My 5th house in Blogville, located at the corner of Humor and Human Interest
Welcome to my fifth home here in Blogville. Over the past two years I have gone through some changes. Widowhood, stroke, depression....all life stages of life I experienced. This is my attempt to move on, to get over it, to.....live again.|
So now I have a new blog house here in my beloved cyber-city of Blogville and the intersection of Humor and Human Interest. Come by for a visit anytime you like, friends are always welcome. We'll sit a spell and talk.
I want this new Blog home to be light and airy so the topics I write about will reflect what passes for humor for me...most of the time. I will also write about a subject near and dear to me: Animals. All sorts of animals...great and small. That is not to say I won't get serious at times, I will, but one thing I won't do (hopefully) is write about politics. As Val Kilmer said in Tombstone: "My hypocrisy only goes so far."
|“MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”! I have heard this catchy slogan repeated time and again since the 2016 election cycle. Starting out life as a simple political slogan, it has now become a mindless mantra repeated with almost religious fever by Conservatives. It denotes a wish by the speaker to return America to a time when, to them, our country could claim the mantel of “Greatness”.
I have always wanted to ask those folks one simple question: “Exactly what period of our history do you have in mind?” I mean you must have some ideal, some shining moment, when the United States of America was great…right? What decade do you use as your example? You see what I mean; If you say you want America to be great again, then you are implying that at some past date it was great and now, somehow it’s not.
The sad fact is that no matter what decade you cite as a period of greatness for this country, I can give you examples of how it was not so great for segments of the population and this is where my confusion begins. How can you say you want to make the country great again when, in my estimation, it has not yet achieved “Greatness” for all its citizens?
While I don’t believe there is a time in the past we can use as an example of greatness, I do believe we can achieve it in the future. After all, that is what America has always been isn’t it, a diverse collection of people and ideas constantly striving to be better. If history teaches us anything it is that you can’t go back to the past and if you try to stand still you will only stagnate. Our only course is to move forward…toward Greatness. Now that is a worthy goal for any nation or any person, for that matter.
| In a misguided effort to shield small children from some of the bad crap Life has in store for them, adults have always operated on a "Need to know" basis. While this approach saves little Johnny or Mary from undue worry and fright while they are young, it tends to assure that, when they are adults themselves, they suffer many "WTF" moments. We've all had those moments as we matured and discovered that life was a bit more complicated than a hot game of Hide and Seek, or fishing for perch in a quiet pond.
Even at my age I still experience them now and again. Lately I have found myself wondering why the adults in my life never warned me about Shrinkage when I was a kid, all full of piss and vinegar and so damn sure of myself.
No, not THAT kind of shrinkage, get your mind outta the gutter. The shrinkage I speak of comes in many forms. Of course there is the physical lessening of our bodies (no, not that!). There was a time when I stood just a shade over six-foot tall. I use to kid that I was actually 6'2" in my boots. Now I have to stretch to make 5' 11".
Our stride, our very step diminishes. Not long ago, to my horror, I realized that I actually shuffle when I walk...not a pretty sight, believe me. As bad as these things are, they are really only cosmetic and to be expected as we age. The really horrible shrinkage comes when our dreams, hopes, and wishes for our future shrivels up. As a kid, growing up, my dreams of the future were boundless as was my confidence that I could achieve those dreams. Nowadays my dream is restricted to sleeping through the night without waking up for an emergency bathroom visit. I don't have the confidence to dream any bigger than that.
As if all of that wasn't enough our circle of friends shrink too as, one after the other, they die. Same with our loved ones, they die. Younger family and friends don't die but even worse, they find you no longer relevant because you tend to hold onto the past
Now, if all this sounds too morbid, and before some well meaning soul suggests I suffer from depression, I must tell you that I believe that even though all this sounds bad, I don't really believe it is bad, just a natural progression of life. Nature's way of preparing us to leave this world for our next great adventure. It's just....you know...I wish the adults have of clued me in on what was to come so I wouldn't have had to yell: "What the Fuck?" so often.
|Ah, Romance! While it can bring you sweet memories and joy. It can also make a root canal without anesthesia seem like foreplay. If you don't believe me just ask the poor guy I heard about on my local news show last night. He met a sweet young thing on Facebook, started a torrid cyber-affair with her, and ended up eighty-thousand dollars poorer WITHOUT EVER MEETING THE LADY!
Not for the first time was I left shaking my head. How on earth can a person...man or woman...fall for a scam such as this? I will be the first to admit that I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box but this is one scam I can see coming from way down the road. Now don't get me wrong. I don't say that to brag, but from experience. Ever since my sweet wife died, almost two years ago, and I changed my status from "married" to "widowed", I have been dealing with "friend requests" from beautiful young women just like the one that hooked the poor sap on the news story.
The one thing I have that helps protect me from scam artists such as this is a little thing called "Common Sense." Thankfully, it takes over every time I get one of these requests. It yells at me: "Stop! Let's review the facts before we jump into anything." And I do just that.
. I have received a request for "friendship" from this smoking-hot, 20 something lady. The first thing I notice (besides her obvious physical attributes) is the fact that we have no mutual friends, either from the different writing sites I've belonged to or family members. Big Red Flag there!
I go to the lady's Profile page and see that it consists of three pictures. One of her in a very skimpy nightgown and two of her wearing a string bikini. Even larger Red Flag. While I admit she has a body that would make a dead man climb out of the grave and run a marathon, it doesn't answer the question of why she would want to be friends with me on Facebook.
Next I look at pictures of her other "friends" and there are only a few and all of them are men of my approximate age. This leads me to the only possible conclusion, Either this sweet thing has "daddy issues".....who am I kidding..."Granddaddy issues", or it is part of a scam to separate delusional old men from their money. Either way, it's a mud hole I don't need to step in so I quickly refuse the friend request, mark it as "Spam" and go about my merry way.
It really isn't that hard and I can't for the life of me understand how someone can fall into such a trap. Yet they do...every single day. One common sense rule that has saved me more than once: "If it looks or sounds too good to be true, odds are it isn't."
Please remember that when you're being social on Social Media.
|Don't let the title fool you, I have nothing but respect for Cesar Milan, better known as "The Dog Whisperer." Unfortunately the title of this piece was the suggestion of my boon companion and self-styled Alpha-of-the-world, Booker.
For those of you new to any of my many blogs, Booker is fifty pounds of cocky stuffed into the body of a twenty pound terrier mix. He is one of five small pups, all that remains of the infamous "Mel's Pack" that once numbered eighteen. One day I will share with you the story of the Pack and of the five that remain but for now suffice it to say that my boy Booker has strong objections to some of Cesar's dog training methods. The other four are, by and large, indifferent to the whole matter.
I firmly believe that Booker's main objection to the famous dog trainer stems from Cesar's instance that the human in the home establish him/her self as the dominate Alpha of the pack. Booker is of the firm belief that the only natural choice for Alpha of the pack is a dog and, since he was anointed by the Canine Gods as Supreme Alpha, he is the only one qualified for the job.
I give Booker credit though, when other humans are present, he goes out of his way to make me look good by playing the loyal subject to my Alpha but when we are alone it is a whole different story.
If he finds his food dish empty.....a grave offense in his kingdom...he brings it to me, plops it at my feet, and gives me a look that would turn lesser men to stone. If, God forbid, one of the other dogs happens to be lounging in his favorite spot...an old recliner...he will stare at me then, when I've noticed the daggers his eyes are throwing, he will turn his gaze slowly to the offending dog. The message is clear: "Do your job and remove that cur from my throne."
Anyway, you can see how Cesar's ideas would rub a dog such as Booker the wrong way. I use to watch The Dog Whisperer all the time but dealing with Booker's sulks when he discovered the show playing on the TV got to be too much.
So you see, while the Dog Whisperer might be an expert and have really great dog training ideas, he is persona non grata in my house and that's okay by me. What me and my pack have is not strictly correct, it works for us.
Now if you will excuse me, Booker just went to the door, pawed at it then looked at me. His way of saying: "Hey, dude, if you don't want to clean up a very stinky mess you will get up and let me outside."
Sorry....The Master calls!
|God help me I had forgotten what a pain in the ass it is to do ANYTHING on this site. I have spent most of the day trying to figure out how to make this new blog show up when I click "Blog".
You would think that after writing four previous blogs I would know how to do this, well I don't because I am a functional idiot when it comes to the computer and Mel was always here for me and did all the techy stuff while I did my best Capt. Picard impression and would mutter: "Make it so, number two."
I sent an email to the Storymistress because daddy always told me if you want something done, go to the top for help. So far...nothing but crickets. No word from the leader.
So this is my first entry and I'm gonna see what happens after I post it. I don't hold out much hope. After all, Capt. Picard was nothing without his number two.