Friday, February 27, 2015


This weeks LBC topic comes from Conrad - our old fossil pal who has in fact been on a sabbatical of sorts for quite some time.

Who could blame him - or anyone for that matter - for wanting some time to recharge the batteries and  tend to neglected  issues that bombard our daily lives.  There's even an anthem of sorts -

It's very easy these days to burn yourself out - change comes at a frighteningly rapid pace.  As Heidi Toffler said, "Change is the only constant".

The real meaning of sabbatical relates to the sabbath.  What better way to recharge your batteries than to revisit/re-evaluate the spiritual or faith based side of your life. I separate the faith/spiritual sides because frankly I am not one of the so-called faithful. I'm more like Thomas Jefferson in that regard.

While I've never really taken a sabbatical I suppose you can say I will soon be taking one as regardless of the bankruptcy courts decisions  I will be leaving RadioShack in about two months - if not sooner - and Texas shortly thereafter. I am currently seeking Sabbaticals for Dunmies to assist in the endeavor.  One must certainly be prepared, don't you think? I'm looking forward to this...

Now I think it's time tyo see what the other LBC gang has to say.  Hopefully they haven't all gone on a sabbatical this week.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Child abuse

This week's LBC topic comes from Ashok.

Everyone is opposed to child abuse - or it seems they pay lip service to being opposed to child abuse.  If, however, I had a nickel for every time I've read a comment like "If I spoke to my parents like kids thee days do to theirs I would not be here" - or something similar. Or "my parents used to beat me with a switch....".

So why is it that there was such hue and cry when professional football star Adrian Peterson was accused of child abuse for doing punishing his son by hitting him with a switch? I'm sure the fact that Peterson is a rich black athlete had nothing to do with it. Ahem.

My point is that definitions of child abuse vary widely among different cultures.  My exposure to black culture has shown black parents to be much more willing to engage in corporal punishment than white parents. White parents are much more likely to view corporal punishment as abusive in my experience.

Now - in steps the government to establish rules and laws.  It's what they do.  Whereas in my youth corporal punishment was accepted, these days - at least here where I live -  a child can have a parent arrested on a domestic abuse assault charge for the simple act of corporal punishment. Imagine that.  Back when I was 15 I could have had my dad arrested for assault when I chose to pick a fight with him, even though he hit me with my guitar and broke it. I deserved it by-the-way - but the fight ended when I held him against a wall and told him to back off before he got hurt. File it under stuff happens.
We need to use caution and utmost clarity when determining what constitutes abuse - for the sake of all involved.

Clearly our children are our future - and steps must be taken to protect them. But we need to be careful that we do not create a larger problem.  Statistics regarding child abuse are staggering. We spend vast sums of money on government assistance programs trying to feed children yet many people want the amount scaled back.  They cite fraud as the reason - along with the notion the assistance has created generations of people who expect nothing but hand outs from the government (states and federal).

I am of the opinion child abuse - in all its forms - is the most dangerous issue faced by this country today, ISIS and their ilk get all of the press and attention but they are pose much less danger.  W have much work to be done.

Friday, February 13, 2015

What is the most surprising thing about you?

What is the most surprising thing about me??  Well frankly I'm a what you see is what you get - or in the case of blogging, what you read is what you get kind of guy.  I'm a baby boomer awaiting my first SS check and have most traits associated with my age group.

Oddly enough though - or is it ironic - that considering I earn a living by writing and I love blogging, I am the world's worst typist. Yes I know - it is not an earth shattering surprise but a surprise none the less.  And the other that immediately comes to mind - I have NEVER  smoked an entire cigarette in my life.  I suspect that alone is the primary reason the multiple Xs in front of the L on my frame have not yet yet allowed Rube Sofer and his team of reapers to collect my soul as of yet.

I cannot make the same claim about that other herb but in general I was known for my spaghetti sauce with an oregano substitute I used - not smoking the stuff.

So there ya have it.  I'm pretty boring though a nickname change is likely in the works considering the plight of my employer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Yesterday - February 10 - marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of my wife and companion of 45 years, Lynn.  It's been a long year in many ways, made even more so by the bankruptcy filing of my employer of 30 years - RadioShack.

Upon reflection, I have been very lucky to have spent such substantial portions of my life with one woman and one company.  Both seem largely at odds with our society these days and I think that's a shame. In these days of "what have you done for me lately" loyalty and commitment seem to have lost their luster.  More's the pity. Today it's cut and run at the first sign of trouble. And so today I salute my friends Ramana, Conrad, Marie (aka Grannymar), Maxi and the others who know or have known that level of commitment, loyalty and love in their lives.

For Lynn - well I wouldn't be me without some musical commentary so here we go.....

I sure hope my friends that say the hurt gets more bearable with the passing of time are right.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Our topic this week comes from the sage of Pune - Ramana.

Sleep. We all need it.  Some of us enjoy it.  One of the reasons I enjoy sleeping is the chance to dream of people and things no longer available to me in real life. My preference is to be in a cold room with lots of blankets. Regular blankets - I never cared much for electric blankets.

Sleep is musically rich too -

And then there's this tune - Chris Bliss puts a nice spin on it (it's better live  - I have seen him)

Then there's the nap.  As I get older, naps are becoming more attractive.  There's nothing quite like catching a few winks when the opportunity presents itself. They can be quite energizing.

How about music that helps you go to sleep....

That's my quick take on Sleep.  Check out what the other LBC members have to say   - I'm headed there now.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Common Sense

Common sense - a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by ("common to") nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate.(Thank you Wikipedia). Let's examine that.

“Where there is a will there is a lawsuit.” – Addison Mizner

Coffee is hot.  If you aren't careful and you spill it on yourself you could get burned. Yet a jury awarded a woman 2.7 million dollars in a lawsuit when she spilled hot coffee on her lap, scalding herself.  Luckily the award was reduced to a mere $640,000 and settled for an undisclosed sum. Lucky the lawyers were there to protect the innocent. Ahem.

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you're stupid and make bad decisions.

A pair of teens - one 19 years old, 5-foot-6 and 270 pounds and another 14 and  is 4-foot-10 and 170 pounds sued McDonalds for damages related to their obesity. (Why didn't I evert think of that?). Yeah - Ronald McDonald held a gun to their heads and force fed them Big Macs and Happy Meals.

Lauren Rosenberg decided to sue Google for an excess of $100,000 in 2009 when Google Maps advised her to walk on the freeway to get to her destination, causing her to get hit by a car.

Kellogg sued Exxon Mobile, claiming that the Exxon tiger looked too similar to Kellogg's Frosted Flakes spokesperson Tony the Tiger.  Kellogg for some reason felt threatened by the Exxon tiger, concerned that children would mistake the gas station cat for the beloved beast on their cereal box.

In the interest or preserving the well being of my readers I offer a few other other common sense tidbits....

If you pull a dog's tail you may get bit

If the sign says "Beware of Dog" and you hop the fence anyway you might get bit

If you Super-size your meals every day at McDonalds you might get fat

Drinking alcoholic beverages  to excess may impair your judgment and negatively impact you

Ain't it the truth.

Yes folks - it seems common sense may not be quite so common these days.
But then there's this "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

Like those Big Macs, there can be too much of a good thing.

That's this weeks shack take on our LBC topic - check out what the other LBC members (on the right side over there  have to say.   In parting I offer this little ditty I found on Youtube -

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Winter's Tale

This tardy LBC post covers A Winter's Tale - topic courtesy of Maria.

Winter has always been a favorite time of the year for me because Christmas and assorted other holidays suddenly make the world seem to be a better place.  Well - maybe at least the part I inhabit.

I love driving around looking at homes decked out in their Christmas lights -

Now I agree that none of the lights in the example provided aren't over-the-top insane like some I've seen but these can be viewed riding on a Suzuki 550 while wearing shorts, an aloha shirt and flip flops - just like I did when I lived in Hawaii. The weather outside was not frightful - it was in fact delightful. In fact if memory serves, my last tour of the lights - 12/23/1986 to be exact - was a warm 75° or so and the street I was viewing was packed with folks -  the homeowners and all of us lookie-loos.  It was great fun and a memorable conclusion to my time in Hawaii. Christmas made an already friendly neighborhood even friendlier.  I'm sure there's a lesson in that for all of us somewhere.