Not Cease from Exploration

Sunday, August 13, 2017



That's the approximate number of American casualties in the European Theatre of Operations during World War II*.

This is an important number to remember, especially in light of recent events in Virginia, where NAZIs and other assorted racists clashed with counter-protesters.  Now some on the fringe-right are going to call those counter-protestors "Anti-Fa" or "AntiFa" or some derivation therein, and use their presence and tactics at NAZI rallies to somehow deflect from the fact that, well, NAZIs are actually protesting in the United States.  In 2017.  It's all smoke and mirrors, a kind of nuevo way to make NAZIs and their NAZI tactics seem somehow reasonable in comparison.  It's a 12-year-old boy named Johnny trying to excuse his bad behavior by saying "yeah, but look at what Timmy did!", except for the fact that Johnny happens to be a NAZI.

Just remember the 182,893.

Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers were among those 182,893 who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to crush fascism, that soft political veneer intended to hide true monstrous nature of NAZI ideology.  This, lest we forget, is the ideology that created the Holocaust.

These NAZI and NAZI-minded marchers in Virginia (and elsewhere) aren't just a collection of nuts with guns that should be ignored.  They are moral descendants of the monsters who killed nearly 6 million Jews during World War II.  Looking the other way, ignoring their actions, somehow trying to explain away their presence is morally bankrupt.  It also denies the sacrifice of 182,893 Americans.

Twice in my life, I've been blessed to hear first-hand accounts from NAZI concentration camp survivors.  These individuals shared their stories of inhuman actions on the part of NAZIs in the hope that it would never happen again.  Yet here we are, and unless good people act, it will, in fact, happen again.

I have one request, one ask if you will, one purpose for this posting:  Don't forget the 182,893 and what they fought (and some died) for; don't allow discussions about what happened in Virginia to devolve into ridiculous squabbles about statues, the "Antifa", "Black Lives Matter", or any number of other distractions.  Don't take the bait.  This is about NAZIs and NAZI ideology.  It's about "people" (and I almost don't want to use that word in this context) walking around wearing tee shirts actually quoting Adolf Hitler as if he were some kind of Emo poet instead of a mass-murdering monster.

For the record, I doubt I'll follow-up this posting.  Why?  It simply took too much energy on my part, and I am already saddened at the prospect that I know people who will read this and somehow feel compelled to deflect and change the story related to Virginia, away from NAZI ideology and towards some other detail, all the while providing air-cover for monsters.

Finally, what happened in Virginia is a red-line kind of event:  You stand on the side of NAZIs or you stand on the side that included the 182,893.  There is no in-between, no neutral zone.  If you choose to stand for defend, deflect, or enable provide air cover for monsters...just know that YOU OWN EVERYTHING that goes with NAZI ideology.  EVERYTHING.  May God have mercy on your soul.

- Steve

* * * * * *

(*) This is a harder number to determine than one might think it should be.  Citation HERE.  The number includes MIA, KIA, POWs and injuries.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Vermontesque #2 - You're My Best Friend

Friday morning and I'm typing this while Ms. Rivers is still sound asleep.  She firmly believes in the "you can catch up on sleep" myth, mainly because she goes to bed late during the week and gets up early to get some professional work done before the crack of dawn.  Me?  I mostly just hate sleeping.  Anyway, after our long bike trek yesterday, along with plenty of walking, she's entitled.

Thinking about Thursday, one odd thing stuck in my head:  We were taking a break from our bike ride, sitting in a nice lake-side park, watching water and people walking/biking by.  A rather scruffy young man was biking by, complete with scraggly hair, no shirt, ratty shorts, etc.  He was blasting music as he peddled along.  What was he playing?  Nine Inch Nails (make that "Noine Inch Nails" for all you Howard Stern fans out there)?  Rage Against the Machine?  Arcade Fire (just one really listens to Arcade Fire)?  Nope; it was "You're My Best Friend" by Queen.  I kid you not.

That's probably the most Vermont thing I've seen/heard so far.

* * * * * *

Saturday morning and it's just about time for packing up and shipping out.  I had every intention of finishing this posting last night, but I was simply too tired.  Speaking of yesterday, the day was spent at the Ben & Jerry's ice cream plant, wandering around an outdoor mall in Burlington, and a sunset (make that "cloudset" in our case) sailing cruise on Lake Champlain.  A splendid time was guaranteed for all, and by and large, it delivered.

Anyway, here are yesterday's Vermont observations:
  • Solar is a really big deal around these parts, which is interesting, given the fact that Burlington seems to get fewer sunny days than average (reference HERE).  
  • Burlington itself isn't all that large of a town, think Wilkes-Boro in size.  Yet the downtown was pretty vibrant, by and large (see below).  Then again, as a local explained it, this is a "six months of outdoor activity" kind of town, so maybe it's a year's worth of activity packed into half a year.
  • I discovered that there are, in fact, at least one or two flavors of Ben & Jerry's ice cream that I will eat.  Oh, and by the way, the hippies no longer own the business.
  • By and large, we saw a lot of younger families.  That was interesting in that the economy in Vermont apparently isn't all that great (according to our sailing ship captain, who was a great guy), and traditionally....well ever since they finished clear-cutting the forests back in the 1800...has never been all that great to begin with.  
  • The world's tallest filing cabinet is stupid.  Take our word for it.
  • Burlington as a downtown mall (indoor) mall that is struggling.  Something of a not-Scranton surprise in that regard, although there are plans afoot, apparently, to remedy the situation.  Ms. Rivers and I did enjoy the outdoor shopping area though.

Lastly, if you're in the Burlington area, you should check out the Whistling Man Schooner Company, which was the boat we sailed on Friday evening.  Beautiful boat, a nice cruise, and an informative captain.  Highly recommended.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Vermontesque #1 - Whiter Than Sour Cream

Greetings from Vermont, which, I am told, is actually one of the least diverse states in the Union.  So far I've seen little evidence to refute that idea.

At the moment I'm sitting in a Courtyard by Marriott hotel room, waiting for the day's events to begin.  Those events include a maritime museum and bike riding along Lake Champlain.  Getting here yesterday was on the long side...something like six hours of highway and country road driving...but that's the cost of admission whenever you want to go some place and you have the attention span of a gnat.

Speaking of yesterday, it was another day for me of feeling exhausted.  This at least partially relates back to my case of "Chicken Pops, Part Deux", with the added self-inflicted wound of my having stayed up very late the night before working on something.  Late, as in 1:30 am.  Not sure if that was worth the effort, but we shall see.  Anyway, I know I wasn't the greatest of company, but fortunately, Ms. Rivers is understanding (in addition to being smart and beautiful).

* * * * * *

Fast forward to 9:30 pm, and it's been a busy day.  Like most Albert-Rivers vacation days, it's been pretty busy.  Among other things, we logged about 15 miles of bike riding along Lake Champlain.  Dinner was some wonderful Asian bistro...whatever that actually means, other than Mongolian beef I had and the curry shrimp that Ms. River had (which apparently was pretty spicy).  One would think that by now I'd be tired, but for whatever reason, it's now "second wind" time.

Anyway, here are a few Vermont observations:

  • It really is pretty damn white here.  According to one website, Vermont is second only to West Virginia in terms of absolute white-ness.  I can understand the West Virginia part by the way.
  • People look pretty healthy in these parts.  Seriously, pretty healthy, as in the average NEPA resident looks like a slug in comparison.  And we're definitely not talking about a place where, by the way, folks engage in running all year round.  With over 70 inches of snow in the Burlington area, I would think that the outdoors kind of shut down for several months at a time.
  • You don't see a ton of out-of-state license plates around, which is understandable, given the fact that it's not the easiest state in the union to get to via car.
  • Biking is a big deal in Burlington.  Many of the roads have a dedicated bike lane.
(Defacing public property, Vermont style)

If it weren't for the 10-degree average low in January and the previously mentioned 70+ inches of snow this might a great place to retire.

As for tomorrow, well we have some wandering around time planned in Burlington, the Ben and Jerry's ice cream tour, and a twilight cruise on Lake Champlain.  A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Ten years ago I couldn't have imagined being where I am now, namely thinking back over a day of detachment and relaxation in Vermont.  I suspect there's a larger lesson in that last statement, some ground that I've already covered here before:  Each of us, all of us, have a shot at redemption.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Andy Palumbo's 08.09.2017 Blog Posting

You can read it HERE.

In this particular posting, Mr. Palumbo (Side note:  I'm 53 years old, so at what point can I stop calling other men "Mister"?  Still, "Andy" sounds so familiar...but so I digress.) shares another blog posting that talks about, well, blogs and blog posting from the perspective of another reporter.  So what's so special from my perspective?  Well, here's one of the several points made in the posting that I wholeheartedly agree with:

"So like I said, my blog is more for me than it is for my readers. Because, to be honest, I don't know if I actually have any in the first place."

In fact, here's a portion of my very first posting on (dated October 27, 2008):

"So there you go. Now whether sixty people read this or six, it doesn't matter a bit to me. I don't generally write for anyone but myself. Now that might sound selfish, but so be it. As someone who at least tries to do for others (as a husband, father, friend, etc.), I think I'm entitled to at least this much of a selfish indulgence."

A bit of affirmation is good for the soul.

Speaking of goodness and affirmation, in about an hour or so a three or so day vacation to Vermont is about to commence.  I'm looking forward to it, if for no other reason than the fact that I can use a bit of rest.  Camera and laptop will be in tow, along with a new book on the Protestant Reformation (a bit of "light" reading).

Sunday, August 6, 2017

10 Things I Have Learned from the Mediatakeout Facebook Feed

Mediatakeout is an urban culture Facebook feed that you can experience for yourself HERE.  Be forewarned:  It's not always G-rated.  Well, it's actually never G-rated.

1.  Always take out your weave before getting into a fight.  Seriously, it looks like a dead animal once it's laying there on the ground, post being ripped off of one's head.

2.  BAE is good.  THOT is bad.  INSTA-THOT is even worse.

3.  "Got hands" means that one is skilled at fighting.

4.  No matter how cruel or dire the situation, you can rest easy knowing that someone will be there...not to help...but to capture the agony on a cell phone video.

5.  Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj used to like each other, but now they don't.  They really don't.

6.  Drake may or may not be gay, but his father certainly isn't.  #mackdaddyforreal

7.  Some rappers, especially if they come from Philadelphia, apparently have their own personal gangs, known as "Goons".  This reminds me of the Elvis Costello song Good Squad.

Note that I am likely the only person receiving the Mediatakeout feed who has ever actually heard of Elvis Costello.

8.  The Kardashians have a dark secret, and it has nothing to do with a social disease or their choice in boyfriends/partners/etc.:  It's their brother Rob.

9.  No one actually likes Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, who apparently now is, shockingly, dating white guys.  Yes, welcome to 2017 where such things actually are considered news...for the Internet...on Mediatakeout.

10. No need to worry:  TI and Tiny apparently are NOT getting a divorce.  The world can now rest easy.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Another Working Day Has Ended

I am pretty darn tired by the time Sunday night comes around.  That's not likely the way this is supposed to work, by the way.  You know, "day of rest" and the like.  Yet here I am, more or less exhausted.  I know, I could blame it on the Chicken Pops - Part Deux, and maybe that's contributing to things this evening, but the harsh reality is that both my wife and I both tend to do too much.

Here's an example:  I had wanted to just spruce up some rocks I have underneath our dwarf plum tree, but for whatever reason, I randomly decided to pull out a bush on the side of our house.  This particular bush serves no useful purpose unless you consider "aphid breeding ground" to be a useful purpose...which may be the case for aphids, but not for me.  Anyway, 45 minutes and three yard waste containers later, the bush is reduced to a few sticks in the ground.  This week I'll have to break out the pickaxe and complete my shrub murder.  All well and good, but what possessed me to do it in the first place?

I could have spent the time finally finishing a book or two.

When my daughters were younger I had a valid excuse for moving around like a spinning top...and excuse called "functional parenthood".  These days I have no more young children; the best it gets is a teenage stepson, and to be honest (and to his credit) he's fairly low maintenance.  Yet here I am, Sunday at 10:15 pm popping Tylenol like they were M&Ms (plain...the peanut variety would make me vomit).

I have brought this to the attention of my co-conspirator in life, Ms. Rivers, which is a bit like going to Donald Trump to complain about someone else's abuse of Twitter.  That's a fancy way of saying that she's just as bad as I am in this department.  In fact, she may be worse.  Needless to say, I don't think there is a solution in the offing for this particular challenge, at least not anytime soon.  Maybe this is because I simply don't like laying around being unproductive.  Maybe this is because I have warped sense of just what "unproductive" really means.  Case in point:  If it helps me physically and mentally, perhaps it's not all that "unproductive" after all.

This is to be continued.

* * * * * *

Chicken Pops Update:  Some muscle soreness in the general area and a bout of two of intense itching, but this is looking like a relatively mild case.  I also learned today that the chances of me getting this again are slim.  Better at 53 than 73.

Friday, July 28, 2017

It's all fun and games until the Chicken Pops come along.

"Dad, I don't want to get chicken pops"

- My youngest daughter Rebecca, somewhere in the 90's

I was 19 or 20 years old when I got the "chicken pops".  It was, I think, around January of 1983.  To this very day, I can recall the intense fever I had, something along the lines of 103 degrees, for two or three days.  There was also the incredible headache that brought, along with blisters in many creative places, including the soles of my feet.  It was not a good time.

Fast forward to 53 years old and I've been diagnosed with Shingles.  You can read more about this affliction HERE.  I won't bore anyone, least of all myself, with the details, but I'll note this:  I woke up with an intense desire to itch in an unlikely place, and that turned into a feeling that literally makes me want to claw away layers of skin.  Enter the red rash, a burning sensation, deep muscle discomfort and the beginnings (as of Friday night) of a blister or two.  I'm sure this will get worse before it gets better.  Yes, I bought calamine lotion, which does seem to help.  I hope.

For me, this is kind of end product.

The American Academy of Dermatology (and others) note that being under great stress can precipitate an outbreak of Shingles.  That's certainly been the case for me over these past few months.  My story (make that stories) is noted in blog postings here since October of 2016, so there's no need for a rehash.  What I will add is that I've periodically had to deal with what I consider to be bouts of depression over these past few months, something I've never admitted to before, but which can easily be alluded to between the lines of many postings.  While I've certainly met my they to my family, my (new) co-workers, and to myself (in finishing my Master's degree course work)'s sometimes been at something of a steep price.  I think Shingles is part of paying that price.  This also isn't the first time in my life that a physical failing has followed periods of intense stress.

I wish I had some kind of grand philosophical statement to make that would put my life of late into a kind of proper context, but I don't.  Maybe it's the intense itching at the moment.  What I do know is that I am hopeful for a kind of separate peace now.  None of us truly know what life has in store, but looking forward, I'm hoping for a break from death, from self-doubt, from mental ruminations, and from the physical unhealthiness that comes from mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion.
Maybe this is the period at the end of one sentence, with a new one soon to be written.  It's just that this particular period is red and intensely itchy at the moment.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lisa Brown is Not from the United States

Today's installment of incredibly bad phishing brought to you by Lisa Brown from United States.

Now that Lisa Brown has told me that she is from United States (as opposed to, say, the United States), and not, for example, from Burkina Faso, I'll be sure to write back for details.  

Oh, and also, Team Apple (there) has been gracious enough to let me know that they've found a problem with my account (there), therefore they are willing to help me fill data (whatever the Hell that means, there).

I genuinely think that I could have a career writing phishing emails, because some folks just really, really need help (there).

Sunday, July 23, 2017

24 Points of Random Stuff for Blog Topics

Preface:  I wrote this several years ago, and for whatever reason (perhaps because it "sucked") I never published it.  Here I am though, it's Sunday night, and I have almost no motivation to write about anything.  And, by the way, I enjoy writing, and as such, I promised myself that I'd post no less frequently than weekly.  Sometimes more frequently.  Anyway, for the moment, I seem to be running low on blogging units (a concept copyrighted by local blogger Gort42), and yet I am filled with guilt over the prospect of not blogging at least weekly.  What to do?  Recycle, that's what; see the posting below.

Here's to a new supply of blogging units, arriving soon.

Oh, and here are two random picture of an Osprey sitting on its nest.

* * * * * *
In no particular order, for no particular reason.

1.  Peanut Butter - I think peanut butter is the most vile, disgusting, acrid substance known to man.  I don't know how my fellow human being can even consume it.  The smell alone makes me want to vomit.  Writing about the smell makes me want to vomit.  Carrion is more appealing.

2.  Roasted Peanuts - I actually don't mind the smell of roasting peanuts.  Just don't turn them into butter.  See #1.

3.  Books, Part 1 - I am usually reading two or three books at a time.

4.  Books, Part 2 - None of the books noted in #3 are fiction.

5.  Television - I really only need four television channels:  WNEP (for news, in the morning), BBC America (for Top least until the new host starts, then it's "see ya"), whatever channel is playing Family Guy, and whatever channel is playing those shows about dingy looking people living in Alaska (and I'm not talking about the Palin family either).

6.  Religion - I don't consider myself religious, although I am a avid reader of religious material; in high school I read every book the Scranton Public Library had on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints, even though I had no desire to become a Mormon.  As a side note, I recently saw the Book of Mormon musical, and it was hilarious.   I do pray from time to time, although I think the act of praying has more to do with getting my head straight than it does actually wanting something from God.

7.  Politics - I don't align with any political party, and quite frankly I think political parties are, well, stupid.  Neither political party has a monopoly on the truth.  I also think that party line voting should be illegal.  I vote for candidates based on their ideas, not political philosophies spoon fed in neat little sound bytes.

8.  Abortion - Gee, should I even include this?  Well here goes nothing.  When it comes to the whole abortion debate, I just wish there was less screaming, yelling and finger pointing and more genuine compassion from and for all sides.  Note the word "genuine", as in what isn't typically seen when politicians talk about abortion.  It bothers me to no end when elected officials use this issue as a wedge simply to court some kind of political base (where the real desired outcome is the accumulation of political power...ponder just how horrible that really is).

9. Guns - I don't like guns, but heck, if you do, well more power to you.  Fire away.  Please just don't point it at me, bring your gun into my house or my place of business.

10. Hunting - I try very hard to not kill things.  This includes insects, spiders and other kinds of critters.  I wish I were disciplined enough to be a vegetarian, but I'm not, so I'll just have to live with that contradiction for the time being.  Now if someone does like to hunt well that's okay with me, but I hope they do it in a way that provides the bare minimum of discomfort for the critter(s) involved and the resulting "kill" is eaten or otherwise used in some meaningful way.  There's a difference between responsible hunting and animal cruelty in my book.

11.  Animal Cruelty - See #10.  It's my educated opinion that anyone who is capable of torturing an animal is also capable of torturing a fellow human.  In my world, there wouldn't be much difference in the sentences for assaulting a human or assaulting a defenseless animal.

12.  Cats vs Dogs - I love cats, but I readily confess to not being a good enough person to own a dog.

13.  Music - I love music, but I don't have musical bone in my body.  My signing voice is somewhere in range between Michael Jackson and a 12 year old boy who is about to enter into puberty.

14.  Sports - I love to play sports, although I don't have much time for it these days.  Growing up I was constantly either playing tennis, basketball or baseball (in a real sandlot near where we grew up).  Watching sports?  It puts me to sleep.  Too much watching sports on television can, I think, create the need for a lobotomy.

15.  Radio - I am an avid Howard Stern fan.  He is a genius, on par with Hunter Thompson & George Carlin, who created his very own radio genre.  Political talk radio?  I think its a wasteland for those who are searching for someone to think for them.

16.  Tattoos - I will never have one simply because I get bored far too easily to have something that permanent drawn upon my body.  While it's not for me, I've seen a few stories about tattoos being used by breast cancer survivors (link to an article HERE), which I do think is incredibly wonderful. Oh, and let's get one thing straight:  If you get "Ozzy" tattooed on your knuckles, then please don't complain if you have trouble finding a job.  Self-expression is a wonderful thing, but broadcasting stupidity is another.

17.  Drinking - I confess to drinking far too much diet soda and ice tea.  Alcohol?  I may have a drink of it maybe once or twice a year, if that.  Seriously, I really don't like the taste of booze, and I like even less how I feel after drinking booze.

18.  Earliest Memory - My earliest memory is of watching a black and white Superman cartoon in a half double home we lived at on Pine Street in Scranton.  I'm not sure of the age, but I might have been two three.

19.  Biggest Personal Frustration - I have what I'd describe as a frenetic mind, which while it allows me to be interested in lots of different things, has more than a few drawbacks.  I'm sure my incredibly short attention span plays into this as well.  The worst part of it?  That's waking up just about every morning with all these thoughts in my head.  There are times when I'd give all the money in my wallet for just five minutes of true mental calm, especially in the morning.  Sometimes when someone asks me "what you are you thinking" I don't answer honestly, as doing so would both take too long and the answers would be far too disturbing.

20.  Biggest Personal Regret - Sure I have regrets, but even the time spent thinking about them for the blog blurb is a waste.  What's done is done.  Pay attention to the past only to the extent that it can actually help in the present.

21.  Biggest Health Challenge - Bad sleeping habits.  As I've noted here many times, I don't typically sleep well.  See #19.  I think they have medication for this...Thorazine maybe?  I am joking about the Thorazine part.

22.  Power - Obtaining it at work or at home...simply for the sake of having power seems immoral to me.  Besides, real power doesn't come from controlling or having control over overs, it comes from having control over yourself.

23.  Famous Person Dinner Game - If I could have dinner with a few famous people, who would be in attendance?  Well for starters, my wife would be invited.  Second, my list would be as follows:  Emily Dickinson, Hunter S. Thompson, Paul McCartney, Howard Stern, Berkeley Breathed, and Albert Einstein.

24.  How I'd Like To Be Remembered - If anything, I'd like to be remembered as a good Dad, a loving partner and a kind human being.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Road Apples, #173

Friday's Travel...spilled into Saturday, technically speaking.  The final toll was as follows:  One completely canceled flight (Dallas to Philadelphia), two flight delays, two re-bookings, and a two-hour drive home from Harrisburg, arriving at 1:30 am.  My luggage, by the way, didn't make it to Scranton until about 3 pm on Saturday.  In the midst of the insanity, there were rays of light...the Avis counter person (Michelle) in Harrisburg, who found me a one-way rental, at 11:30 pm...the gate agent in Amarillo who got me re-routed, even if I ended up having to revise things further...the baggage staff in Harrisburg, who made sure my luggage got to me, even if it was a day late.  As I've noted here from time to time, there is nothing glamorous about business travel.

Lawyering, Scranton Style...I've been reading the verbal grousing between a certain local lawyer, the Scranton Times, and a Scranton City councilman.  Here's how I see it:  Whenever you have $400,000 that is paid out to a person(s) or firm(s) without bidding OR detailed records to document the work performed OF COURSE there will be flags raised.  There should be flags raised, by the way.  The fact the lawyer/law firm in question also significantly contributed to Mayor Courtright's campaigns over the years only makes it smell worse.  This is old-school Scranton back-room dealing at its finest.  In the end, it's entirely possible that the legal expenses in question were justified, but this is public money at play, so there needs to be more...not less...transparency.  Blaming the Scranton Times for continuing to raise this as an issue is SILLY (at best); what's the alternative?  Simply take Mayor Courtright's word for it?

Confederate Monuments...Apparently, there is all the rage over monuments to Confederate generals being moved and removed in places across the south.  My blunt assessment?  Why do we even have monuments to traitors in the first place?

The National Political News Blackout...continues on my end.  I'm simply not interested in the latest Tweets or scandals...real or imaginary...that are in the national news.  None of what's happening should be a surprise to anyone.

(the Catholic Church) It's Almost Official...There are practically two versions of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States today, at least as evidenced by competing books that deal with the LGBT community within the Church.  There's a very good article that touches on that point HERE.  As someone who does listen to militant right-wing Catholic radio (EWTN, Ave Maria Radio), it's pretty clear that the Church is suffering from an ideological split that fairly well mirrors the political split within the United States.  In fact, just listening to discussions about secular issues on militant right-wing Catholic radio will make you think that you're listening to a stereotypical ring-wing talk-radio host.  Just add a few references to the Magisterium and Mary and you've got the whole programming for militant right-wing Catholic radio fairly well locked down.

**The blog author now pauses and regains his composure, as he is getting somewhat cranky**

Blogs, #1...A former co-worker of mine writes a terrific blog that you can find HERE.  Her latest posting, The Retiree, touched on a few raw nerves for me, which I so noted in a rather lengthy comment (sorry about the length Michele).  I debated responding to the posting, but in the end, I am glad I did contribute my thoughts.  I do get anxious whenever I post something that's critical, by the way, even given my tendency towards restraint.  The fact is this though:  We are all called to always be decent humans, first and foremost.  We all fail at that from time to time (me too...well, especially me), but that failure is compounded when that it seems to be institutionalized, somehow a human failure of a planned sort.  My final word on this:  Always treat people the way you would like to be treated, be it in business or in your personal life.  Period.

By the way, I actually interviewed the author the blog in April 2014.  You can read that posting HERE.  

Blogs, #2...Andy Palumbo recently commented in a blog posting about how disappointing it is that people don't stay with blogs they start (my words; his words can be found HERE).  I concur with his sentiment, but with a qualifier, namely that I think sometimes blogs have a hidden purpose, and that purpose gets fulfilled in a time-frame that is all its own.  There have been times when I wonder why I write this, but then I remember the purpose of NCFE, which is basically a way for me to help explore things, to help me make sense of the world (the world that mostly exists in my head).  That need is not likely to go away anytime soon.