You Are Not A Tree…

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Too many of us lament that we can’t get jobs where we were born and raised. That seems especially true of the poorest areas of the country including Appalachia. Jobs just aren’t very plentiful there. The deep South is another example.  It would be nice is all areas of the country were full of gainful employment. But given our foundations in almost pure capitalism that will never happen.

On a side note, it is kinda ironic that the States that rail the most against socialism vote primarily with the GOP and are the ones that have the most citizens who depend on social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and such.  I know education levels enter into it but why don’t more of those folks just move to where there are more economic opportunities?  I have pondered that question for longer than I care to remember.

It does bug me to hear people complaining about this or that, especially when they could do something it.  Many times it really doesn’t take that much effort. I think that the major issue is their dogged resistance to change.  I and many others welcome the uncertainty associated with change as just part of progress, but others seem to be deathly afraid of it.

If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree

I couldn’t have said it better.

On Vacation Until ??

canstockphoto19651352.jpgI’m taking some time off from RJsCorner to do some yard work and other special projects.

One of those projects is to bring up a new website for my photo portfolios.  Flickr and such just don’t meet my requirements so I am designing a site of my own.  My Information Technology (IT) experience comes in handy even in my retirement years. 🙂

I’ll let you know when that is up and what the URL is.  I expect it to be finished in a couple of weeks. I don’t know how long I will be gone from RJsCorner.  If Congress can take a vacation from their madness, I guess I can too.

Vote Independent … But Maybe Not This Time

2018-07-20_11-14-38.pngI am very serious about trying to wrestle control of our political processes from the two dominant parties. I am convinced that they are just too entwined in battling each other to be focusing on what is good for those who they represent. Adding another political party is critical to changing things.  BUT, maybe not this time around.

There is one thing that should drive everything else in the political sphere in the coming election and that is to prevent #CO3 from doing any more damage to the democracies of the world. To do that Congress must be delivered to a party opposed to his madness.  I would love to think that there are enough independents running for office to do that but I am for this election very skeptical of that possibility.

So, for the coming elections, I will be voting Democratic. There just seems to be no one in the Republican party who has the courage to stand up to the executive branch. They all are deathly afraid that the fringe who put the extreme narcissist in office might turn against them out if they voice a contrary opinion to #CO3.  The only Republicans who are brave enough are the ones that are not running for re-election or are dying.

So, I will be taking off my third party hat temporarily to effect immediate change in the direction our country is headed.  Maybe it is too little too late but I have to try.

 

The One Thing I Hate The Most…

2018-07-24_18-52-45.pngI am proudly a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ. His words are the very foundation for my spiritual life.  But, don’t read that as to mean that I am religious. I have for the most part given up that quest. All this so far leads into the point of the post but is not the topic.

In the last two years,  #CO3 has elevated ridicule to a higher level than anyone I have ever known. No one wants to be ridiculed, especially me. I simply lose any sense of reality when someone mocks me or ridicules my beliefs. Disagree ok, but not ridicule.

Most tragically that same trait has spread throughout his followers. More and more are in-your-face ranters showing total disrespect for anyone who thinks differently than they do. Is civility disappearing from the American landscape? Being an optimist I say, yes it has at least temporarily. Does it have a chance to rise like a phoenix in the coming years? It does if we wish it to.

2018-07-24_18-50-50.pngSadly it seems the Golden Rule is been destroyed for political gain championed by an extreme narcissist. And, the existing church, due to their alignment with him, is also being destroyed.  To the 75% of us who are Democrats and Independents, the word “Evanglical” is becoming as despised as the word “Liberal” is to the 25% of those who are seemingly chucking the Golden Rule.

Without a common bond, what will hold our society together? I hope that question is foremost on each of our minds this coming November.

 

 

Love The Ordinary…

For this artsy Saturday post, I want your mind to ponder a thought instead of pictures. I wonder how many of us go through life surrounded by beauty but are oblivious to that fact.

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Thinking About Life

2018-07-27_08-00-21.pngThe picture here from my Facebook friend The Idealist brought back some rather pleasant memories. In the past and to a much lesser degree even today I have often sat out on a starry night and talked to myself about life. These were often times where I was approaching meltdown due to having so many people around me.  One of the main purposes was to be alone with my thoughts so, no, there was no one with me.

Many of those 2am nights were while I was attending college at Purdue University. It seems I was never along except for these times. I shared a room with Bob for four years and even though I really liked him I needed my alone time.  So, about once a month you could find me at 2am along the railroad track out by the airport looking at the sky and dreaming about life.  I often played a game where I tried to imagine what I would be doing 20, 30, or even 40 years in the future.  On a tangent note, there just doesn’t seem to be as many stars in the sky as there were during those years. 🙂

 

 

The Fracturing Of The GOP

2018-07-18_18-17-27.pngThe Republican base, that is those who consistently vote for that party, are coming tragically close to total fracture.  Given what went on in #CO3’s recent Helsinki private meetings with the Russian dictator, the GOP outside of the Trumpsters should be making it very clear that #CO3’s action border critically close to treason and certainly fall well within the failure of his oath of office.  But, instead what we hear are indirect timid comments.  Why is that?

The main reason for all the kowtowing and mincing of words among the Republican leadership is the fear of retaliation and outright rejection at the coming polls. It is not really known just what percentage of the GOP is firmly in the camp of #CO3. Some say maybe half or more. Some say it is smaller. But what is obvious is that the Republican Party is imploding due to a lack of response by the actions of an unstable narcissist president!  We will likely see the evidence of that in the coming national elections in four months.

The latest Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrat, 24% identified as Republican, and 42% as Independent. They come in last in a three-way race. If those statistics are correct then about 15% of the voting population ignorantly believes that Mr. Trump is a good man and a good president.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of the Republican Party come November 7. Will the folks who claim that mantel reject it or will they just quietly move into the Independent category? Will a third party attempt a pull in the survivors? That will be some interesting times.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Candidate

Robots And Henry Ford

This post is primarily about my recent visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan. But first, I want to get some things off my mind in relation to Ford’s contributions to America.IMG_5963

It is pretty well known that Henry Ford established the middle class here in America, or at least the easiest path to the middle class. He allowed someone with little or no training to earn enough to afford some of the luxuries of life. But to do that required mind-numbing hours on an assembly line doing the same thing thousands of time a day. One of the primary gifts God gave us humans is that we are thinking animals. Well, most of us are. 🙂  I applaud Mr. Ford for this accomplishment even if it did dehumanize his employees.

But I am without a doubt, that if robotics were available to him he would have gone totally in that direction. He was a great inventor but not particularly a ‘people’ person.

In the process of this innovation, Henry Ford became extremely wealthy. He made so much money that he had absolutely no idea how to spend it.  One of the solutions he settled on was to recreate his childhood memories and to collect things he enjoyed seeing. That idea was the birthplace of the Ford Museum.

Here is a very small sample of pictures that were taken at the Ford Museum.

(as usual, click on any picture to see a larger slideshow view)

Rock Concerts

This is a post about my first and last venture to a rock concert, or whatever they might call them nowadays. When I got an advance ticket to the Madison Regatta recently it asked me if I also wanted a ticket to the rock concert being promoted by another entity. I have never been to a music fest so, even though I am deaf, I decided “what the heck”.

2018-07-18_09-05-01.pngEven though I was a teenager of the 1960s in the Woodstock era, I have never been to a rock concert. I was just too busy trying to pay and graduate from college to have the time or money to go to one.  Yeah, I did manage to see my favorite folk music heroes “Bob Dylan”, “Peter, Paul, and Mary”, and “Simon & Garfunkel” but that was in the college music hall.

Getting back to my rock concert story, by the time the concert started, I was getting pretty tired and ready to return to my campsite but decided to at least spend a few minutes looking at the current band performing. My first impression was that most of the people were had grey hair. I didn’t expect that. 🙂  Here are some pictures:

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The drummer sure did look like he was high, but I guess he is supposed to look like that. When I went up front to take these pics I could feel the music hitting my torso. BOOM, BOOM,BOOM. I don’t know if that was an unexpected bucket list item or not, but I don’t plan on going to another one. 🙂

About Our Personal Mortality…

My father was one of those people who could not deal with his own mortality.  When a discussion was about death issues, he would say “this is too gruesome” and leave the room. He just didn’t want to think about it.

I, on the other hand, have no qualms about discussing my own death. In fact, I am ready to accept it as each day comes and passes. That doesn’t mean that I welcome death, I would like to have a long and fruitful life still ahead of me, but if that doesn’t happen then so be it. I just don’t need to fret about it.

canstockphoto3200467.jpgIn the last year or so I have lived my life with a one-day-at-a-time philosophy. During my morning shower, I always thank the Lord for yesterday and the day just starting. I don’t worry too much about the future anymore. Presently to me, the future means tomorrow but I do still allow myself to dream about days sometimes way beyond tomorrow.

I also no longer worry about the past or the many mistakes I made along the way.  You can’t do anything about them so I have finally accepted that worrying about them is useless. What matters to me now is that I live each day with the possibility of it being my last. To me, that concept is not morbid instead it is freeing as it forces me to enjoy all the time I have left.

Dad, like his father and grandfather, died in his 78th year. If that is the case for me then I have about 2,300 beautiful days on this earth to enjoy yet.  I plan on cherishing each one 🙂

 

(WS) Autism In The Elderly?

 

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When I got a recent comment from one of my regular viewers I realized it was time for another post about Autism. This one is about senior citizens who are autistic but are generally undiagnosed.  A recognized statistics is that there are over a million of us that are autistic in the Baby Boomer generation alone.

Even if those million were suddenly officially diagnosed to be autistic it is very doubtful that any but a small percentage of them would even accept that fact.  It is kind of like another area that I am familiar with and that is hearing impairment. Only about one in five seniors who have hearing difficulties seek help.  They just insist that all of a sudden everyone started mumbling.

In that same vein, too many in our boomer generation see autism in any form as being a disgraceful thing that is to be locked in the closet, and for the most severe cases that was the general rule for our generation. Sadly, that is a totally misconceived notion that I want to try to put a small dent in with this meager post.

Autism is not a dreaded disease but instead is really just a way that a significant portion of the population see and react to the world.  Their perceptions in some ways make them unique and special.

I admit that I am just beginning to learn the intricacies of the autism spectrum so I have a lot to learn.  For that reason, I can’t really address the spectrum idea with any degree of knowledge. But, what I have studied is a condition called Asperger Syndrome so I will concentrate on that anomaly for the purposes of this post.

Here is what the Autism Speaks organization says about Aspergers:

Asperger syndrome was generally considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors. Motor development may be delayed, leading to clumsiness or uncoordinated motor movements. Compared with those affected by other forms of ASD, however, those with Asperger syndrome do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development. Some even demonstrate precocious vocabulary – often in a highly specialized field of interest.

The following behaviors are often associated with Asperger syndrome. However, they are seldom all present in any one individual and vary widely in degree:

• limited or inappropriate social interactions
• “robotic” or repetitive speech
• challenges with nonverbal communication (gestures, facial expression, etc.) coupled with average to above average verbal skills
• tendency to discuss self rather than others
• inability to understand social/emotional issues or nonliteral phrases
• lack of eye contact or reciprocal conversation
• obsession with specific, often unusual, topics
• one-sided conversations
• awkward movements and/or mannerisms

Many in the Baby Boomer generation readily admit that they have always had several of the traits of Aspergers. The causes of those characteristics were labeled as just being: shy, timid, introvert.  Many say that they have problems with making eye contact or trouble with conversations/small talk that others seem to readily accomplish.

Some, who are much more knowledgeable than I have put together a list of possible undiagnosed Aspies in the celebrity world today.

  • James Taylor – Age 70
  • Dan Aykroyd – Age 65
  • Vladimir Putin – age 65
  • Susan Boyle – age 57
  • Isaac Asimov – died at age 72
  • Daryl Hannah – age 55
  • Bill Gates – age 62
  • Abraham Lincoln – died at age 56
  • Robin Williams – died at age 63
  • Bob Dylan – age 76

A good portion of this list is Baby Boomers. I would be proud to be included in this influential list with them. They, because of their Aspie traits are very creative people who speak their minds.  Aspergers is not something to be ashamed of but instead just describes some fundamental characteristics of our personalities that make us different from others. If you want to see more details on why these people are either confirmed or likely Aspies click here.

Before I close this topic, I want to delve a little more into the general topic of autism.

From Autism Speaks — Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

In the end, what does in matter if seniors deny the possibility that they are Aspies? In most cases, there is likely no harm. But it is also known that these traits become more significant as we age and lose some of our inhibitions so maybe this information in the hands of our caregivers would be valuable.

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Cars & Bicycles

Looking at the picture for this artsy Saturday post, it looks like it could have been taken a hundred years ago.  But, in reality, it was taken about a month ago at Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan.

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The Hardest Years…

I suppose the title of this post has different meanings to different people.  From recent comments, it is used to describe the “post-truth” era that many seem to think we are in.  To many, the hardest years are the ones that they are currently living in.  Being a history guy I have a longer view than that.  But this is not at all what this post is about. 🙂

These are the first words from a quote from Helen Hays shown below

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I couldn’t agree more. At the tender age of ten, I had just taken up a Jack London book entitled “White Fang”. That was my first serious look at the world beyond my front door.  It opened up a world I had never imagined.  Due to circumstances, I was pretty mature for a ten-year-old.  My narcissistic mother had just abandoned me, my younger brother, and my dad for greener pastures.  I didn’t really know what was going on but imagined it was my fault. I knew my life was going to be quite different than it had been.

canstockphoto8329344.jpgBetween ten and seventy were episodes that challenged me. I struggled to pay my own way through college by working forty hours a week in addition to a near full course load. I knew my social skills were lacking but I never realized the extent until years later.  I would become deaf at the age of forty and was laid off at the age of fifty-four.  Thankfully I had saved enough money and had enough years of employment to earn a significant pension.

It was not until the age of seventy that I finally decided that my hardest years were behind me. Social status no longer meant anything if it ever did. I simply didn’t care what others thought of me. The age of seventy was indeed at the end of my hard years.

Thanks, Helen for helping me realize that fact.

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Don’t Give In To The Fear…

canstockphoto22042668.jpgFear of this or that is so prominent in our American society right now. A substantial minority on the right fringe of our political system has made fear a foundation of their lives. But the most tragic thing is that those on the rest of the political spectrum have allowed the rather thin minority’s fear to convince us that all hope is lost!

I know, 81% of white evangelicals voted for #CO3 because they fear what America is becoming. They can see that they will soon no longer have the dominant role in our country’s future and that scares the hell out of them. Many in this category are racists by nature and upbringing and just can’t fathom a country where “those other people” have the same leverage as they do.

2018-07-18_19-57-44.pngThis 81% make up less than one-in-five voters in this country and due to the rest of us not taking our responsibility to vote seriously enough, they managed to put a racist and totally unqualified narcissist temporarily in control. Instead of surrendering to the Evangelical fear we need to be gearing up to do everything necessary to take our country back. That effort starts this November and is finalized twenty-four months later.

So, the primary message of this post is that all you folks who have let the right fringes’ fear traumatize you quit the pity party and recognize how this happened. If we do that, we will look back at these times as when we let a radical fringe temporarily take command. Hopefully, this is a lesson we don’t have to learn again anytime in the future.

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#CO3 – Current Oval Office Occupant

I Don’t Want To…

I don’t want to be united with people who think Trump is a good person

2018-07-08_09-23-38.pngThe words above came from a comment to the Facebook posting that centered around the picture here.  It got me to thinking about my personal attitude about those who think Trump is a good person.  I just returned from a uRV trip to see the Madison Regatta in southern Indiana. On my route there I stopped at a small town restaurant for lunch. When I opened the door I was greeted with a large screen TV with Fox News glaring at me! To make matters worse several of the patrons were wearing the now familiar red hats with the MAGA logo. I was very tempted to just turn around and walk out but I realized this was probably the only dining option available in the area.

I’m sure by many other standards most of these folks are good people, but does that ameliorate their political and moral stands? Can I look past that to see their goodness? The short answer to that is “I don’t know?” That stand just seems to tarnish everything else.  I know fear is what drives many of them. They see “their way of life” changing and are willing to grab on to ANYTHING to prevent that from happening. Morality and Truth are two of those causalities.

This is one of those times when I kinda wished I could hear again.  I would love to have heard some of the stories at the tables around me. I could only imagine that some of those stories are about all those people who are invading their world. But then again, maybe they were just chitchatting about their daily lives.