27 April 2015

Monday Musings...
Welcome to 4/5 of the last week of the month of April.
Had our share of showers, so here's hoping we see the same when it comes to "May flowers", right?
I will say that Saturday was quite rainy, and I'll be talking more about that anon.
Our Hoosierland weather today will see us with most sunny skies and a high of around 57 degrees.
Never know it outside right now, though...its in the upper 30s.
Still, I kinda like the colder nights and milder days.
So, with all that said and done, let's see what's been going on since we last met here...
*** First out of the cereal box is out "What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
April 27 - 
---Today is BABE RUTH DAY.
Kinda sorta SELF-explanatory, isn't it?
Might have to have a Baby Ruth to celebrate
(make mine medium well to well done, please)
---And, it's TELL A STORY DAY.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
Sounds like they saw ME coming on that one, and you'll find out why soon enough.
*** Allow me to preface my story of this past weekend by saying it was quite a good experience.
I've been on this rock for almost 63 years, and I've seen a lot of stuff (not as much as Han Solo, though), but if you've been paying attention through those years, you can't HELP but observe some really cool things and people.
---Now, I said that Wifey and I were going to attend a Memorial Service for her late Mom down in Portland, and to start off with, the weather wasn't exactly cooperating - it rained both down AND back, but never enough to remind you of those gully-washers that you remember.
Parked and wet in Portland.
We made it down there well enough and within an hour, where we went into the funeral parlor along the main drag.
The one on the right is the state in Indiana...cool.
The layout for the service as something I have never seen before, because the memorial service we had for my Mom's mother in Philly didn't take place in a small town, and didn't have her "works" displayed.
Wifey's mom was a quilter, which I hear in these parts is a pretty big deal...especially if you are GOOD at it, which Wifey's mom (Nancy) was.
There, in two rooms were many of the quilts she had made for others over the years, and when you look at the TIME and EFFORT that went into every one of them, you can't help but be amazed.
As the people came trickling in for the service (Wifey and I were two hours early, but that was okay), I got to meet those that knew Nancy a lot better than I did. It was such a joy to see as many people as we did, and hear them speak about "the old days".
I'm one of those people that firmly believes that you MUST sit down and talk with those older than you, if for no other reason, than to appreciate the legacy such people leave to you and your generation.
Friends and relatives came by and soon the rooms were filled with all these people - some I knew, and others I met for the first (and perhaps only) time.
Nancy's husband, my dad-in-law, Don was there (up from Vincennes with other family members), and he sat in the front row pew, as did Wifey and I.
The service took an hour, with a pastor there for prayers, but it seemed longer, in a GOOD way, mind you.
It was if time had slowed in it's inexorable pace to allow us the opportunity to enjoy Nancy's life a little longer.
The eulogy by her brother Jeff was the best I have heard in a very long time, and I've had my share of people passing in my life.
He spoke about growing up with Nancy, and how both of them not only grew up, but grew together, even if there were many miles separating them in later life.
We rolled out of the funeral home after midday and went to Ponderosa for some lunch.
All the while, I couldn't help but be amazed at how people come together in such times, and how others remember you.
I suppose THAT says more than ANY epitaph on some headstone in any cemetery.
During a time when somber is the dominant word, I didn't feel that way, even throughout the drive back in the rain.
I felt a sense of renewal, if you can imagine that.
It's true that as many people as YOU influence by your meeting them, the number is much greater of those that influence you.
I went into Saturday with a sense of duty, and of slight dread, because I don't much like such "endings" in life...but I came away a better person for being with people of good repute, and those with whom ethical behavior, and  whose moral compasses are pointed in a proper direction.
It actually allows you to know that there are STILL a great number of good people in the world...to follow in the steps of those good people who have gone on to greater things before them.
And that's all I'm gonna say about that...
*** Next up was Sunday, and the critters were out in abundance.
So, I decided to "rest", as in mow the back yard...LOL.
Even got those "lines" going on.
Hey, that's relaxing for me...mostly.
I figured that lawn was getting a wee bit tall in the grass, so what the hell...
As, I was mowing, I caught some movement out the corner of my eye...so I cut power to the mower and froze.
A little (baby) bunny darted out in front of me, made a 90 degree turn on a dime and bounded into the lilies we have along the fence.
Wifey was outside with me, and SHE saw him run, too.
Too fast to get a picture of, I'll grant you that.
He wasn't going to be "found", though, and ran to the back fence and out of the yard (to return later, no doubt).
The lawn DOES look nice.
Looks nice from down HERE, too, Bob.
That new blade we got last year helps immensely.
Naturally, a few of the "regulars" HAD to stop by and enjoy the nice day we had.
"Wrinkles" like nuts of ALL sizes...
Between the lawn, the critters, and the FX channel showing superhero movies ALL day, it wasn't that bad in the ghettohood (for a change) for this old boy.
*** This Friday will premiere what I believe to be one of THE best (and most profitable) movies in my lifetime:
Marvel's Avengers - The Age Of Ultron
Now for those of you that can't "get into" this sort of thing...that's fine.
But I refuse to grow up THAT much, so bear with me...lol.
Dare I EAT it, though?
Marketing has already taken a firm foothold on this movie event, and I bought a box of AVENGERS CEREAL at the grocery, to go with the DR. PEPPER 2 ltr with the Avengers on the label (they also have collector cans in the 12 and 24 packs).
Stores have toys, apparel...you name it, and it's got "Avengers" on it.
I kinda like it, because "back in the day" we didn't have ANYTHING connected to movies in the quantity they have today.
Hell, you were lucky to get a souvenir PROGRAM at the theater (which I still own several like BEN HUR, SWEET CHARITY and TORA, TORA, TORA).
Those have to be worth something by now, hmm?
In any event, with all the hype, I think it will be a BLOCKBUSTER, and might take the coveted #1 spot on the charts.
My late buddy, Hank (who we used to call HULK and had a GREEN GOALIE MASK when he played on our street hockey team) would have loved to see this, as we often talked about how they should make movies like this (and that as back in the late 1960s).
Guess anything worth having is worth waiting for...
*** Last back to the bunkhouse...life is complex, and in today's world, it seems to get MORE complex every week.
And, I've said many times, that we are trying to be pulled in so many directions, that we don't know which way is the right way.
But this weekend has showed me much in the way that PEOPLE ARE VALUED, and it's certainly not as cheaply as we see down here in the ghettohood. What I saw this weekend was a LASTING value - one that surpasses life itself, and that's damn good to realize.
Are we all as fortunate as my late mother-in-;aw was?
That all depends on how define  "fortune"..
If you consider fortune by mere wealth or riches, than I'd have to say no
If, however, you refer to a person who became "rich" by the people they came to know and love, than most definitely yes.
I guess that's why I always seem to harp on becoming a better person than you were yesterday.
There are people we know all our lives, others we know for a short time, an those we pass along a street or store aisle, and never see again.
And we must always be prepared to let them see that better person within us, because they just might be doing the same thing.
With all these people around striving to become better each day...imagine how much better the world COULD become, instead of how it currently is.
That's something to think about, isn't it?
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.

24 April 2015

It's a WEEKEND...
Welcome to ther last Friday in the month oif April.
This time next week, we'll be staring at a brand new month, and all the fun that comes along with it, including a "special" posting, so stay tuned.
Our Hooiserland weather again finds us with some chilly temps (below freezing in fact) to start off with today, but we're supposed to warm up into the upper 50s
Later tonight into tomorrow looks to have some rain involved, but we're not getting that for the majority of today.
Look to see mostly sunny skies then..
Now, with that behind out of the way, let's all grab a soothing cup of Friday fortitude and set out on a journey of the mind and soul...oh, and see what's going on elsewhere, too.
*** First out of the bathtub is out "What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
April 24 - 
Never really can say this was a favorite of mine...but I'll eat it if I have to.
***And because it's FRIDAY, let's see what the weekend has in store for us:
April 25 - 
---Saturday is EAST MEETS WEST DAY.
Do we HAVE to learn Mandarin?
(sure beats 150 years ago when NORTH met SOUTH)
Formal attire "required"?
(break out the "tux" and the HAPPY FEET)
April 26 -
Hey mate, THIS counts, too, 'ya know.
That's gonna hard for MOST of us, and the travel involved is both expensive and time-consuming.
Nothing like a PHILLY soft pretzel
Wonder if they make a distinction between HARD and SOFT pretzels?
Charles Richter and his scale.
Well, that looks to be a rather earth-shaking celebration, does it not?
And there you have it...all the cool things to muck about with.
Moving on...
*** Looks like some of that Fort Wayne LEGACY MONEY will be dumped into the Riverfront Development Project.
Here's the proof:
Looks nice...until it FLOODS.
Gee, if the "private sector" wants this to happen SO damn bad, why don;t THEY pony up the funding, instead of using legacy money?
So, they toss a cool $6 MIL at this...and the SE side keeps getting NOTHING to make our part of town better.
Listen to it FLUSH.
Sorry, no amount of "nice" this city smears onto itself, will erase the BLIGHT they've allowed to be created down here.
Another waste of funds, for a niche` venue.
*** If you think the NAACP does good work...think again.
How's about dealing COCAINE?
Here's the story:
Yes, friends, the president of the Muncie, Indiana NAACP has been arrested for selling cocaine not once, not twice, but THREE separate times to an undercover officer.
The "reason" (read excuse) given was to "pay for child support".
Seems to be a recurring theme with a lot of these folks.
(when they're not being violent elsewhere for no real reason)
Timothy Wade Miles, 49, was charged and arrested by authorities, and has been suspended from his REAL job assistant director of transportation of the Muncie Indiana Transit System (which should pull down some a nice paycheck).
Hope he likes wearing orange.
*** Next up, Wifey and I have to change things up a bit today and tomorrow, as there is a memorial service for her mom who passed earlier this year.
That means grocery shopping for today, and that also means a trip along the construction site along Lower Huntington Rd.
This apparently has SOME people perplexed, as we see in this story:
Like I said, I have had NO problem navigating this area, although I have been wondering WTH is taking so long to get this part of road FIXED.
We should put THESE around the "Fortress".
The barrels are numerous already, but people want MORE and signage to go along with it.
Given that some people are too busy doing OTHER things while driving, I doubt if that will help.
If you're paying the hell ATTENTION to what you're doing WHILE driving, it's a non-issue...or it SHOULD be.
*** Last back to the parking lot...I have to admit that I'm not REALLY NOT into funereal things, which I suppose is okay, because whenever MINE rolls around (and we know it will), I won't be "in attendance" per se, to be unsettled in my feelings.
Been through plenty in my life already, and that's too many.
I attended my first funeral when I was but a youth - my Uncle Joe passed and I was barely into elementary school.
I stayed close to Aunt Elsie the whole time...
I wasn't exactly creeped out (kids are resilient in that way), but it DID have an effect on me.
As we all get older, the number of such services we attend unfortunately grow in number...them's the cold, hard facts.
Some are harder than others to attend, and some you never get the chance TO attend, because of time and distance.
Hell, even when a beloved pet passes away, it's an emotional time.
My father once attended a funeral for one of his good friends at work - should have never had an open casket ceremony (death by car accident), and that stuck with him the remainder of HIS life.
Sorry, no comfy chairs here.
For me, it's just I don't like the "permanence" of saying good bye like that.
I don't like the last memory of someone I cared about to be one so somber and desultory in nature.
And to think I was once offered a job as a driver for the funeral home that buried my parents and grandmother...
While I look good in black (until they come up with a DARKER color), it's just not for me, although the pay was't bad.
Guess one has to draw the line somewhere when it comes to your true feelings, hmm?
I know I would like to plan to be LATE for my own funeral...just that once.
DO have yourselves a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and, as always...
Stay SAFE out there, America.

23 April 2015

Rolling Towards The Weekend...
Welcome to another chilly morning out here in the Midwest.
A freeze-warning is in effect today until 0900 hrs (and again tonight), in case you were thinking of planting some flowers (or have already done so).
The rest of our Hoosierland weather will have us with a high today on nearly 50 degrees, mostly CLEAR skies (seeing the sun rising outside), and much milder breezes, as opposed to all those gusty winds we;'e had (which tends to blow all the local litter onto our property for some strange reason), so you DON'T need to weigh down the small pets (or children).
Now, let's get a nice soothing beverage parked beside us, as we take a look at what else has been going on...
*** First out of the laundry chute is the answer to yesterday's WHO SAID THAT? quote:
"Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do, and what is right to do."
This was spoken by Potter Stewart (who?) - (23 January 1915 - 7 December 1985)..
He was an American Associate Supreme Court justice, appointed under the Eisenhower administration
He is best noted for his major contributions to criminal justice reforms, and here is his WIKI:
While not a long read, there are some very interesting points regarding Potter's tenure as a Justice, most notablly his view on CIVIL RIGHTS, as well as the FOURTH AMENDMENT.
In a dissenting opinion in the case of Ginsburg v The United States - 383 U.S. 463 (1966), he said that "Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime."
Now, before 1967, 4th Amendment protections applied specifically to notions of property: possessory geographical locations like apartments, or physical objects. Stewart's opinion, as cited in Katz v United States, established that the 4th Amendment "protects PEOPLE, not places."
This case involved illegal wiretaps, and that the government was "seizing" the words of the caller.
The reach of this Amendment also extended to a person's REASONABLE privacy expectation, with the Amendment no longer defined solely by property limits.
Pretty good read, if you want to understand the scope of our Constitution.
Moving on...
*** And it's time for our 'What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
April 23 - 
---Today is LOVER'S DAY.
Has to do with the death anniversary of Cervantes.
(nothing about being loved though...that kinda bites)
(one of the few veggies that makes a decent bread)
---And, it's TAKE A CHANCE DAY.
Why jump out of a perfectly GOOD plane?
(Heh, I take a chance every time I venture outside our "Fortress" down in the ghettohood...why have JUST ONE day for it?0
...But does it make a good mix with RUM?
I tend to view the world AS A LABORATORY (of sorts), and I've already seen those (passing for people) that belong in a Darwinian PETRIE DISH...lol
*** Next up, looks like local police nabbed that fire-bomber.
Here's the story:
This perp's got some nice anger-management issues.
Donald L. Buchanan, 46, of the 4300 block of Lillie St faces preliminary charges of detonating a destructive device, intimidation, arson, and 2 counts of invasion of privacy for his actions.
Josh L. Bruner, 25, of the 4400 block of Leesburg Rd, is also involved but not in the firebombing.
He was pissed over the fire-bombing of that house.
(as I would be).
His part is that of an assailant against Buchanan with charges of battery by means of a deadly weapon, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, residential entry, and pointing a firearm.
Gotta love life in the ghettohood, don'cha?
*** Next, a volcano in Chile blows it's top.
Here's the story:
A lotta crap into a lotta air there.
Now, you're probably wondering WTH has this got to do with US here in the USA?
Well, let's take into account that Caibuco volcano is tossing TONS of ash into the air, as it erupts.
And, all that ash isn't falling back to earth immediately, is it?
Much of the particular matter stays in the atmosphere, and has a tendency to cut down the amount of sunlight reaching the planet.
Eventually, it will come back down, but never right away, and that means the potential for "climate change".
Yes, our climate is ALWAYS CHANGING, so this term is pretty much taken for granted.
This volcano eruption, as well as others around the globe would seem to bear witness that the earth might NOT be heating up like some are trying to BS us into believing.
If I hear one more leftard talk about global WARMING...
It might be causing just the opposite effect; that of COOLING . It HAS happened in the past...several times. Look it up.
Just thought you might want to know about that...lol.
*** Next up, all those renovations at various FWCS schools is costing LESS than expected.
Here's the story link:
Now that's something we don't hear every day, is it? Projects coming in UNDER budget?
Guess we can toss out a "wow" here, huh?
*** Next, a study in paying attention while driving.
Here's the link:
I've driven this stretch of road most every week, and the construction's been SLOW to completion. I will say that much.
But, I have never encountered ANYTHING that would cause Wifey and I to get "stuck" in the area...it's been plainly marked for WEEKS.
However, if you're otherwise occupied while driving, I can see where it may present a problem.
This is the stretch of Lower Huntington Rd that passes by Willow Crack...I mean CREEK Crossing Apartments (our former residence that was broken into way back in 1997)
The area is in less better repair than when we lived there, that's for sure.
One might even say that crime is rising around that part of town.
On the other side of LHR, the street is nice and smooth, but you can tell the area is in a state of "flux" as far as the demographics are concerned.
Gone is the one man who used to live along LHR, across from WWC Apts who owned a vintage pea-green Model A Ford - now replaced by cars that I would see along our streets here in the ghettohood. And when you start to see MORE cars than the garage AND driveway can handle (combined), that says a lot about the residents.
As I said, I don't have issues with the construction, other than the fact that it's been taking WAY too long to complete. It's not an impediment to average drivers.
*** Last back to the outhouse...I'm always keen to say that around our part of town "If it's one damn thing...it's another".
Gone are the days when you did NOT have to concern yourself with constant security...or litter...or noise...or bad neighbors.
We've had ALL the aforementioned societal banes with us for some time (here), and there seems to be no end to the cretins that perpetrate such behaviors.
The city wants to ignore such things, because they think it'll all just go away on it's own.
That's not gonna happen.
If anything it's gonna spread, and it's started to do so for the last several years.
It would be nice to not have to wonder if today will be the day a bullet comes through a window, or another fight will break out on our lawn after midnight. It would nice to enjoy what you have, rather than wonder if you even want to do anything to improve the property, because the money IN to any project will NOT translate to better VALUE of that property.
And, it would be nice to not have to hear the "tales" of other peoples' lives, due to THEIR loud mouths screaming, and their loud music thumping to all hours.
In essence, it would be nice to have the police take charge and do what we pay them to do, and it's not chase after every dumbass radio call.
The sheer number of "911 hang-ups" is enough to make your eyes bleed...and that's every stinking day!
We seem to have more UNFOUNDED calls that ones the police can actually act upon and resolve to some measure.
As always the PEOPLE are to blame for all of this.
The streets, houses, trees, and lawns have not made this area a blight all by themselves. They had HELP...of the two-footed variety, and until or unless THAT problem is addressed, decent folks will be stuck with the proverbial "bad hand".
They say you play the cards you're dealt in life, and that's fine and dandy...as long as THREE things don't happen:
Gotta learn to read your "opponent", too.
1) The deck is stacked AGAINST you
2) The dealer is drawing from the BOTTOM of that deck
3) Other players have ACES up their sleeves
Life should be as honest a game as you can find, because you only get ONE go-around "at the table", and you have to play it the best way you can.
Win, lose, or draw...right?
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.