We’ve learned well

As the priest left the church Saturday night he was assaulted, pistol whipped and robbed by three men. The local TV station in reporting the story asked that anyone with information about the possible suspects or their location contact the police. According to the station the suspects were described as wearing all black; a gray sweatsuit and a gray jacket.
Anyone know anything? Has anyone seen the all black clothing, the gray sweatsuit or the gray jacket involved in the robbery and beating of an elderly priest? No further information was provided by the station on whether the sweatsuit had a drawstring or the gray jacket may have had a zipper. Small, Medium, Large or XLarge? Sorry, nothing else was provided.
Know something? Say something! The San Bernardino terrorist’s neighbor said nothing when she thought something suspicious was going on next door. She saw men who she now describes as being middle eastern going in and out of the house with packages at all hours. And what did she do? She did nothing. She didn’t want to be labeled as being a racial profiler and so people are dead and people are injured in San Bernardino and it was only because the terrorist’s bombs failed to detonate that more people weren’t killed or injured. Would it have been profiling if instead of identifying the men as being middle eastern she would have identified maybe suspicious clothing going in and out of the house with packages at all hours?
“…and then they came for me…” and everyone saw what was happening but nobody said anything for fear of being labeled a hater, a racist or a racial profiler. Those who witnessed the attack said that they could or would not pick out the suspect gray sweatsuit in the police lineup which included a beach towel, a light blue golf shirt, a green and yellow bedspread and a pair of Bermuda shorts.
We’ve learned well, America.

Welcoming in 1986

“The amount of money that this company will spend on our new computer systems next year is more than the total sales of the company just twenty years ago. Wow”, said company president E. Walter Craghouse as he turned and pointed at a screen behind him with the logos of all the IT vendors which are involved in the various projects.
“I don’t really understand all of the details of how it works but what I do know is that we have to be an industry leader, we have to use the latest technology and link up with our customers and create true twenty first century electronic partnerships going forward. I’ll let our experts Bob, Charlotte, Martin and Ellen go over their vision, give you the details and open the conference to questions.”
The rest of the morning was much the same with commitments from all the presenters to make the company the best and brightest by developing the best and newest and describing our future with the best and greatest clichés. One after another we heard, “new, best, cutting edge, ground breaking, future, user friendly, powerful” and they just kept coming.
Did I tell you that we’re the best and the brightest and ready for to go forward as we move through the twenty first century?
Finally you could see the end coming if for no other reason than the presenters on stage were squirming in their chairs just like the rest of us.
Mr. Craghouse stood up and took the microphone from Ellen who had just finished telling us about new and better and greatest, “I want to thank all of our presenters today who have done a fabulous job of showing us the company’s vision for the future. We are new, we are now and we are marching into the future. I hope you are as excited as I am” and with that the lights came up, everyone stood and clapped and started to do their waddle out of the room.
“Oh, oh. Wait everyone, hold on, one more thing.”
Helen, the president’s secretary, took the microphone and nervously said, “I want to remind everyone that I need an address list of your customers who you want us to mail them our 2016 desk calendar and planner. Our customers really love them so let’s all be sure we get them out early this year.”
“Thanks, Helen, said E. Walter. Let’s make sure we do it, folks, real important.”
I wonder if that desk calendar/planner is for 2016 or 1986?

Pretty great

There is no doubt from watching the various protests which have taken place over the last year that there are Americans who hate their country. As the TV news reports showed businesses being looted, buildings being burned, police cars being set on fire, police being attacked with rocks and gun fire coming from those rioting in the streets we heard their chants calling for dead cops, heard their foul language, saw their obscene gestures and read their signs which condemned America as a terrible nation. The rioters spit on the flag, burned the flag, stomped on the flag and one bright light even demonstrated how to use the American flag as toilet paper.
It’s funny though that as we watch these anti-American demonstrations and riots we never see any of the America haters pull out a pair of scissors and cut up their EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card. I guess we can all agree that free groceries are pretty great.

Can’t have that

“Sorry about the interruption. I can’t believe the horror of the terrorist attacks in Paris and how many people were killed and injured. People were massacred in Paris with bombs and guns with the attackers shooting into the crowd at a concert hall and patrons shot as they sat at their tables in a Paris restaurant. Now France has closed its borders and the French president says that they will be ruthless in destroying those responsible for the terrorist attacks and you have to wonder, who is next?”
So, anyway. You were saying that you need a safe space on campus because you believe there is a chance that you may receive a slight or a snub which might make you feel uncomfortable? Is that about it? Does that about cover the concerns in your life? Can’t have that. Let’s just see what we can do.”

Weight loss stress

When I was six or seven and we’d visit my grandparents every summer one of our rituals was to open the closet door in the living room and mark my height on the back of the door. Then we’d all march into the bathroom where I’d get on the scale and then back to the closet door to write my weight and the date next to my height.
“Look how much you’ve grown since last year” and “You’ll be as tall as your dad soon” and “Your mother sure must be a good cook” and “I learned it all from you, Mom” and everyone would laugh and then they’d put the script away until next year.
I can’t remember when that stopped, maybe when I was eleven or twelve. I know I stopped growing taller when I was about seventeen and my weight held steady for a number of years. Then up it went. I’ve always thought that I just needed to put on height. I think 7’2” would be about right on the charts.
As the years pass it gets harder and harder. You know what you should do and you think about what you can do. Are weight loss shakes right for me? How about a low-carb diet where all you eat is bacon and cheese? I always seem to fall back on the old reliable, reduced portions.
“Thank you, that German chocolate cake does look delicious. Just a sliver, please.”
You can’t start a weight loss regimen though without knowing just where the scale says you are now so I’ve made a decision to start in the morning. Before I take my shower I’ll step on the old scale to see where I am but then when I went into the bathroom the next morning I found myself in the shower before I remembered the scale.
“Golly gee, I forgot to weigh myself. I’ll do it when I get out”, but then I thought better of it what with my wet feet and the tiles which can get pretty darn slippery. Better safe than sorry.
After I got dressed and the slipping danger was no longer an issue I went back into the bathroom and made a mental note of the approximate weight of the clothes I was wearing—shoes, 5 lbs; socks, 1 lb; pants, 4 lbs; belt, 1 lb; underwear, 1 lb; shirt, 2 lbs; hat, 2 lbs; watch, 3 lbs; my wallet, 4 lbs and keys, 7 lbs for a total of thirty pounds. Then I stepped on the scale but not before remembering that the 9-volt battery which powers the digital scale might be getting old and from what I have always heard, older batteries have a tendency to “excite” a readout and increase the display number. It’s all about the gigabytes or wifi or roaming charges or something.
I decided that subtracting 30 or more pounds daily (or whatever the number which will depend on my wardrobe that day) from an unreliable number displayed on the scale was no way to start an effective weight loss program.
As I walked out of the bathroom and was thinking about how to accurately kick off my weight loss journey I remembered something that just might help me get on the right track and real quick. Why was I going through all of this stressful calculation activity when the information I needed was right there in my wallet? All I had to do was look at my driver’s license (an official state document so it has to be accurate) and there it was, my weight: 177 lbs. Alright. Just where it should be.
I wonder if that other German chocolate cake sliver is still in the refrigerator?

Great for America

People made things. They saw needs in a young country and they imagined solutions and then they built the factories to make the tools and clothes and furniture and machinery that the nation needed. The factories were built with brick and stone and steel and they gave purpose to the towns that grew up around them. The people worked in the factories and the smoke from the chimneys meant that the workers were supporting their families. The towns and cities and America prospered and grew strong, strong enough to go to war and turn back the forces of evil.
Then things changed, the plants closed and the jobs moved away and the massive factories built of brick and stone and steel and built strong enough to last a century stood there empty and produced nothing.
That’s not right for America or for Americans and that’s not what Americans do so we’re putting those buildings back to work. This time we won’t be building locomotives or washing machines or automobiles or tractors but we will be calling on American geniuses like Ford and Edison and Bell to inspire us.
This time we won’t be building with iron or steel. This time there will be smoke but it won’t be coming out of the tall chimneys next to the factories it will be in the great new sandwiches we’re building with smoked ham and/or turkey and Swiss cheese piled high on artisan buns and a special All-American sauce that brings to mind the strengths of Henry and Thomas and Alexander (why not make it a combo with chips and a medium drink for just $1.99 more).
And don’t worry about parking. Back when the factory was working around the clock there were over 3500 people employed at the plant so we’ve got a huge parking lot.

Climate change and me

I’ll admit it. I’ve been one of those climate change deniers you read about. I just can’t believe the popular theory that human beings burning fossil fuels are causing climate change. It’s nothing political it’s just that I put the global warming and climate change theories into the same category as, the wine is bad, no it’s good, the sun is good, no it’s bad ever changing malarkey we get from our so-called experts.
I do think that the climate is changing. Something is going on and I don’t see how that can be denied. I just can’t believe, however, that driving your car and running the air conditioner and grilling a hot dog are the causes of the climate change. We are seeing changes that will affect everyone on earth and we’ve got to do something before coastal cities are flooded and island nations disappear below the waves. We’ve got to do something before storms and droughts and famines kill millions all over the planet.
We know that we’ve got to do something but is there really anything we can do? If I am right that the climate is changing and if I am right that it’s not being caused by the use of fossil fuels then is there any activity of mankind which can be identified as causing the climate to change? Are there changes in our behavior which can be made in order to save our home, the earth?
I believe there are and that it might not be too late to make those changes. You see it’s all about ocean water and how it circulates and how violent water circulation can cause changes in the weather. When you study the situation you find out about the level of salt in the sea. Less salty areas of water react violently with the more salty areas causing a churning effect which causes changes in the sea which then causes changes in weather which leads to changes in the climate. We are changing the way in which the layers of water in the ocean interact with each other and I believe that if we have changed them we can change them back.
What is happening to cause these changes in the levels of salt in the ocean you may ask and just what is the source of the salt in the ocean anyway?
According to the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
Salt in the ocean comes from rocks on land.
The rain that falls on the land contains some dissolved carbon dioxide from the surrounding air. This causes the rainwater to be slightly acidic due to carbonic acid (which forms from carbon dioxide and water).
As the rain erodes the rock, acids in the rainwater break down the rock. This process creates ions, or electrically charged atomic particles. These ions are carried away in runoff to streams and rivers and, ultimately, to the ocean. Many of the dissolved ions are used by organisms in the ocean and are removed from the water. Others are not used up and are left for long periods of time where their concentrations increase over time.
This process has been going on since the beginning of time so what is different now? Is less salt flowing into streams and rivers and then into the oceans? Is that why areas of the oceans are less salty?
No, the salt continues to flow into the oceans. But if the salt continues to flow into the ocean why is the level of salinity dropping in some areas?
Why? Why is the level of salinity dropping? Because of you and me and our families and our neighbors and friends. I believe that the cause of our climate change problem is sitting right there in the kitchen, or maybe on the end tables next to the Lazy Boys where we watch the big game. The cause of our problem has a name and it’s snacks.
During a timeout when you run to the kitchen what do you get? When you feel like a bowl of ice cream what flavor is in the freezer? Think about it. Think about it real hard. You reach for the Nabisco Triscuit crackers, now with sea salt, or the Lay’s Wavy potato chips with sea salt or the sea salt caramel ice cream. Where do you think we get that tasty sea salt?
We can only go to the well, or in this case the ocean, so many times before we see big changes and we are seeing those changes now. We keep taking and taking and taking but Mother Nature has only so much to give. Salty snacks (now with sea salt) and then more storms and floods. Sea salt on our chips and then we see disease and famine. Sea salt caramel ice cream and we watch Pacific islands slip under the waves.
Time to take those unopened cartons of Triscuit crackers (now with sea salt) back to the Food Express and exchange them for the old variety with table salt. Do it now. Save mankind. Save the planet.
But just in case I’m wrong why not ride your bike or walk to the grocery store because maybe it is the SUVs after all which are causing climate change.