About Me

Austin, TX, United States
Postings will be sporadic and on an as I feel like it basis.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Megan's Menu: Paleo lifestyle videos: food & exercise.

These videos by Pay Now Live Later are a really good intro to the Paleo Lifestyle.  I ran across them on the blog Megan's Menu; See my Blog List for both.

Megan's Menu: Paleo lifestyle videos: food & exercise#links#links

So, enjoy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I realy need an iditor.

I really am alot better at this than I use to be.  I try to read what I've written out loud after stepping away from it for awhile.  But I notice things still slip through. Please let me know if this confuses the message or just makes it hard to read.

Thank you for your patients.

Part 1 of The Tao of Josh - Personal Responsibility

       What is Personal Responsibility? To me these words mean taking ownership of ones own actions. I will not expect nor is it anyone else’s duty to take care of me! I will not whine or blame others if things do not go as I plan.
The first responsibility of the individual is to oneself, now this might sound selfish to some, but if you think about it; it’s really not. If you take care of yourself first you’re not a burden on your family, society or anyone else, and you can help others in times of need. Now this doesn’t mean putting yourself first at the expense of others.
Let me give you an order of importance to the responsibilities in your life: your first responsibility is to your self; then family, friends, acquaintances, local community and the world at large.
Now you might be asking why family isn’t first. Let’s say you put your family first and give everything to the family. Say a family member needs some money, so you just go into debt to get the money, because you’re not worried about yourself. Now you get so far in debt that you can’t pay your own bills. You are now a burden to your family.
If you had kept your responsibility to yourself in minded, and said, “How can I help this family member support him self, so we can both prosper?” You would be keeping this principle in mind.
So, if the individual is strong then our families, friends, acquaintances, the local community and the world at large will be strong.
Now there are things that happen that are out of our control. Let’s say, a natural disaster comes along and destroys my house. It’s not everyone responsibility to insure that I get my life back exactly like it was before. It is my responsibility to plan for the future and part of that future is uncertainty and Mother-Nature. It’s my responsibility to ask myself, “What could happen and what should I do if it does?” and plan accordantly.
We can band together to help each other start over, but it’s not mandatory. I do believe in teamwork. You wouldn’t ask a teammate to do something and then stand around doing nothing with your handout? Teams work together to accomplish something for the benefit of the group. If, you do have to except someone’s help don’t fall into the trap of always relying on others. You should try to do things yourself first and if you really can’t do something then ask for help; while still doing what you can yourself. You will be surprised at what you can accomplish on your own. No freeloading, after you recover from what ever you needed help with pay those who helped you back in full; plus a little extra. There should be no free rides.
If you do rely on the government and others to take care of you, you are weakening are society, because you will put-off doing things waiting for some else to take care of them.
So, if something bad happens pick your self up, dust yourself off and start building your life over. There are no guaranties in life, so plan accordingly.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Josh's Thoughts on Education (Kind of long so sorry up front.)

This is a rough draft and a work in progress.

Education is the foundation of a strong society. A Republic only truly works when the citizenry is educated and given the tools to make an informed decision. Those that neglect their education leave themselves open to being controlled by others.

Josh’s 10 Principles of Education

  1. Tests are to evaluate where the student is at! They are not a measure of how smart the student is! Two types of testing; the first is a “test of progression,” and will be given periodically to the student to determine which subjects to focus on. The second is to test for “subject of study” level advancement and can be taken at anytime the student feels ready. Once you pass you move forward. Each “subject of study” is separate and will not hold the student back from advancing in another “subject of study.” Except where proficiency in one subject is need for another.
  2. Everyone is different in learning style and in learning speed. Age and time limits will not be set in stone. Teachers will insure that students progress in there studies and do not neglect areas of disinterest.
  3. Emphasize and use the book “The 5th Discipline The Art & Practices of The Learning Organization” by author Peter M. Senge. The 5th Discipline is a book about 5 disciplines for building organizations that can truly last and change with the times.
The first 4 disciplines are:
    • Personal Mastery: Gaining mastery over oneself and becoming the best person you can be.
    • Mental Models: Gaining an understanding of the generalization, assumption and beliefs that influence how we make decisions.
    • Building Shared Vision: Being able to convey to others your vision in away that they understand and want to make their own.
    • Team Building: Using team learning to build teams that work together and the individual continues to flourish.
The fifth discipline is Systemic Thinking:
  • Systemic Thinking is about taking a look at the systems that we find are selves in. How these systems influence are decisions, and how best to change and influence these systems when needed. [Systemic Thinking is the discipline that ties all the others together. (*quote*?)]
  1. Basics…. Basics…. Basics…. and emphasize organizational & research skills. You don’t have to memorize everything if you know where to find the info you need. Keep It Simple Silly (KISS) Teachers will keep this in mind and not over complicate the subjects being taught.
  2. Emphasize how the “subjects of study” are relevant and used in the real world; also, teach the students that there is a reason, a “Why,” a method to the madness if you will.
  3. Students need to be given a strong understanding of Social and Life Skills. It does the student no good to know lots of facts and information if the student doesn’t have the social skills to productively interact with society or the life skills to take care of them selves.
  4. A healthy lifestyle will be emphasized with stress management, meditation, nutrition and physical fitness.
  5. The Goal of the School system should be to turn students into life long learners: Not to make them think that when they graduate that they will have learned everything and no longer need to study.
  6. Parents and guardians should have a leading roll in their children’s education, so schools should be set up as a learning hub, and organized like a Community/Learning Center, with many different clubs, sports and physical activities; along with a Mentor/Tutor program. Teachers are there to provide structure and to point students toward answers, not to hold their hands and just tell them what is right. Along with a formal class room setting there should be support for homeschooling and access to physical labs and shop areas. To support all this learning software (will be developed) will be used keep track of progress; also, down-loadable text books to be used with PDA/Smart-Phones. This way the student can learn at anytime and from any situation.
  7. NO CENSORSHIP and NO ADVOCACY!!! Students will be given the tools to evaluate and decided for themselves. Teachers will not support or condemn any position, but deal in facts. Teachers will give both sides of any position, the good and bad. Students will have freedom of choice, and the ability to support or refute all forms of thought and be able to debate both sides of any position. Students will then be able to deal with new ideas by them selves and not have to rely on someone to tell them what is right and wrong.

Curriculum (This is just a rough outline of how I think are school systems should be organized.)

Each subject of study and area of interest will be broken down into various levels of proficiency and will follow a designated curriculum, stating what information needs to be covered and what is to be learned. This will insure that the students get a thorough understanding of the subject mater. How the students learn and take in the information will be left up to the students and teachers.

Preschool (0-5/6 yrs.) Note: these age brackets are averages and not set in stone.
  • Focus will be on students developing learning skills and giving them a strong introduction to the things that will be taught in Primary School. (I have heard it said that we learn 95% of every thing we will ever know by the age of 5.)
  • Students only need to demonstrate a rudimentary understanding of the “subjects of study.”

The Core Subjects of Study: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Intro to “The 5th Discipline The Art & Practices of The Learning Organization”
  2. Intro to English/Communication: ABC’s, Reading and Writing.
  3. Intro to Math: Addition/Subtraction, Multiplication/Division and Fraction.
  4. Intro to Ethics: Honesty, Integrity, responsibility for actions and that there are consequences for actions and inactions. Students will start building their own “Moral Code of Conduct.”
Other Subjects of Study: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Intro to the Sciences.
  2. Intro to All Languages: try to develop basic conversational skills, and root words.
  3. Intro to Health/Physical fitness: through Martial Arts/Self-Defense, Sports, Gymnastics, Nutrition. This will give the students the energy and stamina to do all that we ask.
  4. Intro to Critical Thinking Skills: Logic and Problem Solving using games and puzzles.
  5. Intro to Social Skills: Communication, Conflict Resolution and Etiquette.
  6. Intro to Personal Responsibility.
  7. Intro to Emotional Self Evaluation and developing skills for dealing with disappointment.
  8. Intro to Stress Management and Meditation skills.

Primary School (6-11/12 yrs.)
  • Focus will be on giving students a strong foundation in the Basics of all the “Subjects of Studies.” (see principle #4)
  • Students will learn to organize information in a way that works for them.
  • Students will learn research skills. If you need to know something it helps to know where to look.

Core Subjects of Study: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basics of “The 5th Discipline The Art & Practices of The Learning Organization”
  2. Basics of Math: All Disciplines.
  3. Basics of English/Communication and Public Speaking.
  4. Basics of Ethics: Continue instilling the students with honesty, integrity, responsibility for actions/inaction and that there are consequences for those actions/inaction. The students will compare and contrast all the different moral codes, religious and philosophical, historical and modern. Then, the students will write-down their own moral code of conduct, and they will be responsible for living up to it.
Health/Physical Fitness: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic Martial Arts: Kendo, Kempo, Judo and others.
  2. Basic Sports.
  3. Basic Gymnastics.
  4. Basic Nutrition and Exercise.
Life Skills: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic Social Skills: Communication, Conflict Resolution and Etiquette.
  2. Basic Stress Management and Meditation skills.
  3. Basic House Keeping skill: Cooking, Laundry and Budgeting/Paying Bills.
  4. Basic Economics, Organization and Project Management skills.

  1. Basic Sex Education. (To be given at the parent’s discretion.)
    1. Focus on respect for self and others.
    2. Ways to take the class: Parent and student together, student alone and parents take a class then teach there own child.
Self-development skills: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic Critical Thinking: Logic and problem solving.
  2. Basic Personal Responsibility and Anti-Victimhood: Let us not blame everyone else for the things that happen to us; especially if we are not actively working to improve our situation.
  3. Basic Emotional stability training through emotional self evaluation, impulse control and developing skills for dealing with disappointment: you can’t always get/have what you want. (Song by who?)
Sciences: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Start with teaching the Scientific Method.
  2. Basic Biology.
  3. Basic Chemistry.
  4. Basic Physics.
  5. Basic Astronomy.
  6. Basic Geology.
Applied Math & Sciences: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic Engineering. (overview all disciplines.)
  2. Basic Construction/Architecture
Social Studies: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic History and Geography
  2. Basic Government: types and History.
  3. Basic Law Criminal & Civil Procedure: types and History.
  4. Basic Anthropology
  5. Basic Cultural Anthropology.
  6. Basic Archeology.
  7. Basics of Languages; Root words & History.
Religions & Philosophies:
  1. Basic tenants and beliefs of all Religions & Philosophies. No Advocacy (see principle #10.).
  2. Basics of how they influenced cultures and shaped World History.

School sponsored Groups & Clubs: (Not a completed list and can form others as needed.)
  1. The Performing Arts:
    1. Drama.
    2. Music.
    3. Modeling. (like Fashion and Runway)
  2. The Arts:
    1. Photography.
    2. Painting.
    3. Sculpture.
  3. The Culinary Arts: Cooking & Baking.
  4. Science.
  5. FFA. (Future Farmers of America.)
  6. Agriculture.
  7. Out-Door Adventure. (Go over the book “98.6° Keeping Your Ass a Live.”)
  8. News Paper.
  9. Computer A/V.
  10. Wood Shop.
  11. Auto-shop.
  12. Machine shop.
  13. Debate.
  14. Government.
  15. Business/Entrepreneurial. (“Rich Dad Series” and playing “CASHFLOW 101” could be a good place to start?)
  16. Sports. (Emphasize sportsmanship and student must play to win. Students must be able to deal with the disappointment of losing and the euphoria of winning)

Middle School (12-14/15 yrs.)
  • The focus will be to start to tie all the basics together, and to teach how the Basics relate to and can be used in the real world; also, this will be the time that the students will start to focus on their areas of interests.
  • Picking an area of interest will not be set in stone. The process will be fluid as students will change there minds. (Think Majors and minors in Colleges.)
  • Students will spend 1/4 their time studying the core subjects and the other 3/4 studying their area of interest/s.

The Core Subjects of Study: (Not a completed list.)
  1. The 5th Discipline The Art & Practices of The Learning Organization”
  2. English/Communication: The ability to give and take in information is crucial to learning.
  3. All languages: root words & history. (Strive for conversational competency.)
  4. Math.: All Disciplines.
  5. History: (‘Those that don’t learn from History are doomed to repeat it.” *quote* by who?).
  6. Geography.
  7. Government: types and history.
  8. Law: types and history.
  9. Life Skills:
    1. Social Skills: Communication, Conflict Resolution and Etiquette.
    2. Stress Management and Meditation skills.
    3. House Keeping skill: Cooking, Laundry and Budgeting/Paying Bills.
    4. Economics, Organization and Project Management skills.
  10. Self-development skills:
  1. Critical Thinking: Logic and problem solving.
  2. Personal Responsibility and Anti-Victimhood.
  3. Emotional stability training through emotional self evaluation, impulse control and developing skills for dealing with disappointment.

Areas of Interest: (Not a completed list.)
  1. History.
  2. Physical Fitness & Nutrition.
  3. The Performing Arts.
  4. The Arts.
  5. The Culinary Arts: Cooking & Baking.
  6. English, Communication, Littérateur and creative writing.
  7. Sciences.
  8. Engineering and Construction.
  9. Applied Math & Sciences.
  10. Economics.
  11. Business & Entrepreneurial.
  12. R&D methodology. (Go over TRIZ: the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. Founded by: Genrikh Altshuller)
  13. Debate.
  14. Government
  15. Criminal Justice.
  16. Law: Constitutional, Business, Criminal & Civil Procedure.
  17. Journalism.
  18. Languages.
  19. Religion & Philosophies.

Groups & Clubs:
  • Continue with the school sponsored groups & clubs.
  • Have the students form their own groups and clubs around their area of interest.

High School (15- 17/18 yrs.)
  • The focus will be to take everything the student has learned and apply it to real world situations, by helping with starting there own small business, getting an internship with a company or field they want to work in, or getting a jumpstart on the College/ University courses; like, Pre-Med, Pre-Law, or other advanced courses of study.

Real World Prep:
  1. Help students apply their new knowledge by:
    1. Having them start a small business in there area of interest.
    2. Get an internship in an existing business in there area of interest.
    3. Getting a jumpstart on College/University with College/University level courses.
  2. Set up partnerships and mentoring programs with the leaders of local music, modeling and entertainment agencies, business, hospitals, police, fire departments, governmental agencies (local state and federal) and non-profits/charities.
  • Students will apply for a mentor in their area of interest. The mentor will be there to answer question and guide them.
  • If students are talented, in the Performing Arts, help them get set up with an agent or agency.
  • If students are talented, in the Arts, help them get set up with a studio of there own.
  • If students are talented, in the Culinary Arts, help them get set up with a kitchen of there own.
  1. Additional Groups/clubs: (Not a completed list.)
    1. JROTC
    2. Jr. Peace Core
    3. Jr. Army Core of Engineers (Start group if needed.)
    4. Community Serves Groups

Colleges/Universities (18+ yrs.)
  • The focus of Colleges and Universities will be the teaching of highly specialized fields of study. Colleges and Universities should just focus on their fields of study, and should not have to re-teach the basics.

Schools of Higher learning: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Advanced higher mathematics.
  2. Physics.
  3. Engineering.
  4. Pre-Med. & Med. Schools.
  5. Pre-Law & Law Schools.
  6. Biology & Life Sciences.
  7. Business & Entrepreneurial.
  8. Journalism.
  9. The Arts.
  10. The Culinary Arts.
  11. The Performing Arts.
If you got through all that I thank you for your time.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Keep Death in Mind.

The introduction to "Bushido Shoshinshu" by Daidoji Yuzan is all about keeping death in mind. Death can find you at anytime, so give thanks for this time with your loved-ones on this day of Thanksgiving. We should keep and show the spirit of this day all year long. What would you do today if you new that you wouldn't have tomorrow? What words would you take back? Time is precious use it wisely as you might not get tomorrow. We shouldn't need a single day to remind us to appreciate and give thanks for this life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Intro to The Tao of Josh - Why having a code of Ethics and Conduct makes life easer.

My dad once told me, “Josh, for every decision and action you make there are consequences: some will be good and some will be bad. So every time you make a decision or take action, you need to ask yourself, ‘what will the consequences be and can I live with them?’ If the answer is no then don’t do it. If you decide to do it anyway and the consequences comes to pass don’t whine about it, don’t make excuses and accept it like a man. You will have no one to blame but yourself.”
Now this wasn’t the first time my dad had told me this, but this time for some reason it stuck with me. Maybe, this was do to me realizing that my dad wasn’t always going to be around to bail me out and make things better. You see, we had just moved to Wyoming and by “we,” I mean it was just my dad, my brother and me; my dad and mom got divorced when I was four. My dad worked in the Oil Field and put in about 100+ hours a week and would be gone for days at a time. We had been staying with my grandparents, but now it was just going to be the three of us. So, you see if I got in trouble it was up to me to deal with it. Oh, and by the way, I was twelve, and my brother was ten.
Now you might be asking yourself, “Why are you telling me this,” because, even if I didn’t know it my dad was helping me build my own personal code of ethics and conduct, a code or “Tao of Josh” if you will. Now fast forward 20 some years, I’ve tried to live my life by this code. Some of it I got from my dad and some I got from books. I never wrote it down, until now. It was just these ideas floating around in the back of my head. “Again why are you telling me this?” It's simple, I see so many people making the same mistakes over and over. These same people complain that “life is hard,” and now I can say, “No its not. It’s just you making it appear that way. Here is my code of conduct and lets help you make one of your own, because the hardest part about life, in my opinion, is making decisions; if you have a code of conduct making decisions becomes easy. You see with out a structured way of looking at the world we tend to make decisions haphazardly and in the moment. We might do something one way one time, and then in a similar situation do it another way; this leads to inconsistency of results, and we scratch are heads and wonder why.”
There are four guiding principles I try to live by. Three of them are Personal Responsibility, Respect and Honesty/Integrity. I will go over them in following posts.
Now you say, “But you said there were four guiding principles and you only mentioned three?” This leads me to the first and overarching principle of my code, “The Tao of Asking “Why?” In a nutshell the Tao of Asking “Why” is if you ask the question ‘why something is the way it is’ or ‘why did something do what it did’ you engage your mind and you are telling your self this is a problem to be solved. By asking “Why” you will never stop learning, because as soon as you stop asking “Why” you start believing that you know everything. If you come up with an answer to why something is the way it is you will better understand it and know how to use it. We as children know this intuitively. How many of us drove our parents crazy asking “Why?” As we grow up, we stop asking “Why,” we just start excepting everything that we are told as fact. (I will go into why I think we stop asking “Why?” later.)
So, keep this in mind as you read this blog. Don’t just take my word for it; just ask “Why.”

Here goes nothing.

I have decided put my thoughts into writing as this will better help me organize and look for inconsistencies in my thought process'.  I want people to look at the things that I post and see if they make sense and for any inconsistencies in logic.  Feel free to correct my grammar and forgive any spelling mistakes.  If my writing is unclear or confusing, please let me know and I will try to make my point clearer or attack the problem another way.  Don't worry about hurting my feeling as the point is self refection and to get as many points of view on the subjects as possible.  Please don't make thing personal; attack the post, thought or idea not the person.  I will do the same.