Sunday, June 25, 2006


It’s a rare human endeavor that meets success based on the sole ambitions of an individual. Most accomplishments are incremental building on earlier enterprise and achieved by the shared hands of many people laboring together.

Many people helped and contributed to the favorable outcome of the paper here and the resulting degree (MS-LSC). Some are about to be singled out in the following words. To all the people who pushed me along I owe a huge gratitude. When you stop to think about all those helping hands their numbers add up astonishingly.

Absolutely nothing would have happened without the ceaseless support of my spouse, Jan. There were some tense moments along the way, moments when I felt like I couldn’t keep doing this. Jan always found, not only the resolve, but a way to write a check to cover tuition one more semester.

A part of that resolve came from the sacrifice of our children Cory and Tara. There were some things that perhaps we didn’t cover as well for them as we could have because of the extra resources devoted to my education. Tara, also a university student, and I shared stories about our classes, professors, fellow students, quizzes, tests, papers, exams and our fears, our hopes. It was a lot easier for me to have such a shoulder to learn on.

Cory kept tabs on progress, listened. Of all the people in the family, Cory was the most stoic about my folly and provided the best perspectives. Bless his sense of humor and being able to bring me back to earth by arguing about such things as hockey games and getting me out of the house to see those games after a drive through the Wisconsin winterscape.

Thanks also to Arlin Brannstrom, Keith Hazelton, and Larry Meiller. Arlin never let me take the whole thing too seriously and he usually piped up at those moments when I figured everything was at its most serious point. Keith wrote a nice letter of reference that helped get me into grad school and then he stuck with my progress and showed up on the Terrace at the end. Larry is the best student advisor ever. Just do it the way Larry explains it and everything is going to turn out fine.

My brother Ralph thinks the whole thing is cool as does my sister Cathy and I figure my sister Vivian along with nephews Vincent and Craig feel the same. All of them asked and listened and it’s great to have such outlets. Grandma Lacy is especially proud and it’s wonderfully supportive and encouraging to have someone like that around.

Mention, I must, Mike Maroney who was always good for a free lunch when a free lunch was the biggest treat. Pam Ruegg decided to give the online education route a try and enabled me to watch.
I mention here the major players by name. But nearly everyone who has had any contact with me for the last several years needs a big "thanks" for putting up with it and for being interested and supportive.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Firing squads?

Channel surfing as I ate my supper tonight and passed by Fox News just in time to see some guy yelling about firing squads. So I paused. Somehow or another word got out that the United States is tracking financial transactions in its (our?) effort to find terrorists.

The guy doing the yelling was saying the people who released the information about the financial tracking should be put before a firing squad and shot.He repeated it a couple of times during my short pause in channel surfing.

Firing squads. Firing squads in the United States. A guy on a national news program yelling for firing squads. Firing squads in the United States being advocated by some guy on a national news broadcast.

Firing squads. You know, something to go with the concentration camps and the torture. Firing squads and some guy yelling for them on Fox News. I don't know who the hell that guy was but someone decided to give him a nation-wide broadcast venue so he could go on yelling about firing squads.

Friday, June 02, 2006


All of a sudden it's June. The last two weeks were nuts. Got done with the masters of science project and will have a fresh new dust collector for the wall one day soon. Have now moved to 60% with the new job reducing to 40% the obligation to the former job. In July it's 100% new job.


Kid number one is home from college but about to leave to take a summer job this weekend. Kid number two struggles with the final days of high school. Remember how that felt? Nice spring weather and you're still being herded inside a stuffy building to grind out essay tests on Romeo and Juliet? No wonder kids hate anything connected to *learning.*

One thing I've noticed is that the world stage hasn't seemed to improve itself much. I went through some news and blog sites this morning just to refresh my anger. I wish it was harder to do. Refresh my anger that is. There was some crap about "the angry left" on one of the sites. Well, I don't know how "left" I am really but I sure as hell am angry.

Waaaay past time to fire up the bilge pumps and clean up the slime infesting our political ship of state. Waaay past time.