- Home > Archive: February, 2016
During a five-year stint of adult education in Seattle, I took several courses including a couple introductory foreign language courses. They were taught by a gentleman from South Africa, Bill Vande Merwe. With about a dozen other students we wrestled to learn alphabets and vocabulary. As we struggled, instructor Bill never prodded us with any taunting words, such as “Stick to it you’ll get,” or “You must learn the alphabet by such and such a date, because the vocabulary and your use of the foreign language dictionary depends on it.”
No he was a wise teacher of us slow-brain adults. He always used encouraging words. And a favorite saying of his was, “By the inch, it’s a cinch. By the mile, it’s a trial.” I had heard that saying before while growing up, but the way Bill taught me that saying stuck and it has helped me ever since to face any challenge by taking each one a step at a time. For Bill wrapped that saying in many other encouraging words and many a great stories (including facing down a lion).
Thank you brother Bill for imparting courage to me. Ever since we met I have sped through many a mile, conquering many a trial, taking them an inch at a time. I lost my job twice after we met and found a couple other jobs taking each job a day at a time. That simple philosophy taught by you wrapped in encouraging words took me from Seattle, Washington to Green Bay and Madison, Wisconsin.
From there it took me to Brighton, Michigan where I built a dream home out in the country on two acres. And when I thought I was settling down there to get to know my two boys, their wives and the four grand children of theirs, those simple encouraging words led me on to Florida. Day by day, trial by trial the soul courage you impressed upon me helped me smile through many a mile an inch at a time. Those courage-giving words in the last two years led me an inch at a time from Brighton, to speak several times. After speaking in Chicago, I went on to speak again in Washington, DC, then Denver, then Louisville, Kentucky, And that was so much fun that when I spoke in San Antonio, Texas I wrote a song to the tune “76 Trombones” which I sang again amidst twelve-hundred people brought together at a Climate Reality Conference in Miami by Al Gore.
Thank you Brother Bill for imparting courage to me to live through my struggles a day at a time and just take the next step.
Oh reader are you stuck in some dilemna? Don’t look too far ahead. Don’t cry about the big daunting journey you face. Just figure out the next joyous step you can take. If you inch along in a bright direction you can travel on. There are many places to see. Many new joys await. Remember that “by the inch it’s a cinch!” Know that someday you’ll be able to forget that “by the mile it’s a trial.”
Why another blog? Because some big issues sparked my passions in recent years. I’ve done quite a bit of reading about them. And the time has come to turn the tide in my life and go from reading to writing. What will I be blogging about? Read on…
During my journeys in recent years, I have been increasingly fascinated by climate change issues. This issue has a global impact and needs many perspectives to understand it. My own perspective on this issue is a fascination with how climate warming of the globe affects sea level rise. A series of events during the past few years sparked this interest. I did some in-depth scientific research on storm surge and sea level rise. I spoke about that in several cities. Then job circumstances led me to live in St. Petersburg, Florida for a while just a two-minute walk from Tampa Bay. Gulf of Mexico beaches were just a short drive away. As result I have enjoyed many seaside visits during the past year. That gave me a daily opportunity to see tide waters ebb and flow. Most seaside places have two tides per day. I just heard yesterday that Tampa Bay is one of two unique places in the world that has three tides a day. I will be investigating that and be sharing what I learn at some point on this blog. Days spent in St. Petersburg and much time spent on a North American committee of actuaries got me fascinated with climate change science, especially as regards the risk of Sea Level Rise.
I am also a life-long fan of the Detroit Tigers and major league baseball. I’m sure I’ll find myself watching many games there this year. I’ve read many books about baseball, mostly focused on the mathematical side, which is called sabermetrics for the uninitiated. Sabermetric baseball data and analytic mathematics has matured. I will be writing about this from many angles.
As an actuary, I enjoy juggling statistics. Both of the topics just mentioned will be fodder for this blog. Applied mathematics to investigate Climate Change and MLB Baseball will become subjects of these blogging kolkulations.