A little of this and a little of that. Whatever (if anything) comes into my head.
|The Blog of Bluejay|
|In a recent news article a woman was asked if anything would change her mind about the candidate she supports:
"Once I'm on board with someone, I don't change my mind." she replied.
Sadly, it seems that loyalty has become more important than principles. I know it's been that way for a while, but it's still difficult to see it so blatantly expressed.
|I freely admit that I am a nerd... or a geek... or maybe some combination. It's just so difficult to get my label right. I like Star Trek and have seen all of the movies and shows, but I don't dress up as a Klingon and go to comic con. I do like sci-fi and fantasy movies, but I also like romcoms. It's so confusing! If I can't even label myself, how is everyone else going to put me in the right category?
Everyone has to have labels, right? Conservative, liberal, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, atheist, nerd, geek, straight, gay, rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, introvert, extrovert, capitalist, communist, socialist.. and so many more.
I wish we could just treat each other like people and talk to each other openly, honestly and courteously about our differences.
I suppose that makes me a Heretic.
|Life can be daunting at times. Not that I'm contemplating ending it - there's far too much to do and see and experience to even think about that. But, sometimes, it's just kind of overwhelming. There's so much to do and in most cases I'm the only one who can do the things that I feel need to be done. Unfortunately, one of my character flaws is that I tend to shut down when I get overwhelmed and then nothing gets done.
I've been here before and I'm sure I'll be here again. It is a little depressing, but I know I'll get moving again and catch up on all of the things I'm behind on and life will go on, but I think I'll just sit back for a little while and let the world go by.
Oops, I just remembered, there's something I have to do now. There's nobody else to do it, so I'd better get going. No time to feel sorry for myself right now - maybe later.
How about you? Ever feel like that?
|Pardon me while I wax nostalgic for a few minutes. Last night, my wife and I went to a drive in movie. There aren't many left anymore compared to what I remember in my teenage years. Back in the 1960's they seemed to be everywhere, although going there was a rare treat. A friend and I even walked a half mile or so through the woods to sneak into the back of our local drive in theater, but it really wasn't worth it - not just because we felt like criminals, but because in those days the speakers were hung on the inside of the car window, and the window was rolled up. We couldn't hear a thing without getting too close and revealing our dastardly deed. I did go to several shows, though, when I started dating. For some reason the windshield got steamed up a lot. Hmmm.
Our experience last night was much better than sneaking in, but I would only give it about an 8 out of 10. For starters, the theater closest to us that had the double feature we wanted was closed which we didn't find out about until we arrived. Fortunately there are two theaters near us and the other was showing the same double feature about a 10 minute drive from the first. We still arrived in plenty of time and that one was open. We got a great parking spot and were the only people in line at the concession stand. That really surprised me since the other place was closed. I expected a crowd, but I guess that's the direction drive-in's are going.
Anyway, we were excited to enjoy the experience, especially since we thought it was going to be raining all week, but there was a break in the rain last night. We left the car running with the air on (windows closed against mosquitoes) and thoroughly enjoyed the first movie. After a short break, the second movie started, but after about 20 or 30 minutes, the screen seemed be washed out. It was very difficult to see, especially in the night scenes. We thought at first that someone had a bright light on but finally realized what the problem was. Note to self: When checking the weather forecast, also check for the likelihood of fog.
All in all, though, we had a great time and I'm sure we'll be going back, hopefully sans fog.
|I've often heard it said that "Opinions are like noses - everyone has one and thinks theirs is the best." Personally, I'm not very interested in opinions. Oh, they're OK in casual conversation as long as the conversation stays civil. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a lot of civility around these days, at least not on social media or in the news.
I get a lot of my news from one of the online news sources and recently decided I was tired of seeing so many articles marked "opinion" so I changed my preferences to remove "opinion" articles. It worked refreshingly well that day, but the next day, the "opinion" articles reappeared and my preferences were back to including them. I've tried several times to remove them and they keep coming back. Now, I'm not really into all of the conspiracy theories, but I do wonder sometimes if it's just more profitable to get people stirred up by opinions.
I much prefer facts to opinions. I don't believe in a flat earth or alien invaders or even ghosts. I know there are plenty of people who do, but I just don't see any hard evidence to make things like those facts instead of opinions. Of course, I don't go around trying to convince anyone that their beliefs are wrong. I've tried that before and run into another old saying - "Don't confuse me with facts, my mind's made up."
And those are the facts as I see them - which means, of course, that's my opinion!
|With all of the rain, lately, the sewer has backed up into our basement along with the smell as you can probably imagine.
That reminds me of the story of the fellow who was napping on a park bench when some prankster smeared Limburger cheese under his nose. When he woke up he noticed the smell right away and started looking for the source. He sniffed the bench and it smelled terrible! He sniffed a nearby light pole and it smelled just as bad. Then he sniffed a person walking by and the smell was awful. The man said to himself, “The whole world stinks!”
Maybe sometimes when things aren’t going right, it’s just my attitude that’s stinking up the place. Well, that and the sewer!
|English can be a very difficult language, even for those of us who were born and raised in an English speaking country. I know sometimes our friends in England sometimes wonder if we Americans are even speaking the same language, but for the most part we understand each other pretty well. A few years back I taught some ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and gained an even better appreciation for those people trying to learn and use English.
It's hard enough just learning the words, but then to have to learn words that sound the same but are spelled and/or pronounced differently and have different meanings can seem impossible to someone new to the language. For example if I write the word "wind", did you think of air moving or what you might do with an old watch or alarm clock? And is "wound" what you did with that alarm clock or is it an injury?
Then of course there's always the problems with "your" and "you're" or "there" and "their" and "they're" as well as words like "unique" which is often used to mean "unusual" rather than "one of a kind". Even people who were taught English from childhood can have problems with finding the right word.
But that's where something that seems like a problem becomes something very, very good. With the rich history of English, borrowing and absorbing words from Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, German, Irish and so many others, there are so many "right" words to choose from, which is great for poets or novelists or journalists or anyone with something to say. We don't just have to say the sun is "bright". We can say "brilliant" or "dazzling" or "glaring" or several other words each with a different shade of meaning.
Now, I'm certainly not saying that other languages are in any way inferior. I don't know enough about other languages to say anything like that. I'm just saying I appreciate the beauty and diversity of the language I use and hope I continue to learn how to use it well.
|A couple of years ago, when I retired, we moved from a small (pop. 70,000) town in South Carolina to an even smaller (pop. 7,000) town in Ohio. Whenever I tell that to someone around here, the response is usually "Why?!?"
Of course, they're always thinking of the weather. Ohio is colder and lasts a little longer, but there's so much more to choosing where to live than that. I usually give the short answer, that it gets too hot in the summer in South Carolina and explaining that my wife and I are originally from Ohio, about 40 to 50 miles away and we found a really good deal on a house with a few acres, a stream, and some woods out back. It really is beautiful. Also, my wife's mother who is 95 lives within an hour drive so that was a big part of the decision.
But I really love the small town atmosphere. I got the town newspaper yesterday (free, supported by local businesses) listing the coming activities for the month including the community band concerts, a parade and a street fair.
Of course, no place is perfect, and we do miss our South Carolina home sometimes. After all, we lived there for about 40 years, but even after only a couple of years this place just feels like home.
|I've been around for a few years. To give you an idea how long, I joined the Air Force in 1969. That was, of course, during the Vietnam war which I'm sure was way before the time of many who might read this. It was also only 24 years after D-Day. I never actually saw combat during my time in the service, but I was constantly aware of many who did and the very real possibility that I could go at any time.
I took my physical for the service a few months before actually going into the Air Force, and while there I saw and briefly talked to a friend from high school who was going into the Army. Before I even went off to basic training that friend came back in a body bag. I went to his funeral shortly before leaving for Basic Training. That could just as easily have been me.
I worked as a computer operator at HQ Air Force in Texas for a few years. Yes, they had computers back then - big and difficult to operate, but computers nonetheless. One of the things I often saw was the listing of the thousands of names of combat fatalities. Then I spent about a year at a base in Ohio. One day, out of the blue, about half of the base was given a few hours notice and put on C5's to set up a new base in Thailand. Somehow I missed that too, but it could have been me.
I tell you all of that as background to tell you about something that happened a few days ago. Now, please understand that I have no regrets about being in the Air Force. I was proud to serve my country even if I spent four years concerned about what could happen. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I got a card in the mail inviting me to attend a "Veteran's Health Fair". It went on to say "Come use the VA services you earned." I've used some of the VA benefits before for some education and some house mortgages and appreciated those services, but I never used any health benefits. I knew there were VA hospitals but have always had good insurance and never went to one. Other than that I had no idea what was available, so when the day came, I drove the 30 minutes to the location.
I've been to other "fairs" so I arrived expecting to see booths set up with people giving out information and answering questions. Instead I was handed an application form with about ten pages to fill out, then was sent to a man who took the form and started entering the information into a computer and asking me questions as he went. Finally finished, I explained that I only wanted to know what options were available to me. He said, "Were you in combat in Vietnam or were you injured as a result of your service or is your current income below this amount?" I said no to all to which he replied "There's nothing we can do for you".
If they had put something like that on the card, I wouldn't have even gone, but now I felt like they thought I was trying to get something I didn't deserve.
My dad was in the Army during WWII but also never saw combat. I wonder if he ever was made to feel like that.
|Just heard something tonight that made me laugh out loud because of the irony. Some good irony is about as much fun as a good pun. Here's the story:
My son-in-law called and asked me to pick him up from work tonight because the guy that was supposed to give him a ride home had already left. I thought that was kind of rude, but when I picked him up I heard what happened.
It seems my son-in-law (an assistant manager) had to fill out paperwork for the police because of an attempted robbery at the place he works. Among many other things, this place sells electronic equipment and tonight the surveillance cameras at the store caught a guy trying to steal some surveillance cameras that they sell!
I think he's going to be spending the night at a place that has some really great security!