On my way to Key West.

October 30, 2009 on 1:38 am | In Uncategorized | 6 Comments

This week is Fantsy Fest in Key West and it is my favorite time of year. Anyone living close to Florida needs to go to Fantasy Fest at least once. Key West is always a great place but this week it is incredible.

People from all different lifestyles will be there having a good time. Law enforcement is present and tolerant. This festival shows what I am trying to preach here. WE CAN ALL GET ALONG, if it is our goal to do so.

I love to watch people and the things they do and I hope to see some wild stuff. I will be taking my camera so all of the good stuff I will be posting for all to see.

Talk about Bravery.

October 25, 2009 on 9:32 pm | In Uncategorized | 99 Comments

Last week my brother sent me an e-mail about what bravery was and at the end it showed a picture of an amorous dog in a tiger’s cage trying to breed the tiger. I suppose that is bravery but it could be desperation.

Today I saw something that was truly the defenition of bravery. I was at the Daytona Beach Home Show trying to get some business for my painting company and an older couple came up to my booth and they were both blind. They both had white canes but no dog or guide. They were just two blind people walking up and down the aisles of the convention center and talking to people.

I cannot imagine what life is like as a blind person but I would guess that it can be very scary. For these two people to be in a strange place with no one to help them it has to be intimidating. These two people are true heros.

Then there are days like today.

October 21, 2009 on 2:07 am | In Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Today was not full of good news. My father had some tests the last couple of days to find out how his cancer reacted to the chemo and radiation. The results were not good. When this all started he had a two centimeter tumor on his bile duct and pancreas. The cancer has now spread to his lungs and liver and is inoperable.

One of the conditions of life is our eventual demise, I understand this, but now my father knows that his is coming soon. He seems to be the only one that is handling it well. I have never handled death well and I suspect this is going to be tough for me. I need my father to know how much I love him and how much he has meant to me, but how can I. Words just are not enough. I hope there will be enough time that I can show him because I fear that I just have not done a good enough job to date.

My father has been my hero from day one. I always wanted him to be proud of me and I always feared disappointing him. Some of my favorite memories are the two of us doing things that fathers and sons do. He coached my little league team and came to my football games, we worked on the house together and fixed the car. I’ll never forget when he and Mom took me to college that first day. The football team was required to be on campus early for summer camp and the first day the parents got to sit through a short meeting with the coaches and then say good bye to us, it was the first time I ever shook my fathers hand. The last time I get to will come way to soon.

I hope that one day I can become good enough to be even half the man that my father is. I hope that he thinks I am worthy of his name.

Free Speech in America

October 15, 2009 on 12:30 am | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

We all have the right to free speach in America so why do some people deny others to voice their beliefs ? Shouldn’t Rush Limbaugh be allowed to speak his mind and still be part owner in an NFL franchise?

Just because we have the right to say what we want it does not mean that we cannot be held responsible for the things we say. Mr. Limbaugh has a radio show where he can voice his opinion all he wants. It is his show and his name is on it. His racist comments about Donovan McNabb several years back were on somebody elses show and he had no right to embarress the company he was working for and the people he was working with by making such remarks.

The fact that we can say what we want according to the government does not mean that individual citizens and businesses cannot hold someone liable for their comments. If a person makes statements that undermine a businesses ability to grow that business then it is a responsible act to let that person go. If the NFL looks at Mr. Limbaugh as bringing bad publicity to their business then they have a right to keep him from owning a part of a franchise.

Mr. Limbaugh has the right to continue on with his racist, boorish rhetoric all he wants. Perhaps someday he will learn what liberals have known for years and that is that our words have consequences and if you do not want to be penalized for the things you say then don’t make offensive, hateful remarks.

Something that conservatives just don’t get and that is we all have thoughts about others that are not nice and we all have people that we do not like, smart people keep it to themselves. Of course a person of even moderate intelligence can figure out a way to voice their opinion in such a way as to make their point without sounding like an ass. People like Mr. Limbaugh feel as though it is their right to be as outrageous as they can be so that they create as much controversy as they can. Again, on his own radio show he has that luxury. He still must come to understand that with the right to free speach there is also a responsability and if he chooses to offend then he must be willing to pay a price for his freedoms.

Of course, Mr. Limbaugh, cannot be a very intelligent person as he has said in the past that every person that abuses drugs should be put in prison but then when he got caught abusing drugs he fought to stay out of prison. Well maybe this has nothing to do with his inelligence. I guess he is just a hypocrite.

Happy Columbus Day

October 12, 2009 on 10:51 pm | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I guess it is not politically correct to celebrate Columbus Day anymore and I don’t disagree. But I don’t actually agree either.

We really do not need Columbus Day to be a national holiday but it should receive recognition. Columbus was a great man in his day and some of his accomplishments need to be remembered.

I do not like it when we try to hold people of yesteryear to today’s standards. If we did this for every man woman and child in history then most all of them are going to fall far short of our expectations.

We all act in ways that we are taught to act and back then Columbus was a gentleman. Yes today he would go to prison for doing the things he did, but then again if he lived today maybe he would have learned to be a gentleman by today’s standards.

I believe the best way to look at this day and this man is simple, teach our children his accomplishments and show his acts truthfully. Use this as an opportunity to show how societies evolve and becomes more civilized. Teach in our schools that we can learn from the actions of others.

The most important lesson learned from people such as Cristopher Columbus is that no one has the right to look upon another human being and think of them as sub-human. This type of thinking is why American settlers killed off the Native Americans it was the cause of WWIIand the reason we put Japanese Americans in camps during the war and it is the reason that so many minorities are discriminated against today.

Few things bother me more than when I hear someone say I am not prejudice against (Insert Minority Here) I have many that are friends. What a load of crap! A person that makes this statement is not friends with anyone in the minority group in question. They probably know someone in the minority group and they might be polite to them and they are friendly to them. But, what do they say about that person behind their back? Is the minority accepted as an EQUAL or just tolerated?

I can remember the days I didn’t like Gays. Then I met some people that are gay and they actually became good friends. A particular lesbian I knew was the first true love of my life. Boy did Laura teach me a lot about life and love. Gilbert worked for me for a few years and I came to love him as a brother. He was a wonderful friend. I have not seen or heard from either in years and I miss my friends.

There was a time when I did not like black people. After I actually got to know some I changed my tune. I remember two brothers that I went to college with, Brent and Brian. We were football team mates and I was beginning a friendship with Brian. We were both freshmen and I was helping Brian in the weightroom. I had some pretty good weight training skills and Brian needed to add some strength to go along with his game. One Sunday evening Brent and Brian were late to a team meeting and they were running to the film room. We heard a loud crash as Brian slipped on the wet steps going up to the building and crashed through a plate glass window. Brian died three hours later in the operating room. This world lost a special person that night.   

Until recently I did not much care for Hispanics. It wasn’t that long ago I worked with some guys from Honduras. Maynor, Hector and Ramone are some hard working and dependable people. They came to this country for a better life and they are working hard to make sure they find it. I wish I had enough work to hire them fulltime.

Columbus might not be a good role model for kids today but Columbus Day is a great opportunity to teach children how to love everyone.

October 8, 2009 on 2:06 am | In Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Recently I have been hearing a commercial on the radio that disturbs me. I am not sure what it is a commercial for but there is a line in it where the commentator asks “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This is a question that can only be asked by someone that is not fully thinking through their thoughts.

Let’s take a closer look at this question, shall we?

First, don’t good things and bad things happen to everybody? Second, just what is the defenition of a good person and who decides what is good?

Let’s say a young man dies of aids in prison. Is this an example of a bad thing happening to a good person? How about a young lady that is addicted to heroin and turns to prostitution to pay for her habit. Is this what the man was talking about? Is the middle aged homeless woman that got raped an example of bad things happening to good people? Maybe a retired gentleman is the good person and being diagnosed with cancer is the bad thing that the commercial was talking about. I’ll bet eveyone reading this has already formed an opinion. Does anyone really have enough information to have an accurate opinion?

Maybe the young man that died in prison was born to into a broken family and was abused as a child. He could have gone to a school that was too crowded for a teacher to even notice him and he dropped out at an early age. Perhaps the local street gang was the first group to give him respect and show him love. He could have driven the getaway car in a crime where someone was killed. After being raped in prison he contracted aids and later died. Most would call him a thug and claim that he got what he deserved. Wasn’t he born a good person? Did he really have control of his life?

Perhaps the prostitute was an all American girl growing up in high school getting good grades and a friend to all. She could have been in an auto accident and as a result of the operations and the pain she became addicted to pain killers. Once the doctors stopped prescribing the drugs they got her hooked on a friend got her hooked on heroin and then he turned her out to pay for the drugs. At what point did she stop being a good person?

The middle aged homeless woman might have once been married and had a couple of children.  After years of battling Manic Depression her husband left her and the state took her children. She can’t afford the medecine she needs and she cannot cope with society. A person trapped in their own mind is unable to control their life so is she a good or bad person?

The retired gentleman certainly looks like a good person. Maybe he goes to church and his friends and family all love him. I am sure this man also has demons in his life and skeletons in his closet. No one knows what is in a person’s heart. Maybe he is full of hate and anger. I’ll bet the cancer is not the first bad thing to have happened to him, but is he a good person?

The fact is all of these people are good, and bad things have happened to them just as bad things happen to all of us. Life is an endless series of situations. The way we act and react to these situations determines the outcomes of our lives. Some people are better equiped to control the events of their lives and some people have a better support group of friends and family that can offer aid and support. The people that are unable to overcome the trials and tribulations of life are not bad because of it, they are simply human.

Racism, Racism, Racism.

October 2, 2009 on 6:12 pm | In Uncategorized | 6 Comments

There has been so much talk about racism lately, I think we need to address this issue again.

Former President Jimmy Carter made a statement that many of President Obama’s detractors are racist. Maybe they are and maybe they are not. Maybe their racism causes them to say things and maybe it is another cause. That’s the thing about racism, we just don’t know.

When statements and actions are subtle the only one that knows for sure if racism was the cause is the person that made the statements or did the acts. Some things that can be construed as racism can be something else. Some people are just insensitive, they figure since they are not offended by the comment no one else should be. Then there is the stupid factor. Let’s not sell stupidity short, we all have it and we all have the ability to let it fly. Racism is something that resides in a person’s heart, not their statements or actions. No one can ever know what is in another person’s heart.

Most people that dislike our President do so because of his policies, I have no doubt this is true. Every person on the face of this planet is a racist.  The question is to what extent does a person allow their prejudices to run their life. I will admit to being imperfect. I have found myself in circumstances where I made the wrong choice based upon my prejudices. I work very hard to better myself in this aspect of my life, do you?

A few years back I was dating a young black girl. I forget her name because we did not date for very long. What broke us up was a visit I made to her home. It was just after Holloween and I had some left over candy that I took to her home to give to her nieces and nephews that lived in the same house. Later that evening I was sitting on the couch and waiting for her to get ready so we could go out and I had a brief encounter with one of her young nephews. He looked at me and said, “we don’t like white people”. That statement broke my heart. This innocent child was being taught to hate. I never did anything to harm this child and I never would but he had been taught by the rest of the people in that house that people with a different color of skin are bad simply because of their skin. That was the first time in my life I could honestly say that I knew how bad racism hurt.

I ended our relationship at the end of the evening, of course, after we had sex. I did wrestle with the decision all evening as I was beginning to really have deep feelings for this girl. In the end I guess I just did not want to be someplace where I was not welcome. Truth be told I don’t know that my family would have been all that enthused with our relationship and I am sure she would have been just as uncomfortable with my family. Looking back it might not have just been the difference in the races, she was about 15 years younger than me. Under the same circumstances today I know the outcome would be different.

It is events such as this that defines not only who we are but who we will become. At the time I ended our relationship I was a different person than I am today but I am the person I am today because of that episode. I hope I am a better person because of it.

I think the lesson to be learned is that none of us should assume racism is the cause of another persons actions. It might just be our own racism that causes that assumption. How about if we all just stop pointing fingers and calling each other names and then we can help one another to understand that LOVE is the answer to every question.

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