Monday, January 23, 2006

Miner Deaths

The recent deaths of 14 miners in West Virginia is tragic. My prayers go out to the families of all.

Now I am going to bring a bit of politics into my blog.

In 2004, 42,800 people died in traffic fatalities in the US. Each of these deaths was just as sudden, and just as catastrophic, to the families of deceased as was each miner death. But where is the press, the outrage? Where are the politicians demanding hearings? Where are the families?

Our politicians are using this tragedy as a way to grandstand and spend money. We don't need more laws for miner safety. We don't need congressional hearings. It is not the governments' role to intercede in the private contracts between employer and employee.

Let me suggest that far fewer people have died from nuclear energy than from coal energy. Perhaps, for miner safety, we should do away with coal power plants and start to build nuclear power plants again. Nuclear power is much cleaner, safer, and efficient than coal.

And lets consider ways to reduce the highway fatalities.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Successes

Reading what I've written thus far, it sounds like I am a complete loser and deadbeat. But that's not the case by any means.

My purpose in what I've written so far is to set up the reader, so that they understand that right now I'm at a bottom in my life.

I am an optimist. I am a doer. I believe in myself, and I believe in my future success.

So far in my life, I have been in the military. I was promoted ahead of my peers in every rank for 13 years.

When I got out of the Air Force, I started a consulting company. While I have put it to bed for now, at it's peak, it grossed 250,000 a year. I was living large at that time, as they say. I am proud of the success of that business.

In 2004, I started a used bookstore and coffee house. That too, has been put to bed. But it has always been a great dream of mine to start my own business, and just having the doors open to paying customers for a little while was a fantastic reality.

Soon I want to start another business. I am looking at a trucking company or else a pizza/sub shop. I am just starting to put my thoughts on paper for these. I hope to meet a wonderful girl who wants to share my dreams on these, and put our efforts into this. That's my dream for the future. And God willing, it will happen.

There are so many great things going to happen in my life in the next few years. I am excited about it. I hope I can find the right girl to share this with.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Learning to be irresponsible

In 1997, I filed bankruptcy. I had taken on a lot of credit card debt. My wife at the time, now ex-wife, also participated. But I take the responsibility because I was responsible for the money in the family.

Why did I do it? I can come up with a long list of reasons. Being in the military, living on a tight budget, having a terminally ill sister 2000 miles away..... legitimate reasons for taking on debt. But, if you looked at the credit card receipts, you would find lots of stuff on there that we didn't need, cigarettes and alcohol among them. So I was irresponsible.

But hey, you can just file bankruptcy, and wash away your sins. No muss, no fuss. Sure, it messes up your credit rating, but it sure does make life easier without all those bills.

And it's legal.

Bankruptcy is the legal way to be financially irresponsible. To make promises to others, and not keep them, and still hold your head up high.

It's wrong though. That's the point. It's wrong.

One of the recurring themes of this blog will be keeping promises. And if you take out a loan, you make a promise to pay it off. You promise others, but you also promise yourself.

If you can't keep a promise, then don't make it.

When I filed bankruptcy in 1997, I lost credibility with myself. I learned that my promises don't matter. And that started a long downward spiral.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Doing my best

I just took a load of conveyers from Kansas City to Shasta Lake, California. I left on Tuesday and delivered this morning. We live in a beautiful country.

I had some problems with this load. I had problems with my tarps getting holes in them.

There are 2 kinds of people. There are those who get holes in there tarps, and say, 'screw it, I'll just get them there and not worry about if the product gets damaged'. Then there are those that say, 'Whatever I do, I'm going to do my best. So since I have committed myself to driving this truck, I need to stop, fix the tarps, no matter how much work that may be, and make sure the load is delivered undamaged.'

For much of my life, I have tried to do my best no matter what. At times, though, I have become the 'whatever happens I'm not going to waste my energy' type of person.

I need to always do my best, no matter what the situation.

We all have heroes, or we should. Lance Armstrong is a great role model. I'm sure he is the kind of guy who would stop and fix the tarps.

If we profess our faith in Christ, people look over us a little harder than they do others. If you are doing your best, doing the hard work no matter what, you are always a good reflection on Christ. That's what I need to do every day.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The New Start

In June of 2005, I decided to go to truck driving school. I had been doing computer consulting for about 6 years, and was really burned out from the pace and the politics. When my girlfriend and I split up in March, I was ready for a change in all respects.

I went to truck driving school, and I started driving a truck. I drive all over the country. I enjoy seeing the world. I enjoy the lack of stress. I enjoy being outdoors. I enjoy being my own boss.

I have been on my own as a driver for 3 months. I am making decent money. I live in the truck so I don't have any bills.

I have lots of time to think, reflect. This is time I have needed for a long time. This gives me a chance to recharge and think about where I want to go with the rest of my life.

I miss my kids a lot. I think I have been a failure as a father. I don't spend near enough time with them. Now that I am driving a truck, I am lucky to see them once a month. I don't think that's enough. I think I should be spending every weekend with them.

I am not challenging myself mentally. I am a member of Mensa. I am not using all of the abilities that God gave me.

There is no way in the world I am going to be able to find a woman to love for the rest of my life driving a truck.

I think I need to get back into computers, back to Dallas with my kids. I think that's the right thing to do. And as I do it, I will follow the direction of my moral compass. I will put others before me. I will put my kids before me. This time I will act as a Christian instead of a heathen. And maybe this time it will work out right.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Direction

So the question becomes, where am I going with all of this? And why?

There was a time in my life when I had a great deal of direction, inspiration, and confidence.

I made several mistakes. Big mistakes.

I lost my direction. I took my inspiration from other sources. My confidence continued, but lacking direction, resulted in my reaching for faulty goals.

Last year the cookie crumbled. I had built a wonderful business. I had, what I thought, was a good, loving, permanent relationship. I started a second business in 2004. Then it all fell apart.

Looking back, I should have seen it coming.

With this blog, I hope to examine my life, my successes, and my failures. I want to see what I did that worked, and what I did that failed. I hope to learn from my mistakes. And I hope those that read this will learn a little about me, or maybe about themselves.

This self-examination will not be pretty at times. But it is necessary.

I want to get the direction back in my life. I want to get the inspiration back in my life. And once I have rebuilt that foundation, I want to build my life again. Out of the ashes of my own destruction I want to build what I almost had.

I hope I find a lady to spend the rest of my life with. Who shares my values, whatever they might be. Who shares my ambitions and my dreams.

I hope I can build a better relationship with my kids.

I hope I can build a better relationship with God.

As I continue on life's journey, I hope others who happen upon this blog will take a moment to share their thoughts with me.

Friday, January 06, 2006

2006 Begins

As humans we like to categorize and group things. We often come up with artificial containers to use to group items in our life. The year is always a nice way to chronologically group events in our lives. 2005 was a good year or a bad year. 2006 will be better or worse.

The reality of it is that the 365 day period comprising a year is an artificial container. What was good or bad during that time was probably affected by events and decisions made many many years in the past. The outcome of all of these events was the year 2005.

2005 was a terrible year for me. My love relationship of several years ended in 2005. I had 2 businesses fail in 2005. I gave up one career path, and started on another. I suffered some extreme financial difficulties.

But all of these things are the result of decisions and events that occured much farther back in the past. And I take complete responsibility for getting to where I am today.

And a couple of really great things happened in 2005.

We resolve to do new things each year, because it fits so nicely in the container. This year I resolve to ..... Keep a blog, eat better, exercise more, examine my spirituality, spend more quality time with my kids.