Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Category: Rants and Raves Page 1 of 4

Another New year – 2020 Edition

As always, the new year bring about thoughts of the past, plans for the future, dreams of what we hope to accomplish and worries of things that might, or might not, happen.

This last decade was incredible and terrible. We had our first, and only, child. I lost many friends and gained very few to replace the empty places vactated by those departing. I had sickness that set me back, physically, quite a bit, suffered an incredible betrayal at the hands of someone I thought was a friend, and we lost my father-in-law in the closing months of the decade.

With past New Years celebrations, I, like so many before me and so many will continue to do, had fallen into the habit of creating a “New Years Resolution”. Those rambling self congratulatory promises that many of us make, to make us feel better about ourselves for a short period of time, and then make us feel bad when, typically about two months into the new year, we fall back into our old habits and forget those “resolutions”.

This year I have decided to actually MAKE the resolution a habit again, but not for anything new. I have decided to make a promise to keep doing something that I have already been doing, but to transition it into a lifestyle, going forward.

That resolution is called, simply… SCREW IT.

Many people that know me, know that I try very hard to help others. I have given so much of my time and energy to people that I do and do not know, to try and help them or help them help themselves. I do this never asking for anything in return and many times if someone DOES try to pay me back, I turn it down. I do that because I do not help people for my own benefit. Since I do not believe in a “Heaven”, I am not expecting brownie points for my good deeds to get some special table or audience with G-d or any other deity (yes, some may point out some implied hypocrasy in that I spelled G-d that way… it is out of respect and habit.) I do not think that, even if there IS a heaven, that it works that way anyhow.

But back to my point.

I have become tired of offering suggestions, helping out, putting my time out there only to not see the person, or persons, I am trying to help actually use, try to use, or appreciate the effort. I am also tired of not seeing some response from people that I try to help. No… I am not asking for praise or a pat on the back. I am asking for people to show respect for the efforts by improving themselves. Or by taking the advice or suggestions and working with them to try to make things better for themselves or those around them.

For example… if you come to me and ask me for advice to set up a page on LinkedIn for your job search and I help you, and I am talking about REALLY helping you, not just point out a couple things and let you go. But sit with you and walk you through everything and then, after all that, you tell me that you had your little brother do it for you… then yeah… I am going to be pissed.

If you ask me for help in getting a job, and I go out on a limb, find you a position and get you in the door and call in favors, and then you say, “Sorry, It’s not what I was looking for.” Then, again… pissed.

These are only two of a couple books of examples I have. And starting this year, it all changes. Altruism has it’s limits and this year, going forward, I have a limited supply.

I will still help. But the moment I see it is not going to be used by the person I am helping, or that the effort is going to be wasted, on my part, I am stepping back and saying…

Screw it.

Do I sound like I am being a little too harsh? Maybe. But we all know what I am talking about. If you are over 25 and have a good heart, you know exactly what I am talking about. Chances are that by 25, if you are one of those that feels good about giving of yourself, that you have had at least one time when someone asked for help, you spent your time with them, and then they went and did it their own way anyhow and, as seems to happen in the cases I recall, they fell on their face.

Yeah… that is what I am talking about, and I am done.

Yes… I know it is harsh. But I have my reasons. Mostly it is that I look at my life and see the investments I made in so many others at the expense of my own happiness and time. And while that is fine for family and the people close to me, it is not so much when I do this for people whose closeness is defined on what I can do for them and do not hear from them otherwise.

That’s all today.

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade.

Do you want to annoy The Samurai?

Yeah, this is going to be a rant.   Sort of like Peter Griffin’s “You know what grinds my gears” from the show, Family Guy.

For the most part, I am pretty laid back these days.  Not a lot gets to me or annoys me.  It has taken me years to achieve this zen like state with regards to people that used to be able to find that chink in my armor and get to me.  But there are still things that will get to me.   I would like to talk about a few of them here, because there are some people out there that I just DONT THINK UNDERSTAND that what they do IS annoying.

“Guess What?”

This is tops of my list.  There is a person that uses this more often than anyone else I know and each time it is like grating nails on a chalkboard.  I mean, I have heard it from others, and it is mildly annoying from them, but this other person… She will be silent for long periods of time, then out of the blue, I will get a text message, “Guess What?”

For the longest time, I bit… I would ask, “What?”  About one third of the time I would never get a response from her and I would have to ask again.  There were even a couple times I can recall that when she finally responded, she forgot what she was wanting to tell me.  So in my thinking, it was either a lie in the first place, or just not something that was important enough to start the conversation anyway.

Whenever I get these messages, my mind thinks of ways to mess with the person sending them.  Another friend of mine that has been the victim of the “Guess What” messages told me we should start responding with:

  • You’re pregnant?
  • You’re excited about something?
  • You’re depressed?
  • You’re experiencing intense gas?
  • You’re having a bad day?
  • You’re having a great day?
  • You’re having vaginal spasms?
  • You’re going to die?
  • You’re needing help?
  • You’re going to college?
  • You’re sitting on a Cactus?
  • You’re making amends?
  • You’re an idiot?

I finally told her about a year ago that I would not longer respond to “Guess What” messages.  So, as promised, the next time she sent me one, I deleted it without reading it.

Note:  This is something that she obviously forgot, because two days ago I got, and promptly deleted, a “Guess what” message from this person.  To quote Homie the Clown, “Homie dont play that!”


Anyone that says or uses in written form, “Irregardless”.

I firmly believe that IF there is a Hell, there is a special place for people that use this fake word.

I cannot say that people that use it are lazy, because when you think about it, the word they SHOULD be using is “Regardless”, which takes a little less time and effort to use, so they are just working that much harder to sound ignorant.

I know that there are people out there that use it because they may have heard it and thought it was real, but as soon as they are told otherwise, they need to stop.  Moreover, when I was growing up, my mother taught me that you should know what a word MEANS before you use it.  So if this is applied, then people would see that while yes, it is listed in Websters, they would see that it is not something that they should be using.  See the attached.

So while yes, they do say it is a word, it is not a standard word and, technically you are saying “not regardless”.

So move on.

People that pronounce the “B” in Subtle.

Yes, there are people I have met that do.  So stop it.  I know it can be confusing and yes, English is a confusing language, but if it is your primary language, get used to it and say the words right!


Getting invited to parties, because they need a Tech.

This is why I stopped going to parties.  No lie.

I can count at least ten times (yes, I know, fool me once…) where I was invited to a party or event, then at some point, the host or their significant other come to me and ask, “Can I have you take a look at something?”

Then I am led to their computer and told a story about how something is no longer working.

Because I am a nice guy, I do it, then end up missing the party and later hate myself for falling for it… yet… again.

I have put a stop to it, though.  If you want me to look at your computer because you pulled some bone-headed maneuver and messed it up, make an appointment with me for another time.  If that was the only reason you invited me, fess up, and I will leave now.  Otherwise, let me have fun.


That is it for now… as I think of more I will post another article.


Thanks for reading!!


Et tu, Brute?

This Article was originally published and then retracted for personal reasons.  I have decided to republish it with the original timestamp.

There is nothing more painful that betrayal, especially when it is by a person that you have accepted as a close friend.  But this is something that recently happened to me.

This is not a bash piece, though in my heart I would love nothing more than to take this person apart, verbally.  But at my core, that is not and never has been who I am.   I do get mad, I to hurt, I do feel, but I think that it speaks more to who I am to be the better person than to throw the other person to the wolves, so to say, and publicly assault them.

I do not make friends easily… in fact, I would say that I really do not make friends anymore at all.  I have people I know and past friends that I have let slip away, but when it comes to going out, meeting up with people and having a good time, that is really just not me.  It is not because I do not WANT friends, in fact it is just the opposite.  I will look longingly at people sitting in groups at the bar or in restaurants, as they talk, cavort and have a grand time.  I will watch them and wish that one of those people was me.  That I had that kind of group that I could get together with.  That I was one of THOSE people.

When, as recently happened, I stumble upon a person that I like, who seems to click with me, whose personality is pleasant and compatible with mine, I feel a bond.  Unlike my usually careful, responsible and paranoid self, this time I went ahead and opened up and let this person in.   Some of the problems and ordeals that they spoke of were similar to things I had gone through.  Some of the challenges that they faced were on the same note as ones I had dealt with through my life.  I felt as though this person would be someone I could talk to and share problems with and maybe help one another.

Unfortunately I was incorrect.

I will not go into details, but in the end this person turned out to be no different than the others I had met in my earlier years that caused me to build my personal walls in the first place.   It appeared that this person had a sophomoric agenda, like those people I remember from high school, to open a person up, gain their confidence and friendship, and then attempt to emotionally poison them.  In this case, I was that person.

The level of pain and betrayal that I felt was indescribable.  It pushed me into the start of a depressive bout that I was worried that I would not get out of any time soon.   Luckily I was able to fall back on the help of my wife and son.  I spent the next few days hanging around with my four-year-old son, since my wife was at work most of this time.

I have to tell you a bit about him, my son.  He is only four years old, but the little guy is wise beyond his years.  One of the times I was sitting with him after we watched a movie and I asked him, not really expecting an answer, just wanting to talk aloud, “Giddy… what do you do when you feel bad?”

He looked at me for a moment and told me, “I go give Nana and Pampa and Mommy and Poppi a hug and kiss.  Don’t feel bad poppi, lets go see mommy.”

And that, as simple as it sounds, was my turning point.  Suddenly my son gave me a life lesson that was something that I really already knew, but he needed to remind me.  That no matter how bad things had gotten, no matter how bad I hurt after this person inflicted what I consider to be a brutal betrayal, I have my family there to support and help me back up and on my feet again.

Within days the depression had started to subside and I was feeling better, but there was still anger and hurt.

Anger for what this person had done to me, anger in myself for not following a lifetime of rules that I had in place to prevent things like this from happening, anger for sharing a part of myself with this person that I normally kept to myself and my family.

Hurt for the fact that now I have to relearn how to be who I was before.  Hurt that I had been foolish enough to think that someone like this liked who I was and would allow me to befriend them.  Hurt because I thought I had opened a new chapter in my life and had learned to start letting people in again.

I am not sure that either the pain or hurt will ever go away, at least not completely. But I understand this person now and I realized that it was my own fault for letting it happen.  I realized that there was a reason I built that wall so many years ago and now have not only put it back up, but reinforced it.  This will not happen again.

So, my takeaway has been that I need to be careful about who I befriend and always remember that family is there when things go south.

As for the person in question…  well, I cannot see feeding the anger, they are not worth it.  It does hurt, losing that friendship, but I suspect that it was better that it happened now, than later.  At a time when there was more invested in it.   I do hope that this person looks back one day and sees something in this that helps them understand about human interactions, friendships and trust.

Is this the best money can buy?

I have been trying to not post political articles, I really have.  I have grown to really hate politics over the last few years.  It is not because I do not enjoy the discussion of politics, but because there has been no “side” to take recently.

I look that the people that call themselves candidates for the GOP, and the only thing that I really have to ask is, “Is this the best our money is buying?”  I mean, you listen to these jokers talking and “debating”, and you start to get the feeling that the GOP is purposely throwing their chances in the race.  That they are not really serious about TRYING to win.

I have not seen what the Democrats have to offer yet, and frankly, I am not looking forward to it.  Because with what the GOP is offering this go around, I am pretty sure that the only way the Dems will lose is if they go out and nominate Courtney Love, and even in that case, I think she would have a fighting chance, from what I have seen.

Maybe I am just naive or jaded.  I still think that the person who runs for the office should be motivated to be there by something other than popularity or money.  They should be there for the sole purpose of making the nation better.  Too often, especially during Obama’s run, I hear people talk about how he has his “Legacy” to think about.

I think that if a person goes into any undertaking thinking about their legacy first, then they are not worried about anything other than looking good to begin with.  They are not interested in taking chances on unpopular decisions.  They are not willing to go out on a limb to piss people off, even their own people in their own party.

Maybe I will end up being wrong.  Maybe this will end up being a great year for politics, but about the only way I see that happening now is if there is a miracle and we have a powerful figure step up as a “Third Party Candidate”.  If the third party ever had a chance, it is going to be this time around.

We shall see.

As always, thanks for reading.

Thanks for the memories and experience…

It would be unfortunate and I would be inconsiderate if I were not to mention Mercy SouthWest in a positive light, though our birth experience.

The overall experience of giving birth, for both Father and Mother alike, is an overwhelming ordeal.  While the end result is the blessing of having a new life in your life, the nerves, worries, pain, etc… all have to be dealt with in a manner to keep everyone happy.

The doctors and staff at the Mercy South West hospital here in Bakersfield were absolutely phenomenal. At no point did they treat us like this was something that they do every day.  They treated us like this was something just as special to them as it was to us.

I have been in hospitals several times over my life, and rarely can I say that they were pleasant experiences.  This one, however, changed that.  This is one of those rare times that if someone were to ask me if there is one day that I would like to relive again and again, what would it be.  Without question, that would be January 17th, 2011.

If you live here in the Bakersfield, Ca. area and are reading this, if you want to know where you should go to give birth.  Please consider the Mercy Southwest birthing center.  I cannot express what a great experience this has been for us, and the staff there made it that much better.

How I was banned from Google AdSense…

This is a story without a happy ending, having to do with a large company with no customer service, and it started in March of 2009.

It is about a company that seems to have grown so large and become so successful, that it can no longer afford to put people in place to help others.  What I plan on sharing with you is not so much that I was banned from Google’s Adsense program, but the processes through which I tried to resolve the problem and the results of that.  I will discuss a little about the process of being banned and what, I am pretty sure, was the cause of my being banned.

Monetizing my site.

After my site, this site that you are visiting right now, had been up for s few years, I decided that I would like to see if I could make a little money from it.  Not being sure how to go about it, I was told about using a service like AdSense, that would allow people to click on content relevant links on my blog, and send them to other sites.  I, in turn, could recieve a small stipend from AdSense for people doing this if they were good clicks.

I am sure I do not need to explain the process to you folks reading this.  Pay-per-click has been around long enough at this point and there are enough of them out there, that this should all be common knowledge to even the greenest of surfers at this point, So I will not bore you with THOSE details.

Shortly after the site went live, I received an email that, for anyone who runs a site and has AdSense, makes the blood freeze in your veins.  The notice from Google that my account had been suspended because of invalid clicks.  Through some investigation, I finally determined that was happened was that my wife had, without knowledge of the consequences, followed several links on my pages to advertisers.  Because of the fact that these clicks came from the same IP as my home, even though it was a different computer, they determined that I was attempting to defraud them, and closed my account.

This is where the issues I have with Google start.

Customer Service (or the lack there of.)

When I first received the email for Google explaining that there was a problem, I panicked. I did not want to have a mark against me with something like this, so I sent in a request for more information.  This is when I discovered that Google has a policy about not sharing the the details of HOW they know that you may have been the cause of the invalid clicks on your site that cause the Ban.  They appear to have a proprietary system that they cannot tell you how they know, for then, I am assuming, you might learn how to defeat it.

I had, during this time, start my own investigation online to see if other people had suffered this fate and what they had done to overcome it.  I was not disapointed, and I discovered that I was part of what appeared to be a very large family of people that had been banned by Google for thing that they considered to be violations.

I will not say that everyone that I met on the Google AdSense forums was innocent.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  There were a great number on there that, when you visited their sites, were in clear violation of the TOS for the AdSense program.  Some of these were sites that I cannot understand how or why they were accepted in the first place.

Then there were many that were banned for very minor issues, the most common of which is not having a privacy statement.  Some of these sites were also guilty of have two or more Monetizing services set up to work on their sites.  Then there were yet others that I, no matter how hard I tried, could find nothing obviously incriminating about them.  This left me to assume that they might have been in the same boat as I was myself.

During this time, I had submitted my first Appeal to the Adsense team and waited to see what the response would be.  I wrote a detailed explanation of what I think was the cause of the erroneous clicks and informed them that this would not happen again.  After I sent this I decided to spend what I thought was going to be a few days looking at the other people and seeing if I could offer advice on the forums.

Within a matter of hour, or so, I received a reply from them stating that they replied stating that they reviewed my request and my site and decided that my site, the one you are reading right now, represented to much of a risk to the Adsense advertisers and they would not allow me back into the system.

Thus started my crusade.

I continued to putter around on the forums and answer questions here and there.  I also made it a point to try and corner a Google employee, on the rare ocassions that one posted something there, but always met with defeat.  They would either not answer any of my questions, or they would refer me to the TOS.

This served as nothing more than fuel for my ire.  I was not content to just sit and not do something about it.  Yes, a mistake was made on my part, but it was just that, a mistake.  We all make them and they are meant to be forgiven at least once.  I can understand it if you make the same ones over and over again, then there is a time to cut a person loose.

So I continued to try and reach someone, anyone, that could help me out.  I found numbers to call within Google and those got me nowhere.  It seemed that when I reached a person, they knew nothing or did not know where to direct me.  I sent letters to any address I could find, even being so nice as to include self addressed, stamped envelopes with them.  All explaining my situation and then asking them to reconsider their banning me.  I never received a reply.


Google has still not contacted me, and I am still banned from their Adsense program, but I am still working on them.  I am not going to just let this go.  This draconian attitude that they have of only giving a person a single chance just does not make sense to me.  One and your done, I think is what someone on the forums told me.

Google needs to really rethink this program if that is the attitude they wish to keep.  Or, if they plan on playing that way, at least do us all the honor of not even pretending and eliminate the whole “Appeals” process.  It is all just smoke and mirrors anyway and only seems to serve the process of making people THINK they have a chance to get back into the system.

I have since moved on to a company called InfoLinks for my site advertising.  Granted, I am not getting rich and I do not expect to break the bank anytime soon, but that was never what it was about.  All I ever hoped to do was make enough to pay for some of my operating costs for this site.  Anything more would have been icing on the cake.

They just do not get it!

Have you ever been walking through a parking lot and happen to be looking in the windows of some of the cars parked there, and see a car with a woman’s purse sitting in the open. Sitting there for the whole world to see, just asking for someone to come along with ill intent and bust out the window and take it?

This is what I saw tonight as the wife and I were getting a little ice cream at a local place called Dewar’s, and when we went back out to the car, there was a nice BMW parked next to us that had what looked like an expensive purse sitting on the seat. Worse that this by itself was the fact that not only was the purse open, but you could see money in it. Granted… it was only what looked to be a few singles, but if someone was looking for an excuse to bust out your window and steal a purse, then that would have helped them make that choice.

In this day and age, I have never understood why people do foolish things like this. Opening themselves up to loss like that and then putting on the “Oh woe is me” when they get their stuff stolen.

OK… so I should explain that I am not saying that anyone DESERVES to have their property stolen. I have had things stolen before, so I know that feeling, and there is no way I would want a person to feel that sort of loss. That being said, there is no reason that a person should invite that upon themselves and then be surprised.

People just do not seem to GET that people will look for opportunities just like that to open up. There are people that walk through parking lots and look for easy steals, and that would be just too easy of a steal. The only thing that would make it easier would be to leave the door unlocked and a note on the window letting them know that it is open.

Get a clue, people… especially this close to the holidays.

The US Oil industry

We are a funny lot, you know?

I am not just pointing my finger at others, but I will include myself in this argument as well.  Because at one time, in the past, I also felt that there was too much oil exploitation in the US, that we were destroying the land with our rigs and drills.  But that was many years ago, when I was still swayed by the teachings of others and did not have the desire to make decisions for myself based on my own research.

That being said, there is a problem that affects many of us.  As an example, when the state says that they are going to build a new rehab center for people released from prison, everyone says, “Great job, they just need another chance!”

Then the state says that they are putting it in your neighborhood, and that changes everything.  Suddenly it is not such a good idea and you are getting in line to petition against it.  You are all for it, as long as it is someplace else.

The county says that they are going to allow a house in your neighborhood to be a home for functionally mentally or physically challenged people.  Many people will say things like, “That is a great idea, and I support it 100%… as long as they move it somewhere else, just not in my neighborhood.”

I dare you to tell me I am wrong.  Even if you might not be the one to actually SAY IT, you might still be thinking it.  It is called “NIMBY”… or Not In My Back Yard.


Now… lets take the our attitude about the oil companies.  More often than not it’s the LIBERAL and the Enviro-Nazi attitude towards them.

We talk all the time about the fact that we are paying out the nose for gas and that all that money is going overseas to the “Arabs”.  We see on TV and read online about how these folks are building some of the biggest hotels and building on the planet.  How the owners of these oil fields are buying gold and silver plated cars. But then when someone asks WHY and HOW they can do this, people stammer and stutter.

YOU AND I are the reasons.  WE are feeding their addiction.

When someone looks at a piece of land in the US and mentions that there are literally BILLIONS of cubic feet of natural gas or barrels of crude just waiting to be pumped out of the ground, we have to fight through years and years of red tape with bureaucrats, special interest groups, ECO-Nazis, and similar groups until they just don’t do it.


Even the existing oilfields that we have are so closely watched that when something DOES happen, like say a tractor runs over a particular mouse, agencies move in in a heartbeat to stop everything to do some asinine environmental impact study on how they can save the rat and/or relocate it.

Now… I will take a moment to say that I am not against protecting wildlife, but there has to be a balance.  I know there can be a balance between man and nature and we can both win.

Many years ago, I can remember when the common thought was that we, America, was selling out to the Japanese.  I remember hearing stories about how they were buying everything and we were going to lose our identity as Americans.  But the question then as it is now was, who is doing the selling?

I do see us selling out to the OPEC nations.  I see people like my brother-in-law and my nephew-in-law working for companies that are struggling to make it because we are so anal about how we drill on the precious little pieces of land we are allowed to drill on, while at the same time we are sending billions of dollars overseas to companies that do not seem to be as badly affected by groups like we are here in the States.

This is a perfect example of NIMBY, and we are letting it happen.  We are content to let our potential oil reserves sit, untapped, because we might cause some damage to the environment, yet we are happy to send the money overseas when we could be stimulating our OWN economy by paying people in the US to drill for oil.

I know what some of you are saying right now.  You are saying: “Hey Samurai… look at what just happened in the Gulf… isn’t that a good example of why we should not be drilling and what effect it has on the environment?”

You would be partially right.  I will never say that there are no risks to drilling.  Accidents happen, spills will occur, people will get hurt.  Tell me one job in the world that you could not say the same thing about.  It is an industry with risks; each mistake makes us think a little more carefully about the next move we make.  We learn from our mistakes because that is what they are there for.

We are constantly talking about alternative energy, and I am all for that. I support it 100%, but you cannot just flip a switch and change everything that we do overnight.  You need to make changes slowly so that they do not cripple the economy.  You need to ease up on nuclear restrictions and put wind farms where they will do the most good, not where they will look the prettiest.

Oil exploration and production is safe… it can be a high risk profession, people get hurt, sometimes killed, accidents and spills do happen.  We need to understand that and get over it.  Move on.  Think of the economy this country could have if we started allowing safe and careful oil drilling in places like ANWR or some of the potential reservoirs like Williston Basin.  Granted, it would take several years to develop these, but if we concentrate on things like this and take the Enviro-Nazis out of the loop, then we would be creating thousands of new jobs… possibly tens of thousands of new jobs, thus injecting money back into OUR economy and helping to rebuild OUR infrastructure.

We were strong once before, people… we can be strong again.  We just have to stop listen to the special interest groups and the people who think they know better than we do.  It can happen.

Could we do it again?

I was watching a program on the History Channel the other day that talked about how, during World War II, we were able to construct the Alcan in eight months, versus the projected two years that the Army Corp of Engineers had originally planned for.  So I started thinking; Could we accomplish this kind of feat today?

Let’s take, for the most recent example, the World Trade Center.  The official groundbreaking for Tower 1 was August of 1966 and both towers were completed in 1971.  So it took five years to build two of the tallest buildings in the world.

Going further back, let’s look at what happened during World War II.  Specifically, the construction of the Liberty Ship fleet between the years of 1941 and 1945.  During that time there were 2751 Liberty Ships planned and 2710 built, floated and sent into action.  That works out to be almost a whopping 46 ships a month from all the shipyards.  This is assuming that they started building these on Jan 1st, 1941 and stopped Dec 31 1945.

Not so much looking at the economy today, but at the nature of our nation and the way our current business, legal and production models work, could we accomplish this kind of engineering or manufacturing feat today?

Personally, I do not think we could.  I think that business’ and industries have become so mired down in rules, laws, union vices and EPA restrictions, that were there suddenly a need for a large quantity of ships, planes, tanks, etc…  we would just not be able to accomplish it.

A lot has changed over the years, and in spite of what some may say, it is not all good.  Sure, we have better medicines, better electronics, better hospitals (in spite of what the Obama administration might be telling us.) all in all, many things have gotten better.  Including the legal system.

As I see it, the problem these days is that we have burdened ourselves so far down with laws, rules and guidelines that many of the things we once could have done, are no longer possible because their are so many restrictions.  While some of these restrictions and laws are needed to insure the safety and well-being of those involved… but there are some that I think just hinder instead of help.

Back to the original question, though.  Could we do it again?

It took a little over a year to build the Empire State building and the Chrysler building took about a year and a half…

… Five years to build the Hoover Dam…

… just over four years for the Golden Gate Bridge…

… Lastly…  The world trade center took about four years per tower to build.

On that last item, consider how long it took to build the towers and now, today, how long it has been since the towers were destroyed?  Now why has it taken so long to build a replacement or suitable memorial?

Could we build these amazing things today?  Again, looking at how inundated most companies are from the beaurocrats, unions, lawyers and laws, could we build another World Trade Center building in four years?  Another Empire State building in a year?  Anything like that?

We are too busy arguing over who wants what, fighting over how many hours this employee should work, why THAT employee should not get the same benefits, etc…

It boils down to one thought that I have on these things…  Shut up and get it done.  If it needs to get built, build it… if it need to be fixed, fix it.  Just don’t sit around and talk about it.



No promises… no guaranties…

When I was growing up, I was never led to believe that anything would just be handed to me.  I never had any suspicion that I was “OWED” anything other than the support and love of my family.

As I grew, I learned that while my family was there for me, I was no longer “entitled” to anything that I did not work for.  Unlike when I was younger, I now had to start working for things.  Any allowance that I received was based on what I did to help around the house.  If I chose not to help around the house, doing things like washing dishes, cleaning up, doing laundry, running errands, then I simply did not get any money.  Just like a real job.  Cleaning my own room never counted, as it was one of those things that I was supposed to keep clean on my own.

When I got my first job, mowing lawns for a couple friends of the family, my Mother began charging me a “rent” of sorts.  It only worked out to be about 20% of what I made mowing, but it was enough for me to learn that when I earn a paycheck, it is not all mine.  The same held true when I started my first REAL job, working for a company called GEMCO.  I had, at this point, learned that I needed to keep aside a portion of my pay for rent.  Granted… I did not enjoy it, but I learned long before I went out on my own that I needed to do this.

This philosophy that my mother instilled in me translated very well into my adult life.  I had no misunderstandings when I first went into the workforce, I knew that I had to work for my pay.  I expected no special favors or handouts.  If someone gave me a second chance on something I failed at, it was because they wanted to, not because they owed it to me.  If I was promoted, it was because I had worked for it.

So… Why is it that today, more and more, I see people that think that they are owed something simply by showing up or by being alive?  There seems to be this attitude that no matter what they have or have not done, they expect to make top dollar and not have to work that hard to do it.

When I watch people on TV, or hear people of the radio, that say things like “The government owes this to me.” or when I hear people say that they are upset because their welfare ran out and the government owes that to them, I am truly perplexed.

It amazes me that people have somehow grown to this opinion that anyone owes them something, when they have, in many cases, done nothing to work for it.  Yes, an employer owes you a paycheck and a safe place to work if you are working for them and doing your job well.  If you are not doing your job well, then they would owe you a warning or two, and then, if you do not clean up your act, they would owe you a pink slip and an escort out the door.  It return, you owe your boss a good day’s work with some decent level of productivity.  That is it, nothing else.  If you lose your job through no control of your own, the state owes you a certain period of unemployment, you pay into that, so that also, within reason, is owed to you.

I do not deny that things are different now than they were twenty or more years ago.  People rarely find a job that they will spend the rest of their lives with, as was once the case.  But the point is that when you go to work for a person or company, while you are there, you should still give the best you can.  For that and ONLY that, you are owed a paycheck and whatever other benefits you are provided.

If you recieve public assistance (Welfare, WIC, etc…), then do not… EVER… think that you are “owed” that.  Yes, there may be a very valid reason you are on public assistance, and it may or may not be entirely your fault for having to use it.  But if you are able bodied or so much so that you can still work, and are not making a concerted effort to get off of assistance, then you are owed nothing.

Before you come down on me for my opinion on this, you need to know that I am no stranger to public assistance.  When my mother and I first moved to Bakersfield back in 1974, she had no job and the little that she was getting for child support for me was not enough to pay the rent let alone pay for a full month’s food for us.  So she applied for and got both food stamps and welfare.  But she was going out on a regular basis and looking for work, and after a couple smaller jobs and the birth of my brother, she eventually, ironically enough, started working for the Department of Health and Human Services… the “Welfare Department”.  So she used the system the way it was supposed to be used, to get back up on her feet again.

It was partially because of growing up with a history of welfare that I have always chose not to use any public assistance.  There was only even one period in my life that I used my Unemployment Benefits.  Even though that IS something that we pay into, I am still hesitant to use it.

I understand that there is nothing wrong with getting something for free from time to time or having something gifted to you.  But I do not expect it.  Likewise people should not expect that anything is going to be given to them.  No one should think that they are entitled to that which they did not earn through hard work.  Anything you get through the course of your life should be earned otherwise there is no incentive to apply effort to do better.

If you are a person who sees yourself as a “giver”, then understand that you are a noble person… I will not say that you are doing wrong by committing the act of giving, but I will say that you should make sure that you are giving to the right people and for the right reason.  Do not give to those that do not need it and do not give for the sake of making yourself look good to those around you.  Give to the ones that are really needing it and give because it feels right in your heart.

If you are a “Taker”… one of those people that feels that simply by being born and living in the United States, you are owed something with no effort or desire to work for it on your own and there is no correctable physical or mental reason why you cannot be out there earning a paycheck, then you should be ashamed of yourself.  You are a good part of what is wrong with the United States and, more than likely, part of the reason we ended up with Mr. Obama as a president.




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