Friday, March 22, 2013


I've been trying to catch up on some reading lately, so you haven't really heard from me. Here are a few I have been working on. Go ahead and look and see if anything piques your curiosity:

The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa

The Genesis of Science

Drawing out Dragons

Master-Mind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


A few months ago, I decided to put a little group together and help welcome a refugee family had just arrived in Tucson.

To celebrate the milestone of our friends making it through the first three months here in our city and the opportunities we have had to get to know them, we had a party for them with our group the other night.

One of the sons, when he paused to thank us for making them feel so welcome, shared some thoughts that I found interesting. He said that in Africa, he got the impression that everyone in America was always busy and rarely had time for anyone else. As most of us looked down at our shoes reflecting on how we weren't able to see them as much as we wanted because we have all been so busy, he thanked us all for having time for his family.

I have found that we often do fill up every little bit of time that we can in our lives, leaving no margins around the edges for much anything else.

I have also found that it is usually the things that we only have time for if we leave a little extra time and make some margins around our busyness that end up being the most important.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Illuminating contraband

 Soon, the manufacture and sale of incandescent bulbs will be, if not a thing of the past, an illegal enterprise.

In order to save the world from it's obsession with using energy to make things brighter at night, soon the bulb will be regulated out of existence in the U.S.of A.

However, they will still be manufactured in Mexico.

I can foresee a new item for the cartels to smuggle if marijuana is legalized wholesale. Soon, Border Patrol Agents that are not furloughed might be chasing cars with trunks stuffed with light bulbs through the streets of a city near you.. Ranchers in remote areas might report seeing armed men guarding backpackers hauling around 3 to 5 pounds each of the illuminating contraband. Smuggling tunnels from Nogales might be uncovered, their location given away by the telltale warm glow.

People might congregate in underground clubs dancing the night away in rooms lit by the "real" thing. Maybe they will call them a 'See Easy", or something like that. The rich and powerful might in secret, from time to time, share a well lit room with one another, smoking a cigar or two and maybe leafing through the pages of a magazine under the glow of the incandescent.

Ok, it sounds a little farfetched. But so does that whole prohibition thing that happened not so long ago.

And, just because you need to know. here are the EPA's instructions for cleaning up your new light bulb, in unlikely event that anyone should ever break a light bulb in your house:

Cleaning up a broken CFL

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Highest Honor

With all the buzz about drones and how the administration is ready to use them, not only for warfare, but to kill our citizens, here is some news that is somewhat related:

I know, this sounds like it is some kind of parody, but it is not. The Department of Defense recently authorized the Distinguished Warfare Medal, which is to be given to those that have distinguished themselves in cyberwarfare and combat drone operations.

So far, it doesn't sound terrible. I am sure that operating those things can be difficult and challenging at times. And they have made significant contributions to the wars.

But here is the best part. Medals are slapped on the chest of your uniform in a precise order, the most important ones placed higher up than those that identify other achievements, but did not involve acts of valor. So, the Medal of Honor, the highest ranking medal, would go up at the top, while a ribbon showing that you are an expert marksman would go down towards the bottom, close to the ribbon showing that you finished basic training that everyone wears.

The Distinguished Warfare Medal is ranked above the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart in order of precedence. In the past, Uncle Charlie had to storm a bunker full of machine gunners, getting a few holes in the process and he could proudly wear an important medal. Now, his nephew can sit in an air conditioned trailer watching a video screen, risking a leg falling asleep, to earn even higher honors.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A sturdy constitution.

While we certainly have our problems and continue to suffer the fools that you choose to put in and keep in political office, we most likely live under the best governmental system the world has ever seen.

Here are some reasons why:

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
Abraham Lincoln
I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.
Thomas Jefferson

 To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.
Calvin Coolidge   

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Festival of Books

Here is your invitation to attend the Tucson Festival of Books. If you are not much of a reader, you may be a bit sceptical about this event, but it is worth attending and has something for everyone, reader or not.

In my opinion, this is one of Tucson's premiere annual events, it is one of the nations largest book festivals and about 100,000 people are expected to show up at the thing.

 Those of you with children will find some great reading, science, math events, and much more.

Those without can enjoy themselves without having to look for things for your kids.

 You can see a bit more about it here:

Tucson Festival of Books