BOLD AND FEARLESS

Someone complained. “How come people aren’t up in arms about Scrotus and his attack on the press? Why aren’t people crazy about this?”

I think maybe I got just a little bit crazy hearing that. What exactly are we supposed to be doing that we aren’t already doing? There I was thinking we were doing more than a little bit to keep our bit of resistance happening. Then I hear we don’t care enough because … what? Are we supposed to be building battlements in the roads?

It’s February 2017.  There are going to be at least four years of Scrotus or one of his lackeys up there in The Big Office. He isn’t going to “go away.” If, by some small miracle, he does go away — and I would not count on it — one of his people will take over for him. There won’t be a victory in our immediate future, no matter how much objecting we do. If we blow ourselves up now, where will we be in another year? Two years? Three years?

We’ve got elections coming in 2018. I recommend you people who are so eager for us to be climbing the battlements get busy finding candidates to run for office. As of today, we’re a bunch of angry, frustrated people who hate what’s happening. If we want to be more, we need a party. We need people. We need candidates. We need to be able to show we are better.

Right now, we can’t do that.

This is going to be a long run and what’s going on now is merely the beginning. It will be difficult. Expect to be frustrated as we watch newspapers and television stations try to do what they were better at 50 years ago. You’ve ignored newspapers and other news for years. Now, you want them to stand up and be Walter Cronkite? It can happen, but it’s going to take a while. By the way, are you subscribing to a newspaper? No? Have you considered it? You want news to be powerful? Buy a newspaper. Also, read it. Just saying.


As a side note, am I the only one noticing that Trump is getting old really fast? Even with all the makeup, he looks exhausted. We may wonder how we’ll survive him, but I wonder if he will survive us. The man looks like he is going to explode.


Are we upset? Are you kidding? Seriously?

Of course we’re upset. Garry didn’t work more than 50 years in news to see this. But that being said, we all have personal lives. We have kids, friends, and dogs. We have blogs. We make art. Write stories. Many of us have health problems and some of us are just plain cranky and getting old.

I plan to live through the next few years and come out the other side. Alive. Able to get out and vote.

Garry and his friends all worked for a lot of years in news. All of them are retired. They can do a lot of stuff including being funny. Writing. Talking. Reasoning. Arguing. Contending. Discussing. What they won’t be is out there. On the streets. Marching. Other people are going to have to do that.

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TIME FOR KIDS TO STOP BEING KIDS

This is fair, isn’t it?

It’s a young world and these are terrible, but exciting times. If youth wants this to be their time, they’ll have to make it so. The world goes around and comes around. All the kids who’ve been complaining how we had all the good times, all those marches and all that excitement? Welcome to the exciting world. Go out and fight. Your time has come.

Go forth young ones. Be bold. Fearless. It’s won’t be easy. If you don’t get what you want quickly, you’ll have to get it other way. The long, slow way. There’s a lot of work to do.

I have faith in you.

CENTER OF THE CABINET

Last night, I spent hours looking for something which was where it was supposed to be. On the correct shelf. In front. Right in the center of the shelf. Nothing was hiding it. It wasn’t behind something or turned the wrong way.

I looked there and couldn’t see it. I looked in all the other places it might possibly be. There’s a cupboard in the kitchen and a rack in the other bathroom. Otherwise, it’s one or the other of my medicine cabinets.

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I searched the kitchen thoroughly , in the process finding and tossing out several bottles and tubes of prehistoric stuff — at least a decade old. I did not find what I was looking for.

Finally, I began to question if the container for which I was looking even existed. I was sure I’d bought two bottles of this stuff. It’s not expensive, so I would normally buy a couple and stash a spare. But maybe I only thought I’d bought a spare. Maybe there was only one.

Before tucking myself into bed, I made one last pass. There it was. In the center of the cabinet. Exactly where I had looked at least three times in the past hour.

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Despite my tendency to blame it on the dogs or on supernatural wee people, I suspected my eyes had been blind to the container. In its bright yellow box. In bed, I told Garry I had just spent nearly an hour looking for something that was where it was supposed to be and where I had looked several times.

He was sympathetic. “Yes,” he said, “it happens.”

Maybe it really is those pesky, wee brownies, fairies, and pixies messing with me? You think?

CENTER | THE DAILY POST

HOVERING O’ER THE SOUP – A TINY BIT OF FICTION

My bowl of chicken soup was sitting on the kitchen table. It had been quite a while since I heated it. It was probably barely tepid by this point. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t going near that soup.

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I had decided soup and toast would make a pleasant little lunch, so although this wasn’t “really” soup, I threw it together. Added whatever veggies I found in the fridge. Toasted an English muffin. Added a little butter.

Now, it had been sitting on the table for … well … a rather long time. I was still hungry and I could (in theory) reheat it. Again. If it had ever contained anything beyond artificial flavoring and salt, heating it one final time would finish it off anyway.

It was no longer a concern of mine. I had moved on to other things.

I was strongly disinclined to eat the soup. I didn’t even want to look at it. Near where the bowl was waiting on the table, I could see my sodden bathing suit, wrapped in its wet beach towel. I had promised I’d wash it out soon. Except, I couldn’t.

It was the grin. I could deal with everything else, but that grin made my skin crawl. Or maybe it was the long white teeth.

Up in the air, a toothy cat’s grin was suspended in the air of my kitchen and it was hovering above the soup. The Cheshire Cat had returned. He had come back to my kitchen.

He wanted my soup.

SHARING MY WORLD AS FEBRUARY DEPARTS

Share Your World – February 20, 2017


When you cut something with scissors, do you move your jaw (as if you were about to chew)?

I don’t think so. I admit this upfront — I never thought about it.

Do you chew your pens and pencils?

I used to chew pencils, but I have given up pencils. I have given up pens (mostly) in favor of keyboards. So … I don’t seem to chew anything that isn’t food. But I did, when I was younger.

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History and movie dolls

History and movie dolls

Are you a collector of anything?  If so what?

Ah. Collections. I used to collect everything. Now … well … maybe a few things.

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I collect tee-shirts for books — the tours for new books. I have maybe a dozen of them for a couple of books I dearly love. I collect weird tee-shirts for NCIS and occasionally, stuff that just happens to have a movie quote on it that makes me laugh. Not just tee shirts. Actually sweat shirts too.

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I do not collect pottery . Or dolls. I still have many dolls remaining from when I did collect them. Not as many as I had, but plenty. I’m down from many hundreds to a few hundred. Now, though, we collect dog toys. There’s always something.

To keep the collecting thing in check, we:

  • Do not go to book stores
  • Do not go to video stores (even the used ones)
  • I never ever look on line at old dolls or ancient Chinese pottery.
  • Unfortunately, we do seem to gravitate to museum stores.

Oh, and widgets, gadgets, dongles, and doo-dads. All of them. Because you never know when you’ll need one of them, right? Of course I’m right. And gadget/camera bags. But not so many these days.

Some things, there’s no escaping.

What size is your bed? 

Queen size. We would have gotten a king, if only for the gigantic hugeness of it. But — the room is too small. We could have had the bed, but then we’d have had to put our clothing in another room … which, all things considered, we could have done. Who knew how our world would change?

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Still, I’m not the least bit unhappy with our bed. It’s the most comfortable bed in 12 universes and sometimes, just lying down for the night produces joyous moans of satisfaction.

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YOU DON’T HAVE TO JOIN THEM

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It was the end of the movie. A man was undergoing a court-martial. It was unjust and Robert Mitchum, as his defense attorney, was having a difficult time securing justice. Just post World War II, there were a lot of highly placed and well-connected Army brass who needed the accused to be found guilty. Why? Because a guilty verdict would stop any further investigation of what really happened and who was truly involved.

If the story sounds familiar, it is. When important people, movers and shakers — no matter whether they are government, military, or major corporate players, “the truth” is, as often as not, one of the casualties of whatever is going down. Truth, honesty, justice, fairness … mere collateral damage in an endless war in which we are all pawns and the power is in the hands of the rich, powerful, and well-connected.

man-in-the-middle-the-winston-affair-poster-1964Justice is not done in this case, though the outcome could be worse, depending on how you choose to look at it. It’s a British production and there is a sense of frustration and futility that even after fighting and dying, regular people are still taking the hit for those in power.


Thus, at the end of movie, when it is pointed out to Mitchum that they didn’t win, he agrees.

——

But then he says: “Just because you can’t lick’em, doesn’t mean you have to join’em, either.”

——

Maybe, in the final analysis, that’s what it’s all about. Sometimes, we lose, but we don’t have to give up our sense of purpose, our honesty, or throw away the things in which we believe. We don’t have to join them.

My team, my beliefs, my principles took a major hit. But don’t think for a minute this means I’m about to passively join the mob of sycophants and “true believers.”

I do not have to join them.

Neither do you.

RHYTHM METHOD

lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown


The poem I’ve written below is based on the “Five Principles for Getting through the Trump Years,” given by Alice Walker in her speech at a reading in La Manzanilla, Mexico two nights ago on February 20, 2017. I was fortunate enough to be at that reading where she and four other excellent writers also talked about subjugation, prejudice, inequality, poverty and the importance of kindness, open-mindedness, acceptance and education in bringing our country to a better level of fairness to all.

I’ll talk about some of the other poets and storytellers who told their tales in a later post; but for today, and since it fit in with today’s prompt, here is my take on Ms. Walker’s wonderful talk.

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Rhythm Method

You’ve got to listen to the beat.
Shake your booty, pound your feet.
If you want to survive the day,
the rhythm method is the way.
It’s been said by smarter folks than I
that it’s the way that we’ll get by
in times we think we won’t survive—
the way we stay fully alive
in spite of voters who were hazy
and voted in a man who’s crazy.

Instead of listening to his bleat,
until the time of his defeat,
first and foremost, kindness will
help us to swallow this bitter pill.
A close connection with nature might
help us stay strong in the fight.
Respect for all those elders who
just might be another hue:

native tribes or Africans
brought unwillingly as hands
to shore up our economy
and build a country for you and me
while they paid the awful fee
in poverty and slavery.
It’s time to set our people free!

Gratitude for human life,
both theirs and ours, will allay strife.
In times like these, less than enhancing,
“Hard times demand furious dancing!”
One wiser and more in the groove
than I am, says that we must “Move!”
James Cleveland sang “This too shall pass,”
Turn on his music and move your ass.

Thousands of people dance along
this wonderful old gospel song
in her mind’s eye and I agree.
While we are waiting, you and me,
for enough others to see the light
and step in line to wage the fight,
we have to keep the joy in us
in spite of this unholy fuss
that seeks to keep us frightened and
prisoners in our native land.

Instead of knives and swords and guns,
defeat the tyrant with jokes and puns.
Comedians will save the day
and keep us laughing on the way.
But in the mean time, move your feet.
Feel the rhythm. Feel the beat.
If this nation has a chance,
perhaps we’ll find it in the dance.


The quotations above are all from Alice Walker’s talk. In prose form, here again are her five principles for getting through the Trump years (or hopefully, months.)

1. Kindness, which can keep us going through these unkind times.

2. A close connection with nature.

3. Respect for our oldest biological ancestors including native Americans (specifically those at Standing Rock), Africans  (who survived the fierce physical brutality of slavery) and Europeans such as John Brown and Susan B. Anthony.

4.  ‘Move!  Hard times demand furious dancing.’ Reverend James Cleveland sang, “This too shall pass.”  Get a recording of it and dance to it! She has an image of thousands of people dancing to this wonderful gospel song.

5. Maintain gratitude for human life.

She ended by relating the importance of meditation, which she described as a means “to rediscover the blue sky that is our mind,” and by stating that one way we can overcome the constant bad news with which our oppressors drug us is to learn the bad news first from comedians. This, perhaps, is one way for us to get through this dark period in our history.

The prompt today was rhythmic.


Please read the original post on Judy Dykstra’s brilliant site: Rhythm Method

WHACKADOODLE VIRUS

I have some solid armor on this computer. Not only the version of anti-virus that comes with Windows 10 (which I had been using for years before it became part of the system), but also Malwarebytes to pick up any slackers. Between the two, I haven’t gotten a virus in a long time.

Today, I popped over to YouTube and  voilà! One virus ahoy. “IF YOU TRY TO REMOVE THIS, YOUR HARD DRIVE WILL FA … ” except it never got through “fail” because it got whacked by both virus blockers in one heavy hit and down it went. Sadly, it left Chrome messy. Time to delete it. Chrome doesn’t deal well with being “a little bit broken,” so unless you are planning to deal with its “little bit of brokenness,” you have to take it down and then, put it back.

This isn’t a big deal — usually — because while it takes a few minutes, Google gets itself back in business fast. But, I had to dump not only Google, but all its “pieces.” I would have to depend on Google to restore itself. Once I was sure I’d gotten rid of the viral page, I deleted it the rest of Chrome. And all the little pieces of it, what they call “the backup” stuff. I took it all the way down and suddenly, there was a screen.


Why did you delete Chrome? — Me: Virus 

Do you want it back again? — Me: Yes, please.

Click here. — Me: I clicked there.


Thinking about two. Don't ask why. Just ... two.

Thinking about two. Don’t ask why. Just … two.

No problem if I had the slightest memory of the password I used. I wrote it down because who doesn’t write down their passwords? But I wrote it in my gmail account. Which was the thing I couldn’t get to because …

This is the moment when you usually threw your hands in the air and scream “I GIVE UP!”

No more. Now, before I had time to find a paper and pencil, the phone was ringing. And there I am, trying to wrench the top off my pen so I can write down the number. Phew. Got it!

I put in the numbers and in went Gmail and Google. After a while, as I passed some time checking the new settings (Google is always new), everything came back.  The whole kit and caboodle. Though I’m pretty sure I’ll have to replace every single password for all the sites I use, but it was time to dump them anyway. Remind me I said that.

There was a thing on TV. I think it was on the Sunday NBC shows about passwords and how no matter what the people in the biz say, passwords are personal and often, there’s a whole story in each password.

Is that true? Are all of our passwords in some way part of our personal story? I think my early versions of passwords were likely stories. But now? Time has required I include capitals and numbers and at least one expletive, so my passwords are memories of times from a long time ago — with expletives and numbers jammed impossibly between.

Sort of almost memories.