Stupid Is As Stupid Does-#220923

America the land of the free is led by the most idiotic people on the face of the planet. I am an American, first generation Hungarian. My parents came to America in the early nineteen twenties, they paid for their transport, found places to live, and jobs. They followed the rules and became citizens by learning the language, the civic process, fulfilled the residency rule to live here for five years, they met, married, and had four kids, I am number three. My older brothers learned English in grade school. I am a supporter of immigrants and immigration.

Ellis Island Medical Inspection

About six years ago, I met and became friends with a lady from a former USSR bloc country who came to America via a slightly unrecognized procedure. Over a thirty year span she applied for a visa at the US embassy multiple times to visit her aging aunt in New Jersey, and was denied each time. No reason was given. Demoralized, she answered an ad in a local newspaper in her home town which guaranteed entry into the United States. Her follow-up got her an airplane ticket and entry into America. For the past twenty years she has been looking over her shoulder and living in fear that an immigration officer will find her.

A couple of years ago I agreed to sponsor her to gain legal status. She hired a lawyer and has spent over ten thousand dollars and filed numerous immigration forms through her attorney. At this time her application is two years old and she has not yet received her “Green Card.” Those with a Green Card have status within the country to apply for an identification card, a social security number, and it opens many doors of opportunity to an immigrant. It also allows the immigrant to travel between America and their home country, and be allowed to return. Imagine my exasperation when I read a news article about the US giving current illegal immigrants an automatic green card. I lost it. I should have advised this lady to fly to Mexico and to then walk across the border to gain an automatic green card without a lawyer, and without spending an exorbitant amount of money.

California Border Crossers

I have decided to write a letter to my Congressman and Senators to enact legislation to wipe out every law on the books. If we are not going to follow the laws why should we even have them, to protect the politically elite? Let’s just stop kidding ourselves and do the job right. Stop the nonsense and fire all the police, judges, courts, law makers, and anything even remotely connected to laws. The people of this country can take care of themselves. But beware, many of us would most likely decide that politicians are also no longer necessary. At the rate we are going it will only be a matter of years before we re-enter the Neanderthal age of lawlessness where the only thing a man had to worry about was giving his family food, shelter, and protection from predators.

The people of the United States and Europe have all lost the meaning of life. We are fighting Mother Nature. Every species of mammal, reptiles, aquatic, insect, what-ever, exists to survive. That means they procreate. What we have chosen to do is to selfishly deny procreation to the point of needing to import people from other places to survive.

Liberals are so worried about the planet, global warming, and extinction that they have decided to stop it with hair-brained schemes to save us. At the current rate of population growth the white race will be extinct in three hundred years, at the current rate of global warming the earth has about three hundred years before we even have to consider it a problem, in about three hundred years we will use up all fossil fuels and the air will only contain man-made radioactivity, and not all that nasty stuff we get from fossil fuels. The ultimate hypocrisy of the left is using the argument that they want to save the planet for our kids and grandchildren yet they support abortion, and not having kids. As Forest Gump so famously said “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Letters

Can you remember when people wrote letters and notes to each other? Last night I dreamed that I had finished a wood working project that was a special letter writing desk. My intent would place it in my sleeping room in a secretive corner. Why in a secretive place? So I could express myself without distractions from Lovely, phones, and messy desk stuff. This of course is all fantasy, because it would only be a couple of days before my pristine letter writing desk will also become littered with messy desk stuff, Lovely would find my hideout, and the smartphone would locate me.

One of my to do projects is to burn a stack of letters that I wrote to my first wife while we were courting. Amazingly, she saved them all, and I like a doofus have saved them as though they were something sacred and holy. The problem I have with disposing them is that they are sacred and holy and represent a life that I wish still existed. The words on those pages were from my heart written in ink with a fountain pen (before the infamous BIC changed the writing world). They expressed emotions and feelings that I couldn’t verbalize for too many reasons which have stunted my public speaking ability for years.

I noted with great pleasure that early English noblemen and women used letter writing to communicate to friends. This became obvious to me during my viewing of Downton Abbey a serialized story about a English nobleman and his family who reside in a massive fifty room house on a property exceeding most National Parks. It was common for the family members to write notes and letters which they sent to friends by way of a servant, thus getting feedback on their return. This was the eighteenth century version of texting and email. Alas, I said e-mail, a technology of the past which has been out dated by texting. I read somewhere that three percent of e-mails are read. However, eighty percent of texts are read within three minutes of their arrival. When I served as president of the Frankfort Lions Club I had lousy response to emails. When I heard of the response time for a text, I signed up for a texting service and started a new trend within the club. I digress.

In this dream I sit at my letter writing desk daily for a set time, and write letters to my grand children imparting my wisdom, and regaling them with tales about their parents growing up. The instrument in my hand is a Mont Blanc fountain pen, although in the interest of time I will defer to a ball point which I find writes much smoother. The troublesome problem I have with the fountain pen is that it dries up, and I am forced to disassemble it to clear it’s plumbing before it is usable. Even so, the modern pen is much more efficient than the eighteenth century quill. It just occurred to me that the quill didn’t require blowing out, all it took to get started writing was to dip the point into the ink.

A huge problem that I have discovered is that modern children are not always able to read script. The age of printers and word processors have moved the teaching world away from penmanship and into the world of type. My grandson, a graduate engineer often drops me a note which I have trouble deciphering. It seems he is printing so fast that the letters often become illegible. In my day we had trouble reading one another’s hand writing and today we have trouble reading one’s printing. So we solve the problem by using the very legible keyboard with digital output usually in the form of a digital format like text messaging, e-mail, and very rarely the postal service.

What I see happening here is that my fountain pen is being relegated to a place in a museum having been replaced by the highly impersonal digital means of communication. Nevertheless, I still feel that a hand written note is special. It imparts the feeling that the sender is giving of himself by spending the time to manually write. He is sending you a sample of his personality and skill, but most importantly he is expressing himself to you.

Amaze your loved ones, write them notes in your best script.

Influencers & Monetization

Too many times I wonder how it is that people can make money using social media. Maybe because it is my age that puts me at a disadvantage, but I really am interested in how it works. Whenever I find something like a book, or a video that will explain the simple dynamics of using Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc I devour it.

I just finished reading a book titled “City of Like” by author Jenny Mollen. Jenny has crafted a fictional story which involves the life of of a simple New York mom who wants to raise her kids and have a job too. I won’t get into the plot any further because I would be a spoiler. In this story the characters are very different people who live for building their audience on social media. All that matters to them is getting “liked, friended, subscribed to, or followed.” The numbers become the game. The more followers one has the better the chances are the content producer will be monetized. Monetized, now thats an interesting word which has risen from obscurity in the business world to one of everyday usage by the masses of social media users. It means that that the content being presented by someone of Facebook derives revenue from the content. Companies like Youtube (Google) have learned that profit can be had by using the content of the masses. It doesn’t matter what the content is but rather depends on how many viewers see the work. It is not much different than selling newspapers.

The social media companies get all of the content free from their users. It costs very little to store the content digitally, and their computers can track viewership easily. Then it becomes a matter of deciding how to make money, and how to reward content producers for their creative efforts.

I had not heard the term “influencer” used before reading this book. An influencer is one who builds an audience of tens of thousands of viewers and pitches products and services to this audience. The influencer is rewarded with free samples of the products they pitch. Some of them are in such demand that they hire agents to agents to negotiate for them. That is when the big money begins to flow.

Recently, I watched a Youtube video of a young man in his twenties explain the mathematics of building audience for the purpose of achieving monetization. He went through the process from the ground up and explained how a blogger, vlogger, etc. will have to produce several posts daily in order to succeed. I get people clicking to follow my blog and when someone does I get an email notification. I then visit the persons blog to see what he/she is about. Most times the follower is someone who sells a product on his blog. One reason I check them out is to decide if they are genuine or in business. If they are real bloggers and are just interested in writing stories I will befriend them and continue a dialog. Some of my best friends are people I have never met in person, but with whom I communicate almost daily.

Nevertheless, with inflation eating away at my fixed income I am becoming more interested in a developing a new income stream to help me along. I have resolved that I can do it, but will wind up giving up the freedom of retirement by making my blog into a job. The formula for success requires producing several content posts daily, reading, commenting, and following hundreds of other bloggers daily. It makes sense to me now as to why so many bloggers have people on their payroll who submit content daily.

At this point in life, I feel that my sciatic nerve will allow me only a couple of hours a day to sit at a computer before my toes begin to tingle, my right hip is on fire, and the nerve between the head and shoulder is screaming for help.

257 Years of Wisdom

Last Sunday I had the distinct pleasure of driving through some heavy rain for one hundred miles from Frankfort, Illinois to Covert Michigan. The low hanging dark grey clouds and the pouring rain combined with some heavy traffic slowed down the trip. Lovely and I were attending my family reunion. It doesn’t happen every year, but my older brother decided he may not be here next year to organize another, so he invited everyone to his place in Michigan for a good old fashioned Hungarian bacon fry. He is guaranteed a crowd if only his five kids come with their kids, and grandkids. It gets bigger if our sister and her three boys come with their clans, and even bigger if I come with my three kids and their families. We didn’t have perfect attendance, but there was enough of a mix from all three families to make it a great visit. The rain stopped about ten miles from our destination, but the grey sky lingered.

The bacon fry is a family tradition founded by my parents when we were still little. Although it is not recommended by the American Heart Association, we do. It begins with a square of bacon preferably taken from a hog’s jowl. The bacon is skewered onto a long stick and held over a very hot wood fire. Naturally, the grease begins to drip from the bacon into the flames. Sitting on the ground next to the fryer-person is a plate of freshly sliced old world rye bread covered with diced onions and tomatoes. When the bacon is running, the fryer swings the rod off the fire and holds it over the bread to capture the drippings. The fryer, this year was not my brother, but his Irish son-in-law Kevin. Brother Bill told him that since he’s been in the family for twenty-five years he was now qualified to spin the bacon.

When the plate full of bread is soaked in hot bacon grease, a fresh one is placed before the fryer while one of the girls walks the finished plate around offering scrumptious greasy bread to the guests. It takes a while to make enough of the recipe to satisfy everyone’s palate. For those who consider the greasy bread just an appetizer there is also grilled, bratwurst, hot dogs, and a cooker full of Szekely Goulash (Shepard’s Stew slow cooked with cubed pork in sauerkraut, garlic, Bell peppers, and onions), along with number of salads. For me the afternoon turned into a non-stop eating fest.

We spent the time dodging occasional droplets of rain and catching up on the families. Most of my brother’s family came the day before and set up tents to sleep in. The children played lawn games while the adults mostly gabbed away.

The drive home was a pleasure since the rain had stopped, and since the following day was Labor Day, the Sunday night traffic was extremely light. By the time we pulled into our drive there was no evidence of rain at all, and the sun was beginning to burst through the clouds in rays of light just in time for sunset.

Thank You Friends

Yesterday, the Frankfort Lions Club held the yearly Wurst Fest, and I want to thank all of my friends who came. The Wurst is a fun time to raise money for the club charities account. We cannot help the community without funds, and it is your generosity that keeps our momentum going. The Lions International by-laws stipulate that all monies derived from the public must be returned to the public. The Frankfort Lions faithfully keep that resolution, whether it is for street signs, a village snow plow, or food pantry support it comes from your donations; thank you. At the same time, if we want to treat the members to dinner, or to have fun, we pay for it out of pocket. Mostly we have internal fund raisers which we keep separate from the charities.

I managed to hold the line on the quantity of alcohol I imbibed so I am not tired today. As I write this I am thinking of how many house in the house details remain unfinished. My list of baby steps will aid me in getting things done.