Saturday, January 30, 2010


Allow me to digress from my normal focus and apply my concentration to Space, the Null, the Void, the fullness of the Universe.

It appears the future of the US Space Program is in jeopardy. We're in a deep recession and there is great need in many areas, why spend the money on a space program when there are so many more needy issues that are more pressing to our populace?

To answer that what is the Space Program, a way to produce expensive toys that are then shot into space for nothing of consequence?

Actually that isn't what the space program really is. Instead it is a way to spend massive amounts of money to develop incredibly talented and skilled individuals to progress science in new areas. The stuff produced is really of little consequence.

All of the money doesn't leave the planet, instead those salaries and fees generate income in our economy, create high paying jobs and multitudes of lower paying jobs in each surrounding community where the programs are instituted.

Money that could be on a scale of War, always a way to conquer a depression, but not one primarily focused on destroying.

The subsidiary benefits of the current space program literally redefined our society, from Tang, Velcro to the entire computer industry, etc.

Certainly as a society we have to find a way to assist the disadvantaged, but isn't creating long term jobs and strong futures just that?

This isn't my area of expertise, just an interest since I was a boy, but with a logic that seems to escape Washington, which is trying to live in the NOW and ignore what is the strongest way to move to the future, create jobs, increase human potential, and of course create toys that are thrown away.

Life is a balancing act, many countries around the world are working to enter the space age, perhaps they get the potential.

Seems to be a shame if we throw what we've accomplished away for a temporary fix that doesn't seem to fix much in the long run.

I guess it's OK after all, ET probably wants to talk to the Russians, Chinese, French, Japanese, Indians and everyone else who is moving out, and creating stronger economies for their country.

We can stay home and sit back and read about their taking control of the planet's future.

Monday, January 25, 2010

From Challenge to Success

The new year always brings new challenges and the opportunity to find new paths to success.

This past weekend I traveled 500 miles to Southern Penna. to visit my father. It was very good to see him and his short stay in the hospital concluded before I arrived. I only hope things continue to go well.

Now that's 18 hours driving round trip, not fun but necessary, still I was able to visit several friends and keep touch with their own lives.

Don Gladfelter (a Shotokan instructor) recently closed his school in York Penna. He lives a stone throw from my father's house and I was able to spend a few hours with him to talk about the reasons. It was a combination of factors mainly the current troubled economy causing students (and families) reconsider their needs, and several other factors. Sad after so many years to hear of his closure, but also to hear some of his students are working with him to start a much smaller program to try and continue their studies. I truly wish them success.

Then on the trip home my wife and I stopped in Dunmore and had breakfast with Tristan Sutrisno. Tristan teaches Shotokan from his father's lineage (beginning in Japan in the 1930's) , Aikido and Siliat. He literally was born in those traditions beginning his training at 4 years of age. He gave me a copy of the new Bushi No Te organization patch, discussed his current work, teaching and his upcoming 2nd book which I understand will be on Siliat. His first book "Becoming a Complete Martial Artist - Error Detection in Self-Defense and the Martial Arts" is now going into it's 2nd printing.

So if you have two hits might as well go for the third. This afternoon Charles Murray was able to drop in for a few hours. Charlie personally completed my training for my Sho-dan in Isshinryu back in the 1970's. (Charles obtained his sho-dan from my original instructor Tom Lewis) then as an airman studied in Okinawa with Shimabuku Tatsuo in 1971-1972. Today retired from the Air Force he works for Northrop Grumman Corporation. For the past 30 years fate keeps combining to make all of our visits short, but we spent a very production time reviewing Isshinryu issues, my students progress and other personal issues.

I am fortunate my fathers feeling better and my friends and instructors can share with me.