Concern, Albeit Cautionary

Today, on Facebook,  there was another article that spoke of a local police drug bust. This particular bust was made based on the need for police to conduct a “parole search”. “Parole is the early release of a prisoner who agrees to abide by certain conditions”, in other words, agrees to behave himself. When the police showed up, the 31 year old couple was seen throwing things out of a window, which were later recovered and found to be drugs and drug paraphernalia. Obviously they were not in parole compliance, it was a good bust, all is well. The article ended, however, with “Do you suspect there is a drug house in your neighborhood? Click here to report it.” This is where my concern begins.

I lived through WWII and as an 5 to 10 year old, lived through the infamous Gestapo and all its dastardly dirty dealings. As an impressionable young boy it affected me deeply, still does to this day. I was appalled by their brutal actions so much that once on a vacation train ride from Munich to Lucerne two German Police burst into my closed compartment shouting “Achtung”, which scared me half to death, requiring minutes to recover, (True Story).

I believe that we have the right and obligation to call police if we suspect drug dealings or other nefarious activities are going on in our neighborhood. I also strongly believe that the police then have the responsibility to prove that there is a legal reason to enter and search the neighbors home and not just act on the suspicions of the reporting neighbor. I’m relatively sure this is the case, but more and more of these posts are showing up on Facebook, and I sure would hate to have them become common place and abused and have Heinrich Himmler bounce through my front door unannounced based on a vindictive complaint from a neighbor I might have pissed-off somehow.

As Americans we take all this for granted, because we fought for it and defend it every day.

EEEeeeeK A Mouse, In This Case A Yorkie

I have planted fruit trees on my rural property hoping for the occasional pear or an apple. This year 10 apples appeared on my new apple tree. I went on a weeks vacation and when I returned they were gone, and four other fruits that I planted were broken and stripped of their leaves. Those pesky deer were at it again. I decided I would try and run them off every time I saw them, I had to do something to make them feel unwelcome.

One morning I walked by my front bay window, and there were two brazen deer, a mother and her yearling, standing on my front lawn, as if they owned the place. I burst out my front door, along with my seven pound Yorkshire Terrier, and began shouting. My Yorkie Ike, (named after Dwight David Eisenhower) took off like a shot yapping after my two, now frightened out of their skins, cervine intruders. It was a site to watch, two hundred plus pounds of forest denizens scurrying away from a seven pound deerstalker. When it was over the deer, in fast retreat, had hopped the fence and Ike strolled triumphantly home from his latest enemy encounter.

It started me thinking. Two, one hundred pound plus wild beasts fear-stricken by an admittedly aggressive seven-pounder. How does that happen? The large animal afraid of everything, the midget afraid of nothing. Ike’s eyes are on the front of his head, the sure sign of a predator. Deer’s eyes are on the sides of their heads which is typical of prey. Is it a predator/prey thing? Is that it? Yorkies were bred to keep the mines of England rat free. They never came out of the mines. Is it a survival thing? When Ike sees something he instinctively runs at it with the intent to kill, my Border Collie, on the other hand, runs from danger until he has had enough time to stop and assess his situation and plan his next course of action. Is it a fight or flight thing?

This two hundred and forty pound human is scared to death of a two gram arachnid. Maybe I should try and figure that out first.

Independence Day

Independence is defined as “the fact of being independent”. The definition of independent is someone or something that is free from the influence or control of another. An example of independent is someone who lives on their own and supports them self.

Of course Independence Day was the name we gave the day we fought for and won our independence from British Rule. Starting in 1773 with the Boston Tea Party, America’s first major act of defiance against the all powerful British King George III, the Thirteen Colonies began their ten year battle for self rule, ending in the Treaty of Paris, on September 3, 1883. The story of that ten year period defines who we are as Americans. Thirteen individual Colonies, with their individual alliances and allegiances, had to first come together, then fight a unified war for American soil, and then finish off all ties fighting battles on the high seas before independence was finally achieved.

Some 6,800 Americans were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, and upwards of 20,000 were taken prisoner. It is believed that at least an additional 17,000 deaths were as the result of disease, including about 8,000–12,000 who died while prisoners of war. There was a definite price paid for Independence.

Since  that time many Americans have fought and died to insure that we maintain our independence from all tyranny. Any threat to independence is a threat to the United States, because we stand for independence, we are the poster child for freedom from tyranny. The American flag is the symbol for that awesome, world wide responsibility, and as Americans we strongheartedly and willingly shoulder that responsibility.

Cherish your freedom and independence, revere the Flag, and all it stands for, and remember those who paid the price.

Now you see it… Now you don’t. What are we……the Taliban?

The Budda of Bayan

The Buddas of Bayan in Afghanistan were crafted between 507 and 554 AD. The smaller was Shamama (“Queen Mother”) and stood 35 meters (115 Feet) tall; and the larger, Salsal (“light that shines through the universe”) stood 53 meters (174 Feet) high. These were magnificent examples of  the Gandhara style of statue construction. In 2001 the Taliban blew them to smithereens. They first used aircraft and tanks, to no avail, and finally a truck load of TNT did the job. POOF! Priceless history gone to mankind for eternity, all because one dumb-ass Mullah decided to do it. Mullah Omar spread his hatred through Islam.

We are tearing down statues all across the United States for reasons no wiser or convincing than dumb-ass Mullah Omar used. Today I read that the indigenous community is very upset with President Trump for wanting to hold a rally at Mount Rushmore, where similar edifices to the Buddas of Bayan reside. Rushmore eulogizes four great Presidents. One of those Presidents fought to free us from British Rule. One of those Presidents wrote our Declaration of Independence, the foundation of life in America. One of those Presidents fought to end slavery. One of those Presidents was the leader of the then Progressive Movement and a Conservationist who championed National Parks and the eternal preservation of our native lands. The indigenous community labels those Presidents as “Disgusting Images of White Supremacy”.

It doesn’t take much of a genius to understand the magnificence of statuary, but it does take a major dumb-ass to tear a statue down for fear it is a current threat to our society.

I’m a Normalist

Today it seems that everyone needs an identity. “I identify as a……………………person”, is a common response these days. Growing up, I was completely aware of big dogs and little dogs; black, yellow, brown and white humans; fat cats and skinny cats; mens rooms, ladies rooms and unisex rooms; colored and white water fountains (for a brief period in my life); tall, short, fat, skinny, hairy, bald, pretty, not so pretty people, natives and foreigners and everything in-between in my sphere of awareness. I kind of thought that everything was normal, the way it was, part of the scene, what was happening.

I identify as a NORMALIST person. A Normalist person is one who believes something to be the normal state of things, not requiring remediation. I don’t give a rats ass how you identify, you are who you are…………….normal.

Living in a Third World Country

I’m living in a third world country 217 miles north of San Francisco, just off the I-5 in Redding California. My internet speed averages 12.5 Mbps, and my power goes off on such a regular basis that I had to install a 20Kw standby generator, and a 500 gal propane tank to power it. My internet (partial) provider is AT&T and my electiricity (partial) provider is PG&E.

The summer hasn’t even officially started and already PG&E has put us through a 24 hour power outage. Last evening, it was still light out, the power went off in the middle of Season 6, Episode 2 of Ray Donovan. When we watch Ray Donovan at 12.5 Mbps, on AT&T Broadband, we watch the little round circle go around almost as long as you watch the show. Every 15 minutes everything stops, the little round circle starts going around, and 30 seconds later you get a message the internet is SLOW. Typically at that point we go through a series of button pressing and power on/off exercises, (you know, “Turn off the power to the modem, count to 10 and plug it in again.”).

Last night we were treated to something new, something to break the monotony, the screen just went black. I dutifully began pressing buttons, pulling power plugs, but nothing happened. “Something’s wrong”, I thought. I concluded that we had been treated to a Bi-Fecta, a Double Whammy, a One-Two punch. PG&E and AT&T teamed up for a WTF.

We Third Worlders pay the same, if not more than you folks in the Real World for all these modern conveniences like electricity and broadband. You would think that there is some sort of obligation, on the part of our provider’s AT&T and PG&E, to provide us with similar quality of service. Well that’s what we thought too, but we have come to find out that they are the only game in our neck of the woods and their answer is “take it or leave it”. What is this Thrid World of Redding, California. coming to?

!!!News Flash Gavin – Climate Change Is Here!!! Has Been For The Last 4.6 Billion Years.

“At least 75 major temperature swings in the last 4,500 years.”

Gavin…….there have been at least 75 major temperature swings in the last 4,500 years, the graph above shows 13 of them. As much as you would have us think; the earth does not revolve around California, nor the Governors Mansion, nor your self anointed fat little head. The earth wobbles and revolves on an axis that, in its imperfection, is causing all sorts of issues. The plates move, the magma spews, the Sahara becomes Eden every 20,000 years or so, and living objects on earth adapt or perish. You talk about Climate Change as if it is stoppable, and you are the only person on Earth  that can accomplish it……. Well with exception of that other idiot AOC.

President Trump chastised you for not taking care of California’s forests last week, and you cried “You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation.” Climate Change is inevitable, it has gone on for 4.6 Billion (with a B) years. As a practical man, the President has asked you to understand climate change and to learn to live with it. We can all head for cooler climes or we can get busy learning how to live with the one we’ve got. For God’s-Sake, California will burn to the ground a thousand times before you can spend enough money to alter Climate Change.

As always, your mouth continues to motor on, and somehow, by default, you are always part of the conversation. I suggest you press the “mute” button, and follow in your predecessor’s footsteps and join a monastery somewhere and do some deep soul searching. You might find out that you are not the center of the universe after all and that you can really do some good for society as a whole (not just your misguided constituency).  See the real problems, Gavin. Climate Cycles are longer than the next news cycle, or the next election cycle. Start making REAL DECISIONS.

D-Day – And What it Means

It seems so long ago, 75 years does, and yet it feels like only yesterday that Mom, Dad, Brother John and I sat in front of our RCA radio listening to the reports, looking at maps, which were the front page of every newspaper in those days of “Can our boys do it?, Can we win? Will Ike win the day?”. So many fears, prayers, joys and sorrows were launched from the shores of England that day, and everyone in the world stood still, waiting for the verdict of the “Longest Day”.

That “bastard Hitler” was beginning to feel the sting of Allied determination. He was beaten in Africa, he was beaten in Italy, he was beaten on the Eastern Front and he had one last chance, England and the Western Front to make his final stand. On that momentous day over 150,000 sea sick Allied soldiers (From England, Canada and the United States) charged from the LST’s; wading 200 yards with full pack in the chest deep Channel surf; then through 200 yards of mines, hedgehogs exposed beaches, runnels, razor wire; then 200 yards of open beach, in a hail of crossfire, and then scale 100 to 170 foot tall cliffs to accomplish the days mission and secure the blood stained beaches code named Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah. Close your eyes and make that run in your minds eye, hear the bullets whizzing by, feel the cannon and mortar concussion, smell the cordite, hear the yells and screams, experience the fear. My God what those boys went through. Canada gave 1,000, England gave 2,700 and we gave 6,600 of our courageous young men, most under 20 years old, to the fight that day and 6,500 gallons of prescious young blood, soaked those god forsaken sands.

My wife and I toured those hallowed grounds back in 1978. I tried to film the white crossed graveyard at Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. Before I could pan 10 feet of that sacred ground, my lens fogged up and I began sobbing uncontrollably. I dropped to my knees, I could only cry for those wonderful boys I never knew, but loved like family. It gave me peace.

Today there are 450,000 (RRS Sunday Supplement 6/2/19) of those heroic men that marched to victory across the D-Day Beaches remaining today. Most in their nineties. They are dying at the the rate of 362 per day. As an American, you should travel to Normandy and pay homage. If you can’t do that, seek out one of those remaining heros (Start at the Veterans Groups in your Town or City), shake his hand and thank him for giving you everything you are today, and pray for those you can’t thank personally. You’ll be very glad you did.

How Did This Happen

How did we get from a little red hat saying “Make America Great Again” to a smear campaign calling our President and others racists for wearing it.

I’ll tell you what I think. There is something called a news cycle, the media act of reporting on a single subject or event from beginning to end. A typical news cycle runs for 24 hours. There are some that go on for days, weeks, months and even years. SOTU speech is an example of a 24hr cycle. Roger Stone examplifies a week cycle, Beto is an example of a month cycle, Robert Mueller is an example of a year(s) cycle. There is a singular cycle that carries on forever, “Bashing Trump”. Trying to bring down President Trump has become a media epidemic, an internal disease so powerful that the media can’t help itself, spreading a disease that has no cure. I don’t even think that President Trump’s demise would stop the insanity. It is a shameful situation the Media has gotten itself and our country into.

I have been saying to myself, “Keep it up media, it is only a matter of time before you are exposed for what you are” or “Hell I’m going to die soon, and why should I give a rats ass”, but that is no way to feel and think. I have grandchildren that will have to navigate this murkey bog, and they need a strong moral compass to get through it. “Make America Great Again” should go a long way to keeping and even keel.

 

 

 

 

 

A Few Of My Fa-vor-it Things

Teeth into the wind

There are two things (other than the usual exclusions, like wife, friends and family) for which I have a true passion, and they are words and dogs. Words and dogs are both unconditional, loyal and steadfast.

Recently this dog came into my universe and showed me the meaning of the word INTREPID, by bravely traveling 4,000+ miles by air, through blizzards, reroutings and delays and landing without complaint in a strange setting, giving and looking for love with every step of her grand entrance at SFO United Receiving . As I look at this picture and roll the word INTREPID around in my brain I wonder if I am using enough of a word to properly translate what I wanted say about her. A quick GOOGLE has put my fears to rest.

Take a minute and read each of these synonomic-descriptors in turn and as you say each word slowly to yourself, look at her picture.
“Fearlessunafraidundaunteddauntlessundismayedunalarmedunflinchingunshrinking,
unblenching, unabashedbolddaringaudaciousadventurousdashingheroicdynamic,
spiritedmettlesome, confidentindomitable, bravecourageousvaliantvalorous,
stoutheartedlionheartedstalwartplucky, gutsyspunkygame, and ballsy.”

Yeah, I think I that’s a good word. Don’t you?