Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Ascent of American Naval Power in the Progressive Era

A strong navy has been a vital factor of any powerful nation for as long as man has known how to navigate upon the open seas, both during conflict and maritime. Politically, economically, culturally, and militarily a countries navy is its first line of defense.[1] While the United States had previously contended in naval battles during its prior conflicts, after the Civil War it concentrated elsewhere, letting naval prowess fade. In the late eighteenth century a movement began to restore American sea power, and boost it to greatness. Alfred Thayer Mahan, Theodore Roosevelt, and continual technological advancements all lead to developing a fleet that would become one of the greatest on the seas in size, strength, and importance well into the twentieth century.

The world’s various oceans have long been controlled by mighty fleets of countries such as the British, Spanish, French, and at times such as during the American Civil War, the United States of America. At the time, America’s naval fleet was made up of some 700 ships, the largest in the world at the time based upon size alone. The fleet’s ships included such technological innovations as the ironclad armored frigate and primitive torpedo boats which would later evolve into submarines; ships which paved the way into new ways of thinking in naval design. However, as a result of several factors in America and the world at the time, including growing industry, westward expansion, no direct threats geographically, and reconstructing America’s South, this fleet was brought down to only a fledging fifty-two ships in the early 1870s.[2] The United States’ naval efforts for the next two decades remained primarily focused on the “new navy”; cruisers and coastal defense boats. These cruisers were the Navy’s first steel ships and were known as the “ABCD” ships, due to their names, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, & Dolphin. The Dolphin, the first of the group, took two years to pass its sea trials, and when it finally did in 1886 it was dismissed as ‘a mere pleasure craft’ with ‘many structural weaknesses’ by Secretary of the Navy, William C. Whitney.[3] This “new navy” of the ABCD ships as well another which was later constructed went to Europe in 1891 to show off US maritime power.[4] During this time the British once again rose to naval superiority with their big-gunned battleships which soon became the standard of navies worldwide, but were simply too expensive to produce in the numbers Britain had.[5] In 1898, the United States fell into war with Spain when the battleship Maine, sent to protect Americans in Havana during Cuban riots, was blown up by an alleged Spanish mine.[6] This sparked the beginning United States’ climb back towards naval superiority, commissioning some eight battleships to be built.[7] Only one year after the Spanish-American War ended one of its heroes of the famed “Rough Riders” regiment and former secretary of Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, assumed the Presidency.

Theodore Roosevelt was always a strong advocate of the United States Navy and strong naval power. He was influenced in childhood by tales of his mother’s two uncles, James and Irvine Bulloch who both served in the Confederate Navy,[8] and in later life both by his own publication of a detailed account of the War of 1812’s naval battles, respectively named, The Naval War of 1812[9] and through reading Alfred Thayer Mahan’s The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783 which says, “production, shipping, and colonies,” are the main elements of sea power[10] and are impacted mainly by geography, population, and character of such a population.[11] Mahan’s power was based around consolidating fleets, bridging the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the timeless importance of strategy.[12] Mahan’s theories on how navies were both military and commercial, “laid the foundations of U.S. naval doctrine,”[13] Roosevelt coming into office was the keystone on building the United States’ naval might, and not only served to strengthen the country’s navy, but also strengthens the country’s relationship within the international community and helps to legitimize its place as a world power well into the Progressive era and World War I.

Although Roosevelt looked to the past for naval theory, he was the epitome of a progressive commander in several other aspects of the War and Navy Departments. Viewing himself as, “the advocate of a new generation,”[14] he was known for employing men in their thirties and forties because he felt they were more, ‘imaginative and innovative.’ These new men were to replace officers left over from the Civil War who were considered old and perhaps didn’t fully comprehend military technology.[15] This can be seen when Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans must retire command of his fleet, and writes of his replacement saying, “Teddy’s insane ‘penchant’ for pushing young men to the front,”[16] Perhaps as a result of the industrialized country that had grown up in the decades leading to his Presidency, and the abundance of technology, communication, and ideas, Roosevelt was able to link all these areas together[17] in terms of advancement of the forces of the military and the country’s relations with other nations. One thing Roosevelt did not see eye-to-eye with Mahan was when it came to building new classes of battleships. Mahan believed in a standard form and size for a ship to be built, while Roosevelt thought it was beneficial to make each class bigger and better than the previous class and opponent’s ship to outgun, outmaneuver, and outlast[18] the competition. However, as much as Roosevelt loved battleships, at the heart of the progressive movement was the idea of moving towards a peaceful solution, and Roosevelt did so by proposing a limitation on battleship production.[19] Ironically though, due to Mahan’s writings the battleship was now seen as a symbol of national power and foreign policy and nations such as Britain and Germany refused to give in to a regulation of Dreadnought-class battleships and Germany to go against their Flottengesetz[20]

Although at the beginning of his term, Roosevelt said, “no part of his policy was more important than naval expansion,”[21] as well as having the support of Congress, who through the backing from many ‘navalists,’ authorized ten additional battleships. The most notable navalists in Congress was Democrat Richmond Pearson Hobson who claimed America would, “hold the scepter of the sea,”[22] However, due to the public’s wariness of building up such a large fleet Roosevelt announced in 1905 only one battleship per year would be built as a replacement for outdated ships.[23] This would later serve to be a poor choice with the combination of the British Royal Navy’s Dreadnought-class battleships coming out a year later, and more importantly heightened tensions with Japan over the next several years; something needed to be done in case war broke out, as the United States currently held commercial assets in the Pacific ocean and viewed Asia as an ‘open door’ for commerce that was set to grow exponentially. As the U.S. Navy commanders had all become staunch advocates of Mahan’s theories, they took heed in how a hostile Pacific Ocean[24] would affect commerce.

The main problem of a naval conflict in the Pacific that Roosevelt realized, as Mahan had pointed out years before, was geographical position. Mahan warns, “The position of the United States upon the two oceans would be either a source of great weakness or a cause of enormous expense, had it a large sea commerce on both coasts,”[25] as well as cautioning against the all too real possibility of being undersupplied on coal,[26] something which devastated the Russian fleet in their naval war with Japan several years earlier. Depending on how well the Monroe Doctrine held up, and which South American countries would stay in good favor with the U.S. could do the exact same thing to the U.S. fleet.[27] Prior to the construction of the modern-day Panama Canal, the fastest way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean was heading 10,000 miles South from the U.S. fleet’s home at Hampton Roads, Virginia to the Magellan Strait, and then another 5,000 miles back North to California. With the fleet consuming some 1,500 tons of coal per day,[28] allies’ abilities to supply collier stops en route to the Pacific were not a question. Something of this magnitude had never been attempted before, but may very well need to be if a naval war in the Pacific and Philippines were to occur with the Japanese Empire. From this came the plan for the ‘Great White Fleet’, perhaps the most important aspect of Theodore Roosevelt’s Presidency.

The ‘Great White Fleet’ was a culmination of all things Mahan and Roosevelt had been envisioning, the ideas of naval commerce, preparedness, naval diplomacy, and sea power all formed into a trip around the entire globe en masse with the greatest compiled fleet the world had ever seen the likes of. The fleet was composed most importantly of sixteen battleships, all of which had hulls painted white accented with gold trim[29] (perhaps an unintentional reminder of the bygone Gilded Age) and various auxiliary ships and colliers, staffed by some 14,000 sailors. During the first leg of their journey they were also accompanied by a “flotilla” of six torpedo destroyers.[30] The ‘marine parade’ of naval might soon became a spectacle unlike anything on earth, and at nearly every stop they made people lined up in the hundreds of thousands to watch the ships pull into the different ports. While they didn’t always stop in every port city, their presence alone was enough to draw massive crowds, for instance in Valparaiso, Chile and San Francisco people lined the bay and watched in awe as the ships sailed by. Possibly the most warm welcome given by a foreign country was when the fleet pulled into Japan. To reiterate the notion that war between the two countries was not desired, the Japanese went out of their way and prepared for months for the arrival of the American fleet. People decorated their houses with American and Japanese flags, Japanese citizens sang patriotic American songs in English, elaborate fireworks displays, and Monday, October 19th was even declared “American Day” in Tokyo.[31] This amicable reception served to make the entire voyage worthwhile seeing that the threat in the Pacific was not anywhere near where fears had made it out to be. In places that they did stop they were welcomed with formal balls and dinners.[32] And surprisingly, even with all of the exotic locations visited and all of the ‘fleet-bitten girls’ left behind, the desertion rates were very low, and when they did lose men they were able to recruit others to take their place. The voyage’s diplomatic benefits are invaluable to America and the world, at a time when the tension was growing between the American-Japanese and British-German relationships. It also served to boost relations between the United States, an ex-British colony, and the two island colonies of Australia and New Zealand, which would go on to serve a strong alliance during the Second World War. As the fleet was in the Mediterranean they also offered a lending hand to Europe as they gave aid to Italy after a devastating earthquake. Upon return Roosevelt welcomed with the words letting them know how big of an accomplishment they had achieved, “Those who perform the feat again can but follow in your footsteps,”[33] leaving the sailors, the country, and the world with a lasting impression stating American Naval Power.

Ironically, as big of a step forward that the voyage of the Great White Fleet was for the United States in foreign policy and legitimizing itself in the world, the entire fleet was already obsolete and outdated by the British Dreadnought-class battleships at the time they set sail.[34] In the following years the U.S. Navy constructed new battleships that were able to contend with the top-of-the-line ships employed by the other world powers; however none of the pre-Dreadnought ships were deployed to war zones before the war was over. American naval involvement in the war was primarily as an accompaniment to the British Grand Fleet by the pre-Dreadnought battleships and smaller destroyers for submarine control as well as to provide escorts to troop ships and shipping channels.[35] However, the culmination of Mahan’s theories and Roosevelt’s embracement of technology and naval diplomacy evolved the United States naval fleet throughout the twentieth century into a formidable power on the seas.


Andrade, Ernest Andrade. “The Battle Cruiser in the United States Navy.” Military Affairs 44,
No. 1 (1980): 18-23.

Bailey, Thomas A. “The World Cruise of the American Battleship Fleet, 1907-1909.” The Pacific Historical Review 1, No. 4 (1932): 389-423.

Braisted, William R. “The United States Navy’s Dilemma in the Pacific.” The Pacific Historical Review 26, No. 3 (1957): 235-244.

Bywater, Hector C. “Japanese and American Naval Power in the Pacific.” Pacific Affairs 8, No. 2 (1935): 168-175.

Cochran, Thomas C. and Ray Ginger. “The American-Hawaiian Steamship Company, 1899-1919.” The Business History Review 28, No. 4 (1954): 343-365.

Eliot, George Fielding. “Defense in Two Oceans.” Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science 19, No. 3 (1941): 21-27.

Feuer, A. B. The U.S. Navy in World War I. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1999.

Greenville, J.A.S. “Diplomacy and War Plans in the United States, 1890-1917.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 11, (1961): 1-21.

Harris, Brice, Jr. “The Great White Fleet: Its Voyage around World, 1907-1909.” The Pacific Historical Review 35, No. 1 (1966): 112-114.

Healy, David. “Admiral William B. Caperton and United States Naval Diplomacy in South America, 1917-1919.” Journal of Latin American Studies 8, No. 2 (1976): 297-323.

Hendrix, Henry J. Theodore Roosevelt's Naval Diplomacy. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2009.

Hobson, R.P. "America Mistress of the Seas." The North American Review, Vol. 175, No. 551, 1902: pp. 544-557.

Jones, Jerry W. U.S. Battleship Operations in World War I. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998.

Leiner, Frederick C. “The Unknown Effort: Theodore Roosevelt's Battleship Plan and International Arms Limitation Talks, 1906-1907.” Military Affairs 48, No. 4 (1984): 174-179.

Lincoln, Ashbrook. “The United States Navy and the Rise of the Doctrine of Air Power.” Military Affairs 15, No. 3 (1951): 145-156.

Livermore, Seward W. “Battleship Diplomacy in South America: 1905-1925.” The Journal of Modern History 16, No. 1 (1944): 31-48.

Mahan, Alfred Thayer. The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1600-1783. Library: Library, 1935.

Melville, George W. “The Important Elements in Naval Conflicts.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 26 (1905): 123-136.

Ovos, Matthew M. “Theodore Roosevelt and the Implements of War.” The Journal of Military
60, No. 4 (1996): 631-655.

Reckner, James R. Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. Annapolis: Bluejacket Books - Naval
Institute Press, 1988.

Reynolds, Clark G. Navies in History. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998.

Sprout, Harold & Margaret. The Rise of American Naval Power. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998.

Wimmel, Kenneth. Theodore Roosevelt and the Great White Fleet: American Sea Power Comes
of Age.
Washington: Brassey's, 1998.

[1] Reynolds, Clark G. Navies in History. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998. pp. 3-8
[2] Reynolds, pp. 136-138
[3] Despite Whitney’s negative view, the ABCD ships would go on to serve for several decades, Boston made it all the way to World War II.
[4] Wimmel, Kenneth. Theodore Roosevelt and the Great White Fleet: American Sea Power Comes of Age. Washington: Brassey's, 1998 pp. 19-25
[5] Reynolds, pp. 143: 12-14 inches of steel armor, 2 main battery turrets equipped with two 12-inch guns and gyroscopes for stability when aiming. Rule of thumb: 1 inch of gun caliber = 1 inch of armor. The Royal Navy would stay far ahead of the other navies of the world for years to come, pioneering the famed Dreadnought class.
[6] Reynolds, pp. 145
[7] Sprout, Harold & Margaret. The Rise of American Naval Power. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998
[8] Hendrix, Henry J. Theodore Roosevelt's Naval Diplomacy. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2009. pp. 3: Rear Admiral James Bulloch designed, and Midshipman Irvine Bulloch served on the CSS Alabama. Both moved to England after Lee’s surrender…
[9] Roosevelt’s book is still regarded to be one of the best works on the naval battles of the war.
[10] Mahan, Alfred Thayer. The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1600-1783. Library: Library, 1935 pp. 26-89: Mahan essentially says the main elements of sea power are protection of “production, shipping, and colonies”
[11]Mahan, pp. 28-29: Sea Power is then affected by “geographical position, physical conformation, extent of territory, number of population, character of the people, and character of the government.”
[12] Mahan, pp. 88: “the old foundations of strategy so far remain, as though laid upon a rock,”
[13] Jones, Jerry W. U.S. Battleship Operations in World War I. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998 pp. 3
[14] Ovos, Matthew M. “Theodore Roosevelt and the Implements of War.” The Journal of Military History 60, No. 4 (1996): 631-655 pp. 655
[15] Oyos, pp. 634
[16] Reckner, James R. Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. Annapolis: Bluejacket Books - Naval Institute Press, 1988 pp. 54: When Evans retired command, there was confusion over the senior officer would replace him or a younger officer as many expected. The older Rear Admiral Thomas was given a ‘token command’ for a week and then command was turned over to Rear Admiral Sperry
[17] Oyos, pp. 633
[18] Oyos, pp. 645-646
[19] Leiner, pp. 174
[20] Reckner, pp. 2: German naval law which committed to building a first-class navy.
[21] Roosevelt, pp. 135: State Papers as Governor and President, 1899-1909.
[22] Hobson, R.P. "America Mistress of the Seas." The North American Review, Vol. 175, No. 551, 1902: pp. 544-557 pp. 4: “America, Mistress of the Sea,” 557.
[23] Reckner, pp. 5: Roosevelt’s 5th Annual Message to Congress, 5 December 1905
[24] Mahan, pp. 27: “As a nation, with its unarmed and armed shipping, launches forth from its own shores, the need is soon felt of points upon which the ships can rely for peaceful trading, for refuge and supplies.”
[25] Mahan, pp. 29
[26] Mahan, pp. 31: “The necessity of renewing coal makes the cruiser of the present day even more dependent than of old on his port.”
[27] Mahan, pp. 31: “[America’s] geographical position is therefore singularly disadvantageous for carrying on successful commerce-destroying, unless she find bases in the ports of an ally.”
[28] Reckner, pp. 30
[29] Hendrix, Henry J. Theodore Roosevelt's Naval Diplomacy. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2009 pp. 155: Only a few of the battleships were worthy of the Dreadnought class, and it must be noted that the main reason for the hulls being white was its cooling effect as to keep the engines of the ships cool.
[30] Reckner, pp. 29
[31] Reckner, pp. 113-115 it was even said that children lined up along the major roads and waved American flags at the officers going by to the formal banquets.
[32] Note that not all enlisted seamen were allowed liberty at each port, even in San Diego only 3,000 enlisted were allowed liberty.
[33] Reckner, pp. 125
[34] Jones, pp. 109-125
[35] Jones, pp. 22-39

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Grub in The Hub

The reasoning behind this post about places to have some good grub in Lubbock is mainly to to me originally sending this as an e-mail to the author of the blog, "Lubbock Texas Lubbock Texas" in response to a post they made about restaurants in Lubbock and my push to see more local restaurants on their page... and I figured I'd make a blog post about it.

I will always dine at a local restaurant over a franchised, chain-restaurant (see Brinker Intl.) who still make great food... but you can get anywhere in the country. (Although I have to say, Brinker is based in my hometown of Dallas, TX and the CEO's son is a Texas Tech student)

If you're ever in Lubbock, I hope you check out these fantastic establishments over one you could eat at in your own hometown. I'll e
ven include my favorite dish at each one.

I will try and classify the different restaurants by their respective locations in town, and primarily will focus on places near campus... but remember... there are so many more that I haven't even touched on:

Depot/Downtown (I'm missing tons of small hole-in-the-walls that I've eaten at and either forgotten, or have yet to go to... there are dozens in the legal district near the Courthouse and City Hall)
- Triple J Chophouse & Brew Company - My absoulte favorite place in town; this place deserves a post all on it's own. Go there and just experience it... fantastic food,
atmosphere, and the most unique trait of Triple J is that they brew their own beer & sell it at prices ($2/pint) that kill Cricket's overpriced drafts, plus the staff is much friendlier... Start off with the Fried, Shrimp Stuffed Jalapenos and the Raider Red Draft. For your entrée, order the Ancho Grilled Filet Mignon and a pint of Otis' Oatmeal Stout (...however, the beer selection changes often, as they make it seasonally and fresh!)
- Ranch House - What a great place for break
fast; dirt cheap, old fashioned diner style, and all the staff and owner are the nicest people ever. Spent many early mornings here (they open at 6:00AM!) Get the S.O.S. and a bottomless cup o' joe... Hits the spot every time.

At 19th & Memphis (One of the best areas for good variation, price, & most importantly taste, called Oak Tree Village, located by Covenant... however those not "in-the-know" seem to drive by this place and miss out big-time):
- Jazz - A Louisiana Kitchen - Great cajun cooking, atmosphere, & live music. Order the Shrimp Czarina with a "Swamp Water" or a Chilton.
- Thai Pepper - Thai flavoring, fast & friendly service, good price, delicious & different, cramped atmosphere (which is strangely a nice change for Lubbock restaurants) Order the Panang Curry, or any of the curries.
- Bless Your Heart (site n/a) - healthy, but still very tasty. Get the Smothered Burrito, it's so good you won't believe that it's actually good for you, too! Top that off with a frozen yogurt with fresh fruit.

At 19th & University (mainly east of the intersection, but Cafe J is located West)
- Cafe J - Honestly, I haven't been here but a good friend of mine holds this as one of the best places in town, and I take her word... (will be sampling it when she returns from summer vacation)
- McAllister's - a franchised restaurant, but great the Sweet Tea, Potatoes, & Sandwiches make it impossible to ignore. Get The Spud Max, Memphian, or Open Face Roast Beef (which is colossal!!) ...and you've got to wash it all down with a big 'ol glass of Sweet Tea (reminds me of the tea in "Good Directions" by Billy Currington)
- Josie's (site n/a) - This is a great cheap-food place, open 24 hours a day at most locations, one of the main [local] places that students hang out after bars/parties late at night. You can usually be pretty entertained here on Thurs-Sat nights at 2:15-3:30AM. Get any of their burritos, I go for the either a queso-smothered Chorizo or Barbacoa & Potato.

34th & Indiana (Indiana Gardens, and Picante's is 5-6 blocks east, but close)
- Cap Rock Cafe - great place to eat a wide selection of distinctly different takes on familiar dishes.. also a fun atmosphere (they have a cropduster flying out of the wall!) Get the Green Chili Cheeseburger & Texas Toothpicks, which are fried strips of jalapenos and onions.
- Peace o' Cake - this place is getting big, solely by word of mouth! It's a very unique store specializing only in cupcakes... they bake them fresh every morning and stay open until they sell out, you can tell this if they have their flag flying outside... great place and the owners are great people. Mississippi Mud Cupcake = yum.
- Picante's (site n/a) - the best place for cheap but quality mexican food. They have extremely low prices and give you heaps of delicious food, friendly staff. Get one of their gigantic breakfast burritos for $2, eat half, get it to-go and you've got two meals for $1 each! (it may be more if you add to it)

Wow! Well there you go, I hope that is some use for someone.. I don't know who all reads my blog, but I think I am going to begin writing more about things.

If you read this, I would really appreciate any and all feedback!!

Thanks guys, and happy dining!


p.s. - I could only find protected photos of Triple J on Flickr, all credits for that fantastic picture go to Flickr user melmcree, thanks for a great shot of one of my favorite spots in Lubbock!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Walking, Just Say 'no' to a Cart, Next Time...

As cheesy as it may sound. I love walking a golf course, rather than riding in a cart on it. There is an irreplaceable serenity you get when walking a golf course. Other than perhaps the impatient, frustrated business foursome on a lunch break rushing through behind you, there is not a care in the world...

Growing up, my dad told me walking was better. I hated it, but that's how he said he had always played. I may have hated it then, but now I am the one suggesting we walk, and all my friends want to use the carts. While I fully understand the negatives of walking in near 100 degree Texas heat, if you happen to be lucky and are playing on a cool day, with a slight breeze, green grass, clean air, and not many on the course (although, on a day like that… who WOULDN’T be trying to go golf!) you will understand what I mean.

To me, walking a course is like taking a walk through the country, only better. Because you have a purpose, but not a purpose that really matters, other than fun. You get to take in all the sights and sounds of a golf course, all the nature, all the manicured greens to the fullest extent. Also, it’s sure to strike up a conversation with the cute cart girl when she wonders why the heck you’d be walking on a summer day. But I digress.

The peaceful, easy feeling you get when walking is hard to find anywhere else. Also walking allows you to collect your thoughts, both immediate thoughts regarding the proper wedge to use on the approach, and your long-term thoughts, like what is going on in your life. It allows you to sit back, relax, and reflect on your life, the beauty of the course, and the perfection of the game.

Oh and did I mention, walking is good exercise! From the occasional game of golf with buddies pounding cold ones, you could use a little exercise, and let’s be honest, when else are you going to be willing to walk an average 6,000 yards with a bag attached to your back (and unless you enjoy backpacking, I don’t think you’ll have an answer)

So let me get this straight, you can achieve greater concentration on your game, better grasp on whatever happens to be on your mind, enjoy and appreciate the course and nature, get a great exercise burning off that Turkey Bacon Swiss you ate at the clubhouse between 9 and 10, AND get a satisfying man-tan (you know, from doing man things, like golfing) all from switching from a cart to your feet? Seems too good to be true!

Now, if you’re still one of those that swears by cart riding, push in the locking break, unstrap your clubs from the back (I bet you’re wondering what that shoulder sling is for) and take a hike.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Today is the First Day.

Ever since I was a young boy, my mother has told me a lot of things, all sorts of phrases that have stuck with me throughout life. Some of these come from proverbs, some from her parents, some from the Bible, some from her own mind. One that sticks out to me right now is:

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Until recently, I never grasped or truly appreciated the meaning of this quote.

Upon a quick Google search, I see that it is an American proverb and this gets me thinking…

This quote is what fits right now. In my life, in your life, in the state of affairs of the country, and of the world, it is the first day of the rest of our lives. Let’s make it count.

Being an American proverb, this makes sense, as we have always been a go-getter society. In America, this phrase truly stands as the way it all works. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Your life.
Life, such a wonderful thing to appreciate. We only get one, you know.

I’ve been through a lot these last 6 months, all of which has made me so appreciative of simply being alive and free. I’m starting to see how much there is you can do in life, and how interesting it all is.

No more wasteful days sleeping all day long instead of other things, no more excessive drinking all of the time (now, I'm not saying it's bad to drink... that's part of LIVING! Just drinking in excess repeatedly), no more of all of this behaviour that has been dragging me down. No more excess spending (both on a personal and national level), no more thoughtless acts, no more behaviour that has been dragging us all down. It’s the first day of the rest of my life, and yours, and life is what we make of it.

I’m feeling rather positive about things right now, and I don’t know if it’s the coffee, or the thinking I’ve been doing, or if it’s just that I’m glad to be alive and everything is looking up, but this is what I’m feeling right now, and if there is any point to having a blog, it is to write down your thoughts about whatever you please.

So let’s see how my experiment with this thing goes.

I start off writing to myself, and anyone who stumbles upon this site, that’s all. If you are here by any reason, hope you enjoy reading, and let me know what you think.