then decided to do all four of them -- just to prove my quirky sense of humor.
So, I hope you get a giggle out of these naughty little angels -- these days I think their advice is pretty appropriate!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Brief Trip Around the Country

My son was in Las Vegas on a business trip recently and took some pictures of the rock formations near by. If you click on the photo you'll be able to see rock climbers on the face of this cliff. They're braver than I am, that's for sure.
A full moon over my other son's backyard in Texas.
From an Oregon friend's trip to Canada.
And a brilliant dawn in Arizona.
What a beautiful country we have! What a beautiful world we live in! It's easy to forget these blessings when times are difficult as they are now, so over the weekends I try to focus on the beauty that is all around us and sometimes throw in a little of the funny stuff when I can find it. I have to be careful with that though because I have a quirky sense of humor that might not be funny to some people. But for tonight and tomorrow it's just the beautiful things. Hope everyone has a great weekend!
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

For some reason I was unable to post my Sky Watch pictures today -- no idea why, but something squirrelly. So, as I was looking through some emails from friends I ran across this and it did strike a chord with me as I'm sure it will with many of you. Bet you never realized how tough we were -- are!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolaid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING ! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms....... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! If YOU are one of them . . CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

Hmmm, kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?

The View from Russia

Sky Watch #19

This sky seemed to have difficulty deciding whether to be gray and dark or sunny with pastel colors. Many of our days are like this -- fickle weather!

Such soft and beautiful colors frequently color our skies in the late evening and never fail to lift my spirits. I have to admit that I never tire of taking photos of them because they are never exactly the same from on day to the next.

Always moving, always different.

And there are a lot of these this time of year!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy 39th Birthday, David!

The Price of Curiosity!

Ever happen to you?
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To Be or Not To Be?

That does seem to be the question these days regarding the possibility of Hillary Clinton becoming Obama's Secretary of State. It's the big question everywhere, there's talk and analysis, pros and cons everywhere you look and in everything you read. Personally, I have some doubts about how wise a choice it would be -- just not sure whether Hillary would really be doing her best to help Obama or whether she still has her eye on the presidency eight years down the road. Does Obama really want to deal with the Clintons for another eight years? I'm not taking anything away from the fact that Hillary most definitely has the qualifications, but the big question for me -- and apparently many others, is how would she manage the relationship with Bill and his own globe trotting, speaking, fund-raising, philanthropic agenda etc. etc. It would seem to be without question that he would have to curb some of his activities and would he really be willing to do that? How much does he feel he owes Hillary? Lots of questions and I'm sure I'm not the only one asking them. Thomas Friedman has a great Op-Ed piece today on the subject and it's definitely worth reading.

On Huffington Post, Al Giordana posted this:

There are many annoying aspects of the noise machine that is blaring that arrogant and cacophonous yet familiar mantra: "Clinton is inevitable."

We heard it for all of 2007 when they told us that Senator Clinton was the inevitable Democratic nominee for president.

And we're hearing it all over again regarding that same Senator Clinton and the position of Secretary of State...
"It's a done deal. It's inevitable. He's already offered it. She's already taken it."

I say to you now as I told you and so many others then: It is not inevitable.
And there's a very interesting twist in the story tonight because one Chicagoan of gigantic integrity has stepped forward to insert some reality into the noise.

Abner Mikva - former federal judge, law professor, member of Congress, reformer of Chicago politics, chairman of the Illinois Human Rights Commission... and former White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton - told the New York Times today:

The vetting of Mr. Clinton's myriad philanthropic and business dealings is "complicated, and it may be the complications that are causing hesitation on both sides," said Abner J. Mikva, one of Mr. Obama's closest supporters and a White House counsel during the Clinton administration.

"There would have to be full disclosure as to who all were contributors to his library and foundation. I think they'd have to be made public."

While aides to the president-elect declined Monday to discuss what sort of requirements would make it possible for Mrs. Clinton to serve as secretary of state, they said Mr. Obama would not formally offer her the job unless he was satisfied that there would be no conflicts posed by Mr. Clinton's activities abroad.

Associates of the Clintons said that Mr. Clinton was likely to have to make significant concessions and that he was inclined to do so. Among other things, they said, he would probably have to agree not to take money for speeches from foreign businesses that have a stake in the actions of the American government. Another obvious issue, Democratic lawyers said, would be whether Mr. Clinton's foundation should accept money from foreign governments, businesses or individuals for the foundation's philanthropic activities and if it should disclose those donors publicly.

"The problem is it's going to require some sacrifice by him," said a former Clinton aide who is not involved in the discussions but did not want to be identified because the talks are confidential. "If he's not willing to do that, it could blow up."

One proposal, floated by Mr. Mikva and several other aides involved in the vetting process, would be for Mr. Clinton to separate himself from the activities of his foundation, including raising money.

"It's not just what he does or says - it's the fact that the foundation is involved with foreign countries, some of which might well be in conflict with U.S. policy," Mr. Mikva said. "It's more than a legal problem - there are ethical problems and appearance problems."

Just another interesting series of twists and turns in this ongoing political tale.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

No need to say more!

More Problems for the Wolves!

Thanks so much for your recent action to oppose the Bush/Cheney sneak attack on Greater Yellowstone and Northern Rockies Wolves. Already more than 51,000 caring people like you have spoken out! But this outrageous effort to eliminate vital protections for our wolves could result in the slaughter of as many as 1,000 wolves two-thirds of the region's population.If we're going to save these wolves, we'll need plenty of help. Please help us spread the word by forwarding the message below to at least 5 friends and encourage them to join your efforts to save our wolves.Working together, we can ensure a lasting future for our wolves.

With Gratitude,
Rodger Schlickeisen
Defenders of Wildlife

Obama's Blackberry

Linda of Texas to Oregon had a post the other day about it being a shame Obama was going to have to give up his Blackberry and I couldn't have agreed more, but apparently we aren't the only ones who feel that way. Jonathan Alter of Newsweek has a great article about why Obama should keep his Blackberry.

Keep The Blackberry

By Jonathan Alter

Barack Obama is under pressure to do so many things immediately upon taking office January 20. What should be his very first act?

Keeping his Blackberry.

That's right. Obama must keep that trusty PDA he has come to depend on, despite bogus "security" demands that he give it up.

Before Obama gets to "Yes, We Can," he has to start with "Yes, I Can." And the only way he can be successful in the presidency is if he can stay connected to the world beyond the "splendid isolation" of the presidency. To succeed, he must be constantly exposed to a wide variety of opinions—not just from advisers, experts, pundits and polls, but from his friends.

Obama's hero, Abraham Lincoln, called it "a public opinion bath." He got it corresponding with ordinary people and by flinging open the doors of the White House to anyone who wanted to come by for a visit. These "baths," Lincoln knew, were critical to his success.

Lincoln's approach doesn't work any more. The world's too big. But technology now offers a way to circumvent the stifling chain of command and help a president get at least a little closer to the truth.

One question a lot of Texans ask these days is, "What happened to the George W. Bush we used to know?" The answer, in part, is that Bush foolishly listened to the security people who made him give up his email account in 2001. The result was that old friends suddenly found they had no way to get through to the president. More than a few watched in horror as he drove the country over the cliff.

Now I'm not arguing that email would have necessarily saved Bush from disaster. It's not as if Bush would have read a message from, say, Brent Scowcroft when the former adviser to Bush "41" was arguing in vain against the Iraq War. But maybe Scowcroft would not have had to infuriate Bush by going public in the Wall Street Journal if he had been able to get through to the president by email. (Scowcroft's efforts to see the president personally were blocked by White House aides).

Or let's say that at a certain point in 2002, a dozen old friends—people he respected and knew had his interests at heart—had emailed Bush that he should give sanctions more time. Maybe it would have at least given him pause.

Isolation is the major occupational hazard of the job, wrote George Reedy, a former aide to LBJ, in his classic, "The Twilight of the Presidency." But what was once virtually unavoidable can now be eased by technology that every president should use.

Yes, Obama needs Rahm Emanuel and others to guard his time and keep people from eating up his day in meetings and phone calls. But email is efficient for any executive. It lets him access the outside world on his own terms. And you can bet that the people in the president's email address book would contact him only sparingly. They know his time is valuable.

The main argument for making presidents give up their email accounts is that email can be hacked. What if a foreign government got hold of it?

The answer to that is: so what? As long as Obama doesn't respond much to the email beyond "Go Sox!" or "thanks"—which is about the extent of what he wrote during the campaign when he responded at all—the harm would be minimal. At worst, spies or other hackers would learn that some guy from Chicago they never heard of thought Obama should do this or that.

More likely, the U.S. government can figure out a way to secure Obama's Blackberry communication the way they secure his telephone calls. They have already agreed to do so for his desktop computer in the Oval Office. (He will be the first president to have one).

Some objections have been raised related to the Presidential Records Act, which puts all White House correspondence in the official record. The answer to that is to simply release the email correspondence on the same schedule as applies to presidential snail mail.

The Blackberry decision is symbolic of so many calls Obama will have to make. Some official will always be telling him why something cannot be done for this reason or that. His response should be to press them hard on why things cannot be done differently.

Mr. President-elect, hanging onto your Blackberry would free you a bit from the gilded prison of the White House. It would help you keep it real amid the stifling air of unreality that will soon envelop you.

And if you think giving up smoking is hard, wait until you go cold turkey on the Blackberry. You'll be bumming handhelds from your aides all day long. Might as well keep your own.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My World for Tuesday #4

A favorite place in My World is Crater Lake in Oregon. It is remote and incredibly beautiful. Friends of mine were there recently and sent me these photos to share with all of you. Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

This first shot was taken on an overcast day with only a little sun shining on the water, maybe not the best light, but you don't always get what you need at any given time. However, it is still one of my favorite and if it looks familiar it is because I use it as the header for my blog.

The picture below is of Crater Lodge, which sits on the southwest rim of the crater at 7,100 feet above sea level and a 1,000 above the lake.

This is a 3-shot composite panorama of the crater and lake, about 150 degree view and the only way you can see the whole lake in one photo.

This shot is an early morning view of a portion of the crater rim sticking up above the lake that has been formed in the volcano's caldera over the past 5,000 years.

http://showyourworld.blogspot.com/ click here to find out how to join us and show your world!

Some Thoughts on Staying Young

Try everything twice. On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph:
Tried everything twice -- loved it both times! Sounds like a winner to me!

Keep only cheerful friends -- the grouches pull you down. Also, keep this in mind if you are one!

Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening -- whatever. Never let the brain get idle. An idle mind is the devil's workshop and the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

Enjoy the simple things.

Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots of time with him/her.

Tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive!

Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

Cherish you health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. And I do love all of you, my very special friends!

Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance.

Share these thoughts with someone.

Remember! Lost time can never be found.

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Important Health Advice for Women

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

Do you suffer from shyness?

Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Chardonnay. Chardonnay is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Chardonnay can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Chardonnay almost immediately andwith a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstaclesthat prevent you from living the life you want to live! Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living.

Chardonnay may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Chardonnay. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it. Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked Twister!


*The consumption of Chardonnay may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to think you can sing.

* The consumption of Chardonnay may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

* The consumption of Chardonnay may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

Now just imagine what you could achieve with a good dry Merlot !!!

What can I say???? Seemed like time for a little humor!

What Can I Say?

What Can I Say?
I'm interested in almost everything. Use to like to travel, but it's too expensive now. I take Tai Chi classes, swim, volunteer in a Jump-start program for pre-schoolers. I'm an avid reader and like nearly everyone these days I follow politics avidly. I'm a former teacher and Special Projects Coordinator for a Telecommunications company, Assistant to the President of a Japanese silicon wafer manufacturing company. Am now enjoying retirement -- most of the time. I have two daughters, one son-in-law and two sons scattered all over the country. No grandchildren.

Portland Time