In Remembrance of Neal Rench – If . . . by Rudyard Kipling

Prolog:  Today was a remembrance and celebration of Vincent Neal Rench.  He was a co worker with my wife Margaret but he was also our friend.  Presented here is his favorite poem.

If with a shadow

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
[Read more…]

What is our Patriotic duty?

My Country's Keeper


People talk about our Patriotic duty but few put a definition with it.  After reading an article this morning and having a discussion with a friend, it occurred to me that I would like to at least try to define it.  Recognize that it is MY definition and you may not agree.  That’s O.K., America was founded on the principle of free speech and the freedom associated with it. So, here goes:

Patriotic DutyTo support the United States Constitution and our Bill of Rights. To vote for the candidate of my choice in any election, public or privately held (any time we participate in the voting process that is not for a public position). To support the rights of others as long as those rights don’t infringe on the rights of others.  To believe in and support majority rule.  To speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, be they in firmed or simply under the age of 18.  To fight (if necessary) for these rights against any enemy that would seek to restrict our right to exist as we have agreed upon as a nation.

I understand that some (in fact many) will take issue with what I’ve said, again, that’s O.K.  If you have a point of view why not add your voice to my own and comment below.

God Bless US all and God Bless America

What are the benefits of walking?



I remember that my Grandfather walked for 10 minutes after every meal.  Not only was he very principled, he was very consistent in the way in which he lived his life.  Walking is just one such example but it does illustrate a few points worth mentioning.

Now that I’m getting older, my health is even more important to me (it should have been all along my life’s journey).  A couple of years ago I began walking at a consistent pace and taking our dog for companionship and exercise (nobody likes a lazy dog . . .wait, that’s not true).  Each year I started and stopped based on lots of different mental excuses.  I learned a long time ago that when you’re looking for an excuse, anyone will do (weather being a possible exception to the excuse rule).  So, I walk everyday, Monday through Friday and give myself the weekends off.

On the weekends I’m usually working alongside my wife around our home.  For me, that ensures that I’m exercising albeit in a different way.

The benefits of walking are amazing.  Prior to walking, my hip bothered me all the time.  I’ve lost weight and viola, my hip no longer hurts.  It also gives my mind a rest while I appreciate nature and the beauty around me.  The best benefit is that I’ve lost 32 pounds from my original weight before I started walking.

As part of my weight loss regimen I joined to track what I eat (accountability) and what I do (excercise).  I also purchased a Fitbit ( Zip that tracks my steps, distance and the calories I’ve burned as a result.  It resets itself at Midnight each day.

Cursor_and_Lose_It__-_Community_ProfileNow, LoseIt has awarded me this badge for achieving my goal weight.  I’m proud of this because of the effort it represents and changes associated with that effort.  I highly recommend using LoseIt if you want to take control (personal accountability) of what you’re eating and what you’re doing to improve your health.

The benefit to me has been enormous.  The benefits to walking may be even better for you.

What are your thoughts?

Spirit of America Flag





The Spirit of America

If you’re a Veteran or the family member of a Veteran past or present, you’ll want to see this amazing flag.  If you click on the flag (or the brochure below) it will take you to a site that will tell you even more.  If you want a quick view of the flag and it’s meaning,  the brochure (and the linked site) will provide it and where this amazing flag can be purchased.

Note:  No money will be paid to DR Rawson or any member of his family if you decide to buy and fly this great new flag.  It only benefits those who need it most. At just under $30.00 U.S., it’s easily something you’ll want to add to your holiday tradition.

Spirit of America Brochure

Traditional Barber

MikeEvery so often I need a haircut (actually all of them (that is the few I have left).  The man for the job is “Mike.”  I’m well aware that by blogging about this fantastic experience may make my wait for him a bit longer but he deserves your attention.

My first business (besides two paper routes) was as a shoeshine boy inside my local (La Mirada, CA) barbershop.  I went there every Friday night and Saturday.  In exchange for sweeping all the hair up, they let me shine shoes for $.25 cents a pair.  I usually received a 5 or 10 cent tip.

It was here (and later another barbershop in San Diego, CA) that I learned the difference between a barber and a really great barber.  Mike falls into the latter category.  Why?

First, Mike will ask you what you want and not try to make the decision for you.  Next, he asks about me rather than me having to start a conversation or listening to everything about him.  However, I wanted to learn more about him.  I’ll give you the 411 I have in a bit.  Finally, when the experience is almost done, Mike does something that you rarely (if ever) see anymore.  Mike lathers up the back of your neck and shaves you there to insure you have a crisp clean haircut and leave with a great feeling.  He’s an expert at this and especially the “art” of barbering.

Who is he?  Well, he’s not really from around here.  He moved down here from near the Sacramento, CA area.  In addition to “real” barbering (a tradition in his family) he’s also a musician.  He plays a number of instruments and is a big fan of all types of music including opera.  Confused yet?

As a young man starting out in business a lesson I learned was NEVER judge a book by its cover . . . ever.  Never judge someone by the way they look (today).  Does Mike look like nearly everyone from my generation?  NO.  Mike is . . . well . . . Mike.

If you’re in need of the best haircut at a very reasonable haircut, give Good Fellas Barber Shop a try.  Pope (a wonderful barber herself) and others are barbers you’ll appreciate and like.  You’ll come back, again and again.

If you see Mike, tell him “DR says, HELLO.”