Double-Edged Swords

There is so much in our world today that are really double-edged swords. One of the biggest is modern technology. Traveling great distances is no longer such a daunting prospect as it was even a century ago. The internet has brought the world closer to our own little corner of it. Having a cell phone can be a life-saver.

Yet, for all the marvels, for all the advances, for all the good things we’ve gained, we seem to have lost, or are losing, so much at the same time.

Technology seems to reduce human civility to crass levels; the internet can make it easier to harass those you disagree with. Cell phones intrude on face-to-face interactions. Video games and social media take up more time than healthier pastimes such as outdoor activities, family time, and imagination.

I’m guilty of it; I will admit. “Family time” around here can often be as disjointed as all three of us in the same room, each on our own computers.

One thing I try not to do is let go of human interaction; the face-to-face type. My job deals with the public. I have to have decent manners, comprehension,  a neat appearance, good hygiene.  I think some people are letting go of these things.

For example: walking around a store while holding a conversation on your cell phone may be something we all need to rethink. If the conversation should be personal…. let’s NOT do it in public. John Q. Public really doesn’t need to hear about your love (sex) life, your graphic health concerns, or who is going to watch your kids this weekend while you go and get plastered at the bars or some concert. No one should  be listening, you say? It’s difficult NOT to hear when you are standing right next to me. And, as a cashier, this attitude of “talk about anything anywhere” also makes my job harder. MY good manners dictate I shouldn’t interrupt a private conversation, but I need to know if you have a store card, bags, coupons, how you are paying, do you want cash back on a check or debit card, do you need (or just want) help to your car, did you find everything you were looking for, did you know this item is BOGO.  I am expected to treat my customers as human beings; I would prefer the same courtesy from my customers.  Focus on the moment. It really will help us serve  you better. You may even make a friend…an honest-to-goodness, flesh-and-blood friend.

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Being Sick, and Being Sickened

Being sickened: the idea that a White Supremacist would walk into ANY place of worship and open fire on peaceful celebrants. I should maybe be more use to this. It happens way too often here in the US. I was NOT expecting it to happen in New Zealand. Usually, when NZ hits the world stage, it is because Mother Nature has thrown them a nasty curve ball. And why did this Aussie choose to pull this crap in someone else’s yard, rather than his own?

 

On being sick: I am so OVER IT! I’ve lost an entire week of work, which is not good. I have lost more blood via my nose in the last five days than two donations to the Red Cross would have taken. I can’t really hear too clearly right now. I’m surprised I can breath, but it seems to be centered in my ears and throat, rather than my sinuses.  Had to send the Kidling shopping with her grandmother this morning, because no way was I leaving this house. I haven’t even left the bed for most of the day.  Had to do a load of laundry because I ran out of clean panties. That’s due to the coughing. Time for tea, I think.

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Enough Already

Alright, I surrender. I will admit I no longer have the energy, the nerves, or the energy to deal with a northern winter.  The last big storm, we couldn’t even get out, and I got a nose bleed every time I tried to help Nick shovel. No nosebleeds today, but I was so nervous coming home, I had a stress headache by the time I got here. I didn’t go above 20 miles an hour…a 15 minute drive took me half an hour, and I was convinced I wasn’t going to make it; not with the big truck that was way too close to my tail coming down Columbia, and some female deciding to make a left turn from a right turn only ramp at 787.

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Clear and COLD

With a major side of windy on and off over the past week or so. Still, we aren’t doing as bad as some of our scattered friends who are being buried under snow and are having issues with power and road safety. We’re just having a problem with the heat. The wind sometimes manages to blow out the pilot light in our furnace.  Happened last night, and I thought I got it relit…but it was less than 50 F in here this morning, so off down to the basement again. This time, I made sure it kicked in.

My New Years Resolution was to get everything I have handwritten in various notebooks and binders onto the computer, even if they are only partial stories. I have so far managed to empty four  3-ring binders and two hanging files.

If it is a Federal Government Shut Down, then why is it the Big Wigs are still getting paid? The workers furloughed are the ones in the trenches EVERY DAY, getting things done. They can’t afford to not get paid.  Like me, a great many of them live paycheck to paycheck, especially on the lower tiers. I don’t blame the Democrats for this. I blame the hostage-taking crybaby with the bad hair, and any Republicans who continue to coddle him, even when they KNOW he is wrong or breaking laws. The longer this goes on, the more I think Lex Luthor or Cobra Commander would make better Presidents.

May 2019 be a better year for this tired, worn-out old world of ours… but indications are it is just going to get worse before it gets better.

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New Years Day 2019

10 am: What a way to start the New Year….with no power, no cable…no way to finish cooking the cinnamon buns that were in the oven when it all went dark. Nick can check on things like news announcements on his phone: multiple towns out, est. restoration time 10:30 am. Will believe it when it happens. Which does sorta piss me off, since the reason I gave up my shift today was to stay home and watch the Tournament of Roses Parade, which is due to air here at 11 am local. I can’t do any typing…even this won’t be typed and posted until whenever. (I am writing it by hand in a notebook.) I’m half-tempted to go back to bed, honestly. It’s too dark in here to do much. It’s not all that bright outside, either.

10:40 am: The power came back on…and went right back off. I called the store to see if they have power. Since I can’t really cook much without it, we may need to have a Plan B. The Bistro is now Plan B.

11:15am: No power also means no heat. Glad I’ve got sweaters and warm slipper socks. M is still in bed. I’m not inclined to call her out of it, with no power, no heat, and nothing to keep her occupied. Her phone battery is already just about dead.

8:40 pm: The power came back on just before 1pm; just in time to catch the Parade on Hallmark Channel’s second showing of it. (All the powers of light bless Hallmark!) There were some beautiful floats, as always, and some great bands. M’s favorite, of course, were the horses. But we didn’t see the Medieval Riders this year. Shame. Love the costuming with that group. Cooked a ten pound ham for supper…we still have nine pounds of it in the refridge. Took two walks with Mom today….one before the power came back on, and one after supper, as usual.

 

My only New Years Resolution this year is to get all the stories, poems and snippets I currently have in notebooks and binders typed into computer files and backed up onto CDs. They take way less room in the house that way, and are easier to pack for moving. Maybe I will even get a few of those snippets turned into full stories.

May 2019 be a better year for us all. Health, Happiness, Wisdom, Prosperity.

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Death of a Country

When this country was founded, it wasn’t meant to be run by career politicians. ‘Of the People, by the People, for the People’. To me, that means electing men or women who are willing to do their civic duty for the people…. present and future…for one or two terms, then let those people return to their ‘normal’ lives. Their livelihood wasn’t supposed to come from doing that civic duty, it was supposed to come from their actual profession: doctor, lawyer, businessman, farmer, etc..etc… Stipends to cover rent and food are one thing, but making politicians rich off the tax payers is NOT what was supposed to happen.

We’ve seen the stagnation that is the result of career politicians. Positions have become more about the perks, prestige, and paychecks than about doing the job of keeping this country running smoothly, safely, viably, and healthily. So now we see where the greed has led and is continuing to lead: disregard of the Constitution, of the checks and balances our forefathers developed to keep theocracy, dictatorship, and greed in check. The desires of the few over-riding the needs of the many. And the break-down of society in general.

How did we get to this point? The two party system isn’t helping, that’s for sure. Yes, I am aware that there are technically more than two political parties in the US, but let’s be honest… all the power resides in two: Democrats and Republicans. How many times over the last four decades have I seen a candidate running on more than one political ticket? I’ve lost count, but it should NOT be allowed.

Disenchantment with the entire system is another part of the problem. It often seems we are  forced to choose the lesser evil rather than being given a real option for positive change. People get discouraged, and think their votes don’t count, because nothing changes, no matter which party is currently at the top of the food chain.

There are ways to fix things, but I doubt those changes will ever be implemented. Career politicians don’t want to give up their paychecks and perks.

Limit terms. No one really needs to have three or more terms in office to make positive changes and work for the people. Do away with the ‘salaries for life’, the Secret Service for life assignments, the retirements paid for by tax payers.

One of the president’s titles is “Commander in Chief”.  The President of the United States MUST have some sort of military background: active duty, reservist, a degree from one of the military academies, experience in one of the military-connected departments of the government. SOMETHING that gives them at least a basic understanding of the military, and the problems facing our men and women in uniform and their families.

Also, the President should not be allowed to appoint people to positions which they lack the qualifications for. Betsy DeVos is not an Educator, she is a politician. Appointing a businessman in charge of our National Parks or Environmental Protection is a joke. Supreme Court Justices aren’t supposed to kow-tow to whoever is in the Oval Office. The same holds true for the Attorney General. The President is NOT above the law; any law. And Executive Orders should be a last resort, not a despot’s method of avoiding debate.

Until the checks and balances are restored, and respect of people, law, property, and the planet gains ground again, this country is terminally ill.

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Sore Fingers

So, in an attempt to declutter at least my share of the mess around here, I am spending more time typing up stories I first wrote long hand (which is how I write ALL of my stories and poems. There’s just something… personal… about a pen and a blank sheet of paper). I have an at least three doze works in progress or finished items to reduce to computer files from paper. It means I am not spending as much time on my online games… which is maybe a good thing. Except that I miss Big Farm…. but since it is giving me headaches lately…. not loading properly, or running slow. And it seems I have an issue with Google in general. It keeps loading a second page, heavy on graphics and video, that I don’t want, didn’t click, and have no interest in. I’ve done virus checks, and nothing. If I block all pop-ups, it causes problems with my games, since some of them have in-game pop-ups. AGGGGGGGG!

Another Samhain down, and November has begun. I’ve actually started my holiday shopping. Tomorrow, Mom, the Kidling and I are going to see the new “The Nutcracker: The Four Realms”. Since we all love the story and ballet, we’ll have to see how this one stacks up.

These days, it can be really hard to keep a positive outlook on life. Hate crimes are rampant. You aren’t even safe at church or synagogue. So much for Holy Ground. The Devil can’t touch you there, but human scum… they go where they please, desecrate what they please, and try to say it’s a holy war. Yeah, right. Tell me another  one.

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