Life Lessons

It has only been four days since I said no political posts for a while, and although this touches tangentially on politics, it is not really a political post. What's on my mind today is something I think is at the root of most of the rancor and division in America. Too many Americans have lost the skill of critical thinking. Instead, they choose to "believe" things. What started me on this line of thinking this morning was a comment...

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Last week I had a typical yet interesting Facebook exchange with an Ecuadorian. I believe he spent some time in the US, and may have family there, but mostly he does one man shows around Ecuador. On Inauguration Day, he posted a simple "Welcome to Socialism". Comments were mixed, mine was rather tame in comparison to some - "Anyone who thinks Joe Biden is a socialist either knows nothing about him or doesn't understand the word." A few days later...

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From November of 2001 to July of 2015 I worked as a Senior Computer/Network Engineer for General Dynamics, assigned to the US Senate support contract. For the first seven of those years, before my wife's failing health led to me working more and more remotely, I worked out of an office in the basement of the Senate Russell building with about 40 or so other techs. We would be sent out on trouble tickets to work on computers, networks, printers,...

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Friday the 13th is your lucky day! Happy to announce that the OnlineBookClub is promoting my book "An Uphill Climb - Survivor's Guilt and the Inca Trail" as the Book of the Day on Friday November 13th. To celebrate, you can get your FREE Kindle edition of the book between now and midnight Saturday the 14th at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DDGZQKJ . In this year of COVID, many families are facing the challenges of Survivor's Guilt, and I hope that in some small...

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As we get down to the last 15 days before the Election, more and more attention is being focused on the polls. It is a data-palooza for the analysts, with new algorithms being fed through tens of thousands of simulations every day, spewing out new results. For most Americans though, especially in light of the 2016 election, one question stands out more than the predictions of who will win - can we trust the polls? If I may quote the...

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It all began with the election of 1952, when a UNIVAC computer correctly predicted the outcome of the presidential election. Now if you look at the election results from that year, it seems like it would have been a no-brainer to predict. After all, Dwight Eisenhower beat Adlai Stevenson by over 6 million votes, and wiped the electoral map with him by winning 442-89. However, according to all of the pre-election polls, expectations ranged from a Stevenson landslide to a...

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I've been encouraged lately about the publication of my latest book, "An Uphill Climb - Survivor's Guilt and the Inca Trail". Although sales continue at a trickle, they do continue - and are starting to pick up a bit. More importantly, the reviews posted on Amazon have been excellent, with 12 out of 13 rating it "5 star" and one "4 star". Even better, only one reviewer was not a complete stranger, and that one was someone I have not...

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August 28th, a big day for us. It was on this day three years ago, after over a year of mental and physical preparation, that Rita and I were standing at Kilometer 82 just outside of Piskacucho in Perú, ready to take the first steps on a 26-mile 4-day/3-night hike to Machu Picchu. It is just over a month since the book about the hike and the struggle to prepare for it, "An Uphill Climb", has been available on Amazon...

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Over eleven and a half years ago, on January 10th, 2009, an emotionally broken fat man sat down to try and write out some of his grief. He had lost his wife and companion of over 25 years to cancer just five weeks earlier, and was having trouble dealing with his pain, his job, and the mundanity of life in general. He began to write about what he had lost, and what it had been like to go through those...

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As we get ready to go into our fourth month of self-quarantine, at least there are some silver linings. We've expanded our morning walks to almost five miles, and we have developed a very efficient pantry and garage-shelf food storage system. With all of the time at home, Rita has started sorting and digitizing boxes and boxes of old photos. I was able to finish and publish my book on touring the Galápagos Islands , and I should be ready...

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