Facebook Increases My Blood Pressure

February 24, 2017

The way I see it, there are three types of people who frequent Facebook. This may also be true of the other social media networks, but I am only familiar with Facebook. If the other networks affected me in a similar fashion, I would’ve had a stroke a long time ago.

The first of the three types of people on Facebook are those who stay away from politics and post nothing but nice friendly pictures, poems, videos, jokes, etc. I love those people. More often than not, they cheer me up and make my day. There is still hope for humanity.

The second type are those who post political items without doing the slightest bit of research to verify the truth behind the claims. These people represent the extreme sides of both major political parties. Prior to the election, they painted Hillary as a saint and Trump as the Devil, or vice-versa. Since the election, Trump is painted as Satan (his own self), or the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Both sides irritate the hell out of the other.

The third bracket belongs to people like me. Throughout this process I have tried repeatedly to demonstrate that no politician can be trusted and, for that reason, Trump might actually be beneficial – although I have no high regards for the man beyond the fact that he has not made a career out of living off the taxpayers as a member of some government.

Obviously, it is the second type that drives me up a wall. Not only will they defend their posts while refusing to acknowledge that the posts may be out-and-out lies, they will attack my posts and insist I prove my statements.

One such statement had something to do with, “The election is over and it is time to stop the protests and rioting. Give the man a chance. If he screws up royally, impeach him. If he screws up enough to cost him his re-election, vote him out.”

One person too lazy to do any research at all challenged me on the word ‘rioting’. I suggested they might consider the University of California at Berkley who stopped a gay Libertarian from speaking on the campus because the protesters considered him to be too Conservative.

The response from the challenger was “That’s one. You used a plural term.”

Too many people on the left (and yes, it is the Liberals)  are more than glad to exercise their freedom of speech to stop anyone they disagree with from exercising his or her right to free speech. Yes, that upsets me greatly. If you refuse to even listen to the other side, how can you ever hope for compromise.

And yes, it is the left – the side that preaches tolerance – as long as you agree with them. When is the last time a group of Conservative students stopped a Liberal from speaking on a campus?

I made another statement that caused consternation from the left. “I would love to see Trump make America great again simply to see how his detractors react.”

I was informed by people barely old enough to vote that American has never been as great as it is now. How do I argue with someone who is being indoctrinated by Liberal college professors?

I would begin by taking a closer look at the unemployment rate. Obama is very proud that the number is under 5%. On the surface, that is a wonderful accomplishment. However, if one does the slightest bit of research, there are a number of factors that bring that number into question.

Let’s begin with some basic numbers. I’ve seen government numbers (which calls them into question immediately) that an average of 250,000 people enter the labor force every month. I assume that is high school dropouts and graduates, college dropouts and graduates, and legal immigrants. (They might also be counting the illegal immigrants, but I don’t know that for sure.)

Every month the government releases the latest figures of people who got jobs last month. I have yet to see that number top 250,000. So, based on that alone, the unemployment numbers should be going up.

Unless something drastic has happened and I missed it, the population of the United States has also increased every month. I know there are many deaths each month, but the newborns more than make up for that. PLUS, we still have immigrants coming in on a regular basis.

Somewhere along the way I’ve seen numbers representing the ‘under’ employed. Those are the folks who had decent jobs that were outsourced or sent overseas. Instead of making $100,000 per year as middle-management types, they are now working for much less money – but they are working and not part of the unemployment numbers.

But the numbers are still questionable. The big question concerns the number of people in the labor force – a number that has dropped significantly over the last ten years. How can that be?

Let’s begin with the fact that unemployment benefits eventually run out. How does our government handle that? To begin with, there is welfare and food stamps- the recipients of both has dramatically increased over the last ten years. So, these folks are no longer counted as unemployed. They are simply living off the kindness of the taxpayers. (To be honest, if I had a choice in the matter, I wouldn’t be so kind. I don’t mind helping someone get back on their feet, but I resent helping someone stay in the chair.)

I have friends and relatives who insist I am a Republican because I believe and say things like this. I then ask them “How many Republicans have no problem with gay marriage?” I also point out that while I don’t like abortion, I hate the alternatives, so I accept it as a necessary evil. There are a few other items that would label me as a Liberal, but that is only a small part of the bigger point.

I could be wrong, but my guess is that the people on the far left and far right of the political spectrum are the vast minority of our citizens. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. But, thanks to the politicians and the news media, they have us at loggerheads.

As for the media, I am convinced they have moved into the business of ‘making’ the news rather than simply reporting it. If they didn’t bother to cover the protest marches, would the protester even bother? And if they didn’t stress certain facts, would people get royally ticked off and go on rampaging riots?

I heard a talking head question the Trump administration by asking “If they are doing such good and worthwhile things, why do they have minor things dominating the headlines?” Simple answer: So people will get upset and do more things for the reporters to cover. They are going out of their way to get juicy stories.

So, the statement I continue to make on Facebook is “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

In the meantime, I will stay off Facebook for a while and get my blood pressure back down to a reasonable level.

 


Traveling is on the Mind

May 26, 2009

Ever since I started sticking pins in that map on Facebook, my spirit has been urging me to go… somewhere… anywhere!

My wanderlust was not helped at all by our Memorial Day activities.

A group of folks from church got together for a cook-out yesterday and I found myself reminiscing about Atlantic City’s Steel Pier with Karen Taylor. Karen grew up near Burlington, New Jersey, which is the town where my ancestors landed around 1676.

Karen was fascinated by the fact that, on my very first date back in 1961, my lady friend and I went for a ‘ride’ in the diving bell. Karen had done likewise many years ago and had never encountered anyone else crazy enough to go under water in that big metal monstrosity. The sad part is we both agreed that we couldn’t see anything as we peered out the small portholes. The waves crashing on the beach made it impossible to see any kind of fish.

Karen and I got to talking about the diving bell after a discussion of the ‘diving’ horses on the steel pier. Personally, I never thought the horses got any real thrill from jumping off the platform into the ocean. In fact, as I recall, the ‘diving board’ dropped out from under them. The horses had no choice in the matter.

My other memory of that day in Atlantic City was sitting in the large auditorium on the Steel Pier and listening to Xavier Cugat and Abbe Lane.

Naturally, all of this talk made me want to rent a house on the beach and return to the spot where my family vacationed all those many years ago.

Of course, if I couldn’t do that, I’d have no problem returning to Texas and walking along the River Walk in San Antonio. A visit to the San Diego Zoo would be nice… especially if we won the lottery and could take our grandchildren along.

There are so many places I’d love to see again… almost as many as the people I’d love to see again.

But there are also those places to which I’ve never been. Winning the lottery would go a long way toward paying our airfare, meals, and hotels as we visited Rome, Athens (not the one here in Georgia), Berlin, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Brussels, and so many other places.

I know that I will now be watching the travel web sites looking for that great bargain. When I find it, we’re gone!


My Wunderlust

May 25, 2009

I guess I could’ve listed this as ‘childhood memories’. Gogi Grant was much younger when I heard this song for the first time.

My oldest son recently found a Facebook application that allows one to place a pin in a world map for every city and town one has ever visited. I’ve been having a ball with it!

So far I’ve stuck pins into 329 cities in nine different countries. I knew I’ve been to a lot of places, but I’ve never had a good way to pin-point exactly where I’ve been… until now.

When I started blogging I had every intention of writing about many of the places I’ve seen. Going through the maps and sticking pins has already brought back some memorable events. Watch for future posts concerning the results of my being the next-of-kin to the wayward wind.

In the meantime, my hats off to all our veterans and those currently serving in the military. They’re our only hope for everlasting peace on earth.


More Recent Memories

May 23, 2009

Facebook has a program that tries to bring old friends back together. Every time I sign on, a box appears on the upper right suggesting I might want to ask so-and-so to be my friend.

In many cases, I have no idea who so-and-so is. In fact, on one occasion, I made a comment about the so-and-so who kept appearing. It turned out that he was the brother of a friend from church. Since so-and-so and I had a mutual friend, Facebook decided that they two of us should be friends as well.

In that instance, I declined. However, last evening, Molly Clements was the so-and-so in the upper right corner. Years ago, I knew a Molly McCoy, the daughter of Paul McCoy. I also knew a George Clements. Somewhere along the line I had heard that Molly married George’s son, Paul. Could this be the same person?

When I received a note from Molly, all doubts were erased. It is one and the same. Therefore, Molly and I are now friends… again.

When I first moved my family to Georgia in 1977, my first wife quickly joined St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church in Alpharetta. I was not much of a church goer in those days, but I would attend the covered dish dinners and other social affairs.

Then, along came Mary Smith (a former Broadway actress) and Carla Crowell (the Choir Director) with the idea that the youth of the church should present a play. That first year, they decided to do Godspell.

We went for the sole purpose of supporting the youth. We expected very little from a group of untrained thespians.

We were blown away! The kids put on a marvelous performance. The singing and acting was superb. Everyone raved at the performance that was far beyond ‘surprisingly good’, it was well beyond anything any of us expected.

The following year, the youth presented Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dream coat. Again we went with low expectations. This was the first time the play was presented anywhere off Broadway (Mary Smith still had connections) and we figured the kids would have a difficult time topping their performances in Godspell.

We were wrong again. The show was terrific.

In later years, the youth presented Once Upon a Mattress, the Mikado, and several other plays.

And how did all these wonderful memories come back to me? Molly McCoy Clements played the lead in Annie Get Your Gun.

You might say my inspiration for today’s post came courtesy of Facebook. I wonder who the so-and-so will be for today.

Tomorrow’s post could be about just about anything. Excuse me what I go check my Facebook page.


Facebook – Great for Reunions

April 20, 2009

My middle son, Kenn, recently received an email from one of the web sites that tries to help old classmates find each other. For a small fee, he could enter his own information and use their database to track down his old friends.

Faced with such a wonderful opportunity, he asked himself a simple question: “Can’t I do the same thing on Facebook for free?”

Indeed he can, and many people are doing just that. In fact, within the last hour, I made contact with Claude Ricks, a fellow employee of IBM in Pittsburgh. When I was promoted to Atlanta, I recommended Claude as my replacement. He was promoted to my old position and his career took off from there.

Claude is now a Steelers fan living in the land of the Arizona Cardinals, but he seems to be enjoying life. If I know Claude, he is doing his gloating in private.

Yesterday I connected wtih Andy Ferguson. Before that, I located John Diggs. Who knows, by the end of the year, I may have tracked down everyone I’ve ever known.

And it won’t cost me a dime.


Networking

March 1, 2009

I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a good bit of work involved in networking. I’ve been invited to join a bunch of networking sites and each one of them expects me to enter all sorts of information about myself. I suppose the main intent is to help people find me… and help me find others. Some even promise to help me find work.

I’m not sure I want to find more work.

Currently, I’ve joined linkedin.com, facebook.com, and Plaxo. I also signed up for Guru.com, which is supposed to help me find work. Unfortunately, every time they send me a message about someone hiring, they tell me I have to become a paying member of the network in order to see the details of the job.

Years ago, my brother-in-law, A.J. Cronin, told me I should never pay anyone to find me a job. Any company I’d want to work for should be willing to pay the fees of the employment agent.

As a result, I’ve worked for numerous companies since 1958 and have yet to pay a dime to a headhunter.

There are other sites I’ve joined in an effort to track down old friends. One is the Edinboro University Alumni Social Network. This site is relatively new. Of the thousands of people who have graduated from Edinboro, fewer than five hundred have registered. I guess we’ll have to give it time. I set up two groups on their site: one is for anyone who graduated in 1966; the other is for anyone who belonged to the Kappa Delta Phi fraternity.

So far, I’m the only member of both groups.

I guess I’m just a natural joiner. In high school, I belonged to the Key Club, Stage Crew, Chess Club, band, and orchestra. In college, I limited myself to the fraternity, the choir, and intramural sports.

Since then, I’ve belonged to various choirs and musical ensembles, the Lions Club, St. Vincent dePaul, Knights of Columbus, and a couple of softball teams.

Come to think of it, none of those groups asked as many questions as these on-line networking sites. Maybe I’m spending too much time with this computer.

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Hey Linda, check out these glasses!

Click for a better view

Does any of your glassware match these?

Lu has three and she’s willing to deal!

These make fine dessert serving dishes

These make fine dessert serving dishes

As long as we’re doing this, let me add another photo…

Fancy pilsners

Fancy pilsners

Lu took some other pictures, but I’m not sure they’re different… except for this one…

A rare collection

A rare collection

One final reminder… break those wine glasses. It’s time to buy new ones. Just be sure they say Libbey on the label before you place them on your table!