Category Archives: Self-management

Being Our Own Good Stewards

Being Our Own Good Stewards

I’m not a mortgage broker or a financial advisor–I’m just a neighbor.

I have actually spoken with three people this week who asked me how they could get out of debt.   I’m always too happy to give my opinion.


I know a guy.  My “adviser” suggested to me that refinancing my mortgage when I am already paying more than the minimum amount is like hitting myself on the thumb with a hammer and then hitting myself on the other thumb to lessen the hurt on the first thumb. I’d just have two thumbs in a great deal of pain. Here’s what I was told–paraphrased.

If you refinance at a lower rate to obtain a lower payment, that is good if your budget is choked–keeping in mind that you are paying for that with additional fees and expenses that could be as much as thousands of dollars–even if those fees are rolled into the new loan, you’re still paying more money than you were originally paying. The only thing you currently get is a lower payment with good intention of later paying more to pay the loan off early. Some people will do this multiple times throughout the loan thinking they are saving money but not really.  If you are consistently paying additional amounts over your principle every two weeks or monthly, you are in fact saving money over the long term and you will pay the mortgage off earlier than the total time of the loan.

Now, let’s say we have a mortgage for $100,000–our interest rate can be whatever but let’s say around 4%–divide that by 30 then by 12 and our principle payment would be about $278 per month for 30 years (this is my example, I can make it whatever amount I want).  If only it were that simple. In reality, with interest compounded in ways that we don’t really understand, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance and taxes, our actual payment will be between say, $650 and $850 (remember, only $278 of that is principle).

Here’s the part that’s easier said than done but is do-able, pay more than required minimum and our overall interest will decrease.

The extra money paid is not really extra because we are paying it on the principle but we save on the interest charged on whatever principle is the balance each month. Our payment will stay the same unless taxes or insurance increase (which will most likely happen because of increased valuation of our property) but the principle will decrease at a faster rate therefore, allowing for interest amount charged at the same rate to be less each month, quarter, year. Keep in mind, if we only pay $5 or $10 dollars each month, it will go down but won’t save us a great deal of time over 30 years because it will take 2 or more years to make one single extra principle payment resulting in 12 years to accumulate one additional payment–we might pay the loan off one or two years early.

If our principle is $278 a month, then we are paying $3,324 per year in principle. So, if we pay say an extra $100 per month on the principle (example) then we are making an additional 4.33 payments per year–it will take 2.77 to 3 years of that to equal one year off our loan–in addition to the normal payoff amounts of just making regular minimum payments, first 3 years results in 28 years to payoff, 2nd 3 years = 27 years to pay off, etc. So, in the long run, we could pay off the loan in 20 years instead of 30 by paying a little extra each month (or even $50 every two weeks).

How to have an extra $100 a month to pay your mortgage off early: A medium latte at the local coffee shop cost about $3.65 + tax and tip (additional syrups extra) so about $4.00 or more per drink–if they have the type of milk you want or need because you’re lactose intolerant. Sorry…  If you have one a day during the work week that is $20 per week.  And, if you indulge on the weekend–you get it. If you’re not going to make your coffees at home like I do with my mini espresso maker, try getting a small drink instead and save yourself a little money overall; find other areas in your life where you can cut back.

Some Things I do:  If I go to the fast food places near my work I spend about $35 to $40 per week on lunches. However, I actually spend about $20 per week going to the local Neighborhood store and purchasing groceries and preparing at work or home for my lunches–sometimes I take left overs. I save about $80 per month on lunches with an occasional outing to a fast food or nearby restaurant. So, I do not frequent coffee places and I bring my own lunch saving me about $150 a month. That’s $1,800 per year I can put toward the principle on my mortgage which is 6.5 payments and is a year off my loan every 2 years, now paying off the loan in less than 20 years–about 15 years.

Other ways to save money to pay down your loan: Got credit cards? No matter what the interest rate, pay the minimum on the rest of the bills but pay the smallest balance off first, as quickly as possible, by paying more than the minimum—I paid the minimum + the finance amount until I was able to pay additional amounts.  As soon as you fully pay that one, put all of that amount + the minimum payment (more if you can budget it) on the next smallest card or bill–do that until all your bills are paid. It follows the same as the mortgage early payoff plan, you are paying principle off sooner and therefore, paying less interest. If you do that part first, you will have the money to pay on your mortgage.  You may say that you can’t afford to do that, actually, you can’t afford not to but start as soon as you can.

Now, let’s say that we save $2,500 dollars (in payments) a year by paying our cards and bills off early. That is $208 per month we can put on the mortgage instead of partying or splurging on stuff we don’t actually need. That is only, get this, $69 less than our principle payment of $278 per month (in our example).  Use your imagination to find extra monies to make a double principle payment each month and be debt free much sooner.

A few ideas:  Save change—it adds up; go through the garage and sell items that are no longer used; clean out and sell items in storage unit (close storage unit to reduce additional bills); clean out the closets and sell old, useful items that you don’t want to donate; if you’re younger and fit, rent yourself out when you’re not volunteering your time…there are plenty of things that can be done in your neighborhood or town to acquire more money—take on clients to tutor or train in one of your talents, hobbies or knowledge areas (tutor English, math, computer usage, how ’bout teaching people how to build a solar battery bank back up system for personal use) also, handyman (person), also,  pet or house sitting, for example.  Oh, spend less, that’s a big one to help save money.  If you don’t need it, check your desires.

With all our other bills paid off first then the mortgage, we can provide our family a better lifestyle through attending events, or pay for college, a vacation home, a travel trailer, a newer car–all bought and paid for with cash (that we have saved by no longer paying a mortgage or high bills) or with large down payment to avoid extended payoff periods–pay it off in a year or 2 instead of 5 to 7 years.  I was able to do extra remodeling after the tree fell on the house and the insurance company paid a little less than the upgrades we wanted.  Here’s another idea, with our, yes our, saved money we can now do the things we’ve been saying we’d do if we had more money: help others who are less fortunate than ourselves.  You know you’ve said it.

Be good to one another and be thankful in all things. We don’t always know what we’re missing when we didn’t get what we wanted because God knew it was bad for us and it didn’t fit His plan for us.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Jay 🙂

  • I do not endorse However, I do use their calculators to help keep me on track.
  • For expert advise, please see your locally trusted financial institution, financial advisor and mortgage specialists

1 Peter 4:7-11

7The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

10God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.


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A Chill Day…

I know, it’s been awhile.  I’ve been busy with work–lightning fried my pc, modem, printer and check scanner–things at home and stuff going through in my head.  Yeah, that happens to most of us at some time or another.  I just completed several weeks of physical therapy involving my neck.  Well, that’s actually below my head 🙂 . I just want to say, physical therapists are great!  I have 95% less pain and am able to do more around the house and yard.

I’ve been watching the news, a great deal of it.  I see things going on that, as a Christian, I find extremely fascinating.  I see the rapid downfall of our country; more and more hatred directed at Israel and the United States; a great deal of anti-Christian sentiment in the U.S. and tolerance for peoples who say they are of a particular religion killing Americans in our own country; people doing their best to bring about racial discord, hatred and problem manipulation; the current topsy turvy political situation, as well as, an administration doing their best to destroy our economy.  Think not, do your own research.  Though I really hope I’m way off base here but it would surprise me if we don’t see the dollar fall on it’s face soon. *** A special thanks to a few brave Americans, on a train, in France doing what special people do.

Today, though, I set all that aside and spent a nice relaxing day with my wife and mother-in-law.  After church services, where we’ve been studying the book of James — today’s lesson — do not display favoritism.  Love everyone as you love yourself.  No one is above anyone aside from Christ God.

After services we stopped for lunch at a fast food place, I will not mention them because they are a national chain and I would hate to influence anyone’s take on those places.  Yes, I know it’s not rocket science but I will say, when I ordered my Natural Burger 😉 no mayo add mustard, there was not any mayonnaise but also there was not but a dot of mustard.  Oh, but there was more ketchup than a medium-size kid could eat over a weeks’ time, resulting in my bun and burger sliding this way and that when I bit into it.  Sticky fingers, no doubt.

Later, we went to a local place called the Muddy Creek Cafe to hang with my wife’s co-workers, one who was the afternoon’s entertainment.  Rob, more commonly known as Maui Mann, writes, plays the guitar and sings Christian music.  Although I checked the ballgame scores a couple of times, I had a very nice and relaxing time listening to Maui Mann sing and joke around with the audience.  Being a dad of a daughter and a granddad of four great kids, I was touched by one particular song that he wrote and sang for his daughter, an extremely cute little young girl hanging out with her mother during the festivities.  I took the liberty of recording it (not my forte and nobody told me I couldn’t) and uploaded to my YouTube place ( ).  (If you’re interested)

After we got home, I filled in a few holes Cheer (our American Dingo) dug at some point when we weren’t looking.  The Indians beat the Yankees (Yea!); and, we just chilled the rest of the day.  That’s pretty much it for today.  Tomorrow is another story. I think I’ll go and see what happened in the news.  I hope North Korea didn’t do anything bad.

Jay 🙂

Remember:  Everyday is someone’s judgement day.  Be prepared or be extra careful.

Isaiah 41:10  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand



So, What Are You Made Of?

I run into people all the time who are descendants of Native Americans, mostly Cherokee of course. Does that make them Native American? I really don’t think so. I would think that someone who lives, is officially recognized by, or at the very least interacts with their respective tribe (outside of reservation casinos) on a regular basis, would be more considered Native American.

Personally, my 8th Great Grandmother, Pidianske (Marie Mathilde)(1665-1717), on my father’s side can be traced to the Abenaki Penobscot tribe. Even though I was born in New Jersey over 50 years ago, there has been so much water mixed into the bloodline since Pidianske that I am now, according to my DNA results, less than 1% Native American. I know, right?

I’ve been told that I resemble in looks to Chief Martin LeBorgne of the MOHAWK COUNCIL OF KAHNAWÁ:KE in Quebec…hmmmm…there’s one pic on his FB page that maybe if I look sideways a little and squint with one eye… He’s a Tribal Chief for goodness sake — perhaps we are extremely distant relatives but that doesn’t make me Native American.

So, in the story of Sacajawea’s life, when she was 12-years-old, she and some other Agaidika Lemhi Shoshone girls (after a small battle where people were killed) were kidnapped by a group of Hidatsa. When she was 13, Chief LeBorgne (as the French trappers/traders called him because he had only one eye) of the Hidatsa tribe lost her to a trader/explorer named Toussaint Charbonneau gambling in a game of hands. Then she got pregnant, went on an exploratory trip with two guys named Lewis and Clark, saved them from hostile tribes and hunger and, as they say, the rest is history. No relation but a cool story about someone called LeBorgne who was drunk and lost at gambling; and knew a really fantastic young woman named Sacajawea. 😉

I have traced quite a bit of my family tree and most of my ancestors went from France to New Foundland, Canada and then the United States…what they did before that is anyone’s guess but I’m working on finding out. There are LeBorgnes in West Indies and Haiti, too. Apparently, they got around. Some other inputs in the form of other last names from dad’s line have been traced to England; mom’s side include Poland, German, Austria and Russia. There’s a chance that some of her relatives are/were Jewish but no one will admit to it (I think that stems for that little WWII thing) and if I am, just like my Native American heritage, it’s less than 1%.

Why do we want to be Native American? Who knows, really? I’m sure there is some part of us that longs for a noble and proud lineage. We can see what Russel Cobb had to say about Tribe Wannabes – perhaps it could be about money or making people feel sorry for us.

Many don’t really know their history because most people don’t know how to research or don’t care to research their family histories; oh, and it’s a bit expensive. “That’s what grandma, grandpa, mom or dad told me and that’s good enough for me.” Besides, some people would cringe to know their Native American ancestors used to fight and conquer other tribes, you know, because they were always so peaceful and one with the land. In reality, they would make slaves of some captives and in other cases they would cut off and force their captives to eat their own noses before they burned them. Just to make a point, I’m sure. “Dude, don’t get captured by Madockowando, he’ll make you eat your own nose before he kills you.” If you wanted your enemies to fear you, I’m sure doing that once or twice would get your point across. No surprise he was murdered at a treaty council meeting—maybe the other council members didn’t want to take a chance of having to eat their own noses.

Though most indigenous peoples died because of diseases brought over by Europeans, at some point in our history, someone, somewhere got upset by the way the Native peoples were treated and sometime ago a general population started to feel something for a people that never should have gone by the way of genocide. Yes, genocide. A peoples and their ways of life that were all but destroyed by others over land, religion, ignorance, and just plain evil-hearted meanness. If you research the real American history you will find many accounts of massacres, murders, and purposely infecting some tribes with diseases such as small pox and cholera. Not everyone murdered “Indians,” but they also couldn’t or didn’t do anything to stop it.

Some of us may be directly descendant from Native peoples of the North Americas but will never know. Some of us know but will never be recognized because of our blood distance and will never be part of that world. Some of us are, or may be, and desire to champion the downfall of a society of long ago by evil, Christian, land-grabbing, Indian-hatin’ white people. Just know why you do what you do.

We live the lives that have been put before us and in the end, a very few of us will have made a mark and left a legacy in history; some will have been world or even civic leaders. Some of us will have been soldiers(sailors!) and others aid providers. Most of us will probably just walk along and hope that we’ll make it until the end having just been good, nice people not hurting or helping anyone. Some will hurt by not helping. Most of us will get our wish. We’re not all that different, you know, except the “really” bad people. 😉

I guess, in the long run, we’re all related somehow. If I can continue to trace my family tree back far enough, maybe, just maybe, I’ll find out I’m a descendant of Noah or even Adam and Eve themselves. Wouldn’t that be a kick?

Check ya later, Cuz!

Jay 🙂

Trivial additives

My DNA breakdown:

Europe 100%

  • Europe East 45%Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia Also found in: Germany, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Estonia, Bulgaria
  • Europe West 21% – Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein Also found in: England, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic
  • Iberian Peninsula 11% – Spain, Portugal Also found in: France, Morocco, Algeria, Italy
  • Ireland 8% – Ireland, Wales, Scotland Also found in: France, England
  • Italy/Greece 7% – Italy, Greece Also found in: France, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Romania, Turkey, Slovenia, Algeria, Tunisia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo
  • Great Britain 5% – England, Scotland, Wales Also found in: Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy
  • Scandinavia 3%Sweden, Norway, Denmark Also found in: Great Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, the Baltic States, Finland

Not enough percents left over for Native American

Abenaki Penobscot lineage:
Assaminasqua was adoped by and became Abenaki Grand Sachem and he in turn later adopted Madockawondo. There are no specific records as to why these adoptions took place. It could have been because the chief had no sons; the boys were orphans from within their tribe or other tribes; or perhaps they were offspring of “lesser” wives and if the chief had no legitimate son(s) or their legitimate son(s) had died young. Assaminasqua died from a disease leaving Madockawondo as rightful heir and chief.

The following are excerpts from Aline Cormier – Acadian Roots (2007 – Present)

  • The Abenaquis were a tribe that belonged to Wabanaki Comferation along with the Passamaquaddy,Maliseet,Penobscot,and later the Migmaw were in the Confederation.Wabenaki means people of the dawn.The original Wabanaki Confederation was led by many famous Chiefs over the years up to the early 1700.The best known Chiefs were Edgermeret cousin of Madockawondo,Moxus his brother in law,Bomaseen his father in law and Madockawondo (my ancestor). The Abnaki formed an early attachment for the French, chiefly through the influence of their missionaries, and carried on an almost constant war with the English until the fall of the French power in America. These people lived mostly in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.The western Abenaqui livec in New Hampshire and Vermont areas.The eastern Abenaqui lived in Maine and the maritime Abenaqi lived near St John River and St Croix. The Abenaqui people had tempory campgrounds that they would meet at such places as Penobsot Falls,Mattawankeag.Later on many of the Abenaqui people moved into Canada and some settle in Becancourt Quebec,Sillery and St Francis near Pierville Quebec. My ancestors were the Penobscot tribe.
  • Until his death in 1698, Madokawando was the sole great chief of the Penobscots; he had his lieutenants who were in command of the warriors, led expeditions, and parleyed with the enemy when truces were made. But it was known everywhere that nothing was done without his son-in-law’s advice, and that the latter had only to express a wish for it to be instantly complied with.
  • Now Madockawondo lead and attack against Salem, Oyster River and Groton. The largest force of Indians to assemble for war against the English in Acadie were 300 Penobscot,Kennebec,and Maliceet warriors who were led in an attack agaisnt Salem,Oyster River and Groten led by Madockawando.I came across an article dated Feb 22 1691 saying that One of three Chief Sagamore was Madockawondo who sold 36 slaves captured in York in a previous onslaught,and all of his slaves were sold at the same price.
  • Now you have reached the part that tells you how Madockawando becomes my ancestor. Well Madockawanda had four lovely daughters, and there was this man who came from France with the Carignan-Salieres regiment by the name of Jean Vincent D’Abbadie de St Castin
  • This man started a fur trade in or near Penobscot, and he met Madockawando.Madockawando gave his daughters to St Castin which I will discuss next had children with these different women. But he only married one in the Catholic faith, her name was Pidianske, but she was given the Christian name of Marie Mathilde. She is the Indian Princess that I and many others descend from. Madockawando died around 1696 and his son-in-law St Castin became the new leader of the Penobscot Indians.
  • Isabeau de Bearn de Bonasse in Saint Castin.Around 1652 he became the Baron of Saint Castin.His father Jean-Jacques D’Abbadie was the Seigneur of St.Castin,of Herrere,d’Escout and d’Escou ,and the first Baron of Saint Castin.His mother Isabeau de Bearn de Bonasse was the daughter of Jacques Bearn de Bonasse and Madeleine de Laas, her family was more important than the Abbadie de St Castin. Her father was the Seigneur of Bonasse . Jean Vincent D’Abbadie was related to the Kings of France. Isabeau died of the plague leaving her son Jean Vincent orphaned at a very early age. Jean Vincent had a sister Marie born 1650 she married Jean de LaBaig, and a brother Jean-Jacques bor in 1651 the second Baron of Saint –Castin he died in 1674 without having any children.
  • Jean Vincent D’Abbadie was known to be quite a ladies man, and he had children with his Indian women, the daughters of Madockawonda. He had the following children with Marie Mathilde who is my ancestor.
  • Claire born around 1671 she married Paul Meunier around 1700, she died in Grand Pre in 1744
    Another daughter (unknown) around 1695 married a ? Meuneux dit Chateauneuf.
    Another unknown daughter married Philippe Meunier around 1695.
    Anastasie married Alexandre LeBorgne de Belisle December 4 1707 (Port Royal Registers). They are my ancestors.
    Bernard born around 1688 died 1704 on his way to France
    Bernard-Anselme born around 1689 married Charlotte D’Amour de Chauffours 1707 in Port Royal
    Jean-Pierre born around 1692 entered the Seminary as did his brother Bernard he died 1702
    Urseline born around 1696 married Louis D’Amour de Chauffours around 1715. Joseph married after 1728 wife unknown, he died after 2 March 1751
    Barenos married around 1725 wife unknown died 1746 of a knife wound received from his nephew who was an Indian.
    Jean Vincent D’Abbadie had a daughter with another one of his Indian wives, their daughter was Therese who married in Port Royal Dec 4 1707 to Philippe Mius d’Entremont.
    So Jean Vincent was given land on the Saint John River but he preferred staying in Pantagouet and when his father-in-law died, Jean Vincent became the new chief of the Penobscot Indians. Jean Vincent was having some difficulties in France with his siblings so he returned to France to try and settle things but he died there in Pau in 1707 leaving his widow with a big family.

Aline Cormier – Acadian Roots (2007 – Present)

Other references:

A fictional portrayal of historical figures:

Mary Hartwell Catherwood The Chase of Saint–Castin

Kindle price $0.00:



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Do You Know Someone Who Suffers Spatial Disorientation?

Storage space  Some common questions in the storage world: “How much is the smallest space?” 5’x5’ … “Can I fit stuff from a 3 bedroom apartment in the smallest one?” Not unless your apartment is a doll house. What? Nevermind.

Yes, the storage world has its moments.

I am quite fascinated with the idea that so many people do not understand space and how much of it is needed to store their “stuff.” I do understand that everyone is not able to figure out space needed, that’s not my point — it really comes down to the bottom line and equating the price of storage to the space required. Just going for the least expensive and understanding that the least expensive is usually the smallest, people ask for the smallest; and are really taken back when they realize that the smallest is usually about the size of a closet or a small walk-in closet. Most people I have found don’t have a relative clue about what a 5’x5’, 5’x15’ or even a 10’x20’ space will hold.

I, in turn, have a pretty good idea about space and what it will hold. I often can fit 5lbs of “stuff” into a 2lb sock, if you know what I mean. Maybe I was born with it or maybe I just learned from experience over the years — I do my best to not make someone feel bad when they do not understand. More is in my head than comes out through my lips.

If someone is in my office, I can use my office as a reference. “Do you need this much room or something larger, or something smaller?” I will ask.  Most people understand. Some still don’t know. Why? Because they do not know exactly what they will be storing. Hmmmm…Often, people do not want to tell me what they have so that I can properly assist them with spatial requirements. Also, people “forget” what they have that needs to be stored. “Oh yeah, I forgot about the dining table, the washer and dryer or the 22 boxes of stuff in the garage.”

If someone is on the phone, I ask them to look at their master bedroom and imagine they will be stacking things from floor to ceiling and everywhere in between…now, do you need a room that large, larger or smaller? Most people understand.

When people visit me, I like to take them out to look at the space they think they will need. Again, most people understand or at least are able to choose between different sizes once they view them.

Occasionally, I have someone who thinks they can fit 10lbs of “stuff” in a 2lb sock all because they are going for prince over need. Two results: 1) I later transfer them to the right size space; 2) the dumpster get full quickly.

Words of advice when searching for a place to store your stuff:  If you suffer from SD (Spatial Disorientation) please, seek the assistance of someone who knows how to stuff a sock, pack a box, a truck or even a room. The person could be a family member, a friend or even a professional. Do yourself a favor, learn and practice specific cognitive strategies such as forming a mental representation of the environment and how stuff will fit into that area.  Do not allow your life to be disrupted because of SD.

If you know someone who suffers from SD, please for our sake, help them, guide them, teach them.

“So, a 5’x5’, can I fit a 3 bedroom house in that?” Not unless it folds up like George Jetson’s car… What? Nevermind.

Jay 🙂


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We Live in an Ambiguous Society

Disclaimer: The following is an opinion diatribe…read at your own interest.


If bald is beautiful, why is hair restoration so important?

Vagueness seems to be common place in our society. Why?

Political Correctness, not wanting to hurt others’ feelings, personal and mental sensitivity; not being able to see past one side of a situation or object; or perhaps, we lack the ability to express or describe something for fear of all those things. Moreover, I think the answer is actually within us, personally, because we’re afraid. Yes, afraid of how we will be perceived.

Take the blunt person. How many times have we complained that person is a bully, contrary, argumentative or that they’re just a(n) (smart)ass? We often hear that he or she is just mean, not to mention the vulgarities used to describe them. Do we ever take into consideration of what they are telling us, regardless of how it is delivered?

Then there is the meek person, the person who doesn’t make themselves clear because they are afraid of how they will be perceived. And then, we call them weak, timid, shy and often make fun of them or just dismiss their views altogether.

How about the uninformed person? They speak to be involved even though they do not have a grasp of the facts of a situation, person or object. We are quick to describe them as a village idiot and also ignore them.

The gamers, liars, performers, politicians…just to single out a few, all bring up negative views in our minds but yet, we are reluctant to describe them as they truly are [perceived].

Think about how many times we denounce violent behavior but do nothing to stop it because the solution often requires, yes, violence.  How can we coexist with people who literally want to kill us?

Our personal standards of what is right and wrong, our own filters and barriers, our fears, fears of rejections, retaliation, or of being ostracized, often dictate how we describe the world around us.

I enjoy when people like me but I don’t care if they do. I really mean it. I am somewhat of an extrovert because my life has ran the course from here to there, so many “new” environments and places—personally as well as employment. I wasn’t raised to be meek but I have learned to tone down my bluntness; and I am now more reluctant to fight at the drop of a word—argue maybe but not fight.

In the midst of the destruction of our society, as we have known it, dialogue is so beneficial. However, when one group seems to have all the answers, for everyone regardless of our differences, no matter which side of the situation we are on, we will find the enslaved and oppressed on the other side. I do not say this about a particular group of peoples based on color, ethnicity or religion. I say this based on a free people of this country, the United States of America, which for at least the past decade has been anything but united.

It is ideology that is changing our way of life and regardless of the ambiguity of our situation, it appears ambivalence is a driving force. One size does not fit all, in spite of what “they” tell us.

No, violence is often not the answer but when survival is at stake, sometime we must defend ourselves. But what will be the reasons behind our fight? Will it be so that we can have more and someone else have less? Will it be so that we can be recognized for ourselves, our individual ways of life(styles)? Will it be for our religious freedoms and whether ours will be the dominate one? Will it be for our children, so that if there is a future, it will be a good and prosperous time for them?

Or, will it be for our freedom? Freedom from tyranny brought on by those that seemingly know what is better for us as a “society” regardless of what is better for us as individuals of a nation.  Regardless of what we really want?

I would hope that we cast our ambivalence aside and make a stand for our individual freedom over a society of leeches. When someone receives, it has to come from somewhere. Are we as a hard-working people going to let them take it (whatever the “it” is) from us without some kind of stand? I would hope not.

Open dialogue is good – intimidation is not. Do not allow yourselves to be intimidated anymore. Speak up before they tell you your speech is no longer free. Don’t be vague, tell us how you really feel about something. Ambiguity may be killing you.

I can’t see the top of my head, in your opinion, am I bald, yet?

Jay 🙂



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Time management: perhaps you should have departed sooner…

2nd Oil

2nd Oil

Time management: perhaps you should have departed sooner…

That’s my new bumper sticker. Well, it soon will be once I receive it in the mail next week.

Okay, so I’m the guy you hear about at work from one of your irate co-workers explaining why they are late for work—you know, the one who is late all the time. They will rant and rave about this guy in a perfectly healthy Jeep Liberty who apparently had nothing better to do than to hold up traffic and cause them to get caught by every light, and stop sign. They will not, however, take responsibility for their own lack of time management that led to their tardiness.

Yep, I’m the speed limit guy. Occasionally, I drive over the speed limit by a couple of mph but normally it’s the speed limit. If my wife wants to get somewhere in a more timely manner, she’ll offer to drive.

I must note that it drives me nuts when someone else drives under the speed limit when there are no reasons to do so, such as, inclement weather, construction, a parade or heavy traffic. I do my best to plan my events, manage my time to where I can get to where I’m going and be there on time. Even traveling the speed limit, I’m usually there ahead by 10 minutes or right on time. Sometimes I miss the mark but not by much (unexpected parades).   😉

You see, I used to be in a hurry and yell at all the other drivers for their mistakes. It was not pretty. My so-called road rage was really just inside my car most of the time with an occasional hand signal to other drivers to let them know I was not pleased with their road skills.

It took a while for me to mature in this area but now that I’m an olderly guy, I like having less stress in my life. I drive to work, at ease.  When I get to work, I’m calm and relaxed because I’ve had no drama to kick me up. I can recommend it to anyone who suffers from time mismanagement. If you have to, get up 10 minutes early.  Enjoy your coffee, watch the weather and traffic reports and leave at a time that is most convenient to you for you to enjoy your drive. If you have little kids, well, that’s on you–do your best.  Maybe people at work will notice your calmness and appreciate it.

I’ve started noticing landmarks that I previously did not know existed.  When people say to me, “You know, down by such a place or such a street,” I can say, “Yes, I do.”

Oh, to the guy in the little white Toyota that sped around me in the no passing zone and almost got hit by the firetruck…you know.

And to the rest of you that like to drive fast because you don’t care about rules and laws and think they don’t apply to you, don’t whine and cry if you are the survivor.

Jay 🙂

Every day is someone’s judgement day…be prepared or be extra careful.


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Are You Sick?

Disclaimer:  I’m not a doctor and do not practice medicine.  I’m a concerned citizen.

Do you know what to do if you’ve been exposed to germs and now you’re not feeling well, have a fever, and stuff is coming out of orifices that should not have stuff coming out?

Try this…don’t go out of your private world unless you are going to the doctor, clinic or hospital.  Then, go to your private world after you obtain the proper medications prescribed to you by your doctor.  Then, do everything you’re supposed to like, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, the kind of things mom used to do for you.

Excuses for infecting the people outside of your private world:

  1. I must go to work or I will lose my job (or not get paid);
  2. I have to get the kids to school;
  3. I have this thing I can’t miss;
  4. I have to pay my bills;

All valid reasons I’m sure but do we personally really need to be out, knowing that we can and may infect other people with our germs?  I think not.

Does your boss really think it is better to let you go for legitimately missing a day or two of work; or better to have you come in to work possibly infecting the boss, the co-workers and even customers?  I think not.  However, if your boss is that kind of knucklehead (go ahead and infect your boss), then, find someone else to work for as soon as you are no longer infectious.

Is there a reason why someone else can’t get your kids to school (that is if they’re not already infected with the germs)?  I think so.

Do you really have to be the one to do that thing?  Is there someone else who can stand in for you or can it be postponed?  I think so.

Do you really have to be there in person to pay your bills?  Probably not.  Can you call or mail in a payment?  Probably so.

At a time when we know there are not enough flu vaccines to go around, I think it would be very thoughtful of sick people to just stay home until they are no longer infectious.  Yes, that’s what I said, “Stay in your home!”

In case of exposure to ebola, please seal all your doors and windows and call the CDC.  I’ll bet they’ll come and get you and take you to one of their bubble rooms.  For the sake of public safety, I’ll even bet they’ll do it for free.

This has been a public service announcement.

Jay 🙂


1 Comment

Posted by on October 17, 2014 in ill, Self-management, sick, Uncategorized


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What’s your story?

When it comes to telling your story, do you know what experiences you have that will tell the world about what made you who you are?

I read an article earlier today about an answer Mike “Dirty Jobs” Rowe gave in response to an interview question.  It had to do with not following your passion in life if it doesn’t prove successful in sustaining your life (of course that’s my take on it).

I’ve already proven to myself that my passion for writing stories and painting pictures will NEVER pay the bills, it shall remain a minor focus, part time at best.  There are a few reasons for this.  First, I work a little over 40 hours per week (no complaints, I’m blessed to have a low-paying job while others struggle to get work).  Second, although I have been writing for many years, I have not been properly trained in literature (specifically, creative writing) and therefore, will not appeal to very many (outside of my favorite people–very common folks).  My audience is and will remain limited.  And then, there’s the fact that it is important for me to follow God’s path for me with life, family and friends.  There is no guarantee that being an author is in my future but I will give it my best shot and see what happens.

After reading Mike’s response, I remembered when a friend asked me why I ever thought I could be a writer and what in the world would I know enough to write about.  I thought about my experiences in life (1) and how that could be a factor in helping me write (there are many stories, my friends).  I told my friend that would not be the problem.  The problem would be how I could accomplish it.

I’ve studied a few things here and there but I haven’t taken writing courses, yet.  In jobs as analyst and for reports writing, the style is very different from writing a book–the “government style guide” is quite different. With the knowledge I have, it would probably be easier to write a how-to book than a story book but I’m not in this for easy, I’m in it for creativity sake–an outlet for what’s inside my mind.  I already have a few stories that I’m working on.  What I have found in my research is that I can utilize skills from jobs and experiences I’ve had over the years, coupled with human observation, to put into characters.  Also in my research, it has been told to me that I should, “write how I speak,” and “just let it flow because you or someone else can fix it later.”  So, that’s my plan or was my plan.

Recently, I became a publisher.  I knew nothing about creating ebooks or printed books.  I had a couple of unknown writers provide me their books a few months ago; to learn about the processes, I bought ebooks and searched the internet for articles and blogs, and I viewed a few YouTube videos for information on self-publishing.  As of yesterday, I have three books with several sales on, in Kindle format and one of those on Createspace for print.  Oh, and I have this here blog website.  I had to learn to set up a website, too and it only took something I already possessed, my administration and self-management skills.

I believe that I have enough life experiences to create many stories.  I promise, I will apply syntax in a way that will make some cringe and others glad that they don’t have to struggle to read.  And, I will tell my stories, one page at a time.

So, what’s your story?  How can you use your experiences to tell it?  Just don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t tell it.

Jay 🙂

1 List of experiences (alphabetical order):  Administrator, Chauffeur, Classified Material Handler, Commercial Anodizer, Data Mining Specialist, Data Warehousing Administrator, Delivery driver, Document / Photo Scanner, Editor, Electronic files archiving, Events Planner, First Aid / CPR, Firefighter, Help Desk / Customer Service Representative, Information Technology assistant, Janitor, Leadership and Development Instructor, Legal Clerk, Military Intelligence Reports Writer/Analyst, Office Management, Painter (art / home), Personnel / Career Counselor, Personnel Management & Logistics, Personnel Pay, Poetry, Postal Clerk, Project Manager, Property Management/Leasing, Publisher, Records Management, Research Analyst, Retail and Business to Business Sales, Safe custodian (combination control), Security, Singer (Church Choir / Karaoke), Supply Clerk, Technical Manuals Librarian, Trainer and Subject Matter Expert Facilitator, Writer (Fiction / Non-fiction)

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Do we know our audience?

If possible, we must slake our paucity of compassion for the illiteracy and ignorance of the common man; we must lend ourselves to encouragement and assistance to his need, lest he be bound to that blight for perpetuity.   Me


noun \kə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən\

: the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else          

(US Sniper team Radio): tank convoy is currently stationary at the intersection, looks like it’s preparing to move with BTRs. Break. Command, requesting air support, recommend AGM loaded UAVs to neutralize convoy. Over

“Breaking it down Barney-style”

Refers to the kid show “Barney and Friends.” When something is broken down “Barney-style,” it’s being explained as if to a child.  Read more:

Do we know our audience?  Do we communicate with our audience or expect our audience to already understand what we are attempting to communicate?
How many times have we provided instructions to someone at work, or even a client only to find out later that the message was not clearly received?  Knowing your audience makes considerable difference.  If you are an electrician, a carpenter or a plumber, you will most likely explain the job to the average client as though you were speaking to a child to enhance their understanding ensuring less questioning during, and less hassle at the end of the job.  Now, if your client, in their younger days, was a general contractor, you will be able to speak more in terms of the job and the message will be received with little or no problem.  (Chances are, they’ll instruct you some, too.)
When writing, we don’t have the pleasure of immediate interaction so anticipating our diverse audience comprehension is important to the success of our communication.  If we write to teach, our audience is not expected to already know our subject.  If writing to others in our field of expertise but communicating changes in procedure or a new idea, we can expect that our words and ideas will be mostly understood.  If we are in an advanced field of expertise and our audience is close to or on our same level, we also want to be careful not to bore them out of their skulls by dumbing down our subject matter to reach an audience that doesn’t exist.
When telling a story, writing for entertainment purposes, the genre will often determine our audience.  Science fiction of all types, romance, horror, etc., will attract it’s respective following.  However, we reduce our audience when we decide that the language level must be highly complex based on our education level alone.  The word, ebullient may be a great word to describe champagne but may also distract the reader from an otherwise smooth running story if they have to stop reading to look up the word.  Too many of those words and the reader will discard the story for one easier to follow.
It is not going to hurt our audience one bit to increase their vocabulary–it certainly didn’t hurt me to discover the word ebullient but I’m willing to look it up without being completely distracted.  After reviewing the dictionary, I re-read the paragraph with enlightened understanding of what the writer was saying about the situation.

Know Your Readers

‘Literacy and the reading habits are of major importance in communicating with your audience. A document may be “plain” for one set of readers and not for others. Writers often wrongly assume that their audience is of the same class of readers.They are often surprised to learn that very large numbers of readers cannot read what they have written.’  Plain Language At Work Newsletter

 [According to: The Brain Lady Blog Psychology and Brain Science, Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D.

100 Things You Should Know About People: #54 — The Average Reading Level In the USA Is Grade 8   

This web page has a reading level of Grade 12 and a reading ease score of 40. Americans average a reading level of Grade 8, so 12 is harder than the average American can read. For the reading ease score, higher is better. Comic books are at 90, and legal documents are often 10 and under.]

Know Yourself

Who are you and what are you trying to say?  In order for the audience to know you and your subject, just say it as you would normally say it.  Be yourself, unless you’re an ass–then be less of yourself.  😉  Not everyone is an intercoursing idiot but nor does most everyone lack understanding of language (see what I mean–more than one way to say the same thing).  Know what you want or need to say and say it in a way that can be understood by as many as you can reach.

So, does our personal lack of compassion for people who don’t have the same understanding or education get in the way of us reaching others?  Only each individual can answer that question for themselves.

Just thinking out loud…

Jay 🙂


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Time Management (Self-Management)

Too many times have I heard someone say, “There’s just not enough hours in a day…

List of things to do this week:

  1. Morning Bible Study/Prayer/Meditation
  2. Morning Exercise
  3. Work 40 -43 hours
  4. Phone calls with dad, daughter and sister
  5. Proof The Tor King for print on demand
  6. Publish and self-promote The Tor King for print on demand
  7. Add addendum to The Bull’s-Eye of Life
  8. Verify copyright for The Bull’s-Eye of Life
  9. Format cover for The Bull’s-Eye of Life for Kindle
  10. Publish The Bull’s-Eye of Life for Kindle
  11. Type more on the Study Guide for The Bull’s-Eye of Life
  12. View video for men’s group discussion at Sunday evening meeting
  13. Study for and take exam for lesson 1 in Public Speaking course
  14. Help wife paint framing for back porch prior to contractor installing screening
  15. Vehicle recall and oil change
  16. Yard work / inspect roof and gutters
  17. Resume cleaning garage
  18. Attend Worship Services
  19. Scan client photos and documents
  20. Update
  21. Write at least two articles for blog
  22. Pick one of my five personal books and start writing first draft
  23. Spend at least 5 quality minutes with wife

This is my actual To Do list for this week.  Though there doesn’t appear to be enough time to do everything on my list, except for writing on my personal book, everything will be accomplished.  Remember, not everything has to be done “now.”

These things are in combination with normal daily routine.  My wife, her mother and I use team work to take care of things around the house.  They do most of the house cleaning and taking care of the cooking and our dog children.  Usually, in the morning prior to me departing for work, I put a load in the wash and delay start until the afternoon so it will be done about time my wife comes home from work.  She finishes the process.  We do the same with other chores around the house…whoever can does when they can.  Some things are easier on me because my wife does so much that I do not have to do them myself; and my daughter, knucklehead and the grandkids live almost 3,000 miles away–fewer distractions.

My To Do list.  To accomplish all these tasks in the week ahead will require personal dedication to ensure that I am not pulled away by distractions such as, watching the Cleveland Browns play the Tennessee Titans, The American League Divisional playoffs, Bones, Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS(s) and Person of Interest.  I do not say that I will not watch these programs but more than likely, I will watch one or two, or they will be on while I’m working on simple projects.  I won’t have them on when I’m reading, studying or need to concentrate on specific details.  However, when I’m formatting and typing books or scanning documents, these programs will be background fodder.

The main reason all or most of everything on my list will be accomplished is because of self- and time management.  I’m experienced enough to know about how much time it takes to accomplish a task and give myself a little extra time for unexpected events.  The guy at the dealership said it should take 1 1/2 hours to accomplish the recall and oil change so, I have blocked out 2 1/2 hours on my schedule.

Management of self is one of my most difficult accomplishments but nonetheless, mostly accomplished.  It is very easy for me to get wrapped up in tv, surfing the net, watching the ballgames, etc.  However, I’ve reached a point where I know that time is a swift river.

Some may not understand or wonder, who do I think I am to take on this endeavor?  I (self)publish, write, draw and paint for nothing other than personal creativity and self-satisfaction.  I don’t consider myself anymore than average at these things and sure, it is nice when others compliment me for these accomplishments, who wouldn’t like a little praise or encouragement.  But sometimes, just looking at the outcome is to me, satisfactory.

In order to accomplish all that I choose to do, I must manage myself and my time.  No one else can do it for me.  Others can assist in this or that but I am the only one who can determine what I can do in the time that it needs to be done.  If I’m squirrely I’ll never reach my goals. Some may say that I am self-disciplined.  Well, I read once on Wikipedia, I think, that discipline is not a course of actions leading to certain goal or ideal but a disciplined person is one that has established a goal and is willing to achieve that goal at the expense of his or her individuality (or words to that effect).  In my case, my individuality that is not at stake for this is the pouring out of my individuality and the discipline is in managing time to accomplish the goals that allow me to express who or what I really am.

I think this comes down to is personal desire.  It doesn’t make a difference who you are, if you truly have a desire to accomplish everything that you want or need to in a given time, take it upon yourself to do just that.  Take charge of yourself and plan your time and stick to your schedule but do allow for outside influences or accidents because life happens.  When you know in advance that you are helping someone else, put it on your schedule.  You can, though, limit other people drama by analyzing the need for your input and acting accordingly.  Please be kind to others and share yourself when you can or have the opportunity.

So,wouldn’t it be nice if the mechanic actually takes only 1 1/2 hours to complete the work on my vehicle, then I’ll have an extra hour to spend with my wife–as long as it fits into her schedule.  😉

Jay 🙂


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