Little Hope Cemetery

Go ahead and Google it … I know you are wondering … did Joel make this up? Nope. There is a cemetery in the town of Little Hope in Kentucky. You pass it on the way to Mammoth Cave National Park. I just had to stop and take a picture of the prominent sign at the entrance and sent it to our pastor, who happened to be from Kentucky. Just too funny … at least with my weird sense of humor.


More recently, I posted a cartoon on my Facebook page that I liked. It is of a Pastor preparing a sermon about giving, and he is asking his minister of music to NOT play “Jesus Paid it All.” Since I play that song often in the church orchestras I participate in, I start laughing each and every time we are asked to play it.

But, this got me thinking. What happens when you lose hope? One of my friends describes happiness as having just three simple things: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. What happens when you give up on your hopes and dreams?

Speaking for myself, there have been times in my life when I have been tempted to do precisely that. But, something keeps driving me to complete the tasks I have started. Maybe that is hope. That I can take some of the things I have started and bring them to beneficial conclusion in service to our country, our industry and our children’s children.

SUVs on Mars


I guess we Americans just like our conspiracy theories more than facts and figures and critical thinking. We all believe, at least deep down in our hearts, that government can’t be trusted, that big business is intrinsically corrupt and dishonest, and that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

It seems that we should also include disdain for academics since they all seem to be beating whatever drum increases funding for their pet theories and suppositions. Read this article and especially note the comments it elicited.

I admit that I have no qualifications to predict climate changes over time. I can only look at the body of evidence in our past and assume that things that have happened before can and may well happen again.

Here in Atlanta, we have been told that the old seacoast of the United States was in Macon about 400 feet above our current sea level and several 100 miles inland from the current coastline. We have also been told that the Continental Shelf was at one time the coastline. Given that is about 400 feet lower than our current sea level, one might simply argue that the sea level on the planet varies plus or minus 400 feet over time … not a very comforting thought, but it certainly puts the current plus or minus “few inches” it may have changed in the past 100 years in perspective.

I guess it is just good business to scare people and get them to fund whatever hair-brained ideas smart people come up with that will change the course of nature.

Oh, maybe you are wondering why I titled this SUVs on Mars? It is because the small amount of average temperature increase here everyone is chirping about has also been seen on Mars. Maybe a secretive culture is alive and well there and destroying that planet as well … and of course, they are probably driving SUVs. I do think we take ourselves a bit too seriously at times.

When Educational Standards are no Longer Popular


With students headed back to school this month, our educational system is on my mind. A feature of Facebook I enjoy is that people you know send you links to things they think are funny and/or relevant to you and your world.

Here is a link that was sent to me of the Maroochydore High School in Queensland, Australia, where staff voted unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine. This is the actual answering machine message for the school.

This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children’s absences and missing homework. The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children’s failing grades changed to passing grades – even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete enough school work to pass their classes.

Are we surprised that we are losing our influence? Do we have to dumb down our business to make it interesting to the masses? Or, is it time to change the message in our educational systems?

Not sure this issue will get into election politics … after all … who are politicians appealing to for votes?

No, I am not running for office … but I did approve this message.


Carbon Footprint?


A recent Wall Street Journal article on Lego’s quest to reduce their carbon footprint made me wonder whether we have not gone over the edge.

Read the article here and then consider my premise.

The idea here is certainly noble in seeming intent. After all, if your business consumes a non-renewable commodity, it seems reasonable to be concerned about that over time. And, when it is a large part of your business cost, worrying about how the price volatility in that commodity is certainly also an important business concern. Fair enough … I think we all agree.

But, to then think of this in your carbon footprint is a reach. These bricks do not emit carbon. They are essentially sequestered carbon. Thank you for making them so well that they will outlive our families. Carbon footprint was thought of about the emitted carbon dioxide. Yes, the manufacture of anything has a carbon footprint, but that is not what this article is about.

So, we need to correct editorial misrepresentations like this. Maybe this was the mistake of an editor at the Wall Street Journal who wanted to give credit to Lego for an environmental concern. Maybe this was the mistake of Lego to try to take environmental credit for something that really is mostly about business acumen.

In any event, it is an illustration of how we all are fed nonsense about what people are doing to supposedly help our environmental footprint when we are truly ignoring the more fundamental options.