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Smoking, snowflakes and politics…. much ado about nothing

December 14, 2017

….in this world we live in each of us has their own specific priorities and things that matter most to us. For the most part what you consider important the person next to you probably wouldn’t and the three topics I will be writing about today no doubt fit into that ‘so what’ category, but to me they are like a itch that must be scratched or in this case put front and center in the world of bits and bytes.

We are still moving forward on the not smoking front, however another problem has now reared its ugly head….food! Yes I am still smoke free but in the 16 days I haven’t smoked I have gained almost 10 pounds! If this continues to be the case by the time I reach two months smoke free I will be passing 300 pounds and no doubt be heading for a heart attack or stroke. I knew it was just too easy dealing with my urges throughout the day but ignored the fact that instead of a cigarette in my hand it was a glazed donut.

That term snowflake raised its head recently in the news when Mount Holyoke College established an, “alternative space” for students who were offended by a speech given by a black, female, gun rights activist Antonia Okafor. Where once in collages across the nation free speech meant having speakers present topics of every stripe including those that the majority may find offensive, today we have these same collages offering a safe space for those who feel traumatized by the very fact that a speech they found offensive was being held.

Lastly we have politics, which is basically the same as it was last month and the month before that and….well you get the idea, nothing of great importance seems to ever get done in Washington except more of the same back and forth bickering. Although lately they have added a new/old wrinkle of sexual misconduct just so the public won’t loose interest. It is as if all the people we elected think by stirring a little sex into the headlines we will ignore the fact that lately in Washington nothing is getting done.

When did our nations schools of higher learning
become day care centers
for the
snowflakes
that are supposed
to be the future of America
and
when did overcoming one addiction
have to lead to
replacing it with another one?

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God gave Noah the rainbow sign…. no more water, the fire next time.

December 8, 2017

NBC, CBS, CNN, LA Times, NY Times and the Washington Post all have extensive articles on the current 6 fires raging in California. With nearly 160,000 acres burned and close to 190,000 people forced out of their homes the 5,700 firefighters are currently dealing with an uphill battle to save homes in the path of the fires. Over the years I remember reading about other major California fires but the one thing that is different this time is no mention of how any of them was started!

In years gone by when hearing a television newscast or radio broadcast about a major fire it seemed to always start something like this…. The lightning started fire that is burning in LA or The man made 5,000 acre fire raging in Comely canyon was started when a camper or the shutdown of interstate 99 was caused when a truck flipped over and started a fire in the dry brush alongside the highway. But today after I did a google search for California fires and searched through three pages  I found…. not one reason for how any of the fires were started.

Now I can understand if we are dealing with one small fire but here we have six major fires causing tens of millions of dollars in damage and not one word about how they were started….? If one were a conspiracy nut one may look to say maybe a new terrorist threat as the cause of these fires. Why else would the hundreds of law enforcement officers involved be totally silent on the various fires causes? I mean fire as a weapon of terror is not new, the Japanese military had balloons equipped with incendiary devices that they were flying over to the West coast back in 1941.

Having isis or some splinter group or even an individual bent on terrorizing innocent people would surely see the benefit of using a forest fire as a form of terror. It requires no self sacrifice, no one would know who is starting the fires and it effects many thousands of innocent people. So for a media who was never shy about making false accusations why are they unusually silent on the cause of California’s fires.

It could be an act of mother nature
or an act of terror
either way
why is the media so quiet?

A week down the road and…. no smoke on the water

December 5, 2017

….like the title implies one week on the road to a smoke free life and there is no * smoke on the water around here other than the sinus headaches every night and strong urges at unexpected times I have now made it one week without any cigarettes. I am thinking the night headaches are caused by the strong smell of what my mind interprets as a dirty astray. Could be my daughter-in-law was right all these years when she said my cloths smelled like stale cigarettes.

The funny thing about the ‘urges’…. they just aren’t as strong as I would have expected. I do have to think about something else right away but other than that they pass fairly quickly. One would think after half a century of smoking the urges would be almost unbeatable, then again maybe it is just my guardian angel doing the heavy lifting for me.

I had imposed a one week self exile on myself so I can first adjust to everyday life around the apartment without outside influences and now I think I am ready to venture back into the world. I did just turn down a great meal with my son and his family because I didn’t want to risk my progress but now I feel I am ready to interact once again with my family.

My next report will not be until I have a month of smoke free living under my belt, because I am sure many readers are not interested in my personal battle with nicotine. Especially considering my ‘battle’ seems to be too strong an adjective for my infrequent clashes with the monkey on my back.

Suffice it to say
I am happy to have made the one week milestone
but I know if I can make it to one month
I should be able
to stay smoke free
for the rest of my life.

 

*Sorry about the obscure remark and link about ‘smoke on the water’,

I felt I needed to celebrate my one week free of cigarettes

and that tune brings back some memories.

Day three…. sharing my new path on life’s road

December 1, 2017

….I woke up for the hundredth time tonight and settle in to an hour or so of tossing and turning before falling back to sleep. My mouth is as dry as the desert, my sinuses overstuffed to the point of pain and for some reason everything smells…bad. My dreams however more than make up for the discomfort because for some reason they have been the best I have experienced in my life. The colors are more intense and the story-line’s though still a total mix of insanity and family adventures are better than going to watch an movie at an IMAX theater.

I have decided to not use one drug to fight another’s drug addiction, so as I enter day three of not smoking it might be purely on personal willpower. The funny thing is I really don’t have very much willpower as proven by my oversized stomach and can be verified by a trip with me to do my weekly food shopping. However something has fought back the continual off and on cravings for a cigarette, so I guess we will lay it off on willpower….. although there is one other very important force working in my favor, faith.

Now many of you may not believe in God and that is you right, but for me there can be no other explanation why it has been more than two days since my last cigarette. I did not joke when I said I have little or no willpower and the drug prescribed to me by my doctor still sits unused, so what gets me past those frequent urges? I can only lay my current success on prayer and my faith with its ability to overcome whatever life throws at us. I will share in the coming days and weeks all progress and any pitfalls I encounter. So for the time being forget how I am doing this and share with me in my feeling of well-being at the fact that this is day three without a cigarette!

On November 28th
at 12:00am
I smoked my last cigarette,
so who do I see about getting my first day chip?

Pocahontas…. racial slur or more media anti-Trump propaganda

November 29, 2017

….though it was only 10 am I was falling asleep as my teacher was reading about another historical event that we were supposed to figure out if it was true or not. The setting was near Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 and a native American, Amonute, had interceded with her father to save the life of an English explorer. This same native American was later captured during the Anglo-Indian wars in 1613 converted to Christianity, took the English name Rebecca and married a tobacco farmer John Rolfe… the teacher turned to the class and said who can tell me if that story is true or false?

Fast forward 400 plus years and we have every evening news commentator remarking how it was a racial slur when President Trump used the term Pocahontas while he was honoring the Navajo code talkers. President Trump was once again letting his mouth run before thinking things through. In his mind he was surely thinking about the time he called Senator Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, because she falsely claimed to have native American ancestry, when he said he liked the code talkers rather than Pocahontas

CBS’ “Evening News,” ABC’s “World News Tonight” and “NBC Nightly News” barely mentioned why Trump uses the term in the first place but the origin of the nickname, Pocahontas, was Warren’s dubious claims to be of Native American heritage is something to consider when trying to determine if it’s an offensive slur or a well-earned nickname.

Once again ‘your’ network newscasters are driving your attention in the direction they want you to look and covering up any background truths that would negate the Presidents once again foot in the mouth comment. Is Pocahontas a racial slur…. I don’t think so considering her actions about her saving the life of John Smith in 1607 was taught to me back in the 50’s and today in schools across this nation.

Is the name Pocahontas
a racial slur
the network broadcasters want you to think it is
but I say
it is just another name from our history books

 

Black Friday and Thanksgiving…. random thoughts

November 26, 2017

.…the past week has been ‘different’ for a number of reasons, primarily because I went to my sons’ home for Thanksgiving dinner. No biggie you say, well then you haven’t read many of my postings otherwise you would know I definitely do not do well around groups of people especially when some of them I do not personally know. In any event despite my trepidation I went and you know what…. it was a very enjoyable get-together.

I bring this up because many of us feel ‘comfortable’ doing some things while not-so-much doing others. We have this personal comfort zone of things that make us happy and we do not stray or try new things. My daughter-in-law and a friend in Alaska motivated me to break this mold I have as far as not wanting to be in social situations with strangers and it worked out surprisingly well and I hereby thank them for their encouragement. I have also found out that as one gets older one has more of these ‘safe zones’ and looking back at Thursday’s encounter I believe we should all try and broaden that comfort zone.

 

Now lets look at Black Friday which to me is a totally inane concept. Yes there may be a small number of unbelievably great ‘must have’ items on sale at a ridicules price but unless you join the herd of crazies waiting in line for their limited number you will not get that must have item. But do you truly need that new ‘must have’ item? Has advertising created a monster by making us think we are not worth anything unless we have what our neighbors have or something even better? Why can’t we be satisfied with what we have and just sit back and enjoy the many news videos of the cattle like rushes when the stores open?

I have long ago forgone the desire to be part of that crush of humanity of black Friday shoppers and now only deal with my everyday temptations of ‘must have’ things. However to me my must have things usually entail food. Yes I have walked down the isle while shopping and stopped and warmly caressed the cool pie plate of a fresh baked cheesecake and have pushed my shopping cart past the many packages of chocolate and cookies but like my aversion to the swarms of people shopping on black Friday I pass by or put down those tempting offerings.

Wouldn’t life be much better
if we could be satisfied with what we have,
and might not we also
be happier with ourselves
if we broadened our horizons
just a little?

Lost and found…. Thanksgiving thoughts

November 21, 2017

….you know that last few minutes right before we fall asleep when at times we feel something like a blanket starting to cover our brain and body, that feeling of total release and a fading of reality well thats when I have my most impressive ideas for blog postings. Take last night for instance with the muffled radio’s droning in the background and that feeling of sleep fast approaching something sparked in my mind and I had the outline for a perfect posting, but when I awoke this morning and now at my keyboard with coffee in hand nada, nothing, zilch, zero gone…. like a wisp of smoke in a gentle wind.

I have over the years come up with some of the best ideas for magazine articles and this blog right when I was falling asleep, and because I realize they are rarely there the next day I have at times left a pen and paper and even a digital recorder by my bed in hopes of capturing those elusive Pulitzer prize winning words. Though for some reason I have never been able to capture those thoughts either on paper or digitally, and last night was a prime example.

Either because of the anxiety I am under lately because of my quitting smoking or because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday early this morning as I started to fall asleep my mind started to form the perfect holiday posting. Unlike most this one had a catchy title and full of solid thoughts to carry you to a great conclusion, but alas like many of those that proceeded it this morning the idea is still there but not the substance, so I guess I will have to just wing it and see if I can write a ‘nice’ holiday posting instead of the ‘Pulitzer’ quality one envisioned last night.

Carving the turkey Alaskan style

Thanksgiving to some is a time for family from far and wide to gather and spend time together to renew and refresh, distance challenged, relationships over a meal that is said to have been eaten by the early colonists of this nation. In some history books it is presented as a coming together of the early colonists and the native peoples of America sharing a meal. Reality or fantasy or a story with grains of truth we will never know for sure but still a wonderful concept.

Because of my 14 years of basically living alone in the wilderness it appears that I now have a problem dealing with groups of people, from department stores and supermarkets to family gatherings, so this holiday is one that I was not looking forward to because of this. However remembering the ultimate basis for having a meal with your loved ones I will squelch my uncomfortable-ness and share the true meaning of the holiday.

Though some loved ones can not be with us and
for most of the year many more of us may live our life
in different parts of this nation and world
on Thanksgiving
both family and friends
join together
and share with each other the bond of
friendship and love
that distance will not erase.

So from my family to yours…….

Happy Thanksgiving
to you my readers
who I consider part of my extended family.