Friday, September 30, 2011

Really (really) Random Thoughts

   I'm a member on a couple of different forums. It often amuses me when I see a particularly amusing quotes in the signature line. Here are four that I sometimes see:

"Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life"...      Dante
"The problem with quotations on the Internet is that you can never tell if they're authentic"...      Abraham Lincoln

"Mumrff abroonnsh arff fringhet karfoomp"...       Helen Keller

"Never knock at Death's door. Just ring the bell and run away. He hates that!" ...  Methusula

   Yeah, I know. They may not be politically correct but I don't care... They're funny, huh?

   It's the end of September and Autumn is here. I didn't get to do a lot of the things that I would have liked this past summer. Sometimes life gets in the way of fun and you gotta do what you gotta do. You know?

   Now seriously:

   The recent death of the AlQueda leader Anwar al Awlaki (?), who had been under surveillance for upward of six months seems to have met his demise just when a few political points needed to be made in Washington, D.C. for Big O. Coincidence? Don't think so. A ruckus will be made since the guy was an American Citizen, regardless of his actions and politics, is it okay for the Government to assinate one of it's own on foreign soil? Really?

   Now that the economy is in the crapper, we see more and more inducements in the media to continue school or to go back to school for higher education. May as well keep the teachers working and the students away from the unemployment lines. That'll work...

   The border wars with the Mexican Drug cartels is reaching actual "Warlike" status as shooting deaths on both sides of the border with Mexico are on the increase. Let's put the jobless to work. This is all but a shooting war, undeclared as it is. Nothing that a bit of firepower wouldn't cure.

   The greening of left wing America. Everyone wants to "Save the Planet". Really? If we even tried to, we couldn't do the planet that much harm. What the environmentalists proclaim as a "Hole in the Ozone Layer" and "Global Warming" are natural occurrences that have happened before and will happen again. These are just a part of the natural life-cycle of planet Earth. It's just that no one was around the last time who knew what was happening. Studies of the rings in ancient Bristlecone Pine trees show that this has happened before, so let's not get our pantyhose in a bunch. (I wonder where that phrase came from?).

   I'm ashamed that I know where the phrase "Dog and Pony Show" originates. You hear it used all over in the media and in conversations from coast to coast. If everyone knew the origins they'd be ashamed to use it in public or mixed company (that dates me, right there).
   The origin: In the 30s and 40s in towns just over the Mexican border, where servicemen would go to spend their money whilst on leave, they would find a "Dog and Pony Show". That would involve those animals and a woman (usually an older prostitute) who really needed the money. Not a nice picture, but that's a dog and pony show. Now that you know, you can eliminate it from your vocabulary.

Take it from The Geezer: Sometimes folks do things for strange reasons that aren't always apparent. It pays to do a bit of homework to keep yourselves informed.

Edited: 10/7/11 to include 4th quote.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hollywood Movie Remakes

   I hate it when Hollywood comes out with a "Remake" of a previously made feature flick.

   The latest that I've seen advertised is for the "New Footloose" as if the old one was anything to write home about!

   Some movies that I can recall that have been "Remade" are these: "The Postman Always Rings Twice", "The Incredible Hulk", "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "Titanic" (under various names), "True Grit", the first three "Star Wars" movies were "Re-Introduced" with upgrades and previously deleted scenes. "Cleopatra" has been remade at least 3 times and I read that a 4th remake starring Angelina Jolie is coming up. I know. You can't wait.

   I'm sure that you can think of many more than I can since I'm a Geezer and my memory is slipping down a steep slope. (Say that 10 times real fast!)

   I turned the television on and watched a recent Science Fiction film that had a very familiar theme and then it struck me that it was a remake of "Dances With Wolves". I've seen this film about four times and this is the first time I made the connection. Both films are about a disenfranchised soldier who goes to the frontier and is accepted by the natives, falls in love with a native girl and finally fights against his own kind after being assimilated into the native culture. The film I'm talking about, of course is "Avatar".

   I actually liked both of these films and have them on VHS and DVD.

   There have been many films that are modern updates of Shakespeare plays but you can't really call them "remakes" since the media are different. I get it that new ideas are really scarce in Hollywood these days and they have to resort to the remake. I get that. Really!

   What I don't understand is why no one is making movies from any of the thousands of books that have strong and exciting stories that seem to be ideal for a film. 

   How many times have you read a book and thought, "Boy, someone should make a movie out of this"? It actually happened to a favorite book that I've read: "Jumper" by Steven Gould. The movie was so far from the original story so as to be unrecognizable. It sucked! It would have been better if they had made it word for word from the book!

Take it from The Geezer: The silver screen isn't what it used to be. It should be called the "Green Screen" because that's what the Hollywood movers and shakers are really after! Your green.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On Being a Veteran

   I am a veteran of the US Coast Guard. I served for four years, from 1967 to 1971.

   One time when coming back to my duty station from leave, a dirty little Hippie Chick threw a cup full of urine on me and called me a "Baby Killer" at the Oakland, California airport. She was arrested. Still, of all the good times and great duty stations I enjoyed, unfortunately, that memory is the one I'll always remember.

   The veterans of World War II and the Korean War have been dubbed the "Greatest Generation". A very well deserved title, in my opinion.

   Apparently I was a member of the "Baby Killer" generation. In fact the only baby I had contact with was one I helped deliver on a disabled sailboat in San Francisco Bay. He was fine the last I saw of him. He'd be about 41 now. Maybe it was you. Ask your mom.

   The young men and women serving in the armed forces today are called Heroes. They are Heroes and they deserve the recognition. The fact is, I have mixed feelings about the way they are treated. They deserve the attention but I'm jealous. I wish that instead of a cuppa urine, I had received a hug or a 'thank you'.

   Now for something that really upsets me. It's this: Non-Profit organizations that help vets and their families such as the Wounded Warrior Project, or the Jericho Project or Hire Heroes USA. Don't get me wrong. It doesn't upset me that these organizations and others like them exist. It upsets me that they are NEEDED!

   This country and it's leaders should be ashamed of themselves that these young men and women who have served and because of that service are in need of medical, financial and housing assistance have to rely on "The Kindness of Strangers" as Blanche DuBois sweetly put it. It's sad, but there it is.

   These vets handed their country a blank check, payable for up to and including their lives for the next four or two or six years. How many corporate executives or teenage dishwashers would tell their boss that they'd work for the next four years and if it became necessary, they'd give their lives for the employer? That's what these kids do and are doing every day.

   Many Vets are having to foot the bill for their own medical expenses for injuries received while in the service of their country. Why? Why do we have Vets who are homeless or out of work? Shameless!

   I've been very fortunate to have found gainful employment following my service. I have made a good living. I own my home and for the most part, I'm out of debt. Our country puts these kids in harm's way and in too many instances, turns it's back on them when they need help the most. It's a pretty one-sided arrangement, if you ask me.

   Addition - 9/23/11: Last night I watched the Letterman show. He interviewed USMC Sgt. Dakota Meyer who was just awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. His recuiter told him that he "didn't have what it takes to become a Marine". The Sgt saved the lives of 39 US and Afghani soldiers. The country needs more kids like Dakota Meyer.

Take it from The Geezer: The Government should stop paying $16 for a muffin and $10 for a cookie and put the money saved toward helping our Vets in need!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

These Things Really Drive Me Nuts!

   Everyone has their pet peeves.

   You know, those things that others do or say that just get under your skin. Those little things that make you just want to grab someone by the neck and choke them till they stop wiggling. Okay, maybe in your mind but not really... (unless no one was looking).

   Pet peeves usually fall into two categories:  Things people do and things people say. Let's talk about the things that people do that I find very annoying.

   Here in Nevada we have a lot of wide open space. Where I live is 70 miles from the next town over. Long straight stretches of road lie between here and there. 

   I hate it when another car passes me and they can see for a mile ahead that there is no other car coming but yet they find it necessary to pull directly in front of my vehicle causing me to have to slow down to keep from tailgating. Hate it. (It also seems like they're all from the Left Coast.)

   I hate it when I have to listen to one side of someone else's cell phone conversation. Why do they feel the need to inflict their perceived importance upon society as a whole and me personally?  Yes, I hate it.

   Another thing I really hate is when some young (whippersnapper) kid drives around slowly with their stereo blaring through their sub-woofers so loud that you can see their entire vehicle vibrate with the noise! How do they keep the fenders from vibrating loose? Yeah, I hate that too!

   Let's go to the things that people say that irritate me (time to open the flood gates!).

   I feel that I've had a pretty comprehensive education. Through high school and a few years of college. An education.

   Listen to the commercials on the tube for on-line colleges and universities. The announcers always pronounce the word 'Education' as if it has a 'G' or a 'J' in it: "Ed-Ja-Kay-Shun"!
   Really? It's "Ed-You-Kay-Shun" you morons! Get one!
   It really bothers me when some folks misuse words. They think the word means one thing when it actually means something else.
   As an example: The word "Decimate" as in "The enemy army was decimated". The literal meaning of the word "Decimate" means to reduce something by 10%.
   Common usage makes it out to mean that a force was completely wiped out. Maybe so, but it sounds strange to me.

   The words "Continual" and "Continuous" do not mean the same thing. They are not interchangeable. Another example of this is "Farther" and "Further". The one that really gets me is the misuse of "Imply" and "Infer". The speaker implies and the listener infers. Simple. Learn it!

   The last example of word misuse is one that I hear so often that I almost don't even pay attention to it anymore: "Difficult" and "Hard". Hard is almost always substituted for difficult. "Difficult" applies to a strenuous or non-easy task. "Hard" refers to a tactile sensation. Otherwise many men would get difficult-ons. See? they're not interchangeable.

   That wasn't too hard, was it?

   Okay, this last example has to do not so much with the words themselves but with the way they're delivered. I'm referring to what I call the "Declarative-Interrogative" statement.

   You've heard it before. Lots of times. You may even use it yourself. It occurs when someone makes a statement but ends it with the uprising lilt at the end which would indicate that it was a question when it actually isn't. As if the speaker is telling you something in a way that they're not quite sure that you understand them, or are following their train of thought and they're constantly checking to see if you are still with them.
   It's difficult to actually write an example of this kind of speech since the printed word doesn't lend itself well to speech inflections. The best example I can give is to watch the movie "Valley Girl". Yeah, it's the valley girl accent.

   I'm very sure that I will think of an entire new list of pet peeves as soon as I post this and that in itself is one of my pet peeves. I'm a Geezer and my memory isn't all that it once was. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember things - difficult, too!

   Take it from The Geezer: Old age isn't what it's cracked up to be but at least I'm retired!

Edit: 9/16/11 - I knew I'd think of more!

   Another thing I hate is when at some sporting event, some "Celebrity" sings the US National Anthem and puts their own "interpretation" on it. Usually making it sound like some Rock or Soul version. Sing it like it's written and show some respect! Please?



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Them So-Called "Social Networks"

   If you have a computer (you do) and you're reading this (you are) you will see at the bottom of my posts, links to the "Social Networks". You know the ones. They even made a movie about the biggest one. It did well.

   These sites are the foundation of social interaction for literally millions of people. They enable the younger generations (or any generation) to interact in a way that the world has never before seen. A person in rural America can have "friends" in every country of the world. What a miraculous device!

   Have you seen the car commercial on TV (in the USA) where a girl's parents are out having fun with their friends while the daughter sits at home in front of her computer mocking her parents. She says: "I have 632 'friends'. This is living".

  Sorry. That is not living. That is becoming a shut-in slave to a computer screen. The Social Networks have enabled many folks to abstain from true social interaction in favor of a few icons on a screen and a bit of text. These are called friends. In my opinion, if you can't shake another person's hand or look into their eyes as you speak, you shouldn't call them your friends.

   How many times have we heard of underage children falling prey to someone they met on the Internet in some chat room? You really never know who you're talking to. You just don't.

   For all you know, I could be some under-tall senior citizen from Nevada... Oh yeah. I am... I could also be an internationally famous celebrity and have more money that Croesus (I wish!). The point is, I could be anyone. Lucky for you, I'm just me.

   I watched a program yesterday ( The Dr. Phil Show - I'm retired. I have a lot of free time, okay?). He featured a school teacher who was the victim of a couple of students who had used one of the Social Networks to spread vile rumors about the her. She was suing the students and their parents.

   The question was raised: "Why do you have to sue? Why can't this be settled through the school disciplinary system?"  The answer, of course is that if this had happened 25 years ago and the incident was based upon a few paper notes being passed in the classroom, it could have been handled in a low-key manner. 

   The Internet makes it difficult to turn a blind eye. Paper notes can be stopped. The Internet makes it possible to spread idle gossip to a world wide audience. Unfortunately, most everyone will believe what they read on the Internet. Remember that everyone who has access to a computer can have access to everything you write.


   I started my Blog just a few days ago and I've already had readers from Canada, Germany and India. (Wow! I'm Famous)  Once you write something and press the "Send" or "Submit" button on your computer it becomes the personal knowledge of everyone who has access to a computer. I'm here to tell you that there's a lot of computers out there.

   Listen to The Geezer: If you don't want everyone to know your secrets, and everyone has them, don't put them on your computer and push "Send". Also, please be careful who you share your life with. If you haven't met them in person, they're not really your friends.

Really, they're not.


Phone Drones - The Curse of the 21st Century!

   Back in the olden days, way back before the turn of the century, some evil idiot-savant invented Cell Phones. The curse of mankind! Now we have what I call the Phone Drones. Those people who go through life without seeing or interacting with their fellow human beings except through their cell phones. The word drone refers to the worker honey bee who goes through life doing the same thing, without thinking, without change. Just doing what is programmed in it's DNA.

   The Phone Drones.


   When telephones used to be attached to the wall with wires, I never even thought that it would be a good idea to have a phone with me 24/7/365. I didn't feel the need to be in continual (if not continuous) touch with the rest of the world. If I needed to talk to someone and they were not within earshot, I would go home and call them.
   In an emergency, I would ask the nearest person if I could use their home phone. It was rare if someone would refuse to let you. It was an emergency, after all. In some cases, they'd call for you if their house was unkempt or someone was hanging out in front of the TV in their underwear, drinking beer.

   Today, it's rare to find someone who doesn't have a cell phone on their person. Even children have them! Some folks have two. Some don't even have a "Home Phone" (the kind with wires attached). They rely solely on their cell phones for human contact. Some Phone Drones would rather call someone before they will get up and walk to the next room to talk face to face! Scary... very scary.

   And wierd.

   Before you get the idea that I'm an anachronism and out of touch, I should tell you that I do own a cell phone. It's usually off and I mainly use it for emergencies or to "Check In" with my wife when I travel - it's one of the rules. If you're married, you'll understand.

   What I don't get is the apparent need for everyone and their brother to be talking to one another while they are driving, walking, watching TV, sitting on the toilet, watching a movie in a theatre, eating at a restaurant or while they are in line at the post office or at a store.  What is so urgent that these Phone Drones can't take two steps without a cell phone glued to their ear.
   What the heck are they talking about? Who has that much to say to someone?

   Don't even get me started about those so-called Bluetooth ear-pieces that many are addicted to. They look like something out of a science fiction movie. It's not going to be too long before before we'll see cell phones surgically implanted in your skull, then we'll see people walking around seemingly talking to themselves. (I'm there now and I don't even have my cell turned on!)

   The latest cell phones are so much more than telephones. They are cameras (still and video), they contain games that you can play when you really want to aggravate a senior citizen, they have "Apps" (applications) that allow you to turn off the lights in your house, pay for a pizza or a cup of coffee, find your way to wherever you need to be, connect to the Internet and the list goes on and on and on. These Drones are connected to life. Yeah, right!

   The thing about it is this: While these Drones are on their phones, they can't do much of anything else very well. Their driving is impaired, they can't concentrate on detailed tasks. They should not handle heavy machinery while talking on a cell phone. The more and more someone is on a cell phone, whether talking to someone or playing a game or whatever, is time that they are disconnected from reality. They have no sense of what is going on around them. This is what makes them dangerous, to themselves and others.

   Whenever I see a Phone Drone driving a car in traffic it scares me to death. Especially if I have to pass them or heaven forbid, I have to get in front of them! I count myself lucky when I don't get killed around them.

   Many states have outlawed driving while talking on cell phones. This creates Phone Drone Free Zones (you heard it here first!).

   If it weren't against the FCC rules and laws, it would be cool to carry a cell phone jamming device which would disable all cell phone signals within 100 feet of you. Just think of the POWER you would have to make your life so much more pleasant! Awesome!

   Let me suggest a two common courtesy rules for Phone Drones.

1. Phones off while in movie theatres, restaurants or anywhere there is anyone whom you might annoy.

2. Phones off while you are driving.

   Well that about covers it. Keep your phone off except for emergencies.

   Real emergencies!


   No one wants to hear one side of any conversation you might have. If you have to use your phone in public seek some sort of privacy before you begin to jabber away like a magpie. Why?  Because it's just plain rude!

   Maybe someone could erect small cell phone shelters on every street so the Phone Drones can talk in privacy. They could call them... Phone Booths. I'm like... such a genius!

   Take it from The Geezer: Don't annoy me with your cell phone conversation. I'm a geezer and I will call you out and embarass you in public...if that's even possible these days!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I'm So Old That...

   sandwich (I'm so old that I remember as a kid, adults using the words "Whippersnapper", "Holey Moley" and "The Bee's Knees".

   I remember when a radio was the size of a small fridge and it was the only form of electronic entertainment in the house.

   I remember when telephones were attached to the wall with wires and to use them you had to call the operator and tell her the number you wanted to dial and she would then connect you. If the switchboard (look it up) was busy, she'd connect your call and then call you back with your party on the line. This was usually only when you were calling someone in another city.
   We had a 3 digit phone number (233). It was a party line. When the phone rang for you the phone would ring twice, then three times and three times again (233) That's how you knew the call was for you. If you wanted to find out what your neighbors were up to, you could just lift the receiver and listen in on their conversation. That's a party line - shared by the whole neighborhood. No privacy, no secrets! It made you close to your neighbors. If you had a death in the family, your neighbor was there with a chicken casserole before you hung up.

   I remember the first TV we had was the size of a medium suitcase and it had a round 6" diameter screen and had a black and white picture. There were only three channels: ABC, NBC and CBS. There was no HBO or ESPN. No sir! Whatever the big three had on - that's what you watched or you read a book or listened to the radio or you went to bed early.

   I was born during the Truman Administration. (Now there was a President with a pair!)

   When I was a kid I got an allowance of 25 cents per week and after buying all the candy and snacks I could eat during that week, I'd still have a few cents left! Things were much cheaper back then, obviously. The store on the corner, Cogswell's Grocery Store (I can remember that but I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday - getting old!) had a jar or two full of penny candy. Not a penny per piece but a penney for as much as you could get in your hand and still get your hand out of the jar!

   I recall as a five year old, making trips to the ice box for my Dad and my Uncle Ted for cold beers and taking the empties to the trash - but they weren't really empty. They always had a kid-sized swallow left and I got it! I remember sitting in the driveway dumping hand-fulls of dirt over my head and into my hair, drunk as a skunk!

   I remember when gasoline was 13 cents per gallon and the guy would fill your tank, wash your windows, check your oil, radiator water and tire pressure. That's why they called them service station. Now they're gas stations and we're lucky to get a fill-up for under $50 bucks! Ask Netflix to send you a copy of  "Back to the Future". Check out the service station  scene. It seems funny now, but that was the way it really was! Honest!

   I remember my Dad coming home from the Korean War. I was maybe five years old. We (my Mom and I) were at the Salt Lake City Airport. My dad came through the door along with a bunch of other Servicemen. Mom said "There's your Daddy" I ran to the nearest guy, grabbed his leg crying "Daddy, Daddy"! It was the wrong man and I'm told he had quite a panicked look on his face.
   When Mom steered me to the right guy I was happy to hug him. Hey, I was a little kid. I hadn't seen him for a few years and my memory was kinda like it is now. Spotty at best. I'l bet the other guy had some explaining to do to his wife or girlfriend!

   I remember when my little sister came home from the hospital for the first time and the first time I got to hold her (Be careful - Don't drop her!) I dropped her on her head. (It really explains a lot!)

   I remember our family having an ice box. Not a refridgerator but an actual ice box that you had to put a block of ice in to keep your food cold.

   I remember going to my Maternal Grandfather's (Grandpa Charlie) funeral when I was 6. I was heartbroken.

   I remember that the only bread that you could buy at the grocery store was un-sliced. I know why the phrase "The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread" is what it is.

   I remember as a kid we never worried about getting hurt while playing, we never wore helmets when riding our bikes or horses, we never worried about germs, we never went in the house during the summer unless it was dinnertime and we drank from the garden hose - a lot. We ate green apples right off the tree (Not Granny Smith apples but un-ripe apples - hard and sour but good) all day long. Worms and all.
   I remember making a raft with my friend out of an old door, a couple of car inner-tubes and some baling twine. We took a trip down the Logan River (Logan, Utah) at least for a mile, without helmets, life jackets or adult supervision. I didn't even know how to swim at that time. The immortality of youth!

   I remember when you could hitchhike from anywhere to anywhere and felt safe doing so. I remember when you could trust your fellow men. When you could trust strangers. My family moved to California when I was eleven years old. We stayed for a while with my Uncle and Aunt's family in Hawthorne, Calif. My cousins and I would get up at dawn (in the summer), put our swimsuits on under our cut-off jeans, grab a PB&J) a towel and hitch-hike to the beach. We'd spend all day there and hitch-hike home at dusk. Never had a problem, never harmed, never molested. It was free and convenient transportation. All you had to have was at least one thumb.
   I remember when I first learned about the real way that babies were made and wondered why any self respecting girl would let a guy do THAT to her and why a  guy would even want to. Eewww! Now I wonder just what the heck I was thinking!!???

   I remember that if  I wanted something I had to work for it. I don't ever remember asking my parents for something I wanted (not needed) and have them buy it for me. They'd always have me do extra chores in order to make some money so I could buy it myself. Quite often this would take months.
   When I was 9, I wanted a Schwinn bicycle that cost $24. A fortune! I spent the entire summer catching night crawlers (worms) to sell as bait to fishermen for 10 cents a dozen! At the end of the Summer I bought my bike and had almost $3.00 left. That was over 3,200 worms!
   I know that things change as we get older. Society changes, perceptions change, values change. Not always for the better. I sometimes wish for a simpler time. For a time when trust and honesty were assumed of your neighbor. Nowadays your neighbor has to prove him/herself to you before you are completely able to give your trust. Even then most people have just a nodding acquaintance with those who live on either side of them. Sad!
   When I was a kid, the neighbors were at our house or we were at theirs at least once or twice each week. We were a community and a neighborhood in the old sense, not just folks who live in the house next door that you see come and go without even knowing their names.

   Take it from The Geezer: When an old-timer starts to tell you about the good-old-days, stop and listen. You'll likely learn something and you'll make a good friend!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cats! I Hate Cats!

   Yeah, I know. Lots of folks LOVE the furry little vermin. Not me.

   Maybe I should explain myself. The cats I hate are feral cats. Those cats that society has abandoned and that have reproduced without end. Those that are foraging on their own. Wild cats... Vermin!

   Let's go back in time about 10 years. We had a pair of kittens that we fed so that they would stick around our home and kill mice. We live out in the country - 7 miles from the nearest town. We have mice.

   Eventually the cats were able to get under our house where they went forth and multiplied like... mice or mink or mathematicians. After a year or so we had a lot of cats. The most we could count at any one time was 17. To me, that's a lot! To a psycho 'Cat Lady" that's just breeding stock.

   We stopped feeding them in hopes that they would just go elsewhere to live. No such luck. Then we noticed that they were getting 'pesky'. They got into the heating ducts under the house and started running the length of the house in their little tin tunnels. We'd hear their little claws tappy tappy tappy on the tin. They'd fight in there. They'd procreate in there - often. We finally flushed them out by dumping a few moth balls down through the heat vents but we suffered from the odor for a few weeks also.  They tore up the telephone lines under our house, so we had to call AT&T to re-route the lines so we would have phone service. $$$

   We trapped them in the 'live catch' traps so as not to hurt the poor little beasts. I would transport them to ranches in the area and turn them loose. Just a couple of them came back. Other times I would take them out in the wilderness to let them make friends with the coyotes. They didn't come back. Often times, I would take them into town and let them go there. I still recognize a couple of them on occasion.

   The cats that came back were trapped a second time. I made sure that the didn't come back again. Sorry but they are vermin.

   We haven't had any cats around here for a couple of years but getting them "Taken Care Of" has been a chore costing countless hours and Dollars. Because of them we now heat our home with electric space heaters during the Winter. We have no furnace. They destroyed the duct work.

   Anything that was vertical under the house was used as a scratch post and was destroyed. This included the phone lines (as mentioned above) and the insulation on the water line coming into the house, which promptly froze the next winter. It's all repaired now, thank you very much.

   I have only had one pet during my adult life and that was a dog named Gunny. He was half Chow Chow and half German Shepherd. Great friend. He was as loyal as they come and smart. I got him from my little sister who could no longer keep him. He passed away a few years after I took him from my Sis. If you get the impression that he was a family member, well... he was.

   Cats, on the other hand - not so much.

   Take it from The Geezer: If you want a friend, get a dog. If you want a headache... well, you know.


9/11 - Ten Year Anniversary

   The 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is just around the corner.

   The NatGeo channel on Dish Network has been playing several programs dedicated to the events of that day and the days following. Several other channels will have similar programs that will air.

   This is just my humble opinion, but we need to watch these. We need to be reminded what religious extremism and fanaticism can lead to.

   I've often wondered what is behind the thinking of those who planned and perpetrated these attacks. Everyone agrees that hatred plays a big role. I agree but I also think that there is something more at work here.

   We in the USA have grown up with the freedoms that our founding fathers sacrificed, fought and died for. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to keep and bear arms, freedom of assembly. We've been fighting wars since that time to keep these freedoms and we are today and will in the future.

   Some countries do not have these rights. These countries tell their citizens what to do, what to think and what to believe.  Some countries are theocracies, that is, a country that is led by religious leaders.

   In our own country we have seen the "True Believers" who warp their religious credos into what they believe 'their' scriptures mean. Many use their interpretations to fleece those who follow them. Others use their beliefs to instigate violence, bigotry or hate against others. The splinter sects of those who planned the 9/11 attacks and those attacks that followed around the world have warped their religion to believe that theirs is the only true religion and all others are infidels and must be eradicated.

   Besides hatred, I think that there is a lot of envy behind the attacks. We have a system that works. We have the ethos of live and let live and it works. I have friends of different faiths and friends that only believe in what they can see and hear and touch. They are still my friends and their beliefs are what make them unique.

   When you are born in a desolate sandbox and spend your formative years listening to the religious leaders telling you the same thing from day one, when you are brought up in an insular society with no exposure to other faiths and points of view, it's easy to understand how extremism can develop.

   You want to be different. You want to be valued as a person. You want to be an individual. What better way than to listen to someone who spouts firery rhetoric and is telling you that you are God's warrior and you can live with Him in glory forever. You just have to strap on a vest full of explosives and blow yourself up on a bus in a neighboring country inhabited by unbelievers who need to die anyway.

   I pity those who have such a closed view of the world, who believe that it has to be their way or death.

   This is an awful big planet that we live on and there are a great many people who live here. We need to learn to get along or we'll really make a mess of things.

   I know that this has nothing to do with being a geezer, but I have my opinions too and this is something that everyone needs to consider and learn.

Take it from The Geezer: We're all in the same boat so let's all sit down and stop rocking it or we'll all drown.

Friday, September 2, 2011

December 2012: The End Of The World As We Know It!

Experts tell us that the Mayan Calendar predicts the end of the world on December 21(?), 2012.

They know this because that's when the Mayan Calendar ends. Well that just makes sense.

Or does it?

Our calendar ends on December 31st just about every year. A new tax year starts so I can see that a lot of folks would rather not have to face THAT prospect, so why doesn't the world end every year on 12/31? Well I don't have the answer to that but somehow, it just keeps on keeping on, year after year.

Were the Mayans smarter than we are? If they were, then where are they? Huh?

I think that the reason that their calendar ran out was that they just ran out of space on that big round rock. If they were so smart, why didn't they invent paper?

You'd think that the ancient aliens would have given them a notebook and a few pens or at least have taught them how to pound out some wood fibers, soak them in some lye water and lay them out to dry, but no! They just showed them how to build some pyramids before thy flew off to Egypt. At least they taught the Egyptians how to make papyrus!

Seriously, the world isn't going to end in 2012. You heard it here first and when it doesn't end remember to give me full credit.

Words of wisdom from The Geezer: Don't believe everything you see and hear on TV!

Welcome to my world!

     Man, I'm too old for this. I never thought that I'd live to the ripe age of 63. I've been retired since the end of 2010.

     When I was in my late teens, I saw 2001 - A Space Oddity. I started to figure how old I would be in 2001 (53 if my math was right). I made it to that one but that was fairly easy.

     Back in the day, after the assassination of JFK they (whomever "they" are) said that the full record of the details of the Warren Commission wouldn't be made public for 50 years. That's coming due in 2013 and I think I'm gonna make it to that one, too, unless all the doomsayers are right this time and the world ends in December of 2012. (more on this later)

     In my mind I'm still 21 or so. In actuality, I have arthritis, diabetes and I'm under tall. I see doctors on a regular basis and I need a machine to help me breathe while I sleep. I take all of this in stride because I have no choice.

     I still enjoy many of the things that I did in my younger days. I still ride a motorcycle. I still like to go camping and fishing and I go hunting occasionally. I still like to watch TV and read books. I'm a college graduate, a former law enforcement officer and I'm retired from the Postal Service without having gone postal (It was touch and go there for the last 6 months). I'm also a veteran having served proudly in the United States Coast Guard.

     I'm married and have been for almost 35 years. My wife, for the most part thinks I'm nuts. The rest of the time she tries to get me to do yard work (which I hate because of allergies), cooking, cleaning, driving and hauling bags to and from the car when we travel. We love each other and these are the things you do for someone you love. That's one of the things I've learned in the last 34 years. It's what I've been taught.

     In coming posts I will let you in on a few secrets that I've been privy to, things that I've discovered and experiences that have shaped my life and way of thinking.  I'll give you my opinions whether you want them or not on a wide variety of subjects.  Until that time...

     The Geezer wants you to be safe and keep your loved ones close, cuz you just never know...