The day that you recognize that your life is getting in the way of you living is the first day of your life. For too many, that day occurs at a time when a meaningful life is no longer a viable option. Too many of us are unwilling to make the decisions needed and are too afraid to live with the consequences of our choices. Since my life so far has been short and unremarkable you should not listen to anything I have to say. What you and I should do is make a decision and live with the results. The path not taken is often lamented, but often the grass only seems green because it was painted.
Life is not a movie, but your first instinct is usually correct and ignoring it will be to your own peril. What was your childhood dream? Did you have a childhood dream? I often reference my grandparents as my biggest influences and I do so with no less respect for my remarkable parents. My grandmother’s goal was for all her kids to finish high school so that they could speak proper english. The goal may seem simple and unambitious, but success is about identifying the small essential building blocks of success. Language proficiency is at the root of success and mastery cannot be overstated.
I acknowledge Mama and Papa for their vision and determination. I reference them often because they are my champions. I will love them and remember them forever because their children have the same drive and have pasted it on. I will continue to stand tall because they have provided me and their many grandchildren with an example. We only need accept the challenge. Success is not about gold it is about goals. Focus, you too once had goals.
Sometimes I am not sure what country I am living in. I love the ideals of American democracy, but the truth mostly does not live up to those ideals. In spite of that I am still in love with America. Like my love affair with America, I am never sure where on the political spectrum to sit. Like most Americans I think democracy is the best form of government. However, like so many Americans I don’t sit easily into either major Party. So, I would not consider myself a Republican are a Democrat. I would consider myself a Liberal Libertarian. Now you see my conflict? Hence election time is usually filled with uncertainty.
My election season routine is to do what most of Americans do. I pay very little attention until after the conventions. Like clock work after the conventions someone will make a stupid remark concerning a social issue and that will seal my vote. Yes that is quite shallow and lacking in the contemplation needed to create a great democracy, but it is what it is. I vote on social issues. It is narrow but there is no real difference between the parties.
Both parties are pro big business. Economic policy may seem divergent but the results are the same. Small businesses are given lip service, but are mostly neglected. Individuals are tolerated. The obvious shortcomings are ignored for short-term economic and political gains.
I am a father, what now? I hope you have asked yourself that question at least once. Furthermore, I hope you have gotten an answer that works for you. As a son I thought that Father’s Day was a time to acknowledge all the things that my father has done and continues to do for me. Now that I am a father I have a clearer vision of what Father’s Day should be about.
Firstly it truly takes a village, for no man is an island. So, I have to give thanks to all the father figures in my life. Many have passed on but their influence on me is forever. From them I learnt how to be respectful to women. I learnt the meaning and virtue of hard work and the joys of setting and achieving a goal. Most importantly I learnt that as a father my most important asset is my family. I learnt that I must value my wife and treat her well. Why? Because my example is the treatment my daughters will look for in a partner. If you want good things for your children treat their mother like the queen she is. Be a good example for your children.
Being a father to daughters I strive to be their rock and example. I take Father’s Day as the once a year when I look at my performance and honestly grade myself on how well I am doing my duty as a father. My job as a father to daughters is to make sure my girls are strong successful women. I cannot guarantee anything, but I can do my duty well and give them the skills needed to navigate the choppy waters of life. That sir is your duty. Happy Father’s Day dads. Take your kids out and show them a good time. Create some memories.
I use to worry about privacy issues and the government’s ability to take our freedoms at a whim. Since the commercialization of the internet I no longer have those fears, because we already have no privacy. The current questions are; how is the data being used and do we have a right to know that our data is being mined? Many think that privacy equates to freedom, but it does not. Freedom is lost when the individual is unaware of her loss of privacy. I opposed “The Patriot Act” in 2001 and still do today. My problem is not that the government is allowed to violate our privacy, but that violation can be kept from us. The detergent of sunshine is needed everywhere.
That detergent has not been direct at the few large private sector data miners that control all our information. We live in a Capitalist society where markets function best with accurate and up-to-date data. Once you understand that fact the rest of the story is simple. If you want a functioning system you have to provide your data. Furthermore Capitalism should not be equated with democracy or freedom.
The proliferation of data mining by the private sector has not being noticed by the general population, but that dragnet is much wider and deeper that the government could ever be.
We have willingly and unwittingly given all our meta-data to large data miners. I am more concerned about them than I am about the government. The risk of nefarious use of your data is not limited to the government. The powers given to the government to spy is provided and voted on by the congress and directed by the congress. The only difference between the government and the private sector data miners is that the private section is going after your cash while the government is using it for security. I would like all of it to be disclosed.
I live by the open source philosophy. All data wants to be free and should be free. Not free as in no monetary value, but as in free to do as each individual chooses. I may not understand all the data collected, but if all of it is accessible to the general public the many eyes will keep the collectors in check. Each citizen is the check and the balance. In this age where data mining is so easy and valuable the political class no longer represents the individual.
I am an addict. I love guns and gun sports and safety is goal number one. Along with safety goes competence. The first step is to get armed. It is your right. As with any right there are responsibilities. These include your obligation to be ready to defend yourself or others when that situation arises. Effectiveness is a product of practice.
Practice is the only way to improve our skills and the best practice is shooting on a practical shooting range. A static range is great to help us understand our gun. I have not spent as much time on the range has I need to but this will be changing. To that effect I spent this past Saturday shooting a classifier for IDPA.
As you can see this is not your local range. The advantage of this shooting experience is that it presents a more realistic use case. This type of shooting is especially beneficial to those that carry concealed. If the time comes, and I would rather it not, we should be prepared for the fight.
IDPA is a wonderfully fun way of refining and acquiring the skills needed to defend yourself in a real world situation. I’d suggest you find your location IDPA certificated range and go have some fun. Don’t worry about your score on your first trip. Shoot, help and have fun.
I did not classify, but I cannot wait for my next shoot.