PSA-171204-Just Thinking

 

Lying around, pondering the problems of the world, I realized that, at my age, I don’t really give a rat’s ass anymore. If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, and drinks water, but is still fat. A rabbit runs, and hops, and only lives 15 years, while a tortoise doesn’t run, and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years. And they tell us to exercise? I don’t think so.
Now that I’m older, here’s what I’ve discovered:
1.  I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
2. My wild oats are mostly enjoyed with prunes and all-bran.
3. Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.
4. Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.
5. If all is not lost, then where the heck is it?
6. It was a whole lot easier to get older, than it was to get wiser.
7. Some days, you’re the top dog, some days you’re the hydrant.
8. I wish the buck really did stop here; I sure could use a few of them.
9. Kids in the back seat cause accidents.
10. Accidents in the back seat cause kids.
11. It is hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.
12. The world only beats a path to your door when you’re in the bathroom.
13. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he’d have put them on my knees.
14. When I’m finally holding all the right cards, everyone wants to play chess.
15. It is not hard to meet expenses . . . They’re everywhere.
16. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth..
17. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter . .
I go somewhere to get something,
and then wonder what I’m “here after”.
18. Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.
19. It is a lot better to be seen than viewed.
20. Have I sent this message to you before…or did I get it from you?
Always do right.  This will gratify some people and astonish the rest
– Mark Twain

PSA-171116-This Time It Is Serious

THINGS YOUR BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU    
Read all the way to the end. You just might learn something that will save your home from being burglarized.
1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewellery. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)
10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.
12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system.  If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.
8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU:
1.Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
3. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.
4. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
5. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
6.  Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address. Parents: caution your kids about this.  You see this every day.
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.
8. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
Sources:Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs
http://www.crimedoctor.com /and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.
Protection for you and your home:
If you don’t have a gun, here’s a more humane way to wreck someone’s evil plans for you. WASP SPRAY
A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.
The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn’t attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection…
Thought this was interesting and might be of use.
FROM ANOTHER SOURCE:
On the heels of a break-in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, self-defense experts have a tip that could save your life.
Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania SouthviewHigh School.  For decades, he’s suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed.  Glinka says, “This is better than anything I can teach them.”  Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, “spray the culprit in the eyes”. It’s a tip he’s given to students for decades. It’s also one he wants everyone to hear. If you’re looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.
“That’s going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out.” Maybe even save a life.
Put your car keys beside your bed at night.  Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr.’s office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across.. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.
If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It’s a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won’t stick around. After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won’t want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.
P.S.
I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is fantastic. Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can’t reach a phone. My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn’t hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she’ll know there’s a problem.  Probably would be a good idea if you were disabled and fell because you could signal for help.

For Better Or For Worse

The old anniversary odometer just clicked off another whole number, we made it!  Today Peg and I celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary. I can’t say the ride has been smooth because we have had our differences, but we learned to deal with them, and always made up. My God father once gave me this advice: never go to bed angry at each other , always kiss and tell each other “I  you love.”  God father’s advice works because Peg and I have made that ritual a standard practice. In twelve years I can say that we missed it once. I should say I missed it once because she was already asleep when I got home from a late meeting. Even though she slept, I followed through but she was so fast asleep she didn’t know I did.

Scan 2017-11-5 12.46.31 1

The first nine years I have to admit we enjoyed the “for better” aspect of our marriage vows We partied, we traveled, we went to the theater, we enjoyed the country club dinners with friends, all the things healthy people in love do. In the ninth year there was a dramatic slowdown in the better and an increase in the “for worse.” There were signs of memory deterioration. Peg suddenly needed help operating a washing machine. At first, I thought she was playing me, but she couldn’t remember which knobs to turn and buttons to push. When we traveled she always insisted I wait for her right outside the ladies room, she was afraid of getting lost. When in a restaurant she told me to order for her because she couldn’t see the items on the menu. This was a lady whose practice it was to read the entire menu, even the fine print, so she could decide upon a meal. During the last two years it has been mostly “for worse”  with an occasional better.

Joe & Peggy Wedding Party-November 5, 2005

Peggy’s Family

Before we agreed to marry, we discussed the inevitability of one of us dying or getting sick and how we expected the other to act. We agreed that even if we only had one year together it was worth the try at happiness. Both of us had long marriages before, and we both lost our spouses to a disease. Her husband died of heart related issues in combination with lung cancer at age sixty-nine. My wife beat breast cancer only to die at age sixty-five from issues related to a debilitating heart attack at age sixty-three.

Between the two of us we had ninety-one years of marriage under our belts, how hard could a second marriage be? It should be a snap, after all we have seen almost everything couples experience during our first marriages. How wrong I was. It was hard, but not so hard that we weren’t able to figure things out and smooth the conflicts over.

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Right now, Peg is in some state of deterioration resulting from Alzheimer’s disease. I tell people she is relatively stable but declining very slowly.  This is why we are in the “for worse” period of our vows. Her communication skill is gone. Imagine a typical woman not being able to talk, she must be in hell. Imagine a woman who was a fashionista suddenly not giving a crap about clothes, make-up, or hair. Imagine a woman who was so fastidiously clean that she changed every piece of clothing every day because it was dirty from having worn it once, not wanting to bathe. Imagine a lady who could out walk me on a shopping trip not being able to walk again because she can’t remember how. I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift. Our lives have changed from that of newly weds to that of care-taker and patient. Luckily we had discussed these possibilities early on and put things in writing to be very clear about how we would treat each other.

It has been a good run but it is not over yet. It may last another day, or another ten years but it won’t matter because we still love each other now, and will continue to love each other to the very end which is the “till death do us part” of our vows. I write that like I expect to outlive her, but the fact is I can drop dead before her. In that case her life gets a little bit more complicated, but again, we have left instructions for our children on how to deal with that situation.

Happy anniversary my darling!

Another Sub-culture

Nomadland-41JTQFGLbDL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

Many times while traveling in National Parks I struck up a conversation with a worker. They were either behind a counter or cleaning a campsite. I thirsted for knowledge about how and why they got the jobs they had. What I learned is that many of them were retirees who just wanted to spend time in a beautiful place. Who could argue that? Spend a summer in Yellowstone National Park, or Sequoia, or a winter in the Everglades, why not?

I often thought of myself doing the same, but never had the nerve to follow through. Mostly, because my wife Barb wasn’t on the same page as I was. Then after she died, I did embark on a solo journey, but it wasn’t to a national park. I rented a condo in Arizona for two months to grieve. We had often talked of retiring to Arizona, and this was my way of taking her with me to finally do it. Never mind all the excuses I had before, my kids were grown and on their own, I retired from my job, the house could stand a winter without me. What about my  friends? Well, except for one young lady, I didn’t have any friends, and she was too young to leave her job to come with me. The telephone would be my link to friends.

This week I picked up a book titled Nomadland, it spoke to me, and I loved it. This author chronicled the life I had dreamed of creating for myself. There is a big difference between my way and the way of the people she wrote about. Her people were all sixty somethings who lost jobs, and then homes, and were left without a way to live. In order to survive they managed to learn to live in vans, trailers, motor-homes, tents, or anything that could shelter them from elements because the only jobs they could find didn’t pay enough to rent a room and eat too.  Jessica Bruder followed these people for three years, and even joined them in a van of her own to experience what it was like to live in their community. There are thousands of these nomads living this lifestyle because of the independence they get and because they can’t afford anything better. They skip from campground to campground to avoid rent, and take part-time jobs with companies who offer seasonal work just to make gas money and sustenance. Would you believe that one of the largest employers of part time nomads is Amazon? Yes Amazon, actually recruits workers through their branch called Amazon CamperForce. The stories Bruder relates to working at Amazon Fulfilment Centers are crazy. Can you imagine sixty somethings logging 12-15 miles walking daily inside one of these big box warehouses scanning goods to either put away or to remove for shipping for ten to twelve hours a day?  I can’t either, but it is happening right now in a place near you. The people doing it don’t really like it but it allows them to make money to live their lifestyle. Many of them refer to Amazon as the largest slave keeper in the world.

I enjoyed reading these stories and following the campers as they moved from city to city to attend events like the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in the desert near Quartzsite, Arizona. I remember passing through Quartzsite on Inter-state ten on my way to California. It looked like a giant flea market from the road I never wandered off to see if there actually was a city there too, next time I will for sure.

If you are into reading books about our American culture and how people cope with life this is a great read. I give it five stars.

Map-to-RTR

Excellent advice to avoid Flagstaff on your way to warmer climates during winter months.nter a caption

images (2)RTR-amazondsc01402andrew_waits_a15images (1)

rtrspread

PSA-170214-Did You Know?

I have seen too many of my friends posting negative comments on Facebook about Republicans, and President Trump taking their Social Security benefits away. The implication is that the Republicans will be the bad guys who leave us hanging out to dry. The brief history below timelines all the changes to the Social Security law from the inception. After you read this ask yourself which party is the most likely to remove your benefit?

################################################################

elvis_social_security_card_1950.jpg

Your SS Card – did you know?
History Lesson on Your Social Security Card

Just in case some of you didn’t know this. It’s easy to
check out, if you don’t believe it. Be sure and show
it to your family and friends. They need a little history
lesson on what’s what and it doesn’t matter whether
you are Democrat or Republican. Facts are Facts.
Social Security Cards up until the 1980s expressly stated
the number and card were not to be used for identification
purposes. Since nearly everyone in the United States now
has a number, it became convenient to use it anyway
and the message, NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION, was removed.

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social
Security (FICA) Program. He promised:
��
1.) That participation in the Program would be
Completely voluntary,

No longer Voluntary
��

2.) That the participants would only have to pay
1% of the first $1,400 of their annual
Incomes into the Program,

Now 7.65%
on the first $90,000
��

3.) That the money the participants elected to put
into the Program would be deductible from
their income for tax purposes each year,

No longer tax deductible
��

4.) That the money the participants put into the
independent ‘Trust Fund’ rather than into the
general operating fund, and therefore, would
only be used to fund the Social Security
Retirement Program, and no other
Government program, and,

Under Johnson the money was moved to
The General Fund and Spent
��

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never
be taxed as income.
��
Under Clinton & Gore
Up to 85% of your Social Security can be Taxed
��
Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are
now receiving a Social Security check every month —
and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of
the money we paid to the Federal government to ‘put
away’ — you may be interested in the following:
��
———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —-
��
Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the
independent ‘Trust Fund’ and put it into the
general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically
controlled House and Senate.
��
———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —
��
Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax
deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.
��
———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —–
��
Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social
Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting
the
‘tie-breaking’ deciding vote as President of the
Senate, while he was Vice President of the US
��
———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— –
��
Q: Which Political Party decided to start
giving annuity payments to immigrants?
��
AND MY FAVORITE:

A: That’s right!

Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.
Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65,
began to receive Social Security payments! The
Democratic Party gave these payments to them,
even though they never paid a dime into it!
��
———— — ———— ——— —– ———— ——— ———
��
Then, after violating the original contract (FICA),
the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans
want to take your Social Security away!

Apple Is Rotten To The Core

This blog post is a rant aimed at Apple Computer in Silicon Valley. Your help forums are worthless. Unless the person asking the forum was conceived and raised by computer geeks the responses are totally unintelligible. Can you hire some people who speak everyday language?

Perhaps one of my readers can help me out. In the beginning I was very satisfied with my Mac computer and my I phone. Whenever I took a picture using my phone and then connected it to the computer to charge, the computer would automatically show all the new pictures from the phone in the Apple program called Photo. I clicked on a box marked import all, and my pictures transferred to the Mac.

I just spent several hours trying to determine why that process is not functioning. Based on the number of people asking the same question on the forums, I’d say it is a major Apple problem. What I didn’t see was any type of fix or a single work around that would allow me to move pictures from the phone camera to the computer.I did see many replies that sounded like a politician speaking in computer GEEK, a lot of fancy words but no real substance.

A few years ago, I trashed all my Microsoft computers in favor of Apple. They clearly had a superior operating system. Lately, however, Apple is rapidly becoming Windows like with performance issues.

Here is what I have to do to transfer a photo to my computer.

1.Share the picture on the phone to my e-mail address.

2. Open the email and save the picture to the downloads folder.

3. Move the picture from the downloads folder to my photo file on the computer.

Another problem which has snuck into the phone via upgrades, or as I refer to them downgrades, is that the camera in the phone saves photos as a rich text file what the hell ever that is, but my engineering degree tells me that anything that says text in a picture file cannot be too very smart. Rich text is beyond my feeble mind to comprehend even if it applies only to text. I now have all of my thanksgiving family pictures on my phone, but they are in rtf, and will not transfer to a photo file, Gee, I wonder why.

Apple should change their very clever logo to add a bunch of worms eating their way out of the core, because that is what the company has become.

worm-eating-apple-white-background-maggot-larva-cut-half-45881792.jpg

Ninety nine percent of what Apple does is aimed at kids who will figure out how to use the Apple magic. Me, I’m too old to be wasting my available minutes trying to make this crap work. Give me super simple programs that work without a degree in computer science.

All of this triggered me to think politically. The current regime in charge of the United States has been working overtime trying to convince guys like me that what we need is New World Order. What that means is that everyone in the world is working off the same page to make the planet one big happyland amongst the many other inhabited planets of the universe, kind of like in Star Trek.How will this be accomplished if the world’s smartest and richest computer company can not make thier devices work together easily without the need for one on one GEEK assistance? Can you imagine making over 170 countries think the same way? Can you imagine getting those same countries to assimilate their cultures into one giant macro-culture? Can you imagine them all coming together on religion?

Nope, me either.

 

Senior Musing

About a year ago a friend recommended a book whose title I jotted into my phone. My short term memory is waning and if I don’t write something down it gets forgotten immediately. Last week I finished a book titled The Jolly Roger Social Club, and immediately began searching for my next read. The usual trip to the library failed to produce a current title that struck my fancy so I opened my notebook on the i-phone. I found a title called Recessional recommended by my friend Tom an avid reader. The author,  James Michener is one of my favorites.

Michener_recessional_1st_ed.jpg

The story revolves around a Senior living complex in Florida, and the characters are all my age. The complex has three levels. The first is apartments for totally independent residents. The second is for people who need some form of assistance with care, and the third is long-term care. Thankfully the story begins with characters that are full of life and amazingly active. I learned a new word, tertulia meaning a group of people gathered to discuss the arts, or any other current topic of interest.

One of the benefits of this type of living is that the residents can prepare their own meals in their apartment or order from the kitchen to eat in, or they can assemble in the dining room to eat any or all three daily meals. A group of four men eat at the only round table standing in a corner of the room. Comprised of a Senator, Ambassador, Editor, and a business President. They were considered the brains of the home. I took a liking to this group because it resembles the group I belong to made up of widowers who meet regularly to discuss anything and everything. These characters took their friendship one step further by convincing the management to allow them a workshop in which the planned to build an airplane. That is my kind of retirement living.

Michener always teaches the reader something. In this story he covered retirement village living and management, AIDS treatment, living wills, and hospice care. It didn’t surprise me that he wrote the book just three years before he died at age ninety. He was most likely one of the characters in the story. Michener began writing when he was forty years old and his very first book Tales of the South Pacific won a Pulitzer Prize. Over the next fifty years he wrote forty-one books. Most of them are epic one thousand page stories. The man never let up either he was writing or researching. His most popular book is Hawaii with 45 editions. Can you imagine running out of a title and having to print more forty-five times, I can’t.

This story was a can’t put it down read, but because it was about my life, or rather my future life, it saddened me whenever one of the characters died. Most died of natural causes, but one man committed suicide after his wife died so he could be with her. The bulk of the characters and the plots they appeared in were for the most part uplifting, and the book is well worth the time to absorb, and there is much food for discussion in a tertulia setting.

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