Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Man's Treasure

I love to go to garage sales. The allure is a cross between snooping in strangers houses, finding out what they consider surplus, un-needed items and rummaging around in those items to find the bargain I didn't know I was looking to find. We started our day today arranging the surplus wares of our abode to attract the gaze of shoppers we hoped to entice to our garage by stategically placing signs on cardboard boxes at each end or our street. Now, lest you think that insufficient advertising, it helped a bit that the entire block around the corner was having a block garage sale.

The first order of business, after getting set up, was to get my wife to watch our sale, whilst I perused the merchandise begging my attention a mere half a block around the corner. I walked about a half a mile down one side of the street and back again and spent a grand total of 75 cents on a roll of speaker wire. My treasure found a year ago was a rain chime box. Turn it upside down, the right side up and bb's drop on the chimes for up to 30 minutes

The bargain hunters from around the block did manage to find their way to our humble driveway, but possibly with purses much lighter than they started, because they didn't leave an abundance of currency in my coffers. We brought in a grand total of about $95, which needed to be split four ways, my take amounting to approximately $35 for 7 hours of selling. As I make that much in a couple of hours at my day job, I think I'll stick to it.

Doggonit, I didn't even get rid of very much junk, I mean surplus domestic products. Best part of all is that my wife wants to do this all again in 4 weeks, leaving our display counters intact in the garage once again showing that Americans will store $100 worth of stuff in their garage and leave $30,000 worth of automobiles unprotected out in the weather.
I can't wait to hit the sales again next weekend.

Monday, October 19, 2009

We'd Rather Be Right Than Popular

Albus Dumbledore said in one of the Harry Potter books that people are generally more willing to forgive others for being wrong than right and yet for some ethereal reason we do everything in our power to be the one who is right.  We argue with our spouse, siblings, teachers and the occasional police officer that we are not wrong in our decisions, actions and opinions.  Consequences either don't matter or don't come to mind as we verbally battle to justify ourselves.  With that in mind, I wrote a poem that hopefully reflects a variety of viewpoints and the silliness of all.

To Be Right
               By Twist
Why do you argue when you know I'm right?
Don’t you know of my great insight?
Through many days I’ve toiled in strife
and gained much wisdom from daily life.
It’s not important what you do
because I’ve lived much longer than you.

You should listen to my counsel and not contest,
You can learn from me, my opinion’s best.
I’m not encumbered with all your fears,
My youthful strength will last for years.
I know you’re wrong and I am right,
You will be blessed by my young sight.

My womanly instincts give me great perception
To ensure in all that I have no deception.
Mother Nature and God are on my side,
I solve any problem in a single stride.
My feminine nature achieves great height.
You’ll always know that I am right.

As a man I’ve endeavored with all my might
to gain my knowledge and all my sight.
Nature has endowed me with strength and power,
To guide me in each troublesome hour.
It does not matter if you’re right all along
It matters most that I’m not wrong.

We sit each at last, alone in the dark,
Not even a dog is present to bark.
We’ve driven away every incorrect soul
With their lack of vision to see the whole.
Though no one's around to share our insight,
We have great pride in knowing we were right.

Twist Huntington

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Changing Face of the Hunter

For the record, my retirement in March 2009 was never meant to be permanent. I intended to take a sabbatical from work. Alright, I wanted a good long vacation. There were, however, many things on my To Do List. It doesn’t really matter that most of those items are still on my list to be done, I have accomplished a great deal. For one thing, I’m nearly through seasons 1 through 7 of Stargate SG-1 on I’d love to write a testimonial for them. Oh, wait. I guess I just did.

Actually, I planned my summer for several events. I wanted to be one of the male support leaders for the church’s young women’s camp. I planned on doing the same for Boy Scout summer camp, but my Eagle Scout son decided he would rather not sleep in a hot dusty, camp with a host of dusty, smelly guys. With no job, it was a simple matter to plan a trip over the river and through the woods to visit my parents, siblings and cousins at the ever famous family reunion. I went fishing, kayaking and made a second trip to visit my parents.

As far as summers go, I had a pretty decent one. Just as bills in the mail follow Christmas, so did reality come after the summer vacations. Bills still have to be paid and groceries need to be bought. With no excuses and plenty of reasons, I started my job search again. It would help if I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up, but there are an abundance of postings for employment even though it is true that it appears that a majority of the jobs require special degrees or certifications.

Some of the opportunities for someone seeking employment are job fairs. The term fair seems an appropriate term as employers set up booths hawking their wares which, in this case, are jobs of every type imaginable. Step right up. Throw your resume’ at a targeted job and see if it sticks. For your consolation prize you can walk away with a variety of trinkets including pens, candy, calendars etc.

As I peer into the sea of faces and posters, the background turns to a haze and the multitude of voices mingle in such a way as to appear to be nothing more than ocean waves or seagulls. For me the task of picking a business is quite easy. I walk past the companies that don’t appeal. In fact, the entire experience lasts only about fifteen minutes. Usually I am only looking for certain companies and it’s easy to dismiss the rest as so much clutter.

I attended my latest job fair yesterday, but saw something I don’t remember as numerous as the previous experience. There were many gray haired individuals scattered throughout the flocks of those seeking gainful employment. While conversing with others I found that some, like me, have either retired from a career or are contemplating doing so. Others have been the results of downsizing. Still more are discouraged entrepreneurs whose businesses have failed in a less than stellar economy.

Retirement is just not what it used to be anymore. The government is currently suspending the cost of living increase for social security recipients. What used to be a reasonable retirement income no longer covers rising health costs, utility bills or increasing taxes. Greater numbers of seasoned citizens than ever are supplementing their income with credit cards and loans. Even the government has increased their debt many times over prior years.

I have been advising my children to get as good an education as possible. I have counseled them to find a job where they can work for at least thirty-five years. They need to avoid debt and create savings accounts and retirement accounts in addition to any retirement plan their employers may have. I encourage any who listen to be financially prudent in all that they do. This will hopefully help them avoid becoming the face of the modern job hunters who are graying around the temples with wrinkles around once smooth eyes. After all, if we do not plan to take care of our “golden years” who will.

"If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you always got."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Many Voices

I have been bombarded by voices as of late. Yes, they are all real, not just in my head. These voices are not bad, either. I welcome all the dialogues I have received.

Twice a day, if I want, I can participate in a MARS, Military Affiliate Radio System, radio net. This is a practice/training net, or radio chat, to prepare for emergency communications in times of hurricanes, disasters or terrorism. There are usually about 30 participants in this net that come together from across the state. With our long range radios we can chat with others hundreds of miles away.

During this same net our local group also chats on different radios on a local frequency. This allows us to talk about the main topic for discussion with more latitude and candor.

Multiple opportunites also arise during the week to particpate in regular ham radio nets, usually all local radio operators, though, with the long range radios, I can join an endless list of nets around the country.

On Sunday nights, and throughout the week, I have the opportunity to chat online with my family. Technically, I guess these are not voices, but texts, but as I read each line of chat sent I hear in my head the voice of the person sending it. I picture them sitting at their computer smiling, typing and laughing. The worldwide web shrinks the thousands of miles around the globe that separate us, and yet cannot divide us because of the ease of contact. We laugh we discuss our parents, our families, our interests and our lives in general. You have to read fast to keep up with the up to 7 conversations that occur simultaneously at the speed of our local ISP connections.

I currently live in the same city as my children and grandchildren. We get together often and in volume. A friend of my oldest daughter came to visit one day. This friend is an only child. After a while she asked my daughter, "Is it always this noisy at your house?" I'm afraid so and happy to say it.

This weekend, I viewed the general conference of our Church. This world wide conference was broadcast over cable, tv, internet and radio. Millions of people around the world viewed the broadcast either live, on a delayed basis or on demand from the internet. They can purchase DVDs in about a month that will have the full spectrum of discourses to peruse at their leisure or read the printed word in about a month in a magazine.

All of these voices are welcome. They are informative, comforting, educational and interesting. As much as anything else, these are the voices of my life that give me perspectives on so many things. These voices mirror who I am. My lone voice in the sea of billions of other voices is still distinct, individual and personal. Though I am similar in nature to the masses, I am unique.

The voices are calling me now and I am happy,


"As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."
- Proverbs 25:25

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Subliminal Blog

I have been intrigued of late with an idea to write subliminal messages, that is to say, a message hidden amidst normal text which causes the reader to think or act in a way that has been engineered by the author.  I don't believe I've gotten the knack of it yet, but here my first attempt.


Some blogs promote products as a means to make sales, thus garnering income for the writer.

Every blog has the purpose of promoting the thoughts, feelings and ideas of the writer to gain a modicum of fame and fortune.

Never before in history has it been so easy to quickly publish ideas or promote a cause.

Donating money to your favorite cause has also become easier as most organizations now accept credit card or debit card transactions.

My siblings, spouse and offspring are ardent users of the electronic media in communicating our hopes, wants, desires and needs.

Everybody wants to make their own dreams come true and posting that to a media that has the potential to reach billions of people makes the realization of dreams seem more possible.

Making a living, meeting expenses, making sure that our future will be stable are common goals of modern men and women.

Our modern world is very different from that of our forefathers who could plant, raise, hunt or trade for most of their daily needs while we have been reduced to bartering currency for everything required for the sustenance of life and for those luxurious necessities.

Now is the time for us to change our way of thinking to implement budgets, savings plans and personal retirement programs.

Everyone in our current day needs to evaluate their circumstances to determine if they are truly exercising their best judgment in their own best interests.

Your contribution is greatly appreciated.


The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.
— Albert Einstein