Wednesday, February 24, 2016

You Are What You Eat

Wintertime is cold and forbidding to venture outside, so we huddle inside….and then eat.
Why is this?
When we are stuck inside our warm homes we binge watch bad television cuddled under warm covers and we fill our stomachs.
Are we hungry?
Not really because we are doing nothing to use up calories but our society has promoted that we constantly eat and so we do. The social media is full of suggestions of dishes based on starch with a tomato or cream sauce covered in cheese and washed down either by a sugar drink or alcohol. All the variations of sweet and salty can be consumed in easy to open microwave mentality gratification without thought to the stretch pants.
Looking at the food budget for the month of grey and snowy days, the fault is mine for purchasing whim desires with the only results of chowing down well passed what was a taste. Large meals of hearty stews to baked Italian dishes sopped up in breads to way too many pleasure cakes, creams and cookies bring the body to a staggering halt under the stomach expansion and the need to sleep.
Is this what winter is for? Eating??
Every year it seems the ritual after the holidays must continue. Do we blame it on the seasonal overindulgence or just an excuse to fill our time cooking and consumption? Is this the excuse to use all those fancy gadgets in the kitchen that just fill up cabinets and get in the way the rest of the year?
Vegetables and fruits are put aside for comfort food. Hundreds of studies (I don’t know what they are but I’m sure they are out there) and reports have theories on why we absorb food like it was air during the dark months of winter. As long as obesity becomes the norm and the abundance of varieties of tasty treats are available, chow down. It all helps the clothing manufacturers and the medical professionals stay in business.
 I don’t have all the answers for I just ate a pizza and now need to take a nap.
Tomorrow’s Story: “How To Become An Alcoholic”

Sunday, February 21, 2016

What Are You Waiting For?

Procrastination. Is it a disease or a lifestyle?
Just go ahead and do it. No, wait. It is the constant struggle of timing. Put it off until tomorrow.
So what does this have to do with February? Well it is time to do the taxes. There is still another month and a half before I have to file, but why wait?
Check! Taxes are done and now what?
The ‘To-Do’ list is never ‘To-Done’. The list turns dark and wrinkled and dusty everyday but nothing gets scratched off. Why not? Procrastination.
An avoidance syndrome learned early and used for years. It is a snooze alarm for life.
So how do you break a bad habit? Wake up earlier? Stay up later? Eat more? Eat less? Take a walk? Take a nap? Drink less? Drink more?
What did I do?
Easy, I went back to the inventory of what I’ve been wasting time writing over the years. It must have been what I’ve been thinking about instead of doing what I need to do.
Seems I’ve been thinking a lot about friends and family. Looks like I also have some opinions on relationships of the heart. Sure there is lots of silliness and some off-wall thoughts. Little religion but mostly vague open-ended statements and little politics about news reactions to the daily grind slip into my list. There is plenty of captures of the moment like a dairy of escaping thoughts.
Now looking at the purchases made in the past few years it tells it’s own story. Buy a sweatshirt and come back with three sweaters…and a sweatshirt. Buy toys that sit on the shelf because it just can be.
So what is next?
Tomorrow will see.


One of the hardest occupations on this planet must be the ‘translator’? Here is a person who can hear words and immediately translate to another culture in another language. Do they fully understand what they are saying?
Words and phrases have different meanings to other cultures and maybe misinterpreted. Without proper voice inflection and visual facial expression a statement could be confusing and maybe improperly received.
Since sentences base our thoughts, opinions, philosophies and prejudges and paragraphs are built on sentences, meanings could be misconstrued so the translator has to convey in a moments notice the correct idea of the sender with hopes the receiver will understand. Not an easy task.
Perhaps if we have more translators so it would be easier to communicate? Too often thoughts are repeated as if the first comment didn’t make sense. More often is the phrase “do you know what I mean?” placed after the comment. Do we have a problem understanding each other or are we just not listening?
Songs are sung, paintings painted, dances performed, poetry written all trying to express what the mind thinks but the mouth can’t say. All are forms of translating thoughts to another awaiting the reviews.
Emotional connections between two people are as awkward an example of needing a translator. The mind has a thought and the mouth says the words (no, not getting into tweets or text) hoping the other person will understand the deep sincerity of the thought. If the other person is on the same wave link they may hear the words and overindulge on the meaning. On the other hand, with emotional filters and past experiences, even the most romantic statement could be heard differently than intended.
That is why we have Valentine’s Day. Greeting card manufacturers have large staffs that transform the words “I Love You” into thousands of different translations hoping to get the message through. When the voice doesn’t work, try a card. Flowers and candy can also be used to emphasis the translation.
Of course the other might just respond, “What did you say?”

Saturday, February 20, 2016


It has been one of those old-age days. Not one of those days where you can’t find your keys or walk in another room and forget why, but I couldn’t remember names today.
I woke early at the sound of a big wind coming through. I was having a dream about some hotel that was going to promote a singing/songwriting contest and I was entering and that was just the beginning. There was some sort of football game going on but I decided to leave it to watch some women wrestlers.
No wait, it gets better. It seem my uncle was promoting this contest thing and wanted to make sure the presentation comments were right before we took the stage. He had written this little scribble in blue pen on some little post-it note and taped it to a big sheet of paper with a bunch of other descriptions of other groups. He had then folded the collections down to a size he could carry.
Well my uncle was struggling to unfold all this stuff without tearing the paper and I was struggling to try and read his writing and I think the wrestlers were also trying to help. Now comes the weird part.
I figure I have to take this scrap of paper back to my room and try to decipher it to a email I can send to the rest of the band for their agreement before approving the presentation. There was something about the name “Pervalle” but I have no idea where that came from. So I want to ask my uncle if I can borrow the paper to copy and bring it back to him….except I can’t remember his name.
Since he was family I should know his name but I can’t. I run down all the list of my mothers’ brothers and sisters and husbands and wives but cannot come up with his name. I can picture his face (of course, he is in my dream) but I cannot think of his name.
Since I’m already awake I figure I’ll get on the computer and do some family anthology to spark my memory. With a cup of coffee in hand, I turn on the computer prepared for a search of this name when BAM! It hit me. “Randy”. That is the name I was looking for.
An orgasmic relief came over me but I still wondered what I would find if I went back to sleep and venture to his room #1203. This uncle just didn’t seem to be that sort of flashy promoter, but dreams make their own rules.
So mystery solved and I could rest in peace for the rest of the day, until this evening. I suddenly thought about some television show with a red haired actress from the 70s.
Easy enough, just Google the name…..but I didn’t remember the name of the show or actress or even if it was in the 70’s. Like any good detective I plugged in clues and examined the results. Red haired actress? Red haired actress in the 70s? Red haired actress in a sitcom? 70s television sitcoms? Any sitcoms? Any television shows?
While you probably already know the answer and are laughing, I went through this search for three….THREE hours! Go ahead and laugh for after awhile I started to give up because it really wasn’t that important. This wasn’t going to be on the test, but I kept going back. I couldn’t give up.
Maybe the additional beer made the logic kick in and I started to analysis what I was really looking for. I didn’t know the actress or the name of the show but I thought it was a name. I wasn’t even sure of the year, but I knew it was on television.
So I figured about when I saw it and what other shows were on at the same time. Then I got it!
The same producer of “The Jeffersons” and “All In The Family” produced this show. With the name Norman Lear, Wikipedia tells me the secret.
“Mary Hartman Mary Hartman”. And the actress was Louise Lasser. Phew!
Do I feel I accomplished anything? Well I found the treasure but it wasn’t really a treasure. I was just a moment in time that was forgettable until I couldn’t remember.
Now where did I put those keys?
* Note the plug for Bill Nelson’s illustration. No charge Bill.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Golden Rule

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?
 I believe that is how the story goes.

The subject is morality. Not mortality for we all knows where that goes. 
Morality has been preached and taught and even legislated since time began. Morality, some say, is what keeps us from going back to a time of anarchy.

Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are distinguished as ‘proper’ and those that are ‘improper’.
Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion, or culture.
Immorality is the opposition to morality, while amorality is as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles.

Ethics is commonly used interchangeably with ‘morality,’ and sometimes it is used more narrowly to mean the moral principles of a particular tradition, group, or individual.
Some socio-biologists contend that the set of behaviors that constitute morality evolved largely because they provided possible survival and/or reproductive benefits or evolutionary success. Humans consequently evolved “pro-social” emotions, such as feelings of empathy or guilt.
So moral codes are ultimately founded on emotional instincts and intuitions that were selected for in the past because they aided survival and reproduction?
Empathy, reciprocity, altruism, cooperation, and a sense of fairness are all signs of morality but we possess the ability to engage in deception, gossip and reputation of others.

There are many types of religious value systems. Modern monotheistic religions define ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ by the laws and rules set forth by their respective scriptures and interpretations.
Religions provide different ways of dealing with moral dilemmas. In monotheistic traditions, certain acts are viewed in more absolute terms, such as abortion, murder, atrocities, sexual practice, slavery or divorce.
Religious teachings can be read as giving us a carte blanche for harsh attitudes to children, the mentally handicapped, animals, the environment, the divorced, unbelievers, people with various sexual habits, and elderly women.

No matter the teachings or the training or the examples, we all seem to know in our gut when something is not right. We may perform immoral or amoral acts, with a self-described shame only judged if caught.
We hold our moralist proud except when the rubber hits the road we look the other way. We will invade other countries only to leave despair and desolation. Our moral solution is to throw some money at it and walk away. Our moral dilemma can be ignored until the water turns to poison or the plastic washes up on the beaches or nuclear waste doesn’t go away.

Do we have a moral obligation to take care of the rest of the globe? Do we have a moral obligation to take care of each other? Are we morally obligated to care for ourselves?
What was morally acceptable at one point in history may not be now or visa versa. There is no definitive line on what ‘is’ or ‘is not’ moral, only a vague suggestion and a personal decision.

Only questions, and no answers, at least from this writing.

What does “Will You Be My Valentine?” Really Mean?

It is that time of year again. All the Christmas stuff is put away, football is over, television sucks, the groundhog has made predictions and it is too cold to go outside. There are more leftovers than even the Simpsons could eat.
Must be time for some amore.
That special day in the month of winter sponsored by the florist, greeting cars and chocolate industries to show your emotional connection to your significant other. Ain’t love grand…. and expensive?
So to show your true emotionally feeling about someone else, whether it is a spouse you’ve been around for years or that boyfriend/girlfriend/ or whatever the kids figure out these days or a complete stranger (try that one without getting slapped). What says love like something that will make you fat and rot your teeth and vegetation that will wilt and die or some crummy made up statement by a person who lives in Utah re-writing mush that you would never say in person.
 Back in elementary school, as best as I remember, each kid was assigned to make a valentine card from construction paper, white glue, and crayons to present to another in the classroom. It was the start of something big. We were actually being taught how to attract the attention of another person with gifts expressing our (what for it) LOVE!
It seems our society wants us to be with someone else. The natural selection approved by religion to promote reproduction and the continuum of the species.
What did we know? A bunch of kids doing a school project and suddenly there was a kiss on the cheek. That is when it happens. It all starts there. We don’t know what it means or what to do with it but is better than a bruise or a cut or a cold.
We will become addicted to this feeling and for years seek a repeat. We dress a certain way, comb our hair a certain way, hang around with certain people and read all the instructional magazines in hope of attracting another for that kiss on the cheek.
And so ‘that’ day is here again to show your appreciation to another for putting up with you. A special candlelit dinner and soft music and perhaps a glass of wine while gazing into each other’s eyes like teenagers. It is all part of the drill.
So tomorrow I may do something unusual? While the bubbly is flowing and all the lovers renew their bonds, there will be those of us who never got that card in elementary school. No one was ever our valentine.
Stay tuned….

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Circus Comes To The Tummy Temple

So it is that special day. Sunday? Oh yeah it is that and so much more. At least that is what I hear.
It is the last BIG game and the end of a seemingly short season so it is a football extravaganza day. Today we get to find out more facts about a few folks that we don’t even know about our friends. Does that right tackle color his hair? What kind of shoelaces does the kicker wear?
In the best attempt to follow the sport’s theme, I’ll do a daily report of the total boredom of this spectacular day.
The morning was like every other morning. Nothing was going to happen until the whistle blew. Too early to suit up but a few stretches and yawns and settle into reading the daily notes while hydrating with hot brown liquid. A few game changes overnight and a couple of comments to the coaches before another horizontal stretch.
Once the sun (or today, lack of the sun) came up it was time to move. It is game day and no more lollygagging around. It is ‘L’ day.
Upon the field locking up the locker room the rest of the team is starting their warm ups. With full knowledge that the buffet was not complete, there was need for a 5-mile run before the game.
The air is brisk with still dampness in the air. The wind is coming in from the north. Guys are walking many, many dogs. Wonder where all the cheerleaders are? The traffic is lite as the deep breathing and the leg pumps and the chill in the air confirms the game is on.
Goal! I arrive at the destination #1. It is still pre-game time but seems the teams are hungry. And the teams are very, very thirsty. I don’t see any of the referees but I think that couple is using illegal use of hands. Oops, there is a fumble in the bread aisle. Offside penalty in the pasta aisle. There was encroachment in the long lines and a few false starts from impatient passengers and a pass interference from the cute friendly girl in front of me by that big ring.
Now the bus was loaded as more and more and more participants to the circus entered the ring. Then was when I had to make my next play. As the clowns circled the Tummy Temple, I await my spot to break through and get to the next first down. I move out and then the whistle blows.
A cheerleader stops me cold. Maybe she was an umpire and I was making illegal motions. I stopped in my tracks and avoided the tackles to go back and receive the call. I may have lost a down but the game was not over.
It was a good call so I lined up in a different position and made it off the field without an interference call. Hut, hut, hut, go straight, avoid the potholes, cut left and then cut right and then cut left and go long. Cut right and then cut left and free space to the last cut right. Time out and take a breath. Hut, hut, hut and the light is green to go. Let the front line make a way and cut down to the goal line. Score! As they say in the other football game.
Huddle up with the team and open the buffet. Rehydrate and watch the moves of players who could run circles around those guys on the green striped lawn. Hand offs, swooping in catches, sudden turns and jives and tackles with recoveries and no fumbles.
Put on the uniform, turn on the electronics and the day is ready for the BIG ‘L’.
So what is it? Fun vs the last dance? Enough of all that silliness, it is time for the zebras to get on the field. No wait… there is all that pre-game pomp and circumstance.
Here is a list of most valuable old men who were what they were when they were. Wonder why OJ wasn’t there? I’m already snoozing. Oops! Then we go nose blind.
Ahhhhh the screaming children are going wild but they are just wearing themselves out for the introductions. Tomorrow will be raining and the parents will have to deal with the screams.
The kitty cats are on the field and there go the horses and girls wearing chaps. Let’s hear the blab-blab from the coaches like they are going to tell some secrets. Why don’t they interview the girls wearing chaps?
Oh gosh we are going to Honor America? I don’t normally watch this network so I’m adapting to their presentation. Bring out the hankies for “America” by a bunch of people our country hire to kill other people. Mountains and waters and soldiers at attention with a deaf signing and teams wait on the sidelines. Look at all the state flags. Out comes the big flag and Lady Ga-Ga to sing the national anthem. Really? Peyton has his hand on his heart and Cam in his own world and then the jets.
Anyone got a quarter? Horses go first by default and first play is good. The old man starts throwing. Interesting coach without one of those laminated highlighted charts. So the horses kick three and now time for commercials.
Work out and then drink beer. Isn’t that counter productive. Now the confusing stuff or greats and aliens eating avocados.
Back to the blab-blab-blab and we will see what the other side does. Oh I forgot the guy I don’t like gets hosted up on a piano.
Yikes! Too high of a pass from Camaramadingdong. Nope, couldn’t get 10. High kick, some mouth-chatter and back to commercials.
Hummm, looks like it might just be a defensive game.
Uh oh, the first challenge comes up bad to the talking heads. The game plays on. Mo’ uh oh and fumble for a touchdown. Yep, this might be a defensive game. 10 – 0.
Back and forth and back and forth and no run game. Yep, more blitz. Now let’s see what happens?
Change sides and shave your face and ride a car and buy a house on a phone. Camarama takes off and then gets the right side all excited and they take off….too early. Is this going to be a quarterback run off?
Oops! Grab my face and lose the space and lose 6 points. 7 – 10.
Oops again, now beer America and skittles. Yet I digress for a kick into the end zone.
A fumble or a not fumble or a new telephone or some turtles or a bunch of hot guys to stop a car?
Back and forth and back and forth and nobody likes their shoes and a trick play that loses it’s magic.
Oops! The ponies missed the fair, but it was not fair, catch and off he goes. So kick and 7 – 13.
Oops! Missed the pass. Uh oh more penalties on the horses, but the next play they get it back. Enjoy a soda, made in America and a burp until half time show time and blitz and glitz.
Oops! A good run from the horses and the children are still happy to play in the dark.
Oops! There is an interception but just no running game.  Remake movies, stealing cars and back to the game. Too many almost catches so it seems defense is winning the day. And that is that in the half.
The kids are still playing and so the toilets will flush.
Energy? Nice one. Banking? Not so much. And the kids are screaming.
Half time reviews: Both quarterbacks are struggling.
OK whirly stage and where did all the violins go? What is that marching band doing here? Hey that guy is play a Tele like a guy I know has one. Hopping flowers. Is this a selfie show? Uh oh, it just changed from color to black hip-hop. Break it down. Don’t believe it just watch. Ohhhh, now we get them sazy chicks in black leather with fireworks behind them. Humm? Arrow to an X.  Just saying. Now a duo play and then the white boy shows up. A remember when moment. There are those violin girls singing getting it together. Humm? Haven’t we heard this before? Shoot off more fireworks and everyone is yelling. Now have a drink of a sugar cola following sexy credits.
Inspirational commercials, with nice graphics persuade you to purchase cars. More promotional commercials for the network and the kids don’t get quiet.
Second half and looks like it aren’t going to happen. Oops! Sorry I missed that 45-yard catch. Nope not a running game night.
Oops! Hits the upright. Not a good sign. The ponies must be paying attention to all the doggies buying chips? How do you sell a crappy car? Sell free tax? Then bring in video India games. More special effects and I’m yawning.
Omaha and the ponies are moving but they get stopped for a kick but that one is good. 7-16.
Coldplay are sitting backstage right now celebrating they nailed it.
More violent fantasies like some distorted video game for selling a candy bar or some such nonsense.
Woooo! A long pass but then a run all over the place to try to find a place. Oops! Another throws through to a fumble. Cammy cammy cammy.
Pandas selling websites and Harry selling ketchup, then another 3 down and out.
Gads. Now sheep are singing ‘Queen’ and we are paying attention. Oh yeah, there is another beer commercial and that’s why.
Delay of game? Really? D-fence seems to be working.
Kids and choirs and more local promotions and selling videos and insurance and plumbers are what I’m watching.
The ponies have a good pass but bad actions of frustrations moves the ball forward until he get’s sacked.
Over turn? We will see as we have to watch more close-ups of  graphic shots with an unforgettable soundtrack. Gads we are back to shaving and more self-promotions.
Don’t look good for the kittens. Now an English woman will belittle us for drinking beer. What?
Oh NO! Cam?? What were you doing? Oops! Again the better team will win. Ouch!
Oops! There goes another touchdown. 10-22.
OK add insult to injury and now waiting for the confetti for the beer I’ve been drinking.
Good game all an all. Then it is over.

How Do You React?

For every action there is a reaction they say. How we react to that action can be telling on our interface with the world around us.
Social media, as it is today, offer immediate responses to questionable statements or ‘actions’ that in retrospect seem unsuited for even consideration, but like being pitched a fastball, we swing.
On the bigger picture of how we react to each other on a daily basis, I ponder how we react to each other in social situations.
Some of them, like parties and social occasions, have certain formal requirements to follow to get along with others and satisfy our host expectations of a good time. We play nice with others, usually for the open bar.
Working situations require respect of those in commanding positions no matter our thoughts of their competence for they pay our salaries and we must obey. We cow down for the security of keeping our jobs and are silent when total foolishness starts for our own self-preservation.
Yet I wonder, if any one of us stood up in a boardroom and slammed his or her fist on the desk, what would everyone else do?
Some I feel would sit quiet in amazement waiting for the person in the position of power to tell the rest what to do. Some would back away at a divisive action recoiling in wonder and fear. Some might stand up and start to shout back in an alpha reaction of assertiveness.
The same thought is to a disaster. It doesn’t have to be a major disaster, it may just be a traffic accident or a shooting or a family squabble that gets out of hand.
From what I have witnessed there are those who come to look but do not get involved. There are those who flee and don’t want to see or think about it.
Luckily for you and me there are those few caring folks who do get involved to calm the havoc and find the resources to handle whatever bad situation confronts us. For those few who have volunteered to be trained to deal with things most of us don’t want to even comprehend, we are saved.
The same seems true for the trolling and awkward (I’m being kind here) statements posted on the Internet. Are we so emboldened to poke the bear every time until it fights back? Do we need to feel sheltered in our anonymous to say the things we wish we couldn’t?
A brief encounter or a long-term commitment has those moments when words are said that cannot be taken back. No amounts of flowers or apologies can remove the scare.
Our reactions to actions are what make us special. For at that brief moment, we might just let the barriers down and say what we really feel?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Laugh With Me

It is 5AM. No not really, it is 7:46 and the sun is coming up. A new day is dawning and I’ve just had a good laugh to start the day.
Anyone on social media or whatever this screens presents to me knows I might be up too early or maybe never slept. That is not the point.
I posted some videos on our favorite bulletin board and got stuck on the Ben Fold’s video of ‘Rock This Hall’ (appropriate adjustment of the name) and then the Jon Anderson’s video with the same Contemporary Youth Orchestra who plays on both.
First, somewhat knowledgeable of music, I enjoy seeing a group of people playing together with such skill. The Ben Fold’s video maybe or maybe not was rehearsed but it came off well and worked for the improvisation.  The Jon Anderson’s video surprised me. I know the song, but I thought the arrangement that the orchestra present was superb. Here are kids with the passion to learn an instrument and share their talent with the public. Above all the technical stuff I could point out, they were having fun. Smiles on faces in an orchestra are new to me and I enjoyed it.
Second, I started laughing. Maybe appreciation of the sound I was hearing but a rolling laughter. A hysterical laughter with tears rolling down my cheeks I was crying at what I was listening to. This wasn’t a Budweiser commercial but I was joyfully enjoying the moment of music that made me happy.
Perhaps not enough sleep but I truly enjoyed the videos and posted them so hopefully some others can enjoy them too.
Laugh with me.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I Cry At Budweiser Commercials

Yes, I was looking over the 2016 Super Bowl commercials because it will probably be muted on the day and I may be distracted so I thought I’d catch up on what was hot in the media.
Having spent years, no decades in the industry, I appreciate the time and effort made to promote a brand or a product. The camera angles and the effects and the script, most importantly the script, can make a 30-second flash on the screen make you want to go out and buy a multi-thousand dollar vehicle.
The agencies that can accomplish this task are given award banquets and praised by their peers but the next day has to start all over again.
First you have to convince the client or manufacturer or creator of some new idea that YOU can promote it better than anyone else.
If the corporation or manufacturer or boardroom is somewhat smart, they will take bids on their new improvement to life and choose from the presentations. What are the best options for the choice?
Once you convince them to invest in your ‘creative idea’ to ‘grow’ their company, YOU have to perform and provide a successful campaign to bring in the eyes of the public and more important the cash.
Just like music, whatever the hook it, you only have a moment to catch the attention.
So I spend the afternoon, not practicing the guitar or doing other chores, watching the television Super Bowl commercials and ponder. Some are confusing. Some are certainly intended for another audience than me. Some are not very good and some make me laugh.
Then there is the Budweiser commercial.
I don’t drink Budweiser or Bud Lite but I know a lot do. I’ve gone through their rough and tumble manly commercials similar to Winston cigarettes for years but they have not swayed me to consume their product. There image is a icon like many other products and easily recognizable, but something changed.
Budweiser, no the advertising agency, decided to bring in the Clydesdale horses to the forefront. They were always part of the brand image pulling the beer wagon.
Suddenly they presented the horses as the lead character and it made a connection with the public. I don’t have the numbers of whether it increased sales, but I can assume it did because they kept going with that theme.
Then a few years back, they presented the dog. Now if you have ever seen any social media, a dog is a winner. The Budweiser brand had a Dalmatian on the wagon, just like a fire truck companion to the giant horses. It softened the look of two guys wheeling in a bunch of beer for the common folk.
Suddenly the dog became a puppy. A little golden lab that was to become friends with these massive horses and the flood banks flowed. I give credit to those guys for it is a trigger to open up the water works.
I can watch these commercials at any time on any day and still the tears come. You guys did a good job.
Sorry Anheuser-Busch I still don’t drink your product but your commercials get me every time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Why Don’t You Like Me?

Is it something I said? Was it something I’ve done? I just don’t understand.
This is how we grow up.
There is this person we become attracted to. For whatever reason we want them to like us. We act smarter or funnier or taller or any other silliness to get that person’s attention.
And if it works and you get to break the ice with a small talk conversation, you can start to explore another persons profile and possibly dig deep into personal intimacies.
With some a friendship can flourish and with others a love affair may bloom. With others a quick goodbye and a blip in time is forgotten.
Sometimes the physical attractions can be over-shadowed by personal habits or ancient histories or even political or musical preferences. Some friendships can end wearing the wrong clothing or driving the wrong car.
Sometimes there just isn’t that ‘spark’.
Making a friend, like going a group, an individual has to compromise some of their own personal attributes and perhaps adjust judgmental preferences to conform. Are we ‘selling out’ in order to make a friend?
Yet some, no matter how hard you try, never seem to want to like you. Why?
The conversations were witty and the laughter sounded real and the time spent in each other’s company seemed comfortable for both. Certain looks seem to indicate the ‘spark’ could venture into romance, but it never did.
Where did we go wrong? Was it something I said? Was it something I did? Did I have a piece of lettuce stuck to my lip? Was there someone else or was it just I?
We work so hard to make friends and then beat ourselves up when it goes wrong. We just forget that everyday is a new adventure and people change.
If I liked you yesterday because you were pretty or funny or looked good on my arm, might be different today. Our taste in music and reading and even fashion changes, why should our relationships with others?
If you liked me then and don’t like me now I can logically understand. I might not like it or be even emotionally hurt but life goes on.
Some day you might find me even more appealing or attractive or enlightening, but without being friends, you will never know.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I read the news as much as anyone. It just makes me wonder?
Why is all this stuff news worthy? I sincerely do not understand some of the topics. Maybe you can help?
First is all this talk about LBGTQ and probably XYZ. I understand all this political posturing to help people ‘come out’ to be their selves, but why should be? Why wasn’t this being done all along? Whatever your sexual preference is shouldn’t matter. You don’t ask your boss is he’s wearing silk thongs? You don’t ask your preacher if he is into leather? You don’t ask your mother and father their preferences? They must have some because here you are.
Sure I understand it was not always tolerant to allow others to fashion themselves as they wanted to. Were we so scared of someone who was just a bit different than we were to create such prejudices? Was this just another bigotry excuse like our persecution of people of different color?
I always assume that the general public understands all this is just silly, but I keep being proven wrong. Why should our government have to create laws to do what our religions teach?
Why should a transgender have to sue an organization or a school to go to whatever bathroom they want? What is a bathroom for? I don’t know about you but I didn’t have a blue and a pink bathroom growing up. We all just shared.
Now there is a Black History month? Why? Isn’t every month black history month? Isn’t every month white history month? Isn’t every month red and blue and green history month? Why do we define ourselves into categories that have been historically abused or persecuted? Isn’t this just history? Are there enough months?
If I was oppressed, and many of us were, do I want to celebrate it? Remember it and learn from it? Sure, but have a special month set aside to remind us we have become better to each other? Does this continue to flame our divisiveness? New causes and movements can constantly remind us we still have far to go, but why?
Let’s get over ourselves. Sure mankind (and I use that word with some awkward feeling) has messed up through history. We as a species have traveled a rough road to get to where we are now. We fought (and fight) wars for no real purpose except to create more powerful weapons and kill more of our own species. We work hard to put people on another planet and then leave our trash.
Each of us is going through the political season with a crew of the best this United States of America has to offer. It is pretty scary that these folks are applying for the most powerful position in our nation and we, the people, are listening to it. Then I hear some of the fellow countrymen and women (see I don’t forget) and their responses to some ridiculous speech and that scares me even more. I must be living in a cocoon?
We all seem to want something, but what? Each and every one of us is an individual. We have only one view of our existence here. We are influenced by others but it is up to each one of us to interpret those influences, suggestions, demands, requirements and process them to become who we are – as an individual.
So if someone colors his or her hair green, what does that matter? It deserves perhaps a smile of something different but no harm. If someone gets a tattoo and you don’t approve of a tattoo there is no problem. They will have to live with it, not you.
If someone dresses differently as a sign of his or her beliefs, why should we be offended? What difference does a person’s faith in a superior being that no one can prove or disprove matter? Whatever it is helps them deal with their lives. If their beliefs turn them to violence, it is the violence that breaks the law, not the belief. For most of the ‘religions’ I’ve read about are based on good and peace and getting along with one another.
Fairly said, there seems to be a group of us, our species, who are angry and frustrated and will use any excuse to strike out. As a civilized community, we don’t use the excuse of religion or color or dress to classify this person as a threat to the rest of the community and create laws to avoid the harm. While these laws fill our prisons we look the other way at the atrocities in less published areas.
Each of us is an individual. We join groups and conform to the majority for our own safety. As a member of a group we must adhere to the rules and requirements so everyone can agree to get along. We can, as a group, achieve bigger task than each of us individually can accomplish, but at what cost?
I’m the one that's gonna have to die 
when it’s my time to die
So let me live my life the way I want to.

Getting the Lead Out

Yes, we’ve all seen all the stuff about Flint, Michigan with toxic problem of lead in the water. Do we ever think about what is coming out of our taps?
The president has been talking about fixing the failing infrastructures of the nation for years, but it will require money. Of course no one wants to spend more money in taxes or fees but we are the first to complain when a pipe breaks and the city or county or public utility has to turn off the water and dig up the street to patch an old pipe.
We somehow forget pipes and wires and concrete paving connect our lives. All of this runs in the background and unless there is a disturbance in the force, we ignore it.
How we fuss when there are potholes but do we think of the structural stability of that bridge over the river? How we get so annoyed when a tree takes down an electrical line unless it catches our house on fire for it is full of power. How we continue to purchase cans and plastic containers of liquid but bath in whatever comes out of the shower.
Now we all depend on a satellite floating up in heaven to keep our Internet running but forget there is a fiber line running to our router. If one of them silver globes fail, I’m sure there is a bunch of redundancy to backup your entire precious emails and photos. If not, you can put your spot on a bench for a guy with a wrench.
This country moved from rural to urban with the connection of highways and byways. President Ike did that to connect areas of the country so the military could get quickly from place-to-place and as the American spirit and the economy was doing well, we paid for it. As the use of telephones and televisions grew, more wires appeared on poles and more towers and the sky was a weave of black lines.
Water was underground. Pipes that brought water in and out, thanks to indoor plumbing, were out-of-sight and out-of-mind. Plumbing, like everything else, changed from heavy lead to plastics in new installations, but what about the old stuff?
I live in an old city. Much of the downtown infrastructure was done just after the civil war. Another expansion was done in the 1920’s. My particular neighborhood was built in the 1950’s after the war and the first suburbia. I’m sure the engineers used the latest materials and techniques of the time, but time marches on.
So I empathize with those in Flint and Chicago and New York and Richmond for we all have old infrastructures and what will it cost to replace it all? I’m a sure politicians and utility corporations and technical engineering minds are having committee meetings and discussing various solutions to getting old and the cost and who will pay and all that stuff. Good luck to all of them I say.
Just like new pharmaceutical solutions to new definitions to diseases and ailments and maladies of our failing health, we are paying for the discoveries.
I have been living in a house with lead pipes and asbestos siding for over 30 years. It is too late for me.
I glow in the dark.