Category: Letters From Home
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Letters From Home

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It’s a Cat’s Life

I have a barn/porch cat, her name is Skeeter aka Trouble, who would dearly love to be an indoor/outdoor cat. Especially on cold days, 60 degrees appears to be her cue to want in.  She is in this predicament, because after being in the house for several months, or a year, I forget, she became […]

10Sep2017 | | Comments Off on It’s a Cat’s Life | Continued
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A 1964 Christmas Story

It was 1964. Life hadn’t been great for the girl, but this particular year had been mostly a nightmare. Her Mother and Step-Father had separated. Finances were next to non existent. School for the girl became a burden on the mother. At only 15 she was resigned to possibly never finishing high school. She was […]

12Dec2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Does Race Really Matter?

Transcript from Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Walla Walla, Washington December 20, 1950 Seattle (AP) – A blow on the head with a baseball bat in a neighborhood altercation was fatal Tuesday to Merritt Scotten, 33 year old Seattle pipe fitter. He died of a skull fracture Saturday night. Leon W. Venson 28 a neighbor has […]

25Nov2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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“Let It Begin With Me”

Occasionally we hear quotes, slogans, sayings, something that seems innocuous on the surface, but resonates with wisdom upon further inspection.  Al-Anon, a program for the families and friends of Alcoholics, has official slogans which are raised to the level of proverb, of wisdom, of scripture in the program.  One such saying is “Let It Begin […]

8Dec2014 | | 4 comments | Continued
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U. S. Postal Stamp Price Increase – Who Suffers?

This past week the United States Postal Service announced plans to raise the price of a postage stamp by $.02.  What is two cents?  Two Cents is virtually nothing to most of us.  But to those who depend on the Postal Service that two cents can be an increasing burden on an already difficult life.  […]

9Jul2010 | | Comments Off on U. S. Postal Stamp Price Increase – Who Suffers? | Continued
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Drug Court – Systemically Flawed

A quick check of the court briefs in the local newspaper gives startling evidence of losing the war on drugs. The paper reported six people sentenced to prison – all for drug charges – five methamphetamine and one cocaine. We are talking about rural northwest Missouri. The first Drug Court was established in Dade County […]

21Dec2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Everything Happens for A Reason

Son, “Everything happens for a reason.”  How many times have we heard that?  And how many smart people have we heard make that comment?  The statement is usually made in the context of spirituality or religion – seldom in the context of science.  But the statement is only true in the context of science.  And […]

16Dec2008 | | Comments Off on Everything Happens for A Reason | Continued
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Ron Paul – the Physician Metaphor

Son, Ron Paul is a physician, a doctor, a M. D. Some folks think that qualifies him to be President. He is obviously very intelligent and very well educated. I suspect he knows a thing or two about health care issues. His physician experience is as a flight surgeon in the U. S. Air Force […]

29Dec2007 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Piling Snow on Snow

Son, I live in the Midwest.   We have been in the bullseye of weather systems for several weeks.  The Great Ice Storm of 2007 took away our electrical power.  Now we are inundated with snow on snow. I have about 250 feet of sidewalks to be shoveled.  And I shovel with my little red […]

29Dec2007 | | Comments Off on Piling Snow on Snow | Continued
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The Point of Leadership

Son, Leadership is not personal.  Leadership is not about what I do at home in the evening, when no one is watching.  Leadership is about what one does when everyone is watching. I really don’t care about the televangelist who privately has a couple of mistresses on the side.  Who cares – what is the […]

29Dec2007 | | Comments Off on The Point of Leadership | Continued
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The Christams Aftermath…

Dad, Christmas is over, and my house is a wreck.  I have been doing laps around the kitchen and living room with my son getting geared up to clean.  I have had two cups of coffee and have checked my email twice, trying to get through the neglected part of my inbox.  I started some […]

27Dec2007 | | Comments Off on The Christams Aftermath… | Continued
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Chris Matthews on Morning Joe

Son, Chris Matthews has lost complete touch with reality. Matthews is the host of the MSNBC program Hardball. They call it Hardball because Matthews is supposed to be asking the hard questions. That was probably true – a couple of years ago. On Morning Joe this morning, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Joe and Matthews were talking […]

29Nov2007 | | Comments Off on Chris Matthews on Morning Joe | Continued
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Creativity, Spirituality, and the Golden Compass

Dad, I believe that creativity is a natural result of spirituality. The two are intrinsically linked, and you can’t have one without the other. The creative process, though, much like lifestyle choices or world views and paradigms, is a result of a lifetime of experiences and degrees of nurturing. Everyone has a different life experience, […]

28Nov2007 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Family Life and Family Values

Son, I respect the values you and your spouse have adopted. But life is not all or nothing – your choices have actually provided your family opportunities that others will not have. This is not criticism, this is a compliment. The ideas of no debt, of frugal money management, of thrift store shopping, of minimal […]

27Nov2007 | | Comments Off on Family Life and Family Values | Continued
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Simplicity and the Five Person Family

Dad, As you now know, my wife and I are having another baby. We are leaving the two child paradigm and entering into a new phase of family life. The idea of three children is a little daunting, but I think it will be good for us. The question becomes, “How do we maintain a […]

27Nov2007 | | Comments Off on Simplicity and the Five Person Family | Continued
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MU and OU – A Trail of Tears to the Dust Bowl

Missou went into hostile territory a few weeks ago without their star running back – and with their weakened offense took the game to the Sooners. Mizzou is on the march, they are stepping in cadence, they are at full strength.

26Nov2007 | | Comments Off on MU and OU – A Trail of Tears to the Dust Bowl | Continued
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Philip Pullman – The Golden Compass

Son, Get ready for another wave of hoopla about literature and Christianity. Philip Pullman is a writer. He makes up stories. Like C. S. Lewis, he has written children’s stories of other parallel worlds. His trilogy, “His Dark Materials,” is viewed by many as a response to “The Chronicles of Narnia,” by Lewis. One of […]

26Nov2007 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Cronyism – It Never Works

Son, Good Old Boys, buddies, cronies, buds – terms of endearment. Harry Truman had a bunch of cronies. He gave some of them jobs in the White House. Not important jobs, just a paycheck to hang around and play poker at night. The important jobs of Vice President, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense […]

26Nov2007 | | Comments Off on Cronyism – It Never Works | Continued
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Old Dogs and Progress

Son, Your sister had a dog, Sadie. Sadie is half schnauzer and half cocker spaniel. A pain in the ass combination. At 14 pounds that dog thought she was the boss of the world. She had springs for legs and was always jumping around, growling and barking at something – she had the disposition of […]

26Nov2007 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Economies of Scale and Dumpster Diving

Son, There is great interest in recycling. And there should be – we are probably experiencing the most wasteful society in history. Global views of business and economy have distracted us from understanding individual need. But mass production outweighs, or at least minimizes, waste. I remember when I went to work in the world of […]

23Nov2007 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Freegans and Hippies: Counter Culture Movements

Son, I read your post on Freegans with great interest.  The interest of a father and grandfather, and the interest of one who was once called a hippie. Back in my hippie days many of us thought of ourselves as the first great generation to “change the way we think about our culture,” to quote […]

19Nov2007 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Cabela’s Deer Camp – no Assault Rifles

Son, There is a big advertisement inserted into this morning’s newspaper. The title is catching: Cabela’s countdown to Deer Camp. Cabela’s is a big outdoor paraphernalia producer and marketer. The colorful ad is four full pages. One entire page is dedicated to arming oneself for the foray into the wild – the firearm must be […]

25Oct2007 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Electoral College: Protecting Minorities

Son, The race is heating up. The next year will see more debate on the value of the Electoral College, the process of electing the President of the United States of America. It is sort of a big deal. The Founding Fathers established a process based on their immense knowledge and understanding of history. They […]

24Oct2007 | | Comments Off on Electoral College: Protecting Minorities | Continued
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Hicks visit Manhattan

Son, I had my first paper delivery route exactly forty-four years ago next month. I took over the route two days after John Kennedy was assassinated – I remember both events very well. Forty-four years of work history and my place of employment was never more than two miles from my home. If I drove […]

17Oct2007 | | Comments Off on Hicks visit Manhattan | Continued
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Fathers and cloth diapers

Son, You are bringing back some really old memories. I changed your cloth diapers, and those of your older sister. When your younger sister came along we had pretty much made the transition to disposables. I read your commentary and pondered your financial analysis of cloth versus disposables. The idea of our throw away society […]

17Oct2007 | | Comments Off on Fathers and cloth diapers | Continued
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Ghost in Your Genes

Son, I like to watch NOVA, a PBS program on public TV. Last evening they had a program on called Epigenetics, Ghost in Your Genes. It was funny that I was thinking of home made baby wipes while watching the program. Just before I sat down to watch the program I had been looking at […]

17Oct2007 | | 2 comments | Continued
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To the solicitors of pornography: What do you want with us?

Dad, So far, we have managed to create a nice blog that people read, without soliciting the help of sex or pornography. We talk about issues, faith, about our children and our family, we even share recipes and kitchen tips. We seem to be able to manage our blog with a reasonable readership without prostituting […]

16Oct2007 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Visiting the doctor

Son, Do you remember Dr. Peterson? He was our family physician for about twenty years. Years ago I was standing at the top of a ladder, trimming a tree with a hand ax, when the ax slipped and I cut my knee. I went to see Dr. Pete. He walked into the exam room and […]

16Oct2007 | | Comments Off on Visiting the doctor | Continued
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Old Sayings – and thoughts

Son, I am still cleaning my office. I found this paper that I will share. I don’t know who wrote these things – some are cute – some are profound. Here goes: To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world. Going to church does not make […]

11Oct2007 | | Comments Off on Old Sayings – and thoughts | Continued
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Ben Afleck on Hardball

Son, Writer, actor, director – So he gets to comment on world events. Chris Matthews is asking him about Senator’s votes for or against the Iraq War. Afleck notes the Youtube video about Cheney arguing against an invasion of Iraq. So Chris Matthews plays some clips from the Republican debate and the authority of the […]

11Oct2007 | | 9 comments | Continued
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Barack Obama – Mr. Cool

Son, I’m watching Morning Joe again. They are talking about Barack Obama – Mr. Cool. The reference is to his image versus the manner he is displaying. Barack Obama hit the national scene with the stature of remembered charismatic leaders of the past. People talked about the intelligence of Bill Clinton, the charm of John […]

11Oct2007 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Garth Brooks on Ebay

Son, We have watched the interest in Garth Brooks with mild fascination. I just went to ebay and entered ‘Garth Brooks Concert Tickets.’ There are 1043 items. So I clicked on ‘1 lower level ticket.’ The bid started at $35 and after eight bids was up to $46.00. So I went to another item – […]

9Oct2007 | | Comments Off on Garth Brooks on Ebay | Continued
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Terrorism disguised as intelligence

Dad, This morning I read an article on what is being called Islamo-fascism Awareness week and is being put on by the Terrorism Awareness Project. I was interested because I thought that understanding the difference between an Islamic Extremist and and Islamic Pacifist would be valuable, and that Terrorism Awareness could be a helpful conversation […]

9Oct2007 | | 6 comments | Continued
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Fred Thompson, typical modern conservative

Son, Fred Thompson smugly announced his candidacy for president on the Jay Leno Show. I think he was expecting a coronation the next day. It did not happen. I don’t know a great deal about him – mostly what the talking heads report. I do know that he was a United States Senator and then […]

9Oct2007 | | Comments Off on Fred Thompson, typical modern conservative | Continued
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Parenting – locker rooms and restrooms

Son, Public restrooms are again in the headlines – they are seldom in the headlines to reveal their innate cleanliness. The whole Senator Larry Craig-in-public caused me to reflect back on raising-children-in-public. As you know I have always been a big YMCA supporter. You and your sisters learned basketball, soccer, gymnastics, and swimming at the […]

8Oct2007 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Blackwater – responsible killers!

Son, There is some sort of bizarre debate happening in the mainstream media. Blackwater is a security company that has contracts to guard United States government employees in Iraq. The debate is around the notion that shooting people is sometimes less responsible than at other times. Civilization has often debated the nuances of ‘justifiable homicide.’ […]

2Oct2007 | | Comments Off on Blackwater – responsible killers! | Continued
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Show Me State Jeep Club

Son, I went for my daily walk today. It is a beautiful fall day here in Northwest Missouri. I walk four blocks to the extensive hiking/biking trail that runs through our picturesque parkway system, then I walk three miles along the trail. I turned onto the trail at one of our local parks. The park […]

30Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Show Me State Jeep Club | Continued
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Living Without Debt

Dad, My wife and I are making an effort to be out of debt and to stay that way. We have made a commitment to not borrow money for anything. For any reason. The first thing that people shout when they hear that is, “What about a house? You have to borrow money if you […]

29Sep2007 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Sarcasm – a toxic elixir

Son, I can be thoughtful – and I can be sarcastic. The sarcasm is a strategy learned many years ago while growing up. It is an old recipe, handed down through generations in my family. I have used it well to win fights – and I have lost many wars. You have heard me say […]

28Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Sarcasm – a toxic elixir | Continued
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Father and Son chatter

Son, I copied our chat from last evening. The purpose of this post is it let our readers better understand us. Readers: This blog really is a conversation between a father and a son. Sometimes we chat in the evenings – included in this blog is our chat from last evening. Enjoy 7:13 PM me: […]

28Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Father and Son chatter | Continued
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Michael Moore – Sicko on Oprah

Son, Love him or hate him, Michael Moore has struck a nerve in America. He is on Oprah as I write. I am trying to capture the essence of what they are saying. Oprah has people in the audience from previous health care encounters with Presidential Candidates. There are some disturbing and very emotional stories […]

27Sep2007 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Responding to Christians

Son, Lay off the Betty Bowers web site – your judgment is beginning to drift. Just kidding. I am extremely pleased with you. I am pleased with your ability with the written word and with your willingness to tackle tough issues. I fear that your interpretation of my post was based more on how you […]

27Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Responding to Christians | Continued
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Bill O’Reilly – friend to Blacks

Son, I am watching Al Sharpton on MSNBC. Talk about conflicted! A couple of days ago Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News Pit Bull bred and trained for news media dog fights, said after visiting a Harlem restaurant, “I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship,” Al Sharpton […]

27Sep2007 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Halo 3 and good neighbors…

Dad, I live in a duplex, upper and lower, and my downstairs neighbor is a video gamer. Some people play their music loud, he plays his x-box. Sometimes he will have a success and blow something up and my daughter will run to the window to see the storm, thinking that she is hearing thunder. […]

27Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Halo 3 and good neighbors… | Continued
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Betty Bowers: oh, so clever…

Dad, I sent you that link about Harry Potter. I didn’t really read it because I have heard enough of all that, but I knew you were reading one of the books. You are right, though, it is funny. Actually, its very funny, and it is powerfully real. Betty Bowers is one of my new […]

25Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Betty Bowers: oh, so clever… | Continued
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Cursed by Clever Harry Potter Humor

Son, Someone got to us. That web site previously referred to as some wacko fundamentalist is actually a spoof on on wacko Christianity – it is very well done! Here it is again! I love a good joke – even if it is on me. Now why would I be so ready to believe all […]

25Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Cursed by Clever Harry Potter Humor | Continued
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Michael Vick and anger

Son, I really comes down to this: What is the basic principle on which you place value in another human? My answer – the simple fact that he or she is human – no more is necessary. Is the value less stringent for other creatures on this earth? The sadness I feel over the Michael […]

25Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Michael Vick and anger | Continued
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michael vick: de-humanizing a public figure…

Dad – “I am confident that the hottest places in hell are reserved for the souls of sick and brutal people who hold God’s creatures in such cruel and brutal contempt.” – West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, on those who participate in dog fighting and raise dogs for dog fighting I fear that the world […]

25Sep2007 | | Comments Off on michael vick: de-humanizing a public figure… | Continued
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Family systems

Son, Our family system is one of intelligent people. We don’t always act like it – but most of us have the intellect expected of 21st Century educated Americans. Every now and then you will hear a nugget of wisdom from someone close to us. So why is it not consistent, and why is there […]

24Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Family systems | Continued
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politicians and politicking

Son, I did an experiment with two political campaigns. I copied two of our ‘posts’ and then went to two different Presidential Campaign web sites. I ‘pasted’ the copied material into the comments section of the two sites and sent it off. I used Hillary Clinton and John Edwards as my test subjects. I should […]

24Sep2007 | | Comments Off on politicians and politicking | Continued