Joseph F. Wilinski: July 5, 1927-July 5, 2017

He was my father-in-law, and thus I’ve been in his debt ever since that wonderful day when I first met my wife. There is, in one sense, only a little to be said, but that is only because he was “just” a good man.

He worked, all his life. From childhood when he used to help his father deliver ice in New York City, to just a short while ago when he was still giving aid to the crew doing some modifications to his garage. This is what men of his time did: they worked. His main job of his life was working in iron – some of those fire escapes you can still see in New York were built by him. He started out doing that sort of work in the shipyards of World War Two, until Uncle Sam decided that he could just as well do that in the Navy. He might have made the Navy his career, but the death of his father meant that he was needed back at home, to help take care of his mother and his sisters.

He got married: another thing men of his time did. There was no need to run around – you found the girl you liked, and you married her. And then stayed married. Joe and Dolores were together for more than half a century, until she died in 2009. They had three children together and they did their best by them. Those kids have now turned into five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was not just my father-in-law: he was my friend. I’ve learned a lot from him. How to be a bit tougher. How to apply just a little more elbow grease to problems. How to not complain and just get the job done. I’m going to miss him.

UPDATE: Turns out, the old guy died on July 5th – his birthday. Little screw up in recording of times.

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R.I.P. Maggie Thatcher & Annette Funicello

Two iconic ladies have passed away on us today. As for Thatcher, to this day she was the best PM in Britain since Churchill, and is famous for the line “the problem with socialism is that eventually you’ll run out of other peoples money”. She championed free markets, stood strong against aggressors, had a lovely demeanor and disarming wit, and was a steadfast and reliable ally to the US. She will be missed.

As for Annette, she certainly represents a time passed and an innocence lost. There is a complete 180 on how women in Annette’s time presented themselves vs how they do today. Lady Gaga anyone? I am not saying that it’s entirely a bad thing, but I wish we as a society would conduct our public personas with a little more class.

UPDATE, by Mark Noonan:  the left, of course, is the left…and so when Obama’s White House issued a statement lauding Thatcher (and, of course, claiming absurdly that Obama is carrying on Thatcher’s work), the left got quite vile about it…mad as all get out that Obama had even a single kind word to say about Thatcher.  Twitchy has the round up of reactions (warning, extreme language!).  And they say we’re the haters…

One Life, An Entire World Changed

I can’t say I know all that much about Steve Jobs, aside from using his inventions daily. One fact I did not know about him until yesterday was that Steve Jobs was adopted. National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote about his death and linked to the follow piece, which I find quite thought provoking.

Jobs’ birth mother, Joanne Schiebel, was an unmarried college student who got pregnant and would decide to give her child up for adoption.

It would not be overstating things to say that Steve Jobs is my generation’s Thomas Edison. As one observer put it, he knew what the world wanted before the world knew that it wanted it.

If you have an iPhone or an iPad or an iPod, or anything remotely resembling them, you can thank Steve Jobs.

If your world has been transformed by the ability to hear a symphony, send a letter, pay a bill, deposit a check, read a book and then buy theater tickets on something roughly the size of a credit card…you can thank Steve Jobs.

And: you can thank Joanne Schiebel.

If you want to know how much one life can matter, there is just one example.

But: imagine if that life had never happened.

Imagine if an unmarried pregnant college student 56 years ago had made a different choice.

Now, imagine all the unmarried pregnant college students who make that different choice today.

While some will be quick to point out that abortion was not a legal option in this country 56 years ago, but it was, nevertheless, an option.

Today the left equates abortion with “women’s rights” as if the act itself is as noble as voting, or refusing to give up your seat on a public bus. It’s a sad reflection on their values when even those who believe abortion should be a legal option try to silence those who wish to convince a potential mother that she should not walk through the doors of an abortion clinic. These people want the government out their bedroom or their uterus or whatever, but still want the government to fund abortions so this “choice” is even more accessible. They scoff at the idea that a child who needs a note from a parent to be excused from gym class should need parental consent in order to have an abortion…

But, as we can see, the left looks at abortion from the wrong perspective. Even they don’t believe life begins at conception they cannot deny a potential life with a whole world to contribute to exists in every unborn baby. Had Steve Jobs’ birth mother had the option, and took it, your life would be different today because the contributions made by one made actually did change the world.

Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

It’s a sad day.

Steven P. Jobs, the Apple Inc. chairman and co-founder who pioneered the personal computer industry and changed the way people think about technology, died Wednesday at the age of 56.

His family, in a statement released by Apple, said Mr. Jobs “died peacefully today surrounded by his family…We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.”

The company didn’t specify the cause of his death. Mr. Jobs had battled pancreatic cancer and several years ago received a liver transplant. In August, Mr. Jobs stepped down as CEO, handing the reins to Tim Cook.

“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being,” Mr. Cook said in a letter to employees. “We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.”

I grew up using Apple computers, had to switch to PC for college (architecture’s industry standard CAD software AutoCAD was PC only then) and switch back to Mac after graduation. I own various incarnations of iPods. I use my iPhone like my life depends on it. I will get the next iPad. Last year I started running with the encouragement of software that would not exist had it not been for his vision.

Jobs was a man of genius and vision. May he rest in peace.

Betty Ford, RIP

From ABC:

Betty Ford, wife of former President Gerald Ford and the founder of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction, has died at age 93.

In public, she was one of the most visible and outspoken first ladies in history. In private, she triumphed over serious personal adversity.

She was married to Gerald Ford for 58 years. Shortly after becoming president in 1974, Ford said, “I am indebted to no man and to only one woman, my dear wife.”

Ford died Friday at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., ABC News has learned. Her cause of death was not immediately clear…

God rest her soul.