“We Have Met The Enemy…”

If any of you follow this blog regularly, perhaps you’ve noticed that I try to stay far away from politics when I send out Happy Friday!!! stories. Well I’m gonna veer away from that just a bit tonight, and jump on my soap box for a bit. Actually what I’m going to write about is really not a political issue, but it is, but it’s not. Politicians will play a role in it, but the bottom line is that all of us need to act. No exaggeration here, it’s a matter of survival.

Although many seem to be in denial, there is abundant scientific evidence that we humans have caused many unwelcome changes in our Earth’s ecology. One of those is climate change; and unless you live in a cave, it’s likely you’ve heard of the young people protesting about it. One of the most well known is a young lady namedGreta Thunberg, and she was seen on TV imploring U.S. politicians not to listen to her, but to listen to science.

The sad thing about all this is: scientists have been warning about the toxic effects climate change and pollution have on our ecosystems for many, many years. And no, I’m not just talking about all the hooting and hollering hippies like me were doing in the 1960s and 1970s. No, even the ancients knew that humans could affect local climates by actions like draining swamps or deforestation.

As economies evolved along with, and often because of technology, the degree we humans parted from Nature widened. The result: too much of our society is addicted to a lifestyle that has sprung from a dependence upon fossil fuels and massive agricultural operations. In short, we’re addicted; and the consequences have been rearing their ugly heads. The consequences include an increased frequency of intolerable heat, powerful storms; and reductions in wildlife numbers. And until recently, not enough clamor arose to stop it. Not sure if you’ve ever met a heroin addict or maybe really learned what addiction is all about; but for practicing addicts one thing is always true: they engage in destructive behavior and ignore the consequences.

That is of course until they get caught.

Guess what? We’ve been caught. By children. Children!! All I can say is, Thank God for the Children!! So Greta Thunberg is what… 16? That means that we hippies are indeed having an impact. How? Well, these are our children’s children. So we can take pride in our legacy. Millions of young people around her age are loving what Greta has to say. And guess what again some more? They’re gonna be voting soon. This is a very good thing.

Some politicians and big business folks are trying to demonize the Green New Deal. Boy would something like that be stupid or what?? A totally crazy and brand new idea: create much needed jobs here at home; slow climate change, and clean up the planet all in one fell swoop. Pretty ridiculous logic, eh?

Well I try to be a “glass half full” kind of guy. I like to believe that most humans are decent and loving; but there are all too many humans who insist on maintaining the status quo with absolutely no regard for negative consequences.

When I was a kid, there was a wonderful comic strip called “Pogo” by Walt Kelly. One of my favorite quotes is Pogo complaining about the follies of human nature, “WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US.”

Ain’t it the truth.

And now for some of those hippie environmental tunes…

EVERY Day Is Earth Day

Yes, I know it’s not Earth Day anymore, but there’s been some buzz in the news lately and I just had to speak up… again.  Unless you’re living in a cave with no TV, radio, or interwebs; you’ve probably heard that scientists have determined that because of human activity, up to one million species are at risk of extinction within the next few years.  In other words, Mother Nature is in serious trouble, and that of course means WE are in serious trouble.

Each year, when Earth Day comes around; someone will inevitably say something like “today is Earth Day,” or even “happy Earth Day.”  My response has always been:  “EVERY day is Earth Day.”

What can I say? I just can’t help it. Every day really should be Earth Day, right?

Can it really be that we just had the 49th Earth Day already? Holy Carp I’m getting up there. I was 16 when Earth Day was first plopped onto the calendar in 1970. Seems like last week!  I wondered what ever became of the Earth Day flag. I found a picture of it on line, but I can’t post it because it has a copyright warning and I’m too lazy to ask permission. However, you can click on this link and go look for yourself:

http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/uploads/earthdayflag2.jpg

I’d love to say I’m all warm and fuzzy about the progress we’ve made, but there’s so much more to do. I want to scream every time I see someone with bottled water. Of course, I’m not interested in banning bottled water completely. There are times when it’s the easiest way to get safe drinking water like during a disaster, etc. But most of the time, bottled water is a big fat waste. Many times the source is municipally treated water. In other words, it’s tap water in a plastic bottle (made from petroleum), which gets shipped many miles to a place that already has municipally treated water.

Then you have all the waste from that silly crop way too many people are raising at home: the lawn. Chemicals, water, exotic seed, and machines to make it grow and cut it down are consuming ridiculous amounts of energy and causing unnecessary pollution. You may ask, “so, Mr. Tree Hugger Hippie Freak, are you for banning lawns too?” Well let’s put it this way, I’m married and my beautiful girlfriend likes to have a lawn. So yes, I’m for banning lawns but I’m too chicken not to grow one at our house. Fortunately, though, we’ve made a truce and we don’t use any chemicals at all, but we do mow it. Still, it makes absolutely no sense to me that we humans spend so much effort raising a crop we don’t eat.

As far as crops we DO eat, the chemical companies and large agribusiness firms are doing their darndest to keep a strangle hold in the food business. However, farmers markets are thriving more and more each year, and the customers are favoring organically grown veggies and fruits. At our house, we’ve been growing produce organically for almost 46 years (which coincidentally is how long we’ve been married). I can’t help but think the chemical firms and the large corporate farms are suppressing news reports about organically grown food. Once in awhile though, you actually hear the “scientific discovery” that organically grown food is healthier and much more Earth friendly.

We are getting a little better with more efficient cars. However, we are also still affluent enough that several of us humans choose monster trucks and fancy cars that are not meant for fuel efficiency. Compared to Europe, our mass transit system barely exists. We could conserve a lot of fuel by switching from semi-trucks to trains. Here in the U.S. we’ve converted way too many railways into bike paths. And no, I’m not trying to ban bike paths, but trains are a very efficient means of transport. We’re still way too dependent on fossil fuels, but we’re making progress there (albeit painfully slowly).

And what about turning of the stinkin’ lights when they’re not in use?? Not just at home… Mom and Dad always yelled at us to turn lights off so most of us are pretty much conditioned to do that. Ever go past a shopping mall after 9 p.m. (or later)? The lights are all going full blast. Holy Carbon Footprint, Batman!!

Sheesh.

I could go on and on, but here’s one more completely wasteful human activity: WAR. What a huge waste of energy, natural resources, not to mention the terrible toll on human lives. You may ask, “so, Mr. Tree Hugger Hippie Freak, are you for banning wars too?” OH YES!! YES PLEASE!!  War, pure and simple, is a form of hell on Earth and must be banned forever.

OK so I’m a dreamer. It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it (yell about banning war I mean). And I’m sure I’m not alone on that one.

Well folks, Happy Earth Day, Every Day, Every Year. Please do something nice for your Mother (Nature) very soon. She loves you, you know. If you’re not sure what to do, just go to your favorite search engine (mine is Google), and do a search on the following text:  what can I do to save the planet    You’ll get lots of ideas.

Some of you kids may remember this song. The video is a bit fuzzy, but it appears to be made by Spirit, the same band who recorded it way back when.

Peace!!

Dirty Rotten Cyberthieves

I cry, I weep, I gnash my teeth. Some flame-headed goat poop sniffing slime licker (or maybe lickers) stole from me.

There I was, minding my own business, going to Walmart because the local Meijer removed 8 O’Clock coffee (in the big bags) from their shelves. I really don’t like to go to Walmart, because they have a history of treating their employees rather badly. Not sure if that has changed over the years but the whole premise is indelibly burned into my brain cells and so I would rather not support them, thank you very much.

So… as I was saying … there I was minding my own business, with my Beautiful Girlfriend, buying my coffee at Walmart, and thinking, “yay!! We scored 4 big bags of 8 O’Clock coffee!! Enough for several weeks!! This is most marvelous indeed!” We happily put the bags of coffee in the pantry and sang songs of caffeinated joy. Well OK maybe not. But we were glad to get our stash.

I used a debit card for the purchase, which I do quite often. I rarely carry cash, you see. This is due to a strange phenomenon called spontaneous wallet depletion. In other words, in the “good old days” before debit cards, my cash seemed to disappear pretty quickly. Not sure if using the debit card changed that, but at least now I’m able to keep track of where the money goes a bit more easily. I get online regularly and check to make sure all is well.

However, this time I didn’t check for several days; and my checking account shrank by an extra $317 over the course of about a week. Very shortly after I used my debit card at Walmart; someone somewhere somehow hacked something and started using my debit card info at a Walmart in Elk Grove, Illinois; which is a bit over 200 miles from here. Little nibbles… $35 here, $35.36 there… carefully staying under $50 which I guess is a threshold that starts to raise flags.

I was not very happy.

Dunno what it is about Walmart, but a similar fraud thing happened to me with my credit card after making a purchase at Walmart.com ! Very cool indeed, right?? I lost the use of my card for a little over a week after reporting it stolen. At least I had the debit card. Now I’ve lost the use of a debit card for 7 to 10 days, but at least I have a credit card. Fortunately, our credit union took care of all the fraud and even refilled my checking account with the amount that was stolen. I’ve since learned of an app called CardValet; which apparently can stop this. Once the new debit card arrives, I’ll enter it into the app, and when I’m not using it, I can use CardValet to turn the card off. I guess it works with credit cards too.

Guess what? For the time being, I’m carrying cash again. And no, I’m not paranoid about using electronic payments; but you can bet I’ll be using the CardValet app regularly.

Oh and by the way, regarding the cyberthieves: not only are they flame-headed goat poop sniffing slime lickers, but they also pee themselves in public places but just sit there with a silly grin. I’m sure they also enjoy eating other people’s boogers; and I would also not be surprised if they smear dog snot on their eyebrows.

They are not my friends. Time to call Superman.

Fast Lane Follies

Well I suppose I’m overdue to express my sadness by crying in my dog food about the driving ninnies. I’m really loving summer though… the lack of snow means we don’t have to worry about sliding into the ditch as we leave our driveway. No more hitting the windshield with a sledgehammer to remove those pesky chunks of ice. Nope… these days we can crank the windows DOWN and crank the tunes UP. Coolness!

Unfortunately, with every silver cloud comes a grey lining. Warm weather kicks in a well known ailment in some people. Officially, I just named this disease auto-idiotica, and many of you know this age-old affliction as, “hey you with the Cracker Jacks driver’s license!!”

You know what I mean. Stupid flameheaded wombats that believe they’re the only ones on the road. You’re in their way, so watch carefully. These people have dog breath and improper grooming habits, and are EVERYWHERE. Some symptoms are: weaving in and out of traffic, severe tailgate-itis, driving 130 mph over the limit, and passing on the right on a two lane road. At intersections. While honking. Although they are ignorant of the fact, idiot drivers have chicken lips, and are known to cavort with barnyard animals during Mardi Gras.

Used to be a time when moronic motorists were restricted to the male population. Unfortunately, however, women are learning from us dudes, and are beginning to do the “tailgate-till-you-move” dance when you’re going less than 85 mph in the right lane on the expressway. It never matters that you’re already going five over the limit and are sanely going past Grandma and Grampa Sightseer. But as far as numbers, dumdum boy drivers still far outnumber dodo girl drivers.

I’m still truly compressed by the number of mush-minded monkeys that try to pull the trim off my car as they fly past me on the expressway. Hey, the limit in Michigan is already 70. Nobody really needs to go more than 75, ok? It just ain’t safe! Sure, you can go, but try to safely miss that deer or broken car. Maybe I’m getting to be an old fart. At least some “kids” (30 and younger) would label me so. But because I’m over 60 I remember the high speed limits from the beforetimes. Before the Arab oil embargo (say wha??). A lot of people raced around back then, and ended up being “dead on time.”

Very sad, the road rage that is spreading these days. Too many people in a terrible hurry. And of course if you are “in their way” they will show the likes of you. Especially if you drive cautiously like I do; meaning I usually try to observe those crazy “Speed Limit” signs. I can almost hear them…

“Watch this, Mr. SlowPoke Minivan Cruise Control Person! Watch while I remove a few thousand miles worth of wear by vaporizing the surface of my tires! Watch how well I can ruin my transmission! Ha ha! I shall show the likes of you! I’ll accelerate wildly so I can tailgate the next jerkface who has the nerve to drive courteously!! Then I’ll pass on the right, and also on the left. But just to show you I mean business, I’ll wait for oncoming traffic and barely pull back in on time! Ha ha! I listen to the COOLEST music very loudly and am ruining my hearing with 92 inch woofers! Boy are you stupid!!”

Such intelligent beings are often mystified when they receive a ticket. After all, it was not their fault they were going 84 that day, because that cop is NEVER there! Or… they run the same stop sign all the time, BECAUSE THEY LIVE THERE and there’s NEVER ANY TRAFFIC. Oh, and not to forget the folks who weave and poke along like they’re drunk. Some really ARE drunk, but the others are texting.

I don’t want the reader to get any funny ideas about the possibility that reckless driving scares me or anything. It PETRIFIES me. Wanna know why? Because I used to be a Mr. Moron Motorist! Been there, done that! Thank God I never hurt anyone. I did, however, manage to rack up many tickets in younger days. Too many. But boy, the insurance company was happy with me!! I wanted to continue driving, and they were only too happy to take lots of my money in exchange for minimal coverage.

Lucky for me, I finally learned; albeit the hard way. Haven’t had so much as a parking ticket since 1982. This is a good thing. I can breathe much more easily, and so can my wallet. It’s always empty anyway, but at least it’s not red when I put a nice, crisp dollar bill in there.

So, I can spot ’em a mile away now, and know pretty much what they’re gonna do when they get up near me. I just let them go by. Safer that way. I paid my dues, and I’m sure they’ll pay theirs in one form or another.

Anybody seen the keys to my Slow Poke Minivan Cruise Control Zooming Machine?

Folks just need to chill out and slow down…

“Get Your Head Out Of Your A_ _ _”

Don’t be frightened by the title… this is and always shall be a “family site;” meaning no smut or cussing allowed. Believe it or not, if the letters were not blanked out; there still would be no cussing… if you look closely you’ll notice that the last word has 4 letters (the A plus 3 blanks) instead of the naughtier 3.

Anyway, ever admire someone even though you’ve never met them? Well, on my way to work each day I pass by the Glenpark Animal Hospital here in Beautiful Muskegon Michigan. They have one of those signs that allow them to change the letters; and they do so regularly. Sometimes the message is serious; like reminders for folks to treat their furry friends for fleas and heartworms. Other times, it’s rather amusing; like:

“STOP ANIMAL TESTING: THEY DON’T PAY ATTENTION AND GET WRONG ANSWERS.”

Or…

“FREE KITTENS AND MIRACLE CURES ARE FALSE ADVERTISING.”

There were many more funny ones, but those two stuck in my mind for some reason. My current favorite (which happens to be their current message) is:

“GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR APPS.”

That one made me laugh bigly; and even though I’ve seen “bigly” in use on the interwebs, it’s not even a real word; but then again neither is “interwebs,” but both of these fake words are fun to say and type, and additionally it gives me an excuse to write a long overdue run-on sentence that rambles along like a chicken with no DVD player; all the while using commas and semicolons in a most confusing but almost grammatically correct manner.

But who cares… let’s get back to the removal of one’s head from their apps. You see, I’ve been a computer flunky for many Earth years; and a techno-flunky before that. I’ve seen a few changes along the way… from state of the art vacuum tube equipment to the amazing solid state (that’s old speak for “no vacuum tubes”) stuff we have today. Have you ever smelled a vacuum tube? Don’t put it in your nose while it’s warm!! OUCH!! Oh yeah… the apps thing. I’m getting there…

As devices became more portable, of course more and more people started carrying them around. Got to the point where many folks wouldn’t go anywhere without their battery powered stuff. And of course a few more Earth decades passed; ushering more and more radical change as the Earth times became the now times.

Huh??

Yes; have some.

So here we are, in the digital age, where personal privacy is rapidly losing its importance. I say this because as more and more people install more and more apps on their phones; more and more information about their shopping habits, whereabouts, even recreational tendencies is being given away to be scooped up by marketeers and in some cases, fraudsters. Folks everywhere are seen with their noses nearly smudging their smartphone screens; and they are often so involved with their device that they’ve become oblivious to their surroundings.

So even though I laughed bigly at the notion of folks being told to get their heads out of their apps; I admire the Glenpark Animal Hospital for the urging. Might be a good idea for all of us in these “Modern Times” to pay less attention to techno-toys and more attention to each other.

Speaking of “Modern Times,”  I really need to watch that movie with my grandsons.  Here’s one of the technological “miracle machines” from that Charlie Chaplin classic…

Every Day Is Mothers Day

With Mothers Day on the horizon, I thought it important to yell a BIG GIANT THANK YOU to all the mothers in the universe. After all, without Mom, none of us would be where we are today. Actually, without Mom, none of us would be here at all!!

We have lots of “holidays” on the calendar that, in my professional opinion, should not be holidays at all. Sweetest Day? Ummm… no. Conversely, we have holidays like Earth Day, Mothers Day, and Fathers Day that exemplify principles we should embrace all year long. Nothing wrong with making a bigger fuss once a year, mind you. But let’s put the focus on this Sunday, which of course is Mothers Day. Considering the sacrifices our mothers made to raise us all the very best way they could; don’t you think Moms deserve to be special all year long?

God knows I could have done a better job appreciating Mom when I was a kid. Too soon old and too late smart seems to be bonking around inside my head bone a bit regularly these days. Hindsight is 20/20 though, as they say. I truly believe in my heart that every Mom does the very best they can; which of course is governed by their awareness. All Moms are human; and there’s no instruction manual. We all just need to take the good that Mom gave us and let it shine whenever we get the chance.

So for this week’s Happy Friday, I’m just going to be short and to the point:

Dear Mom,

Thank you for everything.

I love you with all my heart,

Me.

My Mom is in Heaven, but I send her loving prayers and I know in my heart they are heard. And to all of you other Moms out there, thanks to all of you also. You’ve blessed me with wonderful friends and loved ones who could never have been here without your help.

Take care, dear Moms, and Happy Mothers Day.

A lot of men are raising kids these days, but Gabby seemed to have a pretty tough time…

No News Is (Sometimes) Good News

Once Upon A Time, there was so much information floating around on the TV and Radio (remember Radio?) and the Newspapers (remember newspapers?) and the interwebs that when I tried to absorb all of it, I began to turn very pale and then I began to exhale stinky puffs of sauerkraut flavored nasty air because the amount of reported nasty news far outgrew any reports of good news; so I began to shake wildly and flail my hands about as if I were being shocked by 123,874 electric eels and perhaps you can tell that maybe all this news had some effect on me so maybe I better put a period at the end of this ridiculously huge sentence and come up for air awreddy.

~* Whew!! *~ That was fluffy!! And not in a good way.

Yes, Girls and Boys, there is simply not enough good news being flashed in front of our 3.4 millisecond attention spans any more. Now I know there’s good stuff happening out there, because I see it all the time. And thankfully I live in an area where the really bad news isn’t happening. By that I mean nobody is lobbing mortar shells in anyone’s homes; and by and large folks have enough to eat… stuff like that there.

My professional opinion is: 1) yes, we all should stay informed; but R) it’s probably good to at least occasionally unplug from all the news outlets for awhile. One could argue against such a flatulent (or would that be mucilaginous?) tactic, citing they’d miss stories like the Florida woman who married a 100 year old tree to try to save it from being removed to make way for development. Or maybe one wouldn’t hear about the 18 year old who bought her very first lottery ticket on her birthday and won $1000 for life.

OK so maybe you might miss out on that stuff. But I’m thinking that what may be missing in our Technical Universe is contact with Nature. Nature is big you know. From microscopic critters all the way up to elephants… then our solar system, stars, planets, galaxies… well you know. Nature. Stuff you can see, hear, smell, and taste. And no, I’m not asking anyone to go around sniffing elephants or trying to hear what an earthworm is saying. I’m just imparting what I have found to be true: some of my most peaceful moments come when I have no devices anywhere near me.

I love to listen to the waves of Lake Michigan crashing into light poles as they whiz down the freeway. I love staring at the moon while lying on an ant hill… and when the ants come to visit, I often shake wildly with delight until they are gone. I love watching animals and birds while they have squirt gun fights during marshmallow eating contests. And of course I enjoy visiting with friends; and when they pull out their smellphones in the middle of a conversation, I casually blow my nose very loudly without the use of a tissue and then give them a nice pat on the back.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m also very aware that technology can bring joy to a person’s life. I’ve worked as a techno-nerd for over 40 years now; and I admit I do derive some funzies out of watching cat videos and bopping around on the BookFace to see what my friends are doing. I also have an ancient artifact in my living room called a Stereo (remember stereo?) that I use to kick out the jams (remember “Kick Out The Jams” ? ) from time to time. You know what they say: “music makes the toenails pop!!” Or maybe I just say that.

Anyhoo, I’m working on not reading so much news on the radio and listening to fewer newspapers. Sometimes I can smell the news on the TV and I run backwards to get away; but then I clunk the wall and all the knick knacks fall down and I burp German words before fainting. I do tune in occasionally to see what Donald Rump and King Jon Loon are doing, but then I barf and decide maybe I should give it a rest for a couple milliseconds. This manic media monstrosity mishmash can make my head bone crackle; then the brain fluids leak out, that that in turn causes my writing to disintegrate into magnetic lag bolt compost droppings.

No news can indeed be good news.

Please pass the marshmallows.

In the future, technology will take care of EVERYTHING. We’ll see it at the World’s Fair!

Somebody’s Rich And It Ain’t Me

My Beautiful Girlfriend has a Bucket List that waxes and wanes as the years pass. We love going to concerts; for example. I have my list of “wanna-sees” and she has hers. Both of us like James Taylor, but I was content with the fact that we had some of his music on CDs and even vinyl. However, our last splurge was The Who, and whenever we leave from a fantastic show (and oh my, The Who was a fantastic show) we talk about all the artists we’ve seen. Of course, what immediately follows is an enumeration of the artists we haven’t seen yet.

James Taylor was recently added to my Lovely Honey Pie’s Bucket List. When the opportunity to get tickets arose; I signed up for the presale. Then the moment of truth arrived and I stationed myself at the computer and tried and tried and tried some more to get tickets. After some perseverance, I was able to get two very nicely placed seats for a reasonable price.

The latest addition to the Bucket List was a very different story. The radio and TV started buzzing about with ads for an upcoming “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour by Sir Elton John. Lots of news broadcasts got in on the act as well, since it’s been touted as his very last tour ever. Several famous artists have had several last tours; but Sir Elton isn’t getting any younger and he is rightfully interested in being a Dad to his young kids before it’s too late.

Anyway, I tried to sign up for the presale but no dice. Missed the boat by a day I guess. Then I tried and tried and tried and tried some more (also I made many attempts); but kept getting “no tickets found” or “an error occurred.” Then, after the presale time came and went, tickets started to appear at a couple nearby venues. Yeah… the cheapest was $300. For one lousy ticket!!! These tickets were labeled “verified Ticketmaster resale.” Hmmmm… I called my Amazing Wife Lady and said, “um… I don’t think we’re going to see Elton John.” When I told her the prices she readily agreed.

Apparently, Elton John is much more popular than James Taylor.

I’ve read about this phenomenon. There are less than scrupulous folks who’ve written computer programs that enable them to snatch up gobs of tickets; then scalp people by gouging them for ridiculous prices.

Tonight we watched the news… some kind of football game happening this weekend in Minneapolis I guess. What? Yes, I know it’s the Super Bowl, silly. But I honestly didn’t know until this morning who was playing on Sunday. Can you tell I don’t give a flying mahookey about sports? Anyway, the news folks were talking about all the hoopla going on over there in Minnesota; and they mentioned that the cheapest tickets were going for $3000!!! Is that nuts or what??

Well I found out who’s playing anyway… and all I can say about that is: GO EAGLES!! Yes, even though I have no idea who the players are, I don’t live in a cave. The Patriots have had their turns, so it’s the underdog’s time to shine. Or not.

I don’t care much. All I know is, some people appear to have way more money than me. However, even though I’m not rich, I’m definitely blessed beyond measure. I have a nice warm home, plenty to eat, cars that work and no debt. And that’s a very abbreviated list of things for which I am truly grateful.

What more can a guy need?

Well, I think I need to post some videos about money!!  (Ha ha, I make joking.)  (No, wait, not joking…)

Just Mind Your Manners

So much sadness in the news these days. I mean, too many people are just being way too naughty! And then, some really naughty people are pointing fingers at those who were thought not to be so naughty but in fact admit to having been naughty; yet the naughtier people who deny their naughtiness seem obsessed with pointing their fingers at those who admit they’ve been naughty; and the naughtiest, finger-pointing folks seem completely clueless that if they insist on pointing fingers, well guess what… they’re gonna get pointed at all the more and probably cause complete disregard for proper paragraph construction and maybe even a pretty long run-on sentence!!

So there!!

I gotta ask… doesn’t anyone think before they act, or even speak?? Is the number of kind people in this world dwindling at an alarming rate? Are there any folks who care at least as much about others as they do themselves? Doesn’t anyone have manners anymore??

Sheesh!!

I’ll have to say, though, that lately the news has brought many people out from hiding who finally feel comfortable enough to stand up and say, “this is enough!!” Women have been treated terribly for millenia. Cultural intolerance has caused too many wars. Industry has sweetened existence for much of the human world but this too often came through harsh exploitation of less fortunate humans and of course Mother Nature.

Well, I may be a weirdo (no need to chime in on that…) but I think that yes, there still are many, MANY people who follow the Golden Rule much of the time. Maybe even most of the time. It’s very simple, yet complex: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I had that one drilled into my noggin in Sunday School at the Bayport Methodist Church. Well guess what? Muslims have a very similar version; and although I’m too lazy to research it I’m willing to bet that many other cultures do too. I’m convinced the reason we don’t hear much in the news about folks who live by the Golden Rule is that: a) they are probably us (you and me), and 12) the media reports primarily about the garbage because that is what sells. Sad, huh?

Well, not completely sad. I still cling to the belief that we’re going to be alright. Yes, there’s lots of bad news; and unfortunately we need to hear it. Otherwise we wouldn’t feel a need to change. It may take some time, but the conversation is changing, and I think for the greater good. For example, one hot talking point is that sexual harassment is never OK. And another that’s at least as important: our planet is being ruined by our human habits, but we can work together to change these habits.

Some of the discussions may be difficult. We all have a voice, we all deserve to be heard; but it’s also our obligation to listen. Even if it’s hate speech. We must stamp out hatred, and sometimes we may have to be firm. But again, we can be firm but still treat others with respect. Heated shouting matches are about as effective as fighting fire with fire. A dear friend of mine used to say, “we can disagree without being disagreeable.” It seems all too easy for folks to bark at each other; takes much more effort to stay calm and do our best to find solutions.

All we need to do is listen to Mom: “Just mind your manners!!” Anyone besides me hear that when you were growing up?

Anyway, I went hunting for a video about manners… this is what I found; hope you get a chuckle like I did.

 

Absolutely No Complaints

Quite a journey, all this life stuff. Very easy to get frustrated, maybe even angry, and certainly sad about the crazy things people say or do; especially when you’re directly affected. For example, I’m in the midst of a giant “learning experience” right now; the result of being a bit too trusting and kind. I just can’t help it, that’s the type of person I am. However, there are people in this world who take advantage of trust or kindness; and the result is often not very pretty.

My Beautiful Girlfriend was on a camping trip with her friends, so I was a bachelor for the past few days. Normally I’m very OK with being alone, but I felt vulnerable, ignorant, insulted, hurt, and sad when I realized how far things can go before the brakes are applied on a situation that I thought was based on trust and mutual respect. And of course work has been a big mess lately. Then I made the mistake of watching the news. Too much bad juju going on right now with all the Global Storming and War Talk. Oh, and to top it all off my cat didn’t come home when I expected; so my magnifying mind projected that he’d been eaten by a coyote or some such nastiness.

I’m not too proud to say it, I had a good cry.

Thankfully, all was not lost. Not in the least bit. The cat came home (I hugged him and called him a stinky monkey). I reached out to friends, a couple of whom had experienced the exact same thing I’m enjoying. Very helpful. Then I contacted the person in question and let them know it was time to part ways. That went pretty amicably. Then I hung out with some friends again some more, and things got even better. Now, my Honey Pie is home; we picked up our grandsons for the weekend; and I’m right as rain.

Bottom line of all this venting is this: I have absolutely no problems in this world. After all that spewing of sadness, one might say, “ya right!! Doesn’t sound like it Kenny boy!!” Well, even though I was in the throes of despair, with a little help from my friends (oh, and especially those God People) (whoever they are) I was able to come out the other side with much gratitude and peace. Took some work to get there, but I’ve acquired some coping tools along the way of this marvelous journey we call Life.

Wasn’t always so. Not by a long shot. In the Before Times, I would run for intoxicants and poison my surroundings with angry utterances and breaking of things. I’m very VERY grateful that those times are long gone. And I’m especially grateful that no matter what the universe plops in front of me, I’m always keenly aware that I’m a very fortunate person.

I have plenty to eat, a nice home, a car that works well. I am blessed with the love of The Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe. I’m blessed with the love of my children and grandchildren. I’m blessed with the love of friends, and yes, even the love of the stinky monkey kitty cat (he often greets me near the door when I get home from work).  And there are may more examples I could name.

So much awful stuff in this world when I watch the news. So many people suffering. So many more that will suffer if we can’t find a way to end war. So much. So you see, I have no problems. I have absolutely no reason to complain. But I’m human; so I probably will from time to time. I hope you will forgive me when I whine.

As a dear friend of mine used to say, “you want a little cheese with that whine??”

Well I may not like everyone… but I try to LOVE everyone.  Not always easy, but it’s all you need…