Very Puzzling?

One of the things in my life that is very puzzling to me is how I got in the mode of spending time daily with this activity. It is not as if I have nothing else to do with my time. My wife has been doing this activity for the past three decades but I never had much of an interest in it. It’s puzzling how all this got started.

Ok, I will now admit that this activity is working picture puzzles. There is just something about it that makes it soothe the savage beast in me. I know music is supposed to do that but since I have been deaf for 30+ years I had to find a substitute. 🙂 It’s just that when I am sitting in front of 1,000 tiny pieces trying to find the right one to fill the particular hole the world and all the troubles in it just seems to disappear. And who doesn’t want that to happen in the world today? We need as many escape hatches as we can find to maintain our sanity, don’t we?

In the summer months there are so many other things that demand my attention, but in the winter months I work at least one 1,000 piece puzzle a week. The closet in my study is now filled with puzzles that I have worked two to three times. Eventually I guess I will have to either stop buying new ones or discard the ones I have worked several times. I haven’t decided which path to take?

Now that I am in my fourth year of this activity I am becoming a snob when it comes to my selection of puzzles. Most of the ones I work are neighborhood type mosaics. I think that has something to do with my childhood obsession with architecture. If I had followed my heart I probably would have been an architect but that is another story.

Besides specializing on neighborhood mosaics I have also chosen a particular puzzle maker to buy from. I also concentrate on one particular artist’s work. So, Buffalo Games puzzles by Charles Wysocki are my primary focus. I have a dedicated table in the keeping room that looks out on the surrounding woods and the three station bird feeder. I guess you could now call me a picture puzzle fanatic!

I’m In Love Again…

I suspect you think this is about a loving relationship? Since I am a married guy, it must be about a mistress. NO, NO, NO. This is about my second love and that is techie things. 🙂

One of my mistresses in this arena is Firefox. She is a saucy lady who attracts my attention from time to time. The last time I saw her was about four years ago. At that time I rejected her for a newer, more sleek model called Google.

Ok, enough is enough. I suspect many of you figured out I am talking about Internet browsers. I spend more time with them than I do my wife it seems. I am back in love with the Firefox browser. It has leaped way beyond Google in its speed, slim size, and overall attractiveness. It is now the most pleasant, dare I say joyous, journey in the Internet world. Here are some reasons why.

  • It has a much more natural flow. In techie terms that means the user interface is much more intuitive and friendly. Being an Apple guy I demand.
  • It is much easier to find all the hidden things that one must know when you want to do something.
  • It doesn’t have all the ads strewn throughout every web page of things I have bought on Amazon, or what I have looked at on other shopping sites. Since it is developed by a non-commercial enterprise, it doesn’t need to make money for its shareholders by annoying its customers.
  • It runs faster since its code is very small compared to Google. That makes it easier on my computer resources, and especially load times on my VERY SLOW Internet speeds.

But, perhaps the primary reason for loving Firefox again has to do with a tool I use when writing every post here on RJsCorner. It sits in the background checking my spelling and grammar. Without that I would not look nearly as smart as I am. The tools I had been using for that ceased to function when WordPress updated their editor with many improvements. Updates were promised by the other tools but never delivered to date. Firefox includes a tool called LanuageTool that works better than my previous tool and has a free version. I would love Firefox for that alone.

So, here I am once again back into Firefox as my primary browser. Looking back, I’m not sure why I left her in the first place.

Burger King Tacos

This is going to be one of my consumer reports. I don’t do many of them but when I see an example of gross misrepresentation I want to call them out.

We were in our local Burger Kind a few days ago and saw an ad on their window about their new tacos. As you can see they look pretty good and a buck is not a bad value. My wife decided to try one and we were shocked at what we got. It was in a bag and when she pulled it out it looked like it was probably made the day before or even before that. Except for the stale wilted lettuce, gooey cheese (if you could find it) and dry tortilla it wasn’t bad tasting even though the tortilla had the consistency of bubble gum. 🙂

I don’t know if the manager of our store was aware that is what is being sold. I kinda doubt it but this place is pretty well known for stale products. The MacDonald’s down the road has them out the door at lunch time but this place has empty tables galore. I like a whopper now and then, even if it is drowning in salt, so I will likely go back. But, Caveat Emptor when it comes to the new introductions.

My Bucket List – I Hope I Live Long Enough…

I know some of you don’t like the idea of a bucket list, but I am kinda fascinated by them. Some of the things on my bucket list are more symbolic than others. But, I thought I would add my bucket list to this blog via the My Life & Times category here at RJsCorner. Here is the first installment:

I hope I live long enough to see Andy Jackson taken off the $20 bill.

If you do a search for “Andy Jackson” at RJsCorner you will pretty quickly find that he is no hero of mine. Up to the last two years he was in serious contention for the #1 worst president, but of course that quickly changed on January 20, 2017. Now he and Andrew Johnson vie for the number two spot. Two “Andrew”s, humm… interesting…

When Obama was president he put plans in place to take Jackson’s picture off the bill, but when the current Oval Office Occupant (#CO3) came in that plan was quickly squashed. Since then #CO3 has made it his life’s purpose to erase everything President Obama accomplished. Getting back on topic, it seems that #CO3 thinks of himself as the 21century version of Jackson, and he could be right about that. They are both braggarts, narcissists, racists, dividers, and many other like terms.

I don’t know how long it will take to get Jackson off the twenty dollar bill, but I suspect the next president will make it happen pretty quickly. The question is, will I live long enough to actually have one in my hand? 🙂

Where Ignorance Triumphs…

 I don't want to live in a world where ignorance triumphs.
If that is so then the bad guys must have won.
If we can't face down ignorance we are lost.
Maybe we deserve whatever comes.

The opposite of ignorance is knowledge.
Knowledge comes from diligent review of the facts.
That is hard work but if we want to prosper we must do it.
We must always seek out knowledge and wisdom.

It's easy to be ignorant, very little effort required.
Just latch onto some narcissistic fascist and forget everything else.
Don't worry about the lies, if you even realize that is what you hear.
Just believe what you are told, don't ask questions.

What is the purpose of life if you have no principles?
When truth is of no importance what is left?
When we call everyone else the enemy how can we survive?
I don't want to live in a world where ignorance triumphs.

My depression deepens as every day passes now.
Can I maintain my sanity until ignorance is brought to bay?
How do we even go about making ignorant people understand?
How can we make them realize the consequences of their ignorance?

That is the question for our times...

Perpetual Half-Mast

It seems lately that almost every time a see a flag pole the flag is flying at half-mast. The last one here locally was for a police office who was gunned down during a traffic stop. Sadly, as a nation we pull our flag to half-mast almost weekly now.

This weekend saw two domestic terrorist massacres on the same day. Dozens were killed in public spaces just trying to live their daily lives! All one of these homegrown terrorists wanted to do was to kill those people who had invaded his country!

His country? How did we come to decide that white nationalists owned my country of 73 years? Why does he get to decide? Like most of the weekly mass shooting he likely bought his weapon of mass destruction locally from a Texas town. They likely sold him all the bullets he needed to carry out his task. And then there is the guy who decided to kill anyone who was just having a good time on a Saturday night. Surely all of us realize that this could happen in our communities!

Why are we so passive when it comes to fixing this problem. Our country, along with Iraq and Afghanistan are now known as the terrorist capitals of the world. The rest of the developed countries knew what it takes to stop the vast majority of these tragedies, why don’t we have the guts to face up to the NRA and do the same?

Is this who we are now as a nation, as a people? Are we now defined by the crazies who claim this country solely for them and others like them. All the rest need to be eliminated. It will be interesting to see if the El Paso terrorist mentions the “instigator in chief” as one of his reasons for killing those “invading” his country.

We spend millions of dollars each day to prevent one of our soldiers in the Middle East from being killed but it seems that we are unable to lift a finger to prevent the dozens of innocent deaths every week within our shores. What will it take???????

I really don’t want to spend my final years in the insanity that has now invaded our nation. Yeah, I know I should just go back where I came from. The trouble with that is that my clan came here more than a hundred years ago and I have no idea where I should be going back to…

Cars, Cars, and More Cars…

No I am not talking about the Los Angeles freeway, I am talking about the GoodGuys Car show in Des Moines Iowa I recently attended. I think you know by now that I am a car guy. The shelves of the study are lined with 1/32 scale models of them. When I’m too lazy to do anything else I am usually watching a car show on the Motor Trend channel. I am a car guy.

I have been to numerous local area car shows but never to one at the national level. So, in planning this years uRV trips last winter the Des Moines show was added to the list.

A quick summary here, to ease the pain of all you non-car folks, it was almost overwhelming. They say there were 7,000 cars on display there the Saturday I attended. I walked 7 miles that day and still didn’t see half of them! I think in the future I will just stick to the local events of a couple hundred cars at a time.

Here is a sampling of what I saw. As you can probably tell I am particularly attuned to rat rods. 🙂

Having my Say about Taking Control…

I just returned from my latest uRV trip recently and the idea for this post came to me as I was traveling down a two-lane State road. I was going the speed limit, as I usually do in my truck when suddenly seemingly out of nowhere a young girl passed me going at least 30 miles per hour faster than I was.

I don’t want to sound like an old person here, but I can vividly remember when the laws of the land were more enforced than they are today. When it come to the roads, and many other circumstances, it seems we are again in the “Wild West” where there are no rules anymore? Considering the guy currently occupying the Oval Office, I guess that is to be expected. He thinks there are no rules for him so why should apply to us.

Another of those uncontrolled times are most comments found on daily websites. I’m sure that if the person’s name and email address were attached to those nasty and spiteful comments they would be very different in their basic nature. Animosity just seems to bring out the worst in us. We think that we are not accountable for our words when we attach them to news articles so why not scream some. It is as good as a primal scream, maybe even better.

Too many of us think that we don’t even have to be accountable for our personal actions. We can always blame someone else for our bad decisions. “It was my mother’s fault!” Substitute any other person you want to this quote. Everyone is to blame but me.

So, how can we take control of these and many other similar things?

.One thought, that is TOTALLY wrong, is intimidation. If you disagree with someone or some news article, attacks on the person’s character only makes the matter worse. After two and a half years of this tactic we should ALL know this fact now.

One of the primary things is to once again put some trust in our government representatives to do OUR business in addressing the matter of our out-of-control world. Too many of us have simply given up on anything that is attached to the word government. We wrongly think all of them are corrupt and unsalvageable.

I know taking control is not an easy task to accomplish, but a good starting point is to stay engaged in the process. Don’t allow a fringe minority group to dictate who our representatives in government should be. Take the time to study the issues and the candidates in order to make wise decisions and then get out and vote. After all, voting is our most fundamental responsibility in a democracy.

Accomplishing this mighty task of taking control might also mean some fundamental changes in our constitution and laws of the land to address 21st century issues. Of course that will not happen until we get some intelligent and emphatic people in those positions.

The above is a good starting point but just being a good neighbor and following the golden rules might even accomplish more…