My Dad is Being Buried Today

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My Dad is being buried today. He took his last breath at about 8:30pm October 13th, 2013. He was 85. He would have been 86 on November 7th. He was diagnosed in early September with lung and liver cancer. He had had other cancers three times in his life and had beaten them without chemo. He decided against chemo this time also. I think he figured that at 85 chemo would really diminish his quality of life. I am sure he was right. As much as it pains our family, fortunately for him his battle with cancer this time was relatively and mercifully short. He didn’t have alot of pain and I believe he passed in relative comfort.  

He was of the World War 2 generation. He was a supply sergeant in the Army. He spent two years in the Philippine Islands in the South Pacific. After that, he came home and spent a couple of years hopscotching around the country doing odd jobs with a friend named Doc in a brand new Ford Coupe that my Dad had bought with money he had saved up in the Army. The late 1940’s was a time in America when a couple of young men could do that. My dad told me that he and Doc would stop in a town or city and find whatever odd jobs they could. When they had gotten together $50 between them they would take off for yet another town and another adventure. When I was a child my dad told me and my siblings many stories from this part of his life. Some of them were somewhat harrowing. They were all funny in some way. They were all very interesting to us no matter how many times he told them. We requested that he repeat them many, many times…and he always obliged.

Between 1948 and 1955 I don’t know a whole lot about my dad’s life. I know that when he met my mom in 1955 they were both working for an aircraft manufacturer in St. Louis, MO.

My mom and dad were married in February of 1956. He was 28 and she was 18. My brother Steve came along in August of that year. Over the next 10 years 3 more boys and 1 girl would be born to them.

He was an extraordinary man by all accounts. He was a good Christian man. He had more grace for others than anyone else I have ever known. He was a wonderful and gifted guitarist, singer, and songwriter.

Why am I telling you all of this? First and foremost as a form of self-therapy and healing. Second, I am hoping that this blog will help others that are dealing with crisis and grief in their lives. Third, because my life has been in many ways like his and in just as many ways not. And last but certainly not least, I want to untie as many of the “not’s” as I can and be much more like him. 

The death of my dad is really making me examine my life. Life is short and not for the faint of heart. It seems there is so much to do and so little time to do it.





Steve Jobs: How to Live Before You Die

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One of the best and most candid TED talks.

If you have any thoughts on how to live before you die please feel free to express them in the comments section. Thanks, Dean

The High-Bitrate Lifestyle Blog


How did I come up with the term “high-bitrate (HBR) lifestyle” (trademark pending)? It originated with music, as have many things in my life. While listening to my iPod I began to notice subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) differences in the clarity, depth, and quality of different songs/recordings, even in the same album (even and especially the same recording that I accidentally downloaded twice at different bitrates!). As I looked at this more deeply I realized that they were downloaded at varying kilobytes per second. For the uninitiated and/or non-technical people out there this basically means the more bytes of data you can fit into a second the more (and thus richer) sound there is to hear. For you techies out there I consider anything below 320 kbps low-bitrate. Especially anything below 192 kbps. Thus, I re-downloaded much of my favorite music in at least 320 kbps. Nuff said about that!

This experience led me to begin examining my life and asking “How can I get a more HBR result in my life?” My better half (who I’ll just call “T” to protect the innocent) made the astute observation that in some ways I have always done that. You see, I’m not real big on compromise. I think she meant that as a compliment (hmmmm….). Basically, when I find an item, person, or situation that I really like I see no reason to settle for less. I don’t believe in settling. Life is too short for that!

So I am writing this blog so I can share my HBR thoughts and experiences with others and that they may share theirs with me and anyone else who views this blog. This blog will cover all kinds of things as I think of them. The “HBR lifestyle” is definitely not only about stuff! It is about clarity of mind, body, spirit and purpose. It is also about how you and I choose to experience life in all of it’s glory!

See you soon! Go out there and have a HBR day!


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