#STOP #SOPA people are pretty pissed. Is

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

#STOP #SOPA people are pretty pissed. Is the tide turning? Are we ALL starting to get involved? #USA http://ow.ly/8yaA5

Categories: Short-Stories

Hasn’t the FDA and Uncle Sam’s SAD die

Hasn’t the FDA and Uncle Sam’s SAD diet done enough BAD for us…enough already!!!! http://ow.ly/4XIMV Let’s get back in the game of life!!

Categories: Short-Stories

HootSuite – Social Media Dashboard for T

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment

HootSuite – Social Media Dashboard for Teams using Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin – Mozilla Firefox http://ow.ly/4uL88

Categories: Short-Stories

Science of a Tsunami

March 14, 2011 Leave a comment

After watching one of the first-hand videos of the Tsunami in Japan I
instinctively went to the wiki page to find out more.  It was apparent that
there has been a lot of work, study and mathematical analysis of Tsunami’s;
their power, magnitude and scale.  I wasn’t a math major in school, but I was
able to take some time to study the formula’s and try, at least on some
rudimentary level, to grasp the capabilities of a Tsunami.   Then it occurred to
me, rudimentary is really an adequate description of how much
we understand about nature.  We analyze and study, we probe and prod and yet,
when we witness what can happen in just a few short minutes there is no formula
for the description of such an event.  It is ExE=D.  Where E is equal to emotion
times itself equaling disaster.  Probably not pretty math, but in trying to
grasp these scenes I believe the sensory overload is twice what most humans are
emotionally able to comprehend.

In the near to distant future there will be lessons learned, there will be
all the requisite finger-pointing but in the end we must force ourselves to
remember that we are just passengers on this earth ship.  Sometimes there is no
way to accurately predict what we cannot control.  As humans I know that is,
without a doubt, the most difficult concept for us to grasp.  The earth’s crust
hiccups and we happen to be there to catch it.  I hope places like California
are a little more aware of the imposing danger we have placed upon us.  I’m also
certain some group of environmental activists-antagonists, et al, will use the
fact that it appears the earth’s axis was “adjusted” 10cm to explain even more
terrible things that are or are not happening to the planet.

For now, the people of Japan don’t need analysis, finger-pointing or
scrutiny; they just need help.

Categories: News

Sunday Morning Hike

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Every time I head out to take a hike of any length I find myself trying to imagine what it was like 250 years ago when it wasn’t just a hike; it was how you got to…anywhere!

Moving through a wilderness, even one where native Americans had been traveling for centuries was still an undertaking.  Imagine George Washington leaving the relative safety of what was then civilization in Virginia at the age of 17 to survey the unexplored areas to the west.

Or even more incredible was Washington’s journey in 1753.  He left Williamsburg, VA at the direction of then Governor Dinwiddie to go to Fort Le Boeuf, present day Waterford Pennsylvania.  The trip was close to 500 miles, one way!  No planes, trains or automobiles for them; all on horseback. They made the trip in about three weeks.  Then in the very heart of winter had to turn around and head back.  So, they had to average about twenty-five miles a day.  That doesn’t sound like a lot to us today but when you are only able to go three or four miles and hour that’s a long trip in anyone’s book.

Of course, General Braddock’s expedition to take two thousand troops along a twelve-mile road, that they had to clear, through the Appalachian wilderness was probably an even more amazing undertaking and no doubt, spectacle.

Just a thought as I head out.

Categories: News

Taking a Pause

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment
The thought occurs to me that we are all made up of pieces of history.  Now, I’m no molecular biologist or quantum physicist, but I don’t think that conclusion takes that much thinking.  Whether you belong to the church of evolution or creation it is very difficult to deny that we are who we were.  Jump back a mere two hundred years and look at what and who we are.  Granted technology has given us certain advantages previous generations did not have, but at the same time, some of their habits that we cast aside were substitutes for what we are doing in a slightly different way today.
So, what’s the point?  As much as everyone says we should study the past so we don’t repeat it in the future…we still do it!  Modern conflicts around the world speak volumes to the innate inability of humans to learn from their previous mistakes, to get along together and work with each other to do the right thing.
Perhaps it is our passion, our desire for life, our drive to be the best that propels each of us into these sometimes precarious and regrettable situations.
This then begs the questions:  How do we change?  While some will argue that change is impossible and that we are defined as who we are from a very tender age, I would disagree.  I think change comes about when the logical mind realizes and appreciates the gravity of a situation and is able to accurately determine that changing would bring about a better result or situation.  Still it doesn’t seem to happen as often as the simplistic nature of this solution would appear to dictate it should.  And there is the crux of the problem, our passions, our will and the red mist that clouds our logical thinking process gets us almost everytime. We become so emboldened by an idea or the thought of an idea we can’t take a step back and give it that once over that would have us scratch our heads and wonder why we thought this was such a good idea.
Fixing the problem.  I wish it was as simple as telling someone to take a breath, step back and give the issue a moment to cool off, to settle down, to return to normal.  Sadly, we don’t and in the end that is the beauty of the human existence and, ultimately, its peril.
Wanton hubris; it’s one of those phrase you hear so infrequently but just love the way it sounds.  Basically, excessive pride and insolence to everyone else, doesn’t that sound like a majority of the civilized world.  Someone is always being better, doing something better, etc, etc, you get the point.
There is no pill for it, save perhaps a big fat logical lozenge that most of us simply seem unable to swallow.
The prescription for today:  pause, that’s it…just pause.  When you’re ready to flip off that person that cut you off…pause.  When the kids have milk all over the table and floor for the fifteenth time…pause, when you watch the news and it starts to just infuriate you…pause (and change the channel!).
A very popular soda pop, as my granddad used to call them had a wonderful slogan that we should all try to remember today…”the pause that refreshes”.
What will your pause be today?
Good Luck
Rich Witt
Categories: Short-Stories Tags: , , , ,

There are little pieces of history in all of us.

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Tuesday January 12,2011

As I investigate the wonder that is the formation of America, I am surprised everyday at the lessons I’ve learned that come from the hardships and struggles of colonial Americans.
My work ethic has always been “proper” if you had to put too fine a word to it.  Early in life I saw the adults in my life who put a serious effort into most everything they did.  Work, in particular, was  a very serious and important undertaking.  With that in mind I’ve always wondered where their inspiration came from?  Why did they put forth such a concerted effort to do the very best they could?    I found a story just recently to help explain a little of that.
On my paternal grandmothers side of the family are the Hay family of southwestern Pennsylvania.  If you drive out of Cumberland Maryland on route 160 towards Berlin Pennsylvania you pass almost unnoticeably through a sleepy little hamlet know as Hays Mill.
The story of its founding and perhaps more intriguing, the story of its founding father are an excellent example of what it means to be a hard-working American.
Simon Hay left Germany in the mid 1760′s and ended up in Hagerstown, Maryland while in his 20′s.  He married in either 1767 or 68 and in all fairness could have stayed in Hagerstown, which while not a large city at that time, was at least on the eastern side of the Appalachia mountains.  Those mountains during the mid-1700′s separated colonial America from the wilderness.  Simon was not content there and packed up his wife and moved into the southwestern Pennsylvania wilderness about five miles south of present day Berlin.  This was mountain forest at that time.  Not to be deterred, the story goes that Simon put up a tent beneath a big oak tree and began the formidable task of clearing the land for a house and for farming.  Their diet at the time would have been almost exclusively deer, rabbit, squirrel and other wild game.  An interesting aside to this is I remember growing up and having buttermilk soaked groundhog.  It was no big deal.  The Hay family had been enjoying it for 250 years!
Simon’s little corner of the world was also inhabited by native americans. During this time the French and Indian war had been over in America for almost a decade.  Still the Shawnee and remainder of the Algonquin and Mingo tribes still passed through the area.  Stories tell Simon to have gotten along quite well with all of them.  Sharing food and perhaps even learing a little of the Algonquin language.  Hays Mill was close to the Turkey Foot road which had been used for a long time as a passage way from the Allegheny Mountain piedmont town at Fort Cumberland to current day Confluence (Turkey Foot) and on into the indian lands in Ohio, as far as Piqua, Ohio.
Simon is said to have known Andrew Friend.  A pioneer and frontiersman well known for his exploration of the western portion of the Alleghenies and as an indian fighter.  That might in part explain Simons perceived acceptance by the local indians as Friend was considered a fearsome and courageous warrior and having him as a friend would have put Simon in a more respected position with native tribes.
Simon fathered a big family; ten children in all.  He built a large stone house and mill that at last note was still standing.  According to the family legend he lived to be one hundred and three years old.  Based on birth and death records he was ninety-nine years, nine months and five days at his passing from cancer.
So today it is this “little piece of history” from the Hay family that inspires me.  The thoughts of Simon and his wife, camped in a tent in the wilderness.   Hunting breakfast, clearing the land, hunting lunch, clearing the land, etc., etc.  I believe these early colonial Americans set a standard for all of us to live up to.  I’m trying to follow their example.  I think it would help all of us in more ways than one.
Some Hays Mill information:  (Courtesy of Histopolis.com)
Name Hays Mill
Place Type Unincorporated Populated Place
Located in Brothersvalley TownshipSomerset CountyPennsylvaniaUnited States
Coordinates
Latitude 39.8509153 39° 51′ 03.3″ N
Longitude -78.9730801 78° 58′ 23.1″ W
Nearby Cities Berkleys Mill (Summit Township) 1.5 mi. W
Meyersdale 3.8 mi. SW
Garrett 4.6 mi. W
Callimont 4.7 mi. SE
Berlin 4.9 mi. N
Salisbury 8.9 mi. SW
Nearby Cemeteries Mount Zion-Hays 1.6 mi. N
Saint Pauls 2.1 mi. NW
Reformed (Summit Township) 3.2 mi. SW
Union (Summit Township) 4 mi. SW
Lebanon (Northampton Township) 4.3 mi. E
Garrett (Garrett) 4.6 mi. W
Highland (Garrett) 4.7 mi. W
Pike (Stonycreek Township) 8.3 mi. N
Finzel (Garrett CountyMaryland) 9.3 mi. S
Saint Johns (Somerset Township) 11.4 mi. NW
Emmanuel (Garrett CountyMaryland) 11.4 mi. S
Old Coney (Allegany CountyMaryland) 11.4 mi. SE
Elevation 665 m
USGS GNIS FeatureID 1176699
Histopolis Place ID 747217209
Categories: Short-Stories
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