Thursday, February 18, 2021

Social Media is partly to blame.

I remember when I was in college Studio 54 was in it's heyday. I honestly thought that if I ever went to New York City, I would go. Now I know there is no way they would have let me in. And if they had let me in, I would have been paralyzed witnessing some of the stories they had about the place. I have spent a life with a degree of naivete. 

Fotothek df n-15 0000413 Disko
East German Discotheque circa 1977

It is interesting that suddenly a lot has been banned on Facebook and Twitter. Ya think it could be a financial decision. The 2.9 billion lawsuit by a voting machine company over lost revenue will be an interesting bit of television. I was busy cleaning my brother's house getting it ready for sale and missed much of the impeachment trial. I was not surprised by the verdict. Trump's defense attorneys did not offer much of a defense. They knew going in there were not enough votes to convict for inciting the insurrection.

But---Social Media has some blame. Not the companies, but the lies people casually shared with one another. I shared a few too. One of my posts came back as partially false on Facebook. I deleted the post. I noticed a grammar issue and a misspelled word which I should have noted as a red flag. 

My beef with social media is more personal. I have a sister who has had a stroke. Predators use social media well and they can be someone local. The other nuisance is the well meaning fount of wisdom who gives advice which they do not know is useless and counterproductive.

In following politics on twitter, I know why the gist of twitter eluded me. There is too much flotsam. I enjoy some of the politics. Some of it is just mean spirited opinion. Some of it is news before it is news.  Having learned twitter by anger over the insurrection, I recognize one big fact.

I will never have a valid platform on any social media site. I'm just not an exciting person. I've noticed we all join a subgroup and become an echo chamber of opinions. I will say I avoided politics on Facebooks and still do. But politics is quite fun on twitter. I hate that some have been banned in that I don't think going to little known sites creates a healthy environment. Part of a healthy viewpoint is that chiding we all get that moderates our opinions.

A local professor has been put in the limelight via twitter by a student for a quite nasty comment they made to a student. As a retired teacher, I think about how a bit of well said sarcasm was enjoyed by students including the target of the sarcasm. But it could get you in hot water. So I sympathize with this teacher. I don't know her from Adam's housecat, and her comment was horrible.. 

I loved my summer school students who were really a classroom of boys who did not turn in a paper. You never got a student in there with low marks due to lack of ability. I had one class that I thought was going to best me. But after two weeks, they calmed down and were really quite nice kids. 

One lad would tell me he could not do the assignments. He sat next to me and was really very bright. He would start that petty banter with me. I was reading and marking papers. I turned to him and told him I couldn't fix stupid and winked at him. He loved it. But man, on twitter, I would have had to leave the country for saying something like that. Although those boys could be rascals, I doubt any of them would have ratted me out on twitter.

Meanwhile none of this is very important for those scrambling in Texas and other regions with the powerful winter storms they are experiencing. I pray they get their power going, pipes repaired and water flowing soon. There is a lot of real suffering happening. There is little any of us can do but pray for them. God bless the emergency workers and repair workers who will be going to these hard hit areas. 


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Well I'll be.

 Tempus fugit is the story of my life. When I bought my first house, I was pressured to save for the down payment and get moved. It was one of the best things that I did financially but it was not on my time schedule. I've always thought when it comes time for my funeral; it needs to start late. There is never enough time.

This past year I lost my older brother. He was my first teacher of the world around me. I remember the history lesson. We have had two wars. We won the first and lost the second one. We used to play civil war. We had an American flag and a Confederate flag. The person with the flag who ran to the stop sign first won the war. It was about a tenth of a mile and we had not entered school yet. 

I had an easy childhood, adulthood came to me in moments. I remember doing something stupid and I started making excuses to rationalize it and that thought crept over me that why would I make an excuse to myself. 

My brother passed without a will. He had a few typed that I had found. In the end, I was the heir. He and his wife divorced in 2014. He did not have biological children. The state of GA has a hierarchy of heirs and my mother is his heir at 90 years of age. For me this works well in that my three surviving siblings are disabled. My mother does have a will. Although she does not have a King's ransom; she is passing most to me to provide for my disabled siblings. That is what my brother wanted me to do with what he had.

My encounters with the legal system has educated me on what you can or cannot do. My sister with mental illness wants me to create a savings account for her. I would. But I would have to pay a bond and a lawyer to spend that money. Which goes to the conundrums the law creates. It makes it very expensive and a burden to take care of mentally incapacitated people in Georgia. My mother has me on all her bank accounts so I don't have this burden with her funds. It was with a great deal of sadness that I learned I don't have enough money to create a trust for my sister and brother.

I closed out my brother's bank account at a credit union. It took about an hour and a half yesterday. I left my house at 12:30 PM for the appointment at 3:30 PM. The drive should have taken 2 1/2 hours. I walked in at exactly 3:30. 

After my brother passed, I paid a few of his bills. He owed about $530 on a credit card. I wrote a check. The credit union returned the check with a phone number for me to call. I called and the lady told me they would waive the $530 fee and I could close his account when the bank opened up from being closed due to Covid and I had gone through probate. I had filed for probate in April, the court processed my application in September. I had run legal notices in the newspapers in the county my brother lived. 

My mother is 90 and leaving her in the care of my sister is difficult. My sister does a good job. My mother gets panicked about me being gone. But I have decided once a week, I am dealing with my brother's house. Friday was to do the bank account and then stop by his house to get some of his papers. My brother has every bill and bank statement from the 1980s. There is a box with his Vietnam papers which may be every bill from the seventies. I did clean a bit since his house is a 2 1/2 hour drive from mine. It really is a cute house. I looked out the back bedroom window at the slope of the land outside as I took curtains down to wash at my house.

Act I is the legal quagmire of my brother's estate. The credit union had blocked his account for non-payment of the credit card. The gal helping at first wanted me to write a personal check to pay the credit card. (Crazy in that they would not let me pay for it March of 2020.) I agreed but I had to correct her on one point. She said I would be getting the money back from his account. I told her actually I would not be getting the money. The money was written in a check to his estate. 

She scrambled when I made that statement and whoever she was talking to on the phone decided to take it out of his checking and savings account and issued a check which will be good for thirty days. I have got to open a checking account for his estate and get an EIN number from the IRS. So you can guess what I will be doing once I post this blog entry.  

My goal is to write the post on the day before garbage day which is Thursday and have my blog posted Thursday. I put fallen limbs from the Pecan trees in the empty trash cart and haul them up to the house to burn. I'm on a schedule, I hope.

At my brother's funeral, I had this Johnny Paycheck song played.


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