Saturday, February 20, 2016

So what have *I* done?

IF you get older you always seems to look backwards to see what have you really accomplished, what have you really gotten done, what have you experienced in your life. Sometimes it is with regret, sometimes it may be with pride, sometimes it is with "what the heck just happened"? I'm no different and usually I'm in the what the what the heck just happened category.

You can look at the past, you can plan the future, but you can only live the now. I'm sure we've all heard that before and it's not bad advice. I like to look at it from the "learn from the past, hope for the future, but enjoy the present" mindset.

I know that's really hard sometimes when you're stuck behind a desk, or vacuuming the floor, or doing things that you'd rather not be doing but that moment is really all we have.

But really looking back for me I've had fun doing the many different things that I have none. I've always been a "jack of all trades and master of none" kind of person and I've actually enjoyed that experience. From knowing how to take apart a bicycle, a motorcycle engine, or even a car engine, fix it or make it better, put it back together and then enjoy the results, I've created the solution and code that let's me control things and see what is going on in our house from anywhere in the world in 1999 way before "online house" meant much, 

I've built things from small robots that entertain and roam around the room or let me tell them what to do and talk back to me, to RC lawnmowers help me mow, made stop motion videos out of Lego, built custom chopper bicycles from junk bikes, and turned an old riding lawn mower into a go cart.

I've "saved" a few cars from being scrap like my 1988 Turbocoupe, 1985 Mustang SVO, and 1989 Ranger 4x4, kept my 1969 Mustang that was first car in 1974 and nearly completed rebuilding it with nearly everything done myself. I already have another rescue under way in the form of a 1966 Galaxie 500 fastback that Austin and I are building. 

I've built a some patios and car ports, put up a few fences, developed a few database back ends and websites, and written code that keeps a lot of a city running. I've raced radio control cars and won a few trophies, flown quad rotors in the rain and lost one, rode MX motorcycles way above my head and fell off a few times in the process.

Sure I haven't solved world hunger, saved any lives, or changed the world in any manner and doubt I ever will. I haven't made a million dollars, created any businesses, or make something the future will be proud of. I have, however, had a bit of an varied life learning, trying and doing quite a few different things and enjoyed the experience of it.

If you're still reading this you may be thinking wow this is a lot about "me" but then again that is what the title is called, "What have I Done" :-) Note that I did say "IF one gets older", not when. First we must count ourselves lucky if we are the fortunate ones that "get" to get old as many are not so lucky. 

So "Learn from the past, hope for the future, but enjoy the present"... it could always be our last "present" we have.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Losing Our Balance...

Balance... Simple word, dire consequences when not maintained. 

Everything has to have and maintain balance in order to survive. From Mother Nature and wild life, the overall environment, and even the planets, there must be balance or everything goes awry. From financial systems, government, the economy in general, and down, yes down to politics, a balance must be maintained in order to survive and thrive.

I suggest we, as a people, a nation and a world have lost our balance, or even worse, it appears we are trying to maintain the balance by moving to the extremes of each area to keep it there. Using extremes, be it super rich vs super poor, big government vs no government, using all natural resources vs nothing can be used or extreme left vs right wing politics, to try to keep balance by extremism is very very risky.

Trying to balance by radical extremism is literally a recipe for disaster because if you actually win, you really lose. You can't use up all the natural resources this earth offers and expect to stay alive as people, nations, companies, or planet. You can't have only an upper elite of super wealthy as they cannot spend enough to sustain the economy that got them there to start with. You can't have a government that provides "free" health care, schools, income and more as there will be no working people to pay for it. You cannot have the only choices in politics be pure socialism or pure capitalism as well as each cannot sustain a long term balance.

Trying to maintain balance by by radical extremism is like walking a tight rope with your balance pole being too long and large weights on each end of the pole, but each weight could care less if YOU succeed as each weight is shifting and falling apart as you walk. It might work for the short term but you're going to fail in the long run.

Are we all really that extreme, are we all really radical haters anymore. We seem to so easily label each other as extremist. You can't support law enforcement without being a racist? You can't be a Christian without being labeled Islamophobic? You can't be Islamic without being labeled a terrorist? You can't cite the continued lowering of gun related deaths without being a gun fanatic but you can't talk about trying to lower that number more without being a 2nd amendment hater? You can't talk about the un-sustainability of either uncontrolled socialism or unbridled capitalism without being labeled one or the other. You can't talk about illegal immigration without being a white extremist? What's happened to the civility of our "civil" society? Are we all really that insecure that we can't work together for a better outcome but instead fall to name calling the first time we disagree? When will the main stream media start focusing on news instead of manufactured drama? These all negatively affect how we accomplish living on this planet and nation and they are all quickly falling to the extremes.

There has to be a better balance with less extremism and more cooperation on everything in our world. Sure moving those balancing weights close to you while you're on the wire may make the balancing act a little harder but with the weights being shifting radicalism you're less like to fail, fall, die, or kill your country or planet. Radical extremism, be it wealth, policies, race, environment, politics, or beyond, only creates a system of future failure when one side starts to fail and the fall to the other side will not be pretty for anyone.

When will we see how important keeping a proper balance is for everything?

                              I'm hoping I see it in my lifetime but I'm not holding my breath for sure...