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self-reflection

This tag is associated with 13 posts

Integrity Diminishes…on little cat feet.

moral compassThe Art of Manliness does it AGAIN.  This time with an essay about Integrity.

I’m convinced a significant percentage of our adult population never (or rarely) considers the moral and ethical implications of their words and actions.  And we are the worse off because of this.  Most moral compasses have the needle missing.  And we’re passing this lackadaisical attitude to our children.

What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part I: Why Small Choices Count

A segment:

It’s not too difficult to discuss this quality in a general way and offer advice on maintaining one’s integrity of the “just do it” variety. But a quick glance at the never-ending news headlines trumpeting the latest scandal and tale of corruption shows that that’s not always the most effective approach. While the foundation of integrity is having a firm moral code of right and wrong, it can also be enormously helpful, even crucial, to understand the psychological and environmental factors that can tempt us to stray from that code. What’s at the root of our decision to sometimes compromise our principles? What kinds of things lead us to be less honest and what kinds of things help us to be more upright? What are some practical ways we can check our temptations to be immoral or unethical? How can we strengthen not only our own integrity, but the integrity of society as well?

You should go and read the whole essay.  And watch for the remaining three follows-up.  Hell, you should be checking out TAOM on a regular basis, regardless!

Clothespin for the Nose?

So, hear I am, poised over my mail-in ballot, making my choices.  (written over one week ago)  Do I hold my nose with one hand (figuratively) or make a third-party choice.  You will never know, as I believe in the Australian Secret Ballot! :-P

For those who didn’t care for the previous administration (and those who don’t care for the current one) here’s a partial list of current administration foibles, many carry-overs from the previous administration.

SO, Tweedledum or Tweedledee?

From Libertarian Reddit.  Posted here so I can find it for later reference. 
This won’t change the mind of a single Dem voter. (The Whited Sepulchre)  (or few Republicans! – Guffaw)
Obama sends more troops to Afghanistan – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8389778.stm
Obama appeals the Federal Court decision that “indefinite detention” is unconstitutional – http://www.businessinsider.com/unbelievable-obama-administration-has-already-appealed-ndaa-ruling-2012-9
Obama uses his Presidential Drone “Kill List” to kill American cleric without trial – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/world/middleeast/07yemen.html?_r=2&hp&
Continues to approve drone strikes that kill thousands of innocent civilians including women and children in Pakistan, Yemen, and other countries that do not want the US intervening – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/7361630/One-in-three-killed-by-US-drones-in-Pakistan-is-a-civilian-report-claims.html
Appointing Monsanto, GMO company with multiple unsafe practice violations, lobbyist to head the FDA – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/monsanto-petition-tells-obama-cease-fda-ties-to-monsanto/2012/01/30/gIQAA9dZcQ_blog.html
Continuing prohibition and Federal attacks on legal marijuana dispensaries – http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=685_1342311527
Protects AG Holder from Congressional “Fast and Furious” gun walking investigations – http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/06/white-house-invokes-executive-privilege-on-fast-and-furious-documents/
Bringing no charges against bank executives that misused bailouts – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/no-crime-no-punishment.html
Quadrupling the numbers of warrantless wiretapping since Bush era – http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/09/28/ACLU-Obama-Has-Quadrupled-Warrantless-Wiretaps
Violating the War Powers Act of 1973 – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/opinion/21Ackerman.html
Defends raids on Amish raw milk farmers – http://reason.com/blog/2011/06/10/obama-food-safety-czar-defends
Granting the FBI access to private electronic communication without warrant – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/opinion/30fri1.html?_r=3
Building an even more intrusive TSA – http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/218543.html
Says it’s legal to track individuals by pinpointing their cellphone without warrant – http://www.businessinsider.com/government-says-its-to-track-cell-phones-2012-10
Renewing FISA and NSA’s unregulated spying and banking of all wireless communication – http://truth-out.org/news/item/11540-uncle-sam-is-watching-you http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/20/whistleblower_the_nsa_is_lying_us
h/t The Whited Sepulchre

Revisiting FEAR

There’s a Huey Lewis song – The Power of Love.  Something else can have power if you give it some – FEAR.

In 2009, I was diagnosed with lymphoma and given six months of chemotherapy.  I lost my hair, my cancer, and my job.  And it took me some time to get disability benefits, including Medicare.  And on my meager disability, I couldn’t afford COBRA.

So I went for two years without any medical care, save affording some meds for my diabetes.  The other conditions I have had to wait.  Including follow-up with my oncologist.

When I was finally awarded Medicare last July, I thought great, now I can go see my oncologist.  In the previous two years he had scheduled a number of tests for me, but as I couldn’t afford them, I didn’t go.  And I worried about losing benefits if still in remission, and about not having gone soon enough if not.  The classic double-edged sword.

But, I finally found some courage and went yesterday.  My doctor completely understood why I’d not been in to see him, and I shared my trials of the past couple years with him:  few meds, losing my home, fears about benefits, ability to pay the 20% Medicare requires.  He was very understanding and accommodating.

He said as his exam showed no recurrence, and it had been over three years, there was no need for an MRI or other expensive tests!  I’m to return in six months, and probably one more time after that.  Then, only if I have symptoms.  He didn’t think being in remission would affect my benefits.  And, I’m still cancer free!

And isn’t knowledge and action better than ignorance and FEAR?  Perhaps I’ll remember this next time.

Back in the day…

My roomie and I have a running gag.  Actually, we have many running gags.  We’re a laugh-a-minute!  One of these gags involves channeling her late father.

It seems, whenever he was pining over some current issue (e.g. gasoline prices) he would say:

You know, it wasn’t that way back in 1967…

And, to keep his memory alive as we are sick and twisted, we have adopted similar verbiage.

JEEZUS I hate paying XXX for this!  It didn’t cost that much back in 1967 (or insert appropriate year).

Over at Random Acts of Patriotism, ASM826 takes a similar tack.

He wants to transport us back to 1954!  Via the WABAC Machine.

An excerpt:

There were 2 million people living in the metro Detroit area and it was one of the manufacturing centers of the world. Detroit today…

Of course, it wasn’t all lollypops and roses.  Racial strife, the Red Scare; let’s not forget the warts in this photo.  But,

If only we had the WABAC…or a DeLorean…

h/t ASM826, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Let There Be Light!

not me

Or a reasonably facsimile, thereof.  Eventually.

Having recently moved a house-full of stuff into one room, I’m still unpacking.  And trying to find places to put stuff.  Where I can find it when needed.

Ay, there’s the rub.  Finding stuff.  You see, my new efficiency studio flat bedroom does not have a central overhead light.  I’ve three lamps, two of the standing variety, one of which needs rewiring.  And the one lamp is only accessible in a far corner, behind numerous boxes and plastic totes.  I have to remind myself to leave the bathroom light on and the door ajar to find my way to the bedside table lamp.  Or use flashlights, after dark.

Last night I was getting ready to retire, and thought I’d shave first, as I feel better swimming in the AM having done so.  But alas, no new razors (which I’d just purchased last week) could be found, due to the multitude of boxes, coupled with the lack of proper lighting!

So, I guess I’ll take my stubble for a quick swim this morning.  Sigh.

(I know this is just a minor annoyance, and that the issue will eventually be resolved, but last night I was ticked.  I hate not being able to find what I need when I need it.  Guess I’d better get cracking on unpacking.)

NOW, where to put stuff…?

Habit, Routine…Malaise? Complacency!

I’m a creature of habit.  I LIKE being a creature of habit.  It means I do things routinely that would otherwise require thought.  Did you take your meds on time?  YES, it’s 0700 (for example).

Having recently moved, into a place with the added pleasure/duty/observation of a roommate, I’m developing new, or rather re-developing old habits.

One of these is before retiring, checking the perimeter to make certain nothing is out-of-place and the doors are closed and locked.  Basic stuff.

Of course, my roommate does this as well, but she isn’t as obsessive-compulsive as I.  (about THIS, anyway!  :-) )

But with these new routines, glitches arise.  The other day, we changed television signal services, and the satellite tech came and went.  We needed to acquire separate equipment to make one of the bedroom TVs function, and thought completing the connection would be easy.  It wasn’t.  Another technician was scheduled the next day to resolve the issue.

After he fixed everything (in about 10 minutes), he left, and we went about our day, my roommate and I, including going to pick up some fast food.

We returned and ate lunch.  Later that afternoon, I noticed the front door was unlocked.  I asked the roommate if she had unlocked it.  “No, you opened it when you let the satellite guy in.” was her response.

OOPS.  And I didn’t bother to check the perimeter when we left for lunch.  The front door had been unlocked when we left.  Anyone could have walked in and taken everything!

I’m making two points here.  1)  I now have a new duty with regard to home security, and have been performing it since with diligence.  And 2)  If you change your habits/routines/schedules/geography make certain you amend your behavior to keep up with it.  I never left my previous house unlocked in 18 years.  We were lucky.

Next time could be different.  Routine should never devolve into complacency.

Preconceptions

As I’ve stated many times, when I began this blog I’d no expectations of anyone bothering to read it.  It was (and is) MY weblog. For my reasons.  I expected friends and family to stop by for a look, and that would be about it.  Before I left the BLOGGER software platform, I had 48 followers (after one year of blogging).  Then, I moved over here to WordPress, and the ‘follower’ process began anew.

The most interesting (and sometimes confounding) development about this process is not all of my former followers followed me over to this new site.  I left instructions, a map, and everything!  However, I’ve not only attracted many new followers, but many are off-the-mark from the expected wild-eyed, gun toting, radical wookiesuiters  responsible firearms-owning libertarians.  Many more folks from off-shore, persons of an artistic bent, others than the small corner community in which I’d painted myself.

And how terrific is THAT?

To date, 39 people are following Guffaw in AZ, only four months after switching to WordPress!  Of course, I have had an increase in spammers, but, I guess that’s the cost of doing business.

Regardless – Thank You! - Guffaw

Toughness

One of my favorite Internet sites is The Art of Manliness.  I was fortunate to find it in my ‘net travels prior to it’s inclusion in the GBBL (thanks, North!), but that doesn’t matter.  It’s authored by a nice couple who believe that many of the traditions normally passed on generationally have been interrupted by the stuff of modern society – political correctness, lack-of-gentility, the isolation of Internet use, and so on.

They’ve posted articles of an interest to this audience about how to shoot and clean firearms, sharpen knives, and even more traditional skills, like how to use a straight razor – and sharpen it!

Sometimes, they have guest posts, and it’s one of those I’m addressing today.  A recent essay (at the link, above) is about toughness.  In this age of political correctness, toughness is largely viewed as a negative.  But it’s something that needs to be (re)acquired by us if we as a Nation are to survive.

When discussing the Colorado shooting with someone the other day, I was told about a video of an earlier shooting wherein a father abandoned his daughter in a video store to save his own ass.  It took a stranger to place himself between the girl and the shooter to stop her from being killed.  The fact that any adult, especially a father, would value his life over a child’s makes me physically ill.

We need to get tough, again.  And teach this as a value to our children.

Life can be painful.  Physically, emotionally, spiritually.  Obviously we don’t need to abuse our charges, but need to show them by example how we handle the stuff of Life.  How we handle challenges.

As author Marcus Brotherton states:

One harmful mindset that can keep a man from fulfilling his calling and potential is self-coddling. This is when he convinces himself he deserves a break, and runs to something that ultimately harms himself.

And society as a whole.  There have been no news reports of anyone rushing to stop to Aurora shooter.  I think the generation prior to 1950 would have had several.

Bueller?  Bueller?

The Ongoing Project is Ongoing…

…and is getting to the end.

And, because the Universe delights in complicating such matters, this week the temperatures are going into the ‘teens (113* F+) AND I’ve developed some-kind of cold.  And my 12 year old car doesn’t have working AC.

Now, this is interesting, as I usually don’t get sick, e.g. colds.  When I become ill, I go whole-hog, e.g. diabetes, flesh-eating bacteria, lymphoma.  Nothing as plebeian as a cold.

Not that I desire something more serious.  Just that the timing sucks.

But time marches on.  And as was stated in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, “The Universe tends to unfold as it should.”

And so will this project.

I’m TIRED…

I’m TIRED.

This project J and I have been working on continues.  While progress IS being made, the simple fact is neither one of us is as energetic as we once were, and we’ve fallen into a pattern.  Work one or two days, concurrently moving stuff, then on the third day, we rest.

It’s not a choice, it’s a requirement.

I AM convinced we will complete the assigned task within the time allotted – but BOY are we tired!  Maybe it’s something to do with stairs and 100 degree F + temperatures (?)

I’m hoping when this is completed at the end-of-the-month, things will get back to ‘normal’ (whatever THAT means!)

Madeline Kahn (as Lilli von Stupp) said it best.  If only I were tired for her reasons…
“I’m Tired” NSFW

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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