Thursday, April 9, 2015

Good cops

Just a short rant here a moment about all the hype regarding run ins with the police. We would be in a world of hurt if there were no police to protect us. I was raised to believe that if I got in trouble with the law there were consequences. The police are there to make sure our laws are being observed. Sometimes someone resists the police and the consequences are huge. The consequences are the result of unlawful behavior. Most of the time the police do their job in the best possible way. Sometimes they go far and above over what is necessary. I prefer to stand with the police that do their best. I don't condemn the entire police force for the bad judgment of those few that go overboard.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dear President Obama

Dear Mr. President,
Being the president of the United States must be more difficult than most people could even comprehend. At least to my mind anyway. I could not begin to understand all the ramifications, and quite frankly why try at my age? However, one asset I do have to deal with life is a great deal of Common sense. I'd like to share that with you as honestly I'm not quite seeing where you are coming from in that regard. Knowing here that you are the president and I am only a lowly citizen trying to get by from day to day. I may be incorrect in my assumption here but I seriously question your ability to understand economics when you have not, to my knowledge ever worked for a living or been in the armed forces.

No! Everyone is definitely not playing by the same set of rules! Taking money from those that get up every day, goes to work providing for themselves and their families and giving it to those that don't do anything but eat, get their hair done, get tattoos, do drugs, have children they refuse to provide for on their own, sit around all day and do nothing but complain that the government isn't giving them enough, is not, in my opinion what I call the same rules. I call it, buying votes!

The economy is not "robust" or "recovered" while it is necessary for the government to consistently provide borrowed money it does not actually have to people and business to keep them afloat. Only when the economy can survive on its own will it be healthy, recovered, sustainable and robust. Some day the piper will come calling and that borrowed money will have to be paid. I believe you are not concerned about that because in a couple years you are history and those that follow will have to deal with your indiscretion. You probably are not concerned because you will be on a cushy pension anyway.

Affordable Care Act my foot! In the depths of a full recession, when the country is borrowing money faster than it can be printed, there is no such thing as "affordable" and giving "tax credits". Duh! Listen to the facts Mr. President! THERE IS NO MONEY TO DO THAT!!!!!! You cannot give away what you do not have. I feel that in this country there are far better ways of dealing with health care. Encouraging personal responsibility is job number one rather than constantly punishing hard work. Instead you have created a wedge between hard working people and those that simply complain and depend on the government for everything.

One sticking point that needs to be addressed that no one seems to stand up and say is that you constantly harp on all those "rich" people that suck up profits from large companies and use them for their own needs. I say this: That is simple economics Mr. President. Large and small companies provide jobs and financial futures for our hard working citizens. Take away those companies and we wind up with a nation of sit at home, mentally and physically weak,  non-skilled complainers. By the way, the minimum wage was never intended to provide a sustainable life support system. It was and still is meant to make it affordable for businesses to train inexperienced people or give purpose to the lives of otherwise unemployable people. Take that away and you take away the doorway to success for millions of people entering the work force. It may be difficult for you to understand but not everyone, including myself is college or higher education material. Contrary to what you preach, There is no shame in manual labor.

I guess I'm getting long winded here but I needed to let you know of my displeasure with your presidency. You say that the conservatives are hard headed and refuse to compromise. I say you should take a good look in the mirror when you want to play the non-compromise blame card.

By the way, as long as I'm handing out criticism: Hey conservatives in the Congress and Senate and the Judiciary: Grow some and start getting the job done that needs to be done. The president doesn't have the market cornered on pointing fingers. We're looking for competency any day now. Stop making unnecessary laws and start supporting our constitution. Forced payments is not in that constitution.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Moving right along here.

Things have changed of late as far as responsibilities in regards to past commitments. I am left with a bit of open time to view and enjoy what others do. Something I've mostly been too busy to do. Each and every one of us has a unique quality that distinguishes us from anyone else. Sitting back a observing those qualities has brought a new sense of optimism towards the future. The news media, doing what brings to them wide eyed viewers by scaring the daylights out of us with tales of one disaster or crisis after another until we lock ourselves in and fear for our lives whenever we go outside. This past week has been quite the opposite in my opinion. The real people we associate with are most often just ordinary folks just like us simply getting through the day by doing what they feel is right. And, doing it without violence, crisis or disaster in their own way. Yeah, when all is said and done, ordinary folks accomplishing extraordinary things. Nice!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Not everyone gets a college degree

Of late, and by that I mean for several decades now, the emphasis in education has been in acquiring a college degree. "Get a college education or you won't amount to anything!" Although I agree that some folks need a higher education and can very well make good use of it to better themselves, I also feel it is not realistic to think that a higher education is for everyone. And, from my way of thinking it is a disservice to millions of people in the work force to push the idea that they are less important or failures if they do manual labor of any kind. Look out the window and just about every facet of our daily lives depends on manual labor to make it work. Electricity, telephone, water, transportation, sewer, roads, vehicles, buildings, clothing, food, simply everything needs manual labor somewhere down the line. Much of it does not require a college degree. In my opinion it serves no useful purpose to discredit those that choose to perform manual labor or those that cannot obtain a degree for whatever reason. In years past it was considered a privilege to be in training to learn a manual skill. Today, not so much. If manual skills were taught in school more often we'd have a lot less people on the welfare roles, a lot less victims of society, a lot less people walking the streets and getting into trouble, a lot less people resorting to drugs to feel good.

I read about a tribe on another continent that was starving not because they couldn't grow crops or tend to cattle or fish.

They were starving because they were taught that those types of labor were beneath their dignity.

They believed that starving was superior to working to feed themselves.

Millions of people are being taught that today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving and gratitude

It is now Thanksgiving Eve! Let the feasting begin. I'm grateful to have food and also family and friends to share it with. It hasn't always been that way. I've spent a couple Thanksgivings alone and without much to eat. It wasn't as traumatic as some would have it. I am not stuck on what isn't, I'm more into being OK with what I've got. Happiness is often a choice and I choose it whenever it's even remotely possible.

For decades it has been one of my Thanksgiving traditions to get up early and go visit a bunch of old guys who, due to various circumstances are now living alone with no one coming to visit other than me. I bring cheap novelty gifts, a couple sleeves of pennies and a deck of cards. We chat, laugh at the novelty gifts and play cards for an hour or so before I move on to the next old guy and repeat the scenario. My visits stretch from 4:30am until about 1:00pm and then it's family, food and football. Of course I maintain contact with these old gents throughout the year but it seems that it is on Thanksgiving that they enjoy the most. As time goes on locations have changed and the logistics do not allow for the usual personal visit, in which case we carry on a phone conversation for an hour or so. They do most of the talking. Old guys are like that. If it's not an old joke I've heard a dozen times before, it's some rule of wisdom they feel the need to impart upon my na├»ve shoulders or for some reason they need to confess one of their past indiscretions and follow up with an apology to me as a surrogate for whomever it concerned at the time. It is time well spent for me and also the person I am with. We've found that we need each other. To me, that is a gift beyond anything I deserve. Sure, I've helped these guys by simply being a non-judgmental friend, but the life experiences they've shared with me have brought me to a level of acceptance and maturity and faith that I would may never have achieved on my own. I am grateful to these guys.

Happy Thanksgiving! Please pass that on to any crotchety, grouchy, gassy, forgetful, thankless, almost unlovable old guy you know. It just may change their life for the better,

Monday, November 24, 2014

Unexpected day off from hard labor

The road leading to my business is flooded over once again. This flooding happens about 5 or 6 times a year and lasts 24 to 48 hours with access limited if at all to my shop. I drove through early this morning but it has deepened to the point where driving through is no longer an option. I am stuck in my office until further notice. My hope is it will go down by the time I am ready to go home as long as the rain stops soon. Meanwhile, it is my job to find out what to tackle as far as desk and paperwork are concerned. I can assure you, this is not my best talent. However, the coffee is made, both computers are at the ready and I am determined not to waste the opportunity to make a dent in previously neglected tasks. That's the plan. No games, no feeling sorry about the situation, no pitty pot for me, no sirree Bob! Here I go. Enjoy the day!..............

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to mend a broken leg- The hard way!

Several years ago, through a serious case of misjudgment of activity suitable for a guy  my age, I managed to break my leg and many parts of my ankle. It hurt! The doctor I went to at first mis-diagnosed it as a sprain and treated it as such for almost 5 months without any noticeable relief. Not so much enjoying the pain, I decided to obtain a second opinion. An immediate x-ray (not ordered by the first doctor) showed all the broken parts and I was sent to a very competent and well credentialed orthopedic surgeon who recommended immediate corrective surgery. "You've got a lot of broken bones in there" He said. "We'll throw the kitchen sink at it including bone grafts, steel plates and screws to stabilize it. "And after that heals" he continued, "We'll go in there again and fix the abnormal shape and fuse the ankle. It will be somewhat odd in appearance and you won't be able to flex the ankle but you will be able to walk for at least short distances. Perhaps with a cane or walker." I appreciated his honesty. I said I'd think about it for a day or two. He said I was not doing myself any favors by putting it off. "The longer you wait, the less I can do and the more deformed and weak it will be." I thought about it and  also studied the statistics regarding that specific procedure. Right or wrong I chose not to have surgery. I got an "Arizona Brace" instead. Along with duct tape, several other styles of braces and perhaps a couple thousand dollars in expenses for those other braces, I now walk relatively well for extremely long distances and the pain is very minor most of the time. I'm Ok with the results of my choice against surgery. I would not recommend that choice to anyone else. They have to make their own decisions.
The up side:
I never missed a day of work
I didn't have to spend time in the hospital
There was no opportunity for post operative infection and hospitalization
No opportunity for post operative crumbling due to screws or plates failing
Didn't have to go under sedation
Those are just a few but I think you get the drift.
The down side
For the first year there was a lot of pain, a lot!
The ankle is a bit tender
The ankle is a bit unstable
I wobble sometimes due to a lack of strength from underuse (it's getting stronger though)
The ankle looks rather deformed, maybe ugly
I have no idea what the future may bring (but that was also the case with surgery)

That's my story for today folks. It's been a long time healing and it's not over yet. However, it is a whole lot better than I thought the outcome and tribulations of surgery would have been. If you can walk fine today? Be grateful with each step and be careful......................Joe
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