Tag Archives: New Year

Happy New Year (and goodbye 2013)

Good Bye 2013As you can see from the image accompanying this post, I am not particularly sad to see 2013 in the rear view mirror. Mostly that’s due to three months of being unemployed. But with 2013 behind us it is time to look forward. New Year’s Day is a great day for an optimist, and I am still that.

First, the Jim Lynch Theory of Time Relativity: Many people notice as they age that the years seem to go by more quickly as each one passes. I believe that I have figured out why that is. Follow along. When you are one year old a year takes an entire lifetime. When you’re ten a year only takes one tenth of a lifetime. A little over a month ago I turned 58. For me, a year only takes one 58th of a lifetime! Tempus Fugit!

Tampa Bay Times Forum #GOP2012It seems as if so little time has gone by since I posted about volunteering to work at the 2012 GOP Convention in Tampa, while in reality we are closer to the 2014 mid-terms than we are to that event. As an optimist I’d like to say I’m looking forward to these elections, but there is a part of me that harbors two fears: 1) Are there enough voters left in America who understand the issues and the consequences and will get out and vote accordingly? 2) Are there enough good, solid, conservative candidates running who will communicate effectively and then stand by their principles once elected. I pray that the answer to both questions is, “yes”.

People of all ideologies are fed up with Washington, and rightly so. But change, if it is to happen, will only occur if people understand the importance of our republican (small “R”) form of government. As we enter 2014 let’s stop brushing off the actions of our elected officials as something “they” did in DC, or our state capital and insist to our representatives, the media, our neighbors, and our friends that the people we’ve put in office were elected by us, work for us, and answer to us.

Politics aside, there are many reasons to be optimistic on the first day of a new year. 2014 has no history at this moment. It will be what we, as individuals, make of it. I can only encourage you to make the most of it that you possibly can. But I, an individual created and blessed by God, can pray and work and strive to make this year a great one in my life. I remember hearing long ago that I can only control two things in my life – my attitude and my actions. Everything. EVERYTHING else is beyond my control. But man, what I can do with those two things.

I hope that you have a great, happy, and blessed new year. Take what you’ve been given and make the most of it.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year – 2013

2013Happy New Year!

2012 is officially in the rear-view mirror and 2013 is here. Regular readers know that I am an optimist by nature, and there’s nothing an optimist likes more than a brand new year to get things off to a fresh new start. So in that regard I am excited, as always, for the opportunity a new year brings.

My optimism is tempered this year by some serious concerns about the things we face in 2013. The new year offers some daunting challenges, both personally and collectively as a nation.

Nancy Pelosi’s much quoted observation that we had to pass Obamacare to see what was in it will start to live up to its promise. Expect an ever more revealing look at monster with the pretty name and lofty ideals. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will neither protect patients, nor be affordable. I expect that what we learn about this law will occupy a good part of the new year.

Economic issues will be another constant companion in 2013. We see that in these first few hours of 2013 and the proposed Fiscal Cliff Deal.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.

Of course that 41:1 figure relies on the $15 billion in spending cuts actually getting cut. Any bets on that happening? I didn’t think so.

My biggest (and final, for this post. I promise) concern for the new year, and Obama’s second term, is regulation. I am convinced that we are in for a flood of regulations in the new year and beyond that will eclipse what we’ve seen in our first 236 years as a nation. Ironically, it may be the regulatory over-reach that wakes up the complacent and propels them to action. Even the ever larger segment of the population that is happy to get government “stuff” will, I believe, start to chafe from regulations that intrude into every part of our lives.

But enough pessimism.

As I am every year, I am excited about the possibilities a new year offers. The challenges we face are nothing compared to the people that will face them. I may be dumbfounded by choices my fellow citizens made in 2012, but I am convinced that there are enough of us left who still believe in the American experiment to prevent an irreversible collapse.

I’ve said before that in some ways America has it too good. Not in the way our liberal friends think, that we need to be knocked down a peg to elevate the rest of the world. Rather, that when we live a life of ease it is easy to become complacent, to forget the words of Ronald Reagan,

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

And there are still fighters out there. I’m sure of it. I’m counting on it.

Yet, sometimes it takes a little adversity to remind us that we need to continue the fight. Years ago I remember teaching a Sunday school class. I made the point that Satan has better success using complacency than confrontation. The same is true of our national life, as we sit back and believe that things will get better without working to insure that it is so.

My wish for all of you in 2013 is that you will be blessed by all the good things that God has made available to you, that you will find comfort to persevere in the face of adversity, and that you will choose to fight for the promise still inherent in our great nation,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Happy New Year, and all the best for 2013!

Looking Back at 2010 – Part 4

Welcome to New Year’s Eve 2010. Time to continue my look back at the paucity of posts here at bRight&Early. October was no exception. I did tell everyone about a new site I had created – The Polk Family Fun Guide. It is a directory for local family friendly businesses, and something I will be spending quite a bit of time on in 2011 as we get closer to the opening of LEGOLAND® Florida in October of 2011. One of the other posts this month was related to Legoland as well, pointing to a series of post I did at The Brick Blog regarding the Media Hard Hat Tour. Between those, I did manage to take a look at the mid-term elections that were still two weeks away.

The pace of posting finally went up in November. As you might suspect, many of the posts were related to the mid-terms. I particularly liked how things turned out here in Florida. One post that was well received was Obama’s (Imaginary) Address November 20, 2010. I finished the month by posting my favorite Thanksgiving video (As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly) and my thoughts as I turned 55.

Part of this month (December) was dedicated to looking at blog comments. I think that the three posts I did on that topic were pretty interesting, and informational. A few days before Christmas I noted that I have posted the text of the United States Constitution on a page. As promised, I have started to add anchor tags to the individual sections, but it is still a work in progress.

Well, there you have it — my look back at 2010. Yes, I see that the posting has been light at times. Yes, I’d like to do better. Still, 2010 has been a very good years in many ways. I hope that it has been a good year for you as well. No matter what, we are only hours away from the beginning of a new year. I wish for all of you a very productive, satisfying, successful, and Happy New Year.

Looking Back at 2010 – Part 2

Good morning. Let’s continue our look back at 2010 as it was here at bRight&Early by seeing what I posted about in April, May, and June.

As we got into April it was clear to see that the 2010 political season was well under way. By the end of the month we would find out that Governor OoompaLoompa, Charlie Crist, had decided to run with no party affiliation. He also decided to run with no conservative support, no back bone, and no moral compass, but that wasn’t part of the official announcement. Earlier that month I had also taken notice of the Florida district 22 house race, eventually won by the impressive Lt. Col. Allen West. In the middle of the month I was able to attend the Lakeland TEA party. Here is my favorite picture from the event.

Septic Obama

I started May with a post that gets to the heart of what I really like about Marco Rubio and his message of conservatism. It is embodied in this quote from his FNS appearance:

Conservative thought is the mainstream position in America. What is not mainstream in America is the belief that we should spend money that we don’t have. What’s not mainstream in America is the belief that we should take this crazy complicated tax code and make it crazier and more complicated. What is not mainstream in America is this belief that somehow if America weakens its position in the world, the world will become a safer place. These are the positions that quite frankly the policies coming out of Washington would create. That’s well outside the mainstream of American political thought. So I believe that what political pundits describe as conservatism and I embrace as conservatism is mainstream thought in America.

That short paragraph says a lot.

We also found out that the 2012 Republican Convention will be held in Tampa. I suggested a big blogger get together, and the idea is still there. Thoughts?

I was a real slacker in June, but I did take time to note the SC primary victories of Nikki Haley and Tim Scott.

That takes us through the first half of the year. You can read about January, February and March in Part 1.

Looking Back at 2010 – Part 1

One very cool thing that happened to start this year was the announcement of LEGOLAND® Florida coming to what is practically my neighborhood. It is a story I followed all year, and it even inspired me to start two new sites: The Brick Blog and Polk Family Fun Guide. The park is scheduled to open in October of 2011, so you can expect more stories next year.

In February I shared the news that my old place of business had been purchased by another company. Many things have changed, and I can honestly say it’s been good changes. One thing I didn’t know at the time were the number of regulatory hoops that had to be jumped through before the merger could be completely complete. The final pieces should all be in place on the one year anniversary of the announcement, Feb. 3, 2011.

In March I, along with the rest of the nation, was looking at the bill we had to pass to know what was in it — the Health Control bill. Well, they passed it, we see what is in it, and most of the nation hates it. It has been challenged in court and is probably one of the key contributors to the legislative successes we saw last month. Expect it to be a key focus of the 112th Congress.

One other post from March that I believe is worth reading is a long excerpt from Atlas Shrugged. How I hope that it doesn’t describe the path we are on.

Well, that takes us through the first quarter of the year. Tomorrow I’ll look back on April, May, and June.

A Wish for a Wonderful 2009

Happpy New Year!

No matter what 2008 brought your way, I wish for you an absolutely wonderful 2009!

Should 401k’s fall apart
and jobs be hard to find
The Hope and Change® is sure to start
The country’s lost it’s mind.

You voted in the chosen one
believed slick spoken lines
2009 may prove to be
some interesting times.

Beyond Times Square

There are more things dropping on New Year’s Eve than the ball at Times Square in New York.

Website TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com) has come up with a list of America’s top 10 quirkiest New Year’s Eve drops on advice of its editors and travelers. This list is not endorsed by Reuters.

“While New York City’s famous ball drop in Times Square is a spectacular sight, there are other uniquely wonderful ways Americans can ring in the New Year,” said TripAdvisor spokeswoman Michele Perry. “While they range from clever to wacky, it’s clear that New Year’s Eve is about celebrating traditions and enjoying the company of a crowd.”

What I found interesting was the smorgasbord of things being dropped around the country. You can find a 20-foot, 600-pound fiberglass walleye fish in Port Clinton, Ohio, an 18-foot sausage in Elmore, Ohio, a seven-and-a-half-foot edible bologna in Lebanon, Pa, a Gumbo Pot in New Orleans, a giant replica of a steamed red crab in Easton, Md, Cheese in Plymouth, Wisconson, and a three-foot tall, glowing pickle in Mount Olive, NC. If you want desert head to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where they drop a 25-pound fiberglass illuminated Marshmallow Peep.

I’ve heard of some others not mentioned in the story. I believe Atlanta drops a giant peach and I’m sure that somewhere here in Florida someone drops a big orange. Know of any others? Let us know in the comments.

Or perhaps we can make some suggestions:
Philadelphia — A cheese steak, soft pretzel, or Tasty Cake™
Battle Creek, Michigan — A big bowl of breakfast cereal
Dallas — An effigy of Jerry Jones
Washington, DC — A huge sack of cash

Any others?

Bush To Get More Time In The White House

Ok, the title is for the tin-foil brigades, but it is true. President Bush’s stay in the White House will be extended.

The world’s official timekeepers have added a “leap second” to the last day of the year on Wednesday, to help match clocks to the Earth’s slowing spin on its axis, which takes place at ever-changing rates affected by tides and other factors.

The U.S. Naval Observatory, keeper of the Pentagon’s master clock, said it would add the extra second on Wednesday in coordination with the world’s atomic clocks at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC.

That corresponds to 6:59:59 p.m. EST (23:59:59 GMT), when an extra second will tick by — the 24th to be added to UTC since 1972, when the practice began.

It’s a conspiracy I tell you!

Tough Resolutions

I’m digging down deep for my resolutions this first day of the year. I’m not going for those impossible to keep, everybody makes them resolutions. These are substantive resolutions that I will keep:

  • I will watch plenty of sports. Not just today, but all year long.
  • Red Meat. That’s a food group I can sink my teeth in to.
  • I will spend time on the computer. With bRight & Early, Blogs.4Bauer, Heading Right, and The Marblehead Regiment, that should be easy to accomplish.
  • I almost forgot. Oreos are also a food group.
  • I will continue to be underpaid for the work that I do. My employer has expressed their willingness to help in this area.
  • Exercise. I don’t need no stinkin’ exercise.
  • I will continue to point out instances of Leftourettes™ wherever I see them.
  • No more procrastination. Happy 2007 everyone! Whoops. I guess one out of eight isn’t bad.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I wish for all of you a very happy new year. With all of the interest and focus on the rapidly approaching election, news and events from around the world, and the stories we focus on here at home, let’s not loose site of all the good things we have in our lives.

We are blessed, so much so that we can easily loose sight of just how much. Foremost among those blessings (as a nation) is our freedom. This experiment in liberty allows us so much opportunity and grants us so many rights that it is easy to take them all for granted. But it is when we ignore them that we are in danger of losing them. Let’s never forget what we have here in the United States, and let’s never allow apathy to erode our liberty.

Finally, thank you to all of those who serve proudly and bravely to allow us to count our blessings and enjoy our freedoms. To all of our military all around the world, Happy New Year and may God bless you and protect you.