Bad Weather Outlook – Dashboard Jesus is on sale at!

Hello March 4th, 2015!

Since the BAD WEATHER has decided to double down then perhaps you need to make sure that Jesus travels with you whereever you go. And he is on sale for $3 off — your own Dashboard Jesus … Amazon Prime members can get him for free shipping.

A dashboard Buddha is also available … but I’m thinking that Buddha isn’t so helpful in car accidents … not unless you want to come back as a newer, nicer car in your next life.

Get your Dashboard Jesus as 

Dashboard Jesus

Augsburg, Germany – 30 years ago as I bid it Adieu!

Thirty years ago this week I departed Augsburg, Germany to report to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for the Warrant Officer Basic Training Course.

Augsburg, and Germany, had been a constant part of my life since June 1977. Many adventures. MANY friends. Some heartbreaks. Only the best memories of a band of brothers and sisters.

Today I remain close friends with many of my comrades-in-arms from those days. (Actually our primary weapon was a set of headphones, sometimes with multiple conversations going on in each ear. Whereever we went there were antennaes and … stuff for the antennaes to plug into.)

1985 was also the 2000th anniversary of Augsburg, Germany since its founding by the Romans. Much of my life in Augsburg was lived in the RathausPlatz (city hall plaza), the city’s center: drinking beer, eating schnitzel, shopping, museums, whatever. It was a great place to hang.

One of my very best buddies was Kent Nutting, whom I met while a mudpacker at U.S. Army Field Station Augsburg. To my great surprise he was also best friends with Joseph Cummins, whom I worked with daily. Together we drank a lot of beer chased by strong coffee and ouzo and … we did what soldiers do best … when they are not doing other things that they also do best.

Note: A ‘Mudpacker’ is a highly technical military intelligence term from the world of SIGINT (Signals Intelligence). We also worked ‘tricks’ while being ‘mudpackers’. I could tell you what that means … but I won’t … unless you buy me some Bier und Wurst mit Senf (beer and sausages with mustard) … then we can talk … if you have the proper security clearance.

The wax engraving below of the Zentralplatz and its huge Kirche (church), made to look like a copper image, was a goodbye gift from Kent Nutting. It has been a prized possession ever since.

Augsburg Germany 2000 year anniversary

ASA - Army Security Agency

How I got involved in helping the Homeless in Prince William County, Virginia

William Bill GoldenI come to learn about the homeless in a unique way.

Sure, I’ve seen the blue tents and some homeless standing on street corners. Yet, it was not that long ago that I went for medical treatment every day for seven weeks. Each day at 9AM there was the same person on the same street corner with a sign that said: ‘Just lost my job. I have two young kids. Please help!’ Sure. OK. I have also been approached a number of times by another person in the same parking lot over a three year period that zooms in on people just getting out of their car. Her story: ‘I forgot my purse and $5 will help get me enough gas to safely get home.’ Sure. OK. You have a great day until you corner me in the parking lot again!

It can be easy to write some folks off as scammers.

Back in October 2014, I was at a committee meeting for a local civic association. They are all good people. They want to help. They want a better community. The topic of homelessness came up and how that would be a good topic for a community information and education panel. Truthfully: I was indifferent. However, it bothered me greatly that the discussion quickly turned into almost an attack on the homeless and somewhat on the person (strong disparagement rather than an attack) that proposed the topic for us to focus on.

As the committee chair, that set my hair on fire. Admittedly there did not seem to be much enthusiasm for the topic from the committee, and my own experiences had jaded me. However, every idea needs examination when the proposer went to the effort to put together pages of supporting data.

If only to determine the viability of the idea of homelessness as an area of concern in our community I agreed to personally assist the topic proposer in learning more about the topic and to personally investigate.

One other committee member challenged me to do more than just to learn more. Go meet with homeless groups and go meet the homeless. So in early December, just after Thanksgiving I did. I got out and started meeting the homeless in person. It has been an education. I have learned that ‘I just lost my job’ and ‘I forgot my purse’ are anomalies. Our community is full of people in real need. Hundreds. The official count is almost 500. The real number is undoubtedly higher.

After failing to get my civic association to do more than to just talk about it, or to show much interest in wanting to learn more, I made the decision to start My goal is simple: enable those that are trying to help those less fortunate to be more successful.

The homeless are not out there scamming and mooching their way through life. Most have some major challenges and most face it humbly without seeking handouts of any kind. In fact, one of the things that I discovered is that an amazing number of homeless may live in tents on whatever piece of land they can squat upon … but they also have jobs. Those jobs just do not support them well enough to live in the housing that is available to them.

I am not an activist, at least not in the traditional sense. There is nothing specific that I am seeking to change.

I am not an advocate. I am not asking government for anything, other than maybe some creative alternatives to services that it provides to other citizens.

I am continuing to learn and in the process I have discovered members of my community exist in their daily lives at great risk. Hopefully, can connect those with need with those that can help.

Bill Golden

Got news about helping those less well off? Send to

Book Review: Wings of Arian … fantasy … lots of dragons, ordinary and shapeshifting

Just finished the young adult phantasy series ‘Wings of Arian’.

WARNING: This series contains occasional kissing and a love triangle … but there are 50 shades of nothing other than dragons, magic, magical critters, battles AND the need for a proofreader.

This is the second trilogy series that I’ve read where there are some serious grammatical lapses, such as the rare misuse of ‘their’ for ‘there’, and the one or two missing words in a sentence. Example: He then handed her with great expectation the… (A fictional example as I did not take notes while reading. All outrage was solved with the reach for a glass of Merlot.)

WTH? Some word should always come after the word ‘the’. Good news: such things only happened perhaps once every 50 or so pages. I got over it because this is a really good read.

Rumor has it that I almost shed a tear about 10 pages before the end of the third book. The truth is that I’ve had a head cold lately and things happen. =^)

Book #1 of the trilogy is almost always FREE on both Google and Kindle. Books #2 and #3 are usually $2.99-3.99. Time well spent.

Find this book now on

Wings of Arian

The meaning of life … pondering

Meaning of LifeA friend was having a talk with their kids and the question of what’s the meaning of life came up. The kids (teens and young adults) wanted to know. Awkward silence. Sputter. It is …

Anyway, here is my two cents worth: Meaning and purpose are not the same.

‘Meaning’ is meaningless without realizing that it is something we do not choose. We are chosen. Our parents chose to bring us into the world, notwithstanding the fact that not all things are well planned. We are a continuation of the past with hopefully the intent to look to the future. Our meaning is to continue the human reach to the future … and along the way to find our purpose.

It has been said that there can be no meaning without love. I’m not sure that love has anything to do with it. Love helps. Love nurtures. Love is craved. Love does many things … but pragmatically: love just makes our day better although the day that we live life within will happen with or without love.

‘Purpose’ is something that we choose, or don’t … in which case we usually spend time pondering the meaning of life. Add in love and mentoring and usually finding our purpose becomes easier and occurs sooner.

Bill Golden