Monday, October 20, 2008


In 1948 I attended the U.S. Navy Class A Radio School in Norfolk, Va. Prior to that time a navy radioman had to know all there was to know about radios. Although the school still covered all the technical aspects, there was a new rating, ET-an electronic technician. Radiomen just became operators. Just tune up the transmitters, big as a modern refridgerator, tune in a separate receiver and start the "sparks" to flying. Being assigned to a fleet tug as the senior radioman I did not lack for operating experience. I hardly knew squat about the technical aspect, and cared less about learning.

I have a Polar CS100 bike computer/heart monitor. My son Todd installed it. He set it up to give me my current and average speed and my heart rate. Just turn it on and read the dial. In complete ignorance I punched one of the 3 buttons on my last ride and the computer went nuts. It commenced to outpour four lines of constantly changing information and kept changing the page to four more lines of additional information, none of which I understood. I had never read the manual and didn't really want to do so. I was just plain old lazy. I wanted just the benefits. I did not want to pay the price of learning. Knowing that on my upcoming cross country trike ride I would need to understand this tool, today I started laboriously reading the manual.

Our nation is on the brink of far worse than a financial crisis today. The main cause, in my opinion, is that too many people are lazy and don't want to "read the manual", they want the benefits without paying the price. They are Freeloaders! What happened to "a helping hand being at the end of one's own sleeve"? Today help is at the nearest polling place. What happened to the wisdom that "the government can only give you what it first takes away from you". The belief today is that now the government can give one what it takes from someone else--those who read the manual. When people accept from unscrupulous lenders mortgage loans far above their ability to repay, they expect to "eat their cake and keep it too". And those seeking to be elected say thay can do that and get by. If they "snort" their house payments up their noses, they expect to be rescued. This has all the makings of a nation changing crisis. A change for the worse I fear.

I will be alright. I have survived the great depression when there was no rescue. The song that says "a country boy can survive" comes to mind. I have a new garden tiller and know how to raise a garden and how to can it for the bad times. In the 30's we lived by a river and fresh fish was a dependable stable. Today, we have a family retreat by a good fishing lake. I am a great operator so I'll be okay. My concern is for my extended family down to my unborn great grand children. When I think about it, however, I realize they have the same genes as I do. They will do alright too. And the country? Well, the country survived Wilson, Hoover and FDR and still thrived and won in a world at war. The country will do just fine in time. In the meantime, hold onto your britches.

This is a good time to remember the boy scout moto: Be Prepared!

God Bless!


Mark Pierce said...

Sounds good Dad! I'll hold on to my britches! And I'll make sure Jonathan and Grayden and Cohen do the same. Even when you're not there to tuck us in, we will remember! Love you! Mark

Phatmom said...


I couldn't agree with you more! But yes, we'll be alright because we are survivors and it's good to know you and I share some of the same great genes. So far, though, the only thing I've learned to can was my own homemade apple butter. I haven't done that in years, though. My boys want me to start that again. :)