30 October 2009

Weekend Roundup...
I've chosen to "replay" my EIGHT SIMPLE RULES for Halloween (according to BOB), and I promise it won't hurt one bit.
But first, I want to take a minute to commend a member of the FWPD for his diligence in a pursuit that occurred yesterday afternoon in Fort Wayne, and ended in DeKalb County.

((Driver fleeing police flips on gravel road in DeKalb Airlifted to hospital with head injuries; chase began in city
Michael ZennieThe Journal Gazette
Cathie Rowand The Journal Gazette
A 15-minute, 15-mile chase that sent Fort Wayne police into DeKalb County on Thursday ended when the driver lost control of his fleeing Jeep, which flipped on a gravel road north of Garrett.
The driver, Kyle Berger, 21, was flown to a Fort Wayne hospital in serious condition with head injuries after emergency crews removed him from his sport utility vehicle, where he was trapped, according to DeKalb County sheriff’s Deputy Mike Keesler.
A Fort Wayne officer tried to pull Berger over about 1:15 p.m. in the 14000 block of Coldwater Road, according to officer Michael Joyner, Fort Wayne Police Department spokesman. Someone had flagged down a Fort Wayne sergeant to report that the Jeep was being driven erratically, Joyner said.Instead of stopping, Berger fled north on Coldwater Road into DeKalb County, police said, and Allen County officers gave chase.
The Fort Wayne man reached speeds of 60 to 65 mph as he fled along Indiana 327, according to police. When he came to Garrett, he accelerated to 70 mph. Garrett police officers set out stop sticks and managed to deflate one of the SUV’s tires.

Police expected Berger to crash about three miles north of Garrett, where Indiana 327 curves sharply, Keesler said.
But the Jeep skipped the turn and continued north on County Road 11, which is a gravel road. When he hit the unpaved road, Berger lost control, swerved and struck a tree about 1:30 p.m. between DeKalb County roads 32 and 28, Keesler said.
When police arrived, Berger was trapped in the upside-down Jeep.
In addition to any charges from Fort Wayne police, Berger will face a charge in DeKalb County of resisting law enforcement, Keesler said.))

I personally know the FWPD officer involved in the initial chase (which began near his neighborhood), and I can say (from the information provided me) that the pursuit WAS warranted, and that NO officers and NO innocent civilians were injured during the chase.
I'm sure the perp enjoyed his helicopter ride to the hospital (and I'm even more sure he'll like the BILL for that aerial tour of the city).
Congrats to Sgt. Jim Ritchie on a good pursuit, a good collar and for getting a dangerous driver OFF the roads of our city and county!
Now...on the "lighter" side:
Put your tongue in your cheek for this one:
Oh, no...it's Trick Or Treat Time, and aside from watching GARFIELD'S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE on the trusty DVD player and kicking back with a nice glass of something in the 80 proof range, I'm not doing one blessed thing else. Those kids can knock until their knuckles chafe.
And in that vein, I dug up part of the post from LAST HALLOWEEN in case you've forgotten the "rules of the game". Since I don't plan to participate, feel free to apply AS MANY OF THESE as is pertinent to YOUR particular situation when the "Beg-A-Thoners" stop on by.

**Rule #1: You show up WITHOUT a costume....you have TWO choices:
a) You can just turn around and LEAVE, or (my favorite) ...
b) Show me you're WORTHY of my free candy WITHOUT a costume by jumping through the FLAMING HOOPS I have set up on my lawn, OK? If the folks can't blow TEN bucks to get you SOME kind of costume (and dressing in mom's old clothes could bring up gender confusion issues, even though it's FREE), then just spend TWO bucks for some of your OWN candy (**hint: after the 31st, ALL the HALLOWEEN candy is 50% OFF...check Walgreens and CVS)!


**Rule #2: If you're OLDER than say....12 years old, you better either have a DAMN GOOD (original) costume, or you better have the mental state of a 3 year old. Either one will get you treats! Anything else will get you a front door closed in your pre-pubescent face! If you're THAT old...just stop at Lassus Handy-Dandy and grab a bag of M&Ms for yourself, lazy-ass!


**Rule #3: Facepaint ALONE does NOT a costume make....Even SOLDIERS wear a UNIFORM with their facepaint, and Indians have horses and head-dresses.....so...NO horse, NO head-dress...NO treats, Kimosabi!

**Rule #4: If you are coming to my house on Hallowe'en with a BUNCH of friends...be advised, I WILL be "packing" (to politely dissuade you from a home invasion)!

**Rule #5: Don't try taking a "short cut" across MY lawn to cross the street (the barbed wire and punji sticks I have up will do a real number on your legs and feet...trust me)! Better to stay ON the sidewalk that the city provided with your parents' tax dollars!

**Rule #6: DO NOT show up at the house as a ZOMBIE, LIVING-DEAD person, or some sort of analogous entity. If I EVER want to see the living dead (aside from a George Romero flick), all I have to do is watch MOST of the non-working "neighbors on welfare" that have NO future (past the next bottle of malt liquor or blunt) meander through their pitiful lives. Also...NO ELMOS!

**Rule #7: When I ask you to take what you want from the huge bowl of candy, that DOES NOT MEAN grab every damn single piece OF candy.....taking EVERYTHING should NEVER be a choice...it means be SELECTIVE...others might want to drop on by, 'K?

**Rule #8: If you don't like what we GIVE (free) to you, don't even think about retaliatory measures....I've already PLANNED for THAT contingent...(heh, heh, heh)...and you might not like the result (did I mention NO ELMOS?).
**So there you are...MY "Eight Simple Rules" for handling Halloween. I think it's more in the "spirit" of the evening, and if you want to get a slice of what exactly this curmudgeon's been going on about, I DARE you to watch Garfield's Halloween Adventure (if you can find a copy)....funny thing...they WILL show The Great Pumpkin, but DON'T televise Garfield in INDIANA, which is the HOME of Jim Davis, the CREATOR of Garfield...what's up with that?
Hey, It's not a TOTAL waste...I got my DVD of Garfields' Halloween, so I WILL watch it...again...so THERE!
And when the kids come a'calling...I'll just turn the TV up...a little louder.
OR...I could say that Obama took all my candy and gave it to those less fortunate, as part of a "redistribution of wealth" thing...
Either way...doesn't matter.
What DOES matter is that you all...
Have a great weekend, and please don't forget to turn those clocks BACK (Saturday night) ONE HOUR.
Yes, it's the end of Daylight Saving Time (not that we saved all that much time...did we?)
You DO get to sleep in an extra hour on Sunday...!
Stay safe out there, America.

29 October 2009

Just "Leaf" The House Alone...
Here in Fort Wayne, we're into the first week of our "leaf removal" process, which usually runs for the better part of 45 days (give or take).
It's a good system...it works, as long as those removing the leaves take some care to not destroy property, or do a half-assed job.
This year, instead of three pickups, we'll only be getting TWO (austerity program, no doubt), with MY part of town beginning next Monday (for the week). The last pickup will be early December...then we're done.
Now, went out a few years back, got a great deal on an electric leaf blower (Craftsman - cost under $30 - helluva bargain), and it does a rather decent job of getting all that leafy schmutz off the lawn onto the curb line, where it belongs.
Today will be another day of toil for me in that regard...
For others around the neighborhood, they either DO NOTHING (a favorite pastime), or they hand rake all the leaves INTO the gutter (past the curb). That's NOT what they're supposed to do.
Think about it...
it you place the leaves (for pickup, mind you) INTO the street, what happens *if* we have rain (which we usually do this time of year)?
Well, it IS one helluva way to clog the culverts (when these same people aren't tossing booze bottles and other trash down them, that is).
And clogged culverts leads to pooling of water.
Now...*if* we get a freeze overnight, we wind up with a ready-made ICE RINK at most intersections.
(whoever said the citizens have no appreciation for winter "activities"?)
Yeah, it's the old "cause and effect" at work here, people.
So, no matter HOW MANY TIMES the city tells people through the media sources (newspapers and radio/TV), they STILL do whatever they WANT to do.
This is called PROGRESS.
At least, that what those in City Hall want us to believe.
Now, I said all that to say this:
Since the advent of leaves falling from trees, I've had TWO (count 'em...2) "visits" from people wanting to rake my lawn.
I don't know who the hell these people are either, but one young boy lives down the street (at a house where pot is smoked).
He showed up last weekend (midday) on a bike...WITH NO RAKE, asking if we needed our leaves removed.
I don't know about YOU, but doing it BY HAND would take considerable time...and effort. My "confidence" in his ability was less than positive.
(maybe he was gonna run home and get the rake...yeah, that's it)
And yesterday, around 1400 hours, another guy shows up on another bicycle (this time WITH a rake, so he appeared more "reputable" than the last one), but I told him "I have a LEAF BLOWER...thanks anyway"...end of story there.
I find it SO damn amazing that these people seemingly "come out of the woodwork" whenever a "fast buck" might be made, and especially when they come ONLY to OUR house (scoping us out?). I didn't see EITHER person ride to ANY other house on the block...interesting.
I'm sorry, but "back in the day", you KNEW who was showing up to rake leaves (if you had trees, that is...we didn't) or cut your lawn...you knew all the kids on the block (and on a street with over SIXTY row homes on it, that was a lot of kids).
I might be older...and move with less cat-like speed and dexterity, but I can still get the job done...I ain't dead yet, folks...I just get a lot more "dead tired" than I used to....LOL.
And speaking of houses...
We're still seeing more foreclosures...thought we bailed everyone out on that one...guess not.
I suppose that's what happens when folks take that (free?) $8000 for "first-time home buyers" and go and get a house they can't possibly AFFORD. It's little wonder they find themselves in hock up to their eye teeth within a short span of time, especially in such a stagnant economy.
And speaking of the economy...
SEARS is planning an early start to the holiday season with a special "Black Friday" today...
Go to their website, and you'll see sales abounding, as if it were the day after Thanksgiving.
Nice ploy...and it might work for them.
I still say we're getting WAY too far ahead of ourselves, regarding the holiday season.
Chicago is ALREADY putting up the holiday lighting downtown...
Our city is putting up it's display as well.
And speaking of cities...
Fort Wayne currently has FOUR "neighborhood advocates", covering the 4 quadrants of the city.
Well, that's gonna change...
The city wants to eliminate TWO of the positions, due to budgetary issues.
Personally, I'm OK with that. The person covering MY part of town (one Cherise Dixie - successor to Brent Dufor, another do-nothing) NEVER returned emails. Get rid of her for starters.
In fact, since the rollout of this advocate program (over 8 years ago), I have not seen ANY improvement in MY neighborhood, or in surrounding neighborhoods.
It has gotten worse over the years...not better.
This is (also) called PROGRESS.
Of course, I base my conclusions on the FACT that you need a viable NEIGHBORHOOD in order to make any "neighborhood-related" program WORK, don't you?
Block after block of renters, who usually live in the area for a few years before they move elsewhere (gots to stay ahead of the PO-lease) have absolutely NO vested interest in the neighborhood they crib in.
I've seen the rentals roll over tenants year after year (and there's a few I wanted to roll over myself...with MY CAR...a lot).
Drug houses crop up, close down, move somewhere else, and another bunch of human refuse takes their place...
And yes, THIS is called PROGRESS, too.
But at least we're not staring at a foreclosure...
(We take our victories wherever we can find 'em these days).
Finally, today the government rolls out this "health-care" bill...
(not gonna be a pretty sight, I can assure you).
I would point to the city of GALVESTON, TX when it comes to how to properly manage something...say like...social security.
Here's a link to what THEY have done by "opting out" of the government-run SSI program:
http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba514/
Now, with this health care plan, it seems that even*if* a state "opts out" of the federal plan, they cannot be free of the TAXES associated WITH this plan...so where the hell is the "benefits" from not taking this form of socialized medicine, anyway?
Short answer: There IS none.
I cannot, with good conscience support such ridiculous notions as government-run health care.
No one saves any money, we get taxed more, and care becomes worse than before. Watch BOTH hands here, people!
But...THIS is (you guessed it)...called PROGRESS.
If we argued the PROS and CONS of such issues, would it not be correct for us to say that he opposite of PROGRESS could be called CONGRESS?
Just some things to think about...as you have your morning cup of joe.
Enjoy the day...and, as always...
Stay safe out there, America.

28 October 2009

Humpday Happenings...
So I go out yesterday, fire up the trusty electric leaf blower (I detest mucking about with fuel first up in the mornings), and proceed to rid our lawn of those pesky leaves..
Then, we get rain later in the day, and it's looks like I never even touched a single leaf. It looks worse than it did BEFORE I went outside, so we already KNOW what I have staring at me TOMORROW, right?
(besides, dry leaves move easier)
Aside from that, there have been a few more ridiculous things happening in our small part of the galaxy.
** SOTH Nancy Pelosi has decided to banter semantics with this (uber-flawed) health-care bill. Be still my beating heart.
We shall no longer refer to "it" (the bill) as having a "public option", but rather a more (user-friendly) CONSUMER option.
All I can say is...wow...!
Who knew that THIS would make ALL the difference?
Well, sign me the hell UP...I'm really into a CONSUMER option, instead of that nasty PUBLIC one...ROFLMAO!
I mean if it (still) walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and tastes like a duck...it SURE AS HELL AIN'T PORK CHOPS, people!
By all means, I would like another side order of BULLSH*T to go with that plan, sweetheart!
I wish these civil SERVANTS would listen the hell UP to THOSE who pay their salaries, instead of "looking out for our welfare".
My (and probably your) welfare is JUST FINE, thank you very much.
We all know this is another failed attempt by our (esteemed) government to "run" something they have to business running.
Want proof?
How's about the USPS?
AMTRAK ring a bell anywhere?
What about WELFARE...or MEDICARE/MEDICAID?
Getting warmer?
The Obama administration (mmm, mmm, mmm) has all but admitted that this FIRST "stimulus plan" isn't working, and yet they "say" we'll need another one (to bail out the first one?)...WTF is going on here, anyway?
But we'll just change the WORDING, so you think it's BETTER...yeah, right.
We'll call it something "better-branded"....I thought branding pertained to CATTLE?
(maybe that's how the government views WE...the PEOPLE)
** School "free lunch" programs are becoming fast-debted...(who knew?)
I stated here MANY times that people cannot simply be SO POOR as to NOT be able to afford ANYTHING for their children for breakfast...that simply DOES NOT HAPPEN in America!
Cripes, even homeless people, living under an interstate highway have shelters to go to and grab a meal and a bunk for the night.
Surely, the people I see, living in real HOUSES (rentals or not), driving NICE cars, getting taxpayer-funded WIC and food stamps can certainly get eggs...or milk...or cereal...just so the kids can have something to get their day going, right?
How hard is that, anyway?
Cereal + milk + spoon = "breakfast".
(sounds like a plan to me)
Free food of ANY kind was unheard of in MY (school) days...
Our schools (back then) had CHEAP food, but it wasn't FREE.
(some wasn't half-bad, either...shepherd's pie...mmmm)
May-be, it was because our PARENTS (that's PLURAL, as in mom AND dad) managed to MAKE SURE we had something to eat (even if it was PB&J 5 days a week). May-be it was because they CARED a lot more. May-be it was because they were not afraid to WORK for a living, even if it meant taking a menial job to fund something we USED to call a...(wait for it)....FAMILY!
Hey, I'll be the first one to tell you it wasn't all sunshine and lollipops when I was growing up.
Dad busted his ass working a dirty job that he had to take 2-3 buses to get to (when he couldn't snag a ride with a coworker). And this was ALL year long...rain or shine or snow. Mom made a LOT of my clothes (former seamstress and raised on a farm in upstate PA), and made a pot of soup on Monday that we ate during the balance of the week.
Dad had his thermos of soup, and I got a sandwich for lunch...maybe a dime for milk and cookies (yeah, you could get both at recess for a DIME). Also, in those days, we lived within walking distance to our schools, so we went HOME for lunch...no handouts at school...didn't even have cafeterias in those days (until I got to high school - one semi-rural, far NE Philly elementary school being the exception).
No welfare check...no food stamps...no WIC...no anything, EXCEPT the strong desire to MAKE IT on their own. Asking for help wasn't something we did out of "reflex" in those days. Others had to BEG you to take some food...or a few bucks until payday (when you PAID YOUR DEBT OFF).
And if there was ONE THING you NEVER did under such auspices, it was to SPEND MORE MONEY in order to get OUT of any debt you might fins yourself in...that was just plain STUPID!
If you couldn't afford something....you did WITHOUT, until you COULD afford it.
None of this living above one's means...that was for people with no future.
Be nice to see some personal responsibility again with people...it would solve a LOT of these educational issues.
** In case you didn't notice, gasoline prices are sneaking back UP again....
We're currently running prices that are higher than they were during our "peak season" (summer).
Blame it on those damn crude oil "futures" people at Wall St...they're going to be screwing with us yet again.
More smoke and mirrors...another "detraction" to wrest our eyes off of whatever we WERE watching.
Funny how that works, isn't it?
On the "up" side to all of this...if you heat your home with NATURAL GAS, the prices will actually be LOWER than last year, and the potential for a colder winter looms before us (if you believe the Farmers Almanac...and scientists watching climatic changes)...yeah, blame that on global warming....BWAHAHAHahahahaha.
** Lastly, we are seeing people tossing the word "racist" about like leaves in the wind (and I've some experience with LEAVES...and FALL...LOL), so be prepared to be called one WHENEVER you disagree with the current "status quo", whether it be political (at any level), social, educational, or even religious.
Seems some folks can't stand being called out when truth is presented to them, and that's fine by me.
You turn on the TV or the radio, and hear people or politicians being "convicted" up BY THEIR OWN WORDS...and yet they always fall back to deriding the person presenting the facts (FOX news comes to mind for some reason), and will inevitably claim SOME form of "racism"...
This is total and utter nonsense.
Not to mention, that if racism is a two-way street (which it IS, contrary to popular "PC" belief), those being taken to task can simply fire back with claims of like matter. Fortunately, there are those who are above such things.
Face it...there are people of ALL races, nationalities, religions, ethnic persuasions who ARE a$$holes...period!
They come in ALL shapes and sizes, genders, and hues (plaid being an exception).
When people cannot find fault with what YOU SAY, they will attempt to find fault with YOU...that's how they "puff themselves up"...make 'em feel "big"...give 'em the "attaboy" they sorely NEED.
Blame THAT on the whole stroking the self-esteem phallus, people.
We produced a generation of "me" people, and it IS all about THEM (to them, anyway).
Now they're grown up, and yet they are still children...suckling at the teats of hedonism and narcissism.
Fortunately, you can see through all this crap, and know them for who they are.
And hopefully, you can show them the errors of their ways...instruct them in the fallacy they're living in.
America is all about PEOPLE.
Pioneers and patriots founded and grew this nation into a bastion that others dreamt of coming to. Principles and values based on a moral and civil context is what saw this country through it's infancy.
Now we find ourselves (compared to centuries of other nations' longevity) at the "terrible twos", and we have to maintain our own steadfastness in holding to those same values...those same principles that our forefathers had.
The only time you invoke the word "me" should be the time when you are contemplating the word "we".
Selfishness should give way to self-LESS-ness.
And in the end, we are ALL better off for ourselves...AND for each other.
Stay safe out there, America.

27 October 2009

When A Bargain Is A Bargain...
Here is a case that our government could take a page from.
The government that thinks it can SPEND it's way out of debt , rather than save some bucks and allow the normal flow of capitalism to run it's course...yeah, THAT government.
We like to spend...I like to spend, but when it comes down to what I WANT versus what I NEED, THAT becomes the determining factor as to WHAT I will wind up spending any money on, and this very thing is what distinguishes me from our "civil servants", and I imagine the same can be said for all of you. We know about PRIORITIES.
But, I DO like getting stuff...when I have the funds to do so.
You probably do too.
And if you're anything like ME, you just LOVE a bargain.
The bigger the bargain...the BETTER.
I shop eBay a lot...nice bargains there, if you're willing to practice patience.
When I go out, I am always looking for bargains, and usually have a list of items that ARE bargains, or a I have coupons that make the mundane items INTO bargains.
Simple, huh?
Now, we've got THAT time of year again...time to shop (for OTHERS).
Many times, we take this part of the year and make it one of sending along HOLIDAY CARDS.
And, of course, you like to have some ADDRESS LABELS for those envelopes, right?
But you just HATE to pay to have them made up, and it's too time consuming to "longhand" them all out.
So, what IS a person to do, you ask?
(good question - here comes an answer)
You go and DONATE to some wildlife organization...doesn't matter which one. Just ONE.
For us, we donated to the ASPCA and the Humane Association...
And then, all you have to do is sit back...and wait.
Before long, you'll start receiving in the mail OTHER organizations that need donations, and "as a gift", they will send along to you ADDRESS LABELS...with your name right on it.
Amazing, huh?
I thought so, too.
Now, I did come across one organization I "added" to my list (Paralyzed Veterans Of America), and they have BEAUTIFUL labels...and aren't stingy when sending them out.
I will warn you that with all these organizational "needs" comes a few caveats...
They do propagandize their mailings IN FAVOR of tuggin' on the old heart-strings, so be forewarned. Don't get in over your financial head.
Next, I always check with the BBB to see the legitimacy of the group.
And I also WILL ignore organizations that appear to be "duplicates" of another.
I mean...I can't give to EVERYONE, needy or not, can I?
(that's the government's job...)
Now, suffice it to say, we've PLENTY of labels for mailing cards and bills, so that's a done-deal.
Hell, we even got some CALENDARS out of it, and a pen or two.
Not a bad take...
Now, those of you who have already discovered this know exactly what I mean.
To those who have not...well, it is "practically" free stuff.
One helluva BARGAIN, as I like to say.
And, I even get to save an otter, or a kitten, or help a patriotic American vet (who has given more to his country than I could imagine) here and there, so I feel pretty good about helping one of God's creations..or my fellow American.
I also have multiple bird feeders on the patio, but I don't expect ANY labels from the cardinals, or the mourning doves, or even the wrens and sparrows. That's just me and what I do. I just enjoy doing it.
Hell, I had a squirrel "buddy" two years ago that used to wait on me to feed him (on the patio table, I might add...he had real "class")...I really miss that little guy, and he NEVER sent me ANY labels...or calendars...or pens. That's OK, though.
And I certainly don't mind sending along a few bucks to the wounded warriors of our society...or even the police or state troopers. They have a thankless job, many times, and the LEAST I can do for them is to honor them and thank them in some small way.
If we have to miss another stop at McD's this week to do so....that's fine by me.
I'm certainly NOT blowing my own horn here...I'm just stating that being charitable is a GOOD thing to do.
Doesn't matter if it's the TOYS FOR TOTS thing, or the local food bank, or a church-sponsored "cupboard" that feeds the elderly of the area...it's ALL good (to me).
And...it's ALSO what made up a good part of this nation.
Ordinary people doing things others think are...well, "ordinary"...in order to keep others from needing.
No heroics here...just a sense of pride in one's country, and of it's people.
We take care of them...one person at a time.
I honestly would love to be able to give to ALL these organizations, but again, I'm only ONE person (with limited funding).
And I'm sure you feel the same way.
We have to "pick and choose", as it were.
As Americans, we love helping others..it's in our nature, because when we first started out AS a nation, we had few people helping US. We learned to be a lot more self-sufficient, or relying on EACH OTHER in the beginning, but as we grew as a country, we found it in our fiber to spread the wealth to others.
We are STILL the most philanthropic nation on the planet...for what it's worth today.
We need to get back to our roots when it comes to giving, when we can afford to do so.
And such giving first takes place under our own rooftops.
When we can practice charity THERE, we are better suited to practice it everywhere else.
So send a small gift to a local ASPCA chapter, or help a disabled policeman.
The old saying "What goes around, comes around" will take on a WHOLE new meaning for you.
The rewards YOU will find have no equal.
You help others...you help yourself, also.
Now that's a real "win-win" in anyone's book.
Stay safe out there, America

26 October 2009

Monday Musings...
Some days are diamonds...some days are stone (as the John Denver song used to go).
Which means that sometimes you bite the bear, and other times, the bear bites you.
Life is funny that way.
Some of us manage to eek out a few great days in a row, while others struggle with a series of bad days (usually also in a row).
Most of us love Friday, but detest Monday.
And there are times we might wish we were never born. While there are those moments we're so damn glad to be alive.
Like I said...life is funny that way, and not in the "funny-ha-ha", but rather the "funny-peculiar" manner.
Be nice if we could have every day be a good one, but what would we possibly LEARN from something like that, other than how to allow our lives to run US, instead of the other way around?
It would also be nice to have all those "bad days" at once, if not to get them all OUT OF THE WAY (and behind us), then to glean what life has to teach us in one fell swoop.
Trouble with that, is we'd probably not "learn" whatever it was we were supposed to learn, as we often become fixated with other things that detract from the tasks at hand.
So...for some strange reason, all the good OR bad stuff is doled out to us on what appears to be an "as need" basis...
Which brings me to that time-honored statement that goes:
"God never gives you more things than he knows YOU can handle".
Now, I don't know about you, but I believe in a supreme being BECAUSE of that statement alone. "HE" must know I can handle a LOT.
There is no way in creation that I could have gotten through a lot of crap in my life unless I had "help", which means all that crap didn't come flying at me all at once (thankfully).
Things in our life are portioned out to us...
Sure, some things are extremely traumatic, and we think "this is it...it's the end", only to find that a little further down the road, it WASN'T "the end" we thought would be coming.
We got through it....and in some cases, we have no clue as to HOW we managed such a feat.
We KNOW we couldn't have possibly done it "on our own"...we'll swear to that.
Maybe we had some "help"?
Perhaps friends or family...or even strangers figured into the mix?
Or maybe...it was "God"?
I've always been a firm believer that nothing happens without a reason, and that "someone" MUST be flipping all the "switches" in our lives...and at the proper times.
Can you imagine if every one of us was "left alone" to run or manage our OWN lives, without ANY type of intervention, positive OR negative...from ANYONE?
I don't even want to think about such a prospect.
I know there is a "watchman" in my life...seen evidence of it more than a few times.
I like to joke that MY Guardian Angel must have to put in a LOT of "overtime" in MY life, the way some things turn out.
And when things go awry, I just chalk it up to that Guardian Angel having a "day off" ...(much needed I might add)...LOL!
Now you can say all this is "mumbo-jumbo", and that it's only a belief, and no tangibility can be attributed to all of this.
And if that works for you...great.
For me, I have to concede that there simply HAS to be a higher being whether we can that being GOD...or ALLAH, or YAHWEH...or even RALPH.
To think for a moment that I, or any other human being is the "supreme intelligence" in our entire universe, is laughable beyond belief.
Think about the problems we have here on THIS Planet, and then think about WHY we have them.
How's that go as far as the claim to the "most intelligent being" work for you?
We can't even manage to balance a checkbook, or remain at PEACE with one another...and we're the "best" this universe has to offer?
Come on, now...
There just HAS to be someone "at the top"...making sure we're not offing ourselves en masse.
As a race (the human one) we're barely out of the womb, and as such infants, we need to be nurtured, lest we harm ourselves.
So, if we're chastened from time to time, it's always for our OWN good (sounds a bit parental).
But don't fear...it's not all bad news...
The GOOD news is that we have POTENTIAL...as a species, AND as individuals.
We CAN learn, therefore we are taught, by whatever comes into our lives.
Hopefully, we can apply that knowledge along the way.
And as we learn, we acquire wisdom to temper than knowledge.
All in all...it's a pretty good fit for us.
Now...what every one of us decides to DO with this knowledge AND wisdom will be the stuff that our descendants will hopefully be able to speak about in our distant future.
So, never think of yourself as insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
And always believe you never face an obstacle alone, even if no other person is about.
Some days might BE diamonds, while others are stone, but even if that stone lacks the luster and brilliance and the "monetary value" the diamond does, it truly has it's OWN use, too. We just have to know that from the start.
Life is funny that way.
And it is something to ponder...
Stay safe out there, America.

23 October 2009

Weekend Roundup...
Good News - Friday's here.
Bad news - Monday is about 72 hours away!
** We start off this rainy Midwestern day with some sad news (for me, anyway).
Milton Supman has died...
Now I know a LOT of you (even some my age) probably don't know WHO the hell Milton is (or was).
How's about we try it THIS way?
Soupy Sales has passed on to that great pie-making factory in the sky.
He was 83 years old.
The WIKI link for this is here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soupy_Sales
Now, I grew up watching Soupy, and found it to be one of the funniest and innovative shows of it's time.
This was a perfect case of "less being more".
The set was cheesy, the jokes were corny, and the slapstick was predictable...all the trappings for a successful kid show of the 1950s and 1960s.
It might interest people to know that Soupy beat Dick Clark to the "teen dance show" on TV (Soupy's Soda Shop) in 1949. It makes me wonder WHO had a television set THAT far back...we sure didn't...LOL.
Soupy was one of those people that seemed to be always doing something, either on air, or off.
Another interesting thing was that "Milton" (after leaving the navy when WW2 ended) attended and graduated Marshall College with a MASTERS IN JOURNALISM and while there, he performed at nightclubs as a comedian, dancer and singer (gotta pay for college SOMEHOW - no "bailouts" in THOSE days).
Like I say, he was from an era with a good work ethic, and was raised knowing the value of a buck.
...And I will miss him...and White Fang, and Black Tooth, and Pookie.
(Thank God for DVDs)
** Another death this week was that of Joseph Wiseman, otherwise noted for being the FIRST (movie) Bond Villain, (and one of the best portrayed ones, imho), Dr. No.
Here's the WIKI for him:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Wiseman
He was 91 years old.
You might find this interesting, and I'll explain WHY later on below...
** Chart-topper Lil Wayne likely gets year in jail
((In the midst of a career surge that has made him one of rap’s biggest stars, Lil Wayne is bracing for a year behind bars after pleading guilty Thursday in a two-year-old gun case.
A glum Lil Wayne said little as he admitted illegally having a loaded gun on his tour bus in 2007, moving to end a case that had churned along as he collected Grammys and gold records. He’s expected to get a year in jail at his sentencing in February.
The rapper, who boasts the country’s No. 1 pop song ("Down" with Jay Sean), acknowledged he had a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun when the bus was stopped after a New York concert July 22, 2007. His lawyer had disputed the gun was the rapper’s, in part by questioning the reliability of a highly sensitive DNA test that prosecutors said tied him to the weapon.
Lil Wayne, 27, is due back in court Dec. 15 before his sentencing date, which has yet to be set.
Lil Wayne also is scheduled for trial in Arizona in March on felony drug possession and weapons charges stemming from a January 2008 arrest at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. He has pleaded not guilty in that case. ))
Now THIS crap just breaks my frigging heart...NOT!
(Be nice if they..."lost the key")
We can now add HIS punk ass to the LONG list of "black role models" for inner urban youth.
More like an ANTI-ROLE MODEL, if you ask me.
(Unless the "role" you wanna play is some thug bastard with more tattoos than Bradbury's Illustrated Man)
And you know, this is EXACTLY what is behind a LOT of the problems with today's kids...
NO GOOD ROLE MODELS!
Perhaps I should "revise" that to say NO good role models that are being "fronted" in the manner in which all these gangsta rappers or felonious sports figures are.
Anyone remember people like JACKIE ROBINSON...or WILLIE MAYS?
THESE men were ROLE MODELS.
Do the names FREDERICK DOUGLASS, or BILL COSBY, or JIM BROWN mean anything these days?
And what about GEORGE WASHINGTON...or JAMES MADISON?
(Guess politicians aren't even on the LONG list THESE days...LOL)
Hell, used to be a time when if you had a notion to see a role model, all you had to do was go see DAD...or MOM.
When I was growing up, my PARENTS were my role models, along with other neighbors, and my teachers.
They were actually MORE than "just" role models...
They were MENTORS, and my personal HEROES, even if "they" never knew it.
Those of us in the "baby boomer" era can probably recall times when asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, we'd reply:
"I wanna be just like my Dad".
Today, half of the kids out there don't know WHO their dad is, or even care.
Maybe "dad" was an SOB..OK, I can deal with that aspect.
Maybe "dad" wasn't grown up enough to understand the responsibilities involved with children...or just plain didn't give a rat's ass.
Too many "maybes"...and not enough "trying to figure it all out", I suppose.
Sad part as that our society didn't hold 'em all accountable (that was the court's job) for their actions and the consequences.
And the generations of children that followed us and our children bear silent testimony to that.
Now my parents would be the first ones to tell you that when I as born, I DID NOT come with a handbook of instructions...none of us did, nor ever will. That's just the way this is played out.
You LEARN AS YOU GO. Call it "On the job training".
There is good, and there is bad.
You will succeed, and you WILL make mistakes. Trouble is, too many parents just wanted to focus on the GOOD, and deny the "bad".
Allowing kids to "find themselves", or stroke their "self-esteem", without proper tutelage only makes for a fertile place for evil to take root.
And the violence on our streets and in our schools between youths today bears that out in no certain terms.
By our very own words, we have allowed freedom of speech to be taken to the wrong side of the morality scales, tipping it dangerously in the wrong direction.
The first Amendment is a great thing, as is every word of our founding documents...BUT, when no guidelines are established and no morality or civility is present, chaos will be the result.
Think of it as a driver less car.
As long as someone is behind the wheel, properly navigating the roads, and making correct course adjustments...all is well, and you get from *A* to *B* in fine order.
Take the driver out of the equation, or have an IMPAIRED operator of the vehicle, and you have CHAOS.
Many people that are being passed off as "role models" are chaotic...plain and simple.
Look at their lifestyle to see the truth.
Do you want YOUR child to emulate a person who can;t stay the hell our of the court system?
Do you want your child to look up to a wife-beater? Do you enjoy watching you child beat on the family pet, saying he's imitating Michael Vick?
The answer should be obvious.
You should want your child to look up to YOU, primarily.
I looked up to my parents (even when I was taller than them...lol).
Were they "perfect"? Hell, no.
They had flaws like everyone else.
They cursed, and smoked, and got snockered once in a while, but I was NEVER the "target" of any of their angst or anger.
But they DID know the value of "doing the right thing" when it was required.
And they stuck to their guns, even if it meant suffering for a while.
They were philanthropic, always helping others that needed it, and were wary of something that looked "too good to be true". They wanted more for me than what they had (growing up), but were also willing to teach the value of a dollar to me along the way, so that I would never "expect" something to be handed to me for no reason at all.
They preached that GOD was important, PEOPLE were important, FAMILY was important, and that I should always make my word...my bond. You learn by asking questions, and you instruct with wisdom.
Lying was something to be avoided, as was stealing. It was the Golden Rule in our house, along with the 10 commandments.
Can we say today that this is close to being practiced in households across the nation?
I'd love to believe so, but it's lacking.
Or are our kids too busy looking for that next "role model"?
Where are the Soupy Sales today?
Where are the Lone Rangers today?
Where are the ROLE MODELS?
And are we doing all we possibly can to be a good example for our children...and our future?
Now, if that isn't something to think about this weekend, I don't know WHAT is.
Have yourselves a great fall foliage-filled weekend, and remember...
Stay safe out there, America.