Walk With Me


    This morning I accompanied my first grandson to his first day of school. The little guy doesn't realize that this is the start of a lifetime of institutional learning. He doesn't see the expenses that have just started to roll in, the hours of sweat and sleepless nights, the germs he will start sharing with his classmates, the traveling miles, the thousands of packed school lunches, the friendships he will nurture as well as the enemies he will create. I looked at his parents and I saw their hopes and dreams in their young investment. Wasn't that me not too long ago? Am I now standing where my parents stood when I was dropped off to a similar environment? I remember my 1st day of school, I was late and I sat on a bench outside the hallway. I didn't know I was supposed to go inside the classroom. If not for the head teacher patrolling the area, I would have parked there the rest of the day.

    I was not prepared for school. Being the second child it was assumed that I already knew what to do. (Actually,I think my parents told me but I was too dumb to remember). It was assumed that I knew how to answer a test paper --- I knew the answers but no one told me I had to encircle it. No one told me it was good to participate in class. I always thought it was polite to keep quiet. No one told me about enemies. My seatmate who I was introduced as my new best friend turned out to be a bully. I didn't know why I had to go to school. They didn't know what was happening and I didn't know what to ask. I went with the flow.

   Life can be tough. But "tough" is a relative term. A shoeless kid growing up in an underdeveloped area who needs to carry jugs of water from a nearby stream and shepherd goats --- now THAT's tough!

    Have you noticed that those who grow up deprived also mature faster? It is during this period when one either grows bitter and chooses the "dark side" or is loved and chooses the "good side." Morals/values: respect, appreciation, integrity, honesty, love for others, fear of God, etc. These things are picked up between school, home and society. Good or bad, they stick with you for the rest of your life.

   First day of formal training? Yes. First day of understanding life? No. That started on day one. Parenting is such an awesome responsibility. God bless all you parents. God bless the child.

Wisdom from Joji of Antipolo, Philippines
Words of Wisdom

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Thanks to this week's winners:
Tom and Art of Pasadena; Mike of New York; Charlie of New Jersey; Don of Kelowna; Rodney of Manitoba; John of Long Beach; and Joji of Antipolo.

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So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man, trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
--- Proverbs 3: 4-5

Walk With Me While I Age
A beautiful Poem About Growing Older
Contributed by Tom of Pasadena, CA

I hope this poem has the same effect on you as it did on me - then my forwarding it will be worth the effort.

Walk with me while I age!

I forgot the words.

I forgot my glasses.

I forgot my hearing aid.

Ah forget it! Who wants to walk while I age anyway!


Click on the comic strip above to view an enlargement.

2 Political Picture Jokes

I don't usually share political stuff but these were too good not to share. To be fair, I'm putting one for the Republicans and one for the Democrats. Chill out guys. Don't be too serious.

Videos of the week:

Two Germans Taste-Test Helium Infused Beer

Contributed by Rodney of Manitoba

Helium Beer

The Germans are noted for their love of beer. Here are 2 beer critics who are about to sample a new American invention --- beer injected with helium. I love their uncontrollable laughter --- was it the beer or the gas that affected their brains?

Click Here for Drama
Contributed by Rodney of Manitoba, B.C.

Click for Drama

Belgians are not known for their active lifestyle. Life is pretty boring (so they say). See what happens when someone places a button in the middle of a town.

Cat Using Sign Language for Food
Contributed by Don of Kelowna. B.C.

Sign Language Cat

Are animals getting smarter or have they always been and we just never realized it before. This is one smart cat.

An Admiral's Commencement Speech
Contributed by Art of Pasadena, CA

Speech by Colonel

There is a science behind the madness of a military bootcamp. The lessons actually prepare you for life --- how to address it, survive with it and live by it.

Military Boneyard
Contributed by John of Long Beach, CA

Airplane Boneyard

Not a video but a website: In times of war, nations produce volumes of military artillery in order to topple their enemies. But did you know that there usually is a surplus of this stuff that needs to be disposed of after the war? In the Philippines the surplus army jeeps were converted into public transportation. To this day, "jeepneys" are still in business.

Japanese Skateboard

Contributed by Charlie of New Jersey
Japanese Skateboard

A website and videos: An interesting product developed from a creative Japanese. Buy stocks now while you still can.

Cruisin' for a bruisin'
Contributed by Charlie of New Jersey

Cruise during storm

The Love Boat --- this is not! When you get on a cruise with a huge discount, make sure you check the weather forecast first.

The Man and The Dog
Contributed by Mike of New York

The Man and a Dog

What would happen if you die and you leave your pet behind? Watch this poignant video of life as seen from a dog's eyes.

Have a great weekend guys! TGIF!


This issue is a bonanza of things to read and listen to. Yep, we finally have our computer sound back. And sob, sob, is Zoey gone?

Special mention of course is [my great grandkid] first day in school. I envy [my grand daughter] having you and [your wife] around to oohh and ahhh with her over [his] milestone. Thanks to Facebook, we are all part of his big moment.

In your time, when you and [your older brother0 started prep, I had to divide my time. I already had the twins, (4 yrs), [your other sister], 3 and [brother] 2 to take care of at home. I remember during that time, I was in maternity clothes most of the time....boiling bottles of milk or breast feeding. I was 26 yrs. and with 6 kids already and just a year apart......running up and down the big stairway in [our ancestral home] and me screaming after you all, "Oldest to youngest!" ...lest you all crowd and fall down. (Looking back, that's how [your Dad's Mom] got in a comma --- by falling down the steps in [that home], no?)

You remember, "Oldest to youngest" orders when grabbing for food, or taking a bath, or walking single file down the street. It was my way of keeping track, of running kids, specially in crowded places. Thank God, you were all obedient. How I loved you all! How I thank God for all of you!

[Raoul's Mom]

(note from Raoul: For security reasons, I removed all the names of the original letter)

Oh Ma,

I'm sorry I made you defensive.

I understand you were straddled with too many kids too soon, in a strange land and inexperienced. And that's just for starters.

I will include your comments in the website so people will know that.

In reality we parents all make mistakes. We all have regrets raising our kids.

I did not mean to complain or insult you but I meant to emphasize the great responsibility of being a parent.

You were/are a great Mom. I am blessed to have you.

As far Zoe is concerned, don't worry. I was actually thinking of you when I made that last issue. I know how you hate sad stories. I forgot to warn you and assure you that things will turn out OK in the next edition.

Love ya!

Thanks Raoul,

Best intro ever. You should be a Philosophy Teacher. Loved it.

Tom in St. John New Brunswick


Your editorial column is very interesting and profound, actually. I can not remember one thing about elementary school, not anything that happened there, nor teachers nor friends. A blank. But that's the result of aging, I guess. I remember very little of high school and even college

But memories of 63 years with [my dear wife] keep coming every day, especially when I see a photo that triggers the context, or her handwriting, or while shopping I see items that she instructed me to buy.

My brother insists that I start writing a biography of [her] and her interesting life and publish it. But I can't even create an outline. "writer's block?". I guess if I just start with one or two episodes, the rest will flow. As with every other kind of writing I do. I have 35mm slides going back to our beginnings as teenagers together, then 8 mm films, then analog videos, then digital videos and photos. Maybe if I sort through and catalog all that, the images will surely trigger text to go with it, and ultimately a video AND a book. Now I'm overwhelmed just by the thought of doing all that.

But you gotta start somewhere, my mind tells me. So get going, Ray. Thanks Raoul. Maybe today is the start of "something big".

Ray of Altadena, CA



Heather of Whittier, CA

Happy Friday Bro!

The two political photos are so funny! Thanks for sharing.

Rick of Chino Hills, CA

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