16 January 2014

Thoughts on Thursday...
If you thought you saw a few stray snowflakes outside...go to the head of the class.
While we won't be seeing the level of snow we had LAST week, we will be privy to more of that flaky white stuff, culminating in about an inch on the ground, according to weather reports. The temps aren't expected to rise above freezing either, so it will be cloudy AND chilly.
Today's high will reach about 30 degrees.
So grab yourself a refill of whatever hot beverage you have at hand, and let's see what's been on my aging mind today...
*** First out of the door today is the answer to yesterday's WHO SAID THAT? quote:
"Winter is not a season,. It is an occupation."
This is attributed to Nobel prize-winning novelist, playwright, and author SINCLAIR LEWIS (7 Feb 1885 - 10 Jan 1951)
And here is his WIKI:
He is best known for his insightful and critical views of materialism and capitalism between the World Wars.
He is also respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women.
Having led a lonely life as an ungainly youth, he did attend Yale University.
He was a voracious reader and began writing by the time he was at Yale, mostly consisting of romantic poetry and short sketches.
He even sold plots to Jack London.
His first serious novel appeared in 1914, and as early as 1916, he began taking notes for a novel about small-town life.
His literary successes include Main Street (1920) - which received huge acclaims, Babbitt - a satirical novel about the American commercial culture, Arrowsmith (that dealt with an idealistic doctor) winning a Pulitzer Prize in the process (which Lewis refused), Elmer Gantry (about an evangelical minister who finds himself a hypocrite) and this was actually banned in several cities, but went on to be a success in both book AND cinema (Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons), Dodsworth (a novel adapted for the stage in 1934 and a movie in 1936 called one of the 100 best movies of the past 60 years by Time magazine back in 2005).
Lewis won the Nobel in 1930 for literature and said at the acceptance speech: "...(we) are afraid of any literature which is not a glorification of everything  American; a glorification of our faults as well as our virtues, and that America is the most contradictory, the most depressing, and the most stirring of any land in the world today."
In 1935, Lewis wrote a novel entitled "It Can't Happen Here" about a fascist elected to the American president.
He continued to write until his death in 1951 from severe alcoholism, and while he "lacked style" as some would say, his impact on American life was greater than Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Dos Passos combined.
Moving on...
*** This year brings about a whole lot of problems for computer users...especially if you are using Windows XP (like we are).
According to sources, by April 2014, Win XP will "no longer be supported", so that leaves few options...none of them any good, as far as I can see.
Cripes, I haven't yet mastered Win 98...or even Windows 3.0...LOL.
Now, we have to decide how best to proceed with our operating system.
Thing is, a MAJORITY of people still USE Win XP, and that includes a LOT of businesses.
What is one supposed to do?
The EASY way is to just buy another new computer with whatever crap O/S they stuck on board, and call that done...for a few years, until they change sh*t AGAIN.
Take THAT, Microsoft!
Or, we can change the O/S (not for the novice), and that might require a visit to the store to get THEM to swap it out...and HOPE that whatever data we had with the OLD O/S will be retained and be able to be retrieved when called upon.
We all find ourselves damn near perpetually caught in the "perfect storm" of PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE, and I know I'm getting tired of all this crap.
Find something that WORKS, then make it the BEST on the market, upgrade it when NEEDED, and make it hack-proof...
Is THAT too damn much to ask???
(apparently so)
SO easy a 3 year old can do it..go find me a 3 year old.
I have actually come to LIKE the soon-to-be ignored XP system...not the best, but certainly far from the worst Microsoft has doled out to the consumers.
I've heard horror stories about the NEW MS operating systems and how bad THEY are, so why change up to something that SUCKS?
That would be like trading in that Buick Electra for a damn YUGO.
Sure, it gets better mileage...when it decides to RUN and is not falling apart as I drive it.
I really don't know what goes on in the minds of these software engineers, other than dollar signs at everyone's expense.
And while I embrace capitalism, THIS is more like CRONY capitalism...at it's worst and most costly to US.
*** Now, on to some personal observations
More waste.
--- Congress passed a "budget" bill that will keep the government "open"...adding to the deficit.
--- The "war on poverty" has resulted in TRILLIONS of wasted money with no dent made in the reduction of numbers in poverty (stop having babies?)
---  The "war on Christianity" continues with our secular slide into hedonistic debauchery.
--- Murder is still against the law, but ABORTION is fine and dandy...WHY?
--- Government workers get raises while regular folks get laid off when businesses close.
--- The Burmese in Ft. Wayne are having difficulty in assimilating into OUR society...oh, boo-frigging-hoo.
How the hell did OTHER LEGAL immigrants manage here in centuries past?
They LEARNED to teach THEMSELVES (to fit into OUR society)...without government "assistance", and grew into a heartier throng of citizens that this nation embraced...THAT'S HOW!
--- We have way TOO many "awards" shows these days...
Everyone wins something...kinda like that "no child left behind" BS we used to hear about...that doesn't work, because SOME people HAVE to fail...in order to learn, so they can SUCCEED.
Enough already with this...please.
*** Lastly today, what sets one person above another in the grand scheme of things?
Well, for a select few, it's being BORN into it, and the "it" can be money or power.
Trouble with that is that those folks never LEARN much about life except how to BE rich...OR powerful.
For most everyone else, it's the marvelous balance between NATURE and NURTURE.
We are given this innate curiosity to KNOW more, thereby that causes us to want to learn, and later...to achieve.
We are also provided with parents who TEACH us what we need to know for our OWN good, and although that can lead to contention as we mature, it IS indeed, all for the good of our well-being.
And it's also others we come into contact with in life, be they teachers, bosses, mentors, friends, or even total strangers.
We affect THEM as much as they affect us, and we need to be aware of that as well.
Life provides all these OPPORTUNITIES for us to partake of...IF we choose to, and there lies the most basic building block of each of us - CHOICES.
EVERY facet of life is monitored by the choices we have made, are making, and will make.
So, it behooves us to stay the course, fight the good fight, and make the best choices we can as much of the time as possible.
Those that don't...well, we see what happens there, right?
But those that DO...CAN...and WILL succeed in their own right.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


CWMartin said...

Chris was here, was entertained. Ny-Quil pills preventing coherent commentary. He says he liked the post very much. Regards, Chris's Doctor.

Bob G. said...

Two words...

rest up.