Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thank a Musician Over the Holiday Season!

This is the time of year that a great many musicians play loads of music. It is important to acknowledge that there is a great deal of work and time put in to this, with practice time, rehearsals and driving time that musicians do which the public doesn’t see in order to provide the Holiday Season entertainment that most people expect to be treated to. So thank a musician for their dedication and let him or her know that they are appreciated.

- Richard Chandler

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving... A Time To Be Grateful for Mother Earth

Oddly enough, the video, upon which this post is based, is a Thanksgiving Day message. As we are enjoying what we often refer to on Thanksgiving, as “earth’s bounty,” it is a very good time to reflect on the undeniable fact that all of what we are enjoying is due to the earth itself. To the extent that we continue to behave as if the ways in which we consume have no consequences, is, in my view, the very opposite of the gratefulness that Thanksgiving Day engenders.

We are not only inspired by this video. We’re also inspired our nephew, Andrew Gustafson, who has embraced a new career of helping homeowners begin to live off of the earth’s clean, nonpolluting energy, through the sale and installation of solar heating and electrical power. As we as individuals, families, businesses, organizations and local through national government agencies embrace these technologies by being willing to pay more in the short run to save a great deal in the long run, we will not only benefit personally, we will eventually reverse the damage done to our planet and restore it for ourselves and future generations.

One day we hope to eat fish the fish in our lakes and rivers as often as we want, without being concerned about mercury toxicity from acid rain. That will happen as we support the clean, green technologies and the people and organizations that are forging ahead and leading us into doing what we all know, in our hearts, is right for our beautiful planet. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Polarity Therapy Conference - A Travelogue

A week ago, I returned from upstate New York, where I attended our very first gathering of the International Polarity Education Alliance, which is made up of both new and very experienced Polarity Therapy professionals. Our time together was very warm and rewarding, as I connected with friends from past Polarity Therapy conferences as well as with interesting new people. Here is a link to a short travelogue about what I experienced.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Short Commentary On the Recent Election

Within two days after the elections, I visited with two friends who served as election judges, both of whom are very patriotic, in the sense that they love and care about our county, and I believe both of them voted quite differently from each other.

As you can imagine, one of the two was extremely disappointed with the national results. She strongly felt that we are becoming too insensitive to all of the people in our country, in the sense that we are too wrapped up with own personal lives, and less willing to think about our fellow citizens, who are not doing so well economically.

She strongly feels that we need government leaders who are willing to pass legislation that helps the middle class, as well as the and less economically advantaged, to better their lives, by having government better support all of its people through more free and low cost access to education, healthcare and opportunities to work.

Ironically, those that I know who were happy with the election results, volunteer quite often to help the less economically fortunate… most often doing so through church organizations and local initiatives.

It seems to me that both approaches are critical, and not mutually exclusive.

- Richard J Chandler

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Wisdome of Having 2 or More Web Browsers

Because web browsers often crash, consider having at least 2 of them, so you’ll always have one working one in which to download a fresh copy of the one that crashed.

Please consider making as your homepage for your primary or secondary website browser. And one more thing. It has useful homepage links to email, weather, fresh and interesting news stories, Google search, and updated weekly quotations.

Thanks so much,


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Need to Continually Improve Our Computer Skills and Upgrade Our Hardware and Software

On Sunday, I had some issues with my computer not working properly. After doing my best to resolve them on my own, which took at least an hour, I brought the computer into Office Depot and received some valuable help from Chris, who said they would charge nothing for assessing the problem. His assessment, which lasted about 20 minutes, eventually helped resolve the issue, and I am grateful for his time and expertise. Without his help, I would not have been able to complete the updates on this, and our other websites, or write this message.

This incident really brought home the fact that we are very dependent on our computers to get our work done. Without good, properly operating equipment, and the ability to use it well, and fix difficulties that arise with some speed, we simply can’t get our work done.

In Bonne’s work as a group home counselor, her employer recently switched to a paperless system to track everything having to do with their clients. The high volume of forms, client logs, medical information and programming directives, has moved from a paper system to a complex, web-based program. Without already having fairly high-level computer skills, Bonne could have been one of the many employees who recently lost their jobs due to an inability to navigate through the new program with reasonable speed and accuracy.

Who would have thought that group home counselors would need good computer skills to work with developmentally disabled adults? And here is the reality… It was more than enough to learn the complex program itself that here workplace now required within the short timeframe they had to learn it. If she hadn’t been skilled and reasonably fast in basic computer skills, such as keyboarding, cutting and pasting, working with a mouse and navigating quickly through multiple screens, she would have been let go as so many were. As a group, the older, (now former), employees were especially affected.

Prior to this switch to paperless client care, her employer had no computers in their group-homes at all, so there was not an opportunity at her workplace to acquire basic computer skills. And there were only a few months of notice that skills with computer-only client-care would be required.

Where did Bonne get her skills? She has assisted in the administration of our own, small, natural-healthcare businesses for many years, as well as having used her computer personally, for emailing and navigating the internet. Had she not done this with her own laptop over the years, she could have gone from full-time employment, to no employment, like so many of her former co-workers, who hadn’t kept up with computer literacy, because lack of computer skills now is the new illiteracy.

- Richard Chandler

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Politicians Manipulate Advantages of a Tax Cut for Small Business

Of the 26,911,465 business establishments operating in the USA, only 7,387,724 had employees, which is less than a third of all businesses. (US Census statistics) Recently, politicians have been claiming the difficulty of small businesses to create jobs, as a reason for not letting the tax rates of Americans earning $250,0000 or more to automatically return to the rates that were in place prior to the George W. Bush tax cut for wealthy Americans.

As a small business, in the 'no employees' category, I feel this lobbying for renewing the Bush tax cuts, which is on personal income, (not business income), by Republicans, supposedly on behalf of small businesses, is misplaced and misleading. It implies that not renewing this tax break for wealthy Americans somehow affects small businesses in general. It certainly doesn't affect mine. Even if we did earn a personal income of over $250,000, (which is not likely in my lifetime, as our income would have to increase many-fold to do so), we still wouldn't hire people. It is just too much life-complication for a very small business like ours.

And my suspicion is that the scheduled return of pre-Bush-era tax-rates still would not be all that relevant, in terms of hiring decisions for businesses, with an increase in personal tax rates for those earning a personal income of $250,000 or more. Why? Because the decision to hire or not to hire would likely have to do with whether it would make sense for overall for the long-term profitability of the business itself, and not so much for the amount left over for the business owners after some share of the business profit is removed from the business and added to the payroll that owners typically pay themselves as employees in their own businesses. In other words, for a business that is large enough and complex enough to have employees, decisions to hire and retain employees aren’t so directly tied to an increase in the owner’s personal tax rate.

So, as far as I’m concerned, if you are a politician lobbying to renew the Bush tax cuts, do so based on the honesty of declaring how you want to keep more of your personal money when you have high incomes, and not on the basis of somehow keeping small businesses from being detrimentally affected.

- Richard Chandler

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Writer Jonathan Franzen - Cover of Time Magazine

I get a lot of pleasure out of reading. I really do. But it has been many years since I deliberately read fiction for pleasure. In other words, other than reading through a few fiction pieces from the New Yorker over the years – yes, you’re right… the cartoons are the only part of the magazine that I consistently read – I have read no other fiction, relegating novels to a minor list on my fantasy retirement plan.

Then, I read the cover article about the writer Jonathan Franzen in the August 28, 2010 issue of Time Magazine, written by another writer, Lev Grossman. (His quotations from that article are shown below.)

And the article itself blew me away. It was so well written, and so enthusiastic, in a measured way, that I wanted to discover more about Lev Grossman’s own writing. So I went to Barnes & Nobel, (our main local bookstore), and purchased the Codex. I read it over three days and was thoroughly entertained! And in addition, learned some new things about early books and the early renaissance period of time in England.

- Richard Chandler

Monday, September 6, 2010

Combat Operations Troops Now Gone - 5th Anniversary of Katrina

Milestones & Commemorations… The week of August 30th marked two events for our country – the end of the combat mission in Iraq and the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. On Sunday, I heard the president’s speech about Katrina. This past Tuesday evening, he addressed the nation on Iraq. In my view, it is good for us to acknowledge that despite the fact there still remains much more to do in Iraq, Louisiana and Mississippi, a great deal has been accomplished.

James Carville, a CNN contributor and resident of New Orleans stated that it wasn’t a 50/50 accomplishment, but more like a 75/25 accomplishment with 75 being how far we have come in the five years since the disaster. Of the high in USA troops of 140,000 in Iraq, we have brought 90,000 home and the remaining 50,000 are primarily in a support and training role with combat action only if attacked.

So while neither of these warrants celebration, it is good for us as a nation to acknowledge that over time, with planning, funding, action and resolve, we Americans can solve problems and make things better. A good part of patriotism is being proud of the accomplishments of our nation. Let’s take just a little time to do that, temporarily setting aside our strong personal opinions of what we think wasn’t right and could have been better or different, to acknowledge that with the incredible commitment and sacrifice of our troops and the people who have dedicated themselves to restoring the Gulf region, things have changed for the better.

- Richard Chandler