Live and learn


– Bumper sticker of the week: Follow your dreams! Except the one where you're naked in church.

– Quotes of the week: "Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." Mark Twain

    "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." Henry David Thoreau

– I wish my father had started a bank. Unfortunately, he died at an early age, so I would have had to run it over the last 40 years. It could have been Citi, or Bank of America. By now, I'd probably be a multi-millionaire. In today's favorite denomination, perhaps a billionaire. And both of those two banks would be exactly in the same place they are today: broke.

–How can you live without knowing these things?

• We only use 10% of our brain capacity.

• It is impossible to lick your elbow.

• Most people are smarter than politicians.

• Half of all Americans live within 25 miles of a Wal-Mart.

• If you spell out numbers, you have to get to a thousand before you get to an A.

 Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace.

• Most conservatives reserve their brainpower for later.

• Politics is a necessary evil. So is liverwurst and Limburger cheese.

• Golf stands for: Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.

– Teacher Man: Teaching is a challenge. I am into my second semester and have been enjoying it. I like hearing what young adults have to say. Anyone who thinks they are slacking in any way, shape, or form is sadly mistaken. One of the things that does surprise me is how many of the students have closed themselves off to further learning. I suppose it's not unusual that young adults think they have it all pretty well figured out. I'm guessing most adults thought that same way at that age. I keep reminding them that they have a long way to go, and closing your mind to new possibilities is not favorable to learning. A lot of things are yet to occur, and you don't want to deny the opportunity for a broad spectrum of experiences to add to your life and enjoyment of it. Thinking that you know "the truth," or that there is nothing left for you to learn, is a slippery slope. So far, this seems to be the biggest challenge: Getting the students to understand that their pursuit of knowledge has just started, and that it might well be uncomfortable. To think that you "have it" at age 18, 20, or 60 or 75, is to take away the mystery and excitement of living and learning. To seek out the answers that, in the end, you may never find, will make you a better person and the world a better place.

– Obama: Obama needs to get over working things out with Republicans. It ain't going to happen. Their strategy has always been to needle the opposition and bitch about everything the Democrats do. He will not make them any different. They will call him everything but Mr. President. After losing the election, the House, and the Senate, and most of their pride, they are not in the mood to be buddy-buddy. They see their only hope in being negative. Frankly, if I were Obama, I would revel in this misguided strategy. If he can get things to work, we are going to have a one-party system in this country. If not, it will be business as usual, with two parties, each about next to worthless.

– We got more groups and clubs forming to help us with our economic development than I can keep up with. None of it appears very impressive. Input is good, I can't argue with that. But for what purpose? A group needs to be appointed by the mayor and endorsed by four aldermen, giving them some level of power to make some economic development recommendations to the council that they will endorse. Groups and clubs with the same old people are not the answers. We've seen what they give us. It's still stuck to the bottom of my shoes.