True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

A Blessing for Kith & Kindred

May the light always find you on a dreary day.
When you need to be home, may you find your way.
May you always have courage to take that chance,
And never find frogs in your underpants.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

To an Old Friend on Christmas Eve

XXXXX (name redacted),
Recluse and curmudgeon that I am, perhaps my daughter Sarah is the only one who really understands me.
She knows that some of the events of my life also makes Christmas a weepy time for me, and gives me the space to deal with it in my own private way.
I don't know much, and don't do that well with what I do know, but, like you, I know that the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
Of that, I have no doubt.
Your recent news of your rebaptism was a Christmas miracle for me.
You were hurt, angry, and continue to have a tremendous stubborn streak.
That stubbornness, however, mostly has been a good thing, as you have selflessly loved and served your family, and amazingly even continued to faithfully attend Church.
I stand all amazed at who you are and how you have served and continue to serve so many others.
You boggle my mind, and make me hope that one day I can grow up to be more like you.
And so it was this morning that I was pondering and praying about how Christ chose to retain his wounds upon his resurrection.
Apostle Jeffrey Holland said that was to reveal how "he was wounded in the house of his friends".
He went on to explain that, "Those wounds in his hands, feet, and sides are signs that in mortality painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect, signs that tribulation is NOT evidence that God does not love us. It is a significant and hopeful fact that it is the WOUNDED Christ who comes to our rescue. He who bears the scars of our sacrifice, the lesions of love, the emblems of humility and forgiveness is the Captain of our Soul. That evidence of pain in mortality is undoubtedly intended to give courage to others who are also hurt and wounded by life, perhaps even in the house of their friends.".
Thank you for who you are.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Accept No Counterfeits

A man and his dog were walking along a road.
He was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.
He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years.
He then wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road.
It looked like fine marble.
At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.
When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.
He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as they got closer, he saw a man at a desk at the side of the gate.
He called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"
"This is Heaven, sir," answered the gatekeeper.
"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" he asked.
"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."
The gatekeeper gestured, and the gate began to open.
"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" he asked.
"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."
The traveler then thought for a moment and then turned back toward the road, continuing on the way he had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, they came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed.
There was no fence.
As they approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"
"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."
"How about my friend here?", gesturing to the dog.
"There should be a bowl by the pump."
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The traveler filled the water bowl for the dog, and then he also took a long drink.
When they both were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.
"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.
"This is Heaven," he answered.
"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell."
"Doesn't it upset you that they to use your name like that?"
"No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

Personal Note :
I'm also grateful that my faith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints- "LDS" Church) teaches that all of God's creatures will be resurrected and we may continue to enjoy their companionship in the hereafter.
Of course, I think about the "hereafter" quite a bit lately.
When I go from one room into another, I usually wonder what I'm "here after".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Remembering Bert

Many years ago, after confessing seriously inappropriate behavior to my local Ward Bishopric (LDS Church Leaders), my disfellowshipment thereafter was made known to my fellow Priesthood Brethren, as was the practice at that time.
I was mortified and deeply discouraged, and this became even worse for me when these brethren thereafter avoided me.
In point of fact, their embarassment for me and discomforture with my circumstances caused them to almost stampede out of my presence.
That is, all except one brother, Bert, who I knew only slightly at the time.
Immediately after our church meetings, he purposely strode over to me, as I forlornly sat in the church meetinghouse foyer, and offered his sincere sympathy for and support to me.
In all my life, never have I been so grateful for the loving kindness of another.
Since then, I long since have returned to full church fellowship as well as my Priesthood responsibilities, but I always will be grateful to and will never forget Bert.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Musings to My Children

Dear David & Sarah,
After sleeping through most of Sunday and being mostly bedridden since last Tuesday (except for going out to a legislative forum meeting on Saturday, which probably much delayed my recovery), my health seems finally to have mostly rebounded - at least, I'm feeling much more like my own curmudgeon, vinegar filled self.
Although still a little tired, I'm stepping out today to take care of a huge backlog of errands.
It was much more than just a nasty cold, but not exactly the flu either.
In any case, others have reported similar symptoms, but mostly with their children(?).
Does that mean I'm childish or merely childlike?
Does that mean that I should go back to riding on the short bus? (If so, I promise to diligently wear my helmet, and not to lick the windows).
Late Sunday night, while in bed and musing, the realization came to me that both of my children now are older than I was (at age 30) when I was diagnosed with terminal cancer the first time and given a future lifespan prognosis of six months or less.
Since then, there have been multiple encounters with Zippy the Surgeon (with more to soon come), many prayers on my behalf, and powerful Priesthood Blessings, under the hands of my LDS Priesthood Brethren.
All in all, it is difficult for me to fathom that thirty years have passed, and seemingly so quickly.
On Saturday night, I dreamed that I was looking at my reflection in the bathroom mirror, and surprised to see that my countenance was that of a slim young man, about twenty, with dark blonde hair, blue eyes and a scattering of freckles. It was then that I realized that the reflection actually was that of my adopted son David, when he was a younger man, and who has been a choice blessing in my life.
Then, a few days ago, I saw a television ad for the "Clapper" light switch, and chuckled when I remembered my darling little daughter Sarah scrambling up the stairs in my home in Indianapolis (Ravenswood) and anxiously clapping her little hands to turn on the sound sensitive stairwell lights, to protect herself from the imagined monsters in the darkness.
That memory also gave me a grin to also remember her perception and memories of the "goat boy" in the painting of "Christ and the Children" above her bed.
I also am grateful that my friend and LDS Brother, Maryland Delegate Rick Weldon went out of his way to give my former coworker and friend Royden "Goober" Gilleo some good counsel on how to obtain quicker resolution on federal assistance for someone especially dear to him and suffering from a Bipolar affliction.
And so time passes, and so it goes.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Advice to a Friend

... Some folks get so sincerely worried about how others should be living their lives that they expend lots of effort that isn't wanted or appreciated.
Popeye the Sailor once said, "I am who I am, and that's all that I am!".
The person who we truly can change only is ourselves.
Our influence over others is much more limited, or so I believe.
... It's ok if others don't understand or agree with me.
They're entitled to their own opinions and personal progress.
Someone told me once not to get upset with a skunk for stinking.
That was good advice, at least for me.
We're responsible to Our father in Heaven through Christ for our own personal salvation and progress.
We're on dangerous ground when we undertake to assume responsibility for others that isn't part of our callings or covenants.
Even then we must be ever so careful.
Christ's response to the "Sons of Thunder" says a lot about this, as He, the Creator of this world, also is ever so careful to recognize and respect the right of personal agency.
The older I get and the more experience I accumulate, the more I believe this to be a true principle.