Friday, February 22, 2013


Todays's LBC topic is Turn, brought to us courtesy of Will Knott.

It's by now no secret music is a big turn on for me so this Pete Seeger classic I think is a somewhat obvious choice.

But lets stray from the obvious a bit. Turn ons?  Honesty, good single-malt whiskey, a good song, a good book, conversation with friends, a pretty girl/woman, a good argument/debate on almost anything - the list is long. 

Turn offs?  Lies, helplessness, political correctness, unwarranted arrogance, lonliness.

Life is a series of turns. Nobody I know travels a straight road - they are all long and windy,  each twist and turn offering new experiences and new opportunities.  What we make of these opportunities on the journey becomes the fabric our life. Make a wrong turn, for whatever reason and there are consequences to pay.  Perhaps insignificant, perhaps life changing. Ditto for every right turn.  The trick is to keep moving forward regardless.  Take the next step.  Stuff happens as they say.  Things may not always turn out the way you want but that'd be boring and who wants a boring life. For all its problems, the world is full of adventure. Turn your self into an explorer, not a spectator.

What do others have to say on this subject?  Check out Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil and Will. Their links are over there on the right.

Friday, February 15, 2013

LBC Topic Touch

This week's topic is simply  Touch. It comes to us via Grannymar.

Touch is an amazing sense that takes many shapes and forms. Who doesn't love the touch of a baby or the tingling touch of a lover.  Touch lends itself to to the arts quite well I think - as the following examples show. 

Touch me,
it doesn't matter where
and it doesnt matter how
I need to know I'm still alive
so someone touch me now
Shake my hand and say hello
or pat me on the back
kiss me on the cheek
that I may feel this sense I lack
slap my face and pull my hair
make me bleed I just don't care
dig your nails into my skin
so I can feed this need within
I've been numb for such a time
that even pain would be sublime
so touch me, touch me now
I don't care where, I don't care how

By A. Thomas Hawkins

And finally this

  To see what the other LBC folk think, please check out Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil and Will

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of Valentines Day - I'm a reactor.  If a significant other at that time of year was a fan I became one.  Of course the kids loved it for the chocolate - as did most significant others (and there were damned few of those - LOL) so anyway here's a short musical tribute to a made up holiday that can be as much fun as you let it be.....

For the one

For the one lost

And the one-night stand

Not chocolate but at our advanced age this is better for us - hope it made you smile.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Nature vs nurture

Nature vs nurture. Why are we who we are? The sum of all of our parts and experiences? How much is predetermined at birth? What can we change or develop on our own? That's the question for today - admittedly more than can be completely discusseeed in a page or 2 when advanced degree dissertations are completed daily on this very same subject.   How will this gang of bloggers from a myriad of backgrounds respond?  Only one way to find out - read.

Nature: What role does our heredity play in or selves? What besides the obvious - hair color, hair presence at all, eye color, height, weight and the like are predetermined or at least enjoy preprogrammed tendencies? How about IQ? So-called free will? Is the family dynamic part of nature or nurture? How about homosexuality? Are rapists, serial killers and other criminal types the product of their genetic makeup or their environment? Both? To what degree does either component contribute? What happens when a child is uprooted at an early age and travels across several states to a new home. What if a basic identifier like name changes, Nothing nefarious intended - say a remarriage and the fact that the first group of kids he/she meets  call the child something different than he/she is used to.  What if Butchie/Charles becomes Chuck. Does it matter? What about free will? Is anything ever really free?

Nurture:  Life. What happens.  Peer pressure. The environment.  Where you live. What church you attend. Basic morality.

Cliff's notes time.  Gotta love those Cliff's note.

It seems clear to me that some behavior is predetermined by heredity.  Lynn's HD for example and her actions and ppersonality are closely linked.I - on the other hand am more a product of my environment. My friends had a great influence on me.  But was my selection of friends predetermined by my genetic makeup? Or rather was it something as basic as they were the first group of kids I met on the playground while my mom was inside enrolling  me in 5th grade? (it was in fact the latter).

Obviously religion plays a huge role in all of this. Western religion seems to say that we the people are incapable of leading a moral life without embracing the teachings of JC Superstar (no disrespect intended) - the most interesting, influential man to stroll on the third rock from the sun, and then there's Mohammed, Vishnu. Shiva, Zeus, Bagwan Shre Rajneesh, Thor, Ayn Rand, pick another - there are plenty about. Most western theologies tend to say the only path to everlasting life is their way.   I cannot legitimately speak to my eastern examples as I simply haven't the knowledge (and all you who say that never stopped me from opining before just hush!) It seems to me that even so-called atheists don't actually enjoy free will when they debunk religion. At least in this country they are products of a culture and society with roots in Judaism.  Clearly there are influences.

There's no such thing as a free lunch - as the old saw goes.  Ditto free will. Our free will is rooted in our genetic makeup and our life's experience. The choice we have is heavily influenced by our hereditary makeup and its interaction with our environment and life's experiences.  Wealth, education and social privilege  are not part of our genetic makeup but being born to wealthy parents is. A high IQ is not guaranteed at birth but it can be influenced  by wealth, education and social privilege. What one does with that IQ is up to the individual.  A relatively high IQ guarantees nothing perhaps but the ability to understand things.  For the record mine tests in the low 140s.  Clearly I am just a regular guy that possesses the ability to score well on goofy tests.  There are enough holes in my intellect to drive me through. 

I've rambled enough.  Nothing's been resolved but I will go on record as saying I believe homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice.  Until such time as the gay gene is ientified I'll stick with the notion that NOBODY in their RIGHT mind would choose a lifestyle so frought with challenges.  There simply aren't that many Don/Dame Quixotes out there.  Serial killers, rapists amd the like may not be born per se but I believe their tendencies are and here's hoping for some great life decisions that prevent the dominance of those tendencies. 

What do my cohorts (or consorts as Maxi says) have to say?  Dunno - you's better check  Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil and Will and see for yourself. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Glass half full - LBC topic

Ah yes - if it's Friday it must be LBC time. This week's topic comes from Padmum - our resident Dame Quixote.

The rhetorical question implied - it seems to me -  is am I an optimist or a pessimist.  In the best tradition of Bill Clinton I suppose that depends upon your definition of optimism and the situation at hand. I see myself as a rather practical realist.  Ultimately I am what is often termed rather negatively by the uber-religious as a secular humanist. Simply put, I do not believe some old guy in robes in some mythiocal heaven is pushing all of the buttons that make up my life. I act and react to circumstances and the decisions made  - good, bad or indifferent - are mine alone. I play the cards I am dealt and like most, I win a few and I lose a few hands.

What does this have to do with our topic?  Everything. On occasion my glass appears half full, on occasion it is half empty. Most often as long as there is still some single malt left in the bottle the condition of the glass is irrelevant as I can replenish it as I like. Likewise with the emptying of said glass.

I tend to tackle problems head on. In some ways I believe things usually work out if you give enough effort, but I recognize life throws unhittable fastballs ala Nolan Ryan on ocasion and you are going to strike out.  But to continue the baseball analogy - the game is 9 innings long, sometimes longer. We typically have more than one chance at most things. Hopefully reason prevails. Does that make me an optimist? Or maybe an opportunist? Or simply a realist.

As you know my wife of 41 years has HD.  I defy anyone who as any real knowledge of HD to put a positive spin on that one.  HD destroys people, lives and families. I know the ultimate outcome for her and there are many family ramifications yet to be dealt with.  So am I a pessimist? Or simply a realist taking things one day at a time.

There are optimists in this world that are like the Energizer Bunny on steroids.  My hat's off to them.  They do no harm I can ascertain and do help others.  To them I offer the ultimate optimist's anthem as sung by an 80+ year old member of the tribe:

  While it is the antithesis of pessimism (it seems to me) to have boundless energy , there is much to be said for a purely analytical approach to things. And the old saw - a pessimist can be pleasantly surprised but never disappointed does have a grain of truth to it. For- the pseeimist I offer this:

For me - I can only say this:

As to the question Glass half full - or am I an optimist or a pessimsit? I'll leave that to you to decide. It won't bother me one way or the other.  I am what I am.

What do the other LBCers have to say???  I'm curious myself so I will be going here: Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil and Will