Author Archive

Watching and listening to so many arguments over “entitlement” programs, I sat back one day and penned this little quote:

“It’s not up to society to -grant- the standard of living; it’s up to the individual to strive for it themselves.”

I’m all for charitable giving and trying to help others. However, the point at which a society is simply using my moral ethic to milk me of my hard earned standard of living, I may just give up my ethic and live off yours. Then who will be the provider?

I think that’s about as basic as it gets. If I really need to explain it further, I don’t know you’ll ever really “get it.”

Asa Jay

Comments No Comments »

I recently came across this article on the BBC that talks about the Casio F-91W watch. It reminded me of a similar watch I have in my pocket at this very moment. It’s a Casio Data Bank Telememo 50, from 1986.

In 1986, I was attending a military technical school for the AN/TSC-60 Communications Facility (another story in itself). One of the class members had this really cool Casio watch that had a touchscreen. He showed me how he could enter names and phone numbers by writing on the screen with his finger. Being a technology geek of heavy proportions (and little money) at the time, I was intrigued.

When I returned home from that school, I began looking for that watch. After a few months of no luck, I ended up buying a Casio Data Bank Telememo 50. This had the same basic functionality but without the touchscreen. I’ve owned it ever since. I used to keep lots of names and phone numbers in it, but they always got lost when I replaced the batteries. Eventually, with technology changes, I keep that info in my cell phone now.

I’ve had to replace the batteries in it a few times since 1986. The most recent time I had it apart to replace the battery, I cleaned all the contacts for the buttons and treated them with DeoxIT. After years, the contacts had become nearly useless from oxidation, so the buttons were difficult to operate. After applying DeoxIT, it’s like the watch is brand new again.

Many, many years ago, I took the original watchband off and put it in a military style woven webbing strap style band with an integrated fold-over cover. I wore it that way for many years, until it really no longer fit. Then it migrated to my pocket and it now serves as a protective case for the watch, and a money clip, if you can believe that. I’ve not worn a watch on my wrist in probably better than 15 years.

After 25 years, this watch is still going strong. It’s hard to tell if it’s really losing any time. I use it as my alarm clock religiously. I take it on all my trips. It’s been to the deserts of the United Arab Emirates, and to the shores of Japan. It’s outlasted many things I own, except perhaps the Casio calculator I purchased in 1972 that still works and I still own.

Now I’m waxing nostalgic about that comm shelter……..

Asa Jay

Comments No Comments »

Please let me be perfectly clear about this, I am -not- anti-vaccine.

My son has Autism and I know there is a large body of individuals who believe vaccines are a primary cause of Autism. I also know my son’s behaviors appeared to change after a huge battery of vaccines were administered. Does that mean vaccines are causing Autism?

I recently read an article in which Bill Gates indicates those who are buying in to the anti-vaccine theory are putting their kids at great risk. I happen to agree. But if vaccines aren’t causing Autism, why is there so much anecdotal evidence indicating there is? I would like to explore my own observations and questions that make some people think I’m anti-vaccine (but I’m not).

I am not a doctor, or a chemist, or even a behavioral specialist. I’m an engineering and troubleshooting type; analyzing and collating data to come to logical conclusions. I’ve been using the Kepner-Tregoe method of problem solving since High School, though I didn’t know it at the time. I don’t wish to spend days researching answers to these questions; they are meant to be taken at face value for the reader to ponder and react accordingly.
Read the rest of this entry »

Comments No Comments »

Our family sat down to watch the recent Veggie-Tales cartoon “It’s a Meaningful Life.” In it there was an interesting little quote:

“For every regrettable there’s a hypothetical.”

Wow. It brought back memories of a singular event the likes of which I’ve not really been faced with again. This movie gave an illustration of what could have been if the main character hadn’t had fate get in his way. In this story, the choice wasn’t so much his, but bound to circumstances beyond his control. The life he could have had if it hadn’t been for the unforeseen accident was not as desirable in the end. But again, the thing that changed the course for him was out of his control. The thing that changed mine? Well, let’s say the choice was fully within my control.

A decision I made at that moment, led me down a different path. I have to look at my life as it is now and be content. I -am- content. Sure, I strive for more, to do more, to keep my family fed, housed, clothed, with some change to spare for fun times. In a related thought, it occurs to me I try to keep myself as busy as possible in order to forget. Had I made that -other- choice, some 23 years ago, where would I be today?

Would I be in the same position I am now? Would I have this wonderful house we built? Would I be married to a woman who cares for me so much? Would I have the same job? Would I be facing the challenges I find with Sam and his conditions?

I don’t know. I just -don’t- know, and I never will. Why? Because we can’t construct an alternate future. The reality of what could have been will never be known, it can’t be. There is no such thing as time travel, unless you count the constant forward movement. There is no going back. Seems regrettable.

I’ve often wondered what would have happened. I often dream of what it would have been like. Even today there is constant mystery surrounding the big “what if.” I sometimes think this pain in my heart wouldn’t be there, but then I try to remind myself that it’s that pain that helps define who I am. I try to think how different it might be, but then I tell myself it could have been far worse; things could have unfolded much differently than what I daydream. I could in all fairness be less than who I am today.

Still the pain is there and though I try to tell myself I have no regrets, I lie. There is one. It’s only one and it shall haunt me the rest of my life. I’ve written of it before but it’s doubtful you’ll find it. I sometimes go months without it haunting me, and perhaps it’s not fair to say it haunts me anymore. I’ve faced it and overcome it, but the regret still hides deep in my heart and rears it’s head every once in a while.

It’s but a dream now, a shadow cast upon the dim recesses of my mind. Barely there, persistent and nearly transparent. And it’s things like this quote from the movie tonight that cause it to alight in my thoughts. The melancholy grows sweet again, I taste it and allow it to ferment the memories. Once more I shall drink of it’s reminder of things I could have done had I performed the other thought of two, yet without knowing where it would lead or how it would have left me, today.

With that drink, a spark occurs that tells me it’s the mystery of it all that burns in my blood and shall never be quenched. For it is in the mystery we are all drawn, to know what ends shall come: who did it, why, when and where. But this mystery is one without end, a book that was never written, an ending that will never be known. All because, of a different, choice.

Asa Jay

Comments 2 Comments »

I’ve needed to post something here for a while now. I guess now is as good a time as any for you see, I have a plethora of other activity going at the moment and I can’t actually interact with -any- of it, so I might as well write.

On my primary Windows machine, running XP SP3, I’m engaged in a huge backup. I’ve not accomplished a full backup for better than a year so I’m due. The size is approximately 50GB and I’m only backing it up to a local external USB drive. It’s now on day three. I calculate is has a few hours left to go. In order to allow that machine to run with as much CPU and RAM available to the backup, I’m avoiding using that machine. Please understand, that machine is nearly 10 years old, running a 1GHz processor and a maximum of 512MB of RAM. Yes, I’ve checked and double checked, that’s the maximum the motherboard will take. Sigh.
Read the rest of this entry »

Comments No Comments »

Copyright 2014, Asa Jay Laughton