Thursday, May 25, 2017

Does Time Run Out?

Does time run out? Pravin asks that question of us with this weeks LBC topic. So what is time? Here is what DR. Neil  deGrasse Tyson says -



That is Dr. Tyson's definition. Merriam Webster says : 1) a :  the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues :  duration  b:  a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future - Like Steve Miller sang, "Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future"'

Tyson says "We are prisoners in the present locked in eternal transition between our past and our future."  Time is constant, it is our measurement (reckoning) of time that allows the notion of time running out. 

As I queried last month when the topic was simply Time,  Since we cannot bring back the past is  time really anything more than the present? Is  the future  real before it becomes the present? The short answer is no to both questions in my opinion. But in reference to the period of reckoning,  time can run out. It is like starting a discussion with a disclaimer like "For the sake of this discussion, the sky is orange with green stars" or a stadium's unique set of ground rules in baseball.  

Then there are the Spanish scientists who believe time is literally running out and will simply cease to exist. Granted - they are thinking it will happen in billions of years but it certainly does make one stop and think. You can read about that here.

In the meantime, you might as well enjoy the present in any way you see fit. Me? I'll probably listen to the occasional song about time - 


Be  sure to check my cohorts blogs to see what they have to say about this week's topic- RamanaPravinMaria and Ashok.



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sunrise or Sunset




This week's topic was my idea.  Sunrise or sunset. Start the day or end the day. What is your preference?  

Honestly, it is a tough question - a fresh cup of coffee and depending upon the season, a warm jacket makes almost any sunrise special.  I have been to the spot this shot was taken - it is one of my favorite places in the world - Monterey Bay in California. It is one of the many reasons I miss northern California - the best place I have ever lived.

The only negative about loving a sunrise is the early hour you need to get up to view that sunrise - unless of course, you are young enough to have been out all night and just happen to catch a sunrise that way. In my youth, I confess that happened on occasion. And on several of those occasions I had be to work by 8:00 AM - those were long days and much coffee was consumed.  

Sunsets are equally as lovely and typically much easier to view unless you work the night shift. Here is a shot of San Francisco at sunset - 
another of my favorite places and yes - another reason I miss California. I am not sure where the photographer was when this shot was taken - perhaps on a bay cruise or across the bay in Berkeley or Emeryville. I used to hang out at a great seafood restaurant in Berkeley called Spangers.  I have been away for so long it is now part of a large chain. But it did not have this view - even before several drinks. The seafood and sourdough bread were compensation for the missing view.

Ultimately I ll go with the sunrise as my preferred choice. It is the start of a new day, a new experience is about to happen. You have a chance to make it a great day. Give it a shot. and whatever happens, a nice glass of wine at sunset is a proper way to end the daylight portion of any day. Hmm - a cold beer is better on a hot summers day though. 

Be sure to check my cohorts blogs to see what they have to say about this week's topic- RamanaPavinMaria and Ashok.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

History

History. A straightforward topic. Could not be any easier - unless you are looking for the truth. Then, perhaps things are not so straightforward.



Let's take Native American history for example. When told from a white man perspective, do you think it reads the same as from a Native American perspective? History is history, is it not?  We conquered them in battle and then we gave them land to build their "new" lives on. Such benevolent conquerors.

But we devastated their culture, took away their real lands and lied on most if not every treaty we made with the Native Americans.  Is that the same history from both sides of the equation? Bear in indthat history is typically written/recorded by the winners.

Consider next the enormous economic and industrial expansion that is the hallmark of the U.S.A.. Consider the industrialists here in the US that were known as Robber Barons - people that would do anything to get rich. Here is a list of some -

The people here are listed as  Robber Barons or in the various sources,

  • Surely there are some recognizable names there. Their businesses provided much of the growth that helped make the U.S.A.the wealthy giant we are today, but their business practices would in many cases be illegal, immoral or both. But that is rarely discussed because of how their history was written.
Times were different back then. It was the time of colonial expansion around the world. AT one time or another world powers included Spain, Portugal, Holland and of course England.  The landscape is much different these days.

Now, more than ever, alternative histories that attempt to tell the whole story are appearing. Gain the full historical perspective on any given time/event. Not surprisingly there is some resistance in certain quarters. Be sure to check multiple sources just as you should for news about current events. Remember - if we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it - or at least repeat its errors. 

One final thought - it is not my intent to question every historical record - I am merely suggesting that you exercise caution and use good sense when studying history..  Now please excuse me while I research aligator canons..

.

...
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Now more than ever alternative histories oare appearing. Histories that tell a full story - offering both sides of events. Now you can read the whole story and gain the perspective of both sides in the story. Of course, that is a source of severe consternation for some, and simply righting a wrong to others. It is up to you to decide where you fall in that equation.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind - this week's topic - was offered by Pravin. It is a popular self-help book written by Dr. (Psychology PHD from University of Southern California (USC)) Joseph Murphy in 1963. Murphy was born in Ireland, raised a Roman Catholic but eventually left Catholicism and became a  divined minister in the New Thought  Church of Devine Science, a brief history of which is available here

Murphy spent considerable time in India with gurus learning Hindu philosophy. I'll leave it to Ramana, Pravin and Maria to connect those dots to today's topic.


Murphy - in  The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind - says “The way to get rid of darkness is with light; the way to overcome cold is with heat; the way to overcome the negative thought is to substitute the good thought. Affirm the good, and the bad will vanish." To me that is a typical power of positive speaking notion. Nothing that has not been said many times before by other proponents like Norman Vincent Peale.


“I like money, I love it, I use it wisely, constructively, and judiciously. Money is constantly circulating in my life. I release it with joy, and it returns to me multiplied in a wonderful way. It is good and very good. Money flows to me in avalanches of abundance. I use it for good only, and I am grateful for my good and for the riches of my mind.” 

“Trying to accumulate wealth by the sweat of your brow and hard labor is one way to become the richest man in the graveyard. You do not have to strive or slave hard.” 
Now those are interesting quotes.  Positively think your way to happiness and fortune.  Frankly, if it was that easy I suspect the church of  Divine Science would be a bit larger.  As the city of my birth and subsequent first 10 years of my life played a large part in Divine Science and I have never heard of it until today seems to confirm it as a relatively minor player. That does not, however, lessen the value of  Murphy's ideas.
I find the inherent positivity of Murphy's notions to be quite valid as a roadmap for life. Those who know me know I am not particularly religious so I tend to dismiss god references fairly quickly.  But I have also been accused of being a spiritual guy - and in that light the god references make sense. I am not convinced there needs to be god to make them valid though I suspect Murphy and any person of faith would disagree with me.  Concepts of god would make a good discussion as it relates to Murphy's book. I am not, however, going there today. I will only say that when it comes to god U2 says it best for me - I Still Haven't Found What I;m Looking For.
I'll end this little ditty with one last Murphy quote from the book - 
“Success means successful living. When you are peaceful, happy, joyous, and doing what you love to do, you are successful.”  Now that is something I can agree with completely.  I can see why so many folks are enamored of Dr. Murphy and his book.

Be sure to check on my cohorts to see what they have to say on this topic - RamanaPravin and Maria.


See ya next week, same bat time and same bat channel.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Movies or theTheater

This week's topic was my suggestion.

I have always been a movie buff and from my grade school days at Carlile Elementary in Pueblo, Colorado I have loved stage plays. The local Junior  College regularly staged plays for kids. I have fond memories of walking from Carlile to PJC for the show. I saw things like Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and many others. Those were fun. times

Of course I was also laying the groundwork for my love of films with classics like The Thing, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Tarantula, the Bowery Boys and too many more to name. Gotta love those Saturday matinees at the Uptown Theater. I still remember the first movie I ever saw in a theater - Tarantula. The first one at a drive in was Hell and  High Water.

Jump ahead to 1976 - Lynn was offered a promotion to Hartford and we were in striking distance of  New York and Broadway. Back then it did not cost a month's salary to see a show. Our first was  Sherlock Holmes. Dinner at Mama Leones (Italian) and tickets combined were an affordable $75 or so for us and we had a great time. 

By then I was also a big fan of musicals on the big screen. I saw them all - my favorite being Camelot. My folks used to buy records of the soundtracks of the Broadway shows so I regularly listened to those along with the pop/rock standards of the time. I knew all of the songs to West Side Story, Camelot, Music Man and the rest. An off Broadway show called The Fantastiks was a favorite of mine. 

Here is a tune from that show - performed by an amazing octogenarian - 



Of course I kept up with regular movie going - in fact rarely a month went by when Lynn and I did not see at least 2 movies. We made a deal early on - she would sit through the guy movies and I would sit through her chick flicks. In almost no time we were fans of both genres.

Somewhere along  the way stage productions became so elaborate the cost of seeing one grew out of our reach. There were a couple of exceptions, both Camelot. We saw touring productions of Camelot in San Francisco with both Richard Harris and Richard Burton as King Arthur. Burton was the most famous stage Arthur and Harris owned the role on film. Truth be told, IMHO Harris owned the role on stage as well.

The last musical films I recall seeing were Darling Lily and Paint Your Wagon.  The genre was almost nonexistent from those two until recently when musicals have made a comeback of sorts.

If given a choice between the latest blockbuster film and a stage production I would opt for the stage production almost every time, especially if it is an older show.  It makes sense if you consider the fact that I prefer live music to studio recordings.

Be sure to check my cohorts blogs to see their take on this topic.  RamanaPravin and Maria

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Time

This week's topic was suggested by Ramana - Time.  Merriam Webster offers several definitions - I think I will borrow a few.

a moment, hour, day, or year as indicated by a clock or calendar what time is it



  1. conditions at present or at some specified period —usually used in plural times are hardmove with the times
    1. an opportune or suitable moment decided it was time to retire 
    2.  the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues :  duration
    3. Then there is the question - can we bend time? Is time travel possible in theory or otherwise?  Since we cannot bring back the past is  time really anything more than the present? Is  the future  real before it becomes the present? It is all so confusing.  But in confusion there can be beauty.

    4. That is it for the shack take on time. I hope you enjoyed the brief musical interlude. If you really want to know about time, go here. To see what my LBC cohorts have to say, check their blogs - RamanaPravin and Maria.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Do Dreams Create Reality?

Our topic this week was suggested by Pravin.

Dreams. Reality. Chicken. Egg. Freud. Wow - that is a bunch of one-word sentences. Hopefully the method to my madness will become clear as you read on.

For a dream to create a reality the reality must follow the dream and the dream should, by necessity, be lucid dreaming IMHO. That is, the dreamer should be self aware of the dream. Dreams are known to have the ability  make a creative thought occur or cause an inspiration - either of which could aid in the creation of a dream-based reality.



It is my opinion that a dream cannot create a reality but it can inspire a thought or action that does create a reality. I have known people that occasionally awaken in the night and jot down a dream - or the idea that came in that dream so that it could be followed up on the next day. 

I suppose a very esoteric, spiritual discussion on dreams and their meanings could be had. Maybe if I had a history of dreams that were not easily explained I would be inclined to engage in such a discussion, but I simply haven't had them. My dreams are fairly easily explained, most recently being mainly about Lynn. In  my dreams she disappears and I spend the dream searching for her. Frankly it does not take a rocket scientist to analyze those dreams. And they certainly will not create a reality - Lynn has been gone for over three years and I know exactly where she is. And, I simply do not have the faith required to be sure of seeing her again "on the  other side". I would really love to believe that, but I cannot. The irony that one of Lynn's all-time favorite movies was Ghost is not lost on me.

Dream interpretation has gone from the belief they were supernatural communication (Egypt, Greece) to today's psychological/neurobiological schools of thought. Freud still carries much influence in dream interpretation as does Carl Jung. Science? Pseudo science? We know what their supporters think.
Image result for carl jung

To circle back to the topic, again   do not believe dreams create realities. The closest dreams can come is by being the inspiration that gets the ball rolling on something. To me that is a far cry from the causal dynamic the topic asks about.

Be sure to check the other LBC posters - Ramana, Maria and Pravin  for their take on the topic.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pals

This week's topic comes from the fertile - er - stagnant? imagination of yours truly. Pals can mean different things - to me pals are close friends. The closest. In my case that includes Brian, Dave H. and Ranger Rick.  I have known those guys for well over 55 years. Our 50th year high school reunion is in October of this year.,

I have written before how the weekend after Lynn died, Brian, Dave and Rick showed up on my doorstep in Ft. Worth just to hang out with me and assure my well being. After 10 years of caregiving, the last 18 months of which were brutal, I was a basket case. You see - Lynn gve up on life when she received her diagnosis. She literally refused to fight or resist  the ravages of Huntington's Disease. She physically attacked our daughter and I fairly regularly as HD robbed her of her personality and focused her anger on us both. Yes it was the disease, not Lynn, but when you are regulrly blocking left hooks I assure you that fact is easily lost. Stifling your anger becomes increasingly difficult. Stress levels rise to seemingly impossible heights. The last time I saw my wife of 43 years (together for over 45) she was being zipped into a body bag and about to be transported to the mortuary.

I received a phone call during the week and was simply told the guys would be arriving Friday night and I  should be ready to go when they arrived. There was a bit of fun as they used their phones to get directions to our place from Dallas' Love Field - but they made it. And so began the 3-day period that literally saved me and made me want to get on with life.  Isn't that what friends are for? I will admit to a fair amount of alcohol being consumed and lots of reminiscing. And - perhaps surprisingly - a lot of relaxing. 

That is the Cliff's Notes version of 3 days that literally saved me. It defines for me why old friends - pals - are so important.



Be sure tosee what my LBC cohorts have to say on their blogs.  Ramana,  Pravin and Maria.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Effectiveness

This week's topic was suggested by Ramana. Effectiveness - the degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result; success.

These days they seem to call these things "metrics".  You measure the effectiveness of something by checking its metrics.

So how effective has your life been? That depends on the metrics you value. Money in the bank? Successful marriage? Successful kids? Good friends?

The metrics you pick matter because  happiness does not always equate with good metrics - I know  lot of unhappy people with fat bank accounts. I know very few unhappy people that have successful marriages or happy kids. And most happy people I know have what they consider good friends.

I suppose it is natural at this stage of  life - the circling the drain stage - to reflect on one's life and offer some conclusions as to whether or not that life has been effective. Will you be leaving the world a better place than it would be without your presence? Sorry folks - I am not interested in public exposure of my life. Those who know me well have a clear notion of what I think.

That is it for this weeks topic. It frankly proved more personal than I expected. Be sure to touch base with my LBC  cohorts to see what they have to say.  

 Pravin

Maria

Ramana

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Perceptions



Perceptions - according to nearly every manager I encountered in my business career - are everything.   Even more important than reality.  Imagine that - what people think is often more important what they know. As curious as that sounds, it was often proven true in business.  Here's  an example -

 As a salesman I was often told to "sell the sizzle", giving the impression you really understood the product when in fact you simply hit a few high points and close hard. Personally I found that process offensive as hell. I have never liked being treated that way s a customer and so I refused to treat my customers that  way. Considering I counted the Hell's Angels in my client base, I think my readers might see the reasonableness of that attitude. Ahem.

While I was rarely at the top of the sales lists my return rates were the lowest. My net sales were excellent. My  buddy Mark Stout was an example of the best of both worlds. If he could close a deal quickly selling the sizzle he did so. But the reason it worked was simple - Mark KNEW the products inside and out and there was nothing  he could not answer.  Mark taught me everything I knew about computers when we worked together.  I imagine every salesman can share a similar experience.

Things get dicey though when perceptions meet politics. When does power speak to truth?  In an ideal world politicians would all speak the truth. Unfortunately, the truth in politics is most often in the full-spin zone. Read the tweets of POTUS 45. Fact check them yourself if you do not trust the media. I think you will find  POTUS 45 uses a different dictionary than the rest of us, With a falling approval rate it appears he is no longer considered the honest agent of change he claimed to be. Personally I never bought it as his behavior was so outlandish. Luckily his opponent was the (IMHO) most rightly reviled politician in the USA.

To date POTUS 45 has offended our 3 strongest allies, but he is still trying to build that wall. But I doubt anyone thinks Mexico will pay fo it. And his attempt at repealing and replacing "OBAMACARE" will remove 24 million people from the insured rolls. Ironically many - if not most of those - are from counties won by POTUS45. Somehow I do not think this will go down well. And I also personally find his labeling of the mainstream media an enemy of the people to be dangerous and offensive. I think he is well on his way to a one-term presidency unless he steps in some magic dust soon. 

I wish I was wrong but I think my perception of POTUS45 is accurate. You see - he is my president and I and my grandkids have a huge stake in his success or failure.  

This weeks topic was offered by Pravin. See what my cohorts have to say at Ramana, Pravin 
and Maria

















 As

Friday, March 17, 2017

Penpals

Back in my Junior High  (7th and 8th grade) days I was introduced to the concept of penpals - someone you meet and begin a relationship with based on writing letters. In a sense, it was the social media of the day - the very early sixties.

The concept was simple. A company called Internationl Youth Service in Turku , Finlnd awould for a nominal fee send you the name and address of someone with the similar interests as you and you would simply begin corresponding with them. Although they ceased operation in 2008, you can read about IYS here.

One of the first names I received was Dieter Eiche - I even remember his address - Fliserstrasse 11, Balingen, Germany. We corresponded regularly, usually once monthly for four years during our high school years. He  entered the military after graduating and we only occasionally corresponded for a couple more years until we stopped. But we had formed a fairly strong friendship and it was truly one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done.

We moved to Texas in 1994 when the electronics industry in the SF Bay Area went into the tank. Small companies I was doing consulting  and custom programming for could suddenly get PHD level help for the  same fees I charged so Lynn and I hit the road.  About 4 years after the move, I ws sitting  at my desk in Fort Worth when I received an email from Dieter. I was stunned and delighted. We quickly traded a few emails and caught up with each other. Dieter was a Judge in Germany.
 Here is a photo I found of him on the Internet.  And, although we are no longer in contact with each other it was fun catching up.

Letter writing is considered passe in these days of texting, email, blogging and the many forms of social media. Blogging, frankly, has replaced penpals for me. The net result is the same - I get to interact with people all around the world and I have developed strong friendships that make the entire blogging effort worthwhile. There are Ramana, Maria and Pravin in India, Ursula in the UK, a few in Australia and of course many here in the  U.S.A.. I heartily recommend blogging as a way to meet people, enjoy discussion/debate and even argue (civilly of course). If you are shy or do not know how to start, a blogging group like the LBC is a great place to start since the entire group writes on the same topic every Friday.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Peace

This weeks topic is Peace. The absence of conflict. Wikipedia says "a lack of conflict and freedom from fear of violence."  It sounds simple yet history shows it to be nearly unattainable. An Impossible Dream of sorts.



There is a line in the song -"to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause." History is full of conflicts fought in the name of one god or another.  The Crusades saw Christians 
attacking Islam. We live in a world marked by terrorist attacks from a radical sect of Islam against the West. 

There have been wars fought between nations sharing common religions - so clearly religion is not a cure all for conflict. Christianity is split between Catholics and Protestants. Islam has Shia and Sunnis. Ireland and its troubles show how violent conflict between Catholic and Protestants can be and our incursion into Iraq showed the schism between Sunni and Shiites.

Pick a period in history and at best you might find the occasional peaceful region. Per Wikipedia,  the longest continuing period of peace among currently existing states is observed in Sweden, which has had peace since 1814 (for 203 years; if Swedish participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Libya is not considered) after its loss of major parts of the country to Russia in the Napoleonic wars. Swedish peace may partly be explained by its geographical position, partly by non-participation in military alliances during peacetime, resulting in a certain level of Swedish neutrality during wartime, and partly by the periods of relative peace in Europe and the world known as Pax Britannica (1815-1914) and Pax Europaea/Pax Americana (since 1950s).
Other examples of long periods of peace are:

That is not a particularly impressive record for humanity's time on this third rock from the sun. And with more nations reaching for their own version of the brass ring. More changes. The stage is set for additional conflict. Global resources are shrinking and - for whatever reason - the global climate is changing. We have the capacity to eliminate life on the planet with nuclear weapons so clearly it is in our best interest to keep working on the peace process. The answer has to be out there somewhere.


I am essentially an optimist and expect things to work out although the current polarization in politics here does have me worried a bit - especially when the chief advisor to our new president has a stated goal of destroying the administrative state. But that is a topic for another day. Me? I will continue commenting on things, and listening to music that matters to me while I watch my 7-year old grandson does  little boy stuff with reckless abandon.


That's a quick shack take on the topic Ramana gave us this week. Be sure to check the other LBC folf for their takeon the topic - Ramana  Pravin and Maria

Friday, March 3, 2017

Food for Thought

This weeks topic was offered by Pravin. Food for thought - something that requires serious consideration.  Think before you speak. Heck - what fun is that? Ahem. Well - a little mental stimulus is always a good thing.

As a general principle, thinking before engaging your mouth or fingers is always a good thing. Often the best thing to say is not the first thing that comes to mind. While you cannot change the wind you can adjust your sails to reach your destination.  The only person truly responsible for your life is you. Believe in yourself - if you don't others will recognize that fact and likely will not believe in you.

I do see a certain irony in the fact that this week's  topic has left me virtually speechless. Would you believe I am still pondering my response?

Better see what my cohorts have to say - Ramana,  Pravin and Maria.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Life With Social Media LBC 2/24/2017

Social media has been a big thing for quite some time. Since the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA last year it is now even more so since the POTUS fancies himself something of a tweet master and has made his daily tweets must-read nuggets. Whether you love Trump or not, to keep abreast of the daily news cycles you need to see  what POTUS is saying, who he is attacking and whatever else he is saying. Then - if you are clever - you can develop a score sheet to log his misstatements (lies) or mistakes and even get a glimpse or his personal viewing habits. I doubt he sees the irony in creating his own fake news while blasting the admittedly left-leaning mainstream press by mistakenly thinking a story on a Fox News pundit's show was a real time news story.

Until Donald Trump discovered how much he could stir up with his daily tweets,i was lucky to read a tweet every couple of weeks. Suddenly, though, I was checking Twitter several times a day to see what nuggets of entertainment POTUS was bestowing on us. Suddenly it was governance in 140 characters. Welcome to the brave new world.

My first brush with social media was  through MySpace. Myspace was a bastion of musical information and any regular reader of mineknows how much influence music has on my life. and then along came Facebook and for a short time it was a MySpace vs Facebook battle. That battle was driven by young people and in a very short time MySpace went the way of Beta tapes. And some enterprising folks were creating sites for employers to advertise for and seek/hire employees. Google "job sites" and get over 500,000 results in just over a second. And Linkedln is now almost a substantial networking site for people.I receive 5-10 mhits daily from Linkedln and I have never really used the site. Many folks I know, however, are avid Linkedln users and it can be a decent job reference/seeking site.

To keep up with my musical hobby I ran a music forum called Rock-talk.us for  a number of years in partnership with a fellow who was very active in the music and radio business in Phoenix, Arizona starting back in the sixties. Through that forum I met and corresponded with pop stars from several British Invasion bands and several studio musicians from that same area. It was great fun and I made a few good friends, including a songwriter responsible for several multi-million sellers  of the sixties. I learned how songs were snuck past censors - including a popular pop anthem that was actually an ode to the Kama Sutra. Who woulda thunk - LOL.


I am an active Facebook participant so that is social media I clearly embrace. Facebook allows me to keep in touch with my five nieces in California as well as a batch of folks I knew in high school.Facebook is also a showcase of sorts for the political  dysfunction we are experiencing as the left and right wing flamethrowers populate and often dominate news feeds unless you have learned the  value of "unfollow". And apparently it is a hacker paradise of sorts as almost daily some one on my friends list sends out an "I have been hacked' message.

A interesting byproduct of social media is what is commonly called branding.  Everyone and perhaps every thing has a brand these days. One never knows when that life-changing score will come along. Gotta protect your personal brand. Ahem.

Social media is the way of the world and it will no doubt continue to evolve and change over time  A whole new generation of entrepreneurs  is looking to make their mark and become the next Mark Zuckerberg. It is guaranteed to be an "E" Ticket ride.

Be sure to check in on Ramana, Pravin and Maria to see what they think.




Friday, February 17, 2017

Consumerism LBC 02/17/2017

Today's topic - consumerism - was offered by Ramana. According to Wikipedia, consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. Sounds like a definition offered by the Marketing gods.

We are assaulted daily by people/companies trying to separate us from our money. Better ingredients, better pizza; he went to Jareds; the beer that made Milwaukee famous; the champagne of bottled beers. All of these marketing phrases are designed to help convince us to purchase a particular product. Spend, spend, spend.

One thing often lost in the crazy world of consumerism is the cost in terms of resource use/misuse, labor abuses and the like. Everyone likes to get the best deal, the best price. So what if a 12-year old child earns a whopping 50 cents an hour making the product. Who really cares about Nike worker abuse as long as they get those Air Jordans on the shelf.  And no, Nike is not being any worse than many others in the clothing industry.

The importance of the element lithium to the battery industry and its limited supply/availability raises important issues for the electric car industry. Can the limited availabilitybe dealt with peacefully? Wars have been fought ovdr limited availability before. Japam went to war in  WWII because of limited oil resources.
Who knows what the future may hold.

The consumerism pendulum swings the other way as it drives the economies of the various nations in the world.  Economic growth is on the mind of every leader of every country. One can only hope we effectively manage the appropriate resources to ensure an adequate supply.



I confess that I am subject to the same attacks of rampant consumerism  as are most of us. Fortunately for me I am not in a position financially to take advantage  of them often so the earth's resources are safe from me!

That is my quick shack-take on this weeks topic. So what do my blogging cohorts have to say on the matter? Check them out 

Ramana  Pravin  Maria


Friday, February 10, 2017

Impatience LBC Post 2/10/2017

Today's topic comes to us from Pravin. The first example of impatience that springs to mind is the impatience of a child waiting for Christmas. Each day - as the big day draws nearer - kids are consumed with eagerness and anticipation. It can be a joy to watch as the child's parents become impatient awaiting the child's reaction to Christmas day. Who hasn't experienced impatience while stuck in heavy traffic, while waiting in a long line or waiting for the big game or concert to begin?



Yes - time management - or lack thereof - can cause impatience. Impatience can cause us to make rash decisions with serious consequences. But being overly patient can be a huge waste of time so it seems we need to learn to manage impatience. Busines training - especially management training - usually includes specific sections on time management to assist in this endeavor. I think there should also be training guides for relationships - and  being patient while the relationship develops.

I confess to always being impatient when it came to relationships - being shy, I pretty much always expected them go fail but I also wanted them to progress rapidly. Hmmm - hurry up and end the pain? LOL



Back in my college days, I switched majors from Physical Education to Political Science I had a falling out with the head football coach that was severe enough that he guaranteed I'd never get a coaching job and he had the juice to make that threat stick. I had taken a few political science  classes - and though my history major pal Tony swore Political Science was an oxymoron -they let me transfer a lot of PE classes to the Political Science undergrad requirements. There was one particular professor - a Dr.Hudson -who was not enamored of jocks in his classes, had run afoul of the same coach as had I because he refused to cut football players any slack. As the quarter drew to an end,  Dr Hudson and I had jousted verbally the entire 10 weeks, and as he passed out the final exam he boldly and loudly stated he guaranteed I would not do well on said final. I freely admit I was something of a smart ass and I laughed in his face. After the exam, I knew I had aced it. I busted my butt preparing and it paid off. It was impossible to measure the impatience I felt waiting for those finals to be graded and the quarter grades to be posted. Two days later I appeared at Dr Hudson's office door to be met with his snarling face and he threw my blue book at me. I had aced the test and the class. I earned an A on both. I simply stuck out my hand to shake his, wished him well and walked off. I am sure celebratory beers were quaffed that afternoon.

That is my quick shack-take on this week' LBC topic.Please be sure to see what my cohorts had to say on their blogs.  Ramana  Pravin  Maria

Monday, February 6, 2017

A nice break from all of the insanity!

Well - Super Bowl has come and gone. I had no dog in the hunt and that is a very good thing as I would have been a basket case regardless of which end of the score my team was on. But since I was unencumbered I was able to simply watch and enjoy the game. What a game it was.

Super Bowls are rarely super - they are usually a snooze fest. Not 51 -  it was a real barn burner. It looked like the Atlanta Falcons were going to run away with  the game. I realize my non-America readers  may not understand the dynamics of the game of American football. Some even think rugby is a tougher game but let me assure you it is not.

With the exception of boxing and maybe MMA fighting no sport comes close to the concentrated violence of 300 pound athletes running into each other with reckless abandon. Take a look at the concussion issues that are now so regularly in the news.

Yesterdays game was an example of the best the game has to offer as Atlanta Falcons started fast and tried tom but their collective feet pn the throat of the Patriots. Tom Brady was harassed regularly and the Falcons were up 28-3. Then the wheels came off and the high-flying birds became wounded ducks. A run of 31-0 in just over a quarter cemented the legacy of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as the best ever at their jobs. Patriots fans danced with glee while Falcons fans stared in stunned disbelief.

So now today it is back to the real world for all but fans of the Patriots. They have a big parade to look forward to and bragging rights until next season. The rest of us are back to worrying about the next  bizarre tweet that may emerge from the White House. It is worth noting Trump is buddies with both Patriots owner Robert Kraft and QB Tom Brady so maybe in his deliriumTrump may be silent. OK - not bloody likely.




Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Supernatural LBC 02/03/2017

This week's topic was my suggestion. I thought it would be fun to explore what folks think.

Merriam Webster (online) says "supernatural:   of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially :  of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit or devil."

I do not think it s possible to believe in God and not believe in the supernatural - or at lease portions of it. Exorcisms are performed to purge demons, angels are supposed to be real and so is satan. So for a believer to poo poo the existence of the supernatural is both illogical - though logic has little place in the belief in god IMHO - and somewhat hypocritical.  Most religions contain some "supernatural" elements. Miracles performed by Jesus were supernatural in nature. Supernatural acts have been repoerted throughout recorded history. What you believe or do not believe is up to you and your faith or perhaps your lack of faith.



Psychics? I know of no real scientific evidence of their actual existence. As the popular illusionist Criss Angel has said - where were the 9/11 predictions (before the actual event).  Smoke and mirrors, trickery and illusions. Entertainment of the highest order but not real.

Do you believe in ghosts? Hollywood certainly does. There are several ghost hunter TV shows and the horror film industry has always been robust. Everyone likes a good ghost movie but are they real? Well my late wife thought Patrick Swayze was.



There are also paranormal movie franchises purported to be fact based.  Again - fact based is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. After all, we have entered the time of alternative facts. But there is no shortage of excellent paranormal movies - think The Shining, Poltergeist, The Amityville horror, All purported to be fact based.
It should be clear I look upon this topic as a fun topic. Some make take offense at taking religion lightly. Sorry about that but everything deserves a chuckle and a box of popcorn once in  while.

Take a look at what my cohorts have to say.    Ramana   Pravin  Maria

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Loyalty

This weeks topic was suggested by Ramana.

wikipedia says "Loyalty is devotion and faithfulness to a cause, country, group, or person." Thnat is a reasonable definition as far as I m concerned. Loyalty can be a virtue or  not. Consider the loyalty Hitler's followers exhibited.

In my experience there is no loyalty as pure as the loyalty a dog feels for his/her human. That was made abundantly clear to me recently when I had a 4-day stay in the local hospital. It started when I was snatched from home on a gurney by four burly emts on a Saturday night. Ginger - my dog - was initially quite upset and barking at them until she realized these people werlatere helping me. Then she was practically inconsolable while I was in the hospital. She spent the days lying by the door waiting for me to return. 



Four days later when I returned she was wild with excitement. She seemed to understand that I was very weak and she waited until I made my way to the bed to jump up and snuggle in as tightly as she could get. She laid her head on me and gave her best doggie sigh. Now that I am almost back to normal sheis more playful. She is also quite clever - my normal attire is a pair of shorts. Ginger has figured out that if Iput on long pants I am going somewhere and she immediately heads for the front door, where she remains until it is time to leave. As soon as the door opens she dashes out, runs down the stairs and waits by the driver side door to take her place in the back seat. truth be told, I enjoy the company.

Personally, I am very loyal to my family and friends. I am fortunate to have some friends that I have known for over 50 years. They have always been there for me and I for them.  We live on opposite sides of the country but that does not matter. When Lynn died 3 years ago 4 days later 3 of them showed up in Ft Worth to check on me. That is loyalty.

That is my quicjk take on this weeks topic. Be sure to see what my choorts have to say ontheir blogs - RamanaPravinMaria.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What would you do in the lomg term LBC 01.20/2017

This week Pravin asks us "What would you do in the long term?"  




That's an interesting question for someone in the "circling the drain" age  bracket. For clarification I'd say anyone above say 65 is in that category.  Hopefully your tub was very  full and your circling becomes an interesting, long journey. 

So what would I do? Well- it depends upon the circumstances. I certainly will not be taking out any 30 year mortgages or purchasing a new car,  although if I should win 10-15,000 dollars in the lottery there could well be a motorcycle in my future. An 1100 CC Suzuki. And then a long road trip.

Yeah - I know. That is simply wishful thinking. In reality to avoid the drain I need to take better care of myself.  DO stuff like watch my diet, take my meds - line big pharma's pockets with the outrageous prices they charge. Without those meds my drain looms  large, deep and very close.  I tell ya - at times this getting old stuff really sucks but the journey to this point  has been interesting and somewhat enjoyable.  

I certainly will be watching how the country fares under the new president. He has chosen a few good cabinet members and some real turkeys.  It is the last stand of the baby boomers - we are aging rapidly. It is time for the next generation to assert itself in the political arena and that will also be fun to watch.

Upon reflection it appears in the long term I will be doing a lot of observing.  That seems reasonable for a retiree - I will also be increasing my blogging output while also keeping up with the weekly LBC posts.

Be sure to see what my cohorts have to say   

Ramana 


Maria

Pravin