Today is a Beautiful Day!

A man I know told me this story about his father during his final illness.

His dad was dying and was bedridden. He asked his son to take him out to the back yard so he could get some fresh air. The son put his dad on a lawn chair and put on the necessary blankets, though it was a warm day. When he was set up, his dad asked for a popsickle. Due to his illness, the father could not eat properly, and the son held it to his mouth and wiped off the melted popsickle that dripped down while he ate.

When he was done, his dad took a look around. It was a sunny, warm, day. A light breeze was blowing and birds were chirping. His dad took this all in and said “Today is a beautiful day!”

Boz Skaggs, soundtrack of my Vo-Tech years

I attended Area 916 Vocational-Technical institute from roughly 1977 to 1978. I earned a two-year programming certificate qualifying me to program mainframes in COBOL. Out of all my over-educated years in school, this was hands down the most enjoyable learning institution I attended, due to the good friendships, the relaxed atmosphere, and many enjoyable parties. Due to its independent study competence based program, and the fact that I got high school credit for attending it in high school, I spent about a year and a half there.

It represented for me at the time a big expansion of my scope of experience, which I often viewed with a wide-eyed fascination. Learning the principles of computing, new friends, romance, and attending parties with classmates who lived in apartments! I was living at home and apartment living seemed the height of adult sophistication.

And behind all that, the music of Boz Skaggs. In 1976 he teamed up with session musicians that later formed the band Toto, and created his masterpiece, Silk Degrees. While the ‘Lido Shuffle’ topped the charts, I much preferred ‘We’re All Alone’, dubbed with the detested appellation “MOR” by a clueless wickipedia author, and the peerless slow-dancer, ‘Harbor lights’.

I recall some 30 odd years ago, a callow young man who would take a beautiful young woman to the dance floor, slow dance to Harbor Lights, become intoxicated in a cloud of pheromones, and enter a dreamlike state of bliss…


Libertarian at heart

My son let me know he is preparing a post discussing our trip to the Republican state convention in Rochester Minnesota a few years ago. To avoid any misunderstandings, I would like to state that today I align myself with libertarian thought rather than one of the two major political parties–and in fact my election to state delegate was due to the libertarian views expressed in my speech, as my district had a lot of Ron Paul types in it. I no longer align myself with either major party.

If one seeks to learn more about libertarianism, the website contains a wide collection of scholarly and popular writings, discussing many subjects from a libertarian viewpoint. If one wants to see a very disturbing interpretation of the financial activities of our time, the libertarian/populist web site provides daily commentary–though plenty of what is discussed there is beyond my investment/financial expertise.

I will also note that I enjoyed taking Anthony to attend the convention with me, and I am glad he remembers it fondly. At the convention, I recall Governor Quie telling us of some mischief he got up to when his dad took Al and his brother to a republican convention when he was a child. Let’s guess he was 12 at the time, it then would have been in 1935. I was touched, thinking about the father/son parallel. Also, Anthony was able to sneak in because they were all too preoccupied with making sure Ron Paul didn’t get into the convention. He was confined to the outer hallway where the picture of the two of us was taken. 😉

My coincidental meetings with former Minnesota Governor Al Quie

Almost exactly 4 years ago, I had the exciting opportunity to travel to Rochester for the Minnesota Republican Convention as my father was elected as a state delegate. When we arrived at the convention I received a visitor name tag which I wore proudly, thinking it looked quite official. Although only delegates were officially allowed on the floor during the convention, I found my way in to hang out with my dad. I took a seat in the back row next to an older gentleman. I’ve always enjoyed conversing with old folks and hearing their stories so naturally we started talking. He told me all about his childhood and later his experience in the Navy. After about 15 minutes my dad came to get me so I kindly thanked him for talking with me. As I was leaving I noticed his name tag said “Former Governor.” I was quite excited that I had a chance to meet him and talk uninterrupted. He was extremely kind and humble, never mentioning that he was the Governor (perhaps he gets tired of people only acknowledging him as such).

A few months ago I was attending Minnetonka Lutheran Church with my father. I wore my favorite hoodie, a maroon sweatshirt with “Minnesota” written on it in Hebrew. As we were walking in the parking lot, a man I didn’t recognize yelled, “What does your shirt say?” I yelled back, “Minnesota!” He followed up by asking, “What language?” I answered, “Hebrew!” After our short exchange we got in the car to go home. My dad said something to the effect of, “You know that was Al Quie.” I was shocked and surprised to learn that he went to our church. I eagerly look forward to my next unexpected run-in with Al.