Eulogy to my Father

On the night my father died I was walking mom up the stairs and waiting for her to unlock the door, I saw a fox running down 167th street right in front of our house. I have never seen a fox in Hessville, Hammond, or any other street in America for that matter. Of course dad used to hunt all sorts of animals, including fox. That night driving home it was a little comforting remembering seeing that fox run down our street that night. Perhaps it was the animal world paying homage to an old worthy foe, or maybe even something more, or perhaps nothing significant at all, but it may be significant to some, so I thought I would share this morning.

Dad loved talking about his glory days of hunting when he was younger, hunting all day all over Northwest Indiana, running through the vast fields and forests, some of which are now long gone and replaced by shopping centers or subdivisions. He would come home to the farm for home cooked meals. Running in those fields all day got him very hungry, and he would work up an appetite. And, yes he could run too – he could “run like the wind” he would say. I’m sure he could, from working on a farm all day and hunting animals down, he must have been a great athlete as well as a great hunter, and I loved waking up early in the morning to go hunting, I could feel the excitement and I knew my dad knew what he was doing. He taught me that you could also hunt mushrooms. Hunt mushrooms? Apparently, you need to know what you’re doing, where to find them. Which ones to get. He’d come home with buckets and buckets of mushrooms. I didn’t like them back then, but they did smell good. He was a great outdoorsman. He knew how to work the land. He had a nice small garden which I have the fond memory of getting vegetables and bringing them for mom to cook for dinner. He also had the greenest lawn in the area. He was outside watering his lawn every night in the summer, just standing there with the hose. I never knew why then, but I know now that he took pride in his lawn. It was work after all, and there is honor in work. Even something as simple as taking care of your lawn. He knew and taught me that it increases the land value, not only for us, but for the whole neighborhood. He was a dedicated, hard working man, and he worked as long as he could physically do so.

As long as I can remember, I always beat him in arm wrestling. But, I know he let me win when I was younger. That’s what dad’s do. I always loved wrestling with my dad. Even when he was too old and arthritis was tearing through his bones, he still gave it a shot but it was too easy then. But I kept on him, even at the nursing home in his final months I tried riling him up for an old arm wrestling match, just for laughs and old times sake, I think I got a little smile out of him. He loved playing Checkers, electronic battleship, and ping pong. I don’t think he ever refused a challenge from me. Not even at the nursing home, when he could barely move the pieces on his own, he gave it a try. At one point he was beating me there, here he is barely able to talk and he had one more piece than me, and I was good at checkers! But he taught me everything I knew. We played hundreds upon hundreds of checkers games. I wasn’t taking it easy on him either, but we couldn’t finish because it was a bit too much for him, and I knew. I was just glad to be able to squeeze a few more moves in with him.

I don’t know how many times people thought dad was my grandfather, but I never had any problem of correcting them as long as I could remember. After all we were “buddies” and we’d go everywhere together. We often went out to eat, at Chuck and Irene’s for fish dinners on Fridays, or Ponderosa or Sizzler on the weekends. Some other old favorites were Pepe’s and House of Pizza. He’d take us shopping to Southlake Mall, Woodmar Mall and anywhere in between.

He always bought the top of the line stuff, he taught me that too because the stuff that was cheap often broke and ended up being more expensive in the long run. He taught me a lot of things, some things I still haven’t quite yet grasped, after all he has a good 50 years on me and I’m on my first, but somehow he always provided for his very large family. I think when he was my age he was running a house with, what, 6 kids already? I’m not sure exactly, but I know I couldn’t hold a candle up to him in that department. This man grew up during the end of the Great Depression, he must’ve learned a trick or too going through that. I couldn’t really imagine what that was like. At the time of writing this I am on my computer at home with my duo 2.0 GHZ computer processors with a 23” widescreen computer monitor. Yet my dad had to help his dad sell newspapers in Chicago so they had food on the table. I know my dad didn’t have it as easy as I did and I know that I wouldn’t want to walk in his shoes, I know he dad was loving in that he wanted me to live a better life than he did, as all good dads would want.

Growing up, we always had food on the table. He was a great cook alongside Mom. He could make some great dishes, and some not so great dishes also. Some of us might remember his Spanish Pork Chops, or the Tripe soup, or Cha-lin-A. (Czarnina). When my friends asked what we were having for supper and my dad said Walleye, they laughed as if we were “weird”. After all, what little kid in Hessville eats Walleye for dinner? Well I guess if you’re parents were 40-50 years older than you, you did. That was some of the benefits of having old fashioned parents, they didn’t have frozen foods growing up, they had to cook real meals. But, then again, I was always skinny. From looking at those old pictures of him when he was around my age, I think I definitely got some of that from him.

Many of us remember the many camping trips we went on. My dad took us camping so much I can’t remember everywhere we went. There are many memories from camping, fishing on Lake Michigan. I had the greatest Lake perch in my life from fish we caught off the lake in Cedar Falls Michigan. Dad knew how to gut them, something I never got the guts to do myself, and we’d cook them on the grill. He could do stuff like that, something I learned to admire. He did a lot of thing I was always a little squirmish about. Like tearing the skins off of squirrels we hunt and then eating them. I grew up in a different era, and some of my peers wouldn’t ever imagine eating squirrel, but you definitely learn a few tricks living with someone who passes for your Grandfather.

Dad took me all over the nation, I can’t remember every place we’ve been to, but the ones that stick out are Raccoon Lake, Turkey Run, Cooperstown, the air force museum, Washington DC, and the California trip….. which I’m told I was too young to remember, but I think I might have a few vague memories, like the old Station wagon overheating out there in the middle of the hot sun, and some freezing nights in the pop up in some unknown state out West. He showed me as much of the world as he could through traveling and I always appreciated it.

How he had the money to do it, I’ll never really know. I’ll never know how he supported so many children. He found a way – Just like I must now. Whenever I feel like not going to work at 5:30 in the morning, let me just think of my dad working all sorts of odd hours in the mill for 38 years straight. I don’t think that was an easy job either, being a millwright. But he must’ve been good at it. He was always fixing something around the house. He had so many tools that it would take me a lifetime to even get to know what they all did, let alone know how to use them. Many times I remember going to Lindys hardware to pick up something, because something was always broke. I think he could nearly fix anything, until he got older when his hands failed him. When that happens, him and the dad from “A Christmas Story” seem all too similar, however some of the curse words he came up with, were, well.. you know. And he had a voice on him, It was possibly the loudest voice I’ve ever heard in my life. He could scream at me from at least 4 blocks away and I would hear him and I knew he knew I heard him too, no matter how often I attempted to ignore it. When you get yelled at that loud, you have no choice but to come home.

Throughout my life, I learned that I should’ve listened to my dad more. I guess we all do this and end up going our own way, then coming back. The prodigal son isn’t famous for nothing. But there are many things this old man has taught and will teach me. There’s still a lot to learn, he left me with so many stories that they will resonate as long as I can remember, partly because he told me every story dozens if not hundreds of times.

I realized after growing up that dad had his own way of doing things which was much different than the rest of the worlds. There are many lessons I have learned and will still continue to learn from my dad. I know if I look hard enough, there are lessons about sacrifice in my dad. Lessons about honor , courage and strength. This is what a father is for and while we had our hard times, we wouldn’t know the good times from the bad if the hard times weren’t there. There’s many things I appreciate in my dad, he was unique in every way I could imagine. He left his imprints on me in many ways and if there’s any good qualities that may come from me at any given time, yes mom you could be most definitely be the reason, but some things only a father can teach a son, and with the passing of dad perhaps I hope all of you could continue to see the good qualities of my father here and there in me, if I’m capable of learning and executing them. And hopefully, I’ll be able to pass something on that may be a different for this day and age, just like dad did. He always gave everyone something to think about.


The never ending left wing right wing civil war

This polarizing dichotomy  causes nothing but problems.  Once someone buys into this left wing right wing nonsense a bias is created that could very well consume the individual and blind them of all logical rational sense in favor of an ideology that ultimately is likely not even held dear in many ways to their own hearts but simply identify for the most part with a lot of the stances of either wing. What occurs however is a battle line is drawn, an enemy is provided that you can fight against and your patriotism is subtlety replaced with a cancerous ideology that you mistake for patriotism. 

These Wacko wingnuts are gullible. They’re foaming at the mouth to believe anything that negatively denounces their opposition. This is simply just more fuel for their bias, which is feeding endorphins to their sacred holy war that is fighting out right in the very confines of their whole minds. Their enemy is practically completely contrived through their vision of some sort of shadowy monster that possesses human beings and rewires their brains, figuratively. 

It is still a rampant aspect of people in these United States, clinging to an entire ideology as if it were their own baby… thinking on a black and white basis ( (psychology))

Their identities rely upon the enemy. They are the anti left wing, or anti right wing warrior. Without their opposition, they are nothing. They feed off each other, through lies and deceit, ignorance and bias. These concepts can be defeated in some people, as quite a bit of us are a mixture of these two ideologies. Yet there’s always people in favor of either one will end up snowballing their ideological standpoint into debating warfare of some grandiose proportions in which their own bias blinds them into some eternal damnation of logical hell, where intelligence has forsaken them and bias consumes them, forever fighting a war that cannot be won. Half the time the enemy is your own contrivance. I guess it gives them purpose.

The Virtue of Dog Poo

These are the words of a 60 year old + fellow philosopher who made light of some things and methods I hold dear, that if you choose to follow the path, will be enlightened. Yes, this is not some semantical hogwash post on what do words mean, this is practical philosophy, on dog poo. The fact that a discussion of dog poo makes these semantical discussions look like kindergartner philosophy is a telling tale. You kids ought to learn something from this. Just look past the typos and misspellings, because philosophy overrides Grammar, when the important aspect of it is philosophy. 

“I am going to prove to the most doubting mind the virtue of dog poo. This morning i had a time consuming job to do… getting a piece of rope out of my my riding lawnmower . As i was jacking it up i noticed a very unpleasing odor coming from one of my tires and I continued to try to grin and bear it until the job was done because the tire had imbedded fresh dog feces….then it dawned on me…this is an opportunity to grow… I remember an East Indian author telling us to examine emotions and to examine emotions in the eternal know. Well i decided that moment that this had to be done and i was just the one who would be willing to do it because of the absurdity of it . I was going to examine the smell of dog feces as it has never been examined before. So when the job was done i walked to the back of the yard and found the freshest pile of dog feces I could find. I sat down beside itand picked a juicy clump up with my thumb and two fingers on my bare right hand and mashed it around a little and feeling the texture with only that in mind and then I raised it to my nose… and just how it would smell if i could remove the element of good and bad…ah yes virtue was on it’s way…the ultimate non discrimination if i could pull it off which I knew without a doubt in my mind i could do. I drew in my breath through my nose and even touched it lightly to my nostrils so I could smell it even more. I just concentrated on exactly what it smelled like with no judgement at all…deeply inhaling …and getting the full experience of this once noxious smell. I sat there five minutes doing nothing but examining this smell . I then listened to all the noises around me and threw out the taught behavior and with no inner feeling of the right or wrong of it or pleasant or unpleasant sounds around me. Cars in the distance, birds noises, insects,wind in the trees cicadas whirring, no favorites or un favorites just focused observing of eachand every one thoroughly devoid of judgement.,then i did the same thing with seeing no discernment of beauty or ugliness but just focused on each sight, garbage can, old torn up towel with the beautiful non judgement of the uncluttered mind seeing it for what it is actually for the very first time. I sat there without moving and did not hurry or un hurry but just stayed there without using the man made concept of time but simply observeing whatever i saw then after awhile i know not how long because actually there was no time at all .things change but time never does because it is the eternal now …I got up peaceful and very refreshed and walked to the water hose and washed my nose and hands and dove into the pool not caring about time.

I was going to a picnic with my wonderfully happy family to my wonderfully diverse in laws and I knew that I was going to eat potato salad which I last ate when I was 8 yrs old and only when forced. I hated the smell and taste of it too. I ate potato salad made with red creamer potatoes, it was pleasant to my taste buds i did not consider smell and when i finished I ate another helping to me the tase was good. I now like potato salad a miracle itself. So from a thourough examination of some smell I loathed, it enhanced my smell, my seeing, my patience, my feeling and my touch, It enhanced my appreciation of potato salad, my concentration and ultimately my virtue because now if I smell a bed pan, or go to a foreign country where bathing is not possible, all the time and smell sweaty armpits or dried urine in old used clothes, I will drink in the smell with non discrimination and not wince in disgust when one of them walks by..for surely they’ll notice and not accept me but they’ll notice i notice them without regard to smell thus enhancing our bonding to one another as well …i proceed it to myself now you can prove it to yourself by drinking in deeply the next perceived unpleasant smell without discrimination but just as it is and you will prove it to yourself as well….You dont have to go to the Draconian extreme I did but you can just ease into it results were almost instantaneous…but I understand why.”

The Core of Humanity


“There’s no escaping reason, no evading purpose, because we both know, that without purpose there is no reason to exist. It is purpose that created us, purpose that connects us, purpose that pulls us, that guides us, that drives us, that defines us, it is purpose that binds us.” – Agent Smith

I don’t exactly agree with Agent Smith, if it were up to me I’d change this diatribe to:

You can escape reason in denial, however there is no evasion of values, because we all know that without values there are no reasons to exist. It is values that connect us, values that pull us, that guide us, that drive us, that define us, it is value that binds us.

This sounds much better, than the robotic diatribe of Agent Smith. Values have shaped our world by leading to the undeniable alteration of the human experience for all. It is the definitive force behind all human actions and as such the weight of the world is on this one simple concept; values. A value is the reason behind every single event in the history of the human race yet I find that this topic has been touched rather lightly in the field of philosophy for the most part given the massive impact values have on everything that we can have an impact on; essentially it is the core of power of the entire human race.

So with that, shouldn’t we not analyze this subject deeply? Where do our values come from? Where are they going? Why do we have them?  Values seem to be innate, yet we learn new values through our experience.  But these values that are learned are rooted from innate values it seems that may not have been accessed previously.  But why would we say, suddenly see something new and value it?  Is it within our control?  We can’t necessarily explain why we may value chocolate ice cream over vanilla, it’s because our bodies find one more desirable over the other.  

Values precede purpose as a result.  Purpose, comes from what we value.  We derive our purpose here in this world based upon what we want.  

Embrace your Inner Savage




There is no Spoon


Whoever saw the matrix might not have understood this:

Spoon Boy: “Do not try and bend the spoon; that is impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.”

Let us consider a world in which existence manifests in three distinct aspects:

Property ~ some measurable and defining character present in some entities and not others.
Entity ~ some unique coexistence of properties identifiable by its unique relations with other entities.
Relation ~ some conceptual linkage between properties and entities, or between entities alone.

Of this world we may state two things:

1. Insofar as the world is objectively real, only property has objective reality. Entity can be seen as a mere conceptualization of property relations that have meaning only in the conceiving mind.

2. Insofar as the world is subjectively real, only relation has subjective reality. We can perceive property only through the filter of entity and comprehend entity only within the measure of relation.

There exist those properties necessary in combination to create the subjective impression of a spoon; there exist those relations with other conceptual entities that require us to posit a spoon.

Spoon Boy: “There is no spoon. ”

Why is there something rather than nothing?


     When I was younger I would think about “nothingness”  a lot… wondering what it would be if there was nothing instead of this something we all reside in.  This realization – or the lack of, whatever it is, would be possibly obtained after pondering blackness for sometime.  Realizing that there would still be dimensional void as of such nothingness would come to light as of which nothing could be conceptualized and my mind would go off somewhat satisfied thinking about other things. Of course, because the mind is constantly thinking if one were to think of nothing the brain simply must continue thinking, nullifying this impartial experience of “nothing” in my mind. Bringing up yet again another “something” for me to think about.

      The question itself is unfair to “nothingness”. “Why is there something instead of nothing?” “Is”, being a qualifier for existence in itself, implying “to be”, that is there must be something if something “is” to be qualified for anything. With that we have already created a philosophical Faux Pas by asking a question of this nature. There could only be something, because “nothing” is not possible “to be”, or to be included as something that can be answered by “Why is”, unless we look at “nothing” as a concept itself. That being the idea of nothing does exist and it even has a label. A symbol, the word nothing or nothingness itself refers to nothing. Yet how can that be if nothing truly is nothing? I go back to my thought experiments as a child, there is no things of course in “nothing” thus to obtain the concept of nothing one must not think of anything, if not for just a fraction of a second.

      But Rather than argue the conceptual nature of “nothing” as existing I would rather get to the crux of the matter which is the metaphysical, or rather the anti-metaphysical perhaps. We utilize the concept of nothing to discuss the nature. While the question may somewhat disqualify nothingness from being asked in such a manner to exist as does “somethingness”, is it fair to ask a question of this nature? Probably not, but I would like to pursue it nonetheless. We can bypass the nature of Grammar itself as Grammar doesn’t entirely define our concepts nor does it determine the nature of reality in itself, it is just a tool and a flawed tool at that. There really isn’t much of a better way to ask the question why “does something exist instead of there being nothingness?”

      As a thought experiment,us think about the idea of multi-verses. That being there are various dimensions, lets say each of which infinite in their own dimensional space. With that, would it be fair to include “nothing” as one of these parallel dimensions that would qualify “nothingness” to be a non state of parallelity? That is that “there is nothing instead of something” if one conceptualizes the lack of parallel dimensions. As such something and nothing may be on equal battleground as far as there being “something” and “nothing”. But of course since there is at least one dimension of “something” it isn’t fair, something does exist regardless of this multiverse theory. As such, we have our dilemma.

      So for another thought experiment if we were to look from the outside of nothingness one might ask the same thing, well why doesn’t something exist? I am one to subscribe to the idea that something has always existed. I don’t find any reason or how that something could exist from nothing. If that were the case then there was nothing, until something became, and we have the universe. I don’t find that presumption to be very logical as there is no reason behind something coming from nothing, it is without reason. Yet if it were true perhaps this might mean the universe isn’t very logical at its core. After all, we know how gravity exists but we really don’t know why the force of gravity exists? Is it a logical necessity that mass have force to pull things closer to it? Why? Of course, that is one question in physics that we can ponder all day and not produce a satisfactory result. Perhaps it is due to limitations of our own understanding of the universe, or perhaps it is without reason of this nature. There must be limits to what the human mind can know, or the question is not an applicable question to ask. Perhaps the why of gravity existing falls into this arena. Yet since I find it logical that the universe must have always existed as opposed to coming from nothing, which is without reason or rather unreasonable to the best of our knowledge, I will continue my argument based upon that premise.

      Being that something has always exists it is only “natural” for it to be that way. This may be unsatisfactory; Ultimately we have a question that does not have an answer. My thought is that existence exists without reason. It is unreasonable that we exist; although natural. Not every question has an answer and this I find to be one of them. I have no qualms with this but it is in this nature of the answer that there is no answer I find awe, alluring curiosity into other aspects of reality and our relationship of reality through our comprehension.

      Any qualms with this result I find to be related to our every day encounters in the world. After all, most pragmatic questions can be answered with why to some satisfactory degree. This means existence itself is absurd. Yet ultimately the most profound thoughts we will find many why’s go unanswered. Perhaps these too do not have answers, their state of physicality or what not do not require the recognition of conceptual truth, things simply are what they are on their own accord without reason. One may find peace in understanding this or frustration. Such is life.