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Saturday

Civic Duty and The Note

by J.B. Blocker                                                                                                                                              
  Little David had a problem. There weren’t enough Valentines in the packet they had bought for his 4th grade class Valentines card exchange.  
Lana, red dress w/sign, David top row 3rd from the right
  You remember, those shoe boxes with your name on it.  We wrapped, drew, or decorated them leaving a slit on top to slide in those little cards. 
  It’s a big deal. At that age, it’s not about love. It’s about friends and mutual recognition. Those little cards have vague little notes that make the giver and the receiver feel better. It’s amazing what a little note can do to make someone feel better.(remember that!)
   There were a few more kids in his class than there were cards in the Valentines kit, and David didn’t want to leave anyone out.  

   Mom came to the rescue with a few extra ‘grown up’ cards.  Now, there’s another problem. “Who do I give the bigger ones to? Well, there are my friends. And Lana Rolf is nice. We almost have the same birthday and she’s always nice to everyone. That was easy.” 

Friday

Your Far North Dallas Connection


The Far North Dallas Region is exploding! 
Janice Berg, Realtor

   People are arriving from all over the country and the world. They are a diversified blend that has transformed Far North Dallas. With many corporate headquarters now choosing Collin and Denton Counties as their home, the demands are overwhelming the residential market. Families move here with those new employers. Seniors come to be near their families. Singles and couples have much different requirements.
  Adding to that mix are the many who are coming from other Dallas Ft. Worth communities anxious to fill those new job opportunities. 
  There is no telling how the lure of the new Dallas Cowboys headquarters will eventually beckon not only Cowboys staff and families but also their devoted fans.
  Your realtor really needs to have a broader understanding of the many neighborhoods in order to point you to that perfect home and then help you to confidently make this important decision.
Shopping, Dinning, Church, School, Work, and Play

Sunday

Recruiting a Winning Team

The Andrew Principle
Campaigning 101
jb blocker

John 1: 40  One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter)
  
  You don’t hear much about Andrew the apostle. We know he was one of the first to be chosen by Jesus along with James and John. Later in the Bible, he is the one who brings the boy to Jesus with the fish and loaves that feeds thousands. He is also at the resurrection. But Andrew is also mentioned for one other thing that has resonated throughout the ages. He took his brother Simon to meet Jesus! Simon became Peter!
  That is some really good recruiting! That is like finding Babe Ruth and introducing him to baseball. If the Babe is Peter, then Lou Gehrig might be considered to be an Andrew.

I call it ‘The Andrew Principle’.
  In campaigning for a civic office, you really need a few Peters. He or She are the one who thousands listen to. They have a network, respect, and usually access to donors.
  But Peters are hard to get to.  They are very protective of their resources and are exceptionally aware of how their good name can be used or misused.  You often have to go through others they trust just to get to them.
  Every Peter has their Andrews. They can’t be that successful without dependable trusted people in their lives. Whether those are family or friends, they are the people who can unlock the doors that lead to the Peters.

Looking for Andrew

Simply refreshing Gazpacho


Gazpacho
By J.B. Blocker
   When my eat healthy gene or sensibility kicks in I have a tendency to go on auto-pilot when I grocery shop around the fresh produce section.  
  That is when the spirit of my recently passed chef mentor, the great French Master Chef Jean La Font speaks to me.
  “Gazpacho”, he whispers! It has become my go to dish. My healthy comfort food. It gets even better on day two and three but it rarely last that long. I don't even use a bowl. I fill a mug and add some chilled shrimp if I have it ready.

Friday

Cleaning up an infestation!

When the government won't help, what do you do?
by J.B.Blocker

  You are on a family vacation and anxious to get to your cousin’s home. It is night and you pull off to a side road at Mile Marker 13. You really have no choice because nature is really calling loudly and it is a few more miles to the next town. The boys have got to go and so do you.
  To your wife, 13 is already a bad sign and she decides she can wait. But the boys can’t and now neither can you. In the moonlight you find yourself in an area that is dried and desolate with dead fall and the remains of a recent fire. 
  The scene is spooky. You can’t wait to get done with your business and leave this stop far behind.  It is so daunting that no one even steps off the road. The boys just stand in front of the car and hope no one comes from the other direction. It is a place you never want to see again.
  If you had been here a month earlier there would have been a real problem.
  You arrive at your cousins home in the next town and make plans for a picnic the next day.  Morning comes and your families are headed to a favorite local swimming hole. There will be picnic areas, a clean sandy beach area, hiking paths, and great fishing. 

Paradise is what they call it.

Sunday

A Voting Disaster



Voting or Not Voting for the Wrong Reasons. jb blocker
So you think your candidate has it locked up because their district is heavily GOP. Or you think your district will carry the DEM for the same reason. Guess again. There are several factors that could completely flip your reality. Here is just one.

Part I: Weather or not…Voter turnout is on the line.
Complacency is growing as quickly as confusion and frustration while candidates all over Texas and the rest of America campaign for seats from the Top on down.
If you are a candidate, this should concern you. If you are a Republican you have a bit of an advantage when the weather acts up. Here is an approach you should consider.

The Postman’s Pledge: Herodotus
  It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.

  What I suggest is that you gear your campaign toward pledges to vote no matter what! Not just for you, but for our country. If you are speaking, texting, or social mediaizing express the importance of committing to vote! Vote early if possible! And if they can’t do that, tell them to have their all weather gear ready. This should be your campaign at this point. Taking anything for granted is a mistake.
 

Tuesday

Unexpected Danger! 2016 Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol




Common Sense and Courtesy
By J.B. Blocker
  With all the furor generated on the social media concerning the shooting of a man during a traffic stop, it occurred to me that many don’t seem to know how to behave if they are stopped! 
  To me it seemed that logic and courtesy were all that was necessary in order to make the stop as safe and painless as it could be considering the circumstances!
  
  I began my research by calling the ‘Best of the Best’ to help me get this right. These friends have served for years in several branches of Texas law enforcement. They include Sheriff Harold Eavenson the VP of the National Sheriffs Association, Carrollton Chief of Police Rex Redden, Director of the Texas Border Sheriffs Association Don Reay, Senate Candidate and past Top Texas Game Warden Peter Flores, Kirk Launius the GOP candidate for Dallas County Sheriff, Howe Chief of Police and License To Carry instructor Carl Hudman, and former Texas Highway Patrol/Texas Ranger Lee Young and Sheriff David Byrne to help sort out what rules have been approved and practiced by their various departments.
  Of course I might add that when Game Wardens and Texas Rangers make a stop, it is rarely for a traffic or vehicle violation.
  I did a lot of listening as they guided me through not only the regulations but also the reasoning behind the suggested actions for the officer and the driver. With their help I have compiled a 2016 Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol that should be an aid to the well being of the driver and officer alike.
Ranger Lee Young simply added common sense = less problems. Peter Flores and Don Reay each said in their own West Texas styles, It really boils down to common sense and courtesy. To which I respond, “Common sense seems to be a missing ingredient to a lot of people. Especially when they are being pulled over!”

  Since I took my license exam in the 70’s, I wasn’t really sure what the rules are on a Texas Driver’s License Exam. So let’s start there! 

Monday

"HONOR THE FLAG!"


Dad taught me well!
  As a teen, I gained possession of a 48 star American flag that was as big as a wall in my bedroom. I proudly put it up, saluted it and said the pledge every day for my dads sake. It stayed there until.....

   My father, Master Chief Charles Abraham Blocker was a 30 year Navy man and lay minister. He finished his career as the highest ranking enlisted man. At age 17 he lied about his age in order to join his older brother Uncle Jimmy in 1942 and made the Navy his career.
   I was always fascinated and proud of his chest of medals including the Navy Cross.  After those 30 years of traveling the Seven Seas, WWII, Korea, and many other assignments he came home straight from Vietnam. I was 15 and spent the entire day in the front yard in order to be the first to welcome him home.
  When he saw the flag covering my wall, he immediately stopped in his tracks. Without harsh words but rather with solemnity, he took it down with care. He carried this 12 foot flag reverently to the living room where we respectfully folded it. He then had mom find a clear wrapping for it and placed it on my dresser.
  Looking back, I am sure that the 48 star flag meant much more to him than I will ever know. He had defended and saluted that flag during his prime.
  I guess the fact that it was an out dated flag made me feel it was OK to make it a wall dressing. I was proud to own it and to look at it.
  The lesson stuck with me.