Reflections, Critical Inquiries, & Things I Like

Last updated:  02-13-2016

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David McConnell

David's Featured Essays

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New Essay:

"The New Heavens and the New Earth"

Click on the featured essays link above or in the column on the right to get to the papers list.

Latest Changes

Financial Planning:  Essay About Managing the Risk of Depleting Retirement Assets Prior to End of Life. This essay provides a table that gives the number of years of expected life (at various confidence levels and for various attained ages) so that one can allocate consumption of retirement assets so that those assets are not consumed too quickly (before end of life).

[ Click Here ]


A Brief Essay on Financial Planning

     In this essay I discuss the essence of financial planning by first identifying the important principles, then I discuss the meaning of and the various ways those principles might be applied, next I discuss my own process of discovery and learning about financial planning, and finally I discuss how I employed the principles listed in my own financial plan.  They worked for me and can work for you as well.  Clicking on the link will open the essay in a new window.  [ Click Here ]

     After the document opens, click on the File menu and then the Download arrow option to download the PDF version to your computer for printing or sharing with others.  You can share it with others also by emailing them the link to this site (just copy and paste the following into an email):


Bible Essays

All Bible study essays have been completely revised to include added content. Click on the link to David's Featured Essays at the top of the column on the right.


Genealogy & Documenting Your Ancestry

     How to use Find-A-Grave to capture family lineage or to locate information on family ancestors. (see below)


Handley High Class of 1959 Web Site     Fort Worth, Texas

 (for which I serve as the Webmaster)

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The Ship

"One ship drives east and one drives west

     By the very same wind that blows,

'Tis the set of the sails and not the gales

     That tells which way she goes.

 Like the waves of the sea are the gales which blow

     As we journey together through life,

'Tis the set of the soul determines the goal

     And not the storm and strife."

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


McConnell's Techniques for Building

               1.  Measure with a micrometer.

               2.  Mark with chalk.

               3.  Cut with an axe.

               4.  Beat to fit.

               5.  Paint to match.


Genealogy & Documenting Your Ancestry

Ever since the late 1960s I have been talking with older relatives and writing down what I could learn about my family ancestry.  I have an extensive compilation of both my family and well as my wife's family in a genealogy program.  In the last few years a new capability has become available called "Find-A-Grave" that is truly a remarkable break-through collaboration tool.  With Find-A-Grave ( you can create an entry (they call them memorials) for a deceased relative (actually anyone).  After the "memorial" is created, then others can view it, and possibly suggest additions or corrections.  The memorials include names of the individual, links to parents, spouses, children, and text descriptions.  Basically, Find-A-Grave gives you the capability to document your family connections and to search and locate others of interest.

The Find-A-Grave facility is based upon the model of a virtual cemetery.  Consequently, a burial location is presumed and must be entered to create a Find-A-Grave memorial entry.  However, you can circumvent this and actually create an entry for a decease person whose burial location is not known or for a living person (which you might want to do to provide links) by entering an arbitrary burial location and after the memorial is created, go back and change the burial location to unknown.  To see such an entry just go to, and click on "search 116 million grave records" in the right column.  Then enter my name:  "David Eugene McConnell" and then click on the various links to see parents, grandparents, etc.  As you'll see you can easily add pictures.


Normally, only the creator of a memorial entry can make changes to the memorial; however, using the edit link you can suggest changes and additions.  Recent changes to that process has made it even easier to make suggested changes and to get feedback about when the suggested changes are accepted (usually within a day or so).  So you can correct or add dates, names, or family links this way.  It is really a nice, easy to use genealogy tool that doesn't require any special program on your own computer.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions about how to get started using Find-A-Grave.  You can also download a brief paper "How to use Find-A-Grave By Example" that I prepared to help others get started. Click on the following link to access the paper.

< Click Here >

After the file opens, click on the download arrow at the upper left of the screen to download the file as an Adobe Acrobat file where you can then print it.

                               David McConnell



How to Have Papers Read to You

Any document on this web site that is opened using Adobe Acrobat may be saved on your own fixed disk, printed on your own printer, or even read to you using Acrobat's built in reading capability.  Here's how to cause Acrobat to read a paper out loud to you:

  • Double click on a downloaded Acrobat file.  This opens the Acrobat file under your browser.
  • Click on the "download" button (upper left) to download the file to the Adobe Acrobat on your desktop (otherwise, the following steps won't work).
  • Click on the View drop down menu, and select "Read Out Loud" and then "Activate Read Out Loud."
  • Place the cursor at the point in the document where you wish reading to begin.
  • Click on the View drop down menu, and select "Read Out Loud" and then "Read to End of Document."
Note: If the Acrobat version of the document is opened in your browser, you'll have to click on the download link (upper left of the screen) to download the file to your desktop and subsequently open the file in your Acrobat reader for the above to work.  It won't work with the document opened in your browser.


"If suppression of free discussion is necessary in order to cause an opinion to be believed, that in itself is evidence that the rational grounds in favor of the opinion are inadequate, for if they were adequate free discussion would be the best way of making the opinion prevail."

"If you think it necessary to suppress publications that contradict your opinions, you evidently hold that such writings, in a free intellectual competition, would be likely to get the best of the argument."

"In Texas the phrase 'warm weather' has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather that will melt a brass door-knob and weather that will only make it mushy."


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