Sunday, April 29, 2018

Tina

I met Tina in 7th grade.  She was the prettiest, most popular girl in our class.  One day a classmate asked me to ask her if she would go to the seventh grade dance with him.  So I asked Tina if she was going to the dance and she responded no one had asked her.  So I asked her to go with me and she said yes.  That was the beginning of a friendship that has lasted for 50 years.

Our relationship is based on many things, none of them have anything to do with romance.  I have always found Tina to be smart, organized, caring and ripe with common sense.  She has a marvelous sense of humor and a way of viewing things that has uncommon clarity.  I really can find no reason she favors me with her friendship.  It is fair to say that I love Tina.  She is the closest thing to a sister that I have.

Over the years Tina has been the keeper of our class.  She has been the moving force that organizes reunions and tracks class mates.  She has always allowed me to assist her and the time we have spent has been a source of happiness that I treasure.


In High School,  Tina dated one of my good friends and they married shortly after graduating.  Funny thing is, I dated and became engaged to her younger sister.  Neither worked out, but, we both found new loves and enjoyed a happy life.  Each went our way, our paths crossing every so often.  Recent years have  had us spending more time together and certainly ,0n my part, enjoying every minute of time spent together.


If I never work up the courage to express fully my love and admiration for Tina,  I hope in some way she knows.

Dad

My Dad died today.  He was 92 a month ago.  He was quite a man.  Born at the end of the great depression, he grew up in a house of little means, with 6 brothers and sisters.  Dealt with the loss of a sister and father at a young age. Became head of household and a prime provider for his family at an early age. Spent time in the army during WWII and witnessed some of the most appalling behaviors man has ever done.  Sat with a young wife as she suffered through the rigors of an Iron Lung and polio.  Certainly these life experiences had a profound effect.

Despite the hardships of life, my Dad developed an incredible array of skills and talents.  He had a special ability to engineer things.  He was a very talented mechanic with an understanding of how things work.  He created art work that was amazing given his total lack of training.  Always a hard working man with a sense of family commitment.  Dad was comfortable with all manner of machinery, plants, animals and the outdoors in general.  He could build a rabbit hutch, wire a factory, repair any machine, design machinery, paint the daintiest flowers on fine china, raise beautiful flowers, pour concrete, and so much more.

Dad always expected my brothers and I to learn these things by way of helping.  Some of my least favorite tasks were learning to do all manner of things.  Years later, I am so thankful that Dad "made" me help and learn.  My brothers and I can do so many things because Dad had us help and unknowingly learn. 

Dad, like all of us, had faults.  He had a propensity to be negative as a first reaction.  He could be equally self centered and thoughtful.  Despite his faults, he was faithful and kind.  He had difficulty expressing affection, yet was always there when needed. I know that he held within him, a great amount of love and pride for his 3 sons.  Despite ups and downs in his life, he maintained his love for my Mom for 73 years, knowing that she was his strength.

I have so many many wonderful memories of times on Family Vacations, doing projects with just Dad and I, marveling at his ingenuity, walking in the woods and tinkering with mechanical things. The exposure to so many places and things that Dad made available was amazing.  I have a large amount of memorabilia that will forever keep him near to me.

My Dad and I did not always see things the same.  I will fault him for that because he taught me to think.  I will credit him for making me the man I am today.  In his own way, he taught me what to do and what not to do.  He helped me shape my values. He instilled a work ethic, an honesty and a never give up attitude that I hold dear to me.  He taught me how to be a good father and husband, both by his actions and inaction. He was and always will be my Hero.  I will Love and miss Dad for the rest of my life.  Rest in peace Dad.






Monday, February 26, 2018

Again

Again, another shooting.  Again, in a school by another young, troubled person.  Again, hotly contested debate about how to stop such incidents.  Young people have started a movement to eliminate / curtail gun sales.  Particularly those termed Assault. Potentially this movement may take roots and lead to some changes in gun ownership.  What it will likely not create is less acts of violence by people determined to create havoc.  Persons with a demented need to wreck havoc on innocent people will most certainly find a way to do so.  If automatic weapons are not available, then other means will continue to be used.

We have witnessed acts of this nature in ever increasing instances.  Cars, explosives, blade weapons and more besides guns have been used.  Most occurrences are attributed to deranged individuals rather than well planned instances of terrorism.  The nature of these attacks appear to have nothing in common beyond individual detachment to reality. Arguments are made for increased background checks or increasing legal age for purchasing certain weapons.  Criminal leaning individuals will undoubtedly continue to have disregard for laws and therefore more laws will have little effect.

In the grand scheme of things, gun violence is noticeably less than many other causes of death.  The fact that some occurrences have happened at schools seems to have brought guns to the forefront of news today, again.  Always in the past, some new hot topic has come up and the noise about gun control has died quietly.  Interestingly, more frequent causes of premature death have not created the same furor in the consciousness of society.  Automobiles, drugs, disease,alcohol and other causes are far more reaching than guns as a cause of early death.  Why not similar outrage and concern for control?

Could there be some connection to Movies and Video Games and the potential for reduced sensitivity to violence?  Could be.  Why not restrict the availability of those.  How about distracted driving?  Auto makers continue to make it easier to use electronic devices in the modern automobile.  Lets legislate the return of driving without electronic distractions.  We have attempted to legislate our way out of the drug epidemic, without success.  We have laws against driving under the influence of alcohol, yet, alcohol continues to be a leading cause of automobile accidents.  So, that's working well?  Now, personally, I have no sympathy for drug users and alcohol related problems because those are choices made by those individuals.  I do feel sorry for those individuals harmed or killed by users of drugs and alcohol.

While untimely death or maiming is unfortunate and heart breaking, I see no way that we can legislate our way away from the reality that these problems will continue.  And continue with greater frequency.  Society is becoming more narcissistic every year.  Concern for fellow man only happens when some unbelievable act of violence happens.  Then we offer prayers and condolences and continue with our life.  Permanent change seems only a dream we have.  Actual ability of our society to change is most likely not happening until an actual global event that requires a new way of thinking.  I am comfortable that I will not see that happen in my lifetime and hope that future generations will rise to the challenge.  I feel certain that the necessary change will not come from government, but rather by grass roots groups and individuals.  A revolution if you will.  Action sparked by a genuine concern for humanity rather than driven by greed.

 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

good

Haven't been feeling well lately.  Checking into Lutheran Hospital next Monday for some Heart Repairs.

Have neglected posting here lately.  Not much new.  I do follow the news closely because I am intrigued by the crap show that is our political landscape.  I am astonished that ANYONE could possibly believe that our current administration is affecting any kind of positive change.  Our President is a continuous gold mine of ineffectual, childish stunts akin to the best 2nd grade mentality I have witnessed.  His continuous need for being the center of attraction has created some of the most divisive mentality. 

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I am certainly no fan of our current political system.  When I see what is or isn't happening, I just want to scream.

Am looking forward to Fall.  I love the cool crisp air that accompanies this time of year.  The colors of the outdoors are beautiful as we progress through this season.  This is how life should be, one beautiful day after another.  Health problems, apparently, make you more aware of the good things and make other difficulties less important.  Got a lot of good in my life.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Shocking Results

Recently, I have been interested in some of these Senate and House investigative sessions.  I am amazed at the waste of time and money that they are.  Person after person that is called to appear before these committees blatantly refuses to answer questions. Admittedly, the questions are framed in a way to attempt to garner the answer that the particular questioner seeks.  Often those sought after answers are to further a political agenda. So, I would ask.  What earthly good is expected from these sessions?  Why are these investigations not backed by some power to elicit answers or pay a penalty to have the truth known.  Lets hold these people in contempt and toss their ass in jail until they decide to be forthcoming.

It is beyond my wildest dreams to think that Senators or Congresspersons could set aside their absurd political agendas in an effort to actually seek the truth.  That is almost as absurd as thinking that persons in front of these committees would actually answer with any remote sense of the truth.I continue to believe that in most cases that someone refusing to answer a question is most likely not willing to have the truth known.  I also find it strange when the common answer is "I do not recall", but, at times they can recite dates and times and great detail about happenings from some time gone by.

This whole process is suspect.  These people are supposed to be intelligent and dedicated to the maintaining of our Country and the people of it.  Such childish behavior.  Such self serving and sneaky behavior.  The whole group are pathological liars.  When on the question asking side of the room, their pompous behavior is despicable.  Yet, when on the answering side of the room, they become that arrogant, non-answering, poor memory ass that they showed such contempt for.  AMAZING!

Here's my answer......a jury of common citizens with the power to incarcerate unwilling witnesses.  Throw in a little shock therapy if it suits them.  Shocking results to follow.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Dr.....again.

Had another Doctor visit recently.  I have a new Cardiologist and I like him.  He walked in the room and immediately said "I see your still fat."  I wish I could be angry with him but I have always been capable of respecting the truth.

Good news is, I'm pretty sure he thinks I have at least 6 months left because he made me another appointment for 6 months from that visit!

Habits

Have you ever thought about this?

When I get dressed, I put my right leg into my underwear first then my left (hopefully without falling down).  Then I put my head into the opening on my TEE shirt then my left arm and then right.  I always put my right leg into my pants first, my left sock on first and my right shoe on first.  I put both shoes on then stand and put my right foot on the seat to tie it then my left.  I put them up on the seat because I can no longer bend over long enough to tie shoes without running out of breath. If its cold outside, I put my left arm then my right arm into my sweatshirt before pulling it down over my head.  Top it off with a "baseball" cap and I am good to go.

I repeat this without any changes.  Creature of habit we are (spoken like Yoda).

I love pie.

So, I have been brainwashed.  I turn on Facebook every couple nights.  I have found it a reasonable way to see what friends and family are up to.  I am terrible at finding time to spend with them.  So I have reverted to checking in the "Cloud" for my information.  I do miss the personal nature of face to face meetings, but, I have become too busy (lazy, really) to make contact.  Unlike when I was younger, I simply run out of energy earlier.

 I am troubled by a lot of what I see on Facebook.  The proliferation of new "News" sources is a point of concern. I have read a number of articles (Not on the inner-web) describing the practice of  posting outrageous headlines under a variety of "News" source banners simply to create readership to garner advertising revenue.  There is a name for the practice, but, I cannot remember what it is.  The gist of it is that the web is rife with made up shit that a large number of people are taking as factual.  We seem to have lost our ability to sense bullshit when confronted with preposterous writings.  It appears that we have created a great divide among readers of this tripe.  Most of the division has become "political" in nature.  I read comments with my jaw dropped onto my chest.  People that I believe are intelligent are caught up in this epic battle of who did what to who.  There has become no middle ground, no compromise, no working together to achieve common goals.  Things are simply good or bad based on a Party affiliation.  These intelligent people truly believe that right or wrong depends on the party affiliation.  Holy crap!

Now I will admit that I am certainly not a Trump fan. (Now this is where the internet deems me a Hilary supporter), and I am certainly not a Hilary supporter.  I am a believer that once elected, your mission becomes finding  the best way to serve the public.  It turns my stomach to watch partisan politics being played at the expense of the people that expect better of their elected officials.  It takes an idiot to think that only their Party has the answers to all things important.

Trump supporters mystify me.  They seem blind to his stupid behavior and believe all the dim witted noise made by him.  Do they not watch him attempt to speak?  Have you not read from his twitter account?  His behavior seems to be that of someone lost as to the root of his job.  I am not a fan of a "Wall" along our southern border,  a total dismantling of Health Care with no idea how to improve it, a massive increase in Military spending when we are so deeply in debt, a Tax break of 60% for Corporations when we are so deeply in debt, continued spending on "pork" because that's just stealing from the taxpayers, and, exhibiting a total lack of respect to science and the environment.

I have disagreed with many actions of past Presidents.  But, all  of my years I have never witnessed the complete disintegration of civility that exists today.  I will find fault in our political process.  I was raised to look upon leaders of our country with respect and a belief that they somehow were acting for our benefit.  The past few elections and the resulting campaigns have taught our population that the way to get ahead is to denigrate your opponent.  Make up the vilest crap you can about your opponent and paint them as the most despicable person imaginable.  Create an atmosphere of hate for the opposition.  Do not, under any circumstance, address issues that have a bearing on the reality of daily life for the bulk of the population.  Promise completely fabricated impossible items, like lowering taxes while spending more money while raising the National Debt.  Sadly, there are voters that buy into this crap.

I did not vote for Mr. Trump, but wait, I did not vote for Mrs. Clinton either.  What?  Not Vote?  That's un-American!  That means you have no room to complain!  To that, I say,  kiss my you  know what.  By not supporting a person that I deem unfit to be President, I have exercised my rights to not be forced to do something against my will.  It is a beautiful thing to live in a country that allow you the freedom to express yourself.  Put it this way.  If you offer me Peach pie or Rhubarb pie, I will decline.  That does not mean I don't like pie, rather that I choose not to like Peach or Rhubarb.  I love pie, but only certain kinds.  I have a right to choose which Pie or which Politician I like.  I will not eat Pie that I dislike and I will not vote for a Politician I dislike.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

She's capable

I have this friend, She's one of my oldest friends.  By that I don't mean that She's old (well She kinda is), but, rather we have been friends for a long time.  I miss-spent a lot of my youth with her brother whom was my best friend through most of high school.  Consequently, I spent a lot of time around this friend.

All that said, fast forward fifty years.  My friend is a huge Trump supporter.  Needless to say, I am not.  This makes for some interesting back and forth on social media.  We have yet to get together face to face for more discussion, but, I am looking forward to the time we can do so.  I think she will continue to be interesting and present the opportunity for very lively discussion.  My friend has always been smart and is well educated and spoken.  That is why I look forward to meeting in person for more discussion on politics and anything else that comes up.

I continue to be amazed at the growing divide that has been caused in part by the continued deterioration of our political landscape. It is mean on Social Media.  News Media is under constant attack.  Everyone is choosing their preferred source for information and claiming that those with differing positions are not real news.  It is worth noting that News agencies have fallen into the habit of choosing sides and pushing opinions more often than simply reporting factual information. This contributes to the division.  I enjoy editorials and hope they continue, but, I tire of so much "News" being an editorial.  Come on!  Report facts.  Our Society needs clear reporting of the facts.  CNN, Fox, and all the new comers that showed up on Facebook are a poor attempt and at best are entertainment.

Back to my friend.  She is very passionate in her beliefs.  Religion, Politics, Health Care, You Name It, She is focused in her thoughts and expresses her passion very well.  Sometimes  She catches me off guard with her determination to make Her point.  I dis-like that most of our conversations occur on Facebook.  I cannot judge attitude when not face to face.  I am afraid that I upset her at times and have no desire to do so.  I have always had the utmost respect for my friend.

I enjoy good conversation and feel that I am capable of dissenting opinions not getting in the way of friendship.  That appears to be a lost skill today.  That is why I look forward to sitting with my friend. She is capable.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Wow!...Really?

Wow, how time flies.  Seems like just last week I was ramping up my bid for President.  Somewhere along the way I became sidetracked with the circus that was termed "campaigning" by other  folks.  I haven't been a fan of recent election campaigns because of all the childish verbal slop that comes with them.  I, for the last several months, have sat in my chair with my chin on my chest, watching our election process deteriorate into a school yard name calling session.  Such immature behavior and outright lying going on by the future leaders of our great Nation.  And, by the way Mr. Trump, our Nation is great.  So I don't need to constantly hear how you are the ONE to save us.  We are a little broken and its scum like you that broke it.

Its time I interject here that I am not a fan of any person that ran for President this time.  I am not a Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative or any other label that is bantied about today.  I am an American, and, one that is as dissatisfied as many others.

I feel we are  at a crossroads in our growth as a country and in dire need of reform.  Our political leaders have become self absorbed and are no longer looking out for the "people" of our country.  They are self promoting and lazy and need to find a real profession.  They constantly talk about entitlements for the poor being abused while they abuse the people of this country with their irresponsible spending and self agrandizement.  The results of the recent election have done nothing to alleviate my concerns.  I am at a loss as to how intelligent people cannot see through the lies and constant rhetoric that we are exposed to each day.  If politicians aren't spewing their particular drivel, then, the media is doling out their self inflated opinions on us.  It is  becoming increasingly difficult to figure out the truth in anything we hear and see.  Comparisons to past leaders with treacherous agendas are everywhere.  It is a frightening thought that the American public is  becoming immune to the truth and will believe whatever is offered as fact, by who ever shouts the loudest.  Many horrible leaders from the past were duly elected because they had a persona that mesmerized people.  Given that many of us are enamoured with celebrity, I wonder if we simply voted for our favorite persona / personality.

Again, let me reiterate, I am not a fan of any particular person, party or group.  I have serious doubts about our newly elected officials.  Doubts that I have had since becoming aware of our political system, many years ago.  My frustrations are not new, rather, heightened by our recent election of someone that I feel was the least qualified person available.  Don't get your panties in a wad, I did not suggest Mrs. Clinton would be better.  So drop your thoughts that I am a Democrat or any other party affiliate. Mr. Trump, to me, is a childish, self-promoting, egotist.  I fear his agenda is for the good of Trump Inc., not the USA and its member citizens.  I hope I am wrong.

As I sit and reflect on the past 12 to 18 months, I can not help but think......Wow!....Really?