George Lehmann

Bikes, Constitutional Rights, and the American Way of Life!

Welcome Aboard

Welcome to my first foray into the world of writing a blog. I’ve read a million of these things, but I’ve never written one. My only hope in writing this is that I don’t bore anyone. Well, I guess my second hope is that I won’t embarrass myself.

It’s been almost seven months now since I retired from programming work. Most of my friends and colleagues were predicting I’d be bored and looking for work in less than six months. The months have been relaxing and pleasurable indeed, like a very long vacation. Leann (my wife) and I have taken several trips (no round-the-world cruises!), I’ve caught up on a few projects around the house with many yet to go, I’ve read a handful of interesting books, and I’ve even gotten in some motorcycle riding despite the winter months. So there’s no danger of boredom any time soon.

So why am I going to start spending my time writing a blog? Do I really think so much of myself that I am putting myself out for all the world to admire? Do I think I have all the answers? Of course not. But it came to me in one of those ‘moments of clarity’, that after sixty-two years of life, well over forty years of programming and some twenty-five years of running a small business I ought to know a thing or two worth sharing with my friends. How better to do that than a blog?

I may occasionally drift off into things political or religious, but when I do I promise it will not be evangelical. Those of you that know me already know I’m a politically conservative Christian, with an occasional twinge of liberal conscience thrown in. I’ll leave it at that for now and try to stay away from topics that are really just inflammatory.

Please feel welcome to comment and ask questions. But also know that I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, vulgar, or generally offensive. As the blog owner, I am the sole arbitrator of any such decisions.

I’ll close this first little posting with a thought about optimism. I’m regularly accused of being overly optimistic, of seeing the bright side in everything without regard for the possible downsides. But I believe that you will actually improve the chances for a positive outcome in your life just by believing that the good things are going to happen. Call it positive reinforcement, or a belief system, or daily visualization, but by seeing these positive possibilities as more likely than their negative alternative, your mind just naturally finds the ways to make them happen. This is why people who say ‘Nothing ever works for me’ get themselves locked into a permanent downward spiral.

Until next time,

George Lehmann

Featured post

A Decade of Change

Hope and Change

A new president was in charge early in the decade. He was making promises of sweeping changes, heralding bold new ideas, deriding the past as no longer relevant. He looked toward the future as an open slate and rallied young people in particular in large rallies. His speeches were inspiring, his style charismatic.

Through the course of the decade, radical change took place. Bold new technologies were developed. Sweeping social changes took place. Financial markets heaved with ebbs and flows of enormous tides. Even the music people listened to changed remarkably in a few short years. By the end of the decade, you wouldn’t have dreamed that such change was possible in just ten years.

Am I talking about the current decade of 2010 to 2020? We are seeing radical change on all fronts in just a few years already, and the last four years of this decade promise even more of the same. But the same can be said for the first decade of the century. Look at the radical changes we saw with enactments of the Patriot Act and its limitations on personal freedom in the name of security, and the swings in market volatility that led to massive unemployment and instability. Or the last decade of the 20th century. Or the 80s, or the 70s, or the 60s.

Change is the Norm

In fact, there isn’t a decade since this country was founded that hasn’t seen significant change during the ten years spanning the life of the decade. Early in the life of the country, we saw decades create the Bill of Rights, annex the Louisiana Purchase, and fight a war (The War of 1812) just to survive as a nation. By the mid 1800s, slavery was becoming a dominant issue and the decades of 1850 through 1880 saw the rise of separatism, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

By the end of the 19th century, we’ve become a country of interventionists, spreading our power around the globe. We sail into Japanese harbors, we fight Spanish wars, and we tell ourselves its our destiny. In just a decade or two, we’ve gone from ignoring the rest of the world, to telling the world we know what’s best for them. Change.

If you study the history of our nation, every decade is a decade of change and growth. We are not ones to sit around and watch mold grow on trees.

Political Change

And so it is today. The calls for ‘Change’ have been resonating from one end of the country to the other since Obama was elected in 2008. Was his ‘Change’ what everyone is looking for? For some, the answer is yes and they would happily elect him a third time if they could. These are likely the people who look to Hillary Clinton as a potential replacement for Obama.

But I think there is a larger segment of the country that is fed up with the Washington, DC ‘status quo’ system, both Democrats and Republicans, and will happily seek a way to change that system if it is presented. These are the people who happily follow Trump, not because they think Trump is necessarily a natural leader or an overly qualified candidate for president. They want to elect him because they think he will go to DC and oppose the deeply entrenched career politicians who sit and slurp and the public trough, dining on our tax dollars for life in many cases.

This election will indeed usher in significant change, regardless of who is elected. Both candidates represent a path for this country into the future. One will continue, and even accelerate the existing status quo of public spending and higher taxes. One will take us back in the direction of free enterprise and less government. Which change we choose is up to us.


I was standing in the middle of my yard a couple of days ago holding a water hose, doing a little spot watering (imagine Hank in the opening scene of Fox’s King of the Hill) when it occurred to me that we treat water as an ‘invisible’ resource. We expect it to be there when we want it, we expect it to be top quality, and we really don’t even think about the possibility that it might not be there or it might not be adequate quality.

But it can happen. Look at what just happened with such tragic consequences in Flint, MI. I won’t try to lay the blame for Flint’s failures. I’m just pointing out that even in our most modern of countries in the most modern of times, we can still suffer a failure of such catastrophic proportions. And the amazing thing is it went so long with nobody noticing.

When we look at water, we don’t even notice it. Not like people in third-world countries who may have to walk several miles to carry a five-gallon pail of clean water back to their house every day. Not like farmers of the Midwest during the Depression when homes were covered by dust-storms because of a lack of rain.

We’ve grown so used to an over-abundance of clean water that we simply take it for granted that it will always be there, that it will always be clean, and that it will always be affordable.

Not one of those three conditions is a given.

One only has to look at data on falling groundwater levels in the many underground aquifers around the country and the usable reserves in man-made lakes to realize we face dangerous water shortages in the future.

Our underground water tables are being pumped down faster than they can naturally replenish themselves, in some cases causing the land in whole counties to actually fall by measurable amounts. Water wells must continually be dug deeper and deeper, but there is a limit to how deep these wells can be dug.

Many man-made lakes, like Lake Mead which feeds Las Vegas, face the double problems of filling in the bottom with silt as the river water drops sediment year after year, and draw-down as overuse takes water out of the reservoir faster than the river can replenish the shrinking lake. Growth in the American Southwest in particular has pushed the limits of resources available, some say past the breaking point already.

Some of the irrigation projects in the Southwest have already radically increased salinity in river water in the region. Water that runs off from irrigated land flows back into the river system, but now carries many salts and minerals it didn’t have before. Water quality has been impacted.

The cost you pay today for your water can vary widely depending on where you live and where you water comes from. If your water comes from Lake Mead, you drink water subsidized 98% by the federal government (which means taxpayers like you and me). If people in Las Vegas had to pay the full price of their water without subsidy, it would cost them fifty times as much as it is right now.

And these subsidies are everywhere. But who knows for how long?

One thing is for certain. As water becomes harder to come by, and harder to purify, it’s going to cost more. And at some point it will even be worth fighting for. (Legends of the Wild West have it that many a ranch war have been fought and many have died over water rights out west.) The wars of the 2010s have been over oil. Might the wars of the 2030s or the 2040s be over clean water?

You can Google many of these facts for yourself from various sources, but one particularly interesting read is a book titled ‘Cadillac Desert’. You can find it on Amazon, and I highly recommend it.

Till next time,


Long Time, No Write

Yes, it’s been forever since I’ve written anything here. I can’t even remember when I last wrote something here, and my skills at this web site are so minimal, I can’t even find my last post. They may have erased what little I ever wrote here. Small loss.

So much has changed in the last few years. Leann (my wife) and I sold our software business and we’ve both retired. I’ve taken to puttering around the house as a major form of entertainment, fixing broken things and finishing projects that have languished for years, maybe even decades. I’m working on cars part-time and have even taken my 74 Corvette out to Hallett Raceway once for some road racing. Now that was fun!

Leann and I have traveled some, but not a whole lot. The round-the-world trip still awaits us at some distant future point. I ride my Harley Ultra-Classic some, including a two week trip last summer with Leann and another couple off to the Grand Canyon and back through the Rockies. Great  trip!

I’ve written one short story and published it on Kindle under the nom de plume Erich George titled ‘The Road Home: A Man Left Behind.’ I’m now working on a novel based on the main characters in that short story, living out their lives in the decades following. I hope to be ready to publish before the end of this year.

And then there will always be politics. But maybe that’s a subject best left for another day. Wouldn’t want to wear out my keyboard on my first day back. 🙂


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