Crazy Chester re-written for the Daily Prompt

I began reading the Daily Prompt on WordPress.com, because I really want to get back to writing. Also, I began working with WordPress to create a business web page for a local business, so that prodded me to get more into what WordPress has to offer. So below is my original blog post, written in 2009 for a class I was taking as I pursued my Bachelor’s Degree:

I started this blog as a class assignment, not knowing where it (or my life) would lead. While there have been a few readers along the way, my goal was not to build a following, but build up my writing skills. The topics on this blog run the gamut from outdoor activities to Christianity to motorcycling to working in the financial industry. So maybe the title should be “Biker Banker Brings a Bible in the Backpack.”

I use the name Chester. I got this from the line in the song “The Weight”, by the Band: “Crazy Chester followed me, and he caught me in the fog”. I also liked the name from Chet Atkins, one of the all-time great guitarists of the mid-20th century.

I signed up for a blogger account and had to give a last name, so I used “Arthur”. I am a history student and knew there was a president named Chester A. Arthur back in the 1800’s. I didn’t know much about him, so I looked him up. On Wikipedia, of course, that most-trusted source of all knowledge. Turns out ol’ Chester had more than a passing resemblance to the current Administration in some interesting ways – see the post labeled “Not Lincoln – Kennedy, but close” to see the similarities.

Q: Have you ever heard of Chester A. Arthur? Do you know anyone actually named Chester?

Mid-year update on the Jan 1 Res

So back in January I posted some New Years Resolutions. I guess I wanted some goals to put in front of me. Partly to have something positive to look forward to, and partly for self-improvement. Well, it’s a little past mid-year, but if you read the Odyssey post, you now know why I was sometimes off doing other stuff.

Here’s the standings in  late July:

1. Read More – Done. right now we are reading Charles Spurgeon’s daily devotions that he first published in 1865. We have read about Winston Churchill, and we read “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel.

2. Learn More – Done. I got an iPhone back in January. Chester Jr. calls it the “wizard box”, as in,  “type that into the the wizard box and see what it says.” Great for getting maps, finding businesses, learning stuff. And looking up arcane bits of knowledge.

3. Exercise More – Done. Hit the gym 3 – 4 days a week, pretty consistently. And I am up to 100 crunches or more per exercise session. Abs are coming back! I did find out, though, that at my age, exercise has a cost: not just the sore muscles, which I can deal with. But it appears I have arthritis in my right shoulder, so I had to modify the exercise to minimize aggravating my shoulder.

4. Ride More – Done. But it’s really only riding back and forth to work. Which is still nice. I did take the longest ride yet on the Road King, back in May. We held an 80th Birthday for my Dad, the Master Chester. Got my sisters and nephews and a cousin to play some music with my Dad, eat a nice dinner, have a few drinks and hang out and see the whole Chester clan. A very nice time. Tiny Dancer rode on the Road King with me all the way to Washington, DC for the party. Mrs. C, Chester Jr and Little Ninja rode in the Grand Cherokee behind. 2+ hours down, same back. Almost all highway, a nice smooth ride. I liked the long pull on the bike, but Tiny Dancer complained her butt was getting numb on the way back. Might be time to upgrade to a gel-filled seat.

How are you guys coming with your New Years Res? Let me know in the comments section.

Occupy MY Street

OK. I have tried to read both sides of the OWS. To a certain extent, I appreciate the fact that OWS does NOT have demands, or leaders, or anything resembling a real protest. Wait, I mean a real desire to leave until change is effected.

But some of the crap I’ve seen? The YouTube videos with the OWS folks asking for someone to pay their tuition? Demanding a good-paying job with benefits? Saying that jobs are a RIGHT?

I have worked my entire adult life – I got no help whatsoever, except from corporations who were willing to hire me, train me, allow me to succeed or fail on my own merits, and rewarding me commensurately.

Some corporations I have worked for have been abysmal at managing their people – one of them was a really big bank. Others have been outstanding at leadership and inspiring to work for and with – the bank I am with now comes to mind. But do these companies owe me anything? Not at all. I contract to work for them, as long as I am able, to do the job as best as I can, and to provide as much value to the company as I possibly can. In return, I am compensated. I have no complaint with my compensation.

But I am in the 99%. I pay my share of taxes. All said and done, I think my total tax burden (after deductions and everything) is between 35% and 40%. That means I keep 60+ cents on the dollar for every dollar I earn.

And with the recent economy, I am falling behind. I get that. But I still need to get up every day and give my all with my company so that together we can succeed.

I put myself through college – I mostly paid my own tuition while working full time. My company paid for part of it, and for that, I am very grateful.

So what does OWS want? It’s not completely clear. Do they want to change the banking system? I guess so. When banks were FORCED to lend money to people for mortgages they could never repay, the banks had to find ways to protect themselves. This is now a crime, apparently. Agreed – banks created derivatives that they then used to bet against the mortgage debt and win. But really: if you force someone to do something, but allow them to escape, they are going to escape, right?

Also, once I Googled images for OWS, I noticed early on they put the hot chicks up front, for once. At least they learned that image matters. Most left-leaning protest have the ugliest women (and men) I have ever seen.

But again, what is it they want? If you know, leave me a comment.

Peace and protest-signs – Chester

Happy New Year 2011

New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Take a better care of Mrs. Chester
 – 2010, as a year, sucked. For many reasons. But mainly because Mrs. Chester had such a rough time. I resolve to do a much better job taking better care of her this year.

2. Work out at the gym regularly
– Since my company is going to provide an incentive (other than the nearly free on-site fully equipped gym) to work out, I should get my sorry ass in gear and work out regularly. I started in December to make sure the habit stuck.

3. Get my fiscal rear in gear
– 2010 was a rough year financially, likely for a lot of other people too. I resolve to cut expenses, watch costs, save as much as possible, and work hard to maximize opportunities. One thing I am going to do is save my new “tax cut” in payroll SSI taxes and invest it in the stock market. I know, I am supposed to spend it to stimulate the economy. Screw that – the money is supposed to go into my Social Security account for when I retire later. So I am going to save it for my retirement later.

Got any New Year’s resolutions? I’d like to hear about them.

Peace – Chester

“Your healing Word, I receive”

The below description is from the Healing Rooms of Chester County. These folks provide an amazing Christ-centered spiritual healing experience. One location is currently hosted by Avondale Presbyterian Church in Avondale, PA:

” The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person”

Vision:  The vision for the Healing Rooms of Southern Chester County is to offer the healing power of Jesus Christ through prayer to all who are sick.  We do this in the context of a clear presentation of the Christian Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit.

What is the “Hearling Rooms of Southern Chester County” ?  The Healing Rooms of Southern Chester County is a multi-church ministry of prayer to heal the sick and impact our communities with the love and power of Jesus Christ.

We are not a counseling ministry, church, pastoral ministry or a medical unit of any kind.  We are a ministry of prayer based on biblical truths concerning healing that comes through the saving power of God in Jesus Christ.  We are a Christian ministry that is biblically orthodox in our basic beliefs.

So if you are in need of some spiritual healing along with your physical healing that may be taking place, drop by on a Saturday morning. Please consider supporting this ministry financially if you feel led to do so.

“Can you hear us now?!”

Massachusetts elected a Republican to the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. Just to be clear, the seat does not / did not belong to Ted Kennedy, it was just occupied by him for 46 years. I used to wonder how the same state that produced Ben Franklin (though he spent most of his life in Philly), John Adams, Sam Adams and all those great patriots of the revolutionary era could consistently vote for someone like ol’ Uncle Teddy.

But now they’ve awakened from their 46-year stupor and elected Scott Brown to the United States Senate. Thank You, Bay Staters!! You guys rock.