Translations

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tennessee Motor Oil Survey (published 4-18-2009)

My, this lady at a particular state university is persistent! The Appalachian Irishman finally responded to her Tennessee Motor Oil Survey, after receiving the second letter. I might as well have some fun filling out the thing.

I’ll share some of her questions and my answers, along with my other comments. Yes, she made the mistake of allowing freelancing from my glib tongue!

To begin, the eight-page survey asks mundane questions about the number of oil burning, gas guzzling, smoke belching, evil combustible engine vehicles and equipment one uses. It asks if you change your own oil, and if so, what you do with it. Then, several questions address oil collection centers. Other questions regard the use of recycled oil, which the survey wants to call re-refined. Finally, the survey snuggles up personally, asking about leisure activities, education, employment, dwelling location, gender, age, ethnicity, and income range. The survey, of course, promises complete confidentiality, despite pegging you with a unique number.

One question asks what I do with the old oil after changing it in my mowers. Of the ten options, I chose “other,” stating that I pour the oil on a big rock in the yard for the sun to evaporate. I bet that’s a unique answer! Although a collection center is less than five miles from the house, the big rock does just fine. (I wonder when the Big Brother sky-spy cam will catch me and send an eco-enforcement officer to demand that I take the oil to the center, blowing up my rock in the process!)

Another question asked if I would use their so-called refined oil for an oil change. No thanks, I replied. I can’t trust the quality. When will we be forced to reuse “refined” household waste?

The most entertaining question concerned what my neighbors do with their used oil. Of the 12 options, I again selected “other,” stating slyly, “Big Brother should not spy on his neighbor’s preference on disposal of used motor oil.”

I could not resist the opportunity, on the race or ethnicity question, to write in, beside White, “Irish American.” Why not? African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian were other options.

And now, dear reader, let’s move on to my other comments. I wrote:

I have responded to your survey finally, after receiving your second letter. I just don’t want you to show up at my doorstep next, with clipboard in hand.

Why did you send the survey in English and Spanish? We are not, yet at least, a bilingual country officially. I went to Russia and learned Russian. Those who come here by legal or illegal means should learn English. Eta pravilna?

I replied to the survey, despite my misgivings regarding its hidden agenda. I suspect that your survey will be used to promote legislation requiring used oil to be recycled, disallowing the option to use fresh oil, and to create intrusive regulations on personal disposal of used oil – all for ecological purposes.

I am a conservationist, not an environmentalist. We should care for the environment, but we must not worship the creation over the Creator.

Just don’t track me down and take away my big rock!


Are my comments on oil slick, or what? What say you?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Best-Dressed Hiker (published 4-13-2009)

The Appalachian Irishman hiked his beloved House Mountain, for the 55th time, on Easter Sunday. (The last hike was almost five months ago, so the trek was long overdue!)

The Appalachian Irishman has met a few interesting people on the trail. Often, he meets folks who “aren’t from around here,” either by geography or by mindset, who bring all the professional hiking gear. You know – the fold up metal hiking sticks, the high dollar packs, the costly hiking attire. The Appalachian Irishman usually snickers, after a brief conversation, as he continues on the trail, in his beat up blue jeans, old shirt and cap, carrying his “old school” quart canteen and Army surplus gas mask container, which contains his few essentials (e.g., beef jerky, toilet paper, lighter, first aid kit, snake bite kit, etc.). The brief conversations with these folks are entertaining. The vehicles they drive are easily identified in the parking lot. They usually drive a Subaru, fully equipped with the mandatory liberal, politically correct, tree lover bumper stickers.

Well, on Easter Sunday, I saw the best-dressed hiker ever – in my entire life of hiking! A young man with an older lady, perhaps his mother, came across the ridge from the east to the west bluff, just after I arrived, having come up the west trail. I was shocked, shocked, to see the young man dressed in black dress shoes (of course, quite dusty from the hike), gray-stripped dress pants and matching vest, white dress shirt, and light blue necktie, still neatly tied! For once, I was – almost – speechless. After a brief exchange of pleasantries, I allowed them to enjoy the view from the rock ledge.

Not being able to subjugate my mischievous side, and before continuing across the ridge eastward, I had to, just had to, remark, “Young man, I must say in my 55 hikes on this mountain, you are the best dressed hiker that I have ever seen.” The young man wasn’t sure how to take my remark at first. I paused, awaiting his reply and giving him a little smile. He retorted sincerely, “Thank you.”

As I turned to continue across the ridge eastward, I could hear the older lady, who had walked a few feet around the ledge toward the west trail below, laugh aloud delightfully. My smile broadened. It was another proud moment in the hiking history of the Appalachian Irishman. Enjoy the photo of the young man, which I took by stealth.

Lesson to all Easter Sunday hikers: Change your Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes before the hike! Otherwise, folks will laugh at you, as they laughed at Mr. Douglas, riding his tractor in suit and tie. (Please don’t tell me that you don’t remember the 1960s TV show Green Acres!)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Wal-Mart Experience (published 3-7-2009; updated 9-3-2022)

9/3/2022 update:
     My analytics indicated that this article, of 13 years ago, had three views in the last seven days. I'd almost forgotten about this article. I published it, later on the same day, as my far more profound article: WHY I LEFT (Published 3/7/2009).
     I decided to re-read what I'd written and to update the formatting and font size. I did not change one word that I'd written 13 years ago.
     The article was my “customer survey,” after a frustrating Wal-Mart “shopping experience.” I don't shop at Wal-Mart – unless absolutely necessary.
     By the way, on 9/3/1959, Mom and Dad were married! I was born 10 months and 14 days later! Thanks, Mom and Dad, for giving me life!

I appreciate the opportunity to address my “store experience” of today, Saturday, March 7, 2009. I shopped at Store #1319. I regret that your online survey disallowed comments, but, after searching through your website maze, I found this means to express myself.

I am skeptical that change will arise from these remarks. At least, I may vent by this means. I am a lowly customer, who, by sheer practicality, may continue to shop, less often, at Wal-Mart, since few similar options are available conveniently. (Oh, a Target is nearby. Perhaps, I will shop there more often.) I am one of many, who shop at Wal-Mart, but who desire other options. (The Lowes employee, who assured me by phone earlier that Lowes stocks my bulbs, shared a similar view.) Unfortunately, you have eliminated much of the competition. My skepticism arises from my opinion that your concern, as a "retail giant," for one customer is lost in the larger world of number-crunching profitability.

The crux of my “experience” is that I am extremely frustrated by key items being unavailable, while being surrounded by a million products. It is not ironic? Interestingly, I interacted with two other shoppers, who also sought products that were not available.

Now, to the specifics of my “experience,” despite buying other items, the primary intent of my shopping was to purchase (1) four 21-inch florescent bulbs (better stock up, since they are rarely available!), (2) black, blue, red, and yellow ink cartridges for my Brother MFC-420CN, and (3) Pantene Curls mousse (for my wife). Of course, these items were not available. I would have spent almost $100.00 more. That is $100.00 in your debt column and one frustrated shopper in your credit column—hardly a winning balance sheet for Wal-Mart.

I am not one who gives up, walks out, and returns another day, in hope of finding these items. Instead, I extracted my pound of flesh from your polite and understanding management. Gregg was very helpful, as he inquired from others, regarding the availability of the bulbs and cartridges. By his assistance, I learned that Wal-Mart darn well has no intent to ever stock the 21-inch florescent bulbs. Why? I don’t know, nor does he. The fixture is only five years old. 21-inch bulbs should have their rightful place, between the 18-inch and 24-inch selections. (Is Wal-Mart prejudiced against 21-inch bulbs? Alas, I jest!) Again, from Gregg’s inquiries, I learned that Wal-Mart no longer sells Brother printers; hence, I understand why the store will not continue to carry the cartridges. (Sorry, Brother. You must not have jumped through all the hoops to have your products placed on the coveted Wal-Mart shelves.) The lingering question, however, is: Why can I find black, red, and yellow cartridges at Store #2310 and find only red cartridges at Store #1319, but I can’t find the necessary blue cartridge at either store? (Is Wal-Mart prejudiced against blue? Is that not one of your store colors? But, again, I jest!)

What is my solution? Well, I found the mousse at CVS, buying two bottles at $4.49 each. Lowes has my 21-inch bulbs at $5.98 each. (I plan to buy four.) Office Max has all four of my cartridges, at a total cost of $63.98. I will shop more at Target, Dollar General, CVS, Office Max, and Lowes.

What is your loss? $96.88 in sales. What is your “gain?” One disgruntled customer, who will share his experience with others. Yes, this little article is posted on my blog! It is in expanded form, without your restriction on the number of characters. What is your solution? Let’s see if you respond. I will not hold my breath.


WHY I LEFT (Published 3-7-2009)

Today, while exploring the Internet, being too lazy to explore a mountain, I discovered an article at The Christian Chronicle, regarding why members leave the Church of Christ. The article points to a survey being conducted by Flavil Yeakley, the director of the Harding Center for Church Growth, in Searcy, Arkansas. The following are my responses to the survey questions.

1. Why did you leave the Churches of Christ? I served in fulltime ministry for 14 years, including five years as a missionary. I was a member of the Church of Christ for 26.5 years, including four years before my fulltime ministry and 8.5 years after. I am still a member of Christ’s church.

First, I left the Church of Christ, finally, because I could not continue to associate with a group that -- by a doctrinal implication that does not understand grace fully -- concludes that the soul of my godly mother, who passed in 2000, is destined for hell, since she was a member of the Baptist Church. Silently, I disagreed with the implication for 7.5 years, uncomfortably taking my place on the pew, as I moved from lifeless congregation to lifeless congregation in the area. My mother was saved by God’s grace, and she lived her life as a humble and shining example of God’s loving grace in her life. She may have had sincere misunderstanding on certain points of doctrine, which the Church of Christ stresses, but she was saved by God’s grace. Her salvation was not determined by her perfect doctrinal understanding but by her sincere, if imperfect, faith response to God’s free gift.

Second, I left the Church of Christ, because I could no longer tolerate the arrogant hypocrisy of that body, which, by implication, denies the fullness of grace, by asserting that its doctrinal understanding is correct and that all who disagree are in need of salvation. The body of Christ is exclusive, in that it is composed of all who are saved by grace through faith, yes. The Church of Christ, however, in its legalistic and elementary understanding of grace, cannot, with straight face, lay claim as the exclusive body of Christ. My God and my God’s grace are bigger than that.

Third, I left the Church of Christ, because I realized that the standard hermeneutical approach of its members is a foreign imposition on scripture. The model views scripture as legal code and interprets scripture by legal method. Scripture, in particular the New Testament, is composed primarily of inspired and authoritative but occasional letters. Interpreting occasional letters as legal code represents the imposition of foreign scaffolding on the text. This scaffolding skews the focus from grace to legalistic accuracy in obedience. Certainly, grace inspires our attempt to follow Christ’s will as accurately as humanly possible. Our salvation, however, is not merited by how perfectly we follow an understanding of Christ’s law that is skewed in its understanding by a legalistic approach to hermeneutics.

Fourth, I left the Church of Christ, because its local congregations, at least in this area, are lifeless. The candlestick has been removed. The Spirit of Christ is not present. In His place, is a spirit of legalism, which expects unquestioned conformity to the legal code. There is no freedom, without consequence, to question, to explore, to discuss openly. I was shackled in my silence, feeling unable to openly engage in dialogue on the points in this commentary. I felt as if I would be ostracized, shunned, labeled as a “change agent.” I am thankful that this forum allows me to express myself anonymously.

Finally, I left the Church of Christ, because my brothers and sisters of so many years were not concerned enough to offer supportive inquiry as to why I had left fulltime ministry, after returning from my mission work. To this day, no one, not a one, has asked, “Why are you not preaching anymore?” Instead, their silence has greeted me. In sum, I left the Church of Christ, for the reasons mentioned, because I have matured in my theological understanding, unfortunately, as brought about by my mother’s passing. If the Church of Christ can move beyond its elementary understanding of grace, I can re-embrace it. Otherwise, I am now free to find and identify with a true non-denominational body of Christ.

2. Do you have any advice or suggestions regarding things Churches of Christ could do to improve and do a better job of meeting the spiritual needs of those who are still members? First, and foremost, church leaders should create a spirit of open, non-judgmental dialogue in the congregations. Allow members to feel free to question, to discuss, and to study, without fear of labeling. Through this renewal effort, churches could be revived, members could be retained, and Christ could be honored.

Second, local congregations should seek comment from those who have left. Of course, if relationship ties and brotherly connection were strained, this attempt will be difficult. Still, with open and honest hearts, leaders should attempt unbiased, non-judgmental communication with those who have left.

Third, leadership in these congregations, after receiving feedback from ex-members, should implement plans to address the legitimate reasons why their former members left. 

Finally, the Church of Christ should rethink its hermeneutical approach, with a primary focus of exploring the amazing depth of God’s grace.

3. If, when you left the Churches of Christ, you joined another religious group, what church did you join? Also, please comment on what you have found in that other church that meets your spiritual needs better than what Churches of Christ were doing. Currently, I am attending a non-denominational, community church that has ties to the Restoration Movement. In this body, I have found a rich understanding of grace, a natural, exegetical approach to scripture, and an authentic sense of community. This church is not without its problems. (Name one that is.) It is, however, more truly in line with the purpose that Christ intended for his body.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Keyes on Obama (published 3-1-2009, updated 12-5-2022)


He’s my candidate - an independent, conservative voice for the future! (I, too, voted for him in the 2000 Republican primary.) Sadly, Alan Keyes’ articulation is too direct and bold for the lily-livered, touchy-feely, mainstream.

Of course, if the mainstream is heading toward the sewer, we must keep paddling toward fresh water!

(Please hit the title link. It will take you to my friend’s website (Stock Market and Political Commentary), where the youtube.com link is found.)

12/5/2022 update: Yesterday, I noticed that this brief 3/1/2009 article had three views in the last 24 hours. I wondered what I'd written 13 years ago. Today, I added the published and updated dates to the title. I enlarged the font. I added the citation for the image of Alan Keyes. Please note that the title link to the “Stock Market and Political Commentary” article is no longer valid, so the youtube.com link is now unknown. The main link to my friend's website is still valid, but the author is no longer active. The author is still my friend.

Fuzzy Math (published 3-1-2009)

Math wasn’t my best subject in school; I’ll admit. Of course, I made decent grades, but math didn’t excite me. Still yet, I know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide – without a calculator.

(Don’t get me sidetracked! These “guvmint edukatd” kids know all about self-esteem, but they get that deer in the headlights look, when, at the drive thru, they ask for $3.56 for the biscuit meal, and you give them $4.06. You see, the cash register, which won’t work during a power outage, had already told them how much change to return, if I provided $4.00. Do it for fun sometime! Usually, you have to tell them how much change to give you.)

Well, back to the point, let’s see, our new savior (oops! President) indicates that government must live within its means. Yes, that’s right folks. We’re going to cut government spending, waste, and fraud! Great! Good ol’ W should have done that, instead of going on his drunken spending spree. Well, good for the Obamanator. (Yes, W turned me from a Reagan Republican to a disillusioned Independent.)

But, wait, there’s one little additional point. Let’s spend about a gazillion dollars to stimulate the economy. Let’s get over 8,000 earmarks in there. The fate of the country hangs in the balance, depending on research into the mating habits of the earthworm, ad nauseam.

So, all the punditry aside, we will spend a Pacific Ocean of money while, at the same time, try to cut back on spending a Pacific Ocean of money. That’s the bottom line. Logical? Not at all.

What’s the problem? Well, too many “guvmint edukatd” lemmings are drinking Kool-Aid from the poisoned trough of socialism. Tax and spending our way out of a recession is not the answer. Growing government is not the answer. In fact, one can argue that government policy got us into this mess. Instead, look at the 1980s for the answer. But, alas, the democrats are galloping toward socialism. Many republicans are speed walking toward it. I am just sitting back, awaiting the inevitable. Perhaps, a new conservative spirit will rise eventually from the ashes.

Unless, of course, the new math that the kids are learning is correct: A gazillion spent + a gazillion saved = a gazillion!

What say you?

Big Brother Got Me! (published 3-1-2009; updated 11-1-2022)

Well, it had to happen! Big Brother got the Appalachian Irishman – caught on candid, not-a-real-cop, but-we're-goin'-to-make-a-buck camera!

Yeah, yeah, so I did run the red light! As I recall, the yellow light was on when I started under. It must have lasted 0.62 seconds. Of course, as most vile criminals of my ilk state, the guy behind me would have eaten bumper, if I had come screeching to a halt at the light!

Worse, yet, when I paid cash for my little truck eight years ago, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and her sister had to pick him up, after I had left the salesman, who had needed to make a sale, weeping at his desk. (I had to get to work.) For some reason, the ditsy get-the-tag person had placed Mrs. Appalachian Irishman’s name above mine on the title. I suppose since she picked up the truck. So, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, who arrived home before I did, was quite perturbed when the ticket came in her name! Yeah, okay, I’ll pay the stinking $50.00 fine and ask Big Brother to put my name first on the title. I have to live with the little lady, you know.

Entrepreneurial idea: Could someone out there create some type of product that would not allow these socialist cameras to read your license plate? Of course, the plate must still be legible to the naked eye. Any ideas?

By the way, let’s brag on my truck. We paid cash for him eight years ago, when he was six years old. He had about 84,000 miles on him. Now, he has over 222,000 miles on the clock. He doesn't use oil. He starts right up. He's a Nissan, built in Tennessee.

Does anyone still want to bail out the American motor companies? Another idea: since we, the lowly taxpayer, must bail out these companies, why don’t we demand a new vehicle, after they straighten out their mess and become profitable again? Don’t hold your breath.

11/1/2022, Tuesday, note: thirteen years have passed, since I published this article. Today, my website analytics showed that someone had viewed this article in the last 24 hours. All I did today was add this note and add the published and updated dates to the original title. I still like what I wrote, on 3/1/2009! I am proud to say that no other speed camera cop has nailed me! I miss my ol' 1995 Nissan hardbody. He died, trying to save my life, on 3/29/2016. His spirit, however, lives on, in my 2006 Nissan Frontier!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Helpful Link to “Cursing & Praying on a Ridge” (published 2-15-2009; updated 10-29-2022)

2/15/2009 Original Article

For those interested in the inspiration for the Appalachian Irishman's next article, below, “Cursing & Praying on a Ridge,” please click the "Helpful Link" title above.

This brother in Christ provides useful resources on several points of religious discussion, especially as related to the Church of Christ tradition.

10/29/2022 Update

Today, Saturday, 10/29/2022, my website analytics showed that this 2/15/2009 article had one view, in the last 24 hours. I had wondered what I had written.

I had published this note, after my first 2/15/2009 article, “Cursing & Praying on a Ridge.” – which is one of my eight “Articles of Note - A Select Few” that has viewers almost daily.

The “Helpful Link" was and is to “Forgiving God: A Testimony,” by John Mark Hicks, 12/11/2008. I suggest that you read John Mark Hicks' 12/11/2008 article. It is his eloquent and honest public statement of his emotion and spiritual struggle, regarding the untimely passing of his son.

On 2/15/2009, I had commented on brother Hicks' article as follows.

Can a man, who loves to hike – standing on a bluff, on a ridge, on a clear, crisp day, with a scenic view below, as hawks fly above – both curse freely and then pray calmly, within a span of minutes? Yes, of course.

Does God understand? Yes, of course.

Just after returning from five years of foreign mission work, my relatively young mother was stricken by a yearlong illness, or illnesses, resulting in her death. As she recovered from the first illness, the other took her, suddenly.

Since then, I have not served in a fulltime ministry, nor will I. My zeal in ministry poured out of me, from the hole created in my bowels (the old word for seat of compassion) by the experience.

Last year, I finally left the “Church of Christ,” since my mother, a faithful Christian, under the Baptist tradition, did not die and go to hell, for her “doctrinal misunderstanding.” I am still, however, part of Christ’s church, as all, such as my mother, are – who by grace through faith are saved.

I still struggle to find that zeal for ministry, which was lost. Yes, deep down, I am still angry with God, for taking my mother, when we all still needed her so badly. I understand the deep points regarding the problem of evil and how those points apply generally. Still, why my mother at that time?

I still believe, because my mother believed, and because I know Him.

Brother John Mark Hicks replied, on 2/16/2009:

Yes, God does understand. I understand that we can pray with Madeleine L’Engle: “God, I hate you. Love, Madeleine.”

Healing comes slowly for some, more quickly for others. It is a journey either way. I pray you will find some healing and perhaps – if you feel the call – a resource for ministry (whether “official” or not).

Blessings, my brother.

John Mark

John Mark Hicks' website (John Mark Hicks: A Disciple Seeking to Follow Jesus into the World for the Sake of the World to the Glory of God) is still active. His website includes his audio-video messages, so you can read and hear what he writes and says.


CURSING & PRAYING ON A RIDGE (published 2/15/2009)

Okay, dear reader, this one will be more personal. Get ready!
 
Imagine the Appalachian Irishman standing on a bluff on My Mountain. The day is clear and crisp. The photo above depicts the scene below. Hawks fly about.
 
Can the Appalachian Irishman, in this setting, both curse freely and then pray calmly, in a span of minutes? Yes, of course, he can. As Mark Twain said, “Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer” (A Biography). A good cussin’ purges the soul and lowers the blood pressure, at times, better than the most eloquently worded prayer.
 
Does God understand? Yes, of course. He is a God of grace.
 
Three months after returning from mission work in Russia, my mother, at the relatively young age of 67, was stricken by a yearlong suffering that involved two illnesses. As she recovered from the first, the other took her—suddenly, unexpectedly, unfairly.
 
Since then, I have not served in fulltime ministry. My zeal was poured out of me, by the hole cut into my bowels, the seat of emotion. Over eight years have passed, and I still struggle.
 
Do not bother with the religious platitudes. I have studied, written, and spoken on the problem of evil. Remember, I dealt with atheists in Russia! Deep inside, I am still angry with God, despite my theological understanding; although, the anger has cooled over the years. Why must she die at that time, in that terrible way, when we needed her so badly?
 
Complicating the issue is the haughty stance of the Church of Christ, of which I was a part for so many years. You see, the arrogant Church of Christ member would consign my mother to hell, because her views, as a Baptist, on such doctrinal points as baptism, worship, church organization, ad nauseam, conflict with his interpretation of scripture.
 
For over seven years after Mom’s passing, I continued to attend local Churches of Christ, but I was uncomfortable. Their beliefs, by implication, sent my mother to hell. I also struggled through the faith challenge that followed her passing. I was the outsider, as I sat within their walls each Sunday. Not wishing to “rock the boat,” I kept quiet. To attend is better than not, I reasoned.
 
Well, last year, I finally left the Church of Christ, while remaining a part of Christ’s church. My mother, whose sincere faith inspired me, was a faithful Christian, under the Baptist tradition. She did not die and go to hell, for any doctrinal misunderstanding. She, in her genuine faith, was saved by God’s grace. Perhaps her doctrinal understanding was not perfect, but whose is? Her faith, her love for our Father, her lifelong example of Christ living in her, as a reflection of his grace, was undeniable. As such, she was a Christian, saved by God’s grace through her genuine, if imperfect, faith. No superficial Church of Christ interpretation of grace will deny that reality.
 
I still believe, because my mother believed, and because I know Him. As the father of the stricken child, in Mark 9:24, cried, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
 
The Appalachian Irishman hasn’t had time, with a burdensome schedule, to climb House Mountain, to curse and pray. Perhaps, this is his way of doing so, off the mountain.
 
Thanks for listening.

Mr. Chan Or Mr. Garuba?


Has Patrick Chan, the figure skater, fallen on hard times? Is he in cahoots with Mr. Garuba? You be the judge! Suggestion: Don't send this "Mr. Chan" your contact information!

Here is the e-mail that the Appalachian Irishman received today. You know? It's just funny!

FROM:MR PATRICK CHAN.


Dear Friend,

Let me start by introducing myself.I am Mr.Patrick Chan Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of the operations of the Hang Seng Bank Ltd.I have a secured business suggestion for you.

Before the U.S and Iraqi war our client Col.Hosam Hassan who was with the Iraqi forces and also business man made a numbered fixed deposit for 18 calendar months, with a value of Thirty Million United State Dollars($30,000,000.00)only in my branch. Upon maturity several notice was sent to him,even during the war early this year. Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later found out that Col.Hosam Hassan and his family had been killed during the war in bomb blast that hit their home.

After further investigation it was also discovered that Col.Hosam Hassan did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit.And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank.So,Thirty million United State Dollars($30,000,000.00)is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it.What bothers me most is that according to the laws of my country at the expiration 7 years the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the funds.

Against this backdrop,my suggestion to you is that i will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Col.Hosam Hassan so that you will be able to receive his funds.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE:

I want you to know that i have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successful.I have contacted an attorney that will prepare the necessary document that will back you up as the next of kin to Col.Hosam Hassan,all that is required from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your Full Names and Address so that the attorney can commence his job. After you have been made the next of kin, the attorney will also file in for claims on your behalf and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your favor for the move of the funds to an account that will be provided by you.

There is no risk involved at all in the matter as we are going to adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all the necessarydocuments.

Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue.

Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated bank account we shall share in the ratio of 60% for me, 40% for you Should you be interested please send me the following informations below,

1. Full names
2. Private phone number
3. Current residential address.

I will prefer you reach me on my private email address below And finally after that i shall provide you with more details of this transaction.Your earliest response to this letter will be highly appreciated.


Kind Regards,
Mr.Patrick Chan.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fencing

A fencing team in school? Wow! What progress! I wasn't offered a class in fencing in high school. A good friend and former coworker informs me that his daughter is on a school fencing team. They are going out of town to pick up supplies.

Ah, the Appalachian Irishman remembers running a fence line back in high school, without any school training. The cows had knocked down a large section of fence, and the rest of the line needed to be restrung anyway. So, my buddy, Bill, and I helped Randy and his Dad run a new row of barbed wire.

Mind you, this was not in a flat pasture. It was on a steep hill in the woods. (Yes, cattle can get into the woods.) As we ran the wire, Bill had the spool above me on the hill, and he was running it down to me, where I was setting postholes. Well, sir, that spool got away from Bill. I looked up and saw barbed wire spinning off the spool, as it headed straight for me! Having a bit of mountain goat in me, I jumped out of the way, before the wire could shred me. What fun!

I'm glad that my friend's daughter is learning how to fence in school. But, why can't they go to the local Coop, to buy the supplies? You know, wire, nails, hammer, posthole digger, etc.

Oh, it's another type of fencing? Never mind. What is this country coming to? Remember, don't bring a knife, or sword, to a gunfight!What say you?

Monday, February 02, 2009

All Redefined (published 2-2-2009)

Well, the neglected old friend, whom you don't see as often as you should, but who will be there for you any time, needs some attention. The Appalachian Irishman, as a good friend, just sits out there on the Internet, awaiting my notice. Well, here is a short entry.

For the thousands out there, who await longingly my every article, check out the link, in the title, above. The author of All Redefined is a friend and former coworker, who, with two others and I, braved the treacherous climb up House Mountain, just over a year ago.

Check it out! All Redefined is a good website!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mediocrity

Mediocrity, from mediocre, is from the Latin "mediocris," meaning medius, middle.

I was driving up the road today. (Yes, it was up an East Tennessee hill.) To the right was a drop off down a ravine--of course, no guardrail. To the left was, ironically, an EMS vehicle, over the yellow line, in my lane! I had two choices: die by EMS vehicle (oh, what irony!) or by a long drop. Well, since I'm writing now, the EMS driver swerved back into his lane in time. (No, he wasn't on a run. Lights were off.)

Illustration? Yes. What happens when you drive in the middle of the road? You crunch or are crunched!

What is wrong with so many people? We settle for mediocrity. Not satisfied with politics, career, religion, family, etc.? So what? Don't rock the boat. Don't strive to change or improve. Keep your mouth shut. You might cause chaos. You might hurt someone's feelings. There is too much uncertainty, too much risk. Don't change.

Then, we go through the motions of life, robotically. We don't really live. Thoreau, in "Walden," wrote, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." I don't know about you, but I'm tired of "quiet desperation!" Darn it! Enough is enough!

So what if you rock the boat, take a risk, upset someone? Use your compass. Don't just stand in the woods looking at it for direction. Find your path. Get out of the woods! The view is great at the bluff! You can see for miles!

Of course, I am not advocating some form of hedonism. Ancient Greece fostered that. You compass is magnetized by your morals, your sense of what is right. Do what is right, based on your ability to read your own compass.

In short, don't let others "fit you into a box" where you don't belong. Stand. Don't be afraid. Change for the better. Improve. Don't look back.

Quit driving down the middle of the road in mediocrity. I don't want to be hit!

What say you?

Beat the Market


Well, well, guess who's back? Yeah, yeah, promises, promises. So, I lied! So what? I just didn't have time to fool with this blog slog until now. Okay, I'm in a mood now. And why not? The economy is in the tank. Jobs are scarce. Blah, blah, blah, etc., etc.

Hey, want to have some fun reading an insightful blog? Check out the link above to:

Stock Market and Political Commentary
Markets - Money - Military - Politics -
Issues and Events That Affect Your Life

The blog is administered by a good friend and colleague. I have found his political insights refreshing and to the point. He also offers good market advise, for the rich and infamous among us. (Yes, I meant infamous.)

So, check out the site. You won't regret it!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I'm Back! (I Think.) (published 2-16-2008)

Well, after a long hiatus, I'm back – I think. (By the way, "hiatus," from the Latin "hiare," means "to yawn." My almost year and a half break was definitely not a yawn!)

Well, as you can see from the photo, I've been on a long trek through the mountains, hiking the Appalachian Trail from north to south and back again. Okay, okay, I'm dreaming!

Actually, the practical hectic nature of life called, and I had to answer. From late 2006, I endured a career transition – from the adequately lucrative, but unfulfilling, life of insurance sales to the more fulfilling but chaotic and stressful world of a non-profit position. I also endured the illness of my mother-in-law. Sadly, I endured the multiple hospitalizations, ER trips, and final passing of my father.

Yes, 2007 was, and early 2008 has been, a roller coaster ride, not a walk along the trail! (I despise roller coasters!)

Now, I'm back. I will endeavor, with greater diligence, to post away my life story, for any and all, if anyone is out there, to read. Let's see where we go. Read on!