buddhaHow do we harness the desire to just ” do it ourselves” and let the painless evolution of learning take place?

I don’t know the answer, I know my children would like it if I could figure it out, I’m sure my wife’s voice wouldn’t sound like she has smoked filter less Pall Malls for 20 years, after a day of “bonding” . I try, I practice my breathing and try to lose myself in my breath where time is non-existent. Having done it once before, and not being a patient person, the continued pursuit of being one with myself and my surroundings has since eluded me. It’s as if I had it so right for so long and then lost it. Due to my life and my work I don’t always have my family with me. When this happens i can have a clean house and whatever I want to eat, and time to do yoga and meditate and not try to rush on to the next important thing I need to do, but those things aren’t really important, are they. How do I schedule my life to make room for what is truly important?

yinyang My kids are important, spending time looking at the sky with my Google Sky Map app and trying to guess why they named

that star that name, or why can’t we turn it down and look at the Earth? Those are the things that are important, how we manage them is the question. my answer is try, listen, stop what it is and force ourselves to become fully engaged in whom ever has chosen to bless us with their time at that moment.

Keep calm and breath on my friends, breath on.–j

Raising Children in Complex Times with Sylvia ...

Raising Children in Complex Times with Sylvia Boorstein (Photo credit: On Being)

“Life is so difficult, how can we be anything but kind”—Sylvia Boorstein

let it be

So after I great conversation today I’ve been thinking, shouldn’t we all allow ourselves the freedom of enjoying the intent behind something, rather than digging into the what ifs, and the what will others think of it? someone told a friend of mine that he was wrong for disagreeing with the BSA’s decision and that “they” the GLAAD would remind the BSA how wrong they have been for not allowing Gay scout masters, yet.

Ok, so let me get this straight you don’t have children (the individual that blasted my friend) male or female to even offer the choice of Boy or Girl Scouts, but you want to attack the organization  for their lack of support for your agenda.

[ note: i do not believe homosexuality is a choice, nor do i care, several of my family is gay, i love them regardless, but their agenda’s or your’s is not my or the rest of the world’s problem]

SHUT THE HELL UP! Is not the meaning behind being a scout, boy or girl, more important than you and your organization pushing hard enough to cave a cornerstone of  American culture, to prove a point?

let them go build camp fires with pink lighters and sing Ricky marten songs for all i care, but let them have the choice and opportunity to go into the woods and learn something of the outdoors, and traditions of being a responsible and driven young man who understands the success for naming goals and reaching them.

i just don’t understand why we can’t live and let live, and not lose site of the why we are here in the first place, to live as the golden rule suggest.

Our children are our only hope.

Celtic Choice (by Fays) Irish ghillies

Celtic Choice (by Fays) Irish ghillies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I grew up the adopted child of  alcoholics… now some would say they were drunks, not alcoholics, but only because they didn’t go to meetings. Either way  my grandmother could put it down. At one time so could I, but thankfully as I’ve gotten older I’ve just found to many other productive ways to fill my time, regardless of my plans or the amount of refreshing beverages in the house, i find myself spending money on booze that ends up  living in the cupboard long enough to be an investment instead of enjoyment.

Oh, i grew up in a trailer too…on the wrong end of town…and was in trouble a lot…but somewhere, a switch flipped, which gave me drive. Drive enough to move out of my parents home and in with my aunt and uncle to finish high school. I did, on the honor roll and with a full scholarship to a four-year church school. (,  the school thing lasted a semester before i enlisted but I earned the scholarship and went.

I have a had a very successful career in the Navy for 22 years, not without its ups and downs, deployments and debilitating PTSD, not to mention the 65 lbs it gave me as I sat crying in the corner, and a thrashed knee.

To the point of my story: my boss recently told me that there was no reason I have been as successful as I Have, and the successes  should never have happened. When I asked him why, he told me about success opportunities due to upbringing, family, education etc. and the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

If you’ve ever felt too hard on your children, don’t. Read the book, see what the answer to lack of opportunity truly is. My oldest unfortunately didn’t have the benefit of having parents that understood what education and the rewards from carting your kids to and from their activities, plus making them practice and do extra homework, but my youngest does. No longer will i feel guilty for:

Not letting her watch TV during the school week.

Making my youngest practice her piano 1.5 hours a week.

Making her practice dance, both Irish dance and Jazz dancing for 30 minutes a day.

Spanish club 45 minutes before school once a week.

Doing her homework everyday as soon as she gets home.

Doing math work books when she doesn’t have homework.

Reading no less than 45 minutes every night before bed.

So basically in my simple way of thinking; you want to be good you have to show up, if you want to be great you have to work and if you want to be a success, you have to work hard and long.

Home is the place to start, school is the place to manage and gain new skills; hard work is something that can be passed on, and the only way for us as parents to ensure the success of our children is to make them work harder than we did as children, on a schedule, and not let them accept a

Cover of

Cover of Outliers: The Story of Success


second-hand effort as a valid attempt.

I’m not trying for 10,000 hours through my children but they will get pretty close before they go forth on their own into the world.

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Fast and Furious 6 –the explosions and fight scenes were awesome, and Gina Carano, thanks, always a pleasure to see you, the list of accomplishments your character had, seeing as how i know what the all meant, i was very impressed. And then you turned traitor, and your appeal was lost to me. Something about a bad-ass patriotic chick that dropped a grown man in a Kimura just does it for me, then you became a bad guy! damn it!

The Memorial day post.

As we set around and Facebook through the innumerable “remember the veterans” posts. please do that, but at the same time i understand if you don’t know a veteran, it is hard to thank one, or to grasp the meaning of Memorial day. If that is the case try this, think back to your grandfather and the day he taught you to drive, or gave you a playboy, or helped you up after getting bucked off, or any of the million or more “grandpa-only” lessons and let those guide you to finding the right understanding of Memorial day.

We all have so much more to be thankful for than for what some is an immeasurable presence. When today the average is .45% of all American( young men and women who sign the line and raise their hand, hence committing themselves to uphold and defend the constitution of this great nation and our great way of life. While the remaining 99.45% of Americans hardest choice has been to another new cell phone contract, its hard for the majority of Americans to truly grasp the value of Memorial day, and what exactly we should be remembering.

So i offer this as to you as you go about your three-day weekend; be grateful for that which others have freely chosen to undertake, even if you yourself do not completely understand the choice. Hopefully you will get to spend time with family you haven’t seen in a while, i know part of my weekend was spent watching my oldest niece graduate from high school while holding my youngest nephew whom i had never met.  At the same time this weekend has also been spent thinking about my grandfathers, and other family members who are no longer with us, and the lessons of right, wrong, and hard work they taught me that i have carried on, some with not even realizing until much later in life.

An example; Grateful and silent service has been a part of my families lives since before I can remember, A. F. & A. M., Odd-fellow, Rotary club, Lions club, VFW, Boy Scouts, American Legion, the list goes on, but the point is this: My family taught me to always be willing to give to others even when you(I) felt as if you(I) have nothing to give, our time is money and our most valuable possession next to our children, neither of which can we take with us, so spend it liberally on all for no point other than the opportunity to engage positively in someone else’s life.

And so at the end of your days, let your family remember the time you taught them to selflessly give of themselves for others, as a result of your belief to commit in writing and through oath to this great country, to be more than a participant but committed to our way of life and it’s protections, and grateful while doing so.

so i was thinking.

this is my first attempt at this but rather than piss people off at work i thought i’d put it here and give you a choice to listen.


i was brought up trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly courteous  kind, clean obedient,cheerful thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. If you don’t know what that means then you probably weren’t a Boy Scout.

There is no sweat here if not, i’m good with you or your parents choice(s).

That brings me to my point, I’m good with your choices, as they don’t effect me, i hope you are good with mine if they don’t effect you, but i really don’t care.

What are you going on about??

Today the Boy Scouts voted to rescind their ban on gay youth starting next year, well it makes sense right? the united states military (really just a big scout troop with bad clothes and guns) moved to not care if you were gay, only that you could and would do whatever job you chose when you enlisted. So whats the big deal? as far as i know there hasn’t been a case of homosexual transmission on this earth yet from drinking from the same canteen, or sleeping in the same tent. just as there hasn’t been a none case of homosexual transmission while fighting the taliban…

Do we really think god asks us to shun(hate) those which are different than us?

well Allah does, ask the Royal Fusilier who was hacked down yesterday in the streets of England  for….walking??

so we should keep our young men, our future 1% of 1% (Eagle scouts) from being in scouting and learning how to camp, make fires, and race chunks of wood with wheels on them down a ramp with their friends?

America is this distraction worth your time? do we teach exclusion by hiding behind religion to justify our means?

some of you quit reading, and some are mad or don’t care. but for what its worth. I am an Eagle Scout, i earned my God and Country award, I am a combat veteran, and a father;

So here’s a thought, how about we teach our children to read before we teach them to hate? Or better yet, teach them to be the pack leader instead of a follower.

i was just thinking.