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you and Tec have cost me more sleep than you know over the years.

Sorry about that, Bro! But here’s a little saying that I find comforting, and at the same time motivating: “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” While that was originally meant primarily as a spiritual thing, I also believe it applies to temporal things as well – just what this entire web site is dedicated to. You’re probably better off than you think, and certainly far better off than most. Do what you can, be as prepared as you can be under your own personal and family circumstances, here a little and there a little, and when “the balloon goes up,” you’ll be way ahead of most. It just never hurts to be aware of what’s going on around us, if for no other reason than not getting blind-sided. Just don’t get too wrapped around the axle in doing so. I now view things like what I put in my post above with interest, not fear, and simply use it like our indoor/outdoor digital thermometer – I can see how hot it is outdoors before I ever go out, and not be shocked. Am I secure that we’ll be “fine” when “the balloon goes up?” No, not entirely. But I remember that I’m FAR better off because of people like those here with whom I’m privileged to associate than I was 15 years ago, and particularly 20+ years ago. JJ became a wonderful motivator “back when.” And over the years we’ve refined what we understand, taken more steps to refine what we DO as a result, and are better off for it. If we’ve done all we can reasonably do, I have a personal belief that we’ll be blessed in ways we can’t foresee now, when we need it. I’ve already seen that in my own life over the years. Sometimes it’s kind of scary looking forward, but when I look back I feel more than a little guilty for doubting, because I’ve always in the end received help beyond my own ability to cope. I just have to do all that I can reasonably do, in my imperfection. That’s all any of us can do. A bit of a personal secret (that immediately becomes common knowledge now, without details): I’m highly familiar with the twelve steps (both from a personal and professional standpoint), and do my best to keep constantly reviewing them, both privately and with others. In them is great wisdom. Resources like this one fit in very nicely – though many would not see that.

Still, I’m sorry to have robbed you of much needed (and deserved) sleep. <grin>

For those not familiar with the phrase “when the balloon goes up,” here’s a good explanation. It even refers to this web site as an authoritative source. The phrase dates back to WWI, but was also used frequently among people I associated with in the military during the rather warm portions of the cold war, when the Strategic Air Command motto was “Peace is Our Profession.” Many (most?) never understood that that phrase was not sick humor, or an empty phrase. Being able to launch a massive fleet of B-52s and Minute Man missiles in a matter of just a few minutes, ready to unleash enough destructive power to probably put the world out of business entirely in its aftermath, was the ultimate manifestation of, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” It kept us AND the Soviets alive for decades, due to the old “MAD” philosophy (Mutually Assured Destruction). Ahhhh …. the good old days (says an old man). LOL!