Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Millennials

Over the last several decades it has become fashionable to classify the recent generational groups. It seems to have started, at least by my recollection, with the WWII era, Greatest Generation. It has then gone to Baby Boomers, X, and Y, and now the Millennials. Perhaps this is not something new. Probably sociologists have done this forever, but it is now in the venue of public expression.

Most of what is written about this new generational mark is how they are ungrateful or how much they whine about their circumstances in the world. The problem with marking generations is the wide disparity of people in the age group and the economic variations faced within. It is said they don't know how to work because they never had jobs in their teens. They complain about not having $60k dollar jobs right out of college; they are too privileged. They don't understand why they must enter the workforce at the bottom. It has for every generation preceding yours. That's how you learn.

To some extent all those statements are true. But to read those qualities into all Millennials is ignorance. Like all generations, they come from various backgrounds. Most who comment on Millennials just want to lump all of this generation into the highly mobile urban and suburban group. Take that group and put them up against those of the same age that grew up on farms, grew up in middle income or slightly lower income levels than their richer counterparts. There are plenty of Millennials that know how to go to work and can work with their hands to fix a car or build something out of wood.  Not everyone in this generation is a snobby rich kid.

There is one thing they all do have in common, but it is the same thing every generation who steps into the world faces. They are naive. They believe the world owes them something simply because they exist. They believe the previous generations have screwed up the world and handed them a plate of poo. They don't understand they are not the first generation to speak out about social injustice. Ever hear of the Sixties? It wasn't just a bunch of hippies and flower power.

Each generation inherits the world from what was built before them. Each also has worked to fix those issues handed to them and build upon those things that are good. The cries of having to borrow too much money to go to school falls on deaf ears to those who could not afford to go to college under any circumstances. Those are the same people who build the interstate systems, raised enough food to feed the world and struggled to defeat world-wide oppression.

The world and societies evolve and each generation must therefore deal with problems never before seen in the annuls of man. Other generations struggled to overcome the issues handed to them. It's time you begin to learn to deal with the problems that will be handed to your generation so you can pass on your vision of a better world to those that come after you.

Failure to do so simply proves to the critics of your generation that they were right and Millennials are just a generation of do-nothing complainers. The ball's in your court. Time to make a play.


Friday, March 10, 2017

I'm a terrible patient

So here I am again laid up from a minor procedure. If you remember, most of the end of last year I was standing around a lot due to having a cyst taken off my 'undercarriage'. It was annoying and frustrating, and though my current obstacle is quite different it reminds me that I am by my nature a truly mobile person.

Well, now I'm even less mobile due to an arthroscopic procedure on my knee. It's only been a few days but already I'm antsy. I don't like people waiting on me, getting me things even if it is something as simple as my coffee in the morning. Believe me, I appreciate the thought but it is not in my nature to be coddled. When I go to a restaurant, I want the staff to occasionally check on me but not overdue it. You'll get a bigger tip if you just smile, check on me twice and keep my water filled and have the check ready when we're finished eating. I'm not demanding in any way.

With a bum knee, I'm under several restrictions from My Beloved. The first being, no stairs. Okay, with our new house the only stairs are to the basement but that is where I'm putting my new workbench together. Can't go down and do that. We still have boxes to sort through from the move and guess where they are, in the basement.

There is plenty of work to do outside, most of which won't be tackled until the true season of spring rolls around, but with a large yard, it's slick and slightly muddy. Can't walk around out there either even if it just to view nature in its ruddy finest.

I suppose I will adapt. My Beloved knows I get irritable sitting around and she tries not to fawn over me, although how could she resist; I'm so lovable. Daytime television doesn't really help much. It's a dearth of entertainment. I miss the days when the History Channel actually had history on it or The Learning Channel had something to learn other than which wedding dress one woman or another is deciding on. They might as well let that channel sign off at night if all it has to offer is reality garbage. (By the way, ever notice how reality TV is really scripted and actually has nothing to do with reality? You did know that, didn't you?) I wish I could think up a clever subtitle for the letters TLC for the sludge it has become but those words escape me at the moment.

At least I can sit down this time and I have the time to write. Hopefully my imagination is still better than what's on television.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A changing world

I don't usually post things that tend to be political in nature on this blog. That's not what we started it for and with the news recently of presidential appointments for cabinet seats, there is a lot of uproar in the headlines.

One such nominee is for the Environmental Protection Agency. Now, I don't know this person. All I see in the headlines are his ties to the big oil industry. Big oil and fossil fuel companies are prone to trying to roll back any regulation that interferes with their profits. Business is about profits. Always has been. Always will be. There is no changing that fact no matter what the business or industry. Regulation interferes with their business models and it costs money to adapt.

The point of this ramble is, the earth is changing. I am one that tends to believe in a scientific model and study the evidence and facts that come along with it. I fully understand facts can be manipulated by either side of an argument. If you are one who does not believe the earth is getting warmer, I for the life of me don't understand your position. The evidence is overwhelming. If you decry the warming argument, you at least have to believe things are changing and they won't be the same in a hundred years as it has been in your lifetime.

One problem is people always want to blame one thing. It's xx's fault, or it's yy's fault. I generally don't see the world that black and white. There are likely many things that contribute to our changing world. Fossil fuels growth over the years is one, perhaps your blue marble has moved a percentage closer to the sun in its orbit, perhaps the area of space our solar system is in has something to do with it, perhaps it's voodoo. Okay, you get the point.

The real issue is, our climate is changing and it doesn't really matter what's causing it. It's time we just agree it's changing and we need to look at opportunities that address those things that are within our control. For the first time in our history, we have the technology to help combat what is happening to our planet. We as a species can't control everything, but there is a tremendous amount of things within our control. It's time the governments of the world and ours specifically push away the special interests, take their heads out of the sand and see what's really happening to this planet.

It's the only one we have. It's our home. If we burn it down, we have no where else to go.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

New settings

The following is a topic I've rambled about before. It's a subject near and dear to my heart and all the hearts of men out there.

Laundry...

Well actually, the settings on the machines. I'm convinced they were put there by ancient aliens, or cryptic Egyptians from the times of the Pharaohs. They make no sense in the modern world unless you own a dry cleaning business. Well, they don't use those kinds of machines in their business Robert, you say. If that's what you believe, you've been sucked into their world of lies.

Let's start with the washing machine.
There are things that say cotton, delicate, heavy, normal, light and such. Does anyone really know what these mean? I don't. The only thing I want heavy is a custard filled donut. Take 'heavy' for instance. Is that heavy once it's wet or before it goes in? It's heavier after its wet. How about cotton. Is anything really made out of cotton these days? Then there's the water settings. You can't tell how much it fills because every time you lift the lid to look inside it stops.

Now, take a step back and look at the dryer.
How come none of those setting match the ones on the washer? Ah, now you're catching on. If this wasn't a plot against all men, they should read the same. The only thing I do with the dryer is shrink My Beloved's clothing. Funny how nothing of mine shrinks. It's all made out of the same stuff.

Permanent press, delicate, more, less...how the heck am I supposed to know how long something takes to dry? The machine's manuals don't even tell you that stuff.
I need different settings on the dryer. I need plain Anglish... jeans (you put in jeans), towels ( you put in ...okay, you get the idea), men's underwear, women's things, t-shirts, sweaters, braziers (okay, I don't think I'm really supposed to put those in but I have), and the coup de gras, mixed, the magic button that lets you put everything in that you have in one load and they come out perfectly dry and the same size as when they went in.

If there is truly going to be peace between the sexes in our time, we need to start with the laundry.

Oh, I forgot about 'bedding'. Gotta have a button for bedding. Might even need a separate button for fitted sheets, but that's a whole other topic.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Make it Great again, America

It's no secret that My Beloved and I have relocated our abode, downsizing in our pre-golden years to a smaller place. We went from a big two-story to a homey ranch with a little more land but a slightly smaller house. Our little retirement place was built in the early seventies, and as one would think, not in tune with the modern design trends.

With that being said, I have my own little Joanna Gains in my wife. She has a great vision and a wonderful sense of style. With all this in mind, we began the journey of bringing this little gem into the twenty-first century. We now have an open design and all that is left to do (mostly) is to find all the stuff that's piled into the basement and give those pieces their rightful place. Heck, we just found our flatware six days ago.

When one remodels, one must buy new things to remodel with. You need cabinets and vanities and countertops and faucets; well, you get the idea. To that end, we have searched through the many retailers to find our best buys and and capture the look and feel we wanted.

So, what did we find? We found some decent products but we also found many items that were built incorrectly or damaged right out of the box. So far we have purchased two vanities, had to return one with a bad door. One bathroom tub; had cracks and had to return it. One bath towel rack that was missing screws and has to be returned. For the moment we have to hang our bath towels on the handle of the new shower door, the door that had to be replaced because the screws installed at the factory were stripped and one had the head twisted off and couldn't be extracted.

We have had other issues with products so far. Many have been made in America, some not. Some of the defects have been minor while some have caused the entire item to be returned to be replaced. Our president elect might want to make America great again, but I'd settle for American's making something great again.

So far I'm not impressed with the quality control of home remodeling products.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Another Eve Upon Us

Again I post a ramble on this Christmas Eve. It is my favorite day of the year, if you remember. I post this almost every year. The hustle and bustle is complete and the splendor is spread along the floor. A fire is often ablaze in the hearth, though this year that would make things a bit too warm. This is the first Christmas we will share in our new home. I hope it will be ripe with new traditions and decorations to make this house our home. It is different; it is beautiful. It is ours to sculpt and enjoy with those we love.

Each year I am asked what I want for Christmas. At my age, I really don't want much. A tool I stumble across now and then. It's really the simple things that sit best with me. My daughter knows the kinds of black licorice I like and sprinkles them to me throughout the year. I enjoy seeing Ragin Cage's eyes light up when he sees the presents under the tree. And for My Beloved, each passing year on this night we try to share something special; perhaps a glass of wine or some other special touch just between us.

However, all that pales in comparison to the quietness of the evening. Unfortunately, Old Man Winter has not blessed us with his kiss of white this year. I do enjoy winter's white, the fresh blanket of snow that lays upon the ground. There is nothing quite like a white Christmas. Because Santa does need a good snow base to land on rooftops. Those sleigh rails can do some serious damage to roof shingles you know.

I wish everyone who finds their way to this blog a blessed and very Merry Christmas, or a joyous celebration of whatever spiritual holiday that calls to your heart.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Godspeed John Glenn

For any who follow the headlines, we all know that 2016 has been a rough year. The number of notables and celebrities who have passed away seems staggering when compared to previous years. Likely it's not, however what could be is the number of mega-stars who have passed away.

Most who have gone on are famous in their industry. A great many are entertainers, movie stars and musicians have spoken their final lines and sung their last verse. Now, I am not one who follows many in the entertainment world. I know the names but I don't really know them. It's just not my circle. It is not my calling.

I am more saddened by the passing of one who I would consider a true American hero. The others are notable in their own right, however none possess the capacities of a man who served the public, fought for our rights and wowed the American people with a trip around the earth.

John Glenn served as a United States Marine, a fighter pilot in the Korean War, and in his later years served as a Senator in the US Congress. What launched him into the public spotlight was his flight aboard the Friendship 7 as the first American to orbit the earth as the United States became embroiled in the space race. He stood above so many with his compassion and passion for serving this country. So many who are in the public spotlight at some point fall victim to scandal or corruption. Life can be a messy business. John Glenn fell to neither of these. He was a man of integrity and honor and whether you agreed with his politics or not, he was a man of conviction and humility.

He is my definition of a true hero. That word is loosely tossed around and attributed to many just because they are famous or notable. Heroes are truly few and far between in this world and John Glen wears that moniker with distinction.

Thank you, and godspeed John Glenn.