Thursday, June 28, 2012

Afternoon Paddle On String Lake


CALMING, COOLING PHOTO on String Lake. I wasn't on this canoe outing, but have paddled or kayaked there numerous times. Photo: JH NEWS

Obamacare Survives As A Tax



"Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it."


IN SPITE OF the monumental, hysterical chattering in the aftermath of this ruling, the ACA law now stands for the moment. In reality, it will be years, if not decades in the tweeking, undoing and/or remaking. It's far, far from over though it is currently the Law of the Land.

I for one am disappointed. However, I try my best to keep my life as far from the federal government in every way as possible. Free market innovations---like Minute Clinics at Walgreens and CVS, new  inexpensive cures, as well as medical tourism---will keep rolling out and there will be much good that will come from this melee.

One more thing: If Romney has a better plan if he's elected pres, he and the GOP had better come forth and spell it out clearly. This ruling could help him get elected. On the other hand, he needs to come up with some sensible alternatives.

Several more thoughts: We all need to get on the band wagon and start or continue taking more and more personal responsibility for our health and welfare through sustainable, preventive lifestyle changes---diet and nutrition, exercise, moderation in drugs and drinking, moderation of time in front of a computer screen and cell phones etc. There are always going to be big ticket medical needs however, we can minimize these in ourselves and families and by taking better care of ourselves.

Also, the INTRADE odds predicted the ruling totally wrong, since it called that 70% were betting for repel. Not the smart money at all on this one and by a long shot.


If it's just a $95/year tax to the IRS to opt out of this mandate, then why not do it and have private insurance that is outside the law?

Monday, June 25, 2012

One Way I Deal With Grief


NO WAY TO FLY BACK TO NASHVILLLE FROM JH for under almost two grand on a two-day notice. No bereavement fare when you're in season in Jackson.

So I had no choice but to send flowers and love and go to one of my favorite rivers with one of my favorite fishing partners. We slayed 'em on a parchute Adams and hare's ear. I can't lie----Good Lord we had fun!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Father Who Knows

PASTOR MIKE ATKINS at River Crossing in Jackson Hole speaks about family-of-origin influences and how our heavenly Father knows and annoints us for his purposes no matter what our early upbringing or family expectations.

From 1 Samuel 16---the story of Samuel the prophet of the Lord, Jesse and his son David, and how God directs Samuel to annoint David, the youngest born of Jesse, to be the future king of Israel while David is still a boy and shepherd.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sunday, Amazing Grace For Mary Pope, My Dear Second Mother for 40 Years Who Died Peacefully Friday Night In Nashville At 93

A TRUE SOUTHERN ARISTOCRATIC LADY who---after my father died in McMinnville moved back to Nashville---refused to move to a fancy assisted living facility, preferring to stay in her lovely condo and be taken care of by several lovely, Christian black women sitters/family whom she loved and who loved her---Kim, Brenda, Rhonda---as well as her sons and other family.

Ours was a true southern family of Gothic proportions. After my mother died, my/our father remarried Mary Pope whose deceased husband Bob Crichton, a recovering alcoholic co-founded Cumberland Heights for drug and alcohol recovery with Dr. Thomas Frist. When my sister married one of our 4 step brothers (they were later divorced), the complicated extended family relationships got even more complicated.

My relationship with Popie remained steadfast through many ups and downs over the years. I spent incredibly rich and poignant time with her twice the week before I left for Wyoming. The two of us shared truths last week that seared my soul and relieved hers of many burdens in her last days---truth that set her free and gave me and our family the opportunity for healing, forgiveness and eternal, redeeming love.

May you rest in peace, dear Popie. I love you. Much more importantly, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ loves you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Going To Top of the World On the Most Beautiful Highway On Earth


US 287 FROM RAWLINS, WY through the Great Divide Basin, up along the Wind River Range, through Lander, then DuBois, Brooks Lake and the Pinnacles and before going up, up, up to the continental divide---Togwotee Pass---and dropping into the big bowl called Jackson Hole  is a drive worth taking.  I never grow tired of it. Simply spectacular....until you get to the road work that's ongoing for the next several years as you get close to the valley floor (see photo below).

Coming down, Togwotee Lodge is always a welcome sight....almost there!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ladies in Summer Whipped Cream

SOPHIE RIVALS EVEN KATE AND CERTAINLY CAMILLA in another magnanimous gesture of royalty to itself. After a point I can't image that all this pomp, ceremony and platform heels can be very interesting to any of them. But what else would they do if they didn't do this?


Father's Day in Grand Junction With My Bad Influence And His Besainted Wife---All Things Come to Him Who Waits

AFTER YEARS OF WAITING, HOPING, YEARNING he finally got the twin Ryobi yard tools---a power leaf blower and supersonic hedge clipper---with lithium batteries he's always wanted!

Oh and thanks to his darling daughter Kristin (go to her blog here) and her sweet hubby Jeff, Mr. and Mrs. MBI finally got the twin bundle of joy and poop (squared)---Zoey and Luke--they'd always dreamed of three months ago! They couldn't be happier and neither am I to see this darling family grow in such blessed ways. We had such fun out on the shaded deck yesterday playing with, cooing to and burping babies...what would Father's Day be without baby spit-up all over your t-shirt in 99+ degree weather?


Daddy with Daddy's girl, Girly-G in Manhattan...two of the dearest loves of my life...God bless them all!

....and......presenting .the granddaddy of 'em all... good friend and fisherman excellent HG has 9 grown children----5 boys, 4 girls----and now awaits the birth of his 30th grandchild!  Here he/we are on the South Holston on Memorial Day weekend.....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sunday: From Forgiveness to Fullness: More About Grace

GRACE IS UNMERITED FAVOR. CHRIST REMOVED OUR SIN AND IMPARTED HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS to those who come to believe in and follow Him. We have been accepted in Christ and we stand in His great honor. Again, this is not because of anything we've done, or could ever do, but rather because of what He has done for us even in our fallen, sinful state.

Happy Father's Day!

Notes From the Road, 3

WITH SO MUCH CONTROVERSY FRIDAY OVER THE PRESIDENT'S announcement by executive fiat----illegally by-passing Congress--- regarding his decision to let young illegals stay in the country rather than be deported, I hestitate to write this post.

Let me say at the onset, I am deeply opposed to Obama's continuing end-run around the rule of law and Congress, and his dictator-like orders---Because he says so and needs the votes! His desire to be totalitarian about items on his agenda and then be irritable about reporters asking him questions, as if he's above the law and all accountability is shocking, unacceptable and unconstitutional to me.

All immigrants to the United States need to go through a process to legal citizenship no matter what their age in my opinion. No exceptions. While that process can be tweaked and updated, it should never be abandoned.

Having said that, I'd like to relate a little vignette that happened to me in a little mom-and-pop motel in Russell, Kansas Wednesday night. To me it's a sweet and touching story.

Will be back to tell it later today. Thanks for coming by.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Notes From the Road, 2

THE ANSWER TO WHAT YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU'RE sick and traveling far from home.....

I AWOKE in St. Charles, MO west of Saint Louis Wednesday morning sick, knowing I needed to see a doctor and get on antibiotics before this sinus infection got worse. My home doctor was out-of-town and anyway it would have taken hours if not days to hear back from his nurse. By then I'd be in Kansas City or Hays, KS.

So what could I do? I considered finding a nearby emergency room, a doctor's office or even asking if there was a doctor at the motel where I was staying. But none of them felt right. As I packed my car I mulled my options, then suddenly I got an idea: don't many drugstores like CVS and Walgreens now have Minute and Take Care clinics for people just like me? I'd had a flu shot at Walgreens last year but that was the extent of my experience with these so-called clinics. Still it seemed worth a try.

I went to the motel front desk and asked where the nearest drugstore was. The man said there was a Walgreens three blocks away. Overjoyed, I jumped in my car. When I got there and asked the pharmacist told me there was not one there but gave good directions to the nearest clinic and nurse.

I was off again and this time walked into Walgreen's fully staffed Take Care clinic where I was warmly greeted and directed to a computer screen to fill out a simply form. From there I went into an examining room where the nurse's assistant took a little more history and my vital signs.

Then I went in to meet the nurse named Suzanne. She's been a nurse for 38 years and was as good if not better than a doctor in my book. She had a great sense of humor.

Thirty minutes later she had prescribed a Z-pac, cleaned out my ears and sent me on my way after we had laughed in between everything else.

Total cost for the clinic visit: $89. Cost of Z-pack: $42.99.

Time and money truly well spent.

Wonderful to get diagnosed, treated and get the prescription in the same location. Within 45 minutes I had taken two tablets and was back on I-70 on my way to Denver! Sure I still didn't feel great, but I knew I would in a few days. I'm so grateful for this healthcare innovation that makes access to care so easy, quick and affordable.

As far as I'm now concerned, I'll use these clinics for most everything----they give vaccines of all kinds, physicals, screenings, manage blood pressure, diabetes etc., treat all kinds of infections from sinus, ear and bladder even to early Lyme disease and finally treat many skin conditions from athlete's foot, acne to tick and insect bites. WOW!

I'm now in Boulder, CO resting before traveling to Grand Junction Saturday. This morning I took my third antibiotic and am starting to feel like a 65% human being again. The best part is they called me from the clinic in St. Charles to see how I am doing! What a nice touch!

This is American business innovation at its best. I'm grateful and will avail myself of this service when and if I need it again. So much easier than all the alternatives I could think of! And finding a convenient parking place is the best part of all!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Notes From the Road, 1


I FIGURE I'VE CROSSED THE COUNTRY FROM TENNESSEE TO WYOMING AND BACK over 40 times in the last few decades. That's truck driver material!

It's a drive I love and have grown comfortable with. Over the years, it's gotten easier because the exits and rest stops are better serviced, the bathrooms cleaner, the cell phone networks have more coverage and people seem to be nicer. I take a cooler of great, healthy low-carb food and good water and coffee to keep me focused and energized. I've found wonderful hikes near I-70 to get a good workout---like the Katy Trail along the Missouri River near Rocheport, MO. And in summertime, the weather is usually conducive to zipping cross-country.

So what's not to like?

In all my trips through the heartland, rarely have I been sick. I look back in amazement at how easy it's really been. Not effortless, but relatively easy.

Until this trip. From start to the partial finish, I've felt sicker than dirt and what's usually a breeze has been much more of an ordeal.

Looking back, I've dragged around for the past several weeks too busy to do more than occasionally wonder where my normally high energy has gone. I wrote it off to southern heat and humidity. I never stopped to consider that I was under the influence of a dreaded sinus infection that is subtle beyond belief and oh so debilitating.

In spite of feeling bad, I've pushed myself for weeks with little energy to answer emails and phone calls, get together with friends etc. I've gone to bed early and slept far later than my normal 5 am wake-up.I've had no chills or fever or nasal congestion. Just tightness in my head and absolutely NO energy or enthusiasm. At times I've had major aches and pains.

After saying my goodbyes and pushing myself to get off late Tuesday afternoon, I drove to St. Charles, MO and stopped for the night. Wednesday morning I awoke sick and exhausted beyond words. I tried to amp myself up with strong coffee on an empty stomach---all to no avail.

Suddenly it dawned on me: I have a dreadful sinus infection and need to see a doctor and get treated----NOW!

What do you do when your traveling, sick and need help in a strange place where you know not a soul and your doctor back home is on vacation?

I'm here to say there's a terrific answer which I'm going to tell you about in my Notes from the Road, 2. For now, going to bed here in Boulder knowing I'm finally on the slow mend. More on the greatest new addition to traveling in the U.S. when sick that I'm so glad I've discovered and want to share with you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

That Time Again!

GETTING THE HORSES SADDLED AND READY FOR THE LONG TRIP ACROSS THE HEARTLAND of America. This year am leaving a bit early so I can enjoy some time in the West before fires begin since it was a low-snow and water winter.

Will be back sporadically as I can over the next ten days.

Honk if you see Ronald Reagan on the trail!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Drawings/Renderings of Apple's Coming Spaceship Campus

THIS PROJECT IS BEING BUILT ON HEWLETT-PACKARD'S OLD CAMPUS.  Lots of trees, solar panels and light. Can't wait to see the real thing, inside as well as out.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

As the Queen's Ceremonies Grind On For the Public, Utter Exhaustion Sets In



LET'S BE REALLY, REALLY HONEST. Call it hang-overs---or over-exposure to too much niceness, copious amounts of rich food or smiling/waving/standing on one's feet too long while getting almost no exercise---this kind of pomp and ceremony 3-day fest is the most exhausting thing human beings have ever devised in all history. Like sitting through four graduation ceremonies in a row. Or a ladies luncheon that never ends. This ceremonial ordeal has gone on far too long, no matter what anyone on either side of the Atlantic says.

No one in history does the marathon pomp-and-ceremony like the British.

Why else do you think we left the colonies in droves to come to the New World? To relax and get out of all those stuffy clothes.

When I do these kind of things stateside---mercifully rarer and rarer these days---I get exhausted, sleepy and lose all vestiges of personality---like I've eaten a plate-full of mashed potatoes and gone into a stupor.

Here's what else I think:  Prince Phillip had enough several days ago and bailed from the rest by getting checked into the hospital, watching tidbits of whatever he could bear on the tellie in his bedroom slippers  while yukking it up with the hospital staff.  He's having the best time of all. When it's over, he'll be fit-as-a-fiddle and ready to go to Balmoral for the summer and be his old raucous self again.

When the royals get through this,  hopefull they'll live the rest of the summer in khakis and flip flops far, far away from the public eye. I sure hope so, cause the photo above makes me tired just looking at it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Odds Either Survive the Next Five Years: Scott Walker? Facebook?


99% CHANCE SCOTT WALKER WILL NOT ONLY SURVIVE TUESDAY'S RECALL election in Wisconsin but his future in politics---and ours as taxpayers and voters--- will be much, much brighter for his struggle with the entitlement/labor union crowd too. INTRADE gives Walker's chances a whooping 94%!

Marc Thiesson editorial writer at the WaPo opines today that a Walker victory will put the wisconsin governor in prime position to be Romney's VP running mate:

A victory tomorrow would make Walker the instant front-runner for the GOP vice presidential nod. Walker has a great story to tell. He took on the public-sector unions and did not back down in the face of protests, civil disobedience and the spectacle of Democratic state legislators fleeing across state lines to avoid casting their votes back home. By standing firm, he succeeded in implementing collective-bargaining and other common sense reforms that have saved Wisconsin taxpayers more than a billion dollars — turning a record $3.6 billion budget deficit into a $154 million surplus. And he did it while cutting property taxes and creating a business-friendly environment that has produced more than 35,000 new jobs since he took office. All this makes Walker the national poster child for taming out of control budgets.

It has also made Walker a hero to the conservative grassroots that Romney needs to energize. By turning Walker’s recall into a national cause, Wisconsin Democrats gave Walker the opportunity to rally conservative activists across the country and build a national fundraising network that has pulled in more than $31 million — nearly triple the $11 million fundraising record he set in his 2010 race. Walker is now a national political figure who has at his disposal a well-oiled political operation that could help Romney-Walker win not only in Wisconsin but across the United States.
Putting Walker on the GOP ticket would make Romney instantly competitive in Wisconsin. And it would force President Obama to spend time and resources defending a state he expected to be an easy win......

I like this idea and think it will be exciting to watch.


ON THE OTHER HAND,  FACEBOOK'S future survival doesn't look nearly as stellar.  Appears as if it will be only a shadow of its former self in the future. Eric Jackson, founder of Ironfire Capital, told a reporter at CNBC today that Facebook will disappear in 5-8 years, certainly in its present form. Not sure I'd go that far, but I will go so far as to say Facebook has peaked and is on the downhill slope.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday: The Love of Money

AT A TIME WHEN TRILLIONS OF DEBT, INTERNATIONAL CURRENCIES, AND GLOBAL STOCK AND BOND MARKETS are daily rocked with volatility, uncertainty, fear and greed, it seems appropriate to recall what our Lord said about making money and material wealth the ultimate center of our lives rather than keeping God central and letting money issues follow.

MATTHEW 6:19-24:

19 “DO NOT STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (NIV)

---The Lord Christ, Sermon On the Mount


ANY LIFE directed toward money is death.

— Albert Camus, Journal

WHAT WE ONCE DID ‘for the sake of God’ we now do for the sake of money.... this is what at present gives the highest feeling of power.

— Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn

MAN MUST HAVE AN IDOL...No idol is more debasing than the worship of money...To continue much longer overwhelmed by business cares and with most of my thoughts wholly upon the way to make more money in the shortest time must degrade me beyond hope of permanent recovery.

I will resign business at age thirty-five.

— Andrew Carnegie, Personal Memorandum (Famous last words)