Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seek the Things that are Above

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4) Paul has reached a turning point in his letter to the Colossians. Everything he's written to this point can be gathered together under the title of "Raised With Christ". Look back at the first two chapters and highlight the major points that support the truth that Christ has raised us from death to life:
  • Given hope in heaven (1:3-6)
  • Sharing in God's light (1:11-12)
  • Delivered from darkness, redeemed and forgiven (1:13-14)
  • Reconciled with God in all things (1:19-20)
  • Holy, blameless and above reproach (1:21-22)
  • Chosen by God as saints (1:26-27)
  • Given treasures in Christ: wisdom and knowledge (2:3)
  • Filled, circumcised, buried and raised with Jesus (2:10-12)
  • Made alive together with Jesus (2:13)
  • Our debt of sin canceled, nailed to the cross (2:14)
  • Triumphant in Christ over rulers and authorities (2:15)
  • Nourished and knit together, growing with a growth that is from God (2:18-19)
  • Read these truths aloud to each other - savor the joy and love that they communicate. It is with these truths in mind that Paul says in chapter three: " have been raised with Christ..." Read more...

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Public Policies and Motorcycle Safety

    Two universities in Florida recently analyzed the effect of public policies in reducing motorcycle injuries and deaths. The goal was to estimate the effects of alcohol and traffic policies on fatal and non-fatal injuries. Several striking conclusions were seen: Universal Helmet Laws About 489 lives could have been saved if helmet laws were in effect nation-wide in 2005. The large magnitude of this effect was unexpected by the authors of the study. Helmet laws dominated all other traffic safety policies, highlighting the importance of wearing a helmet to minimize the consequences of a crash. Mandatory Rider Education Programs Programs for training and educating new motorcyclists reduced non-fatal motorcycle injuries, according to result of the study. Higher Speed Limits Interestingly, higher speed limits on rural interstate highways worked in the opposite direction for the non-fatal injury rate. Fewer injuries resulted from higher speeds. One possible explanation may be that states with the higher speed limits also have more dangerous road conditions, so that crashes more often resulted in deaths, rather than non-fatal injuries. Another factor may be the characteristics of rural states, with less traffic congestion, allowing higher speed limits. License Revocation Policies Having laws that revoke or suspend the operators license of traffic offenders actually resulted in higher rates of non-fatal injuries. No explanation was given for this unexpected analysis. The study was unable to account for other important factors that vary from state to state, such as enforcement policies and advocacy groups. The researchers intend to focus now on how the universal helmet policies reduce fatalities and whether the effects change over time. Read more...

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009


    More than taking people from Point A to Point B, it's a symbol of humble service. Thanks to the CareVan transportation service, patients needing to get to medical appointments at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston do not need to worry about how to get there. The CareVan serves patients who are seeing doctors or services affiliated with Good Shepherd Medical Center and with offices in Hermiston. Transportation on the CareVan is free: funding comes from grants, as well as the hospital's health foundation and other organizations. No fees are requested of patients riding the CareVan, although donations are gladly taken. Read more...

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    100 MPH Motorcyclists Arrested

    In two unrelated incidents on the same day, an Oregon County Deputy arrested two motorcyclists for Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering and Violation of Basic Rule. On the 24th of October, at about 2 pm, the deputy was driving an unmarked vehicle. He observed a motorcycle approach in the oncoming lane, performing a "wheelie", continuing past with the front tire in the air for at least 15 yards. The deputy turned around and followed the motorcyclist, which was traveling at speeds over 100 mph through residential areas and curves. At about 3:30 pm on the same day, the same deputy observed a group of four motorcycles traveling together. Approaching a stop sign, three of the cyclists stopped, but the fourth did not, accelerating in front of the deputy who had the right of way and was attempting a turn onto the highway, cutting him off. The deputy caught up to the motorcycle, estimating its speed at about 110 mph, passing another vehicle in a series of blind curves, in a no-passing zone. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver of the motorcycle and his passenger (his wife). The motorcyclist said he had no idea how fast he was driving and was arrested for Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering and Violation of Basic rule (108 in a 55 mph zone). Read more here...

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Plausible Arguments

    Politicians, preachers and peddlers are some of the most persuasive people we may meet. I can listen to an argument or sales pitch and be completely sold on it, and then listen to a different, contradictory presentation and be equally persuaded...who is right? Competitive debate or rhetoric is based upon the art of persuasion, the forceful, charismatic use of words and appearance to move people towards action or emotion. Truth and objectivity are optional for a peddler (or politician, preacher or lawyer). Facts are tools that can be modified, exaggerated, obscured or concealed. The goal is to capture the affections, emotions and minds of the audience. Paul describes four harmful effects of plausible arguments, four different ways that the devil works in the world to weaken our faith and dishonor God:
  • Delusion (Colossians 2:4)
  • Captivity (Colossians 2:8)
  • Judgement (Colossians 2:16)
  • Disqualification (Colossians 2:18)
  •

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Motorcops Injured by Head-on Crash

    A pickup truck collided head-on with two parked Idaho State Motorcycle Patrol officers near Boise, Idaho, Thursday, October 22, 2009, at about 3:45 pm. The motorcycle patrol officers were parked in the median of Interstate 84. The driver of a pickup left the highway and struck them head-on. News agencies are reporting that it may have been deliberate. Read more...

    Voluntary Reward: McNary Environmental Education Center

    McNary Environmental Education Center McNary National Wildlife Refuge Vounteer opportunities are key components of refuge programs, plans and projects. Plus, volunteers develop a sense of place, knowing that they contributed to the perpetuation of the natural environment through caring and education. Volunteers can serve for long-term or short-term periods. Help is needed for a wide variety of projects: interprtation, education, wildlife and plant surveys, maintenance and resource management. McNary Education Center 509-546-8352 or 509-546-8350

    Him We Proclaim

    "Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me." (Colossians, 1:28-29) How should a Christian tell others about Jesus? Is everyone a proclaimer like Paul was? Do we, do I, need to change things in our lives to make witnessing of Jesus a higher priority? Paul says that he proclaims Christ through wisdom, and wisdom, with intimate knowledge of Christ, describes the goal of maturity for every believer. The goal of listening to and reading and meditating upon Scripture is to develop clear, practical skill in dealing with the facts of life, and to join together intimately in our minds all that Christ is and desires.
  • Proclaim: to announce publicly, warning and teaching others
  • Proclaiming Christ is important, but not necessarily urgent.
  • Conversion: only the first step in our relationship with Christ
  • Goal of proclaiming Christ: maturity (fully grown or arrived at the finish)
  • Maturity includes understanding, knowledge and wisdom in Christ
  • Understanding: intimately putting together in the mind
  • Knowledge: direct, intimate experience
  • Wisdom: clear and practical ability to judge
  • Proclaiming Christ, warning and teaching others with wisdom, relying upon the power of God's Holy Spirit and striving to help others reach spiritual and social maturity all seem to spring naturally from hearts that are in love with Jesus. What do you feel you need to step to a deeper relationship with Jesus?
  • Prayer?
  • Confession?
  • Bible study?
  • A like-minded friend?
  • Alone-time?
  • Trials?
  •

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    It Feels So Good to Gripe!

    It feels so good to complain! To have someone empathize with you...for someone who understands the pain and frustration...for someone who can nod in agreement and look amazed at the suffering you've endured. I'm reading Paul's letter to the Colossians and I am noticing how frequently, and passionately, Paul complains. But, in contrast to my complaining, Paul manages to make his griping holy and victorious. How does Paul get away with it? He almost brags about his suffering, but the way he does it, griping glorifies God and encourages his readers.


  • PAUL SUFFERED (and griped about it!)
  • PAUL REJOICED (continually!)
  • WE CAN REJOICE (believe it!)
  • "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church..." (Colossians 1:24) The important difference between Paul and me is that Paul connected his suffering with his service to Jesus. My natural focus tends to be on what I'm feeling, rather than why I'm doing what I'm doing. I imagine Paul saying to me, "Turn your gripes can into glorifying!" Read more...

    Saturday, October 17, 2009

    Lessons Learned: Cager's U-Turn Injures Motorcyclist

    A motorcyclist crashed into a car that was attempting a U-turn on a highway. The 52-year old motorcyclist was northbound on Highway 101, following a Kia Rio, at about 2 pm. The driver of the Rio attempted a U-turn, and the motorcycle hit the car. The motorcyclist was air-lifted to a Seattle hospital in serious condition. The 35-year old driver of the car was cited for failure to yield and treated for minor injuries.

    Hermiston Domestic Violence Service Center: Open House

    Open House
  • 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Thursday, October 22, 2009
  • Refreshments
  • Tours of the domestic violence shelters, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, and 5 - 6:30 pm
  • Highlighting services: 24-hour crisis line and shelter
  • For more information, call Mickie Ebert, 541-571-7708
  • Hermiston Public Library: Harvest Party

  • 4 PM, Friday, October 23
  • Story Time
  • Games and activities
  • Pumpkin walk
  • Fishing for pumpkins
  • Costumes welcome
  • Adults and children
  • Goodie bags and prizes
  • More information: 541-567-2882
  • Christ in You

    Reading only the first 26 verses of Paul's letter to the Colossians, it would appear that faith in Christ is a religion. A religion leads one to say, "My relationship with God is based upon what I do, and not do, and what I believe or not believe." A statement framed thusly is a declaration of religion. But the moment Paul writes, "...Christ in you...", my religion is shattered. "Christ in you" defines my condition as depending upon Jesus. My relationship with God depends upon the relation between the Father and the Son. Any good thing in me is an expression of the Holy Spirit allowed to express Himself freely. The glory of my life becomes Christ alone.

    Friday, October 16, 2009


    Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known... (Colossians 1:24-25) “A stew boiled is a stew spoiled” ? Contrary to how the word may appear, stewardship is related to stew only by a tenuous stretch of the imagination. The bowl of stew that you enjoy on a cold afternoon is named after the act of taking a bath. (from a Middle English word, stuwen, meaning to bathe). The cook “bathed” meat and vegetables in simmering hot water to create your dinner. So what does "stewardship" in the Greek really mean? Read more here...

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Trick or Treating Safety

    Trick or Treat Safety

    1) Be sure older children TAKE FRIENDS and younger children are accompanied by a TRUSTED ADULT when "Trick or Treating."
    2) Accompany younger children to the door of every home they approach and make sure parents and guardians are familiar with every home and all people from which the children receive treats.
    3) Teach children to NEVER enter a home without prior permission from their parents or guardians.
    4) Teach children to NEVER approach a vehicle, occupied or not, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
    5) Make sure all children wear reflective clothing and carry a glow stick when out at dusk and at night.
    6) Make sure children are able to see and breathe properly and easily when using facial masks. All costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant.
    7) Teach children to NEVER approach a home that is not well lit both inside and outside.
    8) Teach children to stay alert for any suspicious incidents and report them to their parents, guardians, and/or the proper authority.
    9) Teach children if anyone tries to grab them to make a scene; loudly yell this person is not my father/mother/guardian; and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting.
    10) Consider organizing or attending parties at home, in schools, or in community centers as a good alternative to "Trick or Treating."


    Call in Sick?

    Five quick signs that you should NOT go to work: 1. If you wake up feel pretty icky with a sore throat and the sniffles (which weren't there yesterday). 2. If you're taking medications that may (even slightly) impair your ability to do a good job. 3. If you have a bad sinus infection. 4. If you have pink eye. 5. Bad back pain. Read about it here...

    Voluntary Reward: Sacajawea State Park

    Sacajawea State Park, near Pasco, Washington is a day-use park at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers. The area is spread out with a big sky and excellent views of the two rivers as they flow together. The Sacajawea Interpretive Center features interactive displays that tell the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the experiences of Sacagawea, the young Shoshone Indian woman who accompanied the expedition. The new exhibits relate what is known about her life before, during and after the Expedition. Volunteers play a vital role in sustaining the treasure that is Washington state parks, providing more than 275,000 hours of service each year (the equivalent of 145 full-time employees). Helping hands are needed everywhere for a wide variety of short- and long-term projects, providing interesting and rewarding volunteer opportunities for individuals, couples, schools, families, corporations, citizen groups and service organizations.

    Voluntary Reward: Hermiston Public Library

    The Hermiston Public Library features two outstanding programs that depend upon volunteers: ELDERLIBRARIES bring library books to local seniors, disabled, and homebound facilities, serving folks who are not able to come to the library. Volunteers visit with individual residents at an assigned facility. The volunteer selects and takes books to various residents and returns the items to the library on the due date or when the resident is finished with the item. Volunteers may also help by reading to residents who can no longer enjoy reading on their own. Volunteers are also needed for the book shift that occurs once every three months. We have rotating collections that are placed at several facilities. READY, SET, ZOOM! provides free activities, information and educational products to promote the importance of reading to young children:
  • Fun story time and crafts for your preschooler
  • Story time kits that can be borrowed and taken home with your child
  • Elderlibraries won a 2008 Regional Governors Award as an Outstanding Regional Volunteer Program. Ready, Set, Zoom! won the same award this year!


    Volunteers are needed immediately for the Ready,Set,Zoom program. Without volunteers this program may disappear this year!


    For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him...(Colossians 1:19-22) Reconciliation is closely related to making peace. God made peace through a change on His part: the blood of his cross. Reconciliation changed God into a man, able to communicate with, and die for, all mankind. Paul describes all mankind as naturally alienated from, and hostile to, God. But reconciliation changed us to a people regarded by God as holy, blameless and above reproach. Reconciliation with Christ allows us to be ministers of reconciliation to others. We are entrusted with the message of reconciliation. We are ambassadors for Christ. Recognizing His greatness pulls the longing of my heart towards God, yearning for Him to unite, to make my heart one with His heart, to become reconciled with Him. With a whole heart, a reconciled heart, I will brightly express His greatness forever! For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. (Psalms 86:10-12)

    Monday, October 12, 2009


    Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine." (Exodus 13:2) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15) For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities---all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (Colossians 1:16-18) Jesus is of firstborn importance because,
  • He created all things
  • He is before all things
  • He holds all things together
  • He is the head of the body, the church, the world-wide group of those who belong to Him
  • He is the beginning
  • He is the resurrection
  • He is preeminent in everything!

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    Motorcyclist Seriously Injured

    A motorcyclist was seriously injured when his motorcycle collided with a pickup. The 41-year old motorcyclist was southbound on a highway. The 26-year old driver of the pickup drove out of a parking lot, heading northbound, turning into the path of the motorcycle, which crashed into the left side of the pickup. The motorcyclist was transported for treatment of serious injuries. The pickup driver was not injured and was cited for Driving While Suspended and Reckless Driving. Another instance of a stupid cager who shouldn't have been on the road. Read more...

    Thursday, October 8, 2009

    Voluntary Reward: Hermiston Public Library

    Hermiston Public Library You Are an Essential Piece of our Puzzle! Hermiston Public Library needs people like you to volunteer. Give an hour or more a month?
  • Pick out books for a resident of an assisted living facility?
  • Make a new friend?
  • Read to/Listen to a child read?
  • Straighten books on a shelf?
  • Prepare craft items for Story Time?
  • What do you get back from volunteering?
  • New experiences and skills
  • Service to your community.
  • Volunteer service shows how you care about your town and its residents.
  • On Starting a Business

    On Starting a Business

    Thoughts from Eric J. Wilhelm, founder and CEO of Instructables:

    "Starting a business is no more difficult than determining that you have the risk-tolerance and temperament for such an endeavor, and deciding to just take your idea and go for it."

    I translate "risk-tolerance" to mean "don't act out of fear". John wrote that there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Fear of "what might go wrong" or "what if" usually are based on lack of trust in a God Who is in control and Who loves you.

    "Never satisfied with anything, I usually feel flooded with new ideas for products, services, or other great things to build. I want to change everything around me, and everything that I use. This trait is common among the Squids and seems to also be prevalent in others running interesting, successful companies. You can tell if someone genuinely has this trait because they’ll always be happy to find one of their ideas already in existence as it gives them the ability to focus on some others."

    This was a radical thought for me...I would have thought that an inventor would begrudge someone else for "stealing their idea". But Eric's thought emphasizes the idea part of inventing. Someone who is flooded with ideas NEEDS others to carry them out to reality.

    "Keep your tolerance for risk high by keeping your cost of living low. For us, this meant owning few or no cars and biking everywhere, cooking our own food rather than eating out and occasionally eating from dumpsters , getting furniture and tools for free from Craigslist, making everything else we needed (i.e. much of the content of this website), and, for some of us, living in the shop."

    Frugality, or at least economy, is always a good idea. Trent Hamm's website is a good place to start for more information about this:

    "If you're really passionate about your work, people will notice and they'll want to talk to you, profile you, and write about you. I think it's misguided to actively seek press; instead publish your work to share it and better connect with like-minded people (this is one of the basic tenants of Instructables), and interested people (including mainstream press) will come looking for you. Obscurity is far worse than any form of intellectual property theft, and by sharing what you do, you are far more likely to attract potential partners and people wanting to help than you are to give something to a perceived competitor. Plus, you'll start to be known as someone who does cool stuff, and that will attract even more opportunities."

    This hits me. More and more I've been taken away by thoughts of writing full time, and that has meant getting more readership to support more advertising to provide more money so I can write full time. But Eric's advice is to simply be passionate about your work. I'm considering now canceling the ads from Google and just concentrating on writing about things I'm interested in...if my readership remains low, at least I'm doing what I want to do. If I happen upon a subject that is more generally needed, readership will increase almost automatically, and then I'll consider how to support full time writing. At this point in my blogs I feel it's inappropriate to load up with ads...almost a mercenary feeling to it.

    "Dating analogies apply: There's no single best way to find and attract someone for romance, and the same is true for investment. It may seem like non-advice, but I believe the best approach is to treat people as you'd like to be treated. Tell your story in the same way you'd like to hear it, being honest about both your optimism and your fears."

    The Golden Rule will never corrode or become obsolete!

    "People ask me all the time if it was hard to start a business. Only the first step of truly deciding to go for it is hard. After that, it's a whole bunch of small things that add up to something great. If you make just a little bit of progress everyday, over time you can accomplish a great deal."

    "A little bit of progress everyday"...that's encouraging to me. I can't write long every day, and some days I can't write at all. My work schedule is grindingly difficult - "Dupont Schedule", 12-hour shifts, 4-nights, 3-off, 3-days, 1-off, 3-nights, 3 off, 4-days, 7-off...the seven days off each month are great, but it takes two of those days to recover from the other half of my month...switching back and forth from days to nights...12-hour shifts - but I'm able to write at least a little most days.

    Image of God

    Jesus is the image of God, writes Paul. What can that mean for us? We have no photographs of Jesus, no portraits were drawn or painted while He lived on earth. Why could Paul have not simply said that Jesus “is the invisible God?” Is an image something less than the real? Is Jesus something less than God?

    15 Ways to Be a Leader

    I subscribe to a great blog written by Trent Hamm: Today I am impressed by a story he titled "15 Ways to Be a Leader Today - or Any Day" You've got to read it to get any good out of it, but here's a quick summary to make you thirsty for more: 15 ways to make yourself more valuable to your organization, even if you're a quiet person who'd prefer to just get your work done: 1. Speak up at meetings. 2. Cut out the negative talk. 3. Offer up some positive talk, instead. 4. Volunteer for the tasks everyone's afraid to volunteer for. 5. Look for people who are struggling - and ask them what's wrong. 6. Directly compliment impressive work. 7. Tell supervisors when their subordinates are doing well. 8. Be willing and enthusiastic about team-based work. 9. When you're part of a team, take charge of it - but don't be dictatorial. 10. Make a point to remember - and celebrate - your coworker's life milestones and accomplishments. 11. If there's a problem you can easily solve, solve it. 12. Ask for help when you need it. 13. Suggest events that involve your coworkers. 14. Offer useful, detailed feedback. 15. When asked for your opinion, be honest but don't be cutting. Good stuff! I don't consider myself a leader, and I don't aspire to become one, but most of these suggestions I have seen work in real life, and some of the I even do...they make life with others MUCH more enjoyable. Read more...

    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    Overcoming Adversity

    How can you change your attitude towards the adversity that you face? Try these steps:
  • Confront the problem. Do not avoid it.
  • Deliberately take a positive attitude and write down some benefits or advantages of the situation.
  • Visualise how you will feel when you overcome this obstacle.
  • Develop an action plan for how to tackle it.
  • Smile and get cracking.
  • The biographies of great people are littered with examples of how they took these kinds of steps to overcome the difficulties they faced. The common thread is that they did not become defeatist or depressed. They chose their attitude. They opted to be positive. They took on the challenge. They won. (Paul Sloane) Read more...

    Sunday, October 4, 2009

    Rainy Day

    Rain almost all day long today...cold weather forecast for the next few days, at least in the early mornings. I've been riding my motorcycle to work every day to this point...might have to garage it for awhile...when temps get below 40 I'll use four wheels to get to work...warmer than the two-wheeler!

    Thursday, October 1, 2009

    Blogging My Keep

    Blogging My Keep

    I've just read an interesting article on the very topic I was bouncing around earlier: Can Blogging provide monetary support?

    Trent Hamm publishes a website called "Simple Dollar" ( I subscribe to his RSS feed and today's column helps me see the issues much clearer. Here are some of my reactions to his article (Some Notes on Do-It-Yourself Self-Employment):

    Trent started his website simply because he loved to write and he felt like his main interest was something other people could relate to. His website, in the beginning, brought in NO income...he wrote because he enjoyed it.

    This fits me. I've spent the last two days recuperating from a strained knee, and most of it was spent writing for the internet...none of it earning a dime. I do have a few ads placed on a couple of my sites, but Trent and I both know that they will not pay anything until I get a few thousand faithful readers. But I simply enjoy it. I easily imagine an audience of like-minded thinkers who enjoy reading my words...but at this point they are all imaginary (except my two Twitter followers...THANK YOU!)

    But that's how Trent started. Just a few friends and family members. But he's a good writer, with an interesting, timely, necessary topic (financial advice), and his readership grew.

    When he had thousands of readers and needed to spend huge amounts of time in writing, researching, and moderating his website, he realized he'd have to go fulltime, and that meant making his website a paying proposition. He chose to do that through advertising.

    He contracts with an "advertising broker" to post ads in exchange for money. Every time one of his pages is viewed over the internet, he gets paid for an "ad view". The pay is very small per view, just a fraction of a cent, but with thousands of readers, opening his website daily, his ad view count climbs into the millions. His column today stated that his monthly income from advertising is somewhere around the $1800 level...he can't be specific because of contractual requirements with the advertisement broker.

    The caveat is that it's not easy. He emphasizes the need for consistent, well-written content that focuses on a topic that lots of people want to understand.

    This is where it gets tough for me...the website I spend most of my time on, this one, is just a collection of rambling, random, sometimes rough essays and notes...nothing organized, nothing focused. Trent points at my kind of column as being patently unsuccessful, money-wise.

    Trent says I must write about something people care about, and I must write daily, and I must write well. That's the only way to draw readership, and that's the only way to make money from advertising.

    I'll end with the paragraph that he used to finish today's article:

    "Yes, you can earn money from blogging, but it’s not as easy as just logging onto the internet and voicing whatever is on your mind. It takes patience, focus, passion for your topic, and some “short order” writing skill."

    Read the entire article: Some Notes on Do-It-Yourself Self-Employment

    Our National Parks: America's Best Idea

    Our National Parks: America's Best Idea

    Watching Ken Burn's documentary, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea".

    I expected it to be a travelogue, showing sights of our beautiful land. It is so much more.

    The history of our National Parks threads deeply and strikingly through all the major social and political issues our country has experienced since the late 1800's: war, exploration, racial prejudice, grazing rights, state's rights, the depression, the New Deal, executive branch versus legislative, beauty, Native Americans, Japanese internment, the arts, welfare...

    These issues didn't simply exist while National Parks and National Monuments were being established...the issues were central to the creation of parks, and the parks were central to the issues. In some cases, the parks changed social and political thought and work.

    Many of the same outcries we hear today accompanied the battles to establish our most dearly loved National Parks: grazing rights, state's rights, species extinction, Native American treaty rights.

    Can you imagine Olympia or King's Canyon or Sequoia being completely logged, farmed, and ranched? Paved roads, dirt roads, private roads, fences, convenience marts, resorts, golf courses?

    I have to be honest and realize that I don't make my living directly from farming or ranching or building, so I'm undoubtedly biased.

    But I can't help hearing the same echoes of outcry against wilderness areas and wildlife refuge areas, and imagining what it would be like if those cries had prevailed in Wyoming and we'd lost the opportunity to preserve precious, fragile parts of our country that should belong to all people in our country.

    The establishment of our National Parks was not a smooth, clean, orderly social and political exercise of noble ideals...most of the parks were established through long, bitter, discordant disagreements, compromises, and political battles.

    I especially appreciated the focus on Harold LeClaire Ickes, the Secretary of the Interior under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    I'd never heard of Harold Ickes...high school and college classes made no mention of him. Yet his work in establishing National Parks included fighting vicious racial prejudice and selfish, commercial interests of big business and state's rights. He was a white, male Republican politician, but he fought for what was right, no matter the skin color or the bank account or the political party.

    Good film.

    Blogging and Webbing

    It is highly satisfying to me to post content on the World Wide Web. I've spent the day updating my blogs and websites, a welcome side-benefit of allowing my strained knee and back to heal today. I know some energetic, smart, and skillful bloggers are successful in supporting themselves, at least partially, by full-time writing on the internet: maintaining blogs, reviewing books and websites, promoting lifestyle changes, supporting others with written resources. To allow my knee to heal, I've spent the last two days resting at home. I've spent most of those hours at my computer. I'm maintaining four active blogging websites, counting this one, as well as a family website. Today I published my first "Instructable", a how-to article with photos and step-by-step instructions, hosted by I likely will add this site to my daily commitment to writing. None of this work pays, at least not in money. But if it could, I'd do it full-time in a heartbeat!

    How to Cover a Pot Pie Crust for Perfect Baking

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