Monday, August 30, 2010

Hello Everyone;

I have been somewhat silent here on the blog for a bit. I've been busy with other things....I'm starting to write again, and enjoying that process. And, really, I guess I have had little to say. One of the things that I thought so much about is the way that Dr. King worked so hard to gain the rights for those whom he called Negro Americans....a phrase that is less than appreciated now. I find it difficult to know what to call someone to differenciate them from the rest of us.....and yet there are so many labels. I understand the term "me", and I understand the term "you" and I even get the concept of "we" but when I think of Americans, my neighbors, I struggle with the term "those". I guess I'm just not political enough. And, I've been thinking about this whole movement of ideas and thoughts, issues that seem so very important today and then along comes tomarrow and no one seems to care. Glen Beck got such huge news this week because of the rally he held for "honor". Yeah, well, even a large estimate of his following showed maybe 500,000 people. If anyone wants to do the math, that's roughly 1/520 of the population. Not a bad number, and I guess it has merit, but....well, I just don't care. Then, Al Sharpton got on his horse and spoke and, well, I just don't care either. And, we heard about the men pulling out of Iraq, the dissention in Afganistan, did you know we are still in Korea? Well, don't really care. The unemployment rate, the economy, gay marriage, oh, and there is a big storm coming over the land that might produce tornados. Nope, don't care. All I can think about is Lindsey got caught with dope... and, then, uh, well, my mind ran out of the, uh, well, you know, two minutes and all and, uh,.... Ooooooooh! Shiney........

Thursday, August 26, 2010

With a little searching...

Hi Gang; I went looking for an article on charity scams....well, after trying to email Dear Abby - I think she is still in the 50's. But, to my point: I found on AARP's site a commentary on how to spot the scammers with reasonable reliability. Please check it out and pass it on. thx. -randy. http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-08-2010/ask_sid_how_can_i_tell_if_a_charity_is_for_real.html In checking this link I did get a bad link the first time, but it went through the second and afterward. So, please try it again if it just gives you a brown screen. thx.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another Charity call.....denied after getting info.

Hello my friends........to the scam that never ends, I guess. I just got a call from a telemarketing firm who was pulling for a reportedly very worthy organization who helps veterans with spinal cord injuries. And, let me put emphasis where it belongs, the charity itself seems very worthy, and I will be looking to get with them in the near future more directly. But, the telemarketer, according to http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/29351739.html takes 86 cents of every dollar raised. Please, look it up....don't trust my word. Don't trust anyone's. Look it up! The telemarketer who called asked me to give my credit card number for a group of cards. When I told them that they were free to send me the info and I would look the charity up, I was hung up upon. The person calling said she was calling from "Insight Services". The same as listed on jsonline? Don't know, but seems fairly likely. I guess I would rather have these people come thump me on my head and take my wallet than than use disabled veterans to bait and trap. Be honest in your theivery, 'Insight'!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Normal in America?

What is normal: In behavior, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average. Conforming with or constituting a norm or standard or level or type of social norm. Being approximately average or within certain limits.

The interesting thing about “normal” is that normal changes. What was abnormal in one period of time becomes quite normal in another….or more, what is seen as abnormal and sick in one time is very likely seen as good and natural in another. It is growth, and change; it is the flex and draw of a person and a society of people who have a collective understanding of should and what should not be. And as natural as it seems to be, it is what is generally average for the society. Yes folks, “normality” is determined by those with a 100 IQ and roughly “C” student. That sort of changes the lofty status of things, huh? The stifling of innovators, the pushing down of those who live outside the average or think differently or act differently is a simple product of our nature as people. We are comfortable in what we find normal - or meeting expectations. No surprises and all is well. It is also not what this country is about. People risked life and limb, literally, to come to this country and create a life different from that which they left in England, France, Spain, etc. Motives aside, this country is about change. There is little tradition here but that; we celebrate: - The New Year: a new beginning. - Independence Day: freedom from tyranny. - Veterans Day: Sacrifice and giving everything so others can be free. - Thanksgiving: appreciation for the good things in life and abundance - Christmas: a time of giving and loving. So, while we will loft up such grand ideas in the one hand, we are still subject to the baser natures of our frightened little selves in the other. And, while pushing the normality of things is risky, it is also necessary. Not everyone is a C student, and not everyone has a 100 IQ, 2.5 kids and a mortgage….ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. The writers of the constitution were very learned men. Powerful and intelligent in their own right, they talked about ideas, philosophies, and perhaps more important - realities. Dreamers all, they fought the biggest bully on the block to have their own piece of the pie. But, being learned men and conversant in topics of philosophy, the phrase “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is one taken from that day’s philosophic debate. Looking this up, I find some back and forth on it but it seems to center on not the property issues, which Locke was attributed, but on a social interaction in which promotes the freedom and enjoyment of one’s neighbor in order to procure the freedom and enjoyment in one’s own life. So, for those who call themselves “Constitutionalists” and want to “go back to the way it used to be”, how about looking at the way it was supposed to be: Securing the freedom of my neighbor to secure my own freedom, because, as noted by the philosophers of the day, the opposite is also quite true.

Photo by Chuck Espinoza, found in Milkboys Jan 18.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Great new phenom guitar player....

Hello all; I have just been introduced to this video of a young guitar player named Tallan Noble Latz. He is incredible! Please search out this little dynamo and see for yourself. I am willing to be obvious and predict that he is going to go far - provided the music industry doesn't suck the spirit out of him. video

still new to all of this...

Hello all in computer land... It has recently come to my somewhat foggy focus inhibited attention that I am not quite following protocol and offending some by not linking to other blogs and such. I hope you all know that if I want to offend, I will do it openly and without guile..... and having said that, I would never wish to cause offense to you. So, I first ask for your understanding. I'm new. If you would like to have a link or blogroll or whatever the right word is for this, please shoot me a note on the hushmail acct. listed above right. I will need to verify that it comes from the "owner" and that the content is not something that would get me nuked by association. No killing puppies, stuffing the heads of little old ladies in thier unmentionable drawer, that sort of thing. In seriousness, I won't be a part of anything hatefilled, etc. If you have read my blog, you know me enough by now.... Thank you all for coming and being a part of this little life, or words to that effect. -r

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thank You!

video

I would like to thank you all for coming and being a part of my little experiment into blogging. I never thought I would find it so gratifying to find things to share with you. Your comments are the life blood of this blog, driving me forward to learn more, understand more. You have truly inspired my searches, encouraged my hopes of finding love and hope and an acceptance of the things that have beaten me for years.

I would especially like to thank Scottie who has been a shining light to me, guiding me through rough patches and letting me know there is a bright future awaiting. Miles and JR, who have been so very encouraging, and Bern who has recently shared his understandings with me on so many things. I am proud to see "new" followers, some of whom I have been following silently for some time. I am so glad you are a part of this blog.

This song by K. D. Lang is so awe-inspiring. I don't know if I understand the song so well. It is something that has had my attention for a while as I struggle to come to terms with the song. But, there is no denying that K. D. puts such feeling into her music. Watching her sing is an emotional event. I am so proud of her for being free. I hope you enjoy this rendition of Cohen's Halleluiah and perhaps you can draw more understanding than I have managed so far. -r

Monday, August 9, 2010

This Form of Beauty found in pictures as art.

Ever since I was little I have loved looking at art. I've always enjoyed photographic art because it seemed to be more intense, more real. I wondered how the pictures were made and where such a sight could be found. I found the world stopped, captured within the confines of this small piece of film. Sometimes I feel just awestruck at the vivacity conveyed. Paint and sculpture rarely do this for me - perhaps because they feel more rendered than captured. I want to send off my repeated appreciation for the artists and posters who share this beauty with me and the world.
I imagine stories, little plays in my mind telling the tale of these pictures. I imagine a tale of travel, like Gulliver's Travels, where we are transformed to a distant wood....
I imagine this one's love, heading out to war... will he return?
Can you feel the storm blowing around this child and within his sould?
Oh, there has just got to be a beach and a surf board somewhere about. This surely isn't Kansas.
I feel captured by this sultry look, this want...
His eyes come right out at me, capture me, make me want to feel and retreat at the same time.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Beneath the Red Tape...

Even before admitting to myself that I like boy parts better than I like girl parts, I wondered what was the big deal about gay marriage. None of the arguments seemed at all valid, at least in the current concepts of the words being used. I kept thinking it had more to do with the answers adults give kids when they don't want them to do something but have no good reason to deny it...."because I told you". Oh, well..... I'm not a kid!
Prop 8, Minority Rights, & American Democracy - By Dr. Marty Klein
Democracy does not mean three wolves and lamb voting on what’s for dinner. And that’s why yesterday’s federal court ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8 is good news for all Americans. Prop 8 did something that should never be done—it put the question of a minority group’s rights up for a vote. America’s courts have two functions, one them absolutely unique. Of course, our courts try cases of wrongdoing—someone’s accused of breaking the law, they have their day in court, they’re found innocent or guilty. In addition, however, our courts try a special kind of case—they judge whether a law itself violates the law. Sometimes the government creates this law on its own, through Congress, a state legislature, a city council, etc.. Sometimes, as in California, people vote for a law directly through a referendum—via propositions. It’s one of these laws-that-people-voted-for that Judge Walker found illegal—i.e., unconstitutional. He found that Prop 8 is a law that separates Californians into two groups, giving a certain right to one while denying it to the other. And he couldn’t find any logical, evidence-based facts to justify the discrimination that Prop 8’s law demands. So he had to overturn the law that people had voted for—because they voted for a law that is illegal. Voters aren’t constitutional lawyers, so they can’t be expected to understand that sometimes they vote to create a law that is illegal. But that’s what happened in California. And Judge Walker reminded everyone that a community can’t do that—not even if 99% of the voters want to. This is not “judicial activism,” it’s being a judge. Judge Walker was doing the job he was asked to do when appointed by President George H.W. Bush. Yes, the will of the majority—at least, as expressed in the 2008 election that passed Proposition 8—has been overruled. Because the majority got to vote on something they shouldn’t have been allowed to vote on—the rights of a minority. And because the majority voted to restrict the minority’s rights based, as they themselves put it, on tradition, morality, and the religious beliefs of the majority. And that’s exactly what the majority in America is not allowed to do. It’s right there in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution:“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” And since government is in the business of granting marriage licenses, and government is in the business of guaranteeing the rights that result from being married, anything that restricts a special group from the right to marry cannot be legal. Even if the majority votes to create such a restriction. Evidence of those good reasons? Judge Walker said there was none. Tradition, feelings of discomfort, and strongly-held religious beliefs are not, in 21st-century America, good enough reasons to deny a minority the civil rights enjoyed by the majority. Moments after the ruling, the American Family Association launched a vicious attack on America’s legal system. AFA said that because Judge Walker is gay, he cannot rule fairly on this case. If that’s true, judges who drink shouldn’t be judging drunk-driving cases; judges without children shouldn’t be judging cases involving school taxes or teacher behavior; judges who own guns shouldn’t judge cases involving the right to bear arms; and Catholic judges shouldn’t rule on abortion cases. Or is it that only Catholic judges should rule on abortion cases, and only judges who drink should rule on drunk-driving cases? This makes it impossible to have any judges at all. There are no judges without personal lives, there are no judges who have nothing in common with the cases they judge. AFA has done a wonderful job of exposing themselves for what they are—completely cynical about the American system of democracy. They have always demanded the kind of “democracy” in which the Bible of a small number of people rules everyone else. Until AFA deposes the American government and substitutes a theocracy, all Americans can breathe easier because of Judge Walker’s ruling—in which he said that fear and discomfort with homosexuality, and unscientific ideas about the brains of homosexuals, are not a sufficient reason to deny government benefits to a certain group of people. You don’t have to be a member of that certain group to appreciate that this ruling celebrates your country, and makes you safer in it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Why are nudism sites being nuked?

What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed? Michelangelo. People think God is against the very body He created….. Scottie. There is some sort of sickness in America. It goes deeper than the current day, deeper than the era. Somehow, we in America have come to find the human body offensive. Now, make no mistake, I do not look good naked. I’m well out of shape for my close-up on PlayGirl. I’ve enjoyed far too many Doritos and pizza, beer….dang, now I’m hungry. However, taking a body more in line with God’s vision than with Ben & Jerry’s, there are still people out there who find the human body offensive. Taking on the simple right to be sky-clad are this “class” of folks intent on being the moral authority above and beyond even God. Looking back to Genesis, we find our innocence lost and God asking Adam ‘who told you that you were naked’. Perhaps, more directly He was asking ‘who told you naked was bad?’. And yet, thumped into our heads for millenia that God created Man (inclusive term) in His image (and naked), and it was good, these folks still find the whole concept offensive. How absurd. Obscenity laws and complaints fall under the general heading of what is considered offensive to the community. Isn’t it interesting that what one community finds offensive, another would not. But that doesn’t matter, it is the ‘right’ of the offended to look but not see, to live in bliss but not think, to demand their justice and eat their offal with a smile. Most of the rest of the community shrug, not understanding the drama portrayed until, one day, damn if it ain’t a law now. A very good friend told me about being in Germany and seeing people at the beach nude and right next to them were folks clothed. Families, couples, whatever…it’s just skin. He said the running joke was that you could tell the Americans at such a beach by the way they stared about in wide-eyed wonder, lust, ???, while being sure to lay on their stomach. Surely they have seen skin before? In this fine little America we find ourselves so separated from the concept of seeing another’s “privates” that when the time comes for kids to change their clothes in the locker-rooms they are terrified. “Someone will see my peepee”. And? Why should this be a problem? Why in the world should kids grow up thinking that they have hidden the most embarrassing, different, shocking or unusual piece of equipment that will surely provoke laughter, outrage, scandal, or riot? And why in the hell has the mere showing of that little nub of skin become so outlandish and offensive to the common mind? Well, if you can’t tell, I’m pissed. I’m pissed because now I’ve come to middle age and I’m bound by these stupid moral codes that have been so implanted into my brain. I want to be free, and I want to see people who are free, and yet I acknowledge that I am a coward and scream from behind these bars. Hell, I’m half afraid of walking about my own house naked for fear someone will look into the window and be offended. What silliness is that? Well, I am no expert on the subject. I’d hoped to draw an expert’s insight, but ??? Please give your comments to this post. The laugh of the moment; I am so concerned right now that something will be considered offensive by these moral grandstanders that I googled "legal nudist image". This is one such that was given. So, you little dark-room snickering simps, got a problem with this pic? see google.

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

I find it healthy, if unavoidable, to laugh at myself now and again. Given the chance, I will do some very hillbilly, stupid, even wtf things. Sorry, I was shocked find out I wasn’t perfect, too. Ok, example….don’t tell anyone this: I got poison ivy on my arms fairly bad this year. I get it every year; I’m highly allergic/susceptible. My mother, bless her soul, told me that duct tape would get it off. Yep - I tried it. She thought that was the funniest thing ever. Well, I was sort of pissed because it hurts like hell, but realized that tricked once, shame on me …. You know what, it works after the 5th or 6th time. Well, if I can laugh at some of the funny stuff I do, I can laugh at some of the funny stuff other people do, too. Right? So comes my new section of the blog called “It seemed like a good idea at the time”. The following are pics of people who took their pets with them to family picture day. "Fail".

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thank you, all....

Just a quick note of thanks to all of you who stop by and see me, and a special thank you to you who have joined in and follow along. I invite you to comment or use the email. -randy.