Reunion question of 2017


Rita and I want to answer the question of attending a family reunion this year.  We have given this a lot of thought because we really enjoyed seeing everyone and watching them interact.

 Having a reunion at Rick’s place is problematic for the east coast travelers (many of my immediate family). Our place is conveniently midway between mid-west family and east coast family.   Rita and I could offer to host it here to remove that traveling concern, and we would be pleased to do that if it were not for another issue that has emerged this year.

This issue is the division in the country and family due to the election.  The election has caused emotions and intensity to reach an extreme level.  The nation is divided and many people can’t talk to each other about topics surrounding it without reverting to name calling, anger, and other negativity.  This is true within our own family.  As kind of an elder of this clan, I want to tell everyone to go to their rooms and stay there until they can treat each other respectfully.  However, that demand does not work with independent adults.  And I like my family to be independent.

After much discussion and thought, Rita and I have concluded that it is too soon for some to put their beliefs and political feelings aside to enjoy each other.  I suggest we postpone the reunion until next year. That way, time may tone down emotions  and give us a chance to realize that family is more important than politics.

Sorry to be so blunt and hope you do not see this as unreasonable.  You all are way too important to me to allow the current political environment to ruin our relationships.

I Can’t Fix This

 Note: I first wrote this on November 11, 2016 as a post in my Facebook account.  I copied it to my blog for archival reasons, but didn’t make it public, for I normally want to keep my blog political free.  After a few months of consideration, thought, and healing. I decided to post it on my blog. I’m not too concerned about it being political for nobody reads my blogs except some of my family. And I consider them safe people from judging me.

When I was a parent of young children ,I would be on my way to the basement where my workshop was, and I would often find a broken toy sitting next to basement door.  I would take it to my workshop ,and more times than not, fix the broken toy. One time, I even took one to my place of work and had the engineers challenged as to how to fix it.  When it came to broken toys, my children may have thought that I could fix anything.

They carried that attitude into adulthood.  I would get calls to discuss them losing a job, a breakup in a relationship, or one of their kids acting out.  They would call to share in the moment, but they also wanted to see if I had some advice or secret that could fix whatever was going on.  Often, I would be able to shed some sanity into their life at the time. That may have enforced their opinion that I could fix anything.

Well, I can’t.

In the wee hours of November 9, 2016, we found that Donald Trump would be the next president.  Like stepping on a rake, shock hit us.

Donald Trump is a man who some think was one of the worst choices ever to run for president and others think he may be able to fix the wrongs of Washington.  Shock, anger, fear, disappointment, and many other dark emotions set in some like bad virus.  Others felt elated, happy, hopeful, and filled with good feelings like the sun shining after a long rain.

The gulf between those who despised Trump and those who saw him as a savor not only widened, but became impossible to cross.  Neighbors couldn’t talk to each other. Co-workers couldn’t discuss the results without anger and harsh words.  Social media was filled with posts and comments that contained the worst in many.  And, to be fair, the best in some.  News media focused on those negative traumas that got eyeballs or sold newspapers.

Many felt their world was broken.  And, in their eyes, it was broken.

Siblings exchanged messages that were filled with name calling, anger and hate.  Damage was done to relationships that events in Leadville were never able to do.

Well, I can’t fix it.

If I could, I would.  I know of nothing that should invoke such emotions and actions. But, this election did. Some of my children are handling disappointment much better than others. Some are not.  I want to step in the middle, wave my hands, yell, threaten, and send everybody to their rooms until they can be civil with each other.  But, I can’t. They are adults, not children. They need to be responsible for their behavior and deal with the ramifications of it.

 I can’t fix this.

And, I’m extremely sorry that I can’t.

Young people blogs

My son has begin to post blogs of his mountain hiking adventures and I really enjoying reading them with one exception. 

His choice of fonts sucks. Here is an example:

“my body tells me to “move or freeze … “


My eyesight is 20/70 in my left eye and 20/40 in my right eye. I have glaucoma, floaters, cataracts, 

lazy eye, early symptoms of Aged Macular Degeneration and bad progressive trifocals glasses.  

So I prefer fonts that are large, bright and clear.

This kind of font  is almost invisible for me!

This is better, but hard for me to read.

This is acceptable

This I can handle with no problem

This font makes me fee really old……

So, dude!  We do not have a shortage of electronic writing space.  Bits are free, using small fonts
does not save the environment and uses the same amount of energy as 

And the line spacing features in Google’s blog software  suck too!

So there!



Got this email from my son this morningL

Yesterday I got back from a SQL conference that LEGO paid for me to go to… it was in Vegas.  Today I have no job because LEGO abruptly shut down our entire office and laid off over 100 people. 

I not only lose my job, but I lose my job on my wife’s 40th birthday, the same day we went to a friends wedding.  Not to mention that I also lose about $15000 worth of 401k that was going to be vested next year

And now, I get to try to find a Senior DBA job in a economy that totally sucks.  Yay me!

I hate layoffs.

In my careers, I was laid off five times.  Twice at a young age in the defense industry. So when I got into high tech, working for IBM, I felt safe from the shock of hearing that your way of making a living was gone. Then, 20 years later, I was laid off three more times. Later in my career,  I also was involved in deciding who got laid off. I hated it. 

My last layoff forced me out of my high tech, high paying career.  I was too old to compete in a weak market.  It forced me to adjust to living on 30 % of what I use to make, I had to work in career I hated – sales.  Now, I work 50 hours a week in my full time job and when 10 to 20 hours a week at my two part time jobs. Oh, I also collect social security.   I now make about 40% of what I made over ten years ago

Lately, there are demonstrators in many cities who are basically demonstrating about the wealth, greed and unfairness. Latest statistics show that in the last fifty years, the top 10% of income earners that use to hold 1/3 of the nation’s wealth now hold 1/2 of the nation’s wealth.  

For the past five years, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, over 150,000 employees get laid off each month.  Many months, the number exceeds 200,000.  My son’s story, my story and those of hundred of thousands are very similar. We loose, the companies gain.

As my son’s company lay off 100 employees in a decision made by some unreachable person, the company posts record breaking profits:

Pretax profit leaps nearly 70 pct….

Where is the Fairness in that, where is the Accountability,  whose Interest are they watching out for, why is this Right?  The demonstrators know things are not FAIR.  

And the hundred of thousands every month get told, Ah… tomorrow, your way of making a living is gone.  

I don’t have the answers, but I do know letting 10% of the people in a nation to own over 1/2 the wealth and make decisions that impact hundred of thousands each month is not my idea of being FAIR!

It is not democracy.  It is not what our forefathers wanted out country to be. It is not a system that will last.  The 90% of us who basically support the upper 10% will not allow it to go on forever.

It is time for some Fairness, Accountability, our Interest to be considered, and doing what is Right.

It is time to be FAIR.

I don’t take a solid position on any political party. I don’t believe in trickly down economics. I don’t believe the government should be as big as it is. 

I think the system is broke, wrong, and self serving. 

It is stupid for a country of 200 million people to instill the power of running the country in the hands of people who are selected by their ability to raise money, say whatever needs said to get votes, and put down their opposition with dirt, negative advertising, and misleading statements.  This is the most stupid way to select leaders I know. How does this qualify anybody to solve some of the most complex problems we know?  How can slinging dirt at your opponents help in solving poverty How can making promises that you know you can’t keep make you qualified in solving global warming How can spending the most money on advertising make one qualified on building peace with nations who want us dead? 

Where is representation, accountability and fairness?

Where is the fairness of an executive to make millions of dollars  a year to decide to lay off 10, 20, 30% of his work force?  Let’s see … profits are heading down by a few million dollars, so let’s cut our spending by laying off 10,000 hard workers who make 50K per year. That will save us  

What have we allowed to happen?

Isn’t it time we take back the power we gave to these idiots?    


Now, I’m ranting.

I just wanted to plant a thought:  Maybe, just maybe we need to change things.

Go. do it!


We are away from home. A short weekend trip to Long Island to visit Jen and family. The day after we are here we called the women who is taking care of our house, dogs and cats. She informed us that Sue had run off again. She did that last time we took a trip and was lucky to get her back after Sue encountered a porcine and some friendly person took her to the humane society.
When we go home, we were greatful Sue was there.
Now, a few hundred miles away, I can’t allow myself to think of the worst.
What if she doesn’t come home.