Can the Federal Government find political balance?

| January 26, 2017

My answer: Rarely does the pendulum find the middle. Neither the fiscal or social policy balancing coming from Washington DC makes much sense to me. There have to be moderates who see validity in each others positions? Rather than the black and white collisions between the liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans’ points of view, […]

Debt, Bankruptcy and Loan Forgiveness — a personal rant

| December 15, 2016

Forgiving debt and bankruptcy options aren’t new, but those of us who strive to "play by the rules" often feel like suckers when it comes to bureaucrats playing fast and free with tax dollars … or with OPM. While it is understandable that our society wants to be compassionate and lend a helping hand to […]

R is for Robert, or is it Roger … or maybe Romeo?

| November 7, 2016

A learning game we played while traveling by car was to spell things out using the NATO phonetic alphabet. Both Katelyn and Taylor did a great job learning it … and I think to this day they remember it. Give it a try if you need a way to pass the time AND practice for […]

TechFriday: Some cheap components have arrived from China

| November 4, 2016

The pile of new electrical parts in my photo likely doesn’t mean much to those who don’t enjoy tinkering with computer and robotic projects, but for me a novice in programming computers gadgets, it is an chance to learn on the cheap. With the budget Raspberry Pi and Pine64 computers, beginners of “all ages” have […]

Who really was paying attention in school way back when?

| July 29, 2016

It has been a while since I’ve seen one of these, but once I figured out what it was, the memory of Jerusalem Elementary School and Mrs. Fell came rushing back. I still remember her taped up wooden paddle as it slammed intimidatingly on the the desks at the front of the class in order […]

Attended the high school graduation of our youngest niece

| June 3, 2016

The Howard side of the family gathered in Atlanta for the high school graduation of my youngest niece Sarah Gerber this past week. The party was on Memorial Day and graduation for the Lambert High School class of 2016 the day after. Brenda’s sister Ann and her family live in a northeastern suburb that is […]

Thousands Apply to U.S. to Forgive Their Student Loans

| January 20, 2016

Americans are flooding the government with appeals to have their student loans forgiven on the grounds that schools deceived them with false promises of a well-paying career. Source: Thousands Apply to U.S. to Forgive Their Student Loans, Saying Schools Defrauded Them

Seeing life through the prism of our own world

| September 2, 2015

Let me start off that I have been abundantly blessed and thankfully to this point I haven’t faced the need for “therapy,” as the many versions of the below tee-shirt make light of. In my case was fortunate to be born to loving parents who emulated what it was to be a great mother and […]

My son Taylor accepts a position and is moving back to Ohio

| May 3, 2015

Brenda and I knew the good news when we were on vacation last week that Taylor received an offer from Clermont County, Ohio … although Taylor didn’t yet returned to Williston North Dakota to submit his resignation properly (therefore no public blog post). On Friday, Taylor submitted his letter and verbal resignation to his superiors […]

Video: Miami University (Ohio) Aerial Campus Tour

| April 2, 2015

If you are interested in or an alum, you’ll love visiting Miami University in this way …

How about putting ALL that health care savings into a 529 plan?

| January 28, 2015

After 6-years of saving $2,500 each year on our “unchanged plan” or greatly improved “21st century” Obamacare health care plan, Democrats in congress and President Obama have made it possible for average Americans to have now amassed $15,000 (6 yrs x $2500) … no thanks to those Republicans voting against it (#sarcasm). And since getting […]

Do you know what your student loan repayments are used for?

| December 14, 2014

A discussion between the host and guest on CNBC this week concluded that instead of saving college students money on their student loans that the government was using the repayments in other areas amounting to BILLIONS of dollars – ie. $19 billion for deficit reduction and Obamacare!  It seems the take-over by the Federal Direct […]

Teach your children well–the correct U.S. Constitution perhaps?

| November 2, 2014

Who would have thought that as a Reagan conservative I would be referencing the the 1970  Graham Nash song and lyrics as a warning to “teach your children well” (or children to teach parents, as the song goes) when it comes to the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights (do you remember when Walter Mondale […]

Weigh the cost of college and your field of study carefully

| September 6, 2014

A very telling graph discloses three things (see story in Fortune) : A college graduate will on average make $1 million more than a worker with a high school degree over the course of his lifetime … even though the cost of education has gone higher. Wages across the board, adjusted for inflation to 2013 […]

S.W.E.A.T. — Mike Rowe has ideas that needs to be heard

| August 25, 2014

Uncommon brilliance from a voice “for” the common man … that would be Mike Rowe. His answer to a reader Facebook post from earlier this month is worth reading. Off The Wall Interesting conversation over on the wall. It was started by a guy called Jayson LaVictorie, who has posted a few thousand words about […]

Helping children get an education and a fiscally strong start

| August 5, 2014

Learning from wise parents and grandparents is a generational gift that isn’t given enough credit, especially since we ask: “What’s happening to America?”  A: Families are changing. I grew up watching teenagers a decade (or less) older than me heading to Vietnam or getting lost in angry 60’s. They (we) followed those dark years of […]

In praise of teachers who go above and beyond

| July 26, 2014

It is pretty easy to be cynical as a squeezed taxpayer seeing the waste and excess by those who manage public money. I regularly deride the inefficiencies in publically funded programs … particularly those highlighted in the news. (ie. VA, IRS, quirky grants and crony project contracts like Solyndra or “the bridge to nowhere” – […]

Inflation: Prices are higher, but are they out of proportion?

| July 2, 2014

  I’ve been doing some reading lately from those concerned about an uptick in inflation. Since many of the writers are the same people who have been warning for years about inflation, it is easy to take their analysis with a yawn and a bit of skepticism. Still, my commonsense indicator has also kicked in […]

Sometimes what you need is a slap in the back of the head

| April 30, 2014

Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs often offers some pretty solid commonsense advice that should be like the infamous NCIS Leroy Jethro Gibbs smack in the back of the head. I wonder how many asking Mike for advice ever bother to correct their mindset or change their actions when it comes to looking for work (or […]

How-to: Which end do you peel a banana from?

| April 23, 2014

Saved a semi-educational filler post about a better way to peel a banana for a day when I didn’t feel up to posting anything else (video below). Pinch the butt end of the banana to split, then pull apart the peel. So easy.

Can science determine if you are a Liberal or a Conservative?

| April 6, 2014

Chris Mooney in an Inquiring Minds podcast interviewed John Hibbing, a political scientist (University of Nebraska) and co-author of Predisposed: Liberal, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences. They conversed at length about the research in measuring sympathetic symptoms of differing political ideologies. Mooney’s follow-up article also appeared in Mother Jones. According to John Hibbing, […]

For lovers of maps, check out New York Public Library online

| April 2, 2014

Both my son and I love old paper maps, nautical charts and aeronautical sectionals so the online release of 20,000 high resolution downloads may be worth checking out. The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division is very proud to announce the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads. We believe […]

There’s a long term solution to every problem

| March 16, 2014

Saw this cute story about a problem and laughed at the creative solution. According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington recently was faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they […]

Unmanned school project sails the Atlantic … sort of

| March 10, 2014

   I love these kinds of  school projects … An English fisherman got an unexpected greeting from a Morristown [New Jersey] school this week, when a five-foot unmanned sailboat — at sea for a year and a half — made its way down the English Channel and caught his eye. The Crimson Tide, a sailboat […]

Is Atlantic White Shark Conservancy sending a wrong message?

| February 23, 2014

Ocean and marine life preservation is a noble cause and something I’ve supported and have been part of since the 1970’s, but I’m not fond of sending misleading messages. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s ecommerce “shop” website is using an attention getting image (artwork) portraying a diver swimming face to face with a Great White […]

Holding our breath: National Fellowship match day is here.

| December 4, 2013

We are anxiously waiting to find out where Drew and Katelyn will be living next year, but more importantly … I suppose [grin] … which Hematology fellowship program my son-in-law will be in. After talking with him about each of the interviews, there are pluses for each medical program (of course he’s a positive guy). […]

Santa Barbara, California to Williston, North Dakota

| August 28, 2013

My recent college graduate came back from his test-taking City-County Planning interview trip to Santa Barbara today and has fallen head over heels in love with California, at least the part that he was seeing. Besides his taking the next step in the interview process, Taylor was able to explore the area a bit by […]

Could your kids pass an eighth grade exam from 1912?

| July 31, 2013

My son Taylor shared a bunch of eighth grade exam questions and wondered if I thought today’s high school graduates could even pass this test. Not only were we shocked with what students from 1912 were expected to learn, we were doubly impressed that the test was from a county school in Kentucky (no offense […]

Big government policies = slow economy and no jobs

| July 7, 2013

Having a recent college graduated living at home and looking to start his career gives me intimate insight on what young adults and their parents are facing. The frustration exacerbates the strong opinions regarding the new health care law and the economic policies put in place by the federal government under the leadership of President […]

The future is bright for science and super capacitors too

| May 23, 2013

I love reading stories about bright young inventors exploring the world of science and remember with fondness the days of science fair projects. One that recently caught my eye was a scholarship winner from California who worked with super capacitors and is finding ways to improve electrical energy storage devices (as well as charging and […]

Archive: A video project for a Planning class by Taylor

| May 16, 2013

As Taylor wrapped up his senior year in college and reviewed his posted grades for the last time, he read me his 20-some page capstone paper and showed me a video he did for another class. I enjoyed the history lesson …

Travel press for Cincinnati and Taylor’s upcoming graduation

| April 21, 2013

I think we’ll spend some money for a meal downtown Cincinnati next month as a way to celebrate my son’s Geography and Urban and Regional Planning degree from Miami University. He will graduate next month and has spent quite a bit of time working and studying revitalization projects downtown (he does have his gown … […]

What do you know about Social Security Disability?

| April 11, 2013

If you are the average healthy American who is working or independently seeking a job, you might be as unknowledgeable as I am when it comes to knowing anything about government benefits. I’ve generally assumed that those who are “disabled” are not capable of functioning or were disabled on the job due injury. What I […]

Surprise! Medical residency programs need more money

| March 14, 2013

Shocking! [sarcasm] Hospitals need more taxpayer dollars to add residency spots in order to train the additional number of doctors the U.S. needs for Obamacare. So … more taxes or more borrowing? Socialized medicine *(lite -current plan – or full bore – where we are headed)* is not going to be cheap or offer a […]

School: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Science and CODING

| February 28, 2013

The United States spends more on education than any other country in the world. Is the money we invest in our children focused on teaching the correct disciplines? Personally, I’m glad to have had math and science pushed during the space race of the 1960’s (thank you JFK) and the opportunity study engineering and technology […]

Using retired police officers as substitute teachers

| January 28, 2013

Butler County Ohio’s high profile local Sheriff Richard Jones is addressing the recent hot button topic school security with a “two for one” idea by putting trained retired police officers in school buildings as substitute teachers. Many of our local schools once had resource officers in the schools, but budget constraints due to the slow […]

Montpelier Ohio schools will have armed janitors

| January 12, 2013

One would expect some of the conservative western or southern states to adopt deterrents when it comes to criminals targeting gun free zones like public schools, but the Montpelier Exempted Village School Board of Education has been quick to adapt here in Ohio. They approved (5-0) to permit four of their janitors to carry handguns […]

Do teachers (and taxpayers) understand total compensation?

| July 9, 2012

I’ve struggled with the “teachers are underpaid” debate arguing that we are often talking apples and oranges when comparing teachers, school district employees and management level administrators to the private sector. Those working in small businesses, corporations and the self-employed entrepreneurs make up the states private workforce and their taxes pay public sector and school […]

So you have successfully graduated from high school …

| June 9, 2012

With the inflated sense of self showered on many American kids throughout their schooling, with the intent of building up their self-esteem, it is interesting to read a bit from Wellesley High School’s commencement address offering a more realistic message. It might bring a few graduates, and parents, back to the reality that exists in […]

Can students and parents still afford college?

| June 7, 2012

Who can plan for these kinds of increases? “Between 1999 and 2009, tuition at public four-year colleges rose 73 percent on average, and tuition at private nonprofit colleges jumped 34 percent. In the same period, median family income fell by about 7 percent.” Link

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.