Over The Hill…

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Will Rogers BookmarkBeing over the hill is probably the most often used phrase for getting older. When you turn forty, at least for my generation, you were considered over the hill. My hero Will Rogers certainly was an inventive guy. The way he looked at life such as the words above is what inspires me.

I have never really thought about it much, but I never did get the feeling that I was on top the hill.  My life has just been happening day-to-day.  Uphill-downhill seemed more like potholes in life. When I finally reached retirement, or should I say when it reached me, I knew my life was on a downhill glide but it was a pleasant glide and it was high enough to say out of the gutter.

In fact, the downhill side of life has proven to be more enjoyable and fulfilling than the other side of the slope.  You could never have convinced me of that in those uphill years.  My main negative about being over the hill is my loss of stamina and strength. I know that is something I could do more to partially alleviate but don’t choose to use much of the time I have left to do that.  I can’t lift up a 40-pound birdseed bags anymore with some serious grunting but that is OK.

Being over the hill is kind of peaceful. You don’t have to worry about competing with anyone.  Instead, you can just enjoy life. That is a great place to be 🙂

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My Life Sucks…

I think there is a pretty fair part of the folks in this country who think their life sucks. They haven’t had a raise in umpteen years. They have to have someone to blame and that person is often those they see as getting the “breaks” in life.

2018-04-07_16-07-22.pngIt’s pretty hard for them to admit that for the most part “my life sucks because of me”. That reality just doesn’t sink for most of us.  They say they are stuck in an area with no good paying jobs but they never consider moving to a more prosperous area.  They say the only good jobs are those requiring an education but never consider the need to learn anything beyond what they presently know. It’s just too easy to blame others for their problems.  The morbidly obese guy says “poor me” and then consumes 6,000 calories per day and just doesn’t seem to see the connection.

Those of us who have had some success in life have for the most part worked to get it.  It wasn’t handed to us on a gold platter like it was for #CO3 and others like him. For us, the adversities in our life have reinforced our character. We did something to change our circumstances instead of just moaning about them.

I want to close this post with an anonymous quote:

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Quit blaming others for your circumstances in life. It is often just that simple.

 

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

A Nice Change…

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Since this is my “aging week” here on RJsCorner, I will flat out tell you that I am thoroughly enjoying my “golden years” and yes they are proving to be golden.  All my life I have fretted about the future.

  • What will I be when I grow up?
  • Is there some other occupation that I was really built for?
  • Since I am a weird person, should I remain a bachelor?
  • Should I try to get another job or just retire?

So many questions about life when you are young. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of my time so far. Well, almost every minute. But I often suffered to one degree or another with depression.  I perceived myself as always dreaming of more but accepting less. Those worries and frets are finally behind me.  From here on out, all there is left to do is enjoy it and I am determined to enjoy each and every day as it comes.  One day at a time is my new motto in life.

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Turning Back the Odometer…

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canstockphoto38063363.jpgI like old cars and I am kinda proud of passing on some of my experiences in life here on RJsCorner. Yeah, there are things, actually quite a few, that I would like to have been different but even the undesired things are an important part of my life’s experiences, that looking back have made me who I am.

If I hadn’t been deaf I wouldn’t have the level of empathy that I do. If I had not grown up in a single very stoic parent household I wouldn’t have the understanding of such things as I do. As another quote from Will says “Adversity builds character”. It made me who I am and I am quite proud of that fact.

I see so many people today that try to turn back their odometers.  They get hair transplants or cosmetic surgery to hide their years.  I can truthfully say that I am proud of the way I look. It does indeed show I have traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

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Bragging About It…

This and the next few posts are to honor of the new header above about Will’s quote on old age.  I don’t know quite what the definition of “old age” is but I kinda think I might be getting there.

I just don’t understand how I got all the way to this point in my life? It seems like yesterday that I was in college working my butt off to pay for school and to graduate. Admittedly my high school memories are pretty sparse now. I played those years out in the background as a shy kid who was totally clumsy in a social environment.  How have almost sixty years gone by?

I don’t think I have that many years left so I best be getting to the bragging point before it is too late. I know all the sociologists tell me that I will now remember the past not as it happened but as I wanted it to happen.

When I did finally start coming out of my shell in the late teens I now mostly remember the lost opportunities where if I had just done something different my life might be much different than it is.  If only I had told Ginny how I felt about her. Instead, I held back as I always did and let it go by.  Maybe when I start bragging I can change that and a couple other stories of my life?

I kinda like to believe that my bragging here on RJsCorner is to pass on the wisdom from making so many mistakes during my years on this earth. 🙂

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(WS) Breaking Down The Myths About Deafness

On my post a while ago entitled “Life’s Lesson” I said there were ten things that I have learned in my life that I aim to put forward for your consumption here on RJsCorner. One of those is the title of this WeeklySquawk.  It is important to me and I kinda think it should be important to each of us that when we come across myths about living we should do what we can to dispell the ones that are false.

2018-04-10_15-34-23.pngThe three primary myths I have encountered that demand my personal attention are related to are deafness, autism, and old age. Of course, I am intimately familiar with each as they have demanded much from me at some time in my life. This post will focus on the deaf myths. I could give you dozens of them but I will concentrate on six that absolutely drive me crazy.

Deaf & Dumb –  This myth goes back many decades, if not centuries.  It is basically that a person who is deaf can’t learn anything. Of course, this myth has been thoroughly busted but there are still many people who when they come across a deaf person just assume that the deaf person is dumb. Maybe that feeling is unconscious but the deaf person definitely perceives it.

Deaf People Can’t Speak – It is true that for some who are born deaf, they never learn to speak. But for the vast majority of us, especially those who went deaf later in life, we usually maintain the ability to speak to one degree or another. But since we have don’t really hear our voices we have problems with the volume of our speech and sometimes the quality suffers as we get older.

Deaf People Have Low IQs – I can’t tell you how many times I have been subjected to this myth.  Deaf people generally have the same IQ spread as hearing people. Some of us are geniuses and some of us struggle with daily life.

All Deaf People Were Born That Way – As a matter of fact, only a small minority of those of us who are deaf were born that way. More than 80% of us went deaf later in life. Many in their senior years.

All Deaf People Know Sign Language – Only a small number of us who are deaf know ASL (American Sign Language). That version of signing is very different than spoken English in its word order and complexity.  Most of us who were not born deaf, if we can sign at all, sign in English.  But even those make up a less than one out of ten deaf people.

Deaf People Can Read My Lips – Less than 20% of the English language appears on the lips, so even someone who is very proficient at reading lips only has access to one in five words spoken.  The rest of it is a guessing game that we generally get wrong.  If it is important information that is being passed NEVER assume that the lipreader really understands what you are saying.  This is especially true for those communicating critical health-related info.

These six myths are important to understanding but they are by no means the totality of myths about deaf people.  I will cover more in future posts. I will just leave it by saying that for the most party deaf people pretty much mirror the general population in their abilities and intelligence.

I hope this helps…

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Simplify

“Simplify” is my current theme for living. I don’t need complicated at this point in my life. So, for this artsy Saturday, I want to give you a very simple scene.  It was taken several years ago at my favorite Shaker village near Lexington Kentucky.  What could be simpler than showing the very basics of Shaker life.

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The Passing of Sneezy…

2018-03-19_08-09-40I regret to tell you that the Snow White team recently had a death among its members. Sneezy, after years of sneezing, had a heart attack. His system just could no longer take the stress. But the good news is Snow White has already found a replacement.

The new member is, like the other six, is a little man but he has the illusions of being a giant. He also doesn’t seem to have the ability to tell the truth about much of anything. We don’t know if his untruthful ways are the result of just plain ignorance or maybe some childhood trauma but we will try to love him in spite of this malady.

Please welcome Trumpy as the newest member of Team Snow White.  Long live Trumpy along with Sleepy, Happy, Doc, Grumpy, Dopey, and Bashful.  With this new recognition, I certainly hope Trumpy joins the other six on the German mountain where they live and leave us alone so we can get back to something resembling normal. We will even make him head dwarf if that will make him go.

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Skeptical

2018-01-27_10-49-15.pngSkeptical is one of my favorite words, I have been using it more and more in the last year or so. Just do a search for that word here on RJsCorner, and you will probably find a couple dozen posts using it.  I think most of you know the meaning of the word but just to be sure I will present it here. I guess my “Question Everything” stand is the source of my fascination for this word.

I am skeptical about most things, but one thing I am perpetually skeptical about is what comes out of the mouth of the current Oval Office occupant. My SOP (standard operating procedure) for when I see him saying anything is now to seriously consider the opposite to be the reality. I don’t think I am alone in this regard. If you want validation of my observations, just gather his tweets on anything, and you will see how truth is a very moving and often unknown object to him.

Skepticism is a good thing to have.  Sadly, too many just latch on to what sounds good to them and disregard everything else.

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The Slippery Slope

canstockphoto21427163.jpgI have been thinking about the slippery slope lately and how it has gotten so many people in trouble over the years. About fifty years ago it caught a lot of Christians in its net. They were just tired of having to explain why science was proving things contrary to what their bible said.  They were afraid if they didn’t deny all this scientific stuff that before long the Bible wouldn’t be able to hold water. So, what did they do? They suddenly decided that every word in their beloved book had to be literally true and anyone who said otherwise was spouting fake news. They said if anything is false about the bible then everything had to be false. I never understood that logic, but that is the slippery slope they built for themselves.

Fast forward to today, and another slippery slope is catching up with some folks. These are the ones who put #CO3  in that room. They are willing to let the guy have a pass absolutely anything because if they call him out on even one thing, they will fall on a slippery slope where everything he says has to be declared fake. If that happens, they would finally have to admit that they made a terrible mistake, and recognizing that is something no one wants to do.

Ironically, it’s mostly the same group that built both slippery slopes.  Once you construct a “slippery slope,” it’s tough to get back to rational thought.

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#CO3 = CurrentOvalOfficeOccupant

For Some, The World Is Very Small Place

canstockphoto5994395.jpgI am a person who almost demands constant change. Doing the same thing over and over again is very boring to me. Maybe I am different from most in that regard?  I recently saw a TV show where an old person proudly proclaimed that he still lives in the house he was born in. My first thought was that he certainly lives in a tiny world. To never venture outside what may be comfortable to you is to stagnate as far as I am concerned. I can’t imagine remaining in one place for my whole life!

I know in my grandfather’s generation many people were born and died in the same small community. But that changed radically for my father’s generation. When they came back from WWII, they often restarted their lives pretty independent of family connections. The following generations have often lived and traveled in foreign countries at very young ages.

I see where it is common for high school trips to go outside our borders. I would never have dreamed of that back then. We, the class of 1965, were the first to go on our senior trip in an airplane.  Given that most of what we now buy is made in foreign countries, the world is much smaller than it once was.  Everything is interconnected now.  Some think that is good and some don’t. I guess I am the former variety. I personally celebrate the diversity of life. Contrary to what #CO3 says, America is about diversity.

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#CO3 = current oval office occupant

To My High School Friends – I’m Coming Out Of The Closet

canstockphoto35762928.jpgI got to say immediately that no I am not declaring that I am gay. Instead, I am openly declaring here and on my personal Facebook page that I am a liberal/progressive in my social and political leanings.  Many of my high school friends are likely pretty hardcore conservatives who watch Fox News on a 24/7 and most likely voted for the #CO3 (current Oval Office occupant). I have avoided putting my blog posts on Facebook because I didn’t want to make any of you uncomfortable.

MeEach of my daily posts here at RJsCorner will now proudly rest on my personal Facebook page. If any of you guys would like to tell me what you think about what I say, I welcome your comments as long as they are civil.  But let me tell you that I am very different from that quiet, shy skinny kid you knew back then, but I don’t expect that many of you are the same either.  My college years started the change of my political and social bents and I haven’t looked back since.

Maybe it is my old age, but right now I don’t particularly care what my high school classmates think about me, especially since I have not seen many of you for over 50 years. 😉 I would like to think that at least some of you are like me and will appreciate what I say here on RJsCorner and maybe you will even chime in once in a while with your thoughts.

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Will Rogers – My Hero

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For this morning’s cackle, I want to talk about Will Rogers. He is the reason I started RJsCorner 8 years ago. I have been reading him since I was a kid.
Will RogersFor all you people that don’t know anything about what happened before 1980, I want to give you a little snort of Will and his words. Will was born way back in 1879 in Indian territory now known as Oklahoma. His roots were in the Cherokee nation. He started out in Vaudeville doing rope tricks in the Ziegfeld Follies but became world famous for his writing and his radio programs. He was a homespun guy whose earthy antics and folksy style made him the most famous entertainer of his time. Will died at the age of 55 in an aircraft accident with Wiley Post in August 1935.
I have been pretty lax in visiting Will here on RJsCorner lately, that is something I will correct going forward. Will lived during the Great Depression but he never got dark in his writings.  Hopefully, I will be able to say the same thing at least going forward from here.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, then stick around. I think I just might be able to brighten your day once in a while and hopefully bring an occasional smile to your face.
Much more on Will is coming soon in one of my Weekly Squawks. If you don’t know much about Will, it will be my pleasure to introduce you to him.
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My Kind Of Generation…

2018-03-20_15-43-59I gotta admit that I was a hippie during the 1960s. Maybe not to the degree that I wanted but still a hippie. I had to work a full-time job, had college classes and the studying that goes with it, so that didn’t allow much time for anything else. But at least I was a hippie at heart.

It’s good to hear that the students in the most recent school shooting are becoming avid activists for gun control and the rest of the kids in the nation are now joining them. Before long you might even be seeing campus demonstrations. Who knows. I see the kids in Great Britain are getting into it to support them.

I have heard talk that one of their goals is to eventually repeal the 2nd amendment.  No, that doesn’t mean confiscating guns, it means being able to regulate them as we do almost everything else that can be a danger to society. But, this topic is best left to another post.

These kids are pissed off and say they will remember it in the ballot box. It’s encouraging to see that their actions are becoming contagious. I for one, don’t doubt their determination. We, adults, Haven’t been able to get it done, hopefully, this generation of kids can finally make it happen.

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It’s Time For A New Chapter @ RJsCorner…

canstockphoto11405597.jpgI have decided it’s time for a new chapter here at RJsCorner.  It’s time to shake things up.

  • I am putting out too much gloom and doom lately. Who wants more of that in their lives?
  • I want to make my posts a regular part of your daily life. To do that they need to be more concise so you can read them in under two minutes (one minute if you are a fast reader 🙂 ).
  • My decision to move InSearchOfAmerica photos and most corresponding stories to Flickr albums also affected this change.

At an even more basic level, I need to get back to my roots. Giving a “Will Rogers” view of the world is what started RJsCorner. I have drifted away from that in the intervening years.  Will had a lighthearted way of talking about his times during the Great Depression. He gave his readers hope and humor instead of dread and darkness that was so common during that period. Given the current times seem very similar to his, I plan to do more “hope and humor” here going forward and a lot less “inside-the-beltway” stuff, especially for the next two years, nine months, three weeks, and five days. Now don’t get me wrong, except for the beltway stuff, I will be covering pretty much the same issues, it is more the tenor of the post than the content that will be changing.

With all this in mind, the format of RJs Corner will be changing. I will be off-the-air for a few days until it is done.

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for what you would like to see more or less of on RJsCorner, PLEASE to chime in.  Your input is very important to me.

To give you a little preview, my daily posts which will be called “The Daily Cackle” will be limited to about 250 words, and will be more my words and fewer quotes from others.

I will also do a once-a-week in-depth post which will be the length necessary to get the story across. In addition, I plan to add more personal stories about my life in hopes that you will share some of yours. I want RJsCorner to be more than a virtual corner, I want to make it a community.