Caught Between a Rock and A Hard Place…

Caught Between a Rock and A Hard Place…

I am not sure where this cliché’ originated or when I first heard it. Yet, it somehow is one that I have heard and used more times than I can remember.

It seems to symbolize the feeling of being trapped…

As I review this 2016 Presidential election cycle, which has felt like an amusement park ride that has lasted way too long, and we are now coming to the end, I am reminded of the title phrase…

Caught Between a Rock and A Hard Place…

We Americans are faced with electing either a person who has shown the propensity to send young soldiers to war, in order to show her ability to be “strong”, or a buffoon who has decimated at least four business interests he’s been in control of over the past 30 years, while spewing hate-filled comments at anyone who is not of his-ilk.

And what we do in November will determine so much of what will be our destiny and that of our children and grand children…legacy at our fingertips.

Yes, America, it is true…

We are truly caught between a rock and a hard place.

"Rock, Hard Place" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Time To Tell the Truth…

Changing the definition of people to be admired is never easy…and so as we American’s grapple with the ever-changing dynamics of a society that is no longer accepting the status-quo, it is time to tell the truth about early American citizens for whom we now have discovered were not-so-pure. The latest revelation to come from out of the shadows is the author of the National Anthem, Francis Scott Key. Watch my short video…

What’s the Truth about %?

What’s the truth about 50/50, 60/40..?

I was thinking today about the trust that most of us place in the various media and journalistic outlets that seem to be everywhere. They range from printed articles, online op-ed pieces and the ever-nauseous talk radio blather. How many times do we hear about something being a particular percentage and we simply take it at face value?

The first that comes to my mind is the old 2% milk…that looked like regular milk with a bit of water added to dilute. The taste was not really any different…and this was long before any of us knew or understood what lactose-intolerance meant.

Even along side of that in the dairy section was the small container of half and half. Something that seemed akin to a combination of whole milk and cream? I often wondered why it got the short carton? Was it so good…that it could only be administered in pint size doses?

Then there are the items of clothing; a shirt is 60% cotton and 40% PolyEsther. Who would challenge those numbers? What if the machine operators for that day switched around the fabric spools…and it is really 60% PolyEsther and 40% cotton. Would you know the difference?

My spin on all of this is how trusting we all have become to the numbers told to us by the “authorities.”

For the next 10 weeks we will be bombarded with poll numbers from various and sundry sources, some familiar, others likely hatched just for this moment in time, all to persuade us to lean one way or the other in this election of government officials. When you hear those numbers…will you stop, just for a moment, and consider what I have posed to you above? Because, if the saying, believe half of what you see and none of what you hear is true, we never really knew if that milk was truly 2%. Did we?

Read. Research. Debate. DO NOT blindly trust what the media will throw at our feet.





Right. Wrong. Republican…


As I contemplate what has been the circus of the past three nights at the Republican National Convention, and, I must admit, since I did not feel it worthy of my time to actually sit and waste 12 hours of my life viewing such bombastic behavior, I have seen enough via numerous social media channels to give me a great deal of concern. Concern for the sanity of our still-evolving nation. Concern for the safety of people who have varying degrees of melanin in their skin. Concern for the rest of the world who must be wondering how could our nation, through a process of primary voting that took much too long, have left standing, as the now-declared nominee, one of the most unimaginative, unsuccessful, fear-baiting men who ever sought to glorify his own narcissistic existence.

My sense of what is reasonable and plausible in this nation is under siege. I can not grasp how we, as a nation of multi-cultural people who have proven ourselves to build both great underwater and earth-orbiting machines, create nano-technological devices that change how we live and work, and have the courage to elect a non-white man to our highest office…yet, we are now on the precipice of reverting back to those less-than-glorious days when fear was not just a concern, it was tangible. Ask any person over 70 years of age who survived Japanese internment camps, Chinese Americans who were used to build railroads and then exiled, or the many African Americans who never came home, found hanging from some tree. That is not the America that we can return to…

No. We will not allow fear to undermine the progress, though small and yet, important, that has been made here. We must, if never at any time before today, stand in unity and resist the hordes of “right-wing-fundamentalists”, whatever that term means, to undo what has been put into motion. This “melting pot” of cultures and creativity in America must repel the ignorance that comes from the likes of Donald Trump and his “bully gangs.”

Yes. We will find more common ground upon which to build a “more perfect Union.” We will dismantle the apartheid that still lingers in our yet-to-be-equal education systems, housing, and employment opportunities in America. We must strive to create real equality in financial sectors and in how to insure that no citizen is prevented from justice and their “day in court” by a fearful and shoot-first police force.

This time in history, the one directly succeeding the historic eight year Presidency of Barack Obama, will either set us on course to reach heights that will honor the Creator of us all…or we will sink to the depths of despair, and become fodder for historians in another century who will recall how we imploded from within. How we allowed fear to unravel and undermine the beauty of the great “American experiment.”

The choice is ours, come November. How shall we be remembered?


Regular Irregularities…

Words play such an important part in our everyday lives.

We say something, and hope that what is in our head, and comes out of our mouth, is understood by the person to whom we are speaking.

Today I met with a member of an organization that serves the community each week with free food. We discussed a number of ideas about how to improve their social media outreach. In that conversation, I made the comment about how seniors are increasingly among those who are affected by poverty. The next most affected group, and the words that came after…”the working poor” were, “isn’t that an oxymoron?”

How can we feel proud of our country, the wealthiest nation on the planet, and so readily accept that we have an abundance of families in poverty, while the parents work full time jobs. That, my friend, is where this commentary gets its title.

We are preparing to see, hear and experience the pomp and pageantry of the Democratic and Republican parties presidential nominating conventions. As if all that we have seen and heard the past 16 months, from still-standing and now-forgotten candidates, wasn’t enough. We will be bombarded with bullshit from all credible and incredible sources.

So, how shall we get through it all? Just remember those times shopping at various discount outlets; where the clothing on the rack is marked “irregular.” They look like the real thing. They appear no different than the item we see in the print ads. Yet, there is one, small thing, out of alignment. A bad seam. One sleeve shorter than the other. A lie brought to light via video/social media. And for that, we pay a discounted price.

Keep that in mind as we ramp up to this season of “regular irregularities”. We are going to only have a choice between the best of the worst regular irregularity.
Rather disappointing, for those who prefer more options; shopping or in politics.

Maybe we will get lucky and get some help for the “working poor” from the “honest politician” who is “freely elected” in this the “land of the Free.”

Half Price Books discount coupons


Peace and prosperity.


O.M.G. (Older Man’s Gift)

As I contemplate the pending ascension of my soon-to-be freshman in high school daughter, Meisha Kalila, I take a look around to see how quickly this all came about. It feels like it was just a few short years ago when I accompanied her to her first day of Kindergarten, this bouncy, yet shy girl who could already speak another language other than English. Her day care provider, Sara Chinchilla, a woman born in El Salvador, had been mindful to teach Meisha and the other children trusted to her care, the language of her native land. And now, my bi-lingual five year old was ready to begin her formal education.

Within three days the kindergarten teacher had consulted with the principal of the school to say that this Lampkin kid was not going to last long in her classroom. Seems that she was a bit more advanced than most of the children and she feared that she would be bored. And so, in just one week, Meisha had been promoted to first grade. It was quite an auspicious beginning to her educational journey.

It didn’t get any easier from that point forward. For it was then that we saw how mean kids can be…when it was learned that the first graders in Meisha’s class would tease her for not being a “real first grader.”

Just one week ago I saw my daughter walking proudly with many of those same kids who are also preparing to become high school students. No one had anything to say about the girl who was a full year younger than many of them. A girl who, when she felt like it. held her ground with each of them scholastically and athletically. Yes, the distance between them that had seemed so cavernous eight years ago is now the bridge that they individually and collectively traverse.

What a gift she has been to me. A father once more at the age of 48 years…

I know that the chance to share my story with her, in an effort to inform her of the possibilities available in this life, is what I seek to impart. The challenges we face as a nation, as a people and a family must be channeled in a positive, yet honest, conversation for Meisha to grasp. Truth with tender love is a recipe for a nurtured soul capable of serving humankind in ways that we may all gain benefit.

Today, as I have been for all of her days of living, I am a proud Father.

The next time you see the letters OMG, think of something other than Oh my God. I do.


Can’t Stop Now…

How Many of us Will Just keep Working?

A greater number of us who have topped 60 years of age, and are now realizing that our “Golden Moment”, where our retirement income provides for a comfortable lifestyle, has not materialized. And the question is, what now?

Not what we planned for...
Not what we planned for…

Truth be told, far more of us will be working well past 62, 65, 70…for a myriad of reasons.

In the article that I have linked below, one of the reasons many are still working is that the retirement that so many “thought” would be so much fun…isn’t. Take a look at the article here and let’s talk.


It is OUR Choice…

Great morning to all.

I watched most of the 3 Matrix trilogy movies on yesterday…and plan to watch V is for Vendetta over the weekend. They are among my favorite “fight the power” movies. Then I came across a video piece created on YouTube that meshes a powerful element of each…the “true essence” of the movies messaging.

Take 15 minutes and watch here: The CHOICE is YOURS

Then…go about your day, everyday, with a renewed sense of purpose and CHOICE!


Still Getting taxed after Retirement…

Working after Retirement…still getting taxed?

If you are one of the many people who decide to continue working, and earning income after you have begun receiving Social Security benefits/income, you will want to read this article: How to stay out of IRS trouble.

Some of us with children yet in high school (stop laughing) or college, we know that we will be working, and not retiring, for a number of additional years. However, there are some people who are receiving SS benefits and are now seeking to get out of the house due to boredom, or are in need of supplemental income.


With inflation on the rise and a continued fight about SS benefit dollars from the U. S. Congress, it is wise to know how to steer clear of the IRS and their desire to tax your incomes. Now that I visit a local Senior Center in my city of residence, I learned what is legal…and wanted to pass this information along to you.

Feel free to share this with others whom you know and let’s insure that no one has to face an IRS inquiry.


Let It Lay…

Let it Lay…

In my morning meditation today I had the thought that there are so many things bombarding us each and every day;

• Commercials showing young people having fun when drinking
• TV Ads exhorting us to take a prescription drug that has more side effects than the actual symptoms we are seeking to overcome
• Presidential candidates who are the newest puppets of the ruling class

So much that we have to filter out in our attempt to discern truth from deception.

With that in mind I remembered a song from 40 years ago by Les McCann. He was truly ahead of his time in creating songs that decried the state of life that was being sold to us all, with a powerful Compared to What. However, I wanted to ask you to listen to another song that has often kept me focused on being mindful that some things are better left alone. Click here and listen to Let it Lay.

And today, Let it Lay. Whatever that is for you…


The Silver Surfer