Category: Life
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Choosing the right coffee drink

The owner of the coffee shop where I worked was a stickler for quality, and I worked with him for over two years. There were customers in our store that came to our location because I was working, trusting that my skill with steamed milk and my knowledge of espresso would come together in a […]

9Feb2013 | | 6 comments | Continued
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Obama, Racism, And Gun Violence in South Chicago

A family buried their daughter today.  15 year old Hadiya Pendleton was killed earlier this week by that crazy phenomenon of irrational gun violence.  Did I mention that Hidiva was black?  Did we note she was killed on Chicago’s South Side – the epicenter of gun violence in new reports.  This is tough to talk […]

9Feb2013 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Retired? How Do You Know?

I live in Missouri, northern Missouri.  I tell people that I am one generation removed from hillbillies – which means my parents were most likely rednecks, and it follows that I am a redneck too.  Or was.  I went to college and the rednecks disqualified me.  Anyway, I know some hillbillies, rednecks, and the watered […]

27Jan2013 | | Comments Off on Retired? How Do You Know? | Continued
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The Demise of Ohg Rea Tone

Ohg Rea Tone has passed nine months hither.  His demise was non-dramatic, no violence or accidents, just worn out.  Some say he was haggard,  a value judgment Mr. Tone would have found appropriate. Mr. Tone was a son, a brother, a father, and a grandfather – yet he had no family.  Mr. Tone was well […]

26Jan2013 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Grand Canyon 2012 Winter Expedition II

27Dec2012 | | Comments Off on Grand Canyon 2012 Winter Expedition II | Continued
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Grand Canyon 2012 Winter Expedition

27Dec2012 | | Comments Off on Grand Canyon 2012 Winter Expedition | Continued
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The Stuppy & Clark Expeditionary Force

Bryan Stuppy, LISW, LADAC, a leading psychologist in New Mexico, has asked me to join him on an Expeditionary Force to study the effects of primal living in a nomadic tribal environment.  The ruse has been established.  The ‘tribe’ thinks they are to study the effects of man-made flooding in the Grand Canyon.  In reality […]

9Nov2012 | | Comments Off on The Stuppy & Clark Expeditionary Force | Continued
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Grand Canyon Rafting – National Park Service Orientation Video

Excitement abounds.  After a hard year in my life I will wrap up 2012 with a very dear old friend on a 25  day rafting/camping trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon National Park.  The trip has a degree of danger so the Park Rangers require an orientation – first by video (included […]

25Oct2012 | | Comments Off on Grand Canyon Rafting – National Park Service Orientation Video | Continued
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Who Am I? Searching for the Modern Identity

I am liberal, angry, Aries, impatient, intolerant, loving, forceful, kind, intense, educated, brother, son, father, grandfather, friend, forgiving, humble, proud.  Which defines me?  Any?  All?  Am I modern?  Post-modern?  And who are you?  To whom do I answer?  What philosophy?  Religion? Country? Club?  We live in a complex world, a fast world requiring quick judgement […]

13Oct2012 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Boy Scouts – False Prophets – Eject Gay Eagle Scout

According to the St, Joseph, Missouri, News Press, “A 19 year old Boy Scout has lost his job at Camp Geiger after disclosing that he is gay”.  Words like ‘hypocrisy’ come to mind.  That boy was “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent,” and what did that get him? […]

19Jul2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Can Hatred Counter Love?

Is hate more powerful than love?  Does hate match love dollar for dollar? Hate is proportionate to love – the more one loves, the more one can hate.  The comparison is not one for one. Have you ever been consumed with bitter hatred for many weeks, stretching into months, or years?  Hate does that.  Hatred […]

15Jul2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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“Never Brag On Your Children”

A relevant post revisited: December, 2009.  Parenting can sometimes feel like a complex endeavor – especially when the child is not cooperating.  When the child is failing to  meet expectations, to make the grade in school, to make the basketball team, to identify future aspirations – whatever – parents can become frustrated.  And that frustration […]

22Apr2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Trayvon and Black on Black Violence

NOTE TO READERS:  This post originally contained a racist cartoon image at the top right.  Some found it offensive and we agreed.  We removed the image and apologize for any hurt.  The new picture is of HELL – which is where I am going if I don’t change my ways. I have a facebook friend, […]

27Mar2012 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Trayvon Martin – Racism – and the Media Message

We live in difficult times.  The murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida has refocused our Nation’s conscience on racism.  After a month of media review it appears that the murderer, George Zimmerman, was an over zealous wannabee-police-officer neighborhood watchman.  Zimmerman  was looking for his chance to be a hero.  He saw a young black man […]

24Mar2012 | | Comments Off on Trayvon Martin – Racism – and the Media Message | Continued
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People at Wal-Mart Video

I can not help it.  Most of these pictures were taken at the South Belt Wal-Mart in St. Joseph, Missouri.  Two of the people are my siblings – but I will not say which.

1Mar2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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“…Universal Masculine Purity” – The Conservative Ideal

Are we ready to return to the morale of Victorian England?   It was the age of ‘class structure’.  It was the age of male domination.  It was the age of female submission.  It was the age of child labor in textile mills.  It was the age of long work days and poor health and nutrition.  […]

29Feb2012 | | Comments Off on “…Universal Masculine Purity” – The Conservative Ideal | Continued
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The Coming Culture of Mean-Spirited Dissent

Mean-spirited dissent has replaced statesmanship as a guiding principle.  The maddening downward spiral of political retribution has become the norm.  The madness is magnified and given inertia in direct correlation to the speed of modern communications and the unleashing of vast amounts of money in SuperPacs.  There is no time for thoughtful reflection.  Every encounter […]

29Jan2012 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Schizophrenia – A Family Affair

I am convinced that mental illness permeates my family.  There are no diagnosis – no testimonials of counselors or case workers.  There is fear.  Fear of venturing to ask any questions.  Fear of unknown possibilities.  Fear of helpless damnation. Families keep secrets because families are ashamed.  And that, my friends, is the problem. Ignorance abounds.  […]

13Dec2011 | | Comments Off on Schizophrenia – A Family Affair | Continued
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Cisco – A Tale of Addiction, Justice, and Redemption

People are dying.  Our Prisons are full. Families are being destroyed.  Government sponsored religion in the Criminal Justice System is not working. Federal, State, and Local funds are rewarding bad behavior.  We are talking about the Criminal Justice System sanctioned treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction – substance abuse treatment. Cisco, A Tale of […]

1Dec2011 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Mormons – the beginning theology

Mitt Romney has refocused thought on the Mormon Church.  Some evangelicals have problems with the Mormons – and I think they should.  We have to consider the Mormons in a historical context to understand some of their faith positions.  I will attempt to address this topic from memory – we’ll see if I have to […]

8Oct2011 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Crude Men Jokes

Sorry folks.  Sometimes things just strike me as funny.  Certainly I recognize that jokes can be offensive, can promote prejudice, can alienate others, and can frankly make some people very angry.  Racial and ethnic jokes have long gone by the wayside in the interest of political correctness.  I get it.  I understand the sensitivities of […]

2Jul2011 | | Comments Off on Crude Men Jokes | Continued
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Bryan – 37

As it turns out, we spelled Bryan’s name correctly.   The majority of Brians in the world use an ‘i’ – some use a capital ‘I.’  We used a ‘y’ and it has come to symbolize the namesake. When Bryan was young, like three years old, I taught him some silly youth songs.  He sang with […]

21Jun2011 | | 2 comments | Continued
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A Father Reflects on Father’s Day

Father’s Day.  A day for celebrating our fathers, and a day for fatherly reflection.  I am in the later category today.  I was not a particularly good father when my children were small – and that gives one pause for reflection. Young and foolish, temperamental and energetic, smart and dumb-as-nails, motivated and selfish, educated yet […]

19Jun2011 | | Comments Off on A Father Reflects on Father’s Day | Continued
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Made in USA….an experiment

After thumbing through the want ads received in the mail I noticed an ad for our local lumber yard called Menards.  They were having a Made in the USA sale.  They have these frequently.  When they mail ads that are just plain run-of-the-mill type, yet they still place little Made in the USA tags on […]

23Apr2011 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Treachery On The Trail To The Presidency

Every four years scores of people venture out on the trail to the Presidency.  Ultimately only one will finish the journey – will reach the goal.  There is danger at every turn.  One false step and the candidacy can be doomed.  Some recover from a slip or a slide – some perish, dashed on the […]

26Mar2011 | | Comments Off on Treachery On The Trail To The Presidency | Continued
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Let The Wild Man Out

I don’t mean to be chauvinistic – but this post is about men in particular.  More specifically, how do boys become men?  There are many ideas – participate in sports, become an Eagle Scout, join the military, go to college, get a job and get married and have children – these events will make men […]

28Feb2011 | | Comments Off on Let The Wild Man Out | Continued
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Finding Meaning in the National Debate About Debt

We have had a major crisis in our house recently that started with a heated conversation about our budget, and I thought that I would share the events that led to our household meltdown so that we might learn from my mistakes and apply those lessons to our national debate about money. It was budget […]

18Feb2011 | | Comments Off on Finding Meaning in the National Debate About Debt | Continued
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Buy American

There use to be a time when there was no need to campaign for “buy American”.  Buying American made products was the norm especially in the 1950’s when our country was strong pre and post war.  But those times are gone and the reality is they will probably never return – at least not with […]

13Nov2010 | | 3 comments | Continued
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The Redneck Walks The Immigrant Trail

The trail ends at Saint Joseph, Missouri.  Some say it also begins there.  The Immigrant Trail has not yet been officially documented by historians – but the trail exists today.  When documented there is good cause to believe there will be a trail of tears.  But I get ahead of myself. I live just outside […]

8Sep2010 | | 4 comments | Continued
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I Was A Grade School Bully

My grandson is beginning the sixth grade.  The past few years he has been practically overwhelmed by three school bullies.  Jubila is intellectually gifted – from the perspective of a proud grandfather.  He has exceptional language skills – that is to say that he has a strong vocabulary.  His natural interest is probably centered around […]

30Aug2010 | | 10 comments | Continued
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Lessons On Exercise For Seniors – And The Need For Stretching

I am a senior.  That is somewhere between middle age and elderly.  Everyone wants to live a long time but no one wants to be old, as the saying goes.  I am just another person trying to delay feeble living.  I have learned a few hard lessons along the path to regular exercise. I wrote […]

26Aug2010 | | Comments Off on Lessons On Exercise For Seniors – And The Need For Stretching | Continued
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Hunting For Jesse James Gold

When I was a child my parents would often take our family on picnics at Houston Wyeth Park in St. Joseph, Missouri – we just called the place Wyeth Hill.  Wyeth Hill runs along the top of the Missouri River Bluffs in northwest St. Joseph.  The hill overlooks downtown St. Joe to the south, the […]

25Aug2010 | | 14 comments | Continued
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Youth Violence – Not Just Fight or Flight

Mark Twain used youth violence as a humorous anecdote necessary to the maturing process of young boys. In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer two boys (one is Tom) confront each other on the street; they taunt, tease, dare, and then scuffle. Tom is victorious when the other boy cries ’nuff!’ Not one sociologist at the time raised a stink about Twain’s portrayal of youth violence.

22Aug2010 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Mel Gibson to Lead Tea Party

Actor, Director, Producer Mel Gibson is negotiating terms to take over leadership of the Tea Party in America.  Every candidate must demonstrate proper character traits consistent with Tea Party advocates.   Candidates must be willing to demonstrate these character traits in a very public manner – there should be no sense of shame or fear of […]

14Jul2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Short End of The Regulation Stick

The hard earned emotions of our life influence our thoughts.  They distract us from our initial purpose.   I often begin a post and when finished I have to change the title to reflect the actual post – the burr under my saddle led me off course.  Many of us have burrs under our saddles that […]

5Jul2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Need For A Really Big Government to Intervene in the Gulf

British Petroleum, along with their contractors, has created the worst environmental disaster in history.  But that does not clearly state the magnitude of the devastation.  We too often throw words around – words like environmental disaster – and then a real disaster strikes and we sound like the boy who cried wolf.  As President Obama […]

26May2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Sins of Our Father – and Other Life Prejudices

At some point in each or our lives we have to ask ourselves – who am I?  Social order forces the question.  We cannot live a complete life without someone challenging at least one of our belief systems – and often our entire concept of proper culture.  Prejudices must be examined and rethought – for […]

22May2010 | | Comments Off on Sins of Our Father – and Other Life Prejudices | Continued
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Do Mother’s Day Cards Really Describe Your Mother?

How did you find the energy, Mom To do all the things you did, To be teacher, nurse and counselor To me, when I was a kid. Does that little diddy describe your mother?  For years I wanted to honor my Mother on Mother’s Day (as defined by Hallmark Cards).  I went shopping at all […]

9May2010 | | 2 comments | Continued
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America is the Definition of Cosmopolitan

Everything about America that is considered great and wonderful is the result of the melding of cultural ideals brought here by immigrants. People across this country enjoy Mexican Restaurants – as long as there are no actual Mexicans in the place.

8May2010 | | Comments Off on America is the Definition of Cosmopolitan | Continued
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What Would Peter Think of Wendy At Victoria’s Secret?

One of my favorite stories is the tale of Peter Pan.  As an actor, I have always wanted to play Peter, but I grew too tall.  I loved the way Peter was committed to remaining young, not following the establishment and becoming a man.  His conviction of youth impacted his relationships with everyone, especially Wendy. […]

7May2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Latino Food Section At Walmart, As Seen By A Redneck

Down the road in St. Joe, Mo, there is a pig processing plant.  I think they slaughter like 2,000 pigs a day – and it takes a gob of Mexicans to get the job done.  They have about 2,500 workers, about one fourth of which are either Hispanic, Latino, or just plain old Mexican.   Most […]

27Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Latino Food Section At Walmart, As Seen By A Redneck | Continued
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Intellectual VS Emotional Struggle With Death Penalty

I am not a great intellectual liberal – just an average intellect liberal.  I try to understand issues at practical and ethical perspectives.  For instance, it is unethical to bomb cities – but I agree that Harry Truman was right to use the A-Bomb for extremely practical reasons – he avoided the imminent invasion of […]

23Apr2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Sense Of Inadequacy Follows Us All The Days Of Our Lives

Any self concept, any value, any perspective, learned in youth – through osmosis – follows us all the days of our lives. We often have a sense of right and wrong, which we sometimes call this our conscience, based on prejudiced childhood learning.

21Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Sense Of Inadequacy Follows Us All The Days Of Our Lives | Continued
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The Criminal Paradigm, Fiddling around on the Roof

We were watching the old Topol character in Fiddler on the Roof. He portrays a man who struggles with tradition, struggles with the idea of changing ideology, struggles with changing his cultural prejudices. The movie is so universally accepted because all people relate to changing times and changing cultures, and the gut wrenching emotion those […]

16Apr2010 | | 8 comments | Continued
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Underemployed – What Does This Mean?

Underemployment has taken on several new meanings in this struggling economy.  David Shuster of MSNBC asked one of his guests what the term means – the response: “It means that people are working part time in stead of full time.  What?  It seems as if the pundits just make stuff up to fill their 30 […]

2Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Underemployed – What Does This Mean? | Continued
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Reflecting On The Music Of My Mother

I was fumbling around on youtube this morning and found this Patsy Cline rendition of Tennessee Waltz.    My mother introduced me to this song.  She was not trying to – this was one of the songs she sang while wringing out the laundry in her wringer wash machine.   Hearing Patsy Cline sing this old song […]

1Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Reflecting On The Music Of My Mother | Continued
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Tiger Woods Treated For Texting Addiction

With denial protecting the psyche celebrities are falling victim to the addiction of texting.  Tiger Woods has done the public a service by admitting his addiction and receiving specific treatment for his malady.  Evidence now shows that texting addiction leads to moral degradation. With information from known associates of Mr. Woods we learn that the […]

1Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Tiger Woods Treated For Texting Addiction | Continued
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Weight Loss Myths – And Why People Believe Them

My Doctor said, “Don’t worry about your weight, worry about your health.”  That philosophy works for a skinny guy like him,  In my case, I am healthy.  All of my blood work comes back in the normal ranges.  But I also carry almost forty pounds over the recommended weight for my somatotype.  When I was […]

31Mar2010 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Addicted to Chocolate

I am all about chocolate.  With a desperate last effort to lose weight before my knees collapse from the sheer force of gravity I am coming to the reality that I may be a chocoholic.  Normally I am offended by the ‘oholic’ suffix because it is just so cliche’.  My present medical condition seems to […]

28Mar2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Redemption of Tiger Woods

The redemption of Tiger Woods did not happen with blubbering confessions of sin, orchestrated by treatment programs based solely on anecdote. The redemption of Tiger Woods can only happen with consistent trustworthy behavior over time.

22Mar2010 | | Comments Off on The Redemption of Tiger Woods | Continued