Just Sitting There…

2018-05-21_11-49-32.pngThis post is in honor of the new Will Roger’s quote in the header above. For those folks who might be viewing the post from the archive in the future, I will put the words here too.

There are some folks in the country that seem to believe that our best days are behind us and if we could just bring them back we would be in great shape. As Will tells us, the trouble with that is that they want to find that point in time and then just sit there forever. That simply won’t work as time has the habit of moving on whether we like it or not.  There is not going back, only forward.

Instead of reminiscing the good-old-days these folks should be preparing for the future in order to make it better than the past. Yes, that takes action which is certainly harder than just shouting words but in the end, it actually accomplishes something. If there was just some way to put these naysayers into that mode, our country and world would be better off.

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Coping With Dissappointments

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I know the quote above from Will and the title of the post seem kinda disjointed but hear me out before you pass judgment. 🙂 I have always been a dreamer in life. One of my favorite things in my youth was to lay back on the lawn on a clear night and gaze unendingly at the stars and dream of what my future life would be about. I had high expectations in those years.

IMG_0187I was abruptly introduced to the idea that your dreams and expectations are never as good as you hope or as bad at you dread.  Marriage is a compromise between two people of different personalities and desires.  It is not a “happy ever after” state as many, including myself, dreamt it to be. I and my future wife were both over forty and unmarried so we had developed our own methods of living and coping with life. After the honeymoon, we would eventually clash on many subjects.  Marriage was just not what we expected. But since we have survived over thirty years now in that state I guess we are a success at least on some level and our expectation and reality are now more aligned.

Politics is another matter. It has gotten to the point where a politician can outright lie to our face and not have to suffer any consequences. Some call our current political environment the “Post Truth Era”. I hope there comes a day where I can once again have high expectations about those I  vote for.

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The Land of Opportunity.

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2018-04-08_15-12-25.pngWe need the above quote now more than ever. With #CO3 trying to shut down our shores to keep everyone out, we must remember that is simply NOT what America is about. That paranoia is driven by the 25% of us who fear one thing or another.  #CO3 and his supporters see others different from them as potential competitors for jobs or at the worst as those who might do us harm or threaten their lifestyle or even their very lives.

America has been and will be again the land of opportunity for each us who are willing to put the work in to make it happen. It will once again welcome those wanting to be citizens of our country. Let’s never allow the fearful ones to deny us the fact that America IS the land of opportunity.

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#CO3 = CurrentOvalOfficeOccupant

The Enigma

2018-04-18_08-28-11I am starting yet another series this week about the giant enigma of our times. Just so we are clear on what I mean, I will give you a definition. For you who are observant, I’m sure you have already figured it out from the new header above. The Republican party was one of Will Rogers favorite subjects. He just couldn’t figure them out a hundred years ago, and not much has changed in that respect with them since then. In this series, I will take Will’s words about the GOP and see how they fit with today’s party.

canstockphoto31485978The GOP has almost always been about the most affluent among us.  There are probably hundreds of reasons for that, but I kinda think that funding politician’s careers is near the top of the heap.  Why grovel for ten thousand $10 contributions when you can get the same amount from just one person.  All you got to do is to promise that you will look out primarily for that guy and he will open his overstuffed wallet.

But the thing that really gets me about all of this is how so many folks who struggle through life are strangely in the GOP camp? It just doesn’t make sense to me.  That question will be one of the driving factors in my study of the GOP enigma in the coming weeks. In reality, I don’t think this enigma will ever end anytime soon. It will just have to be pushed aside by the rest of us.

I hope you enjoy my attempt at explaining an unexplainable enigma…

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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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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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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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Why are the posts now called cackles??

2018-03-13_10-35-34Welcome to the new and improved RJsCorner. Before I get into anything serious, you may think it’s kinda strange for me to now call my daily posts “Morning Cackles”?  I got a reason for my madness. First off, for you city folks,  a cackle is a short and abrupt sound that hens make after they lay eggs.  My morning posts going forward will be short (250 words or less) and to the point.
Paying respect to my poultry friends is one of the reasons for the name of my posts. But I gotta admit that the main reason is that the current guy in the Oval Office tweets, which is defined as a weak chirping sound. I know he is president and I’m only a retired guy living in the Midwest but I kinda think my words have more value and I guarantee they will contain more truth. So,  I put out a full-blown morning cackle instead of his nightly tweets.
Getting back to my poultry friends, their eggs are a source of high-quality protein and also vitamins and minerals. I don’t know how the term “laying an egg” got to be so negative. I’m sure laying an egg isn’t easy! They put a lot of work into it and so do I in writing my posts.
I like to think that I can lay a pretty good egg on a daily basis, but it’s up to you to determine that. Let me know what you think??
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Tongue In Cheek..

I am going to do a little ‘explainin’ on this post about the foundations for RJsCorner. Everyone knows that a good house has to have a good foundation in order to survive. Since RJsCorner has been going on for almost nine years now and has over 3,000 posts it must have a pretty good foundation, even if it is not mentioned very often.

I started RJsCorner primarily because I had an overwhelming desire to write about my view of the world. I have always loved writing but had never tried to do it around a theme. I needed something as a common thread throughout my future posts. That something turned out to be based around my biggest hero/mentor/inspiration in life. His name was Will Rogers. He died almost 15 years before I was born so I really only knew him by his words and stories about him. If you do a search for “Will Rogers” in my search box at the top of each page you will find over a hundred posts about Will.

Will Rogers was a very prolific writer. Here are some words about him from the back of one of my favorite books:

2017-10-11_10-00-37.pngWill Rogers “was” America. Part Cherokee Indian and former cowboy, he captivated audiences around the world with sparkling gems of wisdom cloaked in gentle and uproarious country wit..

A simple, plain-spoken man, he was the voice of a nation during the ’20s and ’30s. Movie star, vaudeville headliner, radio commentator, his views and observations were syndicated daily and weekly in over 600 newspapers across the country.

Here is the essential Will Rogers — the story of his remarkable career, from Oklahoma “cowpuncher” to international star . . . and the warm, knowing and hilarious philosophies of the man embodied the heart and soul of the nation.

Will Rogers was a very prolific writer. He had a lot to say about the ‘human condition’ in America during his years. He tackled on a myriad of topics but by far the one he wrote most about was politics.  He described politics of his time as “applesauce”. It’s hard to find the original source of this term but to me it means that the political process takes something that is good and wholesome and pulverizes it into an unrecognizable mush.

His most famous quote was the title of the book above. He wrote some pretty critical words but they were always with respect for the subject at hand and with a dose of humor.

The descriptions of Will Rogers is quite varied. Some call him a humorist-social commentator, some a humorist-philosopher, and some a satirist. His words were primarily with a “Tongue In Cheek” spirit. For those of you who might have a different view from me on that phrase here is a pretty good definition:

When a statement is “tongue in cheek” it is ironic, slyly humorous; it is not meant to be taken seriously, however it’s sarcasm is subtle.

Though not meant to be taken seriously, it is not overt joking or kidding around, it is “gently poking fun”. A “tongue in cheek” statement may have a double meaning, some sort of innuendo or is witty in some way, particularly to the speaker. The tone or the context of the statement may make it to be taken seriously by the listener.

Here at RJsCorner I try to always keep Will’s philosophy of writing in mind.  Some who read my words just take them too literally when they are primarily intended as ‘tongue in cheek’.

These are indeed dark times for America but they are not the only time there have been dark clouds.  We will get through them as we have in the past, if we only don’t take them too serious.  In that vein I will close out this post with one of my favorite quotes from Will.

Do the best you can but don’t take life too serious.

That’s darn good advise for our times if you ask me….

Never Just One Source…

Will Rogers is perhaps my primary hero in life. He is the reason I started up blogging  ten years ago and still today I try to follow his philosophy  when blogging here at RJsCorner.

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From Will’s Facebook page
Like Will I can tell from a mile away those folks who only watch Fox News for all their info about the political world. Their obsession with fear of almost everything shows through in much of what they do.

Like Will I try to think for myself but I don’t make up facts to align with my worldview. Common sense can explain much of the world today but it seems that so many of the pundits at Fox News and most of the others for that matter don’t have much of it.  When our news sources turned from an information providing public service to  for-profit institutions what sells the most is what is important to them. Giving balanced “reports” of the day has been long since abandoned.

There is just not enough people with common sense around anymore..

Even though you died several years before I was born I miss you Will and will try to carry on your tradition here at RJsCorner…

Being A Hero…

Will Rogers 6This thing about being a hero, about the main thing to it is to know when to die. Prolonged life has ruined more men than it ever made.

Will Rogers July 1928

I have been avoiding one of my heroes of late and that is a shame. Will Rogers has as much to teach us in the 21st century as he did almost a hundred years ago.

I’m not much of a sports guy but from what I can get from it there are too many heroes that just don’t know when to hang up their cleats or whatever they use.  They are really great at doing that one thing but then when their abilities wain many just seem hang on.  I know that Green Bay quarterback was a recent example. He just didn’t know when to take his millions and retire to something else.

Mark Twain was another guy that didn’t know how to exit stage left as old show people used to say. He wrote some books that were pretty famous (I didn’t personally care for them but so what), then as he got older he became extremely cynical about almost everything.  It ruined his persona as a literary hero to many.

I never really did much in my life to gain much attention. I helped invent the Trimline telephone and worked on several other things in that area but all have long since disappeared. I built quite a few painted country cabinets that are family heirlooms to those who bought them but that is a pretty limited crowd and of course I have been blogging for seven years now. I don’t have much of a legacy to tarnish in my old age.  So I can think and say pretty much whatever I want on RJsCorner and nothing much is damaged.

I know some of my heroes are tarnished by their actions. Cosby is one of the more recent ones.  I didn’t get married until I was almost 40 years of age and I used to say that everything I knew about marriage I learned from Cosby.  Of course I don’t say that anymore as it has now taken on a completely different persona.  Instead of being on my hero list Cosby is not occupying the black list.

Another hero was Henry Ford, he practically invented the middle class in America by paying his employees their share of the gains they produced. Without him and the processes he invented the 1950s and 60s would have been quite different place from the one I grew up in.  But then their is his racist stands in life. Every hero seems to have  a dark side.

In some ways its kind of nice to not to have to live up to a hero status. No one expects much from me, an unknown old and deaf guy so I don’t have much of an ability to disappoint anyone. I can pretty much say whatever I want and it doesn’t matter much. But I like to think that I am of my hero Will Rogers genre. I try to always treat everyone one with the respect they deserve.  Even here on RJ’sCorner…

Nothing Makes a Man More Broad-minded Like Adversity – Will Rogers

2015-12-01_17-47-22The billionaire Facebook founder and chief executive and his physician wife pledged to give away 99% of Facebook shares in their lifetime, currently worth about $45 billion, in a letter to their newborn daughter Max posted on Facebook on Tuesday, the national day of giving known as #GivingTuesday.

SOURCE: Mark Zuckerberg has baby girl, pledges to give away 99% of Facebook shares.

I know you are probably struggling to see the connection between the title of this post and the quote above.  If you hang on here I will show it to you. It is nice to see another billionaire who is giving back most of his wealth in his lifetime. Especially someone so young and just having his first child.  Mark Zukerberg’s meteoric rise in the corporate world is impressive and his wisdom at such an early age is too.

Since he is one of them I’m sure he sees what unearned wealth does to succeeding generations. He sees a wasted life of privilege and decadence. I don’t know his or his wife’s bio so I am not sure of how that affected their decision to give away 99% of his wealth instead of passing it on to his daughter.

Now let’s link the title to the quote, adversity makes you more broad-minded in life. It shows you that you are not the only person that breaths air. There are always others who have it harder than you do. Adversity gives your life perspective. Living with a silver spoon in your mouth often leads to being self-centered sometimes to the extreme. It can lead to a strong case of me-itis.

But Gates, Buffett, and now Zukerberg are the exception. It seems most in that stratosphere just want more and more and to keep it to themselves as long as possible and then pass it on to their heirs. They just seem to have little interest in the “common good” of humanity. The 1% now control the purse strings  and just about everything else in our society.  Somehow they have convinced so many low-info voters that the “death tax” is a bad thing.  They show them a family farm that was taken away due to inheritance taxes. What they don’t show is that less than 1% of farms ever see that condition. The vast majority of unearned wealth now moves almost totally  from one generation to another. This leads to a life without adversity or challenge.

Thanks Mark for joining such an elite group of billionaires who recognize that those who are given much owe much.

Here We Go Again… Even Eighty Years Later…

Will Rogers 6Here we go again!  America is running true to form, fixing some other country’s business for ’em just as we always do. We mean well, but will wind up in the wrong as usual…   Will Rogers June 22, 1931

I seem to have been ignoring one of my heroes of late. It seems that my op-ed posts are taking over RJsCorner. I gotta do something about that. After all life isn’t always about what is happening in the world. In fact it is even pretty far down in a sane person’s priority list. But who ever accused me of being sane?? 🙂

Of course each generation thinks that everything that happens to them is the first time it has happened.  For those of us who are U.S. history nuts know, that is rarely the case.  But sometimes when I come across a new Will Rogers quote it really surprises me. I didn’t know that before my time the U.S. had a reputation for getting into foreign messes where they really didn’t belong.

But I kinda think we have gotten a lot better at it now than we did when Will was alive.  We just gotta find every possible way to expand our military budgets. We can never spend enough on our guns and such. We spend more on it than the rest of the world combined but that, given our pretentious nature, is still never enough. So, we search the world far and wide to see where we can get into trouble and as usual end up on the wrong side of most of it…

Thanks Will for the thoughts.  I promise I will not ignore you so much in the future.