Sunday, January 26, 2014

You have to be careful what you google...

Hello Friends;
  I am a bit at a loss.   See, I'm not getting enough exercise in this really nasty winter we are having.   I was thinking about bringing an old stationary bike I have in the basement up to my office room so that when I'm surfing on the computer or watching tv I could exercise... just need remote keyboard and mouse, right?  Well, then I thought how neat it would be if there were videos and such that would help encourage me to ride.  For instance, scenic ride videos and such.  Hey... I was just looking for what was out there and what would be of help.
  I did not expect to find this.... but, seems like a good idea, sort of....

You really have to be careful what you google, I guess.

by the way, this is what I was really looking for:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

For All Who Struggle with those pesky monsters

  Did you ever have a nightmare?  Did you ever feel threatened, chased?  Me too....  Teddy Bears are cool.
  At what point do we become too old for teddy bears?  Or, more to the point, what point do we no longer need to feel loved, to hold someone or something dear and give love to it?  At what age is it that we come to no longer fear the things that go bump in the night?
  I am often wakened with those things that go boom.  I never know if they are real or in my mind.  I usually look to the dog, and if she isn't worried, I figure I'll be fine.  If nothing else, that dog isn't going to let anyone hurt the one who feeds her in the morning!  
  So, I guess I don't have a teddy bear.  I have a Gracie Dog.  And for some reason, this pic Scottie sent to me is way too accurate!

  May all our dreams be wonderful!     Hugs!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Unfortunate Need for Regulation Demonstrated.

Hello All;

  Over the past few years, my father has worked in his retirement with the local zoning board.  It has really been an education for me.  I'm more the "leave me alone to do my thing on my property" type of guy, but his time with the zoning board has been an education for us both as he tells me the ways and whys of decisions.  As a result of that education, I am grudgingly in agreement of most of our zoning laws, at least those he has demonstrated to me, because at the center of them is the need for us all to work together with a certain set of rules so we all can enjoy things in safe and cared for manners.
  Having said that, I read this horror story of the chemical spill spoiling the water for some 300,000 residents of West Virginia.

And, what I can't help but to notice is that once again, this concept of calling oneself a patriot is supposed to make any action acceptable.  If no other example than below shows, wrapping oneself in the flag would seem to be the first mark of suspicion in my book.  And, hey... just for kicks, I looked to see if Fox and Friends covered the story.  Not sure if they did or not, but I sure couldn't find any mention of it.

  In the end, having some restraints upon a person or business is necessary if painful.  When what I do effects my neighbors, I do have a responsibility to make sure my actions are safe and respectful.  Objecting to regulation is almost knee-jerk, but it frankly is the mark of civilization.  It is the mark that we do not live at the strength of our own arm alone but as a community, and as a community that cares for all involved.  And yet, the very people who routinely advocate for less government oversight and ever greater removal of the constraints that allow such horrors as this spill to occur are the same who have no problems with denying my rights to love who I choose.  Hmmm, a bit of an odd thing, huh?

The Support of Prejudice

Hello all;

  I read something a short time back and it made me laugh.  It talked about how the entertainment industry dumbs down things to make them more palatable.  The primary example is the show "Duck Dynasty".  Now, I have to tell you, I didn't enjoy the show before that asshole spouted his puke, so now find it quite easy to find something else to watch.  The other example used is the comedian "Larry - the Cable Guy".  Now, I never did understand why he was a cable guy, but the point is, these all were clean cut folks who only found fame when they put on a persona of being a dumb hick.  Personally, that should be offensive.  It's similar to the old days of using black face.  The irony of it, though, is that it's usually the same people being made fun of that seem to love these shows.  Somehow I don't imagine those made fun of in the black face days felt the same.
  The reverse of this, the very ironic face of this is this pic stream.  It made me laugh.  Hope it does for you as well.  It also reminds us that looks can be deceiving in many ways.    hugs


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why do we live?

Hello Friends;
  I heard this on a commercial just recently.  Normally, this would bring about a hatred in me for the producers so brazen as to defile greatness with capitalism, but I was too appreciative of the reminder.  I loved this movie, though I must admit I didn't understand it near as well as I believe I should have.  It remains a movie I will see again and again in the future as I am more prepared to see it.
  Perhaps not quite central in the maker's eye, but certainly well nigh the core of this movie is the confrontation of romance and practicality.  I guess the latter - a denizen of old and tired men worn from worry and hopes flown; and the other - faere ground of youth when dreams are still possible and even real.
  Is it romantic to find some things worth the hope and the fight?  Maybe, and maybe that is why old men and those who have lost the ability to dream and seek the possible hold so tight to the certainty of imagined control.  And yet, as I remember the old saw that naught is certain but death, those who seek the certainty of control seem to only find the deception and vanity of momentary wealth while at the same time giving aire to hatred and vitriol to those who seek the romance of love, of equality, of peace.


Monday, January 6, 2014

The wind is blowing, the snow is falling, and dang! it's Cold!  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Too Many Sci-Fi books...

Hello My Friends;

  I was reading another of my favorite Science Fiction books recently.  Sci-Fi gets a bad rep. from the main-stream writers, and typically quite unfairly.  Science Fiction requires an author to define characters well, their looks, their mannerisms, their nature... and bring often different types of critters together that don't exist elsewhere.  For instance, if you said "The blond woman and the tiger"... a mental image of that very thing is easily understood by most people, requiring very little development.  But, if you said "The Sapine and the Warraq", well, you suddenly find yourself having to create those characters in such a way that the reader can get a mental image and not only understand what is going on but form an attachment with some of the characters.  So, having said all of that, I admire good Sci-Fi and appreciate the efforts necessary.  But, maybe I've gone too far...
  See, as I read the news now I find Sci-Fi plots running through my mind, and they are frightening ones.  For instance, what would be the natural outcome for a Sci-Fi junkie like me when reading about mass unemployment, sinking wages, skyrocketing health care costs, property taxes, food costs, etc.... and a strong portion of the government that fights for the continuation of wholesale arms availability and increasing defense spending/war mongering on other shores, denial of unemployment benefits, lesser wages, greater difficulty in education, and demands that their fundamentalist views of Christianity be followed - even by those who don't believe?  I mean, is it just me?  Am I the only one that thinks the Republicans are actively seeking to bring about the end of the world so they can experience the Rapture spoken of in Revelations?
  Maybe I am.  Way too many books, I guess.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Sum

Good Afternoon Everyone;

  A new year, 2014!!  And, I have today off.  Holiday, you know.  Why?  Well, mostly because, I bet, the years have shown that trying to get people to work early in the morning on New Years Day usually just collects a bunch of half drunk and hung over workers who couldn't see straight if they wanted to.... may as well be magnanimous and give them the holiday, right?
  I've had a somewhat strange holiday week.  That trip to my Aunt's for Christmas Dinner being just one of the stranger, but definitely one of the moments that got me thinking on a few things.  And, this is what I have come up with....
  We are the sum of our history, the hopes of our future, and the moment of Now.  And, in all of that, the only thing that is real, that is absolutely real, is the now.... and that is up for interpretation.
  See, our minds trick us.  We remember portions of things, parts of things, and would swear to them to our dying day.    A little story....

  As some of you know, I bought my parent's house.  Yep... I was actually born in this house, ok in the hospital and then brought back to the house!  So, there are a whole host of memories attached to the place for me; some good, some bad.  Oddly enough, my next door neighbor inherited his house when his parents died.  They were both very cool people, sort of pseudo-parents for me, and treated me much better than I probably deserved.  I've known "Joe" since I was 2 years old.  I tell you all of this to tell you about how the mind plays tricks...
  When I was 8, things were a bit tight financially.  We kids never were exactly spoiled, but I think the folks tried.  Anyway, we are all at "Joe's" swimming in his backyard pool (his parents had a bit of $$) and in wiggled this little ball of worms stray puppy.  That became my birthday present, and likely cost more than any normal gift could have.  But, every little boy should have a dog, and this one became mine.
  I have a memory, a nightmare really, that still wakes me up crying - and I don't just up and cry easily - of playing outside with the dog.  I would bat the ball and the dog would chase it... one time, as I tossed the ball up to hit it with the bat, the dog went right up with it and I cracked her in the head with the bat.  The screaming that dog put out gives me nightmares still, and that was 34 years ago.  I remember standing there as my dog screamed, and my whole world came to an end.  My one friend, and I just knew I killed her.  I just stood there.  I remember the neighbor lady from down the road coming running and yelling at me for hitting the dog.  I just wanted to die... I ran into my room and flung myself on my bed, just wanted to die.  
  You can see why this would return to me in nightmares, yeah?
Well, odd thing happened this year.  Mom and Dad came to town as normal, stayed with me as normal - they are fairly comfortable here of course.  And, somehow that came important moment in my childhood came up.  I didn't let on, but this was the last thing I wanted to talk about... and Mom told me about her memory of the event, verifying it with "Joe".  Come to find out, the whole neighborhood was there, in my front yard, playing ball.  You've seen pictures of my front yard... take 34 years off those trees... there was lots of room.  The ball was pitched to me, I was the batter, and the dog went after the ball.  It was an entirely different neighbor who accused me of purposely hitting my dog with a baseball bat, and who later came to my bedroom to apologize when she learned what had happened.  My mother was actually in the house, and came rushing out to the dog.  My neighbor, "Joe", was there that day playing, remembers the incident quite well and backed Mom's story.  And, once the screaming was done by the adults, the crying by the dog, and it was determined that it was an accident and the dog was just fine, I only remember wanting to just die because I hurt my only real friend.

  I guess I am trying to get to the fact that our memories of what happened are not always so very accurate.  And, that memory, as faulty as it is, has haunted me for decades.  I have hated myself after each nightmare episode, for years now.

And, this ties in to a picture I just recently found.  I thought it a neat picture, but the words that went with it really caught my attention.  Here it is:

  We all have hurts.  We all have scars.  For some, they are a badge of courage, and for others they are a weeping sore hidden from view.

  Many of mine are of the second sort, kept covered, bandaged, hidden, lest they get poked and remind me just how much they still hurt.
  It was a weird Christmas for me because as I sat in my aunt's house, eating dinner with the family, staring at trees that were just bushes last I was there, a woods that used to be a corn field, so many open sores got poked by people who meant, mostly, good at the moment.  But, also, those festering wounds only heal by being aired, treated, "poked".
  What a wonderful world it would be - no, not if nobody ever got hurt, because I don't think that's possible - but wouldn't it be a wonderful world if we could look at people who have scars, who have hurts, who have been hurt, hurt others, and hurt themselves, and understand that each of us is a unique person who, in the midst of those wounds, in the very sum of them, is a worthwhile and valuable person?  And, wouldn't it be an even better world if we each could look into the mirror and see our scars, see those festering and weeping wounds, and know that person staring back is a unique, worthwhile, valuable person who has survived all the slings and arrows, and is stronger than whatever tried to hurt us?