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Pity The Nation

https://i1.wp.com/m.likesuccess.com/quotes/14/669678.png

h/t Brock Townsend

Tool-Bearing Animals

The Brilliant-and-Lovely TAMARA spake thus:

Look…

Just because H. habilis was several branches back on the family bush doesn’t mean we’re supposed to stop being handy.

I get not carrying a pistol. It’s not for everybody and, if done with any level of seriousness, demands certain commitments and obligations that not everyone wants to undertake, and that’s cool. It’s still (mostly) a free country.

But how do you go through life without a flashlight and some kind of knife? Our most primitive ancestors carried sharp rocks around with them. Hell, carrying a sharpened rock around in case of future need is basically how we tell where the apes stop and the people start in our fossil family album. If they could have carried a light around without it burning their fingers or going out all the time, you bet they would have.

They make flashlights and knives small enough to accommodate any code, dress or legal, up with which you have to put.

AMEN!
I (and many of my brethren and sistern) have carried knives in perpetuity!  And many times flashlights.  (Especially now, with the advent of modern technology involving LCD bulbs and lithium batteries! – small!)
Unfortunately (or fortunately) my knife is mostly utilized to open envelopes (my maternal grandfather would cringe at persons using thumbs and fingers to open envelopes – he had a Christy!), and packages (my roommate is going for the Amazon customer of the year award – of course, she has her own cutlery!)  My Kershaw Ken Onion Blur rests clipped in my right, front pocket.
And Flashlights?  I’ve a two-inch long one affixed to my keychain, and a larger one (with lithium batteries) in my car console, and another in my nightstand.  AND, a Maglite nightstand adjacent!
Sight is of some value.
As is a cutting, stabbing, slashing device.

Happy Birthday, Dad, Belatedly

Dad1

Yesterday, November 16, would have been my Father’s 100th birthday. Instead, he passed at age 61.

There were so many life lessons he was unable to impart to me.

Calm reflection (he was an angry rage kind of guy); Moderation (he was an alcoholic and a compulsive overeater); Mechanical ability (I once saw him attempt to repair a leaky radiator hose with Scotch tape(!)  I was a kid, and even I knew that wouldn’t work).

But I knew he loved me.

After all, when I was born prematurely (and my twin brother didn’t make it) he hurriedly ran to the nearest church to pray for my survival.

He tried to make me an athlete, as he had been.  Alas, my developing a physical disability @ age 12 stopped those attempts in it’s tracks.  And from that point forward, he was unclear how to relate to me.

I only saw him cry once.  When he told me how proud he was of my graduating the Eighth Grade, and that I never asked him for money.  To be fair, I didn’t know I was allowed to!  When my Mother passed, he kept his grief private.

I’m certain his childhood was horrific.  A stern father who had been a Marine and railroad policeman, and his having grown up poor during the Depression.

He had not been raised to be a hugger.  I don’t remember him ever hugging me.  A firm handshake was the order-of-the-day.

But, he did teach me a few important things.  Loyalty (be true to your friends – he was to his); Honesty (your word IS your bond); and yes, Love.

He loved his wife (my mother) with all his heart.  Watching her die @ age 41 of emphysema must have been horrible. (I was in the Second Grade, what did I know?)  And in spite of the fact they were estranged, my (half)sister was his jewel.  He was very protective of her, which probably in-part caused the estrangement.  But she was another connection to his wife, which I don’t think she ever saw.

And he kept his heart disease hidden from me until it was too late.

He was flawed – he was human.

I love you and miss you, Dad.  Happy Birthday!

Life Is Loss

From the time we are very small, we believe Life is about acquiring things.  Food, warmth, love…stuff.  It’s when we are a little older we realize that Life, too, is about loss.

yin yangThe Yin to the Yang.

And, most of us don’t understand or like that.  In fact, most of us hate it!

And, it becomes a matter of degree.  That toy that broke (with which we didn’t play, anyway), gives way to the lost book.  The dog that died.  The high school girlfriend who moved away.

And we choose to suffer for our loss.

But, there is a larger picture, if we choose to see it.

If we didn’t lose ‘it’, we wouldn’t really appreciate it.

My dear friend Bob (of the many Bobs I know) texted me yesterday, to advise me that on Friday he had his left foot and about six inches of his left leg amputated.  He’s been diabetic for many years, and had already lost a toe.  Even though I lost the use of my right hip when I was 12, I still grieved for him.  I’m certain he has a long and arduous road ahead involving prosetheses, crutches, and much pain.

And grief over the loss of his foot.

Most of us don’t even think of our feet or legs, unless they are giving us difficulty.  A blister, a bunion, a corn.  Calluses.  For me, calluses are difficult, because grinding them off is problematic with a fused hip.  And, I too, am diabetic.

I still am fortunate enough to still have all my extremities, though.  You can bet my nightly cursory examination of said feet was more than cursory last night, though!

Molly 1986 2Today, is my daughter Molly’s 32nd birthday.  I spent most of her 12 years on this planet operating with the assumption that, as nature intends, she would outlive me, and would suffer with my passing.

I was wrong.  And I survive here to do the suffering.

I love you and miss you, Molly.  And sometimes grieve over you.

But, I also appreciate the time I had to know and love you.  I believe so much more than if we had continued in our parallel life paths.  Because of the yin and yang.

And I’ve my memories to keep.

Forever.

Go and hug and kiss those you love, and tell them.  Because you never know.

And, if you are diabetic, check your feet often.

Having Gratitude Isn’t Always Easy

I’m in whine mode.

(I know I said at the outset that I wouldn’t use this weblog for therapy, but, hell, it’s my blog, so here goes…)

Holidays suck.

Why?  Not only do I not have any funds to get neat presents for friends and family, but, I’ve no one with whom to share the non-materialistic parts of the holidays.  One terrific couple I know gifted me with a cool assortment of cheeses and beers (including Lindeman’s raspberry ale!), and all I could give them in response was a small bag of garlic goldfish.

Hardly an even trade.

I love my sister and her kids, and her kid’s kids dearly, but going to a family celebration alone with certain people in absentia is always painful.

Now it’s the downhill slide from the New Year, to Molly’s birthday, to the anniversary of the accident, in March.

We’re told the best way to get out of this kind of funk is to create a gratitude list.  So here goes…

I’ve a roof over my head, and a working car.  Thanks to my friends!  I’m on Medicare.  I’ve disability benefits, which, while in no way am I rich, I can buy food, gas, and pay rent.  I’ve a select group of friends, both locally and on the Internet, who help out whenever they can.  Many of these friends have gone above and beyond – for years – when I am unable to give back in kind.

This must mean something.

I’m disabling comments for this post.  Because, in lieu of giving me an Internet “there-there”, or a virtual hug (or a kick in the pants), please stop for a moment and create your own gratitude list.

It helps.

Behind The Times

Most of you know I was raised on TV and movies.  It was an escape from my somewhat dysfunctional family and from the daily stress of life.  My roomie and I still enjoy much on electronic media, especially now that so many choices are available.

I recently completed watching the many morality plays that made up Have Gun – Will Travel.  Certainly NOT your typical horse opera.  And I went looking for something else.

And I found something.  It was produced in 2008.  (see, behind the times!)

john adamsJOHN ADAMS

It was an HBO production, and I found it on On Demand on DISH.  A seven part mini-series.

This, too, is no horse opera.  It is based on the David McCullough book about our second President, and his life leading up to his Presidency.  He was not handsome; he was not a great orator.  He didn’t stir the passions his cousin Sam Adams did.

But, he WAS a man of principle.

I find myself wondering if he was the last man of principle to hold that office, politics being as they are.

He abhorred slavery, and unlike some of the other Founding Fathers didn’t own any.  He was very uncomfortable with Dr. Franklin’s dalliances while they were on a diplomatic visit to France during The Revolution, and by all accounts was loyal to his wife.  He was not afraid to pick up a gun in defense of his country.

But few remembered the second President.  Until the book and this mini-series.

You should read/watch it!

COOL!

Cool!

I’ve NEVER thought of myself as cool.

joe cool(Even when I was ‘Joe Cool’ hanging around the student union.  “What classes are you taking, Joe?”  “Classes?”)

I’ve always been dorky.  Dorky thin, dorky fat, dorky thin again.  Now dorky less fat.  But never cool.

I get grief from my roomie about calling myself an iconoclast.  When everyone had long hair – mine was short.  When they all went yuppie short – I had a pony tail.  All these groups of ‘individuals’, copying each other to find themselves.  Sheesh.

But I was never cool.

Below, here’s a picture of me driving:

cool dude

Building Character

I’m all about building character.marvin

Not THIS kind…

Largely because of errors-in-judgement I’ve made in my own life, I find myself drawn to other’s opinions with regard to how one should live.  And I sometimes even try to apply them to my standards, and see how (or if) they fit.

I’ve occasionally referred to The Art of Manliness in this blog.  While much of what is written there is a how-to, some of it is a paradigm-breaking thing.  Thinking outside the box, as it were.

This recent essay challenges the mold of modern parenting.  The one wherein a parent tells the child they can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it.  Now my parents tried their own version of this which was I wasn’t living up to my potential.  Not exactly a positive message.  I tried to encourage my own daughter, but let her figure out her own limits for herself.  She wasn’t necessarily supposed to live my dreams.  She was to live hers.

“You can do anything you put your mind to!”

“The sky’s the limit!”

“You’re the best!”

“Follow your dreams!”

Did you hear these kinds of things growing up? Your parents sure meant well. They really felt like you were the most special creature to arrive on planet earth – a beautiful boy full of limitless possibilities. You could do anything in the world!

But now that that boy is grown up and in his twenties, you might find that such encouragement has become more paralyzing than motivating. If your possibilities really are endless, how will you ever decide which path to take and what to do with your life? (TAOM)

I would encourage you to visit the link above and also read the other essays.  I often learn things there – and I’m old!

Better than thinking I can blow up the Earth because it blocks my view of Venus!

IDIOCY ON PARADE!

Sipsey Street Irregulars recounts for us idiocy in it’s highest form.

Those who know better.

Gunfire and moments of fear as a rural Oregon school tests its readiness.

Two masked men wearing hoodies and wielding handguns burst into the Pine Eagle Charter School in this tiny rural community on Friday. Students were at home for an in-service day, so the gunmen headed into a meeting room full of teachers and opened fire.

Someone figured out in a few seconds that the bullets were not drawing blood because they were blanks and the exercise was a drill, designed to test Pine Eagle’s preparation for an assault by “active shooters” who were, in reality, members of the school staff. But those few seconds left everybody plenty scared.

I’m with Dutchman6.  If I’d been present (and legally armed) I’d have shot the bastards!

Reminiscent of my security guard days, walking into a cafeteria right after an ‘armed robber’ put a gun in the cashier’s face.  It was Halloween and it was a friend of hers in costume.  I arrived five minutes later.

He would have been shot – right there.

The Wisdom of Will Rogers

will rogers

Will Rogers was a comedian and actor from the early part of the Twentieth Century.  Before becoming a stage personality, he had actually been a cowboy – some of his act involved lasso tricks!

Will
Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash, was one of the
greatest
political sages this country has ever known. 
Some of his sayings:
1.
Never slap a man
who’s chewing tobacco.
2.
Never kick a cow
chip on a hot day.
3.
There are two
theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.
4.
Never miss a good
chance to shut up.
5.
Always drink
upstream from the herd.
6.
If you find
yourself in a hole, stop digging.
7.
The quickest way
to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.
8.
There are three
kinds of men:
The
ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them
have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
9.
Good judgment
comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
10.
If you’re riding’
ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still
there.
11.
Lettin’ the cat
outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.
12.
After eating an
entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring.
He
kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.
The
moral
When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
ABOUT
GROWING OLDER… 
First
~
Eventually you
will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about
it.
Second
~
The older we get,
the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for. 
Third
~
Some people try to
turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way.
I’ve
traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.
Fourth
~
When you are
dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
Fifth
~
You know you are
getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
Sixth
~
I don’t know how I
got over the hill without getting to the top.
Seventh
~
One of the many
things no one tells you about aging is that it’s such a nice change from being
young.
Eighth
~
One must wait
until evening to see how splendid the day has been.
Ninth
~
Being young is
beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
Tenth
~
Long ago, when men
cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft.
Today
it’s called golf.

And,
finally ~
If you don’t learn
to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.

h/t my dear sister, Ellie

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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