Archives For Silliness

This being April Fool’s Day I thought I would talk a little about politicians….

JesterThis is sort of political but not really. It is more in the line with personality types than about politics itself. Again, remember not to take life or this post too serious. I am mainly just poking fun of those who think they are different from us.

I have been thinking lately about the different types of politicians that I have seen in my lifetime and there is one particular type that caught my attention. No I am not talking about Republicans vs. Democrats or Conservatives vs. Liberals.  I call the group that is the topic of today’s post the Baby Bush Politicians. No they aren’t all Republicans or even actually even Americans. They are the type of politicians who have certain distinct set of personality characteristics. Here is my list:

1. Smirking — This is the ability of telling someone they are a bastard without actually saying the words.

2. Back slapping — You might call this the “good-old-boy” or maybe the “clubhouse” syndrome. This is where you give people the impression that you are one of them without really considering them to be so.

3. Strutting — This is a manner of presenting yourself as somehow superior to those around you. Of course John Wayne was the essence of this characteristic but all of the selected politicians in my group have a healthy doses of this walk.

4. Bravado — The dictionary calls this a pretentious, swaggering display of courage. Pretentious is the key word for these purposes. That is the feeling of being important.

5. Superiority — These guys just exude superiority. They think they have all life’s answers and the rest of us are just idiots compared to them.

There are a number of politicians that exhibit all of these characteristics but the epitome of them all, at least in my lifetime, seems to be our previous president George W. Bush. That is why his name graces the list. One characteristic I didn’t add is egotist. But of course that describes almost every politician who ever lived so it would not be of any value here.

Here is my list of members with their ratings (1 – 5 stars) in the order of their appearance.

Barack Obama  ***  Started out as a pretty naive president but has picked up several of these characteristics since then.

George W. Bush *****  Being that the group is named after him it is only appropriate that he get five stars.

Dick Cheney ****  The man behind the puppet

Vladimir Putin **** I had to include Mr Putin in this list. I don’t know about the swagger but he has all the other down pat.

Bill Clinton ***  Good Old Boy personified

Lyndon B. Johnson ***** The ultimate bully

Herbert Hoover ***

Andrew Jackson -*****

You would think that guys like Ted Cruz would be on the list too but since narcissism is not on the list and he is predominately the epitome of that trait he is not included. You might also wonder why I didn’t include Ronald Reagan on the list. He certainly had many of these characteristics but in reality he was more about standoffish, and folksy than anything else.

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet….

January 28, 2014

mailmanResidents waiting for their daily mail who haven’t shoveled out their mailboxes or sidewalks could be waiting for awhile, as postal carriers must have clear and safe access to make deliveries.

Letter carriers of the U.S. Postal Service are not to take risks trying to deliver mail, according to local Postmaster Deb Egemo. So, if a mailbox is inaccessible, either on foot or by vehicle, the carrier won’t deliver.

To ensure delivery:

– Keep walkways, steps and porches clear of snow and ice that can lead to dangerous falls.

– Clear enough snow from curbside boxes to allow mail trucks to approach the box, deliver the mail and drive away from the box without danger or the need for backing.

– Clear walkways of snow and ice to allow for enough traction, keeping particular attention to areas that can be affected by gutter runoff that can refreeze.

– Keep steps clear of snow and ice and in good repair.

– Overhangs near mailboxes should be ice and snow-free, to avoid any icicles or chunks of ice from falling.

The words above came for my local newspaper. I certainly understand that postal carriers need to be safe when they deliver the mail but what about the most common quote about the post office.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

I guess this is another place where an updated mission statement is needed…

Now before you start flaming me, please realize this post is 95% in jest….but then there is the other 5%. ;)

When I Grow Up….

January 17, 2014

editorI have stated often on the blog that I have spent much of my life asking myself “What do I want to do when I grow up?” It just seems that I never really found my own personal unique way to put my mark on the world.  This question popped up yet again while I was sitting on my throne a while ago and suddenly the most obvious answer flooded my senses. I was meant to be an editor!!

This calling should have been obvious to me before now. I can’t believe I have lived this long without fully realizing it.   A big part of blogging for me is editing my first thoughts into a more coherent and nuanced version for the official post. This is usually a three or more stage process over at least a week long period. I try my hardest to get it down to just the right words.

Throughout my life even when I say things, five times out of six (don’t ask me why I chose that number) I end up re-voicing the same thought with different, more appropriate words. As a matter of fact I do the same thing when I am just thinking of something. I have been editing myself most of my life! How come I just realized that fact?

Regrettably I realize that his epiphany has come much too late to do me much good as far as an occupation goes. That time has come and gone.  It is kind of like the old saying of locking the barn door after the cow has already gotten out. I wish I had had a good guidance counselor in my high school days. I’m sure the above traits were there even then. I might have missed my calling in life as far as an occupation goes (I think I would have made a darn good editor).

But I do kind of think that my natural editing abilities have served me well in life. I don’t have a large following here even after more than four years at RJ’s Corner but I think I have a pretty loyal one and that certainly gives me a very pleasant level of satisfaction. You think enough of my editing abilities and the stories I tell to come back day after day to see what I have to say. Thanks for that.

Always looking for just the right words is a valuable part of my always questioning why things are the way they are. As Einstein said in one of his famous quotes

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

Even though I came to the epiphany too late to use it as an occupation I think it has served me well in this life. But I kind of wish I could have had the opportunity to try to become a world-class editor. :)

Taking It Back….

July 27, 2013

Baby GeorgePrince William and Kate Middleton have named the royal heir George Alexander Louis, Kensington Palace announced in a statement today.

SOURCE: Kate Middleton and Prince William Name Baby George Alexander Louis – ABC News.

So another big royalty event is past.  The future king’s name is George. Being a big U.S. history buff, not so much the royalty stuff, King George has some significance to me.

Let’s go back about 250 years ago. At that time another King George was battling with insurgent terrorists in some of his British colonies on the other side of the world. They absolutely refused to pay their taxes. They cowardly hid behind trees and killed many of his soldiers. They didn’t fight standing in long lines and shooting each other like they were supposed to. They were self-proclaimed insurgents but he deems them terrorists. In the end King George lost this battle and the treasonist Americans went on to form their own country.

Now lets flash forward from 2013 to around 2060 or so. It is necessary to go that far because those kings and queen being pampered as they are live quite long lives. So it will be about then that King William will be turning over Buckingham Palace to King George.

Nostradamus became pretty famous for his future predictions so, what the heck, I am going to make one here myself.  The name Walters just doesn’t have the ring to it that Nostradamus does but maybe it will be known throughout the ages as the prediction of all predictions.

I predict that around 2060 the British empire will welcome its long strayed children in the new world back into its family. By that time the U.S. will have spent themselves into total oblivion. They will have sent all their young men to live and die on foreign soils as soldier “peace keeping forces”. Their basic government unraveled years before in total chaos. As a last ditch effort they pleaded for Britain to take them back. Britain having sympathy for her long-lost children will take them in.

To one King George North America was a bunch of terrorists. Another would rescue them from their self-generated stupidity.  So, here’s to you the future King George may you live a good life.

Of course my prediction might just turn out to be totally inaccurate!  But I imagine the reason will more likely be that we will self-implode long before that time…

EmmyEmmy Awards 2013: Nominations Announced

Source:  Emmy Awards 2013: Nominations Announced – ABC News.

I won’t bore you folks who swear you never watch television with the long list of Emmy nominations here. If you want to see them click on the source above. The point of this post is that excluding “Dowton Abbey” there were no other shows on this long list that my wife and I watch. Are we out of tune with all those other TV watchers?  Most of the shows on the list I put in the “stupid” category. They are for the most part just a series of quick one line quips to get us to laugh, cry, or whatever emotion the author intends.

When I watch TV I do like to be entertained. Those two hours or so a day that I spend in front of the boob tube are when I want to quit thinking about all the troubles in life and just be entertained. But, since I have a brain I don’t want to insult it with what my eyes see. Fortunately having TIVO allows me to pick and choose from the thousands of hours out there to record for future viewing. Dowton Abbey, as I said at the beginning of this post, is part of that list. The Wonders of Life is another one. Many of the shows on the list are from the BBC. I wonder if that says something about me or the Brits who produce them?

Yeah, this post so far seems to say that I am taking the “high brow” approach to TV. But at least I admit that I watch on a regular basis. Some of my friends won’t even admit that. :)  But, my wife who has made it her life’s occupation to show me where I am wrong, points out that I watch the Three Stooges on occasion and “isn’t that the same thing as all those shows you disdain?” There is probably some truth to her words but I kind of see a difference.

Getting back to the Emmy list, I know that most of the shows in TV are intended for the 18-29 year-old people as somehow the advertisers think they spend the most money. I have two issues with that belief. First when I was that age I didn’t have nearly the amount of money to spend later in life. I was pretty much living hand to mouth in those days. Second, is the drivel in this list really appealing to even that age group? If so I kind of have some concerns about these kids taking over the country in the not too distant future….

You’re so vain I bet you think this song is about you, don’t you?  

This quote came from a song by Carly Simon in 1972.  I don’t think of myself as being very vain, but aren’t we all vain to one degree or another?  What is vanity? According to one dictionary I have it is:  characteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

All of us take pride in our accomplishments and rightfully so but when that we get carried away with it then it becomes a problem.  An excessive degree of vanity some say is the root of all evil.  We must all realize that for the most part we will be long forgotten soon after we leave this earth.  Most of us just don’t leave a very deep footprint on this world.

One of the places where I see my vanity surface has to do with my blogs. I look around at some of what I consider totally frivolous blogs and see that they have thousands and thousands of followers while my blogs seldom get more than a hundred views a day. How could those sites be more relevant than mine? Don’t I talk about some pretty serious issues that need addressing? I must admit that when I was doing more posts of a partisan political nature my blog visits were quite a bit higher. It is tempting to continue to do more of that but I decided to take the high road so to speak.

My “followers” increase a little every week but never enough to satisfy my vanity.  I want to be famous!  It is only when I can tamp down my false pride that saner thoughts occur. I am not trying to win friends and influence people as the old saying goes. Instead I blog for a higher purpose. I blog for an enlightened audience so to speak. I blog for quality not quantity. :)

Feedly 2Putting all this vanity stuff aside, the original purpose of this post is to give you an alternative to the Google Reader that so many use.  Google announced that they would cease that app in a few months. I have been using it for several years now so I went on the search for another app to fill that void. I found one that is even better than Google and that is Feedly.  You can import your Google Reader stuff and quickly add others as you come across them.  Then simply click the “Feedly” button in your browser and up comes snapshots of all the unread posts that you follow.  It also has the capability of saving posts you want to keep for the future.  Click on the picture to the right to try it out.

Now to connect these two seemingly unconnected discussions. I can rationalize that my “follower” count does not reflect my total number of dedicated readers on my blogs since many are probably connected via readers such as Feedly which my blogging software doesn’t account for. So, maybe I am more popular than I think. At least that is a good way of rationalizing my exaggerated sense of self-importance.

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BreakfastYesterday, while we were at breakfast at the hotel on the last day of our vacation there were several business men at another table complaining this or that about President Obama. They were talking about things that were reported on Fox News about him. It seemed they can’t wait until he is out of office.

My wife being more of a political person than me (go figure) started “talking” to me about all the good things that have happened under the Obama administration. She signed to me without voicing it what was going on so I joined in.

“If you want to live like a Republican you must vote like a Democratic. I said that when Mr. Bush became president he came into office with a stock market at flourishing well above the 10,000 mark and left eight years later with it was barely above 8,000 and now that Obama has been in office a little over four years it has almost doubled from what it was on that fateful day of January 20, 2009.  The stock market is booming because the real business men know that our economy will soon be flourishing again as it was during the Clinton years and almost all Democratic administration before that.  “If you want to live like a Republican you must vote like a Democrat”.  (For all you doubters out there I put a few graphs related to this subject at the end of this post).  I continued with A recent report found that if you get your news totally from Fox News you are actually less informed than those who do not listen or read any news at all.  In other words, Rupert Murdock’s version of the world has little or no reality to what actually is.

It wasn’t long before the table of business men, or at least I suppose they were, became suddenly quiet and started quickly vacating the restaurant. I guess they had heard enough from us “liberal freaks”.  We have been known to do this before while on vacation. Its kind of fun to rattle a few chains once in a while.  :)

Democrat Admins

The Pledge….

March 22, 2013

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It was nice to see that Rand Paul’s standing filibuster bringing additional attention to the military drone issue in this country. Our country is based on check and balances and the current drone program has neither of those characteristics. The possibility of serious abuse scares me and should scare all of us. But, that is not what this post is going to be about. Instead it is about our pledge of allegiance and our national anthem.

I think it is time to replace both of these “sacred documents” to align us with twenty-first century thinking.  We need to get away from our obsession with wars and conflicts. As pointed out by a recent post here about Einstein’s quote about world war four being fought with stick and stones.  Our technology devoted to making war has advanced so much that we will soon be capable of annihilating ourselves many time over.  Even considering the ancient stockpile of nuclear weapons stored away in the previous Soviet Union could even do that job.

We need to start pledging to try to get along with each other and to prevent wars, not celebrate them at all our public gathering and sporting events. The “rockets red glare” just needs to go.  Most people think that our current national anthem has been the same since the war of 1812 where it was penned. In reality it was changed in 1931; a mere eighty-some years ago. In fact it has been changed a number of time over the years.

About the time the current song was made the national anthem the one I propose to replace it was being written by Woody Guthrie. His song was entitled “This land is your land”. I suspect most of you know the song so I won’t repeat it here. Woody’s song allow us to share our  pride of being an immigrant nation and our astounding geography. “This land is your land. This land is my land” has a nice ring to it.

Going on to the pledge of allegiance, no I don’t propose the above change.  The current pledge was adopted in 1942. Here is what Wikipedia says about that:

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898). The original “Pledge of Allegiance” was published in the September 8 issue of the popular children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas…. 

Bellamy’s original Pledge read as follows:

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The Pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be recited in 15 seconds. As a socialist, he had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided against it – knowing that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans.

I wonder if my conservative friends realize that our pledge of allegiance was written by a socialist. I can’t imagine that they do or else they would have demanded it be replaced years ago. :)  The words “under God” were added in 1954. The Catholic organization The Knights of Columbus promoted this change as they had been using it for several years themselves.

Maybe it is time to change both again…….

Two Scenarios….

March 21, 2013

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I want to do a followup of this morning post with a little more whimsical frame of mind.  As I see it we are looking at two different world views when it come to our energy needs.

One of our political parties theme seems to be “Drill Baby, Drill”. They want to extract absolutely every drop of oil out of our planet. They adamantly insist on building the Keystone pipeline so that we can take the dirtiest oil around and send it off to countries with little or no environmental regulations. They want to send our kids over to foreign countries that have oil so that we can “teach” them how to run their governments and in the process get more of their oil. They want to drill baby drill no matter the environmental impact. They deem all this global warming stuff as just a conspiracy to prevent them from getting their way.

The other political party sees all the damage that the “Drill Baby, Drill” philosophy is doing to  our country and the world. They see our temperatures warming and our arctic regions melting. They see catastrophes in our future if we don’t change our ways. They see how dependent we are on one year hundred old plus technologies and think it is time to move on to another way of accomplishing our energy needs. They see cleaner solar and wind technologies as at least part of that future.

Mad MaxLet me boil this down for those of you who might have drifted off.

One party, and I think you know which one I mean, is the party of Mad Max. They see our future as a battle to control a dwindling oil supply. They see us like Mad Max  with a gun on his hip fighting for every last drop. They thank heavens for our second amendment rights so they still have their weapons in this war for oil. While the world is spinning out of control around them they still cling to century old technologies instead of searching for better ways of doing it. They see it as a battle of “us” vs “them”.  They see Thunder Domes as a necessary part of our future.

JetsonsThe other party, and I think you know which one I mean, is the party of the Jetsons. They see that we can move beyond our dependence of a dirty source of energy to something much cleaner and healthier for our kids. They see that our future lies in getting our energy directly from the sun and wind which is available almost everywhere. They see a bright future for us as a country and a world. There are no Thunder Domes in their version of the future.

Ok, its your turn. Are you the party of Mad Max or the Jetsons?

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TechieI may no longer be an official techie (or whatever the latest term is). I haven’t bought a new “latest thing” in about 18 months. That is an eternity in the tech world!  I don’t know what has happened to me. I used to keep up on all the latest trends and often splurged for some of them.

Maybe I have just finally found the stuff that makes me happy. Now that I am fully in the Apple camp (MacBook, iPad, iPhone) and now have a couple of versions of Kindle I have finally reached my tipping point of needing something else!

Or maybe I am just getting to be old and forgetful! I think mentally I am still pretty sharp but aren’t we the last to know when we have lost it?

Maybe I have just replaced my technology urges with other things now. As I get more and more active and donate more and more to feeding the poor maybe I am just changing my priorities? That one finally sounds like something I can settle on as the reason for losing my technology edge. But in reality I kind of think it is probably something else.

I have been a techie all my life and it is kind of hard to lose that moniker even in my old age… :)