Monday, July 31, 2023

Let's Stamp Out Juvenile Delinquency

I'm plenty old now. How it happened, I guess, is no more than the passage of time. I'm sitting there going "la la la" as a kid and next thing I know, I'm over 70! Lots of times I don't get too excited about anything. Today, though, isn't one of those days. Today, I've actually got my hackles up about something which is generally the environment of much younger people, vandals, morons, anti-social sicknicks, petty thieves, and evildoers. I hear about it and think, No! That's no good! But I try to justify it, saying, It's the environment.

I've never wanted to put the full kibosh on youthful activities. Of course I wouldn't be able to condone or sanction murder, robbery, and every other criminal offense that's on the OUT-THERE side of life. You can still do pranks on your friends, let's say, like dipping into their popcorn when you're at the movies. It's a kind of jovial socially-permissible prank that friends terrorize friends with. Ha, ha, really takes me back, yes, yes, there was this one guy who stole my popcorn at the movies, and it seemed disastrous to me, but, what can you do? Do you want friends or 100% of the popcorn that's legally yours? [Point of advice: You can make popcorn at home for about a dime. Eat at home, THEN go to the movie.]

One thing that is sometimes forgotten by our younger compadres is, You have to be someone a little self-censorious. Which starts, of course, with a baseline of common sense. Then along with that there's the various penalties that the law sets before us readily. The milder penalties, say, a $20 fine, are one thing. The greater penalties, like life in prison suck in an everlasting way, especially if there's truly no way back short of death. It eventually becomes a matter of one's self-interest to sketch out for yourself that certain paths must not be taken! If you need more information on avoiding prison and death penalties, there's an encyclopedia somewhere you could borrow...

OK, I feel for you. And I know that stupid things happen. You just want to get on the right side of life. As merciful as I sound, I'm all for stamping out juvenile delinquency. My feelings have run the gamut, winking at minor offenses, all the way up to an outright rejection of murder and murderers, summed up nicely in an old quote I once gave in an informational speech at school: "Juvenile delinquency ... This old crap's gotta cease!"

And, indeed, that's still my conviction. I remember, truly, thinking about it over the decades. At 20, I agreed. Then 30, 40, 50, 60, and even on my last birthday, No. 70, I was thinking the same thing. Now that I'm old, though, I'd guess I didn't sound as forceful about it. Picture me eating cake at my birthday and chewing with loose dentures, while also offering a few out-of-context jibes at criminals today, with most the guests figuring I was in LA-LA land: "You wanna live to a ripe old age without a rap sheet, don't do nothing wrong! Got that, you little whippersnappers?" I looked around the table at all my 70 and 80-year-old peers, and lifted my Milk of Magnesia as a hardy toast.

Of course! Of course this old crap's gotta cease! Let's do our utmost to be the last generation who has to sit in a nursing home judging the craziness of society outside its doors. "Juvenile delinquency is bad! Down with it!"

Friday, July 28, 2023

Top of The Morning to You!

Just like it's been most of my life, so it is today, feeling a little out of sorts, like maybe I got up on the wrong side of the earth. And if that's overkill and beyond belief, at least think of what it must feel like, that I got up in the wrong hemisphere. Woke up, that's for sure, with a thud, with a cry. I cried out, "Damn! An iceberg just pulled the elastic on my shorts (the back side) and let them snap." It was like an earthquake, the snap snapping at me so hard that I tottered on the brink of an ice floe. And nearly went Man Overboard!

Something like that happened when I was a kid. I was checking rabbit traps and managed to fall through the ice and got myself sopping wet. And since that took place at a creek about a quarter mile from home, I had to run in the cold to try to get home. Didn't mean to put my own terrible memories on display, but I'm the only guy with my terrible memories to recall them. I huffed and I puffed and nearly died in a ditch. But pressed on, thinking, "Better get going before I freeze to death," and since I'm here today recalling it, apparently it worked. From that time on, I stayed away from the cold as much as possible, and left the rabbits to their own devices. If they're not smart enough to get caught closer to home, I'm not even going to bother with them. Leave 'em, let them live out their own stupid lives ... and I'll live out mine. We left on good terms.

Have I ever wished I could go to the arctic regions? There's two poles, of course. The North and the South. I don't want to brag, but I have a sense of direction. I could step out from my house -- right this second without preparation -- and tell you which way's which. The Sun comes up over that way and so forth. And I think maybe we're getting a few close calls with it. Either that or it's just showing off for the the others and will soon be gone. It's a thing, though, of real power. Being 93 million miles away and yet close enough to give you a sunburn!

You've heard of course, there's a whole thing going on now with radical weather. The south is mad at the north, the north with the east, the south with the west, and I'd be remiss to omit the west doing whatever it does. California's that way somewhere, which is a place I've been to two or three times. Probably never again, since I'm stationed here where I live, keeping track of the directions just locally and not doing so from particular places. There's also this to consider, I'm fairly old now, not a spring chicken or tom turkey with a lot to prove. Everything I needed to prove, with so many connections dead and off to heaven, is already proven.

With that, let me wish you a hale and hardy "Top 'o the Mornin' to Ye!" You see an igloo, respect it, someone might be cold and on his way home. You see a seal or otter or even a reindeer, stand back and give them room, every creature is one we want to survive! And rabbits. Environmentally yours! Pick up litter, dispose of it in sanctioned places, respect the environment, etc., etc., always words to live by.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

God Bless the Pusher Man

I know we're all "environmental" sympathizers these days; I know that's what I am. My feeling is it's better to take care of what we have, kind of like the truth you follow if you're shooting for 50 years of wedded bliss. You take care of what you've got, first and foremost.

But every case isn't like the last case. In this case, apparently the man has some authority over that piece of land. 1) It could be his own mountain and he's out moving it around for aesthetic reasons; or, 2) He does it for a living and the boss told him to get out there and get it cleaned up. Most of us have had a boss who throws around his weight, guiding we the workers in accomplishing the task before us after his will. For us the employee, it'd be better if we won the lottery and bought all the mountains we wanted to tend to. Which is really just a dream, gone when I wake up.

If it's your own mountain, naturally that's happier than tending to other people's mountains. My assessment is, he's got a skillful eye on the task. He wants things to be as nice as they can be, but he knows it's going to look terrible for a while longer, can't build Rome in a day. So it's time for lunch.

Have we decided which is the most important meal of the day? I've heard good arguments for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But it could be controversial, so I'll leave it to each of us to decide his or her favorite meal and just keep it to ourselves. If we're together for any length of time, I'll figure it out.

I spoke about environmental sympathizers, and said I am one. So I'm going to assume this man has the same wisdom that I have. Anyone who has an argument about it, there's a different mountain about 8000 miles east of here, it's more interesting, for sure, so get going!

Monday, July 17, 2023

The Last Good Guy on Earth?

I'm usually so optimistic, giving good kudos to my friends, family, and neighbors. Which entails thinking highly of them and feeling assured that they're A-OK, nothing wrong, nothing shady, nothing hidden, such as schemes, criminal and/or crooked stuff. I suppose I could push my thoughts out there occasionally, just to make sure that I'm not being overly optimistic.

Because according to what I'm hearing, things aren't that way at all. And I used to be so optimistic that when I'd see wanted posters at the post office for guys who were WANTED, I figured they were just razzing them, like neighbors laughingly making so-called accusations about them just for kicks. Get a rise out of them. Well, I was talking with a friend and he caught a whiff of my innocent thinking and laid it on thick about how apparently rotten ("to the core") the heart of man is, firstly, and how an indwelling "evil" is manifest in things like robbery and killing, taking it all the way down to pilfering packs of chewing gum at the gas station.

I've gone out of my way, too, in waving at everyone, giving everyone a smile, and I've even trusted them farther than I could throw them. Loaning out lawn equipment, for instance. And, yes, sometimes I never got it back, but I always figured they had it at the garage somewhere cleaning it or having the blade sharpened before they returned it. I'm the most honest guy in the world, it seems. I guess that's how I have to see it. Since I have no good way of knowing where everyone is on the scale.

If anyone could PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE (with sugar on it), could tell me and reassure me that I'm not the last good guy on Earth, I would appreciate that. It might tamp down my recent insights and bring back a lot of it or even a smidgen of my old optimistism. If this is how it is, though, I'll never loan out my lawn mower ever again, assuming I get it back after loaning it out yesterday.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Welcome To Testville

I got a new computer. Full disclosure, I think I'm losing it ... not the new computer, but my mind.

It's kind of an awful thing. Feels like crap, really. Which is at least something of an encouraging word. Encouraging? Why? Because if I'm able to discern that my mentality is in uproar, at least I'm looking at it from a sane perspective, possibly my main consciousness battling this alternative narrative. That's great. Because, as the song says, "Seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are overcast."

Another paragraph and I'll be able to test this TESTVILLE post. What would the town of TESTVILLE be like? Their whole civic thing is to explore, to test the great and the small. No test is bad, although in tests there's lots of pain. But if the test gives you more to suffer from, then you need to try to get your house in order.

Food for thought. Big huge steaming platters of food for thought. The butler sees the crowds waiting for their food. Bibs around their necks. And we'll see how the test ended, probably a burp.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Old Me Doesn't Know How to Make a Blog Post Anymore

Wondering if I just type a paragraph of stuff? Then wondering what happpens next? I don't remember ever having to screw around with this stuff. So on and so on, son.

That would have been the top set of paragraphs. Then this is a longer paragraph, starting with the para and ending with the graph. I'm presently grapling with what I used to do as a GIVEN now sort of a cranky old dishtowel.

And if that ain't not nothing, I'd hate to see something. 'Cause if I saw something, I'd cry, "That ain't not nothing, it is manifestly something! Amen? Amen? Can I get a hale and hardy Amen, or are you all just a bunch of reprobates and maybe even robobates. If you're 'bating with a robot in charge, beware, the business you lose might be a business that doesn't register on the Wall Street Top 5.

So I march along, getting my blog post an ever-expanding nature. I'm not worried about anything, except it is somewhat discouraging. What I used to do like instinct, now I'm given to meticulous wondering. Not an overjoyed fellow, but, hey, who gives a rat's patootie anyway? Except the rat, and we haven't cared what rats think all these years. I'm of course sympathetic to all creatures, but I'd rather rats worried about their own challenges and merely left me alone. But I'm INURRED to that slate of events, which may have gone out of fashion.

And there we are, rallying with our old family back at the old family place, Grandpa as the head of the place. (Keeping it to himself that he himself was once a baby like us. Imagine that, Baby Grandpa, my Grandpa as a baby. They hooked a diaper to his lower quarters and checked it throughout the day. The old people smiling and laughing that he's called Grandpa, when, of course from their perspective THEY'RE the grandpas and he's still an infant. These things are mind-blowing.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Fireworks Fundamentally Evil?

Fireworks have a way of making a mess wherever they go. We used to think they were great. Then, I guess it was the danger and all the warnings I heard from parents and grandparents. Everyone knew someone missing a finger, an eye, a head of hair, and it was all something I took to heart. Joining that of course with the realization that everyone eventually dies, and, if that's true, the events along the way are obviously not guaranteed to be favorable to our desires. When life gives us a given, receive it for what it's worth, with at least a speed bump of realization and wisdom.

Well, we had a few explosives, firecrackers occasionally, but usually sparklers. That's my history. Sparklers of course are not completely safe. Just like everything else, there's a downside. Relatively speaking, they were safe(r). But if you neglected the basic safety of the thing of course you could be in big trouble. My outlook has always been to LOOK OUT!!! The eyes you save could be the ones you're using to read this.

So, anyway, there's your big fun for the holiday, celebrating (in America) our great liberties, blah blah blah, and trying to make sense how fireworks really fit in. It's better to have something to celebrate than not. Celebration of our national place and society's benefits having to do with our heritage, preserving it, etc. If you manage to burn down your town, you probably have less to celebrate. But if you're smart and maintain some degree of temperance -- good virtues -- you'll have a pretty good common sense understanding of what the threats are, (1), and what the payoff is (2), everyone going "Whoopie! I just ignited a firecracker, aren't I a good boy? Yes I am.

Now let me end with my testimony to America and what have you: I, CITIZEN OF THIS LAND, THANK THEE FOR THE BESTOWAL OF LIBERTY, AND SO ON AND SO ON, until the sacred cattle of the fields (even them) crow and moo, "We too have a great place in our country's heritage ... people gotta eat."