When I started this blog, it was more just an outlet – it was something to do. Being on medical disability for lymphoma, compounded by arthritis, a fused hip, and diabetes, I told myself I would NOT use the blog as therapy.
Even though, on more than one occasion, I have! :-)
But one advantage of this window on the world is it can be indeed a window. And can be observed both directions.
Recently, I posted about Kilted To Kick Cancer. Cancer charities are especially personal to me, being a lymphoma survivor, and all. When I was diagnosed, and required chemotherapy, I was actively employed and had quality health insurance.
But, it wasn’t enough to cover the high cost of the chemo.
Enter a charity – who, upon my application, covered the bulk of the cost not absorbed by my insurance.
For this, and for many things, I should be grateful.
But, I get into myself, ongoing chronic pain issues, inability to work, low income, old bad car w/o A/C, yatta, yatta, yatta…
Then I get a view into the window!
I’m privileged to have many people follow me on this blog. I’ve no idea why they do. And while some are fellow travelers of the libertarian/conservative/gun totin’ kind, there are others.
Talk about an attitude adjustment! To see what this beautiful woman and her family are going through…
And so many others.
(No, not the 1928 silent film Western! And not THAT old…)
After my ignominious departure from the University (I dropped out because I spent more time partying than studying. Remember Joe Cool? 1970-71), my parents (with whom I was still living) put their feet down.
I was to pay them rent. This meant upgrading my employment – both to meet my financial obligation to them, and to look for better accommodations.
My Dad knew a guy who worked for AZDES, as a job bank guy. And soon, I was interviewed and sent out for a better possible job.
At M****** S***** Nut, Bolt and Screw. A manufacturer of industrial fasteners – nuts, bolts, screws, rivets, all manner in all sizes and quantities. Not being particularly handy, I was unaware one could get such items in kegs. Or pallets of kegs. Containing thousands, weighing a lot!
Soon, I went to work commuting from the S.E. Valley to N.W. of downtown Phoenix. And, in spite of promises made I would not have to drive a clutch-operated vehicle (with my disability, it can be difficult), I was soon driving a fork lift, among my other duties!
And I got to load trucks and make local deliveries, mainly to construction companies, Valley-wide.
But, this was before political correctness. And except for a couple of secretaries in the main office, and small parts packaging, the staff and customers were entirely male. And in a blue-collar business such as this, coarse language and humor was prevalent.
ALL the company pencils had the name of the company, the address, telephone number.
And the phrase “To Us, There’s Nothing Better Than A Good S**** “
And not to be outdone, over the will-call office, wherein people came to pickup ordered merchandise, was a sign reading “We’d Like Nothing Better Than To Handle Your N**** “
Obviously, a different time. I think I was making $2.00/hour, up from $1.60 as a busboy! @ 45 hours a week.
But, all good things must come to an end.
It was closing time, and I was in a hurry to get home. My manager asked me to wait for him to load a truck for delivery – and he was taking forever. So, I took it upon myself to load the pickup truck with the fork lift, without waiting for his direction. And I put a small dent in the truck, with the clutch-operated fork lift I’d been promised I would never have to drive.
And I was subsequently fired.
No more commuting for me. At least to that part of town.
And yes, I thought I had been s******!
A few years back Superman (2011 in DC Comics) announced he was renouncing his U.S. citizenship! Now, I’ve not been a comic book reader/consumer since I was 10-11 years old, but I was always a big Superman fan.
I found this action repulsive. One – that the beloved character would do such a thing, and Two – that in so doing such a children’s fictional comic would make the national news. After all, they ARE just comic books.
Fast-forward to NOW. It was announced a couple of months ago (and made the national news again recently) that beloved perennially-in-high-school everyteen comic book character Archie Andrews would die in the comic book. This was NOT due to his having been in high school 78 years.
It was because he would dive in front of an assailant attacking his friend with a gun, and his taking a bullet for him! Archie’s GAY friend!
What do I make of this?
Political correctness aside, I like to believe I would have done the same thing for any good childhood friend. My best friend from third grade through college was a legitimately brilliant. IQ off the charts. Socially, less skilled. But, except for his studies and church, my constant companion. He was the geek I aspired to be, even though I didn’t have the mental acuity.
After his own father disowned him when he came out of the closet as a college freshman, and my own father lampooned his gayness, I had to stand up for Carl. Fortunately, no one shot him. And I, myself, had to overcome childhood indoctrination regarding gayness, and what that means. After all, sexual preference aside, he remained my friend!
I’m not yet certain how I feel about comic books being tools for political correctness. Of course, even Peanuts eventually had a Black character. I suppose comic books must change with the times, as well. I don’t know how the Archie friend’s character’s gayness is shown to the comic book audience. Obviously kids are more aware of such things than I was 50-60 years ago.
But, I know one thing.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13 (ASV)
If we can teach this to the self-absorbed-faces-glued-to-their-cell-phone adolescents, then all is not lost. If only adults read comic books.
Here’s an interesting, if not fully convincing, piece by Ronald Bailey at Reason on what the future of privacy might look like.
“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it,” declared tech guru Scott McNealy back in 1999. Fifteen years later McNealy’s statement is no longer factually controversial.
We all give up gigabytes of personal information to Facebook, Foursquare, Google, AT&T—and that’s just the voluntary stuff. In the past year, former government contractor Edward Snowden has revealed that our own government has been engaging in pervasive domestic spying, keeping track of everyone we’ve called, for how long we spoke, and from where. Privacy looks increasingly like a quaint mid-20th century relic.
In his new book, The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (Current), former Futurist Deputy Editor Patrick Tucker explores a more positive take on how we can personally use the megabytes of information generated and collected by our digital paraphernalia to help us live smarter, healthier, and better lives, and maybe even regain some measure of privacy. Tucker, who is now technology editor at Atlantic Media’s Defense One, argues that all that data will enable us to predict and thus take more control over our futures. The Internet of Things is being born as the world is increasingly loaded up with gadgets that can sense where they are and can report what is happening around them to any other device connected to the network.
To illustrate just how naked we all soon will be, Tucker opens with a vignette from the near future in which your cellphone wakes you with a text message alerting you that on your way to work you will run into an old girlfriend who is going to tell you the happy news that she is engaged. The phone tells to you to act surprised at the news. This scenario unfolds as predicted, but instead of waiting for her to tell you, you blurt out your congratulations. As it happens, she not yet made her new romantic status public and is quite alarmed by your mistimed felicitations. The phone did warn you to act surprised.
Science Fiction? Hardly. Perhaps there is something to be said about going off-the-grid and becoming full Luddite? :-(
c/o Floyd @ threedonia
Every day my morning ritual includes signing onto the Internet, checking my email, the news (such as I can stomach) and doing my blog (such as it is).
Then, usually after I read the daily almanac, I start perusing my blogfriends (TM), many of whom are listed as ‘The Usual Suspects’ on the blog.
But, more and more I’m distressed. In the 3 1/2 or so years I’ve been reading blogs, many have dropped off the radar. Some due to unfortunate circumstances (death, illness, law-enforcement-interaction), others just because they lost the interest or material to continue blogging. To wit:
Whose Paranoid, Eternity Road, TJIC, Hedgeroot, Misanthropic, Tall Tree-Short Rope, Tango Juliet, North, A Girl And Her Gun, To which I replied, Tranquility Lost…
And one or two more who went ‘dark’ or are now password protected.
(I’m certain I’ve missed a couple of others. Apologies.)
The most recent is Kevin Baker’s The Smallest Minority. Due to family illness and business concerns, he’s not stopping blogging entirely, but is cutting back.
And I’m sad. He and the others are missed.
PS – Does anyone know CoolChange’s (Tranquility Lost) status? Last I knew he was quite ill and hasn’t responded to my email.
I’m not rich. Even when I was able to go to a regular 40-hour/week job with benefits. I was lower-middle class, at best. Now that I’m on medical disability, I can barely make ends meet. I lost my home a year and a half ago.
Cars and guns are important to me. Guns apparently more so. I currently am driving a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue with over 140K miles on her. She needs a lot of work I cannot afford. And I certainly cannot afford a (newer, in-better-shape) different vehicle. Sigh.
I also own two guns: a custom 1911 and an electroless nickel Smith .38. Both have seen better days, but, just like the ol’ clunker, THEY WORK!
Murphy’s Law recently posted a photo of his workhorse pistol, a Beretta 92F. She looked a little like she had been dragged behind something for a while. Obviously, this made no difference to Murphy, who said she worked and shot like a champ!
Which brings me to my point. My car looks and works like crap, but she still works. My 1911 and revolver both function, albeit they are cosmetically imperfect.
So I’m a bigot. :-)
I LOVE the look of a nicely appointed vehicle and a fine firearm! When I first saw Murphy’s photo, my heart sank. I thought how sad it looks like that, and how much she resembled my well-worn 1911. And, I see nicely running cars on the street, painted all pretty, and I secretly loathe my beater car.
Okay, I don’t know if it’s bigotry or shallowness…
Thankfully (as of this writing) the car and guns still function, but there’s always tomorrow!
h/t Lagniappe’s Lair
Roomie went away for Easter Weekend.
Once again, I’m dog wrangler and now puppy wrangler.
Something new has been added.
As the dogs are not yet fully comfortable with the puppy (and for everyone’s protection) they are bivouacked downstairs, and the puppy (in her carrier) is quartered upstairs.
Usually on the roommate’s bed, with the crate door open (!) (Not that the puppy is spoiled, or anything…)
SO, in an effort to be consistent (sigh).
Each night since Friday has been a little different, but she has mostly slept through the night, and alerts me if she needs to use the facilities. (She is paper trained and has one in the communal bath). A good dog, but still a puppy. (3 months!)
The most difficult time is the shower. The puppy likes to join the
queen roommate in her shower, but with my physical disabilities, I fear I might step on her or slip.
So Lola has been relegated to her crate. Which she deems to be medieval torture, and screams and cries bloody murder! I’m certain the neighbors think I’m Michael Vick!
Showers have been quick.
Then, while getting dressed, Lola wants to steal socks and underwear, and play biting games with fingers and other flesh. OW!
SO, I took one of her toys from her crate – Flatty Fox – an unstuffed toy with squeakers at helm and stern, and played tug-of-war while getting dressed. Better than using my shorts!
Nope. She’s not spoiled.
Sometimes, I need a lift. Not just a ‘good time’, but something to remind me of others trials and tribulations in Life. And how they overcame them.
Life – It’s not just a board game or a cereal, anymore.
Being a fan of movies, I look to them as a source. (We’re not talking Pauly Shore, here, people.)
I watched one last night. The Great Escape. A fine film in it’s own right, based on a true and sad story about men fighting for freedom. What they endured, how they overcame, and sometimes were killed.
If you’ve not seen it, you should. Or read the book. (You Tube gives me nothing FTC!)
Yesterday was the anniversary of the accident.
Had she lived, she would be 31. Instead, she is permanently 12.
She was a terrific kid, blossoming into a terrific young woman. Smart, funny, aware, and a good citizen.
I love you and miss you Molly.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
IF YOU TAKE NOTHING ELSE FROM TODAY’S POST, GO AND HUG AND KISS THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE, AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM.
BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW…
(and no place for comments today – you’ve all been kind enough, thank you! - Guffaw)
The Art of Manliness (my go-to place for classic wisdom on the Web) recent posted 20 aphorisms, abhored (or ignored) in youth, but appreciated as I got older. (Sometimes)
An aphorism is a short, pithy statement that conveys a principle or contains a pearl of wisdom. Part of what makes them so powerful is that they can stand on their own without context; as the philologist Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel put it, “An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog.”
Here is one. CLICK on it to link to the remaining 19.