About Sense & Nonsense

Blue EggSense & Nonsense at jcharper.net has been on the internet continuously since 1998. It is divided into four blogs (written primarily by John C. Harper) reflecting different interests.

  • Sense & Nonsense is devoted to maintaining personal focus and peace of mind while actively participating in a fast changing world. The key phrases describing this blog would be "Staying Sane In An Insane world" and "Separating The Important From The Unimportant". It is further divided into several subsections.
  • Investments is devoted to developing the monetary, personal and social skills necessary to prosper in the USA as it exists today. The scope is much broader than just traditional financial investment. It includes investing human and social capital effectively.
  • Technology is devoted to using the revolutionary technological advances that accelerate the pace of communication and, by extension, the pace of personal life. Using cell phones, computers and myriad other devices efficiently is vital, but frustrating because the technology changes so fast.
  • McCulloch County,Texas, is devoted to local affairs where I live. Staying sane, enjoying life and finding peace of mind is largely dependent on being a part of the community where you live. This section is my attempt to do just that. It may not be of any interest to those not living in Central Texas.

Consider yourself a welcome guest. Take what is useful to you. Thanks for dropping by.

This website is created and maintained by John C. Harper. It produces no income, carries no advertising and sells nothing. It is for the enjoyment of whoever happens to come here.

The website was created with Joomla! open-source Content Management System. The content is published to a commercial Web Hosting Service, iPowerWeb. The domain name, jcharper.net, is registered with Network Solutions to John C. Harper.

All expenses related to producing, maintaining and presenting the site are paid by John C. Harper personally. No other person or entity has any control whatsoever over this website.

This is personal website that has no commercial purpose. That may strike some as strange but there is more to life than commerce. Hopefully, you will find some of that here.

The first and foremost reason for this website is to force me to remain mentally active in retirement. To quit learning is to start dying. Believe me, the ever-changing internet technology provides unlimited learning opportunities.

The second reason for maintaining this website is to provide a global connecting point for my far-flung friends and family. The information age has changed the "neighborhood" from a geographical concept into something very different. I'm not sure just what, but the people I interact with daily don't necessarily live nearby. Many, I have never met in person.

A third reason is to share information and opinion with a wider audience than is possible on the phone or even by email.

jch 1948

Life was simpler back in 1948. All I had to do was walk the corral fences, hunt arrowheads, trap quail and swim in the stock tank while others worried and worked. That was before the drought of the '50s decimated ranchers in Texas and changed my life from idyllic to something close to desperate.

They say adversity builds strength and character. Perhaps that is true but it isn't any fun and can make a man hard in the heart. Thankfully, my parents didn't let that happen to me or my siblings. We learned to simply get up every morning and do the absolute best we could with what we had while keeping faith in God, family and friends. That works for me today as well as it did during all the intervening years.

jch 2011

The trip from then to now has been a long, wonderful, strange journey filled with every imaginable emotion. Those emotions are dangerous. They are just feelings without attachment to reality. They count for nothing in the big scheme of life and lead only to frustration, bitterness, resentment, failure and insanity.

Somehow, my parents and grandparents taught me that what I think, feel, intend or want don't make any difference at all in this world. The only thing that matters is what I say and do. I think that attitude is the secret to staying sane in an insane world.

The years have added gray hair, glasses and a furrowed brow but the kid still lives in there somewhere.

jchI am John Colquitt Harper, born the day before April Fool's Day in the year they made steel pennies. That is about all I know and it is second hand information. I was very young when I was born and do not remember it clearly. Conception, gestation and parturition were important elements of my early development.

I grew up on a ranch near Van Horn, Texas, and earned BS and MS degrees from Texas A&M University. Charlotte and I have been married for 51 years. We have two children and four grandchildren. Life has been an interesting adventure so far.

I enjoy good conversation when it is the free and easy exchange of experiences and ideas. I avoid it when it degenerates into verbal conflict. The world is big enough for many ideas; there are many correct ways of doing most things.

Wisdom is being able to separate the important from the unimportant - to distinguish between sense and nonsense. That makes wisdom a moving target since things change with time, experience and understanding. That is why I try to keep moving and seeking.

Since I am educated beyond my intelligence, performing above my competence and blessed in excess of my capacity for gratitude, I spend my life in sheer wonder at my good fortune. I thank my God, my Family and my Country for a wonderful life. May those who follow find more and better.

I am not a leader - I don't want anyone dogging my tracks. I am not a follower - I haven't met the person I trust to do what is best for me.

I try to find my own stick and kill my own snakes; I expect others to do the same.

Sense and Nonsense Is dedicated to providing the information, ideas and interaction necessary to build a community of people who can be trusted and who trust each other.