Observations of and about my Great Uncle

My dad’s uncle was an interesting fellow. He lived with his pleasant and kind wife, Irene, on the outskirts of Grand Junction, Colorado.  It was a dry sagebrush landscape dominated by the presence of the Colorado River and the surrounding mountains. They had a small farm in a cluster of other small farms in a relatively flat area alongside a canal. They had chickens and a horse. They had ditch water on the backside of the house. He didn’t say much to me, but he was always tactful and direct. Other people had conversations with him when I was around, including me. And, this is much of what I got out of it:

Years before the family had a place on Roan Creek (“crick” it was called) where they raised cows, sheep and chickens on the small ranch in the dry mainly sagebrush hills. Looking at it from afar it would be hard to know that a rich microclimate nurtured by the many dams on the crick in the many small valleys alongside made for a nice place to raise a family in the years after the Civil War. I was fortunate enough to visit the area once when I was young, catching a brook trout in a small clear pond on the crick.

The family Franklin prospered in the crick drainage, albeit modestly. They ran cows, they were real cowboys and cowgirls, and rounded up wild horses on the mesa top desert above.  Horses were part of life, and Dwight always had at least one on hand. I often thought of myself as a cowboy in those days, like my Great Uncle Dwight was. He let me ride at least one time solo.

Of course, I was just a skinny little 10-year old at this time when my dad was off in Vietnam, but after some gentle but serious instructions from my uncle, I felt every bit a cowboy as I rode Dove on the dirt track along the canal. I was alone, which was like many a TV cowboy I had known. I felt normal and at home riding, and didn’t have a care in the world. Looking back, I think people that saw this sight of a full-sized horse with a tiny kid on its back wondering along the banks of the canal might have been a little curious, if not concerned. I don’t recall being allowed to solo again there.

Usually when visiting I spent many hours playing with the water striders, we called them water bugs, skating on the water surface.  I’ll tell you something that comes to mind about the visits and my studies of the water bugs, which I would be quick to spot even as I was floating a stick down the ditch. I played all kinds of sports growing up including football, American football many would say. What I learned watching the little critters moving about the surface of the water, I put into play on the football field. Again, I was a tiny little guy, but whether I was leading my flag football team to a championship or running in touchdowns in little league or just playing touch football in the backyard, I tried my best to dart around unpredictably to the opposition. It worked really well. I recommend studying those water bugs. It’s amazing what one can learn.

Dwight was very cool and generally slow to get excited. You could tell he loved and cared for Irene, and you could tell she reciprocated his feelings. My parents admired them. I only felt comfortable visiting there, if not a little bored as they had no other children around whenever we were there. I learned a lot even there though I spent so little time with them.


Request for help from the Great Mediator

Request for help from the Great Mediator

August 7, 2021

Daniel J Arthur

We have some serious divides happening in the United States of America. It appears that a very significant number of the nation have lost the ability to be truly rational. This in turn impacts all other Americans and their ability to be accurate thinkers and decision makers as well. How can we start moving closer together if not healing this divide? I will make a request.

Dear Great Mediator,

I have been living in the United States of America my whole life. I was born here. I was raised and went to school here. I have worked and played here as well as visiting a good number of places around the Earth; not enough, but a good amount. I believe that I have grown throughout the years in my ability to be rational and fair in all things. I am sure I am not perfect, and I probably get things wrong from time to time.

In recent years it seems to me that we have been having a greater and greater divide between our two major parties in our long standing democratic political system. The middle ground has appeared to have dissolved, and it has been replaced by a great chasm. I know that in reality, being that we are all human in this political endeavor, we actually share so many values and beliefs. But, somehow many of us are being misled and misinformed into a trap of inhumanity.

I don’t think I have been the problem at all. The major reason is that I have virtually no power in this system of things. I do not have enough money, connections, followers or charisma to have manipulated change. However, I have been fortunate enough to be able to observe through the many, many lenses available to me how this problem has grown to be very, very dangerous for all of us.

What I see happening is that people who do have great power in many cases are abusing their power in such a way as to brainwash many Americans. They basically want their votes. They have found that by using their monetary power they can influence Americans with bad information to get these votes for the wrong reasons, basically so that they can become more rich and powerful. They have been developing an underground non-democratic group of fiefdoms with the purpose of subverting our democracy into becoming an autocracy, which they are mistakenly thinking that they can control. There will be only one winner of this outcome, but only in the short-term.

We have many, many serious issues that need the immediate attention of our nation. This division is exacerbating the problems as no real decent and reasonable solutions are being brought forth and implemented. Information pollution is clouding and spoiling our minds. We need them to be healthy as can be – everyone’s. How else are we going to properly address climate change, the pandemic, affordable housing, health care without wealth depletion, incentives to learn, equality, systemic racism and gender bias, freedoms, healthy environments and helping all of our neighbors? There are many more serious and less serious issues unlisted here.

I am appealing to you, Great Mediator, to help us find a way to come back together. While I don’t think it is too difficult, I don’t see it happening without your help. We need your wisdom and we need it now. Please help us to be much more honest and caring in everything that we do. Help us to realize that we really have the same desire to live a good life and to be able to pay this forward to future generations. We are one and we are all unique. Please help us to live together in a mutually beneficial way. I am available to assist in any way you find helpful.

Thank you for your kind consideration and help.


Daniel J Arthur

Stories to enjoy with your family and friends

April 6, 2020

A great activity to do with your family and friends while staying home and staying safe is to ready books and share your thoughts with one another.  I believe the books I’ve written will help you have hours of enjoyment.  Please check them out.  I welcome your input.

Young Hearts - Three Stories for Youth and All Book One Cover - great stories for discussion and hope
Great children’s stories by Daniel J Arthur


Link to children’s stories introduction video.

Tumblr link:  Young Hearts – Wonderful Children’s Stories

Daniel J Arthur Books

BWF All England Open Superseries 2017 results

March 12, 2017

The 2017 BWF All England Open Superseries badminton tournament was a big success this past week. There were some tremendous individual and team efforts in all five events – women’s singles, men’s singles, women’s doubles, mens doubles, and mixed doubles. It is worth watching matches on demand on YouTube especially as presented by badmintonworld.tv.

The champions were as follows:

Tai Tzu Ying, Chinese Taipei, Women’s Singles

Lee Chong Wei, Malaysia, Men’s Singles

Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee, South Korea, Women’s Doubles

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Indonesia, Men’s Doubles

Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong, China, Mixed Doubles

There were many wonderful performances that I hope to be able to report on, but feel free to check on those videos available on YouTube and elsewhere.

Top badminton players and their chosen rackets – 2016

dja Badminton

Top badminton players and their chosen rackets

by Daniel A. Jones

It’s been a very interesting year in professional badminton with veterans and youngsters both having amazing campaigns. I have been impressed by so many performances of the top ranked singles players and doubles teams. Badminton World Federation has done an outstanding job of promoting the best sport on Earth – a healthy activity for your lifetime. I will write about the various tournaments and individual accomplishments throughout the 2017 season.

For now I want to introduce just a few of the top players for 2017, and I will list some of the current badminton rackets used by many of these players. These are rackets I have found that they have used in the 2016 season from either the racket maker or BWF as the main sources. Of course, many of the pros will change models for 2017.

Up and coming men’s and women’s players in doubles and singles –
CHEN Qingchen
Jhe-huei LEE
Yang LEE
Beiwen ZHANG

Top singles players –
TAI Tzu Ying
LEE Chong Wei
Ratchanok INTANON
Jan O. Jorgensen

Top doubles players –
CHEN Qingchen
Wee Kiong TAN
Kevin Sanjaya SUKAMULJO
KO Sung Hyun

Rackets used by selected professional badminton players –

Yonex Voltric 80 E-tune

LEE Chong Wei
Yonex Duora 10

Markus Fernaldi GIDEON
Victor MX90

Kevin Sanjaya SUKAMULJO
Victor Jetspeed S 10

Wee Kiong TAN
Victor Jetspeed S 10

TAI Tzu Ying
Victor TI99, formerly Hypermano X 800

Carolina MARIN
Yonex Nanoray Z-Speed

NG Ka Long Angus
Victor TK8000

Yonex Voltric 70 E-tune

Liliyana NATSIR
Victor JS 8 S Natsir L

Tontowi AHMAD
Victor JS S8 PS

SUNG Ji Hyun
Victor JS-8 ST and Victor Brave Sword 12 (per BWF profile)

SON Wan Ho
Victor Hypermano X 800

YOO Yeon Seong
Victor Brave Sword 12

Christinna PEDERSEN
Yonex Nanoray 800

Yonex Nanoray 900

Yonex Voltric 70 E-tune
Yonex Arcsaber 11

Mathias BOE
Yonex Duora 10

Yonex Duora 10

Mohammad AHSAN
Yonex Nanoray 900

Yonex Arcsaber 11

CHOU Tien Chen
Yonex Duora 10

Yonex Voltric 80 E-tune

KIDAMBI Srikanth
Yonex Voltric Z –Force II

Ratchanok INTANON
Yonex Voltric 70 E-tune

Yonex Voltric Z –Force II

Greysia POLII
Yonex Nanoray 900

Nitya Krishinda MAHESWARI
Yonex Nanoray GianZ

Yonex Voltric Z –Force II

Gabrielle ADCOCK
Yonex Voltric Z –Force II

Peter GADE
Yonex Voltric 80 E-tune

Yonex Voltric 80 E-tune

Hans-Kristian VITTINGHUS
Carlton Kinesis X900 LTD

Yonex Nanoray 9000 – maybe 900 actually

WONG Wing Ki Vincent
Yonex Voltric 70 E-tune

Victor Jetspeed 10

Li-ning n90II

Yonex Voltric I-Force

FZ Forza Kevlar CNT-Power 10000s

Yonex Nanoray 800

Wilson CX 9000 J (FIERCE)

JUNG Kyung Eun
Victor Zet Speed S 10

Selena PIEK
Babolat Satellite Power

Gabriela STOEVA
Babolat Essential (blue)

Heather OLVER
Babolat Satellite Power Metrix Flex 6.5

Yonex Arcsaber 11

Marcus ELLIS
Yonex Voltric Z Force II

Carlton Vapour Trail Tour DSiL

Michael FUCHS
Yonex Voltric 80 E-tune

KO Sung Hyun
Victor Brave Sword 12

Natalia Koch ROHDE
Victor Wave Power 6600

Liu Ying GOH
Victor HX800

CHAU Hoi Wah
Victor Jetspeed 10

Yonex Voltric Z Force

PEI Jing Lai
Victor Jetspeed 10

LEE Chun Hei Reginald
Victor TK 900

Victor Hypermano X 800

Voting in a democracy

The United States of America provides its citizens the opportunity to vote people into political positions and for initiatives of all kinds.  Participate. Use far more of your critical thinking ability than your emotional response to make your decisions.  First you must get registered to vote.  Find out how and get it done.  Get help if you need it.  Do your best to make objective decisions that will help you, your loved ones, and the greater good.