A Sail Away Adventure

Henry's Views

Catboat Reflection

I was only 15 years old but adventurous — what 15-year old isn’t?  We were all sailors.  Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the yacht club would hold races for a fleet of Beetlecats to go round buoys on Waquoit Bay on Cape Cod — a large, 3-by-1 mile bay that lets out through a rocky jetty to Vineyard Sound.  I say “we” because my buddy, Jimmy Johnson, used to crew for me in those races.  We were a team.

That bay, though large, was extremely safe, as there were few locations on the bay that were deep, and all locations were very visible to the surrounding houses, but mostly because it wasn’t the real ocean — which lay just beyond the rocky jetty.  The ocean was where unpredictable and potentially dangerous things happened, but the bay was “safe” or so it seemed.

I got the idea one day…

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Bird Songs

Henry's Views

You see them with their binoculars, walking into the woods and trying to catch a glimpse of their favorite birds, if only a momentary glimpse — birdwatchers.  For sure, there are some really breathtaking birds to see, and we are not even talking parakeets here.  Two of my favorites are the Yellow Warbler and the Northern Cardinal, which I mistakenly call the Red Cardinal and is forever associated with a professional baseball team, the “Cincinnati Reds.”  To see a bird dressed head to toe in all yellow or all red is certainly beautiful but even a little bit startling.  Like nature itself is just showing off — brazenly.

Bird watching, no doubt, is one of those wonderful hobbies that has the power to give you a little vacation from yourself, as you immerse yourself in the forest and in the “hunt.”  It’s hard to think about bills, the taxes you…

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A Twinkle in His Eye

Henry's Views


A solitary old man sits on a bench,
His cane resting at his side,
His doleful eyes glance about the park,
But, restless, do not dwell for long.

Then he hears children playing with a beach ball,
And turns to see them standing in a circle.
The ball darts back and forth between them,
Kept from touching the ground – the challenge.
Their voices excited, laughing, shouting, urgent, gay –
Merriment of youth.

A tall girl hits the ball with a tight fist.
But it shoots straight up and gets snagged by branches —
The ball now suspended and out of reach.
Squeals of excitement and angst from the children
Proclaim their predicament.

A smile flickers across the old man’s face…
A twinkle in his eye.

All Poetry — Henry Barnard

My Story

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Flu Vaccinations

Henry's Views

Flu vaccination is a curious thing. You willing allow a virus to enter your body, albeit one that is supposedly dead and can’t reproduce, so that it generates antibodies that can fight off a live virus should one come along.  But a few days after the injection, you get a very mild case of the flu.  Sniffles, slight fever.  You accept that — getting sick voluntarily — because theoretically those antibodies are now present and on guard for months, that is, for the upcoming “flu season.”

One wonders if there is any actual evidence that any of this works.  Evidence as in statistical proof involved two large groups — one group vaccinated and the other not — and the numbers on how many in each group get sick.  One would suppose there is such evidence, even to the point of indicating just how effective these vaccinations really are.

See  the…

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First Leaves Fall in June

Henry's Views

First leaves fall in June
From a sea of green in bloom.

First souls depart too soon.
Depart in the morning of their day.
Never a chance to play.

How many heights they will never scale.
How many passions never set sail.
How many sorrows never travail.

First leaves fall in June
From a sea of green in bloom.
First souls depart so soon!

All Poetry — Henry Barnard

My Story

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Decades-Long Trade Imbalance with China Coming to an End?

Henry's Views

Finally we have a president willing to actually do something about the disastrous trade imbalance that we now have with China, which has been growing steadily for decades.  Back in the mid 1990’s, the annual trade imbalance with China was merely $10+ billion — a manageable amount — but it has ballooned from those modest levels to $375 billion for 2017 — that is, at the end of a 2017, China, for that year alone, was net $375 billion richer and we were that much poorer.

Frankly, given how gigantic this trade imbalance has become, if we had zero trade with China, the United States would be better off — because we would no longer see this massive wealth transfer from our shores to theirs.  Of course, a balanced trade with China where they buy as much from us as we buy from them would be ideal, but short of…

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H.L. Mencken

Henry's Views

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

“Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.”

“Puritanism.  The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

“Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time.”

“Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.”

“Every man is his own hell.”

“A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married.”

H.L. Mencken Quotations

My Story

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