Knowing A Person’s Family Line By Looking At Them

How do people simply look at random human being and know from where their family originated?

Let me guess…African!

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Words That (I Hope) Shape Me (Required Reading)

I try to start each day with a period of silent meditation. I do not sit in a corner with my eyes closed while I mumble about (at least not all of the time!) Rather I think and read and think some more.

One of my favorite things to read is The Daily Stoic, both in book form and email form. This lead me to find The Daily Dad, right around the time my first daughter was born, right at the perfect time. I highly recommend signing up for both of these email lists!

Through these lists two of my favorite poems found their way to me, and now both are printed out and read regularly.

A Little Fellow Follows Me

“If” by Rudyard Kipling

A third poem, “Desiderata” completes my list of regular short (yet profound) must reads.

These are easy additions to my list of #RequiredReading for all humans. Enjoy. Spread the word. Be a better human.

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Pelotonia 2020 – Covid19 Style!


It is no secret that my family owes a big debt of gratitude to the Pelotonia family. After all, my wife and I first met at a Pelotonia fundraiser in 2013 and that meeting directly contributed to the addition of one human being onto the Earth in late 2019! With our newly created human prohibiting mom from riding in 2019, uncle Chris Jourdan stepped up for the cause and joined for his first fundraising ride! (see photos below!)

Now, in the year 2020, the world seems to be spinning backwards. A pandemic/recession/racist oppression is sweeping the globe, sending all of us into a sort of never ending tailspin.

For Pelotonia, this means no live bike riding event in 2020 – but it does NOT mean no more fighting for the cause: ending cancer as we know it! In fact, because the live event has been cancelled for the year, we must work that much harder to fight our common enemy, cancer, which affects every single human being on the planet. Make no mistake about it, cancer has a negative impact on all of our lives, either directly or indirectly, and oftentimes that impact is not immediately seen, which makes this a dangerous enemy that must be defeated!

That is where YOU come in! We need your help! Please consider donating any amount you can afford to spare to help fight for the cause! Every dollar donated goes directly toward life saving research, and every dollar counts! If you have anything left in your giving budget, please consider donating to our cause, and sharing with your circle. We can win this battle and YOU can be a part of the winning team!

Click here to donate to my 2020 Pelotonia campaign.

Please be sure to forward/share this post with your friends/family/coworkers – every share, every donation, every time the word spreads, cancer gets that much weaker.


Pelotonia 2019 with @ChrisJourdan stepping in for a pregnant @JamieNicastro
First Pelotonia pic of our family of “3” with Leah in mom’s belly!

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Describing Anyone As “African”

I am working on stepping back – for the most part I am sitting out the current discussion on Race as I see the world a bit differently than most.

That said, I am a bit curious. For those like the guy on CBS Sunday Morning who just used the term “African American” to describe a random person with a certain skin pigmentation… do they also refer to guys like Elon Musk and Ernie Els as “African”?

Honest question, not trying to troll…just curious how those people reconcile the fact that not all people from a gigantic continent like Africa have the same skin pigmentation…in fact, all humans from all continents have differing degrees of pigmentation.

Scientifically, all humans are the same, regardless of skin pigmentation. This is partially why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., advocated for “content of character” versus “color of skin.”

Socially, all humans can choose to identify however they want, whenever they want, which means everyone is all things all the time. Or in other words, we are all equally the same all of the time.

Bigotry and hatred are not inherent at birth. These are learned or taught – and anything learned can be unlearned. Learn not to divide. Learn not to hate. Learn to love all humans always. Life is so much easier when you rid yourself of negative emotions like hatred and bigotry. Give it a try.

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#RequiredReading: Weapons Of Mass Instruction By John Taylor Gatto

Welcome John Taylor Gatto and his masterpiece, Weapons of Mass Instruction, to my list of #RequiredReading.

This book is a MUST READ for all, especially us parents, as it brilliantly condemns the way it’s been public educational system that plagues the United States. Gatto pleads with parents to take responsibility for our children’s education versus blindly following the state-sponsored schooling system.

Educators at every level should read this book and inspire their colleagues to read it too. Do not take my word, take the author’s! After all, he was only a widely acclaimed & respected educator for ~30 years!

You do not have to have a career in education to benefit from Gatto’s work. Anyone with a desire to become a wiser human being should add Weapons of Mass Instruction to their permanent collection and revisit its thesis often.

Below are a few of my favorite bits of wisdom from Gatto, but these quotes are just scratching the surface! In his books, including Weapons of Mass Instruction, Gatto easily explains how the educational system in the United States is broken, and implores that we take matters into our own hands to fix it.

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No One Has A Right To Patronize A Private Business

Karens are the worst. Unfortunately, beliefs like the ones shown by the insane lady in the video are a common mistake. People believing they have constitutional rights in other people’s private businesses is simply false. Freedom works both ways…after all, is not the business owner also entitled to the same freedom as the whiny Karen? If both humans are entitled to be free then the owner of the business would trump any customer…it is his business after all! If customers get to dictate how a free human must run their business, that is not freedom at all. It is closer to slavery….one person exerting their unilateral control over another. There is nothing free about that.

The government created this common illogical belief by allowing for “protected classes” when in reality freedom actually means that private businesses should have the right to discriminate however they see fit, just like private consumers do all day every day when they pick and choose how and where to spend their money. We vote with our wallet every day when we choose where to shop. If we do not like the look of a store, or its owner or employees, we are quite free to refrain from willingly handing them our money. Why should it be any different for a store owner to have the freedom of choice when it comes to handing over her goods and services?

A common retort to this is that certain classes need protected. For example, an opponent of freedom might say that if a shop owner hates bald men (yours truly) and discriminates against bald men, the result would be that bald men would not be able to patronize their store.


No soup for you!

If a business owner was stupid enough to broadcast their prejudices, it would likely be awful for their business. Not only would I not want to patronize their store as a hated bald man, but many others would likely follow suit, not wanting to shop where someone is vocal about their hatred of some arbitrary group. This may lead to such a decline in business that the shop owner could no longer afford to discriminate, forcing him to change his policy, in spite of his personal beliefs. However if he could keep the lights on and run his business while being a vocal bigot, more power to him. That is his right, and other bigots could happily shop in his store, while me and other lovers of liberty would happily give our money to a different store. If the bigot had the market cornered on whatever he is selling an opportunity would present itself and the free market would solve for that opportunity, with new non-bald-men-hating stores surely to start to pop up. That is how free markets work…they are always the best allocator of resources and the most efficient way to solve for demand.

While I would not choose to discriminate as a store owner, and you may not either, it is our right. It has to be for freedom and liberty to truly work! People must be free to hate, free to discriminate and free to run their business however they want. Of course, no one is free to physically act out on their hatred, and one person’s freedom to swing their arms in the air ends at another person’s face. This is basic morality and should be common sense to virtually everyone considering it is the year 2020. Unfortunately, even in 2020, common sense can be quite rare, especially for the Karens of the world.

Be better than that. Do not be a Karen.

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Do Not Thank People For Doing Their Job

It has become quite popular to thank people to do the job they chose. Why is this? Bravery & courage are not things that describe us doing our job. Bravery & courage are gained by doing uncomfortable things we did not chose to do.

People act in their own self interest and secure the best job their skills will allow them to hold. So why do so many jump on the “thank a (insert career here)” bandwagon?

I think those who offer the thanks are ignorant to the fact that most people do not want thanked for doing their job. It’s their job. It’s what they are supposed to do.

I cannot recall the comic (Chris Rock perhaps?) who had a great bit about a guy who said things like (paraphrasing) “I ain’t never been to jail” and the comic would retort “you aren’t supposed to go to jail!” or “I take care of my kids” which would be rebutted with “you’re supposed to take care of your kids!”

Thanking us for doing what we are supposed to do as basic human decency seems silly. Perhaps a better way to show gratitude would be to simply offer a smile and words like “I appreciate you”.

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Why Do Small Things The Right Way?

It is obvious (or at least it should be) for humans to do the major things the right way. Treat others how you want to be treated, and take care of yourself.

But what about the small things that no one else will ever notice? Why take our time to do those properly? After all it is much simpler to just take the easy route and go on with your day.

The reason we should aim to do everything the right way is obvious when we ask ourselves one simple question: “What happens when this action is scaled to all of society throughout all of time?”

In other words, while it may seem like “no big deal” to simply toss that tiny piece of trash on the ground (think: cigarette butt, bottle cap, etc.) these are not so small when you consider scaling up to all humans ever. If every human took the attitude that “this is just one small lie” or “one tiny piece of trash” the world would quickly become overrun with lies & litter!

We must consider all humans everywhere, and our Mother Earth, when we make decisions. Regardless if anyone will ever see what we are doing, we must understand that by doing things the right way, we are helping to scale virtue in the world, instead of helping scale in a negative way.

While we cannot (and should not desire to) control the actions of others, we can (and should) control our own actions. And that starts with doing things right. Always.

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If We Ruled The World: My Way Compared To Your Way

If I were king….I would want you to make your own decisions and control your own life. (aka, freedom)

If you were king…You would want to make decisions for me and you believe you know what is best for me, therefore you would control some (or all) aspects of my life. (aka, slavery)

Now, who is the crazy one here? Who is the oppressor? Who is the slave owner?

It sure as hell is not me!


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Thoughts On Government Intervention

A huge problem in society today is that people are educated by the government and taught that they should rely on the government, which is fundamentally untrue and quite harmful to the individual (no one will ever care more about you than you!)

Then in cases like COVID-19 when the government actually gives good advice (stay home), many choose not to listen. Go figure.

In #100years humans will look back and wonder how the humans of today could be so ignorant and naive, for this and many, many other reasons.

Do not be one of the ignorant humans. Think for yourself. Take in as much information as possible from multiple sources and come to your own conclusions. Be better.

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