Beauty In The Universe: The Milky Way

Milky Way 2.2.1 (postcard) Big Bend National Park May 16, 2018 copy

I am blessed to live in Texas where there are many places that one can still see with the naked eye, and in this case photograph, the Milky Way. I still need to travel several hours to see it, but viewing this heavenly wonder can be done.

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Beauty In The World: Spider

Spider 1.1 Midlo Backyard June 26, 2018

In our backyard, is the beginning of a butterfly garden. Of course, more than just butterflies and moths inhabit and/or visit the area. It’s a blessing to be able to spend a little time each morning to observe the wonders in the garden and take a photograph or two. Today (June 26, 2018), I saw for the first time this spider on a butterfly bush busy at knitting a web.

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A Rainbow In The Desert

Rainbow 2.5 Big Bend National Park May 14, 2018 copy 2

Earlier this summer (2018), I was in the parking lot of the Chisos Mountains Lodge (Big Bend National Park, Texas) taking photographs of a rare sight: a rainbow in the desert.

A few other people were in the parking lot, too, but none looking at this special weather event.

Parking lots are important, and seeing what I saw makes me no better of a person than anyone else. Yet it does suggest a question, “Are you looking for a rainbow in the desert?”

It’s worth it; they do exist.

Best wishes as you search for your rainbow in the desert.



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Teachers: What’s Your Focus?

Monarch (A.1) Midlo Backyard June 19, 2018

Teachers, what’s your focus?

Sometimes the difference between a superior monarch photo and a just-ok one can be a leaf in the foreground: it, not the butterfly, grabs the camera’s automatic focus and also blocks part of the view.

Great teachers notice the foreground, but do not let it obscure their focus: the beauty of their students.


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Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream and Texas K-12 Public Schools: Why A Broken System Is Good For Politicians (Part III)

In this series, Texas politicians created a system where they provide a traditional serving of strawberry cheesecake ice cream for all K-12 age children 180 days a year, and then added a state provided ice cream of your choice (charter cream), and homemade ice cream (no state financial support).

So, is everyone happy? No.

And that’s OK with politicians.


First, only two people need to be happy in this story, and you, in all likelihood, are not one of them.

  1. Because no state-level Texas politician lost his/her job over ice cream, that makes politicians happy; and
  2. A politician must make at least one other person (or group) happy: a major donor: happy donor, happy life – follow the money.

Second, a broken system allows two things to happen for a politician, they are good for the politician, and maybe not so good for ice cream lovers. They are:

  1. A forever broken system needs a fix and a politician can run – forever – on the promise to fix it. [So, really fixing the system isn’t the goal.]; and
  2. Additional funds given to a broken system, keeps the system broken, gives a sense of relief, however temporary, to its good-hearted, well-intentioned members, and earns thanks to the politician.

Politics can be ugly.

Texas K-12 Public School Teachers do not understand that type of ugly, because, in part, their minds and hearts, when they enter their classrooms, are about caring; ugly isn’t a part of their professional lives, and that makes it nearly impossible for them to understand the political processes that shape their environment.



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Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream and Texas K-12 Public Schools: Making Everyone Happy, But Not Really (Part II)

Let’s say that the State of Texas is constitutionally required to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of free strawberry cheesecake ice cream to all K-12 age children.

The State of Texas takes it a step further and compels by law that all K-12 age children eat a healthy portion of the strawberry cheesecake ice cream every day for 180 days of the year.

That’s all good and well, if you like strawberry cheesecake ice cream.

But what if you don’t like the one state-provided, mandated frozen dessert? That’s a problem. And it’s a problem on two different levels: personal and political.

At the personal level, you, for any number of reasons, may not like strawberry cheesecake ice cream, and at the political level only politicians, not you, can make desired changes.

After much time and political wrangling, the State of Texas gives its citizens two additional choices: homemade ice cream (you’re on your own) and a state-provided charter ice cream (i.e., almost any flavor one cares to create).

Everyone wins.

Everyone is happy.

Unfortunately, not everyone wins, nor is everyone is happy, and as illogical as this may sound, that’s just fine with the government.

Why? The answers are with Part III.









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Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream and Texas’s K-12 Public Schools: Part I

I like strawberry cheesecake ice cream.

Not everyone likes strawberry cheesecake ice cream and no matter how much I may evangelize for this tasty dessert there will always people who, for any number of reasons, will not like it, and/or for any number of reasons will prefer another option, say for this writing, blueberry ice cream.

I believe in Texas’s K-12 public schools.

Not everyone believes in Texas’s K-12 public schools and no matter how much I or others may evangelize for this form of schooling there will always be people who, for any number of reasons, will not like it and/or will prefer other schooling options.

The promulgation of the good and great things that happen in Texas’s K-12 public schools while necessary only addresses one very slim slice of an equation: why not to not like Texas’s public schools. Left unaddressed are the many reasons why people do not like or are dissatisfied with this schooling option (their validity is not a subject of this writing) and why other schooling options are preferred.

It’s important, good, healthy, and necessary to promote the wonders of Texas’s K-12 public schools, but do not be disheartened if it does not create many converts – especially in the ranks of politicians – because the message, by the nature of that which it addresses, is not capable of doing that.


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