Two Clocks

I am now seventy years old.  I must admit that I am surprised to find myself in reasonable health.  Though I have had four bypasses and I no longer have my gallbladder, I can’t complain.  I do get around well and I can even run a little.  (some might not consider it running.)

I heard one time that being overweight fifteen pounds is like carrying around a fifteen pound bowling ball everywhere I go.  What a horrible thought.  I think I am carrying around the equivalent of six or seven bowling balls. (and I thought carrying a pack around was difficult when I was a in the Marines)

At any rate, my recent retirement has caused me to consider a few things.  Whenever I was at work, time passed by so slow.  Whenever I was off work, the time went by twice as fast.

I could only conclude that the universe has two time systems, two clocks, so to speak.  One runs twice as fast as the other.  I would guess I don’t need to say the faster clock is for those that are not at work.

So now I have something of a problem.  If  I no longer go to work, I remain on the fast clock and my life just goes flying by.  Not only have I realized this is true, but it’s even true for the time I spend writing.

Maybe if people started buying my books in quantity, I will consider writing work and I could go back on the slow clock.  I figure this would be a good thing.  My life might slow down a little and it would be nice to sell a few books.

At any rate, I have a piece of advice for all those that are still working.  Get as much done as you can before you retire.  If you don’t, you just might not have time for it.  If you don’t believe me, just wait until you retire.  You’ll see what I mean.  Only thing is, it will be too late.  You’ll be in the same situation I’m in.

A Word From a Neighbor

I don’t live in Alabama.  I went there once to see the battleship, if you want to count that.  I do live in Mississippi.  That makes me a neighbor.  Still, I have no business telling people from Alabama how to vote.

Maybe, if you will permit, maybe I can offer a couple of observations.  I don’t know, but I have a pretty good guess that there is quite a bit of money involved in those women who made the accusations about Judge Roy.  I would guess that thirty or forty thousand dollars can do a lot to help a woman’s memory.

I don’t know.  I can only guess.  Still, I wish I could find out just how much money is involved and who is coming up with it.  After all, Mitch McConnell managed to pour 30 million against the judge.  If he’s willing to come up with thirty million, he just might be willing to come up with thirty thousand to ruin someone’s reputation.

However, if you will permit, let me point out one simple fact that cannot be denied.  As near as I can tell, neither choice is that great.  However, I think I’d prefer a man who might have abused a few women to a man who in favor of abortion on demand, mass murder.

A Little Respect

I was listening to the news and was reminded it has been a week since the shooting at the church in Texas.  I once heard a preacher say that we were not built to go through the suffering of a death of a loved one.  God never meant for us to lose a loved one.

I have a little experience on the subject.  I lost my mother when I was five.  The worst part about that were all the people telling me how sorry they were.  It made me feel far worse.

I had four older brothers.  Two died in their early 40’s from brain cancer.  One died at 38 from an aneurism.  I’m pushing 70 now.  (14 Nov)  It’s the same age that my father was when he died.  I don’t expect I’ll live much longer.  The truth is that I didn’t figure I would live this long.  It’s been over a decade since I had four bypasses.

Over the years, I have seen good people die young.  On the other hand, some who were less pleasant go on to push the century mark.  I went through school with a kid who died a short time after I went into the Marines.  He was intelligent, friendly and very good in sports.  For some reason, he decided he needed to take drugs.  One day he took too many.

People all the time ask how God can let people starve to death by the millions.  I have wondered how He can let the likes of Hitler and Stalin kill people by the millions.  Then there was that character over in China… don’t even remember his name at the moment.  The truth is that I would like to forget all their names.

There is one thing I do know.  God knows the instant that anyone dies.  The Bible says so and I believe it.  Moreover, no one dies unless God permits it.  Indeed, sometimes He causes it.  He doesn’t have to explain it to me.  It’s his call.  In his perfect wisdom, He makes the decision in every case.

There are a few things I have observed, however, over the years.  There are frequently people who try to take advantage of death.  Certainly, the news media, all of it, use it for headlines.  Sometimes I think we would be better off if there were no reports of it.  Many of the killers seek fame and recognition.

Most important, I have noticed that with every incident, everyone tries to figure the reason, the cause of it.  They hope that, if they can figure it out, they might be able to stop it.  No one will listen to me, I’m sure, but I know the reason.  Half the nation tries to say it’s the guns.  I also heard a report that those who rent trucks have to be more careful.  The fact is, if a person wants to kill, he will kill.  Therefore the secret is to remove the desire to kill.

There are, at least two reasons.  The biggest reason is the lack of respect.  When we were younger, people were taught to respect each other.  We were taught in home, in school and in church.  In deed Jesus tells us to love our neighbor.  He tells us to treat the other as we want to be treated.

Tragically, respect is no longer stressed in our schools or our homes.  Even the teachers aren’t respected.  We are taught that people are no better than animals.  We are taught that we came from apes.  We are taught that babies are no more than blobs until they are born.  In some cases, babies are killed after they are born because of botched abortions.  If this is so, why not kill people.  We are all just animals.  We have no more right to live than monkeys.

The fact is that people don’t kill people they respect.  People don’t shoot into crowds when they know that humans are a special creation of God made in His image.  People don’t kill when they know that one day they will be held accountable for what they do.

The second reason is sort of based on the first.  We import people who have no respect for Americans and the American way.  I simply don’t understand this.  Why do we want to import people who want to destroy all that our forefathers fought for?

For that matter, I have a more difficult time understanding the idea of importing killers than the killing.  It is simply an invitation to horror.

…but then why should anyone care what I have to say on the subject.  There are more important things, like political correctness.  However, if you do believe the solution is respect, if you think, just maybe that love for one another will help, you might start thinking about spreading the word.  Just how much would it hurt to start teaching simple respect?

D. C. Circus

The great circus, Barnum and Baily, has closed.  It’s okay.  We have another, the one in The Capital Building.  Unfortunately, it’s not just for entertainment.  It is for real.  One representative argues this.  The other argues that.  Before you know it, it takes over a year to pass some kind of tax bill, one worse than the one they are replacing.

There are some representatives and senators who have the idea that the higher the taxes are, the greater the revenues.  That simply does not hold true.  It assumes that the spending and working habits of the populous are unaffected by tax rates.  It doesn’t take a genius to understand the hole in that logic.

Moreover, their decisions are warped by people with large sums of money, lobbyists and lawyers who do not represent the national good.

So we sit here and watch the circus.  We would laugh, but it simply isn’t funny.

 

By the way, there was the promise to repeal Obama care.  It is now almost one year later.  Over half of my Social Security goes to pay the $940 a month for my wife.  I wonder if Sen. McCain would like to help me pay the bill.

My observation is that they really don’t have our interest in mind.  So they come up with all kinds of distractions.  McCain insists on following the senate rules.  Really?  (Proof positive, not all military heroes make good senators)

Color Me Confused

Hillery and her followers would like to take all the guns from law abiding Americans.  At the same time, they want to give atomic weapons to Iran, who want to destroy all Americans…including her and all her friends.

I figure there is just one explanation.  They are all nuts.

So Much for Status Symbols

This little story is true.  It actually happened though I decided to leave the names out.

Some might find this difficult to believe, but there was a day when beepers were expensive and few used them.  They were carried by doctors, lawyers and rich people who just wanted to look important.

During this time, I repaired computers.  I didn’t rate a beeper, partly because they were expensive and partly because I worked mostly in one place.  I did have colleagues who did carry them, mostly because they were more important than I was.

At that time, when you went into a hospital, you could almost tell the doctors because of the little things that were proudly fastened to their belt.

Okay, my apologies to the doctors.  They did have legitimate reasons for wearing them.  Still, to this day I do wonder about some of them.  I got the feeling they had no desire to hide them.

One of my colleagues, whom I will call Joe, (not his real name) carried a beeper.  He moved around from place to place and people did need to contact him from time to time.

One day, Joe was in a hospital.  He stepped into an elevator along with a few others.  Then there was the unmistakable sound of a beeper.

For those unaware of it, when in an enclosed environment like an elevator, determining which beeper beeped can be a little tricky.  The noise seems to be coming from everywhere, yet nowhere.

The two doctors checked.  “Not mine.”

Joe checked.  “Not mine.”

The sales rep with his little cart of drugs.  “Not mine.”

There was just the one left.  The African-American maintenance man who had been sitting in the corner trying to get a few seconds of rest, said, “Rats.  Must be mine again.”

Nowadays, I carry a cell phone, as does my wife.  I don’t guess we really need to.  I do like to have one when I get in my car.  I never know when something might happen that I need it.  In one instance, I actually did call in an accident.  I also used it one time when I had a flat tire.

Thing is that everyone has them now, even those on welfare.  This was not always the case.  When I first got out of the Marines, I met a man who had a mobile phone, not a cell phone.  It required a big radio in his trunk and it cost him a bundle just for the service.  The instant he used it, the cost went up very fast.  I suspect not too many people knew his number.

Then they came out with cell phones.  The first ones were big and heavy.  Some of them came in two parts, the handset, and then something a little smaller than a shoebox that contained the electronics.

One day I took my wife and kids bowling and I noticed a man carrying around one of these things.  Being as my background is in electronics, I was mildly interested in it.  After a glance or two, we went over to our assigned lane and started changing our shoes.

Then I heard an announcement.  “Someone left their cell phone at the front counter.”  The man apparently forgot it.  After a short pause, the woman making the announcement added, “I think it’s ringing.”

It goes without saying, the man did not walk, but ran to the front desk.

At any rate, those days are over.  My cell phone is so small I can barely keep from pushing two buttons at a time on it.  I actually wish it were bigger, though I am glad the shoebox-sized ones are outdated.

Now if we could just get those who have them glued to their ears to turn them off when the plane is ready to leave.

Then and Now

One day, many years ago as I was driving to work, I heard a man on the radio speak of something that caught my attention.  He said that TV’s used to get their signal through antennas and telephones required wires.  Now phones use antennas and TV’s use wires.

From the early days of my life, I remember almost every house had a TV antenna.  When I was six, I lived in an area that had just one station and it required a high antenna to pick up that station.  Some might not remember the days when almost all houses had the antennas and it almost looked like an artificial forest of metal trees.

Now they are gone, at least most of them.  It is rare to see one of them sticking up.  It makes it easy to see those who don’t have cable.

Normally, phones had a wire on them of about ten or twelve feet.  For those willing to pay for it, longer cables could be installed so that the girls could take the phone in another room for a little privacy.

Now, most use cell phones.  The antennas on them are so small we can’t see them.  However, we no longer have cables attached to them.  Privacy is simple.  The young ladies can go into their rooms or even outside.

The odd thing about it is that lately, people have started watching TV on their phones.  So, in a sense, it has gone full circle.  The TV is using an antenna again.

 

In my book, “Mitch,” I point out another switch up.  In the early nineteen hundreds, people used horses.  Only the rich had cars.  They were, so to speak toys too expensive for most.  Now, most of us have cars.  Most of us can’t afford horses.  Of course, if the tree huggers have their way, we will go back to riding horses and only the elite will ride around in self-powered vehicles.

I don’t think I want to be around in that day.  Cars might spew smog, but horse manure produces disease.  Try looking up the old days in New York before cars.  That stuff did not disappear on its own, you know.

There has been a big shift in commercials too.  In my youth, the media constantly discouraged gambling.  It was seedy and only bad people did it.  Well, I guess some good people gambled too, but not on TV.  Many programs showed the good guys shutting down the gambling outfits and, of course the schools were often leading the way.

Schools, of course, did what they could to discourage gambling.  Governments at every level depicted gambling as wrong.

I blinked my eyes.  Next thing I know, it turned completely around.  Whoa to the politician that suggest shutting down the gambling.  We can’t do that.  We need the money.  By the way, it fixed nothing.  We now have the gambling and we still don’t have enough money to run the governments at every level.  Actually, it is worse than before.

They are still calling for more money for the schools.  The gambling didn’t help one bit.  I have noticed the county south of where I live allowed gambling.  They are far worse off than before.  The state had to come in and take over the school.

On the other hand, the number of people writing hot checks has skyrocketed.  Though I can’t prove it, I am sure the robberies have gone up.

There is a reason that those in the old days drove out gambling.  It would appear we can’t learn from history.  It means we are doomed to repeat it.  The difference is that now, nothing less than a miracle will get rid of it.  Now our society is more dependent on it than a druggy on heroine.  Near as I can tell, we are stuck with it and it hasn’t solved a thing.

 

In the movies, they used to show people smoking.  It was encouraged by tobacco companies to get people to smoke.  It worked.  Then we had a couple of generations of people dying from lung cancer.

Recently, they decided that was a bad idea.  Now, there is a big campaign to stop smoking and it is no longer seen in recent films and TV shows.  To some degree, it has succeeded.  I’ve noticed the number of people smoking, even in the military has decreased.

I think it was a good idea.  My question is, what took so long for them to figure it out.

It does make me wonder what the liquor companies are paying Hollywood to show the drinking.  Actually, drinking causes more problems than smoking.  Basically the smoker is the only one who suffers.  The drunk causes problems with almost anyone he encounters.

I wonder how long it will take society to realize that.  I wonder just how long Hollywood will continue to portray drinking as cool…the thing to do.

One day I was taking a walk.  I saw a pickup with a sticker on the back window, “My granddaughter was killed by a drunk,” or something to that effect.  I talked to the owner of the truck.  The granddaughter was two.  The drunk had been arrested twice before for drunk driving.

Sorry.  I don’t see drinking as cool.  One thing I know that no one can dispute.  No one becomes a drunk without taking the first drink.  As a society, we should discourage that first drink.  Instead, it is encouraged on every side:  TV, parties, military (though it is openly admitted that it is a big problem) and peers.

 

I get it, really I do.  I know you have to have your alcohol.  You say you can give it up if you want to.  You just don’t want to.  I really understand.  You just don’t want to give it up.  Fine.  Just please, don’t encourage others to drink.  You just might save the life of a two year old, maybe yours.

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