Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rambling Misc's.

This is one of those days where the head is headed off in all sorts of directions so this post will too.

I started this day checking blogs, and checked out Scott Adams. (He is the creator of Dilbert)

Mr. Adams has an interesting blog which is half serious and half nonsense. One day he decided that most songs were random words stuck together, and really did not have any meaning.

So he challenged his readers to post random phrases, and he would write a song.

I am not sure if he wrote it, or who did..... but someone wrote it, and someone else put some pictures with it and put it on YouTube... Here it is




My contribution didn't make the cut however.... as did many others I believe there were about 600 posts.

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Ever have a song stuck in your head?

I had that silly "oh, oh, oh she amazed me" stuck in my head this morning.....

Then I started singing some Pink Floyd for some reason,

"We don't need no, education, we don't need no thought control"

When I got off the bus and jumped in the pickup, that song was on the radio, so here it is.....

MY THOUGHTS ON EDUCATION

I spent a lot of time in the educational system..... so I should be pretty smart, but I don't think I will start there.... instead I will start a little earlier.

Children are born knowing very little, they usually are pretty good at having their heart beat, most can figure out how to breathe (though my daughter was one of those who forgot how every once in a while). For some reason they all know how to scream, yell, and suck a nipple. Beyond that everything is a learning process. Newborns cannot see very well, until the brain learns how to process the information the eyes are picking up. They don't know they have arms until one whacks them in the eye. They don't know who all those people who keep making funny faces at them are until they learn them by smell, by sight, then by sound. Eventually they realize that they too can make those funny faces and funny noises. They learn that they can get things they need or want by making the noises, they learn that they too can sit, stand, walk, run. They learn that the funny red dude's name is Elmo and the square guy is Sponge Bob.


Someone told me once that people learn more from age 0-3 then they do for the rest of their lives. If you think about all the processes, all the muscles contracting and releasing at just the right moment, the feelings, the reactions..... just to take a step, or say a word, it isn't hard to imagine.


One does not have to be around children much to understand that they are sponges. They absorb everything. I tell my elementary kids on the bus to watch out for this, that what the 5th grader does, the 1st grader will do. The kids call it 'monkey see, monkey do' but its a learning process.


skip a beat



OK, so my daughter is 4 yrs old, has been watching her brother play soccer since she was 5 months old, and is taking soccer. The coach teaches them to move the ball with their feet and they run around kicking the ball in their little swarm.


I asked the coach why they did not learn to pass.


He said, "The girls are too young to be able to learn how to pass yet"


So everyday my daughter and I would get to practice early and pass the ball back and forth. As girls would show up, they would join us. Soon everybody but the coach's daughter was able to pass back and forth. Only then did he incorporate it into practice. If a 2 week old baby can take the weird shapes and colors, and develop a facial recognition system to identify "Mom" with, a 4 yr old can surely learn how to pass the ball.


This seems to be the underscore of the United State's education system. They are too young to be able to learn that yet. You can't teach a 4 yr old to pass the ball, you can't teach a 12 year old Algebra, you can't teach a 17 yr old calculus. There are so many people saying what our children cannot learn that few are willing to try to teach them.


My daughter is the only 12 yr old in Pre-Algebra. Last year as she was moving into 6th grade EVERYONE was given the option to take regular math, advanced math, or pre-algebra. However there was a warning attached. Expect your child's grade to drop, one level for each level up they go. So if your child was an A student and you stuck them in Pre-Algebra, expect them to get at the best a C! (After all they don't really have the ability yet to learn this stuff I suppose).

So my daughter was the only 6th grader in Pre-Algebra. Her grades went from B's and C's to A's and B's. I suppose she must be the exception to the rule, of course since nobody else was willing to try.....


She does have a father however that believes that children can learn anything and he believes that it is the parents job to educate, they are just given tools, one of which is the school system to do it with. (a few weeks ago she came in saying, "Remember that stuff about Pi and circles and stuff that you taught me 2 years ago.... were just now learning about it" Boy, I wonder what people would say about teaching Geometry to a 10 yr old!)


More about that stuff later.


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Politics:


I hate these primaries , I know who I want to vote for, so let me vote already.


If that person does not win their party's vote, I will have to vote for the other party, but if the guy I like in that party does not win...... Back to voting for Jesse Jackson I guess (I assume he's running again, maybe not)


The electoral college was great 200 years ago. The parties figured out who they wanted people to vote for, the states voted, sent their reps to some national location and those guys voted and a new president got elected.


That was great 200 years ago.


Today we have these computers. Today we can instantly tell how many votes were cast and who the winner is.


So let EVERYONE run.


Let everyone vote.


Then decide the winner by who got the most votes.


Seems easier.


I think the issue with it though is that the politicians would lose, and some guy who just bought donuts for the guys at the chicken processing plant would win.


Actually I do believe that if everyone could vote for anyone, the race in Mississippi would boil down to 2 people. Oprah and Paula Dean. Now Oprah has lost her accent, Paula wears hers with pride, so I am pretty sure that she would be the winner in the southern states.


I think she would do a pretty good job too:


Today, President Paula Dean addressed the Iraqi Parliment, she started her speech by saying, "Howdy Ya'll, I brought cha some nice fried catfish and turnip greens to eat while I'm a-talking, and if ya'll agree to these proposals I got a nice chocolate 'better than sex cake' for ya'll to try too!"







Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sail away

Part of my quiet time ritual in the mornings is to check my mother's blog. Unlike me, she actually posts nearly every day and I enjoy seeing where she is and what she is doing.

Yesterday as I was preparing my bus I heard a song from the band "Styx". I remembered if from my youth, I do believe I had it on an album, or maybe an 8-track. (If it was an album, I probably still have it, sitting next to my record player in the workshop)

Anyhow, part of the lyrics go:

"I look to the sea, reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever, so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But well try best that we can to carry on"

It was not waves that sparked my memory, but that song, and my mother's adventures. I remember my sister, myself, and the neighbor hood children riding our bicycles down to Whiting motors. At that time, they sold RV's on their little lot as well as new Chevies and other used vehicles. For a while they left the RV's open, and we kids liked to look inside. We were good kids, we didn't do anything a grownup wouldn't have done, looked in cabinets, kicked the tires, normal "looking at RV" type of stuff. Just like many adults we also dreamed of someday owning the RV and traveling around. We could not wait until we were old enough to drive. We were going to graduate from highschool, buy our RV, and Amy, Bridgette, Cliffy, my sister, and I would travel the country side. So as we looked at our RV's, we would claim our beds, make sure the fridge would hold enough pop for our journeys, made sure it had a toilette (though none of us were too worried about having a shower or a bath).

It wasn't too many years before Whitings started locking the RV's. Maybe other kids weren't so nice to them. Then they stopped selling them altogether. We continued to grow, and continued to make plans together. Then somewhere along the lines we started to drift apart.

We all lived on the same street. We all lived within a hundred feet of each other. But there were age differences that as we grew older, a year or two made it 'uncool' to be around your childhood friend.

So we all graduated and went our separate ways, searching for our pot of gold.

Or most of us did.

I remember Amy going down a different path then the rest of us. I know that she had a child as a teenager, that her parents raised. Then I stopped seeing anything of her at all. On a trip back to Montana at some point, I heard that she was missing and presumed dead.

More from Styx:

"A gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope, and this is what they said
They said come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me"

Searching for a common name like Amy Johnson, is pretty difficult these days. Google it and you will find several hundred thousand people....

So I am hoping Amy found her pot of gold, and the rest of us will continue to carry on.

Now I get to do another blog experiment......


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Racing the Rat

You may notice that there is now the "Dilbert" cartoon on the website. This did not go according to plan. It's a 'widget' (I guess) that is supposed to have today's cartoon always available. I thought the widget was supposed to go on the side.... but it didn't. So eventually Dilbert will fall into the archive somewhere and be impossible to find. Guess that's what happens when you start racing rats.


I like Dilbert, because I never joined the rat race. I grew up in a household where for a long time the mantra was, "you have the choice to do anything, but you have to live with that choice". The first thing that came to mind for kids was, "we don't CHOOSE to go to school, we are forced." However you do choose to go to school, because the consequences for going in the front door then out the back, or just sleeping in and skipping school, are too harsh, and so of the choices, children choose to go to school.

When I graduated High School, I had many choices. I was accepted to go to MIT, or Montana State University. I chose MSU. I have never regretted that choice. When I started school I was in the Electrical Engineering major. After a year, I chose to switch to Theater Arts. Somewhere in there, I chose not to enter the Rat Race. I could graduate college with a degree in Electrical Engineering, make lots of money, maybe design a new computer system and be the next Bill Gates (I remember being very interested in the concept of stacking microprocessors.... similar to the "dual core" processors that have come out recently). I chose however to go into a field that I just loved doing. While engineering majors were up all night studying for their next big test, Theater majors were up all night actually doing what we were training to do.... produce plays. I never once thought of myself as the next Bill Pullman (maybe because he was, at the time, one of my teachers.) or even compared myself to George Lucas, I was just focusing lights and hoping that some day I could make a living doing it. (and for a very short time was)

When I got married, my wife was in the "Rat Race" already. I get a kick out of Dilbert's cubicles because I know all about them. When I met my wife, she was at a 'manager' level. You could tell because she had a cubicle with 84" high walls and a door. Below her were supervisors, you could tell they were supervisors because they had cubicles with 60" walls, and no doors. The supervised associates, the more important of which had 48" walls and 2 desks with 2 draw sets, the less important had 48" walls with 1 desk and one drawer. Eventually she moved up to a director level, and then a VP level and got offices with real walls, and once even had a window.

I found it interesting that you could tell how important the VP was by how many people they had to share their "administrative assistant" with. Some got their own, some didn't get any. Office furniture also made a major play as to the importance or a person. There is the associates chair, the supervisor's chair (which has arms), the manager's chair (which looks expensive but only cost $50), the VP's chair (which looks expensive and is) and then there is the executive VP's chair which was usually flown in from Italy at great expense. I have never seen a president's chair. I am sure they must have gold inlay on them though.

Now some people will read about this and chuckle. Some will nod their head in approval, and some will say, "huh, I always wondered how high the manager's cubicle is". All of us get a kick out of reading Dilbert however, it is the comic for those stuck in the Rat Race, and for those of us outside the Rat Race laughing at those stuck in the Rat Race.




Hopefully some day I will figure out how to place Dilbert on the side, where he is always available to those who wish to see his latest adventures.

And by the way, we are no longer part of the Rat Race. My wife has left the company, and is currently in a job she loves, making coffee for those seeking a better life racing rats.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Green Means Go, Red means Stop

I have always been one of those drivers who talk to the other people on the road, even though they cannot hear me. My daughter has grown up listening to her dad while sitting at the light that has now changed, saying "Green means go, what do you want, a written invitation?"

So now I drive a school bus, and of course I often talk to drivers who still cannot hear me, but now my audience is quite a bit larger.

Yesterday however there was no audience to hear my rants. I pulled to my first stop on my High School run. This is a left hand load, the child, in this case a 6th grader is on my left and must cross two lanes of traffic to get on the bus. It is one of the more dangerous loads we bus drivers have and we all take them VERY seriously. As I pulled towards my stop, the young man was standing there waiting. I put on my yellow flashing lights just as I am supposed to. This is to caution other drivers that I am about to stop, and there are children present that they need to watch for. Sure enough a car is coming up to me from the front hoping to make a left hand turn into the elementary school. So I motion for the young man to stay where he is at, which he does. Then I motion for the car to go, since its better to have no car, then to rely on someone actually doing what they are supposed to do. The car does not move. "OK, yellow means you can go" I say to the driver. He does not budge. I wave frantically to get his attention and flag him around the corner..... He does not budge. "OK, have it your way" and on come the red lights, but something inside me says NO, and I don't give the signal for the child to cross. Sure enough, as soon as the red lights came on, the car went right through the intersection..... RED MEANS STOP

I was laughing when the young man got on the bus, and so was he. We talked about this for a few minutes as we drove to the next stop. As we approached the next stop, this one on the right, the young man sitting behind me notices the steady stream of oncoming traffic, "Do you think they will stop?" he asks. "No" I reply, "This is Dinsmore, people don't have time to stop" [Dinsmore is an upscale neighborhood].

Sure enough, as our next pickup was happening and the red lights flashed, 3 cars tooled on past, not even bothering to slow down.



Now this would not be note worthy, just another day in the life of driving a school bus, but last night at church, the theme of the sermon kind of hit me. Our minister, Kim, was explaining that she had been sick for the last week, and didn't have time to prepare a "new" sermon so she was recycling an old one which seemed to fit. Basically it was about how people were not created to run 24/7, they were created in God's image, and he only worked 6 days and then took the next day off. Therefore so should we. There was more to it then that, but in a nutshell, if we don't take a bit of time off, we end up flat on our backs for a week trying to recover from pneumonia.

Several years ago, I was involved with a children's worship service where I wrote a new service for each Sunday for a year. I remember that during that time I always woke up at 4:00 am. I would not always get up at that time, but I would lay there and think, and plan, and contemplate. Then it would be off to the computer for another hour of mindless games, looking at Ebay, or some other thing. It was my down time, my time to STOP. These days I get up at 5 to pick up my first child by 6:15 am. I still wake up before the alarm every morning, sometimes an hour, sometimes a few minutes and stop, and think. Also I find that if I don't have this time in the morning, I either need it between runs..... or get very cranky by evening. (And the Mountain Man get be a BIG bear when he's cranky).

So as Kim told of her experiences, I wondered about the people who cannot STOP on RED. I believe whole heartedly that God shows us everyday things for a purpose, that when we see the sun rising or frost crystals on the windshield, he is showing us the beauty that he has created for us. Kim obviously thought that pneumonia was God's way of saying STOP. So when these people come across a bus with its red lights flashing, maybe that too is God's way of saying STOP, take a moment, hang up the cell phone, take a breath, look at the bird in the tree or the duck on the pond and realize that we really are not supposed to run 24/7. Hopefully they will make it to work without a bigger reminder coming at them. Hopefully they will wake up the next day with the ability to breathe and not have to spend a week with people telling you that people die from complications of pneumonia. Hopefully they will....

Take a moment and remember Red means STOP.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Deafening Silence

I just came from church. During our contemporary worship service, a young lady I have known since she was very small came on to talk about a recent retreat she had been on. She told about getting up before everyone else and going down to a tree beside a lake. She called it her "prayer tree" and she has been going down to that tree every time she goes to that retreat.

This brought back memories of my own youth, going to bible camp. We went to a camp called Christikon located in southern Montana on the Boulder River. The river was aptly named because it was a large amount of water flowing through very large rocks. Every once in a while the water would move a boulder creating a large crash or thump, but the din of this water through the rocks was constant, and deafening.

The camp was on the side of a hill, probably a half mile from the river separated by a large meadow full of wild flowers. In the meadow were more large rocks, some the size of a large car, many the size of a chair or sofa.

It was the camp's policy that nobody had a watch, nobody knew what time it was. We would be told what to do when it was necessary for us to do something. Traditionally a large bell would ring that could be heard for many miles. That would signal something needed to happen, and usually everyone knew what was to happen next.

So every morning the bell would ring, it was time to get up and meet at the lodge. You would be issued a bible verse and head out into the meadow to contemplate the verse.

For some reason I always had a hard time contemplating verses..... So I contemplated life instead.

Sometimes I would read the bible, I always liked to read the chapter before and after a particular verse, to see how many preachers take things out of context.

Many times however I would just sit and listen to the roar of the water. The roar was so loud and so constant that it became silent. Every once in a while there would be a loud thump or crash as a boulder moved in the water, but the silence of the deafening roar permeated the soul.

I remember talking to someone several years later, who was leaving Montana to go back to NYC. They could not handle the lack of noise. The cars, people, sirens, all melded together to form their environment and without the silence of the din, they were lost.

I have also experienced this while sitting on the beach by an ocean. For the first few days, there is noise, then all is silent, and when you leave, you miss the din, and long for the noise again.... I guess thats why they build all those condos next to the beach.

So as Emily told about her lake side "prayer tree," my thoughts went back to my contemplation rock, and the noise that silenced all noise. We allow too much stuff into our lives and we loose sight of what we are doing. Sometimes we need just a bit of noise to drown it all out.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Taking the Subway

I just got done eating at a Subway Restaurant. I have liked these places since the first place I ate at in Columbus Ohio. I like the fact that their employees are called "Sandwich Artist." Not a chef, or a prep cook, or bus boy, these Artists use their creative abilities to make and deliver a sandwich.

I spent about 8 years working in various kitchens around the country. I had many titles from dishwasher to chef, but not once did anyone call me an "artist". A chef, is by nature an artist as they create with food. At least in the restaurants I worked in we were able to. I suppose if you work at "Applebees" you don't have much latitude to create as the menu is set, but working in resorts and high end restaurants, we had the need to get rid of yesterday's prime rib that did not sell and had to create something from the left overs, and not only that but be able to sell the creation for as much money as we could make from the prime rib (and often times more.)

So here is a lowly sandwich maker, who gets the title of "artist." If you have ever eaten at at Subway, you will understand why they get their title. No two sandwiches are ever the same. Sometimes you get a lettuce sandwich, sometimes you get 3 jalapenos and other times you get 3 handfuls. So through my years of eating Subway's I have come up with my rating scale of what I consider a "good" sandwich.

First, it has to contain all the ingredients I want. I ask for a "Veggie" sandwich, and say "all the veggies". Now some places think that I need spinach on my sandwich, while some think that its for salads. I prefer the spinach to stay in someone else's salad, but since I ask for everything, its not something I complain about.... just am happy when they leave it off. However if they leave off the onions, or cucumbers, or olives.... that's worth complaining about.

Next, is the gooshy factor. Its basically how much of the sandwich falls out because the bread is too small to hold all the ingredients. I believe that Subway's have way too much bread, so when my sandwich is so loaded that I wish I had a fork to eat it.... that is the sandwich for me. As I eat, stuff falls off and the more that fell off, the less stingy the artist and the more apt I am to return.

Now on the flip side, my daughter and I have come up with the "Scariness factor". This is actually applied to all restaurants, typically fast food. These are places to avoid, usual reasons include:

Lack of customer service. This entails a whole bunch of stuff, but when an employee would prefer to talk to their co-worker instead of you, its a quick trip to the scary zone. Also answering the telephone instead of talking to the 'live' person in front of them, ignoring what someone is saying, and along with that asking you to repeat what you just said 3 times.

Lack of food. Nothing worse then going to a Subway for a turkey sandwich to find out they are out of Turkey.

Wrong order. Wendy's is great for this, order a "double" get a chicken sandwich. Not just special requests, I can overlook them putting onions on a burger that you just asked for without, but when I ask for a burger without onions, I best be getting something made from a cow and not a bird.

So if you ever wonder why there appears to be a Subway on every corner, it is because they are staffed by "Artists". Just as one prefers "Classical" over "Renaissance" , or Monet to Renoir, so do we consumers prefer our sandwich artists.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

We could use another Hero

>One of my favorite shows has ended its season it would appear, "Heroes".

I like the show on many different levels. One level is that of the choice these people have of either becoming a "hero" or a villain.

People make the same choices every day. Some choose to do good things, and some choose to go a different way. Then there are those who consider their job to be Heroic, and therefore do not need to play the part.

>I remember sitting in my living room on the morning of 9/11. The guy on the TV was interviewing a fireman who had just been driven back by the fall of tower number one. The fireman said he was going back into tower number two, the interviewer asked if he was worried if that was going to collapse too, the fireman said yes, but that's my job and I need to do it. Just an ordinary guy choosing to do an heroic act. He had the suit, he had the badge, he didn't need to do anything but direct traffic or pull hoses, but he chose to go back in knowing that the tower may collapse and he may be killed. It did.

>My latest occupation is as a bus driver. One day as I was bringing home the children on the bus, we happened upon a small group of police cars. Naturally I slowed down, not just out of curiosity, but this is considered a hazard that bus drivers need to slow down and watch out for. Several of the children on the bus PANICked. Diving to the floor screaming, "Get us home NOW".... These were 1st graders.

At what point in these children's lives did a police officer change from a hero to a villain. At 7 years old, I doubt that these children were the arch enemies of the men in blue, but somewhere along the lines these children were taught that cops were bad guys, not the people to run to when you were in trouble.

>I remembered back a few years to a live radio show that I was listening to. A police officer had been killed in the line of duty, and police officers from around the state were going to the funeral. Someone called into the station asking that the officer's slow down. The country road they were heading down had a 55 mph speed limit and while normal traffic was 60-65 many of these officers seemed to be doing 80. The announcer gave the 3rd degree to this caller saying, "these people risk their lives every day, we need to cut them some slack. If they want to go 80 to this officer's funeral, they should be able to do so"

I just about came unglued!

The officer who died trying to protect people, trying to enforce the law, died as a hero, was being honored by fellow officers flagrantly disobeying the law and putting the general public at risk!

>A few weeks ago, a report came out about Jackson MS police, and how many times the officers have been arrested for crimes from DUI to assault. The numbers were alarming. I would think that even one arrest would be alarming of course but some of these had 17 arrests, most pleaded out or thrown out of court.

>I remember back 15 years ago in a college class on education psych where the instructor was explaining to his students, many who would be future educators, that as a teacher you were held to a higher standard. Many school systems would not hire a teacher who smoked for instance, as it created a negative image for the students. Teachers could not be seen drinking in public, or be visiting the strip clubs.

There was a day when police where held to a higher standard as well. They were not above the law, but set the standard of the law they swore to enforce. A police officer was the person you looked to, to settle disputes, to help in legal matters, to actually drive the speed limit..... even when nobody else did! Police officers held this standard when in uniform, and when not in uniform. If there was an officer that lived down the street, you knew that your street was safe, and would never expect the officer to be hosting wild parties or selling drugs from his back porch because that just was not done.

>Somewhere in the last 30 years this was lost. There are heroes still, people willing to put themselves away from the ordinary for the common good. We find them in church, in politics, in the military, fire departments, and the police. Unfortunately though we don't find them enough, especially in the police department, to quell the fears of a group of 7 yr old children. Too many are of the belief that its the clothes that make the man, when it is the man that defines the clothes.







(addendum: Last night on "Deal or no Deal" they had on the show, a Port Authority Officer that had been saved from the WTC after it had collapsed . He won a bunch of money which is always nice to see, but during the show they introduced the person who led the team that saved this guy's life. Everyone got up and clapped, and this guy looked genuinely annoyed at the amount of attention he was getting. I tried to picture this guy as the fireman from the interview but don't remember the face well enough, but this guy did not rescue someone from the WTC to go on Deal or No Deal, he did not do it to get into the papers, or the movies, he did it because it needed to be done, and he was the one that needed to do it. He did not wake up and decide to be a hero that day..... or maybe he did, maybe just maybe he decided that everyday when he woke up he would live his life according to the uniform that he wore, and make people proud to do what he does, because that's the kind of person who gets genuinely annoyed at the attention given to a person who shares the title of all others like him..... Hero)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Family

Hehehe..... I get to write my first post dated a month ago, and this post dated today all at the same time..... wonders of computer technology. I think it was Einstein who decided time can be bent, maybe thats what I'm doing. Hopefully nothing breaks along the way.

As I mentioned in the previous post, my Mom left today on her further adventures.

I often think about my upbringing. One of the greatest mysteries of my youth was whether or not my parents remembered when they were young. Considering I have tons of memories stored of my youth, I believe that my parents too, DO remember being a kid, though I am sure I could not have believed it at a young age.

I am certainly a product of my parents. However I do lean a bit towards my mom. This is rather unfortunate in some ways because my dad has one attribute that I wish I had gained from him.... that of a "Do-er". I remember my dad getting a little circle of wood one year for Christmas with the words "To It" written on them. It was a "Round to it". This was never my father's weakness though. Him getting around to it, meant it would be fixed by the weekend.

My version of "a round do it" usually means I will get it done sometime before we move again. (we seem to do that every 3-5 years).

That would be one of the things I wish I had gotten from my Dad. I did get from him a love of mechanics and things with switches. Also I remember from my youth, my father having a reel to reel tape recorder in the late 60's. That was kinda breaking technology for the average homeowner/ice cream maker, so I guess I also inherited from him this love of breaking technology.... and yes he is still around and playing on the internet as well (though not with his own blog.... maybe that will come soon too).

The one part that I got from my mom that blended well with my gifts from my dad, was love of reading. I can read a novel, or paperback just fine, but my love was non-fiction. This is something my dad did not do. So there where times when his method of doing it by the seat of the pants, was just not going to get it done, and then the books came out, and I excelled. To this day, I prefer a book about the life and times of Tesla over anything done by Steven King any day.

Both of my parents were very patient people. And this compounded in me. Raising my children, teaching, driving, all benefited from these gifts.

My mother gave me many gifts as well, and often I see myself leaning towards her. She is a listener, a counselor by trade, and this ability flows through my veins as well. She is an educator, and follows the same life goal as I do, in that she learns and teaches. She once was a middle school teacher, then moved on to teaching people how to cope as a counselor, and now as she travels the country, she learns new things and teaches them to us on her blog. I think that her RVing is a blessing in multiple ways. It is something she has always wanted to do. It gives the rest of us hope that someday we too get full fill our life dreams. And one thing that I have always kept in the back of my mind is how lucky those of us who know her, are. As she travels, and meets new people, and others happen across her blog, they will join those of us who are lucky enough to know my mother. And who knows she may be counted among the lucky ones to know someone else's mother.

So as I said goodbye to my mother today, I knew that she goes off on a journey of greater importance. One that affects many people's lives in many different ways. And after all, she'll be back in the spring. Finally it shows too that my mother is a "Do-er" and with that from both sides.... maybe I can finally get a "round to it" of my own.


(If you want to keep up on the adventures of Vagabond Vee, her blog is found at: http://vagabond-ventures.blogspot.com/ )