Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another New Link

Check out a brand new site. Bri McIntrye, a young mother with four active children, is using her talent for photography to document her family's lives. She is quite good. Click on the link under Sites I Like, or try clicking on the title of this post.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maturity beyond their years

I have added a new link to the sites I like. Snyder Family Blog. I have known Tony and Heather since birth. I have watched them grow, fall in love, marry, have a beautiful daughter, and have to deal with heartbreaking circumstances. Click on the link to read about them. Your heart will break, and then shout for joy. It's extraordinary.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Dr. Mike Adams : Sunday's Breast -(not about politics)

This article is worth your time, especially if you are a parent with daughters, or sons, or if you are a husband, or a wife.

Mike Adams : Sunday's Breast -

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Monday, August 24, 2009

United States:'Too big to fail'?

Interesting thoughts from William Murray, the son of deceased famous atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hair.

United States:br'Too big to fail'?

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Do we deserve this?

Commentary by legendary entertainer Pat Boone.

Do we deserve this?

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Discipline your brats

The latest from World Net Daily columnist Patrice Lewis.

Discipline your brats

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I didn't think there would be any reaction to my last previous post.

Evidently, I was wrong.

To those who have responded by various means, thank you.

To those who read without comment, thank you.

I was in the midst of a bad day. That being said, I also revealed the truth as I see it. Most people don't put all their bad qualities out there for all to see. I did. Let the chips fall where they may.

Yes, there are problems. We all have problems. I have always been told to compare my circumstances to those of others, and I will see that I don't have it so bad. Perhaps. But I'm tired of comparisons. The fact remains: my life has unfolded, in the manner it has, mainly as a result of my own choices, for good or bad. That was my point. I only speak for myself.

Call it clarification, mea culpa, CYA, whatever.

Let's move on.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Yada, yada, yada.........

It occurs to me that lately, I haven't really written anything myself on this blog. Shared a few articles that I personally liked....but nothing original from me. There's a reason for that, I suppose. Maybe just laziness.....but it's more than that.

I have been fighting with negative personal feelings. You wouldn't know it by seeing me during the day, or at work, or even at home or church. But inside my head. I really wonder at times if I'm clinically depressed. There are times when the things I really enjoy, don't seem to mean much to me. On TV commercials you hear that that is one of the symptoms of depression. I believe I'm depressed because of the poor decisions I've made over the years, and the consequences and repercussions of those decisions. Also, I am not confident in myself and my abilities. In truth, I have very few abilities. I'm not handy at anything. I don't hunt, fish, or do any other outdoor activities that would be associated with being a man.

And perhaps there is the root of it. Growing up, really, from age 8 to 16 without a dad around. Oh, Mom had guys she dated, one long-term, but none of them invested in me real time and effort. Simply put, I wasn't their son, so I didn't matter.

This is coming off as a pity party. I'm sorry for that, but I am telling the truth as I see it. I am the type of person...that when something negative happens, there are two ways to go: rise above it, or let it sink you. 99% of the time, I let it sink me. Because I simply DO NOT KNOW HOW TO OVERCOME IT. Most everyone else I know seems to have the innate ability to know what to do in any given situation. I don't. Plus add to that, the fact that I really don't want to offend anyone (yet I seem to quite a lot), and that's a recipe for a messed up human being. I wish I had listened to, and learned from, the people in my life. I didn't. I went my own way, and where I am now is a result of that. No one did it to me. I did it to myself. There are times though that I wish someone cared enough for me to offer real practical help in any and all areas. I need help. Some of it is I just don't know what to do in particular situations. It's as simple as that......but frustrating to me. But at my age (44) I'm supposed to know how to handle everyday life. If I were a drug addict, or a drunk, or any number of other things that you can get help for these days, then I'm sure I could receive help. But my current state is one that has been many years in the making, and if I were to share all of it with people, they would say that I just need to work harder, do what's right, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, blah blah blah. To me, in my head, IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE. If it were, I would not have written this post.

This is just me venting. I have no illusions that anyone else will read these words. I guess I'm still bitter about losing my factory job. There was supposed to be options for schooling and retraining. I didn't know how to 'work the system,' so I missed out on that......and now I work at Walmart, and my wife has been unemployed for almost A YEAR.....and I feel like I'm sinking ever deeper into a bottomless hole that is suffocating me little by little.

I'm scared. Scared of losing my wife, my family, my friends, my church, my home....scared of losing everything. If people understood and knew, REALLY knew, me........they wouldn't like me. Why?

-I have a smart mouth. I use it to say mean things.
-I'm a selfish b******. Have been selfish ever since I can remember.
-I am a cynical person. A real downer. No fun to be around.
-I may know facts, but otherwise, I'm not very smart.

Okay. Enough self-loathing for now.

Someone,.......anyone.......please help me.

I'm sinking.....further and further down.

Reilly: Camp Sundown shines with the Yankees in the

Reilly: Camp Sundown shines with the Yankees in the

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Jerry Springer nation

The latest truth-filled article from entertainment legend, and born-again Christian, Pat Boone.

A Jerry Springer nation

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I thought dissent was patriotic

Good followup to previous post.

I thought dissent was patriotic

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Unmistakable evil

I hearby assert my Constitutional right to dissent by declaring my solidarity with the following article. I will not call you names; please do me the same courtesy.

Unmistakable evil

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Establishing presidential eligibility

As a citizen of the U.S., as well of Illinois, I want to know why "President" Obama, our state's former U.S. Senator, refuses to respond appropriately to the question of constitutional eligibility for the presidency.

Establishing presidential eligibility

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Remembering My Favorite Teacher

I found out earlier this week that a former teacher of mine passed away last month. Here is his obituary as it appeared in the August 6 edition of the Daily Gate City of Keokuk IA. I will share my thoughts and memories afterward.

Robert Ross Cates

BELLEVILLE, IL---Robert Ross Cates, 71, died Friday, July 17, 2009, in Memorial Hospital, Belleville, Il. He was born in Glendale, Ky., the only son of Sallie Cates and Robert W. Cates. He is survived by his mother, Sallie Cates, his wife, Rosalie Cates, and their son, Jon Cates.

He taught instrumental music for 26 years, directed high school bands and played professionally in a number of jazz and dance bands. He began playing music professionally as a teenager and at an early point in his career he opened for Ray Charles. He played in bands such as The Richard Tucker Orchestra, The Skyliners and The Noblemen, and with musicians such as Clark Terry. He taught instrumental music in Warsaw, Carthage, Brown County and East St. Louis in Illinois, and in Cave City, Ky. His longest tenure was in Warsaw where he recently celebrated his career and his colleague Lynn Johnson's retirement from Warsaw High School.

His students went on to teach, direct and play music professionally in bands such as Stan Kenton's orchestra.

His family continues to be grateful to everyone at Memorial Hospital in Belleville who provided him with life-saving health care for the last five years.

A memorial celebrating his life will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Bethelehem United Church of Christ, Sutter, Il.

Donations can be made to The Musicians Monument in Rand Park, Keokuk. Contact Nancy Ballenger at 319-670-9203.

I am, of course, saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Cates. I first met him in 1976, after starting sixth grade at Warsaw Middle School. He was, in point of fact, my first music teacher. I wanted to learn to play an instrument. My mother wanted me to take up the trumpet. I was, however, more interested in the saxophone....mainly because of my mother playing record albums of the tenor sax player Boots Randolph. Mr. Cates agreed, and suggested the alto sax. I came to find out later, that Mr. Cates himself was a sax player. He never bragged or talked much about his experience professionally. He sought to bring out the best in each of his students, no matter what instrument they played.
In physical appearance, Mr. Cates could be described, charitably, as 'rumpled.' He was short, balding and not overly handsome. Yet when he smiled, as he did when something went well, or a student learned something new, there was no better affirmation. He could sometimes display a short fuse, but only when he knew we were not giving our best. Afterwards, he felt worse about it than we did.
His bands were always among the top in the area. During my two years in his HS band at Warsaw, his reputation was such that our band was invited to many, many events. We could choose only five events each year to participate in. One year our band was invited to an event in Baltimore, Maryland. Too bad we couldn't go to that one.
I can honestly say that during my six years living in Warsaw from 1975-81, the single most positive male influence in my life was Robert Cates. He didn't just teach music; he taught us life lessons too. At a time when my own father was distant, Mr. Cates was seemingly there when and if I needed him. He would not have been comfortable with this adulation, I'm sure. It is true, nonetheless. Bob Cates cared for his students. I was reminded of this one last time the day of my mother's funeral. As those in attendance filed past Mom's casket at the end, through my grief and tears I looked up......and there was Bob Cates. He quickly filed past, and gave me a nod of the head. I had not even seen him come in.......yet there he was. That spoke volumes to me.
I saw him for the last time, as it turned out, in the summer of 1983. After I had graduated from Triopia High School, I visited Warsaw and dropped in on a rehearsal of the summer band Mr. Cates was working with. It was great to see him again. I hope that I told him how much he meant to me. I don't remember if I did.
Recently, Mr. Cates was in attendance at the retirement party for Miss Lynn Johnson, vocal music teacher at Warsaw for 33 years. Selfishly, I wish I could have been there. (I have had opportunity to tell Miss Johnson how much she taught me, as well. If not for her, I probably would not be doing any singing today.) Anyway, if I had been there, and could have addressed those in attendance, perhaps I would have said something like this:
I am proud to be part of the legacy of Bob Cates and Lynn Johnson. They have had a profound influence on who I am, and what I do.
Bob Cates is more than a teacher, an instructor. He is a friend, to all who have the privilege to know him. His professionalism and character shone through in all he did. He wanted the very best out of us, musically.....but more importantly, he wanted his students to be their very best no matter where they went or what they did. We knew that he cared about us, not just as students or band members, but as people. He loved us........and we loved him. He was always our teacher first; but when we needed a friend, he delivered....time and again. He is one of the finest men I have ever known....and it is my honor to have been one of his students.
Here's to you, Mr. Cates. Your place in the hearts and minds of your students, is secure. As the song by Dan Fogelberg states, "I am a living legacy to the Leader of the Band."
Rest in peace.

Thursday, August 6, 2009