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Et cetera

in News Column

Be it at our favorite restaurant, the grocery or hardware store, the gas station, or the mall, when we spend a dollar we are casting our vote. When we spend, or consume if you will, we are supporting a large string of companies and people. For example, you go buy a block of Sharp Cheddar Cheese. In this one transaction, you told the retailer, the store employees, the wholesaler and its employees, the trucking company, the dairy warehouse, the manufacturing plant, the packaging companies and all the way to the cows and people that milk them that you like what they are doing. You support the choices that they make. That you like the way they interact with the community around them and you like their stance on the issues of the day THIS IS CRAZY! All I wanted has some cheese! Yet this is exactly what happens in the economy we live and participate in. There is no way to know if you are...

I Built a Fence

in Articles, News Column

The Valley Times Column  – SEP 2016 It is hard to get to know your neighbors through a fence. That being said, I just built a fence. I must be a bad person because in Church, I listen to sermons that say to “Love thy neighbor”. For me, I realize there is some significant room for me to improve here. “Good fences make good neighbors”. This quote has been attributed to many people in different countries for centuries. Recently we say Robert Frost popularized it. So I built a really good fence, does that make me a really good neighbor? I am understandably confused. On a blog post a person commented on this topic quite well. They said “…When boundaries are clear, relationships can better prosper. If you know where you stand, where your property begins and ends, and are free to do on your side as your neighbor is on his or hers, it makes for better relationships between people”....

Popo

in Articles, News Column

The Independent News Column – JUL 2016 There was this guy when I was growing up in Michigan. I was about 8 years old and he was a Legend. His name was Popo Bobknock. I have no idea how to spell it but that’s what it sounded like. Popo drove a beat-to-death old rusted pickup truck that always had something in the back. He always needed a shave, his hands and face was dirty. He didn’t talk much, but he could do anything. He was the go-to guy for the community that lived on and around Route 2. If you had a tree stump to get out, Popo would do it. You wanted a new roof, call Popo. Cleaned out the garage and had a bunch of junk? Popo would take it off your hands. We did not have a trash service where we lived, nobody did. You hauled your own to the dump. Popo went into business hauling trash which was well salvaged by the time the dump received it. Not much went to waste in Popo’s...

As Opposed to What?

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The Independent News Column – MAR 2016 Those of you under 50, Google “The Smothers Brothers” and learn to appreciate the wisdom they taught through comedy.  One of the great lines was “ As opposed to what”?   I think it was Tommy that would ask his brother Dick if he wanted something.  Like an Ice Cream Cone.  Dick would reply “as opposed to what?” What a good point.  The ice cream cone compared to what?  Getting punched in the nose?  Tommy was talking about a comparative analysis.  Of two choices, which is better for you, A or B.? My point here today came from a conversation with a guy about some new counter tops, a sink and faucet and new backsplash tile.  He found at a showroom exactly what they had been looking for, received a quotation, and in telling me his story he said that “the price seems a little high”.    My reply in classic Smothers Brothers delivery was “as opposed...

The 30 Day Challenge That May Stun You

in Articles, News Column

The Independent News Column – DEC 2015 I have a challenge for you.  For your mind and for your physical space.  And you are going to think it can’t be done and that I am nuts.  I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I would like to discuss generosity.  Being a generous person is not something that comes naturally.  We have work at it from the moment our Mothers tell us to share.  We learn that to be generous we have to think about the needs of others and see how that fits into our lives, or resources, and our ability to serve. I heard in church a few weeks back that if you have a change of clothes, a few coins in your pocket, fairly reliable transportation, and a house that keeps most of the weather out, you are considered part of the wealthy of the world.  The Pastor said we often do not consider ourselves wealthy as we feel we are just getting by, but we really are.  Look at us....

Just Do it Right

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Star-Eagle Independent Newspaper – SEP 2015 You have seen them.  The photos of “epic fails”, or home repair solutions that are absolutely astounding as to the stupidity involved in their creation.  These photos (or evidence) exist for car repair, animal care, sports, just about anything where if it can be done wrong, it probably has.  And here is the picture to prove it. Do these examples really exist?  Are they some clever photo manipulation just to amuse us or did someone really think that this was a good idea at one time? Most are for real.  I know this because just in the few years I have been on this planet, and the fewer years I entertained myself as a remodeling contractor, I have seen my own share.  And, in this moment of self-confession, I have to admit I may have created a couple “epic fails” myself. Most of the photographic ones that really catch my attention seem to...

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