Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Genetic Heritage

There are kits available to test your DNA.

I did mine. 60% Irish, 22% English-Scot, 11% Scandinavian and the rest traces of middle European.

Eighteen years ago scientists found a way to decode the 3.1 billion subunits of DNA.

The subunits are called base pairs, and they make up the double helix of the deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA. The genetic instruction of what makes us unique. It's what makes me and you and us.

One section of the original announcement reminded me of the fallibility of humankind.

It said, "most of the base pairs of DNA between genes have no known function and scientists commonly refer to these pairs as Junk DNA."

No known function! So we label them junk! With all due respect to the scientists who worked so hard on this decoding, calling them junk, just because we don't know what they do, smacks of human intellectual arrogance.

To me, it goes into the category of the flat earth proponents and the early scientists who thought the sun revolved around the earth.

Wouldn't it be nice if someday they discovered the junk pairs were the stem instructions for the human attributes of grace, elegance, courtesy, kindness, and compassion?

Monday, January 22, 2018

John Coleman

I just learned that a former colleague of mine died. His name is John Coleman. He was a weatherman par excellence. A founder of the Weather Channel. An icon of weather science who took the road less traveled. A man of humor and intellect. An excellent conversationalist of interest and a stalwart defender of his beliefs.

John was a gentleman in both his professional and personal life, a man of integrity, ethics, and laughter.  My thoughts and prayers go to his family.

For me, it is that time of life when your friends and associates start the passage we all will make someday. It is a condition of aging.

Having professional memories and personal friendships is like having a garden of flowers that come back year after year and are robust and soothing. But any friendship, like flowers, need the watering of connection. A lot of us forget that as we get older, and passing is a profound reminder.

We come into the world, share our talents, we struggle, we succeed, we change, we live a little, laugh a little and then we are called home.

I know a truth that life continues, and someday hence we will meet again for only the body dies.

Friday, January 19, 2018

House-keeping stuff

Some things that need to be acknowledged.

Thank You, Senator Jeff Flake, for your commentary on President Trump from the Senate Floor. Bravo!

When are we going to see congressional patriots and statesmen and stateswomen come forth and decry the daily dirt that surfaces on and about Mr. Trump and his political and business dealings?

Perhaps when elephants fly.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Snows of Life

It is cold here in the Northeast. If fact it's cold almost everywhere the last few days. Where I live we are digging out from Wednesday's significant snow. It was a fluffy snow so it's not to hard to shovel.

Life is a lot like that. We get some storms that are heavy and hard where the emotional shovels and medical plows have difficulty removing the burden. Then, at times, we get the light stuff that frightens us before we assess the accumulation and ascertain that it wasn't as bad as we thought and we worried about nothing.

I can't tell you how many times the emotion of a "snow" cancer scare moved through my family's lives and the lives of friends and neighbors. The specifics are not necessary for this post but tangential to the snow metaphor.

Doctors, by training,  must present all sides of potential possibilities or, at least, an educated prognosis of cancer or illness path. It's never an absolute, but it is a possibility, and we the family and the patient must absorb and assimilate the information to the best of our abilities, and then the patient must take responsibility for his or her total health, and the family must embrace the patient's choice as sacred.

Eventually, for some, the warmth of healing melts the fear of the unknown. In the end, we all embrace the inevitable and rejoice in the knowledge that each of us, in time, are, and will be, going home. It's a hard acceptance, but really what more could we ask?

Be well.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Fantasy, but profound

Some things you read in life are so powerful they must be shared. The following is one of them. I first read this a few years ago and every once in awhile it surfaces to the top of the internet email circuit.

I love it and I hope you do too.

I dreamed I had an interview with God.
“So you would like to interview me?” God asked.
“If you have the time” I said.
God smiled. “My time is eternity.”
“What questions do you have in mind for me?”
“What surprises you most about humankind?”
God answered…
“That they get bored with childhood,
they rush to grow up, and then
long to be children again.”
“That they lose their health to make money…
and then lose their money to restore their health.”
“That by thinking anxiously about the future,
they forget the present,
such that they live in neither
the present nor the future.”
“That they live as if they will never die,
and die as though they had never lived.”
God’s hand took mine
and we were silent for a while.
And then I asked…
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons
you want your children to learn?”
“To learn they cannot make anyone
love them. All they can do
is let themselves be loved.”
“To learn that it is not good
to compare themselves to others.”
“To learn to forgive
by practicing forgiveness.”
“To learn that it only takes a few seconds
to open profound wounds in those they love,
and it can take many years to heal them.”
“To learn that a rich person
is not one who has the most,
but is one who needs the least.”
“To learn that there are people
who love them dearly,
but simply have not yet learned
how to express or show their feelings.”
“To learn that two people can
look at the same thing
and see it differently.”
“To learn that it is not enough that they
forgive one another, but they must also forgive themselves.”
“Thank you for your time,” I said humbly.
“Is there anything else
you would like your children to know?”
God smiled and said,
“Just know that I am here… always.”

-author unknown

Sent from my iPad

Monday, January 15, 2018

A gift to any politican running for Congress

This is a free speech for any politician who chooses to run for Congress.

My friends, my neighbors, my fellow Americans. I am running to be your representative in what was once the most magnificent deliberative body in the history of the world. I am running as a (choose one) Let me be clear; I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat; I am not an Independent, I am a concerned citizen of this great country, and I am running as an American who is willing to serve the greater good, not the party. I may have a party label because our current system only allows for two major parties and a few independent labels. We need other choices, but that’s for another time.

Here is my platform.

Fairness for all. Cooperation with all shades of opinion.

A promise to serve only one term in the Senate or two terms in the House. To generate support and pass term limits. To solicit a congressional vote to move congresses pension and health care back to what the average American must endure with social security and the current Medicare. To remove Congress as an exclusive club. To always be honest. To be courteous, cooperative, and combative for the common man and women, to be true to the founding values of our forefathers or any president who stood for principle over party.

Here is my phone number. I will call you back. Not In an hour, or a day, but soon as I can. Here is a litany of my affiliations and why I attach myself to them. Here are my weaknesses and perceived flaws and my perceived strengths. I will serve as an American, not for a political party. Vote for me if you have the courage.

Call me if you have any questions.


I had left-overs for dinner last night, and it was filling and fine. It was a simple meal, but ample and nourishing.

Up not a fan of left-overs, but with every bite, I thought of those throughout the world who didn't have left-overs to eat or where starvation is a constant worry. So many count the grains of rice for the pot to feed a family and deal with the ache of hunger as the body eats itself in a wrenching pain to stay alive.

My simple meal was to millions of souls around the world, a feast.

I had the pharmacy fill my prescriptions the other day. There are millions in the world who have no access to even simple medical treatments let alone to modern medicines to cure or prevent.

To get the same medical expertise, most of the world would have to walk for days or suffer in place.

I have a nice home. Good neighbors. I have heat, electricity, and freedom from fear. I know millions love their families, but who have no permanent home without the hostile and real intrusion of fear, and war.

With all these realizations, there comes a moment when I ask the question, “Why me?” “Why do I have so much and so many have so little?”

I don’t know the full answer and I suspect I never will until I get to the other side. I do know that even though there is no complete answer to my question, there is self-realization that appears when the question is asked, and they lead the way, not only to an appreciation of what I do have but to the responsibilities that go with the abundance.

Giving from substance.

Compassion and aid to those who suffer.

Tolerance of other’s beliefs.

Awareness of need.

Perhaps all of us who live in abundance should think of these things more often.

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