Until they aren’t

(Magic?/Photo by author)

Electricity is really just organized lightning
George Carlin

“There are things done today in electrical science which would have been deemed unholy by the very man who discovered electricity, who would themselves not so long before been burned as wizards.”
Bram Stoker

“Which wire should I cut?”
Victor the Electrician, to me

How was I to know that many electricians have no clue how to deal with DC systems[1]? It’s all wizardry, witchcraft and magic as far as I’m concerned.AC/DC…. huh? I viewed electricians as modern magicians who could handle the powerful stuff flowing through charged wires…

Stop. Breathe. Think. Invest.

Author — Cognitive Dissonance

If you read all the way through, you will see that I am not a fiancial advisor or an expert in any sense. However, I offer that caveat upfront. I am merely outlining my personal experience, and the advice I give is merely what has worked for me — take it or leave it!

I am amazed at how often I have repeated these mistakes despite knowing better. Moreover, I have often expended far more effort selecting a restaurant than a place to invest my hard-earned money. …

Anxiety serves a useful purpose…until it doesn’t.


Disorders, Syndromes, and Illnesses, Oh My!

In recent times, it seems that there has been a proliferation of labels and changes of classification for states of mind or manners of behavior that were previously considered personal weaknesses. Addiction, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, etc.

I see the increased understanding and labeling of these conditions as a huge step forward.

I do understand that some people are skeptical about the propagation of classifications. At least anecdotally I have heard people grumble about what they see as labeling every aspect of the human condition as an illness and thinking that many of these conditions are indeed merely personal weaknesses.


Life on the road helps one appreciate life in place.

Author Photo

For most Americans, life centers around place — the place where one was born and maybe raised, the place where one retires, the place one returns to after a work or play trip. Home is typically fixed. We may live at the fixed location for a year or for a lifetime — but it’s a place where we hope to find comfort, familiarity, order and security.

Although I spent 25 years as a military officer, moving every few years, I was still far from being a nomad. I found and (usually) rented an apartment or house and that was my…

A Conversation with a Vietnam Veteran.

Katherine Grace / Unsplash

Fifty years have passed and the trauma and memories of a 12-month hitch in Vietnam have not faded a bit.

John volunteered for the Army in 1969 when he was 19 years old. The war in Vietnam was raging and he knew it. Joining the Army was not something a kid did if he wanted to avoid combat. John knew he was signing up for trouble but did it anyway out of a sense of blind patriotism. There was no way a 19-year-old New York boy understood the politics or rationale for the war…

I am 54. He is 84.

My Dad — Circa 1943

Yesterday I learned how proud my dad was of nailing an artillery target during a demonstration for “the muckety mucks” (senior officers) while a young Second Lieutenant in the Army in the 1950s. I knew my dad had spent a couple of years in the Army after college, but never once asked him about it. His sharp memory and evident pride in this short period of his life so many decades ago shocked me.

What else didn’t I know and why had I never asked?

Like many Gen Xers, I had, to put it…

Stephen Chamberlin

A 25 year Coast Guard officer — and currently a full-time Airstream nomad.

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