Simplicity At RJsCorner

Even before my recent brain injury and resulting surgery, I was contemplating some serious changes here at RJsCorner.  Quite simply I was getting bogged down in the “inside the beltway” insanity that ruled my world. I now realize that was an obsessive reaction to recent national events that were beginning to overwhelm me.

A foundational part of my being is that I am an Aspie.  I demand logic and reason in my life and I saw myself losing both. Something had to change and I have been working on that for the last couple of weeks. Yes, even while my brain was bleeding inside my head. I have had a lot of time to think about all this during my recuperation period and will have lots more time for at least another month.

Simplify-2.jpgThe restructure I have come up with so far seems to be a logical way out of this dilemma. The categories and subcategories of posts that have evolved over the nine-year life of this blog were getting way too complicated. So, I decided to take on the mantra of “Simplify”.

My study is quite literally overloaded with the idea of Simplicity. I have eight different plaques with the word “simplify” on them strewn across its shelves and walls. Looking back I now realize I have not really taken them seriously. Maybe, as Jane who is one of my frequent commenters here joked,  Dr. P. “fixed some of the loose screws in my head” when he was taking care of the brain bleeds. 🙂 Whatever the reason I realize that simplifying things now is a serious necessity.

Here is the new structure for all my future posts:

  • Simplify-3My View Of The World
    • My Life and Time
    • Inside the Beltway Loony Bin
    • Having My Say
    • God & Religion
    • In The News
    • Our Culture & Times
  • In Search Of America
    • Travels Across America
    • American Heroes
    • History Lessons
  • Crayon Marks (scribbled across my mind)
    • 5 Star Pics & Memories
    • Beautiful Things
    • Creative Things
    • Outside The Box

I know many, if not all of you are really not that interested in these things but they are vital to me so you will have to bear with me at least for a few explanation posts in the coming week. Without a roadmap, I am simply unable to function; this is my roadmap.

I will try to equally distribute my posts between the three categories so as not to become obsessed with any of them. But, being totally focused on something is another part of being as Aspie so I will have to remember that.  I will also be purging some of the old posts that lost links when these changes were made. Again you are probably not that interested in this but it is important to me.  One thing I will absolutely try NOT to lose is my sense of humor about how I look at this crazy world.

Simplify.jpgSo, here is in with the new and out with the old.  I hope you all stick around to see the improvements. I promise you one thing, it will never get boring here on RJsCorner, but it will hopefully be a little less heavy. 🙂


The last few years the concept of simplicity has been a major theme for me.  I have spent much of the last year decluttering my life and all the stuff I have unnecessarily collected. That included a closet of clothes never worn in several years and a 30×60 foot barn with decades worth of accumulated junk.

For some reason I now find it much more satisfying to live a cleaner life without so much stuff.  I don’t know if this is because I can see the end of the tunnel or if this has been a lifelong endeavor that is finally risen to the surface. Either way I am glad to welcome it into my world.

I searched out my photo library for what I think is the very idea of Simplify and came up with the following photo. Living simply does not mean living without beauty…

2000 297.jpg

Pragmatism & Drugs in Prisons…

Banner PragmatistsI know the title above might be confusing to you right now but let me explain. If only we would follow the principle of  Occum’s razor and understand that most often the simplest answer is the best answer. But instead we make things more complicated than they need to be.  We just can’t seem to help ourselves.

2015-11-08_15-05-24This phenomenon came to the forefront for me while watching a prison documentary on TV lately. OK, first I guess I have to admit that sometimes I just get bored with the normal stuff on TV and turn into these types of shows just to pass the time.  MSNBC seems to have them on almost nightly now.  On one episode I watched recently the prison warden was complaining how difficult it was to keep drugs out of the prison environment.  He mentioned things like letters with pages glued together and drugs in the middle and books with drug laced glue in the bindings.  He was just so frustrated that he was not able to stop the flow of drugs.

My pragmatic side leaped up as I was watching him. It just seemed so simple a solution that I couldn’t see why he had not found it. If drugs are coming in the mail and from things from the outside why not just put a virtual wall between the inside and outside the prison?

  • If letters are so effectively laced with drugs then just copy them when they come in and give the prisoners the copies instead of the originals.
  • If drugs are hidden in books and such then instead of just passing them through into the prison system insist that the givers give them a list of items they want and the money to get them.  The prison personnel would then go shopping for the goods themselves and provide them to the prisoners.

These types of solutions seem rather obvious to me, why can’t they figure it out? Maybe one reason is because too many of us are just not inclined to think in pragmatic terms. Solutions to big problems can’t be that easy. Maybe we should be teaching courses in our high schools and colleges on pragmatism.

But then again the real pragmatic solution is to not put so many of our citizens in prison in the first place.  Why is the U.S. the number one incinerator in the world? Let’s fix the basic problems in our society and the peripheral ones will naturally go away. Regulating guns would be a nice first step… 😉

I Love Pragmatists…

Still Clinging To My Hard Copy Magazines….

2013-12-12_09-12-42I guess I am of that rare breed who actually gets a weekly hard-copy magazine. That magazine is Time. Each weekly issue rests on my bedside stand and is read nightly until completed.

I think maybe Time is the only weekly magazine left with my political slant. There is just something about actually holding the info in my hands that still appeals to me. Now don’t get me wrong, 95% of what I read is probably digital. I have a Kindle Reader for most of my books now and part of my regular daily activity is spending about an hour at my computer browsing through news websites and my daily blog reads.  I very much reside in the digital world but that weekly paper magazine still has an infatuating appeal to me.

There used to be a phrase “High Tech, High Touch”. I don’t know if it is still popular today? What it means is that as we become more involved in  high technology we need a corresponding amount of things that we can touch and feel.  Let’s face it, the cyber-world is addictive but we all need more than that.  As we needed a mother’s touch as infants we still need some tactile reinforcement today.  Most often that comes from a  hug of another person.

2013-12-12_10-30-32There are other hard-copy magazines that I also enjoy. One of them is the Friends Journal which is subtitled Quaker Thought and Life Today. Much like their Amish brethren, Quaker life is much about simplicity so a high-touch physical magazine only seems natural to me for this venue. As some of you know I collect “Simplify” signs as a hobby. Including the one I recently got in Holland Michigan I have at least a dozen strewn throughout my study. I’m not sure if a high tech lifestyle is really compatible with a simplified life but I am trying to realize that combination.

Gaming The System……

Source: Get personalized help to max out Social Security.

Social Security Solutions’ optimization plan calls for my wife to file for her own benefits at age 67 but immediately suspend her payments — a perfectly legal strategy known as a file-and-suspend.

We start getting some Social Security benefits immediately when I apply (at age 66) to receive a spousal benefit based on her earnings record, half of what she could receive.

At age 70, my wife starts her own benefits; a year later, I switch to my own benefit when I turn 70. Both of our benefits are now at the maximum monthly level possible for the rest of our lives. Later on, after I (gulp) die first, my wife switches to a survivor benefit, which is 100 percent of my benefit…..

I’m sure all this stuff above is legal but, come on,  finding all the loop holes to get the most possible is carrying it too far in my mind.  Of course this article came from a large financial company.  They are used to gaming the system. These guys I’m sure have a large lobbying group in D.C. and make sure that these sort of loop holes are written into our laws.

Our government needs to adopt my current mantra in life and that is Simplify. If we could somehow get rid of all those lawyers around and put this stuff back into common folk’s hands I’m sure our laws would be simpler and with many less loop holes. But maybe the world has just gotten too complicated for simplicity?

Putting the level of social security benefits that you get related to what you paid in makes sense but it seems that the system has just spurned too may other conditions. I know that about one-third of those collecting benefits are not the seniors who paid into them. If the Republicans insist of changing the system then let’s put those folks in a different payout pool and take social security back to the insurance it was meant to be.  But I’m sure this would do little to placate my conservative friends who would be very happy to see social security go the way of the horse and buggy. In their minds if government is involved then it must be wrong.