A. M. Thoughts on Thanksgiving Eve

Regrets.  Woulda, coulda shoulda.  I’m not the man I  could have been.

Today I read the article below. “Being gentle with ourselves every day means giving ourselves credit for what we’ve already accomplished, not getting stuck in the “woulda, coulda, shouldas,” and giving ourselves a path of hope for everything that is yet to come.” from https://therapychanges.com/blog/2017/05/gentle/

Why am I not the man I could have been.  Do you feel like you are all that you can be?

Overall, I feel very lucky.  It seems the right people came into my lives at the right time to give me a boost of sorts.  There have been enough challenges to force me to deal with just enough unpleasantness to want to make a change.  In high school, when I was heavy, and finding a dance partner was a challenge, so I lost weight.  When only a B student in college the first go around, I got serious the second time.  I learned how to study and memorize things more quickly, and disciplined my self to do the work.  Almost straight A’s from then on.

angst-clipart-6In high school,  I shied away from some things, like group sports in high school or group anything, like chorus, band, parties, etc.  I spent more time alone than a lot of kids then, or with one friend at a time, someone I felt safer with than a group, who i feared would see my imperfections, my unimportance, and see through my charade.  The battle inside, the time consuming decision making process of should I or shouldn’t I was often there.  Even when something or someone looked attractive, I struggled with the what if’s inside my head.  I spent far more time considering the downside of those what ifs than the upsides, and consequently missed a lot of fun and opportunities. I coulda been an actor, an athlete, an artist, a writer.  If not for the fear of exposure.  Contemplating asking someone out on a date was excruciating most of the time.

good old meA small caveat.  Some probably did not see me as emotionally constrained.  I fashioned a pretty good facade.  Good looks helped. I had older siblings whose stories and mannerisms I copied.  It worked for them after all. Sometimes I shined, when I let the creative juices flowed, and a few victories were won.

At 65, it is easy to look back.  Knowing what I know now, if I could go back, what would I do different.  You might see this as an exercise in futility.  I don’t think so.  It may help another if they read this.  The very same advice I would give to my 20 year old self, I give to my 65 year old self as well.

Never hesitate to be kind and generous.  I’ve missed out on a lot of relationships but there are lots more to have. But it isn’t just about how I could benefit.  It’s also how they could benefit from knowing me? My top most sorrow about my dad these days, who died when I was a junior in high school, and he was 47 is two fold.  I didn’t get to know or enjoy him. But the flip side is, he didn’t get to know me, and oh, how cool that could have been. richard and dad on the beach

schooner with bill and ellaDon’t worry about what other people think of you.  As they say in Alanon, what other people think of me is none of my business.  And there is nothing so gratifying of pursuing my own dream and finding success.  Whether they are critical or encouraging, it is minor compared to my own evaluation. My brothers will attest to the fact, that I don’t take advice much.  But taking some of those risks worked out for me.  A job in Maine on a sailboat for 8 months, diversifying my studies in college, resulting is a B.A. and an M.A. in “jack of all trades, master of none.” Perfect for teaching middle school shop.

Pace yourself.  Doing too much of one thing isn’t good for the body or mind, as it leads to mental, emotional or physical exhaustion. Take time to do things that charge your batteries.  One day at a time, or as Johnny Cash said, “One piece at a time.”  Moderation is key.  Whether it comes to food, exercise, alcohol, and commitments.  I don’t think there is a workaholic that I’d trade places with.

Now, more than ever, I think less and feel more.  How will I feel if I do this or that? I know I have the luxury of being retired so maybe it won’t work for everyone, especially if you are struggling to make ends meet, and take care of others.  I work part time, making my own hours for the most part, doing things that re fairly enjoyable.  With my relaxed schedule, and relative lack of concern of what others want from me or think of my, I get to ponder.  What would be fun?  What would give me a sense of achievement today.  What gives me joy. Who shall I call and talk to.  Where should I go, or invite myself, and look for opportunities for fun and friendship? It’s working for me.

As for the original point of regrets, and woulda coulda shoulda.  Sure it could have been different, maybe better.  I’ll have to accept that my journey was a little hit and miss, a little jerky perhaps.  I will hold the sentiment that I hold for everyone.  I did about the best I could under the circumstances.  However, knowing what I know now, I expect the next chapter of my life to be pretty interesting, fun and rewarding.

nov 2019

I’ve had enough

  • Have you had enough? Me too. I’ve had enough of so called representatives of the people who protect a president, well known before he was elected to be a womanizer, an accused alleged predator, a lousy businessman, a liar, and an adulterer. Image result for president trump with jeffrey
  • I’ve had enough! I’ve had enough of 8 years of nothing but opposition/obstruction  to anything Obama tried to do, no matter how worthwhile. You obstructed, because you couldn’t stand the thought of him succeeding.
  •  I’ve had enough whining and moaning while our brave public servants testify UNDER OATH of the truth of the events, while the GOP obstructs, whines and refuses to comply with legitimate subpoenas. In prior years, refusing to comply meant arrest and jail time.
  •  I’ve had enough of your bragging about all the jobs and growth of the stock market, when in fact income inequality is greater than ever since the census has been in effect. And the party of fiscal responsibility is mum about the record high deficit.
  •  I’ve had enough of bragging about low taxes in this state of TN while poverty levels and lack of affordable health care and education achievement is some of the worst in the country and affordable housing is so difficult to find.  
  •  I’ve had enough our our schools barely getting by, and teachers subjecting themselves to pay much lower than their professional peers for the benefit of children, and your governor takes even more money away from public schools for charter schools.
  • I’ve had enough of money in politics, where representatives have to worry about pleasing their corporate donors more than doing what is right for the people. 
  • I’ve had enough of a pay to play system where people are unqualified for the position they are given after giving a million dollar donation to the presidents inaugural fund.  
  • I’ve had enough of politicians that sit on their hands and look the other way in silent complicity while thousands of children are separated from their parents in violation of international law. 
  • I’ve had enough of politicians putting their heads in the sand refusing to look at the facts about the climate crisis and do nothing except whine that it is not 100% conclusive.  Image result for climate crisis
  • I’ve had enough of the obstruction in the Senate where McConnell refuses to bring a vote to over 200 measures that were passed in the house.  
  • I’ve had enough of tax breaks for the rich and little or nothing for the people that need it. 

I could go on and on. 

1fhe8gyrful11In summary, I’VE HAD ENOUGH of whining GOP representatives that refuse to be transparent, that prefer to twist the facts, ignore those in need, pass legislation that benefits the rich while the poor and the middle class try to make do on less. I’ve had enough of elected officials treating us like mushrooms, keeping us in the dark, and feeding us BS. 

In November, hopefully, you will see we have had enough of you as well.

Our older selves can speak to us.

I was sent a link to an article that talks about the five things needed to do to be happy.  Yeah, right.  Haven’t I read them all by now?  Out of respect and appreciation to the person that sent it, I opened it and read it.  One of the five ideas to me is  huge…a paradigm shift.


I’ve been sorting and sifting through my Catholic upbringing, a short stint in Jesus Freakism and then in my 20’s started to explore parapsychology and mysticism.  The crowd I run with for now resonate with native American motifs, seven generations, and spirituality and the other talks about archetypes, corners, and Robert Bly, inner child, and healing.


The paradigm I’m comfortable with these days, and imperfect to be sure is one that says we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.  Call it God, love, source, “all that is”is part of us, and we are part of it.  Same track maybe, or parallel tracks that sometimes split and we get a little lost along the way, only to find our way back to a place that honors all things and the spirit that resides in them.

I have looked to others for wisdom in the words they speak and still there is sifting and sorting and trying to make sense out of their words.   It is never quite complete or perfect.

do-not-follow-the-ideas-of-others-but-learn-to-listen-to-the-voice-within-yourself-your-body-and-mind-will-become-clear-and-you-will-realize-the-unity-of-allThe concept in the article resonates inside me. Speak to, or at least listen to your older self.  For me that means me, in my mid 80’s, who sees me, knows me, and despite the good, bad and ugly, mistakes and all, loves me.  That old man has wisdom for me, custom made, and perfectly suited to my situation.

He is also a reminder  of my mortality.  He says, make the years count.  There is no destination but the process is what counts.  Therefore, make each day count.  Never miss a moment to show kindness and appreciation.  If you feel the urge, call someone, and by doing so, you may cheer up both you and the other. If there is an opportunity to learn and have fun at the same time, go for it.  It may be theatre again, as it was last year. Or it might be a new job. A new club.  Hanging out and making new friends at the senior center. Volunteering for a worthy cause. It may be with family scattered around the east coast. It may be dancing, or singing, or a festival or a holiday celebration.  Show up. Make it count.

article-2643858-1E55436500000578-585_634x366My older wiser self also tells me not to get complacent.  There are enough good years left and you don’t want to squander those years with bad health.  If you are going to dance, travel and play, to fully appreciate those things, you need a certain level of health?

Older self says “Check in with me next time you have the temptation for that donut, cookie, sugar sweet drink.  I won’t tell you what to do, but let’s have a conversation about it.  We’ll talk ever so briefly about your goals, what you hope to accomplish, and how to best share your many gifts with the world.images Because if you are not healthy enough to participate fully, it won’t be as rich and good as it could be. It’s your choice.  You can settle for some temporary pleasure, but look around you.  Who lives life to the fullest?  Who has given up and just taking up space?  The choice is yours.”


Beliefs are a Choice

Power of Beliefs


While lying on the couch this a.m, I started musing about beliefs.  I’ve heard, and have grown to believe that a. Beliefs are a choice and b. “Beliefs are just thoughts you keep having over and over.”  

imagesThere is a big difference between beliefs and facts.  Of course there is some grey area but something as well documented as the sun rising in the a.m. and the planetary path around the sun we hold as facts.  Throw a rock into the air, and it comes down. Our interpretation of why something happens is where our beliefs come in. Opinions on why something does or doesn’t happen,  maybe are more of an expression of beliefs than of facts.  

A belief is evident when you interpret and may even judge a situation or a person, especially yourself.  a belief about your abilities and learning has been thoroughly researched and documented in growth mindset vs a fixed mindset.

For example:

Let’s first look at some minor irritations.

Another driver cuts me off  .

Possible interpretations:

  1. What a jerk.  He did that just to piss me off.  Where’s my gun when I need it.
  2. Poor guy doesn’t know how to drive.  Probably didn’t have the good teachers I had.
    1. I need to pay more attention to the other driver.
  1. One belief system asserts blame, and being an innocent victim.
  2. Another belief assumes legitimate reasons for others seeming ignorance and is tolerant. 


An example for my teacher friends:

Kids in my class do not behave, or pay attention, or put forth very little effort, and then complain when I give them a grade. misbehaviour

Possible interpretations:

  1. They are lazy, stupid and a victim of their own doing.  Furthermore, they deserve the grade they get and the miserable life they are going to have.  (Punishment and justification.)
  2. There is a good reason they are struggling.  Maybe their home life, maybe genetics and unidentified learning disability, or they have been beaten down by life and others that they no longer have hope that effort will do any good. (Assumes all human beings are naturally happy, loving, and motivated and when not acting that way, there is a good reason for it.  More compassionate and problem solving oriented.) 


An example in human relations: 

A social event is coming up, like a contra dance.  I don’t know anyone that goes to those. I’ve asked other friends if they will go with me but they don’t want to go, or they are not available to go tonight.  Do I go or stay home? My beliefs about myself, in effect, my sense of self worth will determine my beliefs and my decision.

dance inspirational-quotes-dance-sing-3

   If I go by myself, people may not like me.  I won’t dance well ‘cause I’ve never done it and they will like me even less. I might not look like them (color, size, shape, etc.)  I’m going to feel awkward, if not downright terrible. Worse yet, I’ll come home, despondent, and probably sorry I tried. If they don’t like me, either it confirms my worthlessness, OR confirms my suspicion that most people suck. (Low self esteem or feelings of unworthiness.)


I may not know anyone but maybe I will.  I won’t know unless I go. I may be different than others and a poor dancer, but only through practice will I get better.  People tend to like me in other situations so they will probably (but not guaranteed) to like me there too. I have little to lose and much to gain.  I can leave early if it isn’t for me. Generally speaking, most people are pretty cool, no one is perfect, we all have our issues, but hey, I’m a good person and anyone that can’t see that is blind.  (beliefs about self and others couched in worthiness)


I could go on and on but here is the point.  Our beliefs, and thus our interpretation of an event through the filter of our beliefs, determines our emotions and our behavior and overtime, those beliefs become hardwired.  Habitual. Covert. Unconscious. We think we know what we believe but forget that our beliefs are a choice.  

NPR used to have a segment called “this I believe.” There might be something in there worth listening too, especially if you don’t know what to believe. 

Our beliefs, many of which I believe are unconscious, shape our reactions, emotions, decisions, actions, habits (and reinforcing one’s habits at that) and a life.

homelss on a bench

Your gut reaction is a clue to your beliefs?

  1. When you see people shopping with food stamps, what is your reaction. 
  2. Half a dozen Harley’s go by with guys and girls with leather vests.
  3. An older man or woman, disheveled, sleeping on a park bench.
  4. People eating alone in a restaurant.
  5. Teenages hanging out in the Wal-Mart parking lot on a summer night.
  6. You tell someone you love them, and they are speechless but don’t return the same sentiment.
  7. Your child/teenager screams at you “I hate you.  You are the worst parent ever!”
  8. You get an assignment back from your teacher or professor with a C-.  You were expecting an “A”. 
  9. You “lend” something to a friend and they don’t bring it back.  You remind them, and they don’t bring it back.  
  10. Your boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with and totally caught you off guard.

Those kinds of ups and downs are part of everyone’s life.  Here are some things I’ve heard along the way, and seem to make sense to me. 

  1.  People are generally doing the best they can with what they’ve got.  Walk a mile in their shoes first. Besides, who is so high and mighty that they have a right to judge the value of others?
  2. We are all born for a reason, and it isn’t self sacrifice.  It is to figure out how to find and share love, laughter and fulfill our highest dreams of what we are capable of.
  3. Everything happens for a reason (and people enter and leave our lives for a reason as well).  Physics works, and it helps to look for the lesson or the silver lining of every hardship or challenge.
  4. No whiners.  We are responsible for where we are, and not victims.  We can change our thoughts, beliefs, and ultimately sometimes the circumstances.  You are driving the bus, unless you relinquish control of the wheel to someone else.  If they crash, you gave them/it the power to do so. 
  5. We (the world) have everything we need, and there is enough to go around.  No need to be greedy. No hoarding necessary. (Abundance mentality). Sharing is caring.
  6. If you believe in nothing, you will fall for anything.  While no belief system or religion is perfect, neither is human nature.  We are limited in our understanding of the non-visible, non-physical world but it helps to have a paradigm to make sense of it all. 
  7. Everything we need to know to make a better life is available to those looking for answers.  (It’s called google and youtube)


Just the facts please.

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  I couldn’t agree more.  I don’t understand the refusal to deal with reality from the far or alt-right. What will it take?

trump mocks disabled

“Some easily verified FACTS about Donald Trump.

1.Trump has been accused by over 40 women of sexual misconduct. He bragged on record of walking into the dressing rooms of beauty pageants and seeing naked girls. Laughed about it on Howard Stern’s show. Would you be okay with him walking in on your daughters when they were teenagers?

2. Trump is a white nationalist. Stephen Miller, a top White House aide, is a widely known white nationalist. He is so extreme that his uncle, a Jewish professor, wrote a scathing expose of him and his racist beliefs and writings. Trump defended the neo Nazis who participated in the Virginia rally as “very fine people.”

3. Trump was sanctioned for not renting to blacks, even if they had money and references. Trump and his father settled a DOJ lawsuit to avoid trial.

4. Trump lost more money in 10 years than anyone in America’s history. Over a billion dollars. He is not a good businessman.

5. Declared bankruptcy on casinos. Yes, casinos! Multiple times.

6. Lies constantly. Running Talley is now over 13,000.

7. Betrayed the Kurds. Left 50 nuclear warheads in a base in Turkey that was hastily abandoned in October of 2019 during the disorderly evacuation of troops. Trump made the decision by himself, ignoring all the advice of generals. ISIS members who were jailed have been freed, way over 1000. These people will restart the movement. Congress voted on October 16, 2019 to decry his actions, with many Republicans joining the House Democrats in protest.

8. Turned his back on our NATO allies, preferring authoritarian leaders to democratic leaders. Got played by Russia, North Korea, Turkey.

9. Was laughed at openly at the UN.

10. Violated emoluments clause against enriching himself while in office, ignoring The Constitution. Lawsuit against him is proceeding.

11. Massive nepotism and kids profiting off office. See above.

12. Gave nuclear secrets to Saudi Arabia. Wants them to build our smart bombs. Let Saudi Arabia get away with the murder of Jamal Khoshoggi, who was chopped up while while he was still alive. It was recorded by his iPhone, and Turkey intelligence has the whole murder on tape. Saudi Arabia financed 9/11, and 15 of the terrorists were Saudi nationals.

13. The Trump Organization hired many undocumented workers at his resorts while jailing other undocumented workers. Those workers, some of whom directly interacted with Trump as cooks and personal housekeepers, said he was aware they were undocumented workers.

14. Trump has over 3500 pending lawsuits, which are on hold while he is president, due to non payment of contractors on his properties. Yes, he stiffed painters, electricians, plumbers, gardeners, suppliers, etc.

15. Put our foreign agents at risk by sharing classified information. Our highest agent in Russia had to be extracted due to his indiscretion.

16. Trump used a loan to himself of $50 million to illegally avoid taxes. Under investigation now by the state of New York. He also illegally avoided taxes on his inheritance of over 450 million dollars. This was a huge investigation and the state of New York has said they will press charges after he leaves office.

17. Stole money that was raised for children with cancer and used it through his charity to pay for legal expenses and portraits of himself. His foundation was shut down by the state of New York, and he and his oldest 3 children are barred forever in New York from having anything to do with a charity. He STOLE money from children with cancer!

18. His attorney, Michael Cohen, paid on his behalf $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep his adultery quiet. Then he paid Michael Cohen back almost 400,000, out of Trump Organization Funds and wrote it off on his taxes as a business expense. Many checks he signed himself after becoming president.

19. Has cheated on all his wives. All three of them. Family values, I guess. The evangelicals flipped out over Bill Clinton’s sexual infidelity, but gives Trump a pass. It’s mind boggling!

20. Throws everyone who leaves his employ under the bus. Blame, blame, blame. Never takes responsibility. Calls them names when they are gone. All this after bragging about only hiring the best. Today he is going after General Mattis, because he criticized his actions in Syria and the abandonment of our Kurdish allies.

21. Withheld money that Congress appropriated to help Ukraine arm and defend itself until they gave him dirt on Hunter Biden. Rudy Giuliani and friends are in a coverup to their eyeballs. 4 of Rudy Giuliani’s foreign employers have been arrested trying to flee the country. Rudy Giuliani is not registered as a foreign agent! Just like Mike Flynn.

22. Mocked gold star family. Has cut many programs for veterans. Claimed he had bone spurs 5 times to avoid the draft.
Trump is deporting veterans who were promised citizenship in return for military service, breaking a solemn agreement to those who served our country in good faith.

23. Instructed people to ignore Congressional subpoenas. This is illegal under The Constitution. No one bars people who can exonerate them, do they?

24. Had close ties to Jeff Epstein, the sex trafficking multi millionaire. Trump was accused by Kate Johnson of rape at an Epstein party when she was 14. Brought a lawsuit, but was dropped due to death threats to her family. You can read the deposition online, and see the original court stamps on the documents.

His labor secretary, Acosta, was the DA who illegally gave Epstein the sweetheart deal in the lawsuit brought by many women. The settlement let Epstein leave the jail during the day, and during his sentence, was having sex on an almost daily basis with young teenagers. Yes, girls, recruited by his circle of enablers. The deal Acosta made with Epstein was illegal under the federal code. Acosta resigned, but why is he not in jail for aiding a pedophile?

25. Attorney General William Barr’s father gave Jeff Epstein a teaching job at the prestigious Dalton School where was headmaster. Jeff Epstein did not have the required college degree. Epstein kept volumes of records, that the DOJ confiscated from his properties. My bet is that they will never see the light of day. Turns out Epstein was never a money manager, but ran a sex trafficking ring. Epstein snared many in his trap, including Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Trump, and more. The records Jeff Epstein kept should see daylight, but my bet is they have already been destroyed. Who knows, Bill Barr is in charge, as he was over the jail where Jeff Epstein supposedly committed suicide. Attorney General Bill Barr, whose father gave Epstein his first job, is sitting on the records. Why?

26. Bill Barr lied to the American People. Have YOU read The Mueller Report. Very damning. Over 1000 former federal prosecutors have said they would take an obstruction of justice case to trial based on just that document alone.

There is much more. I can give you research on all this. Or you can start paying attention. Our Republic is at stake.”

27.  Oh, nepotism?

Songs about Friends

“Thank You For Being A Friend”

Thank you for being a friend

Traveled down the road and back again

your heart is true you’re a pal and a confidant

I’m not ashamed to say

I hope it always will stay this way

My hat is off, won’t you stand up and take a bow

And if you threw a party

Invited everyone you knew

You would see, the biggest gift would be from me

and the card attached would say,

Thank you for being a friend


Thank you for being a friend

Thank you for being a friend

Thank you for being a friend

Thank you for being a friend

If it’s a car you lack

I’d surely buy you a cadillac

Whatever you need, anytime of the day or night


I’m not ashamed to say

I hope it always will stay this way

My hat is off, won’t you stand up and take a bow


And when we both get older

With walking canes and hair of gray

Have no fear, even though it’s hard to hear

I will stand real close and say,

Thank you for being a friend


(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Let me tell you bout a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend


And when we die and float away

Into the night, the Milky Way

You’ll hear me call, as we ascend

I’ll see you there, then once again

Thank you for being a …

Ba ba ba bs ba ba…

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

People let me tell you about a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I wanna tell you right now, and tell you again)

Thank you for being a friend

(I wanna thank you, thank you,thank you for being a friend)

Thank you for being a friend



I need to talk to you

This might sound strange

And you’ll probably think I’m crazy and I’ve lost my mind

Well, okay

I’m amazing; I’m incredible

I’m a miracle, a dream come true

I’m marvelous; I’m beautiful

Guess what?

So are you



It’s becoming clear

I can feel it down in my soul

I know that I am you and you are me


And I’m grateful for the simple things

That we take for granted every day


I can walk I can talk, I can use my mind


I’m amazing; I’m incredible

I’m a miracle, a dream come true

I’m marvelous; I’m beautiful

Guess what?

So are you


That don’t mean we’re better than anyone or anything

It’s a call to come together and accept responsibility

And be amazing, incredible

You’re a miracle, a dream come true

And I’m marvelous; I’m beautiful

Guess what?

So are you


You’ve got a friend in me by Randy Newman

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

When the road looks rough ahead

And you’re miles and miles from your nice warm bed

Just remember what your old pal said

You’ve got a friend in me

Yeah, You’ve got a friend in me

  1. You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

You got troubles pal I got ’em too

There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you

We stick together, we see it through

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

  1. Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am

Bigger and stronger too

But none of them

Will ever love you the way I do

It’s me and you

And as the years go by

Our friendship will never die

You’re gonna see it’s our destiny

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

Songwriters: Randy Newman


Boat List

Download this suggested boat list


Or copy and paste below and edit to suit your needs.

Richard Joslin Experience and education!

  • Here’s what I do : I made a laminated list, one copy in truck and one in boat so I never forget things like: (charger cord in boat. drains checked. wheels greased. ratchets tight. lights work. etc)- then:
  • Go get your serial number, engine serial, hull and registration # and insurance card/phone and EMERGENCY CONTACTS that are local.
  • If you have friends with boats, ask them if you can use them in an emergency if you need a truck/help.. offer to do the same for them and get their # on card) etc all together on BACK of that sheet before laminating: oil concentration (mine’s 50:1). tank capacity. filter/spark plug #;s..etc. )
  • Then go buy the engine manual and use YOUTUBE to start learning about annual service, inspecting and lubricating steering and throttle cable.. impeller change. oil change. buy the special tools as you need then (ie lower end oil change hand pump).
  • Build a tool bag JUST for the boat (I keep mine in toolbox of truck when boat is stored:
    • Mine has everything from wire cutters to the ratchets id need to tighten the engine and transom bolt.
    • Buy a LARGE box of fuses on Amazon- cheaper. I carry the following: Tools.
    • Spare 2 cycle oil so I don’t have to pay outrageous dock prices if I stay overnight and need gas the next day)
    • 12V Jump Start box $50,
    • spare 5 gallon can( with 2 more in truck), fuses,
  • Flashlights (do rechargeable work lights at $20/each),
  • starter fluid,
  • Hardware for Bimini (easy to drop overboard or behind seats),
  • Spare emergency water under seats,
  • Plenty of new rope $8,
  • 4 spare ratchets $10,
  • 12V Test light,
  • Wire splices/crimper,
  • Set of bungees $5,
  • Depth Finder $115,
  • home first aid kit (nail clippers scissors,
  • matches/lighters,
  • Medical:
    • Sunscreen,
    • bug spray,
    • burn spray with lidocaine,
    • tylenol- benadryl-
    • triple anitbiotic-cortisone-
    • travel toothpaste and spare brush-
    • band aids- vet wrap- etc,
  • Huge rambo knife for cutting lines in emergency $5,
  • cell phone charger pack $20, Spare USB cords for Iphone-USB-C and micro-Usb,
  • required coast guard stuff
    • (air horn- life jackets-throwable buoy),
  • spare set of spark plugs and wrench to remove them,
  • Waterproof bag for Depth finder when stored,, keys, wallet, boat insurance/registration, etc).
  • Get a routine for greasing trailer and getting ready to tow.
  • PRACTICE launching boat- DONT PREP ON RAMP. get on the dock-get GOOD at backing and launching- then CLEAR the ramp.
  • You can prep dock at sea or dock while she parks truck and the next guy can get in….
  • Learn your consumption rate for what you normally do- skiing/ full out gives me ~4 hours. Putzin around and I can go 2 days.
  • Don’t trust gauge..that’s why the premixed 50:1 5 gallon gas can… Most toons can’t carry enough anchor line/chain to anchor properly (lakes here are 400′ deep, meaning you’re NOT gonna be able to anchor to wait for help if you run outta gas (lesson learned, bought the depth finder the next day).
  • PRACTICE handling your toon near dock and training your partner to moor and trailer so you can be quick and stress free. I watched enough videos and had a friend come teach me about how to adjust the carbs/idle speed cause mine was running rough at low idle and would stall and not restart (1 of two carb needle valves was nearly shut).. It’s nerve racking but you will be fine if you learn BEFORE you need it and it will be much less stress and bickering at the dock:)
  • Hope this helps!


Remind yourself “You are here for a reason.”

purpose-of-life_0Yesterday evening, I attended a dinner for  Lincoln Heights Middle School “Dining with the Future” students and teachers. They celebrated the completion of the Lincoln Promise program for rising freshmen.  It was a nice reward for those students that persevered, did their community service and willing to subject themselves to having dinner with some local professional adults.  Some of those old timers shocked them with stories of life without cell phones, computers and color TV.

When everyone finished, Principal Joe Ely asked the grown ups for a piece of advice to offer the young people. As luck would have it, only due to the fact I was sitting where I sat down, I went last.  Perfect.  I first thought “Everyone is going to say what I want to say.”  As it turned out, not so.  The words of encouragement were all wise and true.  Subjects of perseverance, reach for the stars, follow your dreams, resilience and more.  All worthwhile things.

daily reminder

My message was similar BUT different (naturally).  Having taught middle school for most of my teaching career and being a shy, lonely, worthless feeling youngster myself 50 years ago, I said something about purpose.  Had I known in advance, I would have said something like this.

When I was your age, I was painfully shy, and afraid of failure, and even more afraid of what people would think of me. I felt inadequate and inferior.There was one thing however that  I clung to and still cling do, especially when challenged or discouraged.  This!  We are all here for a reason.  We don’t even need to know specifically what the reason is but generally, I believe we are here to learn (sometimes the hard way, but learn we must). We are here to love, to be loved, to give back, to make the world a better place. If things aren’t going all that well, maybe life is trying to teach you a lesson; to make changes, try something different, or change your beliefs (about the world, or yourself).

Fred raises the "Late Bloomer" bar to a new level.Without a sense of purpose, life doesn’t make much sense. Why do I have to…?   I tell myself, “This is preparing me in some way that I cannot foresee to make my life complete.” “Why me? and Why this?” were frequent thoughts before my epiphany.  I learned to tell myself that what may be difficult, unfair, or senseless is, I believe, tools to prepare me to maximize my ability to fulfill my purpose.

Looking back, with 20/20 vision, I now  believe I benefited from every experience. Everything had a lesson to teach me.  My weird family, my really weird friends, the classes, jobs, car wrecks, trips.  All of it has made me who I am, and positioned me to better fulfill my purpose, whatever that is.

11688-I-Will-Be-A-Blessing-To-OthersWhether you have identified clearly your purpose, or not,  you have one.  Keep your eyes open and you will see plenty of opportunities to make your life better, and the life of those around you.  If you are in touch with the why, the how will reveal itself. From the people you grew up with, to the clerk in the store, every person you meet is an opportunity to learn, grow or teach.  Make their day, make them smile.  They may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.

My purpose? To be the kind of person my grandchildren and dogs think I am.

Additional resources:

What is life’s purpose? https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/what-life-purpose

Love this site.  How to be happy.  https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/

So many good quotes in here, each could be a chapter in a book by itself. https://youtu.be/n7pyp-3q0ZA

From one of my favorite authors, Brene Brown.  https://brenebrown.com/articles/2018/05/24/the-midlife-unraveling/

I haven’t done this but it looks interesting.  https://www.powerofpositivity.com/5-ways-to-find-your-life-purpose-today/



Me vs We

I got a friend.  Smart guy.  Master Mechanic and an auto shop teacher where he changed the lives of children for many years. His program was top-notch and often received national recognition and multiple scholarships for his students. Sharp guy. He’s on the right side. By right, I mean conservative. I’m on the left side. We definitely have a different perspective. He makes me think and look deeper though. He posted this meme recently. (Just because it is on the internet, it don’t make it true.)


I responded tohis meme in the usual snarky way and he replied with this. “I’m saying any time you are OK with anybody who is not a citizen of this country to vote in our elections then you support foreigners influencing our elections regardless of their nationality.”

Whoa now dude.  You are making a Hasty Generalization. You’re making the assumption that non-citizens are disrupting our voting process but you can’t prove what you talking about. Widespread voter fraud is myth,  a myth many right wing conservatives buy into and promote to justify disenfranchisement.   From that article, “The Brennan Center’s seminal report “The Truth About Voter Fraud” conclusively demonstrated most allegations of fraud turn out to be baseless — and that of the few allegations remaining, most reveal election irregularities and other forms of election misconduct. And numerous other studies have reached the same conclusion. In a recent report, “Noncitizen Voting: The Missing Millions,” the Brennan Center debunked President Trump’s claim that millions improperly voted in the 2016 election.” Lately it seems to have happened but not by voters.  Right in NC.  Some people will do or say anything to get elected. 


The deeper problem here is our differing perspectives.  Some have what is called a Scarcity Mentality, meaning there’s not enough to go around in this world gosh darn it I got mine I’m not going to let anybody share in it. There’s going to be Haves and Have Nots and I’m a have. I don’t really care about the Have Nots. I’ll make excuses about why they don’t deserve to have what I have. I’ll make up in my mind that they’re lazy ignorant and I’ll dehumanize them to justify  blaming them.

Then there is the  abundance mentality. In my mind this means that when resources are used wisely, there is more than enough to go around. There’s more than enough healthcare for every resident of the United States. and there’s more than enough healthcare available if we all pitch in and help further that along. In the same sense that we as a nation don’t complain about paying taxes for educating our youth in public school. poverty-1280x640We don’t want a lot of stupid people running around. We don’t need a lot of sick dying unhealthy people running around either. We don’t need the level of poverty in the US that we have.  It happens because people are afraid they’ll lose it all if they share a little bit of it.

I really believe there is more than enough to go around if the greedy rich started paying people a livable wage, a we had quality education provided, and healthcare for all.  



Trump’s Wannabe Legacy

My opinion. I won’t waste time backing it up with research.  Do your own.

Particularly later in life, we start thinking about one’s legacy.  “Did I matter?”

 Obama’s legacy will still be determined but as of late, he is one of the most admired men in the world, and has a long list of firsts,  overcoming adversity, and showing grace under pressure. 

Then there is Trump.  Per a collective of noted psychologists and psychiatrists, he is a sick man.  Can you imagine what goes through his head when he thinks “How will I be remembered?”  He said it himself.  “I build things.”

What better way to be remembered than with a structure, that costs billions to build, and as a result, won’t be torn down anytime soon.  I really believe that his willingness to jeopardize the lives of his constituents, the parks, Homeland Security, the economy, the country and more rests on the hope that he can become immortal with a wall, a big, expensive wall, that others pay for, sacrifice for, and he demonstrates his greatness. Egomaniac much?  and it will be the ultimate screwing for the American people, to which he seems to derive some sick pleasure of screwing others, figuratively of course.

Pitiful, isn’t it?  He will have a legacy but I suspect it will be one much like Nixon.  A crook, self serving, and not too bright. A man so emotionally damaged, a psychopath desperate for the approval of others, and will do anything to get it.

Maybe he should have read the article below.  It seems he did everyone in reverse.  Maybe the one thing he has shown us is what not to be and not to do.  Sometimes you got to hit bottom.  I’m hoping we are almost there with him. Looking forward to the rebound.

5 Ways to Leave a Great Legacy

Leaving a legacy is an important part of your life’s work. A legacy develops from a life dedicated to self-reflection and purpose. What will be revealed and what will endure is a truthful and value driven body of living.

By Joan Moran, Contributor

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” — Shannon L. Alder

  1. Support the People and Causes That are Important to You
  2. Reflect and Decide What is Most Important in Your Life
  3. 3. Share Your Blessings With Others
  4. Be a Mentor to Others
  5. Pursue Your Passions Because They Are Infectious

Boomer.” Visit her at http://www.joanfrancesmoran.com.

Joan Moran, Contributor

Joan is a Creative Thought Leader, motivational speaker, author and blogger, and an expert on health and wellness.