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Wednesday
April 23, 2014
1:09pm EDT


Rated: E | Book | Cultural | #1437803
My blog. I'm opionated and I just want to sound off.
  It's a collection of editorials or even mini-sermons. I know it's wrong to give unwanted advice if you want to have a few friends. But I can't fight the urge that I know better than they what they should or shouldn't do. I have all this wisdom and experience and it's such a shame not to share it!
Our culture needs some sound advice and I'm just the one to give it.
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April 15, 2014 at 5:54pm
April 15, 2014 at 5:54pm
Family History
         Early in my genealogy research I saw a couple of distant relatives write that they were finished or almost finished and were ready to publish. I thought "How can you possibly finish? Did you go all the way back to Adam and Eve?" It really is a never-ending process.

         That is until you run into some brick walls. I'm convinced I've hit all dead ends. The DNA tests have uncovered nothing for me. I made discoveries that contradicted what other people had written about my direct ancestors, but, alas, I haven't hit anything new in almost a year. So I'm beginning to understand what they really mean. They, like me, aren't finished, but just can't go any further.

         So all I can do is keep adding deaths and births of current family members, maybe publish what I have, and hope some other researcher can find more or contradict what I have found. When I was unearthing things, it was thrilling, but when you keep turning up empty-handed, interest dwindles.

         Now I will have to sift through all my info for each family line and put it together in an interesting fashion for family members of the future.And that includes listing all my sources, which is the hardest part to keep straight.

April 12, 2014 at 7:08pm
April 12, 2014 at 7:08pm
Weekly goals
         Doing weekly goals has helped me focus on how over-committed I am and how unequal to my tasks.I was setting worthy goals, but couldn't get to them all, and wasn't taking into account the rest of the month or quarter. I almost never completed everything on my list, no matter how short. I was tired and frustrated, too.

         So now I've revised my methods. I'm looking at the big picture first. What doctor check-ups, dentists, etc., pre-purchased tickets for concerts or plays, business meetings, etc., do I have listed for the quarter? Those go in first. Then monthly deadlines, visits, trips, etc., go on the list. If I come to that week and I'm not already booked up, I can add in things like closet cleaning, or charity work, baby-sitting, and extra social connections. I want to get to the point where I'm leaving enough time for napping (I have sleep apnea and don't sleep well at night) and writing in my blog and putting stories on paper (or onscreen).

         Eventually, I should reach the point where I can make reasonable goals for the week and come close to reaching them. I don't want to feel rushed and be doing things at the last minute that should have been done weeks before. That may mean making my relatives go out to eat when they come to visit instead of expecting me to cook and clean up after them. Simple weekly goals shouldn't keep getting obliterated by the unexpected upheaval of schedules and unplanned events.
March 24, 2014 at 10:13pm
March 24, 2014 at 10:13pm
Rx available
         Last month I needed a new prescription. The doctor's office prefers a fax or email from the pharmacy. The druggist insisted they had done that, but would do it again, when the prescription wasn't there after 24 hours. On my 3rd trip, it still wasn't there and I was told to call the doctor. I had to leave a voice mail for the nurse, but I got my medicine that night.

         Each time the pharmacist advanced me 2 or 3 days worth since I ran out in the course of things and have to take it regularly. I've been taking it for over 15 years. Today I called in another prescription and to save a trip I ordered a refill of the last one. I got there and was told I can't get it until 2 days from now. It's too early per the insurance company. So I will have to make a special trip and waste gas to pick up the medicine later in the week. Two days!

         Yet with some insurance companies, you can get 90 days if you use their mail order company. There's nothing illegal about getting a month supply two days in advance, but neither druggist nor insurance company will do it. Tell me the business hasn't gone crazy!
March 18, 2014 at 2:21pm
March 18, 2014 at 2:21pm
Conservative or Liberal
         Words in English may have always had a tendency to change meaning with the times. A blatant example would be "bad". Common usage among the young or "hip" for a while mad "bad" mean really good. "Radical" comes to mind as another word that has altered its meaning and has to be taken into context.

         Other such words include liberal and conservative. I would say that in modern usage, a person could be both at the same time, depending on context. "Liberal" in Thomas Jefferson's day had a different meaning than it does today. And it means different things when used by various groups or people. Like some media use "liberal" to mean leftist, or socialist, or communist. You almost need to stop commentators and ask them to clearly define their terms so that you can follow what they're saying.

         Does liberal have to mean a radical departure from current thought? Does it have to mean an advocate of change (from almost anything)? At one time "liberal arts" meant almost the same as "fine arts" and included all higher learning that wasn't meant for the priesthood or religious training. It included science and math. Now "liberal arts" defines an undesirable and impractical education that will not net one a decent living. Having general knowledge and knowing one's place in the world, including civic duty, is not as important as becoming a well paid individual who will one day make significant financial contributions to one's Alma Mater.

         I don't want to argue what these individual words mean. I have read a lot of commentary lately about these same word choices, their political connotations and historical value. We just need to be clear how we're using them, make sure we understand how others are using them before attacking them. We also need to be sure we're not using good words in a derogatory sense and thereby altering the meaning ourselves.
March 17, 2014 at 10:56pm
March 17, 2014 at 10:56pm
St Patrick's Day
         Just a reminder, since it's Mar. 17. Beware the wild banshees. They are female spirits, supposedly family ancestors who weren't quite done with this life, or just couldn't let go. They linger and attach themselves to the family and its descendants. You hear one cry when someone in the family is going to die soon. Now there are two kinds of cries. If it's a good-hearted banshee, especially if the fated one is young or newly in love, the cry will low, and mournful, and very sad to hear. If the banshee is hateful, still full of anger from living, the cry will be extra loud and shrieking, even happy that someone is about to suffer.

         While we are discussing Irish figures, do you know why you hardly ever encounter a leprechaun these days? Two reasons: school teachers and horror films. First school teachers tell the children not to believe the old tales. It offends the leprechauns that the children, and now the teens and young adults don't believe they exist. So they've moved to the mountains and remote areas where teachers aren't so plentiful. Now, how do they explain the sparks from the fireplace that burn the rug, or things that get turned over or milk that gets spilled? Or the missing cookie? The wee folk go elsewhere to work and explore.

         Then there's the horror film. Those folks are always portraying leprechauns as dangerous, murderous, and scary. They may be tricky, or even practice the occasional larceny, but never turn to murder, or frightening people. Needless to say, there's now more enmity from regular folks towards the wee folk, so they don't take chances. They're safer far away from any place with TV or movie theaters.

         Here's hoping your St. Patrick's Day was a merry one. You needn't worry about wearing green, since no one is close enough to pinch you. Erin Go Braugh.

March 16, 2014 at 2:27pm
March 16, 2014 at 2:27pm
Thomas Jefferson and Welfare?
         I'm about halfway through an on-line course from coursera.org on the age of Jefferson. I think it safe to conclude at this point that if Jefferson were alive today, he would not approve of welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and other tax supported help programs. (Social security is a different topic since people actually pay into that themselves It's not supposed to be coming from taxes). He would approve of privately supported secular charities or church supported charities.

         He believed in the virtue and the enlightenment of all citizens. A republic or democracy like we endeavor to have is dependent on individual virtue. And where does the virtue come from? Preachers! From Jews and Christians who would live lives worthy of emulation and teach solid values for a peaceful society. He could not foresee the influx of Eastern religions, so he only considered the Judeo-Christian tradition. He held no denominational affiliation; he was a sect of one. He claimed to be Unitarian.

         He felt strongly that both government and religion needed to be protected from the other, but they were mutually dependent. Neither should impose its will or influence on the other. Religion could not think freely without protection from government, and government could not operate for the good of society without the virtue and personal improvement fostered by religion. He liked most American religions because they were "grassroots" organizations, rather than from the top to bottom like most European religions, such as the Anglican church.

         Whether America has swung away from TJ's ideal or carried it out can be debated. Certainly, the prominence of personal virtue is questionable. Pop culture tells us that personal enlightenment is not a priority. We do know that religion is necessary for a successful Republic according to Jefferson, as long as neither attempts to control the other. As for helping the downtrodden and the refugee, I think he would say we should be a helpful society and let people volunteer to help, not force them through taxes.
February 4, 2014 at 7:38pm
February 4, 2014 at 7:38pm
Saddle Up TV Channel
         I want someone else to start a new TV channel as I don't have the money or media connections to do so. But I want it done my way. Something akin to INSP channel, available on DirectTV and Dish, for instance.

         What I'd like is an old cowboy channel. Yes, that's right. I'm a girl; it's 2014; westerns are outdated and unfashionable. However, I have discovered lately that I like them. I'm fascinated with the accuracy versus fantasy as history lessons. But I'm also fascinated about what they say about the eras in which they were made. The 50's were not as message oriented as the 60's, for example.

         The shows would be interspersed with short talks by historians, like AMC does with old movies and film critics and actors. Aging actors could appear for interviews or memories of making the shows. Secrets of stunt men, costumes, and changes in studios would be shared. But mostly, just good old western shows.Such a channel would appeal to an aging population, and might interest a new audience.

         My favorite would be The Virginian. I'd run a double on Saturday night, and at least twice during the week to accommodate different work schedules and students. Gunsmoke and High Chaparal would run regularly, too. Shorter series would be changing from season to season due to fewer episodes, but would come up again in a year or two. Like real oldies: Sugarfoot (that's lower than a tenderfoot) and Cimmaron Strip. Of course, we'd see How The West Was Won (movie and series), Maverick, Wagon Train, Paladin, Rifleman, and Rawhide. Then there was Branded, Kung Fu, and Daniel Boone. Davy Crockett was owned by Disney, but it would be excellent. Cheyenne, F Troop, and River Boat would make the list, all different from each other. Alias Smith and Jones and Laredo are the most modern I can remember.

         I don't especially care for Bonanza because of the colors, costumes (always the same for convenience of stunt doubles), and the phony choreography of the heroic brothers. But it's far too popular to omit. I do like Big Valley, despite the tightness of the family, and the frequent story themes of other people hating the Bartlett's (hating the Cartwright's is a continuing theme in Bonanza). The Big Valley features large scale farming as well as ranching, and the related problems of transporting goods, immigrants, and other historical interests.

         So if someone out there wants to start and run a TV channel, 24 hour Western series, movies, and educational programs, I'm willing to consult and research!
January 26, 2014 at 4:31pm
January 26, 2014 at 4:31pm
Birds and Angels
         Don't you get sick of all the superstition all around us? In such an enlightened era, people still hold to such nonsense.

         For instance, I don't believe an itchy hand means you're going to shake hands with a stranger or that you're going to come into unexpected money. But I don't mind people making the comment. Or an itchy nose means company's coming. Won't hurt to be ready, but it's not really a foretelling. Black cats don't cause bad luck. They're God's creatures, so if one crosses your path, it's no worse than an Angus cow crossing your path. These are rather harmless and most people know there's no truth to them. They say them just to connect to previous generations.

         I know that humans don't become angels when they die. If humans are made in God's image and angels are not, then why would we go backwards? Angels are servants of God and people are children of God. Again, a demotion. Paul writes in the New Testament that in heaven, those who are saved will sit with Jesus in judgment of the angels. Angels will not judge humans. So this is an erroneous statement made by many well-educated and well-know public figures and is a concept prevalent in literature.

         Currently, there is an email and a Facebook posting about cardinals or redbirds. Supposedly, spirits of our departed loved ones are visiting us in the form of redbirds. Hogwash. No bird carries the spirit of a departed human. Birds are just birds. The spirits of the departed are at rest. Fiction is just fiction. Let's not mix it up with truth.

         There was an old belief that a sneeze signified the exit of evil spirits from the body. (I sneeze a lot, so I must be really possessed.) Others would then utter a blessing on the newly cleansed person. The French would say something like "Scat" to chase the spirits away, to avoid their lingering about. My mother's family would say "Scat", but I don't think they had any French in them. There is a quaintness about "Scat" of blessings that doesn't offend.

         Most superstitions are harmless, like not stepping on a crack. The one about not walking under a ladder is even good; it helps prevent something from falling on you. But things like spirits in birds and wrong ideas about angels mislead people and affects them emotionally. You can tell someone that spilling salt is not bad luck and he will disagree but not get upset. Let someone think his grandmother is visiting him every morning on the back porch through a cardinal; then what happens when the neighbor's cat attacks and kills the bird?
January 1, 2014 at 11:31pm
January 1, 2014 at 11:31pm
Happy New Year
         I heard someone say I wish for you this year that you have enough__enough money or whatever you need to survive comfortably and get by. I thought that was nice, but I'd go a step further. For anyone who reads this and my friends, family and co-workers, I wish less, enough, and more.

         Less: physical pain, sickness, heartaches, worry, fear, guilt, sorrow, regrets.

         Enough: food, money, exercise, rest, health, comfort, wisdom, fellowship, compassion, entertainment.

         More: beauty, peace, joy, fulfillment, love.

         That would be a happy year.
December 8, 2013 at 3:01pm
December 8, 2013 at 3:01pm
Carrie Underwood survives criticism
         I want to defend the recent TV production of The Sound of Music. It was marvelous. It was clean and wholesome, so unlike a lot of TV. The live part versus prerecorded made it more fascinating. And the cast was excellent. The sets were great.

         I'm no acting critic, but I realized Carrie Underwood was a little stiff in the delivery of her lines. Her singing was surprisingly good. She's no Julie Andrews, but who is? Julie is a hard act to follow. As her first major role, this turned out quite well, considering her lack of experience and training. No one was expecting an Oscar nomination.

         Overall, the show went well. The other actors did quite well. The nostalgia of the movie prevailed. Those of us who grew up seeing the movie know the music quite well and the storyline. The stage production had a few changes, however. The baron broke up with his fiancee for political reasons, for instance. The young governess had nothing to do with it. The fiancee never plotted to send the children away once they were married. She was much nicer and more likeable in this version.

         The children were more like real children, and by today's standards, a little corny. That's how children were raised at that time. In the movies, children are too polished and worldly.The whole story is a little corny to our hardened, modern perspectives. It's about hope and patriotism, being true to your beliefs, doing what's right instead of profitable. It's not about being politically correct.

         I think the critics missed a lot. By focusing on the lead actress's inexperience they missed the uplifting message of the story, the inspiration of love, and living for ideals. I felt thoroughly entertained. I laughed, I cried. I wondered anew what I would have done. Could I have left it all behind, and struck out into the unknown for freedom, to live my conscience? SNL made fun of the musical itself, which proves my point that as a society, we have become too cynical, too shallow, to appreciate anything that isn't profane or insane.

         I hope brave young entertainers will continue to try wholesome entertainment, live art, and new ideas. I believe that Carrie Underwood will get better if she keeps trying. I applaud her efforts.

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