Read this when feeling down: “Desiderata” will always pick you up when times are tough






Go placidly amid the noise and haste,


and remember what peace there may be in silence.


As far as possible without surrender


be on good terms with all persons.


Speak your truth quietly and clearly;


and listen to others,


even the dull and the ignorant;


they too have their story.


Avoid loud and aggressive persons,


they are vexations to the spirit.


If you compare yourself with others,


you may become vain or bitter;


for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.


Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.


Keep interested in your own career, however humble;


it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.


Exercise caution in your business affairs;


for the world is full of trickery.


But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;


many persons strive for high ideals;


and everywhere life is full of heroism.


Be yourself.


Especially, do not feign affection.


Neither be cynical about love;


for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment


it is as perennial as the grass.


Take kindly the counsel of the years,


gracefully surrendering the things of youth.


Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.


But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.


Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.


Beyond a wholesome discipline,


be gentle with yourself.


You are a child of the universe,


no less than the trees and the stars;


you have a right to be here.


And whether or not it is clear to you,


no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God,


whatever you conceive Him to be,


and whatever your labors and aspirations,


in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,


it is still a beautiful world.


Be cheerful.


Strive to be happy.


-Max Ehrmann


The Thrift Store: The Five Items to Avoid when Popping Tags

Rapper Macklemore sings about the joys and happiness found shopping in a second-hand store and he is right. Whenever you can buy a pre-owned or vintage go for it! Buying used is often an easy way to discover low-priced, high-quality, and one-of-a-kind items. But in some instances, preowned or old pieces can be unsanitary, more costly, and, in worst-case scenarios, terrifying. So the next time you seek your favorite thrift shop (or an antique store or garage sale), stay clear of specific items.

1.) Headgear

Don’t purchase because once a headgear receives collision, its ability to protect the head from future incidence has decreased. If your helmet has received significant implications from crash, accident or fall, then you should buy a new helmet to sustain future injury.

2) Mattresses/Bedding

Mattresses are a  hometown to that little plague we like to term bed bugs. Bed bugs are microscopic, nocturnal that can hibernate in the far corners of our beds during months without feeding. That implies a mattress or bed frame may be in a thrift shop for months and promptly after purchase and placed in a home of people; the bed bugs arouse because they sense the warmth of bodies resting above them.

3) Stuffed Animals

As with diapers, stuffed animals are probably the typical disposable commodities owned by children. This is because stuffed animals are more prone to be drooled on, mixed with food and eaten up by pets. Secondly and far more critical than their gross constituents, stuffed animals are constructed with materials to mirror human and animal hair which can become the comfortable homes of lice.

4) Baby Cribs and Children’s Car Seats

Presently like used baby cribs, purchasing a baby seat or carrier at a thrift shop doubles the risk that you are buying a piece of gear for your child that fails to meet today’s protection technology.

The general practice is to replace child car seats every six years from the date of manufacture. That is because, across time, the plastic from the automobile seat is influenced by rigid circumstances of heat and sun lying in a car.

While a vehicle seat may have looks brand new and have never been used, over time the plastic succumbs strength and is more prone to snapping or worse, not being able to resist full impact from a crash compared to its power at the time of initial acquisition. But similar to baby cribs, car seats are also recollected regularly. While thrift markets are not supposed to retail car seats and carriers because of this risk as monitored by the US Product Safety Commission, a few risk-items may glide through the cracks at your local thrift store chain.

5) Athletic Shoes

“I could take some Pro Wings, make them cool, sell those
The sneaker heads would be like, “Ah, he got the Velcros.”(Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)

Athletic shoes should be acquired to accommodate you achieve the safest, most optimal running stride for you. It might seem like an excellent economical idea at the moment, but you’ll soon learn that your running success isn’t going to be a prime class with a second-hand set of shoes.

Athletic footwear is not supposed to be used for running after about 400 miles of running use. When running shoes are bequeathed to a thrift shop, the chance that the pumps have been used close to that amount is excellent. How else would they find their way into a thrift shop? Their previous owners’ worked them to their expiration date and decided to donate them for fear of being wasteful.

Radio Silence: The No-Contact Rule is a Full Proof Method to Move Forward after a Break-Up

The purpose to involve the no contact rule is to relax your brain including your heart time to detox from the relationship including getting a quick breather. You’re releasing yourself to undergo what it’s like to live life without him or her – and giving yourself restraint and outlook on the relationship.

The rationale why this attitude and healing is so critical is that if you desire your ex back, you can’t just pursue him or her immediately after the relationship expires – it makes you appear destitute and desperate.

How Long Should No Contact Last?

There’s not hard and fast rule – it depends on the severity and the span of the relationship.

I like to use this rule: for each month of the relationship, you should be performing a week of no contact – following to a culmination of 8 weeks and with a minimum of 3 weeks.

That means if you were dating for five months, your no contact period would last five weeks. If you were just dating a month, your no contact period would still be for three weeks.

Going no contact means

No telephone calls
No accidentally observing them
No instant messages
No Facebook messages
No text messaging
No begging a shared friend to give them a message
No status updates or social media posts focused on them

What Happens If I Violate No Contact?

If you make a blunder and wind up talking your ex – there’s nothing to be done but starting the no-contact period over again.

Only time will let the agony of the breakup fade and allow them to start missing you again. If you contact them– you restart the no contact timer.

Plus, it’s about recognizing that you can live your life without him/her in it. If you can live without them for four weeks, you’ve proved it to yourself. Contacting him/her in the middle upsets all the hard work you’ve done and starts you back at square one.

Why the No-Contact Rule Works

While you cut off communication with them, you give yourself opportunity and space to handle the breakup and push on.

And when you demonstrate to yourself that you can live your life without him or her, you immediately become way more appealing to them.

Consider it this way – when you first got together, you weren’t begging him or her to be by you, and feeling like you were unable to live your life without them.

You were experiencing your life the way you wanted to, and they were an excellent bonus to your life that made your life stable.

That’s something attracted him to you in the first place – that you didn’t require them to be content, and that your life was excellent without them in it.

The no contact law gets you back to that place, where your life is fine without them in it, and you don’t need them to be comfortable. That is what will make him or her re-attracted to you after the no contact stage is over.

There are loads of contradictory feelings after a breakup, for both individuals. Most of the time, in the days following a breakup, all that they can remember about are the negatives of your relationship.

The no communication rule is designed to give them the time and space to get beyond all the negatives from your relationship and recapture what they miss about it. To remember all the positives, all the things that they yearn for you.

If you talk to them, you defeat all that processing and time allocated disremembering the negatives and recognizing the positives – especially if your connection with him is bitter, angry, or cynical. All that does is remind them how you broke up – and start the clock over.

When you give them space, they will notice the hole you left in their life when you two broke up – and they typically want to get you back to satisfy that void. They begin to crave all the little things that were good about your relationship, and not having any association with you will only make them miss you more.

That’s the essence of the no contact rule, and the basis why it works so well. If you take it earnestly and follow the rules, you put yourself in the best place to get your ex back and keep them or keep them away from you forever.

Channeling Uncle Rico: The Greatest Football Comeback of All-Time

I still try to absorb the ingredients which made the John Tyler-Plano East arguably the most memorable ever. I know I sound like a homer, but I promise I’m not channeling my inner Uncle Rico when I say that this game was one of the greatest football comebacks of all time. ALL TIME.

The extraordinary events, which displayed two days after Thanksgiving on Nov. 26, 1994, at Texas Stadium in Irving, earned national recognition after John Tyler defeated Plano East 48-44 in one of the most freakish blowout-turned-comeback-turned-runback endings ever seen in the history of high school football.

The more than 30,000 who attended the game and the thousands who later observed the climactic outcome via television widely consider the encounter to be one of – if not the – greatest games to ever be completed in a high school football spotlight.

Plano East’s rally over the final 3:03 – in which the Panthers scored four touchdowns, recovered three onside kicks and directed a 24-point deficit into a 44-41 lead with 24 seconds left – warranted the unordinary attention of its own. Then, when Plano East appeared to be moving on in the playoffs, John Tyler stamped legendary status onto the game by Roderick Dunn’s 97-yard kickoff return right down the Lion sideline, much to the consternation of the remaining Plano East supporters, as well as local announcers broadcasting the game for a Plano-Richardson television station.

After presenting clips of the contest in the following weeks, ESPN granted John Tyler-Plano East an ESPY honor for Showstopper of the Year in 1995.

ESPN ranked the game among its top 10 premature celebrations of all-time, due in part to Plano East broadcasters Eddy Clinton, Denny Garver and Mike Zoffuto’s pro-Panthers commentary. Now DVD’s of the game, titled “The Greatest High School Football Game of All Time.”

The announcers of the game minted memorable folksy jargon and expressions before-mentioned as “Good gosh almighty Joe Friday,” “Yal done missed the greatest comeback of all-time,” “Oh, no,” and “God bless those kids, I’m going to throw up,” the broadcasters added spice to an already flavorful outing.

By most reports, the JT-Plano East event stood the test of time.

“You hear about it all the time,” replied Wilson, who coached John Tyler from 1991-2001. “Folks find out you’re from Tyler and that’s the first thing they want they want to know.”

Before the first of many kickoffs, the Class 5A Region II semifinal showdown promised to be exciting with both teams coming in unbeaten, and Plano East rated No. 2 in the state and John Tyler No. 3. Before the groups clashed, Wilson said, “It’s a classic. You don’t get too many classic games. You’ve got two 12-0 teams coming from diverse regions. It’s got the makings of a great ballgame.”

For John Tyler, gameday started with a different Saturday pep rally that morning on the school’s practice field. Shortly afterward, John Tyler and its legions of supporters traveled westwards identified as the school which produced one of the state’s most notable teams ever in 1973, led by one of Texas’ topmost football legends, NFL Hall-of-Famer Earl Campbell.

Still, think I am an Uncle Rico about this game? Google Plano East and you’ll become a believer. The game was one of the greatest comebacks of all time.


The Gun Law Debate: Is Chicago proof that our Gun laws don’t work?

The Chicago Blog Picture Untouchables

In the wash of the horrific shooting in Las Vegas last week, the White House faced inquiries about whether President Trump would support the stringent gun legislation.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not give a straight answer to these questions, but her statement revealed a White House hesitant to create new laws.

“I think one of the things we do not desire to do is try to create laws that won’t stop these types of situations from happening,” Sanders said Monday. “I think if you look at Chicago where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.”

Suggesting Chicago imply that gun laws do not work is not a unique talking point — Trump declared Chicago had “the toughest gun laws in the United States” in a 2016 presidential debate; Republican hopeful Chris Christie pointed to Chicago as a community with the big crime notwithstanding tight gun laws.

Moreover, the oratory goes beyond lawmakers. The conservative site Breitbart has on many moments posted editorials with headlines including the catchword “gun-controlled Chicago.”

This can sound like a compelling talking point. Chicago is a vast city with an infamous crime problem, which Trump previously used to talk about shaping law and order. It also presses the added rhetorical blow of being closely associated with President Obama, whose actions Trump has worked hard to undo.

However, while gun violence in Chicago is high, the rest of this common talking point does not indeed hold water.

It is also accurate that there were higher than 4,000 shooting victims in Chicago in 2016. It is also correct that Chicago has undergone a massive amount of gun crime lately. In 2016, homicides in Chicago piercingly rose, chiefly as a result of gun homicides, as the University of Chicago crime lab affirmed in a January report.

Gun murders in the city rose by 61 percent between 2015 and 2016. That made the gun homicide rate in Chicago particularly tremendous compared to other similar towns. The proportion stood 25.1 per 100,000 residents in 2016, corresponding to 14.7 in Philadelphia and merely 2.3 in New York.

It also had a relatively high quantity of guns recovered — 243 per 100,000 residents. That is approximately on a level with Philadelphia and much more significant than Los Angeles or New York.

Nevertheless, it is not accurate that Chicago has the most strict gun legislation in the country. It is true that Illinois has more stringent gun laws than many other states. The state is one of seven that requires licenses or permits to buy any firearm, and it is one of five that sets waiting periods for purchasing any gun. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which follows gun laws nationally, has assigned the state a B+ for its gun laws.

Chicago itself has some harsh laws — there is an assault-weapons ban in Cook County, for example. However, it is not true that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country. At one point, it did have much more stringent requirements — it had outlawed handguns in the city limits, but a 2008 Supreme Court decision declared that limitation unconstitutional, and a 2010 decision reaffirmed this. The township also had had a gun registry plan since 1968 but stopped it in 2013 when the state established a law providing the concealed carry of weapons.

“We think of California as having the strongest gun laws in the country,” said Hannah Shearer, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The whole state’s laws are pretty strong.”

The center has awarded California an A rank and listed it No. 1 regarding the tightness of its gun legislation. California forbids the open carry of guns and demands background analyses on private firearm transactions.

“Some cities go even beyond that,” Shearer added. “San Francisco has a safe storage law, requiring that guns keep in the home be kept locked.” This is a regulation that Chicago, for example, does not have.

Complaining over precisely what part of the U.S. is No. 1 do not gun-law strictness, however, isn’t the most compelling portion of Sanders’ declaration. She also said that having gun regulations “certainly hasn’t helped” in Chicago. That is a much more controversial claim, and it does not withstand scrutiny.

State borders do not obstruct guns. It is imperative to recognize here that Chicago is very near to two states that have relatively weak gun laws: Wisconsin and Indiana. Neither Wisconsin nor Indiana is licenses or permits to purchase a gun, for example, nor do they need waiting periods. While Illinois has that B+ grade from the law center, Wisconsin has a C- and Indiana a D-.

Moreover, there’s good evidence that being next-door to those states keeps Chicago criminals well-supplied with guns. More than 60 percent of new guns employed in Chicago gang-related crimes and 31.6 percent used in non-gang-related offenses within 2009 and 2013 were purchased in different states. Indiana was a remarkably disturbing supplier, providing nearly one-third of the gang guns and almost one-fifth of all the non-gang firearms.

A 2014 Chicago Police Department report affirmed that Indiana accounted for 19 percent of all guns collected by the department between 2009 and 2013.

New firearms track data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives published last week show that Illinois as a total faces a massive inrush of guns. Of around 8,700 firearms recovered in Illinois and for which the bureau attained a source state, more than half came from out of state — 1,366, approximately 16 percent, came from Indiana solely.

By contrast, 82 percent of guns recovered in Indiana and traced were from within Indiana, implying that perpetrators in that state do not have to cross state lines, like those in Illinois, to get their weaponry.

All of this might infer that criminals will just go to whatever measures necessary get their hands on guns, unmindful of whatever laws are in place.

We should regulate ammunition, should be able to trace every bullet back to a person and if your bullets are used in a crime, you should be prosecuted regardless if you had anything to do with it.

This debate will always be “Beating a Dead Horse” anywhere, anytime, and any place. Guns are a tool; weapons are tools. It is the hands that use them that distinguishes what their purpose is. The laws are in place for guns and gun owners. Humans are the problem, and no one wants to address this. I can go anywhere, anyplace, at any time and buy a gun. Not because a pistol is just hanging out in an ally wanting me to buy it, but because humans want to sell them. There are laws for private sales of firearms, do they follow them? No. They just want to sell their gun, and someone wants to buy it. That is still illegal by law. So, guns are not the problem; humans are, no debate. Regulate ammo, discontinue production of firearms. However, criminals will always get what they want.