March 22, 2013
Sometimes I think I'm getting soft in my old age. Not just soft in the body because that is a given at my age. Even people who have been lifelong fitness fanatics will inevitably find themselves no longer able to run that half marathon quite as quickly as they did in their younger days or do as many pushups as they used to be able to do. Even if they are the exception to the rule and set a personal best time for that half marathon they inevitably will pay the price the next morning when they try to jump out of bed, the slings and arrows of outrageous and heretofore unknown muscles making their much abused presence known. If they can do as many pushups as they used to when they were 25, it is more likely the next morning they will be tossing back a couple of aspirin and calling their doctor about that pesky rotator cuff. The body just isn't able to recover as quickly as it used to.
No, I mean soft in the head, as in realizing I no longer hold dear some of the cherished ideals of my youth. I really believed we could and would change the world with our sit-ins, love-ins, demonstrations and protest marches. We all felt in those days that a real revolution was right around the corner. In fact many of us used to preface our rhetoric with the phrase, "When the revolution comes..." followed by our idealistic pie-in-the-sky plans for the inevitable social changes that we felt were bound to occur. Change did come, but certainly not the way we expected. The counter-culture of yester-year has, for the most part, morphed into the materialistic baby boomer generation of today. Many retired old hippies such as yours truly feel as though we have somehow sold out and betrayed the high flying ideals of those heady days when we really believed we could levitate the Pentagon and stop the Vietnam war.
I swore up and down in those days that if I ever had kids I would never buy them war toys such as toy guns or plastic swords. But the day came that my two sons went out to play with their friends who had the coveted store-bought toy guns and my boys were reduced to using broken tree branches as weapons.l I felt guilty and caved. Thus went most of the high flying ideals of my youth. Yet one thing that has not changed since then is my intense dislike of real guns. Don't like them, never had and I doubt I ever will. I have too many friends that have either been murdered or committed suicide by firearms to ever feel totally at ease around them. I am quite certain that I shall never own a gun.
Having said all that, I fairly pounced on the article I found online from Opposing Views.
It seems that the father of an 11 year old boy took a picture of his son holding a .22 rifle and posted it on Facebook. Shortly thereafter a representative of New Jersey's Department of Youth and Family Services showe up at his front door after receiving an anonymous phone call. The father in question, one Shawn Moore, said two people from the state's social services agency came to his house on the night of March with four police officer. They said they were responding to a call about a child holding a firearm and demanded to see all the guns in the house. Mr. Moore was not there at first but his wife called him and was talking to him throughout the incident until he arrived at home.
They also had the presence of mind to call their lawyer who listened to the conversation between the DYFS, police and the Moore family. Upon the attorneys advice they refused entry into their home by the DYFS. After they were denied entry, a DYFS representative threatened to take his children unless entry was gained. It seems the DYFS wanted to enter the house and access the gun safe so that she could make sure they were properly registered even though New Jersey has no gun registration requirements. The authorities eventually gave up and left the Moore home. Did I mention they had no warrant?
Mr. Moore is highly qualified to carry firearms, having certification as a firearms instructor by three seperate agencies. He also has made sure that his son is also certified as required by the state of New Jersey. Anyone under the age of 18 must pass a state safety test in order to go hunting. Mr. Moore said that as of Monday the 18th that the DYFS is still insisting on seeing his safe.
I have already stated here how much I dislike guns but I have to give credit to Mr. Moore for not only being thoroughly grounded in firearms safety but also in knowing his rights under the law and standing up to the authorities. I still hate guns but the over zealous actions of the state authorities still bothers me.
What about you, dear readers? Should Mr. Moore allow the DYFS into his house? Do you think the authorities are over zealous or are they just doing their job? Should the government, state or federal, be allowed into anyones homes for gun inspection without any warrant? How do you feel about gun registration in general.
Isn't it worth $1 a month to you to keep RGQ in your mailbox? Please click the link and direct your contribution to keep RGQ going.Today's Quotes
The most terrible of motives and the most unanswerable of responses: Because. - Victor Hugo
A world of facts lies outside and beyond the world of words. - Thomas Henry Huxley
A father came home from a long business trip to find his son riding a very fancy new 10 speed bike. "Where did you get the money for the bike? It must have cost $300."
"Easy, Dad," the boy replied. "I earned it hiking."
"Come on," the father said. "Tell me the truth."
"That is the truth," the boy replied. "Every night you were gone, Mr. Reynolds from the grocery store would come over to see Mom. He'd give me a $20 bill and tell me to take a hike!"
Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before - it takes something from him.
To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.
A wise man fights to win, but he is twice a fool who has no plan for possible defeat. - all from Louis L'Amour, American author, born on this day in 1908
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There is a television show that highlights people whose fashion sense is either attenuated, or nonexistent. The Learning Channel (TLC) has made a hit of this program simply by showing every-day people and their lack of fashion sense, or sheer laziness.
People are submitted for inclusion by friends and/or family. Potential subjects are clandestinely filmed in their normal activities, wearing their normal fashion selections. Needless to say, but I will, their selections are less than flattering to either their body or their career. For example, one woman was in a public place in clothing more befitting an exotic dance club . . . on stage! Most others simply wear "sports casual" type clothing rather than something more appropriate to the setting.
The subject is approached and offered $5,000 in exchange for their current wardrobe and a willingness to accept rules on using the money to buy new clothes. After a week in New York City and a couple of those days spent buying new clothes and a full makeover, the subject finds her, or his, new beauty in dressing appropriately.
It is too bad we can't apply this concept to everywhere else. Discount department stores attract a wider group of shoppers. Even the well-to-do can appreciate saving money on things, as do the ones on more modest means. The upscale stores usually get the well-dressed customer. Not so much for the discount stores. Speaking from personal experience, I have seen some people who seriously do not care how they are seen.
The "pants on the ground" showing one's underwear, or the saggy pants trying to prove the already proven fact that men and women all have butt cracks, as well as the apparent color-blind shoppers could all benefit from a program like that. One of my favorites are those who see pajamas as a fashion statement. Boy, could they learn how proper attire could enhance their potential dating experience, or marital moments.
As if my own limited experiences aren't enough, I receive some email from friends that includes pictures of customers of these stores. Some will simply turn your stomach. Others are simply funny. All are ridiculous. They are also sad. These people think, seemingly, that their fashion choices are somehow flattering. I surely do not see it. In most cases, it is just the opposite for me. I have to admit that a well shaped skank with revealing clothing has some effect on me. However, none of these examples trips my trigger to the point of any personal interest. It's more like those wrecks we come across while out driving where we just cannot take our eyes off the gory scene.
Here's your quiz:
What do you wear in public that others may consider unfashionable?
Have you seen any of these "People of ***Mart" photo collections?
Would you accept an offer to replace your entire wardrobe?
Fashion - Most Go For Comfort
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn't rate a fancy 'signature pic')Nancy's Nuances
The tune "Those were the days, my friend" keep rolling through my mind again and again this year. Way back in the twentieth century I had some good times with good old friends. The problem is we were all in our 40's and 50's then, and time went and zoomed fast forward to now, and boy, are they getting old! (I'm not of course). One a month this year have been reaching what we in the kiting world call "Empty Spaces" in the sky. Not unexpected demises, except one, but just places where you can't have a stop over and cup of coffee and chat about things we did back when. They just re-play in the mind. And remembering those moments bring smiles of great fondness, a sort of hug within. I thought I'd mention a couple.
Lois was quite a character. When she reached 80 her daughter got her to agree not to climb out the hall window of her house on to the porch roof to clean the windows on the second floor. She also agreed to have someone go with her if she planned to take off cross country. She could really burn the rubber on freeways! Her near neighbor and windowed friend Marge probably prayed from Indiana to Oregon. She had sky blue eyes that could simply look up at a young guy and ask him for something and he melted. And did whatever she asked. Usually that was loan her a kite for an exhibit. She was a great exhibit organizer. We used to have a Labor Day week-end Festival at the Wright Patterson Air Force Museum every year ( 20 of them) and kites filled Kettering Hall - 75 feet long, and I don't know how wide. H and I went down there the first Saturday in August each year to help install that exhibit. We always had all the top prize winners of the previous year's Grand National competitions to hang.
Then there's George, who is frail, but still with us. He used to work at a job that had him in his car a lot, and he always kept a couple kites in the trunk. He was a professional man with several degrees, very smart, so it was with some shock that he got thrown off an industrial property by Security People one day. His comment was,"I just needed to unwind and there was a nice breeze and big lawn, so I just pulled over and parked." "
The loss that hit hard was Gene, just last month. He wasn't ill, that we knew about, just getting a little sore and tired. Then he was gone. He and his wife would go anywhere asked in the USA to fly special kites they collected, including in schools near home. We are often asked to do a school program because kites connect to history and math. Some of us do workshops, some do talks and show examples. That's what Gene and his wife did. They had set up a train of red, white and blue kites (in this case six connected kites that fly as a stack together) out in the school yard. There was close to no wind at all, but he figured they could long line launch the train and the kids would see them in the air a couple minutes at least. The kids came out in the school yard, up went the kites, and as they did a breeze sprang up. One boy behind him started singing, "Oh, say can you see..." and the rest of the kids joined him. The wind stayed steady until the end of the song, and then died back and the kites landed.
Bill lost his battle with cancer several years ago, but while my mind roamed, I recalled a special day for him, too. He built large, challenging kites, lots of engineering involved in their construction. At one large kite event where they held competitions, he had unsuccessfully worked at beating another kite builder for several years. Then he made this fabulous multi-winged giant and everything went his way. When the awards were announced, his name was called to come get the trophy. He hugged it and walked toward his car, and I teased, "looks like your feet aren't quite on the ground, Bill". He turned and grinned an ear splitting grin and there were a couple tears gleaming in his eyes.
If I let the mental images slide past like fast forwarding a CD, there's a few kites-in-tree incidents. What a crowd pleaser it is when a freak gust sticks a kite in a tree, and a bunch of people work to get it out! I've thought we should actually plan to do it now and then at a festival, but I usually get a frown from others. It is unpredictable, and one could possibly wreck the kite. But unlikely. We rarely play with paper and string. Spinaker nylon or polyester and tough stuff line don't tear up like paper or cheap plastic, but the expensive spars are another matter. I still use wood dowel in most of the things I make. I go for neat fabric designs, rather than high tech.
In the long run, what this idiot did won't cause anyone permanent damage. This is to say that no one will experience physical pain because of her actions. However, there is a special place in the Celestial Barbecue pit for people like her, and if she is trying to get herself there, she has a good start.
If you follow the link above, you can read a story about a very dirty trick. Some bozo ordered $24,000.00 worth of Girl Scout cookies, in the name of a company that denies making the order, and so will not pay for them. Granted, the GS leaders should have verified that the order was real before they filled it. But, it is the kids who have my sympathy. The thrill of making that big of a sale must have been great, and the disappointment when they found out that they were the victims of some stupid jerk off living in her mother's basement must have been greater.
The troop's towns people are buying their cookies, and according to the article the girls have gotten rid of half of them. They plan to try to get rid of the rest of them this Saturday. In the end, they may still make out, but it doesn't make the hoax any less cruel. The responsible party should have to make restitution, even if the girls manage to sell the cookies on their own. I have no trouble with them ending up with twice the profits they expected. I also hope she does some time in the gray bar hotel, and is fed nothing but stale Girl Scout cookies for her entire sentence. As I said earlier this week, people who are mean to kids or animals are beneath contempt, and should suffer accordingly. Now that I got that off my chest, I have to confess an embarrassing story of my own.
The other day, Chicagoann and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some groceries. As we were leaving, we encountered a mother and daughter who were selling Girl Scout Cookies in the store's lobby. I'm a Thin Mint fan, and stopped to buy myself a box of this overpriced confection. Getting fat and supporting a worthy cause rarely coincide, and I couldn't pass up a chance to stuff my face and contribute to charity.
The Girl Scout's mother recognized me. I had apparently represented her mother in a divorce, and fortunately, the Girl Scout's mother and I were on the same side of the dispute. "Do you remember my mother?" she asked.
"Yes," I smiled. "She was a nice lady. How is she now?"
"She passed away last month," the GSM informed me.
Well, if you're going to put your size 10 foot in your mouth, I guess it's just as well to have a box of your favorite Girl Scout cookies to help choke it down.
Odds and Ends - Norton (by Symantec) reports this recent report -
Cybercrime costs $388 billion dollars in annual losses globally and it affected almost 7 in 10 adults last year.
69% of all email today is spam.
How identities/records are stolen:
- 62% Hackers
- 28% theft or loss of computer or drive
- 7% accidently made public
- 2% other
Some examples are:
Feb 2013 - Hackers stole 250,000 records from a social networking company.
Feb 2013 - Hackers stole 4000 records from banking executives.
Jan 2013 - Insider theft of 583,000 records from a Canadian gov agency.
Jan 2013 - Theft or loss of computer or drive from a hospital in California - 57,000 records.
Thanks for the limericks - Try this one -
Next Line - I once knew a lassie from Belfast...
Hints: Here's a great new rhyming/composition tool. http://www.writerhymes.com/
There's also a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
Limerick rules. http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm
My blue jeans fell down to my feet.....
I didn't feel very neat.....
I really felt.....
If I'd put on a belt.....
Folks wouldn't be seeing my "seat".
My blue jeans fell down to my feet.....
It gave the onlookers a treat.....
Now I feel like a nut.....
Since they saw my bare butt.....
And they keep laughing at Skeet.
- SkeeterReader Comments
No!! No bridges--don't do heights if I can in any way avoid it! Though I have walked across the bridge at Deception Pass in Washington State, just off Whidby Island. It was white knuckles gripping the rail, my husband walking right behind me, and never, ever looking down. I even have a problem driving across high bridges. It takes serious concentration to do it or curl up in a little screaming ball. My balance is reasonable, but it isn't great. One too many ear infections as a kid, probably, combined with vision that is getting worse. My oldest son has the same problem. If someone wants to do that, whatever their age, they should go for it. Who said age should matter in something like this? Well, unless they are totally decrepit, of course! - Ruth in WA
There's nothing about being over 60 that precludes clambering around on bridges. We have less time to lose than we did at twenty, after all. Of my three best contemporary friends, two would have no trouble, I'd be OK for it, and one should probably not be tempted. However, there are surprise hazards. A few weeks ago, I was chipping ice off my roof and just got disoriented momentarily, lost my balance and fell into plenty of snow. - Bob of the North
Lucille--one can only hope someone who has a family member in jail, with somewhat more of a moral compass, will arrange to have your second story's star taken care of. I know it's happened before in jails, maybe it will again. To both of them. I know we are supposed to forgive transgressors, but some crimes are just too heinous for anything. To paraphrase the TV show, crimes against the innocent need some serious punishment. - Ruth in WA
I can testify that even back in `66, Toronto was accepting occasional false records into their parking ticket system, but it was still a sporting proposition to fight them in court, when BC was already on the Kangaroo system of justice. Still, they were more than a busy delivery driver could afford, so I wound up getting a couple of days of life experience in the infamous old Don jail, saving money far faster than I had ever earned it.
There is a lot to be said for the experience of living in an old neighborhood with trees and parks that was planned for pedestrians and transit, compared to the car-centered suburbs with strip malls. An environment planned by competent artists really does soothe the spirit and improve life considerably. Laws about clotheslines and commercial vehicle parking are a pathetic attempt to preserve a few scraps of esthetic relief, but they are also a big wedge for delaminating a neighborhood into economic layers, giving the people with nothing to do a way to harass the help.
However, there is a case to be made for adding license fees for taller vehicles. At first, it might seem sufficient to tax a vehicle by the physical length it takes up in a traffic jam, but it turns out that in order to see traffic lights, etc, there is always more room left around a tall one. I miss being able to walk around and see over several vehicles most of the time. SUVs even inhibit jaywalking, which is statistically safer and better for traffic than crossing at intersections. - Bob of the North
Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly attributed, or even outright false quotes won't get in here from time to time. I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.
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