Create a Phonestack


by Dave Miller

It’s called a phonestack.  At dinner time everyone puts their phone on a stack, if someone removes their phone they pay for everyone elses dinner. It’s that simple.

Sit down to eat and everyone removes their phone from their pocket and put it on the stack . If you remove your phone then dinner is on you.

The main thing is you can sit back and watch dinner etiquette improve.

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Can a Dragon Write a Blog?


By Dave Miller

I bought a Dragon. Now what? Do I slay the Dragon or train him to be useful? In this day and age where technology has moved to the realm that it is, sometimes we need to train the old dog. At times the easy way to train the old dog is by giving it a new tool.

I am a very cumbersome typist. I hunt and peck. I hunt for the letter then I peck at it. Over the years I’ve gotten fairly fast at pecking. Emphasis on fairly! So I’ve came to the conclusion that I need to learn how to type faster. I was mulling over the idea of taking a typing course. Then right on time, Fred Pryor called me about a course on speed-reading. I signed up. Next they tried to sell me on a package deal. They have a program where you buy a year’s worth of courses for $199. You can take any course that they offer. Plus they have online courses. I thought it quite a good deal. So I signed up.

I decided to find out what they have in typing courses. I searched. And I looked. None. So I called the lady, and she searched also. She found nothing. So now I’m back to square one. I have a year’s worth of Fred Pryor courses and nothing else.

So I looked for some alternative methods. I knew of one all along. I just never knew if I wanted to take that step. But I did.

I bought a Dragon. Dragon Naturally Speaking.

So this blog I wrote by talking. Which as many of you know comes quite naturally to me, talking that is. My hope is that this will make it easier for me to update my blog. And many other things. The real question is still should I rather have taken a typing course than rely on some device that I just talk to? I’m afraid I know the answer. I should take the typing course. But I do know that I am far better off producing material by talking than not producing material at all. So this is the step that I take right now: I will talk to my computer and have it write for me.

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Published in: on July 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Procastination


The reason I haven’t posted a blog lately.

A picture is worth a thousand words. The lack of a picture in this case is worth a few thousand.

 

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Published in: on March 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2011 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Published in: on December 31, 2011 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Officer Bruch Says, “Don’t Talk To The Police”.


by Dave Miller

This is in response to the video yesterday of the fast talking attorney telling you to plead the fifth. He tells the classroom to tell all their clients to keep their mouths shut, to plead the fifth. Then half way through the class he turns it over to Officer Bruch for his rebuttal.

Officer Bruch makes the case that he is smarter and better trained than you. He is a professional with all the trick of the trade under his hat. He will win if you talk. Therefore plead the fifth, even if you are innocent.

Officer Bruch’s response. Click here.

If you don’t have the time to hear Officer Bruch out then at least watch this (short clip).

Published in: on December 29, 2011 at 6:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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You Have Committed a Crime – You Just Don’t Know It


by Dave Miller

Did you know you can be convicted of a crime you didn’t commit?

If a police officer wants to ask a few innocent questions about a crime you didn’t commit, is there any harm in talking to an officer? In the clip that follows the police officer was asked if there was ever a time that he talked to a suspect that after the person talked that he thought the person innocent because of what he said. His answer was “no”.

It is well worth any individual’s time to watch this video. The time spent watching this video is minute compared to the cost of a speeding ticket or the time behind bars.

So take the time to enjoy this fast talking, animated attorney talk to his fresh law students. He is fun, exciting and isn’t afraid to say “God bless America”

Here is the clip

Tomorrow I’ll post the police officers rebuttal, well rather, his response. Until then, plead the fifth.

Published in: on December 28, 2011 at 9:42 am  Comments (1)  
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Anne’s Christmas message to you.


  Christmas, 2011

by Anne Miller

Joy to the world and to all of you.

We are all doing well. Fat, flourishing, and in each other’s faces. In good ways and bad. Family life is jolly and messy. How old do you say children have to be before they quit poking each other at the table and generally being ever so much more concerned about themselves than anyone else? How old do you say parents have to be before their love and humility is larger than their wanting things tidy and convenient? I suppose one may as well ask at what age life gets quietly manageable and consistently pleasant. Merrily down the stream and all that, you know. And that would be a foolish question indeed. “Man is born to trouble” says Job, “as the sparks fly upward.”

But that doesn’t mean all of life is trouble. Virgil is 4 months old and quite the sweetest little baby in town. Reminds me of a quote “There is only one beautiful child in all the world and every mother has it.” He sleeps through the night sometimes, but I can’t depend on it yet. The other children love him, but are not yet at the age where they can find the answers when he has problems. He likes my answers well enough but it can get quite interesting when the other children would like some answers, too!

  Lucian just turned two. He’s a sunny little man, strutting around trying to pronounce every word there is. Tractors are his one true love. I’m amazed at how at how boys are attracted to boy stuff like magic. It’s a blast. He developed a whine after Virgil was born and has to this day not regained his equilibrium. And then there’s potty training due any day now. Oh, boy. Another one of life’s pleasures.

  Naomi is four and has started reading. She likes school work (in very small doses) and drawing and coloring and cutting. Our sunroom floor can regularly be found under mounds of paper, tape and snips of ribbon that I’ve donated to the cause. It’s sweet how very old, very boring Christmas ribbon can make them so happy. “Messes are fun to clean up”, I tell myself.

Maria is five and is still the dominant older sister with better ideas than anyone else (including her parents). She spends a lot of time reading, and is getting to the point of doing a good job with the work, I give her cleaning up, sweeping, helping with Lucian, etc. Yes! I’m no longer alone!

Dave is still doing fiberglass but is expecting some significant changes in the new year. He’s planning on hiring another guy in the shop in order to work on getting more sales and also to have more time for the really fun stuff – real estate. He’s done quite a bit as a Realtor the past months and is having a ball. How many people can earn money doing what they enjoy? We feel blessed.

As for me, it’s pretty much business as usual. Fight-splitter, tickle-maker, sippy-filler, hug-getter, that’s me. I’m trying to savor the “little years” of our children, sometimes with better success than other times. I’ve discovered four children are a lot more than three. Mothering, for me, is definitely uphill work. But it’s good work – God’s work. And with His mercy, redemption, and strength, it is full of hope and laughter. Or at least speckled with it.

And may your Christmas be bright!

Anne & all

Related Post written by Anne: A Gross Day at Wal-Mart

The Club


 

by Dave Miller

The Club House Meeting Room

Every two weeks we meet, the clan and I, for our book club. The topic of discussion is the latest book that we are reviewing. Our motivation is to invoke discussion and thought. And successful we are. The discussions run deep and are extremely thought provoking. It is up building and educational for the most part, even though some of us shoot an occasional fiery dart. 

We fellow contrarians meet at either my house or the Kingsway Realty office depending on the weather. If it’s too hot and air-conditioning is needed we head to Kingsway. They allow us to use one of their conference rooms thanks to Curvin Horning, one of their agents and a member of our group. Otherwise the meeting place is at my house with a few cool summer evenings spent on the deck with the tiki lamps burning.

As time goes on the bond between members grows stronger. The camaraderie has grown to the point that I feel I’m really going to miss a good evening if I can’t make it. So attendance is high. Everyone enjoys seeing the others as we arrive. And we always leave in peace. Okay, my mind is usually still spinning but I depart holding no grudges.

Here is a list of topics we have covered thus far

  • Theology and economics; Calvin and Commerce
  • Building a master plan for life; The Pledge by Michael Masterson
  • I Pencil  by Leonard E Read
  • How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes  by Peter D. Schiff
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas E Woods, Jr., Ph.D 

Our group is well versed on debate and if the point you present is weak you will get shot down. So making a good case is essential to survival. That or asking questions to tap into the knowledge of the group is a great way to sharpen your awareness on a particular subject.

If a question is presented, someone in the group will usually have good response. Whether or not the view is accurate the rest will critique it to verify its validity or to uncover the errors.

 It was a dream of mine, to create a group like this, for years. In 2008 I talked with a few people and in March of 2009 we got together. We discussed Gary North’s book Mises on Money. It was a great book for the time, being about monetary cycles and we were experiencing the beginning of this recession.

The group was not interested in continuing. So it came to a screeching halt. I was disappointed but not ready to give up. I picked away at creating this group, talking to more friends of like mind. Now in 2011 we have a group that looks fit to last.

If this is something you have interest in doing I encourage you to create a group of your own. With the reactions I have gotten from people it seems you could easily to start another group. Don’t let it take four years like it did me. If you have even a small urge, then start talking to people. You will soon have a group formed.

Related post: Intellectual Exercise Machine

 

Intellectual Exercise Machine


by Dave Miller

  Every two or three weeks we gather around a conference table prepared to stretch our minds. The topic is a book we are reviewing. It amazes me to read a portion of the book thinking it was just an empty passage, something to fill the pages, and one sitting next to me finds value I completely missed.

  It started with two people wanting to expand their minds. We wanted to have a group of 5 or 6 contributors with brain elasticity being a prerequisite. Soon we each added a friend that fit the profile. We just added our sixth member, Steve from Texas, a former Merrill Lynch trader.  

 Our goal is to take a good book or article, dissect it, and make it palatable. After we have chewed on it, it is easier to digest. We try to make the material applicable to our lives.

 The depth of material is not the largest factor by far. It is the debate and intellectual exercise that ensue. It makes us widen our thought processes as we hear and discuss our view points. Many times the writer’s view is scrutinized as we illustrate it with our lives.

 As we gather to discuss the book we also stretch each other in our own lives. It’s not unusual to hash out a new business idea after the book review. Success stories, from previous ideas discussed, come back into the group. We all love hearing and telling them. The camaraderie is building.

There are multiple ways this group is advancing the members.

  • We learn to express our opinions.
  • Our ability to listen to opposing ideas is increased.
  • We learn to think through the topic before mindlessly debating it.
  • It’s an intellectual exercise machine.

 I write this article to encourage you to go out and do something similar. Gather a few friends, colleagues, your peers or mentors, and form a group where you can stretch each other. Book clubs are a great way to accomplish this but there are other good ways also. Accountability groups can serve the same purpose.  Breakfast meeting with a few like-minded people will work.

 Do it your way. But do it nevertheless.

Men ought to know that from the brain, and from the brain only, arise our pleasures, joy, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs, and tears. – Hippocrates (about 400 B.C.)

 

 

 

Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 6:33 am  Comments (1)  
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O Big Brother Thou Art


by Dave Miller

In 1924 on the US House floor Congressman Fritz G. Lanham of Texas read this “Beatitude” in opposition to child-labor laws.

  • Consider the Federal agent in the field; he toils not, nor does he spin; and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his populous household was not arrayed with powers like one of these.

 

  • Children, obey your agents from Washington, for this is right.

 

  • Honor thy father and thy mother, for the Government has created them but a little lower than the Federal agent. Love, honor, and disobey them.

 

  • Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, tell it to thy father and mother and let them do it.

 

  • Six days shalt thou do all thy rest, and on the seventh day thy parents shall rest with thee.

 

  • Go to the bureau officer, thou sluggard; consider his ways and be idle.

 

  • Toil, thou farmer’s wife; thou shalt have no servant in thy house, nor let thy children help thee.

 

  • And all thy children shall be taught of the Federal agent, and great shall be the peace of thy children.

 

  • Thy children shall rise up and call the Federal agent blessed.

Maybe George Orwell read this speech and built the outline for his book “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. The essence of the theme runs parallel between the two.

This is the underlining principle that our government wants to bring into our lives. That we feel secure in them. This means more power to the one in charge. Power is more coveted than money.

They can only take the power that we give them. Even if they take it by force with laws, never allow them to take your freedom from your mind.

Related Post: Sarah Palin and Generational Theft

Quotable Quote:

   If con is the opposite of pro, is congress the opposite of progress? – Author unknown.

Published in: on June 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm  Comments (2)  
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