Memorial Day & Unnoted Bravery

My eyes are drying just now after reading this article.  It was written by a man named Peter Collier in the WSJ in 2007; it is both awesome and timely for today.  Nothing I write can even come close. 

It is true that we have another day for living veterans; this day is meant for those who are gone.  Nevertheless, while Mr. Collier’s moving words reference men who are often dead, and almost all forgotten, I write to the men and women who are alive now.  Some of you have served, some are active, some are wives or teenagers whose husbands/fathers disappear for weeks or months.  All of you experience the same thing:  the stress of potential doom.  You are not dead now, but as military who have sworn to defend, even at life’s expense, you have taken the first step.  For the retired veterans, it is the sometimes horrible memories (PTSD?) and the thought that active sons or buddies you still have out there could die.  For others it is the thought, pushed back in your mind, that the war in some far off place could become your war in just days (or even hours). This haunting, this real darkness on the horizon, takes its own toll.

For all of you, we honor you on this day… and give thanks.  You protect us, you protect our neighbors –all of us undeserving — from that same stress.  We know doom could be out there.  We remember today that you stand ready to face it on our behalf.

We need Memorial Day.

We must never stop remembering.


My sister’s name is Lucy Thomas Falconer, and she can’t breathe.


Lucy grew up on our farm in KY, met an Englishman in graduate school and married him. Eventually they bought a home north of London, had two children and she pursued a career in business and non-profit work. Sometime in her 30’s, she began to have trouble breathing. Yesterday, her husband Terry told me she probably has only a few weeks to live, because her lungs are almost gone. In between has been a long and painful road, with a miracle of the Lord’s grace almost at the end. Here is a bit of her story.

Continue reading “Breathing”

Six & Five

This September 4th is the 3rd time in my life that my government has, unbidden, designated me to be a certain thing:

  1. At birth, 65 years ago, I was designated as “born”
  2. At 18 years old, I was considered “draft ready”
  3. Today, I am “retired senior citizen”

To all of you who have wished me a happy day, thank you!  To my government, however, I have a different response, namely… Continue reading “Six & Five”

Judge Not … ?

We all have faith, don’t we?  That is, we have faith in something.  I might be the  staunchest of atheists, yet faith in the possibility of staying alive, and making some progress in my endeavors, is required even of me as I get out of bed every morning.  Over the years, when sharing my faith with others, I have been told, “… judge not!”  This is meant, I have assumed, to shut the conversation down, or at least make sure my POV has no sharp edges.  It has been spoken as a sort of talisman– once out in the space between us, it is supposed to guarantee that no unacceptable words will come from my side (or at least give cover for ending the conversation with a note of, “… I told you not to go there.”)  While meditating on Christ’s words in Matt. 7:1 (the source of this idea), the realization came that I had significantly misunderstood it.  In reality, the Lord meant to say, “Sentence not…”  Continue reading “Judge Not … ?”

Starwars as prophecy


Remember the moisture vaporator that Luke was tending in Starwars?  It is what allowed him to live and make a living on the desert planet of Tatooine.  In 1978 it was an impossible concept, placed in the fictional world of George Lucas to support the plot.

Moisture absorption prototype

Now, it’s real.  Yes, you really can distill unlimited water, using only the sun, from the driest desert air (or any other air on earth) using what are called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).  There are 20,000+ of them Continue reading “Starwars as prophecy”

Inbox assault

I’ve been thinking about this post all day… and I’m still not sure I should write it.  Here it is, anyway, for a simple reason: I’ve never seen this before, and was not sure it was possible, but am now very concerned.  This is possible.  If you are not a parent and will likely never have an e-mail account, you can safely skip it.  For the rest of you…

I was sexually assaulted this morning — sort of.  As I was reading my inbox, a relatively attractive, smiling, unclothed woman popped up, with a phone number.  The e-mail was simple, had clearly gotten by all my spam filters, and I didn’t even need to open it.  There she was, in full glory, in the preview pane.  There was no virus or attachment; just one “come hither” JPEG with a phone #.  That said, I apologize for Continue reading “Inbox assault”

Hedge Funds vs. the Sage of Omaha

I’ve been enjoying my recent subscription to the WSJ, and today I found this short video clip about a $1M challenge between Buffett and a hedge fund manager (who gets paid whether his investors make $ or not). In 2007 Buffett called him and his tribe out, saying they were ripping off their clients with high fees, and claiming that an index fund (which tracks the S&P 500 exactly, for instance) would do better over 10 years. Now, ten years later, the contest is coming to a close and … which side is winning? Check the video to find out:

Hint: the hedge fund guy moans that 2007 – 2017 was an “unusual period”. Did the S&P think it was unusual?? Ha!

Thomas Times Newsletter – More from TT

This is the promised addendum to our 2017 news update.  Hope you enjoy it!

As my parents began to forget things and struggle mentally a number of years ago, it became clear that they would need a more intensive “at home” care than we had planned on.  When both were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I remembered what Dad had done for his mother-in-law in a similar situation, and then realized Beth and I were going to start a business we weren’t qualified or trained to pull off: a mini-nursing home.  This past year, after Dad died in June and Mom in August, our careers Continue reading “Thomas Times Newsletter – More from TT”

Sometimes, it’s that simple

It’s very unlikely that any of us will see what Thomas Yoxall saw on Jan. 12th- just 2 weeks ago.  When he saw it, however, here’s what he did.

In many situations, what to do in the split seconds after an attack has begun is not that simple.  This time, it was that simple.  Hope someone like him is around if I or my family ever need this kind of help.


That must be:

  • a sexually confused amphibian?
  • the latest version of a popular face cream, with a new name that marketing thought was really swell?
  • an alien race which didn’t make it into the Star Trek script… ?

Apparently, since the 1920’s, ambiverts have been all around us, and we didn’t even know it!  Honestly, have you ever heard that word??  In reality, ambiverts are us.  That is, most of us are Continue reading “Ambivert…”