Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Luthern Charities

Dawn and Mark visited this past weekend and I learned some interesting facts from Mark. He is a coordinator for Lutheran Charities and it is his job to facilitate a team to go into a devastated area and help the people. For instance, he served in the post Katrina effort. His latest assignment was to Haiti to help the injured Haitians. His team was stationed in the Dominican Republic and patients were flown in from Haiti for care. After the initial glut of people the work diminished and his team left the Dominican Republic. His team was recently requested to go back to The Dominican Republic and take care of other issues they were having. Mark refused to allow the team to go back. As he explained it to me, they were to be set up in a large hospital as their base. The owner of this hospital is a Haitian and the Dominicans hate the Haitians with a passion. The hospital owner recently died and his family is presently squabbling over his assets and ownership of the hospital. The Dominican regime sees this as a opportunity to take over the hospital and get rid of this Haitian influence. Mark did not want his team to get enmeshed in such political warfare because it made security so difficult if not impossible. He says, when they get everything settled down maybe then they will go.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Porn Surfing

The news is full of stories about government employees spending time on their computers surfing for porn. For me, the impression I get is that they do not have enough to do, or their time is not being sufficiently supervised. Are those jobs overly staffed? When was the last time a comprehensive study of work load was done? In a well run private business this behavior is discovered and steps are taken to guarantee every person has a full job. There was one time when I had a person that always telling jokes, he was good at it and had diverse material. One day I asked him how he was able to come up with so much new stuff. He told me he got it from his computer. We had a rule that the computers were only for company business. I reminded him about this rule and his response was that he felt it was company business since he was keeping up employee morale. I reminded him that keeping up employee morale was not in his job description and this would all be a part of his annual performance review. He did get a good performance review but the unauthorized use of the computer kept him from getting the full available pay increase. He left for greener pastures in a few months.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What is going on?

About a year ago I attended a Tea Party in Jacksonville and wrote a Blog about the experience. Since then there have been additional Tea Parties in this area. Tomorrow there are quite a few Tea Parties to commemorate Tax Day and the opposition to the enormous deficit. They are in Jacksonville, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, and St. Augustine. There may be more that I have not heard about. In Jacksonville it is planned to be larger than ever, even with a famous band providing entertainment. This time there will be local politicians to speak, unlike when I went and there were no politicians present. As significant as all this is,I understand that there are plans for more and larger Tea Parties on July Fourth. This movement has collected some money and now has organizers that are renting buses to get people to a Tea Party. This is very strange because there is no single acknowledged leader for this movement. More than a few people are intending to run for office and saying they are members of the Tea Party. Unlike Republicans that are a known party, there is no membership for being a Tea Partier nor is there a card to hold saying you are a member. Now I hear that there is an attempt to organize a third party to be known as The Tea Party. This is beyond belief since a goal of the Tea Party is to vote them all out. That cannot happen if votes are split between Republican and Tea Party. Stay tuned for additional strange things in our Country's political events.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


What does it mean when one cable network continues to grow and the other networks decline? Why does that happen? What is the motivation for some people to switch from one to the other? It is understandable that print media declines because fewer and fewer people get their news from newspapers. Primarily, older people read newspapers, the young never fully got the habit. The old standby news-magazines, Time and Newsweek are also in severe decline. Entertainment and comedy TV shows have a steady following. For some individuals it is the only place from which they get their news. They serve a purpose for many to get information, albeit in an oblique and mostly superficial manner. The whole truth is never presented. Educated persons are not satisfied with partial truths, they want it all, even if it means that it does not fit neatly into their personal outlook on life. Once getting the whole truth a person is more capable to live a life to the fullest, and it feels good. That is why they migrate to a place from which they can get it.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I read the other day that a 15-year old girl had sent and received over 6,000 text messages in a month on her cell phone. That works out to about 200 per day. When asked about it she said, "I would die without it." Assuming she is mentally stable, what can account for this need for constant contact with someone else? Can she do this in school? If so, can she really learn anything when turning away from class instruction? In my estimation, she has a personality disorder that is in immediate need of counseling. It represents a disregard for those that surround her during the day. On second thought she may make a good telephone operator with her ability to handle so many non face-to-face interactions. Could be a good thing.

Monday, April 05, 2010


While attending St Gabriel's School we always got up early enough to get to the eight o-clock mass, we never missed. On Saturdays we were allowed to sleep in and often it was as late as eleven o-clock. On Sundays my Father attended the ten-thirty mass and we went with him, enabling us to sleep until nine-thirty. During vacation we slept as late as we wanted, again somewhere near eleven. My Mother often said we were sleeping our lives away. Even so, I think Bernie did sometimes get up earlier than I did. I loved that time in bed. On the days that I slept in I noticed that I would have a headache in the early afternoon, but, it did not stop me from staying in bed when I could. When we went to Canada for a few weeks we got up early with everyone else, the farm was fun and there was always something new afoot. After a few years of that I developed a habit of staying in bed, Bernie still got up earlier than I did. I knew I should be getting up but I could not help myself, sleep was such a precious feeling. During the day I would kick myself for getting up so late. When I was twelve I read Jack London's book "Burning Daylight" and resolved to mend my ways. I got better but still wanted that precious sleep. Intellectually I knew what I ought to do, but physically I was weak. So many times I would get to Bennett school playground and the ballgames were already underway. They always found a way to fit me into the game. I was able to get up for school but still loved that bed. I made some gains during my first tour of duty in the Navy. There were other things to do and more severe demands. With that, I thought I had conquered the love of that extra time in bed. It returned when we had kids and they got up earlier than I did on Saturdays. Oh it was so good to sleep in, but the kids made noise and it was impossible to wring out a satisfying late sleep. The final change came when I was a Plant Manager for a plant that operated three shifts. The demands for on-site supervision required getting up at any hour and going to the plant to handle whatever was needed. During this time sleep periods were shorter yet I still got enough sleep. I learned that I did not need all the sleep that my body said I needed, it was feeding me false information. Satisfying sleep no longer was measured by the amount of sleep I received but, instead, by how much I needed. It became possible to wake up when I wanted to without an alarm clock. I have not used an alarm clock for forty years. I know this mystified Pat for quite a while, but she became used to it, and liked the fact that an alarm never went off to interrupt her sleep. My work schedule now is varied in the time for getting up, yet, I get up at the time needed for each class. How is it done? I don't know, I am just able to do it. The mind controls the body.