Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fall comes a bit early

This morning, the air was cool and crisp. Fall was in the air a week early. Usually the temperature drops the second week of September to a tolerable level. I know this because of all the years I taught in schools with no air conditioning.

For a fleeting moment, I thought wonderful hurricane weather. Then I thought the price and regretted that thought. I certainly feel compassion for all the suffering.

On CBS evening news there was a woman whose child had cerebral palsy. His medicine had gotten wet when they escaped the flooding, and he was having seizures. If I could wish them into my home safe, I would get in the car and pick up his medicine. Mom and child could get cleaned up and have a warm meal.

I still remember the elderly woman who died and someone had covered her head with a coat during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. No water and probably no medications, the stress was too much.

As troubling as the news is, I avoid as much of the news as possible. It gladdens my heart to see all the pickups towing boats going to Houston. I pray for the best for those in the Hurricane's path and their helpers. We all know some very sad outcomes are happening.

At one time, I would keep up with the news. With the turmoil in the country, I have started to avoid all media references to politics. I've felt a lot better since then. My last political beef was something I read about the five different Beckys of "white privilege"which is just another way of telling women to shut up.

I read comments. I've tried to scan them. I do wonder about some people who comment so hard and heavy on one specific topic like in real life. The more fictitious their name is; the less I care what they think. The comments are a great source for creepy statements for your writing. I do enjoy writing some things I think but would never say. However, none of these thoughts reach the creep level of some comments.

My favorite station is Channel 13 and is a CBS station. I've noticed that the nightly news is more palatable than say a friend's Facebook highlights of "The Golden Child of Wisdom Sitting on the Rail Giving A Patriot Review of American Values Right Now dot com".

I used to watch the true crime shows on the ID channel and fall asleep. But CSI or the fiction shows would wake me up with terror when I fell asleep. I guess if it bleeds it leads goes into overtime with fiction shows. The same probably happens with "The Golden Child of Wisdom Sitting on the Rail Giving A Patriot Review of American Values Right Now dot com".

I do pray for the people of Houston and coastal Texas and Louisiana. Rough days are here and ahead for them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The eclipse came and went without me. I spent that time cooking dinner and spending time with my mother. Mom still loves to cook and still does a little. My mother is all fired up for me to get a ten dollar box of okra at Brown's market this Friday. We'll come home, wash them and get them into the freezer. We go to get her shoes Friday morning and Browns is along the way.

I had every intention of going to the Indian Mounds to view the eclipse. They were giving away 50 eclipse glasses. Then it was 600 pairs. Then I knew what a crowd. It was that frustration. I should have gotten some of those protective glasses several weeks ago. I had planned to view this eclipse. Why didn't I do it.

So I watched the eclipse party in Illinois on television as the okra fried. My brother kept looking at me. That is what he does when he is expecting me to do something. It dawned on me to tell him since he was sick we were not going. No big whoop to him. The fact there was an eclipse did not register with him. I noticed my sister going outside to keep up with the eclipse. The biggest surprise is that it did not get dark. However, the air temperature outside went down by 5 degrees.

There will be another one in 2024. However, I will have to travel. It will be a big coincidence as I see it. I will content to be alive during the next one.

I can't say I missed the eclipse. The eclipse didn't miss me. We just both had our own schedules to keep. Cleaning up after dinner, I was glad I didn't follow my impulse to drive to the path of the total eclipse. It would have been a six hour round trip.

As my mother ages and with my sister having had a stroke, we are getting increasingly housebound. We get out to a restaurant about twice a month, and grocery shopping on Wednesday. I used to get out in the evening some and I need to make time to do that some more.

You cannot have your cake and eat it too. I would grieve about it but I am way past that. I spend a way too much time on the computer dawdling. When I see people sitting together scrolling on their phone, I feel like slapping my hands between them and say, "Be careful, life is going to pass you by as you sit there reading some insipid text." There are lots of eclipses that don't involve the sun and moon.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New week, the news has to get better. You can unfollow people but remain friends on Facebook. Right now my Facebook feed is about Genealogy and the local paper. I miss the days of the cat video sharathon.

The fact I have taken in a new stray dog puts me at ten dogs. I got too many dogs and the shelters are full this time of year. Living in a rural county, there is no animal control. The dogs are chasing something back into the woods. I'm hoping it is not another dog. They are cutting the pines down on the property behind me. Maybe it is a deer.

There are tons of chicken trucks delivering birds to the chicken processing plant nearby. My mom and I discuss the urge to set them all free. We had chicken last night for supper. So, I am a hypocrite. We also drive by unkempt grape vines and have the urge to start pruning them.

I've done my first binge watching of a television program. It was Orange is the New Black. I asked my sister if something was in the book. It turns out the book was about 200 pages long. I watched all five seasons this past week. I will say as the seasons progressed, they got duller.

I'm glad I caught them at one time. What cliffhangers, and the characters are very endearing. The bad, bad guys are awful and all three worst got killed. It was supposed to be dramedy. However, the comedy was not real strong for me. It had a more surreal quality. There are some things that I know are supposed to be funny; they just don't strike me that way.

It is not realistic in that all of the prisoners are swell folks deep down inside. All of their meanness is due to bad things in their lives. I used to subscribe to that notion but it is not always true. Some people are plain mean. Evil exists.

The character Poussy is unfairly killed by a guard in a crackdown on prisoner rebellion. That guard goes into a deep dark soul searching depression over the incident. I can see where something like that can eat at your soul. However, most people go for self preservation.

It is a show that is best enjoyed by not thinking too hard. It is pretty ham handed over the injustices of the prison system. They also go overboard with the lesbian content. There is a a lot of soft core porn inserted in shows. I fast forwarded through some; but, some serious dialog happened during the scenes like people discuss the vagaries of life during sex.

Disney movies actually make more money than any other type. Orange is the new black is not Disney material though. Orange is the New Black is about as realistic as a Disney movie.

The main character Piper Chapman is not a likeable character. I loved the characters they created. There was Flaca and Maritza who represent youth and innocence. There are the mothers, the hoodlums, the skinheads, people divided by race with the elderly forming their own group.

A 79 year old inmate plans to stab a really mean and vicious inmate who has caused a lot of problems. She stabs and kills another inmate in that she doesn't wear her glasses because they make her nose look big. Just a reminder that the gals may look harmless but they might not be.

A sad part was a woman with dementia is given a compassionate release. She is taken to a bus station with a ticket. The woman obviously does not have the wits to get on the bus or go anywhere. It reminded me of a man who drowned in the Ocmulgee River about a year ago. He had signed himself out of an nursing home several months before and had been homeless.

It's a good show. It is not as good as the Sopranos. I watched the Sopranos long after the show had ended. It was as good as they said it was. I've tried to watch Breaking Bad. I can't get into it in that I can't buy into the premise of a nice man making meth to rescue his family from doom. I think his family can fend for themselves after his death from cancer. And good people don't make things that will destroy other people and their families.

I am still watching the news. I'm taking a break from thinking about the news. They have started the Civil War back up again. We as a nation are in la la land when the most current thing in the news is something that ended in 152 years ago. But I do pray for reason. I read an article about what Andrew Young had to say about current events. It is a shame we don't hear more reason in the world. But I do thank God that we have had people like Andrew Young to lead and there are younger people leading the world with reason.

Andrew Young's statements in the Atlanta Journal.

I'm one of those people who is actually neutral about the statues. Time will be taking quite a few down soon. There is no fight like the one a family can have. What I wish people could take from the civil war is such a huge price in lives and misery was exacted from the War Between the States.  We should all take a step back from the noise and seek reason.

This letter from a civil war soldier should give us all pause to stop and think.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In God we Trust, everyone else pays cash.

I taught a Russian child whose parents and he were living in Canada. When he was returning to the USSR which was Russia at that time, I put my arm around his shoulder like I would any other kid and wished him a safe trip and a happy life. His doubtful eyes are in my memory. He is one of the children I wonder what happened to them.

That particular child could be difficult. The guidance counselor could calm him down in a minute. She had a note he had written that he would not want his parents to see. The Canadian kids were kids. One time the Russian child challenged me in class.

The little Canucks thought we would have a regular USA versus Russia rivalry. I wound up giving the class a lecture that the disagreements between countries had no role in people not being able to get along. I guess not wanting another class lecture, the kid gave up. He was not that popular and getting a teacher from the South lecturing the class again was not the greatest mantle to wear.

(I was never a disciplinarian. I'm like my parents in that I believe in someone having free will. It's an old Baptist belief. My parent's were not missionary Baptists which most Baptist's are today. It's interesting how beliefs of Quakers and Puritans can reach their hands across centuries and affect us in the present. I went for control to teach class. But kids could have their opinion. When I taught at an evening school, I was careful in asking opinions. You did not always want to hear what a life hardened 17 year old had to say.)

Which leads me to a serious matter. People who underestimate that Russia is an enemy to the United States. I read one blog about the Christian nature of Russia and how the blogger prays for Putin. She looks forward to hearing his Christian message.

As a former KGB agent, I doubt Vladimir Putin has a good message for the United States. Putin may be a practicing Christian. But we know how all of us interpret the message and filter it through our own perspective of the world.

The United States has been the world's policeman for a long time. Small countries all over the world have petitioned the United States for help and many have gotten that help.

If the United States loses it's credibility and leadership, there will be vacuum to fill. Emmanual Macron, President of France and Angela Merkel of Germany have been attempting to fill that gap.  It is inevitable the the United States and Western Europe will lose leadership of the world. But I do not anticipate the coldness and callousness of Russia and China.

In China there is a special uncontaminated food and water supply for their oligarchs. I can't imagine the Flint, Michigan water crisis becoming the norm in the United States.

I listened to Boris Johnson speaking to the Australian media. Johnson pointed out that the actions of the United States are stable although the rhetoric appears destabilizing. Boris Johnson is a conservative MP who was born on the Upper East Side of New York City and an architect of the Brexit.

Boris Johnson's quote My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive. summarizes my opinion of thinking that Putin is our friend and has our best interests at heart. Yeah, pray for him, pray for your enemies. The Bible admonishes us to do so. But the Bible does not direct us to deceived by our enemies.

The business of politics is beyond the scope of most of us. It is an intellect honed by fire. I am not that smart and neither are most people or you. Trump's true weakness is he has lived in a world of privilege where people do exactly what he says. Despite what his "hardcore" followers want, we live in a democracy not a dictatorship. There is a dimension of the "Art of the Deal" that Trump will need to acquire if he wants to govern effectively.

What is interesting to me is that most people are in agreement about certain items but can have different political ideologies. We've become tribal in our politics. Actually, it is our nature handed down over the centuries to us. Some of the lies and/or propaganda used during the American Revolution are surprisingly modern in tone. I'll dig my favorite book up and share a few next week. The book is the American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard

I am a Christian and an American. As an American, I believe we all have a right to serve God in the way we want. I am not afraid of someone having a different belief system as myself. I want the right to believe as I wish. Quite frankly, so many people speaking the mind of God are actually speaking their mind and unaware. In some cases, they are aware and in my belief system they have a lot to fear when they meet the Almighty.

It doesn't take Einstein to know what my message is. The old Soviet Union is the United States enemy. Russia is not concerned with our welfare. They would like the United States to be weak so they can control more of the world. Putin is no one's friend, not even Russia. He squashes political dissent. You may think he agrees with your values. Think again, he is a trained KGB agent. Once he gets what he wants, the heck with you.

What made me aggravated to write this post are the sonic attacks on embassy personnel in Cuba. The cold war has only thawed. Why is North Korea threatening? They perceive as being weak.

When I lived in Canada, I met all walks of life. The frustration of sleeping beside an elephant was how they felt about sharing a border with the United States. A friend shared this article written in 1973 at the close of the Vietnam war. Our country was torn by discord. We are torn again. But the American people have a promise to keep and I hope we keep it.

Friday, August 4, 2017

That song is driving me crazy.

My tour of hell yesterday was not painful. We only went to one store. The new tradition of eating a Chick Fil A sandwich before we go in the store not only saves me from cooking dinner but takes a bite out of the shopping. Except for two packs of strawberries, my mother did not purchase a lot of what we cannot possibly eat. That was my job.

My sister had an appointment with the eye doctor. Riding into town, I was bee bopping to a Tom T. Hall tune on Willie's Roadhouse. I love Sirius radio. Then all of a sudden, the DJ starts talking and he keeps talking and then he says, "If you want to hear my opinion, It was like turn the channel please.  And this is why with all the politics, you really don't want to put your opinion on Facebook. Opinions can be very very very borrrrrinnnnnng. Like a bolt of lightning, I got the message.

I've been reading "Story Grid" by Shawn Coyne. It has been interesting; but, I haven't got past the part of the sales pitch. What is it writing books. Why do they persist in spending the first part of the book about why you need to take them serious. Why else would I be reading the dang book.

I've also been reading some cozy mysteries by Sheila Hudson.

My favorite radio station on Sirius is Willie's Roadhouse. I would not listen to country music with my dad as a teenager. Now I love that music. I remember dad liking Tom T. Hall. Man what a long list of songs and ballads he sang. This is the one that played yesterday. It has a jolly sound.

Tonight I go to a Marty Stuart performance. I've seen him before and he is a great showman.

This Tom T. Hall song was released in 1972. As the Bible says, "There is nothing new under the sun." I like the King James version of the Bible. The old language is what I grew up reading and still enjoy.

Ecclesiastes 1:9King James Version

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.


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