Time, Age, & Wisdom

I received this from a very good friend just as I was going through a particularly bad time in my life. It cheered me.

Time, Age, & Wisdom

Age 5

I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night.”

Age 7 

I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either. 

Age 9 
I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back. 

Age 12  
I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up again. 

Age 14 
I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.

Age 15 
I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me. 

Age 24

I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.

 
Age 26

I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures.  

Age 29 
I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there. 

Age 30 
I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.

 
Age 42 
I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it.

 
Age 44 
I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by simply sending them a little note

Age 46 
I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others.

 
Age 47
I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies. 


Age 48 
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on and it will be better tomorrow.

 
Age 49 

I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours. 

Age 50 
I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone. 

 
Age 51 
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

 
Age 52 
I’ve learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills.

Age53

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.

  
Age 58 

I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.

 
Age 62
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

 
Age 64 
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. 


Age 65 
I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, 
And doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

 
Age 66 
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision

 
Age 72 
I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer.

 
Age 74 
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

 
Age 76 
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch – holding hands, a warm hug, 
Or just a friendly pat on the back.

  
Age 78 
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

 
Age 80+ 
I’ve learned that life is what you make it, and your life is much better when you make someone happy. 

****** 

I’ve learned that you should pass this on to someone you care about Sometimes they just need a little something to make them smile.

If Things Get Better With Age Then I’m Approaching Excellent.

“Old Friends are the best friends!”

“Thank you for being an “OLD FRIEND”

Change or Not?

American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, pictured in 1964, as spokesman for the Citywide Committee for Integration, at the organization’s headquarters, Silcam Presbyterian Church in New York City.

There is a ninety percent chance that I will get into trouble for expressing my opinion on this matter. The article below is very timely and very true. Surprisingly, it is written by a very liberal author who works for a very liberal newspaper published in a very black city. He very adroitly lists all the things we have tried to solve the divide between blacks and white in the USA. He is very correct in all of them, but I believe he left out one very important point, i.e. the root cause of the problem. First, please read the essay and then I will add my argument.

 “The Baltimore Sun is definitely not known as a Conservative newspaper, so this very well written assessment of the situation in USA comes as something of a surprise..  “For almost 150 years the United States has been conducting an interesting experiment.  The subjects of the experiment:  black people and working-class whites. The hypothesis to be tested: Can a people taken from the jungles of Africa and forced into slavery be fully integrated as citizens in a majority white population? The whites were descendants of Europeans who had created a majestic civilization.  The former slaves had been tribal peoples with no written language and virtually no intellectual achievements.  Acting on a policy that was not fair to either group, the government released newly freed black people into a white society that saw them as inferiors.  America has struggled with racial discord ever since. Decade after decade the problems persisted but the experimenters never gave up.  They insisted that if they could find the right formula the experiment would work, and concocted program after program to get the result they wanted.  They created the Freedmans Bureau, passed civil rights laws, tried to build the Great Society, declared War on Poverty, ordered race preferences, built housing projects, and tried midnight basketball. Their new laws intruded into peoples lives in ways that would have been otherwise unthinkable.  They called in National Guard troops to enforce school integration.  They outlawed freedom of association.  Over the protests of parents, they put white children on buses and sent them to black schools and vice-versa.  They tried with money, special programs, relaxed standards, and endless hand wringing to close the achievement gap.  To keep white backlash in check they began punishing public and even private statements on race.  They hung up Orwellian public banners that commanded whites to Celebrate Diversity! and Say No to Racism.  Nothing was off limits if it might salvage the experiment. Some thought that what W.E.B. DuBois called the Talented Tenth would lead the way for black people.  A group of elite, educated blacks would knock down doors of opportunity and show the world what blacks were capable of. There is a Talented Tenth.  They are the black Americans who have become entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors and scientists.  But ten percent is not enough.  For the experiment to work, the ten percent has to be followed by a critical mass of people who can hold middle-class jobs and promote social stability.  That is what is missing. Through the years, too many black people continue to show an inability to function and prosper in a culture unsuited to them.  Detroit is bankrupt, the south side of Chicago is a war zone, and the vast majority of black cities all over America are beset by degeneracy and violence.  And blacks never take responsibility for their failures.  Instead, they lash out in anger and resentment. Across the generations and across the country, as we have seen in Detroit, Watts, Newark, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, and now Ferguson, rioting and looting are just one racial incident away.  The white elite would tell us that this doesn’t mean the experiment has failed. We just have to try harder.  We need more money, more time, more understanding, more programs, and more opportunities. But nothing changes no matter how much money is spent, no matter how many laws are passed, no matter how many black geniuses are portrayed on TV, and no matter who is president.  Some argue its a problem of culture, as if culture creates peoples behavior instead of the other way around. Others blame white privilege. But since 1965, when the elites opened Americas doors to the Third World, immigrants from Asia and India, people who are not white, not rich, and not connected have quietly succeeded.  While the children of these people are winning spelling bees and getting top scores on the SAT, black youths are committing half the country’s violent crime, which includes viciously punching random white people on the street for the thrill of it that has nothing to do with poverty. The experiment has failed.  Not because of white culture, or white privilege, or white racism.  The fundamental problem is that American black culture has evolved into an un-fixable and crime ridden mess. *They do not want to change their culture or society, and expect others to tolerate their violence and amoral behavior.  They have become socially incompatible with other races by their own design, not because of the racism of others – but by their own hatred of non-blacks.* Our leaders don’t seem to understand just how tired their white subjects are with this experiment.  *They don’t understand that white people aren’t out to get black people; they are just exhausted with them.  They are exhausted by the social pathologies, the violence, the endless complaints, and the blind racial solidarity, the bottomless pit of grievances, the excuses, and the reflexive animosity.* The elites explain everything with racism, and refuse to believe that white frustration could soon reach the boiling point.”— “You can’t legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.  What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.  The government can’t give to anybody anything that the government doesn’t first take from somebody else.  When half of the people get the idea that they don’t have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” 

Ian Duncan The Baltimore Sun

The part of the experiment that is ignored is the part about examining the laws and policies that have contributed to creating the culture that has permeated the black society. This new culture of the Great Society has created a black culture that rejects religion, family, and marriage. Instead it promotes having children, not because it is a natural by product of marital love but because that is what increases their wealth on welfare. In fact, a husband is a detriment to a woman who wants a better livelihood. Men would inevitably go to work for the family and thus endanger the limit a unit can earn before it loses the handout.

Another policy that has failed is that of promoting abortion for the black society based on the premise that this is the best way to control the number of people that are on welfare. (Nancy Pelosi has stated this). Black men raised by single mother’s typically lose to gangs and the mentality of studding. Look at the statistics of black super stars who have fathered multiple children by as many wives as there are kids. The lack of religion and a father figure to lead these men has ruined their ability to think with their God given brain and to defer to their God given penis.

I received the following essay:

Not  Only  the  Knee. . . !The knee is not the only problem . . . 68 children by 52 women! 7 players! 

 Children raised in fatherless homes, especially black children, are far more likely than children raised in two parent homes to engage in criminal behavior and thus have contact with police. Ergo when they father a child with a woman to whom they are not married—or at least living with—they are contributing to the problem against which these football players are taking a knee. If you look at many of these players’ records on out-of-wedlock children, you find that they are contributing significantly to the problem against which they are protesting.  For example:

Antonio Cromartie has 12 children   by 9 different women.  Apparently the NFL had to shell out $500,000 before he could even play football for them.

Travis Henry has 11 children   by 10 women,

Willis McGahee has 9 children   by 8 women,

Derrick Thomas has 7 children   by 5 different women,

Bennie Blades has 6 children   by 6 women, 

Ray Lewis has 6 children   by 4 women, and

Marshall Faulk has 6 children   by 3 women.  

Adrian Peterson has 11 kids from 7 different women.  Before these guys take a knee they should take a good look in the mirror as it appears that their problem is not the knee.

No where in the Baltimore Sun’s essay is there a word regarding action to correct failures of the Civil Rights act, and the policies emanating from it nor to add the root cause of the problems. It was the designed intention of President Lyndon Johnson who signed it into law to make Civil Rights his legacy. He bragged to governors that the Civil Rights act of 1964 with the following statement, “I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years.” The sole intent of the act is to guarantee Democrats political offices which they do not deserve, but desecrate with their vile society-splitting rhetoric and meaningless laws.

It is time to repeal the Civil Rights Act and all the Great Society policies that were derived from it, and to rewrite it into something that works and is meaningful.

Cause For Celebration

As my body ages my goals change to things that do not involve physical effort. There was a time when I exercised not for health but for the challenge of pushing my body to the limits. Now, I tend to remain seated. Is sitting an exercise? For twenty years my single biggest physical activity has been gardening followed by bicycling. If I could be biking while working the garden I’d be supremely happy. I have mentioned this many times, my garden has a name, “The Monet Vision”. To make it interesting I’ve added the theme after the name because I try to make it different every year, like Monet Vision-Golden Glow. This year I’ve decided to name it Monet Vision-Retired. Each year the theme depicts a color scheme or a specific floral planting. Because I am in the process of downsizing and will be giving up the castle sometime soon, I thought it necessary to redesign the garden to eliminate some maintenance. The problem is that I don’t quite know how to do that. I do, but the perfect scheme would cause me great amounts of energy expenditure and a large cash outlay. There was a time when the cash outlay would have been the greatest deterrent, but today it is the energy, both physical and mental, that challenges me.

One focal highlight of the garden is a water feature which I call the pond.  The pond gave me a new dimensions of plant life to exploit and enjoy. Even Monet needed water to grow his infamous water lilies. Water in the garden breeds mosquitoes and the pesky creatures defy enjoyment. To ward off the blood sucking pests a new element is introduced to the pond, i.e. mosquito eating fish. Ponds requires the movement of water to be effective in keeping fish. Fish require oxygen and moving water via water falls, and rapids add the oxygen, as well as soft sounds and contemplative visual scenes to sooth the soul. Last January, the mechanism for creating this water movement, i.e.the pump, died, and so did my fish. When water reaches thirty-two degrees F it changes phase and turns into ice. The water below the ice is probably at thirty-three degrees. I have worked with my hands and arms up to my elbows in such water and can testify that it is not pleasant, nor smart to do so.

During the winter I contemplated the maintenance needed to restart the water flowing again. The dead pump allowed the stream that connects the water fall to the pond to dry up. This enabled me to get into the stream and to rip out the pond grass from either side of the water fall. It sounded easy, but in reality it took me three weeks of intense labor to cut the roots of the grass and to lever the system out of the river bed with a crow bar. All of this was done while in a crouch with my knees on a pad and my toes crunched up under my weight. At my age, getting up from this position requires considerable energy and time for my joints to relax back into their normal position. Anyway, I opened up the stream from the grasses that were choking the water and forcing it to overflow the banks. This backup caused me to lose a lot of water every day and water although plentiful does not come free where I live. By the time the grasses were gone, the remainder of the weeds in the garden took off like one of Elon Musk’s rockets to the Space Station. Another six weeks later I had completed a 360 degree tour of weeding and shrub trimming around the house. It was now time to install the pump, but I hadn’t bought it yet. I went into COVID-19 shock when I learned the cost to replace the pump from the original Japanese manufacturer had risen to five hundred and fifty dollars a full 25% more than previous. Another week of research on the internet and I finally hit the check out button on a replacement for less than three hundred dollars.  Take a guess where it is made, yep you guessed it, Taiwan, ROC (Republic of China). It will be hard to swear off buying from China when it affects the pocket book so drastically. If my plan works, this will be the last pond pump that I will buy in my lifetime.

By the time, the pump arrived, the stream bed which had been dry all spring was now full of weeds again. Another two hours on my knees with my toes crunched under were needed to clear the stream bed before I could wrestle the pump into place and hooked up. The final step was to plug it in and pray it worked, it did, and that is cause to celebrate!

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One of My Best

Cold Callers

Is it just me, or is there an inordinate amount of people calling who are interested in wasting my time with their sales pitch? I try to be polite to these callers, but that is asking a lot when they insist on being aggressive in their approach. The latest barrage of callers is trying to make me switch out my insurances. I tell them I am very happy with a forty year relationship with my insurance company, and the caller has the audacity to ask why am I so happy? One reason is because I don’t get aggravating calls from my guys and gals, but they do listen when I call them. That is when they make me very happy.

Over the last four years I have been questioning myself over the sanity of keeping a telephone line. Ninety-nine percent of the calls I receive are from telemarketers, and or scams. Why do I continue to pay a high price to have a service at my disposal that is not being utilized? How stupid can one be? Two stupid is what I say. I have two phone systems at my hand and only one of them is mildly useful. I have to admit that I like my cell phone much better than the land line. At least with my smart phone I can get the caller streamed right into my ears through Bluetooth. That means I can hear the caller. On the land, line I rely on getting the noise transmitted to my hearing aid microphone which does a somewhat crappy job of interpreting the noise and translating it into intelligible speech. My calls kind of go like this:

“Please speak louder I can barely hear you.”

“IS THIS BETTER?”

“Yes, but only slightly”

The caller then realizes he has a crack-pot on the phone and tries to hurry the call. I say, “please slow down your speech, I am very hard of  hearing and it takes me more time to process what you are trying to say.”

“Ohh, I’mm soorrry, I’ll try to speaak morre cleaarly.”

“You still sound like you are calling from a sewer in China.”

Thus goes the conversation, but inevitably I’ll finally figure out what the person is selling and then end the call. My goal is to make certain the caller is as relieved as I am at ending.

Things might be better if the phone services would send all the sound over the lines. In their attempt to streamline and reduce costs they eliminate much of the digital signal. I now understand why there is a resurgence in sales of vinyl records. People seem to believe that the sound they get from an old fashioned vinyl disk is much more rich than that of the digital noise they get from Apple.

Add the complications of phone companies trying to conserve bandwidth to the sound interface between the caller’s microphone to my telephone receiver, to my hearing aid microphone, and then into my tired ear mechanism and multiply it by the caller’s national dialect, his inability to enunciate, and the speed with which he speaks, and I don’t care. I think the phone companies should pay me for the calls they put through because of the extra time it takes me to get rid of these callers.

Some of the worst calls come from the Mid-eastern countries that learned to speak English from the British and have mixed it with their native language. To me they sound like they are speaking with a mouth full of marbles while under water.

Over the past many calls I have learned not to answer immediately. If I hesitate and stay quiet the call doesn’t connect me to the recording or an actual human. I wait for them to say hello and ask for me before I engage. When they do engage I wait long enough to learn what they are pitching and then hang up. I will often try searching for the number to determine where the call originated. Usually, I  learn that the company has a block of numbers from which they call. So If I place a block on a caller another caller from the same place will call a day later.

After insurance salesman, the next most aggravating caller is the professional fund raiser. My most polite answer is that “I can’t afford a thing at this time, thank you for calling” click. The worst experience is when I am too slow in responding and the guy takes off like a rocket with his spiel and I have to get a word in edgewise. Usually that occurs when he asks for an answer to a yes, I will donate question. I will tell him I can’t and he immediately goes into another endless rant about the importance of supporting his cause. When I finally get a moment to speak I say. “You didn’t hear me did you, I can’t” CLICK. The ugliest trick is when I put the receiver down and walk away. Eventually the phone gives me the disconnect signal.

None of these ploys is fun, nor is it exciting to me in any way. At times I empathize with the poor guy calling because it is his job and I begin to think about his situation  with a wife and ten kids at home all in college for a nano-second and then regain my sensibility. You have to love rejection to have a job like that, and I would have to be desperate hungry to become a telemarketer.

 

Dull Day

It must have been all the partying I did on Father’s day but today, I’m feeling punk, no energy, no motivation, no desire for anything. I forced myself to take a walk during the hottest part of the early afternoon, and I am glad because it started raining shortly after I returned. We had a typical summer thunder boomer with high wind, hail, and lots of heavy rain. Now, we are in after rain stillness. It is the kind of day when one would benefit by taking a nap.

Summer has officially arrived in Illinois and for once we had a normal spring which transitioned into a summer. The past few years we had winter followed by a couple days of really cold spring followed by the heat of peak summer. In other words no smooth transition.

COVID-19 is still around here with fifty new cases in our county today. We also have an abundance of testing sites. Manufacturing companies are screening employees in the parking lot before they are even allowed to park. If one has a temperature he just keeps on driving to return home. The attitude in general still prevails with masks and social distancing unless you are in an outdoor eating and drinking establishment. Evidently the virus does not like outdoor eating and drinking.

This morning I had to make a deliberate trip to the gas station to fuel up. Why? my tank showed one gallon left. It is the driest I have ever allowed my car to get in the past fifteen years. I use the dash board display which shows the number of miles remaining in the tank and have always gotten fuel when approaching 100 miles remaining. Today, the meter showed twenty-five miles left.

When I was a young man and my first car was a Volkswagen bug I had the habit of running out of gas with great regularity. The bug didn’t have a gas gauge, but when the tank level reached one gallon the car started to cough and stall and hesitate. That was the signal for the driver to stretch his leg to the firewall and move a lever from vertical to horizontal. That little trick opened the tank to allow the final gallon of gas to be burned. If I was within thirty-five miles of a station I was safe. If not, I walked. When I first bought the car I used the final gallon trick constantly, except I kept running out of gas. It turned out that the final gallon valve didn’t work. I kept complaining to the German service agent at the dealer that the thing didn’t function. He only stared at me in misbelief and refused to check it out. In order to convince him that the valve didn’t work I ran the car out of gas, and my dad towed me to the dealership. I didn’t tell them what the problem was, I just told them the car would not start. A day later they called to tell me the car was fixed. Dad drove me to the dealer and I retrieved my bug. I asked what the problem was and the answer was. . . drum roll, the gas valve didn’t work, and they replaced it. I never ran out of gas again.

A year later I traded the bug for a brand spanking new Karmann Ghia. What a beaut it was. It was really just a bug dressed in Italian clothes. It still relied on the final gallon gas valve for gauging the fuel. On days when I forgot to refill and I knew it was low, I’d take my wife’s car to work and leave her with instructions to go to the gas station before she went anywhere. On several occasions she ran out of gas within a few yards of the fueling station. Poor lady would end up pushing the damn thing the final fifty feet. She never forgave me those incidents and was always my talking gas gauge afterwards. Whenever we got into the car together her first words were “do you have gas?”

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