My name is Terry Mitchell. I am a software engineer, blogger, freelance writer, and amateur political analyst from Hopewell, VA. I've been in the software development/engineering line of work for over 32 years. I have been writing and blogging for well over nine years. I started this CommenTerry blog more than eight years ago, and have been blogging almost every day since. Do the math - that amounts to several thousand blog posts!
I never miss an opportunity to assail political correctness, take pot shots at the conventional foolishness, and fight elitism on every front. I am an independent thinker, not a bandwagon jumper. I am proud of the fact that I do not run with the crowd or have legions of followers. I don't follow any mantra or toe any political line. I take my orders from no one. I go with what my gut feelings and common sense tell me are right - and they rarely lead me astray! I write stuff that others should be writing, but are not.
I don't subscribe to the modern foolishness that tells us that homosexuality is not a sin, that there's nothing wrong with an unmarried heterosexual couple living under one roof as husband and wife, that adult fun is not possible without alcohol, or that church is not necessary for true spirituality.
I try not to take myself too seriously, though. I think a little humor is good for one's health as well as one's soul.
My commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media. I consider myself to be an outsider's outsider. A lot of people will say they are outsiders, even though they are well connected and networked throughout their community, state, and nation. Those people are not real outsiders. They remind me of some of the folks in Hollywood who claim they are shy, even though they do nude scenes!
I have very little regard for etiquette or protocol. In fact, I harbor outright contempt for much of that stuff. Instead, I emphasize substantive issues and don't have time for all that shallowness and superficial stuff. Don't get me wrong, I consider basic manners and politeness quite necessary for a civilized society. However, I believe that much of what is called etiquette and protocol is unnecessary and rather pretentious.
I am a proud beta male. Some people would label me as overly cautious, but I don't mind that at all. I've lived long enough to know that even a sure bet can sometimes come up a loser, so I take nothing for granted. I've had too many things ripped away from me at the last minute to be making any assumptions about anything.
I put a high premium on good health because I know what it's like to have lost it at various times in my life. During my childhood and teenage years, I had serious complications with asthma and nearly died on several occasions. In 1981, when I was 20, my left lung collapsed spontaneously in back-to-back months. In 1995, I had stage three testicular cancer. The disease had spread to my lung wall and to a lymph node in my abdomen. I had surgery and 12 weeks of chemotherapy. Fortunately, with the help of God and my doctors, I made a full recovery.
I had been free of cancer for more than 12 years until October 2007, when I was diagnosed with early stage three colon cancer and had surgery to remove it. Athough I was apparently free of this cancer following the surgery, the disease was found to be in one of the 27 lymph nodes that were removed during the surgery. Therefore, I opted to take six months of preventative chemotherapy. I completed these treatments in April 2008 and have since returned to full health.
At any rate, I know that there is nothing more valuable to a person than his/her health. It is the foundation on which all other parts of a person's life are built. If and when it cracks, everything else will come tumbling down. If and when it fails, nothing else in one's life will matter anymore. All the money in the world is meaningless to someone who is in bad health or is on his/her death bed. I always try to keep this in mind.
Unlike most of my contemporaries who grew up in the 60's and 70's, I know what it's like to be very poor. I came from a family that lived in the housing projects. On top of that, neither of my parents went past the fifth grade and were both very uneducated. In addition, they were older (when I was born, my mom was in her mid-30's and my dad was in his late 40's, and I was the eldest of four children). Still, I think they were the best parents in the world. They gave us all the love we could ever want and raised us in a Christian home. They are both gone now, but I thank God I had them. But, many times, due to reasons beyond their control, they had to sacrifice getting some of the things they needed in order to make sure we had enough food to eat, even on Christmas and Thanksgiving! Now, if anyone would have had an excuse to not better himself in life, it would have been me. But with my own determination and the help of the Good Lord, I brought myself up by the bootstraps (so to speak). Therefore I have no sympathy for people who make excuses for why they can't better themselves.
I don't drink, but I don't condemn anyone who drinks moderately. I do not believe moderate drinking is some kind of sin or anything like that. I avoid alcohol because I feel that its negatives far outweigh its positives. Avoiding alcohol for me simply means fewer problems I have to worry about.
I believe simplicity is a great virtue. I am a strong adherent to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method. I try to avoid over-complicating my life. On average, children are happier than adults. There is a reason for this. Their lives aren't nearly as complicated as those of adults. Therefore, I believe the secret to happiness is to live as simplistically as reasonably possible.
I think quiet is better than loud. In fact, I don't like loud movies, loud TV shows, or loud people. I don't like aggressive people either.
See my information summary below:
Location: Hopewell, VA.
Primary occupation: Software Engineer
Dream occupation: Syndicated Writer/Blogger
Schools attended: Hopewell High School, John Tyler Community College, St. Leo University
Favorite music: Big Band, Jazz, Easy listening, Elevator Music, Any kind of laid-back music, Most stuff from the 1970's, Praise Music, Traditional Hymns
Least Favorite Music: Rap, Heavy Metal, Country, Southern Gospel
Favorite movie: The Longest Yard (the original one with Burt Reynolds, not the silly remake)
Favorite TV shows: I watch mostly news and sports programs. Most everything else on TV has been emasculated by political correctness.
Favorite sports, teams: Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Phillies, Memphis Grizzlies, Columbus Blue Jackets, Winnipeg Jets, UVA basketball and football, Viriginia Tech basketball and football, University of Cincinnati football.
Favorite quote: "Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform." -- Mark Twain
Religion: Moderate Southern Baptist
Politics: I'm an independent, not affiliated with any political party. I am a strong social conservative on issues like gay marriange and abortion. However, I tend to have a libertarian view on almost everything else, and often vote for the Libertarian candidate. My version of libertarianism is a kind of rational conservatism minus the silliness, fanaticism, hawkishness, and paranoia that plague modern conservatism.
Politics, current events, personal finance, health and well-being, sports, religious issues, trivia, writing, technology, philosophy, humor