I’m not sure if you’ve heard this but even if you have it’s worth listening to their music and voices again. Such talent with these young people. Music has always been a greater healer.
I’m not sure if you’ve heard this but even if you have it’s worth listening to their music and voices again. Such talent with these young people. Music has always been a greater healer.
I’ve learned that whenever Anthony Fauci speaks, I listen. He has been the most honest and direct voice in speaking to the American public. We may not like to hear what he has to say, but the man doesn’t sugar coat the truth. He is giving us the worst possible scenario, if we don’t take action, but he is also giving us hope, if we make the sacrifices that are necessary right now.
I’ve learned that panic is understandable. There are so many whose lives are fragile to begin with. Throwing this type of stress and levels of restriction at them make it difficult to function. Then there are those who panic when two inches of snow is forecast. Throw in a pandemic and the roof comes off the building. This is what happens when people sense a loss of control. They attempt to gain whatever control they can in their lives and buying supplies is a beginning. Their immediate world becomes safe for the moment, and that’s and understandable human reaction.
I’ve learned, once again, that there is a special place in heaven for first responders. Those people who walk into fires when everyone else is driving as quickly as possible in the other direction .We sometimes forget that they also families also and yet they’re out there working our communities. I pray they all stay healthy.
I’ve learned that it is possible for our political parties to work together and agree on what may be best for the country. How sad that it takes this type of situation to bring about that type of cooperation.
I’ve learned that some young people in this country just don’t get it. While it’s natural for the young to feel they are healthy and immune to what’s going on, the ignorance and indifference they show to other member of their respective families and communities is disheartening and infuriating. It’s unfortunate that the stereotype of the “me first” mentality of young people is plastered on TV’s as they party in bars and social gatherings while the rest of the country attempts to alter their lives for the greater good. They don’t understand that this isn’t about me, or you…it’s about US. Their cavalier attitude and not understanding that asymptomatic carriers will only reduce our chances of controlling this virus is hard to comprehend. Again, the majority of young people are being responsible, but there is a large segment that doesn’t get it, or just doesn’t care.
I’ve learned that the top officials in the Clearwater Beach area of Florida who refuse to close the beaches to spring breakers are being driven, not surprisingly, by greed. While the rest of the country is attempting to practice social distancing, young breakers are carrying on as if nothing is happening in their world. Even more disturbing is the attitude of the officials in these counties.
Councilman David Allbritton- “Beaches are an economic driver for us. Let’s see what happens in the next week or so, and then after that.”
City Manager Greg Mims- “There is not a lot of will to close beaches.”
Sheriff Bob Gaultieri- “I woud not support closing the beaches. With all the cancellations and business closures, people are going to need some sort of outlet. This is going to be around for a while.”
Really? I could go on but what’s the point. Money talks. It doesn’t matter that all these young people will scatter across the country after break is over and probably come to a town near you. By the way, where are the parents of these young college aged kids and why didn’t someone sit them down and say…NO, NOT THIS YEAR. Or is that not good for their fragile egos and self confidence. Maybe if we gave them a participation trophy their attitude might change. Sorry,..but it’s discouraging to watch.
Eighty years ago, American’s did what they had to do. They rationed food and gas, worked overtime in factories and sent their children to war for years. It has been called it The Greatest Generation for a reason. While this situation is not nearly in the same ballpark, it does provide a glimpse into our mentality, attitude and ability to sacrifice for the greater good. Not for years, but maybe a few months. Are we up to the challenge?
If history has taught us anything, it has shown that there will be a reckoning of sorts when this is over. There will be a large mirror held up in front of us individually and as a nation. It will judge how we responded as a country, as individual communities, as friends, and as families.
This will define us for years to come. How it does remains to be seen.
“We all want to convince ourselves that it is about hard work and education and perseverance, but the truth is, life is much more about the fickle and the random. We don’t want to admit it, but we are controlled by luck, by timing, by fate.”
I don’t want to believe this. It goes against my faith, my Christian upbringing and what we try to relay to and teach our children. But sometimes…..
When I was a teenager, I used to have conversations with priests about predestination and free will. I went to Catholic grammar school, was an altar boy and attended Catholic high school and so I was “indoctrinated” into a certain set of beliefs. (Of course they didn’t include current lawsuits and settlements, but that’s another story)
I never logically understood how predestination and free will come together and quite honestly, no one ever had an answer for me. So the people I spoke with fell back on the only answer that ended all conversation.
And I understand that. I accept that there are things that will never be clear to me and that faith is something I need to have as a Christian. But I’ve never been convinced that predestination and free will are a matter of faith. Other aspects of beliefs, yes but this one never settled in with me.
And as I was reading a Coben book and came across these words, the whole issue came back to me again. Because I’ve also always believed that so much of life is controlled by place and time.
A woman is walking a child in a stroller on a perfectly calm and sunny day in the park when a tree limb falls on them and kills the child.
Five young people get into a car accident and three survive, telling me that the seat you chose determined if you lived.
You move when you were a teenager to the other side of the country and ten years later you find and marry the love of your life in the town you moved to. What if you didn’t move? Would you still find the one your love and live happily ever after?
You happen to run into someone you haven’t seen in years by chance in a random setting. You talk and the conversation changes the trajectory of your entire professional life.
You get my point. The list is endless. The randomness of life, the paths we choose, the decisions we make, the people we meet, the timing of conversations, is pretty crazy when you step back and think about the possibilities
There are good, well educated, God fearing people who are dealt a bad hand and bad people who live long, privileged lives. I often wonder, when traced back, what turned their lives around.
I’ve always believed in hard work and perseverance but there are many hard working people who have persevered their entire lives and continue to struggle. Conversely, the opposite is true. A chance meeting at the right time, a phone call, an introduction, a decision, an opportunity taken, may change not only your life, but those you love.
I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. At times, it makes life easier to deal with; easier to accept certain things that happen in your life. But I still struggle with whether or not God knew things were going to happen, and if He knew it was going to happen then I really had no choice but to follow His plan. And if that’s the case, then how can I have free will.
I know I’ll never understand it and though I’d like to find a way, I’ll never logically accept it. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe I should just accept and not try to find logic in the illogical. Maybe faith is the only answer when it comes to this particular topic.
So it’s been a couple of days since I’ve last been here. What, you think it’s been more than a couple of days? Really? Maybe you’re right. I’ll have to count on my fingers to check. Sometimes life gets in the way or I get distracted.
My mother in law passed away this past fall at the age of 93 and so we spent the rest of the year going through her home and preparing it for sale. Not an easy task. My father in law passed away twenty-six years ago and so she’s lived in this home for the last sixty years. Up until recently she was able to take care of herself but the last year and a half required some help. Her home was always meticulous, even at the very end. The only problem was, she never threw anything away. I think that’s somewhat common for that generation, who came from a time when everything had value. Nothing was wasted or discarded needlessly. Nothing had a shelf life. It’s something I understand but it didn’t make the process any easier.
We sometimes didn’t know, going through her belongings, what had real value, sentimental or otherwise. Did it have special meaning to her, was it worth something, or was it an item that was given away for free at gas stations back in the day. Some things were obvious, some not so much. And what about the photos of people from so long ago that we didn’t recognize. Did the people in the photo hold special meaning to her? Did they remind her of a special time? What do we do with them now?
And here’s where deconstructing a life comes into the conversation. Here are the decisions we had to make, whether they seem logical or not. We kept quite a few things, as did our children, who wanted remembrances of their grandmother. We donated quite a bit to various charities. We sold a few things. And unfortunately, we ended up tossing some things. For some reason, the photos were sometimes the toughest decisions to make. It seems sacrilegious to throw them out but why keep photos of people we don’t know, and if we do keep them, you just leave it for the next person to deal with when we’re gone.
The whole thing was just so surreal. I’ve known my wife since third grade and have been going to that house for over fifty years. I spent more time there over the years than in the home I grew up in. I knew every corner and almost every story. To take it apart seemed like a violation of her life. Every day another piece was gone, until nothing remained but the shell. Until the home became a house. A property to be sold.
But it seemed even more than that and I’m not sure it’s easily explained. It’s like someone who existed a short time ago, no longer does. Her “stuff” is gone. I understand about the memories we”ll have to hold onto and the items we have to remind us of her life, but there is a big difference between the body and the soul of a person. In certain homes, filled with years of love and memories, I believe the same holds true. Strip away what made it special, and the deconstruction is complete. Emptying that home was like emptying a life. It’s a strange feeling and I’m sure many of you have gone through similar moments over time.
When we were done, I joked with my wife about what our children may think or say when their time comes to do the same thing. What questions they’ll have that may remain unanswered. What photos they’ll find and wonder who those people were. What decisions they’ll have to make and if sentimentality or practicality will be the deciding factor. Probably a little of both.
I just know that a few days after we finished up we started going through our own home. If we can make it a bit easier for our children when the time comes, all the better. I just don’t want to make it too easy. After all, what fun is life without leaving some mystery and unanswered questions about your parents. I might even plant a few things around just to keep the conversation interesting. I wouldn’t want them to forget us easily.
It’s nice to be back.
The USA soccer team, arguably considered the best in the world, is currently playing a World Cup tournament in France. They have won three of the seven World Cups played, including the last one in 2015 and are playing in the semis next week. They have a chance to win a fourth World Cup but it won’t be easy
By comparison, since World War II, the men’s team has advanced past the World Cup round of 16 exactly once. They finished eighth in 2002. They are 24th in FIFA’s rankings and failed to even qualify for last years tournament.
According to audited financial statements from the U.S. Soccer Federation obtained by the Wall Street Journal, the women’s team has generated more revenue than men’s games over the past three years.
So why was the women’s team forced to file a federal employment discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation alleging that although they could earn a maximum of 99,000 for winning 20 friendly games this year, the men would earn an average of 260,000 for the same exact accomplishment.
For winning the 2015 World Cup, the women’s team received 1.725 million from the federation. For its 15th place finish, the men took home bonuses totaling nearly 5.4 million.
According to figures obtained from the Federation’s financial report, the women’s team helped the Federation exceed it’s overall projected revenue for the year by 18 million.
According to the lawsuit, the women’s player association has proposed a revenue sharing model that would tie player compensation to revenue generated by the women’s national team.
Seems fair and reasonable to me. Oh, and the men’s national team has issued a statement of support for the women’s team lawsuit and the revenue sharing model.
By the way, this is not just a USA problem. The best female soccer player in the world, Ada Hegerberg, from Norway, has not played for her national team since 2017, protesting what she states is gender discrimination from the Norwegian Federation between how it treats the men’s and women’s team. While Norway has since adjusted their pay scales and bonuses, it’s hasn’t done enough to encourage Hegerberg to return.
So the big question is why? How can an organization who acknowledges that women are generating higher revenues than men, continue to pay women less?
What year are we living in and when will this type of antiquated thinking finally be put behind us?
I read an article recently about the changes that have occurred in our lives over the past couple of decades. The obvious ones are a result of technology and how we communicate and gather information in our daily lives. But technology has also eliminated other, less obvious items, things that seemed to fade away over a period of time. Things we no longer do.
Memorize a phone number.
I still have phones numbers memorized but that’s because I’m ancient. It used to be something I always did. Now it’s not necessary. Everything is on your phone or in the cloud.
Use a phone book to book up a business or name
I’m sure there is a generation of young people who don’t know what the “yellow pages” are and have never seen something called a phone book. But for many years, this was the way we looked up phone numbers and even addresses of people we wanted to contact. This is how we found contractors to do work around the house or businesses for everyday needs. There was no Angie’s List or reviews on different sites to help determine who you wanted to hire. It was the phone book or word of mouth.
Selling your car with a cardboard sign stuck in the windshield.
I’ll still see this one occasionally, parked in some random location with a phone number and price included. But not often. On line sites, including Craigslist took care of that some years back.
Figure out math in your head
Paying cash for something is becoming more unusual these days but it’s always fun to pay in cash and give the person behind the register some change to eliminate pennies or some bills. They stare at their hands in confusion and look back up at you like committed some crime. Alexa does homework for kids sop that simple math is done with a voice request or on a calculator sitting on your phone.
Calling and asking someone “where are you?”
In this age of technology, all you have to do is download a phone tracker app and everyone you need to find can be located. No more wondering how long before they’ll home for dinner. Well, they could be in traffic, but there’s an app for that also.
Telling time by the hands on a clock
There is an entire generation of young people that either can’t do this or have difficulty with it. When I did some substitute teaching, analog clocks were still in some classrooms and I would always have fun asking kids for the time. I could probably write a blog on those responses.
Sure some of them are still out there and being made but probably not by younger generations. Can you see them printing an image at some local photo shop store, taking 50 or hundred 4×6 or 5×7 photos back home and placing them in a photo album they purchased at Walmart? Digital photography and photo sharing services have all but eliminated that process.
Have a CD or record collection
There are still collectors and purists out there that collect but like photography, music is digital. Napster, (ancient now), paved the way for lots of music being condensed into tiny formats you can easily carry around with you.
I still have drawers filled with these and no where to play them. Actually, I think I still have an old boom box somewhere. I used to love finding just the right song to add onto a specific tape. I’d copy them from radios or records. Anywhere I could.
Calling a theatre for movie times
I remember having to call a movie theatre and listen to a recording listing the movies and times they were being shown. Sometimes you’d pick up the recording mid loop and have to wait for it to begin all over again to hear about the movie you wanted to see. Alexa has that covered now.
One store left in the world and theres a whole generation of young people who probably never heard the word.
Record your favorite movie or show on tape.
I can’t tell you how many VHS tapes I still have with movies and shows I can watch anytime I want on any streaming service. I can even pull up a specific scene. I just can’t convince myself to get rid of those old tapes. And I don’t know why.
Watch shows when they’re broadcast live.
I’ve probably done this at some point in the last few months but I don’t remember when and for what reason. DVR and no commercials. A wonderful invention.
Run to the store for a last minute gift
Amazon has taken care of that problem. If you’re near an Amazon hub you can get something the same day.
Cut things out of the newspaper
I used to do that all the time if I found an article I liked and wanted to keep. Copy and text eliminated that.
Send a handwritten letter
Sigh. This is something I wish would never go away. There is something so personal about receiving a handwritten note. I could, and have written at length about this but since some schools don’t even teach handwriting anymore after a certain grade, it’ll be something that is gone soon. And that’s unfortunate.
Looking up the spelling of words in a dictionary
Spellcheck and autocorrect has taken care of that for us, even placing words never intended into spots that create some uncomfortable moments for us.
Using a phone booth to make a telephone call
I don’t remember the last time I saw one, even one that was busted up. I kind of miss them but not the millions of particles of germs that probably came along with the experience.
Years ago, I gave each of daughters a twenty dollar bill and told them to stick in their wallets and use it only in the event of an emergency. Occasionally I used to ask to see it. Now everyone has a credit or debit card. I think I might have to ask for those 20’s back and go out for a nice little dinner with the wife. But my guess is they’re long gone.
Using a travel agent
Travel agents still serve a purpose if you’re panning an elaborate trip but for basic flights and hotels it’s a do it yourself kind of thing. There are lots of sites that can provide reviews and book flights and hotels.
Getting old checks back from the bank every month.
Some people still write checks. I even write one or two every month but this too will soon be eliminated. Security does make me nervous but I’ve gotten over it. Most of the time.
So what about you? Anything minor items that you can think of that technology has replaced?
This should help get your weekend off to a nice start…