Personal History

Here I am on a Sunday afternoon. Since I have dropped out of the workforce, I am often not sure what day it is. There is some structure to week, but not very much, so I have to make a conscience effort to keep track of the days.
The LDS church is full of volunteers. It’s how we keep things running. In each ward, (the smallest group of our organization), who is lead by the Bishop, who was asked (called) to be the leader, by our Stake President. A stake is a group of wards lead by the Stake President. Our Stake President was also asked (called) to their position. No one receives monetary compensation for the role except for a meager stipend for office supplies. Each ward is allocated a budget of money which comes from the tithing donations of the members. I was asked (called) to serve as a first assistant of the High Priest Group in our ward. High Priest are usually (but not always) senior priesthood holders in our ward. I was also asked to help the members of our ward with Family History. This is right up my alley since I used to work for the FamilySearch dept. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I enjoy showing people how to use I learned a lot on the job but have really learned more by showing people how to use this great tool.
As you may know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, encourages us to search out our deceased ancestors and tie them into the tree.
Genealogy is one of the biggest activities on the internet. Many members of our church as well as non-members have caught the genealogy bug and are looking for their ancestors.
This month the state of Utah celebrates our ancestors on July 24th when the Salt Lake Valley was entered by Mormon Pioneers. It is amazing what has happened in this area in the 170 years ago today. One of my ancestors came into the valley with the first company, Norman Taylor. He wasn’t very old, maybe 18 or so. His name is on plaques in a couple of places in Salt Lake showing him as part of the first company.
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Come visit Utah if you haven’t had a chance. It will not disappoint. Everything from red rock national parks, to high mountain peaks and lakes. It is a land full of beauty and adventure.
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Hang in there and I will too!
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Confronting Our Failures

I was sitting by myself a few days ago and started listening to some melonchony music. One was by Jackson Browne, These Days.
It reminded me of my more athletic days when I would hike the foothills by my home. I would hike mile after mile and would get caught up in self reflection as I listened to music. This line always made me think:
_Do not confront me with my failures,_
_I have not forgotten them._
I think we are all to familiar with our failures. At the time I was dropping weight and regretting the fact that I had waited so long to take the weight off. I would hike up to twenty miles on Saturday mornings and felt like I was on top of the world, but I also remembered a lot of my failures from the past. Those things that make you reflect, “What was I thinking!?!”
Now a few months after four years since my life altering surgery. I find myself without any energy, unable to do much of anything. I have gained most of my wieght back and am in the process of taking it back off. It will take a long time, but it took me four years to put it back on. I shouldn’t expect overnight suggestions. I watch the documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” I also watched the second movie, part 2. I have gone to a mostly vegan lifestyle. The pounds are slowly coming off. I have lost about 15 lbs. Just a few months ago, I started having the feeling I wasn’t going to see seventy. I no longer feel that way. I feel healthier.
I just wish my energy would pick up. I have my own ideas. One of the side effects of my brain surgury is I suffered several brain stem strokes. It left me incapacitated. I literally could not eat, swallow, walk or talk when I woke up after 10 days. I had to start from scratch. I bounced back pretty quick with the exception of being tired all the time. I think, once again this my own opinion, that my brain stem has never fully recovered. The pituitary gland which governs so much of our hormones, sits atop the brain stem and I feel like mine was severly damaged. On my next trip to the doctor, I am going to have a serious discussion about this and see if I could be right.
When I first started having debilating headaches, the doctors thought at first I had a sinus infection, then the sent me for chiropratic adjustments. None of these informed guesses were right. It was the chiropractor who suggested that I needed to get imaging done. It wasn’t until then that the cause of my headaches, a couple of sub-dural hematomas were the real cause of the problem. I hope my doctor will hear me out and see if my pituitary gland was damaged.
Happy times for July, we will have family in town. It is always good to see them and we always have a ton of fun. We miss our out of town kids and wish we could see them more often, but it is what it is. We will take what we can get.
I also have a drone on it’s way here. I opted for the DJI Mavic Pro. It has gotten lots of good reviews and I am excited to have fun with it. I will take pictures and post them when the drone gets here.
Hope you are having a great summer. Say hi below if you are so inclined. I’d also be interested to hear your opinions about drones.

_Hang in there and I will too!_

Memorial Day- Remember

I hope you’re having a great Memorial Day. This day was set apart for us to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe.
My teenage years were during the Vietnam war. I always thought it was a big disgrace the way Vietnam vets were treated on their return home. Most were drafted and had no choice but to go. They suffered tremendous hardships and witnessed atrocities that would affect many of them the rest of their lives. Yet on their return home they called names, spit upon and many felt to dress in their civilian clothes rather than go through the airport in there uniforms. There were no cheers on the airplane, meals bought or thank you’d thrown their way. Shame on us!
It is important to remember those who have s served or will serve. Many come back alive but are scared physically and emotionally. I hope we always remember those who came before us and was wisely observed by one I admire a lot. We sit in the shade of the trees that others planted.
Thanks to our ancestors and our military!

_Hang in there and I will too!_

My Buddy Mark

My buddy Mark always gave me a bad time about my musical taste. It’s time for a rebuttal! He used to think that Canned Heat was the Beans and Weenies that he would bring on Scout camp.
He also thought that Bread sang, “I Found Her Diarrhea Underneath The Tree. ”
He thought the Doobie Brothers became much better when Micheal McDonald joined them. His hit, Minute by Minute being one of them. He said The Captain and Me was a complete failure as an album. China Grove and Long Train Running hurt his sensitive ears and would have been Side B on a Minute By Minute release .
Disco music was a great discovery for Mark. He still enjoys blasting Bee Gees in the garage and starts dancing like no one is watching. The neighbors have had to call the police three times when he had the door up. Somebody was watching!
Whenever “What’s Going On?” plays he will answer, “Not much how about you?”
Once I hadn’t seen Mark for days. I went to his house where he asked if he would die from suffocation if he let go of his favorite Air Supply album.
He would always sing “Goodbye Girl” to his cat every time he left the house.
He listened to Oliver once and he went in the house and told his Mom, “Gliddy glub gloopy, nibby nabby noopy la, la, la, lo, lo
Sabba sibby sabba, nooby abba nabba, le, le, lo, lo
Tooby ooby walla, nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song”. She promptly slapped his face and washed his mouth out with soap.
He once slept by the toilet with a flashlight after he heard the song, “She came in Through the Bathroom Window.”
One day I saw him after school and his face was bright red. “Mark. What happened?!?”, I said. ’The girls didn’t like me grabbing their hands and me singing, “I Want To Hold Your Hand. If it’s good enough to sing on the radio, why doesn’t it work in the real world?”, he complained.
When I asked him if he wanted to go to the Doors concert, he went over to the entrance to his bedroom and stared at the door for two hours!
I asked if he wanted to go see Santana he told me that he hadn’t taken any Spanish classes and wouldn’t understand what they were singing about.
He was down in his room listening to Stevie Wonder with sunglasses on in the dark, I asked him why. He said he wanted to know what is was like for Stevie, besides “When you’s cool, the sun shines on you all the time!”
And to think Mark felt the need to make fun of my music. Mystifying!

Oncoming Traffic

I have had an exciting couple of days. On Thursday on my way to an appointment I dumped my motorcycle and skidded into oncoming traffic. Thankfully traffic was light on the road. I was really blessed to have several people stop. One of them was an off-duty paramedic. The police and paramedics quickly came and they checked me over and we decided together they wouldn’t take me to hospital but they encouraged me to either go to my doctor or to an InstaCare. I tried to get into my doctor but he didn’t have any openings so Barbara and I went to the InstaCare. They had me get some x-rays and found out that I had five fractured rib. I have been sitting in the same chair for three days now and it really hurts me to move very much. I have an appointment to see my own doctor on Wednesday. I’m hoping that I will be able to move around by then.

Being stuck in the chair all day is not much fun. It has taken me off of my writing challenge to write 50,000 words in November. But I am trying to figure out how to use dictation to get my words written. I am using dictation to write this blog so if you see something weird it’s not my usual weirdness but the dictation probably didn’t work out like I expected.
I never knew how painful fractured ribs could be I’ve had some ribs bruised before and I was very uncomfortable but nothing like this. I talked to my neighbor who’s had several broken bones and he described it like having a knife in your back and I would have to concur. All I can hope for is a quick recovery and be able to get out of this chair pretty soon.
My wife has been very supportive to me and I truly do appreciate her and any healthcare provider. I have been the recipient of many kind people over the last several years and I’m grateful for for their patience and kindness to me.
My sister Chris is been very supportive as well not only for this injury but ever since my operation a few years back she’s trying to help me recover and I really appreciate everything she’s done for me. I hope you all have good siblings like I do.
I hope I have learned from their great examples. And will show kindness to others the rest of my life.

Hang in there and I will too.

What Trump’s Election Has Taught Me

DateWeigh InLbs from GoalWeight loss so far
11/02/2016 35117614.5

*Disclaimer. I did not vote for either Clinton or Trump. I voted for a third party candidate. I am glad I voted my conscience and didn’t think either candidate met my standards. Don’t let anyone talk you into voting for the lesser of two evils. Don’t vote for someone just because you are voting against someone. Vote for what is right!*



## Hollywood has less influence than it think it does
Many celebrities implored us to go out and vote. Many of us did and many voted that went contrary to their point of view. Now they are crying about the Electoral College, how our country will tailspin and so forth. Hollywood does not know any better than we do on who to vote for. Most of those who spoke out are extreme on one side or the other. Most Americans are common sense people who don’t match values with extremist on either side.
## The press is not all knowing
Much like Hollywood the press had a chip on its shoulder the whole election cycle on what they thought was right and what was wrong. Instead of taking the un-biased route, most media outlets chose sides and it showed. I couldn’t stick with election coverage with any one station because I am sick of talking heads who think they are all knowing. It was kind of fun to watch Wolf Blitzer try to not fall down from a heart attack as he kept questioning his colleague with the oversized iPad, touch his way county by county in swing states as it showed Trump might win it.

## Polls are overrated.
The election polls were not even close this year. They must not have polled the right people or the people they polled were afraid to admit out loud that they were going to vote for Trump.

Polls didn't have it right.

Polls didn’t have it right.

## Your opinion is great if it agrees with mine
I have been surprised at the back lash of this election. I wasn’t thrilled when Obama won over Romney last election but I didn’t take to the streets yelling obscenities at my newly elected president. Or fly to Chicago to protest in front of his house. My son-in-law says it’s different because Obama had the experience to be president. My point is someone got elected that I didn’t agree with but it was better to be respectful and give him the benefit of thee doubt and hope that our nation would prosper.
There was a protester in Salt Lake City who was caught on camera, spraying obscenities about Trump. When the reporter asked him why. He said it was cool! His co-protester then asked what station it was and then proceeded to show the camera his middle finger. Can you believe that? That makes as much sense as a riot over something your upset about and breaking into a neighbor’s store and taking whatever you can carry out. The store owner likely did not cause the problem you are upset about. It hurts your neighborhood and you are selfish. It doesn’t help your cause.
[CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Anti-Trump protester vandalizing utility box (writing “F— Trump”) during last night’s big protest in SLC. #kutv2news](
## The Electoral College Is Important and is There for a Reason
Our founding fathers chose to go with the [Electoral College]( “Electoral College”) because they wanted to be sure every vote counted. Large states would always be in charge of the election if we went with the popular vote. The electoral college helps all votes count. There is a reason behind it and it’s a good one. I can see why people might be upset when their candidate wins the popular vote but loses through the Electoral College. Do some research before you jump on the popular vote outcry wagon.
## We need to give fairly elected officials our support and have an open mind
Even though I haven’t been thrilled with current policies, I don’t have any bad will against President Obama. I think he tried his best and he found out like Trump will that just because your President, the other branches of our government don’t go away. A consensus needs to be reached for policy to be enacted.
## Everything will work out ok
Just like the sun came up the day after the election. It will everyday for the next four years. Trump will have a chance to reform government and “drain the swamp.”. If he doesn’t work out, vote someone else in that can make things work the way you want them too. I have great faith and hope in America. We can work together to keep it great!

Hang in there and I will too!

Some Things Can Be Harder Than They Appear

DateWeigh InLbs from GoalWeight loss so far
11/02/2016 35117614.5

I just barely noticed that before I started posting again I hadn’t posted since mid-July. I have been contemplating why that is so. I actually have a few blog post written, but just couldn’t find it within myself to publish them. When perceived effort exceeds our perceived ability, we tend to procrastinate.
Let me explain.
1. I didn’t remember where the blog post were. I have used several writing tools to write my blogs and even though I had an idea where they were I wasn’t sure and I haven’t felt good enough to go searching. Sticking with one place to write and publish from would help solve that problem. I really like [Ulysses]( “Ulysses “) for writing so I think I will stick with it. They just supported publishing directly to your blog, but I have run into a problem where it is publishes to an alternate blog that I have in WordPress. I will have to search on their site for the fix.(I have since figured it out, I just needed to suse the custom setup option in Ulysses which allowed me to pick the blog where I wanted to post)
2. I have reminders to publish my blog, but I have just pressed complete and moved on. I need to take my notifications more seriously. [Due]( “Due”) is a great reminder app that persistently bugs you until you complete the task, but you can get around it by just hitting “Complete”. I need to take the reminders more seriously.
3. Just do a little bit. Opening up an app and committing to one line of writing can propel you forward in completing a task. I started out writing this journal by just committing to publishing the previously written post led me to writing this one. Not bad for a small commitment.
4. Do important task first. In the Book, “[Eat that Frog](”, it emphasizes doing your most important task first thing. It is easy to get consumed by email and social media and have the day be gone and we have used up all of our in Incentive and energy on low return activities. Decide what your “frog” is and “Git ‘er done!”
5. Habits are best formed when associated the a trigger. Maybe brushing your teeth can help trigger a habit you want to do. Like drink more water. Commit to drink 16 oz. of water each time you brush your teeth. Before long the trigger will make your habit stick.

I hope you have good success eating your frog!

What do you do to get things done? Comment below.


Git ‘er done!


Hang in there and I will too!

How I Plan To Make It Through Halloween (and other Holidays)

As promised here are my weekly stats.

| Date | Weight | Change |Since|
|10/31/16 | 352.7 | -.04 | -12.8

I know how to run a marathon. One mile at a time.


Don’t start out too fast or you will burn out. I said last week that I had lost 13 lbs which was true, but of course, I gained back 3 lbs the very next day so this week has been taking those three lbs off. I am still feeling very happy tracking points with Weight Watchers. It has been easy and I have been able to go to parties and out to eat and make a determination up front if I want to put something in my mouth.
Now to the subject. How will I make it past tonight? I plan on eating normally during the day. I am less likely to overeat during the day than at night. After dinner, I will be sure to eat an apple which satisfies my sweet tooth and add needed fiber. I will be a lot less tempted to sneak candy if I am happy. If I cannot overcome the opportunity to eat candy, I promise here and now to track anything that enters my mouth. I can always pop up a bag of low fat Jolly-Time popcorn that doesn’t make a big dent in my points. I can look forward to my nightly treat if I hang on as well.
Hope you have a great time with family and friends tonight. If nothing else it’s fun to see neighborhood kids dressed up and giving them some candy (to sell to their dentist! :))

Hang in there and I will too!

Weight a minute

When I first started my blog, it was for accountability each week. After my injury, I gained back all the weight I lost and more. It has been a spiral of being fatigued because of my injury and being fatigued because of my weight. When I went and saw my PA about my heart. We both knew before I went in that losing weight would be good for my heart but help some of the energy come back as well. She just didn’t give me a lecture, she gave me some of her experience. She personally had lost 85 lbs. no she said it was the easiest weight lost she had ever done. She told me that weight watchers had changed things up recently and it was much easier to follow. I have lost weight before with weight watchers so I checked it out. They have an online/app program that is easy to track the points. I really like the app and just like LoseIt which I also like, it will read barcodes and has a large database to lookup foods you type in. Really easy and I find the point system very generous. Most days I have enough points left at the end of the day to have a generous snack . I couldn’t be happier. So far I have lost 13 lbs! Some days I gain but most days I lose so no worries.
One thing about Weight Watchers that I didn’t like was the weekly weigh in and meeting. These used to be mandatory. It was like going to an AA Meeting with older women clapping their hands for your successes. Not my type of motivation! You can still do that if you want, but there is an online- app option that I chose.
I’m glad to be back on the losing wagon again. Hopefully I will stay encouraged and take this extra weight off.
Are you where you want to be weight wise? If not, what are you doing to get where you want to be?
I will start showing stats again when I post on Mondays. It helps me when I am accountable.
I hope to start up exercising again. It is a real struggle for me, but Weight Watchers takes activity into account as well.
Hang in there and I will too!

Making the Little Things Big

I heard his statement recently on television and it got me thinking what small things in my life have been a big deal.
1. I was backing out of my driveway once in a time of my life when I was’t in the best place. As I was backing out of the driveway, my daughter who was probably about four came out to the driveway and looked at me like,” Where are you going Dad?”. I thought to myself, ” Where am I going?”. I pondered that question for a while and vowed to make some changes for the better. Thanks Kathleen!
2. When I was in high school, I remember standing in the building where the auditorium was. I could go left and try out for the musical or head right and go to my car. I made the decision to go try out and it ended up making a big difference in my life. If I would have gone home I probably never would have hooked up with my life and my life would be so much different today.
3. My father-in-law has been gone many years, but he saved my life by saying to me, “Hold on to what you know is true deep in your heart.” This came at a time when I was in a bad place and was losing grip with who and what I had wanted to be. I was worried talking to him because I thought he would read me the riot act, but he knew what I needed to hear and said the right thing at the right time. It turned me around.
4. Once I loaded up the truck with junk and was just about to hop in the truck and head for the dump. My oldest asked if she could with. Thinking that no one in their right mind would want to go to the stinky dump I tried to tell her no, but she came back with, “Dad, did you ever think that I just want to spend time with you?!?”. Humbled I said, “Jump in.”. I never tried to pass up an opportunity to be with someone again. Thanks Hillary!

We should never underestimate the impacts of what we do today. We may make a choice today that will have more of an impact than we can ever imagine. Take the time to savor the small moments and remember the small moments add up to the sum of our lives.

Hang in there and I will too!